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Archive for July, 2008

Wouldn’t you know it

We’re home and my blog posts have slowed in frequency and content already. We had a pretty uneventful drive home, although it was painfully long. We left the condo at 3am Central time and arrived at our home doorstep at 11:15pm Central exhausted but mostly intact. My oldest son actually went straight upstairs, brushed his teeth, put pjs on, and hopped into bed. It was about 10 minutes before I realized he hadn’t come back down, so I went up to investigate. He was all snug in his bed under the covers… he lifted his head up off the pillow and said “Finally!” Even with the kids going to bed at close to midnight, everyone was up and moving by 6:30am. Crazy kids anyway. 🙂

I’ve begun yet another pair of bandwagon socks and I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am with how the colors are working! I was very worried in the first inch or so that there was some icky pooling, but I was mistaken. Behold… the first (partial) Monkey:

Monkey in progress

So far, I’ve finished the 5th lace repeat on the first leg… and I think I’m going to skip the 6th and jump into the heel flap. It feels like it’s tall enough, and I’m hoping I might luck out with enough remnants to make my daughter a pair of micro-Monkeys. I’m not sure because her little canoes are growing quite long, so I might not have enough yarn leftover. We’ll see.

I also had been waiting ever-so-impatiently to return from Florida so I could receive this:

Red Hot Chili

I had been perusing the stashes of Wollmeise on Ravelry and really liked the colors on this one. I favorite-d it as one I might want to purchase someday… you know, when hell freezes over and general people are able to obtain the yarn once again?! I was shocked when the yarn’s owner approached me with a swap… her Red Hot Chili for my Veilchen. YIPPEE!! Initially, I really liked the Veilchen color, but once in hand, it wasn’t as purple as I’d hoped. Anyway, long story short, I sent mine to her and got the above beauty for myself. Winners all around. 🙂 Honestly, though–I’m irritated beyond words at how some yarns become such hot commodities. Sundara, Yarntini, Wollmeise, Zen… There are a bunch, for sure. It’s the nature of the supply/demand beast, but it bothers me nonetheless.

I’m off to another grueling day of parenting… (kidding!) I want to leave you with a photo I really enjoyed from the trip.

DSC_6219

P.S. For anyone wondering, I used 1.2 ounces of the Knit Picks Bare for my daughter’s striped socks… she wears roughly a size 10.5 in little kid shoes. (you know, before they hit the ‘real’ sizes 1, 2,3…)

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(Almost) Matching socks

When I finished the Jaywalkers, I wanted to cast on immediately for more socks, but the patterns I was interested in knitting weren’t working as planned.

First, I decided to pair the Socks That Rock (given to me by Bertha) with the Pomatomus pattern. I figured it was the perfect match-up of the gulf water colored yarn with a cool fishy-scaley type pattern. Unfortunately, I was completely unable to follow the pattern. I can’t wrap my brain around the yo before a purl or a yo at the beginning of the needles… Just too much for this vacationing brain. 🙂

Then I decided I’d make some Monkeys using some Shibui Sock but the stitch count was creating some baaaad pooling that I just didn’t care for. So I scrapped that pair, too.

Getting a bit desperate, I looked at the remaining sunshine-y yarn and decided to make a matching pair of Jaywalkers for my daughter. I took her little foot/leg measurements and got to work. Unfortunately, I started with 52 sts and it was too snug, but thankfully I noticed I’d run out of yarn if I used more stitches.

Finally, I decided to make some plain-Jane socks that at least matched mine in colors!

E's socks to match mommy

Pattern: Generic Sock pattern from Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Patterns

Yarn: Leftover Knit Picks Bare (I’ll get back to you on the amounts… no scale here!)

Needles: 2.75mm

Started: July 22, 2008

Finished: July 23, 2008

Mommy-Daughter socks

They fit her well, I think. A bit loose for the growth that’s sure to occur just before sock-wearing temperatures hit. The cool thing is I have maybe one yard leftover. That means I was able to make one adult and one almost-5-year-old pair of socks using one skein of yarn! It also means I don’t have a small amount of sock yarn and nothing to do with it!

On that note, I saw this project on Ravelry and decided that I MUST knit more socks so I can make myself a blanket of similar style. All the while I was knitting these socks, I kept wondering if I should just hold the yarn aside for a square or two to make the blanket, but it’s not superwash yarn. If I’m going to make a fine gauge blanket, I want it to be washable, for sure. I might even post a request for sock scraps on the ISO/Destash group on Ravelry, but there are already so many there that I don’t know if I feel like ‘competing’ for the scraps. If anyone reading this cares to donate, lemme know! 😉

We’re gearing up for a long ride home tomorrow. Vacation’s finally coming to an end. We’ve had lots of fun and everyone’s exhausted–but in a good way. We’ve decided to leave a day early to acclimate a bit before getting back into the soccer camps and gymnastics waiting for us at home. The kids are indifferent. They’re anxious to see the cats again and to have their own beds and bedrooms back, but truly enjoy playing in the gulf and the pool.

Our not-quite-5-yr-old is doggie-paddling like a champ. She’s able to get from one side of the pool to the other really well now… I think if she does a few more sessions of swim lessons she’ll finally get the hang of using her arms properly and get her butt up instead of dragging it behind/under her. Our not-quite-8-year-old is diving like a champ. He’s had a great time going into the gulf with Daddy to ‘hunt’ for sand dollars. He’s figured out what they feel like under foot and can locate them, dive down, and bring them up for inspection! It’s quite an accomplishment for a child who couldn’t really swim this time last year. Our youngest just loves hanging around in his ring. It’s just big enough for him to stay securely inside, but not so big that it’s cumbersome. I think I’ll do swim lessons with him over the winter season.

I guess that’s all for now… I’ll see you on the other side, so to speak. Wish us luck and patience for the upcoming drive! 🙂

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A pair of socks (matching, even!) in one week. It’s the fastest pair of socks I’ve knit, I think!

Jaywalking on Sunshine

Pattern: Jaywalker by Grumperina, previously found on Magknits website

Needles: US2 (2.75mm)

Started: sock#1 July 12, sock #2 July 16

Finished: sock #1 July 16, sock #2 July 19, 2008

Jaywalking on Sunshine

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE how this turned out!! I can’t even describe how happy I am that 1) I dyed the yarn!! 2) I knit a pair of socks in a week!! and 3) The stripes match almost perfectly, without really trying to make them do so. WOOOHOOOO I made zero mods to this pair, and will definitely be making more Jaywalkers in my future. I didn’t realize it was only a two row repeat or I’d have jumped on the bandwagon long ago. I’m always late to the party, so it’s not a big deal. 🙂

Jaywalking on Sunshine

I’ll admit they’re a bit on the snug side, but I haven’t blocked them, and my socks always stretch out just enough when I’m wearing them, so I think it’s all A-OK. I haven’t yet decided which sock to cast on next… I brought way more yarn on this trip than I’ll actually admit to, almost all of which is sock yarn. As much as I love my hand knit socks, I don’t completely enjoy the knitting of socks. The small/tight gauge and the occurrence of SSS (second sock syndrome) don’t help my cause. It’s for those reasons I generally pack socks for vacation knitting.  When it’s all I have to choose from, I’m great at knitting socks.  😉  When I figure out what I’ll do next, I’ll be back to let you know. For now, we’re off to begin our second week in Sanibel!!

Hi!

If you couldn’t tell, I’m lovin’ the underwater camera!!

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A: No!

Case in point: I finally finished the Wild Cherry colored Cherry Tree Hill socks in the car on the way to Florida, approximately 3 months after starting the first sock. Within the following few days, I was able to complete a second sock that does not match the first.

Photographic evidence:

Exhibit 1) Wild Cherry Socks
Wild Cherry Socks

Pattern: Basic Cuff-Down sock from Handy Book of Patterns

Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Wild Cherry

Needles: US1.5 (2.50mm)

Started: First sock April 24, 2008, Second sock…. I dunno. It’s been too long!

Finished: Second sock finished July 12, 2008

Yeah. I’m not always a dedicated sock knitter. Love the result, not so much the actual knitting of the socks.

Exhibit 2)
From the Kool Aid dyed sock yarn I presented to you in my last post, I have knit almost 1.5 Jaywalker socks!!

DSC_6224

The stripes are working just as I had hoped!!! I am still very pleased with the color outcome, but I was a bit shocked at how overpowering the orange is to the yellow.

And last, since I finally have access to a top load washing machine, I felted the slippers for our school family friend:

DSC_6223

I hope she likes them! With luck, I’ll give them to her at a shower/dinner in August before the twins’ arrival.

Gotta love vacation time—Hubby here = more dedicated knitting time. WOOHOO!

I leave you with 3 vacation photos…

DSC_6202
P7140149
(Do you know how hard it actually is to take decent underwater pics?!?!)
P7140161

Gotta run… Pool’s a callin’!

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I’d been wanting to dye more yarn for a while now, but hesitated doing so because I already have too many WIPs and really don’t need more. Since we were getting ready to go to sunny Florida, (and we all know the knitting is the most important part of the trip) I thought it was a fitting excuse to dye up some sunshine!

DSC_6144

I did this in the same fashion as I did my Watermelon striping yarn, but changed the number of rounds of each color in the hopes of wider stripes. At least, I hope I did–I won’t find out for sure until I knit these bad boys up. I used Knit Picks Bare 100% Merino Wool in fingering weight and 6 packets each of Lemonade and Orange Kool-Aid. The yellow didn’t turn out quite as bright as I had hoped, but I’m not at all disappointed with the results. I intend to try some acid dyes sometime in the near future, but I need to secure a few dye-only items like a glass measuring cup and some measuring spoons first. I’m not positive, but I hope that using acid dyes will result in a bit more saturation of the colors.

I’ll be sure to post the results once I’ve knit a sock or two. 🙂

We’re in Florida now, so posts will probably be quite sporadic. Our wireless connection is not entirely reliable. I will give you our very first ‘catch’ upon arrival:

Starfish!

Within probably twenty minutes of being in the gulf, my oldest showed us this large starfish! I hope you’re all enjoying your weekend and with any luck, I’ll be back soon with some great stories and some knitting.

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Elijah

This has got to be the cutest pattern I have ever seen. Ever!

Elijah

Pattern: Elijah by Ysolda Teague

Yarn: 2.3 ounces Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn in Ivory

Needles: US5

Started: July 5, 2008

Finished: July 9, 2008

Elijah, side view Elijah, backside

The only modifications I made (if you can even call them that) included knitting the limbs separately and sewing them on and adding a tail. 🙂 I will definitely be making more of this guy in the future! He’s about 12″ tall and only took a portion of the skein of yarn, so he’s super cheap and pretty dang simple to knit up.

He seems to really like our flowers:

Elijah Elijah

But I’m sure he’ll like his new home just as much, wherever that might be. 🙂

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A couple more FOs

First and foremost, the Log Cabin Squares Baby Blanket:

Log Cabin Squares Blanket

Pattern: Log Cabin Square by Sarah Bradberry (Ravelry link here)

Yarn: Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn in #20 Ivory, #140 Mid-Green, and #160 Brown, approx 1.5 skeins of each color

Needles: US9

Started: June 18, 2008

Finished: July 3, 2008

Measurement: Approximately 36″ square

I was finished with the knitting on this several days before I completed the almost 12 feet of attached I-cord as a border. It was tiresome, but I think it really gives a finished look to the blanket. What do you think?
Before:
Log Cabin Squares Blanket
And After:
Log Cabin Squares Blanket

It’s not a huge difference, but I think the border helps finish it off.

This project will be part of a neutral colored baby basket to go up for auction at my kids’ school this fall. I chose a cheap, washable yarn because the hope is to make as much money as possible… and I didn’t want to deter anyone by offering up an entire set of stuff that had to be hand washed and laid flat to dry.

With some of the remnants of yarn, I was also able to pull together a Baby Bobbi Bear:

November Baby Bobbi Bear

Pattern: Baby Bobbi Bear from Blue Sky Alpacas/Bobbi Intveld

Yarn: approx 3 ounces of the brown I Love This Yarn

Needles: US5

Started: July 3, 2008

Finished: July 5, 2008

What can I say? I love this pattern. Quick, inventive, super cute, and will definitely be seen on this blog over and over again!

In other news, we spent the evening of Independence Day enjoying the fireworks show at Lake Ellyn in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. We just love going there… There always seems to be a place to view unobstructed and there are tons of people with their kids just having fun in the atmosphere. With the exception of the past 2 years, we have gone to the same spot every year since we moved here almost 10 years ago. Creating our own tradition, I suppose. I didn’t take any photos, just enjoyed the show with the family.

Today was spent in large part recovering from the late evening. Our children do not have the sense or ability to sleep in late to recoup lost rest. They were all up and about by 7 this morning. Shockingly, all the kids took short naps this afternoon which allowed us to hit Ribfest in Naperville–another annual tradition in our house!

Ribfest 08

We did all the standard Fair-type events… water gun & basketball games, cheesy rides, yummy and filthy cotton candy, fresh-squeezed lemonade…and RIBS!!!  All the good stuff!

The next 3 weeks might be light on posting-at least of knitting related materials. We’re leaving for Florida on Friday and will be staying for 2 weeks this time!! We scored a great deal on a condo… we made an offer we figured would be immediately rejected, but were pleasantly surprised when they accepted!  I’m very anxious to see how all of us do away from home for that long. I have high hopes, but I’m also trying to be realistic.  I’m sure I’ll have some fun pics between now and the end of the month, so don’t write me off just yet!  🙂

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