A long time ago in a town kind of far away…

I’m a day late here, but May the 4th be with you all my fellow Star Wars fans! I don’t know how you celebrated, but the kiddos and I went to our local Dairy Queen and got Blizzards for lunch in honor of all the adventures on the bitterly cold planet of Hoth (and because I had a hankering for ice cream) and then we blasted the theme music on the way home from our hike. I’m generally not the most creative when it comes to organizing celebrations, but ice cream and Star Wars theme music are always a hit in our house so it was a fun little break from the norm.

In other news, I have an FO to share with you. As alluded to in the title, I finished this one a long time ago in a town kind of far away. More specifically, I finished them a month ago in our old house, 2.5 hours away. The ladies in the Socks with Sarah group were talking red socks and I had a skein of Sweet Georgia CashLuxe Fine in China Doll that has been lingering in my stash for a good long while so I cast-on.

I just peeked and I don’t think they carry this colorway any more, but there are, of course, other reds to choose from — Cherry or maybe Clementine or Blood Orange seem to be the closest available now. In any case, I started them way back in the beginning of February and finished them the evening before the movers came. And a month and a day later, I took nice pictures of them finished.

Better late than never, right? They are a standard vanilla affair using my face Churchmouse Yarns & Teas Basic Sock pattern.

It’s such a good fit for me and pretty much committed to memory at this point. I don’t know how many pairs of this pattern I’ve knit, but it’s a lot.

As you can see, I haven’t washed or blocked these babies yet. If I waited for that, it would probably be another month before I was able to share them as everything is progressing a little slow for me these days. But alas, I love them. Simple, red socks. They’ve been on my to-knit list for years and now they are finally done.

On a very fun sock-related note, the three Kate Atherley patterns from last year’s Feel Good Yarn Co Summer Sock KAL have been released to the general public — hooray! Even better, you can buy any of the 3 designs separately or, until June 30th there is a coupon code that lets you buy all 3 patterns for just $10 — double hooray! You can find the bundle on the Feel Good Yarn Co website here as well as the individual patterns (Sneaker Socks, Diamonds in your Shoes Socks, and Summer Morning Socks). You can also find them on Ravelry where you can purchase individually or select all three and then enter the code FeelGood to receive the bundle discount. Don’t forget to check out the whole Feel Good Yarn Co line-up while you’re looking — they have their SilverSpun Sock, SilverSpun Sport, and the new SilverSpun Silk, too. They are perfect for summer knitting!

I do still have my Simple Skyp Socks on the needles, but I’ve been wanting to start a pair of basic shorties as we’re quickly approaching the time when my regular socks will be too warm to wear. Believe it or not, the one skein I have in mind is eluding me. How is this possible with my beautiful yarn shop of a living room display? Well, I do believe it did not travel with my stash because I had it out to be knitted up so it’s hiding in a project bag. Somewhere. I know what I’ll be doing this weekend — playing find the ball of yarn! May the Force/Fourth be with me as I search this one out and may you all have a beautiful, beautiful weekend!

Summer Sock KAL Wrap-Up

Well, it is indeed somehow already September 14th and thus the official end of the Feel Good Yarn Co Summer Sock KAL. It has been such a blast working with Laurie from Feel Good Yarn Co & Kate Atherley, the fabulous designer for the club patterns, not to mention the wonderful knitters who knit along with me in the Ravelry Group. Many thanks to everyone who participated — you made it fun, you made it great!

I thought I’d walk you through my summer of sock knitting today. SilverSpun Sock is such a fantastic yarn to knit with on it’s own and the patterns included in this year’s club just really made it all the better.

First, there were the basic Sneaker Socks


Then came the Summer Morning Socks


And finally, I’d like to introduce you to August’s socks, Diamonds In Your Shoes

img_4415A textural interpretation of argyle style socks, I have to admit that these started as kind of a slow-going pattern, but just flew once I wrapped my head around it and got it in my hands.

img_4418The instructions were well written and it was fantastic cabling-without-a-cable-needle practice. I’m thinking I’ll definitely use this pattern again in the future.

img_4417The fit is phenomenal and I think the heel details are just very smart.

The toes… Well, I got a little whimsical.img_4412Instead of continuing in the pattern which has similar details to the heel, I thought it would be fun to incorporate some of the leftovers from my June & July colorways. I think they are super fun and just in general a nice little memento of this summer of sock knitting.

It’s always a little bittersweet when these -alongs come to an end, but I’m so very thankful for the camaraderie in the group, the opportunity to knit with the wonderful SilverSpun Sock yarn again, especially in these beautiful colors, and — of course — the socks!

Many thanks to Laurie from Feel Good Yarn Co for asking me to take part in this year’s club and to Kate Atherley for her participation & availability throughout the Knitalong!

Summer Sock Club — July Socks Finished!

We’ve been plugging away over in the Feel Good Yarn Co Summer Sock Club this past month and it’s been such a bright, fun month indeed. For me, as soon as I saw the pattern, its sizing, and the colorway…

img_3943I had no choice but to knit these socks for my daughter. She’s big enough now to be able to wear a ladies small in a lot of sock patterns and the small for Kate Atherley‘s Summer Morning Socks — July’s club pattern — was just perfect for her.

I don’t normally work lacey patterns for socks, so this was an extra fun treat.

img_4025I knit the first sock up nice and quickly and found the lace patterning really fun.

The second sock — yes, I flew through that, too. Most of the WIP photos look like this though…

img_4046As I worked on them in the basement, hiding from the heat & humidity.

And that type of photo, so doesn’t do this justice.

img_4050Not one bit!

As I knit around and around, the pressure to finish put on me by my daughter was incredible — she was so anxious to get to this point.

img_4104You might not believe how excited she was to get these on today.

img_4106Needless to say, three hours later and they haven’t come off.

img_4105The fit is great on her. As predicted by the pattern, they are just a smidge snug getting them on — perfect considering I know the SilverSpun Sock will comfortably stretch just enough with wear for a perfect fit.

One more month to go in this super fun club — remember that if you’re knitting along that sharing your progress and FOs in the Ravelry group will put you in the drawing for a couple fantastic prizes at the end of the summer! I hope you’ll pop in and show us what you’ve been knitting!

Now…what will August bring? I can’t wait to find out!

Squeezing It All In

Planning and goals and deadlines.

That has been my week this week. If things go according to plan, this will be our last full week at home before we start our school year with the kids so I’m trying to squeeze in everything. Cleaning, gardening, spinning, knitting — it is ALL on the list. As I work on mentally shifting out of the relaxed summer schedule to our more regimented school one, I have lists upon lists of things I want to wrap up and goals I’m trying to hit before my days become math & history lessons, reading & writing 5 paragraph essays.

I’ve made some very good progress. We got our last shipment of school books and I managed to get them all organized so we are all set to begin the new year. My landscaping project is slowly, but surely being mulched with grass clippings from our wonderful neighbors and the weeding continues to be minimal and all the plants are looking great. I finally got around to washing our picture window so I’m not looking through a heavy coat of dirt while I spin. The floors got some deep cleaning and I’ve been keeping up (better than usual) with the laundry. In short, the housework — inside and out — is in a good place.

In my craft, I finished my July installment of the Summer Sock Club from Feel Good Yarn Co.

img_4025This is just a quick snapshot of the first sock, but the pair is done and awaiting some FO photos. Look for a complete wrap-up next week.

From the socks, I shifted my knitting to a special test knit.

img_4063I can’t show you the design just yet, but I can say it’s in Bijou Basin Ranch’s Lhasa Wilderness. It’s my first time using this yarn and it is seriously incredible. Not only is the yarn absolutely scrumptious, the shade of blue is perfection in my book. It’s such a treat this project is just flying off my needles. I can’t wait to show you more!

On the spinning front, you saw this project yesterday, but I thought I’d take an updated picture.

img_4065You can see my less than graceful first attempt at creating rolags. They are HUGE, but they’re spinning fine. I’m at the point where I’m debating a switch to a fresh spindle or shaft as it’s getting pretty heavy. I know I could remove the BBs from the spindle to lighten it, but as I have extra spindles and shafts I’d much rather go that route. I’m going to hang in there a bit longer though, as I’d really like to try to fit this rolag on there. We’re see how she spins.

When it does get too cumbersome, I have my lovely bouquet of Akerworks Mini Spindles to fall back on…

img_4004Have I shared this photo here? It was one I took for Instagram, but I just love it. Honestly, it reminds me of a pretty little bouquet and I have dreams of people giving their spinning friends & loved ones a bouquet like this for birthdays and holidays in lieu of flowers.

But I digress.

I also finished spinning my August Top of the Month Club fiber from Three Waters Farm.

img_4064This is Red Hot & Blue — it’s on Polwarth/Silk 85/15 and I spun it with the intention of having some wonderful barberpoling. I had so much fun with my worsted barberpoling skeins during the Tour de Fleece I decided to spin this one up the same way. It’s a little less organized as I quite literally was spinning it within an hour of receiving it and didn’t overthink the prep. It’s been one of my favorite Three Waters Farm spins to date, so I can’t wait to see it plied.

While that spin rested, I start in on Dyeabolical‘s 66 Sunset on Fawn Shetland.

img_4059It’s one of the shop’s new colorways this summer and I just love the earthy tones in this one. I’ve not gotten as far as I was hoping on this one because I really dove into knitting at the start of this week, but I’m enjoying every moment I steal for it.

And there you have it — my attempts to squeeze about a month’s worth of work into a single week. Even though I went into the week knowing my goals were unreasonable, the planning and goals and deadlines have carried me through. I have to say that I cannot complain with returns.

Summer Sock Club – June Socks are Finished!

The first installment of the Feel Good Yarn Co hand-dyed SilverSpun yarn for the Summer Sock Club arrived a few weeks back.

img_3545‘Blueberry Buckle’ is a fabulously lush blue — and I should know, being the blue fiend that I am. The accompanying exclusive pattern, Kate Atherley‘s Sneaker Socks, was the perfect match, too. Nice and simple, they were the perfect go to for car & park & pool knitting…

img_3686And even some marvelous lake side knitting.

This pattern was very well written and contains some really lovely details that really make for a great sock.sssockclubI’m absolutely positive I’ll be using this pattern again in the future.

And the finished socks are simply wonderful. First I have to share a detail shot…

img_3810Can you see that incredible gleaming silver? It’s fantastic & creates such a beautiful fabric.

I really love how the designer handled the gussets — it makes avoiding that pesky little hole that sometimes appears a non-issue.

img_3809Everything easiest knits up nice and perfect.

img_3808By the time this post goes lives, these beauties will be on their way to my mother-in-law. I’ve been slowly, but surely knitting socks for her and I thought these luxurious lovelies would be the perfect addition to her sock drawer.

I’ve gotten a sneak peak at both the pattern & yarn for the July installment of the Summer Sock Club and it is going to be really fun. Mum’s the word though on that project until it lands in the hands of the other club knitters. I can’t be ruining any surprises now, can I? It’s lucky I’m a good secret keeper because this one is pretty hard to keep!

Bring On the Solstice, Please!

It is that fateful time of year for me – you know how some people get cabin fever in the winter? I kind of feel like I have the summer version of it, especially right around the solstice. The long days wear on me and I get overwhelmed and listless and irritable because of all the time spent out and about, all the noise of summer. I honestly don’t even think my routine is all that different, but I feel like I’m constantly behind. Even simple, silly things, like preventing backslide from our monumental spring cleaning and running errands wears on me. I greet the solstice (which is next week — hallelujah!) with relief knowing that I’m finally inching back toward earlier sunsets, the quiet of autumn and winter, and the luxury of space & time to be able to think clearly again.

While I’ve definitely been chasing everything lately and most of my focus has not been with my craft plans, I’ve still got some irons in the fire, of course, or I’m sure I’d really lose it.

I’ve been knitting away on my Broken Wings shawl knit with Be Sweet Skinny Wool.

img_3550It’s lace so of course it’s not looking like much at the moment, but I’m nearing the end of the first chart which is very exciting. The texture changes dramatically with each chart, so I can’t wait to see it all unfold. The yarn has been beautiful to work with, so soft and silky — overall, really just such a little luxury!

On my wheel, I’ve been working on the latest challenge in the Three Waters Farm Ravelry group, the 1×6 SAL. The idea is that you take one braid and spin it 6 distinct ways. You can play with color or technique or both. I opted to play mostly with technique…

img_3547From L to R these are: n-ply (with colors rearranged), gimp, standard 2-ply, single, slub single.

There are some funny stories to go along with these, but I’ll wait until I can get these properly washed and get the crazy yellow ties out of the photo so I can really tell you about them and the experience as a whole. You’ll note I have 5 mini-skeins there, so I’ve got one still on the wheel. I’d hoped to have finished it yesterday, but there were complications so now I’m hoping that I can finish today. Cross your fingers for me!

In the realm of attempting to plan, the Tour de Fleece is coming up! It officially kicks off on July 2nd, but as I’ve mentioned I’ve already been working with Mary Ann from Three Waters Farm to help co-captain her team. If you’re a spinner and have some Three Waters Farm fibers in your stash (or you want to add some to it!), I hope you’ll join us. It’s going to be such a great group & a fantastic opportunity to spend some quality time spinning. There are also some awesome prizes to be won, so lots of good incentives — you can read all about the team “rules,” prize information, and join Team TWF here. As for me, I’ve been attempting to put together my small mountain of fibery hopefulness for the Tour…

img_3549I pulled these from my stash this morning and already I’ve realized I have at least 16oz more I need to add to the pile, including the official Tour de Fleece colorway from Three Waters Farm that I’m hopeful will be landing here today. It’s probably good that there’s more to add as this pile is very blue and that does not bode all that well for someone with such a short attention span. On the flip side, that’s kind of a lot of fiber for 3weeks of spinning… I’m going to not think about that right now though.

In other fabulous planning news, the first skein of the Feel Good Yarn Co Summer Sock Club arrived yesterday — hooray!

img_3545It is my favorite skein of SilverSpun yet! I’m hoping to wind this yarn today or tomorrow so I can get knitting. This month’s installment also came with a sweet Feel Good Yarn Co logo tote from Work + Shelter. Especially in summer, I can never have enough totes as I run out the door to one place or another. I love that this one is pretty simple and understated, it’s just such a perfect little bonus for the Summer Sock Club.

As I race around today to the bike shop and the grocery store and the bank and to our weekly volunteer gig at the local humane society and I try to squeeze in some time for writing and yoga and walking the dog and maybe even finishing that spinning project, I’ll be trying not to think about the sun as it sets too late in the evening. You can bet that I’ll be thinking about the solstice and it’s significance in my little day-to-day world, every cell of my being is leaning toward that moment when I can feel the shift to shorter, quieter days. I realize I may be in the minority, but I cannot wait. Bring on the solstice, my friends!