Thursday, April 28, 2005

Busy me...

I spent most of this past Tuesday dying with my new Cushing dyes. I also picked up some Jacquard dyes to play with as well. I had some 100% wool thick n thin yarn that I want to use to make a quick bulky sweater for this winter, and I was trying to go for color combinations that I don't normally gravitate to. So the thick n thin got dyed with different shades of brown, periwinkle, blue and a splash of orange. I was pretty worried when it was drying, but now that I've wound it up and knitted a swatch, it's growing on me.

I also dyed some silk/merino- for some reason that didn't take the dye very well. I think I need to dilute my dye less when using it on silk.

On the left is 100% superwash merino, fingering weight, that I overdyed because I wasn't happy with the original colors. On the right is some merino/silk that I'm thinking of using for another Clapotis.

Giant center pull balls of yarn....I had to break each 250 yd hank into several balls because they wouldn't fit on my ball winder.

A swatch on size 15 needles....I really like the way this is turning out.

Totally unrelated, random topic:
I was surfing the net after dinner and came across a link for this. I think it would be perfect to go with one of these (I'm partial to the leopard covered one). It reminded me of my BF in high school- his mom had placed little fake owl on the toilet tank lid. In the owl's hands (?) was a sign saying "This is my throne, I try to keep it neat. So damn your soul, piss down the hole and NOT ON THE SEAT!"

(My BF came from a true redneck family. I saw him several years after we graduated and he was proudly showing off his son. Actually, he was proudly showing off his son's Budweiser baby booties and matching onsie. Scary to think I actually dated this guy.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

New fibers....

I wanted to try some ingeo roving so I ordered some from Coppermoose.
I got 8oz of the "spring surprise" (top) and 80z of the lavender (bottom). I love the colors, they're so pretty! I'm hoping to spin up the lavender to ply with the Skylight roving I am currently working on with my spindle. Hopefully the finished yarn will be fine enough to use for socks.

Check out this "Voodoo Knife Holder"- can you imagine having one of these on your kitchen counter?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

KnitPicks' new yarns...

Knitpicks has some new yarns up on their site.


Too late. I already ordered some Shine (60% cotton, 40% Modal) to make Little Man this. I already have the Zoe Mellor book and am working on the Little Star Sweater, but I think the Funky Tank Top will be a quick knit for the summer/fall. I'm not a big fan of pure cotton- it just feels so stiff to me. Hopefully the synthetic in the Shine will help to loosen the cotton up.

Dancing sock yarn looks like a lot of fun. I can almost feel some of the Sock Memories in my itchy little fingers right now....Not like I need more sock yarn!

They also have some new novelty yarns- Twist looks like it would be fun to use for summer tank top. I'm impressed with Knitpicks' new offerings. The prices are really reasonable and so far I've been happy with the quality of everything I order from them.

I was over at Leigh's page and saw her gorgeous new Dove Shawl. So pretty! I'm seriously tempted to start on something like that....just gotta get at least one or two of my current UFOs done.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Bitten by the sock bug...

People told me that once I started knitting socks, there was no going back. I scoffed at that idea...who would want to knit more than one pair of socks? They take too long- you have to use those tiny needles and you have to knit two of them! And commercially made socks are just as good, right?

I guess I was wrong, cuz here's the start to my second pair of socks. These are for DH, knitted in Elann's Sock It To Me Collection Colori Puzzle (nice short name, eh?). I'm doing a simple 1x1 rib for the first 2 inches, then a 4K x 2P ribbing for the remainder of the sock. DH picked this color out of the three different colorways I had. Go figure.

DH had his pick of these three colorways....I think I'm going to do the middle one next for myself.

Bad Bias! Bad! Bad! BAD!

The particularly astute among you may notice something different about this photo of my Good Bias shrug:

For those who can't figure it out, here's a hint: RIPPIT RIPPIT RIPPIT.

Yes, that's right, I've had to frog this thing AGAIN. And for the same reason as last time. **Note to self: do not watch Third Watch, attempt to have a conversation with a knitting buddy and work on the shrug at the same time. I somehow turned the stupid thing around and started knitting on the wrong side again.

This time I took it with me to class at the LYS and had the instructor rip it back and return it to the needles for me. Hopefully I'll keep it straight from here on out.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Mail call!

I finally got my 6ply Merino bulky from my favorite yarn pusher. Seriously yummy stuff- just as lovely as the hard to find merino worsted, but in a fun bulky weight. I'm thinking of using this for a sweater for Monkey Boy.

Friday, April 22, 2005

What we talk about while knitting....

I was at La Petite Knitterie on Wednesday night for the Sit n Stitch when one of the ladies (Alice) came up with a cute new term: "knitworking". It's like networking, but applies when you hook up with one of your knitting buddies for a non-knitting reason. I've seen a lot of of knitworking happen and I've also knitworked myself- everything from finding a good mechanic to giving a recommendation for a Bradley Method instructor. Of course, knitters in general are a chatty bunch so I think knitworking is completely natural.

Another funny thing happened that night, too. Stephanie (one of the Knitterie's employees and part of the Sit n Stitch) saw me and asked me right away if I had a blog. I was a little taken aback, but said yup, sure do. Turns out she had read my entry about the raccoon incident and even left a comment. I didn't know it was her, so I didn't make the connection till she asked me about it. So a big HI goes out to her. What a small world!

I've been working away on my Good Bias this thing is never going to end! At least that's how it feels.

The second sleeve (for the second time)....

I had to rip it and start it over when it was about twice this size. Why? Because I wasn't paying attention and turned it around the wrong way when I started knitting one night. I didn't notice till the next morning when I was wondering why it zig-zagged instead of biasing all one direction like the first sleeve. Sheesh. This is about 5 inches done and I've gotten the hang of it, so it's going pretty quickly.

I'm still's Izzie with some yummy merino/silk roving.

This stuff is wonderful to spin....the only hard thing is trying to keep it from completely sliding thru my fingers because it's so slippery. I got the roving from eBay (of course) and I'm hoping that I'll be able to spin it thinly enough to get a plied yarn out of it.

Behold- SOCKS!

Yay! I finished my first pair of real socks last night. What do you think?

They turned out pretty good IMO. These were the ones I knitted out of Knitpicks' Sock Garden (Pansy colorway) using the Classy Slipup pattern from Knit Socks! As long as no one looks at the mess I made of the Kitchener stitch toe, I'll be happy. They fit really well, but I'm trying to decide wether to keep them or give them as a gift.

The obligatory Monkey Boy photo (I should make a pinup calendar).

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Little Frustrations....

I've been over at Knitpicks a couple of times over the past few days, filling my cart with some things that I needed. I really wanted at least one more pair of size 1 DPNs, and Knitpicks had a really good price for them, so I had two sets in my cart along with some size 2s and size 4s.

Finally last night I decide I'm going to check out and discover that the size 1 DPNs are out of stock till next week. ARGH. Serves me right for not placing my order right away.


I guess I'm going to have to wait to start my second pair of socks till I'm done with the current pair.

I also went ahead and joined the Shrug KAL. Now I'm anxiously stalking the mag aisle at my local Barnes and Noble for the new IK. The clerks are beginning to give my nervous looks because I'm always there!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Fiber Flash/Falling in with the Dark Side

I joined the Knittyboard fiber flash (scheduled for May 1st). It should be fun to see what everyone has in their fiber stashes....mine isn't too large but I'm currently still using my drop spindle. Wait till my wheel arrives!

(did you get that? "wait till my wheel arrives"!)

Yes, that's right: I'm joining the dark side. I ordered a Lendrum double treadle from the Woolery. I went ahead and got the 'complete' package, as well as the carry bag. Y'know- "In for an ounce, in for a pound".

The Woolery has the best price for the Lendrum, but the drawback is that they're currently backordered about 4 weeks. I wouldn't have minded getting one locally, but there's no local fiber/spinning retailers in So. Cali. The closest one is about a hour away and I can't take the time to drive 2 hrs round trip + time spent shopping for a wheel away from the boys. Especially not Monkey Boy (who wouldn't do well in the car for a hour or I'd take him). So I had to stick w/online retailers and the Woolery's price couldn't be beat. Plus one of my knitting buddies had ordred her Majacraft Rose from them and said they had wonderful customer service.

On the knitting front, I'm still working on my "Good Bias" shrug. The new IK has a ton of shrugs in it; everyone is calling shrugs the 'new poncho'. I hope not- I really dislike ponchos, but shrugs are wonderful IMHO. My upper arms are always cold and a good shrug works wonderfully to keep me warm. I like shawls but with two little kiddos, a shawl never stays put on my shoulders. I'm thinking of joining the Shrug KAL to keep myself motivated.

Little Man got a new haircut today. Here's the 'after' picture....

I think he looks like Dennis the Menace with his hair all spikey LOL

Monkey Boy wearing the baby sweater from Debbie Bliss' Baby Knits for Beginners.

I made this in the 0-3 month size. Note how BIG this sweater is on my 95th percentile kiddo who is already 4 mos old.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

A frozen Frapp is better than no Frapp at all....

I have been craving a Starbucks Mocha decaf Frapp (no whip) for a couple of days now; it's so difficult to get my cravings fulfilled because I can't go into Starbucks with the boys in tow. It's just too much work to get them in and out of the car for a 5 minute trip into the coffee shop. Plus Little Man inevitably wants his own drink (usually hot chocolate or some of my Mocha Frap- yes I know how much sugar is in those me a bad mommy, whip me with some tempeh and report me to CPS).

Anyways, DH was headed out the door this afternoon and offered to pick up something from Starbucks for me. Lovely man.

When he got home with the drinks, we were in the midst of preparing dinner so I stuck my Frapp into the freezer. Now it's 2 hrs later and my Frapp is frozen practically solid. Do I care? Nope! I'm happily sucking up my Frapp slushy and blogging while DH gives Little Man a bath.

Ahhhh...simple pleasures.... (notice the label on the cup..LOL)+

I'm still knitting away on the mate to my Classy Slipup sock. I'm working on the heel flap right now, so it won't be long before this one is done and I actually have my first pair of socks!

Guess what I can do?

That's right! I'm already doing it...

Rollin' over is a cinch I tell ya!

And just so Little Man doesn't get left out....he spent all day yesterday playing around in the pool.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Another snapshot of Monkey Boy....can't believe how quickly this little one is growing!

FO Alert....

Yay! I finally finished my tank top from the Winter Vogue Knitting.

Not the most flattering picture, but you get the idea. (why is it so difficult to take self-portraits? LOL) I used Noro Silk Garden #84. I love the colors, but am concerned that my nursing boobies don't look all that great in the top. Maybe the tank will look better next summer....

Also not sure about the length- it's supposed to be cropped but it seems a little too short to me.
Wait, what am I complaining about??? It's a Finished Object and now I can start something else!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

I spent a couple of hours this AM dying rovings and yarn. I needed more roving for the singles I'm spinning (hopefully for a pair of socks for me), and the yarn I just dyed for the heck of it. :) I'll try to post some photos later today after everything is washed and hanging up to dry.

Last night I hit a friend's house for a Knit Nite get-together. What a lot of fun! I always love going to them because the ladies are members of the same mom's club and we end up discussing the most funny and amazing things. Our conversations run the gamut from kids (of course) to sphincter bleaching (yikes!).

I was working on my Noro tank top and got all the way thru the bindoffs for the armholes, went to count and realized I'm 10 sts short. Serves me right for trying to actually concentrate! I can never do anything complicated at a knit nite- I *always* get messed up because too much is going on.

I also got to try my friend's Majacraft Suzie spinning wheel. Bad idea. It made really really want a wheel of my own. How long do you think I can hold out against the Dark Side? LOL

Monday, April 11, 2005

An amazing, disturbing and fascinating blog: PostSecret.

On the knitting front, I'm still working on the mate to my Classy Slipup sock . It's slow going, mostly because I can only work on it during the day. The yarn is dark and the needles are tiny so I get a headache if I try to knit at night. And it's hard to knit much during the day when you're a mom to two little ones- usually I'm so busy chasing Little Man around and feeding/changing Monkey Boy that I hardly have time to visit the restroom, much less knit.

I've been spinning at least 1/2 an hour every day for the past few days. The consistency of my yarn is getting a lot better and I've gotten the hang of Andean Plying. The big problem I'm having is that my plied yarn is much larger in gauge than I need if I'm going to make socks. So now I"m going to try some singles yarn and see how that goes.

(I need a wheel)

(I need a wheel)

(I WANT a wheel)

This is one of the wheels I really like the look of, the Lendrum double treadle.

And here's the Kromski Minstral...isn't it pretty?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Not much knittin', but lots of fun anyways....

We hit the Spectrum today for Meghan's 1 yr birthday party. We had a lot of fun hanging out with the other moms, dads and kids from APOC (Attachment Parenting/Orange County).

Here are the pics....
Me & my boys


Did any of that icing make it in his mouth?

Here comes trouble

Cousin Audrey and her Daddy on the carousel

Riding the carousel (for the 3rd time!)

Icing is the best part, don't you think?

Yummy Cupcake!

Friday, April 08, 2005

My first handspun...

Spun on the drop spindle....It's kinda thick so I don't know what I"m going to use it for....

For your enjoyment: Monkey Boy in all his glory...

Looks like trouble!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Spring Knitty is up!

The spring Knitty just came out and I already want to make three things from it. I need more arms to knit with LOL.

Ribbon XBack is calling my name as I have 10 balls of lovely ribbon yarn in my stash. I've been eying different tanks but nothing looks as good as the XBack. I'm just wondering how I"m going to wear a bra under that tank....

I really like Tie One On too. I have a bunch of hand dyed yarn in fingering weight that *needs* to be knit into something and I love the way TOO looks.

Soleil looks like an easy knit but it's got the pretty lacework at the bottom to spruce it up a little. I also have some suitable yarn in my stash for this pattern.

Ok. I really DO need more arms...and more needles to knit with! Especially since I have about 15 UFOs on lurking around my house and car. In fact I just found DH's unfinished vest in my car this morning. This is the vest I was supposed to have given him for Christmas last year. It's also the vest I was knitting on when I went into labor, which caused me to miscount my ribbing and mess the darn thing up. Instead of ripping back 4 inches, I just decided this thing is headed for the frogpond. Can you hear the rippit rippit?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A not so nice way to end the day....

I went to the La Petite Knitterie today for the weekly Sit N Stitch...had a great time as usual knitting and spinning. Super Spinner Lori even had time to show me how to Andean Ply. I had been trying to do this for the past couple of days using different photographs but I just couldn't get it. Probably because I draft with my right hand and spin the spindle with my left seems most people do it the other way and all the pics about Andean Plying that I saw used the left hand while I use the right. So everything was backwards to me. Anyways, Lori got me going on the wrapping for the AP. There was a ton more yarn on my spindle than I thought!

So I"m on my way home, driving at least 45 MPH on a heavily travelled street with plenty of street lamps and suddenly I see this *thing* in the road ahead. At first glance I thought it was a big blanket because it was rolling into my lane. I stepped on the brakes pretty hard and then suddenly realized it wasn't a blanket but a RACCOON. And not just a baby raccoon, but a huge adult that had to be the size of a cocker spaniel. I only saw it for a split second before it disappeared under my car and I heard this awful THUMP crunch THUMP THUMP crunch.


I got a glimpse of it in my rearview and it was rolling across another lane of traffic. I think it had already been hit once before I ran it over, but that didn't make me feel any better. I ended up pulling over a block or so down the road to check the front of my car.

There's a big piece of black plastic hanging off the front engine compartment, but nothing is dripping and the engine seemed to be running ok (albeit with a strange new vibration). Hopefully DH can take a better look in the morning before I have to go anywhere.

All I can say is: Hitting a BIG raccoon dead on at 45 MPH is no bueno. :(

Woo hoo!

I *finally* got my flash card reader working (well, actually I re-installed my old reader cuz the new one is part of my CPU and DH says he needs to order a new part for me...who knows when that's going to happen!). No more asking DH to upload pics for me, woo hoo!

To celebrate my newly working card reader, here is a finished sock. I'm still working on the second one- they're in Knitpicks' Sock Garden (Pansy colorway).

I used the Classy Slipup pattern from "Knit Socks" . I like the book, but the pattern was pretty awful. If I hadn't knit socks before, I would have been totally lost- there are a couple of spots where they fail to tell you really important things like turning the sock inside out or right side in to work the heel. This is a traditional "french heel" whatever that means. I just followed the directions and hoped it would work out. Socks are such a knitting on faith kind of thing, aren't they?

The sock fits me perfectly- I can't believe how comfy it is, too. Now I know why people rave about handknit socks!

And here's my Kundert spindle with some yarn on it. I spun this out of the roving in the photo I posted earlier this week. I'm really liking how the colors came out.

I have to come up with a name for this spindle....anyone with suggestions?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Isn't it lover-ly?

Here's my Purple Wave Kundert drop spindle.

Can I just say that this thing is *wonderful*? I can't believe how long it can spin-it just goes on and on. If I went to the top of the stairs and spun it, it would keep going till I either ran out of yarn or it hit the floor! I'm actually able to spin w/out using the park and draft method- and the resulting product even resembles yarn. Woo hoo!

I dyed this roving over the weekend. It's Blue Faced Leicester from an Ebay seller: Copper Moose.

It dyed wonderfully and I've been using the Kundert to spin it up. I dyed 4.5 oz, which will hopefully be enough for a pair of socks. I'm planning on plying the yarn with itself, tho I might try dying a little bit more in a solid color to ply with as well.

Monday, April 04, 2005

It's here!

My lovely new Kundert drop spindle arrived today. It's the 'purple wave' top spindle- I love it already and I've only been looking at it (no spinning yet LOL). I also got my Lendrum niddy noddy, which will make it a lot easier to put stuff into skeins. * If* I can figure out how to use it!