Socks and Shawls

Hello There!

Well, here we are in the middle of Spring and you wouldn’t even know it. It is cloudy and in the 60’s here in OKC, and I was speaking to my MIL this afternoon and it is SNOWING at here house in Michigan. SNOWING in MAY!!!!  Lets hope we get some sunshine soon.

In knitting news, a little over a week ago I finished the Pogona shawl by Steven West.  I love his designs, not only does he have a great eye for color and design, his designs, especially his shawls have amazing and interesting geometric design yet still have beautiful drape.  I must say however, I am a little disappointed in this shawl.  I should have known I wouldn’t like as it only needed 380 yards of fingering.  I like my shawls big and long, so I can wrap them around my neck like a scarf. While this shawl is big deep wise, judging from the wingspan and a quick try-on before I blocked it really will not wrap around my neck very well.  Its blocking now so maybe it will be better blocking.  I am a bit disappointed. I loved the design and the yarn color. The yarn I used was Sun Valley Fibers in Ring of Fire, a bright fiery red colorway.  Red is my favorite color and I would love to wear it.  I also love Sun Valley Fibers, the yarn is always so soft and the colors are rich and beautiful.  When this shawl is done blocking I will try it on and see, maybe I can wear it someway.  I love the color.

Last Monday I came home from a long Mother’s Day weekend in Las Vegas to visit my Mom.  We had such a fun time shopping, eating and just hanging out and enjoying each others company.  It is hard being away from my Mom and love going to visit her.  It was also nice to be home for a few days. Its so funny about going to visit you hometown, you see so much has changed, but if you really look, it really hasn’t changed much at all and it still your town.

For my trip I cast on a sock at the airport while waiting to board my plane.  I cast on the Rosebud Socks by Wendy B. Johnson from her book Toe-Up Socks for Every Body.  I am now knitting my way through this book.  The pattern on these socks are cute little rose buds and I honestly think I chose the perfect yarn for these socks. I am knitting these with Done Roving Yarns Frolicking Feet Handprinted in the colorway Christmas Cactus, deep reds and greens, like a rose bush with the transition from the colors is a dark purple.  The yarn is not self striping or pooling so it is a very colorful sock.  I am almost done with the first sock.  It might be a good thing this sock is coming along so quick, I might still need them this season. I love knitting socks, they are perfect for traveling because they are so small you can fit them in your purse and just set it on you lap the minute you sit down on the plane.  Yes, I have been known to cable during take-off.  And if you are at home, it is great couch knitting, even the socks with patterns, the patten is usually small and easily memorized so you can still watch your favorite shows and knit without looking down from the tv.

That is all I have for today.  I hope you are all enjoying whatever weather you are having and that we get some great spring weather soon.

Happy Knitting!

-Alexis

Travel Knitting

Hello Everyone!  I hope all who celebrated are still nicely stuffed from Thanksgiving and still enjoying the leftovers.  I also hope you all survived Black Friday if you dared and braved the malls.

Since Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally the biggest travel weekend of the year.  I thought I would take this time to write about travel knitting and really how wonderful it is.

I love to travel and I love travel knitting.  I always feel like I get so much knitting done when I am travel knitting.  When it comes to road trips, my wonderful husband drives and I just sit and knit hexi-puffs. I have the pattern memorized and they are small so I can fit them in my purse or overnight bag.  Usually before we leave for our trip, I grab 3 balls of yarn from my hexi-puff kit as well as my needles and other supplies that I keep in a small bag in my kit, and go.  Depending on how long the car ride is is how many Hexi-puffs I can get done. It take me about 45 minutes to knit one puff.  Also, depending on how much downtime and energy I have at our destination I try to knit a few more.  Usually while sitting on the bed watching TV at the hotel at night.

As for flying or more extended trips, I usually pack a sock in my travel purse to work on.  Just like Hexi-puffs, a sock is a small project that can be easily thrown in a big purse or carry-on and will fit in your lap or the tray table on the airplane.  The day before, I will get my sock pattern ready, wind my yarn and get my needles and stitch markers, measuring tape and row counter into a baggie and throw it all in my travel purse.  I will also usually take my whole tool kit with scissors and pack it my luggage.  I have never had a problem getting my knitting through TSA, but I always pack wooden needles just incase.  Once at the airport I will then cast on my sock. I love sitting there in the airport, everyone is on their phone or other electronic devices and I am knitting.  I’ve even done it at the airport bar with a beer in front of me.  I will continue to knit as soon as I board the plane and just recently have accomplished cables while taking off.  I love to fly, but turbulence does make me a little nervous, knitting gives me something else to think about.  I do usually get a good amount knit on the plane ride and again depending on my downtime and energy at my destination I will knit some more.  On our recent trip to see family in Michigan I was able to knit every night, even more than usual so I got a lot done. Which I really liked since it was Christmas knitting.  I even brought the yarn for my next Christmas knitting project just in case.

I love how travel knitting makes the time go by quickly especially if you are excited to get to your destination or if you are stuck or delayed.  I don’t even mind the looks I get when I am knitting in the airport or on the plane. I also love it when I see other travelers knitting or crocheting as well.

What do you like to knit when you travel?  Do you bring an existing project or start something new?  I would love to hear about it and any other travel knitting stories.

Talk to you soon.

-Alexis

Road Trip Knitting

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all had a fun and safe 4th of July.  I did.  On Friday, the Hubs and I drove to Dodge City, Kansas.  We had never been and thought it would be fun.  I was a great drive up there but honestly, other than the museum and Dairy Queen, there was not much else to see.  Oh well, we love to road trip and have these little adventures.  Also on the way, somewhere outside Seiling, OK there was this huge sunflower farm. It was so pretty, on the way home I made hub pull over so I could take pictures. Nice huh.

Sunflower Farm, OK

I also got some great road trip knitting done. As I usually always do for road trips, I grabbed some scrap balls and knit hexi-puffs for my Beekeepers Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits.  I want to make this blanket about throw size. Something warm snuggly for the couch. My goal is 500 hexi-puffs.  I have around 200 right now and have been working on it for a few years.  They are fun and fast to knit and it will be neat to see all the colors and patterns that come together from all my scrap yarn. I can still remember for most of these scrap balls what I originally made with them. Mostly socks, but several shawls, sweaters and baby things for friends.  Below are the hexi-puffs I was able to knit this weekend.

Road trip Hexi-Puffs

When I started on the Beekeepers Quilt, I knew it would be a continual work in progress as I collected leftover sock yarn from projects and knit the hexi-puffs in between projects and whenever else I could.  It really has been quite fun. I have my hexi-puff project bag that I keep all my scrap balls in and tool kit with size 3 needles, stitch markers and scissors.  Whenever we go on road trips I always randomly grab 3 scarab balls my tool kit and a small project bag.  Then I have something to work on the car that isn’t too big and doesn’t require me to read a pattern.  Reading in a car doesn’t always agree with me.  I also try to knit a few in between projects and when I am teaching, although when I teach I am usually to busy helping my student so do any knitting of my own.  But like I said before, this project is a continual work in progress and it is neat to see all the colors and patterns that are coming out of all of the scrap yarn I have so far knit up into the hexi-puffs.

Well, that is all for today. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend and any road trips and/or road trip knitting that comes your way this summer.

-Alexis

Back from Vacation, Back to the Real World

Well Hello Everybody!

I am back from vacation, I went to Las Vegas for a loooong Memorial Day Weekend.  I actually used to live in Las Vegas for a long time, I moved there with my mom when I was a teenager, I even went to high school and college there. Go Rebels!  My mom still lives there, so for me, its really just going home.  I had a great time!  Along with my Mom, I had two Aunts and an Uncle visiting, as well as a cameo appearance by one of my cousins who happens to live in Las Vegas as well.  The weather was beautiful.  Warm and sunny.  A nice break from the rain we have been getting here in Oklahoma.

As for knitting, I finished the Marin Shawl by Ysolda Teague the other night. I can and cannot believe how fast I finished it.  Its like potato chip knitting.  I just couldn’t stop.  Well, its done and finished blocking and beautiful.  It might actually be perfect for a chilly summer evening.

Marin Shawl
Marin Shawl

Because I went on vacation, I needed some good vacation/travel knitting and in my mind that only means one thing.  Socks!  I chose the “Bavarian Cable Socks by Wendy D. Johnson in her Book Socks from the Toe Up. As you know, I am working my way through.  The Bavarian Cable Socks are the last socks in the cable series.  They are a beautiful cable pattern but I am afraid they weren’t the best for flying. We hit turbulence a few times and I was forced to put them down in favor of my book.  But they are great socks for working on when watching TV at night with the family and catching up.  Since I finished my Marin Shawl, I have started to work on them at home and I am almost to the gusset of the first sock.  The are turning out nicely, I even like the few “turbulence” parts, they add a nice story.  “Oh, that gap right there, thats a thunder storm over Kansas.” I am knitting them by the way out of Fiber Optic Yarns Foot Notes in the colorway Razzmatazz.  A beautiful sock yarn I picked up at Maryland Sheep and Wool and few years ago.

While I was in Las Vegas, along with catching up with family and visiting a few old haunts I discovered a new LYS!  Yes!, while I have been gone, a new yarn store opened in Las Vegas.  I just had to check it out. Its called Sin City Knit Shop (SinCityKnitShop.com) and they are almost hidden in a strip mall about 3 miles from the strip.  (Hint: they are across from the Long John Silvers)  When I entered, I was immediately greeted by the owner Debbi, she was so nice and welcoming and happy to have me in my shop.  I was just running around town before I picked my mom up from work so I didn’t have my knitting on me but if I did, I would have stayed awhile with the other nice ladies who were there spending a lovely afternoon knitting and chatting in the shop.  This store had a fabulous selection of yarn.  All sorts of brands, some I had never even heard off.  Click here for a sneak peak of the store. On this particular day, I was specifically looking for sport weight yarn for sport weight socks. (the next chapter in Socks from the Toe Up).  Natalie who also worked there helped me find all sorts of wonderful things.   She was very helpful and I found out, a designer. She has some wonderful patterns that I have been eyeing on Ravelry. Click here for her Ravelry page.  She is very talented.

Anyway, Whenever you are in Las Vegas, forget the strip. Head straight to Sin City Knit Shop.  Debbie and Natalie are wonderful, and wouldn’t you rather spend your vacation knitting anyway. I know I would.

My haul from Sin City Knit Shop.
My haul from Sin City Knit Shop.

 

Well, that is all I have for today.  I know this was a long post, but I had so much to talk about from my vacation.

Talk you next time.

-Alexis