Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Socks done !

Those of you who read my blog a lot know that I was worried about having enough yarn to finish the pair of striped cotton socks for DH. Well, it turned out ot be a good thing that I didn't finish off my first sock. Eventhough I made the cuffs and over an inch shorter than DH really likes, I still had to rip out some of the first sock in order to get the socks the same length. I try telling myself that eyeballing half a skein to within three rows on a sock is a really good call. ( I don't have a yarn meter or a kitchen scale, so none of the "normal" methods of diving up a skein would work. ) But, it was still a very sad moment when I had to rip out three rows on the first sock which was already to short. Then, add that yarn to the second sock in order to get them the same length. DH doens't really like his socks this height, but when the yarn runs out, it runs out. I am not super happy with this picture. The sock colors don't look right. The socks in the picture are much brighter than they are in real life. But, the picture that showed them close to trun color, was very blurry.


Off to start my next pair of cotton socks. Thankfully, I have 4 and most of a 5th ball of the creammy colored cotton. So, I should be able to make him 4 normal sized pairs of socks. Which would bring him up to 6 pairs of hand made cotton socks. At that point, I run out of cotton sock yarn. I have some cotton/wool blend. So I guess I will start in on that, when I get done with the next four pairs of socks.

For the next four pairs, the color is very boring, just a nice cream color. (It's pretty, just boaring. ) Which is perfect for DH to wear to work. But, compiared to some of the color combos out there, it is dull. So, to keep myself intrested in these socks, I have decied to be creative with them. DH and I talked. The first of the four pairs are going to be cabled. I'm just doing a simple C4F on them. Or maybe C4B. (I haven't decided yet. ) The real trick was figuring out what to use as a cable needle. All of the cable needles I have are the same thickness as a size 1 needle (2.5mm). Of course, with all the purling in the background to make the cables stand out( and I purl loose) I am using size 0 needles. (Gee, big suprise. The only socks I've made that weren't on size zeros are the ones up above. ) So, I have pulled out my trusty size 0 12in circ, and started the toe. I have not yet decided if it will be easier to use one of my metal DPNs (I would be heart broken if I lost one of my britch DPNs espcially since I only have 5 in that size, but I have 9 metal ones) or the crochet hook I use to catch stitches on to use in place of the cable needle. The metal DPN is one of the non-sock sized ones ( 9in long) so I can see that getting annoying really quick. But, the idea of useing a crochet hook just bothers me. I wish they made cable needles that would work for size 0 needles. Oh well. I guess I should be happy that the size 0s worked for me. If I had to go smaller, I only have the five long DPNs in the smaller size. Then I would have been forced to use a crochet hook as a cable needle. I am really hopeing these socks turn out.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

New hooks !!

Today,I got a package from Skacel. It had my replacement crochet hook. In fact, it had two crochet hooks. This is what I found inside :
Two 4.5mm hooks. Not just one, but two ! I am very excited!! Now, I can get back to work on my project.....

Project Up Date

Well, I heard from the hook company monday morning. They wanted to confirm my address before sending me a new hook. Cross your fingers that it gets here soon....

Both of my big, main projects are gifts so I can't really talk about them here. It's very fustrating. I am so exicted about them. But, I will take pictures before I give them away. After the gifts are given, I will post photos....

Given that I can talk about any of my primary projects, I thought I should post some photos of some other things I'm working on.

As anyone who reads this blog would know, I love knitting socks. I'm doing my first pair of socks on birtch sock sized DPNs. (Thank you Dad for buying them for me. ) I am loving them. I hated useing the longer (8in long) DPNs. They just kept getting in the way. But, these shorter
ones (5in long) ones are great ! They are just long enough, but not to long. I'm using some nice cotton yarn that mom gave me. (Gotta love parents !) Last time I used this yarn, I was not able to make the socks the length I wanted (5 1/2 inch from cuff to where hte heal starts). One ball got me about 1/2 short of what I wanted. I've only got one ball of the color I am useing. I really don't want to run short on the second sock. So, when I got to estimted end point on the first sock, I put it on some waste yarn. Then I measured off enough yarn to bind it off... I am starting the second sock... As the second sock progresses, I will know if I can add more length, if I have to frog some of the sock, or if I should just slip the first one back onto the needles and bind off..

Next, I thought I would show off my crocheted Lace WIP. I've been working on it for about a year. And, I'm sure I've got a lot longer to keep working. The pattern repeat is very dull so I can only work on it for short periods of time. I found the pattern in a great, but out of print,
book that the libary (where I used to live) had. I checked the libary catalog on line, and they no longer even carry this book. I am very sad. It has some of the prettiest crocheted lace shawl patterns. And, now that info is lost to me forever. I am very sad. I have looked into some of the new lace crochet books avaible. I am underwellemed. Most seem to be just thread crochet books. Not lace crochet in the sence that the book I miss was a lace crochet book. I loved this shade of blue when I started. SO soft and pretty. Of course, sence then, I have realized that I really don't have anything to wear it with. This shade of blue just isn't something I normally wear. But, I figure I have a long time before I finish so I can come up with something before then. Though, the next lace shawl I make will be in a color that would fit in better, a white, cream, dark brown, or dark hunter green. Oh well. Live an learn.

Finnally, my newest WIP. I had been planing on started a Scandinavian inspired sweater. DH bought some some wonderful cones of blue and light grey that will make a wonderful sweater. I have been looking into differnt patterns to pick out what I want. I think I have finally picked out the patterns I will use. Then I realized that I will need to go out and buy some needles. Not many. I need a size 2 36 or 40 in circular for the body and a size 2 16 inch circ for the arms. (Though, of course I don't need the arm's needles to start. ) However, I have a lot of yarn from Sheep and Wool that doesn't require me to go out and buy needles. Plus, this gives me a while to make sure that the patterns I have
picked out really are what I want to do. This project when I do it, will be a major investment of time. I want to make sure that I will be really happy with the final project. I'm gona give the patterns a while to float around in my brain before I start it. How awful would it be to make the sweater, and only then realized that it would have looked a lot better if I had used differnt patterns ?

Given all that I deiced to go ahead and make a nice fall weight shawl from the brown cotton/wool mix I got at Sheep and Wool. The
pattern is nothing to complicated. I wanted to be able to bring it to my knitting group. For the past 2 months, all I have bought have been socks. I am sure they are sick of me working on socks. So, here is the start of the shawl. It doesn't look like it in the picture, but it is a openwork pattern. Not super open. Don't want the wind wipping right though it. But, I have a nice soild winter weight shawl. So, something a little lighter is what I was going for. I'm likeling it so far....




Well, if you made it this far, you have just finsihed reading the longest blog post in history.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Broken Hook !

So I was working last night on a very speical project. ( I can't say what it is since it's a gift.) When this happend :



OH NO! My hook snaped in two !
The hook comes with a lifetime warrenty on it so I know the company should send me another. But, will I get it in time to finsih this project in time ? I don't know. I don't even know if my gague will be right if I switch hooks to a differnt brand (which means going out and buying another hook).

Of course this happoned on the project that has the shorest "must be done date". I have two gift projects going right now, and the other one is due months after this one. Stuff always has to go wronge with the project that will cuase the most problems.

I'm just very annoyed and I have to vent. I will figure out something. I know I will. But, that doens't mean I'm happy about this. That was one of my favoirt hooks.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My first pair of cotton socks are done !

Before I left to visit my family, I started a pair of cotton socks for Matt. It was my first attempt at doing a pair of toe up socks, and my first pair of cotton socks. It was my first thing every done in cotton. I am very happy to annouce that I finished them on Friday. In fact, Matt wore them to work yesterday. If Blogger is nice to me, I will be able to show you a picture of them (it's been getting meaner all day as I try and post pictures...)
Ya, the picture posted ! Here is a picture of the socks after a hard day at the office. I am very happy about them.



Tea Swap Package arrived

As those of you who read my blog know, I am takeing part in a Secret Pal Knitting Tea Swap. Well yesterday my package arrived. I just wrote up a post for the Tea Swap Blog, but I thought such a wonderful gift should be mentioned more than once. I had a wonderful tea swap secret pal. Here is a picture of what my pal sent me.





Here is a shot of the wonderful Earl Grey tea. I can't wait to try some. I am trying not to repet everything from the Tea Swap blog post in case someone is reading both. But it's hard since I am so happy about my package.







And, here is a shot of the wonderful wool that got sent to me. The colors are fairly good. However, the real wool colors are more vibrant than the photo is showing (at least on my screen... you know how that can make a differance. ) . It's a very pretty yarn. My card tells me that it's spun from Ashland Bay Trading roving. I think I will now how to look up Ashland Bay Trading on line. I had not heard of them before, but now I am intrested in them.


I want to thank my secert pal, whomever they are. You were a wonderful secret pal. Thank you so much.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Footprints sale

I love my Brikenstock shoes. Best shoes ever. And, the best place to get them around here is Footprints. Today was the annual wearhouse sale.... So, we decided to go and take a look. I was really hopeing to get Matt a pair of sandles.

This is what the wearhouse looked like when we got there around 9am. It was picked pretty clean. (It opened at 7am.) I searched in my size, but I could not find any Briks that fit that I liked the color of. They had mostly only narrow width shoes at that time. Why do they make a narrow width, but not a wide width ? Most shoes right now are very narrow and someone with wide feet has a real hard time fiting there foot into most "fashable" shoes right now...

Matt went looking over at the Keens. There were a few of their shoes he was intrested in. They were out of the sandles he liked. (And, there were no Birks in his size that were colors
he liked). But, he did end up finding a really great pair of shoes.

After we got his shoes home, Tigger had to inspect them. Tigger approves of the new shoes.










I had wanted to see if I could get a good deal on Briks, but since I have a new pair, I was really intrested in finding a pair of cloggs. Last winter, I wore my brown clogs almost every day. (Every once in a while, I would wear something that didn't go with brown shoes.) So, I
really wanted a nice pair of brown cloggs. (My trusty pair cost $10, and they weren't on any sale.... ) I ended up bringing these wonderful shoes home with me today. (Collieen approves of them.) They are so wonderful to walk on. I have a feeling that these will help my back out a lot.








Friday, May 12, 2006

Tea .... And Sheep and Wool

As I mentioned before, I am takeing part in the Knitters Tea Swap. I am very excited about it since it is my first swap ever. As part of this swap, a lot of poeple have been posting pictures of thier tea stash. I was not able to do that until today since I was out of town. However, when I got out the camera today to take pictures, I realized it wouldn't do any good since none on my tea is in the packageing it came in. A few are in canisters, and the rest are in tupperwear type containers to keep it fresh. So, takeing pictures of tea bags really wasn't gonna do much good. But, just in case my secret buddy was looking for some info, I figured I could list out what I have. Every morning I have a cup (or two) of a breakfast blend tea (Scottish Bfast, Irish Bfast or Engligh Bfast.. in order that I like them). Durring the day, I ususally have a few cups of daytime tea.... Assam is my favorite.... Though, I drink a lot of other ones ... Mostly Brittish brands that I can find at the local brittish tea store in town. I used to have some great white tea that I loved, but I ran out a little while ago. (And, I havn't had a chance to reorder yet.... ) In the evenings, I drink decaf black tea or an herbal tea.... I knowthat sounds like a lot of tea, but on a noraml day I only drink tea or water. As you can tell, I am almost excultively a black tea person. I have tried green tea, once. It was a really low end cheep one, and it was sooo horrible. One day, I will try a better green tea, but in the mean time, I'm just a little scared ot if... I liked the white tea I tried. Very good.



Now, on to other things... I have been promising pictures of my yarn from Sheep and Wool.... So here is once ball each (wound useing mom's ball winder and swift, thanks mom).
Left to right, natural alpaca (light sport weight), 50/50 Wool/Alpaca blend (worsted weight), and some Merino/Ramboult (spelling?) in a lace/ sock weight....... I am only showing one ball of each, but I have enough of the Alpaca and the Alpaca wool blend to make a shawl out of each. (I would have loved to make a sweater out of the natural Alpaca.. It is heavenly.... But, I had run out of cash by the time I found the vender.. .Guess who I am hitting up first next year...) The Mernio blend is more than enough for a pair of socks...... All are very soft and are going to be a treat to work with......

I know it doens't look like a huge amount, but keep in mind that I also posted about the cones on sock yarn I got. ( I love makeing socks). Plus, I got a few odds and ends at the show. .... Also, the day before the show I bought enough Cascade 220 from Knittin' Chicks to make the Tri-Aran-Angle Shawl from Knitty. I ran accross the pattern on line, and I knew that I needed to make it. I found some really great purple yarn to do it in. My mom talked me into trying something very new/differnt for me. I am doing the main center part of the shawl in a purple that has hints of blue, and the edge cables in a blue that has hints of purple. I am not sure how it will turn out or if I will like it..... I won't know that until I get to work on it..... However, I have other projects to do first.....

Speaking of my trip back east, while I was there, my dad bought me some birtch small sock knitting double points. I just started a pair of socks on them tonight, and I love them. The birtch feels heavnely... And, because they are the shorter DPNs, I am not flighting them like I always do with the long metal ones.... I might have finally found a way to use DPNs and enjoy it....

Monday, May 08, 2006

Aplacas


And more Aplacas
Originally uploaded by Dejhia.
At the sheep and wool festival, I took a few photos of Aplacas. I love the yarn that comes from Alpaca fur. It is so wonderful..... So, I had to put up at least one of my Alpaca photos... I still have not taken photos of the rest of the yarn.... I am having to much fun with the family (and the camera wasn't up adn running until today. )

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sheep and Wool


Yarn
Originally uploaded by postneo.
Well, I went back east to visit with my family and friends, and to go to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival with my mom. Since my digital camera is currently out of action (not a long term issue.. Juse a day or so), I can't show you pictures from Sheep and Wool. And, I can't show you pics of al of my yarn. But, I can show you part of the yarn. Mom and I bought three cones of yarn for socks. We are now winding them into balls to so that we can split up the yarn, so here is the photo of the cones/balls split in progress.


I have been having a lot of fun visting with some of my old friends.... IT's great to see old friends. Nothing better. Between the in-laws and my friends, I have eaten out for dinner for hte past three nights. I am so excited about my dad makeing BBQ Chicken tonight.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Swift in action


Swift in action
Originally uploaded by postneo.
I got to use my mom's swift and ball winder today. Ya ! It makes things so much easier..