Thursday, June 29, 2006

Many watchers, few bids

I have some people watching my now more numerous auctions. The Round II It will sell, fortunately. Now for someone to decide to bid on the chenille (which has been languishing in my stash for something like ten years).

The fair sock has progressed significantly!!

Although these are not my favorite combinations of these colors, I have come to the realization that the best ones should be on the cuff anyway. Justification, anyone? But it's true. These socks won't be worn barefoot, you know. I am about 2/3 of the way through the heel and it is going much quicker this time. Plus IT FITS PERFECTLY!! [See Update below.] This is why Priscilla Gibson-Roberts is my sockknitting guru! I will be teaching my friend to knit her heels today (not in two colors) and I hope she will get it without borrowing my book (I never get books back somehow...this is not a personal thing about C or anything, I just seem to release them into the wild. I had to repurchase my Sally Melville books this spring as I'm sure I loaned them out but everyone said they didn't have them. MY FAULT).

Mindless knitting-wise and for Zarzuela's contest, the Knitpicks Parade socks:

These socks look odd on the needles, like the Jaywalkers. Kind of scrunched up. But on the foot, lovely! I hope this stitch pattern is not so unstretchy as to be too narrow at the top. But I could always give them away...but I don't want to. I'm aiming for NO commercial socks this winter. None.

And a really bad picture of the kitten. She just will not hold still for the camera so far. And when she sleeps, it's under the couch.

She seems to have stopped forgetting who the h*** we are overnight and is more friendly in the mornings. She has spent quite a bit of time on my lap (stepping on the keyboard) today already. Stitches out tomorrow!

I have a great ambition to do more actual writing on this blog. Maybe something clever or well thought out someday. I do have a niggling desire to write a sock book in the future. Guess I'll have to stop just doing this on the fly at 7 a.m.!

Have a lovely day!

UPDATE: They do not fit perfectly. Now that the heel is done, they are a bit too long. I could do the heel over but it took me a whole day's worth of knitting time. If I made it shallower, it would be okay. But these are thick socks, are they ever going to go inside my regular shoes? Are they destined for slipper type socks, anyway? I think so. I'm going to leave it and do the second one maybe shallower. Then if that one fits really well, I'll cut out the first heel and put a new one in. This is how last year's socks took something like four months to knit and these go in the mail July 12. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Well, I know someone will buy it!

But DH says I should spend it on a new headlight for the car, darn it! I know, I know, I should. But I was hoping for the plying head for my wheel.

Here are the socks as of today:

Too many colors? Too cool? Too something? I don't know any more. My color harmony is every other tertiary color all the way around the wheel, plus gray, as far as I can tell. And I will love them!! Next band is red-violet on light blue. Then I think orange on green, maybe. I don't know!! It would be easier to follow the colors on one of the (SIX) different colorways in the pattern, but who wants easy?

New kitten is now officially named: Petriemuffinbunny. It must be all one word, it's so silly.

She's very sweet, still rather jumpy, but kids laugh and laugh at her antics, so much fun! Thanks, Cinnamon, for raising such a lovely kitten. She doesn't even back down when the big cat growls, she holds her ground.

And just so someone knows that I'm doing it, my first photo of Socks on Vacation for Zarzuela's contest, Socks at Vacation Bible School Fiesta!

These socks should make it to lots of swimming lessons this summer, as they are my mindless knitting for the moment. Rogue is waiting for the trip back east and the fair socks are too chart heavy for water sports. I should have socks with me everywhere, though, as usual. It is only cameras that are sometimes not with me!

Happy spinning and knitting all!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

I'm selling this off and hoping for something else

I love drum carding!! I love it!! Blending fibers and colors as much or as little as I want, making huge, lofty batts of colorful goodness!! Combing, not so much.

So I'm selling off my Indigo Hound Round II It blending hackle on ebay. It's a really cool tool, very compact form of an 18 inch long hackle. But I'm just not into it. When I asked for it, I was SURE I would never get a drum carder. Then I did (thanks, tax refund!). And now I think I would rather have...the plying head for my Lendrum folding wheel. Or the quill. Anyway, here's a picture.

Hopefully, this will lead to a healthy PayPal balance!

Otherwise, not much to report. Knitting on socks for no reason while I put off spinning the red-violet yarn. I was SO tired from VBS this week, I just couldn't do ANYTHING. But it was a great success!!

This is a picture of the giant pile of blankets that our kids tied together with prayers for disadvantaged children in Central and South America. Go kids! Viva!

They had a great time and I did, too. I teach games and they were all very successful this year, although I eschewed playing water balloons two different days as making 100 water balloons on Tuesday was plenty for DH and myself.

I spent most of the day today taking a spinning class at the Weaver's Cottage. It was fun, but not too much new material. I made a lovely batt of wool and angora. I also helped a couple of people learn how to spin from the fold. I did, however, spend all of my VISA gift card (thanks, Dad) and will be watching a video about spinning novelty yarns and exotic fibers over and over again very soon.

I also fell of the wagon of not buying any more fiber for a while. I bought 4 oz of undyed mohair locks. I have 2 oz of dyed, but I have never used them (too chicken). Today the other people in the class were just throwing them into batts and the batts were so neat! I wanna do that! So I will use up my dyed and dye some more. I also bought some washed and picked Blue Faced Liecester (my absolute FAVORITE breed of sheep) was there. I think I will also dye this in the locks as I have been lusting after some I saw on the internet and just grab balls of fluff and spin away. Who knows what will happen? If they had had any Finn, I would have spent too much money. A nice day for mommy, though!

Next week, DS graduates from preschool. I secretly wish they would try out full day kindergarten here, but not yet. We will be hanging around not doing too much next week in anticipation of starting swimming lessons the week after. And here comes the 4th of July !! I love fireworks, too!!

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Cheerio, but be back soon!

No posts this week as I am buried under VBS and such, but should have some pictures this weekend. I'm hoping to take an advanced spinning class tomorrow but they haven't confirmed that I have a place yet. Better figure out some bobbin fun, though. And spin the red-violet (socks are stalled). Started a new pair of socks for the Summer of Socks, hoping to have something to travel with. I will be taking a photo of the new sock at VBS this morning to start off. Knitpicks (discontinued) Parade. This is supposed to be primary colors, but the red is such a cool red, too pink for me, really, but I wanted sportweight for this pair. Quicker. Silly.

More later!

Have a lovely Friday!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Blogging two days in a row? Unheard of!

Here I am again. But it has been a big couple of days. First, last night DD received her 3rd Degree Yellow Belt in Self-Defense class.

Then this morning she chose her new kitten, currently named Petri, soon to possibly be named Muffin. TBA.

I have also been spinning up the eye searing green roving into these singles.

I should finish and ply these tonight as I am being lazy and not seeking any work for this weekend. There isn't any anway, though. Next week I'll be ABSOLUTELY EXHAUSTED from VBS, but I will work regardless if there is any.

Father's Day is looking to be a pretty nice haul for the DH. My co-leader at Brownies got us a signed copy of "America: The Book". We are BIG Jon Stewart/Colbert fans and this should be nice. I also got him some yarn named after Angel from "Buffy" (his favorite show) that he can choose what I make from before winter. We also ordered t-shirts for grandpas and I got him one, too, which arrived yesterday. And then stuff from school. And I'll make a nice dinner. It should be good. He's spending the afternoon helping decorate for VBS 'cause he's just such a great guy!!

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Father's Day to you or your father!

Friday, June 16, 2006

First Grade is Dead; Long Live Second Grade!

DD had her last day of school. Some of the moms and I got a little party together at the last minute and they had fun. One of the dads came in and acted out stories and songs and Jabberwocky and was GREAT! Thanks, Mr. Prather!!

This is a picture of DD at our Service Unit Bridging ceremony last weekend. She didn't bridge, but did help our Daisy Troop learn how to be Brownies. Yay, Girl Scouts!!

And just to be fair...

DS at our friend John's birthday party. It is hard to catch him keeping still!

This morning we don't have to be anywhere till 12:15, lovely. Now if only DS can give up the whining for just a couple of days and let me recover from the last two!

The next couple of days are preparing for Father's Day here at home (cards, etc.) and Vacation Bible School (I teach games) next week. I'm pretty much on the ball, though. Only I have to make 100 water balloons on Sunday. And help decorate the church. And be in all the skits. I love VBS!! I really do. It's my fourth year and I wouldn't give it up for anything. I spend the whole year seeing kids I would never see otherwise (different school, different church) around town and they remember me and had fun. DD's new really close friend is going to be in her group. I just wish my subconscious would stop making me dream about stuff I haven't done for some hundreds of children that are showing up for some mythical event in the morning. I keep telling myself, these are not real events. All is well. But this usually goes on till VBS is over. The first year it was TERRIBLE. I don't think I slept for two weeks!

Now for the knitting content. I have some good news and some bad news. Bad news is Dark Blue on Gray, way too dull and boring for ME. Frogged the beginning of that band on the socks. Decided I need another color, not enough brights, not enough eye searing goodness. So here you go:

This is my first dye experiment using a recipe from my Lanaset Rainbows book that DH got me for my birthday. It's pretty close. A bit lighter, but certainly within spitting distance. I'm going to get some tiny ziplocks today so I can put my own samples next to the ones in the book and really expand the database over time.

I hardly ever immersion dye, but I should more often as it's so quick and easy. The cooking takes a while. This green took a long time to exhaust, but that's just waiting around smelling the vinegar. The process is fast and can be done with awake children, as opposed to painting which is fun, but the children have to do some, too, which means some real dye, some food coloring, etc. I like it but I do have to have a block of time.

Anyway, I like this color and will be adding it to the socks by using it as foreground for the gray in Band 2.

Here are the socks so far:

And a lovely photo of my hand. I started these on bamboo 0's but they made me uncomfortable. I changed to metal 0's but I didn't like having so many needle changes in a round. So now I'm on circular 0's. Not any faster, but at least I only change needles twice. I'll probably stick with these. There is a bit of puckering on Band 1 but it should block out okay.

I still haven't carded the red-violet. These socks really call for 6 colors and I've got seven now, but I think I do need another warm color. The spinning was NOT completed by June 15th. I must not knit anything else except when I can't follow a chart! So here is...

The felted bag I started on Monday afternoon. As much as I want and need to be working on one thing at a time right now, I can't read charts everywhere. So in comes brainless knitting with almost random handspun (it all has green in it). This will come to DS's preschool picnic today and probably be finished at VBS next week. I've been hesitant to knit this stuff up for felting as it is not all the same fiber content, but what the heck. Who cares! Am I going to knit these little sample skeins into anything else? Well, the blue-green BFL might have gone somewhere "better" but if this bag works, I will use it all the time. It will be a Booga bag eventually. Brainless and quick.

Here is the project that I started but am NOT, I tell you NOT, knitting on right now:

Rogue in Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Carrot. I'm loving this, but again, can't do charts all the time. And if I can, I have to do the socks. This will be my project for summer vacation, I think, with some socks for brainless times.

Wow, what a long post! Congratulations for sticking with it to the end. I hope to have updates on some of these projects in a couple of days.

Happy spinning, knitting and summer vacation! Woo-hoo!!

Monday, June 12, 2006

The last week of school

I'm finished with the orange yarn, waiting for it to dry.

I have a terrible case of Startitis this week!! What is the deal? I want to make a felted bag so bad I can taste it! [Started it. Had to have something to knit at the dinner last night/babysitting today, right?]

I did start Rogue. I'm right at the bottom of the kangaroo pouch now. I am realizing that I LOVE cables (especially celtic cables, like Elsabeth Lavold). What I realized earlier was I don't so much love lace knitting. Love the look, wish I had the shawls. But color and texture are more my thing. Especially color. I am really enjoying Rogue so far and she is moving right along. Should finish the kangaroo pouch today as DS has his school enrollment pediatrician appointment this morning and he's always running late.

Today I succombed and bought Elsebeth Lavold's The Viking Collection because I saw a sleeve on Heide's blog and HAD to have the cardigans. All of them. For me, me, me! Someday... I am totally besotted with these cables.

But let us have a moment of silence for the end of school. The 2 hours and forty five minutes of free time that we had three days a week goes bye-bye on Thursday. Will DH step up to the plate? Probably. But it will be all kids all the time most of the time for the next couple of months. I know there are lots of you out there. We love them, we really do. But I myself am more likely to be a patient and thoughtful mother if I don't have to have them the whole day. You know how it is.

But I'm going to stop anticipating the difficulties and start anticipating the fun! Swimming lessons, crafts camp, girl scout camp, vacation bible school, trip back east to see grandma, all fun, and then 2nd grade and kindergarten begins, woo hoo!!

Have a great day!

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Knitting has begun

Here you will find the first toe of the first sock for my L.A. County Fair entry socks for 2006:

This took a long time. But I did go back and somewhat master Norwegian purling as I had to purl back this short row toe in two colors. It was fussy, sure, but it worked and this type of continental purling is VASTLY superior to any other way I've tried so far, IMHO. Your mileage may vary!

Now that I am ready to start knitting the foot bands, I have had to decide what the color combinations are and in what order they will occur. So what's the next background color? The one I haven't finished spinning yet!

Here's the orange about halfway done with the singles. I LOVE this color. Therefore, I will never achieve it again. This is a bunch of different oranges that I had dyed all carded together. It makes me happy!

However, I have ordered (thanks, DH who couldn't think of anything great for my birthday right after Mother's Day) a Lanaset Rainbows book and hopefully will ever after have a pretty good idea of how to mix the colors I want. Yay! I shall pore over it, looking for the perfect double split complementary (my favorite) harmonies. I will post a photo when it arrives!

Anyway, the sock toe feels like quite an accomplishment. A short row toe in two colors on 41 stitches, whew! Now I only have to do that three more times (heels are the same).

Off to Spectrum Spinalong! Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

FO! Swatching! Spinning! Oh, my!

I finished the Meilenweit socks last night (now I can wear them to camp if they dry):

I have spun up 3 colors of 2-ply for the Bazaar socks (plus most of one more). This is gold, light blue/green, dark blue/green and natural grey, all carded on my Strauch Petite and spun Point of Twist:

I need to do more grey, red/violet and red/orange and then the knitting can commence...

I have swatched for Rogue in Knitpicks Wool of the Andes (Carrot):

BTW, I really like this yarn. It's SO inexpensive and it doesn't feel soft in the ball, but when you wash it, it's really nice. $1.79 for 50 grams is nothing to sneeze at. There are a lot of great $30 sweaters out there for that!

I'm kind of proud of myself for this little swatch. For one thing, I don't know why but swatching makes me nervous, like I could screw it up. I do it, usually. Not for socks, though. But this one I even washed and dried. I NEVER do that. But I knew that this yarn really blooms nicely and I wanted to see it. Also I made DD's Wallaby in this yarn on 8's at 4 spi and I needed 4.5. This swatch is 4.5 spi, 6 rpi on US 7, knit flat on circulars. I know I'm supposed to swatch in the round as well, but I won't. I want to start this at camp (rather than beginning a new pair of unnecessary socks and then obsessing about finishing them).

I have finished the baby sweater except for buttons and blocking:

I even wove (that sounds wrong!) in all the ends. It's an interpretation as it were, but I think it's cute. For a gender unknown baby of actor-type friends. Well, I like it. If they don't, I'll never know. I will run this through a wash cycle and make sure it's okay.

I won't be posting again till next week as the Brownie Troop is going camping all weekend, woo-hoo! I will be trying to bring my spinning wheel, but space is at a premium in the little car. It may be spindles for me (plus I want to bring a few to teach on just in case). They're providing crafts for the adults, but I think I'd like to stick with my own. I have a lot of work to do!

However, I will be wearing nothing but handknit socks this weekend, which will make me smile the whole time (oh, please, DD, don't whine!).

Happy weekend, happy spinning, happy knitting, all (except the NSA; y'all can be bored)!
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