Knitting and Spinning and Stuff, oh my!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

At Last, Sunilda, of Bus Incident Fame

It took me a bit of a while, but I figured there wasn't a horrible rush as I expect Pojke-Dot won't be wearing it until it gets cold again anyway, and, as my dear ol' auntie used to say, "Haste makes shyte". (Okay, so she admittedly waxed unpoetical-like. Gotta wonder, too, where the sweet little Swedish battle-axe learned that particular phrasing....)

Refresher for those with memories like mine: Sunilda Childs Version from Elsebeth Lavold's Second Viking Knits.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Speaking of Semi-Finished Objects...

(it's a heavy-duty picture day)
Yesterday was Flicka-Dot's birthday party... Attending, M., E., V., C., C., L., and, briefly, J. (remind me next year, we should invite more vowels in order to spell something interesting with initials... -- Can Corey Move Lana's Very Jaundiced Eaglet?, Must Vera Cradle Every Jumping Cricket's Launch?). If expression is anything to go by, a funnish time was had by all, the morsels were quite tasty, and the gifts were well received.

Among said gifts, finally:

Double Helix / Galaxy Purl's Callisto Pico child's shawl, perfectly Flicka-Dot sized.

Thank you to everyone that came to the party, and thanks especially to Mom-in-Law for hosting the party -- it was wonderful, but no surprise there, you're always a superb host-friend-relative-chef-grandma (did I miss any; I'm quite sure I did, please remind me!)

'Nother order of the day, congrats to everyone that made it through Sock Madness Round 2; see you all again in Round 3 (though I'm going into this round much less confidently -- there are some .very. fast knitters out there!) And sorry, Omly -- you were quite graceful about it, but it still feels kinda awkward, having to bump a friend to be able to continue on...

Pattern: Mad-Tini by Karen Bole
Yarn: Schaffer Lola
Needles: Addi Turbo US1
Yarn choice could have been better -- the busy-ness of the yarn pretty much obliterated the intricacy of the pattern; luck of the draw, I guess, when you're selecting yarn for an unseen pattern. All in all, though, I'm quite happy with how they turned out -- fabric is nice, color is nice, and I'd totally consider repeating the pattern, albeit with a differently toned yarn.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

No Comment

... Or no comments, as the case may be. Earlier today I installed Haloscan to my Blogger template (Haloscan is a commenting add-on that allows one to see email and blog addresses for commenters, which in this reporter's opinion is a vast improvement over Bloggers comment system). As Golden Purl mentions in her current post, Haloscan is not able to read comments previously posted to the Blogger system and so it appears *sob* that all my comments to date have disappeared. I'm told that they're actually still on Blogger, but that they're simply not accessible to the new "comment collection device". Either way, I can't review anything that was previously posted, and I'm quite sad at the loss; I quite value your comments, and I did reread many of them now and then :*( The up side, though, is that going forward I'll be able to either respond on the blog or email the commenter directly, and I'll be able to see your blog address even if you're not coming from Blogger, so I'll be able to "visit" much better and more often. Still, I miss my comments.............

No new project pix to offer, so here's a bit of fun stuff I've been collecting as random blog fodder:
i'm in ravenclaw!

be sorted @
Apparently I'd be a bit on the nondescript side even in Hogwarts (not that this is necessarily a bad thing). Where did the sorting hat put you?

The Madness begins again tonight: get set......................

Oh, and one pair of Re: Ducks from yesterday's now absent comment, thanks, Omly, and yes, I too was quite relieved. And, wow, your socks are going to walkabout through Europe? Mad or no, mine will be quite jealous -- I'll be hoping to read about it when you get back, especially as I considered myself quite intrepid to have made it to California and Montreal (ooh, a different country!). Guess I'll read about it before then, but I hope ya's have a blast!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

They're Back!

Yes, after all, I did get the bag, Sunilda pieces, checker sock, book, and even the headphones I'd forgotten were in there -- oh, and sandwich (yes, still sealed) that I'd wished to forget. All safe and sound, thanks, I'm totally certain, to the collective good wishes they received while away. Thank you to everyone that wrote and/or passed the word -- you quite lifted my spirits, and would still have even had I not gotten the bag back. And insert a quick plug for Woolcott and Company here -- the folks there commiserated with me quite nicely and empathetically (one of the reasons that, much as I love the internet, I truly believe on-line can never take the place of a wonderful, cozy, knowledgeable, touch-me, see-me, sniff-me LYS).

No pictures of Sunilda yet (and yes, I'll be much more careful about possible portents in future writing -- lucky I mentioned barring a major unforeseen catastrophe rather than a minor unforeseen catastrophe, hmm?) as I'd said the next photo would be completed and she isn't yet. But I do have some eye candy:

Socks for Flicka's bday (party on Sunday -- good thing she doesn't read the blog, else I'd not be able to post these either!)... Gotta love my oso-fancy cardboard sock-blockers, no? They aren't all that good for sock drying, but in a pinch for a photo, quite the thing.

My mind's a bit scattered and I do have a sweater to try and finish before Sock Madness Round 2 tomorrow, so I'll flee for now. Anyone else that's participating, g'luck... I've been matched with Omly of Omly Crafts -- probably the only person in the whole worldwide Sock Madness pool that I've ever met, what are the odds? At least if she finishes before me, I'll know firsthand that I lost to a first rate knitter... All set, Omly? On your mark...

Monday, March 19, 2007

Quick Update

Thank you to everyone that offered / tried to help out, and everyone that's been keeping their fingers crossed for me and my missing knitting, your comments have been truly appreciated. I've not actually got the bag back yet (hopefully tonight) and I'm just superstitious enough not to want to comment on it for fear of jinxing myself (Can anyone tell me when "jinx" became a word meaning "you're not allowed to talk"?), but I'm told the bag is being kept safe (sandwich -- hopefully still sealed -- from Friday's lunch and all) until I manage to pick it up........ More soon........

Friday, March 16, 2007


I was on the bus to work this morning and it was one of those, geez, where is my head, should'a done the coffee first mornings (actually, in retrospect, it might've been a good day to stay home entirely). And what a doozie I managed... If any of you happen to be riding the 71 bus between Watertown and Harvard Square and notice a Woolcott and Company shopping bag containing:

A copy of Simply Socks
A ball of quite beautiful worsted weight hand dyed yarn
An in process red and black socks, toe up, boat sized (size 13) sock for my husband (and I just finished the heel and started the ribbing) -- see previous post...
And the prize winner of all the bag contained: All the pieces, blocked and ready for assembly (I was going to work on them at lunch today) to Pojke-Dot's Sunilda sweater -- also see previous posts...

there's a good chance it's mine (what's the likelyhood of two such bags showing up without an Infinite Probability Drive? Hmm... what would you do if someone returned it, but it was ever so slightly different? What if the sweater was finished when you got it back or something? That'd kinda freak me out...) The MBTA says not to give up hope, it still could show up, but they haven't found it and it hasn't been turned in yet. Cross your fingers for me, will you? Oh, and Sean, if you're reading, I could sure use some of your of-late local-area karma (and, just in case someone happens to show up at Woolcott with a bag they found, looking for an owner to match, keep me in mind, would you?).

Now back to your regularly scheduled Friday...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I Have No Middle Name

I've read that others have been conscientiously working on non-knitting projects while waiting for the next SockMadness round, and you might think that it would be prudent to hold off a bit before starting more socks. No one ever suggested that Prudence was my middle name (or that it might be Patience, for that matter), however...

For what it's worth, the idea for these has been fermenting for a very long time...

Re: Ducks
Thank you, Victoria. Totally non-related, but Dream Theater is one of my favorite bands and the name Victoria crops up in several songs, and every time I read a post from you on Sock Madness, or think a thanks for your comments here, it ends up being a musical "Hello, Victoria..." or "Thank you, Victoria", in James LaBrie's voice... Kind of odd, really, but also pleasant, though it tends to echo through my head until I find another bit of lyric to replace it. So, "Thank you, Victoria" for having such an interesting name, as well...

Amy, thank you, and sorry the first round left you with after-effects. I admit to a bit of soreness after my own marathon, but I was frothing at the bit to get going by the next evening. Not sure if that speaks of resilience, obsession or addition...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sleep Disorder

Pertinent Details:
Pattern: Mad Cow from the Sock Madness Competition
Solid Color: Regia 4-ply
Variegated Color: Claudia's Hand Dyed Fingering, 100% merino
Needles: Addi Turbo Circular, US1 (I'd probably do this pattern on US0's were I to repeat it.)
Started: Approximately 8:30AM, Saturday, March 9th
Finished and pictures posted to Flickr: 3:00AM, Sunday March 10th
This was definitely recordbreaking in terms of elapsed time for me, and I was not the first to finish! S'gonna be an interesting few weeks, that is if I manage to keep up with the rest of the group along the way.
Okay, I'll go now, I suspect I'm starting to babble.

My question for those of you that are competing, how many of you finished your Mad Cow socks, rested for a bit, and then picked up some other knitting for the interim, socks or otherwise? I thought I'd be done knitting for a while, thought about spinning, and somehow found myself working on another pair of socks (albeit a bit more slowly) without even realizing.

And how many of you found yourself thinking about different ways to change the pattern while you were working on the Mad Cows? I kept playing with different striping patterns in my head and having to stop and make notes before I could relax back into the pattern as written...

Re: Ducks
Now there's a plan for the Flickr site after the fact -- how many different versions of these socks will evolve into being when the second pair "grows up"? Nice to know I'm not the only one, hubby thinks I must be a bit daft.

Tam, I'm sorry to hear of your difficulties -- I can't even imagine how frustrating to need to hold off on knitting. Glad to hear, though, that you're better after the break and hope the next round is a bit easier on you...

Friday, March 9, 2007

What a Difference a Foot Makes!

...Otherwise known as "Better Post Post-Blocking". The socks are a wee bit big for Flicka yet, but she's 7 so that's okay; usually we have the reverse problem. Other than length, where I'd rather have a tad extra space, they fit her perfectly, and she likes them, and, gee, does she really have to, yes, she has to, wait for her birthday to actually take possession of them?

Also appropriate for FO Friday:

A somewhat late birthday gift for my Mom-In-Law. And, just in case you're interested, this was felted with one bucket of hot, soapy water, one bucket of frigid clear water, and a bathroom plunger (admittedly, one dedicated to felting), on account'a I'd heard about it and wanted to try, on account'a I'm a bit afeard of hubby's reaction should my felting experiments adversely affect our own dear washie, and on account'a it seemed like it might be easier than schlepping back and forth and hovering over the machine ala "Is it done yet?". And, in actuality, yes, it is easier, and this was the result of about half an hour's plunging, switching, and water replacement therapy! I'm quite pleased...

Pattern: Magknits Sophie Bag
Yarn: My very own handspun, loosly spun sport weight, knit doubled.
Flower: From one of Nicki Epstein's "Knitting Over the Edge" books, but the book is at home and I'm not totally sure which of the KOE books it came from offhand.

S'all for now... If you're gearing up for SockMadness tomorrow, good luck!
Happy weekend!

Re: Ducks
Thank you, Sean... I still don't like flowers, but I admit that, as flowers go, I can live with it (especially since it's not me that will have to live with it). The Epstein book is quite cool -- I didn't realize how much it had to offer besides flowers...

And thank you Shelly, glad you like! If you're going to be doing any felting anytime soon, try it, the plunger works great...

Hi, Wendy, how'd you do? I'm pretty sure I saw your finished socks in Flickr, may have even commented on them there; it's all a blur.... I'll go back and look for yours in a bit, promise...

To Everyone: If I'm a little quiet in upcoming days, please forgive... The Madness has begun!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Crinkle, Crinkle, Little Socks

Given that the first pair of Sock Madness socks will be (I'm guessing) similarly stranded, I have a not so vague sense of foreboding... Think these will block to flat? And, for those keeping track, these took me five days to complete, with minimal working on other projects in-between (knitters and spinners must sample, you know, so this was my time-test sample). I'm expecting that six days just about lets me out of worrying about anything but the first round -- there are surely folks that will have much more time and concentrat-ability than I. And maybe that's not a bad thing -- I suspect it'll be a lot more fun if I remember that everybody wins all the patterns, and everybody wins at least one pair of socks to wear along the way. So don't mind me... I'll be the one finishing the last round's socks next Christmas; are we okay with that?

Nordic Lights Socks
Started March 2, 2007; finished March 7, 2007
Pattern adjusted to accommodate the anticipation of Flicka-Dot's upcoming birthday and foot sizing appropriate thereto.
Color 1 (CC): Claudia Hand Painted Fingering, 50g / 175 yards, Color: Just Plum
Color 2 (MC): Regia 4-Ply, 50g / 210 meters, Color 1994 (my desc: Dark Fir Green)
I used one skein of each, and just about all of each skein.
Needles: Susan Bates Double Pointed Quicksliver, Size US1

Re: Ducks
To Carole: Thank you so much, I'm glad you like them! The pattern is quite easy to follow and I didn't have any difficulties at all -- I highly recommend your eyeing it with yarn in hand }grin{

Friday, March 2, 2007

In Training...

But ECF first:

I couldn't bear the thought of another ice picture on such a gray, icky day as this (I believe that's the proper meteorological term), so I've dug through the archives to a sunnier, distant-er, long-ago day. Picture taken from the gondola at Mt. Tremblant in Canada. DearHeart spent the day driving at the Tremblant track and the Dots and I figured to take a ride up to above Tremblant village (amazing how much less crowded the gondolas are in the summer!). Along the way, this happened:

and so our gondola ride turned into 14 circuits. PojkeDot did wake up in time to see the top of the mountain ultimately, though... And FlickaDot got to visit with some friends in Tremblant Village...

and I got a chance to save some summer for now, when I need it most.

So, as I said, in training:

This is the beginning of Spindlicity's Nordic Lights socks, which I'm starting right about now because (a) I can't bear not to have twelve million socks in progress on the needles; (b) I totally can't wait until Sock Madness starts and I must wear out the urge to knit socks before the actual competition begins; and, (c) Sock Madness is probably an entirely appropriate name for a competition including this particular set of SheepishNightwear.

But I'm also just about done with Sunilda:

This is the second sleeve, and it has about 10 rows left to go. Everybody breathe a sigh of relief -- the next picture of this sweater you'll be subjected to will, barring unforseen events of catastrophic proportions, be the completed sweater.

Happy weekend, y'all, and spinn lyckligt!