Knitting

Christmas Socks

Another year means another recap of knitting goals!  Every year, I try to set some goals for my knitting.  I’m not very strict regarding these goals, but I feel like it’s good to get something in writing at the beginning of the year.   All this being said, I rarely meet all my goals….  And that’s perfectly fine! 2022 Goals Let’s recap my 2022 goals… Knit 2 pairs of birthday socks Knit 6-7 pairs of Christmas socks Participate in the Westknits MKAL again Make colorwork mittens Take a Selbu Mitten knitting class Publish my sock pattern Write another pattern Knit with my 2 Advent kits from 2021 So I definitely accomplished some of these…..  I knit two pairs of birthday socks and knit 6 pairs of Christmas socks, not including my Advent socks during the holiday season.  Once again, I took part in the Westknits MKAL, though this year just about killed my hands and fingers (so much knitting)…   I also managed to knit with my two Advent calendars from 2021 and took a Selbu knitting class! My intentions were good but I did not make colorwork mitts….  And while I started my Selbu mittens, I didn’t finish them.  I did not publish my sock pattern, nor did I write another one.  At some point, I just decided I wanted to have fun rather than stress about accomplishing anything in regards to pattern writing.   2022 Projects 2022 was not my most productive knitting year  – I actually had one more FO last year.   But I still completed 21 projects!  Here’s how they broke down: 16 pairs of socks 3 cowls 1 shawl 1 throw/blanket Of the projects listed above, 8 were gifts!  Woohoo!  My gift knitting was epic, mostly due to all the Christmas socks I knit for my family.  That was too much fun!  I didn’t really mean to knit three cowls but it just kind of happened.  And it was a lot of fun!  Ironically, my favorite FO for 2022 was a cowl: Joji Locatelli’s 3 Color Cashmere Cowl.  I loved this project.  It was fun and easy and so, so soft! Conclusion I don’t foresee many changes in knitting priorities for 2023, but I’ll share some goals for the year soon.  I have several WIPs from last year that I’d love to finish….  But I still want to make fun the priority of my knitting!

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2022 Goals Revisited

WIPs January

I’ve had a slew of FOs (finished objects) since I last ran down my WIPs in December.  So that means a lot of new WIPs!!  January is the time for new beginnings and I have tons of projects on the mind and several on the needles.   Without further ado, let’s get started! 2nd Advent Socks My BFF was so in love with my Freckled Whimsy Advent Socks that she wanted a pair!  Thankfully, my pair of socks only used half a skein so I’m now making her a pair out of the leftovers.  And considering how much I loved my pair, I’m so glad the rest of the yarn is getting used up by someone who actively wants it! Land of Sweets Cowl Using my 12-day Advent from Lay Family Yarn, I’ve started Helen Stewart’s Land of Sweets Cowl.  This is something I’ve wanted to make for quite some time and I’m really enjoying it!  This will probably be a gift. Selbu Mittens I haven’t made any progress on these.  But I’m adamant on getting these done soon.  This is getting to be ridiculous! Long Summer Cardigan This project has not gotten much love this month but I have managed a few rows here and there.  Joji Locatelli’s pattern is great, I’m just consumed with socks and such. Battenberg Blanket I keep crocheting little squares for this blanket….   But this is going to take a loooong time to make! Lava Lake I’ve spent quite a bit of time on this project this month.  I love the yarn so much….so many pinks and corals….  I usually spend time on this on the weekends when we’re watching movies! FOs My Advent Cowl Wolop was completed on December 31st!  Yay!  I did not enjoy finishing off the provisional cast-on but it was mostly worth it because I love how this cowl turned out!  More on this soon! My Christmas Scrappy Socks turned out great!  Using leftovers from Must Stash and Coloring Book Yarns, these socks make me so happy!   Too bad I won’t’ wear them for 11 or so months! My pair of Advent Socks using yarn from Freckled Whimsy are just adorable.  I can’t believe I didn’t think to buy this Advent skein before this year.  These socks have my heart! Since we last spoke, I’ve also knit a pair of Birthday Socks for my mom.  These took two weeks to knit and are just adorable.  I used yarn from Speckled Finch’s Yarn Bliss Box and I’m in love with these! What’s Next Big surprise: more socks!  And I’m hoping to get work done on some of these other outstanding WIPs.   What’s on your needles in 2023?

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WIPs – January 2023

Stay Cozy Socks

I love watching Jody and Tracie, aka The Grocery Girls, on YouTube.  Their podcast is such a great way for knitters to learn about new yarns, books, and patterns, as well as hear about what techniques these two fabulous knitters are enjoying at the moment.  Both of them have published patterns and now I can say I’ve finally knit one: Tracie Millar’s Stay Cozy Socks.  And I adore them! Let me tell you more… The Yarn I wish I could take credit for putting these colors together but my brain isn’t that good when it comes to color.  Tracie used a set of minis skeins dyed by The Creative Knitter and the colors are just too amazing.  In fact, the colors sold me on these socks.  I ran, full speed, to The Creative Knitter website to buy it before it sold out!  (The set also included the main gray color.) The Pattern  Tracie’s pattern forced me to do something I’d never done before: colorwork in socks.  While it was fun, it wasn’t my favorite thing to do.  At least the result is worth it!  Tracie’s pattern is very well written and gives tons of suggestions on techniques to make these socks look great! Details Pattern:  Stay Cozy Socks by Tracie Millar Yarn:  The Creative Knitter Sock in Holiday Rainbow Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) Made for: me Time to Completion:  2.5 weeks These socks are just too adorable.  They were definitely fun to knit, though I wouldn’t choose to do colorwork socks too regularly.   What I most enjoyed about these were the colors.  And I was ecstatic when I finished knitting and had yarn leftover from the mini skeins (which led to me buying some more gray yarn in order to make a similar pair of socks).  I will definitely use up that yarn to make another pair of socks! This yarn base from The Creative Knitter is super squishy and soft.  I love it!  We’ll have to see how it holds up but I’d be happy knitting all the socks out of this base. If you’re looking for some adorable socks, this pattern is well worth your time!

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Stay Cozy Socks

WIPs December

And just like that, December, and 2022, is coming to a close.  How is that possible?!  This year has gone by so much faster than any other year, it seems.  And I’m so frustrated!  It was definitely a good knitting year but, as always, I wish I’d had time to knit more!  Let’s run through my WIPs! Advent Socks Now that my stripes are done – and done on time! – I’m now working on the toes of these Freckled Whimsy socks.  And I love the colors of these socks so much!  They are my new favorite Advent socks! Christmas Scrappy Socks Since I knit all those Christmas socks for my family, I decided to use some of the scraps to make a pair of socks for myself.  I’m using the Must Stash Elf’d/Holly Jolly  colorway and Coloring Book Yarn’s Vintage Holiday.  I’m  just now past the heel on these. Advent Cowl Wolop I was hoping to finish this cowl this year and I’m so close!  I’m using yarn from my Blush Yarns Advent calendar from last year.  And it’s gorgeous!  Hopefully I’ll find time this week to finish it! Selbu Mittens I haven’t made much progress on these mitts.  I’m hoping to rediscover my inspiration in the new year! Long Summer Cardigan This project has not gotten much love this month; my knitting life has been too busy.   Joji Locatelli’s pattern is so, so pretty and I really want to finish it! Battenberg Blanket I’ve crocheted many squares for this blanket but haven’t had much time to sew many together.  But this is a project that will keep me entertained for years! Lava Lake Several times, in between socks, I’ve picked up this shawl this month – but only to knit a few rows.  I love it and it will continue to get more love in the new year. FOs Since my last WIP rundown, I finished my Stay Cozy socks, which was a pattern from Tracie Miller of the Grocery Girls.  These were my first colorwork socks!  And they were so much fun!  I have enough yarn in the kit to make another pair so I’ll probably make some stripey socks!  Look for an FO page on these soon! What’s Next I’m going to knit  another pair of socks out of my Freckled Whimsy Advent skein….and probably cast on some new socks. I like to have plenty of socks on the needles, after all!  But I really need to make progress on my Lava Lake….and start to plan out my gift knitting for the year! 

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WIPs – December 2022

Must Stash Elf'd

As you saw recently, I knit a lot of Christmas socks for my family and gifted them at Thanksgiving.  Everyone had socks in time for the Christmas season!  The last of these socks that I finished were for my dad, using a beloved sock set from Must Stash Yarn: Elf’d and Holly Jolly.  I adore this set and it was a blast to knit with. Let me tell you more! The Yarn I purchased Must Stash’s Elf’s and Holly Jolly sock set at the DFW Fiber Festival in 2019 after eyeing it for a few years.  And it was just as gorgeous in person as on-line!   Because I’m always hesitant to use the yarn I love most (yes, I’m weird and love to hoard my favorites), I still hadn’t knit with it at the beginning of 2022, when I started picking out Christmas yarns for my family members.  And because my dad loves red, I knew this was the perfect yarn for his socks! The Pattern  Because the yarn can speak for itself, I chose to knit vanilla socks with the traditional heel flap and gusset.  I used two circular needles, modifying the Crazy Sock Lady’s pattern just a bit.   Details Pattern:  Vanilla Socks on Magic Loop by Crazy Sock Lady Designs Yarn: Must Stash Yarn Elf’d and Holly Jolly Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) Made for: my dad Time to Completion:  2.2 months (interrupted by Twists and Turns) In the process of knitting these socks for my family, I finally had to knit socks for men.  I saved my dad’s for last because his were the most complicated.  Though his feet aren’t a big size, his ankles swell.  So that meant I had to do some serious math to try to find the perfect fit socks for him. And they fit!!  I was ecstatic when he tried them on and they fit perfectly!  In reality, they could probably be a bit tighter, but since he’s older, I wanted these socks to be easy to get on and off.  So I made sure my cast on was super stretchy and I even added some stitches to the cuff.  I love how these came out!  This yarn is just too precious!  I can’t recommend it enough!

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Elf’d Socks

WIPs

Wow!  Pumpkin season has passed and we’re now well into Christmas-time!  How is that possible?  I know I always say that time passes so quickly but it really does!  And you can see it in my WIPs and FOs for November, which have now taken a turn to holiday knitting! Let’s get to it! Advent Socks Yes, I cheated and wound my Advent  skein of Freckled Whimsy yarn early so that I could get my cuffs knit in the bare yarn.  After knitting with The Cozy  Knitter’s Advent skein for the past two years, I decided to try a different dyer this year.  And this yarn looks gorgeous caked up!  (No spoilers – yet!) Advent Cowl Wolop I’m still having so much fun with this pattern!  For this cowl, I’m using my Blush Yarns Advent calendar from last year.  And it’s gorgeous!  I was hoping to finish this project this year, but that’s probably not going to happen. Selbu Mittens I haven’t made much progress on these mitts.  I know, I know.  I really want to finish these but I still lack the motivation. Long Summer Cardigan This project has gotten just a bit of love this past month, during Saturday football games.  Joji Locatelli’s pattern is so, so pretty and that keeps me knitting all the *fun* twisted rib.   Battenberg Blanket This has been another Saturday football project for me –  crocheting little squares and putting them together.  Some more progress was made but this is a project that will take years. Lava Lake Since I finished Stephen West’s MKAL, I am finally able to do a bit of knitting on this shawl.  And it’s so gorgeous!  I’m loving the yarn!  Why do I love corals so much?! FOs At the beginning of the month, I finished the Westknits Twists and Turns MKAL.  Talk about an epic knitting journey!  I loved so many things about this pattern and learned tons of new techniques….  But I’m glad it’s over – and I’m glad to have another lovely shawl! And after I finished the MKAL, I put the finishing touches on my Must Stash Elf Christmas Socks, which I knit for my dad.  I gave these to him at Christmas, along with socks for the rest of my family, and he seemed to really like them!  More on these soon! What’s Next I’m going to knit some Christmas socks for me – with scraps from the socks I knit for the family.  This will be a fun thing to do in December, since I knit most of these socks in the warmer months!   And then I hope to start a Musselburgh Hat with a coveted skein that has suffered from frog-itis.  We’ll see.  Whatever you’re knitting, I hope it brings you joy!

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WIPs – November 2022

Christmas Socks

Around this time last year, I had a crazy idea (crazy for me, that is).  I thought it would be really cool to make Christmas socks for my parents, in-laws, and husband (I have plenty of them, of course).  The idea came with a little tradition I started of giving everyone a gift at Thanksgiving to kick off the Christmas season.  So why not socks!?   All of these socks, except one, have been posted here as FOs.  But I had to lie about the recipients of the socks, as many of my family members read this blog.  I’ll link the FOs below! Yarn Despite loving the holiday season, I don’t have much holiday yarn in my stash – especially traditional holiday colored yarn.  I’m not a big red or green person.  So when I decided to knit these socks, I had to go about finding the perfect yarn for every person. It was a very fun task, to say the least!  For my hubby, I chose a traditional self-striping red and green yarn from Zebra Yarns (with a bare heel, toe, and cuff).  These socks are just too adorable! For my mother-in-law, who loves green, I used a skein from Murray Wool Goods that I bought, thinking of her, a year ago.  These socks are less traditional but I think she’ll love them!  For my father-in-law, I found some lovely self-striping yarn from Color Me Sheepish with traditional colors but with the addition of brown.  Very manly!   My mother loves pink.  So when I happened upon seeing a yarn from Coloring Book Yarns on Instagram, I went searching in people’s Ravelry stashes for a skein.  These are, perhaps, my favorite!  And for my dad, I used my coveted self-striping yarn from Must Stash Yarn, in the Elf’d and Holly Jolly colorways.  I’ll share these with you next week!   Obstacles I’ve only knit socks for me, my mother-in-law, and my mom.  We all wear the same size shoe, making things super easy.  So when I had to figure out how to knit socks for three men, it was a bit of a challenge.  To make things easier on myself, I started with my husband so he could try his on as I went.  Yes, this ruined the surprise but he already forgot what these looked like when he received them.  His dad’s feet were similar to his so I felt confident knitting his up. The real challenge came with my dad, whose feet swell.  I had to do some serious math to make sure the stitch count was correct and had to decrease the foot since the leg needed to be bigger.  Fingers crossed they fit well! (I’ll share more about these next week!) Conclusion Honestly, this was so much fun!  The challenge of knitting five pairs of Christmas socks throughout the year kept me on my knitting toes!  And now, I keep seeing Christmas colorways that I’d love to knit!  (And I may have bought a few!)  So I may be doing this again in a few years! 

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Christmas Socks 2022

Twists and Turns MKAL

I cannot believe that this year’s Westknits MKAL, Twists and Turns,  is over and done.  In a way, I’m relieved but it’s also sad knowing that I have to wait a year for the next one!  Stephen West outdid himself this year, keeping us guessing like never before (well, since I’ve participated).  It was definitely fun but also more than a little stressful because of the amount of knitting.   Let me give you all the details! The Yarn When Stephen West let us know what yarn to use for this shawl, I knew I couldn’t use stash yarn.  We needed two skeins of two different colors (for four total) and I just don’t buy skeins in pairs.  So I went looking for some yarn, having a vague idea of color and very light speckles. I happened upon Swoon Fibers on Etsy some time ago but when I looked at their yarn in regards to this MKAL, I realized it was exactly what I wanted.  I ordered two skeins of a lightly speckled blue and two skeins of a lightly speckled teal.  To go with that, I chose a brown skein that had teal speckles.  When the yarn arrived, I decided against the brown and found a blue Madelinetosh instead.  I decided that would go with more of my wardrobe.  And it was perfect! The Pattern  As I said, there was so much knitting with the four clues of this shawl.  Unlike some previous years, there was no bonus clue, which was a relief.  But I had to knit and knit and knit more than ever before to even be close to keeping up with these clues.  The first section, though definitely not the easiest to knit, was my favorite when all was said and down.  I love the braided loops.   But, as always, the reason I do these MKALs is to learn new skills.  And Stephen has made me more and more comfortable with short rows, adding stitches, and now, thanks to this MKAL, cabling.  So many cables!!!   Details Pattern:  Twists and Turns: Westknits MKAL 2022 by Stephen West Yarn: Swoon Fibers Peyton Sock in Verdigris (teal) and Seafood (blue); Madelinetosh Twist Light in Ceremony Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm) Made for: me    Time to Completion:  4.2 weeks It took me a bit over four weeks to complete this shawl.  The last clue had tons of knitting and I just couldn’t keep up. The main change I made to this pattern was to forego the iCord loops in the cabling (the light blue bottom section of the wings).  I just didn’t want the darker blue to interfere with the light blue.  That was just a personal preference of mine.   Some knitters chose to stop knitting before the bottom section beneath the braids.  Some thought it just didn’t fit with the rest of the design but I liked adding on to the depth of the shawl.  For me, the more shawl, the better. There will always be knitters who do not like the finished shawl from a MKAL.  But I haven’t disliked any of the Westknits MKALs that I’ve participated in.  Now if I saw these shawls on Ravelry, I would probably not choose to knit them.  But as an MKAL, these shawls force me out of my comfort zone both in design and technique.  I love learning new things and Stephen excels at teaching them in his videos.    So I’m hard pressed to find a reason to NOT do these MKALs.  They’re just too much fun!

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Twists and Turns MKAL

WIPs

October means it’s Stephen West month!  Yes, this month is generally filled with MKAL knitting, thanks to the genius of Stephen West.  So though I’ll give you my WIPs for the month, it goes without saying that practically every knitting moment has gone to the MKAL.  Ha! Here are my WIPs for the month! Twists and Turns MKAL For details on the Westknits MKAL, go here and here.  I won’t post pictures here to avoid spoilers.  This shawl is definitely a work of art and I’m enjoying learning so many new-to-me techniques.  But I’ll be glad to not be so focused on just one project when this is done.   Must Stash Elf Socks These socks are so close to being done!  I only have the toes to go!  And I’m still loving this Must Stash sock  yarn – it is just too precious.  I may have to get another skein at some point to knit another pair of socks!   Advent Cowl Wolop This is such a fun pattern!  I’m using my 2021 Advent from Blush Yarns and am loving how the colors are coming together.  I only got a bit of knitting done on this project this month. Selbu Mittens I haven’t made much progress on these mitts.  I’m determined to finish these, but I have to re-find my motivation! Long Summer Cardigan This project hasn’t gotten much love this month, thanks to Stephen West. I was amused to see that West incorporated a similar twisted rib in his MKAL – so very much like Joji Locatelli’s in this cardigan.  I have a love/hate relationship with this troublesome stitch! Battenberg Blanket This has been another Saturday football project for me –  knitting little squares and then attaching them.  However, not much has happened with this in October. Lava Lake I can only handle one Stephen West shawl at a time so my Lava Lake won’t get any love until the MKAL has finished.   FOs I didn’t finish any projects this month – though I really wish I’d finished my Elf socks.  Those will be what I grab first after finishing the MKAL.  What’s Next Though I’m most likely to not finish the MKAL on schedule, I vow to not be far behind.  Clue 4 is going to be a lot of knitting, but I’m determined to finish soon.  There are so many other things I want to finish up – and begin!

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WIPs – October 2022

Habitation Throw

Can you believe it’s almost November?!  The holiday season is just around the corner and I cannot believe it’s coming up so quickly!  With the holiday season comes Advent swaps, gift knitting….and Knitvent!  Yes, Helen Stewart’s annual bundle of easy gift knitting patterns is now for sale! Let’s talk more about it! What It Is Every year, knitwear designer Helen Stewart releases a collection of knitting patterns designed to be knit before Christmas.  These patterns release, one week at a time, mostly in the month of November, giving you plenty of time to knit them before Christmas. Most patterns are easy and quick so that you won’t have any issues knitting them before Christmas – such as mitts, hats, cowls…  But other, larger patterns are often included, as well as patterns to knit with those lovely Advent yarn calendars we order each year. In The Past One of my favorite Knitvent patterns of all time is the Habitation Throw.  I’ve now knit two of these so I know you remember them!  This is the perfect pattern to make with your Advent calendar.  It’s a lovely, relaxing knit that I know you will enjoy knitting! Some of my other favorite from past Knitvents include the Dust of Snow wrap, the Land of Sweets cowl, and the Hearten Mitts.  All of these are so lovely and I know I’ll knit them one day. Cost This bundle of patterns is not free, but today is the last day you can order them at the pre-sale pricing.  The first pattern releases tomorrow, October 27 – and a new one follows every week after that until the end of November. I cannot recommend Helen Stewart’s patterns enough.  In the past, she’s included several one-skein shawls in Knitvent, which is always a great way to use up those single skeins of yarn we inevitably buy.  I’ve already purchased the Knitvent 2022 collection and cannot wait to see what Helen has designed for us this year!

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Knitvent 2022