Those of you who read my blog posts regularly may have noticed a trend lately, the vanilla sock has made more than one appearance in the last few months and I have to confess it is going to make a couple more appearances in this post too. Luckily I’ve also managed to finish a couple of other projects as well to stop you (and me) getting too bored.
First of all I finished the pair of Regia socks I was working on last time, sadly I don’t have a picture for you as they are in my sock drawer in the room where my OH is sleeping (he works nights) as I forgot to get them out and photograph them earlier. I did however post a picture last week and the second one is pretty much identical to the first – accidental matching socks.
The second pair of socks which are a current WIP represent a bit of a departure/ learning curve for me as they are my first ever pair of toe up socks. Looking quite good so far.
I used the Turkish cast on for the toe, Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off at the top and the fish lips kiss heel but other than that stuck to my standard vanilla sock pattern (60 sts, 2.5mm needle, magic loop). The wool is Hot Socks Spectra in colour 72 which is a single ply yarn that I’ve had in my stash for nearly 2 years. One of my brothers bought it for me one Christmas (very much under my little sister’s guidance if I am any judge) and I had originally planned on making some crochet socks with it. I had a some tension issues with the crochet pair and when I tried to frog them the yarn just totally matted together and refused to pull apart which only left me with a part skein. As I only had 62g (the full ball was 100g and 420m) I thought I’d split it in half and try toe up socks and just make the cuff shorter I started to run out of yarn.
Working with a single ply yarn in the heat wave we have had recently hasn’t been the best of ideas as I have worried I was felting the yarn as I was knitting but it seems to be holding up well enough so far. I will end up with two completely different colour socks due to the length of colour repeats in the yarn but I am very happy with that. Ever the fashion critic I did get some advice from my 4 year old niece over the weekend when she saw me knitting on them, and I quote “They are very nice Auntie Nadine but they would be even nicer if you put a bit of pattern on the top” – even a 4 year old is judging me for my obsession with vanilla socks! The next pair I cast on may well have to have at least a very basic pattern in them so I don’t feel like a total cop out!
Speaking of socks and sock wool I did recently invest in some more to add to my stash, don’t worry I am still well within my stash down criteria (hopefully I’ll give you a progress report on that next time). The brown/pink/cream ball is destined to be Christmas knitting in the form of socks for one of my younger brothers (possibly the one with the sheep – he is very knit worthy and thankfully has small feet for a man) but the almost rainbow colour ball is for me and will no doubt end up as socks as well. They are both King Cole Zig Zag which is an inexpensive sock wool but I know that it gives me a reliable gauge that I can fit into my standard sock patterns without having to swatch or do any maths. The yarn also washes and wears well without any colour run.
As I was worried about felting the socks I was knitting I decided to start a crochet blanket for Crafty Toddler using some acrylic from deep stash that I was never going to use to knit anything for myself as pink isn’t a colour I carry off very well as it clashes with my rosy cheeks. The yarn was all DK but I had lot most of the ball bands so I have no idea what they were but rest assured they were generic cheap acrylic of various kinds. I improvised the design based on a granny hexagon and a 4mm hook. Crafty Toddler seems to like it as she insisted on wearing it as a cape this morning whilst I was giving her horsey rides on my knee. I just need the weather to cool down a bit so she can actually make use of it in her cot!
My final bit of knitting was another improvised design, this time for a shawl. I have a birthday bash to go to in September and the only dress that I own which will actually fit me and my bump into it and still look dressy is a mix of black, blue, yellow and white colours but it is sleeveless so I thought having a shawl to cover up my arms/ shoulders on the way too and from the venue would be a good idea. This is what I ended up with (pre-blocking);
The blue yarn is some mini skeins of Colinette Jitterbug that I’d had in stash since the Knitting and Stitching Show in 2012 and had no idea what to make with them and the yellow is from a cone of 4ply I found in a local charity shop for 50p. It is in need of some serious blocking to make it look better – particularly the edge lace section but I need to think carefully how to block it as the Jitterbug yarn is prone to colour run when wet and like a fool I didn’t was the yarn first or soak it in a vinegar solution to try and set it a bit more. Having finished it I’m not sure if I will wear it to the birthday bash or not, I can’t make up my mind if the colours are too jazzy for the dress or how to style it to stop it looking a bit too old lady like. Thankfully I should have enough of the yellow yarn left over to knit a single colour semi-circular shawl of some kind if I decide its not quite what I wanted once I’ve blocked it.
The heat may well have got to me a little over the past few days as I am currently planning on swatching for another colour work yoke sweater with a view to casting it on before I go on holiday in a few weeks (having knitting to distract me whilst on holiday with my in-laws will go a long way to keeping me sane!). I’ll keep you posted on how I’m getting on with that.
The final piece of news I have to share is that I have ordered my spinning wheel at last, I went for the Ashford Kiwi 2 in the end and after a bit of haggling with the company selling it I managed to get a small discount on it which delighted my Yorkshire roots. I have to wait 6-8 weeks for delivery as they were waiting on new stock from New Zealand so I won’t get to spin on it on my birthday as I’d planned but it is coming and I am really looking forward to being able to play with it eventually.