Friday, January 30, 2009

Welcome to my Sock Hop!

I have been to the temple of socks and I have seen the light. I love to knit, love to wear my hand knit socks, have even managed a yarn store, but I will admit - I used to kinda laugh at the sock enthusiasts. They seemed a breed apart, putting incredible stitchwork on teeny,tiny needles that only people inches from the floor or someone with a foot fetish would every fully get to appreciate.

Those who laugh first fall the hardest. I now love socks - they are the best part about winter and boot season, the reason I buy my footwear a size big so that they can accommodate my knitted and warm treasures. I feel the need to go beyond the sock basics and add some new grooves to my sock repertoire.

As I explore the realms of blogging, little did I know that I would fall down the rabbit hole of knitting, much less sock blogs. I thought I would keep that extra time not reading such blogs for, well, knitting. I have been knitting for 30 years, and not doing to shabbily at it, and so I thought (oh so wrongly!) that I just wouldn't need to go there. I am such a fool.
Here is my present collection of socks that I have made and kept for myself - minus a couple pairs, because I was simply getting too out of hand with the whole sock still life. The others are out in the world covering other people's feet and journeying somewhere else in the universe.

The top photo is my Trekking (XXL) that I bought for my birthday over a year ago and just unearthed. My favorite ebony needles from Suzanne, a German manufacturer using remnant wood from musical instruments, are patiently waiting my ministrations.

For this pair of socks I plan to use the Basketweave Ribbing Sock Pattern that Marguerite of Stitches of Violet has so loving provided.

The green socks were made from some lovely hand dyed yarn from my very own Renton,WA. This gal also provides contrasting heel yarn for the soft merino wool yarn that she specializes in - Duet Sock Yarns, and here's her store.
These orange and olive socks are double stranded with a strand of Fortissima sock yarn and a strand of machine washable wool sport weight yarn - thick, boot weight socks for my Doc Marten's - yeah baby!

The grey socks are my all time favorites and they have the wear on them to prove it - these are knit from a desperately dwindling stash of Anny Blatt #4 - the best med weight sock yarn ever. It never gives up - sorta like Rocky Balboa, "Yo, Adrianne!!".

My footnote (giggle!) goes out to my new blog friend, Kathryn, of nuttinbutknittin blog, who has awesome sock skills and inspired me through her mere presence and really nice emails to consider making more audacious sock plans!

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 24, 2009

New babies

This is my latest insanity - once I start I just feel compelled to create. All the other projects get short shrift and I can't seem to care.

A dear friend's sister is having a baby - and she asked me to make her a baby blanket. It was the first time this friend of mine has ever requested such an effort of my time- and so like her that she not even be the recipient. So of course, I had to say yes. Babies when they first come into this world send out a signal, letting those grown ones know what to gather together for their soon-to-be needs, helping to feather the nest they will soon be inhabiting. We have all heard it, and we respond to the calls that are meant for us to hear.

I could have kept it simple - that thought did in fact run through my head, but what fun would that be. I also felt a little prideful of my efforts - I did not want the blanket from my hands to look just like one of those poor, discarded baby afghans I sometimes run into at the thrift store. Run of the mill, rather boring in appearance, but handcrafted with love and endless hours of labor.

After rummaging through my abundant stash, and keeping in mind that this was an expected boy baby whose Mom and Auntie did not want anything too frilly, I came up with the color theme you see (ok,ok - still rather traditional, but I am a practicing recessionista.)

The pattern is from a very old copy of possibly Knitter's Magazine, but you could use any knitting stitch encyclopedia and have at it. Knitting the patchwork afghan in strips makes it easier to assemble, keeping possible the balance of color and stitches used and traveling with project in hand easier.

Yarn: All DK weight, some Sirdar Baby Double Knitting, and Bernat Baby Yarn in white (same approximate weight)

Needles: Size US 6/ 4 m Circular ( they are the best! - travel easily and up until now, never grabbed at the airport as potential dangerous weapons!)

Cast On - Approx. 34 - 41 stitches depending on the stitch used

Anticipated size - around 40 - 45 inche square, which I will then probably do an edging around.

Words of Encouragement - If the square you just knit looks wider than the previous, don't despair and reknit- when you put the strips together, it all evens out in the wash. And try some fun stitches you don't usually get to use and reuse the ones you like. Alternate so that you don't have two squares with similar stitchs next to one another, which happened to me when a seed stitch square landed next to a Daisy Stitch, which took much more effort to make and now will not shine as much for the beauty that it is.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Greetings and Salutations!
I just wanted so badly to start this second of my blogs, that I am just throwing caution to the wind and jumping into the thick of things. So much for a planned attack, this is more like a case of the "bloggers munchies" where you start to get really excited about telling stories and taking photos that, like that next cheeto, you just can't bear to deny yourself the pleasure.
So here I am, launching my second blog baby - all about thoughts on creating with the two hands and my wee bit of brain. I like to knit, sew, collage and take photos- so I am imagining a bit of all of those to creep into the throes of this fine endeavor. I also am particularly fond of thrifting and recycling/upcycling materials, so that is a definite bent that will be applied and seen in my projects to be shared.

Join me on my creative adventure - I would be glad to have you around.