FO! Matt’s Socks

I love when I finish something, especially when it’s a project that involves knitting 2 of something. Matt’s socks are finally finished, and his sweater is much-loved. Pictures of him in it are a bit tricky since it still gets dark early. He loves it and it looks nice, but I think I made it too short even though I added a few repeats. He is 6’4″, but good grief. The only thing I can think to do is to cut the ribbing off, slip the stitches to a spare needle, knit a new bottom ribbing with a few more repeats and graft. However, I don’t have that much yarn left, and I don’t want to knit any more of that cable patter. It’s a lovely sweater and pattern, but I will burn it if I have to knit any more.

The socks aren’t giving me any trouble, though.

He isn’t wearing them to work. He’s actually never worn hand-knit socks out of the house. He says that he feels fancy when he wears them and wants to save that feeling for home, so he wears them like slippers. Fair enough. That should ensure that they’ll last a while. In the meantime, I can knit up my sock stash and work on #operationsockdrawer2015.

Every couple of years, I get on a sock knitting kick and start plugging away at a few pairs at a time. I can’t explain the feeling, but I just can’t get enough of sock yarn, and not just to hoard, but to knit and finish pairs. It’s great to load up the sock drawer and I know that as soon as I get the burned out feeling, it’s time to put the DPNs away and get back to sweaters or hats. I have project cycles it seems.

Crocheting blanket pieces is another cycle I go through. I got a few hanks (baby-sized bundles) of Lion Brand Pound of Love from Matt’s grandmother and I added a few more colors to see what I could come up with. The swatching was a great exercise in how to figure out what not to make. The Jan Eaton 200 Crochet Blocks book had some great ideas, and this block stuck. That’s when you know it’s the one, when you can’t shake the idea of a whole blanket in the swatch. I tried a few other patterns, but kept coming back to this one and I’m so glad that I did.

Each square is about 7 1/2″ wide, so 9 squares wide and 11 squares long is a good size for a queen-sized bed, with some extra width & length. I’ve still got to finish a quilt top, half of a quilt, and I have a Bartlett yarns/Felted Tweed blanket I began crocheting. I just need one more cone of the Bartlett in Light Heather and I can finish that sucker. We have free heat where we live (yesssssss), but obviously I’m subconsciously preparing for when we have to pay for heat. Matt teases me by calling me a lizard and asks if I need a hot rock to lie on. Cold hands (and legs and body), warm heart! #blanketfort2014 has become #blanketfort2015.

All cables, all the time

erin cardigan 2_5_15

Now that a couple of test knitting projects have been completed, I can get back to blogging and I can get back to the pile of cabled goodness that sits in my knitting basket. Up top is the Erin Cardigan from Kate Gagnon Osborn. I’ve been knitting this thing off and on for a while now and I’m not bored at all. I mat be transitioning from a product knitter to a process knitter. There’s something about the pattern that’s so intuitive and fluid, and the Mountain Meadow Wool Cody I’m using to knit it is simply amazing. It’s not too stiff, but it’s a yarn with body and character. It’s yarn with a capital “Y” as Kate would say. Even though I’m not using the called-for Savannah, I wouldn’t be surprised if I knit one in that yarn later on down the line, and I rarely knit the same thing twice.

 

Woodsmoke is an amazing color, but the Pink Grapefruit is more up my bright, eye-popping alley.

The next thing I’ll finish is most likely going to be Matt’s Timberline sweater. The Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Worsted is officially my go-to worsted weight yarn. Cascade 220 has a soft spot in the hearts of a lot of knitters, but it’s not that great when it comes to wear for me. It pills and starts to look a bit shabby too soon after finishing the project.

timberline collar

ANYWAY, the sweater. Leave it to me to get the cables memorized once I’ve finished the sleeves, fronts, and half the back. The cold weather in Philly and Kirsten’s progress on her Timberline has been prompting me to finish it. The encouraging hearts on Instagram make me wonder why I don’t join more knitalongs. The whole point of a KAL is that you’ll be more likely to finish a project if someone else is knitting it. Maybe I should make it a point to be more social with my knitting; join some KALs, maybe start a KAL, and just enjoy the process with friends a lot more.

A feature of this sweater that I almost forgot to mention is the button band. Nearly every cardigan I’ve knit has the button bands picked up and knit after you finish everything else. This is the second time in 10 years (when I started knitting again) that I’ve knit the band in order to seam it on later. It gives a clean finish to the edges and I love it. Maybe I should incorporate that in my next cardigan.

Speaking of next cardigans, I got more of the Shepherd Wool yarn, but this time I got the Fine. Deb offers great customer service and the yarn comes very quickly! I just knit up and washed a swatch and am getting 7.5 stitches and 9.5 rows on US2 in Stockinette.

shepherd fine swatch

(For the love of God, people, SWATCH. “Swatches lie!” Or…..or maybe you didn’t knit a big enough swatch and now your kid’s sweater is a POANG cozy.) So, now that I have an idea of what I’m getting, I can proceed with my great maniacal desire to knit a fingering-weight cabled cardigan. Einstein is credited as saying, “If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” Alright, Al, let’s do this!

P.S.: Click here to see what books & magazine back issues I have for sale! Each issue is $4, the books are $7, and I offer free shipping to the US & Canada.