Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Ta Da! They're done! They look kind of weird in this picture because it is hard to take pictures of your own feet...especially if you have a big mommy tummy in front of your feet! LOL My feet grew in both length and width during my pregnancies, especially with the twins, so it is kind of nice to knit my own socks that fit. As you can see they are anklet socks. I get too warm with other kinds and also with my large legs they always creep down anyway. You can see they are each slightly different and that is because the sock on the left started with blue yarn and the sock on the right with gray. It was really fun to play with the self striping yarn and see how the pattern came out. I did use two circular needles for them. At first I knit myself in circles a couple times! I'm sure I'm not the first knitter to do that trick. By the second sock I was in a rhthym and I didn't do that anymore. I used a 16" and a 24" and I think the 16" was too short, so if I buy needles again I think I would get a 24 and a 36. They don't have to be different but I did find that that helped me keep track of where I actually was and it is also more sensible to have two different needles that might be used for something else instead of having two exactly the same. I think I'll try it one more time to see how I do before making up my mind about using the 2 circ method or going back to dpns. Well, it is supposed to be in the 90s this week and heating up...I don't suppose I will be wearing these socks soon! They'll be nice in the winter though. And it did feel good to get something done. Posted by Hello

Next Project

Now that I am done with the self striping socks, it's time to start a new project! I do have several UFOs to finish however I am also plugging away at Chrsitmas gifts, birthday gifts etc. A few weeks ago I posted the pictures of the Alpaca Cloud lace weight. Today I hope to start with a lace "smoke ring" scarf with that. It was a pattern at Knit Picks that they recommended for the Alpaca Cloud so I am hoping it will work. Once there is something to see I will naturally post a picture of it.

Yesterday my 3 kids (1 preschooler, 2 toddlers) and I went to visit our friend L. She has a half acre "mini farm" in the next town over from us. It is so nice to be outside and on the grass and having a place for the kids to just run around and play. She had baby bunnies and two batches of varying ages of baby ducks. The adult sheep had been shorn and were looking pretty naked and the babies that are now about 6 months old are pretty big. Of course it is always fun to feed the chickens and I really had to watch my girls as they were into everything...you know those bunnies have sharp teeth! LOL We played inside for a little while because ds remembered the toys that L has left over from when she ran a daycare and we ate our lunch on her patio. As my Grandma used to say, "And a good time was had by all." :o) L is such a blessing to us. She comes almost every Monday and she plays with the kids...sometimes giving Mom a break while she takes them for a walk and sometimes we play all together. DS is very enamored with her and asks every day, "Is L coming today?" The girls love her to bits too. My older girl (by two minutes!) goes right up to L for loving and she is my shy girl who never approaches other people except Daddy! Yes, she is a blessing. This doesn't have much to do with knitting, but believe or not I do do things in life that don't include knitting! LOL

Saturday, June 25, 2005

bits and bobs...

Well, that's what my lovely English friends call the little odds and ends...bits and bobs...so this post is about all the little odds and ends that are going on in my knitting life! I did finish my sock and am about a 1/4 of the way through the second sock. I didn't want to wait too long to start and get SSS (Second Sock Syndrome for my non knitting readers...when you never get that second sock finished!). It looks like I may be doing some more sock knitting in the future. I talked to my Aunt in Seattle and she is unable to knit now because of her hands/joints but sure enjoys her wool socks. She already has her pattern and a small stash so she may send some of it down here for me to knit for her. I would really like to do this for her. I enjoy having something small to pick up in between my big projects.

DH is taking his CLAD certification test today and should be about 75% through with it about now. Hopefully he will pass. I think that stands for Cultural Learning and Diversity, but could be wrong on that...it's something similar anyway. He has been studying like crazy since March and needs this to keep his job since his school is being monitored through the No Child Left Behind program. So since he has been studying madly I did not really get a chance to measure him and his favorite boughten sweater to figure out how to go forward on his fair isle (see pictures posted earlier this month). I need to do that and would like to have that project done and not hanging over my head.

For my birthday, which was also Father's Day this year, I got to attend a machine quilting class with author/quilter Kathy Sandbach. If you are interested in it, you can see my pics and descriptions on my quilt blog, www.fmnquilts.blogspot.com

Until next time...happy knitting!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

This is the beginning of my self patterning sock. Some of my non knitting friends were asking about this and how it works. This is my first experience knitting with this type of yarn as when I was knitting before it was not out yet (to my knowledge). It does have a slight jog in the pattern and I think maybe that is because I have a wide foot and am making it a little bigger than average so it ends up in a different space. It actually looks a little more even on the other side. i don't mind though. Now I am wondering what I am going to wear these with since I no longer have Birkenstocks which I used to wear with my hand knit socks back in the 90s. Of course normally here it is way too hot to wear socks in the summer, but today it was a whopping high of 64! Unheard of! Usually it's at least 94! We had rain, which is something else I have not see here this time of year and we are expecting more tomorrow...nice knitting weather! :o) I told hubby that we need to move somewhere colder so I can knit more sweaters!! I was talking to my best friend Shelley on the phone today about how much I was enjoying getting back to knitting and how the rhythm of it was comforting to me. She was telling me that in her psychology class in college they had studied rhythmic movement and given some long name to it, but to sum it up...it's good for a person to release their stress! Well all of us knitters could have told them that without a study, huh?! :o) I have been fighting off a migraine so I didn't get the rest of my knitting and sewing organized the way I wanted to but it's getting there. I had hoped to get finished before this weekend. I can't remember if I wrote this in the last blog post or not but I am going to a machine quilting class with author Kathy Sandbach on Saturday. It is my birthday present (birthday is Sunday...I'm hitting the big 3-9! Woo Hoo! LOL). I picked it out myself! :o) Hubby likes it that I make it easy on him in the present department! He is so loving and giving in so many ways and such a great Dad, I feel guilty doing it on Father's Day weekend...he's the one that deserves the break! This coming week he will have a break between regular school year and summer school and I need to do some measuring on him so I can get going on finishing up his fair isle sweater! I want to have it so he can wear it this winter. Well, the brain is dead, so I'm closing for tonight. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

If You Could Be...

My friend Amy (KnitnMom http://www.osbornz.net/journal/) tagged me a while back and so it is my turn to play the game...

How to Play: You pick 5 of the occupations/activities from this huge list, and finish the sentence. You add 5 of your own ideas to the list... then tag 3 people...
The List: If I could be a scientist...If I could be a farmer...If I could be a musician...If I could be a doctor...If I could be a painter...If I could be a gardener...If I could be a missionary...If I could be a chef...If I could be an architect...If I could be a linguist...If I could be a psychologist...If I could be a librarian...If I could be an athlete...If I could be a lawyer...If I could be an innkeeper...If I could be a professor...If I could be a writer...If I could be a llama-rider...If I could be a bonnie pirate...If I could be a service member...If I could be a business owner...If I could be an actor...If I could be an agent...If I could be video game designer...If I could be a comic book artist...If I could be a hooker...If I could be a crack addict...If I could be a porn star...If I could be a mime...If I could be a domestic engineer...If I could be a chimney sweep...If I could be a masseuse...If I could be a taxi driver...If I could be a priest...If I could be a window cleaner...If I could be a gynecologist...If I could be a world leader...If I could be a healer...If I could be a proctologist...If I could be a carpenter...If I could be a amusement park ride operator...If I could be the manager of an adult bookstore...If I could be Pat Benatar...If I could be a hermit...If I could be a social parasite...If I could be an X-Man...If I could be Paris Hilton...If I could be a movie director...If I could be a super model...If I could be the new pope...If I could be a neurosurgeon ...If I could be a playwright ...If I could be a Belgian ...If I could be a Astronaut/Cosmonaut ...If I could be a Time traveler ...If I could be a Dragon ...If I could be a fighter pilot..., If I could be a sailor..., If I could be a dolphin.....If I could be a bookworm . . . If I could be a mind reader . . . If I could be a genius . . . If I could be a nymphomaniac . . . If I could be a supermom . . .If I could be a gypsy... If I could be a three year old...If I could be a ghost...If I could be an Olympic Gold medalist...If I could be Mrs. Depp....If I could be a truck driver...if I could be a toy store manager....if I could be a glass blower, if I could be a cat whisperer, if I could be a hobo....If I could be a safari guide....If I could be a homesteader .....If I could be a photojournalist......If I could be a sand castle artist.... If I could be a guy who writes funny T shirts. First, what I'm adding:If I could be a fly on the wall... If I could be a forest ranger... If I could be a social worker... If I could be a movie director... If I could be a twin...

1. If I could be a twin...I would understand what my daughters are going through and will go through and probably be a better parent and guide to them.

2. If I could be a time traveller...I would go back in time in my own life and make different decisions.

3. If I could be a writer...I would write from my heart things that would move my readers to become better people living more godly lives. I would weave wisdom and insight into mesmerizing stories that draw the reader in, leaving them wanting to know more...to be continued in the next volume!

4. If I could be a linguist...I would take the Gospel to the world and translate the Bible into any languages that do not yet have God's Word.

5. If I could be a photojournalist...I could travel the world and get paid for doing something I love. I would take pictures that moved the soul and inspired my viewers.

Well, I'm not any of these things, so I guess I will pray that God will continue to heal in my life and prompt me to change those things I need to change in order to serve Him, my family and others better! It's always nice to dream...and sometimes dreams do come true.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Exciting Day!

Well, I suppose my non-knitting friends will think I'm a nutcase (no comments from the peanut gallery!) when you hear about my excitement but I think my knitting friends will understand! I got my order today from www.knitpicks.com This is my first time ordering from them. I cannot say that I need more yarn as I have boxes of it. However, I did not have the right type of yarn for some gifts I am making for the fall and Christmas. Knitpicks has incredible prices and I ordered hoping that the quality would be good too. The Alpaca Cloud which is baby Alpaca is dreamy soft. Both DH and DS wanted to hold it to their face and feel it was so yummy! The prices are like clearance prices elsewhere $30 bought yarn for 2 pairs of socks and 4 lace scarves! One pair of socks is for me. But where else could you get five nice gifts for $30?! So, this was my one little stash addition. I can't wait to get the hanks into balls so I can start!

I have also been organizing and sorting through my stuff. I have a small area about 4x8 which needs to house my fabric (thank goodness for Banker's Boxes), my sewing table, my sewing supplies and two book cases which hold knitting books, quilting books, sewing books, gardening books and cooking books...and that overflowing I might add! It has really felt good to go through and weed out some things that I know I will never use. And so many things are available on the Internet for free now it's not even funny! I did buy some sheet protectors because I have a lot of loose patterns and printouts from online and some dividers and three new note books. You can see below what I did to my notebooks to personalize them. I really like how they turned out!

Sorting through all my old issues of magazines and looking at all the books has made my mind go in a bazillion different directions with the creative juices flowing. There just aren't enough hours in the day! I have to get my brain back to thinking about quilting though because my birthday present this year is a machine quilting class at my lqs with quilter and author Kathy Sandbach. I am really looking forward to this. I haven't worked on my quilting in months! It's a different type of creating than knitting and satisfies me in different ways.

Well, better get some sleep. I will try to keep more up to date on here!

This is my organizing accomplishment for the day. These are Wilson Jones binders that I got at Walmart, 3" D rings and "non-lift" view covers. They are a little bit matte looking vs the older shiny kind. They are $8+ but were worth it, they hold a lot and open with one finger with a lever at the bottom. The rings stay together. This was a problem on my older binders. I didn't buy them because they were view binders. I bought them because they were a good value for the type of binder they are. Man have they gone up in price over the years! Anyway, I have been working on sorting through my patterns and organizing them and putting them under dividers and while I was doing that I got the idea of using my scrapbooking paper to decorate them. I cut a 12x12 piece to fit the front cover so that when it is flat it looks really beautiful. There is about a 3" strip on the spine, so if you were going to buy you would need 2 12x12 sheets of paper for each (or if you used all the same paper one sheet would do 4 spine pieces). When I was making them I thought about my Grandma Holly who would have been 99 three days ago had she lived. She would have heartily approved and called me a "Smart Cookie"! Anyway, In word I made a 3 column page and used Lucida Calligraphy in bold and I typed the topics that I put on the dividers which are inside. I placed that on the outside so that I would know which binder to get when I was looking. I wanted to share this idea in case it helped anyone. Posted by Hello

This is Alpaca Cloud in left to right: Stream, Autumn, Tidepool and Moss. It is a lace weight baby Alpaca yarn and is soooooo SOFT! It's almost as soft as cashmere. Each hank is $3.99 and 440 yards which is enough to do most scarves. The Autumn and the Moss are already planned as gifts for special friends who I won't name in case they might read on here. The Autumn will be in a lace smoke ring and the Moss is going to be for a Margaret Ann Hallas Oak Leaf scarf pattern. When I start them I will definitely photograph and place on my blog. I have done lace before, mainly scarves, but never with lace weight yarn. All the knitters are calling this The Summer of Lace...so I guess I am joining in! Posted by Hello

This is some Simple Stripes yarn in the colorway Storm. It is grey, cream and blue. For my non-knitting friends, this will knit up in a pattern looking just like I had planned it and knit in three different colors. I have not tried this yet. Self-striping yarn is new since I was knitting last. I am anxious to try this though not looking forward to tiny needles! Posted by Hello

This is dh's Fair Isle sweater knit in the round in worsted weight yarns. There is a combo of yarns...Philospher's Wool Company, Lamb's Pride, Harrisville Designs, Plymouth Galway and Cascade 220. This Philosopher's Wool pattern was originally in Knitters about 1990 and called Vienna Woods. I made one for myself in 1994 out of purples, teals and dark navy. The peaks bordering the wide grey band on teh bottom are a bright turquoise and that color is repeated a couple times but it doesn't look turquoise in the photo. Anyway, this is now called the Color Your Own Fair Isle and is seen in their book. I have this knit just about to the armpits and I have not decided yet whether or not I am going to do shaping for the arm holes like the pattern calls for or whether or not I will steek and knit the sleeve circularly down like I did in mine. These are the kinds of things that are difficult to do with toddler and preschooler help! :o) I started this sweater for dh when I was pg with ds who is now 3 8/12! It's not my oldest UFO though. Posted by Hello

This shows ds's gansey back and part of the sleeve so that you can see the type of edging that it will have on the neck, cuffs and waist. It is knit in Cascade 220 wool from a pattern I have had for a long time. In case you are wondering why it looks funny, it needs to be blocked, stitched together and the neck edge needs to be picked up and knit. Every time I knit on something else ds gets very frustrated that I am not knitting on his sweater! It is no use to explain to him that when it is 100 degrees he will not want to wear the sweater so there is no rush to finish! LOL Posted by Hello

This is a close up of the pattern on the back of ds's gansey. It has the same pattern on the front, however, the neckline cuts into it. Posted by Hello

This is the left front to the girls' hooded Aran sweaters that I am making for them to wear as coats this coming winter. I have made one left front and one back. Since there are two (they are twins) I better get working more on this. The yarn is a little lighter than what this shows, kind of a denim look to it. It's Brown Sheep Naturespun in Winter Blue. Posted by Hello