Saturday, December 31, 2011

Down to The Wire

Well, 2011 is winding to a close and I finished my last pair of socks for the year.  Officially, if anyone is counting besides my anal self, I have finished 34 pairs in 2012!  I don't necessarily plan to improve that record next year, but I am full of anticipation about what 2012 will bring and have a couple pair lined up and ready to be cast on.

Meanwhile, I thought I would show off the last two finished.  I finished the Spiral Stashbuster Pair last week.  I neglected to show you what the yarn looked like before I started knitting them in the last "in-progress" post.  It's interesting to see how the individual colors look compared to the blend.  Also, as you might suspect from the date on the photo, this is some of the yarn left over from doing these.  They don't take much of each individual color.

 
Yarn for Scrappy Stripes





 Here is what the finished socks looked like:
Scrappy Stripes
A very fun knit.  This pattern will go into my "go to" binder.  As will the next one I finished.

Pattern: Thumbelina by Lisa Dykstra
Yarn: Paca-peds in Paccacino


Swirls in my Coffee
A very fast and fun knit.  My only complaint would be the "opposite" pooling effect that happened in the foot/gusset of the sock.  Not sure how to avoid this, but I might have to make it my mission to solve this problem since I have more similarly dyed yarn in my stash.  Otherwise, I love them.

Happiest of New Years and Happy Sock Knitting!

Nana

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Blue Period

***Notice: link and photo heavy post; please step away and have a cup of hot cocoa or  eggnog if this will further stress you, otherwise, enjoy!***

It happens.  In your wardrobe; in your d├ęcor; in your paintings; and inevitably in your yarn choices; you take a good look one day and realize that you have been making some very monochromatic color choices.  In the case of my knitting, the color is blue.  It seems like I have been only knitting with blue yarn lately.   This is not strictly the case, but blue has definitely been my power color recently. 

I have finished several blue things (in no particular order)

The Brooklyn Tweed Rock Island Shawl in Mountain Colors Winter Lace / Harmony Starlight

Mr. Greenjeans in Gedifra Extra Soft Merino / Navy
A couple of pattern notes on this... sizing runs a tad small due to cables.   I made the sleeves longer and closed the YO's on the raglan shaping.  I know it's hard to tell from the picture, but it really did turn out nicely.

Movember Socks in A Swell Yarn Shop Middy Duet Sock Yarn / Lagoon Splash

Escargot in Dream in Color Classy / Midnight Derby / Visual Purple / Some Summer Sky
This pattern was a delight!  I needed something small and fun to knit after finishing the cardigan and socks and fell in love with this as soon as the Knitty Bis was published.  It fit the bill perfectly and I may have picked up another skein of classy to knit another one that matches the mittens I wear most. 

I may have slipped in a few of other projects in random colors just for fun:

My November PSC Houdini Socks in Madelinetosh Fingering / Sweet Pea

A Christmas Cowl (Chunky Eyelet Cowl by Nancy Wyatt) in Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Chunky / Shiraz


As a general rule, I'm not much of a fan of chunky yarn, but this stuff is like catnip to me.  I just can't stop playing with it and loving on it.  I might have yet another skein tucked away for one more quickie project.  Which leads me to another Misti project I'm quiet proud of:

Jazz Age Scarf-let (my pattern pending testing, etc) in Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Chunky / Magic Flute 
I got an idea for this pattern and puttered around with it until I got it exactly the way my head wanted it.  This is a fun quick knit and I hope to have the pattern out on ravelry very soon.

The long suffering and taking-forever-to-knit Miss Marple Shawl is still on the needles lurking somewhere near the back burner.

I’ve also cast on for my last socks of the year:

My December personal sock club selection was Lizard Ridge Socks in The Alpaca Yarn Co Paca-peds / Paccacino but I didn’t particularly like the way the pattern was knitting up and I think the yarn is a little too soft to give it structure after being blocked.  I frogged those and am now happily knitting Thumbelina with the yarn.
Thumbelina

There were several choices for December from SKA, one of them was stashbusters.  The pattern Stash  Buster Spiral Socks has been in my Queue for a while so this seemed like the appropriate option.  I started these using up some of my leftover sock yarn. (Bonus points if you recognize that green).  I have finished the first sock and started the second.  No promises on finishing by the end of the month/year, but they have been pretty quick so far. 

On the horizon, I have a few more design ideas I’ll be playing with next year.  I have my 2012 personal sock club packaged up and ready to go; and I am slowly refining what’s in my queue to better target projects/patterns/yarn that I have paired and are waiting only to be cast on. 

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, and if I don’t post again before then….a splendid 2012!

Happy Knitting,


Nana

PS …. The icing on my “Blue” cake?   I got this for Christmas :)
(Ford Edge / Dark Blue Pearl … or is that Purl?)
[I snatched this picture from the official website for the record. ]

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Recently

This came in the mail:
Loft Camper
Loft Snowbound
Dream in Color Smooshy w/cashmere in Butter Peeps
 
Dream In Color Smooshy Cashmere - Black Pearl



















     




Mother Nature did this:


First Snow

 And these came off the needles:
Jacobean Socks
Pattern: Jacobean
Yarn: Pediboo
Size 2.25mm dpn

I think the mail carrier won!

Happy Knitting!
Nana



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wednesday, Whatever


  1. As a long time Cardinals fan, I’m really excited that my guys once again captured the pennant.   I’m also a little sad that Tony La Russa is hanging up his jersey for good.  I’ve always had a fondness for Tony and I appreciate his good work on and off the field.  We adopted Saucey from ARF, which he founded.  

He will remain a hero to us for a long time. 

  1. I’m guessing it will be safe to knit myself a pair of socks inspired by these now. (Skip's socks not his buns)

  1. I finished knitting my October personal sock club selection:  

Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Indian Corn
Size 2.25mm needles, ML 2AAT
I am so wearing these tomorrow :)
 
  1. I’m still knitting a cardigan (but I've switched patterns), the Rock Island Shawl, the Miss Marple Shawl and my October challenge socks.

  1. I could have been at the heel turn on sock #2 of said socks last night if I hadn’t needed to rip back 22 rounds because I forgot to pay attention to the chart… ooops!

  1. It is raining with the possibility of snow later today, yuck.

  1. I plan to cast on my November personal sock club and Mystery socks later today (still mad at that October sock)

  1. I’m unofficially playing along with NaNoWriMo which my daughter is officially participating in.  I had an idea, so what the heck.  I used to be a fairly decent writer until I started blogging

  1. I bagged up the 2012 personal sock club yarns & patterns… at least I’m ahead on something.
2012 PSC... I may be developing a project bag problem

  1. Whatever…. This makes the list 10 items long; so Monk will be happy.
 Happy Knitting! 

Nana

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Well, Well, Well

The Cardinals are in World Series!

Despite being distracted by all of the exciting playoff action the past couple of weeks, I've been carrying on with my knitting, just have a look:

The end of several projects…. 
The mystery sock selection for Sept, I was happy to finish these, but am considering frogging the cuff and redoing just plain ribbing of some sort.  They are super floppy and I just don't like that. 
Watercress Socks

This is a little pattern I whipped up for the class I'm teaching at the library.  I needed something simple but with a stitch pattern and a couple of teaching techniques.  The pattern is available here under the "My Designs" tab.
Sumptious Neck Snuggler
Hubby's cousin is having a baby, so he asked if I would knit up a little gift; there's also a hat to match, but the picture isn't good: 
Baby Surprise Jacket
 The long planned and promised dress for my Granddaughter.  This pattern was published in the fall issue of Knitters (last year) and I knew I wanted to make it, it just took a long while for all of the elements (yarn, time, motivation) to come together and git it done, but it is now and on it's way to her with t-shirts and leggings to (more or less) match.  (Whole other rant... Please tell your local retailer that little girls can wear colors other than pink or purple 'k?)
Dress for S
 My September SKA Challenge socks (project named aptly "Falling Behind").  I loved the Mountain Colors Crazyfoot yarn I used for these.  The pattern was okay, but got a little tedious with all of the slipped stitches.
Nornir Socks
Finally, my personal sock club selection for October; the reason all of my knitting felt so slow lately.  The Bayerische socks.  This pattern put me through the wringer... the really sad part is I loved every minute of knitting this.  SHHH... don't tell the Lake County Knitters who really hated it.  Yes it is complex and demanded my full attention, but wow, who can actually hate socks that turn out like this?
Bayerische Socks
I've still got a few things on my needles, but that is (hopefully) another post.

Happy Knitting,


Nana

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Color Story

I started knitting the Late Summer Socks the day the state fair started in Iowa.  I initially dubbed them the State Fair socks for that reason, but it really didn't work as a project title.
Coffee, beer, a sock-in-progress and chocolate... what more does a knitter need?
As I continued to knit these, I began to notice something about the colors in these socks:






They were a nice reflection of the colors nature was putting on display here in Iowa as the summer came to an end and fall started to stake a claim on the landscape. 
Late Summer Socks

They are now finished and mailed to my DD #2 who was born 30 years ago this week.

Wait 'til you see the colors of the new socks I just cast on... I hope nature lives up to that palette this fall!

Happy Knitting,

Nana

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Things are Progressing …Slowly


Here are a few of my older WIPs … before I get to the really exciting sock stuff :)

You maybe remember I’ve been working on a shawl since (February) forever… it got just a little bigger.  I’m actually almost to the halfway point where the triangle turns into a square with lots of decreases (maybe then I’ll feel like it’s progress)



I also cast on for the Lucia Tee, a knit-a-long at work, this should have been a quick project, but I might have allowed myself to become … distracted… (ooh, shiny new sock pattern)... so distracted in fact, that I don't have a current project photo of the progress.
 
Then, I cast on a new pair of stripey socks just to have something to carry in my bag for car knitting and other wait-knitting.  Just my usual two-x- two Noro-striped sock recipe using colors S95 and the leftover S150 from my stash of NKS leftovers.

Late Summer Stripeys



I'm debating whether to keep these or gift them to someone with a September birthday, (I'm really loving the pop of the fuschia heels and toes). 

And finally, these, a quick little pair of Iowa Hawkeye themed footies for a friend, that only need the toes grafted:

Hawkeye Shorties

 There are plenty more WIPs in my basket, I hope you will stay tuned. 

Sneak preview - guess what this is...

 Happy Knitting,


Nana

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Actual Knitting Content

I really have been knitting; I’m just really lackadaisical about sharing my progress;

So in the interest of not driving readers crazy, I thought I’d try to do a little post every day this week about what I’ve been doing. 

Here are couple recent FO’s

My August personal sock club selection: Pumpkin Vine socks in a very non-pumpkin, eye popping turquoise:
Something Lacey Socks
Pattern: Pumpkin Vine Socks by Fern Pea
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM in color 2130 104(turquoise)
Size 2.25mm dpn  

I enjoyed this pattern, but it won’t make a repeat appearance in my knitting queue anytime soon.  It was frankly a little on the intense side.  The pattern is repetitive, but not easy to memorize so you really need to stick with the instructions; it is not charted because there is a changing stitch count (decreases in one row, increases in another) I wouldn’t recommend this to a newbie.  It makes a pretty sock, but is really bad for carrying around or social knitting.  I guess I’m a little bit of a glutton for punishment though, because my September selection is even more intense and very chart heavy.  (But it will be gorgeous if I survive the knitting part)

I also finished my August Mystery Socks:
Pattern: KLC August KAL as yet unnamed by the lovely Jen Hansen
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock in Vancouver Violet
Needles: Size 0 magic loop

The next thing is a quick little cowl I whipped up out of this yummy Rabbit Ridge yarn that I got in Alaska.  There might eventually be a pair of fingerless mitts or mittens to match, but the leftover yarn is in my back burner project queue for now.  I give you the Forget-me-Not Cowl. 
Forget Me Not Cowl Un-blocked
I have since blocked it and it looks better than this pic, if I get a chance I will post a better picture. I doubt I will take the time to write up this pattern, but if somebody asks, I can give them a recipe.
 
That’s all for today, stay tuned for the first installments of the WIP series…

Happy Knitting,


Nana

Friday, September 2, 2011

How Not to Start a Sock

If the instructions say something like "cast on 76 stitches, work k1, p1 rib for 14 rounds"
Do NOT cast on 76 and proceed to k1, P1, P1, k1, P1, etc until you get to stitch 37 and realize you are now doing P1, K1... 

and especially do not think that you are smarter than the knitting and can just fix it on the next round by continuing with P1, K1...  you may get to stitch 75 and realize that once again you have somewhere along the way done a P1, P1 instead of K1, P1...

And I further would not recommend that when you (curse) frog and cast on again that you mindlessly cast on without actually counting stitches...

If you try this method, the best bet is to put the knitting aside and go log on to Ravelry and study sock cuffs made by compentent knitters who can follow a simple k1, p1, rib.


PS No actual yarn was harmed in the research for this blog post and further a third cast on attempt did yield a perfectly lovely and competent start to a  new sock.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Challenged - A Yarn Saga

Yes, I did have to ask....

Last year for my birthday, my lovely DD#1 sent me sock blanks and a dye kit so that I could experiment with creating my own personal color of sock yarn.  It sat untouched quite a while for a plethora of reasons. 

A little bit ago, the moderators announced the lineup for the challenges for the next season of SKA (Sock Knitter’s Anonymous Ravelry group). Each month’s challenge is centered on a technique and a specific designer or couple of designers. Every other month there is also a mystery sock challenge.   The September challenge is to knit socks all in one solid color. The mystery sock must be knit in the color of the month.  That color is Chartreuse (or “C” as it is affectionately referred to on SKA).  As defined and shown in the swatch in this picture, it is a clear, light green with a yellowish tinge.  

SKA September Challenge Rules

Now I don’t have anything against any colors.  However, I’ve never considered green to be one of my favorites, and since retiring from the Army, I personally prefer not to wear it at all; in any shade, but especially this one. So basically, I avoid buying green yarn for wearable projects unless it is for a planned gift.

Before I headed out to Sock Summit I took a picture of my stash so I could be clearheaded amidst the yarn fumes and try to choose colors that I didn’t already have large quantities of in my stash.  (Basically I succeeded in that mission) There was no “C”.  This challenge was announced after I got back from Portland, and right after I put myself on a yarn buying fast. When I saw that the challenge was going to be for a solid color Chartreuse yarn I may have felt a little queasy (you might even say that I turned the Sept challenge color).  I do have a couple of skeins that are green, but definitely not solid, and definitely not that shade.  

Now, according to the SKA rules, finding the specific color yarn is part of the challenge.  So I thunk on that a little.  It is a fact that I really, really don’t need to buy any more sock yarn and also it may be that my credit card is still in post-summit quarantine, so I needed to figure out how to meet this challenge with what was on hand.

That is when I remembered about the sock blanks.  There were two in the kit.  I only needed one for the dying project that I eventually have planned.  (One blank makes a pair of socks).  Several people mentioned that they were going to attempt to dye their own yarn rather than violate personal yarn diets.  It seemed like a good idea for me as well.  I did not have any “C” dye in the kit or the subsequent dye colors I bought for aforementioned PLANNED project.  So having experimented with it once before with decent results, I just thought to myself, “self, we can try Kool-Aid” so on the next trip to the grocery store, I picked up a couple of packets of lemon-lime drink mix.  I dug out my kool aid dying directions and went about dying the yarn blank with a mix of the lime drink mix and rooibous tea.  Here’s what I learned from this challenge:

  1. The colors I chose will yield chartreuse when properly mixed – I did not properly mix.
  2. If the sock blank is all scrunched up when you pour on the dye, you will get variegated not solid or semi-solid patterning.
  3. Sock blanks are hard to dye.  (note to self: figure out how to spread this sucker out and handpaint dye onto yarn for next adventure in dying)
  4. I might be able to salvage this experiment by over-dying, but I think I’m done.
  5. It was still kind of fun anyway.
 Here’s what I ended up with:

In progress
Dried
Not bad for stepping up and doing something a little challenging.  Not really the result I had in mind, but something I think I can work with.  Too variegated and not “C” enough.  I’m going to go ahead and knit the Mystery sock for the challenge of doing a mystery sock; even if I don’t qualify for the official SKA challenge. (You’ll have to check back in September for the results) The process has been fun and I suspect the finished socks will end up being a gift somewhere down the line.  Oh well.

Happy Knitting,


Nana


Monday, August 15, 2011

A Sock Knitting Fable

There once was a sock knitting Nana who was valiantly trying to keep up her sock knitting obsession through challenges and peer pressure.  A most important date was looming close on the calendar.  A Major League event of sock knitting known as the Sock Summit was soon to arrive.  She had just finished up a lovely pair of Pirate socks and was working on a nice pair of stranded socks called Zirkel.  She also had recently cast on one last pair for July; a pair of cabled anklet socks that she hoped to get knit in time to wear during the Summit. 

The week of the Summit arrived and she was busy packing and getting everything in order before leaving. Now it was the day before leaving for summit, her packing was mostly finished and it was time to pack her knitting.   She carefully reviewed her class assignments to make sure she packed the right yarn and needles and was surveying her WIPs to decide which projects deserved to be her travel knitting during the Summit.  The cabled anklets were a definite go since she was more than halfway through the second sock.  A shawl in progress made the short list.  She knew that she would be able to finish the anklets during her airport and plane time, so a second project in the carry on would be a must.  She hesitated about whether to cast on another pair of socks, since she probably would start something at the Summit.  She pulled out the Zirkel socks; she had been slowly making progress and was well past the gusset on the second sock.  The pattern wasn’t a great one for knitting while distracted, but she was close enough to the final repeat that she thought it might be okay to bring them along.  Then she noticed something about sock #1… something awful, something disappointing.  There was a mistake in the second to last repeat on the foot, an obvious mistake; the kind of mistake that makes you look at what you knitted and almost want to cry.  She had to make a decision.  She could let the mistake go (it was on the foot after all), carry on with sock #2 and have the pair completed by the end of Sock Summit, or she could frog back to the mistake and re-knit the foot of the first sock correctly and then carry on with sock #2… this process might be too much for travel knitting.  There was barely any time left to consider the options.  So poor little Zirkel sock was banished to the naughty knitting corner and left at home.

Nana took a picture of the naughty sock and brought it to Sock Summit. 
Naughty sad Zirkel sock

While there, she consulted many knitters about what to do.  There were a few in each camp.  Some heartily embraced the philosophy that if the mistake doesn’t matter to you, it shouldn’t matter to anyone else.  Besides, it was on the foot, which would be in a shoe, and therefore, would technically not be seen.  Others sympathized with the knitter and felt her pain and understood the need to knit things properly … especially when the pattern was so, so pretty, no matter where the mistake was located.  Ultimately she packed empty needles and an extra skein of sock yarn & pattern in the event a new cast on was called for.  She also brought along the shawl.

She had a lovely time at the Sock Summit and learned many new and inspiring things (not to mention acquiring many new and lovely things).  She hadn’t forgotten about the naughty sock, but was glad for a few days to think about its fate.  After all, only she could make the “right” decision about what to do.  The anklets were finished on the airplane before arriving at the Summit and worn with pride during the event.  They fetched many lovely compliments.  The shawl grew a couple pattern repeats, and the extra skein ended up being cast on to test knit a larger size of an in-the- works pattern.  All in all, wise choices abounded.

The knitter arrived home, tired but inspired.  She looked about and realized that while she was away, August had arrived.  There were August socks to be knit!  A bag was pulled for the August personal sock club; a yarn was selected (by the designer!) for the August Mystery sock knit along… casting on was immanent. She had a pair of socks that she started during class, but they had bugs to be worked out and charts to be written. She felt the pull of the shiny new patterns waiting to be cast on, but, then she spied the sad and lonely Zirkel sock; the one that had the mistake, just sitting by itself off in the naughty corner. 

She knew what needed to be done. 

She checked sock #2 to see where she had left off in the pattern (no sense making another mistake!) then set it aside for a moment.   She picked up sock #1 and gave it a pat, then carefully, unpicked the grafting (which was un-characteristically finished), she frogged.  Unraveling a stranded project takes great care and patience.  She was gentle and understanding of the occasional tangle.  She picked up the stitches and lovingly worked sock #1 to match where sock #2 and then spent the evening knitting the two socks in tandem to the beginning of the toe shaping… they were lovely and oh so ready to be finished.  The next morning she worked the toes and then gave the finished socks a well deserved soak.  
Happy Finished Zirkel Socks

The moral of the story is, when you love the knitting, mistakes can be forgiven with a little patience and a lot of care. (plus you could end up with some really pretty socks)

Happy Knitting,

Nana

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sock Knitting and Beyond

Sock Summit was amazing.  I’m not sure I can adequately contain all of the wonderfulness that happened in one post, but I’ll do my best to hit some of my personal highlights.

Day 1:
-Meeting knitters (from Norman OK) at the DFW airport lounge while waiting for flight to Portland, arriving in Portland. 
- Finishing my anklets on the flight to Portland (empty needles!)
- Taking the Max from the airport to the convention center and seeing the Sock Summit sign. 
- Registering for Sock Summit and then meeting knitters from Iowa as soon as I arrived.   - Meeting my roommate Christine (aka mapleweave) and festering over with excitement.

Day 2:
-         Franklin in a kilt
-         Advanced Top down Sock Design: Going off the Grid with Cookie A.  (fantastic - had an “aha” moment so big my light bulb needed it’s own marquee
-         Lunch with the Cat Knits group from Ravelry, we went to the farmers market at Lloyds square and I had some excellent homemade chicken soup and really good whole grain bread
-         My initial foray into the market, I got some nice yarn and Franklin enabled me into buying an antique knitting gauge
-         Opening reception, what can I say except a great end to a good long day?
Day 3:
-         Taking the Max to Voodoo donuts (bacon maple bar) for a little early morning sugar rush, a quick dash to Stumptown coffee for some complimentary coffee and we were good for the rest of the morning.
-         Tina’s lecture on color and dyeing yarn
-         Lunch at Burgerville with a great throng and in close proximity to Cookie A and Janel Laidman’s group
-         Running into Jeny Staiman (“the” Jeny) at Starbucks and discovering Jeny’s Surprising Sweet Demeanor
-     Janel Laidman's fabulous stranded knitting class & making a cute mini-sock
-         Dinner with Lisa (aka: meanestmommy) my Des Moines connection
-         The 80s sock hop, at which I may have danced a little

Day 4: 
-         Knitting Like Crazy meetup with Jen, one of the nicest designer/knitters I know and architect of August current Mystery Sock Knit-along
-         A quick tour of the market to locate the mysterious “tardis” yarn for someone I love, and um, I might have bought a pair of shoes (red maryjane clogs, squee)
-         Sock Yarn stories with the delightful Clara Parks
-         Solo Adventure downtown to the Saturday Market, Powell’s books and Pioneer Square, I ate some delicious gyros salad, saw lots of books (bought one) and soaked up the Portland atmosphere
-         A little event I like to call “dancing with yarn
-         Dinner with a random group of knitters from Boston, NY and Seattle (because you don’t need to eat alone when knitters are near)
-         The Happy Knits After party (and winning a cool door prize), meeting Kristine from AVFKW, her partner Adrienne and her really cool Mom
-         Desert at the food carts (cinnamon and sugar crepe, yum!)
Day 5:
-         Fleece to Foot challenge
-         Lunch at Burgerville with Cookie A and a few other knitters
-         A final tour of the market for last minute shopping
-         A final good bye and Big Thank YOU to Stephanie, Tina and ST2 for a lovely event
-         Dinner with the “coming alone” group (including the fellow Iowegans I met on day 1) at Noodles and Co, followed by Mio Gelato for yummy dessert  
-         Suitcase tetris to make sure all of my goodies made it home

In general I would have to say, that it was a good experience, I got to meet and talk to so many different knitters, both “famous” and regular and I felt completely in my element.  I hope that if you ever aspire to go to sock summit, that you start planning now, so I can see you there in 2013!

There are too many pictures to choose from, so I made up a slide show, enjoy: 

Happy Knitting
Nana

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Getting Ready

We had a great trip to WA and the weather actually cooperated during the outdoor wedding ceremony.  I can't believe how fast this summer has been zooming by!  It seems like all of my knitting projects lately have been tied to the next event or trip.  I don’t even know where to start with catching up so.  The best I can do is to just show you what I've been up to: 

First up June socks.

 
Fool's Rush Socks




Fools Rush - this was my June personal sock club selection.  A very pretty, quick and easy pattern.  I knit them in Claudia Handpaint which was a bonus because the stuff is like melted butter in your fingers... especially after knititng with cotton and linen yarns. My ususal 2.25mm needles on dpn. 
 Next up; the challenge for SKA in June was to create a DYO pattern.  I may have gone a little overboard... I did three.  I have the patterns written up and am lining up test knitters as I type this. I'll add these to my design's page once the test knitting is complete.  
Western Wear Socks

Keeping it Simple Socks

Rain at the Falls Socks

Western Wear - Lions Brand
Keeping it Simple - Noro Kuryeon Sock - Color S150
Rain at the Falls - Dream in Color Smooshy - Cloud Jungle


Then June became July and there was a new SKA challenge... Stranded socks.   I took the bait on the mystery socks and started a pair of Zirkel.  These are still in progress because there was a little frogging due to size issues, but they are coming along nicely.  Sock #2 may have to wait until august though.
Zirkel (really bad picture)

And for my personal sock club, I may have fudged a little to pull the bag with the stranded pattern inside (keeping it all in a theme you know):
Jack Sparrow's Favorite socks:
Stranded in the Seaweed

I knit the Jack Sparrow top-down instead of toe up.  I used the Claudia again (Chocolate & Scouts Honor) and a little bit of some Sunshine yarns sampler that I had in my stash.  Those little mini skeins are really coming in handy!

Also, do I need to mention that Sock Summit is just about a week away? I am so excited! I am looking forward to the trip tremendously. I have been fussing over which yarn to bring for my classes, what unofficial events I want to participate in, in a frenzy making stitch markers for the stitch marker swap and project bags for a couple of people from Rav who deserve treats,

Reversable!
printing up agenda’s, figuring out what to wear and most importantly which knitting bag to bring.  That seems to be giving me the most trouble at the moment.  I have to consider many important issues when it comes to a choice of bags (I have several to choose from) since I really need to limit what I am traveling with.  1) It has to be a reasonable size – not too big, not too small.  2) It should have pockets 3) it needs to be flexible for the different activities I’ll be doing – 4) It should be lightweight (very important considering what will be inside it) Alas, none of my bags fit all my criteria, but I can make concessions if I opt for my back pack with a few smaller bags to accommodate different things for different activities… I just think my back pack is ugly and boring and not a very good knitting bag.  Sigh, I’ll figure it out before I leave.
Well if you aren't overwhelmed yet, I might be just a little.
Let me know when it's safe to come out... she's crazy!

Happy Knitting

Nana