Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Above and beyond

I'm new to the whole blogging thing, but I gotta tell you I'm starting to really like being a part of the knitting/blogging world. Last week I was chosen as one of the winners of Alyson's The YoYo Knits blogaversary contest. Pretty cool, I thought. I've never won a skein of yarn before.

Now, I knew I had won a skein of something, and I secretly expected that I'd get a little chocolate, too (it seems there is an unwritten rule amongst knit bloggers: chocolate must accompany yarn packages). But I never expected this:

Oh wait, let me show you:

Herbacin hand lotion, a yummy grapefruit and ginger candle, a really pretty list pad and a package of really cool notecards and repurposed envelopes from Fake Forest. The envelopes are made from vintage magazine ads.

And then, two skeins of Silky Wool. I've never used Silky Wool but have been wanting to try it.

And (begin angelic music now):

A skein of sock yarn from Yarn Ahoy, colorway "Shores of Andaman". You're right, Alyson, I love spring colors! How did you know? This is the softest sock yarn I have ever seen. I can't wait to knit with it!

Thank you Alyson! I had no idea what you were sending, but this is above and beyond what I was expecting. Gosh I love being part of the knit love.

PS: Yes, there was chocolate. Choxie, in fact. But most of it wasn't around long enough to photograph.

Monday, March 26, 2007

A weekend of knitting

I haven't had such a knitterly weekend in a long time. Unfortunately, for all the knitting I did I didn't actually finish anything. All my knitting projects are still WIPs.

Saturday afternoon I met some fellow members of the Rockin' Sock Club. I got to spend a delightful few hours with Phoebe from Knit Happened and Leslie from a blossom knits. Being able to spend an afternoon talking about knitting, yarn, blogs and designers with women who are as excited about knitting as I am was a dream. Phoebe and I worked on our Inside/Out socks (the first project from the Rockin' Sock Club) and Leslie worked on a gorgeous entrelac shawl. I'm looking forward to doing it again soon. Thanks, ladies!

After I got home from the sock club meet-up, I spent the rest of the evening working on my Inside/Out sock. I don't know if this happens to you, but every time I learn a new knitting technique I get obsessed with it. This is my first toe up sock and the first time I've done a short row heel. I could not, could not go to sleep until I saw how that heel was going to work. Does this happen to you? Plus, Judgement at Nuremberg was on the local PBS station. Oh yeah, spent Saturday night on the couch with the dogs knitting and watching a Nazi war crime trial movie. That's how I roll. At first I was like, okay I'll give this movie fifteen minutes then I'll switch over to... I don't know... America's Next Top Model reruns on VH1. Three hours later I hadn't moved from the couch. The movie is that good is all I'm saying. I made it through the heel and finally called it quits, bleary eyed, around 1 AM.

I worked on Veste Everest a little, too. I promise this is a different photo than from the last post. The difference between the photos is subtle. You have to really look hard to determine that yes, in fact I have progressed about two inches.

In non-knitting news... St. Pete Shuffle had a good night on Friday. The organizers of Project: HOME had an exhibit at the club of the artist's plans and sketches for the upcoming show at Williams Park. If you're in St. Petersburg next weekend, come by Williams Park to see the finished artwork, all dealing with the concept of "home".

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


362 days out of the year my neighborhood is (usually) peaceful and quiet. You know the type: lots of old homes, 100 year old live oaks creating a canopy over brick streets, neighbors who wave to each other, large 1920's Catholic cathedral smack dab in the middle of the neighborhood. I love it (which is surprising because I thought I'd always be a downtown urban chick). Then, for three days every March, the church has a fundraiser and the neighborhood gets all crazy and festival-y.

I love that I live five blocks away from this:

It was much more crowded than these photos make the festival out to be. For starters, every teenager in St. Petersburg that needed a place to make out was at the festival. By the time I got there most people had migrated from the rides to the food and beer. I didn't get a chance to photograph the food area (too busy eating, I suppose). In a 50 ft. row, there was a combination of foods that probably shouldn't all go into one's belly at once: chinese food, greek food, pancit noodles, fried green tomatoes, burritos, cookies baked by the nuns, and peach cobbler.

In knitting news, I think I'm suffering from startitis. I have a huge pile of sock yarn and patterns. For the past few days I've just stared at it all and thought, what to start next? Jaywalkers? Monkeys? STR club pattern? So many choices it makes my head spin! In the end I cast on for a project I bought the yarn for six months ago, the Veste Everest from IK Fall 2005. I'm using Harrisville Highland Style in #34 Aster.

This will be my first knitted sweater-type item. Read: this will be the first project I've knitted that actually needs to fit. Before starting I swatched, measured, washed, blocked and dried like a good knitter. So far so good: after one row I had the pattern memorized and have been able to knit on auto-pilot. Last night I finished several of the cable repeats while mostly concentrating on watching The Thin Man. Oh, that Asta!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Green socks for a green day

Happy St. Patrick's Day (Lá Fhéile Pádraig)! I finished my green Hederas just in time.

I'm frantically pulling together my St. Patrick's Day dinner: beef and Guinness stew, colcannon, smoked salmon and greens with soda bread, and lemon tart with berries. Have a great day!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Thinking of spring

Ahhh, spring in Florida. From February through April I can breathe! Kind of. Because this is the time of year in which open windows are better than air conditioning, this morning I dusted away a handful of pollen dust in my living room. Yes, yellow dust inside the house. I brush off the pollen from my car door handle every time I drive somewhere. No matter. My eyes may be itchy but the rest of me loves this time of year in St. Petersburg. My neighborhood's jasmine is starting to bloom so when I walk the dogs the air is fragrant. My plumeria (frangipani) is starting to grow leaves. The bouganvilla is flourishing.

For spring:

Cherry Tree Hill: Life's A Beach. For Jaywalkers.

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock: Daffodil. For ?? (suggestions welcome)

In progress: Hederas. In Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock: Carol Green.

Yummy soap from Megan's Goodworks of Athens, Springtime Lure (Lavendar and Lime).

Jackson loves spring but finds "springing foward" a bit difficult. He is not a morning dog.

He looks like this after 10AM.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Trick mittens (warning: STR club spoiler below)

Even though it has been a long time since my last post, I have been knitting. Really. I've also been busy working and haven't had much time for blogging. As a freelancer it seems it's either feast of famine workwise. The last two weeks have been feast. So yay! for being able to keep my dogs living the lifestyle in which they've become accustomed. Unfortunately the fun stuff gets cast aside for a bit until I catch my breath.

While I was buried in work, the knitting world carried on without me - big time (New Knitty! New Interweave editor!). I love the new Knitty. I see Clessidra in my future.

After three months of no posting, Eunny Jang posts this. It makes me feel better that she's been knitting since she was four. Oh, Eunny Jang, how do you do it? Just as I was wiping the drool off my keyboard, here she goes again with this announcement about becoming the new editor of Interweave Knits. I'm so many years behind Eunny. But when I look at her designs I'm not discouraged. I'm inspired by her and can see what I have to look forward to with my knitting.

To top it off, last Monday I got my first installment of the Socks That Rock club (photo below). Beautiful! A lot of people have mentioned this and I agree: it's not a colorway I would normally buy for myself. But now that I have it I love it. I think the club is going to help me explore colors and patterns I wouldn't have experimented with on my own.

I knit these a couple weeks ago: my first pair of mittens. Flip-top, baby! From Handknit Holidays. Yarn is Manos del Uruguay in Coffee and Wildflowers.



I learned a few things during this little project.

  1. I enjoy knitting mittens. I didn't think I'd like it (who knows why), but I did. However...

  2. ...I get crabby when there's more than one place in my knitting held together with waste yarn. I had waste yarn on the thumb and on the flippy part. Maybe because the two places were so close together, I don't know, but I don't like it when waste yarn gets in the way of the working yarn.

  3. Sometimes it becomes necessary for one to make Manos one's bee-yotch. I switched to a new skein of Wildflowers at the flap of my second mitten. New skein = totally different pattern/pooling than the first skein. To make the last part look like the other 75% of the mittens, at 4 places I randomly cut about 6 inches of yarn then spit-spliced it back together. That broke up the pooling enough to match the rest of the mittens.

Okay... drumroll please... here is the first skein of the 2007 Rockin' Sock club. After practically stalking my mail carrier for two weeks, then doing a little happy dance in front of her when she delivered the box, I am pretty certain she thinks I'm a nutter-butter. But I don't care, I was just so happy to finally get this:

The grey has a lot of blue in it and the brown has green in it. The skein changes colors depending on the light. I don't mean to imply it's a magic skein, I mean that it's made up of colors that have a habit of looking different in different situations. I can't wait to try the first club pattern with this!