Thursday, July 31, 2008

Under the Wire

So I finished up my socks at 2AM this morning. I was a little worried abt doing toe decreases with navy yarn AND kitchening stitch around 1AM, but who cares abt blindless and tiredness when you are SOOO close. It worked out well and here they are.

Here are my stats

Heart & Sole sock yarn in #3966 Toasted Almond
Heels in Heart & Sole Sock yarn in Navy Blue
Sock #1: 7/9-17/08 8 days
Sock #2: 7/21-31/08 10 days

I used size 2 dpns and cast on 56sts. I probably could have used size 1.5 or even size 1s, but I got gauge of 8sts/inch which is fine for me. My cuffs are slightly different, on one sock I used a spiral rib but wasn't all that impressed with it so I used a regular 2x2 rib on sock #2. You can sort of see the difference in the pictures but on my foot, you can't tell at all.

But there is something that I DO see a difference in. If you didn't notice it in the above shot, here is a closer view.

I'm missing a blue stripe. I noticed that the blue on the second sock wasn't as deep as the first, but I wasn't too concerned with it until I saw the missing stripe. I'm a bit disappointed in that, but they fit really well (I'm loving my longer heel flap) so they will stay. (and yes they are the same dye lot)

You can see the lightness of the blue in one sock vs the other.


Overall, I *was* really happy abt this yarn. A good sock yarn at a reasonable price, but I have to say the differences in the blue in each skein will make me wonder what I'll get when I knit up the Spring Stripes. It was probably just a fluke, but I will email Red Heart and let them know. Maybe I'll get some solid yarn in its place. Which, BTW was nice! The navy in the heels had a nicer feel to it.

I have spent more time this afternoon than I would have liked looking thru the sock yarn to see what I should cast on next. I finally decided to use the yarn I got from NH KnittingMama. I'm trying to decide if I want to do a pattern on them or if I want the yarn to sing for itself.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

StarDate -315574.85

With only 2.5 weeks left before school starts, I'm getting ramped up to finish some projects that I SWORE I would finish before the Rugrats went back to school. I've already purged the old clothes from the kids' rooms. #1 Son's room is in pretty good shape; thankfully he's at an age where all I need to do is get him started and he can do the rest himself. Baby Girl's room is a different story, but she's six and if her room overwhelms me, I can only imagine what it does to her. I'd like to get a little more done on #1 Son's quilt and maybe whip up a pair of shorts or two for each of them.

While I contemplate even MORE projects to start, I have bound off and seamed up a few others. Here is Baby Girl's shawl.

This was actually quite easy.

I used the Airy Scarf pattern in Last Minute Gifts, modified to fit as a wrap for Baby Girl. It's basically 10 rows of straight knitting with a row of yarn overs to break it up. I cast on 66sts on size 10 needles and kept going until I ran out of yarn. I think I had abt 12 inches left after I cast off. The total length is 36.5".

Yarn is Fortissima Colori Disco Socka #5. It's got a silvery strand spun in it to give it a bit of a glitzy look to it

Project time was 6/8/08 thru 7/27/08, a total of 7 weeks. Again, between being a slow knitter and having other projects going on as well, it takes me longer than somebody else who would devote all their knitting time to one project.

Overall verdict: She LOVES it! I was afraid that the silvery strand might be a bit scratchy, but she doesn't even feel it. She puts it on occasionally but she doesn't want to mess it up so she gives it back to me to hold on to for when we go out. Her poncho has been designated for school.

I also finished seaming up these for #1 Son

I used bits of kitchen cotton, acrylic and the red is actually some Lamb's Pride Cotton Fleece. I really like the feel of the way it knits up, something to keep in mind for any future projects.

As far as my current sock, I'm half way thru the heel. I have three days to finish it up so I can count it for both SOS08 and SAM6. I was going to whip out a pair of charity socks so I'd at least have something for SAM6, but I knew if I just focused on the sock, I'd get it done in time. Here's hoping. I want to turn the heel and finish the gusset so that I'm at the main part of the foot by the time I go to sleep tonight. I *might* be able to do it.

Meanwhile Hemi says

Let's hope *I* don't find the silvery thread scratchy...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday updates

Well I tried to post my Saturday Sky yesterday, but it just didn't happen. I even had it started, but was shooed off the computer before I could finish and post it. I think I have to move my yarn money over into another fund to buy my own computer. Lord knows I have enough yarn to sustain me for awhile, but I'm not sure how much longer I can handle fighting over computer time......

I did take a picture of my sky



but I find my sky 3 days earlier to be much more interesting.

We had a thunderstorm roll thru and while it looks quite ominous, the storm had passed and an hour later it was sunny again. Gotta love Florida weather.

I've also got updates of knitted projects. Here is the shawl I'm working on for Baby Girl.

I'm getting really close to finishing it, which is good because I'm getting REALLY tired of working on it.

My current sock.

I've been devoting so much time to the shawl, this sock hasn't been getting much air time. I really wanted it done before the end of the month so I would have something to post for both SAM6 and SOS08, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

And here is my ongoing sweater.

I know, it never looks any different. However this time I'm just about to start the decreases for the arm holes so I'm making progress. I really want to have it done for this winter.

I have no updated picture of my Warm Woolies blanket. It's gotten quite big and I need to find a big enough area to drape it across. I'm getting really close to having it done. I'm on the last skeins of yarn for it so hopefully I'll be done with it by the end of August. It's getting big and bulky, but it's still great knitting while I'm watching M*A*S*H at midnight.

And it seems as if I'm in a perpetual state of organizing my yarn. I get in these moods of purging yarn that I know I'll never use, but then as I look at it, I think I'll be able to find *something* for it. I get the same way abt my fabric stash. So instead when I pull it out to look at it, I'm taking pictures of it before I shove it back in the closet so I can post it on Ravelry. I have to say, I use Ravelry SO much more than I ever expected. Yet another example as to why you never say never.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kitty Thursdays


Wow those are some cool nails!


They even smell lemony fresh!!


Ok, you can start with this paw.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

O is for

Phantom of the OPERA



Atlantic OCEAN


ORANGE CAT

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Morning Update

It's been a bit hectic here at Happy Acres, so I haven't had the opportunity to post my Thursday Kitties or my Saturday sky (never even took one), but that doesn't mean crafting hasnt been happening! I got to meet up with my stitching group on Thursday which meant Too Pooped got to come out and play. I worked on him a bit more on Friday before he went back in the bag. I also started Ariel from The Little Mermaid for Baby Girl. I have a book on Disney Princesses and will be doing 5 of them. It has nice blocks of color, but the faces and hands are a bit odd, lots of 3/4 stitches. And I finished my Red Heart sock on Friday. I plan on casting on for its mate tomorrow.

And where are all the pictures showing these things off??! Well there are none. Like I said, its been a bit hectic so I haven't been able to take the time to do a photo shoot. However I *do* have a picture of an FO.......

I finished it off tonight and Baby Girl wore it to bed. I'm really happy with the way it came out and am THRILLED it fits her. I wasnt so sure for a bit. I added an extra inch to the length just to give her a bit more time in it. I got the pattern from Summer 2007 Knitter's Magazine and used Bernat Cotton Tots in Strawberry for the yarn. And yes you can see the striping from the different dye lots, but at least it is light and dark stripes so it lookes like it was supposed to be that way!

I'm hoping to finish off her wrap by the end of the week. As far as #1 Son, I've been working to put together his I Spy quilt. I've made some modifications to make it easier on myself, but he wants it to fit his bed which means lots and lots of squares left to cut.


Will the I Spy quilt be as comfy as this one???

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

One Thing Leads To Another.....

How is it that one simple little project can turn into a huge deal?!? One of the books I got from the library is Teach a Group of Kids to Knit. In my delusional mind I'd like to think I could set up a knitting group once school starts and I wanted to do some reading on it to see if it's even a possibility. #1 Son saw some knitted juggling balls that he wanted ME to knit for him. He starts going thru my acrylic yarns, which includes going into the craft closet, to pick out the colors he wants.

Now that we have the colors all picked out, I start to put stuff back in the closet, and I realize I've neglected it for too long. I have stuff piled on top of other stuff and things have fallen behind my bins. ~sigh~ So I start to pull things out to go thru them. I was able to throw a LOT out, and I went thru one full 7 drawer bin in the closet. I started on the other side but I just didn't have it in me. The yarn is organized back up on the shelf and all the things that fell on the floor are back where they belong. I have a ton of cross stitch, quilting and knitting magazines that I didn't go thru yet; that will be a project in itself. I also have a full drawer of recipes that I have saved to try. I really should just dump the whole thing, but I've been itching to try some new things lately so this might be the motivation I need. We'll see.....

Of course while I was back there I found 2 UFOs, one is mine from the late 80s and the other I inherited from my aunt when she passed away over 9 years ago. I haven't been able to do anything with it until now.

Remember these bags??


She kept her current knitting in this bag. See?

The yarn is ugly and scratchy and the sleeves are too short. I haven't been able to make any decisions on this sweater since it was the last thing my aunt was working on before she died. However today I finally decided what I'm going to do. She was a BIG animal lover so I decided I'm going to unravel the whole thing, knit it up into a shelter blanket and donate it in her name. I think she would like this, helping out a shivering kitty stay warm instead of a half finished project sitting in the back of the closet. I have a sweater that she knit for my grandmother so I do have something from her, even if I won't wear it. Baby Girl isnt as sensitive to itchy yarn so maybe when she gets older she'll want to use it. If not, it will stay as a keepsake.

And then there is my UFO.

I started this back in 1990 (don't you just love the post 80's hair and makeup?!?!) before we moved from NY and I never really did much with it since. When I pulled it out a few years ago I still liked the pattern but the sweater would be WAY too small on me. (I knit it in a size small and I'm SO not there anymore!) This is what I've done so far.

I hate to unravel something that is complete and bound off (even if its just the back), but I'm thinking of doing just that and making this instead.

I just need to see if I have enough yarn. I bought extra but not sure if its enough to go up to the size I would need. I wont rip it out unless I have enough.

So the small project of making a juggling ball

turned into a WHOLE lot of work! But at least the closet looks a little better.

Now if I can only get a handle on the fabric......

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cloudy Skies (and not just on a Saturday)

Lately we've been taking pictures of the sky a lot. Last week when I was missing my mojo, I was up early enough to see the sun rise. I took this one at 5:54am.


and this was at 5:35am

Yes it was beautiful, but I'd still rather be asleep!

We've been getting some amazing cloud formations lately and the IO took a picture of one.

He wasnt sure if those clouds were going to turn into something a bit more ominous. Thankfully they didn't.

Right now? It's raining. Pretty hard too.

See?

At least it's keeping things cool.


I took this one abt a 1/2 hour ago because it was the only blue patch around.


The rain wasn't supposed to start until after lunch so those who planned a yard sale for today aren't too happy.

Maybe they need to buy some new sock yarn! That really seems to have done it for me. In only a couple of days I've gotten so much done!


I think today would be a fun day to play with fabric as well. I'm in a fabric charm swap on Ravelry and I still need to cut out my blocks. I was planning on mentioning Bertha, but I changed my mine. I'm sure we're all sick of how the news as been talking abt her for SO long, and yet they still can't figure out where she's going or how strong she's going to be by the time she gets there (She's heading our way. NO! She's heading out to sea and will fizzle out. But wait, maybe she'll go out to Bermuda. Noooooo. Yesssssss. No, they have nothing to worry abt. Wait, is that the eye wall heading straight for the island of Bermuda?!?!)

Nope, not gonna mention it at all.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Now THAT was therapeutic!

I've been feeling out of sorts the past couple of weeks and have been trying to do SOMETHING to *reboot* myself (yes I live with a computer geek). Finally the IO suggested I go up to Ocala. There are a couple of craft stores I've been wanting to visit for awhile, but I knew that they'd be closed by the time I got up there. The IO said "So what? Hobby Lobby will still be open and you will have fun. GO!"

Well when the man's right, the man's right! It was EXACTLY what I needed! The first place I visited was ET Yarns. Erma has been in business for 35+ years and is right next to Silver Springs. She is trying out a website but she didn't know what the address was and she doesn't think she'll keep it. It's an older shop, she sells mostly acrylic blends and cottons (the shop is old, but the yarn is fairly new) and she carries some sock yarn. Not a great selection but enough that I was able to buy a skein of Fortissima Socka with bamboo. I know, more bamboo, but this one has only 25% bamboo instead of the 45% in the Regia so I'm hoping that will make a difference.

Then I went off to Brick City Cross Stitch but I got there 5 min before they closed so I didn't bother going in. They are in the process of moving so I may just wait a month or so when they are having their *I Don't Want To Move It* sale and take another trip up then.

Next stop was Hobby Lobby. I've never been to one before and wow this place is huge!!! I went directly to the back of the store to where the yarn was and I swear I gasped when I saw their selection. Later on, once I looked thru it all, I realized it wasnt as much as I originally thought, but its the way it was laid out that really hit me. Plus they carry their own brand of yarn which is also very nice. So did they have the Sock Ease and the Heart & Sole??? YOU BET!!!! I bought both. The colors of the Sock Ease aren't as nice in person as they are on line and I'm hoping the skein I got (Toffee) knits up to what I've seen. We'll see. The Red Heart offered more colors and some solids. I had a hard time choosing. I ended up with Toasted Almond, Spring Stripe and Navy Blue. The navy will be the toes and heels of the Toasted Almond. I didn't get individual pictures of the yarns, but here is my goodie bag!


And look!!! My mojo is back!

I cast on last night with the Toasted Almond and I'm really enjoying it. I don't really feel the Aloe in the yarn, honestly it feels like I'm stitching with Regia, a good solid wool yarn. I did a Spiral Rib for the first 20 rows and am now doing straight stst. So far so good.

I also bought some 16 count white aida to stitch up some Disney Princesses for Baby Girl. I was a bit surprised that I didn't have any in my stash, but I guess when you stop buying stash, you really do use it up! I'll be starting that sometime today once I pull all my threads.

At this point I'm hungry and I head over to Bennigan's for dinner. I had a book with me and I have no problem eating at a restaurant by myself. However I have friends who look at me like I have a third head. How can I sit there by myself? Don't people stare at you? Don't you feel self conscious?? Let's see. It's quiet, I can read my book w/o interruption, I don't have to cut up food or make sure the decibel level is kept at a good place and I have somebody waiting on ME for a change. Hmmmm, what's not to like?!?!

What abt you? Can you go into a restaurant, sit down and eat alone or is it too awkward for you??

The last best part of the day? I had to fill up the van with gas and I had been seeing prices anywhere from $3.95 to $4.06. Then I saw a Murphy's USA and with my Wal-Mart card I paid this.


A good day indeed.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Butterflies are Free

Or in this case they're $5. The local library had the owner of a butterfly farm come out and talk abt how to have butterflies in your garden; what plants to have, how to set it up, etc. The big draw was you could buy a butterfly kit for $5. They only have room for 50 kids, but she finally had to turn people away when they hit 180! The lady only brought 50 kits and since we were #84 & #85, we couldn't get one, but we are on the list for the next batch she sends in. Baby Girl was NOT happy that we couldnt get our kit today. Can't blame her, we've only talked abt it for over a week and she was really looking forward to it.

Since I had the rugrats with me, no strolling thru the library shelves were to be had, but thankfully some of the books I had on order came in. I got a couple of kid knitting books, and also The Friday Night Knitting Club and the new one by Monica Ferris Knitting Bones. I think I'll start that one tonight. There are a few more on my list, but I'm way down on the waiting list so who knows when I'll be getting those. Either way, I LOVE the library system!

While we were gone, Hemi brought in his umpteenth lizard. I find most of them dead, but every once in awhile, one will escape.



SHHHHHH, don't tell him I'm in here.


Wait! I think I see his cousin.....

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Project Updates

I've only been working on one project lately but I haven't done a project update recently so it will seem like I've gotten a lot done.

First up, Maggie.
Before

After

In three days I got another book, the white on her chest and some of the white on her belly done. It doesnt look like much but those color changes are killer! She's been put away and I think I'll bring Bag Ladies out. That one and Queen Ann's Lace have been in the closet for some time so I think its time to bring them out.

Knitwise, here is Baby Girl's tank dress.
Before

After

I am SO close in finishing this thing off. Only abt 4 more inches to go on the back and then the I-cord straps. Unfortunately even with 2 extra inches added, this will still be short on Baby Girl. I'll have to get some leggings so she can wear this out.

My socks

I've cast on once, didn't like it and just took everything off. I'll probably try again this wknd after I finish the tank and get more done on Baby Girl's shawl.

This is what I've been working on the most, the afghan.
Before

After

It's mindless straight knitting, just perfect for my mindset lately. I have played around with some of my acrylic yarns lately, pulling a couple more skeins for this afghan and putting together some more for another one.

Speaking of acrylic yarn, here is the yarn I bought at JoAnn's the other day.

Blogger is being a real pain today and I've had to flip a few of my pictures around. This one is staying. Somehow the picture doesnt do it justice. It seems so much happier in person. I"m hoping that it will make somebody visiting the shelter adopt the animal who is using it as a blankie.

Here is the book I got as well.

I'm not crazy abt the cover jacket, but there are other ones in there that are really nice.

There you have it, all the projects fit to be blogged. I think a little later today I'm going to set aside some time to work on one of the more mindful projects. I've been waiting too late to start knitting and by the time I do, I'm usually too wiped out to do much.

Why?

Let me explain with a cute little cartoon....



Five weeks 3 days before school starts. This is why the IO is at the store right now buying a pool.