Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where the Heck are all my Needles????

You can probably picture the scene.  It's the end of the month and I'm wrapping up a couple of projects and thinking and planning about all the KAL's I want to join in April.  Knit Sock Love is knitting Mona, the Socks That Rawk group has chosen Breaking Hearts for their KAL, the Yarn Harlot group is having Virtual Sock Camp for everyone wishing they were at real Sock Camp, and my friend KnittingGolfer is the designer for the Solid Socks group Mystery sock KAL.  I'm picking out yarn for all these projects, figuring out where I can double dip, collecting my supplies and realizing I don't have enough needles.

Wait a minute here.  What?  That's not possible.  I have at least 3 needles in every size for socks.  So where the heck are they?????

Here's one.....
and a second one.......
and a third........
I might need a new plan.  This makes 4 socks already in progress, and only the pink one at the bottom here is a second sock.  And I can think of 3 single socks that have been waiting quite some time for their mate to be knit.  Genki mentioned a few days ago that she suffers from severe second sock syndrome.  Well, you're in good company my friend.  It would appear that sometimes I can't even finish the first sock!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I've had a relapse of Startitis.  I thought I was over it and I even got a couple projects finished up.  Maybe that's what brought this relapse on.  I'm not a monogamous knitter and I was getting a little nervous at the thought of only one project getting serious attention.

I finished the body of my sweater and started the first sleeve.  I had to do a little thinking  on this one because the directions for the marker placement and movement were not quite lining up for me.  I figured it out though and now it's working great for me.  I shared what I did with the KAL group on Ravelry and another knitter commented that she had the same problem and ended up working it the same way I am.
Now for the new projects......  I was going to skip the Mystery Sock KAL in the SKA group this month, but the pattern is so very pretty that I ended up casting on Monday night.  I've heard over and over how quick this pattern knits up and that seems to be true. The yarn is Hazel Knits Artisan sock, the color is Coleus which was a club color from October 2010.

I bought some Malabrigo Rios this winter in Ravelry Red for a Miller's Hat for myself.  This red is an exact match to the winter jacket I got for Christmas.  This picture is a little overexposed and the color is a little darker/richer in real life.  I cast this on while watching the race Sunday with my husband.  We're supposed to get a snow storm Friday so I think I might put a big push on this tonight and Thursday in hopes that it will be ready to wear in the snow Friday.
This is what's on my needles this week.  Tell me what you're working on!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

10 on Tuesday

10 Reasons to Use the Public Library

Public Libraries may be the most under utilized treasures in our communities.  I love the library. I have so many great memories of the library from my childhood.  I think I may have read every Nancy Drew and every Hardy Boys Mystery book in my library as a child.  I spent hours at the library in middle school and high school doing homework and writing papers. When my boys were little, Wednesday was library day, right after grocery shopping.  During difficult financial times libraries often take a hit in funding, but I hope that communities recognize their importance and contributions and keep them open.  Here are some of the reasons why I love Public Libraries.

1.  My first instinct is to say because it's free, but it's really not.  You pay for it with your taxes so you might as well take advantage of what you've already paid for!
2. Hardcover books.  I like hardcover books.  I like the weight of them, the size of them, and the feel.  Buying one is a luxury, but there are a whole bunch of them to choose from at the library.
3.  Audiobooks.  I listen to more books than I actually read now.  They can be quite expensive, so this is an economical way to enjoy them.
4.  Children's Room.  This has always been my favorite room in the library.  Where else in the world is it perfectly acceptable and expected to find people sitting on the floor with a stack of books having a grand time?
5.  Inter-library loan.  If your library doesn't have it another one probably does and would be happy to loan it to you for a short time.  This is how I first experienced Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting :-)
6.  Down-loadable books.  This is what I use my library card for the most.  With a PIN and my local library card number, I can download audio books to my ipod, which is my preferred method of listening.  Even better, I can do it from the comfort and convenience of my home any hour of the day and night! 
7.  Family Movie Night.  I admit my family has never gone, but two Fridays a month my local library shows a family movie and it's open to the public.
8.  Book Club.  I'm lucky enough to have a book club in my neighborhood, but if I didn't, the library hosts one too.
9.  Story Hour.  My boys loved this when they were little.
10. Summer Reading Program.  Great way to keep the kids reading in the summer.

That's my list!  I have an urge to go read now :-) 

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Volcano Socks

I finished a pair of socks this weekend from the Cookie A Sock Club.  Haleakala, inspired by the volcano in Maui, is the pattern I decided to do first.  The yarn that came for this installment is String Theory Caper and the club color is Solas, which is a green-blue.  I had a skin of Black Cherry in my stash that I thought would be a better fit for this pattern and would leave me the greenish color to use for the other pattern, Ripple Leaf.
I couldn't be happier with the end result!  This was the first time I've used Caper, but it certainly won't be my last!  It is so soft, has great loft, and great stitch definition.  This pattern had two options with it as well for the instep.  Option 1 was to continue the lace pattern straight down the instep.  That is a beautiful sock too and I will probably make them one day.  I honestly had a hard time deciding which I liked better, but the deciding factor for me was how the decreasing is done with this option.  All the decreasing is done essentially on the instep as part of the design, which was a new technique for me.
The effect I think is really striking!  So very clever and so very Cookie A!
We have a beautiful sunny day today so I went outside to get some natural light pictures.  We've had a coooold wind for the last few days so we haven't stayed outside very long.  Poor Neal just wanted to play and kept bringing me his toy because in his world, that's what we do outside.  The third time I told him "Wait" he laid down with his toy and wouldn't even look at me. Poor Nealy.  He's ready for spring too!
The next installment is due the first week of April which is next week!  I was so happy with the first one, I can't imagine what the next one will be like :-)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Prince Monkey

I have a finished pair of socks to show you!  This is the February pattern for the Knit Sock Love KAL that I'm participating in.  They've been finished for about 10 days, but with my boys all home last week for Spring Break I didn't get a chance to blog them.  I was far too busy making all their favorite treats and meals and keeping up with dishes and laundry!  Anyway, back to the socks......  We were allowed to modify the ribbing, heel and toe this month.  You can see in this photo (click to enlarge) that I did substitute a slip stitch heel.  I prefer they way they look and I think they last longer.
I also did a picot edge cuff.  They're so sweet and I love the way it looks with this pattern.
No mods to the toe, but who doesn't love a toe pic.  I love the way the striping changes as the stitch count changes too.
Here are the details:
Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A
Yarn: Socks That Rock Lightweight
Color: Purple Rain (I hear Prince's song in my mind every time I say this)
Needles: 2.5mm magic looped
CO: February 23
Finished: March 13

The pattern for March is Thelonious, which I actually test knit.  I'm going to substitute Ripple Leaf for March.  I better cast on pretty soon, the end of the month is approaching quickly!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Here it is Wednesday again already and I have some progress to show you.  I've finished the first sock of pattern #2 from the Cookie A sock club.  I've started the second sock and I'm half way down the foot already but I didn't take a picture of that.  I should have these finished very soon!
I'm making great progress on my Flint sweater too.  I have enough length on the body now to start the bottom lace border. I'm getting anxious to finish this because I think it will be perfect to wear for spring.
So what should I work on tonight?  Finish the sock or the body of the sweater?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

10 on Tuesday

 10 Reasons to be Glad it's Spring!

It's seems like this week's topic is wishful thinking for me, because THIS is what I woke up to this morning!
I usually don't mind winter weather, but last week we had a couple days in the 60's and 80% of the snow in my yard was melted.  I guess I made the mental adjustment to the next season because today I think Mother Nature is an evil wench!  So let's count down the reasons why....

1. Birdsong.  I never quite notice when the birds finally do leave for the winter, but I always have a day in the spring when I stop whatever I'm doing because I just realized the birds are back and I hear them singing.
2. Daylight. There's more of it every day :-)
3. Cadbury Mini Eggs.  You can only buy them around Easter. Yum!
4. Maple Sugaring. It's such a traditional New England Spring activity.  I love the look of the buckets on the trees and the smell of sap reducing.
5. Peepers.  I find their sound soothing.
6. Loons.  They will be back to the lake very soon. 
7. Opening the windows.  I've already had the house windows open a couple times.  I love having fresh air in the house.
8. Planting Flowers.  I like going to the garden center and deciding what I'm going to plant for the year and what I'll fill my pots, window boxes, and hanging planters with.
9. Planning my Vegetable Garden.  I grew a few vegetables for the first time last summer.  I had mixed success, so I am looking forward to making some changes and trying again.
10. Getting the Convertible out!  I love my little car :-)  I put it away for the winter by December 1 and don't allow myself to get it back out until April 1.  10 more days!  Woohoo!!

Thanks for a fun list Carole!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WIP Wednesday

So what have I been working on this week?  Let me show you!

First up is pattern #2, Haleakala, from the Cookie A Sock Club.  Yes, #2!  There are 2 patterns in each shipment, 2 cookie recipes, and yarn.  I'm so glad I joined this club.  I received the first shipment a couple weeks ago and I am completely thrilled.  The yarn is Caper from String Theory.  I've had some in my stash since Stitches East 2009 but hadn't used it yet.  I decided to knit pattern #2 first with Caper yarn I had in my stash.  This color is Black Cherry and I think it's a great fit for this pattern.  The club color is Solas, which is a tealish color and I am saving it for pattern #1, Ripple Leaf.  I'm just past the heel turn for sock #1.
The second project I'm working on is a pair of Monkey socks.  Monkey is the February pattern for the Knit. Sock. Love KAL.  I'm using Socks That Rock lightweight in Purple Rain.
My third project is my Flint sweater.  I've separated the sleeves and I'm working on the body now.  I've got just over 4" of the body complete with lots more to go.  I have to say that I'm really enjoying this stockinette knitting.  I haven't done plain stockinette in a while.  It's very therapeutic!
The mittens didn't get any attention this week. I'm thinking about frogging them and starting again.
I'm not completely happy with the floats on the inside and I really don't think it's something that will work itself out in blocking.  They're in time-out while I think about it.

What's on your needles?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

10 on Tuesday

10 Favorite Smells

I love this idea!  Scents are part of our everyday life and we take them for granted.  But there are scents that make you smile, make you cringe, and ones that just make you think of home.  Here are some of my favorites!
1. Lilacs.  Lilac is my state flower, and my childhood home town is known as The Lilac City.  There is a stretch of road on Rochester Hill, Route 108 near the airport, that has a row of lilacs at least 1/4 mile long.  In fact it might be closer to 1/2 mile long.  Every spring I make a point to drive along that road with my windows open and just soak in the scent. Mmmmmmmm :-)
2. Fresh Cut Christmas Tree.  I love how it fills the home.
3. Spring.  I'm not sure how to describe it, other than it's the warm moist smell in the air when you know the trees and flowers are preparing for a new season.
4. The Ocean.  I don't know why I love this one.  Maybe it's a remnant of my childhood when a day at the beach was a huge treat, and I knew we were almost there as soon as I could smell the salty air.
5. Chocolate Chip Cookies fresh from the oven. Rainy day, snowy day, test day, crappy day, happy day.... a warm cookie is always just the right comfort.
6. Cinnamon Rolls.  In this house they mean Sunday morning big family breakfast :-)
7. A new Baby.  I wish I could bottle that scent and pull it out when I'm missing my boys.
8. Puppy Breath.  It's like new baby smell.  I have to say I thought it was just me until I got a puppy 2 years ago and took her to the vet for her 1st check up.  I can't tell you how many of the vet techs hugged and snuggled her with coos of "Oooo,  Puppy Breath!"
9. Garlic being sauteed.  It usually means there's a GREAT meal being prepared.
10. Fresh Baked Bread, it just makes me think of Home :-)

So those are some of my favorites.  What are yours?  If you'd like to play along each week, visit Carole here and sign up!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Olivia d'Hedera

Life has been a little crazy over the last couple weeks at my house!  But vacation is now over, the 4-legged house guest has gone home, I'm getting close to being finished painting the boy's bedrooms, and Chandler's hockey season came to end yesterday with a well fought 4-3 loss in the semi-final game.  I have 5 days to breathe and finish catching up before Matthew and Justin come home for Spring Break and Chandler's Spring sport season begins!

During all this craziness I have been poking away at some knitting and I have a finished project to show you!
Pattern: Hedera
Yarn: Lime and Violet Sasquatch Superwash Sock
Color: Olivia d'Havilland
Needle: 2.25mm and magic looped

You may remember that I mentioned that I am going to try to knit my way through Cookie A's newest book Knit. Sock. Love with a group on Ravelry.  This was the first pattern to be cast on in January. I managed to get these finished by the deadline, which was the end of February. The yarn was a prize/gift from Mapleweave. I love the color and I think it worked great with this pattern!

Thanks for visiting!  Be sure to check back soon as I have lots to show you this week!