Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Still on a Binge

A sock knitting binge.  But I think it has nearly run its course.  At the end of April I am completing my 4th pair of socks in as many months.  I've had this yarn for a few years.  It's Cushy ColorSport DK Washable Merino by LynnH.  I've been a fan of her blog, her patterns and her yarn for many years and it's time to get these finished.  I have knit 2 other pair of socks from this yarn - one for me and more for a friend.  I love the yarn - quite thick and cushy, it washes well and really lives up to its name.  I don't remember the color name, but its a variegated light pink and purple.  The heels and toes are a semi-solid lilac.

I knit these in the 'gull lace' pattern and plan to write up the pattern, but in a finer gauge yarn.  I like the pattern as it is eay to memorize and adds a bit of style to the socks without much of a brain drain. After making a false start on this yarn during last spring's self-imposed sock club, I took these on a trip earlier this month and then blasted away.

Also begun in April are a pair of waffle socks in Berroco Sox Metallic.  I finished sock #1 on the afore-mentioned trip, then knit the Gull lace socks and have began sock #2 on Sunday evening.  I knit a good bit of the cuff in a session of a Netflix guilty pleasure, Weeds.  This is my second pair in this yarn.  These are wonderfully blue-green-teal; though the earlier pink ones were lovely too.

Although I have a pair marinating on the needles in Knit Picks now-discontinued Dancing, [rav link] I believe I am taking a break from sock-knitting after this. Unless they travel to Washington with me next month(...hmmm...) it's time to get back to hats and my Mossy Cardi.  I even have a another cardigan done but for the finishing and the UFO's might just call my name.  As the semester's finish-itis is certainly upon me, let's see if it won't carry over to my knitting life. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Green Fiber

As I was listening to NPR this morning, I heard an Earth Day related story about the Textile Museum's current show.  Since I seldom hear about handmade paper, spinning and wool felt on mainstream media, my ears perked up and I even remembered to look up the art that was being discussed.  Take a look and see what you like.  I'm partial to this 'basket.'  The artist Jackie Abrams uses recycled silk blouses, coiling them and securing the coils with waxed linen thread.  This is a time honored technique, whether the colied material is reeds, pine needles or fabric.  I love it.

I also really like this piece, entitled 'The Grass is Always Greener.'  Real wool felt and fencing.  While you are at it, watch the video below as Faith Hagenhofer speaks about her art, making felt, raising sheep and the creative process.  there are a number of other pieces in the video

This on line show is very engaging and I found it difficult to pick just a few pieces.  I will be in Washington before the show closes, so I hope to go see the pieces, particularly Nancy Cohen's Estuary: Moods and Modes.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Stitches South; Dancing Everywhere

Stitches South is coming up soon in Atlanta.  Seems like almost everyone I know will be there.  Even though I won't be there, my knitting will be.  Friends & Fiberworks, one of the local fiber shops that I work with will be a vendor for the first time.  Now this shop has an excellent presence at SAFF, so a number of their followers are sure to find there way to the booth.  I developed 2 patterns that will debut at Stitches along with a number of other exclusive patterns by Asheville designers.

One pattern is a reworking of my Trailside pattern - in 2 versions and a smaller gauge.  Some people (mostly men) really like a ribbed brim that folds up.  Rather traditional, it keeps your ears extra warm.  But there is a 'hat head' factor, that some of us wish to avoid.  So I also wrote an alternate brim that people can push back and make the hat a bit puffy.  Both should be  good for both men and women and work well in solids, heathers and tweeds.  Both are one-skein patterns designed for Berroco Vintage Bulky, but will work just fine for any other yarns in that weight, like Lamb's Pride Bulky.

The other pattern is a garter stitch pattern meant to show off a wilder yarn.  I wrote this for Berroco's Borealis - a multicolored yarn that creates subtle stripes.  Now I will admit to my blog readers that it seems ridiculous to claim that this is a pattern, but at SAFF last year, people kept asking for it.  I told them how to make it, but over and over I heard, 'No, I'll never remember that.  I need the pattern.'  So I finally wrote it down.  in two sizes.  and tested it.  and printed it.  Now it is going to Stitches.  I'm sorry I will not be there for the acclaim or catcalls, and I imagine there will be both.  That is, if the Southerners aren't too polite for the catcalls.

I hope to make both these patterns available on Ravelry.  However since the yarn shops want to sell them, I can't make them free downloads.  They will be low priced however and I'll let my readers know when to expect them.  

Instead of hanging out with knitters at Stitches, I will be calling dances all around the area.  If it's Friday it must be an English dance in Greenville, SC.  Saturday takes me to Greensboro, NC for a contra dance with Ted Erhart and Dean Herington founding members of Footloose and Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops!  On Sunday I am back in Asheville for our regular English Country Dance.  I also called contra dances last Saturday and Monday.  If I had just that kind of ego, I'd declare myself on tour.  Instead, I'll just consider it being busy with dance calling.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Socks and Socks - It Continues

I kitchenered the toe of Easter Egg sock #2 last evening and immediately tossed them into the suitcase to come along to Nashville, TN.  It's a short trip - not fiber related.  Day job related, but that's okay.  It was a tough decision whether to fly or drive.  It's that funny distance, where flying and driving take about the same amount of time.  But flying was less expensive and you can't knit while you drive.  you can read and listen to music & the radio, but really it was the knitting that was the decision maker.

It's funny that I called these Easter Egg socks, when I could have called them natural, organic socks.  Oh?  in those funky pastels?  Compare the colors here with my friend Laura's organic orangey-beige and pale green eggs from her own chickens.  I particlularly like how she arranged them in the carton in the checkerboard fashion.  Spring, when the young chicken's fancy turns to making more chickens!

Even before these were completely finished, on Friday evening I cast on for another pair of socks.  This time they are a multicolored blue-green with a silver glitter thread that runs through it.  Berroco Sox Metallic in the Acai (1361) colorway, probably.  It had lost its label so I took it in barter at my local yarn shop.  I'm knitting the Blueberry Waffle Socks for maybe the 10th time.  Even on size 1 & 2, I'm blasting through it.  I am knitting the gusset on sock #1.  I am writing this post in the Charlotte airport as I wait for my next flight.  I could be knitting you know, but in the interest of possible delays, I thought I'd check my email and dash off a few words.  But not to be underyarned on this trip, I took this yarn and yarn for another pair of something a bit fancier.  Alter all, you never know what might happen and you need more yarn.