Friday, July 28, 2006

I is for Infuriating

Also irritating & inconceivable. So y'all know I've been working on this pair of socks for Eldest Boy forever now. I'd finished sock #1, and Eldest Boy *loved* it. I'd gotten all the way to the toe decreases on sock #2 when something really didn't seem seems I'd managed to foob up the sock all the way back at the freaking gussets. I was SO pissed. The pattern was written for four needles, but I'm definitely a five needle girl, so when I went to place the markers next to the heel flap, I clearly didn't pay enough attention. The gusset was off by a full INCH.
You can see where I've sewn a lifeline, and how the gusset mistakenly starts about seven or eight stitches away from the heel flap. Oy freakin vey! *That* is how close I was to finishing when I figured it out. Considering how bloody long it took me to get there, I was less than amused, to say the least. Here we have the lovely Tipsy, modeling the frogged sock with yarn ramen. She even looks as pissed about the whole thing as I am. She's a great cat. This was my first experience with sewing in a lifeline, and I have to say, I LOVE the thing!! Good lord, how screwed would I have been without it?? I'm afraid to contemplate. Fortunately, though, both socks are now completed, and Eldest Boy is quite pleased.

The rugrat in question modeling the socks. Note the slight bagginess around the ankles...yes, I did make them a little large, partly because it's flaming hot here right now, and I expect his feets will grow a bit by winter, when he'll want to wear them. The bagginess, however, I think is due to him having the skinniest legs ever. He's a very stringy, narrow little boy, and lordy, that makes buying pants for him tricky! Whenever I find a pair that are the right length, they're so wide around the waist that he can't keep 'em up. This is why I love summer...I can just put him in little bitty shorts, and not worry about the length. Anyway, he's thrilled to pieces that the socks are done, and now Boy the Younger is beginning to make noise about when *he'll* get socks, too. I just love children who openly encourage the knitting habit.

As for now, I'm working on my Very First Toe-Up sock, using Plymouth Sockotta (neato blue color), my kickass brand new KnitPicks dpns, and the pattern in Wendy Knits. I've just gotten past the toe on the first one, and so far, I'm loving the yarn & the fabric it creates, I'm LOVING the needles, and I'm learning to like the pattern. I really really like the idea of toe-up, especially for sizing & fit & maximum yarn usage, but holy cow, picking up wrapped stitches (especially with this yarn!) is tricksy! I'm hoping it'll feel easier on sock #2, which I'll probably cast on today. I also cast on for my husband's huge cabled sweater the other day. This thing may take all beloved is a big man, 6'3", and he wants it in black (of course) with a grey stripe, so not only will it take forever to knit, but I'll need perfect lighting to do it, lest I go blind from the blackness of it. Granted, it will certainly look good on him, but's hard to see black stitches unless you've got surgical lamps over your shoulder! I'm using Wool of the Andes, because frankly, a sweater big enough to fit my sweetie would cost a bloody fortune if I used anything pricier.

And speaking of KnitPicks again, have you SEEN their new yarns?! Oooooh, I'm excited! I love the idea of a WotA Bulky...chunky sweaters in the winter just seem so cozy. The Swish Superwash is nice to have, too, for kid sweaters & such. And, most interesting, imo...the Gloss sock yarn!! A merino/silk blend (!!) in the most beautiful colors...I simply *have* to get my hands on some of that soon! Of course, all yarn shopping has been put on hold for me until Stitches. Bummer, yes, but I really want to save my pennies for the major haul that day. Yay!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I'm a swap ho

Whee! More swap fun! The latest in my growing series of swaps is the Favourite Colour Swap, generously hosted by Nichole. I'm having minor issues in the whole joining-of-the-blog thing, but it'll get sorted out sooner or later, I'm sure. In the meantime, here's the 'ol questionnaire...

Favorite Color Swap Questionnaire

1. What are your top three favorite colors?

Oooh, greens (especially olive & earth toned greens...purty! But no neon or lime...they make me look like I've been dead for three days), reds, & blues. I like deep, rich colors...pastels are nice, but not my favorite. I have very yellow-olive skin, so yellow or orange tones don't work on me well...warm colors look fabulous though (think red with a hint of brown). Ooh, or maybe warm warm shades of brown--chocolate & coffee & camel & all kinds of things that start with c. I recently received some cream & camel colored alpaca in a trade that are just lovely! Overall, earth/warm tones are best. I'm pretty darn easy to please, though. It doesn't take much to thrill me.

2. What crafts do you really enjoy?

Knitting!!! I also crochet, though nowhere near as much since I discovered knitting. I also like cross-stitch (though I'm sort of particular about the favorites are old samplers, especially historical ones), embroidery, a bit of sewing (I'm *really* new to it, but I'm learning!), and a little bit of paper crafts (mail art & the like). Mostly though, I adore knitting.

3. What products do you really covet?

Oh my...sock yarn is my most dearly beloved these days! Aija keeps talking about these gorgeous ebony needles that are made of reclaimed musical instruments, and that is just incredibly intriguing. I love pretty much all natural fibers, most notably merino, silk, & alpaca. Yum. I'd really really like a nice needle case--especially one with lots of pockets for the billions of circulars I have. I've been wanting to figure out how to make a dpn case for myself for a while, but since the sewing thing moves rather slowly around here, I'd certainly be happy to have one that I didn't make myself (besides, I kind of want to see a nice one, so I can try to deconstruct it in my head & figure out how to make my own!). But yeah, mostly sock yarn...all kinds, all colors. Socks That Rock, Mountain Colors Bearfoot, Koigu, Lorna's Laces, Cherry Tree Hill...they're all my soft, fluffy little friends. Good lord, I sound warped.

4. What other activities do you enjoy besides your favorite crafty things?

I love to cook & bake, I'm a rabid book addict, I really love being outside-whether it's hiking, mountain biking, or just plopped in a chair in the park (knitting, natch), just being outside amongst green living things thrills me. I'm a farm girl, born & bred, and this apartment life is HARD.

5. Is there anything you collect?

Um, sock yarn? Heh. I collect books--knitting books, certainly, cookbooks, and I really like mysteries-especially the cozy mysteries that run in a series. Yeah, they're fairly light & fluffy, but that's half the appeal. I collect antique photographs--the older, the better. I really really covet the ones that aren't posed, but they're hard to come by. I also collect antiques, anything from the first half of the century or older is wonderful. I generally only spend money on things that are still useful, but I've been known to buy things simply because they're pretty and/or they call to me.

6. What is your zodiac sign and/or Chinese zodiac symbol?

Um, I'm a Virgo, and I'm pretty sure I was born in the year of the horse, but I don't honestly put much stock into such things.

7.What are your favorite……

scents/smells?… I like fresh, green scents for personal fragrance (soap & body care), and also cinnamon-y, Christmassy fragrances (if we're talking candles & room scenting). I wear Vera Wang Sheer Veil, DKNY Be Delicious (STUPID name, really great fragrance), and Calvin Klein's Euphoria.
types of music and/or bands?…Old jazz!! I LOVE the music from the 20s & 30s, and the big band/swing of the 40s. I also like the brit bands of the 80s & 90s, like Depeche Mode, Information Society, Tears for Fears, The Smiths, etc. Actually, I like most anything, but those are my favorites.
authors?…Well, I like fluffy mystery novels, so Diane Mott Davidson, Tamar Myers, Ayelet Waldman, that sort of thing. I also really like Stephen King, Ann Rule, David McCullough, and just about anybody who can write about history, and still be interesting & maybe a little funny. I LOVE history (non-fiction, not historical novels). The only thing I really don't like is romance.
animals?…I'm a Crazy Cat Lady, without a doubt. I'm also fond of dogs & horses (my mom's a trainer, and I was heavily into horses when I was younger), but cats are my favorites by far. Especially my own demented feline.
places to shop?…Yarn stores!! Also bookstores,, that sort of thing. Good antique shops are soooo fun to poke around in, though I only buy once in a great while.
season?…Summer/spring. I love the renewal, the fresh warm breezes, and the way everything is so green.
yarn/fabric/paper/other craft supplies?…Oh lordy...sock yarn is my favorite! Like I mentioned above, Socks that Rock, Lorna's Laces, Cherry Tree Hill, Koigu, Mountain Colors...they're *all* my favorites. I'm awfully fond of natural fibers, but it's also nice when there's a little nylon or something in certain yarns, to keep them from wearing out quite so quickly.
candies or goodies? . . . Oooh, hard one. I'm a chocolate addict, but it's virtually impossible to ship chocolate this time of year. I like an awful lot of junk food...I've got a serious sweet tooth. There's very little that I *don't* like!

8. Do you have any wish lists?

Yep, on I used to have one on KnitPicks, but they've since done away with that option, which is a bummer.

9. Are you allergic to anything?

Chlorophyll, if you can imagine. It's the stuff that makes grass & plants green, so it's pretty much EVERYWHERE. It's not a respiratory allergy, but a skin one, so when I come into contact with grass (or whatever), my elbows & knees break out. It's itchy as heck, and a little bit weird looking, but frankly, I just ignore it. I'd much rather be a little itchy than not sit on the lawn! Oh, I'm not exactly allergic to cigarette smoke, but I'm an ex-smoker, and I HATE the smell now!

10. Do you have any pets? What are they?

My beloved Crazy Kitty, Tipsy. Um, her picture is all over this blog, so I'm sure you know what she looks like by now. She's my shelter baby, and we've had her for about a year & a half. She is truly the most wonderful, patient, gorgeous cat I've ever had the privledge of knowing. And she's completely off her rocker, which is a great bonus.

11. Please include anything else you would like your secret pal to know about you- anything that would be helpful in finding you little gifts that you will really enjoy.

Gee, I dunno...I'm drawing a blank! I'm a stay-at-home homeschooling mom, I'm married to an incredible man (who is also an incredible musician...there are drums everywhere in my house!), I adore my demented kitty, I LOVE to knit, crochet, cross stitch, embroider, a little bit of sewing, read, write a little, cook, bake, dream about my someday house, I love history, especially anything from the first half of the century, Prohibition & the Depression intrigue me to no end, and I have a really warped sense of humour. I can't really think of much else right now, but if I do, I'll be sure to let y'all know!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I'm a boring sort

Life experiences meme courtesy of JenLa...

Life Experiences Meme
Bold = experiences I've had
1. Bought everyone in the bar (pub) a drink

2. Swam with wild dolphins
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
8. Said 'I love you' and meant it
9. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 10 provinces
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music (I help my husband sometimes...does that count?)
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children.
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an illness that you shouldn't have survived (not an illness, but an injury)
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours (well, I WAS a teenager, after all)
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone's life

Saturday, July 01, 2006

FYSS, part deux

And again, we try...

Ooookay, so it seems we have a four-pics-per-post rule on this particular blog. Alrighty then. Anyway, to continue with the Flash Your Sock Stash, here we have the most recent aquisition, four (!!) skeins of Mountain Colors Bearfoot, colorways Moose Creek, Yellowstone, Red Tail Hawk, and Wilderness. I can't tell you how much I adore the Mountain Colors colorways...they're just so me! And sooooft, too. These were all on sale at The Fold, which helped the whole spending money thing tremendously. I'm hoping to not buy anything else, though, until Stitches, at which time I plan to go completely apeshit with the shopping & the stash enhancement. After all, I've only been saving & waiting for this event for eight freaking months, by the time it happens, and that's pretty much my whole knitting life, so there. I'm such a pathetic schlub, I even printed out a copy of the floorplan & highlighted my most important shops to hit. Heh.

Because honestly...doesn't this yarn need more friends to keep it company??

Flash Your Sock Stash!

Oooh baby...

First off, we have some Regia 4 Ply, can't remember the name of the color...Patch Antik or something like that. Next to it is a skein of that weird Austermann Step, the yarn "mit Jojoba und Aloe" built in to soften your hands as you knit. I'm really curious to try it out, but I'm waiting until winter, when my hands will benefit the most. Next to that is another skein of Regia 4 Ply, again in a color I can't remember, and yet another of same, in yet another nameless color. I'm not *usually* quite so brainless, I swear! Below those, we have four skeins of KnitPicks Sock Garden in the Hollyberry colorway, and two skeins of Ruby Red Wildfoote. Here we have two skeins of KnitPicks Essentials in Cocoa, two in Fawn, and three skeins of Nature Spun to make two pairs of socks with contrasting heels and toes (or at least I will, as soon as I figure out how). Below those, there's two skeins of KP Dancing Two Step (to be sockies for my Ma), two skeins of KP Parade Forest, and two more skeins Regia 4 Ply...I believe it's called Sand. Or something like that. Now we begin to get into the really pretty stuff, the prized bits of my collection...the handpaints. Lordy, how I do love the handpaints! First up are two skeins of KP Landscapes in Cape Cod (a very Eddie Bauer colorway, imo), two Landscapes in Mesa, which I think is just purty (and I've got a third skein just waiting to become fingerless mitts, very matchy-poo of me), two skeins of Koigu in God only knows what colorway (but it's purty!), and two lovely skeins of Lorna's Laces in Blackwatch. The first two skeins are from my much-adored SP8! They're the incredibly soft Sheldridge Farms yarn, and I'm (again) not sure of the colorway name. I call 'em Atlantic Tide Pool, but that's jus' me. Next is Lorna's Laces Gold Hill...not my usual color scheme, but I love it anyway, and am pleased to try something new. Beyond that, I have four skeins of Cherry Tree Hill Possum, which has been discontinued, which is a bummer, because it's really quite soft & nice, if a bit hairy. It grosses the living heck out of my mother, who thinks all possums are like American possums, and wants to whack 'em with a shovel just on principle. Here we have some loooovely Mountain Colors Bearfoot, Rosehip on the top, and Sierra underneath it. Aren't they gorgeous?? Below that is my one lonely little skein of Socks That Rock, colorway Sapphire. My STR definitely needs some friends, don't you think? I'm really looking forward to finding some new friends for it at Stitches this August. Specifically, Sapphire's good buddies Emerald City & Ruby, among many, many others. Heh. Below Sapphire is Cherry Tree Hill Potluck Blues/Purples. It's a lot more purple in real life, but I love it anyway. Below that is Fleece Artist nameless pretty blue sock yarn. It even comes with a pattern on the cool is that? In the second column, we have three random skeins of Cascade Fixation. I'm not sure if I'll actually make socks out of this. I originally bought it to make a Ben & Jerry's cozy for my mom, and maybe a couple others (I believe I got it all on sale). The stretchyness really threw me off...maybe I'll try to make socks out of it later, when I'm a bit more skilled. Below the Fixation lies my sock-yarn-that-shall-become-fingerless-mitts stash...KP Garden Daffodil, KP Garden Hollyberry (Christmas mitts!! heehee), KP Sock Memories Fly Fishing, and KP Landscape New England Foliage. The last one isn't a favorite of mine, so feel free to offer a trade, folks.

There are, in fact, two more pictures yet to post. They refuse to post here, however, so we'll have to try again in a *new* post. Ask me how I feel about this non-posting of the pictures, I dare you.