A Week in One Day

Sock it to me Monday

I started a sock! I decided if I don’t like knitting socks and everyone else does, then I’m probably not doing it right! I cast on a Blogville favorite, Hermione’s Everyday Socks. I am using some gorgeous Arrowhead Fibers Basic Sock from my stash, in Wintergreen. I started on two circulars as the pattern suggested, but switched to Magic Loop, which is slightly less stressful. There’s still a lot of needle flopping going on, but compared to stitch dropping on double points, maybe it’s ok? I’m knitting short socks for clogs and modified the ribbing. Keep me in your socky thoughts and knitty prayers.

Wednesday WIPs

I received the Chinook Fleece Artist in Jewel, my main color for Whit’s Foursquare Cowl. I cast on! This yarn is so soft and I think the colorways are perfect together. The variegated is my Celtic Colours yarn. This is a comforting and simple knit.

I cast on my Farmhouse Cardi in Black Welsh Mountain. This yarn has some VM in it. (That’s vegetable matter to us laymen.) I don’t mind picking it out. It reminds me this yarn is not far from the farm. It’s nice and squishy.

Still knitting on this Shetland Tweed Throw when I need something simple and chunky.

Friday FO

Oh yes I did! I finished my Seamwork Billie. It looks like PJs. It feels like PJs! It was a fun make. Next time I’ll pick a fabric that doesn’t make me wish I had a little red cowboy hat on.

Spooky Knitalong

Quiteayarnblog and mildlygranola are starting a knitalong for the Arachne sweater next month. I’m intrigued (or have FOMO) and if I frog and forget about The Oa, I could use this Cascade Sport. I could make a purple Arachne with green web, or a gray Arachne with charcoal web. I’m leaning toward gray because I’m boring that way. I have just under the needed yardage, so I’m not positive I’ll do it. I still love The Oa, but if I were going to knit it, wouldn’t I be further along by now?

Yes, there is purple in my hair.

Just Deserts

I never thought I would be so excited to get something in the mail! I’m going to savor this moment. I’ve been too exhausted to knit.

I looked up the phrase just deserts and it was originally in this form, even though just desserts makes more sense to us now.

Do you subscribe to any knitting or other craft magazines, either digitally or in paper?

Crafting FOMO

Well, my weekend has been a bust. After spending half a day at the craft con on Friday, I started feeling down. I came home for lunch and fell asleep on the couch, which is unusual for me to do during the day. By the time I woke up, it was too late to head back for the keynote, which I really wanted to hear.

Then yesterday I felt like I was getting sick so I stayed home and did some more sleeping on the couch, interspersed with knitting. I felt bad for missing the con and even worse for missing Sarah‘s virtual knit night, another thing I wanted to do. I have crafting FOMO! But I slept for 12 hours last night, so hopefully I’m on the mend. I’ll take it easy today and stay home so I don’t spread any germs.

I cast on my Farmhouse Cardigan. I also started a cowl with my Celtic Colours yarn, which I have been saving for something special. I decided it would be perfect for Whit’s Four Square Cowl with a second color. So I ripped it out and ordered another skein of the yarn in solid purple.

Today I’m going to order some prefelt for the art show. It’s only 19 months away!

Weekend Quizzaroo

(Image credit The Knitting Goddess)

Karen posted a sock quiz! I’m a notorious sock knitting eschewer but quizzes are great for personal development and blog fodder.

1. Do you knit/crochet socks?

I want to knit socks. I have knit socks. But generally, no, I don’t.

2. If yes, how long have you been making them? If no, why not?

It doesn’t sound fun. I’m primarily a sweater and hat knitter.

3. What is your preferred method? Top down, toe up? Which needles? Do you have a preferred heel type?

I prefer toe up so I can make sure the foot fits well. I hate a baggy sock. I prefer fine yarn for socks but they sure do take a long time! I like a well-turned heel. I’ve never tried an afterthought heel. Are their more flaps than that? Double point needles for me.

4. Have you gifted socks? Were they worn, loved and appreciated?

Never! I am considering knitting a pair for Bob, though. It’s a lot of pressure.

5. Could you make nothing but socks for the rest of your life and be happy?

If I can knit one more pair of socks (I’ve made two pair in my life so far) I could be happy the rest of my life never knitting them again. Or, who knows, I might knit another pair and enjoy them so much I will want to knit more! That’s my hope.

6. One of the most addictive things about sock knitting is the amazing selection of fingering weight yarn that is available. What is your favorite yarn for socks? Do you prefer solid or multicolor yarn? Do you have a fiber preference?

For me it will need to be crazy hand painted colors or solid yarn with textured knitting. Wool plus silk (for strength) is my favorite fiber combo. Throw some cashmere in there and I’m hooked.

Well, that was fun and inspiring. Maybe I will cast on a pair of socks today.

February Frogs:

I’m pulling out the linen stitch cowl. It is taking too long and I am afraid I don’t have enough yarn for it. My Hogwarts yarn will make a great pair of clog socks though.

I’m pulling out this Bousta Beanie. It’s not happening.

Do you like my new photo prop? It’s Fair Trade and I picked it up at Pachamama Market when I was in Troy, OH for a work meeting.

I think one should feel good about frogging and this wool felt sunflower does the trick for me.

The new The Just Craft is up!

It Feels Like Spring!

winter aconite along the ravine

I went for a walk in the neighborhood this morning. The winter aconite and snowdrops are blooming. It feels too early!

My trip to Kenya was a profound experience and I am so grateful to have been able to go, visit with artisans, and see what fair trade looks like in action. I’m really excited for our plans!

It took several days for me to recover from the jet lag. I did not get sick, but I need a lot of sleep. My anxiety has also been out of control. I heard an article on NPR about menopause and anxiety. It put some things into perspective for me.

I have not knit anything since Kenya. I haven’t sewn anything either. February is finish it, frog it, or forget about it month, and there are a few projects I foresee will be frogged. I really want to start my Farmhouse Cardigan, so I’ll probably go ahead and do that.

I’m hoping to get my February The Just Craft published by the end of the month. (I have an extra day because it’s a Leap Year!) I will focus on Kitengala Hot Glass and save Kenana Knitters for next month.

This weekend I will be attending Midwest Craft Con for the first time. I’m looking forward to learning some new things and meeting new people, but grateful nothing is really expected of me except to show up.

I can’t wait to catch up on your blogs! You’ll forgive me if I’m heavy on the liking and light on the commenting. Do you do anything special for Leap Day on February 29? It seems like it should be a holiday of sorts.

The Red Road Home

Have I ever blogged about my Grandparents’ farm? I can’t imagine I haven’t. I think about it, and them, every day. Even in Kenya, I look at the red soil and rolling hills and think of Oklahoma.

My cousin Cyndi and her husband are restoring the farm in the hopes of retiring there someday. She’s started a facebook page so we can follow along!

Creation Hive Knitters

This week I’ve been at Creation Hive looking at products and talking product development. Today we talked woolens, and as I had suspected, they are accomplished knitters!

Jane, middle, and Jacqueline, right, picked up my Bousta Beanie in Milarrochy Tweed and carried on where I left off. Jane then cast on her own hat using locally produced wool yarn. They don’t have circular needles here, but we’ve found a source for them.

I have great faith in these ladies developing a line of Fair Trade woolens in Kenyan merino wool yarn! It will support their textile economy as well. It’s a great solution and I’m thrilled to have played my little part in it. I can’t wait to see their creations and to bring them to the US through Global Gifts!

Kenana Knitters

On the way to Eldoret we stopped at Kenana Knitters. Unfortunately we were there on a Saturday when the workshop is closed, but the Manager, Susan, met us and the founder, Patricia, came to meet us. I was able to interview both of them for The Just Craft, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Susan and Patricia showing me one of their handmade spinning wheels made with a repurposed bicycle wheel.

They use locally produced wool for their yarn, and dye it with native plants! As you can imagine, I was totally geeked out.

They don’t allow photos of their products, but if you go to their website you will see what they make. It’s a wonderful workshop offering gainful employment and empowering programs for the local women.

I finished my first hat in Kenyan wool. What do you think about the tassel? Two tassels? No tassel? Pompom? I like how the tassel looks like a thistle and I am calling it my Thistle Tassel Hat. It’s a tad big (I have a big head) so it needs to be taken down by a couple of stitches. But it’s simple and a novice knitter could accomplish it easily, I think. I might add another tassel.

Kenya Day 3: Hell’s Gate

Today we biked through Hell’s Gate National Park.

It was a stunner of a day. We saw zebras, warthogs, water buffalo, eland, impala, Kirk’s Dik-Dik (ok I had to look some of these up.) It was really spectacular.

After that we hired a boat to take us out on Lake Naivasha. If you look carefully at the little lumps in the water, they are hippos.

Most of the birds we saw we’re Cormorants but we also saw pelicans, herons, duck, and vultures! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a vulture before.

On the way to Nakuru we stopped at a spinners and weavers workshop. There were some beautiful wool and cotton rugs and throws, but the looms were empty and I didn’t want to take any pictures because artisans prefer you not photograph (and copy) their designs. Fair enough!

I have been knitting away on what I hope will be a sample hat for our artisan partners. We’ll stop at the woolworks tomorrow to pick up more yarn. It is merino and super soft!