Monday, October 30, 2006


Well October is almost finished and I managed to finish one pair, start a second pair and knit a pair of baby booties and . However I really didn't devote much knitting time this month to the socks. The charcoal ribbed socks are languishing - I should have listen to this yarn it wasn't ready to be knitted yet and I am paying the price. This is how the sock is behaving - I decided my gauge was too loos and I ripped out the couple of inches that I had started with, it then took me about 1 day to cast on. I kept casting on either the completely wrong number of stitches or screwing up the cast on in other ways (dropping stitches several on row 1). I then knit to the heel flap and decided I didn't like the pattern so out it came. I am currently satisfied with the sock although I realize that something dreadfully wrong may occur at any moment. Oh yeah I also lost a needle last weeked it was either left at the Poconos or is in the car somewhere.

Here are a few more pics of Keeper.

I have a coat for him, but haven't purchased the wool yet for his sweater. He will wear his coat, the first night we got him we put his coat on for a walk and 1/2 through the walk I began to wonder if he would do his business with it on (he hadn't yet). I took the coat off and within a few minutes he started marking his territory. I had heard that some male dogs don't like to pee with anything on their tummies (makes sense to me). However Sunday morning it was cold and it was time for a walk so I put on his coat (I figured I could take it off part way through the walk) and he happily did his business with the coat on. This bodes well for the winter (when he may get booties to wear as well).

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Trellis Scarf

Last week I started the Trellis Scarf from IK Spring '06 designed by Evelyn A. Clark. I am knitting it in Misti Alpaca in Melange Forest. The pattern calls for 3.75 mm (US5) needles however when I started this I looked at the yarn and realized that there was no way that was going to work. I cast on instead with 3.25 mm (US3) needles and my gauge is still off but it is a scarf. For some reason with this pattern it requires my complete concentration. I don't think there is anything difficult with it I just can't seem to knit it without the pattern by my side and stitch markers at every repeat. This dependence on markers is a pain as they move twice in the 16 row repeat.

There have been requests for more photos of Keeper. There is something that needs to be said about greyhounds though, they sleep a lot with just a few short bursts of energy (which I never have the camera ready for). So here is a couple pics that I snapped of him sleeping.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006


Ali and I have adopted a retired racing greyhound named Keeper. He ran 69 races under the name KL Rambo's Matt, and is now very content to sleep on his bed. He is a healthy 3.5 year old dog, that had past his peak so was retired. Greyhounds live for 12-14 years so Keeper will have a long retired life.

or to play with his stuffed Tessa Owl

We adopted him from Greyhounds in Need of Adoption. He spent his racing career in Florida so I will have to knit him a coat for winter. Can you believe that there was no yarn at Rhinebeck - I wanted a heavier - aran or worsted Superwash wool and didn't see any suitable for a dog sweater.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Rhinebeck weekend

This past weekend there were two events that Ali and myself like to go to. The first is the World Tang Soo Do Region #8 championships. It is held at Fernwood Resort in Pennsylvania. I will let him tell you about this. The second event is the New York Sheep and Wool festival or as it is called around the blogosphere "Rhinebeck".
On Sunday we drove from the Poconos to Rhinebeck and met up with Wily Jeneric and Priscilla for some fiber shoppping. Since we are very bad bloggers there are very few photos and they are all over at Wiley Jeneric's. People who went on Saturday complained about the crowd which is the advantage of going on Sunday. The place was busy but you could easily move around and lines were not long. The downfall is some of the yarns are sold out. I purchased some copper mordant for some dyeing that I am planning on.

I did not fill my Bingo card, I did meet some bloggers who were squares but most of these people were not on my card. Oh well. I met two or three people who I was on their card. So people were playing. Thanks to Stitchy for organizing this.

I have some other updates to make later in the week.

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Dale Lady Bug Sweater

(Warning to those on slow connections - this is a photo laden post)

Priscilla was the closest with guessing a sweater, however this sweater is not for me but for Baby Jeneric

I was knitting the Dale Lady Bug Sweater that I received as a kit in the spring from Spin Blessing. To be fully honest with my readers, I have been knitting in secret since the summer. That is why some weeks I seemed to have done no knitting. Just to give you a photo essay on this sweater.

Project details
Yarn: Dale Baby Ull in colours Spring Green (#8523), Bright Turquoise (#6714), Yellow (#2317), Tomato Red (#3718), Deep Blue (#5545), Deep Lavendar (#5135) and Charcoal (#0083). Baby Ull is an incredibly soft superwash, although a little splitty. I will use it again
Needles: 2.75 mm circ and dpns, and 2.25 mm for the facings
Pattern: The Marihone in Dalegarn 152

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What am I knitting? Part 2

There was a couple of guesses but no one got it, so here is another hint to keep you busy while I am at Rhinebeck.

Also if you are looking for me at Rhinebeck, here is a pic from last year at Christmas with the wonderful gift I got from Ali.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What am I knitting? Part 1

I need a new project, any one care to guess what it is?

Bumble bees

Booties are a type of sock right? I had some stash yarn and need to get some projects done for Socktoberfest.

Yarn: Dale Baby Ull
Needles: 2.75 mm needles
Pattern: Bumble bees from 50 Baby Booties to Knit by Zoe Mellor

Swallowtail is done, and is finished blocking. However it is pouring rain today (which is better than snow) and photos will have to wait until the sun is shining.

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Friday, October 13, 2006

I am a square

Its official, I am a square. Make that a square player.

I will be at Rhinebeck on the Sunday, and will be playing Stitchy McYarnPant's Rhinebeck Bingo as both a square and a player. I'll most likely be wearing Samus (unless the weather doesn't cooperate) and carrying my KW knitters bag (it is great for all of those fibre purchases). I may find a decent photo of myself to post here so you will be able to recognize me. The purple in the knitters bag is similar in shade to the logo in the side bar not the blue the camera thinks it is.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

One Ball Challenge

Tuesday night was the KW Knitters Guild meeting. As this years theme is Reduce Reuse Recycle, we were all asked to bring in a leftover ball of yarn for the One Ball Challenge. We put the ball into a paper bag, with our name (so we didn't take the same ball) and took home someone else's ball of yarn. The idea is to bring back a finished item that incorporates the yarn that we received to the December meeting.

This is the yarn that I received in the exchange.
Guild challenge 01

The ball weighs 46 g and was handspun. It looks to be sport-DK weight, and is 100% wool. The guidelines of the challenge are to use this alone or with other yarns in my stash. The yarn hasn't spoken to me yet, as to what it wants to be. I am going to leave it out and think about it for a little bit.

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One pair of socks

I finished the Sockotta ribbed socks.

Project specs:
Yarn: Stashed Plymouth Sockotta colour 03 - 45% cotton, 40% wool 15% nylon
Needles: 2mm (US0) circs. I used the 2 circ method on these socks and could see some advantages to it - never having to find the last dpn in the purse, the yarn getting tangled around the hanging needles just annoyed me.
Pattern: I used Charlene Schurch's toe up heel flap method in her book Sensational Knitted Socks. Since this yarn has such a large cotton contingent I wanted lots of ribbing to help keep a snug fit. I added a panel of purl stitches on each side of the foot to help with a snug fit. The cuff is 3x3 ribbed.

I enjoy using Sensational Knitted Socks as a reference, it is great for the different stitch patterns as well as all the different heel and toe constructions. If you are math phobic there are charts to use to figure out the cast on number once you know the foot circumference and your gauge. Handy charts are also included for shoe size to foot size conversions with length and width.

Since it is Socktoberfest, I cast on for another pair of socks.

The gauge on these socks is off, they were going to be huge: So they have been frogged and started again on smaller needles.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Ein Prosit

As I live in Kitchener-Waterloo home of the largest Bavarian festival in North America - how could I not answer some of Lolly's Socktoberfest questions. Oktoberfest in KW started on Friday night with the tapping of the keg.

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
I started knitting in October 2004, and cast on for my first pair of socks in February 2005. My friend Jenni helped me with my questions. I was sucked into this void of knitting socks from that time. Although I can never seem to knit them fast enough.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?
My first pair were made from Patons Kroy Tutti Fruitti jacquard in a basic heel flap stockinette sock. They have held up over time. I made these socks before I knew that I twisted my stitches when knitting. Actually it was this project that I realized I did this.

What would you have done differently?
I don't' like long cuffs (due to my thick calves). So I would not have made the cuffs so long on these socks. I also realized I don't like jacquard patterns. I still wear these socks though.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
Koigu, Lornas Laces - Although there is a lot of sock yarns that I would love to try that I haven't. I need to knit my socks faster.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
DPNs. I have a pair of socks that I am trying the 2 circs with and I don't' care for it. Although I am tempted to try 2 socks on 2 circs.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
Heel flap. I have made 2 pairs with shortrows and prefer the heel flap. I even make my toe up socks with heel flaps.

How many pairs have you made?
I have made 18 pairs of socks (including the pair that is 90% done), and have 4 pairs in my sock drawer. The rest have been given away as gifts.

Now I am going to Roll Out the Barrel although it is no Pumpkin Race, which is next weekend (in Nova Scotia).

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September Books

Here is the rundown of books of the September books.

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
A twist on Wizard of Oz. How does a little girl named Elphaba, become the Wicked Witch of the West? What is the real story behind those shoes? These questions and more are answered in this compelling story. I have already started the next book "Son of a Witch"

Shopaholic ties the knot by Sophie Kinsella
The third in a very light series, (although the first of the series that I read) where the protagonist is having two weddings planned on the same day since she can't seem to say "No. I should mention that both weddings involve the same groom but are on two different continents. I'll have to try some of her other books for a quick read.

Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich
This is a Stephanie Plum mystery. I have heard of this series and was somewhat disappointed. Plum is a bounty hunter and is given supposedly easy retrievals. I had the case solved early in the book (which doesn't always bother me) but I kept waiting for something more.

Fire Sale by Sara Paretsky
A VI Warshawski mystery, yet another new series for me. I enjoyed this one, as VI has to return to South Chicago to coach her former high school's basketball team. A player's mother has witnessed some sabotage at work and wants VI to look into it. VI barely starts investigating when the plant blows up and injures her. Does destruction follow her around as some people seem to think?

Y - The Last Man Vol. 1- 2 by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra & Jose Marzan, Jr.
See I will read graphic novels* - just that it is not a format I particularly enjoy. I am just going to lift the description from Ali's summer list. Y-The Last Man is the story of a mysterious plague that wipes out every animal with a "Y-chromosome except for Yorick, an amateur escape artist, and Ampersand, his pet monkey. The graphic novel attempts a realistic look at the tragedy and the comedy in this weird post-apocalyptic world where 99% of the worldÂ’s landowners, 97% of commercial airline pilots and 85% of all government representatives have died."
* I don't know when I last read one, however it was probably around the age of 10

I am always open to book recommendations, if you want to leave them in the comments.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Alas I am dead

Last night I received this package.

I was worried about what it may contain. The package was from Ted in St. Louis

I was right to be worried. Inside I found the Socks of Doom. They look like they will be nice and warm for winter. Thanks Ted.

On a different note I found this in my garden the other day and it makes me happy. Do you recognize it?How about in this picture?

It is a strawberry, but what is it doing flowering and fruiting at this time of year you may ask. No, these are not mutant strawberries – they are alpine strawberries* (Fragaria vesca). They flower and produce fruit in the fall. Another difference to the common strawberry is that they don’t spread with runners. I was unable to have any of the few strawberries last year – I only was able to see the flowers. I am looking forward to these. Although there won’t be enough fruit for a bowl, just a few fresh berries at this time of year can be delicious. I am hoping the neighbourhood rabbit doesn’t get them.

*In looking for a link, the gardening links say they produce fruit in July or throughout the growing season. Last year and this year my plant only produced flowers in the fall. It might depend on the subspecies or variety.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The state of the shawl

The last time I blogged about this shawl, I had just finished ripping out everything that I had completed (about 50% of the entire shawl). It has been reknit on size 3.25mm and it looks better (still like boiled ass which unblocked lace tends to resemble but better than on the 3.5 mm needles).

I have completed 4 rows of the third chart. If you ever knit this pattern I'll give you a hint - for the P5together have a small crochet hook handy. It is much easier to complete this maneuver with the hook than trying to use the needles. There is a p5tog every 10 sts every wrong size row for the next 20 rows so you will get lots of practice. Here is a schematic - the purple the end of chart 2, the blue is what is completed of chart 3.

I am going to take Jenni's advice and consider my victim to be dead of natural causes and I will send out the sock wars socks soon as I hear back from my victim's victim on her address. We emailed yesterday about whether my victim was playing or not so she should send me her address without a problem. I added length to the toes last night.

Priscilla - home made cookies can be difficult to send without an address (also socks I am finding) since the goal is to kill my opponent and not to injure them I don't think I will be wishing for a speedy recovery. Also I figure homemade stuff can be too tempting for customs officials - store bought chocolate can do the trick.

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Monday, October 02, 2006

Sock wars

I finished the socks last week and have been waiting patiently to mail them. I have not received my dossier from YarnMonkey left and all attempts at contacting my victim has proved futile. So I have a couple of choices - keep sitting on these socks hoping I get an address from my victim while I wait to receive my socks or say my victim is a deserter and try to kill her victim. I have emailed my victims victim and she has not heard anything from her assassin. So I really don't know if my victim is playing or not. I have decided though to rip out the toes on these socks and make them a little longer in case I decided to go with the deserter plan. My victims victim has slightly larger feet than my target and myself.

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