Thursday, October 26, 2006

Finally – Knitting content – with Pictures!

Here are the Jaywalker socks. (Knit on US 0) I love the color and the way they look but the toe…

No I don’t have bunions that I needed to adjust for. Obviously I did something wrong. Not sure what exactly, but both of the socks came out the same. Maybe it’s just the way I knit them.

Here is the muff from Knitty that I made as a Christmas present. I’m going to knit another one for myself, probably in the same yarn. I also have some Lion Brand Landscapes and maybe I’ll make the muff out of that. I’ll have to rummage around and see what I can dig out from the Ziploc bags under my bed.

I joined the Maude-a-long because that shawl is everything I’ve been looking for. Not to intricate, stunning and long down the front for warmth and panache. I bought the yarn and while waiting for the pattern to be sent to me, I cast on for the Lady Eleanor Shawl from Scarf Style. I pulled out the Shepherd’s Worsted that’s been sitting in my stash since last Super Bowl Sunday.

It’s going to take me a billion years to do this shawl, but I love it. I started it for several reasons. My Granny’s name was Lenore. When people would get her name wrong, they'd call her Eleanor. My Mom would joke around with her and call her “Eeeellllllannnnorrrr” (said with a thick Eastern European accent for effect). So it reminds me of my Granny and my Mom and where I got my silliness from. Here is the beginning of the shawl.

I love how each rectangle has a full repeat of the colors. It seemed the color repeats were short and I thought this was a good way to show off the colors and have them blend well. I think it’s coming out really pretty. And the yarn is so incredibly soft. Lastly, the entralac was a big draw because I hadn’t done any entralac knitting since my class last January/February and I didn’t want to lose everything I’d learned.

Socktober update:

Here is my progress on the Schaeffer Anne socks. It’s no specific pattern, just a 4x2 rib and slip stitch heel. One down, one to go! It fits like a dream!

Gratuitous kitty photo…

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Yarn Haul!

A total of 13,269 yards of yarn. No, it isn't all mine...

Socks that Rock!

Ellen's Half Pint Farm
Sock Yarn

Brooks Farm
Duet - Lace Weight

Briar Rose
Merino Laceweight (left)
Merino and Tencel Laceweight (right)

Morehouse Farms
2 ply in black & red for socks
Lace weight & Lace weight hand dyed

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Rhinebeck! - Or Where are Knitty D & Wendy?

As usual - I had another post, picture laden that I tried to upload all last week and Blogger kept crapping out on me. Since I can post those pictures any time I thought I'd let you all know about Rhinebeck and what a great time we had!

Pictures of the stash will be taken later, but I wanted to post a little while the event was still fresh in my mind.

Friday night I dreamt about wool and winding wool and I woke up every two hours wondering if it was time to get up yet. The alarm didn't even need to be snoozed once. I was up and dressed and ready to go. Jen and I met in Northern NJ, left my car because she has more trunk space and hit the road to the Catskill Mountains equipped with knitting pod casts, knitting books and loads to chat about.

The first surprise of the day was that we both had birthday presents for each other. I made Jen a row counter bracelet out of lampwork beads, dyed Jade, Rose Quartz and Onyx, and the stitch markers to match. She got me a beautiful knitting bag from Della Q. I just gave the home page link so I don't know if my bag is on the site. It's the perfect size for Maude and a pair of socks so I'll be loading it up later.

When we got there we went right in and started shopping. The first purchases weren't yarn tho. Jen bought some Eucalan and a sweater stone. I bought a felted ball kitty toy for Katie. The picture of me came out really bad (eyes closed, talking, my hair in front of my face and the kitty toy in motion) so - here is Jen's first purchase:

But the yarn beckoned. Jen bought first - some yarn made from Bufflao. It was so amazingly soft and took dye really well which surprised us both. Then we said hello to the sheep and the llamas and alpacas. Look at that sweet little alpaca face!

We rounded the corner and there was one of the vendors we wanted to spend some time with; Briar Rose Fibers. I only hope when I take a picture of what I bought there it will do justice to the beautiful colors and the amazing hand of the wool. It was way to yummy to pass up and so I bought a hank of 1550 yards of Merino wool sport weight and another of wool and tussah. Her prices were really good. Here is a pic of Jen and Chris (the brilliance behind Briar Rose):

Honest - there are pics of me. At least one anyway... See... We ran into Amy Singer! Actually we kept running into her all day. It was almost like we were shopping with her. Anyway, I gushed about how much I love Knitty and that I turned my Mom onto the site and we both love what she does and I got a knitty pin. It will be cherished!

I also met Jillian Moreno. Sorry there isn't a picture, but we chatted for a moment and I told her I was really looking forward to the second Big Girl Knits and she hugged me. Jillian Moreno hugged me!

Amy had told me that she bought some sock yarn at The Fold's booth and that the Socks that Rock was going fast. She pointed us in the right direction and we hustled over there. She wasn't kidding. The display was practically bare. I scored a few skeins and waited in the endless line to pay. While waiting I saw this beautiful shawl coming toward me and then looked at the wearer, and yes - it was our beloved Yarn Harlot. She was with Juno and I introduced myself and she did the same. Then she introduced me to another blogger who for the life of me I can't remember if it was the woman who writes Purls Before Swine or not. Pretty sure it was tho.

Anyway - purchases made there and we had a bite to eat and ran into the same people mentioned above while shopping through the rest of the buildings. I KNOW Knitty D and Wendy were going to Rhinebeck, but we didn't see them. Not once. How is it possible to run into Amy and Jillian and Stephanie and Stitchy McYarnpants and not see Knitty D and Wendy? We even ran into our Entralac teacher not once but TWICE.

Anyway - once we finished covering all the fairgrounds we hopped in the car and went to In Sheeps Clothing which was very close by. How could we pass that up? We couldn't. I bought lace weight yarn and 2 ply yarn for socks and the shop is warm and friendly with lots of places to sit and tons of yarn to play with. If you are ever in the area - go there! Not to mention the people working there were helpful and fun and didn't seem to be too overwhelmed with the people who kept pouring in the front door.

We left Rhinebeck NY when we were done buying our Morehouse Farms Merino. Stopped for dinner and then took our loot to our respective homes. I got home at 9PM and was in bed asleep by 9:45.

So I'm off to make another cuppa tea and play with all my new yarn.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Good weird, but still weird

I had a whole different post written

But things change so fast. If you read my last post you know that I was back on temp-to-perm. Yesterday I found out that the woman I report to gave her two weeks notice. Her boss called me and asked me if I would be interested in working for them full time because they’d like to hire me on to fill her shoes.

I’m sitting down with the two of them later today to get a sense of what the job entails and what they’re willing to pay me and all that good stuff.

After the last place I worked, which I have taken to calling the butt crack of hell, and the place before that which was the Hell Mouth (thanks Buffy!), it’s nice to be wanted and recognized for the hard working, smart person I am.


I promise - later there will be knitting content and photos!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Why is life so weird?

I was unemployed last week so I was kind of bummed about that. The place I was working at didn't have any work for me so they had to let me go. The thing is, they do have stuff for me but the 3 guys I supported didn't have their act together enough to have work put aside for me. So they let me go and I pulled my blanket over my head and stayed there for the week, never realizing it was passing.

The only exception to that was panicking about not having the money for my mortgage payment since my last paycheck took 2 weeks to get to me, from THE NEXT TOWN OVER. I did get it on Monday and deposited it in time. The payment went through without a hitch, but I hate playing bank account roulette.

I also got a call from the Employment agengy I've been working with asking me if I was able to work for one day at the place I was just working at. That one day turned into 2 then 3 and starting this coming Monday I'm back on a 40 hour week on a Temp to Perm basis. So I had a little vacation of panic and moping and now it's back to almost normal life.

During that week I got another Christmas present knitted. I made the Muff from Knitty and that's for a friend who I know will love it and never use it. I really wanted to keep it for myself, but I have PLENTY of yarn left over for another one and it was a really fast knit. I'll make another in the next couple of weeks.

I also finished my Jaywalkers. I liked the way the Koigu knit up, but I didn't like the pattern all that much. The sock does a funny angle thing at the toe decrease and they're bulky right there. I couldn't even wear them with my every day loafers which are my knitted sock shoes. They may be chilly day socks for wearing around the house. With the leopard print slippers shown with Katie below. hee hee

My friend and knitting buddy (and enabler) has a milestone birthday coming up and I really want to do something special for her. I'm going to get vague here because she reads my blog but I'm so excited about what I found that I have to blather on cryptically for a bit.

It's really difficult to find something to knit for someone who is a knitter (and an excellent knitter at that). I wouldn't hesitate to give her a knitted present because I know she would appreciate and wear something I gave her, but this needs to be super special. And I found it! I did a test run (for myself naturally) and I'm thrilled with the results. So I have 3 or so weeks before the unveiling. I'm sorry... You'll just have to wait.

No, it isn't a knitted cupcake from One Skein, although I do need to make one for my Mom this weekend.

Many weird ups and downs the past couple of weeks. Maybe now things will be on a more even keel.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Skeins of Anne

Any idea what the colors are called???


I'm just nutty enough to be totally excited by finding out that October is Socktober month. I love October. Probably because it's my birth month. It has always signified the beginning of the holiday season for me. One holiday right after another month by month until February.

So I joined in all the fun. There isn't anything to do but knit socks. I've always had a pair of socks on the go since I learned how to make them. Anyway - here is a little questionnaire so you can get a feel of my sock knitting history and preferences...

· When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
I learned how to make socks last November in a class at my LYS. This was the first knitting class I ever took. The class was small, only 5 people which gave us all the personal attention we needed from the instructor. The instructor was wonderful. He was very patient and easily adapted to the varying skill levels of his students. He brought cookies he baked himself and bottles of water. We also go the most beautiful hand crafted cases for our darning needles. I'd take a class with him again any time.

· What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?
We made a pair of "Cozy Socks" with Lambs Pride on size 10 needles. He taught us on two circulars and I knit my first few pair on circs. He had knit a sock from scraps, showing each part of the sock - ribbing and leg, heel flap, turn of the heel, gussets, foot, and toe. It was so helpful to see each part. And since they were to be felted, he left the teaching sock un-felted so we could see each section clearly.

They are VERY warm and have held up the last year beautifully, even if they are a little big.

· What would you have done differently?
I would have felted them a little bit more on the first go round. But that is easily fixed.

· What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
Opal, Regia, Trecking XXL and Claudia Handpaint are some of the yarns I tried first. Recently I've knit a pair with Koigu and I am VERY happy with the end result. Very thick and sturdy. I'm a Koigu convert. I did just start another pair of socks with Shaeffer Anne and it knits up beautifully. I've never had a pair of socks that has mohair in them so I'm sure they'll be very warm and perfect for cold days.

· Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
I learned with 2 circs and that was my method of choice for a long time. Then I decided that I really should learn how to use DPNs and so I taught myself how to work with them. I pretty much just use DPNs now.

· Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
I like a short row heel. I love the magic of how all of a sudden there’s a turn there that's perfect for your heel. I knit like a fiend till I get to turn the heel. It's my favorite part of the sock.

· How many pairs have you made?
I'm counting in my head and I think it's 11 pair.
The 12th pair are on the needles right now.