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.