Wednesday Update: Shawl, Sock, and a Rant

What a beautiful morning! My backyard filled with birdsong early and the cats began clamoring to be let out, so I got up, made a latte, and joined everyone in the early sunshine. It’s too soon for flowers (except dandelions which are now in full bloom!), but the promise of summer is there for the taking. My trees are blooming and there are little buds where the leaves are getting ready to burst out. It’s hard to not get a little excited.

I took advantage of the light to get knitting pictures. I finished a shawl over the weekend. Here it is:

Shawl.
I made a simple garter stitch and eyelet shawl from a skein of wildly painted yarn. You can visit my Ravelry project page for more info on the shawl here.
Close up of shawl.
Here’s a close-up of the tip. There was a lot of color in the yarn!
Shawl on denim.
Here’s the shawl on denim. The colors look great combined with several things in my wardrobe. Yeah!!
Amazing yarn.
The original skein of yarn. It was a little intimidating with that “becoming art” label, but I’m happy with the product.

Now that I have one of the two shawls that I am working on finished I felt that it was OK to cast on the April 2015 sock. Here she is!

Sock
I am so happy with the way the grey is calming down the extreme wildness of the hot pink painted yarn. The pattern is great for television knitting, too, so I made a lot of progress last night.

It was a really great week for me knitting-wise. I even coated myself with the best sunscreen on the market (SPF 60!!) and went out and planted my new roses. There were a lot of positives for the week except for… my scleroderma decided to kick my butt. My leg muscles now hurt, my knees have become swollen, red and warm to the touch, and I’m dizzy in the mornings. I have edema in my arms and legs. What is up with that!! My rheumatologist gave me some drug information to read (I get to pick which drug I prefer of two possibilities. This sounds pretty good, but during the week I realized that these are chemo drugs that I will be taking at a lower dose than cancer patients get. Bummer!) Still, I was having a happy week and being positive until one of my neighbors stopped by to talk to me while I was planting the roses, and he mentioned that if I would get out more often to exercise and get sunshine I would “get well”.

He meant to be encouraging. He’s really not all that bright; he doesn’t get “chronic”. I was polite, but once I got back into the house I was ready to rant. Don’t tell chronically ill people that they can “get well” if they just change their diet, get more exercise, meditate, get off gluten, take vitamins, or whatever else occurs to you. It’s almost like suggesting that it is their fault that they are sick. I know that while it is human nature to want people to “get well”; it is insensitive to suggest that this is within the power of the person who is dealing with a disabling, progressive and incurable disease.

On the other hand, I need to pick a drug. Once I calmed down I e-mailed the doctor to let him know that CellCept sounded pretty good. Some scleroderma patients in forums are claiming to be in remission. That sounds pretty good to me. The downside? No more sunshine for me until I’m off again.

Midnight gardening? I can do it!!

 

WIP Wednesday: February Sock (AKA Mongolian Boots) Update

It snowed this weekend and I took advantage of the cold weather to work on my February New Year’s resolution socks. Here’s where I’m at:

Sock gusset.
How weird is this? This is not a two thumbed mitt, but the sock nearing the bottom of the heel. The center stitches are the heel flap, and the stitches added to each side are the gusset. The heel turn is next.
Sock in progress.
The heel is turned (little checks) and I have successfully connected the sole to all of the gusset stitches. Looks like it’s designed to fit  a lumpy foot, doesn’t it.
Sock on foot.
It fits my foot! Now, be honest. Doesn’t this look warm? These are so thick and cushy I plan to wear them as indoor slippers or maybe inside my Ugg boots. My son told me they look like Mongolian boots. 

Mongolian boots?! I wonder what those really look like? I wonder what patterns and colors they use? I have more of this Irish wool, and I have to say that it is not what you would wear against your skin. (The sheep that sourced this fiber actually had hair mixed in with their wool! I haven’t seen that since I since I spun some California Red that I got dirt cheap. Pokey, pokey, pokey!!) It is perfect, however, for over-socks/boots. It does dye well, is very lofty and warm, and I’m pretty sure it will felt like a charm. Hmmm…

FO: January Socks are Done!

There is a whole week of January to go, and I have the first 2015 Resolution sock done. Isn’t this a sock that will make the most dreary of days seem happier and brighter? As usual, it has been approved by my cat MacKenzie who loves all things wool.

Finished Socks
The pattern on the bottom of this sock makes it pull in against the arch of my foot which is a detail that I like. The heel seems a little large, but it works on my foot, so it’s a win!
Socks on feet.
The tile pattern kind of fades in and out because of the hand-painted yarn, but I can see enough to make me happy.

I’ve already decided on the pattern for the February sock, but when I dug through the stash I found that I didn’t have worsted-weight yarn in the colors that I wanted. Actually, I hardly have any worsted weight yarn at all. I do have some white wool that my DIL brought back to me from her trip to Ireland. I don’t want to give anything away, but are you all up for some yarn dyeing?

Woohoo! Indigo and raspberry wool dyes, here we come!! Really, it will be fun.

Sock Information: Riot of Color from Around the World in Knitted Socks by Stephanie van der Linden. The yarn is Baah! Yarn La Jolla (the darker color) and Done Roving Yarns Frolicking Feet (lighter color)

Introducing the January 2015 Sock

On New Year’s Eve I made some resolutions for myself. What was I thinking of? Obviously a moment of weakness! One resolution was the promise to select sock patterns from my collection of sock books, and to then knit one sock a month using only the yarn in my stash. Hey that’s a good resolution, right? I end up with at least 12 new socks and make a dent in the stash at the same time. Happy feet!! Sad wool moths. It’s all good!

I had a lot of fun the first week of the year digging through books to select patterns, but decided to finish some of the projects I already had going before I started the resolution socks. Friday I finally went digging in my yarn stash to see if I could find some fun yarn combinations to make a Fair Isle type sock. I had in mind to make the “Riot of Color” sock in Around the World in Knitted Socks by Stephanie van der Linden.  I settled on two hand painted sock yarns with the idea that they had enough contrast to show the pattern, but there would be enough overlap in colors that the pattern would fade in and out a little.

Pattern book ad yarns.
Don’t these two yarns look like they will go together well?

 

Yarn
This is what the yarns look like when opened up. There is some color overlap but the contrast looks pretty good.

Perfect! I wound the yarn into balls while visiting one of my sons Saturday, and today I settled down to knit. This is what I had produced by dinnertime,

Knitted Sock
Here it is tonight. I changed the top of the sock as I was anxious to see how well the colors contrasted in a pattern.

Sweet! It looks warm, doesn’t it? My little feet have been really cold this week, so that is a big bonus right now.  Oh yeah, I will be knitting away on this baby pretty steadily for the next couple of weeks. Here’s my project page for this sock if you would like to get more information about the yarn colors and needle size.

Stay tuned everyone. I hope to have these done long before the end of the month. 🙂

 

Elephant Walk Socks

Every year, as soon as my taxes are filed, I head to the nearest yarn shop. I mean, how else am I going to recover from “I have to pay HOW much money this year?!” It’s kind of a ritual now. I buy yarn and needles that I don’t even have a project for; the whole point of the outing is get some joy and to feed the stash. That way I drive home happy, excited and looking forward to some productive knitting. Taxes, what taxes? 🙂

Elephant yarn.
Yarn I bought at a favorite yarn store on my way home from doing the taxes.

That’s how I ended up with this yarn (Noro Taiyo Sock Yarn). It’s kind of a happy yarn, don’t you think? I thought that it would make up into something fun for my sister. These are more her colors than mine, and I had plans to make her a little shawl in time for her birthday.

Well, all I can say is that the stash ate this yarn. I put it into the drawer with the other sock yarns, and I never thought about it again. Then, out of the blue, I saw a pattern for socks (Water for the Elephants by Rose Hiver) that I just loved, I dug in the stash for some crazy yarn and pulled this out. Sorry Sis. This yarn is meant to be patterned socks with elephant details. Who knew?

Yarn on the inside of the skein. Hmmm... what will this look like knitted up?
Yarn on the inside of the skein. Hmmm… what will this look like knitted up?

The reason why this yarn seems a little crazy is, no matter how I try to visualize what the final knitted piece will look like, I get surprised. I looked at the end of the skein, and I was pretty sure that I was looking at orange, green and some golden tan. The sequence looked promising, so I cast on.

Not matching socks
Well, who knew these socks would only look distantly related when finished?

Well, the socks turned out great. I just love the little elephants in the Turkish pattern. They fit perfectly, and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out. Except… they don’t really match all that much. They kind of complement each other, so that is just the way it is going to be. Knitting, the great adventure. I wonder what this pattern will look like in fingerless mitts? I think that I will put the little elephants onto the palms…

Socks and Noro yarn.
The yarn that I used (Noro Taiyo Sock Yarn) made the two socks have very different colors.
Top and bottom pattern of the sock.
I just love the pattern in this sock. The pattern on the sole is pretty nifty, too.