Friday, May 28, 2010

Sneak Peek

Stephanie wrote:

With summer right around the corner we're working on the summer installment of our Four Seasons Sock Club. All of the pieces are coming together.

Yarn dyed and ready to go.

Summer means water, and we have a beautiful shade of blue to match. The yarn is Twinkle Toes, 50% superwash merino/50% tencel. The tencel adds a nice shimmer.

JC Briar designed the pattern. She's put together a delightful, elegant sock with a cuff reminiscent of bobby socks.

If you want a preview, check out JC's blog. You can find the summer edition of the sock club here.

At the top of my knitting pile . . . the right and wrong sides of a project waiting to be finished.

Perfect for a long weekend.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Waiting Game

Stephanie wrote:

I've had a week filled with waiting. As any good knitter would do, I planned accordingly and had a couple of projects with me at all times.

First up was my daughter's doctor appointment. After getting settled in the waiting room I pulled a sock out of my bag. The leg, heel flap, turn and most of the gusset were all done. I set off to march down the foot of the sock. I knit and knit and knit. After an hour or so I realized that with a little more time I would finish the foot.

My daughter was not quite as engaged with her book as I was with my knitting, but I was able to entertain her with chatter, all the while knitting away. More waiting while I knit several rounds . . . the foot was done, now on to the toe.

At this point I was secretly hoping our name wouldn't be called - just a little more waiting and I could finish the sock. When I voiced this to my daughter, she sighed heavily and rolled her eyes.

It was not meant to be. Our name was called, the momentum was lost and the sock was put away.

Later that evening with a few minutes to myself I finished what I had started.


The next day I found myself hanging out at the airport due to a delayed flight. I reached into my bag and pulled out the makings for sock the second.

I cast on and got down to business.

I had a sinking feeling when I saw the departure board. I got a cup of coffee, made myself comfortable and settled in for the long haul.

The time for departure finally arrived, and I had accomplished this much. You'll have to excuse the off-colors - airport lighting is the worst.

The next day sock the second made an appearance at the dentist office. I picked up where I had left off at the airport.

I was about to start the heel flap, but my time was up. Two cleanings - just the amount of time I needed to finish the leg. While I hated to put the sock away, there was good news - no cavities all around.

I spend lots of time waiting, sitting and waiting. Rather than measuring the time in minutes and hours, I prefer to think in terms of knitting progress. It's liberating to shift the focus from the clock to the knitting needles. And it helps me keep my sanity.

Of course there were other wanderings throughout the week. On one run I pulled into a parking space, got out and was greeted with this sight.

Ten babies in all, fresh and fuzzy.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Color Combos

Stephanie wrote:

Lots of dyeing, lots of different colors.

I've learned that the drying phase of this whole process can be a good opportunity to experiment with color combinations both random and planned.

Recently I've paired gray with several different colors, and it works well with all of them. What a versatile color.

This combination caught my eye.

And so did this one.

When it comes to mixing and matching colors, the possibilities are endless. The result can be everything from warm and cozy to cool and refreshing; traditional and classic to funky and hip. It's your choice.

Lately I've been thinking of pairing this color with something. I think it could be lots of fun.

And on this dismal, rainy day it's like a bit of sunshine.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Braving The Elements

Stephanie wrote:

We're back from New Hampshire Sheep and Wool. True to form the weather provided challenges all weekend long. Those who have been attending this event regularly know what I mean. The only thing we were missing this year was snow, and at times I wouldn't have been surprised to see a few flakes swirling around.

Of course on Friday the weather was nice.

This was our first time vending outside. We got off to a good start when the E-Z UP did just that.

Stocked and ready to go.

Saturday was raw with rain, heavy at times. We had some issues keeping everything dry, and there was a slight puddle forming at the back of the booth. Compared to what some of the other outside vendors experienced, we really couldn't complain. While Sunday was dry, the temps were cold and the winds fierce and blustery - an invitation to wear layers of wool.

The view from our booth.

It wouldn't be a fairgrounds without Italian sausage and fried dough.

This alpaca was beyond cute.

Almost made me wish I had one of my own.

In case you think that there is only wool for sale at a sheep and wool festival, we made a stop at Thyme & Ewe Farm . . .

. . . and came home with these goodies. We've already sampled two of them - delicious.

I was gifted with this from Five Sheep and a Donkey.

Very clever.

At Kisakanari, a vendor selling Jacob fleece, I spotted this and had to pause. I learned that this shawl is a beginning knitter's second project. Yes, second project.

I've been knitting for so long that I have no recollection of my second project, but I do know it was nothing like this. What an inspiration!

Thanks to all the hearty souls who stopped by our booth. New Hampshire Sheep and Wool - always an adventure.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Heading North

Stephanie wrote:

This can mean only one thing.

Packing up yarn for another event. This weekend we will be at New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival. This is a large event with plenty to see and do. It's a tradition for many in New England. If you're in the area, be sure to check it out. You won't be disappointed.

And now I'm off to finish packing.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Stuck On Gauge

Stephanie wrote:

The last few days I've been dealing with a knitting quandary. I'm hungry for a bigger project - a pattern that is clever, challenging and long-lasting.

I thought I had one lined up, but I've run into a bit of a snag. Have you ever had the situation where you like the yarn at one gauge but the pattern is written for a different gauge? That's the dilemma I'm faced with.

At first I thought I could live with the yarn knit at the gauge stated in the pattern. I knit up almost a full skein before I slapped myself and came to my senses. I don't like the yarn at that gauge, but I still want to use the yarn for the pattern. So I've spent a considerable amount of time re-working the pattern to accommodate the gauge I do like.

While I think I have worked out most of the kinks, I'm cautiously optimistic. These things have a way of coming back to bite me.

In the meantime I've started this basic sock to travel around with me and keep me occupied.

Plain sock in Mega Boots Stretch, color 707. I've used this yarn before and like the gradual shift in colors. I'm almost to the heel and think I'll go with a garter stitch flap.

In the news . . . we've had more water issues here.

Earlier this spring it was the heavy rains. This time it's a broken main. They had to tap into reservoir water to keep the system up and running, but that water isn't safe for drinking. We are under a boil water order for all drinking water. Granted this isn't a crisis when you think in terms of hurricanes, volcano eruptions and earthquakes. But it is a hassle.

This brought back memories of life in New Mexico when I had to boil water for bathing and washing dishes. While the kids have fond memories of those days when we had to boil water, not so for me.

Since boiling enough drinking water for my crew could be at least a part-time job, I resorted to this.

I struggled with buying all this plastic but soothed my conscience with the fact that it's temporary.

Just in case . . . a reminder for those who can't remember to stay away from the tap water.

As I write this I've received notice that the boil water order has been lifted. I think we all have a greater appreciation for free-flowing drinking water.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day

Stephanie wrote:

Today is May Day. May Day is synonymous with spring, fertility, the International Workers' Day and political demonstrations. While the calendar has said spring for several weeks, I never feel it's truly spring until May Day.

May Day is a centuries-old celebration with roots in both pagan and religious observances.

We participated in our traditional May Day celebration.

While our celebration includes games and music, the centerpiece is the maypole.

Ribbons blowing in the breeze waiting for the dancing and the weaving.

Coordinating ribbons, dancers and weaving is not an easy task. It takes focus and concentration.

And in the end a decorated maypole.

As I watched the dancers weave all those ribbons I was struck by the similarities with knitting. Creating fabric from ribbons or yarn . . . nothing could be more satisfying.