Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Trick or Treat......

Smell my (newly adorned) feet......
(This is what happens when you run around in the yard in your new socks)

Gimme somethin' good to eat!!

Happy Halloween (and Socktoberfest) from our house to yours!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Live in the moment - a meme

I've always been one of those people who is future-oriented. I don't spend much time thinking about the past and have a difficult time living in the moment. As I get older, however, I try to recognize those perfect moments when they happen and appreciate them for what they are. Nonetheless, my mind is constantly looking ahead. Maybe this explains why I am such a yarn hoarder - it gives me something to look forward to. In many ways, this keeps me from succumbing to those "what's the point of it all" thoughts that tend to creep in, especially as the days grow darker and colder.

This gave rise to the meme: one of the characters in a movie that I watched last night asked another what she loved. Instead of listing people and things, she told him of moments she enjoyed. What a refreshing idea! Here's my list of perfect moments. Feel free to join in!

  1. Taking a shower after being really sick for several days.
  2. Having animated conversation with friends or family over wine and a sumptuous meal, especially in a small and dimly lit restaurant.
  3. Watching a lightening storm, especially on a hot summer's night.
  4. Driving down a road after a snowstorm and seeing the tree branches heavy with snow.
  5. Falling asleep in the car (only as a passenger!).
  6. The first day in Spring when I can leave the house without a jacket.
  7. The smell of coffee brewing in the morning (my Nana's house always smelled like that).
  8. Eating a giant breakfast after partying the night before.
  9. Sitting on the couch, knitting, with Chloe resting against my leg, listening to Prairie Home Companion
  10. Seeing the holiday lights decorating Downtown Portland (I'll take pics when they are lit - it's so beautiful).
  11. Ice-skating at night under a full moon on ice as smooth as glass.
  12. Smelling an orange after pulling off that little cap thing.
  13. Falling asleep on the porch while reading a book (in the summer).
  14. Any amazing sunset, but especially the ones with red skies.
  15. Taking off down the runway in a plane
  16. The view of Washington, D.C., flying into to (Reagan) National Airport - it always takes my breath away.
  17. The smell of towels and sheets dried on a clothesline.
  18. Sleeping tangled up with Mr. Strange on a chilly morning.
  19. Christmas shopping downtown, early in the season when it's not too cold and no one is frantic yet.
  20. The salty smell of the ocean, preferably from a boat.
  21. The sound of a train from inside the house.
  22. The muffled silence that comes with a thick fog or heavy snow.
  23. The sound of a trickling brook or stream.
  24. The smell of a new box of Crayola Crayons.
  25. Visiting a new city for the first time.

It's amazing how many I could think of! I decided to stop at 25.

There is one other thing though.....it's so obvious, maybe too obvious. Knitting! Especially when it goes quickly and looks good! Here's today's progress on Coral Crossing:

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Wild ride

We are in the midst of a wild display of wind and rain, and I will be amazed if we don't lose power sometime this evening. The good thing is that the political signs are falling down. Ever the optimist, I rented movies anyway (V for Vandetta, The Lakehouse and Brothers Grimm - we need some escape from reality). Chloe had a very active day watching the show outside.

She seems blissfully unaware of her impending demise, and although I am glad for her, it is nonetheless a heartbreaking burden for us to carry. Fortunately, she does not seem to be in any pain, and if it weren't for the fact that she has a tumor dangerously close to ulcerating on her belly, there would be nothing different about her(it was discovered too late to remove, it has already spread to her lungs). Such bittersweet days. She asked to be out on the porch (what we call "the observation deck") several times, and I joined her for a while, but dang it was cold out there! Contrary to how it appears, she has that wild look because of something she saw outside. No, I didn't make the scarf - it's J. Crew a $3.99 score from Goodwill.

I did manage to squeeze in some knitting. Here's Cable Crossing after the first section of cables. This yarn is such a dream. My ribbing has never looked so good! The color is not quite as dark as it appears in the photo. I sure am glad that I opted for the smaller size - unstretched, this measures 15.25 inches. It easily stretches to 17.5 inches which should result in a comfortable finished bust measurement of 34" after seaming.

Once Chloe settled in for her afternoon nap, I braved the elements to drive to the yarn store. Not the one where I bought the "mean" yarn, but the high-end snobby store that carries the full line of Rowan and Adrienne Vittadini. I normally don't frequent this shop because of their ridiculous price gouging ($1.50 or more over suggested retail). To their credit, it is one of the most beautiful yarn shops in the state. I didn't go there for that reason though. It was the Rowan Felted Tweed. After the incident in the New LYS last weekend, I have been lusting for this certain color...so I bought 6 skeins in color #143 "Cocoa".

I decided against the initial vest idea when I realized that I already have a book with a pattern that uses this same yarn. "Selena" was one of the reasons I purchased Vintage Knits :

While driving in the storm, white-knuckled with my wipers on hyperspeed, hydroplaning all over the road, I wondered about my sanity until I arrived at the shop to find a full parking lot!

For once, I wasn't the only person who wandered around for over an hour. (I'm one of those people who has sit on the to floor to fondle and figure). One of the shoppers came because she lost power at her house. Two others were ga ga for Jo Sharp. A woman around my age was wearing Klaralund from the Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Book. When I asked her if it was that sweater, she corrected me and said, "Oh, you mean Karalund" (I let her believe she was right). I told her that I planned to knit the same sweater and she gave me the tip that her gauge was loose in the Silk Garden and that she washed and dried it to shrink it a little. I told her that it looked very nice. I also mentioned that I just finished "Gesta" from the same book in the Kocheran. I guess I mispronounced it ("Cock-er-ann"), because one again she corrected me ("Oh, you mean Kosher-ahn"). Why do some people feel the need to do that? Then again, she could have done a better job seaming that sweater, I think I saw a hole (meow).

There was also a man there shopping with his young son. Not something I see very often. The boy was knitting something as a gift for his grandmother. I overheard that he was taught to knit at school. While leaving, the boy asked his father if he thought he should add his name to the mailing list book. He father said "Sure, if you want to" and then said, while the boy filled in his name and address, "I buy the yarn, and you knit it, that's the deal we made, right?". Being my mother's daughter, I piped up and said "I'd take that deal anyday!!" He seemed surprised and said "Really? You'd like someone to buy you all the yarn you want to knit with?" (Man, this guy obviously doesn't spend much time in yarn stores!!) I replied that I would quit my day job for a deal like that!! He again expressed genuine surprise, especially when I added that "I work for yarn". You would have thought that he just met someone from another planet. I felt that way about him!! I didn't point out that I also work to eat, drink beer, take Pilates and pay for my car and health insurance.

Can you imagine not having to work, but having someone buy you yarn for any project you want?? What a fa-fa-fab-fantasy! Speaking of which, Keanu calls....

Friday, October 27, 2006

Mean yarn

There's just nothing in the world like wearing something you knit and actually liking it! I present Gesta, finished! This was one of those instant gratification projects that really paid off: 3 days to make, start to finish. I blocked it before seaming, and I don't know I really needed to. I could have just let the ribbing do all the work for me. Maybe I'll "unblock" it before the next wearing. Is that possible? I'm thinking I could just wet it and allow to dry flat...I confess to being very wary of washing my handknits, and no, they don't stink. I haven't let all that success go to my head (remember the too big not-so-titillating tam?). As soon as I finished this vest, I started right in on Veste Everest. I have a little bit of wisdom to impart: ignore everything they tell you about types of yarn. Gauge, wpi, ply, content, fiber are all meaningless. It all comes down to two types of yarn: nice yarn and mean yarn. The Harrisville Highland is as mean as they come. What you see here are 10 rows of arthritis inducing stitches. Sure, it looks good and I am getting gauge, but it is torture. After knitting this, even my elbows hurt. Even if I did force myself to forge ahead, it feels like a carpet. Take a good look at it because this is going to the frog pond. Fortunately I saved my receipt and can return the other 2 skeins. In the meantime, I had to start something new.....
At least it's something from stash - in the sense that I bought the yarn for the project I am using it for. Here we have a very nice yarn. What a dream. It's Peru DK, a Merino, "Alpaka" (??) and Silk, purchased for a song at A.C. Moore. The ply is very similar to Aurora 8. Lovely, bouncy and soft. Ahhhh. On it's way to becoming Cable Crossing from Interweave Knits, Fall 2006.I am, of course, making it without the pockets (what they heck was she thinking??). I'm knitting the smallest size, thinking that if ever I wanted negative ease, this would be the time.
Too bad I have to go back to the yarn store, it's going to be such an awful rainy day tomorrow. Poor me.
Heh heh heh.....

Monday, October 23, 2006

Ribbit Ribbit

Do you think this makes my head look fat?

I think I made the wrong size.....

Sunday, October 22, 2006


The end.

Actually to be more precise, the ends:

Yes! I finished the Fair Isle Pullover! Those are the remnants of all the ends I had to weave in - bleck! In a rush to photograph the finished product during the brief hours of available sunlight, I threw it on before the final blocking. Ignore the flying strands. They are just some of the ends I hadn't woven in yet. I love the way it fits and would be surprised if you didn't hear the giant sigh of relief I expelled when I found that the sleeves came out the right length.
I'm not 100% satisfied with the buckle. Funny story about that. I went to JoAnn's yesterday in search of a 1.25 inch silver buckle. They were having their "Midnight Madness" sale or some such promotional hooey, and the store was mobbed. I walked around and around with coupons burning a hole in my pocket and only walked out with the new Vogue Knitting (50% off). It's OK. I like the "Bell Sleeve Jacket" and Norah Gaughan's "Halter Dress", but I don't know that I would actually wear either. Oh yeah, the buckle.
Since I didn't find the buckle at JoAnn's, I headed to one of the yarn shops actually located in my city. Not to find a buckle necessarily, but just to fondle and scope out gifts for my secret pal. A little background on the two shops. One has been here for many, many years. It's run by an elderly couple (she is cranky, he is a busybody) and their daughter (a nice enough lady). I'll call it the "Old LYS". The shop is in an excellent location, but they never change their window displays or any other displays. They specialize in Lopi, and have a limited selection of other yarns. By limited, I mean that they only carry a few colors of any given yarn; usually red, navy, brown and green. Every time I go there, I swear that I will not go back. The other shop (the "New LYS") is on the same street, about a mile away. This shop is much smaller but has a gorgeous selection of high end yarns like Debbie Bliss, Rowan and ggh. I really want to like this shop, but they don't have much in the way of patterns. Whenever I go there, I do better if I already have a pattern in mind. OK, back to the story (this is going somewhere, I promise). I went to the New LYS and fell in love a shade of rich chocolate brown Rowan Felted Tweed. I've been wanting to wear knitted vests these days and actually had a few in mind to knit. Of course I didn't have the yardage requirements with me as it was an unplanned visit. So, I found a pattern in a book. I was even willing to buy it (RYC Classic Style - see the pink vest on the far bottom right). I could easily get gauge substituting the Felted Tweed, but I needed 4 skeins and they only had 3. Pooh. After they scrounged around to see if they had any more, I had to go through this exchange.

Shop owner: "What about this yarn?" [shows me something totally different from what I picked].

Me: "Hmmm, yeah, well, I really love this color and this gauge..." (Did you not see me browsing and fondling for like an hour? If there was another yarn, I would have seen it by now!)

Shop owner: "Are you sure you can gauge with this yarn?

Me: "Yes [reading out the gauge from the pattern]" (I know what I'm doing here).

Shop owner: "Let me ask you this, If there was only one of this color [offers up same yarn in burnt orange] would that be the color you want?"

Me: "Heh heh, no, really, I love the brown. It will go with more in my wardrobe" (Was she being snide????)

Shop owner: "We can order it for you"

Me: "Thanks, but I'm in an instant gratification mood" ( I want it right now and why does this always seem to happen when I come here?)

During this entire exchange, there were some people in the front of the store with very noisy toddlers, waiting for their friend who was trying to buy yarn while they waited (bad idea). She had her little person strapped to her back in a giant metal framed backpack thing. Did I mention that this is a very small store? A narrow store? Yeah. Not fun. I managed to escape without succumbing to the "I've been in here so long that I have to buy something" voice in my head.

3 hours of shopping and no buckle or vest yarn. What a waste of time!! I could have been knitting!

When I got home, I went up to my sewing room to pick up some fabric I had spread around that morning. I just happened to look down at the collection of bag making supplies that I keep near my cutting table. What do you think was sitting right on top? A 1.25 inch silver buckle!!!

Here's the sweater after final blocking: (Look over my left shoulder to see the candle holder from my Secret Pal)

Ok, that was a really longwinded way to tell you about the buckle, but there's more:

Today, I went to my favorite not-so-local yarn shop in Standish (30 minutes away) where they were having a 25% off yarn sale. I had exactly $75 to spend and bought yarn for both of the vests I wanted to make. Get this: it came to $74.86!!

"Veste Everest" by Veronik Avery from Interweave, Fall 2005 to be knit in New England Highland by Harrisville Designs (it's a dark chololate brown):

And "Gesta" from Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton's "Hand Knitting Collection, Book Number Two" to be knit in Noro Kochoran:

In the meantime, I started a little hat the other night.....

the "Tittilating Tam".

Yup, I'm an addict.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Treats and Sweets

Today was one of those crazy days at work when I ran full stop from the moment I woke up. You may be familiar with the kind: work through lunch and go go go until your brain is mush and all you want to do is go home and take off your shoes and bra and pop the top on a cool drink of something yummy. Imagine my surprise when I walked in the door and found.....

A box of fun from my Secret Pal!! I had to take a picture before I opened my gifties. Look how nicely everything is packaged! What festive colors! What fun wrap! I squealed with delight as I opened each one:

I was blessed with so many treats: cozy yarn in warm fall colors, a beer mug magnet (does this gal know me or what?), a jack-o-lantern candle holder with tea lights to match and, oh, my heart be still, a bar of beauteous maximus dark chocolate!! I held off on the chocolate for about an hour....It actually says on the wrapper: "Like most indulgent greats, Cacao Reserve by Hersheys should be enjoyed in moderation". HA HA! Is that the funniest? It reminds me of the warning on the side of beer bottles only it doesn't say "according to the Surgeon General, women should not eat chocolate because of the associated risk of pimples and cellulite".

Secret Pal, thank you so much! You really made my day and Chloe's too. She got all jazzed up by the commotion, so I let her share in my bounty. OK, so maybe the fact that's she's on drugs helps.

I'm off to finish weaving in many many ends, hoping to be able to seam my Fair Isle Pullover together tomorrow. What's that you ask? Fair Isle Pullover? It's my "Mystery Sweater", a mystery no more!

The yarn is Jo Sharp DK Wool substituted for Blue Sky Alpacas Alpacas, and the pattern is from Vogue Knitting Winter 2004/05. I mostly chose colors that were close to the pattern, but substituted a few: Ebony (black) for the body instead of Burgundy, Brocade (deep burgundy) for Grey and Orient (light blue) for Beige. Unfortunately I seemed to have tossed the labels for the other colors I used, but based on my spotty memory, reinforced by sample cards I have seen online, I believe they are Lilium (lime green), Nasturtium (paprika), Porcelain (cream)and Tapestry (sage green). I'm crossing my fingers that when this is done, I will actually want to wear it. Already I am thinking: what can I start knitting next??

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Eye Candy & Future Projects?

This has been such a busy week, but I didn't want to let another day go by without sharing some of my favorites from the Interweave Knits Winter 2006 Preview and a little gem from the new Vogue Issue Preview. Such a tease! Interweave doesn't come out until November 14!! I'll be watching my mailbox every day. So far I am interested in Enid Cardigan by Veronik Avery, the Nantucket Jacket by Norah Gaughan (two of my all-time favorite designers!!), the Refined Raglan by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark (she designed Bonita from the Summer issue, which I really loved knitting) and, of course,Venezia Pullover by Eunny Jang. I so miss reading Eunny. She must be very busy these days. I only hope she's working on a book of her designs! The little periwinkle cabled cardigan is from the new Vogue. Drooooool.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Good Intentions

As each weekend approaches, I plan out all the things I'm going to work on. Knit this, sew that, finish such and such, but come Sunday evening, I'm dismayed at how little I've actually achieved. Mr. Strange thinks that I'm too hard on myself and blames my Yankee upbringing (he's "from away"). Whatever the cause, I am once again at that point when I have to admit that I just can't do it all. I did finish the tote bag to give away at the Area One meeting on Wednesday night. I think it came out very nice, but I'm not tempted to keep it. I may also donate this little penny rug wool applique I made several years ago. It's cute, but I don't really have the space for it, and have others that I like better.

I will not, however, be wearing my mystery project sweater. Here it is with only so much of the first sleeve done. Considering that I have a whole other sleeve, blocking (yuk), weaving in of ends (double yuk) and the collar to knit, it's not going to happen. Unless I fall suddenly ill and have to stay home from work for the next two days.....

I also managed to tea dye* fabric for some little stitchery projects I've been meaning to do. While rummaging around in my sewing room, I came across a number of UFO's from Autumn's past. For as many things I've finished, I seem to have twice as many that I haven't. There are a lot of people who make things a season (or more) in advance, but I am just not one of them. As the end of August nears, I am still trying to cram in one more summer project. I can't even begin to think about fall until the leaves start to change and pumpkins start appearing. When that happens, I think of a bazillion autumn things I want to make but can only finish a few before it's the day after Thanksgiving and I'm forced into Christmas mode. The pressure of it all! So that's my excuse for having so many unfinished fall themed projects. I have good intentions every year, but I run out of time. I could finish some of them up, but the lure of a new project is just so strong. I guess it doesn't matter whether it is knitting, quilting, or stitching, I have seasonal FDD: "finishing deficit disorder"

I think that the reason I prefer knitting over any of the other fiber arts is that once you complete the parts, the actual finishing is much less labor intensive than the making of the individual parts. Whereas with quilting, piecing the top is only the beginning. I would much rather weave in ends than sandwich, baste and quilt any day. In addition, if you don't like the way you've seamed a sweater, it's easy to undo. Have you ever tried to cut out machine quilting? It's horrible. For those of you out there who have piles of sweaters that only need to be sewn together, I sympathize. You should see the piles of quilt tops I have!! It's a shame I tell you!

I think we need one more day of the week. Let's call it "Someday". That way, whenever we say "someday I'll finish this" or "someday I'll try that", maybe it will actually happen. Better yet, let's replace Monday with Someday, and have it be a national holiday.

* How to tea dye fabric to look antique: Boil water in a small sauce pan. Add 3 to 4 tea bags (I use Lipton). Allow to steep for a good long time (20 minutes or so). Wet your fabric and scrunch it up. Place in a small bowl. Pour tea in bowl over fabric, but not to cover. Let sit for about 30 minutes. Rinse fabric and allow to dry. Works best with natural fibers like cotton and linen.

100 Things

  1. I am an only child, raised by my mother and grandmother ("Nana").
  2. I am half Norwegian.
  3. In school I was always reprimanded for talking when I wasn't supposed to.
  4. I was pathologically shy as a child (I know, it doesn't make sense).
  5. Although I love being social, I covet time alone.
  6. I am really anal about keeping my desk organized at work.
  7. My clothing closet is a mess.
  8. Mr. Strange is not my first Mister, he's my second.
  9. He is 18 years older than I am.
  10. We are child-free by choice.
  11. I imagine myself as much taller than I really am (almost 5'1").
  12. I imagine myself much fatter than I really am (not telling).
  13. I used to weigh over 75 lbs more than I do now (before you ask: South Beach Diet and Pilates).
  14. I've never broken a bone, but I am missing my gall bladder.
  15. I can touch my nose with my tongue.
  16. I am blind as a bat without my glasses, which I have been wearing since I was 11.
  17. I love having my teeth cleaned.
  18. I hate math.
  19. I love science.
  20. My goal in life is to be the best person I can be.
  21. I believe in leading by example, but I would rather inspire others to be their best than to have them admire me.
  22. I'm an idealist.
  23. I value fairness and honesty.
  24. People say I am a "Good Dooby".
  25. I love to cuss, but also say things like "Geez Louise", "Holy Cow", and "Jeezum Crow" all the time.
  26. I believe that people are capable of greatness, but I still prefer the company of animals.
  27. I tend to have expectations of others that are too high.
  28. I have a bad habit of assuming that people think the worst of me.
  29. I've always felt like a dork, but now I think that it's OK to be one.
  30. I don't know how to ski and I don't want to.
  31. I can do a full back-bend.
  32. I can't do a cartwheel (OK, I haven't tried in years, but I'm sure I still can't do it).
  33. I've never thought of myself as an athletic person.
  34. I'd rather be happy than wealthy.
  35. I can spend $100 on yarn without batting an eye, but hate to spend money on things like toothpaste.
  36. I am terrible with my money.
  37. I love long distance road trips when I am the driver.
  38. In an alternate universe, I am a race car driver.
  39. I didn't get my driver's license until I was 26.
  40. I like to explore the possibilities when making a decision.
  41. I can be absurdly indecisive about inconsequential things (like which bulb of garlic to buy).
  42. I am afraid of losing my wits and of having a terminal illness.
  43. At my worst, I worry that every new ache or pain is a sign of terminal illness.
  44. I am a night owl.
  45. I have a terrible time getting up in the morning.
  46. I am a procrastinator.
  47. I do my best work under pressure.
  48. I love eating hot, spicy foods that make me sniff and sweat.
  49. I hate cheese that smells like unwashed body parts (except Feta and Romano).
  50. I'm a beer snob - I like it cool, fresh, and bitter.
  51. Best pizza topping: feta, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes.
  52. Worst pizza topping: anchovies (they look like eyebrows!)
  53. Diet Coke. Dressing on the side.
  54. Brown is my black.
  55. I love just about every color except the generic Crayola "Green".
  56. When I was a kid, I aspired to be like Mary on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show".
  57. I learned valuable lessons from watching "The Brady Bunch".
  58. I do not have cable TV.
  59. When I visit my mother, I love watching fitness infomercials and marathon episodes of "What Not to Wear" and "America's Next Top Model".
  60. I'm nutty about pictures and stories about makeovers of people.
  61. I have had platinum, red and black hair (not at the same time).
  62. I have one tattoo on my back (yes, it hurt, it cost $90 dollars, and no, I don't regret it).
  63. I fantasize about embarking on a radical physical challenge, like running a marathon or hiking the Appalachian Trail, but I hate to be uncomfortable for long periods of time, and I'm kind of a klutz.
  64. I am directionally challenged: I prefer to say "This Way" and "That Way" instead of Right and Left.
  65. I'm not very confident about designing from scratch, but am very good on building on others' ideas.
  66. I follow direction very well, and believe that rules are good as long as they make sense.
  67. I will break the rules if I think they don't make sense.
  68. I always wear my seat belt, but I don't apply sunblock every day and I love sausage and bacon with my eggs (such a rebel!).
  69. When other people break the rules, I get anxious.
  70. I can't watch movies or TV shows where a character is "under cover" or is doing something where they might get caught (Exceptions: I love Woody Allen's "Manhattan Murder Mystery" and Hitchcock's "Rear Window").
  71. I like watching funny love stories and silly comedies with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.
  72. Other than ritual habits, my mood drives my preferences for just about everything I do.
  73. I can drive for an hour with the radio on "seek" mode, waiting for the "right" song.
  74. I have 6 CD's loaded in my car player, but can only remember what 2 of them are (Dave Matthews custom compilation from a friend).
  75. I don't rent movies I've already seen or re-read books I've read.
  76. I used to read ALL the time before I started knitting and working at a job where I have to read things all day.
  77. I don't mind working, but I wish I didn't have to. If it were up to me, I would work 3 days a week in a retail setting just for fun.
  78. My dream house is on a quiet pond or lake and my sewing room and knitting chair have a view of the water.
  79. I don't believe in heaven or hell: I believe it's all right here and we create it.
  80. I don't believe that God is a being. I think it is everything.
  81. The only things I kill are bugs that eat me, my food, or household materials.
  82. If I had to kill my own food, I'm sure I'd be a vegetarian.
  83. I don't like tofu.
  84. Milk and runny eggs make me gag. I can't even eat Cadbury eggs because they look like runny eggs.
  85. I hardly ever vomit. Seriously. It's been years.
  86. Ice-cream is my favorite comfort food - especially flavors with coconut, cinnamon, or pumpkin.
  87. I don't like melons of any kind, but I do like watermelon flavored hard candies (even thought I rarely eat them).
  88. My biggest pet peeve is people talking on cell phones while shopping or driving.
  89. I hardly ever use my cell phone.
  90. I tend to be a perfectionist, if only to make up for my slacker youth.
  91. I get really cranky when I'm too hot.
  92. I'd rather be very cold than very hot.
  93. I only drink hot beverages in the morning and like my cold beverages very cold.
  94. I leave half-finished beverage containers everywhere (my car is a Diet Coke graveyard).
  95. Because my legs are often too short to reach the floor on most furniture, I prefer to cross my legs.
  96. My mother always told me that sitting cross legged would ruin my knees.
  97. My mother was right.
  98. I visit my mother for the weekend every 3 weeks. I have been doing this since I was 18. She lives an hour away.
  99. My mom is one of my best friends.
  100. Mr. Strange and my mom know me better than anyone else.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I've been trying to finish my so-called secret project but have hit the part of the pattern where I have to divide the front and bind off neck stitches and it says "at the same time...". It's challenging enough to follow one set of decreases in fair isle, but two? GAK! It might as well say "Tap dance in five inch spike heels while carrying two margaritas and sing Yankee Doodle backwards, in Spanish". Can you say future frogging? Yeah, and I've been hitting the pale ales tonight. Time. To. Stop.

As a little diversion, have you seen the new Chic Knit's pattern Ariann?
This is so appealing right now. There's even a KAL. I love it in this color. You would think that I'd have stash to knit this, but nothing jumps out at me. Hmmm, my favorite LYS is having a sale for the entire month of October and tomorrow is payday.....Who am I kidding? I need to finish Ivy, not to mention all those future projects in the line up {sigh}.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


In honor of Socktoberfest, I am dedicating this entire post to my sock knitting history and mania! Lucky you ;)

To begin, here are my answers to Lolly's sock questions:

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
In a rush to learn everything all at once, I started my first pair of socks within months of starting to knit in earnest. I taught myself, using the Yankee Knitter sock pattern, and gave up quickly. There were way too many pointy needles sticking out all over the place! I just couldn't get a handle on them! Once I discovered 5 inch Brittany Birch needles, a year later, I tried again and have been hooked ever since.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time? (See above) No, they came out too big so I gave them to Mr. Strange. He loved them until the toe blew out on one of them.

What would you have done differently?
Woven in my ends better!

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
Koigu, Cherry Tree, Lana Grossa Meillenweit. I love the color of Opal yarns, but the resulting fabric is always disappointing. I've also used Fortissima and Regia. The Regia makes a very sturdy sock and the self-striping is very consistent.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
I prefer to Knit on short DPN's. I haven't tried Magic Loop or toe up yet. I am stubborn (ie. afraid).

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
Flap heels are all I've done so far

How many pairs have you made?
I have finished 16 pairs. Four were given away, one is wounded (see blown toe above) and Mr. Strange has one pair (aren't I a mean wife?). The garter rib socks in progress will make #17

Lolly is also curious about sock stash (who isn't) and posed the following follow-up questions:

Do you have certain patterns planned for some of the yarns?
Mostly I buy sock yarn because I:
a) am on a yarn diet, but don't count sock yarn;
b) can't find anything else to buy and I really want to blow some cash, or
c) am so in love with the color that I will die if I don't have it right now.

Do you buy yarn and then choose a pattern?
I almost always buy the yarn first. I think the only exception is the yarn I bought for Jaywalker.

Does a certain sock yarn you have in your stash take you back to a certain event? (where you were when you bought/received it? what was going on in your life at the time!)
Oh my yes! I bought this kit at Halcyon Yarn thinking that I wanted to try intarsia. Now I know better.

These were socks that I knit on the way to and from Paris 3 years ago. When I got home, I discovered that I had dropped a stitch so far back that I needed to frog the whole thing, but I don't have the heart to do it.

This yarn was destined to become "Angel's Rest" (a Fiber Trends Pattern), but I couldn't get my mind around the yarn overs, so I bagged it. I could probably do it now, but don't really feel like going there anytime soon.

Here are some of my own questions to add to the fun and games!

How has your sock knitting changed since you first started?
I was really lazy at first and made all my socks in stockinette stitch with very little ribbing (about 1 inch) at the top. Unfortunately, they bag around my ankles whenever I wear them. Now I suck it up and rib all the way down to the heel. Lately I have been working in pattern over the instep too and I like the result. I used to think that it would be uncomfortable to wear socks with patterning on the top of the foot, but it isn't.

Do you have a preferred gauge or needle size that you like to work with?
I used to use size 2 needles for all of my socks ( I really love the fingering weight), but I'm switching over to size 1's because I like the denser fabric. Sometimes when I wear one of the earlier socks I made, I can feel the stitches under my feet. I also like using size 3's with a little heavier yarn (sport weight) because they go so fast! Great for gifts!

Do you have a favorite pattern?
When I don't want to do any thinking at all, I use the Yankee Knitter pattern (size 1 needles, 60 stitches, K3, P1 rib all the way down to the heel flap). Right now though, I am having fun with Charlene Schurch's "Sensational Knitted Socks".

Is there a pattern or technique you would like to try but are too intimidated?
I have been oogling Pompamathingamijig from Knitty, but I go cross-eyed whenever I read it ,and I don't yet have the "right" yarn for them (nice excuse eh? I'm dreaming of Socks that Rock or Lorna's Laces). I love the detailed socks that Eunny and Grumperina knit (links to their sock post), and someday I will try toe-up and short row heels....

What is your dream sock?
I would love to knit a cabled knee sock that stays up and wont stretch out!

Show me your stash!!
I thought you'd never ask ;) It's a little skinny because I am trying to use some of it up. There are at least 4 yarns that I don't even know if I want to use. Maybe I'll make gloves or mittens with them instead (!!! Sacrilege!)

PS: Look at this great postcard I recieved from my Secret Pal!! Thank you!!