Short Track Medal

Short Track Medal

Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day and the Forethought Heel

Yippee! It's Leap Day! It always looks so funny to look at "2/29".
First off, I did it! I did it! The forethought heel. It's not too bad at all, a snap. The pros are numerous: doesn't mess up the stripes, by the time it's done you've done the equivalent of a heel flap, gusset, gusset decreases and you're on the foot. It's neat, like you're knitting out into space and then .. it's just...there! A heel! The cons are numerous, too. It's not really pretty and it can be hard to match the colors from one sock to the next. It's hard to set up; not difficult to do, but I felt like I was all thumbs for the first row. There's no heel stitch, it's really just stockinette stitch. You have to use kitchener stitch and you can't try it on easily to see how it's going until it's done.

Here's the set-up shot. Pretty cool, isn't it? Scroll down for completion of the heel.

This is my first forethought heel. I will publish more details when I do the other sock. It did mess up the stripes a bit, details on that when I'm not so tired.

Yes, I know, it can be scary to try a new thing. Think of this as an old thing though. Basically, you're just knitting a toe. You've all done that before, I bet!

On the last picture, you can see it. That's the leg and the heel from another angle. It's a toe.

More importantly, my little girl has kicked the habit of thumb sucking. It was a long, hard thing for her to do. She kept track of her success by accumulating an entire sheet of stickers. She chose the reward herself, an American Girl Doll that looks like her. I promised her a trip to the store but we haven't gotten a chance to go. When we do go, we'll get the necessary pajamas. For now, just the doll.
P.S. This isn't extravagant. It's cheaper than braces and her pearly whites look better already!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mudslide Baby Cable Ribbed Socks and a Game for You!

Gee, isn't this what this yarn was supposed to do in the first place? Gee, wasn't the RPM pattern written for this yarn? Gee, did it matter that I used lightweight instead of medium weight or whatever it called for?

How do you like my Mudslides? The stripes are so definitive, this is just crying for a forethought heel, isn't it? I guess I'm going to have to learn how to do that. Soon, too. It's nearly time for the heel already.
Pattern: Baby Cable Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn: Socks that Rock, Lightweight, Mudslide
Magic Loop, two at once.
Needle: Knitpicks 2.25mm, Size 1.
Cast on: 56 sts.
Start date: 2/24/08
Note: This is more a small/medium sized sock. The recipient is smaller framed and much thinner than I.
Oh, and BTW, you know how I live in a gameshow, right? I bought a new thing. Not really something that one would win on a gameshow.
GAME SHOW TIME, can you guess what I bought?
I'll give you some hints:
1. It has nothing to do with knitting or crafts that I would do; however, it was made by someone who has to be very much of a master craftsman. (or craftswoman...or craftsperson?)
2. It is energy efficient.
3. It is something that was invented many, many years ago. In fact, something that nearly everyone has had and it's been in existence for probably more than 1000 years.
4. They are available in various materials, plant, synthetic, mineral but the item seldom would be made of more than one of these as its main component.
5. It is silent. If it makes a sound, it would be annoying and you would probably fix it as quickly as you could.
I know you're out there and you lurk and you never leave a comment...comon, take a guess. Answer to be announced in a few short weeks when I will publish pictures of it.
Hmmnn..put on your thinking caps!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

RPM has been Frogged.

I love STR. I love nearly solid and variegated. I love the colors in many, many of their colorways. I just am not into this variegated mess that I'm creating.

As my knitting skills increase, I am looking for patterns that are more intricate. I think that they seem to work better with solid yarns. Monkey might look better with Mudslide. I am thoroughly liking Claudia's Chocolate Monkeys. I am not fond of my Mudslide RPMs. So much so that I had to frog the entire sock!!

Check this out, Side A of RPM, "The Dark Side".

and the flip side:
A sad day, indeed. I am going to use a basic 4 stitch pattern courtesy of Charlene Schurch with this yarn. Maybe baby cable rib will work better. :(

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mudslingers, Mudslides, STR, and RPM

My hairdresser, Barbara, is an interesting person. She is a classy kinda gal, lives in a nice house not too far from the water on the South Shore of Long Island. She loves to have a good time and she loves to go dancing. I was thinking of making her a scarf but she had mentioned how she was out one night and called "Mudslides" "Mudslingers". We had a nice chuckle over that. She has seen some of my sock creations and would love a pair of her own. She wanted plain black, which I talked her out of. Mudslingers would be more her speed!

I love the STR yarn but I'm becoming more and more partial to the nearly solid of Rose Quartz as opposed to the stripey-ness of some of the others. I really, really love Ruby Slippers and I'm holding onto it for just the right pattern. Mudslide has been in my stash for awhile. It reminds me of drinking Bailey's Irish Cream with a Vanilla Ice cream Floating in it. Ah....the days when I was thinner and younger. The richness, the smoothness of the speckled Breyer's vanilla floating in a pillow of Bailey's Irish Cream, giving it that appropriate tang. That's what Elizzabetty and I used to do for fun back in the day. To think, all of those memories, wrapped up in a yarn. What more could one want for a snowy February night's worth of knitting?

The stripes weren't working for me. What pattern, what to do? Then, during an e-mail conversation with my partner in crime yarn consultant, Elizzabetty, she suggested, "Why not knit RPM?" EUREKA!!
After finishing up Eleanors for Eleanor, (quick, soundtrack of Eleanor Rigby should be playing in your head..."Eleanor Rigby, picks up the rice in a church where a wedding has been") I decided to whip out Mudslide and take it for a spin. I got out my scale and weighed out two balls of equal weight, 60 grams each. I clipped, I rewound the ball in the opposite direction so they'd be coming out of the skein the same way and casted on two at once, magic loop. Now, some of you may not think of this, yarn has a twist to it. It goes in one direction. Think of the little spinsters at the spinning wheel, they're pushing all of the fiber in one direction. If you look at it under a microscope, I betcha you can see the difference. If you knit two socks, with opposite directions, you just might be able to detect a difference. It would be, well, the nap of the fabric that you create. (Analytical scientist in me comes out once in awhile.) So, best to rewind the second ball in the opposite direction so that the yarn is going in the same direction for both socks. Also, if your yarn is striped, you'll be knitting the stripes in reverse order if you don't do this.

Anyway, I proceeded to cast on for RPM with the intention of knitting two at once using the magic loop method. To do this, you cast on 1/2 the stitches for the first sock and then all of the stitches for the second sock. Then, you fumble with the needle a bit and cast on the remaining stitches for the second sock and voila, ready to go. I have really given up on 'joining' and just work the tail into the beginning when the sock is done. It's just too difficult for me to get it nice and neat. I knitted the funky ribbing pattern, two at once, quite successfully. When I got into the pattern; however, I had to separate the socks. This isn't a pattern worked over a multiple of stitches with a nice repeat. It just doesn't work out that way. It would be difficult to work two at once, setting myself up for disaster. So, I'm going to do one to the heel and then the other to the heel and; heavens to Betsy, consider doing a forethought heel. I wouldn't want to distort the pattern of the striping pooling that I have going on. Note in the photo below, I've already separated the socks and worked a few rounds of the pattern.

Pattern: RPM available on
Yarn: Socks that Rock, Lightweight, Mudslide
Needle: Knitpicks size 1 2.25
Casted on: 63 sts and the size is perfect!
Tablecloth: Linens & Things

It's Friday, it's snowing and I have a nice picture to show you for Eye Candy Friday:
Gotta work on my photography! Maybe we'll do a walk in the woods later this afternoon and I'll have a prettier one for you.
Ok, ok, here's another shot, at least give me credit for taking away the "Christmas Pumpkins" from my stoop!
Stay tuned for more RPM!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Eleanors for Eleanor

I just finished a pair of socks for my oldest and dearest friend, Eleanor. Ok, ok, she's not my oldest friend in years but she's been my friend forever. I can't remember not knowing her. This is the person who proudly sports a scar on her chin from when we were both small enough to fit inside a hoola-hoop, riding it like a horse, playing spaceship atop my toybox. I jumped and her chin hit the wood floor and she gushed. I guess I owe her for that. So, she gets SOCKS!

Pattern: Eleanor - By Monkey Toes published in Socktopia. This is a free pattern. Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill - Blueberry Hill Needle: Knitpicks size 1 - 2.25mm Started: 02/08/08, Finished: 02/21/08

I just finished them tonight. They may be a smidgen tight but we'll see. I haven't blocked yet. I'll do that over the weekend. They dry so nice and quickly on the blockers. Then, they'll be all set for their photoshoot over the weekend.

In other news, back to dieting. My daughter, who is 4, told me that she doesn't know anyone fatte than me. The little NS bear sits very lonely atop my dresser. I was trying to eat real food but it just doesn't work. I bought some of those 100 calorie packets. Fudge Striped Keeblers, made by little elves in a hollow tree. Only 100 calories. I think you get 6 cookies. Take a look at how BIG they are! Who would that satisfy? How did they get the stripes that small???

Well, that's it for tonight. Have to hang on Ravelry, post my new FO and then cast on for the next project: STR Mudslide RPMs.....

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monkey Toes - DOH!

I am such a dope! I decided to knit a left and a right Eleanor. Now, I told you that this pattern was cake. It is; however, I have successfully messed it up. "Reverse Shaping" always blew my mind. I mean, why not just write it out? Sorta like, Charlie Daniels and the Devil Went Down to Georgia. (not cake to play) He doesn't write out the fiddle solo. Why would he? "Fiddle ad lib" is good enough for him!

Note to self: The opposite of ssk is not ssk.

I finished the entire leg of sock #2 without noting the above. All the pretty ridges were on the inside of the sock. 'nuff said. We won't even discuss its trip to the frog pond. 60 rounds, 60 sts per round. 3600 sts.....

This is so sad that I didn't even take a picture of it.

It's a sad day in Punkin's World. The voices inside my head state, "Cheer up. At least you know how to do the ribbing".

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sadness & Happiness

I have completed one "Eleanor" sock and I have sock #2 about 30% done. I plan on working on it exclusively as a tribute to Gina Silva, a/k/a Gigi. Gigi was the founder of 'Socktopia' and designer (Monkey Toes patterns) and has just recently passed away. Eleanor is one of her designs and it is lovely. I plan to make another one of her's shortly. She will be sorely missed in the knitting world. Ravelry members can read up on Gigi in this week's newsletter if you haven't already.

In happier news, I promised to show our 100 day project. For those of you not in-the-know, the 100th day is a school party celebrating the 100th day of class. You know that I am the proud mom of a kindergartener and he had to make a project for this special day. They have been counting to 100 and the party was two days ago. Their project had to include 100 of 'something' so we did erasers hat I found in the dollar store to make an ocean and sky scene. Strangely, someone else made the beach and the water, gluing on 100 little fish. I thought that I had a 'unique' idea....hmmn.. Well, better erasers than sticky fish.

In sadder news, my fish have been dying. Stupid me turned off the filter to feed them some frozen brine shrimp food a few days ago....I think it was only a few...and ... I forgot to turn the filter back on. (think: Finding Nemo, "We're swimming in our own....") Yep, it must've gotten yucky in there, killing some of my prize gouramis. Sigh. I will be more careful. At least I think that's what happened.
In happier news, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn. The colors look beautiful and I really want that green handpaint for something leafy. Or green monkeys. Or Jaywalkers. Or anything! Can't wait. My favorite kind of yarn, doesn't look like it will stripe. Yum!
Nothing new on the Weasley Sweater. It's down to the end and I'm draggin' it out because of sock knitting. Going to make something out of STR Mudslide next; it's in the planning stages so stay tuned for that.
More to come!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Monkeys, a new FO!

They're finally done! I did the gusset and the foot and the toe in record time on the second sock and I like them alot. Well, I like the pattern. I'm not so fond of Lorna's Laces, actually. I think that it needs a smaller needle.

Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A - Available on - but you know that already. It's so popular, everyone is knitting it!
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock - Peach
Magic Loop Method, one sock at a time
Needle: Knitpicks Size 1 - 2.5
Start Date: 12/7/2007
Finished: 02/08/2008

Like them? I do, too. They're not my favorite though. The Stansfield #12 red ones are my favorite at the present time.

I also started an "Eleanor" sock. It's not as popular as Monkey. It's pretty and it's very simple to knit. I am going to change the pattern to have a left and a right so the lines don't go in the same direction.

Pattern: Eleanor - By Monkey Toes published in Socktopia. This is a free pattern.
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill - Blueberry Hill
Needle: Knitpicks size 1 - 2.25mm
Started: 02/08/08

The kicker, they're a gift for my lifelong friend who happens to share her name with that of the pattern. Notice how nice the k1,p1 ribbing looks in my beloved Cherry Tree Hill as compared to the Lorna's Laces. Also note that I did go down a needle size. (a teeny bit smaller). I was considering using the size 0 here thinking this wasn't going to be too stretchy but this should be ok. The pattern is cake, can knit while sleeping. zzz zzz zzz

Well, that's it for this quicky post. I have to clean the dungeon up a bit! Stay tuned for a Weasley Weekend Update!

Friday, February 1, 2008

More Family...More Weasley...More Monkey

As I was saying Friday, before we were so rudely interrupted with work making that a rather short post, I have had a bad week. My poor son had his asthma flare up quite severely. This required us to nebulize and use steroidal meds which often adversely affect his behavior. Additionally, he was exhausted from being awake and being unable to breathe.

Monday morning, I decided that I wasn't up to snuff so I called in sick and stayed home with him. No telecommuting. Just he and I.

"Mom, are we...absent today?"

"Yes, baby. We're both too sick to go out. Mommy wasn't feeling that well and besides, I have to take care of you".

"Ok, just making sure that I'm absent so that I know where I am. A kid in my class was absent for five whole days, did you know that? and like...he was in Florida seeing Mickey Mouse. Do you think we could do that?"

Amazing what some parents are thinking, isn't it? Why is that acceptable? What kind of message does that send to them? "Schools not important and mommy and daddy want to save some money so we'll take a vacation when everyone else is in school". I guess they don't know about the truant officer.

The next day, Tuesday, we were all back at school and work. I was well rested and ready to tackle the rockpile. Pick-ax in hand, I set out for the day. I dropped off DS and then went to DD's classroom. We did a special project for career day and I got to be the guest speaker, telling them all about how to make license plates. Ok, ok, all the things they need to know about how things go from being a movie to going up to the satellites and down to your tv set. It was technology and broadcasting for four year olds. It was great. I have decided that there is a reason why I am not a teacher. 90 percent of them listened but a few strayed in the back, off the carpet and were talking. "Excuse me, boys and girls, if you're talking you're not listening. If you're not listening, you won't get a surprise present at the end". One little boy raised his hand and said that he knew how to talk and listen at the same time..... Very smart, these pre-schoolers.

After that, I went back to the house. The little doggie had escaped from the crate. She knows how to unhinge the sides now. I don't trust her. She may be better behaved but I still think that she doesn't care about the wood floor as much as I do and may do peeps on it. Nothing worse than puppy peeps on the wood floor. Turns it black. I went into the house, rehinged and tightened up the crate. I put her in there. I decided that it was such a nice day, no need for the big heavy coat. I emptied the coat pockets and put everything on the table. I put on a sweatshirt jacket thing. I saw a nice apple there and put the apple in my pocket. Dog in crate, check. Older dog relaxing, check. They have water, check. Coffee cup in hand, check. Keys in pocket, check. Go outside, slam the front door and just as it was closing...CRAP! THAT'S AN APPLE, YOU IDIOT, NOT THE KEYS! Keys were where the apple should be and the apple was where the keys should be. Both happy while I cursed.

Neighbor not home, spare key locked in her house. Blackberry in car. Car not locked. Cruise web for number of locksmith. Call. He comes. It's raining. I eat the apple. It's stuck in braces. He can't unlock the door but has his handy-dandy drill. He drills out the tumbler. I go in the house, dog loose yet again. Keys are fine. I pick them up and head off to work. I get there by 10 am. Not TOO bad, considering.

Let me show you my Weasley. It's all together now. I used three-needle bind off for the shoulders. I am almost regretting not knitting the sleeves in the round so I may do that when I make one for DD. It's lovely and I love Cascade 220 ... ok, even more than the Superwash.

How's that D, hah?

I have picked up Monkey as well and I may try and finish this tonight while 'watching' the Superbowl. We'll see. Ready for the heel flap!

Time to go and get ready for the adventuresome day!

Next post, our "100th Day" project!

Eye Candy Friday

I haven't posted and have not had a very good week. I am very proud of DS and have decided to use his picture for a quick Eye Candy Friday. This is a boy who entered Kindergarten in September thinking that a scribble was 'art' and 'good enough'. Now he's doing book reports. He read the book, The Storm, with me the other day when we were both home sick. He drew this picture as his homework.

and here's the picture of the book.

Stay tuned for my next post in which I tell you all about how to open a door...with an apple. Plus, an update on Monkey and Weasley.