The Sound of Silence

It’s been a little quiet around here lately, hasn’t it?  That’s because I up and left on vacation without telling you, crafting an automatic post on my way out the door.  I only had a brief moment of internet access during my week away and was dying to check the blog to see if the delayed publishing function had worked.  It didn’t.  So I hit the publish button somewhere around July 8th and when it posted, the date said July 6th (the day I had originally set it to post).  Harumph.  That’s what I get for trying to be all stealth, anyway.

We had a wonderful week with family in Idaho.  Our trio gathered with immediate and extended family in a rural rental house with a swimming pool filled with constantly flowing natural hot water.  It may seem like an 80+ degree pool wouldn’t feel so refreshing on a hot summer day, but let me tell you it was just the thing.  The temperature was perfect for swimming morning, noon and night, and was especially nice for the little ones in the family.

In between swims, meals, and visiting, I was able to get in a fair amount of knitting on my Lenore socks.  Upon returning home, I was saddened to realize I had not taken the ubiquitous work-in-progress on vacation photo.  So just imagine this: a half-knit greenish gold sock sitting on a deck chair with a shimmering swimming pool behind.  It was a little slice of heaven.

Remember the Birthday Boy vest I knit for my nephew back in May?  The one that didn’t fit over PB’s head so I ripped out the neckline and reknit?  Well, it still didn’t fit my nephew.  So while at my sister’s house last week, I ripped back some of the ribbing at the neck for a 3rd time (sigh) and bound it off after a scant 2 rows of ribbing.  It took a firm tug, but we got it over little JC’s head.  I think he liked it!

Now we’re home, and I brought a little summer cold back with me.  My left ear still hasn’t popped after the flight home on Saturday, which led to a slightly embarrassing moment at Bruegger’s Bagels today when I started singing out loud to this song.  I thought I was singing quietly, but apparently everyone in line turned to see what the squawking was about.  Ahem.  Better get back to my knitting…

Vacation from Knitting

My recent vacation knitting attempts took an unintentional turn into a vacation from knitting.

I started out with enthusiasm and the best of intentions.  A week away, plus about 4 days of driving in the car meant I would have seemingly endless time one my hands to knit.  In the days leading up to our departure, I entertained knitting fantasies of all sorts: I could knit a pair of socks, a cute summery top, a light summer sweater for PB, a shawl…perhaps all of the above!  My trip to the Webs tent sale only fueled this fire, and before I knew it I had too many new projects and yarn to choose from.  Reason prevailed and I only packed 2 new projects.  Socks for the car trip, and a simple summer shell for our time in Michigan.  I fully believed I could finish both.

The car knitting started off with a bit of a hiccup.  The pattern (Wasabi Peas) called for a size 2 needle, but the ones I had (Addi Turbos) weren’t quite pointy enough for the purl-3-togethers in the pattern.  So I went down to my pointier size 1s (Addi Turbo Lace).  Here was my fatal error.  I knit happily away for hours in the car.  The pattern was easy, the yarn was vibrant and fun.  Then I knit the heel flap and tried them on, like I usually do at this point in my sock knitting.  Disaster.

They were, of course, way too small.

Who knits gauge swatches for socks anyway?

No matter, we were now at our destination where there were several eager sets of hands around to hold and play with PB while I knit.  I cast on for Fresh Mint in some of the new Rowan Amy Butler Belle Organic DK yarn.  I got to the lace chart, but something was off.  I presumed it was my stitch count, or some error made while knitting under the influence of vacation.  So I ripped out and tried again.  Thrice.

Can you imagine being away on vacation, having plenty of down time, and nothing to knit?  It was a rare form of torture, I tell you.  Fortunately, there was a yarn shop in town, and my mother-in-law was gracious enough to take me by one afternoon.  I was drawn to this eclectic yarn, recycled silk thread spun into a bulky think/thin yarn. It has my mom’s name all over it, and she helped me decide on a simple triangular shawl.  The yarn is fuzzy and wild, filled with debris both organic and man-made; have you ever seen a piece of plastic bag spun into your yarn?!  But it’s been fun to knit up, and was a welcome break from the tumult of my intended vacation knitting.

Now we’re home and trying to settle into a summer routine.  As I was taking a break from unpacking, I checked my email and found a message from the designer of Fresh Mint saying there was indeed an error in the lace chart and that it has been corrected.  Too late for me and my grand vacation knitting plans!  It was very nice of her to get back to me, though.

FOr now I think I’ll rip out the socks and focus on knitting up this top.  I’m hoping to finish in time to take part in a lace shawl knit-along that ‘s starting in my SnB group mid-June.  Off to cast on…again!

Should I do a gauge swatch first?  It’d sure be a drag to knit this up and have it be too small…

Rockin’ the Socks

I’m headed out of town on another adventure for a couple of weeks.  This requires a lot of planning, from reservations and car rentals to making sure I pack anything I might need over the course of a two-week vacation.  While running through my mental list of To-Do’s, I only just came across Vacation Knitting.

As knitters we all know what an important packing/activity/travel subject Vacation Knitting can be.  We want that perfectly portable project that can go from airplane to car ride to movie watching with ease.  For me, this usually means something on circular needles that I can memorize.

It would come as no surprise, then, that I have some socks on the needles for just this reason!  I started these last week at Squam, having chosen the yarn from my stash for its name, Pebble Beach.  The colors seemed very lakey and appropriate, so off to camp it came.  And I’ve made good progress since.  Now I think these will be going out West with me.

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Pattern: Show Off Stranded Socks (Ravelry link)

Yarn: BMFA Socks that Rock in Pebble Beach

Needles: 2-ish I believe

Mods: None so far.  I’ve made this pattern once before and recall there were a few options for the heel.  Last time I chose to carry the stitch pattern down the back of the heel.  Who knows what might happen this time!

What you don’t see in the picture is how the beige color is creating a huge flash on what I have decided will be the back of the sock.  The other colors are so beautiful together, I don’t understand why there is such a large amount of beige in the skein.  I know I could have adjusted the stitch count or alternated skeins to help combat the pooling, but I just didn’t feel like it.  Lazy knitter busted!  At least I’m back knitting, so I’ll take it how I can get it.

I also cast on the latest BMFA Rockin’ Sock Club pattern.  I love the colorway, but am not too sure about how it works with the pattern.

100_4530I’ve only done the ribbing with one element of the pattern, and it seems a bit lost.  What do you think?  If you’d like to see some great photos of this sock finished, check out Courtney’s foot here.

So, I’m heading out to Oregon and Idaho to meet my new nephew and to see my best friend from college get married.  It promises to be a wonderful time full of old friends, family, and a fair amount of travel knitting.  Look for plenty of photos at the end of the month.  Till then, knit what you love and have fun doing it!

On The Road Again

Tomorrow Sweetie and I are heading out on a grand 2-week adventure that will take us to such luxurious locales as Ohio, Kentucky, and California.  Okay, so one of them is outwardly more exciting than the others, but we are sure to find fun wherever we go.  I am particularly excited to sample wine, feel the sun on my face, reconnect with old friends, and see if there are any good yarn shops in Ohio.

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Our trip will be one part road trip and one part air travel, so I will have more than enough time to knit in transit.  Since I currently have 5 projects on the go, I have decided to pack several and take them on the road with me.

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The larger project, my sweater, will be for road trip knitting, while the smaller ones (2 socks and a lace scarf) will be perfect for airplane knitting.  I’m hoping to finish off both socks and make good progress on the sleeves of my sweater.  Anything else will be a bonus (I’m looking at you, Lace Ribbon Scarf).

If time allows, I may do some on the road blogging, so check in from time to time.  See you in 2 weeks~happy knitting!

Too Much Yarn?

Is this too much yarn to take on a 7 day trip?

I’m going out of town for a week. This is a trip that will afford me plenty of knitting time waiting in airports, on airplanes, ferries, and in cars. One of the clear bags is backup yarn that will be going in my checked bag. The other will go in my carry on bag and contains two projects. You know, in case I finish one before I get to my destination.

While away, I plan on working on simple pieces like hats, neckwarmers, and fingerless gloves to build up an inventory for an upcoming craft fair I will be doing with Nutmeg Knitter. Since I will be selling my wares, it is important to me that the items I sell are original patterns representing my point of view. So along with all that yarn, I am not taking a single pattern or reference book. This is frightening and thrilling at the same time! I will be relying 100% on my own knowledge and creativity, hopefully being inspired by my surroundings and knitting up a storm.

The good news is, if I run out of yarn or project inspiration, there’s a yarn store or two where I’m going…

Have a great time knitting while I’m away!