Monday, April 25, 2016

I don't know what size these socks really are.

My friend Clare brought me some lovely yarn from her last trip to England. It is West Yorshire Spinners yarn. This Pheasant colorway is from their Country Birds line. It was super fun to knit up and watch the stripes change.

I did have two knots in this ball which is why the stripes do not line up exactly. I couldn't knit with them without cutting and joining, because that knot would've irritated a foot. Good thing I don't care, I still think they are striking.

Here's the thing, this pair of socks was most definitely a "please Universe, let me have a few rows of knitting in my life before the insanity sets in." It was late. I admit, I used these socks as a coping mechanism for a few nights of insomnia.

Therefore as pretty as they are, I'm not sure what size they are. I thought they were my size, but they blocked bigger. I don't mind. I have enough yarn leftover to make myself some ankle socks and I think they will make a friend with bigger feet happy. Hand knit socks are happiness, right?

Anyhow, on the note of bigger feet and gifting knit socks I have been eyeing this chart from Zappos. What do you think? Useful? What method do you use to knit someone's "size"?

Good stitches and good sleeping to you. Catch you soon loony tunes. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Books That Made ME Want to Drop Everything and Read

I was visiting KimKnits and saw her list and thought I'd join her and Carole and throw my hat in the ring for Ten on Tuesday.

In no particular order. I can't explain why I like all of these books, but I remember that "can't stop now feeling" and I admit there are more, but these are the ones that are jumping out at me right now.

1. Harry Potter: I'm getting on KimKnit's bandwagon for this one. Yeah, all of them. Instead of "Calgon take me away" it's definitely J.K. Rowling take me away. Sad, mad, bored, sleepless in San Francisco, or anywhere else in the world this series is like a warm hug and safe world to whisk away to. I'll say that #5 The Order of the Phoenix is my favorite (since Kim listed hers)

2. Dune

3. Pride and Prejudice

4. The Rickshaw

5. Mistborn

6. Moon and Sixpence

7. The Count of Monte Cristo

8. The Book Thief

9. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

10. La Dame aux Camélias 

I have more books that I kept reading that didn't make this list. Some I kept reading just to see what would happen. Some because I just wanted it to be done which doesn't necessarily mean I enjoyed the read. For example I read Gone Girl like a crazy person when I was on vacation, but I'd probably never read it again and if I did, I wouldn't feel compelled to devour it.

What book did you read that you couldn't put down that the experience continues to stick out in your head?  That is what the above book list makes me feel when I start to read them again, hungry. Even if I put it down, I am wistful for the world I'm leaving.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Kathy B's Monday Meme

It's been a while since I posted so I thought I'd join the great Kathy B. As many of you know, Kathy B does a Monday Meme and she's always got interesting questions and it's always fun to see what she and her followers are up to knitting and non knitting wise.

1. What did you do during the Masters? 
The Masters goes on  for  D A Y S. However the time I was aware it was on the t.v. I was at the gym, huffing and puffing and sweating (possibly swearing) on the treadmill.

2. What is your most recent knit fail/change my mind/don't want to knit this afterall? 
I struggle with completely giving up on something. I often hibernate things for at least a year before I can say "see ya, never want to knit ya!" I've got 2 scarves in hibernation, but I still feel pretty good about them, much like end of high school romances, the timing is not right ...

3. When was the last time you walked in the rain? 
Squeal! I'm so excited to be answering this question. We are getting some bonafide spring showers and weather in Northern California and the days of gray mixed in with the days of partly cloudy and random 78 degree sunshine is very very welcome.  Anyhow, it was Saturday I stood out in the soccer match rain (The Kid scored the first goal of the match!) and at a birthday party where these shenanigans happened...

4. Do you like to get yarn as a gift? 
I do from Knitters, because they are not insane and give you practical things you will actually knit with. My family tends to give me gift cards because they don't know what I want. Though now that I have found the love of sock knitting I am pretty much learning one can never go wrong with sock yarn. At worst it's a funky colorway it seems. But hello! Socks in anything funky are fun!  

5. When is the last time you had to repair a handknit? 
Get out of my head Kathy!! I had a friend talk to me about a pair of Everyday Hermione's getting a hole in them on the top of the foot. I don't have that yarn anymore, so I'll have to patch it. The rabbithole to darning and patching techniques is  D E E P and awesome if you are so inclined. It will still require a sufficient amount of uninterrupted still and quiet (no family no t.v.) time for me to attempt...

6. If someone was going to knit you the perfect sweater would it be a Fisherman's Irish sweater or a Lopi ? 
I'm going with the Fisherman's Irish sweater. I love the word shenanigans. I like cables and neutral colors and fish. I think the Irish accent is lovely but whenever I attempt it, I sound like I'm attempting an Indian accent. Not pretty people, not pretty. 

7. When was the last time you raised your voice? 
Wow Kathy, these questions are like a mini confessional eh? More than a few hail Marys for me. I raise my voice too often, but less than I used to in all honesty. I yell too much as a parenting tool for my own impatient less than valid reasons. My son once told me I was angry. Even when I'm not yelling, there is a tone I take that I will never be able to take back. This is why I have a casual knitting and whatever the heck I'm fiddling with blog and not a parenting one.  But I try to be good to him and own it when it's out there unnecessarily. It's the only way we improve people. To actually answer the question, last night I raised my voice after 20 mins of dithering around an already sanctioned late bed time. But this time, raised, not yelling. Great now I want to hug my kid. I only have to wait 11 more hours. sigh.

8.  Do you take blog photos with your phone or a special camera? 
Just the phone. I don't have the organization or the time to use anything else. I think a special camera would be wasted on me. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Finished Object Friday: The Iba Cardigan

I feel like a blue ribbon winner for finishing a Cardigan.

This is Iba by Chic Knits. I struggled initially with the pattern second guessing myself understanding it, but really it was a fun knit once I regained my confidence. I'm willing to do it again, that says a lot, right?

I got this kit from Craftsy on sale. It was a good deal and I feel like a champion for actually using all my kit pieces for its actual purpose!

I think as WoolyThyme would say, you know it's a winner when you're already wearing it!

Happy Weekend and Happy Knitting to you!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday Work In Progress: That new cast on feeling

I can't believe I finally got a chance to cast on this pattern. I've only been longing to try it since 4Evah! (as the kids say, do they still say that?) Anyhow, It's the Loro vest. Yes a VEST.

I'm using the Saco Dyehouse Lopi yarn  that I learned about from Knitting in Beantown. I've been hoarding this in my stash for a while, and it seemed like a good pairing.

I have to admit, I cast on after winding around 7:30. I broke for dinner and found myself kinda exhausted and couldn't get past the 2" start on the back. I will shortly suss out the decreases, but I forgot this is a seamed piece project. Wish me luck kids.

It will be interesting to see if this project consumes with monogamous love or do I let a spring fling whisk me away beyond the commuter sock knit?

What's on your needles?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday Shares

I received this lovely Spring Clean package (as in I'm going to be super clean now)  from Araignee earlier this month. I wanted to get a picture of the lovely loot before tearing into it's perfect packaging. Her talent and kindness exceed anything I deserve. I did put myself on the list for a lotion bar (Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! and basically just won the jackpot! Love it all. Smells so good ...

Easter Weekend required some baking. Something tried and true.

Action photo!

And something new. Angelettis using the Real Simple recipe. I should mention that these are also done with Anise flavoring but my people prefer vanilla and it's all about crowd pleasing. I packed up a bunch and did a few deliveries for some friends of mine nearby.

Lastly our usual family gathering plans for Easter were reconfigured and we decided to not make any backup plans that would take us out of the city. My husband already got tickets to a rock concert literally walking distance from the apartment. We chaperoned our boy and met up with another family. We came home late with our ears buzzing and ate some Shepard's Pie made with leftover beef stew and crawled into our beds.

And now Spring Break has begun. Well for the student anyways.

I am still knitting. I sat down with some Harry Potter this weekend and weaved in a bunch of wiley ends.  I cried through the leg of a sock with Steel Magnolias and am ready to begin the heel flap.

The sweater definitely needs blocking as I am finding the body bind off rolls on one half of the sweater (?!?) I hate when I follow instructions, "bind off in pattern my sweet a..."

The sock will progress in it's own time. I have dreams of casting on again ...

So a yarn post soon! Meanwhile, hold on to the happy. Tell me, what's making you happy right now?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Fresh Baked Friday: Cookies & Biscuit Breads

Okay these bakes are from earlier in the week, but what can I say? I like alliteration.

First up was a second attempt at the Black and White cookie. I have a friend who was waxing poetic about them and of course I had to look them up. To me they are a deli or cafe cookie. The dough is actually more cake-like (legend has it they were originated from leftover bakery cake batter). The flavor is a a soft lemon/vanilla blend and the glaze is the type of thing that will wreck your kitchen if you don't prep your bake spaces appropriately. The first time I attempted this my kitchen looked like a small black and white war zone after. (I also made sure I purchased a small palette knife before this second attempt.) I found this recipe to be solid. Read through it and plan accordingly.

My son woke up with pukey migraine on Tuesday. It took him a while to get over this one but once he did he ate two of these.

Sausage, cheddar & chive biscuit bread muffins. The original form for this recipe was in a loaf. However reading the comments I saw they could be individual muffin biscuits using a buttered muffin pan for 30 minutes. Tasty. I have individually wrapped the remainder and put in a gallon freezer bag. They can be pulled out and split and toasted as  an individual breakfast item.

Last up, well ... since the oven was going I figured why not try that Martha Stewart oatmeal sandwich cookie? The "cream" is a simple blend of  cream cheese and confectioner's sugar. Still too "tangy" for my son's taste, so I softened some vanilla ice cream and with the same size small cookie scoop made ice cream sandwiches. I wrapped 6 of these individually and put in the freezer. Ready to go dessert during the week :)

Here we are Friday. :)