Friday, April 30, 2010

Vacation Knitting

I'm on vacation this week, which you would think would mean TONS of knitting time. But I've been so busy with other things, I've not knitted nearly as much as I'd like!

I did get some extra time in on Wednesday, though, while visiting with my 99-year-old great aunt....who STILL crochets and knits, by the way! She's so much fun....she showed me the knitting needles she's accumulated over the years and lots of really old crochet patterns that she has.

Yesterday my parents and I went to Pigeon Forge to visit the Titanic museum and do a little shopping. Since Daddy drove, I was able to get in a couple of hours knitting in the car. I still don't understand how I can do that, because I'm notorious for my extreme motion sickness. I can't read in the car at all, but as long as we're on interstate highways I can knit away happily with no ill effect. Thank goodness. *LOL*

So today is "catch up the housework" day, but I'm hoping for some time this afternoon on the balcony in the sunshine with my knitting. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Summer Lovin' Socks

I finished my Summer Lovin' socks this evening! Take a peek at them on my "10,000 Hours of Knitting Socks" blog. :-)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Happiness is New Yarn

The latest addition to my yarn stash arrived yesterday. As you can see, I now have enough sock knitting ammunition to keep me out of mischief for awhile!
I must get cracking, because I bought all of those skeins of yarn to knit socks for the summer, and summer's nearly here! "Socks for SUMMER?" you may ask, and I will reply, "Yes. The air conditioning in my office gets COLD."
So with pretty lacy summery socks I can wear my Berkies without fear of frostbite. :-)
Without further ado, off to the knitting I go!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Patience is a Virtue

....what a shame I don't HAVE any patience! *LOL*

When I got home yesterday, eagerly anticipating opening a package of sock yarn, I found a sticker on my front door telling me that UPS requires a signature in order to leave my package. *sniffle, sob*

Dang it. Oh, well. At least I know it'll be there when I get home today. The good news is that it's going to be a rainy, stormy Saturday, and I'll have a good excuse to stay in and play with my new stash additions.

Last night I was catching up on things I'd TiVo'd earlier in the week and knitted happily on my Summer Lovin' socks. I'm working my way up the leg now and hope to have enough knitting time this weekend to finish them up. Assuming, of course, that I can resist the temptation to cast on another pair out of my new yarn. *not making any promises on that item*

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Simple Pleasures

I admit it.....I am easily amused. Simple things make me very happy. Warm sunshine on my face, a bird singing in the tree outside my window, a steaming mug of tea on a chilly morning. Those are all good things.

Almost as good as receiving word from UPS that SOCK YARN will be delivered to my home today. *LOL*

I'm knitting summery socks to wear to work (with its chilly air conditioning), and found a deal on Sockotta at DBNY. So when it arrives today, I should have enough sock yarn to keep me out of mischief for a good long while.

.....or at least until I run up on another good deal, right? :-)

The Summer Lovin' socks are progressing nicely. I'm past the heel now and have started working my way up the leg. I tried them on again after I'd finished the heel, and the fit is great. *YAY*

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

10k Hours of Knitting Socks

I'm starting a new project today....10,000 hours of knitting socks! To document this project, I've added a new section to my blog that you can reach here. I've also put a link over in the navigation on the right under "My Other Knitting Blogs".

This will, of course, be a very long-term project, but I think it'll be fun to see how my skills progress over 10,000 hours of practice!

I'm still working on my "Summer Lovin'" socks, and still enjoying them. I'm nearly finished decreasing the gusset, so progress is being made. :-)

KnitPicks RULES!

Have I told you lately how much I adore KnitPicks? I order from them on a fairly regular basis and freely admit that I'm hooked on their nickel-plated knitting needles. I own several sets, and if anyone burgles my apartment, they can have my outdated stereo system and can take their pick of my decrepit television sets and VCR/DVD combo units.....but DON'T TOUCH MY KP KNITTING NEEDLES, BURGLAR. GOT IT????

Anyway, about a month ago I decided to buy a set of their Harmony wood fixed circulars to use for socks. Just as a change, y'know? Size 1, 40" long (for Magic Loop). When they arrived, I was struck by how beautiful they are. If you've never seen them, go take a look by clicking here.

So, the next time I started a new pair of socks (April 8 - Summer Lovin'), I used my new Harmony needles. Though I've always loved working with my nickel-plated needles, I was impressed by the way that the wood warmed up in my hands. The sharp points made working with the fingering weight yarn as easy as working with my nickel-plated needles. All was well.

Then, Monday evening as I was watching television (House), the needle in my right hand snapped in two! I was just sick. I LOVED those needles. Phooey. Luckily, I had a set of size 1 nickel-plates empty and was able to transfer the socks to those without losing any stitches.

Later that evening before bed I e-mailed Customer Service at KnitPicks and explained what had happened. I asked if I needed a return number so that I could mail the broken needles back and if I could replace them with nickel-plated to prevent another mishap.

Keep in mind here that I really didn't expect anything but a return number. The next day I received a response from Customer Service apologizing for the defective needle and telling me that a replacement (in nickel-plated) would be going out in the mail to me and that there was no need to send them the broken needle.

How totally cool is THAT?? My only wish is that KnitPicks could teach the art of customer service to a lot of OTHER companies!

KnitPicks RULE!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

You Gotta Love Spring

Yes, I suffer from seasonal fact, worse this year than I can remember in previous years. But, oh boy was it ever great to be able to sit out on my balcony last night in the warm evening air and knit until it was too dark to read the pattern! Today my eyes are itchy and red from the extra exposure to the ridiculous amount of pollen in the air, but it was definitely worth it!

I was working on my Summer Lovin' Socks, and am just an inch or so from starting the heel. It's going well, and I've learned that running a lifeline at the beginning of each pattern repeat is a great comfort. Why the heck haven't I been doing that all along? I remember reading about lifelines when I started knitting socks, but thought it seemed like unnecessary trouble to me. Dumb. Just plain dumb. If I'd had lifelines in my diagonal lace socks, I'd be wearing them now instead of having two lovely little cakes of gray yarn waiting for me to cast them back on.

I use dental floss for my lifelines. It's easy to thread through the stitches and has the unexpected bonus of making my socks smell minty fresh as I work on them. *LOL*

And so, here I am on my lunch break at the office, wishing I was at home on the balcony with my knitting. Ah, well....4:30 will be here before too long. :-)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Good Couple of Days

I had to have a little medical procedure done today which involved some time off from work for prep yesterday and for the procedure today. So during my time away from the office, I managed to get a little knitting done. Of course. :-)

Yesterday at home I worked on my Summer Lovin' Socks. I'm really loving this pattern, and I've tried the socks on a couple of times already. I think they're going to be great!

Today in the waiting room and pre-op I worked on my Feather and Fan Scarf. It's a great "waiting room" project because the pattern is so easy to memorize and you can stop in the middle of a row without causing a total disaster. It's looking good too, I think.

If knitting never does another thing for me, it's made me a much more patient person in a waiting room! *LOL* Well, back to the couch with my socks. Life is good.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Not-Very-Productive Weekend

I lost most of my weekend to a migraine (yuck!), but did manage to knit a couple of inches on a pair of "Summer Lovin' Socks" by Knitting Nonstop. Thanks, Pretty Knitty for bringing that pattern to my attention! If you're on, this pattern can be found there free. (I just love freebies, don't you?)

I'd started them last Thursday, but wasn't happy with the way the colorway striped on one toe and not on the other. So, I started over Saturday morning and am now happier with the way they look. I'm knitting them with a skein of Sockotta I'd had in my stash basket for awhile. They look pink and orange and spring-ish and I think I'm really going to like them.

The pattern is written to be knitted top-down, and I like knitting 2-at-a-time toe-up. So, I used a toe I like and started working the patterny part from Knitting Nonstop's chart. Then I'll use a toe-up heel that I like and carry on until I run out of yarn or patience, whichever comes first!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mom's Market Bag

I just finished the "Grrlfriend Market Bag" for Mom. It's actually a lot cuter than it photographs. *LOL*

I'd knitted one of these for a friend for her birthday. Mom saw me working on it and just loved it, so I told her I'd make one for her as well.

Now that I've finished this bag, I want to cast on some summer-weight socks. I have a skein of Sockotta in my stash basket that's been singing to me lately, so I think the time has come to wind it into a neat little yarn cake and begin working it up. Now.....what pattern to try this time?

Decisions, decisions........

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

I hope Easter morning is as beautiful in your neighborhood as it is in mine! Bright sunshine and moderate temperatures are predicted, and I'm sure lots of little Easter egg hunters are glad for that.

I've been invited to a family gathering this afternoon at a cousin's home and knitted a couple of Basic Dishcloths for her for Peaches & Creme's "Juanita Rose" colorway. Pretty, pretty colors....I hope she likes them!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Feather and Fan Scarf

Day before yesterday I visited a local yarn shop, A Likely Yarn. I received warm greetings from everyone there, including a group of knitters assembled in one of the rooms knitting away happily. I asked if it was okay to browse, and was assured that browsing was fine and to ask if I needed any help at all.

I'd decided that I wanted to try a lightweight scarf and had been toying with the idea of a Feather and Fan pattern I'd seen online. I didn't want to get TOO lacy, since this is my first venture into a lighter weight item. I found some perfectly scrumptious superwash wool in a couple of lovely colorways. I'll post pictures of them in my "stash" photos later so you can see what I mean. I also found a great skein of sock yarn. Like I needed more sock yarn, right? But let's face it, among the addictions possible in this ol' world, sock yarn isn't too bad, don't you think? Agree with me, please.

So, I began toying with the Feather and Fan patterns I found online and decided I liked Wendy Johnson's version best. They're all very similar, but Wendy's involves absolutely no purling (always a plus in my opinion). Feather and Fan is the most memorizable pattern I've seen since the Mistake Rib Scarf. You've gotta love that! I've posted it in "Cricket's Favorite Freebies" for your convenience if you'd like to give it a try, too. Last night I started it several different times, trying various sizes of needles until I found one that I thought would work best with my yummy yarn.

I'll keep you posted. :-)