Saturday, October 28, 2006

Friday, October 20, 2006

THIS is why it is fun to knit for knitters

My husband couldn't believe that I was shipping off a scarf to a complete stranger, when he is in such desperate (not) need of a new handknit sweater. I explained to him that not only did I get to knit for someone who would appreciate the effort, but that I would also receive a scarf in return. When he is done knitting me two sweaters, I will be happy to start knitting for him again.

I was so thrilled to receive a box from my ISE3 pal, Deb, and show it off to my husband. "See", I said. "THIS is why I knit for knitters."

The Swallowtail Scarf pattern, knit in Lavold's Silky Wool, is a perfect addition to my wardobe.

A huge thank you to Deb for knitting me this very special scarf. And thank you for all of the goodies you sent us from MO. In the pretty box were assorted chocolates and teas, and honey sticks from a local farm. My daughter, the official photographer for the evening, insisted on having a tea party right away. There's also an adorable tape measure and a great postcard from Deb's state in the box.

Thank you again, Deb. The scarf is lovely!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thank you, Sockret Pal

I received a surprise package in the mail yesterday, from my Sockret Pal!

See that skein of gorgeous red yarn? That's a skein of Lisa Souza Sock! Merino in garnet. Did I mention that she's my favorite color artist and a personal friend? SWEET!

The cute sheepie on top is a Pez! I heart Pez! I didn't know they were making cute stuffed keychains. I'll have to keep an eye out in the stores and pick some up for my kids. Because this one is all MINE, baby.

There was another key chain of sorts in the package - pictured on the far right. It's a mini sockblocker attached to a keychain, and instructions to knit a miniature sock! What a great use of all those teeny leftover skeins of sock yarn. Just think, one could have a keychain to match every outfit! LOL.

My Sockret pal also sent a small notebook which is going right into my purse, and a very pretty card introducing herself. It was such a nice surprise to receive this package, that it inspired me to wrap up the Halloween treats I have been collecting for my Sockret Pal. USPS, here I come!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pines Farm Spin-in

Saturday, Sam, Barb and I spent the day at the Pines Farm spin-in. This was my first farm spin-in, and I didn't know quite what to expect.

There were sheep

And a mascot

It was cold, and wet. We jokingly asked for a fire. They obliged.

I tried to convince Sam to wrestle a sheep. She did not oblige.

The farm is mainly Romney sheep and angora goats. There was a manual apple press, and anyone with enough upper arm strength could make cider. And a barn full of fleece. And some dyed wool. And some hand cards. My wheel was empty, but not for long.

Answers to your questions and BFO

Lorinda asked the question, what is your BFO (Best Finished Object)? My BFO, and biggest accomplishment, is the finishing of the Decade Aran last winter. This aran cardigan was knit in a silk-blend yarn (think harsh on the hands), was my first cabling project, was knit from the top-down with saddle shoulders, and took me almost 10 years to complete! Looking back at the photos, I can't believe the crappy quality that I was posting at the time. I'll have to get DH to take some new photos for me. I'm planning to wear the sweater soon, as it is rainy and cool here in the PNWet. Fall is here.

Vanessa asked how the orchid is. Or isn't. I can take a new photo, but really, why bother? Two of the leaves have turned black, and the flowers, although still attached, look like if I touched the plant, that they would fall off. The last time it was watered - probably Oct 4th.

And because I know you all care (grin), the second Halloween sock is progressing. I started the heel flap last night. I am quickly losing steam, though, and it's all Sam's and Barb's fault. Notice Barb's Oct 14th post about Pine Farms spin in? Think sheep, wool, combs, and the intoxicating smell of lanolin. That's just a teaser, pics will come eventually. Suffice it to say that my hands are a lot softer this Fall. HA!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Where's the kid?

My favorite model, LG, is showing off the handknit scarf I knitted for the ISE3. Can YOU see the kid behind the long scarf?

The yarn used comes from Persimmon Tree Farm and is a hand-dyed merino/mohair blend. The scarf is super long (it's shown doubled in the LG picture). I used about 250 yards. I love this scarf so much that I will be making another to keep for myself.
I can't wait to hear from my pal in Canada when she receives the scarf. I hope she likes it!

Spooky socks

I received this yummy yarn from the Yarn Pirate in the mail on October 5th and completed my first sock on October 9th. This has to be the fastest I have ever knit an adult sock. You can see why I am motivated:

Halloween socks, anyone?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Secret Pal 9 Questionaire

I signed up for the Secret Pal exchange again. Here are the answers to the questionaire. If you are not my Secret Pal, you may want to move along. This one is all about me ;-)

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I love soft silk blends. Alpaca/silk and merino/silk are my favorite. I also love sock yarn! I don't like novelty yarns or acrylics that much.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

WIPs, under couch cushions, in a big box, and even sometimes in the beautiful sheepy needle pouches my Mom gave me

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I've been knitting for 20 years. I don't think there is a technique that I haven't tried.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

There will be a generic wishlist in the sidebar.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)

My favorite scents are lavendar and vanilla. I also like seasonal scents, in small doses. For example, I have a pumpkin candle that I pull out this time of year every year, and I enjoy it for the month of October. And then it gets put away until next year.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Who doesn't?!! I prefer dark chocolate over milk, and sour over sweet. I love candy from different geographic regions. If there is something unique to the place you call home, share it with me!

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I collect scrapbooking paper. Haven't gotten around to actually using it. And I do spin, although not that fast.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I have to be in the right mood to listen to music, and that mood changes constantly. I spend my drive to and from work scanning the radio stations for the "right" music. If you have something that you love, I am happy to give it a try!

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I am going through a brown phase. I love brown/pink, and brown/blue combos. I also love all autumny colors that blend with brown: olive, pumpkin, russet, etc.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I am married for 10+ years to a very smart man(see the book in the sidebar) and we have three wonderful children who appear on this blog quite often. I also have 2 crazy, wild, loveable dogs.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I wear scarves, mittens and gloves. I only wear hats when it is really cold, which does not happen often in the Pacific North West.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I love to knit socks and sweaters for my children, since they can be completed before I lose interest. Of course, there are a lot of single socks laying around my house.

13. What are you knitting right now?

The first in a pair of Halloween socks for myself, and a sweater for my youngest, LG (Little Guy).

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

I love to receive handmade gifts!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I prefer bamboo or other sources of wood or plastic. I have a nickel allergy, so addi turbos and the new knitpicks needles will not work for me.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

yes, although I should put a jumbo ball winder on my wishlist. I think those are outside the budget of this exchange, anyway.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Last winter I finished a cardigan that took me 9 years to knit. Since then, I try to complete projects within the same season. I find that having UFOs just stresses me out, so if something isn't working, I will just frog it.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

My birthday

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Sheepy knickknacks and calendars, notepads and sticky notes with sheep on them; yarn, and knitting needles.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I need to replenish my stash of size 2mm bamboo dpns. I do have some yarns on a wishlist, posted on the sidebar. I have a subscription to Interweave Knits magazine.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I'd like to improve my spinning technique, perhaps by t aking a class and practicing more!

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Yes! I love to knit socks and wear handknit socks. My foot measures 8.5 inches heel to toe, is 8.5 inches measured around the ball of my foot. and I like cuffs about 7 inches long, or shorter.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

December 3rd

Friday, October 06, 2006

Can you see the socks?

I don't know where the time has gone, or what I have been knitting. A bunch of single socks from looking at the archives. I joined Knittin' Mom's some time ago. It's a wonder she hasn't kicked me off yet, seeing as how I didn't knit a pair of socks in August or September. For October, may I present:

Little Guy's Camouflage Socks

Project specs
Cast On: October 3rd
Cast Off: October 5th
Yarn: Ankh, DK weight superwash from Twisted
Pattern: basic 2x2 rib with heel flap, cast on 48 st, heel turn over 24 st to fit my LG's feet at 4yo

This also counts as pair #4 in The Purling P's . Go check out the homepage for some socky-inspiration!

And continueing with the Socktoberfest theme, I cast on for a Spooktactular pair of toe-ups last night.
This is from my latest on-line Stash Enhancement eXhibition with the Yarn Pirate. The yarn is thin thin thin, (460 yards/4 oz) so these are being knit up on size 0's.

Now the big question is - will I finish these in time to wear on Halloween?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

It's Socktober!

Where did the time go? I guess I was too busy enjoying the Seattle sunshine to realize that the calendar had flipped and it is officially Socktober! Let the festivities begin!

My first pair of Socktobersocks will be for LG (little guy). He's won a special place in his Momma's heart by always wearing his handknit socks as soon as they are clean.

LG got to choose the yarn from my newly acquired Twisted's hand-dyed yarn stash.
clickety click to embiggen and notice the orchid in the background - still alive!

And just how DOES a 4yo make a selection? By eenie meanie minie mo, of course!

I would have taken a photo of him winding the ball, but I was too busy cursing at my ball winder which kept popping off the spinny thing. It was not a pleasant experience.

Three episodes of Grey's Anatomy Season Two later, and we have leggage:
I am making them a bit bigger than the last pair as LG has been growing since April!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The best weekend

I warned you, we had a great weekend. And now I have pictures to prove it. Lots of pictures. And they are all kind of big file size, since we used DH's new fancy camera to take them with. All of the photos are "clickety click to embiggen", so Mel doesn't have to ask.

The weekend started out Friday night, as any good weekend does. When I got home late from work (note to new company - who works late on a Friday anymore?) Teddy was chomping at the bit to go to his school's BBQ. I wasn't really planning on participating this year. The food is always bad, the lines are long, the kids get lost on the playground because it gets dark pretty early, and well, I end up spending too much money between the basket raffles and the book fair going on. Well, who am I to squelch school spirit? We had no dinner plans anyway. On campus, I immediately noticed these beautiful trees that had been planted since the last time I was there (it's been a while). These beautiful trees were all over campus. I asked Teddy to show us his contribution. It's the small tile with the yellow animal on a blue background. Looks like a llama, doesn't it? I was SO proud! No wait - it's a deer. A deer? (Looks like a llama to me). Ok, it's a deer. Still proud.

Saturday the Cub Scouts were invited by the local fire department to observe a training session. Cub Scout events are typically family oriented, but I stayed home with the two little ones for this. I wasn't sure how traumatized a 4/5 yo mind could be by this: Teddy and Jesper were both extremely impressed by what they witnessed. The fire fighters had a lot of time to answer the kids' questions, so all in all it was a very educational experience. Also note that I am not one to put pictures of other people on my blog without heir permission, but I thought this photo would be ok since the backs are turned on everyone except my son.

The rest of the day Saturday was spent running errands, knitting on the black stockinette project, watching Dragon Tales, and eating pizza at Lennart's house while the men worked on remodeling the bathroom. I should have taken photos. Better them than me!

Sunday morning we indulged Teddy with a trip to the Burke museum. DH drove, so I got to knit on the mindless stockinette sweater I showed yesterday. Teddy thought the Native American totem poles were awesome. It's a good thing, because he has to build one as part of a Cub Scout project.

After the museum, we decided to head in the general direction of a Seattle neighborhood named Ballard, to look at the locks. While driving around, I noticed we were in Freemont and had heard of a giant troll who lives there. DH didn't believe me, but he diligently "turned back there!" (it's a family joke) and this is what we saw:

From there we continued on and eventually found the Ballard locks (never did find the cupcake restaurant, though.) DH's new camera is awesome, here's proof: And proof that fish DO walk on water Across the locks by the salmon ladder was saw this neat wave sculpture (finally, all the kids agreed to pose) And down the path a ways there is an awesome rolling hill in case you have any extra energy at this point in the day

Round out the weekend with a quiet drive home, 3 napping kids, a stop at Krispy Kreme for coffee (ahem, see above where the cupcake restaurant was closed) and a wonderful meal cooked NOT by me. Now you can see why this was such a great weekend. And of course, the need to document it for all those weekends coming up when we are faced with the PNW winter weather.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Best photograph of a black sweater

It's the Child Placket Neck Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I knit on it all weekend and am at the point where you leave the body tube on the needles and use dpns to cast on for the sleeves. I started the sleeves with Crystal Palace bamboo US6 dpns, but the sleeves seem to be a bit large so I will try again with US5s. The kid has skinny wrists as it is. (Not this kid, the other one).

There was lots of fun happenings this weekend including a house fire (not ours, planned, and for fire department training), a great museum, fish laddersand locks, and a great score. Photos are on DH's new camera, so I'll have to beg him to share some with me.