Thursday, July 27, 2006

SP8 Mini-questionnaire

First, to answer the questions posed by my SP8 group's hostess, who, incidentally, is doing a really fabulous job - thanks, Tammy!

1) What is your favorite season of the year?
Summer - no question - although the other three are not without their charm...

2) Where is your favorite vacation spot?
I would have to say the Muskokas in Northern Ontario, although really, anywhere I can knit, read and hang out with my kids is good enough for me...

3) If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?
Fiji, then Australia and New Zealand

4) If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be?
I would be soft 100% wool, hand-spun, still smelling sheepy and with bits of grass tucked throughout, hand-dyed in bright rainbow colours -

5) If you won a shopping spree to your favorite yarn store, what would you get?
Hmm, nice question... I would look for yarn that I have fondled but can't possibly afford - Muench 'Touch Me' comes to mind; the Mason-Dixon gals' book; a Jordana Paige knitting bag; and then neat yarns and gadgets for my mom and my friends.

This is today's view from our front window - if you squint, you can make out a squirrel hiding in the euonymous bush that surrounds the front doorway:

Just look at the interest he has generated inside:

and 15 minutes later -

they have not moved, I don't even think they are breathing, and this little squirrel has , I assume, no idea of his audience...

I did finally decide on something to knit, although it may be interrupted by some secret pal knitting to be done in the next couple of weeks - I ripped out the RPM sock, as it just wasn't working for me in that particular yarn, and instead cast on the Sockotta from my friend Kelly in a lace pattern:

the lace pattern might get lost with the striping, but I just don't care - I have had a hankering to make lacy socks, and so I shall, and I LOVE the colours...

the top-down two circulars was a bit of a challenge, though, particularly for one as spatially challenged as myself - I have got the toe-up two circ thing down pat, but this was a whole 'nother thing - took me a while to work out the cast on for each sock without having one severely twisted, or without bringing a third circ into the picture to ease my frustration - I did figure it out, but can't quite articulate how - the heel and toe shapings should certainly be, um, interesting...

and I have decided to continue working on the Lotus Blossom Tank - I have discovered that this one goes particularly well while I listen to The Maltese Falcon, so I'm just gonna go with it...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The postman always rings twice...

and if I had a doorbell, that would be true - however, the dogs bark more than enough to let me know that he's come, sometimes, as today, bearing gifts!

From Kelly, my Wisconsin pal:

so we can make matching socks, because she bought herself the same yarn, and write knitterly notes to one another - just love it all - thank you so much, darlin'! And yes, when our socks are done we will have to post pics of our matching tootsies...

And from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, the newest installment for the Rockin' Socks club, named 'Peaseblossom':
and as if the yarn, pattern and newsletter aren't enough, there's a bit of extra yarn included as a keychain - so cute!
The timing couldn't be better - I seem to be moving into ADD mode again, unable to focus on any one project - I finished the last Rockin' Sock Club socks, and am now looking for the perfect buttons for the side cuffs (please note - the legs are shaved... it was a good morning).

So I have about 3 projects that I am starting and trying to decide between:
RPM socks from Knitty in Step yarn by Austermann -

I like them, but I'm not crazy about them -

the Lotus Blossom Tank, on the cover of the summer Interweave Knits-

I am using bamboo yarn from the Southwest Trading Company which I TRULY had in my stash for another top but this one looked like more fun (and Shug, please note the stitch marker, which I still think should become an earring)

- actually, there is a knit-along somewhere for this top, but I'm not motivated enough to actually be accountable for making it right now -

and an online knitting class, I guess, with Y2Knits, using Meditation yarn from Skacel, for which I completed my swatch yesterday and today must contemplate personal measurements - this will probably be the one I push on now, largely because of the yarn, which is infused with lavender - the aroma is just divine! Although I must admit, the idea of measuring myself, now, during this season of ice cream and coolers, is something of a deterrent...

I have almost finished the Diagonal Tank from Art Yarns - I know, I know, what's the hold up? It looks nice, a little too much decolletage for me but I can do the camisole thing - I just need to crochet an edge around the armholes and neck. So why haven't I done it yet?

Makes me wonder if there isn't something slightly wrong with someone who not only doesn't finish a project, but can't seem to start just one more - overload? Boredom? The fact that the tank looks nothing like it does on the model when I wear it? The fact that it's a tank top, and I recently noticed that when I wave goodbye, my hand stops when I want it to but my upper arm keeps going?

All right, excuses aside - I WILL finish the tank top by the weekend. I WILL find buttons for my socks and actually sew them on. I WILL pick one damned project to work on, and will report back on the lucky winner in my next post.

And I WILL measure myself right now, so I can have an ice cream bar later without any pangs of guilt - which I may wash away with a cooler chaser...

Monday, July 17, 2006

Back to life -

and seemingly insurmountable piles of laundry - how is it that vacations generate so much dirty stuff? My kids wore the same things almost daily, and I was in my bathing suit most of the week, and yet I find myself wading through mountains of soiled clothing almost as tall as me...

but enough whining - we are home after a glorious, relaxing, idyllic week of this
and this

and lots of this

I stopped wearing my watch on Monday, which is completely out of character for me, let the boys do their own thing (including making their own rather interesting sandwiches whenever the urge struck), scared myself senseless re-reading 'Salem's Lot' by Stephen King (word to the wise - not the best choice when up north in a small, very quiet cottage), and listened to 'The Virgin Suicides' by Jeffrey Eugenides while very nearly finishing my second Socks that Rock sock -

all in all, a perfect vacation, with the only desired improvement being in the area of insects, deerflies and horse flies in particular - we'd just like them completely eradicated, nothing major-

then I get home to a wonderful surprise, which once again brings home the knowledge that knitters are a special bunch, and I feel so privileged to count myself among them -

from my absolutely fabulous secret pal, Shugahface:

hmm, blurry - my camera is acting up - too relaxed, perhaps? - but the yarn is GORGEOUS, colours PERFECT, will make stunning socks - there is green tea with an infuser attached, rosewood (I think) needles (choirs sing as I reverently touch them), a mango bath soak (and truly, mangoes and baths are among my favourite things, so to put them together? Genius!) and gorgeous stitch markers, which I am seriously considering turning into earrings - just look at them
So thank you, thank you, thank you -

it makes it a little easier to face the real world which stares me in the face...

back to life, back to reality (bet you have the tune stuck in your head for the rest of the day...)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Ahhh, the sounds of summer...

Sprinklers running, mowers humming, cicadas buzzing, kids bellowing...

and it's only week 1!

Fortunately, the boys and I leave tomorrow for a week up north at the Blue Spruce Inn, where there will at least be more space for their bellowing to resound in...

So once the food shopping and laundry were done, came the question most vitally important to us all at vacation time:

Where's the liquor store?

No, wait, I mean, what knitting should I bring?

Well, not the silk tank, which is nearing completion but, I fear, too delicate for the roughing-it aspect of 'up north'. I am currently working on these socks, from Blue Moon Fiber Arts:

which I was pleased to see have just been completed by the Yarn Harlot, so I find myself in excellent company. So I'll bring these. This is the first sock, so one more to go. What should I bring to start once these are done, because they will, of course, be done (right, Mom?).

I wanted to start this

or this

but being me, I don't have the damned needles for either of them - sigh

so I will bring the fixin's for another pair of socks - I am thinking of Austermann Step yarn (with aloe and jojoba in the yarn), but not sure of a pattern - probably either Railroad Rib socks by Fiber Trend, or RPM from the most recent issue of Knitty (congratulations, Amy!!) - looking at them now, I think RPM will be more interesting beach knitting -

so think of us, in our little cabin, listening to the call of the wild - or the bellow of the boys...