Monday, September 10, 2007

Just a drive by posting...

Can't post.

Must start packing.

No that's not an error.

I didn't mean, must keep packing.

I meant must START!

Must pack 2 adults, 3 children, one baby on the way, one dog, and one cat's worth of belongings in five days.

Why do I do this to myself?

In the meantime admire the world's sweetest booties.

Cute 1.0

The pattern is Saarjte's Booties. I liked them so much I made two pairs.

Cute 2.0

If only I'd bought the correct number of buttons.

Buttons, my old nemesis, you have bested me again.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Now I'm just showing off!

I've been a terrible blogger. Just terrible. I was shocked to realize that I have only posted 15 times since March, and not a single post was written in July. I'm amazed anyone is still hanging around checking my blog. And my little list of "Stuff I Knit" doesn't even begin to cover all the stuff I've actually knit. This blog is supposed to be a record of my knitting, so I'm pulling out some old finished objects just to have a record somewhere that says "hey, I made that!". I won't bother posting the ones that didn't work (The Gatsby sweater comes to mind, beautiful, but too small). But the ones that did work? I must show off. So here's a raging success, and blatant jumping on the knitting bandwagon. Let me show you my Monkeys!

You know you wanna touch my Monkeys

Pattern: Monkey from Knitty

Yarn: Sock That Rock, medium weight, in Downpour, 1 skein

Needles: Who can remember at this point, but probably size 2

Modifications: None, but I wish I had shortened the heel flap, it is a little too deep.

Pretty MonkeysReview: Well, everyone and their knitting dog have already made a pair of these socks. And for good reason. Unlike the Jaywalkers that everyone knit but needed extensive modifications to fit real feet, these socks are stretchy and wearable with little to no modifications required. The lace pattern is lovely yet, looses not visual interest when knit with variegated yarns. I knit these so long ago I really don't have much to say about them, I don't remember much, except loving the yarn colors. They are so pretty. But I could really feel the dye and I wasn't sure how I felt about that. I suppose you lose some lofty squishy softness to get that sheen. I also think I like the lightweight sock yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts better than the medium weight, but that's a personal preference, probably based on the climate where I live.

More Useless Monkey

Really I'm just posting these so you can admire their loveliness. More useless show off posts to come.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A very special day

Happy Birthday to me
I'm feeling crab-by
I'd like to shower a-lone
So please let me be!

Today is a very special day indeed! It's my birthday! I haven't decided what age I'm going for this year. I "turned" 27 last year. So I suppose I should be turning 28 this year. But I think I just might stick with 27. It's almost believable right? How long can a woman hang onto her twenties before it becomes just pathetic?

What did I get for my birthday? (cue music) Dun-da-da-DAAAAAAAAAAAH!

A New Transmission!

But wait, that's not all! I also got a new torque converter, pump, solenoid/solenoid block, transmission fluid and a filter/deep pan! Just what I've always wanted!

So this was the most expensive birthday EVER. But our car, our only car. runs, that's the important thing. So what if I can't knit with a solenoid.

Actually, The Greatest and I pooled our birthday, anniversary and Christmas gifts for the year last month so we could buy an X-box 360. I wanted it solely so I could play Halo 3 when it comes out later this month (which we have already pre-purchased). So all moving events must be completed by the 25th.

But do not worry. There was still lots of yarny goodness on my birthday.

Have you met Katrina? You should all go to her blog and bother her until she starts blogging again. She is amazing. She is one of my best friends, truly. I have never met her in person, but I will. We met through our blogs and she is a constant source of light, laughter, support, and inspiration in my life. I cherish our friendship and emails. And she sent me the most amazing birthday package.

Being who she is, she knew I couldn't open the package alone, so she sent these, right on top, to distract the little ones (and a sausage for The Greatest).

Something not for me

Her favorite chili recipe, which just might make a special birthday dinner tonight!

Looks yummy

Yummy goodness from my favorite store (in the prettiest gift bag I've ever seen). Being pregnant most smells make me sick, but this is just light enough to be wearable. I've been searching for a lotion I can wear for weeks now. How did she know?

Mommy will smell good

A zipper bag with the coolest stitch markers (they've got the kitchner directions right on them, no more google searches when I want to finish a sock) and a nifty little beaded row counter.

Fun new toys

A beautiful new holder for my dpns, mine are currently being stored in a ziplock bag *blush* They'll feel spoiled and loved now.

Spoiled DPNs

A lantern moon bag in the best shade of sherberty orange

Sherbert Anyone?

Inside of which there were three skeins of Claudia's Handpainted yarn in Red Wagon, so pretty, reminds me of Knitpicks discontinued Flower Power, but better, with shades of pink.

Yummy Yarn

And she sent me two books on sock knitting. In case you haven't noticed, all I seem to be knitting recently is sock and baby patterns.

New Sock Books, does it get any better than that?

Not to brag, but the Cat Bordhi book? SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR! How cool is that. I thought I knew how to knit/design socks. But this book truly takes a new approach to the shaping of socks. I can't wait to get started knitting these patterns and learning the new ideas. Sometimes I feel like I've seen most of what the knitting world has to offer. It's exciting to encounter something truly new to me. My favorite part of college (besides the drugs) was learning all these new ideas that I never knew existed, especially in my Music Theory classes. I loved looking at the world in new ways. And now I get to look at my old friend, the hand knitted sock, with a new perspective and design technique. I'm so excited.

Isn't that a great birthday package? I feel so loved. But the best part, the part that brought me to tears was in a box in the bottom.

Best for last

It says "Open me last." Inside I found this.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

On the right are two skeins of "Topeka." They were handpainted by Ruby Sapphire Yarns based on the colors of Katrina's blog "Here in Topeka." Aren't they pretty? And those two skeins on the left? Can you guess their name?

Neglected Yarn!

NEGLECTED! Katrina commissioned this yarn, to be dyed for me, and named after my blog. She choose, not the colors of my blog, but colors she knew were my favorite to knit with. Not the colors I would tell you are my favorite if you asked (who says brown is their favorite color?) but truly the shades I am drawn to when I pick out yarn. Colors I love to watch flow between my fingers and take form. She knows me so well. Look at those gorgeous shades of brown, and smoky charcoal blue. Does yarn get any more perfect than that?

One yarn is 100% merino wool

Neglected Wool

The other is 50% wool, 50% tencel.

Neglected Wool/Tencel

They were dyed with the same dyes. I love how different the same colors look on the different fibers. And if you could feel them....heaven. I love them so much I changed my blog colors. As Katrina and I tend to do, we plan to knit these yarns in our own private knit-a-longs. She'll pick the pattern for Topeka, and I'll pick the pattern for Neglected. I can't wait.

It's already the perfect birthday and it's only 9:30 in the morning. I'm going to be lazy with the kids for the rest of the day. We're going to bake a cake. Possibly make some chili? Organise my DPNs. Paint our toenails. And I'm going to knit. I know I'm not supposed to be casting on new projects (have you seen my sidebar?), but really, could anyone blame me if something from New Pathways for Sock Knitters magically appeared on my needles?

Monday, September 03, 2007

Trixie, just scroll to the bottom!

Things are about to get a little crazy around here. You see, we're getting ready to move...again. I wish you could all hear the lack of enthusiasm in my voice. In my old age I'm really starting to hate moving. At least this time it isn't a cross country move. It's only a move across town. A necessary move to a better school for Pork Chop. But I swear, there is as much work involved in moving across town as there is in moving across the country. Everything still needs packed and every inch of the house needs scrubbed. I'm not looking forward to it and as a result I have packed very little. To be honest, I have packed nothing. Not a single box. Nothing, despite the fact the move is a mere 12 days away.

I have THOUGHT about packing, and isn't that close enough, really. I mean, I do have a plan. It's important to have a plan isn't it? So what if part of that plan involved throwing away half of what we own rather than packing it. I wander into rooms and notice all the things that were important enough to cart across the country in our last move. Things I carefully scrutinized a year ago and decided I simply could not live without. Things I am now wondering why I own. I haven't used them in a year. They serve no purpose. They're just there in the closets gathering dust. Things I refuse to cart across town.

And don't get me started on the toys. The kids are going to hate moving because half of what they own is about to get "lost" in the move...again.

Anyways, as I was looking around, planning my packing strategy, but not actually packing, I noticed the insane amount of UFOs I have. An INSANE amount. I have seven project bags and each one had a project in it, the largest one had five crammed into it. Not to mention the two discarded ones I found lying on a shelf in my craft hutch (did I ever blog my craft hutch? No? What a shame. It was wonderful. I'm afraid it will soon be commandeered to hold the baby's things. Which makes me sad. I loved my craft hutch). It is shame only that keeps me from updating my progress charts on my sidebar. There are a lot of projects. The number of baby projects alone is staggering. Did I forget I live in the desert? My poor baby is going to sweat its entire infancy. Many of the projects are near completion. Ridiculously close to completion. So I began completing projects. I kitchnered toes. I wove in ends. I blocked things. Several items are patiently waiting my nemesis, buttons. But others are completed and waiting to be presented on the blog in all their glory. It seemed easier to finish the knits than to pack them.

And I swore I wouldn't cast on for any new projects until after the move. I was firm in my resolve, faithfully knitting old projects. I resisted the call of Bezzie's Der Frawd socks despite how good they would look with my Socks That Rock in Nodding Violet. I barely glanced at my new Interweave Knits magazine because I knew that for now I couldn't knit any of the projects contained within it's pages (Oh Tangled Yoke Cardigan, how I love thee). I resisted the call of new yarn, new projects and remained steadfast and faithful to my knits. Faithful that is until I saw my downfall. Until I saw this.

We've all seen the Hemlock Blanket from Brooklyn Tweed. But this version, knit in taupe Cotton Ease, it was too much for my will power. I could not resist it's brown goodness. I just so happen to have a few skeins of taupe Cotton Ease sitting in my yarn basket. And how they called to me. I had ear-marked them for a baby sweater. But despite diligent searching, I have been unable to find the perfect pattern for this yarn. Now I know why. The yarn was simply waiting for me to realize it was not meant to be a tiny taupe sweater, looking oh so cute over my tiny new baby. It was meant to be a beautiful lace lap blanket. Eighty-Six rows later and I know I have made the right decision.

Hemlock Perfection in Cotton

Featers and Fan Goodness

And it's not even blocked yet. So pretty unblocked, can you imagine how fabulous its going to look once it's blocked. Unfortunately but not unexpectedly I need to buy more yarn to finish this project. So until I can get to the store, into my UFO pile it goes.

Then I was trying to look up a sweater pattern for some charity knitting (I know, another new cast on, but hey, I figure I bent my rule for the Hemlock Blanket, surely I can break it for a worthy cause) I stumbled across the September Magknits. I love to look at Magknits but rarely find a pattern I need to knit there, so looking should have been a perfectly safe activity. I was wrong. This issue contained a pattern that was inspired. I fell instantly in love with Kaibashira. I even have some Tofutsies sock yarn in my yarn basket. I had to cast on. I about feel over when I saw the cast on number was 187, not the usual 64, but I persevered and it made a really cute cuff.

Its a quick knit

The colors aren't coming through very well. They're much nicer in person. I have mixed feelings about this sock. It's knitting up very quickly, but overall, knitting with the Tofutsies yarn, I was unimpressed. It is thin, and splitty yarn. I've also found three places like this.

Why, for the love of all that's good, why?

Of course I had to cut them out, because who wants to knit this into their sock.

Not in my sock Mister

That makes for more ends to weave in, which just annoys me. So splitty yarn, with badly spun places. Color me not in love.

But then I tried the sock on.

I'm in love

Oh my! I do love how this yarn feels on my foot. It makes a really nice sock. The kind of sock that makes the extra ends worth weaving in. I could become a Tofutsies addict, especially considering the climate I live in. But now I'm not so sure about this pattern. I love the cuff and the lace pattern of the sock. I just think I might like it better as a short ankle sock than a longer sock. I'm unsure. I've already put a days work in on the sock, and it looks so nice. I hate to keep knitting only to decide later that I really want it shorter, but I hate to frog a perfectly fine sock until I make a decision. And I'm too tired to make a decision right now. So on top of the UFO pile it goes.

I'm starting to see how I accumulated so many UFOs in the first place. *sigh* I'll just throw them all into a box, and move them together. And hope they don't fall off the truck with the kids toys. See, I might have an overabundance of knitting projects, but I've got a plan. It's important to have a plan.

Plus this leaves me free to cast on for the charity knitting right?

P.S. In the hopes that I can talk Trixie G into some of her biscotti, this is for her.

Socks for Girl #3

We couldn't be more thrilled. Except for Meaty, who didn't speak to me for two days he was so angry with me.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

It's Game Day Baby!

I am a lucky woman. I really am. The Greatest only watches one sport. ONE SPORT PEOPLE. So instead of being forced to watch an endless stream of sports games throughout the year I only have to suffer through them for a few month. The sport in question? Football. Specifically College Football. Don't give him any professional players who only care about how big their bonus is. He wants to watch athletes with heart who are happy just to play the game. And really, he only loves one team. The team in question? Michigan!

Being the good wife I am, I knit him a pair of team socks. Maize and Blue.

Michigan Socks

These socks were knit on size 1 dpns using the Charade Sock Pattern.

I love these socks. And so does The Greatest. They are so comfy. The yarn is perfect, soft and cushy. The colors are vibrant. Blue and yellow is very hard to dye, usually there is green where to two meet. But the dyer (I'll get to her later) was skillful and there was very little green. These socks fit him perfectly. This was it. Perfect socks, perfect fit, it was going to be a perfect season. By wearing these socks every game, The Greatest was going to single-handily ensure that Michigan has a winning season this year. Not just a really good season, but a Title Winning Season.

The Greatest got up this morning and put on his socks. Hopes were running high. The game wasn't televised in our region, so lots of sports center updates were anxiously watched. Things went well, then they didn't, then it looked like they were going to win in the last minutes...but...

Michigan lost today. They lost 34-32 to Appalachian State. Appalachian State for goodness sakes. They aren't even a ranked team. I don't know much about football, but I do know they're not in the Big Ten, or the Pac-Ten, or any other of those football conferences The Greatest is always chattering about. We should have beaten them the way Penn State beat Florida International (59-0). But we lost.

I blame the socks.

The yarn is called Team Feet. The dyer specializes in team colors. I purchased them from an etsy store. The dyer is Pink Sheep. She's a small dyer, and like I said before, very skilled (how did she manage to get so little green?). But go look where she lives. I'll wait. Go look.

She lives in Ohio. OHIO! In case you don't know, that is significant because Ohio State fans HATE Michigan. I should have realized the yarn is cursed with all kinds of football bad luck. And no amount of football good luck knitting can overcome bad luck that is dyed into the yarn.

Michigan lost today. I blame Pink Sheep.