Sunday, January 31, 2016

Prepping to be Schooled (a.k.a. ALL OF THE THINGS)

WARNING:  Because I haven't written in a while this may be a bit longer than usual.  I also haven't had much time to take proper pictures for you, so I may have been putting it off a little.  I apologize.  I've provided subtitles if you'd prefer to skip around.

Recent News and Finished Objects

Well, the slew of knitting classes I signed up for have just begun.  I've been spending the last week or so winding balls of yarn, checking and rechecking my toolbox for everything I might want or need at hand, and trying to decide when to do my homework.  Too far ahead and the reading might not be so fresh in my mind, but I don't want to wait too long either.  I don't want to be that one person who's not prepared- it's been a while since I've been in school and I forgot how exciting it can be!

Show-off Stranded Socks in Malabrigo Arco Iris
I've finished a couple pairs of socks in the last week or so and started another, but it feels like the socks I've been making myself aren't quite perfect yet.  They start out comfortable, but as the day wears own they start to get a bit baggy and feel too loose.  I actually got the heel turned for sock 1 in the last pair and ripped the whole thing out to start a smaller size, thinking my gauge was to account for it.  When I took the pair off the needles, they fit perfectly, but then it happened again.  Shortly into my day they got a bit baggy, though not as bad as the pair before.  I was ready to rip my hair out.

So I went to my first knitting class, Mittens and Socks from Measurements, and I had a blast!  It was great to be working and mingling with other knitters, sharing tips, and working out the material.  Someone in class asked if they could swatch for the project at home so they'd have a chance to wash the superwash yarn she was using.  I thought that odd, because it's superwash- it's static, right?  Turns out superwash loosens up oh so slightly when it's heated (like in the dryer).  Could this be the answer I'm looking for?  I think I'll need to investigate.

Works in Progress and Plans

So I had been working on socks before the classes started so I wouldn't be too invested in anything while classes were on.  I'll be doing homework while working a full time job so a sensible move, right?  I don't know what possessed me, but I've started working on another pet project I've had in mind on top of all of that.  I made myself a Shibuya top a few years ago, a pattern from Berroco #308 Vintage DK & Vintage.  I really loved it and wore it quite a bit but, when I started to gain some weight it didn't fit anymore.  I think I've finally given up on the idea of shrinking significantly enough to ever fit into it again, and I had an extra skein left over from the original project, so I've reclaimed the yarn and I'm starting over.

With my new shape, cap sleeves also aren't the most flattering look for me, so I'm thinking I'll make a few adjustments (and do the math- ugh!) to make it into a cute vest.  More flattering and less yarn- it should be a win-win.  I hope...  While I'll be pretty busy over the next few weeks and months, it's also good to have a familiar pattern to work with- something I can pick up and put down easily.

And then I lost my mind.  I watch a lot of podcasts and nearly everyone is hosting a knit-a-long at the moment, really awesome knit-a-longs.  I feel like I must participate.  I MUST.  <sigh>  I'm going to list them below with links to the Ravelry groups, in case you're interested in checking them out.

Bakery Bears Podcast - Choose Your Muppet KAL

This one's got me really excited.  Viewers have been asked to carefully select a Muppet that they are most inspired by or feel represents themselves and knit a project inspired by the character.  How fantastic!  This KAL runs from February 1st to March 31st.

It took a lot of thought to decide, but I finally picked Gonzo.  He's a little different and really adventurous and it never even occurs to him that his behavior is the least bit odd.  He embraces his uniqueness and I love him.  <3  When I made the decision, I immediately thought of this yarn I was gifted that I've never known what to do with.  It's crazy and odd but I want to make it into something squishy and lovable, just like Gonzo.  It's going to be quite the challenge, but I think I'm up to it.

YarnGasm Podcast - Box O' Sox KAL

You can include any socks started on or after January 1st this year and will end on January 1, 2017.  The idea is to knit a box full of socks (had you figured that bit out yet?), at least one pair per month of the year.  Like I mentioned in my New Year's Resolution post, I wanted to knit a bunch of socks before next Christmas as is, to be better prepared next holiday season, so this is just perfect.  I've already got a couple pairs to add thanks to The Knitting Expat's Sockathon,ending today.   Not only will there be periodic prizes for projects, but there will be a project for the box they're kept in!  This sounds like a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to participating.

The Everlasting Sock Challenge

This group supports several monthly themed sock challenges. For example, the February challenge I'm working towards is "something that reminds you of your childhood."  I just bought this fabulous Regia Fluormania Color because it reminded me of the vibrant neon colors that were so popular in the 90's.  I can't tell you how surprised I was when they came back into style!  These are monthly challenges that are posted a few weeks before the month starts and you can start on them right away.  It will last all year, so it's a good group to duck into as the year goes on.

Shannon Sanchez Designs - Fight the Fairies MKAL

She's at it again! :D  I had so much fun with Shannon's last Supernatural themed KAL, I just couldn't resist!  There's a new shawl design that's got some pretty serious beading going on based on the materials list.  This KAL will span over five weeks and start on March 4.

Phew!  If you made it all the way down here to the bottom, thanks for sticking around!  Clearly I've got a LOT of stuff going on, so I'm going to go get some work done.  I look forward to posting again soon and sharing my progress (here, read "insanity") and hope to see you soon!



  1. Gonzo is a perfect choice! And that yarn screams Gonzo, right down to the color of his eyelids! Can't wait to see what you do with that! xo!

  2. Inspiring me Ry! Out on sick for a week so I'm finally going to finish this vest I've had going on forever!

    1. That vest is becoming something of an epic garment. You've got to post some pictures when it's done!

  3. Thanks, Amy! That's exactly what I was thinking and I was surprised at how quickly I came up with an idea. I posted one progress pic to Instagram already, but it doesn't look nearly so impressive as it will when it's done (I hope) so I'm going to save it for a big reveal!