Sunday, February 25, 2007

Some Silliness on a Snowy Sunday

The Silliness:

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Grand Duchess Kathleen the Ingenious of Throcking by Hampton
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

The Snow:

We were supposed to have 1/10 to 2/10 an inch of ice... instead we are getting a steady snow - 2 inches on my deck between 11 AM and Noon! These pictures attempt to capture, unsuccessfully, those huge, already-snowball "snowflakes" that were falling fast and furious. I think you get the idea! :)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Project FOrty days for others

My previous post shows a finished object. That was a 'for me' finished object. In this post, most of the finished objects are for others... hence the title of this post.

I had many projects going at once. It was making me quite anxious really. I never knew what to work on - there were so many choices. In an effort to relieve my anxiety and to clear off the needles and develop a plan, I decide to Just.Do.It. and start finishing all the partial projects and begin my forty days for others by finishing objects already started!

Besides those projects chronicled here, I have a second sock to make for a baby hat and sock set. Then I can start on all new objects for others! :)

In the spirit of Just.Do.It. I mailed off squares to Gracious Parcels and Rebekah's Blanket of Hope. The squares have been done for some time. They just needed blocking - which I accomplished on Wednesday evening. Two packages away in the mail today!

Tomorrow, I will mail the Chemo Cap I made in response to Kate's call to action. I had wanted to make more... but alas this is the best I could do.

Bernat Boa, one full skein and a bit of a second; US10.5 circ; this was a the large size with a cast on of 72 stitches.

I have completed a black, knitted helmet liner. It's a little late to be sending it to warm the troops this year. Weather will begin to warm before it arrives, so it may stay in my "donate later" box... but it's done and ready to go when I read the call for more.

KnitPicks Swish Superwash, black, almost two 50 gram skeins; Size US6 and 8 Addi Turbo circs and size US8 DPNs for the decreases; Knitted Helpmet Liner Pattern

I missed the deadline for the knit-along, but I finally finished Larissa's Socks 101 -- well, almost finished. They still need a bit of felting. Pattern will be available upon publication of the book!

Manos del Uruguay, Plum (41); US10.5 DPNs; I made the largest size (everyone in my house has BIG feet) and the pattern took 4.3 oz of yarn (I purchased two 3.5 oz skeins and have 2.7 oz left over).

Monday, February 19, 2007

Finished! Blue Socks!

Okay - followed along and finished right up. First pair look pretty good. Need to perfect that kitchener toe, but here they are in all their glory! :)

Click on the photos for a larger image.

Statistics: Acid-dyed 100% merino wool (Montana, a light worsted weight) (I took a learn to dye class by Mama-E); size US5 DPNs; Susan's pattern.

The color is pretty true to life on my monitor ~ even though taken with a flash in a poorly lit room at night! This was a fun knit-along. Doing a bit at a time kept it interesting. Thanks, Susan! I look forward to finally hearing the name and seeing the pattern all in one place, though I must admit, I copied and pasted to a Word document. I need to have a portable project and it can only be portable if I can bring the pattern with me.

Secret Pal 10

I had been debating --

Secret Pal 9 was fun. I received some different yarns I had not seen or tried before. I gave some gifts, which I love to do.

Should I take a break, or sign up for 10?

Took me a little while, but I decided to repeat the experience with Secret Pal 10.

To that end, here are my questionnaire answers:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I like all kinds of yarns. Size-wise, I do better with DK or heavier. I find I have not yet master the teeny needles needed for the smaller yarns. I’ve been using the smaller yarns to carry along to add warmth to some items. I am determined to master the bitty needles, but I’m not there yet. Fiber content? I’m easy!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I use a zippered case for one set of crochet hooks. I use a Crock (it is to make bread, but I’m using it like an extra large pencil cup with my needles) for most of my straight needles, including DPNs which I keep in their original wrappers (this will not work for long, the wrappers will get worn out, but that’s where I am right now). Circs that I use a lot hang out of the crock too, but the rest stay in their original wrappers!

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I have been knitting seriously since Feb/March 2006. I learned from a book many, many (like 35?) years ago and made two things: one became a dog coat; the other was a beautiful scarf. I took up crocheting instead – way back when - and, until the Knitting Olympics, I hadn’t knit a stitch in all those years. However, I am a crafty person by nature, and I’ve picked it up pretty well. I’d consider myself an Advanced Beginner or, perhaps I have Intermediate skills. I think it depends on the definition ~ which seems to vary by knitter.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

I have an Amazon knitting list

5. What's your favorite scent?

I’m not really a scent person, but, if I have to choose, I’m more fruity than flowery. The Renuzit® Air Freshener is Cucumber Melon or Kiwi Mango rather than Country Flowers or Lilac.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

not particularly. I’m more of a salty sweet person. Honey Roasted nuts, chips, cheese and crackers are more popular with me than candy. My favorite candy is/was the PayDay® bar (sweet center, salty nutty outside!). However, my teeth no longer like that one!

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I do not spin and have been actively avoiding it, while looking longingly in its general direction. Knitting has been pricey enough to keep me going on craft expenditures for the next few years. Also, I want to get better at it before heading off to the spindle or wheel. I like to scrapbook, crochet, and cook; and I’m trying my hand at a little beading.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

Country and Show Tunes (though generally older shows. I’m too old for some of the current crop of Broadway shows like Rent). I believe my car and my computer are capable of all types of music storage/playback.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I used to always say blue and, indeed, shades of blue still rank right up there with my all time favorites, but I have added to the blues – deep burgundies and reds and the coordinating creamy pinks and roses, as well as, deep greens. Not so much into the BRIGHTs and the Neons.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

No pets and no plans for any. I’m a widow. My sons (16 and 18), my mother and I share a home. The 18 yo will soon be leaving the nest. He graduates (hopefully) on May 31st and will be entering a shared house with some other young men, to make his way in the world. Then there will be 16 and me and mom for another year or two. Then it is anybody’s guess!

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

no ponchos and only occasionally mittens (I prefer gloves) – but definitely hats and scarves. I generally make myself the “Adult Male” size hat. I don’t do form-fitting well – in clothes OR hats!

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

hats for speed, then anything with a new element I didn’t know before (heels/gussets come to mind!)

13. What are you knitting right now?

hats and socks and booties (these types of things are always on some set of needles or hooks), and a baby sweater. I have plans for a light, Spring sweater for my mom

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

sure, who doesn’t?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I do not really care for plastic needles or hooks. Nor do I like the actual Aluminum ones, like Susan Bates. Silvalume and Quicksilver aren’t too bad. The Addi Turbos and Naturas are very nice. I have three straights by Lantern Moon that are gorgeous. I haven’t made many things on them (two were gifts), but they are the most beautiful needles I own.

I prefer circular needles if I’m going to be knitting wide, or while commuting, or in the round (for obvious reasons here). DPNs for socks, booties, final hat decrease. All of my DPNs are wood, but the kind of wood varies – birch, bamboo and something else.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Yes. Both.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

I have no idea. In the knitting genre, it can’t be older than about 1 year (and I don’t think I have any that old) because I only started last Feb/March! Crocheting? Well, I don’t want to think about it… I’m sure it will surface one day when I finally get through all the boxes in my basement!

18. What is your favorite holiday?

I don’t really have a favorite anymore. Last year, I really enjoyed Thanksgiving. But I don’t really have a favorite.

19. Is there anything that you collect?

I collect everything! ~grin~ No, really, I do not collect any particular thing and I don’t plan to start any kind of collection either!

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Creative Knitting is the only subscription I have. There are some reference books that look interesting. My Amazon wish list has the books on there. As for yarns, needles and patterns:

Interesting yarns I have yet to try: Socks That Rock; Claudia’s Hand-Paint.

Needles: I have tried a little bit of most kinds except KnitPicks and Denise sets - but they are beyond this swap!

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

entrelac looks cool, or perhaps a lace project. I’m not sure about intarsia.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I’m just starting. I haven’t customized any socks, but I wear a US Women’s Size 11 Wide shoe.

23. When is your birthday?

May 13

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ice, Ice, Baby!

Sometimes, a little bit of ice is worse that a lot a bit of snow! Since last week the weather folks have been predicting snow, winter weather, snow... Well, we got iced.

Schools are out today - but they didn't decide until after 4:45 AM. The weather folks kept saying it was going to get above freezing (it did not) and change to rain (it did not) by early morning. Unscheduled leave, late arrival for work. Also not announced until after 4:45 AM, see weather note above!

All this icing - which I know could have been much worse, but is bad enough as it is - makes for perfect posting. Nature provides the gray and white; post and paper boxes add a bit of white and blue...

And, more knitting on the seriatim socks from Susan. I decided to start the second sock from the outside of my yarn cake. That way, if I run out (and I may not!), the toes could be the same color. This picture was taken earlier today - before I had car knitting time while my son drove us to the Mall. After car knitting, the socks are the same length, and it looks like I may have enough to do the entire pair in this blue, hand-dyed "montana" wool!

Susan suggested I move the first sock to waste yarn, instead of buying another set of DPNs, if I wanted to start sock #2. I appreciated the suggestion, but was going to buy another set anyway. However, I couldn't find a store that sold them this past weekend. I tried some waste yarn when doing the gusset and didn't really care for that option, so I am using my US5 straights, holding 20 stitches on each, while I start sock #2 with my US5 DPNs. I do not own any fancy sock blockers - this being my first pair of adult socks, so I improvised. I saw this suggested on another blog (which I don't remember right off hand, but will edit to include when I track it down!). I happened to have a few coated, metal hangers, so I bent one into a sock shape to model!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Updated my blogger template

Figured out how to get all my buttons and links and things to show up - with little to no need to learn about CSS and widgets! :) Woohoo!!!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sunday, as promised, mostly.

I had intended to post pictures of my seriatim sock -- but I didn't take any. I got as far as I should have and it is looking great. Please see previous posts for other pictures. (that's the 'mostly' in the title!)

I tried to do a 'flickr' badge of my secret pal gifts, but blogger doesn't really like to put that in the post... rather as a page element to the side. So here you go, a series of pictures of my WONDERFUL SP9 gifts! Thanks, Kim!

A Valentine's themed package of goodies! My first Malabrigo, which I have read so much about and have never touched. It is beautifully soft wool! Di.vé in red. Rowan Felted Tweed in a flecked burgundy! Candy - some missing as they were consumed before I took this picture! and a tape measure...

Thank you, thank you!

And, last promise, a Kitchenered toe - if blogger permits.

This is the toe of a baby sock, that I made to go with a baby hat. I will make its mate this week. The set is destined for a local hospital or shelter. I hope I'll be able to stretch out a small blanket or an easy sweater to finish off the skein - Red Heart Baby Sport Super Saver size.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog...

for a trip to Liberty Mountain (though I've been told by out-of-towners it is merely a hill).

I've packed a bag of knitting, crocheting and reading. I'll be spending the day in the "Lodge" (which is really just a glorified, over-priced cafeteria) while my son and his friend snowboard.

I'll be back on Sunday with pictures of my Final Secret Pal gift; progress on my seriatim; pictures of my first Kitchenered toe; and more...

I'm trying to get into the sock knitting thing, but I'm having a hard time with needled sizes under US3. Today, with said US3s, I finished the first sock of the second pair I have ever made - toddler sized. I sort of made up the pattern to match a hat (mock cable on the leg), but borrowed the heel and toe construction steps from a book on baby hats and socks. AND I Kitchenered the toe - first time ever!! And it looks pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

I'll have no Internet access on Saturday, so I hope to have a fabulous update on Sunday!

Enjoy your weekend. Stay warm, if you are in the 'colder than normal' areas of the World... we seem to swing between record High Temps and record Low Temps around here. Would be nice to hit a happy medium!


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Blue (spectrum) Socks (woohoo!)

I put that Spectrum Project over there. I planned to participate fully. Feb 1 came and went and I posted nothing. I planned to immerse myself in the colors and the possibilities... So, what has looked interesting to me since Feb 1? Blue? Grey? Nay. Red, Purple, green!

Until today!

Today, I began the seriatim socks (not their real name, which, I understand, will be disclosed at the end of the series), being posted by Susan at I'm Knitting As Fast As I Can.

I did the cuff and the leg today. I must admit I did that first three rows of the leg FIVE times... but once I got it, I got it! :)

I am using some of my first hand-dyed yarn in SHADES OF BLUE!

(truest colors in this photo)

A new adventure - my first adult sized socks - and Project Spectrum worthy!

The colors are off in this picture - but the stitch definition is pretty cool so I posted it anyway.
The wool is a little lighter than worsted weight. I'm using using Size 5 DPNs. I did a swatch with size 6s and size 5s - pretty much got gauge with the 5s. Maybe a 1/4 of stitch more, but I don't have size 4s and I wanted to get started! :)
Can't wait for Friday when the Heel is revealed!
Come on! Join the fun!

Friday, February 02, 2007

St. Brigid (and Poetry) day

I've read of the Blogger (Silent) Poetry Reading day. It is today, Feb 2, the Feast of St. Brigid. I'm not much for poetry myself, but was inspired by Wendy's Odgen Nash contribution to contribute my favorite Nash poem.

I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree;
Indeed, unless the billboards fall
I'll never see a tree at all

---- Song of the Open Road by Ogden Nash