Sunday, January 27, 2008

We had a birthday party

Last night a couple of grandkids celebrated their birthdays. Fleece tops were given and well liked. Someone obviously loves her birthday crown. Their birthdays are two weeks apart and the party was in the middle. The boy, MB shares a birthday with his aunt in Illinois. There were lots of adults and children from both sides of their families and the usual mess and mayhem happened. A good time was had by all.

Among the guests was one of my canine grandkids. You may not be able to see, but the dog is wearing his new sunglasses. There is a strap under his chin and on that fastens behind his ears. BooBoo is not an only dog, but his brothers did not make the trip to Cleveland from Erie PA. His mother brought a pattern for one of her quilt designs. It is a surprise gift so no more will be said. I am very impressed by my daughter's talent.

Mystery sock report: Both pairs are finished. I changed the toes of the Valentine ones from what the designer said. They now have a lace heart on the wedge toe. The gold socks are knee socks, with eyelet holes for ties of needed to hold them up. That is the only change I made to this pattern. There is no mystery sock until March. I'm knitting socks for the men in the family now. I socked all the women for Christmas. I'll decide later if the socks will be Christmas or birthday gifts.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

B is for..., and socks

Sunday morning we woke up to frigid temps (about 10 F) and this winter lace. I love how snowy days are so beautiful, with all the sounds muffled. Bronte and I were out before any streets were plowed. Few people had left any footprints.

B is for Bronte, our dog. She's an Australian Cattle Dog named by a previous owner for Bronte Bay Australia. She's a 35 pound bundle of energy. We've had some battles of wills, but with a lot of hard work, I think we've some out on top. She's gotten to the point where she's not usually a holy terror.

On the sock front, I finished John's socks today. I ran out of green yarn as I said the other day. I added a coordinate leftover. I have used this yarn for him before without running short. I must have used smaller needles this time.

The other 2 pairs are almost finished. I have the final clue for the January mystery socks with the heart heels. I'm almost finished with the gold socks, which have turned out to be knee socks. I think that this is longer than the designer planned, but works for me. Photos when both gold socks are finished.

I've also been sewing for the family. Two grand children have birthdays being celebrated this Saturday. I made them fleece hoodies. EB is 3 and her big brother MB will be 5. His hoodie has baseball players on it. The pattern is from Butterick.

Today's mail also brought a beautiful wedding invitation from DD Joyce. I haven't opened the card, but there are many things inside it. I'll have to see if I can open the card without undoing the ribbon.

Friday, January 18, 2008

It's a slow week

It's been a slow week on the knitting front. I haven't felt well so everything moves more slowly. Our guild met Monday night. There were about 50 people there. One of the members talked about tricks of the trade, which included bobbles, edge treatments, and a lot of other little hints. I'm filing her handout, because I'm working on a Bands and buttonholes class and I might use some of her ideas.

The January socks with the heart heels are on hold until 1/23 when the toe clue comes out. I'm working on John's socks and have the heel turned on the second sock. The gold September socks are moving along. I needed to buy more yarn.These are tall socks, almost knee socks!!

I am finding that I am more tolerant than usual, of mistakes in these mystery socks. All 3 pairs have deviations from the pattern. The November (Barcelona) socks have a shorter cuff and longer leg than the designer planned. I miscounted repeats on the cuff and made the second sock match. The other two are lace and have mistakes, which I fudged. The January socks have the lace correct on the foot, but the mistake is somewhere on the leg. I know what row I found myself short of stitches, but don't know how. I had turned the heel before getting the pattern right and it's staying that way on both socks. On the gold socks, the lace moves from needle to needle. I just added a stitch on the back of the leg. No one but me is going to know, and I'm not telling after the socks are done.

I did knit 3 dishcloths and gave two to my hairdresser. She loved them. I need to do more of this. Easy and appreciated. I have dreams of knitting up a stock of these to have handy for gifts. The ungifted cloth was for ME! I made 24 cloths last fall for my DD Joyce. They were part of her wedding shower gift. She now has a lifetime supply and if not, she's a knitter. There are a number of other women in the family who would appreciate and use them.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

More sock progress, Great customer service

The January mystery socks are almost finished. They just need the toes. This is a wine bottle pose, front and back. I don't expect the clue for the toes until 1/21/08. The original pattern has two different heels (see previous post). I expect the second heel to show up as clue#3 on Monday.
My DSis Carol sent me a set of the KnitPicks harmony dp needles. as a Christmas gift. I love having 6 sets of mm size needles and 6 needles/set. This is a good thing as there were 2 defective needles. One had a rough spot in the center that didn't snag yarn, but the other had a split point. I called them, so I could combine the replacement needles with the gifts I didn't get for Christmas. I wanted a book, which they don't have yet, although it was in their fall catalog. I also wanted the nickel plated set of sock needles. They offered me free shipping on the needles, since I tried to order enough to qualify for the free shipping anyway. When my new needles arrived, the replacement needles had multiplied in their packaging. They sent me a new set of 6 for each size. What great customer service! You may be able to see the new needles in the sock front to the left. I'm using another size on the gold mystery socks from September.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sock progress

John's first sock is finished. 225 yards of Special Blauband should have been enough, but not for this sock. I'm about an inch into the other sock.

I've finished clue #2 of the first January mystery sock. I had trouble with the lace, but I guess I couldn't count. The lace on the leg continues down to the toe. (no pictures today).

I had sent in class descriptions to TKGA for their 2008 conferences. The deadline for pictures was 1/11/08. That's right, today. I had tried earlier to send the pictures in my files, but the TIFF files were too big. I spent time this week shrinking the files I had, and taking pictures for the classes that needed them. I finished just in time to go to work this morning. Whew!

Knit a mile progress: 299.9 yards and 5 weeks to go.(1760 yards in a mile) It helped that I made a couple of dishcloths for an employee Christmas/New Year gift. I forgot to take the gift to work today, and it was wrapped and everything.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather...

Just bad choice of clothing. Tonight's dog walk tested this. I had on my wonderful rain pants and raincoat, a baseball hat to shield my glasses from the rain, and my waterproof shoes. What I didn't count on was that the rain would get on the tongue of my shoe and slide down the edges. The top edges of my feet slowly got wet. I was wearing wool socks and it was relatively warm out, so it wasn't too bad. Just something to think about next time I walk in the rain.

The rain pants are one of my better buys. They also work well in snow. Next rainy walk, I'll wear my Regia clear plastic boots. The tongue is connected to the rest of the boot, so water can't creep in.

I knit and knit on John's socks. This is a bad photo. It's hard to take good pictures of dark objects. I'm clearly going to run out of yarn. I've used Special Blauband for him before, but I must have used bigger needles. He's going to have crazy toes. I have a leftover print yarn that coordinates, so will use that when the green runs out. Darn big feet! Of course, He's a tall man.

I finished September's clue #2 (the gold socks) and am working on January clue#2. This one includes the heel and all of the foot. There is intarsia on the heel. I didn't like the image, so I changed it. There is no clue on the pattern as to whether this is one heel or both. The image on the pattern is one half of a heart. I can guess that the other sock has the other half, but then I'd have a left sock and a right one. I decided that MY socks would have a whole heart on each heel.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Is it Spring in January?

Today sure felt like Spring, although it didn't smell like it this morning. Yesterday temps were in the mid 50's. This morning's dog walk saw greyness and mud. That's better than deep snow that's hard to walk in. She just loved getting out where we could walk. Today and tomorrow, we'll see 60's, then rain and dropping temps.

Last night we went to see the local hockey team (The Lake Erie Monsters, a farm team for the Colorado Avalanche) play. They lost again. At least hockey is good knitting time. I worked on John's socks, since they are simple. Hockey has three 20 minute periods separated by 20 minute intermissions. As we were leaving, we heard a familiar voice talk about Grandma and Grandpa. DD Jen and family (3 kids) were at the game and were leaving by the same door. We made tentative plans to celebrate birthdays for the 2 older DGKs, age 5 and 3. There will be one party as usual and I'll sew them fleece tops. Both of them are very long in the torso, so I'll add length there for longer wear.

I finished September Clue #2 on one sock this morning. I'll finish clue #2 on the mate tomorrow morning. These go quickly since they are heavier yarn and fewer stitches. They seem a little big, but I've matched the gauge. I hope that the heel solves the problem.

At work today, I got a box of designer sample yarn from Spinrite. I got 2 balls of Patons SWS, which in this case stands for Soy Wool Solids (as opposed to Stripes) 110 yds/80 g/2.8 oz. I got 2 balls of Bernat Soy - 134yds/70 g/2.5 oz. I like the yarns and have a design idea or two. Now where should I submit them?

Speaking of work, I spent most of the day altering a leather jacket to make it smaller. When the customer tried it on, I'd twisted the lining in one sleeve, so she couldn't get her hand through. I also have to take in the hips a little, so when I open it up, I'll fix both problems. She can have it tomorrow afternoon, before it gets cold again.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Knit a Mile from Stash?

I've taken up a Ravelry challenge to knit a mile from stash in the next 6 weeks. I'm ready. I've weighed all the remaining yarn in my ongoing projects and figured the yards/ounce which is unknit. When I finish the project, I'll weigh the remains and subtract. Someone figured that at 200 yds for a sock, 4 pairs would meet the challenge. That sounds doable. I do have a couple of other things in minds also.

I've started the January mystery sock and finished clue 1 for one sock. I've almost finished the red part for the 2nd sock.

Socks for John are almost to the heel, just a plain 2x2 ribbing.

I finished Peg's Fidget. I'll give it to her tomorrow morning when we meet for breakfast. Soon I won't be able to talk about gifts. I'm telling the whole family about the blog and many of them will look in. Maybe I'll talk about the knitting and not identify the recipient.

As usual, I had to work today. I get Thursdays off. I'm home all evening, so lots of knitting time. We're having roast beef has for dinner, to use up the end of a small roast. There are only two of us so it doesn't pay to cook a lot of meat. I do still make big pots of things and freeze the remains in one or two person servings.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Mystery socks and the Letter A

Twice a month on Wednesday night a group of knitters meets at a Borders near me. This time there were three of us. Just some knitting and talking. I worked on the mystery socks from Sock knitter Anonymous on Ravelry. These are the September mystery socks and I didn't belong at that time. The pattern is given in the form of one clue a week for four weeks. It took a couple of tries to read the pattern correctly, find the right size needles, etc. I'm doing both toes before moving to clue 2.

I've joined an ABC along where you post a picture representing a letter of the alphabet once every2 weeks. The current letter is A. I present the angel on our Christmas tree. I made her a few years ago. I didn't design her, there was a pattern. I don't remember if it was Vogue or not.

This is my last vacation day before going back to work. The Fidget scarf is in its bath. I'll get it dry by putting it on a radiator, so it can go to work with me tomorrow to button shop. I have thousands of buttons at work and they don't have to match for this project.

Jean commented:
Anyway, I wanted to tell you how wonderful the SWAK vest turned out. I saw the "original" one up close and personal several years ago and quickly decided it would be quite a while before my skills would be up to that particular challenge.

The sweater actually started out as the Knitters vest. DH bought a kit from Patternworks as a Christmas gift and they included the wrong pattern. I'm looking at this wonderful sweater pattern and he's talking about the green yarn being back ordered. He decided that I should have the yarn for the 12 Days of Christmas along with the pattern for the Knitter's Vest. He complained that the sweater was more expensive and I reminded him that it had sleeves, so needed more yarn. The vest got finished quickly.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

First FO of the year

The beautiful snow from last night kept falling. We woke up to 6" which needed to be shoveled etc. This year we have a plow service for the drive, so that was clear. This is our railroad weathervane on top of the garage. The wind blows some of the snow off the garage.

I finished a Fidget for DDIL Peg. It just needs buttons, which I will get at work when I go on Friday. I used two yarns., Noro Cash Island (a gift from a local yarn store) and a Nathersgarn Wool which I inherited from my mother. Both were stash yarns.

I started some toe up socks from the Ravelry Sock Knitters Anonymous group. They're the September Mystery socks. I have clue one finished on one sock and have started the second.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

DH and I had a quiet New Year's Eve. We stayed home as usual. With the kids all living elsewhere, why go out?
We checked the TV schedule and were pleased to find a Great Performances show on PBS. It was opening night at Carnegie Hall 2006. When we turned it on, we were delighted to see our own Cleveland Orchestra with Franz Welser-Most conducting. We switched away to watch the ball fall in New York, but with Tivo, we didn't miss a note.

I finished knitting another TNNA swatch from Soxx Appeal by Knit One Crochet Two. I found this simple lace pattern in one of my German books. It's a 6 stitch repeat. Row 1 :k3, ssk, k1, k2tog. Rows 2-4 Knit.

This morning I was running around the house getting the yarn and needles for the last TNNA swatch. I also got the Noro I received as a surprise Christmas gift from one of my local yarn stores. This will become a Fidget scarf for my DIL Peg. She has a birthday in a few weeks and we will see her again Sunday for our monthly breakfast. After getting the whole Fidget pattern, I realized that I would need to double the yarn, so went stash diving for something appropriate. Found it! Why I needed to do this before breakfast, I don't know, but now I'm organized for the day.

The last TNNA swatch is from Great Adirondack Yarn Company, Chinchilla in the Nantucket Blue colorway. I've adapted the Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf pattern for it. This is a yarn where stitch definition is nil, but colors show well in the multidirectional pattern.

On the needles, a pair of socks for DH, dark green Special Blauband. I have 5" of cuff in 2x2 rib. Not very exciting. I am about to start a Fidget scarf for DDIL Peg. I made one for myself earlier this year and she admired it. It will make a good birthday present later this month.

We have the first snow storm of the year, the second of this winter. When I went out before dinner to walk the dog, it was so beautiful. It was lightly snowing, not windy, and so quiet. We had 2-3" at that point. It's a little noisier right now. The snowblowers are out.