Cabled socks, another good day

These are Trekking XXL Cable Rib Socks from Interweave Knits Fall 2005. I have been working on these for quite a while. I have noticed a pattern, I tend to do the first sock pretty fast, then get to the heel on the second sock when all of a sudden doing the heel and especially the gussets seems like a HUGE pain in the butt. So I leave it and start something else or don't knit at all. Then when I finally get back to picking it up again, it goes so quick and I wonder why I let it sit there for so long.

I made myself finish these socks because I have started at least three other pair since stalling at the heel months ago. I have so much new sock yarn, that I wanted to start another pair, so I told myself I couldn't start another sock until these were finished. And it only took two evenings to finish them.

When I started these, I was using a bamboo cable needle from Knit Picks. It was big and too long, and just kind of awkward for sock yarn. So, I thought I would try to use one of those row markers that looks like a stubby safety pin as a cable needle. That was working ok, but I really couldn't knit the held stitches right from the marker, I had to slide them back onto the working needle. So, I was telling my mom all of that sometime last spring probably, and then the next time I saw her, she gave me this:
She was always breaking her size 1 bamboo needles. So, she took one of the broken ones and sharpened one end and sanded it real smooth and it is now my size 1 cable needle! Genius!!! It is the perfect size, obviously because I was knitting the sock with size 1 needles, but it's also the perfect length. It is short enough to not be in the way, and long enough to actually knit the held stitches right from the cable needle. It's perfect! Except that it is just small enough to get lost, or accidentally mistaken for a used toothpick and get thrown away. So I am careful to not leave it out on the table.

When I finally got to the end of the toe and started to use the kitchener stitch for the seam, I thought I remembered how to do it. I was too lazy to get up and walk a couple feet to the sewing room to get my sock book for the instructions. I did the first four stitches of kitchener right. then must've skipped something and was knitting the purls and purling the knits, and ended up with this half 'innie' and half 'outie' toe.

So today while I was waiting for the roast chicken to reach 165 degrees I un-kitchenered, and re-kitchenered. And now they are done and on my feet.


Getting it back

I think I had a little break-through yesterday. Since December when my mommy died I have not really wanted to do anything, and planning our wedding took up a lot of my time and brain power. Since the wedding is over I have had a lot of time and extra brain cells to do the things I used to LOVE to do in my spare time. But somehow, none of it really interested me. I would stand in my sewing room and rifle through things, flip through a pattern book, feel up my stacks of fabric, dump out a bag full of already cut-out pieces to a project and then put them all back in the bag again. Knitting had even lost it's luster for me.

My mom and I used to talk on the phone every day. I'd tell her all the mundane details of my day and she'd listen as if I were telling her about my first African Safari and each round of a sock was a new animal I'd discovered. When all of a sudden I didn't have her to report to every day, I stopped doing things.

Until yesterday.

I got home from my meetings at work at about 2:30, ate lunch and took a little nap. Then while Ryan cooked dinner I sat on the couch and knit on a sock for more than an hour. Before yesterday I hadn't knit on anything for more than about 5 minutes at a time, and probably less than once a week.

After dinner we cleaned up the kitchen and I made a bee-line (B-line? what is that expression? V-line would make sense...) to the sewing room. Ryan seemed surprised when I didn't join him on the couch after dinner and asked where I was going. I told him I was going to go play in the sewing room. I think he had been waiting for this moment too.

So from about 8:00 until 11 I was in the sewing room working on this green shibori quilt. I started it quite a while ago, I dyed the fabric while I was still in school, the quilt top was cut and pieced when my sewing room was still in the basement. (the color in these pictures is so wrong. it's an avocado green, not so much gray)

I had started quilting it a couple different times on the sewing machine, but I never liked how it looked and ripped it out each time. I wanted to do something that would enhance the shibori design, not make it harder to distinguish. So I had some shiny embroidery floss in a pale yellow and tried that. I decided to use it to just make a running, almost like a basting stitch, from top to bottom. I made it wavy on purpose and left different widths between each row of stitching. A clever disguise to not-so-perfect piecing abilities.

A couple months ago I had found a big shoe box full of old thread. It must have been my great grandma's because the spools were all wooden. My mom could never throw anything away, so I sorted through the box and got rid of any empty and almost empty spools. I found a bunch of spools marked "pure silk" and wondered if that really meant it was silk. I don't know why I don't trust the spool, maybe it's really cotton, but they called it silk because it was really strong and shiny or something. I don't know. But I separated all the silk spools and set them aside to use some day.

So in the spaces where I left empty pockets between rows of stitching I used the "pure silk" thread to make smaller rows of stitches . It's not that visible from a distance, but up close I think it looks neat. So far I've only used a reddish color for the smaller patches of stitching. I think I'll do the whole thing that way before I decide to add another color. I thought maybe of adding patches of some french knots. We'll see.

What do you think so far? I'm not sure that the patches of red are even necessary. And I think my pictures are kind of crappy today, so maybe you won't even be able to tell me what you think.

Today I will try to continue with my productivity. I have to work all day, and all of my Etsy listings have expired, so I need to put some things on there to sell. I have quite a few new things, so I'll let you know when they are up. Ryan's website needs to be updated with some new show info too. So, on that note... I am stepping away from the computer. Not to return until I have accomplished at least 5 hours of work. Wish me luck!


Oh yeah, I got married

I haven't been blogging like I said I wanted to. I have no excuses. Just laziness. The laziness has spread to many aspects of life lately. I got a good swift kick in the pants and really need to stay on top of the blog and also MAKE the time to do the things that I want to do.

So, In the time I've been away since January I just got married; no big whoop. 😜 hehe

So many details and stories to tell... But I think I'll just let some pictures speak for themselves.

Lighting the Unity Candle (I thought it would look nice if we used the big unity candle along with two stubby votive candles. It did... but we had a funny little moment where the candles were too fat to reach the wick of the big candle. We eventually got it lit.)

The kiss

When I couldn't find the cake toppers to purchase anywhere, I told Ryan what I had pictured, and he used leftovers from our first Christmas tree to hand-carve these two little birdies. He is amazing!

mmmmmmmm cake!

Ryan successfully retrieved the garter!

And of course... the Chicken Dance!

So, that was our wedding... about 9 months of planning, a lot of money, a lot of misunderstandings, agreements and disagreements, for about 8 hours of fun. Totally worth it.