A sock post a lot of us need to read . .

There are many posts on knitting blogs about how to avoid pooling and weird designs using self-striping and hand-dyed yarns.  Many blogs will talk about how to make sure your socks match when you’re finished.

This post is for those of us who shudder at such concerns.  I don’t want my socks to match completely!  I can buy matching socks in the store.  I have nothing against making matching socks on purpose or on accident, but one of the things I like best when hand-knitting socks is just letting the yarn decide for itself what the socks will look like.

Yes, I also love to make Fair Isle designs on some socks and have the socks match.  I also don’t mind knitting socks in solids that I find appealing.  I’m not here to say people who want their socks to match or who hate pooling are crazy, obsessive-compulsive freaks.  Heck, I’d be happy to join them during those times I’m knitting a pair of socks for someone who wants the socks to match. . .

I’m saying that it’s also okay to just let the socks happen.  I feel the same way about some of the sweaters I’ve knitted with variegated yarn.  Some of the pooling that has occurred in those sweaters looks great to me.  Non-knitters sometimes think I did the pooling on purpose and think I’m a genius.

So if you feel the way I do, it’s okay to relax now and stop feeling guilty.  Stop feeling like you’re somehow being lazy or cutting corners.  Knitting is art!  It can be carefully planned and designed or it can be more organic and chaotic.  And in knitting, if you’re not having fun, that’s the only time you’re truly doing something wrong.

 

 

Ken and Dani meet two of their heroes.

Ken and Dani meet two of their heroes.

Well, I managed to get a pair of worsted weight socks done in time for Wizard World Con in Louisville. I was trying to knit some nice socks out of sock weight for Matt Smith, who is known for having a love of unusual socks. I had to give up on the sock yarn and switch to worsted. The plan is to finish the better socks and mail them to him. I think he’ll like the socks made from Katia Darling much more than the ones I had to speed knit in worsted. But the real story here is not about socks, it’s about OMG MATT SMITH AND KAREN GILLAN!!!! Ahem. And yes, I said, “Hello, sweetie!” even though I’m sure they heard that line 540 times that day at least. Big “thank you!” to both of them for coming to town and working their tails off meeting so many fans. They must both have been exhausted by the time it was all over.

Winter’s coming!

FInally I can show Dani what real cold is like.  We’re supposed to have a high tomorrow of -2 F and a low of -6 F.  It’s not often below zero in the Ohio River Valley, especially not this far south.  Next time he claims it’s “sooo coooold” when it’s 60 degrees, I’ll be able to remind him what cold really feels like.  Hehe.

 

FInally working on the Straboy sweater I started last year for Cody.  I have one sleeve done and have made progress on the second.  Then they get attached to the portion of the body I’ve finished and I’ll work up the yoke.  I love the Donegal tweed I got at This is Knit in Dublin.  The shipping wasn’t nearly as expensive as I thought it would be.  It’s 4 kilos of yarn.  😀  Dani calls it “the passenger” because when I put it in the passenger seat of my car, the car starts complaining that the passenger is not wearing a seatbelt.  Maybe my car is very fond of yarn too?

 

Winder of all winders!

I got it yesterday!  We didn’t expect it to be here before Xmas but it’s here!  It’s the yarn winder to end all yarn winders.  (Pardon the cliché.)

It’s the hand-cranked yarn winder from Nancy’s Knitnacks.  When I was in Toronto a couple of weeks ago, one of the shops, Lettuce Knit, had a wooden yarn winder with a nice large crank that made winding yarn look a LOT easier.  I begged them to tell me where to buy it and they told me.  I ordered one as soon as I got home and told my hubby “Thanks for my Christmas present!”  (Believe it or not, it kind of worked!)  The website said there were no guarantees for delivery before the 25th so I figured I’d be waiting until January.  But it came in yesterday, December 23rd, and I’ve winding yarn like it’s my new hobby instead of knitting.  Whew. 

Here is what it looks like: http://www.ballwinders.nancysknitknacks.com/  (And no, I’m not getting anything from Nancy’s Knit Knacks for posting this.)

Yarn Harlot, at last!

Okay.  I’m such a knitting fan boy.  Just the mention of a member of what Vogue Knitting calls “the knitterati” and I turn into a 16-year-old girl.  It’s not a nice look on a 48-year-old balding fat man.  It took two knitting retreats before I truly stopped looking at Franklin Habit like he was a movie star.  Now I’ve met Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and I think I’m doing a bit better at treating a knitting celebrity like any other knitter while acknowledging her accomplishments.  Just kidding.  I’m gushing like a teenager again.  

The Yarn Harlot spoke at Indiana Univeristy-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, Indiana tonight.  She spoke from the heart about how important it is for us knitters to take ourselves and our art seriously.  The rolling of the eyes and the reducing knitting to some “cute hobby” we get from the media and other non-knitters is sometimes our own fault.  It’s important for us to embrace what we do for what it is – art.  Even if we didn’t design a pattern, having knitted it is still an accomplishment to be proud of!  We should never let someone reduce us to a joke.  We can joke about knitting and have a good time doing it, but the next time some TV reporter says something like, “Why do you think knitting is back in style?” we  must look her in the eye and explain, “It never went away, cupcake!”  

I hope she expands this idea and reminds us how important it is in her next book.  If it’s not important to us individually, we should at least be ready to speak up for our fellow knitters.  We are not “cute” and we are not archaic.  We are artists.