Summer of Love Lace

Last weekend we drove north to visit my in-laws, and I had a bunch of knitting time in the car. I finished my Summer of Love Lace Socks! I LOVE them. They're going to be so comfy (when it gets cold out, heh).

Summer of Love Lace Socks

Summer of Love Lace Socks

Summer of Love Lace Socks

I think the cuffs came out rather matchy, considering I wasn't even trying. I love this yarn color so much.

Project Specs:

Pattern: Summer of Love Lace
Size: medium
Needles used: Size 1s (both straights and DPNs)
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts ~ Socks That Rock lightweight
Color: Flower Power
Amount used: most of one skein
Started: 4/27/08
Finished: 6/22/08


Project Roundup

So much for trying to keep up with my blogging! heh. Well, I have lots of updates for you today. I just posted about my socks that I finished, and here's where my WIPs stand.

You may recall I was making a bag out of some STR Heavyweight. I had originally tried a woven stitch but was not enjoying knitting it and so I opted for stockinette. Well, I finished both sides and did most of the strap...and then totally lost my steam. I just wasn't into it anymore. I love the colors, but not for a bag. So I decided to set it aside before I got more upset with it.

Here's where I was before I put it away. Here are the two halves of the bag blocking:

bag parts blocking

I do like how the patterning came out...very different for each half, depending on where in the colors I started knitting.

This was the first half:

first side

And this was the second half, which I think is kinda cool looking:

second side

But still not a bag. :( So I'll let it sit for a while and see what I want to do with it. I might end up ripping it all out and making socks with it, which of course wouldn't be the worst thing in the world! ;)

In other knitting news, you probably don't remember this but a while back I mentioned that I wanted to rip out and reknit my Coronet hat so that the band didn't have to be turned up since it was moving around too much and was also a bit tight on my head. This clearly was not a high priority now that it's summertime but the other day I came across the hat and was suddenly inspired to just do it. So I did...I measured and figured out how many rows I'd need to remove from the straight knitting portion, and then undid my end, attached it to my ball winder, and frogged! It's kinda fun to do that now and then, heh. I had already gone around and put all the stitches on the needles again, so then I was able to restart. It's been good TV knitting these past few days since I'm not allowed to work on my travel socks (more on that later) until my trip.

Coronet Hat - reknit

I like it much better now, I think the edge looks better, and now I know the brim will stay put and won't unroll or roll too far up and show the back side of it. It also fits me a little better now. I love how the top of this hat looks...you do the crown decreases really fast on this, so it sort of bunches up. I like it.

Let's see...next up we have the WIP Pink Flamingo Socks. I still love these, but they are just stockinette so they are around for when I need something mindless. They're coming along nicely.

Pink Flamingo socks WIP

Since those are almost done (or at least close enough so that they're not worth bringing on a pack-as-light-as-I-can trip) I started two new pair for traveling, both on bamboo needles (for getting through airport security!):

red and gray socks

These are just going to be stockinette socks, and though I'm not entirely thrilled with this yarn, it was the only one in my stash that seemed suitable for size 2 needles. This is actually the very first sock yarn I ever purchased, but I never knit it. It's pretty soft, and I'm hoping I'll like the colors better when I really get going on the sock.

These I'm more excited about...they're going to be my first pair of Jaywalkers!


The yarn is Regia in this VERY colorful colorway. These are going to be neon bright socks, but that's okay. One needs a little color in the middle of winter. But mainly I chose this yarn because it's sorta stripey and I hope will do a good job showing off the zigzag pattern.

I know those aren't very exciting photos of socks seeing as they're only about an inch long yet, but I can't work on them any more now because I am saving them for our upcoming trip. As I kind of mentioned, we're flying so I wanted to have projects on bamboo needles so I don't have any trouble in security. This is why I needed to finish up my Summer of Love Lace Socks since I only have one pair of bamboo size 1s (I know, I need to rectify that situation).

My sidebar is also up-to-date and you may notice that I have my Turquoise Print O' The Wave Stole listed under my "On The Needles" list. Yep, I started it! But as I've only completed about 2 rows I'm not bothering with a photo yet. I still need to get the hang of that one, but I think it might be easier than I thought. Once I get rolling on it I'll share more about it. It's not traveling with me on this trip though because I really don't want to take my chances on with my metal-tipped needles.

So that's where things stand. Now I must run and go clean the house...DH has already started vacuuming upstairs and I need to go help!


Self-tagged meme

I read this meme over at Chicken Knits and decided to join in!

Here's the deal:

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
Uhm...working at the same job I am now? heh. ;) Let's see...I was also living in this same house, but at the time as the daughter, not as the wife/homeowner! (By way of explanation...my husband and I bought the house from my dad)

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order)?
Well, my To Do list today was (it's after 10pm) to clean the house, go to the grocery store (exciting stuff, I know...just stop me now), go to the fabric/craft store to get notions for my bag, and stay cool. It's freakin' hot here right now...we're having an early June heat wave. And #5 is to finish and post this entry and reply to all my comments before I go to bed.

3. Snacks I enjoy:
Let's see...I like gummy bears, pretzels, Cheddar Chex Mix, grapes, mangoes...

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Okay, this is total fluff, but...pay off the house, perhaps get an apartment near a ski area and/or beach house for vacationing, hire someone to clean my house (heh heh!), hire a personal trainer to help me get in shape...buy my husband his dream car(s)...

5. Places I have lived:
Pennsylvania; Tokyo, Japan; Istanbul, Turkey; Leysin, Switzerland

6. Jobs I've had:
Friendly's Ice Cream waitress (where I was a multi-purpose waitress/hostess/bus-person/salad-maker/ice cream scooper/dishwasher-loader...they had you do everything there), currently a proofreader...

7. Peeps I want to know more about:
I'm not going to tag anyone either...I self-tagged, and feel free to do the same! :o)


Yarn and a bag-to-be

And now back to your regularly scheduled KNITTING blog. ;o)

One of my LYSs recently changed ownership and moved to a new location. My dear sweet husband agreed to accompany me on a search for the new place. We found it pretty easily, and it is in a cute little area where shop fronts look like they haven't been updated in years...but in a good way. It has an old timey charm.

Anyway, of course I couldn't walk out of there without some yarn! I found this stuff called Maizy by Crystal Palace Yarns, in the colorway Stormy Purple.

Maizy yarn

I've since swatched a little and it's rather splitty...but I still like the color and the feel of it. It's similar to that Panda Cotton too, which I have two balls of. Speaking of which, these are dense little balls of yarn...very small, but 204 yds each!

Moving on...to photos of my Socks That Rock! I had links before but I feel obligated to show actual photos. ;)

Here's the STR Lightweight in Fire on the Mountain (not a great photo):

STR Fire on the Mountain

Here's a photo of one side of it...

STR Fire on the Mountain

and the other side of it...

STR Fire on the Mountain

It is amazing, gorgeous, rich color. Can't wait to see how it knits up.

This is my STR lightweight in Pink Granite:

STR Pink Granite

That will make some beautiful and yet practical socks. I wear a lot of pink and black, so they'll be great.

Now, on to my bag project. I think I mentioned before that I want to make a purse and decided on STR as a good candidate for it. I wanted something that'll hold up and what better than sock yarn, right?

I decided on Peaseblossom colorway (after MUCH deliberation) and got that in STR Heavyweight. Here it is:

STR Peaseblossom

And here is the obligatory yarn cake photo (which, I might add, refuses to stay intact and has been the most misbehaving yarn cake I've ever encountered! But I guess I'll let it slide.)

peaseblossom yarn cake

As I also mentioned before, I was thinking of either a woven stitch or the one from My So Called Scarf for the bag. Well...okay, here's my swatch, scarf pattern at top, some stockinette in the middle, and woven st at the bottom:

bag swatch

Based on that swatch, I decided I loved the look of the woven stitch. But it didn't like me. I kept messing it up, and as you can see by the below pic, my gauge/tension changed a bit and so did the color patterning. You can see a definite line there, and also can see that it started pulling in. I think that was about the time that I started getting frustrated with it!

woven stitch

It's pretty though!

woven stitch bag started

So...I gave up on it. I cast off and will make this piece into a coin purse to use with the purse.

woven stitch coin purse to be

New plan: stockinette bag with possibly a patch on the front as a pocket, made out of the My So Called Scarf pattern, which I think is really pretty, and isn't as tedious as that blasted woven pattern!

bag in stockinette

There! I think I'm all caught up! I finally caught up on reading blogs, and am feeling my blogging mojo returning a bit. We'll see if I keep up on this!

Finally some photos

Okay, I'm finally back with photos! I was planning on doing this all in one post, but I think that might be a bit overwhelming, so I'm going to split it up. Especially since it's all different topics anyway.

First up...more flowers! We planted these bulbs last fall, and they came up nicely (although all the leaves flopped over). I forget what they're called...somewhere I have the little tag from the package. Anyway, they look neat next to our garage.

purple flowers

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Remember a while back I mentioned my white cat, Pamuk? And I showed you here that we'd made a stepping stone for the spot where he's buried in the yard. Well, last fall or so our niece was having a fundraiser for school where she was selling various things, so we bought some flower bulbs. We didn't get the bulbs until it was too wintry to plant them, so we stored them in the fridge for the winter and planted them this spring, just sort of hoping for the best.

Well, surprise of surprises, something actually came up! The only one that came up was a tulip right by Pamuk's stone, so we called it Pamuk's flower.

Pamuk's flower

Since then some daffodils have come up, so we were rather pleased with the bulbs after all!

Okay, more cat photos...after a recent trip to Costco where we picked up a random box to tote home our goodies, someone found the box:

Moose in a box of beans

And I love this one...I SO gotta come up with a caption and submit it to icanhascheezburger.com!

Not for use in salads

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Okay. Back to the crafty side of things...although not knitting just yet. In my last post I mentioned a cross stitch design that had caught my eye. Here is the photo from the magazine:

paisley pattern in magazine

And here is my progress thus far:

paisley cross stitch


As I mentioned before, I am using waste canvas so that I can do the cross stitch design on something other than actual cross stitch Aida fabric. It's a fun design to stitch...I love the colors, and there are beads, too!

Back soon with photos of yarn and knitting!


Remember me?

So yeah, I sorta dropped off the face of the earth again for a while there.  Call it laziness, I guess.  I kind of ran into a lack of energy to blog and read blogs and comment...  Sort of hard to explain but sometimes I just get overwhelmed with the little things and need a break.  So I've been taking one.  The other thing is that when I get home from work, there are SO MANY other things on my to do list right now that quite honestly blogging and reading blogs just aren't making it.  Please don't take this as a personal affront at all!  And I don't have the energy to upload photos in the evenings, so that's why you're getting this texty post now.  ;)  (Also...I'm at work and my only way to post is by emailing.  I suppose I could do this more often, but I don't have that much of interest to babble about!  So I can't do photos...so links are what you get!)
Does anyone else feel like this sometimes?  I manage to get myself so overwhelmed with day-to-day stuff that needs to be done that pretty soon I don't want to do any of it and it all falls apart, piles grow, and nothing gets done.  I sure hope I'm not the only one.  One of these days the energy will hit me and I'll start accomplishing things and I'll be back on the upswing.
I have been knitting and crafting though!  In knitting news, here's where things stand:  I am on sock #2 of both my Pink Flamingo socks and my Summer of Love Lace socks.  As I say, no photos...just use your imagination!  I mean, the second sock looks pretty much like the first sock did.  heh.  ;)
Neither are moving very fast though (not in a hurry either) because I was wooed away from my knitting by a very pretty cross stitch project.  I used to be a cross stitcher, back before I became a true Knitter.  Since then I've been away from it, but this one project caught my eye and I could not resist.
My coworker brought in a magazine to show me and then kindly let me borrow it because of the pattern I fell in love with.  It's a gorgeous paisley design, and I am a complete sucker when it comes to paisley, it always catches my eye.  Here is a link to a picture of it.
Purty, huh?  I didn't try to find the hand-dyed purple cross stitch Aida fabric, gorgeous though it may be, so I opted for some ordinary cotton fabric paired with waste canvas in order to stitch my design, which is working out well so far.  When it is all done I'll sew a tote bag of some sort and use the design as the front panel.  I'll post a photo of my project when I get off my duff and take a photo of it.
I'll admit...it's been kind of fun to work on something other than knitting, but at the same time, after a few days of that I really started to miss my knitting!  Especially since the cross stitch isn't as easy to just pick up and work on for just a little while like a sock or something.  Much more cumbersome getting out the pattern, figuring out where I am, wrestling with the thread, keeping Moose off of the end of the thread, threading the needle, etc.
I needed to order something for my project from Joann.com and while on there I became totally smitten with two other projects...and they were on sale so I had to order them (heh, heh).  They're cross stitch Christmas ornaments, and they have incredible detail and are just so, well...enchanting!  Each kit has 6 different smallish designs which will be nice as I can do them one at a time, so it's not a major project that way.  The kits I got are here and here.  Aren't they pretty?  I love the little Christmas village ones...the detail is awesome.  You can zoom in to the designs on that page and see what I mean.
In my last post I mentioned having ordered some BMFA Socks That Rock...and I got it last Friday.  Woohoo!  Gorgeous colors!!  Not that I was surprised or anything.  :)  The Pink Granite is definitely going to be great, and the Fire on the Mountain...WOW...the colors!  So vibrant!  I'm definitely glad I went for that one.
The other skein I ordered was the STR in heavyweight in Peaseblossom to make a purse.  I haven't counted that in my WIPs because it's had a couple of false starts.  I swatched two stitch patterns, this woven stitch and the pretty stitch pattern from My So Called Scarf.
I love the look of the My So Called Scarf pattern, but it had a lot of long loops that could potentially catch on stuff, if it were made into a bag.  So my initial swatch led me to believe I wanted the woven stitch...it was smooth on the front, nothing to catch on anything, great for a bag.  However, about 4 inches into it I realized it was not going to work out.  I liked the outcome...the dense fabric that appeared to be woven.  But I was not enjoying it, kept making errors (the alternating of knit or purl with a yarn fwd or yarn back and a slip stitch was making me batty), and it was just generally making me cranky!  And that is not how knitting is supposed to be.  I was also having some tension issues...I found myself gripping it so hard that I was tugging on the yarn way more than I should have.  This then changed my gauge as I went along which was actually slightly apparent in how the colors were dancing around in the knitting, as I could see a point where it started to change.  I probably could have tried a larger needle size, but in all honesty, I just didn't enjoy knitting that pattern.  At least not in the quantity required for this 8.5" x 8.5" bag.
So instead of ripping out what I had already done, I decided to bind off and then make that piece into a little coin purse, which I wanted to do anyway.  The woven stitch is so dense that no lining is necessary and it'll make a great companion piece to my bag.  I am back to thinking stockinette is how I want to go for this bag, since I wanted to line it anyway.  Sounds boring, but I might use that pretty stitch pattern from the scarf above to make a pocket which I'll attach to the front of the bag.  I'm also still brainstorming as I go to see what else I can come up with.
That's about it from here, minus some promised photos.  Oh--I also wanted to share this:  I learned something valuable in my recent whittling-down of my WIPs to a mere two projects.  I thought I would like it.  I thought I would appreciate how neat and tidy that was, no major commitments, just two measly projects, etc. etc.  However, I learned something.
I was wrong.
Sure, initially I found this to be pleasant and organized and freeing in a sense, but I soon came to the realization that this was simply not the way things should be done.  I have discovered that I in fact need to have several projects going just so that I have options...do I want to sit on the porch, listen to music, and enjoy the lovely weather, and knit something complex?  Or do I want to veg in front of the TV with some stockinette?  I also must have something that will go on and on for a while, like a scarf or wrap, so that there's no need for fussing with designing or sewing up seams or whathaveyou.  I found that with only two projects, both of which are currently stockinette socks, I was not fulfilling my needs when it comes to having just the right portable project as knitting does so well.
I will learn from this!  I will always have something cast on that is suitable for any kind of situation!  This is my new M.O., and I'm not going to be ashamed of it!
Oh and one more thing...I haven't started that turquoise Print O' The Wave Stole yet, but I will.  Thing is, we have a big trip coming up that involves a few plane rides, and I don't want to chance losing my new Addi Lace needles which I got for that, so I'll be taking socks on bamboo needles instead.  I figure one patterny pair (Jaywalkers? Monkeys?) and one plain.  I need to start those soon and get all prepped for my trip.  I like to have things established before I leave so I'm not diving blindly into a new knitting project once I'm away from home.  After that trip we have a couple of local family vacations too, for which the stole will be perfect.  It's definitely going to be started soon!
Anyway, if you've made it this far in this VERY long and wordy post, thanks for sticking with me!  I'll try to get back into reading and commenting, too, I promise.  I think my blogging mojo just might be making a comeback.  ;)