Saturday, January 30, 2010


The first STR package- don't worry no spoilers here.

About me and Socks-

I'm a dpn girl all the way. I've tried circs. Hasn't happened yet. Melissa Oakes' book might get me there someday when the stars are aligned properly.

I've never done toe up socks.

I've never done anything but ribbed and plain socks-why bother with patterns I think-except if I'm paying the money for fancy sock patterns I feel obligated to give them a try.

Last night as I was trying to begin a toe up sock here are the things I did.

Cast on 11 stitches-joined them in the round. Knit the entire instep in a circle. Imagine my surprise when I read a little further and saw the chart for a toe SOLE and instructions that suggested I would do both instep and sole at the same time. FAIL.


Cast on 22 stitches, knit the toe instep and the toe sole in the round all the time wondering what I was going to do with the gaping hole in the toe. FAIL.

Read the instructions more and noticed "using your preferred toe up cast on" and not finding anything in the pattern about sewing the toe together, began to realize what that meant. FAIL.


All the while wondering if my size 1 bamboo needles were up to the challenge of my k2tog and s2k1psso. They are already a little warped from plain ole size one top down sock knitting. FAIL.

Looked to see if I had any metal size 1 dpns- SUCCESS!

Searched the internets for a dpn toe up cast on- SUCCESS!

This afternoon- when the cat is finished massaging my belly I will use the toe-up cast on I found as a tutorial, and try again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

shawl progress

First picture is the Kilkenny Shawl (all are on a music stand) followed by a close-up of Kilkenny and the progress on the Highland Shawl.

Monday, January 25, 2010

when it rains...

the dog barks. For. 2. Hours. At. Rain.

But that's not why I'm here. I have been knitting like crazy but there aren't too many pictures to take when you're knitting endless rows of folk shawls.

Instead- another snapshot of lunch.

The headline in the local paper said "Does West Virginia have too many colleges?"

Mr. PE was sharing the details of the article and said "yeah, there are 20 colleges that offer bachelorettes"

All I could do was look at the secretary and say "Did he just say bachelorettes?" She confirmed that he did and I just kept eating.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How Old?

You know I like the phys. ed teacher at my school. In his wacky A.D.D., selective hearing, rubber chicken loving way, he's a good guy and has to teach in a building full of women which might cause any of those previous conditions- except maybe the rubber chicken one.

We were talking age for a little bit at lunch today. Overheard- No more birthdays, I want to keep having them, I'm 40, right? Standard birthday statements.

The conversation tide turned- we moved on to other worthy topics-at least 2 or 3 different ones.

Mr. Rubberchicken got up to leave and the following conversation took place-

MrRC: yea, every time I ask SpaceMan how old he is, he just says 26 and sticking.

Me: Who is Spaceman?

MrRC: You don't know him. He's a friend of mine.

Me: (puzzled look)

MrRC: (halfway out the door) yea, we call him Spaceman and it's for a good reason. (door closes- Mr.RC leaves)

Me: Space Cadet was taken?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A New M.O.

Lately I've been overwhelmed or underwhelmed by my limited LYS's. It used to be I would go in, pick the yarn I love the best, and find something to do with it later. Success is hit or miss with this method. It's time for a change. I love this book Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle. The patterns are not beyond my skills. Instead of picking the yarn, I've taken to picking the pattern, getting the called for yarn on-line and seeing how that works out.

So far I have started the Kilkenny Cable Shawl with some Black Water Abbey Yarn. It's a little bit scratchy but feels very Irish and also like it will get smoother in the wash. It's also the first Aran weight yarn I've worked with.

I have in my posession the yarn for the Highland Triangle Shawl- Woolpak N.Z 8 ply This is another yarn I've never had occasion to sample.

Finally I ordered enough emerald malabrigo to make the Wool Peddlar's Shawl. This isn't the called for yarn but I think it will work nicely.

It's really just a new way to increase the stash. I may follow the plan- knit the patterns I purchased wool for, etc etc. Then again... once it gets here maybe something else will come to mind.

All links are Ravelry

I spent yesterday at Aunt of Sophanne's. We drank a half a bottle of wine each and watched the 1972 version of The Poseidon Adventure. We had chicken salad with grapes for dinner along with plenty of pepperidge farm delicious cookies. It was a banquet and a delight.

Finally, all of the above seems so very shallow and meaningless given the despair in Haiti. I struggle to reconcile my blessed life with all of the pain and suffering on such a vast scale. Life here continues but certainly our psyche as a group of people on the planet is affected by knowing there is so much suffering and so much good to counteract it. We are lucky to be humans.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Mass Hysteria- Mob Mentality

It's supposed to snow a lot here. The t.v. says it should have already started. The sky says otherwise.

When snow is predicted in the teacher world there is a certain low-level-mob-mentality that reigns supreme.

I am not immune.

Teacher friends post weather musings on Faceb00k and it's as if everyone were waiting for a chance to comment on the possibilities. And if not actually commenting, we absorb the comments like a heroin addict while checking to see if there are any delays or cancellations.

Myself included.

It drives Mr. Sophanne a little bit crazy I think. The Railroad Doesn't Get Snow Days. I remind him that the Railroad is but a mile from our house and my school is a 25 minute (on a good day) country road commute.

It drives me a little bit crazy too but I've come to believe that it's part of being a teacher. Whereas my eager to begin new student teacher sends an email that says See You Tomorrow for my First Visit, I am thinking yeah, right, don't count on it sister- I've already got the snow day planned in my head.

I believe in addition to mass hysteria and mob mentality it's also a matter of what I think psychologists calls "Intermittent Reinforcement."

If we NEVER got a snow day EVER, we would be like the rest of the world. But give us one or two and we're like Liza Jane when there's pot roast for dinner-shifting between pouting and feeling unloved to looking sweet and adorable to jumping with glee when rewarded.

And when worse comes to worse and we're at the end of our -can't control the weather- wondering what the future will bring- rope, we blog about it while watching the Weather Channel, hoping that by doing so we'll get that "ultimate fix."

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Wintry Wonderland

It's a wintry wonderland here in House of Sophanne.

An update on the Aran Watchcap. Mr. Sophanne did wear it to work yesterday. One guy said "Hey-you've got your wife's hat on." He didn't say it because he knew I knitted it.

It looks so good when he has it on at home. Frank Sinatra blue eyes with that warm fuzzy alpaca twisting and turning.

Then we went to the grocery store. I saw it in real life. I thought- "dude- you've got your wife's hat on." I looked at the hats of the men in the store. They did not look like his. He is quite the knitter's husband trooper.

He wore the tasseled stranded one to work today- I think this time for entertainment's sake.

The quest for something stylish continues. In another week I will suck it up and make a dark-colored 1x1 ribbed watchman's cap with no colors and no patterns and then we will be done with it. Unless he likes having a fashion show.

It's another snow day. While I enjoyed teaching yesterday, this pleases me because I've been so conditioned to love the snow days and hate driving in snow. Mr. Sophanne put a roast in the crock-pot and made me a sandwich for lunch (he's been doing that lately as he makes his own lunch) All is well.

Monday, January 04, 2010


So I'm sitting here, taking a break from doublemassa- decided to knit it in Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool thanks to a raveler- and cruising the blogs.

I tippy-toed onto the Yarn Harlot and read about the Socks That Rock club.

I had just been thinking that I was tired of picking out yarn for myself and maybe I'll just join one of those clubs.

And there it was.

And I joined.

I remembered seeing the long line at the STR booth at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Any yarn worth waiting in a line like that for must be worth looking into.

There you have it- confessions of a fiber freak.

Schurch Crazy!

That's what I've gone.

Here's the Aran Watch Cap done in Berroco Ultra Alpaca- extra large on size 5 needles- a little too big for me but I have some fingers crossed that when Mr. Sophanne comes home it will fit and he won't hate it.

did I mention I had a snow day?

Digging in the stash I've found a forest green and a maroon and I'm going to cast on for Doublemassa if the colors contrast enough.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Use Your Stash

Go Forth And Make Hats!

Lusekofte Cap

Triple-Patterned Watch Cap

Both from Charlene Schurch's Hat's On!

I used Berroco Ultra Alpaca (the stuff that didn't become my halo-ed diagonal afghan) Size 6 needles and large size in the pattern for the Lusekofte. Size 5 needles and extra-large size for the Triple-patterned Watch Cap. Once it blocks I think the size 5 and extra large pattern will be my personal choice. Mostly because I couldn't find a 16" size 6 circular needle. I never read the details when people give these specifics. If you got this far you are truly dedicated.

There are still a couple of hats I want to make from this one. So easy and so lovely!