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.