Monday, July 30, 2007


I'm in! I'm in! Oh boy oh boy! I can spend hours looking around this place! Now I just have to set up a Flicker account and start setting up some photos in there so I can import them into my Ravelry notebook.

So what is Ravelry? Good question. It's a knitting/crocheting organizational website. I can keep a list of patterns I want to try someday, a list of what needles I own, and the yarn I already have. Plus, it keeps a log of the completed and in-progress projects. Very cool.

In other news, I'm working on the sole of the Jaywalker sock. It's going along quite nicely... I love that I can pick it up and just mindlessly knit. I'm also up to clue 2 on MS3. I know I'm way way behind most of the others who are knitting this (most are at clue 4) however I can only knit it once the girls are in bed. I figure slow and steady is just fine. I thought I would get a lot done at the cabin this weekend, but we stayed up late chatting with Adam's sister and I just couldn't concentrate on the conversation and the knitting for some reason. Just too stressed out I think!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Do Overs

I found out that although my Canon apparently doesn't like the Microsoft XP upgrade, my husband's work camera doesn't seem to mind it at all. So I retook all the pictures I did yesterday. Minus the cute toddler in overalls though.

Here's a picture of the in-progress Jaywalker in Austermann Step. I really like how easy this pattern is. It's a welcome break from knitting Mystery Stole 3. The best part is I can read while knitting it! Granted, I can't read as fast as I normally do but it doesn't seem to slow down my knitting all that much. It's kind of a mindless knit.

I took out some of my stash looking for a great yarn to use for my Sock It To Me sock pal. She likes blues and greens so I took out some possibilities. This Wool of the Woods yarn actually has some more blues and greens than you see here. Very pretty jewel colors. The only downside is that it is pretty nubbly so I'm not sure how that would feel on your feet.... It's also a tad thick for lace patterns.

Then there's this Panda Wool bamboo that I love. I was thinking I would do the body of the sock in the varigated and then do the toe and heel in the green. However, the skeins are tiny and I'd have to go back and get more.

And then, there's this. Lorna's Laces in IceHouse. I like the idea of knitting something that is representative of where I live. And honestly, you don't get much more northern Wisconsin that IceHouse. In the winter (and winter lasts a good 9 months) on the shores of Lake Superior, the wind is bitter cold and you feel like you live in an icebox. Unfortunately my LYS only had one skein, so I have to wait for it to come in. I guess that gives me lots of time to browse patterns!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Oh I am mad...

I am mad. I am very mad. I've taken some pictures the last two days and cannot upload them to my computer. Every time I connect my camera to the computer it says "USB Device Not Recognized." It seems that when I updated Microsoft XP on both my home and work computers, something makes it not recognize the Plug and Play option on my camera. Nothing I do seems to help. I went to the Canon website and tried a number of things. Downloading a new driver - check. Unplugging USB and restarting the computer - check, duh. Closing down the printer also attached by USB - weird, but check. It's not the USB cord since I've used 2 different ones. It's not the computer.

I don't know what else to do. Does anyone have any ideas? I really don't want to have to take my card into the store everytime I want to download pictures. I also don't really want to buy a card reader just because XP is being stupid.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Jump on the Jaywalker Bandwagon

I jumped on the bandwagon. I started making the Jaywalker socks by Grumperina and I love them. Love. Love. Love. I'm using Austermann Step Yarn, it's the stuff with aloe and jojoba in it. It produces very slow color changes so you get large stripes. I have the red, black and grey colorway, which I like but I'm not sure what I'll do with. The socks will probably get thrown into the closet for a Christmas gift.

I know I owe the blog pictures, but I haven't had time to take them or download what's already on there.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

MS3 Is Kicking My Butt

So what do you do when your house is a mess? Sit and Knit! (or tink anyway) It's OK that I'm far behind everyone. I've had a lot going on lately and don't really have a ton of time to knit at night. I really can't knit this lace project when the girls are awake. I'm scared to death that I'll stop to help Addie out and Lily will race across the room with my lace, ripping stitches as she goes. So I'm OK with just being to the upper 1/4 of the first clue of my stole, even though Clue 3 will be released in 2 days. I can justify my slowness.

What I'm not OK with is having to tink (knit backwards - i.e. unknit) out rows because I made a mistake 5 rows back. This is not a fun project to have to tink, it goes very slowly. The only consolation is that I love saying the word "tink," even just in my head. It makes me smile. Maybe it's the Tinkerbell connotation or maybe I just like the sound of it, I'm really not sure. Tink, tink, tink. I tink I'll tink some more.

Whew, after a ton of tinking I think I figured out my problem. I didn't jump ahead a row like I thought I did, I did two pattern rows twice. Or maybe I skipped a row. Honestly I have no idea. Yes, you would think this would be immediately apparent, but not necessarily in lace. I was at the point in my tinking that I started thinking that it would just be easier to rip the entire 120 rows out and start over. Since I'm kicking myself for not changing the pattern to a Slip 1 at the beginning of every row, this thought was very appealing. Luckily I found the mistake.

Pictures tomorrow? Maybe.

Monday, July 9, 2007

How I Started Knitting

I'm a sucker for a challenge. This question was posed by the Sock It To Me leader. One lucky participant will win yarn. Really cool yarn. Socks That Rock yarn. Yarn that I desperately want and have never bought.

I started knitting at the cabin. The cabin belongs to my in-laws and is located on a very nice lake in Wisconsin. I don't remember the exact year, but I think Adam and I were already married. I'm not exactly sure about this as I know I was at my parents house prior to that trip to the cabin. Somehow I left my cross-stitch either at our apartment or at my parents house (little hazy on the details!) I do remember that Gabe and Sara were at the cabin with us along with my in-laws. Since I cannot sit still and do nothing and it's hard to read when there are that many people around (and considered rude when you have guests!) I had to pick some new cross-stitch up at the Ben Franklin in town (that being the only place in town at that time that had crafty type things to buy). Unfortunately (or fortunately I guess) there weren't any cross-stitch patterns there. However, they had a decent selection of yarn, knitting needles and one lone book on How to Knit. I have no idea why I picked knitting over crochet, I just did.

So I brought my 2 balls of worsted weight, size 8 needles, the book, and a vague idea that I would knit a scarf back to the cabin. My mother-in-law and Sara both knew how to knit, but hadn't done so in many years. So between them and the book I was able to figure it out. I hated it at first. The yarn was scratchy and the knitting gave me a tension headache. For some reason I stuck it out. I never finished the scarf though. I ripped it out and the yarn still sits in my stash.

From there, I made quite a few scarves and hats for people for Christmas. I also started a chenille blanket that I figured I would just make a lot of squares and blanket stitch them together. I had no pattern, just made it up as I went along. I never finished the blanket, the squares are extremely dense... I didn't have any idea that the yarn was too thick for my size 8s. I just started picking up patterns and yarn, never really understanding what gauge was or why my items sometimes didn't quite turn out the correct size. If I didn't like the yarn that was called for, I just picked up something different. Ignorance is bliss I guess! Looking back, it's pretty amazing that I had enough success with knitting that I continued.

I'm Pretty Sure I'm Insane

Yep, I'm crazy. I've been reading other people's blogs a lot lately. Including the Yarn Harlot and another Jess. Now the Yarn Harlot does lots of very intricate knitting and just because she signs up for something doesn't mean that I would. She's light years ahead of me in her knitting and seems to be crazy-fast. However, enough non-professionals mentioned this thing that I went to check it out. It's called MS3 or Mystery Stole 3. Basically you start knitting something, but you only see a small section at a time. To make matters worse, it's in lace weight and you get 100 rows (or so) at a time. Now I've knitted lace before, just not in lace weight yarn.

So I blindly went out and bought 1200 yards of lace weight yarn and some needles.

I'm on row 53. I've got to get caught up! The main problem is that I cannot knit this with the girls around. First, I need to concentrate on the pattern. Second, I need to concentrate so that slippery tiny thin yarn doesn't slip off the needles. Thirdly, if the girls see my knitting and someone tries to play with it all will very easily be lost. I will cry if they rip out my lace. I have to stop every few rows to admire what I've done so far. It is amazingly beautiful. I'm not overly impressed with my own skills at knitting with lace weight, but I'm fairly confident that most of my issues will block itself out. Maybe.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Sock It To Me Questionaire

  1. What are your foot measurements? (Please give shoe size, length and circumference.) Shoe size - 7 1/2, Length - 9 1/2 inches, circumference around ball of foot - 9 inches
  2. How long have you been knitting? How would you rate your experience? (Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced.) I've been knitting for about 5 years I think. I would guess that I'm probably intermediate to advanced. I've done some fairly intricate Christmas stockings, 2 baby sweaters, socks, lace patterns, etc. The only things that scare me are steeking and super complicated fair isle. I'm a somewhat slow knitter, it probably doesn't help that I rarely get to knit unless it's 9pm after my girls have gone to bed and the dishes are done.
  3. What is your favorite color? Your least favorite color? Favorite color - probably shades of blue. I like greens and soft muted colors. Least Favorite - neon colors. While I wear red and yellow and some orange, I wouldn't necessarily wear them together.
  4. Do you have a favorite fiber? What type? Not really, I prefer natural fibers.
  5. Do you have any allergies to certain fibers? No
  6. Do you have an Amazon, or other type of, wishlist? (If so, provide the link.) No, but my girls do! :)
  7. What techniques, if any, would you like to learn? I usually teach myself new techniques, just follow the pattern or read several to get the idea of what I want to do. I would like to do complicated color stranding at some point. I also want to do a mitered blanket but just haven't found something that really interests me enough to take on a large project.
  8. Do you have a sweet tooth? What are your favorite snacks? Definitely! I prefer dark chocolate. My youngest is allergic to dairy so I try to stick to dark chocolate since it usually doesn't have milk in it. I also developed a love of Soy Delicious ice cream while breastfeeding her. I love ice cream! salty/sweet combinations are always good. I love potato chips but try to stay away from them. :)
  9. What is your family situation? (Children, Husband, Pets...etc.) I have a husband, 2 children and a cat. The girls are almost 3 and 15 months.
  10. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Metal, plastic or wood? Depends upon the project but usually circular and metal. Although some socks just knit better in wood.
  11. Besides socks, what are your favorite items to knit? Baby booties and baby hats. I make hats for our local nurseries. I love baby items because they're so fast (and I just love babies).
  12. Is there a pattern, (sock or otherwise), that you are dying to try? The Cookie A knee socks. I covet those with a flirty short skirt! I also would love to knit a sweater for myself someday - all my knits are gifts it seems.
  13. Do you like to read? What are you reading currently? I love to read. Currently I'm reading a Nora Roberts book and I have the 2nd in the Septimus Heap Series, Flyte waiting to be read. I also travel 2 hours a day bringing the girls to daycare so I listen to books on CD a lot.
  14. Do you collect music? (On an iPod or MP3 player.) Not really. My husband has an ipod, but I don't have one yet.
  15. What kind of music do you listen to? top 40 mostly
  16. Is there anything you collect? Does yarn count? I like the Willow Tree angels.
  17. What are your hobbies, aside from knitting? Scrapbooking, I'm a Creative Memories consultant so I love scrapbooking. Taking pictures of my girls, Reading, Playing with my girls.
  18. Are you participating in any other swaps or knit alongs? I am in Sockapalooza 4.
  19. Do you have a favorite scent? Lemon and lavendar. I don't really wear perfume.
  20. When is your birthday? (You don't have to add the year if you don't want to, LOL.) September 11, 1977 - it's my 30th birthday this year.

For those of you who are slightly confused as to why I would be telling you this, I'm participating in another Sock Swap and these are answers that are supposed to help my sock pal get to know me.

Baby Jack

Our friends Stacy and John had a beautiful little boy on Sunday. He was born by C-Section 5 weeks early. All is well with Jack and his Mommy and Daddy and they went home yesterday. While we were waiting for the news on Sunday I knit this little bootie using size 0's and Crystal Palace Yarn Bamboo Yarn. The pattern is the one I used before. It took me approximately 2 1/2 hours to knit this one. Thank goodness the girls took a long nap that day! As you can see by my hand, the bootie is tiny and it's still too big for little Jack.

Sockapalooza 4 Is In The Bag

As the first fireworks were going off last night I finished the socks for Sockapalooza 4. In fact, as my hubby was saying, "let's go outside and see if we can see the fireworks from here," I was saying, "I just need to weave in this one end!"

This is the best picture I could get of the socks enjoying the fireworks. Unfortunately, hubby's shirt (yes, he really is wearing camo shorts with a Hawaiian print shirt) glows more than the socks and the fireworks are non-existent in this picture. Trust me, they were barely visible over the tops of the trees. I wanted to take the socks down to Lake Superior but it was just too late and the kids were sleeping. Maybe I'll take a field trip later. It's kind of a shame that we live 2 blocks off the lake and the socks haven't been there yet.

More sock photos. This one makes the toes look not quite right, but it's because the socks are too big for me. You really don't get the whole effect on my feet.

And finally, the cat looking at the reason she didn't have as much room on my lap as usual. Poor Aggie has to share room on my lap with a sock and a ball of yarn. Darn pokey needles touch her sometimes too.