Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sock It To Me Pal: Please contact me

Please contact me via email! The address you have will not be good after this weekend. I've tried emailing you, etc and would just like to touch base, pass on my temporary address for the next month or so. I hope you have not forgotten me.


Friday, August 31, 2007

Sockapalooza Socks Arrived!

This will be double posted since this was my blog for Sockapalooza-

My socks arrived... all the way from Germany!

Julia knit Baudelaires from Regia Silk (oh-mi-gosh-is-this-yarn-amazingly-soft!!) They look fantastic and fit really well. I wish I could do more complicated patterns for socks. I may have to challenge myself more on the next pair. I have not taken them off since I put them on.

Today was a perfect day for this package- it was the last day of my job so I can focus on finding a job out of state. So G and I had already planned to go out for dinner and not stick to my diet. I rarely splurge with food since it knocks me off ketosis for a few days when I do. So it makes it harder for me to lose weight for a couple of days after the splurge. ... and inside her package was some chocolate. I can't even say when the last time I ate chocolate was. But since we had already splurged, I had half a bar. YUM.

And tomorrow? double cardio, extra situps and lots of veggies.

Thank you Julia!! These are perfect!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hiding my hands at work today...

I took a night off from job hunting to dye up some yarn. So much fun- it's been a long time since I last did it. When I peeled off my gloves I was horrified to see that both hands were stained with all the colors I used. G called me zombie hands- the fading browns/yellows look like old bruises and the greens/blues are just scary (and the teal stained nails aren't helping!)

I only have two big meetings with vendors today... I just hope they don't notice my hands. (Granted, I've been through this before... I used self tanner way back in the early 90s when I received my Bachelors, and forgot to wash my hands. I had bright orange hands in my graduation pictures. Yipes.)

It's very bad when I decide to reward myself with yarn for getting a good job. I've promised myself several skeins of Socks that Rock with my first new paycheck. I peeked on their website and fell in love with Sugarplums. But until then... with the exception of spoiling my pal for Secret Pal/Sock exchanges, I am not to buy yarn. (Yes, I know I tried this before but this time I mean it. Really.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Not socks??

I've been kicking around the idea of a fingering weight Clapotis and it seems like the ones I am considering will make perfect gifts. My options are a supersolid sock yarn from Cherry Tree Hill (in a vibrant purple- I have someone in mind for that one) or a fingering weight solid red alpaca (someone else in mind). The Yahoo group for Clapotis will be closing at the end of the year, so I'd like to get started before it closes. At least then I'll have a place to ask questions if needed.

I've heard the first Clap usually gets frogged quite a bit, so maybe I'll test it out on inexpensive yarn until I understand the pattern, since it is one of the more complicated ones I will have done so far.

Reminder to self: check out this tutorial

Sunday, August 19, 2007

this and that....

In order to stay focused on the projects I'm doing, I put each pattern and WIP in a specific bag so I can either grab it when we head out for a long drive, take to work for lunch, have one next to the TV so I don't have to stop and search for my knitting before we watch a show/movie, etc.

So... I'm working on tiny baby socks for Afghans and today I'll be starting my Sock It to Me socks out of Cherry Tree Hill sport yarn in Cabin Fever (my match likes autumn colors). I've also got both my second STR Ampersand sock and some red yarn for a scarf ready to go in my project bag downstairs.

Every time I fill out a questionnaire for a swap, I have to be pretty emphatic about no chocolates or other decadent treats since I am on a highly restrictive diet. But I finally found a no-guilt treat that I absolutely love (that also is permissible on my diet): green olives stuffed with jalapeƱos! These are insanely good and low in calories/carbs, and they are so flavorful that I am satisfied after 2 olives.

I'm in full-steam job search mode, and a bit overwhelmed at the number of opportunities. I don't have children or a current relationship, nor do I own a house so I can pretty much pick up and move anywhere. In my adult life, I've lived in three regions in Texas, California (Santa Monica), Northern VA (DC metro area) and now WV (and I can't wait to leave). So relocating is not a problem but trying to decide where to relocate is a mixture of excitement and nervousness- I don't want to end up in another area I dislike as much as this one. Ideally, I'd love NH but there's a lot of opportunity outside the area that might be a better fit.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

SP questions :)

Posed by my Hostess, Shelby :)

1. What is the one knitting accessory you could not live without?
I tend to lose all my accessories. The one I could not live without is a tapestry needle for my kitchener-ing (which I have to hunt for every single time I get to that point in my sock), followed closely by crochet hook and needle gauge. I've been meaning to buy a new needle gauge for the longest time.

2. If you're heading on vacation, do you take knitting with you? If so, how much and what type of project?
I haven't had a vacation since I started knitting nearly two years ago- I spent all my free time working on my Masters in the evenings and weekends while I worked fulltime. But I am planning a roadtrip and I will be taking a sock project.

3. Where have you traveled to that you'd consider your favorite spot?
Tied between Mont. St. Michel in Normandy/Brittany and Austria where it was so gorgeous we kept having to pull over along the road every ten minutes to just take in the beauty of the landscape. Le Mont St Michel is absolutely amazing- not only for its unique nature (tiny tidal island built on granite) but for its history and incredible architecture of the Gothic church at the top of the Mont.

4. What is your favorite knitting book at the moment? Do you own it?
Favorite Socks and yes.

5. Do you listen to podcasts? Which is your favorite(s)?
I've been meaning to, but have not had the time.

Was it something I said?

I have not heard from my sock knitter. Just let me know you are out there, somewhere. I'm stalking my postman and he would like it to stop. I'm not sure he is understanding my babble about sock exchanges. :)

Finally, I can breathe: My socks have arrived to their destination! Woohooo!

Here's the packaged version:

And the other pic with specs

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

ooooh shiny!

A yarn I've wanted but thought they discontinued has just shown back up... Den-M-nit Pure Indigo Cotton!!

I love the medium Indigo. Love Love Love. Well, that and the deeper Indigo....

I've wanted to try this out ever since I saw this gorgeous sweater.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A little worried...

My Sockapalooza Pal's only one state away but I have not heard if she received her socks I sent last week. No socks in my mailbox yet, either. I keep checking,
just in case.

However, I have received my match for Secret Pal 11 and am excited to get started with that.

In other news...

I've also got some red yarn set aside to make at least one scarf for the Red Scarf Project
Caron Simply Soft in Autumn Red (this picture doesn't do it justice... the color is gorgeous) and Knitpicks Swish in Fired Brick.

They are accepting scarves between Sept. 1 and October 15, 2007, so that will be the project that breaks into my trend of only doing socks!

Here's hoping tomorrow will bring better news on the Sockapalooza front.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Getting organized...

This weekend has been all about organizing and looking ahead.

I love living simply. I tend to move quite often (every 2-3 years) so I use that time to re-evaluate and remove any extra 'Stuff' that just seems to collect on the shelves. I'm not a knick-knack sort of person... more of a clean, minimal aesthetic but in a comfortable way. And since I am hoping to move out of this area for a new position, I figured I would get started on packing/purging the items I am not currently using.

I cleaned up my resume and cover letter, and decided to apply for anything and everything that matched my qualifications. Instead of focusing on one state which I had been doing previously, I did it on a nationwide scale- and wow. I have enough job opportunities to keep me busy every night for a couple of weeks! As much as I'd like to stay within a specific region, finding the best job for me as soon as possible is more important.

I also packed up one large box of yarn I will not be using in the next 4-6 months, inventoried it and then sealed/stored it. Then I packed away my stash for the next 4-6 months into an under-the-bed plastic bin. Finally, I put my current projects into a small plastic tote. Tonight I'll be casting on for my baby sock for Afghan's for Afghans, and probably getting my Sock It to Me Pal's Sock started.

Next step is tackling my bookshelves and deciding what gets packed and what needs to be purged, a chore that I've been avoiding for years. Better to do it now than trying to juggle that and organize a move, though :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Finished socks!

I have pictures of them cutely packaged but that would give away my Sockapalooza's Pal's name, so that will wait until they arrive. I had to mail them out today since they were still drying yesterday on the official mailout day.

Cherry Tree Hill Sport (Dusk colorway)
Needles: 2 pair size 3 Knitpicks classic circulars
Priscilla's Dream Socks out of Favorite Knits
Mods: my normal toes, garter short row heel

On these, I learned how to unknit a finished sock *groan* and how to finally do short heels! They are awfully squooshy but I could not figure out why the second one pooled differently... I knitted it from the center just like the first one was and tried to start it several times at different points.

Next on my to-do list... some major dyeing :) And socks for charity. Maybe this lonely baby sock can find its mate.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

In case you have the notion...

Paraphrased from their website: Afghans for Afghans needs blankets, hats, mittens, socks, sweaters, and vests for youth, which will go to children's rehabilitation and health centers in Kabul and Bamiyan. These programs treat children who have been traumatized psychologically and physically by the years of war and poverty. The due date is September 21.

More info here

This will be a good chance to use some of my random assortments of worsted weight yarn leftovers, and children's socks/hats out of worsted weight yarn... it doesn't get much faster than that! They're looking for crocheted baby blankets, too :)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Secret Pal 11 Questionnaire

1. a.What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Currently, it's sock yarn. But overall, 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, Cherry Tree Hill, Classic Elite Lush, Knitpicks Ambrosia, Socks That Rock.

I have some Knitpicks Gloss and Lisa Souza sock yarn that I am dying to knit up- they are both incredible to the touch. I adore variegated colors and interesting textures, and have a preference for natural fibers, particularly alpaca, merino wool, wool/mohair or cashmere/wool blends.

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 at all. Some cottons are hard on my hands as well. Softer acrylics don’t bother my hands though, but I prefer natural fibers.

Texture and color are both very important to me.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
A plastic three drawer box, and my Options 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? There's a yarn-y wishlist in my margin, but its mostly to remind myself of interesting yarn as I come across it.

5. What's your favorite scent?
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?
Please, nothing edible. I'm watching what I eat very seriously and need to avoid temptation at all costs.

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 (‘G’).

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've recently discovered socks and I'm hooked. At the moment, all of my projects are socks of one form or another.

13. What are you knitting right now?
Socks for my Sock It To Me swap, about to start a pair of socks for G, and finish up my Ampersand socks. And maybe a fan and feather scarf for someone’s birthday.

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?
Circulars (Options)
For socks, I use two Knitpicks Circulars.

b. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Nickel plated. Gypsy eats bamboo ones.

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. I just got burned out and can't seem to want to pick it up again.

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. Otherwise, I try not to collect anything that may someday turn into clutter (which can easily happen with me). I just graduated with my Masters and hope to find a job out of state, so I'm trying to keep extra 'stuff', including knick knacks, to a minimum so I don’t have to pack and move it.

I am a scented candle and lotion fanatic, though, and I never have enough purse sized hand creams.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I'm dying to try Apple Laine yarn or Posh yarn
I've been meaning to get this pattern and haven't done so yet.
I'm good on books, though.

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?
Absolutely. Size 8.5 Womens (US). I can be more specific in email if you tell me what you need to know.

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

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? Love Ravelry. I'm "Kaylee" on there :)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

My final grade (and knit update)

I finally heard back from my prof about my capstone project for grad school. It was such a large portion of my grade that until I knew that project passed, I wasn't 100% sure I passed the last class and actually graduated. So it has been the longest week ever waiting for him to grade it.

Then he started to distribute grades... there's only 12 of us in the class so I kept getting emails from other students saying "I got my grade! We're done! Stay in touch". Most of my friends got theirs in the morning and I'm still checking at 10:00 PM and finding nothing. Argh. At this point I start to panic.

Then I get this note: "Excellent job. Best final project in the class." I got a perfect score on the project and an A+ in the class!! And now I know without a doubt I have finished the program (with a confirmed 3.9) It was such a relief because all this time, I have never known how I did compared to others in my class. I'd just like to know how I do against peers at my level, so I can know what I do bring to the table to new employers.

Back to knitting:
I'm halfway through my second sockapalooza sock, and have my yarn picked out for my next sock swap (autumn-y colors). It's another sport weight yarn (Cherry Tree Hill Sport) and I'm debating on making it a set of Ampersand socks because the pattern is so pretty and addictive, or trying something new.

I picked up some Opal 6 ply in a basic black to make G some thick-but-not-boot-weight socks, and I've heard Opal wears well. (I needed something long lasting and easy to care for... he's getting 2 pairs of the same exact socks in case he loses one, he has others that match). It's not the softest yarn but hopefully it will suit the purpose. I think that will end up being my mindless knitting for the rest of 2007.

This weekend (once sockapalooza socks are done), I'll be planning out holiday gift knitting :) It seems so odd to do that in 90 degree weather. I know I want to do some Mrs. Beeton's wristwarmers and one pair of Cookie A's Monkey socks, and possibly this lace tam/scarf set. I purchased the Alpaca Silk and it is amazingly soft.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Making progress

I'm loving the colors of this sock. My pal mentioned liking blue, green and purples... I think this should do the trick! And its so squishysoft.

The second one should go much faster now that I've got the hang of short row heels. I didn't do the short row toe, just my usual one.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Take the fork out.... I'm done (with grad school)

Well... I hope I am. I mailed off my capstone project and now have to wait for my final grade.

I can't believe I busted my butt in the evenings for my Masters degree in 18 months and it is finally over.

Sleep at last! And knitting more than an inch or two at a time! And dyeing!

I'm giddy.

Happy Blogversary to LaVerna!

LaVerna (my sockret pal spoilee) is celebrating her blog anniversary and an upcoming birthday! (Go leave her a little congrats if you have a moment).

She asked if anyone could guess where the title for her blog (Ridiculous Obsession) came from, and for once, it's something that I know. Moulin Rouge is a movie I can watch over and over.

One of the most memorable lines in it for me was "Thank you for curing me of my ridiculous obsession with love!" (Actually, the "ridiculous obsession" is mentioned several times by different people).

Saturday, July 21, 2007

SITM Contest 1

One of the swaps I'm currently in asked why and how I started to knit.

I'm not sure why it was appealing to me to begin with, other than simply stress relief. My mind races a lot of the time (or forgets to turn itself off when I try to sleep at night). I thought knitting would keep me engaged enough to let go and just relax before bed. And I had visions of alpaca and cashmere scarves/sweaters in my head. (My favorite wool sweater at the time cost me over $85 and I had drooled over it for 2 years before buying it... I liked the idea of being able to make sweaters myself, so I would have a bit more control over shaping and color. Little did I know knitting would be so expensive!)

I picked knitting because I liked how it draped, and because I thought it would be harder to learn how to use two needles (and so I could always go back and learn crochet easier than it would be to be used to only one needle and then try to learn how to knit). I considered needlepoint but I didn't think I would ever use the finished products.

So I picked up a learn to knit kit from a craft store, and spent four days trying to do it. It never took, so I tossed it in a drawer for over a year. When I came across it the second time, it went much easier and I was determined to figure it out. I was a bit concerned since I started to knit two weeks before my grad school classes started in the evenings, but I figured if there was ever a time I needed stress relief, this was it!

My first completed items were dishcloths for the Knitting Olympics.

Then I did a booga bag, realized I'm not a felted bag person, and gradually moved onto socks.

Absolutely cute!

In the midst of all my stress related splurging, I also stumbled across this site:
Sock Project Bags- completely customizable!

So cute (and reversable!)

Actually, the one that sold me on it was this one, and I'm not even a lime green person. But when I'm stressed, I like to clean and organize and I've come to the conclusion that
A) I have too much yarn stashed away with no purpose
B) I have too many socks-in-progress hanging around (one pair is in my really nice Lantern Moon bag, and one is in a Victoria's Secret handle bag, and three soon-to-start projects are just randomly sitting out waiting to be noticed)

Making great progress on the sock now during my study breaks, and the garter heel's growing on me (I'll admit, I did consider re-doing it because I was used to seeing primarily stockinette short row heels, but the idea of re-knitting the heel for a 9th time raised my blood pressure a little bit, considering the deadline). And now, I'm coming around to it. It's squooshier than a stockinette heel, and looks pretty good.

I should finish this sock by Monday night, and then plan to finish the second by next weekend- in plenty of time for the August 2-August 7 mail dates.

I'm also in A Sock It to Me Sock Swap and I have selected the yarn/pattern, which always seems to take me forever. I think this will be my 'travel' sock that goes with me in the car and during work lunches since I have until the end of Sept.

Friday, July 20, 2007

what's this??

I finally figured out the heel! It's a garter short row heel (I was so busy following the tutorial, I didn't realize it would be garter until I was halfway done). It's not perfect but its so much smoother than all of my previous attempts.

It actually seemed much faster than picking up the gusset once I understood the tutorial.

Off to bed... but what a relief it is to finally figure it out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Finally! The perfect stress reliever.

I've been seeing pictures of this fantastic sock yarn, Wollmeise, around the net. (Warning... look at your own risk- it's absolutely gorgeous).

The colorways are so incredibly vibrant, but with it being from Germany, I've not seen it sold here in the States all that much. I've been waiting till The Loopy Ewe stocked it and this morning, I did a little stash enhancement to ease the stress of finally finishing my class this weekend!! Thank goodness I did it this morning, I suspect there may not be any left when I get home.

I bought colors Tiefer See and Suzanne (my sister's name, so I'm a little sentimental) and I also bought some of the gorgeous Fiesta Boomerang I've been coveting. I think in Malibu, I wasn't quite awake when I ordered!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Adding to my Queue

One of the things that I like about Ravelry is the fact it helps me to organize my stash and projects. Sure, I could have probably done something similar if I had sat down with Excel or a notebook, but with school and work, I haven't had the time or energy and Ravelry's interface makes it much more fun.

It reminded me of the fact that I have no idea what I want to do with a lot of items in my stash... actually it made me realize there was yarn in my stash that I had no idea what kind of project I was thinking of when I first purchased it.

So I've started to look at patterns and make some plans on what sort of things I'd like to knit. I'm 4-5 sizes smaller than I was in March and should reach my fitness goal at the end of the year. So I've avoided knitting items that would be affected by any change in body size and shape. Socks are wonderful because they don't care if you are changing dress sizes. So are wrist warmers, hats and scarves.

But there is a part of me that wants to celebrate once I'm near my goal, and I'm anxious to try my first sweater. (besides, waiting until I'm at my goal size means I end up buying less yarn for each item!) I think I might go on a pattern buying binge. I'm looking some cute fitted sweaters since I have a tendency to get lost in bulky or oversized sweaters.

So this is my list (so far) that I plan on pruning down since I will need time to sleep, eat, workout, clean, etc...
  • Goddess- (pattern for purchase) I absolutely must have this. This design is so very... 'me'. I'm thinking a silk blend or bamboo to make it drapey and give it a little sheen. (and it shows off my arms, which look very toned without being too over-muscle-y. If only they weren't so glow-in-the-dark pale, but that's what comes with being a redhead).
  • Sundara's Tatami Kimono pattern: (pattern for purchase) I love the color of this, as well as the style. I've coveted this since the first time I saw it. Lucky me, it's considered beginner to advanced beginner!
  • Tempting II: (free pattern) I've liked this since I first discovered knitty. The neckline is my favorite part of this sweater. Very flirty and girly.
  • Green Gable (pattern for purchase) One of those patterns I like more and more. Especially the "little to no seaming" and "simple lace" part!
  • Knitpicks' Kimono Styled Sweater: (pattern already purchased) I actually purchased this pattern when I had been knitting less than a month. It's been sitting in my pattern notebook, waiting patiently for my skills to catch up.
  • Sahara: (pattern for purchase) I've mentioned this one before but I'm liking it more and more. Especially the sparkly beads. This will probably be one of my later sweaters due to the expense of the yarn involved.
  • Milinda Pullover and Krista Tee from White Lies Design. Both are so beautiful and feminine, although the lacework means these will be a little farther down the line. (patterns for purchase)
It's a bigger list than I thought. I better get to the gym!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Vacation plans...

Deep in the midst of my capstone project, I'm consoling myself with the idea of a roadtrip come this Labor Day. So far, we've sketched out a tentative plan that (hopefully) swings by Niagara Falls and then over to New Hampshire/Maine, which is one of the areas I am looking at possibly relocating. So we'll be spending a few days visiting different towns, getting a feel for the area, maybe speaking to a headhunter and hitting a few "can't miss" spots that people have recommended. Then we'll come back through Mass. and Penn. on the way back home (avoiding NYC if I can help it... the idea of that traffic does not sound too appealing).

I did find this awesome place to go, too: Alpine Zipline This is for sure on our schedule- it's 7 ziplines down the mountain and I've read somewhere the last one is nearly a freefall until the cable starts to work. Wooohoooo! I've wanted to do ziplines since I first started watching The Amazing Race and always thought I'd have to go to Costa Rica to do so. I'm pumped about doing this but those rickety rope bridges look a little scary.

I'm terrified of heights, therefore in my head I must conquer that fear. That flawed logic has made myself parasail and walk on high bridges, etc... one day I plan to hang glide and/or sky dive. The next thing after the ziplines will be one of those vertical wind tunnels to see how it feels (I'd love to do this on the trip, too but I'm not sure if that will happen).

And during that trip, I have my knitting project planned! I've been wanting to make G some Thuja socks out of Lorna's Laces Worsted in charcoal... so now they will be Roadtrip Socks. I'm pretty sure with all the driving we'll be doing, I'll be in good shape to finish them on the road.

(G hesitatingly asked me if I would be taking sock porn pictures on the trip. He was joking... mostly) I haven't told him yet that I am planning to hit as many yarn stores as I can during the trip, too.

So that will help get me through the next 10 days.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I have knit/frogged this short row heel now more than 7 times. I'm down to two last options- watching it on a how-to DVD and then asking my not-very-friendly LYS to help. (there's a reason why I've never taken my knitting to them in the first place). Well, one last option is calling the local fiber guild and seeing if I can pay someone for a couple of hours of help. And somewhere in between I have to finish my capstone project in under two weeks.

I do fine until I get to the heel base but then it gets... knotty and holey and very ugly. I'm not sure I am yarnovering correctly... the book shows one way and the tutorials show different ways.

Thank goodness for lifelines and thank goodness the yarn is holding up well for all my knitting and unraveling. If it had been a standard heel I would have been finished with both socks by now. Now I am determined to get the hang of this technique just to be able to say I can do it.

I'm probably going to have to contact my pal if my options fail. *sigh*

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Click, Click, Click... voila!

I keep discovering exactly how cool Ravelry is! I was looking for a DK weight sock pattern, and went to their pattern section, clicked 'DK/sport' and 'Sock' and up pops....

122 patterns in under 3 seconds!

Absolutely amazing!! then I clicked on either 5 stars or 4 stars for the highest rated patterns, and it dropped down to 64 patterns, all with pictures.

Oh, I can see this is going to be trouble... as in... I'm supposed to be finishing my final in 13 days (!!) and I've been playing in Ravelry the last hour.

Although really, I like the Ampersand pattern so much I am wondering if DK weight would work in place of Socks that Rock Mediumweight. Maybe I'll just go do a search on the yarn I am thinking of using, and see what other ravelers did with it....

Addiction. Pure addiction.

Info for Sock It to Me Sock Swap

  • What are your foot measurements? Usually size 8.5, but last few times I've been shopping I've been hovering between an 8 and an 8.5.
    • Length of foot: 9.75"
    • Circumference of ball of foot: 8.5"
  • How long have you been knitting? A year and a half
  • How would you rate your experience? Adventurous beginner
  • What is your favorite color? I don't have one specific favorite, but I like blues, greens, plums, as well as rich earth tones
  • Your least favorite color? Burnt orange. Yellow-y greens. Neons. I'm iffy on pastels.
  • Do you have a favorite fiber? Superwash for socks. I'm more of a texture type of person, I like soft fibers that make the knitting process as much fun as the end product. I also prefer natural fibers, although I am curious about some of the tencel blends and sea silk/sea wool yarns.
  • Do you have any allergies to certain fibers? Not that I know of. I'm not fond of pure mohair but blends seem to be fine. Again, texture is key.
  • Do you have an Amazon, or other type of, wishlist? Not at the moment.
  • What techniques, if any, would you like to learn? Lace and entrelac (and right now, short row heels which are frustrating me). These will be a bit down the road however because I have quite a few projects queued up for after I graduate in 2 weeks and they are mostly socks :)
  • Do you have a sweet tooth? What are your favorite snacks? I am on a fitness/eating program plan which is working very well for me. Please don't send me any snacks- I don't want the temptation and it takes me a while to get back on track if I indulge. If you really enjoy sending food items, I have an adorable pup who loves treats.
  • What is your family situation? (Children, Husband, Pets...etc.) Living with my best friend (G) and sharing a springer spaniel/black lab rescue named Gypsy.
  • Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Metal, plastic or wood? Right now, I love Options and Knitpicks Classic Circulars. They are pointy and slick, and I love the cords Knitpicks uses on their needles. I use 2 circulars for my socks, not DPNs.
  • Besides socks, what are your favorite items to knit? Right now, I'm really into socks. I could have three different socks going and be extremely happy. I'm hoping to try beginner lace at some point (my goal is before the end of the year).
  • Is there a pattern, (sock or otherwise), that you are dying to try? Monkeys or one of the Cookie A sock patterns. Eventually I'd love to try Sahara but that will be once my weight stops fluctuating, so probably 2008. I may try some Mrs. Beetons for myself and some holiday presents.
  • Do you like to read? Yes. Although with my schedule and schoolwork, I haven't read for pleasure as much as I normally would.
  • What are you reading currently? (please note, I am much more interesting than this list makes me sound- at least I hope I am!) On my nightstand:
  • Do you collect music? I *heart* my iPod. Absolutely.
  • What kind of music do you listen to? Right now, I'm playing the heck out of the new Amy Winehouse CD. Other favorites include Garbage, Dido, Sarah McLaughlin, 80s music (Billy Idol, Dead or Alive, old Madonna, Prince, Depeche Mode, that sort of thing), some alternative, Spanish guitar, some oldies. And 80s big-hair bands :) I'm not really into a lot of the pop that's out right now.
  • Is there anything you collect? Recipes. Unfortunately, any other collections, especially knickknacks, seem to turn into 'clutter' with me.
  • What are your hobbies, aside from knitting? Dyeing. Cooking. Reading. Working out. I am a fulltime marketing guru, fulltime grad student so hobby time is limited but I will be (hopefully) graduating in two weeks. When I get some free time, I'd like to start up bellydancing again.
  • Are you participating in any other swaps or knitalongs? Sockapalooza 4, debating on the next Secret Pal (11) exchange.
  • Do you have a favorite scent? Soft linen/cotton types, light scents of vanilla and lavender. I like cucumber-melon and mandarin orange scents, too. I prefer clean, fresh scents- nothing too sweet, spicy or cloying.
  • When is your birthday? Last week of October.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Absolutely beautiful....

Click at your own risk... these are almost too adorable for their own good

I'll write more later but we are on the way out the door to see Transformers....

Monday, July 02, 2007

Secret Pal Reveal!

I received an awesome package from my SP10 Spoiler!

I'm not sure if she's been secretly parked outside my window the past few months, but I'll prefer to think of her as my 'psychic friend'. She gave me a subscription to Cooking Light and some recipe cards (I am trying to learn how to cook healthier food, so this is a perfect gift. We've already marked a few of her recipes and some CL ones as 'Must Try!' )

She also gave me the "Dyer's Companion" which I immediately sat down and started to read. I've been back in the dyeing mindset lately and doing a few small gift projects here and there, so this will be a valuable resource!

She also included some smaller goodies (SOAK packet, lotion, crochet hooks since I can never find one when I drop a stitch!) and some scrumptious sock yarn from Pagewood Farm called Vineyard Blues. It's beautiful.

Here's a closeup of the rich colors. I can't wait to see how it knits up!

Thank you, Secret Pal! You've been a wonderful spoiler and I'm touched at how thoughtful your package was.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Been out of town...

But I came back to some lovely packages from my Secret Pal, and my sock kit swap pal. I'll post these tomorrow when I've had a chance to take some pictures.

We spent a couple of days in Baltimore to see the Aquarium and other sightseeing (and where I had a ton of excellent food... thank goodness we walked off all the calories). My favorite part? The Dolphin show and the excellent service/seafood we received at Phillips, for a moonlit dinner overlooking the harbor.

While I didn't get a chance to do a yarn crawl, I did enjoy shopping at the Prime Outlets on the way home. I've lived in a small town too long- I was in ecstasy over little things like the Banana Republic and Nine West outlet. I managed to come out with my wallet intact, but I definitely want to return before I find a new job and relocate to buy some new things to outfit my 'single' kitchen... unless it seems smarter to purchase everyone after I move. Some of those deals were very tempting.

I'll have my Kitchen Aid mixer, my Cuisinart, knives, wine stemware and other accessories, but will need new dishes, a Calphalon set, mixing bowls, silverware, etc- part of the joys of moving into my own place after living with one person for 9 years. I'm looking forward to being the 'decider' on what color schemes, dish sets, etc I'll have in my home.

I think it will start to be exciting once I land a job and the move becomes 'real'. Right now it just seems like a lot to plan and pack.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

short row heel frustration

Argh. Four times I've knitted this heel and I'm STILL getting holes once I start picking up the wraps. How on earth can I avoid it? Any suggestions are welcome (and desperately needed).

My sock pal only likes the short row heels so this is my only option. But I'm worried about being able to make two socks with these heels (with no holes).

Monday, June 25, 2007


Oooohhh my.

Despite the fact that I am trying to streamline my stash in anticipation of my (hopefully) upcoming move once I graduate... I came across this yarn at The Loopy Ewe. I adore the colors. I'm not sure I need a worsted weight merino yarn for socks but Thuja or the Cabled Footies from the One Skein book come to mind...

I haven't used the Boomerang before but I have used Fiesta Watermark and loved it (one of the best yarns I've knit with to date)

I don't need it. But I absolutely want it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Attempting my first short row heel tonight...

I'm a little nervous but I'll be trying my first short row heel tonight. I've got about six different tutorials to walk me through. So first thing I'll do is put a lifeline in (yes, I finally learned after many stressful froggings) and then we'll see how it goes. The pattern (Priscilla's Dream Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, seems pretty clear.

Anyway, I love the socks so far, and I'm pleased with the progress. I'd put a picture up but it looks like the one on the previous blog entry, with a couple more inches in length.

I'm thinking of moving my blog to WordPress once I'm out of school in a month. Blogger just doesn't seem to be agreeing with me.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Socks, socks, socks!

First, I finished a baby sock and cast on the mate. It's so cute!

Yarn: leftover scraps of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Child's Play

Pattern: Baby Socks

Needles: size 1 Knitpicks classic circulars

Then, I finally found the pattern I want to use for my Sockapalooza socks, which fits my criteria (sport weight, cuff down, short row heels). It's Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' "Priscilla's Dream Socks" from my new Favorite Socks book.

I've made pretty good progress so far:
(the color on this yarn is absolutely beautiful- deep jewel tones in violet, green and blue)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

One sock down!

Amazing what progress I can do when I'm avoiding my homework.

Here's also a picture of the front since it shows off the pattern better:

I just took some pictures of yarn I was about to destash but I think I was a couple of days too late! I've heard some alternative sites have opened up for destashers, but can't find them anywhere.

So I put them up on just in case. If anyone can point me to a destash site, please let me know!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Twas brillig and the slithy toves...

I rarely show my appreciation for those blogs I visit regularly. They are funny, informative, interesting, inspiring, and cause me to buy way too much yarn :) Sometimes they make me feel a little less alone with my fiber obsession. But above all else, they are coherent! Thank you.

I've done a little blog surfing during a study break and the last two new ones I visited, I can't understand what they are writing about. There's either (a lot of) words missing or some sort of lingo I just don't get, but I may as well have been reading Jabberwocky. I think it is a stream of consciousness style of writing but it was so difficult to follow.

That was supposed to be a mental break from my paper, but I think it made my head ache trying to translate it into English. Maybe that's a good excuse to go knit while I zip through last night's DVRed Colbert Report. And then, back to my paper.

My knitting buddy finished her Ampersand socks way ahead of me and they look awesome! I'm so impressed (and motivated!!) Way to go!!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Starting to panic

I had no idea my capstone project would be so... big. Sure, I'm glad I didn't have to write a thesis but wow, this is a lot of work. My midterm is due next Monday (9 days) and I'm not sure how it will all get done before then, especially since I have entered the 'insane period' at work. This is the very last thing I will do for my degree. And I should be done with it in late July so the end is in sight.

I'm trying my hardest not to let senior-itis (or summer-itis) sink in but I'm at the point where I am resenting my project which is keeping me from ... well, at the moment it is keeping me from seeing Brad Pitt and George Clooney in Oceans 13! (I am DEEPLY resenting this at the moment).

I'm just not caring, which saddens me. It is an awesome project I could not wait to start. As soon as I finish up with school, some of my free time will be looking for career opportunities so I think I'm just going to have to get used to the idea of small projects for a little while longer.

I am happily knitting during my study breaks. I just have to be strong and not start looking at those as 'knitting breaks' instead of "a brief break from my studies".

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Shipping out my reveal package...

I can't believe how quickly this Secret Pal exchange has gone by! Tonight I did the final packaging on the last bundle for my spoilee, and hope to ship it out tomorrow along with a few other packages that have been waiting patiently by the door for me to trek down to the Post Office.

Now all I have to ship out is a swap-bot swap and a sock kit and some non-knitting TLC packages to go out early next week.

I've been steadily working on my Ampersand socks and reading up on Short Row heels for Sockapalooza. I love this yarn more and more as I go along... definitely need to get more STR medium.

I'm considering putting aside some time on the weekend to get back to dyeing. I've been itching to do some sock yarn and some superwash worsted that I've had tucked away. I'm just trying to decide if I can spare the time, since this last class for school is much more work than I expected. But I could really use the de-stress.

Thank goodness it is all done at the end of July, and then I can knit and dye (and work out) to my heart's content. Strange to think that working out is something I feel the need to do more, but I'm so tired of budgeting my time for the last 18 months.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


This week has been a whirlwind of productivity. I'm glad it's finally the weekend and I can stop and take a breath.

I have:
  • updated my resume, which was a huge headache but I am happy with the final outcome
  • packaged up my Dulaan hats (7 total, and a pair of socks) to mail on Monday
  • put together several other packages which need to go out
  • attended several school functions and spoke on a panel to prospective students
  • frogged back the heel on my ampersand socks (which I was dreading) and started re-knitting
  • signed up for two more swaps- one is a sock kit one, the other is a stash one
  • put together my final package for my secret pal, even though it won't go out for a couple of weeks
  • started listing out my stash on Ravelry (what a wakeup call as to how much is waiting for me)

And hopefully, this weekend... Start my Sockapalooza 4 socks with the Cherry Tree Hill (Dusk) yarn! I'm trying a new method: two socks on two circulars. While I am nervous about the short row heels, I won't have to worry about Second Sock Syndrome.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Please help a grad student!

Thank you! It's done now!

I am trying to research tourism trends in the US for my last big project in grad school.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

ooooh... Favorite Socks!

I finally got around to ordering Favorite Socks today and I'm so excited! I'd love to do the Embossed Leaves Socks that my Sockret Pal made for me someday, and I've seen a couple of other patterns that will definitely make my queue. I'd love to move on to something more complex after the next couple of pairs.

So that was my tiny splurge for myself for talking myself out of buying anything at the Webs sale. (that was so hard... I had filled up my shopping cart at least half a dozen times and made myself just close the browser and walk away.) But with (hopefully) a move sometime in my near future once I graduate, I'm trying my hardest to keep my stash enhancement to a reasonable minimum.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I finally got my invite to the beta of a new knitting site called Ravelry and have spent a few hours playing with it. What a neat idea! The best part, for me, is that if I have a particular yarn I can see what others have made with it to get some ideas.

So far, I've queued up some upcoming projects and started to list out my stash (yikes). Then I surfed over to see other's WIPs and stash, then hit the discussion boards. After a while, I realized how much time I was spending doing this so now I am only allowing myself 30 minutes at a time, after I've made some progress on my homework! But eventually the entire stash and project list will be up there.

I have not posted much about my Sockapalooza socks- I decided to use Dusk but now I am looking for a simple cuff down (two circular) pattern that uses short row heels. It seems like a lot of the short row heel patterns I find are for toe-up socks. But I'm hoping to get started this weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

7 interesting facts about me

Well, I'm not sure these are particularly interesting... some of these were in the "wierd things about me" meme that came through a while ago but I've fleshed it out a bit.

My awesome SP spoilee from last year tagged me... here you go!

  1. I love children's books and still read them often when I'm in the mood for a touch of comfort. Favorites include Little Women, Anne of Green Gables series, Narnia Chronicles, Velveteen Rabbit. No matter what, I always cry when Beth dies. You'd think I'd see it coming by now.
  2. I always remove the jackets from my hardcover books and store them separately. I do not like reading a book with a jacket on at all.
  3. The time in my life when I felt the most beautiful when my head was shaved a few years ago. It's since grown back but I sometimes miss being bald.... my face was made for it, I think. Actually, I miss it a lot but I don't think my employer would appreciate it as much as I do. For the record, I looked MUCH better than Britney did!
  4. I always pick the magazine or book that is behind the front one. Especially magazines. The first ones are the ones people flip through and I prefer to have a brand new one instead of a 'used' one. Unfortunately, I am also a flipper so I realize this is a hypocritical quirk because I will readily flip through the front book/magazine, and then put it back and select a nice new one to buy.
  5. I love doing math by hand. I used to doodle, now I just calculate figures in meetings (which is very impressive to whoever is glancing over to see if I am taking notes and sees a page full of math instead my horrendous doodles).
  6. I was the only one in my family to speak with a British accent (since my parents put me in an English educational system). Most people meeting our family thought I was adopted.
  7. I forget people's names easily but I remember little facts about them instead.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

What I've been up to...

Not a great week for knitting... I've been too mentally worn out to do much. I passed my stat class with an A- and with my last class starting tomorrow, I've spent my free time looking at what I'll do after graduation.

But I did get some adventure in this weekend, perfect for an adrenalin junkie like me.

It was our first time whitewater rafting and we picked a great time to try it out- our recent rains produced some Class 5 rapids. I definitely want to go again before I move out of state- we have some of the best rafting in the country here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Note to self: cute patterns to try

I've come across a few patterns I'd like to try someday.

Ariel Scarf
Sahara (v neck sweater)
Lace nightie
Silk Corset

Monday, May 14, 2007

A week of free time in the evenings :)

I mailed off my final project this afternoon and my next class (my last class in the Masters program- woohooo) won't start until next Monday. I've been just puttering around the house since I got home, feeling this odd sense of 'don't know what to do with myself'. So I'm putting together my assorted Dulaan projects to mail out, along with a package to mail out to a swap pal.

Hopefully tomorrow I'm going to sit down and take a look at my heel of my ampersand socks. I think I might have done something wrong and I have not had the time to sit down and fuss with it. The stitching looks loose (loose enough to see my fingers through it). I might need to switch down to a smaller needle to knit the heels.

Friday, May 11, 2007

sock yarn choices...

I'm on the home stretch... my final project is due this weekend (and it's only about 40% done!) I came across this cute pattern for baby socks and I have some scraps of leftover sock yarn. So I might do some baby socks for near instant gratification.

My Sockapalooza Pal mentioned greens, blues, purples... so I've narrowed it down to Cherry Tree Hill in Dusk (which I think will be my choice)

Green Mountain Madness

or Tropical Storm.

Or... maybe something handdyed by an indie fiber vendor and a little softer in hue.

I received an adorable postcard from my Secret Pal with sea otters in various cute poses. It was so nice to find something unexpected at the end of a long day- thank you!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I've been matched and have been trying to come up with an pattern that will match my spoilee's preferences. She's not a fan of the heel flap which is all I know so that will be a fun challenge (and a good reason) to learn short row heels. All the patterns I'm finding for short row heels tend to be toe up which is also a new area for me. So I may be learning quite a bit with this!

It's a lot of fun to work with someone's preferences and find a project you think... you hope... will suit their tastes. I think I have narrowed down the yarn options to two different ones.

In the meantime, I'm anxious to finish up my current sock project but my finals are not making that possible. I am counting down to Sunday night...

Friday, May 04, 2007

I finally set aside to do some knitting...

For some odd reason I kept nodding off in my car on the drive home (which was NOT pleasant- everytime I jerked my eyes awake and realized I nearly fell asleep created this horrible knot in my stomach. I nearly pulled over but our highway shoulders are so narrow, I was worried about getting hit).

I wasn't feeling tired until about 4 pm today, and I thought I slept pretty well last night, so I'm not sure what gives. Doing the math, I think I ended up sleeping only 5 and a half hours last night but that is certainly better than the night earlier this week when I slept only 2. I really need to spend a week sleeping. I can't wait till my final project for my grad class is done... I haven't even had a chance to obsess over my Sockapalooza 4 Pal yet!

Instead of working... well, re-working.... my sock heel, I'm going to take a nap and hope I can still salvage some of the evening. Mostly because I can just imagine how I would screw up the heel if I was nodding off.

My knitpicks package arrived and I barely mustered up the energy to do a quick fondle before setting it aside. Wow- I think that is a record for fastest free shipping ever.

Reminder to self: Sockapalooza post next.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Hat in progress...

I haven't had time to work on my socks, but here's the child's hat for Dulaan I've been working on out of various leftover yarns from stash. It should be finished this weekend- double stranding the worsted weight is making it go by pretty quickly and it is mindless which is what I need right now.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

I'm officially off the "Knit From Stash" diet

I'll still try to not buy excessive yarn, but it's too hard to overlook a fantastic sale. So I figured I would pass it along.

Knitpicks has a one week sale (through 5/4) on their:
  • Decadence (100% Superfine Alpaca)
  • Panache (40% Baby Alpaca, 20% Cashmere, 20% Silk, 20% Extrafine Merino)
  • Ambrosia (80% Baby Alpaca, 20% Cashmere)
all for $3.99/skein.

I've been dying to purchase some Ambrosia for myself since I gifted my Secret Pal 9 spoilee with it last year... it's incredibly soft. And since I needed some sock sized needles, it didn't take much encouragement to put in an order last night (I blame the stress from my statistics final project). I did manage to look around for a project to use the yarn on instead of just randomly purchasing it.

Now I'm wondering if I should have ordered some Decadence in the Winter Berry colorway...

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A peek at the stash (sock stash, anyway)

Shelby, my hostess for SP10, asked about stash organization and I am probably not the one to ask. I normally seal mine up in zippered plastic bags and store them in a plastic bin with some lavendar cedar balls.

But here's a peek at my sock stash that's under my bed... I took some of them out of the plastic bags since the glare was terrible. I'm in the middle of a major statistics project so this is as artsy in my photography as I can get.

  • Sweet Georgia
  • Online
  • Trekking
  • Lisa Souza Sport
  • Hand dyed (mine)
  • custom dyed Scout's Swag
  • Lorna's Laces Sock
  • Fleece Artist Sea Wool
  • Tofutsies
  • Knitpicks Gloss
  • Cherry Tree Hill (in Sport/Sock/SuperGlitz)
And yet, there's still more I'd love to get and try! At the moment I am far more interested in sock yarn than any other weight. I've got two pair on the needles right now and I'm really curious about knitting up a pair of worsted weight Artyarns Supermerino Thuja socks too. I think three pair on the needles would be best... one heavier weight for a quick knit (home), one sock weight (home) and one portable pair to take with me for lunch hours, waiting rooms for doctor's, etc.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Still alive and kicking...

I'm in the last 3 weeks of my graduate statistics class and our final project has me ripping out my hair. I am in no way a person who enjoys statistics. So I'm still alive, but not as active in knitting as I'd like.

However, we do have most of our veggies planted in the garden with the exception of my herbs and strawberries which will be done this week. Thank goodness it finally stopped with the chilly dreary rain.

I did a bit of spring cleaning this weekend and put all my Dulaan items together to be sent out. I have the socks, four hats and I'd like to make one (or two) more hat(s) out of assorted yarn leftovers before I mail out the package. (Here's the pattern) I tried to match up most of the yarn so it's coordinated but bright- but then again, I loved my previous hats where I doubled up the worsted weight yarn and used unlikely colors. The brilliant colors came out looking awesome!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Quick sock progress shot

Not much to accompany this since I'm on my way to bed. But I'm very happy with this pattern (although it is not the easiest thing to knit while watching a TV show about a road race).

But it did have Nathan Fillion in it. Yum.

I hope my sock buddy is enjoying the pattern too! Let me know how it is going for you.

Yarn recommendation?

I'm planning a pair of boot socks for G, and need to find the right kind of yarn for it:
conservative in color, thick and snuggly, sock but long wearing, superwash.

I was thinking of Socks that Rock Obsidian, Terra Firma or In the Navy but I'm not sure if I should try heavy weight or medium weight. And I'm not 100% sold on the colors- In the Navy is probably my favorite for him out of the three. I have some CTH Supersock in Bark set aside for him but I'm not sure if that is too thin for boot socks.

Otherwise, I was thinking... Artyarns Supermerino? Interlacements Toasty Toes? Lorna's Laces sport?

Edited to add: I already have some Lorna's Laces Worsted in a nice Charcoal color Would that be too thick?

Does anyone know of any other kind of sock yarn that might be suitable... or if DK/sport weight would be thick enough?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Change of Plans...

I'm knitting Ampersand with my sock knitting buddy, who also has STR Medium Weight and knits about the same pace I do! This should be fun. :) So no Jaywalkers for a while. Tonight, I am going to swatch from the other end of my yarn on size 2 needles to see how that works.

That will leave me time to also do Sockapalooza 4
Signups are later today, I think.

I did however find a new pattern that will probably be my next sock project after this:
Thuja in Artyarns Supermerino (worsted weight for a quick knit, woohoooo!)

I had about 2 hours of sleep last night- worrying/stress sucks.
So does waking up at 5 a.m. to work out. And yet, I'm doing it again on Thursday. (I'm insane)

Monday, April 09, 2007

The start of startitis...

I cast on my ampersand socks out of STR Mediumweight Watermelon Tourmaline (pattern found on Kirsten's sidebar here). I'm really liking the pattern- the chart is only two lines but after only knitting stockinette and basic ribbed socks, this one is a lot of fun without being overly complex. I'm going to double check gauge before I continue.

You know, I've been pretty lucky with the yarn I've used so far- tried Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock and loved it. Tried CTH Sport and loved it. And this yarn is absolutely amazing- it is so sproingy and soft that I am really enjoying the act of knitting itself. The colors in the picture are a bit washed out- they are a gorgeous combination that reminds me of Easter Eggs.

I have a sneaking suspicion I will be buying more STR even before I finish these socks, maybe in Nodding Violet or Scottish Highlands. Or Rocktober. It's really bad when you are enjoying the yarn so much that you stop your knitting to go see what other colorways this yarn comes in!

I decided to cast on two different pairs of socks, to prevent boredom and to have one to take with me to work, and one to keep at home. So tonight, I'm starting to swatch for Jaywalkers with some Lorna's Laces that my Secret Pal purchased me last round. I've found someone interested in making those as well, so it will be fun to have a buddy to knit along with.

I still haven't cast on for the Feather and Fan bamboo stole yet, so I'm going to try to get that done this week as well.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Cool pattern: Ampersand Socks

I haven't knit since I mailed off my Sockret Pal Reveal Package. I've been under the weather which has just left me exhausted, so I've been more 'futzy' than 'productive'. Mostly I've pored over the stash and different patterns to see what I wanted to do next (sockwise), and started winding the Bamboo yarn for the Feather and Fan Shawl but have not cast on.

I knew I wanted to use the Medium Weight STR that Kirsten (my Sockret Pal Spoiler) gave me but I wanted to make sure I picked a pattern that would complement the colors, not accentuate pooling. And since it was my only skein of STR I wanted to be sure it was the best pattern I could find for that yarn, but one that matched my skill level. I was looking at RPM but then I came across a free pattern called Ampersand on... where else... on the sidebar of Kirsten's blog! (check out her other free patterns, too- she has some great ones)!

The Ampersand pattern is exactly what I was looking for- top down, two circulars, same exact yarn so no fiddling with math for me, heel flap, simple enough pattern for me to follow. :) And I love how the sock looks.

So now I have a game plan... and will cast on this weekend.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Latest Socks

I finished my Lorna's Laces socks using the KAL Pattern (3x1 rib). The colorway is Child's Play, and I used size 1 needles (Knitpicks Classic circulars).

I loved the feel of the Lorna's Laces shepherd sock, and will definitely use it again. I might go down to size 0 needles, and look for a pattern that works well with the striping/variegation of colors.

These were definitely the socks I learned the most with: tinking, lifelines, fixing errors. If you count what I unknit, I am sure I knit an extra sock in there somewhere.

They've been washed and blocked, and shipped off to surprise the giftee. As soon as she receives her package, I'll adjust the date to make it public on the front page of the blog.

Edited to add: LaVerna received them!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Voila! Dulaan socks

I was burned out working on tiny needles, so I took a break to finally finish my Lamb's Pride socks. It only took an hour or so, and I feel much better having finished a WIP (and making my March deadline for Sock a Month 3)

Here's the info:
Lamb's Pride Worsted (Orchid Thistle)
Size 5 circulars (Denise, Knitpicks Options)
CIC children's sock pattern

These didn't make the sock deadline for Afghans for Afghans sock drive, so I'm including them in my shipment for Dulaan with the hats I've been making. The picture is washed out due to the flash... it's more of a rose/deep lilac color.

And these are REALLY thick socks, very durable and warm. I'm not sure I could wear socks this warm, but then I'm not in that type of climate. But they will keep someone's feet very warm and snuggly.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Doncha wish your feet had cool socks like me?

My Sockret Pal sent me the final reveal package and let me just say, it took my breath away!!! She's done such a wonderful job of spoiling me these past few months.

She sent me some handknit socks that she dyed herself (details below), two soaps that smelled absolutely amazing, a Lantern Moon bag that I put my next sock project in already... and some yummy Aztec Hot Chocolate that we are going to try out tonight or tomorrow. Such decadence!

I've been admiring the Lantern Moon bags for some time- I love the silk bags and this is so beautiful. I can't wait to carry it out in public.

The socks, however, are AMAZING. Kirsten knit them up from some yarn she dyed herself (Louet Gems base) and I was shocked to see how closely they are to the Cider Moon Juneau colorway I was admiring from The Loopy Ewe, but with subtle differences: a softer periwinkle blue which I prefer, and the light green just pops off the richness of the other shades. Kirsten really knows my tastes (and what an incredible job she did dyeing this yarn)!

The pattern is "Embossed Leaves" and simply beautiful. I'm not at the level where I can make something like this and I'm just in awe of having such intricate socks.

I've worn them all day :) They fit and are sooo snuggly and just... happy.

(I've also apparently worn out the welcome in this household of my rendition of "Doncha (Sock Remix)")

Thank you, Kirsten. You've been an awesome Sockret Pal!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Beautiful yarn

I went to the Loopy Ewe this evening to check out the newest additions, and fell in love!

I've never heard of Cider Moon yarns but these colorways are simply gorgeous. (enlarge the close up pictures to get a taste of the colors... these are beautiful!!)

So very tempting... I'm trying to be good but the Loopy Ewe makes it really hard.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Starting to get a little nervous...

I have a little more than 4 inches left to go on my first gift pair of socks- well, first completed matching pair of socks in general. I'm starting to get a little nervous. I've ripped these out more than a few times, trying to make them perfect since they are a gift for someone who is a very talented knitter. I want to be sure she feels she didn't get gypped with her exchange.

I don't want to rush and make a mistake but I'd like to get these to her before the end of the exchange. I am terrified they won't fit- she wears a different size than me so its been hard to gauge what will fit and won't be too big. We'll see how they look once they are done, washed and blocked.

The only things I've given to people before are family or friends who know I'm just starting, and they were felted which made it easy to hide any mistakes :) But this has been a good experience in learning how to recognize and address any mistakes, and to try to come up with the nicest socks I can.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Patterns I'd like to try...

First of all, I'm going to have to make a few modifications to my Knit From Stash pledge. I purchased some items for me today (darn that online purchasing... makes temptation too easy) but won't use them until I have cleared the same amount of skeins from my existing stash.

Here's some of the neat patterns I've been considering lately, in addition to my socks and bamboo shawl:
One Skein Cabled Footies (*knit from stash)
Lace Tam and Scarf (from today's purchase of Alpaca Silk)
Seraphim Shawl (probably out of Knitpicks Gloss)
Branching Out (*knit from stash)
Some of Trek's sock patterns (*knit from stash- Trek has very cute patterns!)
Fetching (*knit from stash)
Mrs Beeton (*knit from stash)

There's a few others out there, including a Misty Garden scarf from Scarf Style- again another knit from stash project :)

And I found a used copy of a DVD teaching Two Socks on Two Circulars, so that will be interesting to learn.

I should be very busy for a while...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Saturday Sky

Finally, a pretty sky to capture on film. Or digital media card.

I figured a sneak peek of my sock would be ok :) I'm now turning the heel- I can feel the home stretch just out of reach!!

Details on the sock as soon as I've shipped it out.

My poor, poor Aggies. I guess it was a good thing I didn't go home to watch them lose in the last 3 seconds. What a game, though!!

I've been discovering some great patterns online- I'll post some links on my next sock break.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ramblings of a wimp

First things first: Tonight, my alma mater (Fightin' Texas Aggies) plays in my old hometown (San Antonio) against Memphis in the Regional Semifinals. I'm so homesick I can taste it. I'd love to be there this week. GIG 'EM AGGIES! I'll be cheering for them in my neck of the woods.

Update: I work with a trainer twice a week for a high intensity workout, plus I do things on my own for three days a week (yoga, cardio, abs). I've wanted to do this for quite some time and this is the first time I have had the time to seriously devote to it. These trainers kick my butt every single time.

But wow- I ache all over, especially 2 days after the fact. I thought I would be farther along in my knitting projects but there have been at least 2 times last week where I simply could not hold up my needles (or my eyelids). It's a little frustrating because the needles are not that big or heavy!!

Due to Spring Break, everyone is booking all the trainers way in advance, so my next workout is tomorrow morning at 6 am, which means I get up at 5:15 am.

My weekend plans are brought to you by the letter S:
Sock-knitting on a deadline
Sockret Pal and Secret Pal package assembly
Stash organization
Skein (dyed) winding
Sleep. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Favorite project

My SP hostess, Shelby, asked what we were currently working on. Since I am working on my reveal socks for my Sockret Pal, I can't show them yet. But I can talk about what is next on my list!

I have some SWTC's Bamboo yarn in a lovely purple that I will be using to make this shawl
for a gift for my grandmother. It's my first attempt at some sort of lacy pattern. It's a light dk weight, and the pattern calls for sport, so I think the two are close enough (especially for a shawl). So as soon as the Sockret Pal socks are done, I'm starting this and a new pair of socks!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Finally catching up....

This week has been mostly catching up on sleep and trying to organize an event for work which will, thankfully, be over on Sunday night.

I've cast on for my second sock three times and keep having to frog it. Hopefully tonight is the one that takes. I have some time this weekend to knit for a change, and I'd really like to get good amount of Sock 2 done. I have everything else ready for my Sockret Pal except her sock. I still love the yarn and the pattern (except for the frogging). But I wound the STR for my next project and I am curious how it will knit up, so its giving me a good incentive to keep at this sock and finish it.

I did some online shopping at lunch for my Secret Pal and found exactly what I wanted to get. :)

Random thoughts:
  • It's snowing again. 70 degrees two days ago and now it is snowing. Insane. I'm so ready for Spring to get here its not funny.
    • On the bright side, I am wearing my Panache scarflet that my SP9 made me!
  • I'm rooting for my beloved Aggies in March Madness- tomorrow they face Louisville which should be a pretty good game. Gig 'Em Aggies!!
  • Apparently I laugh hysterically when I reach a pain threshold with my trainer (which is rather embarassing due to the acoustics at the gym). My stomach hurts from laughing during my session today. It didn't faze him... I think he gets all sorts of reactions from clients (being cussed out, laughing, wierd grunts, etc).

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Idle hands

I turned in all projects and my new class opened up, so I immediately checked my syllabus to see how busy I would be for the next nine weeks. This is the first time I've only taken one grad class at a time since I started the program last January, so I was a bit surprised when I read there was no written homework this weekend, and only 5 assignments overall. Usually I am researching and writing two essays (one for each class) that are between 7-10 pages long, every single weekend.

A whole weekend off! I'm just not even sure what to do with that tidbit of information. I'm absolutely giddy. It just hit me that the end is so very near... just this one class and then my capstone course in May. I wasn't even sure what to do last night- everything had been turned in, but I was too exhausted to trust myself with tiny pointy needles. So I sat idly and tried to remember the last time I did that. It's been a while.

I know I want to get the Casino Royale DVD.... I've cast on for Sockret Pal sock 2, and hope to make significant headway this weekend while watching some mindless entertainment. Maybe do a bit of dyeing.

I thought about starting my-so-called-scarf as a backup project or finishing my Irish Hiking Scarf but right now I'm in a sock zone. Not many other projects are appealing to me.