Review: Yarn Space Cadet – Countess Ablaze

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I am not sure if I will regularly post yarn reviews but I fell hard for this one and just wanted to share my infatuation.

Since I started knitting and building a bit of a yarn stash, I have spent a lot at Countess Ablaze. I love her style and yarn bases. Particular favourites are anything using Blue Faced Leicester. Love it.

Her most recent addition to her yarn bases is this Super Bulky, squishy, soft and above all sparkly Merino yarn named Space Cadet. I kind of knew I was sold on it when it was bulkier weight than DK and named something with Space in it! I have a weird soft spot (or you may call it weakness) for heavy weight yarns. Only recently have I found a love for finer yarns but I still crave a big squishy yarn.

 

Not only is this one Super bulky but it also comes in a massive 200g skein!! It is massive! See this comparison shot with a Fingering yarn skein. My yarn winder could not fit a whole skein on it. I had to cake the rest myself without tools.

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What is it like to knit? Well I abandoned all of my current projects (4 in total) to give this a go. I used 8mm and 9mm needles with a simple hat design in mind.

Above you can see the swatch and a medium to large pompom I made and I still have yarn left after completing the hat. It isn’t plied so you can get into some yarn splitting moments but I used my lykke wooden needles and it was pleasant to knit.

Post blocking I got 10 stitches per 4 inches in stockinette knitted flat using 9 mm needles and 10.5 stitches per 4 inches using 8mm needles.

I hence went forth and made a hat. I started a few times getting guidance from some free hat designs from purls soho such as: Snowy Day hat.

You can find the details on my Ravelry page. It is written in a really basic way as it is a basic hat with ribbing and then stockinette and a pom pom!

When you block your garment or swatch you will feel just how soft the yarn is. It kinda feels like it would dissolve, but don’t worry it is quite strong. It does however really bloom and become rather drapey for a super bulky yarn making it perfect for accessories against the skin in my opinion.

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And how have I not mentioned that it sparkles! It has 10% Manufactured Fibers – Stellina in it which is the sparkle! I love it. It may not be for everyone but it made the yarn for me.

Thanks Countess, this base is genius and I can’t wait to see more colours in it. This yarn takes quite a while to properly dry out after blocking so be patient. 🙂

Note: This is my personal opinion, I bought the yarn last week and loved it so much I wanted to share its awesomeness. 

KnitPro Aqua Sock Blockers review

I recently finished my 4th pair of socks that I have knitted toe up. These were way too small for me but perfect for  friend. So I needed some new sock blockers. (For myself I followed this tutorial on making my own specific to my own feet.)

I purchased the small size of the KnitPro sock blockers in Aqua. These are made from a sturdy plastic and have cut out sections, which helps air circulate for faster drying. Initially as I unpacked the sock blockers I was a bit disappointed, they were scuffed in places and the cut out section had jagged edges.

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You can see the jagged edges in the cut out sections here

 

It looked like the scuffing was from the jagged edges being sand papered a bit but they are certainly not smooth. I want to try and smooth them a bit more, but I did just go ahead and used them and they worked very well.

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My socks fitted the size perfectly and blocked nicely. The stitches are even and they socks actually look like proper socks now. I will definitely always use sock blockers now. I was lazy before and only used my homemade ones once. oops!

I cannot wait to give these to my friend and see if they fit her properly. 🙂

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Regarding the sock blockers, if you see them in a shop try to see how jagged the cut out bits are and pick the best set. Judging by other online reviews this is quite common, but I am sure a bit of sanding with a very light sandpaper will help too if you are worried.

Mine did not catch on my yarn even though they had jagged edges. I can recommend these, as they do the job, just be careful using them initially.

Note: I bought these sock blockers from my own money and have not received any incentive to review these.

 

 

FO: Pair of tiny socks

We have a finished object from the December WIPs! Whoooo!

This is my fourth pair of socks I’ve knitted not only this year but ever. So far I’ve knitted toe up and have done a class to knit socks from the cuff down.

That’s my plan for my next pair to see if I prefer it.

So far I’ve only knitted socks based on this book Custom Socks by Kathy Atherley. It does require a little maths but the idea is that you measure your feet and make a swatch and then calculate your perfect sock pattern. I’m still experimenting a bit. Mostly because for socks I haven’t bothered to swatch … 🙂

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I do not have any small/children feet blockers! Oops.

These socks are the 3×1 ribbed sock from the book which I have made before. I used countess ablaze sock yarn in a one off colourway. I really like this green with little dots of bright colours. The Yarn is 75% BFL with 25% nylon and makes great strong sock yarn. It knits up nicely and doesn’t split. You can even wash it at 30 degrees.

Durable and hardwearing, this machine washable blend of Bluefaced Leicester and nylon makes the perfect sock yarn. Not just limited to socks, this yarn also works wonders on all types of knitting and crochet projects, it’s a real workhorse yarn that is soft and spongy yet tough all in one. Once washed and blocked, this hand dyed yarn softens and blooms beautifully.

Just do not wash the yarn at 40 degrees celsius. I made that mistake before and I can still wear the socks but they have felted and the elasticity is gone and the first time I put them on post hot wash I could hear the nylon cracking. :/

Back to the finished pair. I knitted one of these on an 8 hour flight and got so into it and the tiny screen watching 3 films that I misread my pattern notes and only knitted 3 3/4 inches in length of the foot not 3 3/4 inches less than what I wanted. This means these are way too small for me but actually 1 cm longer than one of my best friends’ feet! Ha! Win. Merry christmas to my lovely friend. 🙂 I have this fear of making things for others as it may not be good enough but she is a crafter and will appreciate the effort.

She has also just moved to colder climate so has a need for these. 🙂 I think the socks really wanted to be for her as dark green is one of her favourite colours.

Next I will have to find some children/small sock blockers. Any recommendations?

Have you ever accidentally knitted someone a present?

Knitting: New obsession, Socks!

I never thought I’d be a sock knitter. It just did not interest me. Many of my knitter friends do make lovely socks but the idea of a small circumference and knitting something fiddly that may end up having holes, was not appealing.

However the idea did appeal as a lot of sock yarn is beautifully dyed but may not go with my general wardrobe, but like a magpie with shiny things I have given in and bought some anyways. The yarn that broke me in the end and made me give sock knitting another try was this lovely BFL and Bamboo blend from the Woolkitchen.

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On my knitting book shelf I also found this book about knitting custom fitting socks. I found that the basic toe up pattern made sense to me and I had another go. Now I did not swatch and just went by gut feeling using a 2mm needle (sharp, ouch!). Yeah I know. This ended up in slightly large socks as I over compensated for the small needle size.

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I have long but thin feet so these are a bit baggy. But you live and learn. They will be lovely over tight fitting socks in the winter. 🙂 Also after short time in the dryer they are bit tighter.

When knitting them up I was a bit cautious not to make them too long in case I ran out of yarn but next time I will make the leg longer. I am hoping to use the leftover grams (40!) for maybe a colour work sock.

The next pattern in the book is a basic ribbed sock. I love a good rib and this uses k3 p1. Having not been a sock knitter in the past, my large stash has hardly any suitable sock knitting yarn in it but I did find some countess ablaze yarn. She dyed some limited edition yarns as part of a book series last year (or was it the year before) and I could not say no to any grey to black yarn so had to have this. It is BFL and nylon and knits up beautifully. I used a slightly larger needle this time 2.25mm and love it. 2mm was too small.


I don’t own any 2.5mm but will get some to try.

So far the knitting is going well. The fit is much better but they may have come up a tad short which is weird as I knitted to the same length as before. If they won’t fit after blocking they will be a present. So far I am super excited about sock knitting.

Do you have favourite sock knitting yarn or pattern? Have you just made up your own pattern based on practice?