The failed progress of Camp Loopy and a book review

For the last two summers I have participated – sort of – in Camp Loopy. It is a knitting camp sponsored by yarn company, The Loopy Ewe. Basically, they create rules you have to follow in knitting three projects over three months. It is a good way for them to get people to buy yarn and a good way for people to finish three projects during the summer. There are three deadlines. This is the problem.

Last summer the extent of my participation was selecting patterns and buying yarn – yarn that is still in my stash I might add. This summer I selected the patterns, bought the yarn and actually started the projects but I have made zero deadlines. One Color Affection shawl is three-quarters of the way done because I moved on to the second month’s project. I am nearly to the point of separating for the armholes of a Radian Yoke sweater three days after its deadline. And I have the supplies ready to start a Catkin in the colorway of the sweater of this link. I guess there is some hope I might finish this but it’s doubtful. I would like to wear the Radian Yoke at least once before the snow flies. It’s a short-sleeved sweater. I am very disappointed in this project, probably more than I should be. And probably because I have a sweater, an afghan and two scarves waiting to be finished. And never mind the yarn shop’s worth of yarn that I am apparently storing for some yarn apocalypse. Do not worry people. If it comes, I will be ready. There’s also the binder of projects I REALLY want to knit that have received no love beyond getting their own binder. While I have enjoyed working on the Loopy projects I had hoped to whittle down the stash this summer but that hasn’t happened. Maybe next year.

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Photo from annshayne.com

In cheerier news, I recently finished Bowling Avenue by Ann Shayne of Mason-Dixon Knitting. She writes about a woman who returns home to Nashville to sell her dead sister’s house and then gets caught up in the Nashville flood. It has a lot of humor, sympathetic characters and plenty of knitting. And the writing is pretty good especially for a first effort. Shayne began writing the novel a year or two ago and self-published it. She is well-known in the knitting community and I can’t help but think book sales received a boost from the loyal knitters, but it was worth my money. I was sorry to leave the world she created.

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Socks on Parade

Ahoy, my lovelies. We’re about to embark on a voyage to Sock Island and back. Or Sock Hill or Sock Oblivion. Sock Seattle – wherever you want to go with Sock attached to it.

If you are one of the two readers of this blog you are aware that one of my goals for 2012 was to knit more socks. And I have accomplished that in a big way people. Since the first of the year I have finished five pairs of socks. Yes! I am the champion. I nearly have enough handknit socks to wear one every day of the week. Since my state has been like living on the surface of the Sun this summer I have not worn many socks since March (?) but I could if I wanted to and that’s what counts. Let the parade begin.

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This is the most recently completed addition to the Smith Sock Family but it is destined for adoption. It was crafted for one of my students who convincingly begged for a pair. Done. The pattern comes from the Big Book of Socks by Kathleen Taylor and was the first fancy sock pattern I’ve tackled. The book is truly big and chocked full of sock patterns in various, sizes, colors and styles from kid to Christmas. I enjoyed knitting this pattern. The ribbed effect it produces is very easy on the eyes and very easy to produce. Kathleen also wrote clear instructions for the short-row heel which I finally understand even though I took a short-row heel class at the much-revered Sock Summit last year in Portland. I will be making more socks from this book. She has several patterns for worsted weight socks which I guess would work with boots or the Birkenstock. It seems like they would be thick for the regular shoe. I’m sure Kathleen knows best.

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Here are some lovely tweed socks made with Knitpicks Essential Tweed in a colorway that appears to be burgundy. These were made using the Yarn Harlot’s Basic Sock Recipe from her book Knitting Rules. I have made several socks using her very detailed instructions and I like them. I figured out the ideal number of stitches to cast on and my socks now fit like a dream. I love her recipe because she tells you how to fit the socks to your feet. Very helpful. I loved working with this yarn and have enough leftover for either another pair of socks, an American Girl something or a festive addition to the heel, toe and cuff of a subsequent pair. That pattern is also from the Big Book, tra la.

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These were made from some Paton’s self-striping yarn. I love the colors and pattern. I wasn’t so sure at first but these are probably my first or second favorite socks. This is the pair that finally had the right number of stitches to fit and feel like they were going to stay up. I am excited to wear these once the ball of fire cools down a little.

These are more socks from the Harlot’s basic recipe – I was on a roll. The yarn is more from our friends at Knitpicks. This isĀ  Felici in Marsh or something. I think this colorway has been discontinued. They do that frequently with the Felici yarn so now if I like it I buy it. Fall into the consumerism trap much? Yes, yes I do.

My current sock project is a selection from my Yarn of the Month Club. I have ripped it out twice. Once I screwed up the pattern, the second time the sock was just huge so I’ve gone down a needle size. I was very impressed with the pattern (the little I knit of it) and proud of how well I knit it. Photos to come! It’s just a baby right now.