Food |Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 1:40 PM

new on the needles
new on the needles

It’s that time of the year again. Time to look back. Time to gaze forward in anticipation. Let’s look ahead, first, and welcome 2008.

I did not remain sock monogamous to Lenore. I cast on the toes of the Salish Sea Socks, the December Rockin’ Sock Club pattern. The colorway is called Bella Coola / Nuxalk. It’s a Cat Bordhi pattern. The colors are my blog colors, and Cat gave me a nice little shout-out in the pattern notes. So what was I to do but cast them on?

But, I hear you ask gentle reader, what is that other unfinished strip of stripy cabled goodness sharing the picture with the Salish toes?

Son Of Stitch n Bitch

That was something I was hoping would be the last finished object of 2007. Didn’t make it. It will be the first finished object of 2008, though. I will tell you more later. For now, I will only say that the pattern comes from this book, and as soon as I saw it I knew that I had to knit it. When Tangle had the right yarn, the deal was sealed.

More later.

Also looking ahead: #1 Son left yesterday for a 5-week trip to Brazil. Yeah. South America. I was not allowed to go to the airport, because Moms are so lame at airports and stuff, you know. But he called me from the airport to let me know he was there. And he called me again to let me know they were ready to board. And he called me again to let me know that their flight to Chicago had been delayed. And he called again to let me know that they had landed, finally, in Chicago but missed the connection to Sao Paulo, and now had to stand in a really long line. And then he sent a text message to say that they had tickets on a flight leaving today. And then he sent a text message to say Happy New Year and that he was at a party with Chicago friends. I have not heard yet today. He has promised to call occasionally and maybe send an email now and again. Five weeks is a long time. Brazil is very far away.

In other non-knitting news, my old lady cat, Phoebe, has been diagnosed as hyperthyroid, thus explaining her weight loss and erratically needy behavior that was so odd in a crotchety cat that mostly just wants to be left alone — except at night, when a great deal of lovin’ is appreciated at bedtime. The good news is that it’s a condition that is, actually, curable in a fairly easy way. The bad news is that the condition may be masking chronic renal failure, which is not curable. So Phoebe is on medication to bring her thyroid levels down to normal so her kidneys can be evaluated. In all of her 15 years, Phoebe has never been sick or required medication of any kind. Since she tends to hold a grudge, I was not looking forward to shoving a pill down her throat offering her medication twice a day. But my vet carries this wonderful invention called Pill Pockets. Slip the pill inside the formed treat and smoosh the end closed, and the designated pet chomps it down. Phoebe loves them. So the only issue is keeping Kidd distracted while Phoebe eats her treat. Moo doesn’t count here, because she doesn’t like treats of any kind. She only eats cat food and yarn.

Happy New Year to everyone!

Now, looking back in farewell to 2007:

In January, I decided to buy yarn. And I kept that promise all through the year. So much so that I think in 2008 I will be a bit more restrained. Blue Moon suffered through their well-publicized bank problems. And my sock class was canceled because of snow.

February saw the Snake River Socks released into the wild, unfortunately, it turned out, with several errors. #1 Son borrowed my vacuum. My brain turned up missing in action as I tried to figure out the right number of stitches to go around a sock leg.

The first Rockin’ Sock Club shipment came in March. I resolved to knit socks only with my classes (resolution soon broken). My socks were lost and then found and, it turned out (via contest), may have been running a little underground resistance movement against sock abuse.

April opened with the Magical Moebius Festival in Newport. Knitting and food and yarn and food and Cat Bordhi and food and whales, and I knit a giant moebius (unintentionally) that 11 people fit into. And it was too far to drive 10 miles to my house, but not too far to drive to Eugene or Seattle.

In May I had the plane trip from hell. While I was in Miami, #1 Son called from Toronto to ask if I could move his car in Portland (it was towed). We lost Grandpa Barney. And I learned that I still remember how to execute a perfect slightly imperfect pratfall.

June found me proving my extreme dorkiness whilst meeting The Yarn Harlot. PDX Knit Bloggers were born (can’t believe it’s only been since June). The Clapotis That Never Ends… finally ended.

In July I visited Boston yarn shops (and my cousins). The PDX Knit Bloggers had their first meet-up at Knit Purl. #1 Son reached v1.9. I was both sorted into Ravenclaw and Simpsonized.

New Pathways for Sock Knitter: Book One

August started with a heelish experience. Sockapalooza 4 finished and I was spoiled nicely. Maia arrived for a PDX Yarn Crawl — on my birthday! I still owe the Bo Diddley sock pattern to several people. A gorgeous new Cat Bordhi book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One, was published. My name is on page 22. And I was kept suitably humble by my first autograph requestor who said, I have no idea who you are but apparently you’re famous, so please sign my book.

I had more fun with Judy’s Magic Cast-On in September. I also learned that it’s a good thing to pay attention when one is turning cables. At OFFF I met a Rasta sheep and fell off my yarn diet. Hard.

October started with a very interesting computer rebuild. (lovin’ the new computer now, though) I attended the first ever Floating Knitting Retreat with Cat Bordhi and Lucy Neatby and had a wonderful time. I obtained my first ever MP3 player (knitting videos on my iPod!). We planted a tree for Barney and the Ravens landed.

In November, Tina destashed and knitters everywhere helped out. The rose arch finally gave up the ghost. I made a swift from Tinker Toys. I was thankful for finally finishing The Great Green Glob. Not so thankful when it turned out there was a dropped stitch requiring major post-blocking surgery.

I was sick for a lot of December. But I knit a scarf for #1 Son and started The Wings Of A Dream in Blue Moon Silk Thread. I pondered the future of knitting. I made carrot soup instead of carrot pudding. And I was given the gift of snow on Christmas.

Objects Finished In 2007:

9 pairs of adult-sized socks
2 pairs of baby-sized socks
2 iPod Nano socks
2 moebii of the right size
1 moebius bowl
2 baby sweaters
1 Clapotis
1 lace shawl
1 scarf
1 hat

22 finished objects total

In the queue for 2008 or currently on the needles:

4 lace shawls / wraps
2 sweaters
1 blanket
1 bag
1 hat
1 scarf
2 pairs of socks on the needles
a gazillion pairs of socks rattling around in my brain

Chances of finishing this list by 12/31/2008? We shall see.

Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 3:07 PM

Ravens, lace beads
Ravens, lace beads

So you didn’t really expect that I was winding all that lace-weight silk with no plans in mind, did you, gentle reader? Nah… I thought you knew me better than that.

Thraven was slated for The Wings Of A Dream, and that is what it is becoming. I swatched yesterday, decided I liked the swatch, and went for it. I’m using my Options Harmony needles, and I just love them for knitting with this silk. They have just enough grab to hold on without being a drag, if ya know what I mean. I’m sort of obsessively knitting on this project right now. But I can see already that it’s not something I would dare use as take-along knitting. It needs too much attention.

The highlighting tape, by the way was a prezzy from my Sockapalooza pal, Marie.

Today I am not joining the throng out in search of a good deal on Black Friday. This actually starts my do not shop in malls season. For many years I have pretty much refused to go into a mall any time between Thanksgiving and New Years. While I love to shop, I hate crowds and crazed, stressed fellow shoppers.

But today there is another reason.

Today is Buy Nothing Day in the US – a day that aims to help people think about how they can live more simply all year, and not just today. Black Friday, of course, has more significance here in the US than in other countries. World-wide Buy Nothing Day is celebrated on Saturday, 11/23.

When #1 Son first told me about Buy Nothing Day, I said, I’ve done that for years! It might have been the first time he thought that his poor old mom actually had a glimmer of intelligence (hard as it is to believe).

If you were out braving the crowds today, I hope you had a great time and found many bargains. But do consider bringing the philosophy of Buy Nothing Day into your life on other days.

Tomorrow, is Buy Local Day here in Portland. This is a day organized by The Sustainable Business Network of Portland, a group that sponsors Think Local Portland.

In the spirit of Buy Local Day, may I suggest patronizing your local yarn shops?

Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 8:50 PM

ravens have landed
ravens have landed

I heard the Ravens cawing as they winged their way from Scappoose. I rescued them from the mailbox on my way home. Poor things — it’s damp and cold in there.

Top: Laci in Korppi
Bottom L-to-R: Silk Thread in Haida and Thraven; Socks That Rock Light in Rook-y and Ravenscroft; Silkie STR in Tlingit

This yarn is just extraordinarily hard to photograph. There’s no way to capture the richness of the colors or the way that the color appears and disappears on the Silk Thread as it is moved back and forth. And, of course, this is Oregon and it’s winter, so there’s no light to speak of — or at least I have not been home except in the dark since this yarn came. Today a weak sun peaked out for a brief moment and I started snapping pics.

The Laci is earmarked for Anne’s new faroese pattern. Go and look at her site to see this shawl. I’ll wait right here. It’s well worth looking at! There will be a stole version also that uses fingering weight yarn. I may knit that one later.

The Thraven… OK. Silk Thread is very… threadlike. I had planned on knitting The Wings Of A Dream version of Mystery Stole 3. But this yarn is too fine for that pattern. What would you do, gentle reader, if you had the perfect yarn for a pattern but it wasn’t the right gauge? Well… I ordered another skein of Thraven so I can double the strand. My order shows shipped, but it did not arrive today, probably because of the weekend. I expect it will be here on Monday.

Interestingly enough, the Haida has a typo on the ball band. It says Haidi.

Haidi ho, haidi hi
gonna get me a piece of the sky…

OK. That’s not the way the song really goes. But that’s what started going through my mind.

There are no particular plans for the STR or the Silkie. It will go into my stash for awhile until it lets me know what it wants to be. I really love the Ravenscroft and I can see that on my sock needles soon. When I can get back to sock knitting.

And, yes, I’m still slogging away at The Great Green Glob. I was nearly finished with the I-cord when I realized that it just was way too tight. So I ripped the I-cord out and started over. I’m much happier with the results this time. I’m about 1/2 way done with it, and should have it finished soon.

Today, although no yarn arrived, I did receive an order from Knit Picks of a few Options Harmony tips in the sizes I use the most — including the sizes needed for any of the lace projects I want to start.

Thank you for the sympathy on the loss of my rose. 😥 I loved the rose, but the arch had gotten more and more rickety over the years, and I spent most of the summer shoring the poor thing up and putting it back together. I still have other roses. This is Oregon, after all, as we have already established.

In other news, #1 Son is still trying to raise the money needed for his trip. He is a bit unhappy with me, as I have been firm in my resolve to keep Bank Of Mom closed for withdrawals and not accepting applications for new loans – unless, of course, one is attached to a business plan that might actually earn a living or has a proven ROI, which I have not seen so far. But he is close to his goal and may make it yet. I’m not sure whether to hope he does or hope he doesn’t. Either way, things will work out the way they are supposed to. They always do.

Knitting by Judy @ 10:47 AM

the outside of the barn
the outside of the barn

The weatherman warned of rain on Saturday, but it was not to be. Although a bit drizzly when I first got up, by the time I left the house the sun was breaking through the clouds. I picked Melissa up early (go visit Melissa and see the gorgeous yarn she spun), because the plan was to meet some of the other PDX Knit Bloggers for breakfast at the Hawaiian Cafe, conveniently located right next to the barn.

This is the outside of the barn. I want you to see this picture, gentle reader, because I want you to note the sheer size of this place.

Breakfast took a little longer than expected. And then I needed to move my car so restaurant patrons could park. And then the lot by the barn was full and I had to turn around and park between the barn and the road. And all this means it was about 10:15 before I actually stepped foot inside the barn.

the inside of the barn
the inside of the barn

And this was what it looked like inside at about 10:30. Already things were beginning to be a little picked over. And there was a scad of stuff and another scan of knitters there breathing in the yarn fumes.

There were tables down both of the long sides of the barn. To the left of the camera, the tables held cone yarn, books, and a few snacks lest we become faint from hunger (not much chance of that for me after a humongous breakfast at the Hawaiian Cafe). The tables on the right side held grab bags, sheep-to-shoe kits and roving. In the back are racks (it looked like the same racks used at OFFF) holding tons of sock yarn, laceweight, silk, bamboo, mohair, just tons of stuff. And twirly racks of sock yarn, too. People just sort of grabbed stuff willy-nilly and then went to the tables in the middle to sort out what they had.

I want you to pop up this picture and look at the pile in front of the woman on the right towards the middle. Go ahead. I’ll wait right here.

Yes, that was a typical haul.

That’s Tina sitting to the right of the pillar with her back to the camera, taking it all in.

blogless Pat from Longview
blogless Pat from Longview

This is Pat from Longview (sadly blogless). Her selection is on the windowsill next to her.

You can see why she looks happy.

Yeah. Wouldn’t you?

By the time I finished chatting with Pat and got in line to pay, the lovely Blue Moon ladies had run out of the big plastic tote bags, but offered a couple of the small bags for my purchases. I think they later ran out of those as well.

When we left around 11:00, there wasn’t much left but there were a lot of happy knitters.

my haul
my haul

And this is my selection. I was very careful. I didn’t want to load up on sock yarn. I looked for cone yarn and unusual fibers in largish quantities. I also bought a sock-club t-shirt, mostly because the back says Notorious Sock Knitters. Who could pass that up?

The cones in the back are 100% cotton. The green on the left is called Quince and the sunny gold on the right is called… Golden Sun (go figure).

The cones in the front are a 100% viscose mini-boucle. On the right is Black Cherry and on the left is Moss. Pictures do not do justice to the way that red simply glows.

When full, each of these cones holds more than 2000 yds. I have no idea if I have full cones or not, but I do have enough to do something really nice with. I have not yet decided what. Stay tuned.

In the front are two lightweight STR that are marked as mill ends. I think they might be slightly off color Ravens. The one right in front is black with hints of blue and purple, and the other is black with hints of teal. When I picked this yarn off the rack, a knitter standing next to me said but it’s black! I replied No it’s not! and held it in the sun streaming through the windows. OH! she said, and started selecting a few skeins herself.

The yarn to the right of my cones belongs to the famous MonicaPDX who shared my sorting space. I will let her tell you about it. Go visit her, where I sure she will post a blow-by-blow.

Rockin' Sock Club by Judy @ 8:01 AM

Lenore has arrived
Lenore has arrived

Hurry up!

Or at least that’s what I hear it saying.

A raven landed in my mailbox a couple of day ago, courtesy of the Rockin’ Sock Club. Isn’t this just yummy? It’s a little preview of the new Raven colorways that will be available at Blue Moon starting on November 5th. This is Lenore. I love, love, love what Tina has done with these rich, dark, colors. Believe me, the picture does not begin to do justice to the rich maroon and dark gray and black.

I even like the pattern this time. 😉

The pattern is by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. It’s a top-down lace pattern. But, after perusing the chart closely, I don’t see any reason why it can’t be knit toe-up. I’m going to swatch the lace at the top of the leg to make sure. But it’s a good chance that there are a pair of Lenore in my near future.

But first I have to finish the baby sweater. And, thanks to the encouragement of the PDX Knit Bloggers at the Monday gathering last night, I’m almost there! I just have to bind off about 1/2 of the trim, and then weave the ends. Piece of cake!

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Honeybee Stole


Irtfa'a Faroese Shawl




Fatigues henley sweater


Jade Sapphire Scarf


#1 Son's Blanket


Cotton Bag