Business Casual on the road

After finishing my Triton socks last week, I went stash diving for my next sock project inspiration. I saw this Malabrigo Sock in Indiecita, and knew immediately it would work up into beautiful Business Casual socks. I had seen the pattern on the Tanis Fiber Arts blog and loved it, and felt that this would be a pattern/yarn pair made in heaven. Since then, I’ve been carrying this project along with me everywhere as my traveling knitting project.

The weather has been half beautiful and half rainy, and on the beautiful days, I’ve been taking my socks out to our patio and making some progress. Here they are in the evening light a couple of days ago:

Knitting Business Casual socks outside

Business Casual socks with my adorable green-eyed sheep stitch marker

I also took them to Starbucks with me for a little special breakfast on Wednesday. I had gone with the intention to get a Cinnamon Chip Scone, but found out they had stopped carrying them the day before!! The coffee cake was a pretty good substitute though. But to be honest, I’m still a little bummed about the scone.

Business Casual knitting at Starbucks

Yes, I took a nibble of the coffee cake pre-picture. It was a late breakfast, and I was hungry!

I took all the necessary knitting items along with me in my Tom Bihn project bag. While I love my green/grey Swift, you just don’t always need to take everything along with you.

I’m now well into the foot of my first Business Casual sock, and I still love it. The Malabrigo is adding a particularly fabulous touch to these, as it is soooo soft and the colors are gorgeous. On one hand, I can’t wait to finish these up to show you this lovely pair, and on the other hand, I don’t really want to stop working on a project that makes me so happy. But I suppose all good things must come to an end, and there are many more sock patterns and yarn to be conquered!

 

 

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FO: Ty Dy Socks

It’s always good to have a pair of simple socks on the needles. My latest FO is one of those simple pairs using Ty-Dy Sock Yarn.

Ty Dy SocksI should also mention there is nothing I love more than a pair of blocked socks – they feel amazing. These had a soak in Soak and then dried on my Knit Picks sock blockers.  They  look so flat and fabulous.

I was initially convinced this yarn was going to be very busy, and that only a simple stockinette sock would work. Once I actually started knitting, though, I realized that with 40 straight rows of green I probably could have gotten away with something a little more detailed. While I love how these turned out, and that by pure luck I ended up with pink tops, heels and toes, they don’t look like Ty Dy to me.

Wearing my Ty-Dy Socks

But like I said, I still love them. They are very comfortable. I used a sock pattern that I’ve used many other times just to get the basic numbers. I used a size 2.5 needles on these, which is a little looser gauge than I’d usually like for socks. I think that in this case it actually makes them light and airy and very nice to wear. Full details are on Ravelry .

I’m very near completion on the second of my Triton Socks, and about halfway through my first self-striping simple sock. The Dandelion Days Cowl is on a bit of a hiatus, as pattern on every row is more taxing than my brain can handle right now.

I’ll also be back soon to share a quick, happy project!

 

 

This week’s projects: Two pairs of socks

Last week, I started two new pairs of socks, which I’m still working diligently on this week.

After the success of my Ty Dy Socks (pictures to come soon), which were the perfect mindless knitting, I wanted to cast on for another simple sock. I was trying to decide which yarn to pull from my stash for the project when I had a weird dream about casting on with some self-stripting yarn I’d purchased to make Halloween socks. I have no idea why I’m dreaming about Halloween socks in May, but I decided to roll with it.

Halloween Sock YarnOut came my ball winder and swift so I could get this String Theory Colorworks Continuum in RuBisCo ready to get on the needles. I’m doing a basic sock on size 1 needles, and kind of faking it as I go along. I am vaguely following my favorite sock pattern (because I know it fits) in a larger size, since I’m using a smaller needle, and so far that seems to be working out. I’ll let you know once I’ve got one done. I’ve got to say that even though this looks bold wound up, it’s even more eye-popping once it’s knit up in the stripes. These are going to be LOUD, but awesome for Halloween.

I also cast on for a more seasonally appropriate pattern – Triton socks in Bliss with a Twist in Tanzanite. I’m sorry to say that the reason I’ve waited so long to do this pattern/yarn combination is because I didn’t want to learn Judy’s Magic Cast-On. Not that it’s hard, it was just the video explaining it was 8 minutes long, and I had no idea why anything needed to be that involved. Silly, right? I finally did it and it was very easy – and it did not take 8 minutes to figure out.

I took myself to Starbucks last week to enjoy a sunny day with a Frappuccino (in case you’re interested – I do Carmel Light with extra carmel drizzle) and some Triton knitting. It was really lovely. I may be doing it again this week because – public service announcement – Starbucks is doing half price Frappuccinos in the afternoon until May 12!! This makes me very happy.

Triton Sock in progressI’m now working on the leg of the first sock, having successfully negotiated a new-to-me way of doing an actual heel flap on a toe-up sock (my others have been all short rows). I’m really loving it!

The last thing I’m thinking about starting this week is a baby project for a friend. I’ve purchased some yarn (Bernat Satin in Lavender), but I’m stuck between making a hat and mitten set (thinking of the ones I used for the Hermione trio), a little cardigan (I LOVE this one) or going the whole hog for a blanket (also love this!). I really only have a week or so of dedicated knitting time before I don’t know how much free time I’ll have. She’s due in mid-July, and it has to be shipped. So what’s a girl to do? I’ve really been leaning toward the blanket idea, but I really think that’s insane. I’m open to any other ideas you may have for a quick, easy knit (to me, this means little to no seaming) for a baby girl. Let me know!

 

This is how I swatch

I know that swatches are good things. And that you should definitely do them if you want things to fit. But I hate doing them anyway.

I took a Knitting Boot Camp class a couple of years ago, and it was recommended that for every project you make at least a 5” by 5” square, with nice garter selvedges, that you then wash, block, dry and measure.

And while that sounds very sensible, I just don’t have the patience to do all that before I start a project. It also sometimes feels like a waste of good yarn. So I’ve made a compromise with myself. It looks like this:

sock swatch

 

This is my swatch for the Triton Socks that I started yesterday. I’ve had this pattern and yarn combo in mind for a while, and I finally decided it was time to go for it. I love the idea of this sea blue yarn being used in a sock named for the Greek god of the sea. What I did not love was that I needed to check my gauge. I was hoping that I could get away with a smaller needle than suggested, as the last socks I made on 2s seemed a bit loose for my liking. I swatched on a 1 1/2 and knit only enough to be able to squeeze my ruler onto it and then measured.

gauge swatchBy some miracle, even though I’m usually a tight knitter, the 1 1/2 needles put me right on target.

I didn’t bother with a soak or a block. I just ripped out the swatch, and used the same yarn to begin my sock.

While I know this isn’t the optimum way to swatch, it generally works for me. I at least do a check without holding up the beginning of a project too much. To be fair, I don’t really knit sweaters (where I would probably actually do the whole big swatch, wash, block thing), just socks and mitts that – so far – have fit  by using this shortcut method.

This is one of the things I like about knitting: everyone has their own methods. As long as it works for you, keep going with it!