1. Well, my first Inside Out Rockin' Sock is moving along at a fairly slow pace. I know I've said it before, but it's really true...it's so very difficult to knit with a kitten in the house. I swear he just knows when I pick up my knitting even if he's in the other room. So between fending him off and keeping my DPNs under control, my progress is kinda slow. But that's okay.

2. I am trying to determine exactly when to stop knitting the foot and start the heel. I have never done toe-up socks so this part is a bit of a mystery. I keep holding it up to another pair of socks and then trying it on and it seems like I'm never going to get there. It looks like it's getting to be a freakishly long foot until I try it on. This is why I never have SSS...I like doing the second one because all of these sorts of details are already ironed out and I just have to knit until a known number of rows. This appeals to my sense of order and organization.

3. Anyone wear an 8 1/2 shoe? How many rows did you do on the foot? I'm using 1's on the toe, and 0's on the foot. From what I've been reading, I'll probably use 2's when I get to the leg.

4. I have a question about "pooling" versus "flashing". I hear these two terms thrown about and I don't understand the difference. Can anyone explain this to me? I know my pink and purple socks are guilty of one or the other of these terms, but I don't know which. I like to be informed about these sorts of things. (I'm one of those people who heads for the dictionary if I encounter a word I don't know. Somehow I don't think Webster's is going to help me on this one though.)

5. I don't like my blog name. "CarrieKnitting" is so boring and kinda uninspired. There are so many clever blog names out there, and I wish I had thought of one before I started this thing. But then again, I never really thought I'd ever have any readers, so I just threw it up there. So, my question is this: is it too late to change the name? Would that confuse any readers I do have? I'd keep the url of course, and the look, but maybe just change the name at the top. Dunno. Sometimes I don't feel very clever or witty.

6. I know I mentioned I'd have a 100 things list to put up soon. I am working on this, really, in case anyone cares. :)

7. And speaking of which, being fairly new to this blog thing, I am curious about those "memes". First off, how's that pronounced? Is it "meem" or "me-me"? And, blog-etiquette-wise, are you allowed to tag yourself or must you be tagged by someone else? What if no one ever tags you?

And one more thing...



A Scarf, Some Yarn, and a Kitten

A Scarf

Finally, a FO! I decided to work at finishing something that was close to being done before continuing with my Rockin' Socks. So I finished my "Mimi Verylong" scarf, and I love it! I wasn't sure how long I wanted it initially. But then as I tried it on I decided that longer was definitely better, and I knit onward until the yarn was almost gone. It's a great pattern, easily memorizable and quick-moving (the fact that it took me over a year to complete is nothing to do with the pattern!) and my only disappointment is that it's getting too warm to be able to wear it this season. Oh well!

As I think I mentioned before, the colors in this yarn did something interesting in this scarf. The blue created a fun zig-zag that went back and forth across the scarf for the entire length of the scarf, in a very regular way. It's only really apparent when it's laid out like this:

I like it! The weight of the scarf is ideal...it's nice and thin and lightweight and can be worn different ways...it sort of wants to roll up on itself and that's okay, makes it a long skinny scarf. I found I can wrap it once around my neck and have it hang long with less neck coverage, or twice for more coverage that's still not bulky at all. Or, I can fold it in half and then pull the ends through the loop which then hangs at a reasonable length but again is not bulky. I can already tell this is going to be one of my favorites next year.

My specs for this scarf can be found here.

Some Yarn

I enhanced my stash recently. More sock yarn. Which I needed like a hole in the head. Ha! I have been reading the blog The Knitting Wannabe for some time now. Recently, she opened her own yarn shop called Sonny and Shear. It's very cute...and so I decided to get some yarn and a pattern from her. I'd been drooling over a colorway from Lorna's Laces called "Tickled Pink" and so I ordered some from Kris. I like to support small businesses, and even though this is an online shop, it's small and therefore to me it's a bit like a friendly LYS. Anyway, I placed my order last Thursday, and discovered to my delight that the package had arrived on Saturday! Two days from the west coast to the east coast! I was very pleasantly surprised. It included some tasty-looking tea bags and a hand-written note from Kris. A nice touch, I thought.

And oh, right, the yarn. Here's the yummy pink stuff I got:

I love pink. I mean, reeeeeeeeeally love it (as if that's not obvious by now...) And variations of pink together are even better.

I also got myself a copy of the Fibertrends Felted Clogs pattern which I see all over the place and figured would be fun to try one of these days.

[Note: I have no association with her shop, I'm just a very satisfied customer and wanted to share that.]

A Kitten

Last but certainly not least, a couple of obligatory cute cat photos. First off, this photo is a bit old news by now, but this was what Moose looked like when he and Maddie first met:

I call this his "pipecleaner" tail. tee hee. He hasn't really freaked like this since, and I think he's warmed up to Maddie and just wants to play. Maddie, on the other hand, is not so sure about that. Moose likes to follow her around, and she's taken to jumping up on tables and counters to get away from him (since as yet he cannot jump up that high).

But sometimes he gets his way:

And finally, the type of photo that seems to make everyone say that they want to come back in their next life as a well-loved cat:

Just snoozin' on the sofa, looking so angelic. "HA" I say to that.

Last night we decided to let him roam the house overnight instead of trapping him in the family room as we've been doing. He spent the entire night on the bed with us. And how do I know this? Well, needless to say, I didn't get the best night's sleep I've ever had. Initially there was a lot of the pouncing on toes and anything that moved or just the pattern on the comforter, but eventually he settled down. Around 2am I awoke to some purring in my ear and discovered that he'd made himself comfy nestled up close on my arm. He stayed there, purring his little heart out, for a good 40 minutes at least, during which time I did not sleep solidly. Boy can that cat purr.

Now back to some knitting and my STR socks!


Spring is on its way

At 8:07 this evening, spring starts! Yay! And I've spotted a sure sign of it: outside the window at work there was a green thing sticking up through the remaining snow. I don't know what it was, but it was a bud and it was GREEN!

Spring is bittersweet for me as a knitter (and I'm sure I'm not the only one) since it means no more of my beloved scarves and mittens, and it also means that hot sticky summer is coming and that means no large knitting projects either. We don't have central a/c, but we do put the room a/c on in the family room when it's unbearable, but the rest of the time we just use fans, which is really fine with me. We do have ceiling fans, and I think they're the best as far as fans go.

But at least there are socks...for knitting, that is. I don't care to wear those in the summer either, but knit them? You bet! As I'm sure most knitters would agree, they're one of most the perfect warm weather knitting projects, not to mention great for summer vacation travel. We are lucky and get to go on two summer vacations each year...camping on a little island on Lake George in upstate NY with my in-laws, and then time with my family at a beach house in Delaware. Completely different types of trips...one is roughing-it and one is quite luxurious but both are equally awesome. My husband's family has been camping there since before he was born, and he grew up with it. Likewise, I grew up going to the Delaware shore with my family. I love family traditions, and I'm so happy to be a part of my husband's family traditions now too.

Knitting content? Photos? Hmm? Sorry to disappoint. The only knitting content I have is to say that I am actually trying to finish my Mimi Verylong scarf as soon as I can in the hopes of it being wearable before it gets too warm. I am almost there...just a little more to go. I keep putting a marker on the side so that I can see my progress...is it just me or is the end of a scarf like knitting into a void where you can't see any progress made? This is a quick knit, don't get me wrong, but I like it when I can see where I've been, ya know?

So, in other non-knitting news, I'm working on one of those "100 things about me" lists...I know, I know, it's old news to all you veteran bloggers. But as I am reasonably new to this blogging thing (at least new to having readers!) I thought I'd jump on that bandwagon. Plus, then any readers I do have would know more about me other than the fact that I am a knitter who has two kitties named Maddie and Moose!


Trouble with a capital "M"

This post is not about knitting. Nope. Guess what it might be about?

I came home from work to discover that this...

had done this:

and this:

and this:

See all that white stuff on the floor? Yep, that's toilet paper. Currently Moose's food and litter are in our lavatory that's off the kitchen, and we have him contained in the family room/kitchen area, while Maddie has the rest of the house at her disposal. Anyway, he apparently discovered the fun, spinning toy with long trailing white stuff hanging by the toilet. Funny little troublemaker cat.

My husband got back last night from his trip. I had been telling him all about how Moose was so much trouble when it was just the two of us these past couple of evenings...while I tried to eat my dinner at the coffee table while watching TV, Mr. Moose tried his darnedest to get in my food, stick his little head in my glass of water, scooch my silverware off the table, and was just a nuisance while I tried to eat. I'd set him on the floor or the sofa and he was like a rubberband and would just go right back to my plate. So last night, I wanted to illustrate what I'd been telling my DH about, so we ate at the coffee table. Moose then made me out to be a liar, and was a complete gentleman kitty. Figures!
And in knitting news...there isn't much. I did knit a bit on my Inside Out sock, but there's not much to report. Still enjoying it, still taking my time, still need to knit in the peace and quite of the bedroom.


Sock progress and Moose meds

First off, I'd just like to say thanks to the suggestions in the comments! I appreciate the ideas. It's nice to know that I'm not alone in the things I'm experiencing. :) And there's so much that we can all learn from each other. I too thought of the idea of using smaller needles, although I was also a little afraid of bending them since I had to really fuss with it. Hopefully sock #2 goes a little smoother.

Our little Moose kitty is doing well, seems very happy with us, although he's still sneezing a bit. I got a little worried on Friday after not seeing a whole lot of improvement and called the vet. But the girl I spoke to (she's one of the nurses there) made me feel better by saying that this is normal and it's a virus so it just needs to run its course and we should keep giving him the meds. The only bad news was we still need to keep him and Maddie separate till the sneezing really stops. Ah well.

Of course, to make things more interesting, my DH is away on a business trip till tomorrow, so I have to give Moose his medicine by myself. I have discovered though that this actually is possible, even though normally it's a joint effort. At least I'm finding that it's possible provided I am dealing with a) a small kitten and b) a small kitten as agreeable as Moose. He's such a sweetheart, purrs his little heart out when you pick him up and then only briefly stops purring while stuffing medicine in his mouth, but then re-starts the purring right afterwards. So sweet.

Normally, my husband holds him, and then I pry open his mouth with my left hand and then put the dropper in with my right hand. But my new solo technique is this: first I prep the dropper with the right amount of medicine, then I go retrieve the Moose. Then I hold him on my chest, and then lean back so he's sort of standing on my chest, then I can open his mouth with my left hand and squeeze the dropper in his mouth with my right. It's not a graceful maneuver by any stretch but it gets the job done! I suppose I could try setting him on the counter or something but then he'd probably wander away. This works so I'm going with it!

I had to share these pictures of Moose...he was sitting on the top of the sofa and started to fall in...he slipped down behind the sofa cushion. Apparently it didn't bother him any!

And even though this looks like practically the same picture, it actually isn't. He got up between the two. But I love his little face in this one:

I'm making a little slow progress on my Inside Out sock. I hung out with Moose most of the evening last night (which meant no knitting) so I only got about a row done when I went up to bed and to spend some time with Maddie.

Anyway, here's a couple of shots of the sock as it is right now. I think I like what the colors are doing...they were very random on the toe and now I have what appears to be a rather regular spiraled stripe going on. I love seeing and hearing about everyone's socks and what each person is getting depending on their gauge. Fun how the same pattern (or not) and the same yarn can yield such varied results. Here's the top of my sock:

and here's the sole:

I've tried it on and I think it's going to fit quite nicely! I'm enjoying working it, but definitely can't work on it for very long stretches of time as it bothers my wrists a bit.

That's it for now from here!



Don't knock it till you try it

[Warning! Rockin' Sock Club spoiler ahead!]

I am a big proponent of the phrase "Don't knock it till you try it." I totally agree that you should try something before you declare you don't like it, whether it be a new food or some sort of activity, like, say, knitting. You can't honestly tell if you will like something or not before you really give it a chance. Like oysters and clams, or escargots. All things I'm really not a fan of, but at some point in my life, I've tried them. Then and only then was I allowed to utter the phrase, "I don't like clams." Fair's fair, right?

Same goes for knitting techniques. In this particular case, the provisional cast on. I consider myself to be a fairly competent knitter, although I do admit to never having tried a provisional cast on. Not that I think this makes me any less of a knitter, but still.

So these here Rockin' Sock Club socks...the Inside Out socks...they call for a provisional cast on, and a short row toe. I know a lot of people use these techniques, and many for just this purpose, which would be forming a very neat toe on a sock. Don't get me wrong, I love how mine has so far turned out. But I won't lie to you and say this was the most relaxing knitting I've ever done. The first half of the toe went along fine and without incident, although I secretly feared that I would have to redo it if I'd knitted my cast on into the wrong set of bumps on my crochet chain, even though I'd practiced already.

What got me was the light and airy phrase of, "un-zip your provisional cast on and place the stitches back on the needle." Yeah, okay. I think this was the most fussy knitting technique I've ever tried! I think it was worse than un-binding-off something and tinking back 5 rows of lace! First off, I was under the impression that knitting cannot "run" from the bottom up, suggesting that you're safe when you get all those live stitches out there just waving around. Not so, at least in my case. A couple of them jumped ship down to the next row and I had to fish out my teeny tiny crochet hook to catch them. Also, the waste yarn didn't come off too easily, it required a bit of tugging (hence the aforementioned problem of wayward stitches). Once I got a few off the waste yarn, I put them on the needle. But just doing that was tough enough that I stopped worrying about which way they were facing, and just concentrated on getting them on the needle. I then found that doing them one by one was the way to go, since they were tight and hard to get on the needle. Once all 32 of the stinkers were safe, only then did I fuss with turning [most of] them around to face the way they were supposed to.

Ugh! There were a few choice words coming out of my mouth as I was grumbling my way through this process. I decided then and there that I don't like provisional cast ons. Maybe in a larger gauge, but not this one. Needless to say I did all this in the Moose-less peace and quiet of our bedroom.

All that said, I LOVE how it turned out. It is truly a fabulous-looking toe, and I can totally see why lots of people love this technique. But I'm just wondering, for me, is it worth the half-hour of angst it caused? I don't know. Perhaps I'll have a better answer after the second sock. I'm just not sure if it's my inexperience that made it tough, or if I'm doing something wrong. I used a bit of different sock yarn as my waste yarn, was that an error? Should I have used a thicker yarn? I won't change my technique for sock #2 but for future reference I ought to investigate.

Once I got into the ribbing, I took my knitting downstairs in hopes of being able to watch TV with my husband and get a little knitting done too. HA. It only took the kitten about .5 seconds to sniff out my knitting and come "help." So I put it away, after having only done a few stitches. Later I thought he was asleep on the back of the sofa and I got out my sock again...nope. I got a mere 3/4 of one round done.

Hopefully this weekend I will get some more done! Although I'll definitely have to retreat to a Moose-less room...while I have been typing this, he's been running around, clicking the mouse, walking on the keyboard, and chewing on my hair. Then he sat on my shoulder for a while watching the cursor move around the screen.



Project roundup

So. In the absence of WIP photos of my new Rockin' Sock Club socks (not a great loss, as I have only done half of the first toe, thanks to this), I give you this: my current WIP project stats. I hadn't taken/uploaded any recent WIP photos in a while, so I decided to get caught up on this.

Fuchsia Lace Scarf

I love this pattern. Very satisfying to knit, and totally do-able lace because it's such a narrow scarf, so it doesn't require a lot of brainpower for long periods of time. I totally love the slightly scalloped edging you do as you go along. Here's the scarf's status at the moment:

Just a note, for this and my other WIPs, there are links to patterns etc. on my sidebar under "On The Needles."

Feathery Lace Wrap

Another fun one. Great portable knitting, since it is so light and airy there's nothing to it. It too is another great, simple lace pattern, totally memorizable after a couple of repeats. If I leave it sitting for too long, then I have to brush up on it again, but if I'm on a roll with it, then it sails along nicely. I think it's a reasonably quick knit, although it's sort of "blind" progress since it's kind of big now. I actually like to put a marker along the edge so I can see my progress and don't feel like I am knitting into an abyss.

Mimi Verylong

I found this pattern on the KnittyBlog, but for some reason, the link to it is no longer on her sidebar. I am sure if you wanted it, one could email her for the pattern. It's another fun one, fairly brainless (in a good way!) and easy to work on.

I am quite entertained by how the blue is doing its striping thing. It has been zig-zagging back and forth across the scarf in what has turned out to be a very predictable manner the whole way. At first I wasn't so sure I liked it, but it has grown on me and I think it's kind of fun.

Lastly, we have some...

Plain socks

Just two pair of plain-pattern socks in fun yarns.

This yarn is KnitPicks Dancing, and it has some elastic in it. I like the way this sock fits. The color did some pooling, but that isn't something that bothers me. Nor do I need to have my handknit socks match exactly; for me, that's a part of the charm of them.

This is the start of a sock in Trekking XXL. I had started this sock, did the leg, heel and most of the foot when I decided it just wasn't going to fit. I was using smaller needles to make this a tighter knit and my usual number of cast on stitches wasn't going to work. (what's that? swatch, you say?) Anyway, I frogged that, and started over with more stitches. However, this is currently on some temporary needles as I have borrowed these 0's for my Rockin' Socks.

Hopefully tonight I will get some more knitting done on my new socks, and also some photos.



What knitting?

Laughter is good for you, right? The giggle-so-much-your-face-aches kind, the can't-breathe-tummy-hurts kind. I couldn't knit last night. Literally. Moose had me laughing so hard at all of his kitten antics that I literally couldn't hold onto my DPNs. And that was just my gauge swatch. (Which I might have to do over since my hands were so limp I was probably not getting my true gauge.) My husband was laughing at me laughing at the cat.

The funniest was when he was sliding around on the kitchen linoleum, swatting a piece of his food around. He'd gone from swatting a noisy rattle ball, then a puffball, and then to a piece of food, which was all the more funny because we couldn't see what it was he was playing with. And then he'd lose track of that piece of food, and would wander around looking for it. I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. Kittens are good for the soul, I think. And man, is he quick. Seconds after he's chasing food in the kitchen, he's on the top of the sofa, with a paw on your shoulder, peering at you with his huge eyes, wanting to see what you're doing. Which brings me back to the knitting thing.

DH had stated earlier in the evening that he was going to do a little work last evening, to which I replied, oh okay, cool, I'll knit while you do that. "You will?" he asked. I said, "Huh? Yeah I'm going to knit! You're going to do work, so I'm going to knit!" thinking to myself, when has he ever had a problem with me knitting before? Then he said, "Do you think Moose is going to let you knit?" "Oh." I say. Good point. And, ya know? He was so right. Between fending Moose off my yarn and trying to get a grip on my needles through my own giggling, I didn't get any further than a tiny little gauge swatch. I don't even think that's done. I think tonight if I want to get anywhere with this sock business I'll have to go hang out with Maddie in the peaceful side of the house.

In other news, I got the awesome button in my sidebar (it's a button button, tee hee, get it?) for the STR Sock Club from here. I love it!

I also have a question about how to get one of those little calendars for my sidebar, the kind where if you write a post on a given day, that date on the calendar is a link to that post. I just like them for some reason, but I can't figure out how to get that from blogger. I did manage to figure out some other things in blogger that were puzzling me though. I am liking this new version of blogger more now. Anyway, if someone knows how/if I can put one of those calendars on a blogger blog, please let me know!

Happy Knitting to all. :o)


Rockin' Socks!

"Clean-up in aisle Moose!"

That's what my husband said last night. I was upstairs brushing my teeth when he called up to me. Uh oh, I thought, what happened? No, Moose didn't yak, or miss his litterbox. He did, however, pull a mosaic tray of glass votive candleholders (not lit) off the coffee table and even though the candleholders hit the carpeted floor, the heavy mosaic tray followed and landed on top of them, which managed to break two of them! I'm really not sure how such a tiny cat managed to do this, but hey, I suppose anything's possible if you're determined enough. DH said Moose didn't really get scared by the ordeal, but he did get a little too curious and tried to help clean up the mess he'd made, so DH had to put him in the lavatory so we could clean up the glass. Silly Moose. And oddly enough, even though I liked those candleholders, I'm not the slightest bit heartbroken about them...and heck, I figure that's just a couple of things I no longer have to dust!

Warning: Rockin' Sock Club spoiler ahead!!

Upon arriving home from work yesterday, I pulled up to my house and spotted that telltale blue and white box outside the front door. YAY! Could hardly wait to get inside and open it up. Naturally, I had some help opening it. Moose was very curious about my STR kit, and I had the whole thing out on the coffee table and as I was excitedly inspecting it, so was he. He was pawing at the little emergency sock yarn skein, although he especially loved the little pull-tab strip that came off the shipping box. hee. Kittens are so easy to amuse (and apparently, so am I).

(And yes, that coaster you see on the table was in fact the inspiration for his name.) (And no, I did not stage the photo that way.) (And in the top left you can see the corner of the aforementioned mosaic tray, which, btw, survived the encounter with the Moose.)

I'm loving the kit...so nicely put together, the pattern printing is lovely, and so is the binder. This is really a quality operation. And the yarn, love the yarn. Can't wait to see how it knits, cuz I know it'll be great. Okay, truth be told, the color isn't one I'd have picked out for myself. But, as I believe someone else posted on the Sock Club blog (say that five times fast), I joined this club to be adventurous and to try something new! Plus, ya know? They're socks. You can wear any color socks. So I'm just going to dive in and enjoy this! Tonight I will cast on and do some swatching. Can't wait. I've got my knitting bag all set:

(FYI, that bag is from here. I've had that bag for a while and it makes a great knitting bag since it stands up by itself. Although, it doesn't have a zipper so I may need to come up with some sort of an anti-Moose security measure. Luckily Maddie never bothers my knitting.)

As I mentioned before, I am easily amused. So it will come as no surprise when I say that I am completely enchanted by the little emergency sock yarn keychain.

Oh, and I can't remember what the inside of my ball band said. I haven't wound it yet anyway.

Looks like a great pattern, and I can't wait to start them!


Knitting help

I am wondering how much knitting I'll be getting done in the near future.

Why is that, you might ask?

Here's why:

Meet Moose, our new kitten! We got him yesterday, and he's the sweetest little thing. He warmed up to us very quickly, and was soon purring and going back and forth between mine and my husband's laps looking for pets and head rubs. I am tentatively hopeful that I finally have the lap cat I wanted for so long!

We haven't introduced him to Maddie yet, because Moose has a little cold he's getting over. But I kind of think he's even doing better than he was yesterday evening when we brought him home. So, soon we'll be able to bring them together and see how that goes!

He's very curious and is being quite the active kitten, although at the moment he's snoozin' on the back of the sofa. And true to form, he also appears to appreciate handknits:

Back soon with some actual knitting content!