Emerald Socks

At some point a witty saying will materialize here. Right here. Watch for it.

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February 22, 2008

Cat Bullet

Top 10 Knit from Stash Report

Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions,Top 10 Knit Along Winter 08 — Cat @ 10:01 am

Shadow

Well, I thought that for Friday, I would give a report of my “Top Ten Knit from My Stash” activities.

# 1: Maddy Sweater - DONE

# 2: Sweet Pea Socks – DONE

# 3: Susan’s “Cold Feet Socks” – am on the heel flap of the first sock. Will become “mindless bus knitting” after the Wizard socks (# 7 below) are completed. HEY – no one said we had to knit in numerical order!

# 4: Mystery Stole: As of last night, am finished with the first half. Am going to try to focus on getting the first clue of the second half done this weekend. (Wish me luck)

# 5: Donation Cat Blankets: Yep – those are still a big box of acrylic yarn. Will work on them at some point. Probably after #8 is completed.

# 6: Alpaca Vest: The book and the yarn are still nestled in a knitting bag, getting to know each other. I will cast on for this, hopefully after the Mystery Stole is complete. Everyone admire my discipline.

# 7: “Weeeeeeeeeeeeee’re Off to See the Wizard” socks: turned the heel of the first sock last night and am working through the gusset. This is my “mindless bus knitting” for now, and is going fairly well. I always find that the “foot” part of a top down sock goes relatively quickly.

# 8: Baby Blanket out of LionBrand Cotton Ease: Going well. Am just over half way – this is my “knit in public” project, so to get it done, I will have to go knit in public more. Funny how that works out. :-)

The astute reader(s) will note that I never did nail down projects # 9 and # 10.

Therefore, I take this occasion to announce what they are:

# 9: Koolhaas Hat (no suprise there). I hope to make this this weekend. Correctly, this time.

# 10: “Lucy” Felted Tote bag. If you haven’t seen this bag, it is really fun – kind of a “hobo” shaped bag, but it has one long handle and one short handle. To close the bag, you loop the long handle through the short handle, and it kind of cinches shut. I’m planning on making a cool striped version, using various yarns that I have in my stash.

What about the other restriction of the “Stash-along”? Well, I still have not purchased yarn for myself, only for gifts for other people. I’m fairly proud of this and am fighting to make it until the end of March.

But, BOY, do I have a list!! I am completely tickled that April 1st, the first day I can buy yarn for myself, is a TUESDAY.

Everyone knows what Tuesdays are…. Knitting Night.

    Held in a Yarn Store.

Lord help me.

I fully expect that the economy will undergo a miraculous recovery on April 2nd, 2008.

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February 21, 2008

Cat Bullet

Sweet Pea Socks!!

Finally, photographs of the Sweet Pea Socks!!

Sweet Pea Socks, Done

Look at how cool they are on my foot!!

On the hoof
(Side note – do you know how difficult it is to take a picture of yourself wearing a pair of socks?)

Love Love LOVE these socks. Such a fun pattern to make. Highly recommend them.
Look at this fun pattern detail!!

Detail, Sweet Pea Sock

Love, Love LOVE this yarn!! Red Rocks Fiber Works, color “Emerald City”. This particular color could not be more to my liking if I had done it myself. Luckily, as it so happened, I didn’t have to.

Thanks Mary Kay!! For those of you who are not in the local Denver Metro Area, be sure to drop her a line and support her in her decision to sell her yarns on line.

For those of you who are in love with this color like I am, Knit Knack has several skeins available.

So, the details:

Started: August 6th, 2007
Finished: January 21st, 2008 (length of time due to starting Graduate school…)
Yarn: Red Rocks Fiber Works (Emerald City color)
Size: Women’s size Medium
Pattern: Sweet Pea Socks from Knitty.com
Needles used: size 1, Knit Picks metal double pointed needles
Who for: ME (greedy greedy greedy)

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February 13, 2008

Cat Bullet

Musings on Yarn Acquisition

Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions,Top 10 Knit Along Winter 08 — Cat @ 10:05 am

Fox Den
Where do foxes store THEIR yarn??

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the philosophy of stash acquisition.

Mainly because I have been sticking to my guns about not buying yarn. No matter the temptation.

Temptations like, say, the Shibui sock yarn and Frog Tree yarns that have suddenly appeared at my local knitting store. Soft, yummy and full of the brilliant primary colors that I love so well. And the Zara merino wool that just cries out to be made into a sweater of some sort.

I will admit publicly that there have been multiple fondling incidents, but no purchasing.

So, since the start of December 1, 2007, I have been knitting out of my stash (except for the odd gift or two which are allowed under the rules of the game).

Have two and a half months of knitting from my stash made any kind of dent?

    Nope. You can’t even tell.

Minor nudges have been made through alternate “destashing” activities like passing yarn along to other people who have a definate plan for it or who will appreciate it more, but seriously. I still have a half a closet full of yarn.

Any space that was freed up by passing along yarn has been filled with fabric. No, I didn’t switch one buying obsession with a new one, because these are all fabrics that I have had for several years now. Ever since I made mom’s fish tote bag for Christmas, I’ve been inspired to work with them, so I’ve been washing and ironing them, gettting them ready to use. I’ve been storing the washed and ironed pieces in the stash closet.

Let’s think about this, shall we? I’ve been buying fabric for years (about 4 or 5 or more) just on the off chance that I will learn to quilt some day. Because I love the colors and the themes (many of my fabrics are fish themed).

What does this mean? I’ve been stash-building for a hobby that I don’t even HAVE yet!!!

    Interesting psychological discussion there.

Let me be clear. I work hard for my money; I save zealously for my retirement and put cash away for emergencies every month. I try to be economical in all aspects of my life; I’m not going into debt to acquire these supplies, nor are they accumulating to the point where they are interfering with the aesthetics or safety or routes of access in my house. I try to knit for charities when I can, so I’m not all selfish.

I’m just wondering what it all means.

Is there any way to strike a balance? I believe that “No Buying Yarn for Four Months” is extreme, and, as has been shown, isn’t really appearing to make much of a difference (volume wise). Maybe a balance of “do one project from stash before buying any new project.”

Maybe I’m just being silly and it isn’t a problem of any kind.

I don’t know. But I am blatantly throwing it out there in order to start a discussion in the comments.

Oh, and more gentle but warm hugs go out to Mom, Nachaele and Nicole. And Mary-Kay.

Edited to add: I just found this picture on “Stuff on my Cat” – made me laugh, given the topic of today’s post…

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February 5, 2008

Cat Bullet

Brrrrrrrr

Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions,Top 10 Knit Along Winter 08 — Cat @ 11:07 am

Winter Aspen

Sheepdog day again.

Brrrr. How did I ever make it through the winter without hand knit wool socks?

You know the reason why you haven’t seen a picture of the completed Sweet Pea socks? They haven’t been out of the laundry long enough to take a picture of!!

Come to think of it, it would be hard to tell in a photo that the socks were dirty, but I would know and… OH, never mind. Don’t ask.

So, uh, how about a knitting update?

Mystery Stole: I completed Clue 5 last night. There are 17 rows of Clue 6 that I will be doing and then I will be at the half way point. At that time, I will start over again on Clue 1 and, once I have the two halves completed, will graft the two halves together.

Yep… a 99 stitch Kitchner stitch. Good thing that I LIKE Kitchner stitch.

Baby Blanket:
is at 30 repeats, out of 72 total. So, almost to the halfway point. It has grown beyond the point where I can comfortably work on it on the bus rides, so it is now a “knitting day” or other “knitting under distracting conditions” project. It fits quite nicely into my new knitting bag, so is the perfect “take around” project.

“Weeeeeeeeeee’re off to see the Wizard” socks: are going really well. The first leg is about 5 inches long, so I will be doing the heel flap and heel turn soon. This would have been my bus project for this afternoon.

If it wasn’t sitting on my kitchen table. *sigh*

I love the “brick like” pattern, and am childishly eager to knit the toe in the green yarn. Just because that is the way that I am wired. :-)

ETA: I forgot the dark blue “Susan’s cold feet” socks – they haven’t changed and are waiting their turn.

So that is the sum total of all of my knitting projects. All are from my Stash and were in residence before the start of December.

Have I bought yarn for me since the start of December? Nope. I’m still keeping with the “knit from my stash”. The only yarn that I have purchased since December was either for a gift or was ordered before the start of December.

Not bad, eh?

Of course, that isn’t to say that I don’t have a list of future purchases started up…

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January 30, 2008

Cat Bullet

AAAAAHHHHH!!

Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions,Top 10 Knit Along Winter 08 — Cat @ 6:00 am

Purrcy in the Window

OK, for the first time since the start of December, the “No Buying Yarn” restriction is going to hurt.

Seriously hurt.

The “Surprise” patterns are up on the Winter Knitty, and I am absolutely in LOVE with this sweater.

(click on the underlined above to link to the sweater…)

Gosh is it pretty. Very pretty. Love it Love it Love it.

Want it want it want it.

Will have to wait until April. *sigh*

Must be good and virtuous knitter who sticks to her goals.

Must finish the Mystery Stole (maybe this is just the push that I need!)

Must stop blogging and get back to work now.

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January 21, 2008

Cat Bullet

Monday Report

I had a GREAT weekend.

Maddy Sweater in action

I wore my Maddy sweater almost full time.

On Saturday, many of us met at Knit Knack. They were having the Trunk Show for Black Water Abbey yarns. As always, they had the most incredible deep, rich, heathered yarns. Sam the Ram and Sue the Ewe also made an appearance, and I just fell in love with both of them.

(Luckily, I already have Sam the Ram in my stash…)

Marilyn from Blackwater Abbey Yarns was really fun to talk to, and I look forward to spending more time with her in the future.

Did I buy yarn? Nope, I’m still being loyal to the “Top 10 Knit from your Stash”. I definately picked up a bunch of patterns (three vests, two sweaters and a purse), and some lovely pewter Heart/Celtic buttons.

I cast on for one of the items on my Top 10 list, the charity blanket out of the Lion Brand Cotton Ease. I’m doing kind of a Thermal Weave pattern (a Fiber Trends baby blanket pattern that was one of the first things that I ever purchased at Knit Knack), and it is really fun. Quite easily memorized, so it will be my “knit in public” project for the time being. I like working with the Cotton Ease yarn, too! (I’m doing the blanket in two shades of blue…)

On Sunday, Mom and I went out TV shopping. Boy, things have changed from the “I like THAT picture” days. Now you have to do research. We ended up getting a nice medium sized LCD Sony, and a beautiful wood cabinet for it to sit on. I also picked up a couple of quilting books at Joanne (I had coupons to use up) and some ink cartridges for my printer (at the CompUSA store closing sale). Yummy lunch at Einstein’s bagel shop.

Mom and I both fell in love with the cutest little doxie puppy at the pet store. Yes, I know that pet stores are evil and the little guy was probably from a puppy mill, but he had the cutest face and beautiful dappled grey/black coloration. Sweet disposition and he loved to be cuddled. He will be a dog to knit sweaters for, that is the truth. But sadly, I’m not home enough to have a dog. *sigh* But I was seriously tempted, that was for sure…

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January 18, 2008

Cat Bullet

Maddy Sweater Done!

I finally have an “official” Finished Object to report!!

Finally pictures (however poor) of the Maddy Sweater!

Maddy Sweater finished
(shown here with a white turtleneck to emphasize the neck opening)

Here is the detail of the neck:

Maddy Neck Detail

Details:
Cast on: 7/27/2007
Finished: 1/11/2008
Debbie Bliss “Pure Cotton” blue green color

Changes: Minor. I used Kitchner stitch to join the two cabled bands at the back of the neck. I’m very pleased with the results. I also sewed up about 1 inch of the join in the front (more so than was joined in the pattern), because I thought it looked a little stretched.

Final thoughts:
I did do a swatch before I started, and for once, got the exact gauge that the sweater called for, which is unusual for me. Maybe I should have investigated further. I think that the finished sweater is a little wide, especially with the dropped sleeves. I think that I should have used a smaller set of needles. Maybe my moss/seed stitch is a little loose, I don’t know.

However, it is warm and soft, and machine washable and dryable. I suspect that I will get a lot of use out of it.

Edited to add: Leanne has a picture of me on her blog and I am wearing the sweater. Click here to link to that post (scroll down to the end of the post).

This is item number one off of my “Top 10 Stash Busting Knitalong” projects. Three of the remaining projects are socks (“Sweet Pea”, “Weeeeeeee’re off to see the Wizard” and “Susan’s Cold Feet” socks). The remainder of the items are in an untouched state (Mystery Stole 3, charity cat blankets, Alpaca Vest). Two projects are yet to be picked, though I am leaning towards the “Lucy” felted bag for one of the remaining. Both pattern and yarn have long been marinating in my stash.

So: Where do I go from here? Right now, I’m focusing on my Sweet Pea socks, and only have a little left to do. Then, I think my evening knitting will be the Mystery Stole and bus knitting will be either the Wizard socks or Susan’s socks, depending on my mood. “Group” or Knitting Knight knitting will be either cat blankets or the baby blanket, because both of them are destined to be mindless knitting.

The alpaca yarn and the Folk Vest book have been placed into the same knitting bag so they can begin to get acquainted. Hopefully they can come to some sort of agreement.

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December 17, 2007

Cat Bullet

LOVELY weekend

Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions,Top 10 Knit Along Winter 08 — Cat @ 10:58 am

Well, I had a lovely weekend. What a difference from last time, eh?

Friday night I started working on the one Christmas gift that I was making this year. For those of you who are involved in the Top 10 stash busting, don’t worry. Although the project was not knitted, it was done COMPLETELY out of stash. Can’t say too much more, because the recipient may read this blog. I finished them up on Sunday morning, and then mailed them off (have to love the Post Office “Self Serve” package shipping center).

I spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon at Knit Knack. It was lovely. Saturday was very quiet, though I was pleased to see a fairly steady stream of customers in and out. On Sunday, I was so happy to see Betsy, Judy, Christie and Cheryl at the store. Just like old times. It was Geri’s birthday (she is the owner), and there was an adorable cake shaped like a ball of yarn with a frosting Thor on top. So cute!!

For those blog readers who don’t visit Knit Knack on a regular basis, Thor is Geri’s Yorkshire Terrier puppy. He is so great – loves to greet everyone who comes into the store and is a real cuddle bum. He does have a tendancy to go after yarn occasionally, but we are pretty sure that he will grow out of that phase.

On both days, I worked on my Sweet Pea sock. The second leg is moving along, and I think that I’m almost half done with it. I’m hoping to get the back of Maddy cast on this evening, so I will have that to work on during future “Social Knitting” occasions. It is more mindless and easier to work on during social times (the sock involves quite a bit of counting).

So things are moving along nicely. I don’t have any pictures to show for it because (as usual), I’d rather spend my time knitting than downloading pictures from the camera and then uploading them to the blog. Maybe soon.

Because, boy, do I have a finished object to show you…

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December 6, 2007

Cat Bullet

Drought Relief

Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions,Top 10 Knit Along Winter 08 — Cat @ 1:57 pm

Purrcy's Toes
Awwwww….cute little kitty toes

Well, the knitting drought is over.

Last night, after a particularly grueling day I realized that I just HAD to do a load of laundry in order to be properly (appropriately) dressed for today’s Faculty interview (I’m on a search committee and we have the last of four candidates visiting here today).

So, after feeding the kitties (always the first thing on my “to do” list upon arrival at home), I gathered the clothes and started the washer.

I’m sure that I should have studied while it was running, but all I really wanted to do was to go to bed.

So I compromised and reached for the bag with my Sweet Pea Socks. I got the cast on done and about an inch of the ribbing before the washer finished and I had to go hang things up to dry.

Yay! And the nice thing is that I won’t have to drive to work until next Wednesday, so I’ll have a stretch of good “bus knitting” time. It will be nice to make some progress on the socks.

It is amazing how relaxing this little hobby is. I felt really good (and less tired) when I went to bed. Slept like a rock. A rock under two kitties (it must have been cold last night).

Have a great day!

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December 5, 2007

Cat Bullet

Wednesday Morning

Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions,Top 10 Knit Along Winter 08 — Cat @ 10:08 am

Wow. It is Wednesday already.

December 3rd.

Have you noticed that I’ve become “date-obsessed” lately? This will all go away at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, December 12th, the conclusion of my final. One week from today, but who is counting.

Or panicking?

Ball o' kitties
(As you can see, the kitties are not panicking. I’m not even sure that they are breathing in this picture. But they are very supportive of my educational efforts. Really. )


Stash Busting Report:

So far, mixed results.

I finished the cast off on the baby blanket last Saturday evening. It is still sitting in a crumpled mess in a knitting bag, because I’ve not been home long enough to soak it and pin it out for blocking. Photos will ensue at the earliest possible moment, I promise.

But that item was deliberately not included in my “Stash Busting” project, mainly because I had intended to complete it in November (what can I say… “best laid plans” and all of that).

So, as far as actual Stash Busting goes… The grand total of knitting on Stash-related projects has been:

    *silence*

    *crickets chirping*

Yep. Nothing. Nada. Not a thing.

Can I interest you in some solved Advanced Organic Chemistry problem sets?

On the plus side, however, I ran to the yarn store yesterday and didn’t buy any yarn! Even though I was completely tempted by a box of sale-priced cotton yarns. I may have fondled some wool. I may have glanced longingly at the sock yarn. But I was resolute. I picked up the book that my friend from Canada had ordered and dashed out of there.

I’m so proud. Even more proud of the fact that I immediately went to the post office and mailed it off to Canada. Wasted a LOT of time standing in line, but it was worth it to have something off of the “to do” list.

Have a great day!

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