cross stitch · Knitting · Spinning · Year of Projects 2022

Year of Projects 2022: Week 34

First up this week are my pair of finished self-striping, plain vanilla socks. Yarn is from Desert Vista Dyeworks in the ‘Monkey Wrench’ colorway. I used a leftover bit of plain black for the Fish Lips Kiss heels in this otherwise simple pair. The yarn base is one I generally have almost a half skein left (I have 43 grams out of the original 100 g skein after making this pair of “women’s medium” sized socks), so I’ve been on the lookout for some non-sock patterns that might use up the remainders of these skeins. I have a hat pattern I’ve found that I think I may try out this fall and see how I like it that moves the stripes in a spiral pattern.

I also have been working on my “A is for” Altitude socks this week. Pattern is from Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade and I’m using a sock set from Momma Jess for these. I have the heel turned and I’m cruising down the foot of sock #1. Hoping to have the first sock done this week.

I also am making steady progress on my Softly Spoken shawl. I’ve finished the fourth of the five tonal miniskeins I’m using for the center portion of the shawl, so one more (a bright dark green) to go and then I can work the final multicolored section for the opposite end. I think when this is all blocked out I would probably wear it more as a generous scarf than a shawl but we will see how it looks once I get there.

Next up, spinning: I’ve gotten both bobbins of singles spun up and I just started plying these. I divided up the roving for a fractal-type spin, meaning one half of the roving I split into very thin strips and the other I split into thicker strips so there should be sections where the colors match up and some where they blend. In looking at the plied yarn as it’s growing on the bobbin, I’m not 100% sure I like what it’s doing – there’s a lot of muddying of the colors – but as with most of my handspun, I’m reserving judgement until it’s plied and off the bobbin as it really changes a lot at each step of the process. (I think the dark blues and yellows, while beautiful in the roving, are giving me kind of a brownish-green color when blended in the plying process.)

Finally, some good progress on Desert Mandala this week. I have finished the bottom triangular section with the “Ghost Ranch” cow’s skull and cacti. Deceptively detailed, it took a bit longer to stitch than I thought it would but I love all the texture the back stitching and straight stitches of “thorns” give the cactus. It’s hard to see in the photo, but there is a crystal flower bead in the center of the cow skull. It’s iridescent and shimmers in the light but I think gets washed out in the intensity of my work lamp. I decided I’m going to continue on and work on the exterior border and maybe do the interior landscape border, but save the actual landscape vignette until I get the final corner worked. I want to A) Make sure all the borders meet up correctly and B) I’m running low on one of the hand-dyed silks that is used in the feathers and I want to get those stitched before I tackle the clouds in the landscape (which are the same color) since I can substitute in something else for the landscape, but I want all the feathers to match.

That’s it for me this week, YOP’ers – have a good one!

14 thoughts on “Year of Projects 2022: Week 34

  1. You make such great progress on everything every week. The altitude sock looks great. The shawl is so close to finished. It will be fun to see how it blooms when blocked. I hope your handspun turns out the way you are hoping for. I see the crystal in the cow skull. That’s so cool!

  2. Goodness you have been busy. Always amazed by your cross stitch. Never thought about how colors might change from roving to spun but certainly can see how it would to the eye. I like the Altitude sock pattern. That striped sock yarn looks so fun. Your shawl is going to be great to wear this fall. Great colors.

    1. The Altitude pattern would be a great one if you normally like plain socks. It’s just plain knitting for about a third of the leg and all of the foot, and the pattern rounds aren’t very difficult. I am enjoying having an excuse to play with lots of color right now 🙂

  3. I agree with your thought on the silk for the cross stitched feathers. Making those match is the most important part for that color.

    Yay socks! I love speckle yarn like in your Altitude socks. And the neon stripes are just so good! I’ll be curious to see how that yarn looks as a hat.

  4. Those socks are cute! I have managed to get a pair of Rose City Rollers for my small feet out of 30g of one colour using another for the heel, toe and the rolled top section. You may be able to do the same! Just a thought. My feet are US size 5. I notice you roll your embroidery around the frame the opposite way to how I’ve done it in the past, do you find this works better…does it keep your ‘right’ side of the fabric cleaner?

    1. I think with contrast toes/heel/cuffs, I probably can get another short pair – but I actually have never knit shorties! I may need to remedy that tho. Seems like a lot of good patterns out there and they’d be quick knits.

      I personally like to roll it this way for a couple of reasons: It means beads are less likely to disappear to the floor if I drop one in process. I have found for whatever reason that evenweave stays better tensioned rolled this way, at least for these bigger projects, and then once it was a habit, I wound up doing everything that way.

  5. I love how you carried the black from the heel up and over the top of the foot in your vanilla socks. I think that makes them look very polished. But then, everything you create looks great. 😉

      1. I’m not much of a sock knitter, but I really do love the look of these striped socks. I found instructions for the heel on Ravelry, but is there a pattern for making them somewhere? TIA!

      2. You could use any “plain vanilla” pattern. I recommend the free one from The Crazy Sock Lady (also on Ravelry), but they are just a 64-stitch circumference with a K1tbl/p1 ribbing with the Fish Lips Kiss heel inserted. Let me know if you need more help finding something to work from!

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