Monday, November 10, 2014

Fun Stripes

A couple of months ago the yarn shop I work at started carrying self-striping yarn. The morning Amy, the owner, pulled the yarn out of the shipment boxes was unreal. The customers (and, ahem, some of the staff) were RUNNING to the boxes and grabbing the hanks before we could put price labels on them! It was the first time in recent history that we've carried striping yarn and let's just say everyone was a little excited.

I purchased a couple of skeins myself (no surprise). And really I could justify these purchases because recently I noticed my hand-knit socks supply has been dwindling. A couple of pair have holes or are about to have holes - and I'm not really into darning my socks. I take the Yarn Harlot's approach to darning socks (see passage from The Secret Life of a Knitter). So it's time to go on a sock knitting binge (yay!!). I cast-on and have been using the short bouts of commuting time (on the bus and/or metro) to knit on the sock. And here is the first completed sock:

Pattern: How I Make My Socks by Susan B. Andersen
Started: September 7, 2014
Finished: October 16, 2014

Because it's been so long since I've knit socks from the cuff down I forgot how much I hate the regular long-tail cast on for socks. If I knit anymore cuff-down I'll need to remember to use a more stretchy cast-on method. And for some reason my first sock was super loose, I think I had an issue with my tension. Very odd. The second sock fits well. These were initially for my mom but the second sock won't fit her so these are now for me. (oops!).

As for the sock yarn... it is nice. At 80% merino + 20% nylon blend, it's my favorite type of sock yarn. The fact that it stripes is just super fun. Sure I could have done something more interesting for a pattern but I have a couple students wanting to try socks for the first time and because it's been so long since I've knit plain-vanilla socks I figured I should have a go and practice. Besides, the simple sock really does make great metro knitting - easy to stop and pick up at anytime.

Watch for more socks in the next couple of months!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Doggie Safety Coat

NOTE: I should be back from my trip by now but I'm not sure about jet lag. So this is another post from October that I've prepped for delivery!

My husband and I love hiking, especially with our crazy little pups! Many people think it's a joke that we take out little yorkie out hiking trails but let me tell you - this little porky yorkie can HIKE! In fact, we have to carry the larger bischon, Boe, more frequently than we have to carry Rosie.

One thing that I've found is that Rosie blends in with the trail, especially during autumn. 
Okay Rosie is wearing a jacket here but you can get the idea that she blends in really well with the trail. 

Her natural cameo can be an issue when we let her off leash (just us trying to keep and eye on her) and when other people or dogs don't see the little peanut. To make her seen by all I decided to knit a bright colored coat. I took my basic dog coat recipe that I've blogged about previously (here and here and here) and used some neon yarn and made her a safety coat! 

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Brites in Neon Yellow
Started: September 14, 2014
Finished: September 15, 2014

Sure I used acrylic yarn - but hey it's cheap and I don't care if it gets filthy and destroyed while out hiking. It does the job! And you can see that Boe Bear doesn't blend as well with the soundings. We'll see come winter in the snow :) 

And finally - a couple of photos from our last outing:

Here we are on a quick photo op next to a cool looking tree roots:
Rosie stands out a bit :)
Family Selfie!
And finally - a reminder of why my husband is awesome. I fell in love all over again when the hubs looked this tree and said "Go ahead take a picture - I know you are looking at it and thinking about knitting a 'twisting' pattern." Clearly I have him trained! He's not using the proper term (cabled dude, not twisting!). But seriously, that is why I love this man, he totally knows me because it's true, when I saw this tree and instantly wanted to cast-on a cabled sweater!