Archive for January, 2006

First – I saw this over on Knits and Grits – What’s in your toolbox? I love seeing little glimpses into people’s personalities… here’s mine – who knows what it says about me… I do know it all better be in there when I look for it – I HATE searching for things. The Bud gave me the pretty box one year for Mother’s Day, filled with candles. The cute giraffe eyeglass holder is a gift from my MIL. The hubby brought me the beautiful gold scissors from Germany when he was there on business, probably over 20 yrs ago.

Next, here’s something I saw on both Donna’s blog this morning, and Lolly’s. Pretty cool, huh? here’s the site– go make yourself one- it’s kind of fun to see what turns up.

It’s a “word cloud.”

Kind of cool.

And last, but certainly not least – you have to head over to Amylovie‘s site and check out her daughter’s very first FO! Very cool – gotta love young knitters! Good job!!!


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That’s the hubby’s motto – adopted from my brother… They both have the same hobbies, mountain biking and hiking, and when you are serious about both, let’s just say they’re not inexpensive sports. However, it’s like the Mastercard commercial…. bicycles worth more than some of our cars, down sleeping bags costing $100s, not to mention tents, boots, stoves, packs, etc, etc, etc, – having a stress-free hubby is priceless. He can spend all he wants – it keeps him stress free and happy. Priceless.

But, he does have good taste, and likes the best. So, this weekend when Kaity talked him and “The Bud” into stopping at our not-so-local yarn store on their way home from the backpacking store (the only reason Kaity went along for the ride) – this is what the hubby picked out for a hat – some beautiful KnitOne Crochet Two Ambrosia yarn, in a pretty spicy color – 70% baby alpaca, 20% silk, and 10% cashmere. The man knows how to pick a nice fiber combo!

He does have a few other hats we’ve knitted him, but they’re wool and itchy. He wanted something soft, and not itchy. He picked well.

Kaity had steered the duo towards some chunkier yarn at first, and they each picked out a nice Debbie Bliss alpaca/silk for hats. Something you can knit up on a nice size 7 needle. But then the hubby saw the Ambrosia. I wish I could have been there – I still can’t picture them in the yarn store. He showed it to Kaity and said – this would probably take a long time to knit, huh? (size 3 needles) – but he liked it and Kaity knew I’d take it on.

Here’s our progress so far, a simple stockinette hat with a ribbed brim, and a little blue stripe. This yarn is gorgeous, and if I had the stamina for it would make a beautiful camisole. The stitch definition in the stockinette is beautiful.

Carmen says it’s pretty soft, too.

And – get this – Kaity had him talked into buying a swift while they were there…. but they didn’t have any in stock!!! Arghhhhhhh!!! He could appreciate a swift, practical and actually kind of a cool tool (I think the Bud called it a “$60 wooden whirly thing”)…. but it was an impulse buy kind of thing, not a “order and wait for it” kind of thing, so it wasn’t meant to be, at least not yesterday. But, hey – at least he gets it and appreciates that even with knitting, “it’s nice to have nice things!”

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Good News/Bad News

First, the good news. Instant Gratification Socks are finished! Here’s the artsy-fartsy shot (albeit, slightly blurry – but hey, I was on my tiptoes, leaning over upside down to get the shot)…

and here they are in their natural habitat…

Specs: Hill Country Yarns, Instant Gratification Sock Yarn, color: BlueBonnet
One skein. Knit on two size 5 circs, in 5 days!
I didn’t really have a pattern, but cast on 44 stitches kind of winged it from there, consulting a few different books.

They may be a teensy bit small, because I may be a teensy bit impatient and, besides, I was racing Kaity. The Bud came in Thursday night and said, “what is this, a knit off?” – and well, the race was on…. Kaity won, but hey…. she was only making footies. I tried to send her to bed early so I could finish first, but she wasn’t falling for that. At least that’s my story…

All in all, they’re very pretty, very soft, and very wearable. Love ’em. Wearing ’em right now.

Here’s the sad part of today’s story…. look away if you can’t stand pooling, or sock blowouts.

Now, the pooling I don’t mind at all. I’m weird that way. These are the 2nd pair of socks I ever knit, with leftover Manos from the hubby’s hat – knit as slippers on size 7 DPN’s. Me, I didn’t every know what “pooling” was back then, or that it was a “bad thing.” I remember saying, “Hey, check out the cool pattern the yarn makes!”

Anyway, they make great slippers, but I obviously didn’t know how to finish a toe, because I wore them about twice, put them back in the cupboard, then the evil sock elves came and unraveled the toe while I was sleeping.

I’ve been looking at them, and I’m not even sure how to fix them, because I’m not quite sure how the elves unraveled them…. but I’m gonna give it a go, because, pooling and all, I like ’em.

Well – I’m off to elf-proof the house, and I think I’ll mosey on down to our local, TINY library and see if they have any knitting books. Kaity says she’s checked, and they don’t, but you know kids…. I’ll just go check for myself.

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Just The Facts, Ma’am

I don’t like misrepresentation – or someone trying to fool me into something being better than it really is. I like genuine. Now – everyone tries to play up their good points, that’s okay, but don’t lie to me.

When I was in high school I remember a time when “playing up my good points” failed, miserably. One of my very best friends in HS and I used to go cruising in LC’s Camaro every Friday night with all the cool kids, which I was not, but would have liked to have been. Anyway, we’d cruise up and down Main Street and look for hot guys and hot cars…. but the trouble was it was all the same kids we went to school with pretty much, and they already knew who drove what, and who was hot and who was not…. so it didn’t really get me very far in the social world.

So, one night we had LC’s CB radio (yep, it was the 70’s, and I’m old now) and, I figured this was a cool way to be incognito and put myself out there without anyone really knowing who I was. I really had no plan on what I was gonna do if anyone was ever really interested in my “new persona,” which really didn’t matter because I got shot down my first time I put it out there.

See, I was gonna make up a cool and sexy “handle,” something to do with my green eyes… So I make up the handle “Emerald Eyes.” I mean, come on, what guy’s NOT gonna want to meet me with a cool name like that. So, I get on the radio, and they ask who I am, and I mysteriously say “this is Emerald Eyes….” and the guy on the other end shoots back… “Hemorrhoids! – what kind of name is that?” I never got on the CB again, and never tried to pretend I was someone I wasn’t ever again.

(LC – do you remember this??)

So, even here in blogland, where I could pretend to be anyone I want to…. pretty much what you see/read is what you get. I don’t have the time and stamina to live a double life, and I’m not a good liar.

This is why I love knitting blogs – you get the straight scoop on yarn and patterns. If it’s cra*, someone will tell you, and you don’t end up wasting your time and money. And if it’s great, everyone will jump on the bandwagon. I have yet to be fooled by a blogger. I like getting the genuine truth on products!

So, in the interest of full disclosure, and how much I am loving knitting a fast sock, here’s a close up pic of my new (and finished) Hill Country Yarn sock next to my Trekking XXL Jaywalker (which I’m also loving), so that you can see the difference in the gauges. This is making a lovely, soft, functional and thick sock, and I’ll be wearing them like crazy with my clogs. They weren’t pulling your leg when they named it “Instant Gratification” sock yarn. Love this yarn.

And, here’s a plug for my favorite product line, L’Occitane. Do you guys know about this stuff? I LOVE IT. And, for me, this is saying something, because I am the generic/whatever’s-on-sale queen. Cheap. But I cannot live without their honey/shea butter soap, even take it when I travel, and this tin of pure shea butter is a lifesaver for chapped hands. It has been cold and dry, and WINDY here… and I LOVE this stuff. It makes my hands soft and, best, isn’t wet, sticky, etc, so immediately after you can pick up your knitting!!! They don’t know me from Adam, and this is an unsolicited commercial plug… but if you have dry skin, try it, it’s the best.

Well – hopefully after watching ER tonight I’ll have a pair of socks to show you tomorrow. Ok, well, I’m not gonna lie to you, maybe by Saturday, at the latest…

Emerald Eyes – signing off.

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Were Those Weeds?

My son (the Bud): Hey mom… I was pulling weeds for Dad like you asked me to, but out by the roses and bougainvillea there were some that I’m not sure were weeds after I pulled them… they looked like onions on the bottom.
Me: My daffodils!!!

Luckily, he stopped after only pulling a few. The hubby has done the same thing to me in the past. Now, I can’t complain AT ALL, because I HATE to garden. Hence, our yard consists of grass, roses, and a little bit of ground cover – all of which the hubby takes care of. I love the looks of a garden, but after a few futile attempts, I just had to realize I don’t like to garden. Bulbs I can do. Stick ’em in once… they come back every year and surprise you… if no one yanks them out and calls them weeds.

The point – God gives us the promise of Spring and the daffodil greens are up and in a few weeks or so I should have more green grass and flower pictures for you folks suffering through the cold and snow. Just sending a little California sunshine your way.

And for some more beautiful color – here’s the most productive knitting hour or so I’ve ever spent. Check out the progress on our Hill Country socks! Kaity is using the Strawberry Swirl, doing her first toe-up socks, making footies. I’m making a “traditional” top down sock with a regular heel flap, using the BlueBonnet. And look – no pooling – just beautiful stripes! We’re having a race – but you can be sure we’ll both be done with our first socks tonight!

I’m loving this yarn. It knits up quick (duh) and is making a really nice, thick sock. This is gonna be a great clog sock. They also make a lighter sock weight yarn, also hand-dyed, called Sweet Feet – which I think I’ll try next. I love the colors.

It may be cold out, but the California sun is shining and I’m feeling all “springy!” The wind has stopped and it really is beautiful out. We’ll need these few beautiful days to look back on when it starts to rain!

“Consider how the lilies grow…I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Luke 12:27

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Springtime Anyone?

Here’s a little something for all of you dealing with the cold and snow right now…. I’m sending you a a little promise of spring….

Look what came in the mail today – and isn’t it pretty?!

Kaity and I are lucky enough to be test knitting a new sock yarn – and this has all the right stuff! It’s from Hill Country Yarns and, get this, it’s called Instant Gratification Sock Yarn, which means size 5-6 needles for a faster knit, 100% merino wool, hand-dyed, and, here comes my favorite part…. SUPERWASH!

Yippee! I’m setting the psycho-colored Jaywalkers aside for a few days and I’m casting on a little springtime tonight, as soon as Kaity and I duke it out as to who gets which color! At first I was sure I wanted the BlueBonnet – but now I’m kind of falling in love with the Strawberry Swirl….. decisions, decisions….

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Groovy Baby

One down, one to go…, and as this yarn doesn’t show any sign of a real “repeat” this is gonna be one funky pair of socks…. suits me!

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