Amy Artisan

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Category: Socks (page 2 of 4)

Civic Duty & Busyness

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
– Amendment VI of the United States Constitution

Jury Duty Sock

Last month the mail held a Standby Jury Summons for me. When I called the jury line on Monday afternoon I learned that I would indeed have to show up on Tuesday for jury duty. On Tuesday morning my purse was stuffed full with things to pass the time: bottle of water & snacks? check! a book? check! notebook? check! knitting? check! After making my way to the courthouse, through security and signing in at the jury room I sat down with my knitting – after watching the “Intro to Jury Duty” video the first panel called to a courtroom was my panel. As we stood outside waiting to go in the courtroom I had my sock bag hanging from my wrist and continued to make progress – a couple of women on the panel with me commented about being smart to bring the knitting with me. While sitting in the gallery listening to other potential jurors be questioned I pulled out the knitting & kept going. By mid afternoon the jury had been seated and the rest of us were sent back to the jury room where we were given our ‘paycheck’ and sent on our way. Over the course of this jury experience I added about 3″ to the leg of the sock and got about halfway through the heel flap before it was time to go home.

In other knitting news, I have started on my sweater. The first 2 games of the Cubs play-offs were the perfect opportunity to cast on for the back panel of the sweater. I have now started into the “detail” of the sweater. So far I am really enjoying this knit & see this project competing for my “knit-tention” in the coming weeks and months.

Sweater Progress

Other knitting has been pretty sparse recently. Artisan Dad came for a visit last week/weekend. Our main goal for the trip was to work on turning the spare bedroom in my place into a usable space for artisan endeavors. We got a lot of work accomplished while he was here – many boxes were sorted & cleared out and we put together a great cubed bookcase from Ikea for holding all of my crafting supplies (and I have quite a bit). A large pile of things was taken to the Salvation Army shop and several bags of books were sold back to Half Price Books. Even though the goal for the weekend was a lot of work around the house we still managed a few fun trips – a quick trip to the Art Institute of Chicago allowed us to see the Gates of Paradise exhibit. We also enjoyed the Richard Misrach: On the Beach photo exhibit. One evening we also ‘beat the heat’ by taking in a movie that we both enjoyed. By the time Dad flew back to GA on Monday afternoon we both agreed that we had made a lot of progress – although I still have more to do before my Artisan room is ready to reveal. Thanks Dad for all of your help!

The next couple of weeks look to be pretty busy – so the knitting and continued progress in the spare bedroom will be competing with other events on the calendar.

Getting Crafty

How appropriate that after blogging about the sounds of summer this past week treated us to a taste of fall weather. And how better to spend a fall-like Saturday than at a fair? The Renegade Craft Fair was in town this weekend so that became the starting point for a fun Saturday with friends. After picking up Kristy & Elaine we headed over towards the fair. We spent several hours looking through all of the booths of fun, quirky, unique and beautiful items. While I didn’t leave with nearly as many things as previous fairs this summer I did pick up a few things as a jump start for Christmas gifts. (As such, they are tucked inside the cute zippered pouch that I picked up for me)

Renegade Loot

Our time on Division ended with a great mid afternoon meal at Aki Sushi. It was our first time at Aki and we weren’t disappointed with our order. Since we were feeling crafty we decided to check out a “new to us” local yarn – Knitwerks. For several months I had been wanting to check out this store and after hearing Lolly and Nova rave about it when they were in town I knew I needed to get there soon. All of the buzz that I’ve heard was right – this is a great addition to the Chicago yarn community. So many beautiful yarns and colors – you just want to touch it all. Cherrl was so welcoming and friendly – Kristy’s sandal had broken and she offered a nearby store to pick-up a pair of flip-flops, our next visit will need to include time to check out the nearby Italian cafe that she recommends. Of course, we didn’t leave there empty handed. Elaine discovered the beauty of Dream in Color yarn and picked up a couple of skeins – she isn’t sure if she is going to crochet a scarf or have me teach her to knit one. I also picked up some needed needles and also some yarn for gift knitting (so no pictures here).

Speaking of local yarns – have you seen KnitMap.com? It has just launched and aims to collect all of the local yarn shops in one “go to” site with ratings and comments from local knitters. As someone who travels a lot, this will be a frequently visited site. I’ve already added one of my favorite shops to the mix.

Saturday’s weather was perfect for revealing a new knit project. Earlier this summer I made a scarf as a gift for Elaine (either a very belated gift for her last birthday or an early gift for this year). I gave it to Elaine first thing and it turned out that it matched her turtleneck perfectly so it immediately was put to use. Introducing – Sage Friend:

A Sage Friend
The details: Midwest Moonlight from Scarf Style; 2 skeins of Baby Pima from Catalina Yarns; Size 10 needles; This was a very fast knit. The yarn was very soft and even after blocking it retained the softness.

There has been a lot of knitting happening around here in recent weeks. Some has been gift knitting so it can’t be revealed. Other items are ready to show.

First up: Silky Summer Scarf

Silky Summer Scarf
The details: Montego Bay Scarf from Interweave Knits, Summer 2007; 1 skein of Brooks Farm Yarn – Limited Edition 3 (picked up at Midwest Fiber & Folk Art in July); Named Silky Summer because of being a summer knit – which will keep me warm in the fall & winter. This yarn was such a treat to work with – it was so fun to see the colors change from one to another and also see the yarn change from really thick to really thin. I’m glad I picked up 2 more skeins of this for another project.

Next up: Knit for a Cure

Knit for a Cure
The details: Based on Bejeweled; 2 skeins of Lion’s Brand Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton in Strawberry; Size 13 needles; Knit in preparation for a Breast Cancer Awareness event. Stay tuned for details. This was my first time working with this yarn and it was great to work with – I think I might add it to my list of baby blanket yarns. The resulting scarf is so soft. As I’ve said before, the Bejeweled stitch pattern is a great go-to pattern and each time I knit it the result is beautiful – on the large needles this was a fast knit – I started & finished it this weekend while catching up on my Netflix.

During the odd bits of time & while watching movies at the theater I’ve continued to build up the dishcloth stash.

More Dishcloths

Many other projects are currently on the needles – including some holiday gifts (so no pictures). The knits that can be shown are very appropriate for this final month of Project Spectrum 2.0 – variations on browns.

Brown Knits

Chocolate & Spice Socks – my current “basic sock” (in Trekking XXL #183) that stays in the work backpack or purse; Celebration Tote – my latest felted bag starts with a lot of brown knitting.

While the list of projects I want to knit seems to be never ending it is nice to see projects get completed and come off the needles.

Sounds of Summer…(& Socks, Too)

Hibiscus Bloom

…the buzz of the air conditioner
…the gentle whir of the ceiling fans
…the repeating song of the neighborhood ice cream truck
…this year, cicadas
…ice cubes clinking in a glass of iced tea
…the sprinklers watering the lawns
…the neighborhood kids playing outside till well after dark
…lawnmowers starting
…fireworks being shot off by neighbors
…summer rainstorms – some (or a lot this year) with thunder & lightning

…songs under the stars…

With all of my work travel last summer it seemed like I didn’t hear a lot of the sounds of summer. Being back home in Chicago this summer has meant the opportunity to hear many sounds. In addition to the “routine” sounds of summer, a few summer evenings have been spent at favorite outdoor concert venues.

In June, my all time favorite band, Pink Martini, finally played at Ravinia Festival. (when I first heard them 5 years ago I immediately thought they would be a great act for this fun summertime venue) It was a perfect Chicago summer evening for this concert. Seven of us brought our folding lawn chairs, blankets and all the fixings for a simple picnic spread – while waiting for Pink Martini to take the stage, I did some sock knitting. By the time the first band took the stage the lawn was pretty filled; however, many people left after Arturo Sandoval – all the more room to spread out and enjoy the show.

In July, The Decembrist’s were in town playing with the Grant Park Orchestra at Millennium Park. Rain threatened as we gathered on the lawn to picnic – the first 30 minutes or so ended up being rainy but that didn’t stop the fun. The lawn was packed with concert goers. As the final song was being performed another storm came in so the music was accented with thunder & lightning that only added to the effect. As we headed for the parking garage after the show the sky opened up.

This week allowed for one last summer outing to Millennium Park – The Joffrey Ballet performed to the tunes of The Beach Boys, Motown and Prince. After a teasing rain shower as we headed to the park the evening turned out to be perfect weather for show. I love to watch the lights of the city come alive through the canopy of the Pritzker lawn.

The Joffrey @ Millennium Park
(more pictures here)

As I’ve listened to the sounds of summer I have been knitting away on my “summer socks” that I started back in May. While enjoying the ballet this week I finished up the second sock (actually, all but the Kitchener on the toe but by then it was too dark to do it). These are the 3rd pair of socks that I have made – again using the 2 circular needles method. This time I used size 1 needles and did a 4×2 rib pattern & continued it around the entire foot. I picked up this yarn (ONline Supersocke 100 Summer Color) on my first visit to My Sisters Knits, right after I started blogging, I loved the colors on the skein and as the stripes appeared during the knitting process I loved the colors even more. The colors of these socks remind me of the colors of my pot of portulaca on the back deck.

Summer 2007 Socks

Before long the seasonal soundtrack will change and the crunch of fallen leaves underfoot will become a loud chorus. This fall as I crunch through the leaves I will be wearing handknit socks for the first time – I can’t wait.

Of course, I have another sock on the needles – actually I started it about a month ago. This time, I’m using an “actual” pattern – Ampersand and am loving how the tvyarn is knitting into the sock so far.

MTM Socks

What sounds are “the sounds of Summer 2007” for you?

Random Bits

Wow – it has been quite a while since I’ve posted. Life has been pretty busy the last couple of weeks. It looks like assorted “random bits” memes are going through blogland again. Julie tagged me for the “7 things” – I generally don’t join in on memes; however, I’ll use that tag as the framework for writing about the random things that have been going on. (After several lovely days here in Chicago the weather is cold & gray today – so pardon the pictures…)

Railroad Socks
1. I’ve been working on the railroad – Last month I started a project with a new client here in downtown Chicago. Within the last 3 weeks I’ve visited 2 of their divisions in the southeast and have spend quite a bit of time around rail cars. The required outfit included a hard hat, safety glasses and ear protection. The travel time gave me plenty of opportunity to work on the current socks on the needles.

Knitters Tea Swap 3
2. It’s tea timeKnitters Tea Swap 3 is in full swing & I’m co-hosting this round. For this one we have decided not to have secret swaps. I’m swapping with Katie. Now that spring is here the iced tea pitcher is always full in the fridge these days. Currently I’m loving Black Currant tea with a sqeeze of lemon – I first became hooked on this combo when I did my college internship in Houston in 1995 & became a frequest diner at Cafe Express.

3. Peony in Love – I recently received an advanced copy of Lisa See’s latest novel. I thoroughly enjoyed Snow Flower and the Secret Fan last year so I was looking forward to getting started on this new one. This newest novel was an excellent read – I started it on the plane down to Atlanta last Friday morning & had it finished by Sunday afternoon. Stay tuned for a review about it in the coming weeks.

Rebuilding Greensburg Sunflower Yarn
4. Kansas Knits – As a Kansas gal, when I saw Laura’s request for squares for afghans for Greensburg I knew I had to participate. When looking through my stash for yarn for the squares I knew I had just the thing – some Sunflowers superwash that I picked up from Cabin Cove Mercantile last summer.

Garden Green
5. Early Blooms – So far the only attention I’ve paid to gardening has been to kill off the weeds in the flowerbed. In the coming weeks I look forward to planting some new plants & working in the garden in the evenings. A few perennials from 2 summers ago survived through the neglect of my travels last summer and now the clematis has climbed up the fence, the sedum continues to grow and the Bachelor’s Button is in bloom this weekend.

6. Family Knits – While visiting the family in the ‘Ville over Mother’s Day weekend I had everyone try on the socks that I’ve already made – ya know, just so I could see how they would fit in case I were to make socks for the Artisan family in the future. Artisan Mom was gifted with plenty of hand knits while I was home – for Mother’s Day and for her birthday. For Mother’s Day I knit 3 garden themed dishcloths (red ladybug, sage hummingbird & yellow sunflower) – hmm, I thought I had taken pictures of those when I finished them back in January but evidently I didn’t. For her birthday I made the Berthe collar from No Sheep for You in bamboo. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of it – maybe when she is up here in a couple of weeks she’ll bring it so we can do an appropriate photo shoot. I had plans for a cotton Bejeweled scarf for Grandma for Mother’s Day; however, evidently I can’t talk & knit on this pattern – I managed to mess it up while talking with Mom once I got home, so it will be done for her birthday in August.

Hokie Heart
7. Healing Knits – In the midst of everything this month I’ve continued working on squares for the Hokie Healing project. I love the subtle shading variations of this maroon and burnt orange. One skein of each has yielded 2 grandma’s favorites, 2 bejeweled and 1 double heart square. These will be going in the mail this week.

If you haven’t posted in a while or haven’t been tagged by a random meme – consider yourself tagged!

Springtime Fun

While March may be known as “in like a lion, out like a lamb” it seems as though April has been a bit lionish as well. Although, spring may be reemerging once again. The last 2 weekends have been warm and sunny – the perfect backdrop for hanging out with friends.

Last Sunday was a belated Easter dinner with friends. (I had bought all the fixin’s for Easter dinner “on” Easter and then ended up going to a friend’s house instead.) So on Sunday my dining room table was filled with good friends – all of whom hadn’t had a real Easter dinner the Sunday before.
Easter Table
A “simple prep” menu yielded an excellent dinner: roast turkey breast with lemon, tyhme & garlic; roasted mini golden potatoes; steamed asparagus; corn; fruit salad; and Rhubarb-Strawberry Pudding Cake from the April Gourmet, a quick and tasty cake that I will be making again.

This past Saturday was an all day scrapbooking event – it was great to catch up with friends & make good progress on my 2006 album. By the end of the day I was almost done with the album. (yay!) At the end of the day, Jen & Kristy drew names for my 100th post contest.

Thanks to everyone for sharing your friendship memories on the previous blog entry! Congratulations to Amanda Cathleen, Erin, Laura & Sarah – a copy of The Friday Night Knitting Club is headed your way. Also, congratulations to Jane for leaving the 800th comment on the blog – a few treats are headed your way as well.

After church on Sunday, Jen, Kristy & I tried out a new creperie in Andersonville. Icosium Kafe was a great find – the banana & Nutella crepe and apricot iced tea were a perfect brunch choice. We all agreed that we’ll be back soon.

In the midst of getting back into the routine of being home the last couple of weeks there has been quite a bit of knitting going on around here. Last Friday evening I continued to make progress on sock #4 while attending the “Cast On, Bets Off” reading at My Sisters Knits – it was a packed shop for the event. By the end of the weekend I had finished the sock & now have 2 pairs of socks to wear. I’m not as happy with these socks – I think they may become house socks.
2nd Pair of Socks Bejeweled Teal
When I was at Loopy 2 weeks ago I picked up several skeins of Cascade Pima Tencel in a beautiful teal color. It became a spring “Bejeweled” scarf for me & is getting a lot of use with my spring coat. I have also finished up a secret knit with some beautiful bamboo – it will be revealed in the coming weeks.

My work routine has me once again taking the EL downtown to a client site so I have some training knitting time. I’m currently working on a simple sock using some OnLine Summer that I picked up at My Sisters Knits last year. The colors are perfect for the second trio of Project Spectrum colors.
Next Sock

With the spring weather, green is starting to return to the landscape. In my front yard, one tiny tulip managed to come back this spring; however, the bloom was past it’s peak before I got out to take a picture. In the coming weeks I’m looking forward to spending a bit of time in the backyard getting the flowerbed & deck ready for some summer plants. Because I was on the road last summer I didn’t do any gardening & missed it – I’m pleased to see that several perennials have returned for another season. Hopefully this blog will contain garden posts in the coming months.

What springtime fun are you up to these days?

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