Wednesday, February 28, 2007

sock, sock, sock, sock

Obsess, obsess, obsess....ripple, sock, ripple, sock, ripple, sock...

What am I doing to myself?!?!? This is NOT good. I've made a deal with myself...sock during my naptime break, ripple while I catch up with Oprah, Lost, Grey's and Studio 60. OK, Iron Chef America and Ace of Cakes too, but that's where I draw teh line! The laundry MUST get done! Damn yarn!

Clap for me please, figured out how to turn the heel today...all by my lonesome. BEAM!

This is like magic. It's so cool.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Secret Pal 10 Questionaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I tend to go for yarns with a goodly amount of natural to them. They just feel so gooooooooood in my hands. Cotton is more my choice, but lovely buttery wool/blends are growing on me. I also had the unfortunate experience of having way too hot soup melt polyester into my skin when I was just a wee one…yeah, so 100% poly/acryl not so much on my list. SHIVER.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? A pocket in my project bag or the vase on the mantle…depends on how purty they are!

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? Knitting approx. 2 months. Took a mini class and ran with it. I am told I’m an advanced beginner, limited primarily by my lack of sticks. However, have been crocheting forever, and it’s been a very long time since I’ve seen a pattern I couldn’t tackle.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yup, Amazon knows the depths of my desires.

5. What's your favorite scent? Hmmm, lean toward spicy and soft…like sandalwood. Though when the weather turns warm, cool citrus, cucumber, tea scents are nice.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? All of them be sweet my dearies, and chocolate is their fix o’ choice. Want to send me over the moon? Godiva chocolate cherries. SWOON!

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I do some jewelry and scrapbooking (Creative Memories SNOB here). I mentioned the crochet. And am INFATUATED with the idea of spinning…someday when money falls from the skies…SIGH! Same goes for hairpin lace. And weaving.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) MP3s all okie-dokie. Also have an iPod. My musical tastes are hugely varied, just try me. (OK, though I run from metal and easy listening…faith-based not my forte either.)

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? Color = all good. Though not so much pink, though there are exceptions. Or pastel. Or wildly neon. OK, maybe I’m more of an earth mother/jewel tone girl.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? 3 sproglets under 6, 2 bulldogs, 1 husband.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Living in the great White North, the first three are bare necessities 9 months out of the year. Ponchos not so much…they make me look like a whale.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? So far I’ve only knit scarves, a hat and thanks to the magic loop, have started a pair of socks. Liked them all. I tackle anything in crochet, but I really wanted to start knitting for the socks, the cables and the sweaters. Oh, how fast can I push my skills forward?

13. What are you knitting right now? Knitting a basic 4 stitch rib sock from Sensational Knitted Socks, magic loop style (loooooove it, but now need to acquire long teeny circs…) and the Misty Garden Scarf from IK Holiday Gifts. Crocheting the Sour Grapes Scarf from CrochetMe and have started the ripple afghan that may never end.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes, oh yes, bring on the handmade goodness!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Beginning knitter, not many preferences, but please, no DPNs. Simply can’t face the DPNs. I haven’t used plastic knitting needles, but I really don’t like the crochet hooks as they tend to have a ridge where the plastic comes together and it really bothers me. I like more weight to what I’m working with too, so metal and wood I find loverly.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Nope. Once again, am waiting for the money storm to begin.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? Less than a year, but not by much…but it’s frogged now so does that count?

18. What is your favorite holiday? You know, holidays are nice and all, but I’m really an every day gal.

19. Is there anything that you collect? I know this is odd, but I looooooove rocks. Polished, unpolished, pretty or plain, I’m a rock hound.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? Now that I’ve made socks possible for me, I spend oodles of time ogling sock patterns and oh my oh the yarns you can find online. Pippi Kneesocks, Socks That Rock, Scout’s Swag, oh there are so very many…you know the stuff I’m talking about. And then there’s Koigu that I have never even laid eyes on. And the Malabrigo. And Bonker’s Handmade Originals has some GORGEOUS cotton that I imagine sweaters coming from. I have no knitting mag subscriptions and VERY few books…surprise me.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Hairpin lace and Tunisian crochet high on the list. Want, want, want to spin. Need, need, need to learn oh so many knitterly things. At the time of writing I can knit, purl, yo and k2tog. Addendum: and slip and whatever it’s called to make the baby cables in the sock book work. Think basics, that’s me.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Burgeoning. I have chubby feet. 91/2 inch circumference at the instep, 9 inch ankle, 9” toe to heel, very chunky, muscly calves…14 inches thickest…GASP!

23. When is your birthday? September 2.

Monday, February 26, 2007

ripple, ripple, ripple....

It's actually not so much of a ripple as a chevron. A lattice chevron. The one from Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet. One row of lattice, offset with one working even, so it does switch up a bit.

Oh, how I am very much loving this. It's so nice to have something working up easily, smoothly, mindlessly. I can just go and go and go and let my mind coast. Nothing to count, nothing to check on, nothing to screw up. (in other words, it's not my knitting!) Loverly.

Then there's the making something for myself part. I'm realizing that I don't often do that. Something that's just for fun and for myself. It's like one big treat. It almost feels extravagant, which is sad, but hey, it's where my life is at right now. The kids are little and they NEED all the time.

...and speaking of, I need to dash off for stories and bedtime and ignoring the dinner dishes so I can ripple some more!

Friday, February 23, 2007

On Stash Diving

Remember this?

Yep, it's the sad, sad now frogged remains of my sweet yarn that I had imagined making into a lovely Doris Chan creation that let's be real I would never wear even though I think the pattern rocks and it would be stellar worked up. Just. Not. Me. And the more I've been thinking about this yarn, the more I'm convinced it's just not meant to be a garment. While the tonal differences are lovely and that's what I love so much about hand dyed stuff, the end result all together drives me batty. Even worked alternating rows, which may I strongly opine is a pain in the you know where.

So, when this ripple thing took hold, I went stash diving. Strangely I thought I had little to nothing to work with. Guess I was wrong:

Yep, that's a goodly pile of various leftovers that coordinate roughly with the languishing sweet yarn I found at the bottom of the pile. The fates be smiling on me today.


(and go here to ripple along...hehe...)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Oh the magic of the magic loop!

I've had so much to talk about and so little time to write it down...hopefully it will all come spiraling out eventually...

But here's what's currently filling up my mind:

Yep, I've decided that it's time to try some socks. This all was spurred on by the Knit Out and Crochet Too event at the Mall of America last weekend. (though I missed the Tunisian demo I was targeting...some day!) Very fun to see and hear so many "big" names in fiber, and talk to reps from the "scene". Also ran into the owner of a local LYS that is literally 5 minutes from my house that I had no idea was there. It's really not my fault though...see, it's "over the river". Yep, deep in the heart of Minneapolis. GASP!

Anyway, chat, chat, chat reveals that they have an active crochet community, whoo hoo, and also a sock club. Sign up and the first Monday of the month you go in early morning before opening, get a free pattern and 1 hour technical class and 20% off materials...all for $25 for the ENTIRE YEAR! Is that not the perfect way to learn socks? Motivation to keep working on them, all the help you could need, and discounts on the yarn you drool over. Had to have it.

So, I signed up and they set me up with all I needed to practice with until the next meeting.

Little did I know I would be cursing them backward and forward for the next3 days. See those long pointy sticks? Lovely aren't they? Yes they're Addi's. Size 1. And I hate them, hate them, hate them. Want to throw them in the Mississippi River so I never see them again hate them.

Turns out they are far from the optimal first sock-knitting DPN. Am guessing they "forgot" that when it was the only one they had left...sell her the looooooong slick sticks or sell her nothing...hmmmmm, what to do?

Trying to get cast on was like trying to tame live eels. Seriously. Horrible. Gritting my teeth, tension headache horrible. And the sad part is it took me 3 whole days to give up...though before I did, I went googling online to see what I could see. And I found out about the Addi's. And then I found out about the 2 circular thing...and THEN I found out about the magic loop.

Cha Ching! The loverly folk at Clover that very weekend has put some size 4 long circs in my hot little hands...and I had some thicker sock yarn in the stash...and KnittingHelp has a great tutorial...and about 5 minutes later I was cast on and cruising. Seriously. Magic. Epiphany. Orchestra playing in the background. Sun breaking from behind the clouds. Miracle.

Now, the Clover bamboo cirs, while loverly and free...not so great for this...lots of pulling and futsing. HOWEVER, some other loverly folk had handed me at 50% coupon for another LYS...and today, here I be:


And yep, those are NEW Addis. 40" size 3s since I have a bunch of sportish sockish stuff in my stash, like the Crazy in the pic. And I got them for $8. And the book was the result of possibly the best Valentine's gift this mom could ask for ...$25 and 2 hours ALONE at Barnes and Noble. SIGH, he's so sweet!

Socks aside, there's been much cleaning, disinfecting and general mojo-working in hopes we can finally slip out of plague season soon. It really needs to stop. NOW. Can't go there again, just can't.

Your crochet link of the day...the ripple afghan that ate the world. (thanks again to Kim at CrochetMe)

Off to plot how to acquire enough odd balls to make a go of the same...if you've got some send some...oh, oh, oh, we could do it progressive...oh, oh, oh, or we could "ripple-along"...oh, oh, oh this could be so FUN! Oh, oh, oh, must plan!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Odd jobs

I just vacuumed out my washing machine.


Apparently, unbeknownst to me, I washed a pine cone.

Not highly recommended.

Oh yeah, and we have the stomach flu again.

Have I told you how much I love my stay-at-home-mom life?


Refresh my memory.


Friday, February 09, 2007

Childhood Nightmares, revisited

Oh, I am not going to be able to sleep for a long, long, long time.

I've read Tolkein through start to finish just about every year, with very, very few exceptions. Long before I ever saw the original animated version of The Hobbit, I was haunted by Gollum. The slime, the hisssssssssssss, the lake. The sneaky following. AHHHHHHHH! And now there's this:

Gollum Hat


It's 1 of the 2 new patterns up at CrochetMe. The other is a cool Georgia O'Keefe inspired scarf pattern that has tons of promise and creative spark:

Georgia on My Mind

Off to clean carpets...yes my lovelies, the GI virus persists.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Calgon, take me away!

Baby with the stomach flu = very, very, very bad.

Scented candles when the whole house smells like milk yak = very, very, very good.

And despite frantic efforts to pleasantly "layer" scents, I still have your link for the day:

This is funny. Spit milk through your nose funny. OK, shouldn't have thought of the milk, it's so very, very, very smelly yucky here...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Knit Rant

Imagine a little cartoon me, waving it's little cartoon fist whilst jumping up and down in frustration, perhaps tossing things about, cursing the day the knitting came. Cursing the good hearted folk that push it so underhandedly in podcast land.

It is simply driving me crazy. My brain is in overdrive, trying in vain to plan 10 projects I don't really understand at once, railing against the fact that I'm very supply short. It is maddening to need about 5 million different sizes and shapes of needles to do this! Straights, circulars, DPNs, yarn holders. DAMN YOU KNITTING GODS! I want them all and I want them NOW!

On the plus side, it's quite fun to have new things to learn again. It's even giving me some ideas to try in crochet...bwahahahahaha!

So, here's where I am so far (minus the 10 things I've started on the wrong sized needles for the yarn I have because I can neither wait to try every new thing I come across nor can max out the credit card buying a complete set of Options and every bamboo straight and DPN my LYS carries. Lots of frogging. Lots and lots and lots of frogging.)

FO#1, the Orange You Glad scarf. Lambs Pride worsted saved from failed felted slipper purgatory.

And a close-up as I'm quite proud of my stitches. VAIN be my name.

Yet more rescued Lamb's Pride. Hopefully a hat to keep my ears from freezing off this week. It's the Oh LaLa Loopy Hat from Interweave Holiday Gifts 2006. Now I just have to get with the Knit coach to learn the DPN magic to finish it off and make the I-cord loopies.

And there's LACE. Or quasi-lace anyway. Go see it here, posted today, February 6. There's some crochet goodness along with it.

Links o' the Day:

Repeat after me. MELISSA IS A GODDESS. This is going to be sooooo cool, this is going to be soooooo fun. Love the Inner Child Crochet! I l.o.v.e that so many designers are starting to put it all in place for us. The gaps are starting to be filled in, and it's all good. This would be a great place to send newbies, and those hooked should RUN to check out the beginnings of her How to Design Tutorial. Very different and very promising. Can't wait to see how it develops.

SO has nothing to do with the yarnishness, but DID YOU KNOW DANSKO HAS AN OUTLET!?!?!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

MOM ALERT! Go listen to this NOW!

Episode 8 of the Knitting Cook. Mandatory listening for the knitting mama. Bring kleenex. Buy yarn. Make stuff for yourself.

Longer post about my last few weeks to come, I promise!