Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Decent Dishcloth

My goal for Memorial Day Weekend was to finish the Baby Shrug and finish section 11 of Curlicue. June is well, here, and I have a plan. This plan did not include the Baby Shrug and Curlicue so I have some editing to do for my plan. Dishcloths were also not a part of the plan, any plan, for that matter. But while in Michigan I saw my mom's ripped up and worn out dishcloth and I thought hmmm, I know what to do for a thank you gift.

There is one handknit that my mom likes more than any other handknit, and that is the basic garter stitch dishcloth. All my life she has used these and swears by them. I learned the pattern as a kid, but in the 20+ years I have been knitting, I haven't made her any since. The ones she had left were crap, so a trip to Walmart and for less than $3 I had two balls of Peaches & Cream cotton. I whipped out two dishcloths and left them hanging in the (Finnish) bird feeders outside. When she finally saw them, she practically jumped for joy. "I can't find these anywhere!" Hey, what happened to the church craft fairs with all the knitting grannies and their dishcloths?

20 years of knitting. A taste for fancy shmancy yarns. $3 at Walmart. Sheesh, Christmas is so easy this year.


Finnish Feet

This past Memorial Day Weekend, Hotty Hubby, Cashew and I took our first trip to Michigan. Most of my family still lives in the U.P. (Yah, eh!). It was such a nice change of pace to be around trees instead of buildings! We stayed at my parents cottage and the cottage is Finnish. Everything in it is from Finland. Everything. The furniture, the dishes, the towels, even the toothpaste. Both my parents are part Finnish, but it has really been something for my mom to travel to Finland and find the other half of her family that did not come to America. So the cottage is a storybook of all her trips and a little bit...a lotta bit... of Finland. And of course, a fiber enthusiasts dream house. In our bathroom we found these socks handknit by our relative Helga who is 89 years old. Knowing my mom, they were for decoration, as much as she appreciates handknits, she doesn't really wear them.

The first morning we walk downstairs to a table set with all of Finland's finest and my mom says "Did you see your socks?" And we said "Yes", "Aren't they nice" and "We won't spill anything on them". And she says "Do you have them on?" Uh... then she shows me her feet. She has on her socks made by Helga. Helga has her special cuff which is a little wide which my mom says is very inviting. I got a kick out of that and being the knitter that I am, gave them a full inspection to see what exactly Helga did. (I think I figured it out and am saving the info for a pair of socks that I am going to knit...soonish...)

So then my Dad comes in and whaddyaknow, he has a pair of Helga Socks, too. Well you don't have to twist my arm, I don't need to tell you that I'm all for handknit socks! What a great idea to have a couple pairs for guests. We can all shuffle around with our Finnish Feet, enjoying coffee and pullah and a breeze off the lake.

Suits me just fine!


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I Wanna Play!

Ok. I have seen this "7 Random Things" post at least 10 times and not one person has tagged me. What's with people not tagging? That's not how this blog spam works! Here's my list, and oh, I'm not going to tag anyone. If you want to indulge in exposing your quirks and things that make you go hmmmm, you can jump off that bridge all by yourself. *snort* So being the exhibitionist that I am, I'm jumping off with a big bell hop.

1. My degree is a BFA in Dance with an emphasis in Choreography.

2. I was a Lindy Hop dancer. In fact, in 1999, I won the American Lindy Hop Championship in the Classic Division. I have traveled all over the country performing this American art form. I was only dropped on my head once and suffered a mild concussion. It would be cool to say that it happened while competing but the truth is, there were margarita's involved.

3. My picture was on the back of the Purina Cat Chow box, Indoor Formula. Oh look, they still use the picture on the website.

4. Hotty Hubby and I love karaoke. We only sing karaoke in our neighborhood frat bar. It's mostly locals and you know, everybody knows your name. Sometimes I bring a cowbell, or a plastic recorder like what fifth graders have to play. It's stupidly fun.

5. Hotty Hubby and I met on Friendster. I bookmarked him.

6. I watch UFC fights. It's mostly Hotty Hubby's thing, but the Randy Couture vs Tim Silvia fight was awesome. I knit while watching men kick some ass. Good times.

7. I am very organized. In my head.

I'm tagging Nicole, Debbie, Allena and...Penelope...I think those are the only people who's blogs have been without the randomness. Anyone else who hasn't been tagged, by golly, get yer guts up on yer blog!

Now I have to get back to my knitting. Ta ta.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Red Hot

Red hot socks for Cashew! I did finally finish these. I am trying to perfect infant socks - getting the heel the right length, how long should the decreases go for the toe. It really comes down to one thing, knitting faster. Those little feet become bigger feet fast!

These socks are based on this pattern, but I've been messing with the pattern. I made the cuff longer, the heel longer, did the gusset decreases like a regular sock, same with the toe and did a kitchener finish. They look a little pointy in this photo, partly because they are not blocked, a tad too big, and well yah, they are just pointy. The yarn is an extra skein of Koigu that I had from Hila's socks.

Baby Shrug is almost complete and Curlicue is not!


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Turtle

Apparently I am the slowest knitter ever. Le sigh. As much fun as I have reading Penelope's and Tina's blogs, I'm starting to get depressed from them. I thought I had good finger dexterity, but I guess I am lacking in caffeine. Seriously, what are you gals taking? Maybe I need to practice Continental. Throwing the yarn is taking up too many precious milliseconds.

Curlicue, officially starting section 11. There are 15 sections total. I want to finish this project by May 31 so I can start fresh with new projects for my June Plan.

I'm up to the sleeve shaping for the baby shrug. This also must be finished by May 31. Allena gave me the cute project bag for my birthday! She sews them herself and rumor has it she will be selling them soon.

My plan was to try and have these done for the Sock Exchange so that Cashew could wear them. Clearly that didn't happen. If it takes me until May 31 to finish these I will be very embarrassed.

(BTW - Cashew is modeling her Lacy Bonnet here. )

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

My Rockin' Celebration

When I look at this yarn, I think of the word covet. Socks That Rock have been the definition of covet for about a year. I don't know why it has taken me this long to get my hands on some. Perhaps it's because I know this stuff is knitting crack. Geez, my first purchase is 5 skeins. Not one skein, FIVE. But it was my birthday and a little more yarn rammed into my stash pile is better than drugs. Not that I was considering anything more addictive than yarn, but you know what I'm sayin'.

So from left to right, colorways are Downpour, Puck's Mischief, Lunasea, Scottish Highlands and Covelite. All in lightweight. Art direction by Hotty Hubby.

I have come up with a plan for June. It will help me get going on weaving, knitting and crochet projects. Yes, many projects. Big ones. For Mother's Day, Hotty Hubby got me the yarn for this. What a guy!!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

May 11, 2006 Hunky Boyfriend surprises me with a trip to Paris. Life is good!

June, 2006 Hunky Boyfriend and I talk about our future and talk about looking at rings. Neato!

July 13, 2006 Dinner with my girlfriends. Complain about PMS over a glass of wine, yadda yadda yadda. Chum casually mentions that I should take a pregnancy test, since PMS and early pregnancy are a lot alike. Yah, right.

Later That Evening, July 13, 2006 On the way home, decide to stop at CVS for a pregnancy test and a vitamin water.

20 Minutes Later, July 13, 2006 Stare at " + " sign. Grab purse and decide to get the digital test. Walk all over my neighborhood, all pharmacy's are out of digital test. Sweaty and a little more frazzled, end up at original CVS where I bought first test. End up with the same check out person.

Midnight, July 13, 2006 Digital pregnancy test mocks me with blank spot before the word "pregnant". Call Hunky Boyfriend who is in LA.

July 14, 2006 Leave Doctor's office with a sonogram of a blob and a prescription for vitamins.

August, 2006 Take a much needed vacation to Bermuda. While there, Hunky Boyfriend and I decide we'll get married before the baby comes. Woo hoo!

September & October, 2006 Plan a wedding.

November 17, 2006 The night before our wedding, Hunky Boyfriend proposes.

November 18, 2006 Hunky Boyfriend becomes Hotty Hubby.

November 19 - 26, 2006 Honeymoon in Italy. Take home 11 skeins of cashmere. Poor me!

December, 2006 Holidazed

January, 2007 Crack down on getting ready for baby. Order enough toilet paper, paper towels, soap and batteries to take care of an army. That "nesting" thing is nuts!

February, 2007 Decide to buy an apartment. Start losing my mind.

March 16, 2007 Welcome Anastasia to the world!

April, 2007 Get very little sleep but don't care. Yay!

May 11, 2007 Breathe. Reflect. Decide that such a big year needs a ROCKIN' CELEBRATION!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

One More Time, With Feeling

Debbie Bliss Baby Shrug. Cashmerino Aran. Let's try this again...


Monday, May 07, 2007

Secret Knitting Makes Me Giddy

At last, the Sit n' Knit Sock Exchange! My secret knitting is finally revealed. First, the packaging. All part of the fun, me thinks. My "Secret Feet" likes black, gray and red...

So of course I found a box that is black and white so the red will pop. Of course, of course.

The pattern - Grumperina's Roza's Socks from Interweave Knits Spring 2007. Koigu KPM in color 1110. I pretty much followed the pattern as written. I used us2 needles to make sure they were nice and stretchy. Maybe too stretchy? I figure it's better to go a tad big than a tad small.

The look on Hila's face when she opened the box made me all warm and fuzzy. She whipped off her sandals and put the socks on immediately.


And just to prove that I really did knit them ... here's a photo from our daily walk to Charles Schurz Park. Cashew sleeps, I knit.

Being a Sock Exchange, I didn't just knit for someone else...

Chanin made me a pair of Monkey socks! LOVE! I have been eyeing this pattern so I am absolutely delighted. The yarn is Koigu though I am not certain of the colorway.

I put them on immediately (with one hand, thankyouverymuch), wore them all day and all evening. I took them off right before I went to bed. Now they are waiting to be washed so I can wear them again. Thank you, Chanin!

I wasn't sure how I would end up liking a sock exchange. Wouldn't I feel bad if someone complimented me on my socks and I couldn't say that I knit them? (Ego, anyone?) In the end, I didn't feel that way at all. We all want our recipients of hanknits to "ooh" and "ahh". This was a guaranteed audience. We all understood the skill that went into knitting so it was a fantastic display of talent with complete appreciation. Definitely doing this again! (If you want to see photos from our little party, you can find them here.)

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Blown Away

Today at the Sit n' Knit Sock Exchange party I was the recipient of a wonderful surprise!

My knitting buddies had secretly knit a blanket for Anastasia. I am simply blown away.

It was a lot of work to put this together! Turns out they had started this project in the fall and had been secretly meeting. They even referred to themselves as "The Blanketeers".

I was honestly moved to tears.

Thank you so much! I think this is one of the coolest blankets ever!

(Most of them anyway, a few participants are missing from this photo.)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

It's Over

My affair with the Baby Shrug ended tragically. I could no longer go on living in denial. It just wasn't going to work. (And there's a reason you should do a gauge swatch.)

Feeling down and embarrassed (I mean, I know better! But my eagerness got in the way. I couldn't drink, so I knit. Carelessly.) I console myself by whipping up a swatch for something else. The Debbie Bliss Matinee Coat. In pink.

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