Advent Knitting

Last year I made an offhand comment on Facebook about the Opal Advent Calendar. Much to my surprise and delight my aunt bought me one for Christmas. It was so much fun opening the little windows to see the pretty new yarn each day. I loved advent calendars as a child, but mine pre-dated the chocolate variety (or any other type of gift) and only had little pictures inside. Yarn definitely beats pictures and sometimes (but not always) chocolate.*

 

 

By Christmas I was left with 24 mini balls of sock yarn and some questions about what I would do with them.

 

My anal knitter side wouldn’t let me make mis-matched socks. I find Opal slightly scratchy so I didn’t want to make a shawl or scarf. My back up plan was squares for my sock yarn blanket, but that didn’t seem quite right either. Then I stumbled across a pattern for Christmas ornaments knit from small amounts of sock yarn. Perfect!

 

There are two varieties: spiral:

 

And chevron:

 

Chevron is my favourite of the two. I had trouble with the spiral pattern that was completely related to my inability to count and completely unrelated to the pattern, but it’s finally working out.

 

Because I remain totally, hopelessly delusional about the amount of free time I have leading up the Christmas holidays and totally, hopelessly delusional about the speed at which I knit, I thought it would be fun to knit an ornament a day, sort of a reverse advent calendar. So far so good, but I’m traveling for work this week and I’m pretty sure things are about to go off the rails. I’m posting a picture a day (hopefully) on Instagram, so please follow along there.

 

* I’ve never really thought of yarn vs. chocolate. That’s a debate I’m not ready to have.

Afterthought Heel 2.0

Over the past year or so, I’ve been using an afterthought heel a lot, especially when knitting with yarns with long colour changes (Knit Picks Felici for example). I’m a bit a lot anal about socks that match and I like that the afterthought heel doesn’t disrupt the colour sequence.

 

One of the things I don’t like about it is picking up the stitches from the waste yarn. I find it challenging to manipulate the second row of needles with the first ones already picked up; the sock becomes decidedly inflexible. It’s doable, I just tend to avoid it, which is why I ended up with 4 pair of socks waiting for heels in the week leading up to Christmas.

 

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My Socks Have a Dual Personality

Once I’m done the hub bub of Christmas knitting I generally try to knit myself a pair of socks in January. The first of the month I cast on my socks from the Tosh Sock yarn I purchased at Knit East.

I finished the first sock around mid-month. I loved the vibrant colours; it reminded me of sprinkles on a cake (especially when applied by a small child):

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Sock-tober 2015

Every Christmas I knit a pair of socks for my nieces and nephews.  It started several years ago when they were smaller and they were fewer. Now my oldest niece is wearing at least size 9 shoes and there are 9 (soon to be 10) of them.

Last year  I was seriously behind and in complete denial about how bad it was. This year I feel like I’m in a slightly better position heading into the home stretch. (Denial is a place I visit frequently). I have finished one pair. And another:

IMG_0081Kitchener a toe and two afterthought heels and they’re in the books.

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#SockBlanketMadness

Yesterday I discovered #SockBlanketMadness hashtag (do you say hashtag if you’ve used one?) on Instagram just in time to participate.  My sock yarn blanket has been sitting in a corner, but it seems like a fun week to try and knock out a few squares. Basically, you post a picture of your blanket yesterday with your starting number. Using the hashtag for the coming week, try and knit as many squares as you can.

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I’m starting with 246 squares; wish me luck!