Thursday, June 28, 2007

Don't You Just Love It When a Plan Comes Together?

T. told you a little about our SnB on Monday. We were sitting at one end of the table when we were joined by Sarah Janet. After we discussed our strong feeling about Snape's allegiances and how they will play out in the final Harry Potter book, she asked if we were signed up for the Mystery Stole. Pardon? We had never heard of this splendid idea. So you just pick up some lace weight and every week Pink Lemon Twist will post some more rows to the stole. I was a little skeptical until I saw last year's project. Ok. I'm a push over.

So when I got home from SnB, I had a look at some laceweight yarn I had lying around. Only 600 yards and I will need 1200! Eek! I desperately emailed Urban Yarns in Vancouver to see if they happened to have one more ball in my dyelot. I waited the whole next day in anticipation. They, in fact, had ONE ball left and would send it to me the next day! Hurray! I'm all set! It's the yarn that is recommended and I swatched it and everything! Now I just have to wait until Friday to cast on! (Before you ask, she's giving us a week off when the last Harry Potter book comes out. Isn't that thoughtful?)

I also finished my Titania's revenge socks. Quite happy with the results. What do you think?

And finally, started on some socks for a nephew. I'm using Interlacements Tiny Toes and I like the color but it seems to come off on my hands as I knit with it. Not great but I'll hurry through these and give them a good wash before giving them away at Christmas.

Everything is coming together. Now if I could just get T. to stop buying yarn....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Expanding my Yarn Universe

Up until recently my knitting circle consisted of J. and me. That's it. It was good - we shared patterns, ideas, thoughts on different yarns, websites and the usual things you would discuss with a knitting circle. But the loop was pretty small. There is only so much the two of us know (I mean really brilliant and all, but we aren't all knowing).

Then J. came up with this idea to go to a Stitch and Bitch. She googled SnB and found one that met in a nice little coffeeshop not too far away. So we went.


There are knitters out there as crazy as us. I know our husbands don't believe it, but it's true. There are people who know what we mean when we say yarn diet or Handmaiden or Knitty or Yarn Harlot. They know these words with no explanation. They understand the pain of waiting till next month to buy more yarn. They understand how frustrating a piece can be that you want to throw it away and never look at it again, but you keep at it.

We went again last night and got to see so many amazing projects. A shawl from Victorian Lace Today, a 'cursed' sweater from Knitscene, a scarf made with beautiful Noro. Someone brought a new book they'd just bought so we could all peruse it. Seriously, this group is good. They got their knit-on.

I'm still attempting to finish JW's Father's day socks. He is aware of their existence which means I can actually knit them in his presence. Also on the home stretch of Rusted Root - hopefully I'll reveal it soon.

Next on the list...figuring out what to do with this. It is by far my favorite yarn in my stash. J. picked it up for me when she went to Vancouver for her half-marathon. Does she know me well or what? This yarn (Koigu KPPPM) has all my favorite colors. I need to really do it justice - just not sure how....

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Rock It Like It's Socks!

I seem to be trapped in this sock knitting alternate universe where all I want to do is knit socks. I'm sure it has nothing to do with my glut of sock yarn and fabulous patterns (like this one and this one). I just want warm feet. I wanna play with bamboo sock yarn! And crabby goodness!

So feast your eyes on Christmas sock #1 to be given to an undisclosed foot.

You may remember that I had plans for this pattern the next time I knit it. I'm happy with the effect of carrying the faux cable through the toe decreasing. I really hope it works for the right sock as nicely as it did for the left. I'm using Lorna's Laces Tuscany colorway. It comes highly recommended.

I'm still monkeying around with Monkey. It's not on my Christmas sock radar so it's been languishing while Titania flourishes.

I whipped up this little baby sweater in between sock rounds. The pattern is from Mason-Dixon Knitting and I used some Mission Falls cotton from the stash. Cute. I'd make it again.

Thanks to my model, Pinky Rougebottom. Your time and energy are appreciated.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Love for the Harlot, Part 2

I love the Yarn Harlot. Seriously - my love for her has no bounds. Did you see her post about Steeking? Honestly, the thought of me taking scissors to my knitting would require more than a shot of Glenlivet. I think I would need some good drugs too (the benefits of being a pharmacist!).

I remember sometime last year (of course I can't find the link for you to see it yourself...) she did a post on fixing a cable that was turned the wrong way. You can not even imagine how amazing it was - it was like magic. Maybe she should be called the Yarn Yoda. Or Knitting Sorcerer. Or Sticks and String Shaman.

J. and I have plans to meet the woman herself. Sometime, somewhere it will happen. And we will bask in the glow of her DPNs.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Trying to Get Ahead

Every year, Christmas sneaks up on me. Impossible, you say. Christmas is December 25 every year. While I would agree with your logic, I always seem to think that Christmas is farther away than it really is. I'll be able to knit 4 pairs of men's socks in 2 days. I just won't sleep or eat or acknowledge any bodily function that is inconvenient. I can do it! I am a KNITTER!

This year, however, will be different. I've got a rigorous, yet entirely possible (?) sock knitting schedule. I'll keep you updated with a tally of Christmas socks on the sidebar. Start one of your own. Let's knit socks together!

For those of you who think that sock knitting is hard or haven't tried knitting in the round, I leave you with words of wisdom.

Really, all you need to become a good knitter are wool, needles, hands, and slightly below-average intelligence. Of course, superior intelligence, such as yours and mine, is an advantage. ~Elizabeth Zimmerman

Monday, June 18, 2007

Getting Dirty

So my husband's out of town for the week. That leaves me to fend on my own. Nothing I can't handle of course (with lots of wine and yarn). At least it gives me the opportunity to finish his Father's day present - we'll celebrate once he gets home. And as he is across the Pond, I'm sure he's not checking the blog, so here it is....

Those are my lovely pink toes. I have basically the same size feet as JW so the first pair looks close to being done. I found the pattern online and the cabling at the sides is very cute (XOXO), but masculine at the same time. The picture doesn't really do it justice.

I quite like them, thank you very much.

Of course I'm not working on these solely. My Rusted Root is taking shape very well. I'll save pictures of that for next time. Can't ruin all the surprises.

As the single-parent for the week I get the joy of taking care of things such as this....

Do you see the smile on his face?? He is SOOOOO excited to be covered in muck. This one, he's trouble.

You can't imagine what the bath water looked like. Honestly....

(And J. - your Tuscany ROCKS)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

For Everything Else, There's Mastercard

My big girl had a big day.

My cousin Aaron married the lovely Luba. (Don't they look good?)

I wore my Tuscany shawl. Ok, I only did 10 repeats of the pattern, but I had time to block it. I love it and would make it again.

Some things are priceless.

Friday, June 15, 2007

In Unrelated News...

Ok, here's the thing. I'm trying to finish my Tuscany Shawl so I can wear it to my cousin's wedding tomorrow. I need all my energy and attention on my knitting, so I can't be pulled away to things like a really fabulous blog.

Here are two quick snaps of the shawl. I've done 8.5 pattern repeats of 11. At first, I thought my two balls of Seasilk were very different even though they are both the Paris colorway. In an act of desperation, I rerolled the second ball so that what was on the outside is now on the inside, if you catch me. Success! That's the thing with hand dyed yarn. Each skein is one of a knid and I thought I was done for, but my second ball was just a bit more blue and purple and a bit less brown and green on one end than the other. Now all I have to do is knit like the wind. I'm trying to channel Brenda Dayne. Think fast thoughts. Think Yarn Harlot fast. Think Divine Intervention.

So to distract you from my lack of knitting content, I present

Gestational Periods of Various Animals as Read to Me By My Dad from the Veterinary Merck Manual, 1967

Hamster 16.5 days

Shrew 20 days

Dog 58-63 days

Cat 63-65 days

Pig 112 days

Porcupine 112 days

Elk 255 days

Aberdeen Angus Cow 281 days

Short Horned Cow 282 days

Hereford Cow 285 days

Ass 365 days

Rhinoceros 530-550 days

Elephant 600-660 days

Tuscany Shawl ????

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Things I Should Do and Things I Shouldn't Do - The Knitting Version

Things I should do....

1. Finish my Rowena Cardigan (ok - I won't really wear it till winter, so it maybe shouldn't be #1 but it has been on the needles the longest. I'm done the back, 2 fronts and part of one sleeve. I really should finish this one).

2. Finish JW's (That's my husband) father's day present (ok - I'm not even done 1, and I have to make another one. I have turned the heel on that first one, but given the size of the appendage it's meant to be for - no nasty comments J. - I still have a lot of knitting. I really need to finish this).

3. Weave in the ends on my god-daughter's birthday presnt (well it's done, for the most part. And her birthday isn't till July 2 - should really get this finished).

4. Finish my monkey socks. I am supposed to be doing a knit-a-long with J., but she's FAR more 'a-long' than I am. (ok these are probably going to be a Christmas present for a dear friend who specifically asked for hand knit socks - I've knit her kids some but never her, so she'll be pumped. But given the timelines, I got lots of time to work on these).

Things I should NOT do....

1. I should NOT cast on my Tuscany shawl with my Sangria Seasilk (confession - already did this. J. was going on and on about how great the yarn is and I had finished winding it and it was really calling my name and know....)

2. I should NOT buy the Hempathy yarn required to make the Hip in Hemp skirt from the new Knitty, even though J. found some online for a totally reasonable price and free shipping (I have nothing to confess here -- I haven't bought it....yet....)

3. I should NOT return to the yarn store just to pick up more DPNs ( we all know how well that would go....there would be more than just needles's inevitable).

4. I should NOT wind up my KPPPM just because it's a good, brainless activity to do while watching TV (there is NO way I could just leave that newly wound ball alone in my knitting basket. Seriously, I have a 'casting-on' problem).

I really need help....

Saturday, June 9, 2007

In Which Much is Revealed

Oh! So much to tell you! As T. mentioned, I bought some new yarn. A little Tofutsie in a fun summer colorway. Probably socks for me and my girl, but who knows?

A little Socks that Rock in some crazy colorway that is unlike the blues and greens I usually buy.
And finally a skein of Seasilk in Ivory. My little sis is getting married next summer and I told her that I'd knit her a shawl. She doesn't have her dress, yet but all the ones she liked were off white. I'm thinking Tuscany. (I'll tell ya why in a bit.) Even if she goes with white, I'll keep the Seasilk (hello? Who would get rid of Seasilk?) and make a scarf or something.

I finished one monkey and started the next. I'm really enjoying this pattern, especially after the issues I had with Pomatomus. Cookie, you have redeemed yourself.

I started a Tuscany shawl with my Paris Seasilk. Ah. Seasilk. This stuff is gorgeous. I LOVE it! I mean really. LOVE. It's so soft and the sheen is luxurious. Mmmmm. I'm working with some Addi Turbo Lace needles. Also fabulous. Nice and pointy. The yarn just slips along and the knitting is going swimmingly. (Get it? SEAsilk? Swimming?)

And I finished my scarf. Do you like it? I call it strawberry jam. Quite delighted, thank you very much. It's been a good week.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Yarn is My Kryptonite

It's been a great past couple of days, at least yarn-wise. It started my package arriving from Colorsong yarn. This is where J. and I ordered our reward yarn post-10K run. We both ordered 2 skeins of Seasilk.
My is the Sangria colorway,
J.'s is Paris...
We are both going to knit the Tuscany shawl out of it. It didn't take me long to get my new yarn on the swift.
In the mail that day I also got my first Knitpicks catalogue - which basically has the same things (obviously) as the website. However, I hadn't really ever paid attention to any of their accessories. The handle's they showed for the Doctor's bag from Knit2Together are great - makes me consider knitting it (J. already has, and we really shouldn't always knit the same things, but we just both have really good taste).

Then, we went to a yarn store in town that we do not usually frequent and were VERY excited about their sock yarn choices.
I purchased some Socks that Rock in Kryptonite
and Nova Socks (in an unknown colorway)
J. made away with some TOFUtsies, Socks that Rock and some more Seasilk. I will let her elaborate. It was my "happy back to work yarn pick me up". We actually went with the intention of buying a yarn dying kit and neither of us realized we didn't even look for them till we got back to our offices. Another trip is in the works already (even though we've both decided we need a yarn diet; at least a sock-yarn diet). The colorways they had were amazing and different yarn choices from our other usual haunts - a very nice surprise.
And these guys appeared to survive their first day of me going to work. Probably better than I did.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

My Knitting Widower

My husband, let's call him R., is a very understanding man. He knows that knitting is important and didn't make fun of T. and I when we started our blog. He made it possible for me to train for and run a half marathon a month ago. He was alright with me going to Vancouver for a weekend in order to run that half marathon.

But every once in a while I think he feels a little neglected. Like when I go to stitch and bitch. (That's only every other week for a couple of hours. Not a big deal really.) Or when I sit for hours at a time trying to get my next post just so. (Not that he doesn't spend hours in front of the flat screen but I digress.) I landed myself a good one. So R., just know that I appreciate your support and I'm glad you're not fully aware of how much yarn I really have. (Psst! Did you check out the progress on my lacy scarf? Almost done!)

In other news, I've been Monkeying around. I like this pattern. It's really easy to catch on to and I think the colorway I've chosen really suits. I think that I might even make these again. This pattern is going on my "List of Sock Patterns Which May or May Not Get Knitted as Christmas Presents Depending on Time and Any More Interesting or Tempting Patterns That Come My Way".

Monday, June 4, 2007

Getting Long in the Tooth

I don't usually think of myself as being "old". I'm not, really I'm not. But there are certain things in your life that make you realize you're not getting any younger.

On the weekend we went to my sister's for a BBQ. My 9-year old nephew was very excited to lend me a book of his that he'd finished reading. My nephew and I are sharing books. I remember my wedding day when he was still in-utero -- 2 weeks from being born. And now, we're sharing books.

My first big knitting project was for my nephew. A navy blue gansey knit out of Butterfly Super 10 (which is still my favorite yarn). At the time, I didn't know you were supposed to wind up the hank, so my first ball got so rottenly tangled that I had to get more. I wasn't aware that there was such a thing a lot numbers so that odd ball I ran back and got is a different lot. If you look close enough at the sweater, you can see the difference.

That sweater has now been passed on to my boys. I'm waiting for my oldest to be able to wear it. I'm sure my nephew wore it when he was two, but my guy is not quite as big as his cousin. And the great thing is, I have 2 boys who'll get to wear it. This sweater reminds me of my old apartment, my nephew as a little boy and my early knitting projects. It also makes me think of getting on in life -- when I knit this sweater I was a newlywed, we were DINKS (dual-income, no kids) and life was good.

Now, life is better: one-income, two kids, and we're busier than we ever thought possible.

Speaking of one-income, I'm actually going back to work in 2 sleeps. I'm excited, nervous and sad. How can I leave these two guys?