June 28, 2006


Last night I went with Beth to a Knit Nite at the Yarn Lounge in Richmond. We went primarily so Beth could get some expert advice on what was going on with her sweater she's been knitting. I wish I could help, but the sweater has a lace motif and I'm not familiar at all with lace. One of the employees looked at it for a while and tried to figure it out and the conclusion was to rip. The sweater starts with a few inches of ribbing, so we decided to rip back to the ribbing. I offered to thread a needle through the beginning of the 122 stitches of ribbing as a lifeline.

While I did that, Beth learned how to knit on double-pointed needles. She worked on my sock for me for a little bit while I did the deconstruction of her sweater. There were two other women at our table (Hi Susan! Hi Audrey!) who gasped when I started to rip out the inches and inches of lace. I have to admit, I've never ripped back that much work before, and it stung even me, and I didn't even knit it, but Beth had a point when she said if she was going to put that much work into it, she'd rather it be right. She is more courageous than I am.

In other news, I'm chugging right along with the Summer of Socks. Exhibit A: one pair, a few rows from completion.

I chose my first socks to be ankle socks. My husband was teasing me, saying I was making them anklets so they'd be done faster. Not true! In the summer, if I'm going to wear socks, I prefer short ones. In the winter I'm all about the knee socks. Makes sense, right?

The Flip Flop Swap and all the details will be announced soon, just trying to get the details worked out. I think this will be a really fun swap! Stay tuned :)

June 22, 2006

Do you smell smoke?

....because I've been exercising my brain muscle. So, there are all these cool swaps out there and I marvel at how these wonderful people come up with these super awesome swaps. I want to be one of these geniuses! I've been pondering and thinking and churning up ideas for a few days, and I think I've found a winner. I need some input though, you guys tell me what you think.

What would you say to doing a Flip Flop Swap? My idea kinda goes like this: a very short swap period, maybe one month, to ensure that the recipient can use the flip flops before the end of the summer, prices can be whatever you want them to be, but preferrably in the $5-$25 range. I don't want it to be a totally overboard kind of thing so no one feels any pressure to send a huge package of goodies. In addition to the flip flops, you could throw in anything summer-y to go along with it that you wanted. My ideas would be toenail polish, for that fab summer pedicure, a fun beach-y trashy book, a beach towel, flip flop socks (like from the books Not Socks, and Not More Socks), a cute anklet, etc. Does anyone have any interest in participating, or any suggestions to make this swap a winner? If there is enough interest I could set up a whole blog for it, with rules and such, but I'd prefer it to be kinda low-maitenence and short time period.

Whaddya think?

ETA: I've been brainstorming even more and thought-you could even make the flip flops. There are generic rubber ones and cute embellishments at Michael's and other craft stores. Also, would anyone prefer this to be secret or non-secret? Non-secret is certainly easier, but I know secret is more fun. I like a mystery. :) I'm really starting to like this idea....

June 21, 2006

Thanks for all your comments of support on my slugginess. Glad to know I'm not the only one is completely unmotivated sometimes. A lot of the bloggy ladies out there seem to get a LOT more accomplished than I do with their knitting, housekeeping, cleaning, decorating, etc. It's enough to make you feel kind of lousy. Then I remember, I have a full-time job and a new house to deal with, and I'm not in a competition. Whew!

So, at long last I have pictures of the completed shelves of my yarn room. We finished staining them and I unpacked all my yarn and divided it up by color, except for the sock yarn which gets its own cubby. I will have more pics of the yarn room in coming posts as each little secion is done. I need to get a wall hanger thingy to hang my quilt, and I still need to unpack all my other crafts. I really didn't anticipate my knitting stuff taking up the whole freaking shelf, I guess it's a good thing I'm participating in summer of stash!

Last night I set out all my sock yarn and made a little plan for what the balls of yarn will grow up to become. I also decided it was the perfect time for a photo opp of my sock stash.

(I'm not sure why it wouldn't post the correct rotated way, but the "top" row would be the one that runs vertically on the right. Sorry 'bout that.)

The first row, from left to right is: 3 skeins of Country Sock Yarn from MDSW, 2 skeins of Knitpicks Simple Stripes in Vineyard, 1 skein hand-dyed (Knitpicks Dye-your-own) in Kool-aid "Seafoam" (my own), 2 skeins Koigu, 1 skein hand-dyed Project Spectrum Sock Yarn Swap May, 1 skein PSSYS June, 1 skein hand-dyed Dye-o-rama yarn.

The second row, from left to right: 2 skeins Art Yarns Supermerino, 1 skein PSSYS April, 1 skein Regia Cotton in Surf, 2 skeins Knitpicks Simple Stripes in Crayon (from my SP), 1 skein hand-dyed with Jacquard "Maryland" (my own), 1 skein Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock. (PS-I need another skein of the LL to do a pair of socks. I bought this when I was a virgin sock knitter and didn't realize what yardage I needed. This is the Vera colorway. If anyone has a single hank and would like to do some sort of swap, I'm game, just leave me a comment.)

I've decided on a few patterns. I know the Simple Strips (both colorways) will be a very basic stockinette to show off the varigations and patterns in the yarn. "Seafoam" will be Oriel from Sensational Knitted Socks. The Koigu is for my mother-in-law and is what I will use to try my new two-at-a-time-on-one-circ method. The May yarn is for Pomatamus from Knitty. "Maryland" is definitely going to be a pair of jaywalkers, with those bright colors how could it not be? I actually cast on for those today! Whee! It's been so long since I started something new, I forgot how you can get a rush from it.

Last, but not least, I saw this great recipe on Kim's blog and had to try it. I've been trying to be a little less convenience-oriented and actually cook at home instead of order take-out.

I've got to say, YUM! Doug agrees. It was very simple and fast, it only took about 5 minutes to put the ingredients together and then 30 minutes to bake. It tastes like the best chicken pot pie ever, and the crust is so delicious. Bravo Kim, great recipe!

One more thing, I've seen this meme going around the blogs and thought it was cute, so please post a one-word comment that you think best describes me. Make sure to post this meme to your blog if you want, so I can do the same for you!

June 17, 2006


I'm having a kind of blah day. I don't wanna do chores, can't get up the energy to run errands, can't even find the mojo to make it to the pool. Yuck. I was going to watch Friends Season 8, but my effing dvd player is being stubborn. I have some stuff to do, so I suppose I should just suck it up and do it, but that's an awful lot of effort when I could just sit here and surf blogs. What's that? You came here for the knitting? Oh, alright. Here y'go:
This is as far as I've gotten on Green Gable. I'm pretty pleased with it, and think it'll be a nice little top when I'm done. The *only* thing I'm a little picky about is the neckline. It's a bit too wide for my tastes, but we'll see when it's finished. I have a pretty spectacular post coming up soon to introduce the almost-finished yarn room in all it's glory, but I just don't have the energy to take the pics and stuff today. Besides, I want to clean it up before I take pics, and I don't have the energy for that either. Jeez, if I have any readers left at this point, please come back soon for an actual chatty energy-filled post. Just not today.

June 12, 2006


Ok, first of all I have one question. How in the world did this....
become this......????????

I'm pleased with the end result, but it is not at all what I was hoping for. I was going for a nice subtle shades of blue ranging from light to medium. Instead I got a really great purple/green/blue combo, but not great for my June Project Spectrum swap. I'd heard that the Wilton's blues didn't hold exactly, so I was expecting it to be a little different, but there is almost no blue at all in the purplish color. It's a lot more magenta in person, the computer always screws with colors you know. Grrr.....I guess I'll just try some kool-aid tomorrow and hope for the best. The yarn is supposed to be mailed out by the 15th, so it's too late to order acid dyes online, and the only acid colors I have are periwinkle, turquoise, chartreuse, and jet black. Not really June-y either. I have a great idea for an "extra" for this month's package so hopefully that will make up for my lack of dyeing mojo this month.

Speaking of June yarn. I received my June package from my pal in the mail today.

Check out that yarny goodness. I also got nail polish, lip gloss, and the cutest notebook ever! I always have a notebook in my purse to jot down notes, lists, numbers, etc. I think this yarn will be River Rapid socks. I'm gearing up for the summer of socks. There is a contest to see how many socks you can knit between june 21st and sept 21st. I don't really expect to win, but I'm challenging myself to see if I can get all my sock yarn knit up during that time. Any socks cast on before the 21st don't count, so that's why I haven't started any socks with all the delicious yarn I've gotten lately. I've been swatching and getting patterns in mind for each yarn.
On the left is the yarn I dyed with kool-aid a while back and named Seafoam. On the right is the yarn I dyed with the acid dyes that is still unnamed. Maybe Iris? Trek mentioned it looked like Irises in full bloom. I'm not sure what to do with Seafoam, but I'm thinking that Iris is fitting for some Jaywalkers. I've been browsing sock patterns all week to prepare. I need to finish Doug's socks before the 21st so I'm not distracted by them since they won't count for the contest. Does anyone have any sock patterns that they just love and would recommend? (preferrably free patterns please, I can't afford to go drop a pretty penny on books and such) Sometime before the contest starts I will be introducing all the yarns and the socks they are destined to be.

June 9, 2006


What a crazy week I've had. The last time I posted I hinted at having a busy weekend and I did, and then a pretty rough week followed. Let me elaborate.....

Saturday I went to a sock workshop at Carodan Farm. The class was teaching the two-at-a-time-on-one-circular method. I've been thinking about learning this method ever since my first pair of socks when I could see SSS becoming a problem for me, the chronic non-finisher. The class went well, we made mini-socks with worsted weight yarn and I was able to finish my pair in the 3 hour class. Immediately following the class I got to meet Wendy and get my book signed. This was very exciting since I missed getting her to sign it at MDSW. I did get a pic with her, but forgot to upload it, so I will save it for next time. Besides that, there are enough pics in the post already.

On Sunday, Doug and I went kayaking with some friends. We took our kayaks to the James River State Park and did the 10 miler. We had a good time, neither of us got sunburned, and we got some good exercise. We bought the kayaks last year and have really enjoyed having them, although I think I'm ready to try some bigger rapids than the tiny-barely-class-one rapids that James yields.

Early Monday morning we had to go to Michigan for Doug's grandfather's funeral. I'm so thankful that we got to go up there in March to visit him. I don't want to dwell on it, but I will say that in the brief time I got to know him, and know about him I discovered he was a very talented man and made a huge impact on the community around him. He led a very fruitful and filling life and he will be missed very much by his family and friends. He was an artist, working primarily in welding and other metalcrafts and his work is displayed all over his region and has also been honored by the Smithsonian. This piece is one of his most recognizable:

That is a cross sculpture that is on display at Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, Michigan. Look at the detail of the globe at the center of the cross. I wish I could show you pictures of all his work, but suffice it to say that he was extremely talented.
It was kind of nice to see all the family again, although the circumstances were pretty unfortunate. Funerals are so bittersweet.

Somewhere in the midst of all that, I received my package from my Dye-o-Rama pal.
Look at that perfect pink and brown box. That will definitely be some great storage place for knitting odds and ends. This is what was inside:
That is a journal, some yummy-smelling candles, and bee-yoo-tiful yarn that I can't wait to cast on with. Here's the closeup
I bet you are wondering if I actually do any knitting anymore. I admit that I really haven't done much lately, but the 23 hour round trip in the car did a little for my knitting progress. Exhibit 1: my Green Gable, done in the sparkly Blue Heron Yarn that I showed a couple of posts back. The lace portion is done, and I'm halfway done with the sleeves.
Exhibit 2: The first completed husband-sock. Yes, I did start this sock 2 months ago, but it's been a backseat project while I've worked on other things. I finished this on the ride up and it was the envy of a couple of members of the older generations of his family, who used to knit socks when it was a necessity, etc. That's it for the knitting progress. I hope to finish GG sometime soon, but I don't want to set any lofty goals this week. I need to unwind.
Hopefully sometime next week I will be able to unwind in my yarn room which will have new shelves. These pictures were taken before my DH actually finished installing all the boards. Now all that is left to finish is staining the wood. I'm going to have my own little yarn store in my house. I LOVE the way this is coming out. I can't wait to see it all finished!

Last but not least, my blue stash for June. Kind of measly, I guess blue isn't a color I use too frequently, which is strange because it's one of my favorites.
Happy Crafting till next time!

June 2, 2006

My Secret Pal Rocks!

I got my first package from my Secret Pal the other day! I've never participated in a secret swap before and this is just so much fun! I'm having a great time spoiling my pal, and I'm getting super-spoiled in return.

She sent me some delicious smelling lotion. It is so citrusy and invigorating! I also received my favorite scented candle, and a wonderful assortment of odds and ends of yarn, everything from cashmere to alpaca. They are perfect little amounts to make the flowers in the Nicky Epstein book, Knitted Flowers that she sent. I've never tried knitting flowers before, and I'm excited to see how it comes out. She also sent some sock yarn from KnitPicks. She knows me so well. I'm always looking to enhance my sock yarn stash. It's self-patterning, which I've never tried before. I'm thinking of making socks for my little brother with it, but if I like it too much I might keep it for myself!

I have a very busy weekend planned: sock class, book signing, pool lounging, hair cutting, etc. I'll post soon and give all the details.

I also joined the Summer of Stash to try to save a bit of cashflow and cut down on my excessive yarn buying. Wish me luck as I will be visiting a store and farm this weekend. You can see my post for the SOS blog here.

Have a great weekend!