Wednesday, February 28, 2007

SP 10 questionairre - weee!

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

I love soft yarns - I like sock yarn a lot, I kind of horde it really:) I'm not crazy about eyelash or other novelty stuff, or itchy things.

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

I have a cool plastic container for my dpns, and I keep my straights in a glass vase. The circulars tend to be all over the house.

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

I learned about 3 years ago at a local yarn store. I think I am an intermediate knitter - I'd love to learn some colorwork to make Eunny's Endpaper Mitts.

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

Not that I keep updated.

5. What's your favorite scent?

Clean, vanilla, seasonal - like pumpkin and apple in fall, spicy pear at the holidays

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

How many teeth do I have? hmmm, they are all sweet:) I love chocolate but I also like to pick up the new novelty at the gas station - I'm a sucker!

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

I like to sew when I find the time, scrap book, bead...I'll try anything once.

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 an ipod that I love - I listen to the Lime N Violet podcast, I like 80's hair band music (please don't laugh), heavy metal, some pop, also Paul Simon, Billie Holiday and Sheryl Crow for some easy listening, just about anything really. I really like holiday music at Christmas too.

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

I really like purple and pinks. I also like just about any vibrant palette. Check out Yarntini's yarn, love it all for an example of my passion. I'm not crazy about orange - but in the right project, who knows.

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

I have two old Tom cats and a Golden Retriever-ish dog. I am married with two girls - 20 months and 6 years old. I work full-time as a probation agent - which I really love.

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

I like scarves, hats and mittens. I just say no to ponchos - they don't look great on me. I do like shawls instead though.

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

I tend to bounce around, my favorite today? Socks. I also like to knit lace shawls, mittens, scarves. I like to make felted purses, baby hats, and did I say socks?:)

13. What are you knitting right now?

I just bound off a pair of Monkey socks, I am in the throes of a baby bolero sweater and plan to cast on some more socks tonight. I also have a sweater languishing as well as 2/3 of a pair of mittens, and at least two orphan socks who need a mate.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Love to!

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

I sticj with bamboo mostly. I use straights or circular or dpns - I'm a ho, I use 'em all!

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


17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Hmmm, probably a Noro Iro sweater I have to seam, I'm just plain scared.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Well, I do like Halloween - what fun! But Christmas is always wonderful too!

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Um, does sock yarn count? I also like sheep - especially Shaun from Wallace and Gromit, ribbons, funky stationary, funky giftwrap.

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 subscribe to Interweave Knits. Books - I'd like to get the Yarn Harlot's latest - due out at the end of March. I'm kind of a book ho too - I kind of collect those too.

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

Colorwork or stranding - not really fair isle, just maybe two color.

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

I love socks - there is a theme here? My foot is a pretty regular size 7 - nothing unusual.

23. When is your birthday?

May 17

I can't wait to get SP10 started - lets have some fun together!

A pair of Monkies and a super surprise!

I finished my second Monkey last night - always such a glorious feeling getting that second sock done, a pair to wear. I loved this pattern - Cookie is a genious - she has some delightful patterns on her blog - I hope she makes them widely available. I made no modifications. Maybe I would try the Eye of the Partridge heel on another pair - it looks fun and adds some *shazaam*.

I also came home to a delightful treat today - my second installment of Sundara's Petals Collection sock club. The yarn is yum-mo! I feel like throwing it in a cocktail shaker and putting an umbrella on it - Bird of Paradise. Another yarn I would like to sip - its so frosty and smooth, it's the freaking Carribean in a skein. I'm feeling hot, hot, hot! I just wound my first installment - Lenten Rose - from Sudara, last night - I feel like I am up to my eyeballs in the most sinfully delicious pile of yarn. Life is good! (would it be sacrelious to pray she offers this club for a second year?)

Also Happy, Happy Birthday Mom! She loved the Embossed Leaves socks. I can't wait until she wears them - I don't think you can truly love hand knit socks until you parade about in them:)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

snow bunnies

A nice little winter snowstorm in the Midwest has us homebound for the weekend - which isn't all bad. I have neared the 1/2 way point of my second Monkey sock and we have had some fun outside...

I wish I could have bottled the little one's giggles on that swing - it really is the small things that bring the most pleasure. I hope everyone who is snowed in is finding some solitude.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Monkey business

I finished my first Monkey sock last night - it was such a treat to knit - especially with Yarntini! I just love the colors, I try to imagine what on "Lost" inspired this colorway, the lush jungle, the silver of the plane, Desmond's boxers?? *grin to Jessie*

I always think it's a good sign when I finish a sock and get excited to cast on the second one - you sock knitters know this is not always the case. And with my collection of orphans...The sock pattern was easy to follow and I could almost memorize the pattern, it was simple enough anyways to notice quickly if I made a mistake rather rows later - so no serious frogging, whew! Cookie, the designer also created the infamous Pomatomus. Another future knit on my list.

I like how the pattern wraps up with a long kitchener on the toe - grafting 14 stitches each on the top and bottom. I really like the simple line of the toe and I love, love the kitchener. Wait, I love it as long as it is quiet, no one is talking to me and I can focus - rare moment you can imagine. I have a handly little card that I got in my "learn to knit socks" class that tucks into my knitting bag and walks me simply through the kitchener every time. If anyone would like a copy of this leave me a comment with your e-mail and I'll see what I can do. It's just been a life saver and I think I could photocopy it and send it off - it's a little tattered. It's not copyrighted or anything, I just find it incredibly helpful. Or maybe even my photoshop guru husband could come up wth something and I could e-mail it...I love thinking up things for him to do for me:)For the grafting challenged - it is a toe-saver...literally!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

sunshine at last

The sun has shown the last couple of days, a taste a spring. It has really helped me get back on my runagogo track, logging 7 miles after a long hiatus with sub zero temps. This little bit of spring fever really does brighten the spirits. I took my vehicle through the car wash yesterday and knit three rows while I waited - I love to multi-task, I get off on multi-tasking - a little left over ADD fetishness - and a little sun warming my face helps me feel like I can accomplish things. Now we are supposed to get some soaking rain this weekend - but this kick start of 40 degrees will help me get past it.

I got some Blue Sky Alpaca in the mail yesterday. This started with needing one skein of Organic Cotton to finish a baby bolero - well, it isn't anywhere locally so I found Fabulous Yarns. What a great little on-line store - the prices are phenomenal - a "volume discount" for Blue Sky - yippee! I purchased a kit to make this simple shawl I have been admiring forever. I wonder if I should have gotten the same champagne color as the sample on the pattern - but doesn't "ruby" just give you a kick? I will totally revisit Fabulous to grab more savings on the BSA - I also got an additional 10% coupon if I come back - no need for bait, but what the heck.

I am having fun with my Monkey sock - I just started the foot today - the yarn is "Lost" inspired, and well, it's on tonight - so I'll haveta work on my sock right? to log some miles on the treadmill before sleeping beauty awakes from nap.

And another thing...

My sister and her Calorimetry - or shall we call it Kasimetry? Anyways - I made it the late night knit for her in bubble gum Malbrigo to match her Christmas So Called Scarf. You. Look. Marrrrvelous! (if not a wee bit blurry, sorry sister:)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Leaf me a alone

My Embossed Leaves are done. I love this pattern, the only modification I made is that I did not break the yarn to do the gusset. The pictures may not show it - but my socks' coloring seems to be slightly different - one skein is a little brighter than the other. That's weird, but otherwise they are delightful and very "sproingy". A think they will be a worthy gift.

Tomorrow I will post about my "Monkey" business. For now, I'm off to knit and watch American Idol - guilty (or pathetic or even slightly ridiculous) pleasures.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


It's sad to see the weekend come to an end. I have had an "unprecedented" two-nap-weekend. I have been feeling a little run down, then the late knit night and another late night with my hubby last night for our annual belated Valentine's "dinner for two" of steak, lobster and crab legs oh my - I have been a napping fool. However, when conscious - I finished my second Embossed Leaves sock - I will be sure to get a picture in the sunshine tomorrow - I hope I have the courage to gift them as I have been planning.

Now, I just wound my "lost" inspired Yarntini and printed off the Monkey pattern. I must confess... I have 1.5 Hermione mittens finished, 2/3 of a baby bolero (however, I am waiting for another skein of Blue Sky Alpaca Organic Cotton for this project) and at least 2 orphan socks that need a mate - but I have finished two orphan pairs in a week - seems cause for celebration and for the cast on of a new pattern, dontcha think? *giggle* I can always get back to them right? Do they have medication for knitter's ADD? For the record, I do have real ADD - finally, a lucky excuse. wee.

p.s. I have been listening to Lime and Violet again lately - a pair of saucy broads - they are having a swap on their message board - check it out if you like to swap goodies.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

knitting fun

The late night knit was a good time - that is after we had the crappiest service ever at a nearby restaurant - but it's all part of our new memory! My buddy picked up the purl stitch so fast - though she was aptly aggravated by the awkward feel of it - remember that feeling? But she will be ribbing in no time. Her friend, Melissa, also joined us - she was a seasoned knitter so she experimented on making a scarf with some yarn she hadn't tried before. I didn't see Molly Bee - or at least my detective instincts (and introverted ways...)didn't help me figure out she was - and we got there so late I surely missed the oreo time? I bet they were good.

I did get a little project request finished - it's in the mail already - more on that after the mailman delivers it... I didn't work any socks at the Sow's Ear but I am making some serious progress on my second Embossed Leaves - thank you to Lady Knitterly for encouraging me to finish a pair, (another potential gift if I can get it wrapped quick enough to keep it off of my own feet!) I have too many orphans. And after peeking at her blog - I think I should give the Monkey sock a try next with my "Lost" inspired colorway from Yarntini. Technically, since the colorway was a Christmas gift from my sister, I could be stash busting!!

I'll be posting some pictures of my finished Embossed Leaves socks soon!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

I'm so excited...

and I just can't hide it...I'm on my way out the door to dinner with my dear friend, Tina and then we are going to late night knitting at the Sow's Ear in Verona, WI!! I rushed home from work to pack my knitting bag - something thoughtless so I can gab and a sock with a lace pattern for more focus if I can find any! I might see Molly Bee there and those oreo truffles she was threatening to bring along. I thought earlier, ugh, it's Friday I just want to crawl home to the couch - but I have this second wind as I am plotting my project. And Tina is bringing a friend, another knitter? Ooh, my cup runneth over! pinch me!

I'm off to wind this up for another Calorimetry? Can you say "calorimetry" three times fast?

Scout's Swag in Calorimetry - it's fate!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines!

I just love Valentines Day...I am enamoured with the colors - so many shades of pink! I made silly cookies on a stick for my daughter to take to school today. The kids always seem to get a kick out of something different, or maybe it's just me?:)

I am also making this cake from Nigella Feast - Sundara had a piece pictured on eye candy Friday - I hope mine turns out at good! I am also making Chicken Marsala for the hubby - here is a good recipe - even Martha can turn out something not terribly complicated once in awhile.

Have wonderful day squeezing your lovies - big and small. I am like a kid at Christmas with some goodies for my girls.

I almost hate to share this - but Yarntini is having an update in her store tonight at 8pm EST. Race ya!

go look at Susie's cute heart of yarnballs...then Anna Maria Horner's plate of yo-yo's and chocolate (and her new chocolate lollypop fabrics) - just a couple of charming valentine morsels for the day.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Finally a pair of socks...

I dyed this yarn with Gramknits last fall - I sped through a sock and a half - and then stopped dead in my tracks. For no good reason, just got tired of them? Well I decided to start getting my socks singles some mates. These are toe-up from the Wendy Knits fan and feather pattern. This was my first try at toe up - I like that you can kind of accurately gauge how much yarn you'll need for each sock to get a nice long leg. When I got verklempt trying to figure out the wraps near the toe - Wendy herself kindly and quickly responded to my e-mail with a wonderful explanation - how is that for customer service for a free pattern??!! The stripes make me think of a Godiva raspberry cordial, milk chocolate, dark chocolate and some raspberry filling. I am pretty excited about my first try at dying and that I was able to wear these yesterday - I showed them to everyone who would look - of course they made over them - I so seemed to be fishing, but I was just happy to be finished. Non knitters just think knitting socks is crazy! "You spent how much to buy yarn...and how much time to knit a pair of socks?" I'm not sure why the joy is lost on the non-knitter - but then when I poop out I think, I could just buy some socks for 5 bucks at Kohls...who am I kidding, I'm a yarn addict. (with a new book filled with sock patterns...)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Book ho

I am what I am. I have scored some good books this week. I am thinking I should open a library. I did once ask my library about donating some of knitting books - figuring they could kind of store them for me, other people could benefit - but you know what they said?? "Sure, bring them in and we'll decide which ones we want and we could put the rest on the used book sale." What the... I wanted to say - "did you see your sad, dated knitting book collection?" doh!

To start - I ordered and received Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs. I wasn't expecting it to be available until April - I follow Amazon and keep on top of what books are coming out (and hide them on my wish list). But then Jamie the Knitting Bandit said she had it - I was on a quest to find out where she got it and how I could get my own. I was able to order it direct through Interweave - I didn't get a discounted price, but the true book ho has to make an occasional sacrifice. I am waiting to really savor it later when the kids are tucked in but just a quick peek - it looks like a good little resource and it came highly recommended after I inquired with the Bandit. (so maybe Lady Knitterly and I could get our knit on?)

I also received Loop d Loop - it's been around awhile but I saw a sweater on a blog - the lace leaf pullover - okay, with my leaf fetish, again, another must-have. The sweater is somewhat unstructured and is made up with a bulky yarn - could be a quicker knit for the non-sweater knitter. I've completed one teeny sweater for my then-newborn daughter.

And lastly I received Dream Toys. I enjoyed making Stella so much for my daughter that I wanted Claire Garland's next publication. And honestly, I have been in Crafter's Choice book club - another excuse to get yet more books... I needed to meet my purchase commitment - a now it's sianara CC. I hate having to send that darn card in each month.

I also received my new IK magazine yesterday - I think I could crawl in my kids' tent with a flashlight and popcorn and easily keep myself entertained for the rest of the weekend with all of the browsing. Creative juices just rock!

I have continued paging through my new Hancock's of Paducah catalog - it's like a crayola box of color. You can go over and request your own! And I love Molly Bee's suggestion of a purse and and lining with the robin's egg and pink yarn and fabric. I am thinking I could build on her suggestion with the Velma bag by Amy Butler and a cute little knit cosmetic bag with a zipper and lining. Another delightful project for the queue:) Thanks Molly Bee!

And if you missed Betz White on Martha - she did a nice job demostrating her charming cup-o-joe pin cushions. I need an i-cord knitting gadget now! You can see the spot on the internet for the next two weeks - mosey over to Betz's blog and follow the link.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

deja vu

I am drawn over and over to the same color palettes. I just got some Amy Butler Belle fabric that I had been coveting. As I was looking at it, I thought I've got some yarn reminsicent of this...I do, Boardwalk by Yarntini. Cotton candy, and blue icees, yum. I look at this and I can taste it. (don't you?)

Then I made a Calorimetry for myself out of some interlacements Toasty Toes. And voila - I have some fun Bohemian fabric by Anna Marie Horner that seems similar to me...I look at this and want to wrap up in Anna's entire website - it's a delight.

Now I know that I am a purple fiend - but to find these similar fabric/ yarn combinations in my stash was like an "ah-ha" for me, like an appeal to the senses. I'm a visual, sensual person and here is maybe just another example of how I function, maybe an explanation of why I am so drawn to fibers. Maybe I should try to be more conscious of my "feel good" colors, maybe there is something more here, some benefit I am missing.

Meanwhile, what could I make out of fabric and yarn to mix up my media?? My instinct is to just touch it. I actually had the Yarntini in my bag to take to work just to lift me up. Is that weird? I also have framed pictues of yarn hanging around my office - I mean, I work with criminals - can't really display the kids - so another favorite thing seems logical. right?

Hancock's of Paducah was kind enough to send along a catalog that gloriously showcases all of their fabrics - lord help me.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I wanna be like Susie

But in the meantime, I'm copycat *gulp* stalker...

I have just wrapped up a pair of Cabled Booties from One Skein. I used yarn from Yarntini in the Lennie Briscoe colorway. She generously gifted me this fabulous yarn based on our mutual love of Law and Order. It's ideal because I am also a Wisconsin Badger Fan - whose colors happen to be white and red, and my highschool colors were red, white and black - so a little alma mater love. I was inspired to do these booties after seeing Susie's. I wanted to use my new variegated - so the cables aren't as distinct, but they are so cozy - you should really knit a pair of these easy, peasy, cuddly boots. I think I have enough yarn left to make a great scarf for the next Badger game...(the basketball team is doing so awesome {#2 in the country, Hello!}, I probably have several years to knit it up before I can get a ticket)

Onward with my stalking ways...I then I bought some Manos this weekend after seeing Scout's Calorimetry and making one from my friend. I was entirely inspired to buy this yarn, again, because Susie made this fabulous scarf/ hat set out of a similar colorway - hers is #113 mine #118. Isn't it nifty? Wish I was her publicist.
Then I just received the Friday Night Knitting Club book from I had a gift certificate and Susie said she was enjoying it...oops I did it again.

So a little Susie love never hurt anyone right? I mean I'm not a real stalker - just a yarny fiend. If you haven't seen her book - she has the most darling Itty Bitty Hats.

btw...betz white - who makes the most delightful felted things, is alleged to be on Martha Friday demostrating her 'cup a joe pin cushion. program your dvr...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

holy cold batman!

It is so cold in Wisconsin right now - I have made the executive decision that no one will go anywhere today - I can do that on a weekend day. It's supposed to be a ridiculous high of -4 degrees...minus 4 - oh, lets not forget the wind chill. I'm sure I've just been spoiled by mild winters, and now I just can't bear the cold. When being cold hurts, you just need to stay inside.

I made a Calorimetry for my dearest friend Tina. She is a gorgeous, long-haired runner. I gave it to her yesterday for her birthday - it looks fabulous on her, I was so proud. Afterall, I had to quick throw it in the box and wrap it up before I kept it. I had a mantra "you can make another, you can make another". I found that Mountain Colors 4/8 worsted was perfect. I have read other bloggers struggling with it ending up too big, so I made it smaller - well, now my daughter has one too. It isn't that much bigger than a gauge swatch, so... Casting on just as the pattern dictated was perfect for me with the MC. I would recommend this project - quick in front of the TV knitting.

I found some gorgeous Toasty Toes for my Calorimetry, I may even modify the pattern to make it a bit narrower - as I have short hair - so it won't serve near the purpose it should, but it's fun and quick! I have never used Toasty Toes, but it seems similar to the Mountain Colors, which I love, though TT is more vibrant, more purple! I knew I was making a good decision when the clerk squeezed it and squealed!