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Knitflix Wednesday

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There was an article last week in the Boston Globe about the rising popularity of knitting while watching Netflix. Of course, most of us knitters have already been doing this for years. I personally have enjoyed this activity since 2008 when I got Netflix, just a year after I seriously started knitting. I began with North and South, MI-5, and by Christmas, I had binged the first four seasons of the new Doctor Who. While doing this, I churned out socks, scarves, and a lot of pairs of Fetching. I thought it would be fun to regularly share what I’ve been Knitflixing and give a short review. I don’t plan on discussing the shows that everyone is already watching (West Wing, Doctor Who, etc), I’d much rather unveil hidden gems that aren’t always on everyone’s radar or require some digging.

Show: Suits
Where: Amazon Prime
Project Type: Stockinette a pattern with a simple repeat.

At the beginning of the summer, while working on my samples for Added Elegance Socks, I discovered Suits on Amazon Prime. I had never seen a promo or clip at all about this show before I started watching it, and didn’t even have an inkling as to what it was about. I was hooked from the first episode and happily binged my way into the first four seasons, and then waited for Amazon to add in Season 5 once Season 6 started to air. The show is about a law office in New York City and one of the lawyers, Mike Ross is not an actual lawyer. The banter and chemistry between the characters are fabulous, and how adorable are Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams? This show is smart, witty, and was very easy to knit along with. There are heartbreaking moments and scenes that will make you curl your fists with anger. I highly recommend it to any crafter and I eagerly anticipate Season 6, which is currently airing.

Disclaimer: I normally do not have a problem knitting a vanilla sock at the movies, however, what might be easy for me, might require others to pay more attention.

Next Thursday – Home Front.

Have a Knitflix suggestion? Let me know in the comments.

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New pattern and a KAL!

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I released my newest pattern Added Elegance Socks two weeks ago. I had some problems with my blog host and the blog itself, and I  wasn’t able to get an announcement up in the time I preferred. I’m now on a new host and a new WordPress install – if any pictures in the archives are missing, just let me know and I’ll try to get it taken care of.

My pattern has been so well received, and I’m excited to announce I’m going to hold a KAL for Added Elegance starting tomorrow! More about the KAL further down.

These socks were designed with semi-solid/tonal and speckled yarn in mind. The delicate climbing cables come with an easy to memorize repeat and is written for both toe-up and cuff down. There are three sizes written and it’s very easy to adjust to them custom fit your feet. I included instructions for a short-row heel but the heel I prefer to use is the Fish Lips Kiss Heel which is the heel shown in the photos. The design itself has charts for the left and right socks for each size, as well as written instructions. The yarn I used for the sample pattern is Malabrigo Sock and my other sample was knit out of A Homespun House Olsen, both are fingering weight yarns.

Now about that KAL…

I’m going to run it through Instagram under the hashtag #addedelegancesocksKAL. It’s going to run from tomorrow July 6th until September 1st. I’ll be reposting entries on my Instagram feed, and I will randomly pick at least three winners for some prizes. I’m still determining what the prizes will be, but I have some ideas and I’ll show them on this blog in the next few days.

And one more thing…

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My Added Elegance pattern was not my only addition to Ravelry in the past few weeks. After many requests, I finally put my vanilla sock pattern on Ravelry! I called it So Vanilla Socks and it’s written for toe-up with a Turkish cast on and a short row heel. Again I prefer the Fish Lips Kiss Heel and that’s what I recommend using but I included short-row heel instructions. This recipe is what I use for nearly all of my socks. I do change it around from time to time depending on gauge.

I hope you enjoy both of these patterns and join me in the Added Elegance KAL!

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It’s feeling a lot like Summer

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It already feels like Summer in Kentucky, but for once I don’t feel like we’ve been cheated out of Spring. It came early in March, and with the exception of a week or two here and there, it’s been pretty nice! It’s been cooler in the evenings, which has made for some time with the horses without dripping with sweat.

A couple of months ago, we got a second horse which has become Mike’s horse. His name is Woodford and he’s warmblood (not 100% sure of the exact breed) and he’s been a dream. He is the perfect husband horse. He’s calm for Mike but still has a little bit of spunk to keep things interesting. Woodford has been great with beginners that have visited and had one very special morning on Derby day, when he took great care of an NFL quarterback (yes, you read that right – photo on my Instagram!).

With all the horse excitement, I haven’t been knitting as much – BUT I am hard at work on my follow up to my Mount Airy Socks. I’m going to work hard on getting it finished and published – hopefully within the next two weeks. I’ll announce the release here and on my Instagram. I’ve been knitting my samples out of Malabrigo Sock and A Homespun House Olsen. My goal is to try to knit all of my samples myself at least twice – one with an Indie dyer, and one with a commercial yarn. I know it won’t always be the case, but I’m going to try my best to make it happen. I’ve actually pulled yarn for my THIRD pattern already and I can’t wait to start knitting it up!

Between my new pattern and my DVD June socks keeping me busy, I’ve joined the Shawl Society from Helen Stewart! The first pattern was released this morning, and I’m so excited to cast on! I have my yarn picked out, and I just need to cake it up and cast on. I still haven’t cast on my DVD June socks but I’ve got it caked and ready for when I get a chance to start them. I can’t believe it’s six months in already! I’m off to work on my pattern…. or cast on my shawl. Happy knitting!

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My First Pattern

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I released my first pattern last week! I designed them this past Spring, finished the samples last month while visiting my dad in Delaware, and then fear took over. I was very worried about publishing and how my pattern would be received. I hit 500 downloads on Ravelry yesterday and 250 Favorites. I’m not afraid anymore! Thank you to every single one of you who has reached out to thank me for the pattern or given me a nice comment. It’s really meant a lot and I’m so grateful for the positive response to my first pattern.

Now for the details! I named this pattern Mount Airy Socks after a town in Maryland that we stop in on the way to Delaware. After lots of twisty roads coming from Kentucky, and through West Virginia, it’s always a welcome stop and only two hours from our destination. I knit these socks out of Baerenwolle BAERfoot Sock, which is 80/10 Merino/Nylon. This was my first time using this yarn and as soon as I got it in the mail, I knew I was going to turn it into something special. The socks blocked beautifully and the stitch pattern compliments the yarn perfectly. I used a 2.5mm needle, as this yarn is a round fingering weight. The heel I used was the Fish Lips Kiss Heel. I did not include heel instructions within the pattern, as the Fish Lips Kiss is a paid pattern. I created the socks with the intention of having the left and right spiral towards each other, but you can knit them any way you want.

I’ve got a second pattern already in the works that’s about to enter the testing phase, I think this is going to be an exciting year.

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Chatter and 2015 Wrap Up

 

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Happy New Year! It’s been a crazy weather January here. We went from warm to being buried in over a foot of snow last week to 65 and sunny yesterday. I spent much of yesterday reorganizing my stash and office area where we have our computers. I did get some knitting time in before and after going out to the barn. I’m trying out a couple of new techniques and working on my first pattern but more about that in February.

My original goal of 2015 was to finish all of my languishing sock projects and frog those I knew I wasn’t going to finish. I didn’t quite manage one of those things. I did frog about five pairs of socks that had been sitting in a basket for years. However I failed to achieve #nosockstanding. I did finish 38 pairs of socks when it was all said and done. I can’t believe it myself. 12 of them were for Desert Vista Dyeworks Monthly KAL. Two pairs were for Desert Vista Dyeworks Cast on the Dead KAL and the rest were socks I finished or started in 2015. That’s a lot of socks. Did I finish the rest of my goals? Nope. I did a heck of a lot of sock knitting and not much else. Do I have any excuses? Not really. Do I still have a lot of socks on the needles? Oh yes! I’m enjoying knitting along on my socks and to me that’s all that matters. There’s no knitting police to tell me I have too many WIPs, or I should be knitting more sweaters. Setting those kind of limits on hobby normally end up backfiring.

I’ve had a lot of hobbies come and go but this is the one I’ve stuck with the longest (not counting horses since it’s a bit complicated) and actually been good at. I’ve had a couple of scares where I thought I had hurt my hands bad enough that I couldn’t knit and wouldn’t be able to for some time, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. Two years ago I managed to knit in the ER while waiting for my hand to looked at. When you’re waiting for three hours and your brioche scarf WIP is in your bag, it’s not going to take long to at least try it. Who knows why but I hadn’t brought a sock project with me and had grabbed the bag with my scarf instead. Little needles may have been too much of a challenge.

I spent most of my day, craving the feel of the needles in my hands. The first thing I do when I get home from work and the barn is pull out my current WIP and get some quiet time in. After full days of hustle and bustle at work, I savior the peaceful minutes I can get from knitting. I’m going to make two goals for 2016. One is to end the year having knit more yarn than I bring into the house. That will be a real challenge. The second is to spend more time knitting in general. I’m not sure how I’m going to make it happen but I’m definitely going to attempt it.

Have a great weekend and I hope you get lots of knitting time in!

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Quickie Sock Update

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I’ve been hard at work socking down (and all that other fun stuff like school, work, horse training etc) I’ve finished three pairs this month so far, however one of those pairs was new! I’ve finished four pairs for the Desert Vista Dyeworks Club this year which has been awesome. Finals this week and next. Maybe I’ll finally have time for a real blog post after that. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll do Camp Loopy this summer since I want to really get to work on Arcane but we’ll see.

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Three Pairs Down – Sneak Peak

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Well it’s January 17th and so far…..I finished one pair that was nearly done, one that had from the heel up, and a full pair so far this month. Oh yeah, and a blanket!

Not too bad so far! My goal for the rest of the month is to get some heels into a pair of tube socks I finished back in November and possibly knit a whole ‘nother pair that I’ve already cast on for. Hopefully this sets a great tone for the rest of the year!

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Riding and Knitting Along

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I’ve been doing lots of knitting lately. I’m not knitting for Christmas gifts with the exception of some ornaments. Anything I’m giving that’s handknit has been knit throughout the year.

I’ve finished about 20 pairs of socks this year. I swear it’s been the year of the socks. I wish I had spent more time working on my sweaters in progress but it just didn’t happen. I even started a second Featherweight hoping it would go as quickly as the first.

Arcane has been a wonderful distraction as water to know each other. He’s got an attitude on the ground but is all business under saddle. I rode him this past Monday at just a walk for a little while. He was excellent and even carted Mike around for a little bit.

I’m so excited to see what this next year brings. I’ve been doing a lot of spinning lately on my wheel and drop spindles. Working through my fiber stash and the two fleeces in our garage. Both should be enough for a sweater and now seems like the perfect time to start in on them.

I’m working on Christmas once again but this time voluntarily since Mike will be as well. Here’s hoping it won’t be too bad but every Christmas has been different. Have a very Merry Christmas!

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Iknitarod..fail

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Well, between life and the fact that a lot of mushers dropped out I did not finish this year. I still haven’t finished and I moved on to finishing my 5th and 6th pairs of socks for the year. The weather started to get nice and I figured I wouldn’t wear the sweater for awhile anyway. It’ll get done just not now. I’m also sans internet right now while we wait for Windstream to set up service tomorrow so iPhone photos will have to do.

The top pair of socks are made from Knitpicks Stroll in two different tweeds (have to check on the exact names). I love how these came out. I missed the Stroll tweeds when they were discontinued a few years ago and immediately ordered these two balls when I saw it back in stock. I switched colors every two rows and they just make me so happy. I used the Fish Lips Kiss heel and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The second pair is a plain vanilla sock with a FKL heel out of Must Stash Yarns Perfect Sock in You Had Me @ Rainbow. This was my first time using this yarn and I really enjoyed it. So much so that I’m halfway
through another pair in Chocolate Bunny Cake. Hopefully those will be done by Easter. I finished another pair in between in Desert Vista Dyeworks that are blocking as I type and I’ll show those in my next entry.

Seven pairs so far this year and by the end of the month it should be nine! Either way I’ve been keeping busy. I’m hoping I have some good news to share soon about a new edition (no, not pregnant!). Until then happy knitting!

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In Over My Head: aka Iknitarod 2014

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Last year I knit the wonderful pattern Color Affection as a challenge for the Iknitarod 2014 KAL on Ravelry. I finished easily enough before the last musher crossed the finish line, but this year is an entirely different story. In my defense, I did pick a bigger challenge. Much bigger. Not to mention I didn’t realize the race started until about four days before the start and didn’t have a pattern until the morning of the race.

I chose the Tinder cardigan by Jared Flood. I had six skeins of Cascade 220 that I purchased from a closeout on Alapca Direct about a month ago and they’ve been burning a home in my knitting basket. All I could think about lately is which pattern these beautiful blue skeins wanted to be. Since I managed to knit an entire sweater last summer for Camp Loopy, I was hoping to repeat some of that magic during past two weeks. Although the Iditarod isn’t over yet, I doubt I’ll be making it in this year. I’ve got the back and most of one front done, with a long ways to go. I blame it on lots of school and work. I’ve tried to knit on it here and there, and I’ve made some great progress, but I doubt it’ll even be done to wear before Spring comes along.

I will say this – it’s amazing what you can get done when you focus on working on only one project. With the exception of a couple of rounds of a sock on the bus this morning, I’ve barely glanced at my other projects during the past week and a half. I have a sock that’s at the bind off row sitting in my knitting basket that’s been ignored. This year might have started off as the year of the sock (4 pairs!!!) but I think it’s going to become the year of the sweater.