Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

First things first. A Halloween shot for everyone. The clematis was a lot perkier yesterday. This morning it was 16 degrees F, and who doesn't feel less than perky when it's that cold?

Now I have an interesting tale for you that could probably only happen on this day of days. This morning I went out to feed the birds and let them out of the coop. The new ducks don't go in, so they were right there in the pen waiting for me. As I am filling the feed bucket, I hear some odd noises and some quacking. I look up to see a duck flying down the draw. I thought there must have been a wild duck up here with mine. Ha! It was one MY ducks flying away. She is getting her wings clipped if she comes back. The little wench has already run off once. Domestic mallards aren't supposed to be able to fly. Halloween, I tell ya.

Now, on to other things. I got a package in the mail yesterday. A surprise package. It had lots of fun knitting goodies in it, too. There was tea, an adorable sheep tape measure, handknit gloves, and yarn! Someone knit something for me! I haven't had anything knit for me since I was a teenager. You know, knit by other people. And the yarn is Mountain Colors Bearfoot in the Ruby River colorway. I was actually thinking about buying that very yarn for myself. How cool is that?

And now some nice, gratuitous glove shots:

That last shot was to show off the lovely, 'fetching' pattern. Many thank you's to my secret pal.

Monday, October 30, 2006

SP9 Short Story

I love my new Cascade spindle.

There we go. That's my short story for Secret Pal 9 and it is true story, too. Now I'm going to run away and knit some socks for Socktoberfest.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

My Spinning Roving Swap Package

My package of good fun arrived today. So many things! Lots of different kinds of fiber, beads for embellishing, a quilting book and of course, the spindle. I've been tring it out, but haven't become adept yet. The drafting seems difficult. I must practice some more. On to just what kinds of fiber... The first picture shows everything and how nicely the packages were wrapped. In the next picture is black alpaca, little felted balls for embellising and beads for embellishing. In the bottom picture there are some fall colored snippets of merino, a lovely maroon merino, some
Blue-faced Leicester at the top, and a silk/camel blend at the bottom. It is so wonderfully soft. And it is something I might not have thought of trying out if left to my own devices. I was so excited that I haven't even had lunch yet and I am starving. Perhaps I should let the poor thing alone and go eat?

My spoiler's name is Tal and she did a wonderful job of it! Thank you, thank you!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Quilting and Other Things

I have spent the afternoon planning a couple quilts. One is a gift for my husband. Christmas or his birthday, whichever it is done in time for. The other one is for our bed. It's going to be my favorite color combination: red and white. The one for the husband will probably stay in the living room where he likes to get snuggled in on the couch with small knitters.

And we have more duck pictures! I was so happy that Duckly figured out that she was a duck, I had to post the proof. Benita, I have really bad news for you. My ducks had already contacted yours telling them to demand their very own pool. The Runner Duck is standing on a block in their pool, she is not walking on water.

I've looked through my books now and I really like the Built By Wendy book. Naturally, for pure readability the Elizabeth Zimmerman book is the best. And knitter #2 has already stolen it once. I caught her making off with it in one of her purses last night. She might have gotten away with it if she hadn't been smacking her purse like she was spanking it.

And speaking of children. Today is a sad day. This morning knitter #3 nursed for the last time. I spent 2 days telling myself it was really ok and that I would live without it. And heck, who wants to have their tender parts bitten?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Meet the Mallards

I got more goodies yesterday. First I have a picture of the live goodies. Meet the Mallards. They are domestic mallards that my aunt gave me. I did not hide behind a bush in a park somewhere and duck-nap them. My aunt and I duck-napped them from their pen in her backyard. Now they have to spend a couple days confined in the pen with their new pond so that they don't get ideas about leaving town. This is like, say, being confined at your new home with a swimming pool for several days. Cruel. Our other duck isn't speaking to them yet. She may not recall that she is a duck and not a chicken. She has been without other ducks for a long time.

My other goodies are the books I ordered a while back. I don't know which ones to read first. The Elizabeth Zimmerman one is trying to suck me in. I have been looking through all of them. I think I love them. The quilting book is every bit as great as Rebecca told me. It looks like it tells you every little thing you have to do in the process of making a log cabin quilt. There are something like 7 pages of layouts for different numbers of blocks. They go from baby quilts and wall hangings to huge king size bed quilts. I am going to have lots of fun with that book. I haven't really looked at Spin It yet. Last night I was too tired to stay up late looking at my new books. I love new books. When I was a kid, new books could be the highlight of summer break. They were definitely the highlight of Christmas.

I am digging myself deeper in the knitting hole. Now besides the projects I have going, I have christmas projects. And less than 2 months! They aren't all knitting, and fortunately most of them shouldn't take long to finish. I've learned that smaller is better when it comes to christmas projects. Unless you start in May. Or maybe January. Last weekend I got the Holiday Gift issue of IK. It has these adorable knitted bears with sweaters. I looked at the preview at Interweave and when I saw those bears, I knew I had to get it. I have many of the patterns in it, but there were quite a few that date back before I subscribed.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Fall View

This is a picture I took last week near where I live. That is about as close to fall colors as we get here. No lively shades of orange. Some reds, and a lot of yellow. That's what you get for living in the inland PNW.

I popped by Elann this morning and noticed there is more yarn there that I need. What's a girl to do in times like these? I didn't order it, but I think I will. All these sweater desires running around willy nilly. Most of my sweaters are outerwear sweaters. Naturally, I probably need at least a dozen for indoor wear. I just don't know how I am going to find time to make all of the sweaters I have decided I need. Real quandry, huh? I may have to quit looking through my books, magazines and at websites. At one time I had sworn off knitting more sweaters and thought I didn't need anymore sweaters. What the heck was wrong with me? I think it must have been the large projects. They are sounding fun again, though.

My Spinning Roving Swap person got her box and has actually already spun what I sent her! I was amazed that she spun it up that fast. I hope I take to spinning with a spindle as well as she has.

Friday, October 20, 2006

New Yarn!

These goodies arrived yesterday. I really wasn't expecting them yet. It is Elann Sonata, a mercerized cotton that I am going to use for a sweater. I am using a pattern I found at Elann as a guide. I will start it sometime after Socktoberfest concludes. I intend to finish the 2 pair I have going now before it is over. And we all know where the best intentions lead us. I guess we will see if I make it or not.

I spent my afternoon cutting out 9" x 9" squares and putting iron-on transfers for embroidery on them. I have my work cut out if I am going to get all 20 done and made into a quilt by christmas. I originally sketched this project out when I was pregnant last year. I thought that maybe since I couldn't knit, I would be able to do embroidery. Ha. Knitting made me sick to my stomach. All other crafts lost their luster after 2 or 3 days. I don't think I was able to knit the baby's sweater, booties and hat for coming home from the hospital until the 8th month. I had heard of things like that happening and I was scared to death that I would never be able to knit again. Anyway, I am going to attempt to dig and get this project done in time for knitter #2 to get it for a christmas present.

A few days ago I was out shopping and couldn't help myself. I got one of those pre-quilted panels with a Mother Goose theme and intend to put a binding on it for knitter #3 to have as a christmas present. Every year, I come down to the wire with christmas presents I am making. Every year I swear I will start early so as to avoid the last minute crunch to get something done. Last year on Christmas Eve day, I was knitting my husband's christmas gloves in the car as we drove to a family party. But I got 'em done and under the tree in time. Even with the ends weaved in. My brother couldn't believe I got away with it. Most men I know would never pay much attention to what their wife is knitting in the car. It will be interesting to see what I am still putting together on the eve of Christmas this year...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Socks, socks, and more socks

Today's post pertains to socks. First, we will have a full pair of Daddy Socks. Well, they are known as the Father and Son socks from the current Fall IK. At our house, they are Daddy Socks. There has been no modeling yet, so they are modeling themselves.

And then there are the new socks. The French Child's Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. They are being knit up in Knitpick's Sock Memories in colorway Flower Power and their Palette yarn in red. I think it is too much patterning for the variegated yarn. I am not going to rip the sock out, but in the future I think I will do patterned socks in a solid color.

And that leads me the Lichen Ribbed sock from the above mentioned book. I am making it in Knitpick's Sock Garden in the Daffodil colorway. I had to start it because I was getting tired of just knitting on the Flower Power sock. Odd that a ribbed sock would be interesting and a sock with a lace pattern would be boring. I really need to get some different yarn. Everyone is going to think I work for knitpicks since that is all I ever knit with.

Oh yeah, there was also some stash enhancement yesterday. I visited Elann and well, pictures when it arrives.

Friday, October 13, 2006

What Have We Here?

Why, I do believe that there is some Blue-faced Leicester in my living room floor! I love when goodies arrive. These arrived yesterday in the midst of party preparations. I would love to just roll in the stuff, but that wouldn't be good for it. Now I can send a box away to my swap partner. The rovings pictured there are not for my swap partner. They are mine and I am not sharing, heh heh. On the left is Autumn Sunset and to the right is Summer Flowers. They are hand paint Rhapsodies from Paradise Fibers.

I would like to thank Rebecca and Lone Knitter for their hot tips. Rebecca suggested a book on Log Cabin quilts for me. I can't wait to take a look at it, but it won't arrivel for a week or two. Lone Knitter sent me some links to find Trekking XXL sock yarn. Between those two, I was able to waste an entire morning shopping around online. It was great. My house is currently so clean from the birthday preparations, I could go days without doing a thing. Except that my husband will come home and start messing the place up....

And speaking of the husband, he is going to be modeling some new socks tonight. You know what that means...... I started new socks, nya nya. Enough bratty gloating, you say?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Those Socktoberfest Questions

I decided to do the Socktoberfest questions, starting with stash questions for this week:
  • Do you have certain patterns planned for some of the yarns? Do you buy yarn and then choose a pattern? I have done both. On my first socks, I picked a pattern and then used the specified yarn. I got great results that way, but now I tend to pick a yarn then find a pattern to suit it.

  • Does a certain sock yarn you have in your stash take you back to a certain event? (where you were when you bought/received it? what was going on in your life at the time!) I don't think I have knitting socks long enough to have that experience.
And then there were last week's questions on how you got started knitting socks:
  • When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class? I started making socks after I bought Folk Socks by Nancy Bush. I bought the goodies and started my first pair of socks.

  • What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time? My first pair were the Welsh Country Stockings from the above mentioned book. So far they have held up nicely.

  • What would you have done differently? I would have knit them faster.

  • What yarns have you particularly enjoyed? So far I have used Brownsheep Naturspun and Knitpick's Palette and liked them. I am going to try some other sock yarns to see how I like them.

  • Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method? I use 4 dpns and prefer the 4 to 5. I tried using 5 on a sweater project and they irritated me. I would rather stop and study the pattern and put the stitchess on 3 needles.

  • Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?) So far, I love the slip stitch flap heel. I will be trying other styles, though.

  • How many pairs have you made? I am on my third pair. I have knit socks insanely slow since I started doing socks in 2003 or 2004. (see, I don't even know when I started making socks!)
Tomorrow, I plan to have time for knitting. Besides the cake baking and decorating, and helping my littlest knitter play with her new toys, that is. And if I devote friday to knitting, I should be able to start a new pair of socks on Friday. And we all love the new project, don't we?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

My Sock List

Not much knitting going on here with preparations for the very big 1st birthday going on this week. The big day is Thursday. I may knit all day Friday to make up for all the fun I haven't been having this week.

In the spirit of Socktoberfest, I have my list of socks I would like to make here. They aren't in any particular order with the magazine or book title after the sock name.

Anu's stockings, Folk Knitting in Estonia
Rita's stockings, Folk Knitting in Estonia
Eastern European Footlets, IK winter 2003
Cable Rib Socks, IK spring 2005
Padded Footlets, IK summer 2005
Embossed Leaves Socks, IK winter 2005
New England, Knitting On The Road
Traveller's Stockings, Knitting On The Road
Child's French Sock, Knitting Vintage Socks
Child's First Sock, Knitting Vintage Socks
Fancy Silk Sock, Knitting Vintage Socks.

Whenever I find a new sock I want to make I just add it to the list. It is posted on the side of our refrigerator. I have my work cut out for me, if I am going to make every pair of socks on that list. I would like to try some different yarns, too. This is one of those things where I swear to myself I will buy something nice for myself and then I usually don't. But I am going to try. I would like to try Koigu or Mountain Colors Bearfoot. It's always a problem picking a colorway. There are so many beautiful ones. And Koigu is in solid colors, too. Good for husband socks, you know. My husband doesn't like anything bright or flashy. I was surprised when he went for the patterning in the socks I am making him now.

On a non-sock note, I finished the arms for Marihone, so now I have to start putting it together. A steeking report for a future post.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

One Ball of Palette

For those who might be interested, this is how much sock you get for one ball of Knitpick's Palette.

The ADD Knitter asked what pattern they are. They are the Father and Son socks from the Fall IK on page 96. I have changed the heel on my version to a slipstitch heel because I think it is better in boots than a plain heel. My next pair of socks will be the French Child's Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. If I keep up my Socktoberfest momentum, I will be done with the current socks in a day or two.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Socktoberfest Begins

Socktoberfest started off great here on Sunday. Since then it has pretty much languished because I have been gone a lot the past 2 days. I haven't even knit yet today. How weird is that? My first picture today is where I picked up on the second sock for Brent Sunday morning. The second picture is where I ended up by the end of the day. And I have stuck with my no knitting other things after 10 am. I am wondering how many socks I can pump out this month. And now that I have cursed myself...

My little knitters and I had the best day out today. We went shopping with my cousin, visited Grandpa working at his new digs*, and found the coveted knitting needles for a little knitter to learn on. She points and says "Are those my knitting needles?" "Yes, they are!" says mommy. A Mom can hardly refuse knitting needles to a little girl. They are aluminum, purple, and size 15. When we got home she used them as drumsticks.

Doing that Secret Pal questionnaire yesterday practically wore me out. All that thinking about what I like and what I don't, etc. I can't wait to find out about the person I get so I can go shopping for them. I like looking at things for other people. When I look at yarn for me, I think 'this is too expensive' or ' that can wait'. And then I never do use that luscious yarn I long after.

*My Dad and uncle recently sold the family farm and are moving to town. Dad is making improvements to his "new" place. And I plan on making some improvements to his yard with sneaky bulb planting, hee hee.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Secret Pal 9 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I prefer wool. I do not like acrylic.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

The sets that came in a case (the zippered sort) are stored in their cases. Most of the others are stored in a flower vase.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I taught myself to knit about 15 years ago. I consider myself between intermediate and advanced. There are so many techniques out there, I may never consider myself advanced.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yes, but I don't really have knitting related items on them. I may change that.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)

I like spicey scents like vanilla, hazelnut, etc. Things that make your house smell like you are cooking something delicious.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I love dark chocolate, but probably my favorite candy is the Cadbury Dairy Milk.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

Besides knitting, I sew, crochet, and embroider. I will be taking up spinning when I get a spindle in a current swap I am in. Mainly, though, I knit.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I like U2, Irish and Scottish folk music, and Bob Marley. My pc plays mp3's and my stereo sometimes does. If it is in the mood.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

My favorite color is red. I don't think there are any colors I can't stand.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I am married with 2 little girls, 2 dogs, 2 cats (1 indoor, 1 outdoor), and a love bird.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?


12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Right now, probably socks. But I like doing sweaters, too.

13. What are you knitting right now?

Sweaters, socks, and a window covering.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I prefer circular needles. I haven't used bamboo needles and despise plastic needles. Mostly I have used aluminum needles.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Sadly, no and no. But I would like to.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

A couple months. I don't really have UFO's laying around. I either finish the project or rip it and use the yarn for something else. I do not want to be one of those little old ladies with a house full of unfinished projects and supplies that were never used.

18. What is your favorite holiday?


19. Is there anything that you collect?


20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Let's see.... Books: Anything by EZ
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden or Blossom
Patterns: Rowan's Crinkle from Rowan 39
I subscribe to IK (Interweave Knits)

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Of course, I just don't know what they are yet!

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Yes, I am. My foot is 9.5 inches (24cm) long and 9 inches (23cm) around the instep.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

July 1

Phew! I think I have typers cramp now. Better go knit my way through it....