Monday, December 17, 2007

Toe-up Socks!

So I finished my first Christmas present finally. (I know there is only 1 week left) It's a hell of a lot better than I did last year. Sheesh, why do I bother. Any way, I really really loved Ann Budd's Toe-up pattern from the Summer 2007 Interweave knits magazine. These socks are right to the pattern except I messed with the rib a little. Here is my twisted rib pattern:

Row 1: K4
Row 2: P1, K2, P1
Row 3: K1, K2tog but before you slip off the needle, K the first stitch again, slipping both sts to the right hand needle, K1
Row 4: P1, K2, P1

I think I'm going to give these to my mother. She bought a pair of really comfy Clark sandals for the summer and is still wearing them with socks (we call this Ithaca Snowboots, but usually the sandals are Birkenstocks. My mom is too cheap to buy Birks). She'll love these socks, they will look Irish to her.

So the toe-up method is great because, as a compulsive stash hound, I'm always trying to knit something without the right amount of yarn. With toeup you stop when the yarn runs out or preferred length whichever comes first! These socks were made with one skein of Patons Classic Wool, which has a mighty yardage of 223! This has to be my favorite industrial use yarn. The colors are great, too. I refuse to buy it for more than $3.50 a ball though, so I'm always looking for sales. Michael's came through this season with a 2/7 sale. Yeah! In Ann Bud's pattern, the most difficult section of the sock is the cast-on, but if you do it right, you will have a very sturdy toe and the rest of the sock is cake. See my toe here:

I think I will only make toe-up socks from now on. Call me on it if I change my mind!

take care, sue

PS I used #5 double pointed needles and #8 for the top half (Ann wants you to increase needle size as you go up the leg).

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Back Blogging!


I went on a hiatus for a while from blogging because I had to give up my laptop when I switched jobs. Now I've got a new laptop thanks to my patron, Jimmy, who is underwriting my many creative projects. God Bless you St. Jimbo! I've been busy knitting a pile of stuff, and even designing some pieces for the eventual launch of my design site.

My latest finished project is a stash creation made from some Berroco Cotton Twist I got on sale last year. The pattern is from the berroco site: Wren; but for my version I omitted the sleeves and made the V deeper. Below is my version and the picture from the berroco site:

That's actually Jimmy over my shoulder in the picture. Also, I bought a beautiful G clef rhinestone pin for the vest from my local vintage shop for $1.50. It has the double significance of being musical and looking like my initial "S."

Other events since the last posting is the birth of Bluey's kittens. Five beauties which I named after Joni songs: Hunter, Willie, Amelia, Hana and Marcie. After I took the kittens to the vet, I found out Marcie was a boy, so I had to re-name him Marky! Hunter and Hana were the purer siamese, while Amelia (who I called Mimi) was a little greyer with crossed eyes. Willie and Marky looked like their tiger daddy and had these cool ring tails. See my photo of them below. Unfortunately, they are all committed to new homes among my friends, so it will just be me and Bluey after this weekend. We had so much fun with the experience!

Take care, sue

Friday, April 20, 2007

Cloud Swirl


I shot this photograph which describes the type of clouds I like to paint. I'm hoping I can start on this one this weekend. I really want to expand the focus of this blog to my music, painting and knitting ...

I have a couple of exciting developments as far as music goes. I will be attending a Joni Mitchell Tribute event on April 28 featuring jazz musicians who will play Joni songs, and a talk by Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers, the editor of Acoustic Guitar Magazine. He wrote the definitive article on Joni's masterful guitar style in a cover story for Acoustic Guitar Magazine, August 1996. You can read the article here: Joni Mitchell article database.

Recently I also joined a band called LAVA ROCK. I'm rhythm guitar and background vocals. We are just in the practicing stage right now but I'll let you know if we start gigging! I need to start looking for an acoustic with a pickup or adding a pickup to my acoustic. It's time to go electric.

take care, sue

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

JoniFest 2007

Sorry it's been so long since I posted. There is some knitting content to this report but not much. It's all about a bunch of Joni Mitchell fans getting together at an alternative resort near Woodstock for 4 days to eat, drink and be merry and also sing Joni Mitchell songs. I went to Jonifest in 2002 and had a blast. This year I went for the whole weekend and met old friends, new friends and sang my little heart out. We are all members of the Joni Mitchell Discussion list and I usually have a little name power with the crowd because I created the Joni Mitchell Guitar Database which assists people learn the complications of Joni's over 80 alternate tunings.

When I got there on Friday night, my beautiful hostess, Ashara, asked if I could play my set at 9:00! That gave me about 1 hour to prepare but all went well. I played Michael from Mountains, Otis and Marlena, and Silky Veils of Ardor. Here is a pic of me playing (and also wearing my blue Sonnet sweater):

Every night at around midnight after all the players have finished their sets, we had a song circle that lasted till about 3:00-4:00 in the morning. I was shocked I stayed up to the bitter end every night but there was always those luxurious naps in my room between lunch and dinner to keep me going. Here is a shot of me at the song circle Friday night. I think we played every song off of Court & Spark (i think i'm playing Just Like This Train here) Next to me are Les and Mike, good friends I met on this trip. Les is from Scotland and Mike is from Barcelona. Jonifest is an international event!!!

My favorite part of the event was meeting Monika and Nikki, two young women who just jumped in their car in Ohio and drove to Jonifest. Nikki didn't even know who Joni Mitchell was but Monika was the fan and Nikki came along for the ride. Nikki liked to sing Cyndi Lauper songs so I told her I'd back her up. She sang 3 songs: True Colors a cappela, Time After Time w/me playing guitar and Patrick (my good buddy) singing back up, and then everybody came on stage to play Big Yellow Taxi. What a trip!! I also backed Patrick up while he sang Night Ride Home (joni song) and the theme song for the weekend (there was a full moon every night!!) Here are some more pics:

Me playing back up for Time After Time

Me in my favorite poncho talking to Jeff

All of Us singing Big Yellow Taxi

Another Song Circle

Thanks for the memories!! And a hey to Barb, my roomie, who said "YOU BROUGHT YOUR KNITTING?"


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Some finished ... some beginning ...


I've been hibernating and trying to finish some of my belated Christmas presents from my stashalong pledge. I've only actually finished one piece from my original list: Frankie's Swell Hat from I used some stash Patons Classic Wool. It was fun to knit!!

During my last Knit Picks spree I purchased two skeins of Parade in color Tropical. It was in the clearance, and I thought I would make some socks. Of course, two skeins were not barely enough for this pattern (Interweave Knits Fall 2005: Cable & Ribs Socks) so I tried to find another skein and there was nothing at Knit Picks or ebay (and plus I'm not supposed to be buying anymore yarn) so I finished the socks with some oatmeal Peer Gynt I had laying around. Although the socks are wildly different, they are identical from the ankle up so hopefully with shoes no one will notice! First the interweave pic then my socks:

A long time ago (I'm guessing at least 6 years) I wanted to make a Native American Poncho from a vintage pattern I had so I bought a bunch of Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Off White, Denim Blue, Burgundy and Grey. I started the poncho, hated it and frogged it, then started a pullover and left it to sit. I am want to breeze through my old Vogue Knittings about once every three weeks when I want to start something new and I remembered how much I loved Anne Mieke's designs in the late 80s/early 90s. Her sweaters were big, colorful and very simple, mostly stripes and color blocking with simple shaping. So I decided that I wanted to create an original in the Mieke style. I wanted a sweater I could knit in one piece and found a old pattern of a dolman sweater that I could riff off of. I also used doubled yarn so I could make this mock fair isle stripe across the breast and along the bottom of the arms. I'll do a scoop crew neck in ribbing. Here are two pics, one with Bluey butting in:

I'm hoping to finish my "Mieke" sometime this week, so I hope to have another finished product to show you. I'll also try to write up a free pattern for you to download (if I discover it's actually wearable!)

take care, sue

Friday, February 09, 2007

My Going Away Party!

Sorry knitting gang, this is a post about my going away party that was thrown by my friends in the Dean of Students Office. I got a new job in Alumni Affairs and Development as a Research Analyst. So after 13 years in DOS I got a wonderful send off. Here are some pics:

Michael, me, Carol and Lennon

Casey, me, Chrissie and Alice

Roxanne, Suzanne, me, David and Lynn

Lisa, Liz, me and Dan

Sue, Linda, me, Laurie and Kim

Cutter, Tara, Pam, me, Judy, and Barb

My Dean, Kent, me and Sue (check out her awesome scarf - this is the knitting content!)

Brendan, me, Gwendolyn and Sarah

A ton of fun was had by all. And the Dean and his wife Sue got me a $100 gift certificate to my favorite LYS!!! YEAH.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Stashalong and Works in Progress


I survived 4 months of not buying yarn with Stashalong in 2006 and want to get back on the bandwagon. Kim, the owner of the site, gave stashers 3 options this year to make their stash reduction more interesting. I really need to finish some Christmas presents (most people got IOUs from me this holiday), so I went with Option 3 which is a plan to finish at least 5 WIPs in one month (and also not buy yarn).

Here are my works in progress:

• Pocket shawl (pattern from KnitPicks) made with Lion Brand Kool Wool from stash
I'm making this for my mom:

• My Favorite Poncho (my own design) made with Gedifra Distrato (color sunset) from stash. I'm making this one for my sister Patty:

• Snowballs Chance Armwarmers (pattern from Anti-Craft) with knitpicks telemark from stash which I'm making for my niece Lisa. I haven't started the duplicate stitch yet:

• Swell hat (pattern from Knitty) with Patons Classic Wool doubled from stash. This one is for my nephew Frankie.

• Cigar gloves (pattern from Knitty) made with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes from stash for my brother-in-law Frank. I haven't started these yet.

This should keep my mind off of buying new yarn for a month. If I just rotate around these 5 projects, completion may be mine.

take care, Sue