It's a dreary Thursday in Oakland, but I'm cozy in my studio with my morning cup coffee and my Christmas knitting projects.
Groups of knitters are fantastic, funny, and so appreciative of the effort anyone makes to knit. The love of yarn and craft is an instant bond.
And I witnessed the crime scene seconds after the automatic gunfire stopped. I was quietly knitting the sleeves on a green sweater when the slaying went down.
I don't know how bloggers post when they are on vacation. I'm home now and here is a rundown of my Portland adventure.
I'm volunteering to work at my local yarn shop while the owner is recovering from surgery. Our knits and purls are like prayers.
I pull out yarn. I pull out patterns. I knit swatches and suddenly I have so many projects imagined that I feel all itchy about it.
Here are the pair of hand knit socks made especially for Anna at FreePlayCraft, the YOSS giveaway winner.
I recently bought Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi: More Than 40 Itty-Bitty Minis to Knit, Wear, and Give while visiting my sister in South Carolina. The super cute tiny things in this book are knit with leftover sock yarn. So of course this teeny-tiny blue monkey and his pal teeny-tiny brown chicken will be perfect runner up gifts for the YOSS giveaway.
These teeny-tiny creatures are hard to resist and the the book is filled with them. Most are no bigger than an inch and take an hour to knit. The patterns are simple and shouldn't be difficult for an experienced beginner if you have experience with double pointed needles. If the small size is a stumbling block for less experienced knitters, it's simple to knit larger toys by using larger needles with thicker yarn.
I've already been knitting them for friends & family. They are so much fun to give.
I visited family and friends in North Carolina over the holiday, without computer or smart phone. I had a fantastic two weeks, but at the end of my trip I came down with a horrible cold and cough that put me out of commission for a week. I felt too sick to blog, too sick to work, too sick to knit and even too sick to attend my weekly knitting group last night. However I did take some time on my sick-bed to write out all the names for the Year Of Stash Sock Giveaway. After a year of people following and commenting on these posts there are more entries than I expected - almost 400!
Only two people commented on every single post, Linda & Christina - so they received an extra 24 entries into the drawing. There were three people who only missed one post, so I gave Beth T, Amber, and Anna an extra 12 entries into the drawing. There were plenty of folks who commented on more than half the posts and many who only commented once, but of course it only takes one lucky entry to win.
Thanks and good fortune to everyone who entered.
Because I was sick this week, I postponed the live drawing until my Alameda Knitting group meets again next Thursday. Besides the grand prize of a pair of hand knit socks or mitts, there will be two mystery runner-up prizes. I'm working on those this week.
I'm feeling better today and am looking forward to a fantastic 2012, with lots of quilting, knitting, fellowship, healthy living, and love! May your 2012 be a year of joy and prosperity!
December 2011 This month I was very sick with the flu. Got my first CAT scan (an awful experience) but thankfully I'm ok. It was a busy month at St. Gregory's getting ready for the Christmas season, but when Christmas finally arrived it was wonderful! I decorated my tree for the first time since 2006 and went ice skating on Christmas Day at the Little Ice Rink at Alameda Station...
and I knitted my twenty-first & twenty-second sock of 2011.
Win a pair of hand knit socks! Comment on this post with a memorable personal event for December to enter the giveaway.
This is the final YOSS post for 2011! Since accepting the Ravelry YOSS challenge last January I've knitted 22 socks or mitts, that's 11 pairs. Notice that I'm one pair short? Well I'll custom knit the final pair in January 2012 for the lucky person who wins this giveaway.
The giveaway will remain open until January 9, 2012. If you comment on EVERY YOSS post you will double your chances to win. So if you've been following all year now is the time to fill in any gaps. You can find all the YOSS posts here. Or simply comment on this post and you will be entered in the giveaway twice - once for each sock!
At the close of the giveaway I will fill out entry slips for all comments and put them in a hat. I'll post a video of the live drawing to announce the winner on January 15!
Thanks for all your support in my sock knitting adventure!
Thanksgiving 2011 I am thankful for my loving family, my dear old friends in NC, for new friends here in CA, my fantastic day job and co-workers at St. Gregory's. I am thankful for the natural beauty of California, for my healthy body, for plenty of food, for my very own shelter and studio, and for free time to imagine and make. I am thankful for a new romance, and for the deep friendship that has evolved from my past love. I am thankful for steady creative engagements, for my weekly Alameda knitting group, my online community of fellow bloggers and readers...
and the fact I've knitted my nineteenth & twentieth socks of 2011.
Win a pair of hand knit socks! Comment on this post with something you are thankful for to enter the giveaway.
Life is full these days! However all of this abundance in experience has created a shortage of knitting time. It was a push to finish these socks made of the beautifully colored Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball yarn in two months. So I've decided to let this pair count for October & November.
If you have followed my progress throughout the year and have commented on all the other YOSS posts, your thanksgiving comment on this post will count EIGHT times.
If you haven't entered the giveaway on previous posts, this is your best bet. Posting your thanksgiving comment below will gain you FOUR chances to win a pair of hand knit socks!
All YOSS posts are open for comments until the close of the giveaway on December 31, 2011. Leave a comment on every YOSS post in 2011 and you will have 48 chances to win! More info: YOSS2011 Giveaway.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! LIFE IS GOOD!
9.1-9.30.2011 A week of fun with my sister in San Francisco, attended a wedding, and a birthday party for my friend Tamara, enjoyed lots of sunshine and warm weather, hiking, camping, a day lolly-gagging at Stinson Beach...
and knitted my seventeenth & eighteenth socks of 2011.
Comment with a personal highlight from SEPTEMBER below, to enter the Year Of Stash Socks giveaway. You could win a pair of hand-knit socks!
You are probably sick of seeing these Fallberry fingerless mitts, but it's a lovely pattern and it knits up much quicker than a pair of socks. These may turn up as someone's Christmas gift. This time I used a fabulously soft and rich midnight blue (blueberry) Ultra Fine Alpaca by Berroco.
Since I'm still itching to work on my sweater especially since the weather is turning colder. I may substitute finishing the sweater for knitting a pair of socks for October. I know that's REALLY bending the rules. Well we'll see...
I've really enjoyed hearing your monthly status reports. Keep them coming. This giveaway is on the home stretch!
My first ever knitting pattern was inspired by the new dress I bought at Anthropologie last week and a half skein of vintage yarn from the thrift store. It was made as a button up neck wrap (below) but the button holes are optional. I actually like it better tied around the neck (above) but if you have some pretty vintage buttons I would add them as embellishments just the same.
Anthropologie Inspired Vintage Lace Neck Wrap by Sherri Lynn Wood
I used half a skein (about 50 yards) of Galaxie by Phentex, a vintage yarn made of 30% acrylic, 30% wool, 29% viscose, 11% polyester.
gage: 5 stitches to the inch in rib on #9 u.s. needles
- cast on 25 stitches
- front: k, k, k (yo, k, ssk) repeat 7 times, k
- back: p to end
- repeat rows 2-3 twelve times
- front: p, (ssk, p) repeat 7 times, p - 17 stitches on needle
- back: (k, p) repeat to end, k
- front: (p,k) repeat to end, p
- continue rib 20" for button up wrap or 24" for a tied wrap - add or subtract inches to fit your neck
- (optional) add button holes on front: p, k, p, yo, p2tog, k, p, k, yo, k2tog, p, k, yo, p2tog, k, p - 17 stitches on needle - note: you can also use the first row of the lace for your button holes instead of adding an extra set of holes, in that case omit rows 9-10.
- back: (k, p) repeat to end, k
- front: (k, k, m1) repeat 8 times, k - 25 stitches on needle
- back: p, p, p (yo, p, ssp) repeat 7 times, p
- front: k to end
- repeat rows 12-13 twelve times
- loosely bind off
- (optional) sew buttons on other end of ribbing from button holes, add a snap if needed to keep underside of scarf in place. If you prefer to tie the neck wrap and omit button hole instructions but add two or three vintage buttons on one side of the ribbing as embellishments.
After a week of fun with my sister it's been hard to settle down and get back to work. It's strange being alone again in my apartment. After a day of puttering and straightening the place up I finally sat down to a cup of afternoon tea and picked up some knitting.
Inspired by the unique clothes at Anthropologie, I'm creating a pattern for a neck wrap out of a half skein of vintage yarn I found while thrifting with my sister last week. This is my first attempt at making up my own knitting pattern. I'm writing it down and when I get it finished I'll share it with you!
I remember the Thursday in early April that I first rode my bike to the Alameda Yarn Shop. I was bored and didn't know anyone in the area, so I looked online for a knitting group. Sure enough one was meeting that very night from 5-9 PM at the local yarn shop in Alameda.
I walked in near the beginning of the evening and there were several serious women, who knew each other quite well, knitting away and eating chocolates. Everyone seemed surprised to see a complete stranger ride up on her bike to join the group, but I was quickly welcomed, and by the end of the evening things got a little rowdy...
I've been a regular ever since. It's hard to describe why it's so much fun to check in with this group of fellow knitters on a weekly basis. It's the punctuation of community I guess. We catch up on the little daily stuff of our lives. We share patterns and techniques, progress on current work, and dreams for future projects. We joke and have fun with each other over things like stash, unfinished projects, and other small faults and foibles.
I like this group because of it's diversity. Knitting is what brings us together, but sharing the stories of our lives is what keeps us coming. I like their wisdom and sense of humor especially on subjects of aging, marriage, parenting, and romance.
This week I took my biological sister to meet my knitting sisters in crime and she had a fantastic time!
8.1-8.31.2011 Started dating again, joined match.com, enjoyed a weekend in Sonoma, attended a Giants baseball game, went boating at Lake Berryessa...
and knitted my fifteenth & sixteenth socks of 2011.
Share a personal highlight from AUGUST to enter the Year Of Stash Socks giveaway. You could win a pair of hand-knit socks!
Boy it's been hard to stick with this challenge. I'm itching to work on my sweater but hosting this giveaway is keeping me on track. Only four more pairs of socks to go...
I hope all of you had as much fun as I did this summer!
7.1-7.31.2011 Marched in the Penland 4th of July parade, hung out with my good friend, and awesome ceramic artist Veva Edelson (you have to check out her work), joined the gymn...
and knitted my thirteenth & fourteenth socks of 2011.
Share a personal highlight from JULY to enter the Year Of Stash Socks giveaway. You could win a pair of hand-knit socks!
For July I decided to knit the Fallberry Mitts pattern once again but as a sock this time. I used Pattons Stretch Sock Yarn in Sugar. I love the feel of this yarn but the lace knitting pattern was upstaged by the blotchy colorway. Live & learn!
From now until the end of the year I will be posting my YOSS socks once a month. If you comment on the monthly posts from June - December each of your comments will count twice towards a chance to win a pair of hand knit socks at the end of the year.
If you comment on EVERY YOSS post of 2011 you will be entered into the year-end giveaway 48 times. Subscribe to my YOSS RSS feed to view the complete list of posts.
6.1-6.30.2011 Goodbye party for a friend, traveled to the east coast, hung out with my sister, attended a church reunion at Christmount, taught at Penland!
and knitted the eleventh & twelfth (hand) sock of 2011.
Share a personal highlight from JUNE to enter the Year Of Stash Socks giveaway. You could win a pair of hand-knit socks! ~ Your entry on this YOSS post counts twice.
For June I decided to knit the Fallberry Mitts again as a high school graduation gift for my niece. I used a leftover, bamboo/wool blend, sock yarn.
I knit the entire first mitt on the plane flight to the east coast, but I didn't get any more knitting done until my return flight home. So technically I finished these mitts in July!
Aren't they beautiful? I'd like to keep these! And YES, I'm behind with my socks so bear with me please :)