Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Crafting Friends, Great Conversation and Food

While at the doctor's office recently, a couple walked in and sat down across from me. The woman pulled out a pair of socks and started knitting. Of course, that was an opener for a conversation.

I mentioned that I had just purchased a spinning wheel that week and was not doing well. Her response was, "Oh, please come and visit and I'll help you. I'll even feed you lunch!" So I took her up on her offer and went to visit last Saturday.

Sue lives about 50 miles away. The drive is through beautiful lush, velvet greet farmland. When I arrived I was in awe. Sue has a 17 room house with 5 fireplaces. Every room is filled with crafts, whether it be quilts, rugs, cross stitch, hand-made baskets, etc. There are many, many knitting antiques such as a "Pop Goes The Weasel" yarn winder. (I hope I have that correctly.) Sue invited another friend, Candy to join us. We had a wonderful lunch and then spent the afternoon spinning and enjoying great conversation. I must tell you that Sue is the town historian so there was a lot of interesting information to be shared.

Sue helped me with my spinning and plying and was most encouraging (as have some of my blogging friends!) I spun more when I returned home and this is the results. Getting better at it all the time!
Don't have a niddy noddy or any of those gadgets yet to wind my skein properly.

The visit I had with Sue and Candy was exactly what I needed. Sue has invited me to return and I look forward to it.

You see, I have been taking bridge lessons and those folks can be downright nasty if you don't play correctly. It's as if the mortgage is on the line for crying out loud. Because bridge really is no longer fun and I really value what free time I have, it will be spent with crafting friends. There are two spinning groups that I am joining. One meets all day, one Saturday per month and has a pot luck dinner. The other meets one Thursday evening per month.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ocean Wave Socks

Note: I should have mentioned earlier that yes, you do cast on with circulars and that you can use dp's but it is much more difficult to knit that first row. I switched to dp's as the pattern is an exact repeat of 4 so having 4 dp's to knit with quickly alerted me if I had the incorrect # of stitches.

As for the Cinderella comment, someone asked me about it. I was referring to the prince looking for someone that the shoe would fit and I was going to have to look for someone for the sock to fit if I didn't frog back.

Looking for Cinderella........you'll see why as you read on.

This Oceanwave Sock by Cat Bordhi was extremely interesting and fun to knit.. The sock uses "Judy's Magic Cast On". You cast onto two circular needles in a figure eight method twice the number of stitches you would normally need. You are knitting down with one needle and up with the other. After about 6 rows you fold your knitting in half and K2Tog (ending with your usual # of stitches) and proceed knitting the leg.

The sock widens with increases as you near the instep and heel.

You never have to pick up a stitch along the heel. I love the design! Notice how the Sl1, K1 is carried from the heel to under the foot.

The design down the front of the leg.

The decreases are meant to hug the arch of the foot.
And........in the end, I decided the heck with Cinderella, that I will frog back to above the heel. The sock does not fit in spite of the fact that there are the same # of stitches, same needles and same weight yarn.

Tomorrow, I will tell you about the great craft weekend I had....totally amazing.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Gadgets!!! Don't You Just Love Them!!

If you were reading my Yahoo 360 blog last year, you probably recognize this picture. I was threading beads onto the yarn to knit a shawl. I used nail polish on the end of the yarn to facillitate the threading. Scroll further to see the gadget I can now use instead.

"Ice Queen" pattern has been one that I have wanted to knit for quite some time. It is a cowl, a head scarf and more using the feather and fan pattern. However, the thought of stringing beads was not a welcoming thought. I have this beautiful apricot and beige lace weight yarn of alpaca and silk. Today I decided to prepare the yarn for my project using the following:

It's a bead spinner. A fish hook type needle designed especially to accommodate yarn threading (or other fiber) is suspended into this container as you spin it. The beads catch on the hook and voila!!...you can easily thread your yarn.
In this picture you can see some of the beads on the needle and a small piece of the yarn that is already threaded through the bead needle. The cost for this gadget was $20 but I only paid $11.99 with my 40% off coupon at Michael's. It's also a sales tax-free weekend in Vermont so $11.99 it was!

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Dr. Weissgold Socks - Finished

A few posts back, I told you I knitted these socks and called them Dr. Weissgold because I started knitting them while waiting for my appointment for the eye issue I had. I return for my check-up on Tuesday and I'm hoping for the best.

The real name of this pattern is "Blueberry Waffle". If you want the free pattern, let me know and I'll send you the link.

If he Googles himself, won't he be surprised to see these socks pop up. Last time I tried it, I was the 3rd link...lol.
It was a great week to be on vacation. For the most part, the weather was absolutely wonderful. I spent a fair amount of time by the lake with my knitting. I started a new pair of socks from Cat Bordhi's book and am quite pleased with how they are coming out. If you are in the doldrums with your knitting, try one of her patterns. A little challenging but truly amazing how her mathematical mind works.

Someone is interested in having me teach sock knitting classes this fall. I have to come up with an hourly $$$ (including prep time). There will be 6-8 students, 2hrs. each class for 4 weeks. Not sure how much to charge as I don't want to not have enough folks interested because of the price. I have to come up with the details by the end of the week. Any suggestions?

On the spinning front....some days are good, others not so good. I'm still familiarizing myself with my new wheel :>)

Happy Knitting!