Pretty in Pink?

My favourite colour is pink.

Funnily enough I don’t knit in pink very often. ¬†Millrace (which I need to block) and the Hopsalots slippers (which I need to finish) are the only things that I’ve knitted for me in pink, that I can think of off the top of my head – and both of them are still in unwearable forms.

The 4th blogging challenge is about colour, what colours do I like, what colours I like to knit with, what colours do I actually knit with (all without cheating and looking at my projects page on ravelry ūüėõ ). ¬†I like to think I knit in a rainbow of colours, but I think in actuality I knit in a lot of green and blue with the¬†occasional¬†other colour thrown in for good measure, at least when I’m knitting for me. ¬†When it comes to the rest of the family I try to choose colours that I know they love. ¬†Miss 9 loves yellow, Miss 7 loves pinks and purples, the boys like blues and greens, and Mr HK likes grey.

I’m going to be honest and say that this challenge is hard for me. ¬†I love colour, I love knitting in rainbows of colour, but pinning down what colours I actually use is tough. ¬†I guess my house mascot, the Monkey, likes things that are interesting, and I’ve always tried to keep my colour choices interesting, I don’t tend to only ever buy one type of colour, I try to buy from the entire rainbow.

The best way to describe the way I feel about colour choice is that patterns tend to tell me what colour they want to be knitted in. ¬†For instance, from the very first moment I saw the Kai-Mei socks I knew that I had to knit them in a light blue. ¬†The same thing happened with Om Shanti, I knew that the socks needed to be knit in a gradient of some form. ¬†Sometimes it’s a case of matching a pattern with the best colour I have in my stash, sometimes I find a pattern and then go yarn hunting for a particular colour. ¬†Sometimes, I choose colour dependant on my mood.

Pink

In a nutshell, colour evokes an emotional response from me. ¬†On Saturday I balled up a skein of yarn from Spacefrog for the Blomster socks. ¬†It’s a variegated blue, pink and purple and it’s pretty busy and very bright. ¬†I needed a pick me up and that pattern coupled with bright yarn sung happiness to me. ¬†They have been a joy to work ever since. ¬†I love watching the little “flowers” fling extra pops of colour across the brightly coloured backdrop of stocking stitch. ¬†These are my happy socks and I have a feeling I will always have a pair of these ready to cast on, whenever I need a bright little pick me.

blomster

The Shanti Willow

I’m beginning this with an apology. ¬†I realised after I posted my last blog that I never explained why I was going on about Monkey’s and Houses and all of that. ¬†So this week, if you haven’t gathered, is the Knitting and Crochet Blog week. ¬†The aim is to blog everyday and Eskimimi has set out challenges for those participating. ¬†The first challenge was to choose a house (and if you want to read about the other houses then check out the Eskimimi blog) and I chose the House of Monkey. ¬†I obviously haven’t been blogging everyday, but thankfully Eskimimi is pretty flexible about that, and I hope you will be too.

Day 2’s challenge is to find a project that embodies the house that I’ve chosen. ¬†Well, I most certainly won’t be knitting any Monkeys any time soon so that’s out of the question (although I have knitted Cookie A’s Monkeys and you can see them here). ¬†Rather I’m going to talk about 2 projects that I’m really keen to cast on and why that fits into my house of choice. ¬†In fact I would have cast on one of these projects already but I don’t have the right sized needle.

The first project is the Om Shanti Bed Socks (these are the ones I want to cast on right NOW) which I first saw when I bought Socktopus by Alice Yu just before Christmas last year. ¬†It was one of the socks that I thought looked pretty but I also thought that it looked a little complicated and too short, besides who only uses knitted socks for bed? ¬†Not me! ¬†But as I continued to flick through the book (I do that with my pattern books, I sit and flick through them from time to time, either for something pretty to look at, for inspiration, or just for the heck of it) this sock started to speak to me. ¬†I realised (and at this point I will completely blame baby brain and the distractions of being away for Christmas) that I could alter the sock. ¬†It didn’t have to be ankle length, it didn’t have to be done in a luxury yarn (hey, all sock yarn is a luxury, not just because of the cost but because it’s just so darn pretty!), and it most certainly deserves to be shown off! ¬†As I started knitting the V Junkie socks I began to realise that the Socktopus book was not just a book with pretty sock patterns within it’s covers, it’s a book with a wealth of new techniques that I had never ever thought of.

Om Shanti

The more I flicked through the book the more the Om Shanti sock began to speak to me, to woo me with it’s short row toe construction, the Kihnu Vits braid, and it’s interesting cuff construction. ¬†Between the Socktopus book and the Sock Knitting Master Class book I think I’m just about ready to throw myself into the deep end with Estonian knitting, that stuff is amazing! ¬†Anyway, up until now I’ve never come across a short row toe, actually I’d never come across a short row heel until I knitted the first V Junkie sock and I love that! ¬†For me the Om Shanti sock is full of mysterious new techniques that are dying to throw themselves on my needles. ¬†Ok ok, I’m dying to throw them on to my needles ūüėČ . ¬†New sock constructions are completely enchanting to me and I seriously can’t knit fast enough to get to them (I’m really feeling that pain right now, just discovered a mistake in my Jaywalker and I’m going to have to rip back several rows ūüė¶ ).

The second project is Cat Bordhi’s Pussy Willow Stockings from the Sock Knitting Master Class book. ¬†These socks just look intriguing. ¬†There is no other word for it. ¬†From the Moccasin Toe, to the instep expansion camouflaged¬†in the patterning across the top of the foot and beyond, these socks are…. are…… are…… leaving me speechless. ¬†I know that they’re going to be a challenge, I’ve only knitted a total of 2 complete pairs of socks (almost 3) and 4 individuals. ¬†It’s not like I have a huge amount of experience in sock knitting under my belt (hey, I’ve only just learned that I should be using a stretchy cast on for my top downs……. didn’t know that for the first 5 or 6 individual socks) and I have only knit 1 toe up sock – yes just 1, not a pair, just 1 individual sock. ¬†BUT they’re Cat Bordhi socks, and if you’ve ever watched her videos on youtube then you know that she’s an amazing and entertaining teacher. ¬†I’m really looking forward to knitting those and the wealth of information that I’m going to learn from the experience…… ¬†I might knit another pair of toe ups first just to be on the safe side of toe up experience though.

Between Socktopus and the Sock Knitting Master Class, I have a lot of new things to learn and try for a while to come. ¬†Hmmmm…… value for money ¬†for this little sock knitting Monkee ūüėČ

It’s funny, as with almost all knitting, just when I think there can’t be any other trick to it – because in all¬†naive¬†honesty, I thought the most exotic you could get with socks was an afterthought heel – I’m proved wrong yet again and honestly I don’t claim to know it all. ¬†I don’t know why I think knitting is so limited, maybe because my ability to think outside the square is limited. ¬†Which is a shame really. ¬†I know that I’m getting better at it, thinking outside the box that is. ¬†I guess for me everything has always been pretty black and white, creativity wasn’t something that was necessarily encouraged in my childhood. ¬†Following the law right down to the very last comma was enforced and that’s the way that I’ve been with everything, from cooking right through to my knitting, never deviating from the recipe or the pattern (in my mind there’s always been an underlying disclaimer that if I change what is I’m going to make a massive mistake!). ¬†Although my creativity is getting better in the kitchen and I’m becoming more comfortable with cooking things without a recipe, or using a base recipe as a diving board into something else entirely different. ¬†Happily, my knitting is slowly moving in the same direction. ¬†It just takes a bit of effort to trust in my own judgement, to believe in myself and my own ability, to not cling so tightly to the ideas of others.

I think as time goes by I’m becoming more and more of a process knitter and it’s slowly breaking down those creativity stifling barriers I’ve had up for my entire life.

Are you a stickler for rules and patterns, or are you happy making it up as you go along?

I ‚ô• Autumn

Hello lovely people!

g

We celebrated yet another family birthday last week. ¬†This time my little G turned 3. ¬†We have at least one birthday a month from November through to June between our family and Mr HKWT’s brother’s family – that’s a lot of birthday presents! ¬†I’m thinking of doing a celebratory give away when all the birthdays are done!

leaf

Have I ever told you how much I love Autumn (or Fall as our North American friends call it)?  Aside from the milder temps I love the colours.  I mean, I really really love the colours!  I get excited seeing the trees turn all sorts of amazing shades of reds, oranges and yellows.  I love them so much that I want to paint my house in those colours.

leaves

On Saturday we took the kids up to Blackheath Memorial Park, it’s a great place for the kids to play with 3 separate playgrounds. ¬†It’s also set on the side of a hill so it totally wears the kids out with all the running up and down the hill plus it’s great for rolling down ūüėõ . ¬†It’s a great place for a picnic and so that’s what we did – fish and chips in the sunshine. ¬†Perfect day!plane

Blackheath is a beautiful part of the mountains, it’s further up then Katoomba and well worth the visit, with lots of lovely shops to browse through (not that I get to do that with 5 kids in tow) and plenty of cafes. ¬†In my opinion the place comes alive with colour in Autumn, I’m sure the same is true for Spring but as I’ve already said I love Autumn :p . ¬†It’s also the home of a new and very cool yarn store, The House Of Wool (I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before) and of course we had to stop in and have a browse! ¬†I was pleasantly surprised by lots and lots of new Australian indie brands, including Augustbird. ¬†I stumbled across Augustbird sometime last week when I was trawling etsy looking for Australian yarns, so it was quite serendipitous that The House of Wool has started stocking this particular yarn and of course some of it came home with me ūüėÄ .

"Wild" Rich Sock

I think my stash is growing faster than I can knit :/ .

It’s funny, I’ve talked a lot about everything but what I’ve been knitting over the last couple of weeks and yet I don’t really have much to show you (I still don’t, I have taken no pics ūüė¶ ). I have finished¬†Millrace. ¬†I haven’t blocked it yet and I have no photos of the finished project BUT it is finished and I am so happy that it’s done! ¬†I do need to take myself to Bunnings to get some more rubber mats so I can block it and that is near the top of my to do list. ¬†It would be great to have it done soon, just so I can wear it as the weather gets cooler.

I started my 2nd Jaywalker sock while we were away and I am well and truly into the foot. ¬†I’m still decreasing the gusset as I’ve been busy with other things and it’s pretty much become my travelling project so only gets worked on here and there. ¬†I’m kinda at that point where I’m wishing that it was done already, just so I could move on to the next thing which should be finishing off another pair, or at least working on Mr HKWT’s Gimli sock. ¬†Why couldn’t God have given us 4 arms? ¬†I could get so much more accomplished! ¬†Anyway, it’s closer to being finished then to being started and that’s a good thing!

I also finished off the right front of J.J’s Artichaut. ¬†I had a migraine last week (reason why I only blogged once last week, I can only do so much when my head is throbbing) so took the opportunity to sleep and knit whilst Mr HKWT did everything else. ¬†It’s so nice that now I only have one side and the bottom edge to finish off but I’m going to have to find the motivation to do that. ¬†I’ve come to the conclusion that the Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 4 ply is not a good yarn for anything beyond baby clothing. ¬†(Correct me if I’m wrong, I’m not claiming to be the next Clara Parkes) I think the yarn is plied rather loosely, making the yarn very lofty, airy and soft, but also making it rather stretchy/ elastic. ¬†It’s beautiful on the skin but the weight of larger garments and the elasticity of the yarn don’t mix. ¬†M.I.A wore her Artichaut a few weekends ago and it’s already losing it’s shape and falling off her shoulders. ¬†I guess it doesn’t help that she’s a bit rough with her clothes (she’s a very active 7yo who likes to pick up her baby sister) but still, I would have thought that it would survive better than that. ¬†As a result M.I.A took of the Artichaut before we went out and I’m not sure if she’ll be very keen to wear it again any time soon. ¬†I’ve already decided that I’ll knit Sunny’s Petit Artichaut out of something else, just not sure what yet. ¬†(I just google translated Artichaut from French to English…… it means Artichoke…….. mmmmkay ūüėĮ )

hops

The first Hopsalots¬†slipper out of that lovely hot pink Nundle yarn I bought while we were away has been started and finished – well at least the knitting part. ¬†I still have to knit the ears, felt the slipper and then ears, let it dry and then attach the ears, then do the 2nd slipper. ¬†But the knitting is done ūüėÄ . ¬†OH MY WORD! ¬†The 8ply (DK weight) Nundle 100% Australian yarn is to die for! ¬†It is so incredibly soft, smooth and a dream to work with! ¬†I love it! ¬†I tried the unfelted slipper on my foot and it was so lovely and soft and warm. ¬†I can’t wait for these to be finished. ¬†They’ll be my luxury slippers, for when I’m sitting around spending my afternoon knitting, or reading (yeah, like that happens very often. ¬†Oh well I can dream). ¬† I will definitely be buying yarn from Nundle again!

Aside from some swatching, I have cast on and knitted the first 4 rows of Sempervivum. ¬†I will be totally honest with all of you and say that I’m totally disappointed with Brooklyn Tweed Loft. ¬†But I think I’ll save the reason why for my next post. ¬†I will soldier on with the project considering that I bought all the yarn for it and I’m dying to make Sempervivum but I doubt I’ll be buying Loft again. ¬†I’ve been looking at the Rock Island¬†(another gorgeous Jared Flood design – see I have nothing against the designer, just the yarn) and I have decided that I will be knitting that out of something from Skein in all likelihood. ¬†On the upside, if I hadn’t have bought it I would have gone on wondering what it was like. ¬†Well, now I know. ¬†Fingers crossed the finished object looks great :/

Here in the Have Knitting household it’s school holidays and it’s raining today. ¬†So, better tear myself away from all of you lovely people and get back to entertaining and feeding the troops (I’m sure they eat more when they’re all home).

car

What’s your favourite season?

Christy

PS. ¬†There is now a facebook page. ¬†If you’re on facebook please swing by and “Like” me ūüėÄ

Route 86

strangling

About a month ago the local Christian radio station that we listen to, Hope 103.2, was running a competition for tickets to Easterfest, Toowoomba. ¬†Easterfest is a Christian music festival that’s held in Toowoomba, Queensland and has been going for the last 13 years. ¬†I registered my name, not thinking that I would win. ¬†I wrote on the cow blackboard (yes, I have a blackboard in the shape of a cow) that is hung near our kitchen what I needed to say just in case the radio station rang me. ¬†I never thought that I’d win.

Easterfest 2013 005

Day 1 of the competition, I listened as I organised my kids out the door, no phone call.

Easterfest 2013 009

Day 2 of the competition, the older 3 had just left for school and G was nagging me to put the tv on. ¬†I walked over to the radio to turn it off and they had just started the call out. ¬†The phone rang on the radio and my heart dropped a little in disappointment, the phone continued to ring and eventually the broadcasters cut the call and started on call #2. ¬†Again, the phone rang out and as the presenters were discussing the possibility of no one answering their phones that morning, my phone began to ring. ¬†I quickly picked up the phone and said very timidly (just in case it was someone else) “Hope 103.2 send me to Easterfest”. ¬†I instantly heard cheering on the other end of the line. ¬†I won, I won a family pass to Easterfest 2013 with a premium upgrade. ¬†I honestly couldn’t believe it!

flat

The next few hours were spent in a flurry of activity as I tried desperately to find¬†accommodation for a family of 7¬†in the already packed to the rafters city of Toowoomba. ¬†Finally – after a few tears – found accommodation in Postman’s Ridge, about a 15 minute drive out of Toowoomba, down in the Lockyer Valley (yeah, you read right, the place that had all that flooding, although I didn’t realise that until we were there). ¬†I was quite hesitant when I rang Six Mile Country, the camping ground that amazingly enough had cabins big enough for my family, I wasn’t expecting them to have any spots left, so I was beyond pleasantly surprised when she said that the 8 berth cabin was available. ¬†And the price, oh my, so affordable, especially in comparison to what we would have paid if we’d stayed in a motel. ¬†After that it was easy to find accommodation on the road to and from Toowoomba – for those playing along at home, it’s about a 12 hour trip from the Blue Mountains in NSW (where I am) to Toowoomba, QLD (where we were going). ¬†I guess if the kids were older we could probably have done the trip in 1 day (and to my darling husband, I don’t think I will be ever up for trying that!) but 5 -6 hours in the car is not fun, especially for the kids. ¬†Plus with all the toilet and food stops it generally ends up being a lot longer than what we expect.

Easterfest 2013 018

It wasn’t until the week before we were supposed to leave it hit me that we were going away for almost a full week and then the pressure was on to get all the washing done, dry and folded, ready to pack. ¬†What I accomplished in that week still astounds me, especially considering that I still managed to blog and get some knitting done in that time :p .

eyes

There were moments on our journey that we both wondered what we were up to (me more than Mr HKWT, seeing as I won the tickets and he was only along for the ride) especially once we got to the camp ground.  There were only 2 showers and 2 toilets for all the people camping, and while that was fine on Thursday night/ Good Friday morning, by the time Friday afternoon rolled around and all the other guests had arrived, that was a lot of people using only a few facilities.  And folks, this may come as a surprise to all of you, but I am no camper!  I found the whole sharing amenities a little confronting Рbut for the sake of my personal hygiene I did get over it :p .

elmo

But in the end it was more than worth it and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. ¬†The people in the caravan/ tent set up across from us were also going to Easterfest and their daughters played so nicely with my kids. ¬†They were also kind enough to lend us their GPS so we could find Queens Park (which really wasn’t that difficult to find) and told us where the “secret” parking was – aka free parking.

spider

There was a dedicated kids programme run by Scripture Union Queensland. ¬†While Mr HKWT and I were rather tied to that particular area due to needing to supervise our children, the kids had a ball. ¬†There was phenomenal face painting, a jumping castle thingy, a ball pit, a petting zoo full of little farm animals including the cutest tiny little piglets, games, activities galore, a sand pit, colouring in, a circus school – not once did I hear the word “bored” in the whole 3 days. ¬†The kids had a blast! ¬†And Mr HKWT and I did manage to get out individually to see some of the other things that were happening around Easterfest, plus drink some of the best coffee I have ever EVER tasted!

flowers

Saturday was the epoch of the weekend for me and will probably go down in history as one of the best days of my life! ¬†In an amazing twist of fate (sometimes having kids has it’s bonuses beyond the love, cuddles and kisses) I managed to not only meet the guys from NewWorldSon but I also had my picture taken with them, all the while listening to Audio Adrenaline, who were just over the fence, sound check. ¬†Then I had my Audio Adrenaline cd – Under Dog – signed by Audio A. ¬†That cd is now priceless! ¬†To top off an awesome day, Saturday night was spent singing and grooving along at the Audio Adrenaline concert headed up by their new front man, K Max, originally from DC Talk. ¬†E. P. I. C! ¬†Now I know the vast majority of you will be wondering who I’m talking about and if you ever walked past any of these fellas you wouldn’t even bat an eyelid and that’s ok. ¬†It was my epoch, my day to savour, my weekend to be forever thankful for, a memory that will always bring a smile to my face (especially after being told by 2 of the artists that I admire so deeply that I was wearing a cool t shirt) – and yes, I’m still smiling now, almost a full week later at the joy that weekend bought me.

NWSI’m the one in the middle that’s smiling so hard her face is about to explode :p

What did you get up to over Easter?

Christy ūüėÄ

Aestlight

So, I’ve finally had a chance to wear my Aestlight.

Saturday at Gloria Park 025

I love it!

When we went to the park on Saturday to take some pics it was pretty warm, too warm to be wrapped up in wool anyway.  So we just snapped a couple of pics before we left Рnot much of a photo shoot, but I hope it shows you just how pretty it turned out.

Aestlight

The only thing that I would change, if I could travel back in time and tell myself what mistakes not to make, is to make the larger version. ¬†I could have gotten away with it, especially considering how much yarn I have left over. ¬†But I didn’t think of that at the time, and I thought the large one would be too large. ¬†I don’t know, it’s smaller than I thought it would be, but maybe I’m considerably taller than Gudrun Johnson so it looks bigger on her ūüėē . ¬†Hmmmmm….. maybe they should put the models measurements on patterns so you can gauge what it’s going to look like on you ūüėē ¬†What do you think?

G

The kids had a blast at the park, as always.  It can be such an effort to get all 7 of us out of the house, but I think Mr HKWT and I forget how easy it is once we get to the park, no complaints of being bored, no demands to be entertained.  Just an hour or more of watching the kids enjoy themselves running off all that energy.

Mia

It’s Autumn now and I can feel the change of season. ¬†The days are getting shorter and it won’t be long before daylight savings and those light filled evenings are over. ¬†It makes me sad. ¬†I don’t like winter, I don’t like short days, I don’t even like the cold (says the mad knitter). ¬†It always seems that winter is far longer than summer, and I will miss summer, the hot days, the long evenings, the ice blocks and water guns, the long light filled evenings, the sunsets, the sun dresses and skirts, my thongs, the washing drying off in a few hours. ¬†Everything. ¬†I know it will come again, but it’s too far away ūüė¶ (now I’m sounding like my kids waiting for their birthdays to come around again ūüėõ ).

83b6219e-e518-4cfd-8fe1-797534097ad9

But at least with Winter approaching I’ll have a chance to wrap myself in all that knitted goodness I’ve been working so hard on! ¬†Speaking of which, the socks I’ve been “designing” have been ripped back about 3 times now. ¬†It’s frustrating and demoralising (and a lesson to be learned in using that grid pad I bought) and I keep wondering why I’m putting myself through this and is it really worth it? ¬†Do all designers have this same issue? ¬†Or is it just me (because if it is I think I’ll give up now)? ¬†I like to think that for as many great new working designs that each designer puts out, there are at least 2 that didn’t work out the way it was planned – or am I totally wrong and great designers are born, not made? ¬†I know that it’s hard work, this designing caper, and maybe it’s something that I’m going to have to really push at in order to succeed. ¬†It’s a shame that my automatic reaction to this is to give up and walk away before I’ve even really started. ¬†Maybe 2013 should be the year of positive self talk.

The Gimli socks are a slow work in progress. ¬†And I mean slow! ¬†I was looking at them the other day thinking that I must have at least an inch of the cuff already, I measured it and was way of (as in there wasn’t enough). ¬†The cuff is supposed to 1.5″ and I have thought about reducing it to just 1″ just because it’s so time consuming and a pain in the butt! ¬†However, considering that they are for my husband I think a longer cuff is probably a bit more masculine, so I’ll tough it out!

Just over a week ago I discovered gradient yarn.  It started a little bit of a fascination and I spent a while trawling through etsy looking at all the different colours.  I came close to buying some, but I thought better of it and ended up doing a google search for Australian hand dyed gradient yarn.  I came across the House of Yarn in South Australia.  Not only is it a functioning yarn shop, both online and a physical store front, they also dye their own yarn and they have gradients.

Peony

So the above (I don’t know what I was thinking when I took that photo) is 4 ply/ fingering weight sock yarn in the Peony colourway. ¬†It’s a 75/ 25% merino nylon blend and at 400m I’m pretty sure it’s going to make an awesome looking pair of socks. ¬†In fact, I’m already planning on making the Om Shanti socks with them. ¬†When it comes to Australian indie dyers, I don’t generally think twice about buying, I love supporting Aussie made ūüėÄ .

Well, that’s it from me for today. ¬†I have a little girl home with an ear ache. ¬†It’s always nice to have an extra set of arms around that are willing to help.

Do you know of any good indie Aussie dyers? ¬†Post them here and share the love ūüėÄ

See you soon

Christy

Inspirated

Have any of you watched MKR (My Kitchen Rules for non Australian readers)? ¬†I’ve watched about 10 minutes all up. ¬†I’m not a fan of watching people pour everything they have into succeeding at something while other people do their utmost to tear them down. ¬†Anyway, leading up to the start of the latest season were some rather interesting promo ads, one of which featured a little blonde¬†home-maker¬†talking about feeling “inspirated”. ¬†I’m not sure if she truly thinks it’s a word and uses it regularly, or if she made a faux pas that ‘the powers that be’ pounced on to make the show more appealing. ¬†Regardless, I like it! ¬†It sounds like a combination between inspiration and perspiration (and as I say this my husband rolls his eyes).

If you’re a regular reader of the blog then you know I’ve managed to score myself some Lollipop Yarn, 2 balls in fact and they’ve been singing to me, serenading me with a song about socks and the socks they want to be knit into. ¬†I’m not a vanilla sock knitter, I need something with a bit of oomph, a bit of pizzazz, something to stop me from falling asleep. ¬†In all honesty the only thing that got me through the Kai Mei ribbing was the pattern detail across the foot that I knew was coming! ¬†So, I wanted to knit something pretty, but not something that would take away the lovely self striping goodness of the yarn. ¬†I went trawling through ravelry for inspiration, I decided to try my hand at designing my own sock and wasn’t entirely happy with what I came up with, then I found these socks by Patons. ¬†It’s just a simple feather and fan stitch and I thought, I can do that. ¬†I wasn’t keen on the projects that were available on ravelry in the feather and fan pattern so I decided to make one up myself. ¬†I’ve got Barbara Walker’s First Treasury, so I can play with the pattern undeterred until I’m happy with the result (for instance, I don’t like the purl bumps). ¬†I’ve also picked up Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting Master Class¬†and although there are some lovely patterns in there that I’m keen to try, none of them suit the yarn. ¬†My plan is to combine different elements from the book and morph them into one glorious pair of socks (I can dream can’t I?). ¬†I figure, if I ever want to try my hand at designing then I need to start somewhere, so why not with something fairly tame and ease myself into it?

latvian

I’ve begun with a Latvian Twisted cast on, as featured on the French Market Socks¬†by Nancy Bush. ¬†It’s something completely different and adds a nice amount of interest as well as incorporating all 3 colours of the yarn. ¬†For the rib I’m just doing a simple 2 x 2 rib. ¬†I had originally thought about a twisted rib but as it tends to make the stitches stand out more the rib was competing with the cuff so I decided to stick with an untwisted stitch. ¬†So far, so good. ¬†I’m not sure how long I’ll make the ribbed section, I think I’ll keep going until I feel like it’s long enough (isn’t that how designers operate, going by feel and aesthetic?). ¬†It’s nice to be working on something of my own, even if it’s almost the most basic pattern, at least when I’m finished I can say that I designed it.

I’ve been making slow but steady progress on both the Gimli socks and J.J’s Artichaut. ¬†I’m still working on the rib of the socks, although I think I might be just about done. ¬†I’m not in too much of a rush to get through those as I really don’t want to make any more mistakes, not like the last time. ¬†I’d rather the socks take me the next year to get through and have a perfect sock then make a stack of mistakes and have to rip it out because I can’t live with the mess. ¬†I’m now through the armhole decreases on the Artichaut and I’m picking up the stitches down the side for the seamless version. ¬†Ok, I’ve picked up one stitch. ¬†I think I’m already regretting going for the seamless option, I have the feeling that it might be a bit fiddly if the first pick up is anything to go by…… too late now, there’s no way I’m ripping it out and starting it all over again. ¬†Plus I don’t think J.J would ever forgive me if I ripped it out…… ok, she would, she’s 9, but it would take a very long time for her to get over it. ¬†So I shall just have to plunge ahead and hope that it works out alright!

I started my last post with a promise to blog twice a week and then I didn’t. ¬†I got to the weekend and everything went a little pear shaped and by the end of the weekend I never wanted to knit again let alone blog (a long story I won’t bore you with), so the desire to put myself out there just wasn’t forthcoming. ¬†It still surprises me how emotionally tied to my knitting I am. ¬†I knit more when I’m stressed or feeling anxious; when I’m sad or upset it’s the last thing I want to do. ¬†Do your emotions affect how or what you knit?

On Monday, as a result of my rather emotionally draining weekend, I took time to appreciate the little things that bring me joy and I thought I would share some of them with you.

Lily

Beautiful flowers that my wonderful, kind and thoughtful husband bought me for our wedding anniversary.

socks

The way my M.I.A rolls down her socks, not because it’s cool, just ’cause she wants to – marching to the beat of her own drum ‚ô•

sisters

One big sister taking the time to play dolls with her baby sister

princess

Forever exploring the world around her, even if it includes taste testing a plastic Princess

autumn

The colours of Autumn.  I may not be a big fan of winter, but red leaves set my heart aflutter

darkies

My kids and how much they love each other and love spending time together.  And of course all the joy they bring me every single day with all their hugs, their kisses, their giggles, their smiles, their everything ♥

What has brought you joy this week?

See you soon

Christy