Archive for June, 2006

so there, dave!

Friday, June 30th, 2006

this post is so late—can we just pretend that it is yesterday again? YAY! thank you! now i can show you some pictures from debbie’s birthday party that we had in knitting class last night! here she is with her cake

can you see where she inadvertantly dragged her knitting needles, and nearly her whole sock, through it in her excitement to get to the frosting?

yeah, man—ain’t nothin’ like gettin’ hooked up . . . sorry, debbie! i asked susan, and she said i should post it, since you liked her picture so much!

ok, so enough of teasing debbie (he-he-he . . . for now, that is).

let’s tease dave!
now dave, apparently, has gotten the idea that i knit too slow (whoa there, debbie; give the guy a chance to speak!)

Those camo socks are coming along quite nicely. Let’s see … how long have been knitting them? I think I’ve lost track. It’s nice to find someone slower than me :-) (Mind you, I didn’t make a dress in the mean time – LOL)

ok, i’m going to give dave the benefit of the doubt, and just assume he missed that post where i carefully explained (and justified!) my “system”.

those socks are my desk sox!! slow progress means i am busy, working really hard at my JOB (or possibly, at the other nine projects i might have going at any given moment)!
but as we all know, sometimes i catch a break. sometimes i have a day during which all i do is push the buttons to watch files print and upload. i can knit a needleful or a row while i wait, and before i know it, the sox look like this

and i just can’t be ashamed of my knitting, no matter how sporadic, far-fetched, or deadline-oriented it gets. soon i will round up all my current projects for another photo shoot and progress rundown!

this week, i turned in two book projects, so i actually got some real work done on those sox (for a change). i was comparing the size to to my own sox (autumn spiral sox using Briar Rose sweet freedom)—i do not have a small foot, by any means, but i feel positively dainty when i see how small my sox are next to david’s! and here, today, are the camoSox finished:

i keep calling them camoSox, but they are really more like sea glass, or woodland colors. and actually, the shop FINALLY got the order of Lorna’s Laces that we all have been waiting for, so i grabbed some of the camoflauge colorway for another pair! i know they are david’s favorite colors.

and guess what the universe did?
played a little trick on me, that’s what! remember how i was crowing about my green striped socks matching up so perfectly the other day, in a completely randomly, wanton act of sync? well, that evening, right in class, didn’t fate make a liar out of me—look at this

really now! don’t you think that was just . . .so . . . unnecessary??
i don’t really care for perfectly matchy stuff, it’s not that; it the making such a fantastic LIAR out of me with such promptness that irks me so!
harumph.

i have clean, dry coopworth sock yarn to show you

i just wish you could feel this—it’s as soft and poofy as it gets! look at the difference between that clean yarn and the same one just after spinning. it almost looks like DK weight now, but i know that it’s all air.

still, this is the moment that i begin to selfishly covet the yarn to envelope my own tender feet (you know, give it to someone who really understands it)—and i don’t have any plain dark brown sox, either . . . need another picture for clarification? oh look! here’s one where it is about to float away of its own accord

sorry; see, this is what happened to me when we didn’t end up with any kids!

i also received something very nice today in the mail! see, i won a bit of a prize in claudia’s prize patrol for her MS bike ride. from Carole

this yarn is just lovely! i never knit with it before, but it feels silk soft and the colors are gorgeous! it feels like fleece artist merino, and has a similar texture. thank you carole!

sun? no wait, rain!—no—sun! no . . .

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

well, the sun WAS out this morning, but i see now that it was just taunting me! we are having a major rainstorm as i write!
it has been gloomy all week here. for two days it threatened rain, but none came! we took the bikes out last night despite the threatening clouds, and we had the most amazing ride! and we no sooner got back to the house than the sky cracked open and the flood came. so we didn’t even have to water the garden!
again, i LOVE being in sync with the universe!

i have been working away on so many things at once that i’m not sure where to even begin. the Vine Flower Dress sample is done,

and the pattern is available! and not only is this pattern available, but i have moved one step closer to making all the patterns more available! we (meaning david) added a button on the sidebar there where you can download a catalog (i did that part) of knitspot patterns and the instruction for ordering them; so far, this system is working well, but it has inspired my friend melissa to start work on a real store page as well (for which i am deeply indebted)! HOORAY!

i’ve been working on the shawl and have gotten a couple of repeats of the deep edge band done. here is the shawl relaxing where i threw it last night, as i finally sat down after working a really long day.

i didn’t feel like knitting anything difficult at that point, so the shawl got to watch TV last night instead of working as usual. here is another shot of the fabulous light play that i continuously marvel at with this piece

if you look closely, you can see where a breeze started blowing in the door and made the fabric move—that’s how lightweight it is!
i started these sox on sunday, simply out of a perverse need to a) try a new yarn,

and b) try my new knitpicks double points.
i know, the yarn IS pretty. it is a hemp, wool, and mohair blend i bought at wooster from DZined. however, i am having a problem loving it. i am thinking it is not a good yarn for socks. i am going to try it on these other needles before i decide.
which brings me to the needles. ahem.
let me just say that i have hoped, pined, and dreamed for DPNs that are just like addi’s for almost as long as i have loved addi’s. so i was pretty, pretty excited when knitpicks announced their new addi-like-only-better needles
well, heh, i dunno. they are awfully heavy. the points are really nice and i will certainly use the circulars happily for my lace knitting if they will only come out with some bigger sizes!!
but the DPNs—mmm, i’m rather lukwarm. the surface of the needle is indeed, gloriously slippery and quick. the points are pointy and pick up stitches nicely, though they are a tad sharp, but that doesn’t bother me. the weight bothers me a lot. i’ll keep you updated.

in other sock news, these green camoSox are heading now down the homestretch, with one complete and the second past the heel and into the foot.

these are my desk sox now, so you may see little progress for a while and then suddenly, some day when i have a lot of printing or file transfers, you will see the inches pile on!

and then i have class this afternoon and evening, and i know for sure that i will be teaching the short-row heel to debbie and beckie, so i have actually spent some time preparing for class today!

that is, instead of the usual, off-the-cuff lessons i am fond of. these are worksheets about picking up wraps. now i do this a certain way, but that way is difficult to teach, so i grabbed this method off of Wendy Knits!, because it’s easier to demonstrate and explain (even though i still, in private, do it it my own way on my own sox!—it’s hard to break old habits).

anyway, besides printing out these instructions, which is not much prep at all, i also got this sock down to the point where the heel starts

so i can demonstrate it especially well. BTW, this GGH marathon is quite nice. it’s a lot like trekking but softer. the striping feels more random than most self-striping yarns, but as you can see, it DOES have a repeat (but so do some of the trekking ones, i found).

now i am NOT a fan of matching sox, but get this: these are matching exactly, and i did not even try, even a little to make it so!!

again with the syncing of the universe?! what do you think?

knitspot ALL-stars!

Monday, June 26th, 2006

you guys ROCK!!
by sunday afternoon, i was hoping that maaaybe, just maybe, we could all make a combined gift of $500+ dollars to the Bike RIde for MS.
and we DID IT!!! whooopee!
thank you one and all; this was the best Father’s Day season i’ve had in the last couple of years.
here’s the rundown: 18 knitspot readers gave a combined contribution of $382++++ (one plus for each undisclosed donation). that made my own matching gift $180, and i rounded it up to $200, in case anyone’s entry came in at a really late hour.
(yes, the glass is half-full; what are you looking at??)

so now, here’s the part you’ve all been waiting for—but don’t forget—the prizes don’t end here. there’s WAY more swag at claudia’s blog later today!

i put all the names into a (felted, of course) hat, and had david do the honors.
the first skein of Briar Rose “grandma’s blessing” sock yarn goes to

Erica L.! YAY! and the second prize, another skein of this amazing yarn, goes to

Karen K.! double YAY!
i will email each of you to ask for your street address, so that chris (at Briar Rose) can send your yarn out!
congratulations to the two lucky duckies, and to all the winners who participated.
many, many, MANY, thanks!
and don’t forget to mosey over to claudia’s blog later today to see who won what over there!

not just a frilly plaything

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

we are gaining ground! readers have sent claudia $227++++ (4 undisclosed gifts), and the matching gift is up to $140! thank you everybody! remember sunday is the last day of the knitspot $10 challenge and giveaway. the prize here is a chance for two lucky people to win a hank of Briar Rose handpainted sock yarn!

    here is a simple rundown of the $10 challenge (which you can read more about here):

  • go to claudia’s blog and give any amount to her ride for MS by sunday, june 25th
  • write and tell me that you gave (i do NOT need to know the amount, but if you do tell me, i’ll keep a total tally and show it off). if you gave before this week, write and tell me—you are also eligible!
  • i will send claudia $10 for each knitspot reader that gives any amount to her MS ride
  • your name will go into the knitspot hat to win some Briar Rose “Grandma’s Blessing sock” yarn, and, if you give $10 or more, into the hat for claudia’s prize patrol

how cool is that??

last month i went to get measured for new glasses. each year, for the past few years, i have needed a new prescription for my bifocals, as i seem to be getting old and blind (seriously, i can’t even cook any more without them . . .).
i used to be far-sighted and now i can’t see distance very well. sigh.
oh well, them’s the breaks! all the better to touch yarn with, my dear . . .
i have also been really struggling with seeing details on the computer—i do a lot of typesetting and über-detailed work, so it has become an increasing problem that i tried, unsuccessfully, to remedy with reading glasses. this year, my eyes have been so bad that i am actually throwing my neck out of whack by hunching and squinting at the screen. this past week i even had trouble seeing the letters on the keyboard.
glasses are expensive, but i finally dug deep and got myself a second pair of specs specifically for working at the computer.
and then i waited for them to be ready. i waited some more. it took one week for the bifocals and six weeks for these midrange glasses, but FINALLY, yesterday evening, i picked them up

whoa—i can’t believe how may little tiny things i can see with these!! (including that my desk needs dusting, but that, i can ignore.)

i feel like i’m in the typesetting IMAX theatre!!
(well, there should be; why do mountain climbers get all the glory?)
and if i lean all the way back in my chair, i can still see everything!

ok, i know that’s not going to make knitting history, but wow. i just had to share!

hmm, now what would make knitting history? probably not anything going on around here, but i’ll show you anyway.

the skirt is progressing, but i suddenly started to panic about the shawl, so skirt has been relegated to whatever i can get done while having my coffee in the morning before work (about an hour a day).

i’m liking it fairly well, and it really isn’t all that far from being done! whoopee! then i can take it on a bike ride and prove all of you right about the fact that i should not make a knitted skirt! (i never listen to anyone—just ask my mother . . .)

so in the evenings, i have been trying to rock that wing-of-the-moth shawl, because a) it is getting frightfully close to july and being halfway through the knitter’s world cup, and b) my friend is getting married soon after the KWC ends—like two days after!
i can’t NOT make that KWC deadline, see?? plus? i have to mail it to another state.
so, over the past two or three nights, i got the main body of the shawl done

now as you can see from this picture of the original shawl, there are three tiers, or changes of lace pattern. i finished the center one, which you can only see a bit of in this photo

i am now ready to begin the tier where those twin leaf panels run vertically toward the edge. this tier is bigger, but i know from experience, that this pattern goes quickly—something about it makes me knit it faster, i dunno why!
and it’s exciting! okay, that is maybe a little weird, but really and truly, i am excited! my heart is racing a little, even.

maybe it’s because the shawl is also at the stage where it has become a bit of a plaything. if i get a little bored while i’m knitting, i can hold it up to the light like a kaleidoscope

and look through it to see the room a little differently (i can even do this without my glasses and have fun!). or i can spread it out flat, but upside-down for a view of the backside

i love that angle! i can do this on the floor because we don’t have pets, but you might not want to try that with a cat around . . . jus’ sayin’ . . .

or i can just pile all of this lovely fluffy stuff up and mush my hands or face right into the
middle of it

this is about the time the shawl talks back and says,
“you—hey—get offa me!
whaddaya think; i’m just a plaything for you!
get outta town . . . you want me to drop something on ya—like a stitch you’ll never find til after you bind off?
go get ya jollies somewhere else, ya hear me?

yeah, definitely NOT the delicate little flower it appears on the outside, though, one of the pleasures of knitting with mohair is its weightlessness, which makes it nice for a shawl because they can get so heavy after a while. this though, is light as air. just as i hope the bride will feel when she walks down the aisle!