A new way of looking at socks…

This is a small portion of the vast mountain of sock yarn at Embraceable Ewe

I have a new philosophy on hand knit socks. Previously, I collected all manner of beautiful yarns and dreamed up gorgeous lace patterns to go with said beautiful yarns or found amazing patterns on the web. Thank you Cookie A, Ann Hanson, Nancy Bush and Charlene Schurch, to name a few.

But here’s the thing…while all these patterns and yarns are amazing they are not being knit by me. And we have 3 feet of snow on the ground. So right now I just want socks, mindless, vanilla socks. You know the kind, you cast on 64 stitches, work a little rib, some stockinette, get a little thrill turning a heel, cruise on down to the toe and Wam, Bam, Thank you, you have a pair of socks.

I have too many deadlines and gotta have done knitting to indulge in beautiful sock production. My kids have drawers full of all my intricate lace work. Me, I just want to be warm the rest of the winter. So for the immediate future this is what my socks will look like…pretty yarn, boring pattern, but oh so warm.

That is all.

Where’s it Gonna Go????

We already have this much snow on the ground…

 and they are calling for up to 24 more inches of the white stuff, tell me where is it going to go? We don’t have any more room to push it in to piles, the deck looks like it will collapse at any moment, the dog doesn’t have  a clue where to go. I hear they could use it in Vancouver though.

Just for scale I thought Duncan could give you an idea of what DH has to deal with. He hasn’t even cleaned the driveway today and already there is about 4″.

 School is going to June 14th according to the updated calendar we approved at a school board meeting last night. Poor kids, bet they never pray for snow again.

On an up note I have finished knitting the Vancouver sweater now there will be steek cutting and button bands, sewing and blocking before the final reveal.

Back to work…

Snowmageddon 2010

I know I have been ignoring the blog, but Facebook and Ravelry are so absorbing. I will try to be better. I have been told by one of my two readers to get a post up, so here goes…

Western Pa has definitely been slammed with the same snowmageddon that is hitting the rest of the mid-Atlantic.

I don’t think we will be dining on the deck anytime soon.

Or grilling for that matter. Funny thing is, DH grilled a hamburger on this very grill just last Friday… before the snow arrived.

While walking out to feed the chickens today Duncan decided he couldn’t be more than 6 inches behind me. This is all well and good when we are just walking, not so great when we are trudging through thigh high snow. He went down while I brought my foot up and off came my boot, to be buried in the 2 1/2 feet of virgin snow. The chickens are in a part of the garden that doesn’t see the plow so the snow is very deep and fluffy. Needless to say my boot was lost in the abyss. So now I am down on my hands knees searching for the the blasted boot. Duncan thinks mom is playing a wonderful new game and wants to help. Pouncing, pouncing, pouncing is fun, mom. Found the boot and of course it is full of snow. Bang the boot on the feed bucket and try to squeeze my snow encased foot into the boot. Thank goodness for handknit wool socks. My foot never got cold or even a little wet. Got to make me some more of these socks.

In the build up to the Olympics I got the hair brained idea to knit myself the Norwegian Ski Team’s Olympic sweater before the Vancouver games begin. So I could wear it for the opening ceremonies. Crazy, I know…

I didn’t want to use the Dale yarn so I have substituted some gorgeous Rauma Finnulgarn in colors that are close to the original.

The body is finished and the sleeves are almost ready for the color work. Doesn’t look like I will be making the opening ceremonies but I hope to be wearing this little gem during the games. I also made it a cardigan. Finding cardigans more to my liking these days. So will have to think about how I would like the front bands to look. Maybe some more X’s and O’s.

I will be demonstrating crochet steeks and cutting your steeks at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival this Saturday. I thought I would leave the neck steek closed until the festival. It is short and will be easy to crochet and then cut open on an actual sweater. I have also been knitting lots of plain swatches for attendees to crochet and cut on their own.

Not too thrilled with how uneven the stitches are on this sweater. The color work is OK but the plain stockinette looks for yuck. I am hopeful a trip through some warm water will make the yarn bloom and all will be right with the world.

I have a long queue of knitting to start but have some secret knitting that has priority right now, so the knitting will be a little spotty for a while.
Hope there won’t be anymore snow pictures to share either.
If you are in the Pittsburgh area and can dig yourself out try to make it to the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival. I will be near the Knit One booth on Saturday afternoon. Stop by and say hi.

Back in the Saddle , Again

Welcome to our winter wonderland.

This is the view from my front door today,

a bit different than this one.

And this is the walk to our field

perhaps you remember this view.
I am such an idiot. The new Mac completely kicked my butt. You may have noticed the almost complete lack of photos in my posts recently. This is because I hit a button on Finder in my MacBook and couldn’t find (no, the irony is not lost on me) my photos to download. But all is forgiven and we are back where we started. So there should be much more knitting content. There has been knitting and traveling and snow.
So let’s see what else I can find to show you….
Here we have a sweater I originally knit for the hubby but he decided it was a little too Mr. Rogers, voila, a Christmas gift for his dad. Shhh, don’t tell Dad I didn’t have him in mind while I was knitting it. He loved it and was touched I took the time. He received lots of compliments at church, so it’s all good. Oh, this also dovetails with the fact that this lovely man graduated with the real Mr. Rogers. He is one of the sweetest men on the planet so it must have been quite a kind class of students. And yes, I did win the family sweepstakes when I married into this family.

 A hat designed to teach cabling to novice knitters. Terrible picture but you get the idea. Nashua “Julia”, love this yarn, wicked soft.
The little world traveler has flown the coop again. Ask where she is now, go ahead ask. Let’s just say she can see Antarctica from her porch. She is in southern Chile for the month of January. And “south” is really almost as south as you can go on this planet. She is south of the Straits of Magellan, you know where they used to take ships into the Pacific from the Atlantic before they built the Panama Canal. I think that counts as south.

She is working at a biosphere, writing identifying documents for the plant life at said biosphere. She could explain it so much more eloquently, but I think that’s the gist of it. She is also following in the footsteps of Darwin, pretty heady stuff for a biologist. I will share the pictures as soon as she shares with me. I hear they are worth waiting for. She begins student teaching the day after she returns from the end of the world, ah to be young and so energetic.

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Do Over

I have tried for a week to get this baby to download. With a little help from an editor at Vogue Knitting (thanks Renee) we have launch.

Today is my birthday and this is what I received in the mail. Life is full of serendipity, don’t you think?

I just wanted to share how proud I am of this little gem. And the added coolness that they used another shot for the background of the Table of Contents.

This has been an amazing experience, thank you everyone at Vogue Knitting.

This is a very detailed Fair Isle sweater (perhaps I shouldn’t share that the original name for this was “Chicken Feathers” and was inspired by some crazy chicken buttons I found at Maryland Sheep & Wool years ago, does not seem very Vogue-like), with steeks at the front, the armhole openings, the neck opening, and the sleeve caps. It sounds very difficult, but once you have cut one steek each succeeding steek is sooo much easier, so why not knit a sweater that will give you ooodles of practice??? The actual stranded colorwork couldn’t be easier, a nice tiny repeat, no big long carries to worry about and only 9 colors, I think, I don’t have the pattern right here. So give it a go, you’ll like it.

Alpaca Anyone??

The baby daughter is spending the month of January at the very southern tip of Chile. Skyped with her yesterday and she happened to model the most beautiful alpaca stranded sweaters she had just purchased. She said she only paid $12 for one and $15 for the other. Why, oh why, didn’t I send her down there with more empty suitcases? She also promised a little something for me and I think it might be in the raw sweater state so now I am even more anxious for her return.

She is having a blast so I don’t want to rush her home, but, oh man, the sweaters!!!

What are you knitting for the new year? I started a pair of baby blue Koigu socks for a friend who is fighting thyroid cancer. Just a plain Jane vanilla pattern so I can read while knitting. I am also knitting a little present for someone but can’t share just yet. That only has one more front to knit and it will be finito.

Then back to the endless swatches. I have been failing at swatching lately. I guess you can’t really fail at swatching as that is the nature of the beast. To try out ideas and see if they work. But wouldn’t it be nice if one in 5 swatches worked the way I thought they would? It is a tad frustrating to spend 2 hours knitting a little ditty and then realize it is not doing what you thought it would in your head. What’s up with that. I think I have lost my swatching Mojo.

Well, here’s to wishing everyone a Happy knitting, gardening and whatever your pleasure New Year.

41 Days, Really?

OK, so while reading Lolly’s blog I noticed she said there only 41 days until The Winter Olympics in Vancouver. And earlier in the day while watching the Ohio State/ Oregon football game I wondered what the new Norwegian ski team sweater for the 2010 Olympic games looked like…I am not an Ohio State fan, but we were entertaining good friends who are big fans. SO the game was n and the lady folks got a little distracted  Oh, and Ohio quarterback, Tyrell Pryor, is a local boy.

After a little searching I found this

and of course the next logical thought was Oh, I should totally make that before the Olympics so that I can wear it for the Olympics (not to attend the actual Olympics, mind you, but to sit in my living room watching the actual Olympics). OK, maybe not so logical, prudent or even possible but it seemed like a good idea at the time. It should be a super quick Nowegian knit. Mostly stockinette in the round with a little interest near the top and I love me a shawl collar. So anyone else up for this little challenge?

I have a couple of secret projects I want to finish up in the next few days but then I will be charting and casting on as soon as possible. Ah, the yarn possibilities, one of the best things about a new project. I don’t have a local source for Dale so will have to substitute something warm and wooly with just the right shade of icy blue. Any ideas?

I am thinking this would be a fun Ravelry KAL…anyone, anyone, Bueller, Bueller??

Living Large

This is what a pizza delivery guy told DH and I one night after we had spent the day weeding, mowing, mucking chicken coops and all the other joys that come with living in the country and were too tired to cook dinner. We both looked at each other, thanked him and agreed. We were living large. Now I feel even larger. Thank you Vogue Knitting.

So, instead of the swatching I should be doing….I want to share this.

You may remember it from this stage.

Needless to say, I am very excited. It is in the newest issue of Vogue Knitting which just hit my mailbox this morning.

I have been having a nightmare of a time trying to get the official page to upload to blogger so this is the best I can do right now.

Here is hoping you all had a lovely holiday and wishing you a Happy New Year.

Let the Merry Begin

Baby bird is home and the other little bird will soon be winging her way north and then the merry can truly begin.

The packages are wrapped and the house is decorated. The cookies will be baked and the cards will soon be sent. Now I just have some last minute gift knitting and sewing. I never thought I would be at this point so soon, so the merry really can begin.

Happy Holidays Everyone.


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