Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Year of Projects Year 6: Week 02

This week I've split my attention between Necker and a new pair of Vanilla socks.

Necker first. Sometimes just casting on the second sock is significant progress I find, and I've cleared that hurdle now. I've knit the cuff and started the patterning on the leg so I'm well underway. If I can find knitting time here and there this week then I hope to finish this pair this week. It's a very easy pattern, and very easy to pick up and put down, so this should be do-able. If you have a minute, it's worth the time to click the pattern link and check out some of the projects worked in two colours. A pretty dramatic effect is creative. Right now I'm thinking about doing the pattern a second time in two colours, although probably with less dramatic contrast than some of the projects shown on Ravelry.

In keeping with my Year of Projects goal to knit alternate fancy patterns with vanilla patterns I cast on a pair of Pure Vanilla socks to use some problematic variegated yarn along with various solid and semi-solid grey scraps. I've worked about 4" of leg, but the stockinette is too inflexible to stretch over my heel so I'm ripping back to the cuff and starting over on larger needles. I'm really happy with how the alternating rounds of grey are quieting the variegated colourway though! The cream colour used in the cuff was amongst the yarn scraps I was given by a fellow Raveller. It's super soft but I'm not convinced there's nylon in it, so I think it's best saved for cuffs.

As for our cottage, thanks for all the great feedback and congratulations! It's not directly on the water - we're the third house back - which made it more affordable for us. The front deck has a clear view down the street to the Lake, so it's good enough for me. The big thing for us was how well done many of the recent renovations were. The cottage has been lifted onto concrete piers in the last several years so there are no dampness issues. The electrical was all professionally redone to 100amp service - the home inspector was very impressed that there were NO code violations whatsoever. The pump is new, the high efficiency gas furnace is quite new, the air conditioner is new, so we won't need to do anything for years. The roof and building structure are in good shape, in excess of code, and it's fully winterized, although the home inspector did say it'd benefit from more insulation in the attic and spray foam insulation in the crawl space around the concrete piers. I'll try to get more and better pictures this weekend for my next update.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Year of Projects Year 6: Week 01

Gavin checking the wind and waves

It's a whole New Year on my knitting calendar, but where to begin? For the past five years I've been knitting the all the patterns in a book, but I fell off the wagon with that last year. Combining Knit. Sock. Love. with the Cookie A Sock Club left me with Cookie A-exhaustion and I just couldn't bring myself to cast on one more pair from her patterns. Maybe this year I need to change up my approach?

So here's the new plan:

one pair of vanilla socks for charity every month. I really enjoy working simple vanilla socks from sock yarn scraps while having a more complicated pattern on the go on a second set of needles. That way if I'm on a train or a bus without a pattern book, I'm covered. And some days (and evenings) I'm just too tired to deal with something "chart-y".

• one pair of fancy socks from a different designer every month. Seemed like I spent last year knitting cuff down socks with twisted rib cuffs, a bunch of travelling stitches and the same old gusset and flap heel construction. Time to change that up! There are sooooo many amazing sock designers out there to try, one pattern at a time. And it'll be nice to tailor my pattern choices to match the yarns that I have and the upcoming birthdays on my calendar, too. Looks like I'll make some progress through my Ravelry favourites this year, rather than a book of patterns!

And that's it. That's the plan. Simple, huh?

Gavin windsurfing at the cottage
It'd help if I actually spent some time knitting though - that hasn't happened in weeks. Work's been crazy busy and so has my home life. Crazy in a good way - we bought a cottage at Lake Erie! Between back and forth with the offers, meetings with lawyers, viewings, moving, cleaning, scrubbing, inventorying and catching up on the yard work, there hasn't been much time to knit. It hasn't all been hard work though, there's been some swimming, hiking, biking and paddle-boarding too! So far, we love it at the Lake. I CANNOT WAIT to retire!

The plan then is to finish the two pairs of socks currently on my needles - Crest and Necker - and then getting going on my list. And when I'm not knitting, look for me in the Lake! It's gonna be a great year I think!