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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Knit: Vineyard Cables

The Hubby's birthday socks!

Vineyard Cables
Pattern | Boyfriend Socks by Alice Bell
Yarn | The Knittery 4 ply Sock: Merino in Vineyard
Needles | 2.75mm circular needles

One of the perils about knitting one sock at a time is that if you put one side in hibernation and you happened to make modifications to it without making a note, you tend to forget all about it. When I picked up the second side, I discovered just how bad the consequences can get. While it’s nothing drastic like one foot being shorter than the other, the slightly shorter leg portion resulted in me having to add more length to the cuff. This coupled together with the fact that I forgot how to do a short row heel AND not bother to check/refer to my usual reference meant that the second sock didn’t look all that great. No holes, thankfully.

Anyway, the sock was knitted toe up using the figure 8 cast on and I ended it with the EZ sewn bind off with a 1×1 rib for the cuff. I might go back to my old way of casting on for the toes – the figure 8 cast on was quite fiddly to work with and I didn’t appreciate having to redo the toe at least once for the second sock; too loose and all. It was also my first pair on two circular needles, which made it fun to knit on the train.

This pair got me all fired up to work on socks again, so much so that I decided to stock up on DPNs!!! And me, someone who suffers from SSS – Second Sock Syndrome! Bad idea. So looking at the issues I had with this, I might as well stock to doing two socks at a time on two circulars.

O’well, at least the hubby appreciates it…even though it’s two years late plus it beats getting him football gifts (he’s more of a rugby man!).

The Hubby's birthday socks!

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Knit: Gemstone Annis

Knit FO: Annis

Gemstone Annis
Pattern | Annis by Susanna IC
Yarn | Simple Scarves Handspun in Gemstone
Needles | 4.5mm & 7mm circular needles

I actually finished this a few months ago but never found the time to block and later, photograph it. Other knitting projects and what-nots are to blame! Heh.

The last time I worked on this colourway and fiber was nearly a year ago when trying to spin up some single ply laceweight yarn for the shop. The resulting yarn was lovely, squishy and springy; the colours were to die for as well – combination that would serve well for a shawl. But because I had too much yarn in stash, it went for sale in the store until early this year when I decided to pull it off the shelf and use it for myself.

The self-striping effect was really unintentional as over the months, I have forgotten how the colours blend from one to the another. I suppose the fact that the shawl was knitted from bottom up helped to maintain the colour repeats. It makes for a very pretty shawl.

In terms of construction, the cast-on is pretty daunting and with so many stitches on the needle, I made a couple mistakes and had to rip and knit again. Stitch markers are handy for projects like this and for a good reason as well. All in all, the moment you start on the stockinette section, things move fast. The only portion that took me a while was the edging with the nupps – not a problem though as long as you don’t pull on the nupps too hard. I quite like nupps, actually – most knitters hate them!

Can’t wait to find the right moment and weather to wear it, especially with my new shawl pin!

Knit FO: Annis

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Knit: Dusky Cowl

FO: Dusky Cowl

Dusky Cowl
Pattern | Destroyed Cowl by Martha Merzig
Yarn | My handdyed MCN Sock Yarn in Dusk colourway
Specs | Machine knitted on Bond USM, keyplate 1, double stranded

I usually use my Bond USM for knitting up sock blanks for the store but I was inspired by a fellow indie dyer’s work on the cowl. The pattern is just a simple rectangle flat stockinette piece which requires you to drop a couple of stitches in the beginning before heaming. The result in a knitwear that is quick to work up – on a machine (hand knitting this would be boring for me but great for those nights in front of the TV) and still functional while unique. Great for destashing too unless you like collecting yarn and displaying them like soccer trophies.

Colour-wise, I picked the dusky colourway that I did using a new technique which has shorter colour repeats and zero to minimal pooling. Because the Bond USM doesn’t handle fingering weight yarn very well – I found out the hard way when I knitted single strand and had to frog – I double stranded it but was amazed at how the colours turned out. There is still another skein available for sale at the store in case anyone is interested. *hints*

As a result, I’m making a couple more of the cowls in worsted weight for my brother and in fingering weight in one of my own handdyes as well – hopefully the recipients will like the overall look of the cowl, which you could wear as it is or loop around the neck twice for a “tighter” fit.

FO: Dusky Cowl

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Knit: Meret I and II

Knit FO: Meret I after blocking

Meret I and II
Pattern | Meret (Mystery Beret) by Woolly Wormhead
Yarn | Handpaintedyarn.com Colonia 140 in Zeus and Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted in Alpine Pearl
Needles | 4.5mm circular needles

I actually finished this a long time ago but never got around to taking pictures of it or blocking it so it sat in my FO bag for a few weeks. Then after blocking, I told myself that I should take pics but still, I didn’t get around to it until today. My excuse was that I had been waiting for the right day, right time but that’s just it – an excuse. Blame it on pregnancy hormones and just being lazy to catch up with my assignments on roadside assistance plans plus knitting. Heh.

Anyway, I cannot emphasize it enough – slouches need blocking in order to get its shape, otherwise you’d just end up with an ugly looking beanie wannabe. The pattern is easy to knit up and addictive not to mention simple to remember on those train trips to and fro work. I was pleasantly surprised at how the colourway for the Colonia 140 turned out (see above picture) – the hat came out with clean stripes and sections, and in contrast with my other yarn choice for the pattern (see picture below). Still, it makes for a fun knit and Mum even asked for a slouch – I just need to add an extra repeat for hers since she wants it slouchier.

This pattern goes quite well with semi-solid yarn but is particularly good for self-striping yarns like Noro, or colourways with long colour repeats. These two hats are the final adult ones that I’ll be knitting up and I’ve started work on the accompanying scarves. I still have a child hat-scarf to go but figure that I’d leave that for last since I’d like to get the scarves out of the way first. Am using my knitting machine for the adult scarves and it looks like I should finish them by mid-May.

I hope.

Knit FO: Meret II after blocking

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Knit: Ballard Slouch Hat

Knit: Ballard Slouch Hat

Ballard Slouch Hat
Pattern | Ballard Slouch Hat by Felicia Lo
Yarn | Handpaintedyarn.com Colonia 140 in Maderas
Needles | 4.5mm & 5mm circular needles

NOTE: Photos taken are before blocking.

While the pattern was easy and quick to knit up, I must say that I wasn’t all that thrilled with the end result. Perhaps it is the lack of blocking but it turned out to be more like a beanie than a slouch and the ribbing was a tad loose. I did wonder if the number of stitches cast on was a bit on the small side but now I wish that I had done less or perhaps moved a needle size down. I do hope that the wash and subsequent block will make it better.

Colour-wise, handpaintedyarn.com colours have never been exactly beyond fabulous but I do like that tinge of golden yellow coupled with the olive brown. I must say, I’m in one of those moods where I’m gravitating towards sunshine, autumn colours. Again, this isn’t for me, so I hope the recipient likes it.

In the meantime, it’s back to Hat No 4, cheap fat burners reviews and Annis again, but mind you, I’m so so so itching to cast on another project! I must endeavour to say no to startitis!!!!

Knit: Ballard Slouch Hat

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Knitting lace…

Despite getting a bit behind on my hat knits (I’ve just finished No 3 and was surprised that it turned out to be more like a beanie than a beret/slouch/tam), I couldn’t help but drool over the prospects of getting in deep with some serious lace knitting! Currently, I’m working on the lace project below (Annis) simultaneously with whatever knit projects I have for my brother:

Annis by Susanna C

Then there are these gorgeous lacey wonders which I’d definitely like for myself:


Peacock Shawlette

Forest Path Stole

Now it’s just a question of finding more time on my hands. Maybe I should ditch those arthritis pain relief and the like assignments and focus more on my store AND my knitting. Hm.

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