FOFri #39: Socks, and a Plan!

Praise be to the wooly higher-ups, I’ve finished a pair of socks… FOR ME!

The last time this happened was over a year ago, in March 2014. I hesitate to say that my sock mojo is back, but it is certainly once again on the rise. Knitting these suckers ‘simultaneously’ (by alternating between socks after each section) made the process go much more smoothly for me, and eliminated most of my sock-stagnating hangups.

The yarn is the January shipment of the Rockin’ Sock Club, BMFA Socks That Rock Mediumweight in the colorway Feelin’ Groovy. The pattern is from the club a few years ago, Intrepid Traveler by Gail Marracci. I borrowed the stitch pattern but used a square heel from Sock Architecture and a toe that I winged. The stitch pattern was lots of fun and makes for a nifty effect with highly variegated yarns. And yes, these are the brightest socks I own!

Woolen Diversions

Ambition is my middle name!

And now, for my plans. We’re nearly through April already and I have yet to set any Second Quarter goals. In truth, there are just so many things I want to make, it’s ridiculously difficult to narrow things down. Here, I’ll attempt to list one project per somewhat arbitrary ‘type’:

I have finished 6 projects so far this year, so listing 7 above is likely ambitious, but I like having specific goals to work towards. I think the projects above represent enough variety that I shouldn’t get bored and should have a knit for every situation (some simple, some interesting). If I can finish them all, awesome. If I can’t, well, then I’ll just have some more WIPs and I’ll see what’s still inspiring me when the third quarter rolls around.

How do you plan what to knit next? How do you choose? I find it extremely difficult, especially when I keep acquiring pretty yarn in stash. I WANT TO KNIT THEM ALL!

Linking up with Freshly Finished Friday.

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FOFri #38: Bitter Relief

I am filled with a lot of words about these socks, but very few of them are fit for typing. They were, to put it mildly, a major pain in the tuckus.

FOFri#38: Relief | Woolen Diversions

BMFA Socks That Rock Heavyweight, colorway Tea & Alchemy. Click for project page.

I began them in October as a sneaky Christmas present for the Fiasco. Since they were sneaky, they were difficult to find time to work on, but I managed to finish the first sock by the holiday despite my too-late realization that the needles I was using really hurt my hands. When he tried that sock on, it just barely fit. I mean, it was a struggle. The square needles I had used combined with slipped stitch patterning tightened up my gauge enough that these seriously lacked stretch. He insisted I knit the second one rather than frog and re-knit, and I think I dragged my feet a little because I was so unhappy with the fit.

FOFri #38: Relief | Woolen Diversions

JUST ENOUGH YARN.

Then… the toes. OH the toes. Since this was my own design, it was particularly unhelpful that I had lost my notes. I found some note I had made somewhere, tried it, AND RAN OUT OF YARN. I joined some green yarn I had amidst mumbles of “he’ll just have to deal with a mismatched toe” and finished up. Turns out, the toe was way longer than the toe on the first sock. I ripped back and re-knit with some other notes I found. Ran out of yarn again, rejoined the yarn, knit nearly to the end… and nope, still too long. Then it sat in time out. Finally, I threw caution to the wind and made it up as I went along and ended up with a toe that pretty much matches and (thankfully) didn’t need me to join new yarn in, I had just enough left for the kitchener stitch at the end. So while I’m happy these are finished, I’m not so sure they’ll fit well and I generally am not feeling much love for them. I had intended to write them up as a pattern but that would involve re-knitting them (and taking better notes, obviously) and I just don’t think I love them enough for all that.

Since it’s basically the end of March, now is a good a time as any to review my ridiculously ambitious First Quarter plans. Here’s what I had intended to focus on between January and now, with % complete and new things I had not intended to do marked with asterisks (***):

New Projects:

Sock WIPs:

Other WIPs:

So for those keep tracking, of 5 new projects I had intended to work on, I abandoned 2, never started 1, and made some progress on the other 2. I also began 5 different projects, finishing 2 of them. It appears that this whole ‘predict what I’ll want to knit over the next 3 months’ thing doesn’t work so well for me. As for WIPs, between socks and ‘other’, I had intended to focus on 7 projects, and I finished 2 of them and nearly finished a third. Perhaps I can try to bust out my Cypress vest before the month is up since this rainy, dismal spring weather is perfect for vest-wearing.

I believe my goals for the next quarter will need to be less… stringent, less planned. Perhaps instead of choosing particular projects, I’ll say “1 socks, 1 shawl, 1 garment” or “2 WIPs and 3 new” or “this yarn and 2 other WIPs” something like that. This will take some thinking.

How do you focus your crafting? Do you try to make a plan, or do you just go with what you feel like doing?

Finally, Some Light

Despite all the snow on the ground, I can feel the winter starting to fade. Birds are singing in the morning, the temps are forecast to be above freezing this week, and the sun is a welcome friend returned. Not only for its warmth, but for its light… because I can finally take some decent FO pictures. (Priorities!)

Finally, Some Light | Woolen Diversions

Deep Dark Stellaria, click for project page.

When I first finished knitting the Stellaria shawl, designed by Susanna IC, I was a little bit dismayed. I had modified the shawl to be deeper/taller (by leaving fewer stitches between short row wraps) but I had not fully appreciated how long this sucker was. It’s a really big shawl, and I was concerned about its wearability.

At first I thought the shawl would only look ‘appropriate’ worn with a fancy dress to a winter wedding or gothic gala of some sort. But after a few weeks of wearing it as depicted in the second photo above, I’ve decided it works. It’s a bit larger than other shawls I wear kerchief-style, but the layers of garter and lace wrapped the neck around make for a nice cascading effect (plus, they’re super warm). I won’t be wearing this shawl much into the spring, but for the winter, its coziness is much appreciated.

Finally, Some Light | Woolen Diversions

Garnet Tonic cowl. Click for project page.

After my quick blocking of this Tonic Water cowl, designed by Thea Coleman, I decided that it definitely needed another repeat. I was tempted to leave it be, but the extra repeat was totally necessary.

With 8 repeats, the cowl falls to a nice length worn open, and just barely fits comfortably doubled up since it’s such a wide piece of knitting. I love that contrasting stripe (and the way it coordinates with my Lucy hat!) more than I can say, but it gave me the devil of a time. When I first saw the design, I thought Thea had done something really clever with beginning and ending the cowl in the contrast color and invisibly joining in garter stitch somehow. Instead, the directions were much simpler, and just involved adding the contrast color at the end and seaming the edges together using the main color. Since I dislike seaming and was feeling lazy, I decided to finagle a different way to close the cowl. I spent an entire hour messing around with it, trying and abandoning ideas like knitting the edges together or doing a three needle bind-off. Eventually, I settled on doing a garter-based kitchener stitch using the contrast color. You can see the contrast color poking through a little on one side of the join, but trust me, it’s much better than it was. And truthfully, I’m so in love with this cowl that it doesn’t even matter.

Finally, Some Light | Woolen Diversions

The Verdant Gryphon Zaftig, colorway Winter Slant of Light

While I’m thrilled about spring, I couldn’t help but fall in love with this winter colorway from The Verdant Gryphon. Blues! Greens! Greys! All of my favorite things! And since I love my newly finished cowl in the same worsted weight MCN base so much, I think these skeins are destined to become a cowl, as well. Now to find the perfect pattern…

Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe on Etsy

New lip balm flavor: French Macaron!

Spring scents are popping up over at Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe, too! I’ve just added a brand new lip balm flavor, French Macaron. It’s delightfully sweet, sophisticated, and indulgent. I’ve also restocked a good number of my other lip balm flavors that had sold out (Toasted Coconut, Lavender, Lemon Lime, Winter Clementine, and Vanilla Mint) and added Spring Meadow and Sea Moss lotion bars back into the rotation.

What would you knit with just under 400 yards of dense and colorful worsted weight yarn? Is spring popping up in your part of the world?

FOFri #37: All the Fluffy

The first project I spun on my Lendrum wheel was a full pound of undyed Falkland, spun up into a respectably squishy 3-ply with oodles of yardage. This second finished yarn? Totally different.

FOFri #37: All the Fluffy | Woolen Diversions

Thick-and-Thin Masham. Click for handspun page.

The fiber for this skein was the April 2014 shipment of the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin’ Whorl Club: 8 oz of Masham wool in the Indigo Dreams colorway. I first started spinning this on a spindle but wasn’t loving it, so I decided to give the bulky flyer of my wheel a try. I was spinning up thick singles for a while, but then I was inspired to give thick-and-thin art yarn spinning a shot.

I’m really glad I did, and I’m thrilled that I have a wheel that allows me to spin such vastly different yarns with ease. I spun until I got tired of the process and called it done. The skein is about 3.3 oz and 214 yards of bulky-to-sport weight yarn. I was pleasantly surprised by how evenly distributed the bulky bits seemed while I was winding this skein up. I finished it by plunging the singles into hot and cold water 3 times, and thwacking thoroughly. I was also pleasantly surprised by how well balanced the skein was after finishing. Singles yarns can easily contain too much twist without the plying stage to balance things out but this skein is just fine. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with it yet, but the finished yarn is much fluffier than I expected it to be, and I think a little loosely-knit cowl or kerchief will do quite nicely. And bonus, I still have lots of fiber and some bulky singles left to use in future art yarn explorations.

FOFri #37: All the Fluffy | Woolen Diversions

Garnet Tonic cowl. Click for project page.

I might just be done with my Garnet Tonic cowl, as well. The pattern said to knit to 48″ before adding the contrast color stripe and binding off/seaming. My cowl measured 44″ unblocked after I had just broken into the third skein and finished the 7th repeat. Since I have a tendency to overestimate cowl length, and since it is already feeling pretty heavy (2 skeins of dense yarn gobbled up), I decided to put my stitches on a lifeline and block it out now to see how big it really is before finishing. On the blocking boards it measures 14″ across and 48″ in length. Once dry I’ll try it on and see if I want to add an 8th repeat or not. Have you ever blocked a project before it’s finished to figure out proper size/length?

That’s More Like It

Happy Monday, all! I want to thank everyone who commented on my post last week. I really appreciate the words of comfort and advice offered, and just knowing that other people out there get it is a huge help. I made a concerted effort to remember the good things and enact positive changes, including taking a Kundalini yoga class, re-focusing my weight loss efforts, and just plain taking time for myself to… relax (how foreign). All told, it was a good weekend and all that relaxing meant I finished a couple of projects, too!

That's More Like It | Woolen Diversions

SG Zaftig, colorway Ghost Moth. Click for project page.

My good friends’ little girl turned 2 years old yesterday, so I thought she could use a pretty new hat. She is the only youngster that I regularly knit for since my nephews have proven to be less-than-in-love-with their woolens. The older one, Liam, refuses to wear a hat because it would ruin his gel spiked hairstyle, and he appears to have an irrational fear of vests. The younger one wore his vest when it was new, but has certainly grown out of it by now. Come to think of it, Logan might appreciate a hat… perhaps I’ll make him one. But in any case, Lyra is definitely appreciative of knitwear, as her mom is a knitter, too. I used the Troll hat pattern designed by Gabriela Widmer-Hanke and it is super adorable and straightforward. Lovely comfort knitting.

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SG Codex, colorway Devil’s Dictionary. Click for project page.

I also finally (finally, finally!) finished my Deep Dark Stellaria shawl, designed by Susanna IC. This sucker has been a WIP for about a year and a half (cast on August 2013). The shawl was pretty easy knitting for the most part, but I got delayed just 6 rows from the end due to a lace mishap that I didn’t have the mental energy to figure out, so it sat, and sat, and sat until this weekend when I just fudged a quick fix and moved on. I modified the shawl to be a deeper crescent shape by leaving fewer stitches between the wrap & turn instructions. This left me with 20 repeats of the edging at the end, and a butt-ton of stitches on the needle (read: 802).

Dun-dun-duuuuuuuuuhn!

So it was all the more frustrating when my KnitPicks Harmony interchangeable needle broke in the middle of the last row before bind-off. Luckily (or unluckily?) this had happened once before so I had a spare needle tip of the same size lying around that I was able to use to rescue the dropped stitches and soldier on. And then, during the bind off, I ran out of yarn. Luckily, I had some blackish-blueish scraps of the same yarn leftover, so I bound off the remaining stitches with no problem.

That's More Like It | Woolen Diversions

Not my best blocking ever, but I was out of pins.

The funny thing is, when I went to add the project to Ravelry I realized that I actually had four skeins of this yarn stashed and the shawl definitely didn’t use all four. (I need to weigh it to be sure.) Which essentially means that I have so much yarn that I stashed so long ago that I literally forgot what I had and my emergency yarn substitution was for naught. In truth, you really can’t tell the color difference in the bind-off, so that’s fine. And hey, now I have more of this yummy color to use.

So there you go, the Saga of the Stellaria shawl ends with a gorgeous piece of fabric and hopefully some proper FO photos coming soon. These projects represent the first two that I’m counting towards the Verdant Gryphon 12 in 2015 challenge on Ravelry. You can count up to 3 pre-2015 WIPs and choose to make either 12 projects or use 12 skeins. It’s a pretty laid-back KAL with no prizes or anything, just motivation to use up some of those stash skeins you forgot you even have.

FOFri #34: Double Whammy

You know it’s been a good week when you get to Friday and realize you have crossed off everything on your to-do list. THAT NEVER HAPPENS, GUYS. I’ve even finished things that weren’t on the list! Which is why I have not one but two finished objects to show off today. Although I apologize in advance for the quality of these photos: mornings are dark, the lighting is terrible, and it’s crazy hard to focus a DSLR when it’s on a tripod and you’re a few feet away. (Still learning with my new toy, obviously.)

Wine-y Lucy Hat:

Woolen Diversions

Blurr-tastic! Click for project page.

This hat is my faaaaaaaaaaavorite. Seriously. I love the yarn, the shape, the style, the fit… everything. The pattern is Lucy Hat by Carina Spencer. I really admire Carina’s designs. Her aesthetic aligns perfectly with what I actually want to wear, and her patterns are well-written and usually fun to knit. I’ve made her Regina hat, Whippoorwhill Shawl (which was a bit of a slog because it involved so many stitches but the shape is perfect and I wear it constantly), and no fewer than three Zuzu’s Petals cowls (and I’ve been itching to make another recently).

Woolen Diversions

Pre-finished, but shows the colors well.

I am really happy with my yarn choice for this project, too. I used Verdant Gryphon’s Zaftig (worsted weight 70% superwash Merino / 20% cashmere / 10% nylon), which is a nice round yarn with a soft hand from the cashmere content. The main color is Russian Sage, a nearly-neutral pale lilac, and the contrast is Kiss of Cabernet, a perfect wine color that I’ve been really digging lately. I was imagining the main color as more of a khaki tan, but I think the lilac is light enough to still be worn with a brown-ish outfit without screaming HEY GUYS, LOOK AT MY CLASHING PURPLE HAT, and it coordinates perfectly with outfits on the grey end of the spectrum. (Yes, I really do debate this much over whether or not things match. It’s important! Or OCD.) I will likely knit another of these someday in a different combo, probably involving teal.

Sweet Codex Shawl:

Woolen Diversions

Fringe-tastic! Click for project page.

These perfect skeins of silver Sanguine Gryphon Codex have been waiting to become a shawl for a long time… since 2012!  I waited and waited, changing my mind about a million times, wanting to use it for an intricate lace masterpiece (but having no time to actually knit such a thing). Finally, the need for a grey accessory became overwhelming and I cast on for a simple shawl that I had made before and knew that I loved.

Woolen Diversions

Makes a nice couch cover, too!

The pattern is Sweet November Knit Shawl by Caryl Pierre and it is the ultimate in stylish simplicity. It’s really nothing more than YOs, k2tog, and ssk’s combined with a fun little fringe. It’s epically wearable and looks great in both solid and variegated colorways. It can be knit with basically any weight and amount of yarn. I knit mine on US 10 needles (a bit smaller than called for since Codex is sort of in between DK and worsted weight and is rather slinky from the silk) and continued until I had 223 stitches on the needle (instead of the 171 called for) using less than 460 yards. I bound off on the WS with the recommended stretchy bindoff and added 33 fringes of 4 strands each. The shawl measures 66″ across (I like ’em big!) and 26″ down the center spine, not counting fringe.

Here are some horrible photos of me wearing it. I promise, it looks way better IRL.

I think that taking a little break from my NaKniSweMo project to finish these two accessories was totally worth it, don’t you? Plus, I have a road trip ahead of me this weekend so there should be plenty of knitting time to make up for my non-monogamous transgression (this is why I suck at KALs, y’all). I hope your weeks have been productive, as well, and Happy Friday!

FOFri #33: Need An Extra Foot?

Somehow, even though I knit and blocked and measured a gauge swatch, and calculated an approximate length I wanted my cowl to be and cast on the appropriate number of stitches, I ended up with a cowl nearly a foot longer than I had intended.

Pre-work, dusty mirror selfie is all you get.

It’s a wee bit large: 63″ circumference, 8″ tall. I don’t hate it, though I’ll never wear it long like that. I’m currently wearing it doubled up around my neck and it has a comfortably loose drape. I can also wear it tripled for increased warmth.

My ‘almost being choked by knitwear’ face.

My blocked swatch had a gauge of 5.5 sts/inch, so I cast on 285 sts to arrive at hopeful finished length of 52″. My swatch was small, which might have had something to do with it, and while I did knit it in the round, I did so on bamboo DPNs, rather than on the KnitPicks harmony wood circulars I ended up using for the cowl. I suppose those changes could have resulted in a project gauge of 4.5 sts/inch (285 sts / 63 inches). Let this be a lesson in the dramatic difference one stitch per inch can make!

Inglenook Fibers batt spinning.

I am still spinning for #Spinzilla, but sadly had no time at the wheel last night. I’ve been piling up the singles on my Russian spindle, though! All of that is the result of just one of the eight little batt poofs (batt balls? batt sections? batt muffins?) from Inglenook. I’ve yet to spin a large project on my supported spindles, so far I’ve only just sampled and then andean plied the yarn off the spindle into a 2-ply. Does anyone have tips for singles management when you only have one supported spindle? How to you spin and organize your singles for plying for an entire project?  I need to figure something out, since promptly after shooting that photo, Darwin ran off with my spindle and tragically separated the cop from its rightful place on the shaft (bad kitty!). The single appears to have maintained its shape so I’m hoping it won’t be a total mess to wind up later.

What was your worst ever gauge miscalculation fail?

FOFri #31: In The Bag

While my active WIPs are exactly the same as they were a month ago (as stated in my last post), a tiny finished object did make its way on and off my needles before ever appearing on the blog:

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Baby Bugga Set, click for project page.

A coworker of mine (the same one who designed my logos!) is having a baby in September and she requested a little hat for him. I used a bunch of Bugga leftovers (Common Emerald Moth, Yellow Fringe Doris, Blue Lobster, and Dog Days Cicada) in a somewhat randomly-striped slipped stitch pattern. I then made a couple of mismatched, color-blocked booties. I wasn’t sure how the color-blocking would work out but I admit that I’m charmed by their mismatched-ness! The whole shebang used up 46 g of leftover bits, which is pretty awesome.

I also wanted to blab about a few new project bags that have come my way recently.

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From Lizard’s Bazaar.

This pretty bag was made by Amanda of Lizard’s Bazaar. This is the large size. I originally bought a small size bag thinking it would work well for sock projects, but the unique triangular shape of the bag actually did not fit my large-ish ball of sock yarn (let alone the project to go with it). When I wrote to Amanda about this she was very gracious and let me exchange my bag for a larger size. I’m still not sure I’m in love with the triangular shape (it makes the bag appear much larger than it actually is on the inside) but the fabric is pretty, it seems well-made, and Amanda provided great customer service so I’ll certainly give it a shot!

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Made by Clever Clementine, via Indie Untangled.

A while back, Lisa from Indie Untangled teamed up with That Clever Clementine to offer a special Indie Untangled project bag for sale. Since Sweet Sheep is part of the Indie Untangled Marketplace I had to snag one, and I’m so glad I did! The bag is really well-made and a lovely size. It has a couple of slip pockets on the inside, a cloth string cinch, a nice cloth handle, and even a little string inside with a clip attached. I often clip my knitting bag to things so I think this will be a handy feature. (P.S. There’s a great giveaway happening on the Indie Untangled blog right now for a skein of yarn from Pigeonroof Studios! Just your basic enabler’s alert…)

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Dry sack from L.L. Bean.

Finally, I discovered something awesome on my honeymoon: these dry sacks from L.L. Bean make really great sock project bags! They’re made of rugged but lightweight nylon, and when they’re rolled up and clipped closed they are waterproof.

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Closed.

I admit I love the clip most of all. It was super handy while flying to just clip this bag around the strap of my carry-on so my knitting was secure and easy to reach at all times. I would recommend using some sort of needle protector, though, you don’t want the tips poking through the fabric if you want your bag to remain waterproof. I’m using a fabric DPN holder by pokdej that is doing the trick.

What’s your favorite project bag? Do you tend to use one type or different types for different projects? Is there a particular feature you requre?

Check out more FOs at Tamis Amis!

FOFri #30: The Things We Do For Friends

I had the hardest time figuring out what to make for gifts for my bridesmaids. My initial thought was shawls, but, well, there were 6 of them and even though I got engaged waaaaaay back in 2011 and therefore theoretically could have knit 6 shawls in that timeframe, I didn’t know how long our engagement was going to be but I did know that my fortitude for non-selfish gift knitting tends to be limited, so it was not likely to happen.

Copyright Eskimimi. Click for pattern page.

Then I saw this cute little coin purse and thought oooh! I could make this bigger, get a fancier purse frame, and make little clutches! The thought of all that linen stitch was a little daunting, so I figured I could perhaps make squares on my Zoom Loom and make patchwork bags. Then I hurt my wrist back in March and using the loom was a little too painful.

Copyright kateclysm. Click for pattern page.

So then, I was thinking I’d maybe make these cute little bangle bags, which would still require sewing a lining onto the back of knitted fabric (which worried me) but at least wouldn’t involve sewing into a purse frame. But still, I wasn’t totally thrilled by the idea and didn’t really know where to get the bangles.

Copyright Lion Brand Yarn. Click for pattern page.

I finally stumbled across this quilted lattice jewlery frame, and knew this would be perfect! Since I had already ordered purse frames I went back and forth debating for a while. It was a difficult debate since most of the people I usually consult for knitting advice were in the bridal party! I had to rely on my friend Jeremie, who was not particularly interested in either purses or jewelry frames. I kept coming back to the frames, though, and decided to go for them.

IMG_6701I finally started knitting them at the end of May, and finished them up in the first week of July. So, I had to knit one of these each week. I used my swatch to determine how many to cast on to fit in an 8×10 frame. It’s a good idea to underestimate how many stitches you need as your yarn will likely stretch and you want the fabric to be taught. I used a totally luscious yarn for this: BMFA Marine Silk Sport, colorway Oceana.

IMG_6702The frame requires a little work before you attach the knitting. We (I say we, since the FiascoHubs helped) used the matting from the frame as a base, then cut out quilt batting to the same size and plain fabric about an inch larger. Then you make a little batting sandwich and use double-sided tape to fold the fabric over and secure it to the back of the matting.

IMG_6703Finally, you do the utterly unthinkable and take a stapler to your silky, luxurious knitted fabric. You carefully staple all around the edges of the piece to secure the knitted fabric to the fabric backing. Not gonna lie, this part was painful.

IMG_6709But the results were so worth it! I love how these little frames turned out and I know at least one of my friends is already using hers. I didn’t want to just give these frames, however, so I also made some earrings to go with it (no, I don’t know what came over me).

IMG_6694These things came out better than I had expected and were surprisingly easy to make! Here is the super helpful tutorial I followed. I was so encouraged by my success with these earrings that I decided to make my own wedding jewelry.

I looked at a few wire jewelry photos for inspiration but basically just winged these designs and am really thrilled with how they came out. I love the little pop of color they added to my wedding ensemble, too. That’s the last of my crazy wedding crafting! I’m making one more frame for myself right now but then it’s back to knitting whatever-the-heck I want! Have you ever surprised yourself with your own crafting abilities or been suddenly struck by the desire to make something that you couldn’t quite explain?

Check out more FOs at Tamis Amis.

Dresses and Joy

I had a rather productive weekend! First, I found a wedding and dress, and second, I finished some socks! As I mentioned, I was kinda dreading the dress shopping thing and quite frankly, you could tell. While going through all the photos of all the dresses I tried on, I was highly amused by my facial expressions. I call this collage “The Many Faces of Dress Shopping”:

dress

But, as the middle photo suggests, I found a dress that works and was strong-armed into buying an overpriced veil (by my mom) and I’m pretty happy about it all. It was super helpful having my mom, my aunt, and my friends there — they really helped me sort through what I was thinking and made the process more fun. Although that hasn’t stopped me from having dress-shopping-related nightmares. I think because I only spent 2 weeks thinking about the dress and 2 visits trying dresses on, I’m stressing out that I didn’t get the right one. And when I look at photos of some of the poofier, more elaborate and more ‘bridal’ gowns, I wonder if I should have gotten one of those. But then I look at the photos of me in my lightweight, flowey bridesmaid’s dress and remember how comfortable I was in it and I feel better about it. There’s a lot of weird pressure caught up around the wedding dress, guys. It’s kinda messed up. People buy keepsake sketches of their gowns, take those weird ‘creepy floating dress’ portraits as if the gown (and not the woman in it) matters, and spend thousands and thousands (and thousands) of dollars on something they will wear for literally 5 hours. I just don’t get it. I like pretty things as much as the next gal but… priorities. Anywho, onto more fun things!

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BMFA Socks that Rock, colorway Comfort & Joy

I feel like a ‘Hallelujah!‘ is in order because this is the first pair of socks I’ve finished for myself in a year and a half, since September 2012! That is far too long to go without new socks. It was a Rockin’ Sock Club kit from 2011. I loosely followed the pattern (Joy by A. Karen Alfke) for the i-cord cuff and the linen stitch heel, but I customized the ribbing pattern and did a half linen stitch toe.

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I wish I had made the i-cord on top longer with more exaggerated ‘festoons’ because when the sock is worn it stretches out and you loose the neat wiggly effect you can see in some of the other photos on the project page. Other than that, I’m very happy with them because they’re new and they’re done!

I also received my Rockin’ Whorl Club fiber for February. If you don’t want to be spoiled, you should look away now!

 

Right now!

 

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BMFA Rockin’ Whorl Club Super Silky Merino, colorway Spring Fever

This fiber looks so sweet and delicious, I could almost eat it! It’s a blend of 40% extra fine Merino, 40% superwash Merino, and 20% bleached tussah silk. Tina suggests that this fiber would make excellent socks and I think that’s what I’ll likely try, when I am able to get around to it. For now I’m just petting it because it’s delightful.

I hope you all had excellent, productive, and joyful weekends!