Just what the winter cold calls for – a new pair of warm wool socks!
I don’t wear my hand knit socks with shoes often. My feet overheat with wool inside shoes. Occasionally with snow boats or when camping maybe. But I wear them around the house pretty much daily in the winter. The tile kitchen floor is so chilly! So, it is good to get a new pair in rotation.
These are from a free pattern called Village Socks. The yarn is Knit Picks bare that I dyed in jars. They’ve been my tote bag project, carted here and there and knit up a few rows at a time since September. Progress shots were posted on the blog back when I made my first needle holders.
I prefer to knit socks from the cuff down to the toes. I like how the heel is constructed in that method. I’m gradually improving with the kitchener grafting that is always the last step before finishing. Not my strongest skill and I have to look up the stitch order each time, but when I’m done I do admire the seamless results.
With the socks done, I needed a new tote bag project. After some time searching Ravelry patterns, I chose a garter stitch lace shawl in a warm gold to add color to these gray days. Knitting with Madeline Tosh yarns is always pure joy.
A late night finish – I was so close to the end I couldn’t stop until I’d cast off, so I’m a little sleepy today.
This shawl, Line Break, is a great pattern for nightly TV-and-reading knitting. Lots of garter stitch, some easy short row sections, and eyelet thrown in to add some variety.
I had two complementary skeins of Malibrigo yarn, one of my favorite brands. Their construction was very different. The sock yarn is a multi ply fingering weight. The Mechita is a single ply yarn. It is also fingering, but definitely lighter/airier internally then the sock yarn. Very similar to Madeline Tosh merino light yarn, another big favorite. You can see the differences in the photo above and just below if you look closely.
The colorways called out to be togetherness. In the skein they looked the same, though once wound into cakes the sock yarns violet tones showed up more, and the Mechita was redder.
I alternated every two rows, and loved every minute of knitting such pretty colors.
It looks a little ruffled in this just-finished late night dim lighting shot (that really changes the colors) but it will block out into an asymmetric straight edged wrap of pretty good size. I can tell it is going to get worn a lot.
My other finish of the day was this also poorly lit TV stand that arrived in a flat pack box yesterday and sat in the rain on my porch for several hours until I got home. Luckily it was well wrapped inside and the wet didn’t do any harm.
I immediately went to work assembling it, and then filled the book shelf with knitting and traveling books, along with some other random titles that needed a home. So nice to have a new stand that doesn’t show each and every wire!
I rang out 2017 with a glass of prosecco and the last rows of my Kiko Mariko project. My boys stayed awake until midnight for first time on a New Year’s Eve – they were a lot more energetic than my husband and I. At 12:06 we were all in bed.
I spent some time on the last day and the first day of 2017/18 cutting up scraps from various vacation projects. My sister had come over to make a lot of new stockings for us all, I finished one of the charity quilts we’ve been slowly working on, and I pieced the backing for the new living room quilt. So a lot of pieces were piled up, waiting to be sized. I cut my scraps into 5″ squares when they are big enough, then 4 1/2″ as a second option. If they are too small for that, they become strips or 2 1/2″ squares. The littlest pieces go into a small bin for future tiny scrap projects like the still unfinished blob quilt.
The new year is the time to revisit my 2017 crafting goals. Last year on New Year’s day I’d pulled out all my yarn. We’ve moved since then, and both my yarn and fiber stash feel more organized now, so I’m not doing that again!
I went back and reviewed my crafting goal list for 2017. To be honest, I didn’t do that well. New shiny things distracted me from many of the older WIPs. I can knock off maybe four of the things on that list, and a few more that I did away with because I knew they’d never get down (J’s crochet monster for example – he’s in middle school now and would be horrified at the damage to his dignity if I gave that to him.)
My spinning really suffered in 2017. The urge just wasn’t there unless I was with my fiber friends. I started and finished a few quilts, but the older ones are still languishing. I didn’t get the king size bed quilt done, I didn’t knit a whole sweater, I didn’t weave a single length of fabric. Honestly, it was the worst craft goal achievement ever!
And we moved! So a lot of my crafting energy went into creating a new home for us. House hunting, and getting the old house in sellable condition. Packing and unpacking. New floors, new windows, new fireplaces, new furniture, and the list goes on and on. So many weekends and so much energy were taken up with that, so I’m giving myself a break on the less successful goal finishing.
And, wiser now, I’m not making a long specific list of goals for 2018. Instead, my goals are to use my stash as much as possible, be judicious with the spending for new additions to the stash, and to try to finish more projects than I start, at least until the WIP pile goes down. I still need to document that list, just as a memory jogger, but not something to beat myself up about if I don’t accomplish it all. It is supposed to be a fun hobby, after all. Not a chore!
I hope you got through 2017 healthy and happy – a difficult year by many measurements – and I wish you all a terrific 2018, with as much fiber, fabric, or yarn as you can handle, happy families, and good health.