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!

June Summer Sock KAL FOs

With all the drama that occurred this month, this June flew by even quicker than it usually does. I had a small truckload of ‘musts’ to accomplish in knitting and spinning, too, which is always such a great ‘problem’ to have. I’m happy to report that all the June knitting that had to happen has happened — hooray! — and now I get to start sharing all the FOs from the last few weeks.

First and foremost, today I want to share my projects from the Summer Sock KAL. If you’re late to the party, I’m hosting a Summer Sock KAL sponsored by the Feel Good Yarn Company on the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group. Coinciding with the fabulous Summer Sock Club from Feel Good Yarn Co, we are knitting ‘shorties’ this summer. While anyone is welcome to join and knit any yarns with any shortie patterns, I’m knitting with the Summer Sock Club’s exclusive hand-dyed yarns.

This month’s colorway was called “Sea Glass”

Photo courtesy of Feel Good Yarn Co
Photo courtesy of Feel Good Yarn Co

And as you can see is a beautiful teal-y, seafoam-y, blue-green.

I cast-on Aero by Sarah Jo Burch

IMG_9587This textural shortie is pretty basic as far as socks go, but had a really lovely and simply stitch pattern. This is my first pair of shorties and — I won’t lie — they knit up very quickly. We were laughing in the group, however, that because the socks themselves are so quick the little cuffs felt like they took FOR-EVER. A ridiculous hang-up for such a quick knit, but still pretty funny.

In any case, the shorties took me about a week to knit up and I’m so pleased with the fit & design.

aero setI really love the simple knit/purl motif…

aero detailAnd did I mention that the texture is asymmetrical?

sskaljuneYep, it is. Such a fun touch, I think.

aerofullWhen I finished these up I had roughly half the skein remaining. It’s a bit hard to get an accurate weight to calculate since the humidity shifts quite a bit here these days, but roughly half the skein left is pretty on the nose, I think. In any case, I didn’t really care to play yarn chicken trying to eek out a complete second pair of shorties, so I went to an old stand-by, Churchmouse Yarns & Teas Turkish Bed Socks. The ones I’d made previously were well under 200yards, so I knew I’d be safe making this pattern with the yarn I had left.

IMG_9780-0The teacher in me loves this pattern because there are so many great techniques you get to use in it.

Another nice, quick knit I finished these up in between time spent spinning and playing outside with the kiddos in just a couple of days.

tbsfullAnd one little detail shot, just for fun.

tbsdetI actually really like the SilverSpun Sock for this pattern as the elastic nature of the yarn really helps to keep these little slipper socks in place.

I got word that July’s installment of the SilverSpun Summer Sock Club is on its way to my home and so begins my search for just the right pattern for the new colorway. I can’t wait to have it in my hands and on my needles!

On the Line

Most of what I write about my family life is focused on the places we go — the hikes we take, the trips on which we embark, and the events we seek out. Truth be told, so much of my life happens in our teeny, tiny house and in our rather unspectacular yard. Being on the go as much as we are in the summer, we discovered early on in our home ownership that the big garden we’d dreamed of was pretty impractical for our lifestyle. We’ve converted most of our tiny lot to perennial berry bushes, an epic raspberry patch, and a few wildflowers or native cuttings that friends or neighbors needed to unload.

This year the kids and I attempted to start seeds and grow a few things to have a tiny container garden. Things were going rather well until the local chipmunk population decided to dig up every single vegetable plant we planted and replace them with sunflower seeds save for 3 kale plants. I was frustrated, but accepting of the situation until the chipmunks decided to start climbing in our siding. This is where I draw the line and knew we could no longer be neighbors.

They did, however, leave our nasturtiums alone…

IMG_9800Which just started blooming yesterday. With the chipmunk threat no longer an issue I’m tempted to get a few little herb plants for fresh and for drying for winter use. A dear friend often gifts us little jars of her dried herbs in the fall and  I learned to really appreciate that dash of dried parsley in our winter meals. We shall see what I can find.

It is also the time of year when I hang clothes out on our line.

FullSizeRenderWe joke that our house looks like some sort of tenement situation when I hang clothes out, but to me it’s tradition — something my mom always did in the spring & summer & fall. And aside from the outward appearance, it’s warm & breezy and hanging clothes out to dry is kind to the environment not to mention saves us some money in electricity as well as keeps the house cooler. It’s a win all around in my opinion.

The kids and I also spend a lot of time at home and — like I said — the yard is far from tidy and perfect, but it is a happy place.

IMG_9789This weekend I broke out a new slip n’slide for the kids and while they played, I spun.

IMG_9791And spun and spun the endless bag of pink merino/silk that my daughter requested I spin so she can knit it.

I also knit a bit, finishing up a shawl that is blocking and then using up the remainder of my SilverSpun Summer Sock Club yarn…

IMG_9780-0I had exactly 200yards remaining, so I thought in addition to the shorties I’ve already finished (and will share soon!), a pair of Churchmouse Yarns & Teas Turkish Bed Socks would be a great way to use up the rest.

I finished up the first sock last night…

IMG_9795And as planned I should have just enough to finish the second sock without it being too much of a nail-biter.

It was such a treat to spend some quiet, relaxing time at home over the weekend after our over-exciting vacation and then all the hospital/doctor/me-as-nurse happenings of last week. It’s such a relief that the only thing on the line here right now is laundry. I’m oh so thankful to have everyone on the road to recovery, to have had some time to play and relax in our unspectacular yard, and for all the million little things that are our everyday life and home.

Summer Sock KAL

Here at Knitting Sarah headquarters there has been a flurry of activity behind the scenes plotting and planning the Summer Sock KAL. As with a lot of the things I do here, this project has had a very organic development — beginning with the suggestion of a couple fellow knitters in the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group who had just subscribed to the Summer Sock Club from Feel Good Yarn Company. One thing led to another and the amazing folks at Feel Good Yarn Company enthusiastically offered to sponsor the knitalong complete with prizes for participants. It’s so awesome how things just work out so well!

Today, I wanted to share the loose guidelines of the Summer Sock KAL and then a bit about the Summer Sock Club. First, let’s talk about the knitalong.

The goal: To knit shorties.

(And by shorties, I basically mean specially designed socks that stop of your ankle — perfect for summer!)

The yarn: Your choice!

I will be featuring the beautiful hand-dyed SilverSpun in the Summer Sock Club, but  you are welcome to knit with any yarn you’d like.

The patterns: Your choice!

I will select specific patterns for each month on which you’re welcome to knit along with me. I’m also sifting through loads of patterns on Ravelry to share in case my choice isn’t your cup of tea. If you have a personal favorite, share it with the group — I will happily add it to the list!

The Prizes: Each person who completes at least one pair of shorties between June 1 and August 31 will be entered to win a prize.

For those knitting with SilverSpun yarn the prizes will be: 1 full skein of SilverSpun Sock or Sport

For those knitting with all other yarn the prize will be: 1 mini-skein of SilverSpun

This knitalong was designed to be inclusive and very manageable, even during the busy summer months.

So how do you sign up? Easy! Just pop over to the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group Summer Sock KAL thread, say hi, & start chatting! I’ll start adding some basic patterns up shortly and all group announcements will pop up in the thread.

When will sign-ups close? They won’t! Although I encourage you to join us today, we’ll leave that door open all summer long.

Now, the Summer Sock Club.

Today is the last day to sign-up for the Summer Sock Club from Feel Good Yarn Company and because I’ll be knitting with these exclusive yarns in the Summer Sock KAL, I wanted to highlight why you might want to make the leap and subscribe to the club.

1. Exclusive colorways.

The Summer Sock Club will be comprised of 3 skeins (one each month in June, July, and August) of SilverSpun Sock hand-dyed in small batches. These colorways will be exclusive to the club — members will have the opportunity to get extra skeins of these exlusive yarns, but they  will not be available to the general public.

2. Unique blend.

87% Combed Cotton / 5% Silver / 5% Nylon / 3% Spandex

From my experience working with this yarn, it really is unlike any other cotton yarn I’ve used. Thanks to the nylon and spandex this yarn has tons of bounce and holds its shape very, very well.

And why silver?

Silver inhibits the growth of odor causing bacteria (perfect for socks), has excellent thermal properties, is nontoxic and is quite beneficial for those suffering from diabetes, arthritis and sensitive skin.

3. That feel.

On the website, it states SilverSpun “has the strength of cotton with the feel of cashmere” — and that is the truth! This yarn is incredibly comfortable. I have fingerless mitts and socks knit with this yarn and both just feel so soft. I wouldn’t trade them for anything!

4. Stitch definition.

SSPM2SilverSpun Sock has phenomenal stitch definition as you can see here in my Paper Moon socks. While I’m planning a balance of basic & more complex shorties in the KAL, you can bet I’ll be exploiting this awesome characteristic of this beautiful yarn.

5. Make your summer knitting easy!

We are all busy in summer, so there’s simply no better time to work on projects that require one skein of sock yarn. The Summer Sock Club in conjunction with the Summer Sock KAL is the perfect marriage of luxury, utility, and portability. The yarn will come to your door, the patterns will be easily accessible on Ravelry, and each project will be the perfect size to pop in your bag where ever you go. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

As I said, today is the last day to claim your spot in the Summer Sock Club and only a few openings remain, so act fast!

Introducing the Summer Sock KAL & my new SilverSpun Socks!

It all started right here.

IMG_9064A skein of SilverSpun Sock yarn.

And you’ve watched the socks I’ve knit evolve…

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From basic toes…

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To those first couple cables…

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To the gussets…

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And beyond.

And today I get to share the finished socks.

SSPM2Aren’t they lovely?!

These socks — knit with the Paper Moon pattern — are beautiful, soft, and the fit is incredible. I could not be any happier if I tried. The best part? They are so much easier to knit than they look!

SSPMThe only part of these socks that did not go according to the plan is as I knit these two-at-a-time, I played a little yarn chicken at the end and ended up only working half the cuff repeats.

SSPM3I don’t think the look or fit suffers one bit.

Thanks in part to a very positive response to these socks and some very enthusiastic knitters in the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group, we’ve decided to keep on knitting with this beautiful yarn — All. Summer. Long.

You see, we’d been chatting a lot lately about ‘shorties’, or anklets, in the group and how we could all stand to add a few of these summer-friendly socks to our sock drawer. A couple members of the group mentioned that they’d signed up for the Feel Good Yarn Company’s Summer Sock Club and as they say, the rest is history! That’s right, I’ll be hosting a Summer Sock KAL June 1st through August 31st in the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group and I’ll be featuring the yarns of the Feel Good Yarn Company’s Summer Sock Club!

The best part? You’re all invited to join!

Each month I’ll be selecting a pattern based on the current club colorway and you are welcome to knit right along with me with the club yarn and the pattern I choose or with a pattern and yarn of your choice — as always with me, it’s a pretty inclusive KAL. You know how I love for you to have options — any excuse for us to knit together! I must say though that this club is going to be amazing. It’ll be comprised of SilverSpun Sock yarn that is hand-dyed in three exclusive colorways (1 color per month, June, July, & August). In case you are wondering what this yarn looks like hand-dyed, here’s a taste of what they’ve done in the past…

Hydrangea

Just imagine this beauty in a pretty little shortie pattern for summer or for around the house anytime of year.

As of a few minutes ago, there were only about 20 spots left in this fabulous club so if you’re interested, I recommend popping over straight away to reserve your spot. You can place your order with Feel Good Yarn Company right here.

For those who aren’t able to subscribe to the club, have no fear! The Summer Sock KAL is open to anyone who’d like to knit some shorties with us this summer. As I said, I’ll be providing pattern inspiration and, for those knitting with me, some support on the patterns I’m working through regardless of the yarn you’re using. And, just in case you are watching us knit with this lovely SilverSpun Sock and decide you want to try it out, the FREE SHIPPING discount code SARAHKNITS will be valid until the end of June. Non-members won’t be able to get the hand-dyed colorways, but the natural will still be available for purchase! *Remember, the FREE SHIPPING code applies to all orders $42 and over, but it does not work with the Summer Sock Club since shipping is included in the price of the club.*

As added incentive to join, Feel Good Yarn Company will be graciously providing a couple prizes! At the end of the KAL, any knitters who complete at least one pair of shorties will be entered to win a skein of SilverSpun yarn! Those who knit with SilverSpun yarn will be entered in a drawing for a full skein of SilverSpun Sock or Sport and those who knit with other yarns will be entered in a drawing for a mini-skein. As if we needed more incentive, right?!

To sign up, just pop on over to the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group and say hi on the Summer Sock KAL featuring SilverSpun Sock thread. As we get nearer the start date, I’ll share information on tagging and start posting some pattern options in the group. On June 1st I’ll share which pattern I’ll be knitting for the month and we’ll be off! I can’t wait to knit with you this summer!

Loads of Great Things

Well, we spent a very harmonious morning back at the water’s edge yesterday with much better results. I managed to reel in this monster catch…

IMG_9171As a special treat, I even broke out my very best Jeremy Wade impression for my family as I narrated the unhooking, photographing, and release of this true 4 or 5inch lake monster. I’m pretty sure said impression comes out more like a cross between Jeremy Wade and Arnold Schwarzenegger, so it’s probably less of a treat and more an embarrassment for my family and additional evidence that I’m pretty easily entertained.

In any case, my son was more successful.

IMG_9178He managed to reel in this 15″ smallmouth bass. None of us could really believe it because this is the biggest fish any of us have ever caught, but we were so excited for my boy who could not have been more proud. For Mr Knitting Sarah and I, it was a huge relief as we were a little worried that the kids would lose interest before we could get any results on the fishing front. So far, 2 fishing expeditions, 0 humans hooked despite two children casting, and 1 perfectly respectable fish successfully landed. I’m going to call this an early season win.

On the spinning front I also have a win to share. Two months ago I started spinning 3 batts from Spun Right Round

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And this morning, I finally finished the singles.

IMG_9216I ended up sort of kind of marling (is that a word?) these fibers together to try to get the colors really blended. There were parts of these batts that looked a little crazy together and the marling seemed to help even it all out. The finished singles almost max out a jumbo/plying bobbin on my Lendrum DT and the plan is to n-ply this bobbin in a nice round slightly crazy colorful 3-ply. I’m definitely hoping to get this skein finished in the next week as I think I’ll be getting in some new fiber to review soon. I have some summer spinning plans, too, that will include an invitation for you, but I’ll share details once I figure them out soonish.

After the troubled beginning to the leg portion of my Paper Moon socks, I’m happy to report it’s been smooth & happy sailing.

IMG_9218I’m not quite sure how tall these socks will wind up being as I went a little long in the foot to accommodate the bit of shrink that comes with knitting a cotton, but I’ll likely keep on keeping on until I start to stress about running out of yarn for the cuff. As you can see, this yarn is absolutely amazing with this pattern. I’m terribly tempted at the prospect of the hand-dyed sock yarn club for the coming summer. Remember to sign-up for the newsletter to get the news on this club, other Feel Good Yarn Company news, as well as free pattern delivered right to your inbox. Don’t forget that the FREE SHIPPING offer on orders $42 and up for SilverSpun yarn from Feel Good Yarn Company is still available, too — just enter the discount code SARAHKNITS at checkout to claim this special offer!

If just wearing these beauties isn’t motivation enough to finish, I got a little extra incentive in the mail a couple days ago…

IMG_9220-0 A stronger person would have waited and taken a picture of the seal pristine & unbroken, but you had better believe I tore right into this baby. I’ll have more on this fun club & this month’s beautiful project in the next couple of weeks as well as another fantastic giveaway for you, so keep your eyes peeled!

In addition to the short-term goodies, I’m happy to share that plans are in the works for a little bit of spinning fun this summer as well as a 2016 knitalong that I could not be more excited about if I tried. Loads of great things on my wheel, on my needles, and on the horizon, so stay tuned!