A Pair of My Favorite Things

My socks are done!  Complete!  Finished!

They look nice, don't they?  I couldn't be prouder.  I feel as though I've given birth, but the labor took three weeks, only hurt my hands, and, in the end, I'm going to walk all over the finished product - not the other way around.  Can you tell I don't have kids?

The two "kids" (cats) that I do have are apparently in the discovery phase of life.  Velvet has discovered that in my roommate's bathroom there is an endless supply of hair ties.

And Tweed has found that sitting in boxes can provide neverending happiness.

I, too, have found the secret to happiness for a few days.

Knitting the Satchel while watching Lost.  It can't get much better than this...

Well... except if the new Knitty came out. And Oh!  Look!  It did.

The Dollar Spot

Target is now carrying yarn.  Yes, Target.  In the $1 spot section, no less.  Target yarn.  For a dollar!  Not in a kit (which they've carried for a while) but individual skeins.  For a dollar!

And I have to say... the yarn, although acrylic, was cute.  They had some Eros looking yarn,  90 yards of it per skein, and some fuzzy yarn.  Cute colors, too.  They also had bamboo needles for a dollar, but I didn't really check out the sizes and two pattern books, each featureing the different yarns.  The pattern books both had four patterns in them.  A few scarves, a shawl, a belt, a bookmark, and a purse.  I was shocked!!!  I'm honestly not sure how I feel about this.  I mean, I'm delighted that the masses can learn experience knitting.  Everyone should... we all know that.  And the fact that Target thinks its cool, then it must be, no?  The possiblity of even more knitters to share the joy of the craft with is compelling.

But I can say that I'd rather not buy my yarn at the same place I purchase toilet paper and batteries, even if it is convenient.  And the thought that keeps crossing my head... how do they make yarn and sell it for a dollar!?  Yes, acrylics are cheap, but who is making this yarn?  I'm just picturing some third world country resident slaving over skeining this Eros yarn and making two cents an hour.

But... the thought of an entire shawl for less than five dollars is almost too much to resist.  But nothing can compare to feel of wool, mixed with silk and mohair.  Or cashmere.  Knitting with the real stuff... I can't pass that up.  Even if it does cost five or even ten times as much.  The luxury of it all is exhilarating.  But I won't complain about Target having yarn.  For those of us who knit or crocheted or simply crafted something while in the poor years of our lives (a.k.a. college, post-college, post-wedding, pre-wedding, in-between jobs, or had-to-have-those-shoes-last-month), we appreciate creating for under five dollars.

Me, I'm sticking to the "good" stuff.

Sock FO

I have a finished sock!!!!

How happy am I?  Oh, wait... you can't see my face.  But I assure you that my foot is happy.  Not my FEET, just the one wearing the sock.  The other foot...not so happy.

So now I need to finish the second sock.  Tomorrow night, I think it will be done!  YAY!!! I can spend the last weekend of summer wearing a pair of wool socks.

Wait a minute... I don't think so!  No, I'm planning on spending the last week of summer at the pool, reading my latest book.

*For the knittingly challenged(Mom... Rhonda), FO stands for finished object.

Rings and Socks

First, the most important news of the week.  Rhonda and Todd are ENGAGED!!!  YAY!!!  Saturday evening, I got a phone call from my best friend telling me that her boyfriend asked her to marry him.  How AWESOME is that?!!?  I'm happy for the both of them!  Apparently, he asked her at the McKinley Monument, which looks like this...

Rhonda told me that he used the steps as an analogy of his life, saying (I'm paraphrasing here) that he'd only climbed so high and he needs her to climb higher.  Sweet?  Yes.  Romantic?  Yes.  Grossing me out?  You guessed it.  But seriously, it is the best thing that could have happened for both of them.  Congratulations!!!

Thursday and Friday saw me in Cary, NC, home to the SAS corporate offices.   I left Wednesday morning, actually, and didn't return until late Friday night, so I got some travel knitting time in.  When knitting in an airport, plane or hotel, I'm usually quite productive.  I present to you, my almost completed second sock.

I have just a few more inches to go until I decrease for the toe and Kitchner stitch it closed.  By Tuesday, I should be wearing that sock!  If I were a true BAD-ASS knitter, I'd knit while my students were doing exercises.  But I don't think that the big wigs at SAS would look too highly upon that.  So I'll just have to wait until I get home tomorrow night to finish the sock.  The second sock should fly.  And then its on to the next project.  I've decided to pick the Satchel back up.  She's been in the corner for long enough, and I promised myself that I'd finish it before I started on Clapotis.

I plan on doing a bit of an overhaul to my site this week.  For instance, I'd like to put a bit of a better "book" section.  I envision actually reviewing the books I read.  Also, I finished the books that are over there right now.  And I'm not thrilled with the colors of the site.  Too pink - though it does go with the "heart" theme I have going.  We'll see.  I'm going to be team teaching (teaching with another instructor) this week, and that gives me a bit of down time so that I can work on these types of things.

I'll post more tomorrow, including information about the yarn that I bought while in NC.

Finished… but not Complete

My French Market bag is finished!  Bound off, felted, and dried.  I'm not done with it, though (see below).

Before felting:
French Market Bag Pre-Felting

After felting:

I'm not actually digging the shape of it, but that's kind of my fault.  I blocked it funny - the base is too wide because I used books that were too thick.  I may wet it down and reblock, but if you'll notice the laundry behind the blocking bag in the picture above, I had other things drying that day.  No room to block a bag correctly.   I will say that I'm happy with how the color turned out.  After four skeins of Manos, it better be pretty!  Normally, three skeins would have worked, but I wanted my bag to be tall.  It isn't.  I didn't overfelt, though.  I just blocked it all funny.  So I'm going to fix it at a later date.  So this baby isn't complete, but it is FINISHED.  Does that make sense?

In other news, the first sock is on stitch holders, and I'm about 27 rows into the second sock.

I'm happy with the way my sock is looking.  I got a bit concerned last Wednesday at Meetup, when Lara and Paula said they didn't like a heel flap heel.  They prefer a short row heel.  Well, I don't know how to do a short row heel.  So I'm heel flapping it.  And it does look good.  Though, also while at Meetup, I ended up dropping a stitch.  And I wasn't really able to recover.  I hated my edges anyway, so I ripped out a bit of the sock.  This time, things worked out for me, and I was able to get an accurate count of the number of rows I was knitting for my heel flap.  This way, sock #2 will look the same as sock #1.

Foot Fetish

Over the past week, I've acquired lots of foot news.

First off, the sock class.  I finished the baby sock.

Well... almost... I still need to Kitchener Stitch the top.  But that's not that bad.

And I started an ACTUAL sock.  An adult-sized one to fit my adult-sized foot.

I need to turn the heel to the first sock, and then, I'm setting it aside and starting the second sock.  Why?  Because Chelsea said it's a way to avoid SSS (Second Sock Syndrome).  I know, that with my lack of finishing the projects that I start... SSS will be a HUGE part of my life, if I don't follows Chelsea's method.

The next foot news has to do with shoes.  New shoes, and old shoes.  First, the new shoes I acquired last week.

Nine West tennis shoes.  They're so cute!  I love them.  And they're COMFY.  I wish that I could wear them when I teach, but I doubt that they really fit the "corporate" dress code.  Every other day that I'm in the office, I can wear whatever I want.  No dress code whatsoever.  Shorts... fine.  T-shirts... fine.  Jeans... totally cool with it.  But when I teach, I have to look professional.  Makes sense, but I don't have to like it, do I?

The next piece of news I have to share with you came as a complete shock to me.  I got dressed for work last Friday (brown capris, coral sweater, cute Nine West sandals).  Feeling pretty good, I walk to work.  As soon as I got past the lobby, I feel something on my foot.  I thought a rodent had infiltrated security at work.  Freaked me out a bit, but I kept on walking.  I still feel the something on my foot, and I inspect a bit closer.  No rodent.  Just this.

My shoe BROKE!!!!  One of my favorite pairs of shoes.  BROKEN!!!  I'm not quite sure if this is Nature's way of evening out my shoe collection, but it isn't a nice way to do it.  Really, couldn't Nature have taken another pair of sandals.  Perhaps a pair I'd spent some more time with?  As it turns out, I've had these shoes for six years... only most of that time, I didn't know I had them.  I mean, on some level I knew.  But see... I bought these shoes to go clubbing with Rhonda YEARS ago.  I wore them once.  I couldn't really wear them to the job I had then... no open toed shoes allowed.  At the time, I lived with my parents, so I put them in a closet.  When I moved out, I didn't notice the closet full of shoes.  Two months ago, my mother asked me if she could sell some of my shoes in a garage sale, and I told her to save anything she thought I might like.  These shoes were saved.  I went home over the fourth of July and saw that my mother hadn't touched these.  I brought them back with me.  So I've worn them probably five times since they've come home with me.  Sooo... after six wears (and six years), Nine West sandals don't hold up so well.  I think I might take them back.  :-)

And lastly, in my foot fetish world, I present you with these.

I have been lusting after these shoes for a little while, but hesitated to buy them since they cost $110.  Actually, they were more at some places.  These shoes are made by Dansko, who make some pretty comfy shoes.  I wanted these to wear when I teach because, as soon as tried them on, my feet were in heaven.  I like some of the other styles, but I've always wanted a pair of Mary Janes like this.  I decided to bite the 110 dollar bullet on Saturday, but the shoe store I wanted to go to was closed by the time I got around to buying them.  I had to go out for other things, and ended up at some shoe store by the Whole Foods in Rockville.  Appalachian something or other.  I didn't see the Mary Janes in the Dansko display, so I was about to leave when the sales person asked me if she could help me.  I figured what the heck so I asked if she carried the Mary Janes.  "I'm not sure" she said.  "I'm still new here, but I know we have something in the clearance section."  At this point, I think I raced back to the clearance section, and lo and behold, one pair of Dansko Mary Janes.  Now... do they have them in my size... YES!!!!  And they are the last pair.  So they were 70% off!!!!  Can you beleive it?!??!  I heart these shoes.  And I can't wait to finish my sock, so that I can wear them with my Mary Janes.  See, it all ties in with the knitting.

Stash Enhancement

And now for the most exciting thing to happen to my stash since... well... honestly, the beginning of time.  I mean, I was happy when I got my Cotton Ease.  However, that joy cannot compare to the happiness I felt when I ordered this.

Yup, that's Brooks Farms Harmony yarn.  I ordered two skeins last week from their Widows and Orphans sale items (very, very sad name, if you ask me).  The yarn doesn't have a fun color name like some of their other yarns.  No... my yarn was called 2H9 on the site.  But I love it.  It is going to grow up to be a Clapotis, and possibly, if there is enough yarn, a Clapotis cap.  I can't wait to get started on it, but... I'm finishing some stuff before I even cast on those two stitches!  My knitting to-do list is getting VERY long.

My sock class went well last night.

Its a baby sock - not meant for a baby, just a small version of an adult sized sock.  I'm thinking after the class, I might rip it out and actually make a pair of "house socks" (the instructor's term, not mine).  That's some Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran.  And its the most beautiful color.  It has to become something other than the baby sock.  Suggestions are welcome.

I'm psyched that I got at least to the heel last night.  Now all that's left is turning the heel, the gusset and Kitchener stitch... most of which I haven't done.  Since the first class wasn't really a challenge (I've worked with dpn's before), I'm going to attempt to get an actual sock to that point before the next class.  That'll be a challenge.  Especially since I have a LOADS of things to do this week.  Rekha the Roommate is moving in on Friday, and I still need to organize a bit before she gets here.

Tonight, I'm going to my first EVER yoga class with some girls from work.  Should be interesting.  Hopefully not embarassingly interesting, though.  That would NOT be good...

Rippin' It

Last week, I started the Satchel from Knitty.  I love knitty, I really do.  However, sometimes, patterns aren't exactly clear when they first come out.  Or patterns contain errors.  Knitty is great about posting the changes to the patterns, and even highlights the changes, making them all nice and pink and noticeable.  However, unless you have a great eye, printed your pattern out in color, or are one of those anal people who actually READ their patterns, you may not notice the change.  I'm not exactly sure when the Satchel change was posted.  As a matter of fact, I don't want to know.  If the change appeared on knitty before the July 31, I'll feel like a moron for not seeing it before I printed the pattern.  And if it happened afterward, I'll be slightly annoyed with knitty.  No, the point is not when the change appeared;  the point is that there is a change in the Satchel pattern.  It now says, under the beginning for the SMALL Satchel, that you should knit with two strands held together throughout.  I'm not making the small Satchel - I'm making the big one. So I never noticed that I'm supposed to use two strands.  I also only printed the directions for the LARGE Satchel.  Hey, I'm trying to save the environment one step at a time.

So all the work I did last week is useless.

That is about 8 of the 18 inches I had to knit in the round.  So I'm slightly frustrated with the Satchel.  For those of you who are astute, you may notice in the Gauge information, that it does say "Approx. 10 sts/14 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch with double strand of yarn".  It also says "(exact gauge is not important) ".  The part of that information my brain retained:  (exact gauge is not important).

I've ripped the Satchel out.  And tonight, I'm going to a sock class at Woolwinders.  Plenty of other projects on the horizon, so the Satchel can take a little break.  I'm anxious to get it done, though, because I have a trip to NYC planned in September.  I'd like a cool bag to carry my laptop in.

I'll post more after the sock class, because I got the greatest stash enhancement in the mail the other day.  I'm dying to share!

Is That SO Wrong????

I miss my knitting.

For the past week, I've been bringing it with me to work, where I know I can get a row or two in at lunchtime.  Today, however, I knew that I had to take my car in to get the oil changed at lunchtime, and while I was doing that I'd probably have lunch with a friend, so I left the knitting at home.   I miss my yarn.  I miss my needles.  I miss my hands doing something other than typing and mousing around the computer screen.  I miss the feel of my current project on my hands.  Do I have a problem?  Or do other people feel like this?  I mean, I'm ready to fake a sick day (though, the strep seems to be coming back, so it might not be fake) to just to go home and knit.

I think that (a HUGE) part of the problem is that I know I won't get to knit tonight.  I'm busy cleaning out my spare bedroom, preparing for the arrival of my new roommate.  Last night was an adventure down memory lane, as I unpacked boxes and decided what to keep and what not to keep.  Oh, the yarn I found.  It was almost like walking through a really bad clearance sale at Acrylics R' Us.  Though I did find some nice chenile (not Lion Brand) that I bought at Hobby Lobby ages ago because it was on clearance.  I have NO clue what to do with the chenile.  Suggestions are welcome.  Otherwise, it was all other crafts that I attempted - stamping, bow making, scrapbooking, soapmaking, One Stroke Painting, and TONS of cross stitch stuff.  Now, if you had asked me two years ago what my craft of choice was, I would have said cross stitch.  I starting cross stitching when I was very young.  I made my cousin a sampler when I was 13.  So, over the years, I've accumulated hoards of a few supplies for cross stitching.  I have started projects that I've never finished, and I've finished projects that I've never  framed.  It was OVERWHELMING how much stuff I have.  And of course, I don't want to get rid of ANY of it.  The plan, as of 10:00 last night, is to take most of the stuff to my parents house for storage.  I'll look through it more thoroughly over the Christmas holiday.  But I can't *truly* part with it.  Its a history of me.  I'm boxing it up, and if it survives the rest of my life in the basement at my parent's house, so be it.  But I'm not tossing.  I can't.

Finally… Some Knitting Info

When I started blogging, which was not that long ago, I had visions of posting progress daily, like the great knitstresses (I'm trying this word out.  It'll catch on), Wendy and the Yarn Harlot.  However, that isn't happening so much.  I know it can't be the fact that I have a job.  They have jobs, too.  I think its just the fact that, well, I'm a lazy knitter.  Yes, I have to admit it.  I'm lazy.  Or just super-busy.  Or maybe its just summer and I feel like spending time outdoors and going on vacation.  It could be the fact that I haven't really been home that much lately.  I've gone back to Ohio to visit the family quite a bit lately.  Either way, I'm totally trying to be a good blogger.  And I promise, for the few of you who are reading this, I'll try to post more often.  And I'll post more about knitting.    Because I really do heart knitting :-)

So on the knitting front, I found a skein of cotton fleece in Nymph at Knit+Stitch= Bliss.  I can finally finish the summer sweater, who I'm kind of sick of.  But I will love her once I finish.  I just know I will...
I finshed the seed stitch scarf that I started for Rhonda, but decided to keep for myself.  That's the beauty of being a knitter.  You can fall in love with something, keep it for yourself, and make something that you're less likely to fall for equally lovely for the intended recipient.  So I now have myself a beautiful scarf!

I'm in no rush to wear this.   I'd like the weather to stay warm for a while.  However, I'm quite excited about its fuzziness.  A combination of Koigu KPPPM and Lang Venezia.  Yum.  Such beautiful softness.  And very little shedding!  This scarf could also be done with Koigu and Rowan Kid Silk Haze.  For some reason, I like the Lang better.  It just has more umph to it.  And, honestly, more haze.  It gives the scarf the feel of Angora.
I will be doing a bit of felting here shortly.  Another project I started before Christmas was a French Market bag made in Manos del Uruguay.  I, again, ran out of yarn.  Not my fault (again) because somebody at Woolwinders said it would take three skeins to finish the bag.  However, I ran out on the final handle.  Probably because I wanted the bag to deeper, so maybe fault does lie with me.  Damn... I was trying to weasle my way out of that one.  Either way, I've frogged, reknit, and still ran out.  So I'm going to pick up another skein of this and finish the market bag.  Because I'm absolutely sick of not having this completed.  The other felting project will be another project from knitty.  The Satchel from the man issue that's currently out.  I'm making the big version in Cascade 220.  I'm using Ruby as my main color and grey as an accent.  And no, this has nothing to do with the scarlet and gray of OSU, however, it does make a good Ohio reference.  Progress was made on this, as I knit in the dark last night, at MM-MM-MN (mid mid-meetup meetup movie night) at Lara's place.  What better time to knit than when you're watching cheesey 80's flicks, hanging with some great knitty chics.

One final thing that I meant to post last week.  To prove that the beach bag was at the beach, I leave you with this...