Here be Socktoberfest progress.

Published on Friday October 21st, 2005

Feather-and-fan socks in Mountain Colors Bearfoot for me mum’s Christmas present: one complete; one tenth of second done been knat.

Retro rib socks in Claudia Handpainted: four inches and counting.

It took me a while to find a good pattern for the Claudia sock yarn. As you can see on Lisa’s page, the browns and blues want to spiral around each other like a barber pole. I had intended to make Ann Budd’s Diagonal Rib socks from Interweave, but the right-slanting diagonal rib combined with the left-spiraling stripes was pretty awful. I tried a few basic rib patterns, but I really wasn’t digging the spiral that much at all. Finally, I tried Retro Rib, thinking the many purl stitches might help break up the striping. Viola! A nearly perfect blend of blue and brown. Huzzah!

Gift bag goodness

Published on Monday September 26th, 2005

As promised, a shot of my haul from yesterday’s cruise. Fall ’05 Vogue Knitting: check. Coupon for 10% off at The Point next month: check. Cascade 220 in a beautiful heathered red, Gedifra Stripes in citrus, Manetto Hill Fiero in blues and greens, and a shameless little tease of ArtYarns supermerino in a colorway I think is #137: check. (The ArtYarns thing is killing me – I’m in love with the color, which is shades of pinky browns, but this is definitely not enough yarn to make anything. Obviously I’m just going to have to buy more, but where to find it? Let the odyssey begin…)

Observe also the old-fashioned zinnias I picked out at the farmers’ market yesterday. They were a little token of affection for my husband, who completed his triathlon in a personal record time of 2 hours and 21 minutes. Way to go, honey! Anyway, I’ve always vaguely liked zinnias, but the big showy modern varietals aren’t something I can imagine growing myself. These adorable little zinnia buttons, however, have completely charmed me. I’m making room in my fantasy garden for a lovely big bed of them next to my fantasy house.

I also promised a picture that would show the colors of the sock.

In Firefox, these are skewing to red and yellow more than is accurate. Imagine the greens as grass shading to deep turquoise, with more rich blues shading to darkest navy. The purples are deeper, too. (My camera doesn’t handle greens and blues as well as I could wish.) In IE, it’s all going to show up really dark. Whatever. It’s a beautiful sock, and you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Not just any Sunday…

Published on Sunday September 25th, 2005

It was a red letter day for knitters throughout the five boroughs: the day of The Point’s knitting cruise in celebration of the third anniversary of, and of The Point’s own magical goodness. The day didn’t start out too well for me. You know those mornings when you wake up vaguely aware that the cat has been making some pretty enthusiastic scuffling noises in the other room, but you’re still too deep in your state of lassitude to climb out of bed to see what he’s doing, so you just sort of hope he’s playing with his toy mouse before you roll over and go back to sleep? Yeah…

This picture really doesn’t capture even one tenth of the destruction that met my eyes when I finally did stumble out of bed. It seems that ultimately I have the spirit of a craftswoman and not that of a journalist. The first frenzied thought through my brain was “Repair! Repair!” and not “Document!” So I crawled around under the furniture rewinding my ball and picking cat hair out of the malabrigo and swearing before I realized I ought to take a picture. Actually, I may have the spirit of a vigilante – my very first thought was to find the son-of-a-mangey-monkey who dun this and give him an earful. And since I didn’t exactly have to send out a dragnet to round up suspects, that’s exactly what I did. (How did I come to leave my Clapotis lying about in such slatternly fashion that the ball of working yarn was available for this rumpus? Well, I left it on top of the laundry hamper where the cat never goes…and the darling hubby, being so darling and all, was trying not to wake me up when he left for his triathlon at 5 a.m. and may possibly have pulled his shorts out from under it a little indiscriminately, and since the darling hadn’t turned the light on he didn’t see that he’d released my precious ball of yarn down into Cat Territory…) Anyway, everyone is forgiven. We have nursery rhymes hundreds of years old that tell us what happens when you mix cats and yarn. This cautionary information is of such importance that generations of future knitters have learned it before they’re old enough to talk. Although my pet theory is that Mingus was reading over my shoulder the other day when I wrote to Lee Ann that he was good about leaving yarn alone, and he thought his bad-azz reputation might be slipping…

The omens didn’t get any better when I went to the flea market (Sundays the farmers bring their fresh produce, so I scored some tasty fruits and vegetables for the week) and the woman who sells the #5 green aluminum knitting needles wasn’t there. Her booth was just empty…I can only hope she was just on vacation and she’ll reappear next week!

But despite the signs, the cruise itself was delightful. I’m not sure how many people were there – seventy-five perhaps? It was a big bunch of happy floating knitters, and the breeze was cool enough on the river that we actually needed the knitwear we wanted to show off. I wore Lara, and she received many compliments. Goddess Amy of fame took a picture of her and everything! And I worked on my mother’s feather-and-fan sock, which is nearly ready for a heel flap. You’ll have to visit other New York bloggers for good cruise pictures, as my little PowerShot S110 is proving itself to be sadly outdated, particularly in conditions with backlight. But here’s proof that the sock saw the statue of Liberty:

And no, the sock isn’t black. It’s Mountain Colors Bearfoot in colorway “meadow”, which is a rich mix of greens, blues and purples that my mom picked out herself. I’ll try to get a picture of it tomorrow when the light is good, since I also need to photograph my fab gift bag haul. Here are some happy Spiders (even poor Lisa, who was kind of seasick, is feeling better here as we pull back up to the pier) anticipating the gift bags:

A big thank-you to Amy, Helane, John, Sandy, and the rest of the teams at The Point and for this terrific afternoon!

That’s art, yo.

Published on Saturday September 10th, 2005

Behold the finished Feather-and-Fan socks, cavorting in the sculpture garden at the Museum of Modern Art. The socks really wanted their picture taken with their favorite Calder stabile, but there were a ton of tourists seated all around it and the looks they were giving me were funny enough from across the pool. So the socks got to leer at this lovely and forbearing Nude instead. Then they demanded their own picture.

Because these little puppies are Art all by themselves. They’d like to thank Lorna for the excellent Shepherd Sock in “Sand Ridge”, and the clever knitter who first realized that the Old Shale pattern would make a sweet pair of socks. I didn’t actually follow the famous Socks, Socks, Socks pattern because I don’t have the book. I pretty much just looked at other bloggers’ photos of them and winged it. I may have even invented my own sort of heel flap. I think I shall call it the Twisted Mistake Reverse-Stranded Slip Stitch Heel. I’m owning the errors, by gum. Anyhow, I’m pleased as punch with these little beauties. Good thing, too, because I’m making a pair for my mother with some tasty Mountain Colors she picked out next.

In addition to a finished pair of socks, I have a small knitting eureka moment to show for this week: entrelac. Turns out it’s much easier, and much more fun, than I could have guessed. How do I know this? It’s all thanks to my pal John. John is my dealer at the LYS. He’s also the generous kind of fellow who will encourage you to plonk yourself down at his spinning wheel or pick up his latest WPO and try a few rows to get a feel for the latest crack he’s pushing. I get to take credit for introducing John to the joys of Malabrigo, but he’s the one who let me knit up a little of his haul on Thursday night so I could get a taste of the entrelac blanket he’s making. It’s not as complicated as it looks, and it’s a totally good time, especially when you’re using soooooooft Malabrigo that looks like leopard print. Huzzah for entrelac! There may even be some in my own knitting future. But not until after Christmas. Must. Not. Start. Any. More. Projects.