« July 2007 | | September 2007 »

Posts from August 2007

Plucky Socks

Firstly and most importantly, thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the wonderful supportive comments on Dr. G's Memory Vest.  I was truly moved by how many of you have been through the same, or very similar circumstances with loved ones.  Clearly more research on both Dementia and Alzheimer's is desperately needed.  My apologies to those of you who's comments I haven't responded to personally.  It is my intention to.  Life and the kids activities have gotten in the way.

I hope to have Dr. G's Memory Vest ready by the middle of the month.  For now though, socks.


It has been a whirlwind of designing around here lately.  Along with Dr. G's Vest, I have been working on two new sock designs for the Plucky Knitter.  Her yarns are beautiful.  Do you see any pooling?  I think not.  That is not due to my design genius.  Oh no, it is all Sarah and her way with the dyes.  Add to this Sarah's way with color, quite exquisite in my humble opinion, and top it all off with the fact that she uses amazing base yarns.  The sock on the left is single ply merino that reminds me of a sock weight Malabrigo.  One would think this would knit into a fragile fabric, but rather it is substantial with a lovely soft halo.  It makes a luxurious pair of socks.  The sock on the right is 80% Merino, 20% Cashmere.  Need I say more?  Heavenly. 

Both of the designs should be ready by early next week.  They will be available here and in The Plucky Knitter's Etsy shop.




Now I must get back to knitting Dr. G's, oh and get myself to the dentist.  *grumble*

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend to those of you in the US.  (And to those outside the US have a great weekend too!)

Dr. G's Memory Vest

After finishing a few UFO's last week, I gave myself permission to cast on a new project in Skye Tweed.


This new design has a strong hold on me.  For the past few years we have watched my father's memory decline.  Last year he was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia.  Once a world expert in his field of microbiology, he now has trouble remembering the simplest details of his life.  Feeling helpless to do much to ease his struggle, I have turned to knitting, the craft that brings me peace and has also allowed me to contribute to charities that I care about.  I will write this unisex vest pattern once the knitting is complete.  All proceeds from its sale will go to Dementia research.  I expect to have the pattern done by mid September, just in time for holiday knitting.



Socks Were Promised. . .

. . .and socks you shall have.  Gamely modeled by the fabulous DD's at Cross Estate Gardens in Bernardsville, NJ.  If you live in the area, these gardens are well worth a visit.


Poor DD#1, those green shoes were way too small.  Ah, the things we our kids do for our art!  ;)



Desperate Socks
Pattern:  My own
Yarn:  White Oak Studios Merino Superwash, Color:  Desperate Housewives
Needles:  US 1 [2.5mm]
This color is a little uncooperative in photography.



Pattern:  My own basic top down sock, picot cuff
Yarn:  Claudia's Handpainted Fingering, Color:  Plumlicious
Needles:  US 0 [2mm] 

These are knit pretty tightly, but  zeros were the only needles I had available when I wanted to cast on for a basic stockinette sock.   Not to mention the fact that the two skeins of Claudia's were quite different.  Yes, I know I should have knit from both balls at once, but the whole point of a stockinette sock is the simplicity in knitting and the portability.  I didn't want to deal with two tangled balls in the dark movie theaters where I knit these.  They will be just fine worn under jeans.



Have I ever mentioned that I kitchener my socks inside out?  I discovered early on that the process is more logical on the purl side of the fabric.  It is so much easier to see how the stitches should be formed.  If you have trouble kitchenering, try it.

A couple of additional photos of  the gardens:



For The Love of Wool

I have mentioned before how obsessive I can be.  Once a passion strikes, I can think of little else.  So it has been with spinning of late.  My apologies to those of you who come here to see finished knitting.  For today, more of my efforts at the wheel.


Tomorrow, I promise, socks.  Two pairs have been completed.  All that remains is a photo session with my girls.


The blue will be a scarf, knit lengthwise, with a few yo's thrown in for drape.
The red will be a hat for the DD's.  I have been wanting to make a Zeebee ever since I saw Christy's.


This is spun from four ounces of  superwash merino from Three Waters Farm, in the Wild Berry colorway.  I picked the roving up on my trip to NC in July.   When I bought it, the fiber was all purples and black with just a touch of red and gold. It is interesting to me how the reds dominate once it is spun.



For a little relief from the saturated colors in that last yarn I give you; Vesper Roving by Knitterly Things, 100% Blue Faced Leicester in the Afterglow colorway.  Somehow I feel like the names of these two yarns should be switched.


Does one who is spinning obsessed have a problem when she goes to sleep at night, visions of twisted fiber in her head?  It is like when I was a kid and swam in the ocean all day, I'd lay back on my pillow and feel the memory of the gentle pull of the waves on my body. 

Luckily a few days ago I was given a distraction in the form of an e-mail.  There is something new to focus my creative energies on.  Sarah the Plucky Knitter and I will be collaborating.  I'll be working on some sock patterns for her delicious yarns.  Look for glimpses of the new designs in the next few weeks.

Fiberlicious Friday

It has been a few weeks since I've been able to put together a Fiberlicious Friday post.  It seems like our summer weekends are all so busy.  My solution?  I'm writing this on Thursday morning, Typepad will do the rest and post it on Friday for me.

Today's Fiberlicious Friday is brought to you by my new love, "Gigi".  I've got so many UFO's beckoning me, but all I want to do is spin.  I've been splitting my time as well as one who is obsessed can.  Luckily for the UFO's, I've been spending 4 days a week in NYC and Gigi doesn't fit in the car with everyone's luggage.   Lace and socks get all of the attention since they are so portable.


The above yarn is spun from superwash merino fiber which I purchased from Aija's etsy store, Zero. I spun the singles on a drop spindle and plyed them on my new wheel.  The experienced spinners and highly observant types among you will notice that I have spun this yarn "backwards".  When I was taught to spin on my drop spindle I was encouraged to do it in the "correct" direction, singles clockwise - plying counter-clockwise.  Spinning my singles counter-clockwise has always felt more natural.  I am a firm believer in the school of "knit or spin the way that feels best to you, the  results are what count",   and so I spin counter clockwise on my drop spindle.  Now that I have a wheel, I am switching over to the conventional way of doing things for consistency's sake.  As a result, the yarn that was spun completely on the wheel was spun one way, while the singles that were spun on my drop spindle as above are done in my old "backward" way of doing things.   


The first spinning from my new wheel. 
This is a self striping yarn. The blues & greens are from a 100% merino roving that I handdyed, the brown is 100% merino that the owner of the Spinnery gave me when I bought my wheel from her. I like the way the brown tones down the acid brightness of the blues and greens.



I'm off to pack for the weekend now, and maybe have a little session with Gigi if I can squeeze it in.
Have a great weekend.

The Lace Love Continues

I finished Icarus a few days ago.  I love this shawl.  The first chart was a bit boring to knit.  But oh that border, how I adore that border!!  The Malabrigo Lace was lovely to work with.  It blooms a bit as you knit.  So far though, no pilling at all.  It is wondrously soft.  This shawl will be heavenly to wrap up in during those frigid winter days.  But for now, in the 90+ degree summer heat it will sit in my drawer.

Indulge me in a few photos.






Pattern:  Icarus by Miriam Felton, Interweave Summer 2006
Yarn:  Malabrigo Lace - less than 2 skeins
Needles:  Addi Lace US #3 [3.25mm]
Modifications:  None

This completes my first UFO for August.  I've put a list of other UFO knitters in the sidebar, let me know if you'd like to join us.  Also, don't forget to check out our Flickr group.  All are welcome.

Would You Like To Join Us?

In her post yesterday, Beverly* mentioned that she was having her own personal UFO August.  As far as I know, there is no offical KAL this year.  Last year it was just what I needed.  It is such a good feeling to get those nagging UFOs under control before the insantily of holiday knitting comences.  I've decided to join Bev, and anyone else who wants to rid themselves of the guilt.    If you want to join Bev and I, comment on this post, list your UFOs on your own blog, and I will add a list of who's joining the fun in my sidebar.  Then we all simply post our successes on our own blogs.  I've also created a Flickr Group.  This will be very, very informal.

Here is my list.  It is far from being comprehensive. I've limited myself to things that I have any intention of finishing in the near future. 


Icarus.  This should be done in the next few days.  I only have about 15 (very long) rows left.


Desperate Housewives sock.  This has been sitting in limbo for a very long time.  The colors are fun, but a little bright for me.  DD#2 will love it though.  It is a stitch pattern of my own design, that I have already knit once in a much more muted yarn.  I wanted to experiment and see how the pattern works in a more dramatic colorway, since I am interested in developing patterns that work with all of the tempting variegated yarns available.  I did recently join the  Single Sock Liberation Movement so I really shouldn't feel any pressure to finish this one.


EZ's Baby Surprise Jacket.  I'm making this for a friend who is expecting her first child in November.  When she was a teen, the mom-to-be babysat twice a week for my infant twins, while I got a much needed break.  Thirteen years later I am still grateful to that poised young lady who was willing to take my screaming babies and cuddle and comfort them for me.  I would often return to find her with two sleeping babies on her chest.


Embossed Leaves.  I don't know why this one has been on hold for so long.  I love the yarn, I love the pattern.  Must finish, must finish.


A single mitten from EZ's Knitter's Almanac.  Do you think the Single Sock Liberation Movement is inclusive enough to allow mittens?


DD#2 wants a pair of polka dot knee socks.  What better yarn than some candy colored STR?  So far, just one cuff completed.


This pair of socks was going to be a contribution to Project Spectrum.  Too bad I missed the red/black months.  Basic stockinette socks are good knitting for dark theaters though.  Maybe I'll make good progress when we go to the Simpson's Movie.


Top-down raglan striped sweater.  I just need to finish the sleeves, and add a button band.

So, that's my list.  What's yours?

* Beverly is having a "Tell Me Your Dream" contest.  You've only got a few hours left to enter, but she is offering some pretty nice goodies.

I Broke Into My Cookie Jar Yesterday. . .

. . . and went to Frenchtown.





Her name is Gigi.
Can't talk, gotta spin.