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.

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Knitting, Socks, Wool, Wraps/shawls

Wool of the Andes

Hey Everyone!

My order of KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in Marine Heather and my two 50g skeins of the stroll tweed fingering yarn in Thirst arrived yesterday (Tuesday). I was super excited when it arrived. I love when my yarn orders arrive.

I bought the Wool of the Andes because it was a fairly inexpensive (by KnitPicks standards) 100% Wool Aran weight yarn. Though it’s not so inexpensive when you purchase enough to make an adult size shawl.

I have been obsessed with the variations of what KnitPicks calls Marine Heather. I have the Marine Heather in the Wool of the Andes, the Palette Fingering yarn, as well as a similar color in the Alpaca cloud lace as well as a similar color of the Cascade Eco+ yarn. I really like the dark bluish green yarn.

I started the shawl I bought the Wool of the Andes yarn for. I am Knitting up a simple triangle shawl with it.

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.

Inspiration, KnitPicks, Knitting, Wool, Yarn, Yarn Reviews

Quick Start on a new pair of Socks

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This evening I ripped off the sock I had been working on for the past week, because I didn’t like how the sock was knitting up on the needles. That yarn didn’t have much give and was creating holes where there shouldn’t be. I have had this happen with a different yarn of a similar weight and texture. I can honestly say I not a fan of thinner sock yarn.

With that being said, at around 8:30 this evening I started a new pair of socks with a different yarn. I have had good luck knitting socks with KnitPicks yarn up until this point. Granted I have only knit up socks using the Palette yarn so far. The new pair I cast on, I am knitting up from the Hawthorne Fingering yarn (that yarn I ripped off was of a different brand).

I am amazed at how quickly this yarn is knitting up. In the matter of a couple hours, I am already a quarter of the way done with the cuff of this sock. The colorway I am using of the Hawthorne Fingering is Laurelhurst.

When I was looking at the Hawthorne Fingering Yarn online, I quickly realized that all the color names are of the different neighborhoods here in Portland (the city I grew up in). Not only is that cool, but Hawthorne is the name of one of the major Boulevards here in Southeast Portland, as well as the business district / neighborhood that Hawthorne Blvd runs through, as well as the bridge that carries Hawthorne Blvd across the river to the west side of the city. Here on the east side Hawthorne and Madison are two different streets (and for a ways they are one way streets with Hawthorne carrying the west bound traffic and Madison the east bound. On the West side of the river Madison is the street that the feeds onto the Hawthorne Bridge.

While KnitPicks is an international brand with a corporate headquarters across the other river in Vancouver, Washington. I love the fact that they have yarn named after places I know.

So far (I am only 10 rows in) the only down side I am finding with the Hawthorne Fingering yarn is that is seems to be rather stiff. I am hoping the stiffness/ scratchiness issues are due to the waxes and stuff used in the spinning process and to help it to knit up easier. I am hoping that this issue will be taken care of once the final project is washed the first time.

Knitting, Socks, Wool, Wraps/shawls, Yarn

Summer Heat

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Since my last post, I have completed one pair of socks and I am working to get another pair done before this summer gets even hotter. We are expected record heat here the next few days and I want to take advantage of that in order to quickly dry these socks once I get them washed and blocked. Today I got the first sock of the second pair I intend to wash. 


While organizing my KnitPicks Palette Yarn I realized that I have sock yarn that color wise matches the Cascade Eco+ Yarn I am currently using to knit a wrap. I totally had not intended to have socks that match the wrap. It is cool that I will have socks that match my wrap. 

I have also put together a spreadsheet to keep track of the pairs of socks I make and the sock yarn I have in my stash, as well as the Palette yarn I have yet to purchase to make socks and a color swatch out of. 

I definitely want to try other wool sock yarns in addition to what I already have used, though I have found that for wool sock yarn, the KnitPicks Palette is my favorite to date. In addition to the Palette yarn, I want to try the other KnitPicks fingering weight yarns for socks and see how they knit up. Now that I have worked with the Palette yarn, it has given me the most consistent end results. It has so far been the easiest Wool sock yarn to have worked with. 

As much as I am not a summer person I am trying to put this hotter than average summer to good use and get as many pairs of socks knit up, washed and blocked while it is warm enough outside to put the socks out on the line and not have to use extra electricity to get my socks dry or to keep the sheepy smell in the house (those I live with wouldn’t appreciate the sheepy smell). 

Knitting

Summer is only good for….

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As of writing this, it is barely noon and already 81 degrees Fahrenheit, which means it is a perfect day for drying socks outside. That, and growing fruit are the only things this weather is good for.

Right now I am glad I have socks to work on, so I don’t have something bulky and warm like a sweater or my wrap (once it gets longer), sitting on my lap heating me up even more than I already am. While I know 81 isn’t hot for most people, for me it feels like an oven, especially since the humidity is sitting at 51%.

Friday and a bit of Saturday I did make some progress on my wrap, as well as the socks I am making out of the Turquoise Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn that I have. I am currently working on the heel flap of the second sock.

I decided to go ahead and wash the pair of socks I had knit up using regal KnitPicks Palette Yarn. Every time I wash a pair of socks for the first time, I am always amazed at how much excess dye is in the yarn. It has made me wonder if they rinse the yarn after they dye it, or if they pull the yarn out of the dye, dry it and then wind it up without rinsing the excess dye out. But that is part of why I always wash what I knit before I wear/use it. I don’t want the excess dye or the waxes and other chemicals they use in the dying and processing to come off on my food clothes, or in my boots. Washing whatever I knit up also helps to soften up what I have made and make it so it is not stiff or not as stiff as it was before I washed it (again getting all the waxes and stuff out that makes it stiff).

One thing I have noticed about wool and other natural fibers (like cotton), is that they tend to soften up once they are washed. While you can get a bit of an idea of how the yarn will feel in the store, you don’t get a true idea until you have knit it up and washed, blocked and dried it.

So I am trying to make the best use of summer, and work on knitting up as many pairs of socks as I can. I still have a lot of sock yarn waiting to be knit up into socks.

Knitting, Personal Project Tuesday, Socks, Whats on My Needles, Wool, Yarn, Yarn Reviews

The Nordlys Yarn Saga: The Conclusion 

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I finally finished up the pair of socks I have been knitting up from the Viking of Norway Nordlys Yarn. It took me more than twice the amount of time to knit up this pair of socks than a pair using KnitPicks Palette Yarn takes me. This pair of socks took me 17 days to knit up, and a pair of socks that I am using the Palette yarn for takes about 6 – 8 days to knit up. I was so ready to be done with this yarn, it wasn’t funny. I am seriously hoping this is the last part of the saga for this yarn anyway. Four parts in a continuing saga of how much a certain yarn was bad, is more than enough, if you ask me. 

I know I wrote up a negative review on this yarn about a week ago. That review is still relevant a week later. Besides the clumps, it also was a bit thinner in some patches, and it was hard to knit with. It was also hard to catch the full stitch or fully knit a new stitch because the yarn was being such a pain in the rear. 
I can still say that I don’t recommend this yarn, especially at the price I paid for it, to anyone. 

For wool sock yarn, I will definitely stick with the KnitPicks fingering weight yarns. 

The finished product:


This is how much was left after I finished the pair of socks:


I am keeping it on hand just in case it doesn’t hold up and I have to unknit a part of a sock and reknit it up with new yarn. 

The socks are currently sitting in my  wool socks to be washed bucket, until we get another nice, warm, dry day, so I can wash them and put them outside on the line to dry.

I have since started another pair of socks, this time using more of the Palette yarn I have.