Monday, October 25, 2010

I can't stop drooling.

Forget me - save the book.  But I warn you drooling and lip licking will ensue.
This book is that good.  I can't figure out which design I'm going to knit first.  Only kidding, I know exactly what I'm knitting first - Jared Flood's Woodsmoke Scarf.
Then I am toying with the idea of knitting Anne Hanson's Hydrangea Neckwarmer.
Ysolda has the beautiful little Orchid Theif Shawlette that I am dreaming about wearing.
Then there's the Sprouting Cloche from Norah Gaughan.
And so many more I'm going to pass out from dehydration.
I have enjoyed reading about so many of the bloggers I already read and getting a pattern too just brings these very talented designers and bloggers, authors and artists all, right home to my yarn stash with great joy.  If you happen by a book store or your LYS check it out.  I warn you though, bring a napkin or two because you will be drooling.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October is for knitting nirvana...

October is proving to be a month of knitting nirvana for me.  The month didn't start out that well.  My beloved old suburban, Betsy, has put in a request for parts and is not moving until she gets them.  She is a stubborn old gal and we are getting those antique pieces for her as best we can.  But imagine my panic.  October has a yarn crawl and the big NYS Sheep and Wool Festival at Rhinebeck!  This situation had to be fixed and fast. We took a look around and found a younger sister for our Betsy. Another GMC we'll call Ivy.  Thanks to her, October's knitting needs have been saved!
October started with Susie turning me onto Socktoberfest 2010 on Ravelry.  So I committed to a month of sock knitting.  I thought to myself - self you'll knit nothing but socks this month.  What can I say, I was listening to myself the way my teenager does - selectively.

I have managed to get one pair done so far in Socks that Rock yarn.  I love the way these self stripped.  I love Socks that Rock sock yarn - it is the bomb!

Next, over the Columbus Day weekend, Susie and I went on a yarn crawl.  Her husband was nice enough to drive us and hang out. We hit La Casita, Brooklyn General and I went on to Purl.  It is very gratifying crawling through yummy woolen fibers all over New York City. 

Brooklyn General had a great selection.  There were basics like Cascade and lots of smaller mills and dyers too.  What a great warm store.  Very old school.  Warm and homey.

La Casita was next and yielded a great color of Madeline Tosh.  I seem to be attracted to coppery brown tones lately.

While at Purl I picked up 2 things.  The first was a pattern for a rabbit named Hop.  You'll be able to say hi to Hop as soon as I sew on his face.  No Hop is not a sock and yes he did get knit this month. Teenager ears, does that mean I'm getting younger?  Or maybe just my ears are.
The second thing I got from Purl was a skein of Jared Flood's new yarn Shetler.  I am in love with this yarn.  It is light weight yet very substantial.  This is a yarn you want to make a sweater out of and then eat, sleep and live in it.  I will have to look for the perfect pattern to knit a perfect garment out of Shelter but for now I'll just play with this one skein and dream of our future together.

There were knitters in all the stores as far as the eyes could see.  This happens to be Purl.

Next was the big NYS Sheep and Wool Festival at Rhinebeck.  Despite the cool weather it was packed.  I managed to pull myself away from the hardened grasp of woolly fibers long enough to get to the Ravelry lunch time meet-up.  A few moments with Susie, her family and Ria and then I was a gal on a mission for sock yarn!  After all it is Socktober!  I got my usual Socks that Rock stash for the coming year and was alerted to the Sanguine Gryphon presence by Ria.  Scored a few more assorted skeins of sock yarn from the great girls that run the company and dye the yarn.
I had read a lot about yarn from Blue Faced Leicester as a breed.  I wanted to check it out at the Fair.  I was not disappointed at all.  I fell in love with yet another type of woolly fiber.  This yarn is so soft.  I bought 2 skeins with a baby blanket in mind but I think I might have to rethink that. 
And last but not least I picked up a couple of skeins of Brook Farms Solo Silk/Wool blend.  The yarn makes a great scarf.

Tomorrow I am meeting Susie (and maybe Ria) for lunch and knitting. Time to get back to those socks!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October is Socktoberfest

October is Socktober month.  My Friend, Susie, mentioned this to me last month.  I never heard of Socktoberfest before.  I went over to Ravelry and checked out the group.  I thought, this is perfect timing and joined the group.  Thank you Susie!

There is a KAL for a specially designed sock for the event.  This is my first KAL.  I like that the pattern is being released a little at a time so the design of the sock will unfold as it is being knit.  A bit of trust in the designer is required because I won't know what the sock is suppose to look like until I am finished.  I am going to knit the KAL socks two at a time so both are finished at once and because the pattern is being released bit by bit, affording me the time to slow down and smell the stitches as they fume into socks. 

I started knitting socks about two and a half years ago.  My first sock seemed to take forever as I knit and frogged and knit again (and again) until I got it right.  Actually the first pair took 3 months to finish.  Since then some pairs have taken me longer to finish but none have taught me as much about knitting in general as those first pair of socks.

 Over the summer I was reading Stephanie McPhee (The Yarn Harlot) and found myself agreeing with some of her thoughts on socks. Fancy socks are great to knit. They are even more beautiful to look at and wear.  For some, it is very hard to put shoes on over them and cover up all that beauty and design work.  While I do wear all of my creations I have noticed that some of the recipients of my hand knit socks are not wearing them.  I am told they are too pretty to wear.  The one exception - the dude who got the pair of  plain boot socks!   I decided I wanted to knit several pairs of plain or close to plain socks to wear and be worn more often.  I started at the end of September with a smaller size of the plain boots socks in Noro.  I am currently working on my eighteenth and nineteenth pairs of socks, just in time for Socktoberfest.  And with the cast on of the KAL I'll be up to my twentieth  pair.  I am hoping to knit a dozen pairs of socks this year.  I am up to nine pairs including the three pairs above.