Sunday, December 30, 2007

Joe's Handwarmers

I am still knitting handwarmers... I felt bad that Joe didn't have a pair of his own! So, with some fabulous buffalo yarn (from my stash) in a weight comparable to sock yarn, I cast on 72 sts and started to knit. I am winging it , of course, making it up as I go (and writing it down); as I am not going to find a pattern that will fit his hand. I had uploaded this ONE picture last night before the "other" computer started misbehaving. (Joe is copying pictures to disk before we take it to the Geek Squad - I don't want to think about that) I took this picture of his handwarmer with a handwarmer I knit a couple of years ago that fits me. Knitting him handwarmers is comparable to knitting him socks; it goes on and on and on.... Knitting while he watches all those #&%$*&# College Bowl games, I have the second one 2/3 completed. It's a good thing as we are going to have a couple of days with nights down in the upper 20"s! That is cold for Texas this time of year! I thought I had at least until mid-January!

Alexis is staying with us this week; she is taking a vacation from all her brothers! I am proud to say she is quite the knitter for a 12 yr old. She brought a sock in progress, but hasn't worked on it. Arriving with a cold/sinus thing; she hasn't felt like knitting. Joe and I have enjoyed having her here. We have stayed pretty quiet so she could recuperate, but today we went shopping! We spent most of the day at the mall. Too bad Twisted Yarns, our LYS, is closed until after New Year's Day. She was thinking about some lime green Online sock yarn and I was thinking of Noro sock yarn. We did go see The Water Horse. It is a wonderful movie!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas Knitting

I absolutely love this time of year! It's the Season that I love most. First and foremost, it's Christ's birthday. I love my children and grandchildren's excitement, Christmas trees, Christmas music, the mall at Christmas, the food, baking, parties, wraping presents, giving gifts; but I absolutely LOVE Christmas lights; I want to light EVERYTHING! I wear contacts so at night, especially, there's a little "starburst" effect around all lights. It makes Christmas lights look spectacular! After my divorce, I lived in an apartment (upstairs) for awhile. My bedroom had a large, double window at the foot of my bed that looked out the patio into the parking lot. I strung the large, old fashioned lights around that window. So every night, Tugley and I drifted off to sleep looking at those lights through half-closed eyes. It created such a colorful warm glow, a really magical feeling! (I didn't take them down until mid-January)

On to Knitting -
My current knitting project is - as I think about it, that's about all I can say as it may show up somewhere else at a later date. Up close, (not a sock) sock yarn, cables and beads......

These are the ornaments from Vogue Holiday Issue. I HAD to change them up a teeeensy tiny bit. I like to use a #1 needle with sock yarn so THEN I had to change the CO #...but I LOVE the way they look. The three that are alike are knit from an Online sock yarn from about 3 yrs ago. I wish I had some more of it! I do have a pair of socks knit from it though. The other ornament is an Online sock yarn this year! (see previous picture) I am seriously thinking about knitting Christmas Stockings from this yarn over the coming Summer.

I want to do the small tree in the kitchen area with these next year. Joe said I better get busy.

This is a spectacular amaryllis. I have taken tons of pics of it but the color won't get just right. It's more of a deep garnet red. The center flower is just beginning to open. It's one of the new bulbs for this year. I got it at Smith and Hawken; one of my favorite stores. I can get lost for a couple hours there. This flower is huge (the bulb was huge). There is another flower stalk coming up on the other side.

I am wishing for cooler weather. Jeez, it's December and nearly 80 in Houston. It looks like it could be cold outside, gray and dreary, but it's not! Joe and I went Christmas shopping and walked around Market Street. I had on sandals. Cold weather is on my Christmas wish list... along with a few other things!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Getting Back to Normal and Knitting Handwarmers

I think we are finally settled in well enough to have normal days and nights again. Unpacking now consists of getting one box a day from the garage and sorting it out between putting away and throwing away. Joe still has a hard time finding what I have put away. I am sure that will go on for awhile as I decide some things need to be put somewhere else….. Hopefully, we will be able to park at least our car in the garage soon.

We had a great Thanksgiving on Saturday with the kids and grandkids. Joe’s turkey was absolutely GREAT! He bakes a turkey from scratch – he injects seasonings, stuffs it with apples and oranges and bakes it! I am still so impressed every year! It was a cold, rainy day but the SILs kept a fire going; so we stayed cozy. SIL, Q's, wine helped us stay warm too! Kayla and Sophie, first and second graders, added a bit of excitement when they called 911 on Heather’s cell. Kayla told them “there’s a fire in Hawaii”. 911 called back immediately to confirm that we did/did not have a fire along with a stern lecture. Calling 911 is not a laughing matter, but it is entertaining to watch your children be parents as you remember all the stuff they did. I stayed so busy that I forgot to take even one picture.

I knit 3 pairs of handwarmers (before Thanksgiving) to go with birthday presents for Joe’s daughters, Lee, Lynn and Heather. After trying a couple of patterns, I created my own pattern for basic handwarmers in sock yarn using needle size #1 US. Eventually there will be a link here for the pattern, but for now email me thru comments and I will send it to you. Be sure and leave your email address!

Ribbed Handwarmers

Now, I am knitting my own pair of handwarmers. They are going to have a fat little cable down the top of the hand with a scattering of beads. I LOVE this yarn; specifically the colors and the way it stripes. It is ONline Supersocke 100 Holiday Color. The colors that define my "Christmas" are different from these. I think Fiesta! best describes these happy colors, but they do well for Christmas at my house. I am seriously thinking about knitting Christmas stockings for the mantle with this yarn. You can see the beginning of the cable between the two purple markers. I am using a small jingle bell for a BOR marker.

Close up of cable

Today, I baked a chocolate cream pie for DH Joe. I had to take a picture of the meringue. I have never been able to make a good meringue. This one came out damn near perfect! I am so surprised and excited; I took a picture AND wrote down the recipe. I think I made a happy husband too.

This is a sitting area off the kitchen, complete with Pug, where we sit every morning. Joe reads the paper and I knit. We don't have curtains yet; just blinds. That's the small tree with non-breakable ornaments for the grandkids. Jayden was here (and everywhere) in his walker.

One last photo of my handwarmer.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Knitting on the 12" Addi Turbo

This is my handwarmer/gauntlet in progress on a 12" Addi Turbo. The yarn is Trekking XXL #108 sock weight yarn (because knitting minds want to know).

A different angle - showing one needle extended from the knitting - the knitting really moves quickly along the needles. You will have to help the sts along for about the first inch after that they are fine.

This is a Crystal Palace #1 bamboo 6" double point with a #0 Addi Turbo 12" next to it so you can see the needle length. The Addi does have a curve in it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Unpacking Yarn Room Today

This is going to be my yarn room. Looks pretty sad right now. It has great windows with morning light! By this evening, I am hoping for a cozy retreat.

Below are the boxes, in the dining room, with everything that will go in the yarn room. When the yarn room is unpacked; the dining room will be minus the boxes. That will be a very good thing.

Yesterday was an adventure for us. When you don't live in the city limits; you have to go to the county seat in your county for vehicle registrations and such. (there is one 6 miles from us but it's not in our county) We did drivers license yesterday. That was a 70 mile round trip for us twice! Joe didn't have his SS card and I had to have my birth certificate. We got back home about 5:30pm. Joe got a bit frustrated; so I had to remind him WHO wanted to live in the country.....

This is the sight in front of our house that greeted the garbage truck when they turned the corner. I am certain THEY will be glad when we are unpacked. Otherwise, it was a beautiful, cool, foggy morning.

For my friends in Lake Charles, a new photo of Jayden; our newest/youngest grandchild. You may remember his pre-birth pictures I posted. Kim and Pam, with Alexis, Kayla and Jayden came for a visit a couple of weeks ago. Blogger wasn't uploading photos then. She had him sitting on my coffee table in his Bumbo watching cartoons with Alexis and Kayla. I knitted Jayden several pairs of socks which he promptly outgrew! He looks a bit like all of us - Pam, Kim and I; but most definitely his Dad. He is particularly fond of his Poppy Joe.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Here We Are..

Finally, Blogger is uploading photos again!

Here is the house. As you can see, Joe has a lot of yard work to do! He has been cutting and splitting some trees for firewood. He has almost 2 cords of wood already!

I am spray painting bamboo patio furniture on the driveway this morning making an end table and a sofa very colorful. Mexican Cantina is the theme complete with the usual Christmas lights you see in some restaurants.

More pictures will be coming now that Blogger is hopefully back to normal.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Back to Posting -

We have been working the last three weeks trying to get settled in enough to resume our lives! (I have tried several times today to post a picture of our house but Blogger isn't cooperating for me or anyone else it seems) I have taken lots of pictures over the last two and a half months! Last Friday evening Kim and Pam with the kids (Alexis, Kayla and Jayden) came for the weekend. Saturday mid-morning I began to look for a striped bib I had knit for Jayden. As I searched through the house for the very large red plaid plastic bag of knitting stuff (lots of needles, favorite yarns, books, patterns not to mention my knitting journal with original patterns) I had taken with me to the hotel to keep me sane. I realized, most surely, I had left it at the hotel two weeks ago! How could that possibly have happened? I freaked out while I tried to find the business card for the hotel. We didn't have a land line yet as we live in a new subdivision out in the country; not in a city or town. BellSouth and Embarq are trying to decide who is going to provide service (that's another story). I am outside calling the hotel on my cell with very spotty service (again, we live out in the country) The lady at the front desk calmly says she can't hear me and asks me to call on another phone and promptly hangs up! Finally, by facing a certain direction, I get better reception and call again. YES, they had my bag and I could pick it up anytime. She asks incredulously what do you do with all that stuff in the bag? I knit I said. "Would you knit a baby blanket for me" she asks..... Melt down. Yesterday, I typed in my address as I registered with an online yarn source thinking I might order some sock yarn; it promptly told me that I had entered an invalid address! They say it takes a year for a new address in a new subdivision out in the country to get into the system. I surely hope UPS can find me!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Home at Last

It's 9PM We are back after dinner and a run thru the local grocery store. After a long day it's blackberry merlot from a red Dixie cup. My PJs are calling me.

We're Moved In

It's 6:45PM The movers have gone and the little painter is just now leaving. Joe and I are exhausted, hungry and happy. We are going to dinner and make a stop to get a couple of towels so we can take baths and some breakfast stuff. We are looking forward to coming back and relaxing. A day or so of rest then back to LC to get all our household stuff. Probably take 2 trips.

Joe's on the Way

It's 2:45PM Made friends with the painter doing touchup work. He is Hispanic and had brought a jam box but turned it off when we came in. I asked him to turn it back on! It's Hispanic music -very happy and enjoyable! Music helps me pass the time too. He does't speak English but he's smiling and very nice! Joe called and furniture should be here any minute now. All the Hispanic music makes reminds me It IS Friday. Margaritas!

Waiting on furniture

We got the keys! Joe left to go meet the movers. Tug and I are sitting on the dining room floor eating vanilla wafers. There wasn't very many. I gave most of them to him as he was too nervous to eat his breakfast this morning. The painter is here doing some last minute touchup painting. It's nice and cool; would be quiet if Tugley wasn't panting nervously. I did bring some knitting to pass the time until Joe arrives with the movers. I have a plain sock on a 12" circ in Jitterbug. I love the colors. The movers just called wanting to know if the other 2 guys were there yet. I gave them Joe' cell #.They are early - that is good! I am going to walk Tug and get my knit.

Moving Day!

Today is moving day! Come Hell or Hurricane... It is 9:35AM - we have the Highlander loaded with almost everything from our motel room. Tugley is in the front floorboard at my feet and most he loves to ride in the car. (His Little Chubbiness is determined to sit on my feet) I stuck my Mother's Day orchid in a little cubby hole in the back floorboard. It is blooming for the second time. It is important to have something blooming at home. It has 2 pretty flowers. Having made a Starbucks stop, we are now on our way to the house. It takes about an hour to get there from here. Joe has gotten to be quite the city driver! Jeff from Design Tech is meeting us at 11AM. We are to do another walk thru and get the keys. Joe is meeting AAA Movers at Uncle Bob's Storage and they are moving the furniture this afternoon. I hope to sleep in my bed tonight! I plan to continue to post thru the day today - for friends at home. I have been taking lots of pictures. We bought a tech gizmo thing from Sprint for Internet Service (to try) as our only svc now is Bellsouth. Stay tuned -

Monday, September 17, 2007

Walk Thru in the Morning 9AM

I feel like we are living the movie Groundhog Day! We are gonna make 7 wks in this hotel on Friday. Thankfully, there will be a walk thru in the morning with closing scheduled for Friday. We should begin moving in Saturday - Friday afternoon if possible. Wanting crawfish, we went to dinner last evening at Pappadeaux's on 1960. After eating way too much, we decided to order dessert to go. I wanted cheesecake and Joe wanted banana pudding. No problem with the cheesecake but they were all out of banana pudding. Out of banana pudding on Sunday? The waitress said yes, George Foreman's family had been in and they ate it all! They served them 20+ banana puddings. We just missed seeing all the "Georges". (He named all his kids George, in case you don't know).Joe brought home sweet potato pecan pie. Joe is knitting/designing the cutest hat with cables. I finished upsizing the sock pattern for CPY. I need my computer to finish it now. Jeez! Have I mentioned that this hotel doesn't carry the Astro's games on their TV line up?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

10 More Days!

Hopefully. We should do a walk through Monday and sign on the dotted line on Friday. Yippee! I finally figured out how to do mobile blogging. For some reason my posts wouldn't publish - today it did. I can't post pics so we'll catch up on those later. It's a good thing I brought substantial stash. It has been a looong time in a hotel room! You definitely find out if you really like your spouse. I am ready to give Tugley to the first band of gypsies that pass by. He is taking advantage of the walking the dog thing... We have been knitting - sent Jayden 14 bibs. Joe knitted 8 and he was most creative! I knitted 6 and pretty much worked to perfect a pattern I created.Joe is now knitting hats for the grandsons. He hates the Denice needles I brought, so he wants to go to Twisted Yarns tomorrow to get bamboo needles and dps - he is becoming such a knitting Diva! (Joe says he's not a Diva; he's a Deebeaux). His knitting has improved considerably and so has his dialogue. I am working to upsize a lady's sock pattern for Crystal Palace. It is an original design.Glad I have something to work on. Susan from CPY kindly offered to send anything we need. The very FIRST thing I want is my computer plugged in to a live satellite plug...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Still Not in the House...

HI!! I am excited to be online! We have been in the hotel for two weeks now. The only way to have Internet at the hotel is a laptop with WIFI - hated to buy a laptop just for being in the hotel. So, we have opted for a phone with Internet capabilities. I started out with the Treo (which is a great little phone) but it doesn't have the navagation capabilities that we wanted (and were told it could do). So, we are exchanging it for a Blackberry BUT the new ones are out and it should be here tomorrow. Jeez...... Today, we are at McCullough Junior High School in The Woodlands visiting my friend Pat Perez. It's a beautiful school. My daughter Kim went to a year and a half of high school here.; when we lived here in the late 80s it was the high school. Now it is a junior high for 7th and 8th graders; 2200 of them! Joe and I along with Tugley are doing well. We try to plan something to do every day to get out of the hotel room. Pat and Jerry gifted us with a Texas Book of Road Trips. We are going to start taking a few day trips. We have been going to the movies. I can heartily recommend Stardust. We expect to be in the house in 2 to 3 weeks. It looks great and we are getting excited. We go out there once a week and see how things are going. God knows we are ready to be "home". I promise to catch up on pictures when we get our computers plugged in. That will be one of the first things we do, believe me.

Friday, August 3, 2007

We are Out of the old House...

...not yet in the new house. It's a funny feeling to be "between" houses. We are completely moved out of the house in Lake Charles. (OMG am I glad to be finished moving OUT) The House in Houston isn't finished and won't be for at least 3 weeks. Our stuff, and my yarn stash, is at Kim and Todd's house. Our furniture is in storage in Conroe Texas. Every other thing we own is boxed and in storage in Lake Charles. We are going to be sharing Kayla's room for a few days and then we will head on to Houston. We will not have computer access at the extended stay hotel in Houston. So, posts may be sparse for a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More Panda Silk Sock Knitting

In the middle of all the craziness in my house right now, I am knitting....
I am just about to the toe decreases for this sock. The color really screams Fall and Halloween. Pippi Longstocking keeps coming to my mind; maybe it's the striping! I think I am going to request 2 balls of this colorway for socks for ME! Of course, Panda Silk is a dream to knit with. Last week at our Knit Night Out, we passed it around with lots of ooohing and aawwhing as it made its way along the tables of knitters.
It seems that a ball of Panda Silk goes a loooong way. After CO 72 sts, I have knit a 6" ribbed cuff and I am now well into a normal foot length with yarn to spare. I dare say that 2 balls will easily make a pair of socks for most knitters with an average size foot. On second thought, what is average any more?

Below, is the center back of the heel flap. Isn't that cool looking? I do like the stripes with the pooling down the center. I probably couldn't do that again if I tried - desperately.

House Update - we have sheetrock! Yea! This is the living room looking into the kitchen/dining room. The outside still looks pretty much the same. Until they clear the construction debris from the front yard and pour the driveway, there won't be much improvement there.

Beginning this Thursday, Joe and I will be at Kim's house kidsitting Kayla and Matthew while she and Todd take a 10-day vacation. I have packed lots of knitting and the latest Harry Potter book. Joe looked at me this afternoon and asked what he was going to do! I told him he had better find something to take along to keep him busy too! He has a sock in progress...
We are in the middle of packing up the whole house. I wander from room to room trying to "know" what I am going to need the next couple of months. The rest of everything gets packed and goes to storage until the house is finished. I have put together a semi-good-sized stash of yarn, needles and books. I already miss my stuff.....

Blogger still won't let me adjust spacing so paragraphs are running together

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Knitting Panda Silk Sock

I received a ball of Panda Silk in the tone-on-tone colors (specifically the shaded oranges) day before yesterday. Susan, of Crystal Palace Yarns, requested a plain sock to see how the colorway knits up and how far one ball of yarn goes. It is exactly what I need to be knitting right now; a sock from memory with no pattern to follow and great yarn. Absolutely perfect. It will be my knitting at BAM Friday night for the Harry Potter Fest. We are planning to be there about 10pm.

Panda Silk is heavenly to knit. It is spun just right. It not loose so it’s not “splitty” and it doesn’t wind up on itself either. It is silky and fine. I am getting 9 spi knitting with a #1 (2.5mm) needle. Based on spi, I co 72 stitches for my sock.

I am knitting the basic Ann Norling sock pattern to see how the colorway knits up and how far one ball of it will go. I will continue to post progress so you can see too.

At home, I am packing up everything. This afternoon, I am packing up my yarn room so I can keep out what I think I might need for the next two months. I have no idea what I am going to need for two months. I did get sock yarn out of storage. Joe and I with Tugley will be moving into a corporate efficiency apt in Houston until the house is completed. I will have the computer so I can post.

I am sooo glad I knit………

Monday, July 16, 2007

Knitting and House Update

Joe and I took a few days off and went to Houston. We checked on the house and progress has been slower than we would like. We found a little Hispanic gentleman sitting on top of a large stack of sheetrock smoking a cigarette; looking a bit surly! I am guessing we must have intruded on his lunch break.
There's going to be a couple of weeks between moving out of this house and into the new house. It looks like there may be another hotel stay in our near future.

This is the "test" knit for the Panda Silk sock design for Crystal Palace. (this is Panda Cotton, though, not wanting to confuse you) I only had to knit thru the complete eyelet pattern, heel flap, turned heel, and gusset pu stitches. At some time in the next few days, this sock pattern, Beaded Eyelet Trouser Sock, will be a free pattern on their website. When it's posted, I will provide a link here.

It rained, again, while we were in Houston which is the reason we didn't drive on to Fredericksburg. It has been a particularly rainy Summer, which has been a PIA when you are trying to build a house. We went to Market Street in The Woodlands, walked around some and then dined at Brio.

OTN - I have Joe's mitts in American Buffalo going but I haven't been able to focus on those the last couple of days. I need "mindless" knitting. You know, the kind you don't have to think about. Susan at Crystal Palace came to the rescue. A little box arrived today with some of the new shaded Panda Silk. She has requested a basic sock which is perfect for now. (I still have to go "rescue" my sock yarn from storage)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Where's My Yarn?

Yesterday, Joe signed the contract to sell the house we are living in. It sold in just over one week on the market. WOW! Our house in Houston isn’t going to be ready when we have to move out of this one! I was afraid that would happen. So, we decided to pack up, store everything and move into an extended stay hotel near our house under construction so we can go check on it every other day or so. (remembering 4 months in a hotel after Hurricane Rita, this is like bad dejavu) We figure as it nears completion, it’s a good time to be there! I am quietly, happily thinking about lots of knitting time and what knitting accoutrements I should pack! Joe says we will start packing now room by room in an orderly fashion and have this done in no time! Great, I’m thinking. He is actually going to help me pack! I am so impressed!

The next morning, Kim, Matthew, Kayla and I drive to Jennings to spend the day with Pam, Alexis and Jayden. We had a wonderful day lunching together and passing baby Jayden around. I took some wonderful pictures of all the kids.

I got home about 5pm; sat down while asking Joe about his day. He said he had started packing and hauled those boxes plus the ones I had already packed to the storage building. Cool! He said we needed to get “the rest of the stuff” out of that room as he pointed off to the left. I asked what room? He pointed again off to the left. I asked him incredulously if he was talking about my yarn room! He said yes! I felt the beginning of a transient anxiety attack creeping slowly across my shoulders and up the back of my neck as I asked what he had done with my yarn. He calmly replied that he had gone ahead and moved all my yarn that was already in bins to the storage building!! My mind is racing as I think, “first boxes in are always the last boxes out!” It will be a couple of months before I see my yarn again. I have to go rescue my sock yarn!! That sock yarn is my sanity! I can’t be in a hotel for even two days without my sock yarn!

This is where about 15 large, clear plastic bins of my yarn, including my sock yarn, used to be.

(that little white storage shelf thing to the left has a few skeins of sock yarn in it, but the bins in storage have the yarn I want to design Christmas Stockings in for the new house) The next trip to the storage place I am getting my sock yarn..............

Friday, July 6, 2007

Tagged for a Meme

Seven Things about Me -

1) I am a lefty! I learned to crochet left-handed as a child spending time with my Grandmothers. My favorite crochet is lace with bedspread weight cotton. After years of having to convert patterns; I knew I wanted to knit right-handed. I find it very easy and have never regretted it for one minute. 2) I am scared to death of snakes. Joe puts moth balls everywhere outside in the early Spring to keep them away from the house, patio and flower beds. It didn't keep the one that was climbing the side of our house eating the lizards away! Joe said it was a chicken snake. He killed it with his golf club! (it was the closest thing he could find) 3) I love Baseball! and I love the Astros; win or lose. I prefer they win, of course, but remain a fan always. I also love to watch pretty much every team; even the Yankees. I love the sounds of baseball; the crack of the bat, the Umpire calling strikes, crowd noises and the music played during the games - Take Me Out to the Ball Game! Go B G O! 4) I garden. I am one of those Gardeners in the front yard, bent over, behind in the air; digging in the dirt! No honking when you drive by, please. I like all tropical flowering plants. About April, I start making all the garden centers loading up with annuals and tropicals. I start dragging the big stuff home in May. I lost my large Bird of Paradise to Rita (salt water kills just about everything); and promised Joe I wouldn't buy another one until we get moved. It's been hard to keep my word since Home Depot had them for $20!!! 5) I could eat Mexican food e v e r y day of the week. Friday is always Margarita night at our house! The more margaritas I drink; the more Spanish I remember; usually not typical conversational Spanish. (giggle) 6) I have a Pug named Tugley; Tug for short. He makes every step I make thru day. He sits beside me in my chair in the evenings while I knit watching baseball with Joe. 7) I am a "bag" lady. You can't have too many bags. Big bags to take to the flea market, shopping, overnight, makeup, knitting, tapestry, leather, Tugley stuff; you get the picture. TaDa!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Shoulda Swatched

Joe's Newsboy Cap

Okay listen up all you beginner and somewhat accomplished knitters, (aka those like me who think they are better knitters than they really are), checking your gauge is IMPORTANT!!! I just finished the Newsboy Cap featured in July Creative Knitting Magazine, it was a intermediate level project, i.e. more than part time practitioner of the art…..OK

Anyway, to make a long and “salty” story short, my gauge it turns out must have been about a quarter bigger than that suggested by the designer, cause the dang hat is HUGE. Debbie said I must have Harry Potter on the brain cause it would fit Hagrid!!!! Where is my wand when I need it, probably stuck up my butt where my knitting needles should have been on this one…ouch! I found the pattern somewhat hard to decipher even with some help from Debbie, but overall I got through it. The bill is just slightly overlarge, like about 5 inches, but you ladies know how we guys are about size and inches and such…

So, to all my knitting friends that are just learning the craft, pay attention to the directions, and most importantly, make sure you do a gauge swatch on new projects. If you are not sure about having it right, make a trip to your LYS, or your knitting group, or your guru to get help. It will make all the difference in the outcome of your project. As most of you know, it is just heartbreaking to put so much work into something, only to have it turn out wrong and have to FROG, (I really do still hate that word), and start over.

On to my next project, another sock with a cool rib pattern I found in one of B. Walker’s books. This time I will be a good boy and finish it out all the way, heck if it turns out really great, I might even do the second one for a pair. That would be a real achievement for me, I have a bad habit of once I do something, I do not like to do the same thing again. But I guess if I want a “pair” of socks, I might have to get over it and do the second one huh?!!!

Until next time, God bless you one and all and
Knit On……Joe

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Joe's Fingerless Mitts

There were no posts last week as Alexis came and stayed the week with Joe and I. We did fun stuff all week - she made a scrapbook of her new baby brother, Jayden, for her Mom. We had t-shirts to embellish but didn't get around to those. She started a sock in Trekking that stripes like Lifesavers. Taking a few notes, she hopes to be able to work on it at home.

For those of you who have asked, the house in Houston is coming along great. We have listed our house here with a realtor and now have people coming and going regularly. We should be moving about the end of August; so I have started boxing things up. I have not boxed anything knitting/yarn, patterns, nor needles. I picture myself opening and retaping boxes over and over and over having tiny transient panic attacks. I have left my yarn room alone for now thinking I need to decide what I am going to want at hand before boxing anything at all.

Susan from Crystal Palace Yarns has asked me to do another design for them in undyed Panda Silk. I picture a neutral color, great for Summer, and have a design in mind. Until the Panda Silk arrives, I am knitting Joe a pair of fingertipless fliptop mitts from Never Knit Your Man a Sweater in Buffalo Yarn from American Buffalo in bison color 2 ply (sock weight). It knits up, for me, perfect gauge for this pattern. It is a wonderful exotic yarn to knit with. Living in the Deep South, he may not have many chances to wear these but when cold weather does come; he will be prepared! I am sure a hat to match will follow.

Below, is the first mitt with completed flip top. After Joe tried on the first mitt, I had to tink it back a bit. The glove was too short. I should have known better; he has a long hands to match his long feet! I increased the length of the cuff by one inch and then had to increase the palm length by one inch also. I will be sure and measure the length of the fingers. I started the second mitt to take to Knit Night Out as this one was not in a spot that I could easily talk and knit at the same time. So, I have two mitts in progress.

This pic shows the completed flip top that decreases like a sock's toe, the thumb gusset and the area where I have picked up stitches on the purl side to knit the fingertipless fingers.

Hmmm........... I am not satisfied with the way the picked up stitches look on the public side. Picking up stitches on the purl side isn't as easy as I thought. I am going to tink back and do this again. Maybe working a bit more loose will make it look better.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Todd's Socks Are Finished

Ta-Daaa! This was fun knitting. There's a short top and not a lot of foot; so they went super fast. They have been washed and air dried making them really soft. Todd will like them; I hope they fit! I will be delivering them this evening. We are going to watch Kayla play Wee Ball (please, she will be 6 yrs old soon) and Matthew plays his game after that. That's probably 3 good hours of grandkid ball games in our evenings of 90+ heat and humidity. It's so hot here and not Summer yet....

I haven't started another knitting project. Crystal Palace is sending some Panda Silk undyed (I think) for a lady's sock design. I have one in mind - something open and airy for Summer; I am thinking a nice drop stitch pattern.

Realtors' Tour thru our house is tomorrow. I am trying not to make myself crazy about it. I am packing - I usually hate packing but this time it isn't so bad. I am supposed to be in my yarn "studio" making neat and boxing up things. House is coming along very well now; contractor says it should be ready in 8 - 10 weeks. They are working inside so there will be no rain delays until they have to pour the driveway......

Monday, June 11, 2007

Todd's Sock

Todd's Sock

Todd is my SIL and he is allergic to cold. No kidding. I had never heard of it either. He breaks out in large red welts that itch really, really bad. It makes riding a Harley in the Winter a bit tricky. He has been wanting a pair of knitted socks and he has been really patient. I kept thinking his wife would knit him a pair.........

The yarn is Limbo Mexico from Schoeller Stahl (100% schurwolle superwash) color 2582. I am using an Addi 12" circular #1 (2.5mm) This is a heavy sock yarn; I am getting 8 sts to the inch. It makes a very heavy stiff fabric; so I am thinking he won't wear these out any time soon. I am planning to wash them a couple of times so they will be soft before I give them to him.

This first pic is of the yarn and his 2nd sock on the 12" circ. With 72 sts, I have no problem knitting around on this little needle. In fact, it goes very quickly.

Second sock on circular up close.

First Sock completed (needs to be blocked) :o)
Cool colors, I think, kinda looks Harleyish. I think he will like them. (maybe some fingerless gloves to match in the Fall?)

Friday, June 8, 2007

Beaded Eyelet Trouser Sock Finished

Panda Silk by Crystal Palace

This is such a gorgeous yarn! I decided to knit a simple eyelet pattern with a minimum of beads imagining a dress sock worn with mules.

I really can't get a good pic to do it justice. I truly enjoyed knitting this sock; there's just enough pattern to keep it interesting. The yarn is one that feels so fabulous that you want to stash lots of it away for later.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Joe's First Sock

All the Way Out of the Yarn Closet -

As of last Thursday, I am an official KIP man!!! I went with the wife to BAM and sat with the knit group and KNITTED. It was not so bad. All the ladies were very pleased that I decided to join them with my knitting project, which by the way was a sock. Yep, I did a sock, the whole thing, knitting in the round with five DPS, ribbing, doing a cable pattern, the heel flap, picking up gusset stitches, gussets, toe decreases and finishing with the kitchener. For the cable pattern, I chose the Double-Wrapped Braid out of Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns book. Now I have to admit it was a bit of a task to work the cables, and I might have expended several of my “Sailor words”, but not as many as in the past, actually once I got the hang of the front cross, the front knit cross, the back cross and back knit cross thing; it was not so hard, except for having to work with that dang little extra needle, 5 needles gets a bit much for my big fingers. Any way, I feel a total sense of freedom now that I did it, and now Debbie W. and dear sister-in-law Darlene should be happy. They were the ones who “needled” me the most about being a man about it and showing that I was secure enough in my masculinity to show up and knit with a group of ladies. I can now sleep at night knowing that task is no longer hanging over my head.

Now I am here to tell you I have a wonderful wife/knitting teacher. Bless her heart, she had the good sense to NOT inform me that I should not have picked cables as a pattern for my sock, let alone one as complex as the one I choose. It was not until it was all over that she informed me that just knitting a sock for the first time was normally challenge enough for a novice; BUT to try cables for the first time at the SAME time was just not something that is recommended, specially the one I chose, it really is true as they say, Ignorance is Bliss……

Now you may notice, the toe of the sock looks a little strange, that is because being an impatient person, I did not take the time required to knit a full length sock that would fit me. My goodness, I would have had to knit at least 6 more inches! That would have taken over 8000 more stitches, (I actually calculated out an approximate number of stitches in the whole thing, it's a guy thing, and it is staggering). Anyway, I just wanted to get to the toe decreases, do the kitchener, and move on to my next project (a cool pattern I found in one of Debbie’s mags, it is a newspaper boy hat). It is really cool looking. Now I just have to see if I can do some kind of stitch pattern of my own choosing……hummmmmm (Debbie is telling me to just follow the pattern the first time, we shall see)

So, I have been busy even though I have not posted for a while. I made another belt for Gabby to go with her other birthday stuff, knitted the sock, worked on my blanket (which may or may not ever get finished), plus working in the yard, and having to make a couple of trips over to the new house that as you know is now coming along quite well. Life is full, but good. I am a bless man, I have a wonderful wife, great kids and grandkids, terrific health and am embarking on a whole new life, it just don’t get any better…..

Until next time,

Knit on……….Joe

Saturday, May 26, 2007

House Progress

Wow! This is what we saw as we came around the corner. A lot has been accomplished since the last time we were at the house; about two weeks ago. Joe and I were quite surprised. We did the electrical walk through today with the Contractor and Electrician making sure outlets, telephone/tv jacks, light switches, ceiling fans and computer connections were where we want them.

Finally, there will be enough outlets on the front porch for Christmas lights.

We are expecting to move the end of August - first of September. Yes, we will be here for 3 months of 2007 Hurricane Season. Joe said not to worry.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Panda Silk Sock

Panda Silk is a fabulous new sock yarn from Crystal Palace Yarns. It will be available later this Summer. This is my favorite sock yarn from CPY so far! It has a wonderful feel to it. After playing with several stitch patterns, I liked a simple eyelet best. A Beaded Eyelet Trouser Sock began to appear.

This is a nice taupe colorway and would make a nice pair of socks for your favorite man.

I think this shot shows the colorway most accurately. The two little shiny spots are beads. There are a few beads every other eyelet row.

You can see the sheen to this yarn and it does show stitches beautifully.

Warning Extreme Closeup!
Stitch Definition
(for the countertop to show through as I am seeing it; the eyelets front and back have to line up exactly. I cound not have done that if I were trying to)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Houston Zoo

Isn't this a gorgeous shot? This is the Reflecting Pool with lots of benches for sitting. There was such a nice soft breeze blowing through the trees.

Here were are with the elephants - one of the Zoo favorites. There is the cutest baby elephant cavorting behind us - he was playing like a small child would.

Flamingoes! There is a beautiful flock at the Zoo. We had to make sure we found these guys as they are my favorite.

We were at the giraffe area at their breakfast time. What you can't see in this picture is the food being put out for them just to the right. He is reaching out to try and get a taste!

Kayla was a bit frightened at first. Joe assured her all the animals were in cages and couldn't get to her. All of Vincent Settlement's kindergarden classes were at the Zoo. There were friends of Kayla's at every turn!

Mr Ferocious rolling around on the ground looked so kittenish until he surprised everyone and roared! Scared the heck out of everyone in the Zoo! It was incredibly loud resonating through the whole place. (I didn't realize the glass where I was taking pictures was smudged - I had zoomed in so it really showed).

Daddy elephant having breakfast. The others were in the area next to him. I guess he was being cranky, maybe.

Looks like Louisiana...

This was sooo funny. This is an orangutan that had found a towel somewhere to help keep his head cool. It was beginning to get hot. This one had more sense than a lot of the people that were walking around.

We had a great time with Kim and Kayla. The Zoo is beautiful with lots of trees and plants; many in bloom. All in all, we had a great day!