Autumn, Fall, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Socks, Summer, Wool, Work, Yarn

Joy to The World Socks

Hey Everyone!

Last night, I finished up the pair of Joy to the World socks I was working on this month.

I used the Joy to the World colorway, on the pride yarn base from Forbidden Fiber Company.

I am trying to work through my “seasonal” autumn and Christmas sock yarn stash. I want to try to get them knit up before the end of the year. Even though I have gone back to work, I should be able to get the autumn and Christmas yarn knit up before Christmas.

It’s still crazy to me, that many stores will be rolling out their autumn stuff in the next month. I love autumn, and when stores start receiving and setting their autumn decorations, it definitely makes me happy and excited. I am also ready to get back to a place where I can enjoy the holiday season. It’s more than the materialism that our culture pushes.

I am also currently trying to take advantage of the fact that it is summer, and with the socks that I get done, hand wash them, and hang them outside to dry.

Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Personal Projects, Quarantine, Socks, Winter, Wool, Work, Yarn

Yet Another Virus Update;

Hey Everyone!

This whole CoronaVirus situation is ever changing, and the only thing that is reliable is to take each day at a time.

Thursday morning, we were given a brief update by our operations manager (who was covering for our Logistics Manager that morning) on the latest as far as our company is concerned.

Things changed again two days later, and I am off work for a couple weeks, at a minimum. My company is paying us for the two weeks we know we are going to be off, after that, it’s still a day by day / week by week situation. While I am not surprised by the closer, I also have the gut feeling that it will be longer than two weeks.

Not to mention the next couple weeks are supposed to be cold and rainy, which means I will be stay in, not going for walks, and knitting a lot, as well as watching the TV shows I have on DVD. I have so much sock yarn that I am needing to get knit up, and socks to finish. I am going to try to see how many pairs of socks I can finish before I go back to work.

At this point I am fortunate, even though I am off, I will have an extra two weeks paid, as well as still having a job to go back to, many others are not as fortunate. I am also the kind of person who is OK staying home for a while, since I enjoy knitting and watching TV shows, I can occupy myself. I will be glad to go back to work when it is all over. There will be work to be done, there is a new set that will need to be set still, freight to come in and be worked, checking the food for expired stuff and all that jazz.

Even though work itself has slowed down the past three months, the rest of my life outside of work has still been pretty busy, and it will be nice to take a couple weeks, stay home (not because I am sick) and just slow down a bit.

Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Knitting Projects, Socks, Wool, Work, Yarn

Social Distancing Knitting

Hey Everyone!

Now that the Corona Virus is here, and it has everything in such an upheaval, and we are told told to practice “social distancing”, its like I have been preparing for this my entire life.

While I have been going for walks the past few days, I have also spent more time working on the socks I have been working on for a while.

I have been working on these two pairs of socks done really soon.

What’s closed down now is bad enough, if “everything” (aka my workplace) closes down, I won’t be bored, and will still have plenty to work on. I have plenty of sock yarn to work with, and make socks out of.

Autumn, Fall, Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Socks, Winter, Wool, Work, Yarn, Yarn Store

Racing against Time and the arrival of Warm Weather

Hey Everyone!

I finally finished up the “make it pink, make it blue” socks on Sunday. At this point I am still leaning towards selling this pair eventually, but I want to wait a bit, and see if there are any more pairs I knit up that I decide to sell as well.

I am still have the second “let it snow” sock on the needles, but I went ahead and cast one one of the Bumble Bee Acres Farm yarns I had ordered last autumn. I chose the campfire s’mores colorway to cast on. I had gotten this colorway on the Coquette yarn base. As this is an autumn colorway, it is no longer available in their shop.

This is just the progress I had made by about 4:30 this afternoon. As of writing this post (at 11:00 at night), I have made a bit more progress on the leg.

Last week, I want to say it was on Thursday, that I was surprised that the latest Bumblebee Bee Acres Farm order “shipped”, and actually shipped on Friday. I could be wrong, but I get the feeling that they process and get orders ready throughout the week, but actually ship and take to the post office on Friday’s, or at least that has been the case with my last two orders (I honestly don’t remember the first). Now that I feel like I understand their system a little better, my opinion of them isn’t quite as low, and has gotten a bit better. That being said, I am still trying to buy from people / small businesses that have a bit better turn around and align with my values a bit more, or are at least able to stay neutral as far as their business is concerned when it comes to polarizing issues.

This last order from bumblebee acres arrived yesterday, and here are the three Hanks that I ordered:

The colorways are from the Outlander Collection. From left to right they are: Safe Harbor, The MacKenzie, and Murtagh. All three of these colorways are on the coquette yarn base. As of writing this post (February 4th, 2020), they are still likely in the shop should you choose to order them.

One of the things I have learned about indie dyers is that some of them only do a limited run of certain colors, and when it’s gone, it’s gone while others keep particular colors in stock on certain bases, and when their stock on hand is low, they dye up more while others keep particular colors in their shop and dye to order (and are up front about that and about turnaround time). So, if I am shopping a new shop that I haven’t dealt with before, I know that I need to snap it up if I really want it, just in case it sells out. There are others, that I know keep an inventory of certain colors, or if it in in the shop, it is dye to order, so if I like it, it can wait until payday to order.

Now that work has slowed down, and I have a lot of sock yarn that I have ordered the past few months, I am trying to get as many pairs of socks knit up as I can, while it is still too cold and wet to hang them outside to dry. I love line drying / blocking socks. Since all of my socks are at least part wool, the idea of putting them in the tumble dryer is definitely a no-no. I would just as soon wait several months for warm weather to dry them outside then tumble dry them. This is for my newly knitted socks, I have other hand knit socks, that if I wear them, I will wash them, and hang them out (even if it is cold and wet) to air out the smell of the wool wash, then bring them in to finish drying. I would eventually love to live in a house with a wood burning stove (among other things) and be able to set up a collapsible clothes dryer at a safe distance away, and put my socks over that to dry near the fire. By the time I have worn my socks, and they have already been blocked and shaped so I wouldn’t need to really block them in the way I need to block the new ones, to get the feet shaped right. I would and will likely set the new ones aside for warm weather to allow them to hang up on the blockers on the clothes line once I wash them for the first time.

I also use a different wool wash for the first time I wash my socks, than I do for subsequent washes. I prefer using the laundress wool and cashmere shampoo for the first wash, I feel like it helps get all the excess dyes, waxed, and anything still there from the processing and anything left behind. Once I have done that and I am washing them after having been worn, I use either Kookaburra Brand or Outback Gold wool wash. Both have tea tree oil which not only is a deodorizer, but also has anti microbial properties. Both claim to be biodegradable, which is nice. Though I am leaning a bit more toward the Australian Gold, as it is made in the USA and the smell isn’t as strong, but we will see in the long run which one I stick with.

Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Personal Project Tuesday, Personal Projects, Socks, Winter, Wool, Yarn

The thing about Variegated Yarn

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I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas season!

The other day, I had cast on the “make it pink, make it blue” yarn, aka the “Princess Aurora” yarn, aka the “All about that Bass” yarn to make the first sock. Once I started getting into the leg of the sock, I was looking at the colors, next to each other. It was at that point where I went from excited to work with it, as it had been so pretty in the hank and the cake, to feeling unimpressed by how the socks themselves were turning out.

It reminded me, how some Variegated Yarns I am less than impressed with in the hank and cake, but turn out to be one of my favorite pairs of socks, while I am super excited about other yarn, and it falls short of my expectations in sock form.

It is also quite interesting to see how the Variegated Yarns work up, especially the hand dyed / hand painted Yarns. Each sock of the hand painted Yarns I have knit up has been different from its mate, and the pair I knit up is different from the pair someone else knits up.

This is definitely one of the things I love about knitting, is seeing how my projects turn out.

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

The First Campfire Sock

Hey Everyone!

Last night, I finally finished up the first Campfire sock of the pair I am working on!

The yarn I am using is from Forbidden Fiber Company’s autumn Collection, in the colorway Campfire, on the Gluttony Sock Yarn base.

I wasn’t sure / as excited about the yarn, while looking at it on the website, or even in the hank once I got it. It took winding it, and seeing it in the wound cake to get excited about this colorway.

I was definitely more excited about some of the other colors I had ordered, until I saw the yarn like this. I fell in love with it, when I saw it like this. I couldn’t wait to cast it on and knit it up.

Once I get this pair of socks done (I am working on the cuff of the second sock as of writing this post), I am going to start on Christmas socks, and then come back to the autumn yarn after I get Christmas socks done.

Work, is going to continue to be busy until mid January, so I will knit when I can, and get as much done as I can, on my days off. Come mid January, I will have more time to spend knitting. I want to try to get the yarn I have sitting on my computer table, as well as in my seasonal themed back knit up before spring officially arrives. I will still have a plastic grocery bag of the expensive yarn I ordered back in September / Early October to knit up, but my goal for that is to get it knit up by mid summer. Since the weather won’t be conducive to washing and line drying socks until at least mid to late June. once work slows down in January, I want to get as many pairs of socks knit up as possible in the months between then and when summer arrives.

I have also been looking at moving, and leaving the west coast behind. A lot of it has to do with the cost of living, cost of land / house prices, no real job prospects for someone like myself, more of a knitting community that is made up of more like minded individuals, living among more like minded individuals, Homesteading communities, and fiber festivals that my favorite indie dyers and small yarn shop owners attend.

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

Finished My Halloween Socks!

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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

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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.