Summer Sock KAL Wrap-Up

Well, it is indeed somehow already September 14th and thus the official end of the Feel Good Yarn Co Summer Sock KAL. It has been such a blast working with Laurie from Feel Good Yarn Co & Kate Atherley, the fabulous designer for the club patterns, not to mention the wonderful knitters who knit along with me in the Ravelry Group. Many thanks to everyone who participated — you made it fun, you made it great!

I thought I’d walk you through my summer of sock knitting today. SilverSpun Sock is such a fantastic yarn to knit with on it’s own and the patterns included in this year’s club just really made it all the better.

First, there were the basic Sneaker Socks

img_3808

Then came the Summer Morning Socks

img_4104

And finally, I’d like to introduce you to August’s socks, Diamonds In Your Shoes

img_4415A textural interpretation of argyle style socks, I have to admit that these started as kind of a slow-going pattern, but just flew once I wrapped my head around it and got it in my hands.

img_4418The instructions were well written and it was fantastic cabling-without-a-cable-needle practice. I’m thinking I’ll definitely use this pattern again in the future.

img_4417The fit is phenomenal and I think the heel details are just very smart.

The toes… Well, I got a little whimsical.img_4412Instead of continuing in the pattern which has similar details to the heel, I thought it would be fun to incorporate some of the leftovers from my June & July colorways. I think they are super fun and just in general a nice little memento of this summer of sock knitting.

It’s always a little bittersweet when these -alongs come to an end, but I’m so very thankful for the camaraderie in the group, the opportunity to knit with the wonderful SilverSpun Sock yarn again, especially in these beautiful colors, and — of course — the socks!

Many thanks to Laurie from Feel Good Yarn Co for asking me to take part in this year’s club and to Kate Atherley for her participation & availability throughout the Knitalong!

Summer Sock KAL Wrap-Up & *PRIZE WINNERS*

Well, the Summer Sock KAL came to its official end on Wednesday and like all good KALs it’s a bittersweet time. It’s always exciting for me to shed the requirements of a knitalong, to move onward and upward with an uncharted course of new challenges. Yet it’s also more than a bit sad to say  good-bye to a tight-knit group of knitters who’ve been knitting with a common goal, in this case summer socks. I’m very thankful for this summer’s KAL group — we had experienced and brand new sock knitters alike and it was such a fun & positive & helpful group. To each and everyone who participated I would like to extend a heartfelt, thank you. You really made the KAL awesome! And I’m so glad that I’ll be able to stay in touch with many of you via the Today on your needles thread in the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group.

I also have to extend a very big thank you to Feel Good Yarn Co who sponsored this KAL, including the prizes. I worked directly with Laurie who was kind and warm and fun to work with at each turn. I am so grateful for her generosity & enthusiasm and for all she puts into making the fabulous SilverSpun yarn. If you want to get to know Laurie a bit better  (and trust me, you do!), I encourage you to pop over to the Woolful Podcast where she & her SilverSpun story is featured in Episode 33.

And, of course, let’s oooh and aaah over the yarn a little one last time, the 3 gorgeous skeins of hand-dyed SilverSpun Sock.

June’s skein of Sea Glass…

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

From which I made…

sskaljune1A pair of Aero Socks by Sarah Jo Burch

and

tbsfullsome Turkish Bed Socks.

July’s skein of Tangerine Dream…

IMG_9832 From which I made…

sskal jul3a pair of Rose City Rollers

and

july tbs sideanother pair of Turkish Bed Socks.

And August’s skein of Watermelon Crush…

FullSizeRender
Photo courtesy of Feel Good Yarn Co

From which I made…

ona lovely pair of SpringTastic Socks.

These 5 wonderful shortie socks have made their way into my sock drawer and onto my feet. I’ve loved wearing them — whether it’s around my house on cool mornings or hiking on the trail with my family this summer, they’ve served me so well. I’m sure they’ll be favorites for a long time to come!

Oh, and I said there would be winners, right?! Of course!

From the pool of those who completed a pair of socks from SilverSpun Sock, the randomly selected winner of a skein of SilverSpun Sock or Sport is…

Ravelry ID:

cmjanz

And from the pool of those who completed a pair of socks from non-SilverSpun Sock yarn, the randomly selected winner of a mini-skein of SilverSpun yarn is…

Ravelry ID:

Suzipaint

Winners, please email me at knittingsarah[at]gmail[dot]com with your contact email address and I’ll get you on your way to claiming your prizes.

Thanks again, so much, to everyone who participated in the Summer Sock KAL!

School Days, School Days

While many families are heading out to orientations and grabbing the last few items of school supplies off their lists, we are doing our own sort of school preparations, so I thought I’d share a bit about that today. This will be our second year of homeschooling our two kids and I am happy to share that the start of this year is much less terrifying than last. Last year there were so many unknowns — from how the kids would react, to what grade level our daughter really needed to be at, to how I would handle going from having my days free to manage the house and do chores to being not just a full-time mom, but a full-time teacher for our two kids at two different levels, too. This year we’re going into the year with both kids happily on-board with homeschooling, my daughter finally seated in what feels like the right spot academically, and the knowledge that as long as I take a short break around mid-day to recharge my introverted self, well, the only anxiety I really have is that I’m still not very good at long-term lesson planning (that’s a work in progress). It’s a huge difference.

Where we live, the laws have certain requirements for what we have to teach, but we are very free to decide how we want to meet those requirements. Because of this, instead of just purchasing a set curriculum we build our studies piece by piece based on what our children need. There are certain subjects, like math, that are easy because we purchase a pre-set curriculum. It’s pretty simple to just work a lesson per day when it’s all set out for you. That’s what we had thought we’d do for language arts, too, but we weren’t able to find a program where the reading and grammar components fit our children properly, so we’re building that component our selves – from novel studies to grammar to vocabulary to writing.

Thankfully, I have a very good partner — where I have loads of patience for the day-to-day execution of tasks, Mr Knitting Sarah is much more skilled at long-term planning and lesson-building. We talk constantly about our long term goals, what skills we really want the kids to have as strengths, and then we work toward charting a course to reach those goals. We’ve settled on the grand arch of where we’re heading this year — that’s the easy part — and we’ve been spending evenings and mornings talking through the finer points, bookmarking and printing printables, and penciling in our calendars. In addition to all our basics, we’re planning to really dig in to history and geography this year as well as introducing foreign language. I love language, so this is certainly a treat for me. It’s all a lot of work and the to-do lists (like my knitting one from my last post) feel never-ending, but it feels pretty incredible to know that we’re outfitting our kids with a truly personalized education that is both challenging and fun.

We’ll be starting our lessons soon, but when not planning — and sometimes just as a time for meditation to allow me time to quietly think through certain aspects of our school plans — I’ve been chipping away at some knitting and spinning projects.

IMG_0384I try to sneak a few minutes every day to make progress on my Dyeabolical Falkland in the Fate, PhD colorway. When I say ‘minutes,’ I mean it — this is really slow-going at the moment, but progress is progress.

IMG_0394As I mentioned yesterday, my lace shawl is beyond ‘bathing suit’ size and I have to admit that I’m really loving the knitting at the moment. I feel confident in the pattern and it’s proven an excellent pairing for watching the Star Wards Trilogy with my son at the hottest part of the day during our little heat wave we’ve been having.

While at the pool the other day, I finished up the first sock of my String Theory Colorworks Inertia socks in Oeneology.IMG_0386I cast-on sock #2 for good measure, but haven’t gotten any farther than that because this arrived…

IMG_0396The August skein for the Summer Sock Club from Feel Good Yarn Co! Of course, I’m on a bit of a timer for this one, so I’ll be pressing pause on my stripey sock for a bit to work on this project.

IMG_0399I’ve settled on Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter‘s SpingTastic Socks. I would be farther, but after a long hot day outside in the sun I misread the decreases on the chart last night and had to tink back a couple rounds to the start of the chart. I do have to say, in addition to being a really fun pattern & a 100% awesome color what I love about this project is that the chart is nice and big. The blue shawl I’m working on has a really small chart that makes me think I really need to get my eyes checked. The SpringTastic Chart is huge and so easy to read — it makes me feel young again!

 Well, my weekend is looking more and more like time spent planning & acquiring a few small school supplies, time by the pool (it’s going to be in the 90F ballpark here), some knitting time, and throw in a bathtub repair for good measure (because life always has random curveballs). Time to get to it — none of my to-do lists are taking care of themselves!

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!

A Little Bird & A Last Call

A few days ago I saw a post from The Fawn & The Fox on their Instgram feed that was a little handspun Bluebird of Happiness knit in a beautiful handspun. Knit as part of their Creature KAL, I knew straight away that I had the perfect skein for this project.

blue jay manosThe motivation to possibly win one of their gorgeous project bags in by entering the KAL definitely helped expedite the process.

It also helps that they knit up nice & quick.

IMG_9841Color me happy with the results!

Although not as happy as this little lady…

IMG_9845Who, as you can see, has convinced me that one was not enough. As of this moment, I think we’re up to four. Of course, I’m pretty sure I’ll be knitting little birds until the skein runs out. How can I say no to that smile?

In other news, I’m feverishly attempting to settle on a pattern for my July installment of the Feel Good Yarn Company Summer Sock Club. I won’t spoil the surprise for anyone, but I will say that this skein is deliciously summery. For those still wanting to get their hands on some SilverSpun yarn, this is the last call for the FREE SHIPPING offer as it expires today. Remember, all orders from Feel Good Yarn Company over $42 qualify for this offer, so place your orders now and use the discount code SARAHKNITS when you check out to redeem this special offer.

Well, there is a little curly-haired girl looking at me with big, hopeful eyes asking when I’ll make her another bird. I’m thinking that’ll happen right… about… now.