Tuesday, October 31, 2006

So long Socktober

It's been a great ride.

Finished - one pair, and two single socks (one of which finished another pair).
Frogged - two socks.
Started - ten socks.
Ignored - two socks.
Some progress - eleven socks.

Not too shabby. I wished I had gotten more done on the pairs I had already started, but I'm certainly not mad! I just look at it this way - I'm this much closer to 100!

I'm finishing the month with 13 socks on the needles, and another finished!

It is the Rib and Cable Sock from last fall's IK, in County Clare Socks That Rock, birthday gift from the hubbo. I love it. I actually knit all of the foot last night (and it was a bad TV night too!). I'm not so much in love with the toe. We'll see - but I know I have plenty of yarn should I decide to rip it back and knit a "traditional" toe.

We've had no trick-or-treaters so far, and it's after 9 so I don't think we will. Ah well, more peanut M&Ms for me!

Monday, October 30, 2006

I said I wasn't going to do this again....

It's that time of year again. The time when all of us who didn't plan well enough ahead start to feel the mild panic of the CHRISTMAS KNITTING.

Last year I was smart. I was ahead of the game. And then I ended up adding and adding and adding to my list. I told myself I wasn't going to do that this year. And then Sunday, while I was internet playing (instead of grading the mountain of papers I brought home) I started getting ideas. I could knit dishcloths for the other first grade teachers*. I could knit dishcloths for The Girl's teachers. I could knit ornaments for some people. Hmmmmmm.......

Here's where the list stands now.

Socks 1 - DONE
Socks 2 - started
Socks 3 - started
Socks 4 - yarn ordered
Socks 5 - started

Sweater - started (will probably not be done, as is secret knit and cannot work on it in front of hubbo)

Scarf 1 - DONE
Scarf 2 - yarn received
Neckwarmer - DONE

Hat 1 - DONE
Hat 2 - yarn received
Hat 3 - yarn received
Hat 4 - need to order yarn

Slippers - yarn received

Blanket - started

Dishcloths 1 - Have yarn
Dishcloths 2 - Have yarn
Dishcloths 3 - check stash
Dishcloths 4 - check stash
Dishcloths 5 - check stash

Ornament 1 - DONE
Ornament 2 - have yarn
Ornament 3 - have yarn
Ornament 4 - have yarn
Ornament 5 - have yarn
Ornament 6 - have yarn
Ornament 7 - have yarn

My stocking - have yarn in stash

Penguin - have yarn in stash

Panta 1 - need to order yarn
Panta 2 - need to order yarn

I will blog as much as I can about these gifts, but many are for readers of ye olde blog, so I may have to keep some details on the DL. This list of 31 items puts me much lower than last year's 46, but I expect to add a few things to the list. (Heck, I've added three things since I started this post!).

I'll add the holiday knitting list to the sidebar, but don't look for too much progress too soon, though I hope to get some of the smaller items off the needles quickly.

What's on your list?

*My apologies to everyone for not getting around to answering your questions about the new school. Everything is going well - I'm feeling very settled (though I still can't find things I know I unpacked), and everyone is very welcoming. All in all, a good move.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

V is for Vera

Bradley, that is.

Long time readers may remember that I am from the home of Vera Bradley. Mom, sis and I have been shopping their annual sale for years. We each have quite a collection

And this isn't everything - I didn't empty all the bags/zipper cases/etc that were currently in use.

I love the Vera Bradley. I do think it is a *bit* expensive, but when I'm not paying full price, it seems SO much more reasonable. My pieces have mostly held up very well - my ballet bag from middle/high school has a lot of wear on the shoulder straps, but it's not too much, especially considering that I carried it every day to and from the studio.

My overall favorite items would have to be the little accessories. They are great for so many uses. My ipod lives in one. I have one stuffed with purse "necessities" like chapstick, gum, mints and advil, so that when I change purses (often daily), I don't have to dump everything. Others hold knitting notions, makeup, markers for grading papers, pens/pencils/highlighters for teaching, etc.

Several years ago, when Vera Bradley wasn't as popular outside of the midwest, mom and I would get 'excited' to see one "in the wild." It still is a bit of a game with me - to see them out and about. People here in Texas don't carry them as much, but they are popular with the sorority set these days. Hubbo has even caught on, and came home from work one day several months ago and told me that a woman in his check-out line was carrying a Vera Bradley purse. "Did you tell her that you knew it was Vera Bradley?" "NO!"

I do have a bit of a collection, but I switch purses a lot, and I often drag several bags around. When I was in school I carried a teaching bag, a lunch bag, a purse, a knitting bag, my gym bag, and my backpack/tote bag every day. Now I don't carry as many, but I still get in a few Vera bags every now and again. They are especially handy if you need to take several things, but also need to carry a purse, but don't have much space to lock up a purse. Carry a larger Vera bag, tuck your purse inside and you can just pull out your purse to lock it up. Ask me how I know this.

Hubbo rolls his eyes at the sight of my collection, but I just know, if bicycles cost as much as Vera bags, he'd have just as many of them.

Best thing about Vera bags? They make great knitting bags!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Nothin' to see here

Apologies for the craptastic photo - o'dark thiry doesn't provide much daylight.

Does this make me a project slut?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Do it yourself

If Rhinebeck can't come to you, take yourself to Rhinebeck.

I went stash diving this afternoon, and came up with several yummy yarns. From left top - Brooks Farm Four Play in the Vera Cruz colorway - gift from Jill during the "You Know You Knit Too Much" contest. Yum. Will become My So-Called Scarf, I think. Next up is some Vesper Sock Yarn in the Midnight Knitter colorway. Love these colors. I also found a skank of Fleece Artist that I was in love with when I bought it, but has been stuck in the bottom of a bin. Hopefully will grow up into socks soon.

Along the side we have six skeins of Patons Kroy. Would you believe that this is the very first sock yarn I ever bought. It's about time it became socks.

The bottom row contains the oh-so-yummy hank of alpaca that mom got me at the Fort Wayne "Fiber Festival." Must become a hat. And finally, the hank of orange wooly goodness that Jen brought me from Colorado that I'm thinking will turn into this hat that I am just in love with.

All of this orange is making me feel "fallish." Must resist the urge to cast on for new socks, scarves and hats. Must.

But I am going to Indiana in a few weeks, where it has been rather chilly. Perhaps new accessories are just what I need. Hmmmmmmmm.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Because it is Socktoberfest, after all

Not stashenhancementfest or Rhinebeckfest. There should be socks.

And there are.

Pattern: Friday Harbor by Nancy Bush from Knitting on the Road.
Yarn: All Things Heather sportweight and I can't find the ballband to tell you the color. Electric Melon maybe?
Needles: Susan Bates DPNs. I had to go up to size US 4 needles to get gauge. Yikes.
Mods: None!
Thoughts: Make sure you check out the errata. I did end up making a booboo on the second sock - I forgot that the two "edge" stitches on the instep are supposed to be knit, instead of purled. Whoops. Not a life ending deal though. I also knit these a bit shorter in the foot - I couldn't make it through the second chart, as my row gauge was way off in my attempt to get stitch gauge. Lucky for me, row gauge is not a huge deal in socks.

I really like these socks! They are very comfy, the pattern was enjoyable, and the colors are great. I can't say enough good things about the yarn - lovely colors, nicely spun and an incredible yardage - I have a TON of yarn left over. Now, I didn't make these very tall and I knit them on 4s, but you should have enough yarn to do most patterns with. A very generous 100 oz skein. And a special shout out to my KSKS pal, Shari for making such a great choice. And I even have my KSKS bag in use right now with my blue/green STR socks inside. (More on those later.) Best part? I'm wearing them right now, as it's finally gotten chilly here at night!

And there's more!
Pattern: Just a simple stockinette sock over 60 stitches.
Yarn: Regia surf
Needles: Brittany DPNs, sz US 1.5
Mods: none
Thoughts: I love this yarn! I'm so glad that I have another ball in the stash. It is very soft (especially compared to Sockotta - the only other cotton blend sock yarn I've used), and the colors are great. And I'm psyched that I got the stripes to match. I will be wearing these a lot.

The things I go through for your entertainment. I took this picture myself, with my pant legs rolled up around my knees, balancing and bent over with my head against the wall so I didn't fall on the camera. Whew.

I'm trying hard not to cast on for any new pairs. But it's still Socktober for another week, and I have all these empty neeedles....what to do.....

Monday, October 23, 2006

Better Luck Next Time

So my weekend goals didn't go so well....

Yeah. Seven balls of Ella Rae for the Cabled Cardigan from the fall VK (number 19 for those of you with the magazine who are curious). Can't resist. The blue/green Cherry Tree Hill is some of their potluck that I fell in love with. For me. And the Trekking is for hubby - I really shouldn't let him into the yarn store. He always ends up picking up something for himself (but for me to knit for him, of course!).

And I picked up some of the Paton's SWS for scarves for me and hubby (he has been complaining about his cold neck). It was on sale at Michael's - as good an excuse as any. I also got some dishcloth cotton, but y'all know what that looks like.

The sweater knitting did not go as planned either. I was almost 3/4 of the way through the first sleeve of Licorice Whip, when I stopped to try it on and it was ENORMOUS. I could have put both arms in one sleeve, but as that's not really the look I'm going for, my only choice was to riiiiiiipppppp. I did restart (doing some rapid decreases in the armpit region), and I've gotten it back on track. Sadly, the sleeves will not be done as soon as I had hoped. Sigh.

Kerri and I had a bit of a brush with celebrity as well on Saturday - Vicki Howell was signing at Michael's (of all places) on Saturday. We weren't sure how to approach her, as we didn't have a book to be signed, and she wasn't speaking or anything, so we just gawked for a minute and moved on.

However, all was not lost. Stay tuned tomorrow to see what happens when you don't go to Rhinebeck - you knit!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

U is for


I'm in the process of unraveling a large sweater jacket that will hopefully grow up to be the Leaf Lace Pullover. It's a bit of a pain to unravel, so I work on it in spurts.

I was planning to unravel the green sweater that Miles chewed holes in this spring, but the machine sewn seams made this a bit of pain in the butt. So it will be felted instead, and turned into something delighful, I'm sure.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Rhymes with Fresca

Last night hubby and I traveled north, to Denton, to meet children's book author, and all-around funny guy, Jon Scieszka. If you haven't read his books, and you have kids of any age, go buy them now. Seriously. I was lucky enough to chat with him and get my "library" signed.

Apologies for the horrible photo. Damn camera phone.

So he's no Harlot. He probably doesn't knit. But hey, he was funny, so it was sort of like seeing her Harlotiness. Totally almost the same. Totally.

Oh, and his last name? It's pronounced to rhyme with Fresca. One of the most important things I learned last night!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

We're in the heel flap now

Somehow I've gotten four pairs of socks to the heel flap, where they have, sadly, remained while I've been working on one of the new pairs of socks. Ahem. Now that pair of socks is thisclose to the heel flap too. Yikes.

I did work on one pair, the purple sock, - got it through the gusset tonight. I hope to get a good chunk of it done while we watch The Prestige tomorrow night.

My big plans for the weekend? Finish Licorice Whip and try not to buy new yarn. I'll need lots of luck on both! Good thing everyone will be at Rhinebeck and I won't have any blogs to read, that oughta help. Me, bitter? Never. I'm sure the Kid 'n Ewe festival in a few weeks will be just like Rhinebeck. Just like it. Right?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Heidi Klum, and the rest of the Project Runway judges,

You're On Notice!

But no spoilers, for those of you who haven't seen the disaster show yet.

I may or may not have cast on for two new pairs of socks this weekend. What do you think?

And I've got way too much sock yarn/patterns/books scattered about my little nest which keep taunting me with the possibilities. Whitby. Embossed Leaves. Footies. Leaf Lace Socks.

Remind me again why I shouldn't cast on for about four more pairs? Isn't it still Socktober?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Heard around blogland this week


In other excitement, my hand is bruising. Not a great shot, but it's really hard to take a picture of your dominate hand.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Not my knitting

We got a box full 'o knitting from the UPS man today! What was inside? Our anniversary present from mom!

Mom has been making these for everyone in the family, and we are very excited to have received ours. It is the perfect color for our house, and I'm looking forward to snuggling under it, if it ever gets cold here.

More shots, just for fun.

And I received my prize yarn for the sock contest! It's lovely, and I cannot wait to knit it up! Thanks so much!

I hope to have more pictures for you soon, however, I seem to have injured my hand, so the knitting is on hold. When that lovely UPS man rang the doorbell, the lab knocked me down en route to the door. I caught myself with my right hand, but the dog bowl got in the way. Ouch. I think I'll have a huge bruise tomorrow, but right now it hurts too bad to hold a pencil, not to mention a knitting needle. We're icing it right now, so hopefully it won't be too bad tomorrow.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Not quite socks

Mom finally felted her clogs, so y'all can have the official FO post! Aren't you excited?

Pattern: Felted Clogs from Fibertrends
Yarn: Paton's Classic Merino in Red (about half of 1 skein) and Purple (nearly all of 2 skeins).
Needles: Size 13 Clover Circs
Dates: August-September 2006
Mods: I didn't knit the entire sole in the contrasting color, just the little edge.
Thoughts: I was sick of knitting the sole by the fourth one (you knit two soles for each slipper), but the pattern was relatively quick and easy, and I'm sure I'll be making more - hubbo has already requested his.

It's been grey and rainy here all weekend - love it. Perfect sitting around/doing nothing/drinking tea and eating soup/reading and knitting weather.

Pictures of the knitting to come when the rain stops.

We saw The Departed Friday night - it is great! So good that I had to stop knitting the sock at several points. Go see it now - I think the preview is misleading - makes it look like a shoot-'em-up movie, but there is a great deal more to the film that is not mentioned in the previews.

I hope all our Hawaii knitter buds are OK - let us know when you can!

The Winter IK preview is up. Eh. I love Eunny's sweater (of course!), and the Nantucket Jacket by Norah Gaughan. But otherwise eh. Perhaps I'll feel differently when it's in my hot little hands.

I peeked at the winter Vogue Knitting while in Austin. Eh. I don't think I'll be spending the $6.99 for this one. And I'm disappointed by the IK Holiday Gift issue - I already have the patterns for half of those items from other issues and books. Seems like a rip-off to me. I *might* still buy it for the sock patterns, if I have a coupon and Michaels or JoAnns has it. We'll see.

Hubbo is ill, so I've got to get back to "nursing" him, but before I go.....
I need more blogs to read! So, in order to increase my inspiration, I'd like all of y'all to leave me a list of your favorite blogs in the comments. They don't have to be knitting blogs - I love general crafty blogs too. Thanks!

Friday, October 13, 2006

T is for

Tahiti. Ahhhh. Sight of our honeymoon just over 2 years ago. This time two years ago I was on a beach. Wouldn't we all love to be there now?

P.S. WTF is up with bloglines? I posted at the butt-crack of dawn yesterday, and it took until late last night to update. Grrrr.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Almost Famous

Be still my beating heart. The socks got famous yesterday. There'll be no talking to them now.

(For more great sock pictures, visit the Socktoberfest Flickr group.)

BTW: The white blob is a spot of light, not a defect.
Here's the status on Licorice Whip - just a few more inches to go on the body, and then the sleeves. I think the sleeves will go fairly quickly, if I ever have time to knit them. There was no knitting last night, and there'll be none tonight, as we are off to see Wilco! Woot!

And, just to prove that I'm still knitting socks, here's the second Friday Harbor sock in it's infancy. Pretty exciting, eh?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

One Socktoberfest sock down, 12 to go

At least.

On the ground

On the foot

The first of the Friday Harbor pair is done. The lace pattern is hard to see, due to my white as snow skin, but it's there. I'm really pleased with this first sock, and the second is already in progress! (Shocking for me to cast on the second one right away. I almost didn't, as all the new, and some old, yarns were calling. But I did the "right" thing, just to have at least one completed pair this month.)

It's a good thing it's been Socktoberfest around here, as it was unseasonably warm last week (97 - yuck), so socks were mostly all I wanted to knit. However, it has taken a chilly turn. It's only supposed to be 63 tomorrow. Wouldn't it be great to have Licorice Whip done to wear to school? Yeah, except I don't think the last 5 inches on the body and the two sleeves are going to knit themselves, and I have to teach all day and then go to a five hour inservice tonight. Socks I might be able to sneak under the table, but not a big, slightly bulky sweater. Oh well. It'll get cold again, right?

In other sock news, one of the pairs of socks decided to go AWOL this weekend. The gift socks attempted to remain in Austin (hey, I understand, it's a lot cooler to live in Austin than in Fort Worth), but refusing to get back into the knitting bag. However, the sock wranglers hotel employees wrestled it into a padded cell envelope and it is en route. Whew! I would have hated to start over again. Thank goodness for quick thinking employees!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

You like me, you really really like me!

Thanks so much for all the wonderful comments on the sock picture. Hubbo and I were thrilled that y'all liked our little idea so much. I even won a prize! Woot!

Also, hubbo heard your pleas, and spent a good chunk of time yesterday doing this. Go. Shop. Give me all your money.

I don't have a whole lot of excitement to follow up that post. Please forgive me for your boredom.

We went to Austin for the weekend again because we're cool and original like that. We had a lovely, and relaxing time. We ate some good Mexican food, did a bit of shopping, visited the LBJ and watched the bats.

We managed to visit not one, but two yarn stores! (The only ones in town). The first was the Bluebonnet Yarn Shoppe which is actually located in Cedar Park, Texas, just north of Austin. It is a delightful little shop, crammed with a good variety of yarn. I managed to restrain myself to only a two purchases - some Lanett superwash in a lovely green (for socks, of course), and a skein of Misti Alpaca laceweight for the Swallowtail Shawl from the new Interweave. Very nice folks too - gave hubbo and I an excellent lunch suggestion which saved us from eating Wendy's or Sonic.

On Sunday we made it to Hill Country Weavers. Erm. Just a *bit* of stash enhancement. However, the four skeins of Artyarns are for socks for the hubbo - he picked those out.

Also on Sunday, I had a real treat. Hubbo had discovered that Jenny Hart was going to be signing copies of her new book at Book People, so we made a special point to go. Not only did I get a signed copy of her book (which is WONDERFUL), but I got a mini lesson in embroidery from the queen herself! (That's my first start there on the little bird.) It was quite a treat - she is very down-to-earth and was a sport through all of our questions. If you have any interest AT ALL in embroidery, go buy this book and get started! I can't wait to find things to stitch on!

Whew. That's about it. There has been knitting. However, there has been ripping. I'm just not in love with the dye-o-rama sock. It's not the colors or the way it was dyed, I'm just thinking it needs a different pattern (right now it's just 3x1 rib), as some parts of it are striping, and some are pooling. So for now, it's off the needles while I give it a good think.

Back to the grind. Enjoy your Monday Tuesday!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

S is for

Socks in Shoes

Special assistance and photography provided by hubbo. Isn't he a sport?

ETA: You ask, you shall receive. Get your sock swag here.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Not a whole lot

I did resist the urge to cast on for a new pair yesterday. However, we are leaving for the weekend tomorrow morning, and several new balls of sock yarn and patterns were tossed in the bag. Yep. Can't resist. But I did rip out the barely started knee highs - just not loving the yarn for that project. I'll try again.

Today's sock - the Friday Harbor socks, which had the heel turned tonight after taking this picture. They fit great - thanks for all the warnings and errata. I did go up a needle size, but I usually have to, so no biggie. Stop back by for an excellent ABC-along post tomorrow!

Thursday, October 05, 2006


When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
I taught myself using the book Knit Socks in March of 2005.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?My first pair can be seen here. Made with Lion Brand Wool-Ease on size 3 dpns. They don't get worn much, but when it's really cold, or I feel yucky I pull them out. They are warm! They have held up fine, since they are house socks that rarely get worn.

What would you have done differently?Nothing, besides use sock weight yarn instead of worsted. They actually turned out quite well.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?I
love the Trekking, I enjoyed the Schaefer Anne I used for my sockpal socks, Koigu, Regia Surf, and I like the Knitpicks (it's very soft, even if it does start to felt after a bit). I'm looking forward to using my birthday yarns which include Lorna's Laces, Socks that Rock and Scout's Swag. Also marinating in the stash is some Vesper I can't wait to use, Step, Fleece Artist, Artyarns, CTH and the Regia silk and bamboo. I'd also love to get my mitts on some Sundara yarn, Sweet Georgia and Lisa Souza. I have some Hill Country on order (if it ever gets here), that I am excited to try too.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method? I'm a 5 double pointed needles gal all the way. I like the Susan Bates Silvalume for all of my "fancy" socks (especially lacey socks), but I love my Chiagoo 5" bamboos for plain socks.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?) I'm a heel flap gal myself. I tried a short row heel once that just wasn't pretty. I also always knit cuff down. No particular reason. I did try a toe up sock a few months ago and I liked it, but it was too big. Perhaps I'll try again someday.

How many pairs have you made?
I've finished 14 pair - you can see them all here (I've started and half finished and ripped a few more). 3 pairs were for Sockapal2za and Sockapaloooza, two pairs were for hubbo, one for my One Skein pal, one for a gift, and 6 for me. I also have *cough* 9 pairs on the needles. Let's hope some of them get done this month!

Today's sock is the second green sock for the hubbo (anniversary socks) - it's to the heel flap, cross your fingers that it gets done by Monday!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Getting things off my needles

I know it's shocking, but I actually have some FOs for you. Nothing major, but actually finished objects. You may need to sit down.

I finished a birthday gift for my dear, apparently hatless, friend who lives in Massachusetts. When I made this hat for my sister, Jules requested one. Hers looks exactly the same, which is good, since I forgot to take a picture of it.

I also finished up another set of "special order" dishcloths. Time for some for me!

I finished and felted Sophie and a felted hat.

Pattern: Sophie from Magknits by Julie Anderson.
Yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Coal - 2 skeins
Needles: Sz 10 1/2 DPNS and circ - both Clover bamboo
Dates: mid/early September to late September.
Mods: None.
Thoughts: Great basic pattern. I love the way the Knitpicks felts - it's very sturdy and not too hairy.

Pattern: My own, based on a basic hat pattern.
Yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Coal (one skein), Mist and Red (just a bit of read and less than 1/2 a skein of Mist.
Needles: Sz 10 1/2 DPNS - Clover Bamboo.
Dates: late September to September 30.
Mods: None.
Thoughts: Was a bit too big the first round of felting and a bit too small the second. Hubbo and I did some massive stretching and it's OK. Not perfect, but wearable and warm. More modifications to the pattern are necessary before I do another.

Today's post brought to you by a new Socktoberfest sock. Birthday Lorna's Laces (in Daffodil) in the P-word socks from Knitty. Loved this pattern the first time I knit it (for my Sockapaloooza pal), and I'm excited to have a pair of my own.

I'll try not to cast on a new pair tonight. No promises.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I'm a real knitter now!

With the last bit of my September "allowance" I ordered this lovely wonder (with a lovely 50% coupon from JoAnn.com it was only $29.99!!!!).

We only wound a bit of the sock yarn. I didn't want to wind it all at once and then have to order more just to have something to wind!

Today's Socktoberfest sock is the second green and pink Trekking sock. Apologies for the blurry photo.

I have plans to do a bit of "sock-istory" this month, a la Lolly's post of today. Stay tuned!