Wednesday, December 31, 2014

One Last Sock

Behold the Singleton Socks of Shame! During the year three socks came down from the clothesline of shame, none went up for a total of seven Socks of Shame at year end 2014. Not too shabby – this tough year is tied with 2011 and 2012 for the lowest number of singletons of shame.

Singleton Socks of Shame, year end 2014

Singleton Socks of Shame 2014, left to right: Meadowlands, Fawkes, Julesokker, Love Me Knot, Clouds, Chain Link, Hanauma Bay.


I was very tempted to try to finish the Hanauma Bay pair and set a new record, but common sense prevailed. While I've sometimes willingly complicated my life, lately there have been so many involuntary complications that a space for grace makes for greater peace and happiness. I did finish my Ixslein socks for November Sockdown, and it is they that have the honor of being the last FO of the year.

Ixslein FOs

On the Asian calendar 2015 is the Year of the Sheep, which would seem to bode well for crafters. May it be so! See you next year!!

Edited to correct the last digit of the new year, oops.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Raft of Disconnects

Gentle readers, at year end I'm pondering an odd disconnect or maybe even a whole raft of 'em. Objectively it was a productive crafty year yet it doesn't quite feel that way to me, perhaps because so much of the time I was playing catch up, not least on the blog. Or maybe it was the incessant snow and cold last winter – strange now to think I was freezing soap bubbles for amusement last January.

Big and wee Sockdolager Frozen soap bubble Martha Stewart mittens Moulin Rouge Shawlette Sochi Olympics and Scar sock

Equally strange to think the Sochi Olympics and Russia's seizure of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine may have been related, or that the Ravellenics could implode over human rights and successfully reform.

Granny Hearts Scar socks Betty's Tee, frogged 40 Bags in 40 Days Artfully Simply Infinity Cowl

Then there was the marvel that was the Boston Marathon Scarf Project: simple, yet powerful and so right. Love wins!

Brucie Boston Strong scarf MDS&W sheep Sockdolager Bike the Drive 2014

The summer was full of alarums of all natures and more family crises. Which likely had its effects, positive and negative, on all my crafting, including my Tour de Fleece spinning.

Camino de Santiago socks Tour de Fleece fiber and spindle Hurricane Arthur storm track Skein of Sweetness and Light Bricks and Tiles socks
TdF spinning Hanauma sock and storm tracks for Hurricane Iselle and Hurricane Julio Small quilt Small project bag Blue ribbons
Christiana headbands Salunga beret People's Climate March Columbus Day harvest Cricket loom

In the midst of this, DH gave me a Cricket loom and I discovered I rather like weaving. It takes me a long period of concentrated effort to warp the thing, and (sadly) tranquil blocks of time are a somewhat scarce commodity at the moment. I put the loom away for the holidays, but I do hope to spend more time becoming familiar with rigid heddle weaving next year.

Cricket scarf Homespun prayer shawl #1 Mitten Tree hats Cream Circles hotpads Benedict Cumberbatch bookmarks
Homespun prayer shawl #2 Prayer shawl pins Spiral Sock frogged Shorty Friday Harbor tabi socks Ixslein socks

So that's my crafty year in pictures. The display is partly an attempt to remind/convince myself of the year gone by, which even now doesn't quite hang together for me and perhaps never will. But I did my bit, and there's just one last post for tomorrow and my fibery 2014 will be complete.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

TGIF

Gentle readers, I knit on of course. It did seem this ill-fated yarn could use extra mojo, so last Friday I cast on for Friday Harbor from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush. Because somehow that makes a difference. While I generally don't care for heavyweight socks, I've always liked this pattern and the yarn, DK-weight KFI Indulgence 6-ply, wasn't doing anything else.

Friday Harbor socks in progress

Despite a few alarums and interruptions, progress was quick, particularly as I decided to make shortie socks with flip-flop toes. That was fun.

Friday Harbor socks modeled

The allocation of stitches for the divide was 36% big toe, 64% all others. Considerably more equitable than the crumbs the 1% deign to let trickle down. The four-toe pocket decreases were worked pretty much like one side of a wedge toe. Each big toe was worked differently – I'm not yet sure which one I like better.

The pair was knit for December Sockdown. I can't remember the last time I finished a Sockdown challenge in the same month I started... indeed (::cough::), I can't remember the last time I finished a Sockdown challenge on time, period. All I can say is TGIF and dare one hope for many more?

(Edited to add: Ravelry remembers! The last time I finished a Sockdown challenge on time was Honeybadger in June 2012, the last time I finished a Sockdown challenge in the same month I started it was Winter Garden in January 2012. Figures. The time between then and now is a great morass of family unhappiness, sigh, and that has had its impact on knitting, as on all things.)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday Cheer

During December life is too stressful and harried as it is without voluntarily adding knitting unhappiness to it.

Advent scarf frogged

There, I feel better now. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Conflicted

Odi et amo.
-- Catullus

It's one of those inexplicable things. I joined an Advent Scarf knit-along. It's all one could want: the group is congenial, the specified yarn, Knitting Fever Indulgence 6-ply, is lovely and a LYS had it in stock, the pattern is wonderfully entertaining – and yet I'm not enjoying it. If anything, the mere thought of my scarf in progress fills me with a mysterious unhappiness.

Advent scarf in progress

I don't know why. There's no readily identifiable fault in our stars or in ourselves. I only know I feel it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Another

Another Thanksgiving at Casa Jersey Knitter gone by – this one was a happy feast, not least because DH and I celebrated at home. Instead of the anxieties, disruptions, and hardships of the past several years, our biggest worry this T-Day was finding the perfect turkey and roasting it without setting off the smoke detectors. I'm deeply thankful for that. The only very small complaint: despite a diligent search there were no extra turkey giblets to be found to enrich the stuffing. Huh. Back when I used to order my turkey from a butcher, they always came with giblets from a much bigger bird, which was a little strange, but very welcome. The past few chaotic Novembers a supermarket bird (with its own, proportionate giblets plus some extras when available) has had to suffice. But perhaps next year I can hope to order from a butcher again.

Woven prayer shawl

Meanwhile, the first Homespun woven prayer shawl eventually worked out so well, I made another. This time I made sure the selvedges wound onto the warp beam evenly. It helped that I found a roll of craft paper the same width as the weaving width of the loom, so had a continuous length separating the layers instead of the taped-together paper I had been using. My third weaving project drafted easily, wove up quickly, and made a pleasing FO. I may never knit another prayer shawl. Although I did knit up more shawl ministry pins for my group.

Shawl Ministry pins

My backordered 10-dent heddle finally arrived over the holiday weekend. Newbie weaver that I am, I was surprised by how big a difference in fineness there is between the 8-dent and the 10-dent heddles. I wouldn't have thunk it, but the 8-dent is for worsted weight yarn while the 10-dent is for fingering.

8- and 10-dent heddles

So, I guess I have myself another hobby. Pity about the 15-inch weaving width though, it really would be nice to have a wider shawl. It seems very soon to be saying this, but... one would need another loom for that.... Danger, Will Robinson, danger!