Groundhog Day Knitting

These started as my “must use up the cashmere” project. By the time I reached the first toe, though, I’d taken to calling them my Very Hungry Cashmere socks since the colors reminded me so much of Carle’s caterpillar.

Yarn:  Pattern:
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts purple label (Painting Jeans, Squash & Autumn Sunset)
Pattern: Yarn Harlot’s Sock Recipe

I’m smitten with them — even more so than I’d thought. I was about two pattern repeats into my Happy Street shawl when it occurred to me that something about it looked familiar…

groundhog dayWorse yet? I was catching up on FO shots this weekend and realized that I’d knit three projects in a row with blue, gold, and burgundy stripes. Here are my Follow the Yellow Brick Road socks, started during Izzy’s rehearsals for The Wizard of Oz.

Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Solemate (Legen…wait for it..dary)
Pattern: Yarn Harlot’s Sock Recipe …again

I’d like to think I know it when I’m in a rut…

Quilting Is a Family Affair

Izzy had so much fun with her birthday and Christmas sewing classes at Crafty Planet that I was inspired to return the favor to Auntie Karen. The three of us took a private Freeform Quilting Pillow class for Karen’s birthday. It was a blast.

No surprise, Izzy was a pro and finished her quilted front, made a pieced back, and sewed up three sides of the pillow so she just had to insert a pillow form when we got home.

izzy's pillowKaren finished her quilted front, bought fabric for the back, and finished up her pillow at home that night, too.

karen pillowAnd then there was me… I finished the quilted front and bought backing fabric. But when I got home, I realized that while I love an acid green, I don’t have that color in my bedroom. You’d think I’d remember that.

first pillowSo back I went last weekend to buy some more fabric. Today, I made version 2 at home and the timing was perfect. There’s spring in the air. What better way to celebrate the end of winter than to retire the flannel sheets, put on cotton bedding, and top it off with a new floral pillow?

pillow2BTW, this sewing thing? It could get addictive.

Thoughts on Winter…in April

I’m blessed to work with some funny & clever people. Always a good thing but especially helpful when it’s April 2nd and another round of “icy mix followed by plowable snow” is headed your way. (Yep, any and all motivation to leave the house is much needed.)

And just to be clear: I had nothing to do with creating this video — despite the fact that it features knitting, ice skating, and a dog in a sweater that looks an awful lot like Violet.

Avoiding Second Sock Syndrome

In response to my last post, Jane asked how I combat second sock syndrome. It’s a good question and one that I’m hoping will generate some discussion. Here’s the answer I gave her:

I’ve found I’m happiest when I’ve got two different pairs on the go at once — when I finish the first sock for pair A, I start a new pair. Then when I finish the first sock for pair B, I cast on the second sock for pair A, which I now want to finish so I can cast on pair C.

It’s my personal wooly version of Pavlov’s dog since I only own two pairs of 2.5mm small circulars. Plus, I always have two flavors of knitting to pick up depending on my mood — “challenging” (new pair) and comfort (second sock).

But I’d really love to hear other tips and tricks for dealing with this all-too-common malady. So I ask, “How do YOU combat SSS?”

Sock Anniversary

Given that I finished my first-ever pair of socks a year ago today, I’m as surprised as anyone by my new-found love affair. Yet, a passionate affair it is.

Evidence: a half-dozen socks that have left my needles since December’s Canyon Flower Socks.

sock madness2
Clockwise from upper left: Vintage Office Socks, Lichen Socks, Scrappy Solidagos, Painting Primavera, Ribbed Submarines, and Fresh Hickory.

And, my dear friends, I have a few more finished pairs waiting to be blogged. Yep, I’m in deep. And I’m not even going to try to blame this winter. There’s just something so satisfying right now about playing with color and texture on a small canvas — feeds my creativity AND my need for completion.


Let’s Just Pretend Winter Is Over, Shall We?

Can’t hurt, right? Maybe that Polar Vortex will realize it smells like three-day-old fish and just move along  now that we’re on the other side of the equinox.

You could say I jump-started my spring cleaning with this blog. A refresh and move were long overdue. I’ve swept up many of the loose pixels on old posts… Please forgive the rest you find lingering in the corners.

While I’m not so foolhardy as to actually box up the knitwear, I’d like to put my winter FOs into a tidy pile here.

First up, my Frosty Fiddleheads. Taking the time to add the lining was worth every second.

Pattern: Fiddlehead Mittens by Adrian Bizilia  Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts DK (Lucky Penny & Charcoal), lined with Frost in fingering
Pattern: Fiddlehead Mittens by Adrian Bizilia
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts DK in Lucky Penny & Charcoal, lined with Frost in fingering

Next we have my Ravellenics project, the Hat Halfpipe: Ogiku. Here’s how the photo shoot played out, in case this series isn’t clear. Izzy grabbed Lily to help her model. The predictably jealous loyal Violet decided to join in. No surprise who won the “battle of the pets.”

Pattern: Ogiku by Sarah Mombert  Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Cosmic label in Atlantic & Natural
Pattern: Ogiku by Sarah Mombert
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Cosmic label in Atlantic & Natural

And last, but not least, the infinity cowl and fingerless mitts I made my mother for Christmas. While she was excited to receive them, know that this shot if more about what a good sport she is.

Patterns:  Cafe au Lait Mitts by Paula McKeever & Honey Cowl by Antonia Shankland  Yarn:  Malabrigo Silky Merino in Jupiter
Cafe au Lait Mitts by Paula McKeever
& Honey Cowl by Antonia Shankland
Malabrigo Silky Merino in Jupiter

FO: Canyon Flower Socks

Consider the subtitle to this post “Ode to Elizabeth Bishop.” Or maybe just “One Art: Part 1.” The hardest part about moving cross country is that there’s always people and places left behind. Let’s just say I was especially missing the splendid colors of a New Mexico sunset when I knit these socks for the TFA Holiday KAL.

canyon flower 1
Pattern: Fair Isle Flower Sock by Candice DeWitt
Yarn: TFA Blue Label OOAKs (Canyon & Blue Iris)

They’ve been finished for nearly two weeks now and even worn and laundered. Just took awhile to document them here. Slowed, no doubt, by my scramble to finish up a pair of KAL mitts by this Friday and some covert holiday knitting.

Don’t get me wrong: Minnesota is home and always will be… Yet, January is sure to be good sock knitting weather and I have a pair of Maryland socks in mind. Albuquerque and Baltimore — two lovely cities.