Tag Archives: finished object

Tour de Sock 2015 – (Or 2 months of crazy sock knitting)

You may recall if you are a regular reader that last year I took part in a competition called Sock Madness. This year I decided not to do that. However I couldn’t go a whole year without entering some sort of mad knitting competition so I entered Tour de Sock instead. It runs along side the Tour de France, hence its name. There are 6 stages, each lasting 10 days, and the idea is to finish your pair of socks within that time. The quicker you finish, the more points you get. There is also a team option (which I decided to go for) in which 7 of you try and get as many points as possible for the team. The first 5 to finish each stage get their points counted. You get bonus points for using sponsor yarn or doing little extra tasks.

The first stage began on 1st June at 2.30pm. The pattern is Virrat and is fairly simple but a little tedious. I chose to knit it using some John Arbon Alpaca Sock in the Rose colour. I finished it  on 3rd June at 8.30pm and finished 63rd out of 330 entrants which I’m pretty pleased with, although I think I could have finished sooner if work hadn’t gotten in the way. Total knitting time was about 22 hours. During the 54 hours between pattern release and completion I knit for 22 hours, worked for 16 hours, travelled for 3 hours, prepared/ate food/did general stuff required to live for 2 hours, and slept for about 11 hours. I think I used my time pretty efficiently.


The next stage, which began on 11th June at 6.30pm, was a little more conveniently timed for me. I only had 8 hours of work spread over the two following days, plus 4 hours of travel. The pattern is Far into the Forest and I used some yarn I bought from Lidl a long time ago. I completed in on 14th June at 2am. It took a lot more work than the first stage but the result was fabulous. I finished 20th out of 196 that finished the pattern on time. Unfortunately these socks don’t fit.

Far into the Forest

The third stage began on 21st June at 2.30pm with the pattern Touring Bubbles. The pattern was inspired by the fact that the riders get a glass of champagne on the morning of the final race. I had some champagne so I had some fun with the photos. For this I used some West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply in the Pennyroyal colour. I finished this stage at 12.15am on the 23rd June so it didn’t take me very long. I would have finished quicker but I had work on the 22nd. I came 52nd out of 284 finishers.

Touring Bubbles

The fourth stage started on 1st July at 2.30am. The pattern is From a Distance. I used some yarn  I dyed myself. Unfortunately I had work on the day of the pattern release and then every day until 5th July which is when I finally finished at 7.30pm. I didn’t have to use beads on the whole sock but gained a bonus point for doing so. I finished 63rd out of 188 finishers which surprised me considering how long I took. The photo is awful. I couldn’t get the socks to lay flat and I can’t put them on because the cast on is two tight. The second of two pairs that don’t fit, but only a small modification required.

From a Distance

The penultimate stage began with the pattern Ophidia on 11th July at 11.30am. I was at work so couldn’t start knitting until about 5pm. I was then also at work for the following days. I finished it at 7.25am on 14th July finishing 40th of 152. For this stage I used some more yarn I dyed.


The final stage was perfectly timed for me. It was released at 11pm on 21st July, right in the middle of my week off. I spent the day relaxing with a friend (picking our own fruit then turning it into some rather delicious jam) as she is a doctor and was working nights. Then when the pattern, Nordic Stripes, was released I began knitting. And I didn’t stop knitting until 7.30pm the next day, gaining me 12th position out of an unknown amount of finishers (the competition doesn’t end until the 31st). This was also my favourite pattern and I’m quite tempted to knit it again sometime. I used all sorts of random bits of yarn I had (and still have plenty of!).

Nordic Stripes

My team is set to come 4th of all the teams in Tour de Sock, which is a perfectly respectable result for a group of working people and mums with a lot of other things going on in their lives.

An Update

I haven’t forgotten this blog, I’ve just had very little time. However now I have lots of things I want to write about so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to keep up with this a bit more!

I only have one main finished project, and that’s the cardigan from NaKnitMo. I love it, it’s warm and cosy and I’ve basically been using it as a coat. The pattern is Velvet Morning and I used Wendy Traditional Aran (which I believe is British). Sorry about the bad picture quality.

Velvet Morning Cardigan

I didn’t knit much in December, just started a pair of thick socks from the leftovers of my cardigan. I’ve almost finished them now, and once I have it’s time to get back into proper knitting again.

In December, Nick from UdellGames and I got engaged. I’m planning to knit a shawl for me, and shawls for my bridesmaids. The pattern I picked for my shawl is Sheherazadeshetla and I’m using Jamieson & Smith’s Shetland Supreme 1ply, which has 1600m per 100g. It’s really thin, but the small bit I’ve knitted so far is coming out really well. It was important to me to use British wool, and I wanted a natural but pure white, and this was the closest I could find.

Finally, as a birthday present for me, and an engagement present for the both of us, Nick and I bought a Kenwood Chef Titanium. So far we’ve made ice cream, short crust pastry, soda bread and some bread using ground almonds instead of flour, and have been impressed by it all. We only got it on Tuesday. Now that I’m used to it, I plan on making up some of my own recipes, so look out for them in the future.

In 2015 I have some big plans. Not only am I knitting my wedding shawl and bridesmaids’ shawls, I’m also going to try and knit a pair of socks per month (I managed 11 1/2 pairs of socks last year!), plus I want to knit at least one cardigan, a scarf/shawl or two for me and probably various other small things. I’m also going to finish sewing my big fancy project bag, and learn how to sew clothes properly. That should give me plenty of material to post at least once a week for the foreseeable future. Oh, and we also plan on getting a dog, as soon as we can find one that’s suitable.

In December my working hours got doubled. This has made me value my free time a bit more though so I’m actually managing to get more done than before.

So, that’s the plan, let’s see if I can actually stick to it this time!

Work in Progress Wednesday 11th June

Quite a few updates this Work in Progress Wednesday!

I finished my Tonight socks and got through to Round 6 of Sock Madness. I’m pretty happy with how they came out, although I do have to lengthen them a little in the foot to fit me properly, and make the toe more rounded as usual. They’re fully reversible which is pretty cool.

Tonight Socks 2 Tonight Socks 1

I was all prepared for Round 6. I had tv queued up to watch, yarn and needles at the ready. The pattern arrived on Sunday, Chill Thrill, and I liked the look of it. I then spent 12 hours straight just getting to the heel flap on the first sock. As pretty as the pattern is, I wasn’t enjoying knitting it and it had some errors that were putting me off. My wrists were already aching a little, so I decided to sleep, rather than stay up until they were done. Overnight, I realised that there was no point in me continuing. Not only did I have the above problems to content with, but it was another heel flap sock, and they just don’t fit me very well, plus I wasn’t that happy with my yarn choice. I decided that it would be best to drop out. Even if I got the single place on my team to get to the next round, I couldn’t guarantee being able to spend the time solidly knitting to even attempt to win the overall competition. Someone else on the team had also already finished their first sock, and would have much more of a chance in the next round too.

The sock so far was frogged, and I’m still pretty happy with my decision.

Chill Thrill

I found it difficult to decide what to knit next. I decided some summery socks were a good idea. I chose some bamboo yarn (Wendy Happy) that I previously tried to knit into a cardigan back when I first started knitting. Because of tendency to stretch and stay that way, bamboo yarn doesn’t generally work well for socks, yet is a wonderfully cool fabric perfect for summer. I thought if I knit them fairly tightly on my smallest needles (2.25mm) the lack of stretch could be overcome. I’m using the pattern Seasonal Socks and am going to use my favourite Fish Lips Kiss heel, so hopefully I’ll end up with a pair of socks I’m happy with.

Seasonal Socks

I’ve won two knitting related prizes recently. The first was a pattern from PolarBears (on Ravelry) which I won as I dyed my own yarn for Sock Madness Round 3. There wasn’t a great deal I’d knit from the selection, but I chose Playtime Colors because it looked like a fun knit and I’m sure I’ll find someone who wants to knit it. The second was a random prize from a group in Ravelry, where there is a monthly sock challenge. I happened to be one of seven lucky winners for May. I won two skeins of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock and I’ve never used it before so I’m looking forward to that.

Finally, some sad news. Beshley’s Wool Shop, which I wrote about a while ago, is closing. Apparently it’s because Beshley has an opportunity she can’t pass on, but it unfortunately means she won’t be able to run the shop anymore.

It’s just under two weeks until we move house and we’ve barely started packing, so I doubt I’ll have a huge amount of knitting time for the next few weeks. However it does mean that once we’ve moved, I finally have a bit more freedom to make the house and garden look nice so hopefully I’ll be able to post a lot more crafty projects other than knitting!

Dating Profile – 5KCBWDAY2

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

Day Two (Tuesday 13th May): Dating Profile. (5KCBWDAY2)
Write a dating profile for one of your past finished projects

Half Hour to Spring Shawl

Name: I’m Half Hour to Spring.
Age: Just under 1 year. (I was begun on 15th June 2012 and finished about a year after on 8th June 2013)

Physical Description: I’m a lace shawl, made with a silk, cashmere and alpaca laceweight yarn called Lace Cashsilk 1200 by Tri’Coterie. I’m a pale blue with subtle stripes of lilac and mint. I’m soft, light and nearly weightless. It’s very hard to tell, but my delicate lace pattern is not entirely flawless as I was one of the first lace projects made by my creator. I don’t let this bother me as it’s pretty hard to spot.

Interests: I love pretty dresses and fancy clothes. I would love to be worn to summer tea parties, keeping the chill off my owner’s shoulders during the cool evenings.

Things I Hate: I hate anything that could catch on me. Nails, rough wood, velcro and buckles are all my enemies.

Currently I haven’t been out much. Most of my time is spent folded carefully in a drawer, awaiting the right moment to be worn. I hope that this summer I will get my wish to go to at least one tea party, and be worn on various occasions. I hope that in the future my owner will continue to look after me as well as she does now, although I do hope to be able to get out more.

You can find a little more about me here on Ravelry.

Sock Madness Round 3


Last week I said that I’d go into a bit more detail about my newest socks, made for Sock Madness Round 3.

When I first got the materials list for Sock Madness Round 3, I was surprised to see that I needed a solid colour and 7 10g scraps of colours. I had enough yarn, but I wasn’t too convinced about the colours. I expected the pattern to come out the next morning, so I (driven by Nick) went to find some yarn I could dye, and some food colourings to dye it with. Well, the only yarn remotely suitable that I could find was King Cole Zig Zag in a variegated pale blue with small dashes of dark blue. And the only food dye I could find were the gel Dr Oetker ones. So I bought them and hoped.

When I got home, the pattern had already been released. When I saw it, Rainbow Pipes and Linen Stitch Socks, I realised that I would have to continue with my dyeing plan because the scraps I had weren’t suitable at all. I had said I’d make pizza for dinner, so in between stages for that (I’m surprised we didn’t end up with multicoloured dough!), I dyed the yarn.

I should mention that at this point we were dog sitting at Nick‘s parents’ house, so had to be VERY careful not to stain anything. I also bought a cheap bowl so I didn’t damage any of theirs.

The first step was to divide the yarn into seven small skeins, then soak these in a water and vinegar mix for at least 30 minutes.Undyed Yarn

Then I added some food colouring to some warm water, put in the yarn and made sure it was covered. This then went into the microwave for 2 minute bursts until the water was clear.Dyeing

I hung up the skeins to dry, and they turned into this (with the black I’m using as the main colour):Round 3 Yarn

Not bad for a rushed and unprepared dyeing experiment!

I started knitting the next morning when all the yarn was dry. I tried to take advantage of the beautiful weather, but kept getting distracted by the two dogs.Distractions

A couple of days later we had to finish dog sitting and come home, but the next day I was off to visit my parents. So I knitted on the train, and I knitted while I was there, and I finally finished a couple of hours before I got on the train to come home again. They are some pretty well travelled socks!

When I submitted the socks, one of the organisers pointed out that I had used very Easter coloured yarn. I wasn’t even thinking that when I was dyeing them, but I think she’s right. That works out well considering I knitted most of them during the Easter weekend.

Sock Madness Round 3 Finished

I’ve ordered some better dyes and some undyed yarn and am looking forward to experimenting with it to get the exact colours I want. Keep an eye on this site, and soon you might find it for sale!


Finished Object Wednesday 12th March

I don’t have any progress to show today apart from my finished Sock Madness socks. See last week’s post for more information on sock madness. The construction isn’t my favourite, but they fit ok.Sock Madness 8 Round 1 Complete

I finished the prototype of a sewn project bag too, but no pictures of that yet as it’s only a prototype.

And that’s all I’ve done that is craft related! Hopefully I’ll have more for you next week.