Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The real cost of second sock syndrome....

"Help, my foot is cold, help Daddy's toes are cold (please graft me)!"... Here is my one and only "Pirate Sock" (aka Skull Sock of Fury). Amazing how long it took me to do that cuff. Amazing how difficult it is to get the cuff over my, my older daughter's, my younger daughter's (yes, anyone's) heel. One of these days, I am going to find, and make myself take, a class on two color knitting. Clearly, I need some help with it. But as you can see from the pirate close up below, they are kind of cute (I think). After that experience, what else could I do but cast on for a super easy Thuja (I think I should start paying the guy who designed them, aka Bobby Ziegler, royalties, I knit the pattern so much) variation, at a nice tight gauge on nice small needles, with nice self-patterning yarn, for my hubby's brother's very easy to fit feet (yes, they will be a Christmas present, or maybe a birthday present, and yes, I have actually made progress on the second one of that pair). The second pirate will have to wait for the weekend, when I should have some more concentrated knitting time (or at least the chance to concentrate!) And on another note (sompletely), I won (me, I actually won something) some very nifty "Spunky Eclectic" yarn in a pink and gray colorway from the very friendly blogger at Yarnbeans. Yippee (really!). But I better do the other pirate before I start that project! But it wouldn't hurt, would it, to look for patterns! And on one more note--the camera was in my car. Someday, maybe, I will tell the story of the bottomless pit that is my car! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

They might be pirates....

Then again, well, they might be frogs, or frogged, that is. It's been awhile since I posted--mainly because my digital camera has vanished (not stolen or anything, just placed by some well-intentioned soul in my household into someplace that made sense at the time, no doubt, but of course, which cannot now be remembered! Any day now, I will open up a bag or box or drawer, and there that camera will be, looking for all the world like it belongs there! But in the meantime, I have finished the cuff of one of the pirate socks, actually called "Skull Socks of Fury" in black for the main color with a very fuschia pirate (can't you just picture it....). I'm concerned though about the sizing. But I must admit that I am so woefuly slow at chart and color knitting that I don't think I will have the heart to rip the one out (of course, when I finish the next might be a while). I'm also working on another pair of what will probably be Christmas (what IS going on here!) gift socks, in some self-striping/jacquard kroy sock for my brother in law, who is wonderful to be so impressed by such things. Now, to go in search of the camera once more...if only I call it the way I do my cell phone!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

All the children of the world...

Have you heard about this Save the Children "Caps to the Capitol" knitted caps project? It was apparently in a feature on Good Morning America, but I actually read about it on a knitting blog (though of course I can't find the page I thought I bookmarked about it....) The idea apprently came about after " Save the Children’s State of the World’s Mothers 2006 report highlighted simple, low-cost practices that could save newborn lives — like warming their heads with a knit or crochet cap — Save the Children received numerous calls and e-mails from Americans around the country wanting to organize their friends and family to knit and crochet caps for newborns in developing countries." They have patterns posted that they want you to follow, since they're sized for the heads of children in developing countries. The idea is about advocacy as well as hats--we are to send completed hats to Save the Children to deliver to the White House in January as a witness that people in America care enough about babies in the developing world to spend the time making caps for them. (Apparently, a warmed head is very important for survival!). There are lots of details in their action kit at the link here, do take a look. Since I do everything in three's, I've made the three pictured here, all with leftovers, (and you can see I still need to finish the striped one!). It takes almost no time, is very easy, and will mean a lot to lots of people. How cool (or warm), is all I can say! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A spring in my (well, someone's) step!

It may be end of summer here, but I am very happily finished with these springy socks--made with the previously mentioned "Wonky Lace" pattern (all my lace is wonky, actually, but that's another story!). I made these so they would fit one of my younger sisters who is allergic to wool (yes, she really is, I have tested it several times, thinking she was imagining it.....). But since the Fixation is so stretchy, they actually fit me pretty well...(yes, I am the big foot of my family, luckily, I am also the knitter of my family). So we'll see. It would be just too surprising and weird to have two potential (notice I said potential, I hardly ever manage to hold onto gifts that long) done in August! I want to give a big thank to Trek for this pattern, and the many free patterns she has on her site. They are very clearly written and all quite adorable! My next sock project is going to be a pair of Pirate Socks, which I found on the Hello Yarn site....after I finish these little Save the Children Hats--more on those tomorrow! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 13, 2006

There's no place like home....

We're home, we're home, we're home! And many loads of laundry later and bags mostly unpacked, I am back to my computer and blogging! I wound up having the s l o w e s t of dialup connections on vacation, so I got online just a few times to check email, but didn't have the patience for much else (I am so spoiled with my high speed connection at home!). But we had a great vacation--a very long one for us, and very laid back, restful, and casual. And yes, I managed to get to a yarn store: look at all this pretty yarn (I have to admit I have no plans for the Kid Merino, I just couldn't resist the color!) The beautiful Himalayas wool (from the Queensland Collection), which I had never seen before, is for a felted tote for my mom, who is quite a bag lady, for Christmas. The Sirdar Spree will be a hat, probably for next summer at this rate, and the Dune, probably a scarf--it was buy one get one free, what could I say?

And yes, I did some knitting, too: these are my socks in progress I brought with me, which are destined for my middle sister's petite feet. It was great to finish them, they were knit at such a small gauge! I had one real learning experience with these--I somehow (don't ask me how) knit a pearl row during the gusset decreases. And I somehow didn't notice it until I was a few rows along (yes, I am a bit concentration challenged at times). I thought I would have to for back whole rounds, but thanks to my handy dandy Knitting Answer Book, I was able to drop each stitch back as I came to it, and pull it back through in pattern with a crochet hook. Admittedly, this might have taken as much time as it would have to frog and reknit, but I didn't risk losing any stitches, and I learned a new trick that I've been needing to know! The other socks, which I didn't quite finish, but am now to the toe on, are Trek's Wonky Lace Socks. This is a great pattern, easy enough for a normal person to follow no doubt, but for the concentration-challenged like myself, writing out each pattern row line by line on an index card helped tremendously. The only trouble I've had with these socks is the "stickiness" of the Cascade Fixation on these Bryspun needles I'm using. I've had a lot of trouble with the K2togs, etc., too, because I can't get the points through. But they're what I started with, so I'll persevere. My new discipline with socks during vacation was to count rows even when I didn't have too, instead of trying to rely on eye-balling or even measuring. So on this pair, the cuffs are 56 rows to the heel, and the feet are 65 rows from the start of the gusset to the start of the toe decreases, etc. I am hopeful that this will get me socks the same size!My only other knitting was a drop stitch scarf, which I made with some "Lang Lotus" (which I think is discontinued) that I had from somewhere. It's a wool, nylon blend, but has a very unique texture--almost papery. It's apparently a very hip fall color, or so I was told by someone who saw me knitting it at the hair salon--so I'm all set.
Now,here are a few of the obligatory vacation shots:
A view of the ocean at sunrise from our balcony (the early bird gets more knitting time!)

A walk through the nature preserve, (hand in hand, aren't they cute!)

And swimming at low tide (no waves, so happy mom, but not-so-happy kids on boogie boards, wanting to catch a wave!).

I would spend all my time at the ocean if I could. Even if the beach is crowded, you can look out in to the ocean and see so far and see no one....