Sunday, 22 March 2009

A day with Cookie A (or socks have SUCKAGE)....

I had been so excited about this since Alice first posted the classes on Ravelry just over a month ago. A whole day designing socks with the sock guru herself. This was going to be one of the best Mothers' Day presents ever! I certainly wasn't disapointed.

So there was new vocabulary to be learned......SUCKAGE apparently not a technical term the publishers of Cookie's new book would allow in. But suckage totally made sense to us knitters sat there with pens paused and holding on every word.


SUCAKAGE - the amount of stitches that are sucked in and therefore lost when including cables in your pattern. A 2x2 cable causes a two stitch suckage for each repeat.

We also got to fondle lots of socks including the original Monkeys! (Confession I was wearing mine under my boots!)


Can you spot the monkey?

We spent lots of time discussing selecting stitch patterns, your optimum number of stitches in a sock to fit yourself, ribbing and bringing it into the pattern and charting stitch patterns. After all that it was dive into the stitch pattern books and we were off.


Ok so there were also some breaks for lovely cakes. Ali did some lovely muffins in the morning and Arianne brought some fantastic Bittersweetie goodies for the afternoon.

Then it was hard at work.




And then it was time for the group photo to make special personalised bookplates


Of course Jen was here for the class so Wolly came too!


Thank you Alice for organising such an awesome day and to Cookie A for coming to join us. Good luck with the book launch, I am sure it will go brilliantly and when ever someone mentions SUCKAGE I will always think of you!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009


On Thursday 12th March it was over to Socktopus for an evening of Red Nose Day Bingo.
With some interesting rhymes for the numbers, some that I knew and some more bizzare ones it was time to start getting them rolling.
With Alice calling and some of us being a bit more adventorous with marking more than one card it all became a bit confusing at times.
However I did manage to come away with a bit of booty. I ended up winning three times but did put a prize back. Lady luck was certainly with me.

Here are my fab prizes...........



I was really pleased with the mug as I hadn't managed to snag one of these from Sainsbury's over christmas.



Also some lush fibre!


And some fantastic Duet sock yarn which I have also been meaning to try for a while. Perfect being chocolate and pink.

..........with thanks to all who donated yarn, fibre, cakes and goodies we managed to raise a fair amount for Comic Relief. It was good to know we had done our bit in such a fun way. I am now looking forward to more fun, yarny Bingo nights at Alice's. Shame no one won the giant ball of acrylic, that would have been funny.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

My very first fibre club.................................

All good things come in silvery packages and don't let anyone tell you anything else.
Having been a member of the sock club last year and already renewed for the following year before the announcement of the fibre club came I really did try to resist. After all I am only a new spinner, but with talk on Rav and what I was going to learn from being a member of the academy how could I not sign up.
Anyway the first package arrived in February and I wasn't in the least disappointed.



I can't believe how much additional information is provided on the fleece and then what to do with it. Fantastic. I just want to know how much of this stuff I need to learn and is there an end of year exam and certificate if we pass all our units?

DSC04704 DSC04705


The additional information provided on the breed of sheep and the fibre by Alice and the 'How to spin it' commentry from Diane make this fibre club very unique.
All I need now is a bit of time to sit down with my wheel and give it a go.

Friday, 6 March 2009

A year full of socks..............................

So I thought as the year comes to an end for the first inaugral Socktopus Sock Club it would be a good idea to do a photocall and round up of all the socks that were knitted for it this time around.


Here they are in all their glory in order from left to right.
Karenina, Neighbourhood tunnels, Mosaic, Fiori di Zucca, Hopscotch and Tear my sole.

Not to mention all the goodies that came along with them too.

So what did I learn from being in a my first ever sock club.

1) I will do anything for a badge.
2) Sock knitters are amongst some of the most lovely people in the world.
3) Alice has the patience of a Saint.
4) I do not like orange
6) Yellow is not so bad a colour when mixed with purple
7) Magic loop
8) Toe up
9) To read charts (not so much learned but making progress or in teacher speak - working towards)
10) I can do deadlines but mostly by the skin of my teeth
11) I love getting suprises through the post
12) I really can do stuff if I put my mind to it and have some patience
13) I don't think I can ever leave this sock club as I would find it too stressful to be left out of what everyone else is doing.

And if I had to choose a favourite design this year. Difficult, you see Karenina are the only ones I have knit two pairs of, Hopscotch are my favourite colour yarn, Fiori's I learned the most from. Impossible. I have to look at the whole thing as I collective really. Thank you Alice for a fantastic year of socks. Here is to next years round up.

Note: I have already missed the deadline which for the first pair of socks for the new sockclub. Maybe I should stike number 10 off the list.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

A Very Glamorous Baby Shower..................

On Saturday 21st March a group of us from Ravelry who know Robynn of the Purlescence online knitting shop either as friends, customers or buisness colleagues put together a joint online and real time baby shower.

A whole group of us had been plotting online since last October to get together to create something very special for a very special lady for whom we all had great affection.

I apologise now as I have been a little late getting this post together. It has been a really exciting project to co-ordiante and one which was greatly received by the recipient.

Between us, all over the world from Canada, to Australia and the USA as well as Europe we have been knitting squares to create a Barn Raising Quilt from the book, Knitalong. We have had great fun in our own secret Ravelry group where we could discuss what we were doing without being discovered.

After decidig suitable colours as we all knew Robynn is in general not a pastels girl, it was off to select yarn and knit.

Just after christmas the squares started rolling in and then it was time to organise them and start the whole process of sewing up.

Thanks to Ling and Suki who came over for an evenings sewing up at my house to get the main strips joined together.

Anyway the final result was really great and we had a great time eating cake, playing in the yarn room and playing one or two games in ready preparation of the impending step into motherhood.

The blanket



The Baby shower







Well interestingly enough I am posting this on your due date so we will now sit and wait and all see what happens.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Fiorri du Zucca or Cucumber socks.....................

It has been a long journey but I have finally got there.

After recieving this package back in the summer I initially had delays getting started because of other deadlines. I think it was finally August when I got started and then came to a rather abrupt halt when I realised I was struggling too much with four needles when the pattern would work much better on magic loop.

At that point I hadn't knit using magic loop. I was also finding the whole lace chart reading a new and exhausting experience. They got put to one side as the September Hopscotch socks arrived, which was a good thing as these forced me to learn magic loop and toe up adding to my skill set to go back to the other later.

I then made a little more progress by switching to the circular and finishing as far as the end of the first cuff/leg and then came to another halt at the heel cup. Alice had used a new type of heel construction I hadn't come across before and combined with having to apply that to the lace chart I again put them to one side.

The last package of the year arrived and I was determined to get them done clear of the deadline so I could get back onto the Fiori socks. So with Tear my soles dashed off over New Year I now had to get the Fiori finished there were no other excuses around to distract me and I had that wonderful carrot of completeing all the socks to get my badge and I wasn't going to let these beat me.

So it was off to several evenings at Socktopus shop for help guiding me through and a few phonecalls to the socktopus sockclub helpline (Alice while in the shop) to get me through.

And yes I finally made it before the end of year deadline.
Here are my finished socks which will always be known affectionatly by me as my Cucumber socks (well they are in the courgette family).



I knew by this stage once I got past the heel it was down the straight home with the reward of only having to follow the chart on one side of the needle. I had finally got into the rythmn of the pattern, but it had been a long time coming.



These socks will always be worn with special pride as I know how much I had to learn to complete them.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Happy Wedding Day Gabrielle..................

Dear Gabrielle,

I hope you have the most wonderful day.
Sending you lots of love and hugs for this very special occasion.


I hope the garter fits well and brings you and Brian all the best on the start of your new journey together. Looking forward to seeing you again in July when you come over to visit.