Sunday, December 31, 2006

One Last Pair

I spoke too soon in yesterday's post. I have one last FO to show you for the year!

Garter Rib Socks STR SH

The stripes don't quite line up on these. I'd say they are fraternal rather than identical.

Garter Rib Sock- STR Scottish Highlands

Pattern: Garter Rib Socks from Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn: STR Midweight in Scottish Highlands I love this yarn. It's squishy and makes a nice thick fabric. I can't wait to try some of the lightweight I have.
Needles: One on KP size 3 dpn's. The other on size 2.5 Bryspun dpn's. I changed to the Bryspun because these socks went to Ireland with me and I didn't want to risk getting my needles confiscated. The funny thing is the KP #3 and the Bryspun #2.5 are the same size if you look at the millimeters. Weird, huh?
Date Started: 10/15
Date Finished: 12/31- Last FO of 2006!

And the skeins just keep on coming...

These three lovelies are courtesy of Sandra at I May Be Knitting A Ranch House. She was doing a little destash. I was doing some stash enhancement. The cosmos were aligned.

CTH- Birches

Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Birches. This color is really cool. There's a little green interspersed with the black and brown.

Yarntini Vintage

Yarntini self striping in Vintage. I already have a skein of this. But with 2 I can make knee highs!

Yarntini 4-8-15-16-23-42

Yarntini self striping in 4-8-15-16-23-42 (inspired by Lost). I don't watch Lost but I saw some Jaywalkers in this color and they were adorable!!!!

Happy New Year!!!!

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

They're Super Pink! Super Pink! They're Super Pinky! Eowww!

I finished the Plain Old Socks this afternoon. And I LOVE them. They're comfy and they fit perfectly. And they're going to look awesome with my Chuck Taylors. Truth be told, I was starting to get concerned about the level of pinkness that these socks were creating. But in the end, they perfectly straddle the line between kitschy and obnoxious. (It's a thin but important line.)

Plain Old Socks Yarntini Socks

This pic is slightly blue for an unknown reason. But as you can see, I'm very proud as to how the stripes line up.

Plain Old Socks- Heels

And I'm getting better at this short row heel thing!

Plain Old Socks- Yarntini Hope

Milo Pick approves of the pinkness.

Pattern: Universal Sock Pattern from knitty
Yarn: Yarntini Self Striping Sock in Hope
Needles: KP dpn's size 1
Date Started: 11/10/06
Date Finished: 12/30/06

These are the first toe up socks I've made. I love how they fit. And I'm glad they are my last socks of 2006.


Friday, December 29, 2006

I have no self control

As the eve of 2007 grows closer, I have been very bad. I made a promise to myself and to the knit blog community. I will knit from my stash until it fits into the 2 small bins I've designated for yarn. (More on that in my New Year's Post.)

However, that doesn't start until 1/1/07. So this Post-Christmas week, I've been shopping... a lot. I have 21 skeins of sock yarn coming. Don't judge. I'm already feeling guilty.

Only one skein has arrived so far. This beauty is from Dani at Sunshine yarn. It's no so solid Avocado. The luscious green is going to look so pretty in a leafy sock pattern.

Sunshine Yarn Avocado

Lots more to come. I figure as long as I bought it before the 1st, I'm not breaking any rules. I know it's sort of cheating. But I prefer to call it storing up for the long winter.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

December Petals Collection

After Sundara got caught in that terrible Seattle windstorm a couple weeks ago, I thought the Petals Collection December shipment would be delayed by more than a few days. Luckily, Sundara is fine and my pre-New Year stash enhancement continues. I was especially excited because this was my first shipment of this sock club.

Sundara Shipment

This was waiting for me when I got home tonight.

Eva loves the Box

Eva really likes the box. But I really like what's inside.

Lenten Rose

Packaged beautifully as always. Sundara sent a skein of Lenten Rose sock yarn.

Sundara Lenten Rose

UPDATED PHOTO! Unfortunately, there's a huge storm tonight. And the lighting is my house is terrible. Really the skein is a beautiful grey-ish purple. And the lacy pattern that was included looks great.

Huge thanks to Sundara for braving the weather to bring us gorgeous socks!

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas to Me!!

My mother-in-law has noticed that when she gives me yarn, I squeal. And this Christmas was no different. And this yarn is definitely squealable!

She gifted me with 6 balls of Tahki Stacy Charles brand Luxor in #6 Deep Teal. It's a really lovely yarn with a strand of shiny polyamide running through it.

The color is just perfect for me. YAY! So also gave me a really nice black knitting bag with her LYS insignia on the side. It's really nice and has lots of room. I think I'll have to retire my $5 Old Navy tote.

Socks in Progress

Here's my SIP's (Socks in Progress). From Left to Right: Plain sock in Yarntini Hope, Here there Be Dragons sock in Yarn Pirate Storm, and garter rib sock in STR midweight Scottish Highlands.
Since we did all of our Christmas festivities last night, today will be a nice day of laziness, knitting, and movies. I hope you are all enjoying your day.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

I've Been Remiss

With all this Ireland and Christmas talk, I haven't been showing you what's going on in my knitting life. Well get ready, this is a picture heavy post. But I'm finally home when there is light. YAY!

First up- I got a new pouch from those clever girls over at Piddleloop. These pouches are perfect for portable projects and keeping things organized. And it doesn't hurt that they are so darned cute!

Look! It's fully lined and can probably hold 2 pair of socks. There are even these little loops for holding needles. My other one made the trip to Ireland with me and saved my socks from any tangles or exposure to dirt. And if you're keeping score, I now have 2 Piddleloop pouches and 1 from Misocrafty. That's enough to keep my socks in progress ready to go at a moment's notice.

Finally, the piddleloop girls included these adorable freebies. Buttons, a headband, a bobby pin, and the cutest Kleenex cover.

And I couldn't have an empty pouch laying around. So I cast on for Here there be Dragons Socks in Yarn Pirate's merino/tencel blend. The color is storm and I think it'll make great dragon scales. I also made a great trade on the knitty boards. I got lantern moon ebony dpn's for a nice skein of sock yarn. And these needles are too nice not to be knitting with them. Can you tell I'm trying to justify my startitis??

I finally got a picture of the cable booties I made for my MIL for Christmas. I finished these back in September or so. The pattern is from One Skein and the yarn is Lorna's Laces in Shepherd Worsted. They're really soft and cuddly. I really hope they fit.

This was the first time I did any cable work. I think it turned out pretty well. Or at least, the cables go all the same way.

I also cast on a plain old stockinette sock with Yarntini yarn in the Hope colorway. I bought it in October when pink was really on my mind. It's really, really pink. Usually that's not my style but I really like these. It doesn't hurt that these may be the softest socks I've ever owned. And look at the striping! Jess over at yarntini is a master of dyeing stripes.

I cast off the first one last night. I think I'm getting the hang of this short row heel thing.

Have a wonderful Christmas! Try to remember how blessed we all are.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Movie night

When I got home Brian and I decided we wanted Chinese food and beer to accompany our Friday movie night. And I was back on the road to go pick it up. While I waited for the food to be ready, I went to Long's Drugs to get beer. At the check out, predictably, I was carded. Upon inspection of my ID, the checkout girl said, "You look good for your age." Now, presumably this was a compliment. But since I'm on the verge of thirty, it wasn't the most appropriate comment. There was a man of about 50 behind me in line. He too found this comment a little odd. He asked me if I was seventy or something. I love a man who can pull out a clever little dig.

I'm knitting socks. And planning 2 dog sweaters. And drinking beer. And watching Johnny Depp be a great pirate. It's a good Friday night.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Monkey off my Back

Finally, I'm done! I started this scarf more than a year ago and it has languished on my needles for far too long. I got a little bored with it and just couldn't bring myself to keep going. But in the spirit of the coming new year, I didn't want to carry it over into 2007. So I sat down and knit my little fingers off. Here it is! (Don't look at my chubby arms!)

Pattern: Ruffle Scarf from Scarf Style
Needles: Clover circulars #7
Yarn: Rowan Calmer in Coffee Bean (sooooooo soft and cuddly)
Date started: October 2005
Date finished: 12/19/06

It's about 8 feet long. Had I known, I would have bound off awhile ago.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Emerald Isle

I have to send a HUGE shout out to Georgia at Yarn Pirate. She sent me to a couple of great jewelers on etsy. And I got a this great necklace for my MIL. YAY! One more gift down. I also found an apron for my brother-in-law's girlfriend who loves to cook. And, OK, I might have picked up something for myself. Oops! But this Christmas just confirms the awesome-ness of Etsy. There are so many great independent artists out there. Support their crafts!

Here are the rest of the pics from Ireland.

Dromberg Stone Circle. The Druids supposedly worshiped the winter solstice. The stones actually line up with the sun on that specific day. How cool is that?!?!? To get here, you have to go up a two track through the mud to a teeney parking lot and gift shop that are clearly not that busy in winter. In fact, the gift shop was a trailer that was all but abandoned. I really liked being there without 1,000 other people. From this trip on, I'm all about the off season.

The next three pictures are of Mizen Head Peninsula. It took us a couple wrong turns and about an hour and a half to get out here. TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!!

This is the most South-westerly point in Ireland. And the weather in these 3 pictures happened in the space of about 15 minutes.

That white building on the rock is a lighthouse but it's only open on the weekends in winter. Really beautiful scenery.

Finally, a good picture of Brian and I. Can you tell we had fun?


Saturday, December 16, 2006

My (not so) Irish Eyes are Smiling!

Here's more pics of Ireland as requested...

The great room at Blarney Castle. It's remarkably well preserved. And I know it's a cheesy, touristy thing to do but I kissed the stone. It was a rainy day but that really added to the medieval feel of the place. I certainly would not have attacked Blarney. It's pretty impressive.

Outside view of Blarney. It's just SOOOOO green!!!!

My Dad and I hanging out on top of Blarney. For those of you wondering, I'm wearing my so-called scarf in Rio de la Plata wool. It kept me nice and warm while hiking around the countryside.

St. Finn Barre's cathedral in Cork City. There's a golden angel who will blow his horn when the apocalypse comes. Thank goodness we didn't hear any horns.

The Jameson distillery in Midleton. I love how the red doors pop off of the grey stone.

Brian and I at Black Rock Castle. Unfortunately, it was closed for renovation after we walked an hour and a half to get there. Oh well, we found a great pub with a friendly dog to sit and wait while we called a cab to go back!

My Dad spotted this tower from the road and we stopped to ask the owners if it was OK for us to hike up the hill to have a look. Well, she looked at us like we were nuts but said yes. This tower is in a sheep field on a hill between Cloyne and Shanagarry. There were only minor injuries from hopping the barbed wire fence!

In all my brilliance, I forgot the power converter. So halfway through the trip we had to change to a disposable camera. I need to pick up those pictures from Target later today. So maybe they'll be a big picture post tomorrow as well.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas shopping is making me nuts!

I'm really behind. And I need ideas for my mother-in-law and brother-in-law.

Ideas? Anyone?

I also have an exam and a job interview for a promotion on Monday. Busy little bee! That's me! Too bad I haven't been keeping up the way that I should for this class. I have lots of studying to do this weekend. Compound that with the shopping issue... I'm a little stressed.

On the other hand, someone at work introduced me to the Ghirardelli Factory Store today. I got lots of chocolate to get me through the craziness!

More Ireland pics are coming. I need to stop at Target and get the rest tomorrow.

Now just talk me out of the 10 skeins of sock yarn I really want to buy....

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I Heart Ireland

We're back!!!!! And we had a wonderful trip. Castles and Guinness and yarn, oh my!

First and foremost, the Irish are the nicest, friendliest people. Everywhere we went the locals were excited to see us and talk to us about their home. And I think it might be impossible to sound angry or rude with their lovely lilting accents. They didn't even mind that much when I drove the wrong way down a one way street and nearly clipped a wall while trying to drive on the left.

I did find one yarn store in Cork. A country with this many sheep probably has loads of yarn shops but I could only find one- Cork Wools. I contributed to the Irish economy with 4 skeins of sock yarn.

I've never heard of Town and Country or St. Ives. But this was the best there was. I liked the gray because almost every day in Ireland involved rain and wind. If I make cozy socks out of gray yarn, I'll turn that lemon of a memory into lemonade. And I really like the color of the Sirdar. Brian was kind enough to sit patiently while I spent a little time wandering around the shop.

This shop is right next to the English Market in Cork city center. There's a stall for everything! Meat shops. Fish shops. Bread shops. I'm so intrigued by going to shop for food daily. It's a very romantic notion for me. In reality, it's probably a pain but I chose not to think about that.

We also visited the Old Midleton Distillery. This is where all the Jameson whiskey in Ireland is made. This was a great tour not only because they give you a whiskey at the end. YUM! My hot toddie was very delicious on this blustery day.
The best part of the trip of course was getting to see my little sis. (Can you tell we're related?) She's so cool. And I'm pretty much jealous of her life. Last Friday she graduated from Ballymaloe Cookery School and promptly moved to London to work at Neal's Yard. She'll be in London for 3 months before moving back to Chicago. So if you see her there, say Hi. I just love this girl so much!

Incidentally, I finished her legwarmers on the plane over. The Cascade 220 turned my fingers green. It washed off in a couple of days but I thought that was odd. Anyway, she's got 2 new sets of legwarmers and a set of Hedera socks to keep her warm in the UK.

It's taken me a couple of days to feel settled again. And I'm back to my usual grind. Except for my panic attack about Christmas coming in a week and a half, I'm fine. My new mantra is "it'll all get done." It'll all get done. Please don't tell me otherwise!