“May you live in interesting times.”
With all the ups and downs our little family has gone through over the last 2 months, trying to keep one’s head on straight has been hard enough, let alone trying to blog about it.
I’ll give you a cliffnotes version of what’s been going on and then give you the project/stash enhancement details.
– Competing in Sock Madness 3 (I’ve made it through to the Semi-Finals!)
– Yarn Crawl with SilverPheonix in Toronto (we had so much fun! He blogs about it here.)
– Elderly Father-in-law hospitalized & undergoes brain surgery (he had a subdural bleed resulting from falling and hitting his head). He’s home (and doing well) now after scaring the pants off of us after a month & a half of surgery & rehab.
– WE’RE FINALLY MOVING!!!! Unbelievably, we scored the assistant building managers position of my In-Laws’ apartment building. We move in June 1st. The new apartment is IMMACULATE, has a balcony (which being on the 5th floor gives me the willies), and the building has laundry facilities! (Can you hear the angels singing?) Best of all 50% off of the rent and the opportunity of maybe running a building of our own in the future. Sweet.
– My laptop (or rather the harddrive thereof) DIED. Subsequent tries by my beloved to repair the ancient Dell Latitude resulted in 2 more fried harddrives. We have since decided that this is my laptop telling us to “Leave me the hell alone and let me die in peace!”. BadgerDan is allowing me to share his laptop until he can get us some new MacBooks. No more screwing around. We did a backup a while ago, so I didn’t lose too much data (I hope.)
– Our nephew Richard and his girlfriend Shannon are going to have a baby boy (first baby in the family in a *very* long time and soon-to-be big brother Eric doesn’t know what he’s in for). Yay, baby knitting!
– My cousin is getting married at the end of July and I’m thinking a blanket will be a good gift. If I crochet it, I might just be able to get it done in time.
A whole bunch more has been going on, but those are the biggies.
Okay, lets get to some fun fibry stuff!
First, some shout-outs:
My darling SilverPheonix gifted me with these:
Organic 2-ply Laceweight Alpaca from a local breeder! A 4 oz skein each “Li’l Miss”(brown) & “Verdy” (cream) which I assume to be the names of the individual animals.
and he *made* me these gorgeous stitch markers!
(There was a bunch of other goodies in the care package too – spoiled me rotten, you did, David! Thank You!)
Remember all those finished socks from the last post for the Sock Knitter’s Anonymous February Challenge? Well, I *actually* WON some yarn!
This is a wicked 100g skein (500m) of Yak Wool 4Ply in “Electrical Storm” donated by Ruth (Cinders over on Ravelry) of (Black Cat Fibres) all the way from Lancashire, England. I can’t stop petting it.
Katkoe of PaperandYarn sent me an adorable little set of flowery stitch markers to brighten my day. Which they did, but I just can’t get a good picture of them. They’re real cute though. Thanks again!
Some purchased Yarn Pr0n:
I was a really good girl (and I have David to back me up on this), yarnwise at least (lol) while on our Yarn Crawl and only fell down when I saw this absolutely GORGEOUS skein of Koigu KPPPM over at Lettuce Knit. I think it looks like African Violets, don’t you? I paid full price for it, but as it was a special occasion, we decided it doesn’t count :P.
In the interests of full disclosure, I’ve also purchased the following yarn:
– 4.5 balls of Bouquet “Marina” Superwash Wool (around $2.50 from the Salvation Army) I needed it to make my FIL a pair of gloves (detailed later).
– A mixed bag of yarn which included a few of balls of Kroy wool & some misc. acrylic ($4 from the Salvation Army)
– A ball of Cream Georga 100% Mercerized Wool from Walmart (I paid full price for this one, but needed it to make these socks as a future project, I already had 2 balls of the dark grey and don’t want to mix with a non-mercerized wool.)
– 2 BAGS (20 balls) of Twilleys of Stamford Freedom Spirit col. 417 “Promise” (which I scored at an unbelievable 70% off). I don’t have plans for it yet, but by the Gods, 2400m of DK Wool should be enough to make *something*!! Maybe even something “Rowan-esque”. Ain’t it purty?
See? I’ve been good.
If you follow me at all, you won’t be surprised that I’ve been working on a whole whack of projects since my last post. So consider yourself warned that this section is heavy on the photos and content.
I’m going to detail the misc. stuff (in chronological order) first, then the Sock Madness Rounds, followed by what’s currently on the needles and what ended up in the proverbial Frog Pond. Sound good? You sitting down? Let us begin.
SilverPhoenix Hat – a surprise gift for David given to him on our trip to Toronto.
Pattern: Louisa by Kristi Pedersen (West Coast Creative)
Yarn: Twilleys of Stamford Freedom Spirit, “Air” (Shade 506); Filatura di Crosa Zara, light grey (Col 1494)
Quilted Windmill Cloth – the March 2009 Mid-month cloth for the Monthly Dishcloth KAL Yahoo! Group.
Pattern: The Windmill Dishcloth by Sew-Funky
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton; Jewels, Delft Blue, Light Blue
FIL’s Manly Gloves – Danny’s Dad lost one of his leather winter gloves, so I offered to make him a new pair. When I asked what colour, 3 voices responded in unison “Grey. Plain.” *SIGH* Let’s just say that I would rather give myself a lobotomy with a plastic DPN over making these gloves again.
Pattern: Gloves for Service Men by the American Red Cross (vintage pattern from 1942)
Yarn: Bouquet Marina, col. 6750 (Steel Grey)
Pleated Beret – This was the April Vertical KAL Woolly Wormhead hat. It worked up fast and well, but just looks *wrong* on my head. I don’t know why. I’ll take it apart later and reuse the yarn for something else. I’ll try the pattern again with a different yarn some other time.
Pattern: Pleated Beret by Woolly Wormhead
Yarn: FibraNatura Oak, Tyme (40255); Sublime Extra Fine Merino DK, WaterLeaf (019)
Highland Hose – They’re finally DONE!!!!!!! And OMG I love them!!! I reversed the cables on the second one to make them symmetrical.
Pattern: Rose’s Hose by Rose Singerman (from “Sock Hop: Socks to Make Your Feet Dance” by Joseph Madl for Philosopher’s Wool)
Yarn: Hayfield Falkland, col. 16004 (250g)
Illusion Egg Hunt Cloth – the April KAL Cloth for the Yahoo! Monthly Dishcloth KAL. I used up scraps to stripe the “eggs”. Trust me that there are a lot of better looking versions than mine :).
Pattern: Illusion Egg Hunt Dishcloth by Deborah C. Tilley
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Natural; Lemon Swirl; Denims; Natural Ombre
Malachite BSJ – A jacket for the new grand-nephew! I forwent the buttons and did some i-cord ties instead.
Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Georga 100 percent Cotton, Green Multi; Dk. Green Cotton from frogged Old Navy Sweater
April Squares – The April CAL squares for the 2009 Sampler Afghan.
Pattern: April Square by Julie A. Bolduc
Yarn: Chunky Homespun from frogged Equadorian Sweaters
Mystic Star Shawl – is COMPLETE and FRICKING GORGEOUS! Couldn’t be happier (although I thought that last clue was going to kill me). I assure you, there are beads in there.
Pattern: Mystic Star by Anna Dalvi
Yarn: Broder Medicis 2-ply laceweight wool (from France) handdyed to a midnight blue by me.
Beads: #8 Miyuki Clear Beads
Little Acorn Bag – I crocheted up this little project bag on a whim. (Little did I know where it would lead…more on this later.)
Pattern: Little Acorn Project Bag by Brigitte Read
Yarn: Light Brown Mystery Tweed from Stash; Noro Kureyon, Col. 149
Beads: 3/4″ Wood
Absinthe Socks – a pair worthy of the Green Fairy, don’t ya think? A couple of modifications: I ran 2×2 ribbing up the back of the leg, made the cuff longer (total 18 rnds instead of 12) and reversed the middle cables on the second sock.
Pattern: Absinthe socks by Sara Morris (Knitty, Spring 2009)
Yarn: Scheepjes Invicta Extra, Electric Green (discontinued)
BadgerDan’s Bad-ass Driving Gloves – My beloved had his birthday at the end of March (his 49th – I love you honey! *duck*) and these are what he wanted me to make him. Had to do an inter-library loan to get the pattern, but it was definitely worth it. (I plan on getting my own copy when I do my “book binge” this year.) The only thing I modified was shortening the straps to 7″ and replacing the D-rings with a button closure.
Pattern: Driver by Robin Melanson (from Knitting New Mittens & Gloves)
Yarn: Gjestal Selbu Husflidgarn, Col. 312 (black heather)
April Showers Cloth – the April Mid-month Cloth for Monthly Dishcloth KAL Yahoo! Group. I “intarsia”ed the contrast border.
Pattern: April Showers by Deborah C. Tilley
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Green Twists; Forest Green
May Squares – The May CAL squares for the 2009 Sampler Afghan.
Pattern: Rainbow Crochet 6″ Square by Sarah Bradberry
Yarn: Homespun Wool from frogged 2nd hand Equadorian Sweaters
If you’re wondering, the 2009 Sampler Afghan currently looks like this at the moment:
I whipped off a bunch of baby socks in leftover yarn (details in the links):
Spring Stripes Baby Socks
Woodsy Baby Socks
Reese’s Pieces Stripe Baby Socks
Baby Huntsman Socks
Cosmos Baby Socks
Dr. Who Baby Socks
Which bring us to my latest FO – the Little Knitted Acorn Project Bag
When I shared my crocheted acorn bag with my Sock Madness friends, a few of them requested a knitted version as they don’t crochet. Always willing to assist, I offered to write one. And this is the result:
I consulted with the original designer and she gave me the green light to offer it as a free pattern. As soon as I hear back from my test-knitters and get the pattern re-typed (my master was nuked with the rest of my laptop), the PDF will be available as a Free Ravelry Download and I’ll have a direct download from here as well. (Providing, of course, I can figure out HOW to make it work.)
So, if you’re interested, stay tuned!
This year’s Sock Madness has been a lot of fun so far. We’ve just finished up Round 5, with only 2 rounds left to go. And I’m STILL IN THE RUNNING! I guess all the practice has paid off (lol).
In retrospect, I do admit that some of my yarn choices could have been better…
(As the designers are always better at explaining their own patterns, I’ve provided links to the Sock Madness blog posts in the pattern notes for each.)
Round 1 – Tropical Mer-tini Socks
Pattern: Tropical Mer-tini Socks by Ronni Smith
Yarn: Austermann Step, Col. 09
Round 2 – Tokena Socks
Pattern: Tokena by Tricia Weatherston
Yarn: Shelridge Farm Soft Touch Heather, Cajun Spice; Paton’s Kroy 3-ply, Col. 390
Needles: 2mm DPNs (cuff, heel, toe); 2.25mm DPNs (fair isle)
Round 3 – Talia’s Wings (The Manly Version)
(A little note: BadgerDan requested a pair be made for him during the competition – these would be them.)
Pattern: Talia’s Wings by Heatherly Walker
Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit Marmi, col. 7001
Needles: 2.5mm circs
Round 4 – Lucky Diamond Socks
(After I finished this round, I made the following modifications to my socks: Lengthened toe by 1″ and lengthened cuff to 1.5″.)
Pattern: Lucky Diamonds by Melissa Goodale
Yarn: Shelridge Farms Soft Touch Ultra 3ply, col. SU0107A-081(Blues); Paton’s Kroy 3ply, col. 374 (Dk. Navy)
Needles: 2.25mm circs
Round 5 – Fine Feathered Feet
Pattern: Dimpled Diamonds Socks by Deborah Swift
Yarn: Opal Rainforest 4ply, Owl
Needles: 2.25mm, 2mm
Next stop…the Semi-finals!
Which brings us to what I’m actively working on right now:
Works In Progress
The Zen Pullover is slowly taking shape:
I’ve opted to sew the sleeves and instead of working the back & front pieces seperately, picked up and am knitting the body in round top down. I hope it will fit – if not, I’ll just pull it back and add more stitches. It is a “Zen” pullover after all…
I joined yet another Mystery Shawl KAL – this one is called “Wings of Horus” by Kalinumba and involves solving riddles before you can open the PDF Clues. Due to Sock Madness demanding my attention, I’ve only completed the first 2 clues (the 5th one was just released):
If the yarn looks familiar – it should. It’s the same yarn I used for the now frogged Casablanca Shawl. Doesn’t it look like falcon feathers? The last clue will have us adding a whole bunch of beads – I’ll have to find some golden ones I think.
Sock Knitters Anonymous is running another mystery sock KAL – this one by the famous Yarnissima! The pattern is called Kiila and I’ve finished the first clue (again, delayed by Sock Madness).
The yarn is a discontinued yarn from KnitPicks called “Memories” in the “Redwood Forest” colourway. Here’s a close-up:
And since the only knitting book to somehow escape being packed away for the move is my copy of “Favorite Socks” and I’m so close to finishing the 52 Pair Plunge II (it ends May 31st and my current total stands at 43 pairs), I have a couple of pairs on the go from there:
SuperMeida Socks (Meida’s Socks by Nancy Bush) is using up one of my oddball, single skein, “what was I thinking” yarns – Cascade Sassy Stripes in a forgotten colourway that I can’t find the name of. It just reminds me of a superhero costume. The toe is some closely matching dk grey 4-ply Kroy.
Here’s what it looks like with a foot in it:
The stitch pattern reminds me of Wonder Woman for some reason…
And begun today…
Cable Rib Socks (by Erica Alexander) which I’m altering a wee bit by knitting them out of the Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester Aran (Cosmic Dawn colourway) from my frogged Thrum Socks (I kept the mohair roving to spin – hey it’s Fleece Artist and I’m thrifty!) on 3.25mm needles. I’ve reduced the stitch count down to 42. So far, so good.
This brings us finally to:
The Frog Pond Report
Even after changing to yet *another* yarn, the Dogwoods in Spring Mystery Shawl didn’t want to cooperate – so into the pond it went. Eventually, I hope to find the right yarn.
Believe it or not, it’s taken me over 7 hours to complete this blog post. I really do need to start contemplating blogging on a daily basis…
That is, if my “times” don’t get any more “interesting”.