Monday, June 30, 2008

June Roundup

Is it that time already? I feel like I just wrote May's roundup and now here it is time for June's. (I really did just write May's--about two weeks ago and changed the date.)

These are my knitterly accomplishments for the month of June:

1. My orange and green Tiny Bowknots sweater. I figure I knitted as much as 3 sweaters while finishing this one. It was a great accomplishment for me, though, as I designed it myself.

2. Hawaiian Leis socks for RB, and only 2 weeks late for her birthday (but they fit!)(and one of them went to Omaha.)

3. Two more pair of CIC socks which makes my list of Magic 28 socks up to 23. Five more to go.

4. 5 1/3 nervous dishcloths were done during baseball games. DD#2 did a section of the last one.

5. Two CIC sweaters were made on that long Omaha car ride--one out and one back.

It was a productive month for knitting simple things. On to July!
Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions and comments. (Even you, Valeria! You may not think that you're helping, but I love getting your comments!)

I got the rest of the stitches picked up (I'm not sure how long it took, but it was definitely TOO long.) Thinking that an edge of green looked nice, I tried knitting with it.

Humph. Not looking so good, is it?

I did come up with a brilliant idea. (Not that it's original, it's just that I didn't think of it yet concerning this sock). I'm going to feed the needles below the whole ribbing and cut off the ribbing and rib up in one piece. So there. I'll show that sock who's boss.

I'm going to let it sit for another day or so, and then I'll fix it.

(Pause while I take the dog out.... For as many years as he's been going outside, you'd think he'd know not to stand directly in front of the door so that I can open the door without hitting him. Instead I have to inch the door along so as not to catch him in the nose. Dogs.)

(Okay, now he's back in and I can continue....)

For another easy knitting project, I've been working on this baby blanket. (I don't know why. The yarn is there and is calling me.)

The yarn is Plymouth Encore Colors DK and makes these really subtle stripes (that are even more subtle in person.) This is skein #3 of the yarn and I have 6 so I'll have to be decreasing soon.

(This is the hardest part of writing my blog--how to write a concluding paragraph that ties in all my ramblings..... Hmmm.... you can pick from one of these:
1. Time to knit
2. Time to eat and time to knit
3. Time to do the laundry (ha)
4. The End

I'll go with #4. )

The End.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

What's the point?

I now have several pairs (but less than 10) of handknit wool socks. However, I have no handknit socks for summer. Deciding that this was the summer to fix that problem, I cast on for these socks.

They're called Walking in the Maize and are short socks, perfect for the summer. They are knit from the top down and have a foot arch with K1, P1 ribbing to hug the foot tighter. I'm using Brown Sheep Cotton Fine in Wisteria.

However, the beginning instructions puzzle me.

First, you CO on 35 sts using waste yarn, then the next row you k1, p into running thread in between, and continue for the rest of the row. Some tighter (stretchier?) ribbing is done for the next 6 rows and the sock is then knit normally.

To finish the top, those stitches are supposed to be picked up and knitted in K1, P1 ribbing, then bound off.

My question is....what's the point?

I didn't know, but figured there was some reason, so decided to do it anyway. Since the CO edge is too tight to get my foot through, I decided to stop working on the instep and finish the CO edge.

See this? This is what I can show for 10 minutes worth of work.

I have picked up 10 stitches, which averages out to 1 st per min., which if I do the whole sock will take 68 minutes.

So....what's the point? If the sock stays up better because of the weird cast-on and ribbing, then that is good. But is it so much better than just an ordinary CO and ribbing? Is it tighter than normal to keep it in place?

Anyone have a good reason before I spend 58 more minutes on this?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Little Known Facts About Me

I recently received an email from a friend that told me little known facts about her. The instructions were to fill in your answers and pass it on. I figured instead of doing that I'd just post it in my blog. Feel free to post it in your blog and if you do, let me know so I can see if we have the same randomness! (I'm just picking out some of the more random answers and adding a couple of questions of my own. Feel free to do the same.) I present:

Little Known Facts About Me (that you didn't know you ever wanted to know):


2. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes, but it's gotten messier over the years.

3. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Peanut butter (It does so count).



6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Cheerios. I like to eat them as a snack.


8. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Yes. It used to be all leg strength, but I'm building up muscles from moving boxes at work. (Yes, I'm getting muscles from working in a craft store. Little crazy, that.)


10. RED OR PINK? Red

11. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Flesh colored (bare feet)

12. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Frozen popcorn shimp and onion rings (DH is out of town, so no cooking for me!)

(That's right, I'm not just answering the questions I'm commenting. I'm running this quiz so I get to make the rules. If you don't like them you can just march right down to the principal's office, young lady!)

13. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Nothing. I really only listen to the radio in the car, and that's to get the local news.


15. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Am I allowed to say anything besides baseball? I am looking forward to the Olympics, though.

16. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Yes, plus reading glasses. And when I have my glasses on I will also put on my reading glasses.

17. FAVORITE FOOD? Mashed potatoes. And chocolate. And coffee. But not altogether. (Well, maybe.)

18. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer, although I love a nice winter snow.

19. FAVORITE DESSERT? Cheesecake

20. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? DD#2 and I are currently watching the old seasons of "The Gilmore Girls" although I keep getting behind (which is okay since I saw them the first time around) but she keeps insisting that I need to catch up (which is difficult with the whole "being gone for a week and then trying to catch up on things" thing.)


22. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I can knit. (Now there's something you've never heard about me before!)

23. WHY DO YOU BLOG? It started out just to keep track of my finished projects, but it turned into an attempt to use my brain cells a bit more. (Trying not to forget how to spell or use correct grammar, or to not lose whatever I have left. Or to get better at spellcheck.)

24. DO YOU KNOW HOW TO TYPE PROPERLY? Yes, I took typing in high school, and I've always said it's the most useful class I ever took.

25. WHAT NEW SKILL WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN? How to count money quickly. I'm fastinated by people (ever watch a bank clerk?) who can whip through those dollars bills in nothing flat. I've actually practiced, but never got much faster.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Two finished sweaters

As I was catching up on things, I realized I had never posted my official finished pictures of the last two sweaters I made. So, here they are: (and then I plan on not posting pics of me for awhile. I'm getting tired of seeing my face and had to be restrained from cropping out my head.)

Here's my Green Gables Sweater from It's knitted using 6.5 balls of Uruguay DK in a kahki color. I did an extra row or two of the lace pattern and changed the bottom to a picot hem rather than ribbing. Also, the neckline started with an added row of purling to keep it from rolling.

(As an added bonus, I actually found brown plaid shorts that match it very well.)

Next is my orange and green Tiny Bowknots sweater. This is the most complicated thing I've ever designed. I basically started with a number of stitches to cast on (knitting from the top down.) I knew what stitch patterns I wanted to use, and the rest happened on the fly.

The yarn was orange (and the right green) Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. The orange pattern is the Tiny Bowknots from Barbara Walker's Knitting Treasury. The green pattern is faux cables that get farther apart at the bottom.

(The changes in coloring is due to the sun/shade and not to fading of the yarn.)

I like the way it fits, and it's not too hot for the summer (unless you're sitting at a ball game.)

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Little Note

I changed the date on this since I'm still catching up!

While the next few posts contain lots of baseball, I'm still knitting every day so there should be some knitting content also. Don't let all the baseball scare you off.

Also, I may post several posts in the same day, but will change the date for the proper day. Gotta keep it all straight somehow!

Hawaiian Leis Socks

Back to ordinary things. I finished the second birthday sock on the CWS trip and gave it to the birthday girl 2 weeks after her birthday. (Had to ask for the other one back to hide an end. Not very good planning there.)

Here she is, modelling her new socks (and shirt).

Again, I surprised myself by memorizing the pattern halfway through the first sock, and all those hours in a car didn't erase it from my memory.

My friend is gifted with little tiny feet, and I thank her very much.

Details: Hawaiian Leis sock pattern from Knitting a 2008 Calendar from June 7-8. Used size 1 needles and MDSW yarn from Ellen's 1/2 pint farm.

Do you think the sock that travelled out to Nebraska and back will make fun of the sock that stayed home?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

CWS: Game 3 and Home

The morning of game 3 we went to the Durnam American Heritage Museum. It had many picture-worthy opportunties, but although I brought my knitting, I forgot my camera. I brought my camera to that evening's game, but forgot to put my card in it, so no pictures there either.

DS pitched this game, so I was a bundle of nerves. The security guard who checked out my purse commented that I must bored enough to bring along my knitting and I replied that no, but I'm nervous enough.

We lost the game and were out of the series. It was a loss that everyone had a piece of (error here, strikeout there...) so at least it wasn't one person making a misplay that cost the game. They were originally really upset, but I think now they have a better perspective. It was an honor to even make it to the College World Series. Now, life must move on.

I finished these socks at the stadium. The sock originally had a blue toe, but when the second sock ran out of yarn I had to improvise.

Then, I started a dishcloth. Surprised? This one is special 'cause DD#2 got bored and decided to knit the last point of the discloth. Looks pretty good, doesn't it? That's the first time she's done anything that complicated. (I'm waiting for her to want to finish it...but I'd better not hold my breath.)

We left the next morning for home, breaking up the trip into two more even days, traveling 12 hours the first day and 11 the second day. This was my car trip project, another toddler sweater in size 2.

We're home now and things are getting back to normal. Phew!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

CWS: Game 2 P.S.

Somehow I missed posting this picture on Monday. We got to the stadium at 9:00 for a 1:00 game--not gonna miss the parking spaces this time! After wasting time in various ways, we were let into the stadium at 11:00 and I had lots of knitting time.

Not many fans there two hours before the game. We were seated in section "N". See what DH came up with all on his own? (The propaganda is working...)

We sat half in the sun and half in the shade, so no major burn.

By the time the game started we were squished in like sardines, but there was still space to knit.

CWS: Game 2

We had better success parking on the second game of baseball than on the first. The first day, we left our hotel at 3:00 for a 6:00 game and drove the 3 miles to the stadium. After circling the stadium, the parking lots, and all the side streets, we turned around and came back to the hotel. Then we caught the shuttle, stood in line for tickets (wait, this is sounding familiar....I think I told you part of this before. I do this to my kids all the time too. Either I say something 4 times or not at all. Actually, I usually tell one kid 4 times and another not at all. Since I have 4 kids, this works out okay, right?) Okay, you heard how we sat down just in time for the second inning.

The next game (this should be new blathering and not repeat blathering) we drove over really early (since we were the 1st game that worked better) and parked the car and just sat and waited. It was sunny but breezy so the weather was nice.

I picked a new dishcloth pattern to do. I got it from Valeria, but I don't remember the link right now. However, I had to rip it out at least 3 times.

I only got 3 pieces done during the game. We had similar 9th inning excitement, but this time we won. Go 'Canes! (That's the "U" sign that fans make.)

Every day we drive past this shop with the interesting name

My pile of finished objects is growing. Note: all of the ends have been woven in!

Here's RB's second birthday sock--all done and ready to wear (or...ready to wear when cold weather comes.)

These are a pair of CIC socks that I knitted during the plane ride home from Miami. I wove in the ends yesterday and cast on for a new pair.

This is the second dishcloth that I finished yesterday. I had a hard time getting the squares to look the same. I may do another one just to prove that I can do it quicker the next time.

Tonight is THE game. We're going to a museum to fill in some time and not get too nervous.

And maybe I'll knit.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

CWS: Day 2

Today was an off day. The team was sponsered by a local optimist club that hosted them for lunch. They gave out awards and had an autograph session and met some local kids.

The parents and friends were all invited. Another parent had an orange purse! We had our own purse photography session. (She didn't even think I was completely crazy to suggest it.)

That's my finished tiny bowknot sweater that I've finally worn to a baseball event. (The games have all been too hot.) Several moms commented on it since they've seen me knitting it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

CWS: Day 1

Since the 1st game didn't start until 6pm, we put in some time walking around. We went to see a pedestrian bridge (that wasn't finished), but it was a nice walk anyway.

Then the kids swam in the hotel pool while I worked on the second birthday sock. It's coming along nicely, but looks just like the first so I'll skip today's picture.

Around 3:00 we headed off for the 6 o'clock game. We drove around for half an hour looking for a parking spot, then came to the hotel and took the shuttle. Then, we waited at the "team will call" window for our tickets. We heard the "Star Spangled Banner" and some announcements that all sounded like the teacher on Charlie Brown. We finally arrived in our seats at the beginning of the second inning. Who would've thought that leaving three hours early for a game would still not get us there in time.

The game ended in a heartbreaking loss in the 9th inning. There were, however, some interesting things that happened:

There were 23,000 fans at this game. (There was parking enough for about 4000 of them).

My dad made it to the game in time. I took this picture to show my knitting (another dishcloth--I can't concentrate on anything harder right now). (It got finished by the end of the game.)

The seond reason I took this picture? My dad was actually sitting next to Ricky We..eks, 2nd baseman to the Brewers and brother of UM's 2nd baseman. He had a cute little baby girl that kept us quite entertained. (I think he was sitting up high with us to hide from the cameras, but I took a pic anyway.)

Today was World Wide Knit In Public (WWKIP) Day, what a better thing to do than knit at a baseball game!
As it got dark, the skies gave us a picture show, different than yesterday's fireworks, but no less dramatic.

Friday, June 13, 2008

CWS: Opening Ceremonies

I can't even remember what I've said about this, so let me briefly recap:

DS plays for the U of Miami baseball team (I know you all know that, but it's a good opening sentence.) They made it to the College World Series (CWS) and we decided to drive out there.

The first day we drove a measly 7 hours to my dad's and spent the night. The next day was the killer. We left at 3:30 am and drove for 18 hours to Omaha, Nebraska.

I didn't knit as much as you'd think in that 18 hours. Even the part when I was awake. And not driving. Still, I did knit some.

Here's is how much I got done on a toddler sweater by the time we crossed the Iowa state line. (That's a sleeve and half the body.)

We had heard about the flooding, but hadn't been following the news very closely.

Here's a field. Looks just like a lake, huh?

There were plenty of these fields along the way. We saw several of them before we found the road closed and we did a 3 hour detour. Yep, just what we needed were more driving hours. (Not to minimize the flooding issues, which are quite a lot. I80 is still closed and areas of Iowa have been evacuated.)

Somewhere in Iowa I finished the sweater.

Not too long later we reached our destination.

Tonight were the Opening Ceremonies. All the teams were announced and came out onto the field.

See DS in this pic?

Me neither. I had to text him (errr......DD#2 had to text him since I don't know how) and tell him to wave at us sitting behind home plate, which he did.

After some more announcements, they had a nice fireworks display.

We had been up for 21 hours, but was a good day.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Birthday knitting

I've been knitting a pair of socks for a birthday present for RB. Since she reads this blog I haven't posted pics before, but today I can because it's her birthday. Happy Birthday RB!

I've been making her a pair of socks using MDSW yarn from Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm. The pattern is from the pattern-a-day calendar that RB gave me at Christmastime. I didn't start it on June 6th as on the pattern date, but I looked ahead and picked out a good one. (This caused a slight problem with DD#2 who insisted that I can't do a pattern before the date shown while I insisted I could since it was my calendar and I can break the rules if I want to. They're MY rules, after all.)(I won.)(But we looked at Thursday for 4 days. It's a two page pattern so it continued through the weekend.)

This is the main project that I really wanted to take with me on the plane ride, but didn't. I've been knitting furiously since then, though. A softball game and several baseball games helped pass the time.

(If this sock is a bit tight, it's because I was knitting it during DS's pitching.

This is how much I have left to do. That's right. I put sock #1 in a bag, gave it to her with the instructions to try it on and give it back to me to hide the end. (Assuming it fits.) It'll be joined by sock #2 soon.

Must go knit now.

Happy Birthday, RB!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Miami knitting

I'm back from another trip to Miami (I've been back for 5 days but I've had to do the whole "be a mom" thing with a couple days of "stay employed" thrown in.

I didn't do a very good job taking pics (that's right--DH wasn't along), so here are just some random pics.

I only took a carryon bag and I was afraid my metal needles might get confiscated (I know that lots of people have flown with pointy metal sock needles but I didn't want to be the one who lost them.) Therefore, I picked small projects that were easy to knit and didn't make me too hot.

The plane ride was just the right amount of time to knit this part of a bootie:

Since I didn't bring scissors or a darning needle, all of my ends looked like this:

We went to three games that all started at 4:00pm. (That's right. It could not be hotter.) The first day we sat in the stands to see DS pitch. See how they have no shade? AT ALL.

The next day we sat under this tree on the 3rd base line. It was a lovely tree. A cool and shady tree. A very popular tree.

We couldn't see the game as well, but we had a perfect view of that fly ball that was called out but obviously bounced twice out of the glove. (I miss lots of things, but I definitely saw that play.)

Let me just randomly thrown in this picture:

It's a real person posing as a statue that has no point in the story other than DS and I saw it while wandering around a mall.

The games? Miami won 3 straight games, winning the Regional and moving on to the Super Regionals. (They play game 3 tonight. It's been the longest day ever.)

This was knit during game 1: (I almost didn't knit during this game since it was so hot, but I was nervous.)

This was knit during game 2:

This was knit during game 3:

The second bootie part was knit during down time. (In the airconditioning. It was lovely.)

(DS needs to thank me. I almost made him hold the washcloths while I took a picture. Maybe at the game. In his uniform. In front of his teammates. Too bad I forgot. It would make nice blackmail for later.)