TMNT-tastic!

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Knitting

A pair of TMNT striped socks

I have a thing for childhood cartoons, show me something inspired by a show I used to love watching I need to have it. I am still determined one day to request a custom order of yarn inspired by the Rugrats (because who didn’t love that show as a kid?), however these Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles socks are keeping me appeased for now. The yarn is from the first ever yarn club I did with Dyelectable Yarn where she did striped yarn inspired by classic cartoons, and so I was super excited to pull this yarn out for the month of March (as part of my Personal Brown Bag Sock Club). In order not to get in a rut when it comes to knitting socks, I am also attempting to try out a new technique for every sock pattern that I knit each month. For these socks I casted on using this stretchy cast-on method (which I believe may also be called Jenny’s Stretchy Slipknot Cast On), and while it is fiddly to deal with the cast-on edge is extremely flexible. It’s the stretchiest cast-on I have used to date, but it is so tedious to do! It’s a love-hate relationship, but it may end up becoming my go-to in the future for top-down socks.

TMNT Socks

I chose to do the Vanilla Bean pattern since I didn’t want to get bored doing only stockinette stitch in the round. I knit these socks on 9 inch HiyaHiya circulars (2.00 mm/US 0), and decided the Fish Lips Kiss Heel was the best option because I didn’t have to worry about placing stitches on a separate needle as I worked back and forth for the heel. The small circulars are not as comfortable as working with DPNS or magic looping, but I love that I don’t have to worry about ladders or long cords when dealing with the socks on the go. My hands still cramped after a while though so I still need to find an ideal way to hold the needles. I decided to depart from my typical wedge toe and try out a round toe instead. It’s called Joan’s Favorite Toe and I like how the round shape looks. Even before finishing these socks I knew I would gift these to my mom. Luckily we have similar sized feet and whenever I knit something green I usually end up giving it to my mom because it is her favourite colour. I can always knit myself another pair of socks :) Overall I am just happy I finished this month’s socks before April begins! Now I need to figure out if I should pull next month’s socks early and start on those or work on the Colour Affection shawl I have lying around…

The Personal Brown Bag Sock Club is done by placing 12 skeins of sock yarn into separate brown bags and pulling out a random bag for each month to knit a pair of socks. This is a way to use up all that sock yarn that has been lounging in the stash for too long!

Twirling away with no end in sight

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Spindle Spinning / Spinning

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Over a week later and I am in awe with how much spinning has been accomplished. I am usually not this productive when it comes to spinning, but the combination of long draw and support spindles just makes it easier to spin quicker! I decided to start a new spindle for every new section of colour to keep it entertaining, and it’s fun seeing how different it is spinning on various makers. Above is a new favourite from AaronMakesStuff, and below is a Teacup spindle from Woodland Woodworking.

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I forgot how much I love rainy days for taking pictures! You don’t have to worry about dealing with the sun’s glare. However since this was taken in front of my house, I had to deal with quite a few passersby wondering what a pyjama-clad girl was doing with a camera, hunched over some bushes.

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This Enid Ashcroft spindle was my first support spindle and has patiently stood by as I spun with more of its prettier siblings over the past few months, yet even when I come back to it the spindle still spins like a dream. I am now working through the darker blue section of the gradient, and hopefully will be able to finish most of this fibre before April begins!

Rolling Woes

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Spindle Spinning / Spinning

I feel like there is an unmentioned caveat when it comes to following any tutorial. You can always find some way to mess it up on your end. This is how I felt when I initially planned for my next spindle project, but let’s backtrack a bit. If you follow me on Instagram you may know that I finally finished spinning Snow Pants on my drop spindles a few days ago. I still need to ply the singles but that will be done on Roadbug wheel instead. So now it was time to choose the next fiber to spin, and so despite the fact that it was 3 in the morning I stood in front of my bed where most of my fibre stash was laid out, determined to pick out something. The hint of spring weather outside had me craving for more colour so I decided to go with Spun Right Round‘s Monthly Club colourway for January (of this year), in Lulu. The fibre is Rambouillet.

Spun Right Round's January Monthly Club Colourway in Lulu

Unfortunately, I did not take a photo of the fibre so here is Renee’s lovely stock photo, which links back to her forum post on Ravelry. After working on a drop spindle for weeks, I like to switch it up with using my supported spindles so I knew I wanted to prep this fibre to work for spinning longdraw. Rolags it was. I had posted before about making fauxlags which would have worked in this case, but I had bought a blending board last year and wanted to test it out. In my mind I wanted to make rolags in which each rolag contained stripes of all the colours. This is where my ideas and my skills went out of sync. Instead of making nice fluffy rolags I ended up with these limp rolags that wouldn’t pick up all of the colours off the blending board. This is why you need to practice first, so do as I say and not as I do, PRACTICE USING A BLENDING BOARD. Luckily I had only wasted a small section of fibre, so I scrapped my striping idea and decided to do a gradient of all the colours. This colourway was dyed so there were 5 repeats of the colours (grey, green, teal, a bit of blue, purple, and pink) so I started breaking the top at the colour changes and grouped it by similar colour. Then I took all the grey sections and used it to make rolags on the blending board. I repeated this for each section of colour. And turned out with this.

Rolags from the Lulu Colourway

Now my plan is spin these rolags (I have more of each colour but not equal amounts) as supported longdraw, and then chain ply to preserve the colour.