I made a knitting goal in 2013 to learn to knit cables and make some cabled projects, which I managed most admirably!  So my goal for 2014 is to learn lace techniques, I also want to be a bit more disciplined and structured with what I do so I joined a couple of knitting groups on the knitters and crocheters first port of call, Ravelry.  The groups I joined are sock knitting groups and they have monthly challenges, and as I’m ready to move outside of simple, plain socks I decided to join in with them.

The first group had four picks to chose from for January… knit a pattern from one of the two specified designers, join a mystery knit-along or knit LACE.  The second group had simpler challenges… finish a WIP started before Jan 1st (work in progress), go stash diving and use something really old from your stash, or knit a technique that’s new to you… for me that would be LACE.  I call that Karma.  The knitting gods were telling me to get on with it and don’t procrastinate.

So, just four days in to the New Year, I cast on for Flying Arrows socks and prayed to the knitting gods that I could do this by the end of January.

I didn’t bank on losing a complete week of knitting time due to busy, busy work days followed by foul, torturous, weather hampered drives home (perhaps I should have prayed to the weather gods instead?) leaving me worn out and incapable of anything.

I also didn’t bank on the pattern from hell either.  As it turned out the lace was simple enough and the 10 row repeat of pattern instructions was spot on… just the rest of the pattern was more than a little off.  At best it was just badly written with odd phrases and really odd grammatical errors; at worst it was unusable in places with wrong instructions and whole chunks missing.. like the foot for instance!  The pattern went from the  gusset decreases immediately after the ankle to the toe decreases and bind off!  Hello?  Where’s the foot section?  My toes aren’t joined to my ankle, are yours???  Thankfully I now know enough about sock construction to know what to do with a heal for example, or to know to knit the underside of the foot plainly for comfort, keeping just the top of it in pattern, so it all worked out.

I finished it yesterday.  Grafting the toe and weaving in the ends at work during my lunch break.  And in an awful hurry to get photos taken and posted to the relevant challenges on Ravelry before the end of the month, I took them last night as soon as I got in from work.  Before I had my shower.  Before I de-fuzzed!  Yes, on show is an appalling side note of living with very cold Winter’s, can you see it?  My logic is that if the hair on my head keeps my head warm then won’t hair on my legs do the same for said legs???!

I haven’t decided what’s next.  I have two WIP’s to complete, both socks, one for me, one for Andrew.  The next sock challenge has you pick an under-appreciated pattern and knit that, which means that when you start your project there must be less than 15 completed projects of that same pattern.  I have a couple in mind, but I think I’ve never shown you this before either:

These were the yarny birthday gifts I received a couple of weeks ago.  The lovely yarn is to make shawls with and the lovely book is supposed to help me achieve that end, but I seem to be too busy knitting socks at the moment to fit in anything else!  And I really, really want to have a go at a shawl.