Saturday, August 22, 2009

Finding Time to Knit

Knitter's Review recently posted this about the Sock Summit.

When asked how she managed to be so prolific, Barbara Walker said she needed only four or five hours of sleep each night. She also said that her TV set broke once and she didn't get around to calling the repair man for five years. "I got a lot done," she smiled. Then Stephanie turned back to the audience and said, "To recap, don't sleep and ditch your TV."

I agree with that advice. I stopped watching television about ten years ago and was astonished at all the time I had. I still watch a few programs and I watch DVDs on my laptop (while knitting, of course), but my television time is really quite limited. I wish I only needed four or five hours of sleep every night but I can't manage on that.

I do look for small pieces of time to knit during the day. I knit when I'm waiting--at a dentist's office or while the potatoes finish boiling. I knit a few rounds in between doing housework. I always want to be a passenger when my husband and I go somewhere because, depending upon where we're going, it can give me as long as 30 minutes of knitting time. Even if I'm not a passenger I'll bring my knitting because sometimes he'll wants to go to a hardware store, which holds no interest for me, and I'll stay in the car and knit. It adds up, all those little snippets of time knitting.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sea Shell Socks

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM P716, 2 skeins
Pattern: Child's First Sock in shell pattern from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks: New Twists on Classic Patterns

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

One Only (July-Mid August 2009)

My second set of six one-only socks.

Honeybee Socks Done

Another pair for August! My needles are flying!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Honeybee Socks

I bought this self-striping yarn almost a year ago from yarnchef on Etsy. I love how it's knitting up; this will be a fast pair of socks! I also have a skein of another of her self-striping yarn, this one called Candied Apples. I plan on knitting that one in October.

Raspberry Socks

I made these from Koigu yarn. The stitch pattern is a fluted pattern (page 35) from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks which reminded me of raspberries when knit in this colorway.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sock Summit

Yes, Sock Summit is this week. Yes, it is only about 100 miles from where I live. And no, I'm not going. My polite excuses? I'm working and it's too expensive. The real reason, though, is that it would be overwhelming and I don't deal well with overwhelming anymore. We're talking about dozens of classes from sock knitting designers and gurus and legends like Cookie A and Nancy Bush, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts,Lucy Neatby, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Meg Swansen, and Anna Zilboorg; a panel discussion to die for, book signings, a huge marketplace with everything related to knitting socks --what's the limit on this credit card again?-- a reception, a sock hop and more.

It is the Woodstock for sock knitters and I'm going to miss it. But then I missed Woodstock in 1967 too.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August Socks

Cool River Socks

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Superwash Sock Yarn (colorway: River) from Sweet Georgia Yarns
Pattern: K1tbl, P1 Generic sock pattern

Monday, August 3, 2009

Stitch Markers

I love collecting stitch markers and have done so for the past several years. I don't often use them on socks--only if it's a complicated pattern--but I do use them when making mittens, shawls, hats, and sweaters.

Here's part of my collection. Click on the photo for a larger version.

Sock Knitting Philosophy

Okay. Philosophy is a bit pretentious. Think assumptions instead.

1) Most of my socks will be made out of fingering wool. I reserve the right to have other fibers mixed in with the wool, but they will be mostly wool. Unless, of course, I find yarn that I like which isn't wool. I may make some socks of DK yarn or even worsted weight, but not many. I refuse to use cotton.

2) Most of my socks will have some kind of pattern stitch. The exception will be self-striping yarns.

3) That said, my patterns will not be extraordinarily complex. I have Anna Zilborg's book Simply Socks: 45 Traditional Turkish Patterns to Knit, but I'm not knitting these. (OMG! I just saw on Amazon that book is selling for $140 new and $56 used!)

Well, maybe I'll adapt and simplify some of these patterns. Maybe.

4) I will use my traditional (or, if you rather, boring) tools and techniques. I use wooden dpns, always. I am not interested in using circular needles or metal ones. I mainly use the same basic cast-on 60 stitches pattern. I do not want to knit them toe up (I think the toes look funny) or knit two at a time. I'm happy to do what works for me. I will consider learning these techniques later, but not now.

5) I will have fun knitting socks!

But alas today I do not have knitting socks on my agenda. The little knitting time I have today will be spent on Monday Mittens. Sock knitting will have to wait until later in the week.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Girly-Girl Baby Socks

I've just finished these. In between knitting, I did the laundry, baked a blackberry crisp, vacuumed, watered my flowers, and made potato and macaroni salads. I feel I've had a very productive morning.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sock Obsession

How did I get started knitting all these socks? And why?

Last winter my feet were cold and when I looked in my sock drawer I realized that I did not have one pair of knitted socks. Not one pair! I've been knitting for years and have knit dozens of pairs of socks, but there were none left. I'd worn them out or given them away as gifts. I needed socks. Wool socks! Bright socks! Striped socks! Lace socks! I needed a lot of socks!

I began a quest to knit one pair of socks a month. I was too late to join Sock A Month 7. Still, I persisted in knitting at least one pair of socks a month. One month I knit two pairs. Last month I knit three pairs (plus one pair of baby socks). This month I'm on my way to knitting four pairs (plus one pair of baby socks). I have joined Sock A Month 8 which began in July.

My inspiration is this photo. She has fifty pairs of hand knit socks! Fifty pairs! Awesome! It took her several years of knitting to get there. I believe it.

My goal is 20 pairs of socks (not including baby socks) by the end of the year. It doesn't leave me much time for making doll quilts or quilting the tops I've inherited , for knitting preemie hats and other items for charity, for gardening, for baking, for bird watching, for church work, for reading, and for the other fun things I love to do --not to mention working, eating and sleeping-- but I am obsessed. It may take me two or three years but I am absolutely determined to have a full drawer of hand knit socks. They'll probably end up lasting me the rest of my life. That is, of course, if I stop there and I'm not promising that I will.