Saturday, April 26, 2008

Leavin' on a jet plane...yet again

I'm leaving for a workshop in Duluth, MN tomorrow morning. I have to drive to Memphis (2.5 hours) to catch my first flight...AND I have lots of reading still to do so I can't knit the whole travel day like I usually do...sigh. Hopefully the workshop on Ecological Thresholds will be interesting and, more importantly, I'll be able to contribute and not seem like an idiot. I guess we'll see :)

If there is anything interesting all to take a picture of, I'll let you know.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New Obsession feeding an old one

I've been addicted to sock knitting for awhile...pretty much since I started my first one about a year ago....yep, I know it is neither cost effective nor efficient to knit socks but here are some of the classic reasons why sock knitting is so absolutely wonderful:

1. Everyone, no matter where they live, can use socks. My current climate makes sweaters, mittens, warm hats, and scarves completely unnecessary, except for maybe 1-2 weeks of the sad. Socks, however, are useful here in all but the warmest 2-3 months.

2. Sock knitting is the most portable type of project. Many other knitter/bloggers have mentioned this and it is sooo true. A sweater or a blanket just can't be hauled around all the time, especially if, like me, you fly a lot for work and every square inch of your luggage must be used wisely. I can bring one sock project on a work trip and be assured that I will not run out of knitting fun despite delayed planes, long flights, long layovers, nights alone in weird hotels, etc.

3. An infinite number of incredibly cool patterns that make knitting a new pair never dull. If you have any doubts, a 5 minute search on the internet will verify this. I would design more of my own sock patterns, but there are already so many out there that I want to try

4. Socks make a great gift IF you know the size to make them. This is easy if you live with or near the recipient, but if you want to to make socks for someone far away it can be trickier. I spent the past weekend measuring everyone's feet so that at some point, long after they have forgotten my weird request, they will get a pair of socks and be surprised.

5. Sock yarn...there are so many absolutely beautiful hand painted sock yarns out there...really amazing colors and fibers...this is the reason for my new addiction...see below

6. Compared to knitting a sweater, knitting a pair of socks is pretty affordable which means I can buy more sock yarn...its a wonderfully vicious circle.

I could go on and on and on, but I'm not saying anything that many others haven't already said. Instead, here are a couple of pairs I've finished lately:
Not my color, but the stripes, which came from how the yarn was painted, are cool. Here is a closeup:

These socks are DEFINITELY my color...yay GREEN!
Both the color pattern and the stitch pattern made me happy too, and these suckers are cozy warm. Here's the closeup:

and here is the the pair I'm working on very first full-size toe-up sock. So far, I like it because you can tailor the fitting much more carefully. Try to avoid being blinded by my bright white skin. I tried to cut most of it out of the pic.
I finished one other pair too, but my pix got deleted and this pair has already been sent to its new owner, Sandy, my sister in law up in Massachusetts. I only have this one pic she sent me:
One of the dilemmas of sock knitting are the leftover scraps of yarn which in some cases can be quite substantial. The scraps are never enough to knit a whole other pair, but some times, they can be as much as this:
Sigh...what to do...what to do...Thank goodness for another crazy knitter who has provided a kickass solution...the sock yarn scrap blanket AKA the 'Shelly' Blanket. I discovered this blanket and the tutorial for it last week because it was mentioned by YarnHarlot. Shelly, AKA the Heathen Housewife, has a great blog of her own and graciously described every detail of blanket construction there. If you just want to see the blanket in all of it's amazing glory, here it is (scroll down for pics of the astonishing finished blanket). Shelly's blanket took about 2 years to make because she requested others sock scrap donations and was literally inundated. I am hoping to do mine, at least mostly, with scraps from my own projects and possibly from people I know. I'd like to feel somewhat connected to all of the scraps somehow, which may be very unrealistic. I'm cool with it taking 10 years, but at some point I may ask for yarn donations, but not at the moment. Here's what I have done so far:
It's really more of a blanket larvae, but it has so much potential and makes me so excited to think about all of the scraps and how cool they will look in the blanket. Yay yarn scraps!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

So worth writing about!

So I decided to take an extended blogging break because I had a lot of crappy stuff to deal with this spring that just wasn't blog stufff...blah...blah...blah...ok, now you're all caught up.

For the past week or two, I've been thinking that I really wanted to start writing again which I thought was a good sign after the rough time I've had this Spring, but I wasn't sure what I felt like writing about.

Then I came home to Syracuse for Passover, and on the way home from the airport, my mom took small detour to show me this:
WOW! This gas station is less than 2 miles from our house and has been an abandoned eyesore for decades.

This incredibly cool MFA student at Syracuse Univeristy, Jennifer Marsh, decided to create this installation as part of her graduate work. Here is Jennifer who I happened to catch when she was doing some work on her piece:
She covered every square inch of the building, the pumps out front, and the sign. I only wish I had known before now because I would have made a square, but she plans to do more pieces like this as a statement against oil consumption...Go Jennifer! Here is the URL if you want to know more about her project.

I took more pix like this
and this
and this.
I was really impressed with the pump,
and the sign out front,
particularly this panel,
and last but not least, my favorite panel (the lower one with the guy guzzling oil straight from the pump).
It feels good to be blogging again. Tomorrow I'll tell ya what kinda crazy knitting I've been up to. Yay fiber! Yay knitting!