Posts tagged ‘socks’

October 14, 2012

Knit-A-Ganza Summer 2012

Summer is made for knitting. So are winter, spring and fall for that matter. I had a busy summer of embarking on new projects, finishing older ones and just enjoying the craft. Here are a few of the newly finished items.

This scarf was finally completed this summer. I believe I began it in 2003 and worked on it when we traveled to New Zealand. Then it kind of languished. I guess this proves that even after a long pause, things can come to completion. Knit in mitre pattern, the scarf is made from alpaca yarn. It is called the Van Gogh Stole.

This is a close up of the beaded fringe. I think the prospect of this fringe is what kept me from finishing for so long. It wasn’t actually that bad.

About a million years ago, we made a pilgrimage to Morehouse Farms retail store. I believe we were actually meeting with the authors for a book we had under contract. I bought the yarn for the Kentucky Sweater. I have always loved Morehouse Farms Merino. It is barely even plied and soft and warm. It is so little processed that there are bits of straw to be found. That doesn’t bother me at all. I love it and the smell of the wool left by the lanolin still in it.

I began this sweater when Ellie and I traveled out to California to look at schools. It was April 2010 and we were checking out Occidental. We stayed in Pasadena and Alex drove up from Camp Pendleton for the weekend. We also got to see my longtime friend, Ann Harnagel. I remember how irked I was to discover after four inches of knitting in the round that I had done the second most stupid knitter’s trick and twisted my cast on. Off went the entire mess only to begin again. The pattern required a bit of attention and there are two rows which were mistakes, but I don’t think anyone but me can find them. I don’t usually leave mistakes, but they would have been a bear to fix.  The sweater knit up small and I wasn’t sure I really liked it despite the fuchsia and green brightness. I blocked it larger and all is well. Should be comfy with blue jeans. Not my favorite finished project, but it may grow on me.

This sweater is knit with Seacolors Yarn. I had the yarn, but started the sweater last year when I was going to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival. Nanney Kennedy always has a booth there and I just love her yarn and patterns. I figured if I started a sweater with the yarn, I wouldn’t feel the need to buy any more :). It pretty much worked. The pattern is the Low Tide Crossover Vee Pattern from the book, Shear Spirit. I was almost done with the sweater in April and went onto Etsy to see if I could find some buttons. I found these gorgeous glass buttons made by a woman named Nikki Ella Whitlock. Her site on Etsy is Inspirali. She is amazingly talented. Check out her blog. Anyway, I found the buttons I wanted on her Etsy site, but when I wrote her she had just sold them. I explained to her that they were to go with a sweater I was making and she said that she had sold them to a neighbor and would just “run round to see if they would switch”. They did and I have the gorgeous buttons. Next week is New York Sheep and Wool so I may just wear my new sweater.

Baby sweaters are fun to knit. They go so fast. This one is knit with yarn from my friend and former colleague Doris Cooper’s father’s sheep. The yarn was sport weight. I picked a stitch pattern out of Barbara Walker to give the sweater some texture and designed the pattern on Sweater Wizard. I love collecting buttons and it is always a treat to find some which are just perfect in my inventory. It is a cute little sweater. I have no idea what I will do with it.

Knitting socks is a love/hate kind of thing. I love the turning of the heel and the fact that it is such a small project. I don’t actually love wearing hand knit socks. It sounds awful to say, but I like my colorful Little MissMatched socks better. I do like knitting Wendy Johnson’s patterns and this comes from her book, SOCKS FROM THE TOE UP. This is the Lace Socks pattern which I have now knit several times. It has a simple repeat which is fun to do and the socks are very pretty. These are knit in Lorna Lace’s Sock Yarn and I love the colors.

Here’s another extended project. I actually have no idea when I started this sweater. I know I bought the pattern at Stitches East from the Great Yarns! booth, but I have no idea what year it was. It was, however, quite a long time ago. This sweater was not that much fun to make. The yarn is an extremely soft alpaca and the colors are gorgeous, but the body is very wide and required yards and yards of stockinette. There is a knitted cord defining the entrelac which was a b*tch. The entrelac was fine and I just alternated whatever colors I wanted. I hope this will be something I enjoy wearing, but it is very, very wide. Of course, the pooch in the photos is just gorgeous.

I expect there are a few other things which I made this summer and which have slipped my mind. You might say I was nonetheless pretty busy. I want you to know that I could never do this without the unfailing support and unwavering commitment of my feline compatriots, Zoe and Xena. They know what knitting is really for.

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May 13, 2012

Field Trip with Lauren

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Last Friday was my planned outing day with Lauren. When Lauren took me to the Orchid Show at the Botanical Gardens, we planned a follow-up trip to Venamy Orchids.

I met Lauren at the Rye Metro North train station and we headed up to Brewster to Venamy Orchids.

This is pretty much orchid heaven and we had a delightful time walking up and down the aisles looking at all the various orchids. Dendrobium, Phalaenopsis, Paphiopedilum, Oncidium, Cattleya, all the glorious orchids were on display. Actually, there seemed to be an abundance of giant white Phals with elegant, drooping efflorescence. They were breathtaking and clearly the main item for Mother’s Day.

Selecting was tough. I had limited myself to only two orchids. I knew exactly what I wanted: Hawaiian Sunset Pupukea. I had one years ago and it had the most fragrant and gorgeous blooms. The other orchid I was aching to buy was some sort of gloriously outrageous Paph. Of course, they didn’t have any Hawaiian Sunset Pupukea which was a bummer. They didn’t have any Paphs which were blooming. I dealt with this disappointment by purchasing on beautiful little Phal, a very healthy and vigorous (if unknown) Paph and an Oncidium with three spikes!

Lauren was much more restrained and bought a truly captivating Phalaenopsis.

After Venamy, we headed to Armonk and found a great place to eat. Of course, we never stopped chatting. Ellie had emailed us good wishes and mentioned the words “ice cream” so that was next on our agenda. While we licked our ice cream cones, Lauren admitted she hadn’t been knitting. Oh, horrors. So there was nothing else to be done but to use her i-Phone to find the nearest yarn store.

That meant a journey to Scarsdale and Sticks and Strings. While I displayed incredible restraint, Lauren purchased some very good-looking Koigu for some socks. A great project to get her knitting juices flowing again. It was tough to hold back because I dearly love Koigu, but I also have an unmentionable amount of it.

I drove Lauren back to her beautiful block of brownstones in Brooklyn with her trophies. We had a great day of complete fun and indulged passions.

Orchids, ice cream, yarn and lots of conversation. A truly perfect outing.

May 17, 2011

The Yarn Diet

 

It frightens me when I calculate the number of years since I became a knitter. When people ask me how long I have been knitting, I shrink from responding. How in the world could someone as young as I am have been knitting for over forty years? That is a lot of stitches. You know how they always like to calculate how many times something could go around the world? Well, maybe the corollary to that is how big a garment I could have knit with all those stitches—a blanket which could cover our house? An even larger building? Perhaps the town of Rye Brook?

Of course the by product of all those years of knitting has been yarn accumulation. Knitters go to yarn stores. Knitters see yarn they can’t live without and they buy it. It accumulates at a rate that can never be matched by output. Knitters may be more or less forthcoming about how much yarn they have. Some revel in excess, some squirrel their yarn away in discreet caches. Some inventory their stockpile, others go to their maker leaving relatives to sift through bewildering scavenger hunts of half-finished projects and orphaned treasures.

 I believe I have written about this before, but at the beginning of 2009 I went on a pretty serious yarn diet. It had become clear even to me that my stash was a lot like my own private yarn store. Now, I think there are a lot of knitters with this situation. They may or may not be open about it, but I had started to feel like I had just ingested way too many desserts. There was yarn everywhere. I had yarn in plastic bins under my bed. I had a dresser full of yarn. There were three large plastic bins of yarn in the Blue Room and more yarn in plastic bins in the basement. I felt a little ill when I thought of all that yarn and it was time to go on a diet.

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November 13, 2010

Fiber and Frolic in October

October was a packed month and the proof is that I am running about a week behind processing events. First there was Ellie’s and my 3-Day Walk, a huge event for us and deeply satisfying. The next big event was my Friends of the Smith College Librairies Board Meeting. This is a favorite activity as I get to go visit Northampton and see Smith and the other board members are a tremendously intelligent and congenial group of women. The third weekend in every October is the New York Sheep and Wool Festival and I have already blogged about fiber and sheep ecstacy. Last up for big events in October was another annual ritual—Stitches East.

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