Short Track Medal

Short Track Medal

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Butterfly Bows Socks and Reflections

I finished one of the Butterfly Bows socks yesterday. I usually knit two together, magic loop, but this ball was wound up already and I was too lazy to separate. Also, it was a solid color, it's CTH so there's tons of yardage and they're kid socks. No chance that I'll run out of yarn.

Awful lighting makes for awful picture. They're deliberately big, you can see that from the picture at least. There's plenty of length and width and ankle room in these for her to grow. She can wear them this year but they'll fit better next. You can sort of make out the butterflies. This is a cute pattern and I've seen it in variegated yarn, too. It works. Only things that I knit in variegated yarn look ugly. It's in the book Socks, Socks, Socks but I've seen a free version on the web here. The free version doesn't have a chart and isn't as detailed but this isn't a difficult pattern. It's quite cute and DD loves it. She was running around with one sock on yesterday.

I promise, better pictures when I'm done. I think I'm coming out of my knitting rut and I am going to whip out the Shawl Collar Sweater and finish that up, too!

Ok, so time to reflect on my resolutions for 2009.

1. Eat better, exercise more, lose weight. This is usually number one but I have been a good girl lately. Let's say, exercise at least three times a week with some form of aerobic plus yoga or strength. I must keep this up.

2. Take out my sewing machine more often and attempt to make some clothes for the kids. Even if its summer clothes. It would help the budget and I would learn a new craft.

3. Although I'm generally organized, I'd like to improve on that. Organize my craft stuff, my paperwork, keep the house neater.

4. Part with some JUNK that has found its way into my house and doesn't want to leave. Clear it out, I won't miss it.

5. Keep learning to spin, it's fun!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Slipped Stitch Ribbed Socks

I'd like to start off this post by wishing everyone the very best of the season and hopes that we have a great 2009. Pray for peace and for a more stabilized economy this coming year.

Next up, actual knitting! We're all spun out, time for a post of some nice new socks that I made for my little girl. I finally finished the slipped stitch ribbed sock. Ravel it for the details. I was very happy with the way they came out; they're just a wee bit small. The little girl has grown about six inches in 10 months and I did have to buy her new shoes, new sneakers and new clothes. These are snug around her ankle now so next pair will need to be bigger. I bet I can't get two pairs out of one ball of yarn much longer. She needs to go to a 50-56 st sock in order to get them on her little feet.The colors are awesome! I made them out of a STR mill end that I got at the Fold booth at Rhinebeck. These are all her favorite colors, Dora and Neopolitan ice cream all mixed up with a little blue. No attempt was made to match the striping, obviously. I deliberately used this pattern to break it up. Straight stockinette would've worked, too.

The toes are different but they're really cute!

As for this pattern, eh, so-so. It wasn't that fun to knit (as you can tell, these took me two months!) and I'm not so thrilled with the fabric. It's somewhat dense because of all the slipped stitches (maybe why they came out so tight?). I really liked the pair that I made my son, the Seeded Ribbing, much better. I made them slightly larger, anticipating growth as I made them this past summer. You can see them on the Ravelry page for this pattern. (Notice I told you that the other day as well as today, you can see that I'm still happy about that. I don't know if they chose my picture because they came out nice or the photography was nice but I think it may be a little bit of both! I sure hope so! DH, who is discovering that hand knitted socks are a wonderful thing, truly liked this pair and wants some for himself. I have some woodsy brown Lang Jawoll that I can make him a pair out of but I have my eye on the Merino Lace from Favorite Socks. The picture in the book doesn't do it justice. I was checking out a few on Ravelry and they're beautiful!

Alas, while I'm in get things finished mode, I'd like to finish up the Shawl Collar Sweater which has suffered a major setback. I was sailing along until the stupid instructions had me knit "20 rows less than on back" for the front and it just didn't work for me. I finished the front, seamed the shoulders and guess what? The front was about 1.5" longer than the back. So, finally, I got up the mo-jo to take out the seam and rip out out down to a point where I can fix that, along with the decreases for the collar. What a pain in the @(!&%@. Of course, it's now sitting on the needles and every night he says, "So, how's my sweater? I could've used it today, it is wintertime".

I'm adding some craft books to my library, I'll show you to them next time. I got a gift card for Christmas so I used it. I also think I'm going to order a camera bag with my other AmEx gift card, or maybe save it and use it towards a lens....we'll see. Gotta wait until things turn around a bit.

Have you seen mortgage rates? Hmmnn...maybe refi the house at 4.3%, pull out enough money for an alpaca farm....get the bag and the lens...some fiber...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More Spinning or "What am I gonna do with this yarn?"

Ok, time to oogle!

So, I've been practicing spinning out of some gifted mystery fiber. It's probably BFL although we can't be sure because it wasn't labelled. It foofs up when it's underspun and BFL does that so I'm guessing that that is what it is.

I'm having less trouble with the wheel since the last guild meeting. When I was plying up the undyed Corriedale, I needed Lance Armstrong thigh strength when the bobbin was getting full. I have learned more about proper tension and I'm getting much better at spinning evenly. I was able to make these two skeins of lemon lime somewhat heavy worsted weight (I didn't check the WPI yet) yarn.

The bottom one isn't as nice as the first one but it's still very good. They're both spun much more evenly than anything else I've done prior to this and the twist will set much better when they've had their bath. I also made some autumn/pumpkin colored yarn in a light bulky weight that I didn't show you yet but I had some left over.

I also had a bit lemon lime left over on one bobbin so I decided to ply them together. This isn't at all beautiful; however, it was a lesson for me. I could easily see how the yarn was twisting together and work on my plying skills. This was only a few yards, a sample for me. Then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It's a strange color combo.

Maybe one more skein out of mystery fiber and I'll be ready to tackle some of the nicer stuff I these:
That's BFL for the Evergreen Grove (I bought two of the Evergreen Grove) and Mixed berry Rambouillet. The lovely one on the bottom was irresistible to me. It's merino and it is lovely! I am saving that one. This give me a chance to try different fibers. By the time I spin and use what I have, I'll be ready to tackle that one and it'll be fall. Gorgeous. I actually love all of them. Not shown is 8oz of solid Louet Corriedale. I will show you that next time along with my current knitting projects which aren't going anywhere because all I do is spin and do exercise on the wii fit nowadays. Also, not shown is two skeins of autumn colored mystery fiber that is the color of the one in the mixed skein above. It's very pretty!
Now, in other news, remember that pair of Seeded Ribbing socks I made for my little boy? Well, I got an e-mail on Ravelry that they'd like to use my picture for the pattern page! I didn't get 'top booking' but if you ravel Charlene's Seeded Ribbing socks, you'll see my socks! On my little boy's feet! I made them! (Both, the feet and the socks.) I was ... honored! So, if you're looking for me and want my autograph or something, I'll be the one in the Jackie-O sunglasses and poofy scarf at Rhinebeck 2009. I'll also be carrying around 30lbs of fiber like some people I saw this year. It'll be really fun to go to Rhinebeck as a spinner. Only 10 more months!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things...

I really enjoy blogging. I really enjoy Facebook. I really enjoy Yahoo groups. Is this why I have no time?

My computer is taking over my life and sometimes its overwhelming. Check mail, pay bills, play on Ravelry, update projects, see what my 51 intimate friends are all doing on Facebook, read more e-mail, play in Yahoo Groups, oh yeah....and blog.

I have to give it a rest every once in awhile.

However, it is time for an update. I finished my Variation on a Theme Koolhaas hat for hubby.

It took me awhile to knit this. The pattern doesn't go all that fast, it's cables, my left twist is wrong but the pattern that I made is perfectly acceptable so I left it as is. I made this out of Cascade 220 wool in typical man color, gray. The fit is perfect. I started on 11/5 and I finished 12/14. What's wrong with me? Sheesh, way too long for a little tiny hat.

I've been playing with my spinning wheel and I'm producing usable yarn now. More photos coming but here's a sneak peak:

This is some two ply plain undyed Corriedale.

There are some uneven spots, which is to be expected, but I've really gotten ALOT better since I first tried this. I have some more to show you as well as some lovely fiber that I bought (guess which color?) I am currently spinning up some lemon lime worsted weight. Not a particular favorite color of mine but DD loves it. It appears to be quite good and even so I'm thinking about making her a scarf out of it. A scarf is boring to knit but I'll have enough of this stuff for a scarf and hat and I can use the scarf for the gauge and actually use this stuff up. It's coming out...even.
Last night was spinning and I had so much fun although I ate too many sweets at the little party.
Time to do some work but stay tuned for an update on my projects!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Jumping on the Bandwagon...

I haven't been posting all that much. I've been playing on Facebook, playing with my spinning wheel, sleeping for a change, playing Wii Fit in the mornings, playing on the treadmill, attending cub scout meetings, attending parent teacher conferences, and wrapping it up for the end of the year at work. I haven't even been knitting all that much but will be picking it up full force now that the holidays are rapidly approaching and rapidly going away. Time just flies.

Alright, I will follow the flock and post this as well before it gets old and stale like the socks I'm working on for 11 months....

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I use wrapping paper almost exclusively.

2. Real tree or Artificial?
Artificial. I love everything about real except the mess. We had real for a few years here and there growing up and they were memorable. I feel bad that a tree should be sacrificed though....

3. When do you put up the tree?
Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take the tree down?
Usually the weekend after New Year's. It's big and in the way and I really want it down sometimes.

5. Do you like eggnog? I love egg nog! Whipped in the blender with a little bit of vanilla ice cream. Then, float some more vanilla ice cream on top. Then, a bit of rum and topped off with nutmeg. YUM!!! Now, that's Christmas!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? One year I got a real wooden cradle. I wish I still had that! I also remember really wanting and getting the game Quick Shot.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My father in law. Oddly, because he could use alot of things. Next year, I'll knit him some socks.

8. Easiest person to buy for? My mother in law. She likes all the things that I like and I guess that's why Mr. Right married me!

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. I haven't put it out because its about 40 years old and belonged to my parents, who are deceased. I am afraid the kids will play with it.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail...exclusively.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Once my mother gave me a really nice black shirt with gold trim. I hated it because it was polyester and drove my skin crazy.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Movie...I like the original Christmas Carol alot. The 1938 one. I like that story alot, too. I also like The Santa Clause. I always make it a point to watch the ones from my childhood but I wouldn't define them as "Movies". My favorites are Rudolph and The Grinch.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I try to start in September and in 2009 I will start in August. I'm glad that I waited a bit this year because things really dropped in price as gas went down. Also, many of the stores had big incentives.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
No, never.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Favorite? Favorite what? Food? Cookie? Lasagna for Christmas is nostalgic for me. I like that alot. I also like Chocolate cookies with a little confectioner's sugar on them. Particularly the little cookie cutter trees. And, those chocolate stars, with the little dots on them. They come in a big box.

16. Lights on the tree? Hell no, we use candles. Of course I put lights on the tree! There are people that don't do that??? I don't like when they flash and I've been skipping the garland, makes me think of Saturday Night Fever, chrome things from the 70's and beauty salons.

17. Favorite Christmas song? I have two. First is Nat King Cole, "The Christmas Song" and second is the best singer ever to walk, Judy Garland, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". Ones that make me think of being a child at Christmas time are anything by Nat, Frank, Dean and Bing and Alvin and the Chipmunks.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Home. I really like to be in my house, with my tree, and I really prefer to host Christmas.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Comon, can't everyone do that? I can even name the Seven Dwarves and know Rudolph's Girlfriend's name! These are important pop culture and holiday facts!

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
My mother used to give us Christmas PJs every year and we were allowed to open that on Christmas Eve so we'd look gorgeous for the pictures. I don't do that with my kids. We open Christmas morning here. They look like ragamuffins in the pictures.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
I detest buying Christmas presents, honestly. I don't mind making them throughout the year though. Honest, I like Christmas alot but I hate the shopping. I really don't even want gifts. I hate the hassle and just like the time of year and the way evergreen smells and spending time with family and friends. I hate being solicited via e-mail, 4700 catalogs a day, people trying to spray me with perfume in the store, crowds, lousy parking. Yeech!

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I like my Lenox ornaments. I have ones for first Christmas with my husband, one for each child and one of the Grinch. I love them very much and they're creamy ivory with Christmas trim gold and red and green.

23. What do you want for Christmas this year?
I already got it - a Lendrum Spinning Wheel. Just need the bag....

24. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Angel, DD puts that up on top every year because she's the peanut; the youngest gets to do that.
25. Favorite Christmas dinner?
Again with the favorites.....I like having Italian food for Christmas, especially lasagna. I like stuffed mushrooms. For Christmas Eve, I like doing the fish thing. For several years, I have been spending Christmas with my husband's family and they're not Italian and don't do that. Now that we have limited family nearby, I may get my way and do the fish thing. Maybe we'll make something really good...shrimp stuffed with crabmeat, anyone?

Tomorrow, I may have a knitting and spinning update for you so stay tuned! For now, enjoy some holiday eye candy.

First Snowfall ~12/07/2008~

Friday, December 5, 2008

Just Keep Spinning, Spinning, Spinning!

Spindles. Aren't they pretty? That's our first attempt at spinning. Even Boobette is getting into the act. She's a fiberholic in training.

When we go to the yarn shop, she smells the yarn. It's hilarious. She is fascinated by the wheel and wants to learn to spin so badly.

We're working on that, she treadles way too fast....
If you have't guessed, I haven't been knitting. :(
I have been spinning! :)
I received my Lendrum DT the other day and was able to set it up myself in just a few seconds. I have been practicing on some undyed Corriedale.

That thick one near the loopy thing (technical terms, I know) is the last one and it'll tighten right up when I continue. I'm trying to get it onto the bobbin nice and evenly but it's tough. I'm just a little too short for this and it's hard to see around and over the top!
I may be more comfy with a little higher chair, must experiment to see what works. I love how it matches the decor of my house.

It spins like a dream, so nice and smooth and quiet! Ah...bliss...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's December! Meaningless Post.

And, I have no finished objects. I have been knitting three things for eons and they're not DONE...

I have been lost in spin land. I even purchased a wheel for a Christmas present for me. I spin and spin and try to get better and better. There are pictures coming but they need to be uploaded.

I've been Christmas shopping...rough year, what to buy the kiddies? Nothing with little parts all over the house. I have so much stuff!

Swamped here...coming up for air from spin land, drowing in fiber and UFOs...

Talk soon....just wanted you to know that better posts are planned and to wish you a happy December!