Monday, February 26, 2007

The Train Gang

Saturday, 300 or so knitters from Sacramento totally overwhelmed the Amtrak Capitol Corridor Stitch 'n' Ride Train to Stitches West! (Here's my little group waiting for the train home, loaded down with our Stitches purchases.)

The ladies at Capitol Corridor had their fingers on the knitting pulse, and had requested extra train cars, but the powers-that-be just couldn't imagine that that many knitters actually exist in the WORLD, much less little ol' Sacramento. Then, of course, MORE knitters boarded at every station along the way: Davis, Martinez, and Richmond, etc. We filled the entire 5-car train, including the cafe car! As a result, nearly 100 people stood or sat in the aisles.

Although many folks were understandably upset by the lack of seating, the Capitol Corridor ladies did a great job of making sure everyone had a goodie bag or a raincheck for one -- and the plethora of wonderful raffle prizes would have brightened anyone's day. Good job!

Can you imagine a train jam-packed with knitters?? It was fabulous! People were walking through the train chatting with everyone and admiring works-in-progress and works-being-worn. What a friendly, cheerful, beautiful trainload! (Although we did really feel sorry for the non-knitters who were innocently swept up in the needle-toting hordes! You could tell who they were by their deer-in-the-headlight expressions -- and total lack of yarn, of course.) :)

With this level of ridership -- and the presence of a couple of new-believer Amtrak officials and their knitting wives who happened to be on board -- Capitol Corridor now has the clout to demand -- and receive -- a dedicated knitting train for next year. Yay! One small step for knitterkind . . .

After all the fun on the train, Stitches was kind of an afterthought. :) By Saturday, a lot of the Market merchandise was picked over, although you certainly couldn't tell by the stuffed shopping bags everyone lugged home! I managed to score a skein of lightweight Socks that Rock in the Bleeding Hearts colorway before lunch, but people who visited the booth after lunch reported that all the lightweight yarn was gone. There seemed to be lots of Sock Candy, and other yarns, though.

All-in-all, a fun day that I wouldn't have wanted to miss. Knitting on a train packed with friendly knitters is a great experience. I'm looking forward to next time!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mardi Gras Time!

Even though today is officially Fat Tuesday, we've been celebrating for a while around here. As proof, I offer my official socks for February — Mardi Gras Socks!Official Mardi Gras colors are purple, green, and gold: when I saw this yarn in the skein, those colors seemed to be dominant. But when I knit it up, the green went missing and lots of pink showed up. So now the socks are more Carnivale than Mardi Gras. Oh, well. :)

The knit-in stitch marker IS in Mardi Gras colors, and even says "Mardi Gras"! It is enamel, and I cannibalized a charm bracelet for it. The green and purple beads are Swarovski crystals, and the yellow flower is glass.

The yarn is Dancing from Knit Picks, and the pattern is my favorite, Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Socks with Feather and Fan Top.

And yes, I am wearing these socks today, along with my Mardi Gras beads! If you aren't celebrating Mardi Gras where you are, you can join the virtual celebration on the New Orleans Mardi Gras website. Let the good times roll!

Monday, February 05, 2007

"Official" January Sox

OK, here are my "official" January socks. The Christmas-stripey ones? I'm going to reserve them as December's socks. You know, just in case. Just in case I wait 'til the last minute for my Christmas gift knitting and run out of time again for my own Christmas knitting.

Yeah. Like that's not gonna happen, right? :)

Anyway, these socks are Wendy's generic toe-up with Fan & Feather tops. I love this pattern. I have discovered that I am not really into different sock patterns, but really like working with different yarns. I enjoy the textures and colors much more than patterns. This may change someday, but right now, it's where I'm at, as we used to say in the 70's. :)

The yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Tahoe colorway. I got it at Jimmy Bean's yarn shop in Truckee last summer, as a souvenir of a wonderful weekend trip with some knitting friends. It was such a perfect day in the mountains that day: If I had held this yarn up to the view of Lake Tahoe and the Sierras, it would have matched just perfectly. So I guess these socks are kind of like a postcard for my feet, and it doesn't get any better than that.

Here's the knit-in marker on the second sock: it's a lampwork glass bead with a frog on a lily pad charm. There is also a purple Swarovski crystal that doesn't show in this view.

Tuesday night about 20 knitters from our guild who participated in Lorna's January Challenge showed up with their hats. What a variety! Everyone used different yarns, different methods, different color combinations -- but every single item was a work of art. My friend Cindi even made hers as a sock! It was really amazing -- and lots of fun to see the results! Our February Challenge is the Brea Bag. You could just hear all the wheels turning as everyone started planning the next creative challenge.