Monday, July 28, 2008

Little Pathway

I have been itching to dig into New Pathways for Sock Knitters book and decided that the baby knitting was a perfect excuse to try something from it. I grabbed the leftover yarn from the BSJ, and began with the Little Sky Sock. I made my way through it, and promptly frogged. No, it was not because there was a problem with the pattern or my knitting, but because I made my way through almost all of the leftover purple yarn. This was fine. I really just wanted to try out the first learning sock. Over the years, socknitting has become almost second nature for me. It was weird to closely follow all the instructions and illustrations. It seems forever ago when I was doing that with my first socks. It was fascinating, fun, and a nice return to the magic of first socks.

Anyway, after I re-wound the purple yarn, I moved on with pink yarn and the Little Coriolis pattern.
LittlieCoriolis When I saw that this pattern was toe-up, I was even more excited to begin. Before I knew it, I had finished the first, and was working up the foot of the second sock. I loved the arch expansion spiraling its way up the foot in the opposite direction. It was bedtime when I was ready to turn the heel. I wanted to press on and finish, but I also wanted to keep the fun of the pair for the next day. This was such a quick little pair, and as soon as I had finished them, I was looking through the book for my next socks.

The book has so much great information. I am glad that I added it to my library. Now maybe I can work towards writing a pattern for SM3.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Baby Suprise!

BSJ4BESThe Baby Surprise Jacket is such a neat pattern. I finally knit my first, and believe that I will knit more of them. It reminded me of knitting socks for the first time. I did not quite understand what was happening the whole time, but it was magic when it clicked.

It was
fun passing the blob of fabric around and seeing who could fold it into a sweater. Then it was just a few ends to weave in, the sewing, and the buttons. Perhaps the most amazing feat was finishing it before the baby arrived. Bonnie Ester made her way into the world last Thursday afternoon. Now I just need to get this in the mail.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sisterly Love

A few years ago, my sister began to ask me when I was going to knit a sweater or cute top for her. She probably only asked two or three times (gotta test me), and each occasion, I had a ready answer. The first time, I simply told her that I was not knitting a sweater for a smoker. Whenever she asked again, I responded with, "Are you still smoking?" That took care of it. Now I never promised a sweater or any other knitted object as a reward for quitting, but I knew that if she ever did, and still wanted me to knit for her, I would.

Fast-forward in time. My sister has quit smoking! The other day, she told me she was ready to pick out a pattern. She decided she wanted a cute top to go with a skirt she already owns. I only had a couple of magazines with me that day, so I let her flip through them. She liked the Roped Shell from the current IK, and a simple shell from the current Knitter's (nice lace in there, by the way). In fact, it was that second top she liked so much because of the yarn, and hoped it came it the right colors. I glanced down at the yarn they used and felt sure that it would be out of my budget when I read, "Colinette Wigwam." I investigated on my own, and it was as I suspected. I hatched a plan to have her over to my home to browse patterns through Ravelry. She had a great time, and said she felt like she was shopping. She found her way back to the Roped Shell, and especially liked some modifications that might allow her to wear it to work. She finally settled on Annie, by Jordana Paige. For possibly the first time in my life, I will be knitting something in the yarn and color used in the pattern. I hope it is the right color. I explained to her that colors on the computer screen can be different from real life.

Anyway, I have ordered the yarn, measured my sister (I had to demonstrate that doing this yourself does not work so well), printed the pattern, and now I wait. I am so excited to knit this for my sister.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Toe-Up Tuesday

The colors of this sock yarn attracted me moment I saw it amongst the other cakes of wool. It was with a slight eagerness and anxiety that I waited for my turn to choose my test yarn. When it came time to knit, I searched books, magazines, and online for the right pattern. At first, I was going to use one from Knitting on the Road, but it was not a match. I finally settled on Spring Forward from the current issue of Knitty. Still, I was not just going to knit the pattern as written, for I wanted to work toe to cuff. I have enjoyed my return to socknitting. It has been a nice companion, allowing me to knit through busy times.

Cara dyed this sock yarn, and I was honored to be a test knitter for her.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Something to Show Soon

I am having trouble placing just where this week went. I recall that I was feeling distinctly out-of-sync for a bit there. I knew that I was mentally off, so I did my best to keep moving forward and not put too much stock in some of my thoughts and feelings.

While it seemed like productivity was down, I actually finished a couple of things this week. I do not yet have the photographic evidence, so you will just have to trust me. I am excited about both of them. I do not know that the finishing frenzy will continue, but I remain hopeful. I think I need a bit more time at home for the next two that I want done. Being on the go has been great, but it throws everything else out of whack.

Anyway, I am hopeful about the yardage on my current spinning project. I am spinning almost every day, and am still on the first bobbin. Rather than jump to the conclusion that I am going very slowly, I choose to believe this means I will have a lot of yarn when I am done. Still, I do not think it will be enough to knit this from the July/August 2008 Piecework.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ottery Contestry

KnittyOtter is holding a very nifty contest to celebrate post number two hundred. I have had a wonderful time reading the different responses to the questionnaire. I have also had trouble getting a blog post to come out right. Therefore, I decided to join in on the fun and write my own entry into the contest.

Getting to Know you Contest Questionnaire:

1.) How long have you been knitting?

Seven or eight years, I think. I just wrote my yarn story over here on Ravelry.

2.) How long have you been knitting socks?

Probably six or seven years.

3.) What do you do with a problem like Maria?

Avoidance and denial might work best, especially if she is not interested in my help.

4.) What is your all time favorite sock yarn?

Cherry Tree Hill

5.) Toe Up or Cuff Down?

Toe up! I start with Judy's Magic Cast-On and use the yarn-over, short-row heel from Priscilla Gibson-Roberts Simple Socks Plain and Fancy.

6.) What's your favorite color (this week or for all time)? Do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

Purple is my favorite color of all time.

7.) Do you have a pet(s)?

Shhh...I feed stray cats, but do not have any critters of my own.

8.) Babies: Oven Roasted or Barbecued?

Barbecued in the summer, or oven roasted in the winter. ribs...mmmm.

9.) Besides socks what is your favorite type of thing to knit?

Lace, especially shawls.

10.) What's your favorite scent?

Lavender is lovely. Maybe I will learn how to grow it myself. The current attempt is not exactly a bust, but it does not seem to be progressing much.

11.) What music are you really loving right now? Like a song or a band?

It seems like I am listening to a lot of Glen Phillips or Toad the Wet Sprocket lately.

12.) How many pairs of socks have you hand knit?

I guess it is somewhere between two- and three-dozen, not counting the baby socks.

13.) What's your favorite treat? Salty or Sweet?

Ice Cream.

14.) What was the most interesting thing you smelled yesterday. Not good or bad necessarily, just the thing that stuck out most so that you actually took notice of it.

Nasty corn seeds, grrrr. Also, there is some soapy scent I am noticing right now, but I cannot identify it.

15.) Needles - DPN's: Wooden, metal or plastic?

Circs all the way, and Knit Picks fixed circs are probably my faves.

16.) What is your favorite sock pattern that you've knit? What do you recommend?

Pomatomus would probably have to be my favorite pair. The recommendations depend on the level of attention you care to devote to the sock project. Something from Nancy Bush is a good choice.

17.) The last Question: If you were stuck on a deserted island who would you want with you, what knitting would you want with you and would you ever want to leave?

I would definitely want my sweetie-pie with me on the deserted island. As for the knitting, I would want my laceweight and fingering weight/sock yarns with me. Since I enjoy my modern conveniences, I suppose I would leave. Still, time away from everything would be nice.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wheel Watching

There is great inspiration from being a Tour de Fleece spectator. I do not have any regret for not joining, and I am still spinning more than I had in forever. I have finished some random bits of fluff. I did chain-plying to my silk singles. I was impatient. I wish I had wound it into a center-pull ball and made a two-ply, but I will survive. I do love the silk. Then I took some dye to it and have this fun yarn. I tackled the rest of the Romney/Mohair blend and it is finished.

Now I am on to the rest of a bag of Corriedale. I believe this is going to be fabulous yarn. What gives me such confidence? Perhaps it is the fact that there is so little. It will become the yarn that would have been the best lace ever, if only there were enough. However, this is not going to get me down at all. No, it will grant me greater confidence and inspire me to even more fabulous spinning. I do have some nice fiber waiting for the right moment.

However, before I can have some nice wheel time, I am off to assist my nephew in saving all of Hyrule. I also have plans to trick him into wanting to read to me today. Also, it is almost time for lunch, and I am hungry.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Misty-Eyed Monday

I just found out that a cat I used to know is no more. She was seventeen. This was Shadow in her better days.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July to all of you celebrating! The neighbors' lengthy, early celebrations last night began to dim my enthusiasm for the holiday. I was just tired and regretting my decision to eat a little of the leftover filling for the pies. I am excited for today's family get-together, but I am not yet recovered from all the busyness of the past week. Staying home to knit, spin, and relax would be nice, too. I also keep thinking that I have plans for Saturday. Does anybody know what they are?

Anyway, I am bringing my sock along today. It is about time to turn the heel. I hope to make nice progress with it. The little bag where the sock lives has offered more minutes of knitting than I imagined. It is so handy. It seems like my knitting time has been limited lately. Several other projects call out to be completed, and others just cry for a few minutes of my time.

The gardening adventure continues. We have more green bits popping up out of the ground. Our late start means it is not yet harvest time for anything. Rather than brooding about this, I allow myself to focus on the excitement of the small changes I discover each day. I am not the only one interested in what is happening on our small plot. More than once, this guy has startled me while I watered the garden.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

BSJ Beginning

I started a Baby Surprise Jacket last night. This is my first real go with this pattern. I am a little excited about it. It was wonderful to be back knitting with my Skanks. We were a small group telling bad jokes while the stitches flowed. I did not make to any color changes on the BSJ, but I also have not made any decisions onBSJRomneyMohair where they will be. I am keeping notes in case I love it and want to make another like it, or if I do not and do not.

Spinning is going well. So many fibers called for their turn when I looked through the stash yesterday. I am finishing off the last 50g of some purple fluff. I divided and spun the first 25g last night. This is my second go with this bag of fiber. I believe it is a Romney/Mohair blend. I spun up most of it a while back. I think I am doing much better this time. Maybe I will make it through the rest tonight. The wheel is ready.

Then again, I have pies to make for tomorrow's gathering. My sister asked me to bring two S'more Pies. They are so good.
This pie can usually convince the daughter to attend a family event. There is also a rumor of homemade ice cream. We are going to have too much food for this, and very little of it should be allowed to follow us home.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Grandma Came to Town

It was a great visit with Grandma. She wants to make it back down in October for the fiber festival in Murfreesboro. I hope she can. We would have a great time. Speaking of, her time here was filled with fun. We ate good food, shopped, talked fiber, took pictures, and reminisced. I helped fix her current sock. This amounted to ripping back about five rounds. With all of the riding time she had on the trip home, I am sure it is more than back on track by now. I was amazed by how tired I was by the time we saw her off on her journey home.I did manage to accomplish some other things while Grandma was in town. I finished spinning, plying, and the finishing of some alpaca. Yes, that is it in the picture. I helped a niece return to knitting. She made great progress on a felted bag she wanted to knit. I also completed a sock and began its mate (matchy-matchy goodness so far, Cara).

Now that my packaging has arrived, I have no more excuses. I need to add labels to the hats and get them off to Caps for a Cure. I have some knitting I would really like to finish soon, but it is not quite deadline knitting status, yet. Then there are the two pies I need to make for our shindig on the fourth. I guess the busy is not ending any time soon.