Knitting

Westknits MKAL 2022

Tomorrow – tomorrow! – the Westknits 2022 MKAL starts!  I can’t believe it!  I’ve been excited for this day since I finished my Shawlography in November of 2021!  Ha!  I recently talked about the yarn I’ve chosen, but I’ve decided to make a change. Just a recap…. What It Is Every year, in October, thousands of knitters around the globe follow Amsterdam-based Stephen West on a mystery knit along featuring one of his very extravagant designs.  You never know what you’re knitting!  But every week, you’re given a piece of the puzzle to knit.  And every week you scratch your head and wonder what-the-heck Stephen is doing. New Yarn For this MKAL you need five skeins of fingering weight yarn – two skeins of two different colors and one contrast color.  It was the contrast color that had me wanting…more.  And so I ordered a skein of yarn from Madelinetosh that I like more to go with my four skeins of Swoon Fibers yarn. I wear a lot of blue so I wanted a shawl that would go with more in my wardrobe.  Sure, I love my pinks, purples, and corals, but not all of those go with the clothes I own.  So I’m trying to be practical while still finding colors that I’ll love to knit with.   Conclusion This yarn makes me happy so I know I’ve made the right decision.  And I can’t wait for Thursday and the kick off of the MKAL!  What the heck will Stephen teach us this year?! 

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Westknits MKAL Yarn

WIPs

It’s finally fall!  We’ve had the windows up for two mornings in a row and it’s been glorious!  And all these thoughts of fall always end up leading to knitting, of course!  I’m working on clearing WIPs off the needles in time for the Westknits MKAL.  Not long now! Here are my WIPs for the month! Must Stash Elf Socks I’ve wanted to knit with this colorway for forever!  I’ve been infatuated with it for so long, I can’t even remember.  And now I’m finally knitting with it!  Just vanilla socks, but I adore them! Advent Cowl Wolop I’m making this fun pattern using my 2021 Advent from Blush Yarns.  I generally work on this every morning for 30 minutes and a bit during football on Saturdays.  And I’m loving the colors! Selbu Mittens I haven’t made much progress on these mitts.  I’m just not motivated, mainly because the pattern requires so much concentration. I hope I find some motivation soon!  Long Summer Cardigan This project has gotten more love this month.  I’ve been knitting on it during football on Saturdays.   Battenberg Blanket This has been another Saturday football project for me –  knitting little squares and then attaching them.  So, a bit more progress than usual! October House Cowl I’ve made the hard decision to frog this cowl.  I’m just not loving the pattern – which is why I haven’t been knitting on it.  I still love the yarn so I’ll wait for a better pattern.  If you have a favorite one-skein shawl pattern, send it my way! Lava Lake This shawl from Stephen West is still a joy to knit, but I haven’t had much time to spend on it lately.  Socks have taken most of my time! FOs I finished one pair of socks this month – the Second Hedgerow Socks that I started late last month.  This was meant to be a test knit but life got too busy and I couldn’t keep up.    What’s Next The Westknits MKAL, of course!  Who knows what Stephen West has up his sleeve this year, but I can’t wait!

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WIPs – September 2022

Swoon Fibers

I cannot believe the first day of fall has come and gone….and with that, it means it’s almost time for Stephen West’s (Westknits) MKAL of 2022!  Yes!  This annual shawl mystery knit along is something I now look forward to every year!  This will be my third time participating and I cannot wait! What It Is Every year, in October, thousands of knitters around the globe follow Amsterdam-based Stephen West on a mystery knit along featuring one of his very extravagant designs.  You never know what you’re knitting!  But every week, you’re given a piece of the puzzle to knit.  And every week you scratch your head and wonder what-the-heck Stephen is doing. I’ve learned to not stress and just go with the flow (wow, Slipstravaganza), as Stephen always advises in his tutorial videos.  There’s no way to predict what stitches (ahem, Shawlography) he’ll come up with so it’s best to just follow along and let him do all the thinking for you! What We Know Stephen released a video to talk about what to expect this year and what yarn is needed.  He always does this with plenty of time for you to get the yarn and supplies you need for the MKAL.   And we have clues to go with the yarn: Twists and Turns is the name for this MKAL.  Who knows what the heck that will translate to in that Westknits brain!  Ha!  And the yarn needed: two pairs of matching skeins and one contrast skein, all fingering weight.  As always, you can decide how much contrast you want and how bold you dare to go! Stash/Buying Though I would have preferred to use stash yarn, always, I do not have many pairs of matching skeins.  Actually, I don’t think I have any.  (Ack, sock knitting!) So that meant buying yarn.  I didn’t see any kits I loved so I started fresh in my search for yarn.  And I decided to be practical….  I wanted colors that I could wear with the clothes in my closet.  That means more sensible colors, which I usually hesitate to knit with.  I decided to try to find some blues and then I found the perfect skeins from Swoon Fibers…  A light blue, a lovely teal, and a contrasting brown.  Now, I must admit that I’ve already ordered a different contrasting skein from Madelinetosh but it hasn’t arrived.  I like the brown but I’m not sold on it….   I’ll let you know what I decide but I love this yarn from Swoon Fibers.  And I can’t wait for the MKAL!   Now to clear off those needles in preparation…..

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Westknits MKAL 2022

Coloring Book Christmas socks

I’m almost done with my Christmas socks, but not quite yet.  How it’s gotten to be September and I’m still not done….wow!  After this I only have one more pair….well, maybe two but definitely only one more that I must make.  This pair that I’m sharing with you today is especially fun, with adorable yarn from Coloring Book Yarns.   Let me give you all the details! The Yarn When I went searching for Christmas yarns, I knew that self-striping yarns would be something I wouldn’t be able to pass up.  And this colorway – which includes pink – was impossible to resist.  Coloring Book doesn’t appear to be dyeing yarn anymore, which is incredibly sad because this dyer is so talented! The Pattern  I knit these using my favorite new method, using two circular needles per sock.  For this, I used videos from The Crazy Sock Lady, along with her pattern.  I can’t believe how much I enjoy this method of sock knitting!   Details Pattern:  Vanilla Socks on Magic Loop by The Crazy Sock Lady Designs Yarn: Coloring Book Yarns Sock in Vintage Holiday; random red mini skein Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) Made for: me    Time to Completion:  3.5 weeks I cannot get over how much I adore this colorway.  It makes me so happy!  The pink and the light green….  It is just too adorable! Generally, I knit vanilla socks when using self-striping yarn because, why not?  Let those stripes speak for themselves!  For the heel, I did my favorite Eye of Partridge Heel.  I almost always use that heel for my socks, except if I’m knitting socks for men (and then I use the standard slip-stitch heel).   For the toes and cuff, I found a red mini to use for a bit of contrast.  I always like doing this for self-striping yarn. And yes, the stripes get uneven at the heel, but since I don’t like afterthought heels, it’s just something I’ve come to live with. I love these socks!

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Coloring Book Christmas Socks

WIPs August

The summer, especially August, has flown by and, in my opinion, it can’t end fast enough!  I’m ready for fall.  And I’m really ready for cooler temps and college football!  That means more knitting time and lots of family fun!  Here are my WIPs for th emonth! Second Hedgerow Socks I started another test knit for CrystalTeaKnits…..  But life got in the way and I just didn’t have the mental capacity to do the pattern.  So I changed it to make it easier and more portable.  I’m using yarn leftover from some other socks I made.  So cool! Advent Cowl Wolop I’m making this fun pattern using my 2021 Advent from Blush Yarns.  I generally work on this every morning for 30 minutes….and it’s such a fun way to start the morning! Selbu Mittens I haven’t made much progress on these mitts.  I don’t know where my motivation for this pattern went, but it’s evaporated.  I hope I rediscover it soon!  Long Summer Cardigan This project has not gotten a lot of love and I really need to remedy that.  I’m thinking of devoting one night a week to knitting on this project.  I really want the end result so I need to get knitting! Battenberg Blanket I’ve been knitting squares with the leftovers from my Advent Cowl and slowly crocheting them together.  I still love this project and the little squares so much! October House Cowl This cowl, based on the Crosshatch pattern from Purl Soho, hasn’t gotten much love at all.  I’m hoping to get some work done on this during Saturday football games now that those are starting this weekend! Lava Lake This shawl from Stephen West is just so much fun!  And I’m loving the coral and pink colors that I’ve chosen for the fade.  This pattern is simple enough to be able to knit anywhere – so just what I needed! FOs Since I’ve had a bit less time to knit lately, I only have one FO: the Dorothy Socks Test Knit for CrystalTeaKnits.  This was a lovely pattern with a simple design which I very much enjoyed.  And the yarn, from Chelsea Yarns, was a delight.  I’ll share more about these with you soon! What’s Next I’m still on my Christmas sock binge and I have one more pair I really must get done soon!  This one will use yarn from Must Stash so I can’t wait to start these!   What’s next on your knitting list? 

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WIPs – August 2022

Habitation Throw

I finished my first Habitation Throw last year…  While I hadn’t planned on making a second one, I couldn’t stop thinking about this pattern and how much I loved knitting it.  And the end result – a light-weight throw – is perfect for Texas winters.   So, I decided to knit another Habitation Throw this year! The Yarn I love Advent calendars!  Last year, I bought one from Murray Wool Goods and it was so very different from my first two calendars (from October House and Woolberry).  This Advent featured deep, saturated colors that were lush and beautiful.  I knew this throw would be very different from the first! The Pattern  Helen Stewart writes fabulous patterns.  I’ve bought her Sock Society and Shawl Society pattern bundles, and I’ve even participated in an MKAL with her.  And I’ve never been disappointed!  The Habitation Throw was part of the Knitvent 2019 collection, a series of patterns designed to use those mini skeins in Advent calendars.  After knitting this pattern the first time, I knew I’d likely come back to it again – and I did!   Details Pattern:  Habitation Throw by Helen Stewart Yarn: Murray and Co Wool Goods Advent Calendar 2021    Needles: US 6 (4 mm) Made for: a gift Time to Completion:  6.5 months I knit on this throw every morning during the week for my 30 minutes of knitting a day.  And it was a great way to start my day off with coffee and a knitting podcast!   This pattern is such a treat…and I can’t guarantee that I won’t knit it again! If you’re looking for a pattern with which to use your Advent calendar, I can’t recommend this one enough.  It’s just so perfect!

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2nd Habitation Throw

Murray Socks

I’m still not done making Christmas socks!  I’ve been dreaming of using some yarn that I bought last December, from Murray Wool Goods, and these socks seemed like the perfect opportunity! Let me tell you more about this FO… The Yarn During all the yarn updates for Christmas colorways last year, I saw two skeins of yarn from Murray Wool Goods that I could not resist.  There was a maroon, pink colorway that was gorgeous and then a similar green one…..  I don’t usually gravitate to greens but this one was so beautiful! The Pattern  I knit these using my favorite new method, using two circular needles per sock.  For this, I used videos from The Crazy Sock Lady, along with her pattern.  This method is so easy and seems to go a lot quicker than double-pointed needles!! Details Pattern:  Vanilla Socks on Magic Loop by The Crazy Sock Lady Designs Yarn: Murray and Co Wool Goods Classic Sock in The Holly and the Ivy; mini skein from Holly Press Fibers     Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) Made for: me    Time to Completion:  2.5 weeks I used the excuse of Sock Week to knit the first sock in this set – so it was done in one week.  The second sock soon followed – thankfully I have no second sock syndrome because I usually knit both socks at once! For the mini skein, I found a bundle of minis from Holly Press Fibers on Etsy and this colorway seemed the perfect compliment to the green.  I did a standard heel flap and gusset.  And these socks were so much fun to knit!  I loved the yarn and everything about these!  Now I can’t wait for Christmas to actually wear them!

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Murray Christmas Socks

Hedgerow Socks

Amazingly, I have some socks to share with you today that are not Christmas socks!  I wanted to play around with using some mini skeins in different ways and settled upon a fun color combination.   Let me tell you more about this FO! The Yarn For the main color, I used a skein of Hedgerow yarn that I’ve had for a long time – well, since 2018.   This yarn is so special and speckled-y.  I love it!  The speckles are yellow, pink, blue, and green.   When going to search for coordinating mini skeins, I settled upon some from Blush Yarns (the Advent from last year) and  Stress Knits, though I can’t tell you colorway names.  I wish I’d had a green to add to the mix but, since green has neve been my favorite color, I had none to use. The Pattern  Because I knew I wanted to stripe the mini skeins, I decided to knit a vanilla sock so the focus would be the wonderful colors.  And so I knit these socks on double-pointed needles, using my favorite pattern from Charlene Schurch. Details Pattern:  Basic Top Down with Heel Flap by Charlene Schurch Yarn: Hedgerow Yarns High Twist Sock in Meadowsweet; random mini skeins Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) Made for: me    Time to Completion:  3 weeks These socks were so much fun to knit!  I even went against my OCD tendencies to change up the colors of the heels and toes.  And I did both heel turns in the blue.   The results are just too cute!  I may have to knit another pair of these socks – and I have enough yarn to do it! 

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Hedgerow Socks

WIPs

It’s hot.  So, so hot in Texas!!  I’m ready for fall and fall football and something other than 100˚ days!  But even though it’s hot, I’m still knitting.  I’m still loving yarn, though I haven’t bought as much lately (and I’m sure that makes Matt very happy!).  Instead of yarn,  I’ve been buying books, desperate to escape the craziness of the current world.  But knitting – and all my WIPs – also provide an excellent escape…. Here are my WIPs! Dorothy Test Knit Tara of CrystalTeaKnits asked me to test knit her Dorothy Socks..  This is my third test knit for her and I’m loving it so far!  There is no lace in this pattern and, though I love how delicate it makes socks, I’m always happy with simplicity.  I’m using a Valentine yarn from Chelsea Yarns and it’s gorgeous. Advent Cowl Wolop Since I finished my second Habitation Throw (!!!), which I’ll discuss soon, I decided to make this cowl using my Advent from Blush Yarns.  With the yarn  leftovers, I’m making tons of Battenberg squares! Selbu Mittens I haven’t made much progress on these mitts.  They require more concentration than I can give while watching TV, so I haven’t had a chance to work on these.   Long Summer Cardigan This project got some love while I attended a virtual conference this past week.  This is a great project for these types of occasions – long rows of one stitch! Battenberg Blanket I’ve knit quite a few squares for this blanket, using yarn leftover from the cowl above….and I’ve even sewn some squares together.  Slow but steady progress! October House Cowl This cowl, based on the Crosshatch pattern from Purl Soho, hasn’t gotten much love at all.  Though I love the yarn, I’m just not loving the slow stitch. Lava Lake This shawl is just what I needed from Stephen West: simple, big, and fun.  It’s easy to knit on when I’m tired and the larger needles give my hands a break from knitting socks.  This is a great project! FOs I finished another pair of socks – my Coloring Book Christmas Socks!!  These are just too adorable for words!  I’ll be sure to share these with you soon on the blog! And my second Habitation Throw is complete!  This throw will continue to be one of my favorite patterns of all time.  It’s so simple but so elegant….  I love it! For KnittyNatty’s Sock Week, I successfully knit one sock for my pair of Holly Christmas Socks.  Once that one was done, I cast on the next and finished the pair in about two weeks!  Wow! What’s Next I’d really like to make more progress on some of my stagnant projects.  But I’m also reading a lot, which has surprised me. I’ve always been an avid reader but in the last few years, my reading slowed considerably.  Now, since we’re not traveling and there’s little to look forward to, I’m enjoying the escape books bring. 

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WIPs – July 2022

3 Color Cashmere Cowl

A few months ago, I needed a knitting project that was not socks.  Sometimes you just need a break from socks and those tiny needles.  So when thinking of a project that I could turn to when I needed something different, I looked to Joji Locatelli’s 3 Color Cashmere Cowl, for which I’d bought yarn several years ago. Let me tell you more! The Yarn A few years ago, at the DFW Fiber Festival (oh, how I miss fiber festivals!), my friend and I stumbled upon the softest, most amazing yarn…..  It was Sun Valley Fibers MCS yarn….  And there were glorious kits for the 3 Color Cashmere Cowl. There were two kits that I was torn between – the pink, which is more salmon – and the purple.  I settled on the salmon because it was just such a gorgeous color.  And I love it! The Pattern  For years, I’d seen Joji Locatelli’s very popular 3 Color Cashmere Cowl.  And I’d seen so many kits for it, most of which contained colors similar to her original design – with a fluorescent accent.  Since I don’t usually like fluorescents, especially near my face, I was never tempted by these kits. But this kit from Sun Valley was just delicious….and decadent!  I couldn’t resist it! Details Pattern:  3 Color Cashmere Cowl by Joji Locatelli Yarn: Sun Valley MCS Fingering (colors unknown) Needles: US 2.5 (3 mm) Made for: me    Time to Completion:  3 weeks This was such a fun pattern to knit – and perfect for television knitting.  It’s interesting without being complicated.  And the colors….  Sure, gray isn’t the most interesting but the stripes and then the pop of color are just so much fun! My only gripe with the yarn is that I started running out of the light gray during the lace pattern….  So I only did two repeats of the lace, instead of the three repeats called for in the pattern. I wasn’t bothered by this at all. I love this cowl and I cannot wait to wear it when it gets cool.  And that can’t happen fast enough!

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3 Color Cashmere Cowl