Does the Spring time make me feel like diggin in?

This weeks topic for the coffee swap is about how green is our thumb. Well I might have been interested in getting out and growing things in years past before I started blogging and designing knitting garments. Now I hope my yard does not die from neglect. The houseplants have been weeding out which of them survives on once a week watering. The gerber daisies seem to have survived the winter (they can be seen sprouting next to the Endpaper mitts in the earlier post.) My roses seem to be doing better with the neglect. I would love to do more, but with the whole discussion and plans to build an addition to the house. Things have stalled because most of my usable garden space will be under the addition. We have enough yard to move it all to new locations but as of yet we don’t know the exact footprint set in stone. For now I get my veggies from a local farm through a CSA share. It starts the first weekend in May. I am excited to see what we get. This year has been so cold that it might be good or it might be a bit sparse. Now if I really had all the time in the world and the perfect house, would I still choose to sit and knit and ignore the landscaping. Hmmm…. would I also not live in the Northwet? My biggest challenge with gardening here is that it is not always nice. I do get out on rainless warm day and trim up the plants. My biggest complaint is the weeds. They make me want to give up and just...

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WIP Wednesday – the 2nd part

Last week you saw the start of this little monkey sock. Well it flew off the needles just as fast as everyone says they should. Yes I cast-on Tuesday last week but had to rip what I had done twice. I seem to have forgotten the pattern in the 6 1/2 months since I finished the last pair of monkeys. Well all is well now and the first sock was done on DPNs since my 2.75mm circulars were back in Washington. Now that I am home, I switched the second sock onto my 2.75mm circular. I guess this is the test of a gauge change from one knitting method to another. As you probably notice, the last few WIP posts have been taken outside. It is all in compliance with PS3: Earth. Greens, Browns & Metallics rule the day. Don’t you love the green flowers on my tree. They are so funky. I have no clue what they are. If anyone knows I would love an answer. The Endpaper Mitts have been pulled out again. I told myself I had to finish a UFO before I could start my skirt. I really want to cast-on for it. I have 3 balls of yarn wound and my friend is planning on knitting it with me. This weekend may show a new pair of mitts to wear at the coast. Don’t forget to check back on Saturday for my contest. I have decided that there are many levels to enter yourself and each level gets you another chance at winning. There will be 3 prizes. Something for every kind of...

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Yarn Blessings

When you come home to this much yarn on your front door and in your suitcase, is your trip a success? I picked up a few yarns while I was away. Some are for gifts, some are for swatching, some are for me. There is some stainless steel yarn hiding out in there waiting for me to start a project that will probably bore me to tears but a Kush Kush scarf is so fun to play with I can’t resist. I also had a few orders and a few prizes and a sock club package arrive. It is an over abundance of yarn. And I keep winning stuff. The prize I got while away was from the plucky knitter. She specially dyed yarn for me from a contest winning. It is the moss green in the lower right hand corner of the photo. Just yesterday I discovered that I had won prizes from Malabrigo March. I get to have the coveted Malabrigo sock yarn that is not yet available. What did I do to deserve all this? and yet another prize was slapped on my full plater last night as I was checking blogs one last time. I won a book from our local knitting blog from area newspaper. Part of me does not want to enter anything else but just maybe something will come my way again. Look for a contest this weekend as I start some festivities. What festivities pray tell are these? Well if you have not been reading closely then you will have to wait and see. I do know there will be some sort of participation and these prizes will be good. I have been blessed with a bit of yarn...

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FO Friday – another long awaited item

The sock decided since it had traveled this far across the country that it would stop for a dip. It was enjoying the warmth compared to its birthplace up in the cold wet pacific northwest. Here in Texas it is pleasant and warm. It makes a wool sock feel that it is not needed so it can have a life of leisure. This life of leisure means sunning itself beside the pool. It made sure to drink enough water so as not to dehydrate its wool parts. It thinks, “people should treat me with respect and love me for who I am, I am a wool/silk sock with bold-jewel tones and a complicated lace pattern.” This big headed sock saunters over to the pool again. This time it wants to do a fancy dive into the pool, but wait it sees a sign that warns of head damage if a dive is done. The sock shakes its wee little head and climbs back on its pool chair. As it is taking a swig of its lemon spiked water, some evil person grabs it and sets it next to a bunch of stuff to be stuffed in a box for a long trip to …… Pattern: Pomatomus by Cookie A Raveled hereYarn: Great Adirondack Yarn Co Silky Sock 1 skein 100g/ 360 yds (70% wool, 20 % silk, 10 % nylon)Needles: Knitpicks circular US 1 (2.25 mm) & Us 1.5 (2.50mm) Mods: I knew I needed to shrink these socks from a US 9 woman’s foot to a US 2.5 foot. The method to my madness was to take a yarn that knit up in a micro gauge and just knit the pattern as written. I knit the lace rib portion in a US 1.5 and the sole of the sock in US 1. It turned out perfectly and it fits over my foot a bit snuggly so it will fit perfectly. Facts to remember: Check your gauge and don’t get so high and mighty. I thought I could shrink it by using this skinny yarn and US 0 (2.00mm). That for sure turned out too tight at a whopping 5″ circumference it was a no go. My second attempt came up preschooler sized. The third attempt fit but it was a snug fit. I was not prepared to send someone a sock that needed to be tugged heavily on especially one with a small child. At this point I knew that whatever I did next it would fit. So my fourth attempt came out just perfect. Things I Love: The yarn frogged like a dream, which must mean it will wear beautifully. It never saw signs of distress after all those repeated froggings. The colors pooled just right. A perfect sock in my mind. Reaction of the recipient: All that is left is to find out my pals response. She should be receiving them...

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Thursday – Yarn Tastings

Seduce by Berroco5sts/inch on US 7s47% Rayon, 25% Linen, 17% Silk, 11% Nylon100 yards, Color: 4448 I wanted to love this yarn. It was so slinky and slippery. It is stated to be a worsted weight yarn. I am not too thrilled at how open the swatch is in stockinette. If I had my yarn I would have swatched a lace pattern. I think a lace stole or shawl would be lovely in this yarn. It is just not a garment yarn for me. Norah designed a garment in this yarn. It is lovely and looks great on all body shapes. I just don’t know if this is something I would knit at this gauge. For all you lace lovers, go search out this yarn for drapy lovely shawls that will glisten in the firelight. It blocks...

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WIP Wednesday – brought to you by the word : Earth

Alisa is chugging along. Not too fast but at least I am making progress and I still have a week and a half before my must be done or panic date. There will be preview pictures of Alisa posted on my birthday April 26th. I am sure I will be done before next week starts since I will be at a retreat all weekend and what do you do at a retreat but listen to people talk and knit while listening. It is such a nice relaxing activity. Can you get a sense of the beauty that Alisa will be? Knittymuggins who just finished testing it, fell in love with it when she tried it on. I can’t wait to show ya’ll the perfect spring top. Ok well maybe not perfect but comfy and cool top. I seem to have a new sock sitting here in the dirt. Might it mean that I am done with a certain troublesome sock?!?! Well you will have to wait till Friday to check out the FOs that have climbed off my needles. The new sock is being a bit shy. First it made me think that it would knit up nicely on 2.5mm sock needles. Well maybe a st st sock, but not a fancy monkey in need of flexibility to do its monkey antics. So I switched it up to a 2.75mm DPN set. Hopefully this size works out better. Right now the lovely wool of Butternut woolens is not so nice here in the heat of Houston. I kind of need the cool Washington weather to knit on these. For a moment I thought I had grabbed some strange acrylic sock yarn to knit with, which I knew was false but man does the humidity get me here. I feel sorry for Texas...

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I was an odd duck as a child. Aren’t we all.

Orata tagged me for: 7 random things about me. The rules are:1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. My seven random facts: 1. I am allergic to petroleum products. Those of you who actually take time to read my swap info when it gets posted may realize this, because I keep rewording it to make it more explicit and exact so that my pals are not disappointed that I can’t use the items they send me. I can’t use anything that does not tell me the source of glycerin, lanolin (yes this can be fake), mineral oil, and parafin. I have decided that I got this allergy because my family line has always worked in the oil fields. I can trace back the ancestors that worked in Pennsylvania on the first discovered oil fields in the US. Now almost 150 years later, the toxins have built up and I have to watch everything I use. Foods, medicines, bath products, cleaning products, etc contain one of these ingredients on a normal basis. Sometimes I can find products that state that it is not made with petroleum but rather vegetable or animal based. Those are rare. As oil prices climb higher it might become more common, but who knows. 2.I love to listen to music, who doesn’t, but I can’t tell you a musicians name to save my life. My husband thought it was so funny that the first two years we were together, he would ask me “Who sings this?” I never was right and every time it was the Beatles. Yes I don’t “know” the Beatles music. Occasionally he will catch me humming a song and go ah ha I knew you knew. I will look at him puzzles and ask know what. “Don’t you know you are humming a Beatles tune?” “Really what song?” This can continue for hours till he realizes I really don’t have a clue. In High School I was always baffled by the people who said you should not listen to certain songs because the lyrics have bad values. I would ask for an example and scratch my head because the song had a rocking beat. I was always on the look out for the best sounding song. It was all about the beat and the mix of beat plus sound. It was no surprise that European Techno was my ticket to happiness. Words mean nothing to me in a song. It is all about the overall sound. 3. I spent the first 3 years of high school on 3 different continents. Asia, Europe and NorthAmerica. I tried to angle for a 4th for my final year of high school, but my parents felt that I had moved enough. 4. I used to wear a hoop skirt, petticoats, and pantaloons under my dress every Sunday when I went to church as a child. I even still have the hoop skirt under the bed in my studio. My nickname was Anne of Green Gables. 5....

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When did you start your addiction?

Of course we all have addictions. Some are legal and some are not so legal. If you are reading this blog, you probably have a thing for needles and yarn. Maybe you also like a little FO every once and a while. If you’re me you might have a huge thing for FO. I can’t get enough of them and the cool thing is that I can get at least one a week unless I am struggling with something like the Big Green Monster. Now I feel a little dirty after writing all that, but I have another addiction. I started a bit younger than most. I have to blame the start of this addiction on my mother. She would cringe every time I would tell people at the age 5 that “I loved coffee” and people would look at her like she was crazy for giving me this adult beverage. Ok so it was not straight coffee it was as my husband likes his coffee, a little coffee with my milk. My mother allowed me to heat up milk in the microwave (a new to us and came with the house appliance) and then place an exact number of instant coffee crystals in my coffee. The number of crystals was based on my age. So when I tell you that I loved the taste of coffee and that I am very picky, you understand that I learned to discern the taste of milk with and without and I loved the special little taste that coffee added. I also loved things made with coffee. It was another 5 years later at the age of 10 that I tasted real full blooded coffee. I was being watched by a friend of the family who did not have kids. That evening there was an adult function which I attended with my parents since I was practically a mini adult from the years of being an only child and only grandchild. I got to help this friend get ready. She asked me if I would like to make the coffee. I said ok and started to get out what I considered “coffee stuff.” After she finished laughing at my choice of items, she taught me how to set up Mr. Coffee. Her way quite intrigued me. She used ground coffee but she added ground cinnamon (my favorite breakfast cereal additive, yes odd, but remember only grandchild here). After it finished brewing, she let me have a taste and let me have it black, then with a little sugar, and then with cream added. Of course I needed all those things because of my little milk with coffee habit. But by the time I reached 15 and had moved out of the house (ok moved to boarding school), I had developed a full blown coffee habit. I got myself down to black Kenya AA coffee. The stuff was heaven in a mug. I loved it and my 2 pot a day habit (listen don’t judge me it was only a 4-cup coffee maker). Maybe a bit much because at the age of 18 my body started rejecting caffeine. This was totally not fair because chocolate had also become off limits to me. Chocolate made me lose my lunch (even the smell of it)...

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FO Friday – 3 snacks for the price of one.

Pattern: Fiona Baby Sundress (pdf) by Staci Perry Raveled hereYarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease 1.7 skeins (100grams / 207yards) 50% Cotton /50% AcrylicNeedles: Crystal Palace US 7 Mods: I did not do a CC or the i-cord straps. Plus I forgot my cable needle and had to improvise. Facts to remember: Check that there is enough ribbon to make all 4 straps the same color. Yes I only have two of the cute lime wedge ribbon straps. I had enough for 3 but not 4. I hate Cotton-ease. I don’t know about the rest of you but it taxes my hands like no other and it is not that it is made of cotton. Alisa that I am knitting up right now is made from Cotlin which is definitely not forgiving. It has to be something about the acrylic. I am hoping that the Comfy that I ordered from Knitpicks will be better on my hands. I already picked out a pattern for it to try it out. Things I Love: I loved the annoying pleats they totally make this dress. I would love to make this again for another kid if I find a better yarn. Reaction of the recipient: Well she is about 6 months old and was crawling in the opposite direction so I am going to say undecided. Her mother loved it and gave me a hug. This is the second baby gift I have given them since the first was wool and the mom was a bit scared to wash it so never used it. Since I still had extras of this yarn and I did not want it hanging around, I looked on ravelry for a pattern and came up with this quicky. Pattern: Basketweave Headband by Carissa Browning Raveled hereYarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease 1/3 skein for both (100grams / 207yards) 50% Cotton /50% AcrylicNeedles: Crystal Palace US 7 DPNs Mods: None I did not have enough time to come up with any mods. Facts to remember: That I knit these because they were so fast Things I Love: These were fast. I had 2 done in less than 24 hours and that included sleeping for 10 and going to church and well let’s just say very little actually needle time. Reaction of the recipient: I gave one to the mother who the baby dress went to and the other is for my Coffee Swap partner. It is one of the Spring Handmade things. There you have it. I jumped into PS3: Earth with both feet and finished 3 projects in less than one week. We will see how much further I will...

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Thursday – yarn tasting

Tsumugi Silk Combo (A-111) by Habu5 st/ inch on US 7s100% silk156 yards, color: HA1 I was really hoping to love this yarn. I love Habu yarns. You don’t see many here on this blog because I primarily weave with them and have not done much recently. This yarn made me swoon in the small little skein but upon casting on it was tight and uncomfortable. I thought oh it just has sizing on it. Wait till it washes up, it will be breathtaking. Nope not a bit. I could knit a shape with it and then mold it about a frame work. I think this yarn will do better in the weaving world with its cousin A-1 Tsumugi Silk. I have a few skeins of A-1 and hoped for better results. Well maybe A-1 will need to come out of hiding but A-111 was sadly lacking in what I look for in a knitting yarn. It had everything I hope for in a weaving...

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