April 17, 2013

What a Beautiful Day

Today was a lovely, lovely day.  The sun was shining and the grass is so green I'm actually starting to believe I can pack away my coats.  I've been seeing daffodils everywhere and it won't be long before my Mother's Day tree starts sprouting pretty pink flowers.

I love Spring, I really do.  And even though there's still a chill in the air in the morning when I leave for work and in the evening when I come home, at least I get to show off my hand knit sweaters when I run across the street to get lunch.  Pretty soon I'll be able to sit outside and eat my lunch in the park across the street.

Unfortunately, very little knitting is happening.  The physical therapy is two steps forward, one step back.

This post is about the skein on the right, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Spring Frost.  When I purchased the skein, I thought it would turn into a striped sock with straight stripes, not a barber pole stripe, but I like how the stripes turned out in this sock:

Then I started sock #2 and it didn't barber pole:

I don't know what I did differently that made the second sock look so different.  My personal preference is to have both socks kind of look like each other more than they actually do, but I happen to have a family member who would wear these socks.  Yes, I do.

My son happens to love hand knit socks, no matter the color, or if they match.  I love that about him.  He wears them to play basketball, mow the grass (which he did today), and he especially loves them when all the socks he owns are in the laundry basket.  He likes his socks straight off the needles, no need to wash or block.

So these socks will be finished in a day or two are done so now I can go back to the French Cancan which I'm loving, but will find a suitable home for.  I love the pattern and the color, the way it's working up, but I'm not in love with the yarn I'm using, Elsabeth Lavold silky wool.  The cables are killing me, too.

Now, in an attempt not to complain about physical therapy, I'm just going to say that if you knit a lot, you should take a lot of breaks.  Repetitive motion disorder is a real pain in the neck.

I had two steps forward, my therapist Natalie had both shoulders working last week.  One step back: only one shoulder is working and my left arm is swollen and has lost sensation, but my left hand works.  Yay for that!  I can still hold needles.

April 13, 2013

Ahh ... Spring!

Yes, it's that time of year again ... Spring.  Finally! I love the newness of Spring and all it has to offer, and I've had enough of being cold.  Unfortunately the weather, while sunny and bright. still remains brisk and that is the only reason I'm holding out on full on happiness.

I'm in New York, and the very first day they announced the first day of Spring, I saw people outside with sundresses and flip flops on, and with shorts and tube tops too.  How did I know they were dressed as if it were the dead of summer?  Because their winter wool coats were open.  Only in New York.

Around here there are signs that Spring is here.  The daffodils are up:

The whatever-these-are flowers (they look like daffodils, but are a pale yellow) are up:

The grass is growing and needs to be cut while the leaves left over from Fall are slowly being buried in their blades.  The chicks and hens (plants) are already little bushes of greenery ... and still, the temperature around here is in the 50s.  You still need to wear a coat and at night you need mittens, but Spring is truly in the air.

Knitting resumes and I'm halfway done with the French Cancan which is done up in Elsabeth Lavold's silky wool in light blue (which also brings Spring to mind):

I'm almost done with two pairs of socks and then I'll be ready to start on my next project - which I hope will be a sweater that I can wear when the weather gets a little warmer.  A girl's got to have a dream, right?

April 10, 2013

Not Knitting - Not A Problem

Of course I'm not having a problem not knitting.  Why should it be a bother, since I am still knitting?

Let me start at the beginning.  My physical therapist, Natalie, says that she doesn't want me to not knit since it is such a big part of my life.  She also says I'm progressing much faster than we both anticipated, I am responding well.

We need to figure out how to get my pain issue under control is all.  I compromised and now I knit two, maybe three days a week for a couple of hours only.  The rest of the time, I'm practicing my 'button pushing' on all the sites where I have things in the basket - collateral damage.

On the topic of knitting, I'm working on two things.  First, there's Patrick's socks called Celebration designed by Sock Pixie made with The Plucky Knitter's one of a kind no name or colorway sock yarn:

The sock has a mock cable all around and hopefully Patrick won't find that too 'girly':

It's a four row pattern repeat that's so easy I can practically do it with my eyes closed.  This is the project I travel with, unfortunately I've been dozing on the way home, so this is as far as I got.  Yikes!  I wish I could pick up the pace.

The second project is French Cancan designed by Atelier de Mademoiselle C and made with Elsabeth Lavold's silky wool on US #7 needles.

I love the colorway, too bad I don't like working with the yarn.  It's a little rough to work with because of the raw silk bits in the yarn.  Those bits fall off onto my lap when I'm knitting and a passerby would think I have a bad case of dandruff, but once the yarn is worked up it's lovely.

When I'm not knitting, I'm buying. Oy!  Does debtor's prison still exist?  That's where I'm going to end up.

My latest stash enhancement is some yarn from Play at Life (Etsy) called The Grey which is 100% BFL, and a generous 360 yds/skein.  I bought three lovely, squishy, soft skeins - with no project in mind:

There was a little mix up in the mail, so my order was a little delayed coming, so Chrystie (the shop owner) sent me a 'make up' skein of 100% superwash merino in DK weight called Driftwood:

OMG, I love this color!  I'm so happy with this skein I can't tell you.  It's right up my alley color-wise and it's so squishy soft I might keep it around just to look at.  It's like Chrystie read my mind, and because she was so nice and chose a colorway that is so me - she is now my new bestest friend.  Keep in mind that she doesn't know me from a can of paint!  LOL

So now you know what I've been up to.  It's slow going, but at least it's going and I'm happy (mostly) with my new pace of knitting.  The exercises Natalie gave me aren't so pleasant (they're painful and I'm lazy), but it's paying off so it's all good.

For now, I hope you're enjoying your knitting as much as I'm enjoying mine.

April 07, 2013

You Know You Have Too Much Yarn When ...

Some time ago, I made myself a promise to cut down on buying single skeins of yarn.  With that in mind, I started accumulating sweater portions of yarn because mostly, single skeins won't do for the things I want to make.

I don't know when, or what I had in mind when I made the purchase.  My best guess is that WEBS was having a sale, so when the package arrived I knew what was in it when it so I never opened it, just added it to the heap that is my yarn stash.

Today while doing some 'restashification' I found the bag, opened it and found Valley Yarns Northport in Purple Haze.  I know it looks blue and to be honest I've been on a blue kick lately, but this yarn is pale purple.

It's a DK weight yarn, 124 yards per skein, so I think I know what it's going to be.  I don't want to commit myself right here, right now, but it says it wants to be Vodka Lemonade.  Why not?  It's a top down easy knit in a color that is pleasing to the eye with no buttons and very little finishing.  Sounds like the perfect sweater.

Happily, I can't start that sweater yet because I have three things to make first.  Isn't that always the way?  Does anyone use yarn as soon as they get it in the mail or from the store - or does it sit in your stash for a few weeks or months?  I can't be the only one.

This weekend I spent with Princess Diva so my brain is on overload, I'm tired and I can use a nap or two or for two days straight..  She learned to scoot and to stand up holding onto furniture, so I spent the past two days chasing after her to make sure she doesn't pull anything down on herself.

Still, she's so cute it's hard not to forgive her for whatever she does:

Of course, I'll have to teach her to stay away from the spinning wheels ... and the cat dish ... and my yarn, unless of course she shows a great talent for knitting.  Right now, she's only interested in the lint brush and the box she's banging on which she seems to prefer over her own toys.  Too cute!

Speaking of babies, Tracy McCarthy and Jessica Peled (Knitting Brooklyn) have teamed up for Remembering Remy.  They are collecting preemie hats and donating them to local hospitals in memory of Baby Remy and her cousin Ty.  Every 10 preemie hats you knit, post in the Knitting Brooklyn forum on Ravelry, and send enters you into the drawing for a prize.  It's a good cause and I hear the prizes are great, so you might want to get in on that.

April 02, 2013

As Promised

In my last post, I said I'd show some of the haul I've accumulated that went unmentioned.  I get embarrassed about my stash ... I don't know why.  Some of the stuff I don't even remember buying and some of it went straight to my hoard of yarn goodies so I don't even remember which skeins are new(ish).  That said, here's what I could get my hands on.  This post will be picture heavy - just like last time.

In no particular order, there is Jamieson & Smith Shetland Supreme which I purchased with the intention of making the Sheep Heid hat.  The yarn came all the way from the Shetland Islands - how exotic.

Then - when I must have been crazy or asleep when I ordered it, I ordered a kit to make the Bohus Rose Lace Collar sweater in pink.  Pink!  OMG!  I thought I was ordering the pattern, turns out it was a kit and it came in pink or yellow.  Both colors are not my style, but what the heck, you only live once and I think I might be able to get away with a pink sweater if it's pretty enough.  This package came all the way from Sweden.  I'm international, I tell you.

As if I hadn't punished myself enough, I went to PS Fabrics in NYC, I scooped up nine skeins of Shepherd's Own undyed wool at only $5.00 skein.  What a steal!

My thought was to buy 5 skeins (252 yards per skein), and make myself a sweater, but the clerk said there wasn't much left and what if I should run out - once it's gone, it's gone. That sent me into panic mode so I bought all there was in the same dye lot - leaving behind 3 skeins of the other dye lot.  Maybe I should have bought them too.

Had enough?  I'm not done.

Diane (the enabler) of Knitabulls Podcast was having a KAL with Socks that Rock yarn (make anything using that yarn) for a chance to win a prize.  She also mentioned that Blue Moon Fiber Arts has a kit called Sheep to Shoe, and if I were to spin the yarn to make my project, I'd have two chances to win a prize.  There's only a chance in a 500 I'll win, and I'd already made the socks (Business Casual), so I probably won't spin this fiber.  The colorway is Eos:

There's fiber everywhere in my house!  I've got to start spinning, like, today.  My fourth installment of BFL from Sunset Fibers arrived with it's pattern to make pocket socks.  This skein reminds me of Spring, even though it's a brisk 30-something degrees outside:

Now, in case you think this is a buying blog instead of a knitting blog - knitting is happening.

I participated in a KAL with Mel of Single Handed Knits to make a sweater called Hoaloha.  I got this far,

before the pain in my arms got so intense I had to stop.  Physical therapy is ongoing and hopefully I'll finish this sweater sooner than later since I don't want it to sit around all Summer.  That would be tragic.  Made with Patons Classic merino wool.  I have 1 1/2 skeins left to make two sleeves.  Here's hoping I make it to the end.

I also cast on for a pair of socks for Patrick (a co-worker), but he nixed the socks because of the colors.  He wasn't thrilled.  I was making them with the yarn I chose because I wasn't thrilled with it either.

It's the orange he doesn't like, now I have to go on a sock yarn hunt.  Dang!  I'm still going to make the socks and someone is going to wear them - I don't care who.

I have lots to knitting to do, and tomorrow Natalie is going to work me over in therapy after which I'll be good to do knitting - which is frowned upon, but not prohibited - for about three days.  I have cut down on the knitting, but the shopping is collateral damage and it's costing me a fortune!  Oy!