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June 28 , 2007
Blogging Burnout

With very mixed feelings, I have decided to stop blogging, at least for this summer. I have found that my life is unbalanced with way too much time spent on the computer and knitting - I tend to go overboard sometimes and this time I've turned what was a joy into almost a burden. I'd like to just try a little moderation, but I think I need a complete break for awhile! Dave is a teacher and takes the summer off, so we are free to travel and play all summer - my sister is coming next week and I found myself worried about how I would keep up knitting, blogging and reading blogs with all the family happenings. SO, I will be off the computer.... I will still be knitting and quilting, but not as obsessively..... and I will reevaluate in the fall.

Have a wonderful summer!

New England heel sockotta
red quilt red quilt red quilt

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June 25 , 2007
Starting Solstice Slip

The new STR sock kit is perfect for a bright summer knit!

Solstice Slip

The Pattern is called Solstice Slip and it is knit in Socks That Rock merino lightweight. The color is aptly named Firebird. After weighing all the options and discussing (dissecting) the pattern with Madame Purl, I opted to make the smallest size on two 2.25 circulars and knit cuff down (well I guess that part is obvious from the pictures - duh!) and just figure out the rest and make decisions as I go along. I quickly got into the rhythm of this stitch pattern and after a few rows, dumped the cable needle (and I'm not a cabling without a needle person - I usually like my cable needle - but not for this one).
Do you want to see them in their natural, more contracted state ?

I took the above picture yesterday...last night I completed another few inches of leg (6" total) and made my way through 1 of the garter stitch heels....

firebird heel solstice slip close up
Don't forget you can click the pictures for a closer look if you like.

When I want a sock change, I am working on my Breeze anklets- Isn't this a delicate beautiful (partial) heel flap ?

Breeze heel flap

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June 22 , 2007
Off to a Good Start

I've gone against all my sock rules.... Yesterday I started 3 different pairs of socks! I couldn't help myself. First I cast on Breeze just because they are so cute and I had 1 skein of pink Lorna's Laces that was perfect for them. As soon as I finished the 1st repeat - the mailman dropped off the new STR kit (my favorite so far!) and I cast on and knit a repeat of those socks. THEN I was in dire need of a "take along" sock in the afternoon so quickly cast on a pair of Sockotta striping socks. I've got my Summer of Socks off to a good start!! The progress isn't far enough for pictures yet ...

In the meantime, I'm still doing my coffee knitting each morning and am making good progress on the Cloud Scarf. I love it when a scarf gets long enough to drape over my legs while knitting! (must be done by the 29th so I can start the Mystery Stole 3 KAL!)

Knitting Cloud Scarf

Look what we picked from the garden yesterday!

strawberries

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June 19 , 2007
Sock (and Lace) Plans

Before I get to the sock agenda....I have some finished socks!
Every time I opened the sock yarn drawers (there are several of them), this yarn, which I won from Adelle's contest in April, said "pick me, pick me". I had held off for awhile, but when I needed my next "mindless" sock, I couldn't deny it any longer.

neapolitan socks

Pattern: cuff down, short row heel (I wanted to keep the fun stripes going) over 56 stitches
Yarn: Some Assembly Required Not So Light Wool hand dyed by Beth at Socks That Fit (wonderful, soft, squishy, heavier weight sock yarn!) that I won (Thank you again, Adelle!)
Needles: 2 socks on 1 2.5mm 40" circular
I had no clue looking at the skein, how this hand dyed yarn would knit up....I love the little stripes - what a nice surprise!

neapolitan socks neapolitan socks

In 2 days Summer of Socks begins and I am left with one pair of socks (New Englands) on my needles. My plan is to make some socks that have been in the queue for a long time (although some new patterns just got added when Summer Knitty came out) and I will use stash sock yarn (of which there is PLENTY).

The list includes, but is not limited to....(sorry no time for links today) Miranda, Thelonius, Spearfish, Cable Twist, Bavarian Twisted Stitch, Dream Twister, Bisenkorbchen, Breeze, Nordic Lights, Anastasia, Colorwork from MSKS, kit socks from RBK and STR, Setesdal, and a few more Nancy Bush (if I'm lucky...I'll get 2 or 3 from this list done!) - while at the same time making some plain stockinette socks from gorgeous hand painted/dyed yarn that I have collected. I'm not going to enter the "most socks" contest or anything...I don't want to be in a hurry - I just want to make socks that I love.

I can't knit ONLY socks, so instead of starting a new sweater, which I usually do when I finish one, I have followed the masses (2,235 today) and joined the Mystery Stole 3 KAL! It starts June 29, which gives me time to finish some things. Melanie is a wonderful designer...this should be fun!

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June 15 , 2007
Cable Sweater DONE!

Kathy Zimmerman Cable Sweater Kathy Zimmerman Cable Sweater

I love cotton sweaters and this on will be worn often - it fits nicely and is so soft and comfortable - a keeper!

Pattern: Cable Sweater by Kathy Zimmerman from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2006
Size: Small (35")
Yarn: Tahki Cotton Classic "Sea Foam" 12 50gm skeins (a wonderful 100% cotton yarn - so soft to knit with and to wear!)
Needles: US 5 for body/ US4 for neckband
Errors in pattern: errata for cable stitch is listed here. There is also a chart error on row 25 (middle 4 stitches should be knit) which I notified Vogue about, but it has not been corrected.
Modifications: not many - I lengthened the body by an inch and picked up about 10 less stitches for the neckband (which turned out to be perfect!)
The chart for this pattern was difficult to read (everything looked the same) so this is what I did.
I also perfected my mattress stitch while putting this together (not a quick task)....Here is a close up.

This side view picture was taken mainly for the background - a way to sneak in the Clematis - they don't last too long, but they sure are pretty!


Kathy Zimmerman Cable Sweater

The quilting bug still has me! I have cut out the whole thing in the last 3 days! There are 400 4" half square triangles and 1300 2" half square triangles. Now all I have to do is put them all back together again!

red triangles white triangles

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June 12 , 2007
What Was I Thinking?

I decided this morning that I must have been crazy when I decided on my 2 most recent projects. The White Cloud Scarf you saw in the last post and now my White New England Socks. The reason is this.....

dirty hands

I don't use gloves when gardening and this is the state of my hands most of the time! Usually I can get away with a quick wash before I start knitting, but with these 2 projects, I actually have to scrub hard and clean my fingernails!
But now that I've started, I'm not turning back - The New England sock pattern is the reason I bought Knitting on the Road. I think it is the most beautiful, elegant sock pattern in the book. I'm using Regia Silk (cream - 002) on a size 0 (2mm) circular needle and I'm loving them!

New England Cuff

The double start cast-on is a perfect beginning! In another inch or 2 the lacy ribbing will stop and the back of the sock will be plain stockinette. Here they are this morning, after a few more rows and in their non stretched state - So pretty and WHITE!

New England Socks

Somehow - out of nowhere, I am getting the quilting itch....It's going to be a scrap quilt reds and neutrals. I've started pulling reds (I have almost 150 reds so you can tell the size of my fabric stash - although I must qualify and say that I rarely buy more than 1/4 yard of any fabric)

Reds

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June 8 , 2007
Morning Knitting

Every morning I have 1 cup of coffee or green tea - one cup only, since I'm sensitive to caffeine, but love it! I get up early - the house is very quiet and I knit and savor my morning drink. I can work on a complicated pattern in the morning since nothing is distracting me. I have a new morning knitting project.

cloud scarf

Cloud Scarf by Lucy Neatby is perfect for morning knitting. It has a 12 row repeat which matches just right with my time frame - and if I do one repeat each morning ....it will be done in a few weeks (depending on how long I make it). The pattern is for a 36" scarf which seems a little short to me - it would just hang around my neck - no wrapping, but that might be OK - I have awhile to decide. I'm using Knit Picks Bare Merino Wool fingering weight with a US 6 (Denise 4.2mm)needle. I've loved Lucy Neatby's patterns ever since I made these socks - she is a designer extraordinaire!

From Cindy
Speaking of designers....Cindy went to Stitches West this year and took a class with Nancy Bush - and look what she did! She knows how much I like Nancy (and how jealous I was that she was taking a class from her). 2 days ago I got this little package in the mail. A signed Wooly West catalog along with beautiful Zero stitch markers - These are the prettiest stitch markers I've ever had! I usually just tie a piece of yarn in a loop ....I'll be knitting in style now!
Thank you Cindy!

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June 4 , 2007
Juta's Stockings

Juta's Stockings

Pattern: Juta's Stockings from Folk Knitting in Estonia by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Merino wool beautifully hand dyed just for me by Lotta at Knitternutter
Needles: 2 socks on 1 circular needle - sizes US 0 (2mm) and US 1 (2.25mm)

I think this was the perfect pattern for my special yarn -the simple lace down the sides of the leg and the front of the foot don't take away from the beauty of the yarn. I used a 2.25 mm needle for everything except the last 2" of the leg - I went down a needle size there for a snug fit around my ankles. Speaking of needles ....I used some wonderful new circulars ....HiyaHiya needles. These are inexpensive circulars ($7.50) that are absolutely perfect to me. They are pointy, have smooth joins, flexible cord, shiny slick finish, and come in EVERY size and lengths up to 47" (for these socks I used a 40")

Juta's Stockings Juta's Stockings

You can see how the color changes depending on the way the sun hits these socks - it's not just the camera...they actually change from more orangish to more pinkish depending on the light. These pictures were taken with the last sun of the evening and the color is right on.
Thank you ever so much for this gorgeous yarn, Lotta!!

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June 1, 2007
Pink, Green, Yellow

My April/May Project Spectrum Knitting

Happy Valley Socks Crosshatch Lace Socks
Zimmerman cable sweater
Koigu Socks
I had hoped to get the green sweater done for this episode of Project Spectrum, but instead I cast on for a scarf and 2 pairs of socks yesterday, which is what I tend to do when a sweater gets to this stage.

Dulaan 2007
I got everything packed and in the mail... an enjoyable task and a satisfying feeling!

Dulaan Box

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