Packing my Bags
I also finally got around to ordering the tonal purple Sock Madness skein from Unplanned Peacock that complements my set of other sock madness skeins. I also found my perfect yarn in their Silk and Merino Laceweight skein for my Guinevere non-pi circular shawl KAL for March's Mega-KAL. I might have also gotten sucked into their Gemstone Yarn Club but I'll report on that some other week.
Morning StrollSock Madness 9 has officially begun. The pattern for round 1--Alohomora--was posted by the time I woke up well before dawn on March 1st so I cast it on with my official Sock Madness yarn from Unplanned Peacock in the variegated purplely-blue Hydrangea colorway. I have two weeks to finish at least one sock, made to a 9" foot length and exactly as the pattern specifies, in order to qualify to receive additional patterns for the rest of the rounds. If I want to compete on a team for future rounds, I have to finish the full pair in that time. I'm not sure if I will push that hard to get and stay on a team but I would like to knit more socks for me and others for #operationsockdrawer so this seems like a good excuse to power through at least a few of them.
I am also test knitting the Whimsy Cowl for Nimble Knits so I cast that on and am working out the best gauge for my yarn selection. I decided to use another colorway of the same yummy alpaca sport weight yarn that I used for my Armonika cowl. Its been so useful this winter that I thought it couldn't hurt to have another color/style option in that yarn.
Along the Path
One of the benefits of just jumping in and going along for the ride in Sock Madness is the need to try and learn new skills. This round the sock pattern requires using the German twisted or stretchy cast on (same technique, several names). It's done in the same style of a long tail cast on but catches and pulls through the yarn in a different, twisted way. The first dozen stitches were done really slowly but then I got the hang of it and I found it only slightly slower than a long tail cast on. If it results in a better cuff, I could see myself adopting it for many different applications. I'm happy to say that's 1 new skill learned.
I finished the His Golden Lair Shawl and at the very last few minutes of February I completed and uploaded pictures of my No Purl Monkeys socks for the Solid Sock Fire Challenge. I'm really happy with both, though the socks are slightly loose right now, and I can tell you they are going to get a lot of wear.
Not much non-knitting activity going on this week. Work has been really crazy and I've come home every night exhausted, mentally if not also physically. I've been knitting a lot to finish up these projects and also as my stress relief so I get home, do some knitting and then crash. The only other thing I've been working on is cook more on the weekends. I'm trying to do more from scratch, planning and creating balanced healthy flavorful meals and wake up my culinary skills. They've been snoozing for a while and I'm a little rusty. But it feels really good to feed and nourish my family, a feeling I'd forgotten, so I'm trying to make it a priority.