Perhaps it’s the new year, or perhaps it’s because the planets and stars have aligned, but I’m feeling so renewed lately about my knitting and crafting. The Never-Ending Sock I think had really gummed up the works a bit. It’s finished now, and I still can’t tell you why it dragged on and on. I enjoyed knitting it, I loved the pattern, I didn’t mess it up, I think my crafty mojo just took an end of year break. Who even knows? It’s clearly beyond my ken (please tell me that expression also reminds you of The Sound of Music. Yes? No?).
But, now that it’s out of the way, I’m so excited to look forward to all the new stuff I can do. And one of the first things that I’m legit actual peeing myself with excitement about is my first skein of Yarn Vs. Zombies yarn. I ordered it from Kiki late last year, I think as a birthday present for myself, but with everything going on, and my vow to at least finish the gusset of the NES (The Never-Ending Sock, not the Nintendo Entertainment System, although, I’d gladly have both), it sat on my desk in its packaging for a few weeks. Finally, I pulled it out to admire it with fresh eyes, and it’s quite possible that I squealed for no less that eighty-two hours and twelve minutes. Oh em gee, you guys, I love it!
“This is the sock that doesn’t end! It just goes on and on, my friend! I started knitting it not know what it was, and I’ll continue knitting it forever just because this is the sock that doesn’t end…”
Within knitting circles, there’s a term you might hear thrown about: knit-worthy. Something I’m sure all crafters can relate to is the outside, non-crafty world not always understanding or appreciating just how much time, effort and thoughtfulness goes into the handmade treasures we make. Regardless of your skill or talent, if you sat down and made something, the product of that has an intrinsic joy and sincerity that store-bought things just don’t have. When a knitter refers to someone as being “knit-worthy” they’re essentially saying that this person gets it. Y’know? If you knit something for this person, they’d understand that you haven’t just given them a garment but rather you’ve taken your time, your thought, your love and the skills and knowledge you’ve accumulated since you first picked up a pair of needles (or hook, or loom, or paintbrush, or glue gun) and you’ve wrapped all this up in a little parcel just for them, and that this is a special bond between friends. Because, sadly, not everyone – no matter how much you love them or they love you – is knit-worthy.
Well, I’m super lucky because I have lots of knit-worthy people in my life. Some of them are by my side every day, like The Beard. Some of them I get to see every week, like my knitting friends. And some of them I don’t get to see very often at all, like my bestie Panda, or my dear friends Robert and Alfio.
Robert and Alf are those special kinds of friends that you can not see for ages and ages, and then when you do, rather than having grown further apart, it’s all the more exciting to see them. And, because they’re such lovely, decent humans, and because Alf asked ever so nicely, I knit them a pair of bed socks each, and I just managed to scrape them in for winter. They took a bunch of pictures for me too, so all the credit for these snaps go to them.
Enough of the mooshy stuff and down to bidniss! Here are Alf’s socks, which I’ve mentioned before on here. They’re made from Noro Kogarashi yarn which is rather luxurious. It’s 51% silk. Yumz. The pattern I used was Thuja by Bobby Ziegler which you can get for free from Knitty.com here. I really enjoyed the pattern. The combination of the yarn and the pattern soften the impact of the moss-stitch rib, but it gives enough interest while letting those lovely colors and squishy wispy bits take the spotlight. I was very pleased.
For Robert’s sock, I used Creative Fibers Hand Dyed yarn which is DIVINE. I loved it so much. You get it in a giant yummy hank and it smells delicious, though I’m not sure if that was the fiber or the dyes. The colors have to be seen in person because it’s nearly impossible to get an accurate idea of the colors from photographs. For the pattern, I took a risk and just made it up. I wanted to try doing an afterthought heel, and I think it turned out pretty neat.
Robert and Alf seem pretty happy with their socks, and I think they were pretty excited to get a parcel in the mail. I mean, who doesn’t? I love getting parcels.
I’ve said before that I’m not a huge fan of knitting socks and it was a long haul for me to finish both of these. Luckily, there were bed socks, so I got to use a heavier weight of yarn, but let me just tell you that Alf’s foot is massive and these socks felt like they were going to go on forever. But, I feel like I’ve reached a personal milestone now. I, Raynor the Shy Lion, can knit socks if I so choose. Heel flap or afterthought heels. Hurrah! But, most of all, I love thinking of my two dear friends having toasty warm feet in the colder months. And that makes me properly happy.
Who are some of your favorite knit-worthy (or craft-worthy) peeps? Sharezies!
I have a confession to make. I’m addicted to Instagram. If you’re a fellow addict, you can find me there as theshylion. But, the good thing about Instagram is that it keeps me snapping pics whenever I get the chance, which I can’t always do specifically for the blog. I’m just not gelling with my new camera, and I end up having to do way more post-processing that I usually do, and it doesn’t like low-light which isn’t helpful because I’m a night-owl. Eugh.
Anyway, I figured that to keep up with y’all and show you some sneaky peaks at some of the stuff I’ve been working on, I can do a little Instagram Catch-Up and share with you some of the little snaps I’ve taken along the way. So, here goes!
One of the first things you need to know before you follow me on Instagram is that I snap pics of these two brats a LOT. I’m a crazy cat man. I’m not even ashamed about it.
But, I also take pics of all my projects in varying stages of completions, like this sock. I’m a big fan of train knitting so that happens fairly often. (To the top left of the finished sock pic, you can see a bit of cat-butt. See!? I even snap them when I’m not even trying!) I just made this pattern up to test out doing afterthought heels. Pretty happy with the outcome!
I’ve been playing Civilization V on my iMac a lot lately since our consoles were stolen. Which is rarely a good idea on school nights because I may or may not have been up playing well into the wee hours of the morning on a few occasions. It’s a pretty epic game, y’all!
I’ve also had a voracious appetite for some delicious, shimmery pop so I haven’t strayed too far from my K-Pop and J-Pop playlists. This one features Meisa Kuroki, Crystal Kay, Perfume and Sophia (who are more rock, actually).
I made some fingerless mitts for my friend Seth! The pattern is “Swirling Gauntlets” by Susanna IC and I have to say, it was a super fun knit. I gave them to him before I could take decent pics, but I did snap a few on IG. I found that my cast on stitches for the thumb hole were a bit loose and messy even though I even did them on a smaller needle. I think next time I’ll just knit in waste yarn, rip it out later and bind off the live stitches with a stretchy bind-off.
I also take random shots while I’m out about. Here I am looking rather pleased because the weather finally allows me to rug up and wear scrummy warm things. My eyes are so beady! Oy. That fair isle hat – though you can’t see it very well here – is incredible, and it was made by friend Jen over at Little Yellow Cat. I’m somewhat obsessed with it. Then we have the lights of Melbourne! I’m completely enamored with good ol’ Melbs, and I’m loving the miserable, wet, cold weather. Yeah, I’m one of those people.
Here’s a sneaky peak of the Dartmore hat that I’ve been wrestling with. Well, I finally finished it and it’s in the post as we speak to my bestie, Panda! I miss her a lot, so I decided I’d send her a big ol’ care package stuffed with goodies including this hat. I sewed a little tag in the back so she can tell the front from the back easily, because there’s a slightly visible squiggle up the back where the rounds join. I’ll write more about it when she models it for me and sends me some pics.
But that’s all I have you for today! I have another project that I’m properly dying to share with you, but I need to get some decent pics.
Gentle reader, Our internet has been on the fritz lately, and while we’ve got a patch of connectivity I’m going to rush and get this post out, so here’s some show and tell! First up is the first sock I’ve knit of the Thuja pattern from Knitty.com which I’m pretty pleased with. My friend has […]
It’s been ages since I last posted. I do apologize! I’ve been meaning to get around to do a proper posts but, it just never happened. I’ve been a bit preoccupied. But, I’m back now, and here’s a recap of what’s being going on in my forest.
I did some work, and I played some games.
I finished the bunny sweater (though, I’m going to unpick the sleeves and restitch them, and fix some wonky intarsia bits with duplicate stitch)
I got an amazing parcel from my American Mom, Beth, with a bunch of lovely gifts and some of her beautiful glass work. We’re going to combine her glass pieces and my crochet into… something!
After the Loch festival, I’ve been laying low – also because of some dental work, oy! – but I’ve been pottering away at some thing here and there, and I also had my phone upgraded to an iPhone 4S, so I figured I’d test out the camera and show you some stuff!
First up, while I was visiting my folks over Christmas, I’d decided that I was going to knit my Ma some socks. She’d bought me the book “Closely Knit” by Hannah Fettig for a Christmas gift, and then I asked her to pick out some sock yarn. Now, Spotlight in a smallish-biggish town doesn’t have the greatest selection, and the yarn my Ma chose didn’t even have a ball band, so I’ve got no idea what it is. It’s not what I’d have chosen for myself, but it’s not for myself, now, is it?
At any rate, I’ve knit the first sock which I’ll send to Ma for a fit before I do the other. I feel like it’s a little big (considering it fit me comfortably), but I knit it by the pattern according to shoe size and my Ma’s foot length, and my tension was slightly tighter – maybe two or three stitches less over four inches – so, I dunno, I’ll see what she thinks when she tries it.
The pattern in the book was really easy to follow, and explained the stuff I hadn’t done before really clearly. I’d never done the folded picot edge before, and I probably squealed myself silly when I’d done it and declared “I’M GOING TO KNIT ALL OF THE THINGS WITH A PICOT EDGE!!!“. Also, I’d never done a top-down sock or used Kitchener stitch to cast off before, so they were good times had.
It wasn’t all fun and games, obviously. It never occurred to Little Stupid here that knitting a heel flap with self-striping yarn looks pretty naff and I ought to have used a plain yarn or an afterthought heel. Which I already knew, but my mind left me for the duration of this sock. I particularly hate the single-row stripe on the top of the foot. Oy. Well, next time I shan’t be so daft, promise. Another weird thing: my stitches are usually quite even and neat, but they’re a little bit cray-to-the-azy here… I did notice that the yarn was particularly twisty and I had to de-twist a LOT more than usual, so I’m going to put it down to that.
Anyway, the book is super nice, and I’d definitely recommend it. For the Australian peeps, Ma and I found it at Lincraft for $7, which is a serious find considering how neat this book is. I almost felt like we were stealing it, y’all! Anyhoo, I’m planning to knit up a few of the projects and reviewing it. Hands up if you’re interested. There’s also a really nice plain sweater for gentlemen in here that I’m pondering.
Meanwhile, all summer my receding hairline and I have been bemoaning my lack of summer hats to hide my hair trauma and prevent scalp sunburn, but other things took precedent and I neither bought nor made any. And then, after Loch, I figured I’d put my new-found crafting freedom towards more hats, but really, summer’s nearly over, so I thought to heck with that idea, I’ma make me a new beret! I do love a good beret. So, I pulled out this Cleckheaton book, “She Knits” and, FYI Cleckheaton, He Knits too.
Now, I love the Cleckheaton Country yarns, but I love Morris Estate better, so I bought myself some balls of Estate 8 ply in a lovely dusty, tweedy green (Sage 8046) and got started. It was really hard to make the color to come through accurately on my iPhone, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one. It’s green and yummy; truth. I know, green is so unusual for me, right? The pattern is not the most exciting thing as far as knitting it goes, but it’ll be a nice pick-up-put-down project while I do other things. I’ll keep you posted!
To finish off, I wanted leave y’all with a song! It’s been a while since I’ve shared some tunes, and this album is making me fall in love with it all crazy-like, so here ’tis. I love me some shimmery, shiny, melancholy, synthy deliciousness.
Do like knitting socks? How do you deal with Second Sock Syndrome? Also, feel free to share your fave tune of the moment! Commentses? I heart them!
Eugh! I’ve been in a such a rut with my knitting and crochet projects. But I’ve resolved myself to change that! First, here’s a quick update on my WIPs.
My green Ranco Arucania sock
My sock is still cracking along, so all is not too bad. It’s my public transport project, so I keep it in my backpack and I’ve cracked it out on the tram a few times, which is nice. I’m not yet to the heel, but I will be soooooon!
I feel a little bad about this one. It’s a sample for work, and I ought to have finished it by now, but I’m just not feeling it at all.
Now, look, I don’t know how familiar y’all are with koalas, but I’m fully convinced that they’re Satan’s fuzzy minions. You might think they look cute from tourism ads or cartoons or whatever, but in person they have sharp little claws and beady, dead eyes. And they make this noise like they’re coughing up the bones of their last victim. Clearly, I don’t care for them terribly, and I think that’s what’s made this project somewhat of a chore. I’m hoping to finish it by the end of the week, partly because I feel bad that it’s taken me so long and partly to just get it off my plate. I really don’t like making amigurumis from pattern, and I don’t want to be glorifying koalas (Lucifer’s right hand critter) but since it’s a store sample, I just have to suck it up. I’ve gotten the face done, and that’s given me a bit of motivation to keep at it, because I think it turned out alright.
My manager didn’t want me to use the buttons like on the pattern; we both thought they looked pretty creepy. I used my standard safety eyes instead and I think it was the right choice. Besides, koalas *do* have nasty, beady, little eyes, so it was entirely appropriate. Horrid little things, they are.
Once I get this koala done, I feel like my project rut will be rectified. I feel like I can’t start anything new until I’ve finished this, and then I procrastinate like crazy-town. But, it’s time to bite the bullet! I’ve lined up some shows (apparently, I’ve committed a major offense by not having seen Big Bang Theory or knowing what “bazinga” is), and I’ma spend tomorrow planted on the couch and get this sucker licked. Wish me luck!
I finally got my ass into gear and took pictures of the beginnings of my first sock!
I’m still pretty excited about it. I’m just doing the stockinette section now, and then when I get to the heel I’ll check a few tutorials, read a few patterns and consult with a few friends. Hence it’s name of Frankensock. I decided not to use a pattern to the letter because I’ve found I tend to learn this better if I break them into parts and if I have to do a bit of adjusting to make something fit, it gives me more of an appreciation for the architecture of it, and the way things tie into each other. Buuuutttt…. we’ll see how that works out y’all, and I’ll keep you posted.
So, I *have* made progress on my socks, both the green one on a circ and the Noro one on DPNs, *and* I started the amigurumi koala for the store sample, but I’ve finished none of those. So, I don’t have any craft FOs.
BUT, I did finish Mirror’s Edge on the Xbox today!
Now, Mirror’s Edge isn’t really a new game at all, but I had fallen in love with it from the trailers after it came out, and then the reviews were really varied, so I ummed and ahhed for ages. I finally bought it and started it, and fell in -proper- love with it. But, for all my love, it’s one seriously frustrating game, and I put it on ice for a while.
I’d been playing Resident Evil 5 recently, until I could go no further due to a scratched disc (heartbroken!), so I gave it another bash. If you’re not familiar with Mirror’s Edge, storyline aside, your character is a parkour dynamo; you run across rooftops, finding jumps and sliding through gaps and you build up your speed. And that’s the game’s charm. Once you’ve figured your course, it’s incredibly exhilarating to execute each jump and roll and flying fox in one smooth sequence. And to me, that’s reason enough to play this game.
It’s actually really short all told, I finished it in two days or so. If you should pick this game up and play it; you will die. A lot. In same cases, you almost have to sacrifice yourself in order to finish it; by which I mean, to find the way through the level you’ll either have to die from trial and error until you figure out the right order of things, or you’ll have to be gunned down a few times while you explore so you can make your escape on the final try. This is one of the reasons I put it down the first time, but if you can stick with you’ll be rewarded. It’s an incredibly original, visually stunning game, and there’s really nothing else like it. And the exhilaration of nailing a path makes all the frustration worth it.