Thursday, December 28, 2006


Stop right here. If you came to this post looking for fabulous colorwork, turn right around and leave. It ain't here.

If you're interesting in other things, please continue to read.

I hope that everyone who celebrates, had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was nice and quiet. The tameness of it was brought on by my lovely children giving me the stomach flu. This had me on the couch for all of Saturday and part of Sunday. Good thing I had had all the baking and wrapping done already.

Santa brought me lots of knitterly goodness this year.

What I didn't get that I really wanted has been purchased with money from the parents. What is is that makes a hard to find book, have to be bought now? Not sure, but I got four of 'em. Can't wait till they get here.

I do have a little something to show knitting wise:

Pattern: Friday Harbor from Knitting on the Road
Yarn: Spunky Sport in "Meadow" from Spunky Eclectic

No, you're eyes do not deceive you, one IS taller than the other. The second sock was knit a bit looser since these babies are tight. Well, only the cuff is, the rest is a bit loose. Should I ever make these again, I'll do the cuffs on a larger needle and then switch. And yes, the color completely obscures the pattern, but I'm not ripping it out.

How's that for some pooling??? Don't get me wrong, I love the yarn, love the colors; I'm just too lazy to do something else with it. So it stays.

So, about that colorwork...

Anemoi has been started and frogged a good ten or eleven times. I can't seem to make the cast on look like hers for the life of me. After four days of messing with it, I've put everything away until I'm not annoyed anymore. Then, I'll probably do another whole different cast on.

The Greek Mittens were started and frogged as well. They're knit from the point to the cuff and my increase were a mess. While I was at it I figured that maybe I should measure the man's hand. That will have to wait at least a month more.

Oh, and the raglan I was working on? Stuffed into a bag and waiting it's turn at the ball winder. I hated it. The fit, the neckline, the way the color was knitting up.

Maybe I'll pull Arwen out and fix the sleeve. Maybe not. Guess y'all will have to wait and see!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas In Tallinn

Pattern: Christmas In Tallinn, Knitting on the Road
Yarn: Elann Highland Wool in Tuscany Green and Oxblood, Knitpicks WotA in Cloud

Although this has been finished and blocked by a few days, I just finally put the braid on this morning. This was a fun project to knit and I'm already envisioning another one for next year. Also, it was great practice for some upcoming projects.

Before blocking I was quite concerned about how it was going to turn out. There were spots were the tension was obviously off, but overall it was quite lumpy and bumpy. For the most part, everything evened out.

These are what I've been working on right now. Yep, another sock and a top down raglan sweater. I needed something relatively mindless to work on to clear my head. Also, I haven't had the time to really work on anything that makes me concentrate.

Coming soon to a blog near you, one of these:

Frankly, I should start on the Greek Mittens, but the Anemoi are really tempting. Decisions, decisions....

Sorry, I'm really not all that chatty today. Reilly and Connor have been sick with stomach bug and I'm just plain worn out from everything. I'm going to spend the rest of the week making cookies, checking the mail for straggling Xmas packages and relaxing. Well, trying to relax!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Twenty Four

Add one more pair to the finished list for the year.

Yarn: Regia Sierra Color, 5538
Pattern: Plain Vanilla Sock on 56 stitches with band heel

This pair brought me up to a total of 24 pairs for the year. Whew! That's alot of socks!

Really, it's an obscene amount of socks. Some were gifts and some for the family, but most were for me. Does next year hold the same? I have no idea. I'd like to think that I've got enough for myself yet my stash indicates I need to knit more. Based on the past two years average, I still have enough yarn to knit for three years without buying anymore.


Monday, December 11, 2006


A couple weeks ago I signed up for the Stranded: The Colorwork Challenge. At first, I wasn't going to do it, since I've got a few other knitalongs going on and didn't want to overcommit myself. I tried to turn my attention to the other projects on the needles but my mind kept going back to it. So, I caved in and went looking at my books to find a good project.

As I was searching, I found the Greek Mittens from Folk Mittens that I had promised to make for Royd last winter. Heck, I've had the yarn since then. As the pattern is written, it calls for an 11 spi on worsted weight for a womans hand. I figure that a spi between 9.5 and 10 will make them perfect. Swatching revealed that it just wasn't possible. I got down to an 8.5 on 2.0 mm needles and found it unbearable to knit. So, I quickly placed an order for some Nature Spun Sport which should be here by next week.

Then, I saw the wonderful new pattern over at Eunny's. By noon of that day I had the pattern and some yarn in hand. Dang gauge strikes again! This time too small. Yet another order goes in, this time for some Gems Pearl.

I felt kinda deflated since I really, really, really wanted to do some colorwork. After putting Arwen in the corner for a time out that I don't really want to talk about (whole sleeve being reknit for the second time), I dug the books back out.

I wasn't exactly searching for stranded patterns, but for a sock pattern and ended up getting both.

My latest project: Christmas in Tallinn

I'm not making it for anyone in particular. I figure it's good to have an extra stocking in the house, should we ever have guests.

This is my warmup for the mittens. It's been awhile since the last time and I needed the practice with tension. So far, I'm loving it and am having a hard time putting it down.

The best part of it all? I'm using leftovers!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

No Rest For the Weary

I cannot wait until this week is over! It's my busiest week for the holiday season. All those presents I have to mail back to the States must be sent by tomorrow. That's according to Post Office's deadline. I waited until the last minute to block, so we'll see if everything dries in time.

I'd had a request for a pair of mittens, so I did these over the weekend.

Pattern: Cabled Gloves from One Skein, modified to a mitten
Yarn: Patons Classic Merino in Natural Mix

Yarn: Online Highland Color
Pattern: Plain Vanilla Socks on 64 stitches

I also finished these up a few days ago. Nothing too exciting. Notice they're lounging on a not decorated tree.

There's a story here.

Last year Royd and I decided to purchase a artificial tree for when the kids are small. There's no water to worry about them getting into, no finding a truck to borrow to transport the live tree in and no sawing. Granted, I don't like nearly as much as a real one but for a few years, I can deal with it. Anyway... when we went to go buy one, Royd really wanted the pre-light kind. So, that's what we got. On Monday I dragged the thing upstairs and got it up. I figured that I wouldn't decorate it yet to give the little ones a few days to get used to it before pretty shiny things started grabbing their attention.

Tuesday, I go to plug the tree in and half the lights aren't working. After about a half an hour of playing with the fuses and bulbs I discover there's a faulty cord. Well, shoot. Okay, easiest solution is to just replace that particular cord, right? Yeah, but that's only temporary. Instead I'm taking every single light off the tree. Each individual light is ATTACHED to the tree. 500 of 'em. Only 300 to go.

No one ever said I do things the easy way.

Going back earlier in the week, on Sunday the boys and I headed downtown to the Weinachtsmarkt (Christmas Market). I hadn't been planning to go until this coming weekend, but it was nice outside and decided to seize the perfect moment. Our town is small and the market is just as small, but I picked up lots of great stuff. Most of it was decorations that I will show another day, once they're put out. For now they're safely tucked away from little hands.

I did find a stall selling sock yarn!!! But what I really liked was my new knitting basket.

Okay, so it's not the best picture of the basket, but you get the idea. The balls of yarn in front are Regia's new lines: Sierra Color, Country Color and Royal Color. None of it's for me. Reilly picked out two for himself and one for his daddy. The other stuff in the back, wasn't from here, but Spunky Eclectic. Yum.

Now it's back to those dang lights.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Blueberry Hill

Thank you for all the healthy wishes. I feel much better today!

As promised, I finished up another pair of socks. I kitchenered the toes and wove in the ends just this morning.

Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock, Blueberry Hill
Pattern: Plain Vanilla Socks on 64 stitches

I'd casted on for them while I was contemplating the substitute for the ill fated Latvian Lace. Although I had decided that they weren't what I was looking for, I didn't rip them out. All last week I kept turning to them and knitting a few rounds here and there. Before I knew it, they were finished.

Words cannot express my love for these socks. Supersock is awesome! Soft, squishy and tightly twisted. I foresee more purchases in the future.

Speaking of purchases... Way back late this summer I had placed an order for two different colorways of merino/tencel from Chameleon Colorworks. I'd gotten one right away along with a note saying that the other would be sent shortly. About a month ago I'd realized that I'd never received the rest of the order. I sent an email off inquiring about it. We came to the conclusion that the mail had ate it and she would send a replacement immediately.

Since the original colorway wasn't available, I opted to choose a different one so that she didn't have to dye up more just for me. Well, I got the package today. Imagine my surprise when I got not just some gorgeous fiber, but some free stuff too! Janel so kindly gave me some Optim as a thank you. Wow, I can't wait to try this stuff out!

Beautiful colors, no?

Gee, I guess I need to hurry up and finish spinning the superwash merino that's hanging out right now. Then again, I have no idea what I'll do with either. I'm thinking one should be done laceweight.

This is the Heatwave colorway from Crown Mountain Farms. I'm trying to spin ever so slightly thicker than the last batch. So far, so good.

That's about from here. I'm hoping to get some cleaning done today and tomorrow so that we can set up the Christmas tree and all the decorations early next week. I'll leave with you just one more picture.

Look who learned to stand this week!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Please Pass the Nyquil

I sure hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Ours was, well, interesting. Reilly and Connor woke up that morning with slight fevers and runny noses. After spending a good chunk of time cooking that day, both refused to eat. I suspect that both of their throats hurt since the sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce were the only foods poked at.

Saturday everything got even better when Marc and I woke up sick. So between illnesses, cheap modem problems and general holiday activities, I'm behind. Yeah, what else is new.

So when I wasn't cuddling with the boys, I managed to finish up a few things.

Yarn: Handspun from Good Vibrations (Crown Mountain Farms)
Pattern: Plain Vanilla Socks on 72 stitches

Yarn: Elann Peruvian Highland (dark green) and Wolle Rodel Merino (blue)
Pattern: very loosely based off of The Handy Book of Patterns

Well, since I can't really think straight I'll cut this post short. I should be back later this week with another pair of socks.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I'm Procrastinating

Lots to share today. I really should be baking for tomorrow.

First up, all the loot I came home from the Post Office with. Well, most of it. There's a few books but since they're Xmas presents I can't look at them yet.

As mentioned in my last post, I'd been waiting on some new needles. No, nothing broke. I'm very picky about which needles I use when knitting cables. I like them nice and pointy for cabling without a cable needle. Arwen has the arm and the front pieces worked all at the same time, so a long needle is required. Nothing in the collection was working out right. Time for new needles, right? One would have sufficed.

After four years of kniting, I have finally decided to embrace my knitting style in that my purls are larger than my knits. That means two different sizes. I started Arwen with two circulars but it started to drive me nuts with the loose ends hanging and getting caught. Thus, the salvation to my crisis:

Yup, I went ahead and did what everyone else already has. I haven't played with them yet, but I'm impressed with them so far. Now, I can get back to Arwen!

I also went ahead and bought the color cards from Zipperstop. Can, I just say "wow"? Oh, yeah, baby. WOW!

Look at all those colors! And there's three more sheets not shown. Maybe now I can get off my butt and order an appropriate zipper for Mariah.

Okay, enough of my spending habits. I finished up half of the roving from Crown Mountains Farms.

The first measurement of yardage gave me over 600 yards for 4 ounces. My heart sank since I had wanted it to be for socks, not lace. I shrugged it off and threw it in the sink, hung it up to dry and went to bed. The next morning I could see that the yarn had fluffed up considerably and the skein didn't seem quite as long as before. A quick down and dirty recalculation gave me about 500 yards. Whew. I blame alot of the shrinkage on the fact that I tend to wrap my yarn around the niddy noddy very tightly. So tightly that I almost couldn't get it off the dang thing this time. Lesson learned.

Eagerly I casted on and this is my progress of this morning. These are going to be the replacement pair for the ill fated Latvian Lace. Nothing fancy to detract from the pretty colors of the yarn. Plus, they'll get done much faster.

One last picture of Connor on his birthday. I spent all of Monday afternoon icing that cake. Every year I wonder why I do these kinds of cakes. Then when their faces light up, I remember why.

Hey, mom! This is what four years of schooling comes in handy for.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Things Were Going So Well...

... and then, snap.

(look at the yarn end)

The first time it happened, I wasn't sure what happened. I had left the sock on the bookshelf and when I came back the yarn was broken. Naturally I blamed a child. The second time, it ever so slightly got snagged on the edge of a throw pillow.

There's no way I can give these away now! The thought of them wearing through quite quickly scares me. So, back to the drawing board. I've entertained the thought of giving this person a different gift, but it ruins my grand idea. I wanted to package these up with some sock yarn, needles and a pattern for a fellow knitter who hasn't attempted socks yet. So, I'll spend some time this weekend thinking about my options.

Here's my progress on Arwen. I'm ready to cast on for the sleeves, but have to wait for my needles. Hopefully they'll be at the mailroom tomorrow. Fingers are crossed so that I can get back to knitting.

Well, with one more day left of the Fall Cleanup, I think that my prediction was correct. I have spent the past three days cleaning and have yet to see anyone in the entire building help. I've called in quits and figure if someone from the Housing Office wants to complain about the stuff not done, too bad. Heck, my downstairs neighbor hasn't even bothered to walk the bag of garbage sitting in front of their door for a week now outside. Eew!

I'm going to relax the rest of today and sift through the sock yarns to see what inspires me.

Marc wishes everyone a wonderful weekend!

Monday, November 13, 2006

While I Have Time

I'd hoped to have more to show this morning, but alas things happen. Sure, I could have waited until later in the week but I've got a very busy week ahead. Make that the next two weeks.

This week is the Fall Community Cleanup here on post. It's a chance to make all the buildings and the grounds look nice and clean, just in time for the snow. Knowing full well that the other families in my stairwell will not be participating there's alot for me to do. I mean, why should it be an different than any other day. Basically, I can't stand my neighbors. Dirty and lazy. Long story and I really don't feel like getting my blood pressure up, so I'll stop now.

Next week Connor turns two and then there's Thanksgiving. It's weird, I can't believe he's going to be two, yet I can't believe he's only going to be two.

Well, onto the fiber.

The second Latvian Lace sock is almost to the heel. Two more repeats, gusset time warp and then it's onto the home stretch. This is what I'd really wanted to have almost finished. I got distracted by something new.

Sure, it doesn't look like much, but it's an almost half finished back to Arwen. I'm using Salishan, a cotton/wool yarn I picked up from KnitPicks. It was really cheap and couldn't resist.

For some reason I've been craving a rusty red/copper/orangey sweater for a few months. It's typically not a color I would pick to wear, but it's always good to shake things up. The color's a bit more muted in real life, but I had to use the flash. Winter is here in Germany and we won't have true to life colors until April.

I'll sign off for now and be back when I have something interesting to show ya'll. Have a great week!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Hourglass Pullover

This is what I've been working on so secretively.

Pattern: Hourglass Pullover from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Knitpicks Main Line in Dusty Lavender

When I had said I was itching to cast on for a sweater I meant it. At first I thought I'd just swatch. Well, the swatch led to starting the body. I then figured that I'd get bored once I got to the sleeves. That didn't happen either. Before I knew it (ten days later) I had a finished sweater! Wow, it's amazing how quickly things get done when you stick to it and only work on one thing.

I had picked this yarn up in the summer when they had discounted it to 1.97 a ball. In fact I have more in their blue. The yarn itself is nice and soft but it is pilling a little already. For the price I got it for, I don't mind so much.

After hearing about many knitters running short on yarn, I knew I had to do some yarn conserving. According to the yardage I had, I would be cutting it pretty close. First I opted to not do a hemmed edge and replaced it with seed stitch. Then I shortened the body and the sleeves a bit. I'm short so this was sensible since the sweater will probably lengthen with wear. The modifications made weren't necessary in the long run, since I have three balls left. But it fits perfect. Yay!!!

Instead of doing a traditional bind-off, I opted to do a grafted one. I'm never happy with how the usual looks with ribbing and seed stitch. I think it looks nice, even if it doesn't match the cast on.

For those who want to see how it fits, here ya go. Please excuse the lack of makeup and messy hair. I have to seize quiet moments to take pictures when I can.

Next up, another sweater and maybe a finished pair of socks. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Superman, Batman and Pumpkin Boy hope that y'all had an awesome Halloween!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

31 Days of Socks

Today's the last day of Socktoberfest. Whew! My fingers sure have been busy knitting up those socks. I even managed to do a pair over the weekend.

Yarn: Wolle Rodel Sport and Strumpf Wolle Color
Pattern: toe up with no-wrap short rows

Yes, these bad boys only took 4 days. Gotta love the size 5 feet and 7 stitches per inch. No, they're not for me, my feet aren't that small. Or even remotely close. Someone on my knitting list mentioned high heating bills and cold feet, so they're getting two pairs.

I still have yet to finish the Latvian Lace socks, but I give myself a few more weeks for them. They're not exactly a fast knit.

I'm actually kinda burned out on the socks. Good thing that I signed up for the Warm Hands knitalong. Some little boys I know need new mittens. Well, to be honest, I don't really feel like making mittens either. I'm itching to cast on for a new sweater. I know, it's the last thing I need to be working on right now. Yet, it's getting to be that point where I'm squirming. Indeciveness about which one to start is the only reason I haven't casted on yet.

Ok, I'm off to go think about my choices some more. Maybe I'll have something to show next time too. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 27, 2006

It's All About the Socks

Pattern: Gentlemen's Fancy Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks
Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Crazy Woman (I think, I lost the band)

These are the replacements for the cabled socks from last week. I only used the stitch pattern for them, substituting my usual heel and toe. My gauge was also different so I only worked them on 56 stitches. A nice fast knit!

Closeup of stitch pattern and better shot of the color

Whew. It's been one of those weeks! I had let a lot of things build up and with the news I had received on Monday, my body revolted. I've since spent the entire week with my behind planted on the couch with an excrutiatingly painful back. Tylenol and antacids have become my best friends. One might think that this equals quality knitting time, but at times it hurt just to be awake. Thankfully, it's feeling somewhat better and I'm able to get around the house easily. I'm not pushing it though, I don't want to overdo it.

Thankfully, I've received a few things in the mail that have helped keep my mood in good spirits.

This book was a present from my hubby. For no reason either! Honestly, I think it's to butter me up for something. :)

Isn't this too cute? Keri sent me a little package with a few knitting themed gifts and I love everything. Especially the chocolate that is now gone... Thanks Keri!

Awhile ago, I had won a contest on Kim's blog. She had just moved to a new town and was in the process of getting their house finished so I wasn't too concerned when I didn't receive my prize right away. Actually, I had kinda forgotten all about it and was quite surprised when I opened up the package. Thank you, Kim, I appreciate it!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Scoop du Jour

Pattern: Scoop du Jour
Yarn: Gedifra Wellness, I think 10 balls

Yay, it's done! Well, almost. I need to reblock it for the button and neck band. I also need to tighten up the cast off edge since I did it a bit too loose.

While I'm at, I should just rip the whole dang thing out and reknit it. Once again, it's too big. I really have a hard time with this, don't I? I won't rip because it's going to make a great around the house/errand sweater.

I just love these buttons!

I'd had this great post made up in my head, but I can't recall any of it. I just found out that our battalion has lost our sixth soldier. It's only been eleven weeks. I'm really not liking these statistics. Frankly, it scares the crap out of me. I could get into it more, but I won't. Mostly because I can't quite make sense of what I should say.

Have a great week everyone! I'll be back when I'm in a cheerier mood.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Pretty Cabled Socks

Yarn: Knitpicks Swish in Red Pepper overdyed with Burgandy
Pattern: Karen's Sugar Free Socks

I'd had some reservations about finishing these barely mentioned before socks. In the interest of clearing up the needles, I finished them up since I was already near the toe when I had put them aside.

Ok, so there's a bit of a story behind these. I'd ordered the yarn after comparing the color swatches online and in the catalog. It showed such a pretty bright but deep red. Look at what I got:

Bright flaming red that was flat and devoid of any beauty. Prompty I put in an order and got some burgundy dye. My first "real" dyeing experience. Lessons learned: overdyeing uses alot less dye than I had anticipated and tie the skeins very loosely.

Nonetheless, the color I ended up with was quite pretty.

This is a horribly out of focus and dark picture, but I think it best represents the final color.

Well, because I had tied the skeins too tightly, there were a few spots where the original color popped up. Originally I had intended to gift these away, but in good conscience I can't now. So, I get a new pair of super thick and cushiony socks.

I've got some last minute planning to do now!