Subscribe: socktopus
http://socktopus.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
day  fall knitting  fiber  knitting retreat  knitting  new  retreat  spinning  stitches  time  uploaded wondermike  uploaded  verb 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: socktopus

socktopus



An online odyssey of my journey into the world of knitting, spinning, weaving and fiber life in general.



Updated: 2014-10-04T22:45:53.518-07:00

 



Come Find Me on The Fiber Beat

2009-09-18T12:38:49.238-07:00

Hello Everyone!!!

I'm about to embark on a new adventure: Fiber Beat.

There will be a new podcast which can found in iTunes and online. There will also be an accompanying Fiber Beat blog (but I can't quite figure out how to combine the two).

For now, I'm going to stop posting to Socktopus and focus full-time on Fiber Beat.

Hope to see you there!

Sincerely,
Michael aka WonderMike



Men's Fall Knitting Retreat 2009 - TELL YOUR FRIENDS!!!

2009-05-19T11:21:59.721-07:00

Please tell your guy friends, your LYS, your favorite vendors about this event.

We are accepting registrations until July 3, 2009, but we advise sooner rather than later, if you're interested in joining us.

And, if you'd like to make a donation or sponsor, please give me a shout!

Thx,
Michael aka WonderMike (Ravelry)



Jenkins Turkish Delights

2009-04-20T15:31:22.915-07:00

One should never say never.

I said I'd never knit lace.
I said I'd never spin.
I said I'd never spin on a wheel.
I said I'd never weave.

Clearly, I am not to be trusted when it comes to sweeping proclamations of activities I'll never do. Imagine my surprise when I "broke down" and got not one, but two Jenkins Bottom Whorl Turkish Spindles. I had been admiring several folks pictures on Ravelry (Marihana, Criminy Jickets and Eydeet. all evil, evil people.... which is why we get along so well) until I finally had to head over to Ed and Wanda's site to see what was still available.

They are so popular right now, that you have to "stalk" the list and make a request the moment the pix go live. They have updates about once every two weeks, but it helps if you send an email and tell them woods that you like.

The two spindles I got were a full sized Turkish in Cocobolo wood and Turkish Delight in Yucatan Rosewood (pictured here). Both are a joy to look at and have perfect balance. I was able to start spinning immediately upon opening the package because they ship with a little pouf of fiber. The TD had a silk hankie and the full Turk had some lovely dark blue/turquoise pencil roving.

I might be getting some additional Turks (and potentially niddy noddies/top whorls/wpi tools....) from the Spanish Peacock, but I have to wait until he's back from the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. My bank account and budget can breathe a sigh of relief... for the time time being.



Yknit 19 "Fistful of Fibers" is LIVE!

2009-04-12T13:54:39.817-07:00

Yknit Episode 19 was a very fun episode to record. I hope you like it. There's lots of big announcements and a contest!

Thanks for listening.



Rigid Heddle Loom Class @ Verb

2009-04-07T14:52:51.568-07:00

Rigid Heddle Loom Class @ VerbOriginally uploaded by >>>WonderMike<<



Breakthrough!!!

2009-04-07T14:52:51.568-07:00

Burnt Ember BFL (Verb) - HandspunOriginally uploaded by >>>WonderMike<<



Judith MacKenzie McCuin - Genius

2009-04-07T14:52:51.569-07:00

(image)
Spindles & Flyers - Guild Mtg (4/29/09)
Originally uploaded by >>>WonderMike<<<
I could listen to Judith MacKenzie McCuin talk ALL DAY LONG. In fact, I could have done just that AND treated myself to her workshop on Selecting a Quality Fleece, but I was a spaz and didn't sign up in time. Fortunately, I had a second chance as she was a guest lecturer at the Spindles & Flyers Guild meeting this past Sunday and I was able to meet her and chat. I also brought both of my books in for Judith to sign (Teach Yourself Visually Handpinning & The Intentional Spinner).

Judith's lecture was on the evolutionary history of sheep and how it has co-evolved with man. It was an inspired talk and I took copious notes. If you ever have the opportunity to hear her speak or take a class or just have a coffee with her, do it! You will walk away so much smarter and inspired by her passion for wool. Plus, she's got that adorable Canadian accent which just melts my heart every time I hear it.

I'll add some groovy fun facts after I review my notes, which I don't have in front of me at the moment.

Before Judith's presentation, we were able to check out a vintage fiber journal that Julia (HistoricFibers) brought in to share. It had been willed to her by a friend and before she fully documented it, we had a chance to check it out. I was quite taken with the penmanship and the wonderful swatches that were included. Even more amazing was the fact that they were still attached. Not sure how the author achieved that, but it was impressive.



Like Coals to Newcastle

2009-04-07T14:52:51.569-07:00

(image)
HelloYarn Fiber/Tracy Eichem Spindle
Originally uploaded by >>>WonderMike<<<
Or so the saying goes. But, I really can't help myself when I'm presented with such a work of art as this. Actually both of these items are news-worthy because (1) the fiber is MY FIRST HelloYarn fiber club in colorway THRIVE courtesy of Adrian Bizilia and (2) Kokopeli Drop Spindle from Tracy Eichem. I've been stalking, er admiring Adrian's color style for quite some time and I have been able to purchase dyed yarn and patterns from her fairly easily. But man, the Fiber Club was near impossible to get into, but not entirely. ;-)

On the same exact day, I received two new spindles from master craftsman, Tracy Eichem. I ordered the Kokopeli (shown here) as well as a production spindle with a Comet design. Both spindles are such a treat to spin with. Precision cut and balanced with an artist's flair for wood choices and graphic treatments. Both spindles are signed by Tracy and join the legion of many art spindles that I use for all my OCD spinning projects.

Have a great weekend everyone!



Woolen vs. Worsted Spinning Class @ Verb

2009-04-07T14:52:51.569-07:00

Woolen vs. Worsted Spinning Class @ VerbOriginally uploaded by >>>WonderMike<<



Second Mitten Finished

2009-04-07T14:52:51.569-07:00

(image)
Second Mitten Finished (New Avatars)
Originally uploaded by >>>WonderMike<<<
You see here, the second mitten in my first color work adventure. Oh, sure, I've done super simple, improvised things like tea cozies and prep for Stitches classes, but this is the real deal (stranding, two colors/two hands, picking up in pattern, etc.). This design is called the Halland Mitten and is a charted pattern from the awesome book, "Folk Mittens" by Marcia Lewandowski.

The yarn used is A Verb for Keeping Warm's Yakkety Yak which is 80/20 Yak/Merino. The subtle variations with the natural dyes really make the colors vibrate... in a good way. And, man, how warm and soft they are after finishing. I was sad to let them go, since they were knitted as a shop sample, but it was great to get such positive feedback from Kristine and everyone else that saw them at Stitches.

In terms of construction, I did find three things confusing about the pattern:

1. The final decreases at the very top are inaccurate because they have two decreases in a row which is not possible given the final stitches you need to work them.

2. The placement of the left hand thumb does not make sense if you start the mitten in the middle of the chart (as it states). I knit the second mitten EXACTLY like the first but I inserted the waste yarn on the left side of the chart (as pictured in the book).

3. Picking up the 6 sts (3 top and 3 bottom) for the peasant thumb was a bit awkward, especially since you are picking up stitches going in the opposite direction of the knitting for the “top” half of the thumb.

Perhaps someone more experienced will know what to do but I just winged it.

The only thing I’m seriously not happy about is the way the mitten distorts near the right hand thumb (you can see this in my pic with my hand inside). I believe it has a lot to do with how I’m stranding the yarns. But, this is my first true colorwork. :-)



Baby Shower for Della Garcia

2009-04-07T14:52:51.569-07:00

Baby Shower for Della GarciaOriginally uploaded by >>>WonderMike<<



Sunday Is My FUN Day @ Stitches West 2009 (4 of 4 posts)

2009-04-07T14:52:51.570-07:00

Stitches 2009 HaulOriginally uploaded by >>>WonderMike<<



Saturday's All Right for a FLIGHT (3 of 4 posts)

2009-04-07T14:52:51.570-07:00

Stitches West 2009 - The LoveOriginally uploaded by >>>WonderMike<<



Good Omens and Good Fridays (2 of 4 posts)

2009-04-07T14:52:51.570-07:00

Stitches West 2009 - The LoveOriginally uploaded by >>>WonderMike<<



Multi-tasking Master - Stitches Stylee (1 of 4 posts)

2009-04-07T14:52:51.570-07:00

Multi-tasking Master - Stitches StyleeOriginally uploaded by >>>WonderMike<<



Knitting: Men In America

2009-04-07T14:52:51.571-07:00

(image)


Hello Fiber Friends,

My friend, Kyle Kunnecke, is working on project about men who knit. Part of said project is a survey that will take you around 10-15 minutes maximum to complete.

If you're a knitter, please consider taking the survey. Women and men are wanted!

All other questions about the rest of the project can be found on the FAQ.

Thx!
~Michael



Yknit 18 "Natural ReVerberations"

2009-04-07T14:52:51.571-07:00

(image)
Yknit 18 "Natural ReVerberations"
Originally uploaded by mikewade
Well, after publishing no less than 3 times, deleting spam about p**nis en*****ment and asking listeners to repost their contest entries, all is well.

Enjoy!



Reilly is a Good DOGUE!!

2009-04-07T14:52:51.571-07:00

(image)
Reilly is a Good DOGUE!!
Originally uploaded by mikewade
It took every ounce of willpower not to dognap, Reilly. He's such a sweetie pie.



Flip Mino Camcorder

2009-04-07T14:52:51.571-07:00

(image)
Flip Mino Camcorder with Personalized Design - Available only at www.theflip.com. Check out this unique Flip Mino design. The Flip Mino camcorder combines remarkable video quality in a pocket-sized package. Now personalizable - create your
View >>



Five more days...

2009-04-07T14:52:51.572-07:00

(image)
Five more days...
Originally uploaded by eric-m
If I were a religious man (and I'm not), I'd say, "thank you, GOD!". For now, I'll thank myself because I voted for sanity.



Yknit Episode 17, "Go West, Young Man"

2009-04-07T14:52:51.572-07:00

(image)
Yknit Episode 17, "Go West, Young Man"
Originally uploaded by mikewade
It's up. It's got a contest. Enjoy.

You can listen at Yknit.com and on iTunes.



Turn A Square Hat Class (Knit One One)

2009-04-07T14:52:51.572-07:00

(image)
Mittens and Hat Set
Originally uploaded by mikewade
Happy New Year Everybody!!!

Well, my NY resolution to blog more regularly has been sideswiped by catching up at work, but, I will be sticking to one goal, making time to TEACH!!!

Sile of KnitOneOne fame has entrusted me with the minds of her students in leading a class on BrooklynTweed's "Turn-A-Square" hat. It's an elegant and efficient way to create a colorful hat out of leftover bits of commercial yarns and handspun (gather up your drop spindle skeins!). Techniques taught will be jogless stripes and raglan decreases without neutral stitches. I'll even show you a super quick way to do a pompom.

The class will be two 2-hr sessions on January 13th and 20th. More information can be found on the KnitOneOne site.

Hope to see you there!



Men's Fall Knitting Retreat 2008 (Conclusion)

2009-04-07T14:52:51.572-07:00

Men's Fall Knitting Retreat 2008Originally uploaded by mikewadeYou know what they say about all good things.... The Men's Fall Knitting Retreat was no different.The last day was a fairly sad one for lots of folks. It really did seem much, much too short and, yet, so exhausting (for me... perhaps not for others).Our final day was filled with two more classes. Harry taught the Mosaic Knitting class. I was in the class and I must say that it's a pretty nifty technique for dipping your toe in the color work pool. Its a method the requires manipulating only one color at a time, but creates lovely "tiled" or "tessellating" patterns that are so kewl. Harry had an cool pillow (which sadly, I didn't photograph) that showed the technique off to perfection.The final class was Magic Loop taught by David. I think lots of folks came away from the weekend with this technique in their arsenal of fiber skills.I did some final administrative work on the feedback forms and on paperwork for the Y. Stephen and I recorded audio for the next episode of Yknit. We took our requisite group shots. I even took a hike over to see the Point Bonita lighthouse.Then came the daunting task of packing up my car. I thought that I'd come home much lighter but somehow, I still had a full car of stuff. The magic of fiber mitosis and the out of control generosity of my new buddies.From the feedback, I'd say the event was a RESOUNDING success. The only real issue was with the sleeping arrangements and I believe that we can ameliorate that for future retreats. At the moment, I can't even THINK about another retreat might look like, but I'll be riding the high from this one for quite some time.I made LOTS of new wonderful guy fiber friends. I'm excited about the possibilities of publishing, of spinning and of knitting. But, most of all, I'm just so happy to see the seeds of these crafts planted so firmly in the souls of my brother men.[...]



Men's Fall Knitting Retreat 2008 (Instruction)

2009-04-07T14:52:51.572-07:00

Men's Fall Knitting Retreat 2008Originally uploaded by mikewadeFriday night, I finally got to sleep around 2am, but bolted awake at 6am due to the need to visit the loo. You see, when you become an old man, you make many trips to the bathroom throughout the night. But, when you sleep on the top level of a bunkbed, making the trek up and down the ladder, in the dark, in a perfectly quiet room, is a huge drag. So, once I got up, I was staying up.It was just as well, because I was a little anxious about the day as it was the first real fiber class I had ever taught. I had 7 people signed up for my Intro to Drop Spindle class and I was a wreck. Only a few weeks before I had offered to give some advice/tutorials to a co-worker's husband who had taken a class, but I think I confused him more than helping. So, it was with great trepidation that I prepared for my students.We had a series of classes on Saturday, two at a time in the early morning and then again early afternoon. The first two were Freeform Knitting/Crochet taught by Kyle and Drop Spindling by yours truly. Kyle had some stunning examples of his technique and I think his students walked away sufficiently inspired. My group was so eager and enthusiastic. A great class. I feel like I gave them a good foundation on which to build up their skills. We had some wonderful breakthroughs and I saw some pretty fab yarn being created. An added bonus was being able to share fellow Raveler Fuzzed's super cool and unique Tilt-A-Whorl spindles, especially created for the retreat.The afternoon set of classes were Entrelac/Knitting Back Backwards taught by our resident industry professional, Brian (from Skacel) and Sock Design (pictured above right) taught by Stephen. I took the Entrelac class, but wanted to be able to split myself in two and sit in on Stephen's group. Fortunately, Stephen made an excellent handout that is tucked away in my retreat binder.Brian was an excellent instructor and I picked up some great entrelac techniques working on a groovy scarf pattern design by Brian himself. It uses a gorgeous "vintage" yarn made by Skacel called Unikat or a newer version called Loft Color. They are both felted yarns that have long color changes which knit up beautifully as entrelac. Those guys that took the class, got the pattern and enough yarn to make a full scarf. Thanks, Skacel!!!Stephen's class was more of a design and brainstorming class with examples of how to work with existing patterns and make them your own. One of his impressive accomplishments was sharing some ideas that will hopefully be published in the near future. Another milestone: one of his students started his first sock (Go Rob!).After dinner, we all gathered around (we kept calling this the group therapy set-up) for the much anticipated, Twined Knitting demo. Ivar (who came all the way from Sweden) led our group in this fascinating old-world technique that uses two strands of z-plied yarn and twists it every time you make a new stitch. Just learning the cast on was enough to send some boys over the edge. But, it was a super cool presentation and Ivar really took his classroom prep very seriously. He had a sweater, a hat and some amazing mittens.Next on the agenda was a brainstorm led by Darrel about an E-zine about men's fiber culture, men's design and men's themes. Darrel is the mastermind behind Men Who Knit and has been talking for a while about getting a online publication off the ground.[...]



Men's Fall Knitting Retreat 2008 (Reception)

2009-04-07T14:52:51.573-07:00

Men's Fall Knitting Retreat 2008Originally uploaded by mikewadeOn Friday, November 7, I got up early after a restless night of "sleep". I was nervous because it was the first day of the Men's Fall Knitting Retreat 2008. Adding to the stress was the fact that I had never done anything like this before (retreat, knitting or otherwise) and the fact that most of the attendees did not each other beyond Ravelry or Men Who Knit online communities.Ted (seen here checking out the amazing swag table) came all the way from Owen Sound, Ontario, CANADA to be with us. He and Stephen (seen here replicating the groovy artwork created by Franklin Habit) were my first arrivals on that sunny and warm day. There was very little haze and the temperature was perfect. It seemed to bode well for the weekend.I was "greeted" by a gathering of quail just in front of the Kiwanis room and I quickly snapped some pics in case our presence was going to spook them (and it did). I made contact with Rochelle (our YMCA rep) and set to unpacking the MOUNTAIN of raffle prizes and goodie bags. While I was doing my merchandising of the goodies, I heard what I thought was Y staffer behind our classroom/meeting room, but it just turned out to be one of the locals.One by one, the gentlemen arrived and I finally started to feel like the retreat was real. Andy arrived sporting a cute Xmas hat, in spite of the heat... that's a dedicated fiber fiend for you!. The next to show up were Brian (from Seattle and Skacel), Ivar (all the way from Sweden) and Doug (all the way from WeHoSoCal). Then came Michael, Harry, John, and Kenny (MSKR 2008 almnus and token Southern Boy) Chuck and David. After that it was a bit of a blur... literally.The sun set early and the fog rolled in BIG TIME. I started to get worried because several folks hadn't arrived. But a call from Steve let us know that he was at a "No on Prop 8" protest in downtown SF. Kyle, Darrel and Jonathan showed up a bit later and we were all in.Our first dinner (cafeteria style) reassured me that we were going to be taken care of. The preparations are simple yet hearty. The Y tries to shop local and organic when possible. We also had coffee and tea service ALL DAY LONG. Believe me, I drank my weight in coffee that first day. It's a miracle I made it to sleep that night. Oh wait, that was due to temazapam. :-)Our first get to know each other activity was supposed to be a bingo game that used cards containing surprising facts about each attendee. But, since we got off to a late start and since we had a LOT of swag, we did a "lightning round" of group Q&A wherein everyone had a chance to win and then select one of the prizes from our booty table.Everyone had a chance to check out the Swag from our generous donors:Article Pract, A Verb for Keeping Warm, Briar Rose Fibers, BrooklynTweed, Danny Oulette Designs, Hansigurumi, HelloYarn, KnitSonya, Knotty Naomi, Oceanwind Knits, Perchance to Knit, Schoolhouse Press, Shelridge Farms, Spinning Loft, Tactile Fiber Arts, Unique Sheep, Wild Geese Fibers, and Yarn Nerd. We're so not worthy!!!I busted out the two cakes that I brought from Sweet Adeline's, a chocolate ganache devil's food cake, and a lemon curd cheesecake (which Kenny heard me say as "lemon curry cheesecake"... he was in desperate need of an antihistamine). I think they were both a big hit. Jennifer at Sweet A's is a confectionary goddess.We rounded out the first day b[...]

Comments (0) - Read and Add your own Comments