Nana's Knitting Shop

Knitting tales of a lifelong knitter
and yarn shop owner.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sock Love from the Peanut Gallery

Miss Cory decided to check in for this week's blog.

"So, I’m totally infatuated with sock yarn. Hand painted, self-patterning, self-striping, I love it all. I peruse sock patterns on a daily basis, both online and in the Shop. If I could have a stash of only sock yarn, I’d be in heaven. If I could claim all of my mother’s sock yarn as my very own, I would. I love the fine soft fiber that is the end result of a cute puffy sheep (oh yeah, I’m a fiber junkie all around but for right now, we’re talking socks).

I love the idea of such a tight knit garment on teeny tiny needles. There are so many sock patterns out there that can be knit in a day, okay, maybe not a pair unless you’re really fast but at least one. I can feel the yarn sliding through my fingers onto size 1s or 2s or better yet, ZEROs, have you SEEN Roza’s Socks in the Spring Interweave?

Lorna’s Laces on a zero in the Daffodil colorway – oh yeah, it’s SCREAMING my name! Be still my beating heart! So many knitters have caught the sock craze; it’s everywhere and folks are whipping them up left and right. Jaywalkers on Magknits have been popping up all over blog land and your bound to find a special sock by Cookie A. on Knitty.

So, where is my infatuation coming from? Socks are "it". They are the hip happenin’ thing to knit. So, where do I fall in the sock-knitting obsession? How many pairs of socks have I knitted you ask? Zero. Zilch. Nada. Yes, I, the daughter of the Knitter Extraordinairess, Knitting Shop Owner have not allowed a single solitary pair get off my collection of 0, 1, 2, 3, & 4 bamboo DPNs.

I’ve started several pairs, and by started I mean, I’ve cast on and knit a row or maybe 3 and ripped. I think my problem lies in what type of sock I want for my very first pair. Do I knit the socks toe up so I don’t waste any precious sock yarn? Do I knit top down so I don’t have to mess with a provisional cast on? I know, the provisional is easy and mindless, but I just don’t want to deal with it.

What pattern do I use? Do I use a basic pattern from The Book of Patterns or do I use Mountain Colors Banker’s Sock pattern, or do I start with Roza’s? Oh Roza! Yes, I’m leaning toward the Roza. Although beautiful, I’m certainly not going out on a limb and starting with the cover sock from Interweave’s new sock book Favorite Socks. I know I shouldn’t push myself and knit something too intricate because that will in itself be the demise of my sock knitting career.

The most important question is what yarn do I use? Do I go for the Lorna’s Laces in Daffodil, the Dream in Color in the magnificent aqua, Schaefer Anne in the lime, purple, and blue colorway, or Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Juniper? Do I use the new Peruvian Wool from Froebe Fibers or the famous Plymouth Sockotta? Do I take the easy way out and dye my own Cascade 220 and make a pair of hiking socks?

It’s my indecisiveness that is holding me back. It’s the insane number of options that lay in front of me that paralyzes me. Where do I begin? With all of my other projects, the answer on what pattern and just what yarn to use was always clear.

The one thing I know to be true and set in stone, is that when I finally decide, my first pair of socks will live their first month of newly knitted life proudly on display right smack dab in front for all to see at the Shop."

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Oh Baby!

Last week, I got a call from a very panicky Ruth. She told me she had to crochet a baby blanket by Wednesday of this week and wanted to know if I had 2,000 yards of cashmere in an antique white color. Well, the words baby blanket and cashmere stopped me dead in my tracks.

"Cashmere for a baby blanket? Cashmere's not washable."

"Oh, I know," she said, "It's a baby shower gift that I'm making for someone else to give and it has to be cashmere."

"Alrighty then. I do indeed have cashmere, but it comes in 50 yard hanks. That means you'd need 40 hanks of it and that will never do! What's your gauge?

"I'm going to use a C hook."

"Oh my! That's little more than a fingering weight! You need 2,000 yards and you've got how much time to do it?"

"It's got to be done by Wednesday of next week."

"Whoa! That's a lot of work. Let me think on it and give me a call tomorrow."

I went to bed that night thinking hard about a cashmere baby blanket. So much work, so little time and babies aren't exactly the tidiest creatures on the planet. Had to be cashmere, dreaming about cashmere.

I got into the Shop the next day and called my friends at Jade Sapphire. I carry their lace weight yarn, Lacey Lamb and it is magnificent. They have a gorgeous cashmere/silk blend that comes in a 400 yard hank.

This treasure came in on Thursday and Ruth rushed in to pick it up. She was off to very long and concentrated weekend. Here is the amazing result.

This picture doesn't begin to do it justice, believe me. The sheen of the silk and softness of the cashmere just don't come through. Ruth's work is so beautiful, the gauge is so fine, the lace edging is so intricate, the ribbon such a perfect finish, it defies words.

Here's another picture even though touching it was the only way to truly appreciate it.

My hat is off to you, Ruth! I wish I were the one receiving it. I'd treasure it forever and I'm very tidy!

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Ode of a Knitter's Husband

Upon reading all of the knitting poetry by knitting poets, a very talented knitter's husband decided to check in and he is hysterical! Reader beware: colorful language ahead.

The Ode of a Knitter's Husband

She sits to knit, Holy Shit!
She's dropped a stitch, son of a bitch!

Who messed with my stuff, she yells out quite gruff.
I dare not tell twas I, or my butt she will fry!

The yarn starts a flying, she starts a crying!
I start running because I've learned she's quite cunning!

She now is so mad that she throws her knitting.
I'm now locked in the john, pretending I'm shitting!

The cacophony of screams are now a low roar,
I unblock, unlock and open the door!

I decide to be a man and prepare for the assault.
The dropped stitch in question must be my fault.

I enter the room to atone for my sinning,
With an angelic face, she sits there while spinning.

The maiden in twirling the fiber is twisting,
The urge to choke me, I know she's resisting!

Friday, March 09, 2007

For the Love of Poetry

Knitters can do it all, I've discovered. They knit, they work, they inspire, they nurse, they parent, they teach; and...they write poetry! This week's post is Knitting Poetry written by Knitting Poets!

There was a young lady who knit
But nothing she made ever quite fit,
Checking her gauge
Was a bothersome stage,
And too many projects she quit.

She had skeins of yarn galore
But still she bought more,
Stashing it away
In the hopes that one day,
She might open up her own store.

She knit morning and night
With stitches quite tight,
Ripping with ease
Rows that displeased,
Few projects ever saw light.

Knitting for others
Was not one of her druthers,
From the stitches she cast
Her needles clicked fast,
But never to clothe any other.

When this lady grew old
She became a bit more bold,
She knit in colors and lace
And just to save face,
Checked her gauge as so oft she'd been told.

A Knitting Haiku

Interweaving yarn,
A memory of my heart,
From my hands to you.

And another poem...

I knitted a slip over for a friend.
She wore it every day for a month.
Refused to let me wash it for her.
By now it smells of must.

I knitted a sweater for my Mom,
Angora and very soft.
It's too precious, she said,
And put it on the shelf.

Proud of my hard work
I took pictures of all my knits.
Wanted to make prints.
However, my boyfriend misplaced them all.

Creation is my passion.
Yarn is my affection.
Regardless of what happens,
I'd knit it again and again.

And last, but certainly not least...

Are you knit worthy?
Well, let's wait and see
Should my next work be for you
or will it be for me?

Are you knit worthy?
I'm beginning to really wonder
My third attempt with your gift
has tanked and gone asunder

Are you knit worthy?
I just can't face this project anymore
There's only one answer then and
Away to Nana's, a new pattern to explore!

Friday, March 02, 2007

We Knit, We Cut, We Conquered!

We steeked Wednesday night and Abby doesn't look nervous at all, does she?

Kim came to watch wearing her beautiful Dale from our class. Isn't it amazing?

Here's Abby's sweater pre-steek and post steek. The gray line down the front is her reinforced steek stitches. It is between those two crochet edges that the cut is made.

Here's mine pre-steek and post-steek. Yes, note that the neck and shoulders are still on the needles. Not Abby's. Oh, and Abby's has sleeves.