Friday, January 30, 2009

Care and Comfort

It seems that the cats need for lap time has increased significantly since my DH left for Alaska. I don’t know if it is coincidental or a direct result of his absence. Either way, they have been mostly orderly in taking turns. Saucey gets the AM time and Zelda the PM times. Having the cats “need” me in this way hasn’t hurt my feelings much (or my knitting). Basically it extends my knitting time to have a cat on my lap. I’m less able to jump up and go do something else like log on to the computer and play around on the internet (it cuts way down on snacking too!) or housework, or chores…. With the cold weather we’ve been having it has been kind of nice too, because having a cat on my lap works like a space heater. I get nice and toasty and it doesn’t cost any extra in utilities. So about my knitting . . . I’m nearly finished with the horseshoe cable sock, except for the unfortunate incident while waiting for the car to be serviced where I had to tink back 6 rounds because I couldn’t get my head around the fact that 16 is divisible by 4. But it’s all back on track and behaving better now. (I have about half of the foot left to do) After I finished the MIL sweater I cast on for my next sweater project. It is the “Knit it Down” sweater which I am nick-naming “Cover Girl.” The pattern is the one on the cover of the January 2008 issue of Creative Knitting and I’m actually knitting it not just in the yarn, but the same color as the designer used; which is extremely rare for me. I’ve waited nearly a year to knit this sweater even though I wanted to cast on for it the day I bought the magazine. (Okay, before I even got out of the parking lot of the book store). Basically, the delay was because I had to track down the yarn and then by the time I got the yarn, I had plenty of other projects and potential projects to do so this one got stuffed in the back of my stash. Now it feels like a reward. The yarn is so soft and nice to work with and the color is so pretty. I think this one will knit up really fast, too. So far I have gotten almost to the end of the yoke/shoulder shaping. (The picture is the first bit of knitting I did on it I've worked about 3 more inches since). Oh, and once my bangs get done growing out I will totally look like the model in the picture too (wink, wink). (Okay, maybe only in my mind I will). Oh, and I started to put together a care package for my DH, do you think he will need more than what’s in the box? (Have a great weekend)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Seam Deferred

Seam Deferred
By Saucey [With apologies to Mr. Hughes]
What happens to a seam deferred?
Does it unravel
just for fun?
Or gap in odd places--
And then run?
When the cat demands a seat
if the lap time is denied --
can it ever be neat? Maybe it just sits Like a waiting dream
but, it’s just a seam.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday Rambles

I just frogged 10” of the MIL sweater due to a 10 row difference between the pattern rows and start of the armhole from the left front to the right front (I was ready to cast off when that little voice told me to compare the two… ) Sigh. So after washing dishes, vacuuming, two phone calls and surfing around my favorite blogs, I find I’m not quite ready to face the knitting music… But It was a good day overall. I now have a pattern on Raverly. Go type “mitten decorations” into the pattern search and see what pops up! And There was good news from Texas There was also a good report from South Carolina And some good things coming together at the shop …Even though it would be premature to say too much about anything right now. All and all, I have many good thoughts buzzing around in my brain right now Maybe I‘ll go tackle that sweater after all.

Monday, January 19, 2009

All in the Family

DH is off on the first leg of his adventure.  He flew out yesterday and arrived safely at Fort Jackson, SC to “re-green” as the Army quaintly calls the program to bring people who have been

 out for a little while back up to mission ready.  He expects to be there for a

 couple weeks before actually going to Alaska.  Today is a down day because of the holiday, so he is doing a kind of “trip down memory lane” as he visits the site of his original basic training.  His big plans today were to go to the PX and visit the work-out room. 

The kitties and I have been rattling around a little bit.  Zelda has been doing some serious moping and clinging to me, Saucey is more used to the occasional coming and going, so she is more relaxed.  I suspect she and I will start moping more down the road.


The toe-up striped socks are finished!  They definitely have their own distinct look.  See?

Here’s all three pair that came from the two balls of Noro Kureyon Sock yarn.  (Colors S185 and S180) 

You can sure see the family resemblance between all three pair, yet none of the six socks are exactly identical.  I love this yarn.  I just recently got hints from someone about getting her own pair…. Is there any better excuse to shop for yarn?

This picture probably captures the colors best...

Since I already wear the other two pair a lot, I’m glad to have a third to put into the rotation.  Now I won’t have to fret so much when I haven’t had time to wash socks!


I finished (drum roll please)... the Santa Cruz Hoodie for DD#1. Here’s a kind of bad self portrait I took using the mirror.  

This is for you sweetie

This thing is really big on me, but she wanted it big and comfy.  I think it will fit her exactly like she wanted. 

Pattern: Santa Cruz Hoodie from Knit 2 Together by Tracey Ulman and Mel Clark (Largest given size)

Yarn: Cascade Quatro in color 5018 (Body) and Cascade 220 in color 8892 (sleeves)

Size 9 and 11 circular needles / size 9 dpn

Pattern Mods: knit body and sleeves in round to start of raglan shaping

My knitting goals for the week are to finish the other Horseshoe cable sock, finish the MIL sweater, swatch for my top-down sweater and maybe my squirrely mittens.  But maybe that’s a little ambitious…

Thursday, January 15, 2009

For the Love of Noro

Here's a sneak peek at the latest socks I'm working on....

I cast on for these quick knit socks mainly to use up the yarn that has been sitting on my worktable for several months, but also, with a foggy cold brain, I needed something simple to just knit away. 

I decided to do these toe up since the yarn I'm using is the odd bits of Noro Kureyon Sock left

 over from the two pair of striped socks I knit last summer. Also, I didn’t want to guess at how long to make the leg and still have enough yarn for the foot.  These will be fun when they are

 finished. They will be more fraternal than the other two pair, but that’s part of the fun with the

 Noro.  Sometimes you just don’t know what you will get from one ball to the next. For anyone

 who has never tried Noro, I heartily recommend you try one of the many projects that allow you to play with the colors in the yarn.  These socks combined two color-ways in two row stripes.  There is also a scarf pattern for silk garden (the project that inspired Becca to create the socks that inspired these).  Another fun way to use Noro in a project is Entrelac. 

The heel design is the one that Becca suggested when I said I didn’t like the wrap and turn short row heel I did on my only other attempt at toe-up.  I had to go back and frog the first heel

 because I made the foot too long, but with the adjustments made, I am now getting a perfect fit.  

I can see why some knitters do their socks exclusively toe-up.  It is definitely a plus to be able

 to try the foot on once the heel portion is finished.  The first sock is done and the second only

 about 10 repeats away from the cuff.  Like I said before, a very quick knit.

I have really enjoyed knitting these for more reasons than just being a quick and simple project.

While I was knitting these the color combinations made me flash back to this post and the great trip I had to CA and especially the evening we spent at the farmers market seeing all the lovely flowers, fruits and vegetables….the yellow, gold and orange remind me of the sunflowers and squash we admired, the purple and green stripes of the gorgeous array of eggplants, I didn’t include all of the pictures from that night because it was just too hard to choose.  Here's a selection so you can see why the color combinations in these stripes stirred up memories of that trip and so much more:Add Image

Good times!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cold Plus Cold

Between the snowfalls and extreme cold weather we’ve had plus coming down with a winter head cold, I have had plenty of knitting time lately. I’m slowly recovering from the cold, and we’ve been busy getting DH ready for his departure to Alaska. I’m having a bit of denial that his absence is going to be more than the routine. I guess I’ll figure it out after a couple of weeks go by and he doesn’t come home. Thursday night at knit group I finished the raglan shaping for the hoodie sleeves, which are now blocked and waiting to be attached to the body of the sweater, once that is accomplished, all that’s left is the hood. Yeah! I also knit a super warm hat for DH to wear while he is in Alaska.

Yarn is Ultra Alpaca in dark grey; double stranded Pattern is “Warm and Ready” from Knitters Winter 07 (also the cover pattern from Guy Knits) Needles size 9

This pattern is about the quickest hat to knit up for a man’s hat and looks great. I didn’t get a shot of him modeling, but, hey it’s a hat. He loves it.

I worked a bit more on the MIL sweater… it’s coming along at a reasonable pace. And finally, I started another pair of socks, but I’ll leave those for the next post because there’s much to say.
I hope you're warm wherever you are!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Significant Changes

From the weather section in today’s Tribune…

Sure, a cold spell is coming… in January… and you call that news? Well, now, what’s significant about this picture isn’t the arrival of more cold weather as suggested by the title, but the little weather charts below the title. The chart compares the normal temperature range for January (-30 to -40 c) to the temperatures that AK has actually had for the past week(-38 to -45 c). Brrr…. The reason this is of any concern at all, is because DH has just received orders from the Army recalling him to active duty and sending him on a one-year deluxe vacation mobilization to Northern Alaska. He’ll be leaving this month, so it’s happening very fast. This will be a significant change here at Nana’s house. (Not to mention for DH too!) It’s been in the works for a while, but it was difficult to think about (or discuss) until the reality of the orders happened. The Army didn’t invite me to come along, so I will be holding down the fort here in relatively warm IL. We know the location could be worse and are very thankful he’s going somewhere that I will be able to visit (eventually).

I’m sure the kitty girls and I will all be just fine, but life will be different for sure. I plan on going there once or twice for a visit, since I’ve always wanted to visit AK anyway. We’ve had little short separations of a week or less, but this will be a real challenge. DH and I really have been fortunate that since we’ve met we’ve really not had to spend any real time away from each other. So, to say that things here are a little bit in an uproar is, well an understatement. Otherwise, life here is almost back to normal after the holidays.

Knitting is progressing at a comfortable pace and we’re getting back into the weekly work routine. Of the projects I’ve been working on lately, here’s a little progress report: Horseshoe Cable sock #1 is finished; sock two will be cast on during the first class on 1/12. Santa Cruz Hoodie – sleeves are coming right along, I hope to begin the raglan shaping on both sleeves tonight (I worked separately to the start of shaping and am going to work in two-at-a-time method for raglan tops).

MIL Sweater, back and left front are finished; right front is started. Will not tempt fate for breaking camera with picture taking… suffice it to say that less stitches did not improve the color distribution of this yarn.
Cast-on for the loop through scarf from 101 One Skein Wonders with Dream in Color Classy in … here’s a peek at the progress. This will mostly be at-work knitting, so may be a slow project, but so far it’s a fun one. The next thing to be cast on will be a nice warm hat for DH to wear in AK… better get started on that… the clock is ticking!