Monday, December 07, 2009

Looking forward...and a little contest!

So I've obviously let a couple weeks slip by. Whoops! I was too busy enjoying my extended vacation (which has ended very abruptly with the stark realization that TNNA in Long Beach is a short month away...). My mom was here for Thanksgiving and we spent the week enjoying all that Portland has to offer. We walked over the downtown bridges, toured the submarine at OMSI, took the kids to the zoo and generally had a great time. We hosted Thanksgiving at our house and managed to fit our gigantic 23-lb turkey in the oven (nothing else went in until the bird came out - it was like a toddler in a roasting pan!).

The food was all spectacular, thanks to a little help from my mother-in-law and foodie friend Chris (who made the most amazing pinot cranberry sauce - I don't like cranberry sauce as a general rule, but I liked this!). The highlight of the day, besides the pastured heritage turkey (which was quite tasty), was unbelievably the brussel sprouts. Even Sydney liked them! I used the Alice Waters recipe from The Art of Simple Food, which calls for the sprouts to be blanched and then sauteed with onions and bacon. I'm not a huge brussel sprout fan myself, but these were outstanding.

Mom left on Friday and the kids went to my in-laws' for the night, freeing Bill and I up to go see New Moon at a great little neighborhood theater (the Roseway) that we've never been to before. It was no Citizen Kane, but it was quite entertaining and a fun way to spend a couple hours. I tried not to annoy Bill too much with my True Blood/Sookie Stackhouse comparisons...

I managed to finish a knitting project during all this madness (actually wove in the ends Saturday) - Owen's socks are done!

He put them on right away, then had to take them off again because he immediately slipped and fell on the wood floor in the kitchen and bonked his elbow. We decided they were socks better worn inside shoes. I also got the monster felt applique Advent calendar done, just in the nick of time. It turned out really well!

Here's a close-up of Santa's workshop:

And a project that may or may not be done in time for Christmas, a sparkly pink Pinecone Scarf for Sydney made with some crazy glitter yarn I picked up at The Naked Sheep:

I was going to make something new up for this yarn, but after I started I wasn't feeling inspired and decided Pinecone would make a fine sparkle scarf for an almost-7-year-old girl. I'd forgotten that the pattern is a little bit of a pain, as in, you need to pay attention or you will get lost.

Okay. Finally, let's get to the contest, for those of you patient enough to read this far. Here's how it goes - I'm looking to give away a couple copies of Toe-Up! in time for Xmas. Go to the Toe-Up! website and pick the pattern in the book you'd most like to knit, then leave a comment here as to what it is and why. I'll draw two winners from the comments the week of Dec 14. Woot!


Anonymous Karen said...

I would knit the "Sakura" socks because it would then pursuade me to buy another pair of backless clogs to show off my pretty heels!

kjmbaker at gmail dot com

11:01 AM  
Blogger Bonney said...

I definitely like to knit some slipper socks for the family but for myself? I'd really like to knit the candelabra socks. I think they're beautiful!

11:36 AM  
Blogger Geek Knitter said...

I'd start with the Vortex socks, because I love cables and yet somehow only have one pair of cabled socks!

11:40 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

The Spring in Oregon socks are the ones that speak to me. So pretty! That stitch pattern is lovely. I have the perfect yarn to show it off. ;)

11:55 AM  
Blogger Shannon H. said...

Wow...Why hadn't I looked at the patterns earlier?...

Definitely "the Dude Abides" for Hubby. He loves the Big Lebowski. And since I highly doubt I'll ever knit a copy of the Cowichan sweater Jeff Brides wears in the movie, he'll have to settle for those kicka** socks!

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diamond Lucy wins my vote.I think they are just beautiful. Teri

12:35 PM  
Blogger Ack!Tivity said...

Wow, really almost any of them! My favorite would have to be vortex because I'm crazy about cables, but I really would love to try the Sakura for the gorgeous heels!

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

My choice would most definitely be "THE DUDE" since I love colorwork.....but......I've never knit socks from the TOE UP yet! Those brussels sprouts sounded delicious. I'm going to see if my library has that book.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

I can't just pick one. I must pick 2. First I would knit Sydney. I absolutely love the ruffles. Second I would knit Old-School Knee-Highs. I have planned to knit knee socks but haven't because I fear all that shaping for the calf but with toe-up I could do it!

2:10 PM  
Anonymous sprite said...

I was blown away when I saw Spring in Oregon show up in the Sock Knitters Anonymous forum last month, so that would be my first choice.

Great job with that advent calendar! It's amazing!

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Lynne said...

I'm picking the Vortex socks pattern to start. I have some lovely Sterling that I think would really make this pattern stand out.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Scarlet said...

I really want to knit Sakura. Just need to find the time ...

I pre-ordered my copy of Toe-Up! but I'd love to win a copy for my friend Bridgett, who loves GYW patterns and doesn't own a copy yet.

3:21 PM  
Blogger Yarnhog said...

Vortex. I have never done toe-up socks before, I love cables, and I just got a new pair of open back clogs that are just screaming for handknit socks. (I only have four pairs, and they're all knitted from self-patterning yarns, so Vortex would be a great adventure for me.)

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Molly said...

I'd knit the Fjordland socks. They are cute and look like a great stash buster. I love the texture provided by the purled stitches.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Ann said...

The Dude Abides - well because I love the movie and the colors match that crazy sweater he wears!!

6:10 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Sakura might be calling my name. I could also be dazzled by the red. :)

7:11 PM  
Blogger AmyP said...

I love the candlabra socks! I'm a sucker for all things orange, and these just look so cozy to me.

8:26 PM  
Blogger The Knifty Knitter said...

I especially like, The Dude Abides. Love the colorwork and who doesn't love a sock named after the Big Lebowski? :)

8:29 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I'd knit vortex first. I love cables.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Knitting A Mile Of Doom... said...

I would knit the "old-school knee-highs". The gauge is more realistic for such tall socks. If anything is too close to 10st/in, I run away. In addition, the wind in Portland has been so mean lately. I need more tall socks.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The gullwing socks! I have some great variegated sock yarn that would be great with that pattern!

5:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops--didn't leave a name on that comment about the gullwing socks--
Carol Perecman

5:49 AM  
Blogger *Michelle* said...

I would knit the fjordland socks-- I need to jump into color work, and these socks look like a good way to do it. And they're toasty warm, I'm sure!

liviningraham at comcast dot net

8:39 AM  
Blogger pickled purls said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:12 PM  
Blogger pickled purls said...

It is a very hard decision. They are all so beautiful. But I will go with Vortex. Absolutely stunning. But then again.. the candelabra.. no wait the Dude.. no wait..

They are all my choice :)


1:13 PM  
Blogger PNWBookGirl said...

I love the looks of the Sydney socks and remember when I was able to look through a friend's copy that I made the mental note of "want to knit those!". They must have stuck in my head because I did a cuff very similar on a pair of leg warmers for my 8 year old niece.

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vortex. Definitely. Gorgeous. Cables intimidate me, even though I've knitted for decades and get most of the basics. It seems to me if I could knit these, I could knit anything! I can knit top down socks without problems, but I need to understand tow up and how to make them fit. My toe ups never do and are always given away.

Of course, the next pair would have to be Sakura.

Diane (

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever since I took my class at Sock Summit (Toe Up Socks for the Stubborn-LOL), I've been wanting to get your Toe Up book-so many lovely patterns! I'd love to do Candelabra-what a beautiful pattern! I have some lovely honey colored wool in Tosh Sock that would be just perfect.
And I love your advent calendar!


3:32 PM  
Blogger KnittingReader said...

Only one? That's too hard! I'd like to knit slipper socks for friends and family, but I definitely need Diamond Lucy. All of your designs are terrific!

I recently discovered that I like brussels sprouts. That recipe sounds great!

3:53 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Oh, I love the Fjordland and the Vortex socks, but really, how do you choose?
Love the advent calendar!

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Dude Abides, of course! I must make a pair each for my brother and my husband, both huge Big Lebowski fans. If I could get them to wear their bathrobes and these socks, they would be so blissed out! My sister took your class at SS09 and came home with your book. I definitely need me a copy too!

gkramer at foxvalley dot net

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Maria said...

I already have the book, and just want to say it's really lovely and well written. I think vortex is my favorite pattern.

6:26 PM  
Blogger patche said...

I would like to knit 'the dude abides' socks for my husband. He has patiently been awaiting his pair of socks while I knit socks for soldiers. But that war might never be over, so I'd like to start them soon.


9:35 PM  
Blogger Destiknit said...

Hi ^_^ I fell in love with Candelabra when the teasers first came out... gorgeous!

3:39 AM  
Blogger Dharmapuppy said...

I'd do the gull wing socks, for two different reasons...

1. The picture of the socks on your website caught my attention because of the pattern and the yarn used. Love the different colors of blue, green etc and how they mixed together.

2. I've got some yarn that I picked up at the new yarn store in Beaverton that I think would be lovely done up in the gull wing pattern. The yarn is by Hand Maiden Casbah, Pinata

10:24 AM  
Blogger NH Knitting Mama said...

OOOOH - it was a tie for me. In the family section, I like the Snuggalicious socks. I have socks on even in the summer, and those just look perfect for year-round wear.

In the fancy socks section, I like the Diamond Lucy socks. The heel is beatiful on them.

Truth be told, it was hard to narrow it down. They are all beautiful, and I like how you explained the kind of yarns to choose in each description. Nice touch!

10:42 AM  
Blogger Deneen said...

Snuggalicious Slipper Socks (new knitter and they look easy)

1:58 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Old School KneeHighs for me. They look so cool!! After that it would have to be one of the colorwork patterns. :)

8:37 PM  
Blogger Karen Frisa said...

It's a tough decision, but I think I'd knit Vortex first. That center cable is great! But I also love the back of leg/heel detail on Sakura, and the Candelabra motif. And I love stranded knitting, so The Dude Abides would be tempting, too...

1:22 PM  
Blogger Kira said...

Definitely The Dude Abides, for my brother, as The Big Lebowski is his favorite movie. But I'd be reluctant to give them away!

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how the old-school knee-highs can be made for our little girls and keep them warm enough!

It's hard to decide between the syncopated rib boot socks and diamond lucy for a second. There are so many beautiful patterns!

Fran W

1:06 AM  
Blogger RHRandle said...

I would knit the gorgeous Gull Wing socks, in a lovely blue-green handpainted yarn, to remind me of Maine where I grew up, and summers by the ocean. The pattern is fascinating, and I have not done any real patterned socks yet. Toe-up, Magic Loop is my favorite sock method.


8:30 PM  

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