hello, mojo….

sock mojo that is. For so long my sock mojo was fazzizalled, cuput, nada, zip. It was hibernating, and I’m so thankful it wasn’t dead. Back in December I started these socks for my sister-in-law Kelly. Just a vanilla sock, with a short cuff. Nothing big. She wanted something that would match her work clothes tan and blue. I saw Sheepaints at the Sweetsheep and got a hank in the surf colorway. I wound it up into one big ball and then split it into two smaller ones….
Good sock, bad sock
raveled here
I CO 64sts using a US 1 (2.25mm) and knit 2×2 ribbing for 3.5″ before working the heel and then knit for a bit before working the toe. (I took really good notes, huh?) I knit the sock on the left first, which I will now refer to as “bad sock”. You know sometimes with handpainted yarns you get the funky pooling or flashing. *grumble* All the tan seemed to be on the top and all the blue was on the sole of the bad sock. But the other sock, it was so good and it striped beautifully. And my sock mojo left halfway through the 2nd sock. It languished forever. Before I forced myself to finish it. And I did, sometime in April I think. You know just in time for the nice warm weather… Kelly still was grateful for her socks. She’s so cute. She wants another pair.

My sock mojo came back with abandon in June. I started casting on with abandon. First my inverted Marigold socks
WIP inverted Marigold socks
pattern: Marigold Socks
yarn: socks that rock in medium weight Sunstone colorway
needles: US 1.4 (2.5mm)
notes: I CO 54s, and am working the sock top down. I’ve reversed the chart so my row 1 is row 7 on the chart.
raveled here.

and then for more socks on the go, just in time for GS camp. When I arrived I had only knit about 1/2″ surprisingly there was a fair amount of downtime that I got to knit. Several of the girls watched me for a bit and so did the adults.
WIP socks on the go
pattern, its really more like a recipe. I CO 64sts using US 1 (2.25m) needles knit k2, p2 for 15 rows knit straight until the heel. Either I’ll work a slip stitch heel or a short row. Then knit until I’ve reached about halfway to my pinky toe, then work a standard toe until 16sts remain and graft shut.
yarn: yarntini variegated sock in cosmopolitan that Mike got me from yarn4socks
notes: this sock lives in the car, so it doesn’t see much action.
raveled here.

Even though I have 3 sock WIPs right now I want to cast on for a cowl. But I must finish my secret knitting. Mike and I will be in the car for a while tomorrow as we travel down to Richmond, VA (again.) Hopefully then I can caston for a new project finish my secret knitting…

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dreaming, of knitting

It took 8 hours to get to my parents house yesterday. 2 bathroom stops, 7 construction zones, 1 lunch break, 2 snacks, 5 movies, 1 impromptu Old McDonald song, totaling 8 hours of me dreaming of knitting. Usually, I try to stop for gas in Port Jervis because its cheap, and they pump it for you (one good thing about New Jersey). I was so happy to see the lines for the pump, even though it added more time to our trip. Because this gave me time to knit, something I had been dreaming about for 5 1/2 hours. I started knitting away on my secret project,
Something blue, in Koigu!
and while I was getting fuel my window was down and the guy next to me was watching me knit. He asked me “do you do that when your driving?” I told him “No, but it would be very tempting if there wasn’t the risk of impaling myself with all these needles!”
I didn’t get to knit Wednesday night at all. I had lots of ends to weave in, 6 little tiny crochet loops to create and a teeny little baby sweater to block. Crochet is just too fiddly for me, and those loops totally kicked my butt. It wasn’t so much the chaining, it was getting the stupid loops to stay put.
cool as a cucumber
stats-
pattern: Super-natural stripes by fpea
size: 0-6m
for: Adrian’s baby boy… can’t remember his name… maybe Aden?
needles: US 7 (4.5mm) and a size G crochet hook
yarn: a little less than 1 ball of MC Lion Brand cotton ease in Lime
CC1 about 20 yards of cotton ease in Maize
CC2 about 20 yards of cotton ease in Almond
notions: 4 sweet little wooden buttons that I picked up from the Yarn Lounge in Richmond, VA. While I was visiting Mike at work earlier this week. (I’ve been in the car waaay to much this summer.) The buttons measure 1/2″ (1.5cm) and I placed them about 1.5″ apart from each other.
cool as a cucumber, back
mods: I knit this pretty much like the pattern stated. However, I did knit the sleeves before I picked up the button band. I have no idea how to explain this but where the pattern says to knit one row of the CC2 before you knit the button band in the MC. I knit the first and last sts in the MC (green) and the rest in CC2 (almond.) Basically I wanted the white to frame it, I didn’t like the look of the white all they way down on the button band, yes it meant 4 more ends to weave in. Also I crochet 6 chains instead of 8. (My buttons where much smaller than the called for button.)
I want to knit this sweater for Kailey now, the stripes are just too darn cute!

On another knitterly note Sunday my mom and I (sans kiddo’s) will be joining my sister at French Park in North Egremont MA for ‘Egremont on Parade’. Since its late, and my brain hurts drop by my sis’s blog for way more information than I’m giving you. If your going to be in the area, drop by. I’m sure its going to be a wonderful afternoon. Personally, I’m looking forward to 4 hours of peaceful knitting and not having to worry about who is eating sand now…

almost porchless.

The past couple weeks we’ve been undergoing some home renovating on the weekends. Some of ya’ll know we live in a nice old house, a 133 year old house. It was build by the son of the man that founded the town we live in. Below is an artists interpretation of what our home looked like when it was built in 1875. I say interpretation because there is a hill on the left of the house and another big hill to the right just after the trees. Also at some point the chimney on the left was torn down to the attic floor and the chimney on the right was completely removed. The widows walk is also gone, but the access ladder is still in the attic.
an artists drawing of our home in 1875
Its one of the oldest homes in our town still standing. There are lots of quirks and weird stuff that we’ve come across that we just don’t get. But there is so much history and beauty in it too. We’ve been putting off rebuilding the porches for a number of years now. Mostly because we couldn’t agree on how to rebuild them. The front porch was the hardest to decide, by looking at the drawing it looks like it was a balcony. There is even a door frame around the top center front window which is in our bedroom. We ended up deciding to rebuild it close to the way it was when it was ripped off, but with a different roof. Even though this was the last porch to be ripped off we’ll start with its story.

front porch with description
Mostly because its the one that makes ya go huh? Go ahead and imbiggen that picture. At some point some one had cellulose insulation blown into the house. And where the black arrows in the photo are pointing to are missing siding planks. Which allowed whole bunches of insulation to be blown into the porch roof filling it up so it was all nice and insulated. I’m guessing the people who did the insulating didn’t know this was happening. (Ok, its more like hoping. But anyway.) Once the roof started to go, this made the insulation get wet and start to rot, which made the wood rot. And a whole lots of fantabous. This is one of the quirks that ya just wonder what the hell where they thinking? (Other than lets save some wood. We don’t need to plank this up!) There is still a little bit of the floor left to rip off, and some of the floor supports that need to be ripped off too. I found one little treasure under this porch that I’m trying to identify
piece of a plate
Anyone know anything about this piece? Its not flat, it has a slight curve to it. Which makes me think it was a small bowl. We found lots of stuff under the back porch/mudroom and the side porch. It amazes me how much stuff people left under the porches. I keep asking myself why didn’t they pick this stuff up before they started building? Why did they just leave it here? But I am quite happy they where slobbish and left it for us to find, decades later.
things found under the porches during renovation
click on photo to embiggen and to go to my flickr set where you’ll find more info.

When the side porch was ripped off, we found the biggest surprises. I thought that we had gotten everything out of the side porches closet. But hidden on the back of the top shelf this can was hiding,
the old tin can
Its a little smaller than a popcorn can. You can barely see “Fleshman’s” written on it. It also says frozen and the sticker says “VOL-WHIP EGG WHITE” I don’t know what it contained. Any idea’s? We also found a slew of things inside of here, almost like a time capsule.
hidden in the tin
Inside the tin was a mess of papers that where perfectly preserved dating back to the 1960’s. There are pictures, local newspaper clippings, books, and pay stubs from a local mine among so many papers. I hope to have some time to photograph these in detail.
side porch
We burned most of the wood that came off of the porches. We only filled one 10 yard dumpster with the tar paper roofs and other things that weren’t burnable or safe to burn from 3 porches. So that is what my past 3 weekends have been about. Luckily I have the “hardest” job, entertaining my children and our helpers children. Hopefully this weekend while I’m away at my parents for our family reunion the rest of the front porch will be ripped off and we will be totally porch-less and the footer’s will be poured for the mudroom.

ahhhh, renovation and construction, its what brings couples closer together….

What’s in a name?

Really, what is in a name? If you take a lookie round your stash take a look at all the colorway names. There are lots of names that jump at me from my stash: Aquamelon, Glenwood, mimosa, raspberry bramble just to name a few. Not all yarn’s that I’ve purchased have been purely because of the colorways name, there are lots in my stash that are just romanticized numbers. But yes, there are a few that I have bought just because of the names. Flamingo, hollyday, cheesecake come to mind. Occasionally a colorways name just hits how you feel, or speaks to a part of you. Follow me here,
In wine [there is the] truth
I was still visiting my parents when the february lady sweater started to invade my ravelry friends activity page. I was just about finished with Missy Miss Marigold, as soon as I got the ruffles right it would be done. Once I saw The february lady sweater was going to be my next sweater, I knew I was going to use dream in color classy. I wanted to use the happy forest colorway, but couldn’t get my hands on any fast enough.
In wine [there is the] truth sweater
my mum was nice enough to let me shop her stash, as long as I replaced what I took. She had 4 skeins of DIC classy in In Vino Veritas, and the colorway name spoke to me. I love the depth of the deep wine colors, the purple that is thrown in there too. I wasn’t quite sure how well the color worked with my skin tone. In the end I am very pleased. I found the name interesting, and had to find out what it really meant, because all I knew it meant in wine something. After a few google searches I found out that it means “In wine there is the truth.” Veritas was the goddess of truth. There was so much in this colorways name. There is a little bit more here.
In wine [there is the] truth sweater
This sweater certainly makes me smile. Here are my project stats:

pattern: february lady sweater by Pamela Whynne
size: XXS (35″)
yarn: 750 yards or 306g of dream in color classy, in the In Vino Veritas colorway. When I was finished with the body I had a bit left over from the second hank, but it wasn’t enough for a full sleeve. I hate weaving in ends so I started another ball. Now that I’ve finished the sweater I have 36g left over from the 3 hanks I used. (16g from the 2nd skein that I used on the body, and 20g left over from the 3rd hank which I used for both of the sleeves. Confused? yeah, I’m a little too. )
needles: US 8 (5.0mm) knitpicks options. Conveniently my mom had a US8 I could borrow on a 60′ cable, so I could try this sweater on as I went.
notions: 3 buttons purchased at Jon-Ann’s. They are made by Organic Elements and are #2701
notes or mods: I used the buttonhole tutorial that was recommended in the pattern. My buttonholes are about 2” apart from each other (7 garter ridges). Also I decreased the 7 sts that are picked up under the armpit over the first 4 rows. What can I say, I gots skinny arms!
sweaters measurements before and after blocking:
sleeve length: before 13″, after 13″
body length: before 17″, after 19″
underarm to BO edge: before 12″, after 13.5″
I blocked the sweater by soaking it in a basin with cool water and a bit of soak for about 20 minutes. I then put it in a sweater bag and put it through the spin cycle on my front loader. To dry it I put it on the drying rack in the dyer on medium heat for 40 minutes. It was still a little damp, so I took the rack out of the dryer and placed it over my hampers so air would still circulate. The lace pattern opened up slightly, the lace pattern growing 1.5″ and the garter yoke gaining .5″ from blocking. (yay! Just what I wanted!)
and oh yes, raveled here

I feel kinda sad that its done. I enjoyed the rhythm of the gull lace, the tactile feel of the yarn, even the smell of the yarn. So, I’ve ordered more DIC classy from the loopy ewe to knit Corra a FLS too. Its scary because my sweater… fits her too. Only the sleeves are longer on her.
In wine [there is the] truth sweater
I need to grow taller. And I see 2 more of these sweaters in my future!

Today is also my big sis’s birthday, go shoot over to her blog and wish her well! Happy Birthday sis! I hope you have a wonderful day, and thanks for putting up with me as a sister. I know I was a lot to put up with! I still owe you a pack of double stuff oreo’s! And is anyone up for cheeseballs? ((hugs))

Missy Miss Marigold

Yesterday I finished my february lady sweater, but I wanted to share this little tank first. After the crap that went on in my life (that I just want to bury and stomp all over) I wanted something to help me heal. I don’t do negativity or sadness well. Its not apart of me, I don’t have the energy for drama or cattiness. I don’t have the ability hold a grudge (er, that should probably read I don’t have the memory to hold a grudge). I fully believe in forgiveness. I needed something for angry knitting for sad knitting, something to make me feel happy. Something I could just knit.
After going through my ravelry queue I found this lovely little tank. It was perfect, had everything I needed. It’s a simple little knit, so I could pour lots of angry knitting into it and not screw it up.
FO Ms. Marigold
I had the yarn already stashed, and the needles too. I did a gauge swatch and casted on June 1. During a bit of knitting time I was catching up on my recorded shows and I was watching an episode of how I met your mother. Barnie said something that was exactly what I needed “When I feel sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead.” After that (and a small bout of angry knitting) I stopped feeling sad, and sorry for myself. Because really, where and what was that getting me? I then started being awesome instead.
FO Ms. Marigold

Its so much easier being awesome even though my flutters aren’t as ruffly as I wish. (I still think they look pretty awesome though!)
FO Ms. Marigold
Project stats:

pattern: Ms. Marigold from Zephyr style size small
yarn: Debbie Bliss cathay 5 balls color 12015 from the stash
needles US 5 (3.75mm) and US 3 (3.25mm). Size g crochet hook to for the armholes and sleeve ruffles.
notes: I ripped out the neck ribbing once, because it looked odd on one side. I’m pretty proud of myself for doing the crochet ruffles, even though I had to do them 3 times to get it to look right!
raveled here
more pictures in my flickr account.

Not only did this little top help me heal, but all the lovely comments and emails from you guys helped me heal. We have a wonderful knitting community here, and I’m so very glad to be apart of it. I know I still owe lots of you emails and I’m sorry I haven’t gotten around to it. ((hugs)) thanks again for understanding and being there too.

sleeves of indecision

really, who knew that sleeves could be so indecisive? Ok, your right. Its not really the sleeves that are indecisive its me, the bearer of the sleeves.
sleeves of indecision 5
click on the picture to embiggen, or click here to see the same picture without the effects.

I’m talking about the sleeves on my In wine [there is the] truth sweater (also known as the february lady sweater). When I first saw the pattern I thought: “Yes, I love that sweater. But with longer sleeves, wrist length sleeves.” But when I got to the point of three-quarter length sleeves… I changed my mind. Something I might regret come winter. If I ever get around to it, my 2nd lady sweater will have long sleeves. But right now I’m loven the look with the short sleeves.
sleeves of indecision 2

click on photo to embiggen, click here to see same photo without effects.

what can I say other than I’m incredibly indecisive? And just because I just might change my mind, again, I put in a life line before I knit the cuff.

hrmph, darned fickle sleeves.

finished, with time to spare for Softball?

I’m still surprised that I pulled this one off. That I didn’t crash and burn into a big mess, the house is still livable and the health department isn’t knocking down my door. But as Carrie K. pointed out babies are small, and thats a good thing in so many ways!
T H I S Sunday sweater
I finished the T H I S Sunday sweater Saturday morning, sewed on the label and the buttons put it in the washer and dryer and wrapped it up Sunday morning. Just in time.
T H I S Sunday sweater
Pattern stats:
pattern found here
yarn:1.5 balls Lion Brand cotton ease in maize
size: about 6-12 months
needles: US 7
notions: 6 buttons (1 extra for the mom, just in case ; ) by Le Bouton #340 hook 320
started: June 25 2008
finished: June 28 2008
notes: The sweater was very well received. : ) Now, a few notes on the pattern. Its more of a guideline than a pattern. It does tell you how to knit the yoke but thats about it. I knit 4″ of the sleeves before the decreases. I wouldn’t say this is a beginner pattern, but that stitch pattern on the yoke is what drew me in!

Its nice to have the deadline knitting done when you have things to look forward to like a mother daughter softball game. Oyi. Lets just say I don’t suck horribly at sports, but I don’t exactly excel. Click on the photo below to watch a lovely video of me at bat on flickr.
close call
Its a good thing Corra’s much better at softball than I am,