A few months back, I signed up for a couple of swaps. I always end up sending my stuff out without taking pictures, but I'm usually very good about taking pictures of the swag. Well, since I slacked so much about posting for a few weeks, I've slacked about documenting the packages I received. But I'm here to make up for that. Both of my packages came to me from another country, which I think is awesome!
The Coffee and Knitting swap, organized by Laura, was a fun one. I received a very nice package from Gina in Canada, who is apparently as obsessed with knitting socks as I am (though the Lizard Ridge squares threaten to take over as my new obsession).
She gifted me 2 (TWO!) skeins of Kureyon, in colorways 90 and 128, two packages of yummy, yummy coffee, and some lovely hand lotion. I loved this package so much, I immediately cast on for a square and had me a cuppa.
This square is GORGEOUS!!! Even more so in person than on the screen. Thank you, Gina, for such a wonderful gift!
The Knit Mitt Kit Swap was another fun one (they're all fun, though, aren't they?)! I received the coolest package from Anne in NORWAY! And, fittingly enough, she sent me a pattern and yarn for Norwegian mittens.
There's also a circular needle for magic looping these mittens and some tea. I didn't take a picture of the loose leaf tea that was in the package, because it was in my kitchen. I was making some while I took the picture. The tea was super yummy! There was also a set of tea lights in the package. I'm apparently bad at taking pictures. The bag that came in the Kit is simply gorgeous, and I love the shape of it! Perfect for holding yarn!
And the pattern... oh, the pattern. I. LOVE. IT!!! I, personally, think it is the COOLEST!
And you should take a look at the card she embroidered(?) It says "All the way from the other side of the world". So very cute.
For both of my swaps, I think I was a pretty lucky girl!
They always say, when looking for a house, that you are hunting. Well, I captured one. Most of you who chimed in about the houses from last Friday said that you loved house #1. Well, so did I, until the second walk through. The windows would need replacing and the basement was a little wet. The driveway is a shared drive, which is common in Akron, but I wasn't sure I wanted to share my driveway, especially if I were to ever have a party. And there were only three bedrooms (yes, I know... ONLY, but I work from home and one of them would have to be sacrificed for the office, since there was no other room in the house for it, and I really, really, really want a craft room).
What you couldn't see from the pictures of house #2 is the screened in porch on the back of the house. That room right there was pulling me toward this house in the first place. But also, there is a finished basement. The house is need of no major repair. And there are TWO bathrooms (the other house only had one). There are three bedrooms in this house, as well, but I don't have to use one as the office. The basement can be used as my office, so I can have my much-desired craft room. Plus, if screened in porch and the TWO bathrooms aren't enough... there's a wet bar in the basement. An actual bar. With a sink. Its the coolest little nook in the world. (And for those of you who are worried that I won't get any work done in the basement with the bar, don't worry, I'm not that tempted by the liquor).
Now, you'll notice that there are no pictures. This is because the realtor didn't take any inside pictures. I'm going to take some later this week, when the inspection is done. I'll ask that you not mind the wallpaper or the formality of the living room. Once I get my hands on the place, it'll be totally different!
For a long while, I was obsessive about checking bloglines. I would not let my number of blogs to read get above ten. And then, over the past few months, I've become this slacker. But just about the knitting blogs. It isn't that I don't love to read them (I do) and it isn't that I don't want to see all the fantastic wares that people are knitting (of course I do) and it isn't that I don't have time (it seems that time is all I have). It is the fact that I am in a knitting funk.
Have I been knitting? The answer is an emphatic yes! I just don't feel like knitting. I feel overwhelmed by the amount of yarn that I have (especailly sock yarn, as we all know) and completely underwhelmed at what is actually in my stash. Apparently, 2007 is the year of destashing, and I'm totally going to jump on that bandwagon, for many reasons. First, and foremost, I'd like to simplify my life a bit, and limiting the amount and types of wool in my house is a good start. Second, I'm going to buy a house. Yup, you read that right. I'm moving out of my parents house! Which also means that I'm going to have significantly less money with which to buy yarn. There are two possible houses at the moment, both of which I've seen and really like, and will be viewing again.
Both houses are gorgeous and well within my price range. They are both close to the Highland Square area of Akron, which is where my knitting group meets. There is no yarn store, but maybe someday, someone will rectify that. Its just a neat, eclectic place in which I'd like to live.
So what have I been knitting? Well, I started Pomatomus at the beginning of the year. I got to row 7 of the first chart and immediately stopped.
I'm not sure that I'm doing the yarn overs right. For some reason, I always question my yarn over ability. But on the Pomatomus, it looks like my socks are a bit hole-y-er than any I've seen so far. So I'm holding off on them for a short while.
I also started a pair of toe-up socks this past weekend and am halfway through with sock #1.
The yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Knit Happens colorway. I really love this yarn, and knitting it on size 0 needles (Knit Picks needles, in case you're wondering) is just making everything look perfect and neat and tiny! I love them! I'm calling these my preppy socks, because of the wicked cool colors. And just in case anyone is keeping track, I have the second Sockret Pal sock on the needles, too.
I have knit and even crocheted several things that I have never even mentioned here on the blog. First, a washcloth.
This is the Flower Washcloth from Weekend Knitting, and I think it is so very cute. I have another skein of the cotton chenile, and plenty left over from this washcloth. I might be able to squeeze two more out of the yarn I have on hand. I was going to give these to my nieces, and still might, but I'm keeping one for myself.
Along those same lines, I knit a bath mitt.
This was going to be a Christmas gift for someone, but she's got much bigger hands than I do, and its a little small even for me. And then there's the eye mask.
I lined this the other night, seamed it up, and filled it with lavendar and rice. The pattern for both the eye mask and the bath mitt came from Knit Picks and both were knit in Knit Picks Shine Worsted. (Hi! This is not an advertisement for Knit Picks, though its starting to feel like one). I swear, I hate cotton. The few times I've knit with cotton I have not enjoyed it. But this yarn is heavenly. I'm snatching some more up, as soon as I'm done with the rest of my stash.
I got bit by the crochet bug, too, and made the Envelope Purse from Happy Hooker.
I'm debating on the lining (which is actually the fabric that you see below the purse). I think it will be cute and fun, and it matches some fun ribbon I have in my stash. There are actually light blue polka dots on that fabric, so it does go better than it shows in the picture.
1. What are you favorite sock yarns?
Any variegated or self-striping yarn. I love Koigu, Claudia's Handpainted, Woolarina Handmade, Socks that Rock, and Vesper sock yarn. I would love to try Sundara yarn. 2. What are your least favorite sock yarns? Anything you just cannot use?
I do not like THICK yarns. Anything that should be knit on a size 2 or bigger is not my style. I also don't like sheddy or real splitty yarns. No acrylic or cotton. I hate cotton socks.
3. What method do you prefer to use (DPN's, 2 circs, 1 circ, etc.)
2 circs. I've tried DPN's and magic loop, and don't mind either of them, but 2 circs works best for me. I'm trying to 4. Is there any method that you cannot use?
It isn't that I can't use a particular method. Its that I choose not to. I'm not a big fan of magic loop. DPN's can just easily be substituted with 2 circs (for most patterns). I prefer a short row heel over a heel flap, but a heel flap has its place. I'm not really too, too picky. I just don't like cotton 5. What are you favorite colors?
I like anything! Though I suppose pinks and reds are my favorites.
6. Are you a beginner, intermediate, or more advanced sock knitter?
I suppose I'm an intermediate sock knitter.
7. Any other info you want to share (such as other likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc) I'm attempting to lose weight, so please, no chocolate. I like coffee, tea, and books!
8. Last, but not least, what are your sock measurements?
My foot is 9" long and 8.5" wide at the ball of the foot.
The only truly local yarn shop I had in town just went out of business. This is bad... and its good. The shop wasn't a true LYS, as it was more of an LFS - local fabric store. It was called the Quilting Bee, but they did have a nice assortment of yarns in the back of the store. And they did have some decent stuff, like Berroco and some Regia sock yarn. But that was it as far as the "nice stuff" (in my opinion) went. The rest of the yarns were your typical Plymouth yarns (again, in my opinion, the not nicest cheaper wool on the market) and lots of novelty, furry yarns. Really, not the kind of stuff that I would buy. But, they did carry all of the things that a typical LYS had - needles, patterns - and it was a place I could go to be with my kind of people. Now, there is no truly LOCAL local yarn store, but the good news is that they had wicked awesome going out of business sales. Enter this...
Not the greatest picture, but I'm very proud of myself. I think this is the first scarf that I put fringe on. And I LOVE this scarf!!! It is the perfect length and width and the pattern really kept my interest. I also started knitting the Optik into a scarf.
I'm just knitting a basic garter stitch scarf, but the yarn is funky enough to make it look cool. I believe I'm using size 15 needles so the scarf is very airy. I'm not sure if its really "me" or not, but I do like it so far.
I want to take a moment and apologize to my Sockret Pal Angel and my Secret Pal for taking SO. VERY. LONG. to post the pictures of your packages. I loved them!
First, and I'm going in no particular order here, the package from my Secret Pal.
Underneath everything is a bag she made! And she gave me 2(!) needle holders - one for straights and one for circs. I also received a lovely handmade card and bookmark, just like the last few packages. There was a candle, a crafty kit, notecards, and YARN. One skein of Cascade 220 and a Noni pattern to go with it. And, of course, candy! Thank you, Secret Pal! I appreciate it.
And second, my Sockret Pal Angel sent me this package.
Clockwise from top to bottom a notebook set, sock point protectors, Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Girly Stripe (which I love), some Fun With Yarn alpaca yarn (I think I'm going to make a hat), Sugar and Cream, some wine glass markers and a lipstick case. Thank you, Sockret Pal Angel, for redeeming Sockret Pal for me!
These packages were definitely a nice surprise to come home to last Friday. I spent the week in North Carolina, where I did a little knitting.
I am so slacking in showing off the Lizard Ridge squares, and I do apologize for that. My life has been crazy busy, but that should stop now that the new year is here. So here are the squares I've completed in the past few weeks. I've also updated my Lizard Ridge page.
So that makes ten squares down. Almost halfway there!
First, and foremost, Santa was good enough to order me some Kureyon off the Internet.
In that box is four skeins, colors 154, 134, 102, and 175. One skein is, sadly, backordered, but I should have it in my hands soon enough. I absolutely adore the brightness of these colors! My mother was worried that they'd be too bright, but I love them! I cannot wait to knit them into my lovely Lizard Ridge.
What crafter's Christmas would be complete without books?
(top to bottom)
Stitch 'n bitch Calendar - from Rhonda
101 Ways to Use Your First Sewing Machine - from Chelsea
One Skein Wonders
Classic Knits for Real Women
Stitchionary Volume One
And sock yarn? I had to get some sock yarn.
Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Gold Hill. This is the yarn that the original Rolling Thunder was done in. However, my quasi-Rolling Thunder was knit with Tuscany. And I finished them in time to wear them to a fabulous New Year's Eve party last night.
I wish I could get a better shot of these, as the garter rib is really cool. I obviously didn't do all the intricate cuff beadwork, but I like my socks. And the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock makes a really lightweight sock. I love lightweight socks.
I also received some Knit Picks options needles - size 0 and size 3. I'm psyched to make a pair of size 0 socks!
I nearly forgot the super secret Christmas projects that I worked on. First, a scarf for my sister.
I used the Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf pattern with Noro Silk Garden. The yarn was purchased while I was on vacation (with my sister) in the Outer Banks. I had to smuggle the yarn home without her finding it, which honestly wasn't hard to do. The scarf turned out beautifully, and I think she liked it. Unfortunately, it isn't cold enough in Ohio (yet) for her to wear it.
I also knit a scarf for my dad. He asked for a red scarf, so a red scarf he got.
The yarn was purchased at Rhinebeck. I think it is Lamb's Pride superwash. I knit the Men's Cashmere scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts with two strands held together. After I blocked the scarf, it was really nice, but before blocking, I wasn't so happy with it. He seems to like it, and that's all that matters.
Other items I received for Christmas... a rabbit wine bottle opener, a bamboo sushi set (which my sister saw for me in a store in the Outer Banks), a couple of sweaters, an iHome, lottery tickets (I won $100!!!), a tea cup, and a tea pot! Like I said, Santa was very good.