Friday, September 28, 2007


We're having a tough day. Youngest Boy is beginning to accept the fact that Lucy is not coming back. He believes that a fox chased her to someone else's house and they took her in because she's so cute they couldn't resist. It's better to believe that than the reality. He's in tears and is very needy. We're doing the best we can to comfort him. We appreciate all your kind thoughts.

For those who were interested in Fred the Snake - he never reappeared either. I half believed that we'd find him with all the house renovations but I've chosen to believe that he made it back outside to his snake family.

Oldest Boy's knee is just fine. He played yesterday without incident and has a double header scheduled for tomorrow. We're very grateful that he didn't have a knee injury. He's had a tough enough year.

I'm almost to the teal part of the Garter Rib second sock. I've sort of lost the oomph for these socks. I love the yarn and the pattern looks very nice but it's gotten boring and I just want them to be done. They would be finished except that I have this superstition about knitting socks that contain blue during Red Sox games.

The Lichen socks are wonderful. I love Mountain Colors Bearfoot. It smells wonderful - second only to Apple Laine. These socks can be knit during Red Sox games because they're October colors and the whole point of the very long baseball season is to make it into October.

I've got new socks planned to start on Monday. The new Sockdown challenge for October is either a Nancy Bush pattern (my Lichen Rib socks won't count because they were started in September) or a cable pattern. I've got a cable pattern picked out and my Spice Market Wollmeise wound into a cake. I can't wait to cast on.

Contractor Dude has finished the school room and we can move back in there this weekend. Yeah!! That should mean I can hook my camera up again. There has been significant progress on the rest of the house but it's all half way done and rather depressing. Monday the electrician will be here for the day and Tuesday, we have been warned, is Armegeddon day. On that day the Contractor Dude, Electrician Dude and Plumber Dude will rip out the kitchen counters, install the new counter, install the new cabinet for the oven and hook up the oven, install the dishwasher and sink and who knows what all. After that, it should be smooth sailing with only painting and flooring left. It's going to be so nice when it's done.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A little update

I haven't meant to be an absent blogger but there have been extenuating circumstances. This weekend we had to empty the schoolroom for Contractor Dude. This meant moving the desks, filing cabinet, table, bookshelf and various school related sundry out. You'd laugh if you could see our computer set up in our front hall. It's not pretty but it works. The camera, however, is not hooked up so no new photos. Renovations are moving along slowly. Contractor Dude painted the schoolroom today and tomorrow he'll put down the flooring. We should be able to move back into that room on Friday.

The crowdedness and change to our routine is unsettling. It's making me anxious, has put the boys on edge, and is just all around annoying. I can't wait for it to be over. I am very grateful that we've had such beautiful weather so we can spend so much time outdoors.

Lucy bug hunting

Sadly, our baby girl, our sweet little Lucy has gone missing. It's been a week now and it's not likely she'll be coming back. We live in a very rural area and have coyotes, foxes, and fisher cats in the back woods. It is likely that Lucy met her fate at their hands. She would have been one on October 6th. We are all very sad but especially Youngest Son who "owned" Lucy. May she rest in peace.

We had a scary moment on the soccer field tonight. In soccer, when a player is injured, all play stops and the players go down on one knee. I saw the players go down to their knees and looked for the injured player only to see that it was Oldest Son who was on the ground. He lay there for a minute until the coach and ref went to help him. They led him off the field limping. It's a hard thing to be a mom and clap for your child as he's carried off the field. I'm not sure what happened exactly but he may have hyperextended his knee. We've applied ice and given Advil and we'll see how he is in the morning. He appears to be doing well.

I don't have any knitting pictures to show tonight. The Good Juju socks are just about done. Three more rows and the toe of the last sock can be kitchenered. I do love the Apple Laine. It is amazingly soft and smells wonderful. You should buy some just so you can smell it. The juju appears to have worked as the Red Sox have clinched a playoff spot. I'm still hoping they win the Division.

I'll post knitting updates later in the week when I get the camera hooked up to the computer again. Knitting is happening.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A little update

Contractor Dude showed up yesterday to start the renovations on the house. His first order of business was to remove the lovely wallpaper in the kitchen and dining area. You have no idea how much I hate this ugly wallpaper. The house is a mess and it's difficult to feed the children with the kitchen being worked on but I know it will all be worth it in the end.

We spent a lot of time outside yesterday enjoying the beautiful fall weather. I was able to spend some time on the socks in progress but not enough to share. What I will share is this lovely package that I received all the way from Australia.

Australia package

DesignerGeek sent me this lovely parcel (which also had a wonderful dark chocolate bar which disappeared very quickly) as a thank you gift for the Summer Camp Ravelry exchange. Isn't this beautiful? The yarn is from The Knittery and is a cashmere/merino blend that is LUCIOUS!! I've seen this yarn at other vendors but was never interested in the multi colored yarns. I love this semi solid in Dark Reds. She also sent me a cute little sock project bag. The fabric is beautiful and I love having another project bag to keep my stuff safe. I feel very spoiled.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Fall Bounty

Fall Bounty

Clearly the crisp air has gotten to my head. Look at all this beautiful fall colored yarn!

It started innocently enough. I needed yarn to match my Garter Rib Sock and found that Allison at Simply Sock Yarn carried Artyarn and had the perfect yarn that matched my sock. It seemed silly, however, to order one lone skein of yarn so I put a couple of other things in my cart. That's how I got the Shelridge Farms yarn in a color called Fury which is a dark speckled heathery green. It's hard to describe and to photograph so you'll just have to trust me when I say it's lovely. I also picked up some Dream in Color Smoosh in November Muse. It's a perfect brown harvesty sort of color.

The next thing I knew, Sheri at The Loopy Ewe had a sneaky daytime Sneak Up. I had Loopy money just burning a hole in my pocket because I had recently earned some Frequent Shopper credit AND won a contest on Pat's blog where I earned a Loopy gift certificate. I knew exactly what I wanted - Wollmeise! I got two skeins - Spice Market and Granatapfel.

It wasn't until the Wollmeise arrived today that I realized that all my new yarns are very fallish. Aren't they beautiful? I wish I had a horn of plenty to store them in.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Works in Progress Wednesday

I don't think that I've mentioned that we're having our home remodeled. I decided to use some of the money left to me by my father to remodel the kitchen. Our kitchen is very dated and I've hated it since before we bought the house. I'm excited about the remodel which will include new countertops, floors, cabinets, sink, wall oven, dishwasher and floor. We'll also have the ugly wallpaper removed and the kitchen and dining room painted a beautiful shade of yellow.

While I was talking to the contractor I decided that if we were putting new floors in the kitchen we might as well put down new floors in the family room and school room as they all adjoin. I also suggested putting in a closet in the family room to help control the clutter. Somehow, Mr. Baseball and I decided that we should also paint those two other rooms, rip out built in book cases and get rid of old furniture.

The remodeling hasn't officially started yet but I'm starting to get stressed out. I have to remove everything from those rooms and find places to store it for awhile. You have no idea how many books a homeschooling family has unless you homeschool yourself. It's amazing. The house is a disaster. Somehow through it all we've got to keep schooling and getting everyone to their numerous practices and games for fall sports. Yup. I'm feeling stressed.

I decided to post pictures of my current works in progress as I'm not sure when I'll have any completed pictures to share.

Artyarns Garter Rib wip

The matching yarn for my Artyarns Garter Rib socks arrived today. The teal is a perfect match and will make lovely cuffs. All I need to do is finish this cuff and I can cast on for the second sock. The problem is I can't find the second skein anywhere. I'm sure it's somewhere safe and sound but I can't put my finger on it. I've got to let it go for now and trust that if I stop looking so hard it will show up.

Bearfoot Lichen wip

Next up are the Bearfoot Lichen socks. I'm using Nancy Bush's Lichen Rib pattern for these socks and liking it very much. Notice how this yarn is similar to the Claudia yarn for the Pheasant Run socks. If you live in New England you'll know that early in fall the colors are bright and cheerful like the Pheasant Run socks but later they get muted like these Bearfoot socks. I love the colors of fall.

Good Juju wip

The Good Juju socks. I'm sticking to my plan and only knitting them during Red Sox games. Last night the Red Sox came from behind - they were losing 1-8 - and went on to win 16-9. Woohoo! I truly love Apple Laine Apple Pie. I've got more red yarn waiting to be made into more juju socks when these are finished.

Koigu Fanning the Flame wip

Finally, the Fanning the Flame mittens in Koigu. I want to knit these mittens but we'll see how I do. I have one fan done and had to unzip the provisional cast on last night and pick up the stitches for the next fan. Let's just say it didn't want to "unzip" and I was hating the darn thing but I finally got it torn apart and on the needles and we'll see what happens.

No idle hands here.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

At an impasse

I've reached an impasse.

It's no secret I'm not a fan of the toe up sock. I gave it the old college try for Sockdown and I'll admit that I really like the toe I used and the heel was certainly passable and probably would even get better with practice. The selling factors for toe up socks seem to be twofold. First, you can try the socks on as you knit them so you know they fit. Two, you can knit until you run out of yarn so you never have to worry about running out before you finish.

Let me tackle these selling points. As far as trying them on goes, I've never had problems trying on my socks as I knit because I knit on two circs and can try them on anytime. Trying on toe up socks is more tricky. I've found that I'm done with the toe increases long before I'd know if the sock fit or not. If I didn't know better and know how many stitches I normally need for a sock, I'd keep increasing until I reached the widest part of my foot. It doesn't seem possible that the sock will fit when I stop with the toe increases but later on - quite a few inches into the foot - I find that the socks does, indeed, fit. Sort of. I probably could have left out at least 4 stitches on the Garter Ribs and these socks would have fit a little better.

While it is true that you can just continue knitting until you run out of yarn and not worry about having a toeless sock, it is not true that when you run out of yarn your sock will necessarily be complete. I knit and knit the leg until I ran out of yarn and found that I have a leg that is only 5.5 inches long. That simply doesn't work for me. It doesn't work any better, in fact, than finding out I don't have enough yarn for a toe.

I suppose I could show you a picture of my unfinished sock here but I thought Lucy was much cuter. I love the Artyarns Ultramerino4. This is some nice yarn and I will definitely knit with it again. Thank you SP for introducing me to it. Simply Sock Yarn sells this same yarn and they have a great feature where the description of every variegated yarn includes what solid yarns match with it. Cool, huh? I've ordered some matching teal yarn to finish the cuffs of my socks.

Here's where I'm at an impasse. I've decided to wait for the teal yarn to arrive (and of course it has friends because who the heck can order one skein of yarn?) to finish the cuff of the first sock before casting on for the second. I'm just like that. Sadly, my other size 1s are in use for my Good Juju socks so I have no spare 1s to cast on with. That's okay. I'm good with waiting. Really. That's what I keep telling myself.

Because I can only knit the Good Juju socks during Red Sox games I had to cast on another sock while I'm waiting. I'm using some Bearfoot I had in the stash and some 2.75 needles that weren't being used for anything. They'll make great socks to take along to soccer/football/baseball games this fall (more about ALL that in another post) and I can put them aside when the Artyarns arrives.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

On being snobbish

Recently, I received an embarrassment of riches in the form of thank you gifts from swap folks in the Summer Camp exchange I've been running on Ravelry. I must say that receiving packages in the mail was an altogether welcome surprise. It's a very cool thing to have your mail carrier drive up the driveway with a package when you know you haven't ordered anything. Who wouldn't love to get a package like this? You wouldn't believe how nice those little soap cakes made everything smell.

thank you 2

I do wonder, however, how I come off to folks who read my blog. Both of the folks who sent packages recently wondered if, perhaps, the yarn they sent me was not up to snuff. It is true that I love luxury yarns and enjoy trying new yarns from indie dyers. It's also true that I love to try new yarns - ever on the search for the one "perfect" yarn. But everything has its place.

My first socks, knit many years ago, were knit using Regia and Opal yarns. They were all the rage at the time and I just loved the cool self striping and patterning yarn that made it look like I had done amazing things with my knitting. Those socks are still being worn today, lasting far, far longer than many of the more expensive yarns I have bought. While I may not gush over these yarns as much as things like the Wollmeise I was recently sent, it does not mean I don't appreciate them.

Check out this wonderful package:

thank you 3

New Kaffe Fasset Regia yarn that I would never have picked out myself but which I think is very, very cool, a beautiful handwritten note, and the best little hand sewn project bag. No one has sewn anything for me since I was a teenager. I love this little bag an embarrassing amount.

I'm not printing any names of my generous friends because I don't want to embarrass them but I hope they know how very much everything they sent is appreciated.

Thank you.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Artyarns toe up

I'm participating in a Sockdown over on Ravelry. It's a cool, low pressure knit a long. The way it works is that every month there is a technique and/or pattern designer to choose from. You knit a pair of socks using that technique or pattern designer and post photos to the group. You actually have two months to complete each pair of socks although a new challenge is posted every month.

Last month, the the challenge was lace and I knit my Pheasant Run socks to meet it. This month's theme is toe up. Ugh!! As you know, I haven't had the best of luck with toe up socks. In fact, I don't ever wear the two pairs of toe up socks I knit. Nonetheless, with a willing spirit I decided to give it a try. This time I used Judy's Magic Cast On but I needed to follow a video on YouTube by Cat Bhordi to get it right. I'm just a visual sort of person. I LOVE this cast on. It produces a smooth, wonderful toe.

Next, I chose a pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks - Garter Ridge. It's a simple pattern that I think looks wonderful with variegated yarn. The yarn I'm using is Artyarns Supermerino4 that was gifted to me by my Secret Pal. Finally, I decided to use Wendy's toe up gusset and flap heel. The heel isn't perfect. I'm not sure I know how to do a knit front and back in a purl stitch and I don't know how to knit the wrap together with the stitch on the knit side when it's been wrapped on the purl side (though I did wonderfully knitting the wrap and stitch together for the first half following Cat Bhordi's lesson). So, it's not perfect but it's pretty darn good.

I finished the heel today and started the leg while Middle Boy was having oral surgery. I couldn't wait to share it with you all. Now I'm just knitting up the leg without any worry about running out of yarn.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


If you didn't watch the Red Sox game tonight, you missed an amazing game. It was, in fact, an historical game. For the first time in Red Sox history, a rookie pitcher pitched a no hitter. Clay Bucholz, who was only called up to the team today, pitched nine solid innings and did not allow a single hit. It was awe inspiring.

I nervously knit my Good Juju socks throughout the entire game. The Red Sox won 10-0 but it wasn't the runs that were impressive. I'm so happy to have had the opportunity to watch this young kid throw the game of his life. His name will forever be part of Red Sox history.

There was lots of knitting going on at the House of Baseball today. This morning I finished my Pheasant Run socks. I had hoped to finish them last night but had to put them aside to work on the Juju socks during the game (not that they helped last night). There is nothing I dislike about these socks. The pattern and yarn combination is perfect. Sheri put together an amazing sock club package. I hope that Lisa Parker makes this pattern available for sale in the future because it is perfect for variegated yarns.

Pheasant Run Socks pair

Pattern: Pheasant Run by Lisa Parker
Yarn: Claudia's Handpainted
Needles: 2.5 mm Knit Picks circulars

The Claudia's is wonderfully soft yarn. It feels almost buttery and it smells amazing. All that being said, I can't see myself knitting with it again. In the end, I had 3 yards of yarn left and that's cutting it too close for me.

I cast on another sock immediatly using the Artyarns I flashed last week from my Secret Pal. This is some wonderful yarn. I'll post more details soon.