Knit: Blue Skies & Sunshine

FO: Blue Skies & Sunshine Handspun Socks

Blue Skies & Sunshine
Pattern | Peace Socks by Wendy Johnson
Yarn | My own handspun yarn in Blue Skies & Sunshine (dyed by JulieSpins)
Needles | 2.75mm and 2.25mm DPNs

This is my first handspun socks and I must say that it is also one heavily modified sock to boot. Because the pattern originally called for sport-weight yarn, I had to improvise and that resulted in a couple of changes throughout the sock itself:

  • Cast on 24 stitches using Judy’s Magic Cast on (12 each on two DPNs, then split to 6 stitches per needle)
  • k1, m1 both ends until stitch per needle is 10.
  • Then, knit for entire round 1 followed by k1, m1 both ends for round 2
  • Total stitches: 62
  • 3 k, lace panel, 3 k
  • Switch from k3togtbl to SSSk after first repeat + 1st two lines from 2nd repeat (if making socks from start, sub with SSSK)
  • Gusset stitch count (56 sts); heel stitch to start and end with 31 sts.
  • Used Russian bind-off after 5 repeats on the leg and 1×1 ribbing (2 cm).

Because the two balls used were of slightly different weights and tension, the resulting pair of socks don’t really match up. The right sock is thicker and slightly longer than the left…not to mention the feel was a little on the coarse side as the tension used when plying the yarn for that particular half was tighter than the other ball. Still, it’s not too bad for a first try, especially considering that I was rushing to complete Le Tour de Fleece and pack my wheel.

Also, I made an error when working the gusset and heel for the right sock, resulting in a heel that wasn’t exactly symmetrical. It isn’t exactly noticeable especially with the colour change happening just around that area – thankgoodness for that – but still, not very perfect socks. I must admit though, I like this gusset heel construction. Definitely no issues with holes unlike the short row wrap style.

Having said that, I wonder if I need to make the leg portion larger as I had some issues trying to get it over my heel – I never really had this problem with other socks I made. Perhaps it’s the fiber – the others were merino-nylon which had lots of stretch to it while this was just superwash merino. Or could it be the pattern itself (lack of cables means lack of stretch, etc)? Hm, must ask my sock guru friends and see what they have to say about it. Nil thinks it’s alright as over time and with use, it should stretch plus he feels that socks should be fitting.

Anyway, I have about a good amount of yarn left – mostly shades of blue – so am thinking of working on a quick newborn hat for Noah. I don’t have any needles or yarn on me at the moment apart from what is attached to my project so need to make do with them until we move proper to our new place (which has yet to be confirmed). Can’t wait to settle in even though I don’t look forward to the unpacking (it’s enough to act as appetite suppressants!)!

FO: Blue Skies & Sunshine Handspun Socks

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WIP: Blue Skies & Sunshine (Update)

WIP: Blue Skies & Sunshine

I like to think that for someone with SSS (Second Sock Syndrome), I’m doing quite well with this project. The foot and heel portion is now done for both sides of the socks and with the right side, I’m beginning to see the colour transition from golden yellow to a lovely shade of blue. There are a few booboos with this project tho but I’ll go into that when I’m done with it.

I must say tho, I’m loving the way the gusset heel turned out – far better than short-row wrap heels which leave a lot of holes especially when it’s time to join up with the front portion of the sock. This time around, I didn’t have to worry about holes and the heel portion looks pretty nicely done (except for the booboo on the right sock)! Definitely a keeper-construction method, if you ask me!

Y’know, I’m falling in love with sock knitting so much so that I succumbed and asked a friend to order some lovely sock yarn from KnitPicks for Christmas/Socktober knits. I must maintain the stamina tho despite juggling life with a toddler and writing assignments (diet pills anyone?)…MUST MUST MUST!

WIP: Blue Skies & Sunshine

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More on our trip back…

Visa dramas
My last day at work was 3 Aug so the very next day, we made a trip down to the French Embassy at Cluny Park Rd with all the necessary documents and papers – namely forms and photocopies of Nil’s passport, contract and so forth. It was then that we found out that 1) we needed a proof of residential address in France (tough considering that we didn’t have a residential address yet and we have no bills, etc with us) and 2) it takes about 10 working days for them to process the papers, which meant that I might not get my visa in time for my flight on 15 Aug night/16 Aug morning.

The trouble with this pre-carte de séjour (resident permit) is that you can only do it OUTSIDE of France and if you try to convert your tourist visa into this long term visa – I read – you may end up going back to where you come from and it most probably will take two months for the authorities to process your application. Eeks! I could have applied earlier but that meant taking a day off work and then extending my last day at work – not a win-win solution for me.

Anyway, we managed to get the papers done up in time – address and all – and they received our application officially on 4 Aug. The wait started – I’d check this site that they have to see if there were any new updates and no, they do not entertain queries via the phone (if you were thinking of doing just that) and neither do they entertain personal visits (camping outside the Embassy will get you nowhere). On Thursday the following week, on a hunch (actually more like a dream the night before), I got Nil to double check the website and discovered that they had finally come back with an answer on my application. So I hurried out, jumped into a cab and dropped off my passport. It was definitely good news then when they told me that I would be able to get my passport back with the visa and all on Monday…and in time for my flight. WHOOPPEEEEE!!!!

Once in France, I am to drop off a form and photocopies of my passport, the stamp dating my entry into France and other necessaries at the préfecture in the town/village/area where I’ll be staying and I have two months to do just that. Once they process my application, I’ll be informed of when to complete my medical check-up, as well as when to meet up with the officers, etc. Total time for me to get my carte de séjour? Three months if all goes well.

Our Singapore apartment and our day out
Initially I thought our handover was nearer to the evening which meant that we could relax and only spend a few hours at the airport. Sad to say, that was not the case. The tenants were told that the handover was at noon – standard, according to our agent (hm) – and as such, we had to move our baggage and clean up the place, etc by 1130am. One thing that peeved me to the maximum was how our agent kept hinting that the place should be cleaner, etc. Come on, the floors have been swept and mopped, all surfaces cleaned, the bathrooms are sparkling, the rubbish taken out, and so forth. It was definitely in better condition by a mile compared to when I first got my place from the previous owner – something which still irks me till today as the previous owner’s tenant had the cheek to tell me that the condition is WYSIWYG. I told Nil that if this time I don’t get the apartment in the same condition as when I left it, we are definitely pulling it out from the deposit.

Anyway, so we were out of the place by 1130am and off to the French embassy to collect my passport. The rain didn’t help at all but we had heaps of time to spare plus a couple of errands to run – this included the bank, the service providers (mobile, cable, Internet), etc. I also got to meet up with an old friend from my secondary/high school days who came along with her little one. The meet-up took up about at least one to two hours and we were back at our apartment by 5pm plus. After a quick shower for Eva and myself, some time to relax – pity my WiFi box was packed up otherwise I could have done a few assignments on iphone 3g cases but never mind. I was pretty beat out actually by then and dying for a good rest, mainly because of my carrot-up-the-bum situation but we still had a while to go.

After meeting up with Nil’s rugby mates who were kind enough to see us off at the airport AND have dinner with us prior to the send-off, we headed off to a quiet spot in Changi Airport in attempts to get some rest. It was perhaps about 10pm plus and really awfully late for Eva. She managed to fall asleep in her stroller while we ourselves tried to nap but to no avail – no thanks to annoying kids nearby (and the rest area was just a few feet away too – how inconsiderate!!!!). By midnight plus, we boarded the plane – didn’t even have to wait in the boarding area and we got to beat the queue thanks to Bubs No 2 (pregnant women and people with kids have priority – YAY!).

To be continued

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And we have arrived safely…

Oops, someone got distracted by a passing small plane (those used for spraying stuff, etc).

As you can see, someone is handling the change quite well. She didn’t sleep much since we left our Singapore apartment till we were in the train on the way to Lyon. The moment my father-in-law started the car, she fell asleep until we arrived and continued to sleep. Luckily for her, she had a good dinner on the flight so it didn’t bother her much.

When she woke up this morning – 730am French time – she was all set and ready for the day ahead. And it included picking tomatoes from the garden as you can see in the pic. It’s a slow day and once I get the chance, I’ll blog more about our flight and the journey!

First, lunch calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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WIP: Blue Skies & Sunshine

WIP: Blue Skies & Sunshine (close-up)

This is my first project – I think – using my own handspun, although not one of my handdyed fibers.

I was mesmerised by the colour transition and flow so added this to my stash even though I wasn’t supposed to. Then Tour de Fleece came around and I decided to join in, despite being swamped with work and packing. I finished a braid of the stuff and casted on socks – the only thing I thought would be great for this skein – immediately. My excuse then to the hubs was that this would be great as a plane knitting project. Never mind that I’m starting to get doubts about whether I could get this project with bamboo DPNs on board two separate flights. Hm.

Anyway, back to the project…the texture of the yarn in the resulting knitted object so far is amazing! It feels very different from commercial yarn – compact yet still soft and thicker despite it being fingering weight yarn. I reckon they would awesome for winter wear either outdoors or at home. Now to survive the deadly Second Sock Syndrome (SSS) (if only they had insurance for such things)!

WIP: Blue Skies & Sunshine

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