Friday, August 12, 2011

My knitting mojo has returned!

So earlier this year I was really feeling like I had lost my knitting mojo. I know if you read some current posts you may ask "really?". But really!!!! I wasn't all that motivated. I think in part its because I was working on things that were taking so much time I wasn't having much fun. Plus as much as I said I wanted to curb the casting on of new projects - that is part of what keeps me motivated!

My mojo started to return when when I knit up a couple of sweaters for Elphaba. They were small projects that I could start and finish in a matter of a few hours. That had me feeling like I could ACCOMPLISH something again!

Next, I signed up for Camp Loopy with The Loopy Ewe. Camp Loopy is a series of one month long knit alongs. The first was June 15 to July 15. We had to knit a scarf or shawl - something to keep us warm at night. I went with a heavier weight yarn because I was terrified of not finishing in time. And I decided to knit Terra by Brooklyn Tweed. Can I just say - I should not have been worried since I knocked this baby out in a week! No joke. One week! Crazy!

Here I was I'd been freaking about not finishing in a month, and I finished in a week. Which meant I had 3 weeks until I could cast on for project 2 (which I wasn't even sure what it WAS yet). you may have noticed if you've read my blog...I've been bit by the stripey sock yarn bug. One of my friends caught it first..and as I watch her favoriting of different yarns on Ravelry (gotta love that friend activity feed) I was getting intrigued. See most of my socks of late have been patterned. And I love them. But its more work to knit a patterned sock. One must learn or read the pattern and that slows me down. Part of what was intriguing me about the striped sock yarn, is getting fun, interesting to look at socks without having to worry about a pattern. So I stalked Twisted Limone on Etsy one of the stripey's I was most intrigued by, and scored 2 balls on my first try - pretty good considering she only puts up like 10 balls once a week. Problem is, Twisted Limone is in the UK. I am not. And I had 3 weeks to play with before my next Camp Loopy project. Enter Knit Picks and their Felici Self Striping Sock yarn at a FANTASTIC price! I ordered that in 4 colorways, and it arrived in lighting fast time. So I cast on. And made 2 pairs before my first order of Twisted Limone showed up.

Vanilla Goth Socks
Vanilla Rainbow Socks

Then my Twisted Limone arrived and I was SOOOOO excited so I got right to work on those.
Summer Breeze Vanilla Socks

In case you weren't paying attention, I only had 3 weeks, until July 15 to work on all these socks. Yes you heard me. I knit 3 pairs of socks in 3 weeks! I love this new way of knitting them, toe up, afterthought heel. It requires so little thinking you can just KNIT!

So, then July 15 rolls around and I need to start my Camp Loopy Project 2. Project 2 was from July 15 to August 15 and has to be socks or mittens or gloves and has to have cables. I went with socks (naturally!) and decided that I wanted to make sure I got myself done on time. So rather than pick a pattern that could be overly complicated, why not use my new style of sock knitting and design my own pattern! And I did!
These socks are what I call "Cabled Yumminess". My ravelry project pages is here but I've also loaded the pattern into Ravelry and once my test knitters complete it I plan to make the pattern available. Not sure yet if I'll do it for free or try to make a little money. But it sure has been fun watching the people favorite and queue up my pattern!

Okay, so finished the Camp Loopy Project 2 socks August 4. What's a girl to do? 11 more days before I can cast on for Project 3 (something with at least 800 yards). Enter Stephen West and his mystery shawl KAL which started August 1. Here's the idea - a bunch of people knit a pattern at the same time with NO idea of what the finished project will look like and we only get pieces of the pattern at a time. YIKES! I've never done a mystery KAL before - and if I had to do one, Stephen West is probably the one to do because I find most of his patterns BEAUTIFUL! He did give some suggestions early on for how to pick out your three colors. Some have gone with some solids mixed with a varigated. Some of gone with 3 different shades of a similar color. I went with three very different shades of yarn. We were told one of them should be considered the "anchor" so I went with something dark for that. Here's my yarn:
I don't want to share what the shawl is looking like because it is a mystery and don't want to spoil the surprise for someone accidentally. But if you WANT to see it, my project pages is here. I finished both Clue 1 and Clue 2 the first day I worked on them. Clue 3 just got released early, so I may try and do a little of that tonight but I'm headed out of town this weekend so we'll see. Plus this project may end up taking a back seat since I need to cast on for Camp Loopy Project 3 Monday and that is going to take me a while...the pattern I picked out is more like 1500 yards, not the required 800. Yikes!

Oh yeah, and in between all that I've started using sock yarn scraps for the Beekeepers Quilt. I think it will be fabulous for little quick things when I'm bored. Or purse knitting! And lord knows I have LOTS of sock yarn scraps!

So there it is, my mojo is back. Thank goodness I love knitting since I'm doing a LOT of it these days!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Orchid Cabled Yumminess

As part of my sock craze of late, I've designed my first sock pattern! I needed something with cables for a knit a long I was in. But I still wanted something simple and quick. The answer: my Orchid Cabled Yumminess!

Okay, so the pattern itself I'm just calling Cabled Yumminess. The Orchid comes from the Sundown Orchid Dream in Color Smooshy I used.

Here's a picture. I'm hoping to get a few people to do a test knit for me and then to publish the pattern!