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.