More sock knitting

Hi there, how are you? Once again I have let life get in the way of my blogging! I don’t know why I find blogging on a regular basis is a challenge these days. I need to work on that some.

So since I last posted I have been working mostly on socks. I made it to round 4 of Sock Madness as I believe I told you last time. And I have now finished that round and qualified for round 5. Things are getting really serious now as only 10 of the quickest knitters in each team qualified for this upcoming round and if I want to make it to round 6 I have to be among the quickest 5 to finish! As we are getting closer to the end of the competition, only the quickest knitters are left so I have some serious doubts about making it on to round 6. I’m hoping the pattern will arrive on a weekday; early morning or beginning of the afternoon. I get most of my knitting done during the work week as we stay home at night and so where as on weekends I loose time doing chores and grocery shopping, homework supervision etc and so often end up having less time than I would like to knit on weekends.

Of the 5 knitters that will make it to round 6 only 1 yes that’s right ONE will qualify for round 7. For some stroke of miracle I was one of those knitters 4 years ago but I don’t think I am this year. I think I will be fine if I’m disqualified this round even though the competitor in me really wants to make it to round 6.

Now the pattern for this last round was a fun one including cables and lace knitting and it was a fairly easy one after a while. I did have some comprehension issues to begin with but there is a questions thread on Ravelry with moderators, the designer herself and of course other knitters so each time I was able to find answers rather quickly. And once in the rhythm of things the pattern became intuitive.

This time around I made them in my younger daughter’s size but she is a 36/37 EU. And I used a new to me commercial sock yarn from HOBBII.

The Cannon socks from Sock Madness 13 round 4

I really like the toe not being all stockinette but having a little sort of ribbing to it. The lace pattern moves around the leg so it is not easy to work using stitch markers and I think, virtually impossible to knit taat.

Now on to the yarn. This is a wool and nylon blend, 75/25 in fingering weight and comes in 50 gr balls. I used one ball per sock as I did not want to join yarns part way through sock 2. But when I had finished my pair, I had a total of 33 gr left over which is quite a lot.

The yarn itself is soft to the touch and nice to knit with and I look forward to seeing how it will evolve with use. So far so good. And the best part is the price point. This yarn is very cheap! I purchased this directly from their website where they offer all sorts of yarns

This is their Happy Feet yarn which I used for the first time. I have knit a pair using their Happy Feet XL before and they are nice though they have felted slightly with wear.

I’m not sure what yarn I will use for next round. It might be a one colour pattern but it might also be colourwork using two colours so I’ll just have to see when the pattern arrives. I have a bag of possible options all ready for cast on.

I also had a sock test knit for a publication but for the first time I really did not enjoy the pattern and so asked to quit the test as I was just not feeling it and having the hardest time to pick it up. Once I told them I was not going to finish; I immediately ripped back the almost finished sock one! That felt good though I am somewhat perplexed about this situation.

Another sock pattern I test knit has now been published on Ravelry and that was a fun pattern I enjoyed. I only had to knit one sock to finish the test so I still have to knit the second sock and will do so once I have finished Sock Madness.

That sock pattern is by Jo of KBG Designs and is called the Hidden Diamonds socks. The stitch pattern is easily memorised and fun to knit. This time I knit size small as these will be a gift. I chose to knit using my own hand dyed sock yarn in a fun orange colour. I think this pattern works best with a somewhat solid colour to really show off the stitch pattern. My yarn was not solid but not too crazy either and so I feel the pattern worked well here.

Hidden Diamonds sock

As for other knitting, I’m coming close to finishing my second Modernist by Renee of East London Knits.

This one is for a friend of my older daughter and she wants the exact same as the one I test knit and my daughter kept. So I’m knitting the same size using the same exact yarn, colour and all!

As I was looking for pictures to share I realise that I actually did not blog about this project before! So here goes.

I test knit this oversized cardigan for Renee a while ago. It is a fingering weight design and the shape is a little unusual at least for me as it is a cropped and oversized cardigan.

The construction is also unusual making the knitting all the more fun. I chose to use Holst Garn Supersoft in Marine blue, dark blue and I really like the outcome. There is an option for adding button holes but in both my versions I chose not to have buttons. My daughter wears her’s all the time and I’m hoping her friend will like hers as much too.

At the moment I am just 20 rounds of cuff from finishing the garment so I’m hoping that will be done tomorrow and then I have the weekend for finishing and blocking so she can have her cardigan next Monday.

And speaking of Renee Callahan of East London Knits, I have just started a new secret test knit for her. That is a top down sweater with some colourwork and I am having some issues finding the correct yarns for my version so I think I might actually end up knitting two versions. I have done part of the yoke in one combo and yesterday I started the yoke in another yarn combo. Im planning on knitting a bit to see how the pattern looks in each combo and then decide what I do. The deadline is short so I might finish just one in time for that and then knit the second one later. Who knows.

Well that’s it for today folks. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to follow my knitting as always. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week ahead of you with plenty of knitting and good, summery weather on top.

Happy knitting

The Sock Madness adventure 2019

Hi there, I thought it was about time I told you more about my participation in Sock Madness.

If you are not familiar with this event, it is a speed knitting/sock knitting competition which is held once a year. This year is the 13th edition. Each year a very large number of sock knitters sign up to challenge themselves and others. To begin with each round is 14 days long but towards the end the rounds get shorter. Also the number of knitters that qualify for the next round goes down until only 1 knitter is left as the biggest winner.

This is the fourth time I take part. The very first time, I had incredible luck and actually made it to the very last round, round 7 before being eliminated. Then for two years in a row I was eliminated early on due to misunderstanding the pattern and so not knitting the sock correctly. Both times I was hugely disappointed and even wowed not to join again. Of course I have been unable to resist the temptation and always join!

So some time before it really starts a warm up pattern is published just to get us going. Knitting the warm up pattern is not an obligation but encouraged.

This year the warm up pattern was called 13 Memories as this is year 13. This was a fun pattern mixing lace and scrap knitting. I really enjoyed choosing my yarns and I do love how my pair turned out. All the yarns I used were my own hand dyed yarns.

13 Memories

Then there was the qualifying round. This round serves to make up the teams. Knitters of similar speed and lifestyle are matched together. This way everyone has an equal chance of getting as far as possible in the competition. After this round, teams of 40 knitters each were created.

Smock Madness

Each time we need to show that we have knit the required number of pattern repeats or rounds which is why you see the yellow yarn going through one of the socks above.

So that’s the end of the qualifying round. Beginning of round 1 we are a team of 40 knitters but only the 36 quickest knitters qualify for the next round.

This year the pattern for round 1 was a lace pattern with a particularity. The stitch pattern was not the same on both socks. There was one pattern for sock A and another for sock B. Now this had me a little unhappy as I felt they would not look good as a pair. We were allowed to knit each sock using a different yarn and I decided to do that in order to end up with two pairs rather than one. So I hurriedly knit one of each and once I was done and qualified for the next round I knit the other two.

You can see the difference in stitch pattern here in the pictures above. The yellow sock is knit using Mondim yarn from Rosa Pomar in Portugal. The grey pair is my own hand dyed yarn.

And here you have my two finished pairs.

And now it was time for round 2. This time only the quickest 30 would qualify for the next round.

The pattern for round 2 was a very fun color work pattern. I chose to use my own hand dyed yarns and the contrast one was a self striping yarn which I feel made the end result even better. These may look daunting but really they were not and just so fun that they were super quick to make.

Color work socks are such fun!

Then there was round three. Again I chose to use my own hand dyed yarn. This time I chose a sock blank so the socks may look less polished. And this time only the 20 quickest would qualify for the next round.

The pattern for round 3 was a lace and cable design with a new to me beaded cast off. I was worried the beaded cast off would be difficult but in the end it was not.

My Odin verifying my beaded cast off

So now we are getting to round 4 which starts sometime next week. This time around only the quickest 10 will qualify for the next round, round 5 so things are definitely getting serious!

So far I have been finishing my pairs in about 4 days but that might to be quick enough for this upcoming round but we’ll see. I will of course keep you posted.

There is something to be said for this competition and even if I am knitting away feverishly alone in my corner of the world, it is fun to challenge myself. Also these patterns always teach me new things. This year I have done a new cast on and a new bind off. I also knit a new to me heel. Learning new techniques is definitely a plus.

So now you know a little more about Sock Madness and if you feel like taking part next year, you can look up the group Sock Madness Forever on Ravelry for more information.

That’s all for today. Thank you for stopping by and spending some of your time with me. I wish you a great weekend and hopefully you will get some quality knitting time in there.

Speak to you soon:)