Sorry I've been missing for awhile, but it's been that kind of couple of months. Shortly after my last entry I had a run in with a tree root while riding on a Segway and injured my arm. Nothing ended up broken, but I managed to injure my arm enough that I couldn't lift my arm and there was costant pain. I don't know if I ever really fully appreciated how many things I rely on my right arm for, although I was happy to see how well I was able to adapt and use my left arm. Shortly after my arm injury I was in a car accident totalling my recently paid off with only 35,000 miles on it car. There was also a bit of water in my basement from hurricane Irene thrown in for good measure. Basically life got pretty messy, and my state of mind was just as bad.
Everything hit me pretty hard, and I've been feeling pretty blue. I put a sign on my refridgerator to remind myself to keep thinking happy thoughts and have been concentrating on just doing my best to hang in there. Knitting and sewing took a back seat for awhile, but I've been able to at least pick up my knitting needles this month and get some things done. Now I just need to try to fire up the sewing maching and maybe tackle a small project to get going again.
I had two projects that I wanted to get done to enter into the Big E this year, my Vintage Socks and a mystery shawl pattern I had signed up for. After my arm injury I had to give up on the plan to knit up the shawl, and just focus on the socks. Happily I got them done in time, and ended up sending in the December Wind Shawl that I had finished earlier in the year as well. Both ended up coming home with blue ribbons, as did a cross stitch work that I had sent in as well. Very exciting!
I had posted awhile back about my problems with the cuffs on the Vintage socks. I chose to just leave the ruffly edges as is. I did not have enough yarn to make another full set of leaves for the cast off edge if I ripped the exisiting edge out. I finished the second sock in the same way, and sewed all the tiny leaves into place. It looked okay, but I still wasn’t really happy with how it looked.
I knew I’d have to give the socks a good blocking to make the ruffly edges look less so. My problem was that by giving them a good soak all my tiny little blocked out leaves now shriveled back up again. Attached to the sock I couldn’t very well pin them all out to dry. I put the socks on blockers, and went around the leaves and with straight pins, pinned them flat as well as I could.
It actually worked out for the best, because it looked much better after than it did before the soak. I was able to really manipulate the leaves while they were wet, overlapping them, and let them dry in the place in the shape that looked best. If I ever made these again (which is still doubtful) I’d probably skip pre-blocking the leaves. They looked better with post soak pinning.
Pattern: Vintage Socks by Lisa Grossman http://www.tsocktsarina.com/vintage.html
Ravelry Link - http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/vintage
Yarn Used - Holiday Yarns that was part of the kit
I'm pretty happy with the way the pattern came out, after all the aggravation. This wasn't really a difficult pattern, the Tsocks Golden West pattern was much more difficult. This was just a time consuming fiddly pattern. My only change to the pattern was that I worked the area between the inlaid leaf toe and the beginning of the grape pattern for another inch or two to accommodate my wide/high instep foot.
My favorite part of the socks is the inlaid leaf toe! So cute. No real dislikes about the socks. I'm just afraid to wear these now since I'd have to reblock all those leaves again if I washed them to let them dry. I'm not looking forward to that! Eeep!
Here's the link to my Ravelry project page for vintage for more pictures - http://www.ravelry.com/projects/ibelle/vintage
My other project for the Big E this year was my December Wind shawl that I had finished earlier in the year during the Goddess Knits winter mystery shawl along. I enjoyed working the pattern, and I love the finished project, but this project did teach me the inherent dangers of knitting something where you don't know what the finished project is going to look like.
Don't get me wrong I love the pattern, and the yarn I used, but after seeing the end results I probably wouldn't have used the combination that I did. Before starting the project I was dead set on knitting this shawl with a purple yarn that had at least some silk in it, for no other reason than it was just what I had on my mind at that point. That's all well and good, but when I saw the finished results the pattern just wasn't saying purple silk to me.
The pattern makes me think of snow falling over a forest. Had I seen the pattern before hand I probably would have chosen a cozier merino yarn in an off-white or even green color, not purple. Also, while I used the weight of yarn called for in the pattern, lace, I think a slightly heavier fingering weight would have worked a bit better. I had to block quite a bit to open my shawl up, and the pattern opened up a bit more than I would have liked.
That's all being a bit knit picky though. I really do love this project. Here's the details on it -
Pattern - December Wind by Renee Leverington http://www.bopeepswoolshop.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=138
Ravelry Link - http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/december-wind
Link to my project Page on Ravelry - http://www.ravelry.com/projects/ibelle/december-wind
Yarn Used - Dye for Yarn's 8ply Silk in the colorway Queen of the Night- I can't tell you how much I adore the colorways at Dye for Yarn and their sister shop Dye for Wool. They are so different and stunning. They are in Germany, but I received mine in no time at all. I'd highly recomend buying from them. They can be found here on etsy.
Dye for Wool carries their silk lace selections. Dye for Yarn carries their wool selections. http://www.etsy.com/shop/Dyeforwool