Just call me Bashful

Yesterday was filled with more knitterly goodness in my hometown of Chicago. Amy Singer was in town at Loopy Yarns, signing copies of her new book No Sheep for You, showing off the designs, and chatting with all the folks in the shop. If by any chance Amy runs across this entry and sees the photo I’m posting here, please accept my apologies Amy! I was so tickled by the whole experience last night that I turned all bashful and snapped only this one photo at the event. Amy R. Singer See, it was a cold day yesterday so I got to dress up in hand knits and I decided to wear my Mermaid since I adore it so much. When I got to the shop, as I stripped off my parka one of the ladies said to me “I know you! I mean, I recognize you from your blog. I love the Mermaid!” (or something along those lines) and I sort of imploded with excitement. On the outside, I took it pretty well, on the inside I was like “OMG, OMG, OMG!! Someone I don’t personally know read my blog! How cool!”

I got lots of ego stroking about the Mermaid during the event. People kept asking me about it and admiring it. I may as well have just kept repeating “Aw, shucks” over and over again. All that attention plus the fact that Amy Singer was so approachable and seemed to really enjoy talking with me made for a little personal melt down. I’m just not used to such attention and have no idea how to handle it except through deflection. So, deflect I did. When Amy asked if I had a blog I mumbled yes, but that it was just a silly little thing. She shared that she had started out with just a little online journal and was now doing what she loves as her career.

For the next hour or so I strolled around Loopy, fondling yarns, talking with friends and new acquaintenances, and every once in a while I’d stroll back to where Amy was sitting to exchange a few words. Before our little group left to grab a bite to eat, I went back to say goodbye but Amy was in the midst of conversation. So, we just struck off and made our way to the restaurant.

Those ladies at Loopy really know how to throw a party! This is the first time I’ve been down there for one of their events. For whatever reason I’m usually busy when they have a trunk show or something, so I’ve missed their hospitality. They had wine, soda, selzer water, and lots of yummy snacks. They also had a special of 20% off all non-wool yarns.

Of course I didn’t leave empty handed. Besides the signed book I picked up a skein of Art Yarns Regal Silk. There’s a sweet hat pattern in the No Sheep for You book that uses this silk in a lace pattern with Rowan Calmer providing an inner liner. I have a couple balls of Rowan Calmer in my oddball stash, and now I know what to do with at least one!

In general, my knitting has been so-so. I’ve been trying to finish the Rockin’ Sock Club socks, but keep running into problems. I’ve ripped back the cuff of sock #1 three times already. Attempt #1 resulted in some misplaced cables. I was ready to live with that, but when I tried the sock on for a final fitting before casting off, it wouldn’t fit over my heel. I thought it _may_ be because of the misplaced cables, so I ripped back to the first cable round and restarted. Attempt #2 had perfectly placed cables, but it still would not fit over my heel, so I ripped back again, this time to the second set of cables. At this point, I switched from the 2.5 mm needles I was using for the cuff to 3.0 mm needles. This seems to the do the trick, but it’s taken me about 2 weeks worth of commuter knitting (including 2 flights: prime knitting time!) to get to this point.

The Lift and Seperate wrap sweater (from the Big Girl Knits book) that I started the week before I left for NYC is still sitting on the needles and being neglected. I really want to plunge back into it, but this messing around with my socks has taken precedence. I like to have a sock on the needles to carry around and work on during the inevitable pauses in life (riding on public transit, waiting in airports, visiting relatives, etc.); I also like to be at the point where I can just work away and not have to do a lot of fiddling like short rowing the toes or heels. So I have to do those things at home during my evening knitting time.

Hey, it’s spring! The weather may be a bit goofy, but it is still spring. That means there will start to be more gardening stuff added to my posts. Despite our recent cold snap (it snowed yesterday! Eeeekk!), everything is budding and getting ready to leaf out. I really like these transitional seasons. I spent most of the day last Saturday cutting down the ornamental grasses and cleaning up the beds. Now we’re ready to really pop!

Ode to a Mermaid

Oh, lovely Mermaid
dancing in the breeze,
gussets flashing
subtle stripes revealed.
You are divine!

Here are the specs, also recorded in the description on Flickr.

This is a Hanne Falkenberg design called Mermaid, in colorway #3, size Medium. I started it in late October 2006 and finished February 25, 2007.

Mermaid is available only as a kit that includes the instructions and yarn, a 4-ply Shetland wool. It is knit sideways and entirely in garter stitch. I used US 3 (3.25 mm) Addi-Turbo needles to get gauge. The body is worked in one piece with short rowed gussets giving it a marvelous shape.

I originally bought the kit at Stitches Midwest from Yarn Barn of Kansas in 2005. I finally felt able to tackle such fine work a little over a year later. The small gauge and colorwork were a first for me, but the results are a lovely heirloom garment.