FO: Vintage Lace Socks

Earlier this year, my friend Carla launched Georgian Bay Fibre Company, a hand-dyed yarn company that dyes exclusively BFL and BFL blends, and takes its inspiration from the beautiful scenery of Georgian Bay.

Her sister, Christina, also a long time friend, was designing some patterns for her (my favourite kind: socks!) and asked if I’d be so kind as to test knit for her.  The first one I tested was a knit and purl design called Squadron Socks; it was a lovely pattern but that pair never got completed as I made a very poor choice in yarn and it really didn’t suit.  I plan to knit them again in a semi solid, when I get a chance.

Her second design was a much bigger success for me, and (because?) this time I chose to knit it in Carla’s Kilcoursie Fingering yarn.  The colourway I chose was her 2014 Colour of the Year, called Wakefield Lilac, and I could not have been happier with how they turned out.

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Vintage Lace Socks have a lovely delicate lace panel down the outside of the foot, front and back, and the result is beautifully feminine.  It was a nice relaxing knit, once I was able to memorize the lace pattern.  (I don’t immediately see past the single YOs and SSKs to see what the pattern is doing and until then, I rely heavily on the chart!)  I did have a heck of a time with the YOs….at least a couple of times a repeat I found myself having to pick up a missed YO…a hazard when one knits lace in front of the TV, I guess 🙂  And the colour is totally reminiscent of the lilacs that grew every spring in my grandmother’s yard.

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I always like knitting socks in the summer because it means that come autumn, I have new socks to wear when the weather turns cool 🙂  I am really excited to have these ready to go for September.

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Pattern: Vintage Lace Socks by Christina Bossart

Yarn: Georgian Bay Fibre Company’s Kilcoursie Fingering (BFL/nylon blend) in Wakefield Lilac

Who Was It Made For?  Test knit/Me

Were There Changes Made To The Pattern?  I did make the toe a little wider (the pattern says to stop when there are 8 stitches on each needle, but the top of my foot is somewhat square so I stopped at 10)

Did I Learn Anything New?  No

Anything Else?  Not that I recall.

Would I Make Another?:  Yes

(Photos courtesy of Shireen, over at the Blue Brick!)

Best Laid Plans

I woke up Saturday morning with goals…several of them, in fact.  DH was working 7-3 both Saturday and Sunday, and this meant I had lots of time to do what I wanted, so I made plans.

I had planned to knit my Dad a pair of Anne Hanson’s Sign of Four socks.  So determined was I to cast them on, that I started the Rav project.  That’s commitment, right there.  If I build it, it will cast on, right?

I had also determined that I was going to re-start my spinning, so again, one Ravelry project coming right up!

And third, I had determined that my Reunion Cowl in a stunning red indigodragonfly MCN Lace that I had been working on steadily since Christmas was coming off the needles, by hook or by crook.  So I queued up Season 4 of Angel, and settled in, feeling pretty good.

Right.

I once heard an expression: “Man Plans.  God Laughs.”  Yep…that was my Saturday.

The Reunion Cowl took a lot longer than I expected to finish and cast off.  There were a few reasons, the largest of which was that my adorable dog decided she wanted all. the. attention. and needed to go outside an unprecedented 5 times in 8 hours.  Now, there are a few things to note here.

1) You can be in the apartment for hours, and never know Kayleigh is there.  She sleeps a lot and is generally like a cat in the amount of attention she wants.  Nope.  All day long she was in my face looking for attention.  If I picked up needles…there she was.  No way I was knitting on her watch.

If she didn't weight 40+ pounds, the rest of her would have been in my lap!

If she didn’t weigh 40+ pounds, the rest of her would have been in my lap!

2) We live on the 14th floor of an apartment highrise.  So this means that there is no “letting her out”.  Nope…you have to get dressed, dress her up in her coat, go all the way down stairs etc etc…  This is a very time consuming activity.

So much for my nice quiet Saturday.  I did manage to get the cowl done by the time DH got home but that pretty much covered it.

Saturday evening, I was determined to get my other two goals accomplished so while catching up on some TV, I cast on Dad’s socks…SweetGeorgia Tough Love Sock in Espresso.

Socks…more brown socks.

I swear there will be a moratorium on brown knitting and 1×1 ribbing the minute these are done.  Then when DH turned on a hockey game at 8:30 or so, I hauled out my wheel for the first time in at least six months.  I only spun for half an hour, and it was not a good start (I appear to be having issues with underspinning and my yarn keeps falling apart) but it was a start.  Hooray for determination!

Sunday, I didn’t anticipate getting a lot done.  I was awake half the night with the aforementioned puppy, and slept in a little.  I did finish the cuff of Dad’s sock but that was about it.  I woke up to an email from Christina over at Lone Maple Studio, with her new pattern attached for test knitting, so I went stash diving for the most cheerful sock yarn I owned.  By the end of the evening, I had decided on a discontinued multi from Tanis Fiber Arts in a colourway called Tulip.

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I figured when I need a break from the never ending socks of brown, this colourway will be spring-like, with it’s teal, purple and yellow.

So, I did manage to get my goals accomplished, although I am still not entirely sure how.  It does, though, go to show that the best laid plans of mice and me often go awry.

The Mid January Blahs

So, if any of you run into my knitting/spinning/fibre mojo, can you send it home please?  I believe it has hopped a plane for Cuba where it is sitting on a beach, drinking mojitos.  Because really, if you had that option, wouldn’t you??

I traditionally struggle with January and February.  I get a little blue and kinda lazy and it’s hard to pick myself up and do anything.  My friend Christina, over at Lone Maple Studio, blogged about this very thing this weekend.   In her case, a new hobby has taken her attention; in mine, I am looking into new hobbies in hopes that something grabs my attention because my interest in my current habits is definitely waning.

Last year, I purchased a couple of Craftsy classes, including a class on Lace Shawl Design.  In an attempt to engage my brain in something interesting, I finally hit it the play button on it and started watching.  It’s interesting so far.  Miriam Felton, the instructor, has talked yarn and needles and yarn overs and decreases…and now we are at the part where we are charting stitch patterns from stitch dictionaries.  I may have given in and purchased a recommended one from Abebooks – one of the Barbara Walker treasuries.  I also may have gone to Staples for graph paper, and a new note book because what troubles can’t be solved with yarn can frequently be solved with office supplies.

Additionally, my friend Shireen dropped by for a bit of a knit night on Friday, and she and her metal-working hubby, Tito had picked me up a little gift while shopping that day:  the cutest teensiest, tiniest jewelery anvil you ever saw.  Looks like this and fits in the palm of my hand:

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This acquisition meant that I needed to stop by Bead FX on Saturday to add a chasing hammer to my collection of tools, so I can get practicing at some simple metal forging.  I grabbed some 16 gauge wire, and am now going to start looking at creating some fibula pins, and maybe eventually learn how to do more complicated things.  I did get a book from my mother in law for Christmas called “Simple Soldering”…that would be next.

So, while I did a very small amount of knitting this weekend and no spinning at all, I did spend an inordinate amount of time designing lace cowls in my head, and hanging out on Pinterest, looking for shawl pin ideas.

Maybe this is one of those “If life hands you lemons” things.