This sock is done

Here is the finished, although not terribly expertly photographed, Nordic Christmas sock from the North Country Fiber Fair. If you tuned to my last blog post you will know that if you were not at the fair you are boring – or don’t care about fibers, or fairs.

Meanwhile, since that time, I’ve discovered that my blog has peaked at 12 readers, which is 10 more than I thought I had. These people will heretofore be known as the Dynamic Dozen. Hello Dynamic Dozen. As a result of my latest project, I have learned that I like stranded knitting – the knitting you do when you knit with two colors. Previously, I thought knitting with more than one color at a time was obnoxious because it ended up a tangled mess wrapped around my double points. (Stop laughing.) Kathleen Taylor (sock class teacher) showed me a simple, but ingenious, method of organizing your yarn so that it does not end up in the aforementioned yarn tangle. Kathleen Taylor is much smarter than me. Her classes are taught in a relaxed manner, she is accessible in her teaching style and she shows you how to do things more easily than you would have come up with on your own. She also gives out free books. I received the Big Book of Socks because I already have Fearless Fair Isle.  Maybe I’ll be able to try a sock pattern from the new free book if I ever get done with the Neverending Cotton Socks. If you have never met a neverending pair of cotton socks you do not know what I’m dealing with. It’s basically a sock that you continue to knit and knit that is then ripped out without your knowledge by your imagination that has fooled you into believing in this conspiracy.

That’s all for now. To the Dynamic Dozen: Good evening.

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If you were not at the North Country Fiber Fair you are boring

Or you just don’t like fairs, or fiber or maybe just want to watch sports and maybe attend musical festivals. By the way, festivals and fairs are almost the same thing except sometimes one will have a carousel and the other will not. I will let you investigate which is which.

I attended the North Country Fiber Fair during my birthday weekend – Sept. 16 to 18. There was no carousel but there were fiber enthusiasts galore. These included people making their own yarn by spinning fiber, people knitting fiber people had already spun (me), people learning to spin fiber into yarn (also me) and probably some people weaving (not me).

This is the third year I have thought: I should really take some classes at this fiber fair and the first year I actually did it. On my birthday – yes – secret revealed – I took a class from celebrated author and knit blogger Kathleen Taylor. Kathleen is known in fiber circles for her blog Dakota Dreams and her pattern-writing, book-writing and teaching. She is known in book circles for a mystery series she wrote that was based on the area around Redfield, SD, where she lives. Unfortunately, her publisher decided not to pay for these books to be written right about the

Kathleen Taylor - awesome teacher and author and also blogger.

time things were getting steamy in those mysteries. I was not a fan of that decision and think she should write the rest of the series for the e-book market, but that is just my opinion. She has written a new book suitable for the older elementary to junior-highish set that I am really looking forward to reading. (If either of my two readers are publishers that last sentence was for you. Buy it, OK?)

But anyway, I had done some color work prior to this class, which will be described in a later post, about some golf club covers I tried to design. It was ultimately successful but I wish I’d taken this class before that.

Also I was really proud that while I was working on it people told me how beautiful the sock was and how I would be a credit to any guild I wanted to join. These compliments were given during Sunday lunch when I was knitting the sock very near where Kathleen Taylor was eating lunch. I wanted to say Pssst, are you hearing this Kathleen? Your sock is the bomb.

The sock is still not done but I am down to the edging. That means I have 14 rows left and some picot edging. I am hoping that tonight’s watching of Modern Family, Glee and Parenthood will be sufficient to knock it out.

My other large triumph this weekend – besides just getting my registration sent in and showing up – was spinning something that resembled yarn. I took a drop spindle class several years ago.  It DID NOT TAKE. This time it did. I was told that I was doing a great job in that class. Some of what I produced looked like real yarn, so it’s possible I was doing a really great job. It’s also possible that everyone is so happy at this fiber festival being surrounded by fiber fumes and other people who do not need the reasons for knitting explained to them that they think everyone is doing a great job at everything. I may have been one of those people. I can also say that this has not been the best year of my life – and by not the best year I mean this is number two on the worst scale. So for me to have been pretty solidly happy for three days was, number 1, really awesome and, number 2, really really awesome.

Here’s my sock.

There is twice as much of this sock now.

And here are some people who spin stuff that looks like yarn all the time or maybe just on Tuesdays because in my experience people really love to spin on Tuesdays.

If you think this is the last you’ll read from me about the NCFF then you are wrong. I have more pictures to post once I try to spin more yarn-like substances away from the magic new spinners ring of folding chairs.

Disappointment – you ugly, well you know

Sometimes I wonder, why do I knit? Or why do I try to knit things that fit myself. I knit this:

And it looks really nice doesn’t it? The cables are beautiful – if I do say so myself. The yarn has a great stitch definition that offsets the cables and also it was a fun piece to knit. I tried it on several times and was convinced it fit. Victory!

Then I put it on this morning and it looked, on me, sort of like packaged barf. For those who may be wondering, packaged barf is worse than real barf because it’s in a package so it probably smells worse and you might open it by accident thinking it’s something fun and cool like yarn. Then it’s really barf, which smells really bad from being barf and being sealed in a package and it gets all over you.

Back to the sweater – the sleeves were too long and the sweater body was too bulky or something. It made some of my bulges look more bulgy – not the look I’m going for. Just saying.

I have made approximately two sweaters – wait three – that fit. I would like to make more. Perhaps I need a dress form. Perhaps I should just make baby sweaters. Or afghans or scarves or something that doesn’t need to fit. Or maybe I should stop losing weight, but probably not. Maybe I should try these pieces on more during construction. Yeah, that’s it.

For those of you riveted by the tomato soup post

You should be 1,000 percent more excited about the eggplant Parmesan news of today. Here’s the news: I made it. It doesn’t suck. It may need a little more time in the oven to get rid of some of the chewiness. Doable – I have an oven. And teeth if the oven doesn’t work.

Meanwhile, here’s a vignette from daily dog walking. Basically this is what I sound like for most of the walk: No, no, come on, come on, COME HERE (jerks leash).  Often these dog walks are punctuated by mad straining against the leash in order to chase after a squirrel that’s already escaped to the safety of a tree that is far out of the dog’s ability to reach. This is what the dog does. I just walk. I can generally keep my enthusiasm about squirrels in check.

Another thing is cats. My dog was bitch-slapped twice by a farm cat over the Labor Day weekend. This particular farm cat had new kittens and wanted to assure the dog that he would regret even breathing in the cat’s direction. The dog has since forgotten how that felt. And has also forgotten crying like a baby because his nose had been attacked by a baby-crazed lunatic. In the dog’s mind he is mean and ferocious, full of teeth, projecting an aura of fear towards all he encounters. In reality he is an over-sized puff ball used to frequent walks, regular feeding and naps on the couch. This is how dog and cat differ. In a cat’s mind it will kick your ass if you get out of line. In reality, it will kick your ass if you get out of line.

So, no, no, come on, leave the cat alone.

No real progress to report unless you count tomato soup

Sadly this weekend was a bust as far as my home improvement to do list. However, I was able to get some of the donated produce used up in some salsa, BLT’s and TOMATO AND ZUCCHINI SOUP! I love tomato zucchini soup so much. It’s very possible that I over-seasoned this with chili powder and dill but I will choke it down anyway.

Tonight if the newspaper Gods smile on me I am leaving here early enough to make some eggplant Parmesan, maybe some zucchini bread and hopefully knock off one or two jobs from the aforementioned to do list.

Also, it’s international crochet day! Here’s the proposed project: a hat.

This looks like a knitting pattern but it is crocheted. I am going to work it in my favorite Lion Brand Cotton-Ease with a G hook – the favorite crochet hook size.

Could we just pause here to give a shout out to the new Interweave Crochet?

The cover shot is beautiful. I am drooling over that wrap. And it can be worn so many ways. There are several projects in this issue I want on my to do list but I’m starting with the hat. It’s my new goal – try to make one project out of each of the several mags that find their way to my mailbox quarterly. So many goals …

Happy International Crochet Day!

Weekend To Do list

Unfortunately I have no knitting to show you today. I have been knitting the same sweater for weeks and just when I thought it was almost done I discovered I need to add another two inches onto it. So instead I will give you a list of projects at my house I’ve put off all summer. This list is made in the hopes that I might get these completed before winter. Here’s hoping …

1. Take down the blinds in the kitchen. I’m getting a new kitchen and need more light to come in that window to counteract the darkish tile I’m putting down and the sage green paint I plan to put on the walls.

2. Re-hang the curtain in the craft room. These are sheers that I think will add a nice ambiance to the space. This would probably take five minutes if I’d just get the drill out.

3. Replace the shade in my large bathroom with the bamboo shade I’ve had for a year.

4. Take off all the painters tape that is still stuck to the closet in my bedroom. This is more than a year old.

5. Fill in an oddly-placed flower bed with some pavers to stone treatment of some kind.

6. Put down some Preen (Preem?) in the flower beds and mulch to cut down on some of the weeds.

And here’s a gratuitous shot of the peonies that lasted two days in June before the rain killed them. They were very pretty while they lasted. This has been the summer of finishing large projects so I’m also including a shot of the crochet sunning itself on the patio. I guess I had some knitty/crochet content after all.