New blog

I wanted to start blogging again, but wanted something fresh and new, to see me on. If you’re interested in still following my blogging, I can now be found at Hope to see you there!


WIP: Canines

I finished my socks. And…one toe is 6 rows shorter than the other toe. Not important, right? Except, they feel different on my feet. Very different. And, it happens that the slightly shorter sock is meant for the slightly longer foot. I suppose I will have to wear them “backwards.” Right now they are blocking – photos to follow. If I get the gumption I might pick that toe apart and fix it. Or, more likely, they’ll live a happy – although lopsided – life on my feet.

I decided to bind off and block because I wanted desperately to get to the next project.

This is the first mitten, sans thumb. The houndstooth pattern makes these mittens doubly thick, and they shall be wonderfully warm come wintertime.

Hurrah for new projects!

Wool-tastic on a Saturday

On Saturday, I went to check out Wool-tastic at the National Museum of Scotland. The event was part of the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival.

The entrance court to the museum was transformed into a knitting oasis, covered in new and experienced knitters. Some were learning to finger knit, others were creating pompoms, and I decided to take a crack at the pattern for a little bunny.

My bunny is to the left, and my friend Amy‘s rabbit sits to the right. She at least had the decency to give hers a face and a tail! I struggled for awhile with shaping the head, and after adding ears, decided I would rather get back to my sock than sew on eyes.

I love this knitted needle-holder!

Edinburgh is a great city, and us natives are spoiled that an entire theatre, music, art, and comedy fesitval comes to invade our landscape each August. Having an unexpected knitting event is an added bonus! It makes braving the massive crowds in the city centre worth the while.

Knitters knitting

Oh – and I got to bump into my friend Kristen, who helped to organize the event! Well done 🙂

Tiny Earrings

The socks carry on (honestly, two feet? Two feet?!) so I will fill this space with something to cheer up both you and me.

My sister likes to make earrings as gifts, and some time ago, she gave me this pair:
Tiny sweaters, on the needle! I wore them to my knitting group last week, and took secret pleasure in knowing that my ears mirrored my hands’ work.

Greetings From Glasgow

Scotland is a very, very good place to be a knitter. I feel fortunate that I learned the craft in a country with such a rich knitting history (plus it helps that Scotland gets a lot of sweater weather!)

On Saturday I took the train to Glasgow with my boyfriend. We headed toward Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, which contains a wonderful collection of exhibits that commemorate life in Glasgow and Scotland, along with a very fun natural history museum. I had visited once before, but there’s always more to appreciate at museums. On this particular visit, I was enamored with the appearance of knitting and wool – a must for any self-respecting Scottish museum.

Socks knit from wool from Soay sheep on St Kilda

Wool carders

Balls of Soay wool – and a rather handsome gull

And, best of all, there was a sheep!

Plus spinning wheel.

After Kelvingrove, my boyfriend headed to a seminar he had planned to attend that day in Glasgow, and I took a leisurely stroll up to the city’s West End, to re-visit another old flame: The Yarn Cake. My first trip there, in April of 2011, led to the happy purchase of two very lovely hanks of wool. But, despite being shiny, bouncy, wooly goodness, I have yet to knit anything with them! So, whilst I immediately fell in love with some exquisite grey alpaca silk, I ultimately chose to savor the taste of their plum crumble cake alongside a pot of breakfast tea, as my indulgence of the day.

I sat and stared at the yarn while I knit away on a shawl – it was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. An outing to The Yarn Cake makes me want to re-visit the yarn bought the first time around. Perhaps for my next project.

FO: Sumatra

With knitting, I like a bit of yin and yang, some balance. Are you like me? Do you oscillate between small, manageable projects and the larger, more ambitious WIPs? My woolen dreams are full of jumpers, cardigans, and dresses, but my collection of finished objects is chock-a-block with hats and gloves, along with small toys and decorations. Budget plays a big factor, as I can afford to stash the odd ball of sock yarn, but not 10 skeins of DK for a sweater. But, I can hardly finish a sweater without completing a few cheeky smaller projects in the meanwhile.

I’ve been working away at socks a lot lately, and there’s a shawl I’ve had on the needles for over a year that I want to complete. But, I still set it all down to make a twee little cover for my french press. After all, warm coffee is often required to motivate those knitting muscles.

Project name: Sumatra
Pattern name: Cable-and-Bobble Coffee Press Cover

WIPW: blue and green

My green sock is coming along well – we have a heel!

Also on the needles – and disobeying my recent attempt to minimize the number of projects I’m working on to less than three – is a coffee press cover. This project also broke my “no more yarn” rule, but as I had given away all of my acrylic, and the yarn was 50p in a charity shop bin, I think I’ll let myself off with a mere slap on the wrists. No point using lovely sheep’s wool for something likely to end up stained and possibly felted by coffee spills.

The sock and shawl I’ve been working on are too complex for social knitting, so this project should be nice to have around for my Thursday night knitting group. Also – those are straight needles! I use almost entirely circulars these days; the weight of the wool hanging on the straights takes some adjusting to right now.

WIP: a sock

Hello, and apologies for the absence.

Let me show you my current work-in-progress:

I picked up some Sweet Georgia Yarn whilst visiting Santa Cruz, California. In my experience, California is blessed with so many good yarn shops; The Swift Stitch is a highlight (make the experience sweeter with a trip to the neighboring French bakery.)

The rich, emerald green of the wool caught my eye immediately. I should have had colors of the sea on my mind, though. I always find the ocean inspiring.

Despite the allure of big-budget action films, shopping malls, and video games, it seems that a trip to the beach is still a real treat, unchanged by any introduction of technology or pop-culture. By the sea, we all seem compelled to delight in the feeling of soft sand under our feet and salt water on our eyelashes. So very basic. So very satisfying.

The pattern I’ve chosen, Effervesce, isn’t very basic at all, but it’s still satisfying. The bubbling motif befits a wool once graced with an ocean view.

Bodega Crafts

Today, I took a seaside trip to Bodega Bay, on the California coast. My family and I set out for a drive and dinner, but it also ended up being a very crafty trip.

There were Peruvian textiles:

I do love how, with the natural alpaca colors, this Peruvian-made hat is very much like traditional Shetland colorwork

And hand-woven scarves:

And, oh yes, some locally produced and spun wool:

I love deep colors and muted colors, and the range available by this farm was enough to make me gasp as I removed each hank and dreamed a little knitted dream. It was the type of wool I would have stashed readily and unabashedly, because I think it is a treasure. However, with minimal money in the bank, and my current job search unpromising, I had to Step. Away. From the. Yarn. I did buy 4ozs of sportweight, but with rosy, guilt-flushed cheeks. Still, I’d rather be hungry than not have that yarn. And now I have written evidence that I am obsessed with knitting.

The town of Bodega Bay itself is tiny and charming. The Alfred Hitchcock 1963 film The Birds was filmed in the area, and included its little chapel on the hill.

Posters outside the little market

And we saw a real gem of an antique store:

Blue Victorian milk glass

Thus I am very full of fish and chips (and key lime pie!) and happy to have spent a day near the coast. With the chilly winds, sheep on the hills, gorse, and daffodils around me, I almost felt like I was back in my second home – Scotland.

And I suspect I will have very yarn-y dreams tonight.

Socks on my mind

I’ve never joined a KAL before, but I’ve spotted one on Ravelry that sounds incredibly fun. I have a few skeins of sock yarn that are cheerfully variegated and would really show off an unusual pattern – or, as the KAL describes it, “unusual sockitecture.” Despite my constant perusal of the pattern database, there are is a stunning collection of sock patterns with unconventional construction that I had never seen before. A few favorites include:

Stripe Tease Socks (though they really shine with the Zauerball)

Jazz Dance

Vertizontal (my favorite, and with the best name as well)

I’ve been meaning to try Skew and I liked the look of Achilles Heal as well. I think, unless I got crazy and cast-on a million projects beforehand, I will have to join in with whatever sock they choose for this KAL – and plan on trying a few of the other proposed patterns as well.