Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's been a busy couple of weeks. Two weeks ago, I had you all spoiled with pre-blogging. I love blogging in advance. But this past week, I was barely able to keep my head above water. Work picked up the past couple of weeks, as it is audit season and I had many class obligations. The least of which is finishing up a paper as we're driving to Atlanta today in just a few hours and will be gone for ten, eleven days.

I can't wait to see my nephew Chason, and visit with my mom and sister. We're having a family reunion in Atlanta, so it will be lots of fun. And then we'll head on to Greensboro, NC to visit two of M's sisters. Good times with family, I can't wait! I think I need a vacation. I'm even excited by the road trip.

With all of that said, a good friend of mine is getting married in August and I had a bridal shower to attend. Because the groom and bride had been living together, as well as having established households prior, they were not registering anywhere. However, the theme for the bridal shower was wine. The bride and groom both have Italian heritage and they wanted a wine collection. I had no problem giving a nice bottle of wine and we put a tag on it for the deemed special occasion we signed up for. This is a friend that I knit baby socks and a hat about 3.5 years ago for. I know she likes it when I knit something for her, so I went searching for a wine bottle cozy pattern! Later I thought this might be bizarre, but once I started I was committed to finishing it. The bridal shower was on a Sunday afternoon and I started it on Saturday morning, worked on the ribbing for a few hours. Went home did some other chores and then worked on the cozy for the rest of the night into the early morning.

The wine cozy was really simple. It was just working a tube or the cuff of a sock down for 8-10 inches and doing a bind-off. Just lovely and fun and it was worsted weight yarn knit on size 5s. I opted to do stripes, as a way of using some scrap yarn, of which I have tons. It was super simple. I also decided to knit it in the round. Because I was knitting this with tight time restrictions, I didn't want to worry about having to seam it up and weave in a million ends because I striped the cozy.

I used a Knitty pattern, which as I stated before, is just real simple.

The bride was quite surprised and happy and loved it. That's all that counted in my opinion. My gift was one of the first to be opened and during the rest of the gift opening ceremony, everyone kept commenting that theirs wasn't a knitted winebag, but . . .It was pretty funny.

Lastly, I was the recipient of a lovely gift from Senorita RosiG just for commenting. She makes some of the best soap and sent me a bar of her handmade soap, which I was sad to use all up because it smelled so good. M wants to buy more, but sadly Miss RosiG makes it for her consumption and not for sale anymore. I just feel privileged to have had a bar. I also received some handmade balm and a skein of Morehouse Merino laceweight. That was a lovely mail day, as I hadn't expected anything, so it was nice to receive it. Thanks again Rosi!

Well, peeps, I'm outta here. Need to get some shuteye before the big drive. I'll be sure to take some pics from the ATL.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Summer of Socks

I thought I signed up for Summer of Socks this year and it turned out I didn't. Oh, well, no big loss there really because it's not like I would win the contest for the most socks knit during the 2 month time frame. I'll just consider myself a member in spirit.

I don't know if you all hadn't noticed, but I was missing my sock mojo for a few months. It might have possibly been related to knitting the boring black/grey socks for M forever, or so it seems. I'm so happy they are done. I think I am saving these for his birthday (at the end of the month) or I may give them to him sooner, just not sure. He even asked me the other day who the socks were for and I told him they were for me. He mentioned that he liked those socks and they were close enough to black that he would wear them. I wonder if he's been reading the blog again, hmmph.

They may end up being a surprise or not, either way, they are done and now I'm happy to knit something fun again.

Project Specs:
Pattern: Men's Sock, using basic sock pattern, upped stitch count to 68 sts for M's foot
Yarn: Trekking XXL
Project start date: February 2008
End date: June 2008
Considering this is a basic pattern I've been using for years, no real mods, just changed stitch count from my usual 64 to 68 for M's larger feet. I still love using Trekking, although it's not as soft as other merino sock yarns, but it blooms wonderfully after washing and is a good workhorse sock yarn for socks that will get a lot of wear. And trust me, M is hard on socks.

Now, next up are a pair of socks that I am just loving! I am using a pattern, Apollo & Artemis by Kirsten of Through the Loops, which gives you two sock patterns for the price of one. I'm using some of Mary Kay's Red Rocks Fiber Works sock yarn in the Drink Me colorway and I am in love. The pattern is simple, but has a pretty lace insert on the sides. I'm knitting the Artemis sock pattern and the yarn and pattern are a perfect match.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Boy Colors?

So M2, the now 15yo, has selected sock yarn from my stash, no less, for the two(?) pairs of socks that he is requesting. I used to be able to get by with quick socks for him. A little ribbing, barely any cuff, turn a heel flap and get on down to the business of knitting a foot and you were done. The socks were done before you barely knew you got started. Now, his feet are growing (aargh!now we're up to a men's size 10) and wants a pair of shorty socks and a tall pair, read long and tall like his father's socks.

To be fair, I really don't care what color socks the boy wants to wear. If he wants to wear the crazy colors, then it's all on him. I will wear them, so I guess why wouldn't a boy wear them? I dunno. It just strikes me as odd, that he chooses the colors that I've picked out and love and really are for me, as opposed to the more sedate colors that I would assume a boy would prefer, and that M, his father, prefers.

M2 even selected my CampWannaKnitKnit colorway and I told him that I just couldn't bear to part with that one, so he has chosen two other Mary-Kay colorways. I do have to say that the boy has good taste. And the black and blue socks will be shorties, so perhaps there will be enough for me to get some anklets out of them? ;-)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Just Like Potato Chips

These squares are so addictive. You can't just knit one. They're even more addictive than beloved cotton dishcloths, if you can imagine. I'm knitting them for the Barn Raising Quilt. My knitting group has decided to exchange squares as well. I have to knit at least 9 squares to give away, but I keep using sock yarn leftovers that I don't want to give away! These squares go so quickly, I've decided to have two on the needles, one for leftover yarn for me and one for squares to give away.

The two that are pictured are squares 2 & 3. The first square, I gave away to Cynthia, since she was here from out of town and all. But I'm currently on squares 5 & 6. It will take me some time to finish this quilt, especially because I will be making the quilt larger than the pattern calls for. It looks sorta small with only 40 or so required squares, so I'll just keep going bigger until I have a size that's satisfactory. I'm enjoying using my leftover sock yarns in this quilt.

I've got to hurry up and get one square to Kim. I want my beaded skully square. Aren't they awesome?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Here and back again: a recap of 4th year Camp

Many people attend various knit camps and learn techniques from knitting instructors. In my circle of friends, camp takes on a different significance. Each year we head for the hills (or also known as mountains out here in CO) and with several knitting projects in tow, we prepare for camp.

Stacey is usually the ring leader with planning Camp, which includes oh-so-fabulous swag.

This is the house we stayed in for camp this year:

Pretty nice, right? Yeah, I agree. We had 15 ladies this year, including Stacey's niece, Miss Mimi.

I believe it is safe for me to say that we all had a ball. The time spent with good friends, relaxing, hanging out and knitting is unbeatable. We had lots of wonderful food prepared, including a traditional Hawaiian meal prepared by Kim, yummy crepes by The Knitty Professor and a southern breakfast with an egg/sausage casserole and cheese grits by the Beach girls! :-) Good food, good company and yarn, how can you go wrong?

Mary-Kay dyed a whack of yarn and after her orders were filled for stores, she had a lot of yarn leftover and what better place to sell it than to a group of women at camp who all love her yarns? I don't know how many of you could pass up all of that beautiful yarn waiting to greet you when you walk into the house. Lovely stuff and I believe everyone walked away with at least one skein.

This year's campgoers were treated to some wonderful swag, as per usual camp standards! :-) We had the pleasure of MaryKay dyeing yarn for us in an exclusive Camp WannaKnitKnit colorway. Isn't it purty? In addition to receiving Red Rocks Fiber Works yarn, we also received Piddleloop bags, yay! I've never had one of their bags before, so I'm excited to have one, with a pirate theme no less. If you didn't peep it on the pic of all the camp attendees, we had special shirts made up this year for camp with a logo. Sweet! I love my shirt and will be wearing it often.

We did something new this year, working on a group craft project. It was quite fun and I really got into it. We made dpn holders and as I typically knit socks with dpns, I use dpns a lot. These were fun and easy to make and I already have a set in use!

This was the laid-back, relaxed attitude that camp inspired. Shouldn't everyday be like this?