Friday, October 27, 2006

Booze and socks and gloves, and one very bad cat

This is one of the neatest things I've run across lately. Creative Juice recently ran a program on Gifts for under $5 and showed how to make your own Coffee Liqueur. Here's my rendition...Very tasty and certainly cute enough for gifts. Although the batch cost more than $5 to make, it does make 4 jars so the end price would be less than $5 per gift.

My sister's Fetching gloves are way cooler than mine.Her choice of colors is perfect. For some reason, the first cable at the cuff came out loose on both of these. But at least they match and it just looks a little like a ruffle.

Mom's On Line socks are well under way. The bright colors are fun to work with.It's inspiring to knit with these self striping yarns. They make you want to keep knitting so you can see what patch of color will come up next. I used the Dutch heel from Nancy Bush's Folk Socks book. I wanted to do a Band Heel, but couldn't work out the math. This is the predecessor to the band heel, so I hope by learning it I'll eventually figure out the band heel. It looks awfully pointy to me. Mom's foot is much narrower than mine so I'm thinking this will be a good heel for her.

Here I am at the heel on the second kool aid sock.Had to hunt down the instructions on the internet for the no purl heel since I long since lost them (the heel on the first sock was done long around April I think!)
Here's my sock the very next day, after turning the heel.Stuart, aka grey cat, aka Jaws, aka menace to society has chewed right through the cable of my beloved KnitPicks Options. Believe me, I was not a happy camper when I lifted the sock and it's mangled needle from my knitting basket. I used to keep my knitting in a bag so the cats wouldn't bother it. But they'd been so good I switched to a lovely basket to keep my knitting in. Lesson learned. Keep the cables covered. Now I'm waiting for a new needle to come. At least I have plenty of other projects to keep me busy. And my vacation has officially started and I plan on doing little more than knitting and watching movies for the next week (some shopping, eating and sleeping tossed in of course).

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mighty fetching

I fell a bit off the wagon the last few weeks as far as yarn purchases go. I'd been pretty good since the summer of cotton, buying just what I was going to use right away. Then I finally finished the washcloth that had been my "purse knitting" and started back in on the kool aid socks. I started getting itchy for some sock yarn. So this...Ah yes, my dear love Opal 6ply in yummy pastels. From a lovely online retailer called Knot Another Hat. Now that the weather has turned cold here and I'm wearing my one and only pair of Opals (almost constantly I might add), I can not wait to get these on the needles. But I'm holding firm, I'm going to finish the kool aid socks first.

Next, I've made a lot of progress on the CC Tunic, as seen here as of tonight (yes, that's a cat butt in the corner, he wouldn't budge)...But as I neared the top of the back, I realized there's no way I have enough yarn to finish it. So I placed an order with Elann
(this one doesn't really count since I still had gift certificate money left so it was essentially free.) But just ordering the Sierra Aran I needed was going to leave me with only a few dollars left on the gc, so I HAD to find SOMETHING else to use up that last little bit. Hence this...Scholler Stahl 6ply sock yarn. Love these colors. Will be great with jeans, dontcha think?

Next, mom and I went to the Harvest Festival at Brickerville last week. At the yarn shop, Ball & Skein, I spied a display of, you guessed it, 6 ply sock yarn (this time from On Line) and made bee-line for it. Mom picked out the cool multicolor and I picked the green hues for me. I also picked up some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino to make the Fetching gloves from summer K
nitty.I couldn't help myself and cast on the gloves as soon as I got home. The result?
5 days later, gorgeousness. So soft and warm. I bought 2 balls since the pattern said it took every bit of one ball and another girl in the shop mentioned she made them and needed quite a bit of the second ball. I managed to get the pair from one ball with about 5 yds leftover. I've ordered yarn to make more.

Finally, I broke down and bought the Mix & Mingle kit from KnitPicks. I waited until I finished the body of the CC Tunic before casting on, but I just HAD to try this.
The yarns are really pretty together (this colorway is called Sea). The knitting is fast, which is good, but I still suspect this will be my winter knitting project since there is a lot of knitting involved.

So, verdict? A bit obsessed with the 6ply sock yarns at the moment? Definitely. Have enough projects to keep me busy even if we had a blizzard tomorrow and I was snowed in the rest of the winter? Probably. Going to stop before this gets out of hand? Too late!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

It's been a busy couple of weeks here in Peaceville.

I finished the 2nd machine knit sweater.
This one was knit using Bernat DenimStyle in Polo. I used the Fast & Fun pullover pattern from Bond America. If you remember back to spring, I used the same pattern to knit a sweater in Red Heart yarn. This yarn is MUCH nicer, so soft, almost sweatshirt like. I used a crochet caston technique for the hem and cuffs, gives a lovely braided look. The collar was hand knit. I also shortened the sleeves considerably from the orignal pattern as the first sweater's sleeves are way too long. These are perfect.

We finished up our painting this weekend. The place looks oh so clean and fresh. Check out the nifty light switch covers we found...
I had originally planned to go with wooden plates, but saw these at Lowes and couldn't resist.

Now that everything is back in place we decided to get festive. A tour of our fall decorating...

Yesterday I went to the local fall festival. It's a small affair held at the homestead of our little town's founding father, Issac Meier. They had a dozen or so crafts people their demonstrating different traditional crafts...there was a cooper (barrel maker), 3 spinners, a weaver, a hooked rug maker and several others. I was delighted to speak with 2 women who worked in the fiber arts. One dyed yarn using only plants and berries. It was completely fascinating listening to her. The other was selling yarn and wool from her and a friend's sheep. I got this interesting little thing from her stand.It's a little fair isle bag encasing a bar of soap. I'm complete enthralled by this. It's so cute. It's great to wash your hands with since it's like having a built in washcloth. I am fast discovering, though, that it's not so much practical to use. The wool holds too much water and is making the soap really squishy. I've tried to press the water out after using it, but it still holds too much moisture. But still, I'm liking the idea enough to perhaps try some for gifts. Maybe to use more as a sachet than for washing with. Or perhaps finer wool would solve the problem. This was knitted with worsted weight.

I haven't had nearly enough knitting time lately. I (finally) finished the first of the kool aid socks started way back in I think February. The second sock is moving along. I think Magic Loop is definetly the way for me to go with sock knitting. Much faster than I was on dpns. I'm still knitting on the Cottage Creations tunic. That thing appears to be never ending. I'm almost to the back neck shaping and then it's on to the collar and sleeves. I was trying to figure a way to knit the sleeves on machine, just so I could get it done, but since the body is knit in the round, it would be pretty cumbersome to inset the sleeves rather than knitting them on as the pattern calls for. So I just keep slogging away at it. I'm really jonesing for one of these KnitPicks afghan kits. But I keep telling myself no. I can't even finish the projects I have going! How could I commit to an AFGHAN! for heavens sake! But oh they are pretty!