Monday, July 31, 2006

End Of July Finishes

The week has gone by so fast, and with it, a few end of the month finishes....

First, up is Rodney the Rooster Dishcloth. It was knitted on size 8 needles using Peaches & Creme in an Ecru color.

This next dishcloth is called Dolly the Dolphin and was the July beginning of the month pattern for Monthly Dishcloths group. At the beginning and middle of each month, a new dishcloth pattern is sent to the members. Every day, you will receive a few rows of the pattern until the cloth is finished. It's really quite a fun way to knit up some new cloths! My cloth was knit on size 8 needles using Lily Sugar & Creme in Delft Blue.

My next finish is a pretty crocheted dishcloth using size #10 thread and a size #1 steel crochet hook. I found this pattern in "Old-Time Crochet" magazine in the Spring 1988 issue. It's a nice large cloth that turned out very nicely. My daughter has asked if she could have it to put in her hope chest. Guess that means I'll be making another one for myself! :)

For sock finishes, I have another one! That's two in fingering weight in one month!! That's darned good for me!!! These are my DS's Opal socks. The are knitted using size 3.0mm dpn's and Opal Magic in 1036 colorway. DS loves these socks!! I was really surprised to have them finished so quickly with his size 12 feet!! I was also amazed that I had enough Opal and even left overs enough to make the cuffs another inch (or maybe even more!!) longer.

My last picture for today is the first of my DD's socks. She wanted a short footie, so I looked and found a cute pattern by LynnH called Mom's Fast Florida Footies. I have the first one finished, and am ready to cast on the second. It turned out nicely, but I must say I got tired of purling the sole. I don't care much for purling in the round. I probably put more stress on my hands that I should have, but I so wanted to get rid of the ladders I got on the sole. I don't have any trouble with ladders when I knit, just when I purl. :( I adore her no purl heels - they are really cool!!

Monday, July 24, 2006

It's Monday Already!!

WOW! Time is just moving along!! We've been basically running since last Tuesday. 4H is just sucking our time up, but the kids are loving it. On Wednesday evening, DS had to do a presentation speech and he did a wonderful job, bringing home a blue ribbon as well as being asked to speak at the county Agricultural Banquet! He's been on cloud nine since :D

DD is knitting her heart out. She finished her first scarf (she's started a few, but this is her first finish) and asked if we could go somewhere to buy some yarn. We went to Walmart on Thursday while DS had his goat 4H meeting, and she got some novelty yarn to make a purse and some to make some fuzzy flip-flops. She said they didn't have the yarn she wanted, and wanted to know if we could go to the REAL yarn store to get exactly what she wanted. WooooHoooo!!

Friday was our trip out to finally see "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest". The movie was wonderful!! We certainly all enjoyed it, and by catching the first showing of the day, we pretty much had the theater to ourselves. I think there were maybe 6 other people there. DH took the day off - since he's been working the last few weekends and having some late evenings and early mornings as well. Ah.. the life of a systems analyst.

I made an unplanned stop at a LNS (but not my normal one) and browsed the sale tables as well as all leaflets and threads. Of all times to forget my list!! I purchased a piece of fabric for a needleroll and a bottle of Easy Wash. They also had some 16" circular knitting needles on clearance, so I bought a size 9. Nothing really called my name or blew me away for any impulse buying. Even after fingering all the threads and looking at the models. Could it be I'm finally getting my fill of future projects in my stash? Nah - I'm just looking for more of the "Knock Your Socks off" kinds of leaflets, and I didn't find them there.

My order came in from Needlecraft Corner on Saturday. I got a few wonderful TW's and a My Big Toe leaflet off Drema's clearance section. I added "Peacock Tapestry", "The Story Teller" and "Romeo and Juliet" to my TW collection and all at 1/2 price!! :D

I finally got to get a few stitches in on HoHRH and I really enjoy stitching it. I thought I'd finally get to get some more XS done, since I only have DS's second sock to finish. Wishful thinking on my part! The laundry let me know that we needed more dishcloths, when I found the store bought ones more worn than I thought. So I pulled out the cotton yarn and started some dishcloths. I finally got to try Peaches & Creme's Fiesta Ombre. It makes an bright colored cloth:

Now I'm working on Rodney the Rooster dishcloth using the Peaches & Creme cone cotton in an ecru color. I'm just a bit over half way finished and he's turning out nicely. I also finished the gusset on DS's sock and am now working on the foot. Soon I'll be finished with that!! Two pairs of adult socks (especially one a size 12!!) in less than a month is pretty good for me :-)

Well, off to help DD press her skirt she is making for 4H. Only a couple more weeks before round-up and then we get a nice break before we start our back-to-the-books homeschool routine.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sock Finish + XS & Knitting WIP's Updates

YIPEE!! DD's socks are completed and are now being washed. She loves them, but I have a few issues.... First, the next time I do these, I'll go down one needle size. Even though I'm right on with 8 sts to the inch, these came out a little loose. I used the Narrow Heel from "Custom Fit Socks" by the Fiber Gypsy because DD has a narrow foot, but I'm not happy with how it looks on. I have a concern that the way the heel sits, she will end up with discomfort on the bottom of her heel. (Keeping my fingers crossed). For the gusset, I did a Dec 1 row, K 1 row and that seems to be OK.


My DD was keeping me company the other day, while I was cleaning my room. I came across a skein of a rainbow type of acrylic that I had purchased a while ago to make a scarf for her out of. Well, I didn't get to it (was going to do another diagonal scarf) when she spied it. She begged to make a scarf out of it, and I gave it to her with a pair of size 11 needles thinking that it would turn out like every other scarf she had started. This girl has surprised me totally!!! She has her scarf about half way done and has said that she is really enjoying knitting it!! She has asked that we go to the LYS so she can look at all the new yarns and get ideas to make something else. :-) Need I tell you how thrilled I am?!! LOL

Cross Stitch & Knitting WIP's

I'm on the heel flap now on DS's sock.

I also pulled out my sampler scarf (a freebie from Jackie ES). I'm ready to start pattern #6. I love learning new stitches so this scarf is fun, and easy to pick up after being put away for awhile, because of the different squares.

And now... on the cross stitch front......

My poor XS has been somewhat neglected lately. No much, but some. I love to knit, and enjoy making things that everyone likes to wear, but I still need to XS - it's my first passionate love with knitting coming a very close second. It always seems so hard for me to decide what to stitch or knit next - there's just so much I want to do. Knitting socks is much less expensive than XS - especially when it comes to the cost of finishing, but I don't think anything compares to the beauty of some of the finished XS pieces I've seen. With that all said, I usually have something on my knitting needles at all times and more than one XS piece.

With all that said, here are my update reports for this week:

First is Houses of Hawk Run Hollow... This picture was taken a few days ago, and has been worked on a little bit since. It's a fun stitch that I really enjoy doing, and if I didn't have so many socks to make for winter this year, I'd be stitching it more!! This is house #7

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I've also started Calico Crossroads Kats By Kelly January Calendar Cat. I have the cat almost finished - need to finish stitching a foot and tail. I'm toying with changing the 2006 on the hat so that it works for displaying for every year, but haven't come up with anything yet that would logically work with the size of the hat.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

We Have Baby Monarchs!!!

I've been growing butterfly weed that held no real attraction for the butterflies. A couple of years ago, I found a rogue milkweed plant in my flowerbed, and was thrilled to see it growing there. DH wanted me to pull the "weed" out, and I refused. Well, last year it bloomed and multiplied - having a second plant, and it was covered with all kinds of butterflies and bugs. It drew in so many insects and the hummingbirds loved it. It was wonderful watching all the lovely species that the plant supported. But no Monarchs - and no babies....

This year, the milkweed multiplied into 10 plants (I think some started from seed, some going over 6 feet tall! And the smell is wonderful!!! Then I noticed we had a few Monarchs visit. This morning I found 2 very tiny babies - about 1/8" of an inch!!! It will be so exciting watching their life cycle right in our own yard!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Cool Air & Happy Mail Day!!

Life just can't get any better than this!! DH surprised us and installed 2 air conditioners for us last night!!!! It has been such a shock to our systems, especially being able to sleep and feeling just a bit chilly. Ahhhhh - life is sooooo good :-)

Then today, my order arrived 6 days earlier than they stated, so now I can finally join in on the Nancy Bush SAL's that I've been drooling over (see side bar). I know, I know.... I need to join in another SAL like I need another hole in my head. BUT those socks are soooo pretty!! So now "Knitting on the Road" and "Knitting Vintage Socks" are permanent members of my growing sock knitting library. I've thumbed through both books, but really want to sit down and read them, especially the Vintage Socks. There's a wonderful history at the beginning that HAS to be read, and will be tonight after the kids go to bed.

I ordered some Autumn Trekking for the Maple Leaf Sock SAL. I've seen some pictures of socks knitted using this color, and they look gorgeous! I can't wait to see it in person, and I know that pictures never do the yarn justice. I've never used Trekking, so this is going to be a real treat to use a new yarn.

Sock Knitting Progress

I've been knitting both socks to try to get them done close to the same time for the kids. I've just started the heel flap on DD's sock, and have about 1-1/2" to go on DS's sock before I start his heel flap. I'll probably finish the flap on DD's then go back to DS's sock.

And this can all be done in a nice cool house. Life is soooooo good! :)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Your Dosha is Kapha

Calm and grounded, you are not prone to mood swings or anger.
However, once you do get angry, it takes a lot to cool you down.
You tend to think a little slower than most people, but your logic is astounding.
Overall, you very loyal and trustworthy. You're not scared of being who you really are.

With friends: You enjoy their company, but often listen more than talk

In love: You crave connection and affection. It's hard for you to be single.

To achieve more balance: Exercise vigorously (especially in the sun) and let go of attachments.
Socks Seeking Mates

I sat down last night and made a nice long post including pictures..hit enter and "POOF!"... all gone :-( I had to choose the time that Blogger did their scheduled downtime. And what's worse is, I usually copy before I post. I didn't do that last night either. So, I'm trying again.....

I finished the first of DS's Opal socks on the 10th. It came out nicely. I scanned it, but as you can see, the thing is so big that it won't fit all the way on. They are for a size 12 foot, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will have enough yarn to finish the other. I've already started the second sock, so we will soon see.

I also finished the first of DD's socks yesterday. It was so much smaller and a nice quick knit next to DS's!! I used Knit Pick's Simple Stripe in Sunset, and I love the colors, but the yarn is not as soft as the Opal. I'm anxious to see how these wear, and if they soften any after a few washings.

I still need to cast on DD's second sock. I've found that knitting both DS's and DD's socks at the same time keep things much more interesting. I am anxious to get these off the needles so the kids can start wearing them.

I don't have much to report on my XS. I got a little more done on the Houses of Hawk Run Hollow, but right now it looks like I'll be keeping to 1 square a month. I'm picking up a model stitching job and the design should be ready next month. It has a nice amount of time before it's due back, so it won't cut into my obligation stitching or the holiday. More than likely, though, I'll get it and won't be able to put it down until it's finished. :) However, at this point, lighting is an issue. My stitching light is broken, and I need to get another one to replace it. I do miss it!! That's probably another reason why I'm knitting now. I don't need the bright light I do for stitching.

DS had a great time at camp, but came back with a serious cold, as well as a great attitude!! That boy has changed and grown up quite a bit over the past week. I hope it stays that way, and I really hope that the same thing happens with DD.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Another Sock

Here's my progress on the sock I'm doing for DD:

I'm using KnitPicks Simple Strips in Sunset. DD is loving the colorway, and I'm at about the middle of the foot now.

DS's sock is ready to decrease for the toe. He tried it on this morning, and is very pleased with it. Sure does warm a momma's heart! :)

Friday, July 07, 2006

I LOVE Fridays!!

I've always loved Fridays. It was the ending of a week that held promise of something either fun or exciting would happen over the next day or two. As a child, it meant that we'd be going to my grandmother's farm, where I would spend my time exploring the woods, ponds, and fields. Then when I'd come in from a long, hard day of being in tune with nature, my grandmother would have the most wonderful food waiting to be eaten. Oh, the smells of that house!!! Nothing was as good as Grandma's cooking!! What I wouldn't give for one more of her meals.

Teen years promised dances, dates, school sports, and so many great times with friends. I don't think I sat still one moment during those years. Now, as a mom, my time is spent differently. Fridays promise a quiet night of knitting or cross stitching and watching episodes of Monk. The weekend is spent doing all the things we couldn't do or get finished during the week. It's still enjoyable and great family time, as it's time we all spend with DH. Sadly, he's been working quite a few weekends, so we see even less of him, making all of us look forward to Fridays so much more.

How Many Patterns?

So tell me, how many patterns are too many? Why do we need more when we have ones in our stash that aren't stitched yet? Designers complain that they don't sell enough to stay in business, but I know for a fact that almost every stitcher has patterns waiting to be stitched. How would that designer do if we all bought as we needed, instead of purchasing when we wanted? I know that I focus on a designer and collect all their designs knowing full well that I'll never stitch them all in my lifetime.

And socks!! How many sock patterns does one need? :-) I own all Dawn Brocco's Heels & Toes Gazettes, a couple of socks books, and tons of free patterns I got off the net. So why do I want more? I have an wish list that has lots of great books listed that I'd love to add to my library, including a couple more sock books. Do I use these all? Actually - yes. I haven't knitted them all yet, and may never get them all done, but I use them as resources. I'm always looking for the perfect heel pattern, and I get lots of ideas for technique. One little hint found in the directions of a pattern makes it worth owning another book!

Seasonal needlecrafts?

I rotate my needlecrafts depending on the weather. From January to about June, I pretty much do nothing but cross stitch. Then from about July on until December, I do mostly knitting and a few crochet projects thrown in here and there. After December, I relax and stitch things that I would love to do, but haven't been able to because of obligation stitching. I take my time and just focus on the enjoyment of doing anything that I'd like. DH considers XS as one of those crafts that don't serve any purpose (except keep me sane!) LOL

When we hit the summer months, I start thinking about the cool weather and what the kids and DH are going to need to keep warm. Now is the time that the sock needles come out. I adore the self-patterning yarns, and love seeing those socks grow! Then, there's all the mittens, hats and scarves that seem to want to be made as well. I don't know why I love doing all of those projects. Maybe it's because you can really explore color and texture, and never have to make the same item again. Maybe it's also the size - they're small enough to actually get done in a reasonable amount of time.

Wool Socks? Are you kidding?

DH was so against socks made from wool. He was NEVER going to wear a pair of wool socks. I told him it was OK with me. I made the first pair for my DS. He has always been so sensitive to fabrics and detergents, so he was the one to try them on. (I'm a mean, mean Mommie, aren't I?) DS LOVED them and asked for more. He didn't break out or itch, and that caught DH's attention. I made more for DS and then some for DD. They went nuts over the socks, telling me they didn't want store bought any more. Hmmmm - DH became really interested. Then I made DS his first pair of thick wool socks for wintertime. DS LOVED them and wanted more. DH couldn't stand it any longer and asked for a pair to try. I said that I couldn't do it, because he'd never wear wool... evil grin.... Hey - I had to rub it in. He'd do the same for me!!! LOL So, DH got his first pair, and now I have standing orders of thick socks for winter wear, and he's really wanting to try a thinner pair for normal wear now. I have a sock on the needles for him now, but ended up ripping them back to the cuff and reworking the pattern some.

We've gone from all things acrylic (I hate acrylic slipper socks - feet sweat something awful in them!) to almost everything wool. I still use acrylic for charity stitching - it's required for the premies and some of the shelters for the homeless. Otherwise, we use wool. Oh, not totally. I still use the acrylic for afghans. It wears like steel and the way kids abuse them and the amount of washing they go through, it's almost necessary :-)

Now off to work on my DS's sock. I have about an inch more to go, then I stop and wait to measure him tomorrow to make sure I can start the toe shaping.
Have a great Friday!!!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

June Goals & Accomplishments and a Sock Start!!!

June seemed to fly for us. (But anymore, time itself seems to go by so quickly!) I did a few finishes and met some of my goals for this month.

June goals were:
Bent Creek February Snapper
LK - Cherish Dream Live
CSC - Aragorn
Dimensions - Hang In...
Mariquor Mystery Sampler Pt. 3
MLI - 2002 Christmas freebie
Mystery - catch up
SM - Covered Bridge Spring
TW - Under the Evergreen on Mondays

June accomplishments:
CSC - Aragorn finished
SM - Covered Bridge Spring finished
JN - Crystal Heart finished
Dimensions - Hang In... finished
CC - KBK In the Bag Dec. Monthly finished
LK - Cherish Dream Live finished
Mystery - completed 6 blocks
MLI - 2002 Christmas freebie 80% finished
CHS - Houses of Hawk Run Hollow started!!

The camera isn't available at the moment, so I scanned my mystery sampler in - just the new blocks that are done. These are blocks 8-15 (15 is started):

I started HoHRH and I'm on block #7. I've got quite a bit of the border done, about half of all the hills, the first of the four houses, and I've started the second one. I would love to keep working on the piece, but I have it on scroll rods, and it is huge, and in the way of everyone. This limits my time being able to stitch it. So I only have a little time in the morning. That's ok though, as it's a nice time to stitch - when I'm fresh and no one else is awake. It's just me, the beautiful fabric, and the most gorgeous silks. It's a piece of heaven every morning!!

It's also that time of year that I need to start thinking about socks and mittens. I started a pair of socks for DS using Opal Magik. I'm going to have to stop soon, as I'm getting close to where I really need to measure DS's feet to make sure he hasn't grown any. I'll have to wait until Saturday - when he comes home from summer camp.

DS wears a size 12 shoe, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll have enough Opal to do both socks. I've considered going to the LYS to see if I can match an Opal Solid to do the toes (just in case!)

I have an order from Knitpicks that's on its way. According to the website, I should expect it on Monday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it comes earlier. I bought some merino to make slipper socks a couple of extra in case DD wants a pair as well. If not, I'm going to use it for either socks or a diagonal scarf and mittens. Plus I purchased enough self-striping yarn to make 5 pairs of socks. That should keep me busy for a little bit.