SpringTastic in Summer

As I mentioned last week, I selected Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter‘s SpringTastic Socks pattern my beautiful skein of SilverSpun Sock in Watermelon Crush, the August yarn for the Feel Good Yarn Co‘s Summer Sock Club. Can I show you the skein one more time?

IMG_0396It’s just so pretty!

In any case, trying the SpringTastic Socks pattern was kind of a big deal for me. I like to keep my socks simple and in the ‘no-brainer’ column because they are small and I’m on-the-go a lot, so their portability combined with the simplicity a basic sock provides is perfect for my everyday life. I also have this weird hang-up in my own head that always questions why I would purposely put holes in my socks via lace patterning. I set aside my prejudices and took the plunge though because I knew these would be beautiful. And sometimes, it’s nice to throw caution to the wind and make something just because it’s beautiful.

IMG_0456I worked on these mostly in my down-time, early mornings before the kids were awake and after they went to bed. Once I had the pattern down pretty well, I was able to work on it when I was paying less attention like when I was watching the kiddos at the playground or listening to them read aloud. I found the pattern to be really enjoyable to knit. I definitely never memorized it to the point where I didn’t need the chart (although I don’t think that would be impossible), but I did get a very good feel for it to the point that a quick glance at the charted directions was all it took for me to manage the next round of patterning. Suffice to say, I think it’s easier than it looks. My hat really goes off to the designer, Stefanie, as well as Holla Knits — the publisher of the pattern — for an extremely well-written, nicely edited pattern with an excellent layout that’s so easy to read and follow. I don’t usually talk much about such things, but for this pattern it’s absolutely worth mentioning because it is so well done. It definitely makes me even more anxious to get my hands on a copy of Midwestern Knits, the new book by Holla Knits editor Allyson Dykhuizen.

But back to the socks at hand.

These socks were definitely like rolling a rock down a hill in that I picked up speed as I went and the second sock really felt like it flew. Before I knew it, I was done.

topsI wanted to share this photo because you can see how they look pretty involved, but I assure you they were so manageable and fun to knit. I think I keep mentioning this because as someone who usually knits only very basic socks I’m kind of shocked at how easy these were.

whole socksAnd I’m just so incredibly happy with how they turned out in both how they look…

onAnd how they fit. They are the absolute perfect match for this skein and the perfect end for me to the Summer Sock KAL.

The end? Yes, the end for me! The last two months I’ve managed to get a pair of shortie socks and a pair of Turkish Bed Socks out of one skein, but these socks took up a bit more yarn with the more intricate pattern and the taller cuffs so I’m left with just about 135yards remaining. That’s not quite enough for Turkish Bed Socks for my feet. I thought about a pair of socks for my daughter, but she’s growing like a weed and I’d like to use the rest of the yarn to make something we can use for more than just a short time. I did a little Ravelry searching and I’m thinking I’ll eventually use the leftovers to make a pair of the Twigs and Willow Mitts by Alana Dakos. My daughter is always borrowing my fingerless mitts and these will be just perfect for her. They’ll be a little big at first, but that’s never stopped her before — between the pink yarn and the cozy pattern I think they’ll be a perfect match.

Just because I’m done, the Summer Sock KAL will go on through Wednesday, September 16th as I mentioned last week with winners of the prizes announced on Friday, September 18th. That’s still plenty of time to work up one last pair of shorties! I’ll still be cheering everyone on in the Ravelry thread & ooohing and ahhhing at everyone’s beautiful socks. I can’t wait to see what everyone knits up!

Every Last Bit

As you know, I’m co-hosting the Summer Sock KAL over in the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group and I’ve had the great pleasure of working with the skeins hand-dyed SilverSpun Sock from the Feel Good Yarn Co Summer Sock Club. It really has been an incredible treat. The yarn is such a special base and it’s been awesome to get to knit it up in some truly fun hand-dyed colors.

This month, I posted up a week or so ago about the Rose City Rollers I made with July’s skein.

sskal jul3They’re so cute & fun!

Well, as with June’s skein I had leftovers, but not quite enough for a complete second pair of shorties — my feet are just big enough to make two shorties from one skein not quite possible. Still, I didn’t want to let the roughly 190 leftover yards sit. I thought about making my daughter a pair of little ruffle socks, but I was feeling just a little lazy about deciding on a pattern so I decided to just do an encore of June and make a pair of Turkish Bed Socks with the remaining yarn.

july tbsI knit them up in just a couple days — even though I was traveling and didn’t have a ton of time for knitting. They are such a quick project!

There was a small hitch, however. Somehow, I managed to reverse my reverse stockinette stitch on the little heel edge of my first sock…

july heel whoopsieSee how the one on top looks nice and snug, pulling in a little bit, and the bottom heel top rolls? Yeah, the bottom one is wrong. Whoops! It remains to be seen how this accidental modification will wear — if it’ll be a problem or not — but since I didn’t notice until the toe, well, I decided I’d deal with that only if it turns out to be an issue.

They are undeniably super cute regardless of my minor mishap…

july tbs sideAs with the Rose City Rollers, these are pretty seriously variegated. As you can see the first has more of the dark hues than the second, but I kind of just love that about this skein. It’s totally unpredictable and 100% fun.

I’m so loving these little shorties this summer and I’m looking forward to not only wearing them in warmer weather, but also in my slippers this winter. One more month to go in the Summer Sock KAL, one more skein of the Summer Sock Club is headed my way. You can bet that just like the last two months, I’ll be using every last bit!

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: In Full Swing

As of June 1st, he Summer Sock KAL featuring Feel Good Yarn Company‘s Summer Sock Club that I’m hosting in the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group has been up and clicking. It’s had a bit of a slow start as knitters working with the Summer Sock Club yarn await the arrival of their club yarn which shipped around the first of the month, but it’s been very fun to see a few other yarns and patterns start to emerge. It’s definitely not too late to throw your hat in the ring — for details you can check this blog post or just hop over to the Ravelry Group. We’d love to have you join us!

I truly lucked out in that since I’m leading the KAL the folks at Feel Good Yarn Company were kind enough to drop my skein in the mail a few days early so I could get a little head start. Fair warning, the remainder of this post will have SPOILERS for those in the Summer Sock Club. This means I’ve got some photos of this month’s skein. If you want to be surprised, stop reading now!

That being said, I had a few patterns dog-eared for this month’s skein, but I’m very much a “I’ll know it when I see it” kind of knitter so I put in a pin in my favorites and awaited my skein. My main goals were that I choose a pattern with some texture because I know SilverSpun Sock really shines when paired with textural elements, but also to pick something that wasn’t too complex. I’ll be ‘away from my desk’ for a week this month and I knew I needed something a little on the simple side plus I didn’t want a pattern that would overwhelm other knitters right out of the gate should they opt to knit with me.

Well, I got my skein. This is the official ‘beauty shot’ from Feel Good Yarn Company

beauty shot
Photo courtesy of Feel Good Yarn Company

This color was hand-dyed by Backyard Fiberworks and it’s a delicious shade that instantly made me think of seafoam and the glimmers of silver a the sun reflecting off the water. Beautiful. My skein did not remain in hank form for long…

IMG_9486It was a center-pull ball in about 3seconds.

And after a little thought I settled on Aero Socks by Sarah Jo Burch. I liked the simple knit & purl texture and I found the pattern to be written well & easy to follow. There’s a chart, but it’s very basic. All in all, it was exactly the pattern I sought.

IMG_9587And in line with expectations for this shortie knitalong, I cast-on Saturday night and despite working outside almost all day Sunday, being out hiking with my family the majority of Monday & Wednesday, and also getting a load of spinning done, this morning I’m already though the second heel. True, I’ve gotten through a pair of full-sized socks in a week, but never when I’ve been this busy.

I thought I’d share some finished photos of the first sock, just for fun. First, so you can see the design…

sskaljuneFor each sock, the texture flows the opposite direction, but you could easily make them match if you felt so inclined. They totally remind me of little waves lapping at the beach which absolutely fits in with the whole ‘seafoam’ feel of this colorway.

sskaljune1Aren’t they just the cutest?! And the fit is great, too. I can’t wait to have the pair off the needles & on my feet! I also can’t wait to see how much yarn I’ll have left after this pair is done. My feet aren’t small — a ladies US size 9 — so I doubt I’ll have enough for a second pair, but I have hopes of working some scrappy pairs from multiples leftovers or maybe if I’m super lucky I’ll have enough leftover for a pair of Churchmouse Yarns & Teas Turkish Bed Socks. I’ll just have to wait & see!

Remember it’s not too late to join our little Summer Sock KAL — just hop on over to the Ravelry group, say hi, and get knitting! And while the hand-dyed beauty of this sock yarn is available only to Feel Good Yarn Company’s Summer Sock Club, you can still get that free shipping offer for orders over $42 — just use the coupon code SARAHKNITS when you check out.

Many thanks to Feel Good Yarn Company for sponsoring this KAL!