Monday, December 26, 2016

Sock Inventory

Decided to take stock of my sock drawer today, primarily to see if any socks were in need of darning. Fortunately only one pair is currently developing thin spots in the heels. In the process I discovered that I have 37 pair of hand knit socks. There's a pretty even split between the red, blue and green color families as the primary colors. The reds tend to be on the orange side. The greens run the gamut from blue-green to yellow-green.

While I had the socks all laid out, it occurred to me that I could also do an assessment of my sock yarn stash. I knew that I've been slowly adding to my sick yarn stash over the years and definitely faster than I've been knitting it up. It's now up to enough yarn to knit 80 pair of socks. Some of this yarn will end up becoming shawls instead of socks but that will only drop the total to around 70 pair of hand knit socks.

I have figured out that I should focus on knitting the gray and black socks from my stash first. I've now re-sorted my Ravelry queue to reflect this. It won't likely affect my travel knitting much. I've discovered that trying to knit dark yarn while in-flight generally doesn't work. The lighting just isn't good enough--either not bright enough or it's aimed in the wrong place. I'll keep something fairly easy to memorize and in a light color for travel knitting.

I am considering shifting some of my yarn stash into the for sale/trade listing on Ravelry. Some of the yarn is stuff that I'm not likely going to use, unless it's for charity donations. I'd rather just ship it off to someone else who will use it. Of course, every time I think I'll do that, I end up reconsidering.

While I was at it, I went ahead and did the same sort of assessment of my lace yarn stash. There are 50 unknit shawls and scarves in the stash. Some of that yarn may also end up on my for sale list. I have several odd balls that were part of monthly subscriptions that just don't click with me. It may end up getting knit into charity things before it sells but it's definitely not stuff that I'm super excited about for me.

There is a sewing shop in town as of this year. It's not just a fabric store. It's actually set up for sewing. You can pay to use their sewing machines which are always set up and ready (plus a serger). I'm going to take their basic primer class in two weekends which is the pre-requisite for all their subsequent sewing classes. It'll introduce me to how their machines work since they're likely fancier than my basic little machine. It'll also help me refresh my sewing skills. There's a class to make a small zipper bag too.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Just a little thing

Friends of mine had their first baby not too long ago. I managed to stay focused on a single project long enough to whip up this adorable striped sweater. The pattern is Elwood. The yarn is Lion Brand Heartland. I was attracted to the yarn by the colors and the fact that it is washable.

I misread the pattern and included the back-of-neck shortrows. I'm hoping this will just make the back a bit longer in length when Ezra is wearing it.  I modified the collar as I thought the original number of shortrows made the collar too wide relative to the button band width. I also knit the collar and button bands on the larger needle size as the smaller needle (what the pattern recommended) caused the button band to draw in too much and distorted the sweater fronts.

I now really want a shawl collared cardigan for myself. I have plans to make myself Nancy Marchant's Book Exchange Cardigan in the near future.

Recent Travel Knitting
I managed to finish two socks (from two different pairs) while on my last trip. It amounted to two half-socks worth of knitting. I now have completed Java Socks in Shibui Sock and have the first of the Leonore socks in Colinette Jitterbug. I have not yet cast on the second sock of that pair.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I went to Jamestown and Williamsburg. I started a simple garter stitch cardigan to keep my hands occupied while riding in the car and walking around seeing the sights. I got about halfway up the body before having to put it aside for a work trip. It is good mindless knitting (as long as I remember the increases and decreases) and therefore good for evenings at home after long days at work. The pattern is Everybody Knows. I'm using Plymouth Yarns Mushishi, which I purchased back at Needleworks in Urbana when I headed off to my first post-PhD job. It's a nice wool-silk blend and it is knitting up beautifully.

Holiday Knitting Plans
I'll be taking several extra days off work in the coming weeks. My intention is to kick my half marathon training up a notch and also to hammer my way through my knitting and NetFlix queues.