When we arrived home from Baltimore, I had a nice surprise waiting for me. The October installation of the Rockin' Sock Club had arrived, featuring wonderfully black wool and a sock pattern by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka the Yarn Harlot. It's quite the nice sock. And it doesn't require cable needles or anything. After I replace my ball winder and finish the two pairs of socks I'm currently knitting, that might very well be the next sock project.
I'm sure you are all dying to know what project I chose for my scary doctor appointment. Was it socks? No. A simple garter stitch scarf knit from the most squooshy wool? Nope. I decided to live dangerously and pulled out the Counterpoised Shawl kit that I picked up at Stitches. Yum...silk...it's going to feel so good to knit and how hard can it be? YOs, SSKs, and K2togs only on the right-side rows. It will be a piece of cake.
First, even though the silk is yummy, my hands have more rough spots on them than I ever dreamed possible. And the yarn is a single. So between it catching on my hands and the needles splitting the yarn, the knitting was slow going. Oh, and did I mention having to unknit and frog and start over again?
I put the silk aside and opted to go for a Zephyr silk/wool blend, in a lovely shade of blue. I figured it would be much easier to handle and after I get the hang of the pattern, then I can knit the silk. It is much easier to knit with the Zephyr than the silk, but apparently I cannot count. I managed to get through the first 18-row chart (having frogged it twice). I cannot for the life of me get past row 7 of chart 2. I'm off one stinkin' stitch. The shawl wasn't a bad choice for the doctor appointment, since there wasn't all that much waiting time. The problem came when I decided to continue with it at the PJ Party this weekend. I figured I'd have lots (about 40) expert knitters around to help me
Thank heaven for sock yarn. I'm now happily (mostly) knitting away on a really cool sock. But I can't show you yet. I need to rip out about five rows because I missed an important instruction in the pattern and now the stitch pattern is all wonky. My attempt to cleverly fix it in situ just caused more problems. Sigh...
The weekend, though, was quite nice. The mystery guest was Jonelle Raffino from Southwest Trading Company. She talked at length about how they developed their fibers and their impact on the environment, and we got to see some cool new yarns that aren't out yet. There was some stash enhancement in the way of give-aways (sorry, no pictures yet). And I started my mother's stash this weekend.
Hee hee! That's right...thanks to Sheepish Annie and the Yarn Harlot, my mother has once again caught the knitting bug. Mom attempted to teach me to knit when I was nine, but it didn't stick. I think it had something to do with the fact that she's right-handed and I'm left-handed. Way back in the 50s, Mom knit a gorgeous ripple afghan in black, with blues,greens, red, pinks, and magentas. I loved that afghan (sadly, it deteriorated over the years and it's sitting in my workroom waiting for me to figure out how to repair it). Mom was also quite the knitter of argyle socks. I think what pushed her over the edge was finding a half-finished pair of socks that she started...oh, about 40 (or more) years ago. Right before I left for the weekend, Mom asked me to take a look at some yarn online to see if she should buy it. I didn't get a chance to look at the yarn, but I found some really nice yarn for her, as well as a pattern for a nice scarf.
That's about it for now. I'm in the process of doing laundry and straightening up my workroom before I leave yet again, this time to the Commonwealth of Virginia Procurement Forum (which is being held in the city where I grew up). I'm getting rather tired of flitting hither and yon. My life should calm down a little bit mid-week.