Some lovely pictures. . . . .

Here are some pictures of my completed Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl!

I took these while out at the Forest Preserve today. It is so nice outside! 85 degrees!! My day was spent eating lunch outside at Mickey Finn's, followed by a short walk in Independence Grove. It has been fabulous!
I have done some knitting this weekend, but I do not have that much to show off. Maybe in the next couple of days!
Hope you have some nice weather wherever you are. Happy knitting!


Something to pass the time. . . .

Well, I was home from work today with some nasty cold-like achy grossness. Very little was accomplished today. I would pick up some knitting, knit two rows, put it down and rest for an hour. So sad. I felt the need to remove butt from couch, so here is what I have for you. . .

First of all, it's the Kool-Aid socks. I love them. They are not the greatest-looking things in the world, but I love them anyway. Thank goodness for oil changes and an abundance of American Idol this week to get these babies done.Next I was hoping to show some pics of the completed Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl. But, alas, it has been raining for a couple days and I want good outside pics. I certainly was not going to go out there today. So, maybe this weekend. I think it is supposed to be lovely outside.

I don't have much else to report, except I did want to share my Loopy Ewe purchases with you. Here we have CTH in the Cabin Fever colorway.
I wanted this yarn for one reason--the name. This summer I am going to the Smoky Mountains to stay here, and I needed some appropriate socks to be knitting. Cabin Fever seems about right. I also got some Apple Laine sock yarn in the Painted Daisy colorway.
It's the typical sock yarn colors I like.

Anyway, that is all I have. I may try to do some knitting in between resting and watching Food Network this evening. Today was so sad. You have a day off of work, a whole day to do nothing but sit on the couch and knit if you want and you just can't bring yourself to do it. Oh well. There is always this weekend.

Happy Knitting!


The Land of FOs: It's a Good Blace To Be!

Over the last few days I have managed to finish up some various things I was working on in knitty-land.

First off, we have the first-ever Toe-Up Socks:

What a nice-looking heel (please note the non-wonkiness of the heel...it's a miracle!):
I really liked the toe-up sock now that I was successful at it. I had some binding off issues, but I resolved those. At first, I tried to do a regular bind off and tried to "work in loosely." Uh, that so did not work. So, I ripped it out and used a method I saw on Wendy's blog. You can find it here.

Now, some specs on the socks:

Yarn: Gypsy Girl Creations in Watermelon Tourmaline. I used almost two skeins. I think there is enough leftover for baby/little kid socks. This yarn is awesome. It has a bit of a STR feel to it, which I like. I think I will try to get my hands on some more in the near future.
Needles: Size 2 dpns, the standard needles I used for sock knitting.
The Pattern: I used the directions on how to start a toe up sock from Knitty. Increased up to 64 stitches, used the heel directions from a pattern in Socks, Socks, Socks, then did K2, P2 ribbing until I was done. Used the bind off mentioned above.
Results: An awesome pair of socks!

Wow! That was sock overload! And now, ladies and gentlemen, what do we have here? Oh, It's a Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl!
This was my first real attempt at blocking something, so we will see how it turns out. Here it is in all it's blocking glory (please note the shadow puppet of a rabbit...that was Alex being crazy):

So, once that is done blocking, perhaps I will take some artsy pics. We will see.

The Specs:
Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Wildflower. I used one skein. There is very little left over. I thought about going two more rows on the edge, but it would have been too risky. I love this color, I love this yarn.
The Pattern: Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl (click link above). I added a couple extra pattern repeats because I went down a couple needles sizes.
Needles: I used a Size 5 circular. The pattern calls for a size 8, but I decided to use a size 5. No real reason other than I thought the size 8 was looking too loose. I was able to get it to the right measurements when blocking. Lucky, really, because there was no gauge swatch. Sometimes I like being a "Fly By The Seat Of Your Pants Knitter." It's fun. :)
Results: Uh, I need the thing to dry faster so I can wear it!

So, that's it. The Kool-Aid sock is in my locker at work, and will hopefully be done by the end of this week. I have another sock that needs finishing, but I can't get into it. So, I just started yet another sock.

I also bought another pattern, which looks just beautiful. You can find it here. I don't have the yarn for it, so it will have to wait. I may have had a moment of weakness and bought some sock yarn from The Loopy Ewe on Friday. Bad knitter!

Whew! I had a lot to say. Hope you had a good weekend and had lots of awesome weather like we did here in Chicago! It is currently 75 outside at 8:45pm. I love it!


I need help. No, really. . . .

So, last week I am work, doing my thing, testing some water or something, when a coworker asks what socks I have on (we like to keep track of each other's socks, it's weird, I know). I lift up my pant leg to show her the stripey socks and **gasp** there it is. . . . . . . .a hole. The sock knitter's enemy. I mean, I know socks wear out and this was cheap yarn knit on size three needles, so I can see that this was bound to happen sooner rather than later, but it still hurts. It's the first pair of socks I knit for myself. I am emotionally attached to them. I may try to fix them, but I am not sure how. Anyone have any ideas? I have some ideas, but I am not really sure how to make them happen. Anyway, any suggestions would be helpful! :)

And onto item number two for which I need help. I need some kind of help group to stop the insanity that is the lace knitting. It's all I think about. I'm at work, thinking about how I want to be at home knitting it. I am knitting a sock and I think about how I wanting to be knitting the lace shawl. Make it stop!
So, needless to say, the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl is coming along nicely. I frogged it on Friday because I had dropped some stitches, couldn't find my place in the pattern, and was generally confused. So, I cast on again and I started knitting. And knitting. And knitting. Still not done, but getting there!

Other than that, I still have three different pairs of socks on the needles. The good thing is that all of them are the second sock of a pair, the bad part is I don't have a matching pair of socks yet. My toe-up sock came out pretty good, and sock two is going well. Hopefully I can stop knitting the shawl long enough to finish them and maybe take a picture! :)

Well, the plan for tonight is this:

Oh, I so ordered myself a subscription to Interweave Knits. I love it! I plan to read that while eating the last of the Peanut M&M's so kindly sent to me by my Secret Pal. Then, later on tonight there will be shawl knitting and 2.5 hours of reality television (American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, and Real World/Road Rules Challenge). Uh, for those of you who don't know, I love bad MTV reality shows.

Hope everyone has a good week! Happy knitting!


Secret Goodness and Adventures in Baseball

This afternoon I had an email from my Secret Pal. It said something like, "Hey I mailed your box this weekend it will probably be there tomorrow." So how excited was I when I got home from work today and there was a box in front of the apartment door? Oh, very excited, my friends. Here is what was inside!

Oh that's two balls of sock yarn, some candles with a nice candle holder, Henna Tattoos, peanut M&M's (my favorite candy) and Sensational Knitted Socks! A wonderful package!!! Thanks Secret Pal!!!

Saturday there was much craziness at the Cubs vs. Brewers game in Milwaukee. Kool-Aid sock did make an appearance. Here she is enjoying some baseball and a Miller Lite: Now some people around me were interested in my knitting. The guy behind me (who was in ski gear complete with goggles) asked if they were mittens for him. He put my sock on his hand and said that it was looking good so far. Kool-Aid sock felt a little abused, but she knew it was all in good fun. The guys in front of me wanted to know if it was some kind of testicle cozy/warmer. They had had many beers.

And, finally, what do we have here:
Well, look at that! It is a toe-up sock with a mostly ok-looking heel. That heel was made at 3:15am Sunday morning. I guess all problems I encounter in knitting I should just stay up late and they will all be worked out! I think a couple more tries and I will have this toe-up thing down!

Ok, I now must go make some chicken salad. This was not the dinner plan until my coworker started talking about the delicious chicken salad she made and I became jealous (this happens to me a lot--this jealousy thing). My bad day has definitely improved. First, Secret Pal package and then chicken salad. I am a happy camper!


Stash Enhancement Courtesy of Uncle Sam

First off, this post is super picture happy!

Alright, so I went to The Fold today in Marengo. I had the day off since I went to the Snow Patrol concert last night. I can't stay up until one thirty in the morning, and then go to work at 7am--I just don't work like that. Thank goodness for the floating holiday! Anyway, I drove out there and I have to say it was quite the journey for me and the Kool-Aid sock.

Here is me and the Kool-Aid sock 5.5 miles from the exit and suddenly stuck in a sh*t ton of traffic. Thank goodness the Kool-Aid sock was there to keep me company. Kool-Aid sock enjoyed her journey out in the country. . . .
. . . .but Kool-Aid sock was starting to get a little angry when after an hour and ten minutes she passed this sign:
For those of you who do not like math, that's an hour an ten minutes to go three and a half miles. That is a bunch of crap. The traffic eventually started moving right before the exit and we were off the expressway and enjoyed some time driving through the fine Illinois countryside.

Finally, after almost two hours, we were there! Hooray!
The Fold is most excellent. I highly recommend that if you live in the Chicago area or you ever come to the area you make a trip out there if possible. I was in absolute heaven. Everyone was so nice! And, it's like Blue Moon Fiber Arts land out there. After much petting and sniffing of yarn (that does sound gross, but when at a yarn shop it must be done), there was a great deal of stash enhancement!

Here we have a couple balls of Universal Yarn Inc. Yarn. I don't knowwhat I am going to do with this; it may become hats and mittens someday. These are totally the kind of colors I love, so I am excited about this!
Then there is a skein of Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Yellowstone. I have been wanting this colorway for awhile. I went to Yellowstone a couple years ago on the greatest road trip ever taken and I loved it out there. And this yarn really does remind me of that place. So I had to have it.
Then I wanted to get some sock yarn that I have not knit with before. Gotta keep things interesting. So this is Gypsy Girl Creations in Watermelon Tourmaline. The yarn is very much like STR, so I think it will knit up very nice.
Finally, there is the STR. I wanted to buy one of everything, but I had to make some attempt to control myself. So I have three skeins in mediumweight. We have Harlotty on the left, Nodding Violet in the middle, and Henpecked on the right. All colors I have been wanting!
So I got home, took a little nap (all that yarn shopping wears a girl out), and then sat on the couch and started knitting.
It's my Gypsy Girl yarn. I now have an unprecedented three different socks that are being worked on. Not my usual style, but I know two pairs will be done in the next week or so. I mean, when you get new yarn you have to start something immediately, right? I think it's a rule! I am going to try toe-up again. We will see. I figure the only way I am going to be successful in toe-up sock knitting is to keep trying until I get it right.
Tomorrow, Kool-Aid sock and I will be joining the G-Town crew for some baseball goodness in Milwaukee. There may be sock knitting while tailgating at 9am tomorrow. I mean sock knitting, pancakes, beer and the Cubs kicking the crap out of the Brewers. That's a good combination!
Good night!


I Am Riding the Yarn Harlot High

Well, this evening was the Stephanie Pearl McPhee appearance at the Oak Brook Borders. Um, it was awesome. My evening started out with coming home from work, changing into my favorite handknit socks* (the Lucy Jaywalkers) and heading off with my sister to Oak Brook. We got down there very early (before 5) so we went to dinner and then headed to Borders. Melissa was not quite excited as I was, but at last we were there. And we waited. And waited (I mean, we did get there an hour and a half before the thing started). I knit and looked longingly at other peoples yarn. The lady in front of me was knitting her Rockin' Sock Club Sock from BMFA, and I was quite jealous. But I had the Kool-Aid sock to keep me happy.

Here is a picture of the large crowd before the event. This is not even all the people that were there. Here is my sister pretending to be excited about being at a knitting event. She did not bring any knitting, but I had shoved some needles and some dishcloth cotton in my bag before we left because I didn't want her to feel left out. Note the garter stitch goodness. Someday, yes someday, I will make this girl a sock knitter.
After everyone went around and did a show and tell of their knitting (which was most excellent, by the way), the Yarn Harlot came out and took pictures of the crowd with the Travelling Sock: Got to love all the knitters/bloggers taking pictures of the Yarn Harlot taking pictures of them. After a very nice talk about knitting that had me laughing quite hard, it was time to wait in line to get our books signed. While in line, my Kool-Aid sock did a little perusing of the DVDs:
Then, I met her!

Oh yes, I touched the Travelling Sock, people. It was awesome. And, when my sister made mention of my blog, Stephanie asked what my blog was and when I told her she said she knew it. She's like, oh yeah, you leave comments on my blog. I have to say that may have made my week! :) My sister ended up having a lovely time, and while she did not quite understand my excitement (I think I caught an eye roll), she does accept it.

So, that's all. It's past my bedtime, and I am not even a little bit tired. I am totally on a Yarn Harlot high right now!

* Please Note: I did have other clothing on besides the handknit socks!


Random Happenings on a Monday

First off, I have to say a great big thanks for all the lovely comments on the Combo Corset-T! For those of you who would like the pattern, it is free and you can find it here. In order to fix the problem with the space in between the buttons I totally just singled crocheted the thing closed. So, now I have a button-down sweater you pull over your head. But I love it about 15 times more now, so I think it was the right decision!

Onto new things. . . .

Well, it is only one day until I go to see the Yarn Harlot. I am quite excited. My sister, Melissa, who knits on occasion and thinks my knitting blog is funny, is going to come with me. I don't think she knows who Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is but I am sure she will have a good time. I am bribing her with dinner and I bought her book for her. When I told her she might want to bring the scarf she has been knitting for the last several months with her because people will be knitting during this thing, I think she thought I was a little nuts. Well, knitters are a little nuts! :) Anyway, I went to the bookstore today to buy our books. I mean, she will be at a bookstore tomorrow, but I decided not to take any chances.

So, seeing that my sister does not knit nearly as much as I do, I decided I would just go ahead and knit her hat to be donated. As you can see, I have some work to do tonight! But, hat number two is well on it's way. And, my sister is going to drive to Oak Brook tomorrow so I can always weave in some ends then! :)
In other things knitty, here is the start of my Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl. I have not been working on it much since things have been crazy around here with hat knitting. Also, I found it difficult to knit this while watching tv, which is usually when I knit. This is requiring a lot more concentration then a lot of other things I knit. I love it though. I think it will be beautiful when it is done!
That yarn is Mountain Colors in Wildflower.

Finally, while shopping for Yarn Harlot books today I totally bought this:

It's Modular Knits! I knit that coaster above using that technique, and then I was reading Sarah's blog today and she has it, and I got knitting book envy. So, when I went to the store and saw it, I don't know, somehow it just ended up in my arms! I have some other things I want to knit first, but I am sure I will be knitting out of this book very soon.

Anyway, that's all for now. I am still working on some socks, but those have taken a back seat to hats and shawls and things. This week is very busy with the Yarn Harlot tomorrow, the taping of a League of Women Voters meeting to be played on public access at a later date (hell yeah I can make my own shows and put them on public access) on Wednesday and a Snow Patrol concert on Thursday! Oh socks, when will you ever be done!?

And, now to cook some dinner!

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