Gifts from Friends….and a few from myself


A few days before Christmas my former loopy ewe swap partner Christine emailed me to say she was sending a package my way. What a fun unexpected surprise! The email made me feel like a little kid straining my brain to try and figure out what might be in the box. What could Christine be sending me out of the goodness of her heart? My imagination totally failed me so there was much festive excitement when the package arrived. Frog helped me tear into it and the contents made both of us very happy. Christine sent us a cute decorative box which had knitting goodies nestled inside. A beautiful skein of Socks that Rock lightweight in the color Jade and a froggy tape measure. Heehee frog! Thank You Christine, your package was the highlight of my holiday.

My family got me several knitting books on my wish list, Cables Untangled, Color Style, and The Knitters book of yarn. Thank you for supplying me with many great patterns for this coming year.
My sweet husband got me my own digital camera, jokingly saying that it was a gift for both of us since it will keep me from using his camera. Smart of him since it’s only a matter of time until I drop a camera due to my poor balance and butter fingers.

So it was a book heavy, yarn light Christmas which is the excuse I’m using for the following purchases. (Is making up excuses a sign of addiction?) I’ve been very impressed with how my Maelstrom socks, made from Spirit Trail Fiberworks Helen, are wearing. The yarn is a little courser feeling during knitting than Hazel Knits or Smooshy but softness nicely with wear. The yarn is a very thick fingering making knitting go fast and the colors are wonderful. Sheri at the Loopy Ewe put up more Helen in the last sneak up and I had to snag a skein.

STF Helen

And the final yarn purchase of the year was 2 skeins of JoJo Land Cashmere from my Local LYS the Slip Knot. It was on sale so how could anyone say no. 400 yards should be enough to make a nice black beret to go with both of my coats.

Merry Christmas to You


Hooray work is over and it's holiday time for certain! Here's wishing a merry Christmas to everyone. May you be surrounded by loving family and find a bit of yarn in your stocking.

(Photo courtesy of my sister and her frog. It was too cute not to post.)

Sock club Hazel knits, Hazel Knits sock club


Warning, froggiegirl is about to wax poetical about Hazel Knits sock yarn yet again. If you find her devotion to this sock yarn creepily cult like please come back another day. Thank you.

OK now that all that is out of the way would you like to see the precious? An exclusive Woolgirl sock club colorway of the perfect sock yarn? Yes, Yes come closer. It's subtle but you'll like it.
Pine Cone
Oooooo see, it's called Whispering Pine which brings to mind pine trees covered in a crisp coat of snow. Ahhhhh so very romantic to this knitter who romanticizes winter.

This yarn would be the most satisfying end to the 2nd round of Woolgirl sock club. A Hazel Knits addict such as myself would have been happy with just the yarn... but there was plenty more. See for yourself.
Sock club booty
The accompanying sock pattern was designed by none other than Anne Hanson and is called Pine Cone (No ravelry link yet) Next we have knit gift tags which came in very handy this weekend when wrapping presents. Then a beautiful stitch marker from Spindle cat studio, plus a 2009 Desk Calendar where sheep appear to be behaving badly. Finally a sweet finish of tasty caramel Hersey kisses which are quickly becoming my favorite kiss favor.
Boy and am I glad now to have gone for the extra December shipment, unexpected Hazel Knits totally made my day. Thank you Jen for your continued great sock club packages!

Sooooo if you can't get enough of Hazel Knit's showing up in sock club boxes what do you do? You sign up for the Hazel knits sock club that's what! Oh yes, forget about all the "knitting down the sock yarn stash." That's so last year. This year's motto is convert half of the stash to Hazel knits and do the dance of joy. If you'd also like to add gratuitous amounts of this sock yarn to your stash, head over to Wendee's blog and check out the details. Then we can do the dance of joy together. Cha cha cha!

It's not Christmas without that last minute project


Christmas knitting planning goes something like this.  Mid-year the knitter decides what and whom are getting Christmas knits.  One or two of these are knit during the warm months in a fit of responsibility. Time passes and the knitter pares this list down thinking that certain people didn't really seem enthused about their knitted gift last year.  Maybe a gift card would actually be better.  November comes and the knitter is not in the mood to start another Christmas project and decides that Christmas knitting is done for the year. All is well until mid December when a twinge of guilt appears as all the presents are laid out for wrapping.  The knitter looks at the calendar and says, "Oh no! 10 days till Christmas!!! What can I knit that fast!!!!!"

I really thought that this year there would be no last minute gift knit.  Then last weekend while boxing up my mother's gift, the guilty twinge did show up.  My original plan had been to knit two pairs of socks, one black and one gray, butttttt those colors are really boring to knit. So I'd decided a few months ago that one black pair was enough knitted goodness.  

Then late October my mother's appendix burst inside of her.  It took about two days for the doctors to even figure this out because quote "She looked too healthy to have a burst appendix."  My mother even said when she was admitted, "My side really hurts.  Do you think my appendix must have burst?" and they told her, "No."  At least the doctors figured she had some sort of infection and put her on antibiotics right away.   Long story short is that my mother had to have a surgery at the beginning of this month to "clean everything up," but will be fine once she heals from that.  She plans to be back to work in the new year.

So when this twinge of guilt appeared I decided to take one of those special skeins. You know the ones you don't want to knit because you like to stare at them in the stash, in my case it was Platinum in discontinued Funky Carolina Merino/Tencel.  This yarn probably should have been knit in a complicated stitch but there was no time.  I cast on a speedy sock pattern, another pair of Slippery socks.  Now when my mother opens her Christmas present she will have two pairs of socks, one black, one gray and a big fat does of knitterly love.


Electronic patterns - you can't buy just one


Right now buying patterns off the net is kind of like sitting down with a pint of Haagen-Dazs. You tell yourself you're only going to have a little..... but one thing leads to another and soon your spoon is making that thud sound as it hits the cardboard bottom. Or in the case of patterns the sound might be cha ching as money flies out of your checking account.

Anyone else having this problem right now? I'd use the excuse that this pattern buying is to take the edge off of Christmas knitting, except that I'm not doing any. Will the excuse that my current project is in the vast amount of stockinette stage work?
I can hear some of you generous knitters saying, "It's OK, you're just lining up some future projects." Thank you generous knitters and you'd be right to if something new and shiny didn't always come along.

It seems that once a pattern has been bought there is a invisible timer ticking down. If I don't get the project on the needles before that time has expired the pattern will never get knit. Fair Enough and Coraline were both cast on within two weeks of purchase and finished. The two patterns Kingscot and Vivian bought from the twist collective in November, quickly approaching their knitting expiration date. The chic knits pattern Twist bought last year..... that has a snowballs chance in hell of ever getting knitted.  

What causes this? I still think these patterns are beautiful and would love to wear the completed sweaters.  I just don't want to knit them anymore. Is it a lack of moral fiber, maybe Knitters ADD?  Should I create a personal rule that patterns purchased need to be knitted before willy nilly spending more money on Brooklyn Tweed's latest lace project. Well maybe that's a special case..... who can resist his photographic charms. But you know what I mean!

So anyway how about a picture of something that did get on the needles in time.  Here's the yoke of Ophicleide designed by Kamicha over on ravelry.  Her project page is always drool worthy, go look go look now!  Enough of us must have drooled over this sweater that she wrote up a pattern.  Thank god because I've been trying to guess the stitch patterns and would have been totally off. 
The start of this project was a little shaky because of poor instruction reading by me.  When you start knitting the patterned yoke the first stitch on either side is an edge stitch and does not show in the chart.  If you miss reading this in the instructions (Oh it's there alright) your stitch count gets pretty funky.  Once that mistake was figured out I started slipping the stitches with the yarn on the wrong side. Generally just stupid stuff that will be blamed on trying to talk to people and read directions at the same time.  Kindergardeners banging on pianos also tend to be distracting, but these are the hazards of knitting during Thanksgiving. 

Now if you please excuse me I must try to resist buying the new Shetland Trader beret Breiwick.  Or maybe Selbu Modern instead.  All heck let's just get both.

FO Number 3 - Celtic Beanie


Sometime during the middle of the year my husband took the Son of Stitch and Bitch book off the bookshelf. It came back to me with post-it notes on a few pages and a comment that he especially liked the Celtic Beanie because it was double knit.  My response was probably, "Yeah Yeah I'll knit that for you sometime," because I remember not ordering the Mission Falls yarn for awhile.  (It's the 1824 superwash in 020 and 004 if you're interested) Then the yarn sat in the box it came in for long enough that feelings of guilt started to set in. 

The week of Thanksgiving I broke the box open and studied up on how double knitting works. My first impressions were that double knitting is pretty tedious. You have to move the yarn all over the place to get the reversible fabric which makes for slow progress and sore shoulders. While knitting the ribbing I was pretty pissed off at this project and wondering how it was going to get finished. Fortunately knitting the celtic knot pattern proved to be interesting and my mood greatly improved.  

The finished hat was the envy of all the men at Thanksgiving.  They love the squishiness of two layers of worsted superwash wool and the reversible colors. Hope it keeps my hubby's head nice and warm this winter, it's been colder than normal.  We've got snow falling from the sky right now, Yippie!

It's all about me


My former loopy swap buddy Christine tagged me with a Meme to tell six random things about myself.  

1. Don't challenge me to any game involving recalling 70's song lyrics because I will kick your ass! 

2. If you leave me alone in a room with a pan of brownies I will eat them alllll. 

3.  I wish I were talented enough to sing and dance in broadway musicals.  

4. I've laughed loudly and often enough at work to have been reprimanded for it.

5.  If there is a ball/frisbee flying through the air toward me there is a 85% chance it will hit me in the head. Don't know why, but it happens.

6.  To me the trifecta is taking a shower, putting on freshly laundered flannel jammies and getting into bed where the sheets are also freshly laundered.  Ahhhh bliss.

I'm not tagging anyone because honestly no one springs to mind.  And I'm antisocial, see you got a freebe!  :)

Knitting is a great hobby because you can be as social or antisocial as you want.  Even though I'm generally a lone knitter it's a lot of fun to talk about it and get comments from you guys out there.  So Thanks!

At the end of Thanksgiving vacation we went with the extended family to visit Pennypacker Mills.  The house was renovated in 1901 by Gov Samuel W Pennypacker as a summer retreat for his family. Right now it's all decorated up for christmas and you can walk up and join a tour.  The photo here is the upstairs area for the family to get together and engage in womanly pursuits.  Isn't it great!  I would have loved to sit down in that window seat and pull out some knitting. There was some half started knitting on a chair for affect along with some embroidery.
 My husband and I left to go home from there which meant a brand new route home that took us through the town of Skippack.  I'd never been there and commented, "You should pull over and let me go shopping."  Boy was I surprised when my husband did just that! We wandered around the stores on the main drag popping into the ones that interested us. I was busy staring in the direction of jewelry stores when my husband said, "Hey there's a yarn store over there. Don't you want to go in?"  God bless him he's a good man.  Yarnings was a very nice store with an upstairs and downstairs to browse around in.  I almost bought some more sublime cashmere/merino/silk blend and their new baby pattern book but stopped myself.  Can't remember why now, maybe it's harder to go nuts in a yarn shop if your husband is there. :)
There was one thing that had to come home with me.  Frog head buttons...Ohhhhh Yeah.

FO Number 2 - Little Birds on a Yoke


This sweater is a bit difficult to write about because all the pieces for it fell together so neatly it's almost like it knit itself. There was no swatching, sketching or working out the math beforehand, I just cast on with the thought that it would all work out. 

The germ of the idea started something like this..... I'd been thinking about knitting another tangled yoke and had purchased the gray felted tweed from my local LYS.  At the same time obsessively checking the finished Little Bird cardigans made by other ravelry users.  A beautiful design that would not work with my bust/waist configuration, but the birds were perfect.  Then the idea just popped into my head, why not knit a tangled yoke and just substitute the cable for some colorwork birds.  Why not knit the whole thing in the round to make stranding really simple and then learn how to steek. Why not cast on Right Now!!!

All the garter stitch rib in the tangled yoke pattern was replaced with the beaded ribbing specified in the Little birds pattern.  This changed the number of cast on stitches for all the pieces to be divisible by 3. The body size is basically the size 34 in Eunny Jang's pattern with about an extra inch of ease and the 8 steek stitches added. There are 26 birds on the yoke, 13 facing in each direction with a little geometric shape on the center back.  (An egg would have been better but needed too many stitches)
Rowan Felted Tweed turned out to be a good choice for a first steek. I followed Eunny Jang's hand sewn steek instructions and then zig zigged with my sewing machine alongside the hand stitched line.  The extra zig zig probably wasn't needed because the felted tweed didn't unravel past the hand stitched line.   The cardigan was then finished off with a double thickness button band and some blue wooden buttons that almost match the birds.

Other than the button band concerns that I blogged about on the 25th this cardigan feels almost perfect.  The tubular cast on for the ribbing looks excellent, the fit is great, and the little birds make me smile every time I wear it. 

FO Number 1 - Fair Enough Cardigan


I'll be blogging about a couple of new FO's during this week since knitting sweaters isn't that interesting until they are completed. Let's start with the Fair Enough Cardigan which was finished for weeks but languished around waiting for buttons. Fair Enough was knit in Karabella Aurora 8 in the pattern's suggested colors on a number 7 needle.  I needed two additional balls of the main color due to my gauge being smaller and my changes to the bottom width of the sweater.

This cardigan didn't get much blog time during construction.  That might be because it was a straight forward knit with very little deviation from the pattern. The only change was increasing the stitch count for the bottom of the sweater, since my hip measurement is not the same as my bust. I took my gauge and did some simple math to figure out how many stitches would make a 41 inch width.  Then calculated how many decreases would need to be made to get the pattern's waist stitch count in the suggested length. 

The rest of the sweater was knit according to the pattern which is clear and well written.  I'd recommend this design for anyone wanting to dip their toe into stranded knitting.  The yoke colorwork is very simple even when having to strand from the wrong side.

Things that I would change if knitting this design again.....
1. The Aurora 8 grew in length a lot more than expected.  I'd knit the sleeves and body at least an inch shorter than suggested in the pattern.
2. I'd knit the neck band double the length and use a three needle bind off on the inside to keep the band from stretching out of shape. 
3. The button band is not to my liking which was talked about in the last post.  I'm still not sure how I'd change that but there is plenty of yarn to knit a new one. 

All three of these are minor gripes and this sweater has been getting plenty of wear in the last couple of days. It's gotten the husband seal of approval because it is super soft and a flattering color.

Button Band Blues


Sewing buttons on two new sweaters has brought to my attention that my button band skills are sorely in need of improvement. Some of my problem is an inability to evenly space buttons or buttonholes along a sweater front. Maybe because the mental connection that there should be the same number of stitches between buttonholes was just made today. Duhhhhhh. But beyond the problems caused by flexible math, it seems like there should be some knitting tricks out there for better button bands. Maybe someone can point me in the right direction or recommend a resource. 

Here's the skinny on badly behaving button bands and some poorly lit photos.
On the Fair Enough cardigan I picked up along the edge, knit a one by one rib and used yarn over buttonholes. Then the band was finished off with an invisible one by one cast off for a nicer finish. The result is that the button band seems to floppy and the yarn over buttonholes stretch and gape in an unsatisfactory way when buttoned. 

On my little birds cardigan I tried something a bit different to try to counteract some of the problems in Fair Enough. The band was picked up along the edge and was knit in the beaded ribbing pattern used in the rest of the sweater. Once the band width was reached a purl turning row was knit and then 8 rows of stockinette finished with a 3 needle bind off on the inside. For the buttonholes 3 stitch one row holes (from interweave appendix) were made on both the right side and facing side. The problem is the extra buttonhole stitches make the the band edge bulge out, which only gets worse when actually buttoned. 

Does anyone have some advice they could pass along? Oh and I promise nice modeled FO shots of these sweaters later in the week if you promise not to stare at my buttonholes. :)

Perfect moments


Biting into a warm cookie and tasting the sharp edge of fresh ginger and the sweet ooze of chocolate.

Walking in the early hours of the morning through a gentle shower of snow and seeing the flakes glinting off your sleeves.

Sliding wool socks still warm from drying on the radiator over cold feet.

Picking up your sticks and string with Brenda Dane's voice in your ear.

Realizing your skeins of wool have ceased to be just raw materials and have been transformed into a garment.

Tomorrow we cut it open.

We missed you Web


My household is finally connected back up to the internet. Whoopee!!!
Though the upside of having no internet is way more knitting time with very few new projects to distract you.
I've been power knitting through a improvised tangled yoke cardigan where the cable is being replaced with some color work.  It seemed like the way to have a sweater with Ysolda's little birds sweater motif that would work for my body.  So far the progress seems to be going well. If all goes to plan the felted tweed with lengthen a bit after blocking and my first attempt at steeking won't be a disaster.
Sorry for low quality pics, it's been raining almost nonstop here.

Sharing my Sleeve Love


Loveeeeee you sleeves.

More details later since I'm buring internet time at work. Cross your fingers that Version will show up at my house on the right day and give me internet access again.

Ghosts in the Pumpkin Patch


There's been colds, train delays and major computer issues over in my neck of the woods. All keeping me away from my little blog despite having plenty to blog about. But good news... Philadelphia is finally a winner Phillies are World Series Champs!!! Everyone freak out! At least that's what its been like, especially down town. I was lucky to even get home from work on a train since septa suspended service for awhile trying to get enough trains to bring people down town for the parade. And let me tell you teenage boys stink after a day celebrating.

But enough about that, on to knitting were plenty of progress has been going on behind the scenes. It seems appropriate in so many ways to wrap up the month and Socktober with this final FO. I give you my version of the much knitted Little Pumpkin socks. Knit in Yarn Pirate's Merino Tencel blend, color Butternut Squash which practically screams November to me. I got this color through the yarn pirate sock club. The only mod here was knitting fewer pumpkin pattern repeats due to my larger gauge. Since it is Halloween today my little Ghost pin decided to hang around the pumpkin patch where he is hoping to meet up with the great pumpkin. He's from a favorite Etsy store smeeta who has too many cute felt pins.



Gauge has been problematic lately. Almost like the knitting Goddess got a little tired of me knitting one inch gauge swatches and decided to teach me a lesson. Maybe she gave me a free pass as a newbie and that’s why the first several sweaters worked out fine. Now she wants me to play by the rules.
Long story short, after all the waist decreases on my Fair Enough cardigan were finished the width was more like 40” and not the 33” it was supposed to be. Doh! I was able to salvage all the ribbing and one set of decreases because extra ease in my hip area is a good thing. The rest was ripped back and re-knit with a 7, one size smaller than I was using. Changing the needle size worked great through the waist shaping but might cause a problem in the bust area since the stitch gauge is half an inch smaller. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping the width and stitch counts work out. No pics yet because it's still a boring rectangle.

No Rhinebeck again for me this year since we had a long car ride last week, I didn’t want to drive myself and didn’t think my husband could be talked into doing it. (Can’t blame him….besides he’s only interested in the airplanes up there) I consoled myself by going to the newest LYS, The Slip Knot, and buying some felted tweed for no particular project. Probably another yoke sweater since they are just so darn easy to knit and end up looking professional. The owners had gotten Berroco’s merino in since my last visit and that was also veryyyy tempting. I was able to resist only because the color that spoke to me was the perfect red and there are already 10 skeins of DK weight red yarn in the stash. Really, one must draw the line somewhere.

The Odd Couple


The truth is we are both odd, but one of us is a more conservative dresser. (You should hear the disparaging things he says about dark wash jeans.)

Socks for him – Classic socks from “The Knitting Man(ual)”, knit in ShibuiKnits sock Rust.

The dude” as he likes to be called, picked this pattern out himself while we were visiting Yarn love in Hummelsville PA. He gets points for picking out an easy pattern, calmly entertaining himself in the yarn store and not eating all the free chocolate that was out. (We share this weakness)

Even though the row gauge was something like 11 rows to the inch, these socks knit up decently fast. I’d knit it again in some bright color for me…. Maybe turquoise. The dude as well as abiding, approves of the finished socks but does not want to see them again until Christmas. We’ll wash and block them all pretty for him.

Socks for her – Slippery socks by Madelinetosh Knit in Hazelknits Chuckanut Drive.

Totally copied Jen of Woolgirl who put this exact pattern and yarn combination on the woolgirl blog. Love IT!!

Things I'm tired of


1. The temperature being almost 80 in mid October.
Listen Nature, I've put the big comforter on the bed, washed all the plastic smell out of the stored sweaters and bought a new wool coat. You've got to work with me here. One can't wear jaunty berets in 80 degree heat either.

2. Campaigning
Can't we be like Canadians and do our elections quickly? At my office it's descended into supporters for each candidate arguing with each other over why they're right. I know from experience this kind of arguing never changes anyone's opinion about anything. Let's just get the picking over with so everyone can deal.

3. Plain White Rice
My husband isn't on board with my cooking of brown rice, so when he cooks I have to eat a lot of plain white. But when I'm cooking and subjecting him to some other hated food (leafy greens) I'll make this Mexican white rice to compromise. It's pretty tasty too.
From Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless

Gulf Coast Style White Rice Pilaf
1 1/2 T- vegetable or olive oli
1 1/2 cups -white rice (I use medium grain Goya brand)
1 small onion chopped
2 garlic cloves peeled and chopped finely
1 3/4 -cups chicken broth
1 tea -salt

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Set an ovenproof saucepan over medium heat and add oil, rice, and onion. Stir frequently until grains of rice turn milky white, about 5 mins. Add garic and stir a few seconds, until fragrant. Then add chicken broth and 1 tea of salt. Stir and allow liquids to come to a full boil. (At this point you can get creative adding dried herbs, fire roasted peppers etc) Set lid on the pan and transfer it into the oven and bake for 25 mins. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 mins, then fluff with a fork and garinsh with fresh herbs if desired.

4. Knitting Socks
Well just a bit tired of knitting socks. It seems like a big project is in order since variety is the spice of life. Last week I popped by the Knit and Tonic blog to catch up and lo and behold Wendy had just released this fetching little cardigan. She's lucky her little cardigan is safely across the country, away from my greasy mitts. It would go with half of my wardrobe and I wantsssss it! But like a normal socially adjusted knitter I'll put away my urges for petty theft and knit my own.

Meanwhile at the Renaissance Fair.....


We saw some cool Scottish bands....
pictured The Rouges and not pictured but kick ass Albannach.

We did a little window shopping...

Frog was excited by all the hats

We took a few pictures...

(My hubby was smiling before I snapped this.)

I started a new sock....
Little pumpkins in Yarn Pirate Butternut.

It just slipped off the needles


Apparently during all that DVD watching last Sunday my fingers were moving along at a decent speed. Even though this pattern is all knitting with a lot of slipped stitches I'm a bit surprised to have a finished sock already. Something about the texture of the slipped stitches brings to the mind the bumpy back of frogs. (Frog bias may be influencing me) Taking a time out from Christmas knitting with my favorite yarn and an easy pattern was the right choice. Instead of being grumpy about socks I'm enjoying them again.

One of the things I was watching during that DVD marathon was a TV series that a work friend convinced me to check out. He said he knew I'd like Pushing Daises and he was right, l love it. Between, knitting references, spontaneous outburst of song and spoofs of things like the dream sequence from Vertigo I've been laughing loudly and often. Since Ravelry is awesome there is a Pushing Daises knitting group already. I've joined but need to get caught up before posting to avoid any spoilers.

Meanwhile the second sock moves along while frog and I enjoy a sunny fall day. We are so coordinated.

A Hypothetical Do Over


Is the sweater finished?

Is it wearable?

Is it "perfect"?

Will you rip out what could be changed to make in perfect?
No way in hell!

So that's where we are with my somewhat cowl, it's done and it's going to stay that way. The finished product is a bit to big but I wore it to work and no one made jokes about hand knitting or even asked if I made it.

But hypothetically how would I reknit this?

1. Knowing now that alpaca grows I'd knit the size 34 instead of 36.

2. Looking at other people's Somewhat Cowls on Ravelry I like the way this sweater looks in darker colors a lot more than in the pale lavender yarn. I'd probably go for a gray or brown.

3. The raglan line has already been shortened but I'd reduce the length further. Or maybe raglans just don't work for my shoulder/bust configuration. Not sure on this point.

4. I'd cut out even the tinniest place where the silk in the yarn did not spin as finely as it should have. When knitting in the round cutting out these areas seemed like a pain and I only did it for larger slubs. But now there are smaller slubs in the bottom front of the sweater that continue to annoy me.

Considering that this sweater was cast on in mid 2007, I'm just glad it's done!

I'm slipping this one in


Turns out 47 yards of reinforcement thread is not enough to finish heels and toes of two man sized socks. DOH! So much for finishing up one of my husbands Christmas presents. While another spool is on order I found myself free to pursue other socks.
Hazel Knits - Chuckanut Drive
Pattern - Slippery Socks
Maybe I can trick myself into participating in Socktoberfest if I never sign up. :)

It's that time of year again...


when the temperature dips down to the 60's and I get routinely mocked for dressing in wool jackets, scarves and hats. I know their just jealous of my hand knits.

My current favorite is this new gretel beret knit in Ultra Alpaca Oceanic Mix. It has been worn every day on my walk to the train station and sometimes in the office where the air conditioning continues to run.

This is the smallest fitted style with one mod, the ribbing is knit on a size smaller needle. The size 6 needle made the fit nice and snug even after blocking.

Initially this hat was almost ripped since the unblocked version had almost no slouch making my head looked my some sort of mutant blueberry. (Blueberry brains, the favorite of every zombie!) But then the nugget of information that alpaca grows when it hits the water was remembered just in time. The finished hat is perfect in my opinion with just enough slouch to be a bit sassy.

Did I mention there are FO's?


When it's rainy and the apartment is super dark you do silly things with pillow cases.
Somewhat cowl turned into a not really cowl and new shoes to complete the outfit. Modeled shots to come when weather permits.

Christmas sock production or how to turn your hobby into a second job. But you can't really blame family for taking a liking to knitted socks, you know. Status -black pair complete, brown pair down to heel flap of 2nd sock, green pair only has pattern picked out. (Lacey Pillars in Smooshy black parade, Classic socks, in Shibui in rust, Euphorbia to make elfine socks)

A new dessert, Chocolate Meringue Tart from cook book Chocolate Epiphany. Oh yes it is that good because there is an indecent amount of butter and heavy cream in there.

I swear I was knitting the whole time


I'd like to blame my husband addiction to the Phillies fan message board for not posting recently (the Phillies didn't clinch the division title until yesterday and there is only one computer in the house) but the truth is that I've been cranky. So cranky I was didn't even feel like communicating even in an electronic way.

Fortunately the hormones are at a much more even keel today and Christine of Too Much Yarn give me a nice little push by awarding my blog an Arte y Pico. Thanks Christine my fellow sock yarn addict, you've made my day!
Here are the rules:
1. Link to the site that give you the Arte y Pico.
2. Pick 5 blogs that you feel have interesting material, creativity, content and link to them.
3. Leave comments on these blogs so that they know they have been awarded.
4. Link to the Arte y Pico blog.
5. Show these rules.
Time to pay it forward as they say and post my own award winning blog pics.
Ysolda is not only a talented young designer, but often inspires me with her photographs of items around her house or places she's visited. I want to be her when I grow up.

Emily of the Family Trunk Project is designing garments inspired by members of her family. Not only are the designs lovely, reading about the history that goes along with each one is just as enjoyable. For another excellent read check about the "interview" she did with Ysolda here.

A new to me blog is Ashley of doggedknits who's forays into quilting might just inspire me to use up some of the huge box of cotton from my grandmother's stash. She also has that talent of taking beautiful picture of everything that I'm in awe of.

Glenna of Knitting to stay sane has mad skillz in the colorwork that make me say "I'm not worthy". Her Garnet Venezia still makes me drool a bit when looking at her project page. Not to mention she has some lovely designs that will be knit someday!

Not a knitting blog but one that I find very enjoyable is Farmgirlfare. Full of recipes, cute pictures of farm animals and gardening stories/advice, Susan is living my personal dream of living on her own farm. Don't know where she finds the time but she also has a gardening blog and a bread baking blog. Yummmm

Come on Baby and Kiss that Frog


It’s obvious that I have a thing for frogs. It’s not clear when the “obsession” started but it does predispose me to liking certain things. Liking things like these; Kiss that Frog mittens! I have to thank one of my Ravelry friends, shamroxann for queuing them. They showed up on my friend activity and they immediately became something that must be knitted NOW! (Isn’t the friend activity view the best thing ever)

No modifications other than having to sub a fingering yarn for worsted since I’m “loose knitter” from having kissed the blog frog too much. Both yarns are Hazel knit’s Artisan sock, main color Baroness and contrast color Euphorbia.

Shamroxann queued these this week Bunny and Frog mittens. hee heee

The most ironic yarn I own


OK here's a little story for you because it's funny, not haa haa funny more like ewwww funny.
1.Knitter finds somewhat cowl pattern and falls in love with it. Orders alpaca silk kit and some extra yarn from kpixie.
2. Knitter knits body of sweater, decides neckline should be higher, frogs and reknits, repeat.

3. Knitter throws half completed sweater in corner to hide it from site.

4. Knitter decides week before Xmas that everyone must have knitted gift! No time to order so some of the alpaca silk is used for grandma's scarf. Thinks this will probably bite her in the a** at some point but there are no other options.

5. Early summer knitter decides to frog or complete every half finished project hidden in corners of rooms. After trying on the somewhat cowl she decided the raglan line needs to be shorter and rips back again.

6. Things go smoothly but knitter runs out of yarn before sweater is done. Decides to go order from yarn garden because they also have tempting sublime yarns. Places order for sublime extra fine merino and some alpaca silk. It is mid July.

7. Yarn store emails saying, "Sorry the sublime is out of stock but we think it will be in next week." Knitter decides this is acceptable and does not cancel the order.

8. Time passes and fickle knitter moves on to other projects not thinking about somewhat cowl which is hidden under a pile of magazines.

9. A month later a box from yarn garden appears on stoop and knitter remembers order. Thinks "Cool I can finish that sweater now" but when the box is open there is only sublime yarn.

10. Knitter looks on receipt and sees that she has not been charged for alpaca silk. She figures the sublime took longer than expected to arrive at the yarn store and they just forgot. She chuckles to herself that she was greedy to get the sublime yarn and this is what happens.

11. Labor day the knitter decides to order that alpaca silk from webs since she is buying lots of other yarn.
12. Today knitter comes home to find an inexplicable package of alpaca silk from yarn garden on the porch. Isn't it ironic, don't you think? :)

The all American socks are all done, now if it would just get cool!

So what did you knit during your vacation?


It's the last day of vacation (sniff sniff) and it has been very enjoyable. Not only is my shower sparking white, but knitting output has been fabulous. Really that's all I want in a vacation a chance to knit while watching movies and one big massive cleaning day to make me feel all virtuous. Throw in being able to make cookies in the middle of the day and you've got gold. Mmmm........ chocolate chip.

Between baking cookies and riding roller coasters here is what's come off my needles recently.
The all American sock is well on it's way to becoming a pair. Yarn is Pigeon Roof Studio's fingering in color Bohemian. Since Pigeon Roof Studio sells her skeins in smaller sizes I knit these toe up. It turned out that there was plenty of yarn for a plain knit in round sock like this.

Next is the mitten pattern that made me take the color work plunge, Kiss that frog mittens. The designer has much tighter tension then I do, so instead of worsted these are knit in Hazel Knit's Artisan sock. In person you'd be able to see that my floats aren't always long enough and other tension problems. My inner 5 old is happy and wants me to start on the left one right away.


Bottom hee hee frog (Color better in this shot, background is Baroness, Frog Euphorbia.)

Finally something that is not part of a pair; a hat for myself. Some preblock shots of the Bousta beret knit in Sublime Angora Merino color 0044. Love love love this beret so much that it's inspired me to knit some of Ysolda's beret patterns that have been on the back burner for awhile. Right now Gretel might be the first one in the queue. To bad I was "good" and didn't buy that teal Ultra Alpaca at Yarn Love up in the Hershey area. A great store, but if you want to visit mapquest it since it's a bit tricky to find.
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