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?!

No Plan Survives Contact with Reality

There is a famous quote that goes, “No plan survives contact with the enemy” (If you’re a nerd like me and like this sort of thing, you can read about the history of this quote here). I think of these words a lot. Oftentimes I remind myself that in my case, “No plan survives contact with reality.” It could be that I’m not a great planner (very true) or that I just exist in a position with a lot of variables that I can, must, and do work around (also true). In any case, it could not have been more true this week.

As I wrote my last post on Tuesday, I was raring to go with a million things on my to-do list before we started school today, Thursday. My blog posted, I let my son know we would be going to a local outdoor pool the kids love in the afternoon as a treat and I hopped right to the task I had to finish before leaving — getting the lawn mowed. As I finished mowing & mentally checked that item off the list — yes! — I came in and within moments my son became violently ill.

Eep.

I’ve been a mom long enough that when it comes to this type of illness I pretty much have a constitution of iron. I can be there with a washcloth & toothbrush, clean up, and will myself to stay healthy so I can act as nurse. I, however, have not been a mom long enough to lose hope each and every time that it’s a one-off fluke. Sadly, it was not. And thus, we embarked on 48hours of everyone in the family being sick to one degree or another.

Obviously the pool was out until further notice and the to-do list went out the window. We stayed home (of course) and the kids basically slept and barely moved for two days (by contrast our son generally bikes around 20miles per day). I did extra laundry, played nurse to my ‘babies’, and made quick runs out to the store for saltines and Gatorade. I managed to steal a few moments to get outside weed & tidy up my landscaping and spread out the two batches of grass clippings the neighbors had deposited in the compost area since we’d been on vacation.

Of course, a lot of time was spent just being with the kids, too, watching some TV with them. I started my August installment of the Feel Good Yarn Co Summer Sock Club…

img_4193Kate Atherley‘s Diamonds In Your Shoes is the exclusive club pattern for the month and it’s cruising along already. I’m loving her instructions for cabling without a cable needle — so handy during the summer when I’m on the go. If I don’t need to carry along a cable needle, that’s one less thing I can lose in transit.

In my spinning, I finished up my Three Waters Farm July Top of the Month Club singles…

img_4197Eventually this will be a 3-ply — I’m very interested to see it as the spindle spun singles I spun from some roalgs I rolled and will most likely be pretty unique when compared to the wheel spun singles.

In the mean time, though, I thought I’d start a little bonus heavier weight 2-ply.

img_4194This colorway is also from Three Waters Farm and is called Painter’s Backdrop dyed on Merino/Superwash Merino/Tussah Silk top, 40/40/20. It’s one of the braids I took with me on vacation, but didn’t get to. This braid has been in my stash since last November so I thought it was time to spin it up.

Oh, and I didn’t share a photo yet, but these are the singles I finished on vacation…

img_4196This is Dyeabolical‘s 66 Sunset colorway dyed on Fawn Shetland. I really love the depth of color on the Fawn Shetland.

After all the less than appealing excitement of this week, I barely even remember what was on my to-do list when I was last typing away here. It feels like a distant memory. My plans definitely did not survive contact with reality. In any way. At all. And yet, the world keeps spinning ’round and ’round and the sun has risen and set each day. As everyone appears to be on the mend now, I’m here thinking about our plans for the weekend and next week. Wisconsin Sheep & Wool is not too far off either. And then there will be a trip up to my parents’ next month. And our next vacation out there on the horizon. Oh, the plans I will make that will not survive reality to fruition and the life I will lead and the things I will get done in spite of it all!

Agnes: The Ultimate in Big, Cozy, Warm Sweaters

img_1834The Agnes Sweater in Quince & Co. Puffin was one of my 1+1+1 Project goals for this quarter and just before departing for our Yellowstone trip last month, I decided to cast on for this sweater. Not a lightweight, compact sweater that would travel easily, but a bulky weight sweater. Yes, knowing full well I’d be driving halfway across the country in a compact car with 4 people, one large dog, and a whole lot of cold weather gear, I thought, “Yeah, a bulky sweater for the trip. Perfect.”

I won’t lie, the size aspect was less than desirable. It made me a little more smooshed than I had to be and complicated getting in and out of the car, but the knitting itself could not have been better.

img_1881I started a couple days before we left so that I was past the raglan increases by the time we hit the road.

img_1884The stockinette body was perfect for the road and before the end of the day I was already at the ribbing on the bottom hem.

I spun for the better part of my free time during the vacation, but the sleeves were pretty quick…

img_2104And they were finished a day before we would get home. It was at this point that I paused. All I had left were the pockets, but I had sizing concerns. Unfortunately, this pattern did not include guidance on the ease. You know, when patterns will say something like, “sample shown in size 36″ with 4″ positive ease” or whatever the case may be — this pattern did not include that info, so there was a bit of guesswork on my part. I wanted a relaxed fit so the questions was exactly how much positive ease to give myself.

To further complicate things, I’ve lost 3″ off my circumference in the past few months, forcing me to kind of reacquaint myself with how to size sweaters for myself properly. When I started the sweater, my bust measurement was around 38″ and I worried that the 40.5″ size would be a little more snug than the big cozy sweater I wanted, so I opted to err on the side of caution with the 44″ and allow myself to knit with a slightly tighter gauge. I’ve dropped a little over 20lbs overall, but that’s slowed considerably as I’ve neared my goal and started to shift focus more on fitness and less on weight loss. I thought the  +/- 6″ ease would be right about where I wanted it.

And then I lost another inch. Whoops! Talk about great problems to have! In any case, I got home and tried it on and looked at it in the full-length mirror and asked Mr. Knitting Sarah for his thoughts and I decided to just add the pockets and call it a wrap.

This was just going to be a nice big, roomy, cozy sweater.

on2And that’s exactly what I have. As you can see I overshot a bit with the sleeves, too. This is something I often do just because there’s nothing I dislike more than sleeves that are just a tiny bit short. I like my wrists covered when I’m making winter sweaters. Plus, this way I have the option of having them partially cover my hands when I’m chilly or fold them back I’m warmer. I wore this sweater last week on a field day with the kiddos which involved a short hike and a tour of the State Historical Museum. It was warmish outside, so I just layered this sweater with my light raincoat to keep the wind out and I was perfectly comfortable.

agnes close upThe pockets — which I knit in Quince & Co. Osprey in the Bird’s Egg colorway — are a really cute detail, but I’ll admit that they are on the small side when it comes to actual utilitarian quality. I wouldn’t change them because you don’t really want pockets that can be weighed down on the front of your nice cozy sweater anyway, but I also am under no illusion that they’ll be super handy in day to day use.

I found the pattern was written very well. Easy to understand and simple in design, especially when you consider the bulky weight  I think it would lend itself well to newbie sweater knitters or those who are just looking for a quick, easy sweater. It was my first time working with Quince & Co.’s Puffin and I will admit that I really enjoyed it. It’s exquisitely soft and quite strong for a single. I will definitely be using it again. In fact, thanks to the fact that I always buy extra when I purchase sweater quantities, I think I have just enough to make Pam Allen’s State Street Cowl with my leftovers. My next Puffin project is already set!

This sweater not only traveled many miles with me — literally — it’s been quite the journey just in how it came to be. I’m happy to say, however, that with all the twists, turns, and doubts that went into this sweater, now that it’s 100% complete and officially in my wardrobe, it’s a certainly a new favorite, a staple. The ultimate in big, cozy, warm sweaters — Agnes, I’m so happy to have you!