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Yarnalong - the one with the paper book

I know that Yarnalong is now only  the first Wednesday of the month, but I took this photo on the weekend and had to post on this, the 3rd Wednesday:


It's the deck at my parents holiday house, and I spent quite a lot of time out there reading and knitting over the weekend. That is the first paper book I have read in four years - I always read on my beloved Kindle, but I realised in the car up there thst I had failed to bring it. Tragedy! Luckily they have a bookshelf there, with a lot of books I had no interest in and, Friday Nights by Joanna Trollope. It's a lovely light but not fluffy read about female friendships. 
And that's my He-oak jumper for Leon, knitting up remarkably quickly.


I'm joining in with Ginny and the monthly yarnalong. I recommend popping over to her blog to see what everyone else is knitting and reading this month.

If you want to find all my book reviews, I'm SharonDblk on Goodreads. On Ravelry I'm SharonDoubleknit, and I blog about my knitting…

A marathon weekend

This weekend, Leon and I did the full marathon in the Marysville marathon trail running festival. The run started the year after the entire town burnt down 10 years ago, and I've done it 7 times - mainly the 10 kilometer, once the half marathon, and this is the first time I've done the full 42.2 distance.
And it was hard. The first half was great - no wind, beautiful weather, nice people, stunning trails. I stacked at 26 kms, but escaped with bruises and grazes.

From 30kms it got really hard. There is a climb to a lookout that just went on forever, and coming down there was quite a stony path, and I kept kicking rocks. We had been looking forward to the final 4km - mainly down hill, and a very familiar trail, but the heat took a toll on Leon, and he was suffering from severe cramps. Still, this marathon has been my goal for a long time, and now I've done it. We might have to train differently and do it again stronger next year, or maybe not. I'll decide once the bruises …

Yarnalong - the one where things are good

My best times are when I'm reading a good book, knitting a good project and just cruising along. And that's where I'm at right now. I'm knitting He-Oak, a jumper for Leon. I was a bit concerned, because there are no projects on Ravelry (surely you'd get some test knitters or something) but it's coming a long nicely. Also quite quickly - I started it on Friday, and it's really knitting up well.

The Chiaogoo needles are such a joy, although knitting at 4.5mm does feel enormous after all the socks. I'm reading Love and Treasure by Ayelet Waldman. I bought it ages ago, after listening to One Good Day and then I realised it was a Holocaust novel, and I wasn't really in the mood, I've read lots of holocaust novels and I think most of them are reading from the same source material - or many people had similar, heartbreaking experiences. Either way, not what i wanted to read right now. But this novel starts with a question I've often wondering about…

And now for something completely different

Since sOctober is over, I made a baby hat! In left over sock yarn, my favourite thing to use. Also, I seemt o ahve endless amounts of it, even though I've used kilos of it. I'm certainly not complaining, I have quite a few projects lined up for it, but it's odd. Also, I do seem to keep making more.
I used some LOSY - I have no idea what it was, or how I have any left over blues after the bathmatt. I used more the the self stripping that Katherine gave me. For 29 grams of yarn, this has gone a long way!
I used the Countless baby hat pattern, and then failed to follow most of the instructions, but it still worked out. Top down and magic loop! I was going to take a photo to proove I knit a whole hat on magic loop. I do love my new Chiaogoo interchangable set - but I still love doublepoints over magic loop, even with the best needles in the world.
I really need to go back to blocking things before posting them - I've managed to pu up 8 projects in a row without doing that. It…

Once apon a sock - the sOctober wrap up edition

I nearly missed this months "Once apon a sock" - for some reason it didn't click in my head that the first Thursday of the month can be before the first Wednesday. So, I'm a dollar short and a day late, but at least I'm here. Here's a picture of the socks I knit in sOctober


I somehow knit 6 pairs, including a pair of knee-highs, a KAL with the Richmond Knitters, sneaker liners, monster socks, thrummed slippers and a pair of baby socks. There is something about sOctober, that lets me knit more socks than is entirely possible - or as one of the Richmond Knitters said "do you have a time turner?" Last year I also knit 6 pairs, which was 4 pairs of crew socks and 2 pairs of sneaker liners. Mixing it up with 6 different styles this year was really fun. I'm joining in with Once-apon-a-sock, hosted by Paula from Spinayarn. Pop over to the linkup to see what everyone is knitting - and to join in in you feel like it. And now I'm off to knit somet…

sOctober finished pair 6 (!)

Are these not the cutest wee things you have ever seen? I finished my Gloamin-Tide socks on Sunday, and since sOctober was not quite over, I decided to sneak in another pair. Baby socks, made with left over sock yarn.

I decided to make these for my office mate Ian - he is having a baby, and the other day (he may have seen sock patterns on my screen) he asked "will my baby be getting socks?" I replied "If your step mother makes him some" I was joking, but it is true his step mother is an "obsessed knitter" with a yarn room. He got all embarrassed, I guess he understands that knitting can be asked for, or begged for, but never demanded. So I knit these for him. They are so sweet, only took 25 grams of yarn, and 2 nights knitting. And with that, my sOctober draws to a close. I'll do a wrap next Thursday in Once-Apon-A-Sock, but for now I'll just say it's been a good one.

sOctober pair 5 - where the matchy - matchy happens

When I finished Gloamin-Tide I had 60 grams of yarn left over, in the 3 fade colours I used. Obviously I decided I wanted to make socks to match the shawl - not just in colour, but to chanel the spirit of the shawl. When I found Cat Bordhi's Hither and Yon Socks, I knew I had found a sock that was just right. It had the advantage of also including the instructions for the Sweet Tomato Heel. Cat has free instructions for these on her website and you tube, but I prefer written instructions. So I bought the pattern and knit two other pairs of socks using the heel construction. 


Because I knew I'd have just enough yarn I decided to do these two at a time, toe  on double pointed needles: It was fine when I was only knitting in one colour, but got a bit messy when i was using two. After I finished the foot, I realised that I wouldn't have enough yarn, so I pulled in a fourth colour for the heel - leftovers from my Boxy again.


 I'm glad I did. The socks are a little shorter t…

Famous again!

Remember when I knit Kate Davies' Strathendrick? Of course you do. I went on and on about it. What I don't think I wote about was how I struggled with the name. In fact, when I first set up the pattern in fravelry, I called it "Strathdrick". I didn't change it, since I thought it was kind of funny, and who is going to see it anyway?


Well, lots of people as it turns out, since Kate Davies featured it in a blog post today. I'm obviously rather excited, since now I have been on two of my favourite designers blogs (remeber when Ysolda posted my Blank Canvas?) The only thing is,  now I wish I had named it something clever, or at least spelt it right. Small regrets, big thrill.

A story about some socks and some heels

This is my oldest pair of sneaker liners and my first pair of socks, knit in 2009. I knit them in  from the left overs of a baby jumper. There are top down, heel flap and gussett. They are also getting too small for me.I have noticed is that over time, my sneaker liners shrink through the heel.


It also happens with the  Fish Lips Kiss heel. And when the heel gets shorter, the back of the cuff goes down, and leaves the back of my Achilles exposed. It probably wouldn't matter with socks with longer cuffs, but I do knit a lot of sneaker liners.

Now, it's not uprising that this happens. I wear these socks with bike shoes, and sometimes it's raining. I wear them to the gym. Sometimes with shoes, more often without. What's surprising is that they wear so well and last as long as they do.

It also led to me experimenting with the Sweet Tomato Heel. Even though it is a bit more work to work than the Fish Lips Kiss heel, when I got up to the heel of the socks I am making with the l…

sOctober pair three

And these are a beauty, if I say so myself. I was planning to block them before taking photos, but last night I put them on to take a quick snap for Instagram, and ALL the cats came to help with the photos, which I love and am using, even if they show more cat than sock.

Kate Davies' Inspired by Islay was such a gift of a club. As well as (so far) knitting 4 of the 12 patterns, it inspired us to go to Islay - and got us rather more interested in whisky than we had been!

These socks are so well designed. They look lovely, but they are also cleverly designed so they will stay up, an important feature for knee high socks.

The yarn (from Kris' destash earlier this year) is lovely. A discontinued Spotlight yarn, it is allegedly cashmere, although I have my doubts. Who knows how it will wear, but the foot is knit pretty densely, and I now live in a house with floorboards, which is definitly a bonus on the longevity of house socks. 


So, another winner from Kate Davies. Now onwards to som…

sOctober pair two

For sOctober I have the broadest definition of socks, so let me present to you thrummed slippers for my mother:
I remember when I knit the first pair of these, I was quite concerned becasue they are a strange item: inches of fleece in the bottom, fluff everywhere, but she loved them.

I like this colour so much more than the brown ones I made last time, which is not suprising, since last time I knit from stash, and this time I bought the yarn specifically for the project. Something satisfying about buying yarn for a specific project, and then knitting it up immediately.

The only change I made to the pattern was to carry along some of Kate Davies Millorachy Tweed when knitting the sole. I'm hoping that adding a yarn with mohair will make these soles more resistant to wear.



A story about knee high socks

I love knee high socks. I normally wear them around the house, in winter over leggings or in cross seasons with a house dress or shorts. My favourite pair was knit in 2009, with left over yarn from the first jumper I ever made Leon. The are very comfortable, stay up, fit perfectly, but the toes always had holes where the decreases are. 

I had already decided to make Kate Davies Lord of the Isles socks (don't judge me, I haven't knit a Kate Davies pattern since September)when I found that this:




Yes, a whole lot of hole. I will  darn it, but I'm pretty glad that I'm halfway through the stunning replacement pair. 

More shopping

The other week my mother requested new thrummed slippers, because her's had worn through, and she'd already darned them once. They are knit in chunky yarn, and I started going through my stash in my head - I could hold together three strands of fingering weight, I could... and then I realised, I could buy the right yarn for the project.
So I did. The chuunky yarn on the left, and the fibre for the thrums to the right. So that was fine. While I was on the Knit picks website I saw the felici was on special. I've always wanted to try this self stripping yarn, and resisted, because I have so much sock yarn alread - and so many socks. But I was in a shopping mood, so three balls of that fell into my basket:
 For baby jumpers? sneaker liners? Who knows.


I also bought a skein of sparkle yarn, because I love sparkle yarn. a couplde of my friedns have knititng machines, so I might make a sock blank and dye it, or I might use it for heels in sneaker liners. Or I could make a baby jump…

Kris destashes again

In January Kris destashed some yarn. I took some, because it was right there. I have actually managed to knit all that yarn (except the mint "cashmere") which is on my needles right now. Then she moved house and has less storage space, so she did another destash. Now Kris has exquisite taste, so even the yarn she is getting rid of is stunning. I wish I'd taken a picture of the pile.
Initially I took these two "boy coloured" lots of yarn for socks for Leon.
And then these climbed into my bag: I keep saying "for baby jumpers" but who knows what they will be.

And then some self striping Regia, because Regia, and it was sitting on the table, and no one else wanted it, and I know it will make something nice. Like a baby jumper. I know I only need three baby jumpers right now, and I've got yarn for all of them already, but it never hurts to plan ahead, right?



Also, there 'may" be a couple more balls of yarn coming in the mail. More on that, and a to…

Socktober - first finished pair

I finished my first socks for sock knitting season - the Audrey sock yarn I was talking about earlier in the week.

It's marvelous yarn, and the rumour is that Dani will be dying us a colourway for Christmas this year too, so I look forward to that too.

The pattern uses a "strong" heel, which I think works quite well with self stripping yarn - the trick is that the heel turn is knitted in other yarn, which means the striping is not interrupted.

It also seems quite comfortable, although I'm not one of those people who finds trouble with the fit of most heels. Additionally, its pretty:

These socks used just over 60 grams of yarn - which means I have enough left over to make a pair of shorties, although I think some other yarn. Stay tuned - but first, I'm off to start some slippers for my mother.