Monday, January 28, 2008

Happy feet!

Nothing like a new pair of socks to cheer you up after a colonoscopy!

I'm ok, but still kind of shot, so here are the details:

Yarn: Vesper Sock Yarn in Dragon's Blood
Needles: KP Harmony dpns in 2.75 mm
Pattern: Knitting Pure & Simple Beginner Mid-Weight Socks (7 sts/inch)

The yarn is a treat, so soft and cozy. LOVE the color! They are a little loose, so next time, I think I'll use a pattern for 8 sts/inch. The pattern is really easy, and I wanted a mindless stockinette so I could enjoy the color. I think I'm going to keep a stockinette self-striping sock in the works in my bag--perfect for the doctor's office, etc.

We're doing another family project for a friend's baby, a baby blanket. I think it's from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms, but I could be wrong. I was assigned the two stockinette squares; the consensus was that I would be most likely to mess up knit/purl patterns (I've been known to fall asleep knitting and to mess up stockinette when I'm too sleepy). I took advantage of my post-anesthesia state to start one of my baby blanket squares and will finish square one tonight.

I've started my Woolgirl Valentine's sock kit, and also want to dive into my new Socks That Rock kit, even though I have lots of projects still on the needles. I'm just not in the mood to pick up those projects. In fact, I spent some of yesterday culling my working project basket in my bedroom, and sent a lot of things to the attic. I'm actually thinking of destashing, but I've got to get to it. In the meantime, I'm not buying any yarn. My exception is Wollmeise, but I didn't make it through the Loopy Ewe update, so I broke down and ordered direct from Germany. I think I ordered sport weight, but I'm not sure. How bad could it be?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Where does the time go?

It's been a month since I last posted? Well, let's see...

We thoroughly enjoyed our first family vacation. I brought along this project:

It's Vesper Sock Yarn in Dragon's Blood. I'm using Knitting Pure & Simple's Beginner's Mid-Weight Socks pattern, a basic stockinette pattern, so that I can enjoy the self-striping of the yarn. I'm knitting on Knit Picks Harmony dpns 2.75mm. I'm actually liking the wood needles and TSA didn't blink an eye. The yarn is wonderfully soft and I'm not bored (yet) by the stockinette. I think next time I use this yarn, I'll drop down a needle size for a slightly firmer fabric; it feels a little loose in the hands, but when I try it on, it just feels wonderful! I definitely need to drop down a needle size for the ribbing, though.

I stuffed it into this Piddleloop Piddly bag I was fortunate to score when the first Piddly bags were posted in November (I bought it using my iPhone, what a trial, the wifi connection kept dropping):

Now, don't be fooled by all this progress. I cast on right before the flight, and did not even finish the 10 rows of ribbing at the top until after we got back. Seriously, what could I expect, traveling with three three-year-olds and a two-year-old? Though they were just delightful on the flight down to Florida--they slept!

The other distractor was a garter stitch baby blanket that is another group project for a pregnant friend. My mom and sister Elizabeth roped me into knitting a strip of seven squares, but something happened when I did not do an official swatch. Rather, I cast on and started knitting, and Elizabeth checked the width, and it didn't match the other strips. So I dropped down a needle size. It still didn't match. So I dropped down two needle sizes--good to go! I then spent half the vacation knitting four of the seven squares in the strip (definitely beating Elizabeth in the race to the finish), only to find it was too narrow! It must have been sabotage! Suffice it to say, we ripped it out, the three of us took turns knitting my strip; I knit maybe 1.5 squares of it and mom and Elizabeth finished the rest because Elizabeth seamed it while she was in Florida. Maybe I'll be able to get a picture.

We all enjoyed our vacation so much, we're working on making plans to go back. The children loved the opportunity to play outside and at the beach, and everyone was happy and tired every night. I was able to put the boys in camp at the resort. Boy J missed two days of camp due to a fever, and then we had to pull him out because of some toilet-training regression--UGH! But the boys and Baby Girl all got quality individual time, too, with Grandma, Grandpa, Daddy and Mommy (me), and Titi (Aunt) Elizabeth. We had family dinners, even in a restaurant! We're getting somewhere, I think, on this going out business.

We would have never made it there and back without my parents and sister. They flew down with us, and then stayed on after we left for their vacation (yes, you need a vacation from the vacation with us), but came with us to the airport for the return flight and helped us to the gate. The flight home was good as well, except Baby Girl and Boy J can no longer sit together: the two of them poked at each other for nearly the entire flight (two hours!), and Baby Girl knows just how to get on J's nerves. But we lucked out--our flight arrived 35 minutes early! And on the return, I didn't have to install 4 car seats in a rental car!

So now that we're home, and my babysitters are on winter break, I can get some time to myself. I've made a lot of progress on the Dragon's Blood sock. I'm also thinking of not buying yarn for a while and winnowing down my stash. I'm sticking with the Woolgirl and STR sock clubs and didn't renew my others. I'm also thinking of destashing, but I haven't even put the children's summer clothes in storage yet, so I definitely don't have time go through the stash yet.

In the meantime, I do have unblogged knitting acquisitions. Here is the yarn I got for Hanukkah from my mom:

It's PennyRose Yarns in City Socks. It's nowhere near as dark as it looks in my picture; try looking here.

What else do I have going on in yarn? here's the latest installation from the Woolgirl Sock Club

and STR

Oh, and before I went on vacation, I picked up the Tulip cardigan again. I must have been really foggy to not be able to think through navigating the corner with the applied I-cord because it was easy and fun! I'm now working a sleeve:

Here's another Piddly bag that was a gift from Mom, stuffed with (I think) sKnitches Syncopation self-striping sock yarn in Wicked from my stash (I actually thought I might finish the Vesper socks and need to start another pair for the flight home).

And just arrived, fresh out of the shipping box, is yarn I purchased at Stitches from Karida of Neighborhood Fiber Co..

They are three of the biggest yarn cakes I have ever seen! The shipping weight was 5 lbs.! Of course, when I took out the pattern I bought the yarn for (a cardigan for me), the pattern is misprinted and is missing page 2 of 3, which page must consist of instructions for the right front. So, right now, other than the pattern info (yarn weight, gauge, etc.), my pattern instructions begin with: "LEFT FRONT: Work as for right front, reversing all shaping." Not particularly helpful. Fortunately, the other sister bought the same pattern, so I have a call into her.

Other updates:

1. The stolen earrings were returned, unannounced, by being deposited in a flower pot by my front door. Are you kidding me?! I'm just glad to get them back.

2. Boy J got a clean bill of health. No evidence of a hernia, but if he has one, it will show more as he grows because these things don't heal by themselves.

And remember those Woolgirl Halloween socks? Here they are!

Happy new year, everyone!