Thursday, May 31, 2007

My Summer 'Do

After six months without a haircut, I finally got it cut on Tuesday. It's about 6 inches shorter, and I love it.

Here's what it looks like when my hairdresser does it---And the back---
Here's what it looks like when I do nothing to it ---

I think it suits me. Not to shabby considering it's been 6 months since my last dye job too. I heart my hair guy.
I hope this holds you over until I can post about some socks. I've started a new pair, but I didn't get to knit yesterday because of a terrible migraine. I went to the Dr. today, and I think we've figured out a potential solution (and it's not @ss expensive Maxalt).

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Sock Pattern Is Here!

First, I would like to start off by sincerely thanking everyone for their very positive feedback and naming suggestions for my new sock pattern. You guys got me thinking on an ocean themed naming line, which I had not thought of previously.

Here it is in PDF format:

Pillars of Atlantis Sock Pattern(PDF)

Here it is in Word format:

Pillars of Altantis Sock Pattern (Word)

I have also linked to it in the sidebar under "My Charts & Patterns".

Please let me know if you find anything that needs clarifying in the pattern. Don't be afraid to customize it and truly make it your own.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Meeting Goals...

I set myself a goal of finishing this pair of socks before the end of the month, but it was evident by early this morning that I would be able to finish them by the end of the weekend.

Without further ado---
I haven't written up the pattern yet, and they still don't have a name, but they're done.

I'm really pleased with how they turned out. The cable extends part way down the foot, then the rest of the foot is the same as the cuff.

My favorite unique detail is that the cable extends all the way down the heel flap.

I hope my Sockapalooza pal likes them. She has bigger feet than I do, so they look a bit baggy on me.

Does anyone have any name suggestions? I'm horrible at naming. I'm hoping to have the pattern written up and PDF'd by the end of the week.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Thank You!

I got an unexpected package in the mail yesterday. It was a small box, and it said "Happy Birthday from Finland" on it's side. I had a brief moment of "I don't know anyone in Finland", but then I flipped the box over and it was from Martin (my bestest friend in the whole world).

He's out globe trotting before going to grad school in Amsterdam. My birthday this year was the first one spent without him since we met 10 years ago. Everyone here misses him terribly, but I think I do especially. The other day, I made too many waffles, and I thought "hey, I'll invite Martin over, he likes waffles". That thought was followed by "oh yeah....".

And in the true bestest friend spirit, he sent me the coolest mug ever.

It looks like what a reindeer would look like if it was put through a mug factory.

Thank you Martin!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Montego Bay Scarf...

First, I'd like to thank everyone for the very positive feedback on my sock design. I'm actually making really good progress on them, and will be done both leg portions tonight.

I just cast on for a Montego Bay Scarf from the Summer 2007 Interweave Knits issue. I had heard about this scarf on Lime & Violet, but only got to see it in the magazine yesterday. I don't know why, but this has been a difficult magazine to find in Vancouver. I finally spotted it at Superstore last night.I still have a bunch of leftover Handmaiden Sea Silk in the Straw colorway. I love working with this stuff! I have about 25 grams left from the 100 gram hank that I used for the Shetland Triangle for my Mom. I also have a full other 100 grams of this yarn that Stu wound into a ball for me.
I wanted to take a few pictures as soon as possible, because there really are not many pictures on the internet, and the pics in the magazine are not all that representative.

The portion that I have completed already only took me about 20 minutes to do. So, I'm anticipating that this will be a fairly quick knit.

I'm going to head out to the Knitting Meetup group tomorrow night at The Grind on Main Street, so this will likely be coming with me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sockapalooza Pattern Difficulty...

Has anyone else had a really hard time picking out a pattern for their Sockapalooza 4 pal?

I had no trouble picking out a yarn, but my God, the pattern was a difficult decision. I finally decided to design my own sock. I've never done this before, and it is going really well. It's a mini cable pattern but it's done without using a cable needle.

Once I'm done the socks, I'll write up the pattern in case anyone wants it. I'm thinking it'll be good to have written down in case I want to use it for some socks for myself at some point.

My pal has larger feet than I do, so I cast on 68 stitches using 2.5mm Crystal Palace double pointed needles. I'm really liking the Sweet Georgia on 2.5mm needles. When I knit the Monkey Socks a few months ago I used 2.75mm. I was happy with the result, but I think that the 2.5mm may be even better suited to this yarn.

I cast on for the second one fairly early into the first one. I really don't want to end up with second sock syndrome on these ones!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Rounding Third...

I'm almost finished!

I knit the collar last night. I attached both shoulder seams, and then picked up 104 stitches. I decided on a 2x2 rib instead of the 4x2 of the cuffs and bottom of the sweater. I think it looks great.

I used 3.25mm needles on the collar and switched to a 2mm needle for the last round. I then bound off with the 3.25mm needle. I was hoping that this would keep my collar from being droopy, and it did. It's a nice firm springy collar. It's also stretchy. I love it.

I even made Stu put down his bowl of cereal to touch it right away.

I then got to work on attaching the sleeves. This is my least favorite thing in the whole world. It's not that I'm not good at it, it's just that I get total anxiety over the thought of it.

Not to shabby, huh?

All I have left to do is sew up the side and arm seams. This kind of seaming doesn't really bother me. So, I guess you know what I'll be doing tonight. I'll be back with a finished sweater tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I knit like crazy last night, and I now have two finished sleeves! Seriously, it took me right until bedtime to cast off.

Here they are as proof that miracles do happen---

Now I just have to knit the collar and sew it up. I just have to decide what kind of collar to do...

I'm thinking I'll do it in ribbing, but folded over and stitched down. Do you know what I mean?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Loose Ends...

Does anyone remember the sweater I was working on a couple of months ago? I kind of stalled out on it before I started on the second sleeve. I knit the front and back (and attached one of the shoulder seams), and the first sleeve, but for some reason I just lost interest.

Here's the pretty (very warm) little pile---

Here's my unfinished sleeve---
I cast on for the second sleeve yesterday, and I'm a little over a third of the way through. Here are all three of my finished pieces.

I thought I'd share a . I'm hoping to have the sleeve finished by tomorrow or the next day at most.

I don't like stalling on projects. I'd much rather finish them in a timely manner. Which leaves one question ----

What do you do to avoid stalling out on a project? Do you do things in any particular order to avoid this?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Finished Faux Rozas...

Well, they're finally finished. For the record, I call them Faux Rozas because they're actually just a 3x3 rib, but you can't tell because the yarn is so colorful. This yarn was a dream to work with from beginning to end. I can't sing the praises of STR enough.


Pattern: Based on Roza's Socks from Spring 2007 Interweave Knits Magazine (plain 3x3 rib, as mentioned earlier).

Yarn: Socks That Rock in Fire On The Mountain gifted to me by Friender in the Knitter's Treat Exchange.

Needles: 2.5mm Crystal Palace Bamboo dpns.

I have to remember that ribbing bores me to tears. The first sock was great. The second was painful.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Fibrefest 2007

Stu and I drove all the way to Abbotsford yesterday (it took us about an hour and a half). It was beautiful outside; very sunny and warm. When you head out that way you see many many farms. With these farms comes lots of livestock. We saw horses, cows, goats, sheep, llamas, and an entire field of chickens.

We arrived at Fibrefest around noon, and decided to check out the animals first. There were a ton of llamas and some alpacas. At first, these animals totally freaked me out, but then I pet them and they were less scary (and they make really funny noises which Stu imitates really well, which is even funnier!).

I also learned that I like the llama's personalities more than the alpaca's personalities.

We saw a demonstration of how to put a pack on a llama---

Here are some of the alpacas---

This was my favorite pen of the whole day----

A mommy and two baby cashmere goats. I told Stu that when I grow up I want goat babies. He looked at me oddly.

Here's Stu visiting with the other goat--

There were also three sheep. One male, one female, and one baby. The baby was so cute. It had little horns. Tee hee hee....

The animals were definitely the highlight of the festival. We went back to them 3-4 times. The yarn was fairly uninspiring. It was almost all stuff that I could have gotten without the 1.5 hour drive (and for cheaper). The actual unprocessed fiber was really nice though. Now I want a spinning wheel ( I have a drop spindle, but ugh!).

We walked around the yarn/fiber area quite a bit, but I only found one thing I really liked enough to buy, but the price tag was astonishing. It was a hank of handspun angora (we saw a bunch of angora rabbits too). This handspun was so incredibly soft, and was worsted weight-ish. The hank cost $130. I was soooo disappointed.

After this we left to go home. We were both a little disappointed, but on the way home we were talking about how cool the animals were, when we passed a sign for the Greater Vancouver Zoo (it's in Fort Langley, so I'm not sure why it's called that).

It was only a little after two, so we decided to go. Neither of us really had much recollection of going to a zoo before, and we had a ton of fun. We walked around for about two hours. It's really worth going.

Here's the cougar (it totally reminded us of The Cat)---

...and me with the giraffe---

...and the lemurs (enlarge this pic, it's got a baby on it's back!)---

I took a total of 130-something pictures yesterday, but these give you the gist of it.

I know this is getting to be quite a long post, but has anyone noticed that The LoopyEwe no longer wants Canadian customers? I know that the USPS has raised rates considerably, but The Loopy Ewe's shipping has gone from $6.50 to ship to Canada to @17.00!! WTF?!? That's like $20 Canadian. I think that WTF covers it!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday Morning....

I thought I'd share my morning with you this morning. It's a sunny Saturday morning, and outside I see my lush green plants on the deck. Inside, I see this...

I'm just about to catch up on a couple of Stash and Burn Podcasts while I work away on my Faux Roza sock and drink my morning coffee. As you can see, I'm still using my old sock bag. I can't help it, I love it. It's almost like a blankie to me.

It turns out that later today Stu and I will being going to Fibrefest at the Abbotsford Tradex. I'll be bringing my camera, so expect lots of pictures when we return from our adventures.

PS. I found an awesome site with a bunch of crisp spring-like screen savers. I've got one on my work computer and a different one on my home computer. Make sure you click it to enlarge before saving it as your desktop background. The resolution on these pics in phenomenal.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Some New Reading Material...

TGIF! I need a weekend!

Progress is being made on the second Faux Roza sock. I'm about half way through the heel flap. I went to the optometrist after work yesterday which took bloody forever and was essentially useless (that' the last time I go to someone other than my regular optometrist). Anyway, the drops she put in my eyes to dilate my pupils left me totally unable to focus for most of the evening, so I didn't get that much knitting done.

Fibrefest is this weekend at the Abbotsford Tradex. I'm not going to be going, but I don't want anyone else to miss out. I'm slightly lacking in the local friends category right now (several people have moved away in the last couple of months), and I don't want to drive all that way by myself.

Instead, I will be casting on some lace! I don't know which lace yet, but there will be lace!

Anyhoo...Pictures tomorrow!

I also wanted to mention that I've picked up a couple of books recently. The first is Simple Sewing With A French Twist. I'm hoping that this will allow me to make a few more simple things for the house. Sorry, I know it's been a sewing intensive week. Don't fret, it's still a knitting blog. I'm just experimenting with the sewing stuff. I'm actually quite excited though, because this is the first sewing book I've ever bought (or looked through for that matter), and I think it will be able to lead me to competence. Yay competence!
There are some really nice little bag patterns in this book too, and I'm thinking that I'll make myself an entire knitting bag (and knitting accessory bag) wardrobe.

I also snagged this---

It's Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's newest book Casts Off. I'm sure everyone's already well aware that it exists. I'm excited to read through it. It'll be an odd change to read before bed, instead of knitting until my eyes are closed.

In fact, seeing that it's Friday, I think I'll stay up nice and late and read through as much as I can.

Stay tuned for some sock progress tomorrow.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Playing With Fabric: Part Deux...

I enjoyed making the little iPod cover/change purse (still undecided), that I thought I'd make another sock knitting project bag.
I'm so glad I've actually learned how to line something. This bag is so me. And so spring. It's just one of those combos that instantly makes you happy.

I thought that some pretty pink ribbon would finish this tote off nicely. I'm so pleased with how it turned out. I also am totally in love with the turned over top. It adds that bit of extra girliness that I love.
It's funny, when I made the unlined ones a couple of months ago, I only ever finished two, and I gave both of them away. Luckily, I still had the awesome original that Julie made me in the Knit Sock Kit Swap last year. I still love that original one. I don't know what I'd do without it. It is nice to have an extra one though.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Playing With Fabric...

I don't aspire to be a great seamstress or anything. I'm just aiming to become semi-competent at the projects I'd like to make. I followed the change purse tutorial from Split Yarn, and I made it slightly bigger. When I was finished, I thought my iPod might fit in it, and it does! Perfectly! It's not a Mini or anything either.I'll have to decide what it's actually going to be used for fairly soon though, so I can place the snap in the proper place. I probably won't be picking up the snap until the weekend though, so I've still got a bit of time. It is so nice to be able to make a two sided fabric. It looks so much more professional.

This change purse is a great "practice my somewhat lacking sewing skills" project.

I had this great idea about knitting a blanket and having the "wrong" side lined with fabric. Or quilted fabric. Or something along those lines. I might make a practice blanket for the cats. How 'bout felting the knitted side, and then quilting the other? Oh, I like that idea. Perfect for the kitties. Stu will definitely give me attitude when I make the boys a pink floral blanket. Hehe.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Faux Roza's Sock...

I haven't gotten to work on these socks as much as I've wanted to in the last week, but they're still going quickly. Has anyone else noticed that Socks That Rock seem to knit up really fast? Even in the lightweight. Maybe I'm just getting faster.

There is something about this colorway that is just perfect for a 3x3 rib. It is Socks That Rock in Fire On The Mountain in lightweight. I'm using 2.5mm needles (1.5US), and this seems to be the perfect size for me.

I call this the Faux Roza's Sock because it's just a 3x3 rib, but you can't tell that it isn't the brioche stitch, since the yarn is so loud. Believe me, there is about 2 inches of brioche stitch on the leg and you really can't see it.
I don't know why but I'm loving the STR with a patterned leg and the plain foot. I think that it's nice to have a mindless stockinette interlude before starting the second leg portion.

I've made myself a deal. I will allow myself some of the new Socks That Rock colorways, but I have to knit at least half of my STR stash first. It'll be a while, because I've got 7 skeins, and I've only knit through one and a half so far. I wonder what life would be like if I wasn't addicted to sock knitting? I don't want to find out!!