Monday, August 29, 2005

Birthday Celebration

Thank you to everyone for your birthday greetings. They were very well received and I appreciate them all. I had a great day on my birthday. I woke up to my boyfriend wishing me a happy birthday, which was just the beginning of my day. Had a nice, leisurely day waking up and got dressed and met up with some knitters! Hung out with everyone, made some progress on my sock and the scarf and then began attempting Eris, which really gave me a headache, but I worked about 6 rows of the first chart. I guess charts aren't so bad, this just isn't knitting for social activity or mindless knitting in front of the tv, at least not in the charts. Then went to lunch with my girls,Michelle, Cyn and Stacey. We had ourselves a great time and these lovely girls even treated me to lunch, much to my surprise. Thanks again ladies, you helped to make my day special!!

Then I was off to go home and make myself pretty and trust me, that takes a little time. I had to drag out the box of contacts and clean a pair so I could wear for the evening, a quick pedicure, shower, change of clothes, put the front of my hair up into bantu knots, change of purse, application of makeup, putting in contacts, perfume, jewelry, etc and then a quick mani before we were out on our way to dinner at The Keg Steakhouse, mmm, yummy. Even the vegetarian M was satisfied with his steak (swordfish, caught ya!) and great dessert. It was nice to go out for dinner as we haven't with so many things happening this summer, it was really good to have a lovely, romantic dinner with my sweetie! He also gave me a beautiful bouquet of roses and a card.

Just to show you something I made last summer but never wore is a shawl. But not in the traditional form of a shawl, but one made from Rowan Kidsilk Haze and a skein of Colinette, can't remember the name, but it is a thick and thin yarn.
View from the front:

Birthday girl in shawl I made last year, finally making its debut 
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and one from the back where you can really see the detail:

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On to the knitty progress, as this will be quick. I finished the first sock for my Sockapalooza pal and am on the heel flap of the second sock. I'm almost done with the heel flap and on to my least favorite part, picking up stitches and doing decreases for the sock. I don't mind picking up stitches at all, I just hate doing the decreases, but oh well, once those pesky decreases are done, I'll be on my way (close to halfway with the foot being done).
Here's a pic of the sock in progress:
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and a closeup of the lace rib:
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Lastly, a pic of the Thandi mohair scarf as it is progressing nicely:
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The brown chai color I found for this scarf goes very well with the other colors and I enjoy knitting it so much, I'm finding it to be addictive. It's easy to knit a color change pattern repeat as it's only 22 rows long and about 34 stitches on the needles, it goes by quickly.

No pictures of Eris thus far as I've not even finished up one of the 5 charts that makes up the collar. I will have to make time to work on this one with no distractions, but the charts aren't nearly as difficult as I thought. Thanks Michelle for the hand-holding! :-)

That's all for now. I will try to post a little later in the week as I'm busy reorganizing and destashing stuff, books, yarn (yes, even some of my yarn will have to leave-some will be up on Ebay in a day or so, I will update the page when that happens) and I need to go through some things in my storage closet as well. Thanks to Margene's thoughtful post on decluttering, it really got me thinking. I've been unhappy with the state of stuff that I have and I really need some more organization to happen. Probably this has been exacerbated by the fact that M brought over the last of stuff into the house as well as his youngest son living with us, so all this clutter I've been hanging on that has no meaning or value to me anymore must go. I'm tired of lugging all this stuff with me.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

You Say It's Your Birthday . . .

Well, It's my birthday too. Yep, today is my 33rd birthday. I'm just happy and blessed to be alive and have wonderful friends and family and a loving boyfriend in my life. I'm very grateful. I plan on enjoying my day. Will catch up with you all later.

Happy Birthday to Me! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 25, 2005

It's Raining Yarn

Yep, that's what I said, It's Raining Yarn over here. I love it!

To the rescue, another secret pal angel, much to my surprise. I received this package in the mail yesterday and couldn't wait to show it to you. I got some of the best stuff. I was so excited when I opened the package. I put up two pictures, because I couldn't get one to show everything just right.

Secret Pal gifts Posted by Picasa

This picture shows the yarn pretty well. I got two balls of some cool sock yarn in bright colors, pinks, greens, blue and it's Norwegian yarn. Pretty interesting and very soft. And also some Brown Sheep Handpaint Original, which I've always loved but never bought for myself. This might be used in a scarf or so, you just never know!

second photo of Secret Pal Angel booty Posted by Picasa

I got a very sweet card, although I have to say, I have no idea who my angel is, except she's Canadian (that's the postmark anyway) and that she travels alot. The beaded bag is from her travels in Laos (wow!), a cool magnetic bookmark, which I just love. Regular bookmarks always get lost. And M actually bought me some beautiful ones last Xmas and I'm scared to use them for fear I'll leave it in a library book or something. Magnetic bookmarks are just a smart idea and I went on and on about this last night. I must hit the bookstore to look for more. Ok, can you tell I'm easily excited by simple things! A couple of stitch markers, one with a Pooh bear and beads and the other with a Chinese symbol on it and beads. Also some very cool flower stickers that look 3-D. I love this package and thank you so much to both my Secret Pal Angels that swooped in and made this experience much better for me! I so appreciate it all.

Not much knitting to report, I worked a repeat on the lace scarf with the Chai color and it's turning out great. And I finished the first sock. Still need to kitchener the toe though. And I worked a few more rounds of lace rib on the second sock while waiting at the dentist yesterday with M's son. He had to go twice for 4 cavities. I usually hate to wait, but knitting made that a non-issue. Although he hated waiting, but I told him I could teach him how to knit. Somehow, as I knew, that didn't go over big with him. Although I'm to make him a pair of house socks now.

Has anyone seen Karen's Mia Shrug? Or Kathy's aka Grumperina's version? I really like this shrug and it keeps calling me. In case you're interested, the pattern is available via .pdfhere here or on Karen's site in case my link to the pdf doesn't work. Hmm, what do you think?

I think the first thing I'm going to do is attempt seaming up Donna. Remember her? Yeah, she's been sitting in a basket for awhile. I guess it's time for me to play nice as she never did nothing to nobody. That's all for now.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Bestest Birthday, oops, Pre-Birthday Ever

That's right peoples, over here at Chez WWK, a birthday is coming up. Not until this Saturday, but I'll be a whopping 33. I never get really excited until the moment arrives, but I'm starting to get some anticipation going now. Some great friends and fellow knitbloggers gave me some gifties last night at another knitting meetup. Cynthia, Stacey, Joanne, Michelle and Amy all got together and got me a little sumthin'-sumthin' for the birthday, which was really quite sweet and I was more than a little surprised!

I got a goodie bag of knitterly treats and what knitter doesn't enjoy knitting treats for their birthday? Or heck, any day?
So here's what I got:

Some Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn in bright colors, red, orange and yellow. Some Patagonia cotton in a pretty chartreuse, a straight needle cover, beaded stitch markers, a varsity "W" set of sticky notes, some Stash Chai Spice Tea and a gift certificate to Tattered Cover! Thanks again, ladies, this was truly unexpected and a great gift. Really got me in the spirit of my birthday!

Since my last post, a lot of knitting was done. I was able to get away for the weekend (yes, again!) and hung out with some friends. Lots of knitting was done, although I still didn't get cast on for Eris. I left the chart key behind and of course you start with the collar, which is full of cables, so it hasn't started yet. So since I didn't have that to work on, I made a lot of progress on the Sockapalooza socks. I'm down to the decreases for the toe on the first sock and have done a few rounds of the pattern on the second sock. And a new project was cast on as well.

It's the
Thandi scarf from Jo Sharp Gathering, Book Number Five. When this book came out 2 years ago and I saw that scarf, I had to have it. The fear of yarnovers/lace took over and the yarn has sat there for a couple of years. At home, I have a small woven basket that I keep yarn in for small projects, such as some ladder yarn for a scarf or two, 3 yarns for a 3-color hat and mitten set, other yarns for scarves, etc. It's there for me to pick up something simple and mindless when I need a break in between projects, especially something simple as a garter stitch scarf out of novelty yarn. Easy and mindless and it uses up some of the yarn laying around. However, most of those projects are still sitting there, never to be started. I happened to dig around in the basket to get some remnant yarn and found the 4 balls of mohair I had to make this scarf. I found the book and took it with me for the weekend. Since I only had one other project going, this was perfect. I'm enjoying the lace too. I had a 4th color that was too dark to partner with the other 3 colors which are pink, grape and lime. Then I chose another color which was too light, more of a cream-color with variegated tones of light purple and brown. So I finally found the color I wanted originally that the shop I purchased it from in Seattle didn't have at the time, which is this Chai color, a muted brown, which I think will go perfectly with the other colors.

The pattern calls for 9 balls of yarn total, but the width of the scarf is 12" and 98 1/2" long, which is just too long. I took out two of the lace repeats, which should make it approximately 7-8" wide and I will knit till I'm out of yarn. If at that time, I want it to be a little longer, then I will a ball of each of the other colors, but I think it will be long enough and the mohair will keep it nice and toasty, but the lace will give it room to breathe, so I'm excited by my lacy scarf!

I'm still thinking more of fall knits now. I'm a bit undecided on the Eris, if I should carry on or not. I think what bothers me most is I feel that I don't have the skills to do it, but I know that I do and I can learn the rest, because hello, knitting is a process and I continually surprise myself with the things I learn. I'm mainly wanting to chicken out, but I need to at least try it, so we'll see.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Tuesdays are for . . .

Knitalongs, according to Alison. Today however, is not Tuesday and since I've managed to not post an update with my Sockapalooza socks for many weeks, I thought I would go ahead and get that all out here now. Without further ado, I present the Clover Lace Rib socks from Sole Solution Sock Challenge. Please note, if you go to this link, it is for a .pdf download that is 2.82 MB. It's 99 pages of sock patterns, but there are lots of neat ones and I found this one that is perfect for my yarn.

The yarn I'm using is Lang Jawoll Cotton, which is a mix of cotton, wool and nylon. I'm loving the colors and almost wanting to keep it for myself, but I'm really hoping my sock pal likes them. Now that this is my second pair of socks using some sort of pattern, I'm finding myself really liking them. And I do like my bit o' lace in this pattern. I've turned the heel in the first sock and done all the decreases around the foot, so now it's just straight knitting on the foot until I get to the toe decreases (keeping the sock in pattern of course). While taking M's son to the dentist yesterday, I cast on and did about 1.5 inches of 1x1 ribbing of the second sock. I was quite pleased with that progress. Plus casting on for the second sock makes me more focused on the task at hand, which is to finish these socks soon!

In other KALs, I joined a local Rogue KAL, although in fact, I'm doing Eris. I haven't gotten gauge yet, but I will work on that more on the weekend. Here's just a sample of the yarn I'm using, which is BlackWater Abbey in the Ocean colorway.

Isn't the color just beauteous? I love it.

Oh and something I can't forget to mention, is one of the Secret Pal Angels sent me a care package while I was gone, a couple skeins of yarn. A skein of Wool in the Woods, 100% worsted weight yarn and some of her own handspun in a beautiful colorway that is a wool/merino blend that is just gorgeous. Thank you very much Courtney.

What I hadn't mentioned about Secret Pal was that mine bailed on me. She started out emailing me initially and even posted a comment when I was laid off that she would be sending me a package in the next few weeks. I also received a nice ecard from her in mid-July saying that things had been hectic, but that she would get something in the mail soon when life slowed down or something of that nature. By the beginning of August I was too through with the madness. I try to be understanding, but sent her an email, which is to the secret email address that I'm sure isn't checked frequently, saying if she wasn't going to participate she should just tell Rox, the SP5 coordinator, b/c I was pissed and tired of the waiting game. I didn't join SP5 for all the gifts. I truly enjoyed buying things for my SP, Libby. It quite ironic to have my secret pal be someone I know and for months having to hide it from them, but it was a lot of fun. It was disappointing to not receive Secret Pal gifts, but that was okay. I was disappointed b/c someone signed up and didn't keep their end of the deal and I'm sure they had a pal that sent them things, but they bailed on me. That's what sucks. My so-called Secret Pal never replied to my email, as I figured and I emailed the SP5 coordinator and asked her to contact the person who supposed to be my secret pal and she didn't get a response either, therefore, a lovely angel was assigned to me and within a couple of weeks I had a nice present. I think in the next instance of SP, I may sign up to be an angel. I think that's such a nice thing to do when someone's been burned. A sort-of restoration of faith in humanity and all that nonsense, but it does make you feel better. So enough with the rant of Secret Pal.

Have a good weekend all.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Here I Am, Home Again

Hey there everybody. It's good to be back home. I enjoyed my visit with my nephew and sister. Thanks to everyone for the well wishes. He is doing better and is at home again. He has a bad case of acid reflux which is causing respiratory issues and the doctors are trying to decide the next course of action, but he's not in serious danger, just annoying problems that poor little Chason and mother have to deal with.

Let's see, I kinda sorta finished something. The blue tank I was working on, but it's a toss-up. True to my fashion, I'm done knitting on it, but little else. I knitted one side a couple of years ago and then thought it might be too big, so I knit the other side a little smaller(I know, wtf?), so anyway, I don't know what to do with this thing. If I should try to block the heck out of one size, so the other side matches, or just rip the whole thing out and let the yarn rest till next summer? We'll see . . .

I mentioned in previous posts about a yarn purchase and it's wasn't much, and no, it wasn't Cotton-Ease! Although when we went to Jo-Ann's in Atlanta for my sister, I did go check out the yarn section, sad to say. But alas, there was no Cotton-Ease, which was good for my budget. One day, while out and about, my sister took me by the yarn store and she and Chason hung out in the car, so I knew my time was limited. I went to the Yarn Garden in Lawrenceville, Georgia. It was a very nice shop and I wish I had more time to peruse the shop, but as I said, time was an issue. There was a cranky baby and a perhaps cranky mom who indulged my yarn fetish habit. What a good sis, huh? So anyway, walking through the various rooms, I looked at the cotton room, but am ready for fall knits and headed on to the wool room. Yum, I so love wool. And what did I see in front of me, an old favorite, Cascade 220. I saw a teal color and a beautiful solid rust color, but the heathered rose color did me in. I had to have it and what a beautiful reminder of my Atlanta trip!

I'll have more to report tomorrow, but other various house duties await me. I should have pics up of the Sockapalooza socks, finally. But I'll leave you with a picture of me and my nephew. Taking care of a baby is hard work, being able to rock him to sleep was a treasure.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Update from Atlanta

Well the weather here has been mostly rainy, although it did manage to get hot the past few days. The trip to Atlanta has been pretty interesting. I've had a great time getting to know my nephew and learning all sorts of things in reference to babies, which was kinda cool and scary, all at the same time.

I even got to buy some yarn as we hit a yarn store in Lawrenceville. I was quite happy to have found a store in Lawrenceville, which is near my sister. I also thought I might have time to go back and sit and knit before I leave, but alas that will not happen.

My little nephew is back in the hospital as of Friday, so no more trips to the yarn store, but hanging out in the hospital is the name of the game right now until my departure on Tuesday morning.

One of these days I will have an update with pictures, hopefully once I get back to Denver. I have been making great progress on the Sockpal-2za socks. Well I am to the heel flap on one and beginning to pick up stitches now. This is my second pair of socks doing some sort of stitch pattern and it's really fun. At first I thought I was crazy, slightly out of my mind, but really nothing new for me. I am enjoying the pattern work though. I hope to cast on for the second sock soon. I might start the ribbing on the plane, just because I don't enjoy doing it and I will have plenty of time to do 1x1 ribbing for 2 inches with no interruptions.

I also started swatching for Eris. My local friends started a KAL for Rogue, but I decided the pattern is beautiful but I'm not much for hoodies at all, so I decided to skip it. Since I'm marginally in the local KAL by doing Eris, I wanted to get gauge so I could start casting on here, but that doesn't look like it will happen. I didn't bring enough of the right needles to be able to get gauge. I'm using BlackWater Abbey yarn in the Ocean colorway, which is really beautiful. This is wrosted to aran-weight yarn and I used size 6 needles and am not getting the right stitch gauge and I think I will need to try size 5 or 4s to possibly get 8 spi for row gauge, so I will have to wait till I get home.

Enough babble for now, I'm using a computer in the hospital which is pretty neat, but I can't linger forever on it.

Another good thing re: my visit here was going bridal gown shopping with my sister. We did find the dress and she looks beautiful in it.

Later all . . .

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Greetings from Atlanta

I wanted to post before I actually headed out to Atlanta, but alas, that was not meant to be. My DSL connection crapped out on me before I headed out on Saturday to alert you that I would be leaving town. I am able to blog remotely using my sister's computer, but not too sure if I will get any pics up as I didn't bring my USB cable, but my sister does have a digital camera, so we will see what happens.

I am visiting with my sister and extra-cute nephew for approx. 10 days, as my nephew had been a little sick and my sister could use to help with his care, so I was glad to leave Denver and come and hang out in Atlanta for a bit.

My mother even scoped out a yarn shop nearby. Do you think I have them trained or what? :-) Only took 4 years! I will try to post in the next few days, the tank is moving right along and I finally am getting further along on the sockapalooza socks. The airplane is great for lots of knitting time.

Talk to you all soon and happy knitting!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Just a quickie post with a pic of my favorite (okay, only) nephew Chason in the baby hat and socks I knitted, while laying on the baby blanket. Aww, makes an aunt's heart go all mushy . . .

An another one just because:

In other knitting news: still making progress on the tank. Must take picture soon, getting up to the armholes.

The sock, I cast on, worked two rows and then ripped. Will start again later. That's all for now folks.

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Yarn Made Me Do It!

Oh, my goodness. I swear, I wasn't looking to buy anymore Cotton-Ease. Okay, well maybe a little. I'd thought of making a tank that Lynette mentioned on her blog that was made using Mission Falls Cotton in a maroon red and other shade of red and I believe she was going to do it in orange and red. Since I had that Cherry Red thanks to Stacey, I figured a couple of balls in orange wouldn't hurt to make the tank, but since I've seen the orange in person, there's no way I would use that orange for me. Very, very bright.

However, my Tempting is done and I thought I would go to Jo-Ann Fabrics and get some ribbon(s) to try with it. I swear, all I did was walk up to the front door, and they had carts outside with things marked down and the Cotton-Ease was there in a cart for $1.50/ball. Pretty scary stuff there. I immediately dug in and got a couple of things and then called some of the girls to see if they wanted, nay, needed some yarn. Of course they said yes and a lot of yarn was bought.

I wanted to take the picture like this:

but M thought it looked more dramatic like this:

I must concede that it's not all mine. I had some Candy Blue CottonEase gifted to me by Cathi, but I was concerned with the different dye lots and if I would have a problem as I had enough yarn for a garment for myself, so I bought some Candy Blue, a good amount of the Pistachio Green and a couple balls of Blueberry, which was a color I hadn't seen before. I figure I can use the Candy blue in different dye lots to make some bab things and also the Blueberry color for a baby sweater for my nephew. Who knows what the rest will be, although I do like the Pistachio and the Candy Blue together as some sort of striped thing.

As I mentioned before, Tempting is now done. Just a couple of shots to show the finished result. I picked out two ribbon colors, one is a sheer ivory, which I didn't take the picture with and the other is a taupe, sort of pale brown color.
The front a la Rachael:

and one of the back:

Project: Tempting from Knitty
Yarn: Katia Bufalo, color 17(dusky teal)
Project started: 4/17/2005
Project completed: 7/31/05

Yikes, I just realized it took me 3 months to knit this thing up, so much for it being a quick knit. Although it did lounge around my house for about 3-4 weeks waiting for me to finish it up. Donna is lounging now. I don't forsee me making a blocking board anytime soon, so we'll just forget about that for now. Anyway, overall, I'm very pleased with this project. Initially, actually the whole time I knit this thing, I was concerned about it not fitting. I would normally make the 40" size, but with my gauge, I was not getting the gauge the pattern called for, but I didn't want to go down a needle size, because the fabric would be very dense. I also didn't do a circular gauge swatch and my gauge always tends to go down a bit, so I was concerned Tempting wouldn't fit. I chose to knit the smaller size, 36", only because when I figured out my gauge of stitches per inch and multiplied it by the size I wanted, it matched the number of stitches for size 36, so I followed that size and it worked (this time)! After I did the trial shot, I was quite surprised to see that it fit, so after that, I was bit more inspired to finish it. Now, that I tried it on with a ribbon, first of all, it's still a bit big, especially in the back, so I'm glad I did make this with the intention of wearing it with a ribbon. Otherwise, it wouldn't fit right. Once I put it on yesterday with the ribbon, I was very pleasantly surprised at how nice it fits. I would definitely consider making another one, especially in a more elastic yarn, or wool. The fit is more complimentary than I expected, so I'm quite happy with it. Definitely a successful knit.

I also have a quick-n-dirty FO of yet another OSW, this time in Cherry Red Cotton-Ease. This one feels a bit tight and I made it slightly larger, but I never checked my gauge, so that may have been an issue. Also, I worked the ribbing this time and I think that may have something to do with it. I think if I wear it enough, it will stretch a bit more. This was supposed to be done in time for M's birthday on Thursday and I was knitting all the way up to the restaurant, however, I didn't finish it. And in the end, it was so warm in the restaurant, if I'd worn the OSW, it would have been too hot after all. But here's the pic,nonetheless.

I think the next OSW I make will be done with seed stitch again. I prefer the look of it in the OSW, although I might attempt to make one with longer sleeves, we'll see.

I've decided not to make the Tivoli as I'm concerned it will roll too much and frankly with the other summer knits I've made rolling and growing, if I make another one and it rolls, I will really lose it. It bothers me greatly and I have no crocheting skills to correct this, so for now I'm not going to do it. But if you want to see one that's completed, almost as quickly as it was cast on for, go see
Michelle's. It's a beaut.

For now, my summer knitting is to finish the blue tank top from 2 years. I'm about 1/3 of the way in on it now. I've just cast on for some Clover Lace Rib socks for my Sockapalooza pal and that's about it for my knitting. I want to pick up a project I put down a couple of years ago b/c I ran out of yarn and later this past fall, I bought a solid yarn to work the sleeves in, since the sweater was initially done in a variegated. I would really like to finish up this sweater before we get too far into fall. My thought is if I get the sleeves done this August, then I can work the other front of the cardigan and block it and seam it together. The sleeves were already knitted, the back complete and one front, but since I ran out of yarn, I will have to rip back the sleeves, but use the variegated yarn as cuffs for the sleeves and then knit the sleeves in a solid color and I should have enough to finish the front. I forgot I also have a collar to do, but I will have enough to do that one as well in either the variegated, the solid or a combination of the two.

It feels weird to only have one or two projects going, but as soon as I finish the tank, I will start working on the sleeves of my cardigan. I will have a lot to do as I will need to swatch with the Cascade 220 to get the same gauge I got then on the variegated, rip the sleeves back to the seed stitch cuffs in the variegated and then add the solid orange and begin knitting. After that, I will then have to skein up the remaining yarn and wash it, let it dry and then wind it balls to knit with it again. It's been knit up for over 2 years at this point, so I'm sure I need to do this.

Okay, I guess that's enough of my ramblings for the day.