Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Snicket Socks


I took advantage of the morning light to try and take several pictures of my Snicket Socks.

Ironically enough, I had started off the day wearing commercial, boring brown socks, but after pulling these on to take the pictures and feeling how warm and squishy and wonderful they were on my February-chilled feet, I decided to wear them the whole day!

I rarely wear these shoes - they rub blisters something fierce - but I adore how handknit socks are shown off to their full potential by the shoe design and wee details! This is the picture where I'd say the sock yarn colour is the most accurate.

Pattern: Snicket Socks, designed by Sabine Riefler
: Magknits - September 2006
Materials: Sundara Sock Yarn in the 'Green Tea' colourway
Needles: 24" - US size 2/3.0 mm Addi Natura Circulars
Size: Woman's Medium - fits my size 9 foot like a dream

I did my own version of the heel. Many folks have done this, as the short-row
heel that the designer called for seems to be a love-it/hate-it sort of detail.

More of the same.
It was amazingly hard for me to take pictures of my own feet today!

That's about it from me today, I'm afraid. I finished my first May Day swap sock - but I've been pondering trying to get it published somewhere online (Knitty, Magknits, etc.) and one of the things that Knitty specifically requires is that the sock doesn't see the online light of day until after it's been shown in their published format - which totally nixes any chance of showing it to you guys! B-U-T...............Knitty's next deadline is - uh, Saturday, which means that I will most certainly not get the second sock knitted, get the pattern typed & formatted, and proper exciting, naturally-lit, feature-enhancing photos taken of the socks before then.

So that rules out Knitty, I guess. I checked Magknits, but their 'Submission' page unfortunately takes me right to their 'Advertising' page content - the web links seem to be all mixed up & the page content is snafu'd - so I'm not too sure when their next deadline is, either. I've sent a message to their editor - I'll see if I hear anything back.

Hmph. That's it for me. Back to work, I guess. My real job, that is - not knitting - more the pity.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hey, like - WOW

I'm published!

And it only took my turtle-slow backside - what - 8 + months to do it?

Susan's Screwy Sock pattern - now available via The Sanguine Gryphon Fiber Arts.

(Heck - why am I insulting turtles by comparing myself to them???????)

Funny to think that today - the day the pattern is up - I'm here at work with a handwritten, newly-designed sock pattern to type up. I guess they're like potato chips - once you start with just one..............

Friday, February 22, 2008

Rain, rain, go away!

It would actually be more accurate to say "cold and sleeting weather, go go go go go away!"

A week and a half ago it was so warm that we turned the heat off, opened the house up, and stayed that way for a full 24 hours. Since then we've had snow, rain, sleet, and temps in the 50s and teens. My little corner of the state is so temperamental!

As I really don't have any knitting progress to show you (I got all the way down the leg, turned the heel, and was decreasing for the gusset with my May Sock Swap sock, when I decided that I didn't like a design feature I had done waaaaaayyyy up towards the top and so ripped it out All The Way Back to the cuff. Gah!) Hopefully progress - and pictures - to come in a few days. As I was cold and chilled and tired of feeling that way, I bundled up in all the hand-knits I had in my office, trekked across the frozen campus, and went into the warmest place I could think of with my camera in tow.

Ta-Da! Presenting Kim's Greenhouse!

Streptocarpus before it is sheared & potted up in a hanging basket.

Once there I unwound and un-bundled myself, and played "Hide The Handknit." Now, granted, this isn't even a mild challenge for anyone looking at these pictures - but it was so lovely and warm in there, and so nice to be surrounded by GREEN that I did it anyway and enjoyed myself thoroughly.

Kim and her co-workers have a billion things tucked inside the campus greenhouse - seedlings, largeish trees, tender tropicals that are weathering the cold in pots during the winter - you name it. For someone with a deep and abiding love of Things That Grow, a visit to the greenhouse is always a very very good time.

Of course, every visit to the greenhouse makes me start thinking about how I could build my own greenhouse off the side of the house or the back of the garage. Hmph. Maybe a greenhouse off the back of the house & a fiber room off the back of the garage..........

So - one pair of Fetching fingerless gloves, one hat of my own pattern out of Gryphon's 'Traveller' yarn, and a Clapotis out of Noro's Silk Garden - all hanging out in the lovely humid heat. Just taking pictures in bright natural light was fun - such a change from the normal grey of these February days!

I'm home today with the Munchkin while our daycare provider takes a personal day - Munch is currently on the couch watching Elmo's World, a chicken is simmering on the stove waiting to be turned into soup, half a loaf of some raisin and currant-studded Irish Soda Bread is thawing on the counter from its original baking last month, and Peggers is on his way home early from work - probably sick with the flu. So it looks like I'll have a second man soon sprawled out on the couch - but I seriously doubt this one will be as thrilled with Elmo as the younger one is!

At least the soup will find a welcome home when it hits the dining room table later tonight.

(Edit: I just glanced over at the Munch. In the time it took me to type & upload the above, things have changed. He's not hanging on the couch watching Elmo, he's asleep on the couch not watching Elmo. Even better! N-A-P T-I-M-E!!!!!

Which means more knitting time for me! [Cackles evilly as she scurries off to snatch up her needles & knitting notes & burrow down with coffee and Harry Potter book on CD...]

2nd Edit: 2/3 of a lace repeat, and a pot of chicken vegetable soup later.....

Monday, February 18, 2008

Knitting Knitting Knitting Knitting Knitting

It's been busy over here! Quiet, I know - but busy.

I finished my Snicket socks. Hopefully maybe possibly I'll get a proper F.O. photo shoot in sometime soon - because they are simply too beautiful & lovely to let this over-exposed, badly-angled shot be their only representation.

I changed up the heel to suit myself.

I started a new pair of socks - a very soft (both in shade & texture) pewter grey Baby Ull superwash in a brioche rib for my dad, whose feet are always painfully cold. Hopefully some handknit socks in a nice squishy brioche'd wool will help to fix that.

My new Sundara yarn came in for my May Sock Swap & it is lovely. I wound it up right away and it now sits in a large, satisfying yarn cake in my knitting bag. Again - apologies for the excessive flash - tough to take naturally-lit pictures at 9 PM, you know?

The tiny yarn tail off to the right is probably the most accurate colour representation.

On the May Sock Swap front, I have been working on getting the ribbing right for the new socks. I thought I had it, and happily cast on with the above yarn and had 2 " of ribbing done and the first few rows of the lace panel insert, but then found out that I was wrong. Luckily, knitting with the Sundara yarn is so fun, I don't even mind ripping it out and starting again!

And in fun & exciting 'design news' - I'm working on a design for Gryphon with of her amazingly beautifully heavy Icelandic silk. A lovely, losely-spun single in the most gorgeous shades of fiery red and orange and even pink.

Here is a wee snippet of my swatch blocking over the weekend:

That's all for now folks! Life has been exceedingly hectic, and my work ethic has been - shall we say - not exactly up to par lately - so I'm trying to make up for that this week. So less posts from me for the next few days, but never fear - loads of knitting will continue on at home behind the scenes to be revealed at a later date.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

May Sock Swap

I was invited, by Emily, to participate in a May Sock Swap. As you can guess by my last post, my previous experience with a sock swap was such an overwhelmingly positive experience that I decided immediately to go ahead and jump right in.

I was paired up with my swap partner on Friday, and having visited her blog, am absolutely thrilled at my match-up luck. She's AMAZING - and will be so very much fun to knit for! She (hopefully this doesn't give anything away!) is xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. She just adores colour, too, which makes my job all that much more fun! (2/18/08 - Editors note: After I looked at Emily's May Sock Swap blog and saw that there are only a handful of folks participating, I realized that even my tiny little 'hint' up above would totally give the identify of my sock swap partner away - so I went back and censored myself to keep up the suspense!)

While the Munchkin watched some episodes this morning from Season 2 of the Muppet Show, I browsed through my half dozen or so stitch dictionaries until a certain "lovely 19th century pattern" featured in B. Walker's Second Treasury caught my eye. Then once I knew what pattern I was going to make, it was on to pick the yarn!

The pattern is a lace insert panel, so I didn't want a sock yarn too wildly coloured to distract from the detailed stitches - so I went straight to my tried & tested "semi-solid" source and snapped up a skein of Sundara's 'Grape over Grey Violet' - which should be PERFECT for the socks. I almost got the 'Toasted Orange over Pistachio' instead, but with some input from Peggers felt in the end that I should err on the more-purple and less-orangey-yellow side of things. So now I just get to swatch with some leftover Sundara to get the layout right, and then once the skein arrives I'll get right to work!

Unlike my usual all-knit, all-the-time inclination, I'm thinking of working the main body of the sock in reverse stockinette to make the lace insert panel pop out that much more. Dunno. Just a thought. We'll see how it looks in the trial runs.

Of course, all comments and thoughts from everyone out there will certainly be welcome!

Now I'm off to walk the Munchkin to the public library to get some new DVDs for his weekend viewing pleasure (he's only allowed to watch TV on Saturdays & Sundays - a good way for us to keep our sanity!) and return my books and get some more for me as well. Plus maybe a new book on CD for me to listen to while I finishing knitting a pair of standard socks for our family vet, the Snicket Socks for myself, and swatch for my May Swap Socks.

........and then I get to finish cleaning a few last bits around the house and make a batch of pate brisee cheddar-cheese laced pastry to chill for a few hours in the fridge in prep for the apple pie & home-made meatball and spaghetti dinner that we're having tonight for Peggers' boss and his boss' mom. You know. Just your regular Saturday chores!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

What a Pal What a Pal What a Pal

Munchkin in earlier, non cold-season days.

January & February so far seem to belong in 2007. Now, I have high hopes for the improvements that will begin in 2008. Now I just have to wait for 2008 to actually *start* for us - you know?

One of the Troubles (I feel so Irish to say it like that!) involves my husband and his insane vituperous work environment - so the less said about that and the sooner it is behind us the better. So far it is - probably - approximately 3/4 behind us and hopefully will fade to a vaguely disturbing memory in a few months.

The second current Trouble involves the Munchkin. Unfortunately the little guy's respiratory system never quite cleared up after his battle with bronchitis/pneumonia a few weeks ago. Tuesday night he started coughing and wheezing and panting - and was up for most of the night in misery (despite the prescription cough syrup with codeine that we had given him!) - so Wednesday the doc squeezed him in and gave him a through checking-over once more. The upshot is that the middle lobe of his right lung probably never cleared up completely from last time - so he's on some whacking meds for a few days plus (and this is the true kicker) a nebulizer twice a day for two weeks then once a day until sometime in March/April when winter is really and truly over and cold/flu season is past us. No permanent damage to his lungs yet, but the doc wanted to be over-cautious and kick the living crap out of this and make sure that every single thing that could cause his lungs to close up could be dealt with before it even became a problem - all to prevent him from having problems into adulthood. Fairly scary to hear! At least the chest x-ray was clear. The first nebulizer treatment went very very well last night and the little guy slept like a champ all night. This morning's treatment went well also - amazing how bribing him with an old Disney cartoon will get a 2-year old to sit still for 10 minutes! - and so that's a great relief for everyone.

Through all of this - with the help of the first season of Medium from my public library - I've been knitting. I have also been knitting with the help from my wonderful, lovely, and talented Sockpalooza Pal - Ava. Just LOOK at what she sent me a few weeks back!

My very own little WIP bag! I absolutely ADORE it - I love the fabric, I love the size, I love the length of the drawstring - I love everything about it! And handy? This sucker is handy. It perfectly holds a skein of sock yarn, two sets of size 2 circs, and your single finished sock.

I'm not paying attention to the pattern for Snicket anymore, as I've got it memorized, but if I needed that paper tucked in there, my trusty T.B.S. - W.I.P. bag would hold it!

A also sent some other goodies. Like this adorable blank notebook with the funniest cover ever. I adore this woman. I'd love to be this woman in this life - so svelte. So adored. So obviously intelligent and self-contained. So able to properly apply makeup. However I'm not really that sort of woman in this life - so I'm instead content to think that maybe possibly I was that sort of woman in a past life.

A also sent me this in my Goodie Package. When I opened it first thing to a totally random page this is the quote that I read:

"Learning a new craft will make you chatter on incessantly about the art form. Be careful not to bore your less artsy friends." - the Clue of the Leaning Chimney.

How is that not absolutely perfect for every single obsessed knitter/crafter currently out there????????????