28 November 2007

A little sparkle

I finished the sockees (finally) but I haven't taken photos. Needless to say, hubby wants them blocked and ready to wear. Soon my pretties...

For your viewing pleasure, here is some gorgeous tencel yarn from Just Our Yarn. It is the Almaza yarn in a bright orange/red-orange color (color TTT07-172 but its not on the site).

A little close-up:

I think it was overcast when I took the picture which gives a pretty true color but you can't really see the shine. Trust me, you just want to rub its silky softness against your cheek. This could be one of those skeins that is just beautiful to look at and pet.

I kept circling this yarn at Stitches East. I figure I'll use it for a scarf but really, I bought it because I couldn't resist it. Pam and I kept cruising by the booth and chatting it up with the ladies there. (They are funny and sweet and their yarn is absolutely fabulous. You should go check them out. There might be another yummy JOY yarn coming soon.)

14 November 2007

Cold color, soft feel

Didn't mean to leave you hanging. We went out of town last weekend and I've been busy sitting on my arse.

Any-hoo, here's what you really came for, some yarn baby.

This is some lovely bamboo from Habu.

2 skeins of fingering weight (or maybe laceweight?) bamboo, 1148 yards of steel grey lusciousness.

The color is more grey and not as blue as it looks on my monitor. Its the color of some medieval weapon, dark but catching the light to reveal greater depth. Can you tell that it pulls me? I think it will one day be a scarf but for now its enough to just take it out and pet it every once in a while.

04 November 2007

Taking it easy

Well, our guests technically left today. However, they spent the night at my uncle's house last night since he's closer to the airport and they had a 6am flight. I really appreciate the fact that I did not have to get up before 4am to get them to the airport on time.

Since the week was pretty mellow, I actually did not do that much knitting. I did more quilting but I have yet to figure out how to take pictures of those projects so they look good. Anyway, I should be done with the heel flap on sockee #2 for hubby by tonight and I'm hoping to have finished socks for him by Friday (his birthday).

For your viewing pleasure, more yarn from the Stitches haul:

This is some "Super Socks & Baby" yarn from Tess Yarns in two different colorways (no names on the label). The one on the left is a combination of fuchsia, raspberry, and violet (maybe the Peach Melba color?). The one on the right is mostly fuchsia with hints of violet. The plan is to make an EZ's Baby Surprise Jacket holding the two yarns held together. I think the two colors will work well together. I always love the Tess Yarns display. Even though the ribbon yarn calls my name, I resist because I don't really know what I would do with it. Since I couldn't walk away empty-handed, I think these made a practical purchase.

Amusing side story about the dogs if you are interested:

Background: my dogs are not allowed on the furniture because if they did get on the couch there would be no room for the humans. While Stella, the dachshund, was visiting, she was only allowed on the couch if she was on someone's lap--didn't want my dogs to get jealous. So yesterday my husband, the man who swore up and down that we could not get a small dog when I insisted on getting our first dog because he doesn't like little dogs, was laying on the couch with Stella on his stomach.

Me: I see that Stella has made herself comfortable.
Him: She just looked up at me and then jumped up. I couldn't stop her.
Me: Oh really? Are you trying to tell me that you might want one of your very own?
Him: I don't know, maybe.
Me: I guess I know what to get you next year for your birthday.
Him: Christmas is coming up.

Looks like we might become a 3 dog home if we can find a miniature, long-haired dachshunds that is as cute and friendly as Stella.

27 October 2007


V is for visitors. Apparently, I had nothing to worry about because Genny, my shepherd mix, loves the long-haired datsun. They have been running around chasing each other like maniacs. Genny is loving my brother & his girlfriend since they keep giving her treats. I'm a little concerned that Cam is not too keen on the the datsun but so far he gives no indication that he's going to lash out at her so I guess its ok. Oh yeah, my brother's girlfriend seems like she's pretty cool so it should be a nice week.

25 October 2007

I'm baaaack...

(cue spooky music)

OK, I went to Stitches East again this year with the very lovely Trillian42. You may have seen her wearing her very fabulous, bright green crochet shawl. (Even Doris Chan complimented it.) I was one of the lucky people who actually got one of Mel's ravelry ribbons. Mel (and everyone else at the Webs booth) was super nice.

I took "The Art of Knitting Backwards" from Candace Eisner Strick. Candace is funny and a great teacher. As for knitting and purling backwards, it is pretty mind-blowing. As she mentioned, she originally worked out the methodology just to be able to move quickly through the edging for a shawl. When I think about how much easier it would have been to get through an edging without turning the work, well, I'm just glad I know now. I'll be able to use the method when I do the heel flap on my next set of socks. hee hee.

The second class was "Lapland Hand Garments" with Susanna Hansson. Susanna was great and brought some wonderful examples of the Rovaniemi mittens. Of course, I have no need for mittens but I was totally intrigued by a method that promised no tangles and no carrying yarn while working in the round. The method will be detailed in Piecework magazine in Jan. Which is just as well because I'm not sure I could really explain it. My only complaint was the 000 metal needles. ooph. It will be a while before I finish the pair.

I have taken pictures of my loot from the trip but I'm going to pace myself this year and let you glory in one yarn at a time. Let's suffice to say that there were some favorites this year, such as Habu and Neighborhood Fiber Co. I was able to be more restrained this year than last year...but there was still plenty that came home.

First, I did lots of knitting on the plane and finished the first of hubby's socks and immediately cast on for the second.

Even though the pattern is simple, it is not boring. I'm still enjoying it.

Next, here's some thick and thin yarn from Neighborhood Fibers. It is the Victorian Bulky yarn in ...not sure about the colorway. The tag doesn't say and I can't find the color on any of the sites. Karida, who is just wonderful, had a sample purse in this yarn and color that just kept calling to me. The pattern isn't on the site, but trust me it was super-cute.

My brother and his girlfriend are coming for a week. I'm more than a little stressed about it--my younger brother doesn't usually visit me, and they're bringing their dog. My brother is a man of few words so my real concern is whether or not I'll get along with his girlfriend and whether or not my crazy dogs will get along their dog. A week is quite a long time to be together if we all get on each other's nerves.

It could mean a whole lot of knitting time...we'll see.

18 September 2007

Meet Sockee

These socks are just too cute to be mere "socks", they are affectionately known as "sockees" around here. (OK, technically just "sockee" but you get the idea.)

For your viewing pleasure:

They don't make a great visual impact, at least not with my lack of photographic skills, but trust me, these are a pleasure to knit. First, the Felici yarn is soft and a dream to knit. I haven't done much ripping (yet--let's keep in mind that the heel is still in my future) so I can't attest to how well it holds up to that torture. The pattern is "Gentleman's Shooting Stocking" from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks.

After I finished the Sockapalooza socks, DH decided to be more vocal about his own desire for handknit socks. He picked out the pattern from the book and I thought for sure that I would hate it since the purl/knit comb changes every row. I thought I would be annoyed and wouldn't be able to find a rhythm. How wrong was I? I am loving the pattern--so easy I have memorized it and its also easy to read the knitting so I always know exactly what my next stitch should be. The colors of the yarn are lovely. They are manly but not totally muted (that red is nice and bright) with color changes just often enough to keep me interested.

Can you tell that I'm loving this knit? My MIL has hinted that my FIL would absolutely love a pair of handknit socks. Since these are practically flying off the needles, I may actually try to make him some in the near future. (He's consulting in Canada for a few months and needs all the warmth he can get.)

The only other project that has seen any action these last few weeks is currently nonexistent. You see, I'm a knitter, a knitter who suffers the bitter cold of obnoxious AC in my office. I feel like I should be able to knit something to keep the chill off rather than resorting to something so pedestrian as buying a sweater. I pulled out the lovely alpaca I purchased at Stitches East last year, wound it into cakes and looked for a center panel pattern in Victorian Lace Today that called to me. First, the number of stitches were too few, then too many for a comfortable width. I finally got the number of stitches right and worked the 12-row pattern. Well, it looked OK but the real problem was all the shedding. Shedding is not ideal for a shawl that is going to be used almost daily with business clothes. Sheesh, its bad enough I probably have dog hair all over my pants on a regular basis. Sadly, the alpaca has gone into storage, awaiting its ideal project.

Next, I moved on to some cashmere (from Colourmart), that I had in my stash. Warm, check, not too heavy, check, does not shed, check check. Despite having a swatch (from some previous experimenting), I could not get the width right. After a couple of tries, I pulled the yarn off the needles and called it a day. I broke down and bought an "office sweater" yesterday. (hanging head in shame)

13 September 2007

Dork, right here

The sockapalooza socks are done! That's right, finished, blocked and mailed. What's that you say? The pictures? Aak! I was in such a rush to get them out the door, I completely forgot to take a picture. If my pal posts one or sends me one, I'll link to it.

I have moved on to socks for hubby. I maybe bought a Nancy Bush book and some Knitpicks yarn. hee hee. My MIL wants me to make socks for my FIL, but I told her that first I have to finish some for hubby. Maybe I can get to him in time for the holidays.

I'm taking another quilting class so that has been taking up quite a bit of my time. Its a sampler so I've learned lots of cool techniques in a short period. Unfortunately, I was trying to use up a bunch of fat quarters I picked up at a sale so I'm not so sure how I feel about the finished product. I'll have to get back to you on that. Worst case scenario, the doggies will have an expensive quilted blanket.

Not having access to my personal sites and email during the day is really slowing me down--we won't talk about how many unread posts are in my bloglines. Plus, I'm trying to work out at least a few times a week so this is the first time I've been on the internet in days. How do you guys do it? Work, partners, sometimes kids and school and trying to exercise and have a balanced diet...it wipes me out just thinking about all that.

Next post will include pictures and more knitting, I promise (for real this time).

29 August 2007

Technical difficulties

My computer is experiencing some "troubles". Hubby should have time to fix it this weekend and then I can give you the full update. Until then, know that there has been knitting and quilting. The second Sockapalooza sock should be done by this weekend--been knitting on it during all my training at the new job so I'll be turning the heel soon.

I'm taking another quilting class. This one is a techniques class so the focus is really on using different skills for each of the blocks. I'm using some rather, um, interesting fabric choices. In fact, I'll let you judge for yourselves. I will say that I won't be insulted if you guys don't like it.

Happy knitting!

14 August 2007

And so it goes...

I've been working on new socks for my pal.

The lighting isn't great--I tried both indoor (top pic) and outdoor (bottom pic) photos but neither really does the color justice. The blues are a little softer in real life. Its also hard to see the pattern (Diamante).

I should be done with this sock before my trip and there should be plenty of knitting time during my travels to finish socks #2 by Mon. or Tues. of next week. Then I might turn my attentions back to Norberta.

This pile represents the back, front legs and back legs. I still have to do the wings and spikes that go down the back.

08 August 2007

Non-Crafty Quickie

Life is crazy. I made a new friend almost a month ago. She mentioned that there was a position opening in her office and I should apply. I blew it off because I just met her and it seemed odd that she was pushing for me to apply, and I do like where I work. (Of course, I don't like being commission only and driving 1.5 hrs each way 3 times a week. The other two days I work from home.) As you know, I went out of town and was hanging out with friends, this opportunity didn't even register. Well, when I came back I talked with her again and she, again, mentioned the opportunity. At the same time, the owner of the doggie daycare asked if I had any interest in coming back and I got an email from the local college saying they might need instructors for the spring. It felt to me like there were some serious "signs" (karma, destiny, God--whatever you happen to believe) that I needed to look at other opportunities. Anyway, I submitted my resume on Wed., they called Thurs., and I had my interview on Fri. The guy offered me the job on the spot. I was completely unprepared.

After a weekend of heavy deliberation, I decided to go for it. I gave notice at my current job and officially accepted the new job. The best part, the office is less than 5 miles from my house. If I get lucky and get mostly green lights, I can be at the office in about 10 mins. door-to-door. The second best part, its a salaried position with a national company (future possibilities of moving within the company).

Because that isn't wild enough, I found out yesterday that a good friend was killed on Fri. I'll be going back home to see everyone next week so I'll miss my last few days at my current job. Its not like they can fire me, right?


04 August 2007

Sockapalooza 4 Package

My sock pal rocks! Check out my care package:

Starting from the bottom left, Wavy Socks, some slipper socks, some tea, a Magic Towel, Reindeer Droppings (candy), leftover yarn from the Wavy Socks, a cool postcard of my pal's town (she lives above the Artic Circle!!), a cute cat card, bamboo Addis, and cool packaging in the background.

My Wavy Socks:

cuff detail:

(how cute is that "hand made" charm?!)

Bonus slipper socks:

I can't wait for things to cool off enough to wear those slipper socks around the house. As if this wasn't impressive enough, she dyed the yarn herself. The blue is a great heathered color that really works well with the texture of the Wavy Socks. I really love them--thank you Jaana!

My hubby is very jealous but at least I can share the tea with him.

{happy feet dance}
Where have I been?

This pretty much sums up last week.

Before that, well, how do you balance work, life, and crafting? Apparently my crafting falls at the bottom of the list and blogging is below that. Driving 1.5 hrs each way to work is really exhausting. I know you're tired of hearing it, but it means all I want is to sit on the couch, semi-comatose when I get home. I haven't even made a real dinner in weeks.

Since, I was out of town there was (of course) time to knit during the plane ride. I worked on the Sockapalooza 4 socks for my pal. I almost finished sock #2 on the plane ride to MD.

Yeah, that would be me running out of yarn before even doing one repeat of the cuff pattern. Argh!! Now what?! Well, I couldn't do anything while I was out of town but I do have a lovely back-up yarn and pattern. I guess I'll be doing some serious catch-up knitting this weekend. I have already forewarned my pal that her socks are still in progress. Socks or bust-that is the motto for this weekend.

Since the Sockapalooza socks were a no-go, what did I do? Cast on for a new project of course. Inspired by Pam, I started my very own Norberta. (I also ripped out MS3 and started again. I've only gotten through clue 1 so nothing exciting to see there.)

17 July 2007

Do I know you? or do you know me?*

Knottygnome has me thinking, do I really know you? I feel like I do but the reality is that I probably don't. You probably have a feel for my personality given my discussions of knitting progress (or lack thereof) and various memes. You actually know lots of random things about me that people I see and speak with more often might not know. (Because, really, when would these random things come up?) I know I censor my content because I don't want to get too personal here. Its not bad, but just made me think others probably do the same. So, are we friends...? Maybe but then again maybe not. In this day and age when people talk about the way that technology can isolate people, it also brings them together in new and complex ways.

Now for what you really want, some knitting news. First, the madness that is Mystery Stole 3. I started out strong, printed my first two charts and had almost made it through Clue 1 when realized that I forgot some beads way back at the beginning.

You probably can't see in the picture, but trust me there are 2 missing beads. It is bugging the crap out of me. I have basically left the stole alone because the thought of ripping back is really annoying. (I know, I could probably duplicate stitch them in later or something but it will bug me, plus I don't think it would look good with this yarn/bead combo. It would really piss me off later if I could see where I added the beads after the fact during blocking so its probably best to just go ahead and re-do it since its still just Clue 1.) We are going out of town next week and I'm hoping to have lots of knitting time (plane rides and a few long car rides) so I'll hopefully be caught up by the end of the month.

Sockapalooza socks appear to have no progress.

Trust me that heel has been knit so many times, its not funny. The yarn is holding up like a champ, though. I think I finally have a heel (courtesy of Widdershins) that works. (Thanks Pam & Twig for your comments!) Unfortunately, given my tight knitting to get gauge, apparently my row gauge is off. I started the heel about 3.5 inches from the finished size I wanted and it was too small. In a fit, I ripped it all out again. The sock was banished to some waste yarn and I started sock #2.

What you don't see a second sock in that picture? Yeah, that would be because I cast on the wrong number of stitches when I started (18 instead of 20). I didn't notice until I had done all the increases for the toe and then realized that the total number of stitches was off by 2. Now, if these had been for me, I would have fudged it. *But* these are not, they are for some knitter out there who is looking forward to receiving my best effort. Is faking it really my best effort? Nope. Off to the frog pond for sock #2.

Since I have family coming into town tomorrow (um, yeah, I found out yesterday they'd be here), and I still have work and we're going out of town on Sat., there won't be any more blogging this week. However, given all the travel (and the impending deadline), I hope to have finished socks by the end of all the travel next week.

*I apparently am already suffering from senior moments because I wrote this on 7/17/2007 but forgot to actually upload it. Duh.

29 June 2007

Pics to start off the weekend

I finally went out and took some photos of my swatch for Mystery Stole 3. I started out with US3 needles at the bottom, went on to US4 needles, and then used US5 needles at the top. I still need to block the swatch but the hemp doesn't have much give so I'm thinking the size should not change drastically. (don't laugh, it could happen)

Complete aside, the first clue for MS3 came out this morning and I've already seen at least two pictures of people who have finished the clue (about 100 rows). I wish I had that kind of time. It will probably take me all week to get my clue done. Plus, I need to order more beads since what I originally ordered will probably only get me through the Clue 2.

Now, you would think I would have done a swatch with Canapone before now but, um, I just jumped into using the blue Canapone for the Alpine Lace stole. It has finally seen the light of day again. I'm aiming to do at least one 16-row repeat every couple of days to see if I can get this done before the end of July. (I was going to write "by next month" only to realize that is the day after tomorrow. eek) I have finally reached the half-way mark.

This was supposed to be for a friend of mine who is considerably more petite than I am. I'm thinking that it will wind up swallowing her since I think its wide for me. So, I realized that I had a perfectly good Flower Basket Shawl just waiting for a happy home. It would be perfect for her since its the shoulder shawl size. Unfortunately, its been sitting in the baggie for so long that it needs to be re-blocked. The plan is to get that done probably on the holiday so that I can mail it out next weekend.

Thank you for the heel suggestions. I'll be spending some quality time working that out this weekend as well. Guess I'll just have to give up the housework in order to get all this knitting done. Oh, the horror. (Oh yeah, um, despite how good I've been on my yarn diet there was a huge sale at my local quilt shop. I maybe have the beginnings of a fabric stash. Don't tell.)

26 June 2007


I was all set to take pictures of actual knitting progress but the camera batteries are dead. So, I'm afraid you will have to settle for my word that I have actually been knitting. (Hopefully, there will be pictures by the end of the week.) I have been working away on the Alpine Lace stole because I'm tired of seeing it around. I think it will be great when its done but it is just taking a long time to get there.

I worked up a swatch for the Mystery Stole 3 -along. I am determined to use something in my stash so I'm turning to the Elann Canapone (100% hemp which does not seem to be available on their site right now) that has been sitting around, unused. Despite my love of lace, I don't seem to have that much laceweight yarn. Of course, I still have one more bin of yarn to catalog in Ravelry so there might be one or two other options lurking in there. Although I know for certain that if there is, it won't be in the recommended white/ivory/gray/black spectrum which Melanie is recommending for the project. As much as I love wearing black, the idea of knitting black yarn does not appeal to me. As for white and ivory, they're not really not my style. In fact, I can't remember why I purchase the neutral beige Canapone now.

For those of you not currently in Ravelry, it lets you inventory all your yarn, patterns/books, and needles. This has made me realize that I really have plenty of yarn options at the ready. Of course, those options may not seem perfect for the pattern that calls to me at any given moment, but it does help to see what could work with the pattern. Plus, you can see what other people have done with a particular pattern. I'm actually hoping that putting all the information on Ravelry will help me maintain my yarn diet. (I'm doing fairly well, I've only bought new yarn to make socks for my Sockapalooza 4 pal since her yarn taste is different than mine.)

Speaking of socks, I have been working on my pal's socks. The pattern I picked, Horcrux socks (the original pattern was in a heavier weight, I believe) from the Six Sox Knitalong, was originally written to be made cuff-down. Since I only got the two skeins and my pal probably needs the large version, I wanted to make these toe-up to be sure I did not run out of yarn. Now remember, I've only done Fuzzy Feet and Twinkle Toes. That is to say that I have been tearing my hair out trying to figure out how to make the heel. In theory, this is not difficult. However, I don't actually understand the theory of how to create a short-row heel so I've been trying to figure out the general rules based on looking at a number of different patterns, or even trying to find a pattern that has the same number of stitches that I have so I can just follow their instructions. Let's just say that many attempts later, the socks have been banished to the corner until I have the patience to try again. (I have checked this site which is great, full of options but seems to link to actual patterns rather than giving an explanation of how each toe or heel works. I think its one of those things where understanding comes with time and experience.)

This working regular hours and increased days of the week when I go to the Orlando office is putting a real dent in my crafting time. How do people have full-time jobs, kids and still manage to churn out FO after FO? Again, listing all my UFOs on Ravelry will hopefully inspire me to finish more of them.

18 June 2007

The cool kids *do* like me

I got my Ravelry invite. woo-hoo!!

I have to finish working, meh, but tonight I can start joining in the fun.

12 June 2007

My first RAK!

How awesome is the kindness of knitters? and the (sadly blogless) AlexJ (of the Knittyboards) in particular?

AlexJ sent me a much appreciated surprise in the form of three handknit dishcloths.

Purty, ain't they?

and some sock yarn that looks like it might work for this FL heat:

Thank you, AlexJ!!!

Hubby asked if I was seriously going to use them for the dishes because they were too pretty. They may be pretty, but they are going to work for their keep and maybe even pull double-duty as trivets. mwhahaha...Me? sniff wool fumes? Never. I don't know what you are talking about.

09 June 2007

Some sewing, very little knitting

I've always wanted to quilt. I still have my first attempt at quilting from my 7th grade arts class. Now it is a doggie blanket. I actually like it and may even get bold enough to take it apart and try to put it back so its actually in straight lines now that I have a machine.

I've never been much of a book-learner so I signed up for a beginning quilting class. Our pattern is Ribbonworks by Ursula Riegel. I picked very different fabrics.

Block detail:

Blocks laid out in pattern:

My next class is on Monday night and we'll put them together to create strips.

The knitting has not been getting as much attention but there is knitting. First, I did a swap with Curlytop. In exchange for a few bags of coffee*, I got the KnitPicks 32" circular needles in size 1 and size 2. I used them to do some swatches with my yarns for my Sockapalooza pal. I liked the Supermerino fabric using the 2s but only had the one circular. I've been to the KnitPicks site a bunch of times to get the needles but I kept feeling guilty about getting more yarn just to make the minimum. So, I went ahead and started the sock using my bamboo dpns.

These will be getting frogged later tonight because I completely miscalculated and right now they are big enough to fit a lumberjack. I definitely like the pattern and might try to change it so I can do it toe-up on two circulars. That way the changes in my gauge over time will be the same on both socks and I hopefully won't run out of yarn. Since I've decided that I like the KnitPicks needles and KnitPicks is having a great sale on a bunch of yarns, I think I will order more and re-start the sock later.

In the meantime, I came across these socks. Aren't they cool? I think the Stillwater yarn may have finally found its purpose.

*I used to stock up on coffee whenever it went on sale. I have found out these last few months that my daily cup (or two) contribute to the severity of my migraines. I had cut back to just a (mostly) decaf cup every once in a while but was still making it for hubby. Well, it turns out that the coffee was contributing to his gastro-intestinal issues so he can't drink it either. I figured the coffee should go to a good home and if I could get something knitting-related out of it, even better.

01 June 2007

It was just a matter of time

OK, so I've been tagged by Pam for the 7 things meme. It seems like everyone has done this. The trick will be, can I list 7 things that aren't in the 100 things about me or in the last 6 weird things meme.

1. I would take baked goods (cake, cookies, sometimes even some fresh bread) over chocolate (candy bars or those fancy boxed chocolates) or ice cream, 9 times out of 10. Of course, if its all combined then there's no need to choose, right?

2. I don't like handling raw meat. For years I was a vegetarian but only because I couldn't get past the fleshy texture of raw meat. I have gotten over it and will cook meat now but it still makes me a little queasy sometimes (with chicken especially).

3. I have gotten over most of my food issues from when I was a child except for cauliflower. Its a texture and taste thing. The only time I will eat it is as the base puree for a soup, otherwise I will pick it out of my food.

4. You can tell what kind of day I've been having based on the state of my bed.

5. Even when I have written it down, I forget people's birthdays/special events. I've even come close to forgetting family birthdays (like my mom's or my sister's). I blame this on my parents--my father only remembers our birthdays because my mom reminds him and she usually forgets to get anything for us until that day, although she will remember to call.

6. My little sister and I share the same taste in romantic comedies and in "cute" clothes. If I think some article of clothing is really cute & trendy, I'll try it on and if its tight, I can send it to her and know that it will fit her & she'll like it. However, since she's 14 years younger, I probably have no business trying those things on in the first place.

I don't think I can do any more of these memes--I'm running out of things to tell you about myself.

If you were trying to post on the last entry and couldn't, I apologize, I didn't realize I had to set the options for each entry since I can't find where to change it globally.

I haven't done much knitting lately and have just been swatching and trying to find a good pattern for my sock pal. However, I signed up for this year's Stitches East and got my first-choices. I better get cracking on my purchases from the last trip so I can buy more guilt-free.

18 May 2007

New toy & new FO

OK, its still a few months before my birthday but since its a combination gift, I got my present early.

Its a gently used Pfaff ClassicStyle Quilt 2027. Its definitely more expensive than I had imagined when I requested a sewing machine. However, since this was a present, hubby wanted to make sure it would be a good long-term investment in a machine that could last a lifetime. Plus, its just technical enough to even interest him. The place where I purchased the machine had great customer service (I went several times to play with the machines on display). They also offer a nice community setting, meaning that they have get-togethers for sewers in the area, free help with sewing projects (since I bought my machine there), and monthly potlucks in addition to a nice selection of classes.

Now, I've never actually used a sewing machine before. I followed the manual to get all set up and I purchased some practice fabric (some $1/yd stuff that is a little scary). With my various work-trips this week, I had not had time to play with the machine. My in-laws came to visit on Wed. and my MIL loved it. She was talking about how I could now make curtains for my house (something I've been talking about doing since we moved here). I told her my plans: practice with the fabric, take a class and in a few months, I can tackle my living room curtains. Pshaw, she said. We went to a fabric store, bought some fabric and matching thread and with her overseeing the project, set out to make new bathroom curtains. It was fun and it was a really good bonding experience with my MIL.

This IDT technology that feeds the fabric from the top and bottom takes some getting used to but I made the curtains without using a single pin, just iron things in place and stick it on the machine. Some of that, of course, was possible because I used a cotton fabric rather than something more sheer or slippery but it was rather freeing.

For a first project, I'd say they're pretty decent.

16 May 2007


Viola, les Twinkles Toes c'est fini!

back view:

Pattern: Twinkle Toes by Cookie A.
Yarn: Opal 6-ply in Caffe Au Lait, used 84g (out of a 150g skein--definitely enough left for a pair of anklets)
Needles: size 4, WEBS bamboo circs (two socks on two circs)
Modifications: Since I had so much yarn, I had these grand plans to make these knee socks. I did increase the length by quite a bit but ran out of steam when the new sock yarn arrived. I increased with YOs at each end to keep with the lacy look of the socks. Since it is way too hot to even think about wearing these, I'll have to wait and see if they actually stay up. My stitch gauge was right on but my row gauge was off by quite a bit (fewer rows per inch) so my pattern looks slightly more elongated than the original but I still really like them.

The yarn that distracted me from my quest to make these knee socks?

Some Artyarns Supermerino in color 123:

and Zen Yarn Garden in Blue Ice:

I purchased both of these lovely yarns from Yarn4Socks as potential Sockapalooza socks for my pal. I'm leaning towards using the Zen Yarn Garden yarn because I think they are more in line with the "calm" blues and greens that my pal said she wants. On the other hand, I think that the Artyarns, with its darker colors, might be more striking. Maybe I'll knit them both up and see. I'm leaning towards a few patterns but have made no final decisions.

02 May 2007

Heels turned

Since hubby drove to & from Orlando yesterday, I was able to turn the heels. woo-hoo! Unfortunately, I did the first one wrong and had to rip the whole thing out because I ended the heel flap (is this what its called?) on a purl row instead of a knit row. I wasn't sure where the error was so the whole thing came out. The second time I caught an error on the second to last row of the turning and was able to fix it. The yarn is holding up well to my frogging & re-knitting.

Here are my heels:

A profile shot:

You can really see the pattern across the top now:

Even hubby likes them. :-) He also said I should make him some house socks--hopefully those won't go the way of the sweaters...

I am very happy with these and am hoping that the yarn holds out for a knee-high sock. I'm thinking increases along the sides so that the lace pattern continues on the front and back. I should have time to work on these over the weekend.

25 April 2007


I guess they are more like toe cozies at this point.

Close-up (you can just barely see the beginnings of a pattern):

The lace pattern is really easy so I only have to glance at the chart every once in a while to figure out where I am. Although I attempted to start with the Figure 8 cast on, it didn't look right and I couldn't get both socks started at once (I had to work a few rows of knitting before it felt stable enough to do the cast on for the second sock). I wound up frogging it and doing it over using the Magic cast on instead. It worked pretty well and I could start both at the same time. I can tell where I started since it seems to poke out a little there but I think after blocking you won't be able to tell.

The cables on these needles are annoying, they keep getting in the way as you can see in the picture. I tried the hot water trick and that straightened them out for a bit but they've started to curl again. I guess with time they will get better. It is very obvious that the stitches don't really slide along the needles but right now the excitement of knitting socks is enough to get over the hurdle. I'll have to see if I can find plastic needles in smaller sizes to try out as well.

21 April 2007

Almost FO

OK, so they are currently blocking, but otherwise the Endpaper Mitts are done. Check out the insides:

I didn't know what to do with the float when I hit the purl stitch so I just ran the yarn along the back. Still I think it looks cool.

Since hubby isn't here (working the weekend, boo), you'll have to make do with just a photo of the finished mitts.

Look a little closer:

Why yes, they do look ever so slightly different. I switched which color I held in which hand while I was doing the stranded work and it makes the yellow ochre color stand out more on the second mitt. I guess its a good thing I ran out of yarn, now the fact that the ribbing at the thumb and fingers alternates looks like I did it on purpose. Even though they are different, I like them and I'm hoping the lucky recipient will like them too.

I also started on a sock. Just the plain socks according to the Yarn Harlot's recipe.

Unfortunately, the fabric is looser than I would like so I have already frogged this bit and need to start again with size 1 needles. (The pic shows the beginnings of a sock using Sweet Georgia yarn in Stillwater and size 2 needles.)

19 April 2007

I blame it on Cookie

Cookie A. that is. I don't know what has come over me but the combination of stumbling across her website and her appearance on Knitty Gritty, I am completely obsessed with socks... at least in theory. I have not actually started any socks and my previous sock experience is limited to Fuzzy Feet.

I had purchased some Opal sock yarn without really knowing what it was destined to be. Well, last week I decided that the Caffe Au Lait color was destined to become some Twinkle Toes socks. OK, I had a pattern and some yarn, but no needles. Well, at least not the needles I wanted. (I find that metal needles are a little too hard on my hands so I *had* to buy new needles.) Since these are toe-up and the Opal has a little more yardage than the yarn in the pattern, I wanted to do them at the same time. For me that means two socks on two circs, except I don't have circs in the size I need. (Its not the point that I have never done two socks on two circs before....) I desperately contacted Pam to see if she could keep a look out at the Stitch DC sale this past weekend for appropriate needles. (Yes, I know she would still have had to ship them but that was besides the point. She understood the need to start the socks ASAP and would have shipped them to me.) Sadly, they didn't have any for me so I wound up ordering them from WEBS on Sat. They only just shipped today. argh. Do they not realize that I've been waiting to cast-on for days?!

In the meanwhile, I decided that perhaps the black Opal didn't really want to be a scarf and instead might want to be Clessidra socks instead. Let's ignore the fact that I haven't worn knee-socks since grade school. They are just so cool.

I'm also thinking that my Sweet Georgia yarn just wants to be plain stockinette socks. Gotta be able to show off the colors, you know? I'm so sad that I didn't order some more when I had the chance since she is now off traipsing the world and there is no more Sweet Georgia yarn to be had (at least not for quite some time).

I have actually been knitting. Let's just say that undoing the tubular cast-off has been a huge pain. It also looks like I don't have enough of the Peacock to do all the ribbing in blue either. argh. Well, I decided that I would do the ribbing at the fingers and thumb in alternate colors so it will look like I did it on purpose. Plus it will help tell the right from the left mitt, right? I should have those ready for a photo shoot this weekend.

Oh yeah, while inhaling those sock yarn fumes I also signed up for Sockapalooza 4. Not sure what I was thinking but at least there was a section where you could indicate that you were a novice sock knitter.

09 April 2007

Bound to happen

OK, I weighed finished mitt #1. It came in at a healthy 22g. I weighed the remaining skeins, 27g, with 13g of Yellow Ochre and 15g of Peacock. Of course, I did not weigh the skeins when I first got them, simply assumed that I got the 25g on the ball band. So I should be good, right?

(I think mitt #2 looks longer because I haven't stretched it out width-wise by modeling it.)

What's wrong with this picture?

Yep, that's about a foot of yellow ochre left and the whole ribbing left to go. I was concerned early on that this pattern used more yellow than peacock but thought that with more than half of the yellow ochre to go, I would be OK.

Actually, I was concerned that I wouldn't have enough when I finished the first mitt and toyed with changing the color scheme. What I did not show you was my attempt to make the mirror-image of mitt #1. I got through the first repeat of Chart A when I decided it wasn't going to work. First, the colors didn't look as sharp, you know what I mean? Second, and more important in my decision to frog, the peacock is ever-so-slightly thicker. I imagine this has something to do with the dyeing/heathering of the yellow ochre vs. the peacock. Although I can't get a photo to show this difference, it became very apparent when I did 14 rows of ribbing in the peacock. It looked like I had used a heavier yarn or done more repeats. So, I went back to the original color scheme.

I'm thinking about taking out the last few rows of the ribbing on mitt#1 and then finishing with a strip of the peacock. That should give me enough of the yellow to start the ribbing on mitt #2 and then finish off with a strip of the peacock so that they match. I've also toyed with undoing the bottom ribbing of both and redoing them in peacock since that part of the mitt probably won't show as much as the top portion. Thoughts, suggestions, preferences?

FYI, undoing the sewn-off cast-off is a huge pain. At least the yarn made it through all the pattern repeats, right? I wove in the ends while I was knitting so undoing more than one row is also a real pain. Next time I'll show you the insides, I think it looks cool.

30 March 2007


It was so close to being done, I just couldn't stop myself. I finished the first Endpaper mitt. Although I was feeling a little better, the knitting has set me back again. However, isn't it great? (Of course, I need to weave in the ends and block it but I think it looks pretty good.)

(Its pretty hard to take a picture of your right hand with your left hand when you are right-handed. Stuff like that must be really annoying for left-handed folks since the button is the "wrong" side.)

I learned the tubular cast on and cast off for this and I have to say that I am pretty please with how they look. I also practiced weaving in the ends as I went, using the Philosopher's Wool method (you should try the link in IE to see the video). Other than where I did the purl stitch for the phony seam, the floats are small and even. I totally want to start the second one but I know that in the end it will only make things worse so I must continue to avoid the knitting. Maybe I can crochet instead?

Also, have you seen this site? I've seen Cookie A.'s designs on Knitty (here, here, here, here, and here) but these are even better (I think). I am seriously tempted to buy the German Stocking (the Yarnharlot beat me to it), and the Rhiannon. Wouldn't it be cute to make the Rhiannon for my niece, Rhiannon? Too cheesy probably but still tempting...