Sunday, September 28, 2008

Summer Vacation Slides

Hey, I know we usually discuss knitting here, but did I mention I took a recent trip to Los Angeles? Want to see?

Ontario Mills

"Hulk Hogan's Dodge Dealer of Choice"

Starbucks outlet?

Have you ever seen a Starbuck's outlet? I have.

Smoke House

Brunch rules at the Smoke House, which is now a family tradition.


Another family tradition: The LA County Fair (along with deep fried artichoke hearts and sunstroke)

knitted house

Oh this is simply a knitted house. It's going to get donated to a children's hospital. (See, knitting!)

Ferris Wheel

In case you can't read the fairy tale food stand in front of the ferris wheel, it's called "Carmelot." Get it? Get it?

Thanks for your indulgence. Next week, more knitting talk. Honest.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Garter Rib

Every once in a while I have to make a very simple sock. I get tired of the constant challenge of working complicated yarns into interesting stitches, so I went to the happy place: Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch.

Garter Rib

Pattern: Garter Rib by Charlene Schurch

Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock DK. Color: Olive Grove. Bought here.

Needles: Knitpicks Harmony 32" circular (magic loop), US size 2 (2.75mm)

Garter Rib

Pattern Review: Fantastic pattern, naturally. Charlene Schurch is a pioneer of sorts and has made sock knitting accessible to everyone. The patterns are easy to follow and written to accommodate the many sizes and techniques of the knitter.

These socks are worked from the cuff down, though one could easily work them toe-up. I followed the pattern as written. Garter rib is a well-known stitch, and very very easy to do. There are many more complicated patterns in Sensational Knitted Socks as well, I just happened to pick this one. There are cables, lace and colorwork too!

Garter Rib

Modifications: Not really a modification but I made the sock a little taller because I am tall.

Yarn Review:
I should say that I am already a fan of Cherry Tree Hill yarns. The colors are fun and the feel is pleasant. DK weight yarn is a double treat because I only had 48 stitches on the needles, so the project flew quickly.

I think the color was one of the limited/lottery/potluck sort of things where you grab it if you like it because you might not ever see it again. These colors in particular could have been made into some ugly yarn, but it's quite pretty somehow. Who knew what was possible with rust, pistachio ice-cream and purple?

I'm not sure where the concept of Olive Grove entered the picture but I haven't ever been to an Olive Grove so perhaps the color is well-named.

Garter Rib

Overall: Very colorful, very cute, very well-fitting and stay-upping. A simple pattern + pretty yarn = a good deal. The timing was nice because I am designing several sock patterns right now and needed some mindless knitting.

My head is somewhat clear to tackle more complicated projects now, for which I am grateful. There is no end to those projects, nor is there an end to my need to clear my mind.

Garter Rib

I would suggest some simple knitting to anyone stuck in a fussy project/messy moment in life. It really helps unlock the brain... However temporarily that might be!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Baby Mary Jane Skimmers

Look at these little shoes! Made for this amazing baby.

Sophie shoes

Even a die-hard sock knitter takes a break once in a while to use worsted weight yarn. I should know, it happened to me.

This crochet pattern was really fun to do and I plan on making more. I'd like to use a smoother yarn to show off the details on top more.

For those interested, the pattern is available here, by Sylver Designs.

I also made a matching sweater but FORGOT TO TAKE A PICTURE OF IT before gifting it. How did this happen? I guess I was preoccupied. Terrible!

It was a grey and pink striped cardigan, trust me, cute.

It was also the first sweater I ever finished, making it a Very Big Deal for me, even if it was for an infant.

I've started and frogged so many failed sweaters I've lost track. Something always goes horribly wrong somewhere. My goal this winter is to make myself a sweater that I'd wear. I have the yarn, I've seen some great patterns, I just need to commit. Well, I need more than that, but I'll start there. I'll show you the yarn I have in mind, then we can pick the pattern.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sock Tease: TRON

Ichabod Crane

Here is a skein of Fresh From the Cauldron sock yarn in the colorway Ichabod Crane. This was one of several just released in their Fall 2008 Sock kits. I designed two of the kit patterns, and here is a peek at one: TRON.

Tron Socks

Those of you born after 1982 may have to Google Tron to get the reference, I shudder to think... Please tell me everyone knows about TRON, right?

Tron Socks

For the linkophobic I'll remind you the plot of TRON: "A hacker is literally abducted into the world of a computer and forced to participate in gladiatorial games where his only chance of escape is with the help of a heroic security program." -IMBb

In 1982, this was very forward thinking. There was also a fantastic arcade game based on the film at the time that my brother used to play.

Tron Socks

I'll say that these socks should have been inspired by the legend of Sleepy Hollow but as I working through these socks I kept thinking of pixels along crooked path.

Tron Socks

I'm sure I didn't invent this, but I'm happy to have hit upon this garter block stitch pattern (on heel and cuff) while playing around with the pixel concept. I think they look like they belong in an old video game. Am I nuts?

Tron socks heel detail

So the yarn was inspired by a very old legend and the socks were inspired by a somewhat vintage tale and they come together well, I hope.

Tron Socks

The pattern is available only to those who bought the kit, but it will be released to the public sometime after December 1, 2008... Just in time for Christmas! (I know, sorry)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Keep on blogging in the Free World

Whenever I go a bit longer in between posts here I get nervous about the first post back.

Why? I think too much about it. I imagine that I better have a good reason for taking so long, even though I don't really, other than LIFE. (heard of it?)

So, here's I'll write about this week:

1. Baby knitting for my niece, and how I know understand why people love to knit for the tiny folk.

2. A sweater dilemma, which is more of a coming out story about how a supposedly good knitter can't seem to make a good sweater.

3. More socks, of course. I haven't changed too much in this department! I have some more finished pairs to share as well as launching a new series called "Sock Design Workshop." I've been learning a LOT about sock design and want to share what I can so you can learn from my mistakes... not that I'm done making them, of course!

Daisy Doodle

I leave you with a picture of my "other niece" who is a Very Good Dog and I have promised to not knit her a sweater.