Sunday, September 30, 2007

HELP!!!!! Bad Skein or Moth Damage?

I had another FO to post today, but I'm going to put that on hold because I'M FREAKING OUT!!!

*deep breath*

Okay, here's what's going on. I wound up two balls of sock yarn that's been in my stash for a very long time. One ball wound just fine. But the second ball, oh my, the second ball was broken in eight places. EIGHT PLACES!!!!!

So, my question to those of you who are much wiser than me, and to those of you who have dealt with moth damage . . . . how do I know if I have moth problems or if it's just a bum skein? I haven't seen moths around the house. Maybe we saw three in the living room that we killed over the entire Spring season, but never any near the yarn. What do I check the other skeins for? Any good web-sites that can help me identify if I have moth problems? How alarmed should I be?

*sob* my yaaarrrrnnnnn *sob*

Friday, September 28, 2007

My feet are in Cape Cod . . . .

. . . but unfortunately, the rest of me is here.

At least the socks I started on vacation are done.

Cape Cod Socks
Elongated Corded Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks
Cast on: 25 August 2007
Completed: 23 September 2007
Yarn: Knit Picks Sock Landscape - Cape Cod
Needles: Knit Picks US2 (3mm) DPNs

I really enjoyed knitting this pair. Okay, I probably enjoyed knitting the first sock more than the second, because I was on vacation when I knit most of it! In any case, the pattern is wonderful, as are the other patterns I've knit from Sensational Knitted Socks. That book is certainly a great investment if you are a sock knitter.

As I mentioned before, the yarn is discontinued. The first ball was wonderful and made me disappointed to know it was no longer available. The second ball was a bit of a different story. There was one spot where all but one ply was broken, so I had to cut the yarn and restart it again. (Grrr, two more ends to weave.) There were also two small spots where the yarn didn't get dyed. These pictures are a bit blurry, but you should be able to see two different colored stitches near the middle of each picture.

All in all, it's not a huge deal and won't really show unless I point it out to people, but it's still a little disappointing.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sick Day Knitting

I've been fending off some kind of cold / virus for the past couple of days. Basically, I haven't done much except lay on the couch and knit. The upside is that I'll have some good knitting progress to share this week. First is a project I started late Friday.

Zoom from Knitting Playground
Cast On: 21 September 2007
Completed: 24 September 2007
Yarn: Bernat Handcrafter Cotton - Apple Green
Needles: Susan Bates US7 (4.5mm) metal straights

In my current Monk-like state, I do a thing I like to call "Daily Maintenance Cleaning" (in addition to my normal weekly scrubbing of the house). First, I straighten up each room (but who am I kidding, usually nothing is out of place anyway). Then I Windex all surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom. Then I vacuum all the floors. Then I damp mop the floors in the kitchen and bathroom. For the kitchen, I have a great micro-fiber mop that I can just wet down and mop, and then toss in the laundry every few days. But for the bathroom, I was using Swiffer Wet pads. I hated the thought of throwing away a pad each day, so I knit up this cotton Swiffer cover. Perfect solution!!

I tried it out this morning, and my only problem was that the cotton bloomed so much when I wet it down that it kept falling off the mop. As soon as it dries, I'll rip out the seams and sew it up smaller. Can't wait to take it for a second test run tomorrow!! But for now, it's back to the couch.

PS: I promise, the rest of the knitting I'll show you this week will be much less boring! My socks are done and my shawl is coming along really well. Slowly, but really well!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Yarn P*rn of the Week - Tea Cups

I had a little unexpected surprise waiting in my mailbox yesterday.

I had completely forgotten I had won a prize in the Test Knitters Pool for Gardiner Yarn Works. I chose the Walk in the Woods sock kit that included a gorgeous skein of Zen Yarn Garden sock yarn in the Tea Cups colorway. (Shoot, I meant to drape it over Grandma's china for a photo-shoot and forgot. *I'm too lazy to take the pictures over again.*)

Click to make 'em bigger!!

Chrissy had generously let me pick the sock kit I wanted, and it was a very hard choice because there were so many pretty ones. When I opened the package, I knew I made the right choice. The yarn made me gasp at first sight. The pictures are a little washed out, but you can still see that the colors look exactly like delicate china our grandmothers might have used on special occasions. So pretty.

I also wanted to mention that Chrissy has decided to discontinue sock kits and pattern sales on her web-site. But fear not! You can buy her patterns at various LYS around the county, and from several on-line retailers. Check out the list here!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm it!!

That's right, the Dishrag Tag box arrived on my doorstep late Monday!! Look what was inside . . .

Along with two pretty balls for Sugar 'n Cream, the box was filled with the best treats! The yummy dishcloth reminds me of Fruit Stripe Gum. I had no idea Newman made Peppermints, but I can tell already they are going to be yummy. (And they are organic!) The stitch markers are really cool - not only are they pretty but the top ring is actually a clasp, so you can use them as normal stitch markers or as removable ones. Genius. And that little note pad? The pages are GRAPH PAPER!! Is that not a knitter's dream?

Thank you so much, Debbi!! And now, I'm off to the post office to send it on it's way to the next knitter.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Having a Monk Moment . . .

Quite a while ago, I scored a great little beading kit for an excellent price on clearance at Barnes & Noble. It included a ton of beads, with each color packaged in it's own little plastic bag. They sat there for quite a while, because I was afraid of the mess that would ensue when I opened the bags. But on a trip to Wal-Mart Friday night, I found a great little bead organizer to keep everything from spilling all over the place. I came home and dumped each packet of beads into a little container. It was good, but something was still very wrong. Can you guess what the problem was?

THE SEED BEADS AND BUGLE BEADS WERE ALL MIXED IN TOGETHER. Now, if you know me at all, then you know that will never do. We can't have different sizes of beads all mixed in together. Oh yes I did . . . .

Yup, Friday night, while watching Monk, I began the lengthy task of sorting the seed beads from the bugle beads. Pea and I laughed a bit at how fitting it was that I would sort my beads while watching Monk. I got through about three colors before bed. In the morning, the minute I got up, I got right back to sorting beads. As I told Pea, that's why they call it OBSESSIVE Compulsive . . . I just HAD to get it done before I did anything else.

Aaaahhhh, that's better. Oh Mr. Monk, you are the only one who really understands me!

Friday, September 14, 2007

WIP of the Week - Cape Cod Socks

Remember that Sock Landscape yarn that Knit Picks used to have? I've had a skein in my stash forever, in the Cape Cod colorway. So, it was a no-brainer what my travel project would be for our trip to the Cape a few weeks ago. I consulted Ravelry for pattern ideas and found that someone had knit gorgeous socks in the same colorway using the Elongated Corded Rib pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. Perfect!!! (What did we ever do before Ravelry??)

The pattern is fun and knits up pretty quickly, but when we got home from the Cape I ditched the poor sock after getting obsessed with the Casino Shawl. A few days ago I picked it up again and finished the first one.So pretty and a perfect fit!! I love the way socks in ribbed patterns fit. I was a little sad to see the pooling on the gusset - you can't see it as well in the picture, but the tan sections really pooled and it looks kind of funny.

It's getting very cloudy out and it's cool here. My house is spotless and the laundry is done. I think I'll curl up on the couch with some tea and get to work on Cape Cod sock #2!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Just another in the LONG list of reasons why I'll never be consided cool . . .

I'm one of those weirdos who feels the need to attend a Renaissance Faire in costume.Not the best picture, but the day was so HOT and HUMID I instantly regretted dressing in layers. (Don't you love the glare coming from my pasty-white bosom? I shutter to think the blog hits that phrase will get me.)

But oh, the Faire was so much fun. We saw horses and jousters and merchants and knife throwers and pickle sellers. And the Fiber Hut, where they were kind enough to teach me (again) how to use a drop spindle. I swear I'm going to get it this time. I was particularly interested in the shops selling costumes. From what I saw, skirts can go for about $50 and corsets run about $75. I couldn't scope out the prices on the under-dresses, but I'm more than satisfied already. You see, I made my own costume, with $20 worth of fabric from Wal-mart and a bunch of random notions I already had on hand. That puts me at least $100 ahead already.

But the absolute best part of the day was that I was escorted by my very own prince.
He'll always be my Knight in Shining Armour - even if he refused to wear the costume. :)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

WIP of the Week - The Story of the Shawls

Pea and I are going on a cruise in November. For some reason, I got obsessed with the thought of knitting a neutral colored lace shawl to wear. I tried to talk myself out of it, because I've got plenty of other projects I need to finish up. But I kept thinking about a new shawl. Before I knew it, I was cruising (no pun intended) Ravelry for shawl patterns. And I become fixated on a shawl I've considered time and time again. The Casino Shawl. Before you could say "last call for all bets" I had ordered, downloaded and printed the pattern.

Then I read it. And promptly decided it was far to complicated for my second lace shawl project. (When I say "second lace shawl project" I'm ignoring the half of the Mystery Stole I knit.) I turned back to my Ravelry queue and decided to cast on for The Snowdrop Shawl instead. I began it knit and very quickly I had this.
And it's a pretty start. In fact, it's very pretty. But I didn't love it. I kept thinking about the Casino Shawl. I looked at the pattern again and started to think that it would have all made more sense when I had the needles and yarn in my hand. Maybe I could have managed it. That's when Pea said "You really haven't gotten that far, I think you should just rip it out and knit the other one.". This was wonderful advice . . . . except that it forced me to admit to him that I had a whole other skein of yarn that was earmarked for the Casino Shawl. (Not that he doesn't fully understand the sheer volume of my stash, but I do try to avoid reminding him of it!) So, Snowdrop when onto a waste-yarn stitch-holder and Casino was cast on. All 305 provisional stitches. And I've made it through the first 8 rows . . . but only with complete silence, bright light, undivided attention, the tinking of almost one full row, and one improvisational fix for an extra stitch that came out of no where.

Okay, okay, not much to look at in that picture. It's just a bunch of off-white ruffle on the green provisional cast-on yarn. Let's pin it out and see what we have.

The beginnings for some Spades. Yes, many, many hours in complete silence and that's all I have to show for it. I keep reminding myself that this is probably the hardest and longest part. The triangle is getting smaller with each row, so by the end I will be zipping along. At least, that's what I keep telling myself . . . .

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


How the heck did the summer go by so fast? Time for another monthly knit list already? I didn't even finish my last one. Here's what happened.

  1. Finish my July Holiday Headstart project - DONE!!!
  2. Knit a pair of Fetchings for my August Holiday Headstart project - DONE!!! (Although I never got around to posting them. Heck, we all know what Fetchings look like though.)
  3. Finish the first Seduction Sock - Nope. I ended up frogging these. I did start the Pillars of Atlantis socks in their place, but haven't quite finished the first one. I also started a new pair of socks when we went to Cape Cod. I'm almost done with the first one.
  4. Finish Mystery Stole 3 - Nope, didn't finish this either. When the theme and the "wing" got announced, I put it into hibernation so I could figure out if I wanted to knit the wing or not. I've decided that I will knit it as written, with the wing, but I'm not sure how soon I'll pick it up again.

So, for September I think I will keep my list very short and try a little project monogamy. Here's what I have planned.
  1. Finish either the Cape Cod socks or the Pillars of Atlantis socks.
  2. Knit another Amanda's Squatty Sidekick for Holiday Headstart.
  3. Knit the Casino Shawl! I just bought this pattern today and cast on the 305 (!!) stitches, so I'm ready to go. I'm a little bit afraid that it's going to give me a knitterly smack-down, but we'll see.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Whew . . .

I really didn't intend to wait so long to write my next post, but life got in the way. Pea's birthday was on Saturday and my dad's was yesterday. Pea's biggest birthday wish was that I spend the whole day with him instead of the computer . . . so no blogging for me. Yesterday we spent the day out and about with my parents to do some more celebrating.

Luckily, before the Birthday Celebrations began I had just managed to catch up from our little get-away in Cape Cod. That's right, Pea and I were in Cape Cod last week!!

I was impressed by how many of you correctly guessed where we were. I was even more impressed by those of you who named the lighthouse I was standing in front of! It was the Highland Light, also known as Cape Cod Light, in Truro and I believe it is the oldest lighthouse on Cape Cod. The random number generator helped me pick a winner for the contest and chose Theresa!!! Send me your snail mail address, and I'll start putting your prize together!

Before I go attempt to get caught up on my e-mail, I wanted to show you the wonderful surprise that was waiting for me when I got home from vacation.

Ragan spoiled me with a beautiful hand-made card and some lovely hand-made stitch-markers . . . just because she is a sweetheart! Thank you so much, Ragan. I love them!