Thursday, March 23, 2006

Bad Knitting

This week's knitting progress has been pretty much fruitless. Problems keep popping up and I'm unhappy about it.

When I had measured Mariah's hood earlier this week, apparently I can't. After a whole day of chugging away on it, I only managed to get about 6 inches done with about 4 to go. For some reason I'm having a hard time picking it up now.

The Gentleman's Fancy Sock is being fussy. Or perhaps it's my foot. Once I got past the gussets I tried it on and it's really tight. Granted my feet are a bit swollen right now and perhaps I should just put them down for a few weeks. Once the baby's born and the swelling goes down I can get a better sense of whether I have to rip or not. I really hope not.

Reilly's been bugging me about a blue hat for months now. I picked up the yarn on Sunday and casted on last night. I swatched, honest! It lied. He tried it on this morning and although it "fits", there's no room to grow. Since he'll only get maybe one or two wears this season, it really needs wiggle room. Rrrrriiiiiipp...

The yarn for my sock pal just shipped yesterday (ordered two weeks ago) so I'm starting to feel the crunch. Yikes! I did receive the Highland Wool from Elann. Both colors were alittle bit off, despite me having a color card but I still like them. I'm dying to start either Ribby or the Manly Sweater but can't bring myself to start another sweater before Mariah is closer to being finished.

Honestly, I don't think that the knitting is all that bad, I'm just in a bit of a slump personally. The baby is due in less than two weeks. I want it out now. It's gotten to that stage where every little movement hurts and it's just a PITA to do anything. I don't care that we don't have a name picked out yet or that the baby's room is still covered with boxes of yarn. Or that everyday he stays inside means a relatively full nights sleep for me.

Maybe I just need a nap. Or a latte with a big bar of chocolate. Yum.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Few Blue Socks

Thank you everyone for your nice comments on the Opal socks and all the well wishes for a wonderful weekend! I meant to respond, but then, I'm so far behind I just figured I'd start over.

Our weekend ended up being very nice, if not expensive. Friday and Saturday was spent at both the local PX and the big one in Wurzburg getting things he needed/wanted. Me? A candle. On Sunday Kathleen drove over and we headed downtown to the Fishmarkt. It's essentially where different vendors sell a predetermined amount of goods in a basket for a set price. What's in the mix is what you get. Last year we had a great time, but this year it coincided with a Sunday store opening* and it was mobbed. We grabbed some food from some vendors and wandered away from the mayhem towards the other shops. Yes, I mean the wool shops....

I was good and ended up with only four balls of sock yarn.

Yarn: Wolle Rodel Sport and Strumpfwolle

Pattern: My standard top down on 48 stitches

I whipped these up this weekend for Reilly. I really like this sock yarn It's slightly thicker with a suggested gauge of 7 stitches per inch and works up very cushy. I had bought the yarn with the intention of making a pair for myself, but the ball band suggests two balls for an adult foot. I only used half of it (50 gms left) so I could have made them for me. He really likes them, so I guess that's all that matters.

I'm rather enjoying the socks again and had to start this beauty. It's the Gentleman's Fancy Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks. When I first got this book, this was the only pattern that I knew I HAD to knit. I'd kinda forgotten about them in my manic sweater phase. But Kathleen started a pair and showed them to me and the interest was rekindled. I'm using the Trekking she brought last weekend and I'm really liking how it's coming out.

Mariah? Halfway done with the hood and then the blocking shall commence...

*Stores in Germany are not open, requiring a special permit to do so. Twice a year they're allowed to open for business and it gets quite busy.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

UFO #2 and a FO

Yarn: Opal Rainforest, Flamingo

Pattern: My standard top down on 64 stitches

The strawberry cheesecake icecream socks are done and now I'm seriously craving some icy cold treats. This was my first time working with Opal and I can't say that I'll become a die hard fan. I found that the yarn had no sproing whatsoever and this led to extreme laddering. Granted I always get some, but it's really bad! I haven't worn them yet, so after that and a good washing, I'll decide for sure what I think.

The Koolaid dyeing I did last week turned out to be a disaster. I forgot the vinegar and almost all of the color ran out. I know that some people say that you don't need vinegar, but I have never had bleeding this bad. I finally gave in and ordered some Bearfoot in the same colors I had been trying to get. Since my order hasn't even shipped yet, I started on another pair of socks. This time I'm making a pair for Reilly and he picked out the colors: purples, blues and greens. (He also reminded me that he needs a new hat.)

I found the best solution for my second UFO for the Lent along. After a year and a half it was time to deal with this unfinished Clapotis:

I turned it into this:

Perhaps this is cheating? Well, I never liked the dimensions of it; I made it way too skinny. And then the yarn was all wrong, the stitches too loose and the twisted ones looked very wonky. So it's been reabsorbed by the stash until I find another project that will work out better. I'm happy with the decision and if it weren't for the Lent Along, it probably would have sat there for another year and a half.

Royd got home last night! He arrived in town late yesterday morning and we fully expected him to be released mid-afternoon. At almost five o'clock he called to say that he had just found out that he couldn't come home until everyone in the battallion was back. They were still waiting for an entire company that wasn't expected for a few more hours. So much for dinner! At nine I heard the tanks rolling down the street and knew it would be quite some time until he got home. Finally, at one am he walked through the door.

This morning both the boys were delighted to see him before he had to go back to work. Thankfully we have a three day this weekend to play catch up before his schedule gets crazy again.

Monday, March 13, 2006

UFO #1

Pattern: Mittens from Knitters Handy Book of Patterns

Yarn: Woolease

Here is my first finished UFO for Kimberly's Lent Along. I started these as a present two Christmas' ago. All that needed to be done were the thumbs. Seriously, how hard is that? It only took me 15 minutes, including weaving in the ends! I've put them into the Charity Pile to be sent off later this month. Now I'm not sure what I'll tackle next.

I do believe that my interest in socks has been rekindled. Working on the ill-fated Koigu socks last week left me wanting more. I was craving rounds and rounds of knit stitches. That lead to these:

The color is the Flamingo colorway, but for some reason they remind me more of Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream. I'd blame it on cravings, but there hasn't been any lately. I started the second last night in hopes of defeating SSS, but I'm seeing that that might be a problem.

That's because these little beauties showed up in the hands of Kathleen last night. Yum, I love me some Trekking! It was kinda funny because I had been telling her how much I had paid for some from the States. Ordinarily I wouldn't have done it, but I was already buying and just really wanted some more. Well, she was at the yarn store that carries it and got it for me. Anyway, it's about half the price that I paid! Thanks babe, can't wait for our next yarn crawl!

In all honesty, I don't see much progress on Mariah happening until next week. Royd gets home in two days and I've got a million things to do until then. Good thing that socks are the perfect project to work on in between things!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Random Friday

Yesterday was a yucky day all around and although I had meant to post, I just couldn't. Between the nasty weather and the kids driving me bonkers, I was in the foulest of moods. Thankfully today the sun is shining, the snow is melted and at least Connor is in a better mood.

Notice I only said Connor. Reilly is driving me insane!!!!!!! Five days left until Royd gets home and let me tell ya, I. Can. Not. Wait! I'll be packing them both up in the car and sending them away for a little daddy time while I take a long soak in lots of bubbles. Aaahhhhh...

As far as Mariah goes, I've got about 20 rows left before I start the hood. The yoke is taking short of forever and I had to put it away last night for fear of boredom.

I started a pair of socks for my sock pal in Koigu, but I'm going to run out. So, today I pulled out some Knitpicks Dye Your Own and some Koolaid. I hope the colors look as nice knitted up as they do in the skein.

Tuesday we had a snow storm and I was quite mad about it. While perusing Elann, I saw that they put up some more colorsof their Highland Wool. Ones I've been wanting and there's been a GC burning a hole in my account, so I had to partake. Nothing like a little yarn therapy.

The Oregano will be for a Ribbi and I think the Dark Indigo Blue will be something for Royd. I think he'll like the color and if not, I'll use it for the boys. Blue will not get wasted in this house!

Have a great weekend! I hope that I have something to show you next week.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Banish Your UFOs!

There's a new button up in the side bar. Okay, I'm not Catholic but Royd is "technically". But I do have a few UFOs that need to get out of the pile. I haven't decided which will get done since I really only have three more weeks to work on them. I had thought about ripping an ill-fitting sweater and redoing, but I'd rather concentrate on something else. Perhaps I'll tackle some baby blankets for charity so that I can finally mail them out.

This weekend didn't produce as much as I'd had hoped, but I'm overall happy with my progress. I just started on the yoke of Mariah, but am struggling with the final cable repeat. I had shortened the sleeves and now am having problems working out how to do the cable. I'm either going to have to eliminate it or make it shorter. I'm leaning towards making it shorter.

I did get all of the Plums and Berries spun and plied. Here's one skein and the colors are pretty accurate. The other skein is still dripping wet.

I just had to share the following picture. In the past week Connor has become strangely obsessed with his blanket. He carries it around everywhere and snuggles up with it on the couch. It's too cute! Reilly has a teddy bear he has to sleep with, but it doesn't compare to this. Also, he has learned to blow kisses. Adorable!

Please excuse the dirty face and shirt. One year olds don't seem to stay clean for long...

Friday, March 03, 2006

Where's Spring?

I find the scene outside my window completely depressing.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Color Therapy

Thank you for all your kind comments regarding my last post. I'm okay and will be during the deployment. It's just the kind of news you can never prepare yourself for, regardless that you knew it was coming.

Anyhoo, I'm choosing not to dwell on it right now and focus on other things. Like wool!!!

Three pieces down, two to go. So far I've gotten the back, one sleeve and the left front done. I opted to not go in the order in which the pattern called for to break it up. Since the sleeves take about three days and the other pieces only a day, it's all about perceived progress. Hopefully by next week I'll have all completed and can start the yoke.

As much as I love how this yarn (Patons Classic Merino) knits up and the color I chose, I'm craving color. Any color. If you hadn't noticed, I'm kinda in a sweater mode right now and haven't touched a sock since my New England disaster. Rooting through the sock stash, nothing quite inspired me (though I am eyeing some online for my sock pal!).

Well, sitting next to that bin are the rovings I just ordered. Since I haven't started spinning the next batch of Maple Sugar, the bobbins are free. Yes, they call out to me to fill them! Before you know it, eight ounces of Cotswold are being pulled out and prepared for their destiny.

Meet Plums and Berries from the friendly folks at Nistock Farms. What a completely different experiences this is than all my prior ones. The wool is course and prepped into fat fluffy roving. The singles are quite hairy, yet so shiny. I'm excited to see how they ply up.

Well, looks like I have an exciting weekend planned. Hope yours is just as wooly!