Sunday, January 31, 2021

Yopping Update #31 - So Proud

I couldn't sleep so decided I could get my post up early for a change.  

First of all my Rainbow Pride Socks

pretty happy with how the colours matched up on each sock too

I am so proud of these socks - and can't wait until the next Pride parade to wear them, well, proudly!

I spun the yarn myself with a bag of six colours of fibre that I won during Tour de Fleece last year.  I divided the colours into manageable hanks (eye balling the size) and kept the same order of colours through the spin.  
The socks are the Euclid pattern by General Hogbuffer for the leg.  It consists of four equilateral triangle, and then I did a gusset/short row heel and finished the foot in stripes.  Because the yarn was heavier than fingering I decided that doing the complete Euclid would make them too bulky.  I am soooooo happy with them, and they have been on my feet continuously since coming off the needles.  I have worn them walking inside of rain boots, and hikers and they are perfect.  Okay, enough bragging, on to my next project.

I got a lovely gift of sock yarn from a dear friend across the water.  I haven't decided on a pattern yet, but I am leaning towards something with a cable - maybe the Maryana in my queue.  Time will tell. 

My Knitpicks order arrived 

and I have been slowly winding skeins, by hand as I don't like how the cakes collapse, and I have one designated for Hermione's Everyday socks.  

I was going to start them a couple of nights ago - but then something Highland Heffalump posted a few weeks back got stuck in my brain and I decided to get out my sheep breed samples I had spun in September and find a pattern to highlight them.  I finally settled on this sampler cowl.  It says beginners right?  I could zip through this in no time.  Well????

I started with my Whitefaced Woodland, which I had chain plied and it was quite bulky.  I cast on and after finishing it realised I had misread the pattern.  So I frogged it. 

I re-knit the first pattern and started on the second pattern with the Manx Loaghtan.  It was moss stitch and when I was almost done I realised I had a mistake near the beginning so I frogged back and re-started the moss stitch.  

Once I finished the moss stitch I then realised the gauge between the first two patterns was way off so I frogged the whole thing and started with the Dorset horn.  

I took the chain-plied Whitefaced Woodland and then I....wait for it....unplied it!!!! what?   Yes, I did, and then I replied it as a two ply so it wasn't so bulky.  Suffice it to say that unplying a chain plied spin is very, shall I politely say....CHALLENGING. Thank goodness it was only 14 yards (which once re-plyed became 20 yards. Much better).

Then I was off to the races and I have my first five breeds on my 'beginners' sampler cowl.  I think I will take Liz's suggestion and embroider the names on the back of each section.  When it is finished I think it will be long enough to wrap twice around my neck. 

 Daily walks this week and I will give you three pictures of my adventures:
from the ridiculous

to the sublime

But then I was thinking....

if the deer are this big, how big are the cougars?

So that's my week.  Now off to make brekkie and then go for my walk - hoping to avoid cougars, although perhaps if I carry a big box I won't have to worry.  

Here is another chuckle to start your week.

Have a good one, dear Reader.  Remember, we are in this together.  Be safe.  Be calm.  Be kind.  

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Yopping Update #30 - One Sock, Two Sock

A short update today, because it is just kind of that kind of day today. 

I finished my Slippery Slope socks and they have been on my feet for 3 days now.  I love the look and fit of them. 

Fraternal socks are the best for curing second sock syndrome

I was inspired to revisit another General Hogbuffer pattern, Euclid,  that I knit about six years ago.  It is a very unique construction consisting of triangles and I thought it would be perfect to highlight my rainbow pride spin.  If you are on Ravelry and want to check out my six year old pair (which I still wear to this day) you can find some pictures here

It took about 3 swatches to get the right needle and number of stitches, but now I am off.  Last night I knit three of the first tier triangles.  One more triangle and I can start the heel.  This is definitely a pattern where I have to trust the instructions and voila it turns into a sock!  I am very happy with how the segregation of colours is working from my attempt while spinning and plying to keep the colours separate and the right length of each colour.  

really!  This will become a sock!

There has been lots of walking and photographs, but the best one was this

First Robin of the season - spring is coming!!

and if I needed more proof, my winter jasmine is blooming:

My daughter sent us this recent photograph of my grand-daughter with her kitty.  The caption from my daughter read:  Exploring the world together. 

A perfect caption for a perfect photo.

Okay, that's it for me.  After a restless night of sleep, followed by a l o n g afternoon nap I am ready to tackle triangle four while I watch the new season of Riverdale on Netflix.  Sigh.  I do love being retired. 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Yopping Update #29 - Monogamous knitting

This week was all about Slippery Slope socks.  It is a General Hogbuffer pattern.  I have knit several of his designs and they are all intricate and unusual in their construction.  The math geek in me likes that. 

It took a couple of false starts to get the colour combination from my stash that I wanted to use.  I mistakenly thought I could get away with a 50gm ball for the contrasting colour, but looking more closely at the pattern that is a result of slip stitches I realized I needed two 100 gm balls.  

By last night I had just about finished the 2nd fifty six row chart, and then it is just stripes for a couple of inches before starting the toe. 

Not that it was all smooth sailing - oh, no.  After turning the heel I started to wrap the two colours at the beginning of each new round and it was looking hideous.  I don't know what I was thinking - I seemed to be treating the stripes like fairisle.  Anyways I finished the gusset decreases and then ripped it all out and re-did it properly.  I am super glad I did that, and I am very happy with the fit and the look. 

Of course, part of this week I spent talking myself into another Knit Picks order.  Eight skeins of sock yarn are winging there way to me as I write this.  I can't wait for the parcel to arrive.  Seven are a collection of skeins called Arctic Lights Fade, and one of the skeins is called Vancouver - like my hometown.  How cool is that. I also ordered another skein of Felici to match one in my stash so I can make a pair of socks with a longer leg and not worry about running out like I did with my Say Yes to Pie Socks. 

There has been lots of walking this week (today I am taking a rest day), and on Thursday I walked with a friend and what with walking and talking we put in 5 1/2 miles.  Phew!

Also this week I got my Camino medal in the mail!  It is beautiful.

Most days I got out walking between rain showers, but on Wednesday my husband and I drove about 30 minutes from our house to have a picnic at a lovely little cove.  The sun was out, it was nice and warm , and the drive was beautiful seeing the snow on the surrounding mountains and the sun on the sea. 

I have been taking pictures almost everyday on my walks.  There is always something that catches my eye, and I have made a deal with myself to not just 'think' about taking a picture, but actually do it. 

A reminder the sun is always there just behind the clouds

When a tree falls in the forest....

Like a scene out of LOTR

My daughter celebrated her birthday on Friday and my grand-daughter seemed amused by Gramma and Grampa singing over the miles.  I can't believe my baby girl is thirty-two!

I was delighted to get this little video of my grand-daughter playing with the little kitty I knit her. 

That was my week.  I hope everyone is doing well.  Now I am off to finish the toe of my sock and then start the 2nd sock in reverse colours. I love fraternal socks.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Yopping Update #28 - You'd think by now I would learn

 Before I get to the title of this post I want to post my finished Topsy/Turvy doll.  I am so ridiculously proud of how she turned out.  Now that the Christmas decorations are put away, she alone is adorning the piano - and she makes me so happy every time I see her. 

After all the sewing together (which wasn't as hard as I thought it would be,) I turned to my tried and true cast-on when I can't think of anything else to knit - socks. 

Since CinnaofDoom posted her new sock pattern last week, Say Yes to Pie, I thought I would give it a try.  It had an afterthought heel which I think I have never done, or maybe once long long ago, and it was for a shorty sock which was good because I only had a 50g ball of Felici.  I knew that wasn't enough wool for even a short pair of socks so I rummaged around in my stash for something to use on the heel and cuff. 

Well, it was all going along swimmingly until I got to the beginning of the cuff for the first sock.  I decided to put it aside and start the second sock to make sure I didn't run out of wool.  For some odd reason I decided to make sure the striping on the socks was going to match - which proved harder than I thought as I unravelled the remaining wool looking for a good beginning place.  I found it (after a lot of dyslexic which end is which moments) and knit up to the place where you put in the contrasting yarn to hold your place for the afterthought heel.  

This is where things became a little sticky.  I realized I wasn't going to have enough yarn to knit the 2nd sock to the same place as the first.  So, I frogged the first sock back to where the 2nd sock was - about 2 inches and then the nasty process of picking up the stitches again.  I had to break the remaining yarn into its individual colours and then split each colour into two equal lengths.  So, yes, I know, now I have a lot of ends to sew in.  By the time I ran out of wool I was at the cuff, but now the stash I had chosen didn't seem to be consistent enough.  I unravelled it (because it was also self-patterning) until I got to a colour that would work, and after 5 rows of that I finished it off with 5 rows of grey in my stash that matched the grey of the self-striping Felici.  I bet you think all this is why the title of my post is 'You'd think by now I would learn'.  But no....keep reading.

I finished both socks with a stretchy bind-off as suggested by the pattern and then started the first after-thought heel.  

The heel itself was easy but unpicking the row to pick up the stitches was awkward and seemed to take me forever (by the 2nd sock I had perfected  doing this - but for the first sock I was a slow learner).  

So, first sock finished!  Ta-Da!! I tried it on, worried that I might not have place the heel in the right place and I had.  Double ta-da!!.  However, the cuff was much too loose.  No problem, right?  Just unpick the cast off and re-do.  Well?????  

The problem was I had already woven in the end.  I KNOW I shouldn't weave in any ends until a project is completed, but I guess I was over-confident.  I mean I have knit at least a hundred pairs of socks.  

Well, let me tell you.  I am brilliant at weaving in ends. Brilliant!  After at least 30 minutes I finally thought I found the end, but really I had found the join for the final grey which meant I ended up having to re-knit the last 5 rows before doing the cast-off.

I was determined before going to bed to fix the cuff of the 2nd sock before starting the heel.  It proved someone easier because I eventually found the cast-off end, but it still wasn't a lot of fun.  Today I just have to cast-off again, and finish the heel. 

So there you have it - words to the wise 'Don't weave in any ends until the project is done!

I am very proud of my matching stripes though - so there is that!.  It is a great pattern, easy to memorize the textured part, but next time I knit with Felici yarn I will purposefully aim for fraternal socks!

I have been walking everyday averaging about three miles a day.  I have been taking pictures while walking as I sort of photo log of my days.  Today I think the picture was a beautiful metaphor of life.  

Life is full of 'rooty' bits

I also came across this a couple of days ago - the face on this little rock is the perfect face of determination.

Determination, or WTF?

I figure after my sock fiasco I am going to just bite the bullet and tackle another General Hogbuffer pattern - Slippery Slope Socks.  Let's see if I have learned from my mistakes.  

Hope everyone's week is safe and if there are 'rooty' bits in your path may you have the courage to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  

Or as Dory says 'Just keep swimming'. 

One more thought - is it grey, or gray?  

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Yopping Update #27 - Ready for Pride


Happy New Year.  I am ready for 2021 having celebrated its arrival with a very cold dip in the 7 degree Celsius ocean waters near my house.  It. Was. Cold.  A wonderful way to embrace the new year. 

I gave myself the twelve days of Christmas to finish my Rainbow Pride spin, but then I realized that it would be possible to finish it by December 31, and then I could apply the yardage to my stashdown.  I was off and running. (Well spinning)  On the 30th I spun most of the day to finish the last few ounces, and then I plied it all.  I ended up with 172 gms of 3ply yarn - probably sport weight - 364 meters!

Now to find the perfect pattern - and then I will be ready for Pride 2021.

On the knitting front I worked on all the pieces for my Topsy/Turvy Doll.  As of last night (and 15 little pink flowers later) I was done.

So now the sewing together starts - oh joy!  I am changing the pattern to have both the Cinderella as servant doll and the Cinderella at the Ball doll to both have happy faces, and to both have brown hair.  It doesn't make sense to me that when she gets ready for the ball she is suddenly blonde!  Okay, enough - off my soap box now.  (Although I don't think making the Cinderella before the Ball as constantly sad was a good choice either). 

After finishing the knitting, I catalogued all my remaining Brava Sport so I know what I have for my next baby blanket.  

And, drum roll please....after finishing the knitting for the Dolls, finishing my spinning, and going through my stash and picking out some cotton I wanted to donate I.....made my stashdown goals for 2020.  I didn't buy any new fibre so I got my fibre tiara, and I used up 13,300 yards of yarn so I got my yardage tiara (the goal was 13,200 yards).  I actually knit or crocheted much more because I had to take into account my online wool orders.  

I also am happy to report that both parcels finally arrived at their destinations.  My son's just before Christmas, and my daughter's just before New Years.  Hooray.  

We celebrated the New Year three times.  Once Croatian time, then Edmonton time, and finally in our own time zone.  Three times the fun. Some bugling, some pot banging and a wee bit of sparkling white wine along with some lox and cream cheese.  On New Year's Day our son once again joined us for dinner via skype.  It was a different Christmas and New Year but it was lovely all the same. 

Dear Grand-daughter turned two - and I am sure she thinks Christmas just rolls into Birthday and then into New Year celebrations.  I am glad that we got to be a part of it all thanks to technology. 

So here we are - the beginning of a new year, half way through a Year of Projects, and hoping and praying that this year will be safer and healthier and that once the vaccines are more accessible we can travel to loved ones and hold them tight. 

Unless of course....

Just kidding!