Friday, May 18, 2012

A Song of Socks

There are things when you dress
That you put on your toes
There are boys who wear tubes
And girls who wear hose

If you wanna keep me warm
When the freezing cold wind blows
Don't give me your love and forget it
Just give me a pair of those

I want your socks
I want your socks

I'll wear 'em on my feet
I'll show 'em to my friends
'Cause I like the feel

Of those hand-knitted trends 


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The second in my series of socks for myself are the Rainy Day Socks made from MadelineTosh sock in the lovely Wash colourway. They were fast and the pattern was easily memorizable and they are perfect for spring wearing. I made size small on US 1.5 dpns. I did adapt the pattern, which called for a kitchenered toe, to a star toe. I'm all about the Easy!


But I found it hard to continue to knit things for myself. After all, the little guy needs socks too - he is growing like a sunflower! I just bought him two new pairs of shoes, because his toes were bumping the ends of his old ones and there were absolutely no handknit socks in the drawer that fit him! I think the last time I made him socks, his feet were only 3.5 inches long and now they're 5.5 inches! Oh no, that's not right! I did knit him these Sherlock socks a year ago, and they were 5 inches long - but they were no where to be found.


And besides, I'm impelled to create for those I love, so I've switched my attention to making as many pairs of little socks as I can before Camp Loopy starts on May 27th. So far, I've managed three socks and I hope to finish 3 more in the next week - all stripey:

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I have my own method of toe-up construction and they are fast, fast, fast and easy, and fit so well! 

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And because the little guy's socks take so little yarn, I'm left with a fair amount of widowed and orphaned skeins in colours that don't suit me (but that he loves). Should I save them for the next growth spurt?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

There and Back Again, 2012

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Yesterday, my boyfriend went with me to the NH Sheep & Wool Fair in Deerfield. This was his first time going and it was fun for me to have a friend with me. I usually go by myself the first day and with friends the second day. But they moved it to the Deerfield Fairgrounds this year, and I knew I'd never find it without help. Sure enough, even my boyfriend, who has the best directional sense on the planet, had a hard time with this one.

Let me just say, I was not a fan of this venue.

This is the entry (may I say the beautiful, cool, green, New Hampshire countryside, forest entryway) to the Hopkinton Fairgrounds where the Sheep & Wool Fair has been held for the past several years:

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This is the entryway to the Deerfield venue:

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At the end of this road, you are then faced with this:

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It's only when you get to the top of that very steep hill that you are at the barns where the fair is held. I saw many elderly people struggling on that last hill.  The grounds seemed stark in comparison, too - dusty and paved. I couldn't find the the sheep-herding which I've always loved to see and then at the end of the day someone told me that you actually had to drive to it - you couldn't see it from the area where the vendors were.

Okay - enough with the complaints - on to the good parts!

There were little tents with small companies on the road to the vendor barns and these are always fun to peruse. I saw some new people, but some of the old standbys that I love were missing.

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Inside the vendor barns  it was a world of colour and texture! My boyfriend mentioned that he saw many empty vendor spots, but by that time I was just up to my elbows in the joy of fiber and didn't notice!

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Aren't these colours gorgeous? This is Tidal Yarns in Maine. The very nice artist who makes these yarns told me that the reason they all look so lovely together is because she uses the natural dyes from nature. It really does show in the evidence of these colourways!

I found another of my favorites, Dillner Hillside Farm:

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One of the things I absolutely LOVE is using yarns that are labeled with the animal who donated their locks for the skein! This is what Jessica Dillner does with all her yarn.  Last year I had yarn from Max:

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This year I got yarn from Wallace - you can see his little face on the label:

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Many of her handspun skeins use natural dyes such as goldenrod and that adds to to very soft subtle colour:

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I found two yarn companies new to me, Tucker Woods Yarns - the makers of that lovely tweedy skein you see below, and  Dirty Water Dyeworks who I've run into online before, but not seen at the Wool Fair. Their skein is the beautifully-dyed MCN water-shaded one in the picture.

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My other purchases included some little things for gifts and swaps, and a large haul of antique horn buttons:

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This is just a small portion of this great find - I bought 3 bags full of these! But I left one bag behind for you!

Its true, my boyfriend didn't hold out for the entire stroll through the barns... once he spied this shady nook he was glad he'd brought his iPad.

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We really enjoyed all the animals - they were hilarious this year - and LOTS of babies!

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Big yawn:

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and sweet fluffy bunny pals:

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That was it for us - we both were wondering what that bright shiny thing in the blue sky was and we both ended up with sunburns and I had additional freckles, so we trekked back home to cuddle with the sweet Tedders.

I had a most wonderful gift waiting for me - soft, felted slipper liners and a huge skein of soft deep blue Borderleicester from SuDan Farm in Canby, Oregon. The label says: "This yarn is a gift to you from a sheep named Fyfe. This wool has been grown, sheared, and processed with respect for the animals, land, and humans involved."

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Wow - can't get better than that for a day in May!


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sensitive Man

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Good morning! I'm just raising my head from a hurried breakfast of blueberries and tea to let you know the reason I haven't been blogging lately.

Teddyapril2012a

I have a very sick young dog at home, and anyone who has ever had a dog going through chemotherapy will know that it's a full time nursing job. I don't at all mind taking care of him day and night, giving him his meds every hour, and sleeping on the couch near his bed to be on hand as crises arise - not at all. But at the same time, I'm trying to keep up with a full time job and two part time jobs as well as other personal and family matters. All the dog chemotherapy centers are out of state or on the border with another state, so that means lots of driving - lots and lots of driving = several times a week. 

All of this means there is no time left for blogging. I miss it! But this is important and needs to come first. 

This pre-illness photo shows the dear Teddy (whose real name is Percival) - definitely one of the most sensitive men in our house. 

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