Saturday, June 30, 2012

Good Witch of the North

I've been working on a pink blankie made of small mitered blocks and I'm on the constant look-out for sock yarns in pink, or mostly pink.  Someone told me about a group on Ravelry called Mini Mania, with a sub-group called "Think Pink Swap".  It was limited to 20 participants and I was lucky to get in just in time.

Each person is to send 20 mini-skeins of 5 grams each to the organizer.  The yarn must be from an indy dyer, not mass-produced brands and must be pink tonals or semi-solids, not variegated.  Once all are sent in they will be packaged up and we'll receive our swap yarns.  I'm looking forward to seeing what is coming. Pink comes in so many shades from pale to fluorescent.

My yarn contribution is called "Good Witch of the North".  While it's not true, I like to think that it was named after me!  It's from one of my favorite dyers, The Copper Corgi, from Savannah, GA.  I'm putting them in the mail today.

In my blankie I'm using all kinds of pink yarns, incuding variegated.  As of this minute I've finished 31 blocks and there will be more before the day is over.  It's such an addictive project.  I'll post a picture in a couple of days.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Eye Candy Friday - The Flower Edition

Last weekend, while visiting Olds College, I had a chance to walk around the grounds a little, which were beautiful. What caught my eye were two hanging baskets of orange flowers on either side of a door. I've been told that they are begonias.

Click to enlarge.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Patchwork Socks - Finished

My Patchwork sock are finished and this sockalong was so much fun that I might be making another pair in the future.  This pair of socks is actually part of two groups:  the Patchwork Sockalong With Susan and the quest to complete 12 Pairs of Socks in 2012.  Both groups are on Ravelry.


Pattern: Generic
60 sts, 2x2 ribbed cuff, stocking stitch legs and feet, short row heels
Color changes every 10 rows.

Size: Lady's Medium

Yarn: Various from my stash

Needles: 2 sets of 4 double-pointed needles
US #0 / 2.0 mm

Note:  Socks were knit in tandem, the stripe of one sock, then the stripe of the second sock, using 2 sets of double-pointed needles.

This is pair #8 in my quest to complete 12 pairs of socks in 2012.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Gift From NJ

The generosity of knitters continues to blow me away.  Today, in the mail, was a package from Jesse in NJ, a lady who I've never met.  She was kind enough to send me some lengths of yarn for my pink blanket.  Jesse, thank you so very much.

Aside from the fun I'm having of making the blanket, it's been great to see yarns from companies, likely independent dyers, for the first time, e.g. Woolly Bully, Zen Yarn Garden and Yarn Pirate are three.  Each skein has pink in it, sometimes in combinations that I would never have thought about. 

I don't know how many little blocks I'm going to make for this afghan yet, but so far I have completed 26 and worked in the ends, so I'm off to a good start.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Olds Fibre Week

At the college in the town of Olds, Alberta there is a yearly event, the Olds Fibre Week.  When I learned that a couple of friends, Donna Druchunas and Deb Robson from Colorado, were coming to teach I was anxious to make the trip north to see them.

I sat in on Donna's Japanese knitting class. I'd taken this class a couple of years ago and it was really good then and it has become even better now. I learned more and one of these days I'm going to tackle a Japanese pattern. I know where to go for advice if I get stuck!

The only downside of the day was that the different venues were very spread out on the campus, but I understand that it was due to some construction that was going on.  It was quite a hike from the buildings where the workshops were held to the market.

The market was small but they had a fairly good selection of quality items.  I splurged on one skein of sock yarn which I definitely did not need but it was calling my name.  I was also eyeing the yarn bowls but reminded myself that I have a nice new one, and an older one that I'm going to try to repair one day.

This picture shows only part of the market.  I visited it just as classes were getting unway for the afternoon so many of the people had left.

I was introduced to some of the other teachers and the organizer...nice ladies, all.  We all went out for an excellent dinner of Chinese food before I headed back to Calgary.  It was very good to see friends again and I'm sure that I'll be seeing them again before long.  I think that they'll be back again next year and I hope to spend more time with them when they do.  Also, I'm hoping to go and visit Donna when she moves to Vermont, a state that I like a lot. 

It was a fun day that went by much too quickly.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pink Afghan - Underway

I've enjoyed working on my sock yarn afghan, so much so that I hate for the project to come to an end.  I still have more to do, but I couldn't resist going ahead and starting another.   For the first afghan I was using any and all lengths of sock yarn that I could find.  I've narrowed the field for this second version.  It'll be done in any color as long as it's predominantly PINK.

I've very lucky to have friends and readers that are sharing yarn with me so that I can put as much variety into this blanket as possible.  Each block of the afghan needs approximately 8 yards/7.3metres of fingering/sock yarn.

A few days ago I was excited to open a package from my friend, Judy, and found these gorgeous yarns inside:

Thanks, Judy.  I look forward to add your colors to the afghan.  These yarns are perfect!

Isn't pink a happy color?  I'm enjoying knitting this afghan as much as I did in making the first one.  Just a few minutes ago I finished the seventeenth block.  I think it looks good and will be even prettier when more pinks are added and the afghan grows bigger.

Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Patchwork-Paintings Socks

A while ago I knit a pair of socks using the Opal "Van Gogh" collection.  The colors in the yarn were replicated to match one of Van Gogh's paintings.  In my case, I knit the Starry Night colorway.

Now, I'm knitting striped socks using yarns from my stash.  It's for the Patchwork sockalong (see yesterday's post).

This got me thinking.  What if I combined the two ideas and made my own painting-inspired striped socks?  I'm betting that, once I chose a picture, I could find suitable yarns in my stash to make the stripes.  You could pick a painting in which the colors are fairly subdued and similar to each other.

Perhaps something such as Monet's Water Lilies:

Or you could go wild and crazy with Harmony in Red by Matisse:

After doing a search I found a website which is inspiring called Colour Lovers.  I may never look at a painting the same way again.  My awareness of the color choices will definitely be heightened.  I wonder what other paintings would lend themselves well to a pair of socks.  The socks don't have to identically match the painting .  The artwork is only an inspiration. 


First, though, I have some socks that I need to finish before I can go shopping my stash again.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Patchwork Sockalong - The Legs

I've joined in the fun of the Patchwork socks knitalong on Ravelry, or I should say, sockalong.  The purpose of the group is to make socks using yarns from your stash.  Many of the knitters are making one complete sock, followed by a second sock that is totally different.

I decided to make my socks match, more or less.  I'm working on both socks at the same time on two separate sets of double-pointed needles.  I do ten rows on one sock, then with the same yarn I knit ten rows of the second sock.  What I'm not doing is trying to match the stripes up so that they are identical.  If the yarn is variegated, then I take it as it comes, so I may be starting with a different color sequence.  The socks will be the same, but different!

It's going to be a surprise to see what these socks will look like when they are finished.  There is one thing that I do know, this will not be the only pair of Patchwork socks that I'll be making.  As I'm knitting along I'm thinking....maybe next time I make them in a particular colorway, e.g. blues, or maybe I'll make a more pastel pair of socks.  Heavens knows I've got the stash to make several pairs.  I started out with a group of yarns that I pulled from the stash and already I've tweaked my color choices.  I may have to make a pair in the future with no thought whatsoever to color...just pull something from the stash and that will be the next stripe.

Two more stripes and then I'll be turning the heels.  The Ravelry group deadline is June 30th.  I think I'll be finished in time.  I hope so.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Domain Update

I've been hoping to find out what happened, how I lost my domain name and I have to admit that it irritates the hell out of me.

Now....not only do I not have my previous blog address (and, no I'm not providing a hyperlink!!), but when I  by typed in my old URL (I was curious), I see that the blog that now resides there has some of my old content.  Why???  I have no idea what's going on.

The good news, I have bought a new domain name, this time I went through my wonderful server

The new domain will be very similar to my old one:

That's .net instead of .com.  Thanks to B. for suggesting that I buy this domain name.

It is now active so you can update your bookmarks for, what I believe, is the last time.  You should now be able to reach my blog with the new domain or with the address.

Thank goodness for the soothing qualities of knitting.  I'm making more socks and will post about them in a day or two.

Thanks for continuing to hang in there with me.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Hardly a day goes by these days that you don't hear something about England and I must say that I'm quite enjoying it.  The Queen's Jubilee was a fabulous celebration.  I saw the Queen a few times in my hometown of Kingston, Ontario when I was a kid.  I think that I was around 10 the first time I saw her.  Her ship would anchor off-shore and she would tour around various cities in Ontario.  It was exciting.

The Royal visit to Kingston in 1973
Just a few days ago I got an email and in it was a link to a pattern for Diana's famous sheep sweater.  I had considered trying to duplicate it back then but I never got around to it.  You know how it is...too many projects, not enough time.  Now, the pattern is being offered in exchange for a donation to Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF).  I was quite taken with the single black sheep on the sweater.

Now, we're counting down to the Olympics.  I haven't checked it out but I'm sure that there are many groups having their own knitting olympic activities.

On TV I've become hooked on Downton Abbey.  It's wonderfully engaging and I wish that the next season wasn't about a year away.  I like, too, that there was a knitter in the story.  If you're watching, did you see this?  I wonder if Ethel really is a knitter.

I photographed the picture, above, from this excellent book that I got from the library:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cherry Blossom Socks

In a previous post I said I had 3 socks looking for mates.  Well, one pair has found it's ideal second sock.  Two down, one to go.


Pattern:  Generic
60 sts, 2x2 ribbed cuff, stocking stitch legs and feet, short row heels

 Size: Lady's Medium

463 yds/100 gm
75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon
Color:  Cherry Blossom

Needles: Sets of 4 double-pointed needles
US #0 / 2.0 mm

Note: I love this yarn!

This is pair #7 in my quest to complete 12 pairs of socks in 2012


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Starting the Patchwork Socks

I look in on Susan B. Anderson's blog from time to time and on a recent visit I learned about a sockalong (now closed) that she was hosting on Ravelry.  The knitters are knitting her Patchwork socks.  The plan is to make a pair of socks using yarns from your stash, changing colors every ten rounds. 

Tonight I went stash diving and came up with these yarns:

I admit to having too much sock yarn and I did try to pick colors and patterns that more or less go together without being too matchy-match.  I may need more yarns to make all the stripes and, if so, I'll dig back into the bags of yarn.  

Many of the knitters are making their socks by randomly choosing yarns and not worrying about making the socks match each other.  I don't think I can bring myself to do that.  It's just not me, so I'll use two sets of double-pointed needles and work a stripe on one sock, then the same stripe on the second one.

I can't wait to get started to see what they are going to look like when they are finished.  The mystery is part of the fun.

I just know that this is only the first pair that I'll be making.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Blog

If you've been trying to reach my blog through then you know that it wasn't available.  Apparently my domain expired without my knowledge - no warning, no notice that it was time to renew, nothing. 

After it expired someone else bought it (scheiße).  I've been able to go back to the Blogger address:


Please update your bookmarks.

It's been a frustrating day.  I'm going to continue to find a way to buy back the rhythm domain name and I'll post on my blog if that happens.

Thanks for continuing to read Rhythm of the Needles, and thank you for your patience.

By the way, if you are ever looking for a quality, reliable server, I highly recommend Dynamix Incorporated.  I've been with them since 2003 and they have been the absolute best.  They helped me to find out what was going on with my blog, and how I wish I'd bought the Rhythm domain from them.  I have no idea why I didn't.  Bad me.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Denver Stash Enhancement

Hi everybody!

It's been a while since I've posted and it's only because of lack of time.  In the past couple of weeks I've been spending my days learning my new job, coming home with a tired brain.  Then, I've been busy getting settled into my new home, which leaves my physically tired.  I'm almost settled into the house now and I feel like I can take some time to knit and blog.

Hmmm.....where to start?  Let's start with my trip to Denver a couple of weeks ago.  It was absolutely wonderful, especially seeing good friends again. I'm going to go back as often as I can to see them again.

I have two favorite yarn stores in the Denver area:  A Knitted Peace in Littleton and Colorful Yarns in Centennial.  I found things in both shops that I couldn't resist:

Click on picture to enlarge it.
From left to right:  a skein of Tosh Merino Light in the rich royal blue color "fathom".  I have no idea what I'm going to make with it yet.  I couldn't resist the color.  I really like the yarns from Cakewalk.  The dying looks a little different than many hand-dyed yarns I've seen.  This colorway is called "Cakewalk".  Gee, I wonder how they came up with that name?!  I'm going to double the yarn (or triple it if need be) and use it for the Denver square of my Travel Afghan.  I'll also use a bit in my Sock Yarn Blanket.  If there is enough left over, I'll make socks.  Perhaps I'll have to add a contrast color for the toes and heels to make it work.

Next, above, is some pink baby yarn that will become a sweater or little dress for my granddaughter, due late in October.  It's Berroco Comfort DK in a pale pink with tiny blue and yellow dots of colors throughout, called "Kittens" #2843.  Next to it is a ball of Opal sock yarn.  It's color #2143 and I think it might be part of the Rainforest collection.  On the label is written "Die zierliche Emily" which translates as Graceful Emily. 

Under the ball of Opal yarn is more Cakewalk Yarn, which I wound into a ball while I was in the store.  I was really surprised to see Cakewalk in Colorful Yarns as I was only aware of it on Etsy.  I've been eyeing this color for a while and was tempted many times to send for it by email.  Well, when I saw it on the shelf in the shop, in person, resistance was futile and it came home with me.  This funky color, which I love, is called ""Podcast Junkie". 

You can also see 6 little balls of Habu that are now part of my ever-growing collection of Habu yarns.  All are silk mohair hand-dyed kasrui, 3 of color #204 camel and 3 of color#57 green.

To complete the haul I bought a couple of packets of gift cards, a roll of highlighter tape and pair of straight knitting needles from ChiaoGoo in US size 6/4.0 mm.  I thought that they were just so darn pretty.  This picture is from the ChiaoGoo website:

They are limited edition Blue Flower needles and, surprisingly, they are made of bamboo.  They are highly lacquered and colored so I didn't realize that they were bamboo until I checked out the website.

All in all, I was very good to myself.  However, aside from all the beautiful yarns (and I could easily have chosen more, but I used a little restraint), the best part of the trip was seeing friends.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Quick Note

Just a note to let you know that I haven't forgotten about my blog.  I'm in the process of moving, which fills the evenings...and being trained for a new job during the day.

I'll be back very shortly.  I hope that you'll come back too!