Low Key Stash Dashing

Hi friends,

Stash dash is currently in full force – a summer stash defeating make-along by the knit girls. I haven’t necessarily been participating, but I have been aware of it happening, seeing podcasters share their makes for it (particularly on Stranded Podcast!).

I’m sort of doing a little low key stash dash of my own – without the meterage counting and so on; I’m just trying to work my way through old projects and deep stash yarns/fibres, to make way for my newer projects.

My main focus this weekend (ok, it’s only Friday, but I worked extra hours the past 2 weeks to have it off) has been to spin through some mini batts which I bought at a local makers’ fair. To be honest, I did not enjoy working with these batts. They were mystery fibre content, or at least it wasn’t noted in any way by the seller. It was not a nice feeling spinning them and there were lots of tangles, clumps, nepps and very short staple bits in there. Anyway. I’ve managed to spin them all up into singles and I can get back to spinning things that feel nice in my hands again! At some point I have to ply the growing pile of hand wound singles balls on the craft counter…

Apart from that, a friend from Norway (living in HK, moving to Nanking soon!) came down to visit and she asked if I would teach her to knit socks. She’d only knit a scarf really and a hat in primary school so I brought not only the sock-making bits but a hat I’d already cast on. This was to get her used to knitting in the round, knitting and purling and holding the needles, etc. It worked out very well. That could partially be down to her being a good and enthusiastic student. Anyway, we got her started on socks on DPNs. I would have been tempted to teach her to use magic loop (or 9″ circs if she preferred) but I didn’t have any circulars spare to give.

Side note: I used the hat to give myself more practice doing the picking knitting technique! As in – holding the yarn in the left hand. I’m getting there with it although am still not as fast as when I do my go-to flicking technique (see very pink knits flicking technique video on youtube for a good example).

I finished off the hat within a day or so and have just turned the heel of the sock I was working on when I demonstrated for her. The sock is knit in Hedgehog Fibres sock, which I believe is 90% merino 10% nylon. It’s deep stash, I bought it for £14/100g x2 from a lovely lady on instagram as she had a mini destash. I didn’t end up using it for anything really for ages. I did make my 2nd ever pair of socks from them a long time ago, but the needles I had were still too thick (budget needles from charity shop, didn’t know what size they were but they were bigger than 2.5mm) and so the fabric created didn’t make the ideal sock material. This time I am knitting a tight gauge on 2.25mm needles and they’re looking a lot better. People have said HHF sock is splitty and I have to agree, although now that I’m working at a more ideal gauge (imo) and with a bit more experience in knitting, I think despite this it does create a lovely fabric and the splitting isn’t really a problem at least for vanilla socks.

Lastly, can’t remember if I mentioned; I think I did; I started knitting up the 7 skeins of shetland that I hand dyed last year (I think it was last year?). I’m making the farmhouse cardigan pattern by Amy Christoffers, which has a bunch of new to me stuff (namely the pockets and how the sleeves are done). I have to say I’m a bit nervous about it, not sure how it’s all going to work out or if I’ll make countless mistakes and be unable to finish, but I’ll give it a go and go slowly. First up is sleeve knitting anyway, which is pretty gentle for me.

I thought I’d finish with a small update on my previous post – aiming for frugality/budgeting and increased productivity.

Frugality: this worked out I think – despite having some incoming expenses I managed to save money by only having packed lunches at work, and me and C barely had any takeaways or meals out this month. Most of my money goes on food to be honest. I did buy three skeins of yarn to treat myself but that’s all. It’s pay day today and I managed to reach today with a reasonable amount remaining from my previous wages, woohoo!

Productivity: This past work week I was struggling a bit to do anything useful after work, as I was doing over time and was leaving work later as my friend from work who gives me a lift early in the morning has gone on holiday to Turkey. The week before as well was a bit difficult as C had to work late on several nights so I was on food and washing up duty every night…

Today since I’m off I’ve managed to complete my chores and daily tasks. I need to get on with some art and a 3D modelling commission now though. I’m going to continue watching war and peace (bbc version 1970s) while attempting to paint – although it’s too hot so I’ll prob end up standing up and spinning since that way it’s cooler.

Thanks for reading my little update! I hope everyone is well.

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Jobs, creations, shop, whatnot

I’m writing to you from my parents’ house in Essex today.

Job update

The company I mentioned previously got back to me! I will be starting my new job on 29th May and am looking forward to it. Until then there is the task of resignation and organising what happens to my pension and all of that too. I will tackle those things once I return from my parents’ house.

Also, the reason I came back here was for a careers advice meeting in London. Prior to this I had filled in multiple surveys and completed tests. I had my 2+ hour meeting on Wednesday. It was useful, and involved answering a lot of questions and being presented with several career suggestions. It was overwhelming in a way (not in a bad way) and I don’t think I can remember all of the advice and suggestions given. Luckily they follow up with a written report later on so I will deal with that more once that comes through… before making any decisions and so forth.

Knitting update

I’m plugging away, trying to finish my sock wips. Although I admit to casting on a new vanilla sock due to the fact I was going to be flying home for my career advice meeting. The vanilla sock is progressing quickly though and I love these types of projects for their portability and simplicity as a travel activity.

The Michele Wang hat  (Treccia) took a back seat due to being busy, but luckily I was able to use my parents’ printer to print the chart out, so it should be easier to work on without having to stare at the computer screen for chart instructions.

Craft update

I finished a bit of freelance work and was paid very quickly (which I love). I put half into our house account and treated myself with the other half. I ordered some fabric and sewing supplies! I have been wanting to get back into sewing for years but have resisted due to time, not having the tools or financial resources. Unfortunately, PayPal changed my delivery address while ordering to our previous house! So we will see if things arrive smoothly (due to mail direct) or if somehow I end up losing £30+ of fabric. Fingers crossed!

Shop thoughts 

The ‘smol shop’; a casual low pressure shop space for all my made things. I mainly create small drawings on nice paper, but also want to include my handspun and other things that I can create. For example, I am still quite interested in dyeing yarn; which I did get done but had to take a break from due to finances! I didn’t have the capital to invest in more yarn and I will probably try to knit more stash before working on it. Also the sewing; this is a thing that is going to happen, I’m going to low key practice this and if it gets good I will think about selling stuff (as I end up thinking about with all of my creative pursuits). I really don’t want to pressure myself too much as I know it will make me hesitant and fearful. I want to approach it with a ‘see how it goes’ mindset. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Update & a sprinkle of knitting

Hi!

I didn’t realise that I didn’t mention knitting in my last post – the first personal only post! And today I might be continuing that trend. Thought I’d write a little update. I was originally planning on not posting that previous post until later on, but I accidentally posted and just left it there anyway.

Later on the day I posted – or was it the next day – I heard back from the company. They said they were going to make me a formal offer soon for a job but had to first get it approved. So I’m currently waiting to hear when things go through. They said it’s pretty much always fine yet I still have a small bit of anxiety that things might fall through. I’ll celebrate properly and tell people about the job more once it’s all sorted. I’m just eager to begin!

For a long time, basically since I left my games artist job in Jan 2017, I avoided writing about work situations since I was wondering if it would affect my job hunting prospects. I feel as though I might be more free to write whatever I feel like once I settle into the next job.

More updates soon!

I promise a small bit of knitting talk… so project updates:

  • Hat for my sister – Finished! 2×2 rib, no pattern, but followed a blog post for crown decreases. I made it from Hedgehog Fibres aran weight merino in Fool’s Gold and Genie, left over yarn from a hat I made previously for myself. It felt good to knit up old stash for a gift! I also knitted a coaster afterwards so I could have a nice memento of such a colourful yarn.
  • Treccia – I treated myself to the Treccia hat pattern by Michele Wang. I bought 2 skeins of fingering weight shetland yarn from Garthenor when I went to EYF2018. I started knitting the hat last night and it has been pleasantly challenging from the get-go. I’ve finished the ribbing and am just getting into the cabling.
  • Socks – Socks everywhere! I have many socks on the needles. 1 pair of ankle socks for my sister, from leftover sock blank yarn; 1 pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks for a friend as they’re a bit small for me and I have enough socks already; 1 pair of basically vanilla socks with contrasting HT&Cs; 1 pair of Monkey Socks which I started to learn and get used to the magic loop technique – which I LOVE!
  • Featherweight Cardigan – argh. I did all the knitting for this cardigan finally while we were waiting to move into our new home. But then I cast off with the incorrect method and at some point I have to rip back my cast off and re do it!
  • Penguono – getting frogged!

Why I Knit Socks

Hi all!

First of all I just want to share with you this link to a lovely sock designer on ravelry. A bunch of the patterns are free surprisingly (they are so good looking I would be happy to pay). Another designer I like is Sunflower Knit, they have a bunch of sock patterns among a variety of shawls, garments, etc. Ash had a sale on from 14-28th Feb so I bought a couple shawl designs! Actually I’m posting this on 27th Feb so there’s still time if you’re fast!

Anyway, the thing I wanted to write about… Last year I knit 12 pairs of socks for Yarngasm Podcast‘s Box o’ Sox KAL (knit along). I still haven’t actually worn those socks yet – they feel too special! I will at some point, I’m just wearing through my old store-bought socks and I still have to weave in some ends (shh).

I’m still knitting socks, I usually have 1 or 2 pairs on the go alongside longer term WIPs, and my family and other people sometimes seem confused and ask me why I bother to make socks. I’ve been thinking about it and here’s a little list… aside from the – ‘well, why not?’ response.

  1. They’re a very portable project – I can carry them around and knit on them while travelling.
  2. They can be meditative, ‘mindless’ knitting – meaning I don’t have to concentrate too hard on them, so they’re good for knitting while watching TV etc.
  3. They don’t require much yarn – good for budget knitting! Sweaters would require at least 400g of yarn…
  4. They can be as challenging as you want them to be. Granted I’ve only done vanilla socks plus a couple classics like Hermione’s Everyday Socks and Mercury Socks, but I do aim to do some more challenging ones too. They would be a great way to build skills in lace knitting, cables, colourwork, etc.
  5. I want to have a handmade wardrobe. I want to be self sufficient. I want to push towards being more environmentally sustainable with my choices (this will also involve moving away from superwash and also from nylon blends – eventually).
  6. I want to sample gorgeous hand dyed yarns from indie dyers without buying a ton of skeins.
  7. I want to connect with a historical craft – this fits in with all of my crafting activities, really!

Do you have any more reasons for knitting socks? Or for doing any craft?

Thanks and take care!

E

Podshare

Honey badger hand knitted socks

Today’s blog post features a picture of my Honey Badger socks! I have a half-object, going to cast on the second sock soon. Ideally I’m hoping to start making some silly knitting related illustrations for this blog but rather than have this particular blog post in incubation for ages I’ve decided to just post it and hope I can do illustrations in the future.

I wanted to do a quick feature on my blog to share some of the knitting podcasts/vlogs that I keep track of. I don’t watch that many regularly but I thought I’d share my favourites!

  1. Yarngasm: probably my favourite! Knitting, sewing, spinning and other crafting inspiration, plus lovely colourways dyed by Kristin, who owns Voolenvine Yarns.
  2. Sticks + Twine: I enjoy following Eric’s podcast as I like hearing how he talks about projects, appreciate his aesthetic and also I feel encouraged by his progress as he hasn’t actually been knitting for a super long time. His first pair of knitted socks inspired me to get over it and give it a go. I also want to try cables out too after seeing how well he’s doing on all his cabled projects.
  3. Brooklyn Knitfolk: Jaclyn is really inspiring, I really like her aesthetic, hearing about all her projects, seeing her cats, etc. and the occasional quote at the end of the episode. Her giveaways always have the prompt ‘3 good things from the past 24 hours’ (or thereabouts) in order to enter, it’s a great way to get me to appreciate things a bit more and I enjoy reading other peoples’ responses!
  4. Pinfeathers and Purls: I love Candace’s projects and colour choices, she has a cute pet birb and has great taste in video games, TV and anime!
  5. Creative Musings: Casey Maura is super cute, I love her style and seeing her knitwear and sewing projects.
  6. Michele Wang: Michele Wang is a beautiful lady with amazing skills in knitting and designing, I enjoy listening to her chat about knitting & anything else. I hope to one day knit from her patterns but I don’t think I’m there yet skills-wise.
  7. Dyer’s Notebook – Laura is a pro at yarn dyeing, in particular striping sock yarns. I enjoy listening to what she has to say, what projects she’s working on, hearing the recipe for milk tea, etc. 🙂

Non Knitting Podcasts

  1. Hello from the Magic Tavern – Improv comedy podcast set in a fantasy world – possibly my favourite ever podcast!
  2. Welcome to Night Vale – A close follower to Magic Tav, the famous WTNV podcast is a fictional community radio station set in a dark and mysterious world. I listened to this podcast since about 2012 and I have found it to be a real comfort during hard times and also a source of fun and laughter.
  3. Alice Isn’t Dead – By the Night Vale Presents crew – love the story and the voice acting. Mysterious and creepy.
  4. Lore – Exploring stories of hauntings and weirdness throughout history, calming and creepy.
  5. The Guilty Feminist – A new one for me – a UK comedy feminist podcast, each episode with a specific theme and pretty much always (as far as I’m aware) relating to current issues in the news – love it.
  6. Offices and Bosses – This is a ‘want to watch’ for me as it is featured on the paid for podcast platform Howl – I can’t afford right now to do paid subs to anything really so this will be one to listen to in the future when I get a better-paid job!

Okay… apparently I’m a big listener of podcasts?