Friday, April 27, 2007

It's Rainin' Yarn

Halleluia! I got my April STR kit yesterday, and I'm pretty excited about it. The pattern is a stockinette foot with lace instep and leg, and can be made into knee-highs if you order another skein of the yarn. Of course, that's what I'll be doing :)

Here's an artsy shot of the yarn:

It's very soft, and the colors are outrageous. I'm very happy.

On the "filling up the corners" front, I also bought a few things from my LYS:
lakeside fibers spree

Two skeins of Koigu, possibly for a scarf or some freak-out socks, a skein of Noro SG for the border of my CoH shawl, and some Kid Silk Haze to round out some numbers of skeins I already have. The wine color will be for (hopefully) an Ostrich Plumes shawl, and the violetta is for an as yet undetermined shawl for a friend whose favorite color is purple.

The CoH (children of Hurin) pattern is moving along. I've decided to go with a cabled applied i-cord border, to better suggest Glaurung's body. Before there's any outcry, I don't mind doing i-cord. I made a 10 foot length of it for my brother's girlfriend over a weekend, with the only payment being I got to keep the leftover yarn, and I didn't find the process all that obnoxious. While I was at work I googled "cabled i-cord" and found Eunny's version. It's pretty much what I was planning to do, so I feel validated. If I can get this pattern knocked out so that I can make sure my brain is wrapped around it right, I shouldn't really have a problem. I want it to be done before it gets cold again, since I'm planning on it as an autumn shawl.

I'm off to work some ribbing and come up with something for supper. Yargh.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

April Showers...

Bring sock yarn--soon I hope!

I've been peeking at STR April installments (like here), and I'm darn excited. Hopefully I'll get my package before the weekend!

I also ordered two skeins of Knit Picks "dye your own" sock yarn, to make a pair of socks for my sister in law. She wants black and yellow socks, but they may end up being dark brown and yellow socks :)

I worked on the children of Hurin swatch last night, and I hope to have something picture-takeable by the weekend. It's a bit tricky for me to make a cable pattern into openwork, but I think I have a good scheme going. I really like how the colors work with the pattern, too.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Narn I Hin Hurin

Not that I need to start any new projects, but what with The Children of Hurin coming out, I'm thinking of making a heavy autumny shawl out of 5 skeins of Noro Silk Garden "inspired" by my favorite part of the Silm. I'm going to tweak a woodsy pattern from a Japanese pattern book that I have to make it more open, and use a cable border to look like Glaurung's body. I'm planning on putting the dragon's head on one side and his tail on the other, but I'm not sure where to put his feet. I'm sketching it out now, so no pix yet, but perhaps I'll start swatching soon. It is extremely frustrating, trying to find a good dragon's head.

I just have to finish the ribbing on DP's socks, and then they're done. I didn't get much knitting done on Wednesday because the coffee shop was too full--I didn't have anywhere to sit, so I just walked around downtown until it was time for my class.

I wish I had more time to knit and spin. This past week, I've been sooooo tired. I've been falling asleep with my glasses on. I wish it was because I was pregnant, but no such luck. I think it must be because it's turning into summertime and my body isn't used to it yet.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Spring Cleaning

I've been doing a bit of spring cleaning at work--I can't do anything that will stir up dust at home until DP is completely well--and I'm pretty happy with the results. My desk has had tons of "work in progress" piles of papers since 2002, so I finally filed them away! I removed everything from my desk and sorted it into piles on the floor (no one was in the office on Monday except me, so this worked well). Then I just went through each pile, without looking at the other piles and distracting myself, and so was able to actually get through them. I've gotten several compliments already, along with some worry that the reason I cleaned off my desk is that I'll be quitting soon. Having a desk that someone else can understand is one of my goals before I leave this job...

On the knitting front, I haven't done too much on DP's socks. If I could just get a couple of hours of free time, I could probably finish them. I have t'ai chi tonight, and I'm hoping to use the time between work and my class to work on the socks. Positive thoughts.

Lace-wise, I decided to use Rosebud Mesh from Barbara Walker's Second Treasury. (Sadly, it's not yet on this site.) I think it goes great with the colors of the yarn, which are very rose-y. I started on the rose pink end of the skein, so it's going rose-pink, deep pink, pink-purple. I'm very excited about it! I'm also very happy with the singles--they turned out pretty even and washing them in hot water with a cold rinse took out a lot of the excess energy, so the yarn is not kinking up at all. Pictures will be forthcoming.

Has anyone been reading the Socks that Rock blog? It was getting so catty that the mod had to post tell people to play nice. Working at a non profit, I get a lot of spiteful complaints, and it seems like some of the people who call me at work are also posting on the STR blog.

I'm very interested in the next STR shipment--I think the April one is supposed to be shipped the 3rd week of April. The Monsoon socks are so comfortable; I hope the next pattern is as nice.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Suddenly Sunday

Where did the weekend go? I don't know if I can bear to go back to work tomorrow. On the upside, DP's lungs sound great, though he still has a cough.

I spun one batt of the Tiger Lily and navaho plied it:
scale three ply

I spun the other batt but left it as a singles for lace. I'm drying it now...I'm thinking of a lacy little scarf. Maybe tiger eyes?

I also spun up the Crown Jewels batts:
closeup crownjewels singles

I navaho plied them as well, and they're also drying. Hopefully I'll have enough to make a pair of ankle socks.

With warm weather on the way, I'm hoping to get some more spinning in. I usually spindle while I walk home from work, and at 3 1/2 miles, I get some good yardage in. Huzzah for nicer weather!

Thursday, April 12, 2007


That's the sound that DP's lungs are making; our health insurance starts on Sunday, so he's trying to live until then. Sigh.

On the spinning front, I've been spinning up the Tiger Lily batts I got from Franquemont Fibers on eBay. I'm spinning as thin as I can and hoping to get a good three-ply out of each batt. I'll post a pic as soon as I ply the singles.

For supper tonight DP is having some low-sodium chicken soup, and I'm making a patented spider supper, eg. mix a bunch of stuff together and hope it turns out. I'm cooking Puy lentils and brown basmati rice, then adding some spinach, beef stock and goat cheese. Possibly I'll drizzle some truffle oil on top...possibly. A little of that goes a looooong way!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Happy Easter Peeps

Thank goodness we're back home from MO. My dh developed some sort of viral infection about 15 minutes before we left home and was horribly sick the entire time. He's still horribly sick, but at least we're not there.

It was fun seeing his relatives and just hanging out. My sister in law made an happy easter peeps

And we colored Easter eggs:
peep this

I also did a lot of knitting on DP's socks:
dp socks front

They'll have to be washed soon though, because they're full of cigarette smoke. They're simple stockinette socks over 72 stitches on US 0, with a short row toe and heel. I think I'll rib the cuff, but I'm not sure yet.

All in all it was a pleasant time, but I really wish they lived closer to us. It takes us 9 hours to get there, which is about 5 hours too long.

In other news, I finally got a pic of the Monsoon socks:
monsoon socks

I used US 0 for the toe through heel and US 2 for the cuff. I followed the pattern for the toe, foot and heel, but changed up the cuff a bit. I didn't use all the cables they called for, and not all of my cables were 5/1/5 crosses. I think it looks good, and they are extremely comfortable. I enjoy thick-ish socks that cushion my feet, so I am extremely pleased with them.

I hear that there's a scary winter storm coming through this week, so perhaps that will give me more time to post!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Coffee Shop Psych

I spent 4 hours at a coffee shop today because they're replacing the pipes in my apartment building and the water was shut off. Argh. However, I got my Monsoon socks done (pic to follow) and got to hear a lot of interesting talk.

One thing I like AND dislike about coffee shops is that you get to hear the conversations of the people in your vicinity. Sometimes this is frustrating, but other times it's very enlightening. Today, the theme seemed to be psychology. The first couple to sit near me discussed how the personality of one woman's replacement in some sort of league (I couldn't figure out what the "league" actually was) caused the "sustainers" to withdraw support. The next couple was a psychologist or social worker and a little boy. The social worker was having the boy describe his week so far and talk about how big brothers should treat their little sisters. The final couple seemed to be a woman with her brother-in-law, and they were trying to see if they could still be friends since the woman was divorcing the brother-in-law's brother.

It was really neat to listen to these interactions and see the similarities in the way people talk out problems. If I would have had my mp3 player with me, I probably wouldn't have heard any of their conversations. The brother-in-law had a great saying: being human is bloody hard. It sort of summed up all three of those conversations.

I'm going to be visiting my in-laws in Missouri for Easter. Who knows what interesting conversations I'll hear!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Socks for DP

First--hooray for vacation! Two days off to knit, spin and do laundry. Sweet. Before I left work, I picked up this phone call:

Me: Non-Profit X, this is Spider.

Weirdo: Hi; am I correct in assuming that you prepare chicken soup with matzah balls for purchase?

Me: I'm sorry, we don't sell food here.

Weirdo: Well, I was told that you did. I need some for my friend. Can you tell me where I could buy it?

What I wanted to say was that she should look up a recipe, but I refrained.

When I got home there was a surprise waiting: my yarn shipment from the Loopy Ewe. It contained (amongst other things) two skeins of Claudia Handpainted in Ink; a very subtle black/shades-of-grey colorway. I made my sweet husband, DP, feel them and then sprung the news: they'd be socks for him. He took it well, and if he decides he can't handle handmade socks, our feet are the same size...

In between knitting socks and spinning more yarn for knitting socks, I'm trying to come up with a motif for my next shawl. I have one skein of Shaefer Anne, which was enough to make a triangle shawl 3.5 feet long and 5.5 across the hypotenuse. I'd like to branch out into my own pattern, but I have to find something that looks right with the yarn and that won't require more than 560 yards of it. I'm thinking using starlight lace or bleeding hearts, but I don't know if bleeding hearts will be open enough, and starlight is a bit wacky to chart (the stitch count changes on the 6th row, I think). I'll probably go through my Barbara Walkers a few more times before I even get to the swatch stage.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Air Raid Sirens

Last night, while watching Double Indemnity, we heard the air raid/tornado sirens TWICE. Argh. That's the problem with living in an apartment on the third floor--no basement to run to. Thankfully, the tornadoes passed us by.

I did some spinning today, finishing up the spring green fiber blends I got from Franquemont Fibers on eBay. Once I predrafted, I was able to spin long draw and I think I have enough yardage for a pair of socks. If it's a little short, I think I'll do the heels and toes in a different color, or maybe use an openwork pattern.

I'm not sure why I enjoy making socks so much, but enjoy it I do. I feel like it connects me to my grandma, who got me interested in crafty things.

I'm looking forward to this week--Passover! I get Tuesday and Wednesday off, along with the following Monday and Tuesday. Plus, I took off Friday, so I'll have a 5 day weekend. De-lightful. Most of the time the holidays don't work out in my favor, but this year is an exception. This is one of the few benefits to working in a non-profit. No vacation or sick time, but no one can work on the holidays :)