Sunday, March 31, 2013

A sock story

I have some fabulous new socks. You want to hear their story? They're made from one of my fabulous swap sock yarns. Remember this yarn?

I received it as part of my master plan to get yarn sent to me, I mean as part of a yarn swap with Adriene. I let it marinate in the stash for a time while I considered what it wanted to be. I was torn between socks or a shawl. 

Finally it convinced me to make it into socks. I chose a plain sock because I really like plain socks and I think they best showcase the yarn's colors. I feel I should note that this is the hardest yarn to photograph I've ever had. The colors just refuse to be captured by my camera. Although the following picture is closest to real life I've gotten.

I enjoyed knitting this yarn so much. It eventually became my purse knitting somewhere between sock one and sock two. And that is where my thinking changed. When the yarn moved into my purse it was almost like a bit of Adriene was traveling with me. 

We won trivia night at the Legion. There was even a question about the Canadian flag. Did you know it was adopted in 1964, almost 100 years after it became a country? I learned that on our first and only trip to Montreal. 

Next "Adriene" went with me to the dentist to have a filling replaced. She was lucky for me there too because I did not require a root canal that day. I may still need one but that appointment was Ok.

Friday we watched some March madness at a friend's house. Yesterday we went to meet a new friend for lunch and had a pleasant conversation. Although we figured out the new friend does not want to become a knitter since she resisted touching the sock. It is amazing how knitting warps your mind. I don't think twice about whipping out a sock at the table, other's most likely see it as odd or even a bit gross. Sorry I did not think of that sooner. 

Today "Adriene" went to Easter services with me. I thought it was a great day to wear some new socks. By the way this yarn feel fabulous on the feet, just a bit decadent.

Yarn: Dragonfly Dyewerx Smooshy sock in the Spellbound colorway.

Thanks again Adriene for swapping with me. Who knew yarn could be so much fun? Oh wait we did!

Don't worry the Ember Socks from the previous post moved into my purse. Heaven forbid if my purse was without yarn, I would have to resort to reading my Kindle without anything in my hands, the horror!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Not stash

I had my lesson on sweater construction the other day at my local yarn store. It was fabulous remind me to tell you why. But first look what they still had on their shelf for me to buy.

A Schoppel Zauberball

There is just something about this yarn that makes me not be the knitter that I think I am. I don't like single ply sock yarns. This is the only one that I can stand and even enjoy working with. 

I really hate orange, but not this color it looks like fire embers. I'm trying to knit from the stash. This was not even in the house for 15 minutes before I cast it on. OK fine it was here for an hour, I had to make dinner but still it jumped on the needles.

I think the color changes are mesmerizing. I've been on the hunt for another ball for a while now and I think I bought the last ball at my store. You can call it destiny if you like.

The other socks that I made from it are holding up well and I enjoyed knitting them. I do feel weird when I wear them with certain shoes because one shoe shows green and the other shows black. But all I have to do is lift the pant leg to show off how they're the same socks, just in different areas.

Ok it does make me feel like a bit of a rebel, letting people think I'm wearing mismatched socks. Yeah Yarnkettle the rebel, sometimes I even put the milk in my tea after I pour the tea in, scandalous, I know!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Let us eat cake

So did ya'll like the guest blogger? Yep that was a lesson about not leaving the blog open while he can sneak in and post on it. It did make me laugh though. Better yet was his subtle way of getting me to look at it. Hon, how many post do you have this month, are you on schedule? (Insert concerned looking Hubby face here.)

Back to the cake! I took Adriene's inspiration and made an Earl Grey Chocolate Cake last weekend. Now I am not normally a huge fan of chocolate cake but I had to see if I could taste the Earl Grey tea.  

Turns out I could. It was not a strong taste but a nice finishing taste. It was the most moist cake I've ever had. I think the yogurt had something to do with it but I am no food scientist. It was delicious.

My coworkers concurred with me. Some tasted the tea but others only had a hint of it. All but the one that does not eat chocolate.

So if you're looking to try something new I highly recommend this cake even if you're not a chocolate cake kind of person. Just make sure you have the tea. I had just enough remaining in our tin. Whew, because I really wanted that cake!

Every time I see baking chocolate I am reminded of my childhood and not in a pleasant way. I think many of us have run across a piece of forgotten baking chocolate in the pantry. You giggle a bit to yourself thinking Mom will never miss this little bit of leftover chocolate. You smuggle it outside to sit underneath your favorite tree. You take a bite and WAMMO the 100% cacao hits you in the face! It may be chocolate but it is not Chocolate. Then you realize why your older brother and sister did not eat it first...they had made the same discovery years before you!

Yes, I did shave off a wee taste of the baking chocolate. Sometimes you just have to relearn if it really was as bad as you remember. I assure you it was! But through the magic of sugar, tea, yogurt and flour it is magically transformed. Mmmm, cake.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I am so cool

I am so cool at knitting that I can knit spider lace with 2x4's.

Yarn "Too cool for school" Kettle AKA The Hubby

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Chez Ballz

What else do you name your last minute trivia team? Friday night we went to our first trivia night at the American Legion.

We love trivia. One of the first board games we got after we were married was Trivia Pursuit. The other one was Monopoly, I still don't understand how we survived as a married couple after playing Monopoly that first married year. (We talk about playing every so often but I'm a sore loser and I always lose at Monopoly. My poor bruised ego can not take it.)

When we play Trivia Pursuit now it is a bit more challenging. We never upgraded our original Trivia Pursuit game. Now when we play it is more difficult because we need to backdate our answers. Yes, we need to go back a good 15-20 years on that edition. And you thought Trivia Pursuit was hard enough without the time warp adjustment.

So how did we do on our first trivia night? Much to our shock we got a perfect score on the first round, which got us a $1 winning lottery ticket. The quiz master was quick to point out we were the only group that was multitasking, sock knitting and trivia just go together for me. Hey I was even knitting on my Dragonfly Swap Socks, it's a bit like Adriene went with us. (Adriene you want to help us out with the answers a bit more next time?)

We did end up winning for the evening. We are the new champions till the 27th. Plus I got to chalk off two more things on my I want to try list. I've never won lotto tickets before or participated in a trivia night. It was quite fun. We're planning to defend our title too. We'll see if we can be champions for a month.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Tucked in

I think Gus still loves his shawl.

What to you think?

I am hoping D will love his new socks just as much.

But then again that is asking quite a bit.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Finding - Another Story

You know when I went to write that last post I named it Finding Day but then for the life of me could not remember what else I had found that day. You know besides the pattern that started the search?

So I gave up and told my story. Then a few days later it came to me. How could I forget about it?

I am an Anglophile. See I am such and Anglophile that I even know that I am one and a specific word exists. An Anglophile is a person who is fond of or greatly admires England or Britain. Now if you've been to Montreal you know what a Francophile is so you may have been ahead of my learning curve.

Long ago before I ever believed that I would ever travel to England, I worked at a job where I met a friendly and true Englishman. Yes he even had an accent. He was a sweet guy that didn't mind entertaining the South Dakota farm girl that I turned into each time he was around. I've been in love with England since I was a child so that is the age I revert to at times. Texas was as exotic a place as I could imagine traveling to, but to see England, a girl could only dream of visiting England!

One day I was talking to the Englishman and said I've never understood English currency. I understand Pound but what the heck is a Farthing or Half Crown? He went home and wrote me a note explaining it all.

A Farthing is 1/4 penny and a Half Crown is 2 Shillings and Sixpence. A Shilling is 12 Pennies or Pence. So a Half Crown is 30 Pence. (Somebody want to check my math on that one?)

His first note was that this rate was before 1960-1970, he could not remember the actual year because he left England in 1945. I'm guessing shortly after WWII ended. I could have talked with this man forever I think sometimes. Any one else have the urge to make tea and scones?

He also included modern currency. 10 Pence may now be the Shilling. The other smaller fraction of pence coins have vanished. Heck, Canada just got rid of their Penny, so you can see how the very small coins did not make it in England. Just try to buy something with a Farthing. Oh wait wouldn't it be worth a bit more now for the collectors?

I came home and proudly showed the note directly from an Englishman to Hubby. While he was happy for me, he is not an Anglophile. I proceeded to tuck it away safley in a notebook. In fact I thought it was in the notebook our England trip was planned in. But after seeing it once or twice more I realized somehow I had lost it.

Well in my search for a pattern I found the pattern and two special items I hope to never lose again.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Finding - A Story

I have been bummed. When we went camping last May I over packed my knitting. Really over packed, my poor bag had way too many projects stuffed in! (Remind me of this when I go to pack for the train trip, please.)

I thought my over packing caused me to lose one of my most important knitting tools, my tool kit.  

It was a kit I had made for myself using ideas I had collected from Ravelry. The first idea was to use an empty glasses case as your tool box. Great I thought, I have plenty of them since I've worn glasses for a few years now. I found my nicest one with an additional flap for sunglass storage. Which allows me to hide stuff in the lid. I found my favorite Swiss Army Knife, with a pen tip in it, that some kind soul had given me. I bought a small flashlight. My caseless tape measure went in too. Stitch markers galore, a couple of my Pony needles, and a tiny crochet hook completed my purchased knitter's fare. 

I also keep a few lengths of sock yarn to be used as life lines if I need them. And a few plastic tabs off bread bags work great as free yarn bobbins. 

Yep, my tool kit was fully equipped and very useful to me. I could measure, pickup stitches, cut yarn, keep track of my place and just about anything else I wanted with that little case of handiness. 

Then when we returned from camping it went missing. I was pretty sure that I had seen it at home after we returned. But days turned to weeks, and finally months with no sign of it. It must have fallen out at the campground when we were packing up. I was even planning to convince Hubby to go to the same campground this year, just so we could ask if they found it. It is a nice campground and I definitely want to go back but that was my primary reason for wanting to go.

Finally I realized I was not the knitter I once was, and put together another kit. Another flashlight, but it seemed dimmer. I bought a Swiss Army Knife in hot red, but it did not have a pen tip and was not a gift from a kind soul. Luckily I had bought two sets of Pony needles, but even they could not bind the kit together. 

It was a good kit but not my special kit. And I was sad that I had lost something I didn't even know was important to me. Then I felt silly for feeling sad about it. So I moved on.

One Sunday, I was looking for my German Stocking pattern. It would not be found, I could just make another copy but I knew I had seen it just recently. I was moving yarn, fiber and half knit things, where could it be?

I searched a bag that I occasionally use for knitting, the pattern was not there, but you know what was tucked in the pocket that I would never use?

My original knit tool box is back!

I am so happy!

Sometimes it is the small things in life that bring us the most joy. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I need more adjectives

Bouncy, plump, smooshy and sproingy, OK I admit I made that last one up. But really these are all the words going through my mind as I knit one of my swap yarns into socks. You remember the yarn swap don't you?

I chose the Spellbound colorway in the Smooshy Sock base from Dragonfly Dyewerx. And yes it is holding me spellbound. I think it is the orange bits that keep me knitting along. Well that and the afore mentioned adjectives used to describe how nice this feels running through my hands. This contrast with the project right before was astounding. That one was a rugged, rustic yarn that I loved for not coddling me. This one is the opposite, it could only coddle me more by bringing me tea and tucking me into bed.

Now I struggled with was to do with my special swap yarn. I wanted to make something breathtaking and one of a kind. But I settled instead on the thing that makes me the happiest, plain socks that fit well. Socks knit in a fabric that shows off the yarn coloring but does not distract from it.

In my heart of hearts, I feel many times, less is more. What can be more beautiful than a humble sock to place upon my grateful feet?

Oh yeah, humble socks with a touch of cashmere, you're right!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Ringing endorsement

Lucky, lucky D is being inundated with questions from me. What was it like? How were the bathrooms? Did you like the seats? What yarn was she using?

I threw you all with that last question, didn't I. D went to Boston for a conference and he decided to try out the train system, rather than driving or flying. He said some things are very different. The restrooms are reportedly three times the size of airplane restrooms. I told him that was not as impressive as he thinks it is. It would be very hard not to improve on an airplane restroom. Don't get me wrong I am very happy they're there!

The seats however, were quite a step up, roomy and reclining in such a way that you're not in someone's lap. He enjoyed the feeling of having personal space while traveling. 

There was no safely announcement or seat belts which he found a tad disorienting. We're so used to doing certain things when we travel in a metallic tube. He did note you have to be on board only two minutes prior to departure. I got to watch his journey start, like in the old days. We came from a small airport, back in our college days, you could watch planes from the time you kissed goodbye to the time they were airborne. 

D texted me from the train as they were leaving, he was seated next to a sock knitter working with four DPNs. I asked what yarn and the reply was pink. How can you not love that? They had a nice conversation in spite of the fact that she did not know what Rhinebeck is. I'm guessing she is a knitter not a knitter, you know the yarn obsessed kind of us?

Oh, I forgot to tell you I amazed the gent working the security door for D's return trip. The train was early but I did not know it, so I settled myself in for a bit of knitting time. Then I heard an announcement about D's train that lead me to believe that the train was already at the station. I wandered off to look for him, but alas he was not in sight, so I went back to the gate guy to ask if it was indeed the Boston train sitting out there. Before I could ask, he looked at me in amazement (He had watched me knit while I walked) and said you don't even need to look! I assured him I was experienced enough to do just that. I do so enjoy amazing people with my sticks and string.

So it looks like we will indeed be going on a train trip this year! Wahoo!