Sock it to me Monday 2

Look – I’m getting somewhere!

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Apologies for the photo quality.

I don’t think I’ve ever used such teeny tiny needles before, but they’re still chugging along fast enough that I’m not losing interest.

One thing worries me at the moment. I’m making the largest size the pattern offers, and I met gauge, but this looks like it would never fit me in a million years. Am I being paranoid? Is this just what happens with socks and they’ll fit fine in the end? I didn’t think I had particularly big feet…

Hannah

xXx

No sports

Current WIP count: 7

Oops that count is sneaking up again. I really must keep an eye on it.

I am utterly LOVING how fast this Flax is knitting up, at least by my standards. I’ve already finished the raglan increases and now it’s stockinette for a few inches until I split the sleeve stitches off. Easy.

Hooray for worsted weight yarn!

Speaking of yarn weight, did you know that we don’t really have sport weight yarn in the UK? I’m dithering over joining in the Arachne KAL, but a filter of my Excel spreadsheet told me I don’t have a single scrap of sport weight in my stash. So I jumped across to Hobbycraft’s website and found that sport isn’t a filter option; they don’t have any either. Mothy and the Squid – no. Siobhan’s Crafts – no. Sealy MacWheely – nope. It’s just not a thing over here.

This is not helping the dithering. It should make it easier, right? I refuse to add to my ridiculous stash mountain, so no sport weight = no KAL for me. Especially considering I know nothing about fiddling with gauge for different yarns.

But I wanna!

I first saw the Arachne pattern at some point last year and I wanted to make it IMMEDIATELY, and that feeling hasn’t gone away after all this time. There must be something I can do.

Any suggestions would be welcome, but in the meantime I shall just plug away at this Flax, and dream about fancy cobwebby jumpers.

Hannah

xXx

Sock it to me Monday – I’m going in.

I can put it off no longer; It’s finally time for me to dip my toe into the sock knitting pool.

My tiny sock circular has gone walkabout, but I got the hang of using DPNs after making two lots of fingerless gloves so I’m just going to stick with them.

I’m using Mothy and the Squid yarn, in the Peacock Flower colourway that I bought during Local Yarn Shop Day last year. Less than a year in stash is pretty good for me!

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Obviously I haven’t got very far yet (it took me at least five tries to get the stretchy cast on right), but I’m feeling surprisingly confident about it.  The pattern I’m using is the basic sock with integrated heel on Ravelry, suggested by Crawcraft Beasties as being good for sock beginners.

Wish me luck!

Hannah

xXx

Swatchless Flax-ing

Yes, I started knitting a jumper without a hint of a gauge swatch. Didn’t even entertain the thought for more than a second. But it’s okay; I have a plan.

I’m following the pattern instructions for a Medium, which is the boyfriend’s size. If it turns out my gauge is right then yay he’ll have a new jumper. If my gauge is off it’ll likely be looser than recommended, which should make the end result big enough to fit me and I’ll have a new jumper – It’s a win either way.

And if it’s a total disaster that doesn’t really fit either of us then I have a charity box just waiting for some more goodies, and it will still be a good chunk of yarn out of my stash. But I’m optimistic that one of us will get a squishy new jumper out of this.

Hannah

xXx

Finally finishing

Current WIP count: 5

So far this week has been more about finishing off old projects than working on new ones.

While sorting through my FO box, as well as moths (UGH!!) I also discovered that I’m even worse at sewing in ends than I thought.  About 95% of them were technically UFOs because there were ends hanging out eeeeeverywhere.

I am determined to actually get them to a charity rather than sitting around the flat, so the last few days have been a bit of an end-a-thon to get everything done and dusted.

This is the pile of true FOs now:

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And this is what I have left to sew in:

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You probably won’t remember, as I mentioned it so briefly and ages ago, that I snapped the cast off of my Flax Light the first time I wore it (curse these hips). What I didn’t say at the time was that I couldn’t face fixing the hundreds of teeny tiny stitches, so it went in the naughty corner and there it stayed until this week.

I managed to catch the stitches where the yarn broke and went round undoing the cast off, then I attached some more yarn and had a go at Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.  It’s a bit tedious, what with having to lift over two loops individually for every single stitch, but boy does it stretch!

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The edge looks shonky because the needle I used for cast off was too big. I keep telling myself I can deal with it because the jumper actually fits me, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this will end up being undone and cast off for a third time at some point. We shall see.

I did also start another hat at choir this week, until I remembered I was going to use that yarn for a Flax so I frogged it all. Hopefully by next week I’ll have some progress to show on that, but for now it’s back to those ends!

Hannah

xXx

February review 2020

Stash used this month: 9.5 skeins

Total stash used this year: 11.5 skeins

Stash remaining: 344

The numbers look really good, don’t they? But I didn’t actually use up all those skeins myself.

After 7 months I finally convinced the boyfriend to try his hand at knitting, and he has already used the phrase “just one more row” several times – he’s officially A Knitter now! Four skeins have gone into his first ever project; a super chunky infinity scarf.

I got my hooks and needles out every time I has a spare few minutes, and I was ill for 4 days with no energy to do anything but knit, so there are a few things to show for the shortest month of the year.

Charity makes

Super chunky hat

Fingerless gloves

Blue spiral hat (no decent photo yet)

Makes for myself

A few more Roses for Grandma squares have been added to the pile.

Makes for others

Fingerless gloves for the bf, which he has worn every day since I finished them. I’m so pleased!

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I do love a goal, and with the bf’s help I’ll get through my stash even quicker (until he starts buying his own yarn), so I’ve decided to aim for less than 300 skeins left in my stash by the end of 2020. That will be just under 4.5 skeins per month – totally doable!

Hannah

xXx

No matchy matchy

Current WIP count: 7

I was so hoping to get some matching fingerless gloves going for me and the boyfriend, but there were issues. Prepare yourself for a tale:

This Caron yarn is thicker than the pattern calls for so I made some adjustments for the first pair of gloves. Sadly the adjustments were not quite enough and they turned out a bit baggy around the wrist area.

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The bf and I prefer our gloves to fit much closer so I immediately cast on another pair with fewer stitches. This turned out to be perfect size-wise, but that particular stitch count led to some serious chunks of colour pooling.

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The bf is fine with this – hooray he has the fingerless gloves he asked for!

I am not fine with this – boo no matchy matchy for us.

The bigger gloves are now in my Knit for Peace box , and I’m debating whether I want a pair of my own enough to try again with a different yarn. The answer is probably yes.

My blue hat is progressing nicely; just a few more centimetres to go before starting to decrease.

In other news I decided to go through my FO box to see if any of it would be good for donating, and discovered that moths had been chowing down on some of my scarves. This has never happened to me before so I may have had a little cry before sorting it all out.

Thankfully, my favourite Sea Wave scarf was untouched (yes I stuck it in the freezer too just in case). One scarf was a total write-off. Another was only chewed at one end so I will chop that end off and frog the rest to reclaim the yarn. Everything else seems to be clean, but just to be sure I hot washed the acrylics and will gentle wash the rest when they’ve been in the freezer long enough for my liking.

And for the record, Amazon may be the root of all evil, but they did get a bumper pack of cedar wood blocks delivered less than 18 hours after I ordered them.

Hannah

xXx

Yarn as a memory aid

Current WIP count: 7

The texture on my blue hat turned out less subtle than I expected, but I still like it.

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The purl stitches make it slower going than the previous hats, so this will probably do me another couple of weeks at choir before it’s finished.

It’s interesting (to me at least) that I seem to be learning the words to songs quicker than usual when I knit/crochet at choir.  Not sure if it’s my brain shoving the information into my memory quick so I can get on with the yarnery, or if the physical act is somehow helping the words stick.

 

I’ve also been working on the boyfriend’s fingerless gloves and for this project the yarn is giving me fairly random stripes.

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I can see why socks are so addictive; the small circumference means I’m whizzing through these! Maybe I’ll tackle socks next. Although I do quite fancy a pair of gloves for myself now I know how quick they are. Would it be too cutesy for us to have matching fingerless gloves, do you think?

Hannah

xXx

On a hat binge

I just can’t stop making hats at the moment.

The current one is an attempt to use up a big multipack of yarn I can’t remember why I bought. Each skein is 200g and for some reason I got four of them, so there’s a lot to work with!

It’s plain blue and I can only deal with boring in one aspect of my crafting, so I decided to add a wee bit of texture into this hat. After the ribbing I’ve started a 7-stitch repeat over a number that doesn’t divide by seven evenly, in the hope that it will offset and create a subtle spiral pattern.

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Not quite pictured: unicorn stitch marker

I’ll see if it works out soon enough.

 

The thought has just occurred that I could use some of this stuff to make a Flax for myself. It would be much quicker than the Flax Light (yay for thick yarn!) so I’m seriously tempted…

Hannah

xXx

Fingerless gloves

Current WIP count: 6

A request! I haven’t had a request for ages, and this one is for the boyfriend so I’m even happier.

He wants some fingerless gloves, nothing too fancy, preferably multi-coloured – No problem. I’ve been looking for an excuse to try out this pattern from Midnight Knitter, and we all know I have no shortage of variegated yarn to choose from.

I picked out a few likely skeins and let the bf choose his favourite. He went for Caron Simply Soft Camo, and I cast on straight away because I’m impatient like that.

As you can see, I’ve not got very far yet (DPN cast on is FIDDLY), but I’m already enjoying it. I can’t wait to see how the colours play out – will there be any pooling? Will there be stripes? Will it be completely random? Let’s find out!

I know, I know. Simple things please simple minds.

Hannah

xXx

The longest January ever

I don’t know how a month can feel like it’s never-ending and still go by in a flash, but January just managed it. Right now I simultaneously can’t believe it’s February already and don’t understand how it’s not at least 2025 yet.  Isn’t time funny?

There wasn’t a huge amount of making for me last month, but I’m happy that the majority of it was for charity.

I also finished off my baby Flax Light and made some progress with Roses for Grandma.

The reason I didn’t get much making done is because a lot of craft time was spent trying to get my flat into some sort of order. You may remember the hugenormous pile of yarn:

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That turned out to be around 400 skeins of yarn.

400!

I Marie Kondo-d that mountain and got rid of all the old, nasty acrylic that squeaks when you use it, any colours I wasn’t in love with, and odd bits of leftover skeins I knew I would never do anything with. That left me with 355.5 total. Yes I counted some as half skeins, not to make the total look better, but to give a more realistic idea of what I’ve used up. No using little 25g balls and patting myself on the back for clearing out whole skeins.

So another goal for this year is to make my stash less ridiculous and use up as much as I can. Even though January wasn’t particularly crafty I still managed to knit and crochet two skeins, one into charity hats and one into Roses for Grandma, leaving me with 353.5 to go.

Wish me luck!

Hannah

xXx

Self-care for a Monday

Karen shared another quiz, this time a wee quick one about self-care. It was actually quite interesting to think about so maybe give it a go yourself.

  • Do you practice self-care? Is it a term you use or is it a foreign concept?

I don’t think I’ve ever used the term specifically, I usually call it introvert time, but the idea is very important to me. I can get easily overwhelmed by too much ‘input’ or spending too long around people, so my main self care is staying aware of my energy/overwhelm levels, getting out of situations when they become too much, and having non-negotiable alone time throughout the week to recharge.

At the moment I’m working on the more difficult self-care of doing hard things to make life better, i.e. sorting and decluttering my entire flat. It’s hard work (and a bit stressful), but I know when it’s done my mind will be clearer and it will lift some weight off my shoulders.

 

  • How do you practice self-care in a physical way? Do you put make up on or get your hair done? Maybe get a massage? Go for a run?

Mainly powerlifting at the gym (although that’s been a bit overwhelming itself recently, what with being chock full of newbies), and running is also good when I need to get out of my own head.

They help me stay as healthy as I can, with the added bonus that everything feels and tastes AMAZING afterwards. Having a shower and putting on my big, cosy jumper straight after the gym feels like being hugged by my 10 favourite people all at once.

 

  • How do you practice self-care in a mental way? Do you meditate? Do you pray? Do you sit quietly and empty your mind?

Running kind of covers this as well – if I get stuck in an over-thinking loop I go out for a run and focus on timing my breath with my footsteps, and everything else goes quiet.

Journalling can also help, as I deal better with written words than the noise in my mind, and everyone knows how good crochet and knitting are for your health.

 

  • Do you consider time alone to be self-care? Or time with family? Or time with friends?

All of the above, in some ways. I miss my friends and family when I don’t see them, and visiting them makes me happy so that’s a kind of care. But alone time is definitely the number one priority for me.

I work in an open-plan office for 40 hours a week, and I have a lot of hobbies that involve other people; I NEED my alone time to recharge so I can be a decent human being. I can get really snappy when I’m burnt out.

 

What do you think?

Hannah

xXx