Oh man, oh man, oh man. Why do I do this to myself? The Cirque du Socks knit along ends at midnight on April 30. That's April 30th, folks, of this year! I have one sock done. The second sock is, well, not done. The toe is finished .... but a toe does not a complete sock make, at least not on a toe up sock :). ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Of course the next three weeks are the busiest of the year at my office, said three weeks including next week, which is all I have to finish the second sock. Sigh. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I haven't done my tax return yet. I haven't done my husband's tax return yet. (Canadian due April 30) Sigh. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I'm off to knit now. bye
My doggie is back home for good! We drove to the breeder's house to pick her up yesterday and met the baby, now named Tulip. ~~~~~ Dorey quickly settled into her old routines. She has slept a lot since coming home and seems to appreciate our quiet house.
It was difficult to get Tulip to stay still for a photo op, so she had to be posed. She is as adorable in real life as she looks here. Apparently Tulip is going to a family in Minnesota. Lucky folks!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In other news. here is this week's knitting output.
On the far left is the beginning of my gift for Mom for Mother's Day. Bed socks using Debbie Bliss cashmerino (hey, it was in my stash with no plans attached, so why not?). Mom will be warned not to wear them other than when sitting in bed reading the newspaper. in the middle is a broken rib sock in Opal. On the right is my Easter sock, another Cirque du Socks inspired effort using Trekking XXL. I think I've permanently switched to toe up construction. I like the fact that when you're done knitting, you're done the sock! :) ~~~~~~~~~~~ Here is a closeup of the cashmerino bed sock. This is a Sockbug pattern, the "River Rapids" sock. The mock cable looks way more complicated than it is, which makes it a perfect gift item :)
My stash is overflowing with lace weight yarn, sock yarn, Knitpicks palette, three aran sweaters worth of wool, and numerous skeins of fabulous handpainted fibre yumminess. Somebody stop me! ~~~~~~ Just in time, somebody is stopping me. Introducing .... the Yarn Focus Challenge! I signed up the instant I saw it. Basically, you are allowed to purchase yarn on one day per month only. That is called the "free day". If you don't use a month's free day (yeah, right) you can roll it over to the next month. Every participant puts a skein of yarn into the pot. At the end of the contest the hostess draws a winner who receives all of the yarn in the pot. I love how subversive that is - if I don't buy yarn I might win a whole lot of yarn. Hee! Go here to check out the rest of the details. ~~~~~~~~~~~ The photo shows the part of my stash that hangs on the back of a door. Gotta love those shoe organizers!
I started my Yarn Focus challenge on April 1: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dorey is still away on maternity leave. I miss her like crazy!!!! Hopefully she can come home in two weeks. Look at those big brown eyes! Wouldn't you miss her too?
So there I was, knitting socks like a maniac, surfing blogland for sock ideas and reaching out to fellow sock maniacs when I stumbled across a Knit Along starting on the first day of spring and ending on the last day of April. There is only one rule,(which isn't really a rule; more like a suggestion; or gentle guidance...) anyway, the idea is to try a technique you haven't tried before. Well, I could get with that really easy, since I've only been knitting socks for a short time. I decided to try the toe-up method and toddled over to sign up. You can still sign up too: Go here for the fun ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Oh, did I mention there are prizes? Yep, and I donated one ... a copy of Lucy Neatby's sock book called "Cool Socks Warm Feet". ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What? You want photo proof of my progress? Well, sure, here ya go. As you can see, I knit socks on two circular needles. I learned the toe up cast on from Cat Bordhi's book pictured here; 'cept I cheated a bit. I just used her Moebius cast on but with the second sock needle as the cable to cast on to, rather than one really long needle. (If you've ever done a Moebius cast on the preceding sentence will make sense to you; otherwise, please just shake your head and carry on).
Things progressed rather nicely on this sock. I used OPAL cotton yarn and US size 0 needles. The pattern is a lacy mock cable and is incredibly easy to memorize. I first found the patternhere, and a second version, called Fruit Loops was found here. I've decided to call mine Lifesavers, cuz thats what it reminds me of - those clear lifesavers we used to eat as kids.
I knit and I knit and I knit until suddenly I was finished with the first sock - and it fits beautifully!
And now I have some gratuitous cuteness for you - a photo of Dorey's daughter having a wee nap. She has not yet been named.
So I learned to knit socks using the 2 circular method on New Years Eve, 2005. This photo shows part of my output so far. Sharp eyed readers will notice that the heels have worn through on one pair. That is the first pair I ever made (yay me!) but I used 100% wool - no nylon. Learned my lesson, now I use sock yarn or will knit heels with nylon carry along thread.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The socks below are done in Trekking XXL, one of the 100 series colours. The pattern is broken rib. I simply love them.
Tomorrow I'll post about the Cirque du Sock knitalong. For now, I leave you with a photo of Dorey's daughter:
Let's just pretend that 7 month absence from blogland never happened shall we? ~~~~~~~~ Without further ado, I give you .... Dorey and her daughter, born Feb 21, 2006. This pic shows Baby at age 5 days. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Today I signed up for a workshop with Cat Bordhi, then looked for a yahoo group about her designs. Much to my dismay, there isn't one that I could find. So, in a fit of madness, I started one myself ... LOL. If you like her work as found at her site , please come to the Magical Knitting Groupand join me in my new adventure. Cheers!
You know how sometimes you can't win for trying? Or am I the only one who experiences it? Let me explain. The Mystery Shawl is underway. I happily knit the first clue, albeit with several visits to the frog pond where there is a virtual picnic going on (waves to other KAL members at the picnic). I used some Lucy Neatby celestial merino in the Maple Sugar colour. Yummy yarn, yummy colour. This is what it looked like:
The pattern shows up in the photo, but not in real life! The colour variation conflicts with the pattern so they cancel each other out. Unless I plan to wear the shawl over a white shirt, with a spotlight glaring on me at all times, this is not going to work. I fretted for a day, slept on it, then ripped it out. (Yep, you heard me. I ripped 'er).
Back to the drawing board. I had some fabulous local yarn in my stash. It is called Blooming Yarns, hand dyed in Nova Scotia for Tangled Skeins. 2 ply Kid Mohair/Silk, the softest most delicious yarn I've seen/felt yet. I love this stuff! So, here is Clue 1 again, in Blooming Yarns this time:
Note how the pattern does not show up in the photo, nor do the colours which are an amazing blend of pale pinks to dark pinks to to orange and back again. But, in real life, the patterns and colour compliment each other nicely. Honest. You have to believe me.
This began life as a hand bag but soon morphed into the more comfortable role of knitting bag. She is made of 100% cotton fabric with a velcro closure and is long enough to hold straight needles. There are 6 pockets inside, and an ingenious sleeve along the bottom to hold an insert of acrylic to make it sturdy. I used a piece of heavy interfacing as the insert. The pattern can be ordered at Lazy Girl Designs or maybe in your local quilt store. The designer, Joan Hawley, has many wonderful bag designs. Gracie is just my current favourite. Video directions for the bag can be seen at QNN, just check the schedule for air time.
Well, wasn't I just spoiled rotten! My Back Tack pal outdid herself, making a fabulous needle case for me and including some HANDMADE NEEDLES!!! Isn't that just awesome! The case also included scissors, a handy ruler, a knitting notebook and the cutest pouch containing stich markers. Then, as if that wasn't enough, she made really pretty earrings (that I was wearing when taking photos so didn't get a pic this time) and the art piece shown in the photo with the needle case. I'm thrilled to pieces with this. Thank you Back Tack pal!!!
The Back Tack projectinvolved receiving supplies from a stranger, making a sewing noticn from those supplies and sending the completed item to yet another stranger.
What fun this was!
Here is the collection of supplies sent for me to use.
I made a box, a sewing machine needle case and a knitting needle case (of homemade felt!). My recipient like to knit and sew, and garden, so I tried to cover all three. Those are ladiebugs and doodlebugs crawling up the knitting needle case.