Pink lady knits



The Bed Shrug has got me stressin'! It is such an important and timeline driven project that I really can't mess it up, or I will let down my Mother in Law on one of the happiest days of her life. So, with that in mind (and as a Project Manager) I have given myself a schedule. Ready for it? Here we go:
  • There are 30 repeats left in the shrug.
  • There are 22 days left for me to knit them.
  • There are three days after that for me to hem the picots, block and sew the "sleeves"
  • If I knit 1 repeat every week night and 3 repeats every weekend day/night that will put me at the total number of repeats complete on the 18th of August, leaving me exactly one week until the wedding.
  • If I block and seam and hem the picots by the 22nd, I will have time to adjust any tiny things before the Saturday wedding.
In a perfect world I would knit more than 1 repeat each week night, and I am going to go for gold tonight by trying to do 3, however, I know how my evenings get and I need a plan. I would love for her to try this on as it goes, but as it's lace that isn't really ideal. I will have to suffice since we are approximately the same size (albeit, I am a bit bustier with slightly smaller arms, but I think I'll do.)
God I hope this gets done on time and that it I said, I am stressin'!


Embossed Leaves

One down and one to go.....

I am liking this pattern a lot, it's nice and simple (as far as lace goes) and the interesting heel and toe have captured my attention so that it isn't mindless. This sock is for Summer of Socks....and I cast another on last night. A really simple yellow alpaca pair for my Mom. I plan to try a garter stitch short row heel and excited!


IK Preview is up...

it can be seen here.
All I can say is wow. I will be making several of these projects, it seems to be a very nice issue! The ones that strike me as must knits are:
1. Ambrosia Socks
2. Honeycomb Socks
3. Williams Street Socks
4. Belle Cardigan
5. Counterpane Pullover
6. Minimalist Cardigan
7. Snowball Hat
8. Tyrolean Stockings
9. Tangled Yoke Cardigan (my favorite pattern of all of them)
That's quite a lot of patterns to want to knit from one magazine...very impressed with this issue, I can't wait to get my sticky little hands on it!


Now that I am finished with the socks...


is what I will be doing for the next several days. Almost there...


Pattern: Hedera by Cookie A for Knitty
Fleece Artist Merino in "Brick"

#1 Clover DPN's

These were knit for my Sockapalooza 4 sock pal. I painstakingly chose this yarn, and requested comments from all of you on the color and brand. I think this was the perfect choice. I labored over the decision to make this pattern and started another pair way back when before changing to these. I think my pal will really enjoy the deep rich red of these socks as well as the intricate and delicate lace pattern.
Speaking of the lace pattern, I really enjoyed it. The four row repeat was nice and simple to remember, and after a few inches I didn't need my pattern or notes any longer. I made two modifications to the pattern; a short row heel and a shorter toe. The short row heel was done because I wanted to try out the technique and because I thought it would suit the look of this sock design well. I think I was successful, after many practice heels, in accomplishing a nice simple short row heel. The shorter toe just means shorter than usual for me....I wanted these socks to be worn with as many different styles of shoes as possible, so I wanted the lace pattern to continue farther down the foot. I think that the modifications were successful.
I hope that my pal loves these socks. I will take more photos once they have been carefully washed and blocked. These socks have been places with me, most notably: a long car ride to and from Michigan, Deep Creek, Maryland, the line for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Virginia several times. Everywhere they have been, they have been showered with compliments...I just hope that they fit well and suit her tastes.


Sockapalooza Done!

Finished. Finito. Fin.
I am so glad that I made it within the deadline and I am as pleased as punch with the results. Photo shoot and details post to come tonight...I can't wait to show you how they turned out!
With the completion of this project, I got to thinking about the rest of my WsIP...The projects in my status bar are all very important and several of them are gifts/to be given away. This troubles me because that means that they have deadlines. I don't like taking on too many deadline-related knitting projects because then I stress about knitting. This defeats the point of knitting...and makes it no fun. With that in mind, I have made it a point to prioritize my knitting as follows:
In order of importance:

1. Bed Shrug. This has a hard and fast deadline of August 25th. Meaning, knitted, blocked and seamed by August 25th. It's for my Mother in Law to wear on her wedding it's "kind of a big deal".
2. Baby Booties and Hat Sets. This wasn't even in the status bar until today and you will notice that it is at 0%. It is a favor for my cousin (who rarely asks for favors and tempted me with beautiful sock yarn) for her friend that is having twins. In August. I doubt that I will complete the
se by the time the baby is born, but I am going to do my very best.
3. Coquette. This had a hard deadline of May 20th. You can see that I have not met that, but for good reason. I am making some modifications to the pattern so that it will better fit my best friend (for whom it was knit as a birthday gift.) I will work on this once nos. 1 and 2 are complete.
The Irish Diamond Shawl is an ongoing project. I love shawls and I now love lace....but that's a lot of purling for me. The last repeat took over two hours and I am nowhere near the end, where each repeat will be taking me about 6 hours. It's a "when I have time and want to zone out" project...which means it will probably be done in early to mid 2008.
And...just so this post
isn't is a photo from my family reunion in Michigan:

That's me, in the pink, knitting while the rest of my family sings and plays guitar. My my, that looks like a Sockapalooza sock in my hand. :)

House Hat Mods

These are for Keri...I just want to point out that the majority of this pattern was designed by Alison Hansel and is available in her book Charmed Knits, or for free as a charity KAL project on the Charmed Knits Blog. I have modified the top and brim of my version slightly and Keri requested a list of my mods. OK, now that the legal things are taken care are the stats on my House Hat.

I did the medium size in a looser gauge than the pattern called for, so my hat was about a size large.
CO 96 stitches (leaving a very long tail) and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist your stitches. Place a marker at the beginning of the round. Work 10 rows of stockinette stitch. Purl across next round, then work 10 more round of stockinette. Again, I chose to knit this in the even stripes in the Gryffindor colors, but you can use whatever method you choose. Knit in stockinette, alternating colors each 6 rows, until the hat measures about 5.5 inches from the purl round. At this point you need to redistribute the stitches so that there are 24 sts on each needle. The instructions below are for each needle.

Round 1: K2Tog, knit to end of needle, SSK, knit to end of needle, K2Tog, knit to end of needle, SSK, knit to end of needle.
Round 2: Knit one round even.
Repeat these two rows, decreasing the first two stitches on each needle every other row until you have 3 stitches on each needle. Cut a long tail and weave it through each of the live stitches and pass through to the inside of the hat. Weave in the end. On the cast on edge, fold under the first 10 rows of stockinette at the purl round and use your long tail to stitch the cast on edge to a row of knitting on the inside of your hat, creating a hem.
To create the tassle, cut about 30 pieces of yarn in the same length, fold over and wrap another piece around the top of the fold, creating a loop. Tie yet another piece of yarn through this loop and attach to the top of the hat.

I hope that this helps you Keri! Please feel free to email me with any questions! :)


Hogwarts Sock Swap Questionnaire

I have joined the Hogwarts Sock Swap TWO!! I am very excited to get started, and I think it goes without saying that I love all things Harry this swap was right up my alley. I made it in just under the mark exciting!
I believe that entries are closed for first years, however, if you participated last year and would like to participate again this year, head on over and sign up today at Hogwarts Sock Swap TWO.

1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into? I have been sorted into Ravenclaw.

2. Shoe size? My shoe size varies from a 7 to a 7 1/2.

3. Foot Length? 9.5 inches.

4. Foot Circumference? About 9 inches at the ball of my foot, maybe just a bit wider.

5. List your three favorite double-point needle brands, including size and length.
a. Susan Bates size 1 DPN's in metal, the 7" length.
b. Addi DPN's in size 2, the 7" length.
c. Inox DPN's in size 0, same length.

6. Would you like to try a new brand needle? If so, which brand? Size? Length? I would love to try a new material. I tend to be hard on my DPN's, and have broken several wooden ones. Rosewood or glass would be really cool to try. Anything under a 3, as I don't usually knit socks on larger needles and any length would be cool.

7. If you are a RAVENCLAW, do you prefer the colors in the film or the book? Do you have a strong preference? I prefer the colors in the movies...but I wouldn't say that I have a strong preference. I will be happy with the either bronze or silver, whatever my pal chooses for me.

8. Allergies? Do you have any? Will your knitting be exposed to smoke or animals? I am allergic to cigarette smoke. My knitting will be exposed to two very curious cats and one slobbery bulldog. I promise to wash it though.

9. Are you an international participant (outside US)? Are you willing to have an international Hogwarts Sock Pal? I live in the U.S., and I would be willing to have a pal who is overseas...that would be cool actually.


Summer of Socks FO's

I have finished two pairs of baby booties for Summer of Socks. Each pair was knit for a friend at work who had a baby.
I knit the first pair for a friend named Kristin who had a little girl named Brigid. I always knew she was having a girl, so I wanted to pick a yarn that would be pink and frilly. Once I began these, they reminded me of Dumbledore's Phoenix Fawkes from the Harry Potter books/movies. I love these because they were so simple, but the color in the yarn -Lisa Souza Sock in "Sky Drama" - really stands out.

The Fawkes Booties

The next pair was knit for my friend Galen, his wife Krissy, and their new daughter Ava. I had no idea he was having a girl (no one did, for that matter) so I kept these gender neutral. I did a simple basket weave cuff, and I think they turned out well. They were knit in Regia 4-Ply in a mushroom color. They remind me of little acorns.

Acorn Baby Booties

Got to be GRYFFINDOR!!!

Pattern: Variation of the House Hat pattern from Charmed Knits
Patons Classic Merino in burgandy and gold

Child's size large (I have a teeny head)

Addi #6 DPN's

This hat was modified quite a bit, but I hope it will still count towards the Charmed Knits KAL. I did a hem edge, mainly because I was interested in learning the technique and partly because I knew I wanted it to look less like a winter hat and more like a wizard hat.

I spaced out the decreases to make the top more pointy, though it can be work folded down as well. I was thinking of adding a pom pom, but a tassle seemed more wizardly. I hope that this hat finds a happy home with Warm Woolies.


Progress on Embossed Leaves

Progress on Embossed Leaves for Summer of Socks.

I am really happy with how these are coming along and plan to just knit one more repeat before doing the heel.

Size it up...

I decided last night, on the way out the door to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, that I should take advantage of the opportunity for good "Harry Mojo" and knit a house hat for the Charmed Knits KAL while watching the newest release. I cast on in the car, knit the ribbing while waiting in line, and started the stockinette when the movie began. I knit and knit, and occasionally my Mother in Law would ask how I was watching the movie. Thing is, when it's just simple stockinette in the round, who needs to look down? So, I didn't. This turned out to be a horrible mistake. I got a lot accomplished, but the hat is gigantic.

I used my husbands head as a reference, keeping in mind that his cranium is of an unusually large size, and was shocked to see that the hat was too big for him. I thought for a moment that there may be some kids who have a lot of hair, or simply like large hats, or maybe even Sideshow Bob himself would need to keep warm this Winter? But, no. It was a bust. I will rip out and begin again as soon as possible.
In other knitting news, fortunately of the more posivite kind, I have a progress photo of my Bed Shrug. When last we saw this shrug, it was only a few repeats big, quite puny really. Since the knitting-the-pattern-too-short-then-deciding-to-make-it-a-design-feature debacle, I have added several repeats - many of them in the car on the way to or from Michigan. I think it is coming along really well and I am pleased with the fact that my gauge was DEAD ON. It makes me feel like doing long division...but I won't.

Here is a lovely shot of the subtle color variations in the yarn. It is a little stripey, but the colors are so light you almost can't see it. There are steely blues, shell pinks and pale pale yellows. I simply love this much so that I am hoping there are leftovers so that I can make something for me. Selfish? Yes indeed.

I also have another photo of the Sockapalooza progress. I am doing OK, but not as well as I'd hoped. I have five more repeats left in the leg and then I can turn the heel. I am well aware of how fast socks are completed once the heel is turned, so I have hope. Well, they will be done by the mail date...they have to be. I haven't actually worried about who was knitting for me (well, I wondered about it and stalked other peoples blogs looking for clues that would point to me, but I didn't worry per se.) Thing is, I haven't heard word one. Now, this doesn't mean a single thing, a lot of people participating in this swap aren't contacting their pals at all, and that is completely fine with me. It's possible that some one of the pairs of beautiful socks I've seen on the Pligg are in fact for me...and it's also possible that my pal decided to drop out of the swap all together. Fortunately, I am a laid back gal, and more than anything I did this swap for I am just as excited about it as I was the day I began.
I do hope I get a pair of socks though.
There, I said it.

They look like they are moving right along...sorry for the crap photos, I am shooting them in the basement (lovely room, bad lighting.) More artistic ones will follow...once the projects are complete.
In unknitting news, I have to ask for some "pet prayers". I don't usually go in for this sort of thing, but I am desperate. My beautiful kitty Isabella was just diagnosed with kidney failure and I am beside myself. Looking past the fact that I love her immensely, and can't imagine life without her, we just lost a cat to kidney failure about two months ago. Not only does this cause me greif, but it troubles me...the pet food scare rearing it's ugly head again? Who knows. For now all I know is that she goes into the hospital tomorrow to be assessed and hopefully they will be able to prescribe some medication to manage her condition. She is only seven, and not at all done living.

Michigan Yarns

When I was in Michigan, I decided to stop into a yarn store and buy something that I would forever associate with my trip there. I was hoping for something that was either hand-dyed or hand-spun in Michigan. I asked my relatives what was nearby, and my Mother and (I am unclear as to the exact relationship here, but I am going to go with...) my Second Cousin's wife Anne - who I really look at as more of an Aunt because her son Brian is my age - all got into the car and headed over there.

The store is called
Yarn for Ewe and it's adorable. It is in Okemos, Michigan which is just outside East Lansing. The shop itself is really nice and large, and there is no shortage of yarn! They had a lot of Canadian yarn (which makes sense as they are so close to our neighbors to the North) like the lovely Philosopher's Wool and Koigu...but I opted for a yarn I have never used before: Lang Jawoll. (Sadly, there was no Michigan native yarn.) I got it in a nice clean, crisp white. This stumped my Mom and "Aunt" as they were drawn to the sparkled and the shiny yarns...and mainly the ones that were brightly colored. Thing is, when I am working on lace, or intricate patterns, I like to use solid yarns that are light in color...that way all of my hard work on the pattern is visible. I was torn though because I was tempted to try the Regia Bamboo they had in a lovely pink shade. Ultimately my simple side won out.

My Mother wants another pair of socks, so she picked out a lovely alpaca in a bright sunny yellow (it actually reminds me of the color of an egg yolk.) I will do a simple ribbed leg and foot with a short row heel and likely my regular old toe. She is excited. This yarn is probably an aran weight, so I will likely use #3 or #4 needles, which means they'll be fast socks! (A Summer of Socks project for sure!)

Here is a glamour shot of the yarns as they lie in repose on my desk. I am excited to try to carry the reinforcement yarn with the Lang...I hope that it makes a difference in the wear of the yarn. We'll see. At any rate, I am excited about being able to look to these socks (when they become socks) and remember my time in Michigan. I had a great time visiting with family and I will treasure the memories from the trip.


100 Things

1. My first "real job" was in a movie theater. I worked the concession stand.
2. I am uncommonly drawn to the color pink.
3. Most people tell me that ice blue is a better color for me, but I still prefer pink.
4. Four is my lucky and favorite number.
5. I was born on June 4th and married on June 4th.
6. I traveled to London and Paris when I graduated college.
7. I drive a 2001 VW Beetle.
8. The minute I met my husband I knew I would marry him.
9. Even though I was engaged to marry someone else at the time.
10. I grew up just outside of Washington, D.C.
11. I believe that this instilled a love of the city in me.
I now live in Baltimore City.
Because of this, I love taking vacations in places that are not cities.
14. I am a natural blond and am constantly being asked what hair dye I use.
15. I think I have perfect feet.
16. My husband hates feet.
17. When I was little I loved Walter Cronkite, The Incredible Hulk and Willie Nelson.
18. I still like Willie.
19. I secretly long to adopt children instead of having them myself.
20. My husband and I have two cats and a dog.
21. I have no patience for people who creep up to stop lights and stop signs at intersections.
22. For as long as I can remember I have asked for a pony for my birthday.
23. I haven't yet gotten one.
24. My husband proposed to me on the night he found out he passed the bar.
25. I honestly believe I was born in the wrong decade. Possibly the wrong century.
26. I am a self proclaimed "foodie".
27. My ultimate meal would be Seared Lamb Chops in a Guiness Glaze, Veuve Cliquot, Creme Brulee and Eggs Benedict with Asparagus.
28. I sometimes zone out and look at what is happening around me as though it is a commercial/movie/sitcom.
29. I dream in Spanish.
30. I don't actually speak Spanish fluently.
31. My "hero" is Audrey Hepburn.
32. I stopped trying to dress like Audrey Hepburn a few years ago.
33. This is a good thing because I don't have her figure.
34. I am almost always cold.
35. I am your standard Heinz 57 American. I am of Irish, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Czech, Spanish, Native American descent.
36. I was in a sorority in college.
37. I keep in touch with several of my sorority sisters.
38. My Grandmother taught me to knit when I was eight years old.
39. I promptly forgot how and didn't learn again until September 2005.
40. I was an avid skier as a child and a teen.
41. I haven't had "bare" toenails in years.
42. I truly believe that though physical attraction is important, the simple art of conversation goes a long way.
43. That said, I think Jason Statham is dreamy.
44. I would move to New Orleans, Manhattan, London, Tokyo and Napa immediately if ever offered the chance.
45. I have read almost all of Shakespeare's plays and love them.
46. Despite that, my favorite British author is Jane Austen.
47. With J.K. Rowling coming in as second.
48. I am impulsive.
49. I don't think I learned anything new after sixth grade.
50. My father is an artist.
51. My favorite artist is John Singer Sargent. My favorite painting of his is Repose.
52. I love Vietnamese food. "Fish Sauce" is a miracle.
53. There is nothing more satisfying to me than eating fresh herbs I have grown.
When I was in college I worked with the phone company installing phone lines.
55. My cat Isabella has eyes that change from green (happy) to gold (angry/scared).
56. I don't like Margaritas.
57. I don't (generally) like reality TV.
58. I make an exception for America's Next Top Model and The Biggest Loser.
59. Jeopardy and crossword puzzles are childhood friends of mine.
60. I have met several celebrities: Jim Henson, Barbara Mandrell, Jaime Lee Curtis, Sidney Portier, Ronald Regan and George H.W. Bush.
61. I have been on TV three times.
62. My first cousin Kelly, who is three years older than I, is my best friend and like a sister to me.
63. Her daughter Grace is the most frequent recipient of my knitted wares.
64. I vacuum and sweep in a tiara.
65. I love classical music and frequent the symphony.
66. I don't like swimming at the beach because I am scared of the undertow.
67. I don't like knitting with self striping yarn.
68. I use every trick in the book to not have to seam a knit garment.
69. I love the sounds of the slot machines in Vegas.
70. I have taught several people to knit.
71. I check my email about 100 times a day.
72. I refuse to drive in inclement weather and don't like driving at night.
73. I am scared of the dark.
74. I have an (as yet undiagnosed) rheumatoid illness that leaves me tired and very achy most days.
75. I believe in having a few really good friends as opposed to a lot of just OK friends.
76. I really want to name our first child some cool "family" name, but we don't have any.
77. I am 29 and I just bought my first computer. It is a mac.
78. My paternal Grandfather was in the CIA. (It's OK, it's declassified now.)
79. My brother Michael was in the Army and was in Afghanistan and Iraq.
80. I learned how to responsibly handle and shoot a gun when I was younger.
81. I look awful in shorts.
82. My Mother has a nasty habit of calling me and waking me exactly five minutes before my alarm goes off.
83. I despise being the center of attention.
84. Oddly enough, I had a huge wedding.
85. People always tell me that they love my "style" which is a mystery to me.
86. I love the smell of wet concrete.
87. When we have children I plan to stay home with them.
88. We plan to open a yarn shop for me when we are older.
89. I have a side business now.
90. I love fun shoes, but almost immediately take them off and sit with my legs crossed.
91. I am an Anglophile.
92. I am very very lazy.
93. I am obsessed with coffee and drink an obscene amount daily.
94. I love to knit in public because I find people all the time who look interested in trying it out. It makes me feel like a virus.
95. I won't be able to make it to all three of the concerts I wanted to see this summer; The Pietasters, Reel Big Fish, and Damien Rice.
96. The last concert I went to was Coldplay in Philadelphia. Moses was born the morning after this show.
97. I have a strong connection to Ganesh, though I am not Hindu.
98. My maternal Grandfather had a huge influence in my life.
99. The first book I read straight through was To Kill a Mockingbird. I was six and it changed my view on the way people treat each other forever.
100. If I could live in any movie, it would be the Harry Potter series. I have always wanted to be able to do magic.


Sockapalooza Update

Sadly, after two hours of knitting my pals second Hedera on the way up to Michigan, I had to rip because I made a mistake and was unable to correct it. This was all before coffee, by the by. However, I cast back on and re-knit and made some good progress. Here are the socks as they stand right now:

As modeled by my footsies in my Mom's car on the way home. I tried to get a shot of the signs on the road, but this was the only photo I could get that wasn't blurry from motion.
They are moving along really well and I hope to be able to finish them soon and have them ready in time for the August 2nd shipping date. Stay tuned, more update photos to come...


A Weekend Away

I am going to Michigan this weekend with my Mother for our family reunion. Tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. my Mother will be picking me up and we are hitting the road for the weekend. Since we will be in the car for about 10 to 12 hours each way, I plan to bring knitting with me. I am only bringing deadline related projects, however, and the list is short.

1. Bed Shrug. I am quickly approaching a deadline on this thing. We are 48 days away from when it needs to be blocked and sewn...and I am only a few repeats in. The lace is
simple and enjoyable. I have been putting it off because of two things: 1) I have to "get into" the right mode for #2 needles and yarn this fine and 2) I messed up the lace pattern and I am not sure I am happy with the solution I came up with to correct it. It is an 8 row repeat where the right side pattern is done twice both times and the wrong side is purled each row. I was only doing the right side pattern one time for technically it is still "in pattern", but it's a shorter version of it. I figured I would just mimic the same thing on the other side and call it "design" and my husband said it was a good idea. Thing is, I can't really rip at this point. With this little time left, I really need to get going. So, I am going to measure this before I go and if it looks like it meets the size I need it to be, I am going to go for it and knit, knit, knit this puppy on my trip. I am hoping to come back with it at least 1/2 way completed.

2. Hedera. My Sockapalooza 4 socks. I have one complete and need to cast on for the second sock. I got a little SSS with this one. I tend to make my second sock a lot tighter than the first, so I got a pair of #1's that are just a teeny bit larger than the pair I have been knitting my first sock on. I am going to trick my hands into making these both the same size! I am only bringing these so that I can have a break from the Bed Shrug, but honestly, they are second priority. I know I could knit this in a day if I "had to", so I am not placing much urgency on it for now. For

I am returning Sunday night and will take photos of my progress then. In the meantime, I leave you with a photo of Tucker.

Tucker is an English Bulldog that my husband and I have been trying to adopt for quite some time. He is coming to live with us on Monday (which makes me look forward to Monday - rare!) and we are ecstatic! We are so happy to have this new addition to our family. There are updated "family" photos forthcoming.