Colour Explosion Sneakers

I have said it once, I have said it twice: I don’t think that knitting heavily-patterned socks while using colourful yarn is a good idea.

You just won’t get anything out of it. Every once in a while, I see folks using commercial-dyed sock yarn (say, Regia or Opal) and knitting intricate, complicated patterns, mostly with really fancy cables.

And all I can think of: “It’s naught.” You can’t see the cables properly, because the colours get in the way and the stripes (which are a big part of Opal yarns, usually) don’t work into each other harmoniously, so you cannot appreciate the pretty colourway either. It’s simply not worth the effort.

Now look at this:

Colour Explosion Sneakers 05

These socks were knit of a Regia yarn that is simply called “Regia 4-ply color”, and obviously, I didn’t stick to my own rule. I bought this yarn in June, after having bought two balls of it for last year’s Julklapp in our knitting group, and eyeing it ever since then. The yarn is really pretty:

Regia 4-fädig 01

It’s also really busy, changing the colour of the barberpoled-yarn every centimetre or so.

I took it to my sister’s birthday (which is at the beginning of August) and cast on 20 sts for a pair of sneaker socks after coffee (and cake).

Colour Explosion Sneakers 01

After finishing the toe, I started with the  Hermione’s Everyday Socks pattern, and, after a few rounds, showed my grandmother what I had done. She eyed the sock suspiciously.

“I don’t think it’s worth the effort”, she finally said. “Frankly, I wouldn’t bother, and knit it in stockinette stitch.”

Of course, I didn’t listen, and when I came to the point where I had to start the gusset increases (which for me is after 12,6cm), I added a bit of texture:

Colour Explosion Sneakers 07

I know that this is nowhere original, I have seen socks with garter stitch gussets a couple of times, but I have always found them to be very pretty. The fun fact about garter stitch gussets is that they look very fancy, but are easy to knit: Simply increase your stitches as you normally would, and purl all your gusset stitches when it comes to the second row (“knit all stitches”). I increased until I had 14 gusset stitches, but kept the first and the last stitch before and after the instep as a knit stitch, to have a smarter edge.

Colour Explosion Sneakers 02

The heel flap was knit with slipped stitches (I find that they make the sock really comfortable and sturdy – none of my socks had ever any problem with the heel flap) and then I continued the leg for about 7 rounds (6 on the second, because what the heck, the sock was long enough), and topped it off with 10 rounds of 1/1 ribbing for the cuff. I bound off using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind off, and wow.

Colour Explosion Sneakers 06

I’m in love. The socks are colourful, the texture is lovely, and I really love the look of them, although you can’t spot a damn thing unless you’re near enough to see all the small details. They made a great travel project when I went to and from work, and the pattern, while keeping me interested, was not complicated at all, which allowed me to knit a few rows in between writing a huge crack-fic (a “crack fic” is a crazy, funny story, a crazy fanfiction story in particular) with a friend of mine in the evenings (yes, we are over 700 pages. After about 2-3 months of writing. We’re bonkers). Today, I bound off, sewed in the ends, and weighed the remaining yarn.

Regia 4-fädig 02

1 gram is left. I am a happy camper.
Have a great start into next week, my friends! Take care!

All the best,
Julia😀
P.S.: OH, by the way? Last night, we went to Duesseldorf to celebrate L.’s birthday, and she got the pair of socks I knit for her:

Summerchild Socks 07

She wasn’t as enthusiastic as I would have hoped (she didn’t squee or say anything about the pretty colourway), but the socks fit and she was opening presents in front of all the guests. I’m biding my time, and hope that she will love them.😉

So that was that. (featuring lots of yarny pictures)

At the beginning of the year, I was on a mission.

I had pulled out all of my stashand had finally realised that not only do I own 9,202kg of yarn (add 1kg of fibre to that), but also that I had hit the 500€ mark on my stash (not counting the stuff I had been gifted).

Just a friendly reminder of what our living room looked like ... Philipp wasn't so cool about it as last year. A-HEM.

Just a friendly reminder of what our living room looked like … Philipp wasn’t so cool about it as last year. A-HEM.

 

So, as I said, I said that I would use up stash, and that I would only buy yarn for presents or if I really, really needed it.

The year went really well so far –  I am a member of the “Stricken statt Klicken”-group on raverly, where we have a so-called “Stashtistic”, which is basically a post in a thread you can use to list everything that goes into your stash and out of it. To make sure nothing gets lost, I also have a second spreadsheet on my computer (I am a sucker for spreadsheets. And lists. And plans. And everything that gives you the illusion of being very organised.😉 ).

The year started off really, really well, and then, in June, I stumbled for the very first time when I bought this:

Wolle im Juni

Okay, okay, the merino yarn in the bag was intended for the Meadow Baby Blanket (and to be fair, I only had 2 grams of leftovers – I have to sew in the ends and wash it and then it will be ready to show here!), but also the little ball of yarn in front. THIS was a completely unneccessary purchase (but one I enjoy too damn much to be concerned about it. More about it later).

These 350grams of yarn added to the stash of course, but since I used up 297 gram of the merino, I wasn’t doing so bad … I still had destashed 615grams of yarn, bringing my yarn stash to roughly 8,6kg of yarn (yes, yes … I know. The PROGRESS …😉 ).

And then …

I blew it all.

You see, I am already making a list of who will be getting WHAT for Christmas (I will talk about that soon – so many things to share! ) and had made a list of what to get … And last Tuesday, Philipp was kind enough to drive me to Tinkus

Wolle im August

… and I managed to f*ck up seven months’ worth of stashbusting in 40. minutes. solid.

Now, bear with me, bear with me, I HAVE plans for this yarn! I promise! See, this:

awette classic weinrot

Is for my granddad, who will be getting socks for Christmas again. I haven’t decided about a pattern yet … Something manly, but not too plain. Right now, I am contemplating GladysAlluvial Deposits, or Monte Christo (which looks a tiny bit like the Bly socks I made for my gran last year … So they would have sort of matching socks … awww …).

20 Jahre Opal

Philipp picked this (I just showed him the Opal yarns and left him to himself to pick a ball of yarn he liked (or two), and this is what he came back to me with. This is a dark blueish purple, and he’ll be getting a pair of socks for Christmas out of it. I was thinking something along the lines of the Fidget Socks

arwetta classic erdbeere

This yarn is actually for me, and I want to make myself another pair of lace socks … Maybe Terhen?

Anina hellgrün

Now, THIS beauty is 100% Merino yarn in a wonderful, wonderful green. It’s going to be a shawl, I think … Something squishy and warm and … hach …😉

Gotlansk violett

and I even have plans for this! Yes! These 300 grams of DK Gotland yarn will become my very first Gemini sweater! I can’t wait … I paid about 24€ for 810 metres of yarn, and I think that this isn’t too bad a deal.

isager Alpaca 1

I don’t have plans for this. But it’s 400 metres of gorgeous Alpaca lace yarn from Isager, and I couldn’t say no to it.

So! All in all, that makes 750 grams that go into the stash … which means that, after I sorted out three odds and ends that I couldn’t work up anymore, but had still in the “in stash” tab on ravelry, I have destashed a glorious 93 grams so far.

Ah well.

OH, and besides?

Box of Leftovers 8-2016

My box of leftovers if full to the brim. There are more projects to come …

Have a lovely, lovely Sunday evening, my friends!

Lots of love,
Julia😀

More Socks, I say! More Socks!

This summer is bewitched. For lots of folks, it’s the bad weather (we have had lots and lots of rain or very high humidity), but for me, it’s hard to keep balance right now. There is so much stuff I have to DO …

Sneakers for the Summer I 06

I have made a couple of socks over the past few weeks!🙂 The baby blanket I showed you here is almost finished (I need to knit the border and then I only have to sew in the ends and wait for the baby), but sometimes, you need something quicker.

Let’s start with a pair of sneaker socks! I had been circling this yarn for a while – I still want to stashbust, but this was a 50gram-ball of Regia Color, and I thought it wouldn’t do much harm to the stash. It didn’t by the way, since I used up everything except 8grams of yarn.😉

Sneakers for the Summer I 05

This is a very simple “k3,p1” sock, and I bound off in ribbing, so they do look a bit weird from the front, but they are warm enough for the colder days and short enough for the hotter ones.

Sneakers for the Summer I 04
The next pair of socks were for Philipp – surprise – and, funnily enough, they are made from Regia yarn as well (omg, I just realised that all the socks shown in this blogpost are made from Regia yarn. Who’d’ve known!)

Dress Socks 04

I love these ones a lot … We bought the yarn on a whim, I really liked the colours in the ball, and the store we were in had a sample sock to show (VERY clever selling strategy, in my opinion!). Philipp was really smitten with the yarn, and so I knit the socks as they were; I only did the “crossed” heel flap (meaning that you alternate between “sl1, k1 – purl back” and “sl2, k1,sl1 until the last 2 sts, k2 – purl back” on the heel flap). That was all.

Dress Socks 03
These socks didn’t use up as much yarn as I thought – there are still 30 grams left, enough to mix this yarn with something else for leftover socks!🙂

Next thing on the calendar, now that my sister celebrated her 27th birthday yesterday, is the birthday of a friend of ours …
Summerchild Socks 06
We have known her for YEARS (she went to school with us) and although I have no idea whether she’d like to get a pair of handknit socks, I know that she DOES love sewing, so it MIGHT be a hit (and no, this doesn’t have to make sense.😉 ). If not, it’s NOT because of the yarn. It can’t be the yarn.

Summerchild Socks 07

This is the first “Arne and Carlos” design line in the “Twilight” Colourway, and it’s GORGEOUS. GORGEOUS. Really. Hach … I didn’t manage to match the socks (as you can see from the picture above, the pattern repeat is incredibly long), but I don’t mind it and hopefully, she won’t, either. These were knit on 2,5mm needles (by accident, I only noticed it when I measured my gauge after finishing the first sock (I am so quick on the uptake ….) and realised that I was at my trusted 30sts/40rws = 4″/10cm again.

Summerchild Socks 08
Since our friend has small feet (European 36/37, the socks could be modelled by me nevertheless), so these socks only used up 59grams which means … LEFTOVER SOCKS! (And YES, this is an afterthought heel, because I didn’t want to break up the colour repeat).

Last, but not least …

Colour Explosion Sneakers 01
… another pair of sneaker socks for me, in the most beautiful, dazzling Regia Color. I only bought 50 grams of this, so it will become – guess what? Yeah. Sneaker socks.

Oh, and this is the “Hermione’s Everyday Socks” pattern I’m using here. Can’t spot it? Doesn’t matter.

I don’t think it will make much difference anyway.😉

 

Have the most beautiful day, my friends!
All the love!

Julia😀

Squares of Green

Hi all!🙂

Wow, I sat down to write a blog post a couple of times already, but although I have finished some stuff, the words just wouldn’t come … So I am trying again tonight, this time with my current WIP.😉

As you may recall, I have made a few baby items for friends and family members (i. e. my cousin) who were expecting additions to the family!

This time … E. is the lucky one! I am really, really happy about this, because E. knew that she wanted to be a mother for ages, and she wants to have more than one child and now, the Little One is expected at the end of August!🙂

When E. told me the happy news, I immediately said: “I’ll knit something for the baby, if you like. What would you prefer – a cardigan, or a blanket?”

We talked a bit about that, E. conferred with her husband (who is awesome, by the way!), and they decided that they would like a blanket.

I sent them a few emails with suggestions for a pattern and suitable yarn, and in the end, they settled for the Sunny Baby Blanket, a wonderful freebie on ravelry.🙂

I went and bought yarn:

Merino Plus 02
As you can see, the yarn is called “Merino Plus”, and it’s a very, very beautiful Merino/Acrylic blend that comes at 125 metres per 50 grams ball. Yay!🙂 (I love the colour, by the way.)

I jotted down the basics of the pattern, knit a swatch with 3,5mm needles, got 17sts instead of 19 in garter stitch (without blocking) and took a ball of yarn, the notes and a 4,0mm needles to my monthly knitting group meeting.

Meadow Baby Blanket 01

I spent all afternoon happily casting on 321 stitches, and started to work on the bottom border, which consists of 16 rows of garter stitch (8 ridges).

I was just starting the pattern and wanted to check how the stitches were distributed, when the little voice that had been pacing around in my head for a while, forced me to look on the beginning of the pattern. “Co 132 sts”, it stated clear and simple.

Damn.

To be completely honest, I DID contemplate whether I should simply go on (because that’ such a great idea, right? … I mean, the baby WILL grow up and might own a kingsize bed one day … ), but then I pulled out the needles and spread the knitting out, and when I realised that it covered almost BOTH of our desks … I frogged it all, rewound the ball and started anew.

This time with 132 stitches.

Meadow Baby Blanket 02

So far, it’s going great. I love the pattern and the yarn. And with 132 stitches, things are going a lot more faster, too.😉

Enjoy your weekend, friends! Love ya!

Julia😀

Hearts of Ice

Did you ever see a pattern on ravelry and thought: “Yes, I am going to make this. I am going to use [this] yarn in [that] colour, and it will look beautiful and amazing and I will be very, very proud when I have finished it.”

Polly Jean 01

Polly Jean was such a pattern.

I queued it about two years ago, I think, when I was still newer to sock knitting and deemed heavily-patterned socks like these too complicated to be ever knit by me. But although I never knew whether I would make them at all – I definitely knew that I wanted to knit them in a soft light blue.

Polly Jean 02

Well, May 2016 rolled around, and I found myself sitting down with two 50gram balls of light blue sock yarn by Wolle Roedel and a set of 2,0mm DPNs, casting on the first sock of a pair of Polly Jeans.

Polly Jean 06

Now, I have found that there is a special magic to heavily-patterned socks. As you proceed from the cuff to the leg, you find yourself wanting to knit “one more pattern repeat”, or “another half of a pattern repeat”, and then, quicker than you thought possible, it’s time to divide your stitches for the heel flap, and before you know it, you have turned the heel and are working your way through the gusset decreases.

Polly Jean 05

I knit these socks exactly as the pattern stated. I even knit the cuff shorter than I usually do – normally, I go for about 5cm of cuff, because that’s what my grandmother taught me when she taught me how to knit socks, and that’s how I like them.

Polly Jean 04
The toe instructions of these beauties held an interesting surprise for me as well: While you decrease as you normally would on the bottom half of the stitchs, the top half sets the decreases within the pattern, shaping the last heart (or leaf, depending on how you see them), and thus making the socks a great fit.
Polly Jean 03
And so, after two years of falling in love with this pattern and putting it into my queue, I can proudly say that I knit these socks in the colour that I wanted and that they look beautiful and amazing and that I am very, very proud.🙂


All the love, my friends! Take care.
Julia😀

Bark around my neck

Time flies.

I have no other explanation for this long absence, except that I have started to write again (and that I am still fangirling) and that I am exercising more. On top of that, since the middle of April, I have two jobs, plus the dissertation, and so my free time has become something I have to manage well, if I want to tend to everything equally (obviously, I haven’t completely succeeded yet).

But: Here I am!🙂 And I even have something to show you.

When I visited the handmade in 2013 for the first time, I bought this beautiful skein of sock yarn from the Ponderosa booth:

Ponderosa Birke 01
It was displayed as a singular skein, and I fell in love with the colours. It sat in my stash for three years, and now, due to my promise to use up my most beautiful yarn instead of staring at it, I have finally found a pattern that is suitable.

Meet the Oaklet Shawl. This is a freebie pattern by the wonderful Megan Goodacre, and I wanted to knit it for ages, so I figured that it was a perfect match. There is an updated version of this pattern now, for a bigger shawl and more lace, but I liked the old one and thought it good enough.

I cast on at the beginning of April and finished it at the beginning of May:

Birch Shawl 02

and, if I may say so, it came out really, really lovely.

Birch Shawl 03
The shawl consists of a stockinette body with a spine in the middle and a lace border that is simple, but beautiful.

Birch Shawl 04

I knew the yarn would probably swallow it completely, but I wasn’t going so much for the lace part, but for the yarn itself, and after trying garter for a bit, I decided that stockinette would be best.

I got gauge (22sts/10cm) with a 4,0mm needle, and the only change I made to the pattern was increasing to 249 sts instead of starting  the border at 233 sts.

Birch Shawl 06

This is neither the largest shawl I have ever made, nor will it fit each and every one of my outfits.

Birch Shawl 08

But it certainly suits my complexion, and I love the look of it, especially when I am wearing it asymmetrically …

Birch Shawl 07

… instead of pulling it up, which would not do it justice.

Birch Shawl 09
The best thing about this project is not only that I used up 97 grams of a beautiful skein and do not have that much leftovers, but that I tried to take a chance with a heavily coloured yarn, and took my time to find pattern for it that I could be happy with.

Because sometimes, yarn is too good to be hidden as handknit socks inside your sneakers.😉
Have a lovely, lovely start into your weekend, my friends! I have more to show you and more is yet to come!

All the love!
Julia😀

So, how’s it going with the Stash?

Hi there!🙂

Woah, that was a long time … Again … But there is a ton of stuff going on simultaneously right now (I’ll tell you in a separate post).

So! The first three-and-a-half months have flown by (at least that’s how it feels for me  – anybody else thinks time is slipping away right now?), and I thought I’d give you a first update on my stashbusting plans for this year!

So, if you remember, I started out with 9,202 kg of yarn, and over 1 kg of fibre (you can read more about this here, if you want to).

For those of you who have already read that blog entry, or don’t want to read it right now, here is a picture of it all being spread out in January:

Stash 2015
And you might remember me saying that this was absolutely too much. And it was. I want to bust some serious stash, especially because I’d love to buy yarn again without beating myself up the minute I step out of the store, and it has worked quite well over the first three months!

I have several ways to keep track of my stash. First of all, I put it all on my ravelry stash page – this is a quick and easy way for me to link yarn and patterns, or to have a look if there are any great items I can make when I have leftovers (this is especially handy for leftover lace yarn).

I am also a member of the “Stricken statt klicken” (“Knitting instead of clicking” – referring to clicking on “buy” when you buy yarn online) group and have an entry in the “Stashtistic” thread there. The “Stashtistic” entry can be as elaborate as you’d like it to be – I simply state how much yarn I buy, how much I knit, if I gift some or if I sell some (this is rarely the case).  I do the totals for every month and for a total for the whole year – and to be able to compare numbers, I made myself a very simple spreadsheet where I only enter the totals for each year, so I can see how much I knit up from (or added to) the Stash in 2014, 2015, 2016, etc. Really simple.

So! How did it go?

Stash 2016 01
I am very proud to say that one of these bags in front of the two boxes is GONE. Yes. I used up enough yarn to transfer the yarn from one bag into the box. Don’t get too excited, it’s the smallest bag in the middle – but it IS progress, and I am really happy.

During the last three months (fueled by the House Cup), I knit

Now, I know that for some folks, this isn’t much, but it was enough to keep me occupied, and with all the other stuff going on, it was sufficient.😉

I only bought 200 grams of yarn during these first two months: 100 gram as insurance so I could finish the sweater (I didn’t use it and won’t use it and I still have the receipt and I will finally take it back, so I didn’t photograph it), and a ball of sock yarn of Regia Vermont Color:

Regia Vermond Color
Which looks simply stunning when it’s knit up (look here!) and will become a pair of socks for Philipp.

And then I splurged (well, you can’t really call it a splurge) and bought 100grams of a uni-coloured sockyarn for a change:

Sport- und Strumpfwolle_hellblau

I know that I have enough sock yarn (although the number of unused balls starts to dwindle slowly, but surely), I have wanted to knit a pair of patterned socks for a change, and I since I have wanted to knit the Polly Jean socks for ages now (and in light blue, too), this was too good an opportunity to miss.🙂

Apart from that, I didn’t buy anything new, and thus, I am happy to announce that I lost 520 grams so far, which leads to a total of 8,682 kg. When I will FINALLY have the Amiga Cardigan finished, I will be able to add at least another 300 grams on top of that, which is cool!🙂 (I’m small, so sweaters don’t seem to take up that much yarn. On the other hand, it also means that I don’t have to buy so much of it)

The only department where I haven’t made any progress so far, is spinning:

Stash 2016 03

But I am optimistic that I will get to that as well.🙂

 

Have a wonderful Sunday, friends! Love ya!
Julia😀