Confrontation Sucks

Like most everyone I have ever met, I always strive to do the best I can given any situation. Some days my best is downright impressive and other days… well… not so much. When faced with confrontation it can be tough to stand your ground and draw a line in the sand where you need your boundaries to be. It takes a lot years of life to learn where the line needs to be drawn. It takes a lot of courage to hold steady when faced with someone who refuses to see or respect that line in the sand.

All of us at one time or another have to defend our personal boundaries.

And in my experience, most people only need to be told once, kindly and they are happy to respect the boundary you have set. Then you get the occasional person who has no regard for you; the sort that isn’t likely to respect a boundary no matter how kindly and firmly you set it.

I dislike confrontation. (Well, who doesn’t?) I always try my best to be fair with people. I do my best to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. After all, we all have bad days when our best is not so shiny. And then there’s that one person who consistently shows absolutely no courtesy or respect no matter what I do. (I’m sure you’ve met a person like that.) After several attempts at firm and kind boundary setting, nothing gets through to them. And the brick wall comes out. It has to. And no matter how much part of you might be shaking inside, you hold that brick wall firm and strong. And a person like that doesn’t like it. Nope, they don’t like it at all. So you hold that wall steady while they tell you all about how much they don’t like it. And finally, they leave.

And after they leave, the inner critic starts up. It needles you to doubt yourself. And you relive every encounter that led up to when you put your foot down. And you still come up with the same conclusion. “I was right to stand up for myself.” In spite of that, at 3:00am it needles you some more…

There will always be people that behave badly.

They drain the life out of the people around them. And you know, at 3:00am when I’m over thinking it all, I have to remember that I’m letting my energy continue to drain out to them. It’s important to have healthy boundaries. And it’s important that we each look after ourselves. So at 3:00 am today I made a choice that I wasn’t going to give any more of myself away to the person who was so disrespectful to me. I looked at my husband, sleeping soundly next to me and I let my mind travel through all the many beautiful moments when he has shown me through his actions how much he loves and appreciates me. I found myself filling up with so much love that there simply wasn’t room for any of the negativity that had been there. And then I thought about my many regular customers who come into my store and share great conversations with me; they make me smile, and laugh. I thought about the customers who show up with a cup of Chai for me, out of the blue; just because they wanted to do something nice for me. They appreciate the service I provide. I found myself feeling deeply grateful. I breathed a long heartfelt sigh and sleep pulled me into a lovely dream.

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There are very few people who are ever horrible to me. When someone is, it’s alarming how disruptive it is. But I am determined to really pay attention to the things and the circumstances when people’s actions bring me down. I figure if I can be really aware of those moments when something or someone has brought up disturbing feelings, then in that moment of awareness I can make a choice. I can deal with whatever the situation is and then I can choose to focus on thoughts that fill me with good feelings;

I can choose to fill myself up with love, joy and gratitude.

Because nothing silences the inner critic like love joy and gratitude!

And speaking of gratitude, this weekend is Thanksgiving. I’m looking forward to being surrounded by family and taking the time to savour the love we share for each other… and while I’m at it I’ll savour some great food too!

Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

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An Introduction to Ravelry

This summer I was quite surprised by the number of customers in my store who did not know about ravelry.com. I realize that many of you who knit or crochet will know all about it, but for anyone who doesn’t,

today I’m going to sing their praises. 😀

For anyone who knits or crochets, ravelry.com is a website where you can find patterns for free or to purchase for any knit or crochet project you could imagine.

Looking for inspiration?

Looking for a cardigan pattern for fingering weight yarn? You name it; you’ll find it on ravelry. But that isn’t all. Ravelry is a community of knitters and crocheters as well. It is home to many, many groups of every sort of focus in the knit and crochet world. There are regional groups from all over the world too.

Looking for a group of like-minded yarn lovers?

If you can’t find them on ravelry, I’d be very surprised. But if you don’t, you can start a group yourself.

It’s free to sign up and it’s worth taking the time. I just looked and at this moment, there are 481,523 knitting patterns and 267,311 crochet patterns on the site. A search for free patterns brings up a total of 132,338 knit patterns and 98,313 crochet patterns. By the time I finish writing this blog post there will be even more since designers are posting new patterns all the time.

Does that many patterns sound overwhelming to you?

It would be, if not for the excellent filters to narrow your search. Click on “patterns” in the top left corner of the home screen. Next, look for the search bar and simply click on the “search” button. This will bring you to the search filter screen.

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Notice along the left side of the page. You can take a moment and select the filters you want. For example, I personally prefer there to be a photograph of the patterns I search. The first thing I do is select “has photo? yes”. You can then choose knit, crochet, machine or loom knitting. Or, you can click on the button below to exclude options.

Next you can decide whether you want a free pattern or if you are willing to look at those that you have to pay for and details about that. You can pick what type of project, garments or crafts and attributes. Attributes covers specifics about what techniques are used in the pattern. For instance, are you looking for colour work? follow the filter options to narrow down through 7 options for various colour work techniques!

You don’t have to choose any of these if you don’t want to; it will just give you more results in your search.

By the time you specify the gender or size, the type of yarn, the amount of meterage and the difficulty level, you will have eliminated a whole lot of the almost three-quarter million patterns on the site. Suddenly it’s not so overwhelming any more. Or you can simply type what you are looking for into the search box and click search. For example, you could type: “baby sweater with cables” or “lace socks” or “bulky hat”.

Do you know the name of a designer you love? Put their name in there and bring up everything they have posted.

Above the search filters is a row of different categories you can search: patterns, projects, designers, sources, yarns, stash, fiber, brands and so on. If you select one of these it changes the nature of your search. Looking for a friend? Pop their ravelry name into the people search to find them.

As you collect patterns, you can store them in your library. This is handy and allows you to access your patterns from any computer or device as long as you are connected to the internet. As you complete projects, there is a place where you can post the details of what you made too.

If you see patterns that you like, you can “favourite” them. This is a way of bookmarking them so that you can find them again later.

Trust me, if you don’t make a note of the ones you like, it can be challenging to find them again.

You can always remove them from your favourites later if you end up buying or downloading the pattern.

If you haven’t checked ravelry out, I encourage you to do so. Just be warned, like Instagram or Pinterest, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole only to discover that what felt like 10 minutes of searching was actually 2 hours!  …just sayin’. 🙂

Happy Searching!

Sewing Mitered Corners

Mitered corners look tidy and fancy. Most things we see (tea towels, table cloths, place mats and so on) have quickly finished edges. Many of them are simply a twice-turned (sometimes called “rolled”) hem, or a serged edge that has been turned and stitched. I call this a “serge and turn” if you can still see the serged stitches and a “serge and roll” if you can’t. If you are looking for a way to take a simple project up a notch.

Try making it with a wide hem with mitered corners.

Before I get started, I want to acknowledge that this may end up looking like a whole lot of words. Please take the time to read and then compare to the photos. This process is a wee bit counter-intuitive. I have sincerely tried to be as clear as I know how to be.

First off, you need to plan your project accordingly. I like to allow 1.25 inches for my hem when doing a mitered corner. This gives me a quarter inch to tuck under and one inch of fabric that shows off the miter. So I will add 2.5 inches to my desired finished width and length. For instance, if I want my table runner to be 12″ x 18″ when finished, I would cut out my fabric to measure 14.5″ x 20.5″.

Tips:

Experienced sewers may be able to eyeball a quarter inch edge.

If you can do that, all the power to you! If you don’t think you would be able to do that evenly, or it would take you a long time to do so, I have a couple tips for you: If you have a serger, you can serge around the outside edge of the fabric. This gives you a quarter inch seam allowance that you can easily see and turn under. I encourage you to choose a thread colour that blends in with your fabric. This will hide any imperfections when you tuck the edge under and stitch it in place. If you don’t have a serger, you can run a row of stitching a quarter inch from the edge as a guide for turning your seam allowance. Use a thread colour that looks good with your fabric, that you can see, but that won’t look ugly if it shows a little after you are done. Both of these tips are optional, but they will make doing the corners much easier. There are presser feet that are designed to align a quarter inch from the edge of the fabric. If you don’t have one, they are a handy addition to your tool box.

You will need to mark your fabric in some way.

You will be marking on the right side of the fabric. You can use dressmaker’s chalk, a Pilot Frixion pen or other fabric marking pen.  If using a pen, please, please, PLEASE take the time to test it on your fabric before you use it. Frixion pens react to heat and marks should disappear when you press your project. But, I have had a few times when it didn’t completely disappear. I’m not sure whether it is an issue of fibre content or ink colour that causes this. Some fabric marking pens are water soluble and the ink washes away. I don’t have a lot of personal experience using the water soluble pens; both Dritz and Prym make these. I have many customers who swear by them. I usually use DM chalk or Frixion pens.

Marking the outer turn line:

Measure and mark your turn line 1.25 inches from each of your edges respectively. Do this on the right side of the fabric. You will end up with squares drawn on each corner.

Marking for the mitered corners:

Turn your fabric so you can work on the wrong side now. What you need here, is to mark the corners to prepare for the miters. If you have a grid ruler* use it to mark the 1.25″ lines at the corners; measure from the outer edge the way you did on the last step. Notice on my photograph that I marked the 1.25″ turn line about 2″ further than the corners of the squares. This is important. (*I highly recommend having at least a 4″x4″ grid ruler in your tool box. A 3″x18″ and a 6″x24″ are the other sizes I couldn’t live without. Olfa, Omnigrid and Fiskars all make very good grid rulers.)

Next, mark another set of lines 1 inch in from the lines you just made. Notice that this has created two more squares beside the corner square? These are important.

If you didn’t serge the edge, or stitch a quarter inch guideline, then take the time to mark where that quarter inch edge is now. You will thank me later.

Take a moment to notice what you have created. You should have 4 one inch squares drawn in the corner, with a quarter inch edge at the edge of the fabric. Think of that edge as being separate from your squares.

Now using a ruler (do not eyeball this) draw a line. Start at the point where the square meets the outer line at the edge of the fabric (2.25″ from the corner) through both squares and end at the outer line. You did not mark in the outer quarter inch. This creates a triangle with the corner of the fabric; it should bisect two squares. Your line should go through the point where the four squares meet in the middle. This is very important. This is your stitching line.

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If you are doing this for the first time, I recommend that you just mark one corner to begin with. Once you have sewn it and you understand what it is you have to do, then mark the other three. That way, if you misunderstood the instructions on the first one, you don’t have to undo anything before you can proceed.

Creating the Mitre:

Fold your fabric at the corner with right sides together. You are creating a triangle here. You will be able to see your corner markings. Be careful to align all the edges accurately. You may find it helpful to pin the edges in place so they don’t shift while you are working. Line your work up so that the quarter inch edge is toward the back of the presser foot. Align the needle and presser foot with your stitching line. Your needle should be placed at the point where the stitching line meets the quarter inch seam allowance. DO NOT SEW OVER THE SEAM ALLOWANCE.

Secure the stitching by back tacking (sew forward and back a couple times) and stitch to the end of the stitching line. Secure the stitching again.

Trim the extra fabric away. Looking at the raw edge that you just trimmed, one end is the original edge of the fabric, the other is where the fabric was folded. Clip the fold from the edge to the stitching line.

Turn the corner right side out. Don’t press it yet because that would erase your markings. Use your finger or a point turner (another tool I couldn’t live without) arrange the seam allowance open. In other words, you want there to be seam allowance laying on both sides of the seam you created, inside the corner.

Once you have all four corners mitered, carefully line them up with the markings so they lay nice and flat. Press the corners. I recommend that you now press along the turn line all the way around the project. Take your time with this so that you get a nice smooth edge. If you chose a loose fabric, you should probably pin that edge in place at this point. Now you can easily turn that quarter inch edge under and top stitch as close to the edge as you can manage.

Ta-Dah! You just made a mitered table mat. Congratulations!

Reflecting on Tour-de-Sock

Tour-de-Sock is coming to a close for 2017.

What an experience it was for me. For anyone unfamiliar, TDS is a sock knitting competition and fundraiser. Money raised by the competition is donated to Doctors without Borders.

The competition is made up of 5 stages. (This year there was a warm up round as well). In each stage a sock pattern is made available at a specific time (announced in advance) for all the competitors to access. Racers from all over the world then download the sock pattern and following strict guidelines knit each pattern respectively. Photos of the completed pair of socks are then submitted. The photos must clearly show the front and back and size of the socks and both socks. This way moderators can inspect them to be sure that everyone followed the instructions and did the work expected to qualify for that stage of the competition and to make it fair to everyone.

My friend and fellow sock knitter invited me to join her team.

I’m so glad she did!

The anticipation was fantastic. I really wasn’t sure what to expect. With each stage of the competition there was tremendous excitement leading up to the pattern drop. The discussion boards were busy with chatter as the competitors tried to guess what the next round would bring. We were given advance notice of what materials we would need for the next round. Many people were traveling while in the competition so they would have to be sure they brought what they would need along.

I’m glad that I wasn’t traveling.

As each pattern dropped, I generally found that I didn’t actually want to use the yarn I had originally picked out based on the specs provided. I really needed to see the pattern first.

I discovered that Finns are incredibly fast knitters!

Round after round, the early finishers were “Finnishers”. In some rounds the first socks were already posted in less than 24 hours from when the pattern dropped. I realized right away that there was no way I was going to be able to out-knit them. I wanted to push myself and see what I could do though. I really hoped I could manage to finish at least one pair in the top 100 finishers. All things considered. I think I did pretty well. There were around 1700 competitors.

  • In stage 1 I finished at #180;
  • stage 2 at #105;
  • stage 3 at #205;
  • stage 4 at #172 and
  • stage 5 at #74 (HURRAH).

After starting on stage 6, which employed a jacquard colour stranding technique and 4 colours of yarn, it took me a little more than 10 hours to knit just one cuff. I was not in love with the pattern. I decided to throw in the towel on that round. Besides just thinking about the number of hours it would take, I had a lot of new sewing work come in the store and I really needed to put my full attention back on work.

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In every round I learned a new skill.

I ended up with 6 completed pairs of socks. The patterns I knitted were not necessarily patterns I would have ever chosen to knit. Yet I thoroughly enjoyed making them. I discovered that I love doing stranded colourwork. Well, I love knitting with 2 colours. Using 4 colours (stage 6) was just a bit more awkward than I wanted to navigate. I fell in love with some designers that I didn’t know about before. I really pushed myself and I feel proud of what I accomplished.

I can only imagine the huge amount of work involved in administrating a competition like TDS. My hat’s off to all the people who poured their free time, their passion, their skills and their talents into making TDS happen. My life is richer for participating.

I can hardly wait for it to start next year; sign me up!

Sock Surgery

Normally, hand knitted socks last a very long time. That having been said, some people are harder on their socks than others.

Toes and heels can wear out.

Sometimes you catch them on something and it’s just sharp enough that you end up with a hole. But you don’t have to throw them out. If you catch it right away it’s a quick fix… but if you leave it then you may need to do some sock surgery.

My step-son was home for the summer and a week before he was scheduled to head back to University, I noticed that he was wearing a pair of socks I knit him but there were big holes in them. After making a mental note to buy him a pedicure tool kit for Christmas, I pulled out my leftover yarns to find what I needed to perform surgery on his socks. As I repaired them I took photos and thought I would share with you what I did. I only took photos of one pair, though.

I did a toe replacement and a leg portion replacement on them.

There are other ways to do these repairs. I could have darned them. I am not crazy about how the darned portion of a sock feels on my foot. I could have done a spot reconstruction. That’s fiddly and I wasn’t feeling like I had patience enough to do that. I don’t do it often enough to not have to really think about it. I wasn’t interested in making my head hurt over it. I figured it would be more pleasant to use the method that I am going to show you today.

On the leg of the sock:

I picked up all the stitches around the entire sock above and below the damage. Always pick up the right leg of the knit stitch as you go. Because it’s the leg, it didn’t really matter where I started my row.

 

I counted the number of rows that would be removed in the process and wrote that information down so I wouldn’t forget.

I cut away the damaged fabric in between, making sure that I didn’t cut too close to the stitches on the needles.

 

Next I unraveled the unwanted yarn to expose the live stitches on my needles. As I did this I was able to see a couple spots where I accidentally grabbed a stitch from a row above or below. So I really took my time on unraveling the last row so I wouldn’t accidentally drop stitches. I had an extra dpn on hand so I could make sure that the stitches were all picked up correctly as I went.

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I used a Russian Join (see below) to join my ball of yarn.

I knitted one less row than what I needed and then lined up the needles with each other and joined the two pieces using Kitchener Stitch. (This created the last row.)

The Russian Join:

Thread one yarn end onto a needle that is fine enough for your yarn (see the photo). I like using a sharp needle for this but you may prefer something blunt. Lay the yarn you want to join it to across your working yarn. Thread the needle between the plies of the yarn that the needle is threaded on just past where you laid the other yarn across. You should be creating a loop around the other yarn.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.

 

Pull the needle through so the loop snugs up around your other piece of yarn. You’ll need to decide whether you’ve gone through enough that it will hold once it is knitted into the work. Adjust accordingly and then clip off the excess yarn. Be careful that you are cutting off the tail and NOT the working yarn! That would be annoying.

Thread the other piece of yarn you are joining onto the needle. Thread it through itself  just past where the other join was made: like you did with the first end.

Trim the excess yarn. You just completed a Russian Join. Congratulations!

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On the toe of the Sock:

I picked up the stitches all around the sock just below where the damage was.

I counted the rows and made a note of the decrease pattern. (If you followed a pattern, you could pull out the pattern to check how the toe was decreased; I made this sock up without using a pattern.) I wrote the information down so I wouldn’t forget.

When you pick up the stitches on the toe, be sure that you look carefully at where the decreases are done. Make sure that the first stitch you pick up is the beginning of the row. This way you can do your decreases the way you normally would when originally knitting a sock. If you pick up from the wrong spot it could create a wobble in the force… I mean a wobble in your sock. You don’t want that. You would feel it when you wear them.

I trimmed away the damaged portion of the toe and frogged away the extra rows beyond the needle. Take your time with this step.

I re-knitted the toe to match the other sock. (It looks a little bit crooked because I didn’t take the time to block it.)

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I didn’t take photos of the other socks I repaired. I replaced the toes on them. I couldn’t find the leftover yarn from this pair, so I chose leftover yarn in  a solid colour that matched them.

Because of that, I replaced both toes so they would match.

The only thing I did differently was that I put both socks onto two circular needles so that I could knit them in tandem. The nice thing about this was that I was able to do the same step on each sock and didn’t have to worry about matching a toe that was already done.

Oh and another thing.

The pair that I don’t have photos of was made up in Diamond Select Footsie yarn. When I first did them up they felt just a little bit coarse. Since then my step-son has washed them and dried them relentlessly in the washer and drier many, many, many and many more times. They didn’t shrink. They did not pill but they got ever so slightly fuzzy. Best of all, they became super soft and cuddly.  🙂

That was new information to me.

It makes me a lot more excited about promoting that particular yarn. Those socks are now like loving mama hugs for his feet. How cool is that?

Well I hope that this information is useful and easy to understand.

Happy Knitting!

Empty Nesting

I can’t believe it’s already September 1st today!

It’s been a relentlessly hot and smoky summer here in British Columbia. My flower beds look very sad, along with most everyone else’s. A couple more days and DH takes his son back to University for another school year. And here’s me, getting all sentimental. Isn’t it interesting how each stage of life gives us a new and different perspective on daily life transitions?

When I was little, I got very excited about going back to school.

I loved walking through the deep piles of birch and poplar leaves along the side of the road on the way to the bus stop. That chill in the air in the morning that would give way to a gorgeous warm fall day was so refreshing after the heat of summer. The rain usually held off until October. I loved the anticipation of seeing my friends again after two months without them.

The smell of new crayons, fresh notebooks and sharpening wooden pencils. I can smell it all right now.

When I had kids, they went to public school (for the first few years) and the perspective on those September mornings changed to overseeing them preparing their snacks and making sure they had everything they needed and then seeing them off to the bus stop. After some big challenges, we made the choice to home-school our kids and did so for 7 years. Our approach to that was that learning never stopped. We didn’t really follow the public school calendar and back to school became more of a vague awareness rather than anything directly impacting us. Then when my kids got to high-school age and the decision was made for them to go back to public school I drove them to a larger centre each day to a school that offered more options than the local one. Before I knew it, my perspective was changing again. Instead of me driving them, now I was teaching them to drive so they could get themselves to school… without my help.

At the beginning of all that, it seemed like it would always be the same. With each evolution of our family there was a shift that just happened. In hindsight, we didn’t pay it much mind. Until my oldest was ready for University.

Suddenly I stopped in my tracks and took it all in. My babies were not babies any more. How did that even happen? I mean, I know I was there the whole time, but I was so busy being there the whole time that I didn’t even consciously think about it. And then my perspective took a huge shift. I wondered whether I had done enough, or too much; had I prepared them for what was going to come across their paths?

And eventually I had the realization that it didn’t matter.

I always did what I genuinely felt was best for my children and my family. You can’t do more than that, no matter what hindsight might urge you to believe. And as my perspective on back to school changed, so did theirs.

And here I am. All three of my children are adults, functioning well, with lives of their own. Our relationship is now an adult relationship. (What a huge moment it was the first time my kids mixed drinks for me!)

My DH’s youngest is getting ready to head back to University for year 3.

And as we watch him evolve into a young man and do our best to give him the space to be that man it still pulls at my heart knowing he’s leaving and that we will likely only have one more summer with him before he is completely out of the nest. We had an early Thanksgiving dinner last night so that we could share that with him before he leaves. His birthday is in October, so we had a birthday cake too. He got those Mosaic Marbles socks I made in stage 4 of Tour-de-Sock as his birthday present and he gave me his old birthday socks to repair before he heads off. (That’s next week’s blog.)

I find myself feeling misty.

When DH and I began building a life together I was thrilled that one of his kids still lived with him. Being “Mom” always felt like my first calling. Having the opportunity to be that a little longer felt good. I’m grateful that I was able to build a lovely relationship with him and I’m thrilled that no matter where he goes or what he does, that won’t go away.

And so it’s back to school, back to the routine, back to responsibility.

It’s so easy to get lost in the routine and the responsibilities. At the end of the day, it’s all those loving relationships that we nurture that make that routine and those responsibilities okay. And hey, I get to do Thanksgiving twice this year! I can’t complain about that!

Photo by Jake Ingle on Unsplash

Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn

It’s been a while since I wrote a product review. When I come across something that wows me though, I love to tell everyone about how amazing it is. Today I want to tell you about Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn.

I love making socks.

If I’m really honest I haven’t tried a huge number of different brands of sock yarn, but of all the ones I have tried, this is my new favourite!

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Cascade Heritage Sock yarn is a line of 4-ply yarn in over 60 solid colours. Put up in 100g skeins, at 400m per skein the “mileage” is typical for a sock yarn. The price point is pretty typical as well. (Cascade has some “Heritage Sock Prints” as well, but I am specifically talking about the solids today as I haven’t knit the prints yet.) It is made up of 75% merino superwash wool and 25% nylon. Again, this is typical of sock yarns.

In case you are unfamiliar with sock yarns, the nylon adds strength and durability to the wool.

This makes a big difference when knitting socks as the toes and heels take a tremendous amount of abuse. Without the nylon content (or something similar) they wear out quickly. Considering the amount of work in a pair of socks, you really want to be sure the yarn is going to stand up.

After a friend showed me a skein of the print version of this yarn, I started hunting for where I could buy it for in my store. I contacted the supplier and asked whether they could send me a sample of the solids so I could knit it up myself and be sure I wanted to invest in stocking it. They happily sent me a sample. I thought I would use it in one of my Tour-de-Sock stages since that was what I was knitting at the time. I set it up on my swift and began winding the balls. I found that the yarn kept slipping over the top and bottom of the ball as I was winding it. I suspect that’s because the yarn is so very smooth, it doesn’t grab the ball like other sock yarns do. I am usually pretty ruthless when I wind sock yarn and spin the handle on the ball winder as fast as it will let me. I had to slow things down considerably in order for the winding to go smoothly. That irritated me a little, but to be fair, I’m impatient.

And to be honest, this yarn is well worth taking the time to wind carefully and slowly.

For the socks that I knitted up I used this yarn as my main colour. For my contrasting colours I used Knitca Sock. (Knitca Sock is put up in solid colours in 50g balls. The smaller balls means there isn’t as big of a spend when you are doing colourwork. The fibre content is the same.) By the time I finished casting on with Cascade Heritage Sock yarn, I was in love. This is by far the softest most luxurious feeling sock yarn I have encountered thus far. Knitca Sock is a pretty typical sock yarn in its feel. In comparison to the Cascade Heritage Sock, it felt downright scratchy. I had never considered it scratchy before, to put it into perspective.

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Before I even finished knitting up the sample yarn, I placed an order. I have a small shop and there’s only so much I can spend bringing in new products. This one will be a new staple in my store. I have brought in a small selection of neutrals and a few colours that customers specifically asked me for so far.

I hope to be able to eventually carry the entire colour array of over 60 shades.

My DH sits next to me on the sofa at night, watching TV while I knit socks. He has always said not to bother knitting him any because “wool feels rough and scratchy”. After knitting the sample pair, I had him check out the socks. He immediately recognized the difference in the way the two brands of yarn felt. The response: raised eyebrows and a “Hmmmm… and that’s wool?” My response to that was, “Oh yeah, baby! That’s wool.”

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I knitted up another pair for the competition in a creamy colour. When these were done. My DH picked them up and squeezed them. I asked him whether he thought I should make up a pair of socks in that yarn for him to test out. You know, just to see whether he could tolerate them. I told him that if he hates them, I won’t push to ever make him socks again. He agreed that he is willing to give them a try.

That, my friends is (IMHO) the best endorsement any sock yarn could ever ask for.

So after the competition is done, I will be delighted to make my DH’s first pair of hand knit socks.

If you haven’t tried this yarn yet, I encourage you to do so. It’s SO YUMMY!