Sunday, September 30, 2007

September Socks!

I LOVE the colors in my September socks. They are knitted from fingering weight Socks that Rock from Blue Moon Fibers in colorway "Rocktober." This yarn is fabulous (although pricey) to knit with and wears well...I knit a pair from STR last winter. My "Rocktober" socks are done within the month and I am thrilled...lately my knitting has spilled into the next month. Hopefully, this means my life and time schedules are back on track....only time will tell on that.

The leaves are beginning to change color in Central PA and I love this season. Cool, crisp mornings and we have had brilliant sunshine. Of course the downside is that it get dark earlier in the evening but it comes with the territory.

I have joined the Secret of the Stole yahoo group and am anticipating the first clue on Oct. 5. This will be my first project using beads. The designer recommends a plain colored lace yarn but of course I am being different and am using some stash fingering weight hand-painted yarns in shades of grey, purple and blue. I went to the LYS for the beads and bought some purple that are gorgeous with the yarn...however, they are going to be returned. I cannot get the crochet hook through the beads and I refuse to prestring beads onto my yarn. I know I will never finish the project if I am forced to use that method.

So, I went to Earthfaire and found some purple irridescent beads with blue inside. They should arrive this week and I hope they work. If not, I am going to knit the stole without beads. JoAnne's did not have any that would work.

As for socks I think my next pair will be from Trekking XXL twist in very muted shades of olive, brown, camel, and a little purple (at least it looks purple to me). Am interested how they will pattern. I tried to photograph the yarn but it looked like a blob in the picture. Hopefully, the socks will come out better in the photo.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Emma's Hat

Isn't this toddler hat cute? It is being modeled by a stuffed floppy Golden Retriever puppy. I knitted it for my great-niece Emma who was born last November...even though she was not supposed to make her appearance until late January. Guess she didn't want to miss the holidays. And she didn't...the hospital released her to her parents on Dec. 24. A wonderful present for all of us!

This little hat is knit in Aran weight domestic wool from Kraemer Yarns in Nazareth, PA. Almost a hometown yarn company as they are located about 3 hours away.

The pattern is from the wonderful knitting book Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I LOVE this book and plan to make a few other patterns from it this fall and winter. I love the eyelet row that has the icord woven through it! I think it makes the hat extra cute!!

I have enough of the yarn remaining to knit a hat one size larger for a co-workers niece who will soon be one. I was closing in on the decreasing but somehow I had an extra stitch. I got frustrated with it so I frogged the hat and will start again tonight. I hope I have enough yarn and if I do there won't be any to spare.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Disappointing Yarn Shop Visit

Spent this past weekend in Washington, D.C. for "training" for my job. The training was so-so but the weather, walking in the neighborhoods with their beautiful townhomes, and the restaurants and pubs were fabulous.

I decided to visit Stitch DC while in town. Stitch DC has three shops -- one in Georgetown, a second on Capitol Hill which is where I was staying/working, and a third in Maryland. I trekked to the Capitol Hill shop and discovered it to be as disappointing as the one in Georgetown. I called in advance to ask about sock yarn and was told they had "lots of it." Well, ya, they do but come on folks it takes TWO small skeins to knit a pair of socks...and they had quite a number of single skeins and gave me a blank look when I asked for the matching one.

The shop mainly sells sweater yarns, magazines and did have a lot of nice new knitting books. The young women who worked there was very friendly but I could tell was not a sock knitter. I didn't buy anything which goes against my own rule of always buying something in a LYS. Our support is how they stay in business. But, there was nothing...not one thing...I wanted to buy. So after spending a half hour there and exchanging plensantries I left empty handed.

I did finish Emma's hat and will post its photo in a few days. Am hoping to finish the second September sock this weekend and will also post its photo in the next email. I have enough yarn from Emma's hat to make another one so am knitting it for a co-worker's niece who will be 1 in a few weeks. Details to folllow....

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Autumn Weather is Here (at least for now)

The temps dropped somewhat in the past two days. Overnight there was a storm somewhere that caused high winds during the middle of the night. Translation: we had a 100 pound Golden in bed with us. Brandeis who is 11 1/2 has always been terrified of the wind and when there is thunder mixed in...he just doesn't do well. Here is a photo I took of them last Saturday waiting for a treat from their daddy. From the left is Teddy Bear, age 4; Stratton, age 8; and Brandeis, age 11 1/2.
Today's skies are sunny and the air is cool...a perfect day for football and hummm...perhaps the first handmade pair of socks for the season??

I am finishing my second sock from Socks that Rock colorway "Rocktober" and expect to complete it on Monday while riding the train from Harrisburg to Washington, D.C. Will be in the Capitol until Friday morning at a conference. Really don't want to go but wasn't given a choice. Well, I could have pushed more but have to go eventually so might as well do it now.

Also am knitting a wool multi-colored hat for Emma my great-niece. They will be moving to upstate New York -- Fort Drum to be precise -- and she is going to need warm things to wear. This is a cute hat pattern that goes quickly. I didn't have a 16" circular needle in size 8 so I got out the longer size 8 DPNs and it works perfectly. No reason to spend money on a circular needle with the others are already in the case.

My next socks are going to be a dark green/grey Trekking XXL. My description of the lovely yarn does not even come close to doing it justice. I think they will be a great wardrobe addition.

Our local knitting group the Penns Valley Area Knitters hosted a surprise Baby Shower for Misty, one of our knitters, during Thursday night's meeting. Most surprises never are truly a surprise but this one was! Check the updated photos on the group' s website. Also, if you are one of our knitters who reads this blog, please go to the website and look at the information for the Sept. 27 meeting. It is going to be held at Inn on the Sky which is only a few miles from our usual spot. The directions are on the site.

Now I must go get ready for the Penn State/Buffalo football game. Won't be nearly as exciting as last week's Penn State/Notre Dame game but will still be a lot of fun.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Yarn Hunger Strike! TRANSLATION: I'm Knitting From Stash

I am taking the concept of a "yarn diet" one giant step further -- I am going on a "yarn hunger strike." Why? Because I have such a huge stash I won't even show it to my best knitting buddies. Do these statements strike fear in your hearts? How did I end up thinking this way? Organizing over the long Labor Day Weekend gave me pause to think and reconsider the amount of yarn I was buying.

Wouldn't be so bad if I had more time to knit. The new job, although enjoyable and fulfilling, is also time filling. Fortunately, my Golden Retrievers seem to be healed or on the mend and please God keep them well. Their nursing care took a lot of time this summer, but I needed to care for them and they certainly needed their momma.

I have plenty of sock yarn to keep me busy for years, others for sweaters and the like, and still some for baby items. I am going to knit from stash until I get to a reasonable amount of yarn. No ifs, ands or buts about it. The only yarn I am going to purchase is from The Loopy Ewe because I am part of her Sock Club and there are two more installments. Maybe by the time Spring arrives I will be brave and sign up for next year's Sock Club. Sheri does a fabulous job!

It is hot and humid again here today. What happened to those cooler temps of a few weeks ago? But, I am going to try to complete a second sock tonight. It will soon be time enough to wear hand-knitted socks. They do feel wonderful.