Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Well, I'm BACK! After 8 days of visiting family and 4 days of driving, I am *so* happy to be home. It was so hard to maintain a vegan diet with my family that eats out all the time and my dad who doesn't recognize vegetables. Often times, while we were on the Cape, the best I could do was a garden salad with iceberg lettuce. In the end, I caved. I consumed dairy products and dealt with the stomach ache. I'm sure I was a *wonderful* travel companion... Needless to say, I hit the grocery store as soon as we came home and made a huge vegan, vegetable-filled meal. It was wonderful. The Cape was the only real problem. I had a great time when we stayed with my aunt and uncle in Boston. I wish we could have only gone to Boston and avoided Cape Cod altogether!

I didn't really get much knitting done, in spite of the fact that we spent four full days in the car. It was hot and I was cranky - those are not good knitting conditions! I was also disappointed to realize that the day I had planned to stop by WEBS was a Sunday and the store was closed. Argh! If only we had arrived in Massachusetts a few hours earlier - I could have hit their tent sale! Oh well - my bank account was saved.

I've been assessing my UFOs and I realize that I simply must finish something soon! I cannot stand having this many ongoing projects! Here's the inventory:

Remember this tank? Well, the neck is too small. I didn't realize it until after I sewed the shoulders together. I was so frustrated by this neckline that I put the project down. I am committed to finishing it this summer if it kills me.

A few weeks ago, I picked up some Peruvian Sierra Aran for $0.25/ball at a yard sale. I've turned it into my favorite baby hoodie. It's a garter stitch pattern from Phildar. I'm woriking on the sleeves and then the hood will be the only remaining piece. Please excuse its wrinkled appearance. It was folded up in my knitting bag.

Here is a second hoodie that I started about two months ago. It uses the same pattern but the knitting is slower because I'm knitting it in seed stitch instead of garter stitch with Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in white.

Next, I have a mini clapotis going using some cheap, washable cotton from TLC. I usually dislike Red Heart-like yarn but TLC makes a really good cotton called TLC Cotton Plus that feels great and is both washable and cheap. It's not as nice as Lion Brand Cotton-Ease but I prefer how it knits up.

Finally, SOCKS! Remember how I said I was craving knit socks? After a day of knitting socks in the car, I'm not really craving knit socks any more! I'll finish these over the summer but it might take me all summer. It's a nice pattern but I can't seem to memorize it so I have to carry a card around with me with the basic openwork instructions.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I realize my postings have been few and far between but since it was the end of my semester, I had no time for knitting. I handed in my last paper today. My incentive for finishing? Sock yarn. I had to bribe myself with yarn to do my graduate work. People, this is a new all-time low. *sigh*

I haven't had a single pregnancy-related food craving but I wonder if my sudden desire to knit up a pair of socks on size 0s is hormonal - surely, I wouldn't be crazy enough to do it if I were of sound mind and body. Since we're off tomorrow a.m. on a 27-hour drive to visit my parents, brother and extended family in Massachusetts, I'm not worried about coming down with Second Sock Syndrome. My goal is to have a pair of socks made for my mom by the time we have to return. I'm using this pattern with Fortissima Cotton on size 0 DPNs. I'm bringing my camera on the trip so I'll snap a few pictures before I part with the socks. I may even be able to update the blog while I'm at home - we'll see.

I have no other knitting progress to report. Things are pretty much came to a grinding halt a few weeks ago so I hope to finish the little Phildar hoodie in white cotton and another in Peruvian Collection Sierra Aran. I meant to add that I found 12 balls of Elann's Peruvian collection at a garage sale a few weeks ago for $0.25/ball. Score. That officially broke my yarn diet of 6 months! I'm still proud I made it that long. I anticipate buying more yarn because I'm stopping in Amherst, MA to see my little brother and WEBS is just down the road. I've always wanted to check that place out...

I might check out other yarn stores in the Boston area but mostly, I'm bringing projects from my stash. It's a good thing I can knit. Otherwise, I can't imagine how much it would suck to be in a car with 2 stinky dogs and no AC at 27 weeks pregnant... :-) Wish me luck.


1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I’m not really too picky about yarn. I like just about everything but old school Red Heart. Lately, I’ve been making lots of socks and baby stuff so washable yarn is GREAT. I was depressed when Lion Brand discontinued Cotton-Ease – that was a great washable cotton. I’ve been knitting a bunch with Knit Picks yarn – that’s some of my favorite stuff too.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

Several colored vases. I’m not very good about putting needles back into a case so the vases are easier for me.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

Six years. Intermediate to advanced.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yes. An Amazon and Knit Picks wish lists. If you want the KP one, I'll have to email it to you. They aren't as sophisticated as Amazon.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

I’m actually allergic to some body care products. As for scents, I like subtle ones.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Are you kidding? I'm pregnant! Twizzlers. Or anything with dark chocolate. I'm vegan so I don't eat dairy products. It's not an ethical thing - I'm just a vegetarian with a dairy allergy.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I sew out of necessity but that is all.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

Yes, I can play mp3s. I like everything but country.

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

I don’t really have a favorite color. I love bright colors. I don’t really care for variegated yarn but that’s my only real color preference.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I am married with 2 dogs and a baby due in August.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Scarves, hats and mittens but no ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

It varies seasonally. In the warmer mos, I knit more baby stuff. When it gets cool, I pull out socks and mittens and sweaters.

13. What are you knitting right now?

Socks and baby sweaters.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

You bet!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I prefer straight needles but I use circs all the time too. My needles are either wood or plastic – I lose stitches on metal needles.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

17. How did you learn to knit?

My brother taught me.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?

First of all, I’m defining UFO as a project I still intend to finish… so by that definition, I’d say 6 mos.

19. What is your favorite holiday?

Fourth of July. I love summer and summer tomatoes!

20. Is there anything that you collect?

Other than yarn? Nope. I’m actively trying to clear out my house of junk. My husband is a pack rat. He’s the collector.

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I love all the Phildar magazines but they’re hard to get unless you order them directly, which I do once a year, maybe. I could knit Knit Picks Shine yarn from now until the end of time. I’ve thought about getting the latest Nancy Bush sock book because I love Folk Socks. I haven’t yet because I feel guilty buying it when there are more socks I want to make from Folk Socks. For the last year, I’ve been on a major stash diet (haven’t bought yarn or books since Xmas) so I covet just about anything at this point! J

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I’d like to learn to steek but I’m way to chicken now. I have a Latvian Mitten book that I’ve been meaning to try out too. I love fair isle mittens.

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
You bet. Ankle: 7.75". Heel - toe: 9.5"

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

December 3.