Monday, December 31, 2007

2008 Resolutions

I had helpers when I was wrapping presents last week. All three of our cats "helped." How could I get frustrated with them? They did slow me down a bit though. This cat's name is Trouble. She lives up to her name.

I have some knitting resolutions for 2008. Here they are in no particular order:

- Knit at least 1 pair of socks a month

- Complete the Sweater Sampler by Jacqueline Fee in The Sweater Workshop

- Make my DH a red v-neck sweater (plain?? or cabled?? Aran??)

-Have less sock yarn in my stash at the end of the year (Right now, I have enough for 46 pairs.)

-Have 3 or less WIP at a time - a travel sock, a more complicated sock, & a non-sock project

-Enter 2 or more projects into the Antelope Valley Fair.

-Keep up with the fiber club mailings so that yarn doesn't enter stash status (The Loopy Ewe Sock Club, The Woolgirl Sock club & the 7 Deadly S(p)ins). The sock clubs mail once every 3 months; the S(p)ins club mails every other month.

I have non-knitting resolutions also:
-Clean my bathroom at least once a week
-Keep my bedroom clean
-Wash, dry, & put away one load of laundry a day
-Keep up with the daily Pray as you go podcasts.

Happy New Year to everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Barcelonas are Finished

20071222_3065.JPG, originally uploaded by Needles2007.

I have a FO to show off. It is a present for my mom but she doesn't know about this blog so it's okay.

The pattern is by Mona Schmidt called Barcelona. It was the November SKA Mystery sock. I used Knit Picks' Essential in Grass and Harmony size 1.5 DPNs.

The pattern drove me crazy because I couldn't memorize it so I was reading the chart for each row. I'm also not happy with my YOs. I really am glad I did this pattern & love the result.

I have more FOs to blog about after Christmas.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wonderful Surprise

Friday was an awful day. I was so mad that I couldn't see straight to drive home. It still gets me really angry but this post is not a rant. I was so wonderfully surprised when I got home & there were two packages waiting for me. One was from Knitpicks - yarn for a Christmas present. The other package was unexpected. It was a sock club package from Woolgirl. I had forgotten all about it. The yarn is from The Unique Sheep Leili yarn (wool & mohair) in Spruce Spring colorway. It came with wonderful surprises too! Included were 2 Cider House packages, mint candies, a glass ornament stitch marker, and a Christmas tree tape measure. This package turned around my entire day. This is my favorite yarn club.

I have finished most of my Christmas knitting. You can see progress on my projects on my new sidebar thanks to Casey at Ravelry. If you are reading this in a blog reader, go to my blog page & check out the new progress bars.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Multimedia message

Multimedia message, originally uploaded by Needles2007.

I'm sorry about the pixelated photo but I fell in love with this tree & only had my cell camera with me.

See, California does get fall colors but they only last for a day or two where I live because the nasty wind will come & blow all the leaves away.

The tree was a beautiful golden color (like a golden apple) & the sky was a dark grey. There is snow on our mountains in the background.

I've been knitting but I can't blog about them yet - they are Christmas surprises. Most of my gifts are completed or they are pretty close. The problem is that everything I have left is for people that live with me so it limits the time I can work on them. It's all good though because it makes it that much faster to get back to socks for me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


100_2935.JPG, originally uploaded by Needles2007.

I'm test blogging this photo. It is a swatch for my men's felted clog. I'm using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Daffodil & Iron Core to make a sunset color. Whatcha think?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Stash Enhancement & Startitis

This week the mailman brought many packages to my house. Both sock club packages from Woolgirl The Loopy Ewe & arrived this week. The Woolgirl kit had Spunky Eclectic Super Nova which is a DK weight sock yarn. It has a wonderful shade of purple. This will be a fast knit & I'm looking forward to kitting it up. The entire kit had an Irish theme.

The Loopy Ewe package included Yarn Pirate BFL in Cranberry Ice. Something about this yarn really spoke to me. I don't know what about these colors I find so irresistable. I couldn't leave it alone in the skein & had to wind it into a cake.

Could you resist this? It reminds me of a dessert but I'm not sure what kind. Some of my Christmas knitting will need to be put on hold so I can swatch this. Hopefully the swatch will be enough to satisfy me until the Christmas knitting is done.

The mailman also dropped off my Ravelry tee, row counters, Under Cover shipment for 2 months, and a box with enough Knit Picks yarn for 2 pairs of man sized felted clogs. Have I mentioned how much I love the new Harmony needles? I now have several sets of needle points, fixed circulars & dpns. Anyone want to buy my set of Knit Picks Options? Some of the points are slightly used & some have never been used but are out of the wrapper & in the binder.

Nothing has come off of the needles but I have started many new projects in the last 2 weeks:

Invisibility Shawl from Charmed Knits. I'm using Knit Picks Shadow in Oregon Coast. It is for DD #2

SKA November Mystery Sock by Mona Schmidt. I'm using Knit Picks Essential in Grass. They will be a gift.

Serpentine Mitts by Miriam L. Felton. I'm using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Aslan. This is just the gauge swatch. These will be a gift.

I swatched for the men's felted clogs. I've had the pattern for a year, I've just felt nervous about knitting it.

I also cast-on another project for a gift that I can't talk about until after Christmas. Unfortunately, one of the needles broke at the join so I am on hold until the replacement arrives. So, I'm off to continue working on the Serpentine Mitts so I won't cast-on another 1 or 2 projects.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Fugliest Sock in the World

Until lately I hadn't seen a hand knitted sock that I didn't like. I thought all handknit socks were beautiful. This last month I was proven wrong.

My BFF picked out a yarn for her Christmas socks. She picked a beautiful yarn, Fleece Artist Somoko in Blue Lagoon. See how pretty it is in the hank?

It's almost as pretty in a cake. I found the perfect pattern, Wendy Knits' Pagoda. It had a lace pattern in the front and was plain the rest of the way around the sock. Not too girlie for my friend but not too boring for me.

I was concerned early on because one sock seemed to have all of the dark blue & one had all of the light blue. I kept knitting thinking that the yarn had long color repeats & eventually the colors would even out.

I finally dug in the ball & saw that none of the dark blue was in the second half of the ball. My colors would never even out but I stubbornly kept knitting. I turned the heels and tried them on. That's when I really got nervous. They were hard for me to get over my heel & BFF has a larger instep & ankle. I couldn't get them on her feet.

I frogged the mismatched socks this morning. A month's work gone - I hope I'll be able to get my Christmas gifts done. I think I'll let this yarn sit in the time-out corner for a while. Maybe it wants to be a scarf or a couple of pairs of fingerless gloves.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I'm Miss Piggy

I just took the Muppet Personality test. I never thought myself as Miss Piggy. I wonder how accurate this is.

You Are Miss Piggy

A total princess and diva, you're totally in charge - even if people don't know it.
You want to be loved, adored, and worshiped. And you won't settle for anything less.
You're going to be a total star, and you won't let any of the "little people" get in your way.
Just remember, piggy, never eat more than you can lift!

As Tigger always says,

Saturday, October 27, 2007

It Must Be Fall

. . . because went to Disneyland. I love Disneyland when it's all decorated for holidays. This year, Disney had the entire park decorated for fall/Halloween. I cast on my second Halloween sock Oct 7th on the drive to Anaheim. I worked on it while standing in lines. With only a few exceptions, the sock was completed during my 90 minutes of playground duty a week. It is amazing how much knitting I can get done during this "found" time. I finished the sock Friday, Oct 26, just in time for Halloween.

Yarn: Opal Rainforest in Schmellerling (Butterfly)
Pattern: My own toe-up

Saturday, my two older kids had a fall recital. DD #1 has been playing the flute for 4 years. DS has been playing the sax for a little over a year. It was his first solo performance. They both played beautifully.

DS wouldn't admit that he was nervous but you can see his relief when the concert was over.

DD had a rough time getting started but then sounded even better than in her practices. She was nervous as well & had to be silly during the pictures.

I have a couple more FOs to show:

Computer Sleeve

Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Devon (it took about a about 1.5 skeins)
Pattern: My own - I might write this up if there is interest

Pink Panther Delicatos

Yarn: Louet in Pink Panther
Pattern: Delicato by KnitSpot. I added one extra repeat on the ribbing at the wrist.

I cast on another pair of socks:

Yarn: Fleece Artist Somoko in Blue Lagoon
Pattern: Pagoda Lace by Wendy Knits available at The Loopy Ewe
Notes: I modified this to be knit 2 at a time on 2 circs. I'm not happy with how this yarn is dyed. Half of the skein has the dark blue & green. The other half of the skein has lighter shades. The socks look like they came from different skeins. The contrast between the 2 socks is much greater than the pictures show.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Back to Daily Life

A couple of weeks ago we were treated to an awesome sight. We often see owls & hawks flying around or perched on a nearby Joshua tree. But, this time we had a hawk eating its dinner on our front lawn.

I finished up a couple of projects but I'll update on that later.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

R.I.P. Kathy

I was working on a light hearted post last week but never got it finished. I'm in a much darker place now. A week ago, I lost a friend and co-worker. It came suddenly. And, if the story we've been told is true, it was preventable but the hospital didn't take her seriously & thought it was a panic attack. I do not know the result of the autopsy.

Kathy was a very giving person even though her life couldn't have been easy. Her husband died while she was pregnant with her daughter. She was taking care of her adult son who has Downs syndrome, her mother who was recently released from the hospital after a stroke, and a teenaged daughter.

The last time I saw Kathy was on a Friday. She volunteered to get some of my grading done because I was so far behind. As a thank you, I offered her one of the treats I was giving my class. She turned me down & offered me her taco soup. She watched my class so I could go & get a bowl of it. It was some of the best soup I've ever had. She gave me the receipe. I will think of her every time I have it.

Kathy, I hope you have peace.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sky Show 32

Last Saturday we went to San Diego for Sky Show #32. Sky Show is a yearly fireworks "thing." They used to be after a Padres game but now they are after San Diego State University's football games. It normally is a sell out but this year the crowd was much lighter. But, what is a football game without a little pregame tailgate?

The boys had to toss the football around. Of course, if SDPD catches you, you'll get a ticket. But, playing catch after a game seems to be okay.

My eldest daughter made sandwiches.

Youngest child was feeling a little carsick & had a bit of a cold. She spent alot of the game lying down on the concrete trying to go to sleep.

I worked on my Entrelac Tote. I almost finished it but it was a little bulky to take into the stadium. I worked on a more portable project in the stadium.

As an ex-blonde cheerleader, I feel the need to point out that the cheerleaders couldn't spell the name of their school - the flags say SSDU instead of SDSU. Someone talked to them about it & they were much more careful the rest of the time.

ROTC did push ups for each SDSU score. They did many of them because the final score was 52 to 17. Thankfully, SDSU won.

They blocked off about 1/4 of the parking lot for the fireworks. They also use these cranes to shoot off the fireworks.

Here's me & my goofy guy.

They brought in searchlights & additional firework & gas plume platforms into the stadium.

The fireworks lasted for about 25 mintues. Sky Show is listed as the largest firework show west of the Mississippi. 101.5 KGB fm (a hard rock station that now places classic rock) started it 32 years ago. It seems to get bigger & bigger every year. The music started with Money for Nothing but instead of "I want my MTV" the words were changed to "I want my KGB." That's when they sent up fireworks that exploded into the letters KGB. It was perfectly timed to the song. I've never seen fireworks like it. Can you believe it, fireworks that exploded into letters! I couldn't get a picture because it happened to fast.

Here's a few of the best shots:

It really is hard to describe the scope of the event. Like all good concerts, we couldn't hear very well after on the drive home. All of us are looking forward to Sky Show #33.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

First Waterfall Sock Finished

I had a really awful migraine last night. I was still feeling it this morning so I stayed home from work. I got to finish a sock. I'm lovin' knitting with sport weight. It only took 12 hours from start to finish.

Yarn: Miss Babs Yummy Superwash Sport in Waterfall
Pattern: Waterfall by Babs Ausherman modified to knit using Magic Loop instead of DPNs
Needles: Size 4 Knitpicks Harmony tips on a 32 inch cord

Monday, September 17, 2007

I saw the Harlot in person!

Yes, I know that this is an awful photo. I picked it because if you go to the Yarn Harlot's blog, you'll see the other side of this picture. Yes, my knitting group was a background for the traveling sock! If you visit her blog, our group was in the front row straight behind the sock. I am sitting in the middle of that row in my odd colored Dr. Pepper shirt. I didn't think about getting a picture of the Knotty Knitters but Darcy got one of us. I had a great time. Hopefully, I too will be able to combat C.H.O.K.E. I don't know why Stephanie hates her hair so much. I would love to have wavy/curly hair like that. I think that everyone wants what someone else has. I can keep my hair in rollers for hours & it will be beautiful for the 30 minutes the curl stays. Within 2 hours, you can't tell I ever fixed my hair.

I spent Sunday working on my progress report grades and only spent 30 minutes out of the day knitting. When I got home from work today I was greeted with two packages of yarn. The top package was from my favorite yarn pusher - The Loopy Ewe. On the last sneak-up, I scored Yarn Nerd (Peat Bog), Cider Moon (Blue Ridge Parkway), & a Wendy Knits (Making Tracks Toe-Up) Pattern.

I also got my first Woolgirl Sock Club package.

The extras that came this month are awesome! Included with the yarn (more about that later) came a color coordinated stitchmarker, chocolate mint lip balm, a sock journal with attached pen, a a pretty pattern. The theme of the mailing was waterfall. The yarn itself is purples, teals, & blues by Miss Babs. I'm going to cast this on tonight. It's sportweight & my other socks are fingering weight.

Well, I'm off to ball my yarn & swatch. Now that you see it, I hope you understand.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

Kniitting Lack of Focus

I guess it's not that I'm unfocused - I'm very focused on knitting & not on school. But, I can't seem to focus on one project. I want to be the sort of person who can concentrate on one or two projects & stay with them until they are complete. Right now, I want to knit everything right now, all at once. So, I am bouncing around from project to project. This week I cast-on three more projects bringing my WIP to 8. This doesn't include one that I frogged, or the one I'll probably frog & another I don't think I'll finish.

Update pictures of what's on my needles:

Mystery Stole 3 - this is the one 1 think I'll frog. I enjoyed knitting it but I don't think I'll wear it & I don't know anyone else who will. I've not been able to get a good picture because it is black lace. I'll keep trying.

Pomatomus - I've swatched 4 times before I found a combination I like. I'm knitting two at a time on Brittney Birch DPNs (#1.5 - 2.50mm, 5 inches long) with J. Knits in the Cincinnati colorway. I'm still on the cuff but I think this will be great. I love these DPNs because they are smaller & I haven't bent them yet. I always bend the smaller size bamboo needles.

Sax Sox Appeal - This is my generic toe-up, 2 at a time pattern. They are out of a new sock yarn by Knit One Crochet Too called Soxx Appeal. It has 96% Superwash Merino wool, 3% Nylon, 1% Elastic fibers. I like working with it because it has just enough elastic to make it feel different. I've had to learn to knit a little looser so I don't stretch the yarn too far. They aren't done yet because I'm bored with the sockinette stitch. My son loves them so much - they might get gifted to him. He plays the sax, thus the name. It's odd wearing the same size socks & shoes with my 12 year old son.

Entrelac Felted Tote - I've wanted to try Entralac & this looked like an easy way to begin.

One of my first felted projects was a music bag for my DD#1. The designer named it Two Measures of Joy but I call it Ode to Kitty for DD's nickname. Instead of embellishing it with Ode to Joy, I was going to embellish it with her recital piece. This is a project I don't think I'll finish.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Blocking on a HOT day

Warning - this is a picture heavy post

Earlier this week I finished my Monkey Socks. These are the first socks that I've made with DPNs and sock weight yarn. I really like how they turned out. The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill in Martha's Vineyard. I don't normally block my socks but the lace pattern in Monkey needs to be blocked. I washed the socks & put them on blockers in the backyard to dry.

Then, I went to The Yarn Palette's Grand Opening with Youngest Daughter. The Antelope Valley finally has a LYS! They seemed to have a little of everything and are using suggestions from customers for other yarns to stock as well. We saw other members of the Knotty Knitters (hello Ann, Diane, and Darcy). Youngest Daughter & I made a couple other stops on our way home. By the time we got home it was 104 degrees.

The sky was starting to get dark & I remembered to get my socks before they got wet. One of my blockers were undamaged but the other one

warped in the heat. I thought that I might be able to flatten it with one of my teacher's editions. But then, I noticed that part of the blocker was over the wall.

I got some more books & put them on the patio. I was hoping that the combination of heat & weight might flatten it back out.

The sky continued to darken and the temperature dropped so I brought the blocker & books back in the house after 30 minutes. The blocker still looks as warped as it was.

Shortly after I brought the stuff in, the sky opened up to give us needed rain. It poured for about 30 minutes & was raining harder after these pictures were taken. We got really gusty winds that swirled around - not strong enough to be a tornado but it was still interesting.

Our power went out 4 or 5 times but never for more than 15 seconds.

OTN: Little Sky Sock from New Pathways for Sock Knitters (by Cat Bordhi) & Forest Canopy Stole. My other projects are on the backburner for now.