Wednesday, December 31, 2008

As you can see, the P - Man (and the rest of the FKD household!) is more than ready to see 2008 come to a close but......

Pumpkin and I are wishing everyone a Happy Healthy Joyous 2009 and better days for all!!

Here's to change....


Sunday, December 14, 2008

On occasion.....

I do knit something other than socks around here. Shocking, innit? :)

I know it's been nothing but socks, socks and more socks around here for a while but I do have a couple of non-sock items to share.....

First of all, I confess I finally popped my Malabrigo cherry....what was I waiting for?? This stuff is heaven in a skein!

In my defense, I have no LYS and you can't really appreciate the splendor that is Malabrigo on a monitor!

I have a friend in very chilly Ohio who's been having a pretty rough year health wise so I wanted to knit her something very snuggly for Christmas/her birthday (both in December).

Enter the Dolores Park Cowl (Ravelry link) Super easy, super pretty and extra super quick!

Have a peek:

Isn't it beautiful?


Delores Park Cowl designed by Parikha Mehta
2 skeins Malabrigo Chunky in Stone Chat
24" size US 13 addi turbo

Notes: My friend is a fluffy gal and I know cowls are supposed to fit with lots of ease so to be safe I added an additional 2 inches to the width. I figured if I was wrong and it was too big she could pin it a little tighter with a pretty shawl pin but serendipity prevailed and it's PERFECT on her!

Because of the extra inches I needed 2 skeins altho some people who knit the cowl as written had to eliminate some rows to use only one skein so your mileage may vary even if you knit the pattern as written. I did alternate the 2 skeins every other row (what a PIA that was!) but it was worth it cause it's so lovely.

I also knit the reverse stockinette rows at the beginning and end as garter stitch because I wanted a more solid border.

I finished it a few weeks ago when Florida was having a record breaking November heat wave. I tried the cowl on and despite the 90 degree heat I couldn't take it OFF! This yarn is that yummy! (side note: I washed it before gifting, no sweaty handknits here at FKD, heheh)

And then to further feed my newly acquired Malabrigo jones, I knit Jessie some matching wristers....

As further proof of the lure of the Malabrigo, FKMom, yes Florida dwelling FKMom got a gander of these and demanded her own pair!


Extra Warm Malabrigo Wristers (Ravelry Link)
1 skein Malabrigo Worsted in Stone Chat
32 inch size US #4 addi turbo, magic loop method

These are just an adaptation of my free Extra Warm Kureyon Wristers Pattern with the ribbing on the cuff and thumb changed to a twisted 1x1 rib to better suite the elegance of the Malabrigo. (info is on my Rav project page linked above) I was able to get 2 pair, one large size and one medium size, from one skein.

All have been gifted and all are well loved already, WOOT!

Now if that wasn't enough, I also finished my second Fugly Sock Yarn Blanket of Doom!

This one is a Christmas gift for my next door neighbors....and I'm hanging up my hook for a while!

Srsly, while I love these colorful blankets and use mine every day (plus it's such a gorgeous way to use up all those little leftover sock bits!) I am a knitter much more than a crocheter.

In fact, I'm just dying to knit a real honest to goodness sweater cause it's been far too long!

I usually cast on a new project on New Years Day so I'll be spending the next 2 weeks purveying the perfect sweater pattern, hehe....

So far Kingscot, Ginny, Eastlake and Olivia are the front runners....anyone want to voice an opinion? :)

The P-Man says as long as he can make biscuits on it and there's an ample supply of chicken, they're all the same to him!

Hope your holiday knitting is finished and your mistletoe and eggnog (and chicken!) are plentiful!

See y'all soon, there are socks to show, dontcha know! :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holiday Gift Eye Candy :)

In my last post, I mentioned I was going to be the designer of the November Mystery Sock for the Sock Knitters Anonymous Group on Ravelry.

Well the month is almost over and I'm happy to say the design was a great success! Have a look at all these gorgeous socks! (Ravelry link)

Now I couldn't forget my faithful blog readers, could I? (hello, is anyone out there, heheh)

So if you're not on Ravelry or Groups just aren't your thing, have a peek at these......

This pair was my "prototype". The name of the sock is Mad About Plaid which, when I considered taking on this challenge is what came to me before anything see I've never even knit a mosaic/slipped stitch design before so designing one was a real challenge!

The name Mad About Plaid came to me so I set out to figure how I could replicate "plaid" in a sock. I think I came pretty close, huh? :)

It was also important to me that the sock have appeal for a man or a woman.

When I swatched the designs I actually purposely chose colors that I would never use together (try camo, pink/orange striped and a navy/green variegate - yuck!), yet they worked!

I discovered as long as the three colors have very different values and strong contrast, they worked! So I decided to test my theory with my "prototype socks" you see above. Not for the shy and retiring sock wearer, right? (as an aside, I was going to give them to my 20-something cousin until my hot and groovy WAY older than 20-something Mom decided these socks were HERS. PERIOD. In fact, she can't wait to show them off to her canasta group! hehe)

Next, I wanted to make sure they were appealing to the Y chromosome set too....

Mad About Plaid, Manly version

Hey, big in town?

Lastly, I wanted to try a "negative" version, reversing the light and dark values....

Nothing "negative" about these babies!

I'm really proud of these and the experience has been mostly wonderful! And while I recognize that, yes, I am far too thin-skinned to put myself out there as a "designer" full time, it's nice to reach for the stars every now and again!

So if you have a hankering for some plaid, there's a non-Ravelry link on my sidebar here or you can find my pattern on Ravelry here.

It's a simple pattern so don't fear the colorwork! If you can slip a stitch, you can knit these patterns - there is no stranding or floats so it's easy peasy and quite fun to knit!

Oh and in case you have a hankerin' for plaid but not into socks so much right now.....

I designed some matching Mad About Plaid Mitts too :)

Whether you knit em for yourself or someone on your holiday list, I hope y'all enjoy my gifts to you!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

So many socks!!

Anyone who knows me even a little, knows I am a pretty monogamous knitter.

For me it's one "big" project and one smaller/portable project, usually socks. Any more than that and I get nervous and jerky - I'm just not a knitter who does well with multiple WIP's.

Since the Vest from Hades has been my "big" project since February (February!!! GAH that makes me shudder just to put in writing how long it took me to force myself to finally finish the heinous beast!) I've knit a lot of socks :)

I'm also almost finished with the Fugly Sock Yarn Blanket of Doom v2 but I'll save that for another post.

I've been holding out on my FKD fans and have not shown you all the socks cropping up around Chez Blog de Fluffy so I made y'all a little mosaic.....

1. Quilted Lava Socks, 2. SKA July Mystery Sock, 3. Little Pumpkin Socks,
Cheetos Redux, 5. Fluffy Fowards, 6. Blue Komets

All the Deets are here on my Rav project page if you're interested.

These were a fun group of socks.....the upper middle ones were a Microgauge Mystery Sock designed by Rebecca Hatcher for the Sock Knitters Anonymous Group. The microgauge (10 or more stitches per inch) almost killed my wrists but they have the coolest toe up heel construction ever! Plus they were a truly gorgeous sock!

The socks in the upper right corner were a prize I donated for Claudia's MS Ride last spring. Imagine my freak out chagrin when I found out said prize winner was none other than prolific sock designer, Anne Hanson! But I did my best and I think she really liked them cause she gave them a rave review!

Speaking of mosaics and Mystery socks....(smooth segue, huh?) you may not know that along with SKA's monthly technique and designer challenges (as well as being the fouth largest group on Ravelry!!) every other month we have a Mystery Sock that reflects the technique of that month's challenge.

November's challenge will be mosiac/slip stitch knitting and the Mystery Sock is being designed by an eager yet humble (and terrified!) designer....ME!!

I'm always encouraging the members to challenge themselves and grow as knitter's and I figured I needed to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. So despite never having ever knit a mosaic pattern, I designed one :)

i'm too thin skinned to be "a designer" but I am very proud of the pattern. It's a clean, classic design that in the right colors, could be for a woman or a man. Plus I had a really cool test knitter who gave the pattern two thumbs up! So if you want more info or care to join us :::quiver::: the more the merrier!

The P-Man says peek on in, you'll have a good time! See ya there!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Don't hate her because she's beautiful!

Last Thursday was FK Mom's birthday so y'all know what that means.......

The vest from Hades Mom's Vest was gifted!!!

Despite being a very reluctant supermodel (hence the bare half smile despite my hijinks to make her strike a pose, hehe) here's the money shot:

Doesn't she look dishy? It's a perfect fit, just the length she wanted, the cute little Star Trek cap sleeves she requested AND SHE LOVES IT!!

I know it's hard to see from the pic but the buttons I went with are these:

And I think they look beautiful! As usual, the P-Man contributed his honking big white hair that is in every pic despite close FKD scrutiny :::sigh:::

Because the pattern was completely heinous to knit, again there will be no linkage. If you're just dying to know, the info is on my Rav page.

This was a total surprise for Mom and I guesstimated her specs so I'm really happy to be done with this albatross with the fit and I'm so glad she loves it!

Happy Birthday Beautiful FK MOM! :)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I'm keeping that promise....

I promised I'd return when the vest from hell was finished so I buckled down and gotter done :)

Here she is blocking after a nice bath.....

(click to embiggen as always)

It is a beautiful vest when all is said and done and just what Mom requested. Plus the color is so yummy...she saw me knitting some socks with the same colorway of Louet Gems fingering so I used the sportweight for her vest.

Thanks to tons of redneck engineering I have a finished product I love and that I know Mom will adore but honestly, I made so many mods because of the truly godawful pattern I'm not even gonna link it :(

Now for the fun me choose some buttons!!

Here are the choices:

Despite appearing slightly golden or bronze on my monitor, the center 3 are all silver.

The one on the right is vintage Czech glass, a light steel blue color with dark blue/teal accents

Lastly, the one on the left is also vintage, clear plastic with an iridescent coating.

So choose the button you like best cause I love them all and can't decide!

I asked this guy what he thought.....

But he just voted for chicken!

Can't wait to hear what y'all think!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Something REALLY worth blogging about!

Hi there! Remember me? Oh, come on it's just been a little over a month... :)

I promised myself I would return to Chez Blog de Fluffy as soon as I finished the oft procrastinated oft mentioned "Mom's Vest" cause I figured surely that would only be a week or two at most. Um, not so much....and Mom's October birthday looms closer and closer!

Well, as you may have guessed by my absence, I haven't touched the thing in weeks! In my defense, it is the most poorly written pattern I've EVER encountered! It's so bad it makes me loathe working on it but I persevere cause the vest will be gorgeous when it's done and I know Mom will love it! Plus I still need y'all to help me pick out the buttons....please?

Besides the lack of vestitude, it's been a busy summer. As I've mentioned before I'm very active in a wonderful group on Ravelry, Sock Knitter's Anonymous.
We just celebrated our first birthday and we've spent lots of time and effort for a fabulous new Sockdown! schedule for the coming year that begins September 1. Come on down and join us, you'll have a blast!

So as you might guess, I've been knitting socks instead of vests :)
I have 2 real beauties to show time, and a few secret designs that you'll see in the future....yeah, I'm a tease like that sometimes.

Now all that's the fluff, let's get to the one thing that brought me back to blogging (besides all my great, forgiving, blog buds!) because it's so amazingly special....and it involves P-Man for those in withdrawl....

Just have a gander at what I got in the mail yesterday.....

Are these not the cutest stitch markers EVER? Teenie P-Man stitch markers, SQUEEEEEE!! Four different teenie P-Man stitch markers! Just look how teenie.....

These were a gift from my generous and talented friend Cathy! I have no idea how she did these but I was so blown away, I burst into tears upon opening the package!

What makes it even more precious is Cathy's had a pretty crappy shake this last year due to some personal stuff yet thru it all she remains loving, kind, and sweet. I'm not sure I'd be quite so magnanimous in her shoes!

Thank you, my friend. Altho, I'm not worthy, I am eternally grateful for your friendship and your mad crafting skillz :)

If you like, you can say hello to Cathy on Rav here: CathyTWLK

Or visit her blog here: Tightly Wound Loosely Knit

I know she'd love to meet you!

ETA: These stitch markers were gifted by Cathy but actually made by
Knitted Kitty Creations who has an Etsy Shop (

Now I'll try not to stay away so long cause like I said, I have some dishy socks to show you, the P-Man is demanding face time with his fans and I am seriously determined to finish Mom's freakin' lovely vest in the next two weeks!

For all our P-Man fans who have been missing the lil guy, I leave you with the original pic from my favorite stitch marker....I call it "Pumpkin hears a funny" :)

See ya soon!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Someone's turning 4 today!

Happy Birthday, sweet boy!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Eye Candy Monday

A couple of weeks back when discussing my blogging ennui I mentioned subjecting y'all to yet another sock and you (wonderful, supportive!) guys all seemed never to tire of the endless sock parade here at Chez FKD :)

I haven't finished Mom's vest yet but soon I hope, altho I've kinda forgotten what it's like to knit on needles larger than a US #1,, I'm almost finished with a Fugly Sock Yarn Blanket of Doom v2 that I started on June 18 - yeah, I'm a crocheting maniac these days, hehe!

So anyway here's a collage of four pairs of socks I never posted about, hope you like em!

All specs and pattern info HERE (Ravelry link)

Thanks for all the compliments on my Crystals, 'Combs and Cables socks, I hope y'all enjoy knitting them....and have a great week!

Ok, ok...I didn't forget what y'all really want to see....

Who loves ya, baby?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Present for my Readers Saturday :)

My latest sock pattern for anyone that wants it!

Meet my new Crystals, 'Combs and Cables Socks....

Crystals for the beads, ‘Combs because the medallions remind me of lacy honeycombs and Cables are for the flowing braided twists.

Beaded Cuff Close Up


Magic Loop 32' nickel circ, US#1 (2.25mm)
Fleece Artist Merino, Seafoam colorway
steel crochet hook for beading size 12 (1.0mm)
approx. 200 amethyst AB 8/0 seed beads
Beaded Garter Stitch cuff and Garter stitch short row heel with my own mini flap and gusset
Cabled without a cable needle

More pics and info plus free pattern HERE (Ravelry link)

And for those that aren't on Ravelry...why not? :)

J/K, HERE'S a link to the file (plus it's on my sidebar>>)

And you thought I didn't love you guys any more.....Enjoy!

The P-Man told me to say he still loves ya too!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wanna see some real eye candy?

And make a real difference?

My blog friend Kristi
has designed the most beautiful and meaningful sock and I thought y'all would love the story behind it is quite amazing. Bring a tissue!

Guided by Love Sock
(Ravelry Link)

100% of the sale will go to this very worthy cause so have a look and maybe purchase a great sock pattern that can make a real difference!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Eye Candy Sunday

This is Sammy, my 4 year old nephew...He flew in from California yesterday so he could participate in World Wide Knit in Public Day and the Socknitters Anonymous First Annual WWKIP Day Sock Scavenger Hunt

Ok, he really flew in with the rest of the Cali FluffyKnitterFamily to celebrate Father's Day but it's never to early to pique a future knitter's interest, right? :)

Hope everyone had a great KIP day and Happy Father's Day everyone !!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Eye Candy Sunday

A girl's gotta do something with all that leftover sock yarn :)

Specs and info on Ravelry HERE

Friday, May 30, 2008

Eye Candy Friday

Some serious yarn pr0n....
(as always, click to embiggen - you wont be sorry!)

and happy weekend!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Video killed the radio star....

And Ravelry killed the Blogger? hhhhhmmmm, maybe....

Well, hello FKD readers and concerned fans! Yes, I'm still alive and so is the P-Man.

We appreciate all your concerned email and posts so let me 'splain....

I have not been feeling too well, I'm on my second course of antibiotics for a sinus infection that just won't quit so I'm crabby and miserable and my new super heroine name is Yeast Woman!!! (just kidding, all the yogurt and acidophilis is doing it's job!)

I've been having a bit of an existential blog crisis - after three years, do I want to subject you, my much appreciated (and missed!) readers to another pair of socks? hehe... Have I said all I need to say?

Truth is, I don't know...I miss you guys A LOT and I miss all the great things blogging has brought to my life but I confess, blogging doesn't come easy right now and if blogging becomes a chore rather than a labor of love, is it time to go or just time for a long little blog vacay?

While I don't think Ravelry takes the place of blogging, it does vie for it's time.

Maybe it's true, absence does make the heart grow fonder cause now that I'm writing this, it feels like I never left....anyone else feeling the ambivalence? Got a cure for blogger's ennui?

I leave you with this very cute picture of my kitty man...

while I further contemplate my blogging life. Any and all tips for combating the ennui will be appreciated!

I'll be back cause I have so many finished socks to show you, I need your help picking out buttons for Mom's lace vest and I miss you all!

Knit lots, hugs to most and thanks for all the love ;)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

What's going on at Blog de Fluffy?

Hi everyone, Pumpkin here...

Mom asked me to come on her blog today to let you know that she's been really sick for the last week. So sick that she missed her own Blogiversary on April 10 and still so sick that she's gonna miss World Grits Day tomorrow and the Great
Grits -n- Sticks Contest :(

She's even stopped doing that thing she usually does all the time with those shiny connected sticks and pretty string, can you believe it?

Anyway, she said to tell you she'll be back as soon as she feels human better and she told me I could show you how I amuse myself for hours when I'm not taking care of her....

It's better watching than American Idol, I tell ya!

See ya!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

G is for .......

Good knits gone bad... but I'll get to that...

I hope you all enjoyed the movie quotes...that last one was a stumper but
Melanie finally got it! If you haven't already, visit my last post for all the answers - thanks for playing!

Now back to the good knits gone bad...

Remember this?

That's Mom and Dad in their His n Hers Ribby Cardis taken in 2005, just about a year before my Dad passed away.

They both wore their sweaters very often and my Mom still wore hers a lot.

Despite having donated all my Dad's clothes to Goodwill she saved his sweater and it was the only thing left in his "side" of the armoire.

Prior to this, my Mom brought the sweaters over here for me to wash when they needed it. They are not superwash but I washed them in cold water in the gentle cycle and blocked them on my blocking board with no problem.

This time around my Mom decided that she could wash it just as easily ::::cue scary impending doom music:::: so she put it in her washer on the delicate cycle and this is what she pulled out....(smallish 7 pound kitty for scale)

as always, click to embiggen if you can stand it :)

Yep, it's an unwearable felted dickie! Even if she could get it on, it is barely long enough to cover Mom's bust now.

Turns out her machine agitates a lot more than mine plus we figured out now (d'oh!) that her "cold cycle" groundwater is probably a lot warmer then mine since mine has to come up to the fifth floor and she lives in a one story home.

Mom was just devastated and upset that all my hard work had been ruined but....there is some good news even when good knits go bad....

As bittersweet as it is, my Mom is glad to have a reason to wear my Dad's sweater. She's glad that it won't just be sitting in the closet looking lonely anymore and it gives her some comfort to "feel" my Dad's sweater giving her a hug.

Plus a certain someone seems to have found a new object of his affection......

From the minute I put it down to take a picture, Pumpkin's interest was most definitely piqued!

He kneads it constantly while purring like a motorboat and he bunny kicks it when he wants to play and he's even made it his new bed...

And even when he's not sleeping on it, he's defending his turf!

So in the end, good knits gone bad aint so bad afterall -- Mom's happy, the P-Man is happy and I have great blog fodder even tho it cost me a sweater! :)

On to the knits that survived the carnage, heh.

Annetrelac Socks!

The Sock Knitters Anonymous Challenge for March was entrelac and despite having knit entrelac a few times before I couldn't think of a pattern to show of this gorgeous Bearfoot yarn any better!


Annetrelac socks by Sandy Beadle, Interweave Knits, Holiday 2007

1 skein Mountain Colors Bearfoot, Goldrush colorway

Mods: Bearfoot is a "beefy" fingering weight yarn with little memory because of the mohair content. I cast on 64 stitches (instead of 72) with a 2.5 mm 32” circ. Because entrelac is knit on the bias it often swatches out with a much higher gauge than regular circular knitting. To compensate for that I switched to a 2.0 mm when I started the entrelac and decreased to 36 stitches so I had six “squares” in each round rather than the 8 the pattern had.

After 9 rounds of the entrelac I returned to the 2.5mm needle and increased back 64 stitches.

I added a mini flap of 8 garter rows and then worked a garter stitch short row heel over 32 stitches.

I then decreased the gusset down to 60 total stitches for the foot. (32 for the instep/28 for the sole)

I also added a 6x2 rib to the instep for a snug fit.

I knit for a size 10.5 mens shoe and I had a tiny bit of yarn left over.

Here's a close up of the wonderful heel

As an aside, this was my second garter stitch short row heel and I totally ♥ it!! It's a great fit, looks sharp and despite having to double wrap the short rows, you don't have to pick up the wraps because of the texture of the garter stitch hides them and best of all - NO HOLES!! :)

All in all, an easy knit with a jazzy end product - I give the yarn and pattern two thumbs up!

Speaking of thumbs....and the rest of my knails, yuk yuk yuk...

Here's my latest sock with my latest knails...

The sock is called "Pink Blossom" and I'm test knitting it so no links (but it's WAY cute!) the yarn is Panda Cotton in the Ember Glow colorway, and the knails are OPI Brights Collection in "Color Me Blue"....I've been noticing a lack of blue in my color palate of late so I thought I'd rectify that in a big way :)

Also please note what the sock is leaning on....yep, it's baaaaaack!!!

Keep your fingers crossed that she keeps working and the P-Man and I will be back soon. Have a great weekend and knit lots!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Still waiting.....

I still await my computer's return to it's usual spot so when all else fails, meme right? Plus I have an important announcement to make at the end of this post :)

I've seen this meme on lots of blogs but it appears not many bloggers love the movies I do so I thought I'd give you the Chez FKD version....

The rules:

  • Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
  • Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
  • Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.
  • Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
  • Looking them up is cheating. Please don’t.
1- I won't love you for the rest of your life, I'll love you for the rest of mine - Phenomenon - Katy delurks to answer this one

2- If you don't tell me what's on your mind, I'm afraid I'll have to smother you with a pillow - The Green Mile - good job, Stephanie

3- What do we do now? It'll come to us - Meet Joe Black - spot on danagirl

4- Something's happened to me since I met you that I wasn't expecting... And I wasn't... expecting -- heh, repetition of 'expecting' I must buy a thesaurus-- anyway... - Sliding Doors - Jana got this one and I'm totally impressed :)

5- Do you believe in pre-marital sax? - St. Elmo's Fire - way to go becky c

6- Yo Osama. Plan the Jihad on your own time. - Crash - yay! Kelley got it!

7- Miguel....I'm ready... - Philadelphia - Jana got this one too!

8- The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return - Moulin Rouge - icesk8ie knows her musicals! (mmm Ewan!)

9- You once wrote, there comes a time when all the cosmic tumblers have clicked into place and the universe opens it’s self up for a few seconds to show you what’s possible - from Field of Dreams - Desert Rat got it!

10- Don't bark at me! I didn't name you! - As Good As It Gets - I can't believe this one took so long but Melanie finally got it!

Have fun!!

Y'all yelled at me last year for not alerting you in advance so this year I'm giving y'all two weeks notice.....

April 14 is once again WORLD GRITS DAY!!!

So get you some butter, some cheese, some salt and pepper, a bit of tabasco (I like mine green!), even some red eye gravy if you're so inclined and have yourself a big, yummy bowl of grits!

And once again Kris of The Knitting Wannabe and Sonny and Shear is sponsoring her annual Sticks -n- Grits event! Woo Hoo!!!

Just whip up a bowl of the good stuff, let it pose with your sticks and whatever WIP you've got on em, take a pic and post it to your blog....then let Kris know by leaving a comment on her blog and you could win some groovy prizes!

Pumpkin says, you've been officially notified!

I'll be back in a few days with a finished pair of socks that are really wonderful, vest progress and whatever new socks I start and a fixed computer, I hope!....see ya soon!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Better late than never!

Did you know that tomorrow night at 8pm is


The P-Man and I will be doing our part, won't you join us please?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

F is for Friendship v2

Sometimes you find special, forever friends when you least expect it. The ones that, if given our "usual" parameters of what draws us to another, are completely off the radar. And aren't those the ones we cherish all the more for the unexpected windfall their friendship brings?

Something else I often ponder is the paradox of the knitting "community". I mean, here is a hobby that many of us execute in the evening, in front of the TV or computer, silent or with the occasional remark from the S.O. thats often met with, "shhhh, I'm counting!" Yet all we want to do is share our hobby!

We seek out other knitters wherever we go. We form groups, and clubs and social networks. We look for our fellow knitters at festivals. We glance at shoppers at the mall and wonder if that stunning shell is from the new IK and we might approach this fellow knitter to share our craft for even a few passing moments. We plan our vacations to coincide with the local knitting group's schedule and we make stops at local yarn shops part of the itinerary. We blog because it let's us "talk" to other knitters and share what we've wrought with our sticks and string. Hell, we go to movies cause we've heard Matt Damon is wearing some dishy knitware!

Yes, despite the fact that knitting can be a very solitary, self contained craft, all we want to do is share with other knitters and be part of that community.

Six years ago when I returned to knitting after an almost 15 year hiatus, I too was hungry for companionship for the hobby I could (and did) so easily perform alone. Unfortunately, Florida isn't the most knitter friendly state....sure we knit wool for relatives "up north" but it's kinda hard to get jazzed about kntting a wool sweater when it's 97 degrees with 100% humidity and it's May!

Ever vigilant for that elusive companionship, I got my "fix" from reading blogs. After all, virtual meet-ups were better than no meet-ups at all. Plus when reading the comments, there was the occasional Florida reader and I held out hope someday one would be from South Florida!

I know "that" day should be infamous but it was a day like any other. I was perusing the comments of a very popular blog and I noticed a comment from a fellow Floridian, woot!

I sent an email and we got to chatting and had so much in common....different knitting styles but we both had much we could learn from the other. There was such a strong connection, it didn't matter that my new friend was in northern Florida, we could be on line friends for now and maybe meet someday soon.

We chatted for hours, day after to know each other but really only in a knitterly didn't matter which of us was blond or brunette, tall or short, what education we had, our a/s/l (remember that annoyance!) mattered what cast- on we liked best and where the cheapest source for addi turbos was to be found :)

But that's the thing about stereotypes, no matter how evolved and enlightened you think yourself to be, they can sneak up on ya....cause my new friend had the kind of name that could be feminine or masculine and because I met my wonderful new knitting friend on a knitting blog and because "she" was such an avid and talented teacher and pupil I just assumed I had been chatting with another woman. But you my readers can guess the punchline here....I had been chatting for well over a month with a man....well actually even that's kind of a stretch cause despite his being wise and talented far beyond his years, I had been chatting with a FOURTEEN YEAR OLD BOY. Yeah, I was as shocked as you are now!

I told him we couldn't chat any more, it just wasn't seemly for a 30 something year old woman to be chatting with a 14 year old boy even if it was about something as benign as how to do the German Twisted Cast on.

Well my sweet,YOUNG friend made a very good argument - we did have a lot of knitting in common, we both longed for a "local" knitting buddy, we did enjoy each other's company, why should his gender or age matter -- um, good arguments all but IT MATTERED... but then he asked if I spoke with his parents and it was ok with them, could we still be friends?

And reluctantly, I agreed. I spoke with both his Mom and Dad and they realized their son was quite precocious and much more comfortable with people much older than himself. They told me they felt I was good for their son and they gave their blessing to our friendship....altho had we lived any closer together than a 6-7 hour drive I'm quite sure our friendship would have become just a memory :)

But as astounding as it seemed to me, both then and now, our friendship bloomed. Of course our primary interest was that ole knitting community but we got to know each other as so much more than knitters.

We've shared lots of laughs, almost as many tears and been thru some hairy times together and finally, after six somewhat interesting and volatile years, last week we met.

Meet the man who I'm proud to call my my Austin

My favorite pic of the visit, so spontaneous and so Austin :)

One Dude knits, one Dude sleeps

We knit ginormous slippers together

He also cooked a fabulous dinner for us and brought me too many boxes of the first Girl Scout cookies I've had in years! The man so knows how to be a guest, doesn't he?

Mugging for the camera - bonus points if you can name the movie that's on the TV!

Gangsta Austin from the block, hee!

Look at those strong, expressive knitting hands! Knitter doesn't play, he's knitting Bayerische folks - now that's serious knitting ! I'm so very proud, my grasshoppa :)

He's also an extremely talented musician, playing the oboe, french horn and piano. In the next few months he'll either be attending a prestigious musical conservatory or going to culinary school in New York and Italy - ah youth (and talent!)

I leave you with a pic of my two best boys.....

I never expected a boy who became a man to be so very special to me but you've made my life so much richer cause you're in it, knitting dude...thanks for always loving me, warts and all, and letting me love you back even tho you're such a brat! I'm proud to call you friend, APC, and always will be!