Archive for the “Summer of Socks 2008” Category

Well here we are, it’s September 2nd and another Summer of Socks has come to a close. We ran a little shorter this year, only going from June 21st to September 1st, but I think we managed to cram in even more fun and sock knitting than we have in the past if that’s possible! I think there were several factors that contributed to that, but Ravelry is probably chief among them. Thank goodness for Ravelry!! I don’t know how we would have made this work without it!

As I’ve said before, I recently discovered that SOS takes up about 6 months of my life from start to finish. There’s all the planning and sign ups and organization months before it even starts, there’s all the coordination of events and contest counts during the event, and then there is the inevitable follow up when it’s all over and everyone has packed up their needles. It’s definitely a labor of love and absolutely NONE of it would be possible without the following people offering very generously of their time and talents to make it all work.

First, I can even begin to thank this year’s group of Moderators enough. They did much of the tough work, keeping the Ravelry forums in check and making sure to carefully count up all the finished socks and make sure everyone was playing by the rules. They kept me sane and gave me a lift when I wasn’t sure I could keep going. We had our disagreements, but in the end I think we all learned a lot and are closer for it. If you have a chance, please say a big Thank You to

Carole
Jessalu
Karen
Cookie
Anne
Deb
Manda
Vera
and
Sarah

ETA: Dammit!! I knew I would miss someone somewhere along the line!! Many Many Many thanks to DEE as well!! So sorry for the omission Dee!! You were another fantastic mod and I couldn’t have done it without you either!!!! *headdesk*

I couldn’t have done it without you ladies!! Pats on the back are just not enough!!

Before the moderators even began their work my dear friend and tech wonder Risa was kind enough to donate her time and expertise to make the sign ups all work without me having to hand code anything! Can you imagine if I’d had to input the information for 1582 participants and the sponsors into the blog?!? I’d still be trying to do it!! So thank you very much Risa!! None of this would be possible without you!!

How do you get the word out about something like this to as many as possible? Well, you can post on your blog and hope the word spreads or you can let Wendy do it and the whole world will know! :) Wendy has been a great supporter of SOS for the last two years and she deserves a big round of applause as well. She was also kind enough to donate one of her fabulous patterns to our members and I can’t thank her enough for that. She helped us kick of SOS with a bang for sure. Thanks for lending us your talents Wendy! The pattern is just beautiful!

We were even lucky enough this year to have a second pattern made exclusively for members! Two in one summer!! Many thanks are also in order to Laura of Fiberdreams for her enthusiasm and her generosity toward all of SOS and her patience while I figured out how to get the pattern out to everyone. Thank you for another beautiful sock pattern!

I can’t even begin to thank our generous sponsors enough for donating their beautiful items to the winners of SOS. It never ceases to amaze me how generous, trusting and talented these people are. I hope many of you will continue to support them in their business endeavors well into the future!

Finally, I need to thank *you*, the participants of SOS for another amazing summer. You’ve challenged me, you’ve taught me even more about the nature of online communication, you’ve wowed me, you’ve surprised me, you’ve made me laugh and you’ve constantly amazed me with the socks you’ve knitted. I’m sure all of us have oooed and ahhhed at your amazing work and I’m also sure we all have a pattern queue full to bursting with wonderful patterns because of it. I know I do! Thanks for another great summer.

With the thank yous out of the way we can now get to the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the announcement of the Most Socks Contest winner! This year’s winner will receive an amazing prize package that includes

13 skeins of yarn
Sock blockers
$60 in gift certificates
A knitting bag
Patterns
and a pattern book!

A very generous prize package indeed! And all that loot is going to….

TanyaTho
!!!!!!

Tanya knit a grand total of 28 pairs of qualifying socks!! The mind boggles considering last year’s winner knit 42 pairs and had over 3 more weeks to do it! Make sure you take a look at Tanya’s project page to see all of her beautiful socks. They are really quite amazing. Congratulations Tanya!! You deserve your spoils and I hope you’ll share pictures with us as they come in!!

I’d also like to give an “honorable mention” to spingirl1961 who was the next closest to the prize with 20 qualifying pairs. That is no small accomplishment in itself and you deserve a hearty round of applause as well!! Well done!!

So there you have it! Another SOS is in the books. For those that have asked, the Ravelry group will stay around. I have no intention to delete or remove it, but I may lock some of the threads and archive some that are less relevant at some point.

Many of you have also asked about or mentioned whether or not this will happen again next year. As in years past, I can never make any promises as to whether or not this will happen again. Life tends to surprise me at times (i.e. I never would have thought I would have had to move to northern NJ in January, but we did!) so I think it’s better not to make plans too far in advance. Keep your eyes here around April and I’ll be sure to let you know if we’ll be having another go.

If I *do* have another SOS in ’09 I’m considering a *very* different format. I welcome your ideas and input into what you enjoyed and what you thought could have gone better this year with that in mind. Please feel free to send me a PM on Ravelry, leave a comment here and/or send me an e-mail. I welcome your input!

Thanks again for another wonderful summer everyone!! :-D

============

And with that I’m going on a little, well deserved I think, blog vacation. I plan on being back sometime next week with news of the new project I’m working on and the usual knitting and spinning and whatever else fare you usually find here at Chez Zarzuela. Have a wonderful week everyone and I’ll see you next week sometime!!

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As promised it’s time to share my final two pairs of socks for SOS’08 with you. Here they are in order of completion:

Earl not-so Grey Socks

earl grey socks-1

Pattern: Early Grey by the Yarn Harlot
Yarn: Tess Designer yarns Super Socks and Baby
Needles: size 1 knitpicks circs
Knit: 8/9-8/25/2008
Mods: Knit toe up to maximize yarn

early grey closeup 2

These socks were my main knitting project for the Ravelympics and they didn’t quite make the finish line. The got finished about 36 hours too late, but I was still very proud of the progress that I made on them in the given time period. We purchased the yarn on our trip to Maine so HWJF got to pick out the colors himself.

earl grey socks

I modified these to knit them toe up which was quite simple to do. I just followed the pattern directions line by line just as they were written. I’m glad I did because I used nearly every last bit of the yarn! Tess sock yarn has very generous yardage but I know how my boy’s feet like to eat yarn. ;) The only other mod that I made was to knit the cables in a more traditional manner (although without a cable needle) instead of doing the twisted stitches as described in the pattern. The result is the same and I found cabling as I normally would much less fidley than the alternative.

earl grey closeup

early grey socks

And I just thought I’d share a good way to get a boyfriend to tolerate a sock photoshoot:

socks and beer

He was much more patient this time. ;)

On to the last pair for me!

Berlin Muster

Berlin Muster socks-1

Pattern: Berlin Muster
Yarn: Koigu
Needles: size 1 knitpicks
Knit: 7/18-8/26/2008
Mods: Knit toe up

These wouldn’t have taken nearly this long if they hadn’t been interrupted by Olympic knitting, but a girl has to have her priorities! ;) This was a lovely pattern which I once again modified to knit toe up. I also know how *my* feet eat yarn and how not-so-generous on yardage koigu is. ;) I’d had this yarn in the stash for a while, just waiting for the perfect pattern to come along and when I saw this one, I knew it would be a good match.

berlin muster detail

This is definitely a pattern that you have to pay careful attention too. As I’ve said before, I ended up following the chart instead of the written directions which seem to leave a little to be desired in translation. Still I was able to use the chart without incident and I’m happy with the result.

berlin muster cuff

The pattern is more of a recipe in some ways, telling you to use your favorite toe and heel instead of giving specific directions for which one you should use. That made me just as happy since I tend to put in my own toe and heel in most patterns anyway.

I managed to finish these up without running out of yarn. The was my main goal. They may be a touch on the short side, but I still think they will be a very comfy sock come the cooler months.

So that’s it for me for this edition of the Summer of Socks. My goal was 5 pairs this summer and I somehow managed to make it, even with a pair of boy socks thrown in there. I think the motivation of the Olympics certainly helped me reach that goal. I was definitely beginning to doubt myself there for a while, but I made it and I’m quite happy with that!

Tomorrow, if all goes well, we’ll have the announcement of the winner of the Most Socks contest and we’ll wrap up SOS’08! See you then!!

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It may be hard to believe, but in just a couple of days SOS’08 will draw to a close. While I can’t say I’ll be sorry to see things come to their inevitable end, I can definitely say there have been some very fun moments and my Ravelry queue is stuffed to the gills with new socks I want to knit in the future. Among those new socks would definitely be a few from a book that I want to share with you today.

eclectic-sole.jpg

The Eclectic Sole: Socks for Adventurous Knitters by Janel Laidman is chock full of interesting patterns and constructions for socks of several different types. You’ll find 14 different designs within these self-published pages that could certain keep you knitting for a long time to come.

The book begins with the author’s homage to her love of sock knitting which includes statements that I could agree with more. Some of my favorites include:

“Socks are equally satisfying whether they are complicated or simple.”

“Socks make a perfect gift, they are both practical and extravagant at the same time”

“Socks make the perfect alternative to a ‘boyfriend sweater’ and of course they are a wonderful way to say ‘I love you’ to yourself!”

Most of us who are die hard sock knitters will nod along through these first pages while Ms. Laidman preaches to the choir and illuminates for the rest what makes sock knitting so great.

The book goes on give the sock knitting newbie a few hints including a discussion of swatching and gauge (your beginning can be your swatch!) and yarns and fibers. I was particularly interested in seeing a discussion of color following this basic advice, which defines color attributes such as hue and value and gives examples of how the patterns in the book and the suggestions for colors work together. Not something you find in most sock books!

I was also particularly pleased to find that the author acknowledges all three main methods for sock knitting (DPNs, Magic Loop AND Two Circs) and gives the reader some guidance as to how to make the patterns in the book work with each method. This section ends with a brief description of colorwork and basic sock anatomy.

The patterns themselves range from the simple such as Simplicity

Simplicity

to the more complex in texture such as Hope.

hope

Here we run into my first main criticism of the designs and the book layout. The key to chart symbols is found on one page in the back of the book. While I understand this format for the sake of printing, it makes it more difficult for the knitter who will have to keep flipping back and forth as they learn each symbols meaning. While this isn’t uncommon, it’s definitely my personal preference to have the key with each pattern.

In addition to texture patterns, there are plenty of options that involve colorwork including Migration (which is worked toe up)

migration

and Josephine (which is probably my personal favorite).

josephine

There are also two patterns that use very non-traditional constructions. April Fools is a sideways sock where the tube is knitted and grafted and an afterthought heel and toe are added at the end. Monterey is probably the most unique design of all. Another sideways sock it also contains large openings that the author hopes remind you of “bubbles and sea foam”.

monteray

Each pattern’s requirements include the standards of yarn, needles, gauge and notions, but they also include WPI measurements of the yarn used for the photographed samples (spinners can you hear me?!) and suggestions for color usage as discussed at the beginning of the book.

The book ends just as strongly as it began with the aforementioned chart key followed by some pictorial examples of the some of the stitches and more unusual techniques used (such as making a cluster). Depending on the complexity of the technique, there are one to several very clear pictures used to illustrate. Something else I appreciated in this book was the use of a slightly larger font than normal. Knitters who are feverishly working into the late night hours (perhaps finishing up the last of their SOS socks?! ;) ) or perhaps need a little less eye strain in their lives will appreciate it too.

Overall, I found this to be a very interesting, very nicely done book. It’s a great size for tucking in your knitting bag while you hit the road for your next vacation. All of the major construction techniques are represented and there is a wide range of patterns, from beginner to advanced, to keep the knitter interested for many hours. Combine these with the color advice given within the pages and there will be many lovely socks coming of your needles and onto the feet of lucky recipients.

The winner of the Most Socks Contest will be getting a signed copy of this book along with their many other prize winnings, but I would encourage anyone to go get a copy for themselves! It’s well worth it!!

I’ll be back on Monday with the last of my SOS’08 socks to show you. Expect an announcement and wrap up of SOS’08 activities on Tuesday.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!! :)

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I’m finding myself more and more pressed for time these days which is putting the blog on the back burner, much to my displeasure. I hope you’ll forgive me while I try and tread water through this last week of SOS (yes, last week, can you believe it?!) and prepare for a coming storm of which I will tell you more soon.

In the meantime, a million thank yous to the incomparable Tina for all of her hard work to make W.O.O.L. 2008 a roaring success! I was lucky enough to be able to participate for about half the time this year at the rustic Wiawaka retreat center and I’m quite glad I made it happen. The grounds were lovely:

WOOL 2008 (5)

WOOL 2008 (10)

WOOL 2008 (3)

WOOL 2008 (9)

And I’m sure for those that enjoy water, that was lovely too. These parasailers must have thought so!

WOOL 2008 (7)

The accommodations were definitely on the rustic side, but I think I’ve been spoiled a bit by Bassoon Camp. Still, they were more than adequate for what we were there for. I was so busy spinning and or knitting most of the time that I didn’t get many pictures, but here is the common room that we all gathered to work in during the evenings from above.

WOOL 2008 (8)

WOOL 2008 (11)

There was show and tell on Friday night which was really fun. Getting to see everyone’s projects and hear the stories behind some of them was really interesting. Saturday we did a silent auction to benefit the retreat center. I offered up a braid from my shop and came away with a huge bag of llama fleece! I was surprised to win. Not sure what I’ll do with it yet as it still needs to be cleaned, but there are ideas percolating. Nearly $200 was raised! Go us!

I was happy to hang out with old friends and meet some new ones while getting some time away. There is talk of something during the winter but if that doesn’t happen I’ll be happy to see you all again next summer!

While I was there I managed to finish this yarn:

Roses in the Dark BFL Sock yarn

Roses in the Dark BFL Sock closeup

Zarzuela’s Fibers BFL Sock – Roses in the Dark Colorway. I’m still deciding if I want to sell it or not. This was for the Ravelympics and is my third and final cross of the finish line (if I can ever get it posted on Ravelry!).

I also finished this:

Merino Silk Mint Julep

Merino Silk Mint Julep Closeup

Zarzuela’s Fibers Merino/Silk – Mint Julep Colorway. This is a new fiber for me to start carrying in the shop and I certainly couldn’t sell any until I tried it out myself! Luckily it was a lovely spin and I’ll be happy to start making it available when I can get it dyed. This skein may go up for sale as well if I can stand to part with it. It’s merino and silk people!! It’s a hard decision! ;)

I was also able to get through another big chunk of spinning but didn’t come out with a finished yarn on the other end so we’ll save that for another day. However, I do want to share my 2nd Ravelympic finish with you although you may have already seen it:

DC Sunrise fingering yarn 1

DC Sunrise fingering yarn closeup

Zarzuela’s Fibers Merino Handspun – DC Sunrise colorway (inspired by daily sunrise pictures posted by Wendy on Plurk), 660 yards, approximately fingering weight. I couldn’t be more proud of this yarn (and considering it took over 2 hours to ply alone I suppose I should be!) and the fact that Wendy is happy with it makes it even better. :) I can’t wait to see her shawl! Doing custom spinning orders is proving to be quite fun (interested? Leave a comment or convo me on etsy) and I have another in the works right now. It helps me let all the dyeing go out the door to new homes some days. ;)

So for those of you keeping score, that means that I did not make the finish line with the socks. Would you believe that I finished them about 36 hours too late?! Ahhh well… the triumph is in the trying sometimes! Pictures of those soon along with the pair that I finished a mere 24 hours after that! Sheesh.

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I am very pleased to announce the winner of this year’s Socks On Vacation contest!!

As I’m sure you saw from the flickr set, there were so many awesome pictures submitted this year. Y’all kept me thoroughly amused as the entries came in. I hope you’ve had as much fun looking at them as I did.

One picture definitely stood out for me though and the voters apparently agreed. So without further ado, the winning photo is:

29

The Rockin Crustacean!!!

Submitted by Knittinggolfer on Ravelry

The photograph was taken on 08/08/08 at Sampson’s Island, Cotuit, Massachusetts.

Sock pattern is Sweet Tart socks (BMFA Rocking Sock Club July kit)

Yarn: Socks that Rock lightweight

Colorway: goody goody

Congratulations Knittinggolfer!!! You’ve won a prize package of immense proportions which includes the following:

Yarn from:
Rock Creek Yarn
Lovesticks Sock Yarn
Perfect Day Yarns
Damselfly Yarns
Keegan Lane Yarns
Crazy4Dyeing
Farm-witch
Knit Front and Back
Dog Lover’s Yarn
Guernseygal
Nutella Nutterson
Sandrasingh.com
KnitFitKnitter
Diva Knitting
Squoosh

A Modern Yarn T-shirt

A $25 gift certificate from The Painted Sheep

A Della Q Project Bag from Beyond Basic Knits

AND

A $10 Knitspot gift card!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Enjoy your prizes and CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-D

A note to all entrants: Your photos will stay in the flickr set at least until the end of the along, at which time they will be removed. You, of course, retain all rights to your pictures and therefore I will not keep them on my photostream. Go look at your comments while you can!

Regular blog posting will resume just as soon as I recover from a wonderful weekend!

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(Please note: I had to change the voting and posting situation from what was originally planned because of the volume of entries. Please follow these instructions. There will not be anything posted on my blog.)

The voting for the Summer of Socks Socks on Vacation Contest is now open! In order to vote, please follow these steps *very* carefully:

1. To view the photos, go to this flickr set in my photostream. If, for some reason you cannot follow the link you can also find it by going to my photos (summerofsocks2006) and looking for the Socks on Vacation 2008 set.

2. Choose the photo that you wish to vote for and note it’s number which can be found in the title of the photo toward the top of the picture.

3. Send a blank e-mail to summerofsocks [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject containing *only* the number of the photo you want to vote for. Please leave the rest of the e-mail blank. **Please note that this is a different e-mail address than you have been directed to use for other parts of this along**!!

So, for example, if I want to vote for picture 29, I send an e-mail to summerofsocks [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject 29 and nothing else in the e-mail.

4. Please only vote **once**! Votes sent to any other address or not formated properly WILL NOT COUNT! NO EXCEPTIONS!!!

5. Voting will close on Aug. 25th at noon EDT. An announcement of a winner will be made ASAP thereafter.

ETA: Voting is open to anyone, anywhere so tell your friends!!

Please send me an e-mail or leave a comment if you have questions or concerns.

Good luck to all!!

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There’s been another couple of days of work. ;) First, thanks to those of you who have checked out the shop offerings for the month and/or left kind complements. Much appreciated!

There was another fibery gathering at my place this Saturday. It went *so* fast I feel like I hardly had a second to talk to anyone! Of course, part of that might have been my slow pace as my back has decided that dyeing about 15 lbs. of fiber in only a few days might not be a great idea. *sigh* Anne was kind enough to work on me and that sure helped, but it’s definitely been a wake up call that there need to be some changes in my physical fitness. Oye.

Anyway, the best picture I got was of everyone fearing the cutting of the deserts (and let me tell you, there was some seriously amazing stuff brought this time around)!

afraid of desert!

Too funny. There was drum carding and spinning (and first spinning lessons!) and knitting and food and laughter and… well… you get the idea. If you want to see more, you *must* check out Chris and Deb’s blogs. They have some great pics!

I also went to a NJ Fiber Fanatics spin in on Sunday. No pics from that one either, but it was at the Howell Living History Farm and was quite a nice day. HWJF came along and we were quite happy to be out of Bergen County and out in the fresh air for a few hours.

In the meantime, I realized that I have not yet shown you my next SOS sock and the first one is nearly done!

New sock

The pattern is Berlin Muster. The yarn is koigu that’s been marinating in the stash for a while, waiting for just the right thing. I started these right around the same time as the Bad Ass Nanners, but the call of the nanner was too great to resist. ;)

This is definitely, as the pattern warns, *not* a mindless knit. It’s a 16 row repeat that doesn’t seem to follow much of a logical progression, at least not that I can figure out. Despite that, I love them and I’m happy to be back at knitting them. If you decide to try it, I highly recommend ignoring the written directions and just following the chart. The English translation leaves a little bit to be desired and I found I struggled a lot less with the chart.

I should also mention, as I forgot to with the nanners, that I finally purchased a couple of the knitpicks options fixed circulars and I’m using one set for this sock. I like them for the most part, although I feel like this particular size could have a slightly better point. I didn’t have that problem with the pair I used on the nanners though. Ideally, if I could take the points on my addi lace, the needle finish and the cable from the knitpicks and put them together, I would have my perfect needle.

Ya gotta have dreams I guess. ;)

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Comments 17 Comments »

Yup! Sure is!

Bas Ass Nanners

Bad ass nanners

Pattern: Nanner Socks by Wendy Johnson
Yarn: DIC Smooshy “Black Parade”
Needles: size 1 Knitpicks Options
Knit: 7/19-7/31/2008

These seemed to just fly off the needles (although I’m sure a road trip and some down time between wedding events didn’t hurt them any)! It’s just a great pattern. Easy to memorize, easy to make happen, nothing terribly difficult. In fact, I think this might even be a good one to try if you haven’t done much lace knitting before. You’ll really get a feel for how lace increases and decreases work with this one.

Bad ass nanners (3)

I used Dream in Color Smooshy again for this pair of socks. I knew it would work because Wendy knit her pair using it, but I also thought the color would work nicely with the pattern. My only complaint? It kept turning my fingers black. Yuck! Something tells me I might need to give these a hot vinegar bath when I get around to washing them.

Bad ass nanners (5)

I do love the variations in the yarn color though. Very unique and very interesting. I’ve taken most of these pictures in direct sunlight just so you can get a better idea of how the color variation works and the texture of the pattern. It’s not easy photographing black yarn!

Bad ass nanners (1)

As I said before, these socks taught me a few new tricks. I think I’ll definitely be using the cast on and the heel construction again in the future. Judy’s Magic Cast On really makes a very seamless toe which might be good for those with really sensitive feet. Give it a try!

Bad ass nanners (4)

I have a very fiber filled weekend planned which includes a shop update. Keep your eyes here and I’ll let you know when it’s ready to shop! :)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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I’m hanging on by the skin of my teeth lately. July has been the month of thecrazy and I’m really ready for it to be over. Before that can happen, we have yet another wedding to attend this weekend in Trenton (#4 of the year for those keeping score) in which HWJF is the co-best man and we are having house guests early next week. Of course I don’t know why I’m so excited about getting to August. That month is going to be nuts too, but at least I have two small vacations planned.

In the meantime, spinning and knitting and the occasional bit of fun mail are keeping me sane. This arrived this week:

kitty bag

The only problem with being *on* etsy is that you start to look around etsy even more! But how could I resist when there were knitting kitties involved?!! :) I don’t sew, therefore my only path to owning such a cute little project bag was to buy. It holds my new sock quite nicely.

kitty bag with nanners

Which has progressed to one finished sock already.

Nanner #1

This is the Nanner sock pattern by the ever talented Wendy. It was designed for her Plurk buddies and has special meaning for all of us. I named mine Baaaaaad nanners because of the color, but Wendy said they should be Bad Ass Nanners. I think I like that even better. ;)

I’ve already learned a lot from this pattern too. This is my first opportunity to knit a Wendy pattern (seriously, where the hell have *I* been?!?) and I managed my first successful attempt at Judy’s Magic Cast On. Pretty neato!! Wendy also uses a much different heel construction than I’ve used in the past, increasing for the gusset immediately after knitting the foot of the sock, turning the heel and then making the decreases instead of knitting a traditional heel flap, just in reverse (since we’re knitting toe up here). I found it pretty interesting and I’m anxious to get to that part of the second sock to go through it again. Very cool.

I’ve also managed a bit of spinning this week since I finished up dyeing the fiber I had on hand for the shop. I experimented with about 5 different colors in the dyepot with some superwash merino and came up with this:

Seascape Superwash in progress

I’m calling it Seascape and the plan is to try to navajo ply it when it’s all spun up. It should make a nice sock yarn if all goes well. I also started this:

Jeans and Leather shoes in progress

Some regular merino in a colorway I’m calling Jeans and Leather Shoes. I’m hoping to make the scarf in the last Spin Off with this yarn when I’m finished making it.

Since the Tour de Fleece is winding down these will probably be my last contributions. It’s been a ton of fun, I just wish life hadn’t gotten in the way so much. I also plyed some of the yarns I’ve been working on previously, but no pics just yet.

I expect I should get a fair amount of knitting done this weekend while waiting around between events and photo ops. I wish you good knitting time, spinning time and relaxation too! :)

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Comments 21 Comments »

…since I obviously didn’t get around to posting then. *sigh* It’s already been that kind of week. And seriously? Couldn’t we all use a 48 hour day (as long as extra sleep and going to work weren’t necessary?!?!)?!?!? I know I could.

Anyway…

Our trip to Pittsburgh was fun if not hot as hell in the car. It was so hot I had to drink two fisted when we stopped for lunch on Sunday.

two drinks

One was water, the other was some fruity thing that tasted good despite probably not being on my diet. I didn’t care at that point.

Thanks to Kim I did get a fibery fix while we were gone. We stopped at Natural Stitches and I was not disappointed. Witness if you dare, the wall o’ Cascade 220.

Wall o cascade

Nearly every color they make. Crazy eh? If it had been a little cooler and I could even have fathomed sweater knitting, I might have picked some up.

What did I actually come home with? Sock yarn of course!

Silk Garden Sock yarn

Noro SILK GARDEN sock yarn!! :) First time I’ve seen it live and in person. And since I’ve been in a spinning mood lately…

Lorna's roving

Lorna’s Laces roving. Love these colors! Hopefully I’ll get to spin it up soon.

Believe it or not, I’ve even managed to finish a pair of socks too!

Express Lane

express lane socks

Pattern: Express Lane
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy, Blue Lagoon
Needles: Size 1 addi turbos
Knit: 7/1-7/18/2008
Mods: I used my usual toe and heel

This was a really lovely pattern to knit. Easy to memorize and it works up pretty quickly (if you actually don’t have your attention on 27 other things). It was easy to insert the toe and heel I am most comfortable with in this pattern. I also love the fact that the patterning is continued on the back of the leg.

express lane back

If you’re looking for a pretty simple lace sock, this would be a good candidate.

express lane

This was my first time knitting with this yarn and it did surprise me a little. I found it to be a little on the splitty side and it didn’t feel nearly as thick knit up as I thought it might be when looking at the skein. The yardage is definitely generous though. I had plenty left over and could have made the legs a bit longer (which is saying something when you’ve got a size 11 foot!). The dye work is definitely the highlight of this yarn though. There are very slight variations in the color throughout the skein that keep you wondering what could be next.

express lane closeup

I definitely think this is going to be a pair of socks I’ll get a lot of use from this winter. For now it’s on to the next pair, which I’ll show you tomorrow. You know. 48 hours from now. ;)

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