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The Adventures of two Fibre Artists.



Contributing Artists

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

DH's Socks

My DH enjoys wearing clogs. An "old hippie", they remind him of the early 70's when he used to wear them in Germany, and, more currently, they are conducive to the weather here in the south. Easy to pull on and off if one decides to go barefoot, and it rarely gets cold enough to wear boots during the winter so a pair of socks work fine to keep feet warm in a pair of clogs during the winter months.

This being my first attempt at making socks, who better to practice on....? I decided to try one of those pattern making yarns, instead of spinning my own, for several reasons. The first, being quite obvious, is that trying to create a similar patterned yarn is impossible, and it is fun watching the pattern emerge as you knit, and then durability is a contributing factor. You really need a strong material, unless you want to take up darning as a past-time. Nylon, while synthetic, does lend to wearability<---is that a word?

As with everything else I thought I would teach myself, and felt I was doing ok, but when I met with the guild and showed my progress to EM and another sock expert, I discovered that I did nearly everything wrong from the needles to the pattern I chose. I was following a pattern offered online but with each row completed I began to notice that the stitches were awful loose, so I had a feeling the needles, even though I was using what the pattern called for, were a bit too large. I was using a 3mm and they probably would have gotten the job done but as the accomplished sock knitter from our guild pointed out, the looser the stitch the less support and elasticity they offer.

Working with multiple double pointed needles can be quite cumbersome, as I bet everyone will agree. When I asked EM how she manages all those needles at once she pointed out that a shorter length, makes all the difference, even if only by an inch. So after another fibre sister offered the use of a set she had I was amazed at the difference, still awkward, there no longer seems to be points everywhere while trying to get at my work.

So, now armed with the right tool, size #1 US needles at 6", and a good pattern with a sizing chart that offers more precise sizing; and ribbing options, which I probably don't need to be too concerned with since the colouring in the yarn will delineate the pattern not the ribbing, so much, I feel confident that I will be able to produce a decent sock....we will see.

I added this last picture not for the sake of documenting my project, but rather the nice 'one project bag' I found from Lantern Moon. I really like it. It is just the right size to carry a single project, and though anything from Lantern Moon tends to be a bit beyond my price range, their products are well crafted and absolutely beautiful.... and we know, or at least we should know, that we deserve to buy something for ourselves, ever so often, that we may not normally feel comfortable buying.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Girls Night Out

Growing up my 3 sisters and I were always close and as we married starting families of our own we began a family tradition, now known as “Saturday Tea” to insure at least once a week we would get together to keep abreast with what was going on in our individual families. Over the more than 25 years it has evolved into, more than just sitting around chatting, but rather an opportunity for such projects as canning, making jelly, wine, cheese, soap and crafts such as Knitting. Until about 2 years ago, with Gram’s repose, there were 5 generations of females represented, with the odd male infant attending until they grew old enough to express their lack of interest in participating with all the women.

Christian the newest member of Saturday Tea, will participate until he decides he no longer wants to spend his Saturday mornings with the girls.

While the boys, as they came to age, so to say, would feign lack of interest it has become apperant that they too benefited from years of participation in all that was shared each week. In point of fact one nephew who was recently featured along with other local chef's that participated in a charity event mentioned in an interview that he not only remembered, but appreciated the years he spent with his Grandmother, mother and aunts learning the basics in nutrition as he helped with the cooking each Saturday at Tea.

We also take this opportunity to plan family events like Thanksgiving, Christmas, special birthdays etc. Unfortunately right now one sister and her daughter are not able to attend as her dh is stationed out of state, but many Saturday’s we make do by chatting with them via phone or IM until they return home.

With winter the main Saturday projects have been knitting as it is too cold for gardening, not the season for canning etc. Mom is currently teaching a group knitting one day a week and with her years of experience we bring our mistakes to her to fix or ask her advice on patterns that don’t seem to make sense.

Last Saturday while I was helping one of my sisters get started on a Twilight Lace scarf of her own our other sister received a call from a friend asking if she would be interested in some tickets to a concert that night to see Harry Conick Jr. and quickly another sister and I expressed an interest in attending.

Ok so the seats were a little far, but the acoustics were good in the historic auditorium and the tickets were free. One would be hard pressed to pass that up no matter who was performing, but Harry Conick Jr….who cares where the seats are….. I am not really that fond of attending concerts anymore, the thought of spending several hours getting a little too friendly with thousands of other people, most yelling, trying to be heard above the music, having people stepping on your feet and polluting the air no longer seems appealing…….am I showing my age? But I was pleasantly surprised. The music was outstanding and the company.….wonderful and though our youngest sister would not be able to attend I know she would have loved it even though it is not the type of music she normally listens to. Still, judging from his audience that night, his talent allows him to connect with a diverse group of ages. While I feel sure the pre teens there were members of “family night”, there were also young adults, early 20’s, that you would expect to see damaging their hearing at a more interactive concert instead of sitting quietly enjoying some dreamy romantic crooning. Still I expect romance speaks to all ages….well for those of a feminine persuasion anyway.

It was so nice to enjoy a concert that was conducive to younger audiences as well, no foul language…again, showing my age. Proof positive that you can have a good time listening to real talent without the vulgarity that seems to permeate all aspects of our daily lives.