Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Wedding Bells and Knitting Goals

Monday we got back from our fabulous weekend in Annapolis. Matt's little sister is all married and off on her honeymoon. We had a lovely time and got to visit with a lot of dear family and friends. Annapolis is a gorgeous city and the weather cooperated the whole weekend - crystal clear and sunny, around 80 F. The ceremony at the Naval Academy Chapel was incredibly impressive. The Chapel has beautiful stained glass and a 67 yard aisle! Amanda (the Bride/my little sister-in law) was radiant in a lace-edged satin gown and Chris (the Groom/my new brother-in-law) was so handsome in his dress white Navy uniform. After a lovely ceremony we took photos in the Commissioner's rose garden (wish I'd put on sunscreen!). Here's a pic Matt was able to snap while we were all waiting in what little shade there was to be had. From left to right: Shea (bridesmaid), Amanda, Neal (my father-in-law/father of the bride), Me (matron of honor) , and Ashley (maid of honor).

Then we were off to the reception. It was simply lovely. The food and drink were wonderful and everyone danced the night away. This is a picture of Matt and Amanda - what a nice brother to dance with his little sis:) And then, sadly, after anticipating this event for over a year, it was over. What a wonderful weekend.

So back to knitting:) I did not finish the Lacy Little Top before we left on Saturday, but I did finish it up Monday when we got back. Here is a boring photo of the top drying. Once it is dry I'll post another picture. With that top done, that leaves only my Diagonal Rib Socks to complete my May knitting goals....I'm not sure I'll make it. Oh well. I'm sure I'll finish them up by the end of the week, so I'm not too far off on my timeline.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Thoughtful Consideration

After thoughtful consideration, I have decided not to knit the pattern that came with the Rockin' Sock Club May kit. I would never be happy with those socks. I'm not an ankle sock person and I don't like buttons on my socks. So I've been consulting my handy dandy Sensational Knitted Socks book and picked out the Bluebell Rib pattern. I will start these as soon as I finish up my May projects, i.e. the Lacy Little Top and the Diagonal Rib Socks. I can't wait to see how the colors in Fairgrounds work with the pattern.

I am nearing completion of the Lacy Little Top. I really am hoping to be finished by the time we get on the plane to go to M's little sister's wedding this weekend, but I'm afraid that might be overly optimistic as we leave Saturday morning. I am really looking forward to this wedding. It is in Annapolis at the Naval Academy (that's where the groom has been going to school - he's graduating tomorrow). I'm the matron-of-honor and M's one of the groomsmen. I'll be wearing a pink dress. At least I got to help pick the dress, even if I didn't get to pick the color:). I can't wait to get all gussied up, attend a lovely ceremony, and then dance all evening (the reception is at the hotel we are staying at - how's that for convenient!).

The only other May project I'm still working on is the Diagonal Rib Socks. They are knitting up at a good rate, but I'll be hard pressed to have the pair finished by the end of the month (Darn these size 10 feet of mine!). I do find that the time crunch makes it more fun:) I am so happy with the combination of the Diagonal Rib pattern and the Socks that Rock. These socks will most definitely be a favorite - so cushy and bright.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


My first kit came yesterday from the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club. Inside my box I found my gorgeous Fairgrounds Socks that Rock and my nifty binder with miscellaneous letters, notes, and pattern (not too excited by this pattern, but we'll see). I also got an adorable little keychain with a mini-skein of Socks that Rocks in the same colorway - too cute - and a few other little goodies (and I forgot to take a picture of all that, but it's really all about the yarn, right?). I am really thrilled with the yarn color. It's one I may not have ever picked out own my own, but all the colors intermingling really does bring to mind county fairgrounds. Beautiful.

As for knitting, I'm cruising through the lace section of the Little Lace Top. The lace pattern is very simple to knit, but it is difficult to photograph dark brown unblocked lace. I'm hoping to finish up the lace part tonight. The allhemp 3 yarn is very unique. It's similar in texture to cotton, but it almost feels waxed. My swatches softened significantly (and that's what I heard through the grapevine) so I'm very excited to finish this top.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Spring Butterflies

Butterfly Socks

Pattern: Fiber Trends Butterflies and Blossoms
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Nearly Solid Turquoise (2 skeins)
Start Date: April 29, 2006
Finish Date: May 19, 2006
Notes: I increased the cast-on a couple repeats to 72 as I was concerned that pattern as written may be a little small for my size 10 feet. I am glad I did since even though they have a great stretch, they fit perfectly and I'm sure they would have been too small otherwise. This was actually my first foray into solid color sock knitting and I am thrilled with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Nearly Solid yarn. There is a soft variegation to the color that adds a lot of depth to the lovely butterfly lace. The Fiber Trends pattern was well written and after a while I didn't have to pay as much attention while I knit. I think I may make the Blossom pattern sometime too. Overall I really like how these socks turned out. On to the next pair!

As I am still waiting for the needles I ordered to begin my Lacy Little Top, I went ahead and cast on for my second pair of socks for May. I am knitting the subscriber-only online Diagonal Rib Socks pattern from Interweave Knits using medium weight Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock in the Hot Flash colorway. Just swatching this yarn was a delight it is so vibrant and soft. As for the pattern, I have had it on my to-knit list for a while, but I was waiting for the perfect yarn...I think this may be it:)

I contacted Blue Moon Fiber Arts to check on my Rockin' Sock Club registration and they let me know that the May shipment went out yesterday! I am excited! What color will the yarn be this time? What's the pattern look like? Will there be a little surprise? Oooooh, I can't wait!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Jane Austen Quiz

Thanks for the link, Kim!

You scored as Elizabeth Bennet. As one of Austen's most beloved characters, Elizabeth Bennet represents what most women would like to become: strong, independent, and loyal. Of course, she has her faults including a stubborn will of iron and a clinging to first impressions. Overall, Lizzie is bright and lovable...something to admire and aspire to.

Elizabeth Bennet


Elinor Dashwood


Emma Woodhouse


Lady Catherine


Marianne Dashwood


Charlotte Lucas


Jane Bennet


Which Jane Austen Character are You? (For Females) Long Quiz!!!
created with

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Approximately 2 months ago I made the announcement that after looking over the good ol' yarn stash and the bad new credit card statement I would begin a Fiber Enhancement Alleviation Program (FEAP). This FEAP would entail no new yarn purchases (aside from Birthday yarn) until this August. I was doing very well. I was keeping strong even in the face of many fabulous new colorways from Fleece Artist Merino Sock. But then I got an email from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, the makers of Socks That Rock yarn. As many of you may know, they started a sock club earlier this year. At that time I decided not to join and instead simply ordered a couple colors I liked. After seeing for myself the lovely yarn and watching everyone else receive their neat first package, I signed up for the waiting list. This past Friday I got an email saying 200 openings were recently made available. I was weak. I signed up within minutes. Membership is now full again. No regrets:)

As for actual knitting content...Not much has been happening. I swatched for the Lacy Little Top using the suggested Hemp 3 made by Hemp for Knitting. I knit two swatches, washed them and then measured. The swatch that I like the best is, of course, the one for which I don't have the right length circular (24 or 32 inch...I have a 16 inch). I put in a quick order last night for the correct needle. Hopefully it arrives by the end of the week. The lace pattern is almost identical to that used for Orangina (which I knit a couple months ago) so I think this top should knit up quickly. Famous last words, right? :)

I also started and finished MaryElla this past weekend. Even though we were away for the weekend (visiting family and friends in our hometown), I found time to squeeze in a repeat or two here and there and suddenly Sunday morning I was binding off! This was a really neat, quick project. It took approximately 2.5 hours to string the beads and then 3 or 4 hours of knitting (These time are all approximate. Next time I'll try to keep more exact time). I was pretty slow to begin with as I had not ever knit with beads or 0000 sized needles, but I got into a rhythm after just a few rows. I haven't yet bought a ribbon, but I plan on adding one soon. I highly recommend the MaryElla Kits that EarthFaire sells (if you use the link on the Knitty pattern page you can get a discount). Out of hundreds of beads I only had 2 duds. Wow! I am most definitely making more of these (I have quite a few kits in my stash). Great pattern!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Flop, Friends, & Film

As of Monday night, Green Gable is finished. No pictures yet as it is still drying. At this point I confess that I'm pretty sure I made it too big...I used old measurements when I determined sizing neglecting the fact that I've been working at losing the weight I put on when M and I quit smoking last summer (almost 10 months smober now!). I'm afraid Green Gable will join the Peace Fleece Cardigan and Big Sack Sweater in the frog pond. Oh well, luckily it was a quick knit and when I reknit it in a smaller size it will go even faster!

Last night I didn't knit at all. Two of our closest friends and their baby came to visit all the way from Oregon. We had a great visit and we'll hopefully get to see them again this coming weekend. They are the type of people that even when we don't see each other for over a year there is absolutely no awkwardness. I miss them so much however there is a really big chance we'll end up moving to Oregon ourselves Fall 2007. Hopefully.

So, after they left last night we put in Wallace and Gromit Curse of the Wererabbit and I began to string beads for MaryElla. Last summer I purchased 4 kits from EarthFaire. One adorable movie later and I have the majority of beads strung for the silver and amethyst beaded cuff. I think I'll do some more stringing of the other kits at knitting GROUP tonight.

*Knitting GROUP is now every 2nd and 4th Wednesday. It's still same time, same place (6:30-8:00pm at the Borders in Wilmette at the corner of Lake and Skokie).*

Friday, May 05, 2006

slow news day

Not much happening in the world of knitting (or even my non-knitting world). Last night I got to the point in the Green Gable pattern where the sleeves are put onto waste yarn. I tried it on and I am pleased with the fit. I'm doing the XL/40 inch size and I'm getting 3 1/2 inches of ease. It's a little ittybit looser that I want so I may add some waist shaping. For now, I'm in the stretch of inches and inches of stockinette in the round. I leave for St. Louis at 4 am. Ugh.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

May Goals

Thank you everyone for your birthday wishes. I had a lovely day and received many wonderful cards and presents from family and friends.

So here we are in May 2006! As I posted about last month, I keep a list of knitting goals for each month. Taking a look at last month's goals, I did pretty well...

1) Orangina DONE
2) Picovoli DONE
3) Trekking #126 socks (started) and more socks after that (Satellite of Love Dublin Bay)...DONE
4) Winter Works in Progress (WIPs) (My so-called scarf, trinket, misc. fingerless glove) MOSTLY DONE

Here's a picture of the completed Satellite of Love Socks. Love them! (Link to the pattern is on my sidebar, the yarn is an exclusive colorway of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Strawberry Satellite Stripe)

So what's on the list for May?

1) Lacy Little Top
2) MaryElla
3) Green Gable
4) Butterflies and Blossoms Socks (butterfly socks)
5) Diagonal Rib Socks (Interweave Knits subscriber-only online pattern)

I'm a little concerned about completing everything on this list as I totally blanked on the fact that I am traveling a bit in May...

  • 1st weekend we will be driving to St. Louis for M's little sister's college graduation.
  • 2nd weekend we're going to our hometown (south of St. Louis) to visit people.
  • 3rd weekend we will spend a day visiting with M's mom, grandma, et al.
  • 4th weekend is M's little sister's wedding in Annapolis (both M and I are in the wedding).

Hmmm, can I knit everything on my list? I'm sure going to try:)

So, I started my May list a little early this past weekend and got rolling on the Butterfly socks. I'm using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Nearly Solid Turquoise. (These are actually my first solid colored socks). I'm unsure whether I like lacey socks, but it is a really neat, simple pattern. Here's a progress shot, but beware the unblocked lace and the early morning photography. You may just be able to make out the little butterflies on the sock...if you squint:)

I swatched for Green Gable on Saturday and cast-on last night. So far, so good - I really like the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, the recommended yarn. It is smoother and knits more evenly than the Cascade Sierra I used a couple months ago. Here's what I've knit so far. I'm using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Dusty Sage and size 6 needles. I've heard the pattern runs a bit small, so I'm making the largest size and keeping my fingers crossed (which is difficult to do while knitting). :) Well, I'm not one that likes to leave anything to chance so I did work out the stitch count around the bust and I think with negative ease it should work very nicely.