Saturday, April 28, 2007

busy busy

I haven't picked up the second Kroy sock after re-doing the toe. I've lost interest in it. So I cast on another sock. I am using Louet Gems in Baby Neptune (one ply is blue and the other ply is white). My lys recently started stocking it (in a million colours, too). The resulting fabric is sooo soft. I'll bet it gets even softer after washing. If this works out well, I may have a new favourite sock yarn. I'm not sure I like the marl. It's ok but not stunning. I'm not sure what I was expecting.

I got 2 knitting pattern leaflets the other day courtesy of a quilting friend - Jean Greenhowe's Knitted Clowns and MacScarecrow Clan. Aren't they hilarious? I spent a lot of time looking at the details of each picture. I love all of them. Am I too old to knit myself toys?

I've been giving unloved yarn away on Good Yarn Karma. So far, 5 batches of yarn have found new homes. That means more room for new yarn! Although, I don't really need more. I just want more.

And I finally mailed the KTE package to my pal. I waited and waited for the last treat to arrive from NY and it finally showed up after 2 weeks. There was a big gaping hole in the envelope but thankfully, the contents were undamaged. I was in such a hurry that I didn't take any pictures. Hopefully, my pal will post the contents on her blog. I should be getting my package sometime this week. I am so excited.

I finished sewing together the top for my niece's quilt. There's not enough contrast between some of the fabrics so it's hard to see the block design. I made one boo boo - there's 2 bee blocks right beside each other. I'm not sure whether I sewed the blocks in the wrong order or I laid it out wrong. Tomorrow, I need to sew the backing fabric together and then I get to lay on the floor for a few hours basting the layers together. I don't know how far I'll get since my back is killing me tonite. I also need to decide on a quilting pattern so the basting isn't urgent.

I broke down and bought the Dresden Ring pattern by Patchworks Studio and some fabric to make it. If my back hurts too much tomorrow, I may work on this instead of the quilt. Or I could finish any one of several quilting projects.

Earlier this week, I bought this very cute keychain for myself. I wanted to buy a bunch for all my friends but this was the very last one. Don't you hate it when that happens?

Thursday, April 26, 2007


The second Kroy sock has taken a big step backwards. I divided the stitches to do the heel and I couldn't get the right number on both needles. After a quick count, I realized that I must've cast on the wrong number of stitches when I started the toe. Doh! I tried the sock on and it's too small so I had to frog the whole thing and start again. A whole MacGyver DVD wasted!

Thanks to my friend, Angela - I am now the proud owner of a set of Susan Bates Silvalume sock needles. I bought some sock yarn awhile ago and I needed size 00 to get gauge (no, I'm not a loose knitter - it's just a fine yarn). So now, I have no excuse. It'll be interesting to see how I like them. Grumperina loves hers.

Ricky is ok. The tests didn't show anything weird so the vet thinks he's got a sensitive stomach. He prescribed some hypoallergenic food - venison and rice. My cat is eating venison!!! And for the price that I'm paying, it better be good venison.

I have spent 2 solid days working on my youngest niece's quilt. It is going well but I had to undo a few pieces when I discovered that I'd sewn the wrong ones together. It's a sure sign that it's too late to be sewing when your brain stops functioning. I hope to finish piecing the top this weekend. I'll have pictures next week.

I am currently addicted to this flash game (click at your own risk - don't say I didn't warn you). My highest score so far is 272.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sheep to shawl event this weekend

I'm taking Andrew to a birthday party, otherwise we'd probably go to the Sheep to Shawl competition in Surrey this weekend. Take a sheep, shear it, and turn it into a shawl.

I'm not sure if they can do that all in one day. Should be amusing.

Yes, I am still knitting, just not blogging about it! I've got a noro entrelac bag that's almost done — finished the bag last night, and I'm just trying to decide if I want two short handles or one long one.

And I've got a pair of cashmere anklets on the go for my sister-in-law. Photos to come tonight, hopefully.

Tony was out of town most of last week, and then he was off on his bike ride last night, so I've been on major kid duty.

Monday, April 23, 2007

socks, cat, quilt, lawn (in that order)

I finished the first sock using the Paton's Kroy yarn. I wove in 8 ends. The socks are really short but I couldn't stand all the breaks in the yarn so I stopped knitting. There should be more quality control for yarn that's made in Italy. I've started the toe on the second sock. I got a MacGyver DVD in the mail today so that means the sock will get lots of attention.

I took Ricky to the vet this morning. He hasn't been doing well and at first, I thought it was the change in diet but I've switched him back to his old food and he's still not 100%. The vet shaved a little patch of fur off his neck and took some blood for testing. I'll hear the results tomorrow. I hope it's nothing too serious.

This weekend was busy busy. I went to the FVQG quilt show. It was crowded. I thought it was a ho-hum exhibit. Only one quilt stood out - the rest were just nice. I picked up some brown & pink fabrics from the merchant mall. Plus they had quilting magazines - 5 for $1 so I got 5. I didn't see anything from the boutique that I wanted. I took my Mom to the show and afterwards, we went out for lunch at a Japanese restaurant. Yum! On the way home, I stopped at a fabric store that was having a sale and I picked up the Peace Quilt pattern by Margaret Rolfe. I might go back and pick up the Dresden Ring pattern by Patchworks Studio.

Sat and Sun were consumed with lawn work. We raked up the moss, top dressed, and overseeded. It was back breaking work even with the help of the thatching blade on the lawn mower. Luckily, it's going to rain most of this week so I don't have to spend too much of my time watering.

Friday, April 20, 2007

sock mojo

I have found my sock mojo.

Yarn: Trekking XXL (my very first!); colour 140
Needles: 2.25mm dpns
Pattern: toe-up; cast on 60 sts; 2x2 ribbing on the leg
Notes: I made sure the 2 socks matched. Normally, I wouldn't care but these will be gift sox.

And since I don't have any other knitting to show you, here's a cat picture of Ricky trying to eat my squid snacks.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Skeins of sweetgeorgia sock yarn? (I wish) Skeins of yarn? (I've probably got more) Knitting days til Christmas? (close but it's actually 250)

261 is the number of tulips in my backyard (yes, I counted) give or take a few. The total number of tulips on the property is probably over 300. I can't really take credit for the red and yellow ones since they came with the house. I have some Queen of the Night (black purple) tulips out front that haven't started blooming yet. When they do, I'll post pictures.

I did lots of yard work today. I spent 2 hours top dressing and overseeding part of the front lawn. We still have to deal with the rest of the front lawn plus the side of the house. I also went out and bought plants for my hanging baskets. I only make 3 - one for shade and 2 for full sun. This year, I bought voodoo fuschias for the shade basket. I bought blue nemesia, blue bacopa, white verbena, pink nemesia, apricot petunia, purple swan river daisy, and pink verbena for the full sun ones. It's a little too early for hanging baskets since it can still get quite cool at night but it's easy to bring them under cover when I need to.

I broke down and started a plain stockinette sock yesterday. And I didn't use the sweetgeorgia yarn. I have a few skeins of sock yarn lying on the coffee table taunting me. One of the skeins is my very first sock yarn purchase. It's nothing exciting - just some Patons Kroy socks that I bought from a craft store (probably Lewiscraft since no other craft store sells sock yarn). There were issues with the yarn - lots of breaks so I put it away after trying to knit with it. Now that I have more sock experience, I'm going back to it and I've rewound the skein so that I'm knitting from the end with fewer breaks. When I reach the "breaking point" (ha ha), I can cast off and just have shortie socks.

Monday, April 16, 2007

done shopping

I am finished shopping for my Knitter's Treat Exchange treatee. I picked up the last few items today. I can't quite send the parcel just yet. I am waiting for some stuff to arrive that I ordered from eBay. I also bought fabric to sew up a little something which I should do this afternoon.

We've got 6 DVDs rented (technically, we should only have 4 since that's all we've paid for) so there's been lots of knitting time in the evenings. I have 7.5" of the indigo ripples skirt done. Am I making fast enough progress, Anne?

The skirt monogamy might end soon. The siren song of the sweetgeorgia sock yarn is calling to me. Will Fondant be the first on the needles or Afterglow? Hmmm....

And I want to be the first to post this picture (beat you, Simon!):

This is Simon (my husband's second cousin from Germany) posing in front of Shannon Falls just south of Whistler, BC. So that you understand how tall the falls are, Simon is 6'4". He had his very first pit toilet experience while we were there. He's been living in the Rockies almost an entire year and he has never used/seen a pit toilet? Anyways, I drove him up to Whistler so that he could see all the sights along the Sea to Sky highway. The weather wasn't co-operating but we didn't get too wet. Simon likes climbing so we stopped at the base of the Squamish Chief but there were no climbers out that day. We walked around Whistler village and did a little shopping (rock candy - yum!). Simon also dives so we stopped at Porteau Cove so that he could see where the local divers go. There's an artificial reef there so it's a very popular place. He was surprised that diving is free as long as you pay to park your car. In Germany, Simon doesn't live near the coast so he's forced to do most of his diving in an indoor facility. I'm sure that gets expensive.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


I have been waiting ages and the last (as in, there-may-never-be-any-more) shipment of Sweetgeorgia finally arrived at my lys this week. They sent out a newsletter yesterday announcing the arrival and I read it during my lunch break from lawn maintenance today. Not willing to risk missing out on all the good colours, I told hubby to keep raking without me while I dashed out. Some of the colours were already gone but I bought 2 skeins each of Fondant and Afterglow. Aren't they pretty? I am going to miss her (yarn) a lot.

And an Indigo ripples skirt update... I've got about 6" of stockinette knit up. But it's curling so much that it doesn't look like much on the needles and it's hard to see my progress. See what I mean?

I dropped off our house guest at the airport yesterday so we've got the house to ourselves again. I am officially off tour guide duty. On the way back from the airport, I stopped at the fabric store and bought this fabric:

There wasn't much left so I bought the rest of the bolt. I am currently in love with pink and brown. Don't ask me why.

I am busy assembling goodies for my Knitter's Treat Exchange recipient. I went shopping all day yesterday looking for things. I was only partially successful. I hope to have better luck next week.

The clerk at the local postal outlet is getting to know me. I've been giving away yarn on Good Yarn Karma and in the last week, I've mailed 3 packages. And some of it is going to far away places. The farthest is Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. But get this - it's cheaper to send yarn there than it is to send yarn to Minnesota. Go figure.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Journey Cable Socks

Awhile ago, I posted about some test knitting that I was doing. Well, the pattern's finally published so I can blog about it.

Yarn: Indigo Moon dk merino in cornflower; one 225g skein
Needles: 2.5mm dpns

My picture doesn't do the socks justice. One sock looks bigger than the other but that's because they didn't block well. I made the larger size and my sock blockers don't have a high enough instep. The heel of the sock kept slipping off the blocker. And I made one boo boo when I knit the first sock. Can you spot it?

The socks that I made are in the picture accompanying the pattern. So you could say that I've been published as well.

I can't tell you how much I like these socks. They weren't hard to make (aside from the whole "testing" aspect) and they look better when you're wearing them because you can really see how the cables move around.

Not much progress on the indigo ripples skirt. I think I've got about 5" of skirt done. I tried to take some pictures but the skirt is curling badly and I don't have my regular photography setup available which means I can't pin it down for pics.

I was assigned my Knitter's Treat Exchange recipient on Sunday. We've exchanged a few emails and I think I know what to get her. Hee hee. Time to do a little shopping. And I've been contacted by my treater as well. She had a ton of questions! I think she's American and possibly from the east coast. She used the term 'you all" in her email (Someone Else: if you're reading this, am I right?)

The jeep is all fixed up. The lawn mower has been forgiven. There should be no more problems since there is now 3 cu yards of topsoil in the spot where the jeep was parked when it got nailed by the rock.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

today's score

Lawn mower: 1
Jeep: 0

Hubby: minus $300

Friday, April 6, 2007

still here

It's been a busy week and this weekend is crammed with family events with the exception of today. So I've got a little time to blog and catch up on things.

The hemp swatch came out of the dryer and it feels like butta.

I knit the stockinette on 2.75mm needles and I did the lace bit on 3.5mm needles. I really like the drape of the fabric in the lace section. It doesn't drape as well on the top. I don't want to go to bigger needles for the stockinette because it's a skirt and the fabric should not be see-through. But rather than doing the increases in the lace section, I will switch to bigger needles each time there is an increase row. It'll make the bottom of the skirt a lot swishy-er. I've got a lot of math to do.

The fabric didn't shrink at all so I need to make some adjustment to the pattern and knit to the post-shrink size rather than the pre-shrink size. That's not a big deal.

One concern I had was the ruffled hem. I was worried that the ruffle wouldn't hold up in this kind of yarn so I knit a few hem rows before casting off. As you can see, the ruffle is holding it's shape in the swatch. Yahoo! Cuz I really like the ruffle.

No cat loyalty
Ricky has abandoned us for our house guest. Usually, he sleeps in our bed at night. But ever since Simon's been here, Ricky's sleeping with Simon (with the exception of Tues night cuz Simon forgot to leave his door open a crack). Yesterday, Simon went off to stay with other relatives for the weekend. I was expecting Ricky to join us but he slept on the guest bed by himself. I bet he was hoping Simon would show up. Ricky is such a traitor!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Yarn for Karma

As mentioned in a previous post, I've gone through my yarn and everything that I want to give away is posted on the Good Yarn Karma blog. Go check it out.

Not much knitting lately. My hubby's second cousin (Hi Simon!) is staying with us. He's from Germany but he's been living/working at a wilderness camp in the Rockies for the last 11 months. He's got a month left before he heads back home. Not bad for a teenager!

Yesterday, I took him to the English Bay and Stanley Park so that he could see/smell the Pacific Ocean. He also had his first real taste of Japanese food. Amazingly, he has pretty decent chopstick skills. We also visited SFU as he's interested in getting his post secondary degree outside of Germany. Today, he's off with another relative and they're going to hit some other touristy places (Granville Island, Jericho Beach, Vanier Park).

Monday, April 2, 2007

cashmere jackpot

I've been email chatting with my Wee Tiny Sock swap recipient, Ronnie. She was blogging about her newly finished Hidcote shawl. It's gorgeous and made out of cashmere yarn which is something that costs and arm and a leg over here. But she says it's similar in price to merino in the UK. So I checked out her source - Colourmart in the UK. And I may need to order something from there. Currently on my list is some dk cashmerino in the ocean moon colour. Only $25USD for 150g/570yds and that includes international shipping. Be still my heart...

Another huge sock yarn sale

Oh man, I did not need Little Knits to put more sock yarn on sale.

I'm afraid to flash my stash, because I think I could probably make over 30 pairs of socks with what's in it. And what was I thinking? I barely wear socks from May through September. Plus I don't like tall socks, so I can usually make two pairs for myself out of a normal skein of sock yarn.

At least it looks like legwarmers are coming back in style. Maybe all that sock yarn would make really cool legwarmers!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

flashing my stash

Hubby better not be looking...

This is my sock stash:

Top row (l-r): MCY in Blue Ice; Sweetgeorgia in Blue Steel; Regia Cotton Surf col 5411; Online Supersocke 100 Summer in 787; Cherry Tree Hill in Moody Blues; Tofutsies col 730
Middle row (l-r): Indigo Moon in purple, sage, and butterscotch; Schaefer Anne col unknown; Jojoland Quartette col 504; Koigu kpppm semi-solid purple
Bottom row (l-r): Sweetgeorgia superwash in Cassis; Louet Gems in Baby Neptune; Regia 4ply hand dyed by moi; DG Confetti col 09.002; DG Confetti col 9035; Scheepjes Invicta Extra col 1357
MIA: Panda Cotton, Panda Wool, and more Regia Surf (see this post for pics)

Pairs of socks I can knit from my stash: at least 24.

This is my lace & handspun stash:

Top row (l-r): Knit Picks Shadow in Oregon Coast; Knit Picks Shadow in Vineyard; Iona Silk Wool (cobweb!) in burgunday; Sun Bench Fibres mohair boucle; Fiddlesticks Knitting Jaggerspun in Lady Slipper
Middle row (l-r): Filatura Cervinia Imperiale mohair in cols 4120 and 4108 (yarn souvenier from Disneyland); Rowan Kidsilk Haze in col 606; Shepherd's Cottage Wool shetland lace in white
Bottom row (l-r): Mount Lehman Llamas llama/merino handspun in magenta; Long Buckby Farm llama/mohair/silk handspun

This is some of my cotton:

Some of this is dishcloth cotton; some of it for knitwear; there is a lone skein of Super 10 and a lone skein of Euroflax linen. Some of it is cotton/acrylic and some of it is vintage Patons Weekender.

Here is my 'on hand' yarn:

These bins sit beside the family room sofa where I do most of my knitting. There are 5 bins in total. The top 2 hold wips, swatches, bits and bobs, notions, etc. The bottom 3 bins hold yarn for wips, leftovers, and yarn that doesn't have any other home.

Top bin (l-r): leftover Fleece Artist sock yarn and underneath it is some Lion Brand Homespun; Cascade 220 for my Arwen; leftover olive Malabrigo, Panda wool and Panda cotton; vintage Perfina sock yarn in a hideous yellow
Middle bin (l-r): This is all my sock yarn (see sock stash picture above)
Botton bin (l-r): Patons Classic Merino for mittens; some white mohair; Moda Dea Wild! in Denim and Flames for scarves

More yarn in the immediate vicinity of the family room sofa...

l-r: Bernat Matrix; 2 bags of Marks & Kattens Dream; Patons Classic Merino

Here is my afghan yarn:

Clockwise starting from top left: Patons Bohemian in Beatnik Blues; mosaic knitting afghan in black & red Red Heart; Lion Brand Homespun in Barrington; Patons Divine in Soft Earth and Icicle White

Number of afghans I can knit from stash: 5

Going upstairs, I keep most of my sweater/cardigan yarn under the guest bed.

On the left is Bernat Denimstyle in Weathered Rose and Polo. There's also 2 skeins of Wendy cotton chenille. On the right is some crochet cotton but mostly Bernat Handicrafter cotton.

Number of adult garments I can knit from stash: 9

There are a 3 smaller stashes of yarn hidden away. Most of it vintage stuff that I was given or purchased from a garage sale/thrift shop/etc.