Dipping My Toes Back In…

I guess it’s not a secret that I’ve been in a slump. It would be easy to say that I’ve been extra busy at work, not sleeping well so exhausted, and extra busy with the kids. All of these things are very true. But, when I look at the sum total of my knitting that has taken place over the last month (or rather, what hasn’t taken place), it’s probably more safe to say that I have slumped below slump. I’ve knit maybe half a dozen rows on the body of a small toy, and crept along on a simple hat until I dropped some stitches three weeks ago and haven’t touched it since.

Is it enough to say that I’m bored? Nah. But that would be true, too. Nevermind that I’ve got at least half a dozen active UFOs, and a practically uncountable pile of stagnant ones. How can I possibly be bored? Sigh… I don’t know… but, I am.

So, to do something completely different, I am going to make socks. Yes, that’s right, I said socks. I’ve never done more than a pair of baggy worsted weight socks for practice, just so I could see how they’re made. But I have a bin full of sock yarn crying out to have something done with it. My excuse was that I don’t wear socks. I wear a brace on my legs that is very form fitting and I had always assumed that I could not wear socks with them. So, I’ve worn nothing but hose for the last 13 years. But a few weeks ago I got some new braces, and guess what? They’re actually more comfortable with socks. Who knew? Now I get to share the joy of sock knitting, if I ever get to truly experience it, AND wear the fruits of my labor.

purple and pink yarn being balled up

purple and pink yarn being balled up

So I found a hank of Lisa Souza Sock! Merino in the Berry Poppins colorway. It’s a yummy, pinky-purple that I think if I had to choose, is the best choice for my first pair of actual socks.

Now, of course, comes the hard part: choosing a pattern. I want to do toe-up, and it needs to be something with a relatively short stitch repeat so I can adjust to my odd foot size easily enough. (I love the Monkey Socks pattern, for example, but with a 16-stitch repeat it’s either too large or too small for me.) The pattern has to be easy enough for a novice like me, but not too boring, because we all know what happens when I get bored. Someone has suggested Leyburn Socks (link to free pattern pdf file) and others have endorsed anything by WendyKnits (Yes, I agree that her patterns are totally awesome.). With so many patterns to choose from, I’m going to take a couple days to decide. It’s going to take me that long to ball up Lisa Souza’s yarn anyway; as pretty as her hanks are, and oh, I love them so much that I have a lot of them), I have not mastered a method of placing her hanks on my swift in such a way that at some point they don’t just end up a knotted mess as the strands get pulled off. It’s yarn barf, every time, but worth it in the end.

The other thing I’m doing to help myself get over the blues? Some long overdue knitting time with my knit buddy Rhoda. She’s coming on Saturday, and I’m already mulling over some possible movie choices for us. I’m looking so forward to it! Hopefully all this will give me some renewed energy for knitting. Goodness knows that I’m generally happier when I knit regularly, so I just need to keep reminding myself of that. Knitting=happiness. It should be as simple as that.

Knitting slump? Over. Starting now.

New Yarn Smells Like Easter Eggs

Lisa Souza Superfine Merino

Lisa Souza Superfine Merino

Ah, I just love that new yarn smell! You know, that pleasant whiff of vinegar you get when you open a freshly dyed box of yarn? I guess given that it’s springtime it hit me — new yarn smells like Easter eggs. My daughter wrinkles her nose when the aroma of my “stinky” (her assessment) yarn crosses her path, but me, I love the scent and I just want to drink it in. It’s funny how I can link something I love so much now (new yarn — squee!) with something I loved so much as a kid (dyeing eggs). We don’t dye eggs in this house. I’m the only one who would eat them and there’s no way I could eat that many. And I refuse to waste food on account of art’s sake. Am I depriving my kids of the pleasure? I don’t know… now that I look at the world through my mom-colored glasses, it seems to me that the whole egg-dyeing thing would be lost on them and not worth it. Sigh…

Anyway, back to the yarn! It’s Lisa Souza Superwash Merino in the colorway, Wild Things, which I’ve heard is inspired by the artwork in the classic Maurice Sendak story, Where the Wild Things Are. I just love the yummy blues and purples with the splash of earthy greens and browns here and there. Lisa is a real artist and I can thank some of my enabling yarny friends for leading me to her a few years ago.

I’m pretty sure this yarn is destined to be another February Lady sweater someday. I’m probably going to change up the lace pattern when I do it in this color, and maybe make something that looks a little like dragon skin. How cool would that be? But I’m getting ahead of myself again… you know I’m only about 2 inches into the yoke on my current February Lady. But I’m always planning ahead like that. I keep telling myself it’s so when I’m old and retired I’ll have enough yarn to play with for the rest of my life. I think that’s the Yarn Harlot’s rationalization anyway, and I like it. It works for me.

Ok, I’m off to take in a few more yarn fumes, then to bed. Didn’t sleep well last night. Hoping for better luck this time. Ciao!

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Flame Chevron Pattern up close

Time to ‘fess up! You know how I’ve been going on and on about my rainbow baby blanket for months and months? Well, I’ve been cheating. You see, the blanket is so big now that it’s not really a carry-along project anymore. So I’ve been carrying along the beginnings of a wide lace scarf done in the Flame Chevron stitch pattern by Barbara Walker. I did carry this very same ball of yarn around in Disney in August, and I did start to knit this project then, but I had many false starts before finally getting the hang of it. It’s going well now, except that I am finding knitting on this project to be something of a guilty pleasure. I know I should be finishing the baby blanket, and to be honest I don’t know why it’s not finished yet! I have completely lost my mojo with that blanket and I only have about three rows left. (Oh yeah, it’s the finishing. I almost forgot.)

The scarf/stole is knit with Lisa Souza’s Sock! Merino in the Emerald City colorway. Have I ever mentioned how much I l-o-o-o-o-v-e this yarn? Berry Pwetty!

Twisted Sisters


This week I have received the book, The Twisted Sisters Knit Sweaters: A Knit-to-Fit Workshop, by Lynne Vogel. What a concept! The concept is that with a little figuring and knowing your gauge, you can plan and knit your sweaters so that they always fit. There is a a lengthy section on gauge and measurements, and a worksheet is included where you can copy it, then write down all of the needed measurements and calculations. Then there is a schematic for every design so you really can see how the project comes together as it is knit. It explains various neckline options and sleeve options. It looks like a really cool workshop that can really help one go to the next level of knitting an idea instead of a pattern.

The only drawback? I find that I don’t really like the designs in this book. But, it is chock full of enough information that I should be able to take the info they give and run with it. Someday, that is, if I ever knit a sweater. I’m still chicken. Wish me luck.

Oh, My… YYYYYYYYYummmmmmy!

Lookie what I got in my mail today:

Lisa Souza sock yarn in green colorway

After weeks of listening to Lime and Violet go on and on about Lisa Souza and how wonderful her yarns are (Did I know this? Yes I did but I had resisted temptation until now…) I bought SEVEN hanks of her Sock! Merino yarn. Why, you ask? Well, the usual reasons that most people say, I guess… they were ALL so pretty, that I couldn’t narrow it down! Yikes!

This color is called “Emerald City,” and I have it in mind for a stole for a friend. About three years ago, I started a poncho for her, and it is my most embarrassing UFO to date. Hopefully something knitted up in this greeny beauty will make up for my transgression.

two hanks of yarn in purple and raspberry colorway

Then there is this beauty, called “Berry Poppins.” Of course, the purples spoke to me! Maybe it is with this yarn that I will finally break the sock barrier (more like a mental block) and learn to knit toe up on magic loop.

Hank of yarn in lime, white and dark purple

Of course I couldn’t go without a hank in the “Lime and Violet” colorway. It was, after all, their doing that pushed me over the edge. I think it will make a cool, funky scarf to go with my purple leather jacket (the one that matches exactly the Jordana Paige bag!).

yarn in deep purples, greens and rust and such

This one, called “Wild Things” is my favorite one of the bunch. I wouldn’t even know how to describe it, except that it calls to mind a forest at twilight. Moi, in the forest, you ask? Not hardly! But if I were to go in the forest, I do hope that this is what it would look like.

But alas, though I am in love with the new yarn, and now finally, understand why Lisa Souza is a goddess in my knitting community, I still have that rainbow stripey baby blanket going on. Soon, I must be done! The baby is about to be born! And then… ahhhhhhhhh…..