Wednesday, January 31, 2007

All about I

As I was not knitting last night, and perusing my itunes song list, I noticed that I have a lot of songs that start with "I." I thought this would make a great meme, so here goes:

I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow - The Soggy Bottom Boys
I Am I Said - Neil Diamond
I Am The Man Who Loves You - Wilco
I Am Trying To Break Your Heart - Wilco
I Asked For Water He Gave Me Gasoline - Lucinda Williams
I Believe in Love - Dixie Chicks
I Can Love You Better - Dixie Chicks
I Can Wait - Steve Earle
I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do - ABBA
I Don't Know What It Is - Rufus Wainwright
I Don't Wanna Talk About It Now - Emmylou Harris
I Don't Want To Lose You Yet - Steve Earle
I Dream A Highway - Gillian Welch
I Envy The Wind - Lucinda Williams
I Feel Fine - The Beatles
I Guess I Planted - Billy Bragg & Wilco
I Hear Them All - Old Crow Medicine Show
I Hope - Dixie Chicks
I Just Wanted To See You So Bad - Lucinda Williams
I Like It - Dixie Chicks
I Lost It - Lucinda Williams
I Love Everybody - Lyle Lovett
I Loved You Yesterday - Lyle Lovett
I Send My Love To You - Bonnie "Prince" Billy
I Shall Believe - Sheryl Crow
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2
I Still Pray - Kasey Chambers
I Think You Know What I Mean - Lyle Lovett
I Try - Macy Gray
I Want To Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
I Want To Sing That Rock And Roll - Gillian Welch
I Want You - Bob Dylan
I Will - The Beatles
I Will Follow - U2
I'll Fly Away - Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch
I'll Take Care Of You - Dixie Chicks
I'm a Believer - Neil Diamond
I'm A Wheel - Wilco
I'm Alive - Neil Diamond
I'm Always In Love - Wilco
I'm Going to the Place - Lyle Lovett
I'm Going to Wait - Lyle Lovett
I'm Not Afraid To Die - Gillian Welch
I've Got The Blues - Lyle Lovett
I've Got To See You Again - Norah Jones

Who else?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Missing: Knitting Mojo

I've been staring blankly into space for much of the evening. No urge to knit. What's wrong?

So I bring you edge of your seat excitement: 5 Things Most People Don't Know About Me

1. I am a very particular sleeper. I must sleep on my right side or stomach. In either position I must have one knee pulled up to my chest and the other stretched straight out.

2. I hate to do housework. Hate it. With a burning passion. I would love to have a housekeeper, but they would have to come every day, and also, they would see the mess. It's a big one most of the time.

3. I hate jelly. I only eat peanut butter sandwiches. No jelly.

4. I once dated a guy who only had one ear. His nickname (given so lovingly by my sister)? One-eared Dave. Nice.

5. You know how most people "discover" themselves in college? Not me. Not until after graduation. I allowed myself to get sucked along in college and it wasn't until after graduation that I realized how much I disliked most of what I said/did/"believed."

Eh. Pretty boring really. I've got nothing. Apologies all around.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Just in the knit of time

Finished up Hubbo's hat just in time for cold weather to return!

Pattern: Basic seaman/watchcap
Yarn: Paton's Classic Merino
Needles: Sz US 7 circular and dpns
Mods: made it a skotch longer
Thoughts: He loves it!

In other news I barely survived today. Add 1 sick teacher to 3 days off to 2 hours of lesson planning, one parent conference at 7:20 this morning, mix in a dash of progress reports due today or tomorrow with a sprinkling of no grades recorded since last week and top it off with 2 NEW STUDENTS TODAY and you have one very stressed out teacher. I honestly almost cried when one of the administration walked in to observe me this morning. Hubbo says that God has a twisted sense of humor, and today, I agree. Fingers crossed for a better day tomorrow!

Honestly, I'm so stressed out that I haven't knit a stitch - haven't had time!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

All socks, all the time

I've been working on lots of socks lately - more than usual it seems. For a while, I was only working on my socks in the car, but the past few days I've been working on them at home too. Funny how much more work you can get done, when you actually work on them!

One Regia Bamboo sock finished - I'm enjoying the yarn and the colors.

And one pair of Claudia Handpainted socks!

Yarn: Claudia Handpainted Sport in the Oops! colorway - one skein
Pattern: 2x2 rib for the leg, plain stockinette feet.
Needles: Chiagoo Bamboo US 2s.
Dates: Before Christmas to Sunday January 28.
Mods: none
Thoughts: The yarn is very soft and nice to work with. But the yardage sucks. For $23 a skein, I wasn't buying two. My cuff is very short and I did run out of yarn four rows short of the toe of the second sock. But I like them anyway. I won't be buying the sportweight yarn again any time soon, but I am interested in trying the fingering weight. They are very warm, though short.

And, to answer all those questions, yes. I was allowed to knit in the courthouse. And this is how much knitting you can get done in a three day trial. (I know it looked like I had a bit done before I left for jury duty, but I discovered Wednesday morning that I had screwed up the pattern and had to rip back to the ribbing.

I only knit while in the hallway waiting to be called into the courtroom on Wednesday and in the jury room on Thursday and Friday. Most of this was done Wednesday and Friday. I love the yarn and pattern (Vesper sock yarn and the Dublin Bay pattern). Can't wait to have these done!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Please forgive

Mama is tired and needs to rest and catch up. Plus she is fighting a bit of a cold. She promises a super-duper update next week.

What is a duper?

Friday, January 26, 2007

That's Madam Foreperson to you

Yep. Got seated. Three day trial. Finally done.

And what's better than coming home to new sock yarn?

What? I'm not supposed to be buying yarn? Huh, I don't recall saying that. Perhaps I need to be cross-examined.

The top two are Fearless Fibers in smoke and sublime. Bottom are sKNITiches in Collegiate and Yarn Pirate in Malamute from The Loopy Ewe. All is fab. Will not calculate the new milage of the sock yarn tonight. Will not.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Ready for justice

The sock and I are ready for tomorrow's adventure. We have packed the necessary knitting, and a book just in case the knitting is confiscated (hey, I've been reading up, and apparently this is all too common. Please. As if my 5" 2.25mm bamboo needles are more dangerous than my car keys.).

Unfortunately, I discovered today that if I am dismissed before noon I have to go back to school. Granted, I get the rest of the day as a "work" day (ie I don't have to teach and my sub doesn't lose a half day's pay), but still. C'mon people - don't you know that half the "fun" of jury duty is the possiblity that you'll be excused and get the day off? Oh, and I have to prove that I have jury duty or get docked a personal day - I have to turn in a copy of my summons and a copy of my "dismissal form" that has the time I was excused on it. Great. No way out of that one.

I figure one of two things will happen: I will be dismissed at 11:59, or I will be seated on a jury. Every teacher I've spoken to in the past few days who's had jury duty within the last year has been seated on a jury, and missed 2-5 days of school. Fab. Apparently they like the teachers.

Ah well. Fingers crossed for lots of good knitting time at any rate.

P.S. The spring Interweave preview is up. There are a few that look promising. Too bad I'm not buying any yarn right now.
Thanks for all the sweet comments on the green hoodie - I've been wearing it a lot and I've decided that if I want to wear it every day, that's OK! I made it damnit! I think this will be one I literally wear out.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Houston, we have a problem

The first sock from the Claudia's Handpainted.

The rest of the yarn.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

It is a gift!

It's that time of year again. The breeders are at work, and we have several friends and co-workers who are expecting this spring. Time to get busy on those baby knits!

This weekend I started a simple pink hat, a bib, and Anouk.

The tiny blue blob is a flower washcloth from Weekend Knitting, as there are several other gifty occasions coming up.

To assist in all this upcoming gift knitting, a few new books were picked up this weekend.

One of the Borders stores near us is closing, and this weekend they had everything in the store 40% off. We did pretty well at restraining ourselves, and got several gifts. I brought home Itty-Bitty Hats (which is really really cute), Simply Baby, Toys to Knit and One Skein Wonders. I was lucky enough to get Greetings from the Knit Cafe for $4.99 from Amazon a few weeks ago, and I picked up the Jo Sharp Knit 1 from the yarn store Thursday night. I love this pattern book, and since I'm trying not to buy yarn, I thought I'd satisfy that urge with a book. There are several great patterns in here that I can't wait to get to. But first, must finish what is on the needles, and use up some of that stash!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Git yer updates here!

Here we go - hang on to your hats!

Smug Sheep started a lovely pink sock - yum!

ZantiMissKnit has several WIPs in her basket - I hope some are for her!

Sarah Janet has started a lovely Mountain Peaks shawl and is working on Rogue - it looks great!

Prairie Girl is working on her Irish Hiking Scarf and Samus - love the colors!

Go wish Emilee a Happy Birthday - and check out her Clapotis and new socks!

Bronwyn has spun up some gorgeous yarn!

Nessa is having sock frustration and pooling issues. Advice?

Leisel has a great felted bag - and I think I have some of that colorway in the stash....hmmmm......

Theresa finished a pretty pink Branching Out - all the scarf you need in San Diego!

Karen finished up a pretty picot-edged Picovoli this week - another out of the UFO basket!

Elizabeth took inventory of her sock yarn stash - you know, I'm pretty sure it's acceptable to give away to use it up for the marathon. I'm sure we could find someone who would take those lovelies off your hands!

Mamma has been crazy busy! She knit Starsky, had a minor rust crisis (though I would have freaked out!), but all seems well. She's also working on quite a few other projects - very inspiring!

Kenyatta also had a happy birthday yesterday! And she decided to keep her great Monkey socks for herself - right on!

Liz is having some Jaywalker issues - what's up with the socks lately? Poor folks with socky issues! That sucks!

Abigail has lost her sock mojo as well! If you see Mr. Sock Mojo, could you point him in the direction of Arizona? She did finish a pair of felted booties, which I'm sure are keeping her tootsies warm in the snow they're getting!

Katherine received lots of yummy yarn - can we come over and roll around in it?

Lu is working on seaming her Debbie Bliss Simple Jacket - sending seaming mojo!

Rachel is working on an amazing cardi - go see!

Morgan needs our love right now. Send good thoughts.

Minty has a lovely neck 'hug' to keep her warm in the snow they finally got!

BeccaU has a good lesson for us - if it doesn't fit you, it must fit someone!

Juls finished a cute martini dishcloth.

Karla finished her Broadripple Hybrids and is working on her new socks - cute!

Lauren is working on a great blue basketweave scarf.

Amaryllis started the Nantucket Jacket - love this sweater!

Rahime is working hard on her new socks - love the striping!

We have a few newbies this week!

Amy is working on some great socks for herself!

Mary is working hard on her yoke sweater - hopefully she'll see the finish line soon!

cath_r1n is working on a sweater for herself - she's through the back!

Spasmo is working on Lady E - all for her! I love that knit - can't wait to see it!

Yvonne is working on fingerless gloves, very nice socks with a lace pattern and the Bejeweled scarf.

Whew! Have a great week - finish some of those knits for yourself!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Green with delight

It's done! And I love it!

Pattern: Central Park Hoodie from fall '06 Knitscene.
Yarn: Ella Rae Classic in "Leaf Green" (no color names, just numbers)
Needles: Clover Bamboo US 7s & 9s.
Dates: Started Labor Day weekend. The back was finished way back in November, after much neglect. And I started the sleeves & fronts after the Christmas knitting was done. Took a while, but overall, not a great deal of knitting time.
Mods: I had to go up a needle size to get gauge, but other than that, none!
Thoughts: Love it. It is just the color green I wanted, the cables look great, without being "too" done. I knit the 40", and it's just perfect. I opted for no fasteners, and I like it. I had purchased some buttons for it, but I decided that they were too much for the sweater, so I left them off. The sleeves are a great length, which is very important for me.

The yarn is fab - an amazing selection of colors, and it is soooooo soft and nice after blocking. I cannot wait to use it again.

Enjoy your weekends - hunker down if you're in the path of the storm!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


This is My So Called Scarf. I love the yarn (Brook Farms Four Play) and I mostly like the stitch pattern, but I'm not sure if the two work together. The fabric feels a bit firm (I'm using a US 8 needle), and the edge is rolling. I feel like a scarf should have a bit more give. The general consensus at knitting tonight was to rip and go up a few needle sizes. What do y'all think? Or do you have another pattern suggestion for this yarn?

Hopefully we'll make it home before dark tomorrow so I can get good shots of the Central Park Hoodie. I wore it today and I love it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It won't be long before we'll all be there with snow

A most glorious, blessed event happened here today. It snowed.

Rarely do we get "real" snow. The astute among you no doubt noticed the sleety/ice on the ground in the sock picture. Today though, most unexpectedly, it snowed.

Last night they told us it would keep south of us, and I was complaining to hubbo that we never get "weather." It always seems to miss us - snow, rain, sleet, ice. We get some in tiny amounts, but never real "weather." Not even enough necessarily to have a day off from school (which we had today, of course, being Texas and all, we don't have the stuff to plow the roads in a timely manner), but just something besides 70 degrees would be nice every once in a while.

Yesterday, at dismissal, I was chilly and my ears were cold because my hat didn't pull down enough over my ponytail to cover my ears. Solution?

Pattern: Calorimetry from winter '06 Knitty.
Yarn: Knitpicks Andean Silk in Sangria
Needles: Sz US 7 Clover Bamboo
Dates: Tuesday January 16.

Mods: I only cast on 108 stitches (instead of the 120), and only knit 12 repeats of the middle section. Still, it is a bit too big. Luckily, I can put the button through any of the holes created by the short rows, so I can make it work. I will be casting on fewer stitches for future editions.

Thoughts: A great very simple pattern, with a wonderful result. I bought this yarn to be make a Christmas gift, and ended up cutting it from the list. I am using the Andean Silk for my Hourglass sweater, and it is just soooooooo nice, so when I remembered that I had one odd ball of it in the stash, I quick dug it out and cast on. I used just over 1/2 a ball (enough to deduct it from the stash total!), and I see many more of these in my future. My ears were nice and warm during today's sledding and snowman building, and it is also great for layering, if it were to be very very cold outside.

Snow days are also great for blocking. Gee, what could I be blocking?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tick tock, tick tock

Call me crazy. I decided Sunday that it would be fun to knit one entire project during the time I watch "24" this spring. In 24 hours.

But what to knit? I thought about socks, but unless they're plain, they might take too much concentration, and plain is out, as I already have too many pairs of those on the needles.

I finally settled on a sweater. A stockinette sweater that may be "boring" any other time, but works perfectly for "24" knitting (doesn't distract me from helping Jack Bauer save the world).

The chosen sweater? The Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Really, it's the only choice, what with the name and all.

After the two night premiere I'm into the waist shaping. Here's hoping I can knit as fast as Jack can get himself into and out of trouble.

And yet again, I'm making my sweater the same color as the one in the picture. It's a sickness really.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Finally, a FO! (oh, and someone won the contest!)

My first finished object of the year! And one a long time coming.
Pattern: Generic sock over 72 stitches
Yarn: Trekking XXL 129
Needles: ChiaGoo Bamboo DPNs sz US 1
Dates: End of July 2006 to Saturday January 13, 2007
Mods: n/a
Thoughts: one of my most favorite pairs of socks yet - I love the colors in these socks. And they are even more special, since the yarn was bought with Ms. Scout!

They did take way too long to knit up, but I attribute that mostly to the fact that they were car knitting for several weeks - a few rounds to and from school was all the action they have seen in a while. But it does show that those few rounds can really add up! I cannot wait to wear them to school tomorrow - nice and chilly here, perfect wool sock weather!

There may be another FO lurking around these parts, check back soon!

Oh, and I'll bet y'all want to know who won the contest, huh? Guesses really ran the gauntlet - from very low to just a few too many. Surprisingly, two people were very close, but one was closer.

With a guess of 613, Jennie is the winner! Before the great falling off the wagon, I had 604 balls of yarn in the stash. Congrats Jennie! Email me your address so I can send your prize!

I'll admit that I was a bit horrified with this number. It seems SOOOOOO big. I'm trying to make myself feel better by justifying that several sweaters worth of yarn included in that number are knitpicks yarns, with their low yardages. That makes it better, right?

A few of you wanted to know about my spreadsheet - I just made columns for Brand, type, color, weight, number of skeins and yardage. Easy cheesy. I'd be happy to email it to any of you who want it, but really, it's pretty basic.

I was also horrified to discover that I have over 20 miles of sock yarn. I think I need an intervention.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Weekend Update

May I suggest you spend some time this weekend visiting the blogs of our KALers? Snuggle in with a blanket, coffee and your lovely internet. Here are some teasers to get you started!

Tara finished a very bright pair of Koigu socks. They look great!

ZantiMissKnit also finished a pair of socks - all shades of green. She's getting ready for her next project!

Sarah Janet is working on her Rogue, in hopes that it will keep her warm this winter - sounds like the perfect winter knit!

Emilee bought a condo! Woo Hoo for home ownership! (I know, it has nothing to do with knitting, but it's exciting!)

Leisel posted pictures of her My So-Called Scarf - it looks great and her daughter is pretty cute!

Karen is movin' right along on her sock and on Bejeweled - they both look great!

Debby is working hard on her Lacy Serpentine Shawl - yum!

Elizabeth finished her Snakes on a Sock socks - they look very snakey!

Mamma finished her Walking Away socks - love the pattern and the yarn is gorgeous!

Ozknitter finished a yummy pair of Trekking socks - my favorite!

Rachel has discovered self-striping sock yarn. Welcome to the dark side!

Minty is have a terrible trouble with the length of her Cambrige Jacket - go give her some advice.

BeccaU finished a very sweet pair of Sweet Georgia socks.

Rahime has started a sock for herself - but she was feeling guilty for not working on socks for her dad. It's OK to knit for yourself!

OK - just a quickie this week. Off to push through CPH - it's the perfect weather to wear it, it needs to get done! Have a great weekend, and don't forget to guess for the contest before tomorrow night!

Friday, January 12, 2007


Recently I've been feeling torn about my work life v. my knitting 'life.' Being a teacher is a unique job - it is as much or as little as you want it to be. Many teachers do just what they are required to do. However, there are just as many of us who drag home tons of work every day, who stay late and arrive early, and spend weekends writing lengthy lesson plans, coming up with new and exciting units/games/centers/etc. And as much as I want to be the best teacher I can be, and give my students a great experience, some days I resent myself for not spending more time doing things at home (mostly knitting).

I'm not sure there's an easy solution to this - mostly I keep doing the school work and reminding myself that I have all summer to knit (although I know I'll be writing plans for the upcoming school year).

I also have some conflicted feelings about my current WIPs - which one do I knit first? Is there a priority order? What about gifts - do I have to do them first? And I know - I don't have to knit anything I don't want to. But the other night, when I messed up the secret knit and was too tired to work on it, I put all the knitting away. I felt compelled to only work on the secret knit, and guilty for working on the hoodie (or any other project). However, not working on anything made me crabby. Agh!

Okay - enough poopiness - how about a cute dog picture? Rocky (our small dog) is often crabby and doesn't like the bigger dogs. But he has been curled up next to Miles in our bed in the morning, and he jumped up next to him on the couch a few days ago. Awww!

Have a great Friday - I'm looking forward to a three day weekend!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

What day is it?

This firs week back to work has been a bit nuts - we're testing (I know - the first week after 2 1/2 weeks off!), and I can't seem to remember what day it is since we're not in our regular routine.

Some scattered thoughts:

1. My computer is back! Yay! And for the low, low price of $511.07 I have a new LCD. We were really hoping it was the backlight cable (a piece less than $100.00), but sadly, it was not. We also had to buy a new charger for $86.79. With these new costs, the memory and new battery we put in last year, I've almost bought an entire second computer. Oh well. I really like my little (old) ibook, so it's fine. It's almost five years old - so it's served me really well in that time.

2. I got a new camera a few weeks ago - not really a Christmas present, but a right after purchase. I've been wanting a smaller one for blogging purposes, being able to take one with me everyday, and so hubbo and I don't both need to take the better camera to school on the same days. It's a Kodak EasyShare C533. I'm very pleased with it - it's easy to use and the quality of the pictures is good. Best part? It cost $129.00 at Target.

3. The two new projects are Salina (in the green - it's Rowan felted tweed, and I am IN LOVE with it. I love the moss stitch, and the tweedy bits. Yum), and a simple top down cardigan in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky. I'm hoping that this turns out to be a cozy cardigan for the classroom - it's so soft!

4. One of our "to do" items for this year (my list of things that I wanted to accomplish in 2007 is crazy long, so hubbo and I decided that it was our to do list instead of a list of resolutions), is to plan our meals and branch out. We usually eat from the same 7-8 items each week - pork, chicken, turkey and the occasional fish. We cook a lot on the grill (since it's so warm year round here), which is fine, but limiting in the number of ways to cook something. So far this week (our first week), we've had Jambalaya, trout with red potatoes and asparagus, shrimp tacos and chicken enchiladas with tomatillo sauce and mexican rice. It has all been wonderful, and we have some simple comfort foods planned for the rest of the week. Hubbo is really enjoying himself (except for all the extra time it takes, since he hasn't made these before), and my tummy is very happy.

5. None of the recent pictures of the hoodie are an accurate color. It really is a leaf green. Hopefully tomorrow we will get home when the sun is still out and I can take a better picture. But so you know that I've been working on it, and not those new projects, here's a shot 4 1/2 inches into the hood. Oooooh. Ahhh. Only 7 more inches to go.

6. I've spent way too much time the last few days on a secret project that is a bit frustrating - I had to rip out ten rows last night, but I kept on and I am only about 20 rows from the end. Hoping to be done by Friday night.

Must run to pack my lunch and my knitting bag. And to find something to wear. What day is it?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

So close, and yet so far

All the pieces of the Central Park Hoodie are finished. All that's left is seaming, the hood and the button bands. So why don't I want to work on it?

Monday, January 08, 2007


That noise y'all heard Saturday morning? That was me, falling off my "try not to buy yarn until June" resolution. Whoops. But honestly, faced with a 50% off sale, wouldn't you have done the same?

Most shocking, is that I bought all this yarn WITH NO PATTERN IN MIND. I have never bought yarn (other than sock yarn, because really, they're going to be some kind of socks) without knowing exactly what pattern I wanted to use it for. I do know that the grey (Debbie Bliss Merino Aran) will be for a sweater for hubbo (he picked it out), and all the rest is for mememe! The pink is Rowan Wool Cotton, the purple is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky and the blue/green is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. I'm thinking that the purple will be a simple cardigan - nice and comfy for the classroom.

And yes, I did have to buy two more containers - I didn't plan for any expansion of the stash. Whoops.

I won't add this officially to the stash until after the contest, just to be fair. Don't forget - you can guess until next Sunday!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

It's NOT a Gift! 2.0

Our first update! If you haven't visited each blog yet, I encourage you to do so!

The Smug Sheep is working away on her Jawbreaker cardigan - both fronts are done and she's into the sleeves. She is also working on the i-cord for her Booga Bag - great colors!

Zanti Miss Knit resoled her Fuzzy Feet - an unexpected FO!

Emilee started a lovely Clapotis for herself.

Bronwyn started Klaralund - and she's going to knit it in the round. Can't wait to see it all done!

Leisel has finished her My So-Called Scarf, but hasn't posted pictures yet - soon please! :)

Theresa finished up a kitchen set for herself - now if she would just have time to cook!

Debbie finished her Central Park Hoodie - looks great!

Mamma has finished her first Walking Away sock - knit almost all in one day! Wow!

Kris finished her Twist vest - it looks fab!

Liz finished her Moebius - love the color! She's onto project number two for herself - Samus from knitty.

Ozknitter is working on some pretty purple socks.

Scout has been busy - she finished a yummy Noro scarf and hat combo and knit a "sock" for her Nike+ ipod thingie. Whew!

BeccaU finished Fetching and Calorimetry - it's so nice to have accessories for yourself!

Tiffany had a scary experience with her hip hop jacket - luckily it all turned out well!

Juls is working on a monkey sock in Socks that Rock - yum!

Karla is halfway done with her scarf - just keep knitting, just keep knitting!

Laverna is halfway done with the heel flap on her Monkey socks and finished a pretty pair of fingerless gloves

Lauren finished her Multi-directional scarf and started her first sock. And she has cute window-climbing kitties - how do they do that?

Morgan is attacking the gorgeous Venezia sweater from Interweave - cannot wait to see your progress!

And i.d.d.a. has finished her EZ sweater - all but the tiny details (weaving in ends) - hopefully she'll have a finished sweater for us next week!

I think that's everyone - PLEASE let me know if I've missed you or I haven't listed you in the sidebar yet - I've been a bit out of sorts having to use hubbo's computer.
Okey dokey - off to knit for me!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Before and After

That crazy New Year organization bug grabbed me on Wednesday, our last day of vacation, and forced me to clean out the study closet. The study closet is where the yarn lives.

Before the great reorganization of '07 the yarn lived in these large rubbermaid bins. Nothing against the rubbermaid, but I bought the cheaper non-clear bins, and damn if you can't see through those. Every time I wanted to find yarn for a project (unless it was sock yarn which lived in it's own bin - the one about to explode top right), I had to open every.freaking.bin. This, of course, led me to rarely dig in the bins. However, not knowing what you have, and where it is, is a bit counter-intuitive when you're trying to knit from the stash. A quick trip to big lots (one of my favorite stores - right up there with dollar tree), led to fourteen clear bins, some salvaged bins from other areas of the house, and an extra set of shelves from the garage, resulted in this:

Ahhh. I will still have to look a bit for each specific project's yarn, but pulling clear bins off the shelf is so much nicer than digging through six enormous tubs o' yarn. And I was wise enough to sort things - all the dishcloth cotton is together, all the lace, the sock yarn is in the two larger bottom bins, most cottons are together, etc.

I found this particularly humorous - how many plastic storage bins are specific to yarn storage?

Now for the fun part: CONTEST! Partly because this is my 450th post (wow!), and partly because the anal part of me really wants to share this dorky information, we're having a contest.

I'll admit that I did this prior to the great reorganization, (perhaps avoiding some Christmas knitting?) but it seems particularly fitting now. I spreadsheeted the yarn. And it is, um, a wee bit scary.

So, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to guess how many balls of yarn live in my stash. Partial balls of less than 1/2 their original size will not be counted in the total.
Contest closes next Sunday, January 14, at 10 pm CST and the winner will be announced on Monday, January 15.

Have a very knitty weekend! I'll be back tomorrow with our first KAL update!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Last of the Stash Enhancement

My postal carrier/UPS people were busy yesterday. Among the fun things they brought me were bills, an invitation to subscribe to Vogue Knitting (which I filled out and sent in last year, only to never receive a magazine), a jury summons (my first - I'm less than thrilled), and yarn. Good thing there was yarn, or the jury summons might have put me over the edge.

The Nature Wool is for the Sunshine Circle Jacket (what can I say - I love to make things the color they are in the magazine. For me the two really go hand in hand - if it's not a "me" color I often won't like the design. Luckily, most colors are "me" colors.), and the newnewnew Cotton Ease is for the Nantucket Jacket (again, nearly the same color). Hubbo is not a fan of the new label on the Cotton Ease (why does he care?), but I am pleased with this color. It is Terracotta and pretty much exactly the color I hoped it would be. If you're looking for the new Cotton Ease I highly recommend They were offering free shipping on orders over $25.00 (which they do often), and it is 3.99/ball. It is also available from discount yarn sale, but since they charge an outrageous amount to ship (I think my last order cost just over a dollar to ship and they charged me $7.95), and they've had an outstanding order for me since September (which they seem to care nothing about and will not cancel the order), I didn't want to give them any more of my business.

While we're on the topic - the Nature Wool came from I strongly urge you, if you haven't ordered from them, to go take a peek and find something for yourself. They do require a minimum order of $25, but that's not hard with all the great deals they have. I've always requested parcel post for shipping, and been upgraded to priority mail every time. They send you an email when your order is being shipped and write a little note on the inside. No, I don't get a cut of their profits, but I love to share outstanding service when I find it.

This will be it for a while on major yarn purchases. And I'm really OK with that. I did a bit of a project yesterday on my last vacation day - stop by tomorrow to see!

Back to school today. Must drink more coffee.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Comment early, comment often

I decided today that comments count. No, not the number (although that is nice), just the saying of "hi, that's pretty" can really make my day, and I'm sure others. And yet, while in my head I whine (sometimes) about the (rare) low comments I get, I read over 200 blogs, and *maybe* comment on 10-15 regularly. So, resolution #245386 for 2007 - comment early, comment often!

In other news, I attempted to knit both fronts of CPH at the same time on the same circular needle at the commandment prodding suggestion of one of my LYS owners.

Yep, photographic proof that I tried it. And I hated it. I was always trying to figure out which front to work on next, what order did they need to go in, did they need to go in an order, which way was RS? I made it through the ribbing, but when it was time to switch to the charts, I knit one front onto the larger needle, and left the other to wait it's turn. I guess I can say I've tried it now, and I won't try it again any time soon. She's also suggesting that I knit two socks on two circulars, and I'm thinkin' that's a NO as well.

What are you trying new this year?

I should have all 'new' KAL participants listed in the sidebar - double check and make sure I've got you there! We're at nearly 50 people - woot!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Cleaning out the WIP drawers

The new year is traditionally a time for fresh starts, cleaning and reorganization (or organization, depending on your previous habits). While I didn't start any new projects yesterday, I did clean out the drawers today. I haven't been knitting long enough* to have any "real" skeletons in my closet (in fact, all that is on the needles was cast on in 2006), but it has been a while since some projects have seen the light of day. Time to check in on them, and to see if they've learned to knit themselves.

Green and pink Trekking socks
- sadly, long neglected. These have been on the needles since this summer. The first sock was finished during Socktober, and the second cast on. I worked on it in the car for several weeks until I snapped one DPN. Then another. I was a bit afraid to work on it after that, and it was time to start the Christmas knits, so I put it aside. I drug it back out this week, and I'm happy to say that the heel has been turned and I am into the gusset on sock #2. Hopefully they can be finished in under a year.

Hubbo's Sweater - I'm through the first ball of yarn (and this being knitpicks yarn, that's not saying much). I expect to work on this a lot when I'm done with the Central Park Hoodie. I'd love to have it done for Valentine's Day, but I'm not going to force myself.

Central Park Hoodie - I'm through the back, and this week I finished both sleeves. Two fronts, a hood and the bands and I'm done. Hopefully done in the next week or two. (The color is way off in this picture, but it's a good shot of the cables.)

Hubbo's Trekking socks - the first sock is nearly ready to start the heel flap thanks to The Good Shepherd. Lots of knitting time in a 3 hour movie!

Bamboo socks - the first sock waiting to have the heel turned.

Icarus - through several rows (2 repeats? 3?). Love it. Love the yarn, love the pattern.

Anastasia Socks - worked on these a bit last night. The yarn is Claudia's Handpainted in sport weight. I am an idiot, who cannot follow a pattern (plus I wasn't sure it was "right" for the yarn), so it was ripped last night, and reincarnated today as a simple 2x2 ribbed sock. It's yummy.

Dublin Bay socks - almost done with the cuff. No progress recently.

Spey Valley socks
- just barely cast on.

Grey socks - into the pattern, but barely.

My So-Called Scarf - not sure I like the pattern in the yarn. Everyone I ask seems to, but I don't know if they are being honest. I'll post a picture here in a few days to get y'all's feel for it.

Glastig Hat - no progress in quite some time. Hopefully will be done while it is still cold out!

Log Cabin Blanket - resurrected this week, as it is chilly here in the mornings, and this does a great job of keeping my lap warm. Would like it done by March for The Girl's birthday.

Sock Log Cabin - added more yarn to the pile for it, but no progress in months.

Pullover Flair - lounging at the bottom of the drawer.

Kyoto - Hanging out with Flair.

Branching Out - I like it, but I haven't been spending time with it.

I think that's everything. There is also a red scarf in the drawer, but I really don't like the yarn/needle/pattern combo. Debating ripping it.

I do have some new projects in mind that I'll be sharing with y'all soon, and I did start a simple hat for Hubbo last weekend. Back to the CPH, in hopes that I can wear it soon!

*I totally missed my 2 year "knitaversary" on December 23. Dork.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Knitterly Gifts (and Stash Enhancement)

Feeling scattered today, so in lieu of a "real" post, you get pictures of yarn!

Purchased some time ago, but not revealed yet, as another of these wonderful skeins was a Christmas present. Sweet Georgia in Life Aquatic. Yum.

Some reading material certain to keep me busy in the new year. Much of this pile was gifts, but I found Hot Knits and the two magazines at the used book store. I know, Hot Knits has some, um, questionable patterns. But it also has a few that I really like. And I wasn't going to buy VK or Knit 1, but for less than half price, I'll add them to the collection.

Lovely wool/mohair/alpaca blends from one of mom's knitty friend's stashes. Yum Yum.

Enough sock yarn to knit several pairs of gift socks in the new year.

And yarn for me. Yum. Most purchased with lovely gift cards to my LYS - enough yarn for Ariann, a grey cabled scarf, mittens and a yummy skein of J. Knits sock yarn. There is also yarn there for socks for mom and for a felted bag for me. I'm excited about all of this yarn - the baby alpaca for the scarf is oh-so-soft, the J. Knits is the most gorgeous shades of green, the mittens will be pretty (if I can decide on a pattern) and I'm seeing great versions of Ariann pop up everywhere, so I'm excited to get that on the needles. I'm also excited about the multicolored Paton's Classic Wool. I have several projects in mind for more of it!

There is more yarn en route, but it will be a while before it gets here no thanks to the Ford "holiday." I appreciate a president and all, and I realize that we should recognize their passing, but would I get the day off of work if it wasn't already school break? NO. Maybe I should work for the government - oh, wait. They don't get summers off. I guess I'll suffer through another mail-less day.

I promise that actual knitting content will return tomorrow - it's been over a week! Ack!