Thursday, July 5, 2007

"Turn Work" - Part 2

So okay, that didn't work either. I do not understand what turn work means in this sock pattern but! I learned how to figure it out and do something I could understand. And, by myself! Of course it took me telling my non-knitting lunch buddies what I was doing and finished with... "Yep, it should work....". They all nodded eagerly and heck is sounded good to me. I ended up knitting a row to get the purl row on the inside of the sock and now my knitting is golden. I have turned the heel. Why is turning the heel so much fun? Is it just fun to knit or you know you are crossing the threshold of being more done with the sock than not? I am contemplating starting the second sock so that by the time I am done with the first one it is just a matter of finishing the second sock, not starting it. /nod

I think I might try this pattern again with a heavier sock weight yarn in the future. I have tricky ankles. I have lymphedema from incompetent valves in my legs. I wear compression stockings by day and am supposed to... yep.. "supposed to" wrap my legs in compression bandages at night. So the swelling in my feet and ankles varies by day and my attention to my leg health. I don't need a drawer full of big "thick ankle" socks but I will need a variety I think.

Back to my sock!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Anatomy Of An Error ~ "Turn Work"


That is what knitting errors does to me because I am very new at fixing them. I have been working my current project of Rainbow Lace Socks by Evelyn A. Clark. The cuff went very fast and I found this lace to be easy for me to remember after a few repeats and was knitting along like a pro. Time for the heel. It says... "Turn work; p27 stitches." Hmm... I turned it and looked at it. (You know what I did, don't you?!) Well turning it put the stitch I am supposed to knit on the correct side so there I go starting that heel flap. About 5 rows down, I started looking it. The heel seemed to be wrong side out to me so I studied the picture and looked at the sock, saw where the "right side" was so turned the sock inside out. And the lights came on! I sighed. And I sighed again. So "that" is what "turn work" means. Okay, another damn sigh. Yes, I am one of those knitters that would rather live with her mistakes than fix them. More so, I am afraid to unravel! I have a fear of loosing a stitch and when I do I actually break into a sweat, lol.

So, I figured out how to slide into the prior stitch and pop the tail end out and perfecto, there is my stitch! By the time I unraveled row four, there were 26 stitches instead 27, then suddenly 25. *Panic scream!*

Patiently I studied my stitches. One was very easy to find, the other slid down the line and looked like part of the lace but once I identified it and looped it back up the four undone rows, it looked like it was supposed to be there. YAY! I have this bad feeling that some day I will be proudly wearing my handknit sock and every step I take I will feel another stitch pop as it unravels leaving a trail of yarn behind he. Haha.

Thankfully this was one of those nights where the error was my teacher. I understand "turn work" now. Unraveling doesn't have to be a stressful occasion and variegated yarn can tell you all on its own where the mistake is. I had an extra loose loop. Studying the stitches I saw that there were two pink, one purple and three more pink stitches on my needle. That purple stitch screamed at me "Lady! I do NOT belong with these pink guys! Fix me!" Ah, so easy. *struts, yeah right!* Today, I am a better knitter!


Happy 4th of July!

Friday, June 29, 2007


I will say that every day I have been watching my inbox for my invitation. I read a post somewhere that May 10th had just been added so I popped into Stash and Burns website to see which podcast they spoke about it first, that was when I sent my request for invitation. Every day this week I said... "It HAS to be today!!".

I won the Ravelry lottery yesterday!! Thursday I was in. I logged in to check my mail at work and saw my son had sent pictures of my brand new granddaughter and suddenly I squealed in glee as the next email was my invitation! My co-workers on either side of me thought me nuts when I excitedly exclaimed, "It's here! It's here! I am in Ravelry! Oh yeah and look! Pictures of Natalie too!!!". Bad grandmother, lmao.

I love it, I have cataloged one of my three current projects and I just entered my stash. I see I don't have a very big stash but for me it is a lot to knit for my slow speed of knitting. Now to take pictures of my yarns!

What a nifty community it is, I can't wait to scour it top to bottom. Already I can see it will help me, I feel sort of stalled sometimes unsure what patterns are appropriate for the yarns I have. This I think may help me open the flood gates of a bit more understanding. My mind seems to work like that. I have all this information but unsure what to do with it, then something will click and what I have falls into place with that, "OHHH!! I get it!". Then I start the next level of process.

Monday, June 25, 2007


My momentum of all my sock knitalongs left me like the rush of air from a deflated balloon! I have not knit on much but my granddaughters baby blanket (she was born June 1st!!). Since my father's passing my attention has been everywhere else. I knit for about 45 minutes a day at lunch during work and that has afforded a snail like progress on this blanket.

The want is there, the energy is not. Everything feels so hard, everything is takes so much effort. Well! There are answers to that. Two months ago I had a physical and blood work. I got a letter in the mail from my doctors office on Saturday with another lab slip. My thyroid test was "borderline normal" does that really mean "borderline abnormal"? So, in July I have to have the testing again. It would explain the incredible fatigue and my brain that just does not want to work.

I am new enough to knitting that I find it hard to get myself started on a project and have two stalled toe-up socks not sure how to proceed with them. I am not sure I understand short rows enough and maybe that is what happens when I get to the heel. I can't seem to figure out how to do the heel the opposite of what little I know cuff down. So with this current fatigue and muddled mind syndrom, well, I tend to just forget it and nap instead of being persistant. This too shall pass??

Projects at the moment... still the baby blanket shown in an older post. It is about 30" now. 14" to go!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Ohhhh!!! And!!..

Sock Crazy, the best person on this planet today. The L&V PrOn Exchange is long over and wow! I received another package from my exchange pal today. I will snap a picture here to add to this post but omg.. it could not have come on a better day and was a true spirit lifter. I had already been spoiled to the point I would gush over the nifty things she sent to me to receive yet more. I have to say that it seemed most of the participants were great and it was fun to see what everyone was getting by there enthusiastic posts, it was almost like being there to watch them open their packages. The person I spoiled never said if she got her box, I finally had to email her just to make sure I didn't have to go after the shipper for a lost package. She said she got it but she was busy, that I can understand, and that was the last contact.

Thank you Sock Crazy!!!!

Some Catching Up to Do

I will have to get some picture snapping going on here. I have a third of baby blanket knitted for my newest grandchild that will be born on 6/1. Her name is Natalie Lynn. The knitting slowed the last few weeks. I buried a parent this past Tuesday and I am finding this very hard to wrap my head around. I lack the energy to do much and a friend of mine tells me it is normal and to just take the moods as they come and grieve. Well... okay. I don't like it much to be honest. I spoke to my sister today, my mother, she and I seem to be going through the same thing. We thought for sure getting through my father's funeral was the hard part but we are finding that day three after the funeral is harder, and today is harder than yesterday was.

So, I will knit...

I knit at work on my lunch hour. Yesterday I took my knitting out and found that my cat, the evil "little white cat", chewed on my bamboo circular needle. She chewed a rather large divot into the tip. I filed it with an emory board, filled the hole with polish, smoothed it with wax paper. Nothing works, after a bit of knitting it starts to catch again and the tip just may break off soon. So... I stopped at my LYS and bought a new circular needle. Bad Kitty!

On my needles right now:
A toe up sock I can't figure out what to do next.
the baby blanket
sock #2 - Jaywalker

I feel so incomplete, I don't have enough projects started!!! :)

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sock Crazy x 3!

Lets talk about spoiled. My exchange pal, Sock Crazy, has been just the best. Over the course of the time period I have received packages from her. ::Hugs!!::

Today I received a Symphony candy bar!! yum. And two skeins of yarn from Mango Moon. The black is an acrylic/nylon/spandex mix and the other is Viscose, hand spun in Indonesia. I already have an idea for the viscose, it is so colorful!

This exchange has been great fun and thank you so very much Sock Crazy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sock Crazy Strikes Again!!

A surprise in the mail today from my secret spoiler. My FIRST Lorna's Laces!!!! And how colorful. I just love it. Also came a spiral bound notebook perfect for my purse and this will be my "official" knitting notebook. And yum!! A Heath bar. My daughter was already eyeing that but I draw the line at Heath!

Thank you!! Thank you, Sock Crazy!! I feel so spoiled.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Passing of the Ice Dragon

So I went to Ice Dragon on Saturday. It is a SCA event that was held at a nearby Barony (Buffalo) of delightful and enthusiastic people. The day started off with this "nor'easter" and for the sake of description, lets just call it a BLIZZARD!! By the time I made it from my apartment to my car, my wool clogs were filled with snow and my salvars (16th century Turkish pants) which are thin and cottony were wet and I was cold. What a horrible drive into Rochester (I live about 20 miles east of) to the carpool meeting place of my friends house but it is amazing how we will travel for our hobbies! :)

Part of this event is an Arts & Sciences competition and it is really quite amazing to see pieces of art and objects of the middle ages recreated (as close as possible) from the research of a topic. There was mead there, wood working, clothing construction, scribal work, food and of course the fiber arts.

For about a year now I have been talking about getting good enough at the scribal arts to be able to do scrolls for the Kingdom and enter such contests but it amazes me how I have overlooked one huge thing. I am good at fiber arts. I have to learn scribal arts. Why am I not researching period dying, spinning and goodness ... Turkish Embroidery!!??? How blind we can be sometimes. For being such a fiber enthusiast I have missed the proverbial boat. Thank goodness I had a life preserver ::smirk::

So now I turn to what I have been good at for years and instead of marveling at the beauty and my love for the craft.. it is time to incorporate my love of history and blend the two together. I know there is history, I have not studied it much so it is time. :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Beee uuuu ttt iiii fullllllllll

That is all I can say about the baby alpaca yarn I got from my secret swap buddy!!

I wanted something open and bouncy and have no idea how to look at a skein of yarn and figure out what to do with it. So I spent hours Saturday morning looking at scarf patterns. I had in my mind the desired effect I wanted with this yarn but had no idea how to make that happen.

Bravely I tried a pattern on and used a scarf pattern called Choo-choo + Mikado Ribbon Scarf. Nice and open like I wanted and it is soooo bouncy and soft. It ended up being very easy, I wasn't sure I understood the yarn wraps at first but once I was through the second row of dropping the wraps I did that... "Ohhh!!!! I get it!".

The scarf is exactly what I had in mind. Now if only my toe up sock were that, "Ohhh!!!! I get it!" I am stuck on how to start the heel and all that and reading the book is like reading a foreign language for me. :( !!! So... I am starting a pair of Jaywalkers! CUFF down!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Brand New Spring on the Longest Winter Ever

I have lived an entire life not feeling like I quite belonged anywhere. I suppose I could blame my life on a not so nice man that was my biological father. We all have painful memories and I chose not to dwell on them and let him just be part of a forgotten past. However, born within this period of time is someone not quite comfortable in her own skin except during certain times in my life. I would tell any psychic that would sit and listen that I am sure that my traveling soul was not supposed to be here this go round. Once one of these sort of people told my mother and I that I had an old soul and my purpose in this life was to guide my Mother's soul through this lifetime. Well, when I look into the beautiful eyes of my daughter, that is exactly what I see. She is here to take care of me, there is a wisdom, and old wisdom that speaks in her eyes.

Now do not get me wrong. I am independent and while I can't seem to make a relationship last, nothing stops me (except funds) to do the things I really want to do, even if it has to be alone. I wanted to go to South Carolina, I drove there alone leaving my parents to wonder on my sanity and to worry about me. I wanted to weave, I wove. I wanted to spin, I did so. I wanted to get some college under my belt, I did that too. I have not sat back and not done things that interest me. I adore history... there is centuries of knowledge at my finger tips and daily I dabble in it.

As I have mentioned on and off, I left the world of fiber seven years ago or so. It was the wrong thing to do. It was depression of too much change and change that I wanted throwing me for a loop. During that time my love of fiber should have been my crutch and what got me through but it ended up shoved out of sight and in dark corners to be easily forgotten as I stepped into life to "find myself". Finding myself took facing that all of the thoughts and inner turmoil of wrongness (in my mind) was really a rightness that needed to be embraced. And so I did. Embracing it left behind what grounded me most, my own doing but I didn't want to take the time to look back, I wanted to look forward and live what I called an alternative lifestyle. I am not sure where I thought I had to give up something I love to move into something else I loved but well.. hindsight and all that.

During this time I changed so much that I am not sure who I am any more. The base is still there. I am still a talented woman with a taste for a different lifestyle but I have changed so much for so many people trying to fit in, be part of and wanted that I have lost track of who is really... me. The quest for embracing what I am has gone in severe peaks and valleys of feeling incredibly good to incredibly bad and the last two years has been a steady decline in my self confidence as a loss in faith in someone dear to me seemed to eat a rather large hole deep inside. It is harder when the heart is involved but this too shall pass. It has affected other people I relate to or don't relate to anymore and I don't quite have the blind faith in people that I did once upon a time.

The light goes on ... but I say that tongue in cheek because it seems my light goes on at an average of 6 or 7 times every 10 years!

A mere month ago I picked up my pointy sticks. The spinning wheel came out of the dark corner.. she was dusted and tenderly gone over as I apologized for overlooking the greatest of therapy and something I truly love. How many times did I tell people during these years.... "when I spin I am so grounded. The whirl of the wheel finds my mind drifting onward to good thoughts and a calm comes over me, I am in tune with mother earth... I feel so good". I am such a hypocrite. I talked the talk but did not walk the walk for SEVEN YEARS!

And so I start again. I want to knit and I want to do it well. I always wanted to knit but loved spinning and weaving more. I seem to need to knit now and so I will (I am sure this is my Grandmother taking care of me). My spinning wheel will not be neglected because of it but delving back into this world I know even if I am a bit rusty I realize I know things, I am good at something and I can be fantastic at it all. I was very good at all of this before and now I will be better. Already my confidence in a simple scarf project today has soared. I am a creature of consistency and this scarf, as simple as it is, has reminded me row after row that I have something to offer because I am giving life to this object that I will cherish. The last years has been so inconsistent that I feel at a loss and had stopped caring about much.

Picking up my pointy sticks has revived my caring and outward giving. I may not have a lot but there are so many without so much more than I. I am taking on the Dulaan project with year round commitment of knitting. If I can get one child to school or one adult to work simply by keeping them warm then I have done something good for the world. There will be other charity's as well as I get better (and faster) at knitting. I have sent care to a woman I don't know because it felt like the thing to do. Yes, pushing outward is the best therapy of all.

And so here I am at a brand new spring. My long seven year winter is finally coming to a close and inside of me is a wealth of good things brimming at the surface to overflow into creation, beauty and sense of self. Perhaps I do not belong in this life, perhaps I missed the bus to my correct place of travel for this soul I carry this life but it will pass through having the knowledge I can feed it for the next.

It is good to be home.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Sock Crazy strikes!!!

Looooky! My secret pal sent an envelope to me and inside is this delicious baby alpaca yarn and I am telling you it is so soft!!! I just may have to sleep with it tonight, hehe. Tootie rolls included, yum!

Thank you secret buddy!

This shows the colors best.........

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Toe up madness!

Well, my fear to start up a toe up sock with very limited knitting experience has turned out to be not so bad. If I don't look at the entire picture and just do the toes, then the pattern to the ankle, and so on, I should be fine. This is the first pattern I have done. The sock pattern I have done was a 2/2 rib. I know know how to do M1, YO and kf&b! Kf&b was a bit messy at first! Hehe.


I spin and weave MUCH better than I knit but I find I don't miss the weaving and I am just loving this exploration of knitting. Perhaps I am a born knitter after all. While my resume is a couple pair of socks, I am now ready to embark and learn to make everything!

I remember my Grandmother. I was her girl, she and I had this connection that never needed words much as my Mother and sister have their connection. She was from Scotland, had come over to the US when she was 16. She was separated and lived alone for a great many years, divorce was unheard of in those days so she worked a full time job taking the bus to and from work in Akron, Ohio. When we would visit I would just cling to her; not that she would let me get two feet away from her!

She would sit in her chair in the evenings drinking her "wee ticky" of scotch and with me in her lap, arms around me, she would knit like there was no tomorrow. She was a smoker too I remember and one cigarette after the next would burn away in the ashtray as she forgot about it while trying to teach me to knit. I don't know how she did it to be honest. A wiggling grade schooler in her lap, watching her shows on tv and paying attention to everyone else in the room and still knitting with an amazing speed and accuracy. At one point she gave me a pair of big pink metal needles (which I have today, when she died I was given all of her knitting needles and crochet hooks) and some gaudy yarn of the old days. It was acrylic, she did use wool for particular projects and I can't clearly remember what she made beyond the winter garb my sister and I got from her. I also remember her sewing us top and pant sets for school. But this knitting she taught me was intended to be a scarf and while it started at about 20 stitches when I left Ohio.. it was about 60 stitches once in New York! So discouraged it had to wait until our next visit and once back in her chair with her while she professionally critiqued my work she would be encouraging while telling me it was beautiful and the trick with this project would be... it was then she would list things I could do with my fabric what were not the intended scarf. That scarf ended up being a dress for a doll and I was thrilled at having become a designer! Back to New York I would go with another scarf on my needles.

My knitting never got much past that point. She was patient but I was a kid and soon into horse back riding and friends and running about the countryside as an active farm kid. Today I wish I could sit with her and knit. I would love to hear her talk of Scotland and her childhood while learning everything she knew about knitting. Knitting was like breathing for her. I remember she crocheted too but that is something I never took up.

I wonder now at this need to knit. The last 7 years I have been a very restless soul and perhaps she is guiding me to a place of peace and balance. I know she has been with me for all these years and it was here in this craft that we had a strong connection.

How I miss her. How I miss the roll of the r off her tongue with her brogue as she spoke my name and always she would call me "Sharon darling".

Monday, March 5, 2007

My Secret Pal

It seemed like only a day before I got a post card in the mail from my Secret Pal for the L&V Pron Exchange. How exciting this is as it is my first! exchange. *holds up the card for all to see*

Already I feel spoiled, see how easy I am? Hehe.

Thank you Secret Pal!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

On the wheel

The wheel is out and on it is a nice merino/angora blend. I want to see if I can spin it fine enough for a three ply sock yarn then dye it when it is done.


Can we say YUM?????? :)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

To be forgotten...

I dropped out of the fiber world rather abruptly about 6 years ago. I am not sure what I was thinking at the time. My daughter and I moved from our house that we were so rooted in and moved to a "so-so" apartment but nothing seemed the same and my enthusiasm sucked. I missed all my gardens and my routine as I was now back in the world of work and commuting while trying to deal with an angry 8 year old suffering a broken family. I am blessed with the sweetest daughter ever so thankfully her anger never manifested into anything I couldn't handle. I did other things that required nothing of me really. Video cames just eat brain cells and that was perfect for me at the time. Suddenly, the games are gone, I probably won't go back to "Evercrack", it is a pointless expenditure of energy when I love medievil history and everything about it. I love learning, I love being creative and I love fiber. Spinning always grounded me, it was meditation for me. My place to be just me. Why would I push away things that made me feel smart and part of something bigger. I have a bag full of ribbons from the NYS State Fair, Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and the Fingerlakes Fiber Festival. Why didn't those inspire me to continue what I was good at? I always took a great pride that if the world were wiped out and I was one of a handful of survivors that I would be instrumental in the groups survival with my skills in weaving, spinning, gardening and so on. A quirky pride but all mine! :) So now I have come back to my world; a world I always loved. I am a dream loom short but I have everything still, I just packed it away "just in case".

So now the true test. Showing up to old haunts even if I feel intimidated. What if I am not remembered... or they can't place me but know they know me. What if I get "the look" as if I abandoned the entire group? I don't intimidate easily but I am not always hugely confident either but for weeks I have been thinking of stopping at the Sheel & Wool shop that is not even three miles from my house. And so today I awoke and said.. if you clean out that refrigerator and wash it out, you can get a treat at Louise's. See, I am my own enabler! And a very proud enabler too. Maybe that was my way of challenging myself to break out of my self imposed shell. In some ways I am very much a wall flower but bravely cover it up with a forced outgoing personality. It is not easy for me to step up and be heard in most situations but I do it.

And so.. I drove up the driveway and parked. The shop was open and down I went to a place I was a regular at. A place where I took classes, a place where I taught one intermediate spinning class; a place where my friends would congregate. Louise, the owner, saw me across the shop and immediately asked, "Is that Sharon I see?" A rush of feeling very good, I was remembered! She came straight for me and after a wonderful embrace and well wishes to each other, she even knew I had not been there for five years. How wonderful it was to be remembered. All it took was taking that one step. I am not sure why it took many weeks to do this but it is now done AND!! on Tuesday nights I have a place to go and sit and knit with others who gather there. New friends on the horizon while catching up with old.

The fiber community is one of the more warm communities I have been involved with. The SCA is as well and yes, every community has their uppity sorts that bring on that roll of eyes but those are few and far between.

I am so glad that I am back.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

My very first "Sock Yarn"

weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! In the mail today was the first delivery of too much sock yarn I have purchased since last Friday. I have a spinning fiber stash but I don't have a sock yarn stash.. yet!

Oh wait, I do!!! I am knitting a pair of socks so anything extra IS stash! I have arrived! *chuckle*

So.. my first arrival *holds it up cuz camera battery says exhausted.. grunt* is Schaefer Anne from Simply Socks in the grapevine colorway.

From watching the posts, everyone put their yarn into a ball from their ball winders. Well I know where my ball winder is but someplace in this apartment is a missing umbrella swift!

Monday, February 19, 2007

One Sock Done!!!


I am not good with my digital camera but all of my indoor shots come out so dark (any suggestions?). This is enhanced in PSP but that is a raspberry color yarn. It is Plumberry SheepsWool yarn by Brunswick. I found it in my old stash and decided to use something old to relearn to knit this one pattern I understand!! :)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

OMG! and...


Stop me!!!!!!!! lol


Mystical Creations.....

Weee... Purchases!!

Friday I paid off my car!!! And bought sock yarn :) :) :)

I bought four colorways of Lisa Souza's yarn. My luck to get her on a show week! I am patient, I am patient, I am patient!! *not really but repeats and repeats*

And! I bought one Shaefer Anne (sp?).

So it seems this obsession will be no different than my wool obsession, book obsession, et al.

And.... seems I am still looking at a few other yarns... *big surprise*

Sunday, February 11, 2007


As if no fiber enthusiast knows what that means!

That is the one word that can describe my first Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I was so excited and had a wad of money to just throw at merchants there and I did! And it was indeed, better than sex! Haha.

I was like a kid at a fair who had never seen one. My girlfriend Teresa had already been to the festival so knew what it was like. Our husbands so patient and didn't seem to complain about the constant trips to truck and station wagon to deposit our new found purchases. I just glowed in a smile for weeks after then when I really looked, I had bought enough material to spin for at least 10 years. But wow.. to go there again.... someday!

Friday, February 9, 2007


I feel like I am climbing out of a seven year depression and maybe I am. I won't bore you with details but in a nut shell I was married, had one child at home and one child on his own. My days were filled with my gardens, fiber this .. fiber that.. more fiber this.. more fiber that. My best friend and I were lucky enough to both be home during the day and we had guild functions, shop functions, dye days in the drive way, spin in's, Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, New York State Fair, Fiber Seminars and more events, projects, etc than I could ever list.

I decided I was not happy in this marriage and in divorcing ended in a small apartment and I think it was then that I really felt the weight of my decisions. (Decisions I would never change.) I tried to stick with my fiber arts, it being the one thing I loved but it all ended up put away and I let my energies go elsewhere. Well, the last month has been an enthusiasm to dive into all of my projects once more and oddly, found I forgot so much over the last 7 years!

I have enough fiber to spin for the next 20 years, I have piles of handspun wool to play with. I did sell my 12 harness loom a few years ago because I felt it was more of a crime having it sit in storage than being used by an artist. The spinning wheel is out, the fibers are sorted, the knitting equipment is found, the spinning equipment is found except for the drum carder but I think I know where it is!

So here I leap into my love of fiber again. My goals are to get that spinning wheel working again and my skill level back to what it was. My novice knitting "under control" and lifted to the level of advanced beginner, lol. Felting! I have the basics but never took the time to really learn it and do it well.

I smile all day, even my friends that see me daily say it is like I opened the curtains and the sun came in. I truly think it was the loss of home yet I did not realize this.

The only thing missing is Teresa, my best friend who moved to Indiana. However we will just have to stay close by other means!