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There is a knitter out there who goes by the name Seven who just brought balance to my knitting world.

Back in 2007 there was a fellow knitter who sewed some extremely popular sock knitting bags and I was the proud owner of one. We ended up making a trade of dyed rovings for custom bags and I shipped out my end of the bargain eagerly anticipating the arrival of my new sock project bags.

They never arrived.

More time past and paying customers started voicing their complaints and soon we were given the sad news of her death.  Some doubted, some grieved. I personally felt like a total heel since I had just emailed a less than friendly note the day before but I moved on and chalked it up to life.

A year passes and the word gets out that death isn’t as permanant as we all assumed. 

Enter Seven.

She found out I was on the losing end of the deal and kindly offered to make me some replacements as a way to balance out the karma in the world. How could I refuse?

Each bag was wrapped in red tissue paper and came with the cutest card.

The perfect small project bags.

My Gail shawl fits perfectly and I’m thrilled beyond belief.

 

Thank you Seven for bringing knitting karma balance to my life.

If you are available and willing please send me all your happy successful interview vibes on Monday between the hours of 9am to 1pm PST.

It would be greatly appreciated 🙂

I have a love hate relationship with Socks That Rock. I love their yarn, their colors and the fact they are made by a Pac NW company. I hate that I have rarely been able to make a successful pair of socks from the yarn.

My first pair was in Rooster Rock and even though it took about 4 attempts to find a stitch pattern I liked that minimized the pooling they are still one of my favorite pairs. Little did I know that 4 attempts at success would be my personal best when it came to STR. I worked up the Bellatrix pattern in Lagoon with great success only to have the socks pill horribly in the first wash and by wash #3 they were felted beyond repair (I’m now missing one so I can’t even gift them to a small footed family member).

Then STR and I truly had a falling out. I desperately wanted things to work and tried and tried again with my Scottish Highland only to finally admit defeat and destash that yarn on Ravelry. No problem I though, the shaded solid Lemongrass won’t steer me wrong. All the horrible pooling/flashing problems I encountered with the Scottish Highland wouldn’t occur with the Lemongrass.

Suddenly nothing I did would make a sock that fit. I went down a needle size, I went up. I tried 2 or 3 sock patterns. I adjusted the number of stitches about 3 times.  I had failed but I didn’t want to give up on Lemongrass quite yet. The destash of the previous sock was still too raw (this happened to 2 bus socks in a row) so the cake was tossed back into the back of the sock yarn cabinet and I moved on to other knitting.

When it came time to pack up my apt to move this January I tossed Lemongrass into the box of yarn I was allowed to bring to the house. I figured I needed it up front and looking me in the eye as a challenge to make things work.

After the 2 monthlong process to finish the Jester socks I decided I needed a sock that was a little more me and less published pattern. Thanks to the Harmony Cable & Aran guide I found what I was looking for almost immediately.

May I introduce you to the Romulan Socks!

Lemongrass STR…I made you my bitch!

Check out the detail on the back

There are 2 Rhombus cables running on either side of the foot and 1 running up the back of the calf. I’m super pleased with how these turned out and the fact I knit them in 5 days sure doesn’t hurt either.

I’m not going to tempt fate by casting on another pair of STR (plus I would have to go get more out of storage in order to do that) but I’m definitely feeling good about socks right now. I may even attempt some of my Zen Yarn Garden stash next.

The present is done!

Talk about easy and fun knitting. Elefante is definitely a quick project and I would totally make another (if I ever have a baby to knit for that is). Not too many adults might want a stuffed toy elephant but hopefully the intended recipient does.

 

Knit with Royal Silk Merino that I picked up at Little Knits last month. They had a HUGE bag sale on these but I was too slow and still trying to be good about not stashing more yarn so I missed on getting full bags of my favorite colors. I got one skein each of the white and lilac and damn this is nice yarn. Really makes me wish I had more to make a sweater out of it. Super nice sheen, good stitch definition and it felt great in my hands.

The only mod I made to this was knitting the ears isntead of crochet. I tried the ears twice and still couldn’t get the shape I wanted out of them so I found an easy knitted Elefante ear pattern in the Knit Toys group on Ravelry.

I took a break from work today to put in some gardening time. Over the winter one of the boards on my large raised bed started to fail and was leaning and bulging in a rather scary way. Dad and I braved the frigid weather (at least it was a clear sunny day) to tear it apart and reposition the problem board. This involved digging out an insane amount of dirt, realizing the board is almost completely rotten after only 2 years and that the culprit is the invasive mint-like weed that really makes me wish the garden wasn’t organic. We pounded in some stakes and figured the board had 1 more season left in it with that bandaid of a fix.

I got my first shipment of seeds in the mail today and the second is on it’s way. I loaded up on some asian vegetable seeds so hopefully I will have baby boy choi and tatsoi coming out of my ears…plus just wait till the soybeans and yard-long beans start growing…yum. Dad requested we grow kohlrabi this year so that was added to the mix along with the usual green beans, snow peas, tomatoes and leafy greens. I’m going to attempt potatoes again and based on the results of my last attempt any amount of potatoes that I grow will be a success.

But I did also manage to make bread today. The front loaf is plain country white and the back loaf has roasted garlic and rosemary. I love that this bread only uses the starter I made from grapes over 6 months ago, technically I was supposed to let these sit in the fridge for a day before baking to improve the flavor but I was in a hurry and I wanted fresh bread for lunch tomorrow.

Is there anything better than the smell of baking bread in the house (besides the smell of cookies that is)?

The Leyburn socks are done!

This was actually a pretty easy pattern so I don’t know why it took 2 whole months to finish. The actual knitting time was relatively short so this project definitely suffered due to other crafting diversions.

Most of the past month has been devoted to dyeing up a new sock yarn for a shop. I took a different approach and dyed very few colorways that have been in the Dragonfibers lineup before and that pushed me to try some new things. I definitely ended up with some new colorways that will be making into the shop soon. If you want to see yarn photos go here

I”m not completely done with the yarn dyeing yet but lately I have been feeling the itch to spin again. It’s been 2 months since I last touched the wheel and I’m missing it bigtime. Once I get my current knitting project out of the way I’m going to be hauling out the wheel again.

After I took a rather long (3hr) nap in my knitting chair this afternoonI did cast on for a new project. It doesn’t look like much right now but it’s going to be cute! 

I also got one step closer to making my favorite artisan bread today. Last week I got my starter all happy and bubbly before I realized I had packed the cookbook in storage. Today I braved the freakish snow (um Hello it’s MARCH!) and retrieved the required book only to realize that I was now low on bread flour. I just want my homemade rosemary roasted garlic bread damn it!

Well February sucked bigtime in the Stashdown 2009 plan. 

BIGTIME.

Today I realized that not only has my stash grown in the last 28 days but I was calculating my totals all wrong to begin with. Not much of a change but still one that required adjusting the progress to date widget.

In the month of February the stash grew by 5 skeins. Now I could be picky and say since one of those skeins was bought on March 1st it doesn’t really count but let’s face it…it does.

I did make good progress today on the Leyburn socks while waiting at the dealership today for my car. I only stopped before the heel turn because I couldn’t remember how many repeats I knit on the first sock before the heel and that sock was still at home.

I do have pictures of my 2 Portland yarn purchases.

Habu Textiles silk and stainless steel. The picture doesn’t show all the subtle sparkle from the stainless steel.

Rio de la Plato Multisolid sock yarn. It’s a 3ply that is dyed before plying. Definitely has a handspun look to it. Totally not my usual colors but I was oddly drawn to it.

Taking a weekend trip out of town to visit friends and leaving your knitting bag on your bed at home.

I was sitting at the Burgerville in Centralia WA (yes I know it is just a fast food place but we don’t have them in Seattle) when I realized my knitting wasn’t in my purse. I finished lunch and checked my overnight bag…no knitting. Panic set in and thankfully logic prevailed and I didn’t drive the 90 miles back home just to get a sock project.

My first stop in Portland was Knit/Purl. For some reason I expected a larger shop but everything they had in there was high quality and excellent yarn. I looked around for a project I could start while there but nothing called out to me. I was ready to leave empty handed when I noticed a couple of shelves and a Habu label. I don’t think any shop in Seattle carries Habu (although I could be wrong) so I picked up a little something for my stash. I of course forgot to take pictures of everything but will show you what I got next time. 

After Knit/Purl I went in search of Yarnia. Google maps failed me and I finally made my way to the shop after taking a couple random guesses on which direction to turn. Once there I picked out some yarn for Betty before heading over to visit my friends. I would have lingered longer but I think you have to be in the right frame of mind to come up with a yarn combo and I just wasn’t there. It felt overwhelming to try and choose.

Once at L & J’s house I got to meet their new roomies.

Dors and

Pumpkin.

6 month old medium and long haired sisters. Cute as can be and way more energetic than my two boys. Who knew a twistie tie could provide hours upon hours of entertainment.

On Saturday evening we went to visit their friends (Kelle is a fellow Raveler) and I came away with what looked like half a Prius full of Shetland fleeces. I can’t wait to open up the bags and pick out all the great bits to spin up. Both Ginger and Betty have called dibs on some of the fleece so all I have to do is pass on Kelle’s request that she get to see pictures of the finished projects. I think I grabbed all the bags of the silver shetland because the color and crimp was just beautiful.

Then to finish off a great weekend both L & J took me to the Yarn Garden (yet another Portland yarn shop). Anyplace that offers coffee, tea and yarn is a place I want to be. I loved the store and will definitely go back there again.

I’m now back home and the mountain of undyed sock yarn is staring me in the face. The sock yarn needs to go out the door before it can be replaced by undyed lace yarn and massive piles of rovings.

Flickr Photos

blackwork sampler

More Photos

Dragonfibers

On the needles

February Fitted Pullover

Sapphire Waves of Grain

On the Bedside Table

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (ok not really since I can't find the book anymore)

on the wheel

Absolutely Nothing.

Stashdown 2009

January 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 233 Total Weight:33.13lbs Total Miles: 27

February 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 213 Total Weight:30.09lbs Total Miles: 26

March 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 218 Total Weight:31.95lbs Total Miles: 27

April 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 217 Total Weight:31.45lbs Total Miles: 26.5

May 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 229 Total Weight: 33.8 Total Miles: 28.4

June 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 210 Total Weight: 31.9 Total Miles: 27.7

July 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 201 Total Weight: 30.5 Total Miles: 26.5

August 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 228 Total Weight: 34.0 Total Miles: 28.8

October 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 254 Total Weight: 38.2 Total Miles: 31.8

November1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 224 Total Weight: 34.9 Total Miles: 29.9

December 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 206 Total Weight: 31.9 Total Miles: 27.1

KAL

World Bread Day '07

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