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.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Once I get through my finals in these classes and meeting the deadline for my Sockret Pal Socks, I'm going to be starting my organization project. So far on my list is:
  • stash organization: I want to figure out a better system and more importantly, keep myself focused on the projects I have coming up so I don't get tempted to buy the next latest thing.
  • queue up my WIPs so I can actually finish what I start: I tend to put something down and then start something new. I have two half finished socks waiting for me (both of different yarn) and two scarves waiting. And I need to mail out my Dulaan and other charity knits.
  • donating old books: I keep meaning to get around to do this and it never gets done.
  • weeding through my closet: I tend to keep clothes even when I don't wear them anymore and they aren't flattering/in style anymore. And apparently some of my workout shirts have dates on them from when I was in college 1989-1994 because I have received comments when I wear them. At least two favorite sweatshirts from Express from back in high school- I already know those will be tough to retire for sentimental reasons but really they look like gunny sacks on me. I think they were meant to be worn over plaid leggings at the time?? (thank goodness the plaid leggings got lost somewhere along the way)

    Anyway, I'm going to channel Stacey and Clinton and be brutally honest about what I can keep and what doesn't look good anymore (or what looks horrible and never should have been purchased- EVER) That goes for shoes as well- I've got some scary ones I never wear anymore (my old favorites used to be velvet lace ups with ribbon laces and a two inch wide chunky heel that I wore everywhere).


Note to my soon-to-be secret pal, please visit my sidebar to see my Secret Pal 10 Questionnaire.

My first Sockret Pal sock is done and I'll be casting on for the second during a finals break today. To keep me motivated, I wound my Socks That Rock (Watermelon Tourmaline) for my April project and it's all ready to go once I finish this pair. I'm on a roll- or I will be once I finish everything tonight! (Today is my last day for two classes on top of my fulltime job, and after this I only take one class at a time until July. Only one class seems like a vacation to me)

I've been wanting to dye lately, I have some white Lamb's Pride Bulky from my SP's first package and some sock yarn. But it either seems like I have major homework due or we are in a water crisis (two times this winter, both over a week long and on a boil water advisory and mandatory water restrictions). Luckily I was able to dye up the yarn for my Handpainted Spring Swap partner and since its been received I can show it off.

It's 70% Merino Wool, 30% Silk (fingering weight) and the actual yarn has a pretty sheen to it that my camera is not capturing well. I was hoping for soft, springy colors and this came out close to what I wanted.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Secret Pal goodies!

I received my final package and reveal from my Secret Pal 9. She packed an amazing box of goodies for me:
  • Cascade 220 in three sea-worthy colors as she called them
  • A small scarf she knit out of Knitpicks Panache which is incredibly soft
  • Some yummy looking cookies which I hid so G and I can enjoy them tonight (except I'm really stressed right NOW and I hope they make it until tonight)
  • A candle which smells awesome- it's orange peel scented.
  • Cozy slippers
  • Some cucumber melon body wash and lotion

The three colors of Cascade go so well together. I'm already trying to figure out what to make but trying very hard to focus on finishing up my school projects due this weekend. But it is such temptation!!

The miniscarf is amazingly soft. I almost wish it would snow again so I can try this out! I need to figure out where to sew on the button she included. I was just thinking the other day I don't wear enough scarves... I always seem to give mine away. So this one will be very welcome next winter.

Thank you very much, Caitlin- what a fabulous package!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Happiness is...

Nearly done socks, and socks to be.

I took in my Sockret socks-in-progress to work today, with hopes of knitting a bit at lunch. As it turns out, we got 6" of snow and no electricity (thus, no computer, no phones, no light and no heat!). I did what I could do without a computer but since I work primarily through email and design programs/word processors, it was not easy. And my supervisors seemed to think if we just waited, everything would come back on. It killed me to lose a whole day of work.... and a whole day where I could have been working on my final projects due on Monday if work was not possible.

So I started working on my Sockret Pal socks- which was really strange to use size 1 needles and sock yarn after working with Lamb's Pride. I reached the next part of my pattern, which was sadly... online, so I had to put the socks away and just shiver and wait. Next time, I'll be sure to have an extra print out in my project bag. I finally left at 1:30- it took me two hours to drive home on the interstate for 18 miles. What a day! I'm completely wiped out and tired, but homework is done and I'm going to knit for a bit to unwind before bed.

Unfortunately, no picture of the awesome sockret pal sock since it will be a surprise later this month.

Trekking 107 and 159

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Yarn diet. Schmarn diet.

I think I just did the yarn equivilant of eating my way through a whole box of Girl Scout cookies and THEN running out to buy another box!

Knit from Stash sounded like a great idea at the time, but sticking to it.... needs improvement.

I broke down, big time. I will try to blame it on stress from finals and finally receiving a belated birthday check from a family member (note: my b day is in October so this was a long time coming), but really, it just boiled down to me not wanting to miss an opportunity. Either way, I am really questioning if I should even be trying to knit from stash for the next 6+ months because I'm just unwilling to play by my own rules. I'm a knit-from-stash failure, but I'm going to try to stay on track. At least one more time.

I don't know why it is so soothing (and tempting) to go look at yarn pictures when I want to pull my hair out. They should not let stressed out people shop from home. I guess it should be said that I broke in the wee hours of the night and then this morning, I ADDED to my order before it shipped.

That being said, I was just tormented by a physical trainer for 75 minutes and forced to move in ways I don't think my body would normally go... plus I PAID them to make me hurt on top of my aching hips from rumba-ing last night. So maybe there are not-so-hidden consequences for my actions.

Monday, March 05, 2007

A little frustrated.

My Afghans for Afghans socks will not be done in time. I stayed up last night till 3 a.m. in a knitting frenzy and am halfway through the gusset, but I have 2 final projects due, one of which I swore to finish today to give myself a week to focus on the other one. And as much as I really want to finish these socks, I just can't let myself knit with that looming over me.

Plus I completely forgot I am starting a class in latin ballroom dancing tonight, which G just reminded me to be ready for tonight.

I feel badly about missing this deadline but I will finish them ASAP and send them in for the Afghans for Afghans' next shipment out, or I'll send them off with my Dulaan knits. I am proud that they have no mistakes and that I was able to make them from a fairly vague pattern (I'm still at the point where I need everything spelled out for me).

So while they won't count for the current project, at least they will find their way to someone who needs them, and the Lamb's Pride is making an incredibly warm, snuggly pair of socks.

I just wish I had more hours in the day, or that I knit faster.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Upcoming projects

I've come to the sad conclusion I am not making my deadline for the sock a month KAL for February (which was tonight). I'm pretty sure I could have finished my sockret pal socks if I had kept going (I'm nearly at my toe decreases on my first sock) but I stopped that and started some socks for Afghans for Afghans out of worsted weight Lamb's Pride. I'm on the second sock, about to start the heel flap. I'll update with pictures tomorrow.

But with two final projects and assorted other homework due before March 12 on top of organizing an event at work for March 18, I'm going to have limited time. So instead I will focus on finishing these socks to mail out by Monday so they can arrive by the March 7 deadline, and then switch back to my sockret pal socks to finish before March 31. I think I can do it! Sadly, they aren't blue, grey or white for Project Spectrum but they are colors my sockret pal will like, and in a good quality yarn.

I was looking at Project Spectrum's upcoming colors:

April / May
Green, Yellow, Pink

June / July
Red, Black, Metallics

August / September
Brown, Orange, Purple

and I think I have my next few socks mapped out. Starting in April, I am treating myself to the Socks That Rock Watermelon Tourmaline from my awesome Sockret Pal (I can't wait to get closer to starting this... I've been coveting this yarn bigtime!!)

I'm not sure what May's socks will be, but my June ones will most likely be my Foxy Lady SuperGlitz (red, black AND metallic- how cool is that?)

And much farther down the road... either August or September will be the Lorna's Laces my secret pal sent me (in Irving Park) which seems to match the orange/purple/brown theme pretty well!

So I still have some flexibility in the upcoming months, but some idea of what I'd like to make to match the Project Spectrum colors.