Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Socktober and Halloween, too

I actually finished this scarf a few weeks ago and just forgot to blog it. It's Ysolda's Skull Illusion Scarf and I love it. It started out as the Alien Illusion Scarf from Stitch'n Bitch, but once I found the skull one I had to have it (most of my belongings must be covered in skulls. It gives me street cred ;)

Here is a photo of the "wrong" side, which I originally thought was the "right" side:

Skull Illusion Scarf by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted, one skein each neon green and black (not the actual color names)
Source: Stash! (originally from Patternworks)
Needles: US Size 6 24" circular needle (knit back and forth; it's just easier to work with circs when commuting)
Modifications: None
Soundtrack/Movies/TV: Project Runway marathons, The Best of Blondie

If you look closely and know what you are looking for, you can just make out the skull and crossbones shape on the right side.

Happy Socktober! My first bloggable pair of Soctober socks:

I have finished another pair and hope to finish at least one more, but both are presents that must be kept hidden for awhile. I was trying to design a sock pattern for this yarn, but then I read this post over at SouleMama and I thought, this beautiful hand-dyed yarn would be great just as a pair of regular ol' socks. I'm proud of myself for busting some more of my stash and supporting a local artist.

Pattern: Basic socks from Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles by Cat Bordhi
Yarn: Sereknity Sock Options Falkland Hand-Dyed Sock Yarn in Macintosh, one skein
Source: Stash!
Needles: 2 Addi Turbo US Size 1 24" circular needles
Modifications: Stockinette leg and foot instead of ribbed.
Soundtrack/Movies/TV: Numb3rs, Grey's Anatomy, Moondance by Van Morrison

They are toasty and just perfect. I really admire this dye job--the colors really evoke Mac apples and a beautiful fall day. They were also finished pretty quickly since most of it doesn't require much thinking. Some things to keep in mind when wondering what to do with a skein of beautiful hand-dyed sock yarn...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wool Tour Goods

The Wool Tour was glorious. I only did three of the five stops but I managed to spend all of my allotted amount (and a tad over...) and I was exhausted by the end of it. We also added a few stops of our own, like German John's Bakery in Hillsboro (delicious homemade pretzels and pastries), a thrift store and an antique store. There was also an adventure into the bushes when my traveling companions asked me to climb into a ditch on the side of the road to cut some pretty red berries for them.

Our first Wool Tour stop was the actual first stop of the tour, The Wool Room in Antrim, NH. Then we went to Chauncey Farm in Antrim, and from there we went to Mirage Alpacas in Washington.

On the left, four skeins of Mirage's Merino from Mirage Alpacas, 100 gram skeins (120 yards), for a Narragansett Bay Scarf (Ravelry link). On the right, four skeins of Wool'n'Ewe single ply in Garnet from Ewe & I Farm in North Sutton (240 yards per skein), for a Clapotis. The woman who sold it to me told me that my money helps feed her sheep! I love hearing things like that. I also love knowing where my wool is coming from, and that I'm supporting local farmers and artisans.

I also managed to pick up three aprons (did you know that I collect aprons? I will show them all to you someday): the light green is from an antiques store, the brown with yellow rickrack is from a thrift store in Hillsboro, and the red and white is from Thyme and Ewe Farm in Claremont. I especially love supporting them because they rescue old, unwanted and abused farm animals and take care of them. Plus, they sell genuinely wonderful things, like handmade aprons and jam and hand-knit mittens.

This patchwork bag is also from Thyme and Ewe Farm. The plastic bag in the back is a rug hooking kit from Windfall Farm (you can see all of their designs and order from their website here). Because I don't have enough fiber hobbies ;) Those two skeins of yarn are Cormo wool from The Spinning Bunny in Antrim, to make a pair of Guernsey Socks.

Last, but certainly not least, my whole haul in the beautiful handmade basket from Ghana. This was from Pumpkin Moon Kids booth at The Wool Room, and it was only $27! I've seen them for much more at other places, and this one is also certified Fair Trade.

It definitely helped to have a list of projects this year, and I was careful about where I picked the projects from. Lisa Lloyd's book A Fine Fleece and Clara Parkes' The Knitter's Book of Yarn were both excellent because they have more homespun-looking projects (and information about yarn). I also chose to make smaller projects so that I could get more projects out of my tight budget, as opposed to making a sweater (maybe next year!). I'm very excited to have lots of delicious local yarn to work with this fall and winter. Happy fall!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

All is well

There is apple pie!

And a cat who loves my afghan so much he chews on it while kneading his paws and purring like a motorboat:

And it's the Wool Tour this weekend!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Oh Fall

I love fall. Do you know what happens in the fall, boys and girls? Socktoberfest. That's not the only reason I love fall, but we don't have enough time for the whole list--it's really long. Yesterday was full of some favorite fall activities--apple picking, visiting the last of the yard sales, and enjoying the beautiful weather. There is also a new favorite to add: corn mazes! There is nothing more fun than trying to find your way through a corn maze while eating a delicious cider doughnut and trying to avoid being run down by yelling boys.

But back to the knitting. I know some of you are saying, "Caitlin, need we remind you of the Summer of Socks? Or in your case, the Summer You Knit Two Measly Pairs of Socks and One Didn't Even Count?" *

I remember. But:

  • I was only in school for half of the Summer of Socks, whereas now I am in school for the whole month of October. I do a lot of sock knitting on the bus and in class.
  • I love socks + I love October so this = Soctober participation.
  • Lots of peeps are getting handknit socks for Christmas. November is cutting it a little close for me, so this is good motivation to do it now.
  • No rules! (Not that SoS was entirely rule-ridden)
  • It's a great stash-busting exercise
  • I am already well-entrenched in sock knitting (at least 3 pairs are on the needles)

*The pair was finished before the Summer of Socks officially started.