Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I won a contest at Jody's blog in honor of her 100th post! She's put together some wonderful goodies (including Mexican Jumping Beans!) What an unexpected surprise! Thank you, Jody!

I love talking with G- he makes me laugh like no one else. We were talking last night after leaving a restaurant. I was really fuzzy from meds, and tired from being back at work before I was 100% better... so I wasn't thinking all that clearly. We see a woman walking in with a man: she is talking on her cell phone and the man is twirling his keys around on his finger, and wearing saddle shoes which struck me as a little odd.

G: Hey its Doc Holliday!

Me: What do you mean? Doc Holliday didn't wear saddle shoes.

G: No no. He's twirling his keys like a tin cup.

Me: I was talking about his shoes. Did you see them?

G: Don't you remember the movie? You know... "I'm your pumpernickel"?

Me: . . .

Me: What are you talking about? Did you say pumpernickel?

G: Yeah. Doc Holliday, in the movie... you know (said in a way that implied maybe I should see the movie again)

Me: . . .

Me: That's "I'm your huckleberry." (starts laughing)

G: Whatever.

On the knitting front, I've been stumped on my Dulaan children's socks. I'm used to working from the pattern that came with my DVD on how to knit socks and while I found a pattern to do child socks, suddenly it said to do whatever kind of heel I wanted. How many rows?? I know I can do a heel flap but have no idea how large to make it, and have no children to test out various heel sizes on.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Saturday Sky and dyed skeins

I'm late in posting my Saturday sky since I've been under the weather *and* having a birthday! Here's the brief interlude when it looked nice yesterday... the rest of it was overcast and windy and all around gloom. Seriously, ten minutes later it was raining and howling outside.

Yesterday was a lot of napping, watching a new DVD set (sports night) my sister sent me, a little bit of dyeing and talking to family from Texas. Ohhhh! and a delicious dinner cooked for me!

I played around with dyes on two white skeins of Cascade 220. Each skein was dyed especially for a certain individual, but both persons won't know it until they receive their swap/gift packages. I did a sock yarn skein for myself but its still drying.

(the bottom skein has turquoise, sapphire blue, and shades of purple blended in, but its hard to get all the colors to show without it being washed out.)

The Case of the Missing Dog: I looked everywhere for Gypsy, checking all the nooks and crannies in all three floors of the house. Normally when I'm home she is contantly underfoot. Finally, I found her all snuggled up in her kennel, enjoying her doggie downtime.

Friday, October 27, 2006


I did not go to Rhinebeck although it seems as though everyone else did. So I've been admiring everyone's purchases via their blogs, and came across this gem of an idea: Karrie is pretending she went to Rhinebeck and shows off the 'new' stuff she got (from her stash).

So I went shopping in the plastic bin under my bed, and look at the lovelies I found:

Clockwise from the topleft corner:
1. Suri Dream from Knitpicks in Gloxinia (beautiful deep plum, hopefully to be a Bella Scarf)
2. Sock yarn from Lancaster Cty. Yarns & Wools (courtesy of my Secret Pal 8 spoiler)
3. Cherry Hill Glitz in Foxy Lady (currently on the needles for red sock KAL)
4. Classic Elite Desert (color #2015) from my One Skein Pal. Lovely greens and teals.
5. Twilights Handpainted merino sock yarn .... dyed by me :)
6. Blues and Violets dyed Lamb's Pride... again, dyed by me :)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

More mail love!!!

Today I went into work, only to be sent to the doctor and come home with a verdict of bronchitis. My cough suppressant is making me very sleepy so I am all curled up under my comforter with the Brat Pack True Hollywood Story, knitting away at my socks and trying not to nod off like I did about an hour ago. That Rob Lowe was so cute in St Elmo's Fire!

My Sockret Pal sent me a fabulous package for my birthday. S/he's already been so generous to me, and this was so sweet of my pal to send. Thank you, Sockret Pal!!

Inside was Apple Creamed Honey which I've never heard of but I gave it a taste test... delish!!! I'm already planning some biscuits tomorrow to enjoy. And there was some wonderful citrus spice homemade soap which made me immediately want to run a warm bath, give that a test run too. And there was... Socks That Rock in a very pretty, springy colorway called Watermelon Tourmaline. This made me catch my breath.

One of the first things I heard of when I started learning to knit was Socks That Rock. It made me wish I lived in a more populated area where I could go see their yarns in person... to give them a test squeeze, so to speak. I just never thought I would ever get the hang of socks, and definitely not be able to make socks worthy of a skein of STR yarn. I'm still practicing on inexpensive sock yarns as I am learning, but once I finish up the current sets I'm making, along with the extra practice I had on the fuzzy feet, I'm ready to try out one of the nicer yarns.

Thank you, Pal, so very much!! Between this and the lovely package I received yesterday from my SP8 Spoilee, I am one very lucky knitter. Thank you.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mail Love!

I have been dragging just a bit, fighting off a cold. I came home early today to rest, and came before the mailman did. So it was a complete surprise to wake up and find a package waiting for me from my spoilee from SP8 for my birthday!

Our kitchen is a soft cornflower blue with lots of white trim and this dishcloth matches it perfectly!! She put in the sweetest card and the yarn... oh my... She purchased it on a recent trip and it is so soft with such beautiful colors of yellows, periwinkles and corals. I adore it. I will have to find just the right project for this. Thank you!!!

I finished my second Dulaan hat last night. It's slightly smaller than the first. Double stranded Lamb's Pride makes a very thick hat, and I like how bright this one came out too.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saturday sky

We just got back from the park... saw some beautiful Saturday sky peeking through all the foliage.

We also saw four fawns running through the trees but by the time I snapped the picture, I could only find two.

more beautiful sky... so relaxing

Gypsy's all worn out from running and playing

A little bit of progress

I cast on a new sock (it started off as a swatch), but am only letting myself knit a couple of rows when I take study breaks. I'm liking the soft, heather-y ocean colors and subtle variance of tones.

I'd really like to do a bit of dyeing, seeing as how I just received some new dye a couple of days ago and my Sockret Pal kindly sent me some yarn to dye. But I think I am going to save that for my birthday next Saturday. I have already proclaimed the 28th "the day where I will do no homework, nor chores nor anything I think I 'should' do". Only fun and relaxation allowed! And probably a long nap somewhere in the midst of all that fun. Someone at work nicely pointed out that 35 was middle-aged, which instantly made me feel about 30 years older.

One of my breaks today will hopefully be to visit a nearby park and take my Saturday Sky pic and get an hour of fresh air and some exercise. It's sunny and breezy outside and I want to take advantage of it while I can. Next week they are already calling for snow.

After tomorrow night, this semester is done (and two final projects will be submitted) and on Monday, I start my next semester without even a day off! The schedule is grueling but it will let me get my Master's in 18 months while working fulltime. Thank goodness for knitting my stress away!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sockret Pal goodness!!

When I came home tonight, there was a package waiting patiently for me, from my Sock-ret Pal.

Inside was such a sweet gift!! There was a really nice journal to keep track of my dyeing, patterns and recipes (which is a really good idea since most of my dyeing is... shall we say "one of a kind" because I never remember to write it down). And a beautiful beaded ornament which I've already found a place for in my home.
There was also
some mango mandarin eau de toilette, which smells clean, fresh, and absolutely divine!

My Pal also picked out a book, "Knitting for Peace" which I have heard a lot of good things about, so I'm excited to have a chance to read it.

And to cap it off, some Henry's Attic Monty 3/9 yarn for dyeing socks! This completely made me over-the-moon happy because not three hours earlier, I was trying to decide whether to get more dyeable yarn since I have some new dyes coming my way this weekend. I couldn't decide what type to get... which turned out for the best since there was new yarn waiting for me!

My pal must be my Psychic Sock-ret Pal! Thank you, Sock-ret Pal, so very much!

Monday, October 16, 2006

A sense of accomplishment

My berrylicious fuzzy feet are done and shipped off to their owner-to-be. I forgot to include directions so she'll get an email with directions on how to felt them down so they custom fit her feet. Otherwise, she will think I sent her the biggest socks in the world, as my sister did when I proudly showed her my work in progress.
Also made: one super snuggly hat for Dulaan 2007, made of double stranded worsted weight yarn (orange: hand dyed wool, green: dyed Lamb's Pride courtesy of my Secret Pal 8 spoiler, BJ) I just used a simple hat pattern.

I also received this lovely yarn today, it's the new super sport from Lisa Souza. What amazing colors!! It's so incredibly soft, I can't wait to knit it up.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

4 things.

Four jobs I’ve had:

  • Clinique Consultant
  • Community Relations for a water company, where part of my job was in-home inspections of water efficient toilets. Wooo! (That was not in my job description when I applied)
  • Advertising Account Exec.
  • Marketing Manager

Four movies I can watch over and over:

  • Grease
  • Pulp Fiction
  • Monty Python's Holy Grail
  • Chicago

Four places I have lived:

  • Netherlands
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • College Station, TX (Fightin' Texas Aggies!)
  • Falls Church, VA

Four television shows I love to watch:

  • Daily Show/Colbert Report (I sort of view them as one show)
  • Amazing Race
  • Project Runway- except this season, not liking it as much.
  • Law and Order rerun marathons on TNT

Four places I have been on vacation:

  • toured Greece
  • skiing in Munich, Germany
  • dancing in a Scottish pub (and waking up to the haunting strains of bagpipes being played each morning across the loch)
  • doing the beach thing in Cancun, Mexico

Four of my favorite dishes:

  • creme brulee - too rich to eat often, but so good
  • tenderloin salad on spring greens with blue cheese, tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette
  • fajitas on homemade flour tortillas- really, it's just an excuse to eat my homemade tortillas
  • butternut squash/roasted apple soup with a mixed greens salad and crusty bread

Four websites I visit daily:

  • Livejournal.com
  • Yahoo.com for mail, maps, news, sometimes groups.
  • Goodsearch.com for searches... for every search, it donates money to my specified charity
  • Bloglines.com

Four places I would rather be right now:

  • visiting my mom and sister in Texas
  • visiting family in San Diego and spending down time at La Jolla Cove
  • exploring New Zealand
  • flying in a helicopter over Hawaii

Meme courtesy of Crazy Aunt Purl (highly recommended read... love her sense of humor)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saturday sky/Day trip

We went on a trip today, just for a change of pace. We drove through the mountains into VA, where we visited an Amish farm, a harvest fair and a wonderful non-profit craft store that provided a venue for the local artisans to sell the items.

I'm a bit tired now that we are home, but we did get some lovely homemade goodies from the farm and fair, and some beautiful pictures. I wish we had waited for next week for brighter foliage, but that will be crunch time for my final school projects and we would have missed the fair. And we could not ask for better roadtrip weather!

I just know this little guy's bleating meant... "Take me home, please!"

Friday, October 13, 2006

My favorite FO (response to SP9 question)

My SP Hostess, Lorinda, asked what FO I like the best or am proudest of. Not having a large number of FOs to my name, I did look through my mini-collection. Granted, I will say that I am probably most proudest of my dye projects since it's harder for me to capture my mood and express it in color but since those aren't FO's, strictly speaking...

My favorite FO are my first pair of fuzzy feet that I made for someone I adore. It was especially fun to do they are completely unique. I dyed the yarn for him, tackled a new pattern, and the gift is appreciated and worn as much as I had hoped.

I overdyed some camel tan Lamb's Pride into some rich, redwood colors: gold, pine, chestnut and red. G tends to be pretty conservative with color, but this fits his personality well.

The pattern knit up easily and it gave me a chance to improve my sock skills. And the colors were so pretty I'd have to stop every few rows to admire them. About halfway through I started thinking about wearing them myself if he didn't like them (which he overheard me muttering and but a stop of THAT line of thinking: he likes them!)

Best of all... he loves them! Since he didn't actually express any interest in slippers before I announced I would make him these, I thought he would maybe wear them once or twice a year to be polite, but on cold nights, he's quick to pull them out.

And the success with this FO has led me to make a pair for a dear friend who's birthday is rapidly approaching! I dyed her yarn a gorgeous colorway... sort of berrylicious. I'm about 2/3 of the way through and should be done tomorrow, which is just barely in time to mail them off!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My latest dye jobs :)

I debated on whether to post these or not, as I might be using them for gift knitting. But I'm so pleased with the outcome that I will just be extra careful with what I say.

Last weekend, I handpainted two skeins of sock yarn. I will say the oceany one had me worried about halfway through... just was not sure how the colors were going to look but I am happy with it now.

I'll be casting on one of these this weekend, just to see how the colors look when knitted up. I just can't decide which one to cast on.

In other news... I have been matched for SP! Let the fun begin!!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Get to know you Secret Pal 9 Questions

From Jody's Blog:

1. Where is your favorite knitting spot?

On the couch, with my pup snuggled next to me. But if I had the choice? I'm pretty sure relaxing on my balcony on a cruiseship at sea would rate pretty high up there too.

2. If you suddenly could never knit again (shudder) - what would you do instead?
Handpaint yarn.

3. If you could travel anywhere in the world - where would you go and why?
New Zealand . I've wanted to visit, possibly move there, for years- beautiful country, great adventuring and less commercialized than the States. I've heard there are many more sheep than people.

4. When you were little - What did you want to do "when you grew up?" Are you doing it? I wanted to be a writer who lived in a lighthouse, who listened to the waves crashing and walked along the dunes for inspiration. I do get a chance to write copy in my marketing job but I think I like my childhood vision better. And one day I will do it (maybe not the lighthouse, but I'd settle for a view of a lake or ocean).

5. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Coffee or mocha.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Saturday Skies

1 A.M.
Beautiful, chilly night with a brilliant full moon peeking out from behind the clouds.

9 A.M.
Crisp morning that is nearly radiating energy with this deep blue sky. An instant mood lifter, especially after about a week and a half of chilly rain.

I've decided I am going to dye today, simply because the colors are so vibrant outside and I can't wait to see my own colors hanging out in the sunshine.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My list of WIPs

I finished my first Fuzzy Foot for d, who's birthday is later this month. So I have about a week to finish the second and mail it out with instructions on how to felt. This was the first time I've ever dyed a yarn (Lamb's Pride) with a person as an inspiration and I'm pleased with how it is looking. It definitely suits her.

In contrast to the huge fuzzy foot, I started my child's sock for Socktoberfest (and for Dulaan). I'm using Sock Garden in Star Gazer Lily, now discontinued, from Knitpicks and this is my first time using size 2 needles. I have to say, I like how the color is not pooling as much as it was on my first sock.

I am doing a dishcloth knitalong... currently using up scraps in a scrap dishcloth for myself:

and my first ballband dishcloth which is waiting for an orange border trim. (This angle reminds me of peeps)

And I picked up this mohair last weekend at my LYS. It's Filatura Di Crosa Multicolor (and the flash is washing it out a bit but trust me, the color is fabulous).
I only picked up one skein because it was an unexpected splurge, and then I decided to try to make a lacy scarf to make the most of the yardage. I love the colors.

So this is my first attempt at working with mohair AND doing anything with open stitches. I'm not sure how I like the mohair but we'll see how it goes. I think its a variation of a fan and feather pattern. It makes me think so I can't work on it as often as a dishcloth or sock, but it's engaging.

And at the end of my WIP list is my Irish Hiking scarf but I have that stashed at work.

Monday, October 02, 2006


What do I do when I'm not doing homework that is due in 5 and a half hours? Cruise sockret blogs (I'm at 'P' now), reading their questionnaires and look for sock patterns.

But I have found my red sock yarn and placed my order- which is rather a relief since I saw some red patterned sock yarn locally and didn't care for it. I even spent some more time untangling the dyed yarn but I'm starting to think that is a lost cause.

I think I found my first yarn to gift my pal with, too!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Secret Pal 9 Questions

1a. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
My absolute favorite so far has been Watermark, by Fiesta Yarns. It's amazingly soft, and was the type of yarn I had to stop every three rows to pet and sigh over. Other favorites include: Lorna's Laces Worsted, Knitpicks Shine, Classic Elite Lush, Lamb's Pride.

I adore variegated colors and interesting textures, and have a preference for natural fibers, particularly alpaca, merino wool, wool/mohair blends.

I've only been knitting for a year, so my exposure to different types of yarns is limited- its one of the reasons why I enjoy the exchanges so much.

b. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I don’t like really harsh acrylics that hurt my hands, and I’m not fond of eyelash or novelty yarn. Softer acrylics don’t bother my hands, though. I just tend to prefer natural fibers.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
A plastic three drawer box, and a Denise case. I'd love to be more organized in my knitting storage (needles and notions and stash) but I never seem to get to that point.

3. a. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn?
Dec 2005. Self-taught through internet (especially knitting help videos) and learned socks from DVD. I do better with visuals than just text.

b. Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
Adventurous beginner.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Usually my wishlist is geared towards family/friends who don't live near me. It's pretty basic and not the sort of thing they have on Amazon. Gift certs to Diva Knitting or Knitpicks are always appreciated. (Diva Knitting has some dyes I'm coveting). Maybe a small niddy noddy, pretty stitch markers, or a small size project bag to keep my WIP in.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
Clean fresh scents (cotton, linen), vanilla, lavender, cucumber melon, mandarin
Nothing too cloying, overly floral or sweet

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I try not to indulge very often.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I'd like to learn how to spin but that is quite a ways off. I have found I love dyeing yarn, though. I use the Jacquard acid dyes.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Yes, it can play Cds and mp3s. I like 80s music (Duran Duran, Madonna, Depeche Mode, U2 assorted long hair bands). Billy Joel and Rob Thomas. Garbage. Soft female singers like Loreena McKinnett, Sarah McLaughlin, Dido, etc. But not Mariah Carey or boy bands.

9. a. What's your favorite color(s)? I love rich chestnuts, wines, plums, blues, greens, dove greys, smoky blues, corals. I also love Caribbean colors, cornflower blues, aquas, clear greens, that sort of thing.

b. Any colors you just can't stand? I’m not a big fan of 70s style mustard brown or pea green in general. Yellows/Beige look terrible near my face. Neons (with the exception of bright colors on my ballband washcloths)

10. a. What is your family situation? Live with my best friend.

b. Do you have any pets?
We share Gypsy, who is our lab/springer spaniel rescue.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Hats and scarves.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I just started socks and love them. I'm just now venturing out of the Knitpicks sock yarn into some of the other brands to see what I like.

I also enjoy knitting fuzzy feet and washcloths, and make baby items for various charities. I work fulltime and attend graduate courses in the evenings, so I like small, portable projects I can work on easily in the free time I can find... at least until July 2007 when I get my weekends and evenings back again!!

13. What are you knitting right now?
Children socks for Dulaan/Socktoberfest, fuzzy feet with my handdyed yarn for a birthday gift, assorted dishcloths, Irish Hiking Scarf and I started playing with a mohair scarf pattern last night.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes, provided it is something I would use. I'd hate for someone to go through the trouble of making me a tea cozy when I don't drink tea, etc. I've not had that happen yet, thank goodness :)

15. a. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
For socks, I use two Knitpicks Circulars.

b. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I like my Denises, but am hoping to get the Knitpicks Options from my family for my birthday or the holidays. I'm not a big fan of Bamboo but Gypsy loves to eat them.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes, I have both. Next, I'm hoping to get a small niddy noddy.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? Irish Hiking Scarf from July.

18. What is your favorite holiday? The New Year. For me, it’s a chance to reflect, and renew my spirit.

Also, I'm a fan of International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Yarrrrr!

19. Is there anything that you collect? Recipes.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
No magazine subscriptions yet. I've been hoping to get the Mason Dixon book or Simply Noro at some point.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Entrelac (so I can one day make a Lady E stole), and being able to follow more complicated patterns.

I'd also like to eventually move on to sweaters so a future project will be a couple of child/baby sized sweaters before I move into adult size. And learning how to use DPNs for socks, right now it is just awkward.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Size 8.5 Womens (US)

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) October 28