Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Sometime in my fuzzy haze of sickness and stress, I signed up for Sock Madness. The dork in me is unreasonably excited about this (I have an unhealthy love for brackets - it's one of my favorite things about the NCAA playoffs), while the knitter in me is too well acquainted with my KAL failure rate to have very high hopes of success. I do think I can make it through the first round, as the pattern will be released on the first day of Spring Break (only 6 more teaching days!), and I have a very long car ride to Colorado to look forward to (with no driving! Woot!) and knit my little fingers off.
However, I am frustrated by the yarn requirements.

One of the socks requires sport weight yarn - preferably variegated.

Two pairs of socks require one skein each of solid and variegated fingering weight. One of them will be greatly enhanced if the yarns you choose have a high degree of contrast.

Two pairs of socks require variegated fingering weight yarn. Find something that makes you happy.

The remaining 2 pairs of socks use fingering yarn and they’ll probably look best if you use a solid.

I've got the varigated and solid fingerings well within the stash. It's the sport weight and the one skein of solid and one of varigated that has me frustrated (and that I have to have 2 sets of these - but I can't just pull yarns from the stash, 'cause then I'll have two pairs of matching socks). The yarns I posted about for the Fiesta socks? Those took me weeks to decide on. I don't have weeks. I have days. 10 of 'em. I've pulled every color combo from my LYS, so it looks like it's ordering time. But what to order? And how can I tell if they really match from crappy computer pictures? And not many places sell the 50g skeins these days - all the lovely indie dyers sell 100g skeins (except Sweet Georgia, but she's no longer dyeing). I don't really want a half a skein of leftovers (I'm trying to use up the stash here folks!)

Also, I have no sport weight, as I don't usually need super warm/thick socks. I've already discussed my desire not to use Claudia's sport weight as it is a bit cost-prohibitive. As is Toasty Toes, which pretty much leaves me with Lorna's Shepherd Sport.

So, I need your advice. What colors would you put together? What yarn suggestions do you have? Sport weight yarn? What is your favorite online sock source? Help!!!!

Oh, and for the curious - here are the socks currently on the needles - and three socks are missing from this photo. Must get a pair of size 2 needles free for the madness!

ETA: Blogger isn't letting folks leave comments - feel free to email me at knitnlitATgmailDOTcom. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Hours to go before I sleep

This is the current state of the hourglass sweater - a few inches away from the armholes. The astute among you will remember that this is my "24" sweater - something to knit (and hopefully finish) during "24" this spring. I thought I was doing well, but I'm afraid that the sleeves will take longer than I anticipate. That said, I am an hour behind on the sweater as I was too tired to work on it last Monday. I'll make up the time sometime this week, but right now I'm trying to finish up a pair of socks before it becomes March!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Those who can't knit

buy yarn.........

Some lovely grey Jaeger Trinity. Will hopefully be a lovely sweater someday. Perfect Project Spectrum colors.

Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4 ply. I've been wanting this for some time, and when we stopped by the store with the giant sale, hubbo picked it all up for me (this was day 15 million of the bad day cycle). No plans for it - just loved the color and the slight tweed. More Project Spectrum colors. Perhaps if I can't complete a project in the monthly colorways I can buy yarn in each color? Whaddya think?

Yarn for my Fiesta socks - I'm taking my first knitting class for these socks and I have homework to do! Love the combination - Louet fine/sport weight and Claudia's Handpainted.

I ordered some great Kona Bay Wool from Pure Knits - what a deal! All of this was $20.00! It's going to grow up to be the Cable Down Raglan from the new Interweave. I love the color and it's very soft - great buy!

I won a prize! I was the lucky winner in the Sock-a-Month 2 January drawing! Chrissy sent this pretty Opal sock yarn - I love the Opal, and the colors are great.

Whew! That's it - I think that's plenty. I'm certainly going to be way off on my in/out totals this month. Oh well. It's only yarn. There is knitting content too - I can hardly believe it myself!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

C'est Fini!

Our final list of updates begins now!

Amy finished a Calorimetry and crocheted several cute flowers for her scarf - very nice!

Shannon is working on a crocheted afghan - I wish I knew how to crochet!

Emilee posted pictures of her cute February heart socks.

Carrie whipped up a cute bucket tote from an old pair of jeans and has a great start to her Wobbly Tote.

Kris finished up a simple sweater - love the color!

Mamma is having a bear of a time blocking her Scheherazade shawl - but it's so red and pretty!

Nessa finished a lovely pair of endpaper mitts - love the blues!

BeccaU has been very busy! She's finished a Fake-Isle Hat, her My So-Called Scarf, started Hourglass, and whipped up a new hat for her her dog! Whew!

Bronwyn finished a cute pair of Regia Silk socks - yum!

Oz Knitter finished up another pair of socks - she's stocking that drawer for winter!

Missy Joon is working on a cute pair of mittens and lovely socks.

Prairie Girl has been very busy - working on a variety of projects. Good luck getting them all finished!

Rahime has been busy in the land of socks as well - they look great!

Chrispy finished up Wicked - I keep seeing these pop up and they are all great - I may have to add it to the list!

Elizabeth finished Icarus and it is gorgeous!

Laverna finished up some simple socks - my favorite kind!

Smug Sheep also finished Wicked - see what I mean about seeing them everywhere?

Karla is having sock gauge issues.

Julia finished up her Monkey socks - I love this pattern!

Yvonne finished up some fancy cuffs and her Bejeweled scarf.

Katherine finished up some super bright socks and a lovely Malabrigo gift set.

Theresa is having darn sock problems - literally!

Debby's progress on Miss Bellis grows - such a pretty pink!

Abigail has been infecting the world with new sock knitters!

Lu has been busy finishing up some UFOs.

Michelle is ohsoclose to having a finished Starsky - looks great!

Terri finished her Bejeweled Scarf and has a lovely sock finished.

I think I got in everyone who has posted something about their projects for themselves - PLEASE let me know if I forgot you and I'll edit the post.

It's been great knitting along with you - I hope you finished (or at least started) something for yourselves! See you next year - same bat time, same bat channel!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Anybody out there?

Tap, tap, tap.

Is this thing on?

Anybody out there?

Well. Just how do you come back from an unexpected blogging break?
My week that was bad turned horrid over the weekend and just kept getting worse.
On Friday my allergies kicked in. Then we tried to see "Breach" and 10 people from the ticket agent it sold out (which is probably a good thing since we were at the godawful Rave theater in the mall and it was a nuthouse).
I woke up Saturday unable to breathe and feeing like I was going to be sick. I spent Saturday on the couch, asleep for most of the day. Sunday brought more of the same, though I did force myself to sit up and write lesson plans and grade papers in small chunks of time.
I dragged my butt off to school Monday only to discover that I would be having my evaluation on Wednesday morning. With the lamest math lesson ever already planned.
Monday afternoon the kicker came about 2:30 when my AP walked in and told me that I needed to get ready for a sub for the next day - I had to help administer the standardized test the upper grades would be taking the next day.
Sure, no problem. I can spend at least an hour getting ready for a sub. Oh, and my grades are still due by 9 am Tuesday? And I have to do them at school since I don't have a PC at home that will take a 3.5" floppy? And I'm still getting evaluated at 9:00 Wednesday morning? No problem.
I ended up with one of the worst subs EVER, and my grades got done on time (it was literally all I was capable of doing Monday night - I feel asleep before 9), and my evaluation is over.

Knitting? Who has time? I did finally start to think about knitting a little bit yesterday, so I know that the worst of the stress is over. Let's see how fast I can crank out two birthday gifts and two baby shower gifts. Good thing babies are small.

My apologies to all in the KAL - I just couldn't do it on Saturday. I'll post our last update this week, so get those emails in to me if you're blogless or post a progress shot on your blog.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

No knitty, no bloggy

There has been almost no knitting time in the last 72 hours, which makes for a very boring knitting blog. Hubbo and I celebrated V-day early on Tuesday with a lovely dinner out, and I've been doing schoolwork the rest of the time. It's the end of our grading period, which makes for lots of grading, averaging of grades, etc. It also means that I have to do regular weekly lesson plans and plan my next 6 week lessons in Science, Social Studies, etc. Add some standardized testing on top of that, conferences with parents of children who might have to repeat first grade, The Girl getting Salmonella poisoning from the peanut butter and having strep at the same time, AND finding out that I will be formally evaluated sometime in the next 10 days or so, and you've got one stressed out Jenn. Of course, the stress leads to me not eating, not sleeping, having terrible nightmares when I do sleep, and not knitting. I know we're supposed to knit on through all crisis, but I can't knit and write at the same time, so it's just not happening.

I did work a bit on my "24" hourglass sweater Monday night, and if the batteries in both cameras weren't dead, I'd show you that I'm almost to the armholes. I also started a sleeve/swatch for Salina tonight during The Office (hey, I was at school for 12 hours, I deserve a 1/2 hour of knitting time). So far, so good. I haven't ripped out what I had done on the back yet, just in case. I'll keep you posted. Other than that it's been a few rounds on hubbo's socks during the ride to and from school, but very few, as it's been too cold to knit in the car this week.

Hi, I'm Debbie Downer, welcome to my world. Oh, and I'm totally jealous of all the snow y'all are getting. Send some here please. I could use a mental health day. And if you can't send the snow here, chocolate would be a nice substitute. With a side of tequila.

Monday, February 12, 2007

What a long, strange trip it's been

Today is my two year blogiversary (just how do you spell that?).

It's been a crazy ride. I'm certain that I would not be the knitter I am today if not for the knit blog world. The inspiration, the encouragement, the's all so wonderful.

I've been so lucky to meet some of you and I look forward to meeting more of you someday!

I don't really have anything especially wonderful to say today, but I wanted to thank you all for being there - for reading, for writing, for the beautiful projects and yarn and well, for everything. I look forward to many years to come!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

March of the babies

More baby knits finished:

Pattern: Simple Baby Hat from Itty Bitty Hats
Yarn: Plymouth Dreambaby DK - leftover from the Cupcake Hat
Needles: Bryson Sz 4 Circular and Susan Bates DPNs
Dates: late January to Saturday February 10 (on and off)
Mods: Adjusted for a smaller needle size - knit a newborn size over 80 stitches
Thoughts: Glad it's done - the yarn is OK, but too acrylicly feeling for me

Pattern: Baby bib from Mason Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Leftovers of dishcloth cotton (not sure what brand)
Needles: Susan Bates Sz 8 DPNs (I like the shorter size for these smaller projects)
Dates: late January to Saturday February 10 (on and off)
Mods: Used 3 different colors, and a larger needle size
Thoughts: Not in love with the way it looks, but it will do its job and (hopefully) be appreciated.

And I have the front of Anouk done, on to the back, and another gift will be crossed off the list!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Knitting for ourselves

Amy has been busy knitting up some accessories - a pair of Fetching mitts for herself and a Calorimetry.

Morgan is thisclose to finishing her third sweater of the year - wow!

Lauren has some yummy Koigu and a yummy scarf in progress.

Sarah Janet has finished the body of Rogue - looks great!

Mamma is working on a brand new red shawl in some delightful Misti Alpaca - one of my favorite yarns.

Send healing thoughts to Bronwyn - she was in a car accident this week.

Missy is working on her Poppy - can't wait to see it with the Silk Garden!

Rahime finished her socks - love the colors!

Elizabeth finished up some colorful Thujas and is binding off her Icarus shawl - can't wait to see it all finished!

LaVerna is hosting a "crash your stash" swap - check out her blog for more details!

Smug Sheep is motoring along on her Wicked.

Karla finished her Chain Link socks - they look great!

Julia posted pictures of her Cashmere Neckwarmer - looks delightful!

Katherine finished up her lovely red scarf and some great purple TCU socks!

Minty finished up a pair of Fetching Mitts and a great pair of green socks - she's a FO machine!

Debby is working on a pink tank and some lovely lace pillowcase edgings. She and her hubby are also raising money for Crohn's disease - go visit her blog to check it out!

All you others - go knit for yourselves this weekend!

Friday, February 09, 2007

The wearin' 'o the knits

A few days ago Jared posted about the actual usage we get out of our knits. Ironically, I was thinking about this at almost the same time, as I have worn several sweaters recently.

A few Fridays ago I wore Ribby to school, and my art teacher, an aspiring knitter, asked if I had made it and said it was "cute." Awww. Last week, when it was cold, I also wore Chrysalis and Licorice Whip and my Assistant Principal commented that I had been wearing "the cutest sweaters." Of course, because I am me, I couldn't tell her that I had made them, something hubbo chastisted me for.

I also usually wear my Central Park Hoodie every Friday - I just love it and my Clerk told me that she "just loves that green sweater."

I'm pleased with Chrysalis - I do think it makes me look a bit like the Pillsbury Dough Boy, but it is comfy and soft, so I get over it. And I was surprised by my enjoyment of wearing Licorice Whip. I had decided that the sleeves just weren't right, so I had shelved it for a while. I wore with a white button down shirt under (for warmth and to see if it worked with something besides a tank underneath), and it looked very cute. And the sleeves didn't bother me at all.

Both are wearing very well, though Licorice has a tendency to shed quite a bit. I do wish I wore the V-neck sweater (in the same post as Chrysalis) a bit more, but it is quite short and very warm, so it has to be very cold here to wear.

The enjoyment of wearing the sweaters does make me want to make more, despite the recent gauge issues, so I'm not down and out yet!

Thursday, February 08, 2007


No, this time I'm not talking about gauge - it's time to knit hubbo's Pirate Hat.

The very, very astute of you may remember that I knit this once several months ago. There's a reason it never appeared as a "full" FO - it was way too small. It may fit an infant, but no amount of blocking would make it near big enough for an adult head.

I was planning to reknit it without hubbo knowing about the size debacle, but then Miles destroyed one of the balls of yarn while we were on vacation last summer, and I kept putting it off, as I would have to buy more yarn. Finally I fessed up to the disaster, and hubbo chose new yarn (in basically the same colors), and it's been sitting since before Christmas, waiting for it's turn. Somehow I had decided that I had to knit it in February (perhaps that's because I knit mine in February?)

Here we go again. One needle size larger, and I'm being very conscious of knitting loosely.
I'm hoping to have it done for Valentine's Day - we don't do "real" gifts, but I like to do a little something.

Oh, and our beautiful blue skies and warm weather? Yeah, grey skies today, and barely 40 degrees. More of the same in the forecast. I knew it was too good to keep.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Blue Skies

Today was another gorgeous day (as was yesterday), and I spent some quality time outside after school with the puppies, my sock and my blogs.

Sadly, my daffodils and tulips are sprouting already. This happened last year, and then it froze again and I didn't have any pretty flowers.

It is supposed to get chillier again this weekend, but hopefully not enough to kill the lovelies!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

My evil mistress

Gauge has struck again. I had to rip out the Marseilles Pullover this weekend (which I realize I haven't even taken a picture of yet) because it was too big. Not just too big, but huge. But I swatched and got perfect gauge. Argh.

I'm also concerned that Salina is going to be too big. I couldn't get gauge, so I am making a different size than I need to compensate. This worked out OK last spring for the Chrysalis Pullover, and my fingers were crossed that it would work again. The jury's still out on this one.

There's a reason you see so many socks 'round these parts - I rarely have to rip them due to gauge issues.

Monday, February 05, 2007

New Yarn Monday

Again, I've got nothin' knitting wise to share today - I hope this trend of knitting-less Mondays doesn't continue.

Instead - new yarn!

I keeping with my general inability to knit up faster than I can take in.....a yummy new skein of laceweight yarn - Jade Sapphire Lacy Lamb. Yum. I had petted some of this back in Indiana in November, but didn't buy any. I was very excited to see it at the store on Thursday night and had to have this ball - love the color.

And in perfect Jenn colors - Koigu KPPPM from Jen for sitting on her dogs this weekend. Such cheery colors this February day.

And to taunt most of you - it was 65 degrees today. Come visit if you're in need of warm weather!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Weekend starteritis

I find that most weekends I am casting on new projects. Perhaps it is the promise of two days full of knitting time, perhaps it is avoidance of all the housework/schoolwork/etc. that I should be doing. Either way, I often find myself on Sunday night with a pile of new projects. This weekend was no different.

New socks in Colinette Jitterbug "Dark Charcoal" ready to begin the heel flap.

New socks in Hill Country Yarns Sweet Feet yarn with a simple cable pattern.

New socks for Project Spectrum in Yarn Pirate Malamute in the Feather and Fan pattern.

A yummy new cabled scarf in Baby Alpaca.

And a finished baby hat for one of the many babies due around here.

Pattern: Simple baby hat from Itty Bitty Hats
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Wool Cotton - less than one skein
Needles: Sz US 7 circulars and dpns.
Mods: none
Dates: last weekend to Sunday February 3.
Thoughts - quick and cute! Many more of these to come.

The astute among you will notice that I didn't post any knitting goals for January. I don't think I will this month either. I don't find that I stick to them too much, and invariably, they make me feel guilty at the end of the month when I haven't "done enough." And I don't need to feel guilty about my knitting.

I do, however, want to keep tabs on the stash, so I'll be doing a "in/out" inventory each month. This month's is particularly bad - let's hope I can improve in the coming months!
In: 68 skeins
Out: 10 skeins

I am only counting them when the object is finished, so although I knit up a few balls into other projects, those won't count until I'm done. I need to work on my completion rate though - in December I managed to knit up 19 skeins, in November 13 and in September 14, and before that I don't get over 10/month until March and February of last year. Yikes. Fingers crossed that I can improve my rate this year!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Chock full of knittin' goodness

A jam-packed update this week - set aside some time and take a gander at some of these lovely projects!

The Smug Sheep finished a gorgeous Booga Bag - love the colors!

Tara has been swatching for a lovely blue cabled sweater.

Zanti Miss Knit has been working on some lacy socks and finished a felted bag - busy girl!

Sarah Janet has a rogue cable problem on her Rogue and has a yummy green sock started. She also started the Mountain Peaks Shawl in some lovely silk.

Prairie Girl finished her Irish Hiking scarf, a felted bag for her camera, and one sock - lovely projects!

Emilee finished her Snowflake socks and is testing out a heart lace pattern for her February Socktopia socks.

Bronwyn has been busy finishing up knits for others, and swatching for a new project. I hope this one's for you!

Doborah finished two pairs of stripy socks - so good to have warm feet.

Nessa finished up a stripey Jaywalker from Lorna's Laces and received an abundance of Socks that Rock - soooo jealous!

Leisel has been busy crocheting up a snowman, making sock toes, swatching and knitting up a red scarf.

Theresa has started Rowena in a lovely pink color - love the ruffle!

Karen knit up a super pair of oh-so-warm mittens.

Debby finished up her Lacy Serpentine Shawl - it's so pretty in a slightly varigated yarn!

Carrie has gotten her supplies for the Wobbly Tote ready - yummy colors!

Mamma has another Starsky crisis - I hope there's no bad juju attached to this sweater! She has come out just fine from the previous problems, so I have all confidence that it'll all work out this time too. Good luck!

Liz is doing some fair isle swatching.

Ozknitter started some new blue Project Spectrum socks.

Scout finished a pair of matching Calorimetrys for her and Supergirl - super cute!

Abigail has found Mr. sock mojo and already has a finished pair of socks! Love the colors!

Rachel finished up a cute pair of mittens that match her hat!

Morgan has finished up a lovely new cardigan.

Minty has posted a new pattern for an awfully cute scarf. Go check it out!

BeccaU finished up a great pair of monkey socks - mmmmmmmm, green..............

Juls knit up a yummy cashmere treat!

Karla is oh-so-close to finishing up her Chain Link socks.

Lauren finished her first pair of socks! They look great!

Rahime finished up a pair of socks all for her!

Yvonne has finished one fancy fingerless glove.

Amy completed a lovely Bejewled scarf.

Chrispy finished up a pretty pair of fingerless gloves and is one sleeve away from a finished Wicked.

Missy finished up her bejewled scarf and a pair of fingerless gloves.

Whew! I really hope I got in everyone who completed something for themselves (and a few that are still WIPs!). Please leave a comment or email me if I somehow missed you and I'll make sure you're in next week's update!

Only a few more weeks to "officially" knit for ourselves - get those needles busy!