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Category: Socks (page 3 of 4)

Knitterly Things

Spring break with my sister in town was a lot of fun – we had the right combination of “on the go activities” and just hanging out at home. It was a much needed break for both of us. Even though my sister isn’t a knitter, there were still quite a few “knitterly things” while she was here.

As I mentioned, Saturday was a road trip with Jen over to Harbor Country & stops at our favorite places. After lunch we stopped into Sit & Knit & proceeded to sit, knit & read for several hours. I worked on my sock for a bit & then because I hadn’t brought the instructions I couldn’t continue when I got to the heel. So I spent the rest of the time looking through lots of pattern books and coming up with lots of ideas for future projects. It was also great to chat with the owner, Kim, about possible new yarn lines she will be carrying and the new knit mystery novel that her husband has written. (FYI – there will be a book signing on April 13 at My Sisters Knits here in Chicago.)

When Rebecca was with us last summer, we picked out a fun yarn for matching scarves. I decided to make a simple sash instead & she was able to take her’s home this trip. I forget the name of this yarn – but I loved the colors, they reminded us of the colors of the beaches & lake on the trip. The pattern was from the Knitting-to-Go deck.

Sister Knits

On this visit to Sit & Knit Rebecca picked out a skein of Geranium yarn (#6050). During our hang out/watch movies time on Sunday & Monday I turned the yarn into a quick Openwork scarf from the same Knitting-to-Go deck. We both loved how the colors of this yarn worked into the open pattern. This is a perfect spring scarf. We joked that Geranium was a good name for this yarn – even though that wasn’t the colorway name we are reminded of geranium blooms with the pinks in the yarn.

The “knitterly things” have continued this week in the form of 2 knit book events. It was nice to not be traveling for work & able to participate in the Chicago knit community.

Yarn Harlot

On Tuesday evening I trekked out to Oak Brook for the Yarn Harlot event. As is the norm with her events, all of the seats were filled way before she was introduced. Thankfully I was able to snag a seat & I proceeded to work on sock #4 while waiting. At one point someone suggested “show & tell” so everyone quickly showed the projects that they were working on – of course there were lots of socks, but also blankets, sweaters, scarves and more. No matter the skill level everyone showed their stuff. By the time Stephanie was introduced there were lots of people sitting on the floor as well as standing around the area. During her talk it was interesting to watch the muggles who were browsing for books in the area react to her comments & the audience response. After an hour of laughter & cheers during her talk the book signing began. After standing in line for about an hour I finally met Stephanie – in addition to her signing my book, I gave her a copy of the new ‘knit mystery’ novel from Sit & Knit (Cast On, Bet’s Off)and then we swapped socks for a picture (indeed, that is “the sock” that is traveling on this tour).

Amy & Stephanie

Wednesday evening brought a “new to me” yarn shop and the “No Sheep for You” book signing & trunk show with Amy Singer at Loopy Yarns in the South Loop. After work I picked up my knit gals (Jen & Kristy) and we checked out the store and the book. What a beautiful selection of yarns! As a fun bonus during the event, all non-wool yarns were on sale – so I picked up several, all of which I have not used before: Cascade Fixation for socks, Cascade Cotton/Tencel, & SWTC Bamboo.

I have already cast on with the Cascade Cotton/Tencel – it is such a soft yarn & I love how it is knitting up so far. The book contains some beautiful patterns – I am already planning to use the just purchased bamboo for one of the patterns.

Wow – in 3 weeks I’ve been able to go to 3 knit book events and will be at a 4th next Friday. What knitterly things have you been up to?

Signs of Spring & Serendipity

With all of the news stories this past week about the Daylight Savings time change this weekend there were several comments about to the effect of “You can’t say ‘spring ahead’ anymore because spring isn’t here yet; now it’s ‘march forward’ and ‘fall behind’ still rings true.”

Well, the weather didn’t get the memo that it isn’t spring yet – it was a super sunny weekend where you start to think that maybe spring will come. In addition to the sun shining – there was also sun warmth – it was nice to be out & about without all of the winter layers.

I often say that I think that the first Monday afternoon after the fall time change is the worst – coming out of the office at a “normal” time & seeing how dark it is. The flip is definitely true as well – how nice to walk out of the client office at 6:45 this evening & actually need to put on my sunglasses.

In the midst of my recent sock knitting I also finished up a few squares for the Blanket of Hope for Sonya & Kevin. It is fun to see all the shapes & sizes of blocks that are being sent for this blanket.

Hope Blocks

In addition to the bright sunshine another sign of spring this weekend was the continued progress on the rebuilding of the dove nest above my back door. Hopefully it won’t be too long until Dora the dove is back on a nest.

Sock #3

Saturday was filled with errands and my current sock was with me through it all – I got a fair amount of knitting done while at the salon and also while in the super long line at the car wash. I stopped into Arcadia Knitting to pick up some Addi turbo pairs in different (smaller) sizes for some of the sock yarn in my stash and a beautiful skein of Colinette Jitterbug in the Toscana colorway jumped in the bag as well. (Reading the description of the colorway – a perfect selection to celebrate a first glimpse of spring.)

Sock Blooms

While catching up with my stylist at the salon I learned that my former stylist was now working at the new Whole Foods that opened fairly close to my house. So the last errand of the day was checking out the new store (wonderful!) and catching up with Brad by the Artisan cheeses. Brad is a knitter as well so we always talk knitting – I showed him the sock in my bag & he pulled his backpack from a locker to show me the sock he was working on. In addition to the serendipity of seeing Brad and picking up a few goodies I also picked up a beautiful African violet in a cheery bright pink bloom.

Sunday I finally wore my ‘Bejeweled Blue Hosta‘ scarf – I have joked that Wisconsin has been too cold this winter to wear this scarf because it is such an open knit. This scarf was just the right weight for wearing with a twill blazer & not needing another jacket. While catching up with friends over coffee and bagels after church Jen commented that it was great to see the scarf ‘in action’ after seeing it on the blog.

Now that sock #3 is complete I have started on it’s match. I’m looking forward to a mini-vacation this weekend & the sock will be “just the thing” to have as my plane project to/from Dallas.

What signs of spring and serendipity are you seeing these days?

One Sock, Two Sock…

White Sock, Blue Sock…

One Sock, Two Sock...

(with a nod to Dr. Seuss & a Happy 50th Birthday to the Cat in the Hat!)

Right after I clicked “publish” on the last post I cast on for sock #2. While I didn’t end up knitting the whole evening I did get a good start on the leg. While on the road this week I finished up most of the leg. By Saturday morning I was onto the foot of the sock and by the time I had watched the last of my Netflix I was kitchnering the toe.

Fraternal Socks

Most hand knit socks are fraternal twins – these are no exception. In fact, they may be a bit more “mismatched” than most. On Thursday evening as I started on the heel flap I realized that I had cast on too many stitches for the sock (64 instead of 60). After an initial thought about starting over with 60 stitches I decided to just move forward. As I turned the heel I was able to “get rid of” 2 of the extra stitches. The other 2 stayed until I started on the toe.

Overall I’m very pleased with how the socks turned out. They feel a bit big so I will be washing them before I wear them & hope that they tighten up a bit. Now that I’ve finished my first pair of socks I think I can ‘finally’ justify a fun pair of clogs that I’ve been wanting – they’ll be just the thing for wearing with hand knits.

New Socks!

As I mentioned in my previous post, the time had come to just conquer socks. Just as many Dr. Suess books were just strings of simple words (ok, and some fun ones as well), in reality these socks were just a variation on knit and purl stitches. I knew I could do it – I just needed to. To that end, it reminds me a bit of when I was learning to read. As my Mom tells it, I was ready to read on my own but just wouldn’t – that Amy stubbornness was in effect. Once I started kindergarten and saw a classmate reading I came home & started reading on my own. I haven’t looked back since then – reading has always been a favorite past time since then.

Do you remember learning to read? What stories do you remember about it? Just as I continued to practice reading by reading more and more books I’m continuing to practice socks by starting on another pair. On the needles now is the “Sassy Stripes” yarn that I purchased for last spring’s sock class. (And I have already turned the heel since this picture was taken.)

Next Sock

What is your favorite Dr. Seuss memory? When I moved into my dorm room my freshman year of college, that first night I remember pulling back the covers on my bed & my parents had left me a copy of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” Indeed, the places I have gone since then!

Oh Socks!

Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So get on your way!

Ice, Ice…

…Baby…

(Sorry, couldn’t help myself – as soon as I thought of “ice, ice” for this title ‘that song’ from my high school days became an earworm…)

As this week progressed with work I really didn’t know what I would blog about next. I was on the road again and it was a milestone week that meant late nights at the office – I think on average I wasn’t back to the hotel before 8:00 each evening. And by that point in the day/evening I was too tired to even do dishcloth knitting. I got home Friday evening and my hands were ready to knit. I looked through my current projects & picked up “gasp” the sock that has been in progress since last fall – a continued attempt at “Socks Soar…” that started with a class last May and continued with the purchase of Cat’s book and Koigu at Stitches Midwest.

Over Thanksgiving I had knit the leg and was now ready to start the fun parts. On Friday evening I knit the heel flap and then read the instructions for turning the heel and picking up the gusset stitches – the instructions just weren’t clicking with me so I planned to stop into Arcadia Knitting on Saturday for a bit of help.

On Saturday I had a full list of errands planned. The plans quickly got changed when my mechanic told me that in addition to the scheduled oil change I needed another 3-4 hours worth of work done – with all of the long distance driving that I am doing these days it was a “no brainer” to have the additional work done. I had a bag filled with a couple of books, a Sodoku book and some knitting – a few dishcloths and the “on hold sock.” After a while I picked up the sock & book and decided to give the instructions a try – the first attempt at turning the heel didn’t work so I ripped it back out and tried again – this time it worked & so I kept going. By the time my car was ready I had turned the heel, picked up the gusset stitches, finished the gusset and was about 1/3 of the way done with the foot. As I started each new section of the sock I think I was smiling just a bit more. Knitting for several hours in the waiting area of the mechanic’s shop generated several interesting conversations – the woman who learned to knit (scarves only) a couple years ago when trying to quit smoking, the retired gentleman who remembers going to a football game with his mother who knit through the entire game (including a 98 yard kick-off return) and the store manager who remembered his mother finding the time to make sweaters for all 5 kids while he was growing up.

The knitting continued while waiting for a car wash. After all the errands were done I came home and kept going on the sock. The winter storm started here in Chicago (ice #1) and the sound of the ice hitting the window and the color of the sock yarn (ice #2) inspired the title for this entry.

By last night I had almost completed the foot. By the time I finished up The Illusionist today I was ready to graft the toe. Screech! That’s were the instructions in the book were a bit lacking – to the effect of “if you need help with grafting check out one of the reference books in the appendix.” A quick visit to knittinghelp.com provided me with the tutorial that I needed – in no time I had kitchenered the toe & wove in the ends.

Sock Details

Yay – a sock! I quickly ran outside to take pictures of the sock in the ice/snow (and rain).

Icy Socks

I’ll be casting on for the 2nd sock this evening & can’t wait to wear the full pair.

Soaring Sock Progress

The details:
Pattern: Simple Sock in Three Sizes from “Socks Soar…” – I knit the ladies size. Koigu #P905 on Addi Turbos size 2, 24″ long

When I picked up this yarn last summer the colors reminded of tropical waters – in the winter the colors now seem icy, and the blue/white is perfect for Project Spectrum.

Four years ago this month I took my first sock class (on double point needles) where I finished a sock and just barely started (but never finished) the 2nd sock from that project. Last spring I had hoped that socks would be my travel project for all of the time in Chattanooga. As I’ve mentioned, that didn’t happen. With my renewed interest in knitting in the past year I was frustrated that socks just didn’t seem to be in my project list – even though I had lots of pretty sock yarn and wanted to knit socks with it. Since being back from Chattanooga I have been trying new things with my knitting – different stiches with my so called scarf, the afterthought thumb with my Fetching pairs, and short rows with my Calorimetry. The time had come to conquer socks. With as crazy as the work week was for me I’m still in awe of the fact that I was able to wrap my head around the sock this weekend and get this finished!

OK, enough reflecting on knitting – time to wind the remaining skein and cast on for #2! Well, maybe one more bit of knit wit…

Knit Wit!

Routine Things

I find it interesting how quickly we can slip into routines. Initially some “new thing” may seem odd and then before you know it, it is “your” routine and any change to it causes you to pause.

While work travel might seem like a big distruption to routine, in reality a new set of routines emerged for me while on the road…a Sunday evening flight to Chattanooga…Tatum, the shuttle driver, waiting at the airport to take us to the hotel…the barista at Starbuck’s starting to make my drink every morning as soon as I walked into the store…the 2 block walk from the hotel to the office…These routines helped to bring some normalcy to the “un routine” when work was extremely busy.

Now that I’m back home routines are shifting and some old routines are once again new…making coffee each morning with the french press & listening to NPR on the kitchen radio while getting ready…the daily commute on the bus & el (including darting across 4 lanes of traffic on Western Ave. from the bus stop on the way home each evening)…etc…

A routine that is never routine is having a birthday. With the travel of the last couple of months, mine seemed to sneak up on me last week. The first Saturday of this month was a delightful afternoon tea at The Peninsula Chicago with my friend Elaine – her birthday is in late October so every year we try to celebrate our birthdays together with something fun. On my birthday, I met Jen & Kristy at Bin 36 after work and we each enjoyed a wine flight and splitting an appetizer. Jen’s husband, Greg, picked us up and then we all enjoyed a yummy dinner at Francesca’s Bryn Mawr. The day was also filled with emails, e-cards, instant messages, cards, and calls wishing me well. All in all, a lovely celebration!

A long standing routine has been my bookclub, The G.I.R.L.S. When I moved to Chicago in the fall of 1999 this was one of the first things that I joined – my friend Maya invited me to “her group” and the first book I read with them was “A Widow for a Year” by John Irving. Last week I was able to participate in a gathering for the first time since May – it also marked 7 years since my first meeting. We were a smaller group than some months; however, that didn’t diminish the good conversation. Our book was “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell – as is always the case, we talked about the book for a bit and that conversation spurred many other conversation topics.

A newer routine (since 2003) is scrapbooking – I host a quarterly “crop club” for friends to get together and spend a morning working on albums and catching up on life. This past Saturday was the last one for this year and it was great fun to have everyone back at my house for the morning (In Sept. a friend graciously hosted us at her place because of my travel) Since it was a chilly autumn morning it was the perfect weather to make some yummy fall goodies – a pot of spiced cider simmering on the stove, warm applesauce and a pumpkin cranberry coffeecake (using one of my favorite shortcuts, the Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread mix).

As I’ve mentioned, knitting is once again (finally) part of my routine. This weekend I finished up several felted bowls from Oneskein. These are a quick knit and it was fun figuring out which bowls to shape them against. I anticipate making a few as gifts and as I get my office/craft room/guest room organized I plan to make a couple for in there. (pictures to come) I continued to work on some of the projects that have been on my needles for a while (including socks!) and tried to start some new ones.

Knitting to comfort others is a routine that I enjoy. In the coming week I’ll be knitting a square for a new comfort blanket. Cathy is pulling together a blanket to comfort her friend Jenn who is in need of some comfort these days.

As I also get back into the routine of blogging, I have a couple of Knitbloglandia items that I’ve been meaning to post – so now seems like a good time to do it!

Soctoberfest

I joined Lolly’s sock celebration for October and then didn’t knit a stitch on a sock – although a sock project traveled with me the entire month. Insert your favorite quotation about good intentions…

So belatedly, here is my sock history. It is a short history.

In February 2003 I took my first sock class at Arcadia Knitting. Over the course of the class I finished the first sock. Pretty soon thereafter I began the second sock. And well, recently I discovered the bag with the sock and yarn – as you can see not much progress has been made on the second sock. In May of this year I took a “Socks on 2 Circular Needles” class at Arcadia. As I blogged about earlier, the first skein of yarn was a bit defective so I didn’t get the sock finished. When I learned that I would be traveling for work this summer I thought that socks would be a great travel project. Yeah, well that didn’t happen. The work travel is done and no socks were knit; however, I have picked up quite the sock yarn stash over this year. At Stitches Midwest in August I picked up Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles and have started on another pair of socks using this method. With all the sock yarn that I now have I am definitely ready to knit socks. I have several projects to finish before the holidays; however, I hope that the coming months will be an extension of Socktoberfest for me.

Swap-o-rama

In August I signed up for several swaps – not “putting it together” that the mailing deadlines were in the middle of the work insanity. I’m thankful that my spoilees have been patient as I’ve been slower getting their packages together.

  • KnitFlix: This concept was a lot of fun – movies & knitting! Earlier this year I even had a post about movie knitting. My swap pal was Amy in MN. She put together a great box of goodies. The movie is Babette’s Feast – I’ve never seen it but had it in my Netflix queue. Lots of popcorn for snacking. And the yarns! A beautiful purple silk from Alchemy yarns. A Dusty Olive Malabrigo with a great button & the pattern for the Gelato felted bag. Thanks Amy!
  • Knitter’s Tea Swap 2: Round 1 in May/June was so much fun so I’m back for more. I was spoiled by Barb in Canada. With the cooler days, these yummy teas will be enjoyed soon – Also some yummy honey sticks to sweeten the teapot. One of my favorites for tea snacking – shortbread! A berry candle the smells of fall. And a pale blue Paton’s Divine yarn. Thanks Barb!
  • Dishcloth Shuffle: As I’ve mentioned in numerous posts, dishcloths are a relaxing “go-to” knit for me – so this exchange seemed like a great one to join. I was spoiled by Alisa in Australia. Alisa knit 5 different dishcloths in beautiful colors and patterns. She also included some bright cottons for my own dishcloth knitting, some fun Australia themed stickers, an iron-on to embroider, a dainty hankerchief (how did she know I have a collection?) and a cute notepad from her recent vacation to Thailand. Thanks Alisa!

My packages have been dispatched to Minnesota, Nebraska, Western Canada & Eastern Canada. whew!

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