The Madness Begins

Hello friends! Sorry it's been so long- I've had a lot on my plate the past couple of weeks. I got a new car- OH, YEAH! It was long overdue... Two doors aren't enough when you have a toddler. Two hands aren't enough when you have a toddler! Check out the ridiculously cool decal I got from A Needle Runs Through It to rep my bad ass knitting skills.
I've been using it to drive myself to SCHOOL! I enrolled in a graduate course in Education to get the ball rolling on acquiring my teaching license- YAY! It's been keeping me fairly busy... Okay, really busy. So. Much. Reading. But don't worry- I've managed to sneak in loads of knitting time in between chapters. Procrastiknitting, if you will.

In my last post I mentioned that I registered for Sock Madness. Round 1 began on the first of the March, and will run until the fourteenth. I was pleasantly surprised! It only took me six days to complete the sock, but I don't think I'll be quite as fast in the coming rounds. The first round sock was the SlipStripeSpiral. I knit mine with Lang Jawoll Super Sock Solids in Orange and Knit Picks Felici in the Shamrock colorway. My sister gave me the Felici ages ago- sadly, the Shamrock color is discontinued now, but I still have some left for later since she weirdly got three skeins of it. Still, I think it will be a great pair of socks to wear on St. Patrick's Day!
There were a lot of firsts for me while knitting this sock. It was my first time using the Personal Footprints Toe, which I really liked- it's very clever! It was also my first time slipping stitches to alternate colors in a sock- it's actually my first time ever knitting a sock with two colors now that I think about it! The Sweet Tomato Heel was also new to me, but I had been wanting to try it out for a while now- so I'm glad this pattern used it. I think I'll be using both the toe and heel again in future socks, but probably sticking to just one color at a time for those. At last week's Pints & Purls at Gather Here there were 3 of us knitting this pattern! It was really helpful to have someone to ask questions to, and I'm sure it will be even more useful in the coming rounds. I'm super glad there are a few Sock Madness veterans at my knitting group- I'm sure they will be an invaluable resource of sock knitting wisdom.

I also started and FINISHED Joji Locatelli's 3 Color Cashmere Cowl for the Diary of a Yarn Snob Podcast KAL. I had a really hard time deciding which three colors to use for this cowl. I wanted something with cashmere in it, but not particularly high maintenance, so I settled on some MCN hanks I had in stash. I used one of the Baadeck Yarns exclusive colorways of Handmaiden Casbah Sock I picked up while we were on vacation in Cape Breton- and the purple really does remind me of the Lupins that grow wild all over the island in the summer. I also used a beautiful sky blue braid of Annie Yarn Destiny Sock in Alaska from a previous Yarnbox shipment- another wonderful yarn that was a complete joy to work with! Lastly (and after much deliberation), I used some Hedgehog Fibres Sock in the Birthday Cake colorway that I made my Sockhead Hat out of.
I could not be more pleased with how this cowl turned out! Though I had some moments of doubt- I may have made a couple of small mistakes (and fixed them so no one will ever know the difference), questioned the length (I really wanted to be done with this around the time I got to the lace section), and wondered if I should bother weaving in the ends (it did take me forever to weave them all in), but I'm glad I persevered! It is so warm, soft, and squishy! I can wear it with either end up for different looks. And the colors go with pretty much 90% of my wardrobe, which means I can throw it on over a blouse, a t-shirt, wear it with a cute dress, some jeans, just about anything! It's wonderful! Here's an obligatory glamour shot.
Notice the dark hair... Sigh. I made the decision to go back to my natural color after weighing the serious upkeep of red/pink/purple/blue hair against my course workload and lesson planning. One of them had to go, and I already paid my tuition bill. Oh, well. Sometimes being a grown up is hard. So hard.

On a happier, and more colorful note- I got my Yarnbox Sock March shipment- and it is GORGEOUS!!! Team Yarnbox really outdid themselves this month. They sent me the most glorious cake of Yarn Enabler double gradient I've ever seen! The colorway is called Paradise, and it is sooo appropriately named. It is 80% Superwash Merino and 20% Nylon, so it will make an absolutely fantastic pair of socks- or anything, really- it is just lovely! The double gradient means that if you pull from the outside for one sock, and pull from the inside for the other, you'll get a pair of relatively matched socks- how cool is that?!
This is my first gradient yarn (hard to believe, I know)- but I can already tell it won't be my last. Though this cake will be a tough act to follow- it's so pretty. It is definitely getting me ready for Spring- that's for sure!

Stay tuned, friends- I have a few yarn related events coming up on my calendar that I'm very excited about, but I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise... You'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, just keep knitting... One. More. Row!


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