Life is Short, Right?!

I actually don’t remember when I purchased my Sport Sock in the Holy Crow colorway from Spun Right Round. It was probably as soon as I discovered she carried sport weight sock yarn because it’s no secret that I kind of have an obsession with sport weight socks. I love that they knit up quickly and are cozy in the winter, but that they still fit in my shoes. In any case, I think I wound this yarn in the pre-trip delusional packing that went on before our trip to the Badlands in April and suffice to say I did not get to it on the trip. I got no where near it.

This fall, I’ve been trying to make some stash progress though, and that has meant first working on knitting up things I pre-maturely wound into center-pull balls. Enter, once again, Holy Crow.

IMG_1023I opted to knit them into Simple Skyp Socks. This free Ravelry pattern boasts multiple sizes and a pretty stitch pattern that is really easy to memorize. It’s really an ideal pattern for me when I know I’ll be picking up and setting my knitting down a lot or when I know I need to be able to knit on something that I can look away from frequently. They also work really well for me when I’m not 100% awake — like early morning or later in the evening. They took me a little over a month to knit up, but considering I completed 3 or 4 skeins of handspun, sweaters for both kids, a cowl, and considerable progress on two different shawls, that doesn’t seem too bad to me.

stitch detailAs you can see, the stitch pattern looks really pretty with the yarn.  I love Spun Right Round’s approach to color — it’s always fun & unexpected & spontaneous, so you never know when you’ll hit a pop of orange or a few stitches of jet black. It really makes each project unique and keeps me on my toes. I like that a lot!

footI think these would work equally well as plain ‘ol vanilla socks, too. Or a shawl. Or a sweater. Gosh, I really love this colorway.

I opted to play some low-level yarn chicken and went with 7.5″ legs on these and I wound up with a little under 20yds left. It wasn’t too much of a nail-biter and I’m pretty happy I pushed it a bit for the longer leg.

wholeThe finished socks are simply fantastic. The yarn is squishy and lovely on my feet and the fit is great. Since my sock drawer is kind of exploding with handknit socks I was planning to tuck these away in my cedar chest in an effort to start stockpiling for the future, but I have a feeling I won’t be able to wait to wear these.  That’s OK, though. I just keep thinking to myself: Life is short, right? Wear the socks!

I do have one more skein of Sport Sock in my stash — it’s the Chalkboard colorway which I absolutely adore and can’t wait to knit up. This, of course, does not stop me from dreaming about The Walkers or Distortion colorways though. Thankfully, I’m saved by my mother-in-law who asked me last week if I’d be up for making her another pair. Of course, I jump at the opportunity to knit for family and I immediately checked my notebook for her foot measurements (which I do indeed have noted) and then went straight to my stash where I picked out 2 or 3 skeins for her. Now I’ve just got to integrate that knitting in with my other knitting and spinning projects over the next couple of months. But I just keep thinking to myself: Life is short, right? Knit the socks!

Twitchy

I’ve been a bit busy the past week. First, I had to deal with Mt. Laundry from our vacation. Then there was the unfortunate fact that I desperately needed to clean out our gutters as they were totally full of maple leaves and helicopters. And the outdoors planters needed to be cleaned and tucked away for the winter. pumpkinAnd the pumpkins we accidentally grew from the compost needed to be picked. And the lawn needed to be mowed. And then there was the tiny fact that this little lady had a birthday.

dOf course, this isn’t a current picture as she turned 8-years-old. I’m still trying to figure out how that is even possible.

You get my drift though — lots to do these past few days. I’m happy to report though that the gutters were cleaned, the pumpkins picked, the lawn mowed, the laundry cleaned and folded, and my girl had a wonderful birthday.

Phew.

And while not doing all these non-craft related things I, monogamist that I am, have been a bit twitchy about having multiple projects in the works. While it’s true that I finished a sweater (it’s drying…) and two skeins of handspun yarn this week, I’m feeling a bit anxious with three active knitting projects as well as two spinning projects.

First, there’s this singles yarn I whipped up while I was waiting for it to warm enough to deal with the gutters Saturday morning.

IMG_1183It’s from Three Waters Farm & is a 4oz braid of Finn Wool in the Spotted Purple Admiral colorway. It spun beautifully and honestly I didn’t realize that I’d managed a fairly even singles yarn until I was taking this photo. I’m planning to lightly felt it when I set the twist and I just haven’t quite found the time (or the kitchen clean enough) to do so yet. I’m hoping to get to that today or tomorrow.

Then I started a new double marl. It’s been a couple years since I did a double marl and I’ve had two Cloudlover Fiber Club braids earmarked for it for a good long while.

IMG_1195I had some doubts early on, but I’m feeling pretty good about how this will look finished as a 2-ply. I couldn’t remember if I had the barber poling like this the first time around with this technique so I hopped back to July 2013 on my blog and had a look…

20130701-191518.jpg

I do spy barber poling so that concern was relieved. I was also pretty chuffed to see both the photo and spinning quality appear to have improved quite a bit in two years. Anyhoo, I have quite a ways to go before the current project is finished. It’s a full 8oz and to maintain a fair bit of control in the spinning, I’m taking it at a slower speed than I usually would for this weight of singles yarn. I think it’ll be a fun journey even if I’m a little anxious along the way.

On my needles, I spent the days that were busier working on my Simple Skyp Socks.

IMG_1218I managed to finish up the first sock and get about one-third of the second sock’s leg finished as of the time of this post. I’m using Spun Right Round‘s Sport Sock in the Holy Crow colorway and I just love how it’s working up. For me, this is a really nice & easy project to work on while I wait for the kiddos during school or if I’m watching the more visual TV program Wallander that my hubby and I have been enjoying lately.

And last night I managed to work through the second of five sections of my Miya Shawl for the Miya KAL over with Bijou Basin Ranch.

IMG_1219This project and the yarn is exceeding my expectations on all levels. The yarn — Xanadu — is amazing. It’s light and airy and soft and just a dream to work with. The pattern is also really fun. It’s not quite the kind of pattern I can memorize and work on on autopilot, but it is still relaxing enough to kick back with once school is over with the kiddos. Just a reminder that there’s still time to enjoy the KAL and the 15% discount on this yarn + the free Miya Shawl pattern with the coupon code MIYAKAL over on the Bijou Basin Ranch website. After having worked with it now, I’m definitely considering another skein or two.

And then there’s my Miss Grace Shawl.

IMG_1217Sadly, I haven’t touched it since before our mini-vacation last week. Since there’s no progress to share, I thought I’d share the project bag this shawl calls home for now. It’s from The Fawn & The Fox and I just adore it. I’m very anxious to work on it again, but with the twitch to get something finished, I think I’m going to just allow it to remain on pause until I can whip through the socks or the Miya Shawl. Then I’ll be able to just enjoy the knitting and that’s really how it should be.

I won’t tell you about how I’m all set to get started with a new technique and sock pattern or how after knitting a sweater for each of my kids I’m jonesing to get one going for myself. Or how I have another shawl and at least three more spinning projects I can’t wait to get going. Perhaps it’s actually the projects I’m dying to get started that are making me twitchy — not the ones on which I’m already working. Whatever the case, you can count on the fact that my wheel & my needles are flying these days!

Simple Skyp Socks + Cephalopod Yarns Bugga!

A little less than a year ago, it had been a rough few months for me. I was dealing with family illness & job changes and just a fair bit of stress. It so happened that I had been reading Susan B Anderson’s blog and I saw her knit up a pair of Simple Skyp Socks. I just loved them. I was on an extreme yarn diet at the time, but I splurged and got myself of skein of the yarn she used and downloaded the pattern. Well, one thing led to another and I just didn’t get to the project.  And then one thing led to another and I knit the yarn using a different pattern.  You know how it goes.

Fast forward to earlier this year. While perusing new socks yarns to try for Socks with Sarah (I have a small perusing problem, if you haven’t noticed and it often leads to acquiring more yarn…whoops!), I came across Cephalopod Yarns. What can I say about them? They dye gorgeous colorways on dreamy bases. Their customer service is super friendly. In fact, I was so impressed with their yarn that I immediately started a conversation with them to see if they would sponsor the Socks with Sarah KAL giveaway I am planning for next month (they are — hooray!!!) And then when my mother-in-law asked me to pick out some sock yarn for her, I went straight to Cephalopod Yarns and ordered her a pretty skein of Bugga!, their sport weight merino-cashmere-nylon (MCN) blend. I hadn’t knit with it yet, but I knew from the first touch that it would be amazing.

When I order from new companies, especially a new dyehouse, I usually wait to order until I can afford at least two bases, so I get a more complete picture of the types of yarns they use.  I then try to select one dark and one light skein or one subdued and one bright — just to kind of get to know the ‘color language’ the company speaks. Every dyer is a little different in technique and how they use color and by getting my feet wet with different bases and colorways I’m able to get a more complete picture as to what my preferences are in that shop.

The first skein I decided to knit from Cephalopod Yarns is Bugga!, the 3-ply sport weight MCN yarn I mentioned getting for my mother-in-law. My colorway, Flamboyant Cuttlefish. It was my more subdued color choice.

flamboyantJust kidding! It was, obviously, the BRIGHT colorway for this order. Clearly this super, super, crazy fun colorway needed a special pattern to show it off. While searching for the perfect pattern, I remembered that Simple Skyp Socks pattern I had admired on Susan B Anderson’s blog.

detailYep, I love this yarn-pattern combination. LOVE. IT. Oh, and the yarn? Yeah, it’s amazing. Beyond amazing, in fact. Pretty out of this world, actually.

footThe Simple Skyp Socks are just enough patterning to make the colors pop a little, but not so much that the pattern gets lost or muddies the color.

heelDon’t you think?

wholeThis photo is a teensy bit dark, but I wanted you to see the whole socks, too. I just love everything about these, from the luscious yarn which is just beyond dreamy to work with, to the little pops of those slipped stitches, to the stockinette sole, to that little purl row between the cuff ribbing and main leg pattern. I just can’t put into words how incredibly pleased I am with every aspect of this project.

Now what am I going to do with the other Cephalopod Yarns in my stash? More Simple Skyp Socks, perhaps some more intricate cables on that skein of the Killer Bee colorway, or maybe just vanilla socks to let the yarn sing. Whatever the case, I have no doubt it’ll be some of the most luxurious sock knitting of year in some gorgeous colors. I can’t wait!

Many, many thanks to Cephalopod Yarns for sponsoring the Socks with Sarah KAL!

For more information on this project, please check out my Ravelry project page here.