Our Winter Sweater Weather Knit Along finishes this week and I cannot wait to see what you have all been up to! I am so excited! We have some great prizes for everyone who participates in our Ravelry thread. Stop by the thread a show us a picture of your in progress/finished sweater and we will announce the winner after the Easter long weekend.
Hey guys,Welcome back! Ash and I had an awesome weekend last weekend! I decided that it was unfair that I didn't get March break anymore and decided to take an extended weekend to Ottawa to visit the fam! I even made it down early enough to have an impromptu knit night with a couple of friends that I don't get to see nearly often enough. We had a blast! We ate some amazing food and I learned the hard way that gin and tonic should never be mixed with knitting. I cast on the second mitten of my Log Cabin Mitts and realised too late that the spiral of the logs flips directions after the centre and had to purl the next couple logs to prevent a weird gap. I'm definitely going to have to try this pattern again (sans gin) to find out exactly where I went awry. In any case, both mitts are done and blocked and the ends are in the process of being woven in. (To be honest, that was supposed to be yesterday's project but the train rides in and out of Toronto were so comfy, I managed to get two solid naps in.)All of this gets away from the real point of today's blog, which is THIS BEAUTY:
We're officially at the half way point in our KAL so I thought it was a good time to check in. We already have one finished object and Ashley is making excellent headway on both her Weekender sweater by Andrea Mowry and her Playdate Cardigan for Mila by Tincanknits. I can tell Ashley's still has sweaters on the brain because she keeps sending me these gorgeous sweaters on Instagram. I'm pretty much guaranteeing that if Ashley had Mrs. Weasley's knitting skills, those needles would be knitting while she slept and I would be rolling in hand knit sweaters.
If you want to participate in the KAL and you're looking for inspiration take a look at our bundles of Pullovers and Cardigans on Ravelry where Ashley has curated some of her favourites. Since she put this together her list has grown. Here is some of my favourites that we’ve recently seen on Instagram:
Hey guys, I know it’s been awhile so I’m definitely do for a blog post but I have a huge problem. I’ve lost my knit mojo. I don’t know how it happened and I don’t know when it happened but it’s true. I started the year with moderate knit goals – hats and mitts all year long. It seemed like an achievable goal because I`ve been craving mindless knitting and the pleasure of a goal quickly achieved but even that has slipped away from me.
Ashley has been very sympathetic, tempting me with beautiful patterns on Instagram and pictures of beautiful yarn that she`s at home dyeing. She even hand delivered, not one, but three beautiful skeins of yarn two weekends ago and I`ll admit I was tempted. I thought I could feel my mojo returning. I pick them up and give them a squish, cuddle them for a few minutes, think of the possibilities and then set them back down. I think the problem is every time I feel like knitting I immediately feel like I ought to be doing something else or finishing a project that I`ve already started and by the time I finish the negotiating process I give up and go and find something else to do.
A few projects definitely did catch my eye though. Have you guys seen Joji Locatelli`s, The Easy One pullover? It looks amazing and promises right there in Ravelry no shaping and no crazy shortrows. I’m thinking very seriously that this sweater will be the project I take on my long trek to India next month. Also, regardless of my lost mojo, I just bought the Counterbalance Mitts pattern by Stephanie Lotven which is on sale until February 28th. I am totally going to use the Sport that Ashley just brought me for this.
Our Winter Sweater Weather Knit Along officially launched on Friday February 1st! I am so excited! Have you signed up and joined in? There are a few other KAL's happening right now on Ravelry and we are totally fine if you participate in them as well as ours with the same project! That's just increases your chances to have fun and win prizes for sure.
Two of the most common questions I get from new knitters are:
1) what kind of needles do you use? and
2) do you know how to magic loop?
The answer to the first is #HIYAHIYA forever!! I am almost strictly a Hiya Hiya girl. Now I know you going to say "Oh, you guys are distributors so obviously you're promoting that brand," but I've always been a Hiya Hiya girl. The first set of proper knitting needles I ever owned were Knit Picks DPN's because Knit Picks had a promo and they were free. But the first needles I ever chose were the small set of Hiya Hiya interchangeables that I bought from my, then favourite, local yarn store. I was still a brand new knitter and my dad was standing right beside me. I was hesitating and my super frugal, never spend a hundred dollars on anything silly, dad said, "if you like it, you should buy it." And then he bought them for me. They were the best gift ever. Pretty soon after I converted Ash and neither of us have gone back.
Now there are definitely other brands out there, and, in a pinch, I've had to use a few of them. If you can't get your hands a set of Hiya Hiya's, my next top faves are Chiagoo and Knitters Pride. I do have a pair of Signature needles but that's a just a depressing story. Let's just leave it at, Ash really likes hers.
For today's post I thought I would do a quick demonstration of magic loop since lots of people really do ask me about this technique. When I got my Knit Picks DPN's and learned how to use them, I swore it was the only way I would ever knit in the round so I bought every size of DPN's. Then I learned magic loop and now I have a bin of DPN's that I almost never use. Magic loop is super fast, once you get the hang of it, because you don't have a bunch of bulky needles that you have to maneuver around. Also the danger of having your needles fall out of your project drops down significantly.
Today I'm casting on the second side of my little baby mitten and this seems like the perfect time to show you how to do this. I'm using a size 7 needle on a 32" cable and some worsted yarn. I like a 32" cable because you can them for a lot of different projects. A 24" can sometimes be too short and a 40" too long. Just a heads up, I'm knitting this in the English style not continental.
If you guys have been following us on Instagram and Facebook you would know that we have recently dyed up a huge batch of Superwash Worsted in a variety of colours. We can’t seem to get enough of the all the fabulous sweater patterns that are out right now! It should be no surprise, then, that our winter KAL would be sweater themed.
The KAL will run from February 1st, 2018 to March 31st, 2018 and the prizes will be announced on April 4, 2018 and will be chosen by a random generator. Join our Rav group and post a picture of your finished object on this thread by midnight on March 31st, 2018 in order to qualify. I guess I don’t have to state the obvious but, just to be sure, your sweater must be knit with at least one skein of RSBSY in order to qualify for the prizes and be included in our “Round Up” blog post.
Find us on Instagram as @redsockbluesockyarnco
Use #RSBSYWINTERKAL2018 so we can see all of your progress shots and finished objects.
How're you all doing? A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that, in lieu of a knit list this year, I was possibly going to focus on hats and mittens to donate. Well we're definitely doing that. I have been tumbling the idea around in my head since then and poking around the internet to figure out where to donate, which you would have thought would be easy but it really wasn't. Way too many options. How do you choose a favourite cause? There are so many great organizations doing amazing work out there. I finally decided to go with Nellies, here in Toronto. They do amazing work and it's an organization, that I, my friends and my colleagues have donated to in the past. Nellie's provides shelter, education and advocacy to women and children who have and are experiencing oppressions such as violence, poverty and homelessness.
My goal this year is to knit 40 finished objects - hats and mittens to donate and I would love to have your help. The shelter is able to accept any size from new born to adult sized items and you are more than welcome to use anything in your stash.
I'm sure you're going to see many progress shots through the year and I'm going to keep you guys posted on whatever patterns I'm using. For now I'm focusing on these one's from my Ravelry favourites which, conveniently, are all free:
So this list of nine new projects took me a lot longer to put together than I thought it would. It is more of a dream list because lets face it, there is very little knitting time in my life at the moment and I am not too sure if that will change. There is also a huge pile of wips that have to be finished up but more on that in another post.
Stop by the blog and see what I have been dreaming about
Hey guys! Welcome to week 2 of January! How's everyone's resolutions holding up? I can honestly say that my will power is fading guys. First goal of the year - don't take on too much - is mostly just a guilty false promise that I made to myself. Just the other day a friend of mine, who's planning her wedding, sent me a message saying, "wanted to solicit your creativity... I know you would have some good ideas." To which I responded, "I feel like you just made my life. Let's get this Pinterest board started!" Nevermind that, while sitting in a workshop today, I took a few minutes to plan my school schedule until the end of summer. I promised myself I would not take on more than two classes this semester but I'm legitimately sitting here thinking to myself, "whats the difference between two and three really?" I guess the fact that I dragged myself out of my super comfortable bed at 7 am to travel in -30 weather all the into downtown Toronto on a Saturday is a testament to how much fun I'm having so can I even complain at this point?
Anyway, all of this is getting away from the topic of the day: Mitten lining! I've done it a few times now and I love the way it feels to add just that little bit of extra warmth to you favourite hand knit mittens. It's like taking your bed with you when you have to leave the house on a cold winter morning.
Guys, do you realize that you haven’t heard from me in two weeks? Did you miss me? I missed you. It’s been sooo hectic around here but now the crazy has sort of died down. The to do list is shorter and way more manageable. Final assignments and exams have been submitted and written and I can finally get to my favourite part of the season: Christmas prep. Time to sort out all the shopping and see what's left to do. Start real work on the handmade projects which, sadly, always get left until the last moment. I've finally accepted that the girls cardigans are probably not going to be done on time for Christmas. Maybe by Valentines day. We'll see.
I can at least say that their hats will be done on time which I’m super pleased about. I actually saved the bind off so I can give you guys a little tutorial in case you haven’t seen a three needle bind off before. The first time I heard of a three needle bind off I was pretty intimidated. I could barely handle two needles without adding a third into the mix but a three needle bind off is pretty much exactly the same as a basic bind off but you’re knitting two parallel stitches together to close a seam. Take a look below.
Guys, I'm starting to panic. The countdown to Christmas is about to start and I already feel unprepared. How is this possible? I feel as though I've been prepping since September. In fact I'm pretty sure I've been prepping since September. Now we're two days away from December and I feel like I'm way behind schedule.
I don't know why but countdown to Christmas always starts on December 1. As soon as that first box is popped on our advent calendars it feels like we need to get things done NOW. Invariably, I end up paring down my grand plans to manageable plans almost instantaneously. I'm not gonna tell you my grand plans because I'm super confident that one of these years, I'm actually going to execute them and I still want everyone to be surprised.