Monday, June 25, 2007

Middletown Valley Barn Tour

Saturday was a beautiful day here in Maryland, clear, breezy and almost cool. That's rare in a state that's the capitol of hazy, hot and humid so we took advantage of it and went on the Barn Tour. Eleven barns were featured on the tour which ran from 10am to 5pm. We made it to 10 of them before calling it a day. My husband's family are retired dairy farmers so he's very interest in old barns. We have one across the road from our house that's about 200 years old.

I took advantage of our stops to sit in the shade and knit. I'm almost done with the second Anastasia Sock by Pepperknit. I lost one of my dps at one of the farms where I was sitting on a hill under some tall pines enjoying the breeze and scent of the pines. It was one of my new KA bamboos and I hated to lose it but it wasn't worth going back and looking through pine needles to try to find a bamboo size 0US!

The first farm had about a dozen peacocks roaming around and I took lots of photos. They are such beautiful birds.

I is so handsome! Take picture of me!

You get my good side, ok?

I has nice legs!

Flag the Itchy

The last farm we went to had horses. We parked in the shade beside a fence and I sat in car with the door open and knitted. Eventually the one of the horses , a pinto, came up to the fence to check me out and we ended up having a 15 minute scratch orgy. He was very clean and well groomed but he had lots of itches that needed to be scratched and I was happy to oblige. I got all the critial spots: under the mane, behind the ears, under the halter straps.

He leaned into the scratches with such obvious pleasure that I just kept on scratching thinking he would walk away when he had had enough but he never made the slightest attempt to leave. So I moved on to styling his forelock into a mohawk and was getting ready to take a picture when my husband came back and told me to quit torturing the poor horse, whose name it turned out is Flag. So I bid Flag farewell and we headed off to dinner. It was a wonderful day.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ravelry!!! Nuff Said!

I got my invitation to Ravelry on Tuesday afternoon and I've been sucked into the vortex along with all the other Ravelers. There is something for everyone and spot for everything. I've been entering projects and stash and needles and looking at other people's stuff and looking at patterns and... the list just goes on and on. Thank you so much for creating this site!

I'm nearly finished with the first Anastasia sock but I didn't get to work on it at all yesterday. Hope to have some pictures soon.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ok, now I understand...

I purchased my first-ever Socks That Rock (lightweight) last year at Stitches East. I picked up five skeins at the Blue Moon booth and brought them home, put them in a Rubbermaid tub and never really thought too much about them. I knew I'd get to them someday. Saturday morning I got one out (Fairgrounds) and wound it into a cake and decided to make the Anastasia Socks by Pepperknit.

I know about the fascination (obsession) with Socks That Rock here in Blogland and it's very pretty and all but I guess I just didn't get it. That was until Saturday night at the baseball game when I cast on and started knitting with it for the first time.

WOW!! It's so-o-o tight. I don't spin so I don't know how else to describe what it is that's so different from the other yarns I've knit with. Is it tightly plied? Tightly spun? Both? I don't know, but it's smooth. No splittyness (well if it's not a word it should be) whatsoever.

The softness, the stitch definition, the squishiness - indescribable. I've joined the other Socks That Rock devotees (addicts, zombies) and will make that booth my first stop at Stitches East in October and stand in line with my sister sock knitters.

I saw the line at Maryland Sheep & Wool and skirted it to see what all the fuss was about. "Oh," I said to myself, "Socks That Rock. I have five skeins of that at home. I'm certainly not standing in that line for more."

Ha! I just hope I haven't incurred the wrath of the yarn goddess with my dismissive attitude. Please forgive this humble woman for her ignorance, oh great Mistress of the Skeins. I was blind but now I knit.

Edited to add: I'm using the KA High Quality Bamboo Needles in size 0US/2.0mm instead of my usual KnitPicks dpns and I like them. The Brittany size 0's that I used in the past were too weak to pick up and knit the wraps on my shortrow heel. I snapped one on the first sock I knit with them. But these KA's are tough. Almost no bending, even on the k2tog's. They're made in Japan of aged bamboo and I guess that makes all the difference. Mine came from Y2Knit.

Here's a picture of the points for comparison. The KA's are a little blunter but sometimes that's a good thing. The KnitPicks are capable of drawing blood.

The First Ever KnitFlix

Left to right: Susan from Y2knit, Janis, Sonja (intern at Y2Knit) and Audrey.
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Friday evening was the first ever KnitFlix. Some of the social knitters from Y2Knit came over to my house and we ate popcorn, drank iced tea, knitted and watched Pride and Prejudice. I think everyone had a great time, we laughed and talked after the movie until almost 11pm.

It was so much fun to have everyone over to my home that I wish we could do it every week but people are busy with family and friends and I understand that, I'm busy too. Next Friday at Social Knitting we'll decide what to watch next. There was talk of continuing on the Jane Austin theme with Sense and Sensibility, Emma and Mansfield Park. We may even watch the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice.

I sure hope the others had as good a time as I did and that everyone will come back for the second edition of KnitFlix!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Loopy Ewe Sock Club Scoks Are Done

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Wow. It's been a while, hasn't it? I apologize for the long gap in the blog. I've been busy, depressed, distracted, you name it. I do have some knitting to report on though. I finished the Loopy Ewe Sock Club socks last week but just got around to photgraphing them yesterday. Yes, I know I have on two different socks but believe me both Loopy socks are done. I didn't follow the pattern exactly. I made the foot stockingette and only did the pattern on the leg and I did them toe-up using Wendy's Toe-Up pattern with US0/2.0mm Knitpicks dps.

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These were a very fun project! I loved the yarn from All Things Heather (not my first yarn from her, by the way) in the wonderful Skinny Dipping colorway. They fit pretty good and will brighten up my days come fall and winter (I don't often wear socks in the summer).

I also finished one of the Mirabella socks by Mary Jo Gumayagay. I started these socks months ago and worked the first one to the heel and then put them away to work on something else. I picked them up again on Saturday and finished the first one Sunday evening.

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They look a little different than the photo on the pattern because I left off the squiggly section on each side of the lacy. It just didn't look right to me. They are also made of yarn by All Things Heather, her 50/50 merino/tencel in Teal. This yarn is so great to knit with that I will definitely be buying more. I used US1/2.5mm(?) Brittany dps and worked the toe as in Wendy's pattern.

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These could be summer socks, they're so cool and thin and silky. My only problem is that they are tight across my ankle. I'm going to try adding a few increases as I get close to the heel and then decreasing as I start up the leg. I have big ankles because they've both been broken at one time or another.

When I finish the second Mirabella sock I hope to start on the Lily of the Valley smoke ring from Wooly Wonka Fibers. I ordered the needles from Knitpicks and I also ordered a pair of Addi Turbo Lace needles from my lys Y2Knit.

I'm in the mood for lace...simply because it's near me...