Friday, March 30, 2007


Ahhh, Friday. I have to go back to work on Monday and I am so not looking forward to that. More and more I am becoming comfortable with the idea of working from home some how. Must work towards making that a reality. I mean, just look at all the knitting I have gotten done over the last two weeks:

I finished Bunny's sweater. She is thrilled.

And, I started these socks yesterday:

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This is how far I got in one day! Amazing, no? Please excuse the cat. She wanted to be a part of the process evidently. Actually she just wouldn't move. These are the Embossed Leaves socks from the new Interweave book - Favorite Socks. The stitch pattern is amazing, easy, and fast. I love them. I am using Yarn Pirate yarn in the Malamute colorway. So pretty. I can't wait to see how they will look once they are blocked.

Here is a close up of the stitch pattern:

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I also finished these socks for the SAM 3 KAL. They will be a gift for my Mom's b-day this July.

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Pattern: Vanilla Toe Up Socks (using the Summer 2006 Knitty pattern). I base all of my toe up socks on this worksheet. Pure genius.
Yarn: Trekking XXL in some random colorway (I lost the ball band)
Needles: Size 1 US

In baby news, I am 24 weeks as of this past Tuesday. Six months already. I can hardly believe it. I have a guilty confession to make though. I am still drinking coffee. Every morning I have my large, regular, Tim Hortons coffee and savor every minute of it. It's funny, I didn't drink coffee until I started working full time two years ago and now I can't imagine having to give up my one cup a day. I send Husband to get it each morning because I can't stand the dirty looks that non-pregnant people give me when I order, gasp, coffee. I did give it up in the first trimester (mainly because of all the vomiting) so really, I think that I did well. Sheesh. I know I am not alone in this - there must be plenty of pregnant women drinking coffee out there? Right. Either way, I am not giving it up. Bad me.

Remember the snow I showed you the other day? Gone. Totally gone. Calgary weather is crazy weird. See?

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In one day all the snow melted. I think this calls for BBQ. I have convinced Husband to let me buy a Webber BBQ this summer (I am crazy for BBQ... I cook dinner almost every night this way in the summer). I can't wait. In case you aren't familar, these are the Cadillac of the BBQ and I. Want. One. They are the most even heating, durable, and user friendly BBQ ever.

We are off to Edmonton this weekend to visit friends. See everyone next week!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Change in the Weather

Snow today. Snow?!? The last two days have been so nice that we have had the patio doors and all the windows open. Today, snow. Calgary weather sucks. Isn't it supposed to be spring?? I am really getting twitchy waiting for the snow to stop, the buds to come out, and the birds to come back. I want to plant my garden. I want to take the cover off my patio set and have dinner outside on our deck, I want to work in the back yarn. I want to have Husband build the new deck he has promised me and I want to put up a hammock and plant some new trees. You see, the previous owners of this house didn't do much with the landscape, so we have so much to do. I can't wait. Right now, the backyard looks like this:

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It's very plain. I can't wait to take it from plain to amazing over the next few years. I also love that the back fence is on a retaining wall and so, we are higher than most of our neighbours. Instant privacy. Add a few trees and this place will be a really nice place to raise the kids.

I took last week and this week off of work, which allows for more knitting and finishing of projects. I must have needed this rest. I have cooked for the last two days in a row and feel so much better. Husband is relieved to be fed again. He was getting really sick of fast food.

With my free time, I decided I would start on this:

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It's Monica from the spring Knitty. I can't wait until it's done. Its been a great stash buster as I am using the Patons Grace that I bought for another project that I never got around to. We are trying to put together a "love package" for Bunny to open when the new baby comes. So far, I have a ton of clothes that I bought for her at Old Navy, a huge thing of new coloring markers, and now this tank once its done. I really want to add a bunch of things that she will find special so that she doesn't feel left out. As the baby date gets closer, I have begun to worry more and more that she will have trouble adjusting to this baby. She has been an only child for so long now that I hope the transition will not be too hard for her. I worry so much about it that I almost drive myself nuts... and then she does something like this and I feel so much better...

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Well, here I am, which means that we are not in Virginia. I am both bummed beyond belief and relieved beyond belief at the same time. What happened? Well, on Friday Husband desperately tried to get Bunny an emergency visa. We got all the documents filled out (including spending 2 hours trying to track down a guarantor), got pictures taken of Bunny (which turned out to be too dark... grrr) and then Husband went to apply and was told that if he came back with either a plane ticket or valid travel itinerary in hand, he would be issued an emergency passport in under 24 hours. Yea, so this is when it all broke down. See, we were going to use our built up Airmiles to fly, but because we had 2 days notice, not 2 week, the amount of miles would be significantly reduced. So, our out of pocket cost for flights alone went from about 500.00 to about 3500.00 for the three of us to fly! Way too much. So, we have decided to save those miles for a trip to either Hawaii or Disney World in the new year. A little planning goes a long way.

On the needles at the moment are the socks that I am in the process of designing. I am almost finished the leg of the first toe up sock and will be on the hunt in the next few days trying to figure out what bind off would look nice with them. I want something different from the standard ribbed bind off that I normally do. I have no idea yet. I am hoping something will hit me soon.

I am also almost finished the toe up socks that I am making for my mom's b-day. She requested the yarn and I am confident that I will be able to post them as my March socks for the SAM 3 KAL. I can't wait to get them to her.

I still need to seam Bunny's sweater. I have it sitting on the back of the couch and feel so guilty every time I look at it. Hopefully I will find some motivation this weekend and just get it done. I really should. Soon it will be too warm to wear.

I really only have one thing to show off this weekend. I bought a skein of yarn that I just loved from HLMiller yarns. You really must check out this shop. She knit a pair of jaywalker socks in "Lily Petal" (her own colorway from her Etsy shop) for the SAM 3 KAL and I fell in love with them. You can see more pictures of how this yarn knits into jaywalkers here. She does do custom dying so if you feel you must have this color too, be sure to check her store out. Trust me, the jaywalkers that this yarn makes are to die for. You can see a better photo on the SAM 3 KAL blog in the February sock archives.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Socks, Socks, and more Socks!

I think that I've been bitten by the sock bug that is going around. I have been compelled to start several new socks over the last week and I have even taken to designing my own pattern for a pair using my stitch a day calendar.

Last week, while cleaning out my knitting basket, I found several things that I didn't even remember that I owned! One of these is this skein of Schaefer Anne sock yarn. So, while I finished up other projects, I sat the skein on the end of the couch that is my knitting central and found myself entranced by it. I couldn't stop thinking about how amazing it would look knit up into some toe up socks, with an eyelet lace type pattern up the front of the foot and around the leg. So, I dug through my stitch a day calendar and found the perfect pattern for this yarn; a lacy cabel-y pattern that perfectly flatters the yarn. But, I do have some tinking to do this morning as I somehow dropped a number of stitches last night at Make 1 and will need to go back about 4 rows as a result. I am loving how quickly this pattern knits up and am really enjoying the yarn overs and k2tog that come with a lace pattern. The only kink that I have run into so far is that the pattern is not meant to be used in the round, so I had to re engineer it somewhat to make it into a viable pattern for knitting in the round.

See all the little stray wisps that are coming off the yarn? That's the Mohair. I haven't worked with a sock yarn that contains mohair before, and I was worried that I would get itchy because of it, but it seems fine and I love the loft that it brings to the finished yarn.

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I am also finished my first of the pair of Socks that Rock February socks from the Rocking Sock Club. I love the toe, foot, and heel part of the pattern. I hate the cable part from the heel up. My cables look off. I don't know why. I have frogged once already and have re-done the cables, but for some reason they aren't lining up like they should and I can't quite figure out why. Sigh. I was hoping that these would be my completed socks for the SAM3 KAL, but it looks like that won't happen now as I need to go back and re-do the entire leg portion. Luckily I do have some socks that I am making for my Mom that are almost done that I can post as my March socks, but I was really hoping to have them done in time. Oh well, I suppose as long as they are finished by mid April (when the next yarn and pattern comes from STR) I will be ok.

Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong??

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And, finally, someone won some sock yarn last week and I have been too lazy to post the winner. Bad me. Actually, I have already notified the winner (Dana) as I happened to both pull her name (using a random number generator last week) and see her (totally coincidentally) at the LYS last night. Too cool. So, here is the yarn that she wins:

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I, for the life of me, can't recall where or when I picked up this skein of Sweet Georgia yarn. It appears to be in a colorway (Snapdragon) that is not commercially available on her site and it is enough to make a pair of socks (420 yards) all wrapped up in one skein. No clue where it came from, but I do know where it is going. Yay Dana.
It looks like we may well be going to Virgina next week for Husband's work stuff. So, in light of that, there will most likely not be any blogging for at least a week. I am still trying to decide if I really want to go or not. It will be hot (and pregnancy does not mix well with hot), Husband has been uber grumpy lately (and pregnancy does not mix well with that either), I will be by myself (with Bunny) every day until supper time and I do not know my way around Virgina at all. However, there are some pros to going away. This probably will be my only vacation this year as we will have a new addition to the family in July. Husband is going with a colleague that also has kids. Lots of kids. One of which is Bunny's age and they get along famously, so I won't be alone all day. We will actually be in Richmond, which is a pretty big centre. So, I think that the shopping will be amazing. There is a makeup store that I am told is a makeup utopia, which I will be sure to go to. There is also Target, Victoria's Secret and plenty of Local Yarn Stores. So, you can see my dilemma. I guess by next week, it will become apparent as to what I have decided based on my blogging or lack there of. If I do go, expect a review of the LYS that Virginia has to offer.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Another Meme... 100 Things

Ok, ok. I know that not everyone is a big fan of the Meme, but I am... and it's my blog right? So, in lieu of a picture of my Socks that Rock SIP(sock in progress), here are the details of the 100 books Meme.

Look at the list of (100) books below.
Bold the ones you’ve read.
Italicize the ones you want to read.
Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in.
Movies don’t count.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell
)5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien
)6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon) - Just as an aside, this is my favorite series that I have read to date. For anyone that loves historical fiction, I strongly recommend this book!
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry) - This is a great book too. Very disturbing though.
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden) - Much better than the movie.
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25 . Life of Pi (Yann Martel) - Amazing!!
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley) - I started this, but couldn't get into it, which is rare for me. Normally I will read anything.
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) - Believe it or not.
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Socks that Truly do ROCK!!

*Before I start, let me preface by saying that I didn't expect
to post so soon, so you all have until March 15/07 to keep entering
the contest that I started in my last post*

OK, so I will admit to being a little
sock crazy. Those of you who read this blog know that. So, what
better thing to get a gal for her birthday than a membership to the
Socks that Rock
! Unfortunately for us members, the gals
and guys at STR have hit some snags this year in
sending all the stuff out. First, STR members experienced a bank error
in their favor when a local bank decided that there couldn't
possibly be so many people signing up to a sock club
(turns out the final number of members is somewhere around 2000!)
so they refunded every one's money! You can read all the
details here.

Then, as if that wasn't enough, a blizzard hit STR headquarters
and the shipments were a smidge late as a result. However, despite
all this, I still got my first shipment, complete with yarn,
chain, bumper sticker, button, dyers notes and binder, and
of course a wonderful pattern called "Inside Out". I wanted to
share some pics and let those of you who are sitting on the fence
about STR know that this is a great club to
belong to. The support and excitement of everyone involved has
been amazing. Well worth the money! Ok, on with the

Click me for STR SPOILER

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Come Out Come Out Wherever You Are

I recently read a friend of mine's blog who made the comment that she sometimes feels as though the words that she writes go into a void and are read by no one. Now, while she appears to prefer the anonymity, I must admit, it rather bums me out. I know, through my stat counter, the aproximate number of people that come to this site, but I don't know who you are. I will never get to meet you and I will never get to determine what you think of what you read here. The problem? I would really like to get to know all of you. I would like to have you comment and be able to track back through that to your blog or website and find out what you like or dislike and what you are working on at the moment. I would like to be able to leave you a comment so that you know that while you are reading what I have written, I am also interested in what you have to say. Cheesy? Maybe. But, I still want to meet you all, damnit. So, to that end, I say, "delurk, damnit". And, I challenge you to show yourself. Not only that, but I am going to run a contest to see how many of you I can entice into commenting so that I can "meet" you.

I am going to randomly give away a skein of Sweet Georgia Yarn in a very special colorway to one of you who comments on my blog between now and the next time that I post. I don't expect many comments, so this may be a particularly easy contest to win. Good luck to all.

In other news, the work on Bunny's intarsia sweater is almost complete. I am 3/4 of the way through the second sleeve and simply have some finishing after that to make it complete. Since finishing is not my strong suit, I will be taking myself to the LYS to have them sit with me and hold my hand while I finish everything off. I am a bit of a wuss that way and need constant hand holding and validation while I am working on seaming something.


Also, while I am trying patiently to wait for my Socks That Rock Shipment so that I can start on the first sock of the Rockin' Sock Club, I recently learned that they have shipped international orders a tad later than the domestic ones and therefore, I will have some waiting to do before I can get the yarn on the needles. So, in the meantime, I started a pair of socks from the new sock book that I bought in the Malamute colorway from Yarn Pirate.

I can't say enough about how happy I am with the combination. I love the way that the yarn is striping and yet pooling on the cuff all at the same time. This is my very first sock knit without using the standard vanilla pattern (i.e. Knit toe up in stockinette with a ribbed cuff). And, I am so thrilled with the ribbed cast on that the pattern calls for that I will be using it and the twisted rib stitch pattern again and again I think. This is the first time that I have used this cast on and I love it. However, since I really do admit that I prefer socks made toe up, I think that I will dedicate some time to searching out the cast off version as well. Want a closer look? Of course you do! You can sort of see the ribbed 1x1 cast on if you look closely at the bottom of the sock. And the colors are amazing. I can't wait to see how the rest of the pattern comes out. This will be my first lace sock (and really my first lace pattern), so if anyone has any helpful hints, please feel free to leave them. I can use all the help I can get!


Friday, March 02, 2007

Off the Needles

Well, I have hit the mid point pregnancy wise. I am now 20 weeks and happy that this is half way over. I know the next 20 weeks won't fly by or anything, but I can't wait to get on with the best part of being pregnant - actually having the baby.
Oh, and I think I am nesting - except, I think that it's a weird form of nesting in that all I want to do is finish older knitting projects. For instance, I started this sweater for Bunny back in November and I am just now getting around to finishing it off. I am a bit ashamed to admit that for some reason, although the pattern so clearly calls for intarsia, I was fair-isling. I don't really know what I was thinking, but after being frustrated that the flower motifs were too tight, I ripped it back and finally realized my mistake. Derp! As well, this is my first intarsia project and since I had to teach myself this technique, I am not sure it turned out as well as it could have. Please don't be too critical. I am not so sure that I like the fiddly nature of intarsia either. Perhaps with some practice and a whole lot more patience, it could have turned out a little better. I have a ton of ends to weave in still. I am pretty sure that there shouldn't have been so many ends to weave, but whatever, I still like it. I still have the sleeves to complete, but I am sure that Bunny will like it no matter what too.

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I have also been working hard on this entrelac scarf. What with Eunny Jang's pattern for entrelac socks in the new Spring Intreweave Knits, entrelac seems to be all the rage. I found the pattern for this scarf and fell in love. I am thinking that I need to use up the leftovers from Bunny's sweater and make a baby blanket using this technique too. I used four skeins of Noro Silk Garden in colorway 221. I had never used Noro before as I find it very scratchy, even with the silk in it, however, I have spoken with lots of people who have said that it softens up quite a bit once it is washed. I will be sure to let you know once I have washed it.
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Finally, I am almost done this pair of socks too. I am trying so hard to get all my socks finished and off the needles as there is a skein of Socks that Rock on its way to me right now and I want to be able to cast on for the corresponding pattern as soon as it gets here. I can't believe that I got the STR club membership for my birthday from Husband this year. What a great guy he is!

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Otherwise, I think I have very few projects still left on the needles that need finishing. I have the tail end (or I guess I should say the top end) of a pair of toe up socks that I am making for my mom on the needles right now that need finishing and that's pretty much it. I placed an order at Knitpicks yesterday and included is a pair of needles to work on a lace scarf which will be a gift so I don't want to post too many details about it, as well as Last Minute Knitted Gifts which has a pattern for a chevron scarf that I am dying to try next. As soon as that shows up, I will cast on for it and post some pictures.
I guess that's it for now. I am hoping that we will get the room that is intended to be the nursery painted this weekend. As soon as it's done, I will post some pics.