Knitting and Spinning and Stuff, oh my!

Friday, June 22, 2007

On Your Marks...



Get set...


Waitaminnit... This feels dejavu-ish, somehow...

Today begins another pair -- Socktopia Clementine socks for one last sock-sprint, Knit Off Competition (@wave, @cheer to all the other Team Koigu members). I seem to recall promising myself no more sock races for a ...looong... time, yet somehow.....

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ready...



Set...


Go...


Happy Summer (of Socks) Solstice, everyone!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bear With Me

Not a heavy picture day (read that none, in fact) -- everything I'd want to photo is home and I'm stuck here (everything I'm wanting to swatch is there too... I so miss the days when I'd just run to the LYS for a quick fix...)...

I'm still trying to figure out what pattern to use for the SOS knitalong's beautiful beginnings project. I've determined that the yarn will be the green handspun from the SpinASockAlong project, but I've yet to come up with the perfect pattern for this particular yarn. More specifics tomorrow -- I'm planning on winding and measuring the yarn tonight, and I'm playing with pattern possibilities that may actually be photo-able by then.

My other busily current ~along has started collecting cards for folks to plan Vacation Bingo -- we're to pick out locations of other blogging vacationers and list them on a Bingo card, and our charming "tour guides" will call out places we're "passing" for us to mark off on our Bingo cards. Confused yet? It's really not as complicated as I've made it sound, and I can't wait to get started... I'm guessing this summer's vacations are going to be a blast!

Other non-along... I'm still fretting over the wedding shawl I mentioned and then sort of lost in the flow a while ago. My sister-in-law is getting married in a year (I can say this now as I've already chatted with her a bit about it) and I want to do some sort of lace shawl for her. She's planning on two ceremonies, one in Shanghai (where she and her fiancee live) and another in New York (she comes from Massachusetts, and that's close enough for most of the stateside friends and family), so I'll need to come up with something that will do double duty. I have some quite fine laceweight cashmere/silk blend in white that I'm hoping to use -- my swatch came out quite soft and I loved it right up to the point where I miscounted and dropped a bunch of stitches and managed to flummox the whole thing all at once (note to self: this is definitely a heavy-duty lifeline project!). The thing, though, is that I started thinking about this so long ago and just finally go the go-ahead, and now I'm not as excited as I was at the beginning. It's such a big project, and I still have to plan it out (we're thinking a combination of cultures, blended into the one shawl, possibly a Faroe style shawl with some Scandinavian and some Chinese styling...), and I'm not sure how to motivate myself to actually get going. I do still love the idea, and I'm hoping it'll pick up for me once I actually get it started......................... Also, if I do Faroe style shaping and the final fits through a wedding ring, does it still count as a ring shawl, does anybody know, or would it have to be a square or round shawl to qualify (silly detail, but it actually has some bearing...)?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Green Sheep, Green Sheep,

Have you any wool?
Yes indeed, and my bobbin's full!



Singles to be Navajo-plied for the SpinASockAlong -- I'm thinking, perhaps to tie a few non-fiber "ends" together and call this a mult-along project. I'm working on a pair of socks (see below) of my own devising. I'm anticipating reworking the first set and tweaking the pattern a bit -- and I wanted something special for the first pair of "Summer of Socks", so, mine own yarn, mine own pattern, and two ~alongs for the price of one!



Knewsworthy for today:

  • Probably ya'll already know about it, but Knitty's summer issue is now available;

  • January One is hosting a "guess how many" contest;

  • And The Panopticon has announced an endeavor to begin "collecting" knitters to be photographed for his 1000 Knitters project, beginning on Saturday, July 14th in Chicago. Somehow, I'd expect Franklin will probably have more knitters than he can handle, but this is to be an ongoing project and, well, there you have it...

  • Monday, June 11, 2007

    Knewslink: Hot Off The Press

    and all that!


    Melanie at Pink Lemon Twist has opened up signups for her current mystery lace project: Mystery Stole 3, complete with the tantalizing question mark of beads in her button. I've knit the first mystery, sadly got sidetracked on the second (I did knit the socks), and I can attest that Melanie's patterns are well written and quite lovely. And yes, I've already joined up, and no, I'm not in anyway affiliated...

    According to her blog desc, the first "clue" set of instructions will go out on Friday, June 29th, and subsequent clues will be available on Fridays thereafter. Supply requirements are posted in a file on the Yahoo Mystery Stole 3 page. At the very least, take a look!

    Vacation Questionnaire


    (for the Knitters' Virtual Vacation Swap):

    1. If you could visit any state in the US, which would it be and why?
    Alaska, hands down...Hmm... quiviut, traditional knitting, unspoiled nature, and did I mention quiviut?

    2. If you could visit any country in the world, other than your own, which would it be and why?
    Sweden or Australia, it'd be difficult to decide...
    As for Sweden, my ancestry is Swedish and I've particularly been drawn to Nordic knitting styles. I'd love to visit my "roots" and see what modern Swedish life and knitting is like now; to hopefully visit some of the past in person, rather than strictly through my book collection; and maybe be able to spend some time out and about in the other Nordic countries as well (if you're gonna travel that far, how could you not?)
    As you may have gathered from #1, fiber is a necessity for any vacation I plan... I am also a once was diver, and love the marine life, and somehow Australia has always been up there among places I'd like to visit, even before I was fixated on fish and fiber...

    3. Have you ever driven across several states/providence/countries?
    Yes, I've been on several cross-northern-US trips, driving from Massachusetts to Seattle and/or back. The last time, we drove to Seattle and took Amtrak back -- a highly recommended way to travel (particularly for a knitter!).

    4. Have you ever visited someplace you consider exotic? Where was it?
    No, I haven't. I'd consider Hawaii or Bali-Bali or the like to be traditionally exotic, but I suspect I'd enjoy something with a bit more of a knitterly focus a bit more...

    5. What was your favorite "travel" vacation? Why?
    It would have to have been the trip to Seattle and Amtrak back. I've never been on any other official "vacation", really, so that was special in and of itself. I did discover that some of the family we were visiting in Seattle also knit and we did a mini-touristy-yarn crawl. I didn't know about the Swedish/Nordic heritage museum in Seattle at the time, so if I ever go back...

    6. Have you ever played tourist in your own home city/state (if international, country)? Explain.
    Not really, not in Massachusetts. I did a bit of that when I lived in New York (school trips, etc.) and after I moved to Massachusetts I visited NY with a friend of mine and we played tourist a bit together (went to the top of the WTC, dinner out, etc.), but I've never really done that here. I'm quite looking forward to it now!

    7. Are you a museum visitor, beach comber or an amusement seeker?
    Some of each. I tend toward museums with a focus -- I've enjoyed the Childrens' Museum and Science Museum, and I'd plan to visit museums that focused on my interests, but I'm not much into artsy stuff or the like.

    8. What's your favorite type of yarn?
    Anything wool -- I knit mainly lace and socks, so I tend to stick with those weights if I'm not picking yarn for a particular project.

    9. What's your least favorite type of yarn?
    I'm afraid I'm one of the can't stand acrylic snobs (though I have occasionally found a specialty acrylic that I'd maybe knit with, I tend to "hands off" acrylic in general.

    10. What items do you like to knit/crochet?
    Socks and lace items. I also like cabled work -- variety, I love trying new things, and whatever I'm working on now will likely be the opposite end of the spectrum from what I was working on last. There's almost always at least one pair of socks on the needles. I know how, but I rarely crochet.

    11. What do you pack, knit/crochet wise when you go on vacation?
    Socks, what else? :*) I'll often also pack a lace project, for long stretches when I can focus, especially since a big project can compact into such a small space.

    12. What other crafts do you do/would like to do other than Knit/Crochet?
    I'm also an avid spinner; I spin a lot of my own yarn. I've been trying not to pick up any new... er... habits... as I've barely time for the ones I've already committed to...

    13. Are you allergic to anything? (Yarn wise or treat wise)
    Not as far as I know.

    14. What is your favorite color? Least Favorite?
    Favorite color is red; least would be tan, I guess. As Elmo is fond of saying, I love all colors, though I admit I tend to choose brights rather than pastels more often than not.

    15. Sweet or Savory (Treat not personality)?
    Savory, indeed.

    16. Anything else we are forgetting to ask that you think your partner desperately needs to know?
    Can't think of anything...
    Thanks!

    Wednesday, June 6, 2007

    The Search for Thirst


    Rather than repeat an already wonderfully put post, I'll direct you to Golden Purl's "A Good Cause" page -- though the post may be a bit poignant, the cause is dear and the goal is hopefully easily reachable. Here's hoping we can surpass the goal, as Purl suggests, "stitch" by "stitch"....

    Similar and different, all at once, it's time for Claudia's yearly 150 mile! Knitters Against MS ride. Similar, a worthwhile cause, an important cause; different in that this fits the contest category as well -- the prizelist is impressive; I'll refer you directly to Claudia's site for a listing.

    And wait, there's more still -- along ~Alongs, Nona Knits is rather enforcing the ~along concept by offering the pattern for her new "Sidewinders: A PerpenSOCKular Pattern" (a sideways sock pattern that looks to work and fit well, note to all the SockManiacs that might recall a related thread during the competition)... where was I?... oh, offering the pattern in installments so we can all knit along separately together :*) The sock is quite pretty, and I fully plan to be amongst the ~alongers...

    I actually have some blogstuff to post as well, so I may be back again later (depending upon how much work-type-work I actually get done today -- you think my thus far prudently unnamed employer might appreciate it if I came into the office to actually do some work along the way?).

    Before I go, though, public thanks to Golden Purl, our reporter in the field, for being the first to offer much appreciated KnitKnews suggestions. If there are other links you'd like to see, please don't be shy to say so!

    Tatatillthen...

    Tuesday, June 5, 2007

    4'10", Otherwise Known as Shorty

    Quick update today... You'll have noticed the links above this post, I hope -- my plan is that they'll stay available until they naturally "expire", making it easy to get from here to there until there is no longer knewslinky... Suggestions welcomed, and hopefully the list will lengthen...

    New for today, or recent for today, as the case may be... The Girl on the Rocks contest asks folks for opinions relating to drum carders and/or crafting materials...


    Also, just in case you hadn't read about it on one of the other numerous blogs planning for the weekend, this Saturday is the official Worldwide Knit in Public Day and there's lots going on. For those in my home Boston area, Guido of It's a Purl Man podcast fame will be hosting a KIP get together at Copley Plaza from 12:00 through 4:00. For those whose response is "Copley what?", the KIP main page lists a lot of other events by city / state / country that may sound more familiar or accessible.

    Friday, June 1, 2007

    Just Two KnewsFlashes Today --

    can you guess what this:

    has to do with this? See, I knew it, you're so smart! I've been knitting since I was three (well, attempting to at three, I admit, but it did ultimately develop into what I call knitting today... -- and no, I have no intention of offering how many years ago that was, other than many...) and I've been knitting socks for years now. One of the reasons I tend to prefer toe up is that I have an invisible cast on that works to start off a round, seamless toe, and, well, grafting is Grafting. It sounds easy, and I've seen folks do it and make it look easy, but when I try, I quickly remember why I prefer toe up socks *insert rueful grin*. Apparently I'm not alone... Anyway, when I read Nona's Epiphany, I kinda felt like "here we go again", but I was at the toes of these:

    so what did I have to lose? You know what? Epiphany! Hope it works for you too if you aren't already an accomplished grafter (or committed to toe up socks ;`) that is...

    Oh, and you've probably figured from above, Horcrux are finished. I may have had too much yarn for the first pair out of this yarn, but there definitely wasn't too much yarn for the second, as evidenced by the interesting toe combo (which doesn't look quite as abrupt in person). Specs:
    Yarn: Schaeffer Lola, left over from Sock Madness Mad-Tini socks
    Needles: Addi Turbo Circulars, US1
    Pattern: Horcrux Socks

    KnewsFlash the Second is heavy on the Flash, light on the Knews (aka, more like a teaser than any actual info...). To put it into a thousand words or less:


    Hubby is helping out techwise and the (hopefully imminent) goal will be to move here to there, there being sheepspyjamas.com, and I'm hesitating to do too much implementation (doesn't that sound like I almost know what I'm doing here? -- read that bribing folks to link to me and send Knewsbits in) before we move. But I'm committed (or will be, one way or the other) and excited and having fun making plans, and just not very good at being patient, so....................................

    Item last: Here's my SpinASock to date...

    I've been laundrying, and spinning, and laundrying and spinning (and spinning), and laundrying, and spinning (and prepping fiber, and spinning) (and spinning), and you get the picture, yes? Two bobbins, as I started off on one wheel and moved to one near the laundrymess afterwards. But there'll be enough to need two bobbins, anyway, I figure, and there's only so much laundrymess I can lay claim to. Ultimately, the plan is to Navajo-ply* the singles into a three ply and knit socks, pattern yet undecided. Oh, and please forgive the flash-ed photos; I did try to take a set without flash, but they were blurry, and by the time I got them onto my Mac to choose, well, this seemed the least offensive of the bunch.

    * I'm told that Navajo-plying is no longer considered the appropriate term, as it's questionable whether "chained three ply-ing" actually originated from Navajo spinners. That said, it was certainly made known to me as Navajo-plying, and I do admit to still using Band Aids and Scotch tape, so I guess I'll just have to be questionable for now...

    Happy weekend, all!