Knitting by Judy @ 5:38 PM

First and foremost and always, I would like to thank Tina, Stephanie and Cat for the wonderfulness and amazement that is the Sock Summit teachers list. I am truly, truly humbled to be in such company.

I learned that I was teaching when Stephanie called me. I was on the ferry on my way to Friday Harbor. The ferry was in the middle of Puget Sound. If you’re not sure where that is, gentle reader, feel free to consult google maps. I’ll wait right here.

Notice how there’s a lot of water between Friday Harbor and, oh, just about anything else? Who knew that you could get cell phone service out there! But, as I calmly knitted on the ferry, chatting with a few other knitters, my phone rang. And it was The Yarn Harlot herself. And through the whole conversation I kept thinking… oh holy $@%* what if I lose this cell phone signal and hang up on the Harlot. Which, fortunately, did not happen. So I knew that I was teaching most likely. But I was sworn to utter secrecy. And I had no idea who else was teaching. And I was excited by the whole idea and it sounded really fun, in an unreal sort of way.

Then I saw the list.

And oh my! What a list! There’s a huge amount of sockerly and knitterly knowledge represented by that list. There are people on the list I value as friends. And people whose feet I would like to sit at and just soak up any tiny pearls of wisdom that might come my way. And people I would die to take a class from myself. And all are people who I admire a huge, huge amount. When all of the people on that list are gathered together in the Convention Center, I’m afraid that the fiberish energy will cause a rip in the space-time continuum and a wormhole will open and we will all be sucked into it and end up in either Star Trek or Firefly (hopefully the latter because I think they had better knitwear).

I gasped when I read that list. Because all of a sudden it started to feel real. Really real. And I started to feel sort of sick to my stomach.

And I thought that maybe I was over-reacting just a little bit. Because excitement and nerves usually do not make me throw up.

And then I realized that I was sick to my stomach because I was, actually, sick. Felled by the virus that is going around. Sick as a dog.

So I started knitting.

Harmonia's Rings
Harmonia's Rings

This is Harmonia’s Rings by Sivia Harding. It was a really fun, fast knit and kept me busy while I started down the road to recovery. If I look happy, it’s because I am. (Sorry for the blurry self-portrait, it is apparently possible, although perhaps not advisable, to take your own picture with your eyes close.) I love this cowl. It’s warm and cozy and just perfect.

Yes, my hair looks like that when it’s wet. It looks about the same when it’s dry, except expanded. What can I say.

The Particulars:

Knitting by Judy @ 9:31 PM

kinnearing the Yarn Harlot
kinnearing the Yarn Harlot

You may recall that yesterday I was unsuccessful kinnearing the Yarn Harlot. So today I was bound and determined to take advantage of any opportunity that presented itself.

Walking from the classroom to the Madrona marketplace at lunch, who did I spy? That’s right…

I whipped out the old iPhone, and surreptitiously snapped away.

Mission accomplished.

Nancy Bush explains all
Nancy Bush explains all

I’ve never been one to rest on my laurels. So I kinneared Nancy Bush, too. Here she is explaining a complicated bit of Estonian knitted braid technique to a rapt audience.

Today I took Nancy’s Baltic Braids and Bobbles class and it was tons of fun. Really interesting techniques, and so pretty.

braids and bobbles
braids and bobbles

See? (Ignore my wonky knitting. This was a first attempt, after all.)

We made a little sampler to learn the techniques. Mine turned out to be just the right size to wear as a cuff. So I wore it all evening while we gathered to hear to the history of Madrona (this is its 10th year) and listen to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee speak about the importance of knitting and knitting conferences. I think most of us were pretty in tune with that concept.

Tomorrow I’m going shopping. I’ve heard rumors of Japanese stitch dictionary books and… (drum roll please)… quiviut – which I probably can’t afford. But at least I can gaze longingly at it and pet it a bit.

Tomorrow I am going shopping with Sivia Harding. (!!!!!)

I tell you gentle reader, I am just an ordinary mortal. But I feel as though I’ve somehow been transported to the top of Mt. Olympus. Except the Olympian gods and goddesses pre-dated knitting. This is like Mt. Olympus with many wonderful goddesses and lots and lots and lots of yarn.

Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 10:46 PM

tied up ?
tied up ?

This morning I journeyed from the lovely San Juan islands to Tacoma where the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat starts tomorrow.

This sign hung on my door in place of the more typical do not disturb type sign.

While it’s true that I brought some yarn with me. And, in fact, I just may have acquired some yarn between the time I left home and the time I arrived here. But… what exactly do they expect to happen in this room? Inquiring minds want to know.

Tomorrow I am taking a class from Nancy Bush: Baltic Braids and Babbles. It sounds really fun. And Nancy Bush is sort of one of my knitting heroes so I’m totally geeked out that I’m going to get to meet her. Hopefully I won’t embarrass myself too much,

I have seen the Yarn Harlot, but I was too busy swapping iPhone apps with her and with Blue Moon’s Depraved Dyer to kinnear her. I will keep trying.

Knitting by Judy @ 8:53 AM
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Chapeau Marnier
Chapeau Marnier

Chapeau Marnier is finished and will be shortly in the mail to its intended recipient. What a fun, fast knit this was! Again, I really wish that I could adequately photograph this yarn. The sparkle in it is so pretty, without being over the top. It’s just then perfect amount of bling. But I don’t think a camera will ever capture it. You have to see it in person.

The particulars:

  • Yarn: Stitchjones Glam Sock (63% superwash merino, 20% silk, 14% nylon, 2% silver), 420 yds per 3.5 oz/100 g skein, in colorway Silver — I used a fraction of the total and have tons left.
  • Pattern: Chapeau Marnier by Marnie MacLean from the Summer 2007 issue of Knitty.
  • Needles: a US#6 from my Denise set to cast on, and then knit on a pair of US#2 Addi Turbo circs.
  • Ribbon: 1-1/2 yds of double-sided satin ribbon.
  • Modification: none. Really.

jabberwocky
jabberwocky

And, since 3 or 4 unfinished pairs of socks are, apparently, not enough… I cast on another pair.

This was actually prompted by having to darn my Rooster Feather socks yet again. I’m afraid they are not long for this world, but I really like the feather-and-fan pattern I used on them. So I reverse engineered and started a new pair.

The yarn is Blue Moon Socks That Rock in Jabberwocky. So I’m afraid these are fated to be called Jubjub Birds or some such atrocity.

And can I just end by saying that yesterday I heard three words that I’ve been waiting to hear for a very, very, very long time: Former President Bush. 😀

by Judy @ 12:04 PM

Andean Chullo
Andean Chullo

Please note: If you found your way here via Google, Ravelry, or other search engine, I appreciate you kind comments. I am not, however, affiliated with Knit Picks. I don’t know where the pattern is available. I will not copy the pattern or charts for your use, nor is my copy of the pattern for sale. Emails that ask me to violate copyright, ask me to sell the pattern, or ask for sourcing info will be deleted without response. Please contact Knit Picks to request information regarding the pattern, the kit, or the designer.

This is the Andean Chullo Hat Kit from Knit Picks.

It became the first finished object of 2009 because I was up until the wee hours weaving in little ends that I stupidly did not weave in as I went. And there were a @%#! bunch of them, gentle reader. After sleeping for a few hours, the hat got a very quick steam-block, which fortunately turned out to be all it needed. I sewed the tassels on in between dinner preparations and such. It was finished, photoed and wrapped about an hour before #1 Son showed up for dinner. Whew.

#1 Son’s take: star.gifstar.gifstar.gifstar.gifstar.gif Mom! you are really rockin’ this knitting stuff! This is the best hat ever, and it fits perfectly. Look at the little alpacas on the earflaps! Too cute! My friends are going to be so jealous. They couldn’t believe all the kitted stuff from you that I wore when it was cold and snowy. [ed. that warms the cockles of my heart! what more could a mom want to hear?] So you had to finish this and is that the reason I couldn’t come up on Christmas? [ed. No! that wasn’t it at all!] Haha… Oh, yeah… there was this snow thing, huh.

Andean Chullo
Andean Chullo closeup

Here’s a closeup of the main body of the hat. I’m using this picture as my iPhone wallpaper now. 😉

The Particulars:

  • Pattern: Knit Picks Andean Chullo Hat Kit
  • Yarn: Knit Picks Pallette included in the kit – 100% Peruvian Highland Wool, 231 yds/50 gr per ball – portions of 9 colorways: Sweet Potato, White, Bark, Semolina, Pimento, Blue, Clover, Masala and Pool. There’s plenty left over for another hat, or two, or three.
  • Modifications: none. Really. The pattern is a choose your own adventure. You pick one of two earflap charts, four of six pattern band charts, and one of two different hat top charts. Colors are suggested but not dictated and I did change one or two.

Andean Chullo inside
Andean Chullo inside

And for those of you just dying to see the inside (you know who you are), here you go.

I’m a two-handed fair-isle knitter — that is I hold one color in my left hand and pick it, and the other color in my right and throw it. Philosopher’s Wool has a wonderful video that shows this technique. Their technique recommends not having floats longer than two stitches. On this hat I have floats up to 5 stitches. Do watch their video if you have not done so before. Their weaving stitches are very cool.

I will probably knit another of these hats and be a bit more adventurous with the colors. The kit came with enough yarn to knit several.

modeling the goods
modeling the goods

Happy #1 Son with his hat and mittens. 😀 He wore the hat for a goodly portion of the time he was here, so I think it was very successful.

Knitting |Techie Talk by Judy @ 11:49 AM

I love tools
I love tools

Yesterday was an interesting day, gentle reader.

First, thank you to everyone who clicked through to Jack Bog’s Blog for Buck-A-Hit Day. $9,920 was raised for very deserving local groups. Thank you, thank you!

It was also interesting because it was the day that I decided, rather early in the morning, to upgrade to WordPress 2.7. I’d been playing around with 2.7 on my local computer, and everything looked OK. But, when I moved it up to the web server where y’all can see it… it was not a happy experience. 😳

I’m really sorry to anyone using IE who started getting can’t load this site messages. I know it was awhile before I noticed. There were some things not playing well together. I got out all of the tools at my disposal and fixed it as fast as I could.

You might have also noticed a few things coming and going, appearing and disappearing. That was caused by the need to upgrade a few plugins that I thought were OK. It should all be back in place now.

I think it’s done. If you find anything that’s broken, please let me know.

I love yarn, too
I love yarn, too

Because of all of that, I think it’s time for a contest. I haven’t had one for a really long time, and I’ve been meaning to. And now it’s the holidays and I’m snowed in and all. So it’s time.

I have three skeins of yarn to give away, so that means I will have three lucky winners.

Left-to-right, Zen Yarn Garden Bamboolicious in Creamsicle; Blue Moon Socks That Rock Medium in Calico; Schaefer Anne in Toni Morrison.

I’d forgotten all about that Calico when I was searching for yarn to make fingerless gloves from. My forgetfulness will be your gain!

Here’s the contest: the first picture in this post is a bunch of tools. Name all of them – every single one – in the comments. I will draw from amongst those who name all of them to select the winner. If nobody names all, I will draw from those who have the most correct. Be sure to click on the picture to see the biggie size.

The rules: Tell me how many tools there are and name them. You can’t say something like a collection of widgets of varying sizes. You may say 9 widgets of various sizes.

All of the tools are in plain sight – none are hidden. There’s one there that may be obscure. But why should I make this too easy?

Contest will close Sunday night at midnight Pacific Time. Decision of the judge (that would be this intrepid reporter) are final. Blah, blah, blah.

Have fun!



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