July 30, 2007

Status Check

Glacier socks - Done, ends woven, awaiting a Euculan soak.

Hat - Done, embellished, blocking.

Meaning that at this moment I have absolutely nothing on the needles. Weird. How long is this state of affairs going to last?

Excuse me, I need to set up the ball-winder.

July 28, 2007

What I Bought on my Summer Vacation

In which I am a model of self-control and restraint.

When I lived in Edmonton it was pretty under served in the yarn shop department. That was before the recent knitting boom, of course and I had heard that the situation had improved somewhat. Time constraints and the realisation that Adam's yarn shop tolerance, while good, should only be pressed so far, meant that I only hit two shops in town. The expedition was a success.

My favorite shop was River City Yarns. This shop was profiled in VK a while back and had a lot of buzz so I was looking forward to checking it out in person. It did not disappoint. They had Socks That Rock! One skein of the lightweight had made its way into my stash earlier in the summer, but I had never seen a selection of colours and weights in person. Wow. There were easily 5 or 6 skeins in colourways so lovely I was tempted to own them as art.

I managed to keep one foot in the real world and remind myself that I often don't like socks knit with wildly colourful variegated yarns, no matter how pretty they may be in the hank. The skein you see is Midweight in the Beryl colourway, which is one of their shaded solids. Adam picked it out for his next pair. What can I tell you - the boy has taste.

This shop also had a great notions selection (I do love notions). I had been looking for a Norwegian Knitters Thimble for ages and was pleased to find one. I'd never seen the Phildar DPNs before, but I'm always on the lookout for good ones, so I'll give them a try. Difficult to see in the photo (glare, sorry) is a little bag of coil-less safety pins. I remembered Elizabeth Zimmermann's admonition in Knitting Without Tears that one should always take a card of these when you see them. Who am I to argue?

The Rowan Felted Tweed came from Wool Revival, a shop which has existed in various versions for a long time. It is very much an old school yarn shop. Bags and baskets of yarn spilling all over and not too much rhyme or reason. Some nice yarns but mostly stuff I can get easily enough at home. I liked these colours of the felted tweed together though - I'm thinking maybe Nucks. I was very happy to find a copy of Knitting on the Road there.
The Travelling Knitter will be an accurate description of me for the next 16 months or so. And I can never resist a Nancy Bush pattern. Itty-bitty hats was also a vacation purchase. Lots of gift ideas in that one.

That's it. I was even able to zip my luggage on the way home. Yarn is the best sort of souvenir don't you think?

And for next time....does anyone know if there's a yarn store in Jasper?

July 26, 2007

What I Knit on my Summer Vacation

An old friend's wedding on 07/07/07 meant that I was Alberta bound this year. Having finished a big lace project on a deadline just before I left (a dedicated post on which is coming soon) I decided that smaller, less challenging projects were the order of the day for travel knitting.

The idea of knitting in binary appeals to my inner nerd. A binary hat for Adam seemed like a good vacation sized project: Something I hoped to get done and send home with him at the end of the trip. I picked up a couple of skeins of Cascade 220 and cast on the night before departure. Bamboo circs aren't my favorite needles by a long shot, but I had airport security in mind. Happily I had no problems and was able to listen to podcasts and knit all the way. I am very, very uneasy whenever I have to fly, but having my knitting seemed to make a difference.

After the wedding festivities (which afforded sadly little knitting time) Adam and I headed to the Rockies for a few days much needed down time. A few hours of solid highway knitting and the hat was looking like this.

Ah yes, more stockinette in the round. What can I tell you? It wasn't a challenging knitting sort of vacation.

The glacier socks also saw their beginnings on this trip. I will probably think twice before trying to cast 70 stitches of slippy yarn onto aluminium needles in a moving car again. However I just didn't feel right without a sock to work on. As mentioned previously this is a simple sock pattern, but not without interest. A successful join was ultimately achieved. I didn't work on these as much as I would have liked - the gauge was a little small for camp-fire knitting.

Looks like grey and blue and stockinette were the themes. And I did get to work on them in some pretty amazing scenery. The binary hat was completed, with whole hours to spare, and sent back to France with Adam. We had an amazing trip and I hope that a hat knit in all these places will be a better reminder than a postcard.

Next time: What I bought on my summer vacation. Hint: Yarn!

July 22, 2007

Socks on Ice

It's been a cold, wet weekend, well suited to being inside, knitting. The second glacier sock is past the ribbing and going quickly. It's been a long time since I knit a mostly stockinette sock and it's zipping along.

The pattern is the Gentleman's Plain Winter Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks. I really like the pattern. The Dutch heel isn't one I've used very much and the single purl stitch making the faux seam at the back is charming.

I am slightly concerned about the fit. The sockee has fairly wide feet, so I did fewer gusset decreases and worked a 66 stitch foot. They'll be snug, but I hope they'll work.

Happily I'm loving the yarn so much that I won't mind if I have to frog them and start again. It's Trekking Pro Natura, which is a wool/bamboo blend. The colour is a blueish gray, shifting between the two depending on the light. I'm not sure yet if there is a true repeat in the colour shift. I'm guessing that it's yarn dyed, unlike Trekking XXL which is dyed before it is plied and doesn't really repeat. However they do it, I lurve it. The colour shift is subtle in spots and quite sharp in others. It makes the most of the plain stockinette sections.

The glacier sock is another of my projects that seems to have named itself. I cast on for the first sock in the car between Edmonton and Jasper National Park on holiday earlier this month. I worked some early rounds near the foot of the Colombia Ice Field and photographed it on a chunk of ice below the Angel Glacier. Yes, that photo was taken in July.

I started another small project this weekend. The first in what I suspect will become a series of baby projects in the next few months as a whole bunch of our friends are expecting or have recently had babies. The hat you see here is a mash-up of a couple of patterns from Itty-Bitty Hats. Actually the hat you see here is the second attempt - the first one having been frogged owing to the double whammy of a gauge "hiccup" and my apparent inability to read simple instructions correctly. The yarn is Classic Wool and the red defies accurate photography. The mindless round and round soothes the mind. All good.

July 19, 2007


July 19 is an important day for me and seems a good day to make a trial launch of the blog. There are so many amazing knitting blogs and bloggers out there that I am more than a little hesitant to join the fray. My hope is to post a few times a week and to get more involved in the amazing community of knitters on the Internet.

Knitting is important to me. Hours of my days are spent pursuing this passion. It is my outlet and my comfort. I've been knitting for 16 years and I love that I am always (always!) learning.

Pictured above are flowers sent by my beloved to mark and ease this day. Nestled within you can just see the first rounds of the second Glacier sock. More on that next time.

The past year has been a dynamic one for me and there are more changes to come. Watch this space, it is very much a work in progress.