Thursday, April 27, 2006

Jaywalkin' at the Coast, or, What I Did on My Spring Vacation


Yet another pair of finished socks have slid off my needles. Not that it's such a big accomplishment; I began these socks so long ago I can't even recall casting them on, but they were finished in the most serene and ideal setting. (I also began and finished the Yarn Harlot's newest, Knitting Rules. This is a wonderful read, with practical information as well as Harlot-y goodness).

S and I had one of those weekends, you know the kind, the weekend to top all weekends. First of all, the weather here in Portland has been absolutely amazing - warm, sunny, blue skies, and most importantly (and suprisingly), NO RAIN!! Saturday, we woke up early, did a few errands, went out to breakfast (my absolute favorite meal to eat out, probably because we do it so rarely), and headed to Wordstock for a few hours. While there, I attempted to get a glimpse of Dave Eggers, who I decided I want to be best friends with after seeing him speak at a WRAP function at the Alladin a few years ago. He is funny, sweet, caring, and charming. My sister and I wanted to propose best-friend-ship to him that very night. Anyway, I never did see him. It was for the best, actually, because I don't think I would have actually gone up to him. Big talker, little walker, that's me.

We then got on the road, and headed west. Oh, what a drive, once we got a few miles outside of Portland (the first REALLY nice weekend since the fall + one way to get to the ocean = TRAFFIC, and I don't mean the Michael Douglass movie). It was fantastic; we had the windows down; and I even drifted off to sleep for a moment or three. I have found that it is impossible for me to knit while in a car heading to the coast, especially when we are driving a sporty car S got from work. So, we talked. And laughed. And gossiped. Held hands.

We arrived in Cannon Beach in the early afternoon, and got a room practically right on the beach. We have camped out there, but never splurged on an actual room. Totally worth it. We then wandered through town, got some fresh crab cocktail, and began making our way toward the ocean. My eyes were drawn to the left - whoa! What is that, right in front of me? With the lovely colors in the window? Right down the street from our hotel? If you guessed Yarn Store, ding!ding!ding! You win. It is called Coastal Yarns, and the proprietor opened it about 6 weeks ago. I do believe the previous owner retired. This store is beautiful, a definite must-see next time you are in Cannon Beach. It's on 2nd. The best part? Hold on to your hats, ladies, they have SOCKS THAT ROCK. Yeah. I bought some. I couldn't help myself. Seriously, what is a knitter supposed to do when faced with STR Medium Weight????? I have heard rumors about this stuff, sure, and the next Sock Club yarn is supposed to be the medium, but I have none in my (considerable) stash, and the color is so restful and beautiful, and it was calling to me from the shelves. I was thinking to myself, okay, I am getting away fairly easily, one skein, when, out of nowhere, I was slapped upside the head with the beauty of another colorway, in the heavyweight, and really, what's a few dozen dollars among friends, right? I mean, look at this stuff:

STR Mediumweight, Spring Fling
STR Heavyweight, Red Rock Canyon

no regrets...

Monday, April 24, 2006

"To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often"

- John Henry Newman

Posted by Woolgirl

So, this statement, I have concluded, describes me perfectly, as I have changed my mind on which sock pattern I'm working on almost on a continuous basis these last few months. (I guess this makes me perfect? Not a chance!) It's always something different...whatever I'm in the mood for on which day at which time. Isn't that how it's supposed to be? I tend to get bored if I just work on the same pattern day in and day out. I've decided that I need to design a sock that includes many different patterns, colors, etc...the perfect sock! Something to keep me entertained always.

I'm currently working on the Pomatomus Socks (see attached knit along button). Actually, I just started them, and have only done a few rows of the first pattern repeat, so I can't really classify myself as really working on these yet, but I've started, have them on the needles, so that classifies as "working on", correct? (Photos to come in the next couple of weeks).

I'm working on a secret pair of socks for my mom for mother's day...these are top secret, so will post pictures after they're complete and on her feet. One hint..I am using Sundara color hints yet.

Of course, I'm still working on my Cedar Creeks. And, just turned the heel on the second one, so my first Cedar Creek almost has a twin! Woo hoo! Can't wait till these beauties are off the needles and on my feet!

Started a pair of regular knit socks, toe up, in Lagoon Heavy Weight STR, for a special someone. Will include photos of those as they progress.

Also started a pair of regular knit socks, toe up, in this wonderfully beautiful yellowy orange sock yarn from Again, will post photos as soon as these progress a little more. NK and I purchased this yarn together, and of course, she is much further along than I am on the project we had planned for this yarn (in fact, I completely changed the project around and am working on a completely different pattern), so I hope she will post some of her photos of her project, as it's off the hook amazing! NK, Where are YOU? I expect a post from you in the next day or so!

I've made some recent additions to my yarn stash, some purchases that I'm very excited about....

Lovely, and I mean, lovely, Emerald Queen sock yarn from Sundara Yarn. This yarn is so beautiful and has the best mix of colors in it. This yarn really rocks, and if you get a chance to purchase some Sundara Yarn, you absolutely should. It's amazing....

And, I made a trip to the infamous Farmhouse Knits in Beaverton, OR
this weekend, and couldn't leave w/o purchasing something.
And, the beautiful colors of STR they have are just too awesome to pass up!
So, I've added some Prove It All Night lightweight to my collection.

I'm sure I will find the time to start and not complete yet another project. (It's all about the process, it's all about the process, it's all about the process) Knit on!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Stop the Presses

Posted by...sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

The Cedar Creeks are done. And, boy, do I heart them. I heart the pattern, I heart the yarn, I heart the picot edge. I never realized how not difficult picot is. It looks like it would take some serious futzing, but - viola! not so much.

As I said before, the NK helped me figure out the toe-up mods, and it was purty easy-breezy. The above photo is right after the picot row. For Donna, you basically just reverse the directions - I did a few more rows before and after the picot row (6 instead of the 3 called for in the pattern), and then I did the EZ sewn cast-off and sewed the top of the sock down. Gorgeous.

This is S posing with the sock (on my foot, nonetheless)

Finished socks, on my tootsies

And the jumble that is a finished pair of socks.

Note the picot.

The picot is amazing.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Give Me My Flowers While I'm Living

Posted by...sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

"Give me my flowers while I’m living, let me enjoy them while I can..."

(This blog-post inspired by a fantastically catchy tune by a band called, most aptly, The Knitters).

This weekend, I worked some on my Cedar Creeks, got enough fabric knitted up that all I had to do was figure out the toe-up picot modifications, which I did, thanks to G, aka NeuroKnitter, (thanks, baby!). 13 rows. That is all that awaited me on Monday night.


Monday night was the finals for our bowling league. Can you say: FIRST place? BIG winners? UN-losers? Meaning NO KNITTING AT ALL ON MONDAY. I am one of those people who has played a lot of organized sports in her day, mostly softball, but have never, and I mean NEVER actually won any kind of a championship. Sure, I have “won” some trophies – you know the kind they give to everyone, no matter how athletically able-bodied (or not) one is, in grade school. But actually being on a winning team? Never. (Let’s just look over the fact that my team is a bit…obsessive, and everyone except S and I practice, like, 5 or 6 times a week, and many have taken actual lessons with the resident pro…let’s not talk about that).

And then, last night, E and I met up to do some stitchin' and some bitchin'. Bitchin' must have won out, (most likely due to the massive beer she ordered, and the tall mandarin V&T that magically appeared in front of me), because when I woke up this morning and grabbed my Cedar Creeks, they were pretty much at the same spot as when I put them down on Sunday. (Remember, 13 rows). I am holding steady at about 11 rows now, which means that at this rate, I could be done by...oh, by the first of May. I am going to redouble my efforts, though. Yes, ladies, tonight is for knitting. I have had enough of bowling and boozing - tonight, the boob tube and Cedar Creeks will command my attention.

Because, my feet have, actually been asking, neigh, BEGGING, for some green socks. And if your feet aren't happy, NONE of you is happy.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Marauding Puppies

by Emily....

Ah, puppies. So fluffy. So warm and fuzzy. Don’t they look cute? Don’t be fooled! These two rapacious beasts (our usual Carat plus her best-est friend, Grady, who we were puppy-sitting) destroyed out computer!

I was working at the dining room table. They went tearing under it like bats out of hell, got tangled in the power cord and my laptop went sailing through the air and THUD down on the ground. Needless to say, it’s toast.

However, it’s under warranty, so we’re getting a brand new computer as a replacement. (Let me insert a little plug for Dell, which is such a cool company.) So, although the world has been denied the wisdom of my blogging for the past two weeks or so, all’s well that ends well.

And the puppy shall lead them…

Thursday, April 13, 2006


She finally did it. Like the gentle drop of pink fluffy snow that she is, she finally drifted off my needles.

I could hardly believe it. Just a few weeks shy of 6 months in the making. There were times I was sure she would end up forgotten in the back corner of my closet. As she grew from one single stitch into this beautiful lacey fabric, could I spend a whole hour knitting a single row? After I picked up over 600 stitches and started the edging, could I take one more edging row? Like most things in life, she was worth the effort. One stitch at a time, one row at a time, and eventually, there she is. I can hardly wait for the next one, but first I hear a pair of socks beckoning me...

The pattern for snowdrop is a free pattern from the yarn harlot.

I used Misti Alpaca laceweight yarn and size 5 needles.
I was concerned about it being wide enough so I knitted a few extra rows. Of course then I had the dilemma of not knowing how many stitches to pickup for the edging. To figure this out, I calculated the proportion of edging stitches to number of rows called for in the pattern and then applied that proportion to the number of rows I actually knitted. The pattern estimated about 1200m of yarn, but despite knitting extra rows I had a lot of leftover yarn. I figure my snowdrop took just a bit over 1000m.

Cedar Creek Toe-Up Mods, for Donna

Donna left a comment wondering about the modifications I made on the Cedar Creeks, to fit my toe-up addiction.

First, I started from the toe with 34 stitches on the top and 30 on the bottom of the foot. The top stitches were my pattern stitches, with a purl on each side (I worked the pattern 2x, plus another repeat of the twists, with a purl at the end).

I started the heel when the sock foot hit that bone at the top of the instep, you know that bone that angles your foot just a bit. I worked the short-row heel, and on the first real row after working it, I added a stitch to the top of each sock, one stitch in from my needle join. So, I am working my sock leg with 35 stitches on the "top" and staying steady at 30 on the "bottom." (i.e. the front and back of the leg).

Hope that helps with any others who simply cannot follow patterns as they are written, no matter HOW well they are written, like me. And especially for those who do not have a NeuroKnitter right around the corner to bounce ideas off of (thanks again for helping me figure this out, NK).

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Cedar Creekin' it With the Homies

Posted by Ssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

3/5ths of the WeHeartYarn contingent are happily entrenched in the STR sock club madness. As we all saw a few days ago, the talented NeuroKnitter has completed her pair, and WoolGirl has one-down, one-to-go, amazing everyone with her picture-perfect stripes. (so perfect, in fact, that a new word was coined on the KAL-blog to capture the elation felt when looking at WG’s sock: STRIPERFECTION. needless to say, she confided that she is a bit apprehensive about her second – doesn’t want to disappoint her fans, you know).

I, too, have finally begun the actual patterning, and stripes are occurring. I wouldn’t say there is any real striperfection on my addis, but they are a bit striperific, if I do say so myself. (these are very different things).

Knitting has been taking a back seat to life lately, which means I have 3 pairs of socks on the needles in various states of not-being-done-ness, and have not really knitted much for what seems like eons. One pair are little toes with a bit of foot, and two pair now have heels and are slowly growing legs. I often think to myself: “self, you should cast on a whole mess of toes because that is sometimes the hardest and least-fun part of knitting, the casting on (although, sometimes we feel antsy and restless, and casting on is the easiest part – go figure), so just do it – get yourself a bunch of toes cast on, then you can do what you want, any-how you want, with any of a number of socks, whenever you want.” Well, I have realized that that is crazy talk – my anxiety levels just grow when I have a bunch of toes cast on, because I accidentally (there’s that word again) set myself goals, which I am really trying to get away from.

Anyway, this past weekend contained knitting. Most notably, it contained a serious bitch-slapping of my checkbook due to a Blue Moon Fiber Arts sale at a local yarnshop, but I don't really want to discuss that right now. That is the kind of thing best thought about in the privacy of one's own head, wondering what on earth possessed a certain engaged-knit-blogger to throw every single piece of caution she has been saving up for the past year to the wind, and go crazy, absolutely insane, with not one ounce of logic intervening at all, at said sale.


Back to the weekend's knitting-related components: I turned the heels on my Cedar Creeks, and - oh, Kaci, OH, KACI, I love this pattern. It is deceptively quick and memorizable, and stretchy, and shimmery, in a way, and the pattern is at once easy and interesting, and really quite beautiful. I did my own personal modifications, meaning toe-up, two at once, with a short-row heel, and I am IN LOVE with the yarn, not only because it is green, but because of that shimmery-ness.

Okay, enough of this gabbing. Without further ado, I present:


The top of the page shows where I was when I started the weekend - a big mess o' socks, each vying for my attention, pushing each other out of the way, each one wanting desperately to be the one settling in with me for a nice long Friday night of knitting, by myself, no fiancee, no sister, no roommates, no one but the socks, me and the boys of Ocean's 12.

Guess who won?

Close-ups of the contenders:

STR Rainforest Jasper, Cedar Creek pattern

STR Marbles, Jaywalker pattern

STR Cobalt Bloom, Yarn Over Cable stitch pattern

It was a difficult decision, to be sure, but I really feel that the best sock won.

This time.

Monday, April 10, 2006

What are Sundays for......?

Posted by Neuroknitter

......Sundays are for Gibson helping me knit my first Pom....what more can a girl ask for?

What are your Sundays for??

I just signed up for the Pomatomus KAL! I am almost done with one Pom. I'm knitting them in BMFA STR in a Rare Gem colorway; there is a rumor that it might become part of the line....I'll keep y'all posted on that! As I don't know if the yardage will be enough for a pair, I only knit two pattern repeats on the cuff. I'm loving it!!! I love trying it on! It fits perfectly! I can't watch Lost, 24, Prison Break, L&O SVU or CI while knitting them, but no problemo...what is a DVR for anyway?

Happy knitting all!!!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Lost in the Mail

Sock Update.... by Woolgirl

Just an update on the Neptunite Socks that were "lost in the mail". I promise this will be the last of Neptunites! For those of you who don't know, I sent these beautiful Neptunite socks to my sis in Idaho last week via FedEx, as I wanted to her to have them ASAP, and somehow FedEx managed to lose the package. "What?! the *$#%**@#!!!!!! Does this honestly sound like something that can happen? NO WAY! That's why we pay FedEx the big bucks, right? Well, I spent countless hours on the phone with FedEx, and 3 days later, as it turns out, the FedEx driver hadn't picked up the package out of the FedEx box yet. I couldn't believe it. Needless to say, I was really po'd, and gave a piece of my mind to FedEx that day, but the good news is that the socks actually did arrive in Idaho (and I got my piece of mind back from FedEx), and the socks actually do fit my sister, like a charm, and I had to post a photo of her wearing one of them....

Goodbye Neptunites! Now I know you're in good hands!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The tulips are confused

I look outside this morning and my poor tulips are confused. Yes, confused. They're popping their little heads up, thinking it's spring, when in actuality we only had a day or so of spring-like weather, then more rain, and they got confused. They thought it was time to come out of winter hiding. But, not yet little tulips...not yet! I'm afraid they are probably too late and will open their little heads anyway. Well, we will love them just the same.

As most of you know, I've been away from work this past week.
Enjoying some time off, working a little here and there, on work,
the house, and knitting, of course. And, have been catching up
on what I've been missing. Yes, I am now an official LOST fan!
I Netflixed the beginning of LOST Season I, and fell in love with it.
How could I have been missing this for the last year or so?
I didn't want to give in to another show I was committed to
watching each week...another Apprentice or Survivor....
another Grey's Anatomy, or another Desperate Housewives.
No, I kept resisting, and trying to ignore the water cooler chat
that evolved around me over the past year about this LOST show.
Could it really be THAT good? After all, I had watched the first episode
of Season I when it first came on, kind of, and didn't think it was for me.
I remember thinking, this is never going to make it!
Well, needless to say, I was so very wrong,
I can't wait to get the rest of the episodes in the mail!
I'm officially addicted.

Also, while on my break, I visited my mom in the
good old town of Roseburg, Oregon (for those of you who don't know where
that is, it's in the southern part of Oregon, about an hour south of Eugene).
I visited their annual craft fair while I was there, not expecting much,
which was good, as I would have been greatly disappointed, but I did
come back with a lovely new addition to my plant collection.
I just couldn't resist this collection of succulents and fell in love with
the arrangement.

So, on to REAL news. I just finished my first Cedar Creek STR sock!
It was such a fun pattern to knit, and the striping really came out lovely...
I actually can't wait to start work on the second...Here are few snapshots:

Cool, Uncool, Lame, Uber-lame, who really gives a hoot? We are all dorks in WeHeartYarn-ville.

You are so uncool-y cool, and so cool-y uncool, that I can’t even keep things straight anymore, E! Here is my philosophy on cool v. uncool cool v. just plain uncool: do what you like, what makes you happy, and f*ck everybody who thinks you suck, and, just for the heck of it, f*ck everybody who thinks you are trying to be cool by knitting on the bus. (In my opinion, the bus is one of the best places to knit, especially if life is doing that thing life does by getting stressful and busy. Bus knitting is the most satisfying way to not waste time). My nickname in college was either “Aunt Shan,” or “Shan-maw,” and I have never felt truly “uncool” in my life (well, there were the early teenage years, which are a living hell no matter which way you slice them, but, although I often felt awkward, ugly, and ungainly, I am not sure I ever felt either cool or uncool - just kind of middle ground). To the outside observer (read: everyone who has eyes that work), I have been majorly "uncool" in this life (remember, I was in middle school during the big-hair, blue-eyeshadow, pegged-acid-washed jeans era, and there was NOTHING cool about that time). To be fair to the gospel of truth, because that is what this blog is based on, I have rarely felt “cool,” either, in this life - I leave that to certain fabulous folk who are, and will always be, cool - that group of people that I am self-aware enough to know I am not a member.

As for the rest of last week: purposeful, schmurposeful, that shit is overrated.

I did get an amazing amount of stuff accomplished on Thursday night, mostly due to the fact that I knew my folks were coming into town to celebrate dear sis’s 30th. Of course, cleaning had to happen, as did straightening and a bit of organizing. I handled all of that quite handily, and with knitting time to spare (which makes my hands happy). Time enough to completely confuse myself on my pattern modifications for the Blue Moon STR Sock Club Cedar Creek Rainforest Jasper socks (herein referred to as Cedar Creeks – and, because I started this post prior to NK posting, I see that she and I share the problem of concisely naming this project – we want to include everything, because it is all important, so we end up having a paragraph-sized name). Stubbornly, I will NOT follow the pattern as written, because I have fallen head-over-heels-in-love with Toe-Up Sock Knitting. Which means I do have to modify quite a few things, but, as I am not one to plan or plot, I am kind of winging it. Winging it has its advantages: you don’t have to think too long or hard on a project – you can just have at it, but, although sometimes winging it pays off in a big way, oftentimes it actually doesn’t save you time, as it can easily cause one to just plain fail. Which I did. I figured numbers, counted, drew little schematic-type things, and began knitting. It wasn’t until I had a whole row done that I realized I had READ THE CHART THE WRONG WAY. Now, I am no expert, but I can read a chart, ladies – I have done some lace, some fair isle, some “advanced cables” (see Rogue, if you can find any of my updates for the past few months – ha! but let’s not talk about that right now). Suffice it to say that this is kind of a sophomore mistake for me. So, I came in to work on Friday, and enlisted the help of the inimitable NeuroKnitter, who, although she will not admit it, is probably the most expert knitter I know. She is also a sock goddess, and was able to help me figure out just what the f*ck I was doing.

And, just so this is not one of those boring, word-filled posts with nothing interesting and no photos, I leave you with Marbles Jaywalkers. Heels turned this weekend, legs begun, these babies are really moving now!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

FO alert: STR KAL CC in RFJ Done!!!

And I thought only us science nerds could communicate in acronyms!!! I'm so wrong!

Hey!!! I'm done!! My CC socks are complete and ready for their debut!!! What is better than one picot edge??? TWO!!

Medium size
Cast on 64 stitches with 2.5 mm dpn
Changed to 2.75 mm after the picot edge
Changed to 2.5 mm for the toe

6-row picot

5.5 inch cuffs
Ended gusset at 64 stitches around

approx. 12.5 g of yarn remaining

Believe me, I knit those toes as fast as I could so I would finish the socks before the yarn ran out!!! :)

I hope y'all enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed knitting them!!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Grey's Anatomy

Okay, so someone has to post on this, so it might as well be me. Grey's Anatomy , I'm willing to admit, is one of my favorite shows. Last night the main character, Meredith, and the brilliant ex-model, Izzie, take up knitting.

Izzie does it to knit a sweater (in one day?!) for her patient/beau, Denny (does she know he is also the mysterious father of two ghost-hunting hotties on the WB's Supernatural?).
Meredith knits to vent pent up sexual frustration since she's now trying to be celibate. This just seems to be leading to a really long scarf. At the end of the episode, she meets her dog's vet, Chris O'Donnell, and after a long look starts knitting furiously.

This is just one sign that of late knitting is cool. Or, rather, anti-cool cool if that makes sense. On the one hand this is great because anti-cool cool is the only way I ever had a shot of being cool at all. On the other hand, I just thought I was being anti-cool. This makes me somewhat reticent to knit, say, on the bus. Because now there's this sense that I must be knitting just because I want to be cool. However, as my mom wisely says, NOT doing something because it's cool makes you just as slavishly controled by a fad as DOING something just because it's cool. And in any event I think the amount of times I've just used the word 'cool' demonstrates my enduring not-ness.