Earning My Stripes

Since coming back from vacation, I've had a semi-hard time getting back into the swing of knitting as a part of my routine. Not really sure why, but I couldn't seem to muster the energy or will to start a new project. What I ended up doing was just finishing up some WIPs I had floating around instead of casting on for something new. I think the slow segue back to business really did the trick, and I'm happy to report that I have two more pairs to toss in my sock drawer as a result.

When we got back I wanted to knit something while catching up on some HBO NOW shows (you guys, how weird is this season of True Detective?! What the hell is going on there?), but I didn't want it to be even remotely challenging to my brain- which clearly had not gotten the memo that we were back to regular life. I ended up going through my WIPs and found my long languishing Spectacularly Stripy sock in a bag. I decided to resurrect this project and busted out the other orangey-orange skein of Regia Design Line Arne & Carlos yarn to finally make its mate. 
Since this yarn has SO MUCH going on, I didn't even bother trying to make a perfect match. I knew I'd love them even as fraternal twins- and boy do I! I made them extra long for wearing under my winter boots. These striped lovelies will be so warm and toasty once the cold weather hits. Makes me glad I have so much Arne & Carlos in my stash- I'm definitely going to keep a well stocked sock drawer with this awesome stuff!

Speaking of a well stocked sock drawer... I finally decided on a heel for my Love Wins socks- hooray! You'd have thought much more was at stake here the way I was racking my brain over this, but I'm super pleased with the way they turned out, and I think the anxiety was worth it. I'm weird like that. 
I got the rainbow stripes to line up almost perfectly for these- my neurotic self is so proud. The afterthought heel was something new to me (can't believe I've never tried this before with self-striping yarn), but it was just like knitting a toe and very easy. I almost got the heels to match perfectly, but I was just the tiniest bit off- though definitely not enough to get me to rip it out and try again, even I have my limits. I had to cut out chunks of the sky blue to get to the rainbows, and then I lined up the rainbows by tying the purples together so the color sequence would start to reverse at the right spot on the heel. It was a surprisingly labor intensive process, and I had so many more ends to weave in than if I had just stuck to the sky blue, or had the rainbows start at purple instead (which is actually how they were caked up). Maybe in the future I'll just use a contrasting color to avoid the hassle, but I still really, REALLY love these socks. They might even be my most favorite pair yet. 

When my brain finally returned to normal (HA- close enough!), I decided to cast on for another shawl. I had been wanting to knit up a two color shawl for a while, and loved the combination of Tosh Merino Light in Holi Festival and Torchere, but while Aisling is absolutely gorgeous, and is hanging out very patiently in my queue, it calls for a bit more yardage than the TML has per skein. Instead, I jumped in on yet another KAL. Shocker, I know.

Kirsten Kapur is hosting a Summer Shawl KAL over on the Fans of Through the Loops Designs page on Ravelry. I've had her Cladonia pattern in my favorites for ages (seriously, like years), so I jumped right in! The KAL is going on until September 15th- plenty of time to finish- and I'm planning on adding this to my Around Your Neck KAL entry on the Suburban Stitcher group, too. 
This combo is so sweet and girly- that's why I named it Pinkie Pie! At first I was a little worried that the pops of pink in the Holi Festival colorway against the hot pink of the Torchere would make the stripes look too muddy, but I think it's fabulous! Anyway, I can think of worse problems than too much pink. As always, this yarn is a total dream to knit up. 

My sock needles are feeling a bit neglected, so I'll probably cast on for a new pair at some point soon. Something with stripes. Obviously. I've been thinking a lot about digging into some of my Felici stash, but that Arne & Carlos is also super tempting... Decisions, decisions. Any thoughts? 
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