A New(ish) Sock Obsession!

As I work to get my rear back in gear, I have been dyeing yarn when the inspiration hits, and knitting more again.  I have been a sock knitter for years, and have pretty much worked my standard pattern that I learned and modified from a German pattern back in the 90’s.  I have always used US size 2.5 (3mm) needles, two circulars – my poor busted Addi Turbos, they take a knockin’ and keep on rockin’!  That said, I decided to make this my “Year of Socks,” with a number of facets, including the following:

1 – Work some other patterns, not just my Big Foot Socks!  Now, this was probably the hardest hurtle for me because, frankly, I love my Big Foot Socks.  I love they way they look; I love they way they wear; I love the way they work up (honestly, if it ain’t broke. . .)   So I chose a few patterns that appealed to me, including Tootsie Rolls by Lisa K. Ross, Smooth Operator Socks by Susan B. Anderson, Rose City Rollers and Jelly Rolls by Mara Catherine Bryner, and finally, Afterthought Everything by Erica Kempf Broughton.  Needless to say, I’m totally digging other peoples’ patterns 😬 and have been cranking away and getting happier every day!  Who’da thunk it?

Clockwise from upper left:  Tootsie Rolls, Smooth Operator Socks, Rose City Rollers, Jelly Rolls, and Afterthought Everything Socks

2 – Work with some smaller needles and see what happens!  I approached my first “smaller needle” project with some trepidation, having dreams that I would have horrible hand cramps that could only be relieved by long hand massages and ibuprofen. Boy was I wrong!  I broke out my Tootsie Rolls pattern, and got to work.  The needles (Chiaogoo Red Lace in US size 1 (2.25mm) were a dream to work with, made for a nice dense fabric, and best of all, NO HAND CRAMPS!

3 – Find a different use for my yarn leftovers – NO MORE MONSTER SOCKS!  I needed to find a better use for the bits, and thanks to a wonderful Scandinavian woman in a Facebook group I’m in, I have been able to adjust my eye and see other possibilities.  Below you will see a hybrid sock I’m working on that melds two entirely different yarns to make one incredible sock!  I am also blending two (or more) yarns by alternating rounds, and that works up some socky magic, lemme tell ‘ya!

On the left, I’m calling these my Nordisk Socks. . . me likey!  On the right, my Big Foot Hybrid Socks. . . me likey too!

4 – The Great Webb Family Sock Project!  We have a bunch of us in the family, and everybody’s getting new socks this year!  Not all will be Big Foot Socks this year, people, I need to be entertained too!

Daddy’s are done, and Mommy’s are working! (man, that’s a pointy heel 🙄 blocking will fix that noise)

Yeah, it’s all about the socks for the moment, and I’m having a blast.  Summer vacation will have me finishing Mommy’s socks, some socks for The Hubs, some striped socks from a sock blank I dyed last month, and a pair for my sister, Tracey, and I just can’t wait!

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Working Through Loss

nellie-bean

 

Ssssooooooo, yeah.  It’s been a while.  Long story short; not long after my last entry, my youngest sister, Chanel, passed away rather suddenly after fighting Leukemia for 15 years. I won’t go into how hard it has been, the trauma my entire family suffered, the personal battles I am fighting, or the incredible depth of loss we are facing without her.  Everyone faces this shock and pain at one time or another, I know, but the reality for me has been a humbling experience that has made me dig deep to find a way to accept a new reality.

Once I was able to focus on ‘knitterly’ and ‘dyerly’ things, I found that my thoughts would drift back to my sister, but over time, morphed into inspiration of a sort.  A kind of gentle sadness seems to literally color my work these days, with more greens and browns winding their way into my head.  I decided that I would just go with it and let it be what it is, this process.  As spring does it’s yearly dance, I would normally be thinking about pale pinks, greens, yellows and blues, but I find myself wanting to dig into my yak yarn colors, which are deeper, darker and richer (see the picture below).

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I have found that I’m only working when the inspiration truly strikes, and not sticking to a strict schedule, as I did before.  This really bothered me until a few weeks ago, when I forgave myself, and again, just let it happen.  It’s been almost 8 months, and I am beginning to think that I just might climb out of this fog and be able to accomplish. . . something.

This week I have added minis to the shop, and some semi-solids, which you will see more of (I have found that not everyone loves variegated yarns, and want to include them too!)   Here is a pile of a recent shop update:

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In any case, watch this space, because that last thing Chanel would have wanted, is that I would freeze in my shoes, lay down, and stop my life.  I have a bunch of ideas for future posts, new designs for my shop, and LOTS more yarns!

Thank you all so much for hanging with me!  Have a groovy!

The Great Binge Watch of January 2016

Welcome back to my world, party people!  So, the past couple of weeks have been a busy time, over here in the Djfleesh Knit Shack.  I’ve been knitting like a fiend, and working on hand dyed yarns for my shop.  For a while, my KADD (knitter’s attention deficit disorder) had me down, but I pushed through and got quite a bit of work done.  But I was still looking for that. . . something. . .

Then Netflix announced that they would be dropping Doctor Who from the line-up next month (and a great sadness fell over the earth).  Now, I fully know that I am “Fleesh-come-lately” on this, but I am a closet geek at heart, and had only just cracked Season 2.  As I read the announcement, I got this little icy finger of fear that I would miss out, so, needless to say, I have been on an unhealthy diet of Who, ever since.

The only down side to this whole thing is that I JUST CAN’T STOP!!  Picture this.  It’s the middle of the night, (and I am a night owl, so we are talking waaayyyy late) and I’m thinking I’ll just finish the last 8 minutes of this episode.  Then something really dramatically intriguing happens, which leads me into the next episode and a half.  By then it’s really, really, late (now mind you all of the time I have been working on some project or other), and my eyelids are on the floor.  This is usually when the hashtag #justgotobedalready flashes on the inside of my eyelids, and finally, it’s up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire.

Then, it all begins again the next day – and I’ve been at this all week, by now.

The lessons learned?  Even a good binge leads to inspiration, and for me provides a soundtrack for a whole lot of work (I made 4 of those sweater vests pictured above)!

Now I leave you with a little music selection for your listening pleasure (these are from one of my favorite iTunes playlists):

Nick Drake – Northern Sky

Pablo Nutini – White Lies

Rickie Lee Jones – On Saturday Afternoons in 1963

Shawn Colvin – I Don’t Know Why

The Sundays – Wild Horses

 

Thanks for dropping in and have a great couple of weeks!

 

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