Saturday, October 07, 2006

I'm a bad blogger....

It's been so long since I posted that I couldn't remember the last time I posted.... And , i still don't have good pictures of to many things.... But at least I have pictures.

First off, remember these socks ? Yes, the one
s that Flickr won't let me download from my husbands flickr page. But now, if I go though a much more complicated way of doing it I can downloand the photos...... Why did they change that. It used to take me 1 min to get a photo off of flickr I wanted, now it take 10 min........ Sorry, I had to vent some anger... Well the socks are done ! You will hae to trust me on that one since this is the photo matt took when I finished the first one. I don't have a good photo of both socks. They've been done for a while now... It's amazing how slow socks go when you only work on them on your lunch breaks....

When I finished those, I decided to start the second sock from my second (or third) pair of socks. I did the first one, and was just so mad at them, that they sat there for a long time. It was really odd going back to a cuff down sock. I've gotten so used to doing toe up that going back to cuff down just felt wrong... I really wanted to do the sock toe up, but then I would have had to rip out the other sock so that they would match.... These are my new lunch project. Though, i recently put all my curnelty small enough to fit in my purse (the one that is extra big so I can carry a project with me) in little pastic bags in hopes that I would rember to swtich it up and take differnt projects to work with me. I've also come to the conclusion that I really hope that Santa brings me those KIPers bags from knitpicks so that I can carry differnt projects, but not always have to carry the worlds biggest purse with me... Though, Santa might decided to just giveme more warm clothes. Which would be really great since I nearly froze last winter, and all the locals tell me that was a mild winter.... I'm not looking forward to this winter.... A few years from now,I will have had the time to knit serval sweaters and such... But this year,...... Wow, I am really getting off topic. Back to knitting.

The same day that I finished the socks, I finish
ed the Alpaca wrap that I made. I don't have a good picture of it. I can't get Tigger off of it long enough to take a good pic .... but, Matt did get a great shot of Tigger sleeping/hanging out on it... Of course, its' on flickr is makeing me go the long and annoying way to get it. but, the look on Tiggers face is worth it. He slept on that for about 2 days until I manged to move it while he was up eating.....

Of course, one finished project, means a new one... So, It was time to bust into that stash of
yarn my mom sent. So,first off I had to wind a hank of Silky Wool.. (Remember I have no ball winder or swift so it's all done by hand... Which is why only one is done right now... It's wind on demand ... ) But, Matt picked an awesome pattern for me to make for him. It's called Torgeir from Elsebeth Lavol's Viking Knits Collection. I am actaully makeing an effort to follow the pattern and make gague and everything. But, I just coudln't do it flat. I got about 5 inches on the back done, and i had to rip.... I swtiched to the round... I am still working on the ribbing, but I am much happier ..... I didn't take a picture since a *K2, P2* ribbing isn't the most intresting photo...

hen, to complete the project shift sine my last blog post, I realized last sunday that the socks I was makeing for me, while I liked the pattern, the socks weren't going to turn out the correct size. It's a ribbing pattern, and I guess it just took in thesocks more than I was expecting. So I froged the socks ... And, I was so annoyed that I dieced it was best not to restart them right then .... So I went and found the alpaca yarn I got at the alpaca farm, and started on some slippes for Matt. I've got the leather bottom pices to sew onto the "slipper socks" when I'm done so they will be real slippers... The yarn is a wonderful sport weight yarn. IT's so soft and warm. It is farm spun since every once in a while, I have to pick out some hay or other bits of "farm" out of the yarn as I knit it. I'm doing my standard toe up pattern. Modified, of course, since it's sport weight yarn not fingering. And, Matt, of course, wanted his favorite *K3, P1* pattern on them. Why mess with a good thing ? They are going really fast... I guess that's the differance that a differnt size yarn makes....

I can't think of much else going on in the yarn front. I am sorry that I've been all over the place. That is what happons when you blog in the morning as you wake up... It's a lot harder to stay on topic.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Alpaca Farm Day

I have been very very bad about having photos, but this one will have some, I promise (assuming blogger lets me. )

Last sunday, a local alpaca farm had a Farm Family day. It was an open house where we could go and play with alpacas, and of course, buy some amazing alpaca yarn. It was really cool.... We got to go in and walk around in a barn filled with alpacas... Not just walk along the penned in areas, but acutally go in and walk among the alpacas.....

So here are just a few of the photos from that day....
This girl waas a real "ham' she loved having her picture taken. She would stand there and wait for me to take close ups of her......

Some of these photos make it look like the pens that the alpacas in where small. But they really weren't.... Just camera angle. And all had outside access. But it was raining, and most (but not all) the alpacas were smart enough to come in durring the rain. Blogger won't let me load in some from Matt's flickr account so go see the photos matt took here. (Including the ones that won't come in when it was raining. )

Socks and other fun stuff

Well, I've come to the conclusion that I just won't have time to blog durring the week. I read a bunch of blogs every night after work. (You gotta love Bloglines! ) But, I just don't have the energy for blogging. After work, dinner, dishes, and whatever other things need to be done each night. So, you all are going to have to settle for some long weekend posts. Sorry...

First off, I have to say that I love my new IPOD. It so nice to have at work. And with 4 GB of space, there is room to put music on it for whatever mood I'm in. Though, lattely I've really been getting back into classical music. It's the best background music ever. Of course, I have to be careful not to get the stuff that's to caliming, or I'll fall asleep. But I've always been a fan of the more "thunderous" stuff... I'll take some Tchaikovsky over Mozart any day....

This week has been a bit boaring ... I've been under the weather from allergis all week... At least I know it will be better in a while since when we were out here house hunting in Oct, my allergies improved SO much over what they were back east.... And this is the first realy allergie attack I've had since we moved here.... All and all, much better off out here than back east.....

I'm very excited. I made a knitting "friend" this week at work. I was on my lunch break knitting matt's socks (almost done with them), and someone ran into the break room for something. She saw that I was knitting and stoped by and introducted herself. And told me about all the wonderful knitters at work. All the non-knitters kept telling me that there was a lot of knitters at work, but I hadn't really met any. I'm excited.

And for every up there is a down. I am working on a pair of socks for me. And, of course, I don't make many for me so I have been forced to do some frogging.... I put the heal where I thought it should go. After the heal and about a 1/2 inch of leg, I tired them on to see how they would fit. They fit, but they were really really streached out.... So I knew I would have to frog back and add some more length onto foot befor starting the heal. Of course, I knew this might happon so thankfully I put in a life line.... It's just annoying redoing the same work over again.

Speaking of socks, durring my blog reading this week, I came accross something called Socktoberfest. It sounds really cool. I'm very excited about it !!! You should go and check it out.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A week of good stuff

If this week was my husband's birthday, than why do I keep geting presents ??

So, first off on Wensday, a box of yarn and needles arrived from my mother. A whole bunch of WW Wool of the A
ndies from Knit Picks. It's in a beautful Heather Green that I picked out. I can't wait to get started on a nice sweater for me with it. Of course, I've got the Silky wool that mom sent me last week that I should use first (since it's for my husband's sweater, and it's been awhile since I made him something big). It doesn't show here (I keep saying I will do better pics instead of relying on matt's camera phone, but I never get around to it), but there are 21 skeins of the yarn..... Plenty to make a nice cabled sweater.... Plus, there were many many sets of knit picks needles. Ya, needles and yarn all at the same time....

Sounds like the perfect week... But wait, there's more....

Today (it was supposed to be yesterday, darn signature required deliveries durring the day), my IPOD nano arrived !!! Yes, my wonder and amazing husband got me a IPOD Nano for my birthday
(and he's not makeing me wait until my b-day to use it!). At my new job, music is a very, very, very good thing, and I didn't have an mp3 player. (I know I must be the last person on the planet to get one... BUt.....) So we started pricing differnt brands of MP3 players (I told him I didn't want to pay a lot more for just the IPOD name....) Then, he found a good deal on an Apple Reconditioned IPod (comes with the normal warranty and everything)... I'm super excited... I was getting really board with CDs at work (and going though a lot batteries for the CD player.......

And just when you think there can't possbely be any more, I give you: Herbert the friendly
desk hedghoge.... Yup, we were out tea shopping today at my wonderful local Tea Shop, Brits!, when we found the most adorable Hedghoge stuffed anniamls on sale... Of course one had to come home with us (along with a lot of tea). Isn't Herbert cute ? Tomorrow he's going to work with me to be my cubical Hedgehog.

Well, I'm off to create some playlists for my nano...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Wonderful package in the mail

Originally uploaded by postneo.
So Thursday evening I get home from work to find a package on my door step from my parents. The box looks like it's about to explode becuase it's so over stuffed. So, I have to open it up right away. (Plus, I knew that there would be yarn inside so...).

So, I cut open the tape (which I have to say, that was really strong tape), and first thing I pull out are three differnt colors of sock yarns. A nice green, a light cream and a nice light brown. All wonderful colors that I could knit up and Matt would have no problem wearing to work. Which makes me supper happy beucase I am having a hard time finding sock yarns that are good for work.

Next, I see some lovely reddish-orange Silky Wool. It's so pretty. So I start pulling out skeins..... And I keep pulling and pulling...... When mom said she sent me a sweater's worth, she wasn't kidding. I pulled out 18 skeins of them. I should get a sweater for matt and a hat or socks or something out of it. (But, now I can do just about any pattern and not have to worry about having enough. ) I know matt will love a sweater from it, and I'm gonna love makeing it.

Then I find a book included. It's a Vikinging Knitting book..... Amazing cableing just like the other Viking knitting book I have by Elsebeth Lavold. (Both are by the same women, just differnt pattern.) Matt's already picked the pattern out of the new book that he wants me to make with the Silky Wool. And, I can't wait to get started. (I just have to finish a WIP first. )

After all this, there is more. Birthday present for Matt and me. I see some burn orange in the box right as matt walks in so I ask him to pull the next item out. ( Afterall, if it's burnt orange, it's for him. ) And it's an amazing cabled scarf for him. He loves it. It's a mix of a burnt orange yarn and some mohair yarn. Amazingly soft and wonderful to touch. Then, I find a burnt orange mobis (spelling ???) strip scarf/head wrap for me. It's made from the same yarn as Matt's scarf. It's wonderful. A wonderful birthday present.

I wish I had better pictures of it all to show everyone. But, I've been to bussy drolling over the yarn to take pictures of it so I only have the one Matt took.... Hopefully, over the long weekend, I will take some more pictures......

Saturday, August 19, 2006

1st Week of Work (warning, long post)

Well, I made it though my first week of training at my new job. While I wasn't a big fan of getting up to be at work at 6:35 (my normal work hours will be 9-6) to catch a bus to the main corprate office and not getting back to my normal work area until after 6pm every day, I learned a lot in the week of classes. The classes weren't the most exciting thing ever, but they did provide a lot of info. (Though, I have to study this weekend since I'm being tested monday on what was taught all week.

Next week will be much better, I train from 8-5 in my office. (ya, sleeping in!) I will get to find out what group I'll be working with, and will be trained on the systems that I will actually work with and not just general info.. Plus, we won't have to ride the bus for an hour each way to go to training. And, my office is supposed to be a lot more relaxed and laid back than the corporate offices are downtown. Though the company seems really good. Yes, I know that this week all the info on them was "company approved." But, part of the company mind-set is that if the employees are happy, they will do better at work so keeping the employees happy helps the co make more moeny. It showed in many small ways like free coffee in the break rooms (and a hot water spout for hot tea !!!! ya, I don't have to bring in something to heat up water... they remember that some of us don't do coffee but do tea), and in some of the bigger ways like low turnover rate and a good benfits package.

I was really upset with the timing of this week's training. My high school's best friend's (Esther) father passed away last week. I really wanted to be there for her and to be able to attend the memorial service. However, if I went to VA this week to go to the services, I would lose my job (the training was manditory and there was no way they would let me off). I spent months looking for one, and this was one of the better ones in the area. I know that her father wouldn't have wanted me to quit my job just to be there at the service. I feel guilty for putting my job first, but I know that I had to do it and it was what he would have wanted. It's still hard to think about him not being around. He was such a wonderful man. He bought such love and happyness everywhere he went. I
used to call this man dad while I was in HS. Yes, over the past few years Esther and I have grown apart due to living in differnt areas and the demands on our lives. But, I still consider her a close friend. And, her father's passing really effected me. Somehow sending cards just didn't seem like enough. I'm still trying to figure out what else I can do for her and her whole family.

. . .

Now, I have to move onto something less emotional before I completely lose it. Not much news on the knitting front. (Not as much time for knitting when working all day. ) However, I used that bus time to work on socks. I got the first of the wonderful Regia silk socks done for matt... Blogger isn't letting me inport his flickr immage so you will have to go and check it out here. He was so happy when he tired on teh first sock, that he took a picture and uploaded it to his flickr account. Matt was so nice and bought me the sensational knitted socks book. Which was perfect timeing since I just got my knit picks order in with serval pairs of size 0 needles so now I have new patterns and new needles. I'm tring to decided what stitch pattern to do first.

I not only knit durring the bus ride but also durring the lunch breaks at work this week. (We ususally had over an hour break so .... ) Most of the poeple were very intrested in what I was doing. However, one person said, "Oh, it's just like those old-ladies and thier sewing bags." Now, from the tone she said it in, it sounded like she ment it nicely. However, telling a 25 year old that she's acting like an old lady just doesn't seem nice to me. I didn't know how to react. She ment in nicely, but it wasn't. And, this was the first time i had ever had any form of negative comment. I just let it pass off. Mainly becuase I think she ment it nicely.

Oh, I also discovered Chai tea this week. I had never tired it before becuase I didn't know what it was, and I wnated to know before I ordered it. Well, one of the girls had some that she wante to try and brough enough in for everyone to try. Yummy ! Why hadn't anyone told me that it's like a spice tea latte !

If you made it this far and have read all of this, I am impressed. I don't know if I could have done it. I should end this before it gets any longer.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Snaped a DPN

So I'm a tight knitter. I've tried to loosen my gague, but it just doesn't work so well. I can adjust some based on the which needle I use. Sometimes going for lighter and more drap (looser knitting) is good, and sometimes going for a warmer denser fabric (tighter knitting ) is good. So, I have learned how to take advantage of both. Socks are one of those things that need the denser fabric more than they need drap. So, I knit my socks like I naturally knit. Tight. I normally knit at about 10 sts/in on size 0 for socks. This might explain why I bent my old Clover bamboo needles. (Darn blogger for not letting me link to such an old post. ) After that, I went back to metal DPNs/circulars.

Then my father bought me a set of birtch DPNs. They were the shorter socks sized ones. And, birtch is a stronger wood than bamboo. So I set off. I made my first pair of socks just fine on the size 1 britches. In fact, they are the only socks not made on size 0s that I've made. So I decided to try socks on size 0 britches. After all, I had made a whole pair on the size 1s and not had the slightest problem. Well, you know that old engineering principle that says while lower strength matierals have a lower threshold for plastic deformation, they will often plasticly deforme before a catastorphic failure. Whereas higher strength materials will often has less plastic deformation, and just fail..... Well, it applies to knitting needles. I bent the crap out of my lower strength bamboo needles, but I snaped in half my birtch needles. Yup, snaped right in half. I tried takeing pictures, but none of them looked good. (If you want to see what it looks like, snap a tooth-pick in half. It should look the same. ) So no more birtch needles in socks sizes for me.

This does lead to an intresting problem for me. I just won a wonderful set of bamboo needles from the Simiply Sock Yarn Company. Do I use them, and risk breaking such wonderful needles. Or do I be a good and loveing daughter and pass on the wonderful needles to my amazing mother who taught me how to knit, and has learned to knit socks at a much more "normal" gague. ... My mom can use any of the wooden needles without fear of breaking them. I think I just answered my own qustion. Needles so nice deserve to be used and loved. Not, put away for fear of breaking them. I can't think of a better person to give them to than my mother. She is such an amazing person. And an amazing knitter. Check out some of the projects she's done. And those are only a few of her projects. She deserves something really nice. And, now I can give her something nice.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Lace Shawl Pictures

This week I blocked the lace shawl I made. I finished the shawl last sunday( 30 july), but I didn't block it until Thursday becuase I was so nervous about screwing things up. After searching on line, and knowing I would screw things up, I decided to just get over it and block the thing. After all, I made it to wear to a wedding on Saterday (Aug5). And, how stupid would that be to have it made a week early and just not block it.

So, here is a picture of the Shawl pre-blocking. I just layed it out on the coffee table (well on a blanket on the coffee table for contrast).

I took some "durring blocking" shots, but they don't show much. It's a white shawl that was blocked on my bed that had yellow sheets. You can just see the outline from the pins. Blocking wasn't to bad. I tried the string trick that is supposed to keep the top even. However, I couldn't figure out how to make it work. So I just pretneded I hadn't put the string in there. I found that I coudln't block it to the full lenght needed becuase the top of the shawl is wider than my bed is long. And, I didn't have enough pins to block it really nice and tight without getting scalloped edges. So, it's not "full" blocked. But, good enough.

And, here are some close up shots of the stitch pattern:

I was able to wear the shawl to the wedding. It was an outdoor wedding in this heat. So I didn't want anything really warm. But, even though it was a casual wedding, I fet a little odd wearing a strappy tank top to a wedding. As an added bonus, the shawl helped keep the bugs for biting me (I think) durring the evening outdoor recpetion. See, bugs always find me to bite. I must attrack bugs somehow. I got a few bits on my ankels, but nothing on my arms. It could be that there wern't many bugs. But, I will have to try wearing the shawl again to see if it really did help.

All and all I am happy with how it turned out. Not bad for my first lace project. Yes, there are some mistakes in it. And, the blocking job isn't great. But, I am looking at it is a learning project. Now, my next lace project will be even easier since my wonderful husband got me a set of the knit picks needles. With thier nice points, I won't have as many issues with the pssos and the k2togs. I am working on my first project with the needles, and I just love them ! I can't wait to get some size 0s for socks.