Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Creative Recap

This year was surprising productive considering how unwell I was for most of it. I did notice that it took me far longer to finish a pair of socks than it has in the past, but I still got a few pairs knit up.

I knit 5 pairs of socks (one which was knee-high), 5 hats, 2 cowls, and 1 shawl. 5 of those knits were gifts, 2 were shop samples, 1 was a design sample, and all 5 pairs of socks were for meeeeeeee. Looking at all my new pairs of socks, it seems that my love for self-striping yarn isn't going to end any time soon. Also, it looks like I spread the love around: each self striped pair was from a different dyer.

I put out five designs this year: two pairs of socks: Whiskey and Rye and Prance Past The Poppies; a mini collection called A Midsummer's Night Knit that had the Oberon Mitts and Titania Cowl; a shawl called Kelp Forest, which had been in development for over two years before I called it perfect.

I also started to paint again. At the beginning of the year I was obsessed with gouache.
By the end of the year I much preferred to play with watercolors. 

I also drew my daily comic, well, daily.

This year has been a tough one, but I learned that just doing little bits of art each day, or even weekly, add up to a large body of work by the end. I might have felt like I wasn't doing anything artistic all year, but clearly that wasn't the case. I'm proud of what I was able to accomplish. I hope that I can remember that feeling as I move into the new year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Sock Mutiny

This post was supposed to be a success story. A story about how even though my socks had been acting up, I was able to tame them and able to blissfully wear them all. Instead this is a story of how all my socks mutinied against me.

It started off like any other day. After working hard to get my Concrete and Tulip knee high stripes to match perfectly, which included several rippings,  I was ready to debut them. Connor helped me get some lovely pictures.
Half a skein of Caterpillar Green Yarns in the Concrete and Tulips color way was used for each sock.

I even was going to have a bit of a victory lap by showing off the perfect calf shaping.
Look at that shaping. That slight negative ease. The socks were perfect.

Then disaster struck. After getting the pictures, Connor and I went for a walk. I thought to myself, I'll just wear these socks since I've got them on. I've re-fixed the color (Like I do with all my socks now), I've gotten the pictures... so now I can wear them. By the time we went down the driveway I felt the dreaded sag. By the end of the block it was like I had donuts around my ankles.
I've since reached out to people on instagram and have a vague plan involving elastic to make these wearable.

Fine, fine. I've had socks misbehave before. It's really disappointing, but that's how it goes. Just as I was finishing up the Concrete and Tulip socks and feeling smug, I thought I'd fix my Sheep May Safely Graze socks. They had been misbehaving for awhile, but the Concrete and Tulip socks were going so well (at the time), that I was convinced I could fix them "really quick."

The Sheep May Safely Graze socks are a tale full of woe. It was difficult to find the right white yarn for them. When I finally did, it turned out to not be well wearing. I wore them three times and had to mend the heels twice. Obviously, it would be a better use of my time to just rip out the heels and put new ones in. The socks sat on the mend pile for some time, but it was getting colder and I wanted to wear them. Carefully, I ripped out the heel, picked up the stitches, and started to replace them. I didn't have any sport weight yarn, so my plan was to hold some fingering weight double. The heels would be beefy and I'd never have to replace them again!

Except that I didn't realize that my plan would also make the heel so beefy that it would be uncomfortable in every pair of shoes I own. Look at that thing. It's huge! So the heel goes back to the frog pond... along with my patience.

So now I'm trying to finish my Christmas socks in time for Christmas. I started these on December 5th. Plenty of time, I thought. So much time, in fact, that I could finish up my knee highs and replace some heels. Well my friends, I'm getting a little nervous about finishing my Christmas socks on time.
Stray Cat Socks in the color Kiwi Christmas using the Geek Socks pattern.

Connor asked me after the knee high debacle, "You aren't going to let a pair of socks ruin your day?" I'm not proud of the answer... which was yes. I was a bit grumpy the rest of the day. Of course with three pairs of rogue socks, who knows what the rest of this week will be like.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Kamakura pt 2 - Enter the Daibutsu

Connor is coming home tomorrow. It's been along three weeks without him, but I'm glad he was able to have so much fun with his brother when we wasn't at work.

Connor and his brother had gone to Kamakura earlier in their trip, hence the pt 1 (which is not on the blog), but Connor learned from his co-workers that he missed the main attraction: Daibutsu. I teased him mercilessly for missing the biggest statue around, so they went back to see it.


Finally we saw Daibutsu after enduring a week and a half of criticism for not knowing about him the first time we were here.
Did you know that:
-Daibutsu means “Big Buddha”. (I asked a co-worker if the other Daibutsus are all big like this one. He said, “yes, Daibutsu is always big”.)
-He by far attracts more crowds than any other temple in Kamakura.
 -You can buy and drink beer at his temple (possibly contributing to the above).
-You can go inside him for 20 yen (which we did)
Now you know.

In 1923 a great earthquake destroyed the temple surrounding Daibutsu. Only Daibutsu and his shoes survived.

Mason is sitting at a traditional Japanese eating area, where kids and adults can come together as equals. He was tempted by the green tea ice cream, but this is also the place that sold beer.

After seeing Daibutsu we started hiking at the opposite end to finish of what we didn’t finish last time. Along the trail, we passed a small farm with a fence that was doing a poor job of keeping this chicken inside.

You either have it or you don’t. Saw this store sign and thought it the two phrases complimented each other quite well. Although I’m not sure what a store with this motto could actually sell….

They have cornbread! This place is just like Kentucky.
Note from Audry: Connor is from Kentucky. Also, he likes cornbread, not corn bread.

Thanks Connor, for that terrific report. Wish I could have seen Daibutsu myself. At least you aren't going to be mocked anymore for missing it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Connor and his brother visited a Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) and got to experience geothermic baths. It's like they got to be in Spirited Away! Here is a bit more from their adventures.


For some reason there is a Little Prince Museum in Hakone, and it actually helped us figure out which bus to take to reach our hotel since they are right next door.

No one could tell us which bus went to Hakone-Fuji Guest House, but when I told them we wanted to go to the LP Museum, they knew exactly where to go. Thanks Little Prince!

We found this banana a grocery in Hakone. What’s that? Of course it is a banana. It even says so.

The evening that we arrived in Hakone, we decided to try to hike somewhere nearby. "Mt. Kentucky” seemed like a good choice until we saw several hikers coming down the mountain covered up to their knees in mud. They just about begged us not to try it, and we quickly agreed.

Along the way up to Owakadani, we passed this strange tire in the middle of the trail. It is supported by a pipe coming out of the ground that you can peer down and see the bubbling hot water from a hot spring vein.

Owakadani close up. Downwind of all the steam and gas there appears to be a small town of hot spring workers.

Owakadani from a distance. We went through a museum that explained that hot volcanic material is mixed with water to create hot spring bath water, and it is then piped all over Hakone. It takes a lot of work to make the magic happen.

We felt dumb after asking someone if that was Mt Fuji in the background. I don’t think this picture captures how large and imposing it was from even that distance.

Thanks for sharing, Connor!

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Socks Are Marching One By One, Hurrah, Hurrah

I am getting so close to finishing my Concrete And Tulip socks, I can taste it. I'm about to put the cuff into the second sock. Once that is done, I'm going to rip out the cuff on the first sock and re-knit it with two more stripes included in the ribbing. I'm also thinking that I want to try a tubular cast off for these socks. I've never done one and I'm obsessive about how the stripes land, so it may take a few goes. Does anyone have a favorite tutorial for that style of cast off? I'm partial to step by steps with pictures.

As soon as the knee high socks are done, one of these three balls of Stray Cat Sock yarn will be knit. I'm thinking either knitting a pair of Geek Socks with Kiwi Christmas or perhaps a pair of Vanilla Lattes with Pahutukawa Tree. I might hold off on the Joyeux Noel ball for now.
Left to right: Kiwi Christmas, Pohutukawa Tree, Joyeux Noel

Meanwhile, the poor Hieroglyphic Socks have been in time out. I had to reknit the cuff three times before it matched the gauge on the first sock. Not sure what happened, but I ended up having to go up a needle size. 

And that is all that is on the needles! I have all sorts of yarn sitting out with patterns printed and ready to go, but for some reason, I find it difficult to cast on. Probably because everything I want to make needs a gauge swatch... ugh.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...