Gone Camping

Ahem. Long time no post, again. My apologies to my loyal readers…if you’re still there!! I do have some pretty pictures to show you, so hopefully that will appease you.

So, during my latest blogging hiatus, I was both here and very busy (no excuse) and also away on vacation (definite excuse as we were in the middle of nowhere). We went camping on Lake George, in upstate NY. So much fun! Well, okay, the rainy day-and-a-half was a bit of a drag, but when the weather is nice, there’s nothing better. We spend our time relaxing…sitting around in our camp chairs, reading, knitting (in my case anyway), snoozing in the hammock, swimming in the lake. And, lest I forget, soaking in the gorgeous view:

The place where we go camping is on one of many little islands in Lake George. It’s so gorgeous there…the water is clear, and surrounded by green everywhere. You need a boat of some sort to get to the islands for camping.

This has been my in-laws’ destination for their summer family vacation for many years, since before my husband was born. So they all have camping running in their blood. The new generation of littlest campers (our nieces and nephew) truly love it too. Oh and did I mention? We’re talking real camping here…as in, sleeping in tents and cooking on a camp stove and/or over open fire and swimming in the lake (no soap allowed!)…and last but certainly not least, using an outhouse (which can be seen lurking in the background of the following photo).

As for me, somewhere in our family album there is photographic evidence that I went camping as a toddler, but needless to say I have no actual recollection of this. However, I am proud to say that I have become a huge fan of camping! I’ve been going along on this yearly trip every year since I met my husband, and I love it, bugs and all. Actually, rain is way more of a pain than bugs. I don’t even mind the outhouse. I’m fairly low-maintenance when it comes to my hair etc., so I like to think I fit in pretty well to the camping scene. Granted, that first shower after coming back to civilization sure is a wonderful thing, but there’s also something fun about not having to worry about how you look for a few days, and just jumping into the lake for a swim each day to get the grime off.

Here's a picture with a couple of our tents (that’s ours on the right...what you can't see is that it's covered in ants...truth be told, I could've done without those, especially since many managed to find their way INTO the tent):

I got a quite a bit of knitting done on this trip. After much deliberation I ended up taking along my Grasshopper sock #2 and my Fuchsia Lace Scarf. Both were well-suited to camp knitting. I finished the sock before I moved on to the scarf. I also interspersed my knitting with some reading. It truly was a decadently relaxing vacation. We even decided to take an extra day off from work and extend our trip by one more day. I am glad we did since the day we would have had to drive back ended up being the most gorgeous day, and it would have been a shame to have missed it. This was also my personal record for number of successive days of sleeping in a tent: 4

Back soon (I promise!) with knitting updates and tales of FO’s!



I'm so excited!! I just had to write this quick post this morning because I discovered something fun, and it is something that I wanted to share with you because you will understand more than my muggle friends. (I did tell my husband and he was kind because he knew I was happy, but he doesn't really get it, ya know?)

So, I was eating my shredded wheat this morning, flipping through channels on TV. We have TiVo, and I pushed the button for the guide that shows what's on right now. Well, as I scroll through, what do I see? Knitty Gritty!!! See, we only have standard cable, not digital, so we don't get the DIY channel, so I thought all hope was lost, and even had a friend record the Yarn Harlot's episode for me (which I still haven't seen because said friend lives in Rhode Island). But much to my delight, I've now found that Knitty Gritty appears to be airing on the HGTV channel. How cool is that?! I've never seen the show before, so I am excited to check it out. I mean, an entire show about knitting? Too fun.



1. I've decided I really ought to be more organized with my posts. It has occurred to me that perhaps people don't like the long, rambly posts where I just go on and on about everything. Any thoughts from my few regular readers? I know I tend to do that a lot (and this one will be no exception), but that may not be the best for reading. I'm not sure whether people prefer lots of short posts or one long one. I guess I tend to save up stuff to babble about here and do it all at once. I realize this is my blog and it's ultimately up to me, but I don't want to alienate any of my readers by being too prolific. ;) Anyway, thoughts welcome.

2. I am currently trying to decide on and plan my knitting projects for our upcoming vacation...camping! I know I'll take Grasshopper #2, since I know what I need for that one, ie, notions-wise. I like to pack as light as possible because even though we're not hiking to our campsite or anything (it's on an island in a lake) there's still so much other crap that needs to be taken that I like to keep my personal effects to a minimum.

I was thinking I might want to start a lacy scarf too because that would be something small and therefore good for travel, but that will also hold my attention and therefore be perfect for sitting by the lake and knitting. I am currently thinking of trying the Branching Out scarf from Knitty. I just am not sure what yarn to use...I have some very light laceweight stuff but I am thinking this pattern might be better suited for a fingering weight yarn.

I also ordered a really cute fair isle hat kit that might be good to take if it arrives in time. Or I might take another ball of yarn which I've been wanting to make into a hat, just because again, that's a no brainer. Or perhaps just some plain socks. (I think I spend more time planning what knitting to take than all of the rest of the stuff like sleeping bags and tent!)

3. I felted/fulled* my two wool bags this weekend! They are currently drying. I have also decided that even though it has a neat result, I'm not so sure felting is my favorite thing to do after all. These took forever to felt, and the pink one didn't get as small as I'd have liked. The knitted fabric was very loose and the yarn was single-ply, so I'd have guessed that one would felt really well, but it didn't. Yes, I know I could've kept up with the felting, but after all that checking and resetting the machine I was just kind of done, ya know? It still came out very cute though, a larger bag than I was imagining, and the straps definitely not hand-carry length. I might be able to get them over my shoulder. Anyway, I think I'd rather just knit a bag and add a fabric lining. That might be the route I'll go in the future. Plus, you have more control over the end size of the bag, too.

The Marit purse felted really well though, and it'll be fun to see how it comes out when it's all put together. (You felt that one in pieces, and then sew them together using blanket stitch.)

4. I also got waylaid by another small quick project. See, this summer we've been doing a lot more biking, due largely in part to the fact that I got a new bike. I love my new bike, it's very comfortable (which is key) and rides great. I used to have a mountain bike from college days, and now my new one is a hybrid. And the kind of biking we do is on nicely paved (or packed gravel) paths that are relatively flat and not along roads or anything. We are very lucky to have such great paths to be able to bike on. We have to drive to them, but that's not a big deal. Anyway, I always take along my cell phone, wallet, car keys, etc. and used to use an old "fanny pack" bag that I looped around on my handlebars. Well, I wanted to make a new bag for my new bike for this purpose. So that's what I'm making. I finished the knitting portion of it yesterday, and now it's blocking. I am going to sew a lining and then add a strap with a hook on one end so I can fasten it to my handlebars. I think it'll work out well. I did a fun cable pattern, in a dark gray heathered bulky yarn. Photos when it's done!

5. Oh yeah, and something I forgot to mention on my last post about my Grasshopper sock. Once again, this club has come through for me in that I have learned new techniques. Just the way the toe-up version of the heel-flap heel was done was a new thing for me. Also, the toe, loved the toe. Even though the first couple of rows after that cast on were a tad fussy, to me it was worth it to not have to do the provisional cast on. Plus, that type of toe (where you increase every other row) is more intuitive to me than the short row toe. Although I liked that too. And then the type of cast on (the e-wrap or backwards loop) and the cast off ("sewn") were things I'd never tried but can certainly see their worth now.

I've been reading the Rockin' Sock Club blog all along and find a few people have commented about how they don't use the patterns because they don't like them or can't do them. Obviously, to each his or her own, I totally get that. I mean, we're supposed to enjoy this knitting thing after all! But for me personally, I am really enjoying the challenge of working the socks up the way they were designed, intended yarn and all. That's why I joined the club. Now, to be honest, sure, I may not have chosen some of these patterns or yarns either, but this is one thing I am really loving about the club is that it is stretching my boundaries and I am learning a lot more about my beloved craft of knitting.

6. I also may have, um, cast on some new socks as well, last night while watching the first Harry Potter movie. See, my other plain-jane socks are dark gray, hardly the color for summer knitting, right?! So I cast on some toe-up socks in Panda Cotton, Strawberries and Limes colorway. That photo link is a terrible picture, no idea why that even made it past my own QC. But it's what I've got right now! The colors are gorgeous, pinks sprinkled with lime green. yummy.

I am using my new found techniques of the toe from the Grasshoppers, and will probably do a stockinette short row heel. I want to do these toe up because they seem to be smaller balls of yarn so I want to make anklets. I intend to use that picot edge cast off I found too. More on these later!


**For the record, yes, I know that when you purposely shrink knitted fabric it's called fulling. I just find it easier to use the more common term of felting. :)

One grasshopper

I finished my first grasshopper. Yay! I like it. I still love the yarn, the colors, the softness. The sock fits pretty well...it's not the tightest sock I've ever made, but I'm not particularly picky about such things. So, I like it! And I'm not one to suffer from Second Sock Syndrome*, so I'll cast on for that one of these days. I actually like doing the second sock better because a), I'm more than halfway there, and b) I like having all of the fussy details worked out already like gauge, number of rows, etc., and I know what the end result will be.

I loved how this heel was worked...a toe-up version of the heel flap heel. Up till now I'd only done top-down socks this way, and I found this to be rather magical somehow.

My first time casting off I made the error in judgement of not following the technique in the pattern but instead just did a normal bind off. Well, bad idea. I could barely get the thing over my heel, and then needless to say it didn't go very far up my leg, either.

So I tinked back my cast off and then decided to follow the instructions included in the pattern for a sewn bind-off (scroll down on that page). Very cool! Here's a [not very good] close-up of it.

Anyway, it was much stretchier and worked great. Also a more fun cast off, if you ask me. Might be using that one more in the future, particularly for toe-up socks.

OH, and by the way, I'd mentioned something in one of my recent posts about a picot edge bind off, and I found one! Same place (sorta) I found the sewn bind off article, was this article with decorative bind offs. Good to know!

And because I haven't posted any photos of Moose lately, here we are. In this picture, he was sitting like this for a long time (while I dissolved in giggles). What he was looking at was the CD player which is on the shelf above him. Any time he hears us open the tray where you put the CDs, he comes running to sit below it and peer up at it. It's kinda funny.

And here we are, Mr. Moose sampling some water from my husband's water glass. One can never leave a beverage glass unattended anymore.

*Those of you who might recall my mentioning my little Knitting/Muggle Glossary may think I had forgotten to do it. Nope, it just got set aside. So, while nowhere near complete yet, I have decided to start linking to it where possible. Just to prove I didn't forget completely. :)


Ready to felt

I have now completed the knitting portion of the Very Pink Bag. It's ready for felting, so when I am done with the Marit purse I'll felt them both.

I added my i-cord handles, and tried to make the colors contrast each other. I wasn't completely sure of how long to make them, since with felting it's pretty much a crap shoot anyway. I just made them so they looked proportionately right to me. I do hope that the handles end up being hand-carry length though. I guess we'll see.


I started drafting this post when I was not yet done with the Marit purse...but I am now. Here are all the pieces:

Last night I completed the rest of the knitting portion of this bag, and distracted myself with some TV while I wove in a seemingly endless number of ends. Changing colors that many times makes a lot of ends! At least I wasn't too concerned with them because it will after all be felted.

I did the bottom (just a rectangle of stockinette) and the pointed edging that will go around the top (I should have taken this photo the other way, this is actually shown upside down):

...and then I made my 16 little bobbles, which turned out to be quite fun. Makes me want to find more things to put little bobbles on!

So hopefully I'll find some time soon to felt these. Maybe on our day off tomorrow...that would be fun, but more likely it'll be next weekend. We're having a couple of friends over for a festive 4th of July dinner tomorrow and I need to do a few things in the kitchen.

I'm having lots of fun preparing for the dinner...I love to entertain, especially when it's with good friends who will appreciate fun things like red and blue napkins and candles, etc. I am trying to find all of the red and blue things around the house that I can use, like bowls and such. I have some of those silicone baking cups (like these, as an example) and I have enough red and blue ones to use to make a festive dessert. Perhaps some reduced fat chocolate cupcakes (using apple sauce in place of the oil) with white frosting on which I can put red and blue sprinkles. Such fun!

Happy 4th of July, everyone!


In other news

This is almost old news now, but I got my June Rockin' Sock Club kit a week or so ago. I love it! Just in case there are still some people out there who haven't gotten theirs yet, I won't post spoiler photos. But I will link to them in case you want to see!

Here is the yarn and the pattern. I think it's a cute pattern, and I LOVE the colors in the yarn. This is an outdoor, natural light photo of the yarn. And, as always, the adorable emergency skein. hee. I never get tired of those.


The following photos are of an old project that I recently decided to modify a little. (In case you're interested, here are some previous posts about it, when I got the yarn and started the project, partway through, and when I finished it.)

Well, I like to think I didn't so much as "modify" it as "improved" it. I had made this purse a while ago, and I love it. However, since it had an open top and is very soft and floppy, I rarely used it because I was afraid things would fall out, even with the little "dinghy" bag I made and attached with a snap (see this page for a photo and specs on yarn and pattern). I had thought about putting a zipper on it but was so entertained by the fun watermelon lining fabric I had found for the bag that I didn't want to conceal it behind a zipper. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that a zipper was just what this bag needed, and that I could probably add one without losing the effect of the fun lining. So I found a bright green zipper and hand-stitched it in, while still letting a little of the lining show:

Then I added a beaded zipper pull, since I thought it could use that too:

I am very pleased with how it came out, and I think it was a good improvement on a cute bag.


Turquoise Summer Scarf

Finally I have something complete to share with you. I whipped up this quick little project in between working on other things since I wanted to be able to wear it right now and enjoy it. It's just a little thin scarf, actually an i-cord, to wear during the summer. I got this yarn because I liked the color (I think also partly because it's something different from my usual!) and I have a bright green shirt that it goes really well with.

The yarn itself is two yarns together, one a multi-colored ladder-style yarn that goes from bright green to blue. The other is the solid color turquoise that's a thick-and-thin type yarn. I think it makes a nice combination. The yarn is called Jo Ann Sensations Baja, but I can't find it on their website. I did get this yarn on sale so I am now wondering if it has been discontinued? Not sure.

I did the fringe in just the ladder yarn, partly because I wanted to see more of it but also because the other stuff was fraying. The ladder yarn has a nice "drape" as fringe too.

As I mentioned, this was simply an i-cord knit on two size 10 1/2 double-pointed needles. I cast on 8 stitches and worked through one ball of yarn. This turned out to be long enough (it measures about 58 inches) and so I didn't use much of the second ball except to make the fringe. This project could easily be made with just one ball of yarn if you reduced your stitches to 7, I'd imagine. (See also my project page here.)