Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Flash your Sock Stash!

Of course, every time I took this photo, I walked away and found more sock yarn, so went back and took it again! But here is seventeen pairs of socks worth of my sock yarn stash, which does NOT include a skein of Magic Stripes (thanks SP) I found later in the day, or the Trekking XXL that is already on the needles. Or, now that I think about it, the six skeins of DK Mexico that might want to be socks when they grow up.

Like other sock knitters, I always wondered what to do with the leftovers. Someone on the Knitty Coffeeshop was looking for scraps for a project so I sent a bunch of longer pieces her way. But there always seems to be ten or so yards left - not enough to really do anything with, but too pretty to throw away. So I started this oddball project that will take me the next five years to finish -

This is the Yarn Harlot's Circular Shawl Method 2, as laid out in the Knitting Rules book. I cast on 160 stitches on US size 1 needles with the first bit of sock yarn I laid my hands on, knit until it ran out, then added the next bit of sock yarn I laid my hands on.I knew I didn't want to weave in 1200 ends, so I am tying the new yarn to the old in neat little bows, making sure they will all end up on the same side, and calling them a design choice. As you can see, all of the early colors were really short pieces. But now I am using up a fairly sizable end from the Cherry Tree Hill socks that you can see in the post below.

Here is the top of the shawl, the point of the wedge shape that this pattern calls for.

I understand that this will take me the rest of my life to finish, as I can't add yarn until I finish a pair of socks. I understand that making a shawl with every color found in nature (and a few that aren't) isn't for everybody. I understand that people will stare at me on the street if I ever finish this and wear it out of the house, if they don't run screaming first. But it makes me happy anyway.

On the work front, things are slow and steady right now, which is a fine thing. The only stress-making part of my work life is that my agent is shopping a new book proposal around. She has gotten really positive, fast responses from the publishers we were hoping to hear from (which means they read the one page query and asked to read the sample chapter and support materials), but it is too soon to hope for an offer. Which does not, of course, mean that I am not checking my email every seventeen seconds hoping someone has already bought this book. Oy... I know this is a high quality problem to have, but I am slowly going insane.

And YAY for the kid! My little step dancer moved up in rank this past March (the soloists are divided by age and by experience level), and suffered somewhat of a trophy drought. She was dancing well, but not winning much because the competition was so much greater. Until Saturday that is, when she walked out smiling with four third place trophies (out of the five events she competes). We are both extremely happy. She has a little bit of a summer break for the next two weeks so she can bask in her glory, which is also pretty cool.

Back to the shawl - there is still some Cherry Tree Hill yardage left!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Long distance cousins

My Cherry Tree Hill socks are done. Colorway is Old Rose, pattern is Garter Stitch Rib from Sensational Socks, done on size 1 DPNs. The leg is 5.5" (I don't love long socks) and there is a bucket of yarn left over, even with my size 9 feet.

I love them - they are soft and comfy, didn't pool wildly, and fit extremely well.I also really like this heel. I am a heel flap kind of girl, but instead of my normal slip stitching up the side, this pattern called for a three stitch wide garter stitch border on each side of the flap. You then pick up the gusset stitches at each garter stitch ridge. I LOVE how this looks - the gussets are very neat and tidy.

As to the title of this post - if you have a minute, click over to Kim Werker's blog at the fabulous


Kim is the author of Teach Yourself Visually Crochet, and the upcoming Get Hooked! (due out in August), as well as the editor of the coolest crochet site on the internet. We met via email and telephone a few weeks back when I was interviewing her for an article I was writing about the future of crochet. Although she lives a jillion miles away from me, she was working on a photo shoot about a half an hour up the road last week, so I ran over and took her out for tea. I had the socks in my knitting bag. Kim was working on a pair of knitted socks as well - in the exact same colorway! So the socks posed together in the front seat of my messy van, and Kim's blog post has the photographic evidence.

If you happen to crochet (and I do), take a few minutes to poke around the rest of the CrochetMe site too - there is a forum, and some really great patterns.

I am off to write a profile of the lovely and talented Melissa Leapman. One of the coolest things about my job is all of the interesting fiber folks I get to meet.

This post was edited to fix the bonehead mistake I made earlier by calling Kim Werker's fabulous book by the wrong title! Fixed now and sorry Kim!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Excuse me...urp...

...my stash threw up!

I had the crazy idea this morning that I would re-arrange some furniture, clean my room and the kid's, put away some errant yarn, and THIS is what happened.

I couldn't open just one of the storage boxes to put the yarn away, because there was yarn that belonged to each of the boxed categories. Then of course, there was more yarn than I remembered. So I ran out of room in some of the boxes and just started stuffing wool wherever it would fit. The only empty box is the one marked "Finished items, Holiday and Dulaan" because Dulaan just shipped, and I am nowhere near organized enough to have started my Christmas knitting for 2006. And I STILL haven't found the sock yarn I was looking for that someone wants to swap for! It must be hiding somewhere else, although I did discover I have enough yarn in the sock yarn box alone for 16 adult sized pairs of socks.

Speaking of knitting - there isn't much. I have been up to my elbows in freelance work so haven't finished anything in weeks. Although sorting through the stash this morning made me want to start umpteen things, so maybe soon... and I am almost finished the Cherry Tree Hill socks, edging closer towards the second toe. Then I will cast on my Trekking socks for the Trek Along. I have decided on color number 120, though still not sure what pattern.

Happy Father's Day to those of you who are so inclined, I just had to cancel dinner with my Dad because my car has broken down for the second time in as many weeks. Sigh...there goes the yarn budget!

Monday, June 12, 2006

It's a small world after all...

Okay, no pix today, but I thought this was a funny story to share with you guys.

I belong to an online writer's forum, and I have met a very nice woman there and in real life. We have kids the same age, live sort of near each other, even met for lunch once. She posts on the forum today about her father, the actor, being on the Tony Award telecast last night. And I look a little closer at his name and realize he starred in the show that was my first professional stage crew job in 1983! For those of you who don't know, I made my living doing stage management and wardrobe for many, many years before I started writing full time. I emailed her just to double check - the show was a flop and doesn't show up on his resume anymore (for good reason) and yup - her dad is the nice guy I remember from 1983. REALLY small world!

And no knitting time to speak of - work work workety work (not that I will complain when the checks come in). And I did get to have some fun on Saturday - the Kid's dance competition was 10 minutes from one of our favorite beach towns so we skedaddled over there as soon as she was finished dancing. Sun, sand, cheese fries, ski-ball and water shooting games - we did the whole nine yards. Even hit the bumper cars and the Himalaya - perfect day!

Monday, June 05, 2006

On the move to Mongolia

How cool is it that stuff I have knitted here in scenic (don't laugh, it IS called the Garden State) New Jersey should be starting its journey to Mongolia? BB wanted to check out all of the items in the Dulaan stash before they went into the box. Just call her Quality Control.

Above we have Delaware's contribution to the cause, four hats from The Middle Sister. She doesn't knit but is hell on wheels with her round knitting looms! Three kid-sized and one grown-up sized go in the box.
Here is BB on the front porch with my stash - two scarves, two sweaters, two pairs of mittens, and five hats. I keep thinking if I wait to send the package I will get more done, but experience has taught me that more than likely what will happen is that I will mail the package too late and miss this year's boat entirely. So I am about to finish packing it all up.

BB snoozing amidst all the wooly goodness. She will be sad to see these treasures go away, but knows in her little furry heart that they are going where they are needed (and that the way I knit there will always be more for her to play with!)

Still suffering from deadline madness, a broken down van, and the Kid's amazingly hectic dance schedule. Knitting time is sorely lacking, but I am just about to turn the heel of the second CTH sock so the next photo won't have my toes anywhere in it. It may still have the dog butt though...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

So I finally blew the sock a month challenge...

Here is the lovely Cherry Tree Hill in Old Rose that I have been fondling - and there is my toe sticking out.... and it's just the first sock...not even close this month, but I figure my fellow sock-a-monthers will forgive me, and at least I have a head start ( or more accurately a foot start) on June's socks. Oh, and there is a dog butt too...

Love this yarn, love it love it love it. Pattern is Garter Stitch Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks and it is working out really beautifully, and fits like a dream (first sock has been finished and second one cast on since that photo was taken).

The kid would like the next pair of socks, but since I joined the Trek KAL, she may be out of luck...

I was knitting away on this sock at the Kid's dance class on Tuesday and no one reacted; I knit all the time there and they are used to it. In the middle of a conversation with the posse moms I slipped off my sandal and tried the sock on to see if it was time for toe decreases. And that seemed to stop all conversation dead! Everyone stopped and looked at the DPNs surrounding my toes and looked at me oddly - not negatively, just like WTF?! So I explained I was checking if it was time to decrease, took the sock off and went back to the toe. One of the moms thought it looked like I had odd piercings (I use aluminum sock needles) and one of the ten year olds expressed great surprise that a person could actually make a sock. I guess she didn't get to the part of history class where they talked about life before Target. Ultimately she decided it was pretty cool.

So much work to do this month, and so much heat-related procrastination going on. I HATE the heat, and am completely aggravated that it is in the high 80s already in the scenic Garden State. Yeesh! I just dragged a giant fan into the office this morning - trying to not put on the ACs until I really have to in the interest of not having an electric bill that is equal to the national debt. I have ceiling fans almost everywhere else and those help a lot, but the office gets a lot of sun and doesn't have an overhead fixture.

Busy weekend for the Kid - dance competition on Sunday followed by a birthday party at the stables. She is pretty pleased that her day will include her two favorite things - Irish dance and horses. She would be a lot more pleased if school were already over but we go late here, so she has 16 more days to wake up and drag her butt to school.

Back to work...