Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Halloween report

I can report that we had the most polite Trick or Treaters we've ever had. I was thanked by each one. It really makes a difference since I waffle from year to year if I even want to do the whole candy thing. I loved it as a kid, I hate it as an adult.

One boy was so excited because I had Milky Way Simply Caramel bars. "These are the best, you can not find them in stores now. I know I've looked. Thank You!" You guessed it he got two. And I did a test, you know since we happened to have some left over, and boy is he right they are really good. We may officially be out of them since I stuffed the others in my purse for tomorrow. Ahem, you saw nothing!

I can also report that my new Icelandic socks are very warm indeed. I just love new socks, don't you? I may have to cast on another pair for D too since all of his handmade socks were in the laundry. Casting on seems so much simpler than washing the ones he has, right?

I also pulled my Eggplant Holden shawl out of timeout. I ripped back to the stockinette portion and will be starting fresh there too. I really need to clean somethings up on my in progress page on Ravelry and that shawl just jumped to number one. Well number two right after Mom's socks.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Icelandic sock and some crazy talk

I could not wait to try out my new Icelandic sock yarn that I've been searching for. I think it was home for a few days before I cast on. And when I did cast on it was more of a play with/test out how different size needles affected the fabric. 

While I like my socks dense I found the bigger needle gave it a better feeling fabric. 

Can I just say I'm in love with natural colored wool? Because I am so in love right now it is ridiculous. I'm so in love that this picture I took a short time ago is almost a pair of socks already.

Even on Saturday I worked on these instead of working on my homework for a sock class. It is ok because the next class is a couple of weeks away. I am free to enjoy finishing socks from yarn that never even made it into the stash.

I am also looking for patterns for an useable hat for me. I am an awful hat knitter. As good as I am making socks I am equally lost making hats. They always turn out too big or too small. Alas I need some hat making mojo. Wish me luck because I can not go through another turkey trot with frozen ears.   Maybe I should have one of my socks give the hat yarn a pep talk. You know sort of a '"She's really not a bad knitter, she just needs some help from you hat yarn. Work with her and you could be beautiful. Yes I know you're already beautiful, but you could be a beautiful hat not just yarn."

What? Doesn't your yarn and socks have conversations at your house?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A little help please

I started knitting my Mom a sock, you've seen it, it is the color pink that I always think of my Mom wearing. So I got to here...

I am almost halfway through the yarn and I still need to knit a toe, this is going to be a problem. I could just rip back the sock and start over making the leg a few inches shorter or I could raid my left over sock yarn bag and ask for help from you.

First up we have Dream in Color Smooshy yarn in the Gothic Rose colorway. Now I think this works pretty well but I have more to show you.

This is Malabrigo sock yarn in Stonechat. This one has touches of brown that I don't care to add in to the mix, but hey I'll take a picture of it.

Originally I thought a nice grey toe would be nice since there are touches of light grey in the original yarn. But I think this one is not the best option now that I see them together. Nothing to see on this one, keep going to the next one.

Finally we have Claudia's Handpainted in Last Night's Wine. Personally I like this one the best but that would mean the socks are made from yarns named Fresh Entrails and Last Night's Wine. Well it is a few days before Halloween, maybe I should just go with the creepiness.

Any opinions?

Wow it only took me five years of knitting for my Mom to get a hand knit pair. Maybe I should send her an I love you Mom card.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Rhinebeck - Part of The Haul

So let's talk about the haul I made at Rhinebek, shall we? I happily traipsed outside in the chilly air on Sunday (I wish the day before had been chilly I could have worn RS, alas) and I pulled out my bag of goodies and quickly took pictures.

We found koko noelle sold great shawl pins. I think partly because they displayed them so beautifully. The framed large white wool swatches and placed a pin on each. The also had two large white knit pieces with multiple pins attached. You just looked for one you liked best and pop off it came to be replaced by another.  This is my lovely choice. Oddly now I am worried that it is too yellow and may distract from the shawls. Nope wait I am over it, I wanted a noticeable pin and I have a great one now. The pin portion is copper or copper colored. Since I've always loved copper I think it is what sealed the deal. 

I should probably admit that I did something I said I was not going to do. I promised Kisknit that I would try not to influence her purchases. Kisknit was thinking of getting a shawl pin too but said something along the lines of 'I don't really wear shawls', I pointed out that she would wear more if she had a nice shawl pin to hold it in the proper place. Shawls are more comfortable when you're not constantly readjusting them. Wait, I just remembered I said I would not influence her yarn purchases, not just any purchase. Whew I am off the hook on that one.

I had decided that I like spindle spinning enough to buy another spindle (or two). I asked for a recommendation on a plying spindle, I bought a cherry three inch 1.9 ounce. For a lighter spindle I bought a two inch cherry Tsunami weighing in at 0.75 ounce. Let's get ready to spin! (You should read that last sentence in a boxing announcer's voice.)

I enjoyed knitting my Rhinebeck sweater so much that I went back to Wild Apple Hill Farm's booth this year and bought another sweater for me and one for D, some assembly required, that is where the fun comes in. I am more than a little disappointed that I could not show off my new sweater to them. (Am I getting any sympathy from the audience here?)

I am reformulating a plan so I'll just leave you with a shot of my over packed bag of wool and goodies. That is a bag D brought back from a conference that I quickly claimed as my knitting bag. I'm going to tell you that he is more of a backpack kind of guy but we all know I just like claiming bags that I can fill with wool. I find messenger bags are easier to keep track of at a festival. I don't have a two foot protrusion that I can not control hanging off my back. It can get pretty tight in some of those barns, I would not want to be responsible for giving someone a concussion.

Once I figure something out I'll show off the rest of my wool. Till then happy knitting!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rhinebeck what we saw and did

First of all I should say thank you to these two lovely ladies for accompanying me on this wooly road trip.

Kisknit and her Sister.

Sadly Kisknit and I had to abandon our sweaters in the car. As I feared it was way too warm to wear winter woolen wear. I don't know how the people that wore their woolies did not pass out, especially in the packed buildings. 

Anyways while we were waiting in line Sister spotted this skirt in front of us.  Super sheepie!

Yes I realized how awkward it was for me to take a picture of a stranger's bottom. Awkward but I figure you would appreciate the craftiness of the outfit. Now I really want to find the fabric and beg my Mommy to make me pillow cases. Oh that reminds me wait till you see what she is working on for me. I love Mommy made pillow cases!

Our winners in the funky hat competition.

I bet they were able to spot their companions easier than I spotted my companions.

And for lunch I had my first falafel! Super tasty, I will totally try the local place. I had no idea that falafel could be green. My companions said they thought it tasted spinachy, in a good way. I did not weigh in since I had no prior experience.

I told them we had to take a mandatory waiting in line for the restroom photo. While they are good sports, I may have threatened them with me having the car keys. So they found out there is a price when you let me drive.

The night before the festival I tricked out my bag's strap. I even had the Hubby re-ink my Ravelry button. My name had rubbed off in spots so he re-wrote it and added a kitty. Dude knows me, I tell you!

So once again Rhinebeck is finished for another year. The only comfort I have is fluffing the new stash in with the old stash. Well that and resisting the urge to cast on ten pairs of socks.

Next episode I show off my haul, and by haul I mean haul.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

In the tub

Well my first Rhinebeck sweater is in the tub. Before she took a bath I wanted a bit of photographic evidence that she was finished. Plus I left the markers on that I used to show where my waist shaping went and wanted a picture for future reference.

She is now lounging in a bucket of lukewarm water and SOAK wool wash. Soon she will be pulled from the bucket and receive her own towel wrapped foot stomping, courtesy of her knitter. How else do you get to know your special Rhinebeck Sweater?

I'm off to make some wine, I mean towel dry a sweater.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

First fall sock

I am still on my never ending sock knitting spree. I always have at least one sock on the needles, usually it rides around with me in my purse. It gets a bit of action at work during my lunchtime and before my ASL class two nights a week. The other night at class, one of the other students asked me why I was not working on it when she arrived just after me. I had not yet pulled it out of my bag. (Shh, I was trying to finish my homework first.)

There was some discussion about my knitting and I was requested to make two people socks. Now we all know I am a tad greedy protective of my knitwear and I am so not knitting for someone that I don't even know their name. We have to spend more than six evenings together and had at least a couple of cups of tea together. Scones, scones would be nice too.

I did feel bad when she came into the next class, her Mom told her not to be creepy, and asking for socks from someone you don't know is creepy. I reassured her it was not the first time I had been asked and I did not think she was creepy. I did not tell her I thought she was a tad bold yes, but not creepy.

I did want to ask out of mild curiosity what they would pay for hand knit beauty that is my socks, but I did not want to be honest and tell them the yarn cost more than they were willing to pay. Usually people will say things like $10 or $20. 

Sock yarn...$20, needles...$10, the knowledge and time to turn them into socks...priceless.

So this week's purse pal is some lovely yarn from last year's Rhinebeck haul. Socks that Rock (STR) in a mill end colorway that I think of as Fall Leaves. 

It is starting to get colder and my sock stash is switching over to my heavy duty socks. My thicker STR socks will replace my lace and thinner socks.

Now I think I will make myself a cup of hot chocolate and finish a sock toe.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Did you feel something six days ago? Nope? Well I did, it was complete happiness and joy (a whole heap of relief too). I finished my Rhinebeck Sweater last Thursday.

It looks awesome if I do say so myself! D agrees, good thing he prefers me in woolly things. You know I am at my best when covered in wool.

Anyways there will be pictures to follow once we take the plunge and wash it. I am a tad apprehensive something awful is going to happen during that stage. I did verify my new washing machine had a spin only cycle. It is amazing what you over look till you need it.

I do think the festival will be cool enough this year for RS to be appropriate wear. I do enjoy a crisp festival day!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hatching a plan

You know how reading blogs make you feel like you know a person? You've never met in real life but you know what their pets look like and what their spouse asked them to first knit for them. I have that feeling with Adriene at Adriene's Couch. I found her blog because of blogging group on Ravelry. I read a few posts and was hooked especially when she did a post about yarn cakes including a picture of her attempting to bite one.

I read for a while before I commented but when I did a friendship was struck up, well at least it was in my mind. I will admit to feeling a little weird when I started telling my husband about Adriene, my Canadian blog friend. But then I am weird so I'm ok with it, and Hubby knows me well enough to be ok with my weirdness too.

So this year when I was talking about going to my festivals, Adriene commented that it was too bad that we live so far apart, wouldn't it be nice if we could go to one together sometime? I thought to myself it would be fun to do that.  Then the plan hit me, if we could not attend a festival together, we could buy yarn for each other. I think it may be why people do yarn swaps. I've never done one but I thought what the heck and asked her. Luckily she said yes to my plan.

I would by yarn for her at one of my festivals and she offered to buy me some yarn (maybe some Canadian yarn) at her vacation yarn store. (Yes I do believe that we should all have a vacation yarn store.) So it would be a bit like attending a festival together. Yeah I know it is a stretch but hey allowances must be made.

Now the pressure is on what do I get? First I researched how yarn swaps have been done and we traded a list of questions and set up some ground rules. We discussed allergies, color preferences, fiber preferences and set a price limit. I think we may be a tad excited because the price limit was renegotiated. We questioned the exchange rate between the Canadian Dollar and the US Dollar. Turns out that the difference is minimal now, and I think it has been for a few years.

So now it is a few weeks to Rhinebeck and I am all excited to buy yarn for my Canadian blog friend. Man, I hope I get her something she will like. I am having a hard time deciding, now I want to buy all the things! But first I think I will test out the US to Canada mail system. I'm sending a card first, you know to see how the yarn's journey may go.

Anybody have any advice on how packages between countries work?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sweater time

The weather has taken a chillier turn. After the heat this summer poured on us, I think we're both looking forward to crisp air. D got a bit excited and pulled out a sweater I made for him a year or so ago. 

I being a knitting blogger I had to ask him to step outside. No not to fight but to take a picture since that is one thing I have not managed to do since finishing it. 

I think my camera may be losing its proper settings. Either that or it is doing battle with the sun light. It still manages to capture the handsomeness of my Hubby.

I guess my pictures of knit items are not the only thing I am behind on, I worked on my knitting journal last weekend and am still a month behind. Yikes. Looks like I've been knitting and not keeping any notes. Luckily I've kept some notes and dates on Ravelry, but I like having a paper journal too.

Good thing my hubby is taking care of somethings for me. He cooked dinner for me all on his own the other night. He picked the recipe, picked up somethings from the store and cooked it all up. It was wonderful to walk in the door and smell something hot in the oven. Boy did he pick a winner too, Chilaquiles or Mexican lasagna as the cookbook described it. So, so very tasty.