First finishes for 2020: winter embroidery and walking into winter socks!

Two finishes to share!

Kiriki winter embroidery kit

First off, surprisingly, isn’t knitting! I started and finished this Kiriki Press embroidery kit in 2020 after I got back from Ottawa. This one was a lot faster than the spring one because there was no time-consuming satin stitch. I’m still having fun learning new stitches and also giving my hands a break. I’ve got one more sampler, but I’m finally feeling confident enough to try some of my more free-form embroidery panels. I’ve been collecting some from the Fireside textiles kickstarter for ages now and I’m so excited to start them!

Walking into Winter socks, in A Very Hobbit Christmas colourway

Second, my advent socks! These clever colours are from Must Stash Yarn which is kind of the worst because they drop new colours every Tuesday and you usually have only a few days to buy them before they sell out. It’s… Much too addictive. They do matching pairs which is nice because I’ve lately been enjoying having half skeins in my little purse, and this way I don’t have to break out the scales. And it’s cute if they match, but I’m weirdly more excited about not having to split the yarn cakes myself!

Yarn cakes

Anyhow, the Hobbit Christmas colours are 24 stripes and if I’d been doing it right I’d have been doing a few per day every day before Christmas to get them done in time. I aimed for only one sock, because who needs deadlines, and finished that one on time!

Sock #1, complete!

The yarn does most of the work for you and the pattern, “Walking into Winter” by Sivia Harding, does the rest with an alternating knit/purl per stripe, and some cute garland-stylings at the top. I love the photography in this one.

Yarn on the go

The one thing I might change if I do this pattern again is the toe. My toes are definitely not that pointy! Socks are stretchy so it’s no big deal when I wear them but hey, what’s the fun in slow fashion if you can’t custom fit stuff?

Up next: I’m still working on my other advent project, the Craftvent project from Jimmy Beans. I had to swap out the needles because the full sized metal ones that came with the kit were giving me wrist twinges, but swapping to my favorite short wood seems to have eased my ergonomic problem and I knit on and off today while taking my turns with a very sick toddler. (Don’t worry, his fever seems to have broken now, but we watched a lot of tv today.)

I’ve also got a necklace as a purse project. But it’s nearly done! I don’t have another small project on the go and I’ve been debating what’s next: cast on a small shawl or top down sock for my 2020 fiber goals, or size up my purse and go to town on a few more works in progress that got too big for the small one? Or start my new year-long project and do the first colour? I’ve been loving going through my queue and making plans.

Spring embroidery break

I strained my hand/wrist/arm at the end of socks on vacay (it wasn’t *just* knitting but the short needle setup I was trying didn’t help), so I took a two week break and tried some different crafts while I waited for my body to recover.

Embroidery has been popular in knitting circles. (even punch embroidery, which I haven’t done since I was… 11 maybe?) When my local knitting store was closing down their bricks and mortar location I picked up a couple of Kiriki sampler kits on sale. This one is spring and I also got winter. (And I might have to go order Summer now…)

It’s definitely a hello world style kit, meaning it’s clearly got training wheels intended to help you get started. The kit itself doesn’t have printed instructions, but they’re all on the website.

I’ve done a bit of embroidery for amigurumi and the odd Christmas ornament so it’s not a completely new skill for me, but this was definitely way outside of my skill set. I’m pretty pleased with the results, though! I expect I could get pretty comfortable with this if I practiced.

I wondered early on what I would even do with embroidery skills, but this is actually cute enough that I might try to find a way to display it. It’s clearly meant for a 6inch display hoop, but I kind of like it on a smaller one that doesn’t show the how-to parts. This 3inch is still a bit too big, but I might find something eventually.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this! I’ve got a few more free-form kits from Fireside Textiles‘ Patreon but I’m going to at least tackle the other sampler I have first.

And speaking of amigurumi and Christmas ornaments… I also did exactly that as my second project:

As the photo says, this was part of last year’s Little Box of Crochet advent calendar. I didn’t get very far in it, but that was expected because eh, life. Hoping to get a bit further this year!

Both of those served as a nice break where I used different muscles. I spent a few days on calls to Japan and needed something to keep myself awake while listening in, but with knitting out I needed to try to branch out. Although I was not exactly thrilled when it took two weeks to recover, it’s better than that time in high school where I didn’t rest enough and had sore wrists on and off for 9 months!

But even if I’m not on a knitting break any more, you can expect me to do some more embroidery and crochet coming up this fall. It was fun!

And yes, in case you were wondering, I do realize the title of this post is a bit punny.