Everything happens at once


John Lennon said, "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." In my experience life likes to find a couple tightly scheduled weeks and throw in some extra stuff. Stuff like a huge traffic jam on the way home from visiting my mother for her birthday. And my husband's grandmother having a major stroke the week of Maryland Sheep and Wool. And the office Mexican cook off being the Monday after all this, people are depending on me for rice and beans! Some of it is fun, some is silly, some sad, but all of it is exhausting. But I'm going to take a page from my husband and be positive... and ignore him and go to bed early. (He is almost always positive but he never goes to bed early)

I'm very glad that I didn't have to title this post the good, the bad, and the ugly because these Renia socks turned out great. I was having an ugly time with the second lily of the valley sock yesterday but that was all operator error. Don't knit at 1am, especially nups!
Anyway Jen of Woolgirl puts together a very nice sock club package. I've also had very good luck with the yarn colors that Jen has chosen in the past, liking most of them immediately. The only one color that I didn't like at first was Irish dreams, but they've turned into one of my favorite socks to wear. This purple color from Mama Llama was right up my alley, being a lover of all things blue and purple. The yarn in the skien was gorgeous but I also think the way the purple tones variegate in the completed sock is wonderful. Since this was Mama Llama's "Perfect" sport weight sock it only look a week to knit the pair. Yippe! The pattern is ribbed around the back of the leg makes for a snug, but not too snug fit. I really like these socks and give them an A+.

Knitters Rock


I've been getting a lot of love from fellow knitters on the Coraline FO this week and I want to say you guys are awesome! On Thursday Ysolda kindly posted a link on her blog letting readers know about my Coraline variation. Several people clicked through and were very generous in the comments. So thank you all (and a special thanks to bookwoman and ellen who are always dropping by and commenting, I send you hugs).
One more thing about Ysolda, she really does a great job on making her patterns easy to follow and giving a lot of pictures of the finished product. She did all the hard work which is why this sweater turned out so nice.

Right now I'm knitting the mate to the purple sock shown in the last post. Just in case Jen sells the patterns in the future it's the Reina sock. I'd rather be knitting a new sock, but experience tells me that a mini freak out will occur if there are more than 2 single socks floating around my in table. Actually two mini freak outs will occur. The first would be mine, stressing myself out about unfinished projects and the second will be my husband's over the in table.
Since my husband has left for the day with the camera it might be time to publicly out my dirty little secret...... the in table of horror. There are two in tables in my house, the one on the left contains a neat pile of folders and magazines. Right now there is even a pair of headphones with the cord neatly wrapped up sitting on top the the pile. (I've never wrapped up a cord in my life) The right one is a obsessive compulsives nightmare. Open skeins of sock yarn lay on top of pattern books and mailing envelops. Half finished projects droop from the top shelf to the bottom. Random needles are strewn about missing their packages and odd balls are never put away. This pic is from last year but the only difference is the yarn colors and patterns currently strew about. I do pick up but the table always returns to this state, really the yarn must be to blame. (Or how about elves, would your spouse buy that?)

The end of an era


Goodbye twenties, I enjoyed the last couple years the most. They bought me my husband, my frog, and knitting; all of which make my life good. I'm hoping my 30's bring me a nice little house and some mini Beckleys but not with the name Becky Beckles Beckley or Otto (you hear that honey).
What the mails brings me is a sock club package which is like a gift from my Doppelganger... but really it's from Jen at Woolgirl. I love this yarn, it looks like the color of hydrangea in the neighbor's yard. The cards are pictures of the yarn skeined and knit up in the sock club pattern. It boggles my mind! Rounding out the package is a pen (so you can write your cards of course), a stitch marker, and a zipper pouch.
This club I went with the sport weight preference instead of fingering so these little babies knit up fast. Sooo pretty.

Thanks everyone for leaving nice comments about my Coraline. I wear it a couple times a week and people at work joke that I'm more productive at lunch.

Coraline gets her glamour shots


Many thanks to my better half who came up with the idea to visit Chanticleer gardens and then took many sweater pictures for me. We had a freaky hot day of 80 degrees so I would throw Coraline on, model for a few mins, then stash the sweater in my bag until the next photo op. Now let's let the pictures do the talking.

The final measurements of my Coraline are:
Length -22"
Bust - 34"
Waist - 32"
Hip - 37"
Sleeve length - 12.5"
Sleeve diameter - 11"
I put two buttons on the sleeve cuff using the same sewn buttonholes as are on the center front. The buttons are from VintageNecessities, small glass shanks that are the same size but have different patterns on them. Many many thanks to Marin for finding me a couple more buttons so that there were enough for my sweater.

There was also a little sock knitting but it's a bit hard standing up..... lounging in a chair is much better. :)

Fidgeters.. let me give you some yarn


Dear Fidgeter I see that you did not bring anything to entertain yourself..... no book, ipod, video games, causal conversation or nap time for you. But you are not one of those people who sit quietly staring into space, your brain needs something to occupy it. Believe me I understand, this knitting isn't in my lap just because it's fun, but because my hands can't be idle. Without it I would be bouncing my foot, tapping my fingers and constantly going in and out of my bag too. (Well maybe I'd be asleep but lets not speak of that)
Please let me offer you some spare needles and yarn. You might think knitting is old fashioned but you'll find that it's quite addicting. Try a few stitches, let the awkwardness wear off and soon you will be knitting socks, scarves, hats....whatever your heart desires. It will be a rewarding experience I promise you. Oh and the icing on the cake is that yarn is really fun to buy. Just remember I take no responsibly in your finances suddenly taking a turn for the worse.

What you're still not convinced? Well let me tell you my friend, should a certain person continue to slowly drive a certain knitter insane with their twitching, projectile DPNS may occur. I'm using metal ones today.... you might want to take up my offer about the yarn.

(I followed the instructions for a 1 inch toe but this made the sock too wide. Had to rip out a train rides worth of knitting.)

Liar Liar pants on fire


I promise to talk a little more about Coraline when there are proper glamour shots of the finished sweater. I’m attempting to bribe my husband with a “nature outing” (he loves those) in order to get those pictures but he is being very wily. Maybe a few chocolate bars will get me some where.
Instead I’m flashing a pic of a little spring sock action. Doesn’t everyone want to knit something green now? The pattern is Lily of Valley and the yarn Hazel knits in Shady Verdant, which is a bit darker than pictured. Found out about Jeanie Townsend through the sock knit down 2008 group over on Ravelry. She has several appealing sock patterns so check her out.

First time I’ve knit nups which happen to be the only hard thing about this pattern. After playing with all those nup stitches for 15 mins it became clear that there was not physically possible to knit through the back loop of 5 stitches at the same time. So I played around until deciding that all the stitches could be slipped to the right needle and then dropped off one by one. A feeling of being really smart lasted a few moments before I finally noticed that the sock directions clearly stated, “to knit slip all stitches to right needle and drop off one at a time.” Doh, I will have to console myself with my own chocolate bars.

Friends of Vinnie


Head on over to KTMay's blog and check out her raffle. Not only will you be supporting a great animal shelter, Karen has put together some fabulous prizes ..... there's wollmeise involved. :)

Tomorrow more talk about Coraline, I'm
to the yoke decreases knitters!

I forgot they take so long


Nothing but Ysolda’s Coraline could have tempted me from my current knitting sock addiction. Ever since she posted a picture of the smocked yoke in progress I’ve been waiting for that pattern to appear. Waiting is not really the correct word; more like obsessively lusting over the sweater would be closer to the point. And as it is with all things obsessed over, an import point was forgotten until pattern was actually mine. I forgot that I’m not gamine or even willowy, instead I’ve been described as a brick house. (How did that phrase get coined? It’s not like “junk in the trunk” that kind of gives you an understandable visual)
No waist shaping is usually a great way to look 10 pounds heavier but I waffled a bit since Coraline is a cardigan. Finally decided to error on the side of caution and put in some waist shaping even though that involved … MATHS. Retook all my measurements (found out my waist is no longer 29 inches Gahh!!) , knit an actual 4 inch gauge swatch, and got out the calculator since I have a tendency to drift when dealing with MATHS.

For interested Ravelry users here are the details... to my family sorry it may just put you right to sleep.

Things to consider -my bust, waist, hip measurements are 36, 30, 40 and I'm short waisted. The gauge I was working with was 22st x 28 rows in 4 inches. Knitted Ysolda's size 34 inch bust Coraline since my stitch gauge was larger. After blocking merino et Soie gained almost inch of length.

1. Decreased the cardigan length to 20 inches because of the junk in my trunk.

2. The the waist area measurement I wanted to get down to was 33 inches, leaving 3 inches of ease. Size 34 uses 206 stitches in the body which made a hem width of 37.5 at 5.5 st an inch. With this gauge it would take 6 rows of decreases to get near a 33 inch waist measurement. Then I planned on increasing back to 206 stitches for the bust.

3. The decrease or increase interval -being short waisted there are 7 inches of area to decrease over the hip but only 4 inches to increase before hitting the bust. I wanted to space the decreases/increases out so I decided to decrease/increase on the knit side, purl back, knit straight, purl back and then decrease/increase. So 3 rows between each decrease/increase.

4. Placement in cardigan - I divided 206 by 4 and placed stitch markers at 51 st in from the front edge on each side. The
decrease/increase was made 1 stitch away from the marker. Knit the sweater hem as Ysolda directed and then another inch of knitting for a total of 3 before starting the decreases. For my shape I knit 3 decreases every other knit row, then 1 inch of straight stockinette, finally the last 3 decreases every other row.
This got me up to my waist area where I knit straight again for another inch.
After this was complete I knit all 6 bust increases every other row without the break in the middle. Stitch count is now up to 206 and I knit until the body was 14 inches pre blocking.

The only other change made to the design was to make 3/4 length without the gathering. I love that look on other people but can't pull it off myself (damn my WASPY genes)

1. I cast on 60 st and knit the cuff the same way as the sweater hem, increasing to 64 stitches where the cuff is turned. Knit straight at 64 st until the sleeve was 11 inches (unblocked measurement) Then increased to 72 stitches and knit till sleeve was 13 inches unblocked.

This post needs a little color so here's the newest frog addition hiding out in the yarn basket. He likes the teal yarn.
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