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January 30, 2006

Irish Hiking Scarf

Irish Hiking Scarf Irish Hiking Scarf

Isn't it wonderful? I'm giving my hands a rest from the sock needles this morning and I cast on for something a bit bigger to practice my new cable-knitting skills. I'm a huge fan of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted and I had some Tiger Lily in my stash to make what will be an extra-long scarf. The free pattern can be found here: Irish Hiking Scarf and there's a Knitalong too.

January 29, 2006

Trekking XXL Sock Progress

Trekking Sock A larger view of the Trekking sock

This is the progress thus far on the accidentally-begun sock (and I know that I am transparent to all the sock-knitters out there!) The Trekking is as amazing everybody says. It knits up wonderfully and is quite soft, but with plenty of strength also. I'm definitely sold on this yarn and will use it again soon since I still want to try the tweedy ones -- perhaps in a green. The pink is lovely and I'm enjoying knitting it, but I'm dying to knit a green sock.

More sock blogs coming (even though socks aren't ALL I'm knitting, I promise!)

January 26, 2006

Socks & Mariann

I inadvertantly started knitting another sock:

This morning . . .
Trekking XXL - Zitron - Color #133


It started as a swatch and I kept knitting so I could watch the colors change (probably only exciting to me!) and before I knew it, I had knitted myself halfway to a sock. I finally put it down this morning so I could get on with my day. The colors are so pretty and soft!

Knit night this past Tuesday evening included a lot of knitting as well as a retirement celebration! Mariann, my good friend and knitting teacher, has retired from her job at Texas Childrens Hospital and will be moving soon -- temporarily at first but permanently later. If I said I would miss her, it would be an understatement. I will miss being able to get her instant feedback and encouragement. I will miss her insistence that I can knit anything I put my mind to. I will miss her ability to speak honestly and decisively about anything and everything. Mariann's the one who pushed me to at least TRY to start knitting something besides dishcloths and to learn how to purl. She also patiently taught me how to knit my first socks. And my favorite thing about her is that even if I started TODAY, my stash acquisition could never equal hers! I can accumulate yarn guilt-free knowing that somebody I know has more than I do. For sharing your passion, Mariann, I can't thank you enough and I will miss you.

Mariann & Robin
Mariann (L) & Robin (R) on Tuesday at Knit Night

Baby Booties - Knit by Mariann
Mariann knit these adorable booties for our friend Alisa's first grandbaby

January 23, 2006

Today's entry was going to be about a pair of finished socks

Today's entry was going to have a photo of a finished pair of socks, not an in-progress one:

ALMOST a pair

. . . but I didn't finish knitting them (sleep was much more important). I'm about an inch away from the toe decreases right now. My goal was to finish them before the end of the month and I think I'll make that deadline. My February socks will be knit with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the "Watercolor" colorway. I've swatched already and it's just an amazing yarn! I also have Mountain Colors Bearfoot and Plymouth Sockotta in my sock yarn stash and yet another skein of Lorna's Laces ("Cedar Stripe") from Purl Soho.

I taught a sock knitting class on Saturday (my first class and it's sock knitting? Oh the irony!) What was supposed to be a 2-1/2 hour class was a 3-1/2 hour class due to my unfamiliarity with the material and the pattern (we complete a small sock in the class). But I did it -- I taught a class. Fortunately, I had a wonderful and understanding first student and she was delighted with her finished sock, so I couldn't really be any happier. I'm definitely going to go over the material and make my OWN classroom sock so I won't be stressed at the last minute next time.

Another almost-finished object is the mate to this wristwarmer (One Day Wristwarmer). There's a mod to this and it's that I made them 7" long before starting the thumb hole. The pattern calls for 4-1/2" before the thumbhole round.

one-day wristwarmers

This gorgeous yarn is Mission Falls 1824 Wool in Color #24 (a deep purple). Love it. I used less than one skein for an extra-long wristwarmer.

January 15, 2006

Knit Blogs: Thoughts

Margene posed some interesting questions on her blog the other day and I decided to answer them here:

How do you blog?

I blog a combination of knitting, photos, technique, and my discoveries. It's also what I love to see in other blogs.

Let's say you come across a new blog you haven't seen before and it looks interesting, full of pictures, and knitting you like. Do you read the first post or two only or do you really look around the blog? Do you check the FO photos, the archives and/or the links on the sidebar? Do you let the person know you like what you see and that you’ll be back?

Where knitting blogs are concerned, I let Bloglines tell me when there are updates to a particular blog but I like to navigate away from Bloglines to go to the blog itself. I also prefer to build a relationship with a blog before I leave a comment for the blogger. However, over the last several months, I've been terrible about leaving comments. I used to automatically leave a comment on any entry that struck a chord. These days, I'll read without commenting more often than not. I don't really know why that is, but I would like to say to my fellow knit bloggers that I enjoy your entries and photos and the time you take in updating. I just don't want anybody to think I visit their blogs in order to get them to visit mine.

When you go to a blog that you read daily, or whenever you have the chance, do you check to see if they have added anything new to their blog? (Some of you do, I know.) Do you read every word of a post or do you scan it, skim for content that catches your eye? Do you check the links and/or comments?

There are specific blogs that I visit and revisit to see what's new on the main page. On the actual entries, I scan and skim once and then read again for content. Most of the time, I check the links and I frequently check the comments. It totally depends on the blog. Some blogs are a bit "busy" (buttons, KAL's, etc) and overstimulating so I prefer to read those through Bloglines.

Do you generally blog on the fly and hit as many blogs as you can, or do you take you time to visit only a few blogs and read them thoroughly and leave a comment?

My blog-reading habits have changed so much. I only check Bloglines once a week now, but there are a small handful of blogs I check every single day . . . anticipating each and every new post.

What is it that attracted you reading a blog in the first place? If you blog do you enjoy new bloggers stopping by to comment so you can go check out their blogs, too?

The first thing that attracts me to a blog is the photos, but what keeps me going back regularly is the blogger's writing style, humor, knitting ability, and personality (I definitely seem to prefer perky, positive types).

(Thank you, Margene for making me think -- it also led me to update my website!)

And strictly for fun and because she doesn't have a blog of her own, I am sharing some of Alisa's recent finished knits:

Alisa's moccasins Alisa's FINISHED sampler cardiganAlisa's FINISHED cardigan (back)

January 11, 2006

Beth Brown-Reinsel "Top Down Aran Cardigan" Workshop

Yesterday I attended a "Top Down Aran Cardigan" workshop taught by Beth Brown-Reinsel :

BBRCardigan.jpg
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A fellow blogger was there too and she made significantly more progress than I in spite of her having had very recent surgery on her hands!

If you knitters ever get a chance to attend a Beth Brown-Reinsel workshop, please go! She's a delightful instructor and the content is meaty yet you don't feel rushed. You're there to learn the concepts and you can rely on her handouts to catch up when you get home. The handouts are EXCELLENT and well-organized. She truly knows her stuff! She shared her "Celtic Dreams" pullover and talked a lot about her design process which was a nice bonus -- it gave me some time to untangle the mess I had made of my yarn.

I got to sit with my friends and as usual, learned a lot just by having them there to help me and let me borrow supplies. (Thank you Angelette, Mariann & Alisa). I was definitely the slacker of the group!

The event was hosted by my employers at Twisted Yarns in Spring, Texas (best little yarn store in Texas). While Beth was in town, she also conducted at least two other workshops.

Check out the new button in my sidebar - I'm actually "knitting along" this year -- it's a Sock Thing!

January 09, 2006

Music to Knit (Socks) By

LP_ultimate.gif

Skittermagoo (Chris) blogged about Two Thousand and Sox and I am all over it. I'd already decided to knit a pair of socks a month (at least) so this fits in perfectly with my plans and my new music.

Here's a completed single sock and I've cast on and am about two inches in to the second sock:

Finished Sock 1a of 2006

January 06, 2006

Purl Soho

If I lived in New York, I'd visit Purl Soho ALL the time. I just received their latest newsletter and it's now at the top of my list of favorite yarn store newsletters. If you're a knitter, sign up for it and you'll see what I'm talking about. While you're at the site, check out their Lorna's Laces custom colors.

January 03, 2006

First Sock of 2006

I've been a bit busy but have found some time for the sock thing:

Sock 1 of 2006

Yarn: REGIA Norweger Ringel
Needles: Size 1 (US) Clover bamboo DPNs

Sock yarn stash now includes Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, Mountain Colors Bearfoot, Sockotta and Fortissima Colori. For the year of the sock, I am sticking to yarns we carry at Twisted Yarns -- it should be more than enough to do a dozen pair of socks in 2006!