Tuesday, May 30, 2006

More Yarn?!? Yay!

I ordered some Shimmer from Knitpicks to make a Clapotis, and it finally arrived today. Mmmm, it's so yummy and luscious!

I also got a package from my One Skein Secret Pal! Beautiful Lorna's Laces Shepard Worsted in my favorite colors! Thank you, Secret Pal! Now, what should I make with it?

I went with my mom to the LYS because she wanted to get some stuff to make a Lucy bag. So I took me thinking they would be happy to wind it for me. After all, I've spent over $200 in there in just the last few weeks, and my mom spent over $50 today. But no! She wound the LL and 1 skein of the Shimmer, then refused to do any more! I was flabbergasted. I mean, I understand the objection, but it just really irritated me.

Just annoying.

But I had a nice weekend. We went down to the lakehouse on Sunday and celebrated my sister's birthday. She really liked her pink Lucy bag.

We took the boat out for a ride, but it was so choppy from all the huge boats and the strong winds that it was really more trouble than it was worth.

I took along the Koigu jaywalker I'm working on. I think she enjoyed the trip.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

A Bag and Some Yarn

I couldn't think of a creative title, so I just kept it simple....

I won a contest over at Jae's a couple of weeks ago, and here's what she sent me: A beautiful skein of sock yarn that's 75% wool, 25% mohair, a sheep printed tape measure, and the cutest notecard. Thanks for everything!

We're celebrating my sister's birthday on Sunday down at the cabin on Grand Lake and I decided on Thursday afternoon to make her a felted Lucy bag. I finished the knitting Friday afternoon, and here's what it looked like then:

Mmm, I think it looked like Peppermint Bark at that stage.

Friday evening, I felted it. I can tell for sure it probably should be felted further, and it's fairly obvious in the following photo, but I was concerned about it shrinking to an unusable size. I also wanted to make sure it would be dry enough for gifting in time for the celebration. So I guess I can always felt it further for her, if she says anything about it.

Oh crap, she reads my blog! Everyone be sure to comment that it looks great the way it is!

This was a really fun, fast project. I'm used to knitting on size 1 needles, so this bag on size 15 Addis and size 9 dpns flew! The yarn too was beautiful and great to work with. I used a strand of Cascade 200 and a strand of Atacama 100% alpaca held together. And I love the results, so a success all the way around!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I just soooo wish I had a ball winder (hee, hee--yes, I'm 12). I'm thinking about all the lovely yarn that is making its way to me, all tied up in skeins, and how on earth I am going to transform it into something useable.

I've been looking at ball winders and think I would like a Royal Wool Winder. Such a cute name, and seems ideal for home use.

Anyone have any other recommendations?

I am also thinking of buying one of these:

My husband and I have been sharing a car for three years, and since I work from home, he always takes the car. Buying a scooter is way cheaper than buying a second car, and one gallon of gas in this baby can get you 90 miles! This is a Verucci 150 Retro Sport model. Anyone know anything about these, or other good scooters?

I'm very needy today!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

To Dye For

I got a few skeins of Knitpicks Dye-Your-Own a couple of weeks ago. My husband is out of town this week, so I thought this was the perfect time to go ahead and dye it without him here to complain about the mess!

So I got my Kool-Aid, which, as it turns out, I bought way too much of, and I got to dyeing. Having never done this before, I was a little apprehensive, but after the first skein, I realized there really wasn't anything I could do to screw it up, so it was a lot more fun after that.

My first skein, which I call "Bubbles" (because naming your colorways is at least half the fun of dyeing), was made with Pink Lemonade, Lemon Lime, Blue Raspberry, and Lemonade.

The second one I did, "Poppy", was done with Strawberry, Black Cherry, and Pink Lemonade. On this one, I dyed the whole thing with a very diluted Pink Lemonade, then added the other colors.

The third, "SailAway", was made with varying concentrations of Lemon Lime and Blue Raspberry.

With all three, I soaked them in the sink, then laid them out on a layer of plastic and paper towels, then added color with a medicine dropper.

Here they are unwound and drying outside in the sun.....

Now they are wound into sloppy skeins......

And, finally, wound into little yarn cakes. They look so yummy! And they smell good too.

Bubbles, SailAway, Poppy

I hate to play favorites, but I'm thinking SailAway is my favorite. Followed by Poppy. Bubbles is just a little too cloying for me, and I don't like it as much as I thought I would. Maybe it would be a good felting yarn, if I can find a project using 440 yards of fingering weight wool.

Or if there's someone out there who loves it and would like to make a pair of socks with it, email me and I'll send it to you.

It was definitely a fun process, and I'd love to do it again, although maybe next time with a superwash wool. I didn't notice any felting going on, but I was very, very careful about that. Still, it's never fun to have handwash only socks, just on general principle.

And thanks to Stephanie at Fringe! for winding the yarn cakes, and spending hours untangling Bubbles. And thanks to Eric too for helping out with the detangling.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mother's Day

Paul's mom started knitting a few months ago, and she's a bit tentative about trying socks, so for Mother's Day this year, I'm forcing her into it.

I got her a Beginner's Sock-Knitting Kit containing: basic sock pattern in a protective cover, Knitting Vintage Socks for further inspiration, chunkier sock yarn for quick knitting, size 3 dpns, darning needles, tape measure, row counter, and a small crochet hook for this inevitable dropped stitches. And also a skein of KnitPicks dye-your-own sock yarn, which I forgot to include in the package, but will give to her seperately. I hope she'll like everything.

Here it is all wrapped up and ready for gifting.

As for my own mom, my sister and I are giving her a gift certificate to a day spa. She's lately started getting weekly pedicures, and enjoys them, so we thought this way she could go and try some more treatments; maybe a facial, manicure, whatever. I know I would enjoy it.

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Cutest Socks Ever!

Ok, so I'm not quite done with them, but I was ready to make a new entry, and plan on finishing them tonight/tomorrow. Probably tomorrow. I have to go to some training in OKC on sexual harrassment, so I plan to knit through it.

I made these socks for my husband's 93-year old grandmother who is in the hospital right now. They're shortie socks with 2x2 ribbing. I didn't follow any pattern, exactly, just used the basic 64-stitch sock. They're made from Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino, and they are soooo soft. The ribbing just makes them even softer and squishier.

The yarn was wonderful to work with. It's smooth and glossy and slide through your fingers. The socks have this incredible sheen and stitch definition. They're really lovely socks.

The other day my business partner Eric and I made some basic marinara sauce. I so hate cooking, but Eric had made it over the weekend and was raving about it, so we made some. Actually, he made it and I supervised. And drank wine.

So it starts out in this big pot, then goes into the blender. And now I have plenty in my freezer to be used later. It tastes a lot better than jar sauce.

After several days of rainy weather, which I personally love, the sun came out today and the sky was blue and full of wispy clouds.

My dog Elly sure was enjoying it. This is her pensive look.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

TV for Knitters

Ok, so I admit it, I watch a lot of TV My husband likes to watch TV so if I ever want to be in the same room with him, I have to watch what he’s watching.

But that’s just making excuses. I come from a long line of TV watchers, I think. I’m not the kind of person who likes to sit idly by and watch TV though. I have to be doing something else at the same time. That something else might be cross-stitching, jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles.

Lately, though, it’s all knitting, all the time.

So I wanted to put together a Knitter’s Guide to Television. So what follows is my own personal guide to the best (5 needles) and worst (one needle) shows to watch while knitting. My criteria is based solely on how much visual commitment a given show requires to follow the plot. I have not really mastered the art of being able to knit without looking, so your own personal results may vary.

Please feel free to add your own reviews in the Comment sections.

1. Veronica Mars Four Needles Usually pretty easy to follow, and in my opinion, the best show on television. Intricate plots, yes, but each episode advances the overall plot only slightly, so if you pay attention to the Previouslys, you should be fine.

2. Survivor Three Needles Yes, an oldie but goodie. Pretty easy to watch while knitting, although I always take a break to watch the challenges, which is always my favorite part. Also have to pay attention to the vote reveals at the end, for those rare episodes when you can’t figure out who voted for whom.

3. The Office Three Needles Such an entertaining show, and fairly easy for a knitter to watch. Each episode contains several long, lingering looks that you miss if you’re not paying attention though, so having a DVR or TiVo is handy here.

4. America’s Next Top Model One Needle Pure candy here, and the lowest-rated show I watch. The most important aspects of the show are the challenges and the phot shoots. You just gotta watch the actual photo shoot, then pay attention to the end result, or else you won’t be able to say "What the hell is Tyra thinking?" Although this show has a low watchability rating for knitters, it is good for the ego. You can’t sit through an episode without thinking, "Well, she may be prettier than me, but at least I’m smarter!"

5. Lost Four Needles Lots of beach scenes, talking, flashbacks. Dedicated viewers have come to understand that the only thing you really need to see is the last two minutes of each episode.

6. American Idol Five Needles Very easy to watch while knitting, because, really, all you’re doing is listening. It is amazing though how much better some of them sound while watching, and vice versa.

7. The Amazing Race Four Needles Just requires some glancing-up to see a challenge. Such a great show, though, and knitters should forgive the occasional use of subtitles.

8. Grey’s Anatomy Three Needles It’s all about Meredith anyway, and her whiny voice-overs clue you in to the overall theme of each episode. Got to look up every once in a while to see cute George, and catch the long lingering looks between Meredith and Dr. McDreamy, although with the new level of hostility emerging between the two of them, those looks may be gone forever. Bonus: Meredith is knitting a sweater, but not very well, or realistically.

9. The Sopranos/Big Love Three Needles I think of these shows as a matched pair, just because they are on in succession. Lots of dialogue in both, which helps us out. Requires a periodic look up to see if someone’s getting whacked or someone’s getting exposed.

10. Real Time with Bill Maher Five Needles The best show for knitters. Liberal ones, anyway. Love this show for it’s comedic insights AND the fact that knitters can watch this mostly talk-filled show without dropping a stitch.

So please leave your own comments and thoughts on these and other TV shows. I’d love to hear them!

The Jaywalkers are Done, Long Live the Jaywalkers

So I finished my first pair of Jaywalkers, and a whole day ahead of schedule. Here they are all wrapped up in the Sockapaloooza-inspired sock band I made, complete with washing instructions.

I didn't pay the best attention to the pattern when I got to the heel flap, so I made the heel flap twice as long as the pattern directed, which, I think, resulted in kind of wonky shaped feet. But they fit me just fine, and I hope they fit their intended recipient too. Ah well, she can always use them as dustcloths, right?

Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock, color: Camouflage, size 1 dpns.

And I cast on today for a pair of Jaywalkers for my husband, Paul. He likes light colored-socks, and I'm pretty sure his favorite color is blue, though he keeps insisting it's red. Whatever.

Speaking of red, the yarn I got from eBay seller kbrece arrived today, and is it lovely! Can't wait to use it.

Finally, I had to completely frog my Pomatomus sock. I missed a crucial part where I was supposed to shift some stitches after each pattern repeat. Oops! I don't know how much difference it makes, but I tried to keep knitting after I realized my mistake, and I just couldn't do it. Blech, perfection.

Shopping Update: I went to Fringe! today and got this stuff. I decided to give the Magic Loop method a try, but I don't know how to learn how to do it. If anyone knows of an online tutorial, please let me know! My husband's 93 year-old grandmother is in the hospital, so I got the baby cashmerino to make her a pair of socks. Everyone needs a pair of super-soft yummy socks in a gorgeous color, don't you think?

My mother-in-law went shopping with me, and she bought 4 skeins of the most beautiful mohair/acrylic yarn, Whispers, and a book with a lacy shawl pattern using it. It's going to be gorgeous.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Secret Pal 8 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I like natural fibers the best, of course, but anything really that’s soft and feels good. I love the velvety softness of Cherry Tree Hill supersock yarn.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I keep my dpns in the original sleeve when not using them, but everything else is thrown together in my craft closet.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I started knitting about 4 years ago, then gave it up for a couple of years, and just started again this year. I am probably an intermediate-ish beginner.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes! I don't want to put the link here, but you can find it by searching my name.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I don’t really like candles, believe it or not. My favorite scents are kind of old-fashioned ones, like rose (old-ladyish, my husband would say). I love a cherry scent, but it’s hard to find. I also like bright, cheerful citrus smells. I love Origins products, too!

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Any chocolate (minus nuts), especially dark chocolate.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I kind of go in phases with crafts–I’ve tried painting, quilting, cross-stitching, but I don’t do any of those now.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I usually listen to NPR or Air America in the car. My computer and car stereo play MP3s.

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love just about any color. I’m not so much into neutrals or jewel-tones though. I really like pinks, but not baby pinks, and blues, especially pale blue and Tiffany box blue.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Married for 5 years. 2 cats, 2 dogs (a mini-schnauzer who loves sweaters, and a 55-pound Australian Shepard mix that needs rain booties!)

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves, yes, the others not so much

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I’m really enjoying doing socks right now. I do want to try a sweater, probably the one on the cover of Big Girl Knits, or a Clapotis. I just need to find the right yarn for each.

13. What are you knitting right now?
A pair of Jaywalkers and a pair of Pomatomi

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I’ve been knitting my socks with bamboo dpns, but I want to try the magic loop method everyone raves about.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
No, but I’ve been eyeing them!

17. How did you learn to knit?
My sister-in-law’s mother taught me. My own mother, although crafty in lots of ways, never took up knitting.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?
I don’t like to let things sit around unfinished, so I don’t have ANY!

19. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas–I love shiny, colorful, vintage-y things, and Christmas is the best time to bring it all out.

20. Is there anything that you collect?
Not really; I have small, mini-collections of things like Eiffel towers and antique typewriters. I love anything old and whimsical.

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I want a subscription to Interweave Knits and I want the mason Dixon book. And I need a stitch dictionary, and maybe a book of sock patterns. Yikes! I better add those to my Amazon list.
I also love the IK cable and rib sock pattern, and I’d like a copy of that.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I’ve tried a little cabling, which I liked, and would like to do more of. I want to try hand-dyeing too, it looks like a lot of fun.

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes! I wear a size 9.5, usually.

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)