Monday, April 30, 2007

Travels . . . With and Without Yarn

I've been in travel mode the last two weeks. And I've got one more trip to go. All of these jaunts are writing related, but you wouldn't know it from the pictures I brought home.

My first trip was to Pasco/Richland, Washington. Okay, all the NW natives are saying, "HUH?" And then, "Why???" Well, because I spoke at the Washington State Library Association Conference. Sort of one of those "Wither the librarians go . . . " So I went with my friend, Jane Porter and we flew over to avoid the 10 hours of driving and high cost of gas. It was cheaper to fly, believe it or not. And while I knew we were going to talk all day, (okay, yak and gossip) I still had a pair of socks on the needles ready to take. But then I hurried out the door the next morning without my knitting.

Okay, when I got to the airport and realized I didn't have my knitting there was a momentary sense of panic. Okay, big panic. A day without my knitting? Desperation set in. Happily we had some time after we landed in Pasco to raid a phone book, make a call and get directions to a yarn shop. Then we couldn't find the shop. We went up and down the road four times. Then another phone call was made and this time we spotted:

Oh, duh. Could it be any bigger?

Jane is a non-knitter, but a patient friend. She was more than happy to put her feet up on the dash, soak in some sun and read a book while I got my fiber fix at Sheep's Clothing.

Don't be deceived by the shop's small size--there is a lot of yarn in this shop. I mean a lot of yarn. But I couldn't find anything that tempted me. I was still dreaming of the socks I'd left behind. So I looked, enjoyed all the wonderful samples she has all over the shop and went back and found Jane doing her best imitation of a tourist.

Now don't pity me that I didn't find some excellent skeins for stash enhancement, because I knew that in another week I was headed to one of my favorite cities, Portland, Or. Home of Powells Books and Knit/Purl. So in reality, I was really biding my time for the shopping ahead.

Now, after the Pasco fiasco, I decided to make sure I did not make the same mistake when I went to Portland this past weekend. I don't know about you, but it takes some thinking to decide what knitting to take with you. Flying? Driving? Business? Fun? All of these are factors. I was taking the train, so I knew that a pair of socks on size 1 double points and fingering weight yarn would probably be another sort of fiasco as I rocked down the rails, so I went with a stash project:

I've had this Booga bag pattern and yarn tucked away for just this sort of occassion. Some big quick knitting for travel or mindless knitting. This counted in both columns. I'd had these skeins of Noro Kureyon for a few months and now I had the perfect block of time to knit it.

I knit the i-cord going down. You wouldn't think a 5 stitch, 6 foot length of i-cord would take long, but it took a good part of 3 hours to get it done.

Of course, the next day was taken up with a Reader's Luncheon that is enourmously fun, and I love to attend, but in the back of my mind I knew that Knit/Purl was JUST ACROSS THE STREET. You see, I stay at the Governor Hotel when I go to Portland because it is across the street from Knit/Purl and about 3-4 blocks from Powell's.

A geeky, book loving, knit happy girl can't get it much better than that. Well, the excellent room service helps as well. :)

And did I find the skeins of my dreams and some great books? I'll save that for my next post.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dashing to and fro

I think that's all I've been doing lately. Dashing back and forth trying to catch up on everything that I let slide while on deadline. So here it is almost May and I can't even remember most of this month. I've been promising myself for three weeks to sit down one night and finish the three sweaters I have nearly completed. The Top-Down I've been wearing without buttons, the CPH only needs buttons as well, and I finally found a skein of the green Pastaza I needed to finish the Jawbreaker.

But instead, I've been knitting . . . drum roll please . . . socks. OMG, how did this happen. I'm not a sock knitter. At least I didn't think I was. That was until this rotten cold winter convinced me otherwise. If it is possible, my feet are nagging me for more handknit socks. And when I go up every day to Destash, I find myself searching for sock yarns. Which the above picture will show, I have also been stashing said sock yarns. I couldn't resist this skein because these are so my favorite colors.

Yet here is why I am not a sock knitter. Because of that old fear of "One Sock Syndrome." I call this next shot, "One is the loneliest number" or perhaps "A pretty sock and one ugly old foot."

And usually after I knit one sock, well, I fall out of love with knitting socks and the second sock never gets knit. Not this time, from the moment I tried this first one on, I've been dying to sink both feet into these socks. So onto the needles went Number 2, and I've been happily knitting away on it. I finished the gusset decreases this morning and now it's down the foot I go.

As for my next pair of socks, (next pair? truly, check my back yard for alien pods because I am so not a sock knitter) I might even venture into the world of Monkey or just a fun pair of with this:

Or a pair of these anklets with this skein of Cascade Fixation which just begged to come home with me from Acorn the other day.

Don't you hate it when the poor skeins beg?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sometimes You Have to Just Let Your Skeins Hang Out

I've been recovering from my recent stash eliminations (by knitting or DeStash) with some purchases here and there.

I found this skein of Fleece Artist Nova Socks (100% Merino) at Hilltop Yarns East. This was my first visit to this shop and the staff was wonderful. I liked the wonderfully subtle colors in it and just how soft it is. And all caked up, it is too lovely.

Today the mailman is my personal hero for bringing me a boatload of this:

Yes, that is Knit Picks Gloss. I'll let you in on a little secret. I want to knit this. Yes, IN BLACK. On size 3 needles. I can hear all of you groaning right now, as well as the muttering. "What is she nuts?" Well, um, yes.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Finished the book on Tuesday and have been in a exhaustion coma ever since. Resorted to picking up and working on the socks that I started in January, because quite honestly, anything else would have been too much. I've turned the heel and now its pretty much just knit toward the toes.

I love this yarn (Socks that Rock) in Thistle. I just hope I have enough to get both socks out of it. I've shortened up the cuff and leg, mostly because I don't like really long socks, but also because I only bought one skein. Anyone else able to get two socks out of one skein of this stuff?

Last weekend, I also finished my Hufflepuff hat for the Charmed Knits KAL. Here is Hero #1 modeling it. He wanted me to use the Spongebob smile, which he is quite proud of, but personally, I don't like frightening innocent people with a picture that shows how much yarn I won't be buying, but handing over the cash by the fistful to the ortho to get this kid's "Spongebob" smile straightened out.

Now that the book is done, I'm really at loose ends, literally. I'm usually like that after spending 6-9 months pounding out a story, then I spend like two weeks sort of creatively bumping into walls while the well refills. Of course, I may have a different idea after I wander over to the Seattle Knitting and Fiber Arts Festival for a little shopping. The market is usually pretty good -- this is where I bought my infamous "Goat Yarn." No, I won't be seduced by more of it, but you never know what will catch your eye. Updates later . . .

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A Quickie

Sometimes you just need a quickie. You know what I'm talkin' about. Some fast gratification from a couple of nights of easy knitting. Big needles, fat yarn. Oh, yeah. After all that sweater knitting, I couldn't face another night of finishing work. I wanted something fast.

So I grabbed a pattern I'd tucked away for "some day." Something just easy enough to crank out in a few nights, but interesting enough to sate that fix. Out came the Pebble Rib Slipper Socks I'd torn out of the September 2006 issue of Creative Knitting.

Dug out some yarn from the stash. Whoever said stash was bad? It comes in quite handy when you need a fix.

(As an aside, I just saw the UPS guy drive by. We have a little thing for each other--I drive him nuts because usually I'm either getting 80 pound boxes of books or coverflats, however I adore him because he brings me yarn. But apparently, given the light speed he went past my house, I'm not feeling the love this afternoon. Oh, well, there's always tomorrow).

Now back to my quickie. Got the pattern. Check. Got the yarn. Check, check. Got Marvin Gaye on the iPod. Oh, wait, that's the other sort of quickie. Boy, am I red-faced!

Back to my knitting quickie, which we will just call a "KQ." I was intrigued by these slippers because they are knit flat from the cuff down.

Then you use a three needle bind off up the middle of the sole, and then stitch up the back from the heel to the top of the cuff.

And voila, one skein later (contrary to the two skeins the pattern calls for) SLIPPERS:

When I use up the other skein, I'll knit them on smaller needles (size 9 instead of 10.5) so they knit a little tighter. But other than that, they are great for early mornings at the desk.

Thrilled with that quickie, I cast one another. A Charmed Knits hat for the Charmed Knits KAL. I thought I was going to be quick and get in on this before Tiennie found this KAL. There is quick, and then there is Tiennie quick. She totally beat me to it. But I did post first. Check out my hat over there.