Monday, September 27, 2010

Socks and Yarn, Yarn and Socks!

So how's the marathon posting?? It's amazing how much one can accomplish when there are no distractions. Does this mean I'll be better about blogging on a regular basis? I make no promises, that's a sure way to entice life into going utterly upside down.
The garden didn't go well this year, so what I've been putting up has been what I can get in bulk. Apples are on the list this week, but it's given me more time to indulge in other things.
Like socks.
No, I don't spend my afternoons lolling around in large piles of does paint an interesting picture though, doesn't it?
I'm talking about the knitting of socks. Currently there is a box on the other side of the country, it's waiting for some wool that I sent over a couple of weeks ago. There are some very nice people (okay, I'm paying them to do it) that are going to turn said wool into fluffy roving. However, that means I need to keep myself occupied until my box comes back. In other words, I need to find ways to not pester the nice people at the wool mill.
This could take an additional outlay of monies. In fact, it did! For the first time, I indulged in sock yarn. (do you know how hard it is to justify buying yarn when you can spin it?!)

To make this clear. I'm slightly obsessive about knitting socks, when I sit down to do it. They can be fairly addictive in the best of circumstances! Usually fine until I get half way through the leg, then it's just a ways to the heel, of course once the heel is finished may as well turn it. Then it doesn't take that long to work the gusset, that would be a good stopping point...yes? Once the gusset is finished, however, you're just about finished with the foot. After all, the foot is half stockinette and it goes very quickly. Well since you're just about finished with the foot, may as well just put a fork in it and work that toe really quickly. Since sock A is finished, you really should at least work the cuff of sock B, this will help prevent second sock syndrome. Before you know it, it's been a couple of days laundry is starting to morph into a new life form and the family has decided that self-sufficiency really isn't all it's cracked up to be. So, while I'm usually pretty good about working socks into life instead of the other way round....there are those days and those patterns.

Off I went to websites. Online is my only option for this since I have become a yarn snob. I wouldn't say this is a bad thing, I know for a fact I would get in more trouble if I were able to walk around a store.
First stop, Paradise Fibers. They're "local" for me (local has become a relative term) and I like that they support many of the fiber people in the area. A hot cup of coffee, slippers and dinner in the crock pot ('cause I've learned sometimes it just doesn't pay to fight it). One of my reasons for looking at sock yarns, is superwash wool.


Oh, let me enlighten you. Machine washable.
Yes, wool that you can wash, cold water please, in the machine and it's not going to shrink down to super midget size!
*Pausing for the sunbeams and heavenly choir scene*
(No, I've stopped worrying about my mental state, it's easier to just sit back, relax and go with it)

Okay, back to my mouse clicking fun and coffee. I'm downsizing my standard sock needle size again and have decided to play with size 1's. For those of you unfamiliar with knitting needles, these are perhaps a micron larger than shaved toothpicks. That's a possible exaggeration of sorts and it probably doesn't help that my current set is only 4" long. Never fear! I have another set coming in another box (here today maybe?) that is longer, that box also contains Sock Innovations....I'm digressing slightly, just slightly.
That means that I'm opening up options with yarn. Oh the joy! Now, remember I have that box waaaay over in Michigan. Right? So, straight up wool, well I've got that covered. Why not play with something new? Can we Of course we can, in fact, lets! Yes, silk content would be wonderful.
An hour ambles by without much notice. Shhh....I'm doing my best to drown the monitor in drool. It would give Justin a reason to buy a larger monitor, I do my best to be an accommodating spouse you know. I've played at Paradise, KnitPicks and a couple others. The result of my daytime clicking?


What?! It doesn't make you do that? Pfft. Okay, so here's the run down and what's happening so far.
From Paradise Fibers:
Jojoland Melody Superwash in Blues and reds & Red, Green and More. Straight up and down superwash wool.

Here's the Red, Green and More working up in the Pomatomus pattern.
Yarn: Definitely a yarn for size 1s. Varigated over all, but the strands are also varigated. Soft, fine, just a pleasure to knit with IMO.
Pattern: Knit on the recommendation of a friend. Love it! This is not a pattern to work when life is distractive. However, it's texture rich and hypnotic.

Imagination Hand Painted - Lullaby color way, 50% Merino, 25% superfine Alpaca, 25%Nylon.

This is the Imgainiation Hand Painted, working up Froot loop for a KAL (knit a-long) on Homesteading.

Stroll Tonal - Kindling and Foliage - 75% Superwash Merino and 25% Nylon.

Stroll - Merlot Heathers - 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon.

Gloss - fingering weight - Parsley (on clearance) and Jade - 70% Merino, 30% Silk

That is the result of my foray into the online sock yarn world. While there's not much silk in that box, the Superwash is going to help make life a little simpler.
Shameless KnitPicks people just sent out another magazine and I have spied a couple of color ways that I would really, really like to play with. Fortunately, the holidays approach. I don't need to keep it all, it's the playing and watching how it works up that I really enjoy. The Jojoland yarns...well those will stay in my sock collection.

Amongst all the sock play, I went to retrieve the leavings of the mailman one fine fall afternoon and found a package. It was squooshy, with a familiar hand on the front and a llama. (I knew she'd find a way to send me her llama!) Children swarmed, packages always cause this reaction and knowing from whence it came they were eager to see.

The pattern is Jeeves. The yarn Sensations Bamboo & Ewe, Turquoise Multi.

This is a woman who can knit socks! They fit like a dream and have been keeping my toes toasty in this new fall chill we've had. Such a wonderful, out-of-the-blue surprise!!

There's my latest fiber fix. Now if I could just learn to read while I knit! There are those out there, who can do this. I'm not one of them. Yes, I've tried, no it wasn't pretty.

Off to play with Pomatomus!
(I think it might be a good idea to back off the coffee just a smidge as well.)

Are words necessary?

Nope...I think the tongue says it all.

Catching up

The days are turning crisp, apple harvest is coming in and it's time to start bedding the farm down for the winter. Justin had vacation the end of August which helped this process immensely!
The tractor was sweet talked into running. The pastures mowed into submission. The weather was just beautiful! Ah! We also found most of the irrigation heads again! a good thing.

Bossy here, thinks the tractor is going to eat her. Not really, but it's a fun game to play! Personally I think it looks painful the way her udder flops around while she's frolicking, but she sure does have a grand time. This was also the day we discovered that she's NOT bred. Made a mental note that the full moon heat cycles are the ones to aim for.

Fall is in the air

With Fall comes fair time! I love fair, it's the most crazy, hectic, "which way did he go, George?" time of the year. This year, however, it was not meant to be. Wednesday is the night that life begins for fair. It's the night that animals and exhibits arrive. On this night I had 4 children draped, curled or huddled on the various seating areas with glassy eyes, moaning voices and high fevers with no sign of breaking.
The inanimate entries were taken down, the living and their respective humans stayed home.
We did make it down Saturday to walk the grounds, see the results, etc. Lars did score a Sumatra cockerel for next year. Very pretty boy at that.....and he knows it.

So here they are, the entries requiring nothing but viewing.

Leif's Pelican.
Youth, non-kit division. It's a space troop transport ship. He's already working on his design for next year.

My entry, hand spun, hand knit division. Not the best display, but the sweater is super warm and comfy! This is yarn that I worked with earlier this summer from Huck.

These were my mom's entries. Grand Champion, can't beat that! can't. The beads on that necklace are paper beads that I played with earlier this summer as well. I'm glad she worked them. They turned out the most interesting color combination, but it had me baffled as to what to do with it!

Next year's plans are in the works. It's good!