So Many Socks and Some Wool Piggery

Husband Socks: Wooly Mastadon

It has happened again. I finish one pair of socks and end up casting on two new pairs. To be honest I had no intention of casting on two pairs, just one: my husband’s socks. That in itself was an adventure.

For starters, these socks are a bit out of the norm for me. For the first time I’m knitting the toes, heels, and cuffs in a different color from the main body of the sock in an effort to stretch the yarn. The accent yarn is Premier Yarn Serenity Sock in Black. The rest of the sock is being knit out of Patons Kroy Socks in Turquoise Stripes. They are being knit on slightly larger sock needles, US size 1.5 (2.5mm) as opposed to my usual US 1 (2.25mm) needles. The biggest snag I hit was I originally cast these socks on with 72 stitches and that was way too loose. I cut the stitch count down to 68 stitches and I think we have found the formula for this pair and all future socks for my husband.

Mini Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

I’ve also noticed I just don’t want to leave the house, especially on my days off as of late. In order to entice myself to run some errands on an extremely dreary day this past week I told myself upon completion I could visit our local yarn store which I haven’t visited in years. Of course, one does not simply walk into a yarn store and leave without yarn. No, I left with two skeins of sock yarn (Opal and Trekking) and my most exciting purchase: a pair of US size 0 (2.00mm) 9 inch circular needles. I am beyond excited about these needles as I have been wanting to attempt this method of sock knitting. I got a size down since most people say their gauge gets looser on 9 inch circs.

9" Circ Socks: Wooly Mastadon

Naturally, I couldn’t wait to cast on with these needles, I had to cast on now. Thus I pulled out a skein of stash sock yarn, ONline Supersocke 4-fach Street Color. It’s a German yarn that I think will wear quite well as it feels like an Opal or Regia. I must say there is a learning curve to these needles, which I expected and planned for. As of right now I’m not sure where I stand as to loving this method or just letting it fall to the wayside. I’ll knit this pair of socks on these needles to really reach my stride on them and decide after that. I like that I don’t have to fiddle with 4-5 dpns or magic loop method but it is fiddly handling the yarn with such tiny points on the circs. We shall see.

I think that’s it for now. I’m off to knit on my socks and my Underwing Mitts. Until next time…

~Stay Inspired

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New Cast On: Underwing Mitts

Underwing Mitts: Wooly Mastadon

This past week I was digging through all of my hand-knits looking for my one elusive pair of hand mitts knit out of sock yarn years ago. My search ended up failing (who knows where they landed after the move this year!) and with that I knew I had to knit a new pair as we are heading full-steam ahead into fall and eventually winter! (Spoiler alert I did find the mitts at my Dads…oops.)

Underwing Mitts Cast On: Wooly Mastadon

This fall I have also been thinking about how I haven’t grown much as a knitter in recent years. I’ve been stagnant, only knitting what I know and not growing my skills. I decided to address two things that I want to learn and go ahead and gain the skills to tackle such projects. The two topics I want to tackle: colorwork (especially stranded) and brioche.

Thus, what was I supposed to do but immediately go on Ravelry and search for a mitt pattern that uses two color stranded colorwork. Truth be told I am horribly behind on podcasts (almost a year) but earlier that day I had been watching the Brooklyn Knitfolk Podcast and Jaclyn was talking about her most recent FO, the Underwing Mitts by Erica Heusser…I was sold. I purchased the pattern, found the yarn, and boldly cast on.

Underwing Mitts: Wooly Mastadon

I must say I love it!!! Granted this is purposely only a two color project but it is so addicting and makes me want to find projects with more colors. My gauge is starting to even out and I have caught myself knitting far too late in the evening as I keep telling myself “just one more row.” Now I want to start all of the colorwork projects. I think I have found my newest knitting obsession and it feels so good to know I’m learning more about my craft again. With that, do you have any good colorwork pattern suggestions?

~Stay Inspired

FO: Yet Another Pair of Socks

Toe Up Socks: Wooly Mastadon

You may be getting sick of the finished socks posts by now, but socks are something I can knit on autopilot. I don’t have to think, and for most of the sock I don’t have to even look at my work. This means I can bring this kind of project with me everywhere and knit in the moments available. This time around I had the added pressure of my husband asking when I was ‘finally’ going to start knitting his socks. I knew if I didn’t finish these socks first they would get set aside and left for a long time so I decided it best to finish these first and did just that.

Toe Up Socks: Wooly Mastadon

These socks were knit just like all my socks in a vanilla toe-up afterthought heal recipe (with placed yarn). It’s my usual recipe, 64 stitches on US size 1 (2.25 mm) needles. The yarn is two skeins of Knit Picks Felici in the Steamer Trunk colorway, which I absolutely love! They are a perfect fall color and now that the weather is switching into full on fall mode, I will get a lot of wear out of these.

Well, I should go knit on my Sutures shawl (I’m so close to finishing it!) or maybe start my husbands socks. Whatever I chose Fall is officially here and with that cozy knitting time! As always…

~Stay Inspired

WIP Update: Sutures

Sutures WIP: Wooly Mastadon

It’s been a few weeks and it’s about time to check in with my current WIP (work in progress) Sutures. I cast this on in July and have been working on it on and off. I’m still not sure how this color combination will work out but I am enjoying the knit and am starting to like how the colors work out. Originally when I cast this on I was hoping to make a new record with the speed I knit a shawl but it just wasn’t meant to be.

Partially this is because I really want to cast on something else, and I’m torn between a large project like a sweater or a smaller project like a hat…or maybe both. I’ve been spending far too much time browsing Ravelry and my queue has grown quite a bit but I still haven’t settled on a project so perhaps this is a sign I should just finish this shawl first!

Sutures WIP: Wooly Mastadon

The other reason my knitting has been slow is because my husband and I have been getting rid of boxes as we organize our apartment (yes its tiny, and yes we have no excuse to not have this done yet except work). We finally have bookshelves up, can see the floor and I can see my yarn organized on a beautiful Ikea Kallax shelf that we purchased on our honeymoon. It feels so good to have our books on shelves and available to read at any time instead of in boxes and inaccessible.

Having an organized space makes me more than ready for fall. With school starting and Halloween and fall decor everywhere I’m really ready for the cooler, knit-friendly weather. We’ll see when that weather arrives but for now I’ll dream up my next project and a day when I can cuddle under an afghan while knitting, crocheting, or reading. Fall is almost here folks!

~Stay Inspired

New Cast-on: Sutures

Sutures Colors: Wooly Mastadon

Now that things have calmed down and my husband and I are slowly settling into as much of a routine as possible with our impossible work schedules, I am finally able to refocus on my creative projects. As you have noticed, that means I’m back and writing here, and hope to keep it that way! It also means I finished a few things (see my last post) and started a new project.

Colorful Yarn: Wooly Mastadon

This past week I realized just how much I miss and need my creative projects. They ground me, keep me calm, and give me something to think about instead of obsessing over work and the frustrations that life sometimes brings. Immediately I sat down scouring Ravelry for a nice big knitting project, preferably a shawl. I stumbled upon Sutures by Camille Descoteaux, fell in love, and purchased the pattern. Within the half hour I had my entire yarn stash of fingering weight yarn exploded in our bedroom much to the dismay of my husband. Slowly I picked a color palette, with his help, and was on my way. I wound my yarn the evening of 4th of July and was ready to cast on the next day.

Sutures: Wooly Mastadon

For this project (Rav project page here) I am using US size 6 needles (4.0 mm) and three skeins of yarn. Two skeins are Madelinetosh Tosh Merino light, in colorways Black Walnut and Esoteric. The third skein is Manos del Uruguay Alegria in the Huarache colorway. It is a different color combination for me, but for some reason I decided to go with it. If I decided it just isn’t right I can rip back and try again with something else but I feel this may just work out.

We’ll see how it goes but I am loving how this is knitting up thus far. It is a fun knit and I cannot wait to see how the piece slowly works up. I’ll share my thoughts and progress as I get farther into the pattern. Have you seen or knit this pattern before? Let me know!

~Stay Inspired

 

 

Another FO Round-up

Crazy Socks: Wooly Mastadon

Despite what my absence here may have suggested I did indeed finish a few projects over the past several months. I kept busy here and there finishing up older projects and starting some new ones. Here’s what I’ve been up to.

Mom's Socks: Wooly Mastadon

Of course I knit socks. I finished two pairs, one for my Mom and one for me. I love socks because I can knit them without thinking which means I always have a pair on the needles or at least yarn for the next pair picked out and ready to cast on. Mom’s pair of socks was knit out of Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering in the Laurelhurst colorway on US size 1 (2.25 mm) needles. My crazy socks were knit out of Plymouth Yarn Neon Now in colorway 2 on US Size 1.5 (2.5mm) needles. Both socks were a dream to knit and perfect for travel projects.

Amigurumi: Wooly Mastadon

I also completed some amigurumi. First to be noted would be Pickett, the bowtruckle from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (which is a fantastic movie if I say so myself and I absolutely cannot wait for the next one…who’s with me?!). He was part of my halloween costume and a popular little guy at work. Moving forward this past month a few more creatures came to life. A small amigurumi hippo flew off my hook as well as a knitted cat. Both are destined to be gifts for expecting moms.

Dad's Hat: Wooly Mastadon

Last but not least, I knit a hat for my Dad. When Knit Picks released the pattern for the Marled Rib Hat by Hannah Maier I wondered if perhaps it was the one, the pattern that would produce a hat my Dad would actually wear. This hat practically knit itself and in a few days I had this hat complete and ready for Dad to try on…and he liked it and requested two more! This is a huge success in my book. This hat was knit out of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport in the Bramble Heather colorway. Fun fact: this is some yarn I have had for years, yarn from my first ever Knit Picks order and one that my Dad actually went yarn shopping online with me for. Perhaps that helped make this hat a winner.

I think that about rounds up my FOs from over the past few months. I may have knit a dishcloth here or there but nothing major to note. What projects do you go to when you need a simple project? Do you have any family members who are tricky to knit for? I want to hear from you!

~Stay Inspired

FO: Summertide Shawl…My Wedding Shawl

Our Wedding: Wooly Mastadon

At last the anticipated wedding shawl post! After teasing the silly story behind this here it is. When Justin proposed the first thing I did was go on Ravelry and search for a lace shawl pattern to knit for a wedding shawl. I had narrowed it down to two patterns and ended up going with the Summertide Shawl by Helen Stewart. Immediately after I ordered yarn to go with the one skein of teal yarn I had in my stash (because I don’t keep white singles yarn on hand). This all happened in a day…I was determined to finish this shawl in time for a date that wasn’t even set!

As soon as the yarn arrived I cast on. I knit the shawl (Rav pattern page here) on US size 6 needles (4.00 mm) out of one skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in the Glass Bottom Boat colorway and one skein of Knit Picks Chroma Fingering in the Bare colorway. This shawl was truly a breeze to knit and the way the pattern was written made tracking progress easy and fun. Yet, as always, I knit full steam for a few months and then, in good Tori fashion, I let it sit untouched for a few months while I pushed to finish other wedding items and take care of Mom. Not until April did I really push to finish the shawl.

Our Wedding: Wooly Mastadon

In April my Mom had a stay of about a week in the hospital for complications due to chemo. We didn’t know what was going to happen so no matter what each evening after work I went to stay with her for the evening, and I would knit. In that time I finished a sock (and most of the second) and a hat for my Dad. That lead me to realize perhaps I should take the wedding shawl with me in the hopes of finishing it. That’s all it took because in one evening I had finished the last clue and bound off the shawl. Better yet my Mom had trouble focusing on conversation but she eagerly watched me knit on this shawl, smiling and just enjoying our time together. That memory of her rejoicing with me as I bound off the last stitch is a good one.

A week later I blocked the shawl and waited for a chance to show my Mom. On Mother’s day, less than a day before her passing, she had enough energy to see the final product. Although very weak she had strength to look at it in wonder and say it was beautiful. Looking back I realized that was her last moment of clarity before she went home and I will treasure that moment forever.

This shawl was the perfect thing for our wedding day. It had its moment in our photos after the ceremony and when it chilled a bit in the evening it came to the rescue to keep me warm. Not only that, this shawl holds memories I can and will treasure, of Mom, of my family and friends, and mostly of my Husband and our wedding day.

Til next time,

~Stay Inspired

Photo Credit to Bri Marie Photography

 

FO: Vernal Equinox Shawl

Vernal Equinox for Mom: Wooly MastadonAs I promised here is my first FO to share since disappearing in August. After I completed my Waiting for Rain Shawl I knew I had to cast on another right away. I also sensed that Mom was fading and perhaps wouldn’t have a lot of time. Thus I cast on the shawl she chose: Vernal Equinox Shawl Surprise by Lankakomero. It is a free pattern on Ravelry and absolutely gorgeous. Mom and I sat down together to pick this pattern out and she fell in love with it immediately. I knew I could complete it but it was a bit of a daunting task as it is the largest shawl I’ve ever knit and the most detailed. Ready for a challenge I cast on (see my Rav project page for more info).Vernal Equinox for Mom: Wooly MastadonThis shawl was knit in my own handspun yarn, a lace weight two ply. The fiber was dyed by Camelot Dyeworks and was what I believe is a merino nylon blend (I have no idea where the tag is and Ravelry notes are lacking at the moment). Knit on size 7 needles the project was a breeze. By far this was the fastest shawl I’ve ever knit, being completed in just over 3 months (I know I knit slow, or really I get distracted and go work on 8 million other things in between). Although quite detailed, the pattern and lace were intuitive and easy to follow. The result is stunning.Vernal Equinox for Mom: Wooly MastadonUpon presenting this shawl to my Mom she absolutely loved it, and to my surprise and joy agreed to a photo shoot in front of our church’s Christmas tree (and probably the nicest tree we’ve ever had I must say!). At the time I was elated that she wanted photos and was so proud that she loved her shawl so much that she agreed to capture the moment in photos.Vernal Equinox for Mom: Wooly MastadonAs I look back I realize this is more than just a shawl, it is a blessing. My Mom hated getting photos taken, and right til the end most photos were forced so having these photos with true smiles and family are a treasure I will always hold close among the few photos I have of my Mom. Her shawl was given back to me; my Dad thought I needed a proper hug from her and what better way than to wear her shawl when I miss her. I wore it at her funeral and have worn it many times since then and with each stitch and fiber there is love. This shawl is not only what I hope will become a family heirloom but also a hug from my Mom when I need it most.

I’ll be back soon with our wedding story and some photos (and a wedding shawl!). Until then…

~Stay Inspired

FO: Waiting for Rain!!!

Waiting for Rain: Wooly Mastadon

I can’t believe it…this shawl is finally done. It only took over a year to complete, but this shawl was completely worth it. The pattern is Waiting For Rain by Sylvia McFadden and it is such a fun knit. The yarn is Knit Picks Stroll Fingering in Bare that I dyed myself with food coloring knit on US size 6 (4.00 mm) needles.

Waiting for Rain: Wooly Mastadon

This shawl was truly a dream to knit. The lace rows are intuitive and the garter breaks in between were perfect for TV (podcast) knitting. Can I also mention that this shawl is big! I’m used to one skein shawl projects so using all but a few yards of each color meant I have a snuggly shawl for the fall winter and spring seasons…or chilly summer evenings.

Waiting for Rain: Wooly Mastadon

While I’m at it, as you may have noticed in my picture, life has been pretty exciting lately. Saturday evening the love of my life asked me to marry him and I said yes! Thus I may share some of the things I diy in the coming months for a…gasp…wedding. Don’t worry, this place will still first and foremost be for my fiber adventures, but a few things here and there might get slipped in the mix. First on the list (and literally first, nothing is set and I’m already planning this) is a shawl for the big day. I’ll share my plan in the coming weeks…once the yarn I ordered comes in…and yes I already ordered yarn for a shawl. Good things to come and more knits to share!

~Stay Inspired

 

FO: Socks!

Sock FOs: Wooly Mastadon

As you may have gotten from the title, I have some finished pairs of socks to share with you today. Not being quite prepared I didn’t share them as quickly as I had hoped and dived right into a mini four day vacation with my family and boyfriend. Vacations by the lake are amazing, vacations by the lake at your Grandmother’s house are even better. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I didn’t take photos this time as I was thoroughly enjoying the sunny weather, and for you that meant no blog post to show off my socks. Well here it is!

The first pair (rav link) I finished actually just before my WIPs roundup post went up. I knit these out of Cascade Yarns Heritage Wave in the Solar colorway on US 1 (2.25mm) dpns. It was an enjoyable experience and the way the color plays on the socks is so cool. I don’t have any socks on the red side of the color wheel so they fill the void nicely.

Sock FOs: Wooly Mastadon

The other pair of socks I finished are these stripey beauts (rav link). I knit these magic loop (my ususal) out of Knit Picks Felici Fingering in the Sprinkles colorway. These were so much fun to knit as I always wanted to knit ‘one more stripe’. I may need to cast on my other skeins of Felici soon.

Well, there you have it, two new pairs of socks ready and waiting for fall. This year I’m on the fence, do I want fall to begin yet or not? The pull of wearing warm woolly handknits again is certainly getting stronger. I guess I’ll take what I can get!

~Stay Inspired