Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dream Come True

Anne had a contest to talk about local yarn shops. She even posted somewhat of a wish list recently, which is what I think almost all of us need/want in a local yarn shop. Well, I've found one that is local, in a back roads, away from the city kind of way. Limerick Fibers (site under construction, but coming soon!), in Gordonsville, VA is a knitter's dream. It's cute. The owners are a mother-daughter team, and while I was there, I was introduced to another daughter and her wee daughter. I left work early and drove 25 minutes out into the country, and there on Main Street is the little grey building that is home to the best little yarn shop going.

I was in a good frame of mind to judge, as I'd picked up the last of the back ordered Cotton Fleece from the LYS in the city I frequent. (They know me by name, and even what I have in the works.) They're nice enough now that they know me (and coincidentally, I've spent a boatload of money in there), but they're still disorganized and always seem to lack whatever I went in there after. Not so at Limerick Fibers. They didn't know me from Eve, and had not a clue whether I'd buy anything then or ever, but Paula assured me I should take my time, let her know if she could help, etc.

My cell phone has a camera. I should have used it. I have never seen so much Cascade 220 in one place, neatly stacked in wood stained cubes, higher than I could reach, in row after row. Sigh. There was even an entire row at the back with the Cascade Sierra, which is what I wanted to use for hubby's blankie, but the above-mentioned LYS had one little cube full of maybe three colors, so I went with the Cotton Fleece, and still had to order five of the colors. I'm pleased with my selections, but the multi MONTH wait for the last color was unacceptable, and Cotton Fleece simply doesn't have some of the colors I wanted. (There they are. There are multiple skeins of many of the colors, but you could have guessed that, since I said it was for a blanket, right?)

So, here is what I purchased, minus one more pattern that is for a swap. Those are Bryspun needles. Almost since I reconnected with my inner knitter, I've wanted to try them. Soy? Good, but you know about that, because I went overboard about why I love soy with the SWS. They have sharp points too, just like those awesome Options. Yep, despite my initial less than love for Cascade 220, there's more of it in there. There's also Euroflax in there, because Knitters Stash and a mystery customer in the above mentioned LYS said I needed to try it, and the mounds of beautimousness all around are the Plymouth Bamboo that called to me. It wants to be the vest on the left, because I don't do sleeveless. And again, the folks at Limerick's are so cool that when I began to walk around stroking the bamboo and talk to the spinny racks of patterns, Paula went downstairs to find the three balls she'd pulled for her own use and for a shop sample. With those three balls, there was just enough for the pattern. Joy! There's another felted bag pattern on the teal paper, but that's for a swap too.

These down-home geniuses are also going to have a wish list section on their website. Even without a working website, they noted the ball winder and swift I want for my birthday, and said to send my family in. My husband, sister and mother inlaw have all been so advised. (Already, I trust Paula and her family. I won't end up with three swifts. They do gift certificates too.) They have spinning and needle felting stuff too.

I also got more lusciousness from Sheri at The Loopy Ewe. It's in a colorway called "Preppy" in colors I love dearly, by Sknitches. I'm still called "Preppy" and this yarn makes me proud to share the title. It also makes me want to go buy some penny loafers too, but I wouldn't really wear them. (I wonder if Clarks makes something like a penny loafer?)

Limerick's could be better. No Sunday hours, only open five days a week, but I do feel sure that if I can't leave work early and arrive there at 4:30, they'll stay until I've selected what I need and want. They are heavy on Cascade, carrying yarns in that brand I had only seen on websites before. They don't have much in the way of sock yarn, and I don't know whether it is a plus or a minus, but they have no Yuck Yarn - that's Noro Kureyon for the rest of you. However, they're more than willing to custom-order, which is nice, but realistically, it means that the city LYSs will still get plenty of my business, as will the internet stores. That I feel comfortable sending my family in there speaks volumes. That I checked to make sure they won't be closed for their family vacation while Anne is here means I've found the first "must see" stop on our Virginia yarn crawl.

Speaking of vacations, those crazy gals at the Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap are tricky! International dateline and all, sign-ups are already open! Be there or be square. I'm already plotting what would go in my Virginia is for lovers swap box. (That's the state's tourism slogan, or was for too many years while I was growing up anyway.) I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing what everyone else comes up with. Maybe I'll be inspired to add to my places I want to go if I'm ever able to take more than four days of vacation at a time list.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Movin' On

Still no photos, but the felted bag swap bag is felted! It was HUGE before I felted it... but more on that once it has been received by my pal. It is beautiful, and assuming it finishes drying tonight, it will fly away tomorrow, along with baby blankie #1 (the only pink one). I never got it to the intended recipient, but another friend just had a baby girl, so away it goes.

I thought I'd respond to a few replies this morning. I love having comments, and being a chatty being, your comments spur on more comments from me!

Ironically, the bag in waiting (not to be confused with the SWS project) will have bamboo handles. Hooray! I seriously think I prefer i-cord to the flat stockinette handles. My husband was helping me stretch and shape said bag and handles last night, and he wants me to BLOCK the handles so they aren't kinda' curled in the middle and flat on the ends, but that's what the picture shows, so I supposed the designer wanted that look. My problem is that I am easily bored, so something has to be changing for me not to whine to Anne about the project. (Hence, my immediate love affair with socks. My current sock project has a four-row repeat for the leg, so lots of change! Wheee!)

Sharon and I had our own little exchange about the joys of online friendships, but I wanted to encourage you again to check out her shop. It's a great, new addiction that mixes well with knitting! Everyone can appreciate handmade soap, and this creative genius can whip up something personal with just a few words from you. And while I'm shamelessly promoting Sharon, be sure to check out her new swap. I've done a "beach in a box" for a friend before, so focusing on my own, tourism-rich hometown will be fun, especially knowing someone else will be doing the same for me.

Y'all also restored my faith in people, as you always do. Even if my own community isn't full of respect for Memorial Day, there are plenty of people around who do honor the service and the real meaning of the day. And to Miss Me, November 11th is also Veterans Day here too. It is specifically for veterans, which is why I think Memorial Day is taking on more of a general service feel, although originally, I believe Memorial Day was to honor those dying in service for the country, while Veterans Day is to honor them all, dead or alive. However, in our family, Veterans Day does get a little lost in the shuffle, as it is also my very dear mother inlaw's birthday.

Now, there's some work to be done. Dang. I hate when work interupts my knitting and blogging!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Remember to Remember

Memorial Day seems to be falling out of "fashion" with a lot of folks. That makes me sad, and a bit angry if I really dwell upon it.

My ultimate online reference, Wikipedia says:

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May (observed this year on 2007-05-28). It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it expanded to include those who died in any war or military action. One of the longest standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911.

For much more information, go read on!

In my community, only the VFW (Veterans of Foreign War) and the Elks do much for the day. No big parade, no fireworks... It has become a "Whooohooo, Summer's here!" party time, which hardly does justice to the remembrance my area has been respecting since just after the Civil War. You see, some cities were honoring their military dead at least that far back. I don't mind that it has grown to include a general concept of service or a day of honor for all the dearly departed in our lives, but to equate it only with summer fun is a bit shallow, if I may say so. If you're living in the USA, you're enjoying freedoms that our veterans fought and died for. Please take a moment to reflect on that. Freedom really isn't free, after all.

I'm going to borrow an idea from Sue and have a little personal Memorial Day roll call:

First, those still living:

My father inlaw : US Navy, Cuban Missile Crisis (Only recently have those serving then been recognized as vets of a foreign WAR, as the US didn't declare war... same with Korea and much more. Sigh.)

My grandfather inlaw: US Army, WWII, Germany

My uncle and godfather: US Army, Vietnam, Vietnam jungles

My long-time former boss and life-long family friend: US Army, Vietnam, also "in country", earned a Purple Heart

My stepson's stepfather: US Army, Afghanistan

All the guys and gals from the fire department, representing every branch of the US Military

Next, those still serving:

My cousin's husband: US Navy

My dear friend and former co-worker: US Navy, two tours in Iraq

Another friend and former co-worker: US Army, just back from Iraq

My second cousin: US Navy

My friend's husband: US Navy

Another friend's husband: US Army

(And yes, I know where they are, but I don't know how classified their locations might be, so...)

And last, but not least, those who have died, but served:

My father: US Marine Corps, Korea

My uncle: US Army, Vietnam War, Germany

More of the firefighters, also representing several branches of the Military

Yet another Uncle: US Army, WWII, Europe. Lost both legs to compression complications later in life. He became my uncle because he and his best friend enlisted together, and he promised his friend to take care of the friend's girlfriend if something happened. The friend was killed in combat, and the rest is history.

I'm sure I forgot a few, and I wish I could have named all the friends and former co-workers by name, because they deserve the honor, but I'd still be typing in an hour or so. So, my sincere thanks to those who served and are serving, and to their families.

Happy Memorial Day to all of you.

HSKS Trivia

"I'm not trying to say what she did was sensible. I'm just trying to make you see how she was feeling at the time."

"You should write a book, translating mad things girls do so boys can understand them."

HSKS trivia time! The above quotes are from the Order of the Phoenix. Hermione speaks first, followed by Ron.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Better Safe Than Sorry

I'm nothing if not conservative. (That's not a political statement though.) Would that bit of ball have been enough to do the 100 rows of lavender in the straps? Maybe, but I couldn't take that chance. (Somebody tell my hubby I need digital scales AND the winder and swift for my birthday!) And no Anne, that's not i-cord. I believe I would rather do 400 rows of i-cord than 400 rows of stockinette at 10 stitches wide.
The good news is that by bedtime, my felted bag pal's gift will be knitted. Then comes the finishing and felting and such, but that's the only picture you'll see until it reaches my pal.
That also means that I'm casting on with the SWS tomorrow, or later tonight! Yeah!
In other knitting news, I have finally selected a pattern for my HSKS pal's bag. The sock yarn and a pattern are on the way, so that leaves needles, stitch markers and other treats to find. The yarn for the bag too, as I cannot sew a bit, must be purchased, but I'm hoping to do that Tuesday on my mini road trip to check out the promising new-to-me yarn shop the next little village over.
See?! I'm knitting. I just can't show you what I'm knitting. Sockem? I miss you, but we'll be together soon. Very soon...
Thanks to all for the well-wishes for Mugsy. He's doing well. We, however, are not. It's no fun trying to keep even an 11+ year old Jack Russell from running and jumping. By the time the 8 weeks pass, he will think his name is "Mugsy, no. NO MUGSY!" and he will believe those words are always followed by a human grabbing his little nubby tail, or at least, lunging in that direction.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

On the Outside Looking In

My mother inlaw is awesome, especially when it comes to supporting my knitting habit. She's a bit puzzled by this "swapping thing" though. She gets that Mary won a prize, but while she sat and watched me prepare my pal's first package for the Spring Felted Bag Exchange, she had more questions than I had answers.

Why are you sending stuff to someone you don't know? Couldn't she already have one of these? What if she doesn't like this pattern? (Followed by, "I don't, but I do like these colors..." Note to self: remember those colors for a bag at some point for MIL.)

Now, my mother inlaw is nothing if not kind and generous, so it's not that she thinks it's silly to send care packages. It's that we knitters have this whole "swap thing" going, and we seem to enjoy the whole secret pal part a lot. Why is that?

For me, I swap because I tend to get in ruts, and I love that someone else will likely buy something for me I wouldn't consider on my own. That, and I wanted to know someone else who knits besides The Yarn Family. Not that Anne isn't the best friend a girl could have, and Tina is so like her little sister with her kind support and willingness to help a novice out, but once I realized from just reading Anne's blog that there was a whole, vast, international community of cool knitters out there, I wanted to be a part! So, I began blogging, signed up for the most recent Knitters Treat Exchange, and the rest is history.

Now, I must return to cleaning, and making room in the study for my ever-growing stash.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Poor, Poor Pitiful Me

Warning - the precious little knitting content is at the bottom.

That's what Mugsy is thinking. It has been a rough day, for both of us.

Annual visits to the vet aren't bad. My dogs love Dr. Nancy. (If you live in Central VA and need a good vet, leave your email and a comment.) But today sucked. Mugsy's 11+, so we weren't expecting anything eventful. Here's how the "goin' to the vet" day works:

The dog in question goes to work with me. This is considered a treat for the dog and the employees not working in the office. Those in the office are excited for precisely as long as it takes dog in question to get on their last nerve, generally less than ten minutes. You see, as Anne can attest, both of my doggies believe the world revolves around them. If you don't see it that way, they will attempt to educate you. So, at some point, we head to the vet, where said dog also walks in like he owns the place, and the dear people there seem to encourage these notions with too many treats, kisses, and glares at me when I attempt to demand manners from the dog. Afterwards, we swing by Arbys, where the dog gets his own small roast beef, hold the bun for Mugsy, but not for Fred!

That's how it went for the first part. Then, Dr. Nancy looked at me over the top of her glasses when I mentioned Mugsy's "loose hip" was acting up. Dumb me. She has a million patients, but *SHE* remembers it is his left hip, yet he is favoring his right rear leg today. Uh-oh. So, after the shots, toenail trim, looking at a warty growth on his neck, letting him lick her face, etc., she asks me to give her a hand. She begins to manipulate his right rear leg, all the while telling me that normally, they have to put the dog under to perform this test, but we both know Mugsy has a whopper of a pain threshold, and he will let Dr. Nancy do stitches, staples, etc. without the usual anesthesia. The result: my old baby has a torn ACL. Surgery isn't an option because of his age and his size, so for EIGHT WEEKS, no fetch, no long walks, no running, no jumping, etc. With a bit of luck, enough scar tissue will develop to support the other ligaments in that knee.

So, between two shots, the whole temperature taking-thing, and a long day at the office, Mugsy is exhausted. Too much so to protest posing with the two packages that arrived today. The long awaited, twice-shipped Charmed Knits, and my prize from the Charmed Knits contest, Not Your Mama's Felting are here. The Creative Knitting is in there to remind me to tell you that my July copy never arrived. Sigh. I've filled out the appropriate online form on their website, so hopefully, I'll hear from them soon, and it will arrive soon too. POUT.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go snuggle the invalid and flip through my new books. And knit, of course.


So, question #3 has come around. Three folks in the exchange I have something in common with, knitting aside!

  1. Lia and I both evidently like Harry Potter.
  2. Laurie C and I both hate Barney, that big purple menace. We disagree on Pooh though.
  3. Jenny M seems just as into fresh tomatoes as I am. We have six little plants in the flower bed in front of the office (but alas, the camera is at home)!

I must also report that I have finally purchased the sock yarn and pattern for my HSKS pal last night. I hope she'll like it. I've also decided what yarn I'm using for Sockza, and I need to get it ordered. I was going to ship out packages for my SFBE pal and the prize for Mary from my first contest for the dishcloth swap, but I forgot one little thing... Mugsy. We're going to the vet today for his annual stuff, and a dog and packages with FOOD inside don't mix, aside from the fact that it's warm enough I don't want to leave him in the car while I ship things. So, maybe tomorrow, folks!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Picture me, hands thrown in the air, NFL ref style. My local Michael's had the not really short but shorter than I could find elsewhere #7 metal needles, AND... drumroll... Patons SWS! Even in the colorway (Natural Pink) I'd eyed. Life is good today. Gonna take Mugsy for a walk in a minute too, so it's ALL good here.

And a million thanks to Lori from the Spring Felted Bag Exchange, for the awesome list of other self-striping yarns. Same day service. Better than my dry cleaners, Lori. You rock. (See Lori's comment in the post most previous to this one if you're looking for non-Yuck yarn. And to those lurving their Kureyon, I have some partial skeins I'll send you, because I don't care to ever knit with the rough stuff again, typed while stroking my SWS. Even Mugsy has turned his head.)

You do realize the pal's felted bag, at about 33%, is going to get shoved aside so I can love on my wool and soy product fibers. See, the way I figure it, I almost have to be supporting my local farmer family & friends. My childhood is filled with visions of soybeans, waving in the breeze, and there are a couple of sheep farms around here too. So, never you mind about the made in China part of the label. In my little feelin' the love world today, the soybeans for my yarn came from Uncle Dave's farm, and the wool came from Mrs. Robinson's sheep. Don't try to reason with me. I don't want to hear it.

Oh What A Beautiful Morning(from Oklahoma)



There's a bright golden haze on the meadow,

There's a bright golden haze on the meadow,

The corn is as high as an elephant's eye,

An' it looks like it's climbin' clear up to the sky.

Oh, what a beautiful mornin',Oh, what a beautiful day.

I got a beautiful feelin'

Ev'rything's goin' my way.

(There's more, but I'll spare you. Send the pity Mugsy's way. We'll be walking to some Rodgers & Hammerstein. Suck it up, pup. You see, he's more of an Uncle Kracker kind of dog... If he's a good boy, I'll hit shuffle/random as we go out the door.)


I always think of a vocal warm-up when I see that. I miss singing, but that's another story, and not at all related to knitting, aside from the fact that it would take away from my precious knitting time.

Anyhoo, Shannon tagged me this time, so I'm going to see if I can come up with 7 more unique things, but no more tagging BY me. If you're moved to take up the game, that's cool; post a comment so we can all get to know you better, and to visit your blog.

1. My sister's husband is a long-time friend of MY inlaws. (Small towns are great, huh?)

2. There's nothing like having a beautiful three year old literally throw herself at you with a great, big hug.

3. Today, my hubby's cousin and childhood neighbor, turns 40. Happy Birthday, Gary Lee! (And we're Southern, so that's read as Garileeeee.)

4. I'm gonna get Anne to be a tea drinker too. (I've ordered a tea she won't be able to resist, but as always, I'm not tellin'!)

5. All I want is a LYS that carries metal #7 knitting needles, in a kinda' short length. You know, just right for a dishcloth? Not those ubber-long things that could double as a skewer on the grill. And a self-striping yarn that feels better than the Yuck yarn, as Mary calls Kureyon. Is that too much to ask??

6. I love okra. I have one little bag left in the freezer, and it might have to be part of dinner tonight.

7. That apple green, spring green, whatever you want to call it, is growing on me. Especially when paired with pink, it's lurverlee!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Mixed Bag

That's what today has been. Highs and lows. Ebb and flow.

The high points - a great chat with my awesome Sockza spoiler. Some cute finds for upcoming packages (and no, you can't see!). Ice cream sundaes with friends. Winning the drawing for the Charmed Knits week #2 contest.

The lows - a friend's sweet mother has cancer. Lung, breast and likely more. Another friend is moving back to New Jersey. Hubby hit a deer last night (but the fire department's insurance is covering it, so that's not as low as the others).

Some retail therapy is in order. I did a bit of shopping today (awesome stitch marker find, and once I give them to their intended recipients, I'll share the grand source), but much more is in order tomorrow, after some sleep.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Felted Bag Contest

Anne wants to know where we knit. Well, dearie, you've been here, but hubby rearranged the furniture. Mugsy and I still hang out on the sofa, but it's now across from the front door. (The TV moved to about where Fred's bed was...) So for the rest of you, I knit mostly in the corner of my sofa, under the light, unless Mugsy wants to sleep in that corner, and then I'm in the middle of the sofa. Otherwise, the sock and I will travel. Once in a while, I'll knit in bed, while Mugsy and I watch a movie, when hubby isn't here. Can't give you a photo at the moment, because the bulk that is the bag for said swap is taking up that corner, and I'm not about to move it just for a photo.

HSKS Quidditch Round 2

1. Violet

2. Sir Cadogan

3. Snoozing

4. Fleur Delacour

5. Fred and George Weasley

6. Minerva McGonagall

7. Oliver Wood

8. Kennilworthy Whisp

9. Guards the goal

10. He wanted Harry to win the tournament


Dobby holding his sock from Harry (scroll down)
Cho Chang and Harry's first kiss
Viktor Krum and Hermione at the dance
Mad Eye Moody

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Tea for...

Thanks to everyone who chimed in! I wish I could have a tea party with all of you, truly.

Devon is the winner, thanks to the random number generator. Let me know if you do loose tea or bags, and I'll have your prize on its way, soon enough!

Clearly, there is interest in a tea swap. It looks like a little later into the summer will suit most, so keep visiting, and details will show up in due time. I'm also going to clear up a little confusion. I do drink tea hot, cold, tepid, or any state in between, year 'round, all day long. Being a good Southern girl though (aka: a GRITS - Girl Raised In The South), I do like a nice, run of the mill glass of a blended black tea over ice. Personally, I like it with a bit of lemon and no sugar, but as long as it isn't so sweet my teeth hurt, I'll drink sweet tea too. For those across the pond or otherwise unfamiliar with Southern lingo, sweet tea, ice tea and iced tea are all the same thing.

A couple of you had some great ideas! I'm still mulling over the details, but this will be different enough from the tea swap I didn't get to in time to join that I hope there will be some cross-over. It will also be international in scope, because well... I happen to think the British do tea in a way most of us over here can only aspire to do tea.

So, keep those tea comments coming. If there's something you think would make for a great tea swap, let me know.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Random Eight

Cathy tagged me after I'd tagged her with the 7 things.

Eight random things about me:

1. I think I could live on green tea. Or maybe I *do*?

2. I actually enjoy working with my husband, who is sitting on the other side of my desk at the moment.

3. I have four different charm bracelets.

4. Had I been born just a few hours earlier, pearls would be my birthstone.

5. In high school, I wore pearls *EVERY* day. (May have in college too; I can't recall.)

6. I used to have a pet rooster.

7. My favorite watch needs to be repaired AGAIN.

8. It might make more sense to just ask for a new watch for my birthday.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Why I Swap

Take one very hectic week. Add in a missing order from Amazon. Add in very little time to knit. No time to check blogs for the swaps I am helping hostess. Don't forget the little dog with separation anxiety and too much pent up energy, or the strife only a family business can experience, and you have a frazzled woman. Until now.

TibbersSox mentioned I had a box on the way. Even though Amazon and the mail carrier (a woman on my route, thank you!) are struggling, UPS and Tibbers found me. Sweet joy! No more grumblings about my spoilers, at all. Scout's honor, and I was a Girl Scout for something like seven years! See all that loot? Mine. From someone I still don't really know. A kind note, chocolate (already hidden from the man I took vows to love, honor and cherish, but there was nothing about sharing my peanutbutter cups!), two bottles of water with a note that one was for the walk, and one was for when I got home from walking (how did she know I have a fanny pack with a bottle holder?), some lotion I cannot wait to try (and I will indeed, as soon as this post is complete), beautiful stitch markers and my first skein of homespun. And a Tao tea assortment, containing some of my most favorite blends.

See there? Homespun! She doesn't even know me either, and she sat down and spun for me. How can I let a long, full week get to me when there are souls like that in (Arizona?) the world?? I can't wait to cast on with it. Spinning is something I know I will never take on, because there's just too much knitting to do, too many hours of work, and too much to do at the firehouse, etc., so I am very much in awe of those who do spin, and I truly feel honored to have received such a wonderful gift from someone matched up with me in a swap. Heck, I'd feel special if it came from a friend, but from a virtual stranger?! There is hope and goodness in this world.

Those are the stitch markers. There are several of the spinning wheel, which is great, because I will think of TibbersSox when I use them, and of her wonderful gift of homespun, even once the homespun is knitted into its final form. The little sheep is precious, and the ball of yarn with needles is great too! And blue. I like brights, and that bright blue is enough to light up my day on its own! Did you make these too, Tibbers pal?

There's only one problem with TibbersSox. See that? Mugsy did. He's cool with cats, but Fred is another story. We won't talk about what Fred does with cats that venture onto his property. My dogs are very curious about any pal that meows. ;)

Since this is my only knitting post of any real value in about a week, here's the sweet little beanie that I hope is already safe and sound in Charmed Knits collection world. It's just the first of several, I hope. The color isn't really that bright, but y'all should know by now that the camera and photo alterations are way down on my things to master list. I'd be a truly happy camper if Amazon would let the book behind this pattern, the KAL, the blog, etc., find its way to my house. Since it didn't arrive today, I'm calling and/or emailing about it tomorrow. POUT.

And, a bit of housekeeping, so to speak. Yeah Anne, I *KNOW* I was supposed to just pick up my mp3 player and hit shuffle, but I don't have speakers on my computer at work! So, I cheated, and you get a little more insight into me.

I've also been tagged again, and I will tend to that tomorrow. Checking on the contest entries for my group will also happen at some point over the weekend, so it's now or never gang! I will also pick a winner and post some news about my pending tea swap this weekend too, so one more chance to post a comment or idea there too!

Thanks to everyone leaving comments too. And one more grand, heart-felt THANK YOU to my Sockza spoiler too.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Soundtrack to my Life, HSKS Trivia

Anne tagged me with this. I'm not passing the tag along, but it was interesting to ponder my choices.

Directions: If your life was a movie, what would the soundtrack be?

My Movie:
1. Opening credits: Daddy’s Girl – Peter Cetera
2. Waking up: Oh What a Beautiful Morning – from Oklahoma!
3. First day of school: Goody Two Shoes – Adam Ant
4. Fight song: Watch Me – Lorrie Morgan
5. Breaking up: You Don’t Own Me – Blow Monkeys
6. Happiness: Who Says You Can’t Go Home – Bon Jovi/Nettles version
7. Life’s okay: When the Sun Goes Down – Uncle Kracker
8. Mental breakdown: Don’t Cry Out Loud – Melissa Manchester
9. Driving: Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane
10. Flashback: Bat Out of Hell - Meatloaf
11. Getting back together: Magic Works – Goblet of Fire Soundtrack
12. Wedding song: Everything I Do – Bryan Adams
13. Birth of first child: n/a
14. Final battle scene: 1812 Overture - Tchaikovsky
15. Death scene: Hogwarts Hymn – Goblet of Fire
16. Funeral song: Only the Good Die Young – Billy Joel
17. End credits: Climb Every Mountain – Sound of Music

I am still alive, but this is the week where I knew I'd have little time to knit, blog, or do much more than breathe and run to another meeting. I've cast on for my pal's felted bag, my dpn sock is coming along, my Charmed Knits beanie is done, and I'm still waiting for Amazon to deliver my copy of the book, dang them! I wore my socks yesterday, but no pictures, as I'm at work and the camera's not. I seriously doubt you'll get pictures before Friday, but we'll see.

HSKS Trivia Answers:

Trivia #1

Felix Felicis

Trivia #2

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Trivia #3

Arthur Weasley

Thanks too to those who have left comments. If you leave an email address, I try to reply, but this week, a lot is getting lost in the shuffle. I do love my Booga bag, and I especially love how forgiving felting is. It hides a multitude of sins, like a great pair of black pants! ;)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Have Sock Will Travel

I do hope you're in the mood for photos. If not, well... skim ahead to the text portions, because it's a photo day here! I'll lead off with the Charmed Knits beanie. The colors are a touch off; the blue isn't so vivid, and the heather is a cross between the bronze in the books and the silver in the movies. It's the small size, so it's moving right along. When not in the study for its photo op, it lives on the arm of the sofa, so that I can garter stitch away while using my laptop. I hope to finish it up tomorrow or Monday, so it can be owled away as my first finished object for that worthy cause of a knit along.

Next, we have the sock's travel entourage. The book with the pattern within, my own Booga bag, in service as intended, toting a little project, and the sock itself, with its supporting cast of Inox teflon coated 6" dpns, and the nifty little thingee from The Loopy Ewe to hold it all (yep, FIVE needles) together. (The Pampered Chef potholder didn't travel. It is merely an aid to better display the colors of the Lorna's Sheperd Sport yarn, also from The Loopy Ewe. The sock and its ability to travel kept me from acting like a bored eight year old as we shopped for a truck for the hubby. No, there's nothing wrong with what he has, other than it's not precisely what he wants, and as his sweet cousin (a manager at said dealership) tried to explain to me, my hubby just likes to get another vehicle every 3-4 years, whereas I am a "use it up" kind of gal. Now, mind you, I love trucks. I like what we looked at today. But... Never mind. This is a knitting blog, and the point is, the sock had its first road trip and we were both happy.

There's the happy young sock. You can't see the four-row repeating pattern (beyond the cuff) so well, but you can see the great colors in the yarn, somewhat. Browns, dark mossy greens and a nice, strong blue... The stuff jeans and clogs dream of, or at least, mine do. Come fall, I'm going to have some happy feet, jeans and clogs. For what it's worth, I couldn't visualize shoving all ten points into those bright blue caps, but it's not bad at all, and it worked like a charm. Believe me, we had lots of starts and stops. First, we had to make the 45 minute drive across the twisty-ist roads in two counties to get to the cousin's house. Put away the sock. Then, switch to the cousin's truck. No knitting, as I hadn't seen the cousin in ages, and we all grew up together and always have much to say, even when we did see each other almost daily. Then, we arrived another 30 minutes later at the dealership. Looked at three trucks. Drove around. The sock got to see that part of the world, got tucked away for lunch, and then tucked away again for a return to the dealership... You get the point.

Here's a picture of the pattern, sorta'. Hey, I've learned to blog, knit socks via Magic Loop AND now, dpns. You can't expect great photography too. I do like the addition of the cuffs, at least, as they stretch and live on the needles. Of course, the difference between sport weight and worsted weight yarn could have something to do with the whole feel thing too, but there's still so much smaller to go with these sock yarns! Thank goodness The Loopy Ewe carries all sorts. (When is the next sneak up? Hubby's asleep now... Why wait?)

That last paragraph was written with Mugsy in my lap. He thinks he should go truck shopping too, especially if the sock gets to go. He requires a lot of exercise and cuddling, and he got little of either today, so I need to wrap this up and take care of the poor boy.

One last little piece of business, before I tend to Mugsy's wishes. THAT is why I chose this book for my first dpn sock. Each little section (the blocks you can barely see) is a ROW. One single row, although the repeats aren't written out. The red lines denote a change in the portion of the sock being constructed. Very detailed, bite-sized direction. That's right up my alley, at least until I get comfortable with the sock lingo and such. But, we're getting there. I seem to have found my groove. Anne seems to think she'd rather gouge her eyes out that knit with dpns, especially after her most recent effort, which I think will be documented in her blog. Me? I'm feelin' the dpn mojo. Those little buggers just shift a bit as needed, and it flows, where the Magic Loop (as in noose?!!) was a lot of pushing and pulling for a bit of knitting in between, for me. I stopped almost mid-stitch a time or two today, shoved the points in their caps, and had no trouble figuring out where I was in the row or pattern, which would hardly have been the case with the ML. My mind evidently likes circles better than loops, as crazy as that might sound. I guess even the best of friends can't agree on EVERYTHING. ;)
Coming, Mugsy...
PS - I have my yarn for my Felted Bag Exchange's pal's bag now! (And no, you can't see!)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Knitting Survey

In a minute, I'll comply with Anne's brand of payback, but first, a little nod to actual knitting. I have three stripes done on my Charmed Knits beanie. I plan to finish it this weekend and send it on its way. I'll have more than enough yarn for another Ravenclaw version, as I cast on for the small size, since it is my first hat, not realizing HOW SMALL it was. I also have yarn for a Slytherin hat or two as well. I also cast on, in five-needle fashion, with the Lorna's Laces I showed when I went all loopy over my The Loope Ewe package. I really wanted to try the 4-needle version first, but it seems the cotton blend I purchased is way too tiny to use for the pattern I wanted to use without adapting and adjusting, and that just isn't going to happen on my first dpn pair. Right now, I've simply cast on my 56 stitches and spread them out on the four needles. There's a neat join in the book I'm using I want to try, but I ran out of time before dinner. You *KNOW* pictures will be forthcoming.

Now, to the survey:

Knitting Survey

(Mark bold the things you HAVE done in knitting, in italics the things you PLAN or WANT to do in knitting, and do nothing with the rest)

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Hat - In progress counts, right?!
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own hand-spun yarn
Graffiti knitting
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book - oh wouldn’t that be amazing!
Participate in an exchange
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental) - definitely not my ideal!
Knitting to make money
Knitting with alpaca - actually have the alpaca/cashmere on hand
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on one or two circulars
Knitting with someone else’s hand-spun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Bobbles - Have the B4 pattern in hand
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener stitch
Knitted flowers
Knitting with beads - also B4
Long Tail CO
Entrelac - have a pattern for a bag
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn
Stuffed toys
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen - have a linen blend on hand too
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Free-form knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/arm-warmers
Pillows - have an entrelac pattern for these too!
Knitting a pattern from an on-line knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair - I'm assuming that knitting dog hair INTO projects doesn't count?
Hair accessories - my hair is too short to need accessories!
Knitting in public

What have you learned to do that has marked a definite change in your knitting life?

LOL - That I am a continental knitter. The first book I picked up as a refresher led me in the English direction. It was awkward, and I kept thinking, "This doesn't feel right!" More recently, that I am a sock knitter. Socks and bags call to me, like nothing else does. That there is a big, wide, almost infinite world of things to be knitted out there!


Oooh! My first blogging game... Do I even know seven other bloggers, aside from those I'm secretly spoiling??

Dear Devon tagged me, and here's how it works:

Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write in their blogs 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog. Here are my facts:

1. My father inlaw gave me away at my wedding, with these words, which still bring tears to my eyes: "On behalf of her father and mother..." He was probably my father's best friend, and was a pallbearer at my father's funeral.

2. My tenth wedding anniversary will be the day after Anne's birthday.

3. I am still friends with a girl from my nursery days in church.

4. I want to learn to play the piano.

5. My husband was my third-grade sweetheart.

6. My sister (actually, HALF sister) is twelve years older than I am.

7. Never in my wildest dreams did I envision myself as a bookkeeper for my inlaws.

I'm Tagging:


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thinking of Sue

Through a great stroke of luck, I was blessed with a wonderful "first time" match in my first swap. Sue is a gem, and I know of no other way to try to support her through an awful, difficult loss than to make sure you know she's hurting. Her dear Wolfie, her canine kid, died very unexpectedly just a few hours ago. Sue and I hit it off in part because of our devotion to our dogs, and I still can only imagine how she and her family are feeling right now.

Dogs are such blessings, and I know Sue well enough to know that like my own "boys", Wolfie was something very special. It's bad enough that their lifespan is so much shorter than our own, but when they die so young and so suddenly, I don't know how to wrap my thoughts around it. So please, send a prayer or good karma Sue's way, and if you want to stop by and leave a comment on her blog, I'm sure it will mean a lot.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

ParaSox, Devon's Contest and More

There. FINALLY. A pair of socks! Yeah, the yarn's the same dye lot, and I'll show a close-up of the differences in the leg in a bit. There's also very nearly a whole ball left (want ball winder - NEED ball winder for birthday... someone tell Mark, please?!), but for my first pair, better safe than sorry. And yes, I'll be casting on in dpn tomorrow. Tonight, I'll eat dinner and email, and maybe cast on for my first hat, which will be for the Charmed Knits KAL. I'll be a good Ravenclaw and make my own colors first, mainly because it's time for something without green or pinks or tans.

I've been having a GREAT time chatting with some of the awesome knitters in my groups for the Spring Felted Bag Exchange and the Spring/Summer Dishcloth Exchange. Once again, I must tip my cap to the knitting community of the online variety. Kind, engaging, wonderful folks you are! So, in my efforts to be a good hostess, here are my answers to the questions *MY* great pal and hostess for the SSDE, Devon asked:

(Note: A little trick I learned checking my group's blogs yesterday... A visual tag helps find contest entries!)

What is one baked item you love making or buying and why?-

Tough, tough, and YOU know it, Madame Hostess!! Love making?? Grandma Vallie's Strawberry Cake, because the inlaws swear it tastes just like hers, and the compliments will sustain me for weeks.

What is one item you love to knit and why?-

Socks! They're challenging, small enough that Mugsy can still sit in my lap, and quick enough that I don't get bored.

Favorite outdoor activity and why?

Walking and/or playing fetch with Mugsy. I love being outside, and walking is about all I can still do. Sharing it with the only other being in my house who enjoys exercise makes it great fun!

and lastly --Favorite way to relax?

Yoga. Most recently, Zoe's meditation session at the end. (I always poo'd meditation, swore it didn't work for me, etc., but that's the problem with having a friend's little sister as my yoga instructor; she's very comfortable telling me to just try it, and I feel obliged to try.)

And continuing with the contests, SFBE's current offering:

Where you live, what signifies the beginning of Spring? A favorite flower blooming? Snowmelt? Pollen (Cough cough, gak, here in ATL, thanks) Post something up describing how you knew 'Spring had Sprung' for you!

The first sign of spring, that it's REALLY here, are the crocus. However, my favorite flowers to see blooming are daffodils. There's nothing like a sea of yellow, fluttering gently in the breeze. The spring greens of the new leaves popping out are beautiful too... And then there's BASEBALL! When TBS begins showing the Braves at least a couple of times weekly, spring's sprung, and summer isn't far away.

Now, back to the socks. Here's the close-up of the legs, with the significantly different patterns/colors. That's called "pooling" on the left, correct? Anyhow, I love them, and would wear them tomorrow if it wasn't going to be nearly 80 degrees again. Sigh. Monday and Tuesday of this week, I was wearing clogs and socks. Dang! All in all, I'm proud of myself, and I don't hate Magic Loop, Anne. ;) I'm not in love with it as a way to knit socks, but I definitely don't hate it, and will be using it on my next little felted bag.

Now, I must sing the praises of Knitpicks. Not just the outstanding Options, but their whole company. My order arrived today, and in it were four precious balls of Ambrosia, in grass and mulled wine. (Two each color.) I did not order this yarn, and ironically, had been discussing alpaca yarn (and other things alpaca) with my husband's uncle, with whom I also work. I called, expected them to send a "will call" ticket and the yarn would be on its way back to them, but no, the sweet gal in customer service only wanted to know which colors I had, and then said for me to enjoy them. So... now what?! What do I knit up with my free yarn!?

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

To Tea or Not to Tea

Hmmm... Okay folks! Here's a question for you:

I want to do my own knitting and tea swap. There are pros and cons for doing it now vs. later. If there is enough interest NOW - enough of us that missed THE tea swap - I'll start immediately. Leave a comment (Sue and Barb, I'll count yours left already), and I'll randomly select one of you for some of my favorite tea!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Peer Pressure

You don't hear adults talking about it much, but it still works, I hope...

Fitter Knitters. It's a concept Anne and Devon came up with, and I embraced. (I also have visions of a book, a tour, and anything else that allows for real time and presence with those two awesome women!)

So, cowboy up, girls. I have. Mugsy and I walk-walked today. (Ask him if he wants to go for a walk, and he cocks his little head. Ask about walk-walk, and he heads for the door.) I could have gone to a yoga class, but my old dog needs to expend energy too, and we had too many rainy days last week. We walk for about 35 minutes, with some significant hills, and he gets to see his girlfriend, another terrier named Tara. Yoga and walking are my "things." I'm going to strive to do one or the other (or both?!) five days a week.

Food? Sigh. That's the REAL problem here. I like it. I have fallen in love with McDonald's Southwestern Chicken Salad, and Quizno's black and bleu salad, so as long as I stick with those two for lunch, I'm headed in the right direction.

Oh, and Magic Loop sock mate is legged, heeled and the decreased section of the foot is behind me. It's looking good for a finish tomorrow. That means my dpn sock debut isn't far away either.

I had a productive weekend in the stash building department. The camera's in the other room, and some of the purchases were for gifts and prizes, so no pictures. (Picture Zsa Zsa's hand here.) Besides, if I don't show you the loot, I can deny that more sock yarn found its way here.

I think a pal of mine has some questions:

Have a question, do you like chocolate? Do you use lotion? If you do, do you like lavendar?

I live for dark chocolate. As a child, I was busted for eating baker's chocolate. Dark and bitter is good. Dark and minty is heaven. Fruits and nuts in the dark chocolate create a blissful state. Heck, brownies with nuts are fine too!

Lotion. I don't use it as much as I should, but I'm working on that. Lavendar is great! My sweet yoga instructor has programmed me to head for deep relaxation with a lavendar eye bag. I keep meaning to find one for home use. Now, if I could just get her to make a CD...

To all my pals out there: I really am not hard to please. I love chocolate. Dark, milk, and even white will do, with anything but cherry flavoring in it. I like to read, although this blogging thing and knitting have slowed me down tremendously, unless you count the blogs and knitting books and magazines I read. I like candles, although not as much as my hubby does. As long as you stay away from orange, I like all kinds of colors. I started out insisting I'm not much on purple, but Anne is converting me. It's not green, pink, red or blue, but it's not orange either.

I appreciate that you want to please me! That in and of itself is a gift. It's enough to make me stop pouting about missing the sign-up for the Knitter's Tea Swap.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Good Karma

Fate? Whatever you choose to call it, today was a good day. But first, a finished object from Friday. It's the camper cloth, the last of my mother inlaw's Mother's Day gifts. Well, that and the Crocs clogs that I was shocked she wanted, but she is fun-lovin' woman! Having that behind me left me free to cast on for Sock #1's mate. It's moving along, especially considering today was much longer than anticipated, so I had much less time to knit.

Did anyone notice that I learned how to doctor my photos? That's a rather accurate color, but it didn't start out that way. Look at the cute little pattern. Wee! This blogging to inspire techno-learning is working.

However, my knitting disorder continues. Hubby had to be out and about by 7am, and I found myself killing time after Fred awakened me around 5am for a quick trip outside. I finally settled on a pattern for my pal in the Spring Felted Bag Exchange (no, I'm not tellin'!), so the next step was the yarn. I remembered Anne telling me about a sale at Webs, so before my dear, sleep-groggy husband was down the drive, I was ordering. Soon enough, I stopped by It's a Stitch to pick up SOME of the special order yarn for Mark's afghan, and wouldn't you know it?! Some sock yarn hopped up on the counter and I accidentally purchased it. (YOU believe me, don't you? My husband sure didn't. He pointed out that this yarn thing is getting out of hand. Whatever. The largest allocation in my stash is for his personally demanded project. That makes it all okay.)

While checking out, the debate began. I explained that my first sock was Magic Looped and that I was going to try dpns next. I love yarn shops. A woman I'd never seen before appeared at my elbow and assured me that dpns are much easier. The lady behind the counter insisted that two circular needles is the only way to go, and asked me to please stop in sometime and have Ann (??) the resident sock expert, show me how to do THAT method. The lady at my elbow shook her head emphatically, and told me that if I wasn't fond of Magic Loop, there was no need. The lady making the sale held her position, and pointed to the Addi Turbos behind her, and insisted that I must invest in them and give the two circular needled method a try. I smiled, and noted how nice it was to be leaving the shop with much more yarn than the debit card had just paid for, as all the special order yarn had been paid for up front. As I signed the receipt and slipped away, the debate continued at the register...
Knitters are passionate people. And that's a good thing.
As for karma, well, the package I shipped to Anne about ten days ago, Priority Mail, FINALLY found its way to her today. Turns out, despite the frustration it caused when I finally confessed that she should have received a little surprise something from me, the timing was perfect. (Must have been the Tai Chi DVD enclosed, although dark chocolate is medicinal, right?) My day was much longer than expected, and I ended up listening to the Derby on my trusty XM radio, but I met four delightful ladies, ate some good food, and what else really matters? I even got to the pharmacy one minute - literally! - before closing, to be waited upon by the best pharmacy assistant in the world. Life is good.
Ask me what I'm going to do tomorrow, if I don't meet friends at Graves Mountain Lodge for lunch. Mugsy and I are going to hit the other LYS, and another, about 30 minutes away from town. My sock may or may not get finished this weekend, but I'm lining up yarn for many more socks to come.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Can't Help Myself

Hi. My name is Chan, and I am a join-aholic. I'm also well on my way to being a sockaholic. I'd already planned to finish my Sockza (my own pet name for Sockapalooza 4) socks while I'm on a working vacation of sorts in July, so why not?! No, there's no crime in that, but Sue pointed out that ordering more sock yarn before my Loopy Loot arrived coupled with a late-night run into Barnes and Noble to buy Sensational Socks (my third sock book) just might make me want to block off some free time for sock therapy. Do you think it would be a bad idea to drop a sock in progress in my felted Booga and knit during that session?
Um, yeah. It's that bad. Even my need for line-by line coaching, twice, during sock #1 didn't stop the seduction of the sock. And guess what readers?! Fate WANTS me to buy more yarn, probably SOCK yarn! I got a call from one LYS, saying that part of the yarn I had to order for hubby's summer afghan (probably to reach completion for spring 2008, because you know... socks call) is in, so I'll pick that up in the morning on my way out of town for the afternoon. But see, I'd already set my heart on swinging into the other LYS in town to pick up a few things (if I don't say it, does it still indicate a problem?), so I'll be able to hit both shops before my little afternoon on the road.
I hope to get home in time to catch the Derby. I'll miss going to a rockin' Derby party in cool shoes with a fancy hat, but that's okay. Think of the money I'll save to spend on... things.
So, I'm sitting here enjoying an empty office, with the satisfaction of knowing it's been a good week at work, wondering why the sock very truly captivated me. I'd figured out a few weeks ago that I like comparatively quick projects, that I enjoy *NOT* garter stitching into oblivion, but even if you allow for those to somehow synergize each other into some big knitting mojo, I'm not sure it explains the intense case of sock seduction I have. Why do y'all love socks?
Speaking of socks and joinings, do I have sock spoilers for the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap and Sockza? I have nice ladies to spoil for both swaps, but no one seems to want to spoil me. Pout.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Customer Service

I am a sucker for good customer service, and Sheri at The Loopy Ewe had me at the first fluff of tissue paper. (Packaging matters. The ladies behind the red door know it too.) My yarn was wrapped up, with the cutest little custom label (see the top of the yarn?) to seal it, and my red sock blockers have already been called into action. Yup. This is going to be a photo-rich post, and no knitting will happen before yoga, because I'm Loopy and you should be too. Maybe I'll be able to float into that shoulder stand tonight!

Look at it. It's all mine. The sock blockers (I love red!), the Lorna's Laces Sport in Pioneer (selected with my favorite jeans from the behind the red door store, coupled with my favorite brown, closed-heel clogs in mind), more Inox dpns because I like them and these socks will be dpn'd, some stitch keepers, because I am a gooblette and Mugsy's eyes are precious, and then the samples of things I didn't order but might next time, the sweet little dpn chart that needed its own moment in the sun (see below) and the even sweeter handwritten note from Sheri herself!

You see, if I decide the dpn way is my way, that will be a very important knitting tool, yes?

Sockie is also very happy, hanging on the wall where the calendar normally is:

Because I am a proud sock knitter and a new Loopy customer, destined to soon be a Loopy Groupie, big pictures today. Some things are worth celebrating. Good, no GREAT customer service is one of them, and my first sock in all its glory is definitely another. Now, to make it a mate and lots of sock friends to hang out with... but not on the wall. The calendar is back up, and Sockie is resting happily on his blocker. I need to go find my yoga pants and get it in gear, because I live in the boonies to the east, and my yoga class is WAY in the boonies on the southwest of town. That does mean that it's Thursday, my LYSs are both open late, and I have to drive through town (sorta'?) to get to class, so... Yoga and knitting. Perfect for a rainy day. Sunny days are for Mugsy and walking, but maybe tomorrow?

The Morning After

I'm feeling a bit silly about how proud I am of my first sock. It's a cool, rainy day, so it's a shame I didn't have a pair to wear; I *SO* would have worn them today. How many more 50-something degree days will we have before October?

Thanks for the positive feedback about my first sock. It was quite a trial, but I'm looking forward to casting on for the mate tonight. Before or after my yoga class though? Decisions, decisions. I have the dishcloth for my mother inlaw to finish too, and I want to start my first beanie for Charmed Knits. I'm also expecting my first order from The Loopy Ewe any day, and I know that will have me itching to try my first dpn socks! So much for my notion that I would be a one-project at a time knitter.

I'm *THIS* close to deciding what to do for my Spring Felted Bag Exhange pal. The down side to trying to select the right pattern and wool is that I'm finding DOZENS of bags I want!

I was asked in the comments section if I like shorter socks. Most definitely. The pattern called for 8" of leg, but I stopped at 6", and would have stopped at 4.5" if it hadn't been my first pair. Ironically, my daily knitting calendar showed a cute little "footie" yesterday. That's a must-do pattern! Except in the dead of winter, as long as my heels are covered, that's enough sock for me.

In general, I do prefer brighter colors, but I loved this colorway, and still have hope that I'll be able to wear them at least once before the permanent heat wave settles in.

It's a slow day in the office (can't you tell?), so I think I'm going to go shopping. Gotta' love the internet.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Good Enough

... for who it's for. That was popular in my youth, and it's true enough here. My first sock has room for improvement, but it will hold together and I'll certainly wear it. It's comfortable, I love the colors, and with pants over them, shoved into my closed back clogs, what's not to love? Fred wasn't impressed. I tried to get him to model it, since my husband isn't even home to share in this historic moment, but alas, putting on a human sock isn't the birthday boy's idea of fun.

To the right is Devon's heel turn. (I type single e, double l EVERY time.) See the turn? Couldn't have done it without her. By the way, some books are better than others in the stitch definition departments. Live and learn. I have one book I'll be taking to the used book store, because it's just not helpful. ssk is not just slip a stitch, slip another, knit a third stitch, no matter what the chart says!

That's the gusset. The group project that it was, leading into the instep, which Anne all but knit for me through the power of the internet. Thanks gals, and to my other online knitting pals who have made this sock a reality. I'm going to look like a gooblette parading around in them when the mate is done, but that's okay. There will hopefully be some obvious differences between the two, like that ridge where the leg moves on into the foot on the front. That dented row? Yeah, that's it. At least I'll be able to tell first sock from first sock's mate.

I'll certainly cast on again tomorrow for the mate. Maybe we can get some pictures truly worth sharing tomorrow too. Right now, I have a little birthday party to attend. My husband came home with a cupcake for Fred.

Spring Felted Bag Questions

This Week's Question:

How did you get interested in felting?

When one of your best pals calls herself "The Bag Lady" on her blog, felting is inevitable.

Did you learn it from someone, see a bag you liked?

Well, see above. As much as someone several states away can teach someone else, Anne did! She sent me several patterns while trying to convince me to try a felted bag, and I did do a felted needle holder, but the Booga bag was too much. I had to try it! Then, before I started that, I found a pattern with *MY* name in it, so I did that one first... There are TONS more I want to do, but I think my match here will get the next one.

Just want to try something new?


If you have a picture of your first project, please include it!

The Chan bag!

Happy Birthday, Hooey

If you stick around, you'll discover I call my dogs all sorts of names. Today, the dog the AKC calls Tackhammer Fred, and Amanda more fittingly named Fred Aloisius is 11 years old. This post is brought to you because the birthday boy didn't want to be put in the bed - our bed - when the humans and Mugsy went to bed. No, 1:47 am suited him better, but at 2:03, Mugsy decided the three of us needed to get up. So, Mugsy, the birthday boy and I are up. They are now ready to go back to bed, but my body isn't, so... Here we are.

Here's the finished KAL dishcloth. The color isn't so orange; it's a lush, lovely terracotta, but at 2am, I'm not editing the photo for you. I loved Lion Brand's Cotton Ease, and the stitch definition is just fine. Thanks, Rachel for great designs and my first knit along. I can't wait to do the "housework sucks" pattern!

As I always want Anne happy, here's the sock that has occupied my free time of late, and Anne's time, and Devon's time too. Heck, even Sue has a few emails invested in this sock, as does The Pro, Anne's sister. Talk about a group project.It's not a great picture, but it was taken at 2:15 am, so admire what you can and hope that this evening will bring a finished product and a better photo or two. I have a cute pose with the birthday boy in mind, but we'll see what the rest of the day brings. After all, I'm missing my beauty rest now, so who knows how the post-work hours will pan out? Do note the tiny amount of yarn left. Maybe I will need all three skeins after all. Stay tuned, because I really intend to finish this bugger tonight.
Now, I believe I'll go wake up the dogs and we'll all go back to bed, except for the sock. It lives on the coffee table. Mugsy is at my side BEGGING to return to bed. That's one smart dog.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


I've frogged more in the last couple of days than all the other times combined. I hope to finish the sock tonight or tomorrow, and pictures will follow. I couldn't have done it - literally - without Anne and Devon, my sock coaches. Anne did make me feel better last night, after I'd frogged the gusset and started over at the end of the heel turn; she pointed out that I was learning two new techniques at the same time - Magic Loop and socks. Yeah, but... DANG!

I am already planning my first dpn sock project. My KTE pal Sue and Devon have had some great suggestions there, and I placed my first order yesterday from the Loopy Ewe. No, I won't tell you what I selected; you'll just have to wait! What fun would it be without pictures anyway?

In other news, I got my Felted Bag Exchange match on Sunday, and my Sockapalooza pal yesterday. I think Hogwarts Sock Kit matches are forthcoming, so PHEW!! Three irons in the fire, but it sure is fun.

Speaking of which, I do believe the answer to this week's Trivia Question is Voldemort.

Sadly, all this frogging means that my Charmed Knits hat is still waiting to jump on the needles. I have finished Rachel's KAL, and I've started on the camper, near the bottom of this page. When the camper is done, the beanie will become my non-sock work. The question is, do I use Slytherin colors or Ravenclaw? With all the frogging I've been doing, somehow, the Slytherin colors seem more fitting.