Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hugs & Chocolate Kisses Socks

The Loopy Ewe's July Sock Club shipment included Dream in Color Smooshy in Spicy Smoochies. Isn't it a great color? The first picture is the most color accurate. The others are a bit washed out.

Here are my completed socks. The pattern makes the Xs and Os for kisses and hugs. Pretty clever.

It has a twisted 3x2 rib. It was a little fiddly but I like the result. I'm not sure it was worth the extra effort though so I probably won't do it again.

My favorite heel is a slip stitch heel flap. It is magic to watch the colors come out. I normally continue the pattern under the heel.

I'm still working on my Slow Bee Mystery Shawl & Goddess Knits Anniversary Shawls. They are increasing slowly and are hard to photograph so no progress pictures. The Slow Bee shawl takes nearly an hour for each right side row! I can only work on them when no one else is around so I don't get much of a chance to work on it. My goal is to complete 2 rows a day. I've got 60 more rows until the border so I'l be working on it for a while.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Lazy Saturday

This is my cat, Trouble. Her name really describes her behavior & attitude. Today, all she could do was lay around. My entire family had a lazy day. I knit while the kids watched videos & played guitar hero.

I worked on my 2 lace projects, Slow Bee Mystery Shawl and the Goddess Knits Anniversary Mystery Shawl. Here is a photo of my lace knitting set-up. Some people paint by numbers, I knit by colors. I have a set of highlighters that I always use to color code my stitches. For example, I learned to keep my left-leaning decreases & my right ones apart by using lime highlighter for left and red for right. Now, I never confuse which is which. I've written in pencil the number of plain knit stitches go in between other stitches. I keep the chart on my kids' music stand so I don't have to sit at a table. You can see my pattern tamer. It's a magnet that helps me keep my place. I put it above the line I'm working on so I can read my knitting & catch my mistakes as I go.

I'll show you how I keep track of my sock charts in my next post.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Froggin' But It's All Good

Normally frogging & knitting aren't two words that you want to hear in the same sentence. Woolgirl Sock Club's June shipment played with the knitting term frog - it was tree frog themed. I liked the theme & the extras but wasn't too thrilled about the yarn. It was too colorful & I couldn't imagine what it would look like knitted up. The yarn is by Dashing Dachs in the Froggin colorway. The pattern is also called Froggin.

One of my favorite extras is a gauge ruler by KaratStix. I love how easy it is to measure gauge. Yes, I always make gauge swatches when I am following a pattern.

I cast on Sunday and finished Wednesday. I absolutely love these socks. First, the colors look awesome together. It matches my Ravelry tee that I wear with black pants. Also, the fabric the pattern created is wonderfully stretchy so it fits my foot perfectly. I plan to use this pattern again with very colorful varigated yarn.

I cast-on a new sock yesterday. Here's the progress so far. . .

. . . details later.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Finished Objects

Toe-Up Spiral
I was a bad friend & forgot to mention my Toe-Up No Heel Spiral Socks designed by my friend, Jo Febo. These are the perfect sock for growing feet or first time sock knitters.
Yarn: Bellamoden Sport in The Color Purple. I love her dying methods. I plan to acquire more. Visit her shop here or at The Loopy Ewe

Berlin Muster
These are for the Sock Knitters Pentathlon. It is a 5 sock challenge over 10 months. I entered the race not being a very fast knitter. I'm doing better than I thought I would but I'm not even in the top 25.
Pattern: Berlin Muster-several mistakes were found in the English translation but the charts are correct.
Yarn: Seacoast Panda in Glacier

Oversized Tote
I love to felt Noro Kureyon so this is a modified French Market Bag out of Noro. I modified it just in the size. After all increases, I just kept knitting until I ran out of yarn but I saved 1 skein for my handles. I bought 1 or 2 extra skeins.
Pattern: French Market Bag
Yarn: Noro Kureyon

Rattlesnake Creek Socks
This is another pair of Pentathlon Socks. I just finished them yesterday & came in 24th place. Not bad when there are hundreds of knitters. The yarn in Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock in the Rose colorway. I'm not a pink person but I love the subtle color variations in this yarn. It really brings out the cables.
Pattern:Rattlesnake Creek Socks
Yarn:Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock

Here's a sneak peak at my current sock . . . .

pretty wild isn't it. I'm liking this more than I thought I would. Hopefully, my next post will have the finished sock details.

Well, TTFN

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Now, I Really Am Back From the Dead

I left off at the beginning of June when life got really crazy. Tuesday, June 3, was the band Spring Concert & award ceremony. It also was my eldest children's conductor debut. She was 1 of 3 eighth graders chosen to conduct a song each. She received the Jr. Conductor award. She plays the flute & was a concert mistress. My son normally plays the alto saxophone but received the chameleon award because he played so many wind instruments throughout the year to help fill in gaps. Sorry, no pictures - we have video but the pictures sucked. :(

I had migraines every night that week. My 8th graders started getting senioritis so they were hard to keep motivated with their assignments.

Friday, June 6th, was the 8th grade dance. The kids' energy level is always so high any time there is a dance. After the dance I went straight to bed & was asleep by 7 pm. I was very rudely waken about 11 when my husband & kids returned home from his softball game. I stumble out of the bedroom to fuss at them & see them helping my hubby to his chair. He got an ice pack strapped to his knee & he is hopping on one leg. Of course, I feel guilty for starting to fuss. He wouldn't dream of going to urgent care.

Saturday was a baseball day. I watched my son play. Hubby finally admitted that he wouldn't be able to umpire that afternoon, found someone to cover his game, & actually allowed me to take him into urgent care. They immobilized his knee, gave him crutches, pain killers & told him to come back in a couple of weeks. It turns out that he won't need surgery - yipee!

Sunday was spent grocery shopping, laundry & grading papers. Monday started the last week of school, the roughest week of the year. My youngest daughter is a bit of a hypochondriac & a drama queen so I take what she says with a grain of salt. She got off the bus looking like she was getting ready to puke or cry. She handed me a note that looked like our discipline forms so I assumed she had gotten in trouble. No, it was a nurse office note saying she was sent to the nurse. I looked at her foot, it wasn't swollen or anything. At times she even danced & ran on it but I took her in to the doctor just in case. The doctor didn't think it was broken either. In fact, youngest daughter even jumped off the exam table & acted like nothing was wrong. The doctor had it x-rayed just to be sure. It turns out her foot was broken in two places. We convinced the technician that she could live by the rules of having a boot instead of a regular cast. This way she'll still be able to go on our Scout trip & her Sea World camp.

Tuesday was my son's 13th birthday. Wednesday was the 8th grade trip to Magic Mountain. Thursday was graduation. Eldest daughter graduated Suma Cum Laude & received band & perfect attendance awards. Friday was the last day of school & music lessons. Saturday my in-laws came up from San Diego to visit & rehearsal with the pianist. Sunday was father's day and the kids' music recital. All of this was going on with 2 invalid family members so everything fell on my shoulders. It also is a time of added responsibilities at school - report cards, office paper work, preparing for graduation, tearing down & packing up my classroom. It is also the time when my BFF was having major troubles of her own. I wasn't able to help her as much as I wanted to.

Luckily, all of that stuff is behind me. I spend my first week off helping pack classrooms & taking many naps. So, I feel ready to return back to life. Now that you are caught up on my life my next post will return to knitting content. But before I go, I leave you with this. . .

she may be out of junior high but that doesn't mean she's all grown up!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I'm Back From the Living Dead - Maybe

A couple of my knitting buddies fussed at me yesterday (you know who you are, KnottyKnitter40 & KnittinWolf) for not updating my blog more often. To be honest, life has been really busy & blog updates are always the first thing to go. It has been so crazy & I've been so tired, I feel like I was sleep walking the entire time. Let me update you on my life for the past month.

The weekend of May 16th, RKSMom & I took our scouts camping. Of course, it was the warmest weekend of the year (so far) & we were in tents. It was almost miserable. But, we brought back the big award for having such a great troop so it wasn't all bad. You might be able to tell that there isn't much shade at Castaic Lake.

My fingers felt too fat & swollen to do much sock knitting but Lil' Loopy decided to help with the knot tying. Once we got back, I had to prepare for Open House. While I enjoy open house, it makes for a very long week & I hadn't recovered from the weekend.

The next weekend was Memorial Weekend & time for a band Music Festival. I went with them to the festival on the school bus. Did I ever mention that I get car sick & I'm completely worthless on a school bus? Not a good thing for a teacher. They were disappointed to bring back a bronze award. We learned later that they were misjudged. They were ajudicated as a high school band & not the junior high band that they are. That means their score could have qualified them for a silver or gold rating.

I was "fortunate" to be the adult for 6 male junior high kids. I never heard, "pull my finger" so many times in my life as I did that day. I did win cool points because I love the coasters. Silver Bullet is "tight". I love that ride. It is full of loops & corkscrews. It flips you upside down seven times! I think corkscrews & barrel rolls are the best. For some reason, I can't ride in a car or school bus but I don't get sick on the coasters. Yipee. My drop stitch scarf helped to pass the time in lines. We got back late & spent Sunday recovering. We finished out the weekend with family and friends watching Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

June 1st was the big secret swap partner reveal. Of course, I was spoiled by my pal. Thank you Mish. I was a bad blogger & didn't get any pictures. :( I spent the week before the swap trying to finish a bath set for my downline, Stashymama. It is the softest cotton I have ever felt. It is Pima Petite by Unique Sheep. I can't wait to get my hands on more of it. A tank top knit with it would be divine.

After that is when my life started getting crazy. I do have some other knitting to show you as well. More in my next post which hopefully will be tomorrow but I plan on taking several naps during this next week.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Loopy's May Shipment

Spoiler Alert - If you haven't received The Loopy Ewe's May sockclub shipment, don't read below.

Here is my sock club package. It included an accessory pouch, loopy peppermints, a poem, & pattern. Most of Loopy's kits include that. They are nice but it also included some bling, a stitch saver (a crochet hook on a key ring for fixing dropped stitches). The yarn is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wollmeise . . . yes, I know - envious? It is a custom colorway named Pillars of Fire. It ranges from a deep cardinal red to scarlet & ends with a burnt orange color. Gorgeous!!! I want to cast-on right now but a new sock madness pattern is released Friday morning. I already have 9 WIPS. Must . . resist . . .Wollmeise . . . must . . . resist. . . . . stay . . . strong . . .


Secret Pal

I have a wonderful secret pal. This package was left for me & it includes many wonderful things. I appreciate the thought & effort my pal took to create this package. The candle is very interesting. It is bamboo & tiger lily scented. We enjoyed the aroma around the house. I look forward to reading my books when I have some interrupted time this weekend. It also included sticky notes & a memo holder. Cool beans.

I think my favorite part of my gift was the photos of my own work. I'm not sure how she (or he) got them - maybe through flickr. At first, I though wow, they gave me knitting postcards. Then, a moment or later I realized that it was not just anyone's knitting, it's my knitting. The pictures were put in between the pages of one of the books. Thank you secret pal.

I finished up another pair of Sock Madness socks. I'll post about them & my other WIPs this weekend.


Monday, April 21, 2008

What? Needles has a Non-Sock FO!

Yes, I have finished a non-sock project. It has been awhile since I've finished a project that wasn't a sock. In between sock madness rounds, I couldn't stand the feel of sock yarn & small needles so I cast on a shawl using worsted weight yarn.

Pattern: Forest Canopy by Susan Lawerence. This pattern is also available through the Ravelry Store.
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy in Pansy Golightly (2 skeins)
Needles: Knit Picks Interchangeable, US Size 9 (5.5 mm)
Cast-on: March 29 Bind-Off: April 10 Blocked: April 19
Modifications: I used worsted weight instead of DK, 16 pattern repeats instead of 12

Here is a better picture of the texture. It is before blocking.

In other news, I finished my round 3 socks last week, cast-on round 4 tonight, & cast-on French Market Bag last night. More details later.


Monday, April 14, 2008


Imagine Charlie Brown's cry of frustration after he believes Lucy won't move that football again . . . AARGH! That's the sound I made today.

I never knew I could be so competitive until I joined Sock Madness 2. I told myself that I wasn't going to worry about the 3rd round. Then, I received the 3rd round pattern, Slippin' Stripin' Socks. It came on a Thursday evening. I had lesson planning to do, my house was a mess, my children needed help for their school projects. . .I was behind in all areas of my life. But, there was this pattern, calling my name. ". .. Carol, cast me on . . . come on, you know you wanna . . . Carol . . ." Normally, I'm strong but I bowed to the pressure that was the pattern.

The sock had a totally new to me construction, knit with 2 strands of lace weight yarn. I cast on using JaggerSpun Zephyr in Emerald and Black. I knit until bed Thursday night.

I got up early Friday morning & finished the lesson planning that I needed for that day & wrote an algebra quiz. As soon as I finished, I knit until it was time to leave. After school, I went to my daughter's softball game. Of course, I knit while I was there. I ended up leaving early because I got a migraine. I was unable to knit the rest of the day & went to bed at 6 pm.

Saturday, I was still having problems with light sensitivity & recovering from the migraine so I didn't get to any of the softball or baseball games. I did use the time to knit & took several naps. Here's my sock Saturday morning. . .

I knit as much as I could Saturday & Sunday. I had to help the kids with their Science Fair projects & go get my taxes done. I decided that my grading & lesson planning could wait until Monday morning. The Sock Madness divisions were filling up quickly. About 9 o'clock Sunday night, I started to grow weary. My hands hurt, I was tired, & I wasn't sure I could continue. For a minute or two, I debated about staying up all night to finish the socks & still go to work. Then I toyed with the idea of staying up all night & calling in sick. Finally, I did the right thing & put my socks down so I could go to bed. When I got up at 4:30 Monday morning, all divisions were full.

As you can see, I was so close.

I'm full of "if only"s . .if only I didn't get a migraine Friday. . .if only I stayed up later Saturday night. . .if only I didn't help my kids & ignored my husband . . .I might have advanced to round 4.

I'm sure my family is happier now that I'm out. My husband supported me the first & second rounds. I don't think he was too pleased about this last round.

I plan to continue & will knit all the other rounds as the patterns are released. Maybe I can increase my speed so I'll get even further next year.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Big Whine

I don't normally talk about my health but this post will be about that.

March 25th I woke up with the funny sensation that I always have before I get a migraine. About 10 am, the right side of my face really started hurting. So, I took my Imitrex and went to bed. About 2 o'clock I realized this was not a migraine & figured I had a cold. I pretty much stayed bed the entire last week of my vacation. I had planned to get my lesson planning for April finished so I would be ready for the next couple rounds of Sock Madness. For the next few days I was weak, achey, & congested. I only had the energy to be up & about for an hour or so. Then, I'd be exhausted for the rest of the day. When I'm sick, I go to bed for a day or two and my immune system kicks in. Being sick for this long was new to me. I have to admit, I was getting very whiney & feeling really blue.

I went back to work on Monday. I didn't feel well but was hoping that getting back into the swing of things would help. Little did I I know. . by the afternoon I was having a hard time concentrating & no voice. I came home to find that the 2nd Sock Madness pattern was released when I was at school. By the time I saw the pattern many people were already 1/2 finished with the first sock. I knit for a couple of hours and went to bed.

I got up Tuesday and felt fine but I had no voice at all. I went into school & only made it until 9:30 & then I quickly wrote subplans and made arrangements for other teachers to take my students. I came home, slept & didn't knit on my socks at all. A few people finished their socks already.

Wednesday I arranged for a sub. I called to get a same day doctor appointment. None were available, I'd have to go to urgent care. I hate going into urgent care. If I felt good enough to get dressed, drive for a total of an hour, & sit in a waiting room for 3 hours, I wouldn't need a doctor. I finally decided to go anyway. At least I was able to knit for about an hour of the time I was waiting. Then I was too tired to do any more. I was told that I had a sinus infection but it was really irritating my throat. I was told to stay home through the weekend. Oh darn, more knitting time. I was given antibiotics & a stronger decongestant. It was a good thing that she told me to stay home. I was feeling much better Thursday but still had no voice. I tried to watch my daughter's softball game but only made it 30 minutes before I had to come back to bed.

I spent Thursday & Friday mostly on the couch knitting & not talking. My throat killed me. Here's what my Sock Madness Round 2 socks looked like Thursday morning . . .

I finished about noon on Friday . . .

The name of the pattern is Reversai because the sock looks exactly the same on the inside and out. It has a garter stitch heel, foot, & toe. I used Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Devon. I am disappointed that the pattern doesn't show very well. By the time I realized that it wasn't showing, I didn't have time to switch yarns & hope to finish in time. I need to stock up on my solid yarns for sock madness & the sock pentathalon. Most of the patterns are complex & need a simple yarn. I was hoping to knit from my stash instead, my stash is growing. Ugg

I am pleased to announce that I came in 16th out of 35. Only the first 20 participants in each division get to advance (80 out of 140 move on to round 3). I am feeling better but my throat still hurts & I don't have much of a voice. It will be interesting to see how tomorrow goes. I'm looking forward to going back to school but I don't look forward to all the talking I will have to do!

end of whine . . .


Friday, March 21, 2008

Dr. Pepper Zombies

I've entered myself into Sock Madness 2, a knitting tournament based on college basketball's March Madness. Knitters were divided into 4 divisions of about 58 people each. The first 40 people finished with their socks advance to the next round.

We were given teasers about the pattern a couple of days before it was released. It was described as a "scary pattern & to think of Michael Jackson's Thriller video. I didn't really have any scary yarn but I found yarn in my stash from The Knittery in a wool/cashmere blend. I thought it looked a little bit like dried blood.

I got my copy of the pattern about noon on the 13th. I knit as much as I could and finished at 2:30 am on the 16th. I was really afraid that I wouldn't finish in time to advance. It took me 40 hours to get these socks done. I knitted my fingers to the bone. See?

Actually, the yarn had excess dye & bled on me. Here are the finished Zombies taken at 2:29 a.m. I was the 14th to finish in my division.

. . . and a better picture . . .

This was my first eye of the partridge heel . .

The cuff pattern reminds me of a muscle. . .


. . . and the drop stitch was fun too.

These are the most comfortable socks that I own. The fiber is warm (my feet are always cold) & the pattern hugs my feet. Not too tight or too loose.

I've named the socks Dr. Pepper Zombies after the only soda that I'll drink - Dr. Pepper. They match my Dr. Pepper t-shirt perfectly.

The next round won't start until April 1st so I have time to get caught up on stuff before I drop everything to knit nonstop again.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Things about Me

I know that I've been pretty silent lately. First, life got in the way & then competition knitting came along. Since my last entry, I've finished 4 or 5 pairs of socks. More about them later. Today, I'm answering the tag I got last month when I was really sick:

4 jobs I held
Pizza Joint Asst. Manager
Hotel Desk Clerk
Newpaper Carrier

4 movies I like
Harry Potter (all)
The Lord of the Rings (all)
Star Wars (all)
Field of Dreams

4 places I've been
Washington, DC

4 places I lived
New Mexico

4 TV shows/programs I watch
Sarah Connor Chronicles
The Tudors

4 Radio-shows I listen to
No radio - just podcasts
Lime & Violet
Daily Breakfast

4 favorite foods
Ice cream
Cadburry Creme Eggs

4 places I'd rather be
Walking in the snowy mountains
the beach
stranded alone on an island for 48 hours

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Organized Knitting Club 30 Day Challenge

I've been feeling overwhelmed with all of my responsibilities, Most of it comes from not using a planing system. My school gives us lesson plan books that also has space for personal planning. I tried to use it for school & personal but it just wasn't enough. I just received my Julie Morgenstern Franklin Covey Planning System. I'm starting to feel the effects already. I've transferred my school calendar & family calendar into my planner. I've started to make lists. I'm a big list person. My brain was cluttered & now I feel I can relax.

I'm also taking care of the clutter in my house. I'm taking the Organized Knitting Club 30 Day Challenge of organizing my knitting space or room. Since I don't have a knitting room, I'm organizing my bedroom which is where I store my knitting stuff.

Here is where I keep my knitting stuff. There was quite a bit of non-knitting stuff in there too. You can't even begin to see how crammed & messy the drawers are but they are packed very full.

I completely emptied all of my stuff on my bed. It covers half of the king sized bed.

Here's how it looks now:

I have my needles and stitch markers on the top shelf. I use the highlighters to color code charts. The second row has WIP and sock blockers. My books are on the bottom shelf. In the back you can see my Tom Clancy collection & my colored pencils that I'm keeping out of my kids' hands. These are the only two non-knitting things in the top part of the cabinet. I still keep pants in the larger bottom two drawers.

The side drawers have more supplies. The top one has lace yarn & beads. The next one has other knitting notions.

The bottom three drawers have most of my sock yarn.

I haven't tackled the top of the cabinet yet.

I also dejunked another side of the room. All in all I threw out 5 grocery bags of trash & have 3 kitchen trash bags of stuff to donate. Armed with my lists, I'll tackle other parts of my room over time.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Knitting Update

It has been forever since I posted. I just haven't felt like writing. I've had the blahs.

I have two socks that I'm currently working on. One is The Master Coriolis sock by Cat Bordhi. I've had her book for months now but didn't take the time to sit down & start on any of the socks. But the Sock Knitters Anonymous group on Ravelry challenge this month was to knit a sock using a new to you heel. So, I took the challenge & cast-on Feb. 1. I finished the first sock yesterday.

I learned several new construction techniques with this sock. She begins with a garter stitch toe . . .

. . . and continues with the gusset increases going around the leg.

The sock has a traditional heel turn & toe-up heel flap. The sock ends with a seed stitch and 4-strand bind-off.

The second sock spirals in the opposite direction. It was a quick knit - I think the first sock took less than 9 hours which is really fast for me. Of course, using 2 strands of fingering weight yarn speeds it up too. Here's the completed sock.

Pattern: Master Coriolis by Cat Bordhi
Yarn: Regia Design Line Kaffe Fassett in the Mirage Storm Colorway
Needles: Knit Picks Harmony, US Size 5, magic loop

I'm working on a pair of intarsia socks - my first color work. This pair of socks is for my BFF, T.

The main color is Knit Picks Bare (75% superwash, 25% nylon) with a strand of Zephyr (50% wool, 50% silk). The contrasting color is Fleece Artist Somoko in Blue Lagoon. The blue semi-circles are two halves of a heart 'cause I want her to know that I love her. There are lace hearts on the instep as well.

I do have some other stuff to blog about but will close for now.