Friday, December 28, 2007

2007 - The Year of the Destash

As I reflect on 2007- The Year of the Destash, I have to wonder if maybe it really wasn't a year of stashing.

I have 21 finished objects for the year. 26 if you count each of the Blocks for Greensburg individually. 13 of the 21 projects were from stash.

There are two types of destash projects.

One, truly destashing projects. That's the kind where the yarn you use for a particular project was actually bought, and possibly used, for another project. The Greensburg Blocks are a great example. I had bits and pieces of several different wools leftover from various clog projects. They came together to make the blocks. Another example are Megan's and Emily's baby booties. The yarn I used for those projects was not bought with the intent of making baby booties, but in the end, it was perfect.

Two, I categorize as yarn that is spontaneously purchased and then it sits in "storage" for more than 3 months before it gets cast on. CTH Northern Lights is a perfect example. It doesn't qualify for stash definition #1 because I bought this yarn to make socks. However, since the socks (Mad Weave) didn't get knit until some time after I'd purchased the yarn, the yarn is considered stash.

Yarn also might go into stash mode if a skein that was purchased after the original skein gets knit before the original skein. So the Brooks Farm Acero I bought, pushed any previous purchases into stash the minute I cast it on.

Just a quick run down of my stash projects:

Celeste's Felted Clogs
Brown and Black Random Striped Socks
Walking the Dogs hat
Emily's Mary Jane Booties
Corrugarter hug
Mad Weave Socks
Megan's Mary Jane Booties
Blocks for Greensburg
Yellow Cotton Hat
Blue Cotton Hat
Dr. Suess Scarf
Mad Cow Socks
Koigu Pink Socks

Not too bad. I'm pretty happy.

Now at the beginning, I said maybe this was the Year of the Stash rather than the Destash. I say that because here at the end of the year, I've been piling it on. Wollmeise, Yarntini, Louet Gems I mean, come on, that's three pairs of sock yarn in less than a month and 2008 was supposed to be the Year of Lace. At the same time, when you compare 2007 stash to 2008 stash you have to admit my taste has gotten much better. There is no destash planned for kitchen cotton in 2008 only fine quality wools. Yeah, I can live with that. It was a good destash year.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

What's In A Name?

The boys started their Christmas vacation with us Wednesday afternoon and we kicked off the week with Stars Hockey game. It was close at first, but in the end the Stars whooped'em 8-3.

In the program one of the articles talked about how the various hockey teams got their names. For example, in MN the Stars were the the North Stars, they dropped the North when they moved south, but felt the "Stars" still fit since this is the LoneStar state.

This got me to thinking, what's in a name? Does the name of a colorway make you more or less likely to buy it? Does it affect what you'll knit with it? Does the name of a pattern affect the color of yarn you'll use to knit it? If you dye your own, how do you name your colorways?

For me, the name can play a part.

My yarn from the SOWs sock yarn exchange is a fantastic semi-solid light blue. It could be anything it wants to be. The possibilities are endless. This makes choosing a pattern difficult. However, with a name like "Designated Driver" "Drunken Bees" is the perfect pattern.

Then take Pomatomus for example. An excerpt from the description on Knitty "The finished socks are reminiscent of blue-green fish scales hence the name Pomatomus, the genus of the blue fish." I'm thinking my Wollmeise Rittersporn might fit the bill. At the same time, Rittersporn translates to Larkspur, so Cookie A's Twisted Flower might be just the thing.

With so many pattern and yarn colorway choices, one way to narrow down the list is to make a game of matching the pattern name to the colorway name.

Any thoughts?

A note about the hockey game.

The Havoc Fanatics cracked me up. They have to have to worst seats in the house. Section 332, total noise bleed, but they have a great time. After each goal, the annoucer highlights the scoring player's stats and the time of the goal. When it's a Stars goal, the crowd goes wild. When it's a goal for the opposing team the Havoc Fanatics holler, in unison, "Who cares."

When the clock ticks to 1 minute before the end of a period, the announcer says, "1 minute remaining in the 2nd period." The Havoc Fanatics, in unison, say, "Thank you." So funny. They obviously have a really good time.

Friday, December 21, 2007

No Pictures, But It's an Update

I was waiting to get some pictures to put in my update, but that could take forever.

I'm working on a pair of clogs for Celeste, the boys' grandma. They are made completely from stash yarn - that's exciting. And I'm 65% of the way finished with them. That's really exciting.

I'm finished with 2/3 of the leg on both of the Brigit socks. I have about 18 rows more on each sock before I get to the heel. Not too bad.

I have the yarn for Mom's next pair of clogs. Just want to get those done before 1/18 since that's when we are having OK Christmas.

The vine lace shawl is waiting again. I made good progress for a while, but now it's resting while I make clogs and work on socks.

I have a beautiful skein of Wollmeise yarn on the way. It's Rittersporn medium blue and I think it wants to be Pomatomus. Since Cookie A is part of the Janaury sock knitter anonymous challenge, that works out perfect. I'm going to have to buy more needles if I'm going to have more than one pair of socks on the needles at one time.

We are planning to give Eunny Jang's Bayerishe a go with a SOWs KAL in February. I have some stash sock yarn in natural that I think will be perfect.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Only One Project on the Needles?

I can't believe I only have one project cast on right now. I finished the brown and black random striped socks yesterday. Love them. Pictures when my batteries recharge.

I'm planning to cast on Brigit on 12/1 for the Socks Anonymous Sockdown challenge. I'll have two months to finish them which is a pretty quick pair of socks for me.

I'm seriously considering casting on the Everyday Wrap. I like it, I have some yarn in my stash and it seems really simple to knit. Not sure what's stopping me.

Really need to get started on Celeste's clogs. I'm so glad they are a small pair. I could probably get them done before the Sockdown challenge, but I'm procrastinating a bit.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I Needed a Hat

I walked the dogs in the cold last week and realized I needed a hat. Fortunately I had some leftover wool.

I had several colors to choose from. I liked these 4 together. I wanted the hat to go quickly so I opted to hold two strands of worsted together.

Using the basic increase principles of toe up socks, I cast on eight stitches and got started. The result was a hat with a crown that looked like the toe of a sock. Hmmm, no.

I frogged it and started again. I cast on eight (using the magic cast on method), knit a round, then increased in every stitch, knit a round and then increase in every stitch again. This looked much better. From there I increased in six places (evenly spaced) around the hat. When I first switched from magic loop to a single circular, the hat looked a little bit like a fabric frisbee. I was afraid it was too flat.

In the end, the hat is great. I love the shape. I used a size 13 needle for casting off and I kept the tension ridiculously loose. It worked out great.

I found a new project I want to give a try - the Everyday Wrap. I love the little ruffle. I think I also like the simplicity. It would work really well for a varigated lace weight yarn (KP Blue Jean Gossamer), but I have some KP Alpaca Cloud in Moss in my stash and I think they'll make a happy couple. The pattern calls for 229 yards of Kid Silk Haze. I have a full skein of the Alpaca Cloud so I should be in good shape. I may even double the yarn. This coud be my 5 minute a day knitting project. It's really just a giant scarf. It's the finishing that makes it so great.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Surge of New Projects

Just yesterday I added two more projects to my knitting plate. First, Celeste, the boys' grandma (their mom's mom) came by to see them here for Thanksgiving because she isn't allowed at their mother's house. It's really sad and Celeste is basically alone. So I thought a pair of knitted clogs for Christmas would make her feel better. My Mom also needs a new pair, she flat wore her's out - you go Mom - so I have two pairs of clogs on the horizon. This will be pairs 13 and 14, but who's counting.

Not that I'm be a cheapskate or anything, but I was going through my wool stash (see below) and realized I probably have enough yarn on hand to make a small pair clogs so Celeste's clogs will be a pink mix with brown/olive green soles. Sounds kind of yucky, but it's not bad in person. This also allows me to get started on them immediately without waiting for a KP order to come in.

The second project I decided to add yesterday is a dog walking hat. The weather has gotten pretty chilly. The dogs don't seem to mind, but it's not for me. I can't just not walk them, so I decided as we were going around the block, that I needed to go through my wool stash and come up with yarn for a hat. A fairly long hat I can pull down over my ears.

I have two options. For the first one, I have 80gms of black (bits and pieces of various skeins), 30 gms of cranberry red, 15gms of Winter Night blue and 10gms of grass green. I'm going to hold two strands together for a bulky yarn and mix the colors to make a really interesting hat (I hope). My issue with this is I will most likely be walking the dogs in the dark, something light would be much better.

So option two is to use some remaining bulky natural yarn with say a red or blue stripe. Or maybe a red and blue stripe. Not nearly as interesting as the combo mentioned above if you ask me, but functional. Not sure exactly what I'm going to do.

I finished one of the brown and black stripe socks. Record time for me I think. It took about a week. I'm anxious to get started on the second one so I can have a finished pair.

I also worked on the vine lace stole. With that project it feels like two steps forward one step back. Knit four rows, rip back two. I think it's because I pick it up and put it down with several days in between each session. It's just kicking my butt and it's not that hard.

I almost forgot, I joined Sock Knitters Anonymous on Ravelry, not that I want to quit knitting socks. No indeed this is only feeding the addition. Every month they post a new challenge and give you two months to finish.

The December challenge is to either knit a Mimknits pattern or knit a top down pattern. I've decided to kick off Brigit on December 1 as a top down pattern in my Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome Loden yarn that I've had for a while. It will be a challenge to finish the socks in two months with a hat, two pairs of clogs and the brown and black socks also on the needles.

Actually, I'm hoping to wrap up the brown and black socks this week while I'm on vacation and perhaps finish the hat. We'll see.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I Love Gansey

I can officially say my Christmas socks are done. Using the sewn cast-off, I finished them up yesterday. I learned a new trick - how exciting. It was super easy.

Here are my brown and black "random" stripe socks. I did use the random stripe generator to create the base for my socks, but I knew I was going to use the black for the toes and the heels so I had to manually adjust the ratio of black to brown stripes slightly. You've got to love Excel for these types of things. I'm keeping a close eye on the yarn as I go along to make sure it all comes out in the end. I've seen lots of people do a pair of socks with 2 skeins, but the skeins seem so small.

I'm using Elann Esprit. I can't remember exactly why I bought the yarn, but I'm really liking it. If the socks wear well, I can see making more socks with this yarn and the random stripe generator. There are so many colors.

And let me just say, I'm a huge fan of toe-up socks.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Random Stripe Knitting

Actually, I can't believe how I'm blowing through projects this year. I mean, my rate of finishing socks is no where near some people's pair a week, but for me I'm cranking them out. Actually, I laughed at myself because when I finished up my "I Love Gansey" socks, I thought, "Man, I must have cranked those out in about a month." I checked Ravelry and found no, I started them in September not October, but still for me, I knew that was record time for a pair of socks. I do need to finish the bind-off and then get some pictures taken.

Since I finished the Corrugarter scarf and the Beads of Earth Scarf fell through, I need a no brainer knitting project for my 15 minutes a day knitting. The baby booties went so quickly they didn't fulfill this need. I decided to cast on my brown and black random striped socks. The yarn is Elann Esprit. I have one ball of each. I got passed the toe increases last night and knit for a while and decided this morning they were going to be way too big. I normally cast on 72, these were 60 and I'm going back to 52. It's a heavier yarn on size three needles, but that's crazy - 52. It's elastic, so I want them to be a little tight. Worst case I just increase a few stitches down the line.

I'm working them toe up, because I love toe up. And I'm having to work them one at a time because of the way the balls are wound. I usually like to do two socks at a time.

I've decided to frog the Caribbean socks. I like the pattern, but this yarn doesn't need to be mixed up the way the pattern would mix it up. I like the colorway so much, I want it to be the star. So I've decided to go with a stockinette front and back and a cable down each side. There's a pattern on Ravelry called "Aran Braid" and it is perfect, interesting enough for me to knit, while still allowing the colorway to shine.

I'll be casting on the Aran Braid socks soon. For my not so brainless knitting.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Emily's Mary Janes.

I really wasn't in the mood for knitting that took a lot of thought last night so all my sock projects were out as was the vine lace shawl. Since the baby booties need to be done this month, it made since to get started on them. The project called for some counting, but nothing too complicated. It's all knit stitches with a couple of make 1's here and there. Tonight I'll get to the K2T's. It think the booties will be fine Knit Night knitting.

Pictures soon, but basically the booties will look like this

Saturday, November 03, 2007

It's Going to be a Good Doggy Christmas

The Doggy Christmas Stocking is finished. Well, I guess it needs to be blocked, but if it had to hang on the mantel tomorrow it could. I had to get creative near the end because I ran out of one of the yarns. Sometimes those situations can really bring out your creative side and I'm pleased with the result.

This was my first real attempt at colorwork. Even though I tried really hard to strand loose on the long carries behind the work, it wasn't enough. It was much better for me to "knit" the yarn behind the working stitches. I hope I'll remember what that means the next time I do color work.

This is Alpaca Drops yarn I've had in my stash for over a year. The label says it's a sport weight, but it sure seems light. I saw this Beads of Earth scarf pattern on Ravelry and thought for sure it was perfect for this project, but it's not. The yarn is beautiful, the beads are great. I just need to put this back into stash so it can decide what it wants to be. But this scarf isn't it.

I'm making great progress on the "I Love Gansey" socks. I turned the heel and have started the full repeats of the pattern up the leg. Each sock is getting a turn and I'll knit until I'm out of yarn or happy with the length. But last night I couldn't fight it anymore, I had to cast on with my Socks that Fit Caribbean colorway. In the skein, there seems to be so much more white, but when knitted upThe white is only in small dashes like caps on waves, so I'm liking it. I'm playing with some stitch patterns to see if I want to design my own sock. The first pattern didn't work. It was going to be too much trouble to convert from back and forth into the round. That's OK because it was a close call between two different stitches so the second one definitely wins. I'll be giving all three socks (two Gansey, one unnamed) turns tonight. I want to continue forward progress on the Gansey, but can't wait to see how the blue socks come together.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Arrrgh, What Happen There?

There's a mistake. I hate that. I can see it. I know it's there and now I'm trying to decide what I want to do. One part of me says let it go, but the other side of me says fix it.

The difference between lace and socks is people get up and close and personal with lace. Knitters and non-knitters alike hold lace in their hands and study it. In fact, I asked DH to see if he could find the mistake and in about 10 seconds he spotted it. Actually that settles it for me. It must be fixed.

Dang that 7:20am flight. I'm going to frog back 5". Dang it. Good thing I'm enjoying knitting this pattern.
I'm also enjoying "I Love Gansey." Here's my short row heel with the pattern eased in. I'm pleased with how it's coming together.

Here's the top. The fit is good. I'm about to start the fun part around the top.

The weather is cooling off in TX. I wore my Mad Weave socks for the first time this week. Love, love the pattern. The socks are a great fit. And they were really fun to knit.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lots to Catch Up On

As a result of plane knitting time, I've made serious progress on my Christmas socks. I've turned the heel (love, love, love the short row heel) on both socks and I'm ready to settle in and truly enjoy the full pattern. Since I'm doing the socks toe up, up to this point, I've only knit a portion of the pattern.

I got a little tricky on the heels. I eased into the pattern as I picked up the wraps. Although the heels don't look the same (they are fraternal twins), I'm happy with the result and the lesson learned.

The vine lace shawl has doubled in size. Which isn't really saying that much, but it is bigger. I took it on the third plane trip and tried to knit lace on a 7:20am flight. What the heck was I thinking? I knit and ripped the same three rows three times. At that point, I was so glad I had one of the socks in my bag.

I guess part of my problem on the lace was I was trying to work from memory on the pattern and at that early hour I was completely second guessing myself. I had the sock pattern with me so there was forward progress.

Funny Story, I had two men comment on the fact I had sharp, pointy needles on the plane. They both said, "I can't believe they let you on here with those." Then the first guy told me how they'd made him throw away a 99% used tube of toothpaste because it was a full size tube. There were not more than 3oz of toothpaste in the tube, but it didn't matter. It was the size of the package. Who can explain the logic?

I'm formulating a plan for dealing with the shortage of yarn on Baby Girl's stocking. I thought I was only three rows short, but there is also the heel flap. I think I'm striping. There are other patterns in the book that do it and I think it will look good.

I'll be taking pictures this weekend to document all the progress.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Stop Playing on Ravelry

and go knit.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Lovin' The Lace

I finally broke down and cast on some lace. Heaven. It was a little tricky at first, but now I've settled into the groove and memorized the pattern. I cast on 71 stitches for 7 repeats of the 9 + 4 stitch pattern + 4 more stitches for the border.

On my plane trip last week I was able to catch up the second sock and actually start the next repeat so now the second sock is ahead of the first. Notice the difference in the color of the yarn from the inside of the ball versus the outside. I don't remember which is which, but one sock is defintely darker than the other. If it really bothered me I would figure out how to knit a few rows from each ball on each sock, but ooh that sounds painful. So I'm not going to worry about.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I Have Decided...

There are not enough hours in the day to knit on something you don't love. I've been working on the Red Scarf Project scarf a little bit everyday. Even though I'm enjoying the pattern, I'm not a fan of knitting scarves. Knit, knit, turn, knit, knit, turn. The Corrugarter pattern keeps it interesting, but they don't need my scarf. They have plenty per the blog entry linked below so I'm going to hibernate the scarf and free up the needles.
Please remember that the OFA received far more scarves than they needed last year

I started my Christmas socks - no pictures yet - and they are going pretty well. I'm flying tomorrow and again on Wednesday so I plan to get through the toe on the second sock and to get it caught up with the first one which is through the first repeat of the pattern. I'm flying 4 more time over the next two weeks so the socks will make great progress.

As I mentioned back in August I've been itching to do lace and I have quite a bit in the que. And since that time, I've added one more thing the vine lace stole. I bought some Acero yarn from Brooks Farm. And I really cannot wait to get started. It's a simple pattern and I've about decided not to add beads, so it can be a traveling project. With the RSP scarf hibernating, the much needed needles are free.

I'm taking time to revisit, yet again, my knitting goals. Relishing the completed projects, dumping the oppresive ones and moving on to the fun and exciting ones.

Summer Goals:
Finish Mad Weave Socks - DONE :-)
Finish three more hats - oppressive - I don't want to knit hats.
Finish three Greensburg squares - DONE - Yea!
Finish - golf club covers for Jeff - DONE - Yea!
Knit Marshall's clogs - DONE - and felted
Cast on (at least) socks using Loden CTH - I have several leaf motif patterns to choose from. - hmmm, guess the Christmas socks moved ahead of these, but queued just the same.

Rest of the year goals:
Cinder's Fairy Godmother beaded scarf - queued
Cast on and enjoy knitting linen beaded shaw - queued
Knit a few more hats - oppressive
Knit the loksins sock pattern probably with co-op sock yarn - queued.
Knit at least 15 minutes a day, not because there is pressure to knit, but because I'm worth it. Actually I think I'm doing this pretty well.
Spend less time on the computer talking about knitting and more time knitting. - Going well.
Really, stop buying yarn. I don't need another thing. - oppressive

I have nothing against hats and scarves, but I was going to knit them just to use up stash. Give. it. away. Give it someone who enjoys knitting hats. Better yet, wait for the stash to tell you what it wants to be. See also Megan Mary Janes.

In the meantime, I'm building up my stash. I'm trying not to feel sufficated by it.

Friday, September 28, 2007

One Dozen Pairs of Clogs

This pair of pink clogs is the 12th pair I've knit in about 3 years. These are for Connie's birthday. They are a women's small so they went really fast - thank goodness. This fabulous yarn is Acero from Brooks Farm. Grace contacted them about a special "trunk show" just for the SOWs. Borders was very nice to let us use their coffee shop. The Brooks Farm ladies were very nice and the yarn is fabulous. I can't wait to knit these 800+ yards of fingering weight wool and silk into a vine lace shawl.

In fact, it will be all I can do not to cast on this weekend. And I may decide not to fight the urge. The only hold back at this very minute is the yarn is still in skeins. I need to get it caked up before I start knitting.

I started the heart pattern on my toe-up Gansey last night. I could tell something was wrong. I know I need a bigger sock but this was too big. I got the feeling I needed some ribbing, but it's missing from my interpretation. I read the pattern again, put on my pattern whispering hat and figured out what was off. I have to frog back to the toe. But no big deal. I considered putting in a life line at the toe, but for some reason didn't do it. Now I'm regretting that. But it's all stockinette, so it should be too hard. I think I'll wait until tomorrow though when I'm not so tired.
Here's a funny picture of Baby Girl and Niña playing. They make me laugh.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dyeing, Knitting, Felting, Visiting...

First, my sister came to visit. Too much fun. Her (early) Christmas present is dyed yarn. Much more fun if she dyes it herself, so she flew down and away we went.

photo taken by Knittx. And there are pleny more pics. Just click and go.

Acid green and purple, a colorway entitled "French Whore" that's the look Jeannie was going for. Here's the end result caked up. Pretty.

For her Sterling skein, Jeannie used other people's leftover dye to create this fabulous cake of yarn. It has just the subtle bit of bling. She calls it, "OPD" for other people's dye.

I dyed the Sterling a Christmas colorway. I wanted red with pink undertone and a pretty, complimentary green. The green was nice. But the red was too pink. People thought it was a watermelon colorway and they were right it was. I decided I need a redder red so I added lots of red dye. Then the red ran into the green and green and red make brown. I was very unhappy. Then Lorelei, sweet woman, told me the color wasn't set until it heated up. So we took a hose to the yarn and washed out the red and the green came back. Yea!

In the end, I'm pretty happy with the result. I cast on (10 stitches on each needle) a toe-up sock last night on size 1 needles. So far the look is great. I plan to do "I Love Gansey" from the six sox knitalong.

I do not love the purple. After the debacle of my Christmas yarn, at that point I didn't think I was going to like it, I threw caution to the wind and went purple. I was going for a semi-solid look. That's not what I got. However, I do think this is salvageable.

When the yarn dried, the difference between the lightest color and the darkest color was even greater than when it was wet. The current color range is a 1 to 10, with 1 being the lightest and 10 being the darkest, I'd prefer a range 7 to 10 or 8 to 10. So I'm going to overdye the entire skein with a lilac color. I may buy the actual jacquard dye or I may buy Wilton's cake coloring - the violet is pretty. Stay tuned for more about that one.

We received our Socks that Fit yarn on Saturday as well. It was a co-op buy thanks to Grace. I wanted something that reminded me of the Caribbean. In the picture above the yarn does have the feeling of water both in color and in the way it's laying. Maybe not exactly as I had envisioned it, but it is definitely growing on me. I may have to cast on pretty soon just to see how it looks when it's knit up.

I put the yarn into two balls so I could knit both socks at the same time. The color isn't very accurate here. It's better in the first picture.

I've made progress on Baby Girl's stocking, the Red Scarf project Corrugarter scarf, Connie's clogs (those have to be felted by this Friday) and my Christmas socks. And Jeannie helped me felt Marshall's clogs by turning on the washing machine - yea! Jeannie. And he is happy. They fit great and look great. I'm just charging up the batteries on the camera so I can take pictures.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Planning my Random Dyeing Pattern

In preparation for the SOW's dyeing Saturday at Heritage Arts this weekend, I've been planning my random dashes of color. It's not translating that well here. I was burned once before when I spaced my dashes just so and when I knit, they landed perfectly on top of each other.

It's a 40" skein. I use about 36" for a round on my sock. Each block on the chart presents an inch. I kind of wish the skein was a larger circumference, but re-skeining probably won't be an option this weekend.

This yarn is Sterling. It has a strand of silver running through it. It said Christmas to me. As you can see the main color is red, but I want a semi-solid. The green dashes will be semi-solid too if I can work it.

I'm going to use the I Love Gansey pattern to turn my green/red/silver yarn into Christmas socks. It looks interesting enough to be fun to knit and a strong enough pattern to stand up to a multi-colored yarn. Plus they have hearts on them.

I'm planning to dye the other skein yarn (Jeannie sock yarn) a semi-solid, but I don't know what color yet. I'm waiting to see what moves me on Saturday.

In other news, I started another pair of clogs:-). A pink and black pair for Connie's birthday - 9/29. Fortunately she has a small foot so they should go fast. Guess I should get to knittin'

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Progress Report - Doggy Christmas Stocking

I'm pleased with the progress on the doggy stocking. I'm a cross-stitcher from way back so this doesn't feel all that awkward. Well, except that you read the chart from left to right on odd rows and right to left on the even rows, but I'm doing alright. I'm 1/3 of the way through the chart, then there is a heel flap and knitting the sole, but that will be a piece of cake. I finally had to stop and weave in some ends because with all those color changes were getting a little out of control on the back.

I'm also thinking a little blocking might do wonders for this piece.
This is Baby Girl loving on the yarn while I had the stocking out taking a progress picture. Niña also took a turn at loving on the yarn. She's pretty quick. I couldn't get a picture of her.

Speaking of progress and Niña. She is doing so well. The worms and the fleas are all gone. She's getting the hang of the doggy door. Today she went outside by herself to use the bathroom. That is the key to getting out of puppy jail.

Puppy jail is where she stays during the day. We put a gate in the door of the restroom so she can see, but she is confined to that space, which is tiled. We put down a pee pad and Thursday and Friday she used it. She has made giant progress for only having her one week.

Now I just have to find a dog stocking pattern for her. The obvious thing would me to make two of this one, but I'm not that keen on doing the same thing twice.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where Were You When...?

It's an old question. When I was little I heard my mom and aunts "remembering when" all the time. Today, when they said on the news that everyone remembers where they were when they first heard about an airplane hitting one of the twin towers I realized...I do remember exactly where I was. I was headed to work going north on 360 in Arlington, TX at about Avenue K. I was listening to the Kidd Kraddick show (I've since dropped that habit) when they made the announcement.

When I got to work I went directly to the lunch room to see the pictures on TV. There were others in the room, then more came. The details get foggy from there. The second plane, towers collapsing, they sent us home, nothing on TV to watch to escape what was going on. A zombie like state.

On 9/26/01 my Mom and I got on a plane to go to NH to leaf peep. We'd been planning the trip for a year. We wanted to go to show we weren't scared.

A woman got on the plane to Houston carrying, in her lap, a statue of the Virgin Mary. She was crying, petrified I'm sure. We flew from Dallas to Houston and then on to Boston. At the car rental in Boston, there were semi-truck loads of rental cars coming back to the city. Reminders of people trying to get home after all the flights were grounded.

We had a nice trip. It was worth it all. Absolutely no regrets.
Yup, I remember exactly where I was when...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

That's Ñ with a Tilda

I'm not sure what we were thinking, but for Baby Girl's 1st Birthday

We got her a puppy. A playmate.

And they played. I just love this picture because it shows the action and Baby Girl's eye is the only thing in focus.

The new addition is Niña. Niña is spanish for little girl. We have a theme working. To get the ñ, hold the alt key and type 164. Just in case you wanted to know.

Niña's story goes like this. And I hope that side of family never reads this because they might get hurt feelings. Johney and Sasha got "Precious" (their name for her) for their 4-month-old daughter (hello?) and then decided she was a bad dog when she bit the baby. OK, I saw Johney play with "Precious" here yesterday and he was "play" slapping her around and, of course, she got all riled up. I know people like to tease animals, but the animal doesn't know whe you aren't playing anymore. Sasha said the dog had to go. So Belinda, Johney's mom, took the puppy. I won't go into a lot of detail, but I'll just say this, she was feeding Niña Old Roy dog food, the giant hard kind. This baby weighs 3lbs and she's 3-months old - hello?

Her coat was so rough, it was nasty feeling. She had fleas and worms. We picked up Friday night and took her to the vet first thing Saturday morning. She growled anytime we tried to pick her and she was anything but Precious. I was having severe second thoughts.

The vet gave her worm and flea medicine, all her shots and she stayed for a grooming. When I picked her up, she looked so much better and I'm sure now that the worms are getting out of her system, she feels much better. I ended up carrying her around most of the day yesterday. We had big party with "that" side of the family. All the grandkids that used to wrestle her around were here. I was kind of mean to them, but they were not going to mistreat her here. Because we bonded yesterday and I kept people from mistreating her, she hasn't growled one time today. She's actually a very sweet dog - she just needed a protective mama. I still have reservations because she is so small. I was in hopes she would get to be about Baby Girl's size, but Sasha said this is it. She's part Pomeranian and part chihuahua and apparently the minature version of both breeds. I think I may get one of those slings you use for babies to hold her.

She's supposed to be Marshall's dog (like Baby Girl), but because I was nice to her she follows me everywhere. And she's a lap dog. I don't want a lapdog. I knit. There's no room for a dog or a cat while I knit. Baby Girl and Fawn (one of my cats) will sit beside me, but this one wants to be on me. Hopefully in time she will want to spend more time on Marshall's lap. He wants a lapdog.

I'll end on a funny note. Isn't this picture of Baby Girl hilarious? It's like she thinks opening her eyes wider will help her jump.

Monday, September 03, 2007

A Three Day Weekend and Two Finished Objects

First, I finished Marshall's clogs. They may not be felted, but they are off the needles so in my mind they are finished. This is how he said he wanted them - fraternal twins. You don't wear these types of shoes out of the house, so I'm not too worried.

Then I finished - FINALLY - the Mad Weave socks. It only took 4 months! I like how the weave mixes up the colors. And the fit is good.

The bonus is making progress on the Red Scarf Project. This is a destash project. I've been wondering what to do with a single skein of silky wool. I don't want to knit a scarf for myself, but to help out a good cause...I'm all in.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Red Scarf is on the Needles

I did get my scarf for the Red Scarf Project cast on late Friday night. I'm using the Corrugarter pattern. I thought I was going to do the mistake rib, but the Corrugarter has no purl. It's all knit with a couple of slips. It's going pretty quickly. I have about and 1.5" done, but I'm just picking it up and knitting a couple of rows when I have a minute. So I'm pleased with the progress. I guess if I did 1.5" in a 24 hour period technically that would put me at about 45" by 10/1 (my goal date), but there will be times when I can kick it up a notch. For now, this knitting is not taking any time away from my other knitting.

Speaking of my other knitting. I'm at the toe on the Mad Weave socks. And all I can say about that is "finally!" I started the toe on one sock, but it went a little awry. I was walking Baby Girl Friday night and I decided (what I already knew) that I'd worked way too hard and long on these socks to constantly be making excuses why the toe was so jacked up. When I got back from walking, I sat down and got to frogging. I didn't want to take one minute to reconsider. I won't regret it.

Last night I worked on Marshall's clogs. That's three projects all getting knitting time - look at me! I finished the first column of instructions on the page. Row 15 I think. That last column takes the most time of course, but there is still plenty of weekend left.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Red Scarf Project

Oops, a new project jumps to the head of the line. It's time for the 2008 Red Scarf Project. Scarves are due between September 1 and October 15. I thought I had time, but the due date moved up this year.

The Shabby Sheep has offered to send your scarf if it's done by October 1. I'm always looking for an excuse to drop by the Shabby Sheep.

I have a single skein of silky wool. Well, it's not a skein anymore. I knit it into fingerless gloves last year, but that didn't work out, so I'm going to frog them. I did like the stitch though, so I'm planning to use the Mistake Rib pattern for the scarf.

I will cast on over this long weekend.

In other knitting news, one of Marshall's clogs is finished. And the two soles for the second are done. I'm getting close, and he's getting excited.

Last night I worked on my Mad Weave socks. I think I have one to the toe. I think I have three repeats to get the other to the toe. It is taking forever to finish these socks. It's not the pattern, it's me. I move so many things ahead of them, they keep getting pushed to the bottom of my knitting bag. I'm ready for them to be done.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Trying Something New on Marshall's Clogs

This is only the 11th time (Mom, Dad, Juana, Josey, Jeannie, John, Robyn, me, Josh and Daniel) I've made a pair of felted clogs. I love giving them as gifts, I think they are so nice, but after the 11th pair, well. So this time I decided to see what I could do to mix it up a bit or maybe speed it up a bit.
I decided to knit two soles at once on one pair of needles. I think it actually made it go faster. I finished 5 rows on each sole at knitting Tuesday night. Tonight I finished rows 6 and 7 and both soles are done. These soles will rest while I knit the second set and then go on with the top. I will not attempt to knit two tops at the same time. Maybe on the next pair.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Decorating Cents

I told just a wee bit of a fib when I said I didn't have anything to blog about on Saturday. Actually I was in the middle of decorating our bedroom. In the morning, I painted the walls a dreamy, creamy cocoa color. The picture makes the walls look pink, but trust me they are a wonderful warm brown that pops the white in the sheers and on the trim.

Then I decided I needed window treatments. And I didn't want to have to go to the store. As luck would have it, while I was looking for the long handle for the paint roller, I found a roll of fabric I'd had for years...years. I guess that started the flow and the by time I was done painting I'd decided no matter what happened that fabric was becoming my window treatment. I rolled the fabric out and found only two of the motifs I needed, then I remember another stash. Lo and behold I had the perfect remnant. Some sewing, a trip to Home Depot on Sunday after church for three 1 x 4's, a Makita drill and some serious determination and I had fabulous window treatments.
Now I just need to get rid of that hideous roller blind with the wall paper trim.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Awww! Awww! Awwwwww!

My friend Andi had a rating scale for all things cute. The number of awwws indicated it's cuteness. Three was generally the max.

I think these are so darn cute. Aww, aww, awwwwww

I used Lucie Sinkler's Mary Jane pattern for these booties. The yarn is Ornaghi Filati Praemium. I bought the yarn at Passionknits on sale a year or so ago, so it's a stash busting project. And they took only a couple of hours last Sunday to knit. The delay in posting them was finding and attaching buttons. I looked at the tiny pink hearts, but the pearl buttons keep the booties neutral so they'll go with anything.

I made the kimono sweater for Madeline's baby, she hinted that Nate never got to wear it because he grew too fast. I guess that's a chance you take. Perhaps it will be booties for work friends from now on.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Time to Check Progress

I haven't done it in while so I'm assessing where I stand with my knitting goals - mostly because I don't have anything else to blog about.

I finished two of my goals the golf club covers and the Greensburg Squares. I'm downgrading the hats so that leaves two pairs of socks and a pair clogs for the rest of the summer.

As it's written, I want to finish one pair of socks, start another pair and work on Marshall's clogs.

However, I've been itching to do lace and I have quite a bit in the que. It may be I move the lace up and push the Loden CTH down a little. We'll see how I feel when I finish Mad Weave.

Summer Goals:

  1. Finish Mad Weave Socks - doable - I'm 2 or 3 repeats from the toe on both socks. I could be done in a week.
  2. Finish three more hats - I destashed the charity hat yarn by giving it to my sister, but then...Adrianne gave me hers. I guess the goal stays, but I'm moving to the rest of the year section.
  3. Finish three Greensburg squares - DONE - Yea!
  4. Finish - golf club covers for Jeff - DONE - Yea!
  5. Knit Marshall's clogs - I'll probably work on my socks first.
  6. Cast on (at least) socks using Loden CTH - I have several leaf motif patterns to choose from.

Rest of the year goals:

  1. Cinder's Fairy Godmother beaded scarf - should be a quick, fun knit just need to make the time.
  2. Cast on and enjoy knitting linen beaded shawl.
  3. Knit a few more hats - they are for a good cause.
  4. Knit the loksins sock pattern probably with co-op sock yarn.
  5. Knit at least 15 minutes a day, not because there is pressure to knit, but because I'm worth it. This may mean keeping a project in the bathroom, but hey, that is "my" time. Was that sharing too much?
  6. Spend less time on the computer talking about knitting and more time knitting.
  7. Really, stop buying yarn. I don't need another thing.

I've given up on not buying yarn. I enjoy it so why fight it. The SOWs are having a dyeing weekend at Heritage Arts in September. While I'm tempted to dye lots of sock yarn, I should consider other types of yarn. You know, so I can make other stuff.

As for knitting 15 minutes a day, no, but I am spending less time on the computer and more time knitting, hence all the finished projects.

Monday, August 13, 2007

It Was a Two Project Weekend

Well, I did not work on mutiple projects as I had planned, but I did finish two projects. I cast-on the second golf club cover on Friday night and finished knitting it on Saturday night. Tonight I finished and attached the pom poms. I think they look great.
And then on Sunday I knit a pair baby booties. They are so cute. I would post a picture, but I left them at work. Actually, they aren't finished until I attach the buttons. The shower isn't until 8/22 so I have a little time. They are very sweet.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

And Then There Were Two

OK, so the best laid plans get mislaid. I was going to give each of my projects time yesterday. Yeah, that didn't happen. I did get a skein of yarn dyed - hate it. Then I came in picked up the golf club cover to give it a few turns and realized it was going quickly and I could finish it. And I did and I knit the top of it twice. This one went much faster than the big one. I cast on the 4 cover on Friday night and finished it Saturday night. I knit on it about 4 hours. Not bad.

Here are the details:
Cast on 24, k2p2 for 12" (here's the part I had to reknit. It came out too small the first time.) K a round. Using the K2 sections as a guide I increased 6 times by knitting into the front and the back of the stitch - 30 stitches. K2 rows navy, 2 rows cream, 1 row navy, 2 rows cream, 1 row navy, 2 rows cream, 1 row navy, 2 rows cream, 1 row navy and start decreasing. I decreased the stitches I increase. K1 K2T, K3, K2T...
K a round
K2T, K2, K2T
K a round
K2T, K1, K2T...
By then you should have 6 stitches left. I ran the yarn through the stitches, pulled it tight, took the yarn to the inside, wove in the end and I was done.

I recognized that my gauge was much tighter than the sample, but for the k2p2 section it stretched as wide as the sample so I didn't stress. I did change up a needle size for the top. That still wasn't enough so I went back and increased the number of stitches and still knit on the 7 needle. I'm just hoping it's big enough. I'll have him try it on before I affix the pom pom. And I still have to make the smaller pom pom.

Jeff is excited about his covers. I mentioned it to Chip and he thinks they're ugly. I guess you just can't tell what people are going to like.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

What's in Store for Today

First, check out that pom pom. The one on the left. It's huge. It measure 5" across and weighs 90gms. That's almost a whole skein of bulky yarn. It took about an hour to make, but I was feeling my way through the process. The next one won't take as long. When I have chance to photograph the process, I will share.

Now for today. DH is as the deer lease. Presumably prepping for the fall hunting season. Uh, it's hot. I bet they are drinking beer and male-bonding. I say, "Have a great time." I planned to paint today, but various things got in the way. Not the least of which is Baby Girl got spayed yesterday and she needs to rest. If I'm up moving around so is she. She looks at me as if to say, "Will you sit down so I can rest?" Knowing that , I decided it wasn't a good weekend to be active. And it's a good excuse to knit.

I plan to give several projects knitting time today. I think I'll knit on each of my Mad Weave socks, I'll give the second golf club cover a turn, I'm going to dye some yarn for Baby Girl's Christmas Stocking. And there's a baby shower for a girl at work on August 22, she's going to get a pair of baby booties from stash yarn. I've decided to make the booties from the cream yarn that didn't jump into my sisters bag last weekend.

That's it and for me that's a lot. To have so many projects going at one time in unheard of. I'm also considering starting DH felted clogs. But I may wait until the baby booties are done.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

My Family Was Here

My family was here this weekend. There was swimming, eating and some yarn porn.

I ordered some KP Shine and KP Cotlin for my sister's birthday. It came Saturday while she was here. I opened the package and revealed each skein with a flourish. Where I tend to neutral, comforting colors, Jeannie describes her taste as "french-whore." She got loud pinks, purples, yellows and green. She loves them. She particularly asked for the Cotlin, but started knitting the Shine.

Jeannie also prefers small projects she can finish quickly. Hats, scarves and miniature stockings, sweaters and mittens. What we each like to knit is very dissimilar, but we both like nice yarn. I had several bits and pieces I was saving for no particular reason so I destashed (what a feeling) and she scored.

She got one ball of dark den-m-nit and the two tidbits of the light and natural. Jeannie likes making hats. I would have knit a hat just to use up the yarn. So it works out nice for both of us.

I think she got both skeins of the green. Again for a hat. That's what I would have done, but again, just to use up the yarn and she enjoys it. I'm not sure, but I think I still have the natural. I don't know why. I think it just didn't jump in the bag. It should have.

She also got several pieces of leftover sock yarn. Just enough for her cute stockings and mini-hats and mittens. It was too much yarn to throw away, but the perfect amount to give to my sis.

A total bonus all the way around.

It was a great visit. My hubby is an awesome host and Justyne, my niece totally made him feel good by asking him to cook breakfast this morning. She said she likes whatever he cooks. It made him feel so good.

The girls swam for about 9 hours yesterday. They should fall asleep on the car ride home. Which will be nice for Mom and Jeannie.

Dad and Jus took the truck. Just not enough room for everyone in one car.

Baby Girl is napping now too. She is worn out. All this excitement just did her in.