Tuesday, July 31, 2007

On the road... again

Tomorrow we are off again. Back to North Carolina. Should be fun, and nice and cool. If my Sockapalooza buddy reads this, there will be someone house sitting and my package will arrive safely and make it inside should it come before we're back again. But I will not be able to open it until I am home again. Hopefully, I'll get word if it arrives so I can post that it has.

I am cheating a tiny bit and shipping my package early. I know it's against the rules, but better early than late!! I was informed shipping to where my socks are headed is a timely process, and the post office where I would have to ship from is nototiously slow, so I decided rather than have my buddy wonder if socks are even coming I would fudge it by a day. That has got be to better than waiting, right?

For crochet lovers, here's a very fun pattern. This is enough to make me crochet again! I like to crochet, don't get me wrong! I just haven't done it in about 3 years. I've had too many projects on knitting needles instead.

I have to confess. I have started two more projects. My sister is a psychiatrist, I may have to ask her if there's a term for this. Other than "classic ADD" she labeled me a while back. (And oh yeah, that's one that's not far off the mark)

Project one will be finished in an hour or so, it's an iPod sock for my Nano. I keep it in my purse and I worry about it getting banged up. Searching on etsy I came across some and decided they were so easy I would whip one up out of leftover sock yarn. I'm going to make one for Big Brother for Christmas, as a stocking stuffer for his iPod, too.

This is some leftover Lorna's Laces in Blue Hawaii. I like it, it's silly and practical at the same time. Makes me want to make a whole bunch of them.

Project two is my father's vest. He was a true red head in his younger days, the old 16mm movies of him look like he's running around with his head on fire. He had his colors done years ago and wears a whole range of beautiful colors all of the time. Which makes shopping for him, or in this case knitting for him, a lot of fun. He'll wear pink and light blue and orange and pale green, anything soft and lovely, that most men would run from.

Rowan Cashsoft DK in clementine. Not sure how it'll turn out, I'm working it as I go. Once again Anne Budd saves the day with her book of patterns. Where would I be without it? Think of all the math I would have to do...

Mark's socks are coming along.

I wasn't sure about this colorway, but he's thrilled. He has to wait until Christmas for these babies though. Otherwise I will have no gifts for him. I may make him a matching scarf out of this yarn. Something simple, maybe a 3x3 rib.

The nice thing about knitting ahead of time for Mark is that he genuinely forgets about something if you hold it back. So, he can even try something on, and as long as I put it away and hide it, when it comes time to open a gift, he's totally surprized! He may remember that he tried them on, but he has forgotten it in the meantime, and it's all new to him.

My knitting Sock it to Me club met at the yarn shop Saturday. Dangerous stuff. I bought a few things. I bought the vest yarn. I've bought "the" vest yarn a few times now, but it's always been knit into something else along the way. This time I couldn't wait to cast on and it's working so I know it's just the thing for him.

I also bought something I have been eyeing for ages. Cherry Tree Hill makes these humongous hanks of yarn. 1440 yards. I have no idea what I am going to knit it into. It may just hang on the wall a while. Funny thing, it's sparkly and shiny and fluffy and Mark went nuts for it!

I was kind of surprized, I thought he was going to find a way to make it seem rediculous, but he totally loved it.

If you're wondering about the red iPod, it's in the line of Red gadgets, and here's the info if you're shopping for an iPod and you want to help, too.

Friday, July 27, 2007

WIP it, WIP it good...

Oh, I am a fickle knitter.

In my living room are several bags with projects in them. I'm only fessing up to the living room today. Maybe I'll make a sweep of the house later for other half-finished knitting. Maybe.

Exhibit A:

Cotton preeemie hat, a small project, Sassy catton yarn, much pinker than this picture, so close to completion.

Exhibit B:

Classic Elite Yarns Miracle raglan top down sweater. This stuff is some nice to wrk with, I can't wait to wear it. PeeWee however feels the same way, so it's in the bag until secret knitting time comes available to me. It's not quite as orange as the picture. (It's cloudy today and my photos are out of whack colorwise.)

Exhibit C:

Mark's simple 2x2 ribbed socks for Christmas. Short row heel, I like it, my first one, I may do them more often. Fiesta Boomerang yarn, Adirondack. I like this yarn a lot for squishy around the house socks. It would make a great baby sweater too. Or a grownup sweater. Or pretty much anything else.

Exhibit D:

Cookie A Thelonious Sock. Lorna's Laces Shephard in Carrot. This is actually true color (finally for this one!) It' a lovely orange. I'm taking a mental break from this one with some basic knitting.

Exhibit E:

Mary Jacket, Laines Du Nord, Simple Knits 2 booklet. The yarn? It's lovely! Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran Tweed. It's soft and great to work with, my only reservation has been the occaisional twig. Yes, twig, or straw or grass bit, whatever it is, I have picked a few out. But it's wool and silk and cashmere and both nice on the hands as well as the face. The color is 146. Purple red with flecks of pale pink and orange. It's nice yarn.


The damage upstairs. Mark's blanket, the blue top, um... whatever else I find up there. I'm trying to get all the WIP's in one place so I can start wrapping up some of these projects and start on holiday gifts. Not all my handmade gifts are knit, so I have to make some space for the mess that's coming.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


We spend a lot of our time in our back room. We have great big windows there and I sit so I am facing the green fence with the hanging baskets. It got hot and we had no rain. They died completely. (Did I ever mention I am married to a landscaper?) Then we had a lot of rain and they resurrected. I honestly have no idea how that happened, my husband asked me if I replanted them. Nope, but when I went to pull out the dead stuff I saw they had resprouted.

Now look!

Any takers? That pink bloom was NOT there yesterday. I love it! What caused this? These are petunias, which by this time of year are generally completely pooped out around these parts from the heat. I guess nature still has a few tricks up her sleeve. I'm not going to think too hard, but just sit back and enjoy this one.

In my knitting world, I started something else today. A sock. Plain Jane 2x2 ribbed sock. I went to get my hairdo'ed and needed something mindless and easily portable.

It's a little hypnotic if you look down into it...

This sock is going in Mark's Christmas stash. I haven't worked on his blanket one tiny bit this week since it's just been PeeWee and me, so maybe subconcious guilt made me grab this to start when on my way out the door this morning. ('Cause remember, my brain's tricky that way)

What happens when you bring a 2 year old along for knitting pictures? They get silly. I learn something new from her every day and today's lesson was circular needles stick in the ground very well.

That's my kimono jacket PeeWee's standing on, just started the right front. It's my at home mindless knitting, too big to bring out and about. I have a feeling it's going to be well worn when we get some cool weather.

Am I the last person in the knitting world to hear about K.A.Y.E.? Some days my head is just under a rock. It's an ongoing thing, and right up my alley with my Women's Services gig at the hospital, so I hope you'll do yourself a favor and give your doctor a call. So head on over after you've had your check up and let Bezzie know you care enough to take care of yourself this time! (And you men, get the girls in your life to go get their checkups)

Oh and in case you were wondering, I got my camera back from the shop :)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Knitting in Action

Okay, ignore the mess of tangles on the back of PeeWee's head. We do.

She loves the top, wore it all day, patting herself and showing it off to everyone we came in contact with, saying look at her sweater, so I think it's a hit. She wore it pre-blocked. I am sure when it hits the water (which it must now that it has yesterday's dinner on it) it will shape up nicely.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Easily fooled

Well, reverse psychology can work on yourself. I finished PeeWee's dress. It morphed into a top, but it's still done. I'll be writing up the pattern soon, it was simple and it's cute! And two balls of inexpensive cotton acquired at our local Michael's. I'm just glad it's done and she can wear it.

The first idea in my head had the little flippy opening at the back, I was envisioning little ruffle bloomers underneath, and the flip peeking open to show them. I added seven extra inches around to make up for the 3.5" overlap. Oops. I sat yesterday redoing the math, coming up with off numbers until I realized that indeed, I only needed to add 3.5" extra. So, that's when it became a top, with the wrap opening in front. I cleverly knit the extra 7" into the round using an extra needle and knitting stitches together, and went up with the color change and split the top for the front and back.

Well. My brain's been on vacation. I never thought to look and see if I was knitting the front or back when I started the front decreases. Never. I did the front and back, joined the shoulder straps, weaved in the tails, tried it on PeeWee, then set it aside. About twenty minutes later, I noticed. Yep. I decided not to rip it back because it works. If it didn't it would have been a glaring mistake. So, the flap is in the back.

Bernat cottontots yarn. The entire ball of Pretty in Pink and about half the ball of Wonder White. I wanted a looser fabric so I knit it at 4 sts to the inch on size 9 needles. This yarn is a favorite cotton of mine to work with. It's a quick knit, it's made so it has a bit of give, and it washes well. It becomes softer with washings so I use it for baby stuff all the time. Especially the preemie hats. A ball of it goes a long way with kids' knits.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sock progress

I love these socks. They are slower progress than I might like to see, but I am still excited to cast on for number two, so that's a good sign. I have filled them with mistakes, gone back and fixed a whole bunch, but figured if anyone was looking that critically at my socks they really needed a life, so others I left in. I love the orange, it's hard to get a good photo of the color, but it's a lovely orange. It just doesn't photograph well. And the lace and ribbing matches the zebra, who knew?

Yes, I have a zebra rug. It came to me through my grandparents, who acquired it on a safari in Africa. It has holes and is in disrepair, I'll hang on to it as long as it holds itself together though. My grandmother got malaria on that trip, so I figure a lifetime of compromised health is a good enough excuse to hang on to the tattered thing. I had several repairs made when I first got it, but there have been newer holes made since then. It was not kept well for thirty some odd years. But I love it, holes and all.

I have decided to postpone the list of goals. It's bugging me. I officially extend the list through November. I don't like pressure. I now hope to have things completed by the time my Christmas rush begins. It was a great idea, but I gave myself some huge projects without realizing it. I could cut the list in half and still have trouble getting it all wrapped up before fall officially starts. This way, when my wandering eye wants to pick up something not on the list, I can leave behind some of the guilt and enjoy working on a side project. (I have a few I would like to begin, I am sure that is shocking news)

Big Brother is off to visit family in Virginia for several weeks, and Mark is still out of town working, so it's been just PeeWee and me. It's been fun hanging out with her, she's really a very funny kid. Doesn't like me to knit though. She's very much into imaginative play right now and I love that. Her kitchen is a big hit again, which thrills me. She sits her dolls and stuffed animals at the table and sets it and cooks them elaborate meals. It charms me to watch her.

Today I have to play grown-up. I'm off to a meeting to discuss fundraising efforts at our hospital for the various Boards of Councillors. Women's Health asked me to represent them, since our chairwoman is out of town. No idea what this working lunch will entail, but I am sure to feel energized after a few hours of adult interaction. (It's been a while)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Gimme something new to knit

Cookie A is kicking my butt. Her Thelonious sock is genius, but very involved, especially with a 2 yr old desperately wanting the row counter. "I NEED that!" I can only sneak in bits and pieces of knitting when she's otherwise distracted, but I just want to knit them and start number two.

I have been fighting the instinct to cast on 48 million different projects. I also have kept myself from the yarn shop, even the one right down the street. I am trying to justify going and spending money by saying I will only be buying yarn for my father's Christmas vest, it's allowed since it is in the goals list, you know... But, I have kept myself reigned in. I just bought very expensive books for Big Brother's freshman year of high school. That's way more than any (fantasy) yarn budget.

I want to start a bunch of new projects because I really like so many yarns in my collection. I finally have ideas for things I can whip up out of the stash. But I have two main projects going, two others set aside, and several little things on needles around the place. Well, maybe I have more things to knit than I realized... Mark's blanket, peeWee's dress, the blue top, the Ginormous socks, the Thelonious socks, a preemie hat, the kimono jacket, geez...more than I realized! Is there more? I'm afraid to run through the house looking.

And still, I want to start something new.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I won! I won!

I happily supported Dorothy for her Relay for Life and I won a prize which arrived in the mail! I rarely win things, I was so excited!

I have been toiling away on Mark's blanket. I got to a point where I can measure and it's 6 feet wide. Love that! It's about 2 feet long at this point. It's a very quick knit. I'm joining in the yarn whenever I feel like a color change, trying hard not to repeat the same color combos. I like the random stripes, the colors together and the size. I think this one's going to be a winner. It may be hard to wait and wrap it up for Christmas, he may just get it when it's finished, assuming that IS before Christmas!

I have been in the studio a lot lately working with paper and glue. Nothing finished yet, but several promising things on the horizon. It started so I could nicely package my Sockapalooza pal's socks in a coordinating box and since half of what I do in there is wait for glue to dry, I took advantage of the time and started a few other projects. It's given me a little jump start on different creative endeavors. I didn't remember how much fun playing in my studio was!

I was dragging a few days ago, the boredom of the heat and humidity kicking in. Serious cabin fever. I envy those of you who can go outside in July and August, it's so hot and humid here. If we could drop into the 70's at night I would be thrilled, but we're into those days of 24 hour sticky air. I love my air-conditioner. It's making knitting anything larger than a sock too much to contemplate. So I started a sock.

It's Cookie A's Thelonius Sock. I love it. I started to rip it back about row 2 of the chart because I was not using my brain and was completely lost (already?) but after reading through the numbers on the actual chart it made sense. Until I got to row 28 and I kind of went on automatic pilot. I was at a knitting meetup, (redheadskydiver was there!) and I was talking (who me?) and wasn't looking at the chart and made a goof I have to rip back. It's only 4 rows. Cookie A may not have been the best choice for social knitting. I am using Lorna's Laces Shephard Socks in carrot. It is a much better orange than is showing up here, I love it.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


I have a love/hate relationship with my house. I love the house, it's feel, it's open-ness, it's a happy house. It works for us. And I have lived in houses that no matter the work put into them didn't. I hate that it flooded, and there's a part of me which can't turn off that information. When we rebuilt, I feel like we did it not hastily, but without thought for the distant future, and any future flooding.

We have friends whose parents raised their house 14ft. It looked absurd, people laughed at the silly image, shook their heads and wondered aloud. Well, they have since completed the work and now have a home which is wonderful! They enclosed the front of their stilted house and put in a garage door and parking area. Behind that lovely garage/storage area complete with elevator for their elderly ease of access, is an incredible covered patio. Wow it is neat, like the houses built on the beaches, they have tons of storage, access, all that.

Our house was built in the 1920's. In 1957, after a devastating flood, which our house then escaped, the house was raised 10ft. Eventually they enclosed the entire space, renovated it entirely in the 80's and now we have rebuilt it again. All the while, a nagging thought that we should just build up sat inside me. I still wish we had done that, left the downstairs open, put in a parking/storage area in the front half and opened the rest as a partially walled patio.

Why all this thought now, two years after the flooding? Well, it keeps raining and raining and raining. And three times now we have had water seep under the walls. The first time was BAD, water everywhere, but we have since figured out how to create the proper water flow in the yard to keep the house dry. Still.

Where exactly does all this thought come from all of a sudden? Well, I was in my mini-studio in my half of the laundry room, trying to put some bags of yarn up on top of the cabinets and couldn't get to them because of the stuff on the floor, blah, blah, blah... I built shelving, a work surface, all that, and am now unhappy with the layout. After the expense and work of building what I have, I hate to even mention it to my husband. So I sit with a space that might be better laid out, a house that may flood again, and nagging worries that the money spent could have been better spent. Oh well, live and learn. And maybe get a stepladder to get up to the tops of the cabinets next time so my brain doesn't go overboard again.

I think I need a complicated knitting project to distract me from all these thoughts. And a few sunny days so I can stop thinking about the water that may never come. (And if it does come, I can implement the plan for higher living.)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Mark's Blanket

Have you ever fought knitting thinking it was supposed to be one way when the yarn wanted to be something else completely? Well, this yarn had an idea of it's own. Little sampler squares were not what it was going for. It was not happy and hid in the laundry room under some other yarn.

I pulled it out to work on it, since it's on my list of goals and was unhappy with the entire idea. It seemed off somehow. I decided I would just knit random stripes and use up the yarn, saving enough white to make a border. Well, it seems to be working now. And I have decided it would make a great way to knit a sweater.

Since I bought these skeins of yarn on sale the colors are random anyway, and there are various amounts of each of them. I am just knitting how long I feel like, then reaching in a grabbing another color. A few yards of each. Joining with a Russian join then moving on.

It's a happy blanket. I like the color combinations also, even though I think a few of them clash with each other for the most part it's working. I can't wait until enough is knit to be able to spread it out and get a good look at the colors.

Here's to finishing the list, or at least getting started on the list! (I have two things checked off so far.)

Sunday, July 01, 2007


My sockapalooza socks are all finished! I couldn't be happier, and hope that my buddy likes them. They are from Handknit Holidays, the Log Cabin socks, turned into knee-highs by adding enough stitches for my partner's calf and decreasing down the side so they fit the ankle. I love the purple color, another Cascade 220 superwash, it took whole skeins to finish these, just a few yards left to send along in case of emergency.

Yesterday was Big Brother's birthday! Holy smokes, he's 14 now. Almost impossible to wrap my head around. He had some friends over for a swimming party, which was cut short by the rain, and cake, his favorite, red velvet. (another diet starts for me today)

He's a great kid and I hope this year is a great one for him.