Happy November!

I love this time of year!

If, like me, you happen to live in the northern hemisphere and in a colder climate, then this is our time of year!  This is when we shine!   This is when we are most relevant; personally, I think we're relevant all the time, but from a mainstream societal perspective, this is definitely our season.

It's finally chilly enough to wear all our knitted things and enjoy them and show them off and get compliments about how talented we are and and how creative we are and how beautiful our knitting is...it's all true, by the way - we're awesome!

It's also the time of year when lots of us are buried under a pile of knitting projects with a deadline of December 25th.  I don't knit for the holidays, but if you do, good luck and we'll see you on the other side of December. If you're hoping to surprise some people with hand knit socks, I wrote a post a while ago that might help you out.

Happy knitting!

One Project To Rule Them All

If you could only knit/crochet/sew/whatever one type of project for the rest of your life, what would you choose? 

I would choose socks.  Always socks.  While I enjoy a varied knittng life that includes, garments, accessories, household accessories, jewellery (knit with wire and beads), pet sweaters, toys, stuffies, etc. socks are my all time favourite thing to knit.

Why so much sock love? Well...

  • I'm fairly sure that I have enough sock yarn in my stash to knit nothing but socks for the rest of my life and still have yarn left over to will to someone.    
  • Sock knitting is my yoga.  It is the definition of meditation in motion for me.  
  • I love sock yarn - hence the large stash - there are so many good indie dyers now and so many sock yarn options and I do this magical thing where I make a few tapping motions on the screen of my phone and yarn appears at my door a few days later.  Magic.  
KnitPicks sock yarn from a KnitPicks order
  • Sock construction options are nearly endless so if I ever get bored, I can change things up a bit: top down, toe-up, heel first, sideways, in the round, flat, dpns, magic loop, two circs, one at a time, two at a time, even two at a time on DPNs! I am sure there are some I have left out. 
  • Knitting a well executed heel or toe makes me feel slightly magical.  I love a good heel flap and a Kitchener stitched toe.  Those are my personal preference for my feet.  But I also knit for other feet which sometimes have other preferences: short row heel, afterthought heel,fish lips kiss heel, sweet tomato heel,  no heel (yoga socks) and toes that are rounded, narrow, three needle bind off, or not cast off at all by drawn closed tightly and sewn together.
heels and toes are my favourite part of sock knitting

  • Socks are functional and pretty.  Creating something that is both functional and nice to look at (and comfortable) satisfies my inner sense of order.  Everybody I know needs socks.  I live in Canada and winter is cold here.  Socks are not optional.  Not everybody I know loves handknit socks. Freaks! I try not to hold that against them.  While I am sad for those few people, I do not knit for them.  I knit mostly for me, the husbeast, the kidlets and a handful of relatives and friends. 
Freshly laundered socks ready to go back in the sock drawer

  • Pattern options for socks are endless: colourwork, solid, stripes, lace, cables, variegated, ribbed, fingering weight, sport weight, bulky, the list goes on. 
  • Socks are age and gender neutral: whether you are male, female,  a baby, a retiree, or in between, as long as you have feet you will need to cover them and keep them warm.  
  • Sock knitting is portable.  I usually have a sock in progress either on my person, or in my car or both.  It is a portable, small project that does not take up much space.  
  • Socks knit up relatively quickly.  Delayed gratification is not my best thing.  A plain vanilla sock pattern can knit up quite quickly and that sense of completion makes me happy. 
  • Sock knitting is not as big of an investment as some other projects.  It is more affordable to purchase 100grams of sock yarn than a sweater quantity of yarn.  Usually.  
What is your project to end all projects?

Selfish Knitting

It has been two years (at least) since I last knit a sweater. I don't knit from patterns very often.    I remember it well, it was Nanook by Heidi Kirrmaier.  It is a beautiful sweater and the icord type edge that she uses in the design is really neat.   Here are a couple of photos of my Nanook modelled by the lovely Stella (my dress form):

So after a two year hiatus I decided to cast on another sweater and lo and behold it happens to be by the same designer.  This time I am making Tea with Jam and Bread .  I think Heidi's designs are beautiful and use shaping techniques that make the garment flattering on me.

I am using an oatmeal colour as the main colour, a green as the contrast colour and a beautiful deep plum as the accent colour:

The collar and yoke knit up super quick and I am getting really excited to wear it.  In the pattern, she links to a short row tutorial that has changed the way I will do short rows from now on.  It uses yarn-overs in place of wrap and turns.  This seems much more intuitive to me than the other short row methods I have tried.   I hope to have this sweater finished by the end of  February.  Here are a couple of pics of the the neck, shoulders and yoke on Stella:

Are they a bit blurry? Sorry about that.  Those are iPhone photos.  Everything is blurry to me right now - I am not wearing my contacts and my glasses are on the end table across the room.

On another topic, I am still posting #WearYourKnitting sefies to Instagram and Twitter whenever I remember  possible. Well, KnitEcoChic has made a button that I am going to add to my sidebar to remind everyone to wear their knitting and brag about it on social media!


Apparently there is a movement afoot to encourage knitters/crocheters/fibre artists to show off all their handmade lovelies by snapping a selfie of themselves wearing handmade goodies and then posting the selfies to social media with the hashtag #WearYourKnitting.

I happen to do this all the time without the hashtag.  I will be adding the hashtag going forward.

Here are a few recent knitting selfies I have posted to Instagram and Twitter:

Wearing my "Wisp" cowl from Knitty Magazine (Yarn by MythicYarn)

Wearing my 'Striped Study Shawl' by Veera Valmaki (Yarn is KnitPicks Stroll Tonal in Springtime and Kindling)

Wearing a bulky, Alpaca, dropped stitch cowl (one of the designs that will be featured in an upcoming book - Yay)

I also post a lot of handmade sock selfies. My Instagram feed is basically yarn and knitting porn and my Twitter Feed is mostly the random thoughts that pop into my head with a spattering of knitting and yarn porn. 

I hope I see more fibre enthusiasts using the #WearYourKnitting Hashtag.