Thursday, June 29, 2006

Another Pair for the Sock Drawer

Yes, this is the eighth pair of socks that I've completed since April. It's really weird how we go through phases, isn't it? I've hardly touched lace and I've done a bit of spinning, but most of my energy has gone toward socks. Maybe it's because lace is pretty hard to do on the road because of the concentration it takes and even lace can get pretty hot sitting on your lap. (With all the rain, we've had around 90% or higher humidity for days! Ick!) Socks, though, are so very portable. They can go with me on errands and in the car (when I'm a passenger, of course) and even into the movies and I usually don't have to worry about a dropped stitch and such because it's easily repaired. And my feet are chronically cold. I wear socks indoors even in the summer because even when the rest of me is humid and hot, my feet will be cold. So lately my obsession has been nice, handknit socks. I love the different sock yarns available.

My latest pair are also my first completed pair for the Summer of Socks. They are made from some of that wonderfully soft Austermann Step yarn and of course, on size 0s. (I just love the fabric made with my 0s!) I love the broad stripes of this yarn and the little specks. Great stuff!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Waterfall Rib Socks

I love these socks! These have to be the favorite socks that I have made to date. I love the colorway, the pattern, and the fit. I mean all my socks have fit, but these fit. They are just wonderful all around. (You can click on the picture for a bigger view. They really are nice socks!)
Specs: Waterfall Rib pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks on size 0s in Trekking color 106.

I do love patterns, but stockinette is such a wonderful break. Look how much I got done on my new socks for Project Spectrum and Summer of Socks last night.

I worked on them while watching Quigley Down Under which was on TV last night. I love westerns (okay, technically it's set in the Australian Outback, but it's a western), I love Tom Selleck, and I love Alan Rickman. Alan Rickman plays the typical nasty character that he does so well. (Isn't he the perfect Snape?) And well, would I be dating myself too much if I said I grew up watching Magnum, P.I.?

Shortly after Quigley went off, we had a heck of a thunderstorm. The lightening was like a strobe light all night, bad thunder and pretty scary wind. It got so bad around 10:30 that I got the kids out of bed and we sat in front of the basement door for about half an hour, ready to go down if something happened. My tomato plants took a beating, the cages were ripped out of the ground, but I think we only lost a couple of branches and not the whole plants. Our neighbor, however, lost a tree.

We lost a tree in the very same spot in our yard a couple of years ago in a similar wind storm. It's really too bad seeing as how this is a fairly new subdivision with few enough big trees as it is. It was a nice tree and a pretty scary storm. We're supposed to have more storms today. Oh, joy.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

More new yarn

Here's the rest of my stuff from the Knitter. More of that wonderfully soft Austerman Step yarn:

And more Trekking, of course:

The one on the right looks quite blue, doesn't it? It is actually much more purple with very little denim blue. Closer to the smaller picture.

My Waterfall Rib Trekkings are just about done. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to show you. Maybe we'll even make it on another hike for the unveiling. (Although with this heat, I'm not so sure about that.) They are turning out gorgeous! Now I'm not sure which yarn I'll use next. Maybe the blue Austermann for Project Spectrum and save the lovely CTH and the purple Trekking for next month. So many lovely yarns to choose from!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

New yarn

I finally got my Cherry Tree Hill yarn that has been on back order with The Knitter for a couple of months. I don't know how I'll like working with it, but the colors are fabulous and well worth the wait, don't you think? (Spanish Moss if anyone is interested in the colorway.)

I am completely in a purple phase, if you can't tell. Sorry for the blurry picture, but I tried. It's really soft stuff. The yarn I ordered a couple of weeks ago should be here later in the week. Yarn weeks are exciting!

I was hoping to have the pastel Trekkings done by today so I could start the Summer of Socks with a new pair, but I'll have to finish them up before I can officially start a new pair (with my Cherry Tree Hill!). I'm very close to starting the heel flap on the second sock. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish tomorrow.

I leave you with this little guy who has been hanging out on our glass door all afternoon. (Please ignore the streaky windows.)

Friday, June 16, 2006

As Promised

Actual knitting content! I really haven't been knitting a lot this week. I'm just now getting to the gusset of the first sock.

I'm really loving this colorway. It's just nice and subtle and I'm really thinking I need some more of this particular colorway. Usually, I just take a colorway, make one pair with it and move on to the next, but this one speaks to me. (I also need to get some more Lorna's Laces Black Purl. I LOVE that color!)

Don't you hate when you can't get a decent shot of something so gorgeous that you just want to show the world? This was the best shot out of about 15 (thank goodness for digital cameras!) and it still doesn't do it justice. It's the swatch for Trellis Scarf in that gorgeous purple cashmere. I love this stuff; I think I might actually save it for Project Spectrum's July.

I think it's going to be a lovely Trellis Scarf.

Julie's doing well. She's sleeping quite a bit and is on pain meds and antibiotics, but she seems to be getting around okay and going up and down steps, slowly but surely. Thank you again for all the well wishes!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Julie update

Thank you to all the well-wishers! I really appreciate all the comments; it was nice reading them all throughout the day while my sweetie was at the vet. (I don't get all my comments to my email for some reason, so if I didn't respond personally, please don't take it personally. Thank you!) Juliette is now home recovering. She'll be on pain meds and antibiotics for a few days and we'll have to watch her. No jumping up on the couch (which she's still pretty good at considering her age). She's so groggy right now that she can't walk straight. And she keeps giving me the Mom-where's-my-food look because she isn't supposed to have anything but licking ice cubes until tomorrow. Isn't it wonderful how they can make you feel guilty when you're doing it for their sake?

I'll try to get some knitting content out in the next day or two. I finally got to knit a little today. I didn't knit at all yesterday!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

To all the animal lovers out there

Please keep my pup (she's actually thirteen-years-old) in your thoughts tomorrow (Thursday). She has to have a bit of surgery, nothing serious, but they are going to have to put her under which is always scary. She is in pretty good health for her age, but she does have some issues, hence the surgery.

Knitting content will come soon. I just have been getting very serious about the fit part of fit and knit and it seems to be cutting into my knitting time. I'll get things settled down soon though. I hope.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Blogger, Knitting and Blueberries

Dear Blogger,
Can you please fix whatever the heck your problem has been for the last week because I am truly a procrastinator and I really don't want to have to go to the trouble of having to move my blog. But if this keeps up, you may force me to take action soon.
Thank you.

I've been working on my sock and my Moon Dance Stole. Thank you for all the wonderful comments about the sock and the pattern. I just knew that the yarn was screaming for that pattern. I did have to start and frog several times just to get the perfect number of stitches. Since it's sort of a rib pattern, you'd think you'd have to cast on a few more stitches, but that's not the case. On several of the rows, you actually have more than the original number of of stitches because of yarn overs. So really, cast on about the same number as you would for a stockinette sock.

As for the Moon Dance Stole, it's really not going to look much different until it's completed. Just trust me when I tell you that progress has been made. I've also done a swatch for the Trellis Scarf with that beautiful cashmere. But it's rainy here (not that I'm complaining because we need the rain), but I can't get a decent picture. I do think it's going to work. The colors are subtle enough that they blend and I don't think they are going to detract from or compete with the pattern. I might have to actually start it though to see what I really think.

Just so I don't leave you completely pictureless, here's something for Project Spectrum (taken a few days ago when it was sunny). Our first blueberries of the season!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Trek With Me

Here's the Trekking sock hiking with us on one of the many Civil War Battlefield trails in Virginia.

And when we got home there was a new book was waiting.

I don't like everything in the book, but I really like several of the designs. I like the Hex Coat; probably definitely a future project. I also really like the Phyllo Yoked Pullover. Don't you love new knitting books?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Something Special

Remember the "something special" I ordered on my free day? Last month at my guild meeting, a local shop came to show their wares. Well, it was May and I knew my May free day was already taken by the upcoming Sheep and Wool festival that Saturday, so I passed up on something really gorgeous. Besides, it was a little more than I would usually spend on a skein of yarn. But those colors kept haunting me. They were so pretty and that skein of yarn was so soft. So, I finally broke down and wrote them to ask if they might possibly still have a skein left of the "muted purples". One of the owners sent me a generous sample of two yarns to see if one of them was "the one". Yep, one of them was "the one", so I used my free day to order some sock yarn and the skein of muted purples. It came today.

Five hundred yards of pure cashmere laceweight. (Need I say that the picture just doesn't do this yarn justice?) Like I said in a recent post, I don't like many outrageously expensive things, so I figure a skein of cashmere is an appropriate treat for myself. It's enough for a scarf and I'm thinking that the colors might work in something rather lacey since the colors are very muted and subtle. I've started swatching for another Trellis Scarf with the little bit she sent me and I think it might work. When I finish the swatch, I'll post and ask for opinions, but right now, I'm just enjoying the colors and the feel. It is so soft!

I can definitely say it wasn't an impulse purchase. It was well-thought over, so I can say that for the Yarn Focus Challenge!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Waterfall Rib Socks

My new socks:

I'm doing them in Trekking color 106. (Wouldn't this color make an adorable baby sweater?) They even have a bit of blue in them for Project Spectrum. In fact, they have all the colors except for the neutrals. I really like the colorway. I'm using the Waterfall Rib pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks.

Wow, I've been doing a lot of socks lately. I really need to work on something else. Need to do some lace today. I've got a little blue yarn and fiber in my stash, so I think I'll take pictures of that when I'm not too lazy to dig it out. I should also do some wheel spinning sometime soon, but I just can't seem to stop making socks.

By the way, have you seen the cute little sheep puppets on the cover of the new Spin-Off?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Blog Anniversary, Socks and Spinning

Yesterday was my Blog Anniversary. But because it was really just a test post, today is the real anniversary of my blogging adventure. You can check out the June 2005 archive for pictures of our baby barn swallows last year and some of my pre-blogging stuff.

On to the socks:

Austermann Step yarn made in my own pattern on size 0s. This stuff is really so soft! And I love the wide stripes.

And the spinning:

The spindle is wonderful and the bamboo is very nice, too. I usually don't really care for gold or orange, but I really do like it with these other bold colors. The bamboo is a bit more slippery than wool, but not quite as slippery as silk, though it does have the sheen. I've been trying to keep myself from putting too much twist in it because it seems wiry with too much twist. This will make a nice light lacy shawl some time in the far future. (Do you know how long it will take to spindle 4 ounces of this stuff?)

Anyway, yesterday was my June free day, so I should have an influx of stuff over the next week or two. There will be a little bit of sock yarn including something in this month's Project Spectrum color. Also, something extra special that just happens to be in next month's color. But that's a surprise.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Spindle Explosion

It all started with one spindle, just one. I bought one Golding spindle at the 2005 Maryland Sheep and Wool. And it was the only spindle I owned for an entire year. I ended up getting a wheel and neglecting my poor spindle. Then came this year's Sheep and Wool Festival. I got another Golding, and I got two Halla spindles. And guess what came this afternoon? Two Bosworths.

Aren't they pretty? The one on the left is paduk wood and the one on the right is purpleheart wood. Both are featherweight and weigh around .5 ounces each. They came with a wool sample already attached and ready to spin and they spin beautifully! I've separated the lovely bamboo top from Maryland into little strips all ready to spin. So much for finishing the Austermann sock and getting started on my Trek With Me socks.