Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Message to my Letter Carrier

I understand you deliver a lot of mail and perform an important service to our community.
I understand that in my neighborhood you complete your route on foot, carrying mail from door to door.
I understand that it has gotten quite warm, and that it is human nature to perspire.
I understand that my house it is the end of your route, and my mail is at the bottom of your stack resting cradled in your arm as your walk.

But as much as I understand all of those things, I just don't find looking at ripped mail still wet with sweat at all appealing.


Perhaps you are in need of a knitted, sweat-soaking, arm cozy.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Drum Roll, Please

My first blog giveaway has come to a close, and I wrapped it up old school with names written on slips of paper (no random number generator needed).

The Bud helped me with picking a name,
and the winner is...

Caitlyn of Knitter in the Kitchen.
(please message or email an address, and I will send off your goodies straight away)

Sharing sock love has been a fabulous way to celebrate my blogiversary, and I hope it will keep me focused on finishing the socks currently on my needles - instead of starting new projects like this:

Lace Ribbon Scarf


(click the photo for more info)

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Monday, June 23, 2008

I'm not ignoring you, K!

...or as I would call you, T. :)

T and I
circa '86 or '87 on the St. Croix River - perhaps this was the
summer before you went to see Hall and Oates in concert
- I was quite envious

It appears you are my anonymous commenter of late.
I intended to reply awhile back, but I have somehow lost your email address.

Drop me an email me at orindafive AT earthlink DOT net


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Shiny Happy Cowls

I feel like I'm 15 again.
I want to jump up and down and scream.
Take a look at who is wearing ADD Knitter's recent Gloria Cowls.

I can hardly stand in the place where I live!

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Feelin' the love

I'm loving the comments with all of the sock love.

You have included a number of patterns I definitely want to make in the future:

Child's First Sock by Nancy Bush
Embossed Leaves from Favorite Socks
I would make Monkeys again in a heart beat
and I have a pair of Jaywalkers hibernating for no good reason.

I was looking back at my favorites from flickr, and found a lot of sock inspiration there too.
Sock Love
1. Ankle Socks, 2. Grasshopper Twists: a recipe, 3. Project Spectrum Earth: Embossed Cocoa Kiss, 4. John B. Socks, 5. Spring is in the air..., 6. Lime Slushy Socks, 7. Double Eyelet Rib Socks, 8. plain ol' socks in glorious handspun, 9. #2, 10. Trekking XXL Socks, 11. Flicker sock - one down!, 12. 2008.02.03. Saunasukat , 13. stripey jays (191/365), 14. DSC09228, 15. FO: Fire Socks, 16. I *heart* this yarn and pattern, 17. Untitled, 18. Teacake Stranded 8, 19. Baltic Socks, 20. Birthday Socks: with an orb for Adam, 21. Granny Smith Fancy Socks, 22. Heel Detail, 23. Finished Gentleman's Fancy Socks, 24. Esther Sock, in all its glory, 25. Nutkin Toe!

My plan is to draw a name from the sock love comments on Wednesday, so there is still time to share the love.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Blogiversary Sock Love Giveaway!

My official blogiversary was back in April - but now that it's summer, I have time to think about these things a little more.
I can't believe it's been (over) two whole years.
What started as a way to keep in touch with family and friends has evolved into something I wouldn't have predicted. I think I've officially become a knitblogger. Whoa!

I would like to celebrate with my very first giveaway.

The entry requirements... leave a comment about your favorite socks you have knit - maybe they were the most challenging, or the most rewarding, or the most beautiful, or the first... give some details.

I know that rules out those of you who don't knit socks, but that's because the prize is sock related - so if you have not knit a pair yet, tell me about the pattern you can't wait to knit - or just give some sock love in the comments and you will be in the running for...

a little destash - Yarn Pirate "I Want Candy":
Stash: Yarn Pirate - I Want Candy

and a little promo - a set of my stitch markers for US 2 or smaller from my newly re-opened etsy shop:
Getting ready -  1

I will draw a winner at random next week.
So... bring on the sock love!

In the spirit of sock love...
My current socks are coming along s l o w l y with so many fun summer things to do - but it's not always about speed - there is a process to enjoy here too, right?

Farfalle - Slow and Steady

I've called them my "Farfalle Socks" because the little cables remind me of the pasta - although they are more twist tie than bow tie.

The color also reminds me a lot of a Creamette box.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Stop the Beat, Again?!?

The Bud's favorite song at the moment is Junior Senior's Move Your Feet - only he calls it the "stop the beat" song. (The link is to the video - I find it very amusing and goofy. I love the very end with the squirrel spinning off into space Darth Vader style.)

It came up on the random shuffle of music this morning. The Bud was sitting on the sofa very focused on "just reading the paper" (as he said) - which was actually an old Free Comic Book Day issue of Archie. Move Your Feet came on and he jumped up with a publisher's clearing house sort of reaction shouting "stop the beat!"

Stop the Beat 1

What followed was much jumping, dancing and merrymaking.
Each time it ended, the question was posed... "Stop the beat, again?"
And so we did. About 15 times.

Stop the Beat 2


Friday, June 13, 2008

Back from my break...

Getting ready -  4

It was last November or so that I took a break from my Etsy shop.
School had started again, and suddenly it turned out that D had to live in Chicago for 4 months.
It was a rough stretch - but I am so thankful I had the support of family and friends.

Looking back, it seems like just a blip - was it really a third of a year?

It was a difficult decision to take a break from my shop last fall. I had started something - I was proud of what I was making - I felt a part of something larger - and then I felt like a quitter.

Getting ready -  5

But in taking a break, I have had a chance to think about what I really want from my shop.
I enjoy being a part of the online knitting community.
I enjoy sharing something I have designed and created.
I enjoy making my "stretch markers" ... but I enjoy many other things too, and some things far more.
I enjoy having a shop... when I am not also working full time.

I am taking all of this into consideration as I come back to my shop.
I have set some limits for myself and at this point I am only planning to keep my shop open for the summer.

There are many things I do for the joy I get from doing them - and I want to make sure I do what I can to enhance that in my life and still maintain the balance I know I need.

Getting ready -  3

Thanks for being patient with me while I took a (long) break.

my shop:

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Lunch today...



Beautiful Day on the Deck

The Bud + Melon

I heart my new (but not quite finished) deck!


Monday, June 09, 2008

No more pencils, no more books.... more of my dirty looks?!?

The Bud and Co
(completely random and gratuitous Bud pic)

It's the first real day of summer for me. I can't believe it is here already.
I looove my job, and one of the things I really love about it is the fact that I have summers off!
Although I do think that all the things I have planned to fill the days ahead will fill up at least 2 summers... hmmm.

My FO teaser from my last post, still isn't quite a true finished object. I still need to put on the buttons.
February #2 - Almost a FO
Pattern: February Baby Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy "Cloud Jungle
Needles: US 8

I loved making this pattern the first time with the lace, and I loved making it this time without too. I thought I would need more than one skein to make this sweater, so I bought two. I finished using less than one, so I have a full skein of this wonderful enigmatic color left for something else.

February - Buttons

The last row of garter stitch on the yoke is an increase row. Without the lace, it really shows in that transition to plain stockinette. I may try to add one more row of garter stitch for a cleaner look if I make another one without lace.

In honor of my long summer days ahead I cast on for a couple of new projects - I have a feeling there are more to come.

The first I have been planning for awhile. I was inspired by Claudine's Little Cables Hat to write a pattern for socks. I worked out the math way back in January - luckily I wrote it down - and cast on last Friday to be a part of the Sock Knitter's Anonymous "Design Your Own" month.
Farfalle Socks
Pattern: My own "Farfalle Socks"
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy "Happy Forest"
Needles: 2.25mm

I loved this color so much I decided to get a sweater's worth in the worsted weight - that may be a new work in progress soon.

I am so late to the party with my other WIP - there are of it in Ravelry.
Can over 6000 knitters really be wrong?
I'm so late to the party
Yarn: Blue Sky 100% Alpaca
Needles: US 5

This yarn was some of my bargain trailer purchase from the Shepherd's Choice festival.

100 Percent Alpaca

I'm not really a fan of scarf knitting - I'm not sure I have the endurance to repeat, repeat, repeat without the milestones of heels and sleeves to keep me going. We will have to see.
I wanted to be sure I had enough yarn for a good length, so I cut out one increase repeat at the start.

There are not only knitting projects in the works this summer...
we finally got a start on recovering our sad looking dining room chairs.


We acquired some free sample fabric from a store that shall not be named (ahem). Since they are samples, we had to choose 4 different fabrics - there isn't enough of any one.

After - #1

We started with my favorite.
One down, three to go.

Lastly... we have a new addition at our house, and not a moment too soon with the projections for gas prices this summer.

Scoot Scoot

Scoot, scoot.


Monday, June 02, 2008

A Foretaste of the FO to Come


soaking now...
then blocking and buttons

Earlier tonight I was making a last little fix and held it up for D to see...
he said (rather flatly) "I don't even know what I'm looking at, so I can't lie effectively."

I love that we have such honesty in our relationship.

He did have a properly enthusiastic response when I was totally finished and held it up again.

Perhaps he just figured out what he was looking at by then. Hmmm.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Gloria version 2.0

Yesterday was an amazingly beautiful day...
blue sky, fluffy clouds, perfect temperature...
until the evening when the crazy hail storm hit.

Hail Stones Covering the Unfinished Deck

Luckily I was able to pack lots o fun into the day before the craziness ensued.

My good friend R and I went to Shepherd's Choice Farm for their annual Sheep Shearing Festival. It is a small farm out in East Bethel, MN. It has a little yarn store, and yesterday there were other vendors and events. We both came home with some great bargains.

Shepherd's Choice Farm - Mosaic

During the day I was able to put the finishing touches on Gloria version 2.0.

Gloria version 2.0

Pattern: Gloria Cowl
Yarn: Zen Yarn Garden Harmony Semi-Solid "Rambling Rose"
Needles: US 8

This time around I made a few modifications.
I started out with fewer stitches - I cast on 85 instead of 99 to make it cozier at the top.

I also wanted it to flare out toward the bottom so I increased by two stitches every 5 rounds or so.

Gloria version 2.0 flat
(This photo has the truer color)

The last change I made was to transition from the seed stitch to the plain stockinette to avoid the tendency to fold at that point. After the three rounds of seed stitch I did...
1 round of K2, P1,
1 round of K3, P1
1 round of K4, P1
1 round of K5, P1
and then switched to plain stockinette stitch.

I really like the random look of the edge, and it succeeds in eliminating folding at that point.

If I make another one, I think I will try to increase twice as often in the bottom half of the cowl for more of a flare.
However I have a few other things in mind to make before another cowl... however I do remember what happened last time I said something like that.

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