Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sneaking in Under the Wire

I'm sneaking in on the last day of this great contest. Jeri from our knitting group posted about it.
My knitting goals for the summer are to make 3 squares for Greensburg KS, 9 or 10 chemo caps for cancer patients all from my stash yarn, to finish my CTH Mad Weave socks and to finish the brown and black short socks I've yet to start. It kind of sounds like a lot, but summer is 3 months.

Since I just did a stash rehash, setting my goals was easy. Now to get knitting.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Boo-Yah - Needle Organization

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Do you ever have one of those days when you feel like you hit it out of the park? Well my whole long weekend has been that way.

pics on red wall

I painted my kitchen red with the help of my friend Connie. And check out the pictures from the kitchen in our previous house. I thought I would have to get rid of them because it was blue and yellow, but the red fruit works them nicely into my new kitchen. I finished the painting Sunday between church and extra knitting with the SOWs. That left Monday for other projects.

I have two repeats complete on each Mad Weave sock. I'm feeling really good about that. I've had another project on my mind for a while. So Monday evening, I decided to go through my fabric stash and start putting my thoughts together.

As I opened a box of fabric stash, out popped some left over blocks from a quilt top I pieced together. Since they were from the same quilt top, they coordinated. And they were already cut to size.

fabric stash

I jumped straight into putting together my needle organizer. My original concept was to put some loops of fabric on a fabric backer and slip the needles through. But it turned into pockets and sleeves and it just went together so quickly.

needle organizer layout

Pretty soon I had it all laid out and pinned together. I modified my idea as I went along and I love it.

Bright and early this morning, my last day of vacation, I got up and started sewing.

needle organizer front

The end result is this cute little needle organizer. The tall pocket looking things are actually three horizontal sleeves. The shorter blocks are pockets for double points or other small items.

needle organizer back

On the back I put a larger pocket on the bottom to hold my needle sizer, measuring tape, clicker etc.

I didn't close the top so I can stick long, straight needles in the "big" pocket.

The grand finale was hanging it on a plastic hanger with notches so it won't slip off and the hanger twirls so the carrier doesn't even have to come out of it's hanging spot. I can just turn it to find what I need.

Cost - nada.

It's outta the park!

Sunday, May 27, 2007


crooked toe

Got a little too big for my britches yesterday. I kitchnered the toe of my sock in public and thought I was hot stuff when I finished without incident. Then I realized I hadn't check to make sure the toe stitches were straight. So the toe of my sock is catywampus (is that how you spell that). Well it means the toe of my sock is crooked - grrrrr. This isn't something I can just over look. I'm going to have to take those stitches out and do it right. Not looking forward to that.

Isn't she cute

I was waiting for Baby Girl at the groomers when I was crookedly sewing up the toe of my sock. Isn't she cute? We shaved her pretty short because it's summer. Don't know that I would go that short again. But, oh she is so cute with those pink bows in her hair. They came out not too long after this picture. She's too much of a tom boy to put up with them for long.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Progress on Socks and the Kitchen

Alternate Title - It's My Vacation and I'll Knit If I Want To

mad weave socks 1

This is a repeat and a half of Mad Weave from Sock Madness. I really like the way this pattern mixes up the colors of the dyed yarn. My picture doesn't really do the pattern or the yarn justice, but it does show progress.

The pattern is not difficult, but I do need to pay attention to what it says to do. Thank goodness for stitch markers. I've tinked several times because I knit what I "anticipiate " the pattern says instead of actually reading it. Note to self, you aren't that familiar with the pattern yet - pay attention.

At the same time this seems to be going very quickly because I'm doing different things on different rows. It's not the same old, same old.

The pattern is available to all who want it at this link.

This is a fantastic pair of finished socks, that show the pattern off to a great advantage.

Now for the kitchen:


kitchen before

Technically nothing wrong with it, but not my colors.

red kitchen window

Right now it's very patriotic with the red walls, blue painters tape and white wainscoting, but eventually it will just be red and white. I'm seriously considering painting the gold light fixture matte black since we are going for a more rustic look. Worse case it gets ruined. I don't really like it anyway. I have a can of spray paint I'm going to use for a floor lamp on the living room. If that goes well and there's paint leftover...well...

The whole kitchen is red with white cabinets. It's one coating of primer and (so far) two coats of paint. Although there isn't much wall space in the kitchen, it's taking forever to paint because I have to use a small roller for the tight spaces. Connie was here yesterday day to help with the primer and she cut in the first coat of paint. That was an amazing help. My goal today was to get done with the breakfast nook, which I did. I have three more days of vacation and I'm going to split the job up. I get sloppy when I'm tired and that red paint on the cabinets or the ceilings is not attractive. So I have to take it slow.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Greensburg Blocks

greensburg blocks1

I have two blocks done. As you can see they couldn't be more different from one another. But I am just thrilled about using up my stash for a good cause. I have enough yarn for at least one more block. They take no time at all and are perfect knit night projects because you don't have to think much. I don't think Mad Weave is going to be the kind of project I can work on at knit night, at least not until I get used to the pattern, so I will work on the last block at knit night this week.

Speaking of Mad Weave, I still haven't cast it on yet, maybe tonight. I did search out the yarn and pattern this morning and I put it in my project bag so I'm making progress.

I bought a "dust mop" today for the wood floors. The whole time I was looking, I was thinking, "Now how do I make a knitted cover for this? I know I've seen it done." I bought a pretty big one so it's going to take a lot of yarn. But I have another stash secret and that is a giant cone for the peaches and cream cotton. I bought it to make baby sweaters, but I think it might be perfect for this project. Oh and there are the leftovers from the other baby sweaters I've made. Since it doesn't matter what it looks like I can use up left cotton yarn and...DESTASH. I love it.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Rebuilding Greensburg KS A Stash Bustin' Opportunity

But first, Happy Mother's Day.

Although I live in TX now, I grew up in OK just 10 miles south of the KS, so in my mind this is close to home. We had tornados then and still do where I am now, so there but for the grace of God go I.

Sugarbunny is coordinating or helping to coordinate Rebuilding Greensburg...Block by Block. You knit an 8" block and send it to El Dorado First Baptist Church and they'll seam them together and provide finished blankets to families.

The good news for me is they specifically requested wool and I have lots of scraps of that.

stash busted WotA

This is the first crazy combination I put together. I'm not quite half done with the square. With any luck and some knitting tonight I will be able to mark this photo stash busted.

I don't know how much yarn I'm going to need, but as you can see I weighed it all and will know when I finish one square.

I was about to cast on Mad Weave from sockmadness, but this is more important.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Holey Cow!

holey cow

Yes, that's a hole in my Mad Cow sock. I was several repeats gone before I found this hole. It was the result of a dropped stitch. I managed to wrangle it. It's rigged that's for sure, but I wasn't about to tink or frog back 3".

mad cow finished

Since I carried on after darning the hole, I was able to finish the socks. Not too shabby. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. Interestingly, the heel on the second isn't as snug as the heel on the first. I like the feel of the first heel better so I need to go back and take a look and consider adjusting the count down a bit.


This is all the yarn I had left. 30gms of the one on the left and less than 10gms of the one on the right. I'm glad to have some leftover. I really like how the colorways worked out. I want to try to figure out the pattern so I can mimic it in my own dyed sock yarn.

And this picture was taken on our lovely, new hardwood floors. What a nightmare, but finally done.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Finally We Have Real Progress


I'm just going to jump in with the good news. We have real progress today on the floors. We are on our third contractor, but there are real planks of wood nailed down. And we are loving it.

workmen working

This is what workers look like. They come to your house and they do a project. They get there in the morning and they work until evening. Our previous contractor came about 2pm and left around 4pm or he came at 11am and left at 2pm.

math on the counter

The previous contractor also used my counter top as a place to do math. It's a blurry picture, but it gets the point across. It wiped right off, but come on.

workmens tools

These are workmen's tools. And you know they are coming back to finish the job when they leave their stuff.

It ain't over til the trim is on, but I really think it might come together this time. We've been through 4 weeks of concrete floors, 3 contractors and we are $1,200 over the original estimate, but it's all going to be worth it in the end. We are actually in the process of negotiating $400 with the second contractor because that's the extra amount we are paying the third contractor to fix and finish the job.

I will say all these contractors came with recommendations. In fact, the guy that recommend the last two feels so bad about the second one, he has offered to pay the difference. I'm in hopes Willie with come through and do the right thing. He didn't spend that much time here and didn't put that much effort into the job. But who knows.

I'm going to try to knit with my injured finger. I have no idea what happened, maybe it was excessive knitting.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

12 Rounds of Knitting

De La Hoya and Mayweather style. We had a group of people over to watch the fight last night. I knit on the Mad Cow sock (because I don't care that much about boxing and women are multi-taskers anyway) and added about 2" to the top of the sock. A couple of more sessions with that kind of progress and this baby is finished.

I haven't cast on the Mad Weave like I thought I might, but I'm feeling so good about the Mad Cow I kind of hate to lose my stride.

Sopranos are on tonight. I'm not sure about knitting while I watch it. You kind of have to pay attention, but then again it's available on-demand so I can always watch it again later.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Mad Cow Progress - Finally

mad cow sock-lwo res

I've turned the heel on the second mad cow sock and feel like I'm finally making progress. The instep is always the long, boring part for me. (I guess because I have a big foot.) But now that I'm on the upper part, I have a renewed spirit to finish this sock.

I've discovered I kind of like the short row heel. I don't even mind wrapping and picking up the wrapped stitches. I think I prefer that to having to pick up all those stitches when you do the heel flap. This way when I'm finished with the heel I just start knitting again. I also like the idea that you could do a contrasting heel if you wanted.

mad cow heel 02

The only thing about the short heel that kind of bugs me are the points. From this angle the heel looks a little like a bonnet. For this pattern I did 14 wrap stitches on each side and 14 stitches unwrapped in the middle. I wonder if I only did 12 stitches in the middle if it would stop the points? Probably it would just relocate them.

mad cow heel 002

Some people don't like the fit of the wrapped heel. It works fine for me. I guess because I have a flat foot. No high instep for me. This picture is a little misleading, it actually looks like I have some arch. Must be the angle.

I should have made these notes when I did my first Mad Cow sock, but I didn't so I will document now. Cast on was 66. I did the heel over 42 stitches. 14 wrapped stitches on each side and 14 stitches in the middle of the heel.

I also wish I had weighed the yarn prior to doing the heel and after so I would know how much yarn the heel used. I think it would be fun to use up left over yarn on the heels and toes, but you need to know you have enough yarn. Oh well another day.

CTH Loden

This is the latest addition to my stash. Two skeins out 1 skein in. It's Cherry Tree Hill Loden. Yum. I bought a solid so I can knit a lace sock with a leaf motif. One pattern I found in "More Sensational Knitted Socks" really struck me, but it's done on a purl background. I don't know if I have the patience to basically purl an entire sock. But there are lots of other leaf type patterns out there. I even found one in my "Gathering of Lace" book.

While I'm looking for the perfect leaf pattern for the loden yarn, I'm going knit my CTH Nothern Lights into the Mad Weave from Sock Madness. I'm pretty excited about getting into something that's a little tougher than straight stockinette.

All my other pending projects are lace shawls and scarves. Socks and shawls, it's an interesting mix.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Meanwhile Back on the Home Front

When I said I hoped to come home from my trip to wood floors, this isn't exactly what I meant.

sub floor

This is the plywood subfloor, but it is forward progress.

tile at the door

This is a start on the tile entry (do you call it an entry if its at the back of the house?) Since I couldn't match the white tile in the kitchen, I went decidedly different. This is an 8" travetine (cobblestone noce) that we are going to enhance with an enhancer. The tile is set at a 45 degree angle. No matchy-matchy here. The tile will be in the same color family and value (hopefully) as the wood. It will be a nice transition from the pool. And it will give me that space I need to scream, "get outside if you are still wet." "Don't drip on the hardwoods." "Go through the garage to get to the bathroom." You get the picture.

I do have knitting news. I will write about that later.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Time to Take Inventory

I've been part of the Yarn Destash-A-Long for 5 months now. It's time to take inventory and see where we are. And perhaps to inventory finished objects to date.

I'm not going to go over all my stash again. That's covered in a previous entry. But here is a picture of four items that have been destashed.

stash busted

Top left is turning (not quite finished) into a pair of socks from Sock Madness. I have one done and really hope to finish that on my current out of town trip.

blue sock

Top right, turned into a lovely pair of Koigu socks.

sock and shirts

Bottom left is turned into an over-the-top-Dr.-Suess-type-way-too-long scarf. I had a lot of fun with that.

blue scarf 001

And the bottom right picture felted into a mess. The purse I wanted to make flopped big time. Although I don't count it as a finished object, the stash is still busted.

Now there was some stash I didn't even realize I had when I was taking photo inventory. It turned into 9 hats for kids with cancer. I don't find the pic of all of them together at this moment, but they look something like this. I destashed a ton of fun fur and cotton yarn.

something hairytrio of hats

Here's a list just for my own gratification:

  • 1-9 fun fur or cotton hats
  • 10 a super long wool scarf
  • 11-12 two pairs of felted clogs for the boys
  • 13 Koigu socks
  • 13.5 the first of two blue socks.

Not too shabby. I still have enough stash for 3 more pairs of socks. I like the Mad Weave from sock madness and think it will go very well with my CTH stash

xanga sock yarn 1

But I'm not sure I'm in the mood for more socks. I'm thinking it's time for some lace. A Shetland Tea Shawl from A Gathering of Lace (yarn - got it) or maybe the Linen Lace Beaded Shawl I bought yarn for the last time I was in MN. Yup I could knit this whole year and not buy any new yarn, but I'm not advocating that. In fact, if I have time while I'm here, I'm going yarn shopping.