see we get to the end but that's where we begin

So I fear that my knitting is about to become very one-note. When I first started knitting, I declared that I hated knitting socks and it was terrible and I would never do it. I couldn't understand why people were obsessed with them, why they knit dozens of pairs, happily, at breakneck speeds. People would come into the shop and clear out new orders of sock yarn like they were never going to see or buy yarn again.

I don't quite remember what tipped the scales for me. Since this blog exists to put (and keep) records straight, I'll say that I think it was a particular yarn, Mountain Colors, that came in really exquisite colorways. Being entirely unable to pick just one nor able to justify buying a bunch of different single skeins for my sole use (ha!) I decided I would once again try to make socks, this time for every member of my family. You really can justify your way into anything with knitting. The more delusional the better.

I'm also relatively sure that I decided I hated the traditional heel gusset. I still kind of do, but I have this pattern committed to memory and so it's easiest to stick to what I can remember. Anyway, back to the beginning- for those socks, my second (and third and fourth) attempts at knitting them, I used contrast yarn for afterthought heels and toes and had them all cranked out by Christmas. Everyone in my family reacted with enthusiasm that only family can have for hand-knitted gifts, but particularly my Dad. He is infamous for being hard to give gifts to, especially if they're knits- won't wear scarves, gloves, or hats. He'll wear sweaters but I couldn't/can't knit him a sweater a year. So, as you can see, my sock obsession started from a good place: to make gifts for my Dad.

So here are his Father's Day socks, my tried-and-true pattern. Most of the socks I knit still go to my Dad, but my love of bright colors (and his aversion to said colors) forced me to branch out and knit more socks for me and for other members of my family. We recently traveled to Alberta, Canada and visited a lovely little yarn shop there, where of course I made a significant contribution to the local economy and got enough yarn for another four pairs of socks. So...Kniterary Club is becoming all socks, all the time! For the near future, at least.

Come to think of it, I think my skein of yarn from that first crazy yarn-buying craze is still stashed away, waiting to be knit...


out on the desert plains all night

So. I have a blog. It seems that I've just now remembered. And this blog, it is/was about knitting. Which I also seem to have just now remembered is a thing I do and do well. A friend recently asked for a pattern for something I made, and had it not been for looking it up on this blog I would have had to go back through the much-worn item, counting it stitch-for-stitch and hoping my terrible memory wouldn't be a problem.

You see, the way I learned to knit was having a very creative teacher essentially say to hell with patterns, a philosophy I have completely embraced ever since. I've had people say I can't do something and then I do it, I've had successes and I've had failures but most of all I've enjoyed learning and growing and making friends and drinking lots of wine and living. That's what you get when you say to hell with rules.

I've not posted for years at this point, and I can't say when I'll post again. But here's what I've been up to and why, and maybe this blog will expand to include things that aren't knitting so I don't have to vanish when I put it down for a while.

Best friends. #sweaterpets

My last post was in September 2012, in the midst of very exciting (and distracting) life events. I got engaged, moved across the country, planned a wedding, and got married. I've changed jobs a bunch, and I started cycling like crazy. I started canning! Oh, and we moved. All my knitting friends said they were sad I wasn't knitting, but it was hard to be away from them and stay interested in the knitting when really what I wanted and missed were my friends. Plus, when you move to Louisiana, you quickly realize that you essentially live in a swamp and knitting does not belong in the swamp. 

I felt guilty for the large tubs of yarn wasting away in the closet and I dutifully carried a sock around on the long car trips to visit family in other states. It took me a full two years to finish these: 

And let me tell you, these socks look normal in the photo. They cannot be photographed side-by-side because they do not match. If you limped through a project for two years (especially a project you could do in your sleep) and then they didn't match when you finished them, well, you would be discouraged. I threw them in a basket and didn't even weave in the ends. But when a friend announced that she and her husband were expecting a new baby this summer, I dragged myself into action and cranked out a baby blanket. 

Frivolous tassels fix everything.

This is a simple moss stitch blanket- it needed to be fast and minimally challenging (see sock defeat above). So I cast on 61 stitches with a worsted yarn doubled (Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, 10 skeins of which I had mysteriously acquired years ago) and got knitting. The color isn't my favorite, but it's a good neutral baby color. But it needed something else...it wasn't quite enough on its own. So I dug through my stash, found some Tahki Cotton Classic and made tassels! 

Revitalized by this success, I knit Christmas stockings as a belated wedding gift for some dear friends. 

I love these stockings, and the bright colors help put a modern twist on the very traditional pattern. The pattern is by Cascade Yarns, and I used a combination of machine-washable Berroco Vintage and Comfort.

So that's my update. I've started another ugly sock because I had the yarn to use, and I'm also knitting another baby blanket just like the one above since I have the yarn left over and it will be nice to have a baby gift stashed away. It does feel good to be knitting again. So for now, I'm heading back out to enjoy the swamp- but more updates to come.

The swamp, aka Louisiana