Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Finished: Charlie's Luxe Hat

I felt like I needed a small break from socks, and I was reorganizing the stash, so I decided to knit my son Charlie a super luxe hat for the upcoming winter months here in Ohio. It took me 2 days to knit it, using Nashua Handknits Snowbird( an alpaca/wool blend). The pattern is from "Knits for Children and their Teddies" by Fiona McTague. All the patterns in the book are adorable, and sized from small bear to 5 year-old child.

I'm pretty excited for this coming Thursday--going to see the musical Wicked at PlayhouseSquare in Cleveland. Its sold out, and I heard it is excellent.


Monday, November 23, 2009

The week of Thanksgiving

I've been a slacker about updating the blog this month..many apologies. My divorce was finalized...a huge relief. I've been pretty upbeat and happy the last couple months...not much can get me down in the dumps these days. Still toiling away on the 2nd "Manly Sock." I might keep these for myself, since 2 pairs of socks have bitten the dust this month due to repeat wearings and machine drying/washing. The "Classy and Fabulous Socks" for my little sister are almost 1/4 done. They look fab, as always. DIC Starry is a definite favorite yarn for the future.

I went to Knitting on the Square last week. It's a yarn shop located in Chardon, Ohio, about 25 minutes from my house. I first read about it in Knitscene magazine a couple years ago. I went there to get some new sock yarn, and I was not disappointed. Stash enhanced with: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine and Dream in Color Smooshy "Happy Forest"


I've been into semi-solids and solid colors lately because of my current obsession with non-stockinette socks.


Last night, my sister, a friend, and I went to see New Moon, the 2nd movie in the Twilight saga. I have all the books in the series, and love them all. I bought some Socks That Rock Lightweight over the summer in a particular colorway, "Knitters Without Borders," which is black, red, and white. I might make some socks in that yarn soon in honor of Twilight, since the colors remind me of the series.

Friday, November 6, 2009

TGIF and knitting updates

Happy Friday! Though it's getting colder and snow is definitely on its way here in Cleveland, its perfect knitting weather. The second "Manly Sock" is in the final stages of ribbing and I plan to progress further with it this weekend, so I can keep on track with finishing it by the 15th or so. The "Classy and Fabulous Socks" for my sister are coming along well-I'm currently working on the heel flap of the first sock. I will once again say how much I love the pattern, Karen's Socks, by Monica Jines. I'm going to make a pair for myself after the holidays. It is the perfect sock for me, because the pattern keeps it interesting enough with the cables and the lace pattern. I've stalled a little on the knitting of the various second socks I have laying around...those will happen after I'm done with the "Manly Socks."

It may seem like I have too much on my plate knitting-wise, but with the events of the last 5 months, I'd rather be extra busy than have a lot of time to reflect, although I do that a lot when I journal. Things are getting a little easier over time, more is falling into place, and I'm getting a better picture of where I am headed next: nursing! Wishing you all a happy weekend and plenty of knitting time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Classy and Fabulous socks begun (AKA little sister's stocking stuffer)

Feeling a wee bit bored by the "Manly Socks," I decided to get a jumpstart on Christmas gifts and begin the "Classy and Fabulous Socks" that I'm gifting to my little sister for Christmas. It's the first time I've ever cabled with a project, and its going well--I'm really into cabling it appears. It's also my first experience using Dream in Color Smooshy, and I love love love it!! I'm actually using Starry, but its the Smooshy base with a little silver woven into the yarn. The colorway is "Into the Mystic" and it's fabulous!!


The pattern is "Karen's Socks" by Monica Jines, and I bought it last year from The Loopy Ewe. It is a pattern that keeps me interested, which helps when it's time to start the second sock.


Here is a pic of my progress--it's not a great pic, it does not highlight the fab colors but I will take a better pic as I get more done.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Socks never to be forgotten

Last night I had to bid goodbye to the first pair of socks I ever made for myself, out of Fortissima Socka Disco Colori (one of my favorite yarns because it sparkles). Both socks had irreparable holes in them, due to constant washing machine and dryer exposure over the last 2 years ( I only machine washed and dried those socks BTW) and almost-constant wear.
However, the passing of these socks simply signifies the purpose of knitting socks all the time ( in my world at least) because socks have a lifespan and a meaning. They go on the feet, and are meant to be worn (out) with the passing of time. Farewell my first sockies, I will remember you always!

Friday, October 23, 2009

TGIF!

Thank goodness it's Friday! I have basically the entire weekend to finish the first of the "Manly Socks" and start on the second one before November 1st. Hopefully I will move a little bit faster through the leg patterning of the second sock, because the first sock's leg went super slow. I'm really liking the yarn, Plymouth Happy Feet sock yarn (90% wool, 10% nylon). For some reason, it feels better than some sock yarns I've used. It just feels a bit more substantial when knitted up. I'm going to get some more of this yarn when I have the chance.Today I took my son to my sister's company Halloween party. He dressed as a little ladybug (he's 3) and was super cute!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Snag in the Sock

Minor snag I just noticed while examining the pattern detailing on the leg of sock #1: there is a dropped stitch, which is just chilling in it's own place, not dropping further for the moment. Thank goodness I noticed it now, before I grafted the toe together and blocked the sock, thereby stretching it and probably causing a big hole. Any suggestions on how to fix this stitch? I'm on the end of the foot right now, close to the toe, and this stitch is seriously 80+ rows back.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Significant sock progress made this weekend!

There was significant sock progress made on the "Manly Socks" this weekend. Here is a photo of sock #1, which is probably a day away from being done.



Yesterday, I checked out a new(to me) yarn shop in Broadview Heights, Ohio, close to where I live in Cleveland. It's called Soft N' Sassy, and it has the most sock yarn I've ever seen in a Cleveland-area yarn store! ShibuiKnits, Dream in Color Smooshy, Noro, Mountain Colors, Tuscan Grove, and tons more. I picked up a couple skeins of ShibuiKnits Sock in the colorway "Wasabi."

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Progress report!

Here is a pic of the progress I'm making with the "Manly Socks."  I have literally spent hours (that's right: hours) on just the leg of the first sock.

Still, a very enjoyable knit and one that I hope will be complete in time to qualify as a completed SKA sockdown entry.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Major "Manly" Sock progress made!

Happy Thursday!
I'm proud to share that I have made major "Manly" sock progress on sock #1, for the SKA October Sockdown on Ravelry. I'm just about to the heel flap of the first sock(and when I say "just about," I really mean with 16 rows to go on the leg. But those 16 rows will fly by....right?).
It's a fun pattern, with many rows that can be memorized by reading the chart countless times. I will be casting on for the second sock immediately after finishing the first sock, to avoid the dreaded SSS. I've been a victim of SSS many times, just check out my projects page on Ravelry.
I'll post a pic of the sock tomorrow, in good light if its not raining so that the pattern is visible!
Heading off to the doctor's office with my 3 year old for a flu shot (for him). I already got mine a few weeks ago.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Just dropping by..

Just dropping by to share a new sock pattern book that I just bought. Knitted Socks East and West, by Judy Sumner, is a book with sock patterns made using Japanese stitch patterns. What a great concept! I will be casting on for some of these in the very near future, as they are just the right blend of intricacy and style to delight and give me many hours of knitting pleasure. It retails for about 22.00, obviously less on Amazon.com

Still working on my "Manly" socks--they are coming along well. This evening, I will be reading some new knitting magazines after my son falls asleep.
Have a great day!

Friday, October 2, 2009

October SKA Sockdown socks started!

 I have not posted any progress pics of my September 2009 SKA Sockdown entry socks. That's because not much progress has been made on those particular socks. I have however begun and knitted a considerable amount on my October 2009 SKA Sockdown on Ravelry socks, titled "Manly Socks." The pattern I'm using is Johnny Socks, and I love the pattern so far! A lot of knitting through the back loop, but since that is one of my favorite knitting stitches to do, I'm in heaven. I'm using Plymouth Yarns Happy Feet in a camouflage color and although the yarn tends to hide much of the pattern detailing, I'm confident these will turn out great.  

Friday, September 25, 2009

Comfy Socks finished!!!

I (finally) finished my Comfy Socks, made using Knitpicks Stroll (Essential) Multi in the Riverbed colorway. They turned out pretty nicely, except for the wierd pooling and striping in the second sock. Oh well, that's what I get for finishing them an entire year after I started them!


In other knitting-related news, I officially have a ton of sock yarn.  Time to start pairing them with patterns so I can start using some of it up (and eventually acquire more).

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Joy of Sox

After hearing the buzz about this book on Ravelry, I went out and found it in stock at Barnes and Noble. This is probably my new favorite book--there are so many patterns in it that I want to make. My two favorite patterns are A Roll in the Hay and Movie Socks. The book is organized well, explains techniques in a non-confusing way, and as a bonus, it's spiral-bound for easy reference while knitting. It is a definite must-have for anyone who loves to knit socks. I think the book has about 30 or more patterns.

In sock knitting news, I finished the Comfy Socks that I actually started last September. They turned out well, although the second sock had a lot of pooling and crazy striping that the first sock did not have. They are made of Knitpicks Essential multi, since renamed Stroll. I have turned the heel on the Summer Socks I started in June--using Online Supersocke Cotton. I'm going to watch a video on Youtube this evening on how to successfully cast-on for a toe-up sock for the SKA September Sockdown. I've been dying to try a toe-up pattern for awhile now, and the yarn I dyed for the sockdown is begging to be used.

Have a happy Friday!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy Friday!

I'm so glad it's Friday! I've had a cold all week long, from the change in seasons I think. I hand-dyed some yarn today with yellow food coloring so that I can participate in Ravelry's Sock Knitters Anonymous September Sockdown. This particular sockdown requires: any sock pattern knit using yellow yarn OR the mystery sock by Nancy Bush using yellow yarn OR any Wendy Johnson pattern, using any color yarn. I've never used yellow yarn, so this will be a treat for me. I used Kroger brand food coloring to dye the yarn. It looks like the color of squash--so that's probably what I'm going to call it. I haven't decided which pattern I'm going to use..it might be time to try a toe-up sock, because Wendy Johnson's sock patterns are pretty awesome.

One of my hands is dyed yellow and I have a function to go to on Sunday, so I hope I can make that hand white again.
I'll post pictures of the yarn once it's wound into balls so I can start my socks!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Warm Woolies project finished!

I finished the first of several shipments for Warm Woolies during this holiday weekend. It's boxed up and ready to go on Thursday. I knitted 6 pairs of socks for the Six for Six campaign, as well as two more pairs in both a larger and smaller size. The sweater I am knitting for WW is still on the needles but I will give it more attention now since the socks are finished.



As you can see from the other picture, there are 3 socks in progress waiting on their various needles. Those too will be given attention now. From left to right, sock in Knitpicks Essential, sock in Online Supersocke cotton, and last but not least, a sock in Wollmeise 80/20 Wild Thing (Poison Nr. 5 colorway)




More posts later this week!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Warm Woolies project update

I'm back to working on my Warm Woolies contribution projects, the 10 for 10 in 2010 and the Six for Six campaigns specifically. So far I have three pairs of socks for the Six for Six and one pair for the 10 for 10. I also have a partially-done sweater for 10 for 10, but I'm not sure if when finished, it will qualify. It doesn't matter to me--I enjoy making those socks and sweaters knowing they will keep a child warm. I started another pair for the Six for Six today and I'm finally using my 2 skeins of blue variegated Malabrigo. I love it so much! It's so soft...one of the nicest yarns I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I will post more pics once I get closer to mailing the socks out!
Have a good Wednesday!

Friday, August 21, 2009

New yarn and another stash flash..

Got the Blue Moon order yesterday. Inside: 3 skeins of Socks that Rock--Lightweight. Colorways(from left to right): Rook-y, County Clare, and Knitters without Borders. Also below is a picture of the 'secondary' sock stash(since unpacked). Enjoy!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Camera has surfaced!








My digital camera has surfaced! Took the opportunity to flash most of my sock yarn stash, minus what hasn't been unpacked and minus what I ordered and hasn't been delivered yet. Enjoy!





Thursday, August 6, 2009

Retail Therapy

I've been engaging in some retail therapy in the last few days. Joann Fabrics: 2 balls of Bamboo & Ewe sock yarn in the blue and grey color. Blue Moon Fiber Arts: 3 skeins of Socks that Rock. Knitpicks: 2 balls of Felici in Gelato, a set of US 1 dpns, 1 skein of Stroll Handpaints in Tree Fort, and a skein of Stroll Handpaints in Makebelieve. I feel really good about all of it..
I'm doing better. Every day gets easier. Son is thriving up here too so everything is for the best, even though its been rough.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Getting through it

I'm slowly feeling more normal as each day passes. I'm in a better place emotionally, as I've embodied the fact that everything I'm going through is happening for a reason and ultimately I will end up better than I'm feeling right now, if that even makes sense. My son has been holding up remarkably well, much better than I, but he's only 3.

Reading, knitting, watching inspiring movies, and writing are what fills my little free time. It's comforting to have the interests that I have, because no matter what, I always am able to take a few minutes to do something I love.

Unpacking is coming along slowly. I dread the next few months though, as we iron out things and see what unfolds in the process...it's so wierd how someone can go from being your best friend to someone you feel you barely know. It's amazing how fast the love I thought I had went away and morphed into something else during all this.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Unpacking my world...restarting my life

I'm in the middle of unpacking my old life and trying to make a new one. It's really hard. Everything I see reminds me of him and what we had together and how we will never have it again, no matter what happens. It's so hard to be strong for my son, when all I feel like doing is curling up into a ball in the middle of my childhood bed. I've come so far since I left home for college, but it seems like I'm back at square one.

Not much going on with the knitting front, but I will get back to it. It's part of what makes me well...me. Right before the big day, I bought Cookie A. "Sock Innovations" off of Amazon. It's an awesome book--I'm really liking "Kai-Mei," one of the patterns. I also had the chance to read SWTC's "Socks ala Carte," which I liked almost as much.

More later.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy birthday Charlie!

Happy 3rd birthday Charlie!
You light up my life everyday..I love you so much. I'm so proud to be your mom.

Love, Mommy

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Knitting Updates

Hope everyone had a nice 4th of July. It was a fun, relaxing day for my family and I; took my son swimming at the pool, went to the fairgrounds for the carnival, and got in a lot of knitting and yarny time. I say yarny time because I spent some time organizing my stash and winding a lot of sock yarn. I think I wound about 10 skeins in 2 days, a record most certainly (for me).

A couple weeks ago I bought a skein of yarn off of Etsy from SeeJayneKnit --I'm in love with this yarn! The base is a lot like Trekking XXL, and the colors are phenomenal and pretty saturated. Pic is below.
I cast on for a new sock project (Ravelry is a very bad thing for a person who loves multiple knitting projects that are on the needles at the same time). It's a basic sock pattern I use . The pattern has had some changes made, but the best part is that I'm finally using my Wollmeise for the socks!!! I've been waiting for an awesome pattern to use it in, and I can't wait to finish them. The Wollmeise base is so..I don't even think there are words to describe it besides amazing. It feels like cotton when I'm knitting with it, but its 80/20 wool and nylon. I'll post more pics as I progress through the socks.

Have a wonderful rest of the weekend!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Finished: Dizzy Beanie

I finished my Dizzy Beanie (from Berroco Knitbits e-newsletter) this evening. I knit it using Dream in Color Classy in Beach Fog (awesome color). I liked the pattern a lot, but the decreasing for the top of the hat got pretty confusing. I think it looks pretty nice!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More pics!

I've been slacking on the pics lately...not anymore! First up, a pic of a beanie I made for the little one when he was 6 months old--he was too cute in it!

Next pic--progress on my Summer Socks in Online cotton blend (Supersocke Cotton)--It's turning out great and I love the texture it makes.

Last pic--Went to the LYS and got a ball of Tofutsies Power Stripe(and I still havent knit up any of the Tofutsies I already have) as well as a ball of Trekking XXL.

More later!


Monday, June 22, 2009

Finished--Siamese Socks!


I finally finished my Siamese Socks--started last August. Knit with Conjoined Creations' Flat Feet sock yarn, which I ended up really liking.
Washed, the socks are warm and comfortable and squishy.
The last few weeks have been crazy! Last weekend, my little sister graduated from college. We went to the graduation and a dinner afterwards. I'm so proud of her-the first 2 years were really difficult for her and I'm proud of her hard work. The next day, my hubby and I helped her move out of her apartment and my hubby drove the UHaul 4 hours to my mom's house. That was a long day for sure!
The next day, we came home and relaxed our sore muscles. Lots of knitting time in the UHaul equals a sock finished!
OTN right now: Warm Woolies sweater, Warm Woolies sock, and a new sock in Online Supersocke Cotton, which I'm really excited about (first socks done in a cotton blend).

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A little update...

It's been a while since I have last posted..will do a longer post (with pics) tomorrow. I've just been busy with work and life for the last couple weeks. I have the front of my Warm Woolies sweater done and I'm currently sewing in what seems like a hundred ends. I'm working on the back of the sweater--its just taking longer since I am knitting it in a solid blue instead of multiple colors like I did for the front. I have another pair of WW socks almost done--I think for the next couple pairs I'm going to double a solid color yarn and do the heels and toes in a contrasting color. I have some locally-sold alpaca yarn that I want to use...it is so snuggly!!

I found a couple patterns for some doll clothing that uses fingering-weight yarn so now I have something to do with all the sock yarn leftovers I have. It's been really hot here so tomorrow I am going to the swimming pool with my son and hubby!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day weekend knitting progress

Happy Memorial Day! It's been a little while since my last post...I'm feeling pretty much 100% after my surgery. Last week my husband, son, and I took a road trip to the coast of Maryland to bring my mother-in-law home from visiting her sister. The scenery was really nice, but the drive was really long. I took much of the trip to finish my second Monkey sock. This weekend I have been working on a child's size 10 sweater for Warm Woolies using a pattern from Creative Knitting magazine. It's coming along well--I'm almost done with the front.
I have a hat OTN too..the "Dizzy" hat pattern from Berroco.com. I'm using Dream in Color Classy in the Beach Fog colorway...I LOVE this yarn!! It's so soft and the color changes so gradually, it's striking.
I really want to start another more complicated sock pattern soon. I bought a couple patterns from The Loopy Ewe, a toe-up pattern and a cable pattern. I also used my Loopy credit and got a couple skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Loopy Mini Stripes colorway. Pics posted of the sweater and hat-in-progress. Enjoy the holiday!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Worst day in a long time...

Well, yesterday was the worst day I have had in a long time. Surgery went ok....read the new Interweave Knits while I was there and I really liked many of the patterns.
It took longer because the doctor found that I have endometriosis and will never be able to have another baby because my tubes are closed off with scar tissue--it was difficult for him to get any part of the lighted scope in to check it out. My ovary was fused to my body...not in a good way, so that had to be lasered. I'm in a lot of pain and it's mostly emotional, because I was not expecting this in any way.
Plan on knitting a lot more this weekend because I need to heal both my body and my spirit.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Weekend forecast: It's raining knitting!

So I'm having surgery this Friday. I'm going to be miserable all weekend long, but I will have plenty of time to do some knitting! I plan on parking myself on the couch and rotating between couch and bed. I had really hoped to finish my second Monkey sock in time so I could wear them, but it's not looking like it will happen. I'm at the heel of the second sock. I still love the pattern--it's a definite repeat.
My Warm Woolies sweater is coming along well. It's surprisingly heavy considering it is a child's sweater. I'm having fun making little stripes out of wooly remnants I have from projects past. I'll post pics once it is blocked, because it looks really scrunchy and squished on the needles.
Got the new Interweave Knits and Knit 1. issues (VK too). I already picked some patterns to do--thought all of the issues were great!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Blog Contest Winner!!

The winner of my blog contest, and 2 skeins of Knitpicks Felici sock yarn, is Marlitharn! Please message me on Ravelry or at the blog with your address info so I can get your prize out to you! I'm Sturgillsusan on Ravelry=) Congrats!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sock Yarn Giveaway!!

I'm having a giveaway of sock yarn! The winner will get 2 skeins of Knitpicks Felici in Atmosphere (pic below). All you have to do is leave a comment and I will randomly pick a winner on Monday, 5/11/2009.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Finished: Dad's Socks

I *finally* finished the pair of socks for my Dad that I started last year. I made them out of Bernat Sox sock yarn--my dad isn't the most savvy about handwashing clothes, so I decided to make them machine washable and dryable.
OTN: pillow for couch, Christmas tree skirt, sock mates for socks already made, and Warm Woolies stuff.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Yarn Storage Unit discovered!

I was in Wal-Mart the other day and found what is probably the best yarn storage unit ever!! It is one of those made-for-tv things, like the Snuggie...anyway, its called the "Shoes-Under." It is a zippable shoe storage unit with individual pockets for each pair of shoes. It held almost my entire sock yarn stash...zips up to keep little pests from intruding.
I have been looking for something like this forever...but was never able to find one that zipped up!
Check out the pic...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hey Hey...I'm a Monkey!!

I finished Monkey Sock #1 this morning...here is a pic!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Journal Swap Round 2---on Ravelry


I participated in the 2nd round of the Journal Swap on Ravelry. It is one of my favorite swaps to be in...I love journaling almost as much as I love knitting! My partner Sarah Jo (AKA RebelStickClicker) sent me the most AWESOME package!
--A super cool journal in one of my favorite colors..blue!
--2 balls of Crystal Palace Mini Mochi yarn...something I have wanted to try for a while.
--A starter pack of Soak wash for knitted items.
--a set of really cool stitch markers (a knitting tool (tools?) that I have come to find I can't be without)
--CHOCOLATE!
--Knitting-themed notecards
--knitting charms
--A beautiful pen
--a nail file-for avoiding needle problems like I had the other night
--yummy lotion
--an oriental-patterned case which held my stitch markers
--A bag (which I adore) for portable projects-like socks

I love everything and I appreciate it so much after a really tough week...thank you so much Sarah Jo!!

Monkey progress

I've made a lot of progress on Monkey sock #1 over the last couple of days. I'm almost ready to bind off for the first one! I am completely in love with this pattern...never seem to get bored with it, even on a road trip to visit my dad the other day (3.5 hours each way to Cleveland).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I hate hate hate breaking a needle...

So I was working on the gusset of my first Monkey sock, trying to figure out why the stitches I was picking up were having a hard time moving on down the bamboo needle I was using. They kept snagging and the yarn was having a splitty time. I took a closer look, even though the sock was like 2 inches from my face, and what did I see? my awesome bamboo dpn had split from the needle tip on down and the yarn was snagged on it! I had to do some emergency maneuvering, because I was not going to lose the progress I had made.

Got the stitches to a safe needle, but now I need to buy another set of DPNs--which isn't a bad thing. I have never had this happen to a needle before, but I think it was due to the fact that I tend to press my needle tips harder when doing lacework. Guess these just couldn't hold up forever, though they were my favorites (Plymouth Royal Bamboo DPNs, size 1). Sigh.

More Monkey goodness!!!

Knitted a lot on my first Monkey sock between yesterday and today...this picture is from earlier in the day today. I have since gotten to the end of the lace repeats (6 in total) and am working the heel. The heel is a new kind of technique for me, as I'm not doing the slip-stitch heel I normally do. Instead I'm following the pattern, which I interpreted "sl 1, purl 31" on the wrong side, and "sl 1, knit 31" on the right side. I hope the heel will not wear out too quickly, since I'm absolutely going to show off these babies once I'm done with them!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monkey Progress!!

I'm posting the first of my Monkey sock pics! I started working on them on Sunday, and already have 2 lace repeats done. It is probably one of the most interesting patterns I have ever made...I love it! I'm using Trekking XXL- and the colorway is striping, yet looks handpainted in the skein.

Happy Knitting!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lazy Sunday...

I'm having a lazy Sunday full of relaxing, reading, and knitting. I'm about halfway through my New York Times book. I like it a lot, definitely a good read for anyone who is interested in history (like me). My grandfather was diagnosed with what is most likely end-stage lung cancer last week and I found out yesterday. Last night was a whole bunch of upset and crying for me, as I am really close to him. I needed a distraction, so I cast on for a pair of Monkey socks using Trekking handpainted sock yarn. My grandfather lives in Hungary, a country in Europe, and I am most likely going over there with my son in May, if all goes according to plan.

Will blog later this week, with Monkey pictures!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

T- minus 1 day to the weekend!!

Hooray! It's one day till the weekend! Yesterday I finished up the (way cool IMHO) package for the 2nd round of Journal Swap on Ravelry. I always love this swap because it combines two of my passions: yarn and journaling. It will be sent on its way tomorrow morning when I can get to the post office. I am done with my taxes (yay), federal and state filed. I still have to do my city taxes however.
Went to Hobby Lobby yesterday. I'm loving that store more and more since they started carrying a bunch of sock yarn. They currently have Kroy, Sock-Ease, and Heart and Sole. Just came out with their house brand of sock yarn, called Walkaway. I almost did walk away when I saw the shiteous colors of the line. I picked one skein that looked remotely appetizing--I think the colorway name has to do with crayons. Please please get some hipper colors, O yarn creators at Hobby Lobby!! Another thing I dislike about HL: they have about 7 different colorways of Heart and Sole in stock, but have one ball of each out on the shelf. It does not help me to make a pair of socks when each one is a different colorway. I'd love to be able to buy 2 of the same for a pair.
Made a really cool dishcloth out of I Love This Cotton--a Hobby Lobby cotton yarn. It is soo smooth and soft! Probably the best cotton yarn for touching, but I will have to see how it holds up under wear n' tear. I still like Peaches N' Creme and other workhorse cotton yarns for durability...
Will blog tomorrow about knitting done tonight...have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy Tuesday!

Just thought I would do a little blog post this morning while I'm working...

I subscribe to Fitness Magazine. I like reading the articles on health and natural living especially, and this month the mag had a great feature on natural beauty recipes. I liked quite a few of them, one in particular, a hair brightening rinse made of 2 black tea bags (for brunettes. Redheads should use 2 Rooibos teabags, and blondes 2 chamomile teabags) and 1 or 2 cups of water. Let it cool and use after shampooing; rinse with cool water. It made my hair very soft and hopefully more lustrous in color. There are a few more recipes that caught my eye, such as a nail treatment of sugar and grapes, a facial scrub made of strawberries and honey, and a body mist of cucumber and water. I love natural body treatments and now I have quite a few to try.

Still knitting the sock for my dad..little more of the leg done last night and this morning. I casually went through my in-house yarn store, as I like to refer to my stash, and once again wanted to start 10 projects at once. I'm trying to discipline myself to finish this sock, move onto the next alpaca sock mate, followed by the Flat Feet sock mate, my decorative couch pillow, Christmas tree skirt, and then I can start another project. I've got my plate full for the next couple of months, but I'm happy that I will have those projects complete. I know there are a couple sock mates that I forgot in that list, but as they become FO's I will update regularly.

I don't watch a ton of TV these days. I have a pile of books that I got over the holidays that I have yet to read, though I did start one this past weekend. I cleared off my DVR of shows that I know I will only end up deleting before I watch them--major de-cluttering made me feel much better. I'm a huge fan of Greys Anatomy, Nip/Tuck, House, some E! reality shows, and American Idol. I have been known to fall asleep on the couch to the news on CNN.

What book am I reading this week? Behind The Times by Edwin Diamond. It's a non-fiction book chronicling the New York Times in the late 1990s and 2000s. I've been interested in the New York Times history since I listened to The Trust (book-on-tape about the New York Times founding family) when I was in high school. I was lucky enough to recieve 2 copies of The Trust for Christmas, one from my hubby and one from my mom. The one from my mom was hardbound, and I inscribed it for my son because it is one of my all-time favorite books. I jsut got New Moon (second book in the Twilight saga) and I can't wait to read it!

Hope you have a great Tuesday and remember...3 more days till Friday!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Great weekend and new yarn pics

I'm having a great weekend so far. Really relaxed on Saturday-which is new for me (relaxing I mean)--knitted a lot, read books with my son(he is starting to be able to read to me by looking at the pictures), visited with some family, bought Grey's Anatomy Season 4 on DVD, and spent some time organizing scrapbooking supplies. I knit a lot on the second sock in the pair for my dad. Finally be done next week. I'm on the last leg of it literally--just turned the heel and decreased the gusset. Also cast on for second Paca Peds HT sock--can't wait to wear them!!

I forgot to put up the pic of my new yarn I got 3 weeks ago. Handmaiden Casbah Sock (Flirt) and Tuscan Grove Bellagio (Mint Ganache), purchased from The Loopy Ewe (AKA best yarn store EVER).

There's a craft show this Sunday at the Fairgrounds in Lancaster, OH. Went to one last year, it was ok. Might go today, will have to see.

Enjoy!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Paca-Peds HT sock #1 finished!!

I finished the first sock out of my Paca-Peds HT pair of socks--AKA Chocolate and Blue socks. I love this yarn so much! It feels so good both while being knit up and while being worn. I based it off of a pattern from Knit N' Style magazine...the issue with a feature about The Alpaca Yarn Company. I changed the pattern so as to knit the cuff in a diagonal rib stitch, while leaving the rest of the sock in plain stockinette. It looks really nice IMHO.

Also I am getting scarily good at grafting....now to cast on sock #2! (Sock in picture is smaller than it actually appears).

Friday, March 13, 2009

Daylight Savings Time means more knitting time!!

Spring is almost here! It was in the upper 70s for 2 days last week...giving me time to clean off our patio and spend some much-needed time outdoors. We took walks in the park, played outside, and enjoyed the good weather. Alas, this week brought us back to the reality of the fact that it is March and currently in the 30s, at least for the next week or so.

I have finished my Maine Morning Mitts and have a pic of them too. I'm working on my Chocolate and Blue Socks, in Paca-Peds HT. I love the way the alpaca yarn feels! It's something you have to knit with...its amazing.

I spent some time with my parents last weekend..while I was in Cleveland I picked up a book at Barnes and Noble...the topic is knitting 2 socks at a time on 1 circular needle. Really excited to try this new technique...I have major SSS, as anyone who checks my Ravelry page knows, when a pair of socks was begun in May and finished in January!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Crazy couple of weeks...

I'm back! It has been a crazy couple of weeks. Working long hours, doing loads of laundry, house cleaning, taking care of sick hubby, raising a 2 year old boy...haven't had much time to knit at all.
In my spare moments (of which there were few), I had a chance to knit a little more of the socks for my dad, another pair of socks for myself, and do some more knitting on my decorative couch pillow. I finished my Maine Morning Mitts--you can check the pic out on Ravelry--I'm Sturgillsusan on there. The mitts were not my favorite project. The thumb on one of them is completely weird.

I began (yet) pair of socks, this time in Paca Peds HT, from the Alpaca Yarn Company. I love love love this yarn! It is so smooth and has a great hand. I can't wait to slip these on my feet! I'm using a pattern from Knit N' Style, and have changed it up a little. When I finish the first sock, I'll post a picture of it and explain what I did.

I bought some new yarn recently. A skein of Berroco Sox, a skein of Berroco Sox metallic, and a skein of Tuscan Grove Lucca yarn in the "Buckeye" colorway. I live in Ohio, 25 minutes from Columbus, the capital and home of Ohio State University, whose team is the Buckeyes. The colors are scarlet and grey!
Last night I ordered some yarn from The Loopy Ewe--on the way: Tuscan Grove Bellagio in "Mint Ganache" (yum!) and Handmaiden Casbah Sock yarn. I'm totally excited about the Casbah, as I've heard a lot of great things about it...and really..I could go on and on about how much I love cashmere!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Link to an interesting blog post from Knitgrrl's blog

Link to Shannon Okey's Knitgrrl blog here to read a post that I thought was really interesting. I love Ravelry! I log onto it more often than I check my email, and end up getting lost, looking at the yarn, projects, and other user's opinions about my favorite thing to do....knitting!! And now I love Rav more than I did 20 minutes ago...

Awhile back, I blogged about Knit 1. magazine and how I felt that it had slipped in its quality in recent months. My opinion still hasn't changed, and I am now in the process of letting most of my other knitting mag subscriptions run out. It's not that I don't like reading them anymore, it's mostly that I can get (free or paid) my patterns on Rav now. I like supporting designers, and the magazines just aren't paying the designers what they should be for their creations. I have a binder that is filled with patterns that I have purchased, and it's quite a collection. I can go browse it whenever I want, and it's nice knowing that whomever created the pattern was paid a fair price for their time and work.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Shopping the stash...

I have been going through my stash recently and trying to sort through what I've got. I have enough of a stash to last through this recession(hopefully). I'm not a fast knitter, due to the fact that I am the mother of a 2 1/2 year old boy and because I think I am a process knitter--that is, I enjoy the actual process of knitting as much as I enjoy the end result--my finished ____.

Breakdown of my stash:
--Enough sock yarn to knit a pair of socks a month for 2 years.
--Enough wool to knit things for Warm Woolies for about a year.
--Enough worsted acrylic to knit blankets for 200 babies.
--Enough baby-friendly yarn (acrylic) to knit 500 hats for newborns and preemies.
--Enough ends and leftovers to knit gloves, mittens, ornaments, and socks for my son for 2 years.
--Enough cotton to knit a dishcloth a day for a year.
--3 pounds of yarn for sweaters.

I'm in the mood for frugality these days, mostly because I am ever mindful of bills, but also because I prefer my leftover money to be with me, not wanting to spend it on just anything. And I'm not saying that yarn is "just anything." I just feel like I have enough of it for now...and I've seen a lot of things that I may want in a couple months, just not right now.

Which brings up...the space issue. We live in a 2-bedroom apartment, which is fine for us right now. My hubby is an avid comic book collector (we're both geeks to the extreme) and he has 8 long boxes of comics. They cannot be stacked on each other or stored in the attic in order to keep the comics in pristine condition--no condensation or crushing allowed. They currently reside in our bedroom under the desk and in our son's closet. I have 3 rubbermaid bins full of yarn, an underbed storage bin full of yarn, a white paper bag from my LYS (full of yarn), a Lion Brand knitting bag that I won a couple years ago, and a shelving unit that I bought from a going-out-of-business sale that is going to be full of yarn soon. I really have no more room, hence the stashbusting that is in effect. Once I have used some of what I have up, then I will feel better about getting more yarn. Hmm....hope I have enough room to store my FO's.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Digging out..


Much of this week has been spent digging out in various ways from the ice/snow storm that hit many states, including Ohio. I took some pictures of the snow and ice..it was really beautiful to watch but such a PITA to deal with. Our power went out at 6 a.m on Wednesday morning, came back on at 10 a.m., went out again at 1 p.m., so we went out to dinner and prayed that it would come back on, otherwise we would have driven 4 hours to get to my parents' home in Cleveland, Ohio. God was smiling on us because our power did come back on, about a 1/2 hour after we got home. Let me tell you that 1/2 hour in the plummeting temperature of our apartment, complete with a scared whining dog and a rambunctious preschooler, was not the best time I have ever had. We made it fun for Charlie (our son) by going under the covers and pretending we were camping out in a tent.

I mailed out my Valentine's Day Swap package to my partner. I had so much fun putting it together! Just in case she reads this, I'm not going to put up a picture of the finished package but I really hope she likes it!

Just been knitting a lot this week--got the dishcloth bug, so I have been trying out a bunch of different patterns. Went to the Jo-Ann Fabrics superstore in Columbus the other night to browse before we ate dinner, and was pleasantly surprised at the selection of yarn they had. I was unable to find Vanna's Glamour, one of Lion Brand's new yarns that I wanted to try. I did, however, get a maxi-sized skein of Bernat Sox and 2 skeins of Premier Yarns' Deborah Norville collection Serenity sock weight. It's a blend of superwash wool , bamboo (yummy), and nylon. It is really soft and I'm hoping knits up well and lasts relatively long. I'm having a problem with some of the socks I have made, namely my first pair. Where the joins are for the dpns, there is more wear on the sock than in other areas. It's making a really thin fabric, but this is after probably 50+ washes in the machine and drying in the dryer. I'm going to try different ways of creating socks, to give myself more variety and also to figure out how to build a better sock.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The crud has landed!

The crud has landed at my home. For lack of a better word, the "crud" is a cold that brings with it a runny nose, congestion, and a sore throat. Estimated lifespan of said crud: 1-2 weeks. Those affected: my son, my husband, and I. Ew.
I *finally* finished my first Blog Sock (one of a pair). It was really fun to knit and I really enjoy using Red Heart Heart and Sole. No word yet as to how it wears and holds up in the wash, but my hands did feel smoother after having worked with the yarn for hours at a time. The striping is really cool, and there are a couple solid colors, black and white I believe, for knitters who prefer solids. I bought my Heart and Sole (LOL-it sounds funny when I say it like that) at Hobby Lobby, and I think that you can also order it off of Joann.com and the like. Behold, a picture:













I saw Twilight at the movies the other night. I am still reading the book, but loved the movie. I find myself excited about reading the rest of the books in the series, similar to how I felt about the Harry Potter series. I never want to put the book down, but have to, because I have a 2 1/2 year old :-) I deleted my Myspace blog, since I never update that one--I have this one.

I'm knitting a decorative pillow for my couch right now, and contemplating knitting a little bit on the Maine Morning Mittens I am doing in Manos del Uruguay 100% wool. I'm not really liking the thick/thin aspect of that yarn, because I always feel like I have so much tension that I will end up breaking the yarn! It also messes up my gauge a little bit, having uneven parts. I'm going full steam ahead on the second sock for my dad--there will be no stopping me now!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Momentous Day!!

History has been made with the election of Barack Obama as the nation's 44th president. You thought I was proud and excited when he won the election? You haven't seen anything yet! All the phone calls, door-to-door walks, volunteer late-nights....all came to fruition today at noon ET when he was sworn in as president of the United States! This is a truly wonderful day...a day when all Americans should be proud to be citizens of this great country.
On another note....I'm learning to crochet. Single crochet and double crochet are where I am skills-wise so far..but I'm getting there...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hello from snow-covered Ohio!

Wow...am I ever glad that I work from home! While Northern Ohio had more than a foot of snow in places, we here in Central Ohio had a little snow, some ice, and a whole lotta cold! Good time to get a bunch of knitting done. I have been stash-busting a little and am in the process of making 30 or so hats for the babies Touching Little Lives helps. The little baby hats are so cute...just can't stop making them!
I cast on for another pair of socks this week(as if I needed yet another UFO). This pair is in Radiant Twist Superwash Merino from a very awesome seller on Etsy. The colorway is perfect btw--Sour Cherry. It's a mix of brown, red, and teal green. I'm in the process of finishing up the first in a pair of Blog Socks, in Red Heart Heart & Sole. I really like Heart & Sole, considering at first I thought it was just ok. It's soft, but definitely not a luxury sock yarn. The aloe infusion is a nice touch. Picture of almost-finished Blog Sock below.
Merrily knitting away and staying warm. Hope you are doing the same!


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New yarn and cute son pics!

I uploaded some pics today of my new yarn and a pic of my son enjoying his new blanket. He's already christened it by playing peek-a-boo and hiding under it!
Hope you have a great week!!
Charlie loving his blankie (below)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Charlie's Blankie finished!!

Charlie's Blankie is finally done! It was slated to be done by Christmas, so I wasn't too late. I used 4 skeins of Araucania Nature Wool Chunky, with some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky and Bernat Cashmere thrown in to make it extra snuggly. It grew a little bit after I blocked it, and is really cuddly.

I was knitting some more on my Blog Socks last night and a little strip of bamboo came off of one of my DPNs. I was a little disappointed, but figured that I can sand it down a little bit to make up for the groove that's now in one of my needles. I have read about that sort of thing happening, but it hadn't happened to me yet. Thank goodness I got some metal dpns recently in case something worse happens to my bamboo dpns.