Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Friday, January 19, 2007

the end of sp9 and the beginning of a new project... or three

I found out who my pal was... a wonderfully sweet woman named Dorene, from Nevada.

This is the latest (and last) goodie box... erm, the chocolates suddenly disappeared and were never heard from again, but they were sure tasty!

The shawl is the Swallowtail shawl, knit in a cotton/silk blend in the most glorious shade of russet? persimmon? Trust me, it' s fantastic!

Some yummy tropical smelling bath salts... just the thing for a snowbound Nebraskan!

Some really beautiful votive candles that look just like tropical flowers... very beautiful... too pretty to burn.

And a beautiful card to tie it all together.

Dorene, thank you so much!

Now I need to get on the stick and get my last package sent off to my Pal.

As for projects... the book project is crawling along... by the end of the day, I don't feel like writing, I'd much rather knit, and that is what I do.

The house decluttering project goes in fits and starts - it's actually limited to my garbage can space. We keep so much crap that we don't really need... really, who needs piles upon piles of credit card applications?

On the knitting front, I have great plans for this year. I am two sleeves, a button band and a shawl collar short of completing the Sienna Cardigan that was in the fall 2006 IK. Then the next sweater on deck is the Telemark Sweater from Knit Picks then the Rogue (both courtesy my dear Secret Pal). Then I'm going to tackle the Stitch Diva Simple Knitted Bodice, sans Tilli Tomas yarn and the lace sweater that I talked about earlier in my blog. There will always be a sock on the sticks and a small project or two.
That should keep me busy for the next six months or so. Further out than that, I don't want to plan. I have such project ADD that it's going to be a challenge to stick to what I have planned.

Of course that doesn't even take into account my various and sundry sewing projects, reading list and yarn painting exploits... let alone sleeping/eating/cleaning. Who really sleeps anyway?

Friday, December 29, 2006

deep breaths

Christmas has come and gone... all of the knitted presents are done, with the exception of my mom's socks, but I perpetually have one on the sticks for her anyway. She doesn't care when she gets them... just that she gets them. The latest incarnation is something I made up: k2 p2 rib for 1 1/2 inches, then k6, p1, k2, p1 for three rounds then it's k6, p1, k2tog, yo, p1 for one round.

It's really turning out quite pretty. I'm using the Lisa Souza Sock! yarn in the Mahogany color. It's perfect for Mom because she has Navy and black and brown and grey pants, so the socks go with anything she wears. (She's not really a loud sock person anyway... that's Miz Izzy's domain.)

Next to be finished in the sock department is a feather and fan pattern sock in my own hand dyed yarn.

Then I'll finish the mate to my Dublin Bay socks in the Plum Essential Tweed from knitpicks

Then I'll start a pair in the Lisa Souza Berry Poppins... pattern as yet undetermined.

That should get me through the next couple months, no? I wish I was a faster knitter... and had less "project ADD" tendencies.

I'm going to try to reduce my sock yarn stash a bit this year... I have enough to knit at least 10 pairs of adult socks and about a half dozen pairs of kid socks, at least. Then there's the sweater queue, and the lace queue. All lovely projects, but my eyes were bigger than my stomach this past year, as regards yarn purchases... hence the yarn diet of 2007. I just hope my yarn purchasing will power is better than my "I'm not going to eat anymore cookies" willpower.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Counting down

It's 5:30 in the a.m.

I can't sleep.

I'm having heart palpitations because...

my knitted prezzies aren't done, we've been snowed in so I can't mail out my Secret Pal Present, Christmas is in 3 days and I still have 6 dozen cookies to make and two fancy dresses to sew, and, and, and...

(just breathe)

ok, it's a little better... just going off to charge the ol' ipod and podcast myself into the knitting zone for a while. At least until the baby wakes up...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

half of an f.o.

I checked out the new Knitty a couple days ago... some cute patterns, the twinkletoes pattern in particular. I cast on one two days ago (first time with the provisional cast-on and a short row toe/heel) and finished the first one last night. I knit it as written, except I made a yarn substitution: knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Cranberry. (And one slipper took about 3/4 of the skein... again probably due to the loose gauge of my knitting. )The fit is a bit big with bare feet, but I suppose I had some gauge issues. Ah, well. It is, as they say, close enough for jazz... and I'm a sucker for red shoes, especially quick knit red shoes. I think I'll take the designer's suggestion and find some leather bottoms to put on.

I'll definitely try these again (and post pics of these once I finish the second one), and maybe try a 5 needle. See if that gets me any different results. I know my Mom would love a pair, and probably Miz Izzy, but she doesn't like the "scratchy" of the wool, so I may have to do with cotton or fuzzy acrylic.

In other F.O. news, I finished a thing for my secret pal. I'll post that picture after I mail her Christmas box, which I had better get done sooner rather than later.

In stash enhancement news, I bought some Jagger silk/wool from Sarah's Yarns so I can make the Simple knitted Bodice from Stitch Diva one of these days. It's a beautiful pattern in beautiful yarn from a not-so beautiful yarn company. Hence the yarn sub. FYI, Sarah's Yarns is a great company to order from. Not only did I get my yarn at a great price, but she stuffed the box with color cards from the other yarn lines that she carries. I have to admit that I've never touched cashmere yarn before, but I practically pet the samples she sent until they disintegrated. Again with the funny looks from the Husband, but it's worth it. So totally worth it.

Added to my wish list:
The Kromski Masurka spinning wheel. It's a castle-style wheel and it's gorgeous and it's relatively affordable and if purchased from paradise fibers, you get a $40 fiber credit. That's a lot of roving, no? And with the as-yet unshorn 3 year old Rambrouillet sheep and 2 llamas out at my parent's farm, I'll be totally set for a while. If I could only convince my Husband that the $375 price tag is worth it.

Actually, I made him a deal. If he gets his Shmintendo Wii (or Wee-wee, as I call it in my head), I can have the wheel. The money will be there come the end of the year... work called me in to do inventory, since no one's taken the time to figure out how to do it after I left. And they said that I could name my price. Twenty-five bucks an hour, here I come. I just hope that he makes good on his deal.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I'll throw my hat in...

for the tackiest Christmas decorations...

There it is, in all of it's PLASTIC glory, complete with creepy vintage Santa.

Doesn't he look like he's had one too many Egg Nogs?

I inherited this great example of kitch (in a bad way) from a dear friend.

Now that I have the pictures up, the candle ring thingie doesn't look half as bad as it does in real life.

Jusht remember kids, *hic* -- Ssshanta'ssh watchin' ya... (wink, wink)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Details of SP9 care package

Last week, I received my second package from my secret pal, One Skein Wonder.

When it arrived, I'm not sure who was more excited to see what was inside: the kids or me.
When I first opened the box, there was the secret pal requisite cloud of tissue paper-- a brilliant addition that increases the anticipation...

There was the beautiful notecard and a lovely lavender sachet (that is currently living in my basket o' wool),

and a trio of lovely Filatura de Crosa mohair blend yarn in the prettiest sky blue.

Then came the patterns... oh, the patterns: The famous Rogue, which I've been salivating over for at least a year but never felt accomplished or cool enough to even buy, let alone knit*; the cabled cap that matches Rogue, and a fun fingerless mit/glove pattern from Rosie knits.
Finally, there was this darling German "Smoker". My pal celebrates a German heritage, and introduced me to one of their Christmas traditions. The kiddos and I had to immediately light his little incense cone and let him smoke away for the better part of the afternoon.

What a fun package... what a wonderful secret pal!

*After reading the 12+ pages of instructions and charts, I still don't feel accomplished enough to attempt this beautiful work of art. I think I'm going to get another sweater or two under my belt before I tackle this one. Maybe later this winter... after the Christmas craziness is done.