Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hat Ahoy!

An encore performance...

We Call Them Pirates Hat

Pattern: We Call Them Pirates Hat
Yarn: KnitPicks Merino Style in Coal and Vanilla
Needles: KnitPicks Options, size 5 for hat, size 2 for lining
Start Date: November 20, 2006

End Date: November 27, 2006
Comments: I made this hat for Matt in August. He loved it. Loved it so much he started wearing it the second it started turning cooler here. Somewhere between Career Services and the Tech Building the hat disappeared from Matt's coat pocket. I think it was an act of piracy. We may never know. I will tell you though, if I see anyone wearing that hat on this campus, I will get the hat back! But, until that happens, I went ahead and knit another one. I love Matt and the hat is pretty fun to knit so I didn't mind too much.

Other than the hat, very little knitting progress is being made. This may shock some of you, but I didn't even knit at all yesterday. I developed a neck ache yesterday morning and, coupled with post-holiday travel fatigue, I just sat on the couch last night like a lump. I think I may put some of my current projects on hold and start on the few holiday presents I have planned for people. That way I am sure they are done in time and who can argue with the allure of casting on for a new project. Silly me missing a whole evening of knitting time just before the holidays! ;)

***Knitting Group is tonight (Wednesday) at the Borders' Cafe in Wilmette (corner of Lake & Skokie). We meet from 6:30 until 8:00 and any yarn enthusiast is welcome!***

Monday, November 27, 2006

We drove, we visited, we ate turkey!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Matt and I had a great time in Carbondale for the long weekend. There was lots of family time, a vast quantity of great food, and a little bowling.:)

Was there time for knitting? Not really. I think I did about an inch of my Tapestry Harlot Scarf (yarn: Rowan Tapestry in Pot Pourri; pattern from the Yarn Harlot). I have a long way to go and since it looks exactly like it did last time, no new picture...

Aside from the scarf, I did make some progress with the Yarntini Pure Fall socks last night after we got home. I've restarted them on size 0 and it's knitting up much nicer. I am really enjoying the self-striping action as well as the soft yarn. Toe-up seems to go faster for some reason...

I'm also almost finished with Matt's new pirate hat.

I did want to let people know that if you are interested in getting an Offhand Designs knitting bag, be sure to check out the fundraiser they are having right now. All proceeds go to helping a young lady purchase a new wheelchair. So, go donate some money and get yourself a new knitting bag at a good price with a side order of good karma. (I'm not going on record that I bought another Zelda, but don't be surprised if in the spring my workout incentive is another bag...I'm just saying...)

My incentive to keep to my workout schedule in December and part of January is to officially rejoin the Rockin' Sock Club. I know I don't want to miss out on that so I have to meet every scheduled workout between now and when the invoice arrives. The only viable excuse to missing a workout and still remaining eligible for my reward is if I'm sick and Matt confirms that I'm not faking. :) So as to avoid setting myself up for failure, I am going to lighten the workout schedule a little through the holiday week, especially while we are visiting family. I will try to at least get a few walks in during that time.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I'm a Dodo-Head

Ever since I knit Widdershins I have been wanting to do another toe-up with heel-flap sock, but the measurements for Widdershins are just too small using my preferred sock yarns and needles. Then I saw someone mention on her blog that she used the toe-up heel-flap instructions from Sensational Knitted Socks when she knit her socks. Doh! I never realized there were instructions in there for a toe-up heel-flap! I love that book and peruse the patterns often, but I never noticed that in the twelve stitch pattern section it sets out the customizable pattern for a toe-up with heel flap sock! Yea! So, now I can use the fabulously easy toe cast-on from Knitty and the heel flap instructions from the book.

And so last night I cast on for my newest pair of socks using Yarntini in the Pure Fall self-striping colorway. There would be a picture here except that even though I swatched the sock it was knitting up a bit too big so I had to frog back the 3 or 4 inches I got done last night...Oh well...Instead here's a picture of the scarf I cast on yesterday. It's Rowan Tapestry Pot Pourri and I'm using the scarf pattern the Yarn Harlot blogged on October 12th.

Here's a picture of all the knitting that's going along on holiday: the Pure Fall socks, a replacement We Call Them Pirates Hat (I'll explain that one later), and the tapestry harlot scarf. I figured I would need a variety of projects to work on while spending the Thanksgiving holiday with family. (You may notice the new bag - I reached my workout goal for the past month so the Zelda Tote is all mine!)

I'm also taking along my latest read, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I'm just 80 pages in, but it's hard to put down and I expect to finish it quickly. So I'm taking a back-up book as I do not want to be left stranded without reading material. I think I'll bring along a short story book by Alice Sheldon a.k.a. James Tiptree (a sci-fi writer).

What is everyone going to be working on over the long weekend?

***Knitting Group is tonight (Wednesday) at the Borders' Cafe in Wilmette (corner of Lake & Skokie). We meet from 6:30 until 8:00 and any yarn enthusiast is welcome!***

Due to the holiday, I'll be taking a little break from blogging until Monday, November 27th. I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving Day!

Monday, November 20, 2006


Nodding Violet Knee Socks

Pattern: Customizable Knee Sock Pattern
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock lightweight in Nodding Violet - 2 skeins
Needles and Gauge: KnitPicks dpns, size 0 (2.0mm) with a gauge of 8.5 stitches per inch
Start Date: November 12, 2006
End Date: November 19, 2006
Comments: I cannot believe how much I love these socks. I had been admiring the Nodding Violet color for months. I had been looking fondly upon other people's lovely knee socks. I could not be happier with the combination. The Knee Sock Pattern worked out wonderfully. It takes a little math, but even if you are math-phobic I don't think it would be too difficult. These socks fit so well and I can't wait to wear them on Thanksgiving Day. Even though in the picture one sock looks taller, they are the same. I just have very limited photo capability on a Monday morning before work. I also will not be wearing them with my jeans rolled up to my knees. :)

These socks were another quick knit, but it's mainly due to the fact that I was home sick all day on Wednesday and that gave me a lotof knitting time. Also, I just can't put down the needles when I'm knitting with Socks that Rock. This was the first time I used the lightweight and I was incredibly happy. It has the same texture and twist that the mediumweight has and it creates a lovely, slightly thinner, but still very warm fabric.

Regarding yardage - I almost ran out. I was very nervous when I was knitting the toe on the first sock. I really wasn't sure I would have enough. I think I had about 3 or 4 yards left. That's cutting it close! Just to give a rough estimate in case others are interested, my calf circumference is a little less than 16 inches around, it's 13 inches from the narrowest part of my ankle to my knee, and my foot is right around 10 inches long. Each skein has 360 yards and I had maybe 10 yards left in the end.

Moving on to new things, the second Pick Up Sticks Club kit arrived a couple days ago. Another winner. The yarn is VvS Painted Yarns, a small Canadian company, and the color is Art Nouveau. The yarn itself reminds a lot of Socks that Rock mediumweight. It's a very similar look and feel though the colors are more subdued. Very elegant. The pattern is another stunning creation. I am currently reorganizing my sock knitting list so that I can cast on for this one soon.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Can't Type, Must Knit

Knee Sock* #1 is finished! Love it. Awesome fit. Second one already cruising. Turkey Day goal is possible!

No time to type more, must knit.

*Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock lightweight in Nodding Violet. Knee Sock pattern here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sock and Stash

The knee sock is growing bit by bit. Due to my being home sick today, there's even a chance I'll finish the first one tonight! Knitting custom sized knee socks sure makes you aware of the size of your calf. Let's just say I have very shapely calves - Moo! :) I'm still enjoying the colors to no end. The variety of purples and greens are so lovely together. (Just a reminder that this is Socks that Rock lightweight in Nodding Violet on size 0's. The pattern can be found here). I'm really hoping to have these done in time to wear to Turkey Day dinner. We'll see, we'll see.

A new skein of sock yarn showed up at my door recently (how does that happen?). Here is the first Sweet Sheep Sock Club mailing. It's lovely C*EYE*BER Fiber Yarn by Mama-E. I joined this sock club because I hadn't tried three of the four featured yarns. This is one of the new-to-me yarns and I was a little worried I wouldn't like it, but let me tell you, this is some soft and luscious yarn. At first glance, I was a little thrown off by the colors. They are not my usual, but after reading the dyer's note about the colors being representative of a sunset I looked at it in a different light. By the next morning I was quite taken with the colors:) I'm very happy and look forward to knitting with it. Now I just have to pick a pattern...

A couple days ago, Ava asked where I got the purple stitch holders I use to keep my double points together. It is a Stitchkeeper by Rollie. The site has all the info and you just email her to order. I absolutely adore these things and highly recommend getting a few. They make dpn sock project incredibly portable - no worry that your stitches will slide off in transit!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Socks and Violets

Marble Arches

Pattern: Marble Arches from the October Rockin' Sock Club, medium size
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Pink Granite mediumweight (Rockin' Sock Club color)
Needles/Gauge: KnitPicks dpns size 1, approx. 8 stitches/inch
Start Date: November 6, 2006
End Date: November 10, 2006
Comments: So I knew I knit these quickly, but until I was typing out my start and end dates I didn't realize how quickly. Yowza! I guess it's just further proof that I am absolutely smitten with Socks that Rock (STR). I simply can't put the needles down when I'm knitting with this stuff. I love the density of the yarn and the soft and smooth fabric it creates. And the colors? Love the colors! Yea!
These socks also mark the first time I've used one of the Rockin' Sock Club patterns. So far I haven't been too keen on any of them, but this one is a big winner. I will definitely be using it again. Possibly in a few weeks with some more STR that just arrived at my house:)
(Oh, and someone asked me where I got my sock blockers - found them on ebay, of course! Just go here and check them out. I really think they are great.)

Here's a little picture of my latest Socks that Rock acquisitions. On the left are two Nodding Violets (lightweight) for my knee socks, then we have a mediumweight Downpour and a lightweight Jingle Bell Rock.

Since the Marble Arches socks were all done, I was able to cast on for my long desired Knee Socks in Socks that Rock lightweight Nodding Violets. I'm using the pattern found here. Jen has is almost finished with a pair using this pattern and they look amazing (Jen - please post a picture of your rockin' knee socks)! So far, so good. The lightweight goes a bit slower than the mediumweight, but it's creating a lovely fabric. The colors are even more beautiful knit up. Hands down, these are my favorite colors. I cannot wait to wear them! (Not sure if I'll wear them with a skirt or not...Am I that brave?)

(The colors of this yarn go from a very dark emerald green to an intense purple. I could not get my camera to behave this morning and this is the best I could do. )

Thursday, November 09, 2006

faster than a speeding train...

The Marble Arches pattern from October's Rockin' Sock Club kit is addicting and fun. I cast on for the first sock Monday night and here it is on Thursday morning and the second sock is already underway! I love the colors of the Pink Granite Socks that Rock. It's funny how it striped around the leg, but for the foot it did some really intense pooling (there is a stitch count change from the leg to the foot). Luckily I love striping as well as pooling - that's why I knit with hand dyed sock yarn:) Having knit a few socks with non-socks that rock lately, I had nearly forgotten how much I love to knit with this stuff. The colors, texture, and substance are all outstanding. I'm hoping to finish these up before I get a little shipment I'm expecting from Blue Moon that will include the yarn necessary to knit some knee highs. Yea!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Fastest Sweater EVER (and more socks)!

Rosedale United
Pattern: Rosedale United (knitty) (medium/42 inch size)
Yarn: Noro Kureyon #157
Needles: KnitPicks Options Size 6(US)
Start Date: October 24, 2006
Finish Date: November 3, 2006
Comments: This sweater was a lot of fun; both the colors and the pattern. It's a great way to use Noro Kureyon to its full advantage, showing off all the lovely color changes. I didn't realize until I got to the instructions for the intarsia rectangle that the majority of this sweater is knit back and forth, not in the round as I had assumed. Luckily, Kureyon on size 6 knits up fairly quickly, even when knitting and purling. I almost left out the little intarsia rectangle on the upper back and I kind of wish I had now. It puckers a little even though I made every effort to not strand to tightly at that spot. Oh well, it blocked out pretty well and it may even out more as I wear it. I really love this sweater and I think it may be the one that gets the most use out of my handknit sweater collection. I can just imagine wearing it throughout the winter whenever I need a color pick-me-up:)

Dublin Dragonfly Bay Socks
Pattern: Dublin Bay (pdf link here)
Yarn: Sunshine Yarns Dragonfly
Needles: KnitPicks dpns sizes 1 and 0 (9 stitches per inch on 0's)
Start Date: October 19, 2006
End Date: November 6, 2006
Comments:These are the first pair of Sunshine Yarns I've knit using her new superwash sock yarn. Overall, I'm very happy with the result. The texture of the yarn is rather soft. I did feel the yarn is a tad bit thin and the spin is a little splitty, but the colors more than make up for any lack of enthusiasm I may feel for the actual yarn. Dani of Sunshine Yarns just knows how to pick colors and dye some beautiful yarn. From intense burgundy to soft pale blue, this yarn absolutely reminds me of a dragonfly. I'm glad I have more of this yarn, in a variety of colors, in my stash. :)

And here's what I cast on last night - That's the new Socks that Rock Rockin' Sock Club color Pink Granite using the pattern that came with it (Marble Arches). It has the adorable ruffly cuff. Love it!

***Knitting Group is tomorrow night (Wednesday) at the Borders' Cafe in Wilmette (corner of Lake & Skokie). We meet from 6:30pm until 8:00pm and any yarn enthusiast is welcome!***

Friday, November 03, 2006


I'm a self-indulgent creature. I have very little self-control when it comes to shopping or eating, hence the large yarn stash and the large Alyssa:) I often give myself incentives to finish tasks I don't like. Usually, since I enjoy knitting, I don't have to give myself too large of an incentive other than "finish something and you get to cast on for a new project" or "finish some socks, buy more sock yarn." Currently it's finish the Dragonfly socks so that you can cast on with that new Pink Granite Socks that Rock!

With my health I find the need to bribe myself with large tangible rewards to get me to make positive changes. When it comes to losing weight the motivation part is easy. I lose weight, I get to buy more clothes (I like clothes shopping). But being healthy is more than losing excess weight. I have to exercise. Good for the heart and body. I hate (HATE!) working out. Therefore, I had to create a system of rewards.

The first prize is tiny. Every time I complete a scheduled workout I have Matt award me a sticker for that day (This is definitely a throw back to when stickers were the common reward for doing well at school. Hmmm, I went from being an A+ student to a slacker in the short time between getting stickers on tests and not getting them. Coincidence?)

The next phase of the plan is that for every two week period where I stick to my workout schedule I get a little reward like going to a movie and getting a small popcorn or Matt will buy me flowers, etc. You get the idea.

So the final step in forcing me encouraging me to workout (which I'm not sure I mentioned before, but I HATE TO WORKOUT!!!!) is to come up with a large enough incentive that I will not miss any workouts for a month. You know what that could be? This glorious bag. It's an Offhand Designs Zelda Tote in Forest Stripe. It's been living in the box it came in and there it will stay until November 21st which will be the completion of a four week period wherein my goal is to not skip any of my 20 scheduled workouts. I want that bag so badly (i hate working out).

What motivates you in life or knitting?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


November Goals
So, October is over and with it numerous projects are complete. Ivy took a little bit longer than I expected so that pushed back the time I had allotted for Rosedale United. Now, with both of these gorgeous sweaters nearly finished (Rosedale should be done by the end of the week), I can focus on this month's goals. I had originally planned on knitting another sweater, but I've decided after doing two back to back that I'll just focus on some smaller projects this month.
Rosedale United WIP - Yoke
1) Socks that Rock Knee Highs (Jen is knitting some and they are great!)
2) Rowan Tapestry Scarf, Mitts, Hat
3) Pure Fall Plain Socks October Rockin' Socks in Socks that Rock Pink Granite (I may get around to the Pure Fall socks sometime this month, but the new Rockin' Sock pattern and yarn are too irresistible to ignore)
4) Dublin Bay socks (pdf) in Sunshine Yarns Dragonfly
5) Another We Call Them Pirates Hat (after the tragic misplacement of the first one)
6) Basic scarf using 100purewool

November is all about portable, easy projects. I didn't get a progress shot of my Dublin Dragonfly socks, but trust me, they are moving along. I started them at the end of October hoping to squeeze them in as a third pair for Socktober, but I got incredibly distracted by Rosedale so that didn't happen. I'm just finishing the first sock. I don't think I'll have any trouble finishing these up sometime over the weekend. Once these are off the needles I'll be starting my first pair of knee socks in the long-coveted Nodding Violets colorway of Socks that Rock (assuming my order gets here soon). Gorgeous!

What's everyone going to be working on this month?

***Knitting Group is tonight (Wednesday) at the Borders' Cafe in Wilmette (corner of Lake & Skokie). We meet from 6:30 until 8:00 and any yarn enthusiast is welcome!***