a sock story, revisited.

Morning, folks. I think I posted about this when it actually happened, but as last night was likely my last regular attendance at weekly knitting night, allow me to tell you a brief sock story. Back in the fall, my internet was down for at least a week. My ISP couldn’t figure out what was wrong, and I was frantically working on all of my graduate school applications, so I was spending an hour or so every night at the coffee shop closest to my house. One Tuesday evening, when I stopped in to submit some forms and check email, I noticed a table of women who looked incredibly fun doing something with their hands — I had to look again to confirm that they were actually knitting! I introduced myself and asked if I could join them. Luckily for me, I had one of those fleece artist yellow tiger socks in my bag. They welcomed me and encouraged me, and soon I was knitting with them every Tuesday night. I’m heading to Base Camp next week, and then off to New Home for graduate school, and while I am going to try to meet up with them whenever I come into town on a Tuesday, yesterday was the first of all of my goodbyes. They marked (ha) my departure with an incredibly sweet and unexpected gift: gorgeous sock-sized stitch markers from Hide and Sheep (on etsy).

See how the marker itself isn’t simply circular?

It was all I could do to keep myself from casting on another pair of socks at 11 PM last night, just to admire these on a sock in progress. I am plugging away at Sunday Market Shawl number 2 — brought the remains of the one the dog gnawed through to show and tell last night, and am slowly adding length to its replacement. Here’s a rather blurry picture that shows the gorgeousness of the purples in this Dream in Color Smooshy yarn:

You’d think stockinette wouldn’t be tricky, but when I yanked this out of my bag last night, I managed to pull out a bunch of stitches and picked them back up all weird. Ramona to the rescue!

I feel incredibly lucky to have found such a wonderful “real life” knitting community — I will be thinking of you guys on Tuesday nights this summer — and I will particularly miss the “mommy” talk.

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FO: super simple short socks

I love them. LOVE. I finished these in two weeks, while working on other things, and I am super proud of them. The heels look far more awesome than my last pair of socks, and I even kitchenered a bit better (though on the second one, something weird happened and I was left with a loop I couldn’t tighten. I finally just used a scrap piece of thread to help me pull it to the inside, where it will hopefully stay). Anyway, I love them. Despite the serious pooling:

Also, they look so cute with my purple crocs:

I wore this combination around the house while packing this morning, even though it is really too hot for socks and shoes. I also had a tea date with my landlord — I live in her backyard, so she came over this morning to learn how to knit. She is a natural — was able to do a long-tail cast on after watching me cast on 3 stitches. We had a lovely visit — such a nice way to end my 2 years here. (I move out on Saturday.)

This post is harder than usual to write, not because of the content, but because I just took Boh for a run, and it is far hotter outside than I anticipated. I am working on rehydrating now — should’ve had more agua last night and this morning before our run. Also, my body is a bit sore, as I went on my first run in quite awhile on Saturday. Yay for number 2. Here’s what the dog is doing:

Ooh — and this is unrelated, but I made some color choices this weekend:

I may be leaving the Southwest, but I’m bringing its love of color with me. Hope you’re having a great 3-day weekend. I’m off to a badminton yard party for the afternoon…

toe pick.

Anybody? (The Cutting Edge? Elementary school sleepovers?) Anyway, that’s what I think whenever I complete a heel flap. Can’t really explain it. See? Heel flap:

Toe pick! Also, it was very hot this week. So hot that I began second guessing my summer knitting plans. (Heading to Base Camp next week for the summer, and everything else I own is slowly making its way out of this teeny house and into a shiny storage unit.) I fell in love with this sweater from Knit.1 magazine: the gathered cardi. This is way cooler than I am, and may make me feel like I am playing dress up, but I really like it. I’m realizing as I pack that I may need to adapt my wardrobe a bit for graduate school, as I doubt it will require carharts and backcountry gear anywhere near as often. (Justification of need for sweater and thus, yarn, accomplished. You see, I don’t have any cotton in my stash!)

There it is: 8 skeins of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, in a mustardy-yellow/pea green shade. Won’t this be lovely with a big old wood button? Also, in the interest of full disclosure, here’s my stash.

It has been organized and in plastic tubs for a few weeks now, but today is the day it is going into the storage unit. I’ve made my summer knitting decisions, and I’m sticking to them. (Though my storage unit is easily accessible between the hours of 8 and 6 should I require anything additional on the days I come into town…) It is already in the car, and the clock has struck eight. Time to take more stuff to storage!

take 2.

Here’s my second attempt — still pretty bulky. After reading through some ravelry forums, I think I need to predraft a lot more, slow down the speed of my spindle, and move my hands further up the fiber. I’m realizing that I need some dedicated time to practice and play with this, and that packing up my whole life may not be conducive to that — which is fine. I just needed to take everything out of the box and get myself excited. Expect more spinning attempts later on, once my life is a bit more organized.

Also, because it is Friday, take a look at this silly dog:

There are no words. Hope you have a great weekend — back to packing!

you spin me right round baby…

I couldn’t help it. (With the song, but also with the actual spinning.)

Sort of hideous, I know, but bear with me. You see, this used to be this:

And before that, this:

I ordered a drop spindle and some fiber from Hello Yarn, and it arrived yesterday. Last night, after a super fun knitting night, I decided to give it a try. I still have much to learn — it feels like there are more tasks than I have hands — but I am excited about this.

After taking the dog out and enjoying the sunrise:

I tried again.

I think I need to separate the fibers even more in order to get a thinner yarn. Anyone have suggestions for websites or other resources with pictures of top whorl drop spindles in use? I’m interested in learning more about speed of spinning the spindle, how much twist is a good idea, etc.

Already late for work, but wanted to share that with you!

many moons.

A year ago, I began Thermal. It was to be my first sweater, and I was very excited. I ordered the recommended yarn (KnitPicks Gloss) and printed out the pattern. As I was still a new knitter, I was sort of afraid of color. I’ve since broken myself of that (see bright green Bolero Jacket for proof), but I remember struggling with the color decision. I eventually concluded that I would be most likely to wear my first sweater if it was black. I’m sure you’re all cringing because you already know what I failed to realize: knitting a sweater in fingering weight black yarn is akin to poking yourself in the eye repeatedly.

Enter my progress:

A tangled skein and several errors in knitting direction resulting in ripping and starting again (I didn’t quite get that it is easy to tell which way you are going). I have a solid inch of the twisted ribbed bottom hem of the sweater. And you know what? The knitting is even, and quite pretty! I am going to keep this one handy, and perhaps in small doses, I can make progress on the black fingering weight sweater. (You know, even though I am more willing to play with color now, I will get a lot of use out of a black Thermal — if I can finish it, that is.)

My 1824 Blouson met a different fate last night. I have beautiful yarn for this project, and I love the shape of the sweater, but I fear all those dressmaker finishing details AND the 4 inches of the back I discovered in a knitting bag tucked away were not as pretty as I am capable of. My now-discerning eye was drawn to a scattering of small errors in the knitting, and I found no evidence of a gauge swatch. Ribbit! I still love the idea of this sweater, and am hoping to make something similar. Ideas?

Also, to avoid the dreaded second sock syndrome, I cast on Super Simple Short Sock #2 last night.

I posted my bed on craigslist on Sunday and sold it yesterday during my lunch break. Making progress over here! Time to go rent a storage unit so that I can begin clearing these boxes out of my tiny house…

ready for grafting!

I know it’s dark, but I really like this photo — the randomness of the backdrop, the light streaming through the front door, the bright red bookshelf that is mostly empty now — it works for me. I realize, though, that you might actually want to see the sock, so here’s another shot:

I love this sock. It fits perfectly, and the yarn really makes the heel stitches pop. I can see several super simple short sock pairs (say that 5 times fast) in my future. You know, once I knit the mate to this one.

Another Monday morning sleepy dog picture for you — I absolutely adore how ridiculous Boh is when he is sleeping. We did a lot of frolicking this weekend — so much so that Boh refused to budge from the couch ALL DAY yesterday. I even had to coax him towards the door to go outside. He just wanted to lounge, sleep, dream (translation: twitch) and sigh. Life is hard when you’re a dog.

Life is also hard when you are a sleepy person who has to go to work on Monday morning…but I do think there is time to kitchener that sock to completion before I go.

May your Monday be filled with sunshine and coffee!