On the mend

I seem to be on the mend now, feeling a bit better and able to add more to my routine. Boy did this cold bring me down! Still struggling with not quite wanting to do much more than lay around on the couch though.

I find that if I am stuck home with the sick, rather than using it as an opportunity to knit the things currently on the needles, I am either too sick to knit, or want to knit something completely different. Since my knitting time is currently so precious and since I have two very specific projects I want to complete during Month O’Socks, I have refrained from casting on anything new. It did mean though that I have done a lot more reading than I have done knitting between naps.

In any case, I’ve finished one tube for the crazy fronkenshteek socks, and have started the second. Maybe I can find time this weekend to manage to start the process of steeking and assembling these things!


So, I’ve got two projects on the needles for Month O’Socks. I’ve got the white socks for my mom, I am on the second sock and at the point where I need to start the heel. These are moving right along!

And I have the fronkenshteeks which I haven’t bothered with in ages. I have two more tubes to create, then I begin the steeking. I am only about 2 inches into tube #1. It might be awhile!

On Saturday I started to come down with a cold. Sunday was just about useless, this morning I couldn’t get off of the couch. However, after extra rest, some sleep, and very little else, I am feeling like the worst is over. (Or at least that is what I will keep telling myself). It is such a stunningly gorgeous day today, 63F, that I just wish I was on my bike or something! But, it has been a very long time since I’ve been good and sick, so I can’t complain too much.

Something New

I’ve been itching to make some Maine Morning Mitts out of one of my favorite handspun yarns for about a year. I don’t know what made me spin these batts into thick singles, that is unusual behavior for me, but I absolutely fell in love with the yarn right from the start. (Pictured here, the red/gold yarn.)

Once I finished up the last pair of socks, I just couldn’t keep going on the white socks. I needed a sock break, and I needed to scratch the itch I’d been feeling about this yarn for almost a year. The results exceed my expectations!

Month O’ Socks completion #1

I’ve been working on a pair of socks for my sister in law since November. Since I have been seriously uninspired about sock knitting, I used this month to complete these. The yarn is Opal, and the pattern is plain with an afterthought heel. There really isn’t all that much more to say about them. Except that they are bright and wild and wonderful. But, unfortunately, not mine.

Let’s talk about something else!

I am tired of talking about socks, let’s talk about the fiber club I was in way back in the summer. The theme was pinks and the fiber was from Dyeabolical. I believe I showed off the first month, but never photographed the second two.


The one on the left is a merino/silk/bamboo blend, and the one on the right is finn wool. They are both beautiful, and the pinks are both so very different. I cannot believe I was so busy with my own fleece that I overlooked these!

I got a double offering of the fiber club in order that I could trade with Carin from Round the Twist. I traded half of my first shipment for crown mountain farms merino in Rasta Man Vibration

Aren’t they pretty? Aren’t you distracted by the fact that instead of knitting I went biking last night and have no interesting photos for you?

Month O’Socks

So, I’ve got one sock of a pair done!

They feel fantastic! I am hoping they will hold up well, the yarn is a bit thicker than I usually attempt to use, and my purl stitches are loose as usual. However, they are pretty!

Girl Friday Sweater

So, here is a little break from the month o’socks posts. I finished my Girl Friday sweater finally!

This is the Girl Friday pattern from knitty.com. The yarn is Berrocco Lustra. I purchased the yarn at Stitches Midwest a couple of years ago. I tried to make it into a Spartan Sweater, but it failed so miserably that I tore it all out. After an initial failed attempt at a Vine Yoke Cardigan, I finally settled on this yarn to do my KAL with Ummeyusuf. In the end, I think we picked a fantastic pattern. The sweater is probably one of the most professional looking ones I’ve ever made, I think that is in part the pattern, and the yarn being interesting looking. The sleeves are slightly tight, but that seems to only add to its more tailored look.

I did have an initial yarn emergency. I used all the yarn I had, running out a few rows before completing the collar. While I was tempted to just cast off and go with it, I knew that I needed, truly, more yarn. I looked for the color at our local yarn shop, but they were out. I looked for the color online at the shop I originally purchased the yarn from, but they were backordered. So, I then looked on the Ravelry yarn page, looking for someone who had it for trade or sale. In the end, I came across someone local to me (whom I’d never even met before) who had it and was willing to part with it. I was able to pick it up, saving on shipping, and finally finish this sweater.

I suppose we will be back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow. I must admit, with me doing a lot less knitting, MOS is far less productive than it has been in past years!

Month O’Socks progress

So, I got some time in on Mom’s socks this morning, turned the heel, picked up the gussets, and finished the decreases. Now it is straight knitting until time to make a toe. These have been fantastic fun to knit, and I hope Mom will like the rather longer than usual legs on these socks.

Month O’Socks

So, I went on a super cold bike ride today. Just thought you should know. It was windy and cold and miserable, and while I rarely complain while on the bike, this one brought me close to whining. Big Time.

On Friday, I decided while at work, that my house needed to be put in order. So I lost some sock knitting time to that, never did get much knitting done since I was too busy cleaning. Then this morning I slept in (yes, I have sort of learned to do that now) and then talked to my parents prior to my ride, thus again, very little knitting time.

So, I’ve finished the leg of the white sock and have started the heel flap.

This biking thing REALLY cuts into my knitting time!  But, makes knitting time even more sweet.


Month O’Socks

This is day two of the sock I am actively knitting on. I am absolutely loving this one.

As of right now I have finished the decreases and need to knit for as long as I am going to knit before starting the heel. That may only be one pattern repeat, because it is getting quite large already.

I love these thick scrumptious socks, I must admit I’d like a pair myself. I might have to pull out some of my wollmeise and knit a pair.

Month O’Socks

I know, I have barely mentioned it. Did you know it started January 15th this year? Did you know that this is our 4th annual Month O’Socks? Well, I have not been inspired about knitting socks for quite some time. I’ve had 2 pairs on the needles but barely touched them for ages. I didn’t even really want to knit socks for Month O’Socks. But, Mom tells me that another pair of hers have developed a hole, so it is time.

Mom sometimes laments that all the socks I knit her are brightly colored. This is because knitting brightly colored socks is less boring for me. Makes sense to me! But, I needed something else to do this month. So I took some white yarn I had in stash and started working a pair of Vintage Socks. My intention is to then dye them all one solid dark color, so she has what  she truly wants.

Thankfully, the socks are knitting up super fast, and I am loving the feel of the yarn. I almost don’t WANT to dye them. While I am a bit further than this now, this is yesterday’s progress.

I’ll try to get another progress picture tonight so you can see the patterning!

Epic Project 2012

The dyeing portion of the epic project 2012 is complete. To review, I had decided that the blue and the green needed to be more saturated, and the burgundy/red was unacceptable as a color for the project. I changed out the skein to a purple skein. Now, quite frankly, I think I could go darker with the purple too, but I am not going to. It is good as is.

These are the three colors I changed. So the final yarns look like this:

I am far happier with this combination than I was with this one:

Now, when I have time, between Month O’Socks (which I haven’t even bothered talking about) and the 11 pay it forward projects, and a potential sweater commission, I will be able to swatch for the Epic Project. Thank goodness I have an entire year!

The Headband

The headband which is not for me, to be exact. I  love this headband! I didn’t expect to. I knit a calorimetry first, but didn’t like it so I yanked it out. Then I found this drops pattern. I added a flower, pattern here. Then I added a blingy button to the middle of the flower for added cuteness.

Then I put it on and realized I had a big win!


I think this means I might need one too.

Epic Project 2012

I’ve spent 2 weekends in a row hard at work dyeing the yarn for my epic project 2012. I am currently done, but waiting for a few skeins to finish drying. The picture I have today is last weekend’s progress.

These are wool/silk blend yarns, and kettle dyed using landscape dyes.

How do I feel about the results? Let’s work from left to right.

The yellow, it is a lighter skein, less yarn, so it took less dye. One trip through the kettle and it sucked up the yellow beautifully. Very pleased with that one.

The beige took two trips to get the color I was looking for. I am substituting beige for the ivory called for in the pattern. I just wanted a richer look.

Next up, dark green. I am not done with this skein, I am hoping for a darker color. It gets a second trip through the dye pot.

The blue is the same as the green, it is just not finished yet.

The gray, well, this one was quite a challenge. 3 trips through the dye pot and all the gray I owned to get that light color. However, I think it is ok as it is. Which is good, I have no interest in ordering more gray.

The pattern calls for light turquoise. I tried a minty green to begin with. It just didn’t strike as I’d like, very uneven and far too light. I debated if I’d find a light turquoise dye to purchase, but in the end I just didn’t care to buy more so I went with a turquoise I had. It is a good color, but quite saturated. I don’t really know if I’d call it “light” but it is pretty.

The burgundy. Well,  I don’t like it one bit. I was hoping for a more purple color, and made this mistake. So, this one is going to get some sort of over dye and then it will be set aside for something else. I’ll dye another skein in purple.

Hopefully this week I’ll have the final dyeing pictures up. No clue when I’ll get started on this project, but I am looking forward to it!

The Spinning

I’ve been working on a project for a good long time. I had some Merino in a color I didn’t like and I had some tussah silk in a color I didn’t like. Once blended with my drum carder though, the fibers combined looked fantastic.     Once I began to spin it though, I decided it needed to be plyed with the rest of the tussah silk. I’d never spun 100%  silk before, only silk blends. Actually, I found learning to spin was easiest with silk blends. With that knowledge, it is no surprise that I loved spinning the 100% silk as well. It felt like it just spun so quickly!

The merino silk batts were spun long draw, they are light and airy and fluffy. Plying them with the silk just made this ultra soft yarn. I ended up with 700 yards of 2 ply fingeringweight yarn.

With the leftover merino/silk singles, I plyed them together. I have 185 yards of that, but I feel like that yarn is so light it may be mostly useless. That would be the darker skein  you see in the picture.

A very very successful first completed spinning project of the year. I am very much looking forward to knitting with this yarn!

Julie’s blanket

Seeing as our new member of the family, Julie, is a 1970’s gal, and seeing as she has been cold at night without her very own blanket, what’s a gal to do but design a Missoni inspired blanket for her?

Here she shows it off. Yarn is Lion Brand Cotton-ease. I knit it on size 9 needles. There were an insane amount of ends to weave in, but I think it was worth it! I absolutely adore the end product. Bug is pleased too, Julie now sleeps with her blanket every night.

Speaking of Julie, and her ever increasing wardrobe, my boss and her daughter dropped by this week with a package for Bug. It was another outfit for Julie. This is one of the American Girl Doll outfits. It is so very sweet, and if I could find it in my size, I’d have the outfit too.

Yes, the Julie obsession is still going strong.


Julie’s Wardrobe Infusion

Bug and I aren’t the only ones with a mild obsession for her new doll, Julie. My mom has also been enjoying her, and sent Bug a few garments that she made for Bug. They are just absolutely lovely, little treasures for Bug to enjoy with her doll.

The vest is reversible, notice the applique flower on the jeans, and Bug is impressed with the back pocket which holds Julie’s bicentennial quarter perfectly.

On this one, both the shrug and the handbag are reversible. So pretty!

This is Bug’s current favorite, Julie is seen in this most of the time right now.

These pieces are such treasures, thank you Mom!

Stocking #10

I’ve got 3 more to do this year that I currently know of. But this and the last one can now be sent to one set of cousins.

The green in this is the new knitpicks recycled wool. It is a single ply, low spun, and quite splitty. But due to this, it makes the stocking almost puffy and really sets off the colors. I am impressed! I guess this makes for FO #1 for 2012!

Girl Friday Progress

On a lighter, more knitterly note, I have some progress on Girl Friday to show off! I basically gave myself an introverted new year’s day, and spent it completing the body of the sweater. I did begin the sleeves as well, and I am going to knit them two at a time, but there isn’t really enough to show.

As I mentioned, I am doing this one as a KAL with Ummeyusuf, and I can see that while we have picked very different yarn colors, our progress looks very much the same. I am, quite frankly, a little nervous about my yarn amounts which only makes me want to knit faster to see if I do actually have a problem in that department. (I truly believe I will be purchasing more yarn, truly.

I also had the opportunity to put in a little time on my Girasole shawl, and have completed chart C. Not much doll knitting yesterday as I decided the blanket I am working on needs another color, so we will have to wander off to a yarn shop today for that. I am sad that my last day of holiday vacation is today and already seems to be flying by! Hoping to get a bit of spinning in this afternoon.



Well Shoot!

This wasn’t exactly how I expected to ring in 2012, with the overwhelming urge to write for the first time in….well…probably more than 6 months.

I got in the car today to ring in this year with some friends. I reflected on what was happening this time last year and I fell apart. I should have gone home. I know that. I should have gone home right then and started writing. But, I did as I usually do, I persisted and headed out anyhow to put on a good face with my friends.

But, that feeling didn’t leave. You see, at this time last year I was unexpectedly saying goodbye to my grandmother. I’d taken an unplanned trip home for this purpose. I meant to write then, and I meant to write when she finally did leave us, but I never did find the ability. So instead I spent the rest of the year immersing myself in new activities and I persisted.

And now, a full year after I said my goodbyes, after I watched a wonderful woman lose the light in her eyes that defined her, I find myself with the need to write about her.

Some of my earliest memories are of her holding me up at the kitchen sink to watch out the window for the tail lights of my parent’s car heading down the road and over the old bridge. A bridge which is long since closed, never to be repaired. I, being a somewhat independent child, loved spending the night with my grandparents even at an early age. It was excitement to be somewhere new, and to have Grandma dote on me the way she did.

I knew that times with Grandma meant foods I loved made exactly the way I requested. Homemade french fries that I could eat until I made myself ill. Then off to church on a Saturday evening, just to come home and sneak the leftover cold fries, giving myself yet another stomach ache. Morning brought buckwheat pancakes on a cast iron griddle covered in crisco. Enough to make the edges of the pancakes crispy in a way mom just couldn’t reproduce. There was roast beef with dumplings, and mashed potatoes that couldn’t be beat, and there was always biscuits. No big family meal was complete without biscuits.

When I was very small, Grandma liked to dress me up, curl my hair, and take me to church. I can only imagine this was to show me off to her friends. Quite frankly, I am amazed she managed to get me dressed up at all, I was not a child to dress up, or sit still, or keep my hair looking nice. I’ll never forget her trying to curl my long hair with a bristle curling iron. In my defense, I told her she shouldn’t do it, that she’d get it stuck in my hair. I imagine this precocious statement would have gotten about the same reaction as I give to Bug. She did it anyhow, and got the curling iron stuck. And then she got nervous!  I remember the smell of my hair burning as she tried desperately to get the curling iron out of my long hair, I remember her pulling the cord out of the socket in hopes to minimize the damage, I remember the one lone curl down my back which I was forced to go to church with when she didn’t dare use that curling iron on the rest of my hair, I felt a little silly even at that young age. And mostly, I remember how horrified she was about having to tell my mom that she’d gotten the curling iron stuck.

Church with Grandma meant that she would get all dressed up and wear make up, and then take me the what…block and a half?…over to church. I remember the heavily perfumed smells of her and her friends as we sat for church. I remember trying harder to be good, to be still, to be quiet with her than I would have with my own parents.

As we grew up and moved away, spending time with Grandma was less frequent. But summers meant that we would go camping with my grandparents. This was always a special time getting to know extended family. I wouldn’t give up the memories of those weeks for all the world. Grandma would let us stay up very late, sleeping in the screened tent on cots with other cousins near by. I remember knowing even then that this was a special time because I’d never camp as an adult. I saw what a hard job it was, this camping. Packing everything up, taking it to a camp sight, preparing dinner in less than ideal circumstances and then washing up at some random faucet. I realized even at that young age that the work mainly fell on her, and so I knew I’d have nothing to do with it as an adult. Knowing this made that time all the more special.

My Grandmother had a laugh that couldn’t be beat. You could not help laughing too, it was absolutely contagious. She laughed and giggled like a 14 yr old girl. Sometimes I hear her laugh in the laughter of other family members, and it is so special and bittersweet to know that her laugh lives on.

My grandmother was a caretaker. She took care of hers. She took care of her family and she took care of grandpa. This was never so apparent as in her tireless care of him in his long failing health. I’d go as far as to say she took care of him without regard to herself on some occasions. I wish I had a little more of that quality in me.

However, my grandmother was persistant. And I do like to think that a little bit of my own persistence comes from her.

My grandmother and I are two totally different people. I imagine that there were many times she was alternately amused and horrified by me. As I reflect on 2011, all the joys and pains, the changes, the newness, the heartache, the beautiful moments I’ll never forget, I can’t help but hope that despite our differences that I’ve retained a small portion of her spirit and vitality just big enough to reflect her back to those I love.