Monday, December 26, 2005

One legwarmer

I'm doing the legwarmers for my youngest daughter. She has longer legs than I do and you are looking at my leg. One took just about an entire skein of Wool Ease worsted weight yarn. The pattern is available online from Interweave Knits. It's called Cabled Leggings and is by Ann Budd. I believe it's in the subscriber only contents, but this month it's available to all by using the code word CABLE.

I used size 7 DPNs and did a K1, P1 ribbing at the top. The pattern just stops. I also omitted the last set of increases. 75 stitches are plenty, even for my fat calves. Her calves are definitely not fat. She's the one on the left.

Other daughter's sweater, purchased at Nordstrom's, was so cute I took a bunch of pix of it and hope to figure out how to make it.

While waiting for Santa....

I finished these Christmas Eve after dinner. We celebrate quietly with our daughters since our extended family is on the east coast. Oldest's fiance was with his folks in Ohio, so we got to enjoy her for this last Christmas before she becomes a married lady.

As the evening was winding down, I finished these off. As the youngest reminded me, 'cause she thinks I am a knitting machine, she's waiting for me to finish the leg warmers she requested TWO DAYS AGO.

But, I'm playing with Christmas toys, books and gadgets, so she will just have to wait. Besides, it's 70 degrees outside! Knitting-wise, I got 3 volumes of the Harmony stitch guides. Along the way, I placed some orders with Knitpicks and Herrchners. Merry Christmas to me...

Hope you all have a fun holiday week.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Ugg booties, finally

These have been on my 'to do' list for the longest time. I just got an email invitation to the baby shower [in January in Colorado - I think not] and several people on the Socknitters list have been talking about these again. So I got my UFO bag and did the second one today. Now to box them up and send them along.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I found the repeat!

I had to go just beyond the heel of the first sock before the yarn started to repeat. I usually have plenty of Sockotta left over, so pulled out yarn from the skein until I found my starting point for the 2nd sock. I'll keep the leftovers for some heels or toes or other embellishment.

I was so happy because I'm entirely too particular to have mismatched socks, especially with such an obvious stripe. This is Sockotta #605. I figure if I spend almost $10 and a week of my time, I want them to please the wearer, namely ME. These are not 'cheap' socks, although there are many more pricey sock yarns out there, so I made the extra effort.

Mitten scarf done

Just in time for the 1st day of winter and our 70 degree daytime temperature, the child's special request scarf is done.

My version is the 1st one, where, as a special twist, DD decided she wanted the pockets on the inside. The other one is from the website she'd originally seen it for $37. She might have even bought it, except it was out of stock and has since been taken down.

I did it in Red Heart acrylic because I knew the abuse it would have to take in both the wearing and washing. The finished size as blocked is 7" by 68".

She likes it, and that's what counts.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Mitten scarf is coming along

I've done just over 3 feet of the scarf. I anticipate another 3 feet will do what the daughter wants. This is from Red Heart acrylic and is working up quickly on size 10 needles. It contracted because of the cables and ribbing and I knew I was going to have to 'kill' the acrylic to permantly block it and soften it up. I did that this morning while it's still on the needles to make sure I will like the effect. I pinned the mitten pocket on to see how it would look. I did the pocket on size 5 needles so it would be sturdier.

I must stop playing around with my socks so I can finish this up this week.

The sock factory

I'm a selfish knitter. After doing some projects as gifts, I decided to get started on my Sockotta wardrobe. All a basic crew. No playing around or experimenting. The two I already have are the ones I reach for time and again. The cotton/wool combination is good for San Diego.

I have 4 sets of size 2 needles and 4 skeins of Sockotta. So I cast them all on to see how the colorways will work up. Then I note Herrschner's has free shipping until the 24th with a $25 purchase using the code M. There were 3 colors I liked and they were a bit cheaper than at the LYS. Total $25.47. Cool. Shipment qualifies for free shipping. My mom sent me some $$ as a present, so I gifted myself.

Sockotta 605 is striped!

This is what happens when you assume. I thought all Sockotta yarn was a mix you did not have to worry about. I have made 2 pairs. #9 Storm in blues and grays and #13 Granite in grays and white. I wear these a lot, especially on vacations when I do a lot a walking. So I find a local source, get 4 more skeins. Three of the four are as I expected. The trick is the single and double digit color codes are the mix. The others are somehow patterned.

I look online after the fact. Hmm... #605 is called a simple stripe. Not my 1st choice, but okay. I cast on and decide to work the cuff until the first repeat. As you can see, 7 inches later, there is none so far. When I got to the light blues I started the cuff with, I thought it would repeat. Then I saw the green come up again. What's going on? This may end up being my first non-matching pair of socks. Although lots of folks are okay with fraternal socks, it bothers me.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Wrapping central

Lastly - at least for today - my yearly wrapping workshop. I spent one day wrapping and decorating the gifts. We wrap everything! One year I wrapped a dozen bottles of hair gel. That heavy gift drove the kid crazy! DH is waiting for youngest DD to finish with exams to get her to wrap the stuff he got me.

It's a pain, or a happy hassle as I like to call it. I love Christmas!

Fun Socks for daughter

These are from a skein of Lana Grossa, a yarn I'd gotten on sale from Knitpicks when they were clearing out all but their own brand of yarns. It's a 100 gram skein and feels like Opal to me. Self striping and hopefully "fun." Simple crew sock.

Note the yarn stretchers. Got them a giftie for doing the soldier socks. An unexpected pleasant surprise. They are adjustable from 10 to 12 inches, so are quite useful.

Brother's socks

I just love the look and feel of this Fortissima cotton socka. It's 45% cotton, 42% superwash wool, 13% polyamid. Besides this gray and a black available locally, I could only discover a blue tweed and a natural color available from a Canadian vendor.

I did the sock with a short row heel I'm especially proud of.

Best laid plans

Like many others, I had planned to be totally done with Christmas knitting months ago. I was so proud of myself for finishing my mom's sweater by August. Then, in November, I got this idea to make my brother some socks. Finished those on the 9th of Dec then mailed them off. Get DD's Xmas wish list and she requested 'fun socks'. Finished those this Thursday the 15th.

Then other daughter sees this scarf online. Cabled with pockets to warm up the hands. The pockets are shaped like mittens. "Mom" can you make that for me? Stash Red Heart and I start to figure it out through trial and error with the help of some grainy photographs. I'm plugging along and she looks me dead in the eye and says, "How soon will that be done?" San Diego winters last about a minute, so the window of opportunity to get any use out of it is quite small.

I usually spend the week before Christmas reading and otherwise relaxing, but between furiously knitting this last scarf, waiting for Santa's elves to deliver the rest of the presents [aka, the men in brown in their square brown trucks] then wrapping them......

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Christmas chores

The only knitting I've been doing is the pair of socks for my brother's Xmas gift. A few more rows then I'll start the toe decreases on the second sock. I did most of this one on the road - back and forth to Las Vegas.

Don't ask. What happens there, stays there - as in my money!!!!

My soon-to- be- married daughter posted her Xmas wish list on the fridge for her last single kid at home for presents event [ I AM NOT CRYING!!!!]. Instead of all the things she needs for her new home, she asked for fun socks. Well, duh... of course her mommy immediately cast on some socks for her baby.

Speaking of soon to be married daughter. We spent last Saturday wedding dress shopping. What a surreal experience. When did my baby morph into a bride? She's thinking simple, kind of Grecian goddess. One place, checked out what they had. Settled on one after trying on about 6. Slept on it, then ordered it the next day. I'll be doing the alterations. It fits like a dream, but alas, my baby is only 5'3", so there's hemming involved.

We still have to decide on bridesmaids' outfits. Since my other daughter is the Maid of Honor......

So, my house is decorated for Xmas. The tree is up and my 1st Amazon order has arrived. Some more shopping and mailing off of gifts next week. Oops, then Xmas cards... I'm halfway done.

#1 daughter, who moved out this spring, is talking about moving back in before the wedding. Lucky I did not make her room my sewing or stash yarn room.

Life is sure interesting.

Friday, November 25, 2005

I'm Baaaack..

All in all, a good trip even though we went back east for the funeral of my husband's aunt. It's always good to see family, regardless of the circumstances. I feel almost guilty I got to profit from it. My DH's cousin gave me a bedspread made by my mother in law as a long ago gift to the recently departed. She said her mom had meant to send it to me for my daughters to keep in the family. Her own mom added a border to it. She snatched if off the bed and gave it to me. We put it in a gym bag and brought it back with us. I washed it and did some very minor repairs. Can you believe this thing is HAND KNIT with fine cotton yarn? It's about 60 years old, made before my MIL's hands were affected by arthritis. Even with her bad hands, she made some extraordinary things, but I had no idea of what she'd done before. I think it's amazing.


When I visited my mom, she gave me the knitting machine she'd bought back in the 1960's and never figured out. I recall trying to read the directions, then explaining them to her. We all thought the machine would do all the work! I spent a lot of time and elbow grease cleaning it up today. It's practically new. I set it up, but haven't yet figured out how to get started. I am encouraged because the center where my hand knitting workshop takes place also offers machine knitting. I had previously spoken to the instructor and he had said if I could get my hands on mom's machine, he'd help me learn how to work it and maintain it. The machine knitting class doesn't have enough machines to go around, so bringing my own machine is ideal. Now I have to find out if the beginner class convenes in Jan or if I have to wait until next fall.

I did not dare bring my knitting on the plane since I'm working with steel size 0 needles. I still got a lot of knitting done while we were on the ground. Finished 2nd sock for DH. I did the first one back in Sep, then did more interesting projects before finally finishing his boring gray sock. He even wore them while we were away. It was cold in Virginia! I then started the socks I plan to give to my brother for Christmas. I sat right in front of him making them, all the while he was whining about me having only made him one pair and he really could use more. I doubt he will even realize they are the same ones.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Leaving town

Going back east to see family. Have a nice Thanksgiving. At least it's a bit colder in Virginia, so I happily packed sweaters.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I'm ready for Xmas

... at least partially. I finally finished the red Sitcom Chic cardigan meant for holiday wearing. I'd made most of this on the second part of our road trip. The festive button was purchased in Santa Fe, NM. After the holidays, I'll switch it for one in silver.

I made the sleeves full length in deference to San Diego 'winters'. It's in Cotton Ease.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Black Sweater Done

Just a basic black sweater, but it will get lots of wear. I knit the back and fronts in the car enroute to Minnesota and bought the buttons in Kansas City. It's souvenir sweater #1. I worked on the red Sitcom Chic sweater on the way home to San Diego. Am finishing up the yoke.

The middy collar and button bands are 2 layers and I learned how make bound buttonholes. Maybe my taupe yarn will become one of these too.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I'm so bad

Forget the impossibly long Knitting Goals and everything else that's going on. As I'm finishing up my black sweater, I note is having free shipping until the 16th. They have the Patons Classic Merino Wool Yarn on sale for $4.99 instead of the usual $5.99. AND if you buy 8 skeins or more, you get 10% off. The dark natural mix will go perfectly with the buttons I picked up a few weeks ago. I like the basic style of the black sweater so much, I'll probably make it again in the taupe. It was a SIGN. So I ordered it.... There's a small corner in my yarn stash closet. 9 skeins don't take up that much room.

I worked the polls this past Tuesday for the 1st time. What a long day! Though we were not overwhelmed, there was a pretty steady stream of voters. Hardly got any knitting done - maybe 2 inches on a sock cuff. I wore my blue Sitcom Chic cardigan and since I was near a door, kept in on all day. One of the voters actually complimented me on the sweater! Oh, my head just swelled. Doesn't take much to make my day.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I'm going to become a Mother-in-law!

That's my daughter and her FIANCE. He popped the question last night. So far, they are just excited about the entire thing. We are all so happy.

But they are talking this April or May. Whew! I don't even want to think of the details. Neither do they. At least not today.

My diet already started.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Aren't they cute?

My leftovers socks are done. Toe-up with short row heels. [Got to practice those more. A pain on the unwrap/pick up portion, but they look so good]

They are pretty much the same except where I couldn't match the colorway about mid cuff. The Opal Magic has a long repeat and I was getting to the end. I'm so cheap, I didn't want to waste any of it. There was much weaving in of the ends. To join, I just knit the old and new yarns together for 2 or 3 stitches. Seems secure, but just to be safe, I'll handwash these.

Monday, October 31, 2005

I got to see Steph of the Desert!

As it turned out she and Bobbi came over for a Sunday knitting visit in my backyard. Heather also came by and she brought along the swift and ball winder she'd just gotten from Gary, then decided not to keep. Lucky me. When Gary had posted about selling a few things, Heather beat me to them, but now they're MINE!!!!

Steph came down to San Diego, courtesy of her DH who took care of the kidlings so she could have a weekend to herself. So, there was knitting.

Meanwhile, Heather's been kidding me that I make 'boring' things in basic, neutral colors. I'm still in the useful phase and can't see doing weird stuff without it having some practical use. She especially noted all my beiges.

That got me to thinking about leftover sock bits, so I started a toe up pair to use them up. Lots of fun and they are turning out way nicer than I expected. Most of the color interest is provided by some Opal Magic. So far, in addition to the Opal, there's Kroy, Regia, and Knitpicks Essential in the mix. As I run out, I don't think I'll be able to continue matching, but they'll still be cute and practically 'free.'

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Cable Socks Pattern

I've been surprised by how many folks have asked me for the pattern for the cabled socks in worsted weight yarn. I don't mind sending to individuals via a Word attachment, but I did upload it at a blog entry. It follows the photo in the Sep 10th entry. Enjoy. If you have any questions, give me a holler.

Inventory Day

What's almost as much fun as actual knitting? Why fondling the yarn, of course!

Yesterday my Knitpicks yarn order arrived - One skein of the Dye Your Own fingering weight merino and 14 skeins of the Essential. These are solid color sock yarns.

As I stuff my new acquisitions into my yarn dungeon, aka the closet under the stairs, I figure I better take stock of what I have because I suspect the situation is getting out of hand.

Sock yarns are so easy to accumulate. A skein or 2 here and there won't break the bank. During the past 3 years, I've made a total of 42 pairs of socks. Hmm... I've got yarn for 60 pairs in the closet. Then I have 16 orphan 50 gr skeins in solid colors I bought to use with the various left overs. That adds up to at least a 4 year supply of sock yarns....

I'm not as bad with other yarns. At least I wasn't until this summer's Cotton Ease frenzy when I acquired 110 skeins. So far, I've only knitted up 25 skeins. Okay, by knitter's math, I've got a 3 year supply of Cotton Ease. My excuse is it's been discontinued and you just never know...

The 26 skeins of WoolEase for the Great American Aran Afghan = 3 years worth.

Yarn for the projects I plan to work on [and finish!!!] during the next 12 months don't count.

For the rest, just let's call it 4 boxes of miscelleaneous stuff, some will probably never made up because they found their way into the closet during delusional episodes. Don't laugh, we all have yarns that scream, "What was I thinking?"

I had bits of paper with inventory notes, so I had a good time logging them all in my Workshop notebook. It also gave my hands a much needed knitting break. I'd been at it too long, but the gift socks are DONE.

Monday, October 24, 2005


I got the black metal buttons in Kansas City, MO. They will adorn the plain black sweater I'm working on. I started the collar last night. Once the 2nd taupe sock is done, I'll work to finish it up. Still have sleeves and bound buttonholes to go.

I found the leaf buttons while checking out the 50% off sale at JoAnn's this weekend. They are so pretty. The thing is I don't have anything to put them on. As I glance over at my prominently displayed 10 Knitting Goals for the year, then look in the closet where my WIPs and UFOs await my attention, I'm thinking of making a cardigan to go with the buttons. I've even picked out the color, Paton's Classic Wool, Dark Natural Mix. A classic style with some texture, maybe cables... but nothing to overwhelm the buttons.

Obsessed by footwear

I consider these as souvenirs from my Mall of America trip even though I just got them from Amazon. While trolling the mile long levels of the MOA, I found these in one of the book stores. I'd heard the buzz about Bush's book, but I have so many..... spent about a half hour in the store drooling over it, so I HAD to have one of my very own.

The page a day calendar is pure indulgence. I've got a real thing about footwear. Shoes were my first enduring love and while I'm still devoted to them, I have branched out into handknit socks. But I tell my sweeties [I'm up 3 pairs this month] the socks are just to complement them. The same day I got my slippers, I got my 36th pair of Birks. I'd been at the Navy Exchange where they were sitting forlorn in the sale area. Black leather Bostons [the closed toe clog] retail for $110. These were $69, the last pair, AND my size. They had to come home with me to join my other Boston clogs [suede in navy, green, purple, brown; black in nubuck] I tell you, I am POSSESSED. I've got to make some socks with designs on the heels. I bought the Walking Away patterns, so I just need to get to it!

Sock monster

Another ongoing workshop project has been the ever growing Sock monster, my sampler of various heels. There are at least 3 more to be added - Lucy Neatby's garter stitch short row is next, then the common heel and Strong heel.

Since the sample is worked on 64 stitches - my usual CO for my socks, I can try each heel out. Working it all out on the same yarn [Knitpicks undyed Dye your own] helps me do a true comparison. I label each heel as soon as I'm done. If not, I'd be wracking my brains trying to sort them out.

Quietly knitting away

I realized it has been almost a week since I posted. It seems not much has been happening. With all the new Tee Vee shows and returning old favorites, I've been doing a lot of knitting while watching the tube. I've mostly been working on the 2 pair of socks for deployed soldiers I committed myself to. I'm currently on the second sock of this pair, which looks remarkably like the Navy blue pair I finished last week.

Even though I had more Navy blue in my stash, I went out to my LYS and bought this overpriced Kroy in taupe. My eyeballs were about to fall out from working with the dark yarn. The Navy was the Knitpicks Essentials my workshop instructor gave me. She should get a commission from Knitpicks since I went and ordered 14 skeins of the stuff - but NOT in Navy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

San Diego weather

OMG!!! It rained in San Diego. The rainy season has arrived!!

I got to wear some of the socks I've made over the summer and even the sweaters. I am so happy.

Meanwhile, my old slippers are dead. I've been eyeballling some Ugg scuffs. Last year I tried to buy some, but couldn't find my size. Now that the stores have all the slippers in preparation for the holidays, I went out in the rain to get me some.

My toes are in heaven. These babies are absolutely the best thing.

After and Before

The trees in our front yard are melalucca, a type of eucalyptus, aka weeds with shallow roots. We got the tree trimmers to come before the San Diego rainy season. The trimmers came on Monday morning at the stoke of 7 am. By 7:45 am, the crew of 7 and their equipment were gone, as were the trees. It only cost $1,060.

You see that white car? It's other name is the BOILER. The day before we went on vacation, DH noticed the heat came on - HIGH. No matter what buttons were pushed, you got HEAT. It's got over 100K miles, so DH doesn't want to spend any $$$ on it.

You see the VW? My DD gets a 'check engine light' while we are on vacation. She drives the boiler to school and work 'cause she has no time to take her own car to the shop. Poor baby.... she can't wear sandals driving the boiler car, her little toes are crispy critters. Did I mention the AC died on the 'boiler' last year. DH refused to pay the $1,200 tab to fix it, along with the lock on the passenger side door. But it still runs and we are paying for the kid's tuition at a PRIVATE university! So the kid wears closed shoes and has the windows open...

The day we get back, the kid kicks off her shoes as soon as she gets home. The parents run for cover. The stench from those pretty piggies is unbearable. The dad takes her car to the dealer. OUTSTANDING!!! The problem is covered by warantee, so it's FREE. The kid is happy.

Next then is DH's car. The shop has had it for 2 days and can't figure out what's wrong. DH won't spend much $$ on it. It seems we have a mechanic who is determined to figure out this puzzle. It's been 2 days of testing. They swear the initial estimate of $80 is good. They can't duplicate the problem. DH figures they jiggled something to make the heat turn off. We are happy. Maybe it will last a few more months....

Sunday, October 16, 2005

PT Cruisering

I thought I had taken more pix of the car visiting places in the US, but I could only find these three. I figured since it's the second 4,000 mile plus this car has been on, it should be documented, especially since DH is seriously thinking of replacing his 100K mileage 1995 vintage car. For future road trips, we'll take his bigger, newer car. He prefers something a bit more substantial than the PT Cruiser for his 6' 3" frame and golf clubs. That said, this car was plenty comfy and roomy. Worked well for knitting, too.

The first pix is at Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah, the 2nd in Kansas City, Missouri, and the last in Arches National Park, Utah.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Home at last

After 16 days on the road, traveling over 4800 miles, these are my primary souvenirs. The black cardigan, done on the way east is ready for seaming at shoulders and sides so I can pick up the stitches for the sleeves to be worked down to the wrist in the round. This is in Knitpicks Wool of the Andes. I keep track of rows with snippets of yarn. The interest in this plain black sweater will be in the bands done with a facing, the bound buttonholes and the double knitted middy collar. Those are next after the sleeves. Charlie, my workshop instructor will be holding my hand as I learn how to do the buttonholes. I got some really cute buttons in Kansas City, Missouri to remind me of my trip.

The red Cotton Ease cardigan is my favorite, the Sitcom Chic. I did the sleeves full length and made the body of the sweater a bit longer too. I've just attached the sleeves, but will put it aside to work on the socks I promised to make in support of the Army squad our workshop adopted for Xmas. I signed up for 2 pair by Thanksgiving and only have one sock done. Three more to go before I have fun. The red sweater is for my own holiday wearing. Got a candy cane swirl button which I'll change after the holidays.

Oh, BTW, we had a wonderful time on our road trip. We went up to Minnesota's Mall of America via the Rocky Mountains, then down to Kansas City, Denver and Santa Fe. On the way east, we went through National Parks. Westward, we sort of followed the Santa Fe trail from beginning to end. Our last day on the road was a stop in Laughlin, NV. Alas, the slots didn't come through, so we'll have to pay our own bills when they come in next month. My neighbor recently got back from a vacation and his wife won enough to pay for the whole trip. I'd hoped I'd at least win some yarn money, but it was not to be. Will have to be satisfied with great memories and hundreds of photos.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

If it's Saturday....

We're in Denver making our way back to California. Got in yesterday from Kansas City. We'll be going on a morning city tour to get oriented. Hope to make the history museum this afternoon. Our hotel is right downtown, so we won't be in the car for 2 whole days.

Rocky Mountain high

Bob got me to laugh at 11,000 feet even though I was pale and dizzy. We didn't get that many pix. No way to capture the vastness.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I am totally shopped out! Two full days of trying to check out all the stores in the Mall of America. My feet and eyeballs hurt. My credit card is sore...

No yarn, but I did get to get a good look at Nancy Bush's Vintage Socks. Yet another book I absolutely must have. Biggest purchase was 2 bottles of my perfume, DKNY. It's been discontinued for a few years and I was thrilled to find it. I am about to start the last bottle I had. I'm not much of a perfume person, so when I found one I really liked, it was logical it would stop being made soon thereafter.

Got tops, souvenir tee shirt, shoes and lots of good things to eat.

I'm about 3 inches into the 2nd front of my black sweater.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Here I am at the Balancing Rock in Arches National Park, Utah. That was Friday. Yesterday, Saturday, we drove into Colorado and Rocky Mountains National Park. That's mostly a drive through. The hiking trails were mostly 5 or miles long at altitudes over 10,000 feet. Our excuse was that we'd driven over 300 miles to get there and didn't have the time.

The winding road through the park had me gripping on to my seat. It's a wonder I didn't break through the car floor while I was 'braking' as Bob drove. Hairpin turns at 15 miles an hour at 11,000 feet with no guard rails made me crazy. When we got out at the highest visitor's center, Alpine, I got altitude sick - so dizzy, I could barely stand. I felt badly 'cause I couldn't enjoy it after traveling so far out of our way to see it. I haven't uploaded those pix yet.

Today we crossed Nebraska. No pix. Many said it was boring driving, but after yesterday, the straight, empty freeway with 75 mph speed limit was wonderful! Besides, I got a lot of knitting done. Am almost done with the first front on my black sweater. I only brought enough yarn for the back and 2 fronts, so I'll probably make some good inroads into my red Sitcom Chic cardigan too. So far, I haven't driven at all..... :}

Friday, September 30, 2005

On the road, knitting

Forgot to post before we left on vacation, but was happily surprised to find our hotel in Green River, Utah has a free wireless connection. This may be a small town, but the Comfort Inn has a hot tub, internets, lots of teevee channels and Ray's Tavern with great microbrews and outstanding steaks!

We are on our way to the Mall of America in Minnesota by way of national parks. We went to Cedar Breaks yesterday and the Arches today. Tomorrow is Rocky Mountain National Park. It will be my 1st time in Colorado.

I'm working on a solid black cardigan that's all stockinette. The front bands and collar will be double knitted. It's a perfect road project. I've got sunlight for working with the black yarn and I don't have to look at my hands to do stockinette, so I'm sightseeing and chatting with my DH. Since Wednesday I've done just about the entire back of the sweater. Hope to cast on the front tonight.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

One down, 23 to go

My 1st GAAA block is done. This is the Levy block, noted as one of the 5 'easiest.' I've done cables before, but not so many concentrated in one area. These were my 1st bobbles.

I was thinking of trying one not indicated as easiest or challenging [which is like the doctor telling you during labor you might feel some discomfort!]. I started reading through some of the stitch machinations such as the Dec 4, and my brain froze. It will be best to just tackle it one row at a time.

We hit the road next week, so the afghan project will be put aside while I work on the mostly st st workshop cardigan and the Sitcom Chic cardigan in red. Nothing mind boggling for car knitting. I think I'll bring along a basic sock, too. Don't want to run out of knitting. Imagine sitting in the car for 4 and 5 hours at a time without a project in hand?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Ugg bootie revisited

Looking at Crazy Aunt Purl's blog and her problem with the Ugg bootie pattern reminded me these were also on my To Do list. I had worked a sample through using some machine washable acrylics last winter. After the 3rd try, I got something I liked then put it all aside since I had no babies to knit for. In the meantime, I snagged some suede Berroco on a good sale, put all the fixin's into a big baggie and stored it with my stash in the cave under the hall stairs.

I took out my annotated pattern and couldn't understand my own notes.... So I did it all over and now hope I can duplicate it for the second bootie.

The thing is just too cute. Too bad if it's a hand wash only item. These are for the 'ooooh' factor, not practicality.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

I'm crazy - and in love

I just got the book, The Great American Aran Afghan, a compilation of all the original articles from Knitter's magazine a few years ago. The blocks are a result of a contest, sort of like my 1st sock book, Socks, Socks, Socks. It includes instructions for 24 12" x 12" squares to make an afghan and pillows. Since my 'other' love is 6'3", rather than use 20 squares for the afghan and 4 for accent pillows, I plan to add another row of squares to make it longer. 4 feet wide and 6 feet long, plus border.... I am NOT crazy!!!

The pattern called for 20 skeins of Plymouth Encore, a 75% acrylic, 25% wool blend with 200 yards per skein. I was thinking 100% wool, but figured it was going to be a monster sized blankie and utter madness to hand wash. I lucked out at my 2 local JoAnn's. Between them, I got 22 skeins of Wool-Ease, all the same dyelot, 197 yards per skein in the off white Fisherman color.

I've done about 1 1/2 inches of one of the 5 blocks labeled 'easiest'. I added this to my Knitting Goals for this lifetime. Even though I've balled up my skeins of lace weight alpaca for a lace shawl, that project will have to slide to NEXT school year, or maybe the year after that...

I have to stop falling in love with new projects and remain 'true' to the ones I've started.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bargain High

This is not directly about knitting.....

We leave for our 2+ week road trip in less than 2 weeks. I haven't lost the weight I needed to so I could wear most of my clothes. I go down to the mall - Plaza Bonita is within walking distance. I had good luck this summer at New York and Company, so I try there first.

Lots of sales, 50% off racks AND an extra 15% military discount. I got 6 pairs of pants, SIX! for a grand total of $82.64. I was so excited I thought I was going to bust a gut when I got home. I was so glad my husband was here 'cause I had to tell SOMEBODY.

It is somewhat knitting related in that I was seriously considering breaking out the sewing machines to make some comfy drawstring pants, at least to wear in the car, but my heart wasn't in it. I do not enjoy having to make larger clothes. It makes me dwell on all the pretties I have in smaller sizes. I couldn't make the clothes I bought for that price. So now I don't have to take time away from my knitting to sew. And when I do get back down to the smaller sizes, my big girl clothes were not that expensive to begin with.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The sock monster thing

Here's my Workshop 'homework.' So far, only 3 heels done. I'll probably have another 6 by the time I'm done.

My 'thing' is neat. I can try it on to see how the different heels fit me. Working on 64 stitches. The 1st one - from the right - is the regular ol' top down round heel. Instead of the sl 1, k 1 heel stitch, this one was done with st st and a garter stitch border. The 2nd one in the Dutch or band heel, again with a garter stitch border.

The 3rd heel is a toe up heel with flap from Schurch's Sensational Socks. Next will be the toe up heel flap "You're Putting Me On" by Judy Gibson. It will help to have a side by side comparison.

Doing the heels on a continuous tube allows me to work either toe up or down styles.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

I hate spam

I've added a verification step in order to post a comment to my blog items. Sorry for the inconvenience, but instead of comments from real people, lately 3 out of 4 have been sales 'opportunites.' I deleted those pesky comments so no one else has to see them. I hope this extra step eliminates them in the future.

The mailman is my buddy

Fridays may be a lot of folks' favorite day due to the impending weekend, but for me it's because it means knitting workshop fun. Not only that, look what the mailman brought me all the way from Amazon land!

Oh boy, my brain goes in overdrive thinking of all the cool things to make. There's a coat in Epstein's book to die for. Then I lean a little to the right and take a peek at the white board by my computer monitor where I have listed my knitting goals. 8 great projects I already have the yarn for. I take a deep breath and dream instead.

Redid the toes on hubby's socks and now they not only 'feel good' but also fit.

On a less frustrating note, I finished up these cabled socks done up in Lion Brand Fisherman wool left over from a sweater project.

This cabled pattern, courtesy of my workshop instructor Charlie, is now my 'basic' sock when it comes to leftover WW yarns. A bit thick, but perfect for clogs and other Birkenstocks.

WW sock pattern

I've received a number of requests for this pattern. I don't know the original source. My workshop instructor gave it to me and it's been modified numerous times. I retyped it and added my own notes in parenthesis. The instructor said I could share it.


Materials: 4 oz of worsted weight yarn, #5 and #7 double pointed needles

Gauge: 6 sts = 1 inch, 7 rnds = 1 inch

Using #7 needles, cast on 48 sts (16 on each of 3 needles). Join, being careful not to twist sts. Change to #5 needles and K1, P1 in ribbing for 1 ½ inches [10 rows], inc 1 st at end of last round—49 sts

Cable pattern:
Rnd 1: *P1, K1, P1, K4, repeat from * to end of rnd
Rnds 2, 3, 4, 5: same as Rnd 1
Rnd 6: *P1, K1, P1, sl next 2 sts on cable needle, hold in front of work, K next 2 sts, K2 from cable needle, repeat from * to end of rnd.

Continue in cable pattern until cuff is desired length [8 or 9 repeats, plus 1st rnd]

Work first 14 sts, sl the last 11 sts from 3rd needle onto end of same needle—these 25 sts are for heel. Put remaining 24 sts on other dp needles for instep. On 25 heel sts, P one row, decreasing 3 sts across row [P5, P2tog, P5, P2tog, P5, P2tog, P4] — 22 sts

HEEL Flap: Row 1: sl1, K1 across row, turn. Row 2: sl1, P across row. Repeat these two rows until you have 28 total rows [the dec purl row and 27 in the heel stitch pattern] ending with Row 1.

TURN HEEL: P 13, P2tog, P1, turn; sl1, K5, ssk, K1, turn; sl1, P6, P2tog, P1, turn; sl1, K7, ssk, K1, turn; sl1, P8, P2tog, P1, turn. Continue in this manner, working 1 st more each time, until all sts have been worked, ending with a K row—14 sts on needle.

GUSSET: Pick up and K15 [14 plus 1 in corner to avoid hole] along side of heel flap, on 2nd needle work cable pattern beginning with Row 2, on 3rd needle, pick up and K15 [1 in corner and 14], knit 7 from heel. There are 22 sts on needles one and three, 24 in cable pattern on needle two. Beginning of round is in middle of heel.

SHAPE GUSSET: Rnd 1: on needle one, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1, on needle two, work cable pattern, on needle three, K1, ssk, K to end of needle. Rnd 2, K all sts on 1st and 3rd needles. Continue these two rnds until 1st and 3rd needles each have 11 sts remaining.

FOOT: continue working sock even until foot measures 3 in less than desired length. [15 or 16 total cable repeats, plus rnd 1]. K 5 more rnds in plain stockinette st, arrange sts so you have 23 for each half of the toe.

SHAPE TOE: Rnd 1: K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1 on 1st needle, K 1, ssk, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1 on 2nd needle, K1, ssk, K to end. Rnd 2: K. Repeat these 2 rnds until there are 7 sts on 1st needle, 13 sts on 2nd needle, and 6 sts on 3rd needle. Work Rnd 1 only [decreasing every rnd] until you have 2 sts on 1st needle, 5 sts on 2nd, 3 on 3rd. Weave these 10 sts.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Not REALLY done

I thought I was done with these tweed socks for my husband. He tried them on several times before I finished them up, especially before tucking in the loose ends after weaving the toe. Each time he says, "Feels good."

So I get him to put them on to model them. Still 'feels good' and look good too. I say, "Honey, give me a side view." After a few cracks from him that it's not his best side, he turns the foot.

THE DAMN THINGS DON'T FIT. That heel is working its way down under his foot and he's had them on for 5 seconds.

So last night under my OTT lamp and with the magnifying glasses clipped on to my reading glasses, I pick out the toes, rip them back, add another inch to the foot and will redo the toe. After all my care not to have any breaks in the yarn, there's going to be one anyway. I think an inch will do it and that's good 'cause those 2 little balls are all I have left of this yarn.

BTW, the snippets of light yarn are how I count rows. I mark every 10 rows to quickly see where I'm at. I tried just measuring to get both socks the same and it doesn't work for me.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Oh joy! My knitting workshop has started up again. It was great to see so many familiar, dear faces and to meet new class members. This semester we are working on different sock heels, a bit at a time, as there are some who have not done socks before. It's going to be a funny looking project, so if you see me, don't laugh. It starts with a bit of cuff type ribbing, a few rows of stockinette, then the first heel. Once that's done, go for an inch or so in stst, then bam! the next heel.

Charlie asked us not to sprint ahead, so I've dutifully done my 'homework' and am ready for the first heel next Friday.

We are also doing a plain cardigan with double knitted button band, bound buttonholes and a double knitted middy style collar. Homework was to bring in a swatch and a comfy sweater we like the fit of, so she could figure out our individualized patterns. I'll be using Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in black for this basic wardrobe item.

Meanwhile, I'm working on some socks in progress. In class I used the swift and ball winder on some of my summer purchases. Thinking of my stash and few UFOs, I made up a list of Knitting goals for the 2005 - 2006 school year.

1. Workshop Cardigan
2. Workshop Sock Sampler
3. Red Cotton Ease cardigan - in time for Holiday wearing
4. Black Cotton Ease tank top with several pattern adjustments I want to play with
5. "Clock Vest" from Folk Vests in Charcoal Cascade 220 Tweed
6. Shetland style lace shawl from the laceweight alpaca I bought from KnitPicks
7. A charted Rowan pullover I'm working in the round and have about 10 inches done
8. Ugg booties for cousin who's expecting

And of course there will always be a pair or 2 of socks in the works. The thing is, I already have the yarn - and then some - for all of the projects listed.....

Monday, August 29, 2005

I'm Done!

It's been so hot here in San Diego for the past few days. Sorry, it seems as if we brought the Las Vegas weather with us...

I've been working on the Sitcom Chic Cardigan for my mom's Christmas present, keeping very still with a fan pointed straight at me. Finishing it up this morning with the ribbon binding and button, I had to have it on my lap. Luckily, there was some cloud cover so it hadn't heated up yet. We live relatively near the coast, so we don't have AC.

The sweater is all done and folded neatly in a sweater bag with a photo of the cardigan from the pattern as well as a Cotton Ease label with washing directions. What a relief! My knitting workshop starts Friday and it feels good to have a relatively clean slate before I get tempted with the optional class projects.

I thought of doing another Shapely Tank, this time in a smaller size, but right now am revelling in the freedom of no self - imposed deadlines.

With all the devastation on the TeeVee from Hurricane Katrina, I'm thinking if I only could bring a suitcase of 'stuff' with me to a shelter, I'd take my external hard drive which has a back up copy of all my photos. Rather than start another knitting project, I'm going back to a scanning project I lost interest in over a year ago. I've already selected the slides I want to digitize and have several hundred still left to scan. I also went through my hard copy photo albums and marked the pages with my favorites. Got to scan them too.

Everything else is just stuff. I need to have hard copies of my memories...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Socks in progress. Fortissima Cotton Socka. Yummy, yummy yarn. These are for DH in the plain style he prefers. Am looking at doing a short row heel instead of my usual heel flap and gusset.

Chain Saw madness

It's finally cooled off here in San Diego. I took out the electric chain saw I bought over a month ago to attack the large branches of oleanders on the hill. I ran out of umph before I was done. You can see the tuft of green on the furthest bush. That limb is history once I get the greenery off the 2nd one, so I can do the rest of my chainsawing at the same time. Since I haven't been able to kill the bushes, I'm hoping to get them to be the same size. They are such water hogs, so while they are cropped, the rest of my hill can get some water. I'm also going to plant more ground cover.

The result? I'm sore and my hands ache. Took some motrin and doing a few rows here and there on a pair of socks.