Total Block Count: 24

 

Score: -4

 

Wow, things get kinda nuts when you have over two weeks of photos & posting to catch up on.  I bet you thought I fell off the wagon.  I don’t blame you.  Blogging & photographing pretty much fall to the bottom of my to-do list when there’s all kinds of pre-summer-end-of-school running around to deal with. It took me a couple days of looking back over my notes & examining which photos I’d taken already, not to mention adding new photos to the list, before I could post today.  Hopefully I won’t let it get this out of hand in the future, but I can’t guarantee I won’t.

I’ve added a new feature that I’m calling my overall “score”.  Ideally, my score should be zero or in the “+” range, indicating that I’m right on track (zero) or up a few squares (+).  Right now unfortunately, I’m in the negative range meaning I’m about 4 squares off course.  Not really a big deal, but it helps me keep track of how I’m doing overall during my year long project of knitting squares.

I’ve come to accept a certain level of dissatisfaction with the photos I take & present here.  Usually I am particularly picky about the photos I post and really strive for good quality photos with nice camera angles; even a little artsy at times.  However if I am to keep pace with the amount of photos I will need to share to document this project, I’ll just have to sacrifice a bit of quality for the expediency of using my iphone for photography. Sometimes you gotta know when to hold ‘em & when to fold ‘em….

In other exciting news, Camp Loopy starts on June 1st!  I’m pretty excited to be doing this for the first time & my knitting pal Knitting Up North is not only joining me, but is going to be “glamping” (glamour camping) in Glamper #1 along with me :)  My gorgeous yarn arrived from The Loopy Ewe a couple weeks ago. Check it out:

 

Dream In Color Smooshy in "Elfish Sweets"

Dream In Color Smooshy in “Elfish Sweets”

 

I fell in love with this colorway immediately. It’s even more lush & complex in person than it looks online and I can’t wait to knit with it.  I can’t find this color anywhere other than The Loopy Ewe & last time I checked they only had one skein left.  I’m SERIOUSLY tempted to buy the last one even though I don’t really need it for anything other than to squish in my greedy little fingers. Hopefully someone else has snatched it up so I don’t have to dither over whether I really want to add it to my ginormous stash mountain.  Stay tuned to see how it knits up….

Total Block Count: 9

 

Things have been pretty hectic here so it’s taken me a few days to get here to post.  I’ve been doing my knitting though & I’m proud to say I’m still on course for making one block a day.  Yay me!  I’m trying something new for days when I post more than one photo.  The images are smaller, but if you hover over them you can see the captions and if you click on them you’ll get to see a full size image.  I’ll still give a breakdown as to yarn details & dates etc. following further down below.  Probably not interesting for you, but it will be interesting for me and Knittymunchkin to someday come back and look at some of these details again :)  If you’re starting to wonder why you wasted the last minute or two you spent reading my nonsense, skip to the section below the solid line which I’m reserving for other knitting talk that might keep you a little more engaged.

 

Far Left Photo:

  • Date: May 9, 2014
  • Block #68
  • Yarn: Claudia Handpainted in “Carousel”

Comments:  This is such a happy bunch of colors!  Strangely, it reminds me a little of some yarn I dyed a few years back with Easter egg dyes.  Dyeing yarn is still somewhere in my future I hope.

 

Center Photo:

  • Date: May 10 – 11, 2014
  • Block #69
  • Yarn: Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in “Coal Harbour”

Comments: This one I knitted over two days due to time constraints.  I’m guessing there will be more of these to come as life assumes its regular ebb and flow.  That’s o.k.  Though I’d ideally like to do one or more block a day, this is really about staying on pace over a year’s worth of working on the blanket.  I’m trying not to stress myself out over it!  “Trying” being the operative word…..

 

Far Right Photo:

  • Date: May 11, 2014
  • Block #71
  • Yarn: Yarn Love Juliet in “Sugared Grapefruit”

Comments: This is the first time I’ve knit with this yarn and it is so super soft and yummy!  There is something so luscious about this grapefruit shade too that just makes my mouth water.  The perfect thing to be knitting on Mother’s Day!  Some of you may have noticed that there is no Block #70 listed here.  No, that is not a mistake.  Sometimes I can’t find the perfect color for a specific block, so I move on until I can get a better overall picture of how the colors are blending in the blanket.  Never fear, Block #70 will still get its 15 minutes of fame!

 

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So, did any of you seriously doubt that I would cave and entangle myself in yet another knitting adventure that I probably won’t be able to keep up with?  Yes, you guessed it.  I signed up for Campy Loopy 2014 after all.  The first project is supposed to be inspired by a movie, book, or TV series that you especially love.  I chose Harry Potter (because I’m a magic nerd).  I’ll theoretically be knitting Shelves Upon Shelves in Dream In Color Smooshy in “Elfish Sweets”.  I chose this pattern because it’s been in my faves for a while and the designer has a lot of Harry Potter themed sock patterns.  This one isn’t strictly Harry Potter, but I imagine that the library at Hogwart’s has “shelves upon shelves” of magical texts.  When I found the yarn, the name was the clincher.  How could “Elfish Sweets” NOT sound like Harry Potter?  Anyway, I’m excited to be doing Camp Loopy for the first time and semi-confident that if I finish a couple things before June 1st I might actually be able to finish these socks in time for the first challenge.  Wish me luck!  Or send me some Felix Felicis if you’re so inclined….

Total Block Count: 6

 

Three Irish Girls Springvale Sock in "Freya"

Three Irish Girls Springvale Sock in “Freya”

 

  • Day 5:  May 7, 2014
  • Block #66
  • Yarn: Three Irish Girls Springvale Sock  in “Freya”

Comments:  What a gorgeous color!  I knit this in a couple different sittings because things have been so hectic at home.  It’s nice to keep this at the table for those times when Knittymunchkin is playing with his food & generally stalling at the dinner table (he probably would never eat if he didn’t have to!).  One thing I’ve noticed about myself lately is that I can’t stand having idle hands when I’m waiting around for something or someone.

 

Block #67 - Mystery Yarn

Block #67 – Mystery Yarn

 

  • Day 6:  May 8, 2014
  • Block #67
  • Yarn:  Mystery Sock Yarn (Plymouth Happy Feet?)

Comments:  This yarn came from another knitter’s mini destash and arrived without any yarn info.  I think most people don’t care as much as I do about keeping track of what their minis are and where they come from.  For me, it’s kind of a fun way to record the project and it’s interesting to see when and how I received each mini.  This feels a lot to me like Plymouth Happy Feet, but you just never know.  This block was knit in the ideal setting of sitting in a coffee shop with my good friend Troy, chatting & relaxing.  The perfect knitting therapy!  However, I did manage to screw up this most simple of projects and had to basically knit the block twice.  So much for trying to choose something I could knit whilst talking at the same time. But I’m staying on schedule :)

 

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Last time I was discussing the black borders a bit and my friend Josiane left me a comment on the subject mentioning it would be interesting to see the effect when I share photos of the blanket itself, not just individual blocks.  I think this will be incredibly difficult to photograph when it’s finished since it’s going to be so huge, but I can share some photos along the way and do my best when it’s complete.  Here’s a photo of part of the strip I have in progress at the moment:

 

Sock Yarn Blanket - May 8, 2014

Sock Yarn Blanket – May 8, 2014

 

It’s looking like posting a photo every single day is going to be a bit difficult with all the other stuff going on in my life.  But every other day seems reasonable so far.  I’m enjoying sharing with you and the opportunity to put a little more time into my blog than I have been for the past couple years.  Plus, reflecting on the journey of adding a little knitting to each day is an interesting exercise in self-awareness.

As if I didn’t already have enough to do, and enough yarn in my stash, I’m seriously considering signing up for Camp Loopy 2014 this year.  I don’t know why I always thought this was a real life camp, but it’s not.  It’s virtual camp.  So that means I can totally go! I’m a little intimidated since this is my first time and many knitters are already seasoned campers, but it sounds like a good challenge and a fun time.  I planted the seed in Troy’s head so maybe I can cajole him into joining me (Jess, how bout you? C’mon….you know you want to!).  I’ll keep you posted; it’s coming up soon!

Total Block Count: 4

 

Yesterday was hectic, so I’m playing catch up today….

 

Doodlebird Creations Swell Socks in Tiger Lily

Doodlebird Creations Swell Socks in Tiger Lily

 

  • Day 3: May 5, 2014
  • Block #64
  • Yarn: Doodlebird Creations Swell Socks in “Tiger Lily”

Comments: I timed myself knitting this one out of pure curiosity. It took me 40 minutes to knit one block. That sounds like just the right amount of time to be allotting myself daily for knitting therapy.  Of course, I should be using that time to fit in a workout & burn off some of that Easter candy I have been snarfing for the past few weeks, but that would just be annoying overachievement.

 

Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock in "Sea Flower"

Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock in “Sea Flower”

 

  • Day 3: May 6, 2014
  • Block #65
  • Yarn: Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock  in “Sea Flower”

Comments: I know a lot of people knitting this blanket just pick a mini at random from their bin & knit it in.  I’m too OCD for that.  I choose the placement very carefully for each color I have, aiming to fit in even the most discordant colors harmoniously.  It’s interesting how a colorway I’m not so sure about when twisted into a mini-skein, can transform into something surprisingly lovely once knit into a block.  There is something about the smaller scale of a mitered square that performs this little bit of magic when you are least expecting it.  It makes you feel as if anything is possible.

******************

My good friend Jess asked me after my last post to talk about the black knitted borders you can see in my photos.  I have seen a few blankets with these black borders on Ravelry, so I can’t take any credit for the idea.  But when I embarked on this particular knitting odyssey I knew that I wanted to make the extra effort to add these.  I love the stained glass effect it imparts and the way it harmonizes colors that might otherwise look strange next to each other. Most people who knit this blanket seem to knit each block individually for maximum portability or ease however, that means hundreds (maybe even thousands!) of blocks to sew together at the end.  Readers of this blog who have been with me for a while will note that I absolutely ABHOR finish work and often never actually get around to weaving in ends on projects I have knit, thus rendering them incomplete for years after the knitting has been officially finalized.  For someone as Type A as I can be, it’s mystifying that I repeatedly do this to myself. But knowing myself so well, I knew that I would never actually sew all those blocks together at the end, so I have chosen to knit the blocks together as I go.  A big bonus was learning to weave in ends as I knit (for continental knitters see here) which further reduces how much finish work I’ll have when I get to the end.  The only downside to doing it this way is that as the blanket gets larger (and larger & larger) it will become a lot harder to work on & will cease to be very portable.  I figure that’s the price I pay for not having to do finish work.  We’ll deal with that when we get there.

So far this venture has been an exercise in learning how to better use my iphone camera and photo editor, as well as transferring info between my various devices in order to publish a blog post.  I’m sure I’ll learn more as I continue to work on this and eventually (hopefully) it will be more of a streamlined process.  For now it’s a bit unwieldy and I can see that it’s going to be difficult to post every single day, but I’m game if you are :)

image

  • Total Block Count: 2
  • Day 2: May 4, 2014
  • Block #61
  • Yarn:  Loopy Ewe Series in “Cerise”

Comments:  This square was actually the second square I knit yesterday, but I’m counting it as today’s since today was pretty crazy & though I did knit a little, I didn’t knit any blocks. When I look at this one I can’t help but think of the lyrics from Aerosmith’s song, “…pink is the love you discover…” I may not love pink as obsessively as I once did, but it’s still darn pretty. And though perhaps not as exciting to knit as some of the crazy variegated ones in my stash, there is still a very important place for solids in this project.

Can you hear ‘em?  The sound of crickets chirping in the echoing expanse of empty blog space?

It’s been a while.  It feels a little like Groundhog Day with me reintroducing myself over and over again every few months.  But the urge is still there, so I guess I’ll keep attempting to restart the blog until it either sticks, or I finally give up in disgust.

There’s something about spring that brings me back to this space.  I started my blog in the spring so many years ago, and the bursting forth of my abundant green surroundings, along with the return of sunny days and a more relaxed pace as school ends soon, leaves me both industrious and thoughtful.  It’s a time of renewal for so many things around me and the feeling is contagious.  We’ve been doing some home improvements that I’ve wanted to tackle for ages, and the momentum of altering our space has created an energizing forward motion that has seeped into my very core. It’s not enough to get my lazy ass off the couch (yet) but it’s enough to drive me to unearth an old project that I hope will keep my creative optimism flowing.

A very long time ago I became obsessed with mini-skeins of sock yarn to make the ubiquitous Beekeeper’s Quilt and Shelly Kang’s Sock Yarn Blanket.   After swapping minis fanatically for a year and beginning both projects, I quit cold turkey. Everything was shoved under my bed and forgotten for a couple years.  Recently I decided it was time to resurrect the sock yarn blanket I started for Knittymunchkin.  With some reorganization and redistribution of notes I’ve been keeping on the project (I went old school Jurassic and started a handwritten journal in a lovely book my friend Troy gifted me) the project became infinitely easier to record and much more enjoyable.

Not long ago someone close to me mentioned she had been experiencing panic attacks and that her doctor had basically prescribed daily relaxation which, for her, meant knitting every day.  I found this thought-provoking.  Of course it makes sense in a busy world to carve out daily quiet time for yourself to stem the tidal wave of stress many of us experience.  Some people meditate (I don’t), some people connect with friends (not so much), some people exercise (I should, but I don’t), some people might watch TV or read. I frequently define myself as “a knitter.” What would happen if I tried to knit once a day, even if only something small? Could I even do it?  I decided it was time to try.  After resurrecting my son’s blanket I was curious if I could make one block a day for the next year (this would be on average – there will just be some days where I can do more, and some days where I can’t knit a single stitch). Taking a photo for posterity and paying close attention to my feelings on the process will be an interesting journey for me (though perhaps not for you).

And so begins Knit 365: A Daily Dose of Stitch.  Thanks for joining me on my knitting odyssey!

 

Day 1: May 3, 2014

 

Block Count: 1

  • Day 1:  May 3, 2014
  • Block #57
  • Yarn: Sweeet Georgia Tough Love Sock in “Snapdragon”
  • Comments: These uber-bright colors make me uber-happy!

There’s a lot to be said for multi-tasking.  Women are supposed to be Jedi Masters of this particular skill.  And of course it’s helpful to be able to accomplish more than one thing at a time. You get so much more done!  Except when you don’t.  I’ve begun to feel that in some areas of my life, multi-tasking has actually caused me to complete less of my to-do lists than ever before.  Because I do just a little bit of each thing, I don’t ever really complete any task in its entirety, leaving me feeling like I’m running in place all the time.  Which, personally, I think pretty much sucks. I want to be able to look back on this year and say to myself, Good job self!  You really did a lot of great stuff this year!, instead of wondering where all the time went and why I have nothing to show for it.

So lets start with the knitting.  I told you last time that I wanted to finish up some UFO’s and complete at least 14 new projects from stash/queue this year.  I finished my first project in four days!  And I credit all of that to monogamous knitting.  Well, that and the fact that kids’ socks in worsted wool are just about the fastest thing out there to knit.

rye socks2

  • Pattern: Rye by tincanknits  (Ravelry link here)
  • Yarn:  Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Alpaca Love  in “Espresso” & Elann Peruvian Highland Donegal (blue)
  • Needles:  Sizes 3 & 5 circulars for Magic Loop
  • Mods:  None

I thoroughly enjoyed this pattern!  It’s simple, easy to memorize, & quick, but isn’t boring.  I also love that I can use scraps of worsted wools in my stash to make a few more pairs of these for Knittymunchkin before next fall.  They are a bit big right now, but I’d rather have them be too big than too small. It’s cool enough here even in summer for thick socks sometimes.

And here we go with my second project of the year…..

ruffles caston

This is my cast on photo for Just Enough Ruffles by Laura Chau using Madelinetosh Worsted in “Foxglove”, a yarn I received in 2009 as part of the Magnolia Society when Madelinetosh was still a relative unknown.  In addition to working from stash this year, I’ve decided that this is also the year that I must.knit.all.the.pretties.  I always save the “good stuff” for someday in the future, when I really should be enjoying it now.  What good does it do sitting in a tub for the next 20 years anyway? So I plunged in and dug this out and I’m loving knitting it up.  Maybe that’s the key.  If you knit with yarn you love, you’ll more likely stick to a project until it’s finished instead of relegating it to the UFO pile.  Food for thought.

Next up, I dig through my UFO pile to find my first project for the year…

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