Making the Best of a Weekend

Like many of you,  I have today off and will likely be spend it knitting, spinning and relaxing.  It feels so good to have a day off, a day just for fun, for myself (poor Smith is working).  We made the best of the last two days, however and enjoyed every minute. 

Handmadethankyoucards Inspired by Lisa, Saturday was spent, in part, making cards, a fun, creative and personal pursuit.  I also made groceries, ran a few errands and even had time to make sure the Monkey Socks were finished.  I love the crazy Hot Flash (STR) Monkey socks and they seem to keep my feet warmer than other socks.  It might be my mind playing tricks on me because they are so bright and flashy. Don't you agree?

Crazyhotflashmonkeysocksinzengarden
Yesterday was Smith's birthday and I made sure he had a wonderful day.  The day began at our favorite spot where we had breakfast with a few friends.  They made sure he had a good time and celebrated well.  The day ended with a delightful dinner, made by me, and a slice of our new favorite cake, the yummy Blueberry Crumb Cake, also made by me. (You can call me a "one day" domestic goddess.)

Today I plan to make yarn, by spinning up the rest of the Crosspatch batt, make lace by working on Aspen Grove, and make time to do some relaxing.  Oh, and I might even make some time for EPS! 

Enjoy your day!!


Warming up the Toes

Blueskydaywasverycold This has been a very cold January with frequent days of snow, a constant front of arctic air and a few days of blue skies.  Thankfully there has been little sign of the usual inversions, the day after day of gloom we hate.  The few blue sky days we had have been very welcome, even if they are colder than cloudy days. Today it should be snowing to beat the band. 

At this time of year I'm very grateful to have a drawer full of hand knit socks, wool socks, warm socks, (and fleece lined Merrell clogs don't hurt either).  It's a rare day I don't wear both socks and clogs.

Leaflacesockbysusan

Closeupoflaceonfoot Even with a drawer full of socks, it's always thrill to finish a new pair.  Especially a pair that was as much fun to knit, and is made of such fabulous yarn as this pair.  This might be the most unique of all colorways I've knit with to date and I love it.  The pattern and color share organic qualities and that's pretty cool, too. You can read in Friday's post just how much I love the pattern and the yarn…nothing has happened over the weekend to change that.  In fact, I love them more simply because they are on my feet! (Happy feet!)

Pattern: Leaf Lace Sock, designed by Susan in Vogue Knitting Ultimate Sock Book
Yarn: Kim's Woolen Rabbit Sock Yarn, Rosemary and Thyme
Needles: DPN Bamboo 1.5
Time to Knit: 1-11-08 - 1-18-08
Modifications: Leg and foot made longer.

I'll be away from the computer all day which means I may not have a post ready for tomorrow.  See you Wednesday. 

ETA 7:00am:  Seven inches of snow have fallen since 3:00am and it's still coming down hard. 


Finishing Flurries and WIPs

The good weather peoples have predicted the possibility of flurries this afternoon.  Fingers are crossed (and toes, too!) that this is the first of many storms to come to our neck of the woods.

As a way to offer help, living by example if you will, I have created my own flurries...a flurry of finished project (and the start of a few new, too).  Thank you for your comments on the Pink Portrait. It's a fun scarf to wear and I love, love, love it. 

Another FO that I'm completely in love with (as I am with ALL the FOs this week) is Anne's Ceilidh Lace Socks from Wooly Wonka. The yarn is a bamboo/superwash wool and it has a luminescence to it. Anne's dye job adds another layer of luminescence and is aptly named, Seashells.  Aren't they as pretty as can be. (I'm all about pretty this week.) 

Prettylaceofceilidhsocks_2

(I've been going to the gym after work and getting home after the good light is gone, so sadly, the picture isn't that great.)

Catbirdbeaverslideworested Thursday morning I decided to reorganize the stash.  There were a few new yarns to put away and it felt like the right time to give the old stash a good petting.   I was a bit worried there would be need to add an extra bin (I have 5), but as it turned out everything fit perfectly.  The sock yarn was moved into the largest bin (no more sock yarn!), but with the removal of the Blueberry Borscht Peace Fleece, I had room in the sweater bin for some new Beaverslide. 'Catbird' just had to come and live with me after Cara posted about her new sweater.  It's in marination stage.

Cornflowerblueapplepieforgloves While diving through the stash I found a very pretty Apple Pie in Cornflower Blue and decided to use it for Véronik's Long Gloves from Knitting Classic Style.  Its time for a change of pace from sock knitting and blue gloves will be so bright and happy in the dead of winter.

Over the long weekend I did get a good start on my new favorite project, the Logan River Wrap from Interweave Knits Winter 2007 (designed by Mim). The yarn is Queensland Kathmandu Aran and it is so soft and luxurious. After knitting up the first ball I decided to make my wrap a bit longer and ordered two more balls for a nice long wrap (most of you won't need to do this, me thinks). This pattern is very, very easy to read, easy to knit and loads of fun. It's hard to put down, hard to work on anything else, as it's such easy, rewarding knitting.  Dropping a stitch to create the undulating water rapid is a blast and just watching the pattern form is addicting.  I predict another quick knit and another finish in the near future.

Loganriverwrapinkathmandu


From the Ridiculous to the Sublime!

Socksfromhellsocks

Fini!  And not a moment too soon.  The process of knitting this sock was not as enjoyable as it should have been.  That means only one thing...it wasn't the yarn, it wasn't the pattern, it was ME. It's unexplainable, truthfully, as to why this was so.  It involved the usual 5 sticks, a string (I made myself), and a pattern that looked great.  It was a pattern, an entire process, I just couldn't get into and one that didn't improve over time....the looong time it took to knit this pair of socks. Only by working on getting rid of the negative, concentrating, meditating on what was good, did I get through the project.  Slogging WAS the process, as it turned out, and that's as it should be. Zen is always as it  should be, its all perfect.  It was a moment of ridiculousness which made what follows even better. Without  the 'ugly' there would be no beautiful.

Enter....Sublime (albeit in a ridiculous situation)...

Ceilidsocksittingonatireatcostco_2

Ceilidh Lace Socks, by Anne, from her own Wooly Wonka Fibers, in a beautiful, soft, shinny and luxurious bamboo superwash merino, colorway Seashells, sitting delicately on top of a big black tire. Knitting this sock has been heavenly...the process is easy, perfect and delightful.  Ceilidh was a nice companion as I sat waiting for a flat tire to be repaired (never leave home without your knitting!).  The nearby tires were the only thing on hand to use as a back drop for a picture and the were a nice foil for the beauty of the yarn.  Since it took an hour and half for the repair I knew the sun would be long gone by the time I made it home. 

The gods of all blogging my be conspiring against me for NaBloPoMo...work has exploded and I'm out every night this week (mostly fun).  I'll be doing my best to keep up with daily posts and, hopefully they won't be pictureless!


Socktober or Bust

I did it!  Socks for Socktober are finished! Smith is one happy man. It was touch and go, right down to the last minute, so to speak, but the socks are ready to wear.   They look great, feel great, but were not great to knit.  The main reason was the metal DPNs and my  habit of keeping a tight grip on the needles.  My arms ached for hours after the finish line, but a good stretch put them back in the pink. (I love that website!)  I'll also be destashing my set of metal DPNs and buying another set or two of bamboo...bamboo, I love you.

Smithsfancysocks_2

Smith is now a fan of medium weight STR and he thinks the Tigers Eye colorway made very cool lookin' socks, too. (Too bad he wasn't around for the photo shoot.)

In a delusional state I had hoped to finish the Pretty in Pink Portrait Scarf by November 1st. From the way things are going, it's unlikely it will be finished by the end of the year.  Slippery yarn on metal needles (circular) makes a fiddly process.  Originally, I thought the smaller sections of the scarf needed to be knit on DPNs, but Jocelyn, in a comment, thought the whole project would work on circs...she was right. The lace has enough give to fit around the circular, however, the only 16" circulars I have are Addis...and it's working, just slow.slow.slow. 

Prettyinpinkisgrowingsoslowlybutsop

Shockwaveneedsfinisihing Speaking of the end of the year...after NaKniSweMo and the finish of Scoop du Jour, there are a few items in my queue I'd like to work on in December. Mostly lace shawls (yes plural) and a sock.  But, to start next year off fresh I'd like to finish up anything hanging around.  Now, I'm of the mind that if I stop knitting, and don't get back to it, the project should be frogged or finished and not languish for longer than a few months. That means the second Strawberry Fields handspun sock must be finished...off the needles, right away.  It is the only thing left hanging, its time has come!


Ruby's are Red

Violet's are Blue...

..and nothing is sweeter than a fancy new pair of hand knit socks.

Happysocksinrelaxingstate

Yesterday, in an answer to Beth's comment, I told her my feet were very happy feet.  They are housed in skimpy sandals all summer and hand knit wool socks all winter. After wearing Ruby My Dear socks for to the photo shoot my feet are looking forward to cooler temps and dancing to a jazzy tune…the happy jazzy tune of new Ruby's.

Tiptoesofrubytulips Ruby My Dear socks are ruby red, a very joyful color, a beautiful rich color.  If there were any tulips around I'd be tiptoeing through them in celebration, as this Tulip colorway is heav-eeen-ly, plus it's as warm and lovely as any sock yarn can be.

Rubysfromcufftotoe The pattern for Ruby was as complicated as any sock I've knit, but once my brain understood the way the rib pattern increased on one side and decreased  on the other it was smooth going. The second sock went off without a hitch and was much more fun to knit.  The way the lace panel moves down the leg and crisscrosses over the ankle is ingenious and creative.  I especially love the way the panels come together and run parallel on top of the foot. It's a shame such beautiful socks will be hidden inside a shoe, but I'll know, and my feet will know, just how wonderful they are..it will be our little secret.

Lovelylacyrubymydears

Ruby My Dear Socks
Pattern: Thelonious by CookieA
Yarn: Ball and Skein Tulip by Judy
Time to Knit: July 1 – August, 23 2007


Before the Summer of Socks Began...

I knit Monkeys.

Crazyredrockmonkeysocks

Crazymonkeysockinredrockcanyon Monkey Dos* are done...fini....off the needles. It was just as fun to knit the second pair as it was to knit the first and I made the same modification...a picot cuff (and my toe is slightly longer).  This is my last Monkey. There are just TOO MANY fabulous sock patterns to be knit. A long row of sock yarn, avec patterns, sits on the floor of my 'fiber studio'. In addition, Sunday will be the first day of my Sock Club for One!  It's already time to pick a package from the wrapped up yarns in the sock club bag.  This is truly turning into the summer of socks and I wish for the ability to knit faster! (Yes, I know IT IS the process and I do enjoy it, but the desire to knit so many different patterns has me wishing the process was faster. Not very Zen, I know.)

Speaking of the Summer of Socks...

Strawberryfieldsshockwave

Meet Shock Wave, knit with my very own Strawberry Fields (Spunky Club) handspun. While spinning, I wasn't that careful about spacing the color changes and I'm sure the socks will be fraternal, but so far the sock looks pretty good!  I've heard it said the little joins that happen when you ply in chained singles will disappear in the fabric of knitting and I am finding it to be true.  Knitting with this tightly spun yarn is much like knitting with any other sock yarn, except it's not quite as perfect.  It lets me know it is MY yarn - yarn spun by my hand, a humble yarn that meets the need and fills the heart with the happiness of a job well done.

*Monkey2 is knit with Red Rock Canyon STR and took about 1 week...you gotta love that!


Loksins!

Count my feet very happy!  The second Loksins! was finished while riding in the car, for hours and hours and hours, on the way to Estes. I fell, cuffs over heels, for my own blue dye job and this pattern was well suited for it. What a good time this sock affords a knitter. It didn’t live up to it’s name of FINALLY (translation for Loksins) as it was a very quick knit.
Loksinsinthegardenonmyfeet

The elasticity of the yarn  makes for a snuggly fitting sock that feels good on the foot. Reynolds Soft Sea Wool has a very tight twist, quite a bit of bounce and it dyes beautifully. Ashford dyes are excellent for intensity and take up. There was no leftover color in the pot and very little came out of the yarn when washed.

Loksinssideviewofleg

The design on the socks is not only fun to knit, it has wonderful texture and gives the impression of wings going up the leg.  This pair of socks knit up as if I had wings on my fingers! The easy to memorize pattern repeats made for very quick progress. Stitches could easily be added to the stockinette panels on the front and back of the foot, which makes it easy to adjust for any size. Overall I loved the yarn, color and pattern so much, I just couldn't stop knitting!  I don't remember the last time a pair of socks took less than two weeks to finish.

Loksinsinthezengardenfoldednicely_2

Zloksinsareprettyasyoupleaseofffeet

Pattern:  Loksins! by Cassie
Yarn: Reynolds Soft Sea Wool - Hand dyed with Ashford Dyes, Blue and Teal -color Blue-tiful
Time to Knit: June 4 – June 15, 2007
Modifications:  Rolled cuff consisting of 6 rows stockinette stitch, extra heel rows and gusset stitches to insure the sock will fit my higher instep, Purl Swirl Toe.


It's MY Friday

The Electric  Kool Aid Acid (Smith's pet name), aka Desert Sunset (my pet name), aka Vesper Yarn Moonlight Knitter, Jaywalkers are finished!

Electricjaywalkersarefini

This is one happy pair of socks, a pair of socks that will keep the feet warm just because of the electric colorway.  Count me and my feet very happy, indeed.

Mamaesummersolsticeandspindle Yesterday two packages arrived on my doorstep.  The last shipment of Mama E’s  Twisted Knitter Fiber Club arrived. What a great colorway this is! It's Summer Solstice and it does look like many of the flowers in the gardens around here.  Also, included was a handmade spindle AND it spins nicely! It will go along with me to Estes and I'll see if I can entice some of my non-spinning mates to give it a go.  Nice work, Erin!

Ilovebeinganotorioussockknitter The other package was a couple of skeins of STR. Truly, truly...I could not live without Knitty Rocks.  I couldn't...I tried...for about 3 weeks, and I swear I was at deaths door when I hit BUY.  I was feeling a little better, saw Sherbet...couldn't resist, and added it to my order, too.  The best part (OK it wasn't THE best part, but it is darn cool) is the sticker that was included in the shipment.  NSK - Notorious Sock Knitter! That's ME (and you too, no!?)

I've been on pins and needles the last few days just waiting for the week, my week, to end.  Tomorrow morning Blogless Val, Karen, Cheryl, Miriam and I, will be heading off to Estes Park and the Wool Market.  Yes, there will be 5 of us in one car (please pray for us), but it will be well worth it.  Wool festivals are better than Christmas...way better.  My knitting bag is packed, including a spindle. The second Loksins! should get lots of attention and I'm packing supplies for another pair of Monkey socks, just.in.case. 

CalmerflotsamjetsamlacecardibeforerI had hoped to use car time to make progress on FJ, but it might just be too fussy to mess with.  After reading, rereading, rereading and reading again. I think I have deciphered the hieroglyphics enough to continue.  Mim seems to agree with my assessment so, maybe FJ will become an Effed Oh later this month, instead of just effed off.

To keep emails to a minimum (because I can't keep up as it is), I've decided not to post tomorrow (we'll be out o'here at o'dark thirty), and since we'll be back late Sunday afternoon, you can plan on a post from me come Tuesday.  I'm taking Monday off to regroup and and rest up from the fabulous (you know it will be) weekend.  Enjoy your weekend, too!


Monkeying Around

Mymonkeysarehangingaroundhavingfu_3

Monkeyshangingtenattheplayground_2 Come on come on
Come on come on
Come on is such a joy
Come on is such a joy
Come on let's take it easy
Come on let's take it easy
Take it easy take it easy
Everybody's got something to hide except for me and my Monkey (Ooh)

Perfectlykitcheneredtoeonmonkey_2 The deeper you go the higher you fly
The higher you fly the deeper you go
So come on (Come on) come on
Come on is such a joy
Come on is such a joy
Come on let's make it easy
Come on let's make it easy (Oh)
Take it easy (Yeh yeh yeh) take it easy (Hoo)
Everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey

Ilovemymonkeysocksinstr

Pattern: Knitty’s Monkey Socks by Cookie A.
Yarn: BMFA Lightweight January One
Changes:  DPNs 1.5  - Picot cuff instead of ribbing, longer toe.
Time to Knit: May 14 – May 23, 2007

Have a fun weekend! Do lots of monkeying around and I'll see y'all come Tuesday.