Friday, December 09, 2005

Can I Have My Week Back?

Time sure is flying. Every year it gets worse. Remember when you were a kid and the weeks following Thanksgiving seemed to drag and drag? The anticipation of Christmas made each day seem like two or three. Now, entire weeks could be contained in one day.

I'm behind. The shopping isn't finished, packages aren't mailed and decorating has yet to commence. Then to top everything off, we are waiting for parts for the car so that it can be fixed. I have to drive to Frankfurt in two Mondays to get my mom. I may have to rent a car. Nothing like extra expenses at this time of the year.

On the bright side of things, I do have some finished objects to show!

Here is the Shaped Triangle in all of it's blocked glory. It spans the entire length of my couch and it could have been even bigger. I ran out of room on the carpet. I wasn't about to move heavy furniture. Closeups of the edging and body follow.

Next, I finished Whitby for the KOTRkal. They only took about four days to finish. I used Knitpicks Merino Style. Although the pattern calls for a sportweight and Merino Style is dk, I easily got gauge with 3mms. They ended up being a nice thick, tight sock. The color is actually bright mossy green, but for some reason I couldn't catch the true color with natural light or flash.

And yet another horrible picture... The Irish Hiking Scarf has been blocked (not that it helped at all) and a pair of mittens were knit to match. This yarn is a tweedy chocolate brown from Peacock Yarns.

On the needles now are a pair of socks for Reilly and a garter stitch leftover scarf for myself. I'm also contemplating which pair of socks to start next. My choices are Friday Harbor, Jaywalker, or Pomatomus. OR I may try to do a pair of mosaics or color stranded. I just don't know.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I'm Alive and Kicking

The past two weeks have been pretty busy. Nothing in particular, just stuff. I've been trying to get this post together, but things kept getting in the way. So, instead of doing laundry, here I am. I have a lot to show. First I'll start with a few finished objects.

Conway for the KOTR kal are finally finished. I really had to buckle down to get them done. For some reason I couldn't get into them. The pattern was easy and the yarn was nice and smooth, I just wasn't feeling them.

The Flared Lace Smoke Ring is done too! The Baby Silk was an absolute pleasure to knit with and I'm having a hard time letting go of this. I see one in my future.

Connor lost one of his mittens one day on a walk. I had backtracked but someone had already picked them up. I hope that one mitten keeps someone very warm. I pulled out Knitting for Baby and two colors of Frog Tree Alpaca and got to work. Too bad the hat turned out big enough to fit Royd's head. I'll toss into the next load of jeans to see if it'll shrink up some.

This is the merino/tencel that I had been working on. Lots of thick and thin, but I love how it turned out.

This is the roving that was suppose to be orange, red and yellow. Spun up, it turned into a coralish pink. I tried my hand at Navajo plying with moderate success. It's much better than what I was getting on the spindle, but I need more practice. Any tips on how to make it better???

Next, I wanted to practice thicker singles. Yet again, lots of thick and thin, but I really like it. I still have to set the twist and spin the other three ounces, but wanted to sit on it for a few days before I did so. Just to make sure I really liked it.

In the meantime, I wanted to see how the green and yellow roving looked. Me likes. I'm hoping to get enough to make the Herringbone Scarf from Oddball Knitting. If not, maybe another hat and gloves for Reilly.

See, I told you it was alot! I'm mulling over my next project to start. There's a ton I want to start, but am trying to prioritize according to need vs. want. Uh, yeah, I'm well aware of a few UFO's. I haven't forgotten.

Edited to add: I finally caved and have joined the masses. Please put yourself on my map!

Check out our Frappr!

Monday, November 14, 2005

More Adventures in Food Dye

I'd bought two pounds of merino roving a few months back with the intention of dyeing it. Finally this weekend I dragged it out of it's hiding spot and got to it. I wound off four portions into four ounces each and tried out some different colorways.

These are the first two. On the right I was going for different shades of pink with a little purple thrown in. On the left was suppose to be bright red, yellow and orange. Neither turned out exactly as I'd hoped. There's still a lot of white left left in the roving.

Try again. Here the purple and pink thing went slightly better. I'd run out of grape koolaid, so had substitute Wilton dye. You can't really tell from the picture, but where the purple didn't saturate enough, it turned blue. I think I like it though. The yellow and green turned out pretty much how I thought it would. I can't wait to see how it all spins up.

There has been some knitting too, just not any pictures today. The shawl is off the needles and waiting to be blocked, sometime later this week. I also started on the Flared Lace Smoke Ring in Elann's Baby Silk. It's not going as fast as I'd thought it would, but love working on it. The yarn is so soft and smooth-an absolute great tactile experience.

Well, Royd should be home tonight from his last two weeks in the woods. So I've got lots to do before he walks in the door and creates a whirlwind of dirt and equipment.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

An Aside

Your Birthdate: December 19
You are resilient, and no doubt your resilience has already been tested.You've had some difficult experiences in your life, but you are wise from them.Having had to grow up quickly, you tend to discount the advice of others.You tend to be a loner, having learned that the only person you can depend on is yourself.
Your strength: Well developed stability and confidence
Your weakness: Suspicion of others
Your power color: Eggplant
Your power symbol: Spade
Your power month: October
What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

I usually don't post these things, but I felt this one was pretty accurate. Almost freaky.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Little News

Come April, our family will be a little bit bigger. It was a little unexpected on our part, but welcomed nonetheless. I guess I'll have to give up the wool room...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Finish One, Start Another

So, I'm a little late in posting the kids in their Halloween outfits. I guess it's just been one of those weeks. Anyway, this was Reilly's first year trick-or-treating and he had a total blast. We only stayed out for about 40 minutes, but he came home with enough candy for a few weeks. This is one of the better pictures (out of about 20) since at least one of them would move at the last second and come out a blur. Notice the looks on their faces says, "Let's go, Mom! I think you've taken enough."

Yesterday I spent the entire day babysitting for a friend. Introduce a 2 year and a 1 year old and the result is absolute chaos. Knitting? Not a chance. I think I fell asleep on the couch at about 9:30.

Much of the knitting I've gotten done this week has been Sneaky Knitting. Thankfully socks can magically get finished in this manor:

Now he has requested a modified balcalva that has a snap-on mouth covering. For him and all of his guys. Before January 6th. I almost died laughing! I told him that maybe he would have one by then, but nobody else. He must think I'm a machine.

And here's the shawl. Only four more rows before I start the edging. Honestly I probably won't touch it until tomorrow. My house is still recovering from yesterday and I can't even think about doing 30 minute rows right now. What you see in front of it is the start of Connor's Guernsey. I'm using the pattern from Knits for Babies and Toddlers. I've wanted to make this for what seems like forever, but would never think to buy the yarn. Nice easy knitting and it's going very fast so far. That is, if I could ever sit down with it.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Wurzburg Yarn Crawl

On Saturday Kathleen and I met up headed down to Wurzburg to check out the yarn stores there.

First we headed to the Phildar stockist, which I was eagerly looking forward to. It's a shame that it turned out to be a major disapointment. Not only did she not carry much in the way of Phildar, most of it appeared to have been sitting on the shelves for a long time. The rest of the selection was lacking and what appeared to be the best yarn was behind the counter. I'm sorry, but this irks me to no end when I have to ask to see something. Especially in a yarn store, it doesn't allow for the full experience.

Our next two stops turned out to be much better. The second store had a great selection of sock yarn with tons of samples. And not hidden way up near the ceiling either. After that we went to Wolle Rodel, which I have a store near me, but this one is much better. Of course, lots of sock yarn was to be had.

Okay, want to see what I got?

Looking counterclockwise, three balls of blue marled sock yarn for Royd, Lana Grossa Mega Boot Stretch, Regia Shadow Color, Rodel variegated, Regia Canadian Color, and Rodel variegated. Not pictured is 7 balls of Steinbach Wolle Eroica for a guernsey for Connor.

Now, this picture really excites me. Two balls of Opal, Flamingo and Chameleon and a ball of Rodel's silk yarn that looks almost to be a copy cat of the Opal Petticoat. Let me just say that this is the first time I have seen Opal in Germany. I know, it's made here! Granted I don't live in a major city, and selection tends to be a bit less than desirable.

But the goodies don't end there. Kathleen treated me to some handspun sock yarn from a shop near her. These will make a fantastic pair of socks.

I think I may have enough sock yarn to keep me going for a while. Heck, I can't even fit it all in its storage box. I wonder how many pairs I can make...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

And the Socks Come a-Knockin'

Yay!!! I got my socks! Thanks Ann-Marie, they're great.

You know, I didn't think I'd like a short leg, I usually make mine between 7-8 inches, but 5 totally works. I'll have to remember this next time I get bored with the pattern. Too bad one of Conway is already done, or I'd make 'em this short.

There has been a whole lot of knitting going on over here, but not much to show for it. Three days of knitting on the shawl has produced a whopping 30 rows completed. Well, considering that there are now approximately 350 odd stitches on each row, I'd say it's not that bad. I keep telling myself that there only 50 rows left. Too bad that doesn't take into account the 800 rows of border. Yikes!!!

I have promised myself that I must knit at least 6 rows per day. And I have given myself three weeks to do the entire thing, including blocking time. Think I can?

Oh, and Reilly doesn't have chicken pox. Thank goodness! The next morning the rash that was on his face and left hand had faded and wasn't spreading. The doctor said to not even bother coming in unless it came back or it started to bother him. He chalked it up to some allergic reaction. Nonetheless I kept him home until today, just to be sure. Now I really dread the kids getting it, among other wonderful illnesses.

Monday, October 24, 2005


I do believe we have a problem. I do believe that chicken pox has just invaded my house. Yuck!

Since I don't see us going anywhere for the next few days, progress should be made on the shawl. I forgot to mention what pattern I'm using, it's the Shaped Triangle from A Gathering of Lace. Only five more rows to go until I start a new pattern.

Mostly I've been splitting my time between the shawl and Royd's socks. But today I couldn't get into either one of them. For some reason I've been itching to try out the Multidirectional Scarf the past week or so. I ended up grabbing some rainbow striped Gedifra Scarlet and casted on. I have four balls total, but only used two for a child sized scarf. Maybe I'll make another, maybe I won't. It'll go into the Dulaan box.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Miscellaneous Fibery Progress Reports

My husband is yet again off playing in the woods with explosives, so I've been getting to play the single parent roll all this week. Can I say that I'm tired? Everytime he goes away, I think that I'll get time to do some serious knitting and housework. It never happens that way. Instead I end up doing errands around town and creating ways to keep the kids busy. You know, it's not like when he's here I get that much out of him, but that hour he plays with the kids really helps me and my sanity out.

I've had some things to show, but haven't had the time to get a post together. So, here goes:

First, I managed to finish spinning some singles and plied them together. If you look closely the skein on top is much loosely plied than the bottom. I had a bit of a "duh" moment when I realized that if I screwed the whorl on too tightly, then the bobbin can't spin freely and wind the yarn on fast enough. So that's why the bottom one is so tight. I still have to set the twist, so I'll see what happens after.

I also have done some more spinning. This is the merino/tencel I mentioned in an earlier post. I have one bobbin full and think I have enough to do another full one.

One of Conway is finished. The second is just kind of sitting there. I'm bored with the pattern. Royd's heel has been re-knit and is awaiting a fitting. I went with a short row heel in order to save on the main yarn some more. I just want to make sure that he likes how it feels before proceeding any further.

The yarn for the Xmas shawl came and I resisted casting on for one day. The plan was to finish the Basketweave first and then I could start. All I need to do is knit the turtleneck, but my 16" 4.5 mm's are nowhere to be found. I looked! Really I did! Furniture was moved, my stash room was torn apart and put back nicely, danced were done to appease the Knitting Gods-all to no avail. Funny, I never use these things and can't remember the last time they would have been.

Today's a pretty gloomy day and there is no justice being done to the color of the yarn I'm using. It's Knitpicks Shadow in Lost Lake. It's quite a pretty green in real person. Perhaps when the sun comes out I can get a decent shot of it.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Sock Tales

Royd's sock was making great progress. Was. There is still almost two inches until I start the toe shaping and I'm going to run out of yarn. I had hoped that it would make it to the toe and just use some plain grey to finish up. No chance of that, so I'll be frogging this up to the heel and using the grey to do the heel too. I hope that this works. I really don't feel like going back to the store to get another ball and hope that there is one in the same dye lot.

Conway has been restarted in another yarn. If it looks familiar, well, it is. I had alot of yarn left from the Leaves and Flowers Shawl. Almost 180 gms.

Michelle (sorry, I couldn't find your email link) had asked which yarn I was using originally and it was Knitpicks Sock Garden in Geranium. I tried it with 72 stitches and then on 66 with a larger needle. Neither one would work for me. It was doing that pooling thing where the small bit of green was right on top of itself round after round. It wouldn't have been so bad if it were solid but everyother round was broken up by the red. It just looked bad. It's okay, though, I really like how these are turning out.

In other news, I heard from my sock pal this morning. All is well and she didn't forget about me. I was so worried that they were lost in the mail. I can't wait to see them!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

At the Short End Again

Well, so much for our three day weekend. Royd ended up having to go into work yesterday. I'm just a bit annoyed. Long story short: Thursday everyone at the company got off at noon for a Family Day Barbecue, but he had to work at one of the ranges for a 24 hour shift. Okay, technically he got Friday off, but since he slept until 4pm, I really don't think it counted. Then with having to work on Columbus Day, he just got screwed out of what should have been a 4 1/2 day weekend. I sure hope everyone else in the company enjoyed their time.

I guess I'm just fed up. It seems like just about every other long weekend, he has to work. I wouldn't mind so much if everyone else was too, but it just isn't that way. Anyway, I guess enough with the venting.

Since we didn't get to do what we had planned yesterday, I got to finish quite a bit up.

First, I kitchenered the last toe on these bad boys and wove in the ends. They just need a blocking. The yarn is Four Seasons' Marathon Tango.

After sitting around for a few weeks, I finally got Royd to try on the dang mittens so I could finish them. I wanted to make sure the thumb fit exactly since they are for work. I used a pattern from the 2005 Knitting Pattern a Day calendar, November 1st. Both the mittens and the hat used black Woolease. The hat is the Hot Head pattern from Stitch 'n Bitch.

And then I made these for myself. I made up the pattern as I went along, adapting it from what I know about mittens and how I wanted them to fit. The hardest part was trying to decide if I wanted a pattern on the front or all in ribbing and which ribbing to use. I finally settled on a 3x2 rib. The yarn is Classic Elite Miracle in a blue color(misplaced band to blame) and used just over a skein. So soft and warm!

Then this is what I casted on for: Mariah, Conway and a pair of socks for Royd (yes! He finally agreed!) But I may put Mariah away for awhile. I ordered the yarn for the last two Xmas presents I have to make and don't think I'll have time to mess with it until after I finish. I don't like having more than one charted pattern on the needles at a time, I just get confused. Even if I indicate where I left off. Conway needs to be ripped out too. The first time I casted on with the 72 stitches called for at gauge called for. OMG, they were huge and floppy! So, I took out six stitches and went down a needle size. Now they fit, but the pattern gets stretched out too much. I guess I'm more comfortable with the twisted stitches and my knitting has gotten tighter.

Now I just need to decide which sock will get more attention.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Decisions and Priorities

Since I don't have anything else really to show, here's a shot of the nicest view off of my balcony. As you can see, it's absolutely beautiful here in Germany. Clear skies, gorgeous foliage, a three day weekend... what more can I ask for?

Well, a little direction in my knitting. I feel the pressure of holiday and cold weather knitting. There's alot to get done in the next month or so. All gifts must be completed by the the middle of November, the very latest the last week. That way I can avoid the delays of slow mail service. Although I have made a decent dent in this, there are still two projects left.
  • First, I want to make the Flared Lace Smoke Ring but haven't decided on a yarn yet.
  • Second, I'd really like to knit a shawl. No pattern or yarn yet.

Then, let's see... what needs to be finished up before really cold weather.
  • Obviously the Basketweave Pullover needs serious attention
  • Samus needs blocking, seaming, i-cords and some sewing
  • mittens or fingerless gloves for myself
  • another pair of mittens and a new hat for the boys
  • Conway for the KOTR knitalong, but am not feeling this pattern

Oh, and then there's what I want to knit

  • Trellis for Connor (swatching is being resisted)
  • Twist (I have the yarn for this in my stash!!!)
  • Mariah (I just got the yarn)
  • The Manly Sweater for Royd (need one more color)

Yikes! I feel pulled in so many directions. I wish this had been the problem a few months ago when there wasn't a thing I wanted to knit.

Sorry if this post was a bit not together. That's just how my brain is thinking right now. Okay, off to finish a hat for Royd I started this morning.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Forget All WIPs

On Sunday I packed up the kids and the hubby and drove out to visit with Kathleen. Of course I had a great time, as always. Look what she sent me home with:

Ain't she a beauty? This is the wheel she scored awhile back, but hasn't even used yet. She's letting me borrow it for a little while. Let me say that, I had never used a wheel before and after about an hour of playing around I had it figured out and was spinning away.

Here's my first mini practice skein. You can see that my plying needs alot of work, but it's alot better than my first try with the spindle. Last night I started with some Merino/Tencel, but after about twenty minutes, I took that bobbin off. I'm trying to practice spinning a consistent thicker yarn(my natural tendancy is toward very fine) and I find this stuff a bit sticky. So, I went back to that Wildberry roving that I still have tons left of. So far so good.

The only other thing I've been working on is mittens. It's been super cold lately and the kids needed some so that they don't freeze their little hands off.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Can You Smell It?

You know that smell... It's crisp and fresh and oh so invigorating. I mean Fall. I LOVE this time of year. The weather is beautiful, the colors are beautiful and the food is super yummy. Oh, yeah, the food! The urge to bake has hit me hard. This week it's been biscotti and apple-pear pie. Later today it will be cheddar buttermilk bread to round out a nice hearty roast. Okay, okay, I really love food.

But cooler weather has also prompted another desire: the need to finish some sweaters. First, I really need to finish the Basketweave Pullover, but I'm not wearing it so it can wait. Right? Second, my (un) Drop-Stitch Cardigan from this issue of IK. I spent two days blocking the thing and then another two days finding some quiet time to do the seaming. So how's it look?

Like crap.

Can we say too big? And no, my gauge (for once) isn't the problem. The yarn and the size I made is. I substituted a silk blend for the wool called for. I knew from my swatch that the drape would be, well, more drapey. I just didn't realize how much. And I think I'm making the wrong size for my taste. This has been the problem with everyother sweater I have made myself.

Okay, my chest measures 43". So, you would think to make the 45"-47" size for a comfortable sweater. The problem that I'm realizing is that my waist is not proportionate to my chest. Which results in this:

A big saggy mess that makes me look 20 pounds heavier than I am. I don't need this! Heck, I'm trying(hoping) to look 20 less!

So, now what to do? I could rip the whole thing out and knit the smaller size and then put some short rows into the bust. *remember to go research this, Erica* But, this doesn't help with the drape. I guess it'll go back into the Pile for awhile until I figure something out.

Oh the brighter side of things, XMas knitting is on:

I can't say I really like this yarn, but the recipient likes funky stuff so it'll be perfect. These were originally bought as a possible yarn for my sock pal, but wasn't used. Speaking of that, Neysa reports that she got her socks in the mail, but hasn't looked at them yet. She promised herself that she'd finish her pals first. I haven't heard anything from my gifter yet, but since I know the mail can be pretty unreliable here, I'll give it another week before I worry.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Call It a Bust

Well, our weekend of fun didn't quite happen. All last week the boys and I were sick and I thought we were over it. Not quite. Reilly spent all of Friday and Saturday layed out on the couch I developed a horrible cough. Just walking the length of our apartment sent me into a horrible fit that would last about five minutes. We were disappointed but there's always this weekend. Thankfully we all feel completely better now.

I spent alot of time knitting, obviously. Samus' body and one sleeve are finished. I haven't casted on for the other sleeve yet though. Instead I'm working on a pair of work mittens for Royd. They're in black and it's such a dreary day that I can't get a picture yet.

And I have a finished object to show! Yeah!

Here's the Leaves and Flowers Shawl that's been done for about three weeks or so and just needed a blocking.

Full body shot

how the pattern looks

the best representation of the color

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I've Been Busy. Very Busy.

Samus has come to my house to play and refuses to leave my fingers alone.

I started Samus last Wednesday evening and have been having a hard time putting it down. I've already divided for the armholes and am almost finished with the left (maybe the right?) side. Cooler weather has made me long to wear this sweater. I guess I better get over my fear of zippers once and for all.

Next up, I'm in a search for what yarn to use for either Mariah or Rogue. Both have been on my want list for quite some time, but never happened. Also, Royd has decided that he wants an Aran sweater, so I need to find a pattern and yarn for him. I guess he better take me shopping this weekend!

I suppose it won't be a problem for that; we've got the time. He took off four days for our anniversary (tomorrow), but he's in the field and won't be home until late. Originally we thought to go somewhere to get away, but with money being a little tight lately, we decided not to. Instead we'll save the hotel money and do some local day trips and maybe get to come home with some souveniers.

Almost forgot (again) to mention these socks:

Trekking XXL in color 105