Friday, October 20, 2006

Whole lotta knittin' going on!

Well, well, well - we've got tons of knitting happening here at Chez Knittin' Mom. I'll start with the Nancy Bush review that I've been sitting on since last weekend. I got to see her again last night at the Tigard Knitting Guild meeting, where she showed us her wonderful slides of Estonia. I realized that I need to do a bit more work on some of my friends who aren't quite as knit-obsessed as I am (I invited a couple of them to come with me to see Nancy's slides of Estonia at the Tigard Knitting Guild meeting, and Chris's response was "Oh, yeah, that sounds like a REAL good time." Followed by eye rolling. I thought she'd been making some progress, especially after the Harlot reading, but she's still got a ways to go).

Anyway, the three classes I took were Estonian Lace, Estonian Traveling Stitch Patterns, and Knitting Vintage Socks. We learned an Estonian cast-on and bind-off that are nice and stretchy for lace knitting as well as methods of swapping stitches without a cable needle from both the knit and purl sides and also a new heel turn and toe shaping. Just when I think I'm getting close to knowing it all. (FYI - I'm kidding, there - I'm well aware of how much I don't know).

Here's my lace swatch, which includes two different traditional lace patterns (one of which has these funky little bobbles called "nupps"):

And here is my little traveling stitch "willy warmer" (we did do a small back-and-forth swatch to practice swapping stitches on the purl side, but I have no idea where it is and I'm guessing it's now a kid or cat toy):

It's actually more of a finger warmer, so it would only fit a very young or very "underprivileged" willy, but I've always wanted to make one of those legendary items so there it is.

The next day was sock day, and we made one of these cute little sample socks that is basically a small-scale version of the Lichen Ribbed Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks:

We learned the Welsh Heel (which is incredibly funky and fun to knit, although I don't know if I'd actually put it on socks I was going to sear) and the star toe of three points.

Here is a close-up of the bottom of the heel (it's at the bottom of the picture with the rib down the middle). See? Funky!

It has the most bizarre combination of decreases and yarn overs and as I was knitting it, I just couldn't figure out how it was going to turn out. But somehow it did!

One of the greatest things about Knitting Vintage Socks is the intro to the book which includes all of these vintage toe and heel shapings along with a four sample socks that use all of the different heel and toe techniques. Nancy brought along all of the socks from the book (along with the Knitting on the Road socks which were really fun to fondle in person):

And here I am with the woman herself and her socks. Can you see the star-struckedness wafting off of me?

Nancy is wearing an Estonian sweater, but it's machine knit and was sent to her as a gift. She wore plain black commercially-made socks and mentioned that she doesn't have time to knit socks for herself. And of course all the socks she brought she needs as samples and only has one of each pattern anyway (because I'm sure it would be tempting). The sample that had us all agog was the cashmere Bed Sock, which is made out of the Mountain Colors 100% Cashmere. We couldn't stop carrying it around and petting it. Katrina couldn't stop thinking about it. See? Here she is, thinking about that cashmere!

She considered substituting the Debbie Bliss Pure Cashmere, but didn't like the fact that it wasn't variegated. Last night she admitted that she'd ordered some of the Mt. Colors, which is being dyed for her at the factory at this very moment. Such a bad girl! Just in case I didn't mention it before, K, I'd love some cashmere socks for Christmas! Wink, wink!

Nancy came and sat at our table for a few minutes before her talk last night, and Katrina scored some serious advice about substitute yarns for a couple socks in the book and also some tips on her Socks of Doom (yes, she's still in the War). How can you complain about getting sock advice from Nancy Bush? I'm so jealous of the guild members who are at the retreat right now. It sounded like there were going to be some very nice classes. Maybe next year!

I've been a very busy little knitter. I've got a bunch of things I sadly can't show you, including my Harvest Sock Swap sock. The pattern is turning out just the way I wanted, and I will definitely be offering it for sale as soon as it's done. I'm quite delighted with it - it's rare for something to come out just the way I want it on the first try, especially with a little experimental technique thrown in. The ladies at my table at the guild meeting last night got a little sneak peek, but the rest of you will have to wait a bit longer.

I also got my Hot Socks package from Julie, which included three different kinds of yummy cocoa, some biscotti, two balls of Regia and a hank of lovely hand-dye that she dyed herself (I am totally in love with it). I didn't manage to snap a pic of it before it got attacked, thanks to a dead camera battery, but here's what she sent (please ignore the boxes which look like they were torn into by jackals).

Owen really liked the biscotti...

My kids are loving all these junk-food-related swaps. They are both total chocolate fiends and I think have eaten more of my Chocolate Swap chocolate than I have! I was enjoying a moment the other day, when they were stretched out on the sofa together giggling. After smiling at the peaceful moment, I realized that it was because of the box of chocolates they were tearing through.

Please forgive the Photoshopped bikini on Sydney - I was about to post this when I realized she was in the all-together. That girl does love to be in her birthday suit!


Blogger Katrina said...

The photoshopped bikini gave me a great laugh this morning. Thank you for that!

Yes, I am a terribly wanton bad girl right now when it has come to yarn shopping. I keep telling myself it's all for Christmas, but who am I kidding?

You almost know it all. That's a good place to be.

Following Nancy's advice, I knit a completely new pair of Socks of Doom from scratch. You can see pictures on my blog.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Shelley said...

Just wanted to let you know I have pics up of my 2 pairs (baby again) socks for October's count for the KAL. The blog is

12:10 PM  
Blogger Sonya said...

I'll be chuckling about that photoshopped bikini all day. I must find my way into a Nancy Bush class someday. BTW, I finished my Karen socks for October. Great pattern, Chrissy!

4:25 AM  
Blogger msubulldog said...

What?!?!? You haven't converted all your friends into knitters, yet? *sigh* They don't know what they missed! :)

And the photoshopped bikini is too cute (and clever)! Ha,ha,ha!

9:26 AM  
Blogger Acornbud said...

What fun! The kids look so adorable:)

10:46 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

How cool to take courses with Nancy Bush and to see all the socks live and in person!! Wow!

4:19 PM  

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