Friday, August 21, 2009

I Have More Time Than I Thought I Did

I realized this morning that, although my friend is leaving the Y.O. on Monday, her Dad is leaving on Thursday to spend two weeks with her. I'll tell you why once I finish the gift and can show it to you.

So, it seems I have a moment to blog today. First of all, I finished a few things. This is for book club Christmas gifts. I'm doing something fun this year. I need five gifts altogether and I have three done so far. However, that is a topic for another blog post when they are all done. I just really really loved this. It's a lot of fun to knit. I did it on size 15 needles (had to use a circular for my cable needle) so it flew by.

It's the Chunky Cabled Scarf (I did the ribbing with 11s) in Freedom Wool from Twilley's of Stamford. The color didn't come up well in the photo but it's a really pretty teal blue (it looks a little grayer than it actually is). I got it at one of the Warehouse Wednesday sales at Flying Fingers.

I also haven't shown you my Sock Summit socks yet. Here they are, folded up on my kitchen table.

It's the Sunday Swing sock. What a wonderful pattern. It may be my new basic sock. It has just enough detail to keep you interested but is simple enough to do it anywhere, anytime! And Kristel Nyberg is a doll. I emailed her about a typo in the pattern and we had a very nice email exchange. It's a pity her blog is only in Finnish! (P.S. The typo was not a big deal but I'm the type of person who will very gently and discreetly tell you if you have spinach in your teeth. I believe it is much more embarrassing to walk around like that than to have someone kindly tell you about it.) Anyway, as I said, she seems to be a lovely woman and I am really looking forward to playing with some more of her patterns.

As much as I loved the pattern, I was somewhat disappointed with this yarn. I don't usually like to work in really dark yarns but this was so pretty that I made an exception. It felt great in my hands and has a beautiful drape. BUT--There were at least three really weak spots in it and the plying was somewhat inconsistent. I had to break the yarn at the weak spots which I really hate to do on socks. I'm going to email the manufacturer (see above about spinach) because the yarn really has a great reputation.

Last but not least, I had to wash all the linens for the pullout couch the other day because there was a distinct possibility that my friend was going to be staying here. The pullout hasn't been used in years so I was pretty certain that it needed some refreshing. Babycat--my oldest, insane, deaf cat--loved having this pullout open and she was the best helper while I was making the bed.

I leave you with catlump.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts

I started a gift tonight that I need to have done by Sunday. And I'm going to have to block the crap out of it so really, it needs to be done by Saturday morning.

Sorry for the short post but I have to get back to knitting it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Week One is Done!

So we have made it through the first week of having no elevator in my apartment building. Really, it hasn't been that bad. I live on the third floor and it's only two flights of stairs so I can't complain. Frankly, it's been faster than taking the elevator! It's also good exercise. It's funny that such a little thing can make such a difference but I can already feel it in my legs. It is a bit of a pain to do laundry or bring in groceries because you have to walk all the way around the building to get to the basement but, que sera sera.

It's just the thought of it. Maybe any time we feel like we are denied something (like my elevator), we want it back--no questions asked.

Speaking of wanting something back, I FINALLY found my camera. God knows how but it had worked its way under the bedspread and it was all the way down at the foot of the bed. Odd but, hey, at least I found it. It also meant that I could take all the garbage out. I'm always scared that something feel in the trash so I don't put it down the chute until I find whatever is lost.

So I can show you something that I finished. It took forever because I just couldn't find buttons that I liked. But here it is in all its glory.

It's Molly's Carolyn sweater. It started out as Susie's Carolyn but then I realized it would fit her so I just switched the name of it and made it for Molly instead. The photo is a little bit redder than the actual sweater. It's a very cool, dusty pink and purple and the buttons are mother of pearl (or maybe abalone) and they pick up the colors beautifully.

It will fit her for a while and when she outgrows it, I'll give it to someone else and make her another one. It really looks great on her!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Shine A White Light

Today is a day for positive energy. My friend is in the process of passing and I am gathering all of the white light that I can to shine for her for a peaceful passage.

She is the stepmother of one of my childhood friends and lives with her loving and kind husband in the building next to mine. I had lost touch with my childhood friend until recently and had a wonderful visit with her in April (she lives in Italy). It was truly like a day hadn't passed in the 18 years since we had seen each other.

In that time, she lost her mother, her dad remarried a wonderful woman, she fell in love, became an Italian citizen and grew into a stunningly beautiful, smart, funny, fun, interesting woman.

Here Dad has been asking for prayers on facebook so last night I went out and got the ingredients to create a dish for them to keep in the freezer for those nights when they were too tired to cook. Cooking for people is one of the ways that I pray.

This morning I got a call from Italy to tell me that Harriet has started her passage.

I know I don't have a lot of readers but if you are out there, please shine a little white light for this family. It will help.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Victory! (Sort of)

Technically I knit two socks between the opening of Sock Summit registration and the close of the luminary panel. The "sort of" part of the title is the fact that I only have one and a half finished socks. Honestly, I could have finished the second sock but on Sunday afternoon I popped down to the pool and found my cousins and their babies visiting. So that took some time. Then my friend Bob had one of his oldest friends visiting and I was intrigued by her. Have you ever met someone and been completely unsure of whether or not you like them. It's an odd sensation to have absolutely zero first impression of someone. Thus the intrigue. As it turns out, she is lovely and fun and I hope she'll visit again soon. But again--that took some time.

Then my old friend Gloria called and she was in town! Hurray! So off I went to Blu in Hastings for wine and treats. We had their crabcakes (which were okay) and the most amazing duck confit, fig, bleu cheese and parmesan pizza. Holy crap! It was amazing. Duck confit is my favorite food in the whole world followed closely by figs, bleu cheese and parmesan. I was in heaven.

And then what do you think happened today? FedEx rang my buzzer. Hmm--I haven't ordered anything lately. My oh my what could this be.

You geussed it! Gloria sent me a gorgeous can of duck confit which will be seared and served with a pan roasted potato, onion and bleu cheese gratin. I can't wait.

I've been in such a funk lately and it is amazing what a surprise gift can do to you. I was both moved and touched and actually shed a few tears over how lucky I am to have a friend like her.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I Thought My Feet Were Bigger

I cast on at 4 pm EST on Wednesday for my Sock Summit socks. And I have to say I love this pattern (although there is a typo in the pattern--the 26 stitches after you turn the heel on the large size should be 36). I emailed Kristel and she is going to let Knitty know so they can make the correction.

I had just finished the heel and started the gusset when I decided to try them on and they are just waaaaaaaay too big. Time to recast on for the medium size instead.

The upside is that I love this pattern so much that I don't even mind reknitting and it goes so fast, I think I can still finish them by Sunday.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sock Summit Project Begins Today

I swatched. I hardly ever swatch but as I am on such a tight time frame on this one, I swatched.

I was originally going to do Sunday Swing in this.

It's Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 Twin in the colorway Paul (a lovely not to Gaugin). The colorway is out of stock but the other colors are fab. I got gauge but it was a little too dense for me.

So I swatched this.

The ball band is long gone. I know I bought it at Flying Fingers last year. It was originally going to be a pair of Spring Forward socks but the colorway and the pattern didn't work well together. I loved them both--just not together. So they had a very amicable divorce and ended up back in the stash and the queue. I also got gauge on this but, again, it was a smidge too dense.

Then I remembered this.

I bought it the same day as the mystery yarn above and it has been hiding out in my stash ever since. It is Zitron Trekking Hand Art and is just lovely. The gauge is perfect. The drape is perfect. I color is perfect. It reminds of a December sky at twilight. You know those clear, cold nights when the sky is bluer than anything you've ever seen before. It's like that.

Just a little under 5 hours to my 4 p.m. cast on.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My Own Personal Sock Summit

Well I can't go to sock summit. Sad sad sad. So instead, I'm going to have my own personal Sock Olympics. I'll be casting on at 4 pm on Wednesday. Registration opens at 1 pm in Portland and I am in Yonkers so it's the same time. The plan is to have a pair of socks done by 8:30 on Sunday.

I'm going to do these. I have some great yarn that I got from Denise a while back and I think this pattern is perfect for it. I started some plain socks with it. Then some Jaywalkers. But neither was perfect and it's such great stuff that it demands perfection.

And speaking of perfection, I have very little of it in my life right now so I decided to create some in my kitchen. I have been pretty much boiling the walls in there for the past few days. It has taken a lot longer than it should because I am a very lazy housekeeper and tend to get distracted but I must say it is pretty satisfying. Until yesterday. I decided to clean behind the fridge and thought I was going to drop dead when I saw how gross it was. I finally pushed the fridge back into place late last night but will be pulling it out again today for one more scrub (I ran out of bleach). I swear to you, I will either have to do this every few months from now on or sell my apartment before I have to do it again.