OK, this is cool...

I was reading sheep in the city's blog and she had a link to a cool site where you can create a favorite CD list. So here are some of mine:

Create your own Music List @ HotFreeLayouts!

That was fun!

It was calling my name, honest!

I had every intention of working on my socks this weekend. In fact, I wanted to work on them so much that I went to the yarn store to get a set of size 2 bamboo DPNs so I could work on the heel of the Cedar Creek sock. Notice the words yarn store in that sentence? That's where I went wrong!!

I decided to go The Knitter's Studio in Menlo Park because I had other things to do in that area. Little did I know that they were having a sale on Koigu! But that wasn't what got me...it was the class sample they were displaying for a felted bag that snagged me! Now I have seen felted bags before, but for some reason this one really grabbed me. Maybe it's the fact that I could use bigger needles than size 1 and 2...maybe it's the way that the bag shrinks and changes textures through the felting process...there was just something intriguing about the whole thing.


I couldn't attend their class because the date and time were wrong for me, but I really wanted to knit one of these bags! The people in the shop were very helpful in finding a pattern sheet, helping me pick a yarn, and figuring out how many skeins I needed. I picked out a gorgeous mostly-teal self-striping wool that was, of course, expensive (don't have the name of it here). To help reduce the cost, I bought a solid teal wool to double-up with the self-striping wool.

And, you know I started it right away when I got home! Here's a picture of my progress.


This picture doesn't show off how teal this is, but you get the idea! I have about 15 more rows to knit on the bag part and one more strap to make. The pattern calls for using a novelty yarn in the last few rows, but I'm not sure whether I want to do that - the self-striping wool has given this a lot of character already. I don't think it needs more...I have another 8 rows or so before I have to make my final decision.

Just so you won't think that I abandoned my socks completely, here are the latest pictures of them.

Jaywalker:
Cedar Creek:
I brought Cedar Creek with me today as my lunchtime project, so I hope to make some progress on the heel.

All-in-all, it was a good knitting weekend, just not on the projects I planned!

Word of the week: Fascinate

A couple of days ago, I admitted that I was fascinated by the process of turning the heel and picking up the gusset when knitting socks. When I said that, I was referring to the following definition:
fascinate: To hold an intense interest or attraction for
Since then, I've had to frog back to the heel turn on my Jaywalker due to an unfortunate "hole" that developed on one side where I picked up the gusset (I think I either dropped a stitch or somehow it was just too loose, or maybe both). AND, I started the heel on my Cedar Creek sock and then had to frog back to the beginning of the heel because something was just not right on one of the edges. (At least it was only 4 rows!)

So now I have to do these sections all over again! Am I still fascinated? Yes, but now it's more of this definition:

fascinate: To render motionless, as with a fixed stare or by arousing terror or awe; "The snake charmer fascinates the cobra"
Guess who's rendered motionless! Yup, fascinated, I tell ya; just fascinated!!!

I'll get back to both socks this weekend...hopefully, I can get past my fascination (of whatever kind!).

Thoughts on sock knitting

Yesterday I realized that I have gotten somewhat addicted to sock yarn. While I was waiting for a huge PDF to build, I perused various web sites' sock yarn inventory to see whether anything caught my eye. Now, it's not like I need any more sock yarn - I have enough to make at least ten pairs of socks! But there is something very appealing with sock yarn!

So what is it about sock knitting (at least for me)?
  • I love the yarns, especially Blue Moon Fiber Art's Socks that Rock and Cherry Tree Hill's Supersock.
  • I love the colors - they are just fun!
  • There's something about watching a sock grow from the cast-on circle to a full-grown sock. (I've only done cuff-down socks. Who knows what I'd think about toe-up socks!)
  • I'm still fascinated by the process of turning the heel and picking up the gussets.
  • I like having a project that is very portable.
A couple of things on the not-so-positive end:
  • I don't like to knit ribbing. I'd rather knit a pattern.
  • I shouldn't have two sock projects going that use different patterns. It's too easy for me to confuse them (at least at this stage of the game!) Knitting one sock in a pattern and one in a simple stockinette pattern is probably OK.
As you can probably guess from item two above, I've had a little problem with the socks I have in progress. LOL!

My Cedar Creek sock is fine, but I keep messing up the Jaywalker pattern. I finally got everything straightened out last night, after frogging the same row 4 times. I have now picked up the gusset stitches and am knitting the foot on the Jaywalker. As for Cedar Creek, I am now ready to start the heel.

No pictures of either one today, but maybe at the end of the week.

I hate being sick...

...I caught a cold and was out of commission for a lot of the weekend. I haven't been sick in a long time, however, between the plane ride back from Baltimore (lots of kids on that flight) and the three sick people at work, I was doomed. At least I wasn't as sick as some were, but it was really annoying not to be able to enjoy my weekend!

While I didn't do much because of the cold, I did finish and e-file our taxes. I also did a little knitting:
  • Added more to the Cedar Creek sock leg and am almost ready to start the heel.
  • Turned the heel on the Jaywalker sock and am ready to start the gusset.
I mostly read, napped, and watched movies. I finished Memoirs of a Geisha (the book - I enjoyed it, but wished it was longer) yesterday and watched my favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie (Stage Fright).

I'm hoping to feel "normal" soon so I can get back to the gym!

Back from Baltimore with a few things to report

...it was a fast, but good trip.

Baltimore was great! We spent Sunday exploring different neighborhoods and generally checking out potential places to live -- we really just wanted to see if it would be a city that she could live in for 3 or 4 years.

On Monday, we spent the day at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. After our touring around on Sunday, my daughter was 99% sure she would accept the Hopkins offer, but by the end of the day's sessions, she signed her acceptance letter. Everyone, from professors to current students, was friendly and made sure that all of her questions were answered. Each presentation (and speaker) was good and contained lots of information. I was very impressed with everyone I met and with the school itself. I'll miss having her on the West coast, but I know she learn lots and have more opportunities by attending Johns Hopkins.

I did manage to get some knitting done, not as much as I wanted, but there's still progress to report. Here's a current picture of the Cedar Creek sock:



The color is pooling a little, but I am getting a striping effect, so I'm OK with it. I love the colors and I've got the pattern memorized. I have another inch or so and then I can work on the heel.

Also, my secret project found its way to its new owner. So now I can reveal it in all of her glory (and at her new home):



"Secret" is an an Ohm (or healing) shawl I made for my friend Jane's birthday. She had mentioned that she wanted a shawl to help keep her warm. Without going into details, she has some neck and hip issues and I felt that she needed something to help her through rough or stressful times, and to just give her a boost whenever she wanted one. The shawl pattern is based on the Shawl Ministry and Lion Brand patterns. While I'm not a religious person, I do believe that there is power in sending healing and positive thoughts, so I knit this shawl with that in mind. I'm very happy with the way it turned out and Jane loves it!

What's that strange yellow thing in the sky??

...Oh, it's the sun! What a nice thing to see this morning. I know it was out part of yesterday, but I was working and didn't get to see much of it.

Between Daylight Savings Time, work, the taxes, and trying to prepare for a trip this weekend, I am dragging. I am so tired, I can't sleep well. I just keep waking up thinking of other things I have to do. Needless to say, I haven't gotten a lot of knitting or anything else crafty accomplished this week.

I'm looking forward to having some time to knit on the airplane and maybe sleep. Tonight, I fly to LA to stay with my daughter for the night. Tomorrow morning, we take a flight to Baltimore - she's going to Visitor's Day at John's Hopkins University and I'm tagging along (actually, she asked me to go with her. ).

I've never been to Baltimore, so it will be fun to see a new place. As I think of it, I haven't been to the Eastern side of the country since like 1986-87, so it should be interesting! We're only there for a short time -
we fly back on Tuesday - but at least we'll get an idea of what the school is like.

So, this is it until Wednesday...hopefully, I'll have some pictures to share of Baltimore!

March Project Recap

Unlike February, I did not finish a lot of projects. In fact, I really only finished one: my "Secret" project.

Worked on:
  • Jaywalker socks
  • Rocking Sock Club socks, AKA Cedar Creek socks (started this month)
  • C is for Kitty Cat (cross stitch)
  • Tried out my Little Si spindle with some "training" roving (I need LOTS more practice!)
What a short list! I spent the majority of my time on Secret, but I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

This was a lost weekend of sorts for my crafts. Saturday was spent preparing my dishes for the company party that night. Here are a couple of pictures of them. Needless to say, it was a fun party!
New Mexican Snake
(think seven-layer dip stretched out...)


Apple II computer
(an Applesauce spice cake
in honor of Apple's 30th birthday)

Sunday, I had an all-to-short visit with a friend from out of town and then I pretty much collapsed for the rest of the day! In the evening, I worked on our taxes (yuck!). I did manage to do a couple of rows of knitting during the day, but was too tired to do much more.

Eye Candy Friday...

...and heading into full-on baking mode! With the time change and shorter days, I have more opportunities to take sunrise photos. Here'...