Mar 29, 2007

ECF - Cheating Edition

Here's very pretty orchid for Eye Candy Friday.


NurserySadly, it's not mine and I feel like such a cheater. The girls and I made a spur of the moment visit to a local nursery last Sunday and, naturally, I felt compelled to take a few pictures. Wouldn't you? Look at all of that gorgeous green!

Anyway, I didn't go there expressly to take pictures for the blog but it really feels a little like taking the easy way out to take ECF pictures at a nursery full of beautiful flowers. It's a little like hunting at the zoo (not that I would). I'll take it though. I certainly earned it. The girls each "needed" plants for the window sills in their rooms. Neither of them has a particularly green thumb but I'm always ready to believe that this time they'll take better care and, perhaps these plants will live a long and productive life. Yeah right! I also found a few items to add to the landscaping around out house. It really wasn't a lot but - oh boy does that bill add up. I plan on planting it all this weekend and then I can share my purchases in their new homes.

Have a great weekend!

Visual Learning

I am a reader and, in general, my first response to the unfamiliar is to go to the library and find a book. Buying an appliance – find a book. Taking a trip – find a book. Parenting issue – find a book. Medical difficulty – find a book. It’s my response to just about everything and, through the years, this has served me well. I learned how to cut my hair (ok, that’s a bad example but it was the 80's), to knit, to do household repairs, and to cook. All of these things were pretty successful.

Lately though, the books have been letting me down. I’ve come across some new-to-me cast-ons and, although I consulted numerous books, I just couldn’t wrap my head around them. Ditto for chained singles or Navajo plying. I just couldn’t figure out how to get it to work for me. I tried and failed miserably. Thankfully, I found some great little tutorials on the web. What would we do without the internet and, more importantly, knitting/spinning blogs?

Chained Singles - FinnFor spinning techniques I seem to gravitate to The Joy of Handspinning ( The quick little videos are just what I need. I can read all about the why’s and wherefore’s but, in the end, what I need is for someone to just show it to me and these little video’s do the trick. Granted, I watch them over and over and over again – sometimes as many as 10 times before I try it myself. At some point though, it clicks.

Most recently, it helped me figure out how to Navajo ply. See this, it's the remainder of the Finn as a tiny skein of chained singles. Isn't it cute?

Speaking of reading. I've been reading quite a bit lately. A little over a month ago I mentioned some of the books I'd been reading. In response I got some great suggestions of books to add to my reading list. I wrote them down in a little notebook to carry in my bag so that it would be handy if I found myself at the library. I just finished the first one on my list, Cane River by Lalita Tademy, a suggestion from Carole. I loved this book! The story is a fictionalized version of the author's family history. This story about a family of strong women in Louisiana and their gradual move from slavery to freedom was totally engrossing. I love books that take me away to a different time or place and this one truly did.

I'm actually not the only one who's been reading a lot lately - the Drama Queen has been bitten hard by the Harry Potter bug. We've had these books in the house for years but they've sat, mostly undisturbed, for a long time. Suddenly, about 2 weeks ago, DQ picked one up and now she's on #5. She just won't put them down. Sadly a recent dip in her usually stellar grades reflect her total fixation on Harry Potter and, although hubbo and I have tried to realign her priorities, she is resisting strenuously. Thankfully there is only one more book on our shelves now and the last installment won't be out until the summer - after school ends.

Mar 28, 2007

Fiber - Spun and Unspun

IMG_0785[1]Last week I mentioned multiple fiber purchases but I only showed you what I got from Crown Mountain because this hadn't arrived yet. This is Sour Grapes from Spunky Eclectic. I'm so proud of myself and my fiber purchases because I'm usually a very blue/green girl and I've gone outside of my comfort zone colorwise with these choices. It's all about branching out and trying new things around here.

IMG_0795So, last night I was hanging out in the living room with hubbo and he starts looking at the pile o' fiber on the floor and looking at the wheel. I thought that a comment about the relative state of disorganization might be on the way but nope, that's not what he was noticing. He was amazed at the difference between how the fiber looks before and after spinning. It really does look quite different.

IMG_0800So here is how my Magic Carpet Ride is going so far. I think it looks ok. It's not perfect but it's certainly an improvement. I still think that it could possibly be socks. We'll see.

I still feel kind of unworthy of this fiber. I feel like my spinning may not do it justice. It's a bit of a catch 22 because spinning regularly is the only way that I'll get better. Regular spinning requires me to buy fiber and I'm certainly not going to buy anything that doesn't appeal to me. If I'm going to buy fiber I'm going to buy stuff that I find beautiful. Right? But that means that I'm going to have to use my treasures to learn with and some of it may not turn out as well as it would if I had more experience. Argh!

I'm having some camera issues lately. I can't seem to get pictures where the color, clarity and composition all work at the same time. I hope that you'll excuse the crappy picture quality.

Mar 27, 2007

Bloomin Silly

IMG_0792[1]I bought this yarn, along with 3 other skeins of Socks That Rock over a year ago. At the time I was all caught up in a STR frenzy but after a while I kind of got over it. It wasn't bad yarn but the colors just seemed too muted or something. Maybe I had built up unreasonable expectations. It's been sitting in my stash ever since - not really doing anything for me.

Along came Bloomin Feet and this skein, which I was not feeling the love for, seemed perfect for my pal. I put it on my swift and it became a really sweet looking yarn cake. The skein I was not so enamoured of but the yarn cake... oooo that yarn cake, I fell hard for that yarn cake. Apparently there were really good things hidden deep within that skein and the yarn cake brought them out.

IMG_0786[1]Then I needed to find the perfect pattern for this very attractive yarn so I pulled out stitch books, perused my stash of patterns and, again, went for a former love. Here There Be Dragons! I had seen Theresa working on the pattern and watched her blog anxiously awaiting the release of the pattern but when it became available - eh, not so much. I don't know why but suddenly I didn't need it quite as much as I did before it was available.

Well, I have started working on it and I'm in love. The pattern, the yarn - it's all perfect. It's even perfect together. The only things that kill me are... a) that it's not for me and... b) that I didn't appreciate it before.

I'm just a little beyond the heel on the first sock now. (I'd hoped to be done with the first sock by now.) I have to say that it may be my best short row heel to date. The only thing I don't love is the way the top of this sock rolls. If only I hadn't missed Theresa's note about doing a few garter rows to avoid the roll. Sheesh!

IMG_0788[1]But look at this heel. How cool is it that the pattern continues down just perfectly? I think that makes up for the rolling. I'll try to do a little blocking after I wash these and maybe that will coax the roll out of these socks.

I want these socks!

BTW - I dropped off the paperwork last night so I will not be whining about GS Cookies any more - except for those that find their way to my hips. Why, oh why must they do that?

Mar 26, 2007

Cookie Crumbs

Blue Skies and BudsI just uploaded a bunch of pictures I took this weekend to flickr and, as I look at them, I noticed that they’re all flowers and blue skies – no knitting at all. I suppose that says a lot about my weekend. There were several things weighing heavily on my mind to the point where knitting or spinning became impossible. I tried but nothing was really working for me. I just ran from place to place, dropping kids off, picking kids up, and doing errands. Peppered throughout there was Advil – lots and lots of Advil.

Sock Madness was pretty active this weekend and I was trying very hard to keep up with the finishers. It’s funny because we chose easier patterns for the first rounds so that even the relative novices would be able to enjoy themselves and so that everyone could ease into things a bit. I still think that it was the right choice but it has made things a little crazy for me because these early rounds have moved super-fast. It’s a challenge to keep up. I hope that as the patterns get more challenging, it will take a little longer for rounds to finish.

I was single parenting this weekend and, as I told Krista, that always leaves me feeling somewhat empowered. I’m happy that I don’t have to do it often but it’s nice to know that I can. I fed the girls reasonably healthy meals, got them where they had to be (mostly on time) and even managed to straighten up a bit around the house. Amazingly, nothing blew up. Hooray!

Blue Skies and Buds 2The girls and I had a lovely evening on Saturday night. We went out for dinner, ice cream and a movie. We saw Dream Girls at the second run theater right near my house. What a great movie. Jennifer Hudson was amazing. You could see the emotions passing across her face and her singing – OMG! The girls loved the movie and want the soundtrack now. I suspect that 2 things will happen really soon – they’ll get a copy of the soundtrack and they’ll play it ‘till I’m sick of it.

This would’ve been such a great weekend if it weren’t for the stress of finishing the Girl Scout Cookie sale that was at the back of my mind all weekend. It really accounted for the lion's share of the stress. I could’ve been done with it by Friday or early Saturday but one parent was holding me up. This person promised to have their money to me by Thursday but didn’t. They also didn’t have the courtesy to call and give me their truly lame excuse. Because of this person, who didn’t give me their money until yesterday, I am hurrying at the last minute, today, to get all the paperwork finished and wrap this up and hand my paperwork in on time. This is what gave me a migraine last night and what had me so stressed that fiber didn’t even help. I suppose that I’d feel better if I just told her what I think of her but that’s really not my style. I'm very non-confrontational. Instead I’ll hand my paperwork in tonight and finally feel happy, knowing that I’m never, ever doing this again. Hooray!

Just don’t try to get between me and Charlotte tonight. We have a long overdue date with a Magic Carpet.

Mar 22, 2007

ECF - Fiber Therapy Edition

I was all set to put up more flowers for my Eye Candy this week and then I came home today and found something even better at my door - fiber!

EMF - Fiber

I was pretty surprised because I just ordered it on Monday. This is Twist & Shout and Magic Carpet Ride from Crown Mountain Farms. I wish you could feel how soft it is. I cannot wait to start spinning it! I'd love to turn it into socks but I'm a little afraid. It's so beautiful and I've been wanting it for such a long time. Now I have it and I really don't want to screw it up.

Have a great weekend!

Fiber Considered

Last week I told you that hubbo had radiation treatment. Well, by way of an update I can say that he's doing much better this week. How well? As well as any guy on a 4 day golf outing in Myrtle Beach would be. Yeah, I'm sure that he's feeling just fine.

Spinning Alert! (this is for my sister who's eyes tend to glaze over when I talk about spinning)

I recently finished 2 skeins of yarn and, while they look quite different, they have 2 things in common. They are both knittable - I can, and will, produce a respectable looking fabric with them. They are also both fibers that I don't care for all that much. Spinning for me is as much about learning as it is about relaxing and creating so I took a little time to think about these fibers and why I don't care for them.

Grapfruit RomneyYou've seen this Romney before. I already shared the version that I plied with silk. I had a significant amount left over and I decided to leave it as a single. I have to say that it remonds me of the steadfast fibers yarn I bought in January - only a little finer. The spinning looks pretty even which makes me happy. What doesn't thrill me is the hairyness (is that even a word?). This stuff shed hair all over the place. This is not a good thing. It's also not as soft as many other fibers. It's ok but it's nothingI want to dive into.

On the other hand, it spun reasonably smoothly and easily. I think that the long fibers had a lot to do with the ease of spinning. I felt pretty competent with it while spinning. It just wasn't any fun.

Seafoam FinnFinn is sticky. That's the best word I can come up with to describe exactly what displeases me about it. It's not goopy sticky. It's sticky like velcro, with clingy fibers that just don't seem to want to left go of each other and, when they do, they do so very unevenly. I'm sure that there are positives to this but, for me, it just means that it's hard to get in a groove when spinning this stuff. I'd find myself spinning along happily and then the fiber would get ornery and clingy again. Consequently, most of this skein is nice and looks like yarn ought to but there are way too many unpleasant spots.

I bought this fiber because I'd read somewhere that it was fun or pleasant to spin. It's not. In all fairness to this yarn I should mention that it's very soft. Before I spun it I really liked it a lot because it was so pleasant to touch. I'm also very pleased with the results of my dye job.

I'm sure that better spinners than I have said it better before but, one of the purposes of this blog is to keep a record of stuff. Hopefully I'll look back and remember these experiences before I'm tempted to buy more Romney or Finn.

Mar 20, 2007

Burnt Popcorn

Burnt PopcornThere are few things that will cause people in the office to hunt you down like the smell of burnt popcorn. Make that mistake and nobody will miss it. People will hunt you down from the ends of the earth to crack jokes, give you knowing looks and let you know that you're stinking up the place. That smell lingers like nothing else. Even now, hours later, sitting in my living room, the smell lingers in my nostrils and I dread going to work tomorrow because I know that odor will still be there - clinging to everything. I think they may need to fumigate.

I'm still working on my Bloomin Feet socks and I hope to have bloggable progress to share soon. I think I'll feel much better if I can finish something - even one sock. In a weird way, finishing this sock may help me keep the startitis at bay. Does that make sense? Measurable progress is just such an encouraging thing.

Wake Me When It's Over

I really wish I had more exciting things to say today but my life right now is consumed with a few things:

• Finishing off the Girl Scout cookie sale for Stinkerbelle’s troop. I’ve already told them that this is the very last year that I do it. You’d think that it would get easier after so many years but there is always one parent who makes you want to throw things. Not to worry – next week at this time it should be mostly over. I can hand over all of the records I’ve kept and breathe a huge sigh of relief.
• Keeping up with Sock Madness. This is, for the most part, a thing that makes me smile. I know that I’ve mentioned it before but it’s so gratifying to see it running exactly the way I hoped it would. You should see the discussion going on. There is such a sense of community and support for one another. Even so, there is a lot of work required to keep it moving along well. I’m still working on test knitting socks (believe it or not) and trying to eliminate any ambiguity in the patterns. There is more prize yarn to dye and, oh yeah, I need to start giving stuff away. Hmmm.
• Planning for Spring Break. We’re not going anywhere this year but we still need to figure out plans for the girls. How can it be this time of year again?
• Preparing for the Passover holiday. I really love holidays but this one makes me a little nuts with the huge amount of planning it involves. There are people to invite, meals to plan, cooking to do, food to buy, dishes to change. Ugh!

Is it any wonder that I accidentally bought a little fiber yesterday? Actually I had been pondering 2 fiber purchases for quite a while. I’d go to the sites, look for a while - considering all the fiber and color choices, decide what to buy, and then stop just short of placing the order.

The other day, after I finished spinning the Finn (plied and hung last night) I looked at my stash - trying to decide what to spin next. It was a hard choice. I’m still doing my pre-MDS&W fiber survey. I already tried Finn and Romney and I didn’t want to do more of that. I have a little Coopworth and Blue Faced Leicester but I want to dye them first. I pulled out a little bit of Merino (which I have spun before) and I think that’s what I’ll go with but I realized that I really ought to try Superwash Merino before MDS&W. Assuming that quite a bit of fiber will follow me home from MDS&W, and that much of it will be superwash – I really ought to try it ahead of time. Right? (see how I can rationalize nearly anything?) Well, ignoring the nasty surprise that is our tax bill this year (let’s not speak of that) I went back to the 2 sites I’ve been stalking and let my fingers do the walking. As soon as it arrives I promise to share it with you.

BTW-I watched Dancing With the Stars last night and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Paulina still looks fab and I think she's very funny. You have to applaud John Ratzenberger too, for stepping in a the the last minute with grace and good humor. I just hope that Heather Mills goes home quickly. I really dislike her quite a lot. I just don't find anything appealing about her.

Mar 18, 2007

A Weekend in Pictures

It got cold again here this weekend. Friday night it was raining and sleeting and gross. The rest of the weekend was bright and sunny but still bitter cold. Look at these icicles clinging to the shrubs in front of my house. Pretty, right? They would be if they weren't evidence of failing gutters. Uh oh!

Icy Mop

This is much better. It's the start of my Bloomin Feet socks. Sorry for the washed out picture - it was taken outside in the sun. I worked on them a lot this weekend. I'll have more on them later this week. Maybe even a finished sock - or two. That's a little wishful thinking for you.

Bloomin' Sock Sprouts

Here's something else cool. I finished spinning the Finn. I'm gonna let it rest a little before I ply it together. It looks ok here but I know there are some really icky parts. Never-the-less, I think it'll be knittable and that's the point.

Finn Singles

I rounded out the fiber play with lot's of laundry catch-up, straightening around the house, and a party at my neighbors where I caught up on all of the local gossip. I found out which neighbors received use of a dumpster as a wedding gift. Yep, that's right, a dumpster! Apparently this house (which is hidden from my view by another) was inhabited by a bachelor who is a bit of a packrat. Upon his recent marriage, a friend sent a dumpster over to encourage him to make room for his bride. It was filled in a day! Yikes!

Not a bad weekend over all.

Mar 15, 2007

ECF - Wedding Edition

What? Like you couldn't see this one coming from a mile away? I was at a wedding last weekend so naturally the flowers would be the perfect Eye Candy.

Wedding Flowers

These weren't the best of them - just the ones that I got the best picture of.

Have a great weekend!

Mar 14, 2007

An Early 80

Spring LunchToday was a gorgeous day here - unreasonably, unseasonably gorgeous. I heard it hit 80! It was the kind of day where the sun beckons but you hesitate to go outside for lunch because you know just how hard it will be to go back inside.

I decided to throw caution to the wind and step outside. This was my lunch. A salad, iced tea, wifi and fresh air. Does it get any better than that? It was glorious! I sat and surfed and enjoyed the my lunch while I people watched. Can you see me reflected on my laptop screen? I did manage to tear myself away and go back to my desk but the sun had gone to my head and I wasn't fabulously productive. Oh well.

This week has been kind of a trying one for me because hubbo had a radiation treatment on Tuesday. Radiation! Just the thought of it freaks me out. It's part of the treatment for Thyroid Cancer. Yes, I can say it now - Cancer. Stinkerbelle doesn't know that's what her daddy has but the Drama Queen does. I told her Tuesday night. I didn't plan on it but she was discussing someone else with the same disease and it just seemed like the right moment. She dealt with it just fine. Naturally, she wanted to know why we didn't tell her up front. I told her that the word Cancer is scary, even for adults, and that we felt she needed to be able to see that her daddy was ok before she heard it. Amazingly, she understood and she's ok with it. I am so thankful for that.

By this weekend we'll be doing just fine because hubbo will no longer be dangerously radioactive but, for now, he's living in the basement - away from us. He can't be anywhere near us so I'm all things to everyone. Ugh! I'm so not a morning person. Getting us all up and out of the house each day has been quite the job but the girls are a huge help. The kicker is that next Wednesday he leaves for a golf trip with his buddies so it's all me again. Fun, fun, fun.

Blue Green FinnIs it any wonder that I needed a little quality time with Charlotte tonight? This is what we did. You may recognize this as the Finn that I dyed recently. My spinning still leaves much to be desired but it's finer and more even than in the past. There's still a little thick and thing but not nearly as much. I love the results of my dye job too. Stink-o says that she wishes they were a little darker but I like them. They're very spring-like. I'm just having a hard time getting the feel for the fiber. I think that the drafting is the issue.

Mar 13, 2007

Fibery Joy In Ottawa

As I mentioned yesterday, there was lots of fibery happiness in Canada. It started almost immediately because we arrived at the hotel in Ottawa with just enough time for me to drop hubbo and the girls off before heading off to pick up my brother at the airport... after a quick detour at a LYS.
Apple Laine YarnIt was so easy to find Wool-Tyme. It was located so close to the airport that it would've been criminal not to stop for a moment. The staff was really helpful and the place was full of really nice yarn but I really didn't really need to look far to find what I wanted. See this display full of Apple Laine? that's what I really wanted. Not only is it sock yarn but it's dyed right there in Ontario - perfectly acceptable within the parameters of KFYS 2007. Could there be any better knitty souvenir?

Apple Laine MackintoshHere's what I got. This is a lovely pile of 7 skeins of Apple Pie (50% Wool, 20% Mohair, 20% Silk & 10% Nylon) in Macintosh. It's destined to be Icarus - a shawl I love. I overbought by a bit but that's ok. If I have any left over then I can make socks to match. I's rather have too much than too little. Isn't it beautiful? I'll have to take it outside and get a better picture because the lighting in my dining room just doesn't do it justice.

There were other things to please my fiber loving self in this past weekend. My aunt and my cousins are knitters/crocheters too so I brought a sample of my spinning to show them and they loved it. If that wasn't good enough, my uncle, who's taken up wood turning, is going to try to make more bobbins for my wheel. Whee!

Last but certainly not least, I got a request from an unexpected place. A few months ago I made an orange hat for my brother-in-law and I sweat every stitch. He's kind of a tough customer so I was really worried that he wouldn't like it. Over dinner Saturday night he told me that he really loves it and wants another one. He just wants the new one to be warmer. I'm thinking double-knit maybe. I've never tried that. Any suggestions for a manly double-knit hat that would look cool in hunters blaze orange?

BTW. It's Margene's birthday today. Go on over and wish her a happy one.

Mar 12, 2007

Canadian Weekend

My weekend jaunt to Canada started off a little rocky. We arrived at the hotel on Friday night to find the lobby was partially closed due to a burst pipe and the hotel was filled with kids on a ski trip. They were everywhere! I could hear them overhead racing up and down the halls and I thought for sure that the hotel was going to crumble around us in a heap.
Canadian Flags

Thankfully, with the exception of a nasty and stubborn stomache bug that plagued me all weekend long, the rest of the trip was great. The hotel we stayed at in Ottawa was nice, with a great pool with a 2 story waterslide that kept the kids busy. My cousin looked radiant as every bride ought to. My daughters had a blast visiting with family and dancing till they dropped. Fun was had by all.

There was even fiber joy over the weekend. I knit a lot, working test knitting yet another sock and I finished the pair of Ball Band Dishcloths in time to gift them to my brother and his wife, Misun, who just bought an apartment in NYC. As I found out, 2 balls of Sugar & Cream is the perfect amount to make a pair of dishcloths if you reverse the colors on the second one. Perfect!

There's so much more to tell but we spent all day on the road and didn't get home till after 10pm tonight so I'm super tired.

Mar 8, 2007

ECF - Snowy Edition

I used a different picture of the same birdhouse (edited to note that this is a birdhouse, not a mailbox - duh!) for a recent Eye Candy Friday but how can you resist this one with the snow on it?

Snow on Birdhouse

It's the perfect picture for today since we're heading to Canada this afternoon. What are the chances we'll see snow there - 100%. We're going for a family wedding and I'm so excited because I'll get to spend the weekend with my brother and sister and their families. We all live in different states so we don't get to see each other as often as we'd like.

Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.

Mar 7, 2007

Snow on My Handspun

Most evenings this is the view that I see on my way home.

Sunset 3/2/07

Driving into the sunset is a great diversion from the traffic in Northern Virginia. I can't tell you how many times I watch the colors change as I navigate the traffic with my camera at the ready but, by the time I finally stop at a light, the show in the sky is over and I put my camera away. Tonight my normal 45 minute commute stretched to over an hour and a half. Nothing can make a ride like that any more pleasant. I spent most of it on a road a little over a mile from my house. I could have walked home faster at that point. The problem - a late season snow storm which blanketed our area with white and caused extreme icing on our roads. Cars spun out everywhere. I was so relieved to finally arrive home in one piece.

The snow was nasty to drive in but taking pictures was another story. Look at this.
Blue yarn in snow

This may look familiar because it's the second half of the fiber (obtained from the Barefoot Spinner at Mudfest) which I spun when my wheel first arrived. The color makes it really hard to photograph but this is much more even than the first batch. There are little nubby bits in the yarn which I didn't notice much last time because it was all much thicker and very uneven. This time you can clearly see and feel them. I will definitely knit this up soon. It will be one of 2 patterns. I thought that it would be Argosy but then, today, the new Knitty came out and I saw this. I've forgotten the yardage in this skein but I think it's enough. I could even dip into the first skein if I need more. Hooray!

Wanna hear more good news? I picked a pattern for my Bloomin' Socks. I got the pattern for Here There Be Dragons Socks and I think it'll be perfect for the yarn and my pal. I don't know why it took me so long to figure it out since I've wanted to do that pattern for so long. I remember watching Theresa working on them and waiting patiently (not really) for her to offer the pattern. I started working on them tonight and I'll tell you all about them soon.

Mar 6, 2007

Process and Priorities

Sea FinnI was dyeing again last weekend. The more dyeing I do the more I want to do. It's fun to see what the colors will do and if they'll play nicely together. Translating the ideas in my head to reality is a fabulous challenge.

As I've said, I really want to try lot's of different fibers so this time I dyed up a little Finn. These greenish tones are very much my colors. Now I need to decide what to spin up next - this Finn or the Targhee I bought recently. It's a tough decision.

SM YarnAnother thing that I dyed recently was a boatload of yarn for Sock Madness. These skeins will all be prizes. I posted them on the Sock Madness blog the other day and now I'll share them with you. The one in the top right is Spring, followed by Indian Corn, Splash and Hokie Harvest.

I have to say that I'm a little amazed. I had hoped that the players in my little tournament would have the same outlook on knitting that I do. I really love learning new techniques and I feel like any pattern that exposes me to something new has value and is worth trying. I guess I'm a bit of a process knitter. Anyway, I was hoping that the promise of new patterns would be the main draw for our players but I really wasn't sure. Then, on Monday, I posted information on some of the prizes available and the response really surprised me. Our Sock Madness knitters were unanimous in saying that the prizes are nice but that they're in it for the patterns and the experience. How cool is that? Talk about having ones priorities straight. In a weird way this makes me so proud.

Mar 5, 2007

Falling Off the Wagon

Last weekend I decided that I wanted to knit a little gift for someone - a few dishcloths. So I went to my stash and pulled out 2 balls of Sugar 'n Cream and went to work. Here is the result of my efforts so far.

Dishcloth 1

This is yet another example of the ubiquitous Ballband Discloth. It's pretty and soft and I love it very much. Could there be a simpler pattern that gives such fun results?

Peaches & Cream StashI'm hoping that this will be one of a set of 3 so I went back to my stash to find more yarn for the coordinating dishcloths and this is what I found. Do you see the problem? It's a snoozefest. A whole lot of pink, purple, turquoise and white. Stinkerbelle chose these colors for her log cabin blanket (please don't ask about that - I'll finish it eventually) and I bought way too much. What I didn't buy was a lot of variegated "ombre" yarns to coordinate. I was in such a quandry because I've been really good so far about knitting from my stash. I really didn't want to break my streak but in the end I caved and went to AC Moore which would be forgivable if I got something helpful there. I didn't. I bought this instead - one ball of Sugar 'n Cream in Navy. What was I thinking? How does this help anything? Ugh!
The culprit

Mar 4, 2007

Romney Redeemed

This weekend was full of fiber. I spun, I dyed and I knit but not all on the same project.

Grapefruit wool/silk

Grapefruit Romney 2I started off by finishing the grapefruit Romney. Here it is in the afternoon light (above) and in my dining room (right). I took the photos in both places so that I could be sure that I was representing the colors right. Look at how close the color in the silk matches the color of the wool. To me, they blend so nicely, soft and smooth. It looks like they were dyed together instead of separately a few weeks apart. The color still reminds me of a grapefruit but without the bite.

The color may make me happy but the spinning is still a bit off. I think that I worry so much about over spinning and kinking up the yarn that I tend to under-spin. I need to learn a bit more control and get a better feel for the fiber. With that in mind I spun up the rest of the blue/purple fiber I got from the Barefoot Spinner on Friday night. It's not perfect either but it's much better. It's all plied up and drying in my basement. I'll share it with you later this week.

Early Spring FlowersLook what I found while I was taking pictures outside -crocuses! They were such a nice surprise. Saturday was warm and I was able to walk outside in short sleeves but Sunday was windy and bitter cold again. On such a wintry day it was nice to see a little reminder that Spring is near.

Mar 1, 2007

ECF - Purim Edition

Here's a little literal Eye Candy.

Purim Eye Candy

It's Purim which is like the Jewish equivalent of Halloween - kind of. One of the things that we do to celebrate is give mishloach manot which are baskets of treats. At least that's what you do if you're not lame and forgetful like me. Our synagogue puts these together every year and we just need to give them a list of who we want to send them to (and a little cash of course). The first year I totally spaced it, I didn't even catch the notice but my friends did and they sent us a basket. Last year I made a concerted effort to remember and sent them to a few friends. This year I reverted to form and completely forgot again. I am lame. The cool thing is that the gift basket that we received was from a whole bunch of friends who we wouldn't expect to have sent one to us. We feel loved.

Not only do I feel loved but I feel stylish right now because I went to get my hair done today. It was way overdue and my favorite Drama Queen had been pointing it out regularly. "Mommy, you can really see the grey when you put you hair in a headband." Gee thanks! So I went to get it cut and highlighted and I was early! You have no idea how huge that is. I've been going to the same hairdresser since before Stink-o was born and I can count on one hand the number of times I've been early - and have fingers left over! I'm rarely even on time. Wouldn't you know it - he was running late? He said that when he realized tht he was running late he checked his schedule, saw that I was next, and figured that he had time because I'm always late. What can I say - he's right.