Monday, October 29, 2007

Peer Pressure

Thank you all for the sleeve suggestions . I was powerfully swayed by the majority of votes for ribbing. This may be the first time I have done something I've been told to do. I really have an awful tendency to do the opposite of what is suggested, just because I can, but I am happy to have listened and acted on this issue. Of course, I couldn't just add the ribbing and be done with it. I still wanted a little something I purled a row, knit 2 rows,then added ribbing. I think it is cute.

The next couple of days are full of Halloween goodness and a visit from my mom (hi, Mom!) I am looking forward to the parties, school events,costumes, and candy.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mint Leaf Tee

Thank you for all of the sock sympathy. The toe up didn't work for me this time, but I will not be defeated. The dreary weather over the past few days has been a catalyst for finished objects. Nothing is as comforting as the rainy drizzle, hot coffee, snuggly blankets, and a lap full of knitting.

Hi. I'm a rainy day picture.

Mint Leaf Tee

Based on this pattern

1 hank of Brooks Farm Duet

size 4 and 6 circular needles

I am so happy with this little sweater. The yarn is soft and fluffy with a rustic spin. There are thick/ thin spots and I like the nubby texture. I cannot for the life of me get a photo of the true colorway. I knit as directed only adding ribbing to the bottom and neckline. The rolled neckline was a bit too close to the 80's ripped sweatshirt look and I am no Alex Owens.

I haven't blocked it yet because I need your advice dear readers. Should I add the ribbing to the sleeves or leave them rolled? Discuss.

This is the lace panel. Wouldn't this look great on some kilt hose? I have ordered a bunch of yarn for holiday gifts. I am making everyone I know a cable knit toilet paper cozy! Just kidding.

I really am waiting on yarn for gift making. Which is of the surprise variety, so you won't be seeing it yet. I will be publicly knitting a sweater from Stefanie Japel's book Fitted Knits. Whenever I decide which of the fabulous designs I want to make first.

Ooh, this weather reminds me of a favorite: Overcast by Baudelaire.

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Just Circular Is All

We spent the weekend going in circles. The local intermediate school hosted a Fall Festival complete with Carnival rides and silent auctions. I love a good fair. Balloons that blow up into funny shapes, popping noises ,flashing lights, tickets to ride, and laughter. Merry, singing laughter from people both under and over 48" tall.

The whole family had a great time and the funnel cake smell washed off of us after a day or two. No, we didn't consume any funnel cake. Old timer that I am, I instead opted to buy a small portion of the local Cracker Barrel's supply of candy. I was restrained however, and made it out into daylight without the half dozen boxes of Goo Goo Clusters and Moon Pies I was about to purchase. Nostalgia is always sweeter to the mind than the taste buds. I knit round and round the Mint Leaf Tee and she is a few inches shy of being complete. I also worked on my first Toe Up sock:

Why, what's that you say? That isn't a toe up sock?? That is clearly a top down sock?

You are correct. I cast on for the toe up 3 times until the toe looked right and the size seemed ok. I even knit all the way to the heel. Then I ripped and re knit the heel 3 times. Then I pouted a little, made some coffee, and tried again. I gave up on the 4th complete heel and flap. The darned (ha ha get it?) heel looked lumpy and the wraps were weird. I know I said change is good, but certainly it must be aesthetically pleasing as well. My lovely sock yarn was mighty sore that I crinkled her so. I have not abandoned the toe up method completely. I will try again on another project when the planets align and Pluto is humbly invited back into the group.

*I will purchase a box of Moon Pies for the first member of my family to correctly quote me the line(s) and movie on my mind. Look for the hidden clues.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A room of one's own

Knit Picks Memories "Cape Cod"

I reached a point yesterday that had been building for a few days. The point of motherly meltdown. Thanks to two year molars and vicious sibling rivalry, my usually calm world tossed and roared and threatened to drown me in the black waters of hysteria.

We all survived. Things are quieter and more manageable again although it seems everything I pick up is sticky. What is up with the sticky when kids are around?

I did have a few moments of reflection at my holy hour of 5 past midnight and remembered a quote from Virginia Woolf," A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."
Replace "write fiction" with " accomplish anything other than cleaning the sticky" and you will understand my state of mind. I fell asleep wishing I had a room of my own to escape to.
I woke up and read My Three Son's latest post. I now believe in the blog fairy godmother. While I go search for my passport and $180K please take a look at my dream room.

This is how I wind center pull balls. Not as cute as yarn cakes but I am too cheap to buy a winder and have an aversion to gadgets anyway. Unless you get me one for Christmas. Then I love winders.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pebble Beach Socks

Pebble Beach Socks
Basic top down sock pattern
Number 1 DPN's
Knit Picks Felici in "pebble"

Again, I have to say I like the Felici yarn. It is soft but seems sturdy enough. I am very happy with this pair. Socktoberfest is in full swing! I plan on trying a toe up version for my next pair. I am so used to my usual sock pattern that I could knit socks in my sleep ( and sometimes I think I do) but change can be a good thing.

I have been listening to Elizabeth Klett's recording of Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. I downloaded the audiobook from Librivox. Elizabeth is the author of A Mingled Yarn, one of my favorite blogs. She is also going to record House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. I enjoy Wharton and am anxious for the recording to be complete. When I finish listening to this book, I am going to download The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton as read by Brenda Dayne of the Cast On podcast.

For those who haven't listened to Brenda's podcast, let me tell you this woman has a voice as rich and warm as cognac sipped by a roaring fire. I could listen to her read a phonebook and be transfixed.

Elizabeth Klett's voice is as soothing and cool as water slipping over a fountain's edge. She is by trade a Shakespearean Professor and conveys the emotion and tone behind each sentence with the gentle unwavering mastery of a true storyteller.

Thank you to everyone who so generously gives their time to record these books and poems for Librivox.

Open your ears and your minds!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Treats and a Trick

A lovely treat was given to me by Carmen of My Three Sons. She found me by clicking the next blog button and felt I deserved a candy apple treat. Thank you Carmen! I agree, we have quite a bit in common.

This was started by Hootin' Anni and the idea is to send this treat to a blogger you don't know who you think deserves a treat. I was lucky enough to have the blogger I'm treating find me. Which is a good thing because when I tried to click next blog, all I got was nude people. Eh.

Marmee of Marmee's Moonlit Meadow and her eight children are the recipients of the candy apple treats today. Marmee left me a very nice comment and I have added her as well as her brilliant daughter Ashley to my blogroll. I'm very pleased to make their acquaintance.

Ok, now I have to tell a story on myself. I had to laugh when I read Carmen's note about the gift, because I have a very bad memory of a cold October evening at our old house in St. Louis. Hubby and I were sound asleep when my pug dog, Fiona, decided 3 in the morning was the best time to go outside and potty. I drug myself out of bed (which if you know me, you are already shocked since I sleep like the dead) and opened the front door to let her out. We had a storm door and I opened that ever so slightly to allow Fi to squeeze through and go into the yard.

She stopped short for some reason and in my barely awake state, I opened the door wider cringing at the rush of cold air. During my mumbled curses over the dog not going out, I was stepping onto the freezing cold concrete porch thinking she needed to be reminded how to walk through a doorway. Then my foot hit it.

I screamed. I mean really screamed. In one motion I grabbed the dog and slammed the door and called out to Hubby or God or whomever might be willing to save me from certain death right then and there. Hubby answered my pleas and when he opened the door, a moment passed in my life that would eclipse all the other really stupid things I have done (loads of 'em).

This moment still haunts me. Even as I type, I am emotionally and physically alternating between the unforgotten adrenaline rush of terror and the shame, yes shame, of Hubby reaching down (!) and picking up a brown lunch bag filled with candy and a note saying we had been "Booed" by a neighbor and to pass it on.

Ahem. I am sure the sweet kids that wanted to "Boo" the new neighbors never imagined we would not see the bag in daylight. Or be so silly as to think it was a bomb or decapitated head or something. I got so mad. I think more mad than I have ever been in my life ( which if you know me, you are shocked because I get real mad often). I am still a little mad. Why? Embarrassment mostly that I reacted so strongly to something so innocent in front of my husband whom I swore I would stick with for the rest of my life. Rest of my life people.

I go out the garage in this house.

Stay tuned for a complete pair of Pebble Beach Socks!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Blah blah blah & a recipe

I have no knitting content to share. Both my socks and the tee are inching along. I did day dream about my throw quilt... spent countless minutes imagining myself cutting the fabric and piecing it just so, but I didn't actually pull the fabric out of the closet it waits so patiently in.

Sundays are like that around here. Tiddly Pom* days with the family all hanging out in pj's for most of the morning. Until I crack and run to the shower by 9 while Hubby grumbles that I've broken the lazy rhythm for the sake of some misguided sense of hygiene. I drive him nuts quite a bit. Like when I put on makeup before I go out to pull weeds.

Since I ate my weight in cheese dip and burritos this afternoon, I didn't want much for dinner. I was eyeing the bowl of apples and bananas on the counter. I do not eat bananas unless they are well disguised in a dish. Same goes for mushrooms. I guess it is a texture thing. Anyhoo, the 'naners were looking as spotty as the Man in the Yellow Hat's tie. My best imaginary friend, Paula Deen, came calling and here is what we made:

Banana Bread

yields 1 loaf

1/2 cup (1 stick ) butter at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

3 ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar, mix well. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes.

I hesitated before I poured the batter into the pan to ask Paula if she thought a 1/2 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice might give this bread a taste of the season?

"See! Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then, Hon, throw it in!", she cheerfully urged.

The spice added a nice bouquet. Paula and I dug into a dish of hot from the oven bread and apples with caramel sauce while we chatted about Bonaventure, Mrs. Wilkes House, and next years St. Patrick's parade. Bless my heart it was a fine supper. Thank you for dropping in, Paula.

* Tiddly Pom : A A Milne poem from Winnie the Pooh. My go to word when a word doesn't exist for the word I am thinking.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Gimme a reason

Do you ever get to feeling like the world is a little too weird all at once? I mean like every time you glance at your homepage, turn on NPR for a minute, or half listen to the nightly news the 'very very bad' seems to suddenly outweigh the 'bad but normal' in the world?

I even felt something was just wrong with the world at the beach. I was alone at the shore watching the waves break and the sun dip on the horizon. Instead of tranquility, I felt like the world was just too damn close. Those Godzilla Condos were breathing down my neck and all of the stupid tiki hut looking things just pissed me off. I guess I'm just saying I get my fill of humanity quickly and the humanity in the news lately is infuriating. Didn't we have an Enlightenment? Was I the only one who took notes? Just grumping.
So, given my current period of disenchantment with it all, I've been looking for reasons to smile. I found a few and thought I'd share.

I am loving the new project on the needles, Mint Leaf Tee. The yarn, oh, the yarn. So soft and lovable with out the need to house train it. I'm using Brooks Farm Duet from the haul Sandra sent my way. The color is a frosty, minty green that is camera shy.

It was cool enough today to wear some handknit socks. These are my Bloody Mary socks. Miss A calls these shoes my ruby red slippers.
I live in Alabama near these people.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Vacation: All I Ever Wanted

We spent a long weekend at the beach with the GranMary, GrandDad, and Aunt Lisa. Thanks for the wonderful time! Sock came along. While the kids buried Papa in the sand, sock and I watched the boats come and go from the bay, ate some shrimp, and had a few beers. Very relaxing. Which was a good thing because sock seemed tied up in knots.
Now that I'm back, I need to attend to some bloggerly business. I want to learn how to add buttons to my sidebar for instance. I also want to peruse the patterns on Ravelry and build a queue of things to knit. Oh, the possibilities.
The observant among you will have noticed I named sock "Pebble Beach Sock" . The colorway of the yarn is pebble. I brought sock to the beach. Clever, I know.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Finished: Juliet

I have discovered the key to releasing Alabama from this drought; I simply have to finish a knit and want to take a picture. This is the second time the sun went out on me during my modeling session. However, I just need to share, so here she is, my Juliet bathed in glittering flash light:

The pattern is Juliet by Zephyr Style

Knit in Cotton Ease taupe on size 10 needles.

I made the fabric covered buttons from Aunt Shelley's fabric stash

The mods: I knit this to pattern with the exception of the sleeves and gauge. I didn't bind off the sleeves and made them a bit longer to be short rather than cap. I had originally planned to knit 3/4 length sleeves, but got bored and just wanted to be done with it. Yeah, I am that kind of knitter.

I didn't want the already bulky yarn to be doubled so I knit the medium to get a small. I tried it on and realized it was too big, so I frogged back to the underarm join and knit to the small directions for an xs. I am happy with the end result. Just poofy and swingy enough without looking like I tied an afghan around my middle and called it couture.

Other exciting news for the latent designers out there: Hill Country Yarns is sponsoring a Sock Pattern contest. Submit your winning design here and win prizes.

Miss A has requested a Juliet in her size. Where did my calculator go?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

There's no gift like the present*

Whew. That was a crazy weekend. Little Man had a great party. He was beyond excited the whole day. Thanks to everyone who made his second birthday so memorable.

We took the kids to the farm on Sunday. I can honestly say it was one of the best family outings we have ever had. The kids really had fun jumping through the trailer of cotton and petting the animals. Papa and I had a great time picking 3 big pumpkins off the vines.

LM wasn't the only one receiving gifts... look at the awesome vintage knitting mags my Father in law brought from his Mom's cedar chest! I love the styling and patterns. I need to do a post devoted just to these.
The post man delivered the stitch markers I ordered from Sandra's Etsy shop pookeh. I love them! The beads are so pretty and she added a couple fortune cookie markers as a bonus for being one of the first buyers. Thank You Sandra!

My Juliet is done but awaiting buttons and blocking. The fabric is going to be a throw quilt for my bedroom. I have a huge crush on the Joel Dewberry sparrows fabric. I just want to whisper sweet nothings to it . After seeing so many amazing projects made from this fabric I broke down and bought some from Reprodepot. I could no longer abide my favorite fabric being used by people who are not me. Speaking of envy...

I am on Ravelry now! I have only put up a few projects and lost at least 3 hours of sleep snooping around the site, but I will find (make) time to fill up my queue and such. Look for me under "pneuma" and say hi. I am one of 16,000 knit bloggers on the site with another 17,000 still in the waiting room. Can you believe there are that many knitters all accessible from one website? Wow. I belong to several groups on Ravelry including: Wool Magnolias (Southern knitters), Heathers ( yes, Heathers' who knit), and Sock Knitters Anonymous. Hee Hee I am in seventh Heaven.

*my nod to Dave from Chub Creek