Knitting

Altitude Socks

Earlier this week, I recapped my 2021 goals and talked about what I accomplished…and what did not happen.  I’m not so fond of goals or resolutions but, as you’ve come to see on this blog, I tend to always jot some down to keep me focused throughout the year.  2022 is sure to be a heavy knitting year since I now have a permanently remote job! My 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….. There are a lot of socks I want to knit, as usual.  And I noticed, this past holiday season, that I don’t have a lot of Christmas socks in my handknit sock drawer.  My two pairs of Advent socks (The Cozy Knitter’s yarn) are all I have.  So…  I’m on a mission to knit more Christmas socks! I’ve heard of some Selbu Mitten classes online and I’d really like to take one.  These mittens are just so beautiful and I’d love to become proficient at knitting them!  Talk about great gifts! Since I already have a sock design completed, I need to actually write it down, have it tested, and publish it.  I can’t wait to do this, but I need the time to do it!  And once that’s done, I’d love to get to work on another pattern.  I’m not aspiring to be a great knitwear designer but I’d like to publish some patterns now and then. Since I ordered two Advent knitting calendars in 2021, I really need to knit both of them.  I’ve already started on my second Habitation Throw, which is just too much fun! Conclusion I’m really excited for what I could potentially accomplish in 2022.  And I keep seeing more and more patterns I want to knit!  There is simply not enough time to knit as much as I’d like to! What are your 2022 goals?  I hope you feel inspired to start working on them soon!

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2022 Knitting Goals

Habitation Throw

I’ve never been much for resolutions.  My brain doesn’t place bookends at the beginning and end of years so I think that’s part of the mental block I have with resolutions.  I always think of goals but they’re more in general, not calendar goals.     However, every year, I write down knitting goals just so I don’t forget some projects that need to absolutely get done.  And while I try to stick to some of the goals, my priorities change throughout the year, as does my knitting motivation.  All of this is to say that I rarely achieve my knitting goals.  Ha! 2021 Goals Let’s recap my 2021 goals… Finish my first-ever knitted Christmas ornament Knit another Stephen West shawl Finish my Habitation Throw Read more books about knitting (leftover goal from 2020) Design a knitting pattern Knit colorwork mittens/gloves Knit about 10 projects I did not finish a Christmas ornament.  In fact, every time I pick up the one I started, I get frustrated….sigh.  My reading has slowed to a snail’s pace so I only read one book related to knitting, which was Clara Parkes’ The Yarn Whisperer.  And another unachievement: I did not make any colorwork mittens/gloves. But on to the good.  I finished another Stephen West shawl, his MKAL, Shawlography.  And I finished my Habitation Throw.  Two huge accomplishments!  I also knit more than 10 projects, but more on that in a bit.  My biggest accomplishment was designing a sock pattern.  I have not, however, written that pattern up or done anything with it.  But the pattern exists!   2021 Projects 2021 was my most productive knitting year so far.  And while my FO number is probably lower than most people’s, it’s a big deal for me.   I completed 22 projects!  Here’s how they broke down: 14 pairs of socks 4 cowls 3 shawls 1 throw/blanket 2021 definitely cemented my love of sock knitting.  And what’s not to love?!  Socks are so invaluable and completely wearable.  I can even wear shortie socks in Texas in the summer!  Of the projects listed above, 5 were gifts!  That was super fun!  I don’t have many people to knit for so it’s always a delicate matter of not knitting unwanted items.  But I think I had some good ideas last year!   My favorite FO for 2021 was my Habitation Throw…followed closely by Shawlography.  This throw – my first completed throw ever –  was so much fun to knit and now I use it my home office on cold mornings.   Conclusion In my next post, I’ll talk about knitting goals for 2022.  My stash grew a lot in 2021.  Apparently I really found a lot of new dyers and yarns to like.  I won’t state numbers but I will say that my stash grew by 27% last year.  In my tiny defense, I bought a lot of yarn in November/December in preparation for gifts to knit in 2022….but more on that later. 2021 was a great knitting year and I hope 2022 is just as productive – for all of us!

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2021 Goals Revisited

Wool and Vinyl Socks

So many socks!  I’m truly loving knitting all the socks these days and the ones I’m sharing with you today are extra special!  I couldn’t wait to cast on some socks using the yarn from Wool and Vinyl that I received in a Love in Stitches swap.  The colorways were so amazing that I decided to finally try a new technique that I’d been wanting to attempt for some time. But first…. The Yarn Earlier this week, I talked about how I was introduced to Wool and Vinyl and how I immediately fell in love with this dyer.  When Rachael, the dyer behind Wool and Vinyl, had a shop update in the fall, I had to buy a few skeins that caught my eye But I loved how the two colorways from my swap partner looked together.    The Pattern  The base pattern for these socks was my favorite from Charlene Schurch.  However, I did watch videos from The Crazy Sock Lady to see just how she striped her yarn.  I did this by knitting two stripes of each color.   These were the second  pair of socks I knit using two circular needles and I consulted videos from The Crazy Sock Lady again to remember just how to do the heels with this technique.  I’m still not 100% but I’m getting better at this!   Details Pattern:  Basic Top Down Socks with Heel Flap by Charlene Schurch and Vanilla Socks on Magic Loop by Crazy Sock Lady Designs Yarn:  Wool and Vinyl Classic Rock Sock in Rhiannon (solid) and Celebration (speckled); mini skein from Sheep Graffiti (Base: Twisty Ewe/Colorway: Bleeding Hearts) Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) Made for: me Time to Completion: 2.1 months These socks were so much fun to knit.  I had some deadline knitting that kept me from focusing on them exclusively but I always looked forward to picking them up.   In order to avoid holes when switching yarns, I learned that it’s best to pick up the new yarn from under the other yarn in order to seal that gap.  This worked great and looked super clean!  I’ll definitely be striping more socks – and using more Wool and Vinyl yarn.  I loved everything about these! 

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Wool and Vinyl Socks

WIPs December

So how in the world is December almost over?!  This month went by in the blink of an eye!  I got so much done and had a lovely holiday but I can’t believe it’s over!  I sincerely hope that your month was a joyous one, filled with love, laughter, and knitting!  And speaking of knitting, I have so much to tell you about today! Sock Test Knit I’m doing my very first test knit for a designer!  What is a test knit?  It’s when a designer asks for knitters to work through their new design to check for mistakes and make sure it all works smoothly, before it’s published.  Crystal Tea Knits, who designed the Candy Cane Lane Advent Shawl, opened a call for testers for some socks she’s designing and I was only too happy to volunteer to knit them!   For this project, I’m using some holiday-themed yarn from Plank and Stella!  And I’m loving these socks so far! Long Summer Cardigan I really, really hope to get some work done on Joji Locatelli’s lovely cardigan design in January and February. Must Stash Christmas Socks These socks, using Must Stash Yarn, are coming along but I had hoped to have them done by now.  I was knitting on these everyday in Advent but they’re working up a bit slower than my Advent socks did.  But I love this yarn and these socks are making me so, so happy. Battenberg Blanket These little squares are so much fun but I haven’t made many this month!  Advent and Christmas projects took a front seat! October House Cowl I wanted to knit a special project using this lovely yarn – some of my favorite yarn ever – from October House.  I started a cowl, improvising a pattern using Purl Soho’s Crosshatch Cowl as a base.  And even though I thought I had enough stitches, this cowl is too small!  Ugh!  So I’ll have to frog this and start again.  So frustrating! FOs I finished my Candy Cane Lane Advent Shawl just after I posted about November WIPs!  Yay!  This shawl, from Crystal Tea Knits, is so, so lovely.  The yarn from Woolberry (last year’s Advent calendar) is so soft and squishy….perfect for a shawl!   My Advent Socks, using The Cozy Knitter’s Advent Skein, were finished on time, just a few days after Christmas (I kept putting off stitching up the toe!).  These are so much fun and I hope to continue making these every year! One lingering pair of socks I wanted to finish before Advent were my Wool and Vinyl striped socks.  This yarn is amazing and I really enjoyed striping the two colors!  I’ll share these with you soon!   What’s Next I want to have tons of Christmas socks next year so I’m on a mission to knit all the holiday-themed socks this year!  But first, a pair of birthday socks for my mom!  2022 may be the year of socks! 

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WIPs – December 2021

Junkyarn socks

I need to knit so many socks to make a dent in my stash!  Oh my goodness!  When I recently wanted to cast on some socks that I knew would make me happy, I turned to a skein of yarn from Junkyarn.  And I was right; these socks made me so happy every time I picked them up!  Here’s the story….  The Yarn When Kemper of Junkyarn came out with her monthly series of yarn based on Pretty Guardians, I was immediately floored by the colorways.  I had no idea what Pretty Guardians was (it’s a manga series and Japanese television show) but Kemper’s colors were amazing!  And then, when this one came out, Serenity and Endymion, I knew I had to have it.   (Since purchasing this skein, I may have also bought a few more that will make stunning socks!)   The Pattern  I used my favorite pattern from Charlene Schurch for these socks.  These were the first pair of socks I knit using two circular needles and I consulted videos from The Crazy Sock Lady to figure out just how to do this technique.  And I really enjoyed it! Details Pattern:  Basic Top Down Socks with Heel Flap by Charlene Schurch and Vanilla Socks on Magic Loop by Crazy Sock Lady Designs Yarn:  Junkyarn Smooth Sock in Serenity and Endymion Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) Made for: me Time to Completion: 6 weeks This yarn was so much fun to knit with because the colors are just amazing!  For the heel, I did my favorite Eye of Partridge pattern.  And I just adore how it looks!   I have enough of this yarn leftover to potentially do a pair of shortie socks.  How am I going to use up my stash if I keep wanting to knit with leftovers?! 

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Junkyarn Socks

Halloween socks

In a swap within the Love in Stitches membership, I traded yarn with a partner and we knit socks together – my Halloween Socks.  I loved these yarns so much that I had to use the leftovers for a second pair.  These Halloween Socks were only possible because I knit shortie socks for both pairs.  And shorties are just perfect in Texas! The Yarn My first pair of Halloween Socks primarily used yarn from EuphoriaKnits.  I bought this skein at the 2019 East Texas Yarn Festival and it is some of the softest yarn I’ve ever felt.  For this second pair of socks, I used this yarn for the heels and cuffs.  And I barely had enough for both socks! For the second color, I used yarn from Candy Skein, which was just as soft and cuddly as the EuphoriaKnits.  So to have a sock primarily made from this yarn is just incredible! I used some contrast yarn, Cat Sandwich Fibers in Italian Ice, for the heel turn. This was the first time I’ve done this technique and it was super fun. The Pattern  I used my favorite vanilla sock pattern from Charlene Schurch for these socks.  I casted on 72 stitches on a bigger needle and decreased to 70 after the cuff.  Then, after the heel, I decreased to 68 stitches.   The socks I’m knitting with this formula are fitting really well! Details Pattern:  Basic Top Down Socks with Heel Flap by Charlene Schurch Yarn:  Euphoria Knits Frenzy in Arachnophobia; Candy Skein Yummy in Tomato Soup; Cat Sandwich Fibers Trustie in Italian Ice Needles: US 1 (2.s5 mm) Made for: me Time to Completion: 4 weeks I had a bit more of the EuphoriaKnits yarn than I thought so I did some striping using the two main colors before I got to the toe.  This was my first time striping yarns like this – Kay of the Crazy Sock Lady does it all the time – and it was fun, though I need to perfect my technique.   These socks turned out even better than I expected!  I love them!

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2nd Pair of Halloween Socks

yarn advent calendar

After thinking I wasn’t in the holiday mood, I forced myself to get into the mood and knitting with Christmas-y yarns always helps!  So I’ve cast on several Advent knitting projects and may have even one more to start in the next week or so.   So much knitting… Advent Calendars Despite casting on several projects, I’ve decided to wait on knitting with my Advent calendars.  As I’ve mentioned, I have two calendars this year – from Murray Wool Goods and Blush Yarns.  I’m thoroughly enjoying opening them each day.  These are two very talented dyers and the colorways are gorgeous! But I want to see all the colorways together before I decide on what projects to knit with these calendars.  I’m a bit too OCD to cast on a project and throw the colors together without any rhyme or reason. Advent Projects And so I’m knitting several things…. First, I have my Advent Socks from The Cozy Knitter’s Advent Skein.  This is my second year getting this skein that has 24 stripes for every day of Advent.  And it’s so much fun! And because I wanted another pair of socks, I also cast on a pair using a Christmas colorway from Must Stash Yarns called Hard Candy Christmas.  The striping pattern in this yarn is about the same as The Cozy Knitter’s so I’m knitting one stripe a day on these, too.   So much fun! In 2020, I bought a Christmas box from October House Yarns and in it was a full skein of my favorite colorway from October House’s 2019 Advent calendar: Joyeux Noel.  I’ve been itching to make something with this skein of yarn.  And though socks were the obvious choice, this yarn deserves something better than socks.  I settled on Purl Soho’s Crosshatch Cowl – but I’m taking some liberties with the pattern to make it work with fingering weight yarn.   And, as I said, I may have to cast on another pair of socks once I get a non-Advent pair off my needles.  I have the yarn wound and ready to go!   Paper Crafts On the non-knitting side of things, I’m once again doing December Daily, as made popular by the incredible Ali Edwards.  I have the album and all the stuff….but I still haven’t actually started it.  Again – I need more holiday spirit. I anticipate getting started on this next week!   I hope your Advent projects are bringing you joy!

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Advent Knitting 2021

murray wool goods

It’s December!  It’s Advent!  Can you believe it?!  I’m so excited to welcome the month of December  and am hoping it’s filled with joy and fun.  And there is sure to be lots of knitting fun!  I have tons of yarn and projects so let me jump in and tell you about all things Advent here at Indie Yarn Stasher! Advent Kits MURRAY WOOL GOODS Now that my mom is crocheting, I was super excited to buy her a yarn Advent calendar this year.  And she did the same for me!  I wanted to find a dyer that I’d never bought from before and when I saw that Murray Wool Goods was dyeing Advents, I immediately requested a kit from them. This kit is 24 minis plus a full skein to open on Christmas Day (picture in header).  Since I’m not as familiar with Murray yarns, I have no idea what to expect from this kit color-wise. BLUSH YARNS I knew of Blush Yarn from The Crazy Sock Lady.  Though I had no business buying another kit, I decided to splurge on this one.  I opted for only 24 mini skeins in this kit.  And I can’t wait to see what colors are waiting for me! Advent Skein Last year was my first time buying an Advent self-striping skein of yarn from The Cozy Knitter.  I so enjoyed knitting one stripe a day on my socks!  It was a great way to keep track of the season and make meaningful progress on socks.   I opted to buy this skein again this year and I think it’s going to be even more beautiful than last year! Projects for Advent I’m going to wait to knit anything with my Advent kits.  I like to see what colors are in a kit before deciding on projects for the yarn.  So, I’ll be knitting other projects during Advent and I keep adding more and more to my list…. Of course, I’ll make The Cozy Knitter socks but I also casted on socks from a holiday skein of yarn from Must Stash Yarn.  Depending on how big the stripes are, I may knit one a day, like the Advent skein. I really want to use a skein of October House Yarn that I received last year in a gorgeous colorway, Joyeux Noel.  I’d planned on making socks but then decided that this skein deserved something better….so I’ll most likely make a cowl.  And….there may be another pair of socks coming soon….   Stay tuned!   I wish you a blessed and joyful Advent season!

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Advent 2021

Shawlography

Wow!  What a journey!  This year’s Westknits MKAL, Shawlography, was interesting, complex, and big.  I learned so many new skills….it was a priceless experience.  And even though I’d never choose to knit this shawl, I love it.  All Westknits MKALs are such a great experience – and I always look forward to the next one!  Here are the details…. The Yarn I didn’t buy a kit from Stephen West’s shop, Stephen and Penelope, but I did splurge on a kit from a French dyer, Artemis Yarns.  I’ve long admired this yarn dyer and this seemed the perfect opportunity to get my hands on it.  Finally!   And it was lovely yarn!   The Pattern  Stephen had many surprises and twists and turns for us this year.  I got to try brioche for the first time….along with bobbles, wedges, and i-Cord loops…  Oh my!  There was so much in this shawl!!  I love being forced out of my comfort zone and Stephen is great at pushing you out of it!   Details Pattern:  Shawlography MKAL  by Stephen West Yarn:  Artemis Yarns High Twist Nylon 80/20 Colorway: Harmonia, Orchis, Musa, Olympia, Witch Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm) Made for: me! Time to Completion: 5.2 weeks I definitely fell behind in the MKAL in Clue 2, which is when we went on vacation for my birthday.  But I have no regrets.  Maybe some year I’ll be able to keep up, but I’m not holding my breath.  And just when I thought I was making great progress, the massive border came along and took a lot longer than I anticipated.  But this was a labor of love.  And an adventure.  I definitely like brioche – it feels marvelous – but correcting brioche mistakes is not something that is easy.  I have mistakes in my shawl but most of them are only visible on the wrong side.   Stephen is so great at giving you videos for every Clue.  I couldn’t do it without these videos.  Again, I learned so much – and that’s what makes these MKALs so great.   If you participated, I hope you enjoyed it!

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Shawlography

WIPs

November has flown by…just like most of this year.  I was sick for a bit of it and then work got crazy…..  And my knitting was much the same.  I finished my Shawlography MKAL and then got to work on WIPs that I’d let languish.  And still more are languishing.   I hope to finish a few before Advent. Let me tell you more…. Long Summer Cardigan This project, from Joji Locatelli,  has gotten no love lately.  I hope to remedy that soon! Celebration Socks These socks sat untouched during Shawlography but now I’m done with the heel turn on both!  And I love these!  I’m using yarn from Wool and Vinyl and I’m striping them.  This is the first time I’ve tried this technique, which The Crazy Sock Lady uses – and I love it so far! Battenberg Blanket My little squares took a backseat to Shawlography so I’m hoping to get back on the ball with these soon! Candy Cane Lane Advent Shawl My goal is to finish this project by December and I can do it!  I only have a few rows left.  And this is going to be amazing! FOs I was so hoping to get pictures of my finished Shawlography, but I’ve been too busy. I hope to share those – and all the details – on the blog next week! And just after finishing Shawlography, I was able to finish the toes on the 2nd pair of my Halloween Socks.  And I love them just as much as the first pair!!  More on these soon, when I can get my act together! What’s Next Advent is next!  I’m still trying to settle on a few projects but I know I’m making at least a few pairs of socks.  And I can’t wait to open Advent calendars!  Yes, that was plural.  I splurged a bit this year and hope to use one of them on a design of my own.  We’ll see.   I hope your November was filled with lots of knitting!

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WIPs – November 2021