Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sock-Mad In San Diego!






And greetings to you from the sunny southern shores of California! No more Celtic Vests for the nonce, socks are the subject of the hour and indeed the week, and you wouldn't believe the saga that has gone into them already (yes you would, you've been there, done that, got the scars on your heart, right?)


Discovering that the very first round of SockMadness would require a skein each of solid and variegated fingering was a bit of a hiccup, as somehow we chez Celtic Memory had thought the inaugural round would be a one-colour job and had wound up two neat balls of Cherry Tree Hill in emerald fleck so as to be ready for when the pattern was downloaded on Saturday morning, by which time I would be in California and it would be late Friday night if you get my reasoning. The organisers helpfully suggested that most needs could be assuaged on the Net, but they clearly didn't know too much about postal times and living in the depths of rural Ireland. No, whatever I needed would have to come out of the stash somehow. Desperate trawling brought only one yarn to the fore - that lovely blue silk/cashmere, which is more or less a fingering weight. Thursday afternoon, in between frantic typing bouts on a dozen pieces which had to be written up and filed at the paper before I left Friday morning, I wound up one ball and then skeined up another and overdyed it in a sort-of-variegated slosh of blues before hanging it hopefully to drip dry.


Friday morning at dawn it was still, of course, wet (this being Ireland for heaven's sake, where nothing dries until July and sometimes not even then), so it was draped over the back of the seat in the car on the way to Shannon (DH is really patient at times like this, even with damp silk-cashmere dripping little droplets of blue water down the back of his neck - luckily I'd had the forethought to lay out a blue shirt for him, wasn't it?)


It hung over the back of the seat on the plane too, for eight and a half hours en route to Chicago, and it quite liked that because it could look out. It was damp-dry enough to wear as a chic fashion accessory at O'Hare...







and finally dry enough to wind up just before the flight on to San Diego. The pull handles of the carry-on bags were really useful here.






I crawled out of a jetlagged haze and went hunting for the pattern in my email at about 4 am Californian time. Seized the circular and the yarns and got started.


Oh B----R!


It just didn't work. I needed to go down a needle size for definite, and lovely though the yarn combination was, it was not right for these socks - too thick after all. Nope, new materials were needed and fast. Heck, other people were probably turning the heel by this time! Rushed out as soon as shops opened to hunt for a size 0 needle but none of the haystacks in San Diego had it. And needless to say fingering yarn wasn't in evidence either. It wasn't until we reached the gorgeous old-fashioned seaside town of La Jolla (and yes, I do know you pronounce it La Hoya!), that I discovered Paradise in the shape of Knitting In La Jolla.



This has to be the best yarn store EVER! I'll give links and things later, but it's 3 am now and I need to keep going before the Net connection gives out. You can find it easily online. Not only did the wonderful Suzanne have Addi Turbos in size 0 (she had them down to triple 000 would you believe?) she also had the most incredible range of fingerings. Fell totally in love with Panda bamboo/cotton from Crystal Palace. Bought it. Spent the rest of the breezy sunny day happily knitting away while DH photographed the cutest baby seals on the beach.



Knitting on the go is quite easy if you have a bag to hang over your arm, and this being California nobody thought it the slightest bit crazy. A lovely young Mexican woman was fascinated with the Magic Loop idea and watched closely for ages before exclaiming in triumph that she'd got it, and heading off to buy a long circular herself. And two glamorous young women were knitting in the cafe where we took a break - well DH did, I kept right on knitting. I had some catching up to do.





This is as far as I got this evening before crashing out (last night? A week ago? What day is it?)



Working with this bamboo/cotton is like knitting with cream. It's pure pleasure. I even broke off my knitting stroll along the seafront to dash back in and buy some two more sets, in a hot pink and a vivid green combination . Will show pictures of those later. Oh and a good back issue of Interweave Knits - the one with incredible cables - and the new Rebecca. That shop is good! And being able to get the right materials with which to work makes all the difference. (But it did take an eighteen-hour flying marathon, a hotel, a car, and a fairly energetic morning's searching to get them!)

27 comments:

LaurieM said...

I'm impressed all to heck with your dedication and perseverance. Do they give bonus points for extreme knitting? I think you deserve one for winding yarn in the airport!

Artis-Anne said...

Oh Jo you are a hoot !!
Love all your photos (especially the winding skein one )
It's been Sock Madness hasn't it from the start ? I too frogged first combo snd still not sure about this one as it doen't have enough contrast but they are nice socks and have worked to the stated needle size , so at this stage I am not changing .
LOVE your yarn combo & thanks for the mail; hope you get some sleep soon.
Try counting socks .....no? may be not !!

Rhonda said...

You have to love a knitter who can think on her feet. Sounds like a great trip.

Charity said...

Jo, you are so much fun! Love all your adventures into Sock Madness - especially the airport photos! :0)

Francesca said...

You're in San Diego? Any chance of getting together?

Fiberjoy said...

Hearning my chuckles Ed asked what I was reading so of course I had to turn the monitor towards him so he could share the mirth of your drying dying flying adventures.

Enjoy the sun and yarn shops!

rho said...

You must have ESP girl - -I just wrote to Wanda late last night worried about you -- nothing on your blog for a whole week!!! Glad to see you are just off having fun. :D

angie Cox said...

Link to Crystal Palces yarns blog on my site has a very wild colourway in the bamboo sock yarn.

Marianne said...

Way to go, Jo!

Peg said...

I will definitely have to look up that wonderful yarn shop. Traveling thousands of miles to buy the perfect yarn is no problem for you, Jo. I love it. I have a ball of bamboo to knit tit bits - I love the feel of it, so just now I give the ball a loving pat daily.
The saga of drying yarn - too funny!
Enjoy your visit and those seals are great at posing for a great photographer.

Lyn said...

Well done for your perseverance, Jo! I, too, was unsatisfied with my first colour combination - it looked fine until knitted up - so furiously hunted around for a different pair, from the stash.
I'm much happier with this second lot, but am way behind the speedsters in the comp.

Love your photos, too, of extreme persistence and innovative preparation methods.

picperfic said...

I've been popping in to this thread all week wondering what you were up to and wow, I'm not disappointed. You are amazing, I wish I had found out abour this sock mania earlier, i would lhave loved to have joined in....ho hum..next time maybe. Have great time Jo!

Jean said...

You're doing great! I hadn't seen you posting on Flickr and was getting worried about you. I'm glad to see you're okay and knitting away. (Hope you're enjoying our So.Cal weather. We rolled out the "extra-warm" just for you.)

Cindy said...

What an adventure! Enjoy your stay in our beautiful state, I am further north than you are likely to get but we are certainly having some nice weather for you! glad you discovered the Crystal Palace yarns, they are quite lovely. Just finished my socks! G'night and keep us posted, I am cheering for you!

Vicki in So. Cal. said...

I wish that I had known you were here , I could have met you somewhere. I'm glad you found what you needed though.

pacalaga said...

Glad you found a good shop. I know a couple others if you will be as far north as Escondido. I have seen that Panda Cotton in my LYS, but only one or two balls, and as I didn't know anything about it, I passed for something I was familiar with, for the contest. On your recommendation, though, I might go get some!

Dez Crawford said...

The photo winding yarn in the airport is. The. Best. Ever.

Angeluna said...

Just had to see if you had checked in. I'm imagining you sitting on beaches and knitting and never looking up while Richard photographs the most marvelous things. Love your socks. Great yarn. I so adored the photo of you skeining in the airport. You must post that with your finished socks.

I realized that pattern would never fit my "exotic" foot (looks normal but fit is a Bi***) no matter what I did, so I grabbed some stash yarn and started knitting away, thinking I would gift them. Two repeats into the sock, I realized my gauge was so tight and my yarn so thin that it was taking me twice as long as anyone else to do a repeat. Grand debate, concensus...keep knitting. Made a real goof and knitted a round with the tail, fellow SMs said...keep knitting. So I did. Finally, I had so much invested in these socks I really don't like (Xmas colors with white stripes, a candy cane)that I couldn't stop. Finished one into the next, but am back at work so prospects look grim. Good luck to you....Go Ireland!

Happy Birthday, Richard.

Crystal Palace Yarns said...

Hi Jo,

So glad you love our new Panda Cotton! We are already adding some new fun colors, too.

I'll tell our UK Distributor (Hantex)that there is already a Panda Cotton fan on the Isles!

Susan at Crystal Palace Yarns

Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said...

Francesca, Vicky, Gelsomina, I would LOVE to meet you all in So.Cal! Why don't we have a get together at somewhere in between LA and San D before I fly out on Tues March 20? Encinitas? Just say the word. I could be there Saturday or Sunday (does that nice yarn shop there open on Sunday)? Monday or Tuesday too, but you'll have other things to do then, I imagine! But TALK TO ME. I would so love to meet.

Kellie said...

lol! I can't believe everything you went through with your first yarn only to have it too thick - I would have chucked in my too-large needles at that point! love the finished socks and so happy for you that you made it through the first round!!

Denise said...

The airport photo of you winding yarn off of your luggage is priceless!

I'm glad you are getting lovely warm weather for your trip!

Vicki in So. Cal. said...

I could be free on Monday. Sunday between 12:00 and 4:00pm I'll be spinning at the House of Ireland in Balboa Park.

Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said...

Hey Spinner Vicki I'll see you at the House of Ireland (what a way to celebrate St. Patrick's weekend) on Sunday! Can't wait!

Ms. Knitingale said...

Jo, I'm laughing myself half to death, but gently and lovingly! Poor DH with the blue neck.....I do love the yarn you bought, though, and the socks look lovely. Now, if I could only get you to work your way up the coast to Seattle......

Mrs J said...

Good one! Not sure that folk in a European airport would have managed - I had a few strange looks & I was only knitting! Enjoy your stay!

Vicki in So. Cal. said...

I'm so glad you can make it to Balboa Park on Sunday. It will be great to meet you. See you there.