Archive for March, 2007
So I haven’t been knitting at all lately. I got really engrossed reading a book I picked-up used on Amazon for $1: The Devil’s Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America’s Great White Sharks. It’s a bit trashy, but I’m terribly fascinated by sharks, so it’s been a great read. And hey, it only cost $1!! Now that it’s over, I’m ready to start on a new project. I’m looking for a lightweight scarf pattern, something cute to go with my new black spring jacket. Maybe something lacy, I don’t know. Does anyone have any good suggestions?
My other motive for posting, even though I haven’t been knitting, is to share a picture of Leo that my sister sent me. He’s wearing a little hat I knitted up for him about a month ago, so technically, it’s appropriate for a knitting blog.
I finished the Dalarna socks for the Knitting on the Road knit-a-long. I’ve talked about how elegant they were turning out to be in an earlier post, so I’ll just let them speak for themselves at this point:
There is a poll going on now as members vote on which KOTR sock to knit for April/May. I voted, but don’t want to jinx anything by revealing my choice (it’s not ahead in the voting right now, anyway, so I may have to wait).
I started, finally, the Inside Out Socks for the Socks that Rock knit-a-long. I may be the last person on the planet to do so. There are some excellent pictures of a finished pair on this blog. I don’t know Pat at all, but she did a lovely job. I have only a toe so far:
I got a little frustrated with the Flame Wave Socks (see this post). Not with the pattern, but with the yarn — Cascade Fixation. It just wasn’t smooth to work with. Oddly enough, I was listening to a knitting podcast this weekend that mentioned this very yarn. (I have been sampling the various knitting podcasts to see if any of them are interesting enough to subscribe to.) This one was Episode 28: Socks! on the It’s a Purl, Man podcast. The host, Guido (2Skiens) Stein (sic), is joined by Grumperina in this episode, and among other things they discuss the fact that Fixation works best on metal needles. I was using bamboo, and since I didn’t have metal needles in the appropriate size, I had to go buy a pair. I’ll try again and see if it’s a more satisfying experience.
Just to have some easy traveling socks to knit during our commute, I also started a basic ribbed sock in Online Supersocke 100 Highland Color yarn (that’s a mouthful). I’ve had 2 skeins (or 2Skiens, as Guido would say) in my stash for some time now, but this is my first time knitting with it. I like it so far. It comes in some bright colors, but these are for Nigel, and muted colors suit his tastes.
This makes 3 pairs on the needles, and me happy.
I bought some more yarn. I think I’m a bit out of control, actually. Oh well, it can’t last forever. One day last week I stopped at the yarn store on my way home from work (all by myself!!) to pick up some needles. Unfortunately, they didn’t have what I was looking for, but I did manage to find some new yarn!
It is Colinette Jitterbug in Castagna. None of the stores I frequent have carried this yarn before now so I was happy to see it. I’m really taken with this colorway – just beautiful. Dark olive/brown, taupe, mauve, burgundy – sounds like a weird combo, but it works.
I picked Madder Rib from Knitting Vintage Socks and stuck to the pattern. It has a Dutch heel and pointy toe. Here is my attempt to show the heel:
The colors make it really hard to see what is going on with the heel. Anyway, I’m not sure I like the Dutch heel – but maybe it will fit a little better once the sock is blocked and worn a bit.
And I actually like the pointed toe much more than I thought I would. It fits pretty well – I guess I have a pointy foot. Hopefully the second sock will go as quickly as the first.
Waiting for me back at the office was waste-basket of bills, and a second packet from Rosalind. She had one clipping freshly torn from a newspaper, and a type-written sheet. The clipping was Greek to me, the sheet confirmed this: item from a couple weeks back in an ex-pat newspaper, then translated. Grainy picture of a building with a clock tower.
At the payphone in the lobby of the bank, I dialed the Downtown station. I still had an in down at the station, and I wanted him to check the lists for me. Sofakissen might have turned up somewhere, or been seen. If I was really lucky, she’d have won a brawl somewhere, a scent or lead for me to catch. “First Precinct, Front Desk, how can I direct your call?”
My Crafter’s Choice membership was getting to the point where I had to actually spend some money and get some books or get charged 40 bucks for nothing. So….the pickings were slim. You’ll all be shocked that I ordered:
Yes, socks. I’ve said it a million times that I hate knitting them and am not interested in wearing them either. However, certain people on this blog are slowly changing my mind. I’ll give it another chance.
I was organizing my yarn this past weekend and found a bunch of unfinished projects in a plastic tub that had become part of the background in a corner of my bedroom. I hadn’t forgotten the projects as much as buried them under new yarn. After weeding 50% of my clothes and with Ikea at an all-too-easy-to-driving-distance, now I can SEE what’s crying out to be completed.
I required something straightforward to knit on while watching TV on Sunday, so I decided to try to finish a neglected item from the tub — my Melody’s Shawl, a kit from Morehouse Merino. It’s an easy shawl that’s knit in the round and involves dropped stitches *and* slicing (wheeeee!) at the end. I honestly can’t remember when I started it — but it was long enough ago that my credit union has “archived” the purchase info.
Here are some shots of the last steps:
It seemed so uninviting toward the end that I said that I would give it away. But after a wash (in Kookaburra Woolwash — I loooooooove it), I knew that I wanted to keep it after all. The laceweight yarn, while thread-like in spots, seems very strong and flexible. The natural color (“silver” — a blend of white wool and black wool) is soothing and the yarn is soft.
I joined a couple of sock-a-longs recently in a fit of self-improvement and to keep myself inspired, although now that I think about it I never lack for ideas for the next sock project. Anyway, the Knitting on the Road group, which is working its way through Nancy Bush’s book, is doing the Dalarna sock in February/March. I have to admit, it’s a darn attractive sock. I have one done, in red Jawoll sock yarn. I added the two little ones I made earlier for fun — they’re made from the same skein.
I also started the Flame Wave Socks from Favorite Socks, for another knit-a-long. I’ve had some black Fixation yarn in my stash for a long time, which this pattern calls for. And Zoe has recently asked for socks that are “black and elusive,” leading me to wonder a) if these may be the very pair, and b) if they’re truly elusive, how would I know?
The only progress I’ve made on the Socks that Rock socks is to wind the yarn. I did discover that a wound skein fits perfectly in a ceramic dish that came home recently from high school art class.
And because, even after all of this, no one here takes my yarn seriously, I came home last night to this:
I came home to a lovely package of yarn waiting for me. I expected it to take longer to arrive, so it was quite a nice surprise.
This was a very special purchase, all the way from Germany. I found Rohrspatz & Wollmeise by way of this German blog which endorses Expand Your Stash. I don’t read German, but I do look at this blog regularly – she as a new pair of socks every couple of days!!! One day, her socks used Rohrspatz & Wollmeise yarn and I just had to track it down.
To obtain some of this yarn, you can contact Claudia directly (she is a one-person show). If you haven’t gone to look at the beautiful colors, go right now! In addition to picking from this enormous selection, you also get to specify shade – light, medium, or dark. I picked Brombeere and Lowenzahn – both in medium.
I’m so thrilled with this yarn. Just look at the richness of the colors. I started a new pair of socks last night but now I want to scrap those and start knitting with this. For hose of you who care about this kind of thing, the yarn smells fabulous! And the packaging was just gorgeous. I’ll definitely be purchasing this again!
This yarn is 100% wool and superwash. It is very soft and pretty fine – will require a size 0 or 1. Any suggestions for patterns… I’ll be starting one of these soon.
I’m just going to look at, feel, and smell this yarn for the rest of the evening. For those of you who will see me tomorrow, you can do the same through lunch.
Late last week, I finished my Rusted socks. They are so wacky – I love ‘em. I know many people would shun the pooling in these socks but I enjoy watching how the colors come together. I’ve always been attracted to ‘interesting’ socks, too, so these are perfect for me.
I snuck in a few photos before Ava’s birthday festivities started yesterday.
Here is Rusted posing with the leading contenders for my next sock project. I may actually start both!
Here is Rusted posing on my new $10 Ikea step stool.
In this picture, you can see that, although the pooling started out a bit crazy on the first sock, it ended up in about the same place on both.
A close up of the heel.
And a close up of the toes!
From the pay phone just down from Dahlia’s brownstone, I checked my messages: courier from Jack early next morning on the first flight. Clap I caught at his work number, he said to come on up.
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“So you were right.” We were driving to Dahlia’s, I was going to drop her off there for the rest of the day, and go look up Clap.
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Look how happy Charlotte is wearing the sweater I made for her!!
Here I am, all by myself, cramming a little knitting in after a late lunch. This is what happens when there is no one around to knit with me. I don’t know which is worse – hiding in my office to knit… or blogging about it ;)
Are what I accomplished this weekend. I finished the Conwy socks and had plenty of yarn leftover to make an itty-bitty duplicate pair. These are for my friend and her granddaughter.
And then another little pair for an imminent baby. The pattern is Baby Cable Socks from Vogue Socks, knit in bright red Jawoll. I’ve made several of these socks before, but hadn’t realized that the pattern is by Lily Chin. Or maybe I saw her name, but now I know who she is.
On May 31st, Ann Arbor Alpacas will be shearing their alpacas. They’ll be selling the fleece and yarn. I’m actually reconsidering this whole spinning thing. By the way-did you know the alpaca is in the same family as the llama? Oh, and you can buy one for yourself from these folks for a mere 18K! Why don’t we all chip in and get one to share?! They’re so cute!
I just found out who will be the receiver of my gifts over the coming months for the knitting exchange. She seems pretty cool—Alpaca is her favorite yarn too. And she loves true crime books! Yes, I think this will work out very fine indeed. She’s a sock knitting maniac, which most of you know, I can’t relate to. Now I must plot the goodies she’ll receive. What do you think—a Ted Bundy in intarsia purse???? ;)
Or maybe not. Either way, here are the action shots of Ava’s vest. It was actually mild enough to go outside with only a vest on (for a short while). You’ll be glad to know that she truly likes her vest and will happily wear it – even without prompting.
Those of you who know me will know how hard it was to restrain myself to a mere three photos!!
OK, so I couldn’t restrain myself… here’s one more:
Emily bought me a present last night:
Among other manly things, it has some great patterns for manly socks.
Ava’s vest is complete – sans zipper. She has been helping all the way through, even helping to sew in the ends. Tonight, I let her give it a soaking and help me pin it down.
I figure she’ll have to like it after putting so much time in to it herself.
We stepped up the porch to the front door, and it swung open before I could knock. There a picture of little old lady, grinning, eyes bright and beady behind little round spectacles. She was even shorter than Frieda, but hadn’t started out that way. She had eyes only for Frieda.
I had never been inside the Stelmford, but you can’t miss it Downtown. Old Man Stelmford had made all his money squeezing wages and breaking strikes, but late in life had decided to try to keep up with the other philanthropic industrialists and indulge his ideas about the cures for all kinds of social ills. The Stelmford Museum was one result, a huge marble building striving to be every architectural style at once, housing an enormous art museum and a library. I knew a Stelmford heir supposedly ran the place now, or at least delegated from a yacht in the Mediterranean, and I knew it had a lot of art. Ancient stuff, Frieda had said her bag was.
I continue with my focus on socks. Look at these:
Yarn: Schaefer Anne, purchased at Uniquities in Vienna, VA
Needles: Size 1, Addi Bamboo
Pattern: Conwy, from Knitting on the Road, Nancy Bush, p. 22.
Purpose: A gift for a friend
And, I got my first Rockin’ Sock Club package. This is February’s installment, and it’s lovely – all purply grays and greens.
The color is Monsoon. My favorite part of the package, which also included a pattern, notebook, bumper sticker and button, was the little emergency skein keychain, which you can also see in the picture. The pattern is for an inside out sock with ribs and cables. Even Zoe (my harshest sock critic) said, “I like that sock!”
In a fit of overdoing it, I joined the Knitting on the Road knitalong, to keep me motivated and using up my stash. The sock for Feb./March is Dalarna (p. 26).
And, “in a fit of emotional instability” (again to quote Zoe, from her essay on Hamlet), I joined the Favorite Socks Knitalong. I apparently did this at exactly the same time Beth was posting about it (no lie). I, too, was put on hold by Amazon, so ordered the book directly from Interweave Knits. What’s up with that?
Finally, just in case you’re holding your breath in anticipation — I made my 100 miles, well before April 1!
I’m currently at 109.75 miles, and am setting for myself the goal of 880 miles this year. So this year, it looks like it’s all about socks and mileage and stuff.
So I managed to squeeze in a little shopping this weekend. My first stop was at a yarn store (big surprise!). These were the first things I picked up:
I’ve had Favorite Socks on order at Amazon since I heard about the book. It said that it wouldn’t ship until early April. But what did I see at the yarn store… Favorite Socks. I has been wondering how other knitters have been getting their hands on it if it wasn’t available for another month (shaking fist at Amazon). I’ve also been planning to get a copy of Knitting on the Road for a while, too. I see there is a Favorite Socks KAL that I might consider.
And I couldn’t leave the yarn store with two sock pattern books with no sock yarn, could I!? So I finally settled on this:
And by the time I got home, the mail arrived with another little surprise for me. I ordered this merino/alpaca blend from Natural Dye Studio a little while ago.
I also picked up some new fabric for a project I have in mind. I only got a yard of each to see how I like it, but there may be more to come.
What do you think?
And because I know you are all on the edge of your seats: I finished one Rusted sock and will likely start the other today AND I am just finishing the vest (collar, cuffs) but I still need to sew in the zipper, so it might take me a while. Photos of both to come when they are done!
I’ve been feeling pretty domestic lately, so I bought some curtains and made a couple of tea cosies as gifts. I still need to block and sew the 8-ball cosy together. That one’s for my sister, Erin, who is a recent tea convert and asked for cosy.
Cascade 220, Felted Tea Cosy pattern
Cascade 220, 8-ball pattern from Stitch ‘n Bitch Nation
If you look closely at the tea pot in the left picture, you can see a little me in the reflection. It kind of looks like I’m trapped in there. Definitely not as glamorous as Jeannie’s bottle.