Picking up speed

On Saturday morning I woke up at 4:45 am, and started my day swearing for 15 minutes about the outrageous lack of intelligence I’d shown the day before.  Friday was Joe’s 45th birthday, and inspired by what I can only assume was my remarkable love for him, I’d thrown him a dinner with his family, without really stopping to think that a) that’s sixteen people b) I had an early morning flight to Maine.  The whole thing was lovely, and worth it, as long as you don’t care even one little bit about sleep. 

I got up at 5, put the stuff I needed into my suitcase, realized that I hadn’t planned my knitting very well.  I’d finished the cowl, I hadn’t decided how to fix Joe’s socks, and at the last minute I panicked, grabbed a sock out of some self striping stuff I’d cast on the day before, and I was off. (I am still totally in love with all self patterning yarn.  All of it. I don’t care who knows it.)

I knit all weekend long.  I knit on the plane, I knit on my layover in Newark

I knit while Mim, the lovely owner of Over the Rainbow Yarns drove me from Portland to Rockland, Maine, although I admit that the scenery was distracting.  Darn but Maine is a pretty State.

I knit while I waited to speak to a room full of lovely knitters –

and my sock was by my side when I saw Colleen’s amazing knitted Canada Quilt (Details at that Rav link.  Pretty impressive original work of art.)

(She’s a genius. I think we can all agree.) I had a little knit the next morning before I taught at the shop (bright and lovely students, all of them)

and I had a little knit after.  Yesterday, I knit all the way home, and halfway here:

I had socks. 

Pattern, my basic socks from Knitting Rules . Yarn: Opal Sweet and Spicy 6756 (plum)

That’s a few days for a pair of socks, that are too big for me, and I was delighted.  It means I’m picking up speed for Christmas. (Lets not talk about how many pairs remain to be knit. I’m feeling good.)

136 thoughts on “Picking up speed

  1. Gorgeous socks!
    Thanks for sharing the photos of Maine, and especially that beautiful Canada blanket! What an amazing piece of knitting. I imagine that’s one of the great things about all the travel you do – meeting other knitters and seeing their fabulous projects.

  2. Gorgeous!
    Thanks for sharing that blanket – it’s absolutely stunning, and I’m glad you didn’t have camnesia for it!!
    Hope you have a lovely time at home and are able to stay put for a bit. 🙂
    Katie =^..^=

  3. I’d re-discovered a liking for self-patterning yarn until yesterday evening, when I came across a knot in a 100g ball of Regia Mix-it! I know knots in balls/skeins of yarn happen, but I’m not feeling a great deal of love for Regia at the moment.

  4. My mom’s hometown, Maine is. We spent a lot of time there. Grammy mostly did embroidery, and when her hands got stiff, those latch-hook rugs. I finished the last one for her.
    Do come to Asheville, NC, we have TWO chocolate stores, and our guest room comes with a loaner cat. Black Mountain Yarn is the best shop around.

  5. Those socks are adorable! I just wish I could be even 25% as efficient a knitter as you are. I’m trying to finish a pair of socks for the amazing and brilliant surgeon who just fixed my deeply messed-up low back, but I’ve found that 2 major surgeries in 3 days plus more IVs than any three people needed all over my hands and arms do not quality knitting make. But I’ve almost made the second heel, so I still have a week to finish this pair. And then there’s the second pair out of Nerd Girl’s incredible Tenth Doctor yarn (because, hello, they’re for a doctor!)to finish. If one pair = one surgery, he deserves two, right?
    And thus I am hoist by my own petard of ambition. Maine looks a lot prettier every time I see photos of it — especially in autumn. Such a beautiful place!

  6. Yee Gods, I’m totally behind in the sock knitting. I only have two pair to do but I have been sucked into a shawlette and her siren song is strong.
    The self-striping never gets old. I’m a little disappointed in how entertained I am by it.

  7. Self striping yarn is the bestest way ever to make socks.
    I am working at the moment on a NOT self striping sweater, and there are so many bits of yarn all over the room it’s not funny.
    I think after this is done I will need sock therapy.

  8. That is some quilt!!! I amazed someone the other day at my ability to knit socks without a pattern 🙂 Thank you for teaching me that! (I also managed to knit my father one sock in a day – sport-weight yarn, size US 3 needles, took me about 5 hours. Now I just need to knit another one).

  9. I’m with you on the self-patterning sock yarn, and I don’t care who knows it, either. I hoard all the little balls of leftovers in a big glass jar in my living room so I can use Susan B. Anderson’s recipe for “Patchwork Socks” and make even more socks out of the scraps—they are kind of like a scrapbook of the yarns you have used and socks you have made.

  10. I know exactly where you took that scenic picture! Glad you had a good time in Maine, and got to enjoy our glorious weather.
    Still not sure why you had to go to Newark to come to Maine, though.

  11. I love Opal. I admit to not knowing how to deal with pooling in the heel yet. Also…..Rhinebeck sweater? Anyone?????

  12. I wish I could knit that quickly…or, rather, have that much time where I could just knit and not do much else. I could actually finish something once in awhile. ::sigh:: Those are lovely and I am deeply envious.

  13. Colleen’s Canada quilt is lovely! So is the sweater she is wearing. How cool is it that it totally matches the curtains behind her! There’s matching for you.
    LOL 🙂

  14. The yarn is out of stock almost everywhere I checked, but eBay has a few balls left in Plum (only 8 I think)…hurry!!! Brenda up above – I too have a glass jar in my living room with little balls of leftover Koigu!! I love how pretty they look, but patchwork…hmmm knitters are my people

  15. those are some mighty adorable socks! So… one ball of ever changing yarn did that pretty pattern?? and that quilt lady is astounding! you sure do get to meet some interesting people in your line of work…

  16. Glad the party went well. hmm, i think the socks are wonderfully stripey. I’m going to head for your ‘Basic Sock’ and see if I can finish a pair before Christmas.

  17. I made those exact same socks for myself. Loved the yarn. But…for some reason they were too small. My lucky daughter gets them. Did I mention – she bought me the yarn!

  18. I love self patterning yarn, too. I knit so much faster with it. It’s like I’m all excited by what’s coming next. OH LOOK, A BLUE STRIPE, OH LOOK A PINK STRIPE, OH LOOK A YELLOW STRIPE, OH LOOK AT THE PATTERN IN THE ORANGE STRIPE, OH LOOK ANOTHER BLUE STRIPE. And then, there are socks. It’s magic yarn, I tell you.

  19. ahhh, the joys of self patterning yarn. It looks like clever fair isle, but really it’s just knitter my smoke and mirrors. Fools the muggles every time 😛

  20. Oh, Stephanie!
    You’re not helping me kick my self-striping sock yarn envy. I think I need to step on down to my LYS again. And start a Christmas wish list. Which reminds me–how much longer do we have to wait for your Christmas gift ideas for knitters list?

  21. I arranged a service on my coffee truck for 9am this morning. Yesterday I worked an event for 14 hours in said truck. What was I thinking??? To say that we are both a mess is an understatement!!
    Love the socks. Off to work on a homeless scarf & relax a bit.
    Worthing, UK

  22. Thanks for coming to Maine, and for sharing Colleen’s blanket. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? Hope you get to catch up on some sleep and other life things before your next junket.
    Still laughing at your stories, btw, and passing along tidbits about one’s brain on knitting -educational and entertaining, all at the same time – what a package!

  23. Oh good! I thought it was just me who was behind, and I have two and a third pairs left to go (if I’m really honest, I have 5 complete pairs to knit, plus just over half of the second sock for a pair to finish, but 3 pairs are for immediate family, and I’m not ashamed to box up their yarn and put it under the tree – not that you’d know anything about that). I also work full time, have a crochet commission project going, and am in desperate need of a couple of sweaters for the winter (of course, being the resourceful knitter that I am, I’m making them). I have all the materials; I just need the time!

  24. Not having been able to take the Harlot approach to darning (say, “Oh, darn it!” while discarding holey socks), I keep my sock-yarn leftovers in a clear plastic box, awaiting the inevitable. That reminds me — half a dozen pairs await mending. Gonna try using a vintage darning egg scooped up at my favorite church rummage sale.
    My knitting peeps and I are hoing that the next book tour brings you back to Indy, Ms. Stephanie.

  25. I totally get it, I too am delighted by self patterning sock yarn. I also seem to have a thing for rainbow colour. Love the colour way of the socks

  26. Oh that blanket! That has to be the most Canadian knitted object ever. Douglas Coupland would cry if he saw it. there should be a CBC miniseries devoted to it.
    there should be a pattern.

  27. Got back from Maine last week, sorry to have missed you there. You’re right, beautiful, beautiful place. Love that colorway, can’t wait to track it down myself.

  28. Wishing Joe a Happy Belated Birthday! He now shares it with one more. I gave birth to my brand new baby boy Friday November 1st, 2013 at 6:51 am.

  29. Vanilla socks in self-striping yarn are THE BOMB. I get more comments and compliments (from both knitters and non-knitters) on vanilla socks in self striping yarn, than *all my other knitting combined*.

  30. Please share the results of your Rhinebeck sweater…pictures and all! I’m waiting to see how Amy’s system worked for you…and thinking about jumping in myself. Thanks for sharing!

  31. Thanks so much for coming to Maine. It was a bucket-list moment for me, and I suspect, many more in the audience. We loved your stories, and are still laughing at the memories of them. Also enjoyed learning about knitting and our brain–very intriguing.
    Will never think of Calgary without the mental pic of you, your cowgirl underpants, and the elevator….
    Please come again–hopefully nothing happened to prevent your return!

  32. Colleen’s blanket is amazing. Just wonderful! What a special project and a clever designer. I’m also mad about self-patterning sock yarn. I always love to watch the designs change as I knit. I think I knit faster with that kind of yarn, always looking to see what comes along next. Your socks are very pretty! I like that yarn! I’m on a sock yarn diet But maybe…

  33. Usually I read, enjoy (nay love) what you say but feel slightly too intimidated to comment. But I have to today because – I also love self striping yarn, love, love, love it. And Opal is so hard wearing (even in the ordinary machine wash when I accidentally put my socks in the general washing bin instead of the hand knit washing bin). And that colour?? So fab I want some now, despite that in my stash I have enough sock yarn for a pair of socks for every day of the month. And as for the speed by which you can knit a pair of socks – I am speechless with admiration

  34. I have one pair of socks left to knit for the holidays….I’m totally jealous that you can blow through a pair so fast. I have my 83 year old mother addicted to hand knit socks…..What have I done?

  35. Pretty socks! I love the colors. It amazes me how well you get your socks to match!
    And your socks actually look very cosy and inviting. When I shop online for yarns, usually the sock modeling the self-patterning yarn looks so manufactured and icky, that’s what has kept me from purchasing a trekking yarn. Your beautiful socks maaaay have given trekking socks another chance with me.

  36. OMG, I love Rockland! I’ve done 2 knitting cruises on the Isaac Evans which sails out of there (I didn’t see Capt. Brenda in the audience photo, but she might have been there) Over the Rainbow is a great shop – they opened early the day our cruise left so we could do some shopping (nobody wants to be at sea for 4 days and run short of knitting!) I hope to get back there next summer. Glad you had a wonderful time.

  37. What a delight to hear you speak, and glean some of your tremendous knowledge on Sunday. And there I am in the second row! It wasn’t all just a dream! More like a dream come true.

  38. Thank you for the laughs!! I had a lovely evening out in Rockland, Maine with fibery friends listening to your talk, gaining wisdom and getting some serious knitting done:-) What fun!

  39. Love the colors. I’m always drawn to jewel tones. I finished a (requested) hat on Sun for my grandmom for Christmas. I already have a pair of socks for DH’s birthday on Nov 28th (US Thanksgiving this year). Not sure if anyone else is getting a knitted gift, although I know both my parents want socks. Mittens for my tiny 16m daughter are in the queue! (sjn821 on Rav)

  40. Stephanie, it was great to hear you in Rockland – it’s wonderful to laugh so hard while learning fascinating new things! For those who wondered about my sweater, it is one of my own designs. It’s on my Ravelry page.

  41. Now we know why that particular color in Opal Sweet ‘n Spicy is sold out! We were wondering why we all of a sudden were getting lots of orders for that particular colorway 😉 Unfortunately, that particular line in Opal is discontinued now, but those socks certainly are beautiful, so I can see why everyone loves this one.

  42. Maine is indeed lovely. However, the bad news is that the have only two seasons, July and Winter. My father and his family were from Guilford, which is the geographic center of Maine. I had never been there in winter until one of my aunts died in January. As the plane landed in Bangor, the pilot announced that the ground air temp was 3 degrees (Farenheit). Another aunt told me that slush freezes before it melts, so people driving look for ruts the same width as their axels, and then driving is no problem at all.
    Those who disagree with me have probably never been further north than Portland.

  43. I have no idea what my URL is but I donated $5.00 to Doctors Without Borders. thank you for making it easy to do.
    I like to knit Elizabeth Zimmerman’s prime rib watch cap for charity – people are always giving me left over yarn and it’s a good way to use it up.
    Love your blog also
    Dubious Wisdom, Regrettable Choices
    similar wit all about travel

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