Thursday, March 29, 2007

WIP of the Week - Monkey Socks

I was told these Monkey Socks knit up really quickly. And it sure is true. I cast on Sunday night and look where I am now. For a slow knitter like me, this is amazing.

I actually thought I might finish this sock today, but I've discovered a few things that get in the way of sock knitting.

  1. Hearing a funny noise while drinking morning coffee and deciding it must either be the new DVR cable box, or the refrigerator, which is on it's last leg.
  2. Deciding that the funny noise is neither of these, but must be the laundry.
  3. Realizing that the laundry should have finished an hour ago, and upon going to check, finding the entire basement floor covered in two inches of water with more spraying out of the back of the washing machine.
  4. Running up and down the cellar stairs numerous times during the day to be sure the pump borrowed from Dad is still pumping water out.
  5. Trying to take a shower and realizing that the two inches of water have put out the pilot light on the hot water heater. Also, the hot water heater needs hours to dry out before the light can be re-lit and no hot water remains because it's all over the basement floor.
  6. Using the wet-vac to suck up the rest of the water, and then dropping the whole thing when trying to carry it outside to empty, thus returning all water to the basement floor.
Yes, all of these things can greatly hinder sock knitting efforts. I recommend avoiding them at all costs. I further predict that shopping for a new washer, dryer and refrigerator during the weekend will also greatly hinder the sock knitting progress.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Christmas Socks Done!

They took me quite a while, but I've finally finished the socks I started on Christmas morning with the Step Yarn the Pea put under the tree.

Christmas Morning Socks
Cast On: 25 December 2006
Completed: 24 March 2006
Yarn: Austermann Step - 01 Laub (Leaves)
Needles: Knit Picks US2 Circs
Pattern: Wendy's Generic Toe-Up, with K3, P1 ribbing for leg

I really loved working with the yarn. The aloe and jojoba in there isn't just a gimmick. When I knit with this yarn my hands didn't get all dry and flaky like they usually do. And when I wore them, I felt that my feet were much softer that night. This is a big deal for me, as I have definite dryness issues. I rub petroleum jelly on my hands and feet each night before bed. Yucky, I know, but it works! I've already bought a second skein of this yarn, and I also think it would be a great choice for socks that will be gifted away. It would bring a bit more pampering to the giftee!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Yarn P*rn of the Week

Since it seems I've lost the ability to stick to a schedule, I've decided to change Yarn P*rn Friday to Yarn P*rn of the Week. WIP Wednesday will become WIP of the Week also. This way, if I miss a Wednesday or a Friday, I don't need to stress myself out about it.

So, on to the yarn!!

This is a pretty skein of Mama-E's C*Eye*Ber Fiber Sock in a colorway called Mermaids, and it's one of the first skeins of sock yarn I'd ever bought. On a whim, I checked my PayPal records to see how long ago I purchased this skein, and it was exactly a year ago today!!! I'd say it's high time I knit it up. It's destined to be cast on soon and become Monkeys.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

WIP Wednesday - Spring!!

I had today's post all written in my head. Ramblings about how sick I was last week, and how nice it is to finally be back amongst the living (and blogging). Talk of how glad I am that Spring is here to warm us up and chase away all those nasty germs (even if the thermometer says it's freezing outside). Whining about how I was too sick over the weekend to post my St. Patrick's Day Green WIP, so it would now be a Spring Green WIP.

Then I sat down and clicked over to my Twin's blog. And what do you think she posted?? Talk of how long she's been away from blogging (sound familiar?). And a green lace shawl. Any guesses what my green WIP is?

Oh yes. I'm posting the beginnings of my Kiri LACE SHAWL in GREEN, after being ABSENT FROM BLOGLAND FOR TOO LONG. I told you we are twins!

Friday, March 16, 2007

I'm in Yarnival!!!!

When I logged into my e-mail this morning, I had a note from Elizabeth letting me know that she noticed I'm in the latest edition of Yarnival!!! I'm so excited!! To tell you the truth, I sent my submission off last month, and then sort of forgot about it. I'm really honored and thrilled that my post was included. So go check out the whole edition here.

This was just the pick-me-up I need, because my cold has gotten significantly worse over the past couple of days. You may have noticed I missed WIP Wednesday, and I'm also going to skip Yarn P*rn Friday. To make up for it, I plan to do a special St. Patrick's Day / WIP / Yarn P*rn post tomorrow. I'm hoping to feel much better by then. And if I don't, maybe I can force ask Pea to help me with the photography.

I also wanted to mention that while I've been feeling so crappy, I've been doing more blog lurking than commenting. And the comments that I have left are probably not very coherent. I promise to do much better once I shake these horrid germs. When I called my mother yesterday, and had to identify myself because my voice is raspy beyond recognition!! So it's back to the couch for me!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

It's just my "Cuppa Tea"

Did you see Kristen's post yesterday, in which her adorable husband unknowingly renamed her latest project? Since I thought it was so cute, and we both knit the same pattern with the same yarn, I asked if I could rename my project too. And she was all for it. (Let's all pretend not to notice that this was on my needles for almost 4 months, while hers took about four days from start to finish!!)

As it turns out, the name is more fitting than I had imagined. It seems that my body had been invaded by the John Travolta of germs . . . they just keep making a comeback. Last evening my throat started to hurt, and today it's positively on fire. So I'm spending the day on the couch with a cup of tea and my "Cuppa Tea". Since I won't subject you to the splendor that is me in sweatpants with air dried hair, I let my "teas" model together.

Cast on: 21 October 2006
Completed: 11 February 2007
Yarn: Brooks Farms Four Play, about 2 1/2 skeins
Needles: Knit Picks Options, US8 (5mm)

And the "money shot". (Some one is going to be searching for *ahem* something else and be very disappointed to see my knitting and a tea bag! *grin*)

I'm really happy with how this came out. I stretched it out as far as I could during blocking, and the result is a light, airy garment that works as a scarf or a shawl. It's so soft and cozy, that I've got it draped around my shoulders right now. It makes quite a fashion statement with the sweats!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Random Babble

I don't like Daylight Savings Time. It's kicking my butt. I'm tired. And when I'm tired, I get kind of loopy. Oh well. So, let's see what I can babble about today.

  • I had to go to a Bridal Shower yesterday. The whole time, I wished I was home knitting. At one point, I was sure I was imagining things when I heard the ladies behind me talking about yarn. As it turns out, they really were. One girl wants to learn to crochet afghans. Unfortunately, they both hate knitting and only like crochet. (Madness, I tell you!!!)
  • I wished I had brought my yarn and needles with me to the shower, but I suppose that would have been rude. I guess it would be equally rude to knit during the wedding ceremony next month? Drat.
  • I finished my Clapotis last night!! Hurray! I just need to block it, and then I'll have the FO post ready!
  • It actually does almost feel like Spring today!! And Kathy is holding a "Tell me about a sign of Spring" contest here. Go on over and check it out, you can enter until March 20th. Oh, and the prize . . . .


Okay, that's enough boring drivel for today. I've got a date with my wool wash and blocking pins!!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Yarn P*rn Friday - Sweetpeas

It's barely gotten above freezing any day this week, and the head-cold I had segued into a stomach virus yesterday. So believe me when I say I'm SO VERY ready for Spring. For today's Yarn P*rn, I thought I'd turn to flowers. And what better flower than the one that shares my Pea's nickname - Sweetpeas! I have two beautiful skeins of yarn named Sweetpea, and both were send as gifts from some very special people.

This yarn is from Christine, who I usually refer to as my long lost twin. It's true, we are a lot alike and when we met in NYC we really felt as if we were spending time with a sister. Anyway, it is extra, extra special because she dyed this gorgeous sock yarn herself and gifted it to me. I'm such a lucky girl.

This second skein of Sweetpea is KnitPicks Gossamer yarn, sent to me by my Secret Pal 6 spoiler Peanut. It is extra, extra special because it came on my last day of work, which was much more draining than I had anticipated. A special package with yarn that has so much thought put into it really picked me up.

So there you have it, my two special Sweetpea yarns! Is it Spring yet?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

WIP Wednesday - Rock Socks

For the second installment of WIP Wednesday, I thought I'd show you the progress on my Rock Star Socks. Last time I blogged about them, they were just getting started. The pattern and yarn were Scout's December Swag, and Missy and I have been knitting them each week while we watch American Idol (our own little Rocking KAL). It's been really tough going because I've never knit with size 0 needles before. But, at long last, I'm almost done with the heel flap.

Take a good look. Because now. I'm going to rip it out.

It breaks my heart, but it has to be done. They are coming out too small. And I dropped a stitch somewhere in the leg when I was supposed to K2tog. So, out they come. I'm going to start them over on size 1 needles, and I think that will work out fine. All of the tedium of knitting this much on size 0 needles will be chalked up to good practice. And in the end, I'll have a great pair of socks that actually fits. That's the most important thing, right?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Book Meme

Thank you all for the Get Well wishes you send after my last post. They worked really well yesterday, as I felt almost back to normal. But today, the cold seems to be winning again. As the day wears on, I'm feeling more stuffy and miserable, and sneezing more and more. So, in lieu of a real post, I'm going to take the easy way out and post a meme. I recently saw this over on MissyJoon's blog, and couldn't resist.

Look at the list of books below:
* Bold the ones you’ve read,
* Italicize the ones you want to read
* Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in.

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) - I have an autographed copy!!
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell) read it several times
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt) I have an autographed copy of this one too - I got to meet Frank McCourt at a book signing
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger) to be honest, I didn't finish this one
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd) started it, but couldn't get into it. But I'd like to give it another chance
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Sunday, March 04, 2007


In my last post, I mentioned how the Four Play is striping on my Clapotis, and Kym asked to see a close-up picture. So, here are my subtle Clapotis stripes.I think it makes a pretty fabric and would look great on a simple stockinette or ribbed sweater. And with the drop stitches, it's making a nice pattern on my Clapotis, which hopefully will be completed in the next week or so. In fact, I've got a sore throat, stuffy nose and achy head, so I plan on spending the rest of the afternoon and evening on the couch knitting Clapotis and the Koigu socks.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Yarn P*rn Friday

For my first Yarn P*rn Friday, I was thinking about showcasing the yarn from my first WIP Wednesday. And when a couple of you commented about it, that sealed the deal!! I'm knitting my Clapotis in Brooks Farms Four Play. The picture you see was taken in my living room - I just took down the sign above the couch and hung the yarn on the hook. I think it looks pretty good. If I didn't love my sign so much, I just might leave the yarn there!!

As I mentioned yesterday, I purchased this yarn at Rhinebeck. The Brooks Farms booth was directly across from my first stop. (Which,of course, was The Fold. They had exclusive Rhinebeck rights to sell Blue Moon Fiber yarns!!) I had remembered hearing someone speak highly of Brooks Farms yarns and knew she would never steer me wrong. I was also armed with a list of yarn requirements for some projects I planned to knit.

One project was, of course, Clapotis. I knew the yarn called for was 50% wool and 50% silk, and also out of my budget. The Four Play had the same fiber content, and more yardage at almost half the price. Not to mention, such beautiful colorways. It was meant to be.

This yarn really has been a joy to work with. I think it is the softest yarn I've knit with yet. It's smooth and doesn't split. I love the way the colors are striping on The Clap, and can't help but think it would be a terrific yarn to use for a sweater. In fact, I'll go so far as to say this is my all-time favorite "regular" yarn (IE: not sock yarn!!).

Thursday, March 01, 2007

WIP Wednesday

So yes, okay, I know today is Thursday. But hear me out. I was thinking about my blog all morning. About how I needed to come up with something to post today. About how I'd like to post more often, if I could only think of something to say. About how things around here are getting busier now that I'm taking my web courses. And it struck me that maybe a little more structure would do my blog some good right now. I guess I'm a person who loves rules. What can I say.

So, I thought about posting one of my WIPs each week. I've always got plenty of projects going, so it's not like you'd be staring at the same thing week after week. And it will also push me to work on my WIPs, because I certainly don't want to show three rows progress each time I post! WIP Thursdays doesn't have much of a ring to it, so I've settled on WIP Wednesdays. This week's installment is one day late, since I didn't come up with this idea yesterday.

For my first WIP, I've pulled out my Clapotis.

It's been quite some time since Clapotis made an appearance on the blog. I bought the yarn at Rhinebeck and cast on that night when we got home. I think The Clap got put aside for Christmas knitting, but it's back in rotation now. I've got three more repeats of the straight section left, and then I can start my decreases. Oh how I love projects that end with decrease rows!!!

Tomorrow I'm thinking about blatantly ripping off borrowing Zonda's great idea and posting Yarn P*rn Fridays. Not that I'm BUYING any more yarn, mind you, but I've got plenty of lovelies in my stash that I can trot out for you to ogle!!