Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Almost There....

Yup. Almost there. The main work on the lapghan was completed last week. I managed to finish the second half of the 'ghan in two weeks after allowing it to practically languish at the pace of one row per week since May. Now I am working on weaving in all the loose ends. There are... ahem ....a few to weave in.

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's a long way there, a long way to where I'm going...

I'm finally to the halfway point. The Arkansas Razorbacks lapghan is coming along. I keep making stupid mistakes and end up having to rip back a few rows each time. I'm getting better about catching the mistakes before I get too far.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ancient History

Recently, I've been terribly distracted from my regular knitting schedule by further research into my lineage. My roots are tangled and twisted in such strange ways. But I guess that's actually the norm for most Americans. There are some tangles that I am able to tame: Today, I will knit.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Moebius: The Road To Nowhere

Have you ever made a paper strip where you put a half-twist in the strip before taping the ends together and then put a pencil down on the strip and then pulled the strip continuously without lifting the pencil and what happened when you finally went all the way around?

Okay, yes. I wrote that question crazy because Moebius loops are crazy. They can be made with crochet OR knitting and they are lots of fun! Cat Bordhi has a cast-on demo on YouTube where she demonstrates her technique that actually bypasses the need to graft the ends of flat-work to make a Moebius scarf or other apparel that includes the twist. I first heard mention of and saw a picture of the cast-on on the Yarn Harlot's site. As soon as I saw the photo, I knew how to make the Moebius knitting loop; it's that easy!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pattern Recognition

I am in the process of writing and testing my pattern for the "Leaves in the Rain" socks. I have started knitting, and ended up ripping out, the charted part of the pattern as I look for what works. Wow. So far socks 5, me zero. I have finally managed to get halfway through the first repeat and am still going strong this time... although I did have to tink back four rounds when I forgot to change one of the raindrop paths. It's dripping down correctly now. I was going to post an image of the sock in progress but my camera is dead. I have it charging now.

Correction: Socks 6, me zero. Stupid raindrops! Can I cry now?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Homemade Cream Cheese

My current batch of cream cheese has been put in the refrigerator. For some reason, it came out tasting more like butter with a hint of mildly zesty flavor than cream cheese this time. Oh well. I use it like butter anyway. I really enjoy using cream cheese on top of chocolate squares. Yum!

Lapghan - Arkansas Razorbacks

Lapghan - Arkansas Razorbacks made with "I Love This Yarn" (colors used: #10/white, #30/black, #155/Paprika, #798/Antique Taupe) with afghan hook size J (Denise Interchangeables [support your local retailer]) crochet hook. Pattern is 132 squares by 198 squares. 127 lines completed as of today (image taken last night):

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ribbed Socks Are Done

I finished the ribbed socks for my husband. I was disappointed that there wasn't enough yarn in the skein for calf-length socks but he's happy with them! He says they are VERY WARM!

Now I am working on the Razorbacks lapghan.

Page for Free Patterns



Lots of sirens today. Hopefully, people aren't being idiots. Hopefully, their health hasn't put them in jeopardy. Hopefully, it's just the constabulary being bored on-shift and are just making for a bit of excitement to break the monotony of Sunday duty.

The curtains are luffing in the wind and the leaves are chasing each other around in the street. The train whistles are screaming their way through the city, warning traffic of their imminent arrival and departure.

I also keep hearing the sounds of tortured metal. Is someone in the midst of construction?

Bloomin' Idiots!

Although the calendar date for spring is a month away, I must report that the signs of spring are in FULL bloom here in northern Louisiana. While driving out to pick up a friend, I observed the Jonquils are in full bloom and so are the crab apple trees. This is still actually too early, at least for the apple trees. Here in north Louisiana, we usually experience one more cold snap that will denude the trees of their blooms. This is good in one respect: The crab apples won't be leaving a big mess for us to clean up in the fall. The bad news is: If the crab apples are blooming, what other fruiting crops are already blooming as well? Bloomin' idiots!

Friday, February 25, 2011


Max passed away today. I am at a loss for words.

Max was part of our family for less than a year but it feels as if an entire lifetime has been stolen from us. The house feels emptier without him. He is survived by his fur family which includes "Racoon", Midnight aka Junior and Buddha aka "The Pig".

Buddha and Max were not litter-mates but acted as if they were twins. They played together all the time. After Max was hit by the car last month, it was not uncommon to see Buddha cleaning Max where Max could not reach.

I really miss Max a lot.

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Husband's Socks and Window Treatments

My Husband's Socks:
I actually started back up on my husband's socks. I have a tad over 5" knitted from the toe up. The top of the foot is ribbed and the rib will extend around the entire foot after I turn the heel. I double-checked his foot measurement as I can't find my notes from January. Ah, well.

Project Materials List: Knitpicks Stroll Sport in Black on Knitpicks Options NP circular needle 47" Sz2/2.75mm.

Window Treatments:
Well, the fabric is in the dryer. I am using a floral 100% cotton fabric that I picked up from an estate sale, along with a lightweight muslin. I also picked up "lace" to overlay the floral fabric to soften the colors further. I washed the floral and muslin fabrics to remove the sizing and will be ironing them before I make my first cut. After this washing. future cleansings will involve gentle washing in cool water so as to not harm the "lace" fabric. I've remeasured all the windows and hope like crazy that I have enough of the floral fabric to create the effect that I am visualizing. If not, only three of the windows will receive the color panel/lace insets. I'll see if I can create a rough picture of my plans....

Sunday, February 20, 2011

There's Always Next Winter

Today, I finished The Viking's watch cap. Of course, now the weather is not suitable for warm wear. When it snowed two weeks ago, that was a different story. But it wasn't done two weeks ago. It was finished today, when our temperature actually began to feel uncomfortably warm. Inside our house, with the windows open, the temperature actually climbed to 75°F (24°C). Ah well. There's always next winter.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

42,250 or Thereabouts

Have you ever calculated how many stitches a project will take? I did.

For the sake of knowing how much yarn I would need to complete the decreases and cast off (DCO), I took the time to calculate how many stitches would be needed and how many yards those stitches equaled (or vice versa). Since I would have four rounds of decreases followed by a calculated number of rounds between each decrease, I was able to work out that I would need enough yarn to complete 3896 stitches over the course of the total decreases and rounds. Wow! Well, I measured a yard, knitted the stitches and counted the number of stitches I created with that yard. 92 stitches. I divided the total 3896 stitches by the 92 to get the number of yards for the decrease and cast off rounds. It worked out to about 42.34 yards. My nominal arm span is 60 inches. I converted the yards to inches and divided that by my arm span and found that I needed 25 and some odd number of arm spans of yarn for the DCO rounds. I rounded up to ensure that I would not underestimate the final rounds. To make the project I used two skeins of Regia sock yarn which is 420 meters. If I manage to minimize waste, it turns out that there may be about 42,250 stitches in this project. This is the hat for The Viking. wow...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Com(pli)ments Received Today!

Today, while at the book store, I was asked by a couple if I would make them a Ring Pillow for their wedding next year, because "your work looks very professional." Later, after the couple left, another woman I had met a couple months ago, came into the store and saw my knitting and she commented that my work "looks like it's machine-knit". So, not once but TWICE in less than an hour, I received what I perceived as high praise-type compliments for my knitting skills! Yay! There's hope for me yet. :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Today is Valentine's Day....

This special quilt square was made for someone I don't know who lost her father in January. I actually completed the square on th 14th of January (the day I actually typed up this post) but was asked not to reveal it yet. Anyway, this is my first ever quilt square. Simply named Pinwheel Heart. Being a novice, I failed to make it the right size so I trimmed it with additional fabric that matched the heart. It surprises me how pretty it is. Even the back!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

An Ultimatum To My Neighbor (Who's Also My Son)

I have a newish neighbor. He moved in next door in September 2010. This is all fine and good especially since I know and trust him implicitly. I mean, I gave birth to him in 1986! There's only one problem... He's an unremitting slob!

Now, normally this would not be a problem... if his messes remained in his own house. However, his trash is spreading out from his property and is making my yard look like the city reclamation center. See, even though he has his own property now, he thinks he has a right to use our yard as if it is part of his property. Sure I raised him in this house and this yard. BUT he has his own house and his own yard now! I'm actually expecting the city to issue me a citation to clean up soon. Once issued, the city can come in and clean up my property and they would then bill me. Last year's fine was $150.00. I didn't have to pay it because I cleaned up the mess (HIS MESS! He was on the road so I couldn't make him clean it up or I would have.)

Oh, and he borrows things all the time. I don't think I would have had a problem with this either. Except, everything he borrows ends up being left out where anyone could walk off with it or the weather turns the item into useless junk. He NEVER puts things back where he got them from! ARGH! And worse! He makes sure his personal items are put away out of harm's way but feels that our possessions are not sacrosanct. This week I found my shovel, my ax and my utility cart sitting out in the weather in publicly accessible areas alongside his house instead of back where he borrowed them from... in my yard, inside my storage shed.

I am doing what I can to reclaim my yard and my stuff but it's going to be a long road. Today, I gave him the ultimatum that he needs to get his crap out of my back yard by the end of March 2011 or I will be sending it to the dump.

Max's Amazing Recovery (From my posts on Ravelry)

I realize that even though I've been sharing Max's recovery with my regularly visited forums, I haven't been updating the blog on his status. Here's a timeline of posts from those forums:

Friday, January 28

Doc just called! Max has feeling back in his legs! He’ll give us the rest of the details when we’re allowed to go visit at two this afternoon. He did say he wants to wait two weeks to surgically remove, thankfully, JUST THE BALL FROM THE FEMUR! He says over time that it will grow a false joint. I had never heard of this but it is better than an amputation. He will only amputate if he has to. The two weeks is to allow time for the pelvis and back breaks to heal before he does the surgery.

I don’t know if Max gets to come home today. Doc says he doesn’t need to stay in hospital during the two weeks. I will have to help clean him up since he won’t be able to use a litter box. But that is a small price to pay knowing that he has an excellent chance at a good recovery; not full, never will be with his injuries, since he won’t be able to climb the side of the house anymore. I’m okay with that.


He’s home now. I have him in the isolation cage for now because I have to go shopping. I hate doing this to him. He really wants down to drag himself… I don’t know where. He’s already been up and used the litter box. The problem is he doesn’t want to settle. Doc says too much moving around won’t allow the hips and pelvis to heal. Oh, it turns out what the doc meant by broken back was the severance of the hips from the sciatic(?) vertebra.

Saturday, January 29

He actually got his first home dose this morning. Doc said he was relatively active because of the original steroid shot that he gave him on Thursday. The medication is an anti-inflammatory (NSAID) called Metacam and I am to give him 1 cc a day for only a total of five days. Four days to go. After his dose this morning, he has stayed quite calm today. He finally ate some food but the only way he’ll take fluids is if I use a syringe. Doc says not to worry too much. He says since I’m feeding him wet food that he is getting fluids that way and that he is probably still bloated from the IV.

Max will be getting the ball of his femur removed in about two weeks. Doc wanted to wait to give the fractures time to heal before doing the surgery so his leg will not be amputated after all.

We’ve already been covering his cage and yes he calmed right down after I covered all but the front. Before I did this, any motion or noise would make him startle and ping off the sides of the cage. He’s doing WAY BETTER and staying calm now. He’s even been grooming himself today. He is sleeping a lot.

I spend about 30 minutes every couple of hours petting and massaging him, scrunching his ears, rubbing his belly. He actually rolls over to allow his belly to be rubbed. Even when I’m not petting him, I tied some spirit bells into his cage for him to play with and he does. They are hanging down low enough for him to bat at but not get tangled in the cord. Not much but it’s better than no play toys at all.

When I take Max out of the cage to see if he needs to relieve himself (every 2 to 4 hours) he always tries to jump out of my arms. Silly boy, I really don’t know if he realizes just how bad his injuries are. I keep a firm but gentle grip on him.

Monday, January 31

He’s finally drinking water and he’s used the restroom and is eating when he gets hungry. When he was scratching in the litter box, he threw the litter everywhere! He’s doing really great. I just feel bad for him that I can’t let him roam the house. I am actually stunned at how calm and laid back he is about the whole mess. When he stands up to stretch he is steadier than he has been. He is one amazing boy!

Thursday, February 3

He’s grown stronger. So much so that it is becoming difficult to keep him isolated. He wants OUT of the cage. When we hold him, he wants OUT of our arms. It’s been a week and he’s now going stir crazy, is my poor (not so) little guy. This weekend, we’re going to block the front 1/3 of the house off so he can wander around on the floor. We’ll be with him the whole time to make sure the other kitties don’t decide to rough-house with him. He needs more exercise that what we can give him. I do give him lots of scritches and rubs and that seems to help. He can’t scratch right now because of his pelvis and I’m fairly certain it annoys the heck out of him, much like a man having both legs and arms in casts at the same time.

He’s getting totally spoiled. Heck, the poor guy goes back next week for the surgery. So I and my husband are doing everything we can to help keep him sane.


Cats are phenomenal! Our cat “Racoon” has been through most of his 9 lives and is still going strong. I’ve got some horror stories about his life that would make everyone cringe. He’s 17 this year and is only now starting to slow down.

Sunday, February 13

Max’s surgery has been delayed for two weeks. Two reasons: 1) Max needs a little more time for his hips to heal before the doctor does his surgery. 2) Max has been phenomenally mobile. Since Max’s mobility is an excellent sign of health, the doctor feels that Max isn’t suffering any real discomfort and will heal faster after the surgery. I think giving Max full scritches and massages helped him.

Max has been out of confinement since Monday and is doing fabulous. He tried earlier in the week to cuddle with his buddy Buddha but Buddha didn’t want anything to do with him at the time. Since yesterday, however, Max and Buddha are playing again. What’s truly amazing is it seems that Buddha can smell Max’s injuries and avoids roughhousing too much.

I am thoroughly amazed.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Still Ribbing

I'm still working on the watch cap. I've got just over six inches knit up and working on the last skein of yarn. It's kind of cool that two skeins of Regia sock-weight yarn can make such an awesome, stretchy cap!

I have the socks on a temporary hiatus until I finish the cap.

I did start the Razorbacks lapghan for two reasons: 1) so I can get it done before Christmas! and 2) so I can calculate how much material my class will need to make their own lapghans of LSU Tigers and NO Saints. The class is in March and I need to provide the facilitator with the information before class so everyone can come prepared.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ribbed Goodness

I cast on plain, ribbed socks for my husband on the evening of February 3rd,after I had cleaned up my mess from balling up the RSC yarns and playing around with the skein of homespun yarn that I am calling the Venus Of Willendorf Wannabe. I managed to get a few of the increases done before I put it down and started working on the nightmare-inducing Elk Watch Cap that I was making for The Viking. The Elk Watch Cap has plunged into the frog pond. I really wanted to make this thing using intarsia but the join for "in the round" just wasn't working out. I'll have to think on this more later... In the meantime, it is now turning into a plain, ribbed watch cap.

**SPOILER ALERT!!!** Rockin' Sock Club

I joined the Rockin' Sock Club on January 23rd, 2011. I received my first kit on January 29th. I balled the skeins on February 2nd. I finally cast on my first RSC kit sock on February 3rd. Here's a peek at the floats:

I can only work on the socks while my husband is at work so it is slow going. Some of the members have already finished their first sock.

The Principles of Knitting

I finally broke down and ordered a copy of The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt. It truly saddens me that Ms. Hiatt has not yet published the new, updated version. I've waited four years. I wait no more. I am paying dearly for the privilege of having access to a (alleged) superb resource. But I can finally afford it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Venus Of Willendorf Wannabe

One of the most beautiful Venus statuary has got to be the Venus of Willendorf sculpted circa 25,000 BCE. Through a surprising twist, this, my first spun fiber, looks a lot like the Venus (squint your eyes....) The yarn is only 83 grams and approximately 96 yards and is scratchy but I totally love it. Hey! Give me a break! It's my first!

I first spun this yarn last year. I even plied it then. But between then and now I learned that I made a lot of mistakes. So I meticulously un-plied the yarn, reduced the twist and re-plied the yarn. Yesterday, I set the twist and let the yarn dry overnight. On the balanced portions I actually achieved about 5.5 to 6 TPI. I was able to understand my mistakes from reading the tutorials at Spindle and Wheel. It will be awhile before I get a spinning wheel (sob, they are so expensive that I have to option to buy good yarn or go on a yarn diet and buy one at Christmas next year! The torture!) so I will have lots of time with my training spindle to improve my technique and recognizing well-spun fiber!

Romney wool spun to approximately 96 yards and weighing in at 83 grams. So what should I make with it?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Max was hit by a car last night

Meet my cat Max:

Last year a local stray black kitten adopted our family. We left our window open to let our boys have free rein on a nice fall day. My daughter’s boyfriend asked a strange question about one of the kitties eating vs. one of the kitties at his feet. I named the kitties and then he asked the strangest question, “then who is this over here?,” about another cat at his feet. So I looked and realized that we had a stranger in the house. Within a week we had adopted him, named him Max and took him to the vet for a proper visit (shots and neuter).

Fast forward to last night: My daughter and I had gone to the local book store for coffee and a little hang-out time. We were there maybe 15 minutes when I received a phone call from my husband that Max was hurt. He told me that my son found him dragging himself across the street toward our house. We got home as quickly as possible and I called the vet emergency line. It appeared that Max had his hindquarters paralyzed. There are no external bleeding wounds. Max never once showed any sign of pain or discomfort despite the fact that we had to pick him up to take him to the vet. We supported him as well as we could to reduce further damage as we didn’t know how seriously bad off he was. We got Max to the vet. While there, Max did move his legs and tail but….

Max has little to no feeling in both legs, and at least one broken leg. X-rays revealed that his right leg is dislocated from the pelvis, his pelvis is broken and the vertebra above his pelvis is broken. There is also bruising on his abdomen around the hip area. Doc is worried that he does have internal injuries but since his gums are still pink, at least he appears to not have catastrophic internal bleeding. Doc said he won’t know until tomorrow.

Doc gave him steroids and an antibiotic last night. He can’t even attempt to get his hip back into place due to the pelvis break and swelling. He says to reseat the ball he needs to put pressure on the pelvis. This is a seriously not-good thing. Now, even though his back is broken, doc says that some animals recover from this kind of break (broken but the spinal cord is not severed) especially since Max can still move his legs and tail but his hip joint will never be the same. Doc says the tendon that holds the hip joint together is snapped so there’s a chance he will have to amputate the leg. His concerns now are whether he gets any feeling back in his other leg and the abdominal bruising. If he doesn’t get feeling back, his quality of life will be minimal; the bruising may indicate more severe internal injuries. I am supposed to wait until noon before I call to find out how Max is faring. He said he needed 24 hours to see if Max has a chance and since 24 hours would be 7:30pm tonight, he said I can call at noon. As we were leaving the vet’s office last night, he said he would be administering pain meds. The thing is, last night Max showed no pain. Discomfort, yes. Pain, no. Not good.

I can’t cry right now. I almost broke down but I didn’t cry last night. My daughter needed me to be strong because she was crying. I’m numb. I have more thoughts but they feel callous under the circumstances. My pragmatism is keeping me from losing my mind while I wait to see what the doc says.

My husband and I talked last night. We have already decided that if Max doesn’t make it we will be adopting another kitten. Our reason for this is that Buddha, Max’s age, will miss his playmate. Old Man “Racoon” doesn’t like any of the other cats and could care less. He still hates that his domain was invaded by all the other furkind. Junior, whose real name is Midnight, could care less. He thinks the twins (Buddha and Max act like they are littermates) are annoying. But Buddha, poor Buddha, would not have anyone to play with. I know he will be missing Max if that is what it comes down to but a kitten would definitely go a long way toward helping him (and us.)

Please keep Max in your thoughts today. Waiting to find out what his chances are is a difficult thing.

Writing this is giving me a feeling of a vacuum in my gut. I feel like throwing up.

PS: Doc says the damage could only have happened by Max being hit by a car. We live in a quiet neighborhood. This means someone was speeding through the neighborhood. I’d like to throttle the ass who did this!

PPS: Doc says the fact that he was found so quickly does improve his chances.

Addendum: The breaks are the points where his hips join his spine. It turns out that his spine is not broken but his pelvis is broken in several places as well as the dislocated hip. We have him home now and he will go back in two weeks for the ball-removal once all the swelling goes down. He's home primarily so we can monitor him over the weekend. After that it's just a matter of keeping him from trying to run around.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bigger (AND Smaller) Is Better

I ended up ripping back my first attempt with making the Elk Watch Cap. I somehow or other managed to have an extra stitch picked up at the end of the round. I followed the stitch down and found a yarn-over that I had picked up and purled on the 10th round. Well, crap! I pulled out the needle and before ripping it, I test fit on my own head. Nice fit. My head is 23-1/4" (59 cm) and my son's is larger than mine. I do believe a few more stitches will fit him better.

In addition to the above mistake, I wasn't happy with how holey the fabric appeared when stretched so I chose to cast on using a smaller circular needle and increased the cast-on total to 208 stitches (a quick swatch on size 1 (2.50 mm) circulars gave me 8.5 sts to the inch.) My actual cast-on is on a size 1 (2.25 mm). I have about 1-3/4" (4.5 cm) so far. I keep being distracted by reading blogs.

Oh, and for those who question long tail cast-ons, I measured 104" and threw in an additional 4" of yarn for good measure. Here's how much was left after I finished the (2 needles together) cast-on.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Mist

Beautiful misty morning outside my window. Just thought I'd share:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Next Stop: The Elk

I'm knitting a watchcap for The Viking. The circumference of his head is 24" (I think. This is a surprise gift and I measured a well-worn cap) so I will be knitting the cap at 23". The yarn I will be using for the cap is Regia Sock Wool in a cream (Farbe 00017) and black (Farbe 02066). It's superwash so I will be machine-washing AND -drying to verify gauge before I start. I've cast on the swatch using US2/2.75mm circular needle. The pattern one I made from a picture I found on the internet. It is an Elk on a hillside in silhouette. To make sure I have enough yarn, I bought 300 grams (I know, a bit overkill but I can always use the rest to make ankle socks!) The Viking has a huge head!

Warm Fuzzies

The Knee High Toe Socks are DONE! This means that all the ends are woven in and they've been delivered to their recipient, my baby girl, The Artist. The Artist is peachy pleased. The Viking commented that the socks "look cosy" and The Husband said they "look toesy". I chuckled a little.
Out of 100 grams of yarn, I have 24 grams remaining (25 grams if you include all the little cuttings.)
I think they would be even better if I use painted yarns next time...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My Son The Viking turns 25!

Yesterday, our son turned 25. We treated him to the restaurant of his choice. He loved it.

My husband, on the other hand, suffered sticker shock.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's a Long Way There

It's a Long Way There

I feel like I've been knitting on these socks for an eternity! Started on the 9th and with a few small breaks (I needed to make a square to be included in a friendship quilt) I have been adding a few stitches, sometimes a few inches, each and every day. It took me all day to turn the heels yesterday. I haven't knit enough socks, or for that matter enough short rows, to get the hang of turning the heel in short time. I ripped back the first heel three times before I managed to wrangle the damn thing into shape! Today I've managed to add 3" to each sock. A total of 6". Me. Six inches. Whoa! If this were a single NORMAL, PLAIN sock, I would have finished them three or four days ago. I still believe I knit slow but put in the above perspective.... whoa!
By tomorrow afternoon, I should be starting the individual toes. I’ve never done toes, or fingers, before so this is new territory for me.

You Know You Knit Too Much When...

See the grooves?

Monday, January 17, 2011

For Those Who Are Looking

Free plans to build your own spinning wheel:

Time Passes... Inching Along

I thought I would share an image of my eldest furbaby. He's 17 years old. He spends most of his time sleeping and being totally pissy with the other furkind in the household. His extreme slenderness is due to hyperthyroidism. He's been suffering from hyperthyroidism for many years and has not lost any more weight than what he lost initially. My other three furbabies are black and extremely hard to photograph but I will try to introduce them later. It's hard to capture them 'on film'.

Project In Hand:
Five days later: Yes, I've said it before. I am a slow knitter. But I do make progress. I am checking in with the Toe Socks. They are KNEE HIGH Toe Socks! So I feel better. Because if these were regular socks, they would already be done. In keeping with other blogs, my materials list: I am using Patons Kroy Socks FX that I purchased from the Hobby Lobby in Shreveport, LA (Clay Colors 57044 and Cadet Colors 57110; 50g per skein, I started with 4 full skeins...) knitted on US Size 2 (2.75mm) 47" circular knitting needle (KnitPicks Harmony). The pattern is from The Big Book of Socks. The pattern name is "Knees and Toes". I modified the pattern to fit my daughter's 19-1/2" calves. (I'm able to test-fit as I have sizeable calves as well. It sucks but that's life.)

P.S. The socks are being knitted as a pair using the Magic Loop method.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee 5-29-2009

Yeah, I probably should have posted this then. But, um, I'm not very faithful to this poor blog. I'm working on it. So, why have I posted the photo I have of her? Because I want to. Nyaaah!

Welcome to my home, Minerva!

Minerva arrived in the mail today. How does one convey the beautiful sheen that this wool has? Hopefully your monitor does justice to the images below. Drool.
(PS: No flash was used to capture the following images.)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

And Then There Were Two

Well, I had to frog the black socks. They were too big! I will try again after I finish my daughter's socks.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Patient Zero and The Fleece

I've been reading old entries from the Yarn Harlot. She's seriously infectious! I mean, SERIOUSLY! I liken her to Patient Zero. It's totally her fault! I am again infected! Because of her, I have been on my current sock-knitting jag. And spinning. And totally loving it!

I learned how to spin December 2008. I spun most of the meager supply gifted to me by the lovely Sharon. I also plied it. It has all been languishing since January 2009. Well, I dug out my meager fiber stash and worked on refining my old-new skill with spinning. Why? Because I finally broke down and purchased 15 ounces of Minerva's fleece from High Castle Crafts. I really hope it feels as beautiful as it appears. I want long fibers to play with. I want long fibers to see if I can spin a wool that will allow me to experiment with making firm fabrics like the old sailor's Ganseys.

We shall see...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Two by Two

I finished the green socks Saturday morning and started my daughter's toe socks in the afternoon. It took a little while to set up because I tried toe-up. It's a little hard to reverse engineer the toes for now so I opted to make them top-down. Now, she wanted a tube at the top for elastic so I did a provisional cast-on so I could make the tube with a slit to feed it in. Once I closed the tube today, I then also cast on my husband's socks onto the same circular needle. His socks are toe up! So I'm knitting TWO PAIRS of socks at the same time. Gotta love magic loop!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Happy Couple

9:10 PM 1/4/2011 - Heels are turned! My thumbs are aching. The next phase is to rib until I run out of yarn. They're a pretty happy pair at this moment!


12:06 PM 1/4/2011 - I've been working on this hibiscus baby blanket since, um..., about the 24th of October. You can see my notes for it located on my project's page at Ravelry. I had a beautiful backing selected and prepared. Somehow during the preparation the backing ended up smaller than the blanket. ARGH! It was perfect! On December 31st, I picked up more fabric but not the one I had previously chosen. The bolt did not have enough left! And 'cut/paste' was out of the question. I am considering quilting but NOT YET! I preshrunk the replacement fabric and checked it for fit. It was extremely close! I bought 1-1/4 yards and the blanket is 38". The fabric shrunk so much that it nearly failed to be large enough as well. For the last two days, I have been hand-stitching the backing onto the blanket, gently cajoling the stitches to fit without puckering too badly. Today, I was able to show the in-progress blanket to the prospective parents and, despite my trials, they are thrilled with it. So, effort not wasted.
Took a break and continued with "A Good, Plain Sock" (which had been started on the 31st of December when I needed a break from working on the blanket) using the Yarn Harlot's recipe on page 131 from Knitting Rules!. But, I'm knitting it toe-up and using a short-row heel instead of a flap (I forgot to calculate my starting point for the flap and opted not to rip back the necessary rows, live and learn.)
Later in the day on 1/3: Well, I put the socks down and finished the blanket. I spent the rest of the day working on the socks. I have most of the foot done. I'm sure I will be turning the heel tomorrow (1/4).
Today (1/4), I was going to snap a shot when I found my camera dead. I think the battery is beginning to fade. I don't even get 'Low Battery' warnings any more. Once I get the photos done, the blanket will be boxed up and shipped to its' new home. I'll add it later.
I also need to mail off a fat quarter. I lost the monthly weight loss challenge. I'm still playing even though I know my chances of winning are slim to none. I'm still losing weight, just not a lot in a short time. In the meantime I'm using the challenge as a way to build my growing stash of fabric for quilting. If I ever win, it will be a windfall of FQs!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Just because it is the first day of the New Year, I figured I'd throw this in :D


Today, my daughter surprised the daylights out of me! She wants to learn how to crochet so she can make what she calls "plushies". In the world of crochet, they're know as amigurumi but I'm okay with plushies. Her desire is not to use classic acrylic worsted weight. She wants to use "sock" weight yarns. Right now, she is looking for a source of solids as she does not want any of the self-striping yarns.

The big surprise about my daughter wanting to learn crochet is she long ago expressed annoyance at the idea of learning how to do anything with sticks or hooks. She does enjoy receiving knitted and crocheted gifts so I can only believe it was inevitable. She comes from a long line of talented individuals.

I totally look forward to seeing her talents develop!