Arrrgggg yle!

I realize now that I forgot to tell you about a recent yarn acquisition.

It just so happened that a very kind and thoughtful person I know took a trip to Scandinavia recently. And she brought me back the best kind of souvenir: wool! Honest to goodness Norwegian wool. From Norway.

Neat, eh?

And the wool has spoken to me. It says it wants to be socks.

But not just any ole kind of socks. It wants to be argyle. (Wool after my own heart!)

So here we go-

Here’s the lineup: two shades of green are the norwegian, white for the crisscrossing lines is from the stash. Pattern is ancient, gift of a friend, from the cast-offs of an elderly neighbor (2nd from the right, just not so much ribbing).

argyle overview cropped

I’ve never done argyle socks before. I have done a sweater vest, but socks present a whole new kind of challenge. I played around with the idea of doing the argyle with a very clever, short-row construction techinique but finally decided that I needed to learn how to do it the old-fashioned way. Flat. Seamed. Like so:

argyle pattern-cropped

That upside-down T shaped chart is for the cuff and instep. You knit it flat and then wrap the two sides of the cuff around and knit the heel down from there. Then you pick up stitches on the sides of the heel and knit the side gussets- but get this: the gussets aren’t attached to the instep yet. Only once you get past the patterned section do you knit around down to the toe. The poor gussets just out there flapping the breeze, until you’re all done and you go back and sew them up! (And the back of the cuff, too.)

Yes, really. I do generally try to avoid seams in my knitting.

I’m making a big exception for these socks. So lets hope they’re worth it.


Pretty, eh?

I do so love argyle.

A camera of my very own!

A Camara of My Own

I’m now photo-independent. Which means I have a lot to learn if I’m going to take blog-worthy shots.

I am also now between projects, with the Urban Aran off the needles. I’ve done a couple hats already, and am itching to start another larger project. But that means planning, and I haven’t had enough attention span lately to sit down and really get clarity on what I want to do.

I could go in a couple different directions-

Something tutti-fruiti from deep in the stash

Fruit Cocktail

or, perhaps a nice heathery taupe-y shetland paired with deep dark chocolate romney:

Warm Shades of 3 ply

Romney ram lamb 3 ply close

Bethany Shetland 3 ply close

With Fall seemingly on the way, I’m leaning towards the latter.

But then, it might not be a bad idea to have a couple projects in the works- If i could stagger their completion, I might never suffer Nothing On The Needles Anxiety again.

Not Exactly Wool Weather

Man it’s been hot.

I know that NorthWesterners are widely known to be weather wimps. We often get cranky when the thermometer starts pushing 80F. But this was really something. Think we maxed out at about 96 or 97 on Saturday. The day I was at the Lynden fair with some folks from the spinning guild, doing a sheep-to-shawl demo.

Didn’t sell too many tickets for the shawl raffle (go figure), but we did talk to a lot of interested people about wool and the processing of it into yarn. So that was fun.

Here are some photos form the wool show:

IMG_6435 (Small)

This was the most decorated item, I believe-

Wool Show big Winner

I took more pictures of knitted and woven items, but most didn’t come out well (lighting issues).

Wool Show Window edited

Wool Show2

So on to the fleeces-

Shetland Lamb Fleece

Shetland Lamb Fleece

IMG_6445 (Small)

Not as many wool sheep here as at the Skagit County fair, but it’s probably just as well this time out. Those in full fleece were a bit uncomfortable in the heat of the day- though this Cotswold guy was in pretty good spirits- he must have been in position to catch the intermittent breeze!


These Romneys were just laying low, sweatin’ it out-


And this pretty East Fresian was happy to be under-dressed for the occasion.

East Freisian2

Tomorrow we’re supposed to be back to our not-really-summer-like conditions.

Not a moment too soon.

Skagit County Fair

Yesterday the man and I went to the fair. The weather was marginal, but we still had a nice time.

Saw some horseback riding, 4H dog showing, and of course, the sheep!

Was good to see that the Shetlands were well represented.

Also had Border Leicesters, Cotswolds, Romneys, etc.

Lots of nice wool on the hoof- and some in bags as well, but they weren’t judging fleece until the very end, so we didn’t stay for that.

Here are some photos from the Shetland judging:

Ram lambs-

Skagit Fair 08 Ram Lambs3

Yearling Rams-

Skagit Fair 08 Yearling Rams

Ewe lambs- I thought the little ewe in the center with the neat markings was so pretty-

Skagit Fair 08 Ewe Lambs2

So here she is again. Please note: This photo was not taken by the official blog photographer, which explains the poor focus and composition of the shot (we had to crop the heck out of it). But she still looks really sweet, doesn’t she?


And Champion Ram (winners from lamb and yearling ram classes)- The fellow in front with the fabulous golden wavy locks won.

Skagit Fair 08 Yearling Ram champ

Next weekend is the NW Washington Fair in Lynden. I’ve entered the Denisee-ized Urban Aran and a skein of yarn from Gigi’s fleece.  Will be there on Saturday spinning for the sheep-to-shawl event, as well. Should be fun!