Last Friday night a friend came to stay (hi Jo!) and we stayed up knitting and talking into the night. She was knitting socks and I bemoaned it had been such a long time since I'd knit socks, which lead us to look through my sock yarns, a bin full of neglected wonderfulness. I felt inspired by Jo's calm constancy as she knit her sock and by the time she headed home I knew there would be sock on my needles before the end of the day.


Hey look! I'm knitting socks! Instead of using one of the many processed yarns in my stash, I went with a gorgeous handspun from the divine Ms Cookie. The color, the texture, the feel of this yarn is something special and, if all goes well, there may soon be a new pair of socks in my future.

I have not forsaken Chicane. There should be a report on that front soon.

Never Give Up

According to my Ravelry account this pair of socks was started on January 3rd, which is quiet sad and lame for someone who claims to be a sock knitter.  This makes me wonder, if I only one sock a year, does that take away my sock knitter status?


I am unsure of the answer to that question, as my knitting, any knitting, seems to be in a slump. But sock knitting, in particular, has been difficult. The sock is lovely, the pattern is interesting and fun to do, the yarn is fabulous. I'm even carrying the sock in a lovely new bag, sewn by Suzy, and still I'm in a sock knitting slump. Oh, Socktober, you've passed me by!


The bag may be the only thing I post for this months Project Spectrum, which is sad as turquoise is in the range of my favorite blues.  I love aqua, love cyan, and love turquoise (but not when they are taken it into that tealy, greeny-blue color). Turquoise and aqua must be true to blue.

Oh dear, I've allowed PS to distract me (there's the rub!). Wasn't I talking about socks?  Anyway, the goal is to finish this sock by the end of October Socktober, but if that doesn't happen (and I'm not holding my breath), I'll be happy just to finish in 2011.

A year for a pair of socks, at least for this knitter, is pathetic and sad. Will there be another sock in my future? Will my sock knitting keep up with attrition? Even one pair per year is better than none, no?

Knit Fit

The pattern shall remain nameless, THE pattern that gave me fits for two days, that is.  It was all my own fault, as my brain was unwilling to grasp the necessity of doing the increase correctly. It wasn't the normal type of increase, at least it wasn't in my repertoire (it shall remain nameless, too), and any possibility of doing it right, and maintaining it throughout a large shawl project, just wasn't going to happen.

When I realized the futility of my efforts, I threw a fit (and yes, I tried row by row sticky notes, markers, and whatever the ehll else is usually suggested). I threw my knitting, and tossed my project bag, the case with all my knitting accoutrements inside, the project, the needles, anything within my grasp...hit the floor--tossed like a two year old.  I'm not sure I'm over it, but I didn't destroy anything and I didn't burn my knitting, and (this is a big AND) I was able to knit later in the SnB. The SnB grrls got me through, made me laugh.


The funk had lasted until I went in search of my knitting desire. I knew I had to look, knew I had to get back on the horse. In the process of searching for my knitting desire, a pair of socks came to light, socks from last January.  oh my Pyromania hasn't been far from my thoughts (she's been tucked in my knitting bag all these months, after all), but she's been languishing.

Sock knitting was just what I needed and success was just what I needed. I was able to find my place, tink back two rows, fix a small error, and ignite the fire again. If Sock Mojo decides to hang around, I might even think about joining Socktober.


The weekend was productive in other ways, too. Stripe Study was finished and the last batch of tomato sauce was roasted.  Many of our fall crops have enjoyed the cooler nights and the broccoli has been quite spectacular. Cutting the beautiful green florets evoke memories of my pre-Rhinebeck visit with Norma in 2006. Could it really be that long ago?

Now, my focus is to make it through the week by readying for the knitting retreat.  I'm so excited for the fun ahead, but need to get things in order for it all to happen. Stay tuned for what's up my knitting sleeve (not sure when I'll post again) and maybe another surprise or two!

Yarns Along

Yesterday Carole's ToT was about book recommendations and it was so much fun to read the books on others lists. Reading has always been a passion of mine, but in the last two years I've taken it on with a vengeance of love. The iPod has made it possible to do two things at once. I can walk and read, knit and read, clean the house (not that I really ever do that) and read, and just sit in the sun and read. With the newest book on my iPod I've stepped outside my usual genres and into an historical fantasy, "Under Heaven" by Guy Gavriel Kay. Since I liked the Chinese version of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, (the movie) I like this book very much.


Not everything is available in an audio format and, in that case, I turn to the library, or maybe even purchase the book (for book club usually). Since the big cleanout of my guest/junque/craft room, buying every book is not as attractive as it once was. I love the local library and so, here I am with a borrowed book.  When I'm contemplating a book, and the titles turns up on Kym’s sidebar, AND she gives it a rating to 4-5 stars, I'm in. "Parrot & Olivier in America" by Peter Carey, was just such a book, and I'm enjoying it immensely.

It's been some time since Pyromania has made an appearance and I didn't want you to get the wrong idea, or suspect second sock syndrome. I am not a fan of SSS and don't like it to happen to me. This poor sock has had limited attention paid to it, but it has continued to grow. By fall there will be a pair, no problem. The yarn is Kim's Pandora and I hear tell my Woolen Rabbit Club yarn is in the mail, with more of this lovely yarn. The color is a secret, but I'm inclined to predict, a second pair of socks could be in the making before fall shows it's face again.

Thank you, Ginny for the chance to post about books and knitting with your Yarn Along.

Randomly Yours on Monday


When the sky shows bit of blue I run out the back door and capture the moment.  This spring, the blue doesn't stick around very long, and we're left with rain and/or gray. Today, the rain is constant, the gray dark.  However, spring is in the air, as the infamous lake stink, a sure sign, is filling our nostrils.  lovely

When stuck inside, due to weather's inconsiderate nature, I turn to my favorite fibery passions. This past year sock knitting desire has waned and so, only slowly, does a sock appear. Pyromania has been a favorable companion, when sock mojo makes a call and, finally, I have made my way through half a pair.


The sock fits perfectly and feels like heaven on my foot, which means, by fall of this year, there will be a full pair. (I now deem the weather unsuitable for socks, unless it snows, as it surely will, but lets move on.)  The lovely yarn is Pandora, a bamboo blend of the highest order. (I also realize I am a Woolen Rabbit junky, which is not a bad thing.)  Only yarn of the highest quality is suited to wearing on the feet and I am a sock yarn snob.  Besides, how can you not love the subtle shading of color, the beauty of the dye job.  Kim is offering her first ever yarn club and I am over the moon with happiness.

Because the weekend was gray and drear I took some time to spin my wheel.  Look, the fiber isn't blue! (As yet.) On the bobbin of my lovely Corina is the first color of a Trio Set from the Cupcake Fiber Co.  Spinning with this fiber is an incredible and heavenly experience.  I may be spinning this for several months before all three colors of the Trio are finished but, it will happen. (If you're quick you may be able to buy some of Cookie's handspun Cupcake skeins.) oolala


I am quite excited about the new edition of the Ennea Collective as Anne's Chrrach Stole and Ballycastle Tam give me the push I need to get some spinning done. I would feel quite accomplished if I could knit something of substance from my handspun.  Ennea not only has the patterns, it also gives direction on how to spin for the project. I need to make it happen.

At the Same Time

You may think mitten knitting and sun colored yarns have taken over my mind but, not to worry, I still love blue and I still love knitting socks. In fact, I'm quite immersed in knitting Blue Fire.  Pyromania is a more suitable project for portability and ease of knitting than the mitten project.

This pattern is something I can easily keep on track while chatting and, after a few weeks of SnB meetings, there is a leg!  A very big plus, was my ability to keep track of the "Eye of Partridge Heel", which shows my brain power may be kicking in again. (One can only hope.)


It would be very difficult to count how many socks I’ve knit over the years. I remember the first sock (c. 1991) not very fondly. For some reason the teacher picked hard cotton yarn with the end result being unyielding, uncomfortable socks. After that experience I nearly gave up, (although I knit two pair).


When a local dyer made up kits with a simple pattern and her very soft, lovely hand-dyed wool. They soon become an addiction, like potato chips, and I couldn't knit just one. I knit several pair of cozy, colorful socks for myself and as gifts.  With constant wear the toes blew out, but I still love them and can't get rid of a single one. They were my first comfy socks and, for that reason, they still reside in my sock drawer.  My intention has been to fix the toes and wear them again.


Every sock in my sock drawer brings up a memory and I can remember what was happening  as I knit the sock.  The sock above was my first bit of lace (c.1997) and the picture below is a pair of socks I made from a Stahl book (1994). The contrasting yarn was leftover from a pair of socks I knit for my sister.


Through the 1990s embroidery was a large part of my life, but I always had a sock in progress. They were portable, made good traveling companions, and were easy to carry on airplanes.  While much of the day was spent bent over an embroidery frame, knitting in the evenings gave me a chance to relax my back and still keep my hands busy.  By the time I arrived home I had at least one finished sock, sometimes two.

At beginning of the new century, and as internet access became widely available, knitting socks lead to internet searches, Yahoo groups, and eventually blogs. The short of it is, here I am 7 years later…

Don't Tell Me It's Over!

A couple of people have been knitting up a sock storm. (Look at the beautiful socks Hillary knit for CookieA's new book!)  My goal, for the month of October, was to finish the Mystery SockRav_linkredyarnball and knit the second Monkey sock of an abandon pair.  October ain't over, right?


The Monkey sock has had a few issues.  For the first pair the color spiraled nicely up the leg and continued down the foot.  The second sock, well, it had ideas of its own and it took to pooling, flashing and doing anything else it liked. Cheryl said it looks as if bleach had been thrown on it, but I think it looks more like it threw up all over itself. Feh.  Since the goal is to finish and I didn't really love the pair of socks all that muchanyway and, because a sock is usually hiding beneath a pant leg and, this is as close as I get to living dangerously, I've continued on. 


The Mystery sock has been better behaved but this yarn is pretty tame by comparison.  The biggest problem here is lack of time, oh and, a distraction here and there, plus my hands may be old enough that tiny needles can only be handled for short bursts of time.  Hey, I'm farther along than I thought!


The distraction?  I might have started a (yet another) project, one that has grabbed my fancy.  The project is Susan's Fog LifterRav_linkredyarnball in the beautiful and rustic, Plain & Fancy Sport. This yarn came back with me from the last Estes Wool Festival I attended in 2007. (Can it really be that long ago?)

Who Needs Witches?

When you have friends who know how to cast a spell, there is no need for Witches.

Marijke cast a spell:

"Hocus, pocus, pilatus, pas, ik wou dat de tweede sok af was! (I am sending you a Dutch spell that should ensure that your 2nd sock will be finished in no time.)"

And the second sock (leg) WAS finished very quickly.

To insure the rest of my sock knitting would be pitfall free, spells were cast by Laurie,

"We cast our own spells at Rhinebeck for you. All wishes will be granted!" 

and Lucia.
"Yarn and roving, cashmere, silk,
Help Margene, you green-faced ilk!"


When I return, if I return, to the land of Green Faced Witches, I will be armed with good wishes,, and good spells, from dear friends. Who needs anything more?

Both heels were turned last night. I am officiall caught up! But, there is a lot of foot to come (times two!). Any help will be welcome, grrls.

Begging for Spells

My return to the Land of Green Witches was sadly sad. Because I was unable to visit last year, the Witches were not very friendly.  They did not seem to care I had been convalescing and unable to spend time in their midst.  Witches can be so mean at times.


Even though I was decked out in last years Mystery Sock, a sweater by the same designer, and a new pair of orange shoes, the Witches paid me no mind.  In fact, Mz. Dressed Tothe-Nines, laughed herself silly!  She was very pleased with her look and thought I was trying too hard. "A spell for you? NOT!"  My sad face is genuine.

I tried and tried with Witch after Witch turning down my pleas.  Bags in hand, second Mystery sock in trouble, I was ignored to the Nth degree.

Mz. Pumpkinhead said, "Can't you see I'm having too much fun to spend any time casting spells for you?!" (Yes, she is hanging up-side down.) 

"Just one, just one little spell?", said I. 

Said she, "Not now! I'm busy!" 

My sad face is genuine.

As I walked away with my head hanging low, I ran across the reason the Witches were having so much fun.  Mz. Greengoo had been serving her brew free of charge to anyone with a green face!! 

"You, my dear, can have no brew. Your face is NOT green!  There is a way, however, my pretty. I will be happy to serve you, but only if you give me your orange shoes!" 

A gasp from me, "No, no! I cannot give up my cute new shoes!"

"Then off with you!  No shoes, no service!"

With a genuinely sad face I walked away.  "Whatever will I do?"


"Better luck next time!", taunted one of the Witches from her window, and I heard them all cackling as I walked away. Maybe I can find a good way to get them on my side. Whatever will I do?

Proof of Knitting

While the garden winds down, the knitting should wind up and, to some extent, it has. Since the secret knitting is finished (yay!), I've had more time to spend with my Henley.  You may have forgotten about this beautiful sweater, as the poor thing hasn't been featured much, but that's about to change. 

There is ever so much to love about this's blue, it's knit with Opulence, and it's a very nice pattern of lace and cables, all of which adds up to very entertaining knitting. The fabric the yarn creates is soft and luxurious, plus every stitch is a different shade.  I've seen black, light blue, darkest night blue and every shade in between wrap around the needle. Plus, the color, Forever in Blue Jeans, has one of the best names ever and it lives up to it's delightful moniker.  I'd love to live forever in blue jeans, wearing a Forever in Blue Jeans sweater, and I just might!


If I stuck with this sweater it would grow and the dream of living in Blue Jeans would come true, but I'm side tracked by a Mystery.  As you can see, the leg of the first sock flew off the needles.  Knitting each of the "tiny trowls" was fun to do, but I'm having trouble getting the second sock going.  The next clue will be published Friday and I must do what I can to be ready and stay on track. What's a girl to do? I mustn't fall behind.  Help is needed...