• 02Jul

    I’ve recently become very interested in knitting with a greater variety of natural fibers.  I’ve had plenty of experience with the standard merinos, alpacas, silks, and cashmeres readily available at my LYS (local yarn shop).  Then, a couple of years ago, I discovered BFL (blue-faced leicester) and I developed a schoolgirl crush on this springy wool.

    I spent some of my birthday money this year on some 1-ply gossamer weight shetland supreme from Jamieson & Smith in the natural grey shade (purchased from Yarns International because I live in the US).  After narrowing down my long list of queued lace wraps on ravelry, I decided that what could be better for shetland wool than a shetland-inspired lace pattern.  I settled on Jared Flood’s Stonecrop, wound the yarn into a delicious little wooly cake I couldn’t wait to sink my needles into, and then I cast on with a nice sharp pair of Addi Turbo Lace needles and a favorite set of handmade stitch markers. I was so enamored with the yarn that I was inspired to write a little ode to my shetland wool in prose.

    Shetland

    The knitted fabric is scratchy-soft and springy in my hand.  Garter stitch ridges mimic the color and pattern of undulating rows of a freshly plowed field.  The varying natural woolen shades can be catalogued like botanical specimens: mooskit, shaela, moorit, gaulmogot, sholmit, katmollet, yuglet.  My worsted-spun singles resemble the color of loblolly pine bark, of weathered boat docks, of lichen-speckled rocks jutting out into the sea.  The crisp wiriness of the fiber is softened by a wooly halo, and its slightly sheepy smell evokes memories of chilly nights and flickering firelight.  Seemly as insubstantial as cobwebs, the woolen stole warms my lap as I work, warding off the creeping chill that advances under the cover of night.

    Smooth circular brass needles slither through the stitches, the yarn entwined about them like vines.  The shiny sharp tips flick in and out of the looped yarn like the tongue of a garden snake – catching and grabbing the wool, undulating through the rows, charming my fingers.

  • 29Jun


    Quite a lot of cobwebs have gathered on this dusty site since I last posted.

    Maybe I should address any readers like I would a support group:
    “Hi. I’m Heather and it’s been 2 years, 5 months, and 25 days since my last post.”
    Hmmm. But what if I’m greeted with only chirping crickets, or worse – silence?

    So where have I been?
    Two years ago I decided to enroll at a local university to earn a bachelor’s degree in English literature. The hard work has paid off and I am nearly done (I graduate in August!!!), but I start a master’s program in August as well…. Yes, I really do enjoy torturing myself with long hours reading, researching, and writing.

    Although I deserted my blog, I have not abandoned my knitting, although my production has slowed considerably. Sometimes it stands completely still or even moves backwards. I was recently very proud of myself for finishing a pair of socks I started last December. How times have changed. Instead of finishing a pair per month, I’m now excited about completing a pair per year. Unlike some knitters (of whom I am quite envious!), I have not been able to master the technique of reading while knitting. I always seem to need a hand or two for holding pages open and writing notes. If I could only figure out a way to grow an extra set of arms, I think I could manage the whole knitting-while-reading-and-notetaking thing. Every mother I know also wishes for a spare pair of appendages, so if anyone can figure this out, it sounds like a good way to make a fortune.
    Maybe I should have chosen to study biology instead of literature.

    As for my knitting, my fingers have more work to fidget through than time available. I have all of my usual projects: lacy shawls, socks, etc., but a new batch of projects has soared to the top of my WIP (work in progress) list. My sister recently added to her family and gave me a new nephew. He came six weeks early, but he is doing very well. His arrival has ignited a frenzy of preemie knitting, and I have been happily cranking out preemie beanies for him and to donate to the NICU where he is staying.

    So here I go, casting on once more with my blog. It’s a WIP (work/writing in progress). I look forward to sharing my knitting (mis)adventures, projects, and other fiber-related anecdotes!

  • 04Jan

    Last January I embarked on a new adventure: to complete 12 pairs of socks in 12 months.  I am pleased to say that I accomplished this goal.  A couple of months (most notably December) I scooted across the finish line just barely in the nick of time.

    Sock mug shots:

    January socksFebruary socksMarch socksKai-Mei Socksmay sockjune socksjuly socksAugust SocksSeptember SocksOctober socksNovember socksDecember socks

    {click on the thumbnail to visit the ravelry page for each sock}

  • 30Oct

    I have been continuing with my 12 Socks in 12 Months challenge, though I have been very neglectful of posting my progress.  My camera is broken (permanently, I think) so I’ve had to resort to using phone pics.  I apologize for the photo quality.

    August Socks

    My August socks were knit from Yarn Chef Minestrone (merino/nylon blend) in a lovely self striping colorway called Yucca.  I used the Lace and Cable Socks [ravelry link] from Wendy Johnson’s Socks From the Toe Up book, and knitted them on two 2.0 mm circular needles.  I omitted the eyelet pattern on the top of the foot and also did a short row heel instead of the one suggested in the pattern.

    September Socks

    My September Socks [ravelry link] were a fun project.  They were knitted from Ancient Threads‘ Sockittome, a merino/nylon blend dyed with logwood purple, cochineal, lac, and quebracho black.  The pattern is one I improvised and I worked a delicate three stitch cable down the sides, although the cables are hard to see in this picture.  Much of the knitting was done on the road between St. Louis and Indianapolis as I visited my expectant sister twice in September – once to help her move to her new house, and again for the baby shower.  I’m looking forward to being an aunt again!

    I’m still working on the toe of my second October sock and plan to finish it up today.  More finished project pictures to come!

  • 14Aug

    Life has been crazy and hectic of late, but there has been a bit of knitting going on behind the scenes.  I am proud to say that I finished my July socks just under the wire with only three days to spare.  Whew!  I chose to knit the Kai-Mei pattern again [ravelry link] because I liked my April socks so well.  The yarn colors this month are a bit out of my normal wardrobe comfort zone, but they were so cheerful and summery I could not pass them up!  Also, I am meticulous obsessive freakish and made sure the stripes matched.  🙂

    Pattern: Kai-Mei from Sock Innovation by Cookie A
    Yarn: Zitron Trekking, color 1000
    Needles: Size 0 DPN

    For my August socks, I’m finishing up a pair that has been languishing since May.  I do not have any in-progress pictures, but I finished up the first one a couple of nights ago and am starting the second sock.  The yarn is Yarn Chef’s Minestrone in Yucca – and it’s self-striping to boot! The stripes on these will also match…at least I hope they will.