Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas socks

The Boyfriend bought me sock yarn for Christmas. I had mentioned Knit Picks Essential or Opal in red, blues or purple. He also helped his mother and brother buy me sock yarn. His parents came up with a teal Regia, another excellent choice. His brother and his wife gave me a red-blue Opal and a blue-white Opal, more excellent choices. And The Boyfriend, he gave me a yarn gift certificate accompanied by “Tiger” Opal. You know what tiger means? Orange and white and Yellow and Brown and Black. I’m seeing a communication breakdown here.


And what was the result of getting three skeins of sock yarn I really liked and one I despised? I cast on the Tiger yarn immediately and informed Mr. Boyfriend that he’d be the ‘lucky’ recipient of this pair. To which he stated he’d be happy to wear them. And now that I reflect upon the happenings I’m wondering if he had an ulterior motive here. His high school mascot was a Tiger after all.


Arya didn’t much care for the sock yarn. She was more interested in being a present.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Yarn Buyer's Remorse

I find the best way to deal yarn buyer’s remorse to knit with it immediately. 9 times out of 10 if I buy yarn and cast on right away it's because I'm feeling guilty about adding to the stash. And psychologically if I knit it up and out right away then it was never stash and I didn't do anything wrong/questionable. How do you like that logic?!?!

This is not a confession, this was some advice I recently gave a friend on a yarn diet who fell off the wagon. I was pleased with myself and thought I'd share.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Finished my third shawl

For the last two years I’ve been waiting for the shawl bug to bite me. I went through the mandatory felting period, where I knit and shrank almost everything I created. Next came the sock crazy. I’ve been submersed in socks for years, as you know. Loving them so much, in fact the last two years I’ve taken the 52 Pair Plunge, yes that’s a pair of socks a week. Some weeks are better than others. I’ve knit a few sweaters, averaging 2 a year I think. With all the girls going gaga for lace in 2009 I caved around Christmas time and tackled the springtime bandit. A rainbow colored Socks That Rock yarn. Not the greatest color or weight choice. Too heavy and so bright all of the detail of the lace is lost. Understandable I wouldn’t be hooked after that. A few months later I tried to get hooked again, this time with a more two color red-orange Schaefer Nicole yarn. Yes the feel of the yarn is wonderful but again too heavy and not enough yardage to make the size shawl I’d like. Again, not hooked. Should I be worried that I’m trying so hard to become addicted to something? To fit in with the crowd? I went back to my socks. Love my socks, they come out just the way I want and after knitting fifty or so pairs I don’t have yarn weight issues. I know what works and I use it.

And then Thanksgiving was coming. The many days of knitting while visiting with family usually means I can tackle a big project and make some serious headway. A few years back I started my Ivy League Vest over Thanksgiving and was pleased with the results come Monday morning. This year I opted to do a little Christmas knitting and tackle another shawl. I had bought yarn for this purpose at Rhinebeck and with the help of my friends, landed on the Seaside Shawlett by Wendy Johnson. Pattern in hand I went to stay at the Oceanside cottage for Thanksgiving. It seemed fitting. I knit fifty percent of this shawl over the holiday. It is a lovely cashmere blend fingering weight yarn. Not too heavy. Dark chocolate color to really show the stitch details. And the pattern was just the right challenge to entertain my brain.

Finally last week I finished my third shawl. After the three part bind off, it took forever! I stepped back and looked at my creation. Is that it? Is it really this small? That wouldn’t fit a child let alone my intended recipient. I fussed and fretted. I consulted the pattern and my left over yarn ball. Both indicated mine was somehow smaller than the one pictured. I reviewed my notes. Yes I had completed all the chart repeats, I had notes day by day. No way I got confused there. And then I looked at my needles. Pattern says size 6 needles. “if these are size 6s I’ll eat Isitt!” and I checked. Not size 6. Not size 5. Not size 4. But size 3!!!! How could I be such a dolt?!?!?! I was so anxious to cast on over Thanksgiving that I hadn’t checked the needles, just grabbed what I thought was a 6 after a few glasses of wine. I was heart broken. This lace thing would never work out. I won’t be able to give this beautiful Christmas gift I’d been planning. I walked away in disgust for a few days.

Late Sunday night I soaked the shawlett. I pinned it out with the help of Isitt and Linus. Both were relieved that I hadn’t actually meant to eat Isitt. I walked away for a few more days and resolved that I would still give the gift with my best of intentions and promise to knit another. During blocking I could see that the pattern didn’t look nearly as beautiful as it could’ve had the stitches been the right side. But you know, I am a loose knitter so it is probably more like a size 4. I could also see that the shawl spanned the width of the bed. None of my previous shawls did that. I had taken care to pull out the points along the edge but maintain the triangle shape as in the past I’d ended up with a more curved triangle that leaned toward my left arm instead of hanging nicely down to a point.

This morning The Boyfriend’s alarm went off at 5am. Try as we might, Isitt and I just couldn’t go back to sleep. So I unpinned the shawl from the guest bed. Moment of truth. It fit me just like the picture!!! No this can’t be right. I ran to the bathroom to check in the mirror. Yes, the point hits my waist. Or if I wrap it around my neck the ends hang down well to the sides. Plenty long. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!! My faith in shawls is restored. Overall I’d say the shawl is pretty. You can clearly see the lace details. It is symmetrically blocked so the point hangs down nice and straight. It is very light and airy having the perfect weight yarn. The cashmere blend is soft and pleasant to the touch and neck. I will be proud to give this gift. I will not however knit another shawl anytime soon. While I’m pleased to say that I can knit lace, I’m not overwhelmed by the return on investment. Give me sweaters and socks!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Any idea where this quote came from?

I know, it's not Christmas-y but I recently watched this and couldn't get the power of his words out of my head.

"There’s an Earth saying, Captain.

A phrase of great power and wisdom. And consolation to the soul in times of need, Allons-y!"


also new licence plate.

Monday, December 13, 2010

52ppIV AND 12in2011

I think there are several reasons sock knitting has eluded me this month and yarn purchases continue to occur.


First off, let me say that 28 pairs of socks in 29 weeks are a lot socks. That’s 56 individual socks. Sure some of them were baby socks. But 56! I have to admit that I’m worried there is some burnout going on. As comfortable as it for me to knit on size 1 needles, I am getting tired of producing the same thing over and over. And complicated interesting patterns don’t really speak to me, because they are slower and require more brain power. The other variable is the yarn which has lead me down the yarn buying path since stripping yarn matches so well with simple socks and my stash is remarkable low on stripping yarn. I just did a quick count, before going stripping yarn crazy there were only 11 skeins in the stash of stripping yarn. So I’ve stunted/halted my sock knitting by forcing myself to overproduce unchallenging socks. Realizing this, I’m giving myself permission to knit other things.


And once that permission was granted, well don’t you know that I went a little crazy. A couple new books arrived at my house, the Sock yarn book, and the New England Knits: Timeless Knitwear with a Modern Twist. Both have enticed me away from socks and onto other things. The NE Knits book is seriously beautiful. I class unto itself. I’m so inspired by 7 or 8 of those patterns that I want to knit nothing but sweaters. But coming back to Earth, I realize that I knit myself two sweaters in 2009, and so far two sweaters in 2010. So before I launch into giant sweaters worth of yarn purchases I decided to do two things.



First finish my Lefyi sweater. I knit half of in a week this summer while The Boyfriend was at fishing camp, and upon his return I promptly put in the closet to sit untouched until now. There are three other sweaters on the needles right now but two are summer weight so no rush there, and the third is colorwork which I intended to be a slow project.



Secondly join the 12in2011 group on Ravelry. This is a club that encourages it’s members to prep for a 2011 stash down by identifying 12 projects they really want to make next year and then pairing them with yarn that’s already in the stash. In my usual fashion, I over did it, and found 17 projects. But the point is, half of them are sweaters from New England Knits.



So once the Lefyi is finished, I’m launching into a new adventure with the 12in2011. That’s not to say I wont knit socks anymore. I’m just not going to feel guilty for knitting something other than a sock. And I’m still accomplishing the same end goal of using up some stash yarn if I stick to the rules of the 12in2011.



First on the needles…January 1st 2011…



The Melrose Peacoat by Cecily MacDonald using my navy Cascade Eco+. Don’t worry, I’ll give a full accounting of what my 12in2011 in the coming weeks as I get prepped for it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Grinch

The tree is up. The lights are up on the tree. I think we’re decorated.

I’m just not into it this year. Something about it being December 12th and 45 degrees with a steady rain and not a single snow flake has fallen this winter. If you can even call it a winter, I think of it more as an extended fall at this point. So how can I feel holiday cheer? I submit that I can not. Humanly impossible.

I can’t even bring myself to knit Christmas gifts. I’ve accepted that this just isn’t my year for Christmas. That must make me the Grinch.

It is still early, I could be rehabilitated. Here’s hoping.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

November 52PPIV Progress Update

1. Finish the 3 WIPs and 8 pairs of hibernating socks I currently have on the needles. One of those pairs is from April 2009. Really it’s time to finish it.

November: five pairs of socks hibernating. Now including all three of last month’s new WIPs. Oh that’s a sad state. I hadn’t realized. –Isitt-Dilemma, Purple Socks, and Yes to the Dress.

Added a few more active WIPs because what would life be if I didn’t have WIPs? The Boyfriend Socks out of a Fortissima Socka self striping yarn he picked out and I immediately cast on during the Birthday Appetizer Trip. It’s a simple 4x4 rib but I ‘accidently’ made the first one too small so they’re for me. Really I didn’t mean to make them too short. I will have to knit him another pair so there’s no avoiding it.

Oh and I found the Froot Loop socks. I know I started them at a show this fall. Not sure when but I’ve been knitting them at lunch and in the car when I’m stuck in traffic. This is a great pattern for the classy results for minimal brain expenditure.

2. I currently have give-or- take 90 skeins worth of sock yarn. Enough to make 90 pairs of socks with lots of remnants. I will not stop buying new sock yarn but what if I can only knit the new after I’ve completed a pair with the stash sock yarn. Imagine if I cut the stash down by 26 skeins? That’d be a good part of a yarn bin free.

I’m going backwards here and I don’t even want to look. 9 new socks worth of yarn. I don’t want to talk about it. So I’m net 27 new skeins on this year.

3. Knit more with DK weight yarn. I’ve never knit a DK weight sock but it couldn’t hurt to make a pair of house socks for The DH, Mum, Dad, & Myself. Those will be quicker than regular socks.

I really don’t mean to be such a downer, but here is another goal that I’m falling short on. Just one pair!!!!! That’s all I need to feel like I complied.

4. For every full size pair I knit, knit a pair of kids socks. Not baby socks. Those are so small they’re useless. Kids socks that I can give to Sophie or Simon or put away for some future child.


But then, there was some success!!!!!

This month I got the Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders book by Judith Durant. Lots of cute patterns including an interesting baby sock pattern by Helen Bingham. So I knit one. And then I knit another in a different color, and then I knit a third and before you know it I was cranking out a sock a day for several days in a row until I had a baby sock rainbow. 10 pairs in all. Which puts me at 28 completed pairs. And as of November 20th I should be at 27 pairs. So for one brief moment I am ahead! In the count if nothing else.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has come and gone. I spent another enjoyable year with my In-laws, all 15 of them.

The Boyfriend and I counted, and we’re pretty sure this is the tenth year I’ve attended.

I’m pleased to say it never gets old. Each year is different in some way. Each year I get to know another member of the extended family a little bit more.

Each year I’m amazed that this family manages to come together once a year, every year for the past thirty plus years.

My in-laws are a wonderful mix of personalities and I am happy to be counted among their numbers.

They are completely different form my extended family yet I love them both and feel I belong with them both. I am truly thankful this Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ahh-chooooo

It looks like it could snow any moment, and my lovely husband recently gave me a cold. Wont that make for a fun ride home, ahh-chooo, ahh-chooo, in between wiper swipes! I should really be at home, but Black Friday is looming...big…and bad…and ugly. I sincerely hope you're going shopping.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ladies of the Family Get Down

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

October 52PPIV Progress Update

This is the progress update after the fifth month of the 52 Pair Plunge IV. I’m going to evaluate myself according to the 4 goals I’d set for myself at the start.

1. Finish the 3 WIPs and 8 pairs of hibernating socks I currently have on the needles. One of those pairs is from April 2009. Really it’s time to finish it.



This month I blasted through the Teacher’s Pet Monkey socks. I’m not sure if it was the pattern (I just love it and always want to knit just one more row) or the yarn. The Santa Fe sock yarn blew my mind. It’s a perfect substitute for Claudia’s Hand paint. I love that highly twisted texture of the yarn but have a hard time justifying 100% merino socks. I wore through my a pair of them in less than 10 wears, which is totally not worth the effort of knitting them. But now, who should walk through the door but this Santa Fe sock yarn with 10% nylon? See The Samurai smile. That’s not say that I love Claudia’s any less, I just won’t use it for another pair of socks (or if I must, not without reinforcing thread).

Next off the needles was a pair of simple two by two rib socks intended as mindless car knitting. And that’s just what they were. I knit these on the way to cat shows all over New York and Pennsylvania. I haven’t used the Trekking XL much, but it seems like a good workhorse yarn. Not too soft but I’d be willing to bet a skein of yarn that five years from now these babies will be well worn and ready for more.

And most recently I finished off the Red Queen socks. It’s the Anastasia pattern paired with this self stripping Ditto sock yarn. This is the second time I knit this pattern and I still enjoy its subtle change in the direction of the stripes. The yarn has been discontinued which doesn’t break my heart. I found it somewhat splitty which is not a complaint I often have being a loose knitter. I did enjoy the almost tonal stripes. It was difficult to tell when the next color would start which kept my interest.

And to replace those three FOs there are three new WIPs on the needles;

1) The Isitt-Dilemma or Isitt an Emma Dilemma: A stitch pattern from my page a day calendar and some Lorna’s laces Sheppard’s sock in Irving park. Named for the girls, Isitt & Emma.

2) The Need More Purple socks: exactly the same colors as the Isitt-Dilemma socks. This is the Hermione’s Everyday paired with some Aussie Sock in the color Hot Pepper, I just love that name.

3) Say Yes To The Dress: can you tell what I’ve been watching? Another simple 4x4 rib to knit while traveling to cat shows, in the show hall, or when I’m brain dead at the hotel after a day of showing. Who know showing cats could be so exhausting!?!? Sometimes I’m just too tired to even knit. Gasp!

I’d like to say that I have the same 4 pairs of hibernating socks that I did last month but I have to be honest, the Waves in PacaPeds and the new Isitt-Dilemma Socks have both moved into hibernation. I’ll definitely go back to the Isitt-Dilemma socks but for now they need more mental capacity then I have. Plus the yarn is VERY thin, a super light fingering which isn’t my favorite to knit with. And the Pacapeds are pooling something awful, hahaha the Wave socks are pooling! I’m not in love with the Nanners pattern with this yarn so I might just frog them and make fingerless mitts with the yarn instead. I’ll get back to you on that one.

2. I currently have give-or- take 90 skeins worth of sock yarn. Enough to make 90 pairs of socks with lots of remnants. I will not stop buying new sock yarn but what if I can only knit the new after I’ve completed a pair with the stash sock yarn. Imagine if I cut the stash down by 26 skeins? That’d be a good part of a yarn bin free.

Alright, well you have to give me some leeway on this one. I mean Rhinebeck was this month. How could I not buy sock yarn. But I did buy two sweaters worth of sock yarn. That’s a feebile attempt at explaining how it is that I acquired 21 skeins of sock yarn in a month. That more than undoes all of the work I’ve done to this point. Having completed 18 Pairs this plunge to date. And while I added 21 skeins I did finish off 3 so net is 18 new skeins.

3. Knit more with DK weight yarn. I’ve never knit a DK weight sock but it couldn’t hurt to make a pair of house socks for The DH, Mum, Dad, & Myself. Those will be quicker than regular socks.

I did cast on a pair of sport weight socks! That’s closer to DK then I’ve ever been before. They knit super fast! They are the Say Yes To The Dress Socks.

4. For every full size pair I knit, knit a pair of kids socks. Not baby socks. Those are so small they’re useless. Kids socks that I can give to Sophie or Simon or put away for some future child.

No baby socks this month.

In October I knit 3 pairs of socks, added to the 15 from the last four months and I’ve fallen a little further behind as I should be at 22 on October 26th. And now we’re approaching Christmas knitting time, mittens, hats, shawls, and cowls are in my future. But I’ll keep at the simple socks for Show Hall and in public knitting.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Halloween

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rhinebeck 2010



Rhinebeck WAS! It is an amazing display of yarn and goodies and a non-stop knitting runway show. I love the fall atmosphere and the fried artichokes! As you can see I did some damage on the stash front.

--Pictured are several colors of Socks That Rock –including two skeins of medium weight for a BSJ,

--Sanguine Gryphon Bugga (20% cashmere fingering weight merino) in the color Cowkiller (no less than a sweaters worth),

--Footnotes Optics and Kashmir for socks and a Christmas shawl, somebody who likes brown better watch out…

--Feederbrook Farm worsted handspun –lime, navy, and plum -120 yards for accent on a hat

--Pinewoods sock yarn, two skeins because she amazes me with her dye application and smooth color transitions

--Briar Rose 4th of July is the green-blue barber pole worsted yarn. Shown in the giant skeins on the right. Another sweaters worth

--Lorna’s laces Sheppard Worsted in Zombie Barbeque. I couldn’t resist the color once I read the name. IT’s the lime, gray, red color way. Another BSJ? A hat for me?

I also picked up the perfect buttons for my Scottish Green hat that I knit in January for Rhinebeck but was unable to find buttons that matched its mix of argyle and sophisticated style.

And who could forget the bummer stickers. The best one is on my fridge “If knitting were exercise, you could bounce a quarter off my ass.”

MMH is pumped to go to Maryland Sheep and Wool this spring. I could definitely be persuaded…

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rhinebeck Just 3 Days Away!

The forecast for Friday is rain.

Saturday is Windy with a high of 56.

Sunday is Sunny and 63.

Which means we’ll have a rainy drive down, a cold say Saturday and a warmer relaxing day on Sunday. I’m ok with that. Right now my desk is covered with tiny post-it notes reminding me to pack tissues, an expandable bag to carry purchases in, and my full set of needles so that I can cast on with new yarn. Going away with a bunch of gals always intrigues me. Not that woman want anything different than men, it’s just the group dynamic I guess. I’m wondering if there is some perfect snack item that we would all love or if a breakfast muffin mix would be appreciated more than a trip to Dunkin’. Probably not. Although that does remind me that I need to pack coffee, where’s the post-it? I get up entirely too early to wait for everyone else to wake up and go before getting some of that into my system.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rhinebeck Here I Come!

I’m not sure where September went but I’m pretty sure October is going there too. Between the start of the busy season at my job and running to the Cat Shows every weekend, I haven’t had a moment to stop and think. I am pleased that the hard work all around has paid off. First Mum and I have been having so much fun together as our Bella excels in the show ring. And this week I was promoted which is a nice pat $$ on the back for all of my efforts. My immediate thought was, ‘great now I can buy more yarn and sweaters!’ As only a true knitter would think. Something about fall makes me want to buy cloths. Perhaps it’s working in retail and hearing all of the seasonal hype. And the chill in the air gets every knitters blood pumping giving their fingers a rush of energy to knit more more more.


Oh and I know just where to buy some yarn!!! Rhinebeck is less than 10 days away!!! Can you believe it? I shouldn’t go without a shopping list. I did that the first year and bought entirely too much lovely sock yarn and nothing else. This year I know to buy some wine, buttons, and artichokes in addition to the mountains of yarn I’m inevitably drawn to.


To start the shopping list… I’ll definitely be coming home with


*Some Heavy Weight Socks that Rock, two skeins per color for some DK weight projects.


*A sweaters worth of something blue or brown,


*A few tempting skeins of sock yarn dyed in a manner that only an indy dyer can.


*And perhaps some Brooks Farm or Briar Rose. I’ve contemplated both in years past but haven’t been able to justify the price. But maybe this year…


Oh and looking at the vendor list I see that Jennie The Potter will be there. After hearing the Knitmore Girls talk about how great her stuff is, I’ll have to spend some time in that booth as well. Ditto on Carolina Homespun and Creatively Dyed Yarns.


And most importantly, fried or frenched artichokes. So yummy! Rhinebeck here I come!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

September 52PPIV Progress Update

This is the progress update after the fourth month of the 52 Pair Plunge IV. I’m going to evaluate myself according to the 4 goals I’d set for myself at the start.

1. Finish the 3 WIPs and 8 pairs of hibernating socks I currently have on the needles. One of those pairs is from April 2009. Really it’s time to finish it.

Last month I put the SKU socks in hibernation. It was a short one because I promptly finished them in a day of weekend knitting.

I had a short severe cold this month. And what do you do when you have a cold. Sleep and watch X-files. Which made me pull out my X-files socks. I don’t know why but I had made a rule that I could only knit on them while watching the show. I finished off the second sock in no time and have a new super heavy weight pair of socks to wear with my burgundy colored clogs. Can’t wait. Why is the Lightweight Socks That Rock closer to a sport weight?

I’m pleased to report that the sock yarn from my Fairy Yarn Mother has been turned into a lovely pair of Switcheroo Socks. The skein must’ve been ginormous because I knit myself, my size 11 feet a pair of tall socks and still had a quarter of the skein left. I love the lace of this pattern and knowing that Regia will last and last and last. I have a feeling these babies will be around for a while. As you can see, Isitt approves of them.

Four new WIPs on the needles as we speak, the 1) Teacher’s Pet Monkey: Monkey socks with Santa Fe yarn for a lovely teacher, 2) The Red Queen: a second pair of Anastasia socks with Ditto yarn for a fellow sock enthusiast, 3) Waves: a second pair of Nanner socks with Peca-Peds, 4) Arya’s Adventures: a simple 2x2 rib with Trekking XXL to knit in the show hall.

With the completion of two hibernating socks I’m down to just 4 pairs of hibernating socks. Overall it’s been a good Sock-tober.

2. I currently have give-or- take 90 skeins worth of sock yarn. Enough to make 90 pairs of socks with lots of remnants. I will not stop buying new sock yarn but what if I can only knit the new after I’ve completed a pair with the stash sock yarn. Imagine if I cut the stash down by 26 skeins? That’d be a good part of a yarn bin free.


Considering I completed two pairs of hibernating socks (which count as stash) and cast on a new pair with brand new yarn, I’m down 1 skein of stash. And than there was the Isitt yarn purchase which puts me up a skein overall.

3. Knit more with DK weight yarn. I’ve never knit a DK weight sock but it couldn’t hurt to make a pair of house socks for The DH, Mum, Dad, & Myself. Those will be quicker than regular socks.


I could say I’m still trying to overcome this challenge and knit some DK weight socks but that wouldn’t be true. I am completely stuck here. Alright next pair I cast on HAVE to be DK weight for The Boyfriend! No if-ands-or-buts about it.


4. For every full size pair I knit, knit a pair of kids socks. Not baby socks. Those are so small they’re useless. Kids socks that I can give to Sophie or Simon or put away for some future child.

No baby socks this month.

So for September I knit 3 pairs of socks, added to the 12 from the last three months and I’ve fallen a little behind as it should’ve been 5 for September. I’d give myself a 50% for this month since I only hit two goals. Of course it’s had to knit when my hands are full of kittens and we’re on the Cat Show Circuit. I’ll keep on it though! 5 in October and I’ll be back on track.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders: 101 Patterns That Go Way Beyond Socks!

It's here!
My first book! Ok it's not officially my book. But I did contribute a pattern for the book. The Boyfriend is secretly envious that I got my name in print before he had a chance to. I haven't received my final copy yet but I'm thrilled to see it listed on Amazon. You could order your copy today!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I bought yarn today and Isitt saw me

And as you can tell, she was less than pleased.
I'm rushing around preping for another cat show weekend. Thank goodness The Boyfriend can run the show while I'm away. He's wonderful! And I'm so lucky. Wonderful Boyfriend and adorable Isitt, what more could a girl want?

Monday, September 6, 2010

This Morning's Photo Shoot

I finished the Skew socks last night while watching 3:10 to Yuma. Very good movie by the way. This morning we had a photo shoot, me, the socks, and Isitt. I couldn't keep her away. So here are a few of her inspired photos.

Here is Isitt’s interpretation of ‘mother in motion’. I like the way my blue toe nails bring out the blue of the socks.

And here we see the white or pale yellow of the sock as Isitt daftly places here head in the space between the socks.

And my personal favorite. 3 Feet.

Kitten foot framing socks. How she knew that the timer would snap at just that second and that her foot would not hide my feet, I’ll never know.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Poll: Please help us settle this pressing issue...

There is a heated debate in our house this morning...

Would you rather your partner burp or farted in your presence?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 52PPIV Progress Update

This is the progress update after the third month of the 52 Pair Plunge IV. I’m going to evaluate myself according to the 4 goals I’d set for myself at the start.

1. Finish the 3 WIPs and 8 pairs of hibernating socks I currently have on the needles. One of those pairs is from April 2009. Really it’s time to finish it.



I carried 3 Works In Progress (WIPs) into August, The Zike Marriage Socks, The Christmas Juliette Socks, and The SKU socks. As far as I'm concerned all three of those can go into hibernation. Although I'm about 70% complete on the Juliette socks I just don’t feel like finishing them at this point. Maybe next month.

I also cast on a new WIP with the Regia Step yarn that my Fairy Yarn Mother sent me. I picked a nice simple pattern, the Switcheroo from Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn. Yeah, I realize this isn’t a handpainted yarn but it’s a strong semi-solid and it will be wonderful in this pattern just the same. And in case my artful dodge has succeeded, I must now fess up that I didn’t complete any WIPs this month and there will be 1 additional WIP and 3 new hibernating socks heading into September.

I’ve finished two hibernating socks… The Socks That Refuse To Die and The White Planes Socks.

Two pairs of hibernating socks…one yarn with an amazing dye job and one that made me want to pull out my hair.

Two pairs of socks…one pair without any pooling what-so-ever and one pair where pooling was the main feature of the yarn. I HATE POOLING! If I wanted POOLING I’d knit intarsia!

It took me just a few days shy of a year to complete the Refuse To Die socks (on the left). And the White Planes socks (below) were cast on during a trip to White Planes this spring and finished on a return trip that took me straight through White Planes. It seemed fitting although many hours of knitting on these made me want to spew. If you’re gonna spew, spew into this”

With the above additional hibernating socks I now have 6 pairs of hibernating socks. I was so happy with those two completions and worried I’d be out of half finished socks, but not to fear…more have arrived. Excellent (insert sarcastic sign here) These numbers should be falling not rising. I promise to do better next month! It is Sock-tober after all.

2. I currently have give-or- take 90 skeins worth of sock yarn. Enough to make 90 pairs of socks with lots of remnants. I will not stop buying new sock yarn but what if I can only knit the new after I’ve completed a pair with the stash sock yarn. Imagine if I cut the stash down by 26 skeins? That’d be a good part of a yarn bin free.


Considering I completed two pairs of hibernating socks (which count as stash) and cast on a new pair with brand new yarn, I’m down 1 skein of stash. And that new skein was a gift so that shouldn’t count against me, really! So a check on this goal. 1 skein down, a few more to go

3. Knit more with DK weight yarn. I’ve never knit a DK weight sock but it couldn’t hurt to make a pair of house socks for The DH, Mum, Dad, & Myself. Those will be quicker than regular socks.

No socks to report on. I think there is a hold up in my brain that if it’s not on size 1.5 needles it’s not a sock. I’m still trying to overcome this challenge and knit some DK weight socks as I see some great Christmas Gift Opportunity here.

4. For every full size pair I knit, knit a pair of kids socks. Not baby socks. Those are so small they’re useless. Kids socks that I can give to Sophie or Simon or put away for some future child.


Definitely not keeping up this end of the deal. I can’t help it. I don’t like knitting baby socks. Although a coworker is due October 4th and what better reason is there to knit baby socks? I was able to knit a pair of socks with the leftovers from White Planes Socks. They are so cute and they’re unisex so that’s a plus.

So for August I knit 3 pairs of socks, added to the 9 from the last two months and I’m still on track for the 52 Pair Plunge. I’ve done fairly well this month achieving my goals. Ok I’d give myself a 76%, but hey that’s not all bad when you consider the fact that I’ve been distracted by shawl and sweater knitting.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Good Luck

listen to the entire thing and keep it out of your head...I dare ya!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fuzzy Season

Did I mention that its “fuzzy season” as The Boyfriend likes to call it. The time of year when I spend most of weekends at a cat show with fuzzy kittens or a wool festival with fuzzy sheep. This was another great show weekend! Bella and Arya did very well. This was a bigger show with lots of top quality kittens. The girls split the judges in half. Bella made a 3rd best kitten in show. Yeah Bella!

And Arya was consistent in the three out of six finals she made, an 8th best kitten and two 10th best kittens. OK so to you that might sound disappointing. And in light of a 3rd for her sister that might sound disappointing. But there were 60 plus kittens there; including some big classes of Siamese and Persians (I’ve decided they’re the poodles of the cat world). And when the judges look around and decide that your little love bug Arya is better than 50 other kittens it makes you smile. Her coat is still slowly coming in but as one judge pointed out, she is charmer constantly trying to rub her face on the people around her while she purrs up a storm. Can you tell I’m pleased? You know she was my favorite from the moment they were born!

And what are The Boyfriend, Mac, Linus, and Isitt up to? Boyfriend is doing some trail cleanup with the Appalachian Mountain Club. And this is fun? Mac, Linus, and Isitt are happy that life has returned to it’s normal speed now that the painters are gone.

I had a panic moment last week when I realized that the month of August was practically over and I hadn’t finished a single pair of socks. I was so distracted by the Leyfi sweater and the mitered square shawl that I almost completely left off sock knitting. So I’ve been hurrying to finish what I can so I will have something to post on the 52 Pair Plunge monthly update in a couple of days.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Good Show

There are three reasons why someone has a great time at the cat show.


Reason 1: It was a slow show and lots of knitting was accomplished



Reason 2: There were lots of interesting people to talk with, either friends you don’t see often or new acquaintances or the spectators were really chatty. Usually for me, it’s that I’m seeing friends and catching up.


Reason 3: The kitten/cat being shown is phenomenal or at least above par, and has been called back repeatedly. There is a definite high that accompanies those Top Ten ribbons. It’s the reason we’re all there, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.



This past show was a combination of all three.


I had not expected Bella to do well. Mum insisted on bring her. It’s been two weeks since I last saw Bella. And at 5 months old, two weeks can make a big difference. Bella’s head has really flatted on top (this is a good thing for Devon Rex) and most importantly, she grew about a half inch of coat. It’s all black and red patches with lush waves. Very beautiful and very much like Isitt’s. What this translates to is an excellent weekend for Bella. She made 5 out of 8 Top Ten Kittens. Scoring a 9th, an 8th, another 8th, a coveted 2nd, and best of all a BEST KITTEN!!! In four years of showing this is the first time we’ve ever had a BEST KITTEN. And a couple of pet owners that live in the area and came out to the show for a few hours were just in time to see it happen. We were all thrilled to share such an event with them and to hear all about how Abby Gale, Dallas, and Lerado are doing with their family.


And not to be completely outdone, Isitt’s other daughter Arya (my sweet girl who is the rare color lavender) grew some coat as well and scored two Top Ten’s of her own ranking 5th best kitten in two rings. It was without a doubt a successful Cat Show for Curlfect! And as we drove home this morning planning our future we talked at length about next weekend’s show when we’ll head to Pennsylvania taking just Isitt’s girls but with high hopes that more of that luscious lamb coat will come in.

Photos: Bella, Wilbur, Arya, & Cinders (left to right).

Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's a combination of Mac & Isitt

Off to the show

Mum and I left yesterday at 8am with our kittens. During the 8 hour drive they were perfectly quiet SLEEPING in a kitten pile the ENTIRE time. Last night we did take out and ate in the hotel. You'll be glad to know the kittens made it thru their first night in a hotel without any incidents. And they continued with their perfect behavior, at least in my opinion. They all slept with Mum and used her as playground periodically during the night. I slept thru it all. And now Wilbur and Cinders are chasing each other around the room. Oh Wilbur is sneezing. It seems his sister bonked him in the nose.
More to come as we have the first day of showing today and expect Wilbur and Arya to do well. But ‘doing well’ is relative to how the judges hang the ribbons. I just hope we make a couple of finals.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

LOOK


Look at what my yarn-fairy-good-mother sent me! Isn't it lovely?!?! Regia and red...pretty close to perfect. I have a giant smile and can't wait to cast them on. The note inside the envelope said it was to help support my 52 Pair Plunge. How can I resist casting on?

thank you with lots of love.