Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sock Summit Flash Mob

With the teacher dinner eight hours away from this here moment I find myself in a state of unfocused panic and excitement. I had to look at the Sock Summit website one more time to be sure it's real.

Then I stumbled upon this:

Just curious how many people are going to do this...?

I am also looking at twitter too much because there is a lot of Sock Summit buzz there. I happened to see this tweet from Interweave:

InterweaveNews Jaime Guthals
Free IW book (your choice) to the person who gets Ann Budd (sober) to do flash mob dance at #socksummit. 2 @IWBooks if you get it on camera

So many questions.

edited to add: Oh yeah, should I be knitting a sock during the summit? Why is this just occurring to me now?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Getting ready for Sock Summit 2011

Good day party people! Our mayor has officially declared next week to be "Sock Knitting Week" in Portland so I better get on board with this significance asap.

(Yes, you may have to click on that one to read it)

Here we are, less than a week away from Sock Summit 2011. It's hard not to reflect on what the first Sock Summit was like and what it meant for me. I always find time for reflection when deadlines loom.

It was a magical experience. There was a convention center full of energized and joyful knitters. Everywhere you looked, someone was knitting. I belonged. We understood each other. It was like finally arriving at Hogwarts after living too long under the stairs in a muggle house.

In the broader sense I was crazy in love with my community, my friends, and my town. I had a million ideas and I was excited about everything. I felt connected to an ocean of potential and I had an awesome surfboard. My future was waiting. In short, I was just so happy.

rav party laughing
photo taken of Sock Summit 2009 Ravelry party laughter by leethal

It's bittersweet to recall these times. The universe knows, my friends know. This go around my life looks quite different. I'll let someone else speak (poetically) on the subject: "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." (attributed to Dr. Seuss)

This is a fresh start. It will be a different Sock Summit too. Last time we set a world record. This year there will be a flash mob. Last time my new friend Stephen hizKNITS bought me socks from Barbara Walker. THE Barbara Walker.

Barbara Walker's Socks

These are her actual socks. She knit them flat and seamed them up and wore them a great deal. I used to have them hanging by my front door. I've moved twice since then and I think they are now living in a box somewhere.

Sock Summit
(I gave Stephen some homespun to say thank you. He seemed to like it.)

I'm happy to report that my classes are all booked up next week. I am looking forward to meeting old friends and making new ones. I wonder what else this period of time will bring and what the future holds for me now.

I plan on finishing the Socks For All Seasons e-book before the Summit. I plan on releasing details of my new club during the Summit as well. Now that I think about it, there are many exciting fiber-y happenings just around the corner. Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 2011

This is what summer has brought me so far...




Waffle Window

Leethal Mystery Knitalong

Mustache vending machine

little big burger

little big burger

Yarn bombing

Ruby Jewel

Thursday, July 14, 2011

And the Pursuit of Happiness

With Sock Summit approaching and deadlines left and right I feel compelled to tell you something unrelated... A great book sits on my coffee table! Have you seen it?

and the pursuit of happiness

Originally this collection was presented as a blog series in the New York Times and now as a wonderful book of (mostly) illustrations from Maira Kalman. This book takes you through an entire year's worth of exploring American democracy in imaginative and personal ways.

and the pursuit of happiness
click on picture to read text. Really you must.

Highlight: Kalman visits the Pentagon and writes "I wonder, why does the building have to be as bland and as soulless as a hospital? Have they not seen any James Bond movies? Would it kill them to have some style?"

Thank you for allowing this detour. I needed a break.

To see Amazon's page for this book, go here:
And the Pursuit of HappinessSocial History Books)

Thanks to Mr. 12 and Tutu for the book. I love it!

Monday, July 11, 2011

For those with a case of the Mondays

Photo by Dan Bush. Poem by Langston Hughes

Gather out of star-dust
And splinters of hail,
One handful of dream-dust
Not for sale.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Adventures in Yogurtsville

Really spell check? Yogurtsville isn't a word?

So, I make my own yogurt now. I feel very old fashioned and very modern at the same time. I especially love that there are no more plastic containers involved. If you are at all interested, this is what I use: Euro Cuisine Automatic Yogurt Maker, White

Here is how it is going so far:

First attempt: I used whole cow milk, real maple syrup, and greek yogurt as a starter. Results were amazing. I had seven little jars of sweet, rich, fresh yogurt. Lucky me!

boiling milk

Second attempt: I got cocky. I make yogurt now, I can do anything! The booklet said soy milk was fine. So I tried almond milk. The booklet didn't mention almond milk but I assumed that was simply an oversight. You know, I'm talking about milk made from almonds. What could go wrong? I used that with vanilla and nancy's non-fat yogurt as a starter. Results were different. I made a yogurt-y drink. Almond milk is too different to work it turns out. I drank all of it anyway. It was still tasty.

yogurt making

Third attempt is today. I am using whole milk, maple syrup, and greek yogurt again. While it forms I am going record shopping, Little Big Burger eating and then ice cream waffle sandwich indulging after that.

My goodness the things I do when I should be doing something else!

Friday, July 08, 2011

do stuff! » leethal Mystery Hat Knit-a-long!!

Mystery Hat!
photos by leethal

Here is my current list of knitting-related projects on my plate:

1. Finish Socks for all Seasons e-book

2. Finish proposal for new collaborative project that I will talk more about soon but my goodness it's exciting.

3. Crochet a dress for my niece's August birthday

4. Finish Rockin' Sock Club test knit

5. Finish gift sweater

6. There's more. I have to stop before I trigger a coronary episode. That's a thing, right?

But then this happened!

leethal mystery hat knit-a-long!

I signed up for Leethal's Mystery Hat Knit-a-long. Wanna make a hat with me? You can use any yarn and make it custom sized. Hard to beat that.

Confession: I've seen the hat in person. Trust me, it's A Very Fine Hat indeed.

To learn more: do stuff! » leethal Mystery Hat Knit-a-long!!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Emerald Sweater

"Oh - You're a very bad man!"

Oh, no my dear. I'm a very good man. I'm just a very bad Wizard."
— (The Wizard) L. Frank Baum (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)


Oh yes my dear, here is the Emerald Sweater, which has nothing to do with the Emerald City but inspired a L. Frank Baum quote hunt anyway. First, the sweater:

Emerald Sweater

I made it a while ago but didn't wear it because it came out differently than I imagined it. Then one day I decided to like it anyhow.

Pattern: Emerald by Amy Swenson

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts De-Vine in color: Manly yes but I like it too

Mods: I omitted the big button. Maybe with regrets.

Emerald Sweater

Lately I have been drinking in tiny bits of wisdom wherever I find them. So please take this next quote with some salt and some cheek. Hey, why not toss in some chocolate and whiskey and call it a party. And invite me along already.


"As they passed the rows of houses they saw through the open doors that men were sweeping and dusting and washing dishes, while the women sat around in groups, gossiping and laughing."

What has happened? the Scarecrow asked a sad-looking man with a bushy beard, who wore an apron and was wheeling a baby carriage along the sidewalk.

Why, we've had a revolution, your Majesty -- as you ought to know very well, replied the man; and since you went away the women have been running things to suit themselves. I'm glad you have decided to come back and restore order, for doing housework and minding the children is wearing out the strength of every man in the Emerald City.

Hm! said the Scarecrow, thoughtfully. If it is such hard work as you say, how did the women manage it so easily?

I really do not know, replied the man, with a deep sigh. Perhaps the women are made of cast-iron.
— L. Frank Baum (The Marvelous Land of Oz)


Maybe I should call this my cast-iron sweater instead of my emerald sweater?

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Christina's World

Wow... Another post that has nothing to do with knitting? Yep. I was playing around in the creative commons and deconstructed one of my favorite paintings:

photo by Perrimoon


Lonely tree
Photo by Julie Berlin


"Christina's World" by Andrew Wyeth
Photo by Joe Goldberg. Painting by Andrew Wyeth 1948

Okay, maybe not exactly. But it's a tricky job using random flickr results for words like "desolate." This is not a common tag for photos, thankfully. It's also kind of a bummer search it turns out. But hey! What fun in the end.

Shall I talk about the painting as well? This was not the kind of painting I encountered in art school. We have to go back a bit. I've had a fascination for this image since I first learned about it in elementary school.

Our teacher told us that the woman had polio, a disease none of us could contract. I fixated on her, broken and trying to get home. I loved how high the horizon point was. I loved the muted palette. I loved how the house looked like the one in Little House on the Prairie.

I have a reproduction of it now that I picked up in a second-hand shop. I just hung it up in my new apartment so I wanted to deconstruct the image for fun. I have knitting deadlines people. I always find something else to do when I have deadlines.

So this post is about knitting after all!

Monday, July 04, 2011

My new obsession

old keys
Old Key Collection

This is a screen shot of one of my boards over at Pinterest. I'm even thinking about getting a skeleton key tattoo... A key I can never lose and never give away. It would stay with me forever.


Sunday, July 03, 2011

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Tour de Fleece 2011

It's on, honey. Oh yeah it's on.


The real question is do I fork out the $30 to be able to watch the Tour de France streaming online this year? I don't have cable anymore. Tough decisions abound...

It's time! The Tour de France is here! It begins TODAY. I can hardly believe it's been another year but here we are again and I am really excited. Welcome to the sixth annual Tour de Fleece - an online spin-along for people who spin yarn and play with fiber.

The first Tour de Fleece was in 2006. We had 16 spinners and a lot of fun. 2007 was much bigger, with 138 spinners, and even more fun. 2008 was HUGE, with over 400 spinners. 2009 I stopped counting at 1500. I stopped counting in 2010 at 3800. I wonder how many we'll get this year?

The concept is simple, They spin, we spin. A real spinning themed spin-along.


Want to participate?

1. It's all on Ravelry... check out our group. If you're not yet on Ravelry, do yourself a favor and join. It's free of course, just do it already!

2. We also have a Flickr pool here. Join the group and show off your homespun in the pool!

If you want to give it a try, or just follow our progress, or are a fan of the Tour de France, JOIN!

Guidelines (NOT RULES)

1. Spin every day the Tour rides, if possible. Saturday July 2nd through Sunday July 24th. Days of rest: Monday July 11th, Monday July 18st. (Just like the actual tour)

2. Spin something challenging Friday July 22nd. (The Tour’s toughest mountain stage over the Col du Galibier for the second time, and finishing up on Alpe d’Huez.)

3. Take a button if you want one. Then we can use the button on our blogs in show of solidarity. Take it from here or grab a clean one from the flickr pool.

4. Wear yellow on Sunday July 24th to announce victory. Why not wear yellow on any day you feel particularly successful? (Yellow is the color of the race leader in the Tour - but here we are all ‘race leaders’)

5. Other colors if desired: Green (sprinter - think FAST), Polka-dot (climber - as in uphill), and white (rookie)

Teams: Join one, or many, or none. Sign up in the Ravelry group. (I can't stress enough how great the Ravelry group is)

- Peloton (The main group. Everyone is in the peloton at some point)

- Rookies (first years)

- Sprinters (fast and/or high mileage like lace)

- Climbers (conquer mountains, big personal challenges)

- Breakaway (Art yarns)

- Lantern rouge (You will participate as much as possible but you may skip days here and there. Cheerleaders welcome.)

- Wildcards (This is for people who want to form their own team. This includes sponsored teams, like those affiliated with a specific fiber shop or people who live in the same town, etc.)

The teams are inspired by the actual Tour de France.


So far we have some fantastic fiber-related prizes donated... yes we do. To win them you must play along on Ravelry.

On your marks...

Yellow Jersey

At last check: There are 4287 Tour de Fleece members on Ravelry! (and growing)

Paris-Roubaix Cuffs and Cowl

Another pattern inspired by cycling? Yes. It was also technically my 50th pattern! I've had two more since then, but clubs throw off linear time cycles.


Beginning in 1896, Paris-Roubaix (Pair-ee Roo-bay) is one of the oldest road cycling races still running. The trek always leaves riders caked in mud and grit from the cobbled paths and rutted tracks of northern France's former coal-mining region.


The best part? The winner gets to keep a cobblestone as a trophy. With this project, you get a smart set of cuffs and matching cowl inspired by the winding tracks and cobbles of this spring cycling classic. Even though this event is nicknamed l'Enfer du Nord, or Hell of the North, this knitting project is more like freewheeling!


Cowl Size: 6.75” long. 20” circumference.

Cuff Size: 6.75” long. Circumference depends on preference.

Yarn: Any Heavy worsted-weight or Aran- weight yarn that gives you proper gauge. Sample shown: Berroco Remix [30% Nylon, 27% Cotton, 24% Acrylic, 10% Silk, 9% Linen; 216yd per 100gr ball]; color: 3930 Smoke: 1 ball.

A note about the yarn - It's made from 100% recycled fibers and is machine washable. Isn't that cool?


Needles: 1 set US #8/4.5mm straight or circular needle (or size to get gauge).

Gauge: 18 sts/25 rows = 4" in Stockinette St.

Notions: Tapestry needle.


Skill level: This advanced-beginner pattern is knit flat and sewn together. You’ll need to know how to cast on, knit, purl, increase, decrease, and bind off.

The pattern is $4.99
add to cart
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buy now

If you'd rather buy a hard copy of the pattern already printed and ready to roll - head over to Twisted.


This pattern was test knitted and modeled by Sorren Kerr. Photographs by Vivian Aubrey. Many thanks!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Song I woke up singing

Neil Young

"Harvest Moon" by Neil Young

Come a little bit closer
Hear what I have to say
Just like children sleepin'
We could dream this night away.

But there's a full moon risin'
Let's go dancin' in the light
We know where the music's playin'
Let's go out and feel the night.

Because I'm still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because I'm still in love with you
On this harvest moon.

When we were strangers
I watched you from afar
When we were lovers
I loved you with all my heart.

But now it's gettin' late
And the moon is climbin' high
I want to celebrate
See it shinin' in your eye.

Because I'm still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because I'm still in love with you
On this harvest moon.

Here it is later in the day and I'm still singing it. So I am also sharing it.

Oh yes, photo by Chris Heald appearing here thanks to creative commons :)


I found this video on the Twisted blog today and had to post it here. Do NOT click on this link if you have a problem with cuteness!

Angora Rabbits from Patrick Russell on Vimeo.

They don't mention it in the video because fiber people know this but angora rabbits produce angora fiber. Angora goats produce mohair. I love both fibers but not in full force.

I have an angora sweater that I plan on recycling into yarn but it's a little itchy. Maybe I should hold one strand with something else together? Anyone have angora thoughts they want to share?

In conclusion, Bunnies are cute. Also, you need to see Desdemona, the cookie stealing rabbit if you agree.