Friday, December 24, 2010

and again ....

birthday cake 2010

so, between the knitting, christmas shopping, and movie watching, i also baked my cake. and, i'm now too tired and stuffed (from snacking on the trimmed parts) to even have a slice.

it's my birthday, and i'll whine if i want to, whine if i want to .....

one of my favorites

there are A LOT of sock yarns out there. regia is my favorite commercial sock yarn, and my favorite indie-dyer is emily parson of Sophie's Toes. and, my favorite sock yarn i can find in many craft store chains is good old patons Kroy.

which, this is .... patons kroy socks stripes. i had to have this colorway when i saw it. it's so cheerful! it's called sailor stripes.

Sailor Stripes

i finished the first sock this morning, and am already part way down the leg of the second sock.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

never enough time!


i finished a pair! and i really like them! i wanted a mindless project to work on, one without deadlines (self imposed) or rules. and, i really wanted to knit this yarn in stash (which, i had bought at SAFF in october). AND, i really wanted to knit another pair from _sock innovation_.

nancy bush's _folk socks_ will always be my favorite sock book, but i have knit the most projects from _sock innovation_.

this sock pattern is called Lindsay. i often find things to change about a design, but loved the aesthetic so much, i did not modify the pattern. i actually knitted a garter stitch short row heel and toe. and grafted the full width of the toe to the foot.

and after making such a pretty and intricate sock, i had to slum it with some patons kroy stripes and go for a basic stockinette pair.

sailor stripes

now ... this IS a mindless project !

Friday, December 10, 2010

i've been knitting up a storm!

you know how when you ask someone for their phone number (especially if they have have a cell phone) and they cannot tell you their number, but have to look it up? that's kinda how my blog gets behind, because i don't stalk my own blog!

there has been A LOT of knitting. some of the pairs i've finished are just trying to knit mates for the most recent orphans.

the latest pair i finished is this, which i had started at the beach this past summer.

hairy socks

the yarn is wisdom yarns poems sock. mom picked it out because of the colors. and the colors are really that nice. but, the knitting wasn't "nice". the yarn is a single ply, and kinda "hairy". not like a mohair halo, but more like a burlap sack. and i used my new signature dpns for this project, and those needles were just too pointy for the hairy bits. but, they are done, and blocked, and pretty, and i'll never knit with that yarn again.

i also finised a pair of jaywalkers i had started last july, with paca peds yarn.

love me some jaywalkers!

jaywalkers is one of my "go to" patterns. i have mastered the jaywalker! i always knit the smallest size on 2.5mm needles, cast on 60 sts. and then increase to the stitch count for the smallest size (76 sts i think). and after i finish my gusset decreases, i do one more set of decreases only on the next plain round, to make the foot a bit more snug. and that is the secret of the great fitting jaywalker! (well, at least for my fit)


this pair was also for a bit of "mindless knitting". sort of. i did have to pay attention to the rows and the chart, a bit. the pattern is paraphernalia, and the yarn is joann sensations bamboo & ewe. i've used the yarn before, and i like it enough for a craft store yarn.

and then, lastly, i cast on a pair for december (though, i'm not knitting these for any kal ... i need a break).


this is lindsay from cookie's _sock innovation_. i have knitted a good number of the patterns from that book, and i'm certain i will eventually have them ALL knitted. and, i really love the yarn. i don't know what inspired me to pick up this pink, other than i was trying to branch out, colorwise. the yarn is miss babs bamboo baby. i got it at SAFF in october, and wound the hank into a ball on the way home.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


i like to start sweaters (kinda like starting socks, but they take MORE time). during this holiday, one of the craft stores had a coupon for thanksgiving day only. the coupon was for 30% off your purchase, including sales items.

so, to escape the chaos of post-feast, mom and i drove over to the next town to the craft store. neither of us "needed" anything, but you know how it is when you have a coupon burning a hole in your purse.

tweed cardigan

it seems i've already bought every kind of sock yarn the craft store sells, and they didn't have a colorway i wanted to knit. BUT, the vanna's choice yarn by lionbrand was on sale for $2.49/ball, and then with the 30% off, was about $1.75/ball. SOLD!

y'all know i'm not a yarn snob. and if you notice the colorful heart that has been in my sidebar for years, i do have an affinity for acrylic. the vanna's choice comes in such great colors, "sophisticated" colors. and, it comes in tweeds!

the pattern is by Patons. it's from the booklet, Patons #500838, Next Steps Three. i like this book because it's more of a recipe book, full of mix & match. the little pattern booklet was about $5. it's around 75 pages, with variations of vests and sweaters, but all cardigans. it's all written for using their yarn of course, in the shetland chunky solid or tweed. my craft store did have the yarn, but not a colorway i wanted, and it was not on sale. thus, the vanna's choice.

the vanna's choice is smaller in gauge, so i did my swatch and decided to go with the size small, which will yield a sweater with maybe 1" of positive ease. i've not yet decided if i'm going to do the collar or not. i might just finish the crew neck with ribbing.

regardless, i need someone to keep me honest and on track with the project! i am enjoying the knitting. it's kinda mindless. i have the back done, and parts of the fronts finished.

and the sock knitting will surely get in the way at some point. wednesday is the 1st, which means i could cast on another sock for SKA. BUT i want to finish my acrylic cardigan!

i found this quite enjoyable today, particularly the last paragraph.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

20 days?!

wow. where have i been?!

work-wise, this is "the busy season". and knitting-wise, perhaps i've spread myself a bit too thin.

i seem to be a bit disorganized lately.

socks! we'll start with socks.


this is a "firestarter" sock. this pattern is also by yarnissima (same as my spice man socks). i wanted to knit this for the november challenge on ska. i had some issues with the pattern, but it does look good.

one down, one to go ...

the first sock was finished almost 2 weeks ago, and i've yet to cast on the mate. my goal is to start the mate this week.


the yarn is knit one crochet too's "crock-o-dye". i purchased the yarn back in the early spring just for this pattern. it's a good match too. the knitting is enjoyable, and i look forward to having the pair finished, but i keep getting sidetracked with other projects.

such as, i wanted another sock to work on, something more basic. so, i started "paraphernalia" with my small stash of bamboo & ewe sock yarn.


it was pretty gloomy out yesterday morning as we headed out for shopping, but the sock isn't much prettier than the photo anyways. there's nothing wrong with the sock, or the color, it's just very plain.

i'm actually much further along on this pair than the firestarters. for this pair, i'm very close to the heelflap of sock #2.

though this sock is not as flashy as the firebird, i bet it will get worn more often.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

ready for christmas


leg of trees

snowman foot

the grand finale

i actually finished stuart's stocking a few days ago, and i toted it around for a couple of days to show off 'in person'.

i am VERY pleased with the knitting. though this is red heart sport (acrylic) yarn, it blocked very nicely (with a bit of steam and light press with a presscloth). i blocked all but the ribbing and loop. i wanted the ribbing to maintain its integrity. if you've never steamed acrylic, essentially, you can "kill" acrylic. and once you kill it, there's no going back. how do you kill it? .... with steam. the steam evens out all the lumps and bumps, and makes the fabric more fluid. it needed it too!

i'm glad it's acrylic, because the moths won't feel compelled to munch on it when it's in storage. and the colors ?! i love the COLORS !!!

and, i learned something new ... i finally learned how to weave in the yarn i hold in my right hand when that yarn is stranded behind the yarn in my left. i found these two videos:

the two-handed fair isle technique (particularly “stitch 4”) and,
the youtube video catching floats.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

how do i forget?

i am SO not impressed with my memory! thank goodness for flickr and those handy pictures to remind me. though, the truth is, i post in too many places (upload to flickr, my ravelry page, and then the forum for the project ... and see, i'm still forgetting the blog).

and this explains the conversation of what mom was talking about the other day, and i had no clue what she was talking about ... "i was looking at your flickr and saw a sock i hadn't seen before. it had a big dark spot across the front of the foot."

oh? you must mean these .....


this is spice man, again. and the yarn is my Miss Babs Yummy Superwash Sock & Baby Yarn - 2 ply , in colorway "cleopatra", which i got at SAFF a couple of weeks ago. in my SAFF post, it's one of the yarns i wound into a ball while riding home from the event.

i was in a hurry to cast on, so i did not weigh the yarn before i started knitting. in an ideal world, i probably would had weighed it, divided it into 2 balls, and knitted up every scrap of yarn. but, in impatient world, i'll have a pair of socks with leftovers.

as the name states, it is yummy. in some ways, the twist reminds me a bit of koigu, but a wee bit thinner. i am on sock #2, and am about to turn the heel.

i want to cast on my november socks, but i'll have to find another set of 2.25mm 32" circs for that endeavor. the november socks will also be a yarnissima pattern, firestarter. so, all this spice man knitting has been "training".

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

the holiday season

i guess, after halloween, it's "all downhill" in terms of the holidays. i know thanksgiving is next, but with my schedule and lack of free-time, i am thinking about christmas.

in my SKA group on ravelry, one of the challenges for october was to cast on a stocking for a 'celebration'. of course, i chose a christmas stocking ... for STUART.

stuart loves christmas!

i am using a pattern by cascade yarns. it's free on their website (scroll down 'til you see 220 Wool W104 FREE Download ... it's near the bottom).

i'd love to be knitting this out of wool, but ... i am not. instead, i got a few skeins of this red heart. the colors are perfect, the price is right, and it fit the bill for my instant gratification.

stuart loves red heart!

now, the motifs in the stocking are 1)from the original pattern 2)stolen from an SKA mystery sock design 3)made up/charted 4)borrowed from someone else's stocking.

(all the above)

and the pattern has an afterthought heel, but i substituted a shortrow heel.

nevertheless, i am now on the foot, plowing my way through a snowman motif. i should be finished by the weekend. and then, i can cast on more socks for the november challenge!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

SAFF 2010

it's a perfect autumn weekend in western North Carolina. i spent yesterday up in fletcher, nc, just a few miles south of asheville, for the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair ... or SAFF for short. i don't have pictures of foliage, but i do have yarn pictures =)

miss babs 'bamboo baby' in colorway 'dahlia'

this was my first purchase of the day. it's miss babs "bamboo baby", a blend of merino, bamboo, and nylon. i bought some last year and knitted cauchy from _sock innovation_. i love this yarn! i love its sheen. so, i just had to get more.

though i knew i was coming to SAFF, i did not pack my ball winder and swift. i did however, loop the hank around my knees in the car, and wound it by hand on the drive back to mom's.

the drive was only about an hour, so i had time to wind this baby too!

miss babs 'yummy' 2ply in colorway 'cleopatra'

... another hank of miss babs, but this time it's "yummy" 2ply ... a superwash merino. now, this one, i'm already knitting. i am making another pair of spice man socks. i'm also going to attempt to alter it a bit, and make the heelflap with the usual slip stitch design, and perhaps knit the leg in stockinette with a 2x2 ribbing. we'll see ....

a yarn i almost started to wind in the car, but held off ... because i need to wind it with the ball winder & swift. i need to decide what pattern i will use, and if i'll start with the dark or the light, or knit cuff down or toe up. this yarn is called "transitions" by Gypsy Girl Creations. there are 2 50 gram hanks, and it will, "transition" from white to dark blue. the colorway i have here is called "tackle".

gypsy girl creations 'transitions' in colorway 'tackle'

this next yarn is from the gradience sock collection of the unique sheep. this particular yarn is called 'verve' (it's their fingering 100% merino) in colorway enonymus.

the unique sheep 'verve' in colorway 'enonymus'

i've seen some really pretty socks knitted with this yarn!

next up, some more calypso.

creatively dyed 'calypso' in colorway 'easter'

i have bought this stuff before. i seem to hoard it, as i've not knitted my first hank purchased at least a year ago.

calypso is by creatively dyed yarn. it's 100% merino superwash, in a whopping 150 gram hank, with 510 yards. i love her colorways, as she uses LOTS of color in each colorway. there's enough yarn here for a shawl. but, i think it will become toe up socks. it's one of those yarns inwhich i want to use up every snippet.

handspun wool

this stuff is NICE! i bought 3 hanks of this 250 yard handspun wool from Windy Acres Fiber Farm. they are based out of Candler, NC. the wool is a blend of border leicester and finn. i'm thinking it's going to become a rustic shawl. something quite simple, to show off the pretty twist of the yarn.

and, there was a vendor selling books at 75% off, magazines for $1, and pattern books for $2. that said, i got all this for $12 + tax.

books and patterns!

this batch was an absolute steal! one of the pattern books alone retails for $18.

now, to prove i did see some animals (honestly, i really only go for the yarn ... and would have a lamb burger if they had a proper food vendor).


angora bunny! they are too cute, and sinfully soft. this particular vendor had sold all but 2 of her bunnies. they can be litter box trained, but i do not live in a bunny-friendly home (i already have dust bunnies).

oh, and i'm saving the best for last ... planned bad eating. it's no secret i love bojangles. i don't have it often (ie: just a few times a year). i remembered there's a bojangles just a few miles south of our exit, so i told mom, "we're having bojangles for breakfast!"


i had the classic cajun filet biscuit. yum! and, a very unsouthern thing ... a jug of unsweetened iced tea.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

i may be making a quilt ....

OMG! i went by my local quilt shop today, asked some questions, and signed up for their Block of the Month club for this Roses of Rememberance quilt.

now, i've only ever made 1 quilt, ever. but, i have a few quilting books and magazines. for me, the hard part is picking out the fabrics. as a BOM, that is already done for me. i just have to do all the handiwork now. and, i've already learned about the magic of freezer paper with the applique technique. 1 block each month, beginning in january 2011.

and it's just BEAUTIFUL! i can do this. sometimes, these things are love at first sight ..... and we do what we must to have or make them. so, i will learn to applique. i will learn to 'quilt as you go'. and dammit, in about a year or so, i too will have this beautiful quilt.

i waxed and waned over this, because of the cost. each month is $25 (x 13 months). and, that doesn't even include the batting or backing fabric. but, as a knitter, it's like buying 1 skein of handpainted sock yarn each month. right?!

oh, and i still have to get the dvd. there is a book, but apparently, everything i need is also on the dvd, plus instructional video, and the ability to print out the templates.

i'm excited. and scared. but, it doesn't start 'til january, so you will be still seeing lots of sock knitting before then.

! ! ! spice man ! ! !

i LOVE these

i have finished another pair of socks. these took longer than they should had, because i had messed up on sock #2, and had to redo the gusset and heelflap. i finished them last night, and pulled them on this morning.

now, i haven't weighed the leftovers, but it seems to reason that there's enough to knit another pair like this. or matching pairs of footies or ankle socks.

for some reason, i just wanted a mismatched pair! and i love lion brand's sock-ease yarn. i had bought both balls at 40% off each. when paying so little for sock yarn, it makes it "less precious" and easier to deviate from the usual sock knitting.

the pattern is yarnissima's spice man. it's the same pattern i used for leanne's sockenmonsters. hers are knee-hi, and mine are mid-calf.

ps. many thanks for those that commented on the gretya socks. i appreciate it so much when anyone comments, and i realize not many of us even read blogs anymore. work-wise, i am in my busy season, 'til the end of the year, and possibly into the first 2-3 months of 2011. so, sometimes i forget to say thank you.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010


yet again, our dear Lolly is heading up Socktoberfest. and though, i'm an avid sock knitter, my first completed "sock" for the season is not a foot sock, but a beer sock. i'm sure that's okay, in the spirit of oktoberfest.

beer cozy!

i started this project back in july 2009.

the beginning

it's a free pattern download from raverly. i had leftovers from my sunnyside sockens, and decided these socks need a "mate".


that pair was finished in mexico in 2008. they were finished for "summer of socks" on raverly.

and today, i'm knitting on my gretya socks. i'm on the foot, and plan to take pictures of the finished socks, if i finished before the sun is too low.

by they way, is anyone who reads here going to SAFF ? it's in a couple of weeks, and i'm going on saturday only.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010



believe me, i'm surprised i already have completed one sock. and the good news is, i've also cast on the mate.

i had made a mistake in the pattern while decreasing the gusset. i ended up ripping back about 1/2 the cart, and still i finished fairly quickly. but, a finished sock also means something else (non-knitterly) is unfinished or neglected.

that reminds me, i also have to rip back on my two-toned spice man sock mate, as i wasn't paying attention when working on the foot (and i'm already on the leg).

gretya is knitted with shibui sock in colorway 'ink'. i love how it pools in a giant spiral. i used this yarn before for my sunshine socks.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

new month

new project.


the new month at SKA (ravelry group) brings on the challenge of knitting an under appreciated pattern. i bought this pattern, gretya, last march, and it only sells for $3. and maybe we shouldn't buy things we don't "need" at the time, but ... i'm a knitter.

i'm knitting in shibui, in colorway ink. ink is probably shibui's "black", but i think it still has a hint of blue in it.

and i love how it's knitting up! i love how shibui pools in a giant spiral. years ago, when i first tried it, saw it, i hated it, i did not like how it looks semi-solid in the hank, and then does all this weird %$!@*. but now, i love it.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

a pair!

i have made a few pairs of toe up socks, though it's not my preferred method. BUT, i really like this spice man pattern by yarnissima. the fit is very good, and i was able to use up every bit of yarn to make a pair of knee-hi socks (the leg is all 1x1 twisted rib).


something else very exciting about these socks is it's the first time i've used jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind off, as published in knitty. it makes a tidy and stretchy bind off, without the flair of a loose bind off. it does eat a lot of yarn, so leave a longer length of yarn than usual so you don't run out before finishing.

i'm very pleased with these socks, and plan on mailing them out this weekend.

that said, i need a pair for myself. though, i won't be doing the knee-hi version. i got two balls of sock-ease in complimentary colors last weekend.


so i started a pair with contrast heels/toes/cuff. i've actually now finished the first sock, and started the mate. i'm reversing the colors on the mate too. what the heck.

i love these!

i see this pattern as being a good basic to possibly play with, changing colors, stitch patterns, and sizes.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

i'm lousy at keeping secrets

i'm knitting a pair of socks for a friend. i guess after being friends for 15 years, it's about time!


please forgive the flash photo, i had a long day today, and did not get home 'til after the sun was down. the sky still had a bit of light, but all those photos w/o flash were blurry.

i don't typically knit toe up. but i wanted to for these socks, because i know my friend likes long stockings, and i wanted to use up every bit of yarn to get as long of a sock as possible.

and i was amazed that i could actually knit it all the way to the knee! the pattern is "spice man" by yarnissima. i knit the smallest size, which is 60 stitches around. when i got to the leg, i continued all in the 1x1 twisted rib. no shaping. the ribbing is nice and huggy, and i'm confident the socks will stay up.

i was going to try to keep this project a secret, but i get excited about gifts & things, and just have to blurt it out.

oh, and this sock won't be an orphan for long, as i'm already on the leg of the second sock, and i'm being monogamous.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

knitting, crochet, cross-stitch

have i covered all my bases? perhaps my next post will also include sewing ....

first of all, i finished my socks.

black butterflies

i like them! they have me thinking about perhaps knitting another pair of black socks, and probably in lace too (at least with lace, you can see that there IS a design). i have two more pair's worth of sock yarn in black. i'm just not so sure about starting right now, as there's so many other projects i want to work on.

for example, trying out new techniques.

brioche knitting and tunisian crochet

entire books dedicated to just one technique! both books have projects, and the projects are interesting enough, but i bought each because these are things i'd like to try doing, and books like these go out of print when one finally makes the time to try it. i did find an afghan hook in my needle jar today (it was so dusty!), so that's a start.

and then there's the stitching ...

snowman coaster

mr. snowman has become functional vs. decorative. last weekend, i bought an acrylic coaster for mr. snowman. i did not doing anything fancy (heck, i didn't even wash my finished cross-stitch, and my steam press did not completely remove the fold lines).

i essentially wrapped the piece around the cardboard circular insert, and crammed it into the back of the coaster, then stuck the adhesive cork cover on the backside.

and then, i bought another $1 kit to stitch up another holiday design. it's amazing how $1's worth of goods can keep one busy for MANY hours.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


how many times have i used WHOOPS as a title post? ... i'm sure many times. there are many WHOOPS in my crafty life.

such as, i just posted about my snowman, saying i hadn't finished my black socks yet, and then look at my blog and say, "hey, where ARE my black socks ?!"

so, here's one. the mate is on the needles, and is actually on the foot section too (top down).

butterflies and blossoms

this sock (pair) is for the september challenge of SKA on ravelry. one of the month's challenge is to knit with the color black. i haven't knitted black socks in about 15 or more years, though i have enough black sock yarn for about 3 pairs of socks.


can you see the butterflies in the lace?

i think i should had knitted these on a larger needle. i'm on a 2.5mm, and probably should had gone up to a 2.75mm, and slightly thicker yarn too (ie: patons kroy sock).

but, i'm too far along to change that now. it's just a little "note to self". the reason being is that this ends up being a 54 st. sock, and though the pattern is rib and lace based, it stretches out to the point of distorting the butterflies, and i don't like that. lesson learned.


yes, i'm surprised too. but i did finish a little $2 kit, and now i have to finish/finish it ... as you can see it still has the creases from the fabric being folded in the packaging.


Bucilla kit

as you can see, he's a bit "goofed up", but that's what happens when you try to cross-stitch and watch movies at the same time. it doesn't mix well with movie watching, not like knitting does.

but still, he's cute, and i think i want to get another $2 kit.

that said, i haven't finished ANY knitting. my black socks are almost finished. and they would be finished if it was not for the snowman.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

the newest orphan!

... but, hopefully not for long (long means: not more than a year ?!)!

yay! first sock !!!

this sock was a test knit, and i shamefully took the entire test knit time allotted.

ps. crocs over here !!!