Socks for the Mister

I mentioned it earlier, but I did indeed finish my husband’s Christmas socks. I’ve had to face the reality that, sadly, the festive photo of the feet of my family in their newly knitted Christmas socks is not going to happen. All of said socks have been worn — in some cases more than one day and are… well, let’s just say they all need to be washed. But you haven’t yet seen Mr Knitting Sarah’s socks, so I will share them today.

Rather than use one of the 3 or 4 skeins of holiday yarn I’ve been hoarding, I did what I am normally terrible at doing — instead of picking something that fits my **vision**, I used the yarn that suited my husband. After almost 15years of marriage, I may have learned this lesson! I did pick the most Christmas-y looking of the Mr. Knitting Sarah Approved skeins of yarn I have on hand though. This is Regia 6ply Musèe Color in a 150gram skein of color #06983.

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The Musèe color line is one that is pretty much the only time I’ve found an entire line of colors in that I have found in Mr KS acceptable colors that is also a base that works well for him. I’m purchased one of almost every colorway in this line. I found them through HotYarns.com which has proven to have quick, inexpensive shipping and a consistently more comprehensive selection of those workhorse German wool + nylon sock blends I know and love. What’s more, they actually stock Regia in 6ply which is the yarn Mr KS prefers for his socks. So, like I said, I bought pretty much the entire Musèe line from them, stockpiling for future Mr KS socks while the yarns are still available.

As I said, these are a sport/DK weight yarn so they knit up super fast.

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For Mr KS, I use the Churchmouse Yarns & Teas Basic Sock pattern, but I follow the fingering weight instructions with a US 2.5 needle. I wanted to do a custom sock for him with the Fish Lips Kiss Heel like I did for the kids, but he was having none of that. He did not believe there would be improvement, he likes the tried and true method I’ve used in the past, and that’s exactly what he got!

And they were done in about 10days. I definitely could have shaved days off the timeline there, but I knew I had plenty of time, so I did some spinning during those 10days, too, because I could.

 

The mister’s socks don’t actually fit properly on my bigger sized blockers…

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You can see they’re a little baggy on them, especially since I went with a full 8.5″ leg & cuff.

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But you get the idea. Aren’t they nice?!

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The mister liked them, too. He said they’re the best fit yet and that he likes the longer leg & cuff. Hooray!

I, obviously, did not get to socks for me this Christmas, but I had a couple pair I’d made previously. And I’ve got a couple special yarns that I hope to knit up sooner than later. If I start now, I’ll be wonderfully early for next year, right?!

The Holly Jolly-est Socks

Last week I finished my second pair of Christmas socks — hooray!

I decided to use a yarn that has been in my stash for a couple of years, String Theory ColorworksKinetic Energy on the Entanglement base.

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I think I purchased this back during the first Socks with Sarah foray in 2014, so I’m ecstatic to finally get around to knitting it. I’ve become a bit of a connoisseur of self-striping Christmas yarn lately and this one…

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I think it’s just the holly jolly-est.

These socks are for my daughter. She wears about a child size 4 shoe and I went ahead and did the same thing I did for my son — a vanilla toe-up sock created from the kiddo’s foot measurements using the calculations from Jennifer Donze’s Toe-Up Custom Socks in conjunction with the Fish Lips Kiss Heel. For those unfamiliar, I don’t really deep dive into the FLK Heel pattern because that baby is  l o n g , I just use it for the heel placement and instructions.  Oh, and I used Judy’s Magic Cast-on and Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off. I’ll list the details up on my Ravelry project page for those wanting to know stitch counts and all the details. You’ll notice the legs on these are pretty darn long — since my girl’s still relatively small, I had loads of yarn, and I know she’ll love super tall socks. They’ll look awesome with her red velvet dress (because of course she has one with a twirly hem).

So. Would you like to see them?!

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You’ll have to pardon the lack of nice blocker photos — I don’t actually have sock blockers for children’s sizes and I’m not going to wash them before they are gifted to my girl. They are for family who know don’t care so much about the presentation. Also, I don’t want to deal with the worrying about them drying on time.

These socks were not without their *facepalm* moments….img_9120

I had this cuff all set to bind-off nicely in the dark green when in a moment of not thinking I cut the yarn tail… when I hadn’t yet started to bind off. Suffice to say, reattaching the yarn and and then the subsequent bind-off forced me into the white… sure, I could have gone through my leftover yarn and found the same green and made it look all perfect, but… that’s just not my scene. Those three stitches bound off in white are like my signature — “Mom made these. And she is not perfect.”

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I also managed to have that one random row of dark green stitches opposite the heel. Again, it was totally preventable, but…. it is what it is and that is ONE OF A KIND!

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All overly critical comments aside, I love how these turned out. They are seriously merry. and I think they will be perfect for my girl — the holly jolly-est socks around indeed!

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Been Oh So Quiet…

Well. I really haven’t posted much the last week or so and this space has been awfully quiet. I hope you all have had wonderful, happy holidays thus far and that you are feeling ready for the new year to begin. Admittedly I’ve been in my own head quite a bit lately and I’ve felt a little challenged in coming out of my shell. I’ve vowed to make the effort today though, so here I am!

This year’s holiday has been new territory for me. The kids have kind of hit that point where they are decidedly older. They relished being in charge of decorating the tree. I merely supervised the cookie baking as they proudly showed off their kitchen prowess. And for the actual holiday, they don’t really do toys as much anymore. The most exciting gifts were video games, books, and a super basic phone (and by basic, I mean very inexpensive and with zero bells & whistles) supplemented with new clothes which were a necessity cleverly disguised as gifts. On the heels of our trial run for our empty nest earlier in the month and leading up to another birthday for me, it felt like the Earth’s axis shifted in my little world and my normal pace was interrupted as it was kind of a lot for this lady to process.

I woke up this morning, though, ready to start moving forward again. And that felt very, very good. I’m counting 7 knitting projects, 1 weaving project, and at least 2 spinning projects to share with you, all of which need to be photographed in proper light because currently all my photos look kind of like this…

img_5587In the squinty, barely there lamplight of just before bed or just after having woken up.

So I must take some pictures today! I plan to attend to that as soon as I publish this post and vacuum my house (I took the tree down today, so this needs to happen, too!). And maybe, just maybe I’ll treat myself to a little of this…

img_5585A little 50/50 yak/silk that showed up yesterday from Classy Squid Fiber Co. And yes, as my husband astutely pointed out, I began this less than 12 hours after I declared I would hold on starting any new spinning projects until the new year. In my defense, I got this to go with a batt a friend sent me that I really want to spin and I started with this because I have a little more of this braid than the batt so I could afford the learning curve of readjusting to the light-weight spinning I’d envisioned for the singles of this spin. And I really want to get to that batt.

So I should probably do my photography and vacuuming before I touch it because getting my hands on it will surely be a slippery slope of just not moving for a good long while. But we’ll see how that goes.

In the mean time, I’ll leave you with this…

img_5568Because I know you all love Moose. My in-laws got him a giant, power chewer Kong for Christmas. It’s ridiculously large and he loves it a whole lot. Sometimes he chews on it, but mostly he picks it up, proudly prances around with it and then throws it, waiting to see if ham will magically come out of it (because it has happened exactly twice since he got it). Who can blame him for being hopeful? Ham is pretty amazing.

And with that, I am off to get spinning… I mean to take photographs and vacuum.

Something BIG

Last week, a guest blog post I wrote for Bijou Basin Ranch went live. In it, I got to share my experience knitting up one of their newest yarns, Big Bijou Bliss. This limited edition yarn is really something special and I encourage y’all to check out what I had to say about it right here.

That said, I thought I’d share some of the photos here, too, because I’m just so smitten with the finished project.

wtw-detI used the Weather the Weather Hat pattern by Megan Williams and a little less than one skein of Big Bijou Bliss in the Lakeside colorway.

wtw-bbbflatIsn’t it lovely? It was such a great knit it went from cake to on my head in about a day.

wtwbbbAs I said, you can read my more detailed thoughts on the yarn and project here (the Bijou Basin Ranch folks are so kind of let me guest post, aren’t they?), but since we’re in the holiday knitting season as well as just plain colder weather, I wanted to be sure all of you got a glimpse of this fab quick knit. They just got in a bunch of new colors, too, so be sure to check it out!

Bijou Basin Ranch & the Molten Metal Cowl

I’m squeezing in an extra post today because this one is a little time sensitive. You see, in my neck of the woods we have our beloved  WI Sheep & Wool Festival taking place this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Jefferson Fair Park in Jefferson, WI. I’m delighted to remind locals that as usual the wonderful folks at Bijou Basin Ranch will be there. I saw on their Instagram feed yesterday that they were “cruising through Kansas,” so they are definitely on the way! And to celebrate their heading out this way for the festival, I wanted to be sure I shared one of their latest designs with you.

A while back the designer, Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter of Handmade by Stefanie, asked if I’d like to test knit a pattern and at the same time try out one of the new hand-dyed colorways from Bijou Basin Ranch. Would I ever?!  And consequently the last 6weeks I’ve spent dying to tell you all about it, but dutifully keeping mum so Stefanie could put the finishing touches on her pattern. You might remember that I showed you this image…

img_4063My little teaser a few weeks back. Yes, the blue is amazing! Well, I can finally tell you about it today!

First things first. The yarn is Lhasa Wilderness — a 75/25 Tibetan Yak/Bamboo blend and the color is Blueberry. You can find it right here or you can just take a peek here for the large assortment of colors available. While I’ve been working my way around Bijou Basin Ranch’s fantastic lines of yarn over the last few years, this was my introduction to Lhasa Wilderness. My impression? You can feel the incredible softness and warmth of the yak fibers and yet the bamboo gives the blend a shiny finish with lovely drape. What a tremendous marriage!

Stefanie’s Molten Metal Cowl is a great way to get to know Lhasa Wilderness.

img_4362A one skein project, it starts with a garter border and then adds a little texture with the chevron pattern.

img_4363The center is a simple lace motif, just enough to keep things interesting and give you a taste of how the yarn works up in lace. And the cowl finished out with the chevrons and garter edge again. Fun, quick…

img_4361And gorgeous!

Beautiful laid flat, but even more lovely “on.”

img_4365-1Stefanie is hosting a KAL through October 31 in the Bijou Basin Ranch Ravelry group. Two winners will be selected from the KAL and they will each win a $25 gift certificates to bijoubasinranch.com — what a sweet deal!

The pattern & yarn will, of course, be available in the booth at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival — you’ll find them in the East County Store booth #616-617. You can also find the kit here should you be so inclined to order online.  As I said, this cowl as a way to get to know Lhasa Wilderness, but wouldn’t it make a fantastic holiday gift? A little bit of luxury in a quick, enjoyable knit? Whether you make it for you or for a special friend or family member, you can’t go wrong!

Saugerties Reprise

In early spring this year, I finished my Saugerties Shrug.

IMG_9599The pattern was love at first sight for me & I did the unthinkable in order to get this project on my needles: I actually set an alarm and entered the crazy & cut-throat race that are Plucky Knitter updates. Don’t get me wrong, The Plucky Knitter has some incredible yarns and colorways — I don’t think anyone can deny that. I’m just not into how competitive and rushed trying to order this yarn is. In any case, it says a lot that I actually made a point to get the kit.

Of course, there was a little drama. If you’ll remember from my post on the shrug I had narrowed the colorways down beforehand, but I misunderstood which was the main color and which was the contrast color so when the kit finally arrived I was kind of bummed. I emailed customer service — knowing full well it was my own fault — and asked if there was any chance I could buy an extra couple skeins of the dark color, Magnet & Steel, so I could flip the colors. They were prompt & friendly and set me right up and I went about the business of making my shrug. As you can see, it turned out great and I wear it all the time around my house now. It’s just perfect for throwing on for an added layer especially in the early morning or when I have to let Moose out. My husband compliments me on it a lot, too, which is kind of cool. When you knit as much as I do, I think those around you kind of become immune to fabulous knitwear so pointing out particular interest in one piece means it must be pretty special.

In any case, I decided last week it was time to make the matching hat. I’ll admit to having multiple motives. I wanted to knit a cool hat, yes, but I also knew it would be a good way to get my hands back in the groove of colorwork for a holiday project which I wanted to start. I got it on the needles the day before Thanksgiving and worked it just until I got past the needle change and got the second color started…

IMG_1485Once our noontime Thanksgiving meal was over and my cleaning duties complete, I settled back in with it while I visited with my mom. And before I knew it…

IMG_1489I was on the crown!

IMG_1493-1I finished just in time to watch the (less than stellar) Packer football game with my dad.

 IMG_1534And, of course, it’s been put through its paces. I honestly did not realize it was as slouchy as it is before I started. And yes, it’s supposed to be — I did check my gauge repeatedly throughout as well as once it was complete and it’s spot-on. I was a little unsure about that slouch when it first came off the needle, but I’m digging it now. It’s a great addition to my cold weather wardrobe.

Along with the successful hat, the project I was using it to prep for was also a great success…

IMG_1513-0I’ll just share one quick in-progress black & white photo for now and then I’ll share a proper FO post after the holiday. The recipient knows they are coming, but doesn’t know which colors I selected and I think it’ll be more fun to keep that a secret. Suffice to say, I purchased this pattern way back at the beginning of summer and was delighted to have an excuse to knit up a pair of these fantastic slippers. They knit up in a flash and turned out just wonderful, no doubt in thanks to the extra practice with my hat. It’s rare that I plan my knitting to work out quite so neatly, but I have to admit I’m pretty pleased with how these two project played out. A new hat for me, a holiday gift complete all by way of knitting with one of my favorite techniques. What a great way to spend a a few days worth of my crafting time!