Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Rebel Sheep

Tonight I ordered the yarn for Colleen's Sheep Dreams baby blanket. I am substituting Plymouth Encore (a wool/acrylic blend) for the Lamb's Pride Superwash. I couldn't find a color in the Lamb's Pride that was what I had in mind for the background. Not to mention it was almost $10 a skein!! So I went with the washable, more affordable, Plymouth Encore in color #054...a very shamrocky green. It just makes sense to me to make a green blanket so it looks like the little sheepies are grazing on a green, green meadow. (Seriously, when is the last time you saw RED grass?)Perfect for Colleen's little one, whether it's a blue or pink variety (and it will be a surprise until the big day). I am hoping, too, it will remind her of her trip to Ireland with her Dad a few years ago. I also purchased the Crema color of the Berroco Plush to duplicate stitch the little sheepies on afterwards, and I got a ball of Plush in Black Out to make one little rebel "black sheep" in the corner of the blankie. Marc will appreciate that! It fits in with his rock'n'roll aesthetic (he's a guitarist in a local funk band). Not to mention how ridiculously cute that idea is...I freakin' ROCK!

On a completely random rant note: I wish the phrase "baby bump" would realize that its 15 minutes of fame is so over, and slink off silently to wherever it is tired old phrases slink off to die a slow, agonizingly painful death.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Happy Early Birthday To Me!



I have been using a really boring, el-cheapo knitting bag for the past two years. It cost me a whopping $2.99 on sale at A. C. Moore back when I started knitting and wasn't sure if I would stick with it or not.

(this stands for, "rolling on the floor laughing my ass off"--for those of you who are not up on IM lingo because you don't deal with teenagers)

I wasn't sure if I would stick with it...funny.

Anyway, here is the ho-hum beginner's knitting bag...

I know Amy recognizes it...she has the same one. See, this is what I am saying. Boring, no originality, generic.

So, I have a birthday coming up on April 30th and I've been a bit down about it as this is the year that I get closer to 40 than 30. The ghastliness of it...

Anyway, I have been looking at these handmade (read: extravagantly expensive, decadently delicious) tote bags online. And tonight, with my wonderful husband's permission, (surely, this generosity has nothing to do with the fact that in the coming months he plans to buy an XBox 360 for himself, right?!) I ordered myself one.

Feast your eyes on the new, very Me (all pink and roses) knitting bag!

It is being custom-made as we speak, along with a matching needle case! And yes, it was expensive, (enough to make my head spin--just a little bit--as I sent the money via Pay Pal) but yes, I will love and treasure it always. It's going to be monogrammed with a swirly black "J" on the front to make it even more mine. I am in love with it... SWOON. What joy!

Check out her website if you want to drool a bit...Mimi's Custom Totes. She has them in all sizes and colors and fabrics. Be prepared to covet thy neighbor's knitting bag.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Sock Suckage

I have deliberately not posted about my first attempt at sock knitting due to how imperfect said attempt was. I am such a perfectionist and cannot stand how this turned out. I know, I know...the learning curve, blah, blah, blah...but it is NOT good. This sock will probably be forever mateless and just stand for eternity as a testament to The Horror Which Was My First Attempt at Suckage Sock Knitting.

Without further ado, here it is, "The Sock What That Sucks":

I purposely didn't overexpose the photo so as not to horrify you with, well, the HORROR!! [Okay, and also to avoid documenting the freakishness of the Suckage]. However, I do have a close-up of the first heel I turned, which turned out very well. Indeed, it might be the solitary saving grace of "The Sock What That Sucks". (If you look very closely, you will see the HORROR of the split stiches that are riddled throughout the stockinette, making it look all loopy and such). Oh, the shame of that stockinette. How long have I been knitting now? Really? You would think I would know by now to turn on the light so I can see what it is I am doing. You would think.

I purposely picked up extra stitches along the gusset to avoid any holes--MISSION ACCOMPLISHED--there, at least! Now if I can just figure out why the bottom of "The Sock What That Sucks" is so wonky, misshapen, and so, well, horribly WRONG in so many ways:


No clue...really, none. I mean, what is that shit? Twisted stitches? Crossed over stitches that slipped off and got floopy when I put them back on the needles? Seriously...I have no clue. I have never seen this type of design element glaringly wonky stockinette before. Not even when I first started knitting. I am clueless.

Maybe I fell asleep? Maybe I just suck still at knitting sometimes? Who knows?! And yes, indeed, I do also have amateurish ladders running up the sides from where I went from needle to needle, even though I pulled the first few stitches of each needles very tightly as was recommended to me on lots of websites.

I got 2 circs today...will that method help? Who knows?

This is the face of a Bug who doesn't seem to notice that his mommy is a Sucky Sock Knitter.

My current project(s)?

Still working on the recycled sari silk garter stitch scarf. About one third of the way done on that. I also started a huge black wool rectangle of black wool. Why, you ask? To make my own felted needle roll for my crazy needles. This one is for my up will be for my circs.

Speaking of there a 12 Step Program for Addi Turbo addiction? I found a great Ebay seller (from HOLLAND of all freakin' places) who sells them cheaper than I can get them at my LYS (including s&h!) and she includes a little Dutch chocolate in each order! Does it get any better than that??!! Chocolate and Addis? In one package?

Umm, noooo...

Her Ebay store is called Astrid's Dutch Obsessions...Check her out. She's the best pusher supplier ever.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


This week has been a mess...a total and complete wash. Monday, I had a professional conference, so I was out of the classroom. Tuesday, I was running a fever and had a sore throat (not strep, of the big teaching hazards). Wednesday (yesterday), I actually went in to work, and made it all of about an hour and a half before I got a call from the elementary school nurse that the middle son was running a fever. My district is so small that grades K-12 are all in one big the boys are right there, which is nice in cases like this. Needless to say, I had to leave work and come home. This morning, the oldest son was running a fever so we all stayed home again today. Sheesh! Tomorrow, no matter what I have to get in to work. Those freshmen will be completely feral if they have a sub one more day!

This is the first of my new works in progress:

This is a basic garter stitch scarf made out of recycled sari silk. I bought two skeins of it on Ebay last year, and wound it (or attempted to anyway!) into balls last weekend. I am knitting it on US #10 bamboo needles and am alternating balls due to an obvious fluctuation in the colors in each ball. This will keep it from looking odd, hopefully. I am doing two rows from each ball and then switching off.

My second new W.I.P:

I am knitting some basic worsted weight socks. The pattern comes from the book Hip to Knit by Judith L. Swartz. My first pair. No fancy techniques...just four US #5 dpns and some really nice KnitPicks Wool of the Andes yarn in Chocolate. I am not doing the stripes that the picture in the book shows. I didn't want to have to think about that while I was attempting my first pair.

This is my first time using KnitPicks yarn and I have to say, I am impressed with this. It has a really pretty sheen to it. And, oh my goodness, how cheap! $1.97 for 110 yards! And so many colors! I will be buying more, I am sure of it.

me, wearing the sock on my hand to show how far I have gotten

So far, so good. But then again, I haven't gotten to the whole turning the heel business.

Well, I am off to Ebay...DH and I have a fancy, schmancy, formal dinner to go to on April 1st, and I have to find earrings to match my fancy, schmancy dress, also bought on Ebay:

I'm going to shorten it up to tea-length because I don't want to over-do it...and because that will better show off these:

I love these shoes!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Truth About Socks

There is a truth about sock-knitting that I discovered accidentally today. (I am home sick with the worst sore-throat ever...not an asset for a teacher who has to talk all day for a living!).

The truth is this...Magic Loop is not easy. I also got the book Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles by Cat Bordhi. Also, not easy.

That is when the epiphany came...

Perhaps in order to understand how Magic Loop and Two Circs works, one must first understand how the good old-fashioned 4 DPN method works.

And first attempt at sock-knitting, the traditional way. [Blogger is being tempermental and won't let me upload a picture, I'll add one later if I can get it to work!]. I'm using Wool of the Andes by Knitpicks in Chocolate. I am done with the 2x2 rib and am now working my way down to the heel, which will be a mystery to me. We'll see how it goes!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

An entire afternoon

So, exactly how long does it take to wind two hanks of recycled sari silk into balls by hand because you do not own a swift and a ball winder?

For a hint, see the title of the post.

What a mess! The livingroom looked like it had been attacked by technicolor spaghetti that had then decided to tie itself into, oh let me see, about eleventeen million knots that needed to be unwound and figured out.

But I am making progress. When I first started winding balls by hand, I usually ended up swearing and throwing said balls around in frustration. Now I just accept it as part of the reality of being swift-less and try to view it like the knitty version of the Rubik's Cube.

Strangely, this helps.

Needless to say, no new knitting pictures to share.

I am making a scarf for myself out of the aforementioned sari silk. We have a field trip to Boston on the 31st, and I thought I'd like a new colorful scarf to throw on with my jean jacket that day. So, there you go. Just a simple, garter stitch scarf with fringe.

I did also try out the Magic Loop today. Let us just say...I need to try it again on a day when I wasn't already annoyed at yarn in general. I was not doing something right, that was abundantly clear to me.

Tomorrow my order from Barnes and Noble comes with some new knitting books. I can't wait!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

This week's knitting

What is in the pretty little gift bag? Hmmm....

It is the finished Baby Yoda sweater for our friends Jim and Rosie's new little girl. And the cute little Lily's Cloche that I had made a few months ago and wondered who to give it to.

What is up next? I'm waiting on an order of Addis to come so I can start to teach myself the Magic Loop method for socks. I am also thinking of buying Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles and trying them that way.

I'll also be starting a baby blanket for a friend at work who is having a little girl in June...and of course, will have to (soon) buy the yarn for Colleen's Sheep Dreams baby blanket:

I'm trying to find the perfect shade of irish grass green in a superwash wool worsted weight, but it isn't going too well. Well, Lamb's Pride Bulky Superwash...but that would be a $60 baby blanket. I don't know...she just might be worth it.

But I have until at least July to figure it all out, right?? (She is due September 1st)