Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Feed Me Seymour

This picture kind of gives me the feeling that this flower bud is hungry and looking for food. I can imagine seeing teeth if the bud opened up right now and that the hungry thing would gobble up anything in its path.

My boss gave me the amaryllis bulb planted in a blue mixing bowl at Christmas time. The flower has finally started to bud and bloom. So I have pointed the camera and taken a couple pictures to share. Hopefully this spring and summer I will get some better chances to take some flower pictures. I think these came out pretty good considering I took them at the kitchen table in the middle of the afternoon.

I really love the way the red velvety texture of the petals came through in photos and the way the background blurs and goes to an almost black. I am starting to get a better handle on the mechanics of my camera. Once I get all that figured out - I'll have to figure out all the artistry involved too. I know I still have a long way to go.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Lizard Ridge - Yet Another Square

Well I've started to slow down on the rate I'm churning out these afghan squares. But I haven't completely stopped and I'm sure it will pick up again shortly!

the square I've got here is out of Kureyon #182 and is full of nice bright colors. You can see that the colors in this square have less crisp definition than some of the others I have done. But it is still pretty none the less.

I have a feeling I'll get all the squares done for this about mid summer - when the thought of having a wool afghan across my legs is not pleasing at all. But I can always set it aside until fall.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Fiber Friday - No Dieting Here

I have decided that a yarn diet is just not going to work for me. I mean who was I trying to fool? Diets of any kind have never worked for me. And a self imposed yarn diet is no exception. Honestly, as far as diets go, a yarn diet is probably the least important I could even attempt.

I figure as long as I keep everything reasonable and I'm still able to meet all my obligations, and nothing is suffering because I'm buying yarn, there should be no problem. Besides, nothing is that bad for you with a little moderation, right?

I was out running some errands last weekend and one of my stops was next to an AC Moore. So I decided to stop in and see if anything good was lurking around on the shelves.

I found this cotton you are looking at in the clearance bins. It is King Tut cotton. I had never heard of it before, but it feels pretty good and the price was right. The skeins are 182 yards/100 grams. It has a really nice sheen. I assume it is mercerized though the label doesn't say, but it does indicate it can go through a washing machine. Which I always think is a plus.

The night before this diet busting trip, I was browsing through my Mason Dixon Knitting book and was admiring the Nina Shawl. I was thinking that a Nina Shawl made in cotton would be great for the office in the summer. Our office is like an ice box all summer. I think whoever is in charge of the thermostat at the office needs to have a thyroid check done. I have to keep at least one wrap or sweater available at all times. So I figured I would add the shawl to my list of projects to do sometime.

So, how luck can a girl be? I just happen to stop by a shop and the clearance bin is holding a yarn that will be great for a project I'm wanting to get started. I just had to go ahead and get it.

The colors are nice and springy - so I think they will work well together in the stripes of the shawl. And since I don't think I'll need it until spring, I have plenty of time to worry about getting finished.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


What you are looking at is what is left of my snowflake socks. I just couldn't make the pattern work. I was trying to use an eyelet stitch pattern from one of Barbara Walker's books. It just didn't want to work for me.

I did everything I know to do. The stitch pattern was of course written for flat knitting. So I followed the steps to convert it to a pattern for knitting in the round. All the wrong side rows had to be rewritten. I even created a chart to make sure I was doing it correctly. I found the part of the pattern that was the actual repeat and not the actual stitches.

But somewhere, something wasn't working out right. It could have been my translation of the pattern or it could have been something I was doing while knitting. But now we'll never know. I've frogged the sock and moved on. My goal was to complete the socks for the January Socktopia assignment. I have a few day left to try and get that done. I am still going to use the same yarn, but I'm settling for a simple garter rib pattern. We'll see how far I get over the weekend.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Freeze Frame

As you might guess from today's pictures I've discovered a new feature on my camera. I can take action shots! Pretty cool huh? It is great for taking pictures of something moving fast and just freeze something in motion. Now, these pictures aren't yet perfection, but I thought I'd share anyway.

This is something that my old camera just didn't do very well - usually the pictures came out blurry and the shutter speed was just so slow.

Every time the shutter release was pressed, I'd be waiting for the darn camera to take a picture. Not a big deal if I was trying to take pictures of yarn or people agreeing to stand still. But if I was trying to capture something more fleeting, I almost always missed the shot and ended up with an empty frame for a picture.

I haven't had many opportunities to use this feature yet and taking a picture of someone watching a basketball game is less than intriguing. That is usually what the other "subject" at my house is up to.

So, to this point all the practice I have had is taking pictures of Sherman running around the house and yard.

He really isn't built for speed and agility competitions. But I do like seeing the big guy lope across the yard. He kind of leans into his run and lets his tongue hang out. I love that he just puts all he has into it. He also doesn't have much stamina. He poops out quickly. Which is kind of nice though, he always comes back in the house ready for a nap!

He also has floppy ears and a bunch of loose skin around his face and jowls. So the motion of running creates kind of a wind tunnel effect on all of that excess and produces some funny faces. Now I can try and capture them and share.

I'm sure you all aren't as interested in Sherman as I am - and I don't expect anyone to be so, I promise that as I'm learning my new camera that all my pictures won't be of Sherman.

This last photo shows one of the faces I'm talking about.

I've got some other ideas that could create some interesting pictures using this feature on the camera. And I'll probably share them here if anything good comes up.

The ABC posts I was doing last year are all finished - I got all the way through the alphabet. So this year I will be left to posting and taking pictures of things I find interesting. I am going to be learning new stuff about my camera and posting as I do. So if it gets too boring just let me know.

I did join an additional blog to help fill the void of the ABC Along. It is called Do You Have One of These. The idea is kind of a cross between a scanvenger hunt and photo-journalism. Everyone in the group takes pictures of a same thing or idea and posts for all to see. There are a lot of familiar faces over there for me, so I probably won't post my pictures for there over here.

The first assignment we had was to photograph the stop sign closest to our house. The most recent is called Camera Shy and we are supposed to set the timer on our camera for two seconds and take a picture of us running away from the camera. The idea for this came from this guy's blog: Running From Camera.

These pictures of Sherman came from the "photo shoot" we had yesterday for Camera Shy. we actually had a lot of fun running around the yard. Brad even participated, although I promised I wouldn't blog his picture.

If you haven't already checked out Do You Have One of These - go take a look.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Fiber Friday - Special Blauband

I am currently using this yarn to make a pair of socks for the Socktopia Knit Along. The yarn is Froehlich Special Blauband. The color is 7436. Each skein is 50gm/225 yards and comes with a card of matching darning/reinforcing yarn. The picture shows the sole of the sock I'm currently knitting, the yarn in the skein and the darning yarn off to the right side.

So far I really like knitting with this yarn and it is knitting up into a really nice feeling fabric. I bought this quite a while ago when knitting socks was just a mere dream. The LYS had a couple skeins so I picked them up. I've never seen any more in the shop. If you know where to get some let me know.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Lizard Ridge - Half Way There!

Well the squares keep coming and there are still quite a few to go, but surprisingly I haven't gotten tired of knitting these yet. This square is out of Kureyon #92.

This square is Kureyon #78. I got it at the LYS and there was only this one left on the shelf. I had never seen this color before - and I'm not surprised to find some left over - not my favorite. I can't imagine a whole sweater in this color! It certainly wouldn't be something anyone ever asked to borrow.

This one is out of Kureyon #138 and so far it is one of my favorites. I think I want to find some more of this color to knit a bag or something. But even if I never do - at least this square will be in the blanket!

And of course I had to knit a square in Kureyon color #88. This was an odd ball at the store too. I think the color is now discontinued. So twelve squares finished and twelve more to knit. I better get busy.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Knit Green Socks & Project Spectrum 2.0

As I was reading through some blogs the other day, I can across a Green Sock Knit Along that Lolly and Maritza started. The great thing about this knit along is there is only one rule - knit green socks. No time limits - no sign ups - nothing. Just knit green socks. There is even a cool green sock button to grab for your blog!
I just had to check to see if I had any green sock yarn in the stash - and I did. I was actually surprised how many skeins of sock yarn I had that have some green in them. But there is enough green (or mostly green) sock yarn in my stash for three pair of socks. I have some Opal hand painted, Koigu KPPM, and some Sock Candy. These skeins aren't solid green - but I think all three have enough green in them to be considered green.

So if you have some green sock yarn stashed away -cast on a pair!

I also joined Project Spectrum 2.0. Project Spectrum starts February 1st and will run through September. The time will be divided into two month periods and each period will have three colors assigned. You can focus on one or all the colors for that period in any type of art or craft you choose. There is Project Spectrum Flickr Group so you can see all the photos people take of their projects.

The color assignments will be as follows:


Blue, White, Gray


Green, Yellow, Pink


Red, Black, Metallics

August / September

Brown, Orange, Purple

I'm not sure yet how much of my knitting will revolve around the colors each month. My first thought is to try and take photos that represent the color selections. Looks like the color selections will work out well for nature and outside pictures. Maybe I can try and take some arty shots too. We'll have to see how this works out, but it sounds like fun.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Fiber Friday - Sock Candy

Just before Christmas I treated myself to a good size order of sock yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts and one of the things I got was this Sock Candy in the Henpecked colorway.

Sock Candy is 96% cotton and 4% elite. I believe the elite is what give the yarn a little stretch. Each skein is approximately 200 yards / 2 oz. It feels pretty good - nice and soft and squishy. I got two skeins to make one pair of socks.

I haven't knit with it yet and I hope I like it because I got three different colors. I'll save the other two colors to show on another day.

I'm hoping that this yarn knits up good and wears well. I think I'd get much more wear out of cotton socks than I do wool. It just isn't cold here long enough to warrant a huge wool sock wardrobe. I think I wear socks about two and a half months out of the year.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Kitties and the UFO

A couple weeks ago I mentioned an unfinished object I had started out of some inexpensive boucle yarn. This picture shows the item just over halfway finished. Halfway would be where the split is and everything to the left of that. Imagine that there is as much on the right side of the split that there is on the left side. I was then going to fold the top down to meet the bottom and sew up each side part way to make arm holes. The project was to be sort of a cross between a wrap and a poncho. The main idea was to have it to wrap up in on the couch.

I still think the original idea for the project was good. I just had several mistakes and no desire to fix them or reknit the entire thing. I mentioned that I was going to throw it out, but Bezzie made a great suggestion of just binding off what was finished and letting the kitties have it as a blanket for their bed. So I did; and they love it! I've laid it on top of an ottoman that sits in our family room that the kitties took over as there perch.

Here is Gravy all curled up in her new blanket and she loves it! Gravy likes to hide and she has at least one hiding place in the house we can't find. One day over the holidays Gravy had been unseen for several hours. We searched the entire house and the woods surrounding the house. But no luck, we couldn't find her anywhere. We were sure she had gotten out somehow. A couple more hours passed and she just showed up in the living room. So crisis averted, but we still have no idea where she was hiding.

Biscuit likes the blanket too - she can't even be bothered to open her eyes for the picture. She almost never leaves the ottoman during the winter months, unless you open the pantry door! She can hear that from anywhere in the house. She is just sure you are going in there to get her a treat! The vet told us Biscuit is too fat - so we've had to cut down her treats. She had some dandruff on her back and I asked the vet about it and was told not to worry too much - that sometimes cats just get too fat and lazy and don't groom themselves. She's lost a little weight, so we are on the right track.

Thanks for the great idea for the kitty blanket; it's a big hit!

Monday, January 08, 2007


I've joined a new knit along called Socktopia. The premise of this knit along includes themes and prizes each month. At the beginning of the month a number of different themes will be names and members are tasked with knitting a pair of socks to fit one or more of the themes. There will be different prizes each month for various things. If you knit socks or just want to knit socks - check out the blog for details about joining. The themes to choose from for January are: 1. Celebrate Good Times, 2. Blue Monday, and 3. Snowflakes and Starry Skies.

I've chosen to work with theme number 3. I am going to try and knit all the socks for this knit along from yarn I already have stashed away. I went through my stash and found this nice variegated blue yarn at the bottom and thought it kind of looked like a blue starry sky. So once I had the yarn - I opened my stitch dictionaries and found a snowflake eyelet pattern! So I figured out how to translate the pattern to circular knitting and off I went.

I'm ready to begin the gusset on sock one. The pattern is easy and going pretty quick. I've made several little errors. Buy hey, snowflakes are supposed to be unique, so I'm not ready to frog yet. And if I do get them finished in enough time - I have another idea for one of the other themes.

This is the first time I've worked with this yarn, Special Blauband. I bought it at a LYS a long time ago and have never seen any more in the shop. I like the way it feels and it is knitting up great. Plus each little skein (I love the way these skeins are wound up!) came with matching reinforcing thread. SO hopefully I can make some progress on this over the weekend.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Anastasia Socks

My last finished object for 2006 was finished just under the wire!

Project Info
Pattern: Anastasia Socks by Pepperknit (pattern available on her blog)
Yarn: Koigu KPPM P606
Needles: addi TURBO -US# 1/ 2.5 mm
Date Started: August 16, 2006
Date Finished: December 31, 2006 (11:35 pm!)

I really liked knitting these socks, although you wouldn't know it by the amount of time they laid around waiting to be finished. It was an easy to follow pattern and worked well with variegated yarn.

The original pattern called for two rows of eyelets spiraling around the sock - but I recharted to add a third row.

These were my first toe up socks! It was very nice not to have to seam the toe closed. I used a long tail cast on to cast on to two needles at once. Very easy to use. It did leave a small ridge at the toe, so next time I will try a Figure 8.

The pattern also called for a short row heel - but I used a heel flap. I was nervous about short rows. But since then I've done short rows in another project and will try that on a heel soon. I used Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn cast off. It was very easy to do and is supposed to be stretchy. It is a little tight going over my heel; otherwise the socks fit pretty good. I don't know yet if there is a better method for binding off the tops of socks. Any suggestions?

The only fiddley part of the project was working the pattern up the sock leg. Because the pattern spiraled I occasionally had to shift my stitches around the needles. But the pattern is simple enough that once you've done a few rows you don't need to refer to it anymore.

If you are looking for a pattern for your variegated yarn - this is great! Many thanks to Pepperknit for sharing! I'll definitely put this on my to do list again.