Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Sock Affair

I promised myself I'd just get the prayer shawl done. It's progressing nicely. I want to have it finished this weekend, but I've got so many things I want to KNIT, not crochet! UGH! So, to satisfy my knitting self, I worked on my STR sock tonight (GASP - a sock affair). The lighting for picture-taking was terrible tonight, with thunderstorms and such. My current photo of the sock is not the best....not that my photo-taking skills are that advanced anyway. This is an old shot, a couple of inches ago (sock inches, I must clarify). My DH, now he's the real photographer! Seriously, he's extremely talented with his camera! I digress.

I completed the rest of the leg on my STR Pebbles sock in the medium weight sock yarn. Gosh, this yarn is awesome! What a wonderful yarn base! The leg measures about 8 inches, and it's done in the Baby Cable Rib Pattern. It looks as though it would fit only my big toe, but it stretches nicely, and the stitch definition is great with this yarn!

Other than that, I'm just waiting for Friday, and the long Labor Day weekend (in which I am NOT working)! YEAH!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Wicked Step-Sister!

Well, I needed to make a prayer shawl, and I needed to make it quickly. One thing I am not is a quick knitter. I mentioned before that I was what's known as a "thrower." I do not knit "continental" style, and even American style knitting just doesn't work well for me, although I do wrap the yarn around the pinkie on my right hand and it feeds from there. I really don't have issues with varying tension so much with being a "thrower," despite what I've read about the "horrors" of having this label. You wouldn't believe the stuff I've read. Real self-esteem boosters they are: "You'll never reach your full knitting potential if you don't try to hold the needles and yarn like this." GEEZ! At first, being a relative newbie, I was a bit disconcerted. You know, I want to reach my FULL potential, being the Type A personality that I am. But then I realized that my tension greatly varied, my hands hurt, my neck hurt, all trying to please someone in a book with the way that I hold the yarn and knit! So, now, I'm doing my own thing, a semi-version of the American way to knit. And the funny thing is that it feels natural to me. The even cooler thing was that my Nana (a knitter from way back), was watching me knit one night, and she remarked that I held my yarn and needles just like she used to do (Sadly, trigger fingers and arthritis don't allow her to knit anymore). Now, that's something to boost my self-esteem. I knit like my Nana! :)
I've gotten a bit diverted from this post title. I really need to get a prayer shawl to my friend Ev. She's been recently diagnosed with a mass on her colon and spots on her liver - no definitive cancer diagnosis yet. So, I started a prayer shawl on Sunday - this is it so far. I've finished one skein and three more yet to crochet! It's a basic prayer shawl pattern, and a very simple double crochet stitch involved. Minimal tutelage from my crocheting guru mother. It all comes back so easily. I can definitely crochet faster than I knit............but the bottom line still remains - Crochet is like the wicked step-sister. I say that in all jest, because I've seen some beautifully crocheted pieces of art. BUT, I still love my knitting the best! If I had more time, Ev would receive a knitted shawl. I feel the urgent need to get this to her as soon as possible. So a crocheted one she will receive! WICKED!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Quince Socks - Finished!

Yeah! Here they are in all their glory! Quince socks finished. How do you like the little sheep on my coffee table? Speaking of coffee tables - why is there no coffee on the table if it's called a coffee table? Where's the logic in that? Does anyone else ever think of these things, or is it only me? Since I don't get many comments, I expect it may only be me.......

The stats: Fiesta Boomerang Yarn
Size #3 Addi Turbo 40" needles
Started - July 26, 2007, Finished August 26, 2007....pathetic time-frame! I'm a bit distracted lately (see previous posts about too much work).
So, whilst I had some daylight time (no working today - still taking ibuprofen for my upper back)......I also photographed this shawl I've been working on. Now, I started this shawl back in the end of May. I bought the lovely yarn at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival from Dancing Leaf Farm, and thought I had enough yarn. It's their Rhumba yarn in the Mermaid colorway. Well, one skein just wasn't enough (I originally knit it in stockinette stitch). So I called the owner, Dalis, and she mailed me another skein - but not quite the same variant of the colorway, so I just alternate the yarn every other row, and also switched to a garter stitch pattern. I call it my dishcloth shawl, because way back before I could even purl, I made these little yarn-over (yo) dishcloths out of cotton yarn. I could pump those babies out pretty quickly....this shawl, not so quickly. But I love the colors, and it's an easy knit, allowing me to watch a movie or TV while knitting. The only problem is that it is very thick merino wool - thicker than worsted weight, and well, the weather is very humid. So I almost feel like I'm perspiring while knitting it. Notice the choice word "perspiring" instead of the alternatives......

So, yesterday, I did not do much in the form of housework. But I did stuff all (ok, 95%) of my sock yarn into ziplock baggies and put them back into their storage. I am currently reading some new knitting books, recently acquired from Knit Picks (more about their book sale in another post), and I got scared of a possible moth never know if it will happen, and I don't want any sock yarn destroyed because I didn't protect it! So today, I'm cleaning up the rest of that room, if my back allows......

Now, to start another sock or maybe to work on the ones I already have cast-on in the Pebbles colorway from STR (Socks That Rock). Oh, the choices are endless!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The peaches are done.....and a little knitting!

Check out these peaches! 26 gorgeous quarts of them! Hey, my back is killing me, but that's another story. 12 days of work in a row, makes for stress in the back. The ibuprofen is helping. The canning, not so much. But you can guarantee that I will appreciate these jars in the dead of winter!

I've gotten a bunch of stuff via the post in the past week or so. So check out this line-up of Wollmeise! The lighting (even though it's natural) doesn't quite capture the intensity and the color contrast, as in person. The first two skeins on the left are Gewitterhimmel - a beautiful blue with some hints of a greenish blue (not captured by the pic). They are for a shawl someday. The middle skein is that wicked (in a good way) Poison #5! It's a great fuchsia and black combo! It rocks! The next is Am Kalten Polar, and finishing off with a skein of Pfauenauge. I bought all of these skeins, with the exception of the Pfauenauge (, from Claudia directly from Germany. I love international post, and Claudia was super-speedy. She's wonderful in conducting her business. The price for the total yarn direct from Germany (skein plus shipping) equals that which we pay for a skein here in the US, so not a bad deal!
I also hit Knit Picks book sale, but more on that later! For now, I'll leave you with this closing picture of the slow progression of my 2nd Quince Sock. I hope to finish it this weekend, thus ending the SSS that so many of us suffer from!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Mother's Lament

Wow - working on my 12 th day of work in a row, no real knitting progress, although I knit the heel flap and turned the heel last night on the 2nd Quince sock. So, practically no knitting news.

Tonight was back to school night for my eldest, who is starting a grand adventure. I don't like to reveal too much about my personal life, but after the school orientation tonight, I feel completely inadequate to help her with this new adventure. She has special needs, but can function somewhat independently. Tonight however, I worry that I'll be able to "let go" properly. You know, the old mothering instincts kick in. I could feel myself tearing up in the one classroom, as I persistenly explained to all the new teachers about my daughter. She's a joy, but oh my, how I fret and worry (mostly needlessly)! She'll do fine, but what about me? How do I let go of things to make her stronger? How do I teach her about the world that I've protected her from for so long? How do I tell her that most days, I feel lost too? I don't know. Again, I don't have the words. I feel so inadequate, yet I know that she has made me a better person, and I'm proud to be her mother.

Now, will somebody help me loosen my grip? In my heart, I know that this is a good thing for us. Growth always hurts a little, but God is good. However, I still think I could arm wrestle the Incredible Hulk (dating myself with that reference) and win (that's how tight my grip is sometimes)...........

Stay tuned - I'm hoping for some pictures of knitting progress this weekend. Or maybe there might be some peaches that need to be canned (and some tomatoes too). Never a dull moment. The upside of these activities - gripping can be good, even encouraged (with canning of course, not the knitting)!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Finally - A Post and Some Pics

Ok - here's the deal. It's been horrendous, this being my 9th day of work in a row! I'm exhausted, both physically and mentally. Today I came home from work, and I went to bed. You know, nice damp, rainy weather, warm blanket, kids aren't home yet, and DH still at work. Well, DH brings the kids home, and cooks supper for us all (I'm still sleeping). How blessed I am! He's amazing! Tonight and last night I got to knit a little of the second Quince sock - hopefully pictured to your left - but you never know with my blogging skills. It might be at the top. We'll see. (It's at the left - YEAH!)! But it's coming along nicely, and I'm ready to start the heel. So, don't fret Adie! They'll hopefully be done by the time you arrive in September.

Also up on the pics - the sweater I started at jury duty selection in July (I have not worked on this on a regular basis since then). It's bright pink (Peruvian Pink, to be exact), and it's Nature Spun Worsted - "The American Work Horse." What a name! It's a simple top down sweater, and I love to knit this pattern. I can actually watch TV while happily knitting along. I have one of these sweaters finished in Platte Blue for my youngest. It's really nice. Hopefully this one will look nice on my neice, with her dark hair and blue eyes! :)

So tonight I bugged out of going to the movies with my friends from book club...I was just too tired (see pathetic story above). They were going to see "Becoming Jane." This month, we are reading the final installment of the Harry Potter Series. I'm rather impressed that we have book club and craft night in such a rural area! Again, I'm blessed.

Seeing a this has been a rather lame post, I'll end now. Hope you are all getting some knitting done and enjoying the last days of summer! I'm working, in case you were wondering.......

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Frog City - Rippit!

So, there's a word in every knitter's vocabulary (one that I don't enjoy saying, let alone using), and I had to use it the other night. Not only did I use the term, but I performed it. FROGGING! For those of you who are "muggles," this means that I had to rip the project I was doing, either back to a certain point in the knitting, or completely rip the whole knitting project back to the beginning. I, being the totally talented knitter that I am, did the latter.

So, the second Quince sock is now officially back on the needles, and the 1x1 ribbing is complete. Thank heavens, because I'm what's known as a "thrower." More about that term in another blog discussion. Muggles, stay tuned.

I'm a little disgusted with myself, as I can't always fix my mistakes, and lose some knitting time because of it. But hey, I didn't even know the purl stitch last summer, so we are making progress!Sometimes a little dropped stitch is easily fixable, this was not. Magic loop involved too.

I'll try to post more pics (and click and drag them to their rightful place in my blog) soon. This is day #6 of work this week, and I only have one patient to see tomorrow, so hey - maybe some knitting time and photo time in my future. Tomorrow is my eldest daughter's birthday! So we have a picnic planned (with cake and other fattening stuff).

So for now - Frogger out...............

Thursday, August 16, 2007

When there are no words.....

My soul aches tonight as I type. My sweet friend has a mass on her colon and liver, and they are not sure if it is cancer or not, and she is only in her mid-forties (as if age makes any type of cancer better). I don't have the words. I simply don't. The older I get, the more I think I don't understand anything anymore. Take nothing for granted. Live every day to the fullest. Rejoice in the fact that you can breathe, love, and laugh. Those phrases all seem somewhat hollow and empty in the face of suffering and pain.

Evelyn - you're in my thoughts and prayers. May God give you peace in this situation. Know that your friends love and cherish you, even when we don't have the words........

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sometimes it's all about the tomatoes.......

Isn't this picture gorgeous? My DH took it a couple of weeks ago, and we are now consuming the nicely ripened fruit of this exact plant. I love this time of year for this very reason! YUM! My boss brought some yummy tomatoes into the office for sharing, and I had some fresh cucumbers for a snack today too!

I'm planning on attending our local craft night tomorrow - it's the closest thing to a SNB group that we have. Not everyone knits, but it's cool to be with people who are crafty, or who aspire to greatness through craft.

Off to eat more tomatoes. I didn't mention anything about chocolate did I? No knitting content either. No, because sometimes, it really is all about the tomatoes.............

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Christmas in August

Blogging time was limited this weekend, as as we were very busy! We went to see a show at a relatively close theatre (relative can be a pretty expansive term to use in rural PA). It was wonderful, and we had a lot of fun! A great thing about the trip to the theatre (that phrase reminds me of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"), was that I had some knitting time in the car. So, I completed this sock (just so you don't think I just purchase yarn and not knit it - because I do knit it eventually). This is the first sock knit with Fiesta Boomerang the "Quince" Colorway. The sock is a bit "long in the foot" for me (which is a good thing - because it is not for me). I've been a very good girl and cast on the second sock right away to avoid the dreaded second sock syndrome (SSS). Notice that it's hanging on one of our tomato plants in this picture - if I uploaded it correctly! Hee hee! How do you like it Adie? It's for you (photo in the center - well sort of center).

So, you can imagine my surprise when we arrived home later in the evening to find not one, but two packages of awaited yarn in the mail (all relative to the fact that we live in rural PA, and it doesn't take much to excite a person). It truly was like Christmas, although not a flake, of snow that is, was in sight.

The first package (photo on the left) contained a lovely skein of Zen String's SerendipityFingering Weight Sock Yarn in the lovely "Lufaloo" colorway. Zen String is fabulous - gorgeous colors and a terrific yarn base. Wonderful service from Angelina. I highly recommend her yarn!

Next package up for review (photo on the right, well sort of) - a great new item (Sounds like "The Price is Right" - doesn't it)! The first installment of Chewy Spaghetti's Sock Yarn Club - a wonderful skein of "Frivolous" in Sport Weight (my favorite sock weight as of now), a great little pin, and fabulous hand-made project bag, just perfect for socks! The bag even matches the yarn - very sassy! This is my first sock club (although I've signed up for the Woolgirl sock club too, which will commence in September. So, I'm very excited. I may even venture into knitting these "Frivolous" socks toe-up (this will be completely new for me).

So all, in all, it seemed a bit like Christmas in August, for all the above mentioned reasons. And we had a great picnic tonight with my brother and his family. See below note about not so great food applies here to this picnic, and most of the food consumed on Saturday's trip. The company was fab on both days though!

P.S. We are not talking about the exercise, because it didn't happen at all this weekend, and we are not even going to talk about the food choices, or lack of willpower in making the food choices! :(
Back on the bandwagon this week!

P.S. #2 Obviously I'm having issues with uploading these pics - not only does it take a long time, but they all end up at the top. Notice I'm not very computer "savvy", or I would be able to figure out how to move them around in the blog, which was my original intent.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Wollmeise on the Way!

I've decided it's pretty hard to keep the complete content of this blog devoted to knitting and the fiber arts (well, I don't spin yet, but there is a spinning wheel in my house), as you can tell by the last entry. It's horrendously hot around here, and last night, I was actually sweating while knitting the Dancing Leaf Shawl. It's a pretty thick Merino yarn, thicker than worsted weight, and in my humble, relative newbie opinion, it's more of a bulky yarn. But it is a real pleasure to knit. You can check out their yarn at One can also buy the yarn at Jen at Woolgirl doesn't carry the exact type of yarn that I'm knitting, but she carries different varieties of their wool, and has a nice selection. She's super nice to shop with!

On to the title of this post - I have four skeins of Wollmeise superwash sock yarn on the way! WOW! I can hardly wait! I ordered a skein from Sheri at The Loopy Ewe (, another one of my favorite on-line yarn stores. I fell in love with this yarn. I haven't knit with it yet, but the colors are just fabulous! I take it out every day and just stare at it! I've heard people complain that it does twist a bit when you knit, but the colors are so fab, that sometimes things like that can be overlooked for the overall good of the project! It's a fabulous 500 + yards (almost 600). For those of you who missed Wollmeise at the Loopy Ewe, I think it's easy to order directly from Claudia at Wollmeise. It's the same cost, even with overseas shipping. Don't get me wrong, I love The Ewe, and I love Sheri, I'm just saying, this yarn is IN DEMAND. It didn't last 3 hours on the Ewe site when it was posted. Amazing! So, if you feel the need to get some before Sheri's next stocking, it's not that hard to do! But in your spare time - please support The Ewe! :)

I'm trying to get my DH to photo my projects to post, but just so you are aware, the pics take about 12 minutes each to download (love me the dial-up connection).

P.S. I did my work-out tonight, with all this heat - 30 minutes - walked 2 miles with Leslie Sandsone. I don't feel like anything is happening yet, but I'm sleeping a bit better! On to laundry and knitting (some smaller project tonight).

Monday, August 6, 2007

Knitting and exercising (not at the same time)

So, not much knitting time this weekend. I did add a few rows to the shawl, the Fiesta socks, and the top-down sweater. As you can see, I'm not always prolific in pumping out the FO's around here. To me, that's ok for some people. I try to enjoy the knitting process for what it is. Of course I enjoy wearing and gifting the FO's. But really, if I just rush through a project, I don't enjoy it nearly as much.

We had family visiting from Virginia, and we love to see them, so we spent some time visiting, playing raquetball, and family games! FUN! Oh, did I mention that we forgot to say that we ate - we always eat. This is becoming a problem as I begin to creep towards 40 - it starts adding weight! The weight doesn't come off as fast as it used to when I was 20. I didn't even think about my weight when I was 20! It's the usual lament. So I have started (maybe if I announce it publicly, or at least to my conscious, because I don't know if people can find this blog yet) to exercise yet again. I want to follow through with it. I definitely do sleep better, and feel better when I do exercise. So, last week was good - got at least 20 minutes of exercise every day, some days 30, some days 50+. It a concious choice, but definitely not an easy one at times.

I wonder if they make small weights in the shape of knitting needles or say measuring tapes? Maybe adding bricks to your finished socks? And use them during your workouts? Would that make us want to exercise more?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Inaugural Post

Well, this is the inaugural post of my knitting blog. I'm still figuring out settings and the like. So, hopefully it will get more exciting. I'm not sure how things will work, since I still live in dial-up land, although not by choice. DSL is coming, or so it is promised.
This blog will mostly be about my knitting/fiber life. So, off we go! I'm hoping to figure out how to do pictures soon! I love pictures of knitting, and reading knitting blogs in general.

Currently on the needles (it's a bit embarrassing to admit how many projects I do at one time, and each of them do get some attention at some point during the week). I'm not monogamous when it comes to my knitting. I have several projects on-the-go, so to speak. So without further ado:

Socks that Rock in the "Pebbles" Colorway - Baby Cable Rib Pattern Sock.
Fiesta Boomerang in the "Quince" Colorway - in a rib patterned sock.
What I call a "Dish-Cloth" Shawl, in some lovely yarn from Dancing Leaf Farm in the "Mermaid" Colorway.
Top-Down knit sweater (for my niece) in Nature Spun's Peruvian Pink.
And lastly, a sweater that I started, but haven't worked much on - a Lion Brand (yes I did say Lion Brand) in their Cotton Ease for my daughter - it's a striped cardi - a free pattern when I purchased the yarn.
Hopefully I can get pictures of each project up on the blog soon.

So my question to you is: Do you have several projects on the needles at once, or are you a monogamous knitter?