Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Just another day

After a couple of grayish, rainy, cooler days, the sunshine is back. The temperatures aren't reaching the highs they've reached for the last few weeks, so we definitely know that autumn isn't far away. John keeps telling me about the rest of the year on the lake, how things change from season to season. As much as I've enjoyed the summer, I'm looking forward to seeing those changes, watching the lake and it's inhabitants throughout the coming weeks and months.

We had a bit of a forest fire scare here last week. Thankfully, the cooler weather and the rain helped get that fire contained very quickly and it is no longer a threat.

On the knitting front, I'm making good progress with Jeane's socks. One's done and the other is progressing nicely. I was hoping to spend more time knitting yesterday, but when both of us have a day off together, husbands come first, n'est ce pas? Today, he's working, so I have the time to spend with my needles and am looking forward to getting a lot done!

One thing I did do yesterday was to go through the yarn stash in my bedroom. It was getting a little untidy and unruly. John created a little "cat corner" in the bedroom for me (typical Leo.. I like my little cat corners, where I can sit, knit, read or whatever... there aren't enough of those little corners in this house) and when he came to check where I was and what I was doing, I had baskets, yarn and pink bags (the store I work in uses these great pink bags.. they make great project bags, but you can't hide yarn purchases from your husband) spread all around me. Now, I know just how many projects I have on the go (don't ask) and what needs to be worked on next before I start something else. Check it out.

(And, just so you don't get the wrong idea, this is NOT the entirety of my stash; this is the part of the stash that is in my bedroom. There are another couple of boxes and a suitcase of yarn being stored in the garage... I know, not the ideal place for it, but the garage is enclosed and is directly below our bedroom, used mainly for storage, not for vehicles.)

My "cat corner". I love to sit there with a cup of coffee, a magazine or my knitting. With the skylight above, I have plenty of light. This is not the brightest of houses.

Speaking of Jeane's socks, my socks from her arrived here on Monday afternoon. They're beautiful! Here's a picture to show you just how nice they are. They are the Baltic socks from the German sock knitting Yahoo group, Mustersocken (I think I got that right). An interesting little aside... Jeane sent the ball band from the yarn; it's a Canadian yarn... I'm Canadian. Just thought that was kind of interesting.

Once again, thank you, Jeane! You'll have your socks soon.

Friday, August 26, 2005

I forgot to mention....

...where I got this lovely stash enhancement. I ordered it online through Redbird Knits.

I'm off now to work on Jeane's socks. I'm being the typical crafting perfectionist that I usually am. I have the first sock finished, but I'm not totally happy with the toe. I started the second sock, had about 6 rows of ribbing done, opened a box of yarn to show a customer the new Trekking XXL we got in and found a colour I hadn't seen yet. The upshot is, I've started the second sock in the Trekking, so now I'll have to make a third sock in that yarn as well. Oh well, I have myself a sample sock for the new pattern now.

Needless to say, I'm enjoying the Trekking. It's kind of a subtle pink/purple combo that knits up into stripes. As I said, they're subtle, though. The first thing I thought of once I got going with this colour was "Strawberry Fields Forever". It's knitting up nice and soft. I think I could move down a needle size if I really wanted to, but I'm staying with 2.25 mm for the time being. I've finished two pattern repeats and the pattern doesn't get lost in the colour variations, which is a good thing. I'll post a picture when I have the socks done.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Stash Enhancement

I spoiled myself... this is my birthday present to me. It arrived in the mail yesterday. I think I will keep this where I can fondle it at will. Such decadent stuff!

Handmaiden yarns, Angel Hair (70% kid mohair, 30% nylon, 800 m/100 gm), Autumn

Cherry Tree Hill sock weight yarn, Spring Frost and Java

Lorna's Laces, Watercolor and Tuscany

Handmaiden yarns, Silk Floss, Moss Garden, 100% silk

Yum, yum, yum!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Pictures, pictures

This is Noro's Silver Thaw. She is beautiful, no? Now, what do I do with it? She has me intrigued. I've been going through stitch patterns off and on for the last two days and nothing feels right. Perhaps I should just make a toque (stocking cap for you non-Canadians) or mittens. Wouldn't those be decadent??

I noticed this morning that Jeane, my sock exchange partner, has posted a picture of my new socks in the Townsendsocksknitalong photo album. Now, I really can't wait to get those socks on my feet. They're gorgeous! And, to boot, they're in one of my favourite colours! I don't know if Jeane reads my blog or not, but for those of you who do, I've changed my mind since yesterday. Here's a teaser...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

One down, one to go

I'm aching to show you a picture of the sock for my sock exchange partner. I'm really happy with how the design turned out. However, I won't show you until Jeane's seen her socks first. She emailed me this morning to tell me that my socks from her are in the mail already. It's exciting knowing that there's something coming in the mail that isn't a bill. I'm really looking forward to getting these socks; it will be the first pair of handknit socks that someone else made just for me. I love that!

On another note, we've been getting shipments of yarn in at the store. Six large boxes arrived yesterday after the four large boxes we got last week. And some of the yarn is spectacular. One skein of Noro Silver Thaw found it's way into my knitting bag. It hasn't told me what it wants to become yet, though. I've tried casting on for two different projects (yes, I know... another project!) but it made it very clear that it didn't want to be either. Silver Thaw is a combination of merino wool, angora and silk worsted weight yarn if I remember correctly (I don't have the tag in front of me) and it's beautifully soft. The colours, being a Noro yarn, are exquisite. At first, I thought it would make a very nice shrug. I even found a pattern in Knitter's Review (I think that was the name of the magazine..... brain's not functioning too well today) Summer 05 that was in the right gauge. I worked one repeat of the pattern, looked at it and ripped it out. It just didn't work with this yarn. Then, this morning, I cast on for a scarf of my own design. It didn't feel right, either. So now, I'll just have to wait until something screams "Do ME in the Silver Thaw" and keep working on the projects already on the needles.

There was also some lace weight merino from Skacel in one of the boxes. I can't wait to get my fingers into that one. I must admit that almost every box I opened had something that made me drool just a little more. All except the furry yarns, that is. Can't stand those. ;)

I do have an FO to report, too. John's work socks are finally done. For a plain and simple pair of socks, they took long enough to finish. But he has them now and will be wearing them to work with pride on Thursday. Yay!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Sunday morning

(taken this very morning... within the past half hour)

It's another beautiful morning in paradise. The lake is like glass, the sun is shining. And I'm at my computer. There's something wrong with this picture.

I haven't gotten nearly as much knitting done this week as I thought I would. The sock exchange socks have been taking up my time and thoughts. I've finally settled on a pattern and have the heel turned on the first sock. I would have picked up the gusset stitches, but it was getting just a little too dark last night to do a good job. I'll be doing that today. I'll post a picture at some point, but I don't want my sock exchange pal to see them before they're completely done.

I stopped by the other yarn store in town yesterday, just to see if there was anything I simply HAD to have. I also wanted to pick up a couple of 2.25 mm circular needles for the exchange socks. I thought they might be easier to work on two circs because they're a very lacy sock (that's all I'll say for now). However, after giving it a good try, I've decided I really don't like working on two circs. Perhaps it's because I've been using double-pointed needles from the start of my sock making days, but... I'll pass on the two circs. I'll use them for something, I'm sure.

In addition to the circulars, I also picked up a 1 mm crochet hook to aid in beaded knitting. And then there was this....

I love the colours. They knew me by name; they kept calling out to me, wanting to come home with me. How could I say no? It's Marks & Kattens Clown sock yarn, 45% cotton, 40% superwash wool, 15% nylon, colour #1786. They will live in my stash for a little while, but eventually I'll show you what they become when they come off the needles. If any of you have worked with this yarn before, could you let me know what you think of it?

Alright, I'm gone. I'm going to go enjoy this gorgeous day while we have it. I hate to say it, but autumn is just around the corner. We're beginning to feel it in the morning air.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


The knitting's been a little slow over the last couple of days. With my birthday celebration behind me, I do have time to knit, but my wrist has been acting up so I've had to take it easy on the knitting and rest it. Yesterday would have been a perfect knitting day (it was cloudy, chilly and rainy) but there was housework to catch up on, darn it all anyway.

Oh well. I have some design ideas in mind for my sock exchange partner and will be working on that today.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Sock Exchange

I've joined a sock exchange through Jeanie's Townsendsocksknitalong. I've never really joined an exchange before. Well, I did once, but that was for an envelope exchange (rubber stamping related) and I was a little disappointed. I don't think I will be this time. It's socks, after all. You can never have too many socks. I'll be putting my best thinking cap on today to come up with a totally original design for my exchange partner.

Fun, fun, fun.

Speaking of socks, I did finish the first On Butterfly Wings sock and have the pattern written up. I still need to take a picture and put it all together. Then the fun starts. I've been looking into pricing the patterns I write and it really all comes down to the price of printing. Obviously, the more I have printed the cheaper it will be. Right now, I have quotes for about $1.66 per side (with colour) down to $1.38 per side (with colour). If I keep it down to one picture, colour only one one side, that would bring the price down some. In addition, the quotes I have so far are based on 10 copies of two patterns. As I said earlier, more copies, lower price. I'll keep looking at my options. In the meantime, if you think my patterns are worthwhile, tell your LYS to contact me. My email address is stringsnthings at shaw dot ca. (shameless self-promotion, that was)

So, yesterday was my birthday. It should have been a fun day, right? Well, I've postponed the fun till Tuesday. John had to work and it was a longer than usual day, so I got to spend the day with myself. Normally, I'm not bad company but it was hot, I was a little disappointed and, I have to admit, wasn't the best of company. Eventually, I walked to the restaurant John works at (it's just down the road, a 10 minute walk, perhaps), ordered a beer and some spring rolls and waited for him. Unbeknownst to me, he was already off and sitting on the patio with a co-worker. Thankfully, I'd left a note in the car letting him know I was inside, where it was air conditioned. He drove his co-worker home and came back to pick me up. When we got home, he needed a nap. *sigh* I even had my dinner alone. It WAS good food, though... linguine al pesto, made with my own fresh basil. Yumm... one of my faves.

Tuesday, however, we're going out for a lovely dinner to a French restaurant. He took me there for my birthday last year and it was fantastic. If you come to Kelowna and you want an awesome meal, check out Bouchons. Not inexpensive, but definitely worth every penny.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Happy Birthday to me

What does your Birtdate mean?

Your Birthdate: August 14

With a birthday on the 14th of the month (5 energy) you are inclined to work well with people and enjoy them.

You are talented and versatile, very good at presenting ideas, and you are also very good at organization and systematizing.

You may have a tendency to get itchy feet at times and need change and travel.

You tend to be very progressive, imaginative and adaptable.

Your mind is quick, clever and analytical.

A restlessness in your nature may make you a bit impatient and easily bored with routine, and rebel against it.

You have a tendency to shirk responsibility.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peek at my newest sock, On Butterfly Wings.

On a slightly different note, it seems that "Strings 'n Things" is about to become a pattern company. My employer feels that my patterns are definitely saleable and I should consider setting up my own little company to make and sell patterns.

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

An oops and SSS averted

First of all, there are a couple of small mistakes in the Creeping Vines pattern and one small one in the Lacy Rib Baby Socks.

In the Creeping Vines socks, Rows 3 and 13 of the written pattern (only the written pattern; the chart is correct), the last ssk in each of those rows should be k2tog.

In the Lacy Rib Baby socks, the heel flap should have one more row, so you end up with the purl side facing for the heel turning.

I've changed the downloadable patterns in the sidebar, so they are now correct.

Then, that dreaded second sock syndrome did not show it's face this week. I have my completed pair of Creeping Vines socks. Here's the proof....

I'm very pleased with the way they turned out. And, there's a new pair on the needles; I've just gotten past the heel on a new pattern called On Butterfly Wings. I'll post pictures soon.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Note to Karen re Wooden circs

Hi Karen,

I'm thinking that to sharpen the points on anything bigger than 8mm, you could use a knife to sharpen it to a rough point, then sand, sand, sand. Either that, or perhaps your local woodworking shop might be able to help with that... or, do you know any local handyman?? I tried using the knife and carving/sharpening it that way (I remember watching my dad sharpen his carpenter's pencils that way), then sanding it and it did work. The points aren't the straightest, but it did work.

Hope that helps.


P.S. for those of you who have no idea what that was all about, click here.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Lacy Rib Socks

The pattern's been tried; a few changes made. One sock is knitted. I love it! From all appearances, it should fit a baby of about 3-6 months (I have a diagram somewhere of the approximate size of babies' feet; this fits into the 3-6 month diagram).

Care to see??

Close up of the lacy rib patterning

I'm going to work on the second sock today and then may even try to do it smaller yet. The lacy pattern is a simple 6 stitch, 4 row repeat that is easy to memorize and easy to read. I'll have the pattern posted sometime this weekend, most likely.

(Note: the pattern is now in the sidebar... Lacy Rib Baby Socks... in pdf format)

And, just so you know that the dreaded second sock syndrome has NOT gotten hold of me this time, I have two more pattern repeats to do on the foot of the second Creeping Vines sock. I'll post a picture of the completed pair when it's done.

Speaking of the CV socks, someone told me I did them in the wrong colour (which I chose because of the sock name.. creeping vine?? green? Makes sense, no?). If any of you do the socks, send me a picture. I'd love to see how yours turn out. I'd love to see how the pattern looks in different colours. You can send pictures to me at misschief at shaw dot com.

Friday, August 05, 2005

A teaser

My daughter informed my a couple of nights ago that the baby she's carrying is a little girl. To that end, I've decided to re-design the baby sock pattern that I have in the right sidebar. I want something a little more "girly". I have a pattern charted out and somewhat written out. Now, I just need to knit it, make adjustments to the pattern and then I'll post it.

Watch for the pattern, for the moment called "Lacy Rib Baby Socks", within the next week.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Creeping Vines

Wow! The response to my socks has been overwhelming and encouraging. I'm looking forward to seeing what you, out there, do with that pattern.

Thanks to some very generous friends in Townsendsocksknitalong (one of my favourite Yahoo groups... join if you want to meet some very friendly and encouraging knitters), I now have the sock pattern in pdf format as well as in Word format. Normally, I can make pdf files, but for some reason I can only make them through PageMaker. That wouldn't be a problem, usually, as I can cut and paste text from Word to PageMaker. This time, however, there are embedded objects in the file and they don't transfer very well to PageMaker. When I presented this problem to the group, several ladies generously offered to help, and sent me the pattern in pdf format. Thank you, ladies! You are all gems. The pattern has been posted in Jeanie Townsend's group and I've posted it here as well.

Already, there are other ideas swimming around in my brain and it's very hard to pick up the needles for the second Creeping Vines sock. I'm going to do it, though. Yesterday was a very muggy, warm day here in Kelowna and knitting was very hard to do. I got to the third pattern round and for some reason, it just would not work out. My fault, not the pattern's, that I do know. So I frogged it, put it away for the night and plan to take it to work with me this afternoon.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Introducing the "Creeping Vines" Socks

Here's the first sock of the pair. It came off the needles just an hour ago and I think I like it!

All I need to do now is finish writing up the pattern and then knit the second sock. Not necessarily in that order. The pattern is a 22 stitch repeat, so the socks are done on 66 stitches. The heel is worked on 34 stitches and when I did the gusset shaping, I brought the stitch count down to 64 stitches in total for the foot. It's worked in Regia Silk, in a dark green. I love the yarn; I've done a few pairs of socks in it already (it washes very well) and am also using the Regia Silk for the Heavenly Cami.

Once I have the pattern ready, I think I'll post it here. I was debating whether or not to sell it through the store, but seeing as I've gotten some lovely patterns through some of the Yahoo groups I'm in, I've decided to post this pattern here on my blog for anyone who'd like to try it. I should have it up within the next couple of days.

Note: The pattern is now in the sidebar. If you do use this pattern, let me know what you think. If you find any errors or omissions, again, please let me know and I'll make the necessary corrections. If you do make these socks, I'd love to see them!