Sunday, June 24, 2007

Knitting and Adventure

So, Summer of Socks (aka "SOS") has begun, but I have not started my socks. I'd really like to finish the two pair I have on the needles (the Tonks Monkey socks and the Scarlet Fleece with the garter stitch toe problem), but the rules require that the socks can't be started before 5 a.m. EDT June 21, and obviously, I started these before then. But I have a bunch of other stuff on the needles (but no pictures due to a full memory card and my inability to buy a new one since CompactFlash has apparently been phased out) that makes me reluctant to cast on one more project:

1. Morehouse Farm Huckleberry sweater. I have one sleeve left to do, but it's starting to be too hot to knit it. I wanted it for our holiday photos (I was going to make one for each child) but it will be too hot to wear on the date of the photos. It's really cute, easy and fun--nothing like knitting in the round, a three-needle bind off for the shoulders, and picking up sleeves and knitting in the round. No seaming!

2. I've picked up the secret project and have made more progress--I'm more than halfway done!

3. I'm going to be an aunt! To a darling baby girl! So I cast on for a baby sweater--Knitting at Knoon's Wee-one Welcome Set--in Cider Moon Titania. It's great to work with and the pattern is so much fun, and well-written! The sweater is knit from the top down, and you can pick up and knit the sleeves on dpns. I'm not even done, and I'm definitely making this again. I'm up to knitting the garter trim on the body, and then will have to knit the sleeves and button bands.

4. I located my Perchance to Knit Irises socks that I need to rip down to the ribbing. I only knit about four rows of pattern, but I just hate the Pony dpns and I have to switch to my Knit Picks dpns. But again, these won't qualify for SOS.

5. That Decadent Fibers blanket I had trouble with at the beginning of the year. It would be a good gift for my niece.

That having been said, I am somewhat tempted to cast on another pair of socks. I just received my next installment from the Socks That Rock Sock Club. What hot colors! And I scored Duet Sock Yarn in Army Girl from The Yarn Grove (and Jane is just lovely to deal with). I bought two skeins in case I wanted to make another Wee-one sweater, but I'm actually thinking of treating myself to a pair of Army Girl socks. The pattern is interesting, too: toe up with an after-thought heel. Both techniques would be new to me.

And of course, I've been sidetracked. Boys are no longer napping. The days are really long, and they require a lot of activity. We have camp three mornings a week, and come July, 4 afternoons a week. We have triplet swim lessons two days a week. The pool opened, so we have some "swimming" (wading in the baby pool and scaring the daylights out of all of us in the pool with them). Baby Girl locked herself in the hall bathroom while I was in the shower, and my husband had to break the door down.

Oh, and on the Harry Potter front: no progress on the Tonks Monkey socks since the photos were posted, but I'm now 1/4 of the way through Order of the Phoenix. I just might be able to finish Half-Blood Prince by the time the last book is released.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Nymphadora Tonks Monkey Sock in progress

It's a dark and gloomy day. It's cold and rainy, or almost rainy. Today was the fourth day in a row I've been to the doctor's office (yes, Baby Girl has caught the bug, too), though on the plus side, the boys had a good report from the pulmonologist. I've been up for two nights dosing sick kids, not having slept more than three hours straight. Yet, I am using up naptime to take poor quality pictures of my Nymphadora Tonks Monkey Sock in progress. Unfortunately, the colors aren't as vibrant as they are in person, due, most likely, to poor lighting and poor photography skills, not necessarily in that order. I'm sure I'll take pictures outside on a sunny day when they're done. Besides, I finished my May Socktopia socks in May, and still have to photograph those, too (and maybe take the toes out and make them longer, but that's for another post).

Without further ado, here are the pictures:

Off to a little knit, and hopefully, a big nap.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


So, I promised photos, like I always do. Life gets in the way, like it always does. For example, yesterday, I spent 7 hours in the Pediatric ER at the regional children's hospital so Boy J could get an EKG and chest x-ray to figure out why he had tachycardia (rapid heart rate) and tachyapnea (rapid respiration) with no symptoms other than lethargy. Of course, we figured it out about halfway through when he spiked a fever (and threw up all over me while my husband chatted obliviously with the doctor, who was a long-ago ex-girlfriend of one of his college friends). He's much better today, although Boy E has caught the bug, too.

But...I had babysitting help today, and my regular sitter brought a friend with her who is going to do some babysitting for us, too, so I was able to knit a little, watch the end of The Holiday (cute, but come on, we know what a dog Jude Law really is), and take the some pictures in poor light in my bedroom.

Here is the Vesper sock yarn I was so lucky to score in AquaMelon

and Strange Little Mama

The colors are so vibrant, I can't wait to start my Jaywalkers!

Next is the order of Cider Moon Glacier that made me a Loopy Groupie. First is Pandora Rose:

This is Titania, which I intend to use to make a baby sweater set:

The yarn is just beautiful, and I can't wait to knit with it--only a few weeks to go before I can start my baby knitting.

I also took a picture of my Loopy Groupie swag, but I'm a little embarrassed to post it because my bed is in the background, and although it is neatly made, is does not show up neatly made in the photo. Maybe I'll do it anyway:

So much for embarrassment. Sheri sent a project bag containing my Cider Moon order (and a pattern I ordered), a bag of Loopy kisses (yay! chocolate!), and a skein of Online yarn which did not photograph well.

So, just when I'm about to photograph my Nymphadora Tonks Monkey Socks in progress to send to Shelby, my camera said I filled up my memory card. My 1 Mb memory card. Guess that's another project to tackle.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap

Here's the Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap questionnaire:

1. If you could visit any state in the US, which would it be and why?

Arizona, because I want to go to the Grand Canyon.

2. If you could visit any country in the world, other than your own, which would it be and why?

UK. I've been to London, but would love to see the rest of England, plus Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Edited to add: Uh, UK is not a country unto itself, but that's my answer and I'm sticking to it!

3. Have you ever driven across several states/providence/countries?

Yes, I've actually driven the entire Eastern Seaboard (I live in NJ and have driven north to Maine, and south to Georgia and Florida) and have driven to Quebec.

4. Have you ever visited someplace you consider exotic? Where was it?

Well, I don't know that it's truly exotic, but I found Prague, Czech Republic to be exotic because it was the first non-Western European city/country I visited, and it had this whole Eastern Bloc, post-Soviet vibe going on. Also Quebec City, because it was so European so close to the U.S.

5. What was your favorite "travel" vacation? Why?

I have a few, actually. My post-law-school-graduation, week-long road trip with my mother from Georgia to New Jersey, with stops in Asheville, NC; Durham, NC; and Colonial Williamsburg, where we celebrated my birthday. The surprise weekend getaway to Gettysburg, PA that I planned and flawlessly executed (if I do say so myself) for my then-boyfriend (who is now my husband), the history buff. The first leg of our unofficial post-wedding honeymoon at the Lake Placid Lodge in Lake Placid, NY. Our official honeymoon six months later, which was two weeks in Prague, Vienna and Italy.

6. Have you ever played tourist in your own home city/state (if international, country)? Explain.

Not really. Anything truly touristy (going to the shore, museums, colonial villages, etc.) was already done through school activities.

7. Are you a museum visitor, beach comer or an amusement seeker?

Museum visitor, but I like walks on the beach, too. Any sort of risk-taking amusements are long behind me.

8. What's your favorite type of yarn?

Soft, soft wool (itchy stuff irritates my skin), indie hand-painted stuff.

9. What's your least favorite type of yarn?

Acrylic, novelty yarns.

10. What items do you like to knit/crochet?

Knit: socks, hats (baby/toddler/adult), mittens/gloves, baby blankets, baby/toddler sweaters.

Crochet: baby blankets (although I have the IC Babette Blanket in progress for almost a year now, if not longer).

11. What do you pack, knit/crochet wise when you go on vacation?

Too much! I have not traveled since I became pregnant with triplets nearly 4 years ago. But when I used to travel, I would bring 2-3 projects, depending what was in progress, how long I would be away and how large the project was. If I was traveling for work, I would bring one small project that I could work on in transit (this was pre-9/11).

12. What other crafts do you do/would like to do other than Knit/Crochet?

I needlepoint, but it's really time consuming and I don't have all that much free time.

13. Are you allergic to anything? (Yarn wise or treat wise)

Yarn-wise: Nothing that I can recall, but I work with natural yarns.

Treat-wise: nuts, melon (not that I expect anyone to send melon, lol, but extracts of allergens used in things like lotions can make trouble for me)

Also cats and dogs, and I'm sensitive to cigarette smoke.

14. What is your favorite color? Least Favorite?

Favorites: purples

Least favorite: Burnt orange, teal, muddy colors

I do sometimes foray into colorways that wouldn't otherwise appeal to me, particularly for socks, but this is pretty accurate. You can check my photos on my blog to see the sort of colors I've been working with (or links to yarn I've bought--sorry, I thought I posted more photos than I actually have).

15. Sweet or Savory (Treat not personality)? Sweet. Personality too. Mostly.

16. Anything else we are forgetting to ask that you think your partner desperately needs to know?

I'm just looking for a vicarious vacation, and can't wait to get local flavor from you!

Knitting and ripping and Harry Potter

Ok, so the boys have mostly given up naptime. I'm exhausted. So exhausted that I screwed up my Monkey Socks in Shelby's Nymphadora Tonks colorway and had to take them down three rows at 11:30 at night. And I had picked Monkey Socks because I made them before, they look great, and they look more complicated than they are.

Yes, I'm knitting in anticipation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I'm also re-reading the books, and am up to Prisoner of Azkaban. Unfortunately, I'm reading at an uncharacteristically slow pace, because of the lack of time to read. I may yet get some knitting time back: the boys have napped for the past two days, but I didn't use the time for knitting. I napped yesterday, and saw Ocean's Thirteen today with my sister and her boyfriend). Working against the hope of some naptime knitting time is the fact that Boy M started running a fever today, which if history proves true, will spread to the others this week. I'm just hoping he'll just keep it to himself!

Today was really busy, too, with little time for knitting. We had our first family photos taken today by Julie Walton Shaver. It was fun but exhausting--the whole extended family was there, because, as my mom told me when I found out I was pregnant with triplets and totally freaked out, the triplets are a family project. Julie left a message that there are some really good photos, so now we can't wait to see them!

I also started working again on my secret project. I think I'll take progress photos and post them when the time is right. Of course, I've also screwed that up late at night and had to rip that back too, but what's to be expected when I'm up between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m., and prime knitting time begins about 10:30 p.m.!

And finally, I scored some Vesper sock yarn! I've been eyeing the stuff for months, but never was able to find any in stock. On Friday night, I hit jackpot: the site had been updated about 45 minutes earlier and almost all of the yarns were in stock. I bought two skeins and can't wait for them to arrive! I'll post pictures then--I know, that's what I always say, but hey, as of June 18, the boys will be in camp three days a week, 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. With all that time, I'm sure I can find some time to photograph stash during daylight hours! One skein is definitely destined for Jaywalkers. Like everything else, I'm behind in knitting and have never made Jaywalkers, or Clapotis, though in fairness to me, the patterns hit when I was first pregnant with the triplets (Clapotis) and when the triplets were about six months old (Jaywalkers).

Oh, I've joined another swap, too: Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap. It's good for me because I love to travel and see new places, and will not be able to do so for another few years. I love to get a sense of another culture and another country--it's one of the reasons why I like foreign films: even if the movie stinks, I can still see another country and get a sense of how people live. Actually, now that I think about it, this vicarious travel thing kind of what the Knitting Gnome Swap is about, too. Guess I have to get my travel fix however I can!