Archive for the ‘I’m Loving’ Category

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New Pattern, New Prize and Great Friends!

March 10, 2010

I can’t seem to get out of my own way lately and though I am late, I am making good on my promises.

Epiphany No. 6

I finally finished the pattern for Epiphany No. 6 (direct link to PDF) or you can download Epiphany No. 6 in Ravelry.  Already lots of great feedback and am officially working a triangular shawl version.

Next of promises not forgot is this month’s Prize Drawing!  I am behind on this one, too, but only in posting!  The prize has been sitting on my desk since last month :”)  So what are we giving away… how about some  sock yarn?!?

Here in Germany I can sometimes find great deals on yarn kits.  These kits are unassuming as the yarn is labeled generically and all wrapped in plastic.  The first time I purchase one of these kits, I had no idea what to expect and so as not to be disappointed, expected nothing more than cheap, scratchy yarn.  Nope.  While not the smooshy of smooshy, it ain’t all bad!  A 75/25 wool/nylon blend, it is soft and durable and you get enough yarn to make not just one pair of socks but two!  Yes, 200 grams of sock yarn and a set of 5 DPNs sized 2.5mm (1.5 US)!

PICTURE TO FOLLOW SOON

As with the past monthly prize drawings, simply leave a comment anywhere on this blog from (retroactive) March 1 – March 31 11:59 pm GMT +1 (will add a link) I ask that you adhere to this very simple requirement by posting your comment on this blog.  I understand there have been issues posting in the past but I do believe I have resolved all issues.  Also, some concern as to ‘who’s first’.  WordPress is wonderful in that I can organize my comments in any way I wish.  I simply look at the blog overall and each comment made is presented in order, according to its time stamp.  This is why I say you can comment anywhere… I don’t have to go digging for you post!  While I love email and appreciate comments on my podcast  server site, keeping the prize drawing comments on the blog is best.

These past weeks have been quite full around here.  Aside from family-love-stuffs*, there have been a series of illnesses (hate those tummy bugs!), sports physicals, immunizations, car issues (both cars!) and a few knitting meetups with great friends and some long-distance issues concerning homeownership and family.  Full indeed.  So those two meetings, though one far too brief, were complete rays of sunshine.

I met up with KnittingCouple, Annette and Alexander, on the last Saturday of February.  I had to take all 4 kiddos with me that day as DH was tending to some of those car issues.  Annette and Alex surprised me with a lovely gift, a cake of SpinningMartha‘s Merino-Silk yarn and a beautiful scarf made from another cake ^_^  I am so grateful as SpinningMartha’s colors are amazing and her shop sells out rather quickly, especially the sock yarns, Merino-Silk and the spinning fibers.

Can you believe, this was not the only gift I received in these past weeks?  Just last week I was supposed to meet up with Wumbs, Ulli, but had to cancel because of that darn tummy bug.  I stopped by Ulli’s to drop off a few promised items and she surprised me with a handknit pair of socks, knit with STR!  STR!?!  One of many yarns I have yet to test drive myself and now… I am saved from the trouble of even knitting myself a pair of socks on top of it!?!  Double-whammy!  Of course, I could not wait to get my feet into those socks:

Thank you all, Annette, Alex and Ulli.  I am so grateful to call each of you friend.

*my new term for the wonderful chores of housekeeping, taxiing and general child rearing

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Book Review Update

November 21, 2009

If only I had this information yesterday!

Vikant Crafts Publishing sent an email stating the Special Issue Verena Knitting: In 80 Socken Um Die Welt, 30 European Sock Designs is presently being considered for publication to be made available to the Verena Knitting English language audience.  Great news, or what?

Stephanie van der Linden also sent an email to confirm that  Sock Aus Aller Welt will be made available to its English language audience in Fall 2010, published by Interweave.  I plan to review this edition once it is available, I am certain Interweave will provide charts as part of the book, as opposed to an addendum.

Keep those comments coming!

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Days Away

August 11, 2009

We are literally days away from our departure from Italy and arrival in Germany.  In the past 10 days we have managed our little circus quite well, if I do say so myself.  From packing our home, organizing our move, orchestrating the moving company, filling and filing paperwork (lots of paperwork) and a few other suprises along the way; we have remained sane and mostly stress free.

I have to say though, without the aide of some wonderful people, this move would not be so easily done.  Our family friends, by first names – Melinda and JP, have been fantastic.  There were days Melinda volunteered to take all four  kids!  This may not seem like such a big deal to some but consider that Melinda has her own brood of four children as well!  This family is amazing to say the least and I am so grateful for their presence in our lives.  Last night I mentioned to my husband how wonderful Melinda and JP are and how they had volunteered their help without our soliciting.  My husband, being a macho type – not intent on gushing, simply relplied, “Well, they realize what it is to conduct a move and live a life with four kids.  I’m grateful for their help, but I am not surprised.”

At first I was upset at my husband’s under reaction to Melinda and JP’s generosity.  Then I let it all sink in and I realize, he is right.  When good people do good things, especially when those good people understand the given circumstances, it is not surprising.  I suppose I am so accustomed to the sterile relationships that seem to dominate our society, that I tend to over react towards the genuine kindness of others.  To encounter genuine people, especially non-fiber folks ;), is fast becoming a rare occurrence.

Anyhow, this is the first time I’ve been online since the drawing and last podcast.  I have accomplished some knitting and spindling but I will save that for the next entry.  Until then, Auf Wiedersehen!

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Contest!

June 26, 2009

So, here I am, packing for a 10 day getaway to Germany.  DH arrives home with a package for me.  I love packages.  This one is a cardboard envelope… a book?  I love books.

Within 2 minutes I have torn the packaging open to see this:

Sock Innovation by Cookie A.

Sock Innovation by Cookie A.

Ah yes, the wonderful Sock Innovation by Cookie A.  I just reviewed this book a few weeks ago… or was it last week?  I don’t know, time seems to be compacted for me lately.

I had requested a review copy but had never heard back from the publisher, so I purchased this book as a pre-order and devoured it upon arrival.  I am quite grateful that Interweave has sent this book along but since I already have a copy… let’s give it away to a lucky reader/listener!  Hope you like socks!

So, how shall we run this little contest? Hmmm?

Since I am leaving tomorrow, returning for a few days, only to leave again, this contest will run for 4 weeks.  Heck – let’s just make it 4 weeks and 6 days, that would be my youngest son’s birthday.  All you have to do is leave a comment to this post, you can say anything – well, almost anything – please don’t be vulgar ;)

I will close the contest on July 30, 2009 at 11:59 PM (Rome).  On 31 July I will use Random.org to draw a winner.  Bonne Chance!

Edited to Add:  Your comment will not show until I have approved it… please allow time for me to do this.  Also, only one comment per person – I will be checking IP addresses ;)

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Long Overdue…

April 4, 2009

… We’re at three – almost four – weeks now since the last post, right?  All I can say is, life happens. ;)

So let’s rewind and post a few pictures.

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That’s as far as I got last week!  Obviously we are now at the four week mark :/

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There was a whole lotta dyeing going on last month:

Sweet Feet

Sweet Feet, Sherwood

Big Fat Love, Primavera

Merlon

Merlon, Valpolicella

Sport Sock, Lupine Magnifica

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And then my month was sweetened even more with numerous swap packages, two prizes and a RAK:

Pattern Swap, sent by rebeccawip

Spin Swap, sent by volkat

Spin Swap, sent by volkat

Color Swap, sent by toadyjoe

Color Swap, sent by toadyjoe

RAK, sent by Purr

RAK, sent by Purr

Phat Phlag Prize, sent by Aztecmonkey

Phat Phlag Prize, sent by Aztecmonkey

Broomstick Lace CAL, sent by Palomabella

Broomstick Lace CAL Prize, sent by Palomabella

Saucy Sweet Original Sock Swap, sent by TwinsMama

Saucy Sweet Original Sock Swap, sent by TwinsMama

Technique Swap, sent by FairySari

Technique Swap, sent by FairySari

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I started Unst by Nancy Bush, Knitting on the Road.  Sock #1 was knit to near perfection, except for some snuggy-ness at the ankle.  Since I have been receiving a lot of questions in regards to tension, I thought this would be a great opportunity to showcase issues in tension and the all powerful gauge swatch.  Sock #2 was CO and is being knit on the same needles with the same yarn at a much loser tension.  Sock #2 is still on the needles and is nearly finished.  Once I have it BO and blocked, I will do a brief write up and post the pictures for comparison and then, decide which sock I like best and knit a 3rd!

Unst #1, just my size

Unst #1, just my size

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My daughter had been working on a recital for her choir club.  As the recital neared, I learned that her Instructor will be leaving right after the recital to have a schedule Cesarian Section!  With just a few days notice, I decided to whip up a 2nd pair of Saartje’s Bootees.

Musical Bootees

Musical Bootees

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Ah, I have had lots of messages on this one!  In need of  a better organizer for my circular needles and DPNS, I decided to give a neglected CD Binder Case a new purpose.  So far, so good!  I find that the slots are just perfect for the circulars and nearly perfect for the sock sized DPNs.  The longer 8″ DPNs are also in the binder but don’t seem to want to stay in the binder.  I am working on a solution for this last issue and hope to have all my needles in this binder eventually!

CD Case for Needles!

CD Case for Needles!

CD Case for Needles!

CD Case for Needles!

CD Case foe Needles!

CD Case for Needles!

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Periodically throughout last month, I received various fiber purchases… so hard to resist!

I purchased some Polwarth and  Shetland from David of Come in Spinner, now South Cross Fibers.  I just love the colorways of both!

Polwarth, Carins fr South Cross Fiber

Polwarth, Carins fr South Cross Fiber

Shetland, Koala fr South Cross Fiber

Shetland, Koala fr South Cross Fiber

I also burned the credit card on some super soft 80’s Merino and a bump of natural brown Polwarth, which I purchased from someone’s destash.  Both are remarkably soft! … pure love.

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Finally, in this week’s Podcast I mentioned a great cast on for toe-up socks.  I tried my best to describe it for you and then tried to make a video.  After several attempts, I realized a much better way to execute this new cast on and how to modify it for those who prefer to knit using the Magic Loop method.  Enjoy:

<<video coming – – – I hope! — If I find video to be too difficult, I will post photos instead. Stay Tuned!!>>

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IOU ~ lotsa pictures

March 1, 2009

As the title suggests, this will be a photo heavy post.  

So, let’s start with my dye session from a few weeks ago. I had mentioned dyeing sock yarn and roving – I had posted the roving but not the yarn!  This yarn is a Merino Sport Sock dyed in a colorway I am calling Stratosphere, I have two skeins available.  

 

Stratosphere Merino Sport Sock

Stratosphere Merino Sport Sock

 

 

I actually am knitting a pair of baby socks with it right now – it’s knitting up nicely and I am wishing I had taken better notes during the dyeing session :)  I am taking notes on the baby socks will post the pattern as soon as possible.

(photo coming soon)

Did I mention the BFL I spun?  I know I mentioned when I dyed it and I might have mentioned that I was spinning it up – no?  Well I did spin up some singles – 

 

BFL Singles - SoFistiCat

BFL Singles - SoFistiCat

 

 

then I knit up a pair of Saartje’s Bootees for my soon-to-arrive niece:

 

Saartje's Bootees for Charlie

Saartje's Bootees for Charlie

 

 

They are sooo cute, aren’t they?  Surprisingly this pattern is super easy, knit flat in garter stitch and then seamed.  Anyone can knit these purties up and I strongly suggest this knit for the Spring for Babies KalCal!

So, after knitting these booties I still had quite a lot of yarn left, so I plied it up and plan to knit another pair or two for the growing babe ;)

So then I went on and dyed some more roving – this time it was Merino and for a secret Spin Swap for the Monthly Adventures Group in Ravelry.  As of this post, the recipient has not yet recieved, so I only post the wet roving in the sink at the moment:

 

Spin Swap Fun

Spin Swap Fun

 

 

Shopping for swaps is always a lot of fun and often a source of pain (to the purse) as we often tend to do the ‘one for you, one for me’.  I did manage to stay within our budget (have I mentioned that we have a swap budget in MA?), so I am quite please with myself and I even managed not to buy (too much) for myself. ;)  I picked up a WIP gauge from KaratStix and a gorgeous Orifice Hook.

 

WPI Gauge from KaratStix

WPI Gauge from KaratStix

 

Orifice Hook in the Shop

Orifice Hook more in Shop

 

 

 

I also dyed some Finn top up.  It was one of those surprises as the end result is not what I had envisioned, but it still came out rather lovely – a deep blue with variants throughout.  I reserved 2 oz of the Finn to be blended with some Mohair, which had been gifted to me from Tnsinko (Linda), a fellow spinner who I ‘met’ in Ravelry.  The wool is presently being spun for socks… I am only guessing that Finn will create a soft and durable sock and that the addition of Mohair in some of the yarn will make for iron toes and heels.  What do you think?

 

Finn for Socks

Finn for Socks

 

 

In addition to the Mohair, Linda also sent various samples of her Romney sheep, which she raises for her own spinning pleasure ~ Lucky Gal!  I am so very grateful to have made  a new friend, Linda you are wonderful!  Linda sent over 2 oz of processed Romney from her most beloved sheep, Dianthus.  I have spun it up and am planning a special project for it ;)

(excuse the dark photo)

 

Romney fr Linda, plied to 17 WPI

Romney fr Linda, plied to 17 WPI

 

 

 

So what else? … Ah, the kids have spent some time spindling.  I managed to remember to whip out the camera toward the end of the last session… this one is of DS1, spinning up some BFL he had dyed with Kool-Aid.  This is the same son who fashioned a spindle out of Legos :)

 

DS1, Spindling

DS1, Spindling

 

 

I knit up a block for our Monthly Adventures BOM KAL.  The block will not be added to my planned afghan, however, but is intended to serve as a binkie for my soon-to-arrive niece.  It was knit with KnitPicks Crayon, an easy to care for cotton, which I found to be surprisingly soft and not so difficult to work with, for a boucle.  

 

BOM - as a binkie for baby

BOM - as a binkie for baby

 

 

I have already sent the binkie off with the booties and the below socks.  Unfortunately I did not take pictures of the finished binkie, I added tags around the edges, just right for teething babes.  The socks have a story to go with them, doesn’t everything? I will attempt to be brief.  Last July my DS3 was born, the entire pregnancy was complicated as was the delivery – – I will not go into details, this just isn’t the place.  

Bottom line, the Doctor who delivered my son, saved his life.  I was and am so deeply grateful and wanted to express this as any knitter would – I wanted to knit him a pair of socks.  So, I cast on a week after DS3 was born and I scooted right along and then I stopped.  I was at the point where I might start decreases for the toe on a Men’s size Medium… you can see where I am going with this… 

I had no idea what his foot size is and just couldn’t bring myself to ask him.  I did make a ‘fake’ appointment with him, just to try and get a visual… no luck, those shiny shoes really threw me off.  So, I made a wine basket, stuffed with crackers and chocolates and wine of course!  And the socks have sat in my UFO basket all this time.  Well, enter a Sock KAL hosted by fellow MAer Sulkycat and I suddenly find those socks and finish them, intending to send them to Laura, the soon-to-be-Mommy.  I think the socks will be nice and cushy for her tired feet in the weeks ahead.

 

New Mommy Thujas

New Mommy Thujas

 

 

Speaking of Sulkycat’s Sock KAL, I had to decide which pattern I wanted to knit up.  At first,  I thought I would knit the Heelless Sleeping Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks, but I decided to go with a lace sock and learn a new-to-me technique, Magic Loop.  I am going to knit, in fact I will cast on just as soon as I finish this post, Unst in Knit Picks Essential, Green Apple.  The color is almost exactly the same as the color shown in Knitting on the Road.  I chose these socks because I wanted something ‘Springy’ – we are all beckoning Spring in our own ways, aren’t we?

 

Unst from KOTR

Unst from KOTR

 

 

This past week, I have dyed 6 skeins of yarn.  At the moment,  I am waiting for the to dry, then I will take photos and post them in the Shop by next week’s post – stay tuned….

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Spring for Babies KalCal and Prize Info

February 23, 2009

New details – soooo exciting!  Many wonderful people have donated to the KalCal and so, the ‘rules’ (if there were any) have changed just a bit.  Please click here or over in the side bar, the Spring for Babies link, for the details on participating in this KalCal and the opportunity to win prizes!

Thanks for being patient and understanding ;)