Friday, December 29, 2006

My habit is getting out of control. I have lost control of my ability to stop buying yarn. I browsed the Yarn 4 socks website and ended up buying stuff. 40% off of my favorite self striping lana grossa who could resist!? Certainly not me... and well, if you order $50 you get free shipping, so spend and save right!? I order a couple of other things, but sadly in my frenzy, I cannot remember exactly which things I ordered, duh!! Pathetic. I am like an addict and after I got my fix I blacked out...

So my mom and I tried to go to this place in Fremont that a gal my mom knows owns. It is a yarn store, sort of Stitch Paradise Studio. Read their website, maybe you can figure it out better than I. It is some concept place and the owner offered me a free kit of some sort if I came by (remember that old Camel commercial, "I'd walk a mile to smoke a camel" I'd walk a mile to get free yarn!) So we went by and no one was there, no signs or anything, it is the weirdest thing despite it being listed as their "Open Hours." It is bizzarre because it is totally a residence and has NO signage what so ever and we were knocking and calling one the phone and could hear it ringing inside and no one was there. If they want people to come, don't you think they should at least have a sign? Harumph.

So then we cruised over to the Yarn Place. Whoops big mistake, right!? I bought too much stuff I certainly didn't need. I picked up 7 skeins of the silky nylon yarn in red. So soft and wonderful. I also got 2 dark chocolate brown skeins of Gentle and a blue and purple graduated skein of Graceful. My mom also picked up a yummy deep red of Gentle that she wants me to knit into a shawl for her. Crazy. They have started carrying this really nice bamboo yarn that is SO soft and wonderful. I would like to pick some up next time I am there.

I Totally thought I posted this entry. But I guess not. Today, 12/30, we went to the house of Teenuh and swapped Christmas presents and had a generally nice time. The kids had a good time playing Guitar Hero 2. I got a wonderful dish cloth knitted by Teenuh which is a really pretty pattern and also a most yummy skein of Jitterbug sock yarn. Yaye, thanks Teenuh! I can't wait to knit with it!! Yeah!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Yippy Yay for Christmas. What took days to carefully wrap and place artfully under the tree was dismantled, tossed aside and laying in a heap in a matter of just minutes. Presents opened, children happy. It is all good, until that is, you have to open that evil store shelf packaging all toys come in. Insane numbers of nasty finger tearing twist ties and tape spackeled across surfaces and materials that should NEVER come in contact with tape. It is an evil plot to destroy the confidence and dexterity of parents the world over!! The packaging is ridiculous.

That said, since this blog is about knitting, I should comment on the wonderful Knitting based items I received as gifts. My mom and dad got me the most beautiful books Nickey Epstein's Knitted Flowers. I am in love with EVERYTHING in the book. I think every thing I make for a while will be adorned (or tortured) with flowers!! Yahoo! They also got me the gorgeous and lovely book Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby. It is such a pictorially wonderful book that even if you didn't knit it would just be nice to look at. I can't wait to make everything in the book (though I know this will never happen based on the fact there is a HUGE circular cobeweb weight shawl that I will NEVER knit. Once bitten twice shy on giant circles. I don't know if I can afford another 5 months of my life!) So many things... so many!! My mom also got me a huge bunch of yarn she got on clearance at Walmart that will become various things, though I am not sure what. My sister's gift was a Yarn Meter. "It sure doesn't look like much." she says. "I think they forgot to put your present in the box," says DS. What, no! I am very happy this device is wonderful! Once I figure out how to use this right I will be able to divide a ball of yarn in half exactly so I can make my sock (or whatever) as long as I possibly can and know I will have exactly enough yarn left over for the other half. I will be able to gauge how much yarn I have spun as well so now I know exactly what I can do with it. This is a very useful tool I have been DYING to add to my repitoire! DH may find me sleeping with my new knitting friends tonight....

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The lovely kid silk scarf is finished. I think that the people in the yarn store were wrong. Once blocked it was the same width as the one in the store, but upon using both rolls of Fiesta, the scarf was normal scarf length of 64" not the stubby 20 some odd inches they had in the store. Well it was a lucky surprise anyway. Longer is always better than shorter. The close-up pics came out too blurry to post though, so you'll have to settle for just one pic.

As promised here is the picture of the Shawl Kit I purchased at Knitting Arts for $35. It has the multicolor hand dyed mystery bobble wool, which was obscurely labeled "100% wool $36.00". The mystery multicolored shiny nylon or acrylic fancy. The purple is Rowan Kid Classic a lambswool/mohair/nylon blend and the green is Soft Kid a super kid mohair/ nylon blend/wool blend both are very nice and soft. I think I will likely make the seafoam shawl out of it, just because it all goes together so nicely and then I won't really have to think about what to do with it.

I tried my hand at Kool Aid dying on Thursday night. I used Orange, lemonade, and Strawberry. I have noticed that the lemonade tends to come out fairly pale so I added about 8 drops of yellow food coloring to the mix to make it more vibrant. This is a dk weight 100% Merino skein from knit picks. Not superwash though. The superwash was more expensive so I decided I would try first on the cheaper merino. I used 4 Kool aid packets, plastic wrap, a casserole dish and my microwave. I figured out though I have to watch the trasitional areas because I didn't cover them enough at the reds, I was afraid it would bleed a lot, but it didn't and I got areas that are very pale pink almost white. As I type I have another skein in the ol' wave heating, it is a superwash that is planned to be mittens to my demanding dd. I do appreciate that they like what I knit for them now, I can't imagine it will last too long. My only problem now is that I can't find a store that has blue or purple Kool aid in stock right now!! ARGH! Now I am just Dye-ing to knit something up!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Lana Grossa socks for DH were a hit, he liked them quite a lot. He eagerly jammed them on to his feet. I knit them entirely in front of him, but he had no idea they were for him, so he was totally surprised. I decided to rip out the entire top of the sock, from bound off ankle to below the heel. It looked quite a lot better after, much better than that GLARING tacked in stitch.

I have now started the Kidsilk Haze/Fiesta scarf, with a 36 st cast on in the feather and fan pattern. I think the one at Commuknitty must have been 54 sts because mine is coming out quite a lot thinner than theirs was. That is good because it will be longer theirs was freakishly short, though only intended to be a demo and not a wearable item, unless you have a pencil thin 13" neck or so. Which was totally working for them, since once I saw it I HAD to have the stuff to make it...

My family (UGH kids in a yarn store!!) and I swung through Knitting Art in Saratoga on Sunday and I picked up a "Shawl kit" with some beautiful yarn in it. I had to fend off some other woman who seem to have her eye on anything I picked up. I was somewhat disappointed when I realized that the instructions for the shawl (a Seafoam Pattern) they had hung up to demonstrate the yarn kits were NOT included in the bag, but instructions for a straight, knit top to bottom rectangular and triangular shawl were. Now if I didn't know that was the Seafoam pattern and I didn't already have a copy of it, I would be pretty darn P.O.'d. Harumph.

Found a new place to obtain yarn from. I'll have to check it out. News to follow.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Swallowtail shawl #2 is complete. With just a few dedicated knitting hours yesterday (okay, it was probably like 9 hours of knitting in one day) I finished weaving in the ends and blocked it, putting in the the last pin at about 12:15 am. It was dried and beautiful this morning and ready for the teacher's gift bag tomorrow morning! Yes! Now I only have to finish a scarf or two for the other teacher by tomorrow (not nearly as difficult!) But I guess I had better get to it now or I will be up late again!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Teenuh and I took a quick jaunt to Commuknity this afternoon after a day of hanging out and peddling CTMH scrapbooking and stamping supplies. It was a good thing that Commuknity was closing when we got there or I think I would have spent more money. Whoops!! Fifteen minutes in the store and I come out $65 poorer, and that was with 20 % off!! It is a nice store. It looks very nice and cozy. They have some couches that keep calling out to me to go and sit on them. But both times I have been there I didn't have any time to sit around and relax. Their sock yarn selection doesn't compare at all to Purlessence. But they have lots of nice stuff, lots of Rowan and Debbie Bliss, Noro and other nice stuff, as well as books lots of beautiful books.

I TOTALLY want to start a scarf I saw there, yummy fuzzzy scarf. Mmmm.... Rowan Kidsilk Haze (shade 606 a brilliant fuschia) knit together with Cascade Yarn Fiesta (color 9488 Purple and blue rattail type, appearing mostly purple in the picture) making it shiny and fuzzy at the same time! But I have other stuff to finish in time for Christmas and birthdays etc... So I need to keep on track. "Focus.... Focus..." I also found some yummy hand dyed Schaefer "Anne" sock yarn in muted blue, greens and yellow, with shocking brilliant orange, and another skein of Lana Grossa (color 5121) pink, white, purple and yellow striped. I picked up the Interweave Knits special Holiday Edition. The Interweave mag was interesting. It was shorter than a regular mag. I compared it to the last regular one. It wasn't because it had particularly less patterns. It had about 1/2 as many pages of ADVERTISING!! Cripes, once I was comparing I noticed how much friggin' advertising there was in the regular issue. Sheesh. I am TOTALLY going to knit the purse. It is from Knitting Beyond the Edge I think. I have some Patons Wool sitting around I bought to make a felted bag but never found a pattern i liked. Now I have one, when I bust out the yarn sometime this week, I bet the colors are all going to be so off that I am going to go out and buy some new yarn to make it!!!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I fnished most of the sewing yippie, ALL the blankets down (that would be 6!) and just some pajamas to go, though let me tell you, the procrastination bug is a bitin'!

Well, I finished 1 and 3/4 of the Lana Grossa socks. I was so happy with the way it turned out. Then... I put the sock on my foot for the second time and noticed a runway dropped stitch escaping from the side of my heel! ARGH!! I had to pick that stitch up, hook it back to the top. So now I am starig at it, should I sew it back in then every time I see it I will hate it, or should I frog the entire top of this finished sock and redo the whole darn thing. I will just get through the last quarter of the second sock then decide I suppose. Either way, I am quite annoyed.

I have also started another IK Swallow Tail Shawl out of a purple/maroon Alpaca Cloud, a colorway that apparently they don't make anymore. In this picture it looks totally brown but it is really more maroon. I'd better save the rest for something really special. Which is just what I need, another reason to keep something in my stash and not use it, right? I think I have 4 more skeins of it. It is very, very PRECIOUS. I should probably hide it somewhere special... Right next to that beautiful lavender kid mohair....

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I forgot to mention I finally made it down to Commuknitty yesterday. It is such a nice store. Very spacious with lots of yarn (though not NEARLY enough sock yarn) and full of beautiful things. They were preparing for a signing that is occuring tonight by Mel Clark, Tracy Ullman's co-author of the book Knit 2 Together. Full of very cute things, I was tempted to head down there tonight. But alas, this book's patterns are all made for people of an extraordinarily small size! (Not hefty gals, such as myself). The largest sweater pattern in the book has perhaps a 40" or 42" bust. Which is really too bad, because the stuff is CUTE!! Plus they were having a 20% off all yarn sale to boot. I just bought 2 skeins of Lana Grosa self striping sock yarn (tans and browns and a denim blue mix, seen here already assaulted) yesterday and scurried away, bummed to know I couldn't attend today. Regardless it is a very nice store, I highly recommend it.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone, this will be our first "Normal" weekend since Labor day when soccer season started. So it will be a relaxing weekend only consisting of a couple of birthday parties (yeah, so it's not so relaxing is it?) and a baby shower I think I am going to dodge out of. I have a cold and I don't want to make the expectant mother sick. This is a terrible phlegmy nasal cold which does not go away. I have been sick since last Saturday the majority of the time having no voice and honking like a goose. In spite of this Thanksgiving was excellent. I enjoyed spending time with my family again. Pictured here with 3 members missing who left quite early. Imagine all of these folks crammed into a 4 bedroom house, with a small kitchen, smallish living room and *gasp* only 1 (yes folks, that says 1) bathroom! Also note DD having a fit during the picture taking. Nice right?

On the up side. I have finished socks for DS photographed here on the leg of sleeping DD so as not to let the cat out of the bag on this birthday present for DS. This is Shoeller and Stahl yarn I don't know what color way. Great stuff to work with and the more you wash it the softer it gets, very nice.

Also finished is the Cashmere "Swallowtail Shawl" (Fall '06 Interweave Knits). I was blocking it and I didn't quite get it stretched as far as it was supposed to be. it is 22 inches tall by 43 inches wide. Intended to be a Christmas gift for my mother. She knows what a prize the yarn was so I am SURE she will appreciate it in spite of the smaller size. She will probably wear it all crumpled up around her neck, anyway It should be okay because my mom is just not that large a person. I hope that she will enjoy it. The variegated colors look like some wierd pixelation issue on the screen of my computer. Actually there are stripes of fuschia, purple and dusky gray all blending together. It looks quite nice, maybe you can tell better if you click on it and view the large picture. It is currently drying on my living room floor. My house is SO terribly cold it may take a week to dry. We FINALLY lit the furnace today, when I got up this morning the house was 49 *damn that's cold* degrees F. I could practically see my breath. It made it quite difficult to get out of bed and even worse to get out of the nice hot shower. But now folks (we had a little furnace filter changing fiasco going on for a bit) my house is a much more reasonable 68 degrees. Ahh... it is practially like summer in here.... practially.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Soccer is over, yeah!!! I finally will have time to knit. Soccer consumed about 6 hours of VITAL knitting time every week. Although I am deluding myself that I am just going to sit around and knit for all those hours now. I have many Christmas presents I need to get to work on right away. I am making my kids some Star Wars pjs, with some cute Star Wars flannel I found at Joanns. I also have a Yoda blanket in the queue with some comforter covers that have waited a LONG time. Then there are 2 more pairs of pjs as well as 2 blankets that need to be done by 12/9 for a charity project at the kids school. So yeah... sure I'm going to be knitting all the time now, right? Ha ha.

I will just keep telling myself that I will be knitting soon. I think I miss knitting so much my hands are going through the motions while I sleep....

Friday, November 17, 2006

Time has really gotten away from me. My DD had a birthday party last week that went very nicely. It was at a gymnastics place and I had on my spiffy handknit socks to wander around without shoes on. We had 15 wonderful children running around like lunatics for an hour and 45 minutes. Yaye fun! Between the schools book faire and soccer this week has flown by with me having all of 5 minutes at a time on my computer.

I have squeezed in some knitting on the swallowtail shawl, I have completed 3 out of 5 sections of the pattern. The Belissa cashmere is very nice and soft, but MAN does it REEK like a goat. While I am sitting in a room knitting, I could swear there was a goat sitting next to me breathing on me. I am wondering if that smell is going to go away when I wash it to block it. Other wise my mom's neck is going to be scented with Eau de Chevre that perhaps only mountain men or shepherds will find attractive. The colors are quite nice and the pattern looks great. I am thinking if I finish it in time I will make a few more for Christmas presents out of Alpaca or Merino. It goes along fairly quickly. With out all that soccer taking up my knitting time they should practically fly off the needles.

I have also started a sock for DS in a nifty self striping yellow, black, white and grey that is very soft. I find it humorous that I am making it from and extra skein and leftover I have from making the very first sock I ever made that I made for him. I hope there is enough yarn. I ought to find that sock and reuse the yarn, hmmm.

Hopefully next post will be full of pictures right?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Wow, I have had a SERIOUS lack of time lately and have gotten almost NO knitting done, I am shaking from the withdrawls. I had to finish a 4 page scrapbook layout for a workshop I am doing on Saturday night, and I procrastinated on sewing together DD's Halloween Costume so I was very busy finishing that. It took me 2 hours to sew hair extensions and felt and hairclips into some lovely cinnamon rolls easily applied to the sides of her head. DS went as Darth Vader. They can be seen here together. The Thing is a friend of ours. I have been trying to finish sewing some duvets together, the woman I am doing it for bought the wrong size cuts of material, making this a very interesting process to sew it together. I worked an extra 5 hours at the school this week as well for all the Halloween activities and Red Ribbon Week stuff, plus I had HUGE stack of correcting to do for the teacher in the evenings.

I was SO desperate for some knitting that I finally cast on yesterday in desperation. In my desperate stupor, I used the MOST precious skein in my stash. I started the "SwallowTail Shawl" pattern in Interweave Knits Fall Mag, using that amazing cashmere I won at Full Thread Ahead. It is coming out very pretty and very soft (all 25 rows I have made so far.) I can hardly wait to devote some real time to it and crank it out.

I was happy to recieve my Lacy Knitter's Guild Newsletter. It had a pattern in it I thought was very pretty and just lauds some kind of adaptation into something larger than a doily. Fun fun fun.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Still no socks. I have made and unmade 4 inches of swatch with the pink and yellow lace weight. With no decision made except that I need to use size 3 needles. Well that though decision is over right!?

Nothing to do with knitting but, we went to Disney on Ice last night, that was a completely bizarre show. It started with a London Theme, featuring Peter Pan then 101 Dalmations. Peter Pan was a fairly abridged complete version followed by a weirdly short version of the 101 with almost no story or conflict but featuring 30 or so skaters who danced out with rigs on that had 1 fake "puppiy" dangling off each of the sides of a single actual skating "puppy" which were just hillarious. What was more hillarious was one real puppy with 2 fake puppies on each side (for a total of 5) spinning in circles on the ice. Then we had intermission after which we jump to a drasitcally shorted Little Mermaid, with a giant blow up Urusula that was very funny. The whole thing was over so quick you hardly knew you were watching Little Mermaid before it turned to Lilo and Stitch. That part of the show was way too long and oddly uninteresting. By the end of the night the I felt as if I had endured some Disney induced Schizophrenic episode. The good news is, the kids enjoyed it quite a lot. Although DD kept saying, "This isn't like the story, they cut out...." and complaining that her hands were sticky from the WAY overpriced cotton candy. DS watched the whole show and finished with the comment, "My favorite part was the end when Micky mouse came out." Wow, the show was like an hour and 20 minutes and he enjoyed like 2 minutes of it best.

Maybe in the next 24 hours I will actually knit and actual item that will reach completion.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Both socks are finished! But in my enthusiasm I wore them before I took pictures of them. Duh! So after they are washed again I will have DH take some pics of them on my feet (no more weired ankleless shots taken from above). I have started and restared, only 6 times, the Lorna's Laces Camoflauge socks for DH. I started with a knit/purl tumbling blocks pattern, which I didn't like with the camo colors. Then I got terrible pooling problems. Next was a broken rib stitch, followed by a herringbone k/p pattern, and a large chevron pattern then small chevron. Now it is just a lump of rolled up yarn with a lot of pent up anger directed at it. At least it is wonderfully soft to knit and reknit with. This was simply an unproductive knitting day.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Operation to infiltrate computer room and upload pictures: Complete. I finally made it into the computer room so here is the picture of the finished sock. It was way harder to take a picture of a sock on my foot than I ever would have thought. Now I know why Cookie always takes pictures of her socks on a fake leg. (Is this my cue to knit up a fake leg to model socks on? It wouldn't be much different than stuffing a sock knitted to fit my foot would it?) It certainly would be easier to get the right angle and focus and it would certainly never need to shave before taking a picture (or regret not having shaven before taking the picture. Don't look too closely now, or you'll see why!) The colors look very nice, I love the colors.

But if you look down here, you'll see how the socks just don't quite match. Well, you may say, "They are unique and don't need to match." Or you may say, "They are nearly matched isn't that good enough? " "NO!!!" I say. It isn't good enough, lest you forget that I am obsessive! It really bugs me that it doesn't match. It just DOESN'T and every time I wear these socks I will secretly feel a little dirty just KNOWING that these socks do not quite match. Kind of like if I were a man secretly wearing women's underwear, even if nobody sees or nobody knows, I just know deep down inside it isn't quite right....

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I have finished the first sock in Trekking. It looks terrific. I have started the second one, though I am only about 3 inches up from the toe. Had a bad night. Slammed the dog's tail in the car door. Spent lots of time and money at emergency vet getting it fixed. I think maybe I should make a tail cover for the dog. The last 3 inches of the tail are shaved off bald.

So I think this is the fist and last pair of Trekking socks I am going to make. It was SO hard to find the starting spot for my second sock in the ball of yarn. I had to wind past about 20 yds of yarn to find the best matching spot. Even then though it is still different. You'll see the difference when I get those photos posted. It really isn't the nicest or softest yarns out there either. Despite the fantastic colors after knitting with some Lorna's lace sock yarn, the Trekking feels like burlap. Well. Maybe I can get into the computer room and get some pics uploaded.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Well I finally made a decision. I grabbed up the Trekking and started some socks. I am using the Sock It To Me Chevron sock pattern but with my own basic toe up sock pattern. So mostly I am just using the chevron part of the pattern. I hate having patterns on my socks the bottom side of my foot it just drives me nuts when I am walking so I am only putting the chevrons on the top of the foot and the ankle. Still though, the same basic idea. Pics to follow later. Once again I am banished to the laptop so I can't upload pics. Lots to be said about that...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Did I have a yarntastic weekend again? Yes I did. Tina and I went to the opening of Purlessence in Sunnyvale. The new store was very nice and full of the rarely spotted young knitters. There was a lot of Sock Candy and other yummy yarns. We then took a quick trip around the block (well practically it was more like 6 blocks?) to the amazing Yarn Place . Where I picked up some really super awesome beautirific Lace Weight Yarn "Graceful" in a color way that looks like a beautiful summer sunset, called Sherbert ( F03617) and a beautiful color that looks like dusk in the forest "Summer Cafe: with beautiful smokey blue and green colors. I also got 10 skeins of a 70/30 wool acrylic blend black and green tweed. I plan to make a nice cabled sweater for my appreciative son. I also picked up a cone of mystery yarn. It is bright fuschia with white shiny hairs laced through it. It was a mere $5 I couldn't pass on it. I have knit up a swatch and it is pretty fine. 32 sts x 45 rows per 4" and when I washed it and blocked it it had the distinct aroma or animal hair, probably the white haris are angora or mohair I will try to machine was it later and see if it felts so I can figure out what the rest of the pink yarn is made from. After I washed it it was very nice and soft. The only problem left is the yardage guessing game. It makes it hard to decide what to make.

Yesterday I finished the heart baby sweater I redesigned it came out very cute. I like the cardigan look much more than the pull over. I even remebered to sew some ears onto the purple sweater. What next?? I can't decide. I really want to start on something with the new lace weight but I also would like to start on some new socks. I am stting here next to the ball of Trekking and the Lorna's Lace Camo I bought and I can't decide which thing to do first. I am itching to make some socks and I found this wonderful website that is just loaded with socks called Boogie Knits where I spent 20 minutes looking at sock links. Quite enjoyable.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Well, I just totally realized that I didn't take a picture of the little baby socks I made for the shower I am going to today. So here they are already stuck to the present. I have finally remember to add the ears to the sweater. it looks cute.

I have finished the body part of the baby sweater, now I am working on one sleeve. Then I will begin the raglan part of the sweater. Progress is slow and I feel like I am really running out of time! (read here as PANIC!!! ) I have been so busy I haven't had time to just sit down and get it done. I think I can accomplish more knitting when it is not soccer season. It just takes up too many valuable knitting hours... can you imagine the conversation... "sorry kids, you can't play soccer any more because it just doesn't leave mommy enough time to knit..." That would go over well.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Well the Fran's baby sweater is done. It took me a total of about 3 hours to complete. You can see where the seed stitch is. I made the ties out of crocheted strands of yarn, rather than I-cord. It was just a little simpler and thinner, the Homespun becomes a very thick i-cord in just 3 stitches. It was modeled by my daughter's teddy bear, she really likes her dolls trying on my knitwear. The bears ears make the hood look oddly misshapen. It still needs to be blocked.

Now I am back to work on the redesigned pink layette set for Baby shower 10-21. I am still thinking about those socks.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Here is the completed "Aqua" baby layette set. Modeled below by my daughter's "Cabby Patch Kid" The arms on the doll are pretty short so the sleeves hang off. It has since been blocked so it looks a little smoother. The doll was eager to put on the clothes before they had been blocked.

Yesterday I picked up two skiens of Lorna's Laces "Lorna's Sox" in Camouflage (which you can guess is a brown, green, and black mix) which I have not decided who I am making socks for yet. I may make some for Hubby or my son. I know my son would appreciate it quite a lot more than my husband would, but his feet keep on growing without stopping and soon the socks will be too small. The good news is the small feet only need small socks which work up very quickly.

I have begun working on Fran's Hooded Baby Sweater and I am about 3/4 done. I have about 2 more rows on the bottom and the hood left to finish. It worked up in about 2 hours, so I should be compltely done, sewing it up and weaving in ends and all in about another hour, mkaing it a 3 hour sweater. Super speedy!! I didn't work seed stitch all over. I only worked it at the bottom 6 rows and 2 rows in from each finished edge (not a the seam edges).

I have also made a heart and mini cable cardigan pattern based on a pattern from "Knitted Layettes for Little Darlings" I have changed it from a drop sleeved pullover to a raglan cardi. I am going to use the orignal hat pattern and make socks instead of the booties using a heart k/p based pattern that I have run up the center of the back of the sweater. It will be pink and I hope that I will have the time to finish it before the shower on the 20th. I have only cast on. I had to go buy a new size 3 circular needle because I have size 2 in like 6 lenghts and 4 in interchangables but not ONE single size 3 circular (except dpns and a whole sweater on dpns is not cool!!!)

Now I guess since I didn't make a plan for practice today I better go and get my stuff ready for soccer practice!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The baby sweater is now done. Looking spiffy. It took me a tedious 4 tries on the first side and 2 tries on the second to get that button band looking nice. The stinking button band on the sweater should have been made as one piece on the original front pieces of the sweater. Who ever designed that pattern is a glutton for punishment. The neck band should go over the button band so the button band should have been done first. Every time I had to redo the band I had a few choice expletives for the pattern. I have redesigned the bootie to be a circular knit toe-up sock with the lace pattern on the top. One has been finished and the other is just above the toe. If all goes as planned I will have plenty of time to bang out the tam in time for the shower on Oct 9th, then I can get started straight away on the wonderful pink baby layette set for a shower on Oct 21st. I have become a baby clothing knitting machine. I almost feel like I should be making the same pattern again just for simplicity's sake, I could practically repeat it with my eyes closed. The only problem with the heart sweater is that it is a pullover, who really wants to pull a sweater over a baby's wobbly head. Half the time you feel like you're going to break off thier tiny heads so maybe I will change it to be a cardigan. It would make any mom feel much better. Tearing off the head of your first baby, always a bad thing.
So of course I am working on this post last night and my husband suddenly decides he HAS to upgrade my computer to usuing Win 98 instead of Win 95. And it has to be RIGHT NOW right, it couldn't be when I finished so I HAD to stop mid post and I have completely forgotton my train of thought so oh well. Its posted.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I have finished the sleeves on the baby sweater for the layetter, pics to follow soon. It is raglan, so the sleeves really aren't finished, just ready to join. It is coming out quite nicely.

I picked up some Patons Wool Merino. I am hoping to make a nice felted bag but I am having trouble finding a bag I actually want to make. I don't know what I was thinking abou when I bought that yarn, I just got all caught up in the moment, me and the yarn in the aisle of the store and the money in my pocket just sitting there burning. Something lustful in my mind just snapped, " Oh I know I'll make a felted bag, yeah that's it!! What a great idea." Things really should have been thought out more carefully. I am thinking the Icarus shawl would look good in some Maroon/purpley alpaca lace wieght I have but I really need to try and focus things have to get done in order right? I really am not one of those poeple with the half finished projects all hiding in the closet or on the shelf. I finish what I start (even if it takes 5 months) Or I tear it apart and wind it back in to balls. What's the point right? Keeping all the stuff sitting there, a hideous thing that was popular in 1981, that style will never come back again (we hope) so unwind that precious yarn and turn it into something Fabulous!! Then you won't have all that, unfinished guilt. I just need someplace new to start hiding my stash. The hubby is eyeing that bag of Patons suspisiously like maybe somewhere in that brain of his that never has the time of day for any kind of yarn talk what-so-ever he has some ability to recognize new materials added to the stash. Figures right? The one thing he'd notice is the one thing I would like him to not notice.....
I am off to a craft night at a friend's house where hopefully I will crank right through the rest of this baby sweater.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Just like every time I have ever tried to keep a diary, I have failed to update on a daily (weekly or even monthly basis) as it has been MORE than one month since I have created an entry. What's worse is I have since enjoyed many a thrilling knitting related event that really should have been recorded..

Super Duper Most exciting knitting news. I finished "The Beast". My gigantic circle has been completed. I have stretched it and blocked it and it looks swell. Before stretching it looked a bit like a middle aged wife, wrinkly, frumpy and suffering from stretch marks. After stretching and blocking, it is a beautiful and taut as a plastic surgeon's wife. Made with approximately 2,600 yds of Knitpicks Alapaca Cloud. Comprised of 223,620 knitted stitches and cast off with just 6,240 crochet stitches. It was truly a labor of love.

September 9th I had to extreme joy of hearing the Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl McPhee speak at Full Thread ahead. She was tremendously hillarious and very friendly. The tickets were obtained by my dear fiber addict buddy Teenuh (because it is never fun to get high alone!?). Thank you to you!! We spent a very long day waiting outside to see her speak, Then waiting to have our books signed, though it was very fun and we met a lot of great people. I even met Cookie of Pomotomas fame. It is almost scary to realize how many knitters there are out there. I bought some extrafine lace weight lambswool in black , which is supposed to be machine washable (although by the time I finish whatever grand project I make with all 825 yds of it, I may be too afraid to wash it!!) I was also VERY lucky and won a Full Thread ahead contest while we were waiting, for having the most stitches of lace knitting on the needles (thanks to the beast!) and won a very yummy skein of lace weight, Belissa Cashmere in Twilight color way, with a $42 price tag on it. It may be the most expensive yarn I will ever own in my life!! Here I am with the Harlot. (Why are all the other knitters in the world SO TINY?) Stephanie is very gracious and charming when you meet her and tries to spend a little time with everyone, she was wonderfu and it was awesome to meet herl.

September 17th My beloved yarn buddy and I made a grand 3 hour trek up to 9th annual California Wool and Fiber arts Festival and Mendocino County Faire. It was interesting. It was much like traveling to a different world in a different time. The feel was so very small town (as it was and without parade traffic would probably take about 3 minutes to drive in one end of the town to the other, if you got caught at the stop light.) We saw a sheep shearing with electric shears and manual shears, as well as a spinning competition. It was a little (okay a lot) disppointing to see there were young children there who were better at spinning than me!! I picked up a BEAUTIFUL silk brick in a yummy bright violet color called Violet Thunder, which I have already begun spinning into a beautiful silky yarn.I bought one skein of ultra soft lacweight 100% Fine Kid Mohair by Wagtail Yarns in a lovely light violet colorway. I am thinking.... Fiddlesticks Peacock Feathers Shawl...

In between sewing some curtains and some bed covers I have been trying to finish a baby layette set for a baby shower early in October. I am thrilled to find I have another baby shower to knit for, for a GIRL yippee!! I love knitting for a girl. Better yet, this is her 3rd child and the first 2 were boys so she is ready for the pink!! Yaye I will be knitting pink. I love it.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I started a nice muted colored log cabin blanket in Lion Brand Cool Wool on Wednesday and it has been just flying by. Although now it is starting to get very heavy and hard to knit, it really weighs a ton. The colors all co-ordinate nicely. I think I am going to make it afghan size and give it to my dad for his birthday in September (maybe).

My wonderful Knitpicks yarn order arrived in my mailbox yesterday. 8 skeins of yummy soft Midnight Alpaca cloud, 2 skeins of undyed fingering superwash, very soft, a some tweed hopefully to make that super cute sock monkey hat from Knitty. It is ridiculous, but no genuine monkey collector should be without, right? Now I can finally get back to work on my giant circular project. I started row 229, so just 29 more rows to go and the Project of Doom will be complete. I can hardly wait, but it seems the close I get to finishing, the more stitches I drop. Must be some Freudian project sabatoge going on. I must not really want this thing to be done. Maybe it is just that I know when it is done I won't have any place to wear it and I will be wearing it with like jeans and a t-shirt or at dressed to the nines in a 3/4 sleeve t-shirt and peasant skirt with flip flops!? I will be such a vision of elegance and style....

Well enought wasting time here, I have to get knitting. I just realized what the perfect project is for some baby yarn I bought 2 months ago. I'm really running out of time, their baby is due in November (ha ha that means I still loads of time right!! what's the hurry? where's the fire!?)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

So of course. What else would have happened? I pick up my knitting and begin working around, having worked the previous 8 rounds or so away from home, and begin counting stitches, working the pattern. But, what is this? This repeat has too many stitches!? Where did these extra 2 stitches come from? I trace them down and down and down and finally spot the exact moment of their occurence. Can you guess? Yes of course, I have failed to slip 2 (not just 1 but 2) stitches off the needle in this repeat section an have knit into both of them twice and of course each of these erroneous stitches is located a full 17 stitches apart!!

Why on Earth did I not notice this giant FLAW, this horendous glitch in my counting until a full 9 rows past the mistake. Ah yes, you see I made the mistake at home, knitting away with no distractions, only to gloss over said mistake 8 (YES 8!!) whole times before coming to realize this mistake. I spend the next hour pinning this evil work to a nice flat contrasting pillow and unwinding 18 stitches row by row wild yarn pinned to the pillow in an imitation of two sinister black rainbows arching over my rapidly dwindling work. Pick and pin, pick and pin. Sorry I didn't think in my addled mind to take a picture.

After just an hour and 20 minutes of pulling out those stitches I am ready to reknit back to the top. I spend 10 minutes (yes, it is 2:30 AM and taking me quite a lot longer to think than other times in the day) trying to figure out where I am in the pattern and finally resume my work. Crochet hook in hand lifting stitches. Passing over, yarning over. I carefully count each stitch on the row. AT LAST at just about 3 am I reach the last stitch on the top row. *Sigh of relief* I have corrected this egregious error. Life can go on. Sanity is restored. Except now I have to smooth out the really fantastic ladder in the work this repair has created. Upon finishing I gleefully cheer and yank my circular needle from which my stitches precariously hang pulling of 8 stitches. I rapidly slip them back on managing fortunately not losing any runners. This is clearly an omen. It must be time to put this knitting down and go to bed.

Friday, August 04, 2006

My very first blog attempt.

Well, this is my very first attempt at chronicling knitting. I suppose I should have started sooner then maybe I'd have some idea of how long things really took me, even just a written journal would have worked wouldn't it?

My current project is just nearing completion when I unzip my stash bag that should (or at least in my head) contain about 4 more skeins of my beloved Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud in midnight and realize there is only one left! What? Where did it go?? I could not possibly have used 8 - 440 yd skeins of lace weight already. Could I? That is an astounding 3520 YARDS of yarn. 10,560 feet. Mind boggling. All on size 2 needles. What on Earth are you making with such insanity you ask? The "Sun Ray" design dinner cloth from Marianne Kinzel First Book of Modern Knitting, with intent as wearing it as a circular shawl, because who in their right mind would eat off of something that took so many days of their life to make only to have their children drip ketchup on it or grind rice into its tender fibers?? Begun on April 20, 2005 I now have only 37 rows to completion and now have to sit and wait for the knitting gods to expedite my shipment of yarn to me. How long must I wait!!! Sadly it dangles on the circular needle appearing as the worlds largest Rastafarian hat, a deflated jelly fish sail,a shapeless blob that compels my mother to repeatedly state "that will NEVER look like that nice flat lace we saw, that is all crumpled and wrinkly." Staring at the shapeless blob and waiting for the yarn to come I can feel blood vessels popping in my head. If I quit now I will never pick it up again.

I have since beginning it, put it down to make no less than 3 pair of socks, a childs sweater and a baby blanket. I can hear all the other yarn calling to me, "what about me? Make me, use me, forget that old crumpled thing." I am tempted. Please UPS man, bring me my box!!!!!