Monday, April 28, 2008

If You Can't See... says "National Champions." Yep, on Friday UGA secured it's 4th back-to-back(-to-back-to-back) national gymnastics title. And on Saturday 2 of our girls placed first in their events. It was well worth the drive up there 3(!) nights in a row.
Saturday was also the day of baby-sitting Munchkin #1 (#2 is on the way and due to arrive in August/September). Is he not the cutest thing?!?! And so well behaved too.
And, yes, there was lots of knitting.
These are for a mitered square child sized blanket. I can turn out one every 45 minutes to an hour. Each square is made with a fraternal twin. Same number of rows before a yarn changed just reversed order (ex. if I start with purple and after 3 rows change to multi then on the "twin" I start with multi and after 3 rows switch to purple).
These 2 have subtle changes that you might not catch unless you were looking for them but you can really see the fraternal thing on the squares in the lower left hand corner above (because they are worked with a majority of one color and only have 4 rows in the contrasting color).
Changing it up keeps it just interesting enough that I haven't grown tired of knitting them...yet.
I had to give you a view of the reason why I love my apartment.
That is the view from my office windows. It's like living in a tree house. I could totally be a member of the Swiss Family Robinson.

And, look close...can you see it?
Right in the middle is a blossom. The trees are full of them but, unfortunately, they were a little hard to capture.

For now I'm off to knit more mitered squares and wait for the groomer to come (45 minutes late and counting...grrr!).

Friday, April 25, 2008

Trying to Remain on a Schedule

I'm trying to update somewhat regularly but sometimes I'm a little behind on the photo content which means I usually put off blogging for another day or two (or three). I don't know if anyone actually reads this thing regularly but I'm an avid reader of other people's blogs and I love opening them up every few days to a new post. Therefore, I try and post on something of a schedule (I was trying for every day but let's be honest here folks, we're all busy people).

I say all that to is my post for today, sadly pictureless.

Since I finished with the vest I started working on a mitered square blanket. I was surprised at how quickly I finished the squares. I made 2 full finished squares plus 3/4 of another one yesterday. That was about 3 hours of knitting total. I'm hoping to crank this thing out in a couple of weeks.

Yesterday was rather exciting. After I left work I rushed home. I was going to meet my aunt at 5:30 to go to Athens for the NCAA gymnastics tournament. I figured if I could be home by 4:30 I could change and go to the gym for 15-20 minutes before I rushed back to my apartment and got ready. I miraculously made it home by 4:30, threw on a change of clothes, and was at the gym by 4:40. I was on the treadmill for 3 minutes when I heard my phone ring in my bag (which was weird in the first place because I usually turn it off when I'm working out). I jumped off and looked to see who had called. It was my aunt. I figured she was running late and almost didn't bother to listen to the message but I rethought it and decided to anyways. Boy was I glad that I did! She had actually left work early and was 10 minutes away from my apartment. The look on my face must have been priceless. I jumped off the treadmill and bolted to my apartment. I actually was ready to go (minus a shirt change) when she arrived at 5:00.

The tournament itself went really well. It was a long evening but the girls looked really good. The University of Georgia Gym Dogs came in first and they and LSU, florida (boo), Alabama, Stanford, and Utah will go on to tonight's Super 6 finals. Yes, I said tonight. I'll be up there again cheering on UGA. And Saturday I'll be up there to watch the individual competitions. Some knitting should be done during the car ride but I don't like to knit during the meet. Too much is going on :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Here are the knee high striped socks for your viewing pleasure.
HJS Studio Shaping Knee Sock
US size 6 DPNs
Red Heart Super Saver in Cherry Red and Caron One Pound in Deep Violet

I really love my knee high socks. I love them so much I may have gotten carried away in displaying my affection.
The socks needed a rest after all the jumping around the living room.
Penelope didn't pay much attention. She was more concerned about what we were going to watch this evening.
One of these looks good.
Since finishing the knee high socks I'm currently holding auditions for my next knitting project. I do have some things I want to do for Warm Woolies and the pink sweater is still lurking in the knitting bag as well as that tank top I wanted to finish in time for summer so we shall see...

Monday, April 21, 2008

I Had Good Intentions

I took my second knee high sock to work to knit on it during the knitting class I teach in the mornings. Then I was going to bring it home, finish it up, and sew in the ends. Thus, I would have some cute pics of my new socks.

So, where are these cute socks you ask?

Why in the bag under my desk. Right where I left them.

:::Sigh::: Oh, well. Tomorrow then...

Friday, April 18, 2008


Seriously, thank goodness... This has been one of "those weeks." The first week back after a long break is always crazy, whether it's Spring Break, Thanksgiving Break, Christmas Break, or Summer Break. The kids are hyped from being off for a whole week with nothing else to do except watch TV and play video games. The teachers are loathing having to come back and try and make the final push to the end of the year. And to top it off, our brilliant school system decided to have 4 days of standardized testing this week. The kids have to sit for 2+ hours each morning in complete silence and fill in little bubbles. They can't even talk during their "stretch break"! I mean, it all seems a little cruel to me. And I have to stand there and read directions that, if you have the mentality of a 5 year old, you could easily infer on your own. Things like "Read the entire question and select the one best answer." No, I'm going to choose 3 best answers. Geez. I guess the real upside to all this has been the extraordinary amount of knitting time I've gotten.

Here's the Warm Woolies sweater vest. All it lacks is a good proper blocking.

Bad colors in this next one but it lets you see the seed stitch panel in the front.
Warm Woolies Seed Stitch Center Panel Vest (pattern available free here)
US size 9 circular needles
Paton's Classic Wool in Natural Marl worked held together throughout (approx. 2 skeins used though I had some of each left over)

I think this pattern has made me seriously addicted to 100% wool. I mean, I'm actually having delusions of owning a sheep. It's just that there would be no where to put it in my apartment. They need to kick it up a notch on those patio sheep...(you know, like the cows...only...sheep)

With the completion of the sweater vest I did a little bit of work on my second knee high sock which had been recklessly neglected and lying in my knitting bag.

Not much progress but some is better than none. As for updating my Ravelry page...well, Saturday is still part of "this week." For now, I'm exhausted and craving a warm bath and cozy bed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sweater Vest

Thanks to testing week at work I have been able to knit a lot on the Warm Woolies sweater vest. I sit for 2 and half hours each day and make sure that kids aren't cheating on their standardized tests. I made it to the back tonight. I actually had to rip back once because I had started the garter stitch edging incorrectly.
This is the front. The color is off but you can see the texture better this way.

I'm very pleased with how this is turning out. I hope to finish this by the end of the week and then do some updating on my sadly neglected Ravelry page.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Stash of a Different Kind

As a knitter I have a yarn stash and a needle stash. As a musician I stash instruments and programs from performances. As a self proclaimed Brit I stash tea. As a woman I stash lotion, purses, and shoes. And my cat? She stashes catnip mice. We have a veritable infestation. I found 6 of these while poking around under the couch and chairs looking for stitch markers.
Penelope was infinitely happy. She immediately attacked 1 and then proceeded to guard the rest of her "babies" protectively.
Why was I looking under couches for stitch markers you ask. Well, because I couldn't find my little box of them. I thought that it may have fallen off the coffee table (the last place I saw them) and bounced under the couch. In the meantime I have been trying to make paper clips work.

These tend to snag though and having to use more than one is cumbersome and obnoxious (not to mention pokey, ouch!). I did manage to locate one lone stitch marker earlier this week.

It had come loose from the herd and was hanging out on the edge of the coffee table. I was hoping to find my markers not just because I needed them but I could just see Penelope trying to eat one and choking. That's all I need. So, a search began.

After checking under the sofa, coffee table, chairs, and tv cabinet, I looked in my knitting bag (the logical place) and in my desk drawers. I looked in all the decorative baskets. I checked the needle basket (again, I had already looked there 3 times earlier this week). I was completely stumped. I checked every place I'd already looked one more time. Then I came to the knitting bag again. There are all these cleverly hidden pockets on the thing. This time I made sure to open all the pockets and zippers and snaps. And then I lifted a flap and noticed a zipper I hadn't remembered was there...lo and behold....

Ummm, yeah. That would be them. Now I can go back to knitting on my sweater vest for Warm Woolies.

This is the pattern for their seed stitch center panel vest. It's made using two strands of worsted weight wool held together. I choose Patons Classic Wool in Natural Marl. I love this yarn (but then again I love most yarn). It's soft and it smells like a clean sheep! I know most people would think that sheepy smelling yarn wouldn't be a good thing but I grew up 3 doors down from the county fairground. I have smelled a lot of animal and clean sheep is definitely one of the better animal smells.

I'm also very excited because as I was knitting I found this:

A little bit of twig or a brier or something. It makes me feel rustic. It also makes me want to take up spinning and start a sheep farm but I digress...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

When You Take a 3 Hour Nap You Can Stay Up Late

I started the second sock to the pair that I began on Friday yesterday but ended up frogging the whole thing and beginning again. I wasn't happy with the stitches I picked up for the heel. I restarted them today and finished the second sock.
One little problem though...the second one came out a wee bit bigger than the first. This isn't something that I've had a problem with before. Granted I've only made one other complete pair of socks, but still.
I'm hoping that I can block the first one out to make them the same size. I was surprised that I had almost a full ball (50 grams) of the Classic Elite yarn left from making the socks. So, I cast on for a hat.
This is the perfect baby hat. It turned out a great size. See, perfect for little baby heads :)
And the spiral at the top turned out great!

Very productive knitting this weekend. Both of these were knit for Warm Woolies and will be sent off with a sweater that I may have bought some yarn for today...

Yarn-Classic Elite Beatrice in Aspen Grove
Needles-US size 9
Pattern-Warm Woolies 2007 Socks

Yarn and needles-same as above
Pattern-Warm Woolies Phat Hat

Friday, April 11, 2008

Epic Sping Cleaning

I spent all day today cleaning. It was truly an undertaking. My mother came over to help me sort through some things, clean my bathroom, and steam clean my hallway. I have to say the apartment looks amazing. I never realized all the stuff that I had collected over the 3 years since I moved in here. I must have thrown away 60 pounds of junk. I know I recycled at least 2 years worth of magazines. But it is so nice to look around and see everything in its place. I'm really going to work hard to keep the clutter down. This can be hard when you spend your free time collecting yarn, but I'm going to try.

Penelope helped me by making sure the end table was ready for books.
A very thorough inspection revealed it was, indeed fit for books (and yarn jugs).
What kind of books? Why, knitting and cross-stitching books of course!
As for the knitting I did manage to cast on a more acceptable tank top. I decided just to go with a long tail cast on and hope it's not too tight.
And today I was tinkering around on the web before my mom came and got the inspiration to start these tonight:
They are thick little socks, on circulars no less (a first for me)! I get these weekly emails from Lion Brand yarn and they have been highlighting some charity knitting groups this month (I want to say it's national charity knitting month or something, or maybe everyone likes to highlight charity knitting at the same time, I have no idea) and they were featuring a group called Warm Woolies. These folks knit clothing to give to children in extreme poverty in some of the coldest places on earth. They donate to orphanages in Eastern Europe and Russia and Native American Indian reservations. This is exactly the type of thing I have been looking at getting into. There is something that really speaks to my heart about helping children, especially children who don't have a family or a place to call home or any of the luxuries that you and I live with daily. They listed a simple pattern for socks and, since I love socks, I immediately did a little stash diving to find some Classic Elite yarn and cast right on. Working on circulars is interesting. Can't tell if I love it or not but it is definitely something different. I will keep you updated on how these go.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

And Then There Was Knitting

I started the second knee high purple and red sock. Please ignore the power cord and broken laptop. Just pretend there are only socks here.
I messed up with my make one increases on the second sock and got these lovely holes but I'm too stubborn to go back and fix them so I'll sew or graft or work some yarn magic when I'm all done to close those up.
Don't they look like evil little gnome eyes?
And I started this:
"This" was supposed to be a tank top designed by handmade mom (it's from her old blog, beak knits). However, I'm unhappy with it. Why? Well...
My waste yarn left these wonderful, dark colored, tufts of itself all throughout my cast on. And I'm not so happy with how my cast on looks either.
Gahhh! Plus I found a place where I carried the yarn in a totally incorrect way. Stupid, stupid, stupid! And I wanted to have this done for summer. I don't think I can unravel the thing and start again because of the dark tufts lurking about but I'm going to try. And if that doesn't work, well, I bought a whole cone of this cotton. I don't think a few yards will be missed.
In closing I give you...Penelope the Queen of Persia.
I hear what you are saying but I seriously doubt the validity of your statements.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I. Made. The. Blog.

The best parts: 1. I look really happy and not at all dorky (ok, not dorky for holding a knee high, Dr. Suess colored sock). 2. I got a big picture. Not a little thumbnail. 3. There is a witty comment about me.


This was just another great thing about today.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Star Struck

This spring break is starting off great. Today was the Yarn Harlot's visit to Atlanta. I was able to get a seat about 5 rows from the front.
Here's the YH talking a picture of her sock and the crowd.
And starting her speech.
It was hilarious. And, I know, this sounds weird, but I was really interested in hearing her voice. I always imagined it as a "normal" woman's voice. Kind of high and well, typical. I was so glad to hear her voice and realize it's not girlie but a little on the deeper side. This is not a slam in any way. See, my voice is on the lower side too. It's not very girlie in my opinion. My thought was, if Stephanie Pearl-McPhee can have a voice like that and get on stage and tell a combination of stand up comedy and life advice and write books on knitting, then maybe I won't turn out so bad.
And then the best thing happened. I stood in line to have the YH sign her new book for me (P.S. I only bought the book while I was in Knitch. I didn't even touch any yarn. Otherwise I would have bought a hundred skeins.) And when I got to meet her I asked her to take a picture with my knee high sock. And boy was it a picture!

She told me this was a "serious sock," "more like a foot oven." And then she took my picture. I don't know if it will end up on her blog. But I really hope so. And she also signed my book for me (of course).Sorry it's sideways. I forgot to flip it on its side before I uploaded it.
When I got home I sewed in all the loose ends and voila! A knee high, stripped sock.
This is the first time that I got the toe as square as I wanted it (why do my first few Kitchener stitches look all wonky like that every time?).
See how the increases and decreases look so lovely? And how the cat tries to act interested? And how bendy my leg is?
Look at my partridge heel. So sturdy and effective.
I would have liked my ribbing to be a little tighther but I like this sock. Don't you?
I've cast on for the second one but seeing as how I knit at the Knit-In and during the YH's talk today (about 3 hours total) I think I'm going to read through my new book and admire my sock.