Monday, July 24, 2006

It's official, I'm a nerd

I've called myself a geek before but I never knew it was this bad.

I am nerdier than 82% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

How do you score?

Knitting, buying and swimming

M's Summer BraidsSo, I really have been knitting. I started a Summer Braids for my sister shortly after I ripped out J's socks. I'm using a discontinued yarn called Time from Adriafil. It's a cotton/rayon tubular ribbon yarn, DK weight. It's soft and silky to work with and has great drape. I made A a short sleeve bolero type sweater out of it a year or so ago.

I'm knitting this sweater for my sister in exchange for her quilting talents. Many years ago I took an introductory quilting class. I learned all about different ways to piece a quilt. The project for the class was a sampler quilt of nine 12" squares. I got all the squares pieced, the quilt top assembled with sashing and filler triangles. I even got the layers basted with safety pins and the quilting lines stenciled on the top. I just didn't like doing the actual quilting. So I talked my sister into doing it for me. She enjoys it and she's really good at it.

Here is a close up of the sweater. Can you see the cute stitch markers that I'm using. They were a gift from Kimberly. Go see what she's up to. All three of my kids have seperately asked me what the cute little food things are for. I have explained to each of them that they are to help me know when to change the stitch pattern so I make fewer mistakes. I really like the way they dangle off my needle too. They're so cute. I've never used fancy stitch markers before.

I went to the TKGA and CGA convention last weekend. I seem to be in stash acquisition mode lately. I bought more stuff. This is some beautiful tencel lace weight yarn. It's 1000 yards. I also found some beads that match. I don't yet know what I'm going to make of this but I like it just the same.

Ah! Luxury. This is 500 yards of pure softness. Red Cashmere. Does it get any better than that? I think this will be a lace stole. I have a Fiber Trends pattern that I think will work. When I will get to this I have no idea.

I woke up early the other day. I couldn't sleep so I sat down to read my email. I got a message from the nice folks at Knitpicks that they were having a sale. They have their Main Line yarn (cotton/wool blend) on sale. I had to have it. I bought enoughof the color "Red Velvet Cake" to make a sweater for DH. He's gone neglected for too long. I can't wait for it to get here.

We just finished our swim team season. This was A's second year on the local team and J's first. They had lots of fun with their team and they did great with their individual swimming. The team ended up tied for second place in the league. Here are some pictures from the last meet.

J diving in for one of his racesA getting ready to race
A's Fanny shorts
I think, perhaps, this last photo needs a little explanation. The name of the pool complex we join is Fanny Chapman Memorial Swimming Pool and A and J swim on the Fanny Chapman Swim Team. There is a swim team logo on the front hem of the left leg.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

What's up with that?

I have long subscribed to several knitting magazines. The ones that I have been getting for years are Interweave Knits (my favorite), Knitters and Family Circle Easy Knitting. All of a sudden, a little less that a year ago, FCEK informs me that I will be getting KnitSimple for the remainder of my subscription. At first I thought that FCEK was changing it's name. Then I saw both KnitSimple and FCEK on the newstand. What's up with that? How come they just switched me? I like FCEK better and if I wasn't so lazy I'd call and tell them to switch me back. Instead I will probably just let the subscription expire and then not get either of them.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

FO (sort of) and Stringy Goodness


J's socks are finished, done, kaput. Here's what they looked like two days ago. Here's what they look like now...
They're done alright. Just not completed. I finally got J to try them on and they are way too tight. He couldn't get them on. K tried them on and they would have been okay if I ripped back an inch or so of the foot but she has very sensative skin and only wears ankle socks. So I ripped and re-wound them. I'll try again someday.

The String's the Thing

I needed some instant gratification so I started the string bag. I got the yarn and pattern on the yarn crawl to the Mannings a couple of weeks ago. I'm zipping right along on this bag. I might even finish tonight. It takes two balls of Tahki Cotton Classic. I had to join the two balls together part way through. I have always found it difficult to join a new ball of yarn when knitting lace. The join is always very visible and the ends always work their way out. For this bag i decided to sew the ends of the yarn together. I didn't do a great job of stitching the ends and I didn't have the right color thread. Even so, I think the join is acceptable. (This is just a string bag, after all.) Here is how the ends are joined together.

Here's a look at the join knitted into the bag. It's definitely visible but not terribly obvious. If I had thread to match the color the join would be almost invisible. Here is a close up of the join. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Gifts, Socks and Yarn Crawl

I have lots of pictures. Let's start out with something I should have blogged about 2 months ago. Kimberly sent me these adorable stitch markers. She was one of the winners in my contest a couple of months ago. I love these markers. They are so cute and they look good enough to eat. I'll be using them in the sweater I'm about to cast on for my sister. Check out her blog. She is amazingly creative with yarn, fabric, her kids and (obviously) clay.

This next picture is of the socks I blogged about last time. Here they are all wrapped up and ready to mail. The surprise recipient is a stranger to me (although I do know her foot size.) These were a pair of sock savior socks. I didn't sign up for the third round of the sock exchange even though I had so much fun in the second round. I emailed Alison to volunteer to knit someone a pair. These were fun to knit even though they took a long time to finish. They were mailed today. I hope Johanna likes them.

Since finishing my sock pal socks I've been working on socks for J. He took a liking to the yarn I originally dyed for sock pal 2. Since I had a whole skein from the original dye batch I started making these for him. They are an adaptation of the Crusoe socks from Knitty. I don't like the yarn on the ball. I don't like the bright yellow. I overdyed the yellow on the skein I used for sock pal 2. J has vision because I think the socks look great. I like the way the colors look with this stitch pattern. I have the cuffs, heels and gussets done. I'm just knitting on till I get to the toes. I have to pin the boy down to measure his foot so I'll know when I'm done.

Yarn Crawl and Fair Isle Gloves

Last weekend I went on a yarn crawl with two other knitters that I know from the Quakertown knitting group. Leslie, Lisa and I had a great time. We hit three stores, Kitnit and Oh Susanah! in Lancaster, PA and the Mannings in East Berlin, PA. I liked Kitnit. It was a nice little shop with some great yarn and lovely samples. The woman working in the shop was very pleasant and helpful without being overpowering. The shop was a little small to be a destination in itself but I would definitely stop there again if I found myself in that part of the state. I found Dale of Norway's Tiur yarn. I fell in love with the soft feel of it. I selected these five colors with the intent of making my self some gloves or mittens. I can't wait to get started. I've already spent a little time playing with my stitch painting program to come up with a colorwork pattern.

Our stop in Oh Susanah! was very interesting. The shop has much more space that Kitnit. There were about five or six rooms in the ground floor of a house which were used to display yarn. I found this shop to be a little overwhelming for browsing. Yarn was absolutely packed into every nook and cranny, floor to ceiling. I entered the shop without a specific shopping list or plan of what I wanted to buy. I have no doubt that if I were looking for something specific I could find it in that shop but because of the lack of organization I didn't find inspiration.

The Mannings was our ultimate destination. This was the main reason for our trip. It definitely lived up to it's great expectations. I have shopped at the Mannings booth at knitting events (MDS&W) and have found it to be a pleasurable experience. That was nothing compared to shopping in their store. They have lots of space and the yarns are displayed beautifully and conveniently. The staff is knowledgeable, friendly and very helpful. I found lots of inspiration at the Mannings. I also picked up supplies for three projects plus a pattern. This yarn is destined to become a string bag for schlepping towels to and from swimming lessons and swim team practices and meets. I also picked up the Oat Couture shopping bag pattern.
The second project I selected was for DH. Since he doesn't read my blog I feel safe discussing this project here. I'm planning on making him a pair of Regia Silk socks for his birthday in October. I don't have a pattern in mind yet but it will probably be gansey-ish with knit and purl patterning. In solid black. At least the sensuous hand of this yarn makes up for my lack of excitement with the color. DH is a conservative kind of guy and wouldn't go for really snappy socks. My last project is something of a secret. I have a project in mind but I haven't worked out the details yet. It's a holiday surprise for someone I know and of whom I am very fond. I'll leak details as they crystalize.

The last thing I got was something of an impulse purchase. I bought the Diamond Patch Sweater pattern from Just One More Row. Lots of members of the Ample Knitters list have knit this pattern and I have not heard of one person who was unhappy with it (seriously, check out the AK Gallery!) I'll get to it someday.

So that's about all I have for now. Hopefully, I'll have a flurry of finished projects to inspire me to start blogging more frequently again.