This was another week of not really staying inside. I had to go to hospital for my plastic surgery follow-up, to another hospital for some work appointments, and I moved the majority of my possessions into storage.
Giving up my room wasn’t an easy decision to make, even though it makes sense. I’ve had assurance from work that it’s very unlikely that I’ll have to have to do any face-to-face work for the foreseeable future, but everything still feels uncertain. I wish it was possible for there to be more clarity around what’s likely to happen in the coming weeks and months, but I know it isn’t.
In craft-related packing, I took my sweaters out of the freezer and put them back in. I discovered some moth damage on my Better Breton sweater so I iced all the woollen items that I had stored in the same drawer. I’ll have to do some mending once my stuff is out of storage.
As the restrictions eased, Virtual Yarns starter operating again. I jumped on the opportunity to invest in a kit. I’ve been inspired by @cleocmc on Instagram, who makes a lot of Alice Starmore garments. No photos as yet but I’m sure I’ll be writing about the kit and projects soon.
This week I finished sewing in the ends on my Somewhere socks. Can’t see myself wearing hand knitted socks any time soon!
I also got a lot of work done on the second sleeve of my Oran do Chaora/Sinister catdigan. I have used one whole skein of yarn. It’s pretty exciting that soon it will be time for me to start work on that sweet sweet cat yoke! I started thinking about some of the maths and calculations since I’m moving from one pattern to the other 🤓
All in all I can’t wait for this packing to be over. Moving is such a pain. BUT I’m very exciting news, I’m hoping to buy a flat this year. Honestly if I’m able to do it that will level my life up so much. So fingers crossed all of this annoyance will be worth it in the end.
Since starting my period of isolation, I’ve been keen to work on a project to mark this bizarre time. I was thinking of a blanket. I considered making Birlinn by Kate Davies but she no longer produces Buachaille. I thought about substituting Titus by Baa Ram Ewe as an alternative but again was stymied by stock availability. This was a common theme in the projects I wanted to make, which I’ve written about in a previous post.
I’ve followed Mothy and the Squid on Instagram for a while. I love the fact that she’s super into fitness and a feminist, as well as dyeing beautiful yarns. When she posted about the Somewhere socks made using her mini-skeins, I immediately bought the pattern and then the yarn.
This pattern is absolutely addictive. Such was the instantaneousness of my decision to make it, I didn’t even bother reading the pattern. So it came as something of a surprise when I discovered that it’s not made using fair isle, but a slip-stitch pattern.
I’ve been using a tip given to me by Kate Davies and knitting with the floats on the outside to help with my tension. It feels like it’s helping, though from this picture I’m not sure how much of a difference it’s making- I knit the leg portion of the first sock with the floats on the inside.
The pattern means that the sock is less stretchy than a standard hand knitted sock. I think the fit is perfect, but I do have to ease the socks very carefully over my heels to get them on.
For reference, my lower calf circumference is around 9.5” whereas my ankle and foot is around 8. I decided to go for the Medium size. I haven’t bothered to measure my gauge.
My aunt has already asked for her own pair. I’m sure I’ll be happy to make this pattern again. However, my aunt puts her socks in the washing machine and I’m not sure I’m willing to have her do that with £50 yarn. I’ll see what’s in my stash that might be suitable.
Yarn: Mothy and the Squid bright rainbow miniskein set
This has been a difficult week because there is still no clear plan about how the virus is going to affect my job long-term. I’m desperate for some clarity among all the uncertainty and I don’t feel like I have any.
The yarn for my Somewhere socks arrived very quickly. It’s lovely. I made the mistake of leaving one of the mini skeins unattended and it ended up getting tangled. It took nearly two hours to wind it into a ball but it’s done now.
Knitting these socks is so addictive! I cast on for the first one late on Thursday and by Sunday evening I’d turned the heel. This is my first time mosaic knitting so it’s looking a little uneven but I’m pretty sure that will resolve itself with blocking.
I didn’t manage to get a picture, but my second Joy mitt is finished. I managed to borrow a darning needle from my aunt to weave in the ends.
This week I baked brioche! I used the recipe from Schoolnight Vegan. I was a bit apprehensive. I never made brioche as an omnivore and the recipe made it sound like it was pretty challenging even with a stand mixer. How would I fare with just a mixing bowl, wooden spoon and determination?
In the end, it was so easy that I feared I’d done something wrong! The dough came together quickly and then I just kneaded as normal. The dough was quite oily but that was good because it didn’t stick to everything.
We don’t have any plain flour so I used all bread flour. I also used oat milk rather than soya. And fairly cheap extra virgin olive oil from Lidl. No idea how these factors affected the final loaf. The crust is pretty crunchy, which I don’t think is normal for brioche, but that could also be the oven.
The truth is that I baked this brioche because I wanted some really good bread to test the new vegan butter I got from the Vegan Kind Supermarket. I have to say that it was worth every second of time and every penny spent. Butter is one thing that I really miss as a vegan. I hate margarine and so I thought my days of eating bread and butter were behind me. This butter has changed all that.
I also made some french toast using the brioche for brunch on Sunday and it was 🔥
I haven’t had a knitted FO in what feels like an absolute age! I’m still being very slow in doing all of the finishing stages on my aubergine rainbows sweater, which means that it’s been frustratingly near completion for months now. Oh well. Back to these socks.
If someone asks me to make something with wild colour combinations, I quite often end up putting together different self-patterning yarn leftovers and this was definitely the case with this project. I also did the same for the gloves I made my aunt gloves I made my aunt a couple of years ago.
I used up a lot of the leftover yarn from the four balls of Stray Cat sock yarn I bought a few years ago. This is all that remains.
My thumb for scale. I might use these little remnants for Innocent hats.
This is a pattern I know well, and I enjoyed cranking out another pair of socks. I will try to get a picture of my uncle wearing them.
Pattern: Vanilla Latte (free on Ravelry)
Yarn: Four colourways of Stray Cat Sock
My Xmas-loving aunt requested another pair of socks for my uncle this year. I have a feeling she asked me last year as well, but I never got around to making them. My uncle is a slightly grumpy Scottish guy (note: I like grumpy people, I think they’re funny) but I think he quite likes having really bright socks hidden beneath his dull work uniform. I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere. For this year’s ocular assault, I decided to dive into my stash rather than buying a new ball of sock yarn. I’m using leftovers from my various skeins of Stray Cat Sock yarn.
I’ve just been going with my gut with the colour progression. I’m not sure this was the best idea as I feel my colour selections have been a bit off all year. I hadn’t realised that the tone or warmth of the four balls of yarn is quite different. I’m still going to keep going as I don’t think this will bother my uncle.
Pattern: Vanilla Latte Socks (FREE on Ravelry)
Yarn: Stray Cat Sock yarn, various colourways
This week I finished my mini socks that used up every last scrap of the beautiful bright purple yarn from my Bradway shawl. I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out, especially with the adorable pom poms!
Shake your pom pom.
These socks are just about the right length for the trainers I had in mind. I have a real problem with ankle socks slipping down inside these shoes- even the fancy Nike trainer socks that swore to the heavens that nothing on earth could cause them to bunch down. I don’t see these pom poms creeping down my feet any time soon.
Although I’m pretty happy, making these socks just underlined that I am a cuff-down, not a toe-up, sock knitter. Wasn’t ‘toe up’ 90s slang for ugly? Anyway, although I think Judy’s Magic Cast On is very neat and clever, I hate doing it. It’s super fiddly and I almost never manage to cast on without at least one error. For the stretchy cast-off, I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, which I also wasn’t a huge fan of. I found the original tutorial on Knitty totally incomprehensible, but Google came up with the goods and I got there, though not without first questioning whether I know how to do a yarn over. I’m worried it’s a little too stretchy and will lose it’s shape. You just can’t beat a nice long-tail cast-on on my estimation.
Pattern: Socks on a Plane (free on Ravelry)
Yarn: Flashdance by The Lemonade Shop
Ravelry project page
I finished my Zigzagular socks in this beautiful, eye-searingly bright self-striping yarn.
I had to snap these pics straight after a yoga class, hence my bright blue legs. It’s just as well I did take this opportunity as the socks took a real pounding over the course of the weekend, so I’ll have to wash and block them.
This was an enjoyable knit, with an element of concentration required for the cabling pattern. It was a good on the go project.
Pattern: Zigzagular socks (available for free on Ravelry)
Yarn: Stray Cat Sock in Sun Shower
I had quite a bit of sock yarn left over from my Bradway shawl, so I decided to make a little pair of socks. I’ve tried making short socks before years ago but I didn’t like the look. However, I’m making these specifically to wear with hi-top trainers so the look doesn’t matter so much. I’m going to add little pompoms to the back in the hope that this will stop the socks slipping down my feet, which is a problem I have with every pair of sports socks I have ever purchased. These are toe-up socks, and this is only the second time I have made socks from the toe up. For some reason, I just prefer knitting cuff-down socks. I also love making socks on double-pointed needles rather than circulars, another little knitterly quirk of mine. Here’s the toe in progress.
And here’s a little more progress, where you can see the cool cable pattern.
Pattern: Socks on a Plane (available for free on Ravelry)
Yarn: Flashdance in Mighty Sock by The Lemonade Shop