Sunday, August 30, 2009

Knitting Fun

Thursday evening I went to Stitch & Pitch. I learned that Seattle was the first city to do one, and I believe this year was the 5th. My socks had fun hanging out at the ball game.


Then Saturday morning the same socks and I headed down to Salem. The socks got finished on the train!

summer 1

Pattern: Summer!
Yarn: Knit Picks Essential in Dusk
Started: 3/4/09
Finished: 8/28/09

Then I got to give Snarfy her socks, which she tried on:

snarfy socks

They fit! And I think she likes them!


Now, my goal for Summer of Socks this year was to finish my sock WIPs. It's ending September 1st, but I had been thinking that it ended at the end of the summer (September 22nd). So, I've decided to continue working on sock WIPs for the rest of the summer.

Next up? Kai-Mei.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Socks and Winners!

Well, it's time to announce the winners of my contest!

The first prize goes to MJ, who guessed 20 pairs worth of sock yarn - which is exactly how much I bought! She'll be getting the Toe-Up book.

There are two runners up who guessed 21. This is a "more correct" answer than 19 because I actually came home with 21 pairs worth of sock yarn, just one of them I didn't buy and I realized the question for the contest was how much I bought, and also one of the 21 is not for me. This question was more complicated than I realized!

So Tece and Dawn are the two runners up - I'll email you copies of Falling Up. (Tece, I need your email!)

In the past few days I've also finished a couple pairs of socks.

blackhearted blues

Pattern: (Black)hearted
Yarn: Dream In Color Smooshy in Night Watch
Started: 8/1/09
Finished: 8/21/09

twisted flower

Pattern: Twisted Flower
Yarn: Dream In Color Smooshy in Wisterious
Started: 3/10/09
Finished: 8/25/09

Sorry for the blurry picture, the beautiful twisted stitches don't show up with flash and I apparently couldn't stand still enough.

I started the Twisted Flower socks so long ago as twin socks with MJ, but I got distracted when I hit the heel flaps. Also, there is a 38 stitch by 49 row chart for the foot, and that requires a bit more attention than my usual knitting situations allow. But the past week or so I decided I'd go for it and put on an audiobook and just did it. And I'm so glad I did!

Listening to: Heaven Beside You ~ Alice In Chains

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Toe Up Socks

As some of you know, I'm not a big toe-up sock knitter. There are a few reasons for this. I've only found one toe-up heel that fits my feet well. One of the main benefits of knitting socks toe-up is not having to worry about running out of yarn, and I don't usually have to worry about that anyway. The gusset is my favorite part of the sock, and toe-up socks don't usually have a gusset.

Sometimes I do knit socks toe up, but then I use a gusseted short row heel, which means more calculating when to start the increases on the foot to end up on the right pattern row to start the leg after the heel. In this case, cuff down is just easier.

But, toe up socks have been playing a bit of a role in my life lately, so here goes...

I have an extra signed copy of Chrissy Gardiner's new book Toe-Up! to give away! I helped proofread the book, and picked up two copies at Sock Summit - one for me and one for the lucky winner. I'll also throw in a PDF copy of my newest sock pattern - also knit toe-up - Falling Up.

And, as a little bonus for the runner up, they get a copy of my pattern too.

So, how do you win these fabulous prizes? Well, just guess how many pairs worth of sock yarn I bought at Sock Summit. I'll give you some time to contemplate - entries will close on August 25th.

Listening to: The Drapery Falls ~ Opeth

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Oh Snarfy...

One of the fab Salem knitters, Snarfy, had her birthday at Sock Summit on Saturday. I wanted to give her these socks before leaving Oregon last weekend, but they weren't quite done. (See, the socks actually have nothing whatsoever to do with her birthday, but I figured it was a good occasion.)


Yarn: Dashing Dachs in Froggin'
Started: 5/20/09
Finished: 8/13/09

I posted this yarn in my stash on Ravelry one day, and Snarfy commented "OMG hot". I almost thought it a joke because... well let's just say this yarn is not really my style - but you could have guessed that. Of course, while I was knitting it I got comments both ways, so it seems that Snarfy isn't the only one who really liked this yarn.

In case you're wondering, skeined up it looked like this:


I got it from the Woolgirl club, and it was destined to sit in my stash for all eternity... but then Snarfy rescued it. Since I hadn't used Dashing Dachs before, I told her I'd knit the socks.

The base yarn is that standard 2-ply merino that many indie dyers use or have used - I can't remember the name off the top of my head, but it's quite thin and rather loosely plied. It knits up nicely, though. Even though the colors weren't my favorites, I have to say I'm impressed with the dyeing. The black is *very* black and most of the colors have pretty clear "borders" and don't bleed into each other. The light blue does blend a bit with the bright green to make it a little bit of a darker green, but it looks good. And the bright green and yellow sort of fade into each other. But there aren't any muddy spots where the colors touch, which I was really pleased with.* Overall a very nice yarn!

* When taking the dyeing class with Tina from Blue Moon at sock camp, she talked about how she loves the magic of the colors blending together and forming other colors in between. Maybe it's my analytical / control freak tendencies speaking, but I can't say the same. ;)

Listening to: the menu music for Tru Calling... I'd better go finish my DVD!

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Adventures at Sock Summit

Well, last weekend was one full of sock knitting adventures.

Friday afternoon I drove down to Portland with one of my Seattle knitting friends. We met up with a few other knitters for dinner - there was a wait for tapas so we headed up to The Secret Society while we waited, which ended up being my dinner. My mom picked me up and took me back to Salem, but I hear the tapas place was really good.

Saturday morning I got up bright and early and met some of the Salem knitters for the trip up to Sock Summit. We hit the marketplace and attempted to proceed in an orderly fashion, somewhat hampered by the fact that we kept pausing in different booths and I kept stopping every three minutes to say hi to yet another person that I know. I actually never really thought about how many knitters I know, but it is a lot and they were well-represented at Sock Summit.

After lunch at Burgerville (where they are so nice as to put the calorie count on your receipt and totally spoil your lunch!) we made a quick detour to go see our friend's lovely yarn and the samples we knit from it!

And my pattern was there too!

And then... there was more shopping. And a bit of knitting, and dinner, and Ravelry partying. I didn't take any pictures.

Sunday I did a quick last look at the marketplace before heading home. I wish I had more time, but I guess I'll just remember that for next time. It was amazing, even without the classes and events!

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Off to the Summit!

There has been quite a bit of sock knitting going on around my house these past few weeks, but tomorrow I am off to the Sock Summit!

But first, here are some Monkey socks I knit in a swap:


Pattern: Monkey
Yarn: Pine Woods Yarn - I bought this at SPA a couple of years ago
Started: 7/12/09
Finished: 7/26/09

Forgive the bad picture, I misplaced my camera battery so I just snapped that with my iPhone before sending them off to the recipient.

The yarn was really lovely. I bought it because it was the "best" color there, a blue-green, but I didn't use it because it just seemed too green to me. As soon as I started knitting the socks for someone else I wished I had kept that pretty yarn for myself, but I have plenty of beautiful yarn for me so I'm glad these socks went to a home where they'll be loved. The yarn is a wool-nylon blend and it was very nice to work with and produced a very nice sock. I think it will wear quite well too, as it's more of a firm stringy texture - more like Trekking than the sproingy Socks That Rock, for example.

As for Sock Summit, I'm not taking any classes. Just planning on hanging out at the marketplace with my knitting buddies on Saturday and going to the Ravelry party, of course. I'm also excited to see a couple sample socks I knit and my newest pattern, Falling Up for sale there.

The mission? Only buy semi-solid yarns. I've been using a lot of them lately while designing and knitting more complex patterns and the variegated yarn isn't getting as much love, so I think it's time to stock up.

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Sock Yarn

    A quest to use sock yarns:

    Yarns I've had:
    * means I really liked it

    4-ply Soft
    A Piece of Vermont*
    Artyarns Supermerino*
    Austermann Step
    BMFA Sock Candy*
    Black Bunny Fibers*
    Brown Sheep Naturespun Sport
    Chinese Mystery sock yarn
    Claudia's Handpaints
    Conjoined Creations Flat Feet
    Crystal Palace Maizy
    CTH Supersock
    Dicentra Designs
    Dorchester Farms
    Fearless Fibers
    Gloss (KP)
    Interlacements Beibi Seda
    Interlacements Tiny Toes
    Interlacements Toasty Toes
    Jarbo Raggi
    Jojoland Melody
    Kona Superwash
    KP Essential
    KP Merino
    KP Palette
    Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock*
    Macek Designs
    Magic Stripes
    Mega Boots Stretch
    Nature's Palette
    Noro Kureyon Sock
    Panda Cotton
    Paton's Kroy*
    Peru DK
    Peruvian Quechua
    Regia Bamboo*
    Regia Cotton
    Regia Strato*
    Ruby Sapphire
    Socks That Rock*
    Star (Classic Elite)
    Stitch Jones
    Sunshine Yarns*
    Three Fates Cauldron Sock*
    Wool Ease
    Yarn Pirate*

    In Progress:

    Perchance to Knit
    Yarns in the stash:

    All Things Heather
    Ancient Threads
    Apple Laine
    Araucania Ranco
    Artyarns Ultramerino
    Autumn House Farm
    Baby Ull
    Ball and Skein
    Baywood Yarns
    Bearfoot (Mountain Colors)
    Briar Rose Fibers
    Brooklyn Handspun
    Cavyshops Handpaint
    C*eye*ber Fiber
    Cervinia Calzetteria
    CTH Superglitz
    Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks
    Chewy Spaghetti
    Classic Elite Alpaca Sox
    Colinette Cadenza
    Colinette Jitterbug
    Country Classic Yarn for Sox
    Crash Into Ewe
    Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop
    Curious Yarns
    Done Roving
    Dream in Color
    Duet (A Swell Yarn Shop)
    Dye Dreams
    Ellen's Half Pint Farm
    End of the World Farm
    Fashion Trend Sportivo
    The Fiber Denn
    Fleece Artist
    The Flock Bransonas
    French Hill Farm
    Froehlich Blauband
    Gjestal Silja
    Great Adirondack Soxie
    Greenwood Fiberworks
    Jaeger Matchmaker
    Jarbo Mini Raggi
    Jawoll Cotton
    Just Our Yarn
    Knit Purl Natural Collection
    Kona Superwash
    KP Dancing
    KP Essential Tweed
    Lime & Violet
    Lisa Souza
    Louet Gems Pearl
    Mama Llama
    Merlin the Cat
    Meilenweit Cotton
    Meilenweit Trend
    Mind's Eye Merino/Tencel
    Mirasol Hacho
    Misty Mountain Farm
    The Natural Dye Studio
    Neighborhood Fiber Company
    Over the Rainbow Twinkletoes
    Pigeon Roof Studios
    Pine Woods
    Posh Yarn Lucia
    Prism Saki
    Pucker Brush Farm
    Regia Surf
    Reynolds Swizzle
    Reynolds Soft Sea Wool
    Rio De La Plata
    Royale Hare
    Roz Houseknecht
    Schaefer Anne
    Scout's Swag
    Sheep Shop Wensleydale
    Shelridge Farm
    Sockenwolle Unipo
    Spirit Trail Fiberworks
    Spunky Eclectic
    Steinbach Wolle Sockenwolle
    Sundara Yarn
    Tess Designer Yarns
    The Unique Sheep
    Universal Ditto
    Valley Yarns Franklin
    vanCalcar Acres
    White Oak Studio tvyarn
    Wisdom Yarns Marathon
    Wool in the Woods
    The Woolen Rabbit
    Yarn Botanika Radiance
    Ysolda Yarn
    Zen Yarn Garden

    To check out:

    Sophie's Toes
    The Spinning Bunny Yarns BFL

WIPs and FOs