FO: Sleep Tech Dressy

Sleep Tech 2

I had been holding this post back in hopes of getting better pictures of the socks, but now I'm back in Bracebridge and the socks have already been worn several times, so we go forward with the pictures I was able to take in my dark apartment.

For me knitting fits well into the old adage "if I like you, I'll do it for free and if I don't, not for all the money in the world".  So giving Jim, Carla's boyfriend of about 6ish months, a pair of socks for Christmas shows that I'm happy he is dating my sister.

This was another project I completed during the November TFA KAL along with the Winter Bloom and Moonset shawls. And these make 13th pair of socks for the year, which is quite impressive if I say so myself.

Christmas Miracle Yarn

Now, these socks were half of a "Gift of the Magi" like scenario.  I gave these socks to Jim made from an exclusive OOAK Tanis club color way and Jim got me a skein of TFA Blue Label in Cranberry.  If you are a TFA fan and wondering why you aren't familiar with Cranberry, thats because it was the November 2011 club skein.  I used it this spring to make Staked, however, after many months I had to admit I had made them way too small and gave them to Carla.

Staked Socks

 But I loved the skein and wished I could get another, but I know they are few and far between and I didn't want to make the effort to hunt down a skein.  However, Jim (and Carla by proxy) was able to get a skein from Tanis.  I'm not sure where she conjured it up from, but she helped make for a very special Christmas surprise for me.

I know Jim likes his socks and I hope that it is the first of many pairs I make for him, as he seems to be a really great guy and he seems to make my sister happy, which in turn makes me happy.

- Details -

Project Name: Sleep Tech Dressy

Pattern: Business Casual Socks by Tanis Lavallee

Recipient: Jim

Yarn: TFA Blue Label in Truffle (January 2012 Year in Colour Club)


  • One less leg repeat, which is good because I would have run out of yarn

New Skills:

  • None, I'm really starting to get a handle on sock knitting


  • Yarn - Blue Label is fast becoming my favorite sock yarn, and was perfect for this pattern and recipient.
  • Pattern - Clean and simple.  I am getting to a point with socks where I use the designers pattern as a jumping off point that I can tinker with to make them fit well.

Re-Knit?: Just maybe, because the choices for man socks are few and far between and this is a nice pair.

FO: Cranberry Juice Does a Slayer Good

Isn't it amazing when a pattern and yarn comes together in a perfect storm of knitting perfection.  For me the combination of a sock designed with a vampire slayer in mind and a yarn that is delightfully bloody in color (if not in name) was just perfect.

It does seem fitting that I use one of the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Color club yarns with a Glenna C. pattern to make socks, as it was the March 2011 shipment of the club that inspired me to finally make socks.  When the Marching On Socks, which paired Glenna C.'s fun bobble-y sock pattern with TFA Purple Label in a color that is perfectly named Clover arrived I realized that socks weren't lame (and so ridiculous as SmartWool socks were the best thing going), but rather totally awesome little canvasses to try out amazing stitch patterns and to wear art every day.  I remember reading Glenna's blog post over a year ago where she talked about how her sock drawer was filled with handknit socks and how happy it made her, and I thought, how silly why would anyone want handknit socks when you could have a drawer full of SmartWool socks.

Now I know why.  And I look forward to wearing my handknit socks every week, and at the rate I am going I will be replacing a good number of my SmartWools with handknit socks, which is very exciting.

- Details -

Project Name: Cranberry Juice Does a Slayer Good

Pattern: Staked by Glenna C. for the Indigodragonfly: Smart-Ass Knitters/World Domination 1 Skein Club

Recipient: Me

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label in Cranberry (YIC November 2011)


  • Shortened the leg, my calves are really quite large and I would rather err on the side of too short rather than too tall (and not able to stay up)

New Skills:

  • One at a time Socks - And I need to get a second set of needles so I can at least work on them in parallel, getting one done and then having to start the second so didn't work for me.
  • Cable without cable needle - Not the first time for this skill but this one really solidified the skill for me.  My fave tutorial is Glenna's which you can check out here.


  • Yarn: As always TFA Blue Label is TFA Blue Label, a good yarn in a great color.  No pooling and a touch of attractive striping that doesn't distract from the knitting.
  • Pattern: A great pattern, there is a bit of a hiccup in the size L left foot chart but if you follow your gut (decreasing on the inside and increasing on the outside) everything works out exactly as it did for the right foot. I understand there are new charts in the works, so don't be discouraged, just patient.  I appreciated that Glenna had done a proper set of charts for each size (rather than greying out stitches to knit or not depending on size) and the full page of stitch info (including on how to cable without a cable needle).  The file was quite a few pages but they all seemed useful.  Also she made it for both Magic Loop/2 Circ knitters as well as DPN knitter, the best of both worlds.

Re-Knit?:  Probably not, so many socks so little time.  When they wear out and I have gone through my queue they may pop up again.

On TFA and KAL

So way back on December 1st (hey, it feels like a long time ago) Julie (knittedblissJC) announced a knitalong (henceforth known as a KAL) starting on January 1st using Tanis Fiber Arts yarns.  I have stashed away a year's worth of the Year in Colour club and a skein of Green Label in Shadow I picked up at Stix and Stones in North Bay and the leftovers from the mittens I made my Dad for Christmas.  I also have some Red Label that Carla got me for my birthday, but I am saving that till after the KAL so I can savor the experience.

So, starting yesterday morning I will be working on nothing but projects in TFA yarns till the Feb 1 cast off deadline. They are as follows ...

  1. Tabata Ear Band by Anne Hanson of Knitspot in the leftover Green Label Olive for my Dad
  2. Buttons Cowl by Tanis Lavalle of Tanis Fiber Arts in the Green Label Shadow
  3. Itasca Shawl by Tanis Gray for the Year in Colour Club in Blue Label Frost (the club yarn)
  4. Aquarium Socks by Patti Waters for the Year in Colour Club in Blue Label Aquarium (the club yarn)

I have no idea if I will get this all done, but the two green label projects are quickies and all of them will fit in my purse so there is hope!

FO: Second Try Mittens

So, I have tried this mitten pattern before, it didn't work so well.  However, I found a new pattern for the yarn, and figured out why that yarn didn't work, so I decided it was time to work the right pattern in the right yarn.

The pattern was a great break after working on fingering weight yarn and tiny needles.  The knitting went really quickly, and I managed to knit the thumbs during a conference call.

I am excited to wear these this fall, they are a bit too loose of a gauge to work in the dead of an Ontario winter, but they will be warm and wooly (thanks to the alpaca, non-felty) through the fall.

Project Name: Second Try Mittens

Pattern: Shelburne by Lee Juvan from Knitty, Winter 2011

Recipient: Me!

Yarn:  Rowan Felted Tweed Chunky in Seaweed


  • Knit two at a time, cuff down.

New Skills:

  • None

Feedback: The pattern works much better when you think about the type of yarn.  Like most Knitty patterns it is a good pattern, however it is annoying to have to transcribe the patterns into a word processor to be able to get it on a minimal number of pages.

Re-Knit?: Probably not, unless my mom actually steals them, as she has been threatening.