Monday, December 17, 2007

On the Block

Well, I'm very proud of myself. I seem to have managed to blog once a week for several weeks in a row. I hope I can keep it up. I'm officially on vacation right now, which is excellent news for me, because it means there's lots of time for knitting. I've been plugging away at socks mostly in preparation for my trip to my parents' place in Mississauga. Socks make such great bus knitting, but I'm easily bored, so I have three socks ready to go.

First up is the Azure socks:

You might remember, I started theses socks initially for sitting in waiting rooms. This didn't actually happen. I forgot to bring the sock, and as it turns out, didn't actually wind up waiting long enough to knit anything even if I had brought it. Yay. So dental xrays are done with no significant problems which makes me very happy and my bank account even happier. And my driver's license has been renewed which means I can drive my parents' kick ass car over the holidays!

Next up:
Southwestern Socks by Wendy at WendyKnits. This is the first sock. I still have to wind the second skein so I can start the second sock. Which I will do. Despite the seeming case of startitis I'm nursing. It looks like startitis, but really, I'm being prepared. The yarn is the Mirasol Hacho I bought at vendors night at the Knitting Guild. It's a sport/DK weight, so these socks are turning out really well.

Next in line, and final sock on the block:

This is Cairi's Sweetheart designed by Bronte. I tried to put a link to this, but for some reason doing so kept kicking me out of the internet. Thank goodness Blogger autosaves now. Anyway, the yarn is some Regia-4 ply I had kicking around. It's knitting up pretty well. I love the colour. It even matches the mattress on my spare bed. It's the small things, I know.
Speaking of blocking:
I finally got around to blocking the body of my Not-So-Khaki Cables. Here they are looking all pretty. The yarn has softened up dramatically, and I'm no longer afraid of putting it on my body. Hopefully it'll fit. So this process was in preparation for knitting on the button band this week because I can't work on all those socks if I want to take them on my trip. The sweater will be too ungainly to pack though, so I can work on it to my heart's content. I can't wait for it to dry. You might be able to see at the top of the picture why my Caleb is also known as el Plumpo. He's been told to keep off the black sweater. So far, so good. He's got better things to do.
Like this:
Birdwatching. That puffed up bird in the tree is a source of endless entertainment. Anyway, with that, I'll go off to find something to do that doesn't involve knitting socks. Hmmm, what to do...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Quick Update

So, I've been having a tough time getting inspired for the season lately. It's always a little difficult for me, I think partly because the commercialism disgusts me quite a bit. As a pagan within a predominantly Christian environment, things can be awkward. Especially since my family is part of that predominantly Christian group. What can you do?

So yesterday, a couple friends and I gathered together for a decidedly pagan ritual masquerading as Christmas :)

The tree has been trimmed. It was fun. We had food and watched Love Actually (which I highly recommend to anyone who hasn't seen it), and listened to holiday music.

Plus, I've been working away at that holiday knitting.

My sister's endpaper mitts. These are coming along well. I ought to be done with them in a couple of days.

And because I have no willpower :)

I broke down and cast on for a new sock. I had to try out my new needles... right? Anyway, this is the toe for a pair of Azure Socks from the new issue of Knitty. It's the Koigu KPPPM I got a couple of months ago. My thought was to have it for sitting in waiting rooms. Next Saturday, I have a dentist appointment, and have to renew my drivers lisence (which should have been done months ago, thank goodness I don't have a car). I suspect I'll have a pretty long wait for that too. This will be much more portable than the endpaper mitts. They will hopefully be done by then anyway.

So that's it. Still not feeling super festive. I have a bit of a cold hovering around the edges. But I'm trying. Maybe once I see my folks in a couple of weeks. Here's hoping :)

Monday, December 3, 2007

More Mail Order Yarn!

It's hard to believe that it's December already. Where did November go? It's snowy and miserable outside so imagine my pleasure when I opened my mailbox and found not a notice to pick up my package at the post office (which requires 2 bus rides each way), but my package snuggled inside my mailbox. My second mail order yarn purchase has arrived (mostly). This time it was from the Knitter and part of my order is missing! I don't know where it is. The package hadn't been tampered with, but the email saying it had been sent had everything in it. I'll give it a few days to be sure it's not still on its way, but waaaaahhhh! I want my yarn!

Not to worry, though cause I did get this:
And this:
Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Blackberry colourway, and Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome in Misty Moor. These are two of the yarns I've been dying to try, and now I... have to wait until holiday knitting is done. Nuts!
Speaking of the holiday knitting, I've been avoiding it:
Conwy socks by Nancy Bush from Knitting on the Road. I like this pattern. I was a little unsure about the toe construction, but they seem to be comfy anyway. I tend to like a flat kitchenered stitch toe (recall my nutso love of kitchener) and this is more of a star shape. It makes an odd "seam" across the top and bottom, which concerned me, because I don't like boughten socks when they have a seam. But I'm completely unaware of it when they're on. I'm glad I gave it a shot. This stitch pattern is really easy to memorize and it looks really sharp. I could see a sweater in this stitch pattern. Hmmm.... I probably ought to finish the sweaters I'm working on from patterns before I try and make up my own.
So that leaves the holiday knitting that needs to get done. I don't know why I'm balking so badly, it's only one project, and it's mitts, so it's not all that big. On the plus side, I have yet to break out my new needles and some of my nifty new yarn.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Online Yarn

Recently, with the increased strength of the Canadian dollar, I decided it was high time to try out the online shopping waters. There is just so much yarn available online that I couldn't hope to get ahold of at my LYS. As much as I love supporting local shops, it seems like a far more cost effective way to get unusual yarns. So I placed a couple of trial orders. The first one came on Tuesday. Here it is:
My very first Knit Picks order. I was extremely impressed with the service I got from them. There were emails telling me all about my order while it was in transit, including one letting me know when it crossed the border! That seemed above and beyond what I would expect. Kudos to Knit Picks.
So inside the box were a few lovely things that I'm looking forward to playing with.
Essential sock yarn:
This is Essential Tweed in Russet on the left and Essential in Shorline Twist on the right. Nice straightforward sock yarn for simple socks. Excellent!
Even better, though, is this:
Gloss in Dusk. 70% merino wool, 30% silk. This glows! And it's so incredibly soft, I just want to hold it. This will have to be something incredibly special. Not sure what yet.
Whenever I decide, I have these to knit them with:

I've been hankering to try Knit Picks needles for a long time. I've heard lots of things about them on other people's blogs, so this was my chance. I got two each of 2.25 and 2.5 mm circs. 24" length. I don't know why I haven't looked at the fixed needles before. I'd been focussed on their options needles. But these are lovely. I haven't knit with them yet, but when a person is used to paying $20 for a single Addi Turbo circ, to find some that are seemingly just as nice for $5, it just seems like a "duh" moment. We'll see. I have to finish some holiday knitting first. Don't know if I'll hold out.

The final treat in the box was this:
Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby. I've been wanting this book since it came out, so Yay! I think this will be the source of the pattern that is destined for my Silk/Yak laceweight. Still have to wait until holiday knitting is done. Guess I'd better get back to work on it instead of hanging out here. More on that holiday stuff later, beter go.