Monday, August 31, 2009

Sock Strategies ~

For a few years, my sock strategy has been: 1) cast on one sock and knit until the toe increase is complete, then; 2) cast on the other sock, and knit #2 sock until the toe increase is complete, and then; 3) put both socks on one set of circular needles and knit them both until complete. Well, I knew there was a way (many ways, probably) to cast them both on at once on circular needles. However, I've not had the patience to read all the directions...but after doing Judy's cast on so many times since the Sock Summit, it came to me how I could do them both at once.




So I tried the technique with new Sock Summit yarn called Crimson Sun by J.L. Yarnworks. Those of us that know...we know that this yarn is called Harry Potter's Gryffindor House. The technique worked pretty well, but still one glitch to re-figure...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Early Retirement ~

Several people at work are taking early retirement incentives that help with the overall budget. I have many more years of work ahead of me, if I continue to be as blessed as I am now, and I still love my job very much. As I attended the retirement gatherings for the lucky few, I asked them all what they would be doing with all their free time....some are going to travel, some will be doing home remodeling, others aren't sure if they even believe they will have free time....

I would certainly knit a lot more if I was retired....take more knitting classes and get together with knitting friends to share more and learn more together....

I'm sure many of you have already started acquiring your yarn stash to knit during your retirement!!! That is good planning!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Late Bloomer ~

Some of you know that I also do a wee bit of gardening. Not as much as I did before having kids, but just enough to keep some flowers and veggies nearby... Well, some of you also know my good friend, Jerry, who is (among other attributes) a great gardener. He gave me some sunflower starts in the beginning of the summer to plant in my yard.

Here is Jerry's sunflower a month ago....
Here are my sunflowers this morning....

Can you see them amongst the riot of herbs and Rhodie's? probably not, as they are mostly stems.... and then one just starting to show some color...next to the Cosmos... Jerry can't believe they aren't blooming yet....
perhaps they are growing slowly like the socks I am knitting?

Friday, August 28, 2009

No comparison ~

Well, actually, there is a bit of a comparison here. I've been knitting on my Sock Summit socks and sweet E's socks, and they are both coming along beautifully. Both yarns are soft and colorful, and both have the wondrous twist that I came to love in my Jitterbug yarn. Both are knitting slowly on my size #1 needles, and I've started the gusset on my socks, and hope to get that far on sweet E's this weekend...

Here are my socks..... beautiful in Funny Lady colorway by Apple Laine....


Here are sweet E's socks.... also beautiful in Supernova colorway by Laughing Rat

Both pair of socks are stunning, and they carry such great memories of the Sock Summit!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sunshine stash ~

Today's sunshine highlighted my Sock Summit socks' yarn so beautifully while I was knitting outside, that I thought I should bring out my other Sock Summit yarns for a photo shoot.

they are all so beautiful! I couldn't decide which picture to use, so you get to see them all!


Seems like I didn't buy enough....:)


...and I've only cast on 2 pairs of socks (for sweet E and me) plus I've wound one of the skeins into two cakes already and they are in one of my project bags already, waiting for another set of size 1 needles.... so 3 skeins are missing from this group...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Weekend work ~

When I was at the Sock Summit, my sweetie and kids were working to transform our back yard from stumps and rocks to grass and landscaping. Here is a peek-a-boo view from our tower gardens (and my Sock Summit sock too!). The new grass is starting to show!

We're going to plant bamboo in the "pool" that is contained by the rocks... more on this later...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sock progress ~

Socks are not knit as fast as hats...duh....but I'm making a wee bit of progress on my sock summit socks. This yarn is so lovely that I had to take pictures in the sunshine.



I love the colors, very short repeats...


Always fun to see which color is coming through the needles next...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Camping friends, too ~

I realized that I forgot some of the moving treasures from the weekend (moving meaning video clips, not emotional events....)

The friends.....
The friends, moving....

video
The sisters jumping...

Enjoy!

video

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Camping friends ~

Camping in the summer is the perfect time for knitting ~ a fantasy to have uninterrupted time to knit. It is also the perfect time for sharing time with friends. The summer seems to go too fast, and the camping weekends too few, but we enjoy each trip so much! Here are some highlights from the most recent weekend...

All the friends...
putting up the tent friends...

Crazy friends....


Sunning on the rock friends....

We are all having a great camping trip!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sock Summit Spins ~

One of the major elements that I saw at the sock summit was drop spindle spinning. Drop spindle spinners seemed to be just about everywhere the knitters were, waiting in lines, eating their snacks, waiting for friends in the market place. Friend Debi even spun during the luminary panel on Sunday. There were several avid spinners in our hotel lobby at any given time, plus one in the hotel bar on Friday night after the sock hop. She had just learned that afternoon and was very good already! I talked to Fiberjoy on Saturday about drop spindles (she is an amazing lady... her work is so inspirational!!!) and listened to her drop spindle spinning demonstration on Sunday. On Saturday, we had a mini-lesson from Kimber from Fiber Optic at The Fold's booth (another amazing lady with lots of creativity to inspire us!) She showed us the techniques and gave us samples of pencil roving to practice with.




As serendipity happens, when The Fold announced Sunday, they were giving away their 2009 Sock Summit Drop Spindles to the first 25 people, I happened to be standing very near their booth....and look what I received!!!



it is so beautiful - a blend of Ewe, Mahogany and...




the spinning on this one was done by Debi, as she learned much faster than I did!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sock Summit Socks ~

I've made a bit of progress on my Sock Summit socks, although I spent the weekend working on sweet E's pair (Laughing Rat Supernova.... I like that name a lot). My pair are beautiful, and have a different toe than sweet E's, as her pair has side increases in the toe, and my pair has the fan toe of Queen Kahuna. Both toe techniques are beautiful and both functional.


My Sock Summit sock yarn is from Apple Laine called Funny Lady (not Crazy Lady...) and it is a beautiful yarn with a twist like my beloved Jitterbug yarn.

The color changes are in short repeats and the color tones are amazing...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sock Summit Cast on ~

Since the triumph of the tofutsie cast off, I was able to cast on the new Laughing Rat Supernova yarn that I found at the Sock Summit. My sweet E picked out this beautiful color way for her first socks knit by mom....and I love this choice (well, I would have loved all the choices from the Sock Summit yarns I brought home) and was thrilled to cast on!


Using Judy's magic cast on (from the Sock Summit Class)


first one sock and knitting until I've finished the toe increase....


and then the other (you can see Tim fly fishing in the background below)


and finally putting them both on the same needle set so I can knit 2 at a time...







Casting on is so magical!!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cast off to Cast on ~

My sweet E picked out a lovely Sock Summit yarn for her first pair of socks knit by mom...it is by Laughing Rat on etsy, and the color is Supernova. The yarn is beautiful and a lovely twist, reminding me of my beloved Jitterbug yarn. Well, since I only have two sets of size #1 turbo circulars, I realized that I needed to finish my tofutsies before I could cast on the Supernova socks...such motivation!!! The alternative would be to buy or borrow another set of size #1...but I didn't want to go that easy route!)








So, the first project camping was finishing my tofutsies.....



they look so beautiful at the river....




I made a lot of progress... finished the first one ~ Hurrah!!!



then finished the second one ~ Hurrah!! Hurrah!!


Lovely, eh?!!!
and ready to cast on....stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cashmere camping ~

Note: back from the Sock Summit to resume our camping knitting...
The thought of camping and the thought of cashmere do not completely go together... camping makes me think of back to nature, and sleeping bags and getting a bit dirty with sand and grit... and cashmere is soft and delicate and beautiful and elegant.... so let's cast on a hat out of 100% cashmere....ok? This is the Windy City hat, again, as I have 2 kids that are interested in a Windy City hat for their future... and I've wanted to cast on this yarn since I first bought it from Webs. (I need to check the label for the brand name, as it escapes me now)


beautiful color.... and soft too....


and there's sweet Guinevere in the background...(you didn't expect her to swim with her chain mail & axe, did you?)


the hat is looking good, yet I won't be done today......


Thank heavens we'll be at the river again soon......

Monday, August 17, 2009

River lace ~

As you may recall, I scored some great bamboo & silk yarn (Ella Rae) during my Sisters vacation. I decided that I needed to use it at the river, so I cast on a classic favorite pattern of mine, the Windy City hat. The first one I knit was for my sister's friend, Anna. While I had my kids modeling the finished hat for the blog, they both asked, "Is this for me?" so I promised them that there would be a Windy City hat in their future.... this might be that future...

here is the beginnings..... by the campfire....cast on before dark....

it is looking very good here....in the daylight!


I love knitting lace as it adds interest....

or is it the river that is adding interest?


I have to have the pattern handy to follow the lace pattern, lucky for me there are built in pattern holders with the river rocks....


nicely knit, eh?

Is this is going to take longer than one day to knit....

we're having fun swimming in the background....

good that I have some iced coffee to keep me knitting....


wow - I did finish this today! beautiful!!!

What project should I cast on now?!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sock Summit Farewell ~

The knitting fantasy weekend did come to an end...with an amazing panel discussion by women of creativity and talent and honor in the knitting world. We sat next to Famous Jess of Ravelry, and that was very cool! Her friend won the blanket raffle for Doctors without Borders, very cool, indeed. Famous women on the panel including Barbara Walker (I'm sure we all have one of her books) and Cat Bordhi (I have one of her books, too) Meg Swanson, Nancy Bush (I check her books out of the library.. and have yet to brave one of her sock patterns....but they are lovely) Lucy Neatby (who I already told you about ~ she's amazing) and Judith (who I'm not familiar with, but Steph would take a class on boiling water from her....high praise....) and I'm missing a few... it was an amazing few hours hearing them discuss topics, and so funny to hear Steph & Tina with the introductions and the comments in between...

Tina let it slip that this was "the first" sock summit, so we are all hoping for one next year, and I would vote for a Portland location again, as it was perfect in every way.... this was a weekend of fantasy in so many ways, and I hope the creativity and inspiration stay with me all year!!!!


As I have at least a year of Casting On with all the great yarn we bought! (actually, this isn't all mine, it is mostly Miss M's.....but I love this picture!)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sock Summit Sunday ~

Sunday came around so fast, as if our weekend was in a time warp. We started the morning with a class by the amazing Lucy Neatby. As a teacher, she is patient and supportive. She gave us 'one on one' attention and treated each of us as important and worthy. (I will not name the very grumpy and impatient teacher we had on Saturday...She acted a lot like my 1st grade teacher who used to whack our hands with a wooden ruler....) Lucy was A+ in every way. The class went too fast, but we all seemed to learn her technique for the chimney toe ending for a sock...

Here is Lucy with Miss M.

Lucy & Miss M are bonding....


Lucy just being Lucy..... (she's awesome)


Here is a fun Kinnear picture of guess who and guess who's arm....

(Steph and Lucy's arm.....) pretty great, eh?