Friday, December 31, 2010

Puck's Mischief on me

You remember these socks?

I started them on my way to Oregon last summer. I love Blue Moon Fiber's Socks That Rock yarns (medium weight.) I love how thick and warm they are in the winter time. All my socks made from this yarn go into hibernation during the summer but during the winter they do time and a half. I wanted to have another pair in the rotation so I knit these during the summer. The problem was I did not keep very good notes how I knit up my first few pairs. It was back when I first started making socks and did not know better. I knit them at a very tight gauge (even for me) but I love the tough fabric so much.

Quite clearly I did not reverse engineer as well as I should have. I wore them a few times but could feel my foot slipping in the sock and knew eventually I would get a blister so I decided to reknit the foot on smaller needles.


I still think they could be a bit tighter but I am digging them so much more now. Can you tell winter is back where I live, all my pictures are moving inside with poor lighting? I think it is interesting to see how the colors pool differently at different gauges. The went from being rather blotchy on the foot to smaller swirly stripes. The right one even differs from the left by having wider stripes or bands of color.

This would be my interpretation of an artistic shot. Did I mention that I love knitting and yarn?

I tried to have D pick out a set of mittens for me to make from one of the books he bought me, Mostly Mittens by Charlene Schurch, but he says he wants me concentrating on a sweater instead. Dude, you know I have many projects going at the same time right? I have three different socks on the needles now, one of them is for you! His reply "I think you should focus on my sweater, I really want another sweater." What is a knitter to do? I kept on knitting like I usually do and joined in the second ball of yarn on his sweater, today. It is nice to have my work appreciated.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Apparently, I will be without thought in the coming year. I started a new sweater for D, a lovely British Racing Green sweater out of Cascade 220. This yarn feels good to me. It is nice every once in a while to use another weight of yarn. I have three different socks on the needles (one I have not picked up in weeks) and the shawl I just finished was a sport weight wool. So this light worsted weight feels substantial in my hands now.

I like making sweaters now. When I started knitting I had no wish or desire to ever make a sweater. I can not remember if I thought it was too complicated or boring or what. Wait that is not totally true I did think once or twice wouldn't it be cool if I could knit a whole Norwegian sweater? I went to a college that had many Norwegian students. They all seemed to wear a certain type of sweater, usually as a combined coat/shirt. I asked a Norwegian student if they could bring one home for me to buy. That is when I found out they went for over $200. Now that was 10% of a semester's tuition for me. (Yeah, now you know I went to a state school.) Way too expensive for a midwestern college student. So I gave up on my beautiful sweater dream.

Until I started to knit. Then I found out about Dale of Norway. I still have not seen the kits for the sweaters but know that they exist. I plan to knit one, one day. I do think that if I ever ran into a kit in my daily knitting life I would have to have it. I think D would even understand. Of course he is quite understanding of my knitting to begin with.

So in preparation of eventually attaining my dream sweater I knit these. My beautiful mittens that I learned so much with. The left fits tighter than the right, same needles same yarn, different knitter tension. That would be very bad in a sweater, don't you think? I did use these mittens while shoveling out part of the driveway on Monday. First time in years that my hands were not cold the entire time I was out there.

Where was I before my ramble? Oh yeah, D will be soon getting a new sweater from me. I just could not resist. I need to take my short-of-yarn blue sweater to the yarn shop to choose a complementary color to finish it with. It is a silvery-blue color should I look for a bluey-silver color or something not even in the blue family? Now you see why I am having so much of an issue with finishing this one. I am leaning toward something out side of the blue family. What I will go in and they will no longer be carrying that type of yarn. I just need to make a decision and go with it whole heartedly.

Well y'all Happy Knitting!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ahh Christmas

We had a nice relaxed one here and I still managed to get a bit of a migraine. So more rest and relaxation are on my schedule. We are expecting snow here so who knows what the day will bring.

I did finish my grey alpaca shawl and will be enjoying it soon. Now I am facing a common knitter's dilemma. What to work on now? Do I finally suck it up and find a way to finish the blue sweater so I can finally start another sweater for D without guilt or do I just jump into the lovely green woolliness that will be D's next sweater without thought? So how should I start the new year without guilt or without thought....wait that does not quite sound right.

My library is experiencing its normal post Christmas growth. I love getting books for Christmas. I rarely can decide to buy on my own but for others to buy for me is awesome. I now have Knitter's Book of Yarn to go with my copy of Knitters Book of Wool. I had held off on getting that one but after I checked it out of the library for the 5th time I added it to my amazon wish list. I received two sock knitting books and a mitten book.

I also received a bread book that will probably make D just as happy as me. Hey Kisknit they have a recipe for bialys, you interested? (See comments from post 'Don't Blink) I will be able to try out my new Danish dough whisk and my new dough scraper. I do so love the feel of bread dough in my hands, it makes me feel like I accomplished something with my day, I made bread I can sleep tonight! Yes, I know I am weird, thanks.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking was added to my library by my Mom, Thanks Mom! D is not as happy about that one but I'm sure he will see the light after one of the meals. He is not a big fancy food guy but does not realize that it has basic food too. Although I don't think the aspic chapter will see any use. Aspic is a savory jelly, often made with meat stock, used as a garnish, or to contain pieces of food such as meat, seafood, or eggs, set in a mold; according to my computer's dictionary. I think of it as jello with non marshmallow or fruit items in it, or 'just plain wrong'. Some of us are not adventurous when it comes to eating.

I leave you with the view from my lap on Christmas eve. My now finished shawl is in the foreground, the back of Jack's head is just beyond, and finally my tree.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ferret Godmother

Yep you read that right, I am acting as a ferret Godmother this week. 

This was day one. Do you know how fast ferrets can move? Pretty darn fast, all my other pictures feature a blurry ferret.

I got smarter on day two and took this photo while she was still feeling sleepy. Gus and Jack are totally not interested in her. Gus is acting just a bit like he is afraid of loosing a bit of Daddy's love. He is snuggling just a bit closer at night and looking for a more reassurance during the day. Don't worry he is getting the extra attention he is asking for.

We are keeping ferret Mommy and Daddy updated via facebook. I know I always like to know my kids are doing OK when I am not with them.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day off?

So I decided last week that I wanted a day off. A day that I could maybe keep Christmas from sneaking up on me. I always make big plans when what I really want to do is just sit home and knit. But when I sit home and knit it does not really make the day special and I did so want to have a special day, even if it was only a little bit special.

Hubby asked me to come have lunch with him so I said yes. It was nice to see some of his coworkers again.  I thanked his formerly Russian coworker for my Russian yarn. She did tell him that the store in Russia tried to talk her into a couple of other types of yarn. She held firm and told them it had to be Russian yarn. Who knows I assume it is probably a blend of wools some Russian, some not. Anyway I am happy.

I used google translator to write a sentence in Russian saying thank you and I love the yarn. Hey did you know that in Russian they have two different words for love one is toward an object and the other is towards a person. I know this because I used the wrong one. So a thought crossed my mind the other day what if I learned to read a foreign language like Russian? Not so much to speak it but to be able to read it. Since I am a visual learner not an audio learner maybe that would be better for me. I found a couple of books at the library so I will be giving it a try.

From there I stopped by the library. You know how I love the library. A trip there always makes my day special. I borrowed The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd. I would like to make some mittens from one of my many skeins of sock yarn but many of the patterns I found were for thicker yarn. Now I just need to decide with yarn sacrifices its sock status for mitten status.

I also learned that the wine store is a hot happening place the Tuesday before Christmas. The lady in front of me bought $300 worth of wine. You think that maybe that is just a normal Tuesday for her? I bet her liver hopes not.

My bread machine decided not to work today so I mixed it in my Kitchen Aid instead. The loaf looks fine. It is even a bit on the crispy side the way D likes it. Potato bread called out to me. Maybe this long weekend I will even make the no knead bread finally. What do you mean you have heard that story before?

I meant to take pictures of some finished objects but the light fades so quickly now. Seems like I am not alone in photography procrastination, as I am reading about it on several of the blogs I read. The lack of light will get you every time. I should have taken them with me and taken random pictures during my errands but I did not want too special of a day that included being questioned by store security.

My boys even got in a bit of cuddle time, which makes my day very special.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Don't Blink!

I think Christmas is out to get me. Every time I turn around it is sneaking up on me. Come on Christmas, just because I said I don't like your music does not mean we can not be friends.

I bought you a new tree and some new twinkle lights. I know how you like twinkle lights. What do you mean I'm the one that likes twinkle lights and I should know you better than that? 

Keep it up Christmas and I will let the cat at you! You see what he can do to you he can mess you up!
(This is what happens when you're lying on the floor trying to take pictures of the tree, Jack thinks it is rub head on camera time.)

No really I'm OK here, I just got to thinking and started to make myself laugh, so I thought it might make you laugh too. I love Christmas but it is sneaking up on me. I just finished my online shopping for gifts that must be shipped to other states. We have already had my company Christmas party. I think I know what I am making for Christmas dinner. I may even have half of it here in the house. So not that much more to do, and tomorrow is bagel day at work. I like bagels!

Oh memory attack, when I was a kid living in rural South Dakota we somehow got a coupon for Lender's Bagels. I had no idea what a bagel was, my mother tried to describe it to me. You ever try to describe a bagel to someone that has no clue? It is difficult. It is like bread but not bread, it is shaped like a doughnut but does not taste like a doughnut at all. It is chewy, no not a chewy doughnut!

So she promised me we would use the coupon to get some to try. Alas the store in our tiny little town did not have any. It was years later that I finally got to try a bagel. Happy bagel day (tomorrow.)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Progressing slowly

Our Christmas tree is up and has lights but the ornaments are still stored away. I have bought presents for about half of the people that I need to, but I think I know what I am giving to the other half. Gus is sitting next to me washing himself. I know that last sentence does not fit but it is true.

I am running on a low tank still. Illness has not really hurt us but it is definitely making me run slower and want to do less. Unless you talk about knitting, I still want to do that!

It has been cloudy and cold here so I have not been able to take pictures of finished knitting. I still have to show you my reworked Puck's Mischief socks. I also finished a pair of light weight Socks That Rock socks in a colorway called Briar Rose (greens, rose, and a touch of lavender.) I did start a new pair for D from the Ink colored yarn from Fiber Optic, I bought at Rhinebeck.

I attempted to knit a cowl called Spiraluscious by Anne Hanson, but I finished the first body repeat and there was no spiral. There was a bit of a zig and I thought I saw a zag but no smooth spiral. So off to the frogging pond with that one. I think I may have skipped a plain knit round between one of the charted lace rounds, or I may never know what I did. I just hope when I restart it I will not do the same thing without recognizing it.

We had my company Christmas party on Friday and we do secret santa. I received an envelope, I turned to my husband and said "This does not look like yarn." But when I opened a gift card to a local yarn shop I had to turn back and say "This does look like yarn." I wonder what I will get? I do know that they have pony needles that I like for weaving in ends. I may pick up another one of those.

My grey alpaca shawl is progressing this weekend since I did pick up and knit on it. It is amazing how much knitting you get done if you don't just leave the bag sitting there. I did take it with me to the Christmas party location because we were staying over night and they had a foot of snow out there with more rumored to be on the way. So I took a couple of things in case we had to stay. I made D take a couple of books too. D and his family were once caught by a springtime SD snow storm. They made it to a town and got the last hotel room, but they were caught for a couple of days. The only book with them was D's copy of The Mouse and The Motorcycle. Rumor has it that they all read the book multiple times because they were so bored. So I tend to travel a bit heavier with my knitting and books because of that story.

Well I am off to knit some more, happy knitting.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Reworking it

I make socks,  a lot of socks. Sometimes they fit great and sometimes they need a touch more love. The purple pair pictured below needed a touch more love.

Can you see the sock below the lower sock? That one fits my foot. The purple short sheeted socks did not. They are made from Colinette Jitterbug yarn, and while it is lovely yarn I made my leg portion too long to make a decent foot portion. 

I saw this coming somehow while knitting but did not want to rip it all out and thought how short can it be? Turns out short enough to matter. I had set aside the first sock as the thought that I may not have enough yarn hit me. I started working the second sock from the outside of the yarn ball and worked them both down to an amount of yarn that I thought I would need for the toes. 

I think I came up at least an inch short. I denied that it would be a problem and proceeded to wear them quite a few times. The issue was my foot needed a set amount of space and would pull the back of the sock down into my shoe to get that amount of space. Many days there is no denying the laws of physics, I foot needs a space and that space does not change with the size of the sock you make. 

So the socks got kicked out of rotation because they were uncomfortable and I did not want to cause undue wear on them. They sat and sat......

Till one day I realized I have a great pair of socks that I could be wearing, and I had yarn that would work with them, sort of. So I ripped back the toe and knit to the length I needed and joined in yarn when I needed it and voila. New old socks.

I feel sort of secret squirrel about them because they look normal in a pair of shoes till you take them out for a spin, then special toes.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Ya hear that? If you were at my house it would have been the sound of yarn flying past your ear. Hubby decided to clean up and organize our office and apparently that means yarn consolidation.

I have a half wall in the living room that is currently trying to become a full wall through the creative use of yarn. It is sort of a yarn doggie pile on the wall. When some of the ladies were here for knitting they asked if I was starting my own yarn shop. Here I will show you the yarn.

Yeah that is just the sock yarn. I think it may even be more than 20 pairs of socks too, thus breaking my self imposed no more than 20 pairs rule. What it was a stupid rule anyways. I mean honestly who would limit themselves to 20 pairs when there is all that color out there in the world. Of course you cannot really see it here but trust me it is gorgeous. 

And really at least one of those skeins will be a cowl and one is going to be a pair of socks for Mom, oh and lets see there is probably a pair of fingerless mitts in there too. So really it is not much yarn. 

What you're not buying my story? Good because I am not selling, my story or my yarn. I do have a skein or two from my first Rhinebeck visit and from my second visit but I think most of it is recent holiday and festival acquisitions. 

I did finish a sock today but am sad to say it is the first of a pair and can not be added to the rotation without its partner. Although I must admit that I had D pick out a skein for his next pair of socks. He chose the Fiber Optic yarn in "Ink." A beautiful dark blue and blackish colorway. Now I just need to dig out one of my needles that is hiding under the couch. I heard it hit the floor but can not see it.

Oh, I knit in the theater while watching the newest Harry Potter this weekend. I was able to catch a dropped stitch in the darkness but ended up having to ladder down to fix it when I got home. I had picked up the dropped stitch and the one below it, together. 

So now my yarn is consolidated in the living room but I caught D eyeing that space as well. I think he is going a bit stir crazy with our somewhat forced confinement. Our illness is progressing as with any viral thing much slower than we would like. 

I did take the opportunity to bag together some yarn for two sweaters I will be making this winter. It feels weird to have my yarn corralled in plastic. What will Gus bring me in the middle of the night? Poor Gus

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I am a bit under the weather. Don't worry though I am under the watchful gaze of Dr Gus and Dr Jack, aka my kitties. You're right it is not their gaze so much as their actual bodies. Gus supervised a few naps with me and Jack has commandeered my couch time.

As it seems to be a stomach bug Thanksgiving was undertaken cautiously with us. I think when we feel better we may have a couple of turkey weekends here, since turkey was what I craved.

Luckily I had made a trip to the library the day before I got ill so I have been watching Dr Who season 4 and The Closer season 5. I also started a new book by Elizabeth Peters "A Crocodile on the Sandbank." So far I like the two main characters. Which is good since I finished "1st to Die" and decided that I did not like it. It had way too much repetition for me. I ended up fast forwarding a few times. I told D to never let me read that author again as he is simply not my cup of tea. Now I need to find another book for my drive time. I looked while at the library but it is so hard to choose without knowing what I am looking for.

Drive time books can not be sad because I am a cryer and I don't want to have to pull the car over till it is safe for me to drive again. They can not be too complicated as I will be listening in 15 minute increments and it takes me a minute or so to remember what is going on in the story some days. I did listen to "The Count of Monte Cristo" but only after I had read it first and knew many of the characters and plot lines. Some accents and ways of reading may be difficult for me to hear also. I once had to stop a book because the recording was very soft till something dramatic happened then it almost blew me out of the car.

The other difficult thing with getting books from the library is that they seem to start buying when an author gets popular and that may be 3 or 6 books in. Usually I am not able to read that many books before starting an audio book.

Oh I am reknitting these socks since as you can see they need about an inch taken out of them. I've got one done and am working on the toe of the other. They seem to fit better and the yarn is striping instead of pooling. I ripped them back to the heel flap and restarted with 2.25mm needles. The tops will still be loose but it will not bother me, I really only care if the foot does not fit. Soon I will have some new/old socks again.

So that is where I am now convalescing on the couch with lots of yarn and supervised by the cats. It feels good to be loved and to love!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I have Russian Yarn!

D's coworker went to Russia and now I have Russian yarn! I debated about asking for it. She has benefited from my knitting and seems to truly like it. I thought it might be asking too much. Many people do not appreciate wool like knitters do. Although I would think that Russians would be able to appreciate the insulating properties of wool.

Yes, I am excited. My yarn is 100% wool yarn, and a color I like too (a rusty red.) So I will be looking on Ravelry for a hat pattern. It seems to me like it wants to be a hat. Ooo what about Knotty from Knitty. I bet D would look really good in it. I will post pictures when it is light enough for me to get a decent picture.

I frogged the shawl this weekend. I came up with non matching numbers so I decided to pull it all out and get it right. In theory I will be counting every few rows so I will be able to tell when I make a mistake.

I started another sock but am lacking photographic evidence also due to lighting issues. It is that time of year that I forget to take pictures till the sun has set. Anyways I started another plain knit sock for me. I am using some springy colored Socks that Rock yarn. It is quite girly. Green, rose, and a touch of lavender. I kept thinking that I should save it for February or March when winter is in full swing and has been for a bit. It was calling to me, so I cast on and have been happily knitting along.

Since it is a nice simple knit it has been promoted to my purse knitting. It gets worked on when I am waiting and at lunchtime. So I am a happy knitter.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New socks for us

I finished second socks for a pair for each of us. So we both wore new socks to D's birthday dinner. That is not totally true, I wore mine.

Zauberball Socks

Socks that Rock "Chestnutty" socks

D wore his Chestnutty socks from Portland. His new Spinning Bunny socks had an adventure earlier in the morning and were resting. I had sprayed a spot on the carpet with carpet cleaner and his comment ten minutes later was, "Why is the floor wet? Oh yeah you sprayed cleaner there". Poor dude did not know why I tackled him and ripped off his socks. I ran to the sink to rinse them and could see a soapy area. This yarn dyed my fingers and needles while I knit with it, so I was really worried about what something I had applied to remove a stain, would do to it.

Spinning Bunny "Bark" Sock
Some dye did rinse out when I gave them the initial dip in the bathroom sink. I ran some water in the kitchen sink but they did not seem to be bleeding dramatically. I added a touch of vinegar to rinse one and two. I think they will be fine. But I bet D was really happy I did not ask him to wear wet birthday socks out to dinner in November, in New York. That is a bit too much to ask of the person you love. 

My alpaca shawl is torturing me. I got close to the start of the lace portion and decided to do stitch count so I could be sure to place a life line. I came up with two more stitches on one side than the other. So I unknit a row and still had the same problem. I put it in time out and came back to count a couple of nights later and still had the same issue. I frogged back several rows and unknit two more rows and still had the same problem. So it went back into timeout for the night. The next night I recounted, hoping it was just a counting error on my part. Nope. I toyed with the idea of frogging it and starting over but I have knitting group this weekend and want to have something to show off. So I did a knit 2 together near the start and end of that portion. I don't regret it at all. Perfection is nice but a couple of K2tog in dark grey yarn on garter stitch will not ruin my day today.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What am I reading?

No, it is not a judgement question just thought you might like to know which books are strewn across the house/my life.

In the car I am listening to 1st to die by James Patterson. It is going OK. This is the first mystery I've read by him. I am a bit creeped out by the thought of a serial killer of newly wed couples. It is a bit different to know who the killer is from the beginning. I am  a "try to figure it out" person so I'm feeling a tad adrift without something to figure out. So I'll let you know how I liked it.

D's influence book: Hands of my Father: A Hearing Boy, His Deaf Parents, and the Language of Love by Myron Uhlberg. It is a memoir, set in the 30's and 40's so far. The son acts as their interpreter from a very young age. He talks of how difficult it is to be treated as an adult one moment then be a kid again the next. I think confusing would be an understatement. I have a tough time with memoirs. I am always afraid that something really bad is going to happen. I don't know why I make the association, maybe because it is not just a book?

In the special reading room aka the toilet. What I read in the bathroom, I like to use my time efficiently, Agatha Christie's After the Funeral. Now this one is a whodunit. No, I don't know who it is yet and I am more than halfway. Yes, I am a little disappointed in myself. Heaven forbid I loose my special talent. How would I be able to annoy D, if I could not call the ending?

By the bed: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling. We were discussing this series the other night and I remember the ending but not that much else. I think I wanted to know how it would all play out so bad that I was supersonic speed reading. So far it is putting me to sleep after a couple of pages. Which is what I want sort of. At this rate it will take me quite a while to reread it. Ah there are worse things in life, like way too expensive yarn that you want.

There is also a romance novel by the bed but I must be really tired lately, because that did not grab my attention either. I put it down to read Harry Potter.

Has anyone read Anne of Green Gables? I ran across the PBS airing of the mini series and fell in love. Now I want to read the books. It reminded me of the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I loved those books so much.

I don't even have any books at work for lunch time reading. I guess I am too busy knitting instead?

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I started this sweater for D last March. I questioned my sanity at that time too. I knit happily on it for about a month or so. You know till the weather warmed up enough that a lump of wool on your lap no longer feels warm and comfortable but hot and sticky instead. I also started to suspect that I may not have bought enough wool.

So I did what any good knitter does in this situation, I put it in a bag and sent it to project purgatory. Now I feel the need to point out that a great knitter would have hauled herself to the store and bought more yarn if they had it. But that is what separates the knitters from the Knitters. It is not like I shoved a sheep in the bag with it so it could grow more yarn. Nope I waited seven months so I could be sure that they sold out of the yarn. Come to think of it, I bought all the skeins they had. I went hoping that maybe they had purchased more in the same colorway. Nada.

So what do I do now? Do I turn it into a sweater for me instead? I think I have shorter arms. Do I take out a bit on the bottom of the body and make it shorter, but the sleeves longer? Do I go online and learn how to see if anyone else has a left over skein? Do I put it back into purgatory till it learns to behave?

Yeah, I don't have an answer for it either.

Oh and I am trying to get into the witness protection program too. Not because I witnessed anything but because I have burned my finger tip again in about the same spot as last year. I think I am subconsciously trying to burn off my finger prints.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Chugging right along

So a battle is raging within me, well raging might not be the right word, but I am mulling over something. I finished my STR "Puck's Mischief" socks on the way to Oregon in July. I used slightly larger needles than I usually do and loved the way the socks striped instead of pooled. OK the colors pooled on the foot but that is OK too. I wore them with pride in Oregon, their home state since they were dyed there. But even as I wore them I knew something was wrong. 

Do you see it with the left hand sock? They are just a tad too big. Now I can deal with that in the leg, it does not bother me there. But in the foot? I feel like I am walking in a woolly slip and slide. I tried to talk to myself and say it is not so bad but I am coming to the sad realization that I will need to rework the foot on both. It really does not matter color wise since they were already pooling. So that is one thing that gets moved from the finished pile back into rotation. But somewhere in my mind I am not too thrilled with the idea. It is almost like I think I have gotten all the fun out of this yarn already.

I am working along in my other knitting. I currently have three socks and a shawl on the needles. Oh and a sweater for D that is in time out due to a potential yarn shortage. I have concluded I will need more yarn to finish it. Now I just have to make a trip to the yarn store, poor me.

I am halfway done with the second sock of this pair for D. I bought this yarn at the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival (SAFF) in September and cast on before Rhinebeck so I would not feel guilty about buying more yarn. I think this will bump D up to a full week's (7) worth of hand knit socks. 

I'm working on the second sock of this pair for me too. It is funny because I think both socks are in the same area (heel flap). This yarn I picked up in Oregon at Twisted. I cast these on so I would not feel guilty buying more yarn at the SAFF. Do you see a pattern? I guess I don't want to feel that my yarn stash is growing out of control. If I am working on yarn from each acquisition, I'm not just buying to be buying I am using as I go.

I am past the heel on the first sock of this pair. It always takes me longer to knit a patterned sock than just a plain one that I don't have to pay attention to. I can watch a TV show and go merrily round and round on a plain sock. I like to keep a patterned one in the mix to make things interesting and justify buying books with sock patterns in them.

This shawl is finished but is too small for me so I am going to gift it to someone at Christmas time. I have started the same pattern in a slightly larger yarn for me. One issue I have is that the yarn is a plain grey color. This pattern is nice and basic so it shows off the colors well. I worry that it might come out looking too plain in just the grey color. I guess I will let the knitting group weigh in on that in a couple of weeks. 

So that is my knitting work load now. I knit like I read books many at a time. Not the exact same time but they are scattered through the house and one even stays at work for lunch time reading. I guess I like to keep my mind active. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

How the Internet saved me today

OK that sounds way more dramatic than it is. I had a Halloween party to go to today, in costume with a Halloween themed food item.

Now I think of myself as crafty not artistic. I know that some of my crafty stuff leans towards artistic but I see the world through literal glasses. I don't really make stuff up on the fly. I can follow directions, patterns and recipes. I can even improvise within guidelines, but I don't really have the original light bulb, aha moment. Artistic is just not me.

So I started searching through costumes and food recipes. For the costume I wanted something easy, cleaver and inexpensive. Thanks to a great idea on Ravelry I decided to go with Nudist on Strike/Protest. Regular clothes with signs. I did remember and episode of "Kingdom" with nudists that had their beach threatened, they remained nude but wore joke aprons that showed fake semi nude bodies. So I had to add my own risky semi nude apron I received as a joke bachelorette gift. I thought up some slogans "It's not rude to be nude".

I found a recipe for stuffed shell "eyeballs". I liked the idea of having something that is not a cupcake. Now don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with cupcakes. I just wanted something savory instead of sweet. My dish won the food contest.

Thank you internet for planning my Halloween for me.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Book Troubles

I was driving home tonight thinking about my current book on CD playing in the car, Life with Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse. It was written in the 20's by a Brit and is held up as true British humor. I can not wait for it to be done. It is not like it did not have its moments but if I have to hear about one more whiney useless relative I may cry.

I knew I was in trouble when I considered quitting on the 4th CD. I talked myself out of it because there were only two more CDs to go. For some reason I hate leaving a book unfinished. I have finally learned to do it but it still takes and act of congress. (I have to really hate it in order to quit reading.)

I cannot stand useless, sponging, air headed, self absorbed characters. I wanted to smack the cousins in the book quite a few times. I'm sure it was written to make you dislike them, but I think I went a bit to the personal side.

The ironic thing is, I have two other books on CD riding around in the car with me. It is not like I don't have anything else to listen to. My personality even makes me go Hmmm.

I hear-by promise myself: if the next book I start to listen to is not satisfactory I may ditch it early. You all are my witnesses.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


New York Sheep and Wool Festival is held in lovely Rhinebeck NY. I flew solo this year. It is nice to not have to worry about other people's schedules and if they are judging you for stopping at both rest stops on the way to Rhinebeck. (What I have a small bladder) But it is a bit more lonely too. 

I decided to try going on Sunday this year instead of Saturday. Saturday is such a mad house, long lines for everything and the crowd is overwhelming. I had heard Sunday is less crowded and the book signing is that day too. Sadly the Yarn Harlot was unable to attend this year. I took my book just in case she was there. 

I have not made up my mind which is better. I guess both are better for different reasons. Saturday: more excitement, lots to see, better selection. Sunday: less people, other people's blogs to point you in the right direction. 

Our Tom Tom GPS almost got chucked out the window on the way down there! It kept trying to get me off the interstate to take me down back roads. No Thank You. We did that one year and I did not like it. My second issue occurred when it tried to make me take the 4th exit on a roundabout? That would be back the way I came? Just goes to show that you should always check the route before taking it. No I was not foolish enough to blindly follow it. I instead blindly followed my own stubbornness and tried to find it myself, after I verified it was trying to make me backtrack. Finally I got frustrated and pulled over and rebooted it. Worked like a charm, when I was 5 minutes from the fairgrounds. I should have just followed the yarn scent.

This shawl was absolutely gorgeous! If I remember correctly it was one of a set that someone designed for a friends' wedding. Custom colorway and pattern. I would love to see the pictures from that wedding.   I wonder if the bride wore white or had a dress color similar to the shawl. I can see it draped over a white dress to pop the color. Just fantastic!

Other shawls and wraps. Also beautiful. Can you tell I am itching to make another shawl or eight? I think my phase will start with some triangle ones first. I have some great alpaca calling my name, how have I been able to resist this long?

Yes that is a team of llamas (I think, can't see the ears) hitched to pull a buggy. There were three of them across. How cool of a ride is that? Talk about driving while impaired though, all those fiber fumes wafting back to you.

And we can not forget the other lovelies that grow us mine all mine our yarn. Sunday was pretty warm so the were panting up a storm.

I wanted to get a picture of how the kid was behind pushing the sheep but I missed it. 

There was some shearing going on in that tent.

See now quite as crowded as on a Saturday. But you could tell people were running lower. Yarn fumes had run their course and reality was just a step closer than the day before.

I had looked at my projects listed on Ravelry to see if I needed a color shake up. Turns out even though I like blue and green a lot, I tend to buy more reds. I think I see more shade differences in the red color family. It is not just red, it's magenta, burgundy, rose and scarlet. Blue is just blue to me. I know I've picked up yarn and said to myself no you already have blue socks. I'm only allowed one pair of blue socks? Come on! So this year I gave myself the ok to buy other colors besides reds.

You think I may have swung the complete opposite direction?

Fiber Optic yarn is new to me. They had great colors. I picked up one blue then the other blue and tried to decide between them, then I decided I did not need to, Hubby and I both like blue and both wear socks. Win - win. The green is a 10% cashmere blend, it feels so good. Who knew even 10% would change the feel so much. I'm trying to decide if I want my first cashmere socks or a lush cowl.

Shelridge Farm pulled me into my first purchase with them. I don't know if it is intended to be sock yarn but I know I intend for them to be socks. Don't worry there are two of each color, I just did not shlep them all out to be photographed.

The big news this year was that The Sanguine Gryphon got a late invite to come. I saw the booth early on but also saw the line. I decided to come back when I could get into the booth. I think I may have snagged the last skein of Bugga there. Who knows? It is called Blue Duke but I don't see it. I do love the color no matter what it is named. My dirty little secret is I almost put this back. Crazy I know. See it is also a cashmere blend, in a green, and just a bit more spendy. Then I thought "You're going to regret it". I would have too. The whole ride back home would have been a self cussing out session. I really do like it a lot. I am leaning towards a cowl with this one too. I think I want the cashmere near my face not my feet. But I am going to marinate on it for a bit before I cast on. You don't want to rush into these things.

Yay for me.

Oh and for the record, I did stop by the booth where the Socks that Rock yarn is sold, they still had some left but it was either in a colorway I already have or not to my particular color love. But if I had my heart set on some I could have bought it.

So the moral of my story is... it is ok to try a different day just don't have your heart set on anything because it may already be on its way home, but not your home.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Fun Day (Hubby Version)

This is Rhinebeck weekend and originally I planned to take a class at the festival but I could not decide so I kept the time off and decided to have a Happy Fun Day with the Hubby instead. We started off with our tea and scones in the am. Hey if it is good enough to start a weekend it is good enough to start a fun day too.

Then a factory tour of the Serotta bike factory in Saratoga Springs. They build custom bikes. Hubby knows how I love factories and he really loves bikes so it was a great fit. It was amazing that they could contain so much in a small space.

One of the frames
Finished bike frames

Various forks

D and Ford tri bike
They manufacture everything. Not all at this location. But they like having control over all aspects. If I remember correctly their allowable tolerances were with in a tenth of a mm. Don't quote me on that but it was impressive. Hubby wants one really badly but we are talking about a bike that goes for the price of a car. But he can dream all he wants.

Then he took me to one of my favorite places for lunch. Panera Bread. What can I say the boy knows how to romance me.

Next on the happy fun list was a movie. I feel so daring going to the movies in the middle of the day. We saw the new Bruce Willis movie, Red. We even went to the fancy theater, and got popcorn! I had to switch out the sock in my purse so I would have something to knit on in the movie. I knit on D's sock since his foot is longer and seems to take me forever. I have no idea what the lady next to me thought of my knitting but I know she was happy to see Ernest Borgnine. I really enjoyed the movie too. A bit of Ocean's Eleven without all the flashbacks. The cast was great. I do love a good ensemble cast, and this one worked very well together. 

We spent some time in the bookstore and I got a new/old bread book. Beard on Bread, it came out in the '70s and many people still think of it as a great reference. Some books can stand the test of time and apparently this may be one of them. I wanted a good basic book and this one came in at my price range too. All the kinks should be worked out of it by now, right?

The comfort of home called to us so we picked up a take and bake pizza from the store and happily finished it in each other's company. 

It was a great day and we need to make more time to have special days.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival

I went to the festival a couple of weeks ago and realized I never showed off my fun. We had knitting group that day too so I was a bit pressed for time. I think it was larger this year but definitely still smaller than Rhinebeck (NY Sheep and Wool). 

This trip took the edge off but I still am looking forward to Rhinebeck. What can I say I like yarn! Yes I know I just bought yarn in Portland too, but I already have one skein used up for D socks and another sock on the needles. We will not count what is left, I'm just trying to make the point that I am using it and not just squirreling it away.

So my game plan was to do a quick survey of what the festival held then make a second purchasing circuit. It is easy to fall in love and then go two booths down and fall even more in love with something else. I did notice that sock yarn seemed to go up in price just a bit. Most skeins I saw ran for $22. 

I did take time for the sheep shearing demo, to clear my head before beginning the purchasing round.

Setting up the sheep for shearing

Starting off with the old machine, hand crank

Naked sheep rump!

I have many memories of the shaved fleece sitting on the plywood at home when I was a kid. I also have some not as fond memories of packing the wool down into big burlap bag like stomping grapes in a big old barrel. It was dark, hot and flea containing, but I never lost my love of wool.

Bit of wool
He handed out a bit of wool and talked about what we were seeing, crimp and staple length. I thought he was very informative. He did say this was not a full year's worth of growth for this sheep. Made me giggle to look down at a piece of wool in my hand and see a bit of poo on it. Ah homey!


You need to back up! llama
Yep, I was smart enough to do what that look said to do. I was raised around horses so ears are mood meters. I'm not sure if it is true for llamas but I do know that llamas spit, and that is not something I do not want to be covered in.

Festival action
I'm so bad about taking pictures but I forced myself to take a few. It always feels awkward. Where else should I feel less awkward? How may knitterly bloggers were taking pictures too?

Fleece for sale 
Lanolin goodness
I touched this fleece and it was rich in lanolin. Is it wrong that I wanted to buy it just so I could put my dry cracked hands into it in the middle of winter to be softened? Yeah I thought so too but it just feels so good.

Wheels but no action

My lovely stash enhancements. Four sock yarns, top left brown for D from Spinning Bunny, 2 on the left from Liberty Fibers, bottom from Decadent Fibers. The green sport weight alpaca yarn is from Times Remembered, I still have not used the grey yarn I bought last year, but this color called to me. I can see it in the Multnomah shawl, or another one. The brown and pink skeins are from St Mary's on the Hill. Beautiful charity yarn. I am thinking mittens or a lovely cowl?

Welcome to the stash my lovelies
The color is more true in this photo. OK I will admit to casting on the brown sock yarn for D's socks, partially to alleviate the guilt that more yarn will bring from Rhinebeck. Why do I think I need to justify it by using it?

I did make it to knitting group, almost on time. I can honestly say I'm not the only person to pet my yarns that day.