Monday, May 27, 2013

Summer of Socks 2013

It seems that for the past 6 or more months that most everything I've knitted has been shop samples for Fiber Charmer, or I've been too tired to knit.

I've spent plenty of time in April and May sitting in waiting rooms and lobbies of hospitals and doctor's offices, and I pulled out a pair of socks that I'd started in May 2009.  Yes, 2009.  Four years ago.  I knit toe up because I love it, and all I'd done was the toe and a wee bit of the pattern.
At the time I was still learning how to knit and read lace, and I lost my place, put the socks down, and went on to the next project.  Now, four years later, I looked at them and could tell immediately where I was in the pattern.  Not only that, but the pattern is super easy, and I memorized it and got both socks finished up.  I think I picked them up around May 5 and finished the second one up last night, May 26.
(The picture is only of one, but they both look alike.  I counted rounds to make sure they actually matched in length this time.)
While I was refreshing the pattern in my mind, I leafed through the book, Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson, and thought that there wasn't a pair of socks in there that I didn't want to make.
Long before I started dyeing my own yarns, I bought yarn.  I still buy yarns, mostly from other indie dyers because unlike the commercial yarns, hand dyed yarns have variations that will never be exactly alike from skein to skein.  When I see one I love, I buy it.  I have lots of stash, and knitting my way through Socks from the Toe Up will reduce my stash, give me a bunch of new socks to wear and slake my desire to knit on teeny tiny needles items just for me.
Next in the book is Lacy Ribs Socks.  I'm knitting that in Fiber Charmer's May 2013 TriDye installment, Go Ahead, Make Me Sing.  The colorway is based on a photo of a giant clam, and being a fan of Alf, The Animated Series, the name is an homage to Clams Never Sang for My Father.  Here's the yarn.
So far all I have is a few rows on the toe, and I'm officially on my Summer of Socks 2013 journey.
This year SOS13 is going to be a more relaxed affair.  No contests, no prizes, just a go at your own pace knitalong.  My goal is to knit the next three patterns in Wendy's book, Lacy Rib Socks, Diagonal Lace Socks in Dream in Color's Strange Harvest (it's what she used in the book, and I actually have a skein), and Butterfly Socks, probably in Fannie's Fingering Weight Plums & Pinks - a mostly solid pink with splashes of purple.
Stay tuned for pictures!  Have a wonderful Memorial Day.  Stay safe and take a few minutes to think about the real reason for this holiday.  It's not the cookouts and beer, but the men and women who have served for our country.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Waiting for better weather

I've got lots of knitting to show off, but I'm stuck waiting for the weather to clear up enough to take some nice photos.

I'd been knitting one of the Swirl Jackets from Knit, Swirl, but after frogging it for the second time (first for being way off gauge, and this was after knitting a gauge swatch in the round!  The second for discovering I'd twisted the join - augh!!!) it's gone into hibernation.  I'm knitting socks again finally, and that's makes me happy.  New socks for me!!

So, look for pictures soon, if the weather cooperates.  Heck, all it has to do is get dry enough that I can use my stone bench.  I don't mind if it stays overcast, which it looks like it will be doing for the near future.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I'm back!

I seriously had no idea it had been so long since I'd blogged.  Life got crazier, and blogging seemed to slip my mind.

Rather than go back through ancient history, let's just pick back up where I am now and see how it goes.

I'm still dyeing yarn and fibers with Fiber Charmer.  Last year was both great and bad for my business.  I did 4 shows that I thoroughly enjoyed, but I also had some challenges, mostly family related, as both of my grandmother's died at the age of 92+.  I attended yet a third funeral out of love and respect for someone.  Funerals and grief have a way of making thinking difficult.

I've been president of the Atlanta Knitting Guild.  One day I was working away on guild items, and Keith asked just how much time I was spending on the guild.  It seemed like a lot, and his response to me was that they called it volunteer work for a reason.  No one called it volunteer fun.  That's very true, but for the most part I've enjoyed my time on the board, both as president and as vice president of programs before that.

I've been struggling with going gluten free, and it is a struggle.  I think in order to be successful, I'll have to give up most grains.  I tend to overeat rice bread when I don't have wheat bread, and right now I've got all sorts of gluteny goodness in the house.  In other words, I'm failing miserably at staying gluten free, and I have to remind myself that each day, each meal I can make the choice to be healthy or be stupid.  Right now healthy wins more often than stupid, but the fact that stupid is still making choices is what I have to work on eliminating.

So, for now let's look at some knitting projects instead!

First up we have the Roller Coaster Cowl designed by Barbara Benson, a.k.a. Tumped Duck.  It's knit in Fiber Charmer's Shangri-La yarn in the Diwali Rangoli colorway.  This is actually a skein I'd not been as happy with the dye job, so I'd set it aside for me to use.  Roller Coaster is a fun knit, and it works well on even the wildest handpainted yarns.

Next is Boundless by More Than Knotz.  She designed it using 4 colors of Fiber Charmer Valhalla yarn.  It's a large square shawl that is amazingly cozy.   I love the way all the colors work together in this shawl.  Susan designs using lots of different textures, and she loves working with color, but I also think many of her designs would be stunning in a single color as well.

 Finally is Saroyan, a free pattern that you can find online.  When you look at Saroyan on Ravelry, you'll find it knit in just about every yarn weight.  It's knit from end to end, and the lace edging is knit as you go, so there's no picking up stitches later.  It's worked by proportions in that about 25% of your yarn is for the increases side, nearly 50% is used for the middle, and 25% for the decreases side.  This allows you to knit it in laceweight up to bulky and still have a terrific scarf.

This one is knit in Fiber Charmer Galadriel in the color Emerald.  I still need to block it, but I was more concerned with having a sample ready for the spring shows.  Now that it's warming up, I'll have time to properly block it before the fall shows.

I hope you have a lovely, lazy Sunday afternoon.  I wish I could, but I have to update the shop and catch up the laundry.