giving october the boot

Posted on 7 CommentsPosted in projects, Uncategorized

goodbye october, and socktoberfest!
you force me to look into the cold, gray depths of november by leaving me like this.

but, just in time, i have finished socks—the brownTrexx.
dave is gonna be SO relieved not to see them on my desk any more . . . along with a few other
of you i’m sure

it was slow there for a while, but we got through it! i also have half-finished socks—the waterfallSox, knit with grandma’s blessing sock yarn from briar rose

why, they are even a little bit more than half finished. i know they look disproportionately long and skinny. that’s partly due to the ribbing all the way down, and partially due to the fact that they ARE disproportionately long and skinny. trust me—i do know someone with feet shaped like this . . .
AND, i even have just-started socks

in fact, these socks are so new, that i decided to redesign them after just 4 rows. they will be reincarnated as barkingSox, for that tree-bark-scum color of theirs (go here for the details behind that story . . .). i found a stitch pattern that evokes tree bark in a more abstract way, i think (there was a cable too, but it was a pain in the neck to execute, and i like my sox to be easy, for the most part).

so let’s see—i have now just two pairs on the needles (well, plus that hemp/wool pair i flung in a drawer back in june . . .).
yeah, you know what? maybe i will get those out—er, well, maybe after the briar rose ones are done. right now, i need to start a new pair for a gift (i am shamefully behind on that—the jKnits yarn is still sitting there, waiting) (maybe it is becoming a conceptual installation next to my end of the sofa?)

yes, i’d better get on top of this yarn, like NOW.
and i want to get my hands on some of my fearless fibers sock yarn—which i have YET to sample!! i have several hanks, and no sox done in them yet. and i am betting that i am in for a real treat, too.

well, that’s the end of socktoberfest for me i think. there is more red sweater than you can imagine going on over at the Red Sweater KAL.

here’s a hint at what you can see today if you just click


Posted on 33 CommentsPosted in patterns, projects, Uncategorized

all i’m saying is: clint wore one.
(thanks denise, for pointing that out . . .)
this generous rectangualr shawl or scarf (directions for both included) knits up quickly into a lightweight, warm garment meant to be wrapped several times, replacing the need for a bulky jacket—perfect for driving or a quick run to the mailbox. or to just . . . horse around.

hypoteneuse shawl or scarf

  • Suggested Yarns: Rowan Felted Tweed, Yorkshire Tweed 4-ply, or Scottish Tweed 4-ply, Fearless Fibers DK cashmere or Merino Sport, Classic Elite Blithe, Briar Rose Heritge or Legend, Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed or Silky Wool, Jaeger Shetland, Mountain Colors Bearfoot, or any light fingering yarn.
  • finished size (blocked): Shawl: 18�? W X 84�? L/Scarf: 12�? W X 64�? L
    Final measurements are dependent on yarn/needle choices; finer yarns and smaller needles will reduce the overall dimensions, while heavier yarns and larger needles will increase the dimensions.
  • yarn requirements: Shawl: 850 yards/Scarf: 450 yds
  • needles:  Size 8/5mm (or size to obtain correct gauge); needles one size smaller for garter edgings
  • gauge: 16 sts and 24 rows in stockinette stitch (unblocked; fabric will feel light and be somewhat open)
  • pattern price: $6.00USD (ohio residents, plese add $.36 sales tax)
  • payment method: please visit our pattern shop!

My thanks to carole for test knitting the pattern and offering suggestions!

i was this close . . .

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in projects, spinning and fiber, Uncategorized

can you believe i got this close to being finished with waterfall sock #1, and i stopped??
well, it was 3am, but i DID have a nap yesterday . . . i just got stupid-tired—and realized i should not keep working. ha!

(i do, however, desperately want to finish at least one of the pairs of socks i have going by tuesday . . . it would be just like me, after doing all those socks ALL year long, to not be able to get a pair done for socktoberfest.)
but hey! does a non-matching pair count? anybody know??

i’m pretty happy today. why?
because i totally forgot that the time changed. i remembered yesterday at some point but did not want to change the clocks then. and then all thoughts of it vacated my mind until just now when i sat down to work. so now i have a whole hour to write my post and play with pictures before i had intended to start work.

never mind that i intended to start work two hours ago, but started knitting instead, and my good intentions just whirled down into that proverbial black hole of suspended time. oh well, it’s sunday.
i’m allowed.

i did do a whole schlew of other knitting/fibery things yesterday, so i feel good about that, too.

debbie came over for knitting and LOTS of talking and fiber drooling (she hadn’t seen my rhinebeck stuff in person). she worked on a variety of christmas gift projects and i spun. it was heavenly.

i finished spinning that bump of 3 Bags Full fiber acquired at rhinebeck, which i started working on at the cabin last weekend

i spun this quite fine—like i could see the individual fibers in the drafting zone, but it still plied up fairly lofty, which speaks to me of a nice springy yarn, maybe perfect for cabling.

this piece is just off the end of the bobbin; most of it plied up tighter than this. and it will poof up even more when i wash it. it will be a great fingering yarn. i will probably use it for a new men’s scarf design—people at the shop are looking for those kind of patterns now to make christmas gifts.

this was fun to spin—highly irregular due to the silk noil and the variety of wool and silk neps in it. there was a large vein of bright, very shiny turquoise silk which i sometimes tapped all by itself, and sometimes got mixed with the gray wool (the other main ingredient). i left it on the bobbins to set the twist and will wait a couple of days to skein it for washing and a yardage check.

my other big project yesterday (besides that three-[cough]hour nap i took), was to finish swatching for my red malabrigo turtleneck, and get started on the actual sweater. i have yet to find a name for this piece, but it has to be something that conveys the unashamedly lusty lusciousness of the red.

the color is sealing wax, and well . . . so much more, eh?
the yarn. i would hoard it if it didn’t just scream bloody murder to be worn.
what?? you want a better picture? head over to the Red Sweater KAL for details.

barking up the wrong tree?

Posted on 9 CommentsPosted in lace/shawls, projects, spinning and fiber

well . . . i’ve done it again.
in the process of being overjoyed about being almost done with the brownTrexx sox, i relegated them to my knitting bag that i take to class, figuring i will finish them in the next few days.
i know—so far, so good. except . . . then my desk looked awfully bare with no sock on it.
(here’s where the trouble begins—can’t you just feel it??)

so, ok, i start a new pair of sox. that’s not even such a big deal. but i have this nice handspun that i’ve sort-of been dying to get to

it’s brown wool from hollie’s flock which she overdyed with some green. unlike much of her wool, this is fine, soft and lofty. once it was predrafted, it was a joy to spin.
it has david’s name written all over it. so i cast on in a 2 by 2 rib yesterday and knit a few rounds while uploading files for work.

well alright, i grant you, i probably DO have enough going on without a new project (or three).

but sox—c’mon. they’re harmless, right? they wait patiently to be worked on in fits and starts, and then when they do get done, they serve a very noble and necessary function. and they wear out, so constant replenishment of the supply is a necessity. what i’m trying to say is socks don’t count.

unless of course, you are like me and you just can’t leave well enough alone.

i sat down this morning to write this post and begn to really consider these socks. this yarn has always reminded me of algae, and wendy’s post about her Pond Scum socks came to mind, except mine aren’t blue, don’t really look like pond scum, nor like her socks.

mine look more like tree bark that has a fine coating of that bright green stuff growing all over it. “but“, i said to myself, “that stuff is moss—isn’t it?? pond scum doesn’t grow on trees, does it?
(remember, i have sat down to write my post, and nary a word has been typed—see, this is what happens to me ALL the time; i start thinking, and all my time goes to hell in a hand basket. before i know it, i have visited several other tasks and completely forgotten what i started out to do.)

well, of course i then had to look up tree algae, green tree bark and do a little research. after all, the internet is right here, right (don’t worry, i’ll talk about the knitting real soon—promise).
and here’s what i found

Green alga (chlorophyte) growing on the bark of a tree, Protococcus spp. (syn. Pleurococcus spp.). Vegetative cells are undergoing division. It is often referred to as moss but it is a green alga. It is commonly found as a thin, green covering the moist, shaded side of trees, rocks, and soil. The cells are spherical and often clumped forming small masses or short filaments. The cells posses thick cell walls which protect them from water loss.

(Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.)

how about that. i bet you were thinking just now that you could NOT have gone one more day without knowing that.

the thing is—i DO think that way. i need to know stuff like that, and i am glad that i take the time to satisfy the need. i like to be informed.
the problem is, knowing it then changes the way i look at things, and often means i feel compelled to redesign, refigure, or reinvent what had started out to be a much more simple thing.

is that good or bad? if i had ignorantly continued with the sox in 2 by 2 rib, would i have forever wished they had been executed in a more bark-like pattern (which is what i’m thinking now, and which is the trouble i told you was coming)?

OR, will knitting them in said bark pattern only make them trite and overly literal. (i KNOW—they’re socks for heavens sakes—give it a rest! . . . um, i can’t rest. you might have noticed?).
would the 2 by 2 rib actually be a brilliant foil, a supreme and sublime understatement about tree scum?
oy—what to do, what to do?

i’ll tell you what—swatch for another project.
after two or three agonizing evenings with all my stitch books scattered around me, i finally completed my swatching for the Red Sweater KAL and am posting the results over there.
(if you think that sock thing was agonizing, you should see me fret over a sweater design).
all i’m saying here is that i really need to get a grip on how important finding the right cable really is.

and that’s why i knit with cashmere, and why i always have a nice comforting project like obstacles on the needles. sure it’s escapism, but who doesn’t need a little easy knitting? multiple WIPs allow me to spread out the hard stuff into manageable bits.

now, why oh why did i just put all those stitch dictionaries away, and where oh where did i see that stitch that looked JUST like tree bark?