Confidential

Operative codename: Kninernat

Mission: Knit secret Christmas present for the ‘target’, civilian boyfriend Jake.

Clearance: Seven to eight years knitting experience.

Deadline: December 18, 2016

Key: operatives-knitters, civilians-nonknitters, ‘package’-hat, blueprints-pattern


Dec.1.16: Took the ‘package’ to the operative meeting ‘KnitWits’ where I am the president. Attempted to cast on. Realized I forgot the appropriate circular needle. Returned to dorm building early to cast on. Cast on in white. After consulting internet images, recast on in pink.

Dec.2.2016: Knit on the ‘package’ during civilian Math Methods I and Intermediate Spanish classes. Struggled to explain to operative Spanish Professor what I was knitting a ‘Gorro Pescado’ (fish hat) and resulted to showing her the blueprints. Finished short-row shaping before bed.

Dec.5.2016: Knit on the ‘package’ during civilian Spanish class. The three civilians seemed interested in my progress. Interestingly enough the two operatives we not. Perhaps it is the novelty that interests them…

Dec.8.2016: Knit during operative meeting ‘KnitWits’ and switched from circular needles to DPNs.

Dec.9.2016: Knit during civilian Spanish Class while participating in Finals Review. Finished the body decreases and started the tail.

Dec.11.2016: Had a heart-stopping conversation on with the ‘target’ about whether Magikarp is red or orange. In the end, we agreed on reddish-orange.

Dec.17.2016: After several fiddly bits and bobs, the hat is finished and wrapped. I wanted one for myself but I’m good and sick of it for the time being.

Dec.20.2016: The ‘package’ has been delivered. Mission Accomplished!

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The World is my Oyster

Now that Christmas knitting is done. And what do I do? I decide to work on my oldest WIP (March 24, 2013); my Sock Yarn Blanket (By Shelly Kang). That’s what it was called before the Cozy Memories Blanket craze, you blanket noobs. I’ve been rather obsessed with it lately. I knit about nine squares (11?) in the space of a day and a half (The nice thing about that is that each square before the end of the year is an entry into the Slug Club thread in the Oh! Loops KAL. I’m up to about 38). Then, I decided that

Then, I decided that I should go through the flannel sheet set bag that housed my scraps and miniskeins dedicated to the project and figure out whether there was enough for a square in each ball or skein.

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I then borrowed the super sensitive scale my brother uses while building quadcopters (you wanna make them as efficient as possible, and those tenths of a gram add up, apparently).

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Anything that was more than 5 grams got to stay. Anything significantly less, got set aside in my glass pitcher.

In the end, I had so little self-control so many minis, I ended up adding them to the magic cake I had been making for a while now. It’s made of whatever is leftover that can’t go into the blanket. Most scraps are only a few yards. Some are 3 or 4 grams. My magic cake is now a hefty 124.81 grams. Huh, my brother was right. Those tenths of a gram add up.

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I’ve Been Knitting my Socks Wrong

There’s no clever or witty way to ease into it; I’ve been knitting my socks wrong. Now, you may be thinking “but Sarah, knitting is very individualized and it doesn’t really matter”. And, well, you’re mostly right. But, I have proof.

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These are the vanilla socks I knit for my step-grandfather. (I’m still considering writing the pattern out, but it’s wrong!)

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These are the socks I knit for my step-grandmother they were essentially the same pattern as the ones for my grandfather, but in DK weight yarn, with smaller needles and adjusted accordingly.

So they look fine, right? They fit my feet well, though my grandfather’s are a bit loose and my grandmother’s are a smidge tight owing to the fact that their feet are differently-sized than mine. The heels are a bit boxy, but that’s how it is when you do a heel flap right? (no) I love the way the neat little gusset sections look as well.

Then, when I was pouring over Socks Socks Socks book that jake got me, and I was looking at their genius anatomy of a sock section (really, all of the book is genius. Very 1999, but genius) and I realized I don’t actually turn my heels!

The worst was I noticed 2/3 of the way through my grandmother’s socks, but decided to continue with them the rest of the way through.

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I circled the bit that I forget to do. It’s usually, apparently, a short row section. Who knew? Everybody but me. I also drew lines showing what I did. I knit the leg, the heel flap and skipped merrily along to picking up the gusset stitches. I also highlighted the section on the picture at the top of the page.

Socks Make Great Gifts

As you may have noticed, I’ve been knitting a whack of socks lately.

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The Squircle Socks for my mom.

Vanilla socks for my step-grandparents.

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I also received some sock gifts from Jake this year.

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He gave me a set of four Studio Ghibli-inspired socks.

(Can you tell which ones they are?)

And a book I have been coveting for about a year; Socks Socks Socks, by Elaine Rowley.

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So, moral of the story, buy (or make) your loved-ones awesome socks!

Progressive Progress

On Sunday I went with my boyfriend, for the first time, to his family’s Progressive dinner. (for those who don’t know, a progressive dinner is a dinner where the salads are served in one home, the main course is served in another, the coffee (or hot chocolate) in another and the dessert in another).

As we walked to the of his grandparents’ home for salads I remembered how much how I hate meeting people. I love people, meeting them not so much. I, of course, brought some knitting to keep me company. It was an enjoyable evening overall.

Number of times I was asked my major: 8

Number of times I was asked my name: I lost count

Number of times someone asked if I was married to Jake: 1

Number of knitters I met: 1 (she was just learning how and approached me)

Number of babies I held: Sadly, 0

Number

of requests for knitted items: 2 (Hunting hats in orange or camo, and a watch?)

Amount of knitting I got done: This much

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I had just started the cuff when we left for the first house.

The Best Recipient for the Worsted Socks

According to my Ravelry project page, I knit a pair of worsted-weight socks for my step-grandfather for Christmas four years ago. Despite the rightfully incredulous comments by the owner of my LYS, he loved them and thought they were perfect. (I’m 99% sure the pattern I used wasn’t for worsted weight yarn but that was back before I knew ‘yarn weight’ was)

 

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Before I went to Jake’s

 

This year, when I was a bit delirious, I ordered some more worsted weight yarn to make new thick socks for him, this time on purpose. It’s KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Superwash in ‘Solstice Heather’ (the same color as my mom’s Squircles). I finished them in a week, doing the end half of the second sock in less than a day. I took it to Rogue One and knit furiously on the edge of my seat.

 

 

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After Rogue One

These were just improvised and I might be eventually write up a pattern for them since I like the way they look.

 

Ends not Woven In

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Now that I’ve finished the Squircle Socks, I have a few ends to weave in.

There were a few close calls with the minis I used.

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This was all I had left of the blue after the second sock.

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I didn’t quite make it with the yellowy-gold yarn and only had 8 out of the 10 rounds completed. But you can’t really tell. I mean, there are a lot of ‘fudged’ things in this pattern. The gusset had to be reworked because I couldn’t be bothered to write down remember what I had done the first time. The toes also have different numbers of stitches because I messed up where I was supposed to decreasing, but fixed it. Again, you can’t really tell.

Here’s a picture of all the end… well, not woven in, but tucked out of the way.

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Another Christmas presents done! I did stat my grandfather’ socks, just plain ones this time. They’re actually the same color, but in a different base. Finals start tomorrow, though, so, ironically, I should have a bit more knitting time since they’re all project-based.

Maybe I’ll have something to show tomorrow. For now, imagine the cuff from these socks, but in worsted.

Oh Yeah…

I realized today that I have a few Cladonia pictures to share with you. I do not have anything witty to say and I have a stash to enter into Ravelry and Christmas knitting to do (the second Squircle sock) so I’ll just leave you all with this.

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As much as I would like to think I am an all-around knitter I don’t really do too much lace knitting.

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But then, I do something like this and it makes me realize what an amazing, challenging, branch of knitting I’m missing out on.

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I need to do more of it.

PS~ I switched out the edging for this.

PPS~ You totally didn’t know I was wearing sweatpants did you? Well, now you know, but, still.

Gorritos Gatitos

I finished the second of my two kitty hats (Gorritos Gatitos in Spanish) on Thursday. I would have had it done Wednesday, but I lost one of my %#$&ing DPNS for a few hours and the resulting panic lost me a few hours of knitting. I do, however, have a few pictures for you of them, despite my camera hiding the first batch I took Friday morning, and then only showing them to me after I took a second batch Saturday morning.

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This project embodies the best of two of my favorite knit-bloggers/podcasters. Andi, of Andresueknits, used to run one of my favorite blogs, and now runs one of my favorite podcasts. She designed the pattern, the KitKat hat which I modified slightly to fit my nieces’ heads. I got the idea to have my nieces dye the yarn first, actually, before I had an idea of what pattern to use. That idea came to me while watching the Yarnder Woman Podcast (hosted by Melinda) when she had her niece and nephew dye sock blanks.

This is what they look like when worn, albeit a bit stretched. The ‘ears’ are made out of the corners being stitched together. For all the modifications I made for it to fit my nieces’ smaller heads (which, despite 2 & 1/2 years of age difference are the same size) you check out my Ravelry project page Gorito Gatito 1.

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Of course, I cast on another Christmas present right away. I am currently chugging along on the Squircle socks by General Hogbuffer. I may be making it a bit more difficult than necessary by knitting it on DPNs while the author strongly suggests that we knit the socks on magic-loop or a 9-inch circular. I am a die-hard DPNer so I will struggle along stoically and not complain and only complain a little.

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The construction is a bit interesting (seriously, does that look like any heel flap you’ve ever done?) But, now that we’re underway, it seems to be making more sense, although I would recommend having at least one cup of coffee prior to working on them. I was knitting on them last evening and I was too tired to follow the instructions.

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These are scrappy socks and will work well for the December main challenge of the Oh Loops! Harry Potter KAL.

That’s it. All this monogamy is starting to scare me. Let’s see how long before it makes me twitchy, shall we?