Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Out of Time

I have absolutely no time to take photos of my WIPS. I have been working on socks - DUH! - and the Canopy Shawl, which is so easy and fast. At the same time I have had to type and print family reunion programs, cookbooks, newsletters, name badges and registration lists for this weekend. Also, putting together goodies bags and finding door prizes. Our family is gathering at Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, NV for our reunion. I have had no time to take pictures. ** Note to self: charge the camcorder and pack some clothes ** I have not been able to visit Ravelry much either. ** Note 2 to self: check all e-mail accounts, and put Half.com on vacation status**

I will probably finish a few things this weekend, we are driving so that's lots of knitting time. The Fawkes pattern is really beautiful in the STR Firebird yarn, but I am running through this ball of yarn like mad. I hate to say it, but I may have to rip this sock out. If I cannot get a sock out of one hank of STR at 350 yards, I will rip them out. The designer tells you from the get go that the cabling eats up yarn - with that in mind I bought a second hank of Firebird. But, I still thought I would only need 50 or so yards from the second hank to complete the pair. But at this rate, I will just get the first sock out of this hank of yarn. I don't think a single pair of socks should require 700 yards of Socks That Rock yarn. Too expensive. I will buy some solid yarn, like Regia Silk or Louet Gems and reknit them at less cost. It would really be a shame though cause they are gorgeous so far. Well I will have the memories, the photos and the yarn - starting to sound like a really good idea!! We'll see after I finish the last repeat of the leg portion.

We have to drop the baby off at his Auntie's on the way out of town. He is going to get spoiled - she has been wanting him over for a visit for a while. My poor sister has serious back problems and will not be going to the reunion, the first one she has ever missed. I will have to bring her something really good from Vegas. Mom's doing well and is looking forward to seeing everybody. Most of the recipes in the cookbook are hers. Yummy.

My Knit Alongs all start tomorrow. I am all ready.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Sundara - Long Time Coming

Black Over Violet

I still have not been able to get any of the unique colorways I have tried to order from Sundara Yarns. So, I settled for some of the semi solid repeatable colors. This yarn has such a nice feel and the color is so deep.


Shipping is slow and I probably won't go through that process again. I will have to choose just the right projects for this yarn.

Cobalt and Mediterranean Blue

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Feeling Warm and Fuzzy

Jewelry for my needles. Aren't they gorgeous? They are from Anna at Entrelac dot etsy.com.

A Little Socks That Rocks Heavyweight to keep my little toes warm. Can't wait until they are all grown up into socks. I think Covelite and Amber may be replacing Terra Firma as my favorite colorway. They are all so yummy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Casting On

I am going to cast on my Socktopia Harry Potter Themed Socks tonight. I am going to cast on all three patterns: Bellatrix, Fawkes and Nagini. I don't feel there were any surprises in The Deathly Hallows, but it did not answer all of my ponderings either. I will listen to it again in a few days. Right now I need a break from Jim Dale's voices. 17 CDs straight through on Saturday/Sunday. . . Too many Death Eaters, which I don't feel he does particularly well.

I am also going to cast on my Jigsaw Socks, Dharmafey says they knit up pretty quickly.

KALS Queue:
Sock of The Month 4 KAL: Bellatrix for August
HP Sock Swap Two: Ravenclaw Colorway Socks
Six Sox Knit Along: Pattern to be distributed Aug. 1
Lace Style: finish sock two, Floral Lace Anklet (I don't enjoy this pattern at all)
Harry Potter KAL 7: Fawkes, Nagini & Bellatrix throughout August
Jigsaw Sock Along: Jigsaw socks of course
The Loopy Groupie Q3 Challenge: all of the above :D

On The Needles:
The second Blue Monkey, I have completed four of the six repeats on the leg. I will probably turn the heel tonight.
The forgotten Trekking XXLs, about another 2 inches before I turn the heel on the first one. The Dye-anamics! yarn came and knocked this poor little sock to the back of the line. It's back in my purse and will be getting some attention.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Loving Dye-anamics!

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I have finished another pair with Dye-anamics! yarn. They have the best yardage for the price too. 430 yards. I have enough yarn left over for a child's pair of socks and the colors are so beautiful.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Plunging On

My Gryffindor Sock yarn arrived. I am not sure when I will get to cast it on though. I have lots of KALs to work on. About 6 pairs, before I start another personal pair.

Progress on my Blue Monkeys and Ocean Dreams Socks. All of my WIPS should be done in time for the August Knit Alongs I have joined.

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I finished the pair of plain stockinette socks in the Dye-anamics! 52 Pair Plunge Colorway. Size Womens Medium on size 3 classic circular needles.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hogwarts Sock Swap Questionnaire

1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into? Gryffindor
2. Shoe size? 10 ½ inches
3. Foot Length? 10 ¼ inches
4. Foot Circumference? 11 ½ inches
5. List your three favorite double-point needle brands, including size and length. I don’t use DPNs I knit socks with Circulars
6. Would you like to try a new brand needle? Yes
If so, which brand? Addi Lace Knitting Needles
Size? 4 - 6
Length? 24 –40 " cable
7. If you are a RAVENCLAW, do you prefer the colors in the film or the book?
8. Allergies? Do you have any? Cigar/Cigarette smoke
Will your knitting be exposed to smoke or animals? Dog hair
9. Are you an international participant (outside US)? No.
Are you willing to have an international Hogwarts Sock Pal? Yes.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Nagini Has Slithered In

Socktopia/Monkey Toes now has three Harry Potter themed patterns posted. Bellatrix, Fawkes and Nagini. I think I will knit Nagini in the STR Monsoon colorway. Hopefully the colors will look like scales. Bellatrix has been sorted into the Ravenclaw Stripe and Fawkes shall be reborn from the ashes as Firebird. Those are my goal for the Harry Potter 7 KAL. For the Jigsaw KAL I will use, uhm, Jigsaw Heirloom. They will all go towards my 52 Pair Plunge total. Yay!!!

I finally got some Sundara Sock Yarn, thanks to the recommendation of Brooklyn Tweed eons ago. There was never anything left by the time I e-mailed her. So I ended up just getting some semi-solids, which I still had to wait for because she was so busy with the yarn club and on vacation. Totally worth the wait!! The depth of color and the feel of the yarn is running neck and neck with with Socks That Rock. Seriously. There are lots of patterns in my queue, but at least one skein will become Horcrux and another a pair of Uzumes. It's a toss up for the last skein, that Blue - OMG, gorgeous.

Gotta go get my knit on!!!

Monday, July 16, 2007



52 Pair Plunge


Ocean Dreams

Cuff of second Blue Monkey complete.



I have updated my stash photos on Flickr and Ravelry - both under ID paletpc, go along and enjoy the eye candy. Links are in the sidebar. Sadly to say the Lime & Violet Sock Yarn Marathon ended last night. I did achieve my 5 mile goal plus some. There were several marathoners that surpassed 6 freaking miles. So I am not expecting to win any prizes.

I completed the Blue Monkey and the 52 Pair Plunge (no picture yet) socks. I cast on the second socks of both pairs. I am just about to turn the heel of the Ocean Dream sock. Dye-anamics! does some truly beautiful colorways. http://www.dyenamicsyarn.com/Yarns/Custom.htm

I received my Knit Picks Felici collection. Yummy, I love the colors. The yarn is much finer than the Memories line. I will probably have to go down to a size 2 needle. http://www.knitpicks.com/Felici_YD5420165.html

I know I am being lazy about links this post, not tucking them neatly into the html code. But hey as long as they get you there.

I have joined two new knit alongs.
HP 7 KAL Details:

Read the new "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", knit something HP themed and meet other HP geeks!
1. NO SPOILERS! No discussing major plotlines, twists, endings, etc until 1 month (date may change) after the book's release. Yes, I'm dying to talk about it with everyone else, but everyone reads at different paces, so we CANNOT RUIN IT!
2. Work on any HP pattern you please. Pick one out or make one up yourself. I'm going to work on a list of free and not-so-free patterns for ideas that will be in the sidebar. Please let me know if you find any others.
3. Can't we all just get along? No fighting. I am a firm believer in Civil Discourse. You're free to express your opinion, even if that opinion disagrees with someone else's, but there is no need to attack the other person or their ideas. Seriously now folks, we're knitters, lets play nice.
4. You can join at any time, just email me at firespinner526 (at) gmail (dot) com. Let me know your name or alias, blog address, and email so I can send you the invite.

The other is the Jigsaw KAL which we kinda nudged Dharmafey (sockinthecity) to host. More details to follow. http://pinkmonkeyknits.blogspot.com/2007/05/jigsaw-socks-pattern.html

I also registered for the TKGA National Conference and CGOA Regional Conference in September. A link is in the sidebar. I love taking classes and shopping at the fiber market. The one thing I learned during the other conferences, buy it when you see it and buy more buttons. I have had such a hard time finding buttons for my projects. So I plan to visit all of the button vendors this year.

I have signed up for the following classes:

Thursday, September 27, 2007 · 9:00 AM - Noon

Thursday, September 27, 2007 · 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Instructor: Darla Fanton

F107C-Design 1A Just Rectangles (Crochet or Knitting)
Friday, September 28, 2007 · 9:00 AM - Noon
Instructor: Nancy Nehring

Friday, September 28, 2007 · 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Instructor: Joan Davis

Saturday, September 29, 2007 · 9:00 AM - Noon
Instructor: Darla Fanton

Saturday, September 29, 2007 · 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Instructor: Karen Klemp

N109C-Introduction To The Savvy Single Crochet (Crochet)
Sunday, September 30, 2007 · 9:00 AM - Noon
Instructor: Karen Whooley

Sunday, September 30, 2007 · 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Instructor: Jennifer Hansen

My focus is on crochet this year. I have neglected it in the past. Crocheting is faster and better for stash busting. One of the projects I completed in Beth Brown-Reinsel's class on Aran Sweaters was this cute little sampler. I used Debbie Bliss Aran yarn which was a little bulky for such a small project, but would probably be perfect for the full sized version.

** **
200th POST ** **

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Learning to Read

When I first started attending our Stick With Chicks group at work I was strictly a crocheter. I found a very inspiring Cable Sweater pattern that I was determined to knit for my sister so I bought lots of yarn, tools, books and needles. I bought the sweater workshop by Jacqueline Fee and started working on the Sampler. I ripped it out about four times, because I could not (yet) read the stitches. I could not figure out what I had done incorrectly when I would have too many or too few stitches on the needle. There was an experienced knitter in our group, Heidi and she has been knitting since she was very young. One day someone brought in a hand knit aran/gansey sweater that they had no pattern for. Heidi PHOTOCOPIED the actual garment and wrote up the stitch pattern and cable charts. I realized immediately that one of the most important skills I needed to learn if I was to become a KNITTER was how to read. Crochet stitches also need to be read, but they are generally larger and easier to discern. However, it is a skill that must be learned by crocheters as well. I have been crocheting for 34 years so reading crochet stitches is second nature, and I am not even sure when I acquired the skill. I had to consciously stop and read my knitting at various stages while knitting the sampler to learn what the stitches looked like when done correctly and incorrectly. For example, I was picking up my stitches backwards and knitting into the back of them on the next row. Not a problem, but an unecessary step once I learned to wrap the yarn in the correct direction when picking the stitch up. I had to learn that a yarn over sits on the needle at a slant and has no bump or vee to it. I can now tell the difference between a K2tog and an SSK by the way the two knitted stitches lean in the row. I have about a hundred knitting books and I know that this information is written there and probably nicely photographed and illustrated. But I learned to read my knitting on the needles instead of in a book and I now consider myself a KNITTER. Learning to read is one of the best gifts you can give yourself as a knitter or crocheter.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Technical Difficulties

Ravelry Servers are down and Blogger won't let me enter the Title field. What's up with this? I know Tranformers is out and all that, are the machines about to take over? As long as they don't touch my yarn stash it's all good. Actually my electric ball winder did kind of mess with my yarn stash. I had made nice little yarn bricks of my Sea Wool and Merino from Fleece Artist and the fingering weight hank of Dye-namics! when all hell broke loose. My near worsted weight 52 Pair Plunge colorway yarn from Dye-namics! got caught in the the ball winder because the hank had a twisted section. The yarn had to be cut a couple of times and the remainder balled by hand. It took forever. In comparison to the first 3 bricks which took about 10 seconds each, that is. It's all a matter of perspective I guess. At least I knew to use my hand winder for the other hank of worsted weight Dye-namics! There will be WIP pictures of these yarns up soon.

I am sure this has never happened to you, but I "lost" a skein of yarn. I finished the Denim Jean Regia Silk Monkey sock and was about to cast on the second sock, but I could not find the other skein of yarn. How could that happen? I had to go through my sock yarn stash. Oh My DOG!!! I poured out the laundry bag of sock yarn on the bed and saw several colorways of STR that I did not even know I had, and where did all that Interlacements and Lorna's Laces come from? Then I poured out the plastic comforter bag of sock yarn and, my goodness, hadn't I used any of the Fearless Fibers yet??? It was ovewhelming. So much so that I decided not to post any stash photos in Ravelry. I am going to just list the skeins and hanks in hopes of not ordering any more of the same colorways and weights. Oh boy. I actually had to go through both of the storage bags twice before I found the skein I needed. Somehow the first time through I thought it was Knit Picks instead of Regia. Anyway after spending at least an hour fondling my yarn and scratching my head I cast on the second Blue Monkey and the first 52PP socks. I dare say, I have to agree with my Sister at last, I don't need any more yarn.

I may have to stop listening to podcasts for awhile, too many enablers. Or, I should pour out my stash before hitting the play button - try to keep it all in perspective.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Another Pair Takes The Plunge

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Socks That Rock Lemongrass Colorway
1 skein lightweight
360 yards
Pattern: Moc Croc
Designer: Susan Lawrence
Needles: Size 2 KP Classic Circulars
Womens Size 9-11

Friday, July 06, 2007

I am on Time Out

I am sitting in the corner on time out for telling a big LIE. I tried to stick to my Ravelry at work only rule, in hopes of exerting some control over the situation but NOOOOO. I have been on Ravelry every night at home, bad bad bad. I have been reading forums, posting projects, figuring things out. I started entering my stash, I got the 36 yarns around my chair entered :) I am down to the toe of the second Mock Croc Sock, but I did not turn the heel on my blue Monkey. Geez, it's like Shopping - this Ravelry thing. Oh, and speaking of shopping (now that my order has been shipped) there are some new colorways on Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sock That Rock pages and the Firebird colorway is available to members for purchase. I ordered all of the colorways of the new Knit Picks sock yarn Felici. So yeah, a little stash enhancement has also occurred, another hour in the corner!!!!

I did manage to meet my goal for the Lime and Violet sock yarn marathon - 5 plus miles of sock yarn have been used. Granted I have purchased probably twice that much since the marathon began. The marathon ends July 15th and I believe I will finish 2 more pairs of socks before then. So gold star for Bevie.

Monday, July 02, 2007

My First BSJ

I finished my first Elizabeth Zimmermann baby surprise jacket. It took about 4 days to knit. I would really like an adult sized sweater but I would have to jazz it up with some stitch patterns. The garter stitch was starting to lull me at the end. I used vintage buttons from my stash.

Patons Classic Merino
100% New Wool
Main Color: Aran, 2 balls 3.5 ozs each
Stripes: Natural, small part of one ball
Size 7 Addi Bamboo Circulars
Started/Ended: June/July 2007

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Just As I Thought

Well I was right, I have been sucked into the Ravelry vacuum this weekend. I did not finish any of my socks or the EZ Baby Jacket. I was uploading pictures and entering project and queue information all weekend. The one good thing is that I have some WIP pictures to post here too.

    Trekking XXL Basic Cuff Down Sock

    Elizabeth Zimmermann Baby Surprise Jacket in Patons Classic Merino Natural and Aran.

    Kenobi Jacket in Karabella Aurora 8 Aubergine back panel.

    Bookworm Vest in Dalegarn Sisik black tweed, trying to get to the pocket row.
    3 more inches to go.

    Cookie A. Monkey Sock in Regia Silk Jeans, about to turn the heel on sock one.

I have completed a couple of repeats on the second Mock Croc in STR Lemongrass.
I have completed the cuff and a couple of repeats on the second Floral Lace Anklet in Regia Silk Mocca. I want to finish both of these second socks this week.
I also bought new yarn, the Knit Picks Risata, 3 Duets, and some Fleece Artist. I have a huge stack of patterns to cast on. I want to finish all of the above first, so that's what I will be doing this week. No Ravelry at home!!! Only during work hours. That way I won't get all into the Flickr thing which takes so much time. Just knitting and maybe a blog post or two once I get home. That's the plan, lets put it in motion.