Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sleeping socks for saying goodbye

At last, a completed pair of these socks--one of the sleeping socks patterns from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage socks. I actually started these last summer and got just a few inches into them before putting them down for some reason. I found this UFO (one of too many, alas) when I was "cleaning up" my yarn room (my husband says I should put a sign out on the street and try to sell some). The yarn is just gorgeous--a Cherry Tree Hill "potluck" that I got from Simply Sock Yarn oh so many months ago. I love the way they turned out and sent them off to school with our oldest daughter--she's going where it's cold (a great knitting gift opportunity). Our youngest is back at school too, and now we hope things will calm down, at least a little bit! I also started a pair of socks with this cool new Crystal Palace "Maizy" yarn made from corn. I'm adapting the pattern and will post more on that one soon. Happy knitting, all.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sock Pal Socks Arrived!

We are home from vacation--the pink "baby thujas" are the only finished knitting I have to show for it, but I hope to have a shawl to post soon (more on that then). The big news is that my Sockapalooza IV socks were waiting for me when I got home--they are so beautiful, and it was so exciting to put a hand-knit pair of socks on my feet that I didn't knit--and they fit! I drew a real expert as my sock pal, and I am very, very happy with these socks-- a much more complicated pattern than I would attempt. So thank you, Knit One, Purr Too, and thank you to Alison of The Blue Blog for coordinating all this again!

Friday, August 10, 2007

The last socks of summer?

I hope not, actually (last socks, that is). It is finally vacation time around our house, and we are heading out to the beach (yes, it's 103 in the shade, but at least we'll be close to water!) I finished this pair, what I am calling my "Lemonade Socks" just in the nick of time to post before we go. This pattern is actually based on a pattern I found on Knitting Daily, the "Ambrosia Socks" by Ann Budd. I adapted the pattern a lot, actually; it was written for toe up with short row heel and I changed it to cuff down with a flap (square heel). I really like the "Butterfly stitch" pattern, but I'm not entirely sure how they'll wear--they are knit on size 3's (3.25 mm) because of the stitch pattern pulling in so much, but the sole of the foot seems much too loose to me. But they did go a lot faster than when I knit on my usual 0's and 1's! In any case, they were a fun knit, and I am happy to have tried both a new stitch pattern and what is for me a totally radical adaptation of a knitting pattern (I am finally getting brave enough!). I now head off with a car full of bathing suits, sand toys, and of course, yarn and needles enough for a month--you never know! For all of you heading back to school this week, good luck!

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Yeah, here they are! I didn't trust myself to wait until for better weather for the "phot shoot"-- the color is so much deeper and truer in person)! I know I haven't posted lately, but I really have been knitting! These Sockapaloooza IV socks--well, I thought they might be the end of me! They have been variously known as "the socks that wouldn't end," the "why didn't I just make Thuja's," the "see what you get when you try to impress people you don't know," to, well, almost affectionately, "the brown bombers." This summer has taught me several things....when one is in the middle of a giant job stress, a baby is born in the family (a niece for me), and your cat of 14 years dies, one will quickly turn to knitting to comfort oneself. This is a good thing. In my case, though, it basically meant knitting everything except my Sockpal socks--so I made a couple pair of baby socks, a really cute baby hat, a pair of socks for no one in particular (a three-pointed modification of Jaywalkers), and a very lengthy, curiously non-essential silk and cotton scarf. Then I woke one morning about two weeks ago, dreaming about the giant balls of this gorgeous yarn sitting in my knitting basket with a cuff of the first sock and about 2 inches of a 10" cuff done, and well--I was having bad dreams about it! This gave me a chance to prove, one again, alas, that I work best under pressure, and that sore fingers are just the consequences of being me at the end of a knit a long! So the socks are done (phew) and washed and blocked, and drying. I will pack them up with some koigu and send them off to their guy in waiting, on time. I just knew finishing early during Sockapaloooza III was a fluke! But now that these are done, I like them and am glad I chose the pattern, which involved my first ever shaping on a cuff, and the most yarn I've ever used up on a pair of socks (525 yds+)!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Sockapalooza update: It's not too late....

I have the yarn, I have a pattern selected, I have a sockpal's preferences firmly in mind, and I think I am (finally) ready to go. I know it seems like it took a while for me to get started, but there seemed like there were sooooo many decisions this time. I love Sockapalooza, really, but I always feel so much more pressure when knitting for someone I don't know. I want everything to be perfect! Well, I think I did find perfect yarn; this absolutely gorgeous yarn called "Thoroughbred" from an Etsy Shop called Fearless Fibers. It's the most beautiful, subtle mix of browns and other subtle colors; a technique called "rainbow dyeing"; I can't wait to knit with it! And I have a pattern selected "Gentlemen's Half Hose in Ringwood Pattern" from Knitting Vintage Socks (thanks to all who pointed me in this direction for men's patterns in my last lamenting post). Even though this skein of yarn has a whopping 550 yards; I am a little worried about having enough (see recent experiences) I plan to increase the number of stitches used for the sock; the last few pairs of socks I've made have come out too narrow; I think I must be knitting more tightly these days (can't imagine why!). I might shorten them a bit; not sure (have to have something to wonder about as I go, right) I will cast on for these this week and knit away--nothing like a deadline to get my needles smokin'!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Casting away

Here they are, a cute little pair of Crusoe anklets, knit for my youngest out of the beautiful fleece artist that I so unceremoniously unravelled after its last mis-adventure. I altered the pattern a little bit--did an eye of partridge heel, since it had looked so good last time! I like the way they turned out, and how this pattern really doesn highlight the yarn beautifully. I have to admit that I had originally intended these for myself; but then when I noticed they looked small, for our older daughter, and then, when I finished one, for the one who really wanted them all along--my youngest! I have knitted this pattern before, and I remembered that they were not really stretchy because of the stranded pattern, but have actually worn other pairs I knitted! It's that cursed gauge thing, no doubt! On other fronts, I have picked a pattern and ordered yarn for the man socks I am going to make for Sockapalooza--more on that soon.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I feel lucky...

Oh so lucky! My new yarn came in after my recent shortage experience, and it was the same dyelot and everything! (Thank you ebay!) So I have been knitting like mad and finished my neopolitan socks tonight! The stripes don't match, but I really don't mind it. And I have to give a plug for this "Belle Maman" sock pattern--it was a really easy one to memorize it (believe me, if I can memorize it, anyone can) and it looks so cool. I even had the courage to do the picot edge and knit the hem as I went--a new thing for me. So now, on to the next socks, more pattern searching for Sockapalooza 4, and jumping back in with my Fleece Artist from my last sock debacle--I'm thinking about trying the Crusoe pattern from Knitty, which I made a while back; I think it would show off that pretty yarn.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The agony of defeat....

Okay, I admit defeat! I have not met the sock in a day challenge! But it was not for lack of trying, really! This sock has been, well, sort of an exercise in patience--not sure why, it was not a hard pattern, but I had to frog back after the heel twice, because the pattern wasn't lining up right on the instep! I still haven't figured out what I'm doing wrong--it's not working right again! I started with the idea of making these really cute Nasturtium Anklets that I found online--I decided to make the cuff longer because I really like how the pattern was looking! Luckily (or not), they are looking like they'll be too tight a fit, so I may frog all the way back and start all over again, which I think I have pretty much never done in my sock knitting life, but hey, there's a first time for everything! But all in all, it was fun to see if I could get a whole sock done in a day, and it really did make for a good time trying, so thanks to Liz and all! (And oh yes, the fantastic yarn is Fleece Artist merino, in a shade called Popsicle....)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The short and winding road

Think I'm going to run out of yarn? I don't know how this is happening; except that I clearly have less yarn than I thought! Of course, I only have ONE SKEIN of this Trekking XXL 126, which I was so excited to find on EBay just a few weeks back. My patterning is already messed up on the leg, despite being sure that I had cast on at exactly the same place in the color repeat that I had for the first sock. But I love the way the lace pattern and the yarn striping look, so I am going to figure out a way to finish this one (EBay, here I come). No doubt it will be a different dye lot, but I will be sure to keep my feet moving of they look too different! So while these socks hang out and wait for more yarn to appear, I will have time to get ready for Liz's "Sock in a Day" challenge, for which I have finally wound up a beautiful skein of "Popsicle" from Fleece Artist. Now to find a pattern. And Happy Mother's Day to all you moms (and all you daughters) out there!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It's a boy! (Help!)

It's a boy! My Sockapaloooza 4 pal, that is! This is a challenge for me. Not because I worry about knitting for big feet (mine are plenty big, I'm used to it), nor because I have not knit socks for men before (husband and brother in law among them), but because I feel like sockapaloooza socks should be interesting, different, not your basic 2x2 rib, anyway! Any ideas for good, interesting patterns that a man would like (any other guy sock pals out there)? I am also in the process of deciding about yarn--he likes his yarns natural but not muted; I'm thinking of either "petroglyph" or "gendarme" from Lisa Souza's sock colors; any votes? The great thing about this is it gives me an excuse, I mean good reason, to buy some more sock yarn for this project instead of just raiding my abundant, yet very girly stash! Hope to hear from you all soon!

Monday, April 23, 2007

A Hat a Day....

Keeps the boredom away (or at least the foot tapping fidgets).....I had to to travel this weekend for a conference and sat through lots of long talks--some quite interesting, really. But ever since I have started knitting again (aka become obsessed with knitting constantly), I have a great deal of trouble sitting still when my hands could be productive! So I managed to overcome my knit in public meekness on the second day and made this very cute beret. It for the Charmed Knits Knit a long for Warm Woolies. It's a free pattern from Alison Hansel's new book of Harry Potter Patterns, Charmed Knits. I am honestly not all that acquainted with the Harry Potter stuff, my daughter is too young for the movies, and it will be a few years before she can read the books. But I was looking for both a knit a long and a charity knitting cause, and this seemed a good one. Alison manages the whole Sockapalooza experience every year, so I figure I can knit some hats in return! I will make a beanie next, and then make myself pack and mail them (my weak point, for sure!). As for the Neopolitan socks, I have made some progress, but not ready to show yet! More soon!

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What's done is done!

And thanks be to God! Taxes (as best as my non-accountant self could do them), work budgets turned in (if overly ambitious), and forced sleep deprivation and stress relieved! Can you say relief? It's not that I wasn't knitting two days ago; it's just that I was feeling guilty about it! But for tonight at least, I can bask in the glow of a few tasks met (and stop dodging them hanging over my head--makes it hard not to drop stiches!). So I started a hat for Alison's Harry Potter/Warm Woolies charity knit a long and got back to work on this wonderful sock pattern I found online for Belle Maman socks. I am using some Trekking Yarn that you have probably read about in blogland before; it looks like those layered Brach's Neopolitan candies that they still sell in some supermarket bins. Neopolitan ice cream was the favorite treat of my childhood, and I really like this yarn! You can see it knit up here, the color # is 126--you can still find some on ebay, it you love it. So back to knitting--and thinking about what yarn I might be able to get with some of that little refund!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

What I should be doing...

Budgets for next year (for work, that is....I don't dare plan all the knitting I'll do next year!), or maybe, Finishing our taxes (can you say "last minute pressure spurs me on"), or maybe, sleeping! But I finally, and I mean finally, finished this pair of socks, and I just had to post them. These were the socks from h-e-double-hockey-sticks (as we say around our house). "Why," you might be asking, "those socks look innocent enough!" Well, the first problem--the color of the yarn (on-line supersocke 100)--dark and other purples, with flecks of black, and a tiny bit of white. I love purple, and just fell for this yarn as perfect "sort of plain" socks for my hubby. But I had a lot of trouble seeing this yarn on my dpns (I blame the yarn, not my eyes!), so I switched to bamboo, but broke 2 of the 2.25 mm babies before investing in a set of silver steel needles--which helped, but not enough. Something about the texture of the yarn, or perhaps the fact that I dreaded picking up these socks, made for very tight knitting, and so they are smaller than I planned, as well. But I can get them on--though I'm not sure I want to wear them....they remind me too much of how long they took to finish (I picked them up and put them down for almost 6 months!). And I guess they will also forever remind me of budgets, and taxes, and not sleeping :)!

Friday, April 13, 2007

It's been a long time since I rock n rolled....

Gosh, it's been a long time since I posted. Please accept my apologies for my sudden and unceremonious disappearance. It has been a crazy time, and I think blogging became harder and harder to start again once I stopped (I picked up a bad habit of wanting to sleep just a bit!). Plus, I kept thinking I should come back with something incredibly (if not so very characteristically!) profound, and so kept putting it off! I missed it though, and missed the blog buddies I had gotten to know. External forces finally brought me back, most notably the incredible need to have a way to post this wonderful picture my niece (5) made and sent to me. It may not be profound (or perhaps it is) but it is cute! And yes, I did make her some socks, and I put them in a box. They escaped before they got photographed, but my sister is promising a photo of C's footsies in those sox! I made them with the softest, most wonderful yarn, Crystal Palace Panda, which is bamboo, cotton and elastic, and used a cool seed stitch pattern that I found on Trek's blog--called Gumball Footies. What fun! Oh, and then there's Sockapalooza 4, too, which I have been aching for....I have been knitting socks like crazy, if not posting about them! So THANK YOU to those who emailed to say you missed me, and I hope to visit you soon.