Katherine the Great
I like to think of myself as a storyteller. Mostly I tell stories about knitting.

Friday morning at the Dallas-Fort Worth Fiber Festival, I was to take Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Knitting for Speed and Efficiency class for the second time. I want to handknit socks for so many people that I really want to master Lever Knitting to increase my speed. (I pronounce it leaver because that’s how she says it). I gave it a shot a couple of years ago and couldn’t seem to figure out how to purl for the life of me! I was SO EXCITED to get into her class again. and a little nervous. I want to be clear that the reason I needed to take it a second time had nothing to do with her class and everything to do with me having a hard time wrapping my mind around a new thing. Turns out I’m human and we’re not great at change.
Class started at 9:30am.

The Fiber Fest market opened at 9am and the only thing I needed was Must Stash Yarn – Rainbow Yo-Yo. one for me and one for a friend.

So, I purchased those and then said to my partner in crime, Deborah, “I think I might be done. I’m not sure I’m going to get anything else.” She looked at me like I’d lost my damn mind and kindly didn’t comment. We made a plan to reconnect later and I left her in the Must Stash booth.

After class and some gracious troubleshooting from Stephanie, I finally understood how to purl! I need to practice of course, but I could finally see how it’s possible!

I met up with Deborah and agreed that she and the delightful third member of our group would wait in the Knitting Lounge while I finished my shopping. I went back to the Must Stash booth for a while and then as I walked back by them, I smilingly tossed a bag containing 4 hanks of Must Stash to Deborah and continued towards White Birch Fiber Arts. She grinned and said, “That’s more like it.”

I laughed in response and headed off to buy Christmas yarn. It’s quite a luxury to have friends that get me. I guess I just didn’t have the headspace to buy yarn until I had the Lever Knitting thing sorted. The universe is back in balance and I’m ready for another year of sock knitting. or a few months anyway….depending on my speed. ;)


The Details:
Top pic is Rainbow Yo-Yo from Must Stash
Second pic (from left) is Must Stash – Polka Dot Afro Circus, Martian Rainbow, Night @ the Roxbury, and The Shire (Simply Speckled)
Last pic is White Birch Fiber Arts – Little Green Men and Santa Baby
Full Disclosure:
I also bought project bags from Lone Star Arts and Diana Couture.


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I find myself looking inward just now. Hot summer days have me slowing down and focusing on what I want out of life. What’s important to me? Am I saying yes based on my priorities or someone else’s?

Any kind of introspection leads back to knitting. Who am I kidding? Nearly everything I think about circles back to wool and needles. Reflecting back on my Karma Sutra socks, I remember starting them to practice lever knitting. I wanted to knit faster. I worked on the new technique for awhile, but never really quite got it. Recently, I’ve been thinking about giving it another shot. This time, I’m motivated by ergonomics rather than speed. I’d like to be knitting brightly colored socks as I while away a hot summer day decades from now. Whether this new motivation will bring success in my quest remains to be seen.

“Pattern”: CO 64
k1,p1 ribbing for cuff
left cross (1st over 1 st = 2 total), k1, p1 around for 1 round
k3,p1 ribbing for leg.
Sweet Tomato Heel by Cat Bordhi in contrast yarn (slightly modified so the contrast yarn only went across the top of the foot for 6 rows)
k3,p1 for the top half of the foot.
*I did something crazy on the top of sock 2 and had to drop 2 stitches from the toes all the way back to the heel to turn them into purls for the ribbing.
Verdict: I’m glad these socks are pretty because they were a little bit more of a pain in the arse than I planned. The fit of the Sweet Tomato Heel is acceptable, however I prefer to knit a heel flap.
Yarn: Must Stash Yarn & Fiber Spiffy Sock
Colorway: Kama Sutra
Needles: 2.25mm Karbonz (first time trying these – they are not my favorites because the join is not perfectly smooth)


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These socks hold more fond memories than perhaps any pair I’ve knit to date. They joined The Husband and I on our journey to California to visit his family and Disneyland.

We worked a visit to the Pacific into the trip so I could dip my toes in the ocean. As I eagerly headed for the waves, my pants already rolled to my knees, I hurriedly approached a four foot sand cliff. Planning to jump down, I stepped near the edge and it collapsed beneath me, cramming damp sand in every crevice on my back side. My entourage was a few steps behind me and found my mishap hilarious. As I’m the biggest beach lover among us and possibly the most experienced faller, I was glad to be the one to go down.

…and I grafted the toes of the second sock Christmas Eve with my parents. Just magical.

They hold so many wonderful memories and now I’m adding more….like DFW Fiber Fest.

Pattern:
Inspired by Helen’s lovely Darkside socks, here is my recipe.
k1,p1 ribbing for 1 inch
Stockinette until the first colored stripe begins and then switch to Vanilla Bean Striped Sock Style (VBSSS)
Continue VBSSS through the first row of the black stripe and then back to stockinette
Heel: Eye of Partridge
Note: I swapped needle sizes up and down during the gusset decreases to get at least one round in each color.
Yarn: Must Stash Yarns – Perfect Self Striping Sock
Colorway: Dark Side of the Moon EPV
Needles: 2.25mm bamboo


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