Peregrinate (plus giveaway)

You know when your knitting hits that perfect, meditative place? The spot where your fingers know just what to do and your stitches flow perfectly and all you have to do is sit back and admire your work?  Well Peregrinate totally hit that spot for me, and I’m so glad to have them back out!

peregrinate 1The pattern on the leg is very mellow.  Just knits, purls, and teeny tiny cables.  You’ll have it memorized in no time, and the result is something really lovely.

peregrinate 4Things get a little more interesting when you get to the foot.  The main pattern slowly meanders off toward the side, leaving a swath of purl stitches in its wake.  And of course I included instructions for just continuing the pattern all the way down the foot (in case you’re madly in love with it and can’t bear to stop), but I think the purl stitches are rather fetching.

peregrinate 3Whenever you have a big stretch of purl stitches like that, your yarn choice becomes extra important.  Any color variations in your yarn looks more pronounced on the purl side.  That can be fun if you’re in the mood for something energetic, but for these I wanted something a bit more mellow.  One of the marvelous semi-solids from the folks at Vice was the perfect choice.  (These use Carnal, now sadly discontinued, though Paradigm is a great substitute.)

peregrinate 2I know Vice can be a bit hard to track down (you can only get it in stores, not online, so if you want it you have to ask your LYS to carry it).  So I’m going to help someone out there fall as much in love with it as I am.  I’ve got a skein of Carnal to give away to one of you.  Just leave a comment telling me what gets you to that meditative state in your knitting.  Is it row after row of garter stitch?  Or do you like stockinette better?  Does ribbing do it (I’ve met some people who swear 1 by 1 ribbing is their therapy)?  Or would you rather have a bit more pattern?  There aren’t any right answers (and if you’re new enough to knitting that it still puts up too much of a fight to feel that way, that’s ok too!), I just want to know what does it for you.

And while I can’t quite manage to yarn to everyone, I can give everyone a discount.  You can use the code MEANDER to get a dollar the price between now and Friday.  Just put Peregrinate in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code MEANDER.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

peregrinate 5Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, April 22, 2016 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick a winner, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to send yarn their way.  Be sure to use a real email address so I can contact you if you’ve won (I won’t do anything with those email addresses besides notify the winner).  If I do email you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them.  Sorry, but I can only ship physical prizes to US addresses.

Signs of Life

I have done a thorough investigation and can now confidently say that being sick sucks.  Refusing to lay down and rest so as to get better seems to prolong being sick.  Doing even more stuff than usual because you’re busy and things need to get done seems to actually make it worse.  Despite my very best efforts, I appear not to be able to will this germ away and have had to actually lay down and rest as opposed to saying I will lay down and rest and completely neglecting to do so.  I really don’t think this is fair and would like to lodge a complaint with the appropriate authority.  Please do let me know if you find contact information for said authority.

I have actually managed to get a fair bit of knitting done (while resting…in bed…under blankets…with hot tea and other strengthening medicines ready to hand).  Heather’s sock is clicking away (I’m past the tricky point and it now also qualifies as easy knitting) and needs only an inch or two of foot plus a toe to be finished.  The zombie sock is also going well and I continue to be unreasonable smitten with it given that it is such a simple little thing.  It’s made with Creatively Dyed Yarn’s Luxury in Weston.  I picked it up in Pittsburgh back in February.  Amazingly enough, when these are finished I will have used all the yarn in that photo.  The top one turned into Diluvian, the purplish-gray one turned into Peregrinate, the pink one turned into Anemochory, and the last one is on the needles.  This is almost unheard of.  It seems I generally like to let yarn marinate in my stash for a year or two before deciding to bring it out and use it.

And thanks to everyone for your thoughts on the camera/ipad/wheel decision.  I have a feeling I’ll get the camera first, as it is more or less a reasonable business expense and will be useful for future big projects.  The wheel and ipad are more toys and alas, will have to wait.

Patterns and Yarn and Pictures Oh My

Alrighty, after much delay (we’re pretending it’s so I could take the socks far away for a photo shoot, not because I was lazy) the pattern for Peregrinate is out.

I had great fun with these.  They came with me on my trip to DC for Savor and on my trips to Rochester and Pontiac to see Jukebox the Ghost and on a few other smaller trips too.  The vast majority of them were knit on the road, which seems fitting given the name.  I finished them shortly before my excursion to Port Ludlow, so I thought it was only reasonable to take them with me to get some pretty pictures.

The yarn is by Barking Dog YarnsSuzan just launched her new website.  To celebrate, she’s kindly agreed to donate a skein of her sock yarn to one lucky winner.  To enter, head over to her site, look through the sock yarn, and come back and post a comment with the name of your favorite color.  If you win, she’ll send that yarn off to you (and I’ll send you the pattern or refund your purchase if you already bought it).  Just be sure you use a real email address when you leave a comment (I’m the only one who can see it) so I can find you if you win.  I’ll leave comments open through Tuesday or so.

And yes, because someone will ask, the second picture does show the left sock on the right foot and the right sock on the left foot.  I promise it’s ok…your socks won’t suddenly unravel and no one will yell at you if you wear them backwards.  I just wanted to show off the way that lovely acid green ended up in the purl field on both socks.  It happened with no intervention on my part (though I was prepared to force it if I had to) and entertained me to no end.

Quite Alright, Thank You

One of the most enjoyable things about the retreat was that everyone staying at the Inn was there for the same thing.  It was unexpectedly liberating.  You knew that no one would think it odd that you were carrying around a spinning wheel or sitting on the porch knitting or carefully photographing a ball of brightly colored fluff.  If you noticed someone peering intently at your work you could be sure that they would ask about the yarn or the technique or the colorway, not ask ‘don’t you know you can buy socks at the store?’  Even the staff had more or less gotten used to us and took our odd behavior in stride.

But the Inn also has a marina, and the people staying on the boats had not quite reached the same level of equanimity.  They seemed more than a bit perplexed.  We outnumbered them though, and we tended to move in packs, so they didn’t really say much about it.  At least not until Saturday.

Saturday morning after breakfast I decided to sneak off for a few minutes to take pictures of Peregrinate.  I ate breakfast on the porch.  Just off the porch there was a little path with a set of stairs leading down to a bit of a beach.  On the beach was a giant log covered in grass and moss and other mystery plants I can’t name.  The beach (and all but the top few inches of the log) is submerged at high tide, but in the morning there is plenty of space to wander around.  I decided the log would be a great place to take pictures.

At first, I tried to do it standing up.  Alas, I couldn’t quite get my feet where I wanted them and get the camera where I wanted it and maintain my balance (my dignity had already been abandoned) all at the same time.  So I decided to get a chair off the porch.

Now those stairs I mentioned only come down to within about 3 feet of the beach.  If they went any lower, the bottom ones would be under water at high tide.  It was easy enough to hop up and down, but lugging a large sturdy (read heavy) chair down the stairs was a bit trickier.  I managed though, and dragged it over to the log.  I sat down, kicked my feet up as high as I could, scrunched down in the chair to get the shot lined up, and started clicking away.  I’m sure it looked odd, but it should have been pretty obvious what I was doing.

About this time the folks staying on the boat started coming out to walk their dogs.  Their path took them right by me.  Several stopped to stare, but I ignored them.  Some felt the need to to chat.  They all started the same way.

“Are you ok?”

Yes.

“Do you need help?”

No.

“What are you doing?”

Taking pictures of my socks.

Now of course what they were really wanted to ask was ‘why are you taking pictures of your socks?’ But none of them quite got up the nerve.  I have a firm policy of answering the question that was asked and not over explaining.  I pretend it preserves the mystery.  I had this exchange or a slight variation of it several times before I was done.

As I was packing up, one of the staff members came by and asked if I gotten enough pictures of my socks and if I’d like help getting the chair back on the porch.  These were much more reasonable questions and demonstrate a far better understanding proper knitting behavior.  I was impressed.

Heads up…

Just a quick heads up.  The latest socks, peregrinate, are up for testing over on ravelry.  If you want to volunteer, take a look.  I’m picking testers Monday.

Tomorrow morning I’m off to the Great Lakes Fiber Show.  Last year I came away with quite a haul.  I shall try to be more restrained this year.  I’ll report back with details and likely fuzzy farm critters.

Itchy

So, after a nearly inexcusable delay, here’s the sock from the vicious ripping session shown below.  Alas, I fear my photo doesn’t do it justice.  The ripped bit is over there on the outside of my ankle, and I can’t quite manage to get a good picture of the outside of my own foot.  I think this gives you the general idea though.  I promise it is nifty, was well worth the rip, and will be shown in greater glory in future photos.


The yarn is by Suzan, purveyor of the marvelous Barking Dog Yarns, and it is a treat to work with.  There is only one tiny problem with this yarn…Suzan is in the middle of updating her website and you can’t get it right now.  I’ll let you know when the new site is up.  In the meantime, I’ve pointed you to her Ravelry page so you can see all her other lovely yarns while you wait.

And as for the title, no, it’s not the yarn that’s itchy.  It’s me.  I’ve been spending my evenings on the patio and I am covered in dozens of bug bites.  The wee beasties seem to have an unreasonable fondness for my feet.  It’s more or less manageable when I’m barefoot.  I can put up with sandals if I have to.  But shoving my bug bite-ridden feet into wool socks on an 85 degree day was nigh on unbearable.  I made it about 2 minutes before I decided that enough was enough and whatever pictures I had would simply have to do.

Good Enough to Rip

I hate ripping.  Loathe it.  I will generally avoid it at all costs.  Not this time.  These were worth ripping to make them perfect.  Yes, it was just one gusset.  Yes it was a tiny fix (shifting the location of the line of gusset decreases if you want to know).  But damn was it worth it.  Shots that show the bigger picture soon.  It’s still at that state where it looks funny to the outside world, but I’m confident they’ll be nifty.  Call it sock adolescence.  Makes for awkward photos.

Really Good

If you’re really good, your needles match your plants.  I find it unreasonably amusing.  Just playing with this right now, but I think it has potential.  Loving the yarn, more about it soon.