Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pinterest Inspires Again

Someone pinned this photo on Pinterest (it linked to a store selling these "slippers" knitted by Lithuanian knitters):

I Can Do That!

With all the design work I've been doing on socks, I figured I could bang out a pair of these in no time.

Worsted weight yarn, US7 (4.5mm) needles, toe-up sock construction on 40 stitches until about 1/4" before the top of the instep, and then knit garter stitch flat.  A bit of kitchener stitch at the back of the heel, and Bob's-Your-Uncle, a simple pair of slippers (I also liked the contrasting crochet edge, so I added that).

I also modified the design a little by adding four stitches at the beginning of the two first garter stitch rows, and came up with these:

Totally pleased with how they came out, and I can knit up a pair in one evening in front of the television!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Supporting Those That Support Us

Being part of a group can have its advantages, whether the group is men who knit, the LGBT community, a religious community, or just a large group of friends on Facebook.

QueerJoe Blog Readers

The people that frequent my blog is another affinity group for me.

Being strongly opinionated about issues that some may consider controversial, is a great way of separating the wheat from the chaff, if you will.  I am grateful for the abundance of "wheat" readers here.

And it never ceases to amaze me how this group rallies around those I consider important.  I always feel like y'all have my back.

A good friend, Kyle Kunnecke has taken on a monumental goal to raise $10,000 dollars for the AIDS walk, and I'd like to ask readers for THREE things to help support him:
  1. First, I'd like you to contribute.  It would be fantastic to see him quickly reach and surpass his goal, so anything you can contribute would be wonderful.  He's also doing a lottery of thank-you prizes for anyone that donates - including a Schacht Sidekick wheel.
  2. I'd like you to help support the people that have supported him.  Purlescence Yarns has been a huge support for Kyle in his fundraising efforts.  If you could patronize their business (especially if you're in the Sunnyvale, CA area) or "friend" them on Facebook, it would be a great show of support.
  3. Finally, if you could promote Kyle's fundraising cause to all of your friends, it would be very much appreciated by both Kyle and me.  Post this blog entry or Kyle's fundraising page on Facebook.  Post this blog entry to Pinterest (using the beautiful scarf below as the rationale).  Tweet about Kyle's big goal.
I don't use this word often, but I feel blessed by the support of the people that read this blog, even if I've never met you in person.

Men's Knitting Retreat
There are a number of people that help support the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat each year as well, and I'd like to thank this year's generous sponsors publicly:

Lubna from Blind Buck Farm posted a blog entry about our visit there.

Current Knitting/Crocheting

I started another Interlocking Crochet Scarf, except this time, it's with much thicker yarn and a larger crochet hook.

It's being made using two colorways of Opus 1yarn on a size K - 7mm crochet hook.

I also tried swatting a couple of different colorways of Koigu in a crochet stitch called the Granite Stitch.

I was thinking it might make another nice scarf design, but the fabric is a bit too rigid.  It would probably make a fantastic women's jacket.

Here's the Granite Stitch pattern stitch:

Row 1: Ch an even number of stitches.  Sc in the 4th ch from the hook, *ch 1, skip 1 ch, sc in the next ch; repeat from * to end, turn.

Row 2: Ch 2, sc in the next ch-1 sp, *ch 1, sc in the next ch-1 sp; repeat from * to end, finishing with a sc in the ch-3 sp at the start of Row 1, turn.

Row 3: Ch 2, sc in the next ch-1 sp, *ch 1, sc in the next ch-1 sp; repeat from * to end, finishing with a sc in the ch-2 sp at the start of the previous row, turn.

Keep repeating only Row 3

Thursday, May 22, 2014

19 States of Equality

It appears, that as of this past Tuesday, Thaddeus and I are legally married for both Federal and State purposes.

Who Would Have Believed

I still find it hard to believe that we have made such great strides in equality in this country.  It was unthinkable for most of my relationship with Thaddeus.

While we're on a roll, perhaps they could also pass some laws to make sure that publicly acknowledging my marriage to Thaddeus couldn't get me fired from my job, but maybe now I'm just getting greedy.

More Men's Knitting Retreat Photos

Two amazing weeks in a row, so I'll post a few more photos of my time last week.

Some of the magnificent llamas at Wunsapana Farm

Wunsapana Farm llama ready for her closeup

Recently shorn llama - queen of the hill

Back end of a goat sculpture at Blind Buck Farm

Angora goat and Angora kid at Blind Buck Farm

Blind Buck Farm sheep wary of me holding my hand carders

A misty-top Mountain next to the temple at Easton Mountain

Saying goodbye one more time to the beautiful time...until next May.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Emotional Duality

After a week away at Easton Mountain, I was so glad to be sleeping next to my husband in my own bed, but still yet miss the wonderful experience of the 2014 Men's Spring Knitting Retreat.

WAY Too Busy to Blog

I know I said that I would blog every day during the retreat, but honestly, there was so much excitement going on all the time that I barely had time to sleep while away.

Here are some photos of the guys interacting at the retreat (at least I had time to take some photographs).

Brady looking for some llama tongue

Phil and Christopher looking at more fibre (they're from Canada, so it's not a typo)

Jeff and Michael knitting in the morning sun

Kirk and John in their rendition of a sheep to shawl contest

Michael and Matthew enjoying the fellowship

Aaron Michael and Kirk trying their hardest to ignore the hard facts of a sheep's life

Chad and Danny at Wunsapana Farm

Fast friends, Christopher and Kenny

Southern boy Doug, comfortable on a farm.

Fascinated by furriness

Yarn buying frenzy

John, Kirk and Stephen

Part of the Southern component, Lou and Doug

Lubna, Phil, Ian and Danny

Michael, Matthew and Ben blocking the view of the alpacas

Happy guys, Ron and Ray

The library nook guys, Ronnie and Aaron

Brady overseeing the plying of a new spinner, Roy

Roy trying to steal fiber for his new spinning addiction

Phil and Tom dealing with a little bit of rain at the farm

Van doing his gorgeous wrapped core spinning

Veryl flirting with a wet lamb

Bill, Kenny, Ron and Chad claiming their space in the men's knitting world

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Men's Knitting Retreat Evolves

From the first days of the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat, we have continued to make changes and tweak the event to make it better and better.

Pre-Retreat Days

Early on, a couple of the guys decided it would be nice to arrive a day or two early at the retreat center, to extend the time and experience of the retreat a little.

Truth be told, I was quite envious of the first couple of guys that figured this out, and started doing the same thing, and now we often have about 20 guys arriving at least one day early to the retreat.

This year, we had four guys arrive Monday, four more arrive on Tuesday, twelve more arrive on Wednesday and the remaining 26 arriving on the official first day of the retreat, Thursday.

Here are some random shots around the retreat center, and you'll note that the spinning wheel farm is starting to bear fruit already.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Off To a Good Start

My first day and night at Easton was a beautiful start to my week of glorying in the men's knitting community.

Anticipation Builds

Easton Mountain Retreat Center is less than an hour away from the office where most of my coworkers go each day.  Since I work at home, I thought it would be a good opportunity to work a half day and get some face-time with my coworkers, and then head off on a week of vacation.

At noon, I headed off to Troy, NY to meet up with Jeff and John for lunch at a great little Middle Eastern food at this great little hole-in the wall.

And then off to Easton Mountain where we'd meet up with the other early-bird, Phil.  I never get tired of my first unobstructed view of the hill top at Easton on my drive there.

Sorry, these photos were taken with my iPhone through my car's windshield.  Enhancing them didn't help a lot, but they still always get me excited.

Finally, here is the room with most of the magic happens.

This is the big room in the main lodge building where all our full-group gatherings happen.  In a few short days it will be filled with project bags, spinning wheels, tables of yarn and books and most importantly, men.