Personal Sock Club

Once I gained a bit of confidence in my knitting, I tried socks. I can remember sitting in my bedroom surrounded by printouts from the internet of how to knit a sock on double points.  I held those pointy tips so close to my eyes I am pretty lucky I didn’t hurt myself when I sneezed. (Like I did that time in Bio lab in college, I didn’t move far enough away from the microscope before sneezing and totally whacked my head on the eyepiece. #sciencemajorsproblems) Anyway. I moved from dpns to two circular needles (thank you Cat Bordhi. It was such a treat to talk with her at the knitting retreat back in 2010.) to eventually magic loop. There is something special about sock yarn, you can indulge in one skein and have enough for your project. A good portion of my stash is sock yarns. I even have a decent sock drawer. In 2014, I am hoping to keep the sock mojo going by participating in a personal sock club, inspired by the Stitch Addiction podcast. The idea is that on the first of each month, I will randomly pick a yarn (the Lorax will help me bag them) and use that yarn for socks that month. Ideally I would love to get 12 new pairs of socks out of this experiment, but I’m not sure that will really happen. I knit 4 pairs of socks this year, so maybe a good goal would be 6 pairs?  Some of this is deep stash, the self-striping ones are all recently acquired, and I have 2 socks that need a mate.

Here’s what I’ll be drawing from:

*left-to-right* Yarntini “Wonderfully Super”, Rainy Days & Wooly Dogs Henbane “Sailor Pluto”, Dyelectable Yarns “Peeps!”, Trailing Clouds “Primary:Secondary”, Scout’s Swag “B-Marie”, String Theory Colorworks “Ultra Violet Catastrophe” and Turtlepurl Yarns Blue Turtle Socks “Always Greener…”

left-to-right Tofutsies Tidal Wave Socks (needs a mate), Wool Dispensary Useful Poison “13th Fairy”, Canon Hand Dyes “See How I Am Bewitched”, Green Mountain Spinnery Sock Art Meadow, and Dan’s Socks which need a mate and didn’t really fit my husband (Dan) to begin with, but I’m pretty sure I can redo the toe and figure it out so he can get a new pair of socks as well. I am a bad raveler I never added the yarn name, I have no idea what these were! Or what pattern I used!

And here’s what came out of the bag on January 1, a skein of Green Mountain Spinnery Sock Art – Meadow. This skein photographed purple in a quick camera shot, but it truly is blue.  I am not sure what pattern to use, so I won’t be casting on for a while. That is OK, as I have my Neon Macchiato socks on the needles that are ready for a heel turn. I would like to power through those a bit more (maybe finish them!)

Too much stuff – Yarn Along & WIP Wednesday

Let’s just sum up by saying I have a lot of stuff. I have a lot of projects going on, I have to keep track of a lot of details for my work, my home & family. I may be reaching a tipping point.  Today I started the washing machine and left the top open; luckily once it’s filled and bubbly it doesn’t continue on with the cycle unless the top is down! Later, when I went back to move things along I opened the machine to find it completely empty.  I didn’t bother to actually put the clothes into the machine! This week I’ve worked on 2 cross stitch projects, my Morning Coffee Sweater, my Carousel sock, a slug and a secret project. I have a really hard time doing one thing at a time. I feel bored and antsy if I do not have a choice of projects. Some nights I need plain stockinette or garter stitch, other times when I have a moment to work stitches I want to tackle a cable or two.  I started reading “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” by Agatha Christie.  I’ve been a long time fan of her mysteries and this one, somehow, I had not read before. I thought it was going to take me longer as the typeface on each page is tiny, but I am already a third of the way through the book.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to try and salvage what’s left of this afternoon and my to-do list, with two little ones adding to the chaos!

Sock Love

I love knitting socks. An outside observer might think otherwise, given that there hasn’t been a sock on my needles since September. And the fact that there are several mate-less socks in a drawer patiently waiting for their match to be made. Socks are a great way to splurge on nice yarn ($24 or so for a nice handpainted yarn, 400 yards or so, enough for a project!) and depending on your taste in patterns can provide a nice knitting challenge – just when you get really sick of one part, there is a new part to complete – cuff to leg to heel to foot to toes. Or the other way around, if you like toe-ups!

Back in June I had the opportunity to be a test knitter for Cookie A. – one of my favorite sock designers – for her new book. I finished one sock (all that was required for the testing) in 5 days!! I knit as fast as my knitting needles would go and I did it! I love this sock. I would love to wear the pair, so I really should get going on the second one, and eventually I will. Now that the book is finally available for pre-orders, I can share with you, Cusp:
Cusp #1
The yarn is Alchemy Juniper in “Turquoise Pool” that I picked up during Team VA Weekend last year. A dream to knit with.

I have pre-ordered my copy of Knit. Sock. Love. – I will probably take it to my local copy shop and have them change the binding to a spiral one – makes the book lay nice and flat. I did that with Cookie A’s other book, “Sock Innovation” (which I still dream of working my way through. A Julie/Julia thing.) There’s a nice post comparing both sock books, FYI. Now I want to knit socks. But, they have to get in line behind a test knit in progress, a sweater for me, a few holiday gifts and a scarf!

Knitting In Advance

Last summer, I test and sample knit a sock for The Unique Sheep‘s Lord of the Strings club. Frequently, my test / sock knitting projects are done under a rather tight deadline (most recent record holder? A sock for Cookie A’s new book in 5 days!) – but this project was for the June 2010 installment. And, since now we are in July of 2010, I can finally share!

Dunedain Socks by LoBug
Dunedain Sock
This was my first time to knit such a large sock (on purpose!) – I knit the largest size, and two yarns are held together. Isn’t that cable something? I worked really hard on that – learned a lot about cables and reading charts. Side note: If it wasn’t for this project with the charts and cables and working my way through it with LoBug’s help, I would not have tried to get the cookieA sock gig – something totally clicked with me on this project!

The color is best in the first picture (or even the ravelry link) – the yarns were very pretty.
Dunedain Sock
As I knit the largest size (Size 11, the “Big Foot” option), obviously the socks didn’t fit too well on my foot (I wear a US9, women’s) or my sock blockers:
Dunedain Sock
Dunedain Sock
Check out LoBug‘s blog – she talks about this sock and her “LOTR Sock Pattern Booklet”!

I’m at TNNA!

There’s a big yarny show going on this weekend, TNNA, and I’m there! In spirit, that is, but some of my work is there as show samples!

First up, one Hopscotch Sock for Lorna’s Laces.
Sample Sock
It’s the Shepherd Sock base, and this fantastic color (not sure of the name – it’s new!)
Lorna's Laces Yarn
It was like an everlasting gobstopper!
Lorna's Laces Yarn
Great pattern and seriously great yarn! (Ravelry details.)

Schaefer Yarn has a new yarn, Chris, that I knit a sample from as well. I was sent “Clare Booth Luce” – a luscious blue-green with hints of gold in there as well. I adored this yarn right away!
Schaefer Yarn Chris
I worked up a cute Wee Vest
Wee Vest
It’s “#407 Chris Woven Yoke Vest” – check out the picture on the Schaefer Yarn Pattern Page – look at that baby in this vest!!
Wee Vest
More of that woven stitch!

Two thumbs up to each of these yarns if you get the chance to try them – and the patterns too!

Trust me, it’s a sock.

This weekend was spent celebrating a “Housewarmthday” party for my brother & sister-in-law – they have a new house and big birthdays – and hosted a fantastic party. I was gifted a rare treat of time to myself – the Lorax stayed behind for quality time with Dad – and I got to relax, eat, drink and be merry without chasing down a toddler. The weather outside was gorgeous! I brought my knitting along and was able to get in some knitting – I think I gave several comedians there some new material by my knitting in public, but whatever. It’s what I enjoy and luckily for me my brother and sister-in-law have no problem with me whipping out the needles in their backyard.

I am currently test knitting a sock for JL Yarnworks
Test Knit
Looking at it this way makes me think it’s a doll or something – I promise, in the next day or so, you’ll see it in it’s sock-y cuteness. I’m working up the toddler size and it is going to be really cute.

I did get gauge (10 stitches / inch on US0!) and I’m using Malabrigo Sock Yarn in the colorway “cote d’azure” – it’s a great dark ink blue. I have fingers crossed that I can get the Lorax to wear the sock with a really cute navy / white dress she has yet to wear. Anyway, love the color, but I do need to be sure that I have really good light to see those stitches!

Pretty Stitches
There is half of the heel flap – I don’t know if it has a particular name, but it involves a four row repeat and I love the texture it creates in the fabric.

I also brought another project to work on at the party, being prepared for assorted levels of light, conversation, alcohol intake (no toddler for me to watch over!) but wouldn’t you know it? I only worked on the sock – the other project (red yarn, DK weight, on US7 needles) I messed up on multiple times – the stitch count, the increases, the cast on. I actually took scissors to it and had a do-over. On the whole, not bad for knitting in public.

Casting On

I’m still playing catch up from Christmas – there’s a lot to be done and somehow, with the approach of 2010 just days away it feels like time is running out even faster! I know that’s just a feeling, but funny enough it also doesn’t stop me from casting on new projects.

Casting on brings a special sort of peace, doesn’t it? Like there’s all this potential that everything will be all right. Have you seen that Quotable Card that says –

Today there is a new project that needs attention to help make things okay, not to end them (though I wish it could) but to bring a little bit of help.

Last month, Lisa, yenforyarn on Plurk and elsewhere, was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer. She has had surgery and will begin chemotherapy on December 29. Coby of CJ Creations is lucky to be able to call Lisa “friend.” Coby wanted to find a way we can show our support for Lisa as she goes through treatment. So, Coby–and many others–are asking knitters to do what they do best. Knit. Coby came up with the idea that we should cast on a special project on that day to show Lisa our support. She and Lisa discussed it, and Lisa selected two of her favorite sock designs: Sedona and Manhattan. (Oh, did I forget to tell you that Lisa is a wonderful designer? Check out her Ravelry designer page. I’ve knit her Playtime Socks – many of you have seen them at SnB!) Incidentally, Manhattan is a great design for men’s or women’s socks – I was going to knit Dan a pair of plain vanilla socks, but I think this will work great for the Intention Yarns – Simplicity for him instead.

Ovarian Cancer is on my mind quite a bit as this is what my Nana battled and ultimately lost. Please educate yourself! Put Teal on your Toes!.
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