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.


It's the Wee Things

Last Saturday Heather invited all the SnBers to a baby shower for Katherine.  My plan was to purchase a gift as knitting time has been a commodity the last couple of weeks. But, you know 'that thing' when yarn talks to you? Well, the Dandy Lion handspun, that happened to be sitting atop the pile of practice skeins, called out to me and said  "Baby Hat!".  It had to be and...

Dandylioncutebabyhatforkatherinesbo

it wasn't long before I was winding up the skein and casting on for what turned out to be a dang cute hat!  How can you turn away from a knit that sweet and in handspun, no less. It was also fun to knit with my handspun again and I love the chained singles plying method even more, as it shows off the colors and makes a very good yarn. Katherine's sprummer baby should be cute as a bug in it, no?

Amagic28sockinorangecream After finishing the sweater and the hat, I looked around and found nothing else on the needles (I am ignoring all lace projects at the moment). So, I cast on for a pair of Magic 28 socks.  It's 'der rigeur' if you're going to be in the Magic 28 ring and knitting a pair of warm, worsted socks for kids in need is quick, fun and good karma.  Some of my other handspun should work up perfectly into pairs of these darling little socks and I have partial skeins of odd worsted yarns around, too.  It takes no time at all (one evening) to make up one small sock.  Hopefully I can make up a few pair for this years box to Dulaan.

Beautifulboomerangbigasssocks Can you stand it!?  Can it really be true?! There really isn't anything on the needles (I said to ignore the lace a little longer, please-I'm rather enjoying my delusions of a laceless life).  I am still hooking...more later. Even the Bigass Boomerang socks are finished and nothing in the knitting department is speaking to me...nothing that is at hand, anyway.  I have ordered yarn for one of the sweaters listed in last weeks post, but I have no intention of telling you which one. Instead I'm going to make you GUESS!

Leave a comment as to which sweater you think will be next (at some point I hope to knit them all). Everyone who guesses right will be put in the 'hat' and one name will be picked at random.  What's the prize?

Fairgroundsstrjitterbugcollenetgali

One of these beautiful items (winners choice), with the rest to be given away over the next, um, er, well...several weeks/months as certain milestones are reached.  Next Friday (May 11th) will be my 900th post and, as comments stand now, they are nearing 27,000. The 27,000 should happen around the same time as the 900th post...more or less. 

I KNOW! I can't believe you all have so much to say and I do appreciate every single comment. Who knew so many wee things, like comments, would add up so quickly.  Lately I have been so busy that I can't comment back to everyone who leaves a comment. For the first couple of years I did respond to most comments, but my job has changed, life is so much busier, and I try to keep my time at the computer to a minimum. 

As a way to thank you, and to keep the comments coming, next Friday there will be a random drawing of one person who comments, AND when the comments reach the milestones of 27,000, 28,000, 29,000 and 30,000...there will be more prizes and if it takes until post 1000 then there will be even more prizes.  I'll keep you posted as people win.  Thank you for the extra effort you put in to comment. It seems Typepad now requires CAPTCHA on all comments (whether you want it or not) and I know it's a PITA.  I appreciate your comments all the more!


The Beauty of Blue Socks

Whatamesswhatamess My plan was to cast on for a quick and dirty beautiful sock for myself once the Bloomin' Feet socks were finished.  The plan was brought up short by the great yarn winding disaster of 2007.  Some how the skein must have been tangled by the manufacturer when it was wound.  FixingthemesslittlebylittleI've been working on untangling it for two days.  Every once in awhile I need to walk away as the scissors sitting near become very tempting. The idea of blue/green spaghetti sized bits of yarn has stopped me from picking them up....I want socks, not yarn spaghetti.   I am hoping that by the time this pair of socks is off the needles (or at this rate even ON the needles) that I will no longer be in need of warm socks.  This is a yummy, squooshy, bouncy yarn that Judyakathegoddess left with me before she headed South. Fiesta Boomerang is new enough that I had a hard time finding a link, but I think it's going to be pretty popular. It's BIG yarn and I expect (oh dear no expectations, please) to be finished quiet quickly, IF I ever get the yarn into a ball.

Remember the cute little Park City Cabin from this post? Well, Birdsong looked up and it's only $1,095,000.  You can check it out here.  Just thought it would be worth sharing with those of you who have big tax refunds to spend! Oh my, oh my...you know that poor little cabin will continue to be unloved.

Thegardenofzenpatio Several of you have commented on the rocks I use as a back drop in my photos.  They are in the Garden of Zen on my patio.  The garden needs a good cleaning and the edging needs to be replaced. We're also considering a bamboo trellis with a climbin vine.  As soon as it warms up a bit we'll make it a weekend project. 

So, the BF socks are finished!   I'm also working on a little surprise to included in the package and I might just send it out next week...a wee bit early as I'm too excited to hang on 'til the end of the month.

Mypalssocksellenssockbynancybushinc click it

Pattern: Ellen's Sock from Folk Socks Knitting in Estonia* by Nancy Bush ETA: Thanks Rebecca for the correction.
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill - Special Blues
KAL: Bloomin’ Feet Sock Exchange
Time to Knit: 2-26-07 - 4-11-07

I'll be knitting the blues this weekend.  Have a good one!


Brought to You by the Letter "S"

Specifically, Saturday, Sunday, snow, spinning, socks and sun...not necessarily in that order.

Saturday was spectacularly lovely and filled with loads of sun. 

Saturdaywasfullofsunsunsun_1

Funnyshapeoftreeandsnownearshop The snow from the day before covered the trees with a heavy coating of powdered sugar frosting. The winter wonderland of snow covered landscape made the sky all the bluer.

Saturday was also a day to finished up some left over spinning.  Three bobbins of Mama E’s  Margene colorway were ready for plying and that's just what I did.  It wasn't as much fun to spin three separate plies as it had been to ply chained singles.  The results of plying three singles together made the yarn quite tweedy and the colors muddied a bit.  I much prefer the look, feel (it's softer) and execution of plied chained singles.  What do you think?

Pliedmargeneinthreeplyandpliedchainedsin click to enlarge

The three-ply skein is shown on top and the chained single on the bottom in this photo. I only ended up with about 200 yds. of a near sport weight yarn, so more ounces will be needed to spin enough for socks, at least until I'm better at 'frog hair' (as Laurie calls spinning for fingering yarn).  I'll remember that next time I spin a three ply. I'd like to hear what you other spinners think of knitting with plied singles (aka Navajo plying) versus three ply yarns.

Estonianscarfandspindlesreadyforplying Marcia was 'all a twitter' when she saw my comment on Kim's blog about my dream of owning two more wheels. (It's a dream, only a dream.) She rightfully took credit for my current addiction to Emmylou.  Just to show Marcia that I sill do love my spindles, after I finished plying Margene, I returned to the spindle and worked on the last of the Ashland Bay merino top for the long suffering Estonian Scarf.  I should be able to ply the two singles together on my Lizzy Kate this week.  I'm doing my best to finish up a few projects that have become a bit more like albatrosses than the process...not that I love them any less.

Last, but certainly not least, I give you the mystery socks, designed by Susan (and she has revealed their name).  Ta Dah!!

Horcruxsocksinjessieyarnonhpbook

Horcrux Socks!

Perfectknitchenertoesonsocks JessiesbeautifulworstedwoolcolorwayThese simply wonderful socks are so comfortable and enjoyable to wear. Jessie's yarn is so soft, so wearable and the colors are so rich and warm.  I'm a big fan of this worsted yarn, Jess and can't wait to try some Real Vermonter sock yarn. The color shows up nicely in the photo on the left and, on the right, you can see my nicely done, without any swear words, Kitchenered toes.

Horcrux Socks
Designed by Susan
Yarn: Jessie’s Super wash Worsted from A Piece of Vermont
Needles: Size 3 bamboo DPNs
Time to Knit: February 10, 2007 - February 24, 2007
Modifications: 45 stitch instead of 40, more repeats of lace motif to add length.

More spinning and knitting were accomplished on Sunday and we had a bit more snow, too.  You'll have to stay tuned to hear more.
The letter "S" says thanks for reading!


Socking it Up

Our wish for the weekend was for winter like weather and new snow in the mountains.  The snow arrived in the mountains (YAY!), but only warm rain came to the valley, but at least we had some precipitation.  The sky was the perfect combination of colors for February PS; blue, gray and white (see photo on the side bar). Knitting as much (and as fast) as I could, made for a very happy weekend. And finishing a pretty pair of socks added to my delight.

This pair of socks is one of the happiest socks I have ever knit.  The colorway, Freesia, brings thoughts of spring time flowers with the sun on their faces.  If feet can’t be bare this time of year then they should be covered with hand knit socks in glorious colors, eh?  This pair of socks makes me feel young and able to dance as TeresaC daughters do when she knits them socks!  It’s a wonderful feeling to make feet happy and my feet are very happy.

Dancingfeetinfreesia Dancinghappyfeetinfreesia Freesiasockonhappyfeet

Freesiasocksinthehappygardenofzen

Pattern: My own basic sock pattern in Rib Lace stitch from Sensational Socks 
Yarn: Claudia’s Hand Paint in Freesia from the Loopy Ewe
Needles: Bamboo DPNs size 1
Time to Knit: 1-22-07 - 2-10-07
Perfect for my last entry in  Maryse’s show your socks contest.

Mysterysockbysusansogetstarted Progress was made on Susan’s mystery sock and this picture was taken just before I started the heel.  I'm ready for her next installment and should finish when she does later this week.  You can see my debut as the 'Kitchener Maven' later this week.  I did lengthen the leg and added 5 st. to make my leg 45 st. around.  I just didn't want to waste Jessie’s fabulous yarn for 'too short' socks and I like my socks to fit my very long legs. 

Margenerovingfromerinmamae If you liked the "Margene" roving, but you don't spin (yet), it's your lucky day! Erin has dyed the same colorway in yarn, sock yarn! It will be sold at Chrissy's shop Gardiner Yarn Works, AND she's designing a sock pattern, too!  Watch for it later this week.  (You can also find a  free sock pattern of Chrissy's at  Interweave Knits and it's very cool!)

Catherinehepberncardiganinlacestyle There are plans cooking up for many more socks, too.  This weekend I picked up two new books at the LYSs. Favorite Socks has many of the pattens I've loved in past IK magazines but never knit. It's great to have them in one book, plus six new patterns.  Lace Style  has many great patterns for jackets, camisoles, socks and the like and the one that really caught my eye was the Katherine Hepburn Cardigan.

Grrl, I say to myself, you've just got to knit faster!


Real Man's Survivial Guide

Yesterday, 1/28/2007 in SALT LAKE CITY, UT: 31 high, 7 low

ValleyairfromthehigherelevationsisthickuBlueblueskiesofsnowbirdinjanuary What does a real man do when the air of January is (in)edible, unhealthy and unbreathable?  He follows the suggestion of Utah's Motto "Life Elevated" and takes off for higher elevations.  He fills his lungs with clean, crisp mountain air and enjoys the bright blue sky at Snowbird.

ArealmanhasabigolheapofbreakfastArealmanwearswarmbootsandhemshisownpants A real man eats a big ol' pile of hardy breakfast, with strong black coffee (ok, with an added bit of cream and a touch of sugar), and stares with love into the eyes of his charming and talented wife. He knows the value of all things good and has worn his favorite cap, from the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, for years.  A real man knows how to dress for the cold, wears warm boots and pants he hemmed himself ( his secret is iron -on seam tape).

A real man wears warm wool socks, hand knit by his very talented and loving wife. 

Arealmanknowstheadvantagesofwarmwoolsock_1

He also knows just how special his real socks are.  He is a real smart man.

Arealmanloveshissocks_1

Pattern: Garter Rib Socks from Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn: Jessie’s Superwash Worsted from her A Piece of Vermont Store
Color: Black Walnut
Needles: Size 4 DPN Bamboo
Time to Knit: 1-01-07 - 1-25-07


Smith's First (Hand Knit) Socks

Viewfrommoonbeamlodgeatsolitude After breakfast at Silver Fork and our usual trip to Silver Lake, we stopped to check out the newish Solitude Moonbeam Lodge.  (Which happens to be where we bumped into Santa enjoying the first day of his vacation.)  As often happens during the winter months, it was warmer in the mountains than in the valley below. We sat on the deck, enjoyed the blue skies, laughter from skiers and relaxing atmosphere.  I got in a bit of knitting in on Bejeweled, too. 

This was a banner Christmas for Smith, as he received his first hand knit socks.  He has always protested when I've offered to knit him a pair because he thinks I'll get carried away and make him something shockingly colorful.  As I knit this pair he would say he liked the color and I would always respond, "I do too".   I tried to never give him any idea they were not for me. That's the reason they were never given a proper photo shoot.  So, here they are...Smith's First Hand Knit Socks. They fit perfectly, thanks to the measurements in Sensational Socks.

Smithwasthrilledwithhisnewchristmassocks

Miriam's Simple Trekking Socks (Free Pattern)
Sockotta Colori – Gray multi
Start 10-18-06 – 11-26-06

Miriam kindly tweaked the pattern for the larger size. I cast on 80 stitches and worked the heel over 40 st.  Miriam even Kitchenered the toes for me.  How lucky I am that she's a Ewe-tah Grrl.
Smith is very pleased, but the down side is that he now expects every other pair of sock I knit to be his.  This is the 12 pair of socks for 200Sox. 

I wonder how many pair can I knit in 2007?


The Best Toasty Toes Ever!

The title of this post is NOT about the Toasty Toes Socks that I knit for my pal, Leah.  The socks I knit are far from the 'best'.  The yarn was wonderful and squooshy (as she requested) and the pattern was fun to knit.  They were a quick and easy sock...one that should have been easy to make 'perfect'. But, there was a bit of arrogance during the knitting that made the whole thing sadly funny and they have been dubbed the 'Zen socks'. 

Whitbysocksfortoastytoes It was just after I turned the heel that I noticed one of the cables went the wrong way.  The arrogance comes in at this point.  Susan said I could ladder back and fix it, but I thought it would be easier to finish and then go back and fix it by cutting and grafting.  Ah, yes...the best laid plans. When I went to fix the errant cable it was then I noticed, yes...after cutting it, that it was I had changed the direction of the cable and it COULDN'T BE FIXED!  I did add the socks to my Socks That Walk photo album so I can prove that 11 pair of socks have been knit this year, but  I should be embarrassed to put up a picture. I have decided that they are proof of my Zen-ness and the Zen-ness of dear Leah. The socks are perfect as they are. They accept who they are, we accept that they are what they are, and it is perfect. I could have sent them late and reknit the sock, but that seemed problematic.  Would the yarn hold up to frogging and look as good as it did the first time through? There was yarn left over, but I wasn't sure it would be enough to reknit. I wrote and asked her if she would accept socks with an obvious mistake...and she said she would. The socks will keep her warm despite the error of my ways and as Carole said "It would be fine with me to have a pair of f*cked up socks knit by Margene."  Thank you Leah for being such a good sport and may you wear the socks long and well while you think of me and get laugh out of it all, because you have living proof that I am Zen.

Colorandpatterninsock Speaking of Carole...SHE was MY Toasty Toes Pal!  The title of this post is about the socks she knit!  Carole is a dear friend and that makes the socks even better.  She asked Emily to hand dye some of her Sophie's Toes yarn just for the socks and it is such lovely yarn!  It's so soft and the colors are vibrant and autumnal.

Mytoastytoessocksfromthesidelovethecolor_2

Scoutslemondropmartinifromcarole Carole is the best pal ever and wearing a pair of sock knit by her hand makes me smile...warms my heart, as well as my toes.  She also included one of  Scout's  hand dyed yarns. Don't you just love Lemon Drop Martini?  Carole and I share a love of martinis and the Lemon Drop was my favorite summer drink.  (I had a Appletini at Rhinebeck and Cara can tell you just how much I enjoyed it.)  A pair of Lemon Drop socks will be so much fun to knit and wear.

Ilovemytoastytoesfrombestpalevercarole

Oh and that chocolate you see in the photo...now you see it...now it's gone. Yum!  Thank you Amanda for hosting a wonderful exchange...it's been a blast.

On my side bar is a picture, taken at Rhinebeck, of Carole in her fabulous scarf, and super mom of twins, Risa.  Thank you Carole! I love, love the socks!


Trekking Time is Done

Sunday night Birdsong and I had a chance to sit and knit quietly.  It was so nice after two hectic days of Festivaling and we both worked on our Trekking Socks. Birdsong has already finished one pair and started the second sock of her second pair.  My intention was to knit  two pair during the Knit Along, but it took until the very last day, Labor Day, for me to finish my first pair.

Monday, Labor Day, Smith took us on a nice long drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon, over Guardsman's Pass, down through Wasatch Mountain State Park and up Snake Creek Canyon, then down again into Cascade Springs. We ended up at Sundance Resort for some quick sustenance and water.  Yes, it was a very long, but beautiful drive which included our first peek at the fall colors.

Colorisshowinguponthewasatchmountains

Burnedsectonofcascadespringsfrom2002fireWalkingonabrdigeCascade Springs suffered major fire damage in 2002.  The recovery will be slow, but it was very evident with new growth everywhere. The trees had new green shoots coming up around the roots and  the water plants were  back to normal levels. Smith snapped a picture of Birdsong and I on my favorite bridge. CS was over full of people with small children who were running and screaming, so we spent little time there and moved on to Sundance.

Sundance was beautiful, as usual, and the fall colors (pictured on side bar) were just starting to show.  Color has arrived a bit early this year, but we have had some cool nights in the mountains. It was much less crowded at Sundance so we walked around and found a nice spot for a photo shoot of the Trekking Socks.  They were finished in the nick of time!

Socksatsundanceinthesun

Sensationalsockschevronwithtrekking_1

Pattern: Chevron from Sensational Socks
Yarn: Trekking XXL Color #133
Time to Knit: July 27-September 3, 2006
KAL: Trek Along
Thank you to everyone who Trekked with us this summer. Keep your hiking shoes on for as long as you possibly can and pack your knitting, too!

Outsideofbagfrombevandjudysyarn_1ProjectbagfrombevFriday a prize arrived from Bev who had a comment contest on her blog and I won!  She made the most beautiful project bag out of her precious left over fabric from France. Inside are pockets for needles, scissors and other knitting needs and a place for a notebook.  It's going to get some good use.  Thank you Bev for such a lovely hand made prize! Oh, and that red sock yarn?  Just ignore that for now, K?


When It All Comes Together

Birdsongvintagevictoriansocksatsl
Despite the obsession with spinning, knitting has continued.  This handsome pair of socks made their debut at Silver Lake on Sunday. (This picture is fairly true to color.) The extreme heat of summer has gone (and hopefully will not return) and one can entertain the idea of actually wearing socks again.

Bridsongsbeautifulhanddyedyarn_1Birdsong was my pal for the DyeORama sock yarn exchange and she decided to use cochineal to dye the yarn.  The idea was to produce a nice red yarn, but serendipitously, it ended up a striking red violet. It is also laced with slight variations of color that give it a 'distressed vintage' look. Together with the Little Child's Sock pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks, the yarn inspired the name 'Vintage Victorian'.

Vintagevictoriansocksfrombirdsongsyarnon_2Toedetailonvvsocks_1Child's First Sock is one of my favorite patterns from the book and it's one of the socks I test knit for Nancy.  The yarn was perfectly suited to the style of the sock, which starts out with a very charming cuff and then moves onto a very pretty checkerboard pattern down the leg.  A bit of shaping at the ankle, and the continued checkerboard down the instep, made knitting very  entertaining.  The patterning ends in a point just before the toe decreases begin, and the sock  ends as it began, with interesting details of design.   It's almost as if the sock goddess made sure  the stars in the universe were aliened just so the perfect yarn and pattern could come together and help me create the best socks ever.

Prettybirdsongsocksvvwithasters
Vintage Victorian Socks
Pattern: Little Child's Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Hand Dyed by Birdsong for DyeORama
Start: July 1, 2006
End: July 28, 2006