Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mossay socks are finished

Today I completed the first of what I hope are many pairs of socks, for "Summer of Socks".

Pattern: Thuja, Yarn: Socks that Rock Heavy Weight, Colorway: Mossay

Modifications: Added 4 stitches, so cast on 48 instead of 44, made cuffs only 3 1/2 inches tall, per the hubby's request. Apparently he really likes shorter socks...who knew? Certainly not me.

This was a great project on all fronts. The patterns is delightful, easy yet a little more interesting than plain stockinette. The yarn is pretty close to perfect. Green is not always my favorite color to work with, but I really love this green.

Ideally I am hoping to finish a pair of socks each week this summer, but will be really happy if I make it into the bi-weekly drawings. That means finishing and posting about a pair every two weeks.

Now, onto the next pair.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Summer of Socks

What seems like months ago now, I signed up for the Summer of Socks. (This link takes you to a Ravelry page). This is a knit-along in which people knit socks and share pictures with each other. Participants were not allowed to cast on for qualifying socks before Midnight, June 21. This matters because there are prizes for things like "the most adult size pairs of socks completed" The knit-along goes through September 1.

I have no illusions about my ability to knit the most pairs of socks. I have a full time job, small children to raise and other obligations that will get in the way, I am sure. However, I thought it would be fun to play along.

In preparation for this event, I have been building the sock yarn stash a little but have made myself wait to cast on any new adult socks until the 21st. This weekend has been really busy though, so I didn't get a chance to cast on until about 10 PM last night!

This is how far I have gotten as of this afternoon. This pair is knit in Socks that Rock Heavy weight, so they are going fast.

I'll post more details when I get them done, hopefully later this week.

Some of you have seen me carrying around that sorry pair of sparkly stripped socks for months now. Sigh. They are still not done. Since I started them ages ago, they don't count for SOS, so I have decided to set them aside for now. I imagine I will finish them some time this summer...hopefully.

In the mean time, here is a little pair of socks I whipped up while at TNNA.

These are for A. They are knit with the left-overs from this pair of socks. So, Socks that Rock Medium weight in "Midsummer Night", basic sock pattern.

I know I have mentioned this before, but A. loves to have me take pictures of her in hand knit socks. She came up with these poses by herself. Silly girl.

Each of the girls have three pairs of hand knit socks now. They know the routine and start to scope out any socks I am knitting, expressing their preferences for the left-overs. For example, A. has said she does not think the green yarn I am using for the pair of "in-process" socks above is pretty, while V. has been petting it while I am knitting and saying how much she "realllly likes it". If there's enough left over, I guess we know who's getting it.

I actually have a small pile of FO's to show off on the blog. Even though I have been a lame blogger lately, I have not been quiet as lame in the knitting department...More over the next few days.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Finally, I have decided to take a few minutes to talk about TNNA. As you probably know, it was in Columbus in early June. We went from the rainy, gray weather of Portland to 90+ degree heat with very high humidity. I had been warned that Ohio in any month related to summer can be miserable. From a weather perspective, I would have to say my one experience to date confirms that. However the part of the city where the show is located is actually pretty nice and people were very pleasant.

Below are some pictures of the Gardiner Yarn Works booth. I apologize for the quality of the pictures. Our spot was kind of dark and I had to stand far away to get the entire booth in the picture.

You can see a few of the new designs more clearly in this one.

In this picture you may be able to make out the crochet items on the far left. Those are the designs of Mary Beth Temple, a friend of Chrissy's. She was giving TNNA exhibiting a whirl. Too bad the pictures are so bad or you could get a better view of her clever designs, including a pair of socks that have crocheted legs and knit feet.

The show itself went pretty well. I love trade shows, especially the chatting part. Unfortunately there wasn't as much foot traffic as I would have liked so I managed to get a lot of knitting done between visits. I guess that's not all bad.

As was the case last time though, the people were the most interesting part of the week for me. In addition to catching up with some folks I had met last time, I also met some fun new people. For example Anne Hanson from Knitspot fame. She is even more lovely in person than I would have guessed from her blog. Here she is with Cookie A, Janel Laidman and Chrissy.

Janel, by the way, has just self-published a fantastic new book called The Eclectic Sole. I was able to have a nice long look at it and I have to say it is one of the most beautiful sock books I have ever seen. I highly recommend it and actually am looking forward to getting my own copy some time soon!

Another person I really enjoyed meeting this year was Jessica from Rose-Kim Knits. I have a photo of her but it is not terribly flattering, so I'm going to skip it this time. I have been enjoying Jessica's blog on a daily basis for some time now and it was a pleasure to learn that she is just as delightful in person as she is in print.

The person whom I was most excited about meeting this year though was Julie, one of the Gardiner Yarn Works test knitters. She lives in Columbus and allowed us to ship some things to her, which she then delivered, in the heat, to the convention center. She really went above and beyond, which made things so much smoother for us! Additionally, she is just super nice and it was a pleasure to meet her. Hi Julie, if you're reading this I want to say thanks, again!

Well, as usual this has gotten way too long and I've barely started. So I'll just wrap this up by saying knitters are great and getting so many people together who care about knitting and knitting stuff can only be good, right?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fun with the kids

Well, this is still not my TNNA post. Perhaps I will get to that some day...

In the mean time I feel like writing about all of the fun I have been having with the kiddos lately. See, I quit my very stressful, completely unfulfilling job right before TNNA. I had a new job waiting in the wings and decided to take a break between and play with the girls and hubby for a few days.

First up was camping in the back yard. The girls have been pestering us to go camping for a couple of years now but I am not so big on sleeping out in the open near strangers with only a flimsy piece of cloth protecting me. Call me paranoid if you like, but I am very fond of the locks on my doors at night.

Anyway, while I was away from the family at TNNA, getting very good sleep and not stressing about how few hours I had left until I had to go back to work, I realized that we have a gorgeous, huge backyard in which to camp. Upon arrival back in Portland, I rustled the family off to the store and purchased a lovely tent, which we promptly put up in our back yard.

If you look closely at this picture, you will note that there are two rooms in the tent, each of which was claimed by a different preschooler. They tried to tell us we would have to find somewhere else to sleep. We worked it out though and all had a wonderful night's sleep. There really is nothing like sleeping outside...especially when you feel safe!

I see many more "camping trips" this summer, assuming the weather ever warms up. By the way, see the big fluffy white creature in the lower right corner. That is Bianca, one of our cats, checking out the tent. She did not choose to sleep outside with us, but did enjoy poking around the tent while it was up.

On the heels of what A. refers to as the "great camping adventure" we headed off to the Oregon Coast for some away time.

The pictures look familiar, don't they? Notice the wind whipped look? The sun was gorgeous the entire time we were there, but the wind was fierce and really cold. Oh well, it is the Oregon Coast after all. Wouldn't want it to be too nice, would we?

The girls had a wonderful time digging in the sand, visiting the aquarium, swimming in the hotel pool and sleeping "in the sky" as A called it. Our room as up a few stories and the girls loved being able to lie in bed and watch the gulls float past.

Monday I started the new job, which put a screeching halt to all of the fun - at least with the family. So far though, things are going well. I love my boss. I worked for her before so I knew that part was going to be good. She's in charge of the entire company this time though, so she is setting the pace and creating a wonderful environment. That's all I'm planning on saying about the new job for now, but I will say life is very good at the moment...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Well, we made it through May and now June is nearly half over. Jeesh. I find that the longer I go between postings, the harder it is to get motivated to post at all. I don't even know where to begin...

Everyone is happy and healthy. We survived all of the birthday parties, including an exciting one of our own. My little one turned three in May and wanted a "Hello Kitty" party. I can not tell you how much this pained me. While I myself am fairly enamored with that happy little white kitty, I have, until now, successfully avoided the "commercial" birthday party themes. I love to get creative with the themes and related games and crafts. V was very persistent though and would not be swayed, so Hello Kitty it was.

It was a challenge to come up with interesting, unisex games and party favors. I think it was not some of my best work, but below is the aftermath of "pin the bow on Hello Kitty".

I also made kitty ears out of felt and regular head bands for each of the kids. With some drawn on noses and whiskers, we quickly had a room full of "Hello Kitties". Unfortunately, none of the pictures turned out very well...However, I do have this picture of the lucky birthday girl in her special grammy made, appropriately themed dress clutching all of her sugary post party goodies.

While V received many wonderful gifts, I want to show you one special one...since this is a knitting blog and all. All of my knitting buddies know how much my little V loves her hand knit socks. She wears a pair every day they are clean and sometimes even when they are dirty if she can find them. So, Katrina decided she needed another pair and knit her these little cuties...

Aren't they adorable? She gave them to V on the sock blockers because "they are wool and will benefit from blocking after washing." Nice little extra present for mommy, I think! Thanks again Katrina!

I have so much more to say about so many things, including TNNA this past weekend, a gorgeous trip I took up the Columbia River Gorge, some beautiful yarn I bought, all of the knitting I have been doing, including three new patterns in the Gardiner Yarn Works pattern line, camping in the back yard and my new job!

Yes, that's right, a new job and the best part was that when I quit my old job, my boss actually asked me to write a detailed list of all of the reasons I was quiting. It was a fantasy come true...but ended up being harder than I expected.

Anyway, more on all of these things in time, if I get around to it before something else exciting happens. In the mean time, here are more flower pictures, which were taken nearly a month ago. The lilac blooms are long gone and the rhody's are fading fast, quickly being replaced with irises and roses. Nature waits for no one, no matter how behind they get on their blogging...