Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas Came Early
I was tickled pink when hubby handed me the mail last night on his way in the door from work. He handed me a nice white envelope. What was inside? Christmas from MOM. I wasted no time today in making her perceived wish for me to have a very Merry Christmas by spending her money; and spend I did.

I have exhausted my sock stash except for three skeins of a cotton blend that I am not sure I really like that much now that I have knit one pair with that brand. I love the wool and wool blends so that means technically, I am out of sock yarn. Now what's a girl to do??? Shop of course. With checkbook in hand, I helped to support my most favorite LYS. I have been lusting after some sock yarn there for some time now but sometimes my appetite for yarn far exceeds my cash flow. So I knit from the stash until I get the cash. My mom's envelope pushed me over the edge! Yeehaw!

I have never knit with either of these two yarns, so I am very excited to have them in the fold.I took this under the light of a living room lamp so it's a bit darker than most photos, but you get the jest. It's Austermann Step. Other knitters at my Thursday group have used this before and say it's a dream to knit with because it's soft. So, I am excited about knitting with this. My friend Susan J said that it really does make stripes like the picture shows on the label, and I am counting on that! Then Susan S brought out some new yarns that I missed out on the first time she had them, and this time I was ready! This is the second helping of sock yarn purchased today with such JOY! It's Araucania. It's a hand dyed yarn from Chile by Araucania Yarns. I am not a huge fan of pinks but this was muted enough I could handle it. It's 100 grams and boy I can't wait to get into this stuff. Has anyone else made socks with it yet?

Then I was lucky enough to have been in the shop on Monday when Susan S got a nice big shipment of cool things and I have bought two already. I was in the shop looking to buy my niece some crocheting supplies for Christmas and bought one of these for her crochet supplies so they can sit neatly near to where she is crocheting. I loved it so much, that I also bought one for me. This is a little organizer that is made from clear plastic. It stands up with a metal stand and is just small enough to hold a pair of in progress socks. Both sides of the stand have three little pockets where you can put little (non-sharp) items in. I am lovin' this! I posed my new yarn next to it so you would have an idea just how small it is. The proper name is Handy Caddy. This would make a great gift for a knitter if you want to spend less than $20 for a gift. I am sure my niece will love it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

And Baby Makes Three

Recently I was talking about how I would have one project almost finished and lusting mentally about the next project in line. The week of Thanksgiving was no different. I still have my Guinea Hen socks on the needles and now have moved on to another project.

When a LYS was changing owners this past summer, I took a drive over there and took a peek. I am pretty loyal to my favorite yarn shop but every now and then I do stray. So I made some purchases and socked them away for another day. Since both my sons are in the Army, I bought some camoflouge yarn. I thought a beanie or watch cap would be cool. NOT. Or so I was so politely told by my son one morning while he was eating.

I asked him if I made a beanie of the yarn, would he wear it. Nope, no way, no how. Well! Ungrateful so-n-so. Then he sweetly looked up at me with a mouth full of food and said that he did know of something that I could knit for him...a baby afghan. Okay, is there something he needed to tell me? Was this his foot in the door of what was going to be a very awkward conversation? Ugh! Thankfully, no. My son explained how a co-worker was going to have a baby and an afghan would be a lovely gift. We talked about how my endeavor was going to be financed. He agreed he would pay and I would provide the labor (pun intended).

So, that's all I needed to sort of justify my trip the day before Thanksgiving to the yarn shop. I looked at what was there, and of course loved everything. Ruth helped me decide and this is what we came up with.
I can't remember if I have ever used this brand of yarn before, but it's such a delight to knit with. It's soft and doesn't split like my sock yarn does. I bought 6 skeins to make a rather large afghan. I think the pattern said that it would cover a playpen. It's been a while since I have seen a playpen, but aren't they huge? Here is a close up of part of the blanket. It's mindless knitting and I am sure happy about it! I have been toting this project with me to work and to the shop for about six days now. I got the pattern free with the purchase of the yarn. The best part is, I can down size the number of repeats and make a scarf, or I can increase them and make a really large blanket. So it was well worth the purchase of the yarn to have a pattern that I can use time and time again. Hopefully in the next few weeks, it will be done. I have almost finished three of the six skeins. So I am well on my way to being done. The baby is a girl and is due in Feb of '08. Now about those socks...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Guinea Hen Socks
I haven't posted in a while because I have been knitting. I seem to be obsessed by socks lately. I had made great progress on my latest socks but hit a snag last night. I have run out of the reinforcement yarn I have been using for the heels and toes. So I guess I will have to stop by The Knitting Corner today on my way home from work and get some more yarn. I was so in the zone last night and then I got almost to the end of one toe and...nothing.

As you can see the pattern that I had talked about in my last post has changed. The swirl got less and less as I went down towards the toe. The pattern became more stripped like I had though it would. I love how they have turned out but totally frustrated that I have run out of the reinforcement yarn. Here is another view of the socks.

Not only have I made good progress on my socks, but I knit one plain square for the Breast Cancer Afghan for The Knitting Corner. I am trying right now to knit the pattern square. I have made some progress on that square and hopefully will finish it over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Then...I have no idea what I will do next. I have an on going shawl and will show that later. I am looking forward to the yarn sales at the shops. After I recover from the 5,000 calorie dinner the shopping will begin!
Safe travels to all who are hitting the traffic today both in the air and on the interstates and have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sock it to me baby...more socks
I am on a roll with knitting my basic Sue sock pattern. I love this pattern. The more I knit it, the better I get. I have even mastered the Kitchener stitch to close my toes. I have had a mental block doing this, but finally after umpteen tries, I finally got it. Of course I am saying the sequence out loud every time I do it, but who cares. The dogs don't pay me any attention so I just keep right on going.

Here is what I was mentally casting on as I was finishing the last pair of socks. I still have an orphan to finish from another pair, but I will tackle that after the next two projects. Here are the latest socks.

This is Tofutsies yarn. I have never knit with it before. So far it's been pretty good to knit until I drop a stitch. I find it a bit splitty when trying to pick up a dropped stitch. I keep a steel crochet hook next to me when knitting socks. I love how soft it is and the way the pattern is spiraling down the sock. One sock has a wider pattern to the swirl than the other. I am not sure if that is my tension or what. I am using #1 dpns. and 72 stitches. I do love superwash wool socks better so we'll see how this goes.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

First there was one...

and now there are two.

I had the whole day off yesterday due to circumstances beyond my control (Hubby's pick-up developed some problem and I lost the use of my wheels so he could go to work). So I had a mental list of things that I needed to accomplish and getting my socks done was #1. Now just because it's #1 doesn't mean that it got done first. I vaccumed, I clean two bathrooms, washed dishes (do they multiply in the middle of the night if you don't wash them right before you go to bed?), stripped the bed, did three loads of laundry, cleaned out the cranky cat's litter box, took out the trash and finally finished my socks. What is that old saying, "A man's work is done with the setting sun, but a woman's work is NEVER done." Well that completely explains my day. I knew I wasn't going to be home all weekend so Friday was the clean the house day.

Since I was so excited about finishing another pair of socks, I cast on a new pair. Does anyone else do that. As they are physically finishing one project, mentally they are starting another? Well I went through the list of projects I want to do. Sure does seem like it's a never ending list; just like cleaning house. Whew!