Mini Update: Rocket Pop Socks

While a longer, more in-depth update is long overdue, I am a little overwhelmed right now with the sheer quantity of work that piled up as I was being treated for an ass-kicking* kidney infection. So, just so’s to prove that I ain’t dead yet, I present a new pattern:

Image

And that’s about all I got for now. If I haven’t responded to your message(s), I swear by the stash it’s on the To-Do List of Doom. Really.

*Posterior: mine

Bonnie Kellswater

So, a couple months ago I received an inquiry for a pattern from none other than Interweave Knits. Not that I’m bragging, I’m still rather perplexed over why they contacted me. Anyway. This week, the Spring 2012 preview went up and the issues went out, so now I can share images!

The first two are courtesy of Interweave Knits

Kellswater

Kellswater

The second two are from the photoshoot I did with Lindsay and Eva in September, as the pattern was originally going to be a Rose City Knits release :)

Bonnie Kellswater 2

Bonnie Kellswater 4

The name, Kellswater, comes from a traditional Irish song which just makes me think of fishermen’s knits every time I hear it (read the lyrics or, better yet, listen to Loreena McKennitt’s version and you’ll get me). The design itself includes some of my favorite Gansey stitch patterns, particularly the Tree of Life and the anchor. I have to admit that I am inordinately proud of this pattern, since I literally made it up on the fly while attending Sock Summit (seriously, TheBon and SinisterSpinster can attest) and then it somehow ended up published.

Weird.  But cool.

If you’d like to fave it or add it to your queue, it’s up on ravelry.

I know I’m terribly behind on the blogging and oh so much has happened since my last update, so look forward to more posts in the coming days – really!

Like Nina sings.

I’m feeling good.

The booklet is out and is actually selling. I know that Knit Purl sold over 20 copies in the past three days, so I’m not as down and worried as I was.  You try being not being down and worried after being told over and over again that there are numerous sock book(let)s out there and that knitters probably won’t notice another one.

Not so good.  But, hah, Socks is only 4 booklets behind Shibui Luxury (well, where I work), and Luxury is knitter’s eye candy in every sense of the phrase.

Anyway.  Deep breath.  Vacation is commencing nicely.  I spent most of the weekend (barring some time at Ikea, g-d help me) relaxing, lounging, and just catching my breath.  The last eight months have been brutal.  Mostly I worked on two things (but don’t tell Shibui):

Sparkly pink Ishbel

and

Trapezoid experiment

Tegan’s Ishbel was obviously numero uno on my list, because she’s arriving tomorrow!!  Squee.  My sister and niece are arriving sometime around 2:3o and I am just beside myself.  My inner Girl Scout has planned all sorts of activities and cool treats.  It’s going to be awesome.  And I’m going to take copious photographs.

Expect to see some.  Or, rather, lots.

Including (hopefully) Tegan actually wearing her Ishbel.  I really hope she likes it!

I feel I must issue a friendly knitterly advisory.  And maybe alert the DEA.  I just cast on my first project using Lima (last night) and could barely make myself put it down long enough to finish the Ishbel.  Sparkly.  Pink.  Ishbel.  Looking at my template, that should express volumes.  This stuff is THE crack.  I’m kind of afraid of what will happen when I run out…  Will I DT?

Eep.

Maybe this is a sign that I need to stash some more…

The fact that I’m even thinking that is probably not a good sign.

And I thought Malabrigo was bad.

Wait.  Can you hear that?  It‘s calling to me.  I gotta go.

On the sunny side

Quite literally, this weekend.  Let’s see, positive-ness?

  1. Finished my Sev[en]circle scarf this afternoon, with three yards of yarn left (eek!)
  2. Am soaking big Sis’ b-day socks (admittedly late) to block in 15 mins (woot)
  3. Got five, count ’em, FIVE loads of laundry done today
  4. Figured out how to upsize and downsize several patterns that I have delayed releasing, since they were single sized.  Ha!  Of course, that means all new rounds of test knitting…
  5. Um… two days of sunlight in a row?  Love it!!
  6. Spent most of yesterday basking.

Here, at Tanner Springs Park:

Tanner Springs ParkLovely.

Wherein we saw a Black-chinned Hummingbird, a Song Sparrow, a Barn Swallow, and a Rough-legged Hawk.  All in the middle of the Pearl.  Crazy.  Anyway, Opus and I spent three or four hours there knitting (and designing, me) in the rarest of natural resources in Oregon, sunlight.

Which is why I am noticeably freckelly right now, as seen in Sev[en]circle FO shot:

Finished my sev[en]circle (obligatory cell shot)

Wow, right?  Project specs, just for the sake of ’em:

  • Pattern: Sev[en]circle by assemblage/ Kirsten Johnstone
  • Yarn: The Fibre Co.’s Canopy Fingering in “Macaw”
  • Modifications: Went with the knit cast on instead of the back-loop
  • Notes: I used almost all of the 200 yards per skein of my Canopy, so you might want to take the yardage on the pattern with a grain of salt.

And, if that isn’t enough knitting-ness for you, I have ANOTHER sneak peek inside my upcoming sock book! This time we’ve got the men’s sock pattern, Ankeny, based off of old Fishermen’s sweaters:

(I couldn’t resist… Captain Ankeny, get it?)

Lastly, before I run (must fold more laundry and do, ugh, ironing) remember Birdie?  We-ell, s/he might just have come back!  Last week,  a fledgling sparrow flew into the store when I opened the front door.

S/he didn’t want to leave either – we had to catch it with a towel (again) and release it outside.

After a silly informal poll on the Knit Purl blog, we have decided that the fledgling was Birdie (if only because we say so).  Feel free to disagree if you think otherwise :)

I’ll be back later (this week) with some interesting news.  Until then, what do you think of the new blog layout?  I was getting sick of the old one cutting off pictures and stuff…

Toodles!

Dazed and bemused

I’m turning 25 on Tuesday and have no idea how to take this fact. The past two months have been a blur, since I spent four weekends in a row down with the flu (or various similar viri). Gah, it just doesn’t feel like it should be December in two days. Where the heck did November go?

I do have some snippets of the month to recall. I vaguely remember my sister sending me two photos on November 12th, mostly because it was during a weekly Sip ‘n’ Stitch and I ended up passing my crackberry around for everyone to see my sister’s feet and a pair of handknit socks on Miyajima, also known as the “Shrine Island”:

socks-island

socks-pagoda

I’m actually jealous of the socks. They get to travel to better places that I do. Silly, I know.  Though I have to say that I absolutely love my sister for taking photos of her feet in public.

On that same night (busy Thursday, eh?), we experienced the biggest sock yarn tangle ever in the store. Alas, it was my yarn.

Biggest cat's cradle ever

It took four knitters three hours to detangle the mess and actually get it into some semblance of a ball. I still haven’t knit anything with said yarn, since I’m almost afraid of it. What will it become? Will it be good or bad?  What pair of socks could ultimately be worth that much effort?

And now, of course, I have an unnatural wariness of Madelinetosh Sock because of this trauma.

Then, on the 23rd, I went to Deschutes Brewery with Opus and Marjorie. Great porter there, it must be said. But, then, I like beer I can chew.

Opus is holding the 7-8″ KnitPod prototype out here:

Travelling 8" KnitPod @ Deschutes Brewery

Which is working awesomely, by the way. I love it. The wip being contained turned into this mitt:

Crappy picture

My new Nemo Mitts, named thusly because I suck at naming things. I’m actually looking for test knitters for the pattern, if anyone’s interested.  Just email me at fyberduck(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll send you a rough copy.

But that’s about everything I have.  There was a finished sweater in there somewhere, but I don’t have a photo or a date.  Bad blogger, I know.  I think I finished it while on a Robitussin/ DayQuil cocktail, so it’s not entirely my fault that that’s all a fog.

I’ll try and be better next month.

Honest.

It’s out, it’s up and it’s finally done!

You may have seen that the new Knitty is up, but unless you have an obsession with tracking designers, you might not know, but…  my socks are in this issue!!  {squee}  It was so stressful – the submission, the waiting, the tech editing, taking photos with Liz – but now it feels like it was more than worth the strain and effort.

So, here’s introducing my Absinthe socks.  Like the blurb reads, I really do want to do a series of socks based off of Art Noveau artists.  And maybe a Renaissance series.  Wouldn’t that be awesome?  I’ve been considering a William Morris sock for awhile actually…

Anyway, here’s the “cover” photo:

Cover photo

And, one of my favorite pics that was, alas, not included:

Insteps

And, finally, the one with the faux Gothic arches from the First Presbyterian Church down the street from the store:

I’m so glad that’s done.   And, before I commit a major faux pas, let me please thank Bonnie for taking my portrait and Liz and Lindsay for being my models.

In other news, the store’s annual Spring Sale starts tomorrow and I am dreading the masses in a way hitherto unseen, mostly because I’ve agreed to teach three of the free mini-workshops on Saturday.  Since I know how to knit Continental and Brioche (in two ways), it didn’t seem like too big of a deal to fill in for our very ill Fearless Leader.  But, ah, the Chinese Knots class is not coming along as well as one might like.  Eeep.

And, OMG, my handspinning classes start next week and I am so not prepared.  Seriously.  Do I have flax and cotton ready for my students?  No.  Beads?  Nope.  And don’t even ask about the final class at a local farm.  Oy.  I bet you can guess what I’ll be doing on Monday (my rearranged day off).

Pray for us, it’s going to be a looong weekend.

(P.S. am working on Jared’s Porom hat and loving it; am nearly done with Karen’s socks and think I might have an idea for the Sock Club’s sock!  Life is always good when there’s knitting.)

Tahiti is looking really good.

Life is still really crazy but seems to be calming down a bit.  Nevertheless, I continue to fantasize about hopping a plane and escaping to a tropical island (warmth! sun!) where no one will find me.  Sounds lovely, right?

Eh.  I’d have to find my passport.

Anyway.  I went outside to take some pix this afternoon and discovered something interesting.  Did you know sage is an evergreen?

february-greenery

Clearly it must be, as this plant survived being buried alive in three feet of snow and is obviously flourishing in February.  And Dad wanted to empty out the pots before the move.  Ha.

While I was out there I got pix of my now finished Esperanza Scarf:

esperanza-scarf

And a closeup of the textured stitch pattern…

esperanza-closeup

Info:

  • Yarn: Schaefer Yarn Company “Esperanza” in Jane Addams.  1 skein, 280 yds.
  • Pattern: made it up with a pattern from A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.
  • Needles: US 11 9″ straights

Loved the yarn a lot.  So now I’m harboring a deep lust for the 4 skeins of Clara Bow we have in stock – maybe a vest or lap blanket?  Any excuse will work, really (this should tell you something as I HATE bulky yarns, generally).

Anyway.  Onto an ongoing projects that’s living up to its name.  My backstabbing socks:

backstabber-socks

and cables:

backstabber-detail

Grr.  I started on this yarn, intending to make a pair for my SIL Karen (I’m visiting in 10 days and don’t have everything ready, aaahhh!), and… well… grr.  The sock seemed a bit small, so I tried it on.  It fits me perfectly.  Which wouldn’t be a problem if Karen didn’t have US 8.5 feet.  I’m a US 7.  Guess how well it’ll fit her.  Yah.  I’ve just CO another pair (yes, 2 at once) that I’m hoping to finish before I hop on that plane* next Wednesday.

Oh, well.  The Backstabber socks (yes, that’s the actual name of the colorway) are lovely and fit well, so I shouldn’t complain.  It all be okay.

But now it’s 9pm and I’ve got to finish my laundry before I crawl into bed.  Toodles until next time.

*Not the one to Tahiti, alas.

catching up a bit

Two posts in two days.  It’s probably not going to become a habit, though.

Let’s see…  so many projects, so little time.  I probably should mention that it snowed again on Friday night.  No, I’m not cranky about how frigidly cold it is right now at all.  There’s even some of that really cold white stuff lying around the yard where anyone might step in it.

more blasted white stuff

Still not in love with it.  Maybe if it wasn’t so slippery every morning.  Anyway, back to the knitting.  I’m halfway through this scarf:

scarf

… which is going to be a pattern for the Simple Knits collection at the store.  I think.  Using the new Sheep One by Sheep Shop Yarn.  Can’t remember what color it is.  The yarn itself is quite nice.  Somewhere between Manos and Malabrigo in softness and weight.  I might use it again for myself.

Next is the second Ana Bandana I’m making with Silk Maiden…

Perifot Ana Bandana wip

In Peridot.  It glimmers and shimmers and just looks sooooo pretty.  This yarn is awesome.  I want to roll in it, quite honestly.

And lastly, for our OTN update, we have a pair of socks (shocker there, I’m certain):

Tweedy socks

In ShibuiKnits Sock, color “Tweed”.  Loving it.  Always love Sock, really.  The pattern?  Who knows what’ll happen.

While I was out in the sunlight (a rare occasion in Oregon during the winter, to be sure), I snapped some shots of a new Japanese knitting book I got yesterday:

New Style of Heirloom Knitting

“New Styles of Heirloom Knitting”.  Really awesome book that features traditional Aran, Shetland and Fair Isle inspired garments.  I was finally swayed into purchasing said book by the three lace projects:

lace projects from NSHK

Of which the Mondnacht stole (literally “Moonlit Night”) has earned a place in my ravelry queue.

Mondnacht stole

I’m thinking that gorgeous Orenburg lace yarn (Silk/ Angora) would be suitable for it.  The pattern requires 1500+ yarns, which the skein has.  Though, I might change direction after a visit to Stitches West and the Lacis Museum.

Yes, I am hopping, skipping and jumping a flight to the Bay Area in two months to visit my favorite sister’s* family for a week in late February/ early March.  While there, I plan on getting into toooons of mischief.  It’s the only way to travel, in my opinion.

Speaking of travel, I have also made a New Year’s resolution.  It’s kind of crazy and it came to me yesterday as I was sitting at Pho Van talking with Opus about travel.  I am going to go to Israel by the end of this year. That’s it.  No weight loss, no becoming a better person, no vows to finish all my wips.  Atypical and nontraditional, to be sure, but I think it’ll work for me.

This is also a huge resolution to fulfill, as I have lost my passport and I hate the thought of applying for a new one.  I also speak no Hebrew (except Aramaic, really) and… well, I don’t even have a plan set yet.  But, I am bound and determined and am going to do it.  Hamas be damned.

I may even decide to extend my Birthright Trip and spend a couple of extra weeks over there.  Why the heck not?  I bet I could do all sorts of things**.

And after that bombshell, what can I say?  Other than I need to look into Hebrew and Arabic language classes and work on a PLN***?  Not much.  To add some insanity to the crazy, I’d also like to learn Japanese this year so when I call Tokyo for work (cue the dread of tomorrow), I’ll actually be able to respond with something other “Sumimasen, English, onegai“.  All things considered, I might just make next year’s resolution be to visit Japan (if I actually manage to learn Japanese).  How awesome would that be?

… I should probably start saving now, as the airfare will be killer.

*Yes, I may only have one sister, but she’d totally be my favorite anyway.

**That probably won’t involve yarn, dear knitters.  My heart just goes wild at the thought of visiting Petra, what can I say?

*** Sorry, couldn’t resist the Pratchett reference.

OMG, I ate a cow.

Okay, not so much.  Had Phở for dinner. I remember reading that Vietnamese cooks use almost the entire cow to make the fantastic beef broth. And, y’know, after eating a large bowl of the stuff… I almost feel like I just ate a cow.

Kinda want to act like a lion on the Savannah now, and go lay down under a tree for a couple of days.

Can’t do that though, cause I got stuff to do tonight.*

Let’s see, let’s see… the most important of the stuff. Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone for your birthday wishes and kind words this past week. This has been one of the better birthdays of the past 5 years, and I really appreciate your affection.

Coolest (un)birthday gift? My own KnitPurlzi!

DSC00488

Squee!!!**

Opus’ Dad made it for me (technically). We’ve commissioned several (beautifully) hand-turned knitting accessories to carry exclusively at the store.  He brought in the DPN case prototype for me to have and pet and use and abuse on my birthday.  How awesome was that?  He totally wins major brownie points for that.

For those of your with inquiring minds, it is based off of the Knitzi, but we’re going crazy with the exotic woods and hand-turning (once we get the design hammered out, so to speak).  The case is Black Walnut and the cap is spalted (I think) Maple.  Just awesome.  When I pulled it out to show it off at “No Mean Feet!”, I had to watch it closely.

IS.  MINE.

I also have to go and draw the Sockdown: October! prizes in a mo’ (big “thank you” to Debi for reminding me), but I thought I might mention that I did submit my Absinthe Socks for publication (friends can see really bad pictures here), just finished another pattern for the store and am working on another sock pattern that should be fun.  So, really, I wasn’t lying in my last post.  Ha!

In not-my-design knitting, we have a nearly-finished Skif on hand and a fully finished Ana Bandana.  Gotta make me another one of those.

But right now, I have to go and draw those prizes.  Otherwise I’ll have 5,000+ annoyed sock knitters after me…

* Not to mention I live in a temperate rainforest and it’s really wet on the ground right now, ick.
** Yes, I totally used three exclamation points. Report me to Terry Pratchett, if you dare.