FINISHED!

So, I finally finished the Owlie socks!

I actually finished them a month ago, and completely forgot to blog about it.

Here they are, in all of their glory!

Here they are, in all of their glory!

These had a false finish, too.

I was super-excited when I thought I had finished them. I kitchenered the toe, cut the yarn, but before I wove in the ends, a little voice said, “TRY IT ON!”

And I did!

It was… tight. But knit fabric stretches, and I figured my gauge had changed or something.

Then the little voice said, “Hmm… put the other one on.”

That one was comfortable.

Crikey, had my gauge changed THAT much?

I put my feet side-by-side. Took me a moment, but I spotted the problem – I completely omitted a pattern repeat.

*facepalm*

I believe it was the Yarn Harlot who said, “Experienced knitters make bigger mistakes faster.” I’m tempted to embroider this on a pillow.

So I ripped back and re-knit, and finished and it was good.

I look forward to wearing these in a few months when the weather cools off!

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Closing In

I’m now at the second toe for the Owlie socks.

In the meantime, I finished my rainbow socks, started and then finished a hat.

Soon I will have another completed pair of socks to throw on the pile.

Here are my rainbow socks. No pattern, just winged it.

Done!

Done!

And here’s my hat. It’s the Hinagiku Hat (Rav link) pattern, and I like it so much I’m going to make another one.

Hinagiku Hat using The Wool Dispensary's Deadliest Poison in Flying Fishers

Hinagiku Hat using The Wool Dispensary’s Deadliest Poison in Flying Fishers

Hopefully I’ll have finished pair of Owlie socks the next time I post!

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Second Sock Syndrome

I’m a pretty well-addicted sock knitter.

When I cast on a pair, you can bet I’m going to finish both socks.

Sometimes I complete them quickly, sometimes it takes me a couple of months.

But there was one pair that had about a year between finishing sock number 1, and starting sock number 2.

And that would be my Owlie Socks.

I came across the pattern on a sock challenge (which, if you’re like me and you like knitting socks, you should check out a challenge of some sort. Gets you out of your comfort zone regarding construction, patterns and introduces you to new designers!), and it’s cabled and there are beads and there are owls on it!

But I completed the first sock, and… nothing. For a year.

Now, when it comes to Second Sock Syndrome, I don’t judge who gets it. You complete a sock. You lose interest in completing the other sock. World isn’t going to end (plus, knitting is supposed to be fun. Knit what you WANT to knit).

But me? The sock-knitting addict? Get Second Sock Syndrome? Unheard of!

I found my interest again, and I picked it up recently. It’s going along at a fairly nice clip. Sure, there’s cabling (and before anyone suggests cabling without a cable needle, it doesn’t quite work for socks), and there are beads and charts, but it’s coming along nicely.

Here’s a shot from the weekend, where I took over the sunroom for a bit:

Sock and cat

Sock and cat

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Rainbow Socks!

That yarn I picked up from YarnCon? The one from Magic and Moonshine?

Can’t put it down.

Sister and I went to BadHappy for some brunch-y poutine (if you don’t know what poutine is, go look it up. It’s amazing. Also, if you’re going to go to BadHappy, go hungry. Seriously), and I had to bring my sock with me.

LOOK AT THE COLORS!

LOOK AT THE COLORS!

I’m doing a plain sock, with an afterthought heel.

I’ve never done an afterthought heel, and after a friend explained it to me at YarnCon (you’re basically making another toe), I decided to give it a shot.

I cast off the first sock last night, and immediately cast on a second one before I got too sleepy to continue.

Before I go, here’s a shot of Chicago:

Chicago

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YarnCon 2013

YarnCon this year was a blast!

There were a few changes – it was held in the spring rather than the fall. And the location changed to the Plumbers Union Hall, where there was ample FREE parking. And it lasted 2 days.

Without further ado, here’s what I got!

From Magic and Moonshine, 2 skeins of Fiddi Widdi Wow Wow:

She Comes In Color

She Comes In Color

There's a Rainbow Dripping Down Her Leg

There’s a Rainbow Dripping Down Her Leg

From Grinning Gargoyle:

Skinny Super Twist Fingering in Signature Red

Skinny Super Twist Fingering in Signature Red

Daphne Fingering in Storm

Daphne Fingering in Storm

From The Wool Dispensary:

Useful Restorative in Ogre Bogies

Useful Restorative in Ogre Bogies

Useful Restorative in Georgia Building Castles

Useful Restorative in Georgia Building Castles

Deadliest Poison in Flying Fishers

Deadliest Poison in Flying Fishers

Greater Stimulant in Badass Unicorn

Greater Stimulant in Badass Unicorn

I also cast on a sock the other day in the Fiddi Widdi Wow Wow in the “There’s a Rainbow Dripping Down Her Leg” colorway.

It's stunning

It’s stunning

I have a feeling those socks are going to be done soon, as I can’t put them down!

As for the rest – there are 2 more pairs of socks planned, and the rest will become hats. I’m hoping that knitting for cold weather will be the thing that will chase the last vestiges of winter out of here!

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Getting Caught Up

Last summer, I posted a small freakout about finding a moth in my room (where all of my hand knits live).

Everything turned out to be fine. I bought some zip-top bags, washed everything (that took WEEKS), and put them away.

It got me thinking about proper storage for my hand knits for the summer months (since I’m not wearing most of them), and to store my enormous yarn stash.

Since spring is in the air, I’m going to start gearing up.

For those of you following along at home, here’s a list:

#1. Wash and dry everything.

Yes. Everything. Oils from your skin attract bugs. I don’t know the exact reasons why, but they do. Besides, it just makes good sense. When the weather starts cooling off again, wouldn’t you want to pull out a nice, clean shawl or pair of socks?

#2. Put everything into airtight, zip-top bags.

If it can keep air out, it’ll keep wee beasties out. Plus, if there is the slight chance that you put something that already had a moth or carpet beetle on it, you’ve got a much better chance of containing the problem.

#3. Add a repellent.

Not, like OFF! or anything like that. And I hear that moth balls aren’t so good for hand-knits (plus they smell AWFUL).

Me? I’m going to go with lavender. I’ve heard that cedar, mint leaves and cloves also work as moth repellents as well.

I am by no means an expert in repelling moths or carpet beetles, this advice was found on the internet. But it seems better to do some of these things than to store everything in a heap and cross your fingers and hope for the best.

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I Don’t Knit On Demand

There.

I said it.

It had to be said.

For about… oh, 2 years or so, I had been attempting to create the end-all post as to WHY I don’t knit on demand.

I never posted them because I felt like I could never get the entries quite right. Some were ranty. Some were bitchy. None were organized. All went on for forever.

And I was really worried I’d hurt someone’s feelings. That’s the biggie.

Non-knitters have asked me for things in the past, and I understand that the reason why they do it is because they think what I do is neat.

But I don’t take requests or commissions, and I’ve formed a short and incomplete list as to why I don’t knit on demand, in case you were curious.

#1. I’ve got a lot of projects on my plate, and I have no interest in making anything else.

Seriously. To date, I’ve got 2 pairs of socks, 2 baby sweaters, a fingerless glove, a dog sweater and a hat on my needles. And I’d really like to knit myself a Loch Ness monster. And 3 sweaters. And another hat.

#2. You really want to pay me for my time, but I’m not in the mood to discuss what I charge (it’s a lot) and why (this is a skill).

Also – there are copyright issues when working from someone else’s pattern and charging for it. I refuse to get into that here. For more information, I recommend speaking to your friendly neighborhood a legal professional.

#3. I hate deadlines. It makes knitting less fun.

I don’t care if the deadline is a year from now. It’s still a deadline. 

#4. I’ve been burned before. I’ve been pestered into knitting A Thing, and then once the person gets it, they never use/wear it.

It’s happened only a handful of times, and I’ve gotten over it, but I don’t want to go back there again.

#5. I’m a fiber snob, and I want to work with the high-quality stuff. 

Working with high-quality materials makes any task more fun and enjoyable. Do you remember the last time you had to use a slow, clunky computer and how incredibly frustrating it was? That’s how I feel when someone suggests Red Heart.

And that’s about all for right now. These five reasons cover pretty much all of the bases. There are more reasons, and I may discuss them a little bit here and there as they come up.

The one thing I want everyone to take away from this post is to realize if they make a request, and I refuse, IT IS NOT PERSONAL. I’m just a selfish knitter.

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