Yea, that's right. I knit a sock this weekend. And I'm going to warn you... it looks just like the other Mini-Jaywalker that I knitted, only this time, it's bigger.
I'm proud of myself that I even started this. I was fairly disheartened that the original sock was too small. But I persevered. And ordered more yarn. There was no way I was frogging that first sock. If nothing, I think that Gracie (the younger niece) will be able to wear it. But that means that I'll have to knit Rachel two pairs. Eh, I may be able to distract her with something else... like a headband or sometihng easy, ya know.
I also hunkered down and finished and item from last year. Remember my red hat? Probably not, because I finished knitting it fairly quick, but I never did seam it up. So on Sunday night, I seamed it. There was no way I could take a good picture of me in the hat, so here's a better model for you.
The funny thing about this picture - aside from the fact that its a cat... in a hat - is that last night, I received a very similar picture (on a card) from my Secret Pal.
The hat might get some use, though it is slightly small. I love the pattern, though, and plan on making another when I have time. Not exactly sure when that will be since I have to finish three more socks, and then to start the Knitting Olympics. I've decided on a lovely shawl from Tess' Yarns. Here's hoping for a Gold Medal!
Wooooo hooooo! After a rather LONG day today, I came home to find a package waiting for me. From my Secret Pal!
Inside the package was the following loot:
Pictured above, from back to front, is a Simple Knits calendar, the most adorable card, Yarn Harlot's book, Knit Bits (another calendar), some Teacher Family soap (in yummy lavendar), a purple box with a bracelet on top (originally inside) of it, a vanilla lavendar candle, and a lovely purple bookmark that says "Inspire" on it. I'm so very pleased with my new fun stuff! Thank you, Secret Pal!
Now, I have to get cracking on my Secret Pal stuff, though I've got loads of good ideas!
WARNING: For my knitter friends, this post is slightly long, and has more to do with the reading goal, but there is some content for you at the bottom. Sadly, no pictures.So the knitting and the reading haven't been that progressive over the last two weeks. I have had a lot going on, but still... I should be able to read and knit at a reasonable pace, right? It ain't happening.
The reading slowdown has occurred because of a lack of interest in the book that I read last week. Mrs. Dalloway, which is, I'm sure, a remarkable book, was just too... tooo.... something. All over the place. Without point. I'm not quite sure. I only read it because I belong to the Knit the Classics book club, and that was the current read. I'm glad I read it, as I've heard much hype about it (especially since The Hours), but I can't say that I was intrigued by it. It was very hard for me to follow, possibly because it was hard for me to get into. I know that Virginia Woolf is a difficult writer, anyway, so I'm not surprised that I wasn't completely enamoured with this book. And, following the Knit the Classics guidelines, I also didn't knit anything for this book. Eh... what are you gonna do?
I'm now reading two books - 700 Sundays and Eldest. I'm reading 700 Sunday simply because it is short, funny, and I love Billy Crystal. I'm reading Eldest since it was recommended to me by my roommate. I'm finding Eldest very hard to get into, and I really do like fantasy novels, but the story is soooooooo much like that of Lord of the Rings/Star Wars/The Hobbit/any sci-fi/fantasy novel you can think of, and the writing leaves much to be desired, that I'm not really sure I want to finish it. But I will. I am amazed that the author started the first book, Eragon, when he was 15. However, I can totally tell that he wrote it while he was a teenager. And, can I just say, it seems like the boy is VERY friendly with the thesaurus feature of Microsoft Word. He's using all sorts of "big words" that don't make sense in the context in which they are used. HIs point would have been better had he not tried to "smarten up" his writing. Quite annoying. Again, its a good story, and once I'm invested in a story, I'd like to see it through to the end.
I wanted to report that I really, truly liked the book Everything is Illuminated. The author (another youngin', by my standards, born one year after me) has some telent in telling a very complex story - or maybe he has some talent in complicating a very simple story, then making it seem simple again in the end. Either way, it was a very haunting tale of a Jewish community, namely one family, leading up to World War II. The story was, at times, confusing, but simple enough to follow. The writing was beautiful, as was the imagery of illumination. Really, a recommended read, but a challenging one. If you're up for it, I think its a good one. Oh, and if you're Jewish, could you possibly explain some of the things to me? Much of the Jewish humor (of which I heard there was plenty in this book) was lost on me, since I'm a Gentile.
As for the knitting slowdown, I've already said that I'm simply hesitant to start the second Mini-Jaywalker for Rachel, since I'm not sure if her foot will fit into the first one. I've really been trying to soak up my experience here in Maryland, and, like Lara, be less of a homebody. Mostly, this involves going to the gym with Chelsea, and window shopping around Rockville. I think this weekend, I will be window shopping at Tyson's Corners. Believe it or not, I have yet to go there! (for the out-of-towners, this is, apparently, the best mall in the area) I'd also like to go the Outlets in Leesburg before I go. Anyone up for a little road trip?
So, my sister sent me the measurements for the nieces' feets. I was spot on with the length (GO ME!!!) but as far as circumference goes... ummmm... not so spot on. Rachel's sock (the bigger) should be about 7.5 inches around. Its currently 5.5. Now, I can stretch these babies, but alas, not two inches. So yea... there will be some froggin'. Cara, change my little thumbs-up smiley to a banging-his-or-her-head-against-a-wall smiley (Those smileys really aren't gender specific). Well, since you're on vacation this week, hold off on that. By the time you get back, I think that I'll be Jaywalkin' in style once more. Really, I'm only two socks behind... on a pair of socks. Nothin' doin'. I'm Fiiiiiiine..
So, really, I've already knitted a pair of Jaywalkers.
Problem is... it isn't a matching pair. Does this count for the "pair of Jaywalkers by February 14" deadline? Cause, seriously, its a pair (two) and I *will* knit the matching sock for each of these. I'm just not sure I'm doing it by February 14. Reason is... I'm not sure if that these are going to fit my nieces. I've asked my sister to measure their feet, and she has yet to get back to me. I'm sure she will... however, I've been distracted.
This sock is for me. And I HEART it!!! I am truly, madly deeply in love with this sock. I want to marry it, I love it that much! I really should have never cast on for this. But, I really didn't want to Kitchner up the toe of Grace's Mini-Jaywalker at Knitty Meetup last week. So I got lazy and knit something else. Plus, I had a lot on my mind last week, what with the thoughts of moving and all. And, I totally think I'm going to have to reknit these babies anyway... so why kitchner? Really, why do it at all? (OK, I'm being dramatic, but the thought of re-knitting that picot edge frightens me a little).
I will either be knitting Samus or a lace shawl/scarf for my best friend. She is getting married, and I'd like for her to have something to warm her during the reception. Ya know... something besides that new husband. Wait a minute... maybe I should knit ME something instead. Since I won't have a new husband to keep me warm. Though according to her, I'll have SOMEBODY there to keep me warm, so yea... I'm keeping my hopes up for THAT! Anyway... I can't seem to find a pattern that is:
a. Easily knittable by someone who has never knit lace before
b. Lacey, but still made of at least a DK weight yarn (maybe a Koigu-like yarn would work, too)
c. Rectangular. I can't see my best friend with a triangular shawl, and I'd like her to be able to use this as a scarf at a later date.
So far my choices for patterns include a feather and fan pattern that the helpful staff at Woolwinders recommended and Frill. If I knit Frill, it will be out something ivory and wool (cotton in November in Ohio does NOT EQUAL warm) and I'll knit it a bit wider. Does anyone out there in Internet-land have any suggestions for a rectangular shawl that I could knit for her? Please help!
After much thought and deliberation, I've decided to move back to Ohio. Many, many things are contributing to this, not the least of which is the fact that I miss my family terribly. I've been in Maryland since August, 2004, and so far, things really haven't been superior. They have looked up, and then looked down, then up again, then down again, and finally, I've decided to go back to a place where I'm comfortable. Home.It does sadden me to leave (which I'm not doing until late-March, so there's totally time for whooping it up!), but I'm a little thrilled inside to be home again. Who knows what life will bring. I may be back in a year or two depending on my work situation. And I already know that I'll be back to visit a few times in the spring. Ummm... I can't really miss Maryland S&W. I've heard so much about the fun that everyone had last year, and I want to be a part of that! And I'll be here for work May 31-June 3. I'm staying over Friday so I can possibly celebrate my 30th (which occurs on June 4) with some friends here. Woooo! 30! (I'm trying to be excited about it. I'm really not.) So I won't be completely gone. Seriously. And if ever anyone wants to come see the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (or the Football Hall of Fame), I'd love to take you around.
* For the soundtrack of my life, as of late, please listen to snippet here.
I've promised the mods to the mini-Jaywalker, and here they are! I knit for these for my nieces, ages 4 and 6, so keep that in mind when you're thinking of sizing.I'm trying to work out the pattern, with mods, but I can't actually think tonight (the reason for this is coming in a later post) but basically, I'll give ya the math.
There are four pattern repeats in Jaywalker, and, basically, to make a smaller sock, you need to remove two stitches inside the pattern repeat to accomplish a less round sock. Therefore, if you subtract 8 (or any multiple of eight) from the original number of cast on stitches, and then take one (or the number you multiplied 8 by) knit stitch(es) out of each piece of the pattern repeat (on either side of the double decrease), you will have lessened the width of your sock. I actually cast on 52 stitches for the 6 year old and 44 for the 4 year old. I'm starting to think that they will be too thin, simply because of the yarn I'm using. It is an all-cotton yarn, with ABSOLUTELY no elasticity to it. I've seen Jaywalkers (or the start of them) in person, and can attest to the fact that this pattern stretches with Socks that Rock(and I'm assuming any other basic sock yarn).
FYI: In the Get off Your Ass! challenge I received from Lara earlier in the week, I have accomplished getting off mine this week (three times so far). Have you?!??!??!
to San Francisco...I've had that song in my head for days, because, on Tuesday, I was going to San Francisco. I'm here now, and the song is stuck. However, Lara's post about James Blunt is starting to kick the song out of my head. Seeriously, if James Blunt can get that song out, he can do ANYTHING (including make every woman cry, and apparently re-think her views on men). I really need to get my hands on that CD. In the meantime, however, listen to some of his songs.
So I'm here, in a hotel, and I have a few knitterly things to report. First, and foremost, is an update on my mini-Jaywalker. The first sock for Niece #1 is complete.
I've put the computer mouse in the picture as a size reference. I'm hoping, beyond all hope, that this sock fits my niece. I actually took their measurements while I was in Ohio over the holidays, and I have since forgotten what their foot sizes are. I remember that they were HUGE... at least I thought so. Like Niece #1's foot was only a half-inch shorter than mine. However, the diameter was significantly smaller. So I'm just assuming that they'll fit. If not, the kid are used to disappointment with my knitted projects (see my post about the felted slippers. You'll see what I mean. Oh, and I was so annoyed that they didn't fit that I totally didn't take pictures of the finished product. My sis still has them at her house, so I'll see if she can take a picture and e-mail it to me). I'll just knit a poncho if these don't fit, and be done with it. They like ponchos. Ponchos don't have to be exact. It's like the perfect kid project.
Second on my list of things to share is my venture into Art Fibers. I went yesterday at lunch, and spent about the entire time just fondling the yarn. So much to choose from... and so little money with which to make a decision. I'm seriously BROKE. There has been a slight delay in an expense report from a previous business trip, which has depleted my funds for a short while. Since I'm not a big fan of overdraft charges, I've decided that purchasing yarn before I get paid is not a WISE idea, no matter how important Art Fibers yarn may be. However, as logical as I want to be, the yarn almost gave me some sort of contact buzz, because I almost bought some yarn. But I was good. No yarn for me
The third item: ImagiKnit. Holy COW!!! I've never seen so much yarn per square foot. So. Much. Yarn. There's almost no way that a person can go in there and not find SOMETHING that they like. And since... well... I'm one of those people, I did sort of *maybe* buy something. But, I have a VERY good reason. I bought the book Holiday Knits. But only because the authors own the store. And the book was signed. So, right, that's a good reason. Two of them actually. So it makes PERFECT sense that I bought the book there, rather than some e-tailer, right? I thought so. I left with NO yarn, though, so that's a good thing (yes, I know in the world of knitters, that last statement is a complete falsehood. Leaving a yarn shop sans yarn is never a good thing. But when broke, you have to keep telling yourself these things in order to somewhat believe them. It just lessens the desire to cry a little.)
Today was an almost completely yarn-free day. No knitting whatsoever. That's because, after work, I walked around Chinatown. I ended up at City Lights, which is a total San Francisco landmark. I love books, and enjoyed perusing the shelves for over an hour. Everything was so cool, and the atmosphere of the place still screamed BEAT. Totally eclectic. It was great. I then headed over to another San Francisco staple - The Stinking Rose. Every dish (almost) has got some form of garlic in it. My dish was no exception.
It was totally yummy. And then, since my company is paying for it, I decided to go out on a limb and try the ultimate Stinking Rose dessert - the Garlic Ice Cream. Yes, I realize this sounds like it would be completely disgusting. Yes, I know that garlic is not your typical dessert condiment. But trust me when I say this, it was good. The ice cream was sweet, with a hint of vanilla (and garlic) and topped with a carmel mole sauce. The garlic just gave it a little extra... something. It wasn't garlic-y like a break stick might be. But it did have that kick that garlic has. It's almost like how chai tea (true chai) has black pepper in it. This seems like the absolute strangest thing, but that's what makes chai... chai. Without the kick, it wouldn't really taste the same. Well, garlic ice cream was the same. It just had a little something special to it. It really isn't something I would want every day, but a few bites of it tonight was good.
So now, I'm off to bed. And tomorrow, I'm hitting a couple more yarn shops (hopefully). I'm going to try to go to Greenwich Yarns and Urban Knitting. After that, I'm chilling in a movie theatre, or maybe just working on the second Mini-Jaywalker. I promise I'll post the mods I made to the pattern when I return to Maryland on Saturday. Ummm... or I'll do it Sunday...
WOW! I didn't realize that you could make a wishlist at Knit Picks. How cool is that? Sadly, though, they don't let you search for a wish list on their site. You can only e-mail it to people. Since I'm participating in SP7, I thought I, too, would put together a Wish List. So here it is... (and it sooooo does not look good)Qty Cost Subtotal Item ID Description
2 $3.99 $7.98 23472 Hollyberry
2 $3.99 $7.98 23474 Geranium
2 $3.99 $7.98 23478 Spring Prairie
2 $3.99 $7.98 23481 Cape Cod
2 $3.99 $7.98 23841 Yukon
2 $3.99 $7.98 23842 Spring Prairie
2 $3.99 $7.98 23845 Redwood Forest
2 $3.99 $7.98 23505 Midnight
Here is the response to my Secret Pal Seven Questionaire. I'll be editing this, I'm sure, over the next week. But just in case, I thought I'd get it out there.1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand?Generally speaking, I'm a yarn snob. However, some bourgoise yarn does appeal to me. For instance, I love Lion Brand Cotton Classic, however, it is discontinued. I have several skeins that are begging to become a ribby cardi, but who has the time?
2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I do crochet, and I'd love to learn to spin. A a matter of fact, I've been thinking of purchasing a drop spindle.
3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a set of Denise interchangeable needles, so I store those needles in the denise case. My circular needles, I store in a coupon organizer from the Container Store. Other needles are stored in a needle holder I made. I used the pattern from Stich N' Bitch. The needle case is much too big, so I'm thinking of making another, however, I don't use it that often. I'm not a big fan of straight needles (as we'll see later on in the questionaire).
4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I have been knitting on and off for about five years. The last year was a banner year for me, as I moved to Maryland, and discovered the Yarn Store. Ever since then, I've been a full fledged knitter. And I'd consider myself an intermediate knitter. I'm not quite advanced... yet.
5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I do have an Amazon wish list. Two of them, actually. The link is over there, on the right, where it says Amazon Wish List, under the section titled "I Heart Reading". I also have a wish list at Knit Picks (posted on my site).
6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Lavendar is pretty high up there, but I also like fruity scents. I guess anything that can make my house smell like I've been baking is a good thing. I avoid anything that smells like flowers. Makes me sneeze.
7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Sometimes I have a sweet tooth, however, I'm trying to lose weight. So only low-cal stuff.
8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I just recently discovered jewelry making/beading. I haven't made that much stuff, but I'm getting into it. Spare time is rare though, and usually knitting wins over beading. I've made loads of stitch markers, and plan to make more when I'm not travelling so much.
9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I ilke all kinds of music, but I'm especially fond of folk music. And alternative music. I really don't like country music or rap that much. I have an ipod, so yea.... my computer can play MP3's and CD's (and DVD's if that's what you're going for).
10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
This is a tough one. I'd have to say that my eye gravitates toward burgundy adn garnet colors. I don't really like muted colors (tans, greys) to knit with. Also, I'm not a big fan of pastels.
11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I'm single. And I have two cats. And I'm almost thirty. Well on my way to spinster-hood.
12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I love scarves. hats and mittens. I like ponchos, but I never really find the occassion to wear them.
13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
I love love love Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. And really, anything Cashmere is good. Alpaca is nice. Noro yarns amaze me. And I'd absolutely love to knit with anything Lorna's Laces.
14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I really don't like tape yarns. I'm not sure if that's the technical term for it, but basically, it looks like a thin shoe string. I guess it is more of a ribbon yarn, but some ribbons I like. Just cotton tape-y yarns. Those aren't good... for me.
15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Ummmm..... socks. Yea... lots and lots of socks.
16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Did I mention I'm obsessed with socks?
17. What are you knitting right now?
Can anyone say.... socks?
18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Of course. Who doesn't?
19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
Circular needles. Unless they are dpn's. Then I'm totally into straight needles.
20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
It depends on the fiber. I really don't like plastic, but can handle it, if necessary.
21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Both. And I can't live without them.
22. How did you learn to knit?
A combination of class and taught myself.
23. How old is your oldest UFO?
Hmmmm.... I have a scarf in my stash from last Thanksgiving (2004). Ya see... I went to Ohio to visit family and didn't really bring much to knit. Who does that? Needless to say, I finished the one project I brought, and needed another. On the day before Thanksgiving, there aren't a whole lot of stores open, so I got some yarn at *gasp* Wal-Mart. It is the worst yarn EVER. However, I don't have the heart to rip it. No idea why. Maybe I'll finish and gift it to someone.
24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
There is no favorite bird. I hate birds. With a passion. My favorite animated character might just be Mickey Mouse. As for live characters, who can resist Mr. Winkle?
25. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas. Definitely Christmas.
26. Is there anything that you collect?
27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Family Circle Easy Knitting.
28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?
There is a book called Holiday Knitting that I'm anxious to get.
29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Yea... finishing a sweater properly. I'd also like to learn to knit with wire.
30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Hee hee... yes, I'm a sock knitter. I wear a size seven shoe. More specific measurements can be taken, if they are needed.
31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
My birthday is on June 4.