Autumn, Fall, Knitting, Personal Projects, Socks, Winter, Wool, Yarn

Finished My Halloween Socks!

Hey Everyone!

I finished up my Halloween socks, Sunday morning, just in time to get them washed and blocked as well. They are ready to go for Thursday. I am glad I got them done over the weekend. Going into the weekend, I knew I would be working, at least four days this week, and I was asked to pick up a shift tomorrow morning as well. So this week I will be working at least five days.

I typically wear store bought “cheap” socks for work. Considering that the yarn I had ordered in the most recent orders was between about $27 – $33 per hank, which will knit up into a pair. That, combined with the time I put into to knitting up each pair, makes me not want to wear them just for work.

This week, we are experiencing some unseasonably cold morning low temperatures, combined with the wind chill makes it feel like it is down in the 20’s. Portland is right at the mouth of the Columbia River Gorge, which is bad enough for getting the east wind. The wind is funneled down the gorge, so this time of year, through the winter months, we have strong east winds that are cold, and go right through all the layers you are wearing. Areas out in the east part of the county, like Troutdale, Fairview, Wood Village, Gresham (Where I work), and far Northeast Portland, are that much closer to the river and the mouth of the Gorge get hit even harder. I checked what it was this morning while I was at work, at about 7 am. The temperature was at 35 degrees Fahrenheit, but felt like 24/25 with the wind chill.

So yeah, here I am at about 2:00 pm, ready to get some knitting done, while my laundry is in the dryer, and before having to go to bed in about five hours to start it all over again tomorrow morning at 3:15 am, to start work at 5:00 am. I have to pay for the yarn I ordered somehow.

Autumn, Fall, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Winter, Wool, Yarn

All About That Bass

Hey Everyone!

I spent a couple hours this evening winding the Hanks of yarn I had sitting. I will wind up the last two I ordered, when they arrive.

In the Hanks of yarn that I wound up, was the “make it pink, make it blue” hank from Long Dog Fiber. While it is based off of Sleeping Beauty, once it was would it totally made me think of the the Color Scheme from the Music video of Meghan Trainor’s “All About that Bass”.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 5 years since that song came out, and was quite popular that summer.

I am still trying to comprehend how Tomorrow is October 1st already. September just flew by.

Friday evening, I finished up the pair of socks I have been working on for a while. This particular pair took me three weeks to complete, and I was ready to move on. I had Second Sock Syndrome bad with this pair. I used the Plum Bustle colorway, on the Fortitude yarn base from Forbidden Fiber Company.

Now that I finished up this pair of socks, I am starting in on some of the autumn colored Yarns that I had ordered. I started with the Heirloom Pumpkin yarn, that I had been eyeing for about a year, but was sold out by the time I had discovered the company that I had ordered it from this year. I have three more pairs of Halloween & Autumnal socks, besides the pair I am working on, that I want to get done by thanksgiving, then I would like to get the two Hanks of Christmas colored yarn knit up. We’ll see how that works out with work, especially since I am going into the busiest time of the year, with the holiday season starting up in a couple of weeks.

goals, Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Scarves, Socks, Wool, Yarn

Evaluating My Yarn Stash

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I am definitely addicted to Sock Yarn, and ordering way more than I need. I have come the conclusion that the order I put in this morning, really needs to be the last order I put in for a very long time. I have so much sock yarn (and yarn in general) sitting around that I need to be doing some major stash busting, and knit up what I have so that I can actually put it to use!

I picked up a set of two more containers for storing my finished socks today while I was out, as the one container I was using was overflowing with socks, and I still have so much yarn to knit up.

I have seriously been considering and praying about moving, and where to move, since the economy where I am is still tough and finding a job where I can make ends meet isn’t happening here, while the cost of living is continuing to sky rocket.

I would also like to live somewhere where there is actually snow each winter, and gets cold each winter. I am wanting to put the cold weather accessories I have knit up, and am planning on knitting up to good use, on a regular basis. It doesn’t get cold enough often enough here for me to use a lot of what I have made.

This morning, before I decided to enforce a moratorium on sock yarn ordering, I put in what will be my last order of sock yarn for a very long time. I ordered two more Hanks of sock yarn from Forbidden Fiber Company. I order two more of the Steampunk Collection Yarns, that have more pink in them, even though they are more subtle than straight up pink.

I must say that Forbidden Fiber Company has become my favorite smaller / independent yarn company. Their website is really well designed and set up. I also love following the company’s Instagram account. The owner has great customer service and goes the extra mile in the presentation and packing of the yarn when shipped. All the yarn I have ordered from her has been very nicely wrapped with a branded sticker to keep it closed. Each of the packing slips that have come with my ordered, have had a handwritten personalized note thanking me for my order. I usually try to put in my online orders before 9:00 am Pacific time (Noon Eastern). That being said, all my orders from Forbidden Fiber Company have been shipped within two business days. All of this has left a positive and favorable impression of this yarn company. Not to mention I also just love their yarn. I have definitely had less than favorable experiences dealing with other yarn companies, which is why when I have a good experience with a company that also has some pretty and soft yarn that knits up really well (I will post more once I have washed and worn the socks I have knit up), I have to share my experience with y’all.

If you have been following me for any length of time, you will know that I give honest reviews of the yarn and yarn companies that I have purchased yarn from and have used. If I am not a fan of a particular yarn, I will say so, if I have crappy customer service, I will share my less than stellar customer experience, While try to be constructive about it.

KnitPicks, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Knitting Projects, Socks, Wool, Yarn, Yarn Reviews

Knitters Talk; Ordering knitting supplies online

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday, my latest order of Sock Yarn from KnitPicks arrived!

I had ordered some more Palette yarn. So far the Palette yarn is turning out to be my favorite sock yarn. It knits up so nicely and evenly. I also have not had a problem with casting it on (I will write more about that here in a bit), and the heels felt nicely once worn. I have noticed that the heels of my socks always kind of look awkward until I wear the the first time, then they felt a little and look like normal sock heels should.

Tuesday evening I got the first sock of the pair I am knitting up out of the Chroma Fingering Yarn finished and the second one cast on. Very quickly I came to the conclusion that I don’t like the Chroma yarn. For me it is a pain in the rear end to cast on. The first sock was a 3 or 4 attempt to get cast on and knit off, and the second was a 7 attempt to cast on and successfully knit off. If you have ever worked with Roving, you can relate. This yarn, the fibers liked to pull apart on themselves, and it isn’t helpful when the strand pulls apart while you are casting it on or knitting off the first row. I finally got the second sock cast on and knit off. While knitting up the socks I have been having to be careful as the fibers like to split on the stitches, slowing me down. So this pair of socks has been frustrating. They will be a nice pair of socks once they are knit up, but I will not be ordering more of the Chroma yarn.

I still have a 100 gram ball of the Stroll Fingering yarn and many 50 gram balls of the Stroll Tweed sock yarn to try. I like the feel of these balls better than I do of the Chroma. I am hoping that the Stroll Yarns will knit up more like the Palette and Hawthorne Fingering yarns have for me. I had mentioned that the Hawthorne Fingering yarn felt rough as I was knitting it up. I had the opportunity to wash that pair of sock here recently. The stiffness and roughness went away with washing, which meant that my assumption that the stiffness and roughness was caused by the waxes and stuff used to treat the yarn to make it easier to spin and knit with, was correct.

Last week I started a new triangle shawl using my Wool of the Andes Tweed worsted yarn in Marine Heather.

My goal has been to see how far I can get with the first ball of yarn, to get an idea of how much one ball of the Wool of the Andes Tweed can make. While I know that as I get more done, each subsequent ball will make fewer rows, as the shawl gets wider and there will be more stitches per row, I am impressed with how far this one ball has gotten me and I still have some of it left.

I am still waiting on my second set of lace blocking wires to arrive. They have been stuck in Sumner Washington since the 13th, and they were shipped on the 4th. This is the second time this month I have had issues with DHL and packages being held up by them. Yes I have contacted them twice so far for this package. I am fully aware that this is the busy shipping season, and it is almost Christmas, but really, they were shipped on the 4th, and have been sitting in Sumner (near Tacoma) for the past week. I am like “really people, you had plenty of time to get my package to Portland before the train derailment that closed I-5 southbound, and it’s not like you really need that section of I-5 southbound anyway, since Sumner is closer to the detour route around it anyway.” It is just frustrating that my package hasn’t arrived yet, and the other package from that order (that was shipped a different carrier) as well as the two orders I have ordered from KnitPicks since this item shipped have all arrived (again, these two orders after the order of blocking wires were shipped with FedEx). While I have occasionally had an issue with UPS losing a package (the last one they lost of mine was a year or two ago), I, and others I know (the yarn studio I worked at 3 years ago) have had nothing trouble with DHL. At this rate I am expecting the items I ordered from Amazon this morning to arrive before the blocking wires do. I will get off my soap box now and get back to work on my projects.

KnitPicks, Knitting, Scarves, Socks, Wool, Wraps/shawls, Yarn

More Shawl Yarn

Hey Everyone!

The knitpicks order of worsted and bulky weight yarns I had ordered for shawls arrived today!

I got four hanks of simply wool worsted yarn in Wordsworth, as well as six hanks of the simply wool bulky yarn in Wanda.

The worsted weight is the brown and the bulky yarn is the off white:

This winter, between working on knitting up socks, and other projects I am hoping to get two more shawls knit up before next summer.

As someone who loves making my own socks and cold weather wear and accessories, I love trying and using different yarns and seeing how projects turn out.

I am definitely more of a diy kind of girl, especially when it comes to hats, scarves, shawls and socks. I do wear store bought socks for day to day still (especially socks that are made to wear with athletic shoes as well as shoes like Toms and Vans), I do love my hand knit socks for when I wear boots. With the exception of hiking in the summer, mid autumn – early spring is typically boots and wool socks weather around here.

Knitting, Socks, Wool

Washing Socks in Winter

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Beings that today is about as nice as it is going to be for a while, I decided to wash the two pairs of socks I had in my to be washed bucket. These are socks I had finished Knitting since summer ended, and the weather cooled off, and the rain set in.

While it is only 45 degrees Fahrenheit / 7 degrees Celsius, as well as windy (the East Wind picked up yesterday), it has been sunny and dry the past few days. This time of year, the East Wind is strong and cold.

Why did I decide to wash socks in the winter anyway?

Well, beings that it has been dry and sunny for the past few days, the air isn’t quite as saturated with moisture, as well as having the strong East Wind, and it being above freezing; It will at least help air the wet sheep smell as well as the wool wash smell out of the socks before I bring them inside later this evening to really work on drying.

I prefer my socks to get fresh air when they are just washed to keep the wet sheep smell to a minimum in the house and to help the socks. I love the way laundry and stuff smells when it is allowed to hang out on the line even for a bit.

I do realize this time of year, my socks won’t really get dry outside, on days like today, they won’t get any wetter, and the wind may help start getting them dry. I also love the way they smell when they come in from outside, as well as reducing the wet animal smell inside the house.

If it was pouring rain, or the temperatures were near or below freezing, I wouldn’t have bothered washing socks. I just wanted to get another couple pairs washed while I had a small window to do so. By the time spring rolls around with a nice sunny dry day that is warm enough to completely dry socks outside, I am likely to have more pairs than I have sock blockers for.

Knitting, Socks, Yarn

Falling in Love with Color

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A few months ago I went a bit crazy shopping for sock yarn, and bought a whole bunch of the KnitPicks Palette yarn in many different colors. Most of which have either been in the earthy – natural range that remind you of being outdoors, and remind me of hiking in the woods. Most of the rest of the yarn are jewel tones, which are some of my favorites.

IMG_1329I am currently working on a pair of socks, for myself, using the KnitPicks Palette Yarn in Larch Heather, and I am loving the color. To me this green reminds me of being out hiking in the woods, and the color of the moss and other plants that I have seen growing in the woods.

While I am not usually one to pick out the earth tones to wear, especially since they are not the colors that look the best on me, I am having fun with colors. I am picking out ones I like that I wouldn’t normally wear, for socks. Beings that I intend for most of these to be Boot Socks to wear with hiking boots, and in the cooler weather, they will be covered up anyone. I figure, who cares if they don’t go with what I am wearing, they are just socks, and if no-one likes them, that is their problem. Though I do own a tank top that is a similar color to the Larch Heather, that I typically wear under cranberry colored tops.

I may have mentioned this in other posts, but I used to like to wear a lot of pink when I was younger, before I really was able to embrace the outdoorsy girl thing. Now that I have gotten older, and have been buying most of my clothes myself, as well as the yarn to knit up items for myself. There are still some pink things here and there, but they aren’t pastel pink, or hot pink, they are more of a darker pink, tending more toward cranberry or raspberry. I also like to wear a lot of blue, dark teal, and turquoise. I also prefer the natural colors (off white, tan, and brown), in addition to the greens and blues for accessories, beings that they go with pretty much anything. They are also a bit of color without being all like “look at me, look at me”.

I also like using the Palette yarn for socks, it knits up so well, and quickly. Beings that it is what I have gotten onto for Socks, I can buy any color I want, and use the pattern I came up with for any of the colors and I get consistent results. I like that I know I will get consistent results with this yarn. When I had been working at the knitting studio, we had some yarns, that were the same brand and same line, but different colors would knit up differently. I like knowing that I can go into my stash of Palette yarn, grab any color I want, and it will knit up the same way as the first pair I knit up. I can combine colors and one won’t be thicker than the other, or looser than the other when using the same needles, and that the stitches and gauge will be even across all the colors, no matter which one I use.