Google+ Followers

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My heart bleeds....

Oh no! I have been having problems with my Lisa Souza Sock! yarn since I received it. It was the yarn that I picked for my KH forum sockentine swap partner. It has been dying my hands and bamboo needles as I knit it. I thought I could get the dye to set by soaking the completed socks in a vinegar solution. This morning, when I went to wash the loverly vinegary smell out of the socks, this is what happened...





Note the dee-lish-us looking grape kool aid colored water. :) Icky icky no no.





This is not what I wanted for my sockie pal.











So I wrote to Lisa Souza asking for advice. It turns out they have been having problems with a new red dye they are using. She told me to try simmering the socks in a stronger vinegar solution. She was also nice enough to say that she is going to send me a free skein of non-red sock yarn. So, many thanks to Lisa Souza for great customer service. It is nice to still find companies who stand by their products. Well, the color won't be as vibrant as I hoped. But I am sure they will still be pretty.







In the meantime, I have casted on a pair of Socks that Rock Cedar Creek Socks in the Lucy colorway lightweight yarn. You may remember that I picked it up at Stitches East. Sorry for the nice yellow flourescent light, but this is what we get for taking nightime pics, and flashes distort colors even worse than lighting. Oooh, do I love this colorway. It does remind me of a cat with blue eyes. I disappointed my SnB mate by not knitting the cats paws pattern, but I just wanted to cast on something easy.






Tomorrow I begin a KAL for Knitty's Lizard Ridge throw at Yarns Forever. So with all of my projects going on, I may get knitting ADHD.



That reminds me, the Knitty Winter Surprise Patterns are up. I like the henley, but I am not sure if I would wear it. I definitely like the Elbac reversible cable scarves, and got a kick that another knitting former engineer designed them. I will have to drop her a line. We engi-nerds need to stick together!



This weekend is our guild's annual Knit In. I hope that it will be another great year, more organized and better classes than last year. Last year I felt that it kind of fell apart due to infighting within the guild. I hope they return to the tradition of putting on a good, fun event for our guests. If you are going, stop by and say "hi" to me because GUESTS are welcome. That means you! I will be in and out during the weekend as I have some other obligations besides knitting! (Say it isn't so!)



I am sorry that I have been slowing down on my knitting. My carpal tunnel has flared up a bit this past week. So send healing happy-knitting vibes my way.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Samantha's Baby Blanket Pictures

Well, I received pictures of Samantha's Baby Blanket being used. Seems that she is enjoying it. I can't resist the bottom picture. It is too funny! Take it as today's moment of bliss....cute baby faces.







And as promised, I finally have the pattern available. I am sorry it took so long, but I was waiting for DH to convert it into a .pdf file. And he wasn't exactly in a hurry. :) So if you want it, please email me and I will send it to you, since Blogger does not support uploading files.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Hey yo, you know you want some...

Someone in one of my SnBs noticed this pattern in the Spring Interweave Knits Preview:

Knit Thong

Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves, dawlings.

Who knows? Some people might get a thrill from that. I think I will stick to non-handknitted fabrics in the nether regions, thank you. I guess I would rather spend my knitting $$$ on items I can actually wear and enjoy. :) Gotta have the knitbling!

If anyone wants to share ideas on how to squeeze more yarn dollars from their budgets, please share. As I am not working right now, and have two habits to support, knitting and quilting. I will share what I call "Mommy's Tip Jar." I set a piggy bank or jar on top of the laundry machine. Any money found in the laundry will go into the tip jar. Also, any change left on kitchen counters by my husband goes in the tip jar. Hey, it takes awhile but after a few months I usually have $40-$60 in there. Not only that, you have less clutter on your counters. Not bad....

I have turned the heel and picked up the gusset stitches on my second Sockentine Sock. Almost there!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My poor swap pal

I just received an email from my Sockamaniac sock swap pal. The poor dear is suffering through the horrible windy weather in England. She has had power outages and is not able to get on the internet as much. It is also delaying all of the mail, of course. I hope the worst of it is over soon. And that my swap package arrives safely to her. As they say in SC, "Bless her heart...."

I am almost ready to turn the heel on my Sockentine's second sock. This is great. I could be one month closer to accomplishing my goal of finishing a pair of socks every month this year. I think next I may have to cast on some STR, to give my carpal tunnel syndrome a rest from working with inelastic yarns on purly-rific patterns (at the dpn joins). I need something easier on my hands. I *do* stop to do some hand and arm stretches to ease the pain, but it is still hard.

Well, I better get going. Today I volunteer at my organic produce coop to sort the bags of shares for the members, so that takes up my whole afternoon.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Taking care of swap business....

Last Friday I mailed out my first swap package. This is for the sockamaniac swap, and my swap pal lives in England. So I had to be sure to get the package out with enough time for it to ship, work its way through customs if need be, and on to her. I did not take any pictures of it because I want it all to be a surprise. :)

This last weekend, I mostly knitted on the second sock for the sockentine swap on Knitting Help Forums. I am almost to the heel flap of my second sock.

I also found this too cute amigurumi patterns on www.etsy.com.

Panda Pirate

I am probably going to start learning crochet in the next month to do these things. The Purl shop owner was so nice to send a free amirgurumi pattern to me so that I can see if I am really interested in buying. So I am going to have some friends who know crochet teach me and I can test drive!

For those of you who don't know, I also quilt. (Well...I have other hobbies too but we won't go into that yet.) I started to learn how to quilt a little over a year ago. I went to my first Thimbleberries meeting this last Saturday. I do not usually like the darkness of Thimbleberries' products. I joined this year because they are doing a lighter-colored version of their quilt, and I figured I could use projects and instruction throughout the year to help me learn. Because my primary hobby is still knitting, I do not dedicate as much time to learning quilting as I should. Some of the ladies that I sat next to were so nice. That helped me feel welcome, as I was the youngest person there. That fact usually does not bother me, but here in South Carolina, -isms seem to be more prevalent than I am used to. One of them being ageism. So, thanks to all of those welcoming quilting ladies out there. You know who you are. :) You embrace sharing your craft with the younger generation just like many knitters do, and I love that. :)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sockentine, Sockentine, oh dear Sockentine

One sockie down, one to go.


The sockie looks so lonely without its mate, and without its sockentine.

Just casted on the second Monkey. It is a fun pattern, and I highly recommend it. There weren't any errors in the pattern, so it is easy to follow.

The weather is cruddy here today, so I am pent up inside the house. Doing tons of laundry, trying to do some knitting. Not getting very far on the latter. I also need to pick up the house some more, but I am getting frustrated there. Seems we keep making messes and I can't keep up right now.

Inspired by my sock swap pal, I am thinking of doing some easy kool aid dying. That way I don't have to worry about toxicity of the dye for now and just do something small to get my feet wet. I will be taking a self-striping sock yarn dying class at Yarns Forever in March, so I will get really messy soon enough! :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Yarn Porn

I was so excited to stop by my friend's store, Yarns Forever. It has been a long time since we have talked in person, because she has been busy really learning how to dye her own yarn to sell under the Creatively Dyed name, and I have been traveling alot more. I was so thrilled to see that she has a new twist of sock yarn that she is dying, and there were two colors that I really loved. One of them was Ocean Breeze. I don't see the other colorway on her website yet. I had to put off buying some, as I promised to finish knitting one pair of socks before I buy any more sock yarn. I need to start killing the mileage that I have acquired on all of my travels! Maybe I will have to start buying cheezy tourist shirts instead!

I forgot to say that I also bought a cool little magnet board thingy at her store to help me keep track of my spot in my sock charts! Yaaaaaay!

I also spent some time today buying chocolates, candies and fun little things to put in my sock pals packages. I don't want to describe them here because it will ruin the surprise! But, never fear sockie pals, I am still thinking of you!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Adventures in non-crafty world

I am back from Gainesville. It was a great trip. I did not get to check out the LYS, but from what I have read on the internet, it is not that great. So I will just have to check it out on another trip there.

I went to the local grocery store yesterday to buy Kool Aid for my Sock Swap Pal. I decided to buy for her 4 packets of almost every color, since some colors are so similar. I had read on the knitpicks website that one needs a packet per ounce of yarn, so 4 packets would cover dying a skein of most sock yarns. The surly teenage girl checking me out (who seemed to be bothered to be interrupted from checking her text messages) was a real joy. Here is the conversation:
Surly Girl - Did you leave any kool aid back there?
Me - Yes. There is plenty of kool aid. I have to buy so much because it is used as a dye.
Surly Girl - Do you have enough of it?
Me - I am buying it for a friend in England who cannot get it there. So I am buying some for her in every color.

Never mind, she is not very smart as she insisted on ringing up every single packet individually, instead of counting and multiplying times the one price. My smiles and kindness could not change her demeanor, so I just ended the conversation there. Also, it was only a total of $13 of kool aid, so I was hardly breaking the bank.

>Sigh< Non-crafty people just don't understand. (Yeah, an ages old conclusion.)

Promise to post some sock pictures soon. I have finished one sock for my Sockentine Pal while riding in the car to Florida. Need to start on the next one.

All you lurkers out there, please comment! I would love to hear from you. It would make my day. :)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Forgive me father....

So I confessed to my husband how many miles of sock yarn that I have. He did not (visibly) looked surprised or shocked. Until I quantified that it was 36 pairs. I said, well, I am going to be giving many of them away. Whew. I guess he figures that I collect sock yarn like he collects books. We have a whole room of our house devoted to shelves of books. And even more books everywhere! And I am part of that problem too! Too many books and too little time. Those who live in glass houses....

Since the Gators won, we have decided to trek down to Gainesville for the celebration, hooking up with our friend in Orlando. It should be a fun weekend! I love Gainesville. I love cool little college towns.

So it may be a few days until I post some knitting pictures. Don't worry sock pals, I am working on my gifts to you!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Knitting Resolutions, Part Deux

I just thought of another one, while talking to the nurse at my doctor's office:

1. Learn to crochet.

Maybe, technically, it is not a knitting resolution but a crocheting resolution. However, I think it is a knitting resolution because crocheting skills come up in so many knitting projects: crocheting edges, crocheting details, chains, etc..

I have been so naughty, not posting on my blog. But hey, I have been mostly working on my Sockentine's socks, and I didn't want to post pictures of those. But I think I will now, as there are other socks being posted in the same color, so as to cast maybe a little confusion as to who is the pal?

Also, I have been catching up on old knitting podcasts. It is fun to listen to them while driving errands in my car. Better than the sucky radio stations around here.

I have been putting off calculating how many miles of sock yarn I have, only because I have been busy. This is for Lime N Violet's Sock Marathon 2007. Time to get down to business and work on that today. Okay, I promise to at least try since the laundry is (temporarily) done (for now)!




Here it is....Heaven help me! It is pathological in the color choices: green, blue, purple, orange and red. A little pink when I get things on deep discount, and that is the only color left. (I say this, since I know I am being stalked by my sockentine and sock swap pals! Hope this helps!)

I can explain this insanity: When I travel, I buy sock yarn. I do not buy touristy tshirts, I repeat, I buy sock yarn. I go to LYSs and buy sock yarn that I cannot buy at my own LYS. Sock yarns that I have heard about online and want to try. So there you go, at least it helps some.

I count 35 pairs of socks, and I have an unfinished pair OTN for my husband. That makes a total of 36. Now, lets throw in the two sock clubs I joined this year. Man, did I need an LnV intervention. I commit to try to knit at least one pair of socks a month this year, fah shizzle!
I promise to try to count the mileage this afternoon. This could take awhile, so don't hold your breath! :P
Update: Yowza! This is hilarious. So I did the math and figgered out that I had 78.3 miles. Okay, seems a little high, and please, nobody tell me husband. Like a good engineer, I triple-checked and it was really only 7.83 miles because I was off by a decimal in the conversion factor. Whew! I almost had an anxiety attack over how many socks I would have to knit to reduce my stash!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Knitting Resolutions, Installment #1?

I am working on writing up my knitting resolutions...really, just formalizing the goal setting. I am not going to be skeptical about resolutions...I am a very determined person, and I accomplish what I set out to do. Thing is, I know I have some other ideas, so I am calling this installment #1 for now. So, here we go.

Knitting Resolutions:
1. Practice knitting continental by finishing more washcloths, then starting and completing an entire project in continental. (Started this last year, need to become even better.)
2. Restart fair isle projects and finish them, with good gage.
3. Knit a pair of socks every month.
4. Learn to dye. (Already scheduled for a class on March 3rd to learn to dye my own self-striping sock yarn. Yee!)
5. Start learning to design own patterns.
6. Complete another Morehouse Farm Sweater kit (from Stash).
7. Go to Maryland Sheep and Wool. (Hotel already booked!)

Also, I tried editing and posting a pic of myself...did not work out at all. So I am a little discouraged. Plus, my computer is very short on memory, so I need to spend some time cleaning things up and then maybe I can start working on the pic again. Oi.

In the meantime, check out the next post.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Knit Geek Questionaire Meme

I saw this on a friends post in KH forums, and decided to add it to my blog as a get to know me.

1. What's your worst habit relating to your knitting?

Too many projects in the queue. But who doesn't?

2. In what specific ways does your knitting make you a better person?

It helps me become friends with more people than I would ordinarily get to meet in every day life. It also provides a creative outlet, so I feel more balanced since I always work with numbers.

3. How might you or your life be different if you were suddenly unable to knit?

I would be sad that it was taken away from me.

4. If money were no object, what one yarn, and what one tool or gadget would you run out and buy first?

Maybe a spinning wheel so that I could learn to spin.

5. What knitting technique or project type are you most afraid of (if any)? What, specifically, do you fear will happen when you try it?

I don't fear anything in knitting. Real life is much scarier than knitting techniques. :)

6. Who is/are your knitting hero(es), and why?

Don't have one.

7. Do you consider knitting, for you personally, a mostly social activity, or a mostly solitary activity?

Both. I do it when I wake up in the morning before everyone else (I am one of those morning people...ugh.). I also love to do it with friends.

8. Is there a particular regional tradition in knitting that you feel strongly drawn toward (e.g., Fair Isle, Scandinavian, Celtic, Orenburg lace)? Any theories as to why it calls to you?

Fair Isle and Aran. Maybe that Scots Irish blood that I have.

9. If you were a yarn, which yarn would you be?

Merino superwash. Pleasingly soft, practical, low maintenance, fun to work with.

10. Some statistics: (a) How many years have passed since you FIRST learned to knit? About 4 years. (b) How many total years have you been actively, regularly knitting (i.e., they don't have to have been in a row)? 4 years. (c) how many people have you taught to knit? At least 6 different class instructors, all in various techniques. I taught myself from books how to knit and purl. (d) Roughly what percentage of your FOs do you give away (to anyone besides yourself, i.e., including your immediate family) 50%. Yeah, I am selfish that way. :) But I don't tend to produce too much, since I do alot of big projects like sweaters.

11. How often do you KIP (knit in public)? i.e., once a week, once a month, etc. Where do you do it? Whenever I have to wait for an appointment, or wait in a car, and at SnBs.

12. If a genie granted you one hour to stitch-n-bitch with any one knitter, living or dead, who would you choose and why? Maybe Elizabeth Zimmerman.

13. What aspect or task in knitting makes you most impatient? Fine lace. Too finicky.

14. What is it about knitting that never lets you get bored with it? The design, the structure. The way things come together in 3 dimensions. Also, all the new yarns that are improved with technology or new materials.

15. Describe how and where you most often do your knitting - where do you sit, what is going on around you, what tools do you use and how are they (dis)organized? I usually knit in bed or on the couch. TV is on. Most of my yarn is organized in baskets or storage containers in a hobby room or next to the couch.

16. Which one person is the recipient of more of your knitting than any other? No one person wins out in my family.

17. What's the oddest thing about your knitting, or yourself as a knitter?

My very first project that I completed was a child's sweater. I love taking on challenges. Plain stockinette or garter bores me to death. I need more difficult things to keep me interested in the project.

The oddest thing about knitting (in general) to me is how some people, especially other women, have disdain for it. I just don't understand why scrapbooking (or fill in the blank with any hobby) is considered acceptable, but sewing or knitting is not worthwhile. Misinterpretation of what feminism should be about in my opinion. But that is just my opinion, so no throwing stones, thank you.

18. What do you see yourself knitting - if anything - twenty years from now?

I dont know, my own designs I guess.

19. If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have only ONE SKEIN of yarn, which yarn would it be and what would you do with it?

I honestly don't know.

20. If you were allowed to own only one knitting-related book, which would it be? (you'd be free to browse others, but you couldn't keep them)

Sensational Knitted Socks

21. Is knitting the new yoga? Why or why not?

I really don't like this phrase. Because I do both, and although if done right, they can both lead to clearing your thoughts and opening up of your mind to creativity, it is not the same to me. And, as my husband said, it makes both knitting and yoga sound like cheap fads. Maybe that is what really bothers me about it. :)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Merry New Year!!!!

I'm baaaaaack!

My DH and I really enjoyed being away for a few days. And it is nice that he had about a week off, because now he is actually rested and motivated to clean up some things around the house! Yeeeeee! (That is a squeal of excitement.) We spend Dec 30th and 31st purging closets and drawers of even more items to donate to Goodwill. I do donate all year long, but the whole year end thing was a real incentive for him to do more on his part. Nothing like reducing clutter to make one feel happier.

It has been very rainy the last few days, so I finally took some pictures this morning since I finally had some decent sunlight!

I finished the Bob's Meadowlark Socks. Here is a picture.


I received the Sundara Yarn Sock Club package! Oooh...is it gorgeous. The inspiration this time was the Lenten Rose. I will probably have to put off starting these until I finish my Sockentine socks....

For my Sockentine, I have started on the Knitty Monkey Pattern. Unfortunately, I started to get ladders since the Lisa Souza yarn is not very elastic and the stitches at the needles joins are purl stitches (there is only so tight you can pull those). So I had to frog back to the cuff and will try again, maybe tonight.

In the meantime, I started on my Fleece Artist Ribbed Jacket (now sold under a different name, Lady of the Lake, and now using a different yarn in that kit). Yet again, the pattern instructions leave something to be desired. After having knitted several Fleece Artist samples for my friend's store, I can honestly say that Fleece Artist needs to work on their pattern proofreading. It is a shame, as their yarns are so beautiful. I would hate to see new knitters get so turned off if they try knitting one of the Fleece Artist patterns on their own.

Anyway, you can see the Fleece Artist Colors are gorgeous. Royal Blue, powder blue, periwinkle, khaki, forest green, and some mustard. Soooo pretty. I can't wait to wear it when it is done.

Oooh! I almost forgot. I went back to Why Knot Knit in Atlanta. I purchased this gorgeous Great Adirondack Yarn Co. Soxie Yarn. Unfortunately, they had received the shipment about a week earlier than my visit. By the time I went there, I only had 5 colors left to choose from. But honestly, those 5 colorways were so gorgeous, I was definitely not left out in the cold. So check it out for yourself.

I think I will post my knitting resolutions later this week. This is enough for one post! :)