Last night I tried them on with “My First Pair of Socks Ever” (aka the Cherry Tree Hill socks), and my feet were sooo comfortable. Teresa was not exaggerating about the wonders of wearing socks hand-knit to fit your feet. I couldn’t bring myself to take them off and save them for today. So, today I’m wearing store-bought socks with my new clogs – not nearly as comfortable, and I’m just dying to finish “My Second Pair of Socks Ever” (aka the Dream In Color Deep Seaflower) socks.
I'm still working on the first sock (aka "My Third Sock Ever").
There’s more Dream In Color sock yarn in my stash, but there are so many other things I should knit or finish knitting first. Sigh.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
This was waiting for me when I got home from the conference yesterday.
I think it's just right - dark blue, but not so dark it looks black. It's 100% merino, and incredibly soft. I think my son John will like a scarf made with it.
On Sunday I drove down to visit John on campus, and we discussed scarf possibilities over lunch. He'd asked for a navy blue scarf, but it turns out his defnition of navy is broader than mine. That gave me some lee-way.
On Monday I studied the Malabrigo colorways on the Personal Threads website and then called them. The sales woman was really helpful. I asked about 4 blue colorways, and she described them to me. With her help I settled on the Buscando Azul, and I'm really happy with it. Now I have to R.E.S.I.S.T. the temptation to cast on that scarf until I finish something - anything!
The Alpine (Albatross) Shawl is on the back burner until after the second week of October, when things should ease up at work. I just can't concentrate on lace right now.
The Log Cabin Afghan is coming along swimmingly. Before I left for the conference, I'd finished 8 of 16 blocks.
The Dream In Color socks are progressing nicely, as well. I made a lot of progress on the first sock at the conference, and now I'm finding it hard to transition back to the Log Cabin. You know Ms. Instant Gratification: I. Want. To Finish. Something. N.O.W.
I have to keep reminding myself that casting on John's scarf will not help that happen.
Monday, September 24, 2007
I know that sounds paranoid but there is evidence:
1. I could not get on the Internet at home this a.m., so I could not download log cabin progress pics. Maybe the Internet is as bored with the log cabin afghan as you must be by now.
2. When I got to work this morning the server was down, and it stayed down for hours. Try doing my job without email. It can’t be done. Trust me.
3. When email was finally restored, I sent out buckets of emails with attachments to promote 4 Domestic Violence awareness events planned for the 2nd week of October. After a while I lost count of the number of emails that bounced back, either because the recipient’s inbox was full, or the recipient’s server cannot handle large attachments, or because maybe everyone and/or everything electronic hates me. (It isn’t just computers and servers that hate me. The 4th floor copier has it in for me, too.)
Please understand that I did not blanket the community with spam. All of the emails I sent were either replies to inquiries or sent to key people who will spread the word when I ask – and I ask very rarely. I appreciate their help, and try not to take advantage. As far as I know all of these nice people still take my calls and emails.
Tonight would be the perfect night to sit down with a nice glass of pinot grigio and lose myself in some serious garter stitch. Sadly, it is not meant to be. I have to pack and get up VERY early tomorrow to drive to Columbus for a conference. I expect to be away from computers, telephones, copiers, and the Internet for 2 solid days. Hopefully, by the time I return the Internet will have forgiven me my transgressions (whatever they are) and allow me access without undue stress. One can only hope.
Posted by Susan at 4:25 PM
Friday, September 21, 2007
Yom Kippur begins at sundown tonight. Between the High Holidays and work demands, I’ve been craving downtime even more than usual. As a result I tend to stay up late to knit. Last night was such a night.
As usual, Dave went to bed at a reasonable hour.
At about 11:30p, I decided to pack up my knitting and call it quits. Just then a REALLY BIG spider moved rapidly across the carpet. Eeewww.
I couldn’t justify waking Dave to kill a spider, no matter how big, so I used an old trick I learned in the Army. Well, okay. I was never in the Army. I developed this trick during my years as a single mother of two boys who hate spiders as much as I do. I took a glass from the kitchen and placed it over the spider.
(The zoom-in feature on my camera is a wonderful thing. It took courage to get close enough to capture that spider with a glass. I’m really glad I didn’t have to get that close to take this photo.)
In the old days I would have left the spider there to die and desiccate to the point where I could stand to pick it up with a paper towel and throw it out.
Now that Dave’s on the scene I depend on him to dispatch spiders in a more timely (and probably a more humane) fashion. So I wrote Dave the following note and went to bed.
I left a glass on the floor near your briefcase. There's a BIG spider underneath it.
Dave left the house before I woke up this morning, and he left me the following note:
I tried to step on the BIG spider but it flipped me on my back and scurried away.
He’s such a wise-guy.
The log cabin afghan is coming along nicely. I finished square #5 (bottom center) and made really good progress on square #6 (bottom left).
On square #6 I experimented with working in a beige strip that is not adjacent to the color block. I plan to make a few more blocks like this and see if the beige strips placed randomly among the color blocks look okay.
My new best friend Kay (since she read my blog once we must be friends, right?) designed the blanket with 3 kinds of squares: Squares 1 – 5 are “fat squares.” Squares 6 – 10 are “skinny squares,” and squares 11 -16 are “medium squares.” At this point I think I’ve knitted all of the fat squares and have moved on to the skinny squares. I say “think” because I may change my mind later and make the blanket bigger by knitting a total of 20 squares instead of 16. We’ll see.
As the weekend draws near, I want to wish everyone who is celebrating the New Year a happy one. L’Shana Tova!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
This isn't the first time, and it won't be the last. As always, I'll try to be cogent.
I've spent the past two days working on a report at home. My supervisor insisted. She knows I'll never get it done at the office, where phone calls and email are constant distractions. She didn't actually say "Don't come back until it's done." It was just implied.
Right now the floor in our computer room looks like this.
I've been crunching numbers all day. Lets just say math is not my forte. At least the results have been interesting, but there's still a long way to go.
In this condition my best shot at writing a somewhat interesting blog post is to spew items at random. So here goes:
1. Before you do anything else, scroll down and read the comment to yesterday's blog entry. It was written by none other than Kay, of Mason Dixon Knitting fame. A celebrity read my blog yesterday, people. How cool is that?!
2. Yesterday was momentous for another reason. I received a newsy email from my son John, who's away at college. At the very end, he wrote: If you do get bored and are wondering I would wear a scarf if ya made me one ;).
I'm sure you have no idea of the magnitude of this seemingly off-hand request. You must understand that I am the only female in this household. Dave and the boys have made fun of my knitting for years, and the boys have laughed (guffawed, actually) at the thought of wearing something knitted by mom. They've always found the very idea hilarious.
Needless to say, I've been considering patterns and yarn ever since I read John's email. It can't be foo foo, but it can be "sorta cool" within limits. Above all, it has to be navy blue.
3. At last my son Brian has posted pics of Spain on his blog. We gave him a camera when he left 3 weeks ago with strict instructions to post LOTS of photos. Neither Dave nor I have ever been to Spain. It's the least he can do. The pics were such a long time in coming that we began to wonder if Brian forgot to pack the camera, or lost it, or it was stolen. Brian, the photos are fabulous! You've made your mother very happy.
4. Have you seen the Japanese Vines Scarf on Another Knitting Blog? (Scroll down to the 9/15/07 entry.) Michelle, your design is gorgeous! I. MUST. HAVE. THAT. PATTERN. (Please don't ask me when I'm going to have time to knit it.)
5. Okay, I know this isn't nice but I can't help but CROW over OJ's latest legal troubles. He fits the profile of a batterer to a T, and I firmly believe he killed his wife Nicole and Ron Goldman in cold blood. He deserves to rot in jail, and now there's a chance that he will. I LOVE IT!
6. Finally, I give you the square of the day.
It's the square in the upper left. Are they all beginning to look alike? Don't worry. Part of that is due to my poor photography skills, and after I finish square #5, there are 2 more kinds of squares to knit up. It may be boring to read about, but the colors keep it interesting and fun to knit. Best of all, it's all garter stitch so I can work on it even when I'm brain dead.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Not. I can’t even finish 1 square a day. I WISH I could knit that fast. But I’m still having a lot of fun with the log cabin afghan.
This weekend I studied the Assymetrical Log Cabin (scroll down to the 8/14/07 post) on the Mason Dixon Blog a little bit more and realized that even the crème and white background was knitted with various shades of scrap yarn. I’d been using the same yarn for the 4 outer strips of each square, and it was becoming apparent that I didn’t have quite enough for the entire blanket. (One really nice thing about this project is that I know how many stitches there are in each block, so once I’ve used up a complete skein of a certain yarn I can tell exactly how many stitches I’ve gotten out of it.) This necessitated another trip to the Yarn & Needle and to the Stitching Post for some other shades of crème yarn.
When I settled down to knit, I decided to rip back some of the crème strips on the two squares I’d already finished and re-knit them with varying shades of crème so they won’t stick out like a sore thumb in the finished blanket.
Remember that I am color-challenged. There have been several times when I’ve knit up the colors on the inside of a square, decided a color doesn’t work well, ripped it back to remove the offending color, then re-knit the thing. It’s a 2 steps forward, 1 step back process, but the results are worth it. I LOVE knitting with these colors.
With all of the knitting, ripping, and re-knitting, I managed to finish only 1 additional square since my last update. There are parts of other squares in the works, but I’ll wait until they’re finished to post them.
The new square is on the bottom right. Once again, the colors aren't presented accurately. The center squares are all turquoise. The long dark strips in the bottom squares are actually a bright but not light blue. The color block in the 12 o'clock position on the new square is really periwinkle, as is the strip on the left of the incomplete square.
The incomplete upper square was finished at one point, but I ripped back one of the crème strips and used it in the 3rd square. I'll rip back another strip from the incomplete square to use in a new square soon and then reknit the incomplete square with other shades of crème yarn. The "finished" square on the bottom left will get the same treatment eventually. It's a slow process. The colorful inner blocks knit up fairly quickly. The outer crème strips take longer. So far I'm having too much fun to mind.
Monday, September 17, 2007
This weekend was the Wool Gathering, an annual event at Young's Dairy Farm in Yellow Springs, OH. Dave and I checked it out yesterday. The weather was perfect, and I was pleasantly surprised at the offerings. The Wool Gathering is too small to compare to Rhinebeck or the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, but it gets better every year. The number of vendors is growing, the variety of good brands of yarn has expanded, and the variety and quality of home-grown roving, and hand-spun, hand-dyed fibers has expanded. This year's offering was excellent.
As always there was a lot to see.
There were sheep sheering demonstrations.
I passed on the opportunity to touch the newly shorn fleece. Fleece is dirty and downright unsanitary. No thank you.
There were carding and spinning demonstrations and drop spindle lessons.
There were music lessons on old-fashioned instruments for the kiddies.
There was fiber art for sale, including woven, knitted, crocheted, felted, quilted, and sewn items.
And there was an amazing array of yarn.
At one booth I found a giant bowl and a crate of Hand Maiden Sea Silk. In an unprecedented display of self discipline, I somehow managed to walk away without purchasing any. I really can't think about another lace project until I finish the Albatross (I mean Alpine) Shawl.
Since Dave was with me, I didn't spend a lot of time photographing yarn and getting business cards from many of the booths. However, I couldn't resist photographing the Knitting Notions booth. I wish my photos showed the true colors of their yarn. (The sunlight coming through the yellow tent gave everything a yellow cast which didn't help, but I'm not about to complain about the sunshine.)
Knitting Notions also had these really neat handmade swifts for sale.
The rest of the weekend was pretty relaxing. I did a fair of amount of knitting, but I'll tell you about that tomorrow.
Friday, September 14, 2007
I'm color-challenged. Most of the time I can put 2 or 3 colors together and come up with a nice looking outfit. However, historicially when it comes to picking multiple colors for a knitting project, I haven't done so well. Usually it's because the color values are too different. I bought a book on color, but it only helped me identify that I have trouble matching color values. It didn't really solve the problem.
This time, though, I think I got it right, right.
I'm knitting the Assymetrical Log Cabin (scroll down to the 8/14/07 post) from the Mason Dixon Knitting Blog. Kay's beach shots inspired me. I love beach colors, and I love assymetrical. It's the rebel in me, I guess.
Now if only I could learn to take photos that show the true colors of the yarn. (Sigh)
Have a fabulous weekend!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Last night Teresa and I checked out Knit Night at the Ball and Skein. It’s a small shop, and it filled up quickly. We couldn’t stay long, but 8 other knitters came by while we were there.
The knitters were a fun group. They seemed to know each other well, but they made T and me feel welcome. It was fun to see their projects. Dana (sp?) was working on a fabulous free-form piece that made me wish I’d brought my camera. She said she hasn’t decided what the project will be yet. She was wearing a beautiful headscarf knit from Claudia Handpaints sock yarn and Wendy Bernard’s Dream Swatch Head Wrap pattern. It was so stunning that I wanted to drop all of my projects and start one right on the spot.
In true Susan form, I did not plan well. (So typical.) I did not pack my knitting when I left for the office in the morning. Then, of course, work was busy. I couldn’t stop at home before it was time to meet T. So when I got to Knit Night I basically ate my heart out while everyone else knit or crocheted. That sucked.
Luckily the Dream In Color sock yarn in the November Muse colorway was still in stock, so I jumped on it. It helped to fondle the yarn.
As usual, this pic does not do the yarn justice. There are green, blue, gold and burnt orange highlights that I just couldn’t capture. I tried.
Teresa (sp?) (another Teresa, there were 3 all together) was the designated “barista.” She whipped up cappuccinos for guests while Susan, the owner, wound yarn for customers.
It took a long time to wind the Dream In Color into a ball because the hank was tangled in places. Susan was intent on providing great customer service, and she was very patient and good-natured. She said some hanks of the DIC are like that, but some are fine. She’s expecting more DIC sock yarn sometime this month, and she promised to post a note on her blog when it arrives.
I hope the November Muse isn’t as hard to knit up and it was to wind.
Susan mentioned that she had top down sweater patterns on a rack in the bathroom. Space at the B&S is so tight that she has to make the most of every inch – especially on Knit Night.
T and I really enjoyed ourselves, and we plan to come back. Next time I’ll bring my knitting.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I’m still collecting yarn for the Log Cabin Afghan. On Saturday I dropped by the Yarn & Needle and found some cream and a nice bright yellow that will work.
I also bought 3 skeins of a dark purple that I thought would contrast nicely with the periwinkle and work well with the other colors, including black. WRONG. The new purple is too red. RATS!
In my stash there’s 1 skein of a dark (but not too dark) bluer purple that could work in a pinch. It works with the periwinkle and other colors – even the black, but it doesn’t make the periwinkle pop the way it could. Besides, I’d like to use more than 1 skein of the dark purple in the blanket.
The “too red” purple is on the left, the periwinkle is in the center and the purple from my stash in on the right. This is REALLY FRUSTRATING: 1st – because my photography/PhotoShop skills aren’t up to the task of showing you the true colors of these yarns (on my monitor the "too red" purple actually looks great with the periwinkle and the periwinkle and bluer purple look too blue - Aack!), and 2nd – because I never thought it would be so difficult to find just the right shade of purple. I’m naive, I know.
Here, the purple (of last resort) from my stash is at the top with some of the other colors. (The yellow and green are actually a little brighter than they appear on my monitor, but they're not garish. Don't worry.)
Tonight is Knit Night at the Ball and Skein. The quest for the perfect purple continues.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Last night I finished my first pair of socks. I was so excited that even Dave acted like he thought they were neat.
Last week I posed the question: Do Socks Count? (When I wrote that post I was so fried that I forgot to address the question in the body of the post.) Some knitters don’t include socks when they count the number of projects they have on the needles. Others do.
I think I’m going to count them for now, but I also think I’m going to be one of those knitters who always have a sock on the needles. Socks are just too much fun to knit, too quick to knit up, and they are wonderfully mindless and portable. They make a great alternative when I’m knitting (bogged down with) lace, like the Alpine Shawl. I really think that thing should be called the Albatross Shawl.
Alice commented that she has avoided sock knitting so far because it’s so addictive. She’s right about that. I’m actually considering buying a pair of shoes that will work with my hand-knit socks so I can wear them to work. I’ve completely lost it.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Last night was Knit Nite, and the Knit Wits met at Vicky’s house. We took a hiatus over the summer, and it was so good to see everyone.
Vicky and her husband Paul just returned after spending 5 weeks in Ireland. Before they left Vicky planted something called Devil’s Claw in her garden. She was curious to see how it would grow and what it would look like. When she got home she found this:
The Devil’s Claw has taken over the backyard. (Click on the photo to get a close up of those claws!)
It grew right over the brick path to the patio. That plant is aptly named.
After some coaxing Teresa and I finally persuaded Vicky to model the cardi she knit for the trip and allow me to post photos on the blog. (Thanks Vicky!) T took the photos. (Thanks T!)
Isn’t that cardi gorgeous?!
Here are some specs:
Pattern: Seed Stitch Jacket
Book: Vicky borrowed the book and can’t remember the title. She’ll ask Julie if you want it.
Yarn: Bernat Soft Boucle (approx. 6 balls)
Colorway: Anybody’s guess
Needles: US Sizes 5 & 7
Vicky is not a blogger (I don’t think she even reads blogs), so she never anticipated that anyone would ask her for these kinds of details. She found knitting with the Bernat Soft Boucle frustrating because there’s no stitch definition. Although the pattern called for seed stitch Vicky found that she got the same results when she used garter stitch, so that’s what she did. The sweater fits beautifully and goes well with her wardrobe. She said she wore it a lot in Ireland. Overall, she’s very pleased with the result, and I can see why. I love it.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
You may remember that a couple of weeks ago I knitted up a log cabin block on impulse. I was pretty pleased with the results and considered making a log cabin blanket.
Afterwards I bought 5 skeins of Cascade 220 in "Delphinium" thinking it might make a good main color.
However, the more I looked at other knitters’ log cabin blankets and blocks* on the Mason Dixon KAL, the more I realized that perhaps I should PLAN this blanket rather than knitting it up randomly. Let’s face it, my ability to mix colors is hit or miss.
In Mason Dixon Knitting, the directions for a log cabin blanket say to knit each block until there are 9 garter stitch ridges – so that each block is the same width. I didn’t do that with my first block, but nothing says I have to use that block.
In Unexpected Knitting, Debbie New does not adhere to that rule. The widths of her garter stitch blocks vary, and the result looks great. Of course, that is Debbie New. She’s a true artist with an amazing sense of color. Me: Not so much.
At this point, this project has stalled while I consider the following questions:
1. Should all of the strips in each block be the same width and the center blocks all be the same size or should I go for a random look?
2. Should I use the same color scheme for each block?
3. Should the blocks be square or rectangular?
4. How many colors should I use?
5. Should I use the yarn in my stash or buy some coordinating colors?
The whole point of starting that block was to do some mindless knitting – but knitting a log cabin afghan may not be so mindless after all.
*Examples of log cabin blocks & blankets from the Mason Dixon KAL can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
This post is being written on the fly - something I HATE to do lest you all conclude (or figure out) that I'm completely illiterate. I apologize up front if I am less than cogent today.
Although it's hard to tell from this pic, knitting continues on the Alpine Shawl. I'm going to be in a terrible time-crunch from now until the middle of October. Work leaves me exhausted and often incoherent in the evenings. I'm taking care to knit the Alpine only when I'm relatively alert - which gives me about an hour at best some evenings. By 9:00 p.m. it's all over.
So far I've completed 26 pattern repeats of Chart B. The pattern calls for 37, but I'm planning to knit a minimum of 38 pattern repeats. If this were any other time of year, I would make a commitment to knit at least one pattern repeat a night until the thing is done. Given my work commitments, I can either forget about that or put my sanity at risk.
Meanwhile, knitting continues on the second Cherry Tree Hill sock. I was wondering if I would experience "Second Sock Hell", but so far I'm still loving sock knitting.
Since I'm usually too tired to spend much time on the Alpine, I consider it realistic to hope that I will finish my second sock ever this week. Hope springs eternal. Besides, I'm itching to cast on a second pair with the Dream in Color sock yarn.
While the sock-knitting honeymoon has yet to wear off, I have encountered some frustration. Knitting with size 0 DPNs is like knitting with toothpics - and size 0 DPNs are wont to break if you're not careful when you try on a partially knitted sock.
Luckily (or stupidly) I bought inexpensive DPNs because I wasn't sure whether I'd like sock knitting. I guess it's time to do a little research into better options.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
This is the overflow lot across the street.
On Sunday we set out in much the same way as the day before.
Since we were in the country, we saw some sheep.
After lunch we wound our way back to Mount Vernon, where we said goodbye to John and headed home. We had a fantastic time and plan to do it all again next year.
Monday, September 3, 2007
We had plans to leave before dawn on Friday for a much needed weekend away. However, on Thursday night a family member developed a health issue so we ended up at the Emergency Room. We got there at 10:00 p.m. and didn’t leave until 4:30 a.m. on Friday morning. While we were waiting, first for the doctor and then for the test results, I finished my first sock ever.
A total of 129 antique cars participated in the T Jamboree, including a handful of Model A Fords. There were cars from West Virginia, Michigan, and Kentucky, too. The residents of Mount Vernon were excited to have us there. On Friday night all the cars were displayed in the town square. A band played old-time country music, and the locals came by to check out the cars. John and I listened to the band while Dave took pictures. I took the opportunity to work on my second sock.