Socks for Nancy

Now that she has received them in the mail and opened the package, I can finally share these on my blog. These are socks I made for my bestest friend, Nancy, who just moved from LA to Bellingham. I figured since she’s in a cooler climate, a nice pair of warm, comfy, handmade socks were just the ticket. I started them on Sunday May 18th and finished them on Monday, May 26th, a new record for me that will likely go unchallenged any time soon.

Nancy, girl, to quote Clairee Belcher (from Steel Magnolias) – “I love ya more than my luggage.”  I am so happy you like the socks.  I knew you’d like the colors.  Wear them in good health, my friend.  I miss you way much!

Happy, happy, joy, joy …

I bought a new pair of Blue Sky Alpaca’s Dalbergia rosewood DPN needles last week after seeing them at the Shepherd’s Harvest fiber festival.  I skipped them when I first saw them, but I kept thinking about them and days later drove the 30 miles to the “local” yarn shop that carries them.  I was so happy when I came home with them on Thursday night.  Yesterday was the first chance I had to use them so I cast on and started a new pair of socks with a yarn I’ve been itching to begin.  Everything was going great, and I was really enjoying my needles.  I put the sock down to go downstairs a minute, when my beloved basset hound, Beulah Mae, decided she loved those new  needles as much as I did – and promptly destroyed one of my *brand new* needles. I know, “Bad owner!  Bad, bad owner.”  After I managed to salvage the  sock and pick up all the dropped stitches and fix all the runs, well, let’s  just say I was not a happy camper and leave it at that.

This morning I woke up and decided to give the company a call.  I got a helpful woman on the phone and told her I was calling to throw myself at her mercy and beg for her help.  I told her the whole sad tale, and she’s putting a replacement needle in the mail and she isn’t even charging me for it.  She laughed and  said “Well, we don’t normally do this” but I guess “the dog ate it” pulled some extra weight.  In any event, I should have my new needle within 2 days and I’m so happy I can hardly stand it.  The needles really *are* that nice and I absolutely LOVE the tips on them.  So please, patronize Blue Sky Alpacas for their compassion and kindness if nothing else.

In other knitting news, while I was at the yarn shop last week, I found a pink fingering weight wool that I really liked and I bought 4 skeins totaling about 1300 yards. I was looking forward to making the Forest Canopy shawl, for which I’ve already bought the pattern, but this yarn just “spoke” to me as perfect for my mom.  I have started a freebie shawl pattern called Matilda from an English designer.  Boy, those lace patterns keep you on your toes, don’t they?  Anyway, I’ve got chart 1 done and am ready to start on chart 2, which is the body of the shawl with the pattern repeats.  One thing I’ve discovered quickly.  The Addi lace circs really do make the work easier.  I had started with another circ (Prism?) but got frustrated pretty fast at trying to work those SSK and K2tog right after a YO with the blunt needles.  So I ran out and bought the Addis.  It is much easier and quicker, for me anyway, with the Addi lace needles.  Again, those sharp points and long tapers really assist.

Is anyone planning to participate in events during Worldwide Knit in Public day? It sounds like some of my knitting friends are wanting to get together at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum so we may have a little knit-in there that afternoon.  It would be a lovely place to sit and knit.

Seed Savers

Two weekends ago we paid a visit to Seed Savers in Decorah, Iowa to purchase some transplants that we couldn’t get shipped to us.  It was a lovely trip through rural America and I thought I would share just two photos from that day.

This is the lovely, and functional, barn at Heritage Farm, the site of the great work that Seed Savers does.

And this is one of the ancient White Park cattle which originally came from the British Isles. She had just given birth and the little calf was right out of camera shot and that’s why she’s looking at me so seriously.  Isn’t she just beautiful?

Today is a “me” day …

What I really needed to do today was stay home and finish the socks I am knitting for momma and that I have intended to send her for Mother’s Day.  I meant to finish them earlier this week, and had all but the toe of the second sock done by Tuesday.  But the last couple of days have been unexpectedly distracting and I haven’t been able to focus enough to finish them.  So I stayed home this morning and took care of that.  Here are the socks, knit from Nancy Lindberg’s knit-to-fit pattern, worked up in Trekking XXL color 181 on 2.75mm metal, circular needles from KnitPicks, which I love.  I have better luck with the magic loop method than anything else, because I get a nice, tight, even fabric with no ladders at the needle joins.

  Socks for Momma

And here are some other things I’m sending down Florida way.   Even though it is much too late, I am sending a scarf I knit in Plymouth Boku that will match the purple coat and gloves I sent her for Christmas.  She’ll be all ready for next winter now.

  Scarf for Momma

And I got this wonderful imported Italian cotton yarn in the clearance bin at Coldwater Collaborative in Excelsior and thought it was just too good to pass up.  The colors are so incredibly cheerful and the joy of dishcloths is that they work up so quick.

  Dishcloths for Momma