Thursday, June 29, 2006

For your viewing pleasure....

Another pair of finished socks!

These are the socks that I've had sitting at my desk at work. When the calls and projects were slow I'd work on these and they were perfect for picking up and putting down at a moment's notice. The yarn is Lana's yarn, the one she's using to make her Clapotis and the one that inspired me. To be honest, I can only remember that the yarn brand is Sinfonia and that it's 100% cotton. Beyond that, I know that the color changes kept my attention and it was a quick knit on size 3 needles.
Details: Pattern: Generic cuff down 3x1 rib with round toe Yarn: Sinfonia, 100% cotton Needles: Size 3US dpns, Takumi Date Started: I have no clue, but probably about 5 weeks ago. Date Finished: June 29, 2006

It is very fitting that on a day I finished a project that a KnitPicks order arrives with just a little more yarn to replace it. 2 skeins of Sinfonia out of the stash... 10 skeins of Shine Worsted go back in. I'll be using this Green Apple yarn to make a summer top for myself. I think the green is so cheery, though it's hard to see in the fading light of this picture.
I also purchased a pair of their KnitPicks dpns in a size 1 to see how I like them. Lana was sweet enough to give me a brand new set of Susan Bates size 1 dpns that she had never used and I can't wait to compare the two! I guess that means I'll be casting on for more socks!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

California Blues

I started these socks while driving up the San Diego coast to visit our home church. I worked on them while lounging next to two dear friends and watching a lazy Sunday afternoon movie. It is the blue of the ocean and of the cool coastal colors. But its also the blues that I feel being separated from long time friends.

Pattern: Generic sock pattern using 64 sts
Yarn: Trekking XXL, color 77
Needles: Size 1 US Addi Turbo circs, magic loop
Date started: June 4, 2006
Date completed: June 28, 2006

Tonight I wound up some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock and some KnitPicks Shadow for some upcoming projects. Stay tuned to see what I do with them!

I just want to give a big hug and an even bigger thank you for all of the kind words about In Full Bloom! I loved sharing it with you and am so glad that none of you thought I was insane for modeling it in 92 degree weather. As excited as I was to wear it, I was just as excited to take a picture to show all of you.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

In Full Bloom

With friends Lana, Saran and Mom cheering me on, I worked on seaming the sweater at Simply Fibers on Saturday. I finished it while I was there and then picked up stitches for the button band at home. Bryan asked for a fashion show after I finished binding off all 302 stitches, but I had to wait until the buttons were on and I truly had a Finished Project!

At 10:30pm I sewed on the last of the buttons and put on my first sweater. I had made Owen a sweater back in November but that felt more like the practice leading up to the Olympics. After all, his sweater was a raglan sleeved pull-over with just a plain straight neck. This, my friends, is a real sweater. Set in sleeves, v-neck, button band and everything.

I'm proud of this sweater. So proud that I decided that I had to wear it to church today. Heat Stroke? Meh, whatever. I have handknits!!!

Project Details:
Pattern: In Full Bloom, Creative Knitting March 2006
Yarn: Cotton Fleece
Needles: Size 4 and 6US 40" circulars, Addi Turbo
Date Started: April 6, 2006
Date Completed: June 24, 2006

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Right now, as we speak I type...

the In Full Bloom sweater is blocking. I had been debating whether or not I should put it together and knit the button band before blocking as the instructions said. Then I remembered how much easier it was to seam Owen's sweater once it was blocked and the decision was made!

I picked buttons for the sweater when I visited Simply Fibers on Thursday. They are small, silver, oval buttons that have what looks like a little filigree on the top that is old and almost worn off. I love them and was so glad to see that Carol had gotten in a bunch of new buttons. The best thing was that they were only $.75 each!

Lana and I have made plans to meet eachother at 11:00 this Saturday at Simply Fibers. Sarah is hoping to make it at around 12:00. My Mom might be joining us, which I would love, so we'd have a nice little group!

Melissa and Laura, I'll be mailing your prizes out to you tomorrow and so you should be receiving them soon!

For now, I continue to resist casting on for another project until the sweater is completely finished. May God give me the strength!!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

KSKS Questionnaire

Remember Bev? That would be the faboo Bev of PoMo Golightly who was my SP7 Spoilee and who also sent me Mama E's PoMo colorway of sockyarn? Well, how could I resist being involved in a swap that she and Scout are organizing?

The Questionnaire:

What are your favorite colors?

My current favorites are brown, blue and pink (or any combination of those three)

Are you a new sock knitter? How long have you been knitting socks?

I've been knitting socks since January of this year and I'm a wee bit obsessed with them!

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn?

I like both. In solids I like a little variation of color, tone on tone.

What fibers do you prefer in sock yarn?

Anything, but please nothing with spandex or stretch in them. Stretchy yarns don't like me.

Where do you usually knit socks?

At home, at work, in the car, out in public. They are my everywhere project.

How do you usually carry/store small projects?

I just recently purchased a little Lantern Moon bag that perfectly fits a sock project. Before that it was a plastic baggy. I'd love another sock project sized bag, if you think you'd like to make me one!

What are your favorite sock knitting patterns?

I've really only done stockinette and ribbed socks. I'd love to branch out a bit into more textured pattern socks.

What new techniques would you like to try?

I'd love to try short rows and different types of heels and toes. Oh! And toe up socks. I've only made cuff down thus far.

Do you prefer circulars or dpns for sock knitting?

I do both. I like circs for the socks that I take out with me so that I don't have to worry about dropping a dpn. I also like working with dpns, though I keep those for my socks at home.

What are some of your favorite yarns?

I love Lorna's Laces and Trekking.

What yarn do you totally covet?

I love handpainted yarns. Or any yarn that is specific to your country that I can't get here.

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)?

I would love you forever if you bought me some metal dpns in size 1. I can't find them near me and I covet them!

If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be?

Oooh. It's a tough one. I'd have to say that I'm Trekking XXL. I'm colorful and fun to watch, but I'm also soft yet tough.

Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack?

Like the yarn question, I like stuff that can only be bought near wherever you are.

Do you have pets? What are their species/names/ages?

No pets, just a 2 year old little boy and a cute husband.

If you were a color what color would you be?

I'd be denim blue. It goes with everything and just looking at my blue jeans makes me feel cozy.

Describe your favorite shirt (yours or someone else’s).

I have a cute shirt that I just bought yesterday. It's a button-down with a fun v-neck and it has brown and pink plaid with little sparkly lines running through.

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature?

I love any landscape scene but especially trees or beaches.

Tell me the best quote you’ve ever heard or read.

As my Dad always says, "If you're going to do it, then do it. If you're not going to do it, then don't do it." Meaning, just make up your mind and get moving!

Do you have a wishlist?

Um... yes? And here it is!

By the way, I've already heard from my pal and she's from another country! Can I just say that I've had a huge smile on my face all day just knowing that I'm getting mail from outside the USA. Yay for me!!!

And the winners are...

Prize #1 (2 skeins of Peace Fleece) goes to Laura of Affiknitty!

Prize #2 (1 skein of Cascade 22o and 1 skein of Atacama) will find it's new home with Michelle of Sittin' Here Knittin'.

Prize #3 (2 skeins of Sock Garden in a Yarntainer) shall be held hostage by me because it is going to Lana at Knit & Pray. Lana, you may only receive this yarn in person because it is absolutely disgraceful that we live not 30 minutes from eachother and have still not met!

Ladies, email me with your addresses or in Lana's case, perhaps a time on Saturday when we can meet.

Thank you, everyone, for your kind words and well wishes. Here's to a second year full of yarn and roses!

I would also like to thank the Random Number Generator for taking out all pressure of needing to think of a great game and having to choose winners among my friends. To me, you are all winners!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Reception Wrap

I realized that I never did show off the wrap that I made during the whirlwind of a trip that was going to my sister's wedding. So, allow me to introduce the Reception wrap.

Forgive the fact that I'm not modeling the wrap for you in this picture. This was taken on Saturday while Owen and I had our own little WW KIP day at the park down the street from our house. Since he had no intentions of wearing this so I could snap a picture of it, I found some daffodils that were more than happy to help me out.

This is the beautiful yarn that I used. Were I a better blogger I would have kept the tags for future blogging reference, but I threw them away while winding the yarn. But I can tell you that it was 40% cotton 30% wool and 30% silk and was a light dk weight. The woman who spun the yarn and dyed it lives just outside of Springfield and does all of her dyeing in an old bathtub that was in the barn. I love that!!!

I love it when I look at yarn or a finished project and specific memories come to mind. Like the socks that are at my desk at work. The yarn for the socks I actually saw on Lana's blog and she was making a Clapotis from it. Now whenever I'm knitting at my desk between phone calls, I think of Lana!

What yarn memories are your favorite?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Blogiversary Extravaganza!

This has been a really incredible year. At this time last year we were living in Southern California and had no plans to move. My parents were in the process of packing up their home just 15 minutes away from us so that they could move to Branson, Missouri. Who in the world would choose to leave San Diego for Branson?! I was convinced that they were absolutely nuts, but showed my support by helping them pack and letting them play with their grandson a lot before they left.

The blog was birthed out of the realization that my family really was moving, and the people that I worked with every day and spent time with even on the weekends because they are so stinking fun to be around... well, they weren't going to be a 15 minute drive away anymore. I was going to be a stay at home Mom with childless friends who worked full time. I was going to need a new hobby. (I learned quickly that counted cross-stitch is not a toddler-friendly hobby.)

Right about that time, I was reunited via the internet to my dear friend, Jen, who had been a great friend in High School and who had learned how to knit. After seeing her blog and remembering my failed attempts at knitting, I decided that I would try one more time to knit. I had my crocheting, but I needed a challenge though I never thought that knitting would ever be much more than an occasional thing for me. Convinced that the problems with my other failed attempts were the sole fault of the kit I was trying to learn from, I threw away the tainted kit and I bought a new kit at Michaels and opened it as soon as I got home. This was my Everest.

One year later, I'm living in Missouri and sometimes I really do think that I'm just as crazy as I thought my parents were for moving here. (Did you know that they have humidity and tornadoes here? What the heck was I thinking? Give me earthquakes any day.) I'm working at a job that I absolutely love (and not just because they let me knit at my desk when the phones are slow) and Owen is flourishing at his daycare. Bryan is back working in Customer Service, which is what he did several years ago, but there's a sales component to it and let me just say this: My husband kicks butt at this. Bryan, Owen and I have formed a much more cohesive little family and though I never thought I'd say it, maybe it's a good thing that I'm not 15 minutes away from my family and now live 40 minutes away. I have become completely obsessed with knitting and haven't picked up a crochet hook since March. I love that my family understands my knitting and that I now have a fellow knitter in my Mom.

To celebrate my 1 year anniversary I have put together 3 special prizes to give to my wonderful knitblog friends! All you have to do is enter with a comment on this post and I will use a random number generator to choose the winners. The prizes that you see will also include some of my handmade stitchmarkers and other tasty little goodies.

Prize #1

2 Skeins of Peace Fleece DK in Sea Moss.

Prize #2

1 Skein of Cascade Quattro in Peachy Pink and 1 Skein Auracania Atacama in Blue Beige.

Prize #3

2 Skeins of KnitPicks Sock Garden in Hydrangea and a Yarntainer to hold them.

The winners will be chosen on Monday at 11:00am Central time and a post will be made announcing them shortly after. Happy commenting and good luck!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Slobbery Demise

We've gathered here today to say goodbye to a hand-knitted item whose life ended too soon. Cabled Purse, (pictured above on the right before assembly with it's good friends, the girly scarf and the Irish Hiking scarf), was completed in February of 2006 and met it's end on June 11, 2006.

Cabled Purse led a good life. It was useful as all knitted items hope to be. It carries Brianne's wallet and Owen's Hot Wheels cars with pride. Many of you may not know this, but Cabled Purse was also a bit of an adventurer and traveled with Brianne to San Diego. How could we have known that it was there that Cabled Purse would lose it's battle with a certain mother-in-law's Golden Retreiver who wasn't supposed to be in the guest room but still got in? It fought valiantly until the end, but proved to be no match for a 40 pound dog.

Farewell, Cabled Purse.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Just a little razzle dazzle

Learning to divert your child's attention away from something you don't want them to touch/lick/eat/play with/see/hear/do is one of the first things you must learn in order to survive parenthood. I learned this lesson well with my younger brothers and it came in handy with babysitting and, later, my own little munchkin.

I'm going to use this today in the hopes that you won't notice that I don't have any knitting pictures to show you. Why don't I have anything interesting to show you? Because I have hit the proverbial wall with the In Full Bloom sweater. I just finished the sleeve increases and only have two more inches before I do sleeve cap shaping, but I swear this is the longest two inches I've ever encountered. I'm in that black hole of knitting where I knit several rows and measure and yet haven't gained any length. I'm sure this problem is only exacerbated by the fact that I'm knitting both sleeves at the same time. Perhaps hiding the sweater in a bag and making faces at it before I zipped it shut wasn't the most adult way of handling the situation.

Just to spite the sweater, I decided to make a little felted bag to keep some of my knitting supplies in. Mom and I found a yarn store just down the street from where my in-laws live, so when they picked us up to go to the airport we had to make a stop just to "see what's inside". We came out with a pattern, two skeins of Cascade EcoWool, three skeins of some hand-dyed wool blend and two skeins of Noro Silk Garden. We loved the Silk Garden colorway so much that we each had to buy a skein to make something little with it. I knitted and felted my bag last night and it should be ready for it's photo shoot tonight. That'll show you, sweater.

Tomorrow's post shall be a sad tale of a battle won and and then lost.

Oh look! A starfish!

This is actually part of a bigger display of artwork that is located in a women's' restroom in the San Diego airport.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Home, Muggy, Home

We're back from our trip to San Diego and I'm happy to report that everything went very well and everyone said, "I do". It was a whirlwind of a trip between trying to get last minute wedding stuff done and also spending time with Bryan's family and attempting to see friends that we haven't seen since September. We all had a great time and I feel so blessed that I was able to have that time with everyone.

I brought 2 projects along with me on this trip. I needed a sock for plane knitting and thought it only appropriate that it was a Trekking sock that came with me. The blues in the yarn remind me of the ocean and so I have dubbed this yarn my "California Blues Socks". The sock pattern isn't anything fancy, just a 2" 3x1 rib at the cuff and stockinette for everything else. I have the basic sock pattern memorized now and I find that so freeing!

In what can only be described as a sheer act of madness, I also decided that I would try to make a wrap in time for Heather's wedding. I started on a drop stitch wrap on Friday night (May 26) and worked frantically on it. The yarn was some dk weight handspun, hand-dyed from a local farm and when I saw it at Simply Fibers, I fell in love. I worked it on a Denise circ, size 9US and it was airy and light, perfect for a summer wedding. By the grace of God and by the skin of my teeth, I finished the wrap at 2:00am (Pacific Time) on Friday morning (June 2) and blocked it that afternoon. You'd think that for all the work I put into it that I'd have a picture of me wearing it at the wedding reception. Well, I don't. However, I do plan on wearing it to the WWKIP get together tomorrow and perhaps I can convince one of the other kind knitters to help me get a good picture of it.

On Monday, after all the wedding festivities had ended, Mom and I were able to steal away and venture into our home turf of northern San Diego County and visit a yarn store called The Black Sheep. It was Mom's birthday (I won't divulge numbers!) and wow, what a way to celebrate. This store was amazing. They had more yarn than you could shake a stick at. I stood in front of the wall of Collinette and just stared for a while.

Mom bought some ribbon yarn to make a summer wrap and more Manos for felted bags. She literally had to buy a separate suitcase for all the yarn she was bringing home from this trip and I think she was in absolute heaven. I found a lot of beautiful yarn, but only ended up coming home with a small Lantern Moon bag to keep my current sock in. (I love my Trekking and it's too nice to carry around in a ziplock bag!)

The Black Sheep is located in one of the more wealthy areas of San Diego County and so we weren't too surprised to see yarn selling for $48 per skein. What did throw us a bit off was a woman buying yarn to make her friend a wrap that almost matched her own. We admired the yarn and her wrap and mentioned how thoughtful it was to be making something for a friend. This woman and Mom were at the registers at the same time and Mom did a great job of keeping her composure when the other woman's yarn rang up at a total of $950.

P.S. I finished the pillowcases for Heather and Spencer and she loved them! She also appreciated the alien head dishcloth that I made for Spencer. I'd love to find a chart for Darth Vader or Yoda because my new brother-in-law is a Star Wars fanatic.