Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Amazing Lace, Take One

Posted by...sssssssssssssssssssssssssss

The Team - S. and the lacey Fairgrounds socks

What can I say about the prospect of competing in the Amazing Lace? Whew. Where to begin? I feel as though I have been in training for this one for a while now, not knowing when or how the opportunity to put my training into action would come, but knowing that one day, it would come.

When I first began seeing Clapotis’ in blog-land, long, LONG before I, myself, was a blogger, I fell in love with the pattern; how could something so simple be so complex? I thought. How could such a versatile pattern be so fun to knit? And, most important, would I look like the model in that photo when I completed my own? Well, the answers to the first 2 questions proved so pleasurable that I totally forgot how cute that gal was, and made a second Clapotis outta lace-weight yarn for my friend to wear at her wedding. I thought, yeah, lace is cool; lace is good, but I was not yet hooked.

I then went fishing on Knitty yet again, and caught the Branching Out bug. Do you all remember that? Blogland was ablaze with “Branching Out”-this and “Branching-Out”-that, but for some reason I was not invested. A few repeats of the pattern in, and I simply didn't feel it, I didn't have it, that bug. I joined the Yahoo group for the Mystery Shawl, and got through clue 3 before casting it aside. I seemed to be at a lace-standstill, until two seemingly unrelated events occurred within days of each other, and the perfect knitting storm was born.

August, 2005. Portland, Oregon. Wanna-be lace-knitter surfs the web, out of boredom and desire for a new project. Not satisfied with the usual suspects, she ventures out of her element, all the way “across the pond” to All Tangled Up, where Polly wrote the most wonderful and delightful pattern for a beautiful shawl, named Kiri. Seeing Kiri, I knew I had to have her; it was just a matter of finding the perfect yarn.

September, 2005. Canby, Oregon. Yours truly heads to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival with present-day blogmates E and WG, and, for the first time since becoming addicted to socks, sees Socks that Rock in its natural environment; hanging beautifully at a fiber show. Sure, I had seen it in use, most notably by our very own NK, but there was a snag in production or something, which meant it was NOWHERE TO BE FOUND, just as my sock addiction was taking hold in a major way. Being at the OFFF was like being at mecca, at the motherland, it was like being home. So many colors, so many fibers, so many women with beautiful hand-knits…I am drooling just thinking about it.

It took me maybe a month to complete my first Kiri, and not a day has gone by since that fateful fall when I have not had a lace project on the needles, and, of course, at LEAST one pair of socks. In thinking about what partner I would choose for the Amazing Lace, I stood above my sock-yarn basket, and thought about lace socks. WG had made me an amazing pair of Elfine Lace socks,

and I was dying to try the Kiri-like pattern (have I mentioned that I have made 3 different Kiri’s to date?); NK’s Pomotomi have been calling me ever since she first cast on; and I am warming up with a lace pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks and the newest STR Sock Club yarn.

In closing, being a knitter who has become completely, totally, head-over-heels addicted to lace knitting (or is it knitting lace – I know there is a difference, but I can never remember what it is), and finding myself spiraling downward into an almost-crippling sock-knitting addiction, as well, I have decided to use this KnitALong as an excuse to blend my two addictions.

I will also play on another strength I have, my extreme knitting OCD (yeah, I choose to call it a strength – wanna make something of it?) and make more than one project over this holiday-to-holiday time period. This will also help me achieve something I refer to in hushed whispers as “stash-burning.”

Without further babbling, I present the first of many partners in The Amazing Lace:

STR Fairgrounds (the sock club May colorway)
using the elongated corded rib lace pattern
from Sensational Knitted Socks.

My second partner will be STR lightweight in the Lemongrass colorway, (a long-standing member of my stash, which I will burn, baby, burn) with the Elfine Lace Sock pattern...updates to come...

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Blog or Knit...?

Posted by julie

It has been a while since I posted, so the answer is...BLOG. Several things to note...
I am nearly done with my 4th sock (I'm not nearly as fast as Shannon ). However, I'm still having problems with the heel. I'm knitting them toe up with a short row heel. The yarn is Lorna's Laces on size #1 bamboo dpn. They are wearable, but I think there is definitely room for improvement.

Then I joined the Amazing Lace KAL. I've decided to make a wrap from the beautiful Sundara yarn my very cool fellow weheartyarners bought me for my birthday. It is the Aran Silky Merino in Twilight. I'm planning to modify the Branching Out scarf from by doubling the lace pattern. I hope it is wide enough, but not too wide. I'm a bit concerned about having enough yarn to make the wrap long enough. After I finish the wrap I will switch Amazing Lace teammates to the Pomatomus socks, also from

Last week I traveled to Toronto Canada on official government business. (It was so official that I was issued my very own official passport (to Canada!), good only while traveling on government business.) While I was there, I found some time to visit a couple of LYSs. I was trying to figure out where the closest LYSs were one evening by going through the yellow pages. Finally, out of frustration I phoned one of them, hoping for a recording with more helpful info. It just so happened that the # I called was for Four Seasons Knitting, an online store. Despite the fact that it was 10:30 pm, the woman who runs the store answered her phone. She was very nice and suggested I go to Romni Wools, the largest yarn store in downtown Toronto.

Boy, was it big.

At Romni knits I found this beautiful silk and seacell yarn. This yarn is destined to be a lace shawl. I will knit it after I finish Pomatomus socks. Maybe I'll get it started before the end of the Amazing Lace :-)

NK had also suggested I find Lettuce Knit. I wasn't sure why she had the name of a LYS in Toronto on the tip of her tongue like that, but I looked it up, found that address, and visited it, too. (Turns out the Lettuce Knit sells Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarns, which answered my question about why NK knew the store.)

At Lettuce Knit I bought a beautiful skein of Vesper 100% merino wool from called "Strange Little Mama." It is a black, pink, and red colorway.

Finally...NK, I still think Matthew MacFadyen has it all over Colin Firth. Sorry. :-)

Friday, May 26, 2006

I'll Leave you with this....

I understand your last post, NK, and completely sympathize with your feelings for Mr. Darcy (aka Colin Firth), but I will just leave you with this one last thought.....

I think this bad wig photo must have been overlooked in the process of your considerations?????


Response to Colin Who?????

Posted by Neuroknitter

Enough said!!!! :)
Dearest WG--No worries about dissing on my man Colin!! I don't get mad, I get even!!!ROTFLOL!!! So, I'm loving that Mr. Frick (see the comments)!!! Now that's the the right attitude! I might have to steal that line and use it around the halls around here, whaddayathink WG??? In honor of CF, I'm putting the pic from above back on my desktop for daily viewing!!! The angst! The pain! The L.O.V.E....He just can't remove Elizabeth from of his head and heart....And when he runs into her at Pemberley, dripping wet from the pond...OMG!!! Love. It. Love it! That is the Darcy way!!

I'll leave you with a pic of what I affectionately call "the Look" when I give newbie viewers my own personal 'Director's cut' imitation. I have heard I am more entertaining than the movie... ;)

Have a grand holiday weekend everyone!

Happy Knitting!

I'll be glued to 6, 12 maybe 18 hours of Mr. Darcy!!!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Colin Who??????

posted by wg

So, the buzz around the halls these days has to do with the Colin Firth debate we are having amongst us. "Colin Who?" you ask. Yes, Colin Firth. No, not Colin Farrell, the young, hot babe.....Colin Firth. You know, Pride and Prejudice, Girl with a Pearl Earring (also known as Colin in an awful wig), and of course, the infamous Bridget Jones Diary....oh, and don't forget, Nan's love interst in Circle of Friends and my personal favorite The Hour of the Pig. The heart throb so many women are into these days - with that sexy accent, melting smile, messy-looking hair (or wig, in some instances), and slight awkwardness about him. Can he really be THAT much of a heart throb? I beg to differ! Some of us (will not mention who) are completely and utterly in love with him (to the point of sickness, actually), so, as not to strike such a sour note with that (or those) person(s), these are just a few items that I think really should be dissed on.

I mean, what's with all this "Darcy business"? Playing Mr. Darcy in Price and Prejudice is one thing, but then turning around to play Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones Diary is entirely another. Is he afraid to leave Mr. Darcy behind, or could he just not resist playing opposite Renee Zellweger? I don't even want to take a stab at that one. NK, any thoughts?

Also, what's with the bad wigs? Girl with a Pearl Earring tops off the list. In my opinion, that wig was the absolute worst, but there are a few others that top the charts. Check out the wig he was wearing in Valmont, for instance. They couldn't have done any better than that? PLEASE! I think he must enjoy wearing bad wigs or starring in roles that involve them.

And then there's the being involved with Meg Tilly issue.....something is just not right about that, as NK so eliquently pointed out today. She starred in Psycho for goodness sake! And, as a side note, she also wore a horrid wig in Valmont. What's with these bad wigs? Small budget film?

Well, I could go on and on, I guess. The above items are probably enough to put a little doubt, if even a smidgen of a doubt, into the air about Colin Firth. NK, sorry, but I just had to comment (dis) on Colin a little bit, as our conversations in the past have warranted it! You are not too offended, I hope? If Colin can just keep the wigs to minimum (and keep his hair cut), star in non-Darcy roles for just a little while, and stay out of the way of the Tilly girls, I think I could learn to like him a bit.

More Important Issues!!!!!
On to more important issues...what's on the plate for knitting this week? Received my Fairgrounds package last week and immediately fell in love with the yarn. I also really, really liked the pattern, but decided that I would change it up a bit. I think I may still include some linen stitch on the cuff, and some buttons, but may also include a little picot, and have added the Baby Cable Rib pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks on the top of the foot for a little variation. Will post later on the details of all of this, and how it's eventually going to shake out, but here's a sneak peek.....

Did I mention that I absolutely LOVE this colorway?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

just call me ramblin' rose...

posted by.........sssssssssssssssss

fast and furious knitting has reached a fever pitch here at the usual suspects are all here: nk is churning out the socks like she's getting paid for it; wg has not only moved house (literally), but has finished her cc's and casted on fairgrounds; e is wearing her rogue daily, after successfully NOT making me feel like sh*t because i still have no rogue sleeves (she's waaaay too sweet for that); j has almost finished (heck, may have already finished - the girl is outta town) her second pair of socks; and i, ladies and gentlemen, i have successfully reverse-psychologized myself into finishing some of my wedding-related knitting. i hope we don't have any wedding crashers, hee, hee.

ok, ok, even i am getting sick of this not-so-clever movie linking thing...

i guess all i needed was to give up, which is what i did on my last post. i finally verbalized the fear that i would not finish what i had promised myself i would finish before my wedding day, which is approaching at a pace that i find altogether too rapid. (cape fear) (okay, that's the last one) almost immediately upon sending that post into the ether (ie internet-ville), i actually felt like working on the project again (not being able to concentrate on the pattern was the major problem i was having). after giving up, i felt so much like working on the project that i went from measly-peasly almost nothingness to full completion in one short weekend. (to further complicate matters, because matters simply NEED to be more complex, i cannot really talk about the knitting i have been doing. not here, not on the blog. little pitchers, and whatnot).

and now, now, i will prepare myself to get cocky once again. i really can't help myself; my mind is all over the place, plotting out other wedding-related projects: "yeah, i will do this for him, and this for her, and, oh, he sure does deserve some of these..." i need to get right back on that reality bus, because the path to madness is paved with unrealistic knitting goals.

getting back to more realistic projects already on the needles, the BMFA STR spring flingers (mediumweight), the lil' sisters to nk's recently-completed spring fling heavyweights, are looking good. both feet are almost done, and i do believe heels will be turned with impunity this weekend. damn the torpedos, full speed ahead, and all that jazz, cuz i need to finish these buggers so i can cast on the newest str sock club acquisition, fairgrounds!!! (don't want to shell out the bucks for another pair of addi #2s, dontcha know) i won't talk too much about this yarn, because i believe our very own nk did a fantastic job of orienting us all to the package, and someone, (gosh, now i can't find it), wrote the most beautiful ode to the yarn, and nk marathoned some knitting this weekend and finished one whole sock, and wg wound AND casted on a sock, in a different pattern that is oh, so, beautiful, and i am sooo in love with this colorway, and so envious of the contest winner, because all of the spring colors are so...alive and vibrant and even seeing them on a computer screen fills me with happiness and...hope (hopeful like spring) - is that just too cheesy for words? yes, it is. but they do, they really really do. do you have that sometimes, do you get a feeling from seeing yarn, or a knitted object, that just fills you with happy thoughts? i got that feeling from the orange-yellow-goldfish poms nk is working on, just the sight of those socks makes me happy. and that is how i felt when i opened the package from bmfa and saw those fairgrounds smiling up at me. happy day in the morning, as my gram would've said.

if you came here at all, you most certainly did NOT come to listen to me ramble on and on and on, you most likely came to see photos, so without further adieu (drumroll, please)...

Spring Fling stitches - mmm, mmm, good

the ball of spring fling

my very own wedding project - this is as close as i am prepared to
get to showing this project on this blog
but what is that, marking stitches, could it be...

SUSHI!!! from amyville. i bought these quite a while ago,
and they, too, make me happy when i see them and happier
when i use them

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I Heart Rogue!

posted by emily

She's done! And she actually fits. In fact after all the futzing I did to get the sleeves long enough for my freakishly long arms, they actually relaxed a little with blocking and are plenty long now. The hood all evened out with blocking, and the sleeve seam is nearly invisible. What a great pattern! I'm almost glad it rained today so it was cool enough to wear. Here are some pics WG took on Friday. Clearly my career as a model will be short, but Rogue will have a long and happy life.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Cedar Creekin Complete

posted by Wool Girl.....

Finally, I have finished the Cedar Creeks I had started out to finish two month ago. Finally I am able to wear them, and love them dearly. They fit like a charm, and I'm very pleased with the way they came out. Striping seems to be pretty similar on both socks. Used size 1 dp's, and followed the sizing for the smaller sock. Have decided that I may even use this pattern for another pair of socks, so will post on that in the future.

Here they are, making their public appearance:

Also, I wanted to make a note about NK's Fairground socks, that I personally held in my hands today and googled over. They are lovely, just lovely! NK, you rock!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

I won the bet!

Posted by Neuroknitter

I won the bet! I won the bet! I don't know exactly what I won, except to be self-indulgent and knit all day, barring some laundry, scooping the kitty litter, and mopping...hmm, maybe that doesn't really constitute a win....Anyway...I finished one sock, except for the buttons of course!! The ends are woven in and everything!!

I love the medium weight. Love. It. Love the colors! No pooling!

Here are a few snap shots...

More (and better) photos to come once its mate has been completed!!

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

'Fairgrounds' has arrived!!!!

Posted by Neuroknitter

Good Morning! And what a glorious morning it is..."why?" you might ask....look what I have!!! 'Fairgrounds', in my much beloved, and so very missed, medium weight STR!!! Oh Yay Tina, fibergoddess extraordinary!!!

Gibson has given his approval!!

It's all balled up and ready to go!!!

We have a cuff with a picot edge! Oh joy!!!

Ankle Dressing!! The postcard (top left) is from a photo taken by our own Shannon of Weheartyarn!!! woo hoo Shannon!!!

You can never have too many shots of picot edges!

I have a bet with my DH that I can finish one sock this weekend. I'm loving the colorwave and am looking forward to knitting the pattern! The linen stitch is a lovely way to show case the different nuances in color! Another fine job by BMFA!!! Thanks!!!

In other knitting related news...I spent the afternoon visiting with my friend Sandi--the talented proprietress of Farmhouse Knit Shop in Beaverton, OR--knitting and chatting!! The perfect Saturday afternoon! Thanks Sandi!

One last picot shot....promise!!!

Back to knitting or DH will win the bet and I'll have to mow the lawn or something!! :)

Happy knitting!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

FO Alert!!

Posted by Neuroknitter

I have been a busy girl knitting away on a variety of socks! Here's what I have to report thus far:

I finished my first pair of Poms for the Pomatomus KAL. (Edited to add: These socks were knit in STR light weight, to date they are a 'Rare Gem' colorway of blues, a splash of turquoise, violet and a sparkle of yellow). Please note, these are by far and away not my last pair of poms!!! I just have to give a big 'ol nod to Cookie! I've knit a lot of socks. Alot! I've written patterns for socks. I've taught others to knit socks. I'm definitely not a stranger to socks. This is the best written pattern I have come across!! AND.....These socks have been a total blast to knit....AND.....They fit perfectly!!! Thank you Cookie for sharing your talents with us!!

Here is a finished pair of heavy weight STR in 'Spring Fling' purchased from Coastal Yarns in Cannon Beach, OR (NAYY).

Here are my light weight STR 'Marbles' purchased from another LYS in PDX!

I have started "Hedera", also a Cookie pattern, in light weight STR 'County Clare'...I think....

And...last but not least, I have started another Pom. This pair will be gifted out. The yarn is a gorgeous orangey-yellow superwash merino from Woolarina. I am loving this is gorgeous, soft, and comes in a generous put-up of around 400 yards. This sock also fits perfectly thus far!!

So there you have it....Next up: The second installment of the BMFA STR Sock Club!!!

Happy Knitting!!!

Monday, May 15, 2006

One down, seven kazillion to go!

posted by ssssssssssssssssssss

Projects, that is.

I do believe that the wedding projects I had decided to do will not get done. This disappoints me to no end, and I have still not thrown the towel in all the way, but it is getting close to the time when I must face facts. Ce la vie.

There have been photo shoots going on all over the place this past week - the NK snapping shots all over Maryland, the frantic shoot we had last Friday here at the place of business, and a sunshin-ey shoot of the Aunt B Socks.

Living in the Pacific Northwest means that you are never quite ready for the summer, even if it is all you talk about every day for 3 months. It just kind of slaps you across the face, even as you are sitting in the bright hot sunshine. It is always a suprise to NOT see the day turn grey and rainy. Which is why I am terribly sunburned on both of my arms, and S suffered a minor case of heat exhaustion yesterday. As we spent as much time as possible outside, in the sun, our subconsious minds were saying "it's raining, it has to be, there is no way in hell it is 80 degrees right now..."

Oh, Portland, how we love thee...

On another blog-related note, the photo shoot Friday was a total blast (see WG's Saturday post for photos and more info). We are lucky in that we have five fabulously talented knitters here at our place of work who are members of the Blue Moon Sock Club, thus we have five pairs of Rainforest Jasper Cedar Creeks in various stages of completion to compare and contrast. Although our knitting room is sucky, and the lighting is super-sub-par, it was a lot of fun to be in the mix: to see all five photographers clicking away, posing socks; to hear the unique shutter sounds of five individual camera's (WGs sounded like a birdie!); to pose so many gorgeous pairs of socks, most of which had never met each other, together. No knitting was done on Friday, but it sure was a great time. WG, NK, Iris, and M, THANKS!

And, Siri, oh, Siri, I am so sorry you are having such a challenging time with those gul-darned socks. Jaywalkers, as we have discovered through the trials and tribulations of our own little group, are really not for everyone. As I have seen my blog-mates struggle with the pattern, and with the un-elasticity of the Jaywalker chevrons, I have realized that I got darned lucky not to have had any of those problems. Of course, I was able to use some NK-induced modifications (she's a scientist, by the way, and has a really amazingly rational mind for such an artistic being) before even casting on for the socks. Doing them toe-up helped a lot, too, because I could try them on as I went, and dismiss certain iterations (for instance, I tried to kind of follow the pattern, number-of-stitches-wise, but of course using the toe-up mods, with some Lorna's Laces Shephard Sock Yarn, but realized they were going to be waaaay too big. Reminded me a bit of the Bane Socks, which took what felt like months out of my life, and hundreds of yards of STR yarn (a big skein and a small skein) and were abandoned when the recipient moved. I won't go into that, but suffice it to say, S has some socks that, although an amazing color and a great pattern, are very much too large for him.

Anyway, back to life, back to reality, I guess, huh?