Monday, October 29, 2007

A Horror Story fit for All Hallow's Eve

In all the excitement the cooler weather brings (as in Yay! I can wear handknit socks) I pulled out my never worn pair of STR Monkey Socks the other day and pulled them on. Some time later, I looked down to admire my socks. Lo and behold, a large hole in the middle of the top of the instep!!! Of course, I took them off immediately and examined them, and yes, it was really a large hole where the yarn had snapped. I thought of reknitting the hole, but they had already taken every inch of the yarn, and then some. All options were eliminated one by one, except frogging back to mid-gusset and reknitting the foot. Deep breath, frog, frog, sigh!

So distraught was I, that I must have knitted like a fiend to repair this. Since in one day, it is reknitted and kitchenered and ready to go again. All's well that ends well. Still no clue as to what happened in the first place.

And here is a progress report on the Acorn Socks! And yes, all those seven stitches into one make perfect little three-dimensional acorns. I have photographed these in almost every light, and the photos just don't want to show how lovely those acorns are. Except when it totally changes the color of the yarn.

And this is where Miss Poppy lives most of the time. Helping me type. Aiding my deadlines. Yeah, right!

Friday, October 19, 2007

What a difference a buttonhole makes

Witness the buttonholes on the Mason Dixon Baby Bib o'Loves I knitted up for my friend's new little one soon to come. Buttonhole on left is following their instructions, the typical bound off buttonhole, reworked three times and this was my best effort. I thought it quite sloppy, so I looked for my little Lucy Neatby booklet, Taking the Checquered Flag. And there was this neat buttonhole instruction that worked to a T in the yellow cotton yarn. She calls it a one row buttonhole, or somesuch, but isn't it a huge improvement? BTW, I frogged the one on the left and redid it.
And here are the bibs. Photo color is not good, but they are sweet little things. Someone said on their blog that they take about eight hours each and I don't think that timing is far off.
And here is a quick peek at my acorn socks. They have grown to several more motifs by now. Had my hair worked on today as well as a pedicure, and knitted along on them straight through.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Acorns of all sorts

Just a little more progress on the Wollmeise Brigit sock. Needs a toe and I can start on sock number two. Plenty of yarn for once. And the designer, Gigi Silva of Socktopia, also designed Bellatrix, Fawkes and Nagini, amongst many other lovelies. I am very, very happy with this sock.
Actually, I set Brigit aside, as well as Bellatrix, to test knit the Acorn Sock for Anne Hanson of Knitspot. As most of you know, I am a huge fan of Anne's designs. They are beautiful, creative, and very well written. I was thrilled on Friday when she asked me if I wanted to test run the new pattern. There was a concert I had to attend, but I begged off early and ran home to go through the stash and choose a yarn and get started. I managed to complete the ribbing and the complete first repeat of the acorn pattern. If you are looking for a bit of a challenge, this might be the pattern. Ever tried knitting seven times in one stitch on size 1 needles? I'm here to tell you, it can be done. I'm actually fascinated as Anne has thrown in a decrease I've never done before. I'm not totally convinced with the yarn I chose. I picked it for it's fall colors, but I'm hoping it won't detract from those acorns. I used the custom dyed Some Assembly Required I received recently, in the normal sock weight wool.
Pictures next time, as I'm just not far enough along to show off, but you can see the master sock on Anne's blog.
Then I had to set the Acorns aside to knit some baby things. A friend in her mid-forties decided she wanted a baby before it was too late. She had a pact with an old friend that if she hadn't married and had a baby by the time she was forty, he would help with a test tube donation and play an active role in the baby's life. Well, a baby girl is arriving next month, everyone healthy and very, very excited. I thought that baby really deserves some hand-knitted love, so I'm knitting baby things for a few days. This child will be showered with love.
Here is a sweater I've never photographed and shown before, although I've worn it several times. Loosely based on Oat Couture's Silverlake Shirt, I made several modifications. It is knit in Softball cotton from Lotus Blossom on eBay. Just a comfy, cozy tunic sweater for our spring and fall weather.

Speaking of weather, that rain they've been promising for weeks finally showed up last night. A downpour with strong winds. Loved it. And this is the time of year that my house is bombarded around the clock for weeks on end by falling acorns (see Anne, how appropriate that I knit the Acorn sock) from the three huge oak trees that shade my house. Guests who don't know what it is are quite disturbed until I explain.

Monday, October 8, 2007

A picture is worth a 1000 words...

And if I post two pictures??? I've been so busy, there is just not time to blog, so with these, you have a progress report.
Wollmeise Sock, Brigit, love, love.

And the Great Yarns Kimono. About halfway and I'm going to run out of the main yarn, so calculating how to add a few rows in the accent yarns so as not to have to order more.

Sigh, neither of these is as red as the photos and I promise I do not always knit with red!

Monday, October 1, 2007

And more champagne, please!

Drum roll, please! Finished up still another pair of socks. Monkeys this time. They were sitting waiting for a complementary yarn to finish up the toes and a bit of cuff. Both of these colors are Socks that Rock Rare Gems. I tried about five colors, and frogged all five until I threw this one into the mix and I like it. There are absolutely no colors in common in the two skeins, which somehow made it work better. This running short of yarn on a regular basis is really affecting my knitting mojo. The socks are put aside waiting for another yarn to add in, and then they languish in their basket for far too long. I can live with the size 10s, but it does drive me crazy when knitting socks.
CookieA's Monkey from
Blue Moon Socks That Rock lightweight
Size 2.5 and 2.25 needles
Added 1 stitch to each side of the stitch pattern to bring the count up to 72 and then knit it tightly. Worked fine.
I love this pattern. I could happily knit all Monkeys, all the time.
Well, I was feeling so smug at finishing still another pair of socks out of the WIPs, that I allowed myself to cake up some Wollmeise and start a new pair. I had researched and actually bought several patterns to find something worthy of my Wollmeise, and ended up tripping over Momma Monkey's Brigit at the last minute, and just picked up the needles and started. Oooooh, I love this yarn, and the colors just glow. Quite a bit further along now and love both pattern and yarn. I love STR yarns and have used them a lot since I love Tina's color sense and yarn quality, but always run out of yarn before finishing due to tight knitting and big feet. Well, with something like 580 yards per skein, I don't anticipate that problem with Wollmeise.
And this, dear friends, is sheer yarn gluttony (and I know you all understand the syndrome). This is beautiful Brooks Farm Fourplay, Acero and Mas Acero. The Bookgrump from the Sisters talked the Brooks Farm ladies, Sherri and Dena, into visiting our weekly knitting group. They brought along Alissa, the Knitting Fairy, with some of her patterns knitted up to show off. They had planned to come for a show and tell, but we had been saving our lunch money up to do some damage and we managed to convince them to come prepared. Well friends, it was a bit of a free for all, everyone clutching yarn to their chests. I was standing near a basked, pulling out the skeins I liked and putting them down on the table hidden under the basket's edge between all the baskets. TxKnitter was across the table from me and kept pulling up skeins of yarn and oohing and aahing. It took some minutes to realize that she was pulling out my hidden skeins, thinking they had just spilled out of the baskets. Hilarious. It was a treat to finally see these yarns in person and they are much more beautiful than you can tell from their website. I came, I saw, I stashed!!! Plans for everything. Socks and scarves and shawls so far. Think I see another Clapotis in there. And one of KnitSpot's beautiful shawls.

The last two weeks have been a complete fiber overdose. Dyeing at Heritage Arts, receiving our much awaited orders from Some Assembly Required and then Brooks Farm coming to visit. Not to mention I'm still waiting for a couple of Sock Hop goodies from Teyani at Crown Mountain Farms. And am dyeing to order some more Wollmeise soon. Whew, I'm already calculating my Christmas checks and allocating them to yarn purchases. Must knit from stash, must knit from stash, must knit from stash. Repeat that 10,000 times. So why am I making plans to vist the Kid and Ewe Fiber Fest in Boerne? Just because it's in the beautiful Hill Country? Just because Brooks Farm will be there? Sure, right. CelticMemory, do you see what you are missing? Over in cool, green Ireland knitting away on 99 projects at a time? Chasing the elusive vest? When you could be revelling in the heat, adding to your stash???