In a Six Sox Knitalong post, someone mentioned Queen Kahuna's Crazy Toes & Heels Socks book on toe up socks done simultaneously. Since learning to knit socks toe up and also learning to knit socks simultaneously to get rid of SSS (second sock syndrome) was a challenge I had recently set for myself, I leapt at buying the book.
I skimmed the book when it first arrived. I had multiple projects on needles at the time, and did not have two free circs in the right sizes to even think about trying out the technique at that time. Well, today I remedied that. I indulged in two 24" Size 1 Addi turbo circulars at the Knit In at City Side Yarn Co. this afternoon. And this is what I created: Specifically, the yarn is Opal's Rainforest Collection Ladybug, on Size 1 circulars, at 8 st/inch. I initially thought I was matching up the point in the yarn repeats in the two socks, but obviously not. Since I do enjoy making things coordinate but not match, I decided to not sweat the striping matches.
The book is very detailed, and very visual. Lots of good photos, and very clear. Easy to follow what happens at each step. I really, really like the unique caston which winds up grafting itself together during the caston process. I am looking forward to a long knitting life with many toe up Queen Kahuna socks, all matching lengths and widths, all with partners made simultaneously. Thank you Queen Kahuna, and thank you to the knitter who suggested her book to me!
Once upon a time, there was a little mid-coast port in Maine called Belfast. Now every year in Belfast, the townfolk had a contest for decorating bears. And the townfolk saw that it was good, and showed off their bears every summer on the sidewalks and parking lots in town so that all could see their finery.
Well, October is a bit late for the bears, who have by and large already gone into hibernation, but we did find four of them still around. Five, actually, but one was knocked over and did not photograph well...
The hot dog bear.
The mama bear.
The rocket bear.
Some of the bears are upright - about three years ago one was a Harbor Master, complete with coastal map in her back pocket. There was a family of three bears on the beach sunning, a deep sea diving bear, a photographer bear, and even some bears with spiral bands cut out so one could see through them. Next summer, before the bears go into hibernation, I will try to get a more complete collection of photos of these unique bears to share.
This evening, I was able to spend time with a brand new group of spinners at City Side Yarn Co. . Tonight was the first meeting. There were a total of six wheels there, and all but two were different models, all but one being an Ashford.
There was an older gentleman there with his wife. His mother and aunt taught him to knit in his 40's, and to crochet. He went to this year's Common Ground Fair (see my earlier post on the fair), and watched a demo in drop spindle spinning. He went home and crafted himself a drop spindle, and taught himself how to spin. He even fashioned himself a distaff, and has taught himself how to ply. All the while, his wife was there, but she does not knit, crochet or spin!
A young woman came from an hour away to learn how to spin. She got a drop spindle and went to town - she likes thick yarn and instant gratification. She and the older gentleman got brief lessons on a wheel. I think we are all betting by next month both of them will own wheels. I wouldn't put it past the older gentleman to learn to build his own wheel!
One of the spinners has been spinning for two years, and only spins laceweight stuff. She plies it as two-ply, and knits lace shawls from it. She says the Wow factor is wonderful when one can say they not only knit their lace shawl, but they spun the yarn as well.
I worked on my second colorway of the Lorna's Laces rovings I photographed earlier. This one is called Watercolor, I believe, and is quite lovely. I am really working at getting enough spin in it to be able to go really fine. Shortly, I should be able to do a WPI count for comparison. I'll photograph it in hank form when I get there....
I haven't quit blogging. I am just worn out. The floor refinishing went well, and uneventfully. The end result is beautiful. It did, however, show up where I need to do touchup painting, repair dog damage, etc. I love my dogs, but they do leave their trail.... Now we are beginning the process of removing the dust the sanding left behind, and returning furniture to the house. Restoration of normalcy seems a bit removed yet, unfortunately, and it is driving me crazy. Work is not cooperating, with ten hour days plus night call; It isn't leaving me with much energy to finish cleaning up and putting things away.
And we won't even go into trying to get my teenaged offspring to assist! LOL
Merlin's sweater is making progress again finally. I am now finished with the body of the sweater, and beginning on the lower portion of the sleeves. At the lower edge of the body, I did a 10% decrease, changed to needles two sizes smaller than the body, and knit for 2-2 1/2" then cast off for a rolled edge.
One of my co-workers liked the Shakespeare wool so well she wants me to knit her a sweater from it as well. So, I'll contact my LYS and see if they can get sufficient Shakespeare in Colorway 13 for me to knit Megan a sweater (she is the mother of the dog who is getting the Hunter Orange dog sweater).
Then, when Merlin is done, I will be back to finishing the fingerless glove-mitts for my No. 2 son (I have three sons and a daughter, ranging in age from 24 yrs to 13 yrs.) That will be followed by the dog sweater, followed by Christmas gifts. I have some thoughts batting around in my brain about the Christmas gifts, using my handspun, and will post those soon.
Meanwhile, the fourth Thursday of the month is a new spinner's group at City Side Yarn Co. and I have arranged for other transportation for my daughter for her violin lesson in order that I can go to the spinning group. This month is the first meeting of the spinner's - I am looking forward to meeting some other spinners & learning from them.
I am interviewing in a couple of weeks to be on the steering committee for Spruce Run , the local domestic violence shelter. It is a topic near and dear to my heart. For the past seven years, I have been stalked, assaulted, and otherwise had my life taken away from me by my ex-husband perpetrator. According to the DOJ statistics, I am in a category of victims (former intimate partner who has been assaulted, home broken into, and stalked over a period of months and now years) in the 80% chance of being dead at the hands of my perpetrator. It is a long story, and if you want more details, I will share. In the early months of the now seven year saga, I spent a few days in a domestic violence family shelter with three of my kids. I remember those days very clearly. Obviously, now being in a position to serve my new community on the steering committee of the local version of a domestic violence shelter means a lot to me. It is giving me the opportunity to give back, albeit in a different state. So, wish me luck in the interview!
To mimic Marilyn , I offer you this quote of the day.
"Teenagers are the reason animals eat their young."
Lest I be too pessimistic for bloggers out there who are expecting (such as Melanie and Golden Needle ), 'nough said. Remember, I am sharing an RV with two teens and an "adult" child/son for the week while my floors are being refinished. Knitting and photos hopefully this weekend after I get my bedroom back and SPACE.
The floors, by the way, are looking gorgeous, so I suspect it will be worth it in the long run.
A non-knitting co-worker requested me to knit her new dog a sweater. (I thought about teaching her to knit, but read on to find out why I chose not to). She recently had to put down her 17 yo yellow lab, Howard. The vet actually came out to her car to do the deed. Megan was really torn up over Howard's death. She approached me last week to ask if I would knit a dog sweater for the new part yellow lab she adopted recently. The new dog, Harry, was found napping on the side of a road, and was picked up by someone. Megan's friend wound up with the dog, and Megan is now his loving owner.
Megan had been knit a sweater for the older dog, Howard, and she wanted it imitated.
The original, pictured here, is knit in Hunter Orange acrylic (yeah, I know - I didn't do it). While it has some design flaws (in my opinion), it also has some really nice features. I really like the three non-matching oranges that clash just right. I learned from quilting that if colors match too well, the overall effect is not nearly as wonderful as when there is just the right amount of clashing going on to make the project dance. The three different oranges starting from the neck are actually wool or wool blends. The really bright orange main color is acrylic. And I really, really like the co-ordinating variegateds, one with a lot of yellows and one with a lot of blue, that are thrown in. Megan liked that the dog can step into the sweater arms. Other than the armhole placement, the real problem with the sweater lies in the acrylic yarn. First off, acrylic isn't warm when it gets wet in snow or rain. Secondly, the acrylic stretched when wet, leading to the belly side of the sweater dragging in the snow. That served to make the stretching issue worse.
So, I am going to make Version No. 2 of the sweater for Harry.
I found some Canadian Hunter Orange wool at City Side Yarn Co. , pictured here (the yarn at the middle of the picture). Now that I have seen the original and really liked the colors in it, I returned to City Side and found some coordinating stuff to add to it. There is some WoolPak (bottom) and some Cascade 220 (top). If anyone in Blogland knows a source for dog themed buttons for this project, I would appreciate the information...
In the meanwhile, I found some garish yellow orange humongous buttons for the belly button band, and some wonderful cat buttons to put on the back collar (what would a dog sweater be without a cat on it somewhere to drive the dog crazy???)
I was hoping to have some fall foliage shots to share, but we are having a really lame fall here.
We still haven't had any frosts, and most of the trees are turning yellow only. We are missing the flame oranges and bright reds this season.
After my last post, I got myself moving forward with some of the multitude of projects I have ongoing. I finished one of the gauntlet mittens which will be felted when its mate is complete. I put the pattern page next to it for size comparison - the unfelted mitten is several inches longer than the 11.5" page is.
Merlin's sweater has another skein added on to it. I am about 2-3" below the armhole now. The striping is changing now that the row is shorter...
And lastly, but certainly not least, I am up to the thumb gusset on the first of the fingerless glove-mitts I am making for No. 2 son. The other two pair of wristers are finished, ends woven in and will be mailed next week.
Meanwhile, we continue to unload the upper floor in the house, and the Great Room in preparation for the floor refinishing. It finally dawned on me this afternoon that we also have to move the refrigerator and the stove for the floor guys. I'll be getting up quite early to go borrow a hand truck to assist in the task. I am really glad I work with some strapping young men to help with the physical moving of the heavy stuff! I am gathering a week's (okay, a month's) worth of knitting projects to have with me in the borrowed RV since we won't be able to access the upper floor where the majority of my knitting stuff is, and we will be without TV, computer (possibly), etc. Maybe I'll actually finish some of my projects, or at least make a dent on them!
Meanwhile, my tri-annual house cleaning is well under way for the preparation for the floor refinishing. Every bookshelf has been emptied and dusted. The baseboards will be visible tomorrow so they can get vacuumed and washed. The ENTIRE floor can be washed with Murphy's oil soap. And, then the Pandora's Box of being able to see the walls in their entirety and inventory which ones are in need of repainting. Does it ever end?
Between working 19 days straight without a day off, doing in-house night call Wednesday followed by a colonoscopy Thursday morning, I have been wiped out. Doing a bowel prep while working is tricky, and challenging. Timing is everything! So, those are my excuses for not having much progress to show, and I am sticking to them!
The fingerless gloves with the mitten flaps are underway, but I haven't gotten to the part where I put in waste yarn to later create the flap, much less the fingerless gloves portion. It really shouldn't take me too long to get there, but there is a lot on my plate, so I probably won't be showing progress very soon.
We are having the hardwood floors refinished in about half the house, so this weekend, I need to unload two closets, 42 linear feet of bookcase, and safely tuck away my pile of project bags in preparation for the floor guys. I have some strong young men from work coming over Sunday to help us move things like the piano, my dressers, etc. from the entire upstairs and the Great Room. I need to do the emptying and packing portion before then. We are borrowing an RV from one of my daughter's friend's families for us to sleep in for the week, and we'll be climbing in the bathroom from the back deck via a ladder... If I can get a computer connection, I'll try to capture an image of one of the kids going in for the facilities... Then there is the question of keeping 400 lbs of dog happy outdoors when they are used to being inside with us! (Actually, we can take them from the backyard to the mudroom and bypass the floors that are being refinished.)
The top down raglan rollneck sweater has been stalling for work on the wristers and mittens. The felted gauntlet mittens are making rapid progress, and the first mitten is done (minus the felting). Now for the scary part - felting and hoping it will fit Jay's hand. I used to have a tracing of his hand, but I can't find it right now. I may have to do a preliminary felting, take the mitten over to him & have him try it on to see how much more to felt it. I am very pleased with the Malabrigo yarn I am using for it. I hope it is still soft after being felted.
My Amble socks are stalled. The Spearfish socks remain at one...
It would appear that I am once again at a point in multiple projects where all of a sudden, I will have multiple things done in rapid succession. I hope so - between work and spreading my knitting time around on so many things, it seems like I am getting nowhere. My hands are happy with the fiber, though, and I don't have any hard and fast deadlines, so I'll enjoy playing with my fiber.
I haven't gotten back to my spinning, either. If I do my chores of packing stuff up tonight and early tomorrow, I'll reward myself with some spinning time.
While packing everything away for the floor refinishing, I need to select my fiber entertainment for the week while living in our screen room and the borrowed RV.... socks? mittens? sweaters? Finishing vs. casting on something new? And then there are Christmas presents to think about... but first, I think finishing some stuff is in order. 1-877-SOS-KNIT
If any of you out there in blog land need another distraction to occupy your time, try this website: Sudoku puzzles . Very simple. Very addicting. Uses logic/deductive skills.
For my ladies' wristers, I cast on 40 stitches in heavy worsted weight, using size 6 double point needles. For the larger, men's wristers, I cast on 48 stitches.
Latvian Braid trim: Knit one row in MC. Row 2: Add in CC. Bring both yarns in front. P1 MC, P1 CC bringing the working yarn OVER the non-working yarn before each stitch. (Don't worry about the twisting - you will get rid of it in the second row). Row 3: Continue P1 MC, P1 CC but this time, you will be bringing the working color UNDER the non-working color before you purl the stitch.
That's it. A two row braid.
Cuff: Continue using both colors. K2 MC, K2 CC around. Continue for 2 1/2". Option: Add another Latvian Braid at this point. If you want mirroring braids, then work the first row bringing the working yarn UNDER the non-working yarn and the second row bringing the working yarn OVER.
Palm: K1 MC, K1 CC around for 1 1/2". Thumb hole: Begin working in pattern BACK and FORTH for 8 rows, then resume knitting in the round for 6 more rows. Work Latvian Braid trim one last time. Bind off knitwise.
Thumb: Pick up and knit 22 stitches around the thumb slit using MC. Knit two rows. *K3, K2tog* around. Knit two rows. *K2, K2tog* around. Knit one row. Bind off.
If you are interested in my fingerless gloves/mitten flap pattern, let me know. I have it in rough written form in my knitting journal, and am using this pair I am working on as a test knit of the pattern. I can write it up more formally after I know it re-created well.