Wednesday 30 January 2019

Lots of Socks KAL

I'm very excited to announce that I am a participating designer in the Lots of Socks knitalong (KAL)* being organised by Lisa Ross of Paper Daisy Creations, and running from February 1st until March 21st 2019. 

Have you heard of the #lotsofsocks initiative? On March 21st every year, people are encouraged to wear two different brightly coloured socks to highlight the uniqueness of individuals with Down syndrome and to show their support for the Down syndrome community. Why March 21st? People with Down syndrome have an extra copy of chromosome 21, so the date 3/21 was selected. Lisa designed the Lots of Socks KAL to create LOTS of socks, and at the same time generate support and awareness for a great cause! 

There's a sale!  
On each day from February 1st to 15th 2019, a different designer has been selected to offer a pattern on sale for 50% off. Some of these are new designs and some will be existing designs… each day will be a surprise! ALL proceeds from the highlighted design on the designer's given day will go to supporting Down Syndrome International. To be notified of the sale patterns, either sign up to Paper Daisy Creations' newsletter via her website or follow @paperdaisycreations on Instagram. The designers participating are: Lisa Ross, Kate Atherley, Mina Philipp, Mary Hull, Megan Williams, Shannon Squire, Tracie Millar, Sarah Jordan, Mindy Wilkes, Jen Lucas, Adrienne Fong, Susie White, Vikki Bird, Clare Devine and Anna Friberg.  

What does the KAL involve? 
Starting on February 1st, cast-on ANY sock design from ANY of the participating designers (no works in progress, sorry!). For each single sock that gets knitted (this might be the perfect opportunity to finish up some lonely socks...), you will get an entry for prizes. If you use yarn from one of the sponsors (a list of sponsors can be found here*), you will get an extra entry. When you finish your sock, post a photo of it in the FO thread, remembering to include the pattern name, designer, and yarn used. If you used sponsor yarn, include a photo of the ball band or tag to get a bonus entry.  

Lisa will keep a running list of sock entries in the prize thread. After the KAL has ended, prizes will be drawn based on the entries listed (if you've finished some socks but they haven't been included on the list of entries, send a message to Lisa before the end of the KAL).  

On March 21, 2019 (World Down Syndrome Day), be sure to wear your socks and spread the word! You can post your socks on Instagram using the following three hashtags #lotsofsocksKAL, #lotsofsocks, and #WorldDownSyndromeDay AND tag @paperdaisycreations. You might also want to tag the designer and include hashtags #WDSD19 and #LeaveNoOneBehind.  

When you're knitting your socks for the KAL, feel free to make the socks your own: you're allowed to modify patterns from toe-up to cuff-down and vice versa, switch out heels and toes to your favourites, or to make modifications for fit. However, you must use the minimum stitch count listed in the pattern and at least 25g of sock yarn for a single sock.  

What could I win?  
Lisa has done an amazing job of sourcing prizes for the KAL, and you could win all sorts of amazing yarn-related goodies and patterns, including a £100 gift card to Countess Ablaze, project bags and special skeins galore! The full list of prizes can be found here.*  

Where should I head for more details and to join in? 
The KAL is being hosted in Lisa's Ravelry group,* so go there to join the chat and to show off your projects. I cannot wait to see what everyone knits! 

If you want to make sure you don't miss out when my pattern is on sale, sign up to my newsletter.  

Of course, it's always possible that you might already own all the sock patterns you want. If you'd like to donate directly to Down Syndrome International, you can do so via their website.

*Ravelry link; you need to be a member of Ravelry to open this link. Membership is free.

Tuesday 29 January 2019

Yarnometer: November 2018

I like knitting in November: the weather is colder, the evenings are longer, and knitting feels more necessary. With that in mind, here’s my Yarnometer post for November.

Projects finished
An *Elmer* cushion cover
Something I'm really excited about! The pattern is available in Knit Now issue 98.

Image copyright Practical Publishing

These socks were donated to Marie Curie to be distributed to patients at their hospices over Christmas.

I had wanted to knit this hat for ages, and when I drew a particular someone for a Secret Santa I knew I hat to knit this hat for her.

The ins and outs of yarn
Yarn in
  • 100g of sock yarn from Knit Crate
  • 300g of sparkly Christmas yarn
  • 100g of Stylecraft Head Over Heels sock yarn 
  • 230g of yarn in a goodie bag from my local yarn shop (Ringarosie)
  • 200g of sparkly worsted weight yarn from Knit Crate
  • 200g of West Yorkshire Spinners Christmas yarn
  • 100g of Regia Christmas sock yarn
  • 100g of sparkly sock yarn from Knit Crate
  • 200g of West Yorkshire Spinners sock yarn donated to me to make socks for charity

Yarn out 
  • 78g of festive sock yarn given to a friend
  • 100g of sock yarn as a prize for the Marathon Sock KAL
  • 382g spare yarn returned to a publisher
  • 78g of sock yarn donated to a friend
  • 200g sock yarn gifted as part of ‘Get your yarn wishes granted’
  • 100g of sock yarn to my sister to knit her first pair of socks

  • 229g cushion cover
  • 110g socks for Marie Curie
  • 62g Beeswax Hat 

Yarn in: 1530g
Yarn out or used: 1339g
Total: +191g

Year to date
Yarn in: 26 957g
Yarn out: 14 141g
Yarn used: 6153g
Total: +6663g

November was a month in which a surprisingly large amount of knitting got done. I figured out how to do intarsia with a baby on my knee (admittedly a baby that was not as wiggly as the one that is currently pulling my hair....), and donated lots of yarn to people who would use it faster than I could manage (the two lots of 78g of yarn both became socks by Christmas, which was lovely to see).

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Yarnometer: October 2018

October feels like a very long time ago, and I was in the midsts of newborn joy/chaos so very little crafting got done. Here’s my Yarnometer log for October.

Projects finished
I finished a single project in October, a blanket for my friend’s newborn. I used the Hydrangea stripe pattern from Attic24, and this project was perfect for working on with a tiny baby dozing on my knee.

The ins and outs of yarn
Yarn in
  • 100g of cream yarn for the baby’s stocking
  • 100g of burgundy yarn to make some Christmas ornaments
  • 200g of Paintbox Metallic DK for Christmas decorations*
  • 100g of self-striping yarn dyed in aid of Marie Curie
  • 400g Debbie Bliss Piper DK for review*

Yarn out 
  • 300g of sock yarn for Marathon Sock KAL prizes
  • 540g leftovers donated to the school craft box

  • 488g for the baby blanket

Yarn in: 900g
Yarn out or used: 1328g
Total: +428g

Year to date
Yarn in: 25 427g
Yarn out: 13 203g
Yarn used: 5752g
Total: 6472g

A month in which only a little crafting got done, but I did manage to destash a few odds and ends, and my yarn purchases were somewhat considered (I’ve actually used three of the items as I type this in January). I’m a little alarmed at how large the yarn-in total for the year is though!

*Affiliate link; yarn supplied for review purposes

Wednesday 2 January 2019

Yarn Along: Welcome to 2019

Happy New Year!

It's the first Wednesday of the month (and indeed of the year), and that means it's Yarn Along day. For those of you who haven't been following my blog for very long, Yarn Along is a monthly blog feature where I let you know about my current work in progress (or works in progress, there are often a few) and what I'm currently reading. Yarn Along is organised by Ginny of Small Things, head to her post if books and crafts are your thing as all the Yarn Along posts for the month are linked there.

Things have quietened down a lot here in the Bird House since all the Christmas madness. All the gift knitting is complete, and this month I'm concentrating on knits for me. I started my Vinterskov sweater in October and have finally reached the yoke, so not much more to go! I'm currently working on the plain rounds before the colourwork, and it won't be long at all before I get to start on the trees. I'm now pretty confident I'm going with a pale lilac for the trees, having gone back and forth between a few options. This is the first bottom-up in-the-round jumper I've knitted and I am finding the yoke a bit tricky as all the weight of the jumper makes shuffling the stitches fiddly, but I'm nearly there, and really hope I'll be finished by Twelfth Night (I’ve just checked that and the date is ambiguous; I was thinking January 6th).

In the next day or two, I'll be swatching for my next jumper project, and I'm going for Bright Above Me, a gorgeous top-down jumper with stars around the yoke. I definitely need to swatch for this one as I'm knitting in Drops Karisma, which is a DK weight yarn, rather than the worsted weight yarn called for in the pattern. I'll be knitting this jumper as part of the This One's For Me KAL that I'm hosting in my Ravelry group. Full details can be found in this blog post. Once I've completed the yoke, I'll be swatching for a Chuck sweater as I like to have once tricky project on the needles, and one that is much more mindless.

Yarn for Bright Above Me
Yarn for Chuck

My current read is also knitting-themed as I'm reading A Stash of One's Own, a series of essays about knitters and their stash, curated by Clara Parkes. This book is a wonderful easy, yet thought-provoking read. It's fascinating to learn about other people's approaches to their stashes, whether their stashes are beautifully curated or a haphazard mishmash. I'd recommend this read to anyone who has an interest in yarn and knitting, or any other craft - there is more that unites us than separates us.

What are you currently working on and reading? Do you have any crafting or reading-related new year's resolutions? I'm going for the very conservative target of 12 books for 2019 (I'll be listing them here), so hopefully I'll be reading something else by the time I write my Yarn Along post for February! My only crafting target is to end the year with less yarn than the amount I started with, but I'll elaborate on that when I post the final few Yarnometer posts for 2018.

Happy knitting!