Friday, February 26, 2010


If this yarn doesn't drive away the last of the winter grays, nothing will!

It's Dashing Dachs 'Speckled Wildflowers'.

I'm knitting the Paul Atwell pattern...I really liked it the first time I knit it, and thought this color would be well suited for the floats in the pattern.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Rani, if you're reading this, good luck on your Birkie exploits!! You go girl!!

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
~William Blake

Thursday, February 25, 2010

happy things

Just as the wave cannot exist for itself,
but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean,
so must I never live my life for itself,
but always in the experience which is going on around me.
~Albert Schweitzer

I was tagged by the lovely Carolyn to list 10 things that make me happy.

A tough task, but here goes:

1. being at the beach with Mr. NK

2. all things autumn

3. hot cocoa and whipped cream

4. running at sunrise

5. creating

6. detective fiction

7. sunday morning breakfast at the cafe with Mr. NK

8. getting up early in the morning, sitting alone with my coffee and knitting

9. having a curled up kitty sleeping on me

10. northern exposure re-runs

If you're reading this...consider yourself tagged...go forth and list!!

Look who's got the shutterbug now!? Be still my beating heart!!

Happy Friday-eve!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010


images were captured at the beach this weekend.

I still had time to knit a bit. Cotty sock nbr. 2 is well on its way to completion!

The weather was fantastic!! I'll share more pics with you after my shutter/mouse/knitting finger recovers a wee bit!

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
~John Muir

Friday, February 19, 2010

light play

A new sock on the needles!

We have been blessed with some gorgeously sunny and warm days.

By evening, the sun goes down and the chill in the air reminds me that we're still in February and not to break out the T-shirts and shorts just yet!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! Happy Friday!

Cotty sock pattern by IrishgirlieKnits in STR-L in 'Sassafras'

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat...don't let the word retreat lull you into thinking this was in anyway a quiet and meditative weekend. Nope. It was filled with giggles and shouts of glee and squeals of delight when one old friend met up with another after a long absence.

It was also filled with sweet treats. Catherine and Jerome have had the booth next to Blue Moon for sometime now...they welcomed our return with open arms and cupcakes!

The 'N' didn't fit, so it had a little box of its own. Too cute.

Ilisha stopped by the booth for a little show and tell with Tina. She does beautiful work. These are photos of a miniature seascape project she was working on. You can see more of her lovely work here.

I might've done some damage at The Artful Ewe. Loved their booth...very autumnal and earthy.

Patti of Sweet Grass Wool was across from us. She's from Montana. She said it's very white there now...I think not...she must single handedly bring a ton of color to Montana; I'm glad she saved some for us!

I might've done a little damage there, too.

Angela brought us more cupcakes to celebrate Valentine's Day! Yum!!

I was smitten with all the autumn color in the Lopez Island Fibers booth. Isn't that little chicken adorable?

A wonderful and busy weekend ended with dinner among old friends and new.

And even after all those cupcakes, we still had room to for apple crisp and chocolate bread pudding with whiskey sauce!

Forget driving...I rolled home.

Happy Friday-eve!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

be mine

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

wordful wednesday

Colour helps to express light, not the physical phenomenon, but the only light that really exists, that in the artist's brain.
~Henri Matisse

I'm a little off schedule for wordless wednesday as I'm leaving for Madrona this morning...yippy skippy!!! I thought I would leave you with a lot of color and just a few words this Wednesday to carry you through until the next post.

Have a great week!! I'll be back in full knitterly force next week!!

Monday, February 08, 2010

on and off...and on again

Look who's on the needles...

...and who's off.

Calvin and Ripple socks! Ripple is at the top...and has only just begun. Calvin is donedonedone and boy does it fit well!!

And about the peek of green? All will be revealed!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, February 04, 2010


Do you remember these?

They're back!!

I hit a glitch* with them, then went on to knit numerous other socks, a scarf, and a cowl...they sat patiently.

It's their time now. I'm back on track and am racing up the cuff to the finish line...of the first sock.

Guess what? Next week I'll be in Tacoma at the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat! Six more sleeps 'til I leave!! I need to start packing my travel knitting! Who else is going to Madrona?

This is the highest wisdom that I own; freedom and life are earned by those alone who conquer them each day anew.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

*(ETA: the glitch was totally my problem, not the pattern's!! This pattern is very well written and is a beautifully distilled presentation of Cat's Riverbed architecture)

Calvin (&Ripple) sock pattern by Cristi Brockway in STR 'Gail's Autumn Joy'

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Monday, February 01, 2010

Toe-up! blog book tour

Welcome to the We Heart Yarn stop of the Toe-Up! Patterns and Worksheets to Whip Your Sock Knitting Into Shape blog book tour! We are delighted to host a question and answer session with Chrissy Gardiner.

Chrissy suggested I write a litte bit about the photography, as I was the one behind the lens for the photos that you see in the book. Our mutual friends at Twisted in PDX brought us together and I'm so glad that they did!! Thank you, Chrissy, for such a fabulous opportunity! :) We had a blast working on the photoshoots! If there is one word that sums up my approach to photography, I think it is mindful. No matter what concept I might have in mind for a photoshoot, I try to stay aware of what's going on around me and be prepared to turn an unexpected moment into a unique image that makes the photoshoot a success.

To make this stop on the tour unique, we're using images from the book and also some from the archives. We hope you enjoy them!

And now...on to our most special guest, Chrissy Gardiner!

Cornflower said...This sounds fun! I've yet to try making a sock from the toe up so I'd be glad to know the best (or easiest) methods for beginners to use.

Chrissy: There’s no “one size fits all” answer to the best/easiest methods question, so I always recommend that my students experiment and find what works best/easiest for them. When I teach my basic toe-up sock class, I use the short-row heel and Judy’s Magic Cast-On since those are my favorite methods.

nnordq said...Having just learned how to knit my first socks, from the top down, I would like to know: What are the advantages of knitting toe-up?

Chrissy: Toe-up is great because you can more easily fit as you go (it’s easier to try on toe-up socks for fit than top-down socks) and you don’t have to worry about running out of yarn.

WingedStrategos and aelscha said...I'm a dedicated toe-up sock knitter and have been for numerous pairs. Toe-up sock patterns vary greatly in the number of gusset increases used to make a heel flap. I'm having a hard time figuring out why some patterns only add about 20 stitches while others add up to 50% of the total stitch count. Can you give a few guidelines for determining this number?

Chrissy: Without looking at the patterns I can’t tell you why some gussets have more stitches than others. However, the number of stitches in the gusset will have a direct relationship to the height of the instep of the sock. The formula that I use in my book adds a lot of stitches to the gusset in order to give people with high insteps a good toe-up option. The short-row heel often used in toe-up socks isn’t the best for people with high insteps because it doesn’t add any stitches to the sock circumference. I recommend that everyone figure out how many stitches are in the heel flaps/gussets that fit them the best and use the worksheet in my book (or their own calculations) to insert that gusset heel into their socks. As a general rule, the more stitches added for the gusset, the deeper the heel pocket will be. If your heels are too tight/not fitting well, try adding more gusset stitches (for a top-down sock, you’d make a longer heel flap to achieve the same effect).

AfternoonMoon said...I love your book and would adore a signed copy. Even if I don't win, if I sent a copy to you in a self addressed stamped envelope, would you sign it and drop in the mail?

Question 1: on page nine you have a gorgeous cup of coffee. Are you a coffee drinker or tea?

Question 2: How much exposure did Twist Collective bring to your knit design? Is TC the "salt and pepper" at dinner, or more like a side dish or main course?

Chrissy: Sure! Both! I drink coffee in the morning and herbal tea the rest of the day. Since I was already established as a designer before TC, I can’t really say how much exposure TC brought to me as opposed to, say, Interweave Knits. I love working with the TC folks, though, and am always happy to do new designs with them!

Bloom fine art fotografi said...Oh how neat! I usually do a toe patteren off the web, nice to see there is a book on now too. The problem I alway encounter is the sock slips down and clumps into your boot(great description isn't it)and sometimes the castoff on the ribbing is either too loose or too tight. - I will most definitly show up on monday with bells on. Have a great weekend.

Chrissy: Sounds like the socks are too loose, which is why they’re slipping down, or they’re too short. Make sure to add some “negative ease” to your socks (meaning make them a half-inch to inch smaller than your actual foot circumference) to help keep them up. Ribbing also helps socks hold their shape better than plain stockinette. And play with different bind-offs to help you find the one that you like best for your toe-up socks – I’ve got three in my book!

knitbysue said...Hi Chrissy, I would like to know how your sock book differs from other sock books? What caused you to put together/author your book? Thx, Sue

Chrissy: I think the worksheets are the main thing that sets my book apart – they will enable you to easily put your own toes and heels into all your toe-up socks regardless of how the pattern is written. I decided on a toe-up book because there aren’t a whole lot of books dedicated to toe-up socks…yet!

knittinggolfer said...Chrissy, do you design the pattern to fit the yarn or pick the yarn after to fit the pattern?

Chrissy: It depends! Each design is different, but I often have to fit the design to the yarn because I’ve been given the yarn first. I tend to like to work in that direction, rather than looking for yarn to fit a particular design.

YesterUkes said...Would love to learn to knit a pair of socks. Is the toe up method easier? Whatever is easier is what I'd like to do first.

Chrissy: It’s different for every knitter, but I will say that toe-up definitely isn’t harder than top-down!

LoriAngela said...I had no trouble with my first toe up sock, but it doesn't fit well. I'm not sure how I can make the toe to heel portion more elastic. Thanks.

Chrissy: Fit will have to do with the gauge you knit at as well as the stitch pattern. If the bottom of the foot is really inelastic, you’re probably knitting too tight (although these socks will wear like iron!). Always try on your sock after you finish the heel and before you start the leg. If it’s not fitting well, you can also add a few rounds to your foot if it’s too short/tight.

Awa said...I have a wide heel, what would be the best heel for a toe-up sock?

Chrissy: If your heel is wide but your instep is not real high, you can do a short-row heel and wrap fewer stitches on each side to make a wider heel pocket. The hybrid heel (with gusset and heel flap) from my book will also fit wide heels and high insteps great – it has a lot of room in the heel pocket.

Jan said...Does your book offer more than the regular short row and wrap heel that always leaves me with holes and a feeling that that heel won't last as long? I've read a few patterns that do it, but it's not sinking in up top! Taught myself to knit top down 1st then toe up so it can't be all it just couldn't be!

Chrissy: There are three different heels in the book – my version of a short-row heel (which is worked a little differently than other short-row heels I’ve seen), the afterthought heel and the hybrid heel which has gusset and heel flap. Now that more people are writing toe-up sock patterns, there will be a lot more options for people who don’t like short-row heels.

Please join me extending a hearty "Thank you" to Chrissy for stopping by and sharing her time and expertise with us! Chrissy also generously donated an autographed copy of her book, that will be going to....drum roll.....knitbysue! Applause!

Congratulations, knitbysue!! You can send your shipping address to me at marraccig at hotmail dot com

Please check out the official Toe-Up! book website where you can view a gallery of pattern images from the book and see where the next stop is on the blog tour!

Happy toe up knitting!!