Headed for the frog pond

I have decided that the time has come...to abandon the blue socks. Sadly, the pattern I am using is just not working out for me. The main reason being that I made the leg part too long, so I am going to run out of yarn if I continue. (I got out the little digital kitchen scale and weighed what's left of the ball of yarn...I'm not quite halfway but close enough that I would be getting very nervous towards the end of sock #2.) That's a pretty valid reason for frogging if you ask me. Secondly, for some reason this pattern has you work the heel flap as straight stockinette, not that sl1 k1 thing I am used to. So that was throwing me off, and it felt like I was knitting that heel flap for eons. 29 rows of 32-stitch stockinette. Seemed odd to me. (Not that I have much to go on, as my FO sock count isn't that high yet...) But still. I haven't really tried the thing on yet to see how that heel fits since I haven't pulled out the needles and don't want to risk breaking them by trying it on, but when I do and before I frog, I'll try it on just to see.

But I have high hopes for that yarn. It is creating a nice, random and subtle pattern...and I think it would be very well-suited for ribbed socks. The 2x2 ribbing I did at the top of the sock looked neat, so I am thinking that the next time I pick up that yarn it will be for a ribbed sock pattern.

I am searching around for a self-striping sock yarn though in colors that I like...one that makes actual stripes, not that jacquard stuff. I want to try the Jaywalker socks, and from what I've seen on other blogs, they look cool with striping yarn. Just can't seem to find a color combo that speaks to me yet. I'll find one. Not like I don't have other things to knit in the meantime...

But what is it about that unquenchable desire to start new projects? I think all knitters know that feeling. I get it too...perhaps it's that "novelty" feeling you get when you purchase something new...or a new haircut or something. That feeling that can make the most mundane things seem so fabulously exciting for a while. (Like the new light fixture in our laundry area...um, hello?! It's a LIGHT. But it my defense, it's a really cool halogen, directable light. Lights up all areas of the laundry without being an annoyance to the rest of the family room (laundry is just off the family room). It really IS cool--though I'm over it already.) And it so often wears off quickly. Although some things are good enough to keep that feeling going...and then you know you have a winner. I guess knitting is like that for me...not to say I don't get bored with some projects, but I just can't seem to get enough of it. Last night, for instance, I had about 15 minutes of down time while waiting for dinner to cook. I had something on TV to watch...but I couldn't just sit there. Had. To. Knit. Something.

Which brings me to my next topic...the thing I was knitting. Progress is being made on the black sparkly sweater a.k.a. Sitcom Chic. I have finished one sleeve and am a couple of inches into the second. My only gripe...well, there are two actually...is that the DPNs I am using are very short. 6 inches I think? And size 8s. Makes me feel like I am knitting with hotdogs or something. Especially after all of the socks I've been making. I really enjoy knitting stuff on a small scale (ie, thin yarn, thin needles) so this size 8 DPN business is making me nuts. But I will persevere... Even though I am a 4-DPN-set type of knitter, for this I had to get out needle #5 of the set in order to have enough space on the needles for all of the stitches, since they're so short. I come too close to losing a stitch or two off the end a little too frequently. Oh, and gripe #2? The yarn...two held together...this stuff and this stuff...they don't like to behave. But I'll deal, cuz I sure am liking the outcome.

Oh, and I have another WIP that I started last weekend. Some delightfully mindless knitting...a felted tote. Here's the yarn I am using...one strand of each color held together:

Pinkle Tote yarn

I am interested to see how it will come out when felted. I also have plans for another felted bag, a purse, that I am going to knit soon as well, so that when I get around to the felting I'll do both at the same time. As well as a little extra felting on an other project...a bag that could be a little smaller. I'll report back when I get around to all that.


Sense a color theme?

Thought some photos might be in order, especially after that wordy post from before.

I had been wanting to try something lately, but just hadn't gotten around to it. I keep seeing these beautiful beaded stitch markers that people make or that you can buy, and since I have been known to do a little beading myself, I decided I wanted to try. Finally got around to digging out my beading boxes, and also picked up a few pretty beads at a shop, and here's the product of my efforts:

Stitch Markers - misc beads

Stitch Markers - pink fimo beads

Stitch Markers - purple and blue fimo beads

All in all, I'm very pleased with them. It'll be fun now to keep my eye out for more pretty beads that will make nice stitch markers. I like the idea that only one or two beads are needed, so if you find that one, perfect and gorgeous bead, even if it is a tad expensive, it can be put to very good use all by itself.

In other knitting news, I have a couple of WIP shots. Here is the Mimi Verylong I am working on. I am really enjoying it, the yarn is delightful, and the lace pattern isn't too taxing. I am not in any great rush to finish it, and so I am taking my time.

Mimi Verylong WIP

Mimi Verylong WIP detail

Mimi Verylong WIP and detail

At first I wasn't sure what that blue was going to do. The yarn is made up of three colors...a medium pink, lighter pink, and blue. Because the two pinks blend together, their color changing isn't as noticable. But the blue stands out a lot more. So far though, it seems to be following a pattern of making a giant zig-zag back and forth. I rather hope that keeps up. But I'm also not too worried...I know I will love it no matter how it ends up! I just love the colors.

And lastly, a photo of knitting+cat. My two cats are really very good about leaving my knitting alone, though occasionally they show a hint of interest in all that flying string. Especially when winding a hank of yarn into a ball. Or when photographing it on "their" floor:

Maddie and the Pink Sock

Maddie and the Pink Sock

(There was actually another photo where she was sniffing the yarn, but this was a better picture of her, so I chose to post this one!)

Happy Knitting!

New acquisitions

Lately I've been doing a little damage to the ole credit card with a few online purchases. Yarn mostly, of course. ;) One thing I got was some Simple Stripes yarn from KnitPicks. I like all of the stuff I've gotten from them previously, and they are quick and efficient with the ordering/shipping process. The project I have in mind is the Last-Minute Stripes Pullover from KnitPicks baby sweater, which is one of their free patterns. I think it's adorable, and couldn't wait to get started.

Of course, before I could get started I had to go get some new needles. I know, I know. I couldn't believe that in my stash of needles that I didn't have either size 1 or 2 straights. Or circs. Go figure. So off I went to my local JoAnn's (it's the closest place I have and often the first place I try for instant gratification). Found me some size 2 straights (them stinkers is LONG!...14") and also these. Nifty. Four 5-needle sets of teeny tiny DPNs...sizes 1, 0, 00, and 000. Way cool. But learned something interesting too. I just went in search of that link for here and found a review written which I think will be helpful...in it the reviewer suggests that once you figure out the sizes of each one, note them somewhere (they're color-coded). The reviewer, much like myself, didn't have a needle sizer that went that small. So, good advice.

But I digress. Went home and excitedly cast on for the little sweater (which, of course, only took up about a third of the length of those ridiculously long needles) and though I was loving the colors and the patterning that was taking shape, I was not so enamored by the texture. Too scratchy. I am sure that yarn is just fine for socks, but not a baby sweater! And this was the yarn they recommended. I knit onward for a little while longer but soon I had to come to the realization that this was not meant to be. So off I went to TheKnitter.com and found this yarn. This time I got some that I've actually met before (same yarn as my blue socks) and I think the fun pink/orange/yellow striping will be adorable as a little girl's sweater. Plus I got enough to make some matching socks for her mom! I am now waiting anxiously for this yarn to arrive.

The other part of my KnitPicks order was this pattern for sort of "faux" fair-isle socks. I think it looks like a lot of fun, and the self-striping yarn does all the work for you! To me the only trick will be lining up the colors to start with so they work right. And hopefully I'll get close to the same gauge so my colors will line up like they do in the photo. I decided to make it in the same colors as the picture shows, which happened to be the same colors as the sweater I was going to make. So I'd purchased 5 balls of this stuff, but have since returned 3 untouched ones.

Side note: Just had a nice chat with someone at KnitPicks. I was sitting here thinking about this and realized something. See, I'd placed a few orders online recently, and then one evening, we lost our credit card. Doh. So we scrambled around, took care of things, and then I had to call the places where I'd placed the orders and give them a different number. (And of course, as fate would have it, the two things that we have tied to our credit card number for automatic deductions BOTH renewed a day after we cancelled it. Figures. Could have had three weeks or so to get the new card in and take care of things, but noooo.) Anyway, I just realized that the yarn return I mentioned above would be credited to my old credit card. Hmm. So I just called them up, spoke to a very friendly and helpful lady who made a note in my account for someone to contact me when the return was received. So I'm all set for now. Anyway, just wanted to point out how nice they are there. (No affiliation...just a very satisfied customer.)



Sometimes, I just could kick myself. I'd written this post, and then somehow before I posted it, I managed to erase it. On purpose too, because I thought I'd already posted it. See, I use a sort of template file where I create my posts offline and then copy and paste into blogger. Gives me the chance to tweak and fuss and then post all at once. Works for me. Or at least I thought it did. I need to come up with a new system so that I don't do that again...some sort of clue to myself whether I've posted it yet or not.

Anyway, what I was going to say in my post was show you my completed Ski Hat and Ski Headband. I know I showed you the hat before, but here's a photo of it with the coat, so you can see how the colors match nicely:

SKi hat with coat

(That photo was taken in our driveway, before we tackled that foot of snow from a couple of weeks ago.)

The first time I'd written this post was before the ski trip...I was saying how excited I was to go. Now, as I have mentioned, the trip was awesome, and so was my hat! I wore it every day, though on that one windy day I had to pull my hood up over my head as well. It was soooo cold, and if you had any little exposed spot the wind would just find its way in.

Unfortunately it was a little too cold for wearing the headband during skiing, and I almost wore it one evening, but then we ended up not going out after all. But here it is. It came out nicely, though as I think I have mentioned, it's very thick since I stitched it on top of a fleece headband. But I still like it!

Here you can see the whole thing...(it sort of stands up on its own!):

Ski Headband

And here's detail of the pattern, which I love. It was so fun to knit!

Detail of ski headband

That's about it in the way of Finished Objects. I am still enjoying my socks, and am also working sporadically on the black sweater. I did two rows of Mimi Verylong last night before bed. (I would have done more but I was sleepy...)


Back to reality

Well, it's back home for us, after a great ski trip. We went to Sunday River, in Maine. Had a great time! We flew to Portland last Wednesday (took three glorious days off from work!) and rented a car and drove from there. First though we stopped in Freeport for a little shopping. The only store we were interested in was L.L.Bean, which we thoroughly enjoyed! I love that store...it's like walking through a catalog! We didn't end up buying all that much, although we both got some new ski mittens and I got new long underwear for skiing that was on sale. We did scope out some camping gear that we'll order online (we have the L.L.Bean credit card so we don't have to pay shipping). We want to get some new sleeping pads before next summer's camping trip. (Needless to say, we're DONE with air mattresses!!) The only other stops we made in town were some lunch at Gritty McDuff’s before we got started with our shopping, and of course some Ben & Jerry's before we headed out of town!

The weather was perfect for driving and we got to Sunday River without incident. We stopped along the way for a few groceries and beverages to stock our mini-kitchen. When we arrived we decided to pamper ourselves and made use of the valet parking service (a free service, just gratuity-based) and we also stowed our skis in their valet ski check. Very cool! That room is just inside the door from the slopes so it's very convenient. We stayed at the Jordan Grand. It's a really nice place.

The skiing was good, best the first morning we went which was Thursday. We got out there right when it opened and really had a great time. As the day progressed it got a bit icier, though still enjoyable. That evening we relaxed a bit in the heated outdoor pool! (I didn't get any photos, but there's a pic on this page.) The two hot tubs at the end of the pool were wonderful! One with quiet underwater jets and the other all roiling and bubbly.

On Friday the skiing was still good, and again nice that there weren't many people. There's definitely something to be said for making the effort to get in a couple of weekday ski days, because it sure makes a difference. The interesting part about Friday though was the wind. I remember sitting in our room before we left, idly staring out the window at the trees moving around. Little did I know...that meant it was VERY windy up on the top! In fact they had to close the lift that led to the only trail back to our hotel, so at the end of that day we had to take the shuttle back. Wasn't much of a hardship though...we sat at the bar in the Foggy Goggle and had a drink before catching the shuttle. It was very nice! Later we went in the pool again and this time, because the wind was really whipping around, the bubbles from the one side of the hot tub splashed water around and our hair got wet, and because of the low temps, it promptly froze! It was kind of fun, though we didn't stay long.

Saturday's skiing wasn't quite as good, as there had been no new snow to speak of and there were MANY more people. So we called it a day a little early since we were both tired, and wanted to quit before either of us hurt ourselves. We went back to relax in the pool again. Personally I am surprised we went in the pool as much as we did, since I'm not usually a pool person. But the novelty of this one won out I guess!

On the knitting front, I took my two sock projects along. I had finished one of the pink socks, and took the materials for starting the second, though I just ended up working on the blue sock. This was also my first time since you-know-when that I even tried taking my knitting on the airplane. I figured my teeny tiny bamboo needles wouldn't present a problem, and they did not. I knitted some in the airport, but not on the plane after all. I felt that in those oh-so-roomy plane seats it was easier to just read my magazine. (I know... Craziness. What was I thinking?!)

Sorry for the photo-less post...! I'll get on that soon.