Monday, November 26, 2007

Three Cheers!!!

Found myself suddenly quite annoyed by all the almost finished socks in my basket, so dropped the ones I was working on and added the final touches to the following:My favorite and most successful socks to date
Brigit by Gigi Silva
Wollmeise in RakuRegenbogen
2,50mm & 2,25mm

Also very nice socks. Haven't worn them yet so can't be sure of the "droop" problem, but for now, they fit great and the yarn is lovely and cushy and they are fun.

Bellatrix by Gigi Silva

Monarch Fly Dye in Hott

2,50mm & 2,25mm And still another pair, this time toe up and they came out too long in the foot. I still haven't made toe up work for me. I am aware that many of you would knit your socks no other way, but the vote is still out for me. Although I do plan to work on it, perhaps with Firestarter or the Boyfriend Socks. If I knew mid sole how tall I needed to make the heel of that particular pattern for my arch, it might be possible to accurately calculate the increases.

Baudelaire by CookieA

STR midweight in a Rare Gems colorway with the cuffs knitted in Mustang Sally lightweight since I ran out of yarn.

2,25mm & 2,50mm

Now for a pictorial explanation of why I need more yardage in my sock yarns. The blue sock is Rebecca's, knit for herself, and yes, she is a grown woman. Red sock is my size 10 Bellatrix. Duh! Now I know I knit tight and I don't like to use larger needles and I have to deepen the heel and gusset to accommodate a freakishly high arch, but still, my foot is reasonably normal. This was just amazing to me to see the literal difference in volumne. Thanks to Bea for the photo.

And since I'm always whinging to Jo about running out of sock yarn and needing more yardage, she pointed me to Knitivity, where Ray's yardage is more generous, and he even sells cones of some of the stuff. Well worth a visit. I liked Etouffé and Jambalaya, but there are lots and lots of blues for those of you blue lovers. Jo of course picked those. Ray started dyeing yarns professionally when he was chased out of New Orleans by Katrina and started a new life in Houston.

Submitted my October Sockdown, the Brigits, and am knitting away on my Novembers, using Gigi Silva (again) for a homegrown designer with Eleanor done in Sock Hop's Big Yellow Taxi. Increased from 60 to 66 stitches by adding a stitch to each motif. But knitted on 2.25s in the handspun, they are quite snug. Will show them off next time, hopefully finished.

I'm beginning to burn out a bit on all the socks. Well, I say that, but although the passion may be waning, the obsession isn't. It seems if there is a choice to pick up a large project or a sock, the sock always wins. If you count stitches, I could probably knit a sweater in the same time as a pair of socks. Does this make sense? And those of you with high arches will understand the difficulty of shoving a handknit sock clad foot into any pair of shoes on the market. Sort of like Cinderella's stepsisters must have felt with that glass slipper. My only choice is sandals with an adjustable strap, let out to the max. So why am I churning out those exquisite little socklets in a veritable assembly line? Beats me, but I can't stop.

This cold rainy week-end inspired me to clean out one of my closets, well, at least the summer shoes. The ones that have been breeding in the dark recesses of my closet for years, since my foot was a size smaller. I threw out as many as I kept and still the closet is crowded. Memo to more shoes for ten years. Although most of these are at least five years old. Since I am not hard on my shoes, they never die a natural death, which leaves me to make the decision to euthanise them at some point and until then, they are shoved to the back of the stacks. Where they reproduce. Ran out of steam before I got to the winter shoes.

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. We certainly did. And I had a long list of things to be thankful for. I've decided to start every day by thinking of one of them and saying a quiet word of appreciation to the powers that be.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Kid n Ewe and Llamas, Too

Finally, a report from the fiber festival in Boerne (pronounced Berney) last week-end. Susan and I took off in her VW bug late Thursday down the back roads to the Hill Country. A pleasant several hours drive. We were the first ones there when they opened on Friday so we got to see the offerings before they were decimated. Knitting Fairy was there, and we met M2Dragons from Ravelry, as well as at Lone Star Arts, who made us Ravelry badges to wear. Hockett Would Works was there, and he gave me a commemorative spindle to add the the others of his I've collected. It is slightly heavier, so is a welcome addition. But he didn't have any knitty noddies or darning eggs that were on my "need" list.

Our mission was a cash only budget, to limit our collecting, and to try to find treasures we couldn't buy just anywhere. Well, one of our big finds was this lovely selection from Plain and Fancy. Organically home grown merino, spun in the region, dyed by the lady of the farm who has a marvelous sense of color. It has a homespun look, too. The decisions were hard because there were at least 20 colors each that we had to choose between. I ended up with a strange grey for a Wool Peddler's Shawl.
And then there was Brooks Farm. This is only perhaps a tenth of what they were showing. It was amazing. And quickly swamped with buyers grabbing. Sherry and Dena were delightful as always. And Randall was there too. Needless to say, I couldn't resist a few skeins of Mas Acero for a sweater in a goldish brown.

These friendly and well behaved alpacas were making the rounds of the halls.
Lorelei of Heritage Arts was there, wondering how long she could survive eating beans so she could afford this fantastic wheel crafted by Bill Wyatt. The Legacy, made from timbers which had lain at the bottom of the Great Lakes for 200 years. Note, she is barefoot as usual.
And there was a large display of JoJoLand's yarns. With lovely Lijua, the young woman from Northern China who is behind it all. She imports, sells, designs lots and lots of lacy things, and knits all the samples. OK, I'm impressed.
And here is Susan, checking out the cashmere.
Bill Wyatt demonstrated the Great Wheel for me. Utterly fascinating. It's the one they call the walking wheel. There were bunnies, really cute bunnies.
And goats...
After all this excitement, roughly six hours on our feet, we headed out for dinner at the Dodging Duck Brewhouse down the river road. A perfect recommendation. Then back down the road home to our lodgings, where we found a secret hot tub in the dark, immediately stuck our very sore feet in, and both managed to slip and get totally soaked fully clothed. Me much worse than Susan, who was laughing like a hyena while I shivered as I realized that nothing I was wearing would be dried out by the following morning.
We stayed in the most delightful B&B in Comfort, owned by Sandy whose gourmet breakfasts were amazing. She loves to cook. The place had plenty of wildlife...
This charming little object is to hold bits of yarn for the birds to grab for their nests.
And a porch cat who guarded our door.
We looked at typical houses and shops in Comfort and Fredericksburg.
Check out the sculptured birds on the roof. Way cool.
I've always loved the courthouse in Llano.
And this, gentle readers, is a yarn glutton, overcome with yarn fumes at Brooks Farm, on her bottom on the very dusty floor, balancing the merits of different colorways.
Lorelei said that if we were returning home by the back roads, we had to stop in Hico for chocolate, better than Godiva. Now that seemed strange... a chocolate factory in tiny little Hico. But since Lorelei is German, I had to think she might know what she was talking about. Well, she did. Wiseman House Fine Handmade Chocolates, the most elegant old house, all very fancy and full of wonderful chocolates. It would hold its own next to any European chocolate emporium. Texas never ceases to surprise me.
Thanks to Susan for some of her photos!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A Literary Meme and a sock, a single sock

I don't often do the meme thing, but Di of ClementinesShoes had such an odd one that I couldn't resist.

So here goes. The rules: Open the book you're currently reading on page 161 and read the fifth sentence on the page, then think of 5 bloggers to tag. Well, would five of you please auto-tag? My results:

Le gros grec d'Odessa, le juif de Varsovie,

Le jeune lieutenant, le général âgé,

Tous ils cherchaient en elle un peu de folle vie,

Et sur son sein rêvait leur amour passager.

Well, that poem is the fifth sentence, but since not everyone will appreciate it, I will give you the sixth one:

"Finally there had been one "real" poet, Mother's cousin, Prince Volkhovskoy, who had published on velvety paper an exquisitely printed, thick, expensive volume of languorous poems Auroras and Stars, all in Italian viny vignettes, with a portrait photograph of the author in the front and a monstrous list of misprints at the back."

Hints: It is non-fiction. The author loves to write very long sentences. One of my gentle readers may perhaps guess, since she recently returned the book and I am re-reading it after years' absence. This is one of my very favorite authors.
And now for the obligatory knitting content, I present a sock, a single sock, with which I am very happy. Sock the second is underway and I hope to have the pair completed for the October Sockdown on Ravelry. They allow you until the end of November, but have already posted a mystery sock for November which looks downright interesting. The mystery sock for October was Sheherazade, which is absolutely gorgeous, and has planted itself firmly in my queue.

Brigit knit in Wollmeise.