Archive for April, 2008

Sweet Pea socks, so far, and Nutkin problems

Sweet Pea socks, originally uploaded by YarnDork.

Well, actually, a little farther than that. I’ve turned the heel already, and started the pattern up the backside as well. This is really turning out to be a beautiful sock.

I couldn’t work on these at the soccer games today, as the games were too exciting, and this pattern requires too much attention. Good thing I took that blue yarn that I made David’s fingerless mitts out of. I had meant to start on his socks last night, but was having a Nutkin night (more on that later), and ended up starting his socks today at the games. They were all very good, and I don’t remember anyone’s score, but fun was had by all, and that’s what really matters in the end.

Once again, I win the Mother of the Year award, for not noticing that the sun was actually out today, and not even thinking about sunscreen, and not noticing until bathtime tonight that the kid’s faces are all sunburnt, and they have that nice red V on their chest, as outlined from their soccer shirts. David’s arms got it a bit too. Good think I know right where the aloe vera is.

Now, on to Nutkin. I thought I was done with the first sock. I had done 3 repeats for the leg, then last night at knitting night, I looked at it again, and decided that it needed to be about 1 repeat longer. So, during out time at Panera, I added that repeat and started on the ribbing. I got through 11 row of 2 x 2, and decided that it looked just right. So, at that point it was time to head home, and I did. Got home and bound off and cut the yarn. Then I tried on the sock. I couldn’t get the dang thing up over my heel. I could not figure it out. I had tried it on before, when I was starting the heel, to make sure I was starting at the right place. I tried it on again when I thought the heel was halfway there, to make sure it was just a little big on me, as these are for my sister. I even tried it on again, after I had completed the short row heel, and done a few rows of stockinette on the back, to see if I was starting the heel side pattern stitches up high enough that they wouldn’t be hidden by the back of the shoe. What I didn’t do, however, was to try on the sock after starting the pattern stitches all the way around the leg. Apparently, the pattern tends to shrink up the fabric a bit. So, now I’m scrambling, trying to think of ways to fix it. Someone suggested going up a needle size, someone else suggested adding some additional stitches into the P2’s that separate the pattern stitches. I think I’ll do both. For now, though, I think I’ll just cry. They look so nice, why don’t they fit?

Look what I discovered!

Nest outside bedroom window, originally uploaded by YarnDork.

This has been a busy week! I’m exhausted. But, see those 3 eggs? I found those yesterday morning. So that’s what they mean by robin’s egg blue, huh? Momma bird came back though, and she’s been quite diligent. That nest is right below the window on my side of the bedroom, so I had to clear one of the baskets of yarn out of that corner, so the kids could see.

On the knitting front, let’s see. I started some new socks, because the ones I had going just weren’t doing it for me. I don’t know if it’s the season or what. I have some nice minty green Palette that last week I started a Sweet Pea on. Pattern’s on Knitty.com, and last night I turned the heel on it. It looks fantastic. So good, that actually I’m thinking that maybe that pattern could be the answer to my alpaca sock problems.

I also got the bug to play with that laceweight yarn I got with the idea of knitting it double stranded to make socks. It’s called Gossamer, from Knitpicks, and I separated it out and divided it in half and re-wound it into balls, double stranded, and started a sock. The entire hank was said to have 440 yards, I think, and I know I can get a decent pair of anklets out of only a smidge over 200 yards, so I figured it should work out. But after I would the balls up, they looked a bit small. So, I thought, I should maybe add some K2tog, YO in there to make the yarn go just a bit further. I fiddled around a bit, and ended up writing up my very own pattern. Now, I’m sure that others have probably come up with the very same pattern, but I didn’t look at their stuff. I’m pretty proud of it. It’s a 5 stitch repeat, with alternating YO’s and K2tog’s on one row, and YO’s and SSK’s on another row. I’ll post the pattern later on with a picture.

Side note…Russell came upstairs to check on the birds, and I can hear him in there talking to the Momma. Cute.

Painting Easter egg cookies 2008

Painting Easter egg cookies 2008, originally uploaded by YarnDork.

Remember Easter? When I had that bronchitis? This was our Easter Egg cookie decorating party. I have this FANTASTIC homemade cookie recipe that my mom used to make every Christmas, her and us 3 kids, and flour all over the floor. But, it sure was fun. I’ve since expanded that system to include other holidays that I feel like going through the trouble for. These are the mix up the shortening and sugar and other stuff and stir in 6 cups of flour then knead some of it on a floured board then use floured cookie cutters and all that stuff. It gets messy. Before I got sick, I had told the kids that I didn’t feel like coloring eggs this year, and lets paint cookies instead. I was too sick though, to even think about mixing in all that stuff, and thought all was lost. Then, my sister, who most of the time has a clearer head than I do, mentioned that I should just stop fretting and go to the store and buy a couple of those tubes of cookie dough and just this one time, cheat. I have to admit, I took her advice. It was really all I could do to slice them up and help the kids form them into little egg shapes. Then, we mixed up the paint, which is the easiest thing, you take a yolk or 2 (save the whites and use them in breakfast tomorrow), add a couple tsp of water, and then divide it all up into several small bowls, and add food coloring in various colors. You’d be surprised how far that yolk and water will go. I gave the kids a paintbrush and a bowl of water, and let them go to town. The painting is done BEFORE baking, keep in mind. The egg paint makes a nice shiny glaze like thing on the cookies. So, that was quite a while ago, what’s happening now?

I’m having issues with my alpaca sock yarn. Remember I had started the Nagini pattern? It was not looking right. I don’t know what the problem is. I sure hope it’s just me. Or the combination of the pattern and the yarn not matching up right. But, either way, I’ve already frogged it for now, I was just wondering if I did the right thing. I bought some very special alpaca sock yarn, the Alpaca Sox to be exact, and it’s in a lovely blue/green colorway, and I already did one sock on it, and after I did it, I realized I didn’t really like the way it fit, so I never did the second sock, and still had a lot of yarn left. I finally decided to do the Nagini, which I had been dying to do, and after reading the pattern, I realized that it addressed the fit issues I had had with the previous attempt to use this yarn. But, when I got up to the cabling part, it didn’t really look cabled. I thought, maybe it’s just the first few rows, maybe it takes several to get into it. So, I plodded on, hopefully. It was not to be. After 4 or 5 repeats of the cable part, it still looked flat, and the cables did not stand out from the rest of the stitches like the pictures show on the pattern. So, now, in hindsight, did I do the right thing?

I don’t know. Maybe I just need some chocolate…

Flower Faire, so far

Flower Faire 4-17-08, originally uploaded by YarnDork.

Well, actually since that picture the other day, I’ve started on the border part. There was a bit of a freak-out when I thought my YO’s weren’t lining up on this one row, but when I got to the second repeat, and they didn’t line up on the same row again, I knew it’d be ok.

Here’s a Patrick-ism from last night…We’re driving home from this volunteer appreciation thing at church, and we were hitting every red light. So, Steve gets a little frustrated and as we stop an another one, says “Dang it! We are hitting EVERY stoplight!”

Patricks says, “Yeah, even that red one.”

Bless his heart.

PS…I have started the heel on the first Nutkin.  They are so cute, I can hardly keep them a secret from my sister!

My crazy kids

Patrick and hat 4-17-08, originally uploaded by YarnDork.

Doesn’t this say it all? Patrick’s all like “yeah, I’m the man, giggle” and Russell, well, he’s trying to smile. Bless his heart.

This is a variation on the Grandpa 60 hat, made from scraps my sister sent me as cushioning for something else she was sending me. She always does that, it’s so cute. It’s like there’s always more in there that what you think. She sends down whatever it is, birthday presents, or Christmas, then stuffs the box the rest of the way with scraps and balls of leftovers.

She had given me a decent sized ball of the red and black Wool-ease chunky, and a slightly smaller ball of the cream, and then a couple yards of the red and black again. So, I thought, I can start with that, then change to cream when I run out, then end it off with the couple yards of red and black. That’s just what I did.

Size 10 1/2 needles, because I couldn’t find my 13’s, and I don’t remember how many I cast on, probably around 60 or so. 2 by 2 ribbing, then when I saw I was almost out of the red and black, I changed to the cream, and when I was almost out of the cream, like I still had enough for 2 or 3 rows, I did a small decrease, in each set of purls, so then it was K2, P1 until I did run out of the cream. I counted the number of stitches I was left with and divided it by 4, so I could have a little + sign on the top. For ease of calculation, let’s just say at that point there were 40 stitches. Divided by 4 is 10. So, each branch of the + sign will have 10 stitches. Since in order to make the +, I have to actually double up the fabric, I now have to that that # and divide it in half to know how many stitches are on each side, which would be 5. So, leaving the stitches on the needles, I sort of did a 3 needle bind off of 5 stitches, except instead of binding off, I actually did a sc into the 2 matching loops from the front and back needles. When I had done the 5 stitches, which used up 10 stitches off the needles, I fiddled around with the needles, so I could do another side. So, from the top, the sc part actually looks like this… )(. And, it’s not quite tall enough to be able to fold up the brim, like on the other hats, but it’s still pretty dang cute, and it’s going into the box for church.

Now, off to play with alpaca!

Blossom’s yarn

Blossom yarn 4-17-08, originally uploaded by YarnDork.

Thought it was about time I put up a picture of Blossom’s yarn. Isn’t it beautiful? As much fin as I’m having with the alpaca shawl, I think I may just enter this one in the fair instead. Locally grown sheep, locally spun yarn, locally knitted shawl. Yeah. I just with the Kansas State Fair actually had a shawl category. They have like 10 different categories for afghans, then a baby one, and a wearables one, and a “knitting other than specified” one. That’s the killer. Last year was when I learned to knit socks, and I made, if I do say so myself, a simply stupendous pair of Broadripples (pattern from knitty.com), and they took first place in my county fair, which HAS a separate class for socks, and second place at the state. I was slightly upset until Steve showed me a picture of what took first. I don’t know how to link directly to it, but if you want to go hunting on my blog, it’s back in September or October of 2007. It was this gorgeous suede thing, sort of Indian inspired. Next to my socks, well, let’s just say, I was thrilled my socks took 2nd.

Right now though, I really want to focus on the alpaca. Oh, and the new Nagini socks I’m starting with, what else, the alpaca sock yarn. I made one sock out of it already, but it didn’t fit right. I did my normal short row heel, but it was way too stretched out right there. So, I think I need to add a small gusset, or increase the # of stitches I do for the heel. I found the Nagini pattern I had printed off a while ago (thank you again to Gigi up in heaven for creating these patterns and Socktopia.), and thought that would look great in the colors of my yarn. And I looked at the directions, and it looks like there’s a little gusset there before the short row heel. So, we’ll see if this works out better.

Why, yes, I am on an alpaca kick, but I can stop whenever I want. Besides, it’s cheaper than cigarettes, and it doesn’t stink.

Puke + Berber carpet = Ewwwwwww!

Guess what I spent the evening doing?

No, really, guess.

I got about 1/2 hour by myself while Russell was at soccer practice.  I dropped David and Patrick there too, because they didn’t want to go to the store with me and/or would rather help Daddy coach.  I ran quick over to Walmart, because we were out of bread and milk.  Had I known what the evening’s festivities were going to entail, I also would have purchased carpet cleaner foam stuff.

David started complaining his eyes hurt.  Maybe because he tried to read in rooms with no lights on as the sun is going down?  Maybe because he keeps staying up to late for his 10 year old body to be able to keep up?  So, what usually happens, happened.  Except that he didn’t have the puke bucket.  Even when that’s happened before, he makes it to the toilet, or worst case, the garbage can.  Those can all be washed fairly easily.

Didn’t make it this time.  He got the door, the back of the door, the vent, the wall, the side of the dresser, and a GINORMOUS place on the carpet, which you can’t miss if you have to leave or enter the room.  Did I mention I made chili-mac for dinner?  Oh, yes, you can smell it now, can’t you.  Luckily, last time my dad was here, he left one of his hankies.  He’s one of those old-fashioned guys who always has a hanky, no kleenex for him.  I rolled/folded it up diagonally, and did a bandit thing just over my nose, as I had to get in there with a spoon first to scoop up the chunks while Steve threw on some pants and drove over to the store to get the carpet cleaner.

Good thing I had just washed all the rags today, huh?


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