Friday, July 27, 2007

Back on track...uh, sort of.

OK, the book is behind me.

(at least until I wrench it out of wonder-boy's hands and pour through it again....)

Back to the socks!

Had to rip the crochet sock to rework the stitch patter to make fewer stitches around but still have enough pattern reps to get the ripple effect. Still liking it, though the ripples are shallower and therefore more subtle. The heel turned well, and am plotting some decreases to snug up the foot a bit.

Simply Lovely Lace Sock #1 is done. It's only my 4th ever finished knit sock and it reinforced that I have a lot to learn still. I did it to directions, trying it on as I went, but it's just not quite right. I think I'll tweek #2 a bit...longer heel flap and different ribbing (the 1x1 is just too sloppy and once again I find I really just don't like why do I keep doing it?). Which means that I will most likely be redoing #1 when I'm done, but hey, better to have socks I love, right? And I do really love the lace pattern. Fun to knit too.

Of course, another diversion came in the mail today...the latest scarf circle scarf:

...and I have a cabley idea in mind for it too. It needs to go out by the 7th, so it may bump the socks back a bit.

...and the inlaws are coming today for #2s b-day. (i feel positively faint thinking that he's 5 already...) So there is much frantic cleaning/throwing out going on and it will be all Cars all the time this weekend.

And try not to dwell on the unsightly leg attached to the socks...not mine, nope, definitely not mine!

Monday, July 23, 2007

The grandest compulsion of all

No yarn work this weekend folks. Even the socks lose out to Harry.

I finished up around 12:30 this a.m. and was happy to be able to sleep afterwards. Heavy heart today though. It's done and there are some tear jerkers it will take me some time to get over.


Thursday, July 19, 2007's an obsession.


It's not like I'll be in the running for any of the contests. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

I have 3 kids. And 2 dogs. And a husband. All of which demand time and attention, darn them.

There are plenty of contestants without diversion that will leave me in the dust.

So why oh why can I only think of socks??

I'm stalking patterns. Online. Library. Every knitting and crochet book I own. I literally go to sleep regretting that I am not staying up to get a few more rows done, mentally reviewing the queue. Need I mention it's impossibly long?

Every other project has officially been laid aside...bye-bye blankets. Hasta la vista, fingerless gloves. Ciao snazzy summer headbands. Ta ta, any socks started before June 21!

Pair number 1 was finished over this past weekend. Quick crochet in DK weight Cestari cotton blend:

Can you tell which I did first? The "tell" of crocheted socks...once they've been worn, they never go back.

I'm happy with them. Soft and squishy. Oh so warm to snuggle up with a book and a cuppa in. Jammie socks for sure.

Feeling better for having finished something...possibly atoning for having spaced the start...I decided to do something different:

Yep, it's a crocheted ripple sock. Off the top of my head. Fabulous Mega Boots Stretch to work the color magic. Amazingly somehow working out first go round. Pray for me.

And because one is just not enough...and as at times the facility with which the afore-mentioned project is coming along is just too surreal:

Knitting. Simply Lovely Lace socks from Interweave. Again in Cestari DK. Love the perversity of doing up girly lacy socks in staunch grey wool.

(and do you see the bag? my fabulous craftstravaganza-purchased bag??? has been languishing with out purpose, but now has become the official SOS project bag of dooooooooom. *nods to L&V, source of my socky tendencies*)

Yep, it's a summer of socks alright. They have even made an appearance at teh soon-to-be tragically-sold-and-therefore-no-longer-accessible pool in my parents' backyard.

...and just for the record, yes, I did cry. AGAIN.

Friday, July 13, 2007

SOS! Secret Pal to the rescue!

After that last post, it should surprise few to find out just how spaced my brain truly is. For some reason I was. Go figure. Always the last to know!

Being house-bound with sicko kiddos at least had one benefit...time to quasi-catch up online. The kids are happy with movies under blankets on the couch, the baby is happy to snuggle on my lap (OK, let's be real..."refuses to leave my lap, grows claws when removal is attempted, and howls like a banshee when floor contact is made"...much more accurate), so I'm happy to surf. Perusing some of my fave blogs I stumbled across post after post about SOS 2007. And the vague recollection of having heard about it on Lime and Violet. And an even more tenuous memory of rushing over and joining up. Did I really do something so foolish as to put MORE on my plate? Checking the SOS blog, yep, seems I did.

Missed the kick-off by a cool 2 1/2 weeks too. So, after checking to see if I was still in the game, not banished for life for being a total and complete dunderhead, with much catching up to do, I pulled out the hooks. It's not "sock" yarn, but I decided to use some of the Cestari cotton/wool stash to whip up some comfy crocheted house socks pronto. All things happen faster with DK weight, right? And let's face it folks, crocheted socks aren't terribly shoe friendly anyway, so might as well make the most of what they are, which is super warm and squishy. Since Wednesday, I have 1 down, 1/2 to go:

Using the lace pattern out of the crocheted sock bible: Crocheted Socks! by Janet Rehfeldt and Mary Jane Wood. Some tweaking of heel and toe required with the gauge change, but with trying it on frequently that just kind of works itself out as you go along.

Normally I prefer an elastic yarn (like MegaBoots Stretch or Cascade Fixation) for crocheted socks. By it's nature crochet has little "give" and the stretchy yarn makes up for it a bit. So, these are getting a bit stretched out as I pull them on and off veeeeeeery gingerly, but I think it will all be OK. The finished one is a treat for the feet. Now if we only hand snow and icy hardwood floors....SIGH, winter's so far away!

My plan is to be working on one "challenge" sock and one "easy peasy" sock at a time. For now, crochet will hopefully help me make up for lost time. I want to design a ripple sock too. Maybe granny if I can figure it out. Whee! On the knitting front, this shall be my grand opportunity to make a pair of Jaywalkers and I have my heart set on the new Bellatrix and Fawkes patterns on Socktopia if I can manage them. Even have a skein of Lisa Souza Earth Birth that will be perfection for the Fawkes.

Socks may just save the summer.

...and my secret pal must have been reading my mind. My last package was laid in my grateful little hands by my smiling post-woman this very morning, and here is what I found:


2 sets of Susan Bates DPNs (a little leery of the metal, but hey, I'll give it a whirl) in the perfect sizes to make the most of my new sock yarn! 2 skeins of Dreams in Color! 2 Skeins of an Italian wool blend that I am too lazy to walk downstairs to find the name of but promise I will put it in next time! The colors are great, so great in fact that I think I shall have to make the Dreams in Color in to an abbreviated Clapotis. Can you imagine breezing through next winter with the yarn equivalent of the Caribbean wrapped around you? I can now!

SP Miranda, you are the greatest!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Did I mention that it's a sanity thing?

Ah summer, how I wish ye would just end.

I know, we're barely into July. Oh how I know. September is so, so very far away, and I need to find a way to make the most of this summer with the kids...we'll only be here once, right? Enjoy them while they're young, right? I get it, problem is I'm outnumbered and I can't. 3 kids under 6, 2 dogs all day is just too much for me to deal with. I'm overstimulated all day every day, just wanting everyone to please for the love of all things sane, just leave me alone for 5 minutes!

I also seem to be in the downward spiral of bad karma. Don't know what I'm paying for, but I sure hope it was worth it, because every time I turn around something else is imploding. I'm trying to get things going in a positive direction, yet I keep getting slapped.

Want the list? Here you go: (if you don't need to hear me whine, skip the monster paragraph below...really, no need to read it, i just need to vent)

2 sprained ankles...or rather the twicely sprained ankle. (try chasing after the amazing 18 month presto climbo with that...don't know how it will ever heal. weight loss dreams that went out the window with surprise pregnancy #3 now are orbiting the Orion Nebula I think...) Parents in crisis, selling the house they've been in since I was a freshman in high school...and therefore the pool! (do i even need to tell you how much that hurts? every time i take the kids up to swim i just cry. they're so little they won't even remember it, and the baby will never even have it to not remember...and yep, am crying again...enough o' that.) Drove to Milwaukee last weekend to leave 2 of the 3 with the in-laws only to have fevers break out. ( home we all came with 2 pissed off kids begging to go swim, but not able to since said pool is in the backyard of the house that needs to stay immaculate and they have no idea is soon to be not in their life anymore...with the baby that is now sick and needing to be held 24/7. so much for the "finding the me in me again" week...SIGH!) The husband that has a major project closing up right now, not home even when his body is, which is pretty much just to have dinner, put the kids to bed and sleep. And the sock club missed 2 months running. And 2 separate spinning classes nixed as well. And we bought the much a-cursed minivan. How I hate that car. And what are you supposed to say when you go to your sister's "finally done with oral surgery residency" banquet only to have everyone you meet say they've seen and heard so much about your beautiful children, but that your sister never talks about you." Gee, thanks" didn't quite seem appropriate. My husband says I need to sprout thinker skin.

No, I am not enjoying my summer.

But I am enjoying my new summer shoes:

Rocket Dogs. They make me happy. Can you tell that the rhinestones are little hearts? Oh early 80s throwback joy!

So, in the spirit of the shoes, I'm determined to try to make lemonade with the lemons I'm being pelted with. Not quite sure how just yet, can't seem to find the sugar in this mess of my life right now, but hey, if I keep finding little things that make me happy, I'll get me that big, ice-cold glass of loveliness, right? Right?

So, on the quest for the sugar, I've put the yarn, hooks and needles to work.

Simple soothing crochet in colors that make me happy:

It's the Bella Dia pattern for the Vintage Vertical Stripe Blanket. Why I'm making it for my "off to make loads of money and live a horribly interesting life while I tell no-one about my SAHM older sibling" sister, I have no idea. (duh, she is my sister even though I'm piqued right now...) But the new "Cotton Ease " comes in such groovy colors that seemed perfect for a new bed blanket for her new place. I'm weak, I know. (and in case you're keeping track, this does in fact make blanket in progress #4. i did say i was weak, right?)

And I set my mind to conquering the DPNs. My first successful attempt:

(mitten pattern out of "One Skein Wonders" , slightly adapted with patterning at the cuff...rows of k1p1 alternating with rows of knit Cestari 2 ply wool/yak)

For some reason the first flew, no troubles casting on or keeping ladders at bay. The second held ladders galore and I frogged it back at least three times to remedy them. At one point I even had ladders spiraling around as I shifted stitches between needles. (huge thanks to Annie Modesitt and the rerun on Knitty Gritty in which she so clearly showed the simple beauty of not trying to snug up the first stitch, but the second when switching between needles...and for holding them consistently so I could see what I was doing wrong. isn't she just the greatest? join me in sending undying love to the heretic by buying this pattern to send much needed support in time of medical crisis. death to multiple myeloma! and cases of double stuffed oreos for all if that's the i haven't fallen off my rocker, read her blog. sometimes even knitters lose their minds it seems.)

And I'm off on DPN mastery project 2: (though I think I have to get a smaller size, this be working up preeeety loose. pattern is for bulky on 8s, I'm working worsted on 7s, think I need 6s.)

Same book. Wavy fingerless mitts/wrist/arm warmers. The loverly yarn my Lime and Violet bud sent me this spring...browns and purples and pinks with bits of blues and greens. In alpaca. Yeah!

Want to help? Bring ice. (seriously. have you seen what the weather's been like here? only plus, low mosquito count.)