Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A sock and a couple of starts

D has a new sock, unfortunately its partner is still on the needles. I can tell you I am digging the non-smoothness of the yarn. It feels so rustic.

I pulled out some seriously pink yarn from Ellen's 1/2 pint farm that I bought at Rhinebeck and started Spring forward from Knitty.

So my sock adventures continue......

Monday, May 30, 2011

I have decided

Redneck fries are great! Thick crispy fries covered in pulled pork and melted cheddar cheese. If loving this is wrong I don't want to be right.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Riding the wave of indecision

You remember this sock? It has been sitting in time out because I was trying to figure out if close enough really was close enough. I've knit it twice now from both ends of the yarn to just after the heel and the start of the gusset.

The first one I knit on 2.5 mm needles which are bigger than my standard sock needle, 2.25mm, but the yarn is bigger than my standard fingering weight yarn too. I had the thought after the heel that it looked a bit tight for me. I tried to get it on but it would not even go over my heel. So I put it aside and started with slightly larger needles from the other end of the yarn. So I could compare, see if there was any noticeable difference.

This worked for a time. I got to the same place and tried these on. I could get them over the heel, just barely. I debated keeping or frogging. Well that debate became rather muted when i stuffed them in a bag and forgot about them. Well not really they mocked me every time I went to my project page on Ravelry. 'Why would you finish those socks? I'm still waiting here.'

Well last week I took them out and apologized and frogged the heck out of that first sock. I know now that neither one will work. So I am planning to try knitting with 3mm needles then switch to smaller needles for the foot. So maybe it will work this time, I just love the look of this pattern so much that I am unwilling to give it up.

I'll keep you all informed, when I decide to work on this one again.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Knitting Companions

I don't know who was more thrilled the I learned to knit, me or my companions. The funny thing is that the usually choose the same side of me to sit on. 

Gus is my left hand cat.

And Jack is my right hand cat.

You can make a pretty good mom and yarn sandwich this way. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Tuesday melt down

We have mice! Jack caught one on Sunday and we had the bug guy who it turns out is also our rodent guy come out to put out traps. I choose glue traps vs the poison because I do not trust anything to poison only one animal in the food chain.

Let me wander off into a bit of a side story here. I grew up on a farm. I was surrounded by animals. I watched them mate, get pregnant, give birth, live and die. To say I have first hand experience with the circle of life is an understatement. (Don't ask me how chickens do it I am still confused by that one, it can only be described as a huge fight.)

Today I left for work with a funny noise in my new car. When I pulled over and opened the hood I found bird seed all over the engine and a half made nest. I don't know if the noise was the bird seed rattling or the mice abandoning the car. That put me in a mood today, all day I was despising the mice. How dare they do that to my car!

When I came home today I had three little bodies in the traps. Two of them still struggling. My righteous indignation pored out of me. Finally when I was sobbing in our laundry room I knew I could not let them go any longer. It is much easier to be the cause of a death than to do the deed yourself.

I came inside and scared the dickens out of my husband. Poor guy did a kitty health check because he did not know what had set me off.

Even though I describe myself as a tough farm girl things can still surprise you. Now maybe I need to start watching chick flicks at least one a month to get rid of some of my pent up emotion.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tea Party: The knit version

Have you ever bought a yarn color because of its name? I have. I like things that have a tea theme. I buy towels with tea cups on them. I've done a cross stitch pattern with tea cups several years ago, I wonder where that one is?

Anyways I have bought two colorways named 'Tea Party' from different companies. The first one was a lovely brown from Dream in Color that I used to make this cowl. I think I still have enough to make some socks or fingerless gloves.

The other was bought for the name, sale price and its quirky color. Why would Knit Picks name a pink, tan and brown colorway Tea Party? My guess is that many little girl's toy tea sets are pink plastic and tea is usually brownish.

The price was very nice coming in at $6.50. I thought what the heck even if I don't love them I will have nice inexpensive socks. Yep I have bought enough yarn now that I think of any socks under the $20 mark as inexpensive. Insert some non-knitter saying you know Walmart sells them in packages for around a dollar a pair. Silly non-knitters!

I admit that these made me smile every time I picked them up. I was totally charmed by the pink and brown stripes. They seemed to be just the right mix of girly girl and dirty tomboy.

The yarn flashing over the instep only added to my amusement. And the heels, I've never had heels that turned out like these.

While these may not be my most elegant pair, they sure do tickle me. Stroll softens up quite a bit when you wash it, and I am enjoying wearing these.

Before I bought the yarn I felt a bit silly for getting something based on its name. But I firmly told myself  that a lot of my socks look similar, why not get something that I would not normally choose. I am very happy that I did. So sometimes it is nice to step out of the color coded boxes that make up my world.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fashion police?

You ever have those projects that seem to go on and on? You know the projects that you start in September and finish in May? Meet my purgatory socks.

These are Embossed Leaves Socks by Mona Schmidt. Seemed like every blog I visited had a beautiful picture of these socks. My slightly tweaked version is made from Knit Picks Stroll in Forest Heather.

As we all know I started knitting socks so I could make them to fit my ever so unique feet. I know that no matter how much I love a pattern, I will not be able to wear socks made with 75 or less stitches. My standard sock I usually 80 stitches around. That means that I have to tweak the crap out of patterns at times or know when to walk away from a pattern. In this case I added a pattern repeat, so instead of four vertical columns of the pattern I had an uneven five. I work my heel flap over half of the stitches so this created a weird pattern adjustment to keep two columns centered going down the top of the foot. I centered them and added an even number of stitches on both sides with the plan to create a purl column down both sides of the foot. 

I tried to figure out how to do it in pattern but my brain refused to accept that it was anything more than theoretically possible. It does that sometimes and in this case I think it was right. 

By the toe of the first sock I decided trying to make the pattern's toe work with all the extra stitches was also beyond my wits. I used my tried and true standard toe. I think it is a wedge toe, or not I don't know I just know that it works for me and go with it. 

The primary reason these socks were not knit quicker was their time in knitting purgatory. They were pushed aside for faster, easier, 'I don't need to follow a pattern' knits. A sad but true tale in my knitting world.

OK so I finally finished them and am wearing them proudly for the first time today. I put on shoes this morning and D asks me if I'm really wearing this, together. 

Since when has he been the fashion police? This is the man that wished they made GrAnimals for adults so he could match tiger to tiger in the morning and be out the door. (Transitioning from wearing a uniform in the Navy was very difficult for him.) Now he is questioning me? Dude I am so far behind on fashion that I'm wearing non skinny jeans. (I believe that unless you can be called skinny in your own right you should not wear skinny anything.)

No really he knows we don't allow the fashion police anywhere near us. He knew that my pant leg would keep my secret safe. Unless I lifted it to show off new socks, which you know I did. Sigh I think I am a lost cause.

Oh, look I was outside taking pictures of my new socks and decided to take some pictures without wool in them.

Did you know that bleeding heart flowers thrive when planted near pine trees? Neither did I, although I have not verified my source so I may be wrong.

Look at the new growth on this bush. I do so love the color green!

His Royal Highness Gus decided to take a small constitutional while I was out. He gets out because I know he will listen and come back to me or the house if he is frightened. With Jack all bets are off. Unless you bet he will RUN!

So have you had any run ins with the fashion police lately?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ah television

I watch TV while knitting, I feel so productive to be churning out sock after sock while others just stare at a screen. Today I tried listening to one of my audio books but I've trained myself to fall asleep to spoken words so I promptly felt drowsy when Jack moved in next to me for his nap. I did hit the nap trifecta there, someone talking to me, nice blanket and warm kitty fur. To be honest I am a little amazed that I am awake now.

Anyways back to TV, I am totally frustrated because all the show cancellations came out this week. Seems like many of the ones that I like were on the axed list. The worst cancellation in my opinion being Human Target. I did so love that show. The worst part of churning is that there is no closure. I think they should be forced to do a wrap up show that sends the characters off in to the happy Hollywood sunset.

So in protest (I'm sure the networks will notice) I have started watching old TV shows. No room for cancellation since they have already had their run. I am currently working my way through Murder She Wrote. How did I miss watching this one? Oh right I was too young for murders. It makes me twitch when I hear people say something like I would move from any town like Cabot Cove that had that many murders. Mrs Fletcher traveled a lot so many of the murders did not occur in the town. Of the 50 or so episodes I've watched less than 10 of them have been in town. I know I have weird pet peeves.

I added Magnum PI to my netflix queue also. One thing I have learned so far is that nothing dates a show like computers, cars or glasses. Well at least those are the big three that I notice most. Oh wait airlines date them too, I saw an episode where they were flying PanAm. Oh and you don't see as many story lines that use defection as a plot tool either.

So that is what I am watching I will catch up to you all in a few decades. Any recommendations for time warp TV?

Sunday, May 8, 2011


I have taken up running. Well right now I have taken it up in theory. I figure it is better to walk until my legs no longer cramp then I can take up running.

My goal is a 5K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day. D and Kisknit's husband (Mr 823) ran in it two years ago and last year we were planning on walking it but Mother Nature gave us illness instead. Hubby was tougher than me and went and ran it with both of our timing devices attached to his shoes. So in spirit I crossed the finish line one second before he did. You know I bring that up whenever I can.

Hubby started with the couch to 5K program and it worked for him so I looked into it and decided it may work for me too. The plan is to walk/run at least 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes at time. You warm up then walk for so long and run for a bit then walk for the same time and run for a time, for example walk one minute, run 30 seconds, walk one minute, run 30 seconds. Ya'll following me? Each week the running interval increases while the walking interval decreases, till finally you just run. Sounds pretty doable right?

Since I have not been regularly exercising for a while, I started off with 2 weeks of walking to start, well my legs are not used to that activity so they are forming protest cramps at every workout.  Therefore I have reset my two week walk amount to walk until I no longer have cramping protests. I finished my third week. The cramping is getting better but this week will be a walking week still.

I am a bit frustrated by this but am happy that I did not injure myself. The start of the second week I cramped so bad I limped all but five minutes of my walk, the first five minutes. I have never had a cramp like that. I believe the word I kept saying in my head was WOWEE!

I have been walking the 5K distance on the weekend when I have a chance to recover from it. And do the timed walks twice during the week. Usually before I go to work. Around noon I switch between feeling cranky to feeling a sense of accomplishment. Yay Me!

Now that I know I am sticking to the plan I deserve new shoes, right? There is a running store locally that several people I know use. I guess you do take up running when your friends are runners. I think Mr 823 is plotting world domination and I am just another cog in his Turn-Everyone-in-the-World-into-Runners plan. I will not bow to my evil running overlord! Nope that is not true I have already curtsied in his general direction.

Anyways D and I went to the running store today to get me running shoes, even though I am not yet a runner. They asked me what I wear while measuring my feet. Wait have you seen my feet without wool covering them? Hold on I will take a picture.

I had D come help me gain some perspective for you. The less hairy one is mine. A good 2 inches shorter but just as wide if not more wide than a man.

Turns out I must have inherited my feet from Fred Flintstone, I could peddle a car with these babies! But not without my leg cramping. Do you think that is why I'm cramping, my legs have a hard enough time keeping me balanced on my 2X4 stubs?

Oh back to the store, right. Guess what there is not a huge call to shoe feet shaped like mine. They did not have shoes that would fit me in stock. Honestly once they said my feet were smaller than size 6, I would not expect them to keep those shoes in stock. Turns out one possibility for me having trouble with walking maybe that my foot bends at a different point than the shoe. To get the width I need, I've had to go up in size, which increases the length of the shoe and places my foot to the non-bendy part. Well that is one theory, we have no actual proof yet. It does make sense to me.

As the guy is taking my foot measurements, he's giving me beginners tips. The one we both laughed at? Cotton socks are not recommended, only synthetic or merino wool. Do you have either of those? Yeah Baby I have merino wool socks. You want to see my collection?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


So I finished another pair of socks the other day and am desperately looking to start something new but I keep finding excuses not to. I think I need to do something besides a pair of plain socks, but I never seem to want to work on anything but plain socks. Lets not talk about how many beautiful sock patterns I have. 

I started these socks last September and have one done but can not make myself work on the other. And it is not even for a good reason like the yarn is too splity, or the pattern too complicated, or I don't like the way it is turning out. Nope, I just want to knit round and round without paying attention. I did work on it last night and got two more repeats done. It is amazing how much closer I get to completing an object when I actually knit on it.

I bought this yarn last year at a fiber festival and have only turned two of them into objects the rest is sill in my stash. I feel like hanging my head in shame.

Which I really should do because I don't think I took pictures of what I bought at Rhinebeck last year. How did that happen that is one of the first things that I do when I get home, yarn fondling and pictures. Alas.

Now this sock is in time out because I still don't think it will fit on my foot once I knit it. And I really like the pattern and do not want to admit defeat. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

This poor guy was ripped viciously off the needles when I wanted to knit a plain sock and all the needles were occupied. I really must finish the green sock. I have one repeat and a foot to go. Get the job done!

These two, I don't even know where they are in the house! Maybe they thought I needed a break from the guilt patrol and went to hide till the needles are free?

I don't want to tell you that I am oogling some yarn that has not even been in the stash for a year while leaving the well marinated yarn in there, I don't want to tell you but it is true. I even wound it into a readily knitable form. I am a weak willed yarn loving woman! Good thing I only have eyes for my Hubby, or there would be all kinds of flooziness going on around here.