Delicious Nectar

Oh look, another pair!

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This time, the Show-Off Stranded Socks in Madelinetosh Sock, the deliciously named “Nectar”.

The pattern stipulates starting with a multiple of 4, and I feel foolish in not reducing the stitch count. The original 64 turned out way too loose in my gauge. However, I like my socks long, so by telling myself I’d wanted calf length socks anyway, I got the cuff to fit snugly at my calf, and then reduced 8 stitches by the time I reached the top of the heel flap.

The heel itself was an interesting construction, not one I’ve encountered before. I like that the stitch pattern continues down the back of the heel where other socks have a reinforced flap — something I’ve never found necessary. However, I’m not enamoured of the shape of the heel itself. So I may steal only the idea of continuing with the leg pattern down the heel flap for regular, gusseted heels from now on.

I love this latest pair, so pretty! I continued the pattern up to the tip of the toe, as usual. The little horizontal bars are particularly beautiful in a variegated yarn.

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Details
Pattern: Show-Off Stranded Socks
Yarn: Madelintosh Sock, 0.86 skeins, “Nectar”
Needles: 2.25mm dpn
Ravelled: here

More Socks

Yes, again. What can I say? I’m a little bit obsessed, and want to get as many pairs as I can before the obsession fades.

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This one is a very quick and easy pattern, and only took me a month since I stopped to make the sleep sack in the middle. Otherwise, I estimate it to be a week’s worth of knitting, even with working weekdays.

The pattern is very intriguing, with broad brushstrokes of ‘cables’ made increases and decreases. I always thought it looked a bit like a mummy splitting its wrappings, but in a fresh green colour it does look quite tree bark like. Also, while knitting it turns out very long and narrow. However, the pattern relies on a lot of negative ease to strech and show off the faux cables, so be sure to choose a springy yarn.

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Also, I believe this is the first time I’ve actually used Malabrigo Sock to make actual socks! I love the fabric — very fine and smooth, like commercial socks — let’s see how well it wears. The colour, “Turner”, was insanely difficult to photograph. Every camera turned it into a washed out khaki! The colour is truest in the picture against the patterned cushion.

Details
Pattern: Elm
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, “Turner”, 0.7 skeins
Needles: 2.25mm dpn
Ravelled: here

Shocked and Random

I’ve been knitting dedicatedly for a while now, and have never feared to try anything. So I was shocked — shocked, I tell you! — to realise I’ve never done any intarsia! Of course I knew the theory. But looking back at projects all the way from 2008, I couldn’t find a single intarsia’d stitch.

Well, that’s been remedied now:

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I’m still chugging away at the sleep sack. I’ll write about all the design decisions in the FO post, but at least now it looks like what I imagined. There was a point where I was worried it would be weirdly long and lumpy.

In other random news, I jumped on the adult colouring book bandwagon:

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And ordered even more sock yarn:

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Thyme, Nectar and Ginger from Madelinetosh. Very botanical, no?

 

Sheepy Dreams

In the middle of my sock knitting jag, what could be more appropriate than to interrupt the current socks in progress…

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(Elm, in Malabrigo Sock “Turner”)

… with another giant, sock-like thing?

This is a very much designed-on-the-fly sleep sack for a little baby who apparently doesn’t quite approve of the current southern hemisphere winter. I’m using the ever-popular Baa-ble Hat pattern for the sheep and stars (snow??), but started the bottom like a gigantic sock toe with a magic CO.

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The best thing about baby knits which don’t have to fit is the freedom to do pretty much everything. Stranded! Pictorial motifs! All the colours! In the round! Back and forth! Maybe even intarsia!

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Yeah, I’m enjoying myself.

 

Baltic Hourglass

The socks are done, and are just lovely:

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Like many others, I noted that there seemed too be too many stitches. So I left out one entire repeat, working the leg with 60 stitches. I left 35 stitches for the instep, and increased the remaining 25 heel flap stitches to 30.

Apart from that, I worked them in the usual top-down gusseted construction, keeping the slipped stitch pattern all along the sole as I usually do, for added wear-resistance. On the toe, I continued the ribbed pattern on the instep for a smoother visual transition.

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Despite using more yarn for the heavy-duty sole, I still have 20% of the skein left. I’m getting quite a little collection of sock-yarn leftovers; time to start hunting for scrap-busting patterns!

Details
Pattern: Hourglass Socks from Knitty
Yarn: Madelinetosh Sock in “Baltic”; 1 skein
Needles: 2.25 mm dpns.
Ravelled: here

 

Wearing What I Make

Now and then, I may have mentioned on this blog that I am a product knitter.

Of course the process itself is important to me; I enjoy crafting very much, else I would just go buy sweaters from a shop. And among all other crafts I particularly enjoy knitting because it’s the perfect amalgamation of pretty colours, fun geometry, portability and spatial imaginings; it soothes my inner make-something itch; and I get something useful out of it. I will also admit that owning something more beautiful and flattering than everyone else’s clothes is very appealing to the shallow and frivolous part of my soul.

Most of that applies to sewing as well, although knitting is clearly my favourite of the two.

And that is why I have always made things I know I will wear. Some may not have worked out quite perfectly, thus all the knitwear culling a few months ago, accompanied by unblogged sewing projects’ culling, but that exercise helped me refine what I want and need from my me-made projects.

I want my wardrobe creations to be functional and beautiful. To me, ‘beautiful’ is a combination of striking, flattering, unique, luxurious and elegant. Only for clothes of course; I’m not that shallow! And ‘functional’ garments should  mix well with my existing (culled) wardrobe, reflect my style and taste, and fill identified gaps.

Now, everyone has their own happy spot on the spectrum of colour, ease, trendiness. Mine hovers towards more colourful, well fitted and classic. But increasingly, I’m leaning towards clothes that do not allow me to blend in – I like being noticed. This means that if I knit or sew with a neutral colour, there must be some element of intrigue through texture, style or notions. I really cannot imagine myself in an outfit where every element is neutral, shapeless, casual and laidback. Neither do I like bohemian, ultra-romantic, very girly, blingy, or super trendy styles. On me, of course – I have friends who carry off those styles very well.

I’m meandering, and will now come to the point: I looked, and looked, for inspiration online featuring how people incorporate their handmades into their real life, but found very little. There’s the Me-Made-May frenzy of course, but what about the rest of the year? What about travel where you have to pick a capsule for a different weather and culture? What about putting several me-mades into a single outfit without looking like a crazy crafting lady? What about making them work with RTW? What happens after the prettily styled FO post?

I have several ideas bouncing around in my head. Like travel capsules where I used my me-mades, with weather and culture information. Or quarterly roundups of most used me-mades with outfit pictures. The ideas are a little hazy right now, we’ll see what finally crystallises. Suggestions are welcome!

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Actually, wait, I know what I’ll do first. A recent travel capsule wardrobe to a chilly place, great for lightweight sweaters. Here’s one of the outfits featuring my Thermal Kitten; I hope to have the whole post ready soon!

 

On Instagram

Somewhere between all the travelling last year, I managed to join Instagram, posted a couple of pictures and then forgot all about it.

Then I met a couple of friends with accounts, and – driven purely by jealousy and competition! – started posting more regularly to mine.

I try to keep this blog mostly knitting / sewing / craft related, so if you’d like to check out occasional food, travel and puppy photos too, head over to onkuri.

Gratuitous cuteness, just because:

Puppykins sleepykins #beaglesofinstagram #beagle #puppy #sleepy #sleepyhead

A photo posted by @onkuri on

 

And a reminder why I love my job:

See you there!

More Blue Socks

I think I’m on a blue sock knitting jag. After the Rocaille socks of last month, I immediately started on the wildly-popular-nearly-a-decade-ago Hourglass, also in a deep vivid blue — Madelinetosh Sock in “Baltic”. If the Baltic Sea is really that colour, I want to go live in it. On second thoughts, perhaps not.

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As usual, I continued the slipped stitch heel pattern all along the sole. And extended the ribbing into the toe for more prettiness.

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Nail biting suspense questions: will I succumb to second sock syndrome? Or cast on for the twin immediately? Will I ever be able to accurately capture the deep, shifting, colour? Stay tuned!