Thursday, August 31, 2006

On the needles and a neat trick...

As you might have noticed, there was a small bit of finishing going on recently - not only did I get my first holiday gift done (no photo just in case the recipient is a reader ;) ), but I finished and published the Wooly Morning Glory Pillow and a Clapotis inspired scarf...

Well, with all that going on, I had to go and cast on for some new socks - I originally planned on some plain stockinette toe-up anklets using what's left of my black purl yarn, but after seeing this cute pattern from Kirsten at Through the Loops, I decided to rip back the toes and cast on, flirting with fate, for these cuff down anklets. Think I'll have enough yarn?

I've also decided to test my lace knitting prowess by casting on for Kiri in a mohair yarn - all the lace I've knitted to date has involved yarn that isn't halo'd. It's going to be an interesting adventure - lets hope I don't have to clear space in the freezer for the project.

As for neat tricks, I've had to resort to using an unbent paperclip as a stitch holder since I didn't read the sock pattern properly and I didn't feel like waiting to work on it more until I got back to my collection of needles - turns out I had to move a stitch from one needle to another after doing the first few pattern repeats, and since I knit my socks a pair at a time on one long circular, it set me up for quite the challenge. I'm about to put the stitches all back on the needle - the interim stitch holder worked great and I didn't lose a single stitch (I bent the ends back up after all the stitches were on the paperclip to prevent them from falling off :D )

Other neat tricks:
apparently Google has an SMS service now - apparently you can use it to find restaurants, get driving directions, movie times, local weather, get language translations and a whole host of other things. Since I don't have a cell phone, I had to settle for "pretending" while playing on the Google SMS site.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Everyone else did it...

So I had to do one too.

Besides, I had that ball of handspun yarn that was just sitting - I wasn't about to unply it, and it wasn't going to be any happier if I tried to add more twist to it...

If I hadn't have done this with it, it would have turned into "wrapping accessory" for packages - and who knows if it would have liked that very much.

Look here for a larger photo and some more info :)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


apparently I'm terribly stubborn as I've just frittered away about an hour trying to figure out what kept crashing my blogs. It seems that adding photos in firefox adds wierdness to the code that in turn seems to crash the blog. I've since gone and manually edited out the links to larger image sizes as well as manually coded the placement of the photos in the post - this *appears* to have solved the problems.

I'm curious, anyone else out there edit in Firefox and use the blogger tools for uploading and formatting?

I'm Pushing up Flowers!

Not only is my blog choosing to randomly put up Internal Server Errors, I finally finished the knitted version of the Red Poppy Pillow!

Head over to the Finished Objects Blog to see what it's called :) and info on where to find the pattern!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Blogger is being a pain

I seem to be getting random Internal Server errors (Error 500, no less ;) ) on Blogger these days. I can't tell if it has to do with my attempting to upload photos. I'm also editing in Firefox, which I normally don't do.

Anyone have any ideas?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sock Wars?

Apparently a little game of Assassin is getting ready to be kicked off. The trick with this version is it's Knitting's the Sock Wars by the Yarn Monkey. The Fierce Competitor in me wants to join, and the Knitter in me finds it rather amusing to be knocked off by a pair of socks - though the sensible portion in my brain tells me this would be a foolish foolish thing to do knowing that I have small obsessive compulsive issues with certain things...and all that holiday knitting to complete and designs I'm supposed to be working on, not to mention the dye experiments...Incidentally there are currently about 540 crazed sock knitters that will be entering the fray...I'm still undecided. Deadline to sign up is August 28.

Not to be an enabler or anything...but not only do I have lovely hand painted yarns available, Little Knits is currently running a sale on commercial sock yarns...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Suggestions Anyone?

clicky clicky for a closeup!

Well, if you're at all like me, you like to look at yarn when making recommendations - you're looking at a ball of handspun Verbena. Approximately sport weight, 300 yards or was taken with indoor lighting, so you can't really see the faint sparkle on the yarn that is from the firestar that is blended in. I need to convert this yarn into a shawl or scarf and I'm open to suggestions :) If 300 yards isn't enough, it isn't the end of the world as I can spin more...but I figured I'd start there and see what might be possible.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Suggestions Please

I appear to be ahead of the game this year and am actually working on my holiday projects thanks to Tempe Yarn and Fiber's Stress Busters club. I've actually finished one official holiday project, 1 UFO and 1 baby gift since the stress busters kickoff.

Next targeted item is a handknit scarf/shawl/wrap made from handspun yarn. I did the spinning this weekend after I finished a minor marathon of stranded knitting...

I have ~300 yards of sport/dk weight single ply handspun in Verbena that I'd like to convert into a scarf/shawl/wrap thing. Yes, I realize 300 yards isn't that much. The good news is if I run out, I can spin more. The final destination for this gift will be an urban location that actually sees winter climates. I have thought of doing a skinny Clapotis...but I have resisted jumping on the Clapotis bandwagon for so long - and it would be a *skinny* Clapotis unless I want to get right back on the wheel right now and spin up more yarn. I thought of turning it into a dayflower lace scarf...but for all I love to knit lace, I have a serious love hate relationship with blocking. Then I thought some sort of broken rib pattern....or just cast on and see what comes off the needles, but I figured that might just be asking for trouble.

So...any of you have suggestions? I'd be happy to hear them! I'm planning on winding the yarn into a ball tonight assuming the skein is dry...then hopefully I can show you all how beautiful the yarn is :) (yes, here we are with yet *another* pictureless post*)

Monday, August 21, 2006

What to do...

...when your brain keeps blocking and you wind up with a gallon of half and half in the fridge? (*sigh* a sure sign I'm getting old - I kept thinking I was out of half and half and the next thing I knew it, I had a gallon of the stuff on hand!)

Well, I wasn't in the mood for Alfredo, so I turned a bunch of it into Ice Cream.

Read here for the recipe :)

Sorry no photos - it kept melting (or got eaten) before I could get a good shot ;)

Friday, August 18, 2006


I try to behave myself on my blog. But since this is supposed to be miscellaneous musings on "life the universe and everything" please indulge me this rare rant. Scroll to the end if you just want a really brief (and photoless) update on what's on the needles...

I have decided I really really dislike those quoted "service" windows when someone is supposed to appear at your house between oh...8 and noon or 1 and 5 to fix something. It seems, of late anyhow, I seem to be doomed to select vendors that are completely incapable of hitting their four hour window. Not only do they not provide any estimate as to whether it is likely that they will appear earlier in the four hour window or later in the four hour window...if they are going to *miss* the window completely, they don't call to see if it will still work out - and they seem surprised when asked about their timeliness policy. It's not as if I haven't got better things to do than just sit around waiting for my service call. Sheesh.

The other thing that has me peeved and slightly distressed - I find it both ironic and sad that the news yesterday was flooded with information about the already ridiculously overpublicized JonBenet Ramsey case - this on a day when the NSA eavesdropping program has been ruled unconstitutional. I find it simply sick and wrong that places like have a ginormous photo of the of the suspect in the JonBenet case along with a summary and numerous links - one single link is found on the home page, and it's certainly not prominent. Honestly. I can't even watch the national news anymore because it's so worthless in terms of current events.

Anyhow. Back to more regular non-controversial content :)

I have a new hat on the needles (it's a holiday gift) and I'm still knitting away on my anklet socks (almost done with the toe increases I think), and of course, I'm still working the knitted version of the Red Poppy Pillow....

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

the Unexpected.

One does not go to an Outdoor Industry Tradeshow and expect to discuss wool. Or socks. At great length.

At least I certainly didn't. But there it is. The knitter and spinner in me has truly broken out :) In addition to ogling climbing gear (hello, DMM V-Twin!), packs (hooray for the new Gregory suspension design!), sleeping bags (that's a mighty sexy Valandre...), footwear (Kamik has some gorgeous brightly colored galoshes) and stoves with enough BTUs to keep any pyro pleased (of particular note is the Reactor by MSR), I got to talk wool and socks with lots of companies.

Teko and Fox River are both introducing Ingeo fiber socks - they are both very silky and surprisingly breathable and wicking. Everyone these days seem to be talking up superfine merino as if it was the finest performance fiber out there ;) One company (x-socks) has some rather engineered looking socks - and another (Injinji) has some lovely socks that has socks for each of your individual toes :D

I hate to admit it, gear head that I am, I was the most pleased with a gift I received from Ibex - a small bundle of 17.5 micron merino wool roving. :) It's sitting on my desk, waiting patiently for me to spin it, then dye it, and knit it up into something luscious.

Monday, August 14, 2006

A zig here, a zag there...

At long last, these socks are done!

My third pair of hand knit socks - these took much longer than expected, mostly because I kept getting distracted. Good thing I have a habit of knitting both pair of socks at the same time, or I fear I'd be stuck with just one!

These socks have seen me launch Spritely Goods - first as a blog shop, then growing it to have product at Tempe Yarn & Fiber and Pure Knits...and then to my own ecommerce site.

These socks have also seen Stephanie - the Yarn Harlot. They have traveled all over Arizona, they've been up to Oregon, they have passed by the four corners monument - and they've been on the Continental Divide! Not too shabby for a pair of socks ;)

Read here for more info on the yarn and pattern used.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Pouches are good.

Mmm. Mmm. I do love me small pouches. I don't know why - I simply seem to adore small bags and pouches. Back when I got SpritelyGoods launched, I wanted to get myself a little non-food related reward. What better way to celebrate than with a small project pouch from Piddleloop?

I couldn't possibly resist this one, with fabric that complements my handpainted yarn so nicely :) I'm going to have to be careful or I'm going to wind up with a whole mess of small project pouches to color coordinate with my yarn LOL.

Jen and Wendy at Piddleloop are the best - and their sewing rocks! Check out the adorably matching tissue pouch - and while you're browsing, have a look at their stationary - the knitting sheepie is just adorable!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Oy! The Pressure of Knitting on a Deadline!

And the cat is tuckered out too. Finished just in time for packing up for its intended recipient, this is a Log Cabin baby blanket.

Of course, as soon as it was done, and tried to take a photo, my little helper had to climb on and provide herself as a measure of size - though it might help if I let you know that my cat, when fully stretched out, is about a yard long ;)

Read on here for more details on construction - and photos sans kitty.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Back in Action!

Sorry for the hiatus, folks - I was off gawking at alpine wildflowers and enjoying the great outdoors while trying not to get too frustrated with the early days due to afternoon thundershowers (I'm not opposed to hiking in the rain - I am, however, opposed to getting zapped by lightening while ridge walking!)

I did get some knitting done while I was away - someone asked me what some of my handpainted yarn looks like when knitted up - well, on US size 1 needles and about 60 stitches (about 10-15 too few for a sock) it knits up nicely to form a cozy for my iced tea glass (I was tired of sweaty glass syndrome). Incidentally, the cozy fits over a soda can just as well, though it is a mite too long. This is Sylph fine fingering yarn, for those who are wondering.

As noted in the photo, the top portion is an example of how the chaparral colorway looks and the bottom bit is an example of how the spring is here colorway looks. Of course, it will stripe/pool a bit differently depending on your gauge, whether you are knitting flat or in the round, and how many stitches are in each of your rounds/rows - not to mention the natural slight variation found on individually handpainted skeins.

Anyhow, plenty of other knitting was done - and I've a few finished objects to show soon :) Hooray!