Monday, October 31, 2005

A Couple of Socks, But Not a Pair. I managed to polish off these two socks just under the wire for Socktoberfest. I'm so happy with both of them. The shorty top is the sockotta #621. The other is Trekking XXL #100. Both are toe up, on size US1.5. Shorty top is over 72 stitches and Trekking is over 60 stitches. I'm wearing the Trekking sock, mated with another, previously knit sock. Guess I get that from Shiloh. Socktoberfest was amazing. So many knitters making such beautiful socks! Well, the ladybugs are definitely back today. I took some pictures, but it's hard to capture full effect. I'm going to add to this post tonight, but I did want to get these socks up today. Now I must go see Iva's pretend pet baby frog. PM addition: I live in a land of socks and ladybugs and massive amounts of laundry and tiny plastic toys. I so dislike plastic toys. We totally avoided them for so long, and yet once you just crack the door, WHAM, in flies the plastic. We definitely avoid the worst ones. Oh, who am I kidding, they are all gross. I guess at some point alternative becomes conservative. I've been told I am very conservative because we don't have TV (just some videos). And I guess I am conservative because I think those "bratz" dolls are offensive in about 67 different ways. If you don't know what I'm talking about, there is probably an entire aisle of them at your local department store. Now there are "baby bratz". Ugh. I can't even go into it. My kids like playmobil toys. We're pretty careful to choose the bucolic ones. Although K needed a small Viking set. But some of the pieces are tiny. I'm talking cups that are 3/8" tall, etc. So I am constantly accidentally kicking whatever is left out (and it's plenty) across the wood floor as I am walking around knitting socks, vacuuming ladybugs, doing laundry, and picking up toys. Maybe I should vacuum up the toys, ladybugs and the laundry and just knit more socks. I think I'll do that. Later.

Happy Halloween! Collages brought to you by Iva and Shiloh.

What a Big Day! My day was crazy long and pretty great. Yesterday the girls and I decided we would have a "party" (term used very loosely) today to celebrate Halloween. Our house, with us and my folks (that is, mom and dad). Bear in mind, yesterday I'm tired because S was up a lot the night before with a stuffy nose. My house is a wreck. And Target is all out of gummi worms for the decided on cupcakes. Thank goodness for gummi fish and FINGERS! So this morning, both girls are a bit snotty and fussy. K carves pumpkins with them, then we do a little Halloween craft project. I panic at this point because lunch (ie party) is in an hour, the kids still aren't ready to go on cruise control, and I can't find my kitchen table under the debris of life. Okay, calm down. I finally eat. Food for me is often a forgotten and annoying necessity. I love food, but lately it's just one more thing, you know? Anyway, the girls and I make the cupcakes, and the icing. (Sidenote: this is our favorite icing: Organic whip cream, whipped with maybe 2T of powdered sugar. And in this case, orange food coloring :( They love it and we pile it on thick.) Meanwhile, K goes to my cousin's house to pick up a great couch and big stuffed chair, and tons of hand-me-downs for Iva. Dinner goes well.
The furniture couldn't come in because the ladybugs emerged today. This is a weird and awful phenomenon specific to our county, apparently. They are not real ladybugs, but some invasive knockoff. They stink terribly and bite. And when they emerge, there are hundreds of thousands of them in the air, in your hair, crawling all over your house, in your nose. K did a fair amount of swearing at them today. I would show you a photo, but they make it so miserable, you just stay in til they are done doing their thing. Maybe if they are at it tomorrow, I'll be braver. Anyway, the couch is in now and so nice compared to our old futon. Plus I and S strung the 3 big bags of hand-me-downs across the living room. House still a wreck.
Swimmy the fish is living large in his new mansion. And attacking his reflection repeatedly, now that he is not lethargic from cold. Tomorrow we are to get some other (non-betta) fish to add, but there is a chance he'll go after there if he is "evil" as the fish-lady said. The saga continues. He's freaking me out a bit. What was I thinking? I'm a passivist with a hyper aggressive fish.
BUT, this sock is done. I'll get a done pic tomorrow, as well as the done Trekking sock. I just finished binding it off while I waited for the photo to be loaded again. Since somehow I made it disappear. I'm so good at this. Socktoberfest is almost over, and I have so many more socks I'm anxious to do. But I also have a fair number of other projects that have been in a holding pattern the past couple of weeks. Once I finished these two pair, I'll probably shift focus a bit. Or atleast expand my focus. Is that possible?
Iva keeps waking up. Man, she hates a stuffy nose. I'm done. It's been a long interesting day.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Ooh, I Love the Sunshine! I finally got some pictures yesterday before the sun wandered off again. So, let's see. First, obviously, still learning to use the camera. Okay, so on the bottom left is one of my (many) started Socktoberfest socks. It is not done. See its umbilical cord off to motherskein on the left. The yarn is Trekking XXL color 100, and the heel is reinforced with Stahlwolle Socka. Above on the right is my small but growing pile of cash iroha for my Hourglass sweater. I can't believe I have resisted the urge to start it but I am completely sock-sumed. But I am totally excited about making this sweater with this oh so luscious yarn. I tried to convince myself to do it in something less expensive, but the little swatch that I did kept following me around saying "yessss, but feel me." I will get to it. Apparently my plan is to stockpile sock yarn until civilization collapses, at which time I will build my empire. As witnessed by the top left photo. Let me digress here for a second just to say that the sockyarn photo was supposed to be below here. I loaded the picture after I had been writing, but it went to the top and bumped the sock picture down. I cannot figure how to move it or even get rid of it. So I guess that's the last photo I'll post tonight. Okay, back to the yarn. So here is a collection of stuff that came to me this week. It was ordered on a day that I could not get enough space from the girls. Man, Shiloh is so going through some separation anxiety right now. Anyway, I decided that that is just how life is right now, that I should realize that someday she might more space from me than I like. And that until then, I should order more yarn. Makes total sense, right?, Knitpicks. My first taste of these particular yarns. I got Essentials in fawn, pumpkin, grass, and just one skein of black (for heel reinforcing). The green stripey one is Parade in forest. I can't get enough of this type of yarn. And Sock Landscapes in New England Foliage, Sock Garden in Hollyberry. Also I got one skein of palette to see how it looks. I LOVE Jamieson and Smith, but it's price keeps creeping up. The palette looks pretty good. The pure merino sock garden and landscapes are for special occasion socks for me. I'm way too hard on my socks to wear them too much. The solids are for trying out some of the great patterns in Sensational Knitted Socks. Okay, the computer is against me tonight (Why should tonight be any different?). I think my font size is going to be wacky. But I'm getting too tired to even try to care.
Real quick: Shiloh's socks on the last post were made from knitpicks color your own sockweight merino. She and Iva each dyed their own skein with Koolaid. I'll get Iva's on here eventually. And I think I have enough left over form the two skeins to make myself a pair. Although I'm not sure I want koolaid socks. The pattern is my standard toe-up at maybe 7 st/inch on size 2's. The top is from SKS, the lacy rib pattern. I really liked it, and will do it again on solid yarn for a much better effect. The funny things are: 1) they are already felting on the bottom from her little busy feet in shoes. And 2) she's decided she likes to wear one at a time, paired with a speckled regia sock from last season. The color tones match. Right on. I LOVE that my kids prefer my socks far above all others. Okay, well, there are still socks to be knitted.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Look At Those Little Feet! These sweet little Shiloh feet have on them my first official Socktoberfest socks. Iva's are completed too, but they were started way before October. The day and the clouds did not cooperate with my big outdoor photo shoot plans. So maybe tomorrow.
Our little betta fish consumed a large chunk of our day. Despite the promise of the distracted salesclerk that bettas do great at room temperature, I have found out since that this is not so much true. Well, maybe if I lived in Jamaica. Now there's an idea...and perhaps not much more expensive than setting up a proper aquarium for our $4 friend. Anyhoo, I have found myself keeping the woodstove stoked not for our comfort, but for his. This is not sustainable. So, do I let him be lethargic, become ill, die, and say "well, that didn't work", or do I spend another $70 for the little guy. Hmm.... I'm hoping the goodwill store might provide a miracle .
The girls and I, in our fruitless pursuit for fish comfort, went to town today. It was pretty good. But (and I do this too often) I get so annoyed with myself when I waste the best part of their day in town. The afternoon was rocky after Shiloh had one of her famous 3 minute naps (because then we get home) in the car. Then a good evening after she decided to "spend the night" with mom and dad. I quote because she has yet to actually do it. She's trying, but right now it's more like spend the evening. Dad pointed out that she's like the chickens. Coming home to roost. She and Iva had a huge time circling toys in a catalog for their Christmas lists.
Keith's home from work. Rare quality time together. We'll spend it watching a silly movie. And knitting.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Look What Followed Me Home: More yarn of course. And a digital camera, finally. But that was actually last night, when Shiloh and I went on a late night cookie (eh, I mean grocery) run. The instruction manual, however, was more complex than a physics text, so only tonight am I getting around to taking pictures. I am tempted to post zillions of pictures, but will wait until there is sunshine.
Nevertheless, there is yarn. Sockotta color 621, which is knitting up even more beautifully than I thought it would. You maybe can see the little nub of a sock toe behind the other skein. On the left we have a skein of araucania nature wool. Three more skeins of this and I willhave enough for the as yet undecided sweater, although it will probably be the hourglass from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Not in the picture (I will wait for lighting) are 4 more skeins of cash iroha, destined to become take one of same said sweater (I am in love with that sweater). I am bringing home the iroha bit by bit, so I won't catch on to how expensive this sweater is going to be. All in all a very good yarn day.
It's late. I worked today. Now it's time to knit socks and veg. More pictures forthcoming. HURRAH

Saturday, October 22, 2005

This day has been a long one, after a long one yesterday. Not bad long, just long. Two days in a row when S very much needed a nap, so had one, and then stayed up soo late. Like, Mommy-can't-handle-it-because-I-need-my-space late. I mean, I usually can reset myself, accept the reality, and look at her sweetness and realize she will grow up too soon. That usually works for a while, but then when she stays up really late, I just get weary. Last night was a weary night. Tonight they both stayed up, but not nearly as late (therefore I can post).
I can't for the life of me remember yesterday. I'm sure we did some things. Oh yeah, we moved the big chicken tractor to a totally new spot. Then DH, I and I moved the 17 chickens, one by one to the new spot. That was fun. Especially catching the last, very fast one with I.
Today, I got a box of goodies in the mail: KNITTING BOOKS! I succumbed (again sadly) to one of those 4 books 4 bucks book clubs. So I got, (a camera would be great here): Knitting Over the Edge, Scarf Style, Simple Socks, and Sensational Knitted Socks. I'm most excited about that last one. SKS is one of those books that I had glanced at, but it didn't seem llike much until I really started looking at it. Socks-all sizes, all gauges, toe up, top down, 4 dpn, 5 dpn, or 2 circulars. It's all there. (I'm such a knitting geek). Now, I pretty much have my sock pattern that I do over and over in it's various sizes, but what I'm jazzed about in this book is that it's divided into chapters, 4 stitch paterns, 5 stitch, 6, etc, plus a bit of fair isle, mosaic, etc. That's what I can work with for a long time. I'm burning out a bit on pure stockinette. (Non-knitters out there bear with me--it's just who I am.) I was so excited, I found a pattern to do the top of S's koolaid dyed sock, (I just turned the heal last night) because I couldn't wait to do a whole foot of another one before starting. The koolaid variagation hides a bit of the pattern, but S is happy with it, and I'm happy to do it. (camera would be really nice here). And as I hoped, even with lots of purling, YO's, and K2togs, it seemed to go fast because it was interesting.
Aside from the books, only sold 3 hats today at farmer's market. So much for my wild yarn buying binge plans. But there's next week.
So the excitement of this evening, besides riviting knitting stories, is the fish. The girls and I got a fish. That'll teach DH to drop us off at Petsmart when he has to go to the hardware. We had planned on two goldfish, but instead we brought home one beta: Swimmy Lookout. That's his name. You can safely allow a 3 yo and a 6 yo to name your fish. Low risk. Apparently goldfish are "dirty" fish, and beta are much cleaner. But you can only have one or they will fight each other. Clean and mean. I feel a little sorry for the lonely bugger though. And I'm still hoping to find a couple clean, well mannered goldfish someday.
Man though, hampsters and ginuee pigs are cute. Help me, small pets are a slippery slope. Right Andy? Did I mention we adopted a cat and a kitten two weeks ago? Maybe Noah is one of my ancestors. Well, clearly he is.
It's late, the girls are asleep, so there are socks to be knitted. And a hundred other projects. Socks, I just love 'em.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Of Hats and a Camera, and Still More Yarn...
I've been to the LYS again today. Not where I work, the other one. Trader? Perhaps, but they have different yarn. But couple this with the fact that I do not get that nice little discount I'm accustomed to, and let's just say I almost fell over when it was time to pay. So I have to sell at least four hats at the farmers market this weekend just to cover the sins of the day. Nevermind all the other yarn I had planned on getting with hat money earned. Visualize hats being sold. The weekend looks to be cool and clear--good hat selling weather. Only two more Saturdays to make my fortune, then the season is over.
This was a great day. The girls and I hit the library for the first time in forever. Which means I got the Consumer Reports Digital Camera Article. I may actually have pictures in a day or two. Then peach smoothies for the girls and a Cafe au Lait for me, and we slowly meandered to the aforementioned LYS. I managed to stay patient, even when one smoothie crashed to the sidewalk. My parenting skills are amazing when yarn is involved. I can't really think of too many examples of when yarn is involved with parenting....Anyway, we got there and there were toys! Yay! I shopped quickly, finished, and they were still playing. I shopped more. Blame the toys for the sum of money spent. Then briefly to the book store, until I realized we had 6 minutes to get back to the car (3 blocks away) before we were ripe for a ticket. And "look mommy, it's raining." But we made it. Then to the wild bird supply store (mildly stressful but still fun), a stop at the coop for a cookie and then home. Why do those 59 cent cookies always end up costing me $40?
I let the girls watch 2 kids documentaries from the library since it was rainy. I tried to simultaneously work on my Socktoberfest socks and the hats. I turned half a short-row heel, the going was slow because I am (for the first time) reinforcing the heel with another strand of sock yarn. So when I'm knitting 3 together, I'm really knitting 6 strands on size 1.5 needles. But I really think the heels will wear so much better. I really want to get some pictures of these in progress. And yet the hats loom. I finished a green one, and will finish another thistle one tonight. The thistle is Gusto 10, all the others up to now have been plymouth Yukon. I definitely prefer the Yukon. But the color is so nice. One of my scores today.
So, today I ended up with 4 skeins of Gusto, sage colored Kidsilk Haze, and blood red Kid Seta, both slated for more airy scarves from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (so good), Heirloom Jigsaw (more sock yarn of course), and a beautiful slightly variegated dark blue alpaca for another project from LMKG, (Top secret Christmas gift). All and all a good day.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Great. So here I am on the internet. Hello to anyone who is out there, finding me. I have been inspired to create this blog. Thinking about doing it. What was the final event that spurred me on? The chance to participate in Lolly's Socktoberfest and show my socks. Of course, this means that tomorrow I have to get a camera. And learn how to use it, and how to post pictures. Anything to be kntting socks with 300 other knitters. We'll see how this goes.