Thursday, May 31, 2007

Still Knitting

I finished the first sock for sockapalooza 4! I set it aside with all my notes for the pattern changes until I get a minute to cast on for number 2. I have loved this pattern. It will stay on my list for things to knit for gifts, they are so cozy. I want some myself in fact. I love the rich purple color.

I cast on for a pair of pants for PeeWee to go with her swing jacket I plan on making from my list this summer. More Cascade 220- it's my favorite right now. It was Mark's idea to go with pants. He slipped the sockapalooza sock on her leg for size and announced I ought to make her pants. So I cast on for both legs in the round on 2 circs and have gotten about 3 inches up them. It's totally knit as you go, no pattern so I figured I better do them together or there's no telling what could happen with leg 2. I'll get a picture when there's something to show.

Things have been busy here! We have had drop in dinner guests, Big Brother's friends coming and going, and we even have an unexpected guest from Germany coming Saturday. Well, only partly unexpected. We thought he was coming in town on Tuesday. My bad.

Our anniversary is tomorrow and the week's plans snowball from there, ending with a wedding I am photographing next weekend. I hope I can sneak in lots of knitting time in between here and there. I'm not counting on it though. I am counting on lots of socializing, a few wedding parties, lots of PeeWee (they have a week off from nursery) and (cross fingers) some me time at the coffee shop.

I've neglected not only my blog but everyone else's too, so I am off to do some catching up!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A contest!

Ali over at Skeins Her Way is having a great contest. Jump over there and let her know I sent you.

Here's my list of summer goals:

1) Finish my sockapalooza socks- almost halfway there on that one

2) Knit PeeWee a swing coat and matching hat.

3) Start a vest for my father for Christmas (yes, this year I WILL finish one for him)

4) Knit myself red Valentine's socks- the pattern's rattling around in my head, write the pattern, and post it to the website

5) Finish Big Brother's ginormous socks

6) Finish the blue top

7) Finish PeeWee's dress, write the pattern and post it to the website

8) Finish and piece Mark's blanket

9) Knit 10 preemie hats

10) Knit at least a few stitches every day

I know these aren't the loftiest of goals, they sound like pretty much everyday things. I've been scattered lately though so a concrete list is going to help me focus. Getting knocked off balance by life has a way of making normal things difficult to accomplish. We're also bracing ourselves for surgery for PeeWee, so I don't want to overwhelm myself. If we get the all clear from the cardiologists in June I may just update this list and add a few things to challenge myself.

In my current knitting world I am working on my sockapalooza pal's socks. Just cugging along with those. They are coming along really well.

I picked back up the blue top, cast off with the k2tog, slip the stitch back on the left needle temporary cast off and tried it on. It may just work. If not, I'll pass it along, but there's a chance I might actually be able to wear it. So I got inspired to pull it out and keep working. It has outgrown the ziploc bag now so I need to wrap it up before PeeWee discovers the dpn's aren't permanently attached to anything....

I have ripped out the two pairs of disasterous socks I started. I am putting the yarn back into the stash and bringing it back out when these other projects are all wrapped up. I was doing so well with the yarn monogamy, all these WIP's are bugging me. And like I mentioned, I need clear cut directions these days. I need to narrow down my choices with everything.

A thorough spring cleaning is going on in our house. I'm sick of living out of laundry baskets! So the closets are all getting a good going over. PeeWee and Big Brother have outgrown so many clothes that are cluttering up our space. I need to get some of those giant Ziploc's and put away the winter things. I have ample closet space, the best thing being big cabinets above for storing off-season things.

So don't forget to hop over to Ali's contest to get a shot at her really great prize.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

And this is just the yarn

So..... that spring cleaning I was talking about doing?

Well, this is what the hallway looks like when you decide it is past time to tackle the studio.

The studio is a pretty small corner of the laundryroom, so I had no idea it could even hold this much yarn! It is the room where things get piled up when we want to tidy the rest of the house, papers, laundry, ironing and then all my craft supplies. I am halfway through the re-organizing, and the yarn was just underfoot. I am working on a great storage plan, just need a few PeeWee free moments to execute it fully. It also involves a few trips up and down the stairs.

It's just a mommy daughter weekend here Chez Mom. I'm going to head off to the craft store with PeeWee today for something special just the two of us can make together. I've been looking for a good kids craft idea website. Anybody have a favorite? I'm going to put together a craft kit box. I'll get the supplies together with idea sheets and bag them all up together in ziplocs and stick them in our art box. It'll be something good for those days when the ideas are running short.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tag, you're it!

I am usually too busy and forget to do these but I thought this one was pretty interesting, I love to see things people
have done (bold)
want to do (italics)
have no plans for- yet at least!(plain type)

So here's my list! Share yours too...

Afghan/Blanket (baby) working on a full sized one right now!
Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Participating in an exchange
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn (just my own tinked stuff)
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting (just a cheerleader here)
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living (just extra cash)
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backward
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Darning (have some socks waiting patiently)
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers (does one count?)
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Pictures next post- I promise!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

...clickety click...

First of all, thank you all for so many lovely comments and emails. Things have been hard here the last few days, and I know we're going to face some tough days down the line. The funeral was Monday, it was a lovely service and I am thankful for the degree of closure I feel right now. The outpouring of support I keep seeing and feeling in our online knitting world never ceases to amaze me! What a wonderful place!

It's good to be busy, and the end of May is about as busy as winter holidays for us. It's exam time for Big Brother. We've been less organized than normal and I hope he pulls them off without too much catastrophe. Mark is finally going back up to deal with the other house mess. He put the return trip off with our personal upheaval, but now he just wants to be as busy as possible. It's all work that needs doing. PeeWee is chugging along, being a two and a half year old. (Wearing me out most days.)

I have been working away on every single project I have on needles. Yep, even if it's just a few stitches here and there. I went today to get a pedicure (prime me me me knitting time) and got way up a sock before I saw a glaring mistake. As in a lace heart with a couple of rows missing. Oh well, I am process knitting right now, I actually don't even mind ripping. I may even say "boop boop boop" as the stitches pop apart. (come on, you know you do it too)

I completely dig my Sockapalooza sock, it's very fun. I chose a rich deep color my pal mentioned being a favorite. I did some extra snooping and found out that where she lives is a great place for knee socks in winter, so I have decided to alter a pattern to turn it into knee-highs, something I have never done before! I figure I have until August. I'm about 2/3 down the first leg, having a pattern makes knitting socks so much quicker for me. I have set them aside for the time being though, my addled brain needs a breather, and I so do not want to rip these beauties out.

Rhonda sent me to her friend's blog. She's raising money for her Relay for Life and she's about 1/4 of the way to her goal! Check it out if you have a minute, she has a link on her sidebar to make a donation if you'd like. And please feel free to pass this information on. I believe in the power of women with yarn to change the world. And if anything needs changing, it's cancer.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

To all you who are mothers out there- Happy Mother's Day. My family has managed to deliver me a wonderful day. They made me breakfast, brought it to me in bed, brought me a coffee from the corner coffee shop, let me finish my book. We went out to brunch with my brother and his family and my parents. It was a wonderful escape.

I say escape for an unspeakable reason. Our family has been rocked by a senseless and tragic loss. A horrific fire burned down the house of my husband's closest friend in the middle of the night. Their youngest child escaped physically unhurt. The rest of the family was sadly trapped. We are digesting this slowly. The world is a different place now for us. I am constantly reminded of how fragile the world can be, how strong we have to be to make it through sometimes. Our thoughts are with the son, who has searing memories of hearing his father and sister trying to get out and being unable to help them.

I mention this here because this was so senseless. Even though they had had some electrical issues after Katrina, they had no smoke detectors in their home. I have no idea why. Our friend was recently with my husband in North Carolina where we were lucky to avoid an electrical fire- the breaker panel smoking from rodent damaged wires which had then gotten wet from the water damage. The family was overcome by smoke inhalation. The entire house was an inferno within 5 minutes of the son jumping from his window. I can't say the outcome would have changed if there had been any warning before they woke up, but our friend was found feet from the front door. We are not superheros, we can't predict the future, but there are ways we may be able to change what happens.

Check your smoke detectors. Change the batteries. Bring them to your friends if they don't have them, put them in if you have to. Don't put it off for another day.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Flash your stash... counter?

I was winding yarn to begin my Sockapalooza exchange knitting when I looked down the length of the kitchen counter to see this...

Uh, yeah, I may have a (small) yarn problem. If you're wondering what I'm working on, well... starting from the back by the window you'll find my not for big busts top in the bag, in front of that the hat I started to keep my fingers moving, knit with the kool-aid yarn, some lorna's laces I have yet to wind, the bag sitting on top of hand knit felted pot holders, and two different Kiogu yarns, one already wound and bagged up.

My name is Sarah and I knit.

I finished my HSP sock! I was glad to graft that toe. I was also glad I bought an extra ball of yarn because I had to go into it a few yards. So now almost all the goodies I am sending out are in a neat little pile waiting to be packed up.

Waiting for my Sockapalooza pieces and parts to arrive I needed something busy to work on. So I decided to cast on that hat with the yarn I recently dyed. I cast on at the crown and increased and am now knitting down until it's the right length. I love the pooling I am getting. I think this one's asking for a rolled edge. It's so silly. Red and yellow stripes... my poor children, this one's for me.

I worked a tiny bit on PeeWee's dress, too. (this did not make the photograph because it's sitting on the couch) For some reason I am purling like my fingers are stuck in molasses. The knitting is quick then the purl rows... whoa, do they drag on and on and on. I did the decreases after the flirty little ruffle and now I am working on plain stockinette for a few more inches. It's working like I pictures and when there's visible progress and it starts to make visual sense I'll post a photo.

Saturday, May 05, 2007


First, my Hurricane socks. I have fallen back in love with the pattern. Simple and easy when you're not turning heels and decreasing gussets. They will hopefully be a good match for my buddy. I have been gathering fun goodies for my package too. My buddy longed for a nifty knitting gadget and I found just the perfect thing! It makes my day to be able to send this along with her socks. I am going to go peeking around my LYS for something else specific to add to the package. Not necessarily something on her wish list, but something I know they used to carry which is pretty and practical, which sounds like her from the snooping I have managed to do. Wish me luck! This is getting fun! We're getting to the finish line with the knitting and shipping too. Hurricane Season starts June 1! My Hurricane Sock Party has morphed into a theme of sorts too, without me even realising it. I was looking at things to be sent out and noticed I've got a theme going.

Second, my sockapalooza planning. I am eyeing some Cookie A designs and trying to decide which will work the best here. I am lucky my partner for this has given me a fairly broad range to work in. I get a lot of satisfaction out of knitting for others and these exchanges seem to be a good match for me right now. They are relatively small projects, portable, and give me the chance to try something new.

Third, PeeWee's dress. Already a few modifications to the pattern. I know, I too am shocked. I like this cotton candy crazy bright pink I am using. It just shouts PeeWee. Flippy, flirty, summery fun. My nutty girl.

And lastly, the top that's not quite right for my body. I changed from mistake rib to stockinette with a negative ease and I will return to mistake rib for the bottom 4-5 inches. Maybe that will save this, we'll see. Like I said before it will definately work for a friend. And we never learn what not to knit if we don't make a few mistakes along the way! I have many many sewing "wadders" things wadded up in the bottom of the sewing closet, horrible mistakes. At least with knitting, you can unravel your yarn and begin again...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Spring Fever

So, four months of monogamous knitting and I have fallen off the wagon.

I have five things on needles right now. This is becoming a problem. I have this need to keep casting on! Someone help me... I want to knit so many different things, but I don't actually feel like knitting any of them. I need to take a deep breath and back away from the stash.

So what am I knitting right now? Well, there are my Hurricane Party Socks, which I have been knitting slow and steady, close to finished. The pattern needs to be paid attention to, it's been my quiet moments knitting. I like them, even though they are not something I would ever choose for myself. They are both simple and pretty and unfortunately you're gonna have to wait to see pictures until closer to ship date.

I started a top which is inspired by tempting. It's the perfect TV knit. I'm using Lion Brand Cotton Ease and liking it. It has a bit of spring. I think I am going to have to give it to my not-so-busty friend Lisa though. It aint made for my body type. When it's finished we'll see how things look on me. I'm not holding my breath though.

Last night I cast on for a dress for PeeWee. I have this pattern in my head and it needs to come out. I hope it is going to be cute enough to write out the pattern for everyone. I'm using one of my favorite baby yarns, Bernat Cotton Tots. Cheap, lightweight, durable, washable. Meets all my requirements for PeeWee. I'm drawing on my sewing skills for the construction of this one. And I'm making matching ruffle panties to go with it! This I am really excited about.

There's the blanket for Mark, which hasn't made much progress. I've been knitting on too many other things instead. Isn't that the big lesson I learned in January? That one at a time is a GOOD thing? (Well, I guess my vices could be much, much worse.)

And finally, Big Brother's Ginormous Socks. They have become my car knitting. The bag is in there for the long haul. Size 14 long.

And what's next? (Next!?! Am I crazy!!!) The sockapalooza socks of course! I'm going shopping in my stash to see if I have something that's going to work for my buddy. I think I do, but I also have something in mind I want to try. A certain color in my head. And, yes, I remember that last time I went this direction I ended up with a whole lotta yarn. All that good stuff that was on sale. Yummy yarn I otherwise would not have bought. Dreamed of but not bought. That was searching for the HSP socks, this is different. (yeah, right)

Oh and remember I mentioned the ceramic yarn? Well here it is! This stuff is really neat. It's actually cold when you touch it. Check it out if your LYS has it in stock. I was really surprized and intrigued. And they are having a design contest. It's also on their website homepage.

Sorry for the lack of knitting pictures. Next post I'll get back on that.