Tuesday, April 26, 2011

...and we go forward...
Spring is here, cold, wet, leaden of sky, but here nonetheless.  We go on.

It's been a month of odd-ish socks.  These are pedi-socks, for keeping one's feet warm whilst one's toenails are being painted.  Pattern designed for a Ravelry group to which I belong.  Crystal Palace Panda Wool for the green (I don't usually use non-superwash for socks, but these won't get washed all that often) and Opal for the cream.  I like the lace pattern and will probably knit another pair from this pattern one day, with toes.

 These, and the following pair, were designed as a part of the "Pay-It-Forward" thing I did on Facebook earlier this year.  Opal, in a Uni-color red/brown, and in a speckled/striped yarn that was a test-skein I purchased from Soxie, the former sole importer/distributor of Opal yarns in the USA, a couple of years ago.  Test skeins are produced in limited numbers, and can be quite hard to come by, I've heard.

I alternated the two yarns: cast on in one color for each pair and worked the top ribbing, then switched to the other for cuffs, switched again for legs and feet.  I knit both pair at the same time on two circs, and had plenty to finish both pair, even with the longer turn-down cuff.
 The striped/speckled yarn pooled oddly, but I decided to just forge ahead rather than try to change that.  The pooling did change a bit on one of the socks, after a cat chewed off the yarn and I had to splice it back in. Geeze...I have never had cats that bothered my yarn before, and these two that belong to my son and his family are a real trial.
My friend Suzanne, in Texas, will receive the pair with dark feet, and the pair with light feet will be mine... sister socks, if you will, similar but very different. : )  She is going to name the pattern, as it was designed specifically for her.
The socks have a ruffled top, a pretty ribbed lace pattern from one of the Barbara Walker books for the legs and insteps, eye-of-partridge heel flaps and a Dutch heel.
 My tulips bloomed early this year, and with the cooler weather they are lasting a long time.  This is the second year since Robby, then just two years old, helped me plant them.

I have been told, "Every time you see a tulip, someone in The Netherlands is thinking of you."  I cannot imagine who that would be, now that my Dutch friend is gone, but it's a lovely thought all the same.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Serving Notice!
To all my friends: please know that I am expecting you all to live a long time, as I am planning to be very, very old when I die, and I do not want to outlive any more of you. It is just too painful. 

In other news, Rich will head off to the Tennessee Lunch Run this afternoon, for a weekend of good riding, food, and friends.  I wish with all my heart that I could have gone along, but had to miss the trip this year.  You all ride safely, and have a wonderful time!

I have several projects on the needles: three pair of socks nearing completion, one about half done, and one just begun as a test of a friend's new pattern.  After that, I have promised a pair to my oldest granddaughter.  Idle hands ARE the Devil's playthings, after all! ; )  (edited 4-26...geeze)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Day seven: 3rd April. Your knitting and crochet time.
Write about your typical crafting time. When it is that you are likely to craft – alone or in more social environments, when watching TV or whilst taking bus journeys. What items do you like to surround yourself with whilst you twirl your hook like a majorette’s baton or work those needles like a skilled set of samurai swords. Do you always have snacks to hand, or are you a strictly ‘no crumbs near my yarn!’ kind of knitter.

I knit anywhere, anytime.  I always have several projects on the needles, and carry two or three with me wherever I go.  I knit while watching tv, while waiting for my slow dialup Internet connection, while walking, while talking with friends, during slow times at work (but not often!), while riding down the road on the back of our motorcycle.  I knit while reading, if the pattern is a simple one.
I don't have any special items surrounding me while I knit, just whatever happens to be in the vicinity.  If there's food, that's ok, but I don't have to have it, and in fact find that I eat less while knitting.  
My favorite knitting bag has an adjustable strap that I can fasten around my waist or hang over my shoulder.  It is a Knit Knack Sack from Nancy's Knit Knacks, and I've had it for years. The bottom is becoming a bit frayed, but it's still sturdy.  It's almost always with me, usually within arm's length.  I've carried it with me on many car and motorcycle trips, and on airplanes to Atlanta, Georgia and to London, England.  I would have liked to carry it with me to The Netherlands one day, but since I got word last evening that my friend there has passed away, that is unlikely to happen now.
So here we are at Day seven, and the last day of Knit & Crochet Blog Week.  Thanks for the opportunity to share...it's been a busy and trying week, so I haven't had much chance to check out others' posts, but hope to do that as soon as things get a bit easier here.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Day six: 2nd April. Something to aspire to.
Is there a pattern or skill that you don’t yet feel ready to tackle but which you hope to (or think you can only dream of) tackling in the future, near or distant? Is there a skill or project that makes your mind boggle at the sheer time, dedication and mastery of the craft? Maybe the skill or pattern is one that you don’t even personally want to make but can stand back and admire those that do. Maybe it is something you think you will never be bothered to actually make but can admire the result of those that have.

 I would like to master the art of knitting toe-up socks with a traditional heel turn and heel flap, rather than the short-row heel.  I've tried short rows a couple of times, and never had much success with it.  In addition, I have farm-girl feet, with 'sturdy' ankles and very high insteps, and a short-row heel will almost always cause my socks to slip down into my shoes and bunch up at the ankles.

Friday, April 01, 2011

I am skipping the Day 5 subject. 
I missed my post yesterday.  A slow Internet connection in the morning, then an evening spent in a chat room with the daughter of a very ill friend kept me from it. Right now, my heart is very heavy because of the ill friend, but I'll try to catch up today.
Day Four: 31st March. Where are they now?
Whatever happened to your __________?
Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.

I've knit a lot of things, mostly socks, for a lot of people who live in a lot of different places. 
Socks for the following:
  • Meesh in NY state
  • Woody in Wisconsin, who is on his second pair now, since he wore out the first ones
  • A gi-normous pair that I sent to Rickey in Arkansas when it became obvious that they would be wayyyyyy too big for anyone else! 
  • John in Louisiana, whose socks are known as "The Show Socks" because his wife won't let him wear them and they languish in a drawer (they're 'too nice to wear'), only brought out to show to visitors = )
  • Jerry in Detroit
  • Ralph in South Carolina
  • Larry in Arizona, as a thank-you for the beautiful cutting boards he built as a housewarming gift for us
  • Ms. Nina in Alabama
  • Michelle, currently deployed with the U.S. Navy Reserves in Germany
  • Ross and Joyce in Indiana
  • Steve (Polecat) in Ohio
  • Baby socks for our grandson in Michigan and friends' grandkids in Indiana and Texas
  • Derek in New Jersey
  • Dave in Indiana 
  • Socks for the whole family of my friend Peggy, in Ohio...yes, I know there are lots more of you now, and you all need socks! = ) 
  • Jeannie in South Haven, Michigan
  • Lots and lots of socks for me, here in Michigan
Miscellaneous things:
  • A hat for Rick in OK
  • A hat for John in Louisiana (of 'Show Socks' fame) who was prevented from collecting it when his trip to visit us was sidelined by a Mardi Gras Parade Incident Resulting in An Injury... ;)
  • Hats and mittens for our granddaughters and grandsons (socks, too!)
  • Fingerless mitts for Linda in Ohio, my brother and his friend in Canada, and Michelle, with the Navy in Germany
  • A hat, for Jeffrey in Indiana
The most difficult for me now is these: 

They were designed and knit for the ill friend who is mentioned above.  He is a very good man who has done so many wonderful things for this world.  I once called him a superhero, and he said I should knit him some Flashing Red Superhero Socks.  I even figured out how to make them flash!
Then he found out that he was ill, and I didn't think that I would be able to finish them for him in time, so I changed the design.  The lightning bolts that were intended to run down the legs were moved to the soles of the feet, and the name of the pattern name changed to 'Mourning Becomes Electric'.  I think that I will wear them myself, in his honor and, eventually, in his memory. 
Lightning Soles
The sun should hide its face with grief when he passes.