Knitting by Judy @ 8:56 AM

Salish Sea Socks
Salish Sea Socks

I did managed to get a bit of knitting in this weekend, in and amongst other things that vied for my limited attention span.

I have made the Salish Sea Socks (Cat Bordhi’s brilliant pattern) longer in the feet and re-knit the heels. I used the instructions for the narrowest heel (more or less), and they fit my foot reasonably well. I am pleased. There is the requisite pooling of colors over the instep. But somehow I don’t mind it at all in this yarn. It sort of fits in with the watery theme.

I have about an inch or so completed on the legs. There’s nothing tricksy about this stitch pattern and it’s easy to memorize, so I think I should have these completed within the next couple of days, provided I can get some decent knitting time in.

And then… what will be next, she pondered? There are the two skeins I wound before going out of town last week — Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Pioneer and Blue Moon Socks That Rock lightweight in Pirates Booty — and they are calling my name.

But this weekend, I also picked up from Bobbie what you see in the second picture.

Things I Learned From Knitting
Things I Learned From Knitting

There was a signed copy of Stephanie’s new book, Things I Learned From Knitting (Whether I Wanted To or Not)

And there was a skein of a special Blue Moon STR colorway called Knitters Without Borders. Proceeds from the sales of the books and the yarn went to Tricoteuses Sans Frontières (Knitters Without Borders).

Now, I realized it’s a leap of faith to ask someone to buy yarn for you, sight unseen. I mean… it could have been, well… pink or something. I figured that best case I’d like it, and worst case it all went to a worthy cause and I could have a contest or something because someone out there amongst my gentle readers would like it.

Gentle reader… you can’t have it. Or at least you can’t have this skein. I’m not usually taken with multi-colored yarn that has a lot of white in it. But I am making a big, big exception for this yarn. I love it. And the more I look at it, the more I love it. And I’m already plotting what it will turn into. Stay tuned.

You can’t have my skein, but I understand that it will be available directly from Blue Moon in the not too distant future. So keep checking back with them. And you can have your own skein. 😉

Knitting |On The Road by Judy @ 9:04 AM

Seriously, that’s what it felt like to leave Alexandria, VA, and come home. Not that I didn’t enjoy my stay! And this is in no way a comment on Alexandria, which I know from previous visits is a lovely place. But all I saw of the fair city was the inside of a hotel – and it was a hotel that didn’t seem to be around anywhere else, although there was a nice park for walks. But I didn’t take any pictures. And I can’t believe that you will be disappointed by that, gentle reader. Are you really interested in seeing a several hundred glassy-eyed people sitting in a conference room? It’s not nearly as much fun as, say, seeing several hundred knitters waiting for The Yarn Harlot.

I missed Stephanie’s visit to Portland. Sort of. If you look at the pictures taken by the famous MonicaPDX, Duffy, Cindy, Bobbie, Heidi, and Sharon, it appears that I not only managed to attend, but had a pretty good view as well. There is even evidence of my picture being taken with Stephanie (amongst the crowd of PDX Knit Bloggers). And I hear through the blogo-rumor-mill that my backside was signed by the Harlot. How many knitters can say that? I hope to show proof if it is ever forthcoming.

Do go over and check out this video of Duffy’s serenade (It’s My Traveling Sock), courtesy of Akimbo.

Going over to Virginia on Monday, I was wedged between two men, neither of whom spoke English, but both of whom snored loudly. The trip home Thursday was much nicer. My seating companions were a young mother and her delightful son. Like all 5-year-old boys, he possessed boundless exuberance and curiosity paired with the attention span of a gnat. Being an experienced traveler, he told me tales of the ginormous plane he had been on before that had TV screens right in the backs of the seats, (not like our smaller version that had the drop-down variety). He was very interested in my knitting and asked lots of questions about why I’d want to knit socks, and generally kept me entertained through the whole long, long flight.

Oh yeah…. socks. I don’t have any pictures of those, either. I didn’t have the entire pattern with me – just copies of parts of it – and so was faking my way through one of Cat Bordhi’s ingenious sockitectures. On the plane I turned the heels. When I got home, I realized they were too short. Which is in no way the fault of the pattern – it’s just that I didn’t have the pattern and so of course I decided I knew what I was doing. Yeah. I should know better than to try and second-guess Cat. I have frogged the heels out and will be making the feet a bit longer – I only needed 3/4 inch or so, but it was enough for them to be uncomfortable. The good news was that I used the small version of the pattern for the heels, rather than the medium I’ve been using for the rest of the foot, and the result is that the heels actually fit my feet. Yea! I don’t think I’ll entirely give up my usual heel for this one, as nice as it is, but I’m glad to know how to modify it so that I can use it if I want to. It’s good to have a repertoire of sock parts available to put together willy-nilly depending on vagaries of color and stitch pattern and whatnot. I will have pictures soon.

To my WP friends: I am aware of WP 2.5.1. I’m looking into it. Stay tuned.

On The Road by Judy @ 5:53 PM

Are those instruction that are somehow difficult to understand?

Look, fellow fliers, there’s really enough room for everyone to put a bag in the overhead bins – even on completely full flights – if you would just put one of your bags under the seat. To those of you who think this doesn’t apply to you, think again. Those of us who have our bags wrested from us and checked by airline attendants because There. Is. No. More. Room. Are not amused.

I cheered on the guy who started hauling out the tiny little bags and handing them to random people to put under their seats. I only wish he could have made more room.

To the woman belonging to the tiny little bags and unhappy that they got scattered willy-nilly: get over it.

Knitting by Judy @ 10:45 PM

a little traveling company
a little traveling company

Well… OK. Not exactly completely unknown. But that makes such a nice post title, don’t you think?

I’m actually taking off for a couple of days to the DC area on business. I’m not sure that I will have time for doing anything fun non-work-related pursuits. But if I do and if there is a yarn shop within spittin’ distance, I will find it and yarn will be fondled and perhaps there will be a Stash Enhancing Experience.

Just in case that doesn’t happen, I’m taking a few things with me. The unfinished socks are the Salish Sea Socks, Cat Bordhi’s pattern for the December Rockin’ Sock Club offering. The yarn is Socks That Rock medium in Bella Coola. I really love this yarn, and I love Cat’s pattern, and I am determined to finish these before I return. I think I deserve to knit something fun, considering how long I worked on the clown barf stripy socks.

At the top of the picture are two skeins of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Pioneer.

At the bottom, is a skein of Blue Moon Socks That Rock lightweight in Pirates Booty. It has almost the same colors in it as the Great Adirondacks yarn did. But I have a feeling this will knit up way differently.

There shouldn’t be an unpleasant surprises from any of this yarn. I’ve never met STR I didn’t like. And my experience with Lorna’s Laces had been good, too. I know that I have more than I like to remember several skeins of recently acquired yarn that I’ve been saying I must knit now with. But for this trip I decided instead to do a little deep-stash diving. These three skeins have been marinating for awhile, and I think it’s time for it to bubble to the top.

I may check in from time to time, but I won’t have any way to get new pictures uploaded. Not that there will be much interesting for me to see inside a conference room. But if there is, I’ll show you when I get back.

Knitting by Judy @ 10:37 PM

a bevy of knitters
a bevy of knitters

OK. We’ll go back to talking about knitting, now. But before we do… did you read the incredulous tone of the pingback to the previous post? … That’s right, a blogger whose focus is knitting hacked WordPress… 😆 The ping came from a very nice person who is as unhappy with the WP admin panels as I am, so I don’t want to give him any grief. (But I did wander over to his blog and tease him just a little.)

Thursday night I definitely left my comfort zone, but I had the best time! Several months ago, I had been asked to speak about Judy’s Magic Cast-on at the April meeting of the Tigard Knitting Guild. I was very pleased and excited to accept.

And I started thinking that I really should try to figure out exactly what I was going to say. And then I got busy and I didn’t. But I did think about teaching JMCO to a crowd and wondering exactly how people in the back were going to see it. The largest group I’ve taught it to before would probably be one of my sock classes. And that would be around five or six intrepid knitters.

This was around… 50. 😯

A week ago at Tangle, I spied some US#19 circular needles – these are really big, gentle reader. I bought two – one in wood and one in metal. And I bought two balls of the bulkiest yarn I could find in the brightest colors that Alice had, and I hatched a plot.

more knitters
more knitters

At the appointed time I arrived at the appointed place. I had yarn, needles, my current projects and a few items to show some cool things that JMCO can be used to do. There weren’t many people there yet, and I knew some of them. All were warm and welcoming, and I was invited to join a table. I sat and knitted and waited for the meeting to began and reminded myself that it would be a good idea to figure out what I was going to say.

Now, I know I am going to hear howls of protest when I say this, but I’m really a shy person. Once I get to know people, then I’m not shy at all. But in crowds where I don’t know people… yeah. I realize that some people are totally comfortable speaking to thousands of people. I’m not one of them. I have to force myself to come out of my shell and talk to people. Even knitters. And the knitters kept coming and coming and coming. And I just kept knitting and knitting and knitting. I knit two inches on the Salish Sea Socks – last December’s Rockin’ Sock Club pattern – all of which had to be frogged out the next day.

The meeting got rolling, and before I knew it, I was being introduced. I rose from my chair, waved at the crowd, took a deep breath, and started in.

It turns out that my voice is loud enough that I didn’t need a mike. Whodda thunk it? (I hear you laughing out there.)

I totally winged it, telling about how I had developed JMCO when I was home sick, and why it was cool. And then I called for volunteers. One volunteer played Judy’s Index Finger, and one volunteer played Judy’s Thumb. I handed each a ball of yarn, tied the ends together in the middle, and, holding up my humongo needles, demonstrated the cast on. The needles were so big that I actually needed both hands to hold them and loop the yarn around. Once I had demo’d, I showed off a few FOs that I had started with JMCO: two pairs of socks, and The Wings Of The Raven, and a bag that I’m pretty sure I started with JMCO. Well… I could have, so it got the point across.

and even more knitters
and even more knitters

And then I wandered amongst the tables, helping the knitters master JMCO and having a really marvelous time with everyone. In the pictures, you can see a bunch of wonderful knitters, concentrating on winding that yarn just right.

When I had circled the entire room and made it back to my table, I answered questions, took a few photos, thanked everyone for welcoming me into their fold, and sat down with relief. I used almost exactly my allotted time. Whew.

It was amazing and fun and I’m so glad that I did it! But I’m not sure that I’m even going to become comfortable speaking in front of crowds.

I’d also like to talk to you a bit more about the Great Adirondacks Soxie yarn. The link is just the first place I found that actually had a picture of the color. As you were, I was a bit surprised that they compared this yarn to Koigu. It’s nothing like. For one thing, although it felt softer after washing and would be OK to wear, it’s obviously not Merino. And the most obvious difference: I’ve never had Koigu pool or stripe. Ever. I couldn’t keep this from striping.

Interestingly enough, at the TKG meeting I sat next to Karen, who was knitting lace with this same yarn in a blue and green colorway. And, although I could see that the colors in the ball were lovely, in the scarf the colors looked darker and just not as luminous. Karen mentioned that this was the second time she’d used Great Adirondacks, and both times she’d been disappointed with the colors – lovely in the skein, not so much in the FO. And she had not knit socks either time! So I feel vindicated.

I still haven’t decided what to do with that second skein. I think it will need to be something like entrelac to get the biggest punch from the colors that I can.

Techie Talk by Judy @ 10:57 PM

This post is just for WordPress users who have found this blog by following a link from a more, shall we say, technically themed blog, and have been surprised (and even dismayed) to find a WP hack in amongst a discussion about stuff like hand-knit socks and yarn. This is a knitting blog. That’s what I talk about, more or less. But sometimes other things creep in. WordPress, for example. You can get the link to the hack here, without having to search through knitting stuff.

Although there is much to like about WP 2.5, the write panels suck. A great deal of scrolling up and down is required, disrupting the once smooth workflow. The width of the write area is limited, even on wide-screen monitors. The notification of pending posts and drafts has been removed. Usability is way, way down.

So I took matters into my own hands and fixed what I thought were the most egregious faults.

You can see a picture of the new panel here. If you are a self-hosted WP 2.5 user and would like to incorporate these changes, you can download them here. The files all go in /wp-admin/, except for global.css, which goes in /wp-admin/css/. Back up your files first. Use at your own risk. No implied warranty. Etc.

A ticket was opened in Trac requesting that this be made an enhancement in a future WP release. The ticket has been closed by TPTB as not being valid.

An idea has been posted in the WP Ideas Forum. Please go over and vote for it. This is the only way that we will get the developers to fix the write panel workflow. You will have to register in order to vote, but it’s easy and painless and you need not give away any personal information. Your email is used only to send your password.

Sorry, I can’t help you directly if you are on But you can still go over and vote for the idea. Whatever changes are in the next release will impact you as much as me.

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