Tag Archives: socks

The Reveal

30 Jul

My parents visited this past weekend, and I was finally able to give them their birthday gifts. Allow me to present Quill for my mom, and Caldwell for my dad.

Quill, designed by Jared Flood, was published in the 2011 Brooklyn Tweed Spring Thaw collection.

Caldwell, designed by Stephen West, was published in Brooklyn Tweed Wool People Volume 1.

Both of these projects were knit with Knit Picks simply organic cotton – Quill in sport weight, and Caldwell in worsted weight. The colors suit my parents’ wardrobes and personalities, and I feel the patterns complement each other well. I hope they have wonderful knitwear date nights when the weather gets chilly.

Both of these projects were challenging for me in their own ways. Quill is a simple pattern, but it’s huge and requires a lot of time, patience, and blocking with wires. Caldwell is seamed and finished with an i-cord bind off all around. This was a new technique for me and took a lot of time.

I was so pleased that my parents loved their gifts. Their reaction made all of the hard work and long nights worth it. I unfortunately forgot to pull the beautiful photo of both of them wearing their gifts off my mom’s camera before they left, but perhaps I can get it on the blog later.

Additionally, my dad added a wonderful treat to my mom’s gift and bought her a silver shawl pin that features oak leaves, one of my mom’s favorite motifs. All in all, I think she had a beautiful 50th birthday, and my dad will have a great 62nd next weekend.

But you know, my parents weren’t the only ones who received gifts this weekend. I got some new toys, too! Most notably, my mom brought me some gorgeous rosewood Knitter’s Pride Cubic DPNs. These square needles are ergonomic, strong, and create more uniform stitches.

The GNP socks are still in progress. I’ve missed the deadline for the competition, but hopefully they can still make it up to Whitefish in time for the auction.

Because I just started a new job (which I love!) and had family visit, my lofty goals of completing my GNP socks and competing in the Ravellenic Games (formerly the Ravelympics) were not realized. I did, however, cast on a sweater with the yarn I had set aside for the competition.

Great things start with small beginnings. That’s what I’m going to keep telling myself.

This little sleeve will eventually be the Agnes Pullover from the latest issue of Knitscene. I don’t normally purchase that magazine, but just about every pattern in the fall issue is gorgeous, especially Agnes.

I had hoped to have some more impressive in-progress projects to share right now, but I am so happy I took time to relax and enjoy my family’s visit. My parents and aunt don’t get to come out here often, and the Ravellenic Games aren’t a good reason to ignore my family.

Notes

  • Quill is a traditional Shetland hap shawl.
  • The buttons featured on the Caldwell vest are apple wood and purchased from Woods of Narnia on Etsy.
Advertisements

Sock Drive for GNP

22 Jun

Beargrass grows at Grinnell Lake in Glacier National Park in Montana. (not my photo)

I live in the most beautiful place in the world. I don’t think I express that enough on this blog, and it’s worth mentioning. Montana is home to the majority of Glacier National Park (it bleeds a little into Canada) and GNP is my favorite thing about Montana.

I’ve never spent significant time there, but hopefully that will change in the coming years as my life situation is much more stable. This natural wonder is just a few hours north of me, and there isn’t a bad view in the place. Even the grass is pretty (see above).

What does this all have to do with knitting? Well, yesterday I heard through Facebook that Camas Creek Yarn, the largest LYS in Montana, is holding a sock drive to support Glacier National Park. This shop is located in Whitefish, Mont., just outside of the park, and is gathering socks, boot toppers, leg warmers, etc., to be auctioned at the Fall for Glacier Backpacker’s Ball in September. The funds raised from the socks will go toward maintenance on the 734 miles of trails in GNP, according to the Camas Creek posting, here.

I can’t resist this. I’ll get to knit socks AND donate them to a cause supporting Glacier? This takes charity knitting to a whole new level for me.

Besides, if you follow the link above and read more about the sock drive you’ll see that Camas Creek is offering some amazing prize packages for the customer favorites and best-of-class donated socks. I wouldn’t mind winning a two-day $400 trip and yarn shopping package to Whitefish, would you?

If you have it in you to knit up some beautiful socks (or other footwear) to support this cause, please do. Here’s the link again, and it has all the information about where and when to send the socks. They must be received by July 31!

Twisted Flower Socks. Copyright Cookie A.

I’m planning to knit Cookie A’s Twisted Flower Socks from Knit.Sock.Love. in a gorgeous red color. Red is a common theme color for Glacier National Park, and their wildflowers are a true thing a beauty.

Since there are awesome prizes up for grabs in this sock drive, why would I be encouraging all of you awesome knitters to compete with me? Because I love Glacier National Park!

If you have some sock stash hanging around or you can afford to donate even a simple boot topper to this great cause, please do.

Our national park system is a treasure. I’m lucky enough to live in a place with abundant parks and protected areas, but they are too rare in our country, and they need our support!

Knitting up my love

26 Apr

In the past year, I have knit myself five pairs of socks and two half-pairs.

A year is not a long time, and that number seems high, considering that I also work, have a family, and knit other things. I could easily polish off those last two pairs in a solid week of concentrated knitting and give myself a pair of handknit socks for each day of the week, but somehow that feels a bit selfish.

I have people in my life – family and friends – who mean a great deal to me, and it’s important that I find ways to share my love with them, and give back the support they give me. This includes cooking, letters and cards, keeping in close touch, etc. But the best way I can think to show my love is to knit.

I have knit myself the better part of seven pairs of socks in the last year, and I have knit a complete nine pairs for people I love, not to mention sweaters, hats, scarves and mittens. When I cast on a new project, or I’m just about to finish an item for myself, I get the itch to create something full of love and then let it go. It’s not always socks, but most often it is.

What better way to tell someone how much you care about them than to give them not one, but two coordinating handknit items? Tens of thousands of teeny stitches, each one filled with love, and they get to wrap it around their feet, and have that love carry them. For their comfort, you are giving them 20-40 hours of time, attention and skill, and saying, “Here, please walk on these. Stick them in your boots, scoot them across your floor, stretch them, tear them, wear them until they fall apart. And don’t worry, I’ll make you more.”

I never feel sad about letting go of a pair of socks, but I do feel sad when the recipient doesn’t wear them. As sock knitters, we put our love into yarn and form it to the shape of a foot, and when it doesn’t go anywhere, all that love just hangs out in the universe with nothing to do and no one to support. We guard ourselves against letting that much love go without a purpose again, and some people don’t get more pairs of socks. It isn’t that we don’t love them anymore, it’s that we love them too much to let it go to waste, and maybe we need to build more trust and security before we can expect them to wear our love on their feet.

But the people who do walk around on their handknit love are rewarded with so much more. That’s why there haven’t been many updates on Sockilism in the past week. I’m putting my love into something new. My needles are busy and my heart is full, which is good because I have a long ways to go.

I want to leave you with a quote that has been on my mind a lot lately, and will hopefully carry me through this project and back to my own two half-pairs of socks:

“Let me think about the people that I care about the most, and how when they fail or disappoint me I still love them, I still give them chances, and I still see the best in them. Let me extend that generosity to myself.” – Ze Frank

Finished socks = happy husband

3 Jan

"Ooo. I finally get another pair of socks."

A day past my deadline, I have finished my husband’s Stepping Stones socks. Details are forthcoming.