Friday, June 17, 2011

A Bit of Stash Enhancement

Okay, I absolutely do not need more sock yarn. However, seeing all the wonderful colors and textures in a yarn store is more temptation than I'm able to resist. It's a good thing I don't visit yarn stores often. But the other day, I went to not one, not two, but three yarn stores.

Here's what came home with me:

and this:

and this, too:

I already had enough yarn to last me at least 12-15 years, at my current rate of sock knitting. So I think I'm now set for close to 20 ;-) But you don't suppose that's going to stop me from buying more, do you? Really, I try to be good. I just need to stay out of yarn stores, because I obviously have no strength to resist temptation.

Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why Haven't I Been Sewing?

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that I really haven't done any sewing since I've been home from retreat. That was May 15th, when I came home. So, why has it been just about a month with no sewing happening here? Well, I came home with a cold, which turned into a bacterial bronchitis, and was on antibiotics for over a week. Then, I apparently developed an allergy to the antibiotic, and had hives for nearly a week. Then I was playing a bit of catch-up with things that didn't get done while I was gone. I'm still trying to get completely caught up.

The other thing I've been doing, though, is a lot of knitting. I'm participating in a challenge on Ravelry that will begin on July 1. There are two versions of the challenge -- the 52 pair plunge, where you knit 52 pairs of socks in one year; and the 26 pair plunge, where you knit 26 pairs in the same amount of time. I signed up for the 26 pair plunge, because that's plenty challenging enough for me. 52 pairs would be pretty well impossible, as slowly as I knit. The cool thing is that any WIPs (works in progress) count, as long as they're finished after July 1, 2011 (and before the end of June 30, 2012). So I'm getting as many pairs cast on as I can, and trying to make some significant progress. The only way I can really expect to complete this challenge is with this legal head start. So here's what I've got that's showing significant progress:

This pair is in a pattern called "Hermione's Everyday Socks." It's just a simple texture pattern, nice with this lovely handpainted yarn. I'm loving these, and am actually further than this picture shows -- I'm nearly done with the heel increases, and almost ready to start turning the heel. Then I'll just work up the leg until I get the height I want.

This is a simple pair of ribbed socks in a self-striping yarn for my mother, who said she wanted "gray or black socks, since they'll go with the most stuff." I'm not willing to knit black socks -- too dark and hard to see, and too boring. However, this yarn isn't too bad. I almost like these. These are almost ready to begin the heel increases.

This is a simple ribbed pair for DH. I think I need another inch or two before I start the heel increases on these.

This is another simple pair, in a waffle stitch, for me. This yarn was a red-violet semisolid -- varying from almost white to fairly dark. I was trying to even out the color variation, and overdyed the yarn with Grape Kool-Aid. The color's still quite variable, but it's more of a blue-violet now, and I really like it. These are further along than in the picture, ready to start heel increases.

This pair is being worked from the cuff down to the toe (the others so far have all been toe-up), and I've just turned the heel. Ready to pick up gusset stitches, and work my way down the foot. I really love this yarn, with all its shades of greens.

This is another pair being worked top-down, and I've got the heel flap about halfway done on them. This pair is for DH.

This is a pair of Basketweave socks, which needs a few more inches done before starting the heel increases. This is a slap-you-in-the-face bright yellow, called "Dandelion." It's well named.

This is another pair being worked top-down. It's a pattern called "Jaywalker," and I got a little obsessed with it last weekend. I had part of the cuff done Saturday morning, and by the time I went to bed Saturday night, I had 5" of the legs done. I really like these!

This is another basic ribbed pair of toe-up socks, for DH. There's about 3 more inches to go on these before I start the heel increases. This yarn reminds me of Halloween.

This is a pattern called "Jacobean," and I'm making these for my mother. Mostly because I think she'll like the pink more than I do, and her foot is an inch shorter than mine. These are further than the picture shows, I've started the heel increases on these. I keep this pair by the computer, so when I'm uploading photos here or to Flickr, I knit a round or two during the wait time.

It's hard to see the pattern to these, but it's a sort of wave design. The yarn is a luscious forest-y green semisolid. The variation in color is part of why the stitch pattern is difficult to see, I think. Still, I'm going to love these when they're finished. These are ready to start the heel increases, too.

This is another pair of basic ribbed toe-up socks. These are for a friend. I've got about 2" to go on these before I can start the heel increases. This yarn is called "Neon." It's fun and happy, and it's cheery to work on these. The ribbing is drawing in more than the flat knitting at the very ends of the toes, but when these have feet in them, they won't look all distorted like this.

I have some others socks in progress, but they're more like just barely started, and not nearly as interesting to look at, at this point. I've got lots of heel turns to do, then I'll have a lot of "straightaway" knitting, ready for waiting rooms and doctors' offices and riding in the car times and meeting times and other times like that.

Almost all of these socks have been started in the last few months. So, you can see why I haven't gotten much sewing done recently ;-)

Thanks for coming by to play. Come back again soon.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Design Wall Monday, 6/13/2011

I can't believe June is almost half over already! I haven't done any sewing, really, since I've been back from retreat. That's almost a month now, and the withdrawal symptoms are getting bad!

On my design wall at the moment are these pieced backgrounds, from scrap squares. I plan to applique silhouettes in Kona black on top of them. Eventually, they'll be for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. It's a good concept, I think, but I'm still letting it stew in my brain for a while.

I really need to get some sewing done, both to cure my withdrawal symptoms, and to make some more progress on my UFOs. Check out Judy's blog, to see what others are working on today.

Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fun Mail Yesterday!

Yesterday my friendly postal carrier brought me two fun packages! First was one from Knit Picks, which included a few more circular needles, a couple books, and this yarn:

It's Stroll Tonal in the Pearlescent colorway. I'm planning to make a pair of Awareness Ribbon Socks, which was a pattern that was done as a knit-along (KAL) at Knitters Brewing Company (KBC) last year. I'm still working on my socks from the KAL, but those are for a friend. But "pearl" is the awareness ribbon color for lung cancer, and I'm a 8+ year lung cancer survivor, so I want to make socks to celebrate that. I just love this colorway, and it's fairly new. Before, the closest thing I could find to "pearl" was a pale gray, and that just didn't do it for me. Here's where you can see an image of what the pattern looks like, done in the Breast Cancer pink color.

Then, I also got a package from KBC in yesterday's mail. I got my kit for the latest KAL, a pattern called Bridge of Roses. Here's where you can see an image of that finished sock.

And here's my kit:

Instead of a gray sock with pink roses, I'll have a blue sock with yellow roses. I don't know when I'll get to this one, but I couldn't resist getting the kit for it. It's KBC's fundraiser this year for the Susan G. Komen foundation, so it's pretty yarn, a beautiful pattern, and all in a good cause.

Then, because I have a hard time not buying yarn, these two also jumped into my cart when I was at the KBC website. Wendy tends to name her yarn colorways after cocktails, so the top one is Appletini, and the bottom one is Rusty Nail. I adore them both, though I don't have any particular plans for them at the moment. But I know they'll become wonderful socks at some point.

I still haven't done any sewing since I've been back from retreat. I hope to do a bit today, but the day's shaping up to be busy, so I don't know. I really hope to have some more finishes to show off soon, though. Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Design Wall Monday, 6/6/2011

I have two small things on my design wall, both of which have been there for a while. I haven't done a bit of sewing since I got home from retreat. I'm planning to change all that this week, but for now, here's what I have to show:

These are squares that were cut (according to the pattern instructions) for my blue and green "Sassy Sixteen" quilt, one of the tops I finished at retreat last month. They were supposed to be used to make a pieced border, but I decided that I wanted to do plain borders instead. So then these squares were left, so I put them up on the design wall. I haven't completely decided yet whether to sew them together as-is, or put them in with the rest of my precut scraps. But I'll probably sew them together. Some time.

This is from a class kit from Debby Kratovil, called "Coffee Filter Fans." I made these blocks at retreat last month, though I still need to stitch the fans down to the background squares. I might sew these together into a quilt, but the more I think about it the more I think they may become the basis for a jacket. These were quick and fun to do.

I hope to get some sewing done this week, have some finishes and get something new up on the design wall. Wish me luck! Stop by Judy's blog, to see what other folks have up on their design walls.

Thanks for stopping by to play. Come back again soon -- and I promise to post more regularly ;-)