Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Secret Pal 8 Reveal!

I had a deadline for school which I *just* barely made last night- I finished writing my paper 6 minutes before it was due! So I had to wait till tonight to revel in all the SP goodness I received.

My SP sent a wonderful card with her package, which was really sweet of her! The theme for her last package was "fun"- which is awesome because it seems that sometimes I get so focused on other things, I can easily forget to have fun!

What a gorgeous basket filled with goodies! There was a cute little puppy calendar for next year, customized erasers with my name which I love!, a kite kit (just add wind), some super smooth needles and a cute puzzle. Gypsy was eyeing the puppy treats.... she is getting smart about "package for Kaylee = possibly treats for Gypsy!".

The basket held such a variety of promise... from undyed virgin wool and KoolAid for dyeing, to a pretty kelly green yarn which would look so pretty against my coppery hair! There was also plenty of softness- a pretty mohair and two skeins of Hand Paint Original from Lamb's Pride, one a pure black, one a vibrant collection of colors.

There was also a yarn from Belgium... a linen/viscose/chlorofiber (?) blend that is a soft blue and grey color. I don't even know where to start- there's such a good variety of fibers and colors. Wow! Thank you!! (I can't stop touching and admiring it)

But the best part was waiting at the bottom of the box... my SP purchased a recipe book for me, and filled it with some of her own family recipes. It really touched me. Thank you.

Thank you, SP for spoiling me so! I've had a lot of fun with this exchange and I hope you enjoyed it too!

I can't wait to try this cheesecake recipe!! :)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Joined a few knitalongs



and soon to be joining Stashalong

Trying to cast on for fuzzy feet has been really annoying. I'm trying it one more time this evening and if not, moving onto another project or wip.

Friday, August 25, 2006

One skein reveal and gift!!!

I received a package in the mail this week from my One Skein secret pal. She's been a great SP and I've enjoyed this experience very much!

She's from my hometown as well, and everytime I'd see that return address I'd start thinking about all the wonderful food they have there!

I'm such a lucky girl- this package had a wonderfully squishy hat that sets off my hair beautifully. I put it on as soon as I opened the package and wore it the rest of the night. (G had to finally ask if I was planning on sleeping in it!) The yarn she used was beautiful, and it was a very cool pattern (the Honeycomb Hat by Denise Layman), made out of Bunny Print by Tahki.

She also sent me some gorgeous Classic Elite Desert. The colors on this are incredible... when I saw this, my mind immediately started racing, trying to figure out what I would make. And one of the best books for where I'm at, right now in my knitting... The Joy of Knitting Companion! I keep reading it when I should be doing homework (that's about the highest compliment I can give!) I love it!!!

The gifts also had some pretty nail polish, lip balms, sock shaped point protectors, and some lavendar body wash. So I'm thinking pampering night tonight after I finish some knitting, a manicure and softly scented bath. I'll sleep so well!

And for Gypsy- two Greenies from my SP's dog!!! Gypsy had never tried Greenies and my goodness, she LOVED them! I was lucky to get this picture before she snarfled it down.

I know Gypsy's thinking knitting pals totally rock and she wishes I took up knitting a lonnnnng time ago! :)

Thank you, One Skein SP! your comments and emails were always unexpected and thoughtful, and you have spoiled me dearly.

Thank you for making this such a fun exchange!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Stash Enhancement and update on dyed yarn

Hard to believe this little ball of gorgeousness used to be this. (Details on dyeing). I'm in love with the colors. Gold, brick, cinnamons and pine greens. It has this coppery sheen... thank goodness I have one more skein of Lamb's Pride in Tan to dye! I may want some for myself!
Intended use: fuzzy feet for G

Classic Elite Lush
blueberry (this picture is not as true to color as I had hoped... its more of a deep blue/violet

Intended use:

Nakiska and a gift

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted Weight
Mixed Berries

Wow- this is amazingly soft, vibrant and simply gorgeous. I'm really sorry now that there was only one skein left to purchase, but I'm going to make the most of it with cabled footies from One Skein.

Struggling with my UFOs

I keep working on the Irish Hiking scarf but I think I'm just getting a bit burned out on it. I'm about halfway (one skein) done. It's not the scarf's fault... it is a fun knit.

But what I *really* want to do is cast on the second sock- I really liked making it and the project size is much more in tune with my current attention span. I do have some smaller projects to work on (dishcloths, kitty dimsum, nakiska) which I might try to work in to keep my interest going.

I have a feeling, though... once my current WIPs are done, this will be the season of socks.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Adventures in Dyeing

This time, using Jacquard dyes and specifically overdyeing some Lamb's Pride that I was not that fond of. I used my homemade niddynoddy (out of PVC pipes) to ready the yarn, and then soaked it.

These are the colors I started off with:

Camel Tan (Worsted Weight)
Originally purchased to make an Irish Hiking Scarf, thinking it would be a classic look for G. The color washed him out and was a bit blah.

I considered using it for some fuzzy feet, but wanted to make the yarn a richer, redwood forest-y color.

Here's the end result:
Note- the red is a bit more brick red or even a sienna but the flash went off and somehow it looks orangier than it is. The brown is a bit more deeper, almost a cinnamon color.

And G likes it! Which is good because the slippers will be for him (and normally he is VERY conservative with his colors!)

Here's an update on how it looks, completely dried and wound.


Khaki (Bulky). I was expecting something other than pale greenish grey. It definitely did not match my seafoam upper for the felted clogs I had planned. I was going to purchase some pine green or deep teal color when it occured to me I could overdye it.

End Result (note this is still wet... mine is still drying but looking lighter)

Final picture to come.


It arrived yesterday. My knitpicks package arrived with some Jacquard dyes, a pair of classical circulars (size 2), and a pack of the Bare sock yarn (I also have some Monty 3/9 sock yarn from Henry's Attic to dye, and wanted to compare the two). Of course, the first thing I wanted to do is set up shop in the kitchen and start dyeing away. Since I've never worked with anything other than KoolAid and I'd like some better color control, I have talked myself into doing a bit more research first.

So yesterday, I picked up Synthrapol, white vinegar, a large stockpot for immersion dyeing, nose/mouth masks, and plastic gloves, plastic measuring spoons, squirt bottles and sponge brushes. I figured out my first two projects: one will be to overdye some Lamb's Pride Bulky from a superpale pale green-grey to a deep teal (to be the bottom of a pair of felted clogs, with the top part being a seafoam -lighter teal-color). The second one will be to transform tan Lamb's Pride into a more interesting, richer color for a pair of fuzzy feet. I have chestnut dye, as well as red.

So it should be an interesting afternoon!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Knitpicks shipping

I put in an order from Knitpicks on the 11th. Luckily, they have this brand new feature which lets you track the order. I was really hoping it would arrive by this weekend, since there's a couple of dyes in it. And I've always had good luck with Knitpicks, since they ship from Ohio, I'm next door in WV. There's been a couple of two or three day deliveries.

So two days ago, I saw it was 90 minutes away in PA, and was soooooo excited. I started planning a day of dyeing before school starts on Monday.

This morning, it was updated to show it left PA yesterday morning and went to NORTHBOROUGH, MA. 9 hours away. Huh?

I'm really hoping maybe there is a mistake and it will arrive today or tomorrow.

In actual knitting news... I finally watched Walk the Line and worked a few more inches on my Irish Hiking Scarf. There's two errors which are bothering me (purls instead of knits) but the idea of frogging cables makes me nervous.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sorting through the stash...

While looking for my missing book, I uncovered a lot of books I either don't have time to read, or have read but won't read again. I also uncovered some items I purchased with a specific use in mind, or good yarns that keep getting pushed to the back as I keep finding new shiny yarn to plan my projects with. So I set aside some to destash, and if not, back into the stash it goes and I will one day get around to doing those projects.

I started keeping my stash on an Yarn Stash Organization Spreadsheet that was recommended to me. WOW. That REALLY puts it all into perspective. Here's the interesting blog of the woman who made the Spreadsheet (thank you!!!)

Monday, August 14, 2006


Somehow, in the last week, I have lost the One Skein book. I went to look for a pattern (the same one I looked up a week ago) and I have now reorganized all my knitting books, patterns, stash (got a bit sidetracked there, walking through stash lane). Still no book!! I'm not a messy person, but I do have a bad tendency to walk around with books, so I looked in all my usual hiding places (including the 7 packed bookshelves we have here in the house).

I sense an early 'fall cleaning' if it doesn't show up soon. Sooo annoying.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Since someone emailed me to ask... stats on sock

All items from Knitpicks

Yarn: Knitpicks Sock Garden
color Hydrangea
220 yards/one sock

Needles: Classic Circular Needles
Size: 3, length: 24"

Pattern: basic one used in the Knitting Korner Sock 1 DVD
(note: I hated spending $24 on this but it really showed me how to do it, after failing several times to grasp the concepts through online tutorials. If I could have taken a sock class nearby or worked with someone who knows how to knit socks locally, I would not have needed this DVD. But it is wonderful and simple and made the socks a lot of fun).

It took me two weeks but I was only knitting on it occasionally. I could easily see this being much faster (several days) if I was focused.

The yarn I used was from Knitpicks, before they merged their sock yarns into one line (Memories). The sock ended up being very close to one skein of yarn (220 yards). I was starting to worry about that since I only had two skeins total and its no longer for sale. It was looking a little too close for comfort with the end of the skein before I finished up the sock! But luckily, I barely made it and have a few yards leftover for the next sock if needed.

The needles used were the Classic Circular Needle from Knitpicks. I loved these needles- the points were perfect for me and the joins very smooth. I've already purchased a pair of size 2s to try out on the next pair, once I finish my other projects and then the matching sock to this one. I have Denise needles but will probably ask for the Knitpick Options for a future birthday gift. They were really good.

I have two more skeins of inexpensive Knitpicks discontinued sock yarn to work with until I can make sure I have the hang of it. Then I can break out the gorgeous handdyed sockyarn I recently received in the mail, as well as the awesome yarn my SP got me back in June.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


I have finally completely my first sock! I really liked the DVD- it made it so much easier than reading a pattern. I'm a very visual person. It fits fairly well (just a tad large- not much. I'm planning on wearing the pair of them around the house so they are really comfy). While I was surprised at how pointy the toe seemed, I guess I have pointy feet because it went on fine and didn't seem quite so exaggerated. The Kitchener stitch was not too bad for grafting the toes and I liked the clean seam.

It was interesting to see how the self striping yarn responded to the heel and toes. (G called it a time warp sock- I'm sure that translated to "that sock rocks! Can I have them when you knit its mate?")

While I want immediately cast on for the matching sock, I am not going to do it. I am going to get back on my cabled scarf and finish it, along with a few other UFOs.

Here's the bowls that my SP8 spoilee sent me. What a sweetheart! I love the creamy colored one, too, but the intense color amd its variations of the red one is amazing.

Here's a closeup of the interior of the red one:


I saw the package as I was parking my car out front, and assumed it was one of the books I ordered for school. But it wasn't- it was 100 times better!! It was from my SP8 Spoilee, who is an absolutely marvelous woman and friend!

She sent me some beautiful felted bowls she made, and the sweetest card! One bowl was a pretty soft cream with a red/chestnut rim and the other one was a beautiful texture of pink and red with a red rim. One is going to work with me to fill with sugar free candies, and the other one I am putting on my dresser to admire each day.

Thank you soooo much! These are really wonderful. You know I've been wanting to try them but my current projects and long list of future projects have not helped. It will also be great to see how they are supposed to look when I try my hand at making them.

(pictures will follow today, along with my to-be-finished sock that I am determined to finish today! I'm on the home stretch now)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

UFO sighting!

I joined UFO August and here's my list of UFOs.

UFO list:
1. First sock ever (sock two may have to wait)
2. Irish Hiking Scarf
3. Kitty dimsum
4. Bella Scarf
5. two Ballband Washcloths

At least if I can make a dent in this before school starts, I'll be happy! I've got some really cool projects coming up: Nakiska headband, maybe cabled footies from one skein or fuzzy feet from knitty, my so called scarf.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


I have turned the heel and am now working on the gusset! wooohoo!

This sock is very addicting- the BEST part was the one I most worried about (turning the heel). Unfortunately, I happened to tell my mother that I was learning to knit socks and she just sounded very puzzled and asked why on earth I would want to knit socks. I tried explaining it but I don't think she understands it at all.

But it has been a personal goal of mine since I started knitting and I'm really enjoying watching the sock take shape.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Back in town...

My sock traveled to a conference with me, as did the Irish Hiking Scarf. I am now at the point of knitting the heel flap on the first sock, which I am now calling the "donny and marie sock". Remember his purple socks, anyone? the sock yarn is creating a sort of diagonal stripe, but I'm very pleased with it.

I should have a picture up later this weekend. I did make some progress on the cabled scarf but learning how to do socks just sort of sucked me in.

Edited to add: pre-heelflap pictures (camera phone).
The colors are really brighter than the first picture, but I wanted to show the striping effect it is having. The most accurate representation of color is here.