Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Step Ahead

Two steps ahead, actually.

The first August sock is a dozen or so rows of ribbing away from being finished. I'm still really loving this pattern and the yarn, and I finally got to the point where I wasn't haunting the chart for every row. I've done the first row of ribbing, so I'm officially almost done.

Would you like to see the September socks? Of course you would.

You know I've been waiting to make these for a long time, and I finally got started this past weekend. The colorwork went super fast, especially since I did the red and gray diamonds as intarsia and the white with duplicate stitch.

Here's the back of the sock where I seamed it up. The red and white at the bottom is the start of the heel flap. Both the heel and the toe will be red and white striped. I will definitely be making more argyle socks.

I spent the weekend in Wooster again with my mom, Sean, Morgan, and Maggie. The bonus was that I got an early birthday present from Morgan and Sean. Morgan found a steal of a deal at a garage sale and got a TON of Rainbow Mills mercerized cotton for a very good price. And it's all for me! Check this out:

It's all variegated in a ton of different colorways. I'm sure some of it will become some baby things, but I'm going to have to find some cool patterns to use up some of the smaller amounts. Any ideas?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Store Sample Socks

Wow! Thanks for all the nice comments about the Notre Dame sweater set. I'm glad you guys were all so impressed. This book is a great standby when I need something for a new baby. Most of the sizes don't go above 9 months, so everything knits up very quickly.

I really think I've gotten more comments about this Notre Dame one than any other I've made. Click
here and here to see a Coca-Cola inspired sweater, and here to see a stripy sweater. Even the Lilac Garden sweater uses the same shaping from this pattern.

In other news, I've finished the orange Cherry Tree Hill store sample socks. You'll notice they're a little different... The one on the left was knit toe-up with a short row toe and heel, and the one on the right was knit cuff down with a traditional heel flap and gusset. I didn't use a pattern for either one, I just made very generic examples of each. I will make little tags to label the parts of each sock so that customers will be able to see the differences when they come into the store.

(You may have noticed that this means I have finished TWO pairs of socks in July. I cannot count these orange socks for August socks because I finished them just last night. I did this on purpose. I think I must be sick. However, this also means that I'm down to only 16 projects on my Must-Do-By-End-Of-November list.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Workin' On It

A while ago I was commissioned by a lady at work to make a special sweater for her first grandson who is due later this summer. The baby's father is a big Notre Dame fan so a special chart was devised, and this is the result:

All three items are from Simple Knits for Cherished Babies, one of the first knitting books I ever bought, about five years ago. The sweater pattern is probably the one pattern that I've knit more than any other. I just keep adding things like stripes or Notre Dame intarsia in order to keep it exciting.

The yarn is Butterfly mercerized cotton. I used about a skein and a half of the navy, and half of a skein of the gold. I modified the sweater by adding a row of single crochet around the end of each sleeve, and then instead of sewing a ribbon tie at the neck, I made a crochet chain about 9 inches long, made a row of single crochet around the neck, then continued with another 9 inch crochet chain on the other side. I figured that would be easier than trying to find matching ribbon.

The hat is knit with two strands of the yarn held together with a US 8 circular needle. The sweater and booties were both knit single stranded with a US 5 needle.

The best part about having this set complete is that now I'm down to only 17 projects that need to be completed by the end of November. I'm trying to work out the list in the side bar to keep track of those projects.

The next BIG project that has to be completed is my niece's birthday sweater. Her birthday is August 25, so my goal is to have the sweater finished by August 18, in order to have time to wrap it up and mail it to Washington. That's not much time. Her pattern calls for 575 yards of yarn, and each ball has 81 yards. I figure as long as I knit up a minimum of two balls each week, I should be able to finish on time. I finished the first ball of the week this evening! Unfortunately, this isn't the only project I need to be working on. I'm making progress, though!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Oi! So much fun in Michiganland.

We went out for Indian food and had the cheesiest waiter ever.

We went to see Transformers! It was awesome. I wanted to stay to see it again.

We went to Threadbender Yarn Shop. Are you sitting down?

We. Didn't. Buy. Anything. *gasp!* I know. They even had the
Tofutsies color that I want. (I think it's 784, but it looks awful yellow online. It's lime green and white in person.) But... can't buy sock yarn. What have I done?

We... knitted? (Okay, Katherine didn't knit, but Brenda and I did.) (Don't worry, no yarn was harmed in the making of this photo.)

We saved a turtle. Knit Knack would have been proud. I'd never seen a turtle crossing the road before! Apparently this happens a lot in Michigan.

We went to the Ice Cream Caboose. (Look! It's a caboose! And they have ice cream!) Unfortunately, we had about $1.16 between us, and we didn't even check to see if that would have gotten us more than a napkin or two.

We admired the Snowmobile Crossing signs. Okay, I admired the snowmobile crossing signs. I guess they were old school for Brenda. I'd never seen those before either.

We went sight-seeing. (As if cabooses, turtles, and snowmobile signs weren't enough.) Here are some rocks with Brenda's toes for scale.

But mostly we just talked and laughed and played with the baby and talked and laughed and played with the baby some more. Wow, it was good. I wish I could have stayed a lot longer. I'm really hoping it isn't another year and a half before we can get together again.

Pssst... Brenda? Remember... There will be no survivors!

Thursday, July 12, 2007


It seems in my eagerness to release the crankiness yesterday I neglected to mention a few important bits. Thank you so much for the kind comments, though. They were much appreciated and definitely helped to ease the crankies.

Most importantly, I WANT to complete the 18 projects I talked about yesterday. I WANT my niece and nephew to get birthday sweaters every year. I WANT to acknowledge other important people in my life by giving them handmade sweaters for their little ones. I'm aware that toddlers and newborns won't know the difference, but I don't know the toddlers and newborns as well as I know their parents, and I truly feel that although the item might fit the child, it's a gift of love for the parents as well.

I came up with the sock challenge as a way to inspire myself to finish pairs of socks and get out of the single sock rut. Nobody held a gun to my head, I really think it's good for me, and I'm enjoying it so far. Having recipients other than myself to make the socks for is great, too, because I tend to complete projects for others before I finish projects for myself.

As for the turtle, do you ever get the feeling that you've committed yourself to something for potentially the rest of your life? (Just wait until you see the outfit the turtle got for Mom's birthday*. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!!)

All that to say this: no one is forcing me to do any of these projects. I'm the one who put too much yarn on my plate and am now realizing my eyes were bigger than my knitting needles. That doesn't mean I'm not going to work my pirate booty off trying to finish all of these projects on time!

One more tiny little point... NONE of the projects I talked about yesterday are for Christmas presents. Methinks there will be no Christmas knitting this year. By December I may need a knitting sabbatical. (Or at least I'll finally be able to cast on for my
Alpine Lace Shawl!)


I also promised you big news yesterday, so here it is: This weekend I'm taking a road trip to see my
Brenda! She and Katherine are spending some time with her folks in Michigan, which is a LOT closer to me than Wyoming! So we're going to go out for Indian food, see Transformers, and spend a lot of time knitting together! I. Can. Not. Wait. I'm sure I'll have some great pictures and stories to share next week!



p.b. Go see what KelInCal has done with the Sheldon pattern. Hysterical!

*p.p.b. My mom just sent these photos of Knit Knack in his beach bum outfit:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Feeling The Pressure

You know how I like to organize my knitting projects... almost as much as I like knitting them. Well, I've been putting in quite a bit of thought about the knitting projects lately, and after a small amount of consideration, I've come to a conclusion.

I may have promised too much in too little time.

In the next five months, I need to complete 18 separate projects. Five baby sweaters, five pairs of socks, three seasonal turtle shells, three complete turtles, one store sample scarf, and my big green sweater.

Granted, I can spread the projects out over the next few months, but all 18 projects have to be completed by the end of November in order to meet their respective deadlines. For example, one baby sweater (a set, actually, with booties and a hat, too) is due at the end of July, one (five year old kid sweater, actually) by the end of August, one (newborn) some time in September, one (one year old) at the beginning of October, and the last (two year old) by the end of November. Seems pretty even.

But add in the crazy sock challenge that I've given myself and the continuous, insistent turtle demands, and I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

I've set a deadline for the finishing of the big green sweater, though: October 3, 2007. If I get it done by then, it will mean it only took me about ten and a half months to finish it. That's not too shabby for a Very First Sweater, maybe. And maybe we'll get some sweaterish weather in October and I'll be able to wear it.

Wish me luck.


Ugh. I have knitting crankiness today. I don't like being cranky on my blog, especially about knitting. So I'm going to write this vague little paragraph about a couple of things that I'm cranky about, and that will get it all out, and I won't have to be specific and/or hurt anyone's feelings because that's not what I'm all about. But I have knitting crankiness, and I'm trying to get over it.


I started a new sock last Friday night. It's the Small Capitals pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. It's a toe-up pattern, starting with an "easy toe" which I've never used before. It also has a gusset, which I've never done on a toe-up sock, and I'm pretty excited about getting to it. But I must have messed up somewhere, because I'm knitting the heel flap (which on a toe-up sock actually covers the bottom of your heel, not the back) and if I do as many rows as the pattern asks for, it will be way too long. I think I need to rip. As always, I really don't want to rip. If I don't rip, it won't fit. Frustrating.

I'm using Trekking in reds/browns (the color in the picture is a little brighter than the actual color). I'm also using my new Lantern Moon rosewood Sox Stix that my BFF Wendy got for me. I LOVE them.


Big good news tomorrow. I can't wait!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Ahead of the Game

July Socks
Jaywalker (with a modified picot cast on)
Artyarns Ultramerino, #128
Needles: US #1 dpns
Finished: July 3, 2007

Which goes to show that you can finish socks way before the deadline, even if you use #1s instead of #2s.

What is truly unbelievable is that this is my very first finished pair of Jaywalkers. I've started two others in the history of this blog: one was ripped repeatedly and the yarn is now in time-out, and the other was recently ripped for having been a UFO for much too long. This was the perfect pattern for the Artyarns, though.

A pretty pink princess picot perfects the presentation.

(click for bigger)
Both pairs were gifted yesterday to Diane (June socks) and Meredith (July socks). All socks fit perfectly. There was much dancing. More on the gifting next week.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

Another photodocumentary.

Thanks to Mom for photos 3, 4, and 8.

Thanks to Morgan for photos 1 and 5.

Thanks to Flickr for photos 2 and 7.

(Click on the red flowers or daisies to see the photostreams of their owners.)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Random Monday

Here's something you probably weren't expecting:

I can't wait for this movie.

If you spent any time growing up in the 80s, you should be on pins and noodles for this movie, too. I know it's in theaters starting tonight, but I won't get to see it for a couple of days (or weeks, who knows?), and I just can't wait.

Here's another good reason to see this movie. Hehe.

(Images Copyright 2007 Dreamworks, Paramount, and Hasbro. Click either picture for the official movie website.)

I even found my sole surviving childhood Transformer for the occasion. He's so cute. I mean, strong, and robot-like. Protect!


I worked at The Original Creative Festival in Sharonville on Saturday at the
Yarns & Fabrications booth. It was a big sewing, quilting, embroidering, creating-type show with lots of vendors and classes and demos and such. Our booth had a make-it-and-take-it activity where people could make a wet-felted wool pincushion. The lanolin in the wool is good for pins becuase it keeps them sharp and rust-free.

I made two (posing here with some of my thread collection). Each one is made from about half a yard of wool roving. You spread out the roving and make it wispy, then wrap it around itself until you have a nice little wispy ball of roving, then dunk it in water, squeeze it, work up a little lather with some soap, then manipulate the ball of wool in your hands (like shaping homemade meatballs) until it felts to the size you want. Try to rinse out most of the soap, then let it air dry. Voila!


I found the most perfect-est tape measure at the show. I love how his eyes go wonky when you pull the tape measure out.

Here he is posing with the perpetually knitting monkey who sits on a shelf in my bathroom. (It's funny, he's perpetually knitting, but his knitting never gets any longer. It's the perfect definition of the knitter's black hole. Poor monkey.)