Archive for the “Socks” Category

On March 21st I was sitting on the beach worried about getting a sunburn:

March umbrella

This week there’s talk of snow! I also had an interesting drive to the yoga studio on Wednesday that threw every possible form of precipitation at me in the course of the 1st 9 miles. And then the sun came out. O.o Gotta love New England!

Speaking of summer, would you believe that I finally finished a pair of socks I started *last* summer? The day after Christmas!

Medallion Lace Socks

Medallion Lace Socks

Pattern: Medallion Lace Socks
Yarn: Zarzuela’s Fibers Chromatic in Navy
Needles: US 2.5
Knit: 7.29.2011-12.26.2011

This pattern was the first selected pattern for SOS last year and my delay in finishing them is by no means a commentary on the pattern. It was lovely to knit in fact but obviously life got in my way a bit. I remember at the time there were many complaints about how the pattern puckered when it was knit, but as you can see a gentle blocking took care of that.

Medallion Lace Socks

The astute among you may also notice that my mind was apparently not with me when I picked these up after a long hiatus to try and finish them.

Medallion Lace Socks

Uh. Yeah. Oopsie! You will also notice that I’m calling it a design element of my own creation and letting the socks live. ;-)

The yarn is my own hand dyed Chromatic Sock which is a 100% superwash BFL with a nice hard twist. It really makes a great sock yarn but as you can see in this Ravelry search there are other good uses for it too. :-) I’m hoping to do a shawlette with my Vishuddha colorway sometime soon.

In shop news there’s only a short time left to get in on my next three month round of the Fiber Club! The first three months have been a blast so far for me and my customers and I’m looking forward to the next three months. :-)

If you want to see my work in person I’ve also got two shows coming up. On April 21st (with a rain date of the 22nd) I’ll be at The Chancellor’s Sheep & Wool Showcase in Germantown, NY and on June 9th I’ll be at the Squam Spring Art Fair in NH. I love meeting customers in person so if you’re nearby to any of these events please come out and say hello!

I hope to have a few more knitting projects to share next time but it seems like my knitting pace is pretty slow these days. I’m grateful though because I’m teaching 4 classes at the studio and starting to find some private students as well and I couldn’t be happier with the work I’m doing. It’s really nice when the universe seems to listen when you ask for what you need. :-)

See you next time!

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In tough economic times such as these it seems as though bartering is coming back into vogue in a lot of places. It’s certainly fine by me! With one steady income right now we certainly aren’t rolling in the dough (not that we ever were really). Sometimes though, someone just knows the joy of hand knit socks and doesn’t have the skills to make them themselves so they know the right person to come to. ;-)

Summer Spirals

Summer Spirals Socks

Pattern: Summer Spirals by Ina Isobe
Yarn: Panda Cotton Print
Needles: US1.5
Knit: 6.21-7.18.11

My friend Maria is an AMAZING asian bodywork practitioner and I am happy to avail myself of her services every year at bassoon camp (and routinely wish to pack her in my suitcase and bring her back with me so that I might partake for more than just 10 days a year). This year she asked if she could be paid in socks and I was more than happy to oblige! It also didn’t hurt that the first pattern for SOS this year was knit in a cotton yarn as Maria is sadly allergic to wool.

Summer Spirals Socks

While the variegation does obscure the patterning a bit, I still like the look of these. The pattern is EXTREMELY well written giving lots of options for modification. I’ve actually taken the time to link to the pattern on Ravelry so you can check it out because you really NEED to have this pattern! And if cotton yarns aren’t your thing you can absolutely knit this in wool as well.

Summer Spirals Socks

I’m happy to report that they are already with the recipient and apparently fit well and are warm and comfortable. I’ve got at least 4 more pairs worth of yarn for her so you’ll be seeing more of these wool-free socks in the future!

(Sorry again for the radio silence. Life has just been busy! Hope to be here more now that things are beginning to calm down. More soon!)

Comments 3 Comments »

Thank you all so much for your ever so kind and supportive comments on the last post. I thought a lot before I hit publish on that one. But I thought it was important to share.

Moving on now — the knitting bug is starting to re-emerge as the classwork for my yoga teacher training has wound down. I’ve felt like it was time to get some projects that had been hanging around for a while off the needles so I could start new things with new energy. This was one of those projects. Despite the delightful pattern, I was SHOCKED when I realized that these had been on the needles for over a YEAR. That’s pretty much unheard of for me and a pair of socks. Obviously I must have started them just before my surgery and that was that. So just over one year later I present to you:

Lace and Cables Socks

Lace and cables socks

Pattern: Lace and Cables socks from the book “Socks from the Toe Up” by the incomparable Wendyknits!
Yarn: Enchanted Knoll Farm superwash sock
Needles: size US 1
Knit: 5.6.2009-5.18.2010!
Mods: I didn’t do the cables as written opting for a more “traditional” cable. I also did a bit of *improvising* (yeah, that’s it) on when the cables got turned on the first sock. /ahem

Lace and cables socks

I really don’t know what took me so long on these. The pattern is lovely and of course, very well written. There are no problems with the charts or the directions at all. I do remember having a bit of a problem figuring out the heel instructions at one point, but the difficulty was in my faulty brain and not with the pattern. And the pattern designer was ever so gentle in pointing that out to me when I asked for help. :) Thanks Wendy!

Lace and cables socks

I rarely follow a pattern completely as written but for the most part with the exception of what I mentioned above, I was pleased to just follow along this time. Good thing too since I put these down for so long I may not have been able to figure out what I was doing! The yarn was lovely to work with and I loved watching the subtle color variations pass through my fingers as I knit with it. I’ll be interested as ever to see how it holds up to wear, but it looks promising.

Lace and cables socks

I’m very happy to be adding another pair of hand knit socks to the sock drawer for the colder months. :)

Next up? A long overdue pair of socks as a gift for a very sweet friend.

Maria's socks in progress

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And it’s even knitting! Lookie!

HWJF's Orange Trekking Socks.

Just a plain old pair of stockinette socks, but it’s been a while since I finished anything, much less a pair of socks!

HWJF's Orange Trekking Socks.

To say these suckers are BRIGHT is the understatement of the century! But the boy they were made for loves them and has worn them several times already so any retinal damage was worth it. ;)

HWJF's Orange Trekking Socks.

What will I finish next? Only time will tell…

Comments 12 Comments »

Time flies I guess. So since the last post things have been busy in my world, but sadly lacking in the knitting department. Last weekend we went up to UNH for the annual Double Reed Day festivities. We were greeted by unusually warm temperatures when we arrived late Friday night and by some old and new friends on Saturday. The guest artist this year was actually my dear teacher from my days at Yale, Frank Morelli.

Frank Morelli at UNH Bassoon Day

If you’ve any interest in the bassoon you really must check out some of his recordings. Amazing stuff. He joked with me that I’d be getting everything I learned in 2 years at Yale in 90 min. but there were no refunds. ;) He always has a singular wit and definitely knows his way around a bassoon. It was good to catch up and get a refresher course, that’s for sure.

After bassoon day we were lucky enough to be invited to dinner at one of the professor’s houses where we had an amazing meal and more good conversation with friends. When we finally tore ourselves away we headed for our favorite city, Portland Maine to spend the rest of the weekend. Sunday morning I took a great yoga class at the Portland Yoga Studio. It was a great space and while the style of yoga that was taught in the class (Iyengar) is much different than what I usually practice (Vinyasa), I really enjoyed the class. I also got to have a nice chat with the owner about the yoga scene in the area and opportunities for teaching. We met up with HWJF’s parents for lunch in the afternoon in Freeport and I got my LLBean fix. :) After a lovely day with them we returned to Portland for an amazing sushi dinner at our favorite sushi place. And then it started to snow.

By Monday morning there was a foot on the ground. We felt much more like we were in Maine after the mild temps and lack of snow! We went back downtown to do a couple of things after we got checked out and saw the MLK day parade go by.

MLK day "Parade" in Portland Maine

Yep. That’s the parade. About 75 people walking behind 1 police car. If I’d had a wider lens I probably could have gotten the whole parade in one shot. ;) Still, good of them to come out in the snow and do their thing while chanting “We shall overcome”. The crowd wasn’t exactly ethnically diverse either. I think I love Portland even more just for this. :)

On the way home we stopped to visit friends who have 8 month old triplets (that’s a lot of babies!) and another friend who has a new love in his life. I seriously feel like we did almost nothing but eat on this trip! I tried to finish the vespergyle mittens in the car.

SP365.18-2010 I'll finish these damn things yet

Didn’t quite make it though. Still have one thumb left to go but it’s so fidely that I just can’t face it right now.

In the meantime I’ve been working on these:

Sock progress 1.22.10

For HWJF of course. Plain stockinette socks are good for my soul right now because I’m going through a major change. Yesterday was my last day of work in my Manhattan office. The move to Long Island City Queens has finally gone through and we will all report to the new building on Tuesday. We are working at other sites in the meantime (because god forbid they should send us home on paid leave [yes I am bitter]). Cleaning out my desk yesterday it suddenly struck me that I never expected to be doing that to move to a new building. I thought it would happen because of a new job. Sadly, that is not the case right now.

I know that in the current world I should just be grateful to have a job and I am. But the new situation will increase my travel by 30 min. each way (and I’ll have to take 4 different trains. yes 4. that’s not a typo) and will more than likely make getting to some of the yoga classes I need to complete my training requirements difficult. I’m also spending another $89/mo. on commuting expenses because I now need a monthly subway pass. Obviously, these are certainly 1st world problems and nothing compared to what is going on in Haiti right now (by the way, I’m donating 50% of the proceeds of sales of my Piscean Socks pattern to Haiti relief right now) but they do make life as I know it less pleasant. If I loved my job it would be one thing, but I don’t.

For right now, we need to get through October 3rd (the wedding). After that, all bets are off. I’m ready for more changes when the time comes.

In the meantime, here are a few pictures I’ve taken since the last time I posted.

Blog mosaic

Have a wonderful weekend!

Comments 8 Comments »

… and I’m still at work. :-P Ah well. Such is life.

Let’s get the unhappy stuff out of the way. I found out this morning that my dear friend and future bridesmaid Jill’s grandmother passed away last night after a short illness. Please keep Jill and her family in your thoughts if you would. It’s such a difficult time of year to loose someone you love. I am heartbroken for my dear friend and sad that I can’t be there to hug her in person.

In happier news I managed to finish the socks for my Future Mother-in-law in time to mail them off to Maine.

FMIL Socks

FMIL socks

Pattern: Diagonal Lace Socks by Wendy D. Johnson from “Socks from the Toe Up”
Yarn: J.Knits Superwash me sock in Connecticut (oh the irony!)
Needles: US 1
Knit: 12.8-12.16.09
Mods: Several! I didn’t have an exact foot measurement so I purled the purl stitches in the pattern on the knit rows to give it more of a “ribbed” effect in case they were too big. I also took out two stitches so that I knit the top of the foot on 33 sts and the bottom on 31. I did a heel flap instead of doing the pattern as written since that’s my standard and I needed to knit these quickly.

FMIL socks

As with all Wendy patterns, this was a great pattern to knit. I’m glad I finally got to knit something from her book! The yarn makes a lovely fabric but was splity enough that I don’t think I’d buy another skein. I prefer a much more solid twist.

The holiday knitting officially ended this week. I’ll finally be able to show you a few more of the things I knit next week. I’ve been missing my wheels and hope to get back to them in the near future. Right now, I’m enjoying knitting *without* a deadline. I started the Red Rings Pullover after Thanksgiving and here’s where I’m at now.

Red-ish rings progress

Of course I keep thinking “wouldn’t it be nice to have another finished sweater before the end of the year?!”. Yes. I haz the crazy.

Now I’m sure you are dying to know that our tree decorating efforts were successful.

Tree in daylight

HWJF did the hardest part of getting the thing in the stand and vertical all by himself. I got this picture in an e-mail while at work with the subject “Thanks for the cat grass Mom!!’

Thank you for the cat grass Mom!

Knock on wood, she’s been pretty good with it so far. :)

We decorated it together which was a little weird in one respect since all the decorations were mine, but kind of fun too because I got to tell HWJF all the stories behind them. And I managed to only cry twice. Here are a couple of quick pics I took of some of my favorites.

Are you calling me a lyre?!
There are several with musical themes as you might expect.

It has to have a bassoon!
And of course there must be a bassoon!

Another favorite ornament
I’m pretty sure my Mom made this one. The center is styrofoam and the decorations are placed with straight pins.

One of many favorite ornaments

My mother’s mother started a tradition of buying me a new ornament every year when I was a kid. My mom has kept it up since she died in 1990. I have a *lot* of ornaments. This one I always find particularly sweet. :)

And we must have the bubble lights!

I love our bubble lights!

Bubbles!

And with that my friends I will wish you all a very happy holiday season. Enjoy your celebrations in whatever form they take, hold your loved one’s close, remember those that have left us with happiness to honor their time in our lives and look forward to the new happiness and new challenges the future will hold.


May you be happy.
May you be safe.
May you be healthy.
May you be at peace.

Tree at night

Comments 13 Comments »

It’s just not worth it. You all know how it is.

Since my last blog post I -

- Had another teacher training weekend which involved actually teaching a 20 min. flow for the first time. That went much better than I expected. I almost feel like I could actually do this at some point. ;) We also had our prenatal day which was rather challenging for my delicate psyche. I had to do yoga for an hour with a pillow strapped to my gut. If that wasn’t weird enough we then had to do a mediation which involved imagining being in the middle of an ocean and unable to see the shore. Those that know me know that I wouldn’t call that relaxing. Chest pains ensued, but I managed to survive. ;) All in all though, a really interesting weekend.

- Then proceeded to come down with some weird 3 day stomach thing. Not fun.

- Managed to get through the week and a couple of yoga classes. Then had to get a certain bunny her well overdue haircut.

Before:

Stitches Before the haircut

After:

Stitches after the haircut

Stitches after the haircut

We even managed to get done before midnight for once! ;)

- Then it was time for a big weekend in NY. Which started with the Subaru not starting. Good times. Luckily we threw everything in my car and still managed to get to our appointment with a wedding photographer in time. Also luckily, since several people don’t seem to be capable of returning an e-mail or a phone call, we liked him enough to book him.

- Went to the jeweler to pick up new sparkly things. More on that another time.

- Went to Red Lobster with my folks for my Mom’s birthday. Happy Birthday Mom!! Finally was able to give my Mom this:

mom's bracelet

Isn’t it beautiful?! Made especially for my Mom by the ever fantastic Opal over at Opalescentjewels. Go get yourself or someone you love some pretties for the holidays!!

- Got decorations from my parents and acquired Christmas tree that has yet to make its way into the house. I may have upwards of 12 people here for Christmas dinner. I’ve never put up a tree without my parents. This should be interesting.

- Drove back to NJ (or should I say, HWJF drove us back to NJ) in an ice/freezing rain/sleet/snow/godknowswhat storm. It usually takes us 1.5 hrs. to get back from my parent’s house. It took us 4 yesterday. Good times. NOT!

- And oh yeah, lots of knitting!!! Some FO’s will have to wait but here are a couple that I can share..

Grandpa’s Christmas Socks 2009

Grandpa's Christmas socks 2009

Pattern: 3×1 rib
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Multi in Black Watch
Needles: size 1
Knit: 11.1-12.5.09

Simple ribbed socks for my Grandpa. I hope they keep him warm this winter.

Un-purled Cables Cowl

Unpurled Cables cowl

Pattern: Un-purled Cables
Yarn: Baby Alpaca Grande
Needles: Size 11
Knit: 12.8.09

A one day quicky cowl! Gotta love that when it comes to gift knitting. Hopefully a co-worker of mine will love it too.

And finally…

Swirl Cowl

Swirl Cowl

Pattern: Swirl Cowl
Yarn: Plymouth Suri Merino
Needles: size 7
Knit: 12.6-12.7.09

Another quick knit for a co-worker gift. I really liked this yarn. The blend of merino and alpaca gives it a nice hand that I think will make a very cozy and warm cowl.

I have one more Christmas gift I’m desperately trying to finish in the next day or two. Wish me luck since it really needs to go in the mail soon!

And now I fear, dear reader that if I do not step away from the computer and start thinking about bed, the time will slip me by and getting up tomorrow will be all the more difficult. Now that the car is fixed ($300 later. Oye.) things this week are looking up a bit but are still busier than heck. I’m trying not to think about everything that needs to be done when it comes to cleaning, decorating, teacher training, an actual paying gig on the bassoon and the regular day job and…

Oh wait. I’m not thinking about that! ;)

Goodnight!

Comments 10 Comments »

So as usual lately my good intentions to get to the blog have not been fulfilled. I hope those of you that celebrated Thanksgiving last week had a great holiday. Ours was particularly special this year because HWJF and I went to Maine and my parents went along with us so they could meet his parents for the first time! We were a bit nervous about how things would go (I think we all were!) but we ended up all having a fantastic holiday! We made sure to make the requisite stop at LLBean on the way up.

Mom, Dad & Sandy at LLBean

I wish the picture quality was better on that but it was kind of raining and gross out so I’m glad we got anything at all. Mom wanted to get a sweater for Sandy so we snuck her in the store to try things on. We were asked to take her out but they let us try on sweaters real quick. Just as we were getting ready to take her out but still be discreet, she started barking at one of the fake dogs in the area! Hilarious!! So much for keeping our cover!

Thanksgiving itself was definitely a feast to behold. HWJF’s parents are used to having a big crowd and they always do an amazing job of things. There were 18 people at dinner! The center piece of the meal is always my future father-in-law’s hand raised turkey.

31 pound Thanksgiving Turkey 2009

31 pounds (yes that’s 31 pounds!) this year and absolutely delicious as always. My Dad definitely went in for seconds, maybe thirds on that bird. ;)

I wish I had thought to take more pictures during our visit but that’s about all I have. We ended things up with a lobster dinner for the 6 of us Friday night that was also amazing. I remember getting a little misty eyed at one point because I was just so happy to see his parents and mine getting along so well. We both mentioned to each other that it was very nice to have a holiday where neither of us had to miss our parents. After this trip we’re definitely looking forward to our wedding next year even more than we were before. I am constantly overwhelmed by how much we have to be thankful for this year.

Speaking of that, a quick story about an amazing experience I had last night. My surgeon’s office called me last night to ask me a favor. Apparently they had another young woman that needed to have the same procedure that I had in their care and she had asked if she could talk to someone that had gone through the same procedure. I had told them before I left my last appointment that if anyone ever asked to talk to someone, I’d be more than happy to share my experience. I quickly told the nurse that I’d still be happy to talk to this person. I received a text message a short time later asking me to call and telling me that her surgery was December 21st. I immediately called her back and we had a nice chat. I could totally hear in her voice the same fear and anxiety that I had just over 6 months ago. We talked about the procedure and pain management and recovery and those crazy release forms that make you think you are totally not going to come out of this thing alive, etc. etc. By the end of our conversation I think she was feeling better about her chances and the skill of the team that would be getting her through this. At least I hope so. I’m just so happy that I had the opportunity to “pay it forward” so to speak and do the same thing for someone else that someone had been kind enough to do for me. I’m grateful to be on the other side of the phone this time and I hope that she will be able to do the same sometime in the future too. Please keep Josephine in your thoughts on Dec. 21st. She’s going through a very hard thing right now but I know she’ll be ok on the other side, just like me.

In other news, I’ve been knitting, but most of it I can’t show you (Hi Mom! :-D ). I can show you this pair of socks I’m making for my Grandpa:

Grandpa's socks

Lorna’s Laces in Black Watch. Fairly boring 3×1 rib that I stole from Annie when she was at my house last and I saw her knitting some socks (Hai Annie! :-D ). My Christmas knitting list is “down” to 2 cowls, a hat, and another pair of socks.

And there’s a certain fluffy bunny that needs a haircut.

Fluffy bunny is fluffy!

Anyone know how I can find a few more hours in the day?!?

Comments 15 Comments »

You might have heard about this thing that’s been going on for a little over a month now. It’s called the Summer of Socks 2009. It’s this little thing where you knit socks during the summer right along with a bunch of other people.

Heard of it?

Probably not much if you’ve been hanging around these parts. Somehow my sock knitting mojo has not exactly been on fire. But at least I finally have an FO to show.

Leyburn Socks

Leyburn Socks

Pattern: Leyburn by MintyFresh
Yarn: Socks that Rock mediumweight in Purple Rain
Needles: US 2
Knit: June 21-July 24, 2009

Yep. It’s taken well over a month for me to get one stinkin’ pair of socks done for SOS this year. This has nothing to do with the pattern. The pattern is lovely, well written and actually goes along quite quickly, especially on sport weight yarn. The problem resides solely with yours truly who has been distracted by about eleventy billion different things this summer. I mean, it’s pretty, it’s a sock, what’s not to love?!?

Leyburn Socks

*sigh*

I’d finished at least two pair by this time last year and more than that the year before. Ah well. Just remember the mantra!

NO STRESS!!!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go figure out what the next distraction will be. ;)

Comments 17 Comments »

HWJF and I randomly shout this around the house when we’re being asked to do something by the other and are otherwise occupied. I’ll let you imagine what that really means.

Anyway, I’ve been beyond busy lately! There’s still much to do and much going on and not a lot of time, but let’s try to play catch up, shall we?

I spent most of this past Saturday working hard in the dye studio (a.k.a. basement) with the extremely gracious help of Sairy doing this:

My Saturday with Sairy!

I’ve been asked to send some of my stuff to Sock Summit and am desperately trying to get everything to go in the mail by Monday! You’ll be able to find some of these pretties in booth 808 with Knit a Bit. I’ll have my merino/tencel base as well as a new 100% merino base and a new superwash/nylon base available. Anything that doesn’t sell and/or I decide not to send will end up in the shop sooner or later, so don’t feel left out if you can’t go. ;)

Also related to shop talk, I finished HWJF’s latest pair of socks!

HWJF's Handspun BFL Socks

I dyed the BFL fiber so that one bobbin was a solid color and the other contained complementary colors to create the stripes. The socks themselves were knit in my standard toe up heel flap pattern with a loose bind off and no ribbing at the top so they would curl down and give a nice finished edge. If you like how these came out and would like to spin something similar for yourself or someone you love, keep an eye on the shop! I’ll be posting fiber dyed in a similar way very soon. :)

And speaking of spinning, I finally have a finished yarn for this year’s TdF!

Bunny Yarn Mosaic

This is the final product of the batts that I carded up using my Cloudy Day colorway and a crapload of angora from Stitches. I spun it all on to one bobbin and then plied from a center pull ball. Sairy got to see both the correct and not so correct way to do that (there was yarn barf and scissors. Not. Good.). It worked out to be about 200 yards and will hopefully be enough for a Quant for the spinalong. It is soft and squishy and I think I’ll have very toasty ears this winter if I can get the knitting done! :)

And just because I finally got it uploaded here’s a pic of the little fluffy one on my lap when I came home from the hospital in May. :)

Stitches on my lap after I got home from the hospital

In other sort of unrelated news I wanted to share with you all some other exciting stuff that’s been going on in my world. After a long time of thinking about it, I applied for Yoga Teacher Training and was accepted! I’m very excited about this new path in my life and while this isn’t a yoga blog and I certainly don’t plan on turning it into one, I expect I’ll be sharing a bit about that experience with y’all from time to time. My classes begin on September 11th (an auspicious day for a new beginning) and run until next June. In addition to that I received my level I Reiki attunement this past Sunday. It was an amazing experience and I’m starting to feel the effects more with each passing day. I’m hoping to complete level II before my teacher training starts as I think the two will complement each other well.

So that’s what I’ve been up to! Hope to have more spinning progress to share with you next time! Have a great week! :)

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