Monday, September 24, 2007

Fireworks and champagne, please!

And what are we celebrating? Just look at this, two finished objects!!!
First we have the June installment of the Rockin' Sock Club, Solstice Slip Socks in the colorway Firebird. I ran out of yarn not once, but twice. Wendy and Sheryl came to my rescue, both from Virginia. And LBinVA also offered. Those Virginians are surely nice folks with small feet and I send huge thank yous their way.

Speaking of Socks that Rock, have you seen all the new colorways on their website? Downright exciting and inspiring and I'm going to cut up my credit cards before I do some major damage. My all time favorite Moss Agate is back, but then there are the chickens...lots of chickens. Gorgeous chickens. And Pond Scum and Froggy and Gingerbread Dude and...yup, I could go on and on. Go check them out. The second item for celebrating is this, the Flame Wave Sock by Ann Budd from Favorite Socks. Knitted in Elann Esprit, a dead ringer for the specified Fixation. OK, to be honest, all they needed was kitchenering those toes, but it's done. Finito. Basta.

Two more projects are in the final throes of completion, but for that I'll wait until next time.
And this was the week-end that the Sisters had a special dyeing day at Heritage Arts with Lorelei. So it was back to Beaumont Ranch, where we were greeted by the wrought iron trees that line the entrance, and lots and lots of pumpkins. They are really getting ready for Halloween.There was the sheriff and his prisoner...
Rocking Horse Dude, whose hat had blown off and was way down the field. I felt obligated to find it and restore it to his pumpkin head before taking his picture.
Perhaps my favorite was the Cook with the crow on his head.
And this very bowlegged cowboy with his pumpkin head baby in the stroller. There were many more examples, including a bride and groom pumpkin head couple at the entrance, but by the time I wen to take their picture, the bride had blown over and was bottoms up. As if she had over-imbibed and made a fool of herself.The sisters were lining the street, intensely concentrated on their work.
Our dyestuffs resembled weird party drinks.
Taya was here from El Paso. It was so good to see her after a very long time.
Micki creating another masterpiece.Julia and Aisling actually looked up for a moment. Julia had planned her strategy down to making a graph for color placement based on the measurement of her feet and her stitch counts. I think that plan flew out the window pretty fast. I loved her yarn, but I think it went home for an overdye.
Rebecca and Knitstress Mary totally absorbed in their projects, did not look up.
And here we have Spider Guy, who supervised the lot. The heat was oppresive, and when we had had quite enough, we headed into the chapel to knit (what else) in the cool air.
And what is this beside the church?
Mary, Micki, Wendy and Susan were quiet as the proverbial churchmice in the light streaming through the stained glass windows. I don't think I got a photo of Grace, but The Grump was there alright. And Julia's sister Jeannie. And Carrie. And some young girls who were there from Colorado for a wedding and bored out of their gourds. They did some first time dyeing which turned out quite beautifully.
And here is the first of four batches to make it through the heat process. We were all a bit heat processed, too.
I'll close with some yarny goodness. Here are my "creations" that Grace so kindly organized with dyer Beth from Some Assembly Required. Thanks Grace. And Beth. Nice job. Some are wool and some are Merino/Tencel. There were something like 35 skeins to admire for the group.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Endless miles of Garter Stitch

In sheer frustration at running out of yarn again on my Solstice Slip socks, I started still another project, a biggish one, a lovely reasonably mindless one which has been lolling in the stash since the trip to Rockin' Sock Camp in the spring. Joy and I stopped in Everett, Washington at Great Yarns on our way to Anacortes and the ferry to the islands. We had a grand old time. I watched Joy put together the yarns for their Kimono pattern to make a jacket for herself. Then she did it again to make one for her daughter. Then I thought what the heck, get one for yourself. I do love it when yarn shops have examples of their best patterns and it is possible to try them on. Joy and I both tried this jacket on, and although our figures couldn't be more different, it looked good on us both.
This is a sleeve to sleeve pattern, the most basic pattern imaginable. In fact, I kept looking for a second and third sheet to the pattern, and there wasn't one. Let's just call it minimalist. A hint or two on the bind-offs and cast-ons would have come in handy, but I eventually figured out the best for me to use. In fact I ripped back a good chunk of the long rows to recast those side seam edges exaggeratedly loosely. I had first used a loose cable cast on, which might have been just OK, but I decided that a crochet cast on would be even more flexible, so frogged and reworked that. With the help of several knitters on Ravelry, it seems the best CO/BO for the fronts will be a standard BO and a crochet CO, which give a perfectly matching edge. Joy ran short of yarn, as did her daughter. And I'm looking like 3 to 4 balls short and I had bought an extra ball to begin with! I'm waiting to arrive to the middle before calculating the final needs.
The combination of the different yarns is quite beautiful, better than this photo shows. I wish I had paid more attention to the yarns the shop had chosen. I was focusing on color and didn't notice content so much. The MC is only 52% wool. But I still think this will be a very practical jacket, which I would quite possibly knit again in Noro or something else. It fit quite nicely. The only change I made was widening the sleeve to 20" for a real kimono effect.
Isn't this just lovely? My friend Micol spun this beautiful light fingering weight yarn for me. 8 0z. = 880 yards, which should make a perfectly lovely shawl. Her spinning is really very nice and this color, which was quite variegated in the bat with greens and other colors, came out the most gorgeous dried blood red. I've been playing with a drop spindle, but haven't even begun to approach the quality that Micol does. And there just aren't enough hours in the day. Sheri of The Loopy Ewe has been talking about using glass containers to store the odd bits leftover from sock knitting, in plain sight but decorative at the same time. So I've been searching for proper containers. This one was the children's cookie jar. I dumped the cookies and gave it a good wash and voila! Of course, since this isn't even half of my yarn ends, I may be needing more jars. I'm eyeing the flower vases at the moment.

Speaking of The Loopy Ewe, I missed out on yesterday's Sneak-Up by minutes. I was at the doctor's and just happened to check TLE when I got home. It had been up for about an hour and every possible thing I might have wanted was gone. All the Wollmeise. Wendy's sock patterns, etc. I understand that this is unavoidable considering how nutty everyone is about that site, but it is highly frustrating and stressful to have to check constantly, then miss out by minutes. I just have to let that go. Brawling over sock yarn is just too hilarious.

Back to those Solstice Socks, with the yarn W sent, I was able to finish the toes. Then a care package that Sheryl sent late August got lost in the postal system for over ten days. But it finally arrived this week and now I can do some sort of ribbing to finish the socks and be done with it. I can't tell these wonderfully kind knitters how much I appreciate their help! Now if I can just find my sock mojo again, I will get them finished. Running out of yarn on that project really soured me on socks.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Bellatrix for All Hallows Eve????

Progress report. Here is Sock 1 of Bellatrix from Socktopia. We've turned the heel, it fits, the weight of the skein seems to be almost OK to finish the pair. If I need a few rounds of black for the toe, so be it. It seems like it wants to stay up. Life is good.
Here were my STR Rockin' Sock Club Solstice Slip socks in Firebird. This is the length I arrived at, 7" leg, size medium, foot size small, size 2.50mms on the leg and 2.25mm on the feet. This is it, not another inch of yarn left, used up my keychain spare! With multiple inches to go on each foot, plus I'd love a dab of ribbing at the provisional cast-ons. Several angels stepped out of the woodwork to offer their left-overs, so I'm starting to knit again. Bless you each and every one. Hope to have them done over the week-end and post them to Summer of Socks. A package arrived from Japan on Thursday. First, I managed to order directly from the Amazon site without going through the other page for setting up an account.I'm just amazed. Late Wednesday, I received some sort of confirmation e-mail, totally in Japanese, and I wondered what was going on. Thought I would print it out and take it to a nearby Sushi restaurant for translation. I ordered these evening of August 27. Dawn Thursday morning on the 30th, they arrived with a Fed-Ex truck, although the package is marked Intl. Priority. Most of these are being carried by a shop in Canada, but I felt adventurous. Did I mention...they are fabulous!
Fleegle encouraged me with this Japanese order. Just want to thank her and put the blame where it belongs.

This beautifully dyed skein of sock yarn is from Madeline Tosh, who happens to be local, who knew? I believe this color is Peacock (I'll correct this if I find otherwise). Now I don't know which socks it wants to be, but it will let me know, I'm sure. I'm guessing zeros??
And here is the STR Rockin' Sock Club Summer of Love Lace, August's kit. The second pair this year designed by J.C.Briar. Lace cuffed socks. Not my color or pattern, but beautiful all the same and they will make good gifts. Two more kits to go for the year. Since we've heard a rumor that Cat Bordhi will be designing one, it leaves me wondering who will design the other and what colors they will be. Sivia Harding did the extraordinary design for the last year's holiday sock and it was gorgeous. CookieA did another. It is now getting truly exciting and I will be anxious to see what's in the next two kits. Guess I'll just have to knit something else until they arrive.Off for errands and dinner, then back to knitting. Wishing a happy and safe holiday week-end to one and all.