Sunday, March 29, 2009

Little Knits

I think I finally got some of my "sock mojo" back because I've begun to have more than one pair going at a time again, AND feel the need to stuff one in my purse on the way out the door. For awhile there I didn't want to even SEE a sock for some reason! Fiber Angst Craziness I tell you.

I began to explore some different yarns I have in my stash so I started a pair for my Mom in Berroco Comfort Sock yarn.
(Colorway: Southland - 1813)
Size 0 Needles
64 St cast on
Review: Very Splitty, but also very soft. Not sure I'd use it for socks again, maybe a scarf. I also had one knot with a messed up color join right in the middle of one sock. Bummer, but it happens.

I'm experimenting with other needles I've heard so much about too. Above are my Kollage Square Needles. My first impression of them was that they felt strange to my fingers (I totally feel each corner), but they really aren't much different to knit with. Like anything else, they just take getting used to. I personally seemed to knit slower with them though, so I'm not sure how often I'll use them. I also had remembered the advice about them backwards: buy UP a size, not BELOW the size you normally would use. Oh well, they worked anyway (because for socks I'm not a gauge checker. Oh heck, I'm usually NEVER a gauge checker!)

I also tried my Hiya Hiya metal circ on this pair of socks (magic loop).

I felt "drag" on both brands, but I'm already partial to the smoothness of Knitpicks DPN's and Circs so I'm probably more sensitive to it. I also had constant "snagging" on my Size 0 HH Circ while working the socks up. The join doesn't look much different from Knitpicks, but boy, it was very evident while pulling up the yarn (major PITA). I finally just switched back to my KP Circ. It could've been the yarn I guess, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and try them again one day.

I also had to stick the Hiya's in hot water to try to relax the cable (which I never have to do with my KP's). It was still very curly but once your sock is in progress it's under some control. Another thing is the tips, both brands aren't as sharp as KP's but if you like that, these are pretty decently in between too sharp or too blunt.

All in all, I'm okay with both brands, (I still want to try a Kollage circular one day in a larger size) but I'll probably still use my KP's first and foremost.

I also gave my 9" Hiya Hiya for socks a test run too but my hands began to cramp really bad so I'll have to retest them again one day. I'm not sure that method will work for me with my pain issues but it would be awesome since I do most of my socks simple stockinette stitch. To not have to do any shifting with needles at all would probably make the socks fly off the needles.

The Big Guy got another hat:

Pattern: Hat Fit For a Boyfriend (or Hubby in this case).
Yarn: Queensland Kathmandu Aran
Size 7 needle

Oooooooh. SOFT. He loves it. Of course it fits his head snugger, he's got a big noggin.

I also got some more Preemie Hats done:

Yarn: Bernat Baby Jacquards in various colorways.
Pattern: Preemie Hats For Charity
Size 3 needle Magic Loop

I can't say enough about how much I love making these. I think my next bunch will be mostly ribbed since ribbed hats can easily fit more head sizes. I totally need small projects. I believe I'm probably the most impatient person ever and these are done in a such a jiffy. They're pretty portable as well.

Perfect for my sanity.
Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Whiskers On Wednesday

This post is yarn AND cat related so it fits perfectly for W.O.W. I didn't plan this though, it's just my "luck"!

I have some Socks That Rock lightweight yarn in the Ms. La Rock colorway (on vacation now I think) that was just gorgeous in the hank - but for socks it was NOT making my heart pitter patter. Plain stockinette (my usual) was too funky. It reminded me of preppy polo shirts from the 80's, (nothing against them) I just didn't care for the way it was working out.

I went to Ravelry to find a pattern with some hope and saw that people used "unusual" or difficult colorways for the Leyburn pattern. The Socks That Rock group has a KAL of this pattern and tons of their other colorways are turning out gorgeous in it. It just seems to make those yarns POP! Well......not mine! This is one HUGE, SERIOUS "UGH" if there ever was one!!!
So, the next logical step for me is to just "over-dye" the yarn. I had been wanting to try to dye with Easter Egg tablets just for the fun of it anyway. I ripped the fugly sock, rewound the yarn into a hank on my swift, then set it aside to go get some cotton yarn to finish "TYING IT UP" TO AVOID TANGLES. Well, kids happen, tv happens, laundry happens, I was upstairs, got sidetracked, and completely forgot about the yarn downstairs.

My cats left it alone the rest of that day and all night. The next morning when the girls and The Big Guy left the house it was FINE as well. So sometime between around 7:40 am and noon they did this:

Here's my pathetic attempt to find some loops that make any sense.

Moral: Don't be a ninny and leave vulnerable yarn accessible to your cats. Eventually the fumes get to them too. My Bad.

I did manage to get some loops tied together on it, but it's going to be challenging to wind this back up! Also, easter egg dyes are fun, but it's not always easy to guess what you'll get. Miss C (my youngest) and I thought we had blue, but we really had TEAL (which I love, but this is really BRIGHT!). SO, I'll probably be overdying this yarn again....(no pics yet, it was drying, but maybe someday).

Happy Knitting. And don't tease your cats!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Whiskers On Wednesday

Since my knitting is moving at a snails pace (what's new?) I thought I'd fill some blog space with Kitty Love.

I'm a total CAT person. I do like dogs, but kitties have a special place in my heart. If I had to choose, it would always be a cat.

My first kittens were Star & Sylvester. I was probably about 6 or 7 years old and I don't remember who gave them to us but they were gray/white and black/white and cute as little buttons. I used to have a favorite blanket that I wrapped around me like a burrito when I slept and they would crawl all the way down by my feet to sleep with me. It was so funny!

But we weren't home much to take care of them so we ended up taking them to the SPCA. We were okay with it, but my Mom was just heartbroken! We went back to get them and found out they'd been adopted soon after we'd left them there. We didn't get two more until a few years later and those were Sammy & Toro. Black and white again, and cute as BIG, BAD, BOY cats could be! My Sammy was a lover (but totally ruled the neighborhood) and Toro was all Mom's and fiesty as fire. Boy, was that cat possesive of her. They eventually went to kitty heaven and I didn't get another cat until I was in my own apartment.

My Mom's house was being remodeled so her and Precious came to stay with me for a few months. Well, Miss Precious sort of fell in love with my boyfriend at the time (The Big Guy -he lived next door, that's a whole other story...) and we were quite smitten with her as well. Mom took her home when it was time to move back in and ended up bringing her back because she thought Precious missed us. We weren't about to say NO! Somehow you just know when you're chosen by your cat.

My Precious was truly one of a kind. She was like a big hug her whole life. She took care of me all night one time when I was sicker than a dog with food poisoning. She wouldn't rest until I did and literally was up and down with me all night. She was incredibly loving and an easy spirit. She won the Big Guy over in one second flat. I think of all our cats, she'll always be THE one who holds my heart the most. She passed away when the big guy was at work and I was home alone. I was sure I never wanted to go through that I said, cat's have a way of picking you...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St Patty's Day

May the roads rise to meet you,

May the winds be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

The rains fall soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again,

may God hold you in the hollow

of His hand.

Socks For my Mommy (wish I had more pics but it's been raining cats & dogs here and my lighting is ten shades of gloomy.)
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Hand Painted Sock Yarn
Color: 9824
Size 1 needle - Magic Loop

(No, we aren't Irish, but I sure would love to visit Ireland one day.)

Surprise, Surprise! My Sock Knitting Mojo has been revived! (I was beginning to wonder...)

These came out so soft and smooshy, I'm sure she's going to love them. I went a little longer than I usually do on the leg portion because I was just loving the colorway (the reason I bought an extra hank to work up my OWN socks one day!). Mom loves deep jewel tones. These should make her smile.

Last Saturday was another cold, miserable, WET day, but I still got out and went to my knitting meeting. What a great bunch of ladies and I love that they really work on meeting regularly. I'm jazzed about hooking up with them, Lord knows I NEED to get out more for sure. With all my pain issues I've turned into too much of a hermit I think (okay, I KNOW!) So this is a big deal for me. These meetings combine my two passions too: reading (we meet at a library) and knitting. Hot diggity dog. What could be better.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I may wear Mom's socks so I won't get pinched. Remember in school wearing it UNDER something so you could double pinch them back?

My girls better run.

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Word

Your Word is "Love"

You see life as possibility to form deep connections with a few people.

Relationships are the center of your world, and you always take time to bond with those you love.

You are caring and giving. You enjoy helping those you love.

And when it comes to romantic love, you feel passionately ... even in a very long term relationship.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Photo Meme & BIG NEWS

Dawn tagged me for this photo meme...

Here are the instructions

1. Go to your pictures on your computer
2. Open the 6th folder
3. Choose the 6th picture
4. Show the picture on your blog and write something about it.
5. Invite 6 new people to this challenge.
6. Link to them and let them know they are challenged

I thought for sure I'd come up with a picture of YARN, or KNITTING, or at the least my KIDS or HUBBY. But of all things it's my two little monsters kitties who showed up! How funny.

Sasha takes after me, she's gotten sort of "fluffy" as she's grown and is big enough to fit in this window all by herself now. Sophie is slimmer but is the shy one for sure. She'll quietly come and lay by me while I type away or knit once in a blue moon but normally she's being held hostage by my youngest all snuggled up in her blankies. Sasha DEMANDS love and attention when she's in the house! You KNOW when she wants love. I do love my kitties, I just wish they didn't destroy everything in their path. We will need new furniture one day, new curtains, and new carpet. Their little claws are T. R. O. U. B. L. E. It's funny, at my knitting meeting last Saturday a couple of people own farms in the area and said people drop off their unwanted pets and it's just terrible. I was sooooo tempted to ask where exactly they lived......

On the FANTASTIC NEWS FRONT, my oldest daughter won FIRST place in her schools Storytelling Contest last night. Talk about Party Down Time! We're absolutely thrilled! More than thrilled really, because this was a last minute kind of thing and it all seems to have happened so fast. Her Creative Writing teacher told her to enter a story she had written the week before, and then bada-bing, she enters, makes the finals, and then WINS! She's one talented little lady and I'm one extremely PROUD Mama!

Of course I already know she's mega talented and could've saved them a lot of time by telling them to just go ahead and hand it over to her from the beginning. You know how it is.


I FINALLY won a contest! Un-Be-Lievable! I've entered a lot of things, but very RARELY do I get lucky enough to win. My wonderful and talented friend ANNA (Diary of An Eccentric)hosts a book review blog and often has book give-aways. I won this:

I'm so jazzed. I LOVE to read and I adore Jane Austen books. I've read other sequels by different authors and really look forward to receiving and devouring this one. I love Anna's writing style and all her reviews. Check out her blog and you'll be hooked.

Photo Meme: I pass this along to anybody who wants to try it! I think this is definitely one of the funnest ones out there! I was so curious to see what I would end up with! GO FOR IT!

Monday, March 2, 2009

~*~Lil Pink Schocks~*~


These only took me about 4 months to finish!
Just a basic sock: 2x2 Ribbing on the leg portion and then straight along the foot.
Size 1 Magic Loop
Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino Sock Yarn in Raspberry

I have to confess, I had NO desire to finish these while working them up last fall. I seriously hit that knitting slump that a lot of knitters out there seemed to hit around the same time (verified by reading all the blogs I do). I love to knit, but there's a point when I need to do other things and a break is well worth it. It IS good to know I'm not alone though! And it's good to know my knitting sits and waits for me to feel the luv again.

I also finished a couple more Preemie Hats. These are so fun to make, I really enjoy the quickness of these and it's wonderful to know they'll be on some teeny wittle person soon.

Bernat Baby Softee
Size 3 Magic Loop
The Pink and White one I striped and the blue is a varigated yarn.
They just make me happy-happy.

Saturday was cold, rainy, and miserable, but I went to a knitting meeting anyway. I was worried that there would only be a few people (or just me!) but the room was pretty full by the time I got there. A lady I knew from an old knitting group was there so it was great to see a familiar face right when I walked in.

It's just amazing how totally different people, from different backgrounds, can get together in a room with some sticks and string and just fill the time with laughter and enjoyment. I'm really excited about this group since it's close to my house and they meet up twice a month. I also just found another group in town but their meetings are pretty far for me - but it's always nice to have options if I'm ever out that way.

Wonder of Wonders, the knitting break I took didn't include the purchase of yarn of course. No, that would never do. Here's some of my bounty:

I've been drooling for awhile over this tweedy Queensland Kathmandu Aran. I ordered some in Taupe and Burgundy. I want every know how it is. These will hopefully be a hat for The Big Guy and some fingerless mitts for me!

It seems like EVERYBODY wants this stuff but I just loved the colors. For me, it's always about the colors....

Mini Mochi from Crystal Palace Yarns
Color 103.
It's fuzzier than I thought it would be, but it is soft....more fingerless mitts probably....

Knit Picks Essential Bordeaux Kettle Hand Dyed. Uh, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this color. I don't even want to use it, I just love to look at it.

That's all I have pics of right now. I have to slow down some on the purchases for sure. Times are pretty scary right now, but that's why you gotta have a little sunshine.

Happy Knitting.