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 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.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Round 1: Venus 1, Leyfi 0

Just when I feel like I love my new sweater (Blue Blood Leyfi), I’m tired of it. With the upper body and a sleeve complete I’m nearly half done. I’m a third of the way through the second sleeve, with a torso of stockinet to go. I think I fell in love with the sweater (because my favorite model was wearing it) and didn’t stop to think if I wanted to wear a sweater like that. Sure it’ll be great when it’s done and the lace portion has been a lot of fun to knit. But overall I’m not wild about pullovers and I’m even less wild for wide drape sleeves which I completely overlooked in love for the lace (absolutely no fault in the pattern just me being overzealous). I’ll definitely finish the sweater. The sleeve will make for a nice evening of knitting and then the torso will be perfect in public knitting as I knit miles and miles of stockinet. I’m sure I’ll be happy to wear it come fall but right now I’ve just ground to a halt on it.
In it’s place the Venus shawl has reemerged as a front runner for my attention, please note that this is not a sock and neither is the Leyfi sweater. There has been minimal sock action this month and it’s already half over, eeek! Isitt enjoyed modeling the shawl for me.
And now that I’m looking at the pictures I can see that there are two brown squares on one side and none on the other. I’ll have to do something about that on the next row. I’m almost finished the 7th of 11 rows. Each square takes about an hour and I like to do two at a time on a long circular needle.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Blue Blooded Leyfi

Oh Hai,

What have you been up to? I’ve been knitting a lot while I wait for The Boyfriend to return from a week long conference in Montreal. To be honest there were several nights with a good 6 or 7 hours of knitting after work. When left to my own devices I’ll forget to eat if the knitting is interesting enough. And this sweater is one of those projects. It’s the Leyfi by Romi Hill published in the Fall 2010 Interweave Knits magazine. I’m using the Knit Picks City Tweed Heavy Weight in the color Blue Blood. It’s a deep rich maroon color with flex of black, beige, and tan. I’m rather proud to be nearly at the end of the first sleeve.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Isitt's Magical Painting Tour

Hello and welcome to my house. I'm Isitt. Check out my cool shawdow in this picture. It's like I melted into the floor. Oh and check out the beige walls and white trim in the entryway. It kind of looks like the car is going to come crashing into the condo at any moement, doesn't it?
And here is the view up the stairs in the entryway. That's my brother MacOban in the stairs. He likes the way the black star looks against the new walls. And my other brother Linus is sitting at the top of the stairs. Unlike me, he doesn't rush to the center of all the pictures. I should go check and see if he needs any help. He always needs help with something but never seems to know he needs it.
Linus: this is what the entry looks like from the top of the stairs. Lots of white if you ask me. Where has that Isitt gotten off to? Probably about to sneak up behind me and make me hiss at her. How does MacOban stay so calm. Look at him hanging out on the stairs like nothings going on.
Isitt: Sorry about that, there was a toy mouse-y in need of capture. Now back to the tour. This is the teal guest room upstairs which now has white trim. This room is boring.
Next up, the upstairs bathroom which is mauve with white trim. I like to sit on the bathroom sink and drink water. Nice cold refreshing water. Are you thirsty? When I sit on the sink and drink this is what I see. MacOban is always trying to get on that shelf. I don't think it could hold him. He's twice my size, you know?
And this is my bedroom where I let the humans sleep. It's hard to tell that it's yellow, but now it's yellow with white trim.
And this is what the yellow bedroom with white door looks like from on top of the dresser. I spend a lot of time trying to get up here and usually I fall. Don't laugh, that dresser is tall!
...And now I will show you this plant. I like to look through it at the bird feeder like this. Silly birds never even know I'm there! ha! The plant is sitting on the bay window in the dinning room. That hasn't been painted yet, but it will be white soon too. We hope you have enjoyed the Isitt Magical Painting Tour and will visit us again soon for more updates.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Clean car = Rhinebeck Fund

Two hours, a roll of paper towels, and a whole lot of elbow grease will get you a nicely cleaned interior for your car. Typically at least once a year, if not twice a year I have my car detailed inside and out. Each time it costs between $70-$100 depending on where we take it to be detailed. But since The Boyfriend went back to school full time and left the money tree, aka his hateful job that paid him like they knew how awful it was to work there and they were sorry to make him be there, I’ve had doubts as to the necessity of car detailing. October was the last time it was done so things have been going down hill. And if there was any doubt as to the ‘need’ for a good cleaning that was squashed last week. The expression on my young cousin’s face when she opened the door to get into my car told me it was time to clean things up. Granted her father’s favorite pastime is washing the cars, which he does religiously at least once a week nine months out of the year when they aren’t buried under a giant pile of snow. So her expectations may be a bit inflated, but I was starting to feel the grit too.

So long story even longer, I just finished cleaning the inside. And it looks so nice. Tomorrow I’ll hit the carwash for the maximum in washing and waxing and call it good. Yay me! I bet I haven’t cleaned the inside of a car since 2003. Wow did I say that out loud? I think I should be ashamed. But I’m not sure if I am or not. Anyway I vote that the money I’ve saved in detailing should go directly into the Rhinebeck fund.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cat Show

Last weekend we took Arya (Are U A lil’ Isitt), Bella, Wilbur-ness and Cinders to their first cat show. (left to right in the picture)

They are Isitt Rose’s two girls and Nessa Rose’s boy and girl. Wilbur was the clear winner for the day but Arya held her own. It is clear that all the wonderful qualities Nessa had to give went to that little boy and being bright white instead of black smoke like his mother, those qualities can easily be seen in any light. Bella and Cinders spent a good part of the day acting like monkeys hanging off the show cages and playing with the ribbons as the judges hung them, mostly dropping them on the floor much to the crowd’s amusement. Wilbur stoically sat observing. And Arya was dishing out the love to everyone and anyone who came near her. This is an encouraging happening since Isitt’s show career was cut short by her total distaste for the show ring.

Their next show is a big one in a month from now. They’ll be suitcases to pack and decisions to be made. Taking four kittens to compete against one another isn’t necessarily the wisest investment but Devons are always a crowd pleaser and getting them in front of that many judges helps us decide who will carry forward the Curlfect Devon program.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


There are painters at my house. Well not right now, but this week in general. We’re having all of the wood trim, baseboard heating registers, and doors painted white. We’ve been in the condo for 5 years this fall and have done virtually nothing by way of home improvements. The painters are also changing the neon terracotta entry way that I loved so much when we first moved in, to a pale beige color.

Here are a few photos from before and a few taken this evening after the first coat has been applied.