Friday, April 27, 2007

happy birthday to me

Its my birthday and my April Rockin' Sock Club kit arrived to help me celebrate!







If your kit has not arrived then whatever you do, do NOT scroll down. There is a picture, a big one.













The yarn is soft and lovely. The colors are perfect. It will spend the weekend on my desk, basking in the sun and being stroked from time to time. mmmmm

At the moment I have 2, count em', 2 socks on needles. One is the design I am working on. Last night I needed to knit but did not want to pay attention to what I was doing and write things down. So I grabbed some Cherry Hill Tree from my itty bitty stash basket, and the Rock n Weave pattern and relaxed.

The Rock N Weave that I made from last year's kit were given away. Actually every sock from last year's club was given away. The only thing I kept were the cute little key chains. I began every project thinking how much I was going to enjoy wearing these socks. But soon after I began, the yarn would tell me that it would be much happier at _____'s house. When the yarn talks, I listen.

My birthday will include a phone call to Blue Moon where I will order this and this and this and maybe I can talk them out of one of those clear plastic bags on their home page?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

anticipation

International members have begun receiving the April Rockin' Socks Club kit. Someone from Germany has great pics on her blog. Yes I looked. I know many people are upset about the whole spoilage thing. Not me. Seeing yarn on the computer and then holding it are very different experiences. After viewing pictures I am even more anxious for my kit to arrive. With any luck it will be in time for my birthday, Friday.

I finished painting the wall yesterday. No pictures are currently available. This wall is not so much a wall as windows with trim. Whole thing, more square feet of window than I can measure becasue I do not have a ladder that reaches that high. So yesterday when I tried to take pictures they were just a big blob of darkness. I tried again this morning while it is dark. No good. I will try one last time after the sun is up, but before it peeks over the trees. There is certainly a way to take a pitcure in bright light, but anything other than AUTO requires that I actually read the manual for the camera. Please.

Monday, April 23, 2007

is it feeding time?

When it comes to yarn and yardage requirements I have learned my lesson. No more will I run panicked and wild eyed into the night searching for one more ball of dye lot ____.

It appears I have not done a good job of transferring this knowledge to paint. After a weekend of painting the can ran dry, with about 2 1/2 square feet needing that 3rd coat. It is the equivalent of running out of yarn with 1/2 of a sleeve left to knit. Damn.

Home Depot is on the top of the list this morning. With any luck I will be finished by lunch and able to clean up the paint mess so that the living room can be reclaimed. Maybe I will take a picture.

Until the blinds arrive the whole world drives by and looks into the house to see what we are up to. It has been 4 days since the curtains came down. Even the gorillas at the zoo get more off exhibit time than we do.

Knitting...

I am working on a design of my own. Yeah! It has been awhile. Progressed on the Oldest Daughter's shawl while she was at camp. Found this! Oh baby, this is definitely going on my coming soon list.

Friday, April 20, 2007

next!

Bordello done



Super easy pattern. The Sea Wool is a joy to work with and I will use it again. Maybe for a wrap? If your LYS does not carry it you can find it here. I have not ordered from Little Knits, but they have my attention. Another online shop that carries Fleece Artsit is Loopy Ewe. I really like Loopy Ewe. They are out of the Sea Wool right now but promise to have more in any day now.

I need to finish Oldest Daughters shawl before I start another non-sock project. It is hard to see in the picture, but it is a simple triangle with a picot edge and beads. Very teenage girl.



It does not need to be done until September, but I can not handle the UFO sitting in the corner. Yes, I only have one.


It is time to purchase yarn for my next non-sock project. I have decided on the Faux Russian Stole from Gathering Lace.



The pattern calls for Jamison & Smith jumper weight yarn. I am thinking about using a solid color from Louet, either Pewter or Crabapple. Or my new love Sea Wool in Rainforest. Or a yarn I have not tried SeaCoast in Kelp.

Suggestions?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

just say no

Tan asked how I am decreasing my stress level. Pharmaceuticals are not involved.

I am a volunteer. This time last year I was putting in 20 hours a week, easy, at 4 different jobs. Now I am not the kind of person with 20 extra hours a week just laying around. I am also not the kind of person who says yes to things because they can not say no. I only say yes to things I really want to do. But 20 hours a week? It was a snowball from hell.

Last fall I let people know that as things came to an end I would not be continuing. As of the first Monday in June I will be down to one job. Knowing I am a few short weeks away from freedom has changed my whole outlook. The one job I am keeping? Day Camp Director. I LOVE day camp, and while it is a lot of work, the work is not a constant daily grind.

I did not finish the Bordello socks yesterday. We had a bit of sunshine in the afternoon and I got outside to pull weeds and plant some deck pots. Boy are the backs of my legs sore this morning. I did not get out in the yard one single time last year. (See workload above.) Now the porch planters are all trimmed, weeded and sporting some new flowers. I also yanked all the weeds out of the cracks on the stairs leading up to the front porch. Also replaced weeds with flowers along the side of the stairs. Just that little bit makes the walk up to the front door so much nicer.

Because our house color is a bit, um, atypical, it draws a lot of attention. When the yard is neglected it screams pothead. When everything is tidy is says artist.

More tea or a nap? The eternal question.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

zzzzzzz

I am trying not to go back to sleep. Most days Husband gets on the bus a few blocks from our house, at an almost reasonable 6AM. Sometimes I get up when he leaves, sometimes not. When he is busy and has deadlines looming he needs to take the 4:45 bus which is a few miles to the east. That means I am up and driving at 4:30AM. When I get home I am awake. I have breakfast, read the paper, check mail, knit, listen to the birds waking up, its all good. But at about 7:30 I am ready to go back to sleep. 7:30 is not a good time to be going to sleep, it is almost time for the rest of the house to be up. So I make more tea and hope my body adjusts sooner rather than later. Husband tells me it will be ugly until the middle of May.


The heel flap has just been started on the second Bordello. I should mention that I have been working very hard at knitting loose. Even with my new found looseness I needed to alter the pattern. 60 stitches was too tight while trying the sock on over my heel and instep. I increased to 68 stitches. How? The pattern has a number of straight stitches in between increases and decreases. There are 8 of these sections. I added one extra stitch per section. They are perfect.

My stress level reached its peak a couple of weeks ago and I am now on the downside. 6 more weeks and I am home free! I am actually looking forward to playing in the yard this summer. Something I was not able to do at all last year, I was just too busy.

I am feeling so optimistic that I may decide to plan a party for the end of May. I love parties!

Monday, April 16, 2007

sunday is wool day

Sunday is wool washing day around here. Most weeks it dries in the laundry room while hanging from its toes. Sometimes it gets to come outside for a breath of fresh air.



I just love looking outside and seeing lots of socks all lined up.

Makes me want to make more.

Here is the first finished Sea Wool sock. I used the Bordello pattern from the band. Quick to knit up. Oh so lovely to work with. The colors are subtle and gorgeous. The feel is soft and luxurious. I think this is the stuff I will use for the Grandmas Hanukkah socks this year.

Friday, April 13, 2007

cockamamie

When I made the choice not to attend Sock Camp it was easy. This was too much money to spend. Now I am not so sure. They are having so much fun. Check out tapmouse and Stephanie. Those chickens! It is all I can do to keep myself from jumping on a ferry and crashing the party.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

i really am a knitter

A couple of post past I made a comment about not being a real knitter because I do not have a stash. Well, I take it all back. Last night I was surfing the blogs and realized that I could spot a Jaywalker at 100 paces. Same for Cookie A's designs or a Koigu or STR colorway. There is no way a non-knitter could do such a thing. I am a Knitter, capital K.

Here is the first Dashing. The second is almost done. It should be finished by the end of the day.

If I were to make them again I would make the arm shorter and use smaller needles. They will be perfect for keeping score at Oldest Son's baseball games.

This weekend I will cast on Sea Wool. Yum!

I would also like to get another wrap on needles. I have 2 wraps, one cashmere, one raw silk and they are used quite a bit. They are the perfect thing to bring out onto the deck. I would like to have a few more so that I can offer them to guests. There is a Faux Russian Stole in A Gathering of Lace that I really like. Any other suggestions out there? Something warm and pretty?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

be still my heart

The yarn store trip was good. First up is this



It is Berroco Alpaca. 50% Alpaca 50% wool. A silver grey with heathers of violet. It will become Dashing. At only $9.00 for the skein I could have gotten out of there with a project and change for a ten. But no....Then there is this





Mountain Colors. I have no idea what this will become. First time in my life I have ever bought a skein of yarn without a plan. This baby was a bit more expensive at $22.00 for 350 yards. Still a light yarn store purchase. And then there was this....



Oh my. It was hard to breath while looking at all of the glorious colors. The blogs are full of Fleece Artist goodness, but I had not seen it in person. It is worth every penny of the $27.00. 70% merino and 30% seacell. It is soft as butter, has a glorious sheen and makes me weak in the knees.



There is even a sock pattern on the ball band. What more could you ask for?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

dashing

OK, time to pick the next project. I have ripped out more socks than I care mention over the past month and think that something else may be in order. Something small and fairly simple that does not use sock yarn. Dashing.

There is only one small obstacle in this plan. I do not have the yarn. Now I am aware that some of you may have more stash than you can talk about in polite company. That is not me. I have a small basket of sock yarn for maybe 1/2 dozen projects and that is it. I know, I know, how can I call myself a knitter?

Breakfast, another coat of paint on the bookcases and then it is off to the yarn store.

Monday, April 9, 2007

tighter than a lug nut



I seem to be doing just as much ripping out as knitting. My gauge has changed. Yarn I have used before is knitting up small. Last night I had to rip out Husband's socks. I have used the same yarn, same pattern, same size needles to make this pair before. Now, too tight. Could it be stress? That is the best guess right now. It makes me worried to cast on anything new. While I do not mind frogging, this is the third sock I have had to take out and I am getting a bit tired of spinning my wheels.
Then this arrived from Tan. MMMM Behold its lovely Lime and Purpleness. This stuff is gorgeous and I want to wind it and get started right now. Husband is still waiting patiently for his new socks. I keep having him try on socks only to have him watch me rip it out. This is not his color. Maybe I will let this skein live on my desk and pat it from time to time to remind me to loosen up.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

delightful

A really great Passover Sedar. Worth every minute of research and doubt and worry. It just now occurred to me that I did not take a single picture. I guess I am not yet a real blogger.

Mousie smells more than ever. I had a very helpful comment from the last post. She had a similar situation and the smell lasted only a number of days. A week or so I can handle. I had a spicy water mixture simmering on the stove all day and it did a great job of masking the odor. It should be warm enough to keep the doors open tomorrow. I really do not want to start poking holes in the wall trying to find it. I will take it one day at a time.

Tomorrow morning I will head over to the Tree of Life Purim and Passover sale. I would like to pick up some more music and another sedar plate or two. It would be nice to have them spread out along the tables.

A really great night.

do you smell something?

Yesterday I took the time to knit a bit. This is the Retro Rib Sock from Favorite Socks. It is the 3rd pair I have knit with this pattern. The pattern is easy enough for baseball knitting and looks great. This particular pair is for Husband, to replace his old pair that is about to bust through the foot.



Louet Gems yarn, size 1 Knit Pick DP's.


The needles are new. I have not bought yarn from Knit Picks is quite some time. I know some people swear by them, but I have not been impressed. I did however want to give the Options Needles a try. I bought 3 sizes of tips and a couple of lengths. They have not yet been out of the package to play. The metal DP's are very different from my regular Crystal Palace Bamboo. Right off they are heavy. They are also pointy, which I really like, and because they are so smooth they make me knit slower and more loosely. Slow and loose is what is needed at this point in time.


Tan, blogger extraordinaire and peach of a gal, has some good Pomatomus tips on a recent post. If this sock is on your to do list ( isn't it on everyone's?) be sure to check it out.

Mousie update:

I think it died in the wall, in the kitchen, right next to my desk. The smell is not too bad, but it is noticeable when you are in that half of the room. Did I mention that I have 12 people coming for dinner this evening? If the smells from the oven do not mask the odor then some strategically placed candles will be in in order. Damn cat.

Monday, April 2, 2007

a little stress is not a good thing

OK, so maybe it is more than a little stress. Last night I was lying in bed, trying hard to sleep. I knew I had to get up early and get some work done. My heart was beating so hard and my breath was not at all relaxed. How did this happen?


Oldest daughter began a new quarter at college today. This afternoon we get a call to tell us her Anthropology class has been cancelled. Excuse me? You could not have called last week? This should be easy, just pick another class. Only she is officially a High School student, so all college classes have to be signed off by her HS Counselor. It is spring break for the HS!!!


This is the news that awaited me as I walked in the door this afternoon. So we had to head off to the college to try and figure it all out. Why yes, I did have other plans this afternoon. Could I move them? No. Just add it all in and begin a wish to make it all stop.


I just have to make it through the week. Things will be calmer next week. Where have I heard that before? Maybe it is time for a glass of wine.

Glass of wine finished, another begun....

Tonight's meeting went well. Many fewer people than usual. That was fine with me, done by 8:30. Only one snide comment. This person was sitting all the way at the other end of the room, but she made sure she said her comment loud enough so that I could hear, twice. Living well will be the best revenge.


No knitting news. Did not knit a stitch today. No noshing news, cooking begins tomorrow. This is what I picked up for the Afikomen prize. Did you know they made party packs of the plagues? I did not. I did run into a set of plague finger puppets. I did not pick them up at the time, but if they still have them Thursday morning during the clearance sale I just may.




How can something so cute be a plague?

I was planning on giving cash. that is what I received when I was a kid. Youngest Son talked to me about how he thought it would be unfair for one person to get a gift and no one else. Yes, he is that sweet. This way the finder can pass out the prizes to everyone. There are plenty of frogs to go around.

Sleep is coming on. Wahoo!