Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Love those three-day weekends!

I got a chance to relax and work on several of my projects. Unfortunately, there are some that I worked on for several hours that you can't really tell that I did something.

For example, you won't see any pictures of the turtle quilt that I worked on, because you can only see the machine quilting really well in person. I figure that I'm about 50% done with the machine quilting. Once I finish it, I will post a picture.

Other things without pictures are the baby afghan (added another skein) and the yarn "cake" I made from Fairgrounds, this month's Rockin' Sock Club yarn.

I made another catnip mousie because the girls were fighting over the turquoise one. So here's the tan mousie I made this weekend:

I love this pattern. It's from Odd Ball Knitting by Barbara Albright.

I also continued working on my Cedar Creeks socks. I have finished the decreases and am working down the foot now:

The socks are looking pretty similar - fraternal, not identical twins. Since I am just letting the yarn fall where it may, I'm quite happy with how they are turning out. Now let's see if I can resist casting on the Fairgrounds before these are done! LOL!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Random ramblings...

It's one of those days when my thoughts are all over the place...

This was stash week.
  • On Monday I received the second installment of the Rockin' Sock Club from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Now lots of people have posted pictures of their packages, but I think the Fairgrounds yarn deserves at least one more picture. Isn't it gorgeous!

  • I also received some cross stitch stash. Now, I know I'm not stitching much right now, but I think I mentioned in an earlier blog entry that I'm a sucker for a mermaid pattern. Well, Just Nan came out with a Mermaid pattern and you know I had to order it! I also ordered the frame for it and a limited edition pattern called "Flower Girls". Here's a picture, but you can see them better on the Just Nan site.

  • Today, I received my order from the Knitting Zone. I ordered some Opal yarn in the Rose Hips colorway (I'm not going to chance typing in its real name) and a skein of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Black Watch colorway.

On the Cedar Creek front, I'm very close to starting the heel, see:

I do love this pattern, now that I have the hang of it! I'm trying to decide whether I'll use the pattern that came with Fairgrounds or use a different one. That's one thing that's keeping me from starting another pair of socks (boy, is that hard to do!!)

And finally, today would have been my father's 90th birthday. I called and talked to my Mom because she frequently gets very sad on this day. He was the love of her life and died far too early at 45. I have wonderful memories of my father, some of which I wrote about on my web site (go here to read it). I wish he could have lived to see my daughter; he would have been so taken with her and very proud of her accomplishments!

However, I will try not to be too sad. Because I was 11 when he died, I do have very clear memories of him and that's worth more than I can say. So today, I celebrate the life he had and the time I had with him.

Monday, May 22, 2006

She's come undone...

...let's give one last, admiring look at Jaywalker.

Doesn't she have wonderful stripification on the leg? A little color blazing on the foot, but it gives her so much character! And I just love the Socks That Rock Lagoon colorway. Her only failing was being too tight to get on my foot.

After much thought, angst, and many trying-ons (Maybe I just have a touch of edema? Nope!), I decided that my Jaywalker was just too tight. I took her last portrait and proceeded to turn her into ramen:

She does make pretty ramen, though, doesn't she?

After that I turned Lagoon into a yarn cake and put it aside.

It was fun while it lasted.

I've decided that I'm going to finish my Cedar Creek socks before trying the Jaywalker sock again. I've done about 2 inches on the cuff of the second sock, so I'm moving along. I understand that the next installment of the Rockin' Sock Club is on it's way, so I might have to put off those Jaywalkers for a bit longer.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

One Cedar Creek Sock down...

...one to go! Isn't it pretty?!

It should be after all of that frogging! I got some very nice stripification on the foot and a blaze of color on the leg. And, as you can see, I already cast on the second sock.

I'm feeling very accomplished now. Which is good since I think I'm going to have to redo the Jaywalker! It's just a touch too tight putting it on my foot. I must have big heels or something, or this pattern does not allow for enough "give". The ankle and leg part fit perfectly; once I get the sock on, the heel and foot fit well. It's just that it takes some "encouragement" to get it past my heel. I'll have to think on whether to adjust for more heel room. I really don't want to go up to the next size because except for getting it on my foot, it fits well. Anybody got any suggestions?

Monday, May 15, 2006

What is it with the weather???

Wasn't it just a couple of weeks ago that it was pouring rain? Yesterday, it got so hot, I didn't want to move, much less knit a baby afghan! It was 88 degrees out...it's Spring, not the middle of Summer!

I did manage to make a short field trip to Commuknity (Happy Mother's Day to me! LOL!), but after that I didn't want to go anywhere. The cats and I were basically slugs for the rest of the day. Sombra stayed inside with me and whined about the heat (of course, she whines about everything -- her nickname is "whine-y thing"). Tica decided that it was cooler outside, so she camped on the cement, watched the birdies, and dreamed of catching one. (Never fear. Tica likes to think she's a hunter, but she's basically inept, and the birds know it!)

At least the whole weekend wasn't that hot. I did manage to knit most of the day on Saturday. I watched a few movies, added another skein to the baby afghan, and worked on the socks. I swear, I keep knitting on the Cedar Creeks and they just don't get done! At least with the Jaywalkers, I know it's because I don't spend as much time on them.

No pictures today...not much to show!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!!

I hope every Mom has as great a day as I'm having! Not only did my daughter send me the flowers you see above (and she sent them on Friday so I could enjoy them all weekend!), but she wrote me the most wonderful essay/story a Mom could ask for. I'm not sure whether we'll post it online anywhere (mostly cuz I want to keep it to myself for a while). If we do, I'll send a pointer from here.

I'm planning to go to one of my favorite yarn stores and then knit the rest of the day. Heaven!!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A little change in the blog's look...

...I'm not sure if this will be permanent, but at least it's not as vanilla as the previous one. I'm still mulling over how to incorporate knitting into my blog name.

The background photograph for this new title graphic was taken by my daughter in Costa Rica last year, She took some beautiful pictures of the sunsets, so I borrowed one. I used Fireworks to modify the photo and add the text. The sun icon is from P22's Mexican Relics font. (P22 is my favorite font source!)

My knitting projects are moving right along. I bought two more skeins of the Plymouth yarn for the baby afghan so I think I can finish that this weekend. I'm also doing some data entry in my stash database. My goal is to enter at least the titles and authors for all of my knitting books. I'm getting to the point where I don't remember what I have, what I've looked at, and what's on my wish list! So I restrain myself so I don't buy a duplicate, but that's not nearly as satisfying as buying a new treasure to read!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Back on track...

...after a very good weekend. How could it not be good when you wake up to these in your front yard?

Project-wise, I took my own advice and started something simpler (and on larger needles). A couple of weeks ago, I bought this cute yarn by Plymouth that just wanted to become a baby afghan. So I started that after lunch on Saturday and got this far by 6pm:

This is Lion Brand's diagonal baby afghan that I have used before. It's a simple pattern and easy to knit while watching TV. I only bought 4 balls of the Plymouth yarn - this picture represents 2. I think I need at least one more if not two skeins, but I don't expect to have any problems getting more. I know of two local yarn stores that carry it, so I'll get more this week.

Since I had been thinking about doing a simpler sock (and I was putting off looking at my Cedar Creek problem), I pulled out my Opal Tiger yarn, found a pattern that seemed simple (Boogie Knits' Twist and Shout socks), and cast on. I'm still working on the ribbing, not my favorite part, but it's nice to be doing something simple!

This time I'm using the two socks on two circular method. I like using circulars. I'd be using them for both the Jaywalkers and the Cedar Creeks if I didn't keep screwing up the pattern sections. I find that the DPNs help keep me in pattern better than the circulars do, even though my hands seem to do better with the circs.

Once I had progress with the afghan and the Tiger socks, I was able to face the cedar Creek socks. I won't bore you with the details, but let's just chalk it up to an ID-10-T error . So now, I'm back on track - I've made it past the decreases and am working my way down the foot.

Since I was doing so well on the Cedar Creeks again, I decided to do a few rows on the Jaywalkers, too. I am also past the decreases on this one and working my way down the foot.

All of this, plus I actually spent some time with my husband! On Sunday we went to the Mountain View "A La Carte and Art" festival and to the Farmers Market that was in the same area. It was nice to be out in the sunshine. We bought a couple of things at the Farmers Market and nothing at the festival. Our tastes tend to be a lot different than what you can find at arts and craft festivals, so we just look and enjoy the day.

Friday, May 05, 2006

You know how some projects just don't go well?

My Cedar Creek socks are that way. Just when I think I'm making progress, I discover a problem. This time it was one half of a pattern row when I picked up the gusset. I couldn't have just screwed up the whole row so it could be called a design modification (LOL!)...no, I had to mess up half of the thing! And it was too noticeable to leave in...ARG!

So last night, I pulled out everything to that row, got things situated on my needles and then counted...hmmm, when I started the heel, I counted at least four times to make sure I was holding back the required 38 stitches for the top of the foot - no more, no less. I count them every time I knit the pattern part...why do I have 39? OK let's pull out all the way back to where I start picking up the gusset, because I know there are 38 stitches for the pattern there. OK, that's done...count them up...now I have 40!? WHAT????

I do not want to pull out the entire heel flap to figure out where I went wrong, so I need to think on this a bit and look at it with fresh eyes in the daylight...this saga will continue later.

On a better note, my Jaywalkers are coming along - I'm still working on the decreasing rows of the foot, but I have a rhythm going. Compared to the Cedar Creeks socks, the Jaywalkers are a piece of cake!

I think it's time to work on something simple, maybe a baby afghan. Or maybe I'll start machine quilting my turtle quilt:

Right now, sounds very appealing!

Monday, May 01, 2006

April Project recap...and a happy dance!

What I finished in April (another short list, but at least there are pictures!):
  • Felted bag (before and after pictures)



    I'd just like to add that this felting thing is a lot of fun!

  • Catnip Mousie (with "help" from Sombra)

    Trying to take its official picture

    2 seconds later


What I worked on:
  • Cedar Creek socks - turned the heel on the first sock (finally!)
  • Jaywalker socks - working on the foot
  • Updating my stash database to include books, yarn, and needles. It's a FileMaker Pro database that I created to organize my stuff in the warped way I like to see things.
I'm still plugging away at my socks. I love them both, but my hands are very sore working with the small needle sizes they require. That's why the bag was so great to work on for a while. (The catnip mousie was just fun! )

I'm going to look for another project that uses bigger needles to swap off with the socks.

Eye Candy Friday...

...and rolling into a long baking weekend. I'm completely loving the skies and clouds. 11/30/18: 12/5/18: Today was a co-w...