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Posts Tagged ‘yarn’

Last January I decided I wanted to challenge myself by forming my own sock club. My sock club, I decided, would have a strange twist. My goal was to knit a pair of socks each month for one year based upon my version of synesthesia. I imagine words as colors, so the color of yarn I planned to use would correspond directly to the color of each month. Needless to say, I was the only member of my synesthesia sock club. I successfully made 12 pairs of socks last year. Some of the socks were knit from published patterns, and the rest were my own designs.

synesthesia

top row (left to right): Dembow socks (my own design), Penuche Twist socks, Oktoberfest Socken (my own design), Paraphernalia.
middle row (left to right): Freshet socks (my own design), Maurice Moss socks (my own design), Freshet socks (my own design), Brezel Socken (my own design).
bottom row (left to right): Cadence Socks, Síguelo (my own design), Paraphernalia, River Rapids socks.

Just for the heck of it, I created some charts showing the frequency of yarn brands and colors I used throughout the year.

yarn_color_chart

The most popular color was apparently green (in various shades). My favorite color of all 12 months was the midnight blue I used for the Oktoberfest Socken. No surprise there.

yarn_brand_chart

The most popular yarn brand was overwhelmingly Fiber Optic Yarns Foot Notes. This is a great workhorse yarn that comes in some beautiful colorways. I highly recommend it. So far the yarn is holding up really well in all my socks. Other yarns I quite enjoyed knitting with are Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 and Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere. They both contain cashmere which makes the socks super soft.

All in all, my synesthesia sock club was a success! And because I needed another challenge this year, I decided to join Nerd Wars on Ravelry. My team? Team Most Amused which focuses on britcoms and British sketch comedies. I mean, come on, how could I resist???

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Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 2012.

And here’s what I bought. Yup, this really is all of it.

From left to right: Fiber Optic Foot Notes in Sage Batik; Fiber Optic Foot Notes in Rouge Batik; Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select in River Run; and Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select Semi Solids in Wheat.

Three of these 4 skeins are earmarked for synesthesia sock projects: August (sage), September (rouge) and November (wheat). I also went into the Miss Babs, Verdant Gryphon and The Fold booths hoping to find some sock yarn to add to this lot but somehow came away empty handed. Probably for the best…

Saturday night we went to the Ravelry LSG dinner meetup, and I’m sorry to say I have no photographic proof of this because my camera battery died. I met some really nice LSGers and a sweet dog named Kasey. Thanks to the organizers, it was fun!

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And my March socks are done!

Pattern: my own design I named after the song Síguelo by Wisin & Yandel. Because why not.
Yarn: Pagewood Farm Denali hand dyed sock yarn in the vibrant colorway orange spice
Needles: US 1 – 2.25 mm (the regular size 1 needles)

So here’s the deal. I like the stitch pattern. It’s fine. I just don’t think I’m cut out for bright orange socks. Three pairs down, nine more pairs to go…

I started my light green April socks today and I’m not naming them after a reggaeton song this time. Yes, shocking, I know! I’m calling these socks Bunny Manders after the sidekick in the Raffles stories by E. W. Hornung. Raffles is a gentleman thief in London during the 1890s and Bunny Manders is his naive companion. Great reading, even better TV series. Go watch it. I’ll wait. I’ve got some knitting to keep me busy.

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Well my Lovumba socks are finally done. I started them on February 1st and finished them today. For the record, it didn’t actually take this long to knit them, I just got sidetracked… These are my February socks (that should have been January socks). Confusing, I know, but from now on I’ll be knitting the correct month’s socks in the correct month’s colors.

I had a heck of a time photographing these socks. The brown is just dark enough to either completely obscure the cables in the photo or cause the photo to be over exposed and blurry. Good knitter I am, good photographer I am not.

Pattern: Paraphernalia by Taina Anttila (free pattern through Ravelry)
Yarn: madelinetosh tosh sock in the colorway Fig
Needles: US 1½ – 2.5 mm
My mods are listed on my project page here in case you’re interested.

This pattern was fun to knit, even with the cables. It was fairly straightforward and I think the result is fab!

I won’t be purchasing more tosh sock yarn, unfortunately. The color is pretty but I found the yarn to be just run of the mill, and there were some issues with knots in the skein. For my April socks, I plan on using Fiber Optic Foot Notes yarn. This yarn is dreamy soft and is a pleasure to knit.

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I started my orange March socks this week. Because someone made up such silly rules for this sock club, I’m stuck using an eye-searing orange yarn. But the stitch pattern is pretty cool and fun to knit so it’s a trade off.

I named these socks after the song Síguelo by Wisin & Yandel. The classy- I got loads of it.

Last weekend my Wednesday night knitting group and I went to Autumn House Farm for a weekend knitting getaway. The farm is a fully functioning woolen mill with a guest house and a yarn store on the premises. I bought some lovely skeins of merino cashmere blend yarn from the bargain basket. I don’t know much about this yarn other than it appears to be worsted weight, 105 yards per skein, and is extremely soft. I was drawn to the lovely rich colors. And my entire 8 skein purchase only cost me $12.25. Trufax.

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Ha, I finished something! And on the last day in July no less, just in the nick of time!

Markus’ socks started off as my all time favorite Skyp Rib socks. After 5″ I ripped them out because the stitch pattern really got lost in the dark color. I ended up following the pattern, however I omitted the skyp stitch which equates to basically a 2×1 ribbed sock. The socks turned out well, despite how boring 2×1 rib is, and they fit Markus nicely. Too bad it’s like 80+ degrees here in the Burgh. I guess these socks will keep until winter.

Yarn: madelinetosh tosh sock, 100% Merino
Colorway: Mare
Needles: US 1 [2.25mm]

I totally scrapped my idea of using stash yarn for the westknits shawl KAL which starts tomorrow (hence the socks being done in the nick of time). I instead went to Natural Stitches yesterday and bought some lovely Louet Gems sport weight yarn in Steel Grey, Willow, and Pewter. I appear to be drawn to blues/greens/browns.

Have you seen me?

This is Shirley. She was hanging at the corner of Forbes and Craig in Oakland on the light pole across from Kiva Hahn. I watered her last on Thursday July 28th at 6pm, then Friday the 29th I came back to water her and she had been plant-napped. I’m sad. People keep stealing these planters and I quite liked Shirley. I hope guerrillagardeningpgh.org is left with some planters at the end of summer.

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This weekend I successfully dyed some of my knit picks lace weight yarn. First though, let me show you how pretty the yarn from Cheryl’s party looks all skeined up. It reminds me of a creamcicle. Now I’m hungry.

Then over the weekend I tried my hand at some other dyeing methods which worked, however the outcome was not as I had imagined. The first was done in mason jars on the stove top. I divided the 800 yard skein of merino laceweight into 4 mini sections which was not as easy (or fun) as I thought it would be. I ever so scientifically mixed lots of ice blue raspberry lemonade with a teeny tiny bit of grape into mason jars using measuring spoons.

What I didn’t count on is that such a tiny amount of grape (1/8 tsp) added to many packets of blue raspberry would completely overpower the blue.

The result is nonetheless a beautiful skein of semi-gradient lavender, just not the denim blue I was hoping for. Just be forewarned if you plan to add grape to your mix.

The stove top method takes pretty much forever, so I dyed up my 2 skeins of alpaca/silk (total 880 yards) in the microwave instead. I used 2 packets of black cherry kool-aid which left quite a few white patches. I wasn’t happy with this mottled look, so I took the yarn into the back yard, laid it on a sheet of plastic wrap and poured one final mix of kool-aid over just the white patches. This worked like a charm, and the result is a bright semi-solid in a deep candy coral.

You can probably see how soft the yarn is from this photo. I mean it really is that soft. And man oh man is the color intensely vivid. This will make one sweet shawl.

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