Tuesday, 27 September 2016


Sometimes there's a project you love to knit over and over again. Sometimes there's a yarn that you just have to buy every time you see (and do some online stalking to make sure you get it)

For me, my obsession seems to be sock yarn. I love it. There are so many brands out there to choose from -  Sirdar Heart & Sole, Regia, my favourite Opal and the new sock yarn from Stylecraft called Head over Heels (which I may or may not have in the post....)

See, I've a sock problem. I've got sock yarn spanning a decade now because someone told me that "sock yarn doesn't count". Yeah right!! I've more sock yarn than anything in my stash at the minute (and another ball en route)

So, what draws me to sock yarn?  It has to be the colours. If the colour doesn't grab my attention then nothing else will and I think that's the case for most people.  Secondly, if its a yarn I haven't used before then chances are I'll buy it (the Head Over Heels is a perfect example. The Eiger colourway grabbed me and its a new yarn so I was sold!)

Many years ago in a yarn shop in Berlin I stocked up with Trekking XXL. I had 4 colourways, a red/black, a orange/cream, a green/cream and a black/green. Last August (that's August 2015) I cast on a pair of socks with the green/black with the intention of giving them to my brother for his birthday in October........they were only finished in August this year. Yes, they sat on the needles for a FULL YEAR!

Rye socks
I think this project suffered for two reasons. Firstly, I thought it would be a great idea to knit a pattern into the sock....it takes me an AGE to knit patterned socks. I get bored. I know, its strange that most people find plain socks boring, but I think they go very quickly whereas the pattern slows me down. Secondly, I found the yarn to be quite thin for a 4ply. It wasn't as soft as I was expecting, but then again the yarn had been in my stash for years and it looked like it was starting to felt.  I would like to try a newly made ball of Trekking to see if they've changed the recipe or maybe I just got a strange ball.   I did knit up one of the other balls 7 years ago for my dad. He didn't wear them for long as my brother stole them....that boy likes his handknitted socks and still wears them!!!

                                                                                                                            Now, the Sirdar is a nice yarn and I really enjoyed working with it.  The yarn was soft, springy and knitted up really nicely. Usually I'm not a Sirdar fan but look at the colours! Don't the just sing SUMMER at you!  The big chunky colour blocks are good too (you know when you're knitting and someone wants you to do something? "Just wait til I finish this colour" and away you go) I've worn these socks a few times and they wash well too...a nice all rounder type sock yarn.

Sock yarn is great if you want to get your moneies worth out of a yarn. Its hours of knitting for relatively little. Most yarns I buy seem to be around £8 a ball and they keep me going when I'm out and about. Great project for travelling or commuting to and from work.

So, time for some finished socks then. Some are new and some are very old.....but I'm working on a new pair and have some new to be sock yarns lined up to try - Knit Picks Felici, Lion Brand Sock Ease and Debbie Bliss Rialto Sock Yarn.

If you've never knitted a pair of socks, give it a go! You won't be disappointed.

3 yarns in these- black opal, bright Regia and pale opal
Sunshine Sirdar
Trekking XXL

Stolen pair of Trekking XXL socks

Funky Opal socks

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Summer's gone

Well that was a long summer break I took by accident. I didn't mean to abandon the blog for so long but time seemed to get away from me. But at least the month off has provided me with lots of blog fodder so that'll keep us going for ages!!

The last time I was here I was frantically knitting away on Echo Beach for the wedding. Well, it was cast off and blocked on the Thursday night, and here it is artfully draped over the dress:

Ready to roll!
What can I say about it? Its a lovely wrap, the yarn is delicious and the patterns not too scary once you get started. However, its too short. Now I put 2.5 skeins of the alpaca silk into it, and it was a bit awkward to wear. BUT all is not lost!

I was sitting in a hotel in Donegal, mulling over the fate of echo beach and coming to terms with the fact that I wasn't 100% happy with it, when, all of a sudden I had a flash of inspiration. I could lengthen it!

After a discussion with the knitters, it was decided that adding a few repeats was indeed the best option. Now to source the yarn which was going to be a problem as Artesano are no longer trading. I tried the place when I got the emergency skein - no luck. I tried ravelry, no luck there either.

In a moment of desperation, I placed an APB on the Stitch n Bitch Facebook group and my search was successful! Andrea was willing to part with 2 skeins that she had and now.....now I'm just waiting on the time to rip the cast off and a chart back and carry on.

So you'll see a lot more of echo beach in the future!