Friday, March 31, 2006

The End of SP7

Today is the last day of SP7. This was the first secret pal exchange that I participated in, and it won't be the last. My spoilee was Alison of Just Another Day. Hi Alison! She is a SP veteran, and was very friendly throughout the whole event. We e-mailed on a weekly basis and became good friends. She tried in the first few weeks to trick me into giving clues, but I think she realized about a month in that I was onto her, and from then on we I relaxed into the getting to know you phase. I really enjoyed having the chance to meet her.

The person who was spoiling me is from Canada, but that's about all that I know! She was super sneaky with surprise packages and anonymous comments on my blog. She did write to let me know that her final package might be a little late coming across the border. I hope she will leave me a comment and reveal herself!

I am definitely signing up for SP8. Registration opens tomorrow.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Sockapaloooza Update

The Sockapaloooza sock number one is done!
It's the Friday Harbor sock from KOR. Once I got past the horrible directions (they never actually tell you when to start using chart two), checked the errata, and then decided to wing it based on the photo, everything came together. I tried on the sock and could not get it all the way up my generous calf muscle (ahem), but my sockpal has skinny legs and tiny feet, so I think these should fit her just fine.

On another note, DH came home from Iceland last night and brought DD a really cute t-shirt. Check out this decal:

I wish it came in my size ;->

Back to sock knitting!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

KAL Progress

I love how Jessica occassionally provides an update on her KAL progress. Of course, being the novice KAL'er that I am, my update will be shorter.

First up, we have the Diamond Fantasy Shawl designed by Sivia Harding. I've been working on this for several weeks now and am mid-way through my 4th repeat of Chart B. Percentage wise, I am still less than 50% complete.

click photo to embiggen

The shawl has been set aside for the time being, to work on deadline knitting. You see, I signed up for Sockapaloooza months ago, knowing that I literally had months to knit a pair of socks for my pal. Well, the deadline is the beginning of May, a mere 6 weeks away. I decided I better get started if my pal was to get a pair of socks, and not just a single sock with a set of needles, extra yarn, and the pattern. (I think they ban knitters for sending UFOs to sockpals, or at least poke their eyes out with sharp, pointy, dpns.) No fear yet, as the months of researching sock patterns and yarn choices all came together last night when I cast on for the Friday Harbor sock from Knitting on the Road. And here is the progress photo:

I am using Mountain Colors Weavers Wool Quarters in the Ruby River colorway. What does this have to do with Friday Harbor? Well, nothing, really, but it is the yarn the pattern calls for and that was the color I had in stash! For some reason which has just become apparent to me, I am having a lot of issues with the stitch count on the cuff pattern. Listen to your knitting karma. If a pattern isn't working, there is a reason why. As I was writing this post and googling for links to the pattern, I came across the errata on the IK website. And a post by Margene explainging the issue with the way the yarnover's line up. What? Huh? The yarnover's don't line up on my sock. Well, um, evidently they should. I guess I will be taking a trip to the frog pond during my lunch break. Never fear, these socks will get done in time for the deadline!

The other deadline that is quickly approaching is the end of SP7 on March 31st. I have really enjoyed this event as it has introduced me to two fabulous women, one who will be identifying herself soon, and the lovely young woman to whom I will be introducing myself. Being a Secret Pal novice, I am wondering what are some of the more creative ways secret pals have revealed themselves? I still have one last little package to send to my SP, so any suggestions on how to share my identity in a fun way, well, leave me a comment!

And that, folks, brings us up-to-date on the KAL status. Knit on.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Pinewood Derby

No new knitting, as I have been busy of late with my first full-time job: MOM.

My 3yo, who has just learned how to write his name, was so excited to see that he could also write mine. He knows how to make M's, and when I told him the next letter was O, he was stuck. When I said that an O is just like a circle, he got it, and MOM it was. Time to change my name.

Anyway, I've been thinking about what MOM really stands for.

Last night, it was Manager of Motion. Me and my favorite sisters, Myself and I, took the young 'uns to a local junior high for the Cub Scout pack's annual pinewood derby. This was our first year participating, and it was really such a fun event. All 3 of the kids made their own cars, with just a little bit of help from their Pappa.

Here's the cars made by the 3yo (red and yellow racer) and 4yo (a pink truck!):

click photo to embiggen

And here is the car made by my 7yo. It may be hard to see (in the bottom right corner), as it is camouflaged:

click photo to embiggen

Drivers, start your engines:

The derby was extremely well organized, and it was obvious that the pack leaders had put a lot of effort into making this a fun and enjoyable event for all ages. You can tell by the look on this guy's face that he had a great time:

His award, Most Colorful!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Lace Blob

I am participating in the Diamond Fantasy KAL hosted by the designer, Sivia. The tips and tricks discussed on the group have been very helpful. Yesterday, I progressed to the 2nd repeat of chart B, and decided that to reduce risk, I would place a stitch marker between each 12 stitch repeat. Well, on one of the rows, you have to "borrow" a stitch from the next 12 stitch section. If I hadn't of heard about this tip on the KAL group, I would have spent hours trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. It's little tips like this that make a KAL so worthwhile. Here is my progress as of Sunday:

I didn't bother with a close up because the lace just looks like a blob on the needles. Since Sunday, I have switched to circ's and progressed to the 2nd repeat of Chart B. It's looking really lovely. The blooming crocuses* aren't bad either, eh? I am using Fleece Artist merino sock in a lovely variegated pink. I think this will make the perfect spring scarf.

*confirmed through

Monday, March 13, 2006

Good Bagel

The sun was shining yesterday and my friend Barb came over to knit for a while. She allowed Bagel to model her newly spun Elektra Lite. I love how the white adds to the colorplay of this skein.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Another view of the aran

It is so difficult to photograph dark yarn indoors. Yesterday, we had the first non-rainy, moderately-warm, weekend day all winter. I took the kids to the zoo so the animals could see how much the monkeys have grown. And I asked the nanny to snap an outdoor photo of me wearing The Aran. Here's the small view:

And click here to download the big picture. Kerry, are you happy now? :-)

Friday, March 03, 2006

Definitely not enough

I completed the back of the Square sweater and sewed the shoulder seams together yesterday. Matress stitch on garter is a piece of cake, but the stockinette sections left a bit to be desired! I have 18g of the light green left. This is definitely not enough to knit two striped sleeves. I will be ordering on-line as soon as I am done writing this post. I have 45g of the dark color remaining, and considering this is a long discontinued color of Rowan wool cotton that I purchased in London, I am pretty sure it will be impossible to find any more. (Holly, a deep blueish-green just in case you have some in stash) I plan to wind this into two equal weight balls. The sleeves are knit top down, so worse comes to worse, the sleeves will be a) short or b) different colors.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Diamond Fantasy KAL

There's a new button in the sidebar - for Sivia Harding's Diamond Fantasy KAL.

This beautiful lace project is designed to be used with fingering weight yarn - so it should be right up my alley. I am going to use some Fleece Artist merino sock previously purchased from Simply Socks Yarn Co. Now all I have to do is choose the color! If the sun comes out again tomorrow, I'll try to remember to take photos of the few skeins that I have to choose from. I can't find the colorways on the website right now (must be out of stock), but I know one of the colors is Turquoise - how prettty would THAT be for spring?

Thank you to my SP7 for a lovely surprise which was waiting for me when I got home from work yesterday. 2 hanks of Fleece Artist roving (do you see a trend here?) and some yummy Canadian chocolate - cafe nougat bark. YUM! I absolutely love having an international SP - the treasures are all so unique! Thank you SP!