Monday, May 31, 2010

May roundup

One pair of brown/black marl socks for M4A.

Pattern for Diana socks.

Some spinning, some knitting, lots of spending.

Not much accomplished. Hmmm... How can I make this better? Finish some UFOs? Knit some thick toddler socks? Stop cleaning the house? (Wait, I already did that.) Stop feeding the family? (I'll have to think on that one. It might be doable.)

Anyway, that's it for May.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

What I've been working on...

There have been massive amounts of track meets/soccer games/baseball games lately, which should mean I've gotten massive amounts of knitting done, but somehow that hasn't worked out.

I can't explain it, really. I still take my knitting where ever I go. Maybe I'm paying more attention to what's going on than normal. Maybe I'm afraid of getting another puncture wound. (I got a slight one at a track meet as I clapped while holding my needles. Not so smart.) Maybe I'm too tired from driving around that I sit in a stupor rather than be productive. Maybe I have nothing to knit that interests me.

Who knows...

These are the socks that have been going with me everywhere and they are finally done.

They were knit on my size 1 square needles using 64 sts and a plain vanilla sock pattern with an afterthought heel.

This pair was not as much fun to do as some. Maybe it was the dark colors (or the hunt I had trying to find black sock yarn.) Maybe it was the square needles that, while incredibly fun to use, felt a bit more rough in my fingers. Maybe it was knitting a really long tube of straight knitting without a heel to give it some interest. Maybe it was the picking up of the heel stitches at the end.

I don't know, but anyway they're done, and even it they weren't very interesting, they're still a nice pair of warm socks for M4A.

I've been working on my spinning in bits and pieces and have been enjoying every minute of it. I've finally broken out my new bobbins (in the middle) and they fit and work well (and maybe sometime I'll finish them.) (Okay, just one is in the middle and one is not in the picture, but they both work.)

And, for my "at home" knitting project, I've been working on my Myrtille cardigan. I've finished knitting the front and back and both sleeves.

Well, both sleeves are done, and one is sewn in, but I don't like the way it looks. I did the pattern differently and fiddled with the shoulder cap and now the shoulder looks too loose. I'll have to figure out what to do with it, so now it's been just sitting around. (And I was so close to completion, too.)

Now I have a quandry of what to knit next?

Cast on for the second snowdrop sock? (One is done, but I'd like both feet to be warm and not just one.)

Cast on for a plain pair? (Track is done but there is still another week of soccer and lots of baseball. And I could use a new pair of summer socks.)

Finish Myrtille? (I might just have to rip out the top part and sew it in as the pattern suggests. That wouldn't be too much work.)(Or, I might have to rip out most of the sleeve and knit it tighter which would be much more work. I don't want to get started and find out that I really need to do option #2. But still, they're 3/4 length sleeves and go way faster than otherwise for my gorilla arms.)

Start a new pair of socks? I have a beaded sock pattern sitting in front of me on my computer desk that I've stared at the past month that I'm dying to start. Or the Cubist socks pattern from Cookie A. that I just got yesterday from Knitting Daily. That would be fun.

So many choices...

So little time...

Especially when the weekend involves cleaning....

And laundry....

Monday, May 24, 2010

All for a skein of black yarn

I've been looking from some black sock yarn (in a store, not online). I'd like it for the heels and toes of a plain vanilla pair.

It's been hard to find. In the meantime, I've found...

Some Red Heart heart and sole... enough for a pair...

And some Patons Kroy... for another pair...

And a bunch of Patons Classic wool... enough for a sweater (when it joins what I already have)...

Each of those purchases were good deals, either on sale, or on clearance, or with coupons. I just couldn't resist.

And, finally.... a skein of black sock yarn...

Now, if only it matches...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Got your needles ready? Ok...GO!

I finally edited my Diana socks pattern and it's ready to be test knit. Anyone up for the challenge? Let me know if you make a pair and how they turn out. (Assuming that you make a pair. If you only make one, then maybe there's a problem....)(With my pattern, not with your attention span.)(Or maybe with the running out of yarn. I had that happen on both pairs that I knit. Take the 220 yds. seriously--I had a 200 yd. skein of yarn that wasn't quite enough and had to use another light green for the toes.)

Also, I disabled comments on the pattern. That way, anyone printing out the pattern doesn't get a page or two of comments. If you want to comment on the pattern you can always do it here. (And comments are always welcome!)

P.S. Lookie-- Mamamidwife gave me a Sunshine Award!

Diana socks

These are socks that I designed for Diana, a graduate from an orphanage in Urpinka, Kazakhstan. I wanted something heavy, but still with a bit of pattern. These knit up quickly while giving some visual interest. The lighter green socks are Diana's, while the darker green will be going to another child this winter.

10/20/2012 Update: The pattern is now available in the "Dear All the Mamas" ebook, available on Ravelry.

Dear All the Mamas; Knitting for the Orphans of Kazakhstan is available for a donation of $15.95 to the Motherless Child Foundation through Ravelry. ALL proceeds flow directly to this 501(C)(3) nonprofit public charity to help fund our work for the children in orphanages in Kazakhstan.

Not only does this 70-page eBook feature a collection of 21 PATTERNS, but the knitters of the Mittens For Akkol Yahoo group also have shared our knowledge and experience about knitting for extremely cold weather. We have included several stories about the children and experiences in Kazakhstan, sizing charts, and information for all knitters who enjoy working in wool and providing warm items for others.

To purchase, you can click on the title above, or you can click on this "buy it now" button.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Since I last blogged, I've had time to play with my new toys.

My swift is beautiful. And swift.

It doesn't fit the two regular tables that I own, but it works good on this little end table.

I stopped winding at 3 skeins, but I could've continued for several more.

I've also started spinning the merino I got. It's spinning up very nicely and I seem to be making thinner singles, so the end result may be something closer to worsted. (That's my goal, anyway, but I'll be happy with whatever it turns out to be.)

I enlisted DH into taking some pictures of my square needles, since I couldn't quite show the "squareness".

These are much better.

You can feel the ridges when you first start using them, but after that they just knit like normal.

(The line of blue yarn is where I plan to put an afterthought heel, so I'm on the foot of the first one of these socks.)

I'd recommend these needles to anyone who wants a "unique" factor. The whole time I'm knitting with them I'm saying, "I'm knitting with square needles. Hehehehehe." (And if I'm talking to myself, then you should too!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

What it MDSW

(Not to be read while eating.... this is your only warning...)

While a votive holder was a really good guess, it wasn't right. ( that you mention's about the same size. I might just have to try it some day.)

Here's another clue:

Yes, really, it's a egg separator!

Bleh!! says Smiley as he pukes out his guts.

It works amazingly well and it's quite fun, besides! (Not that I ever separate eggs, I just got this for the cuteness factor.)

We separated two eggs and then put them back together to make brownies.

Heh, I could do this all day long!

P.S. Cluster vase and egg separator were bought from Honeysuckle pottery, website found here.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

MDSW, part two

I bought 3 things at MDSW that were just so cute that they deserved their own post.

First, this tiny flower pot. Flower vase? Multi-flower vases?

Ah, it's called a cluster pot (I just looked it up.)

Anyway, there are 4 pots that can each hold one bloom.

Here's a coffee cup for scale:

And then, we found these. And I had to buy two of them.

Can anyone guess what they are?

Monday, May 03, 2010


Can you guess what I did this weekend?

Does it help if I tell you that it was the first weekend in May?

Does it help if I show you this picture?

Or this one?

That's right, I went to MD Sheep and Wool Festival!

DD#2 accompanied me and has gone to almost as many of these as I have. She was a trooper, too. She had a track meet the day before and didn't get home until 10:00 pm and was still able to get up the next morning to leave at 7:30.

We went on Sunday for the second time ever. If I didn't know better I would've called it crowded, but since I usually go on Saturday I know how much better it was.

There was almost no wait time for parking. There were plenty of extra port-a-potties this year and I never saw a bathroom line at anytime. The t-shirt line was almost non-existent.

And something we don't get to see on Saturday: The Sheep-to-Shawl contest.

Here are some of the groups (I believe there were 6 or 7 of them.) They start out with a fleece and end up with a woven shawl and do all the steps inbetween. I won't explain it anymore than that, though, since I don't really know what I'm talking about, especially when it comes to weaving.

Here's Maggie's Music, located in the main building, that entertains us every year with pretty music and a puppet show!

Since last year I didn't go at all, and the previous year I went with a pretty strict budget, this year I took some extra money...and spent it all!

Here's what I got:

A t-shirt (since that line was so short) and the SWIFT were splurges. The swift is in the long white box that I plan on getting up my nerve enough to try it out tonight.

I had looked on Ravelry the night before to see what other people had bought and thought, "isn't that interesting that people tended to stick within a color scheme and buy things that go together."

Then yesterday, about halfway through the day, I noticed that I did the same thing.

From left to right:
- 4 oz. roving from Little Barn
- 500 yds. 100% Merino sock yarn from Ellen's 1/2 pint farm (where I got the swift)
- 450 yards sock yarn from Gale's Art in Deep Blue Sea colorway
- 4 oz. BFL roving from Cloverleaf Farms in Purple
- 8 oz. Merino roving from Pucker Brush Farm

The needle felting kit is from Thistledown Alpacas from a new vendor section up on the hill where it was easy to move around.

I tried to talk DD#2 into committing to make it for me, but she resisted. Then I realized that I could just make it for myself, and so I shall.

Also, I bought a new set of size 1 dpns.

I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but they are SQUARE. Yes, really. Just because they are interesting. They're supposed to make nice, even stitches, but how they can do better than round ones I don't know. But I'll find out.

And in the back of that pic are two more bobbins for my spinning wheel. Yes, I am planning on spinning more this year. And maybe even getting better at it.

By 1:00 pm DD#2 and I were done and ready to go. ( all spent)(but also meaning, getting way too hot, especially in the barns.)

Lovely day by all accounts.