Archive for December, 2009

Anybody getting nervous?
12/31/2009

I am. I always get jittery before I embark on something new. However, this time I think I have good reason. I still can’t believe 133 of you wonderful knitters have signed up to join me in this quest. And that’s just in the last 28 days!

But I’m excited too. Just think of all the wonderful things we are going to learn together!

JK, Baby John and I are headed off to a New Year’s Eve party tonight. We have to wear hat decorated with our hopes and dreams for 2010. Can you guess how my hat will be decorated? I’m hoping I make it through this grand adventure!

I’m going to cast on at midnight, in the first hour of 2010. What will the year hold?

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Moc Sock Individual Pattern
12/29/2009

I heard from Meg Swansen (EZ’s daughter) right before Christmas but was unable to post due to the whirlwind swirling around Christmas week. Meg said that they (Schoolhouse Press) do have leaflet patterns for the Moccasin Socks. They are $3 a piece and can be purchased through Schoolhouse Press. Hopefully that will help a few of you who would like to make the socks but do not have the book yet. Hope that information helps a few of you!

Happy Knitting!

It’s Almost Time!
12/28/2009

Wow! What a wonderful whirlwind the last two weeks have been. The Dear Husband finished up classes the week before Christmas but then had a boat load of year-end articles to work on. Christmas Eve his office closed at noon but he still had a hideous amount of work to slough through. He came home and worked in our home office and I took breaks from my Christmas cooking to bring him pots and pots of tea.

The 23rd found me juggling a baby going through a growth spurt and wanting to nurse ALL THE TIME and Christmas baking! Ha! That was hilarious. I had Baby John’s play pen in the kitchen at the end of the counter so there was barely enough room to move around the island. Somehow everything got done.

Christmas Day we had an absolutely lovely time with family, beginning with opening our stockings with Grandma Winslow by the warm fire and a loaded tea tray.

The house is still a mess and my desk is even worse but it’s almost time! Hooray! It’s almost time to begin our adventure! Are you all prepared? Did any of you receive Knitting Around for Christmas? I received The Opinionated Knitter from my sister-in-law for Christmas. I was thrilled. I did not have my own copy and had been borrowing the library’s copy for the last three weeks (Sorry, if anyone has it on hold. It will now be returned!).

I also managed a snowy trip up to my LYS to purchase some “strengthening material” for the soles of the Moc Socks. I purchased some Regia 2ply from Schachenmayr. It is wool with a bit of Nylon thrown in to make it strong and durable. I plan on holding it with my wool for the sole of the sock and “knitting on.” I’ll show you as I’m working it.

My Knitting Basket -- all ready to begin

I can barely wait, can you? I have my knitting basket all stocked up for the first projects. Doesn’t it look inviting? I think it’s calling my name and just begging me to take it up and cast on… yes, I have “Cast On Fever” and can barely stop myself from starting early. But, have no fear. The Dear Husband is preventing me and holding me accountable to my midnight cast on date.

But enough of me. Did you all make it through the lovely whirlwind of Christmas? Do you all have your projects waiting and ready? Have any of you started? Do tell all, dear knitters, I’m dying to know!

Reading…
12/14/2009

10:30 Saturday night found me tucked into bed with our cozy down comforter piled on top of me and a stack of Elizabeth Zimmermann books beside me. Baby was sleeping somewhat peacefully in his little room (he is battling his first cough) and the Dear Husband was typing away in the office (he had his final paper to write).

Although I’ll be working only from the book  Knitting Around, I wanted to to see of EZ wrote about Moccasin Socks anywhere else. Sure enough, The Knitter’s Almanac, page 119 has a vivid description of what I am  going to cast on in January. The entry seems to have been written at the time Elizabeth discovered how to make Moccasin Socks or as she also calls them in the chapter, “refootable socks” You’ve got to read the chapter if you have the book. Her excitement over this new pattern is palpable. It made me want to get up out of bed in search of my needles and wool and cast on a Moccasin Sock before January 1. The only thing that kept me from doing so is the pile of Christmas knitting I still have to finish.

Not feeling sleepy yet, (I have the hardest time falling asleep without the Dear Husband next to me), I turned to The Opinionated Knitter. In that book EZ writes about the Woodsman’s Socks. I love how she starts out, “Directions for socks, timeless boosters of the male ego…” I laughed and made a mental note to see if socks boost the Dear Husband’s ego. If you have this book, you may want to check out the version of Woodsman’s Socks she has in there. EZ gives you  not only the thicker gauge version found in Knitting Around, but a thinner gauge, more appropriate for shoe wearing. I will be knitting the version found in Knitting Around.

At last I put the books aside and fell asleep curled up against a mound of pillows only to be awoken at 3:30 am by the Dear Husband crawling into bed, having just finished his paper, and then again at 6:30 am by a hungry little baby. Ah, well, better sleep tonight…. I hope.

PS: Can’t believe the response for the Ravelry Group — there are 119 of you! Wow! We are going to have so much fun knitting together. I have an email into Schoolhouse Press to see if they sell Moccasin Socks or the Woodsman’s Socks as single patterns. If so, that might help some of you who don’t have the book yet… I’ll let you know what they say.

Stashing Up For Thockies
12/11/2009

Getting Ready

Ah, life has been busy. We’ve had our first snow in Indiana, it’s birthday season in my family and I’ve been trying to order Christmas gifts and get them sent out to family members scattered across the US. Thankfully we will not be shipping gifts overseas this year. All family members are  happily snuggled into their homes in the States.

And through it all, I’ve been contemplating what yarn to use for my first Knitting Around project, the cozy and warm Moccasin Socks.

Have you noticed? You use worsted weight for these socks! Nice heavy and warm boot socks, if you ask me. I decided to settle on good old Cascade 220 for my first pair of Moccasin Socks. Nothing beats the durability of Cascade 220, as well as the stitch definition. I hate it when ribbing looks askew and wobbly. And since the majority of the sock is done in 2×2 rib, I want something that is going to look crisp and clean.

I am going to use some lovely handspun for the bottom of the socks, the sole. I mean, wouldn’t you want to use something good and hearty for the sole of your sock! =) If you don’t have handspun, don’t worry, Cascade 220 will come to the rescue and work just as well.

Pinwheel Variation

For the Pinwheel Variation of the Moccasin sock I have chosen to knit the body of the sock in Berroco Ultra Alpaca. I thought it would be nice to have a dresser, cozier, softer pair of moccasin socks to wear inside my dress boots.

Woodsman's Thick Socks

For the Woodsman’s Thick Socks I have thrown caution to the wind and am going to use some lovely and very sheepy Bartlett Yarn 2ply. This will be my sledding socks — you know the type you tuck your jeans into and look like a complete hippie!

Now I come to the 2 color Woodsman’s Variation Socks, Cross Country Stockings with shaped calf on page 6 of Knitting Around. There is no chart, no instructions, no nothing besides a simply gorgeous pair of socks to look at and drool over? What are we going to do? We can’t skip over them? Ugh! I’m going to do a bit of research and see if I can find some charts that come close… it will be a bit of an adventure!

So what do you think? We have a bit of work ahead of us! Feel free to knit all or just some of the socks. It is worsted weight yarn so it should go fairly quickly!

What are you all thinking of using for your moccasin socks and woodsman’s socks?

Ravelry Group
12/03/2009

I just braved the technicalities of Ravelry and managed to start a Knitting Zimmermann group! Now we can start a knit-along and knit together! What fun! Go over and join the group!

Continental or not….
12/03/2009

Well, knitters, as I’ve been reading and researching in order to cast on for the first project, the moccasin socks, I’ve been debating with myself. Do I knit all of the projects with the Continental style of knitting (or German style) as EZ did or should I stick to my normal mode of knitting, the English style.

I am sooooo torn. I do use both methods when I am knitting anything with more than one color but I am most “happy”, so to speak, with the English style of knitting.

This past week I was working on a pair of socks and I told myself, “Now, only knit continental and see what you think.” So I did. While I almost convinced myself that I was “happy” knitting continental I could feel that I never fully relaxed and enjoyed the process of knitting.

Can you imagine a whole book of projects and not being relaxed or finding enjoyment while knitting them? The thought of it daunts me. “No,” I thought, “I already have enough tense things in my life. I need this to be a bit of an escape.”

So, my friends, despite the fact that possibly I should knit continental to do all of EZ’s projects in “Knitting Around,” I am not going to. I will use the Continental and English styles of knitting when I work a stranded piece and otherwise stick to my cozy, comforting style of knitting.

How do you all knit? Continental or English?