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 by Judy @ 9:59 PM

the actual signage
the actual signage

I promised I would show proof of my backside being signed by The Yarn Harlot, and here it is! This photo is courtesy of Kathleen, who graciously agreed to let me post it for all to see.

A week or so ago, Kerin delivered Flat Judy to me. I mean to have it laminated, but I haven’t had time to do that yet.
On Tuesday, #1 Son decided to move his computer from his room in my house to his room in his house, where it will be decidedly more convenient to use. He also asked if he could have the old router that I’m not using any more, because it’s better than the one he has. And I’m fine with that because I hate to see old stuff go to waste.

Tuesday night I came home late to find unmistakable signs that #1 Son had been there (a half-finished pot of coffee, etc.). And I found Flat Judy with old random computer parts piled on it, right where Stephanie signed it!

We are not amused.

I have rescued it and stored it safely away from too much abuse and I will get it laminated as soon as possible. (Query to my gentle readers: does Kinkos laminate? Or where is a good place to have that done – prefer PDX metro west side.)

The Harlot signed my backside
The Harlot signed my backside

You can see that not too much damage was done. There’s the signature in all it’s glory.

How many people can say their backsides have been signed by a Harlot. I know… I’m easily amused.

I have started a pair of toe-up Monkeys using the Blue Moon Knitters Without Borders colorway. I really like the way that this is knitting up. I have seen a couple of other pairs of socks in the same yarn, and it’s funny what a difference gauge can make. All of use are getting totally different results.

I really like the way that the white strip on my socks is really narrow and really pops against the darker colors. It’s easier to see on the sole side, but try to imagine it.

Last night I acquired a new offering from Sharon of Stitch Jones. That link is to her new shop, which is almost ready for prime time. In the mean time, head over to her Etsy shop and check out some of the new colorways. Yum!

Knitting |Rockin' Sock Club by Judy @ 1:53 PM

Salish Sea Socks
Salish Sea Socks

I have finished the Salish Sea Socks. This pattern was part of the 2007 Rockin’ Sock Club. I don’t know when, or if, it will be made available to the general sock-knitting public.

I had a lot of fun with this pattern and only wish that I hadn’t gotten distracted (oooh… shiny…) and let them languish for so long.

As is her wont, Cat has come up with a brilliant pattern. I really love the way that the gusset increases are hidden inside the wavy pattern on the foot. And the traveling garter-stitch rib on the ankle was a fun knit. I actually behaved myself and followed Cat’s instructions – with one change. I modified the heel turn to use the math from the smallest size given in the pattern. I paired that with the gusset increases that were called for by my actual size. Et voilà – a sock that fits my skinny heel. I still sort of prefer my own heel turn to Cat’s, but this worked pretty well and I’m always glad to learn new techniques to add to my repertoire.

Today the sun is shining, but I have the feeling that the cold has not completely loosened its grasp on the Northwest. I will probably get to wear these a time or two before it’s time to close up the sock drawer for the summer.

By the way, if you haven’t there recently, go over to the Blue Moon welcome page. I don’t know how long it will be up there, but right now the picture shows the PDX Knit Bloggers at the Yarn Harlot event. And there’s Flat Judy right in front. 😀

The Knitters Without Borders colorway is now available on the Blue Moon site. $3 from each skein purchased goes directly to Doctors Without Borders.

The pictures of this colorway in the skein do not do it justice. I’ve already cast on toes, and I’ll have a pic soon. Until then, go over to FiberQat’s blog to see how wonderful it looks on her needles. Then go buy some. You know you want to.

The Particulars:

  • Yarn: Blue Moon Socks That Rock Medium (100% superwash merino / 5.5oz, 380yds per skein); one skein of Bella Coola with a goodly bit left over
  • Needles: a pair of Addi Lace 24″ circulars, US#2
  • Pattern: Salish Sea Socks by Cat Bordhi – one of the 2007 Rockin’ Sock Club offerings
  • Modifications: I followed the pattern pretty much as written. The only change was to use the heel width from the smallest size with the heel height from the size I was knitting otherwise. I tweaked the number of wing stitches accordingly.

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.

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