Monday, May 28, 2012

Music Monday - Tybee Island Edition

This is for the folks on Tybee Island.  I hear that they've had "some weather". 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

3 Single Socks Looking For Mates

I've mostly been knitting socks in the last few weeks.  Now it's time to finish up the mates to the first socks.  I don't plan to suffer from Second Sock Syndrome and leave these socks without a mate.  They look a little funny right now as they are unwashed and unblocked.

On the left is another Friends sock (see yesterday's post. This is Copper Corgi sock yarn in the Painter's Sky colorway.  This is the first Friends sock that I did but I decided to switch to the Peach State color for the pattern as light colors generally photograph better.  The second sock hasn't been started yet.

In the middle is Triple Texture, my own pattern.  It was temporarily set aside while I was working on Christmas gift knitting.  The second sock is on the needles and about a third has been completed.  The yarn is from the Yummy Yarn Studio and the colorway is called My BFF. 

On the right is a generic sock knit in stocking stitch.  I saw a pair of socks knit in this yarn on Susan B. Anderson's blog and had to get some and make a pair for myself.  The color is called Cherry Blossom and it's hand dyed from Cakewalk. Yarns.  I'm almost finished this pair, working on the foot, and it will be the next pair to be finished. I've since added two more colors to my sock yarn stash.

The one thing that all three of these sock yarns have in common is that they are from independent dyers.  There are many exciting yarns coming from personal dye studios and I'm powerless to resist them.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


I've almost finished my sock yarn blanket and I enjoyed the project so much that I'm planning to make another. This one will be different than the first.  For the first one, any and all sock yarns were added and I am keeping the blanket.  This time I'm making the afghan in as many pinks as I can collect. I'm going to be a grandma again around the end of October and it's a girl and this blanket will be for her. 

I have a couple of bits of leftover sock yarn in order to get started but I'm going to need many, many more.  I know that I have more colors in my stash so I'm going to to through it.

Now, an appeal.  If you have any sock yarn that is more pink that any other color and you wouldn't mind parting with a little bit of it, would you send to me to add to the afghan?  I need only a length of 8 yards for each block.  If you had even one length that you could pop into an envelope it would be much appreciated.  Every bit helps.  If you send me an email at:  joanne @ jconklin . com (remove the spaces), I'll give you my mailing address.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Friends Socks - Finished

Recently I mentioned that I was working on a stealth knitting project.  It's no longer a secret.  I was working on a pair of socks that were specifically designed with my friends in mind.  The knitters now know about the pattern as they were given a draft copy when I was in Denver on the weekend.  Yesterday I gave them a finished pattern.


Pattern:  "Friends"
Available on Ravelry

Story behind the pattern, printed on the pattern:
The life of each friend is very different than the others and each is a diamond in her own right.  If you look closely you'll see that each diamond comes together in the middle, as we come together to knit and chat.

Size:  Lady's Medium

Yarn:  Copper Corgi Fingering/Sock Weight
100% Superwash Merino
Color:  Peach State
2 - 2 oz. skeins, 230 yards each

Needles: Sets of 4 double-pointed needles
US #1 / 2.25 mm and
US #1.5 / 2.75 mm

Note:  This is pair #6 in my quest to complete 12 pairs of socks in 2012. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stash - Castle Rock

On the weekend I made a trip to Castle Rock, south of Denver, to visit a yarn shop that was new to me, called Stash.

Stash is in a converted house with a white picket fence around it.  When you go inside you immediately feel that you are in a cozy place.  This was emphasized by the fact that it was raining a little outside and the lady who was working greeted us with a warm welcome to the store.

There is room after room of yarns, sorted by weight.  I saw a good variety of brand names as well as some yarns I'd never heard of before such as Hikoo.  In the baby yarns section was a tempting yarn in lovely colors from Sweden, but I can't remember the name of it.

There was some fabric, knitting notions, books and some fun little gift items.  I was good and didn't add to my stash.  I knew that I was going to be visiting two more yarn shops before the weekend was over and I knew from past experience that I wasn't going to be able to resist shopping at Colorful Yarns and A Knitted Peace.

Outside the shop is a table and chairs where you can sit under a yarn-bombed tree.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Weekend in Denver

I'm back in Calgary after a fabulous four days in Denver.  I had such a good time and it was so good to see friends again.  It was a long weekend (Canada's Victoria Day holiday) of hugs, food, knitting and getting caught up.  It doesn't get much better than that.

It all ended with a very delayed flight which got me in at 2:30 am on Tuesday.  Add on another hour for baggage claim, customs and a ride home and it made for a long day.  However, I'm already thinking about going back, perhaps sometime in the fall.

In the coming days I'll tell you about a new (to me) yarn shop that I visited, the socks that I finished, the yarn that I bought and the new projects that are planned.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ten Things I Wish I Liked

Today's topic for Ten On Tuesday is "Ten Things I Wish I Liked". 

1. Food:  Shrimp.  Everyone seems to love shrimp and those little critters often show up in southern cooking.  There's not enough money in the world to make me eat them.  Yuck!  Also in the yucky category are raisins, liver, and turnips. 

2. Housework:  I love a spotlessly clean house but it's not much fun to get it that way.  If you come to see me and it's messy keep one thing in mind, I live here!!  Besides, it cuts into my knitting time.

3. Snow:  It's beautiful on a postcard or on the top of a mountain, viewed from afar.  I'd rather stay warm and snowflake-free, thank you very much.

4. Crocheting:  Tried it but I never took to it.  I know how to do many of the stitches.  Besides, it cuts into my knitting time.

5. Moving:  I'll be moving in about 1-1/2 weeks and I'm not looking forward to the actual move itself - unpacking and getting settled.  On the plus side, I'll have more room to spread out my yarn and see exactly what is in my stash.  It will be like Christmas, I'm sure, when I open up some of those containers.  I've promised myself that I'll get organized.

6. Exercising:  However, when I do exercise I like the results.  Must-do-more!

7. Swimming:  If I liked swimming that would mean that I was able to do it.  I can't swim, but I wish I could.  I must try again this summer, but first, see #6!

8.  Country Music:  I don't know why, but this is the only kind of music that I really don't like.  Give me anything else but country.

9.  Alcohol:  Some people think that, because I don't drink, it's an opinion on drinking.  It's not.  I just don't like the taste.  There are exceptions on very rare occasions, e.g. a Mudslide while on vacation in Jamaica.

10. Taxes.  Need I say more? Although it is nice when a refund is due. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Gotta Fly

It's been a busy couple of weeks with preparing to move and work.  I've knitted socks but that's about it.  Now, the long weekend is upon us here in Canada and I'm heading south.  I've been feeling quite "homesick" for a long time for a place that I lived for 13 years.  Now, I'm heading back to Denver for a few days and I can't wait. 

This time tomorrow I'll be knitting with some friends at the Corner Bakery Cafe, just like we used to do regulary.  I already know what I'm going to order for dinner and what I'm going to knit:  more socks!  Ladies....if you're reading this:  see you soon!

Next week I should have more to blog about, but for now, it's time to call it a day.  I have to be at the airport very early!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


I came across the Lilleput baby cardigan by Lene Alve (Ravelry link, here) some time ago but I didn't have any reason to make it.  Now I do as my daughter is pregnant and just found out that she's having a girl, due around the end of October.

I can't procrastinate if I'm doing to do this project as it's only a 3-month size.  It's such an adorable design and reminds me of a little swing jacket. I may even do the embroidery patch as it's a cute touch.  I used to do a lot of embroidery, and enjoyed it.  I'm looking forward to trying my hand at it again.  Next up, choose the yarn and the three colors.  Big fun! 

In the meantime I'm knitting socks, socks and more socks.  I'll have some F.O.s to report before long.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tsunami Tattoo

It's no secret how much I miss Denver and huge part of what I'm missing is the people.  One of those people is Molly, aka Tsunami Tattoo on Ravelry, who I met through working at A Knitted Peace in Littleton.  At first glance, with all of her ink and piercings, there is no doubt that she is a talented tattoo artist.  What you don't immediately see is what a creative and talented knitter she is, too. 

Ravelry, the online knit and crochet community is having a contest to celebrate their fifth anniversary.  Many people have submitted a design that will be on a bag later, including Molly, and the contest is now in the voting phase.  Of course, I voted for her design as I think it's amazing and also because I like to support my friends.

Go ahead and have a look at all the great ideas, and if you feel motivated to vote for Molly's design I know that she'd appreciate it.  The Ravelry voting pages are here.  I can't tell you the number of Molly's design as the order is constantly changing.  It's fun to look at all the designs. There are a lot of talented artists among the knitting community.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Comedy Movies

Today's "Ten On Tuesday" task is to list ten favorite comedy movies.  These are the ones that came to my mind, but I know that after I publish this I'll think of others.  So, for right now, in no particular order (except for Young Frankenstein which is my favorite) here is my list:

Young Frankenstein (1974)
Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Airplane! (1981)
No Time For Sargeants (1958)
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
City Slickers (1991)
Harvey (1950)
Cool Runnings (1993)
Silver Streak (1976)
Click on picture to enlarge it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mom's Knitting

I've been a knitter for as long as I've been able to hold a pair of knitting needles.  Of course, the early stages, around age 3, could hardly be called knitting as I would take the yarn and just twist it around the needles, but it was a start.  I remember that it was baby yarn as my Mom was making things for my baby brother. 

My Mom knit from time to time while I was growing up.  She wasn't as obsessive as I am now, but she usually had something on the go, usually a sweater.  Even into her late 80s when her eyesight wasn't what it used to be she would still knit squares and donate them to the local yarn store for the Linus Project.  My Dad knit a few blocks as well. 

Yes, he knew how to knit.  As a matter of fact, he made himself a zippered cardigan.  The story is part of family history and goes back to before I came into this world.  My Mom used to knit almost everything in fine fingering-weight yarn back then.  When she was finished she would give the remaining yarn to my Father and he added it to his cardigan.  It became a multi-colored garment but I'm told that he wore it until it fell apart.  I guessing that my Mom must have taught him to knit.  She must have taught me, too, but I have no memory of it.  In my teens I started knitting all the time and I remember teaching myself whatever technique I needed to know to complete the item.  My Mom said that I knew a lot more about knitting than she ever would, but after seeing her skirt and sweater, in the picture below, I'm not so sure.  I think that she was being modest. 

I never met my grandmother as she died before I was born but I was told that she was never without her knitting. 

My Mom had this picture of herself, taken in 1938 or 1939 when she was 19 years old.  She was on the Wolfe Island Ferry, on Lake Ontario in Kingston. 

Here is proof positive  that she knitted, and knitted well.  She knit the dress that she's wearing.  I remember her telling me that she and a friend or two would go to the movies and take their knitting.  They would use fine yarn and small needles, cast on 700 stitches or more and knit round and round during the show, making themselves skirts.  I never thought to ask her if circular needles were around back then.  I don't remember seeing any until I was in my 20s but maybe I just missed them.  I'm a person who prefers to knit with straight needles whenever I can.  I bought my first circular needles in the late 70s in order to make a Lopi-style sweater.

I think that she did a marvellous job of making her outfit.  It certainly would have been a lot of work.  She was definitely very stylish.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I've Said It Before...

And I'll say it again.  I hate winter, particularly when it continues on into spring. 

Calgary, May 5, 2012
What you don't see in this picture, taken yesterday, is that it's still snowing - big, wet snowflakes.  It's hard to believe that almost three months ago I was in Savannah, GA and it was felt like late spring/early summer.  It was warm, green, lush and the flowers were starting to bloom. 

Venting is over (for now).  Thank you for listening.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Music Bucket List

Hi there.  I'm here!  It's been a busy week as I'm working on a new sock pattern design - swatching, knitting, ripping, reknitting, changing my mind, ripping again, knitting again.  Now, the sock is where I want it and I need to make a second one and transcribe the pattern from all my notes.  I'll have more on that later.

Do you have a bucket list?  I have a couple of them:  one for my knitting, one for music, another for adventures and life.

My music bucket is fairly short:
  • See as much good, live music as possible.
  • See Pink Floyd - likely will never happen.  Pink Floyd isn't recording or touring so I guess they haven't heard about my bucket list or are ignoring it.  Come on guys...
  • Play my guitar reasonably well (practice, Joanne, practice)
  • AND.... see the Allman Brothers Band, the whole band.  So far I've seen guitarist Derek Trucks and bass player Oteil Burbridge but I'd like to see the band in its entirety, with Gregg Allman singing with Jaimoe and Butch Trucks on drums...and the rest of them. 
Yesterday I took a step towards making that happen as I bought a ticket to see them play at the end of July in Columbia, MD.  Front row!  And to make a good thing even better, Santana will also be playing.  I can't wait.  Gregg Allman's autobiography, My Cross To Bear, arrived in the mail yesterday. All in all, it was a very Allman-y day!
Do you have a bucket list?  Are you accomplishing your dreams and crossing things off your list?  If you have one, and you blog about it, send me the link.