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!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

House Construction Has Begun

Wow! They have been busy! It was exciting to see they had made such progress since we were there last. There were 10 (yes, we counted) construction workers hard at work.

Joe and I left home at 5:45AM yesterday morning and got home at 9:00PM last night. We always seem to cram as much into a day as we possibly can. We had a great time at the zoo! The weather was absolutely perfect for strolling around watching all the kids watching the animals. The drive out to the house was a nap time for Kim and Kayla. We walked around a bit then headed to The Woodlands to eat dinner at Tortugas (Turtle) before starting home. Kim and I had a margarita with our enchiladas and got the giggles.

Zoo pictures to follow soon.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Maizy Sock Completed

I have had the hardest time getting a nice pic of this sock for some reason. I have tried taking the picture in 3 different rooms (you know, different lighting in different rooms). Couldn't have been the person taking the picture........

This is the Maizy sock yarn from Crystal Palace. . I tried to get some detail of the sock as it is really cute.

A liiiiiiiiitle blurry; but it shows the twists running diagonal in the leg of the sock and also the baby mock cables along the sides of the heel flap. (those were fun!)

The cuff at the top can be left up or folded down. I envisioned this sock being worn with hiking books. I think it's the colors - it's called Night Shades. The final pictures are pretty close to the actual colors. On to another sock.

Tomorrow, Joe and I are going with Kim and Kayla on Kayla's school field trip to the Houston Zoo! I LOVE THE ZOO! Joe and I have never been to the Zoo together. It's going to be fun watching Kayla too - she is such a little tart! She is sooo expressive - I think she exhibits "pissed off" best.

After the Zoo, we are going to drive out to the house-in-progress. They are framing in now. Then, Kim and I are going to try and talk Joe into having mexican food for dinner - Lupe Tortillas. You know, two against one. The last two times we have been to Houston, we ate at Fajita Jacks. He's been really good about that. Pictures will be up on the blog Saturday morning.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Maizy from Crystal Palace

This is a quick shot of a current design in progress with Maizy (available Fall 2007) from Crystal Palace. Maizy is a new corn yarn! It feels so soft; very suede-like making it an enjoyable yarn to knit with. Surprisingly, it is very light with a bit of "springy-ness" to it. This makes a great sock yarn; but will knit up many other things equally well. I am using CPY bamboo needles #1.5 dps making a nice knitted fabric. This shot looks like a lot of blue; it's not real accurate to the color - it has a nice amount of browns also. This colorway reminded me instantly of a Ralph Lauren Fall ad from last year. I am sure it has influenced the design.

Socks Finished and Mailed

Final picture of socks before being mailed off the Crystal Palace.
Now, on to new knitting!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

1st Sock Dilemma

I sat down after lunch to kitchener the toes of both the socks so that I can mail them to Crystal Palace tomorrow.
Upon inspection, I see that I have some knits that should be purls! How could I have missed these while I was working on this sock?! I am certain you can see them. At this point, you ask yourself the question "can I live with it?" I can't send this sock out with obvious misknits in it! By this time, Joe is looking at me incredulously as I slip the needles out of the top of the sock and begin to FROG...

Looking at the positives of this situation, I like the way frogged yarn looks AND I can fix this! I have frogged back to where I started the toe decreases leaving a row or two.

This extra row or so, gives me enough room to pick up the stitches and get them seated properly on the right needle.

Continuing on - this is quite tedious but it beats the heck out of frogging all the way down to the mistakes and then reknitting half the sock!

There are 5 stitches total that I have to undo down to and then work them back up the ladder. Once you are past the initial aggravation of the whole thing, it's pretty cool to realize that you CAN do this little maneuver.

These two are not so far down - almost a piece of cake.

These three little darlings are a looong way down - to the beginning of the gussets to be exact.

I thought you would enjoy a close up........

I have finished all the laddering down and laddering back up! Finally....
I am ready to kitchener now instead of an evening of reknitting a nearly completed sock.