Katherine the Great
I like to think of myself as a storyteller. Mostly I tell stories about knitting.

I find myself looking inward just now. Hot summer days have me slowing down and focusing on what I want out of life. What’s important to me? Am I saying yes based on my priorities or someone else’s?

Any kind of introspection leads back to knitting. Who am I kidding? Nearly everything I think about circles back to wool and needles. Reflecting back on my Karma Sutra socks, I remember starting them to practice lever knitting. I wanted to knit faster. I worked on the new technique for awhile, but never really quite got it. Recently, I’ve been thinking about giving it another shot. This time, I’m motivated by ergonomics rather than speed. I’d like to be knitting brightly colored socks as I while away a hot summer day decades from now. Whether this new motivation will bring success in my quest remains to be seen.

“Pattern”: CO 64
k1,p1 ribbing for cuff
left cross (1st over 1 st = 2 total), k1, p1 around for 1 round
k3,p1 ribbing for leg.
Sweet Tomato Heel by Cat Bordhi in contrast yarn (slightly modified so the contrast yarn only went across the top of the foot for 6 rows)
k3,p1 for the top half of the foot.
*I did something crazy on the top of sock 2 and had to drop 2 stitches from the toes all the way back to the heel to turn them into purls for the ribbing.
Verdict: I’m glad these socks are pretty because they were a little bit more of a pain in the arse than I planned. The fit of the Sweet Tomato Heel is acceptable, however I prefer to knit a heel flap.
Yarn: Must Stash Yarn & Fiber Spiffy Sock
Colorway: Kama Sutra
Needles: 2.25mm Karbonz (first time trying these – they are not my favorites because the join is not perfectly smooth)


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These socks hold more fond memories than perhaps any pair I’ve knit to date. They joined The Husband and I on our journey to California to visit his family and Disneyland.

We worked a visit to the Pacific into the trip so I could dip my toes in the ocean. As I eagerly headed for the waves, my pants already rolled to my knees, I hurriedly approached a four foot sand cliff. Planning to jump down, I stepped near the edge and it collapsed beneath me, cramming damp sand in every crevice on my back side. My entourage was a few steps behind me and found my mishap hilarious. As I’m the biggest beach lover among us and possibly the most experienced faller, I was glad to be the one to go down.

…and I grafted the toes of the second sock Christmas Eve with my parents. Just magical.

They hold so many wonderful memories and now I’m adding more….like DFW Fiber Fest.

Pattern:
Inspired by Helen’s lovely Darkside socks, here is my recipe.
k1,p1 ribbing for 1 inch
Stockinette until the first colored stripe begins and then switch to Vanilla Bean Striped Sock Style (VBSSS)
Continue VBSSS through the first row of the black stripe and then back to stockinette
Heel: Eye of Partridge
Note: I swapped needle sizes up and down during the gusset decreases to get at least one round in each color.
Yarn: Must Stash Yarns – Perfect Self Striping Sock
Colorway: Dark Side of the Moon EPV
Needles: 2.25mm bamboo


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Four Score and Seven Years ago, The Husband and I were watching Wedding Daze starring Jason Biggs and Isla Fisher. During a scene featuring Isla in a cozy green seater, the man that rarely admires knitwear said, “That’s a nice sweater.” So, we rewound, I got a good look at it and said, “I could totally knit that. It’s a little plain so I’d want some cables or something.” a pause and I added with a smile, “You do realize the sweater will not turn me into Isla Fisher, yes?” He responded with a laughing, “Yes.”


I selected several less boring shawl neck sweater patterns and The Husband voted for his favorite. We had a winner, Dark and Stormy by Thea Colman. I immediately started yarn shopping and discovered Valley Yarns Northampton. I wasn’t sure which green I liked best, so The Husband picked Dark Green Heather. I wasn’t 100% sure of the shade; online it looked like it had a bit of an orange haze, but when it arrived in the mail, I dug it. The Husband’s most convincing argument was that he looks at me more frequently than I look at me, so he is a better judge of what color will look good on me. He wasn’t wrong.

I knit a gauge, washed it (It’s like I don’t even know who I am anymore.) and cast on. It was too tight. So, I cast on again, knit a few rows, and stopped. To give you an idea of my headspace, I was a little gun-shy. After knitting my Owls sweater and not loving the fit – the cast on edge is too tight and it’s just a little too form fitting for my liking. So, I sat on this barely started sweater for a year.

Finally, the Iknitarod gave me the motivation I needed. I resolved that the worst that could happen is I end up with 6 balls of yarn. Ok, the WORST thing that could happen is that I end up crying on a pile of sweater bits with scissors in hand, but that’s probably not how this will go down. probably.

The odds of me ending up with 6 balls of yarn increased when a week into the sweater, i read a comment on ravelry, “This is not a great pattern for your first cardigan.” Um….. I kept going. As long as I read the pattern and trusted Thea and the 1500+ knitters that have gone before me, things seemed to go according to plan.

I made mine a little roomier than designed because I was looking for a cozy house sweater. The only issue I had was one arm being slightly longer than the other prior to blocking. Analysis has revealed that switching from magic loop to DPN’s halfway down the first sleeve will lead to a change in gauge. This did, in fact, block right out.

Pattern: Dark and Stormy by Thea Colman (I will absolutely be knitting another Thea pattern.)
Needles: Addi Clicks – size US 7
Yarn: Valley Yarns Northampton
Colorway: Dark Green Heather
Size: 38
Yarn Used: 529g
Mods:
Cast on 6 for underarms (I’ve got biceps like a Viking shieldmaiden and don’t like tight sleeves.)
.
Picked up 8 to start sleeves to avoid holes.
Knit a round.
Decreased 2 stitches
Knit a round.
Decreased 2 stitches
then followed pattern.
My sleeves ended up just a tad long, and i like it.

I spent an entire Saturday night looking at buttons online and settled on these 1 inch beauties.

Overall: This was quite the enjoyable knit and I LOVE my sweater! Beautiful readers, I may be a sweater knitter after all.


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