Sunday, October 28, 2007

The pressure is on......

I just realized (I like living in my constant state of denial) that Christmas is less than 2 months away! I was talking with my mother about our Thanksgiving plans tonight, and realized that Thanksgiving is really only about 30 days away (it's actually less, I know).
Time always seems to fly right after Thanksgiving, and before I know it, it's time for Christmas. Throw in a couple of relatives' birthdays, and we're practically Holly Jolly now.
You know where this is leading don't you? The knitting plan for gifts!
There are three sweaters to knit for my youngest brother's children (one is on the needles and about 50% done). The other two are still figments of my imagination. Luckily, they are young tots, and so small sweaters are the order of the day.
My mom's birthday is in December - her socks are on the needles as well.
My daughters have requested socks - they are debating....Harry Potter or camouflage - I do have daughters right? They sometimes act like boys.....camouflage? Yeah, well....
My favorite aunt has also purchased sock yarn for me to knit, and also a fabulous skein of Mountain Colors to be knit into fingerless gloves.....Hello! - second time around with Maine Morning Mitts....(we won't talk about the screw up on the thumbs that I did on the last pair. But, just curious, did you know that if you knit counter clockwise, in the round, you get what you knit - if you knit a stitch, you get a a knit stitch (garter stitch). If you knit a purl stitch, you get a purl stitch.....are you getting what happened to me? Can you tell I'm a magic loop kind of gal, and did these on DPN's? Yeah well, learned my lesson. At least I hope). I did really love this pattern, but I can see that I will need to gather some help with the thumbs to be sure I don't screw up the next pair.
And lastly there's this scarf that I started - with this yarn.
Now, I've used a lot of hand-dyed yarn in the past, but have never had it bleed or turn things (like my needles) different colors. My fingers turn pink while knitting, and my bamboo needles look like they might be small harpoons for Red Lobster - help? Anyone know of a cure? I've already got quite a bit done on this scarf, and it's 60 stitches wide on US #6 needles. It's beautiful yarn, but jeez, I hate to knit something afterwards if I put a couple of rows on this every night (which is what I'm doing to keep the interest sparked). I'm afraid all of my knitting will become Lobsterish.....does this in any way relate to Rose-tinted glasses? "Yes, that's right. I really couldn't give you my definite opinion on that issue, Sir, because, you see, I view the world through Lobster colored needles."

Ok - enough of this post. Exhaustion and Holiday pressure doesn't mix. Especially when there aren't pictures involved for your enjoyment. Any comments on the bleeding yarn would be appreciated! Have a great week! I know I will....the Federal Government is doing their once every 3-year audit this week at work! :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Beads Ahead!

To redeem myself a bit, I thought I should show the jewelry set that I did last week while on my lazy vacation! It took about 2 hours start to finish, because I'm so dang fussy about some things - you can ask the people who were there with me. I'm a perfectionist, and sometimes that's a good thing, but well, sometimes it's not...ahem.
Photo credits to Reenie! :) I hope that you are enjoying the set!

BTW - I might have fallen down the Fratello hole...........

Monday, October 22, 2007

Some Loot! YP Spoiler Alert!

Here's pictures of some packages that I received while away on vacation. First up...the first installment of my subscription to Yarn Pirate's Booty Club. It had a bumper sticker as well as a YP pin. Two sets of circular needles, US sizes #1 and #2. And last, but not least, some YP yarn in the color "Killer Bees." Now, these are definitely not colors that I have knit with, ever. So, I'm thinkin' that this yarn is definitely going to stretch my color palette. But that's the beauty of a sock club. I love YP's yarn, and I'm excited to try the needles - don't get me wrong. I'm also a HUGE fan of Addi Turbo magic loop needles. So, I'm wondering how I will like these! I believe they are 24" circs to use for magic loop knitting. I'll let you know! I love magic loop!

Next up, my prize from the contest over at Chicken Knits (for some reason, neither my links or pictures are not working well in Blogger - anyone else having this problem?) Help! When I link to Chicken Knits, it's all this text in my blog post! Not the neat little link that shows up for you all to read. Is this happening to anyone else? AGH! This is what is showing up with my pictures too - no pictures to preview in the post, but just all this text. When I hit "preview," it all goes away, and the correct things are there. It's probably something with HTML, and I'm totally computer illiterate to even try to fix anything like that. I blame it on the fact that I posted ONE POST from a MAC! AGH! Hi Adie! I don't like MAC! Moving on....
My prize loot contains a skein of the great STR in LUCY in lightweight, some wonderful smelling soap, and YUMMY gummy bears (I'm having to hide these from my children). No, seriously, I will share them! Thanks Chicken Knits! You are very generous! :) I'm going to cook up a contest of my own, you know, pay it forward.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Long Overdue Post

Freshly back from vacation, or not so freshly, after a 13 hour drive....and a headache, and a semi-early start this am. Let's just make this post about pictures (which could take forever, as here in dial-up land, one snap takes 15 minutes to upload to the post. Never mind that you could accidently delete it at times before it is saved. What idiot would do that, you ask? Well, apparently, this one).

There wasn't much knitting for a whole week away from job and even my family, and I'm very disappointed in myself. I think I might get more knitting done with my regular schedule at home. We had other adventures though, and they were just as fun and relaxing.

First up - Jungle socks for my eldest daughter. They are only slightly overdue....UGH! A simple K3, P1 rib, and normal heel flap, etc. Done in Claudia Handpaints in the "Jungle" colorway. She loves them! :)

Next up - Maine Morning Mitts - from Clara P. at Knitter's Review. These are a really quick knit...even though I have to add the thumb yet. The thumb is very short (only 4-5 rows, I believe). It's knit in Noro Kureyon, on size US 7's. Fast stuff, I tell you! :)

Next post - all about the packages I received while gone, and some shopping aquisitions.....

Lastly, whilst I was away, God decided it was time to paint the ridge view from our backyard....paradise!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Vacation Post!

A post from vacation. No pics, as I didn't bring my own camera. My aunt has a great camera, so I didn't feel the need. Now I just need to plead with her to take some pics of my knitting. She promises to do so after her morning ritual. She works evenings, so our mornings are later here, and I love it! It's an all girls week, and we are having a blast! Lots of laughing, giggling, eating, drinking, shopping, some knitting, reading, and yesterday a bead show. Today is PJ day, and I can't believe I'm still in mine! I never do this, but it feels wonderful.
On the knitting front, the green socks from two post ago, yeah well, they didn't quite get finished before I left. My DD didn't have them on her pillow, but they did get finished on the driving trip here. I was going to mail them to her, but figured I wanted to give them to her in person. She sent the coolest e-mail to my aunt. It said that all she wanted from me (because I asked her what I should bring back for her as a treat) was a cool t-shirt and for me to come back safely. AWWWW......
I'm saving this e-mail, so that when she starts the usual teenager stuff, I can read and remember! Love ya honey! Are you reading Mama's blog while I'm away? I hope so! :)
I also cast on for Maine Morning Mitts from Clara P's Knitter's Review last week. Pattern is free, and if I weren't working on a MAC (little bit lost here), I would link you to the PDF, but not quite sure how to work the whole MAC thing. I'm using Noro Kureyon. Don't ask what the color number is either on the Noro, because after's PJ day, and the wrapper is in another room, and I don't feel like getting off my tush! Happy vacation to me!

PS - I got money back from my last Wollmeise order - apparently I don't have to pay the tax! WAHOO!! Love you Wollmeise! Maybe I'll skein and cast on today. It's on my list.......if lists are allowed on vacation.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I won! And Some Random Rambling

I was going to title this post, "I'm a winner." But that seemed a little egotistical. Usually, I'm not a winner, but for some reason, I'm a winner today. Are you wondering what I won yet? Have I piqued your curiosity at all? Is your cat still alive? 'Cause you know, curiosity killed the cat - isn't that right, Mom? And maybe you're even wondering how I won the prize? Ok - enough suspense - if you can even call it that. Well, Chicken Knits had a little contest to name her cute little pig, and I entered the name, "Wilson", and she chose it for his middle name. For my valiant effort, I win some yarn! WAHOO! I can hardly wait! I never win anything (notice I'm avoiding the statement, "I'm a big loser!")! When I get back from vacation, maybe I'll have me a blog contest for myself. My brother is shamelessly begging for comments on his blog. Love ya buddy! I try to tell him that just because people don't comment, doesn't mean that they don't read your blog. Heaven knows that I don' t get a lot of comments, but I'm starting to meet some cool people who love knitting as much as I do. That's a cool thing! So if you're in a friendly way, go on over and visit him here. Don't forget to leave a nice comment! He's a pastor, you know. So now leaving a comment that you went the the LYS with your DH for SEX, (even though we know that means you went to your LOCAL YARN STORE with your DARLING HUSBAND for a STASH ENHANCING EXPEDITION) might send him over the edge! Geesh!

Oh, and guess what else I got in the mail today - Wollmeise! I just love it! I got the
Rhabarber in medium.
Raku-Regenbogen in dark.
Granaptefel in medium.
Farn in medium.

It is all fabulous - thanks, Claudia! But I especially love the Raku-Regebogen. It is fabulous, and even more so than the Spice Market that I was wanting. Yes, sometime I will still order the Spice Market, but the Raku is a great color - very "fallish." I'm never disappointed with her yarn or her colors. My photography skills - yes! There's never any great light here, and to be honest, it was gray and damp all day yesterday! The Raku-Regenbogen is actually brown, orange, blue, and dk red. It's fab! It will be taking a vacation with me. See the other pic at the bottom!

And speaking of vacation, I'm off to pack! And then to carve some pumpkins with my pumpkins tonight! :) This is the fun part of being a Mom! And my DH is SO cute - he didn't think the pumpkins we had were big enough for our carving designs, so he went out looking for more! We got two more large pumpkins! What a sweetheart! I personally think that he loves carving them as much as they do! I'm blessed! :)

And also, a big shout-out to Meangirl, who oriented me to the LYS's and knitting groups in Nashville! Thanks again! Saturday morning - Nashville or bust!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Half and Half

Half a pair of socks, as evidenced by the first baby-cabled rib sock - finished! It's knit with STR in medium weight (although I must admit it really feels more like fingering weight to me), in the Pebbles colorway. I'm not sure what was/is wrong with me regarding these socks (well, the second one is not even on the needles yet)! I do like the pattern, very simple, but very slow going. I did knit a pretty long leg before beginning the heel. The heel and the heel turn always make my heart beat a little faster! I'm starting to hope that this pair of socks is not my downfall into the pit of SSS syndrome (Second sock syndrome). There are some muggles reading this, I'm sure. Don't be offended muggles - you can join the ranks anytime - just pick up some sticks....and for my lovely mother, your crochet hook will do! P.S. My MIL has skinny legs, so even though these look like they were knit for some disproportionate elf, they actually do fit a human foot (mine included, although they are a bit "long in the foot" for me - my MIL has slightly larger feet than me).

And the last pic - half of a finished sock (in the Jungle color from Claudia's Handpainted). Who wants to place bets that I can finish it before I leave for vacation on Saturday morning? I'd like to do that, and then put them on my daughter's pillow (with washing instructions too, as she'll just throw them in anywhere, on any setting, knowing her, even though it's superwash). If my Engligh teacher were reading, she would cringe at that last sentence. My DD reminded me last night that it's been at least 6 months since I started these socks. AGH!

Now, where's the half and half for my coffee? NOT - black all the way.....makes my thighs grow larger! :) Well,....... something has to be contributing! It couldn't be the chocolate!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

It's a Theme

Slowly but surely, I've been trying to finish things already on the needles. It's a daunting task, so don't worry, I'm not going totally crazy with the idea! There are still, I believe, 4 projects physically "on" the needles. One additional project, not on the needles. Shall I list them to keep me honest?
1. The Cotton Ease striped sweater for my youngest.....Cotton Ease and manual striping (no ends weaved in yet), need I say more? I'm still on the original back panel (sigh).
2. STR Pebbles baby cable rib socks with eye of partridge heel - honestly, I don't know what the problem is with these.....I think they will end up as part of my MIL's Christmas present - she's having foot surgery in early Nov, and won't be able to wear them before then anyway. And it's still 80 stinking degrees here! Who wears wool socks in 80 degree weather?

3. Top down sweater for my neice (I have do another 2 before Christmas - she has siblings). I know - I need to get my butt moving....most of the body is done. It's the sleeves that I'm trying to avoid....:(

4. A SSS issue. I knit an easy, green, 3x1 rib sock for my oldest daughter, and it's still waiting for its mate. What's up with that? I usually brag about never suffering from SSS syndrome. Well, it was the third sock that I ever knit, and I had already knit 3 socks total in this colorway - "Jungle" from Claudia's Handpainted Yarns. My youngest got the first pair ( by accident.....first socks - need I say more). Nothing is wrong with the yarn, but I was tiring of the color quickly. It's a really pretty color, but I'd had enough green.....

5. Chevron scarf - I'm taking this with me on vacation, and getting nicer needles so that I want to knit it. The wooden ones I have right now are horrid. I am usually a fan of wooden needles, but the yarn doesn't want to slide around on these particular needles like it should, and I get frustrated. UGH!

So my theme (of this post and of the coming week) is to finish some of these things, so that when I'm off next week, I can start new things - freshness! Renewal! Growth! :)

But for now, take a peak at my finished dishcloth shawl - A simple triangular shawl (I believe it's my first knitted one). With just a yo after the first two stitches of each row, and garter stitch the rest of the way. I had to knit it from two balls of yarn, since I didn't have enough in the hand dyed colorway with just one skein. So, I had to combine them to get the effect. They were two from two different dye lots. I absolutely love it, and its simplicity. Why you ask? Well, it was just pretty mindless knitting, and I worked on it at night (when it was cooler), and when I was watching TV. My life is stressful as it is, and this remained the perfect project to still keep knitting, but not sweating through a lace patern, etc. Unfortunately, it was knit in a thick (thicker than worsted) weight merino, so I was sometimes practically sweating (perspiring)trying to knit it in the summer heat. I think it will look fabulous with everything from denim (which of course is my favorite), to black pants. Now if the weather around here would just cooperate and act like the fall it's supposed to be.......well, I could actually use it!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Finis, Finito, Finished!

Ok, I know. It's not the proper conjugation of the verb, but hey - they are finished! I'm very proud of this pair of socks, because they are my very first pair that I knit with a lace pattern! Of course I made pattern modifications - but not to the lace part (except to add an extra set of lace repeats). BTW, I had enough yarn - just a tiny ball left (no, I did not weigh it), but I was not even sweating it near the end. Can you believe that all I knit last night were the toe decreases (and the kitchener stitch)? Sadly enough, I was so exhausted on Monday night, I couldn't bring myself to knit the toe decreases until Tuesday night. And then I retired to bed at 9:00pm Tuesday night after the toe decreases were finished - shocking! Our schedule is so crazy busy (work and homelife), and there is much to do. Vacation is only a week and a half away! I'm excited!

The perplexing issues of preparing and packing for vacation are two-fold.
1. When will I have time to pack (and do laundry prior to packing)? What will the weather be like to decide what to pack? I have to pack for my children too! This adds a bit of stress!
2. Which knitting projects will I take with me? I'm sure I'll buy some yarn at my new destination (one can hardly resist it), and I'm just not sure what to take with me. Now these are the kind of decisions I love to make. I wonder if they could be part of my job, or somehow figured into the work equation?
PS - I just ordered some Wollmeise yesterday, and I'm crossing my fingers that it will arrive in time for the trip! I'd love to do a pair of socks in that yarn (like it's not already in my stash, but the colors I have so far (in stash) are of a blue hue - and you can see that I just knit a lot of blue, and I was hoping to knit a more "Fallish" color). The colors that I ordered from the Wollmeise are: Farn, Raku-regenbogen, Granaptefel, and Rhabarber. I'm really anxious to see the colors and receive my package - I hope it gets here soon! :)
PPS - I'm also trying to finish the dishcloth shawl before I go, which is knit in the blue/green/purple I'm aching to knit some brown/orange/red yarn! :)