What a long strange trip
Miss posting. More soon. Anybody still out there?
Miss posting. More soon. Anybody still out there?
Fall has absolutely arrived here. We live in the the woods and there are many beautiful deciduous trees. This means in the summer we have a very leafy view and when autumn shows up and the trees lose their leaves, our view changes dramatically. Yesterday, this happened in about twenty minutes. We sat in our kitchen, watching the wind and veritable snow storm of leaves and now we can see further into the woods. Beautiful to watch the transformation.
Knitting my Trick or Treat Swap socks was great fun. They remind me of Good & Plenty candy. The Good & Plenty socks are knee socks and the cuff can be worn either up or down. They are knit out of Socks That Rocks, Medium weight in Rhodonite. The colorway isn't available currently, it appears. They are knit top-down and each sock weighs about 100 grams. Left over was 68 grams from one skein and 72 grams from the other.
The Good & Plenty socks are on their way to my Trick or Treat Pal and I am a bit sad to see them go. Hopefully she will like wearing them as much as I enjoyed making them.
They are finally done!
Shoe size: Men's14/15
Yarn: Socks that Rock Heavyweight (Better part of TWO skeins)
These are freaking HUGE. They are a gift for a very tall friend, who threw down the gauntlet when he said: "Oh no, you don't have to knit me socks". Riiight.
I knit the entire first sock then realized I did not have enough yarn to complete the second one, so I ordered more. And of course, though the same colorway, the second was far more intense than the first. This would be why on just about every single yarn label on the planet, it is advised to buy enough yarn at one time to complete your project. So I ripped back the toe and the foot AND the gusset AND the heel flap and reknit them with the second skein. Then I knit the top of #2 with skein number one and the bottom with skein number 2. Balanced. Phew!
And if they don't fit, he can darn well frame them.
Often, I labor under the impression that my knits have to be superstars. Tricky, show-off knits. Usually, when I suffer this delusion I find myself not knitting but rather fretting about what I could or should be knitting. These thoughts do not promote productivity or calm. It is just plain exhausting.
Part of my time this past summer had been spent knitting one of the most poorly written patterns that I have ever encountered. It was not a difficult pattern, just really truly frustrating (a decent tech editor would save the day), and it has sent me running for the simple. In the round, stockinette with lovely hand painted or hand dyed yarns are terribly satisfying right now.
Done is better than perfect and warm is much better than worrying. I LOVE this sweater.
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay
Skeins used: 8
Needles: Knit Picks Options, wood size 10
A Redefined Superstar, I'd say.
Last Tuesday was the first day of school. Upon returning home, my newly minted Kindergartener and Second grader demanded to know how far away Halloween was. Both then promptly began running around planning our Halloween Party (which up till that moment, I did not realize we were having) and rooting through the garage looking for streamers for the house. They both wanted to decorate the house RIGHT THEN and leave it up until Halloween. We have had several planning meetings and will be making a trip to Ben Franklin to eyeball what we might want for the party.
Last night, talk turned to costumes. Sketches were drawn, logistics were discussed and Angus was convinced that being a fire truck (not fighter- truck) again was not the best course of action. I have made fire truck costumes in the past, very successfully- who said studying sculpture in college wouldn't be helpful? So the fire truck nixed, I tried to sell him being a sky scraper. He nixed that.
Angus has been learning how to knit, so as a lark I suggested that he go as ...
A Giant Ball of Yarn
Loving the idea, Angus started drawing sketches.
The show stopping question:
Me: "Angus, you really need leg holes- where are the leg holes?"
Angus: (teary) "No, Mom, I do NOT want leg holes. No way, Jose!"
Me: "Well, how do you expect to trick or treat? You want Mom & Dad to roll you around the Neighborhood?"
Angus: "That is perfect, Mom!" (pause, scratches forehead) "Or you could just build a steering wheel into my giant ball of yarn. Yep, I think that would be better. Thanks Mom!"
Ten years ago, I turned thirty and the seven days later I got married. To say that I was out of my mind nervous, crazy, and excited is understatement. Turning 30 weighed heavy, heavy heavy on my brain, so much so that I made everybody swear that I was 29 at the wedding, not 30.
My husband of ten years (we say HA! to all the nay sayers!) is even more wonderful than the day I married him. I do not regret my choice for a second, though when I married him it was a huge leap. Yes, marriage is always a leap and my personal leap seemed rather large even by marital leap standards.
Turning 40 has been fantastic. Nary a qualm. For a minute I thought maybe I was pushing the thoughts away and I was wrong. From where I stand today, life is sweet. Being a wife and a mother is soul satisfying in a way I never knew it could be.
Love you all to bits-
The most beautiful flowers from the three guys. Between the colors, the textures, and the variety of flowers, I am beside myself.
Yesterday I was treated to flowers, handmade cards, a corsage made by a seven year old and breakfast in bed. Angus scrambles a mean egg. Duncan told anyone who would listen that he buttered the toast with the BIG knife and stirred my coffee A LOT so it was EXTRA delicious just for MOM.
Then a great and remarkable thing happened- nobody rushed off. We were all doing our own thing, together. Someone was on the computer, conversation distance from someone else who was knitting while staring at the flowers while two small someones weaved in and out. It was delightful.
STR (shocking, no?) Medium weight (shocking, yes!) in a Rare Gem which was purchased at camp. While each Rare Gem is well, rare- I was able to score 2 skeins that were very similar. Perfect for knee socks.
Thank you so much for all the encouragement last week for my nerves and Angus' health. Your well wishes and thoughts really helped prevent what was sure to be an enormous anxiety attack. We are all much better this week, which is good because I could use a little boring right about now.
Love you all to bits.
Oh Darlene! Darlene, Darlene, Darlene- you are a doll. Holy Moses, that gal gives GOOD sock swap. My May Day Pal is Darlene of Yarn Collectors Anonymous (and AKA Crazy for Yarn in Alabama) and she is wonderful. Poor Darlene has been positively fretting that my package was lost. When she shipped it from The Great State of Alabama on May One, the said it would be 7 to 10 days. Ten days on the nose. And worth every second of the wait.
I want to go slow so as not to miss anything, because there is a LOT and also wanting to go fast because I am SO excited!
First the haul, minus the socks because as really great the haul is, the socks are magnificent.
Clockwise from 9 o'clock (let's see if I can actually pull this off):
A great lined notebook- clearly meant for knitting notes while on the go!
Sticky notes & a magnetic note pad- more note taking- good idea with the Mama addled brain!
Cute sheep card.
A very well hidden napkin caddy with great Orange Parrot Tulips on them. Darlene those are one of my ALL time color/flower combinations. You nailed it.
Coffee! From Birmingham. Oh how I do love Alabama.
Trekking in color #135. Perfect!
The Trekking is next to 2, TWO really great tulip themed draw string bags- perfect for the on the go sock knitting!
Some beautiful stitch markers from Alabama Fiber Dreams. They are small and perfect for socks. Plus they are lime green & orange. So me!
Then tissues with flowers, a super cute watering can key chain, flower seeds, a soak sample and some note cards. Very needed- all.
A very pretty and dare I say ladylike coffee cup. I will take care that she will not get roughed up by our Pacific Northwest brutish coffee cups.
And finally some STR Medium weight (Yay! Medium weight! I have enough Heavyweight to sink the Titanic, so variety is welcome) In the color "Mesa" which I have never seen before. It is well documented, my love of STR!
And now, my friends. Calm yourselves. Breathe in, Breathe out. You are not prepared for the absolute perfection that are my socks. Darlene you are a marvel!
Thank you so much Darlene. I am positively overjoyed with my perfect colors, perfect fit, perfect length socks. They are a thing of wonder and I could not have picked something more perfect for myself. Thank you for all your care and kindness. You have my heart.
Good Gravy, I am exhausted. Craig is traveling- back Friday. Angus' diabetes is acting a bit crazy these days. He is fine and safe and hopefully this rough patch will be short- lived. He numbers were high last night and even the fast acting insulin I gave him didn't seem to help.
Been up since 4am, fretting, administering insulin, testing blood sugars, drinking coffee and well, fretting more.
Too tired to knit even though I could use a bit of a simple repetitive task.
Today would be a perfectly wonderful day for my May Day Swap Socks to show up.
Love you all to bits.
Thanks so much for all the fun guesses about Mom's true age. She is tickled beyond belief. Her birthday isn't until May 18 but she is starting to celebrate tonight with a party thrown by some of her dear friends (whom I adore) in her honor. Apparently they have been cooking for days and it should be quite the affair. Wish I could be there, sadly I don't have the freedom to hop a flight to Los Angeles at a whim. Right- children, fever, husband out of town, diabetes. Crap!
We have a Winner! Actually, there were two correct guesses Jill & Frieda! (Jill please email me with your 411 and preferences at kt at theeislers dot com- Frieda- I totally know how to find you). You will both receive a skein of BMFA Knitters Without Borders and an additional skein of BMFA in a weight & color of your choosing from the stash.
And now- drumroll........................................................................
Hold onto your hand knit socks- my Mom is turning..........................
She is truly beautiful and amazing. Her outsides are not nearly as wonderful as her insides. May we all look half as good at 70. Mom, you are a wonder and we love you.
My May Day Sock Swap package is off, winging its way to parts East. How's that if you are trying to figure out if I am your Sock Swap Pal? Especially since just about everything is East of here. I fought the urge to ship it next day air, which is a strong urge in me. (As Emily will attest to.)
Clicking through the finished socks on Swapper's blogs, there are sure some real beauties. It is exciting to know that a pair are on their way to me. Which ones will they be?
This wee strip of holes makes me happy beyond measure. In my knitting skill set, there are many things I can do and yet lace has always seemed elusive and confounding. I managed to find a local class during school hours and today was day one. A great thing about this class is three fold. First, we were not assigned a class project but rather were allowed to pick whatever lace project we wanted. I picked The Flight of the Honey Bees Shawl by Sharon Winsauer for Alpaca with a Twist. Second great thing about this class is the instructor, Becky (Ravelry Link). And third, I am using some righteously beautiful yarn. Blue Moon Fiber Arts Laci in a mystery colorway that I purchased in Scappoose at Tina's stash sale in November. Score! The color is perfection for a honey bee pattern.
Don't forget, Mom's contest end tomorrow, Friday May 2 at Noon PST.
Leave your guess! Good luck to all!
Love you all to bits- KT
Don't forget about the FUN contest! Here is a picture of my Mom who is having a Milestone Birthday this May. Guess her age, on the nose, and win a skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts "Knitters Without Borders" in Lightweight plus another skein of BMFA STR in a weight & color way that is the winner's preference (plus other fun goodies).
Just leave a comment by Friday May 2, Noon PST.
And thank you to all have left guesses- Mom aka Charlene is totally tickled by your interest! And she was VERY bummed that she couldn't pose a guess and win the yarn herself. No cheating, Mom! And we will have none of that having your friends comment to win the yarn for you! (Her LYS is Jennifer Knits in Brentwood- so I am on to all of you!)
And if you are not Mom or part of her posse posing for Mom, you could win something out of this beautiful cabinet (which might be significantly more full after camp):
So, come on- Step Right Up and give a guess. If you know shhh and one guess per customer!
Step Right Up, leave a comment with your guess!
Love you all to bits- KT
And Mom- no faking!
My May Day Swap socks are done! Except the grafting. The yarn is BMFA Sapphire in Heavyweight. Perfect Spring morning socks, when there is still a bit of a chill in the air. or if you live here, great for when it is dumping snow in late April. Here is hoping my pal will like these and that they fit! There was much gnashing of teeth and ripping back in terms of fit.
Each time I knit a pair of socks, I find that I internalize another piece of the sock puzzle which is completely invigorating. One of the actions which I find truly energizing(regardless of the item) is ripping out and reknitting it. Which not only did I have to do that several times on the above socks but on these too. Must finish giant socks!
Camp was wonderful. It was much harder this year to be away from the boys, though we all have pulled through in fine form. I find that I want to tell you more about camp and as it is incredibly experiential for me, this is proving difficult. Great fun is apt but not terribly descriptive. It was great fun all the same.
Duncan is home with a fever and whine today, so lots of knitting whilst wiping of a little nose (not with the knitting!) and giving comfort.
In the hold on to your horses department:
My Mom was tickled that her photo popped up on the blog AND she gave me permission to tell her age. It is going to be a contest! Guess my mom's age, on the nose- it is a milestone birthday- and you will receive 1 skein of Blue Moon Knitters Without Borders in Lightweight (not yet available on their site), plus one more skein of Blue Moon Yarn (weight & color tbd by winner's preference) and other various goodies. Leave a comment by Noon, PST Friday May 2. And if you know shh.....Also, if there is more than one correct guess, we will do the name in the hat thing.
One guess per customer.Good luck!
Love y'all to bits!
Tomorrow morning bright and early I am off to Sock Camp. The car is packed, permission slips for field trips signed and children hugged and kissed.
We had Duncan's big 5 year old birthday party on Saturday and it was wonderful.
Here is a super cute if a little dark picture of my Mom & Duncan.
This year is really a year of milestones- Craig & I will be married 10 years, Duncan turns 5, I turn 40 in August, my Mom turns "X".
We FINALLY sold our house in Virginia after almost 12 months on the market! Yea!! Angels singing!
Love to you and hopefully I will blog from Camp.
If you are reading- THANK YOU!!
Today my baby turns 5. What a cacophony of emotion. It is thrilling that logic and reason are starting to creep in and heartbreaking that there are no babies in the house.
Every Friday Duncan gets out of school at noon, so we have some special time just the two of us. Each and every Friday he says, as he gets in the car: "Mama, can we have a Gluten Fest and then go to the fabric store?" So off we go for pizza (we are a gluten free house- big brother has Celiac) and about half way through lunch, Duncan says to me :"Mama, do you think the fabric store has anything new for my stash?"
And yes, he has a stash. If you were wondering what the stash of a barely five year old little boy looks like, here you go:
(motorcycles, dolphins, firetrucks, police vehicles and crowns)
But he does have some mighty big shoes to fill (this isn't all of it- trust me)
Happy Birthday Duncan. You have my heart- always.
Love to all of you- back with much to tell.
For quite awhile I have been stewing, coordinating and just generally dreaming about making a mitred blanket ala Mason Dixon. Yarn has been being stashed for about 7 months (BMFA, STR Heavyweight). This may very well be a year long project, which is fine by me. Or I may zip zip through it, which is also fine by me.
There are a few questions that I have been working on that I would love input on, if you have any. The MDK pattern says to cast on 72 stitches. I would like to make mine bigger. Is it just a multiple of 3 that I need? Others say just cast on any odd number of stitches. Which formula do you use? Have you altered the basic recipe? How?
Please, I need the scoop!
Second, I was thinking that it would be feasible to cast on 144 stitches, put a marker between stitch 72 & 73 and treat them as 2 separate miters though they would be joined. Instead of 2 squares I would get 1 rectangle, or half a square. This would literally cut my seaming in half. Clearly this needs to road tested to see if can go from concept to really cool technique. (Scurries off to knit furiously.)
Oh, I feel like such a clever little bunny! It worked- Look:
You just need to remember to twist the constrasting colors on the wrong (private) side so that there are no holes. This is great! Only one long seam per large square. These colors I used are for test drive purposes - I just grabbed what I had wound up.
This pleases me WAY more than it should, but we all geek out on something. Uh oh, I think I just rained on my own parade. Having just read the entire Madness category at the extraordinary January One, I realize that my method will not give me as much freedom to switch squares around. Not sure how much this matters to me, I'll have to ponder that.
Also, I am contemplating what kind of rules I want to follow- I can already see that without them I will go completely around the bend and then feel awful because I didn't do what I wanted to do- knit the blanket that is. So far each square will have a single main color and there will likely be main color repeat. It did cross my mind to have only one or two main colors throughout the entire blanket and 4 different contrast colors per square.
It is already apparent to me that this project will be eating me alive. No complaints, though.
First and foremost- Ravelry ate my brain. Holy crap. In a good way. Holy crap. Enough said. Well all most enough said, I am lookiewhatimade over there.
Lots of knitting going on here. I am determined to finish this sweater- scroll to the 19th- before I go to sock camp this year. Here are the colors I am going to use for the tartan:
The pattern is Tartan Jacket from Zoe Mellor's Colorful Knits for You and Your Child. This is the second time I have made this sweater, here is my first version of the tartan:
I wear this sweater constantly and it has stood up to wear so well for about 9 years. I blogged about it here. I should mention that the color chart is as knitted and it not the same as photographed in the book. In my current version I will knit it as photographed in the book in STR Heavyweight Bluemoonstone, Lemongrass & Sunstone- the main color is Lover's Leap.
The bottom sweater (the original) is in Magpie (moment of silence) for the body and Lambs Pride for the tartan.
Last but certainly not least, I was awarded by both Emily & KT the "You Make My Day Award". Thank you ladies I love you both muchly, you have both made me laugh so hard, and care so much. You two have made my life a much more beautiful and inspired place.
Instructions are "give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times."
Okay so, without further ado and pithy commentary (and in no order, other than how they came into my brain):
January One Hola Chica! This one rocks it about as hard as one can. Heart as big as all outdoors. And a tot on the way. Some people were just meant to be parents. The knitting and level headed-ness are awesome,
Angry Chicken The one and only. 3 little ones and SO productive. Shame!
Posie Gets Cozy Clover Meadow and beautiful crafting? Get out!
Yarnstorm If you sleep with her book under your pillow you will have the sweetest dreams.
Six and a Half Stitches Sublime. Structured and dreamy simultaneously. Quite a feat.
Hop Skip Jump The animals? Divine! And awaiting a baby boy any moment.
Hello Yarn In my dreams, I aspire to be her.
Amuse Bouche Yummy food and lovely pictures.
Gerrie Congdon Such dedication and what an eye. Sigh.
Bemused Jan is such an inspiration.
Say la vee Too good.
Pea Soup Just perfect- and the view? Stunning!
Knitiot Savant My Secret Pal. Nough said!
Emma Very Happy Belated Birthday, you wonderful woman !!
Special Bunny Blvd Such a lovely gracious human. And the mothering? And the productivity? Oy. I am in awe.
There are so many more folks that I wanted to give this award- I was supposed to limit it to 10 but splurged on 15. Thank you, for the award and for making my day!
Love you all to bits and pieces!
Here is what I decided to do...
Weigh knitted sock and leftover yarn from cake #1
Done! 196 grams
Weigh cake #2.
Done! 200 grams
Rip back sock to heel.
Then I will add about 3 more inches to the leg of this and then switch to cake #2 for the foot. So the leg will differ from the foot yet both socks will be the same.
When I went to Sock Camp last year, a very good family friend came out from the East Coast to help take care of the boys. Really an awesome, giving move that left me free to go to camp and not worry. As a thank you I said I would knit him socks- appropriate, in my eyes. And then I forgot.
Long story short, I remembered and then our friend said: "Why don't you just knit me a scarf?" To which I replied: "You may indeed get a scarf in the future, but I AM going to knit you socks!" See our friend has size 14 feet. This was a challenge I was not going to hide from. I was going to rise to the challenge and then gloat and brag and make everybody listen to me rattle on about how I knit size 14 socks.
It is still my intention to do that and in order to torture you all, I need your help first. Ha! It is a lot like Brutus asking Julius Caesar :"Hey, could you sharpen this for me?"
Here is the rub: In 2006, I bought 2 skeins of STR heavyweight in Henpecked (at the same time, thank you very much). Do you like how I made it sound as if that was all I bought ? (kt- be quiet!)*cough* I took one skein and made it into a cake, then made that cake into a very nice sock, with my very first short row heel, nonetheless. The heel was ripped 3 times but no holes! So last night I took the second skein, wound it into a cake and in the midst of winding started to feel a wee bit queasy.
Here is the yarn left over from the sock (wish I had made the leg longer), next to the second skein. See the problem? What do I do? Please weigh in.
As I see it here are my choices:
A) Frog the whole thing (which I am willing to do ) and then intersperse the two skeins in the new pair.
B) Frog to the ankle, knit foot in the new skein. Knit other leg from skein #1 & from ankle down from skein #2.
C) Just knit sock #2 from skein #2 and be done with it. (this option appeals to me the least)
It just makes me madder than a wet hen when you can't unsee things.
Love you all to bits.
ps: I only have myself to be upset with. If I had actually thought about it I could have known this was going to happen, as I can see clearly in this picture down) Smacks forehead.
ETA: Choice A should read- A) Frog the whole thing (which I am willing to do ) and then intersperse the two skeins in the new pair. I just can't get the formatting to behave- sorry!
Making sure our blogging software is still working.