I’m back!

Hi there, how are you and how have you been these past few weeks? It’s been way too long since my last real post and as you may know that is because I have just come back from a 3 week stay in California:

I had a wonderful time with my brother. It was a quiet visit as both of us were working and I was there to help out with his two girls so there was a lot of family time which was just very cozy and nice.

I did get to meet lots of new people and see places I had yet to visit but mostly it was just family and work.

I did buy some stuff…way more yarn and project bags than planned for… but I really felt like taking this opportunity to save on shipping! AND a friend of mine was having a going out of business sale that was just too good not to take advantage of.

I will be sharing my stash enhancements in a later post as not everyone may be interested in  seeing and hearing about that and since it’s been such a long time since I last checked in I thought I would stick to knitting today.

So this month of March has been very productive knitting wise. I have so far knit 5 pairs of socks and one cardigan. I’m currently working on a wrap, a shawl, 2 socks, about to steek and finish a cardigan and cast on for a new test knit sweater.

So lots of things to share with you today.

First of let’s do socks!

So as you may remember I’m doing no less than three sock clubs this year, both of Mina’s Knitting Expat clubs and the Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade one. This means that I receive one or two patterns a month depending as Helen’s club is a bi monthly one. So March was a 2 pattern month and I have finished both patterns.

First there is the Winter Rose socks from Helen Stewart. I knit those using Opal sock yarn and I think they look really nice. For some reason they were slow to knit and not just because of the all over lace pattern. For some reason I just had a hard time finishing them but now I’m done I really like them. These are for my older daughter.

 

Then there is the pattern from Mina’s Wanderlust club called the Dérive socks. I knit those using a small skein from Goosey Fibres for the main color and my Back to Basics yarn for the contrasting toe.

This pattern was simple to memorise and knit up relatively fast. These are for my younger daughter.

 

As I had knit a pair for each of my daughters I had to knit one for my son too. I used one of my stash enhancements for his pair. I actually purchased two balls of Regia PairFect yarns by Arne and Carlos and one of those was for my son. He has bigger feet than I do so the socks look too big on my blockers. I used up all the yarn or almost. I think only a few grammes were left in the end so they are rather high on the leg and I do hope he will like them. Spring is around the corner so not really the right time of the year for sock gifting but hey.

regia pairfect matteo I really like the autumnal colors and pattern in this yarn. I just did my regular vanilla sock here.

And then there is Sock Madness! You may know that I decided to join for the third time. This time I was careful not to finish too quickly because I wanted to avoid ending up in the fastest team as before so I took my time although that is relatif because I ended up knitting my pair in 4 days! And to show you how crazy fast knitters there are, finishing up in 4 days got me in the 5th fastest team. I took longer than necessary because I know that I have a lot of things to do in my daily life and cannot put everything aside for SM when a new round starts so I thought this strategy would put me in a team of knitters that have similar lives/imperatives as I do and so I might be able to stay in the game longer.

So the qualifying round had just started the day before I left so I had cast on at home and then knit on my trip over and so forth. The qualifying round pattern was a nice two color pattern using slipped stitches and a broken rib. The broken rib on most of the sock was what slowed things down. I used my own hand dyed SOX yarn for this pair as the main color and a very pale green yarn from the Wool Barn for the contrasting color.

sm12 qualifying

Round 1 is about to finish in less than 72 hours so round 2 is just around the corner. The round 1 pattern was a tricky one because it had beading, knotting and duplicate stitches. Once I understood how to make the stitch where the beads were to be threaded onto and how to then knot it, I was on a roll. The rest of the sock was just simple stockinette. The difficult part was once the socks were done, one had a lot of duplicate stitching to do and I have never really done duplicate stitching so it took a while. Especially on the first sock. I was worried for a while that I might be disqualified due to my bad stitching skills but in the end my socks turned out ok and I actually like them. Lucky for me I had brought yarn for those as well as beads just in case this pattern was the first one.

It is always good to challenge oneself and try new techniques and I can definitely do with some more duplicate stitching but I have to admit I did not enjoy that so much…

Now I’m just trying to get other things done before the next round starts.

I also knit a cardigan. This is a test knit I did for Making Stories, the European knitting publication by Verena Cohrs and Hanna Lisa Haferkamp. So far they have only published one book/magazine called WOODS but the second issue BREEZE is about to be published and this test knit is for the third issue that will be published this autumn I believe.

IMG_1067

This design is secret for the time being so not much I can share about that but here is what I can say. This is a buttonless cardigan with 3/4 sleeves knit top down in one piece. The yarn is an italian rustic yarn that has been hand dyed. There were not a lot of color choices I felt so I picked a dark grey color. This yarn was not a total joy to knit with I must confess. It was very very loosely plied and so I had to be careful to knit all the plies and not just one strand (that did happen a few times) and also the color rubbed off on my hands so after each knitting session my hands would be all grey which I did not much like.

When I came home I washed and blocked the cardigan and surprisingly the yarn did not bleed as I thought it would.  I had also had an issue with the hem curling up on it self but once I washed it, it just fell right into place.

This is a very nice cardigan for autumn and early winter I feel. Because it does not have full sleeves and is somewhat short it is not a cozy winter garment but rather a nice layer when the weather starts to cool down I think.

This is starting to get a little long so I think I will leave my works in progress for later. Thank you so much for coming back and for your patience waiting for me as I was away and not blogging.

I hope you are doing great and happy knitting till next time!

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