Thursday, March 15, 2007

Happy Face, Sad Face

I have some happy things to share and some not so happy things to share. The first thing that makes me happy is this pair of cardinals. (Click on the picture for a close up) His color is so bright and cheery in the otherwise drab landscape.
And even though Mama Cardinal isn't as bright, she's just as beautiful with her more subtle coloring.

The next thing to make me happy is I finished the first Hugs & Kisses Ponchette for my niece's twin daughters. I used Red Heart Super Saver acrylic in the Bon Bon Print. It took just over a skein of yarn. The pattern is from the July 2005 issue of Creative Knitting. I changed the pattern a little. I did purl 1, 4 cable back, purl 1 instead of the purl 2, cable twist, purl 2 written in the pattern. I don't like doing twists. I'd much rather do a regular cable. Other than that, I followed the pattern exactly. I still have to weave in ends and wash it. I think I might put a tassel on the point of the hood. It seems to call for it.

I've started the second one in Red Heart Super Saver Bikini. Very bright colors in both of these yarns. Katie won't lose sight of the twins in these ponchettes! The 100% acrylic yarn was a necessary choice as I know she won't have the time or inclination to hand wash or block them.

Now for the not so happy part. Here is the latest picture of my second 56 stitch sock. Do you see that? The part where the yarn is separated? I found a knot in the yarn. This (as you can imagine) did not make me very happy. I untied it and decided to just knit the two ends together for a couple of stitches so I could continue on my merry way. After a few stitches I knew the stripes would be off by maybe an inch. And I had matched the stripes perfectly! They were spot on as far as the stripes go. ARGGHH! I am in the process of tinking back to where the turquoise stripe starts. Then I'll find where the next turquoise stripe starts in the skein of yarn. Not a hard fix but annoying all the same. And as you can see, I have more than enough yarn left to accomplish this task.

I really want to finish this second sock before the end of March as I joined the Sock A Month Kal 3. You can see the button on my sidebar. You knit a pair of socks a month from February until July. Of course, I won't have a pair for February but I'd like to try to get the other 5 pairs done. Even though I started the 56 stitch pair before I joined, they are still eligible if I finish the second one in March. This will be a good incentive for me to finish some socks.

After all the sub zero temperatures we've had in March, this week has been balmy in comparison. Yesterday was in the high 50's. But when you have warm temps, a couple feet of snow, and then the temps begin to drop again, you get snow fog!

Pretty cool, huh? Not so cool for driving home from work in, though. There were times when I couldn't see more than a hundred feet in front of me. Luckily my drive home is only 6 minutes. And the fog was thick only in some places. Today it's doing some kind of rain/snow thing and the whole area is under a flood watch. Plus the weather people don't know what the nor'easter coming up the coast is going to dump on us. It might not dump anything but we don't usually have that kind of luck. The warm temperatures did take out a lot of snow, though. Of course, that's why we have flood warnings. You can't win around here, weatherwise.

Oh, and that cold I mentioned coming on last week? It was a doozy! Today is the first day I don't feel like my head is stuffed with cotton wool. I'm still coughing and my nose is still a little drippy but I'm feeling human again. I went home from work on Friday and only left the house once until I went back to work on Tuesday. And I didn't even go to my knitting group on Tuesday night because I didn't want to cough all over everyone there. I'm sure they would not have appreciated being exposed to this crud.

Time to wrap this post up and get ready for work. Until next time, knit happy!

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Still doing socks

I finished the 56 stitch, 56 row sock. It wasn't completely done on Saturday. I kitchenered the toe on Sunday morning. I don't know what I did wrong the first time but I had to take the grafting out and do it over again. It worked fine the second time. I've never had a problem with the Kitchener stitch before.

It took me 10 days to make this sock. I stopped at 50 rows on the foot instead of 56 because I thought it would be too long. It fits but I think I will do the entire 56 rows if I make these socks again. I did start the second sock but I'm still on the cuff. I got distracted by this sock.

Here is a close up of the pattern stitch

I'm using Atacama handpainted alpaca that I had in my stash and size US 3 needles. The pattern calls for 2 1/2 repeats of the pattern on the leg but I have done 4 repeats here. The original pattern is for an ankle sock and I'd rather have a longer leg. It's very easy to memorize, though. And the little bit thicker yarn and bigger needles make it work up quite fast. I don't think I'm going to continue the pattern into the foot. I think it would be a little uncomfortable to wear with shoes.

I hope I have enough yarn to finish them. I have 3 skeins of it. I don't feel like I'm running short yet.

Tonight is supposed to be the coldest night of the winter with temperatures of -14 degrees F. The temperatures have been in the teens and low 20's for the past two days. Just bone chilling. Oh, and it's snowing again this morning. What a surprise! On the bright side, it's supposed to be in the 40's by the weekend.

I have the beginning of a cold which is not making me very happy. But with all the nasty stuff that is traveling about, I will take the cough and runny nose and hope it doesn't evolve into something more.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

In like a lion?

I took this picture just a few minutes ago. The sun is shining and the temperature is 14 degrees F. It looks like March is coming in like a lamb but it's not. By 5 p.m. tonight we're supposed to get snow, sleet, and freezing rain. So if you don't hear anything from me, you know we lost power at some point. I'm hoping that doesn't happen but it's a possibility.

Amy S - this snow picture is for you!

I think I may have turned into a sock addict! Remember the sock I started Saturday night? Here is where I am on it now.

The heel is turned and the gussets are done! Now I'm doing the foot and will hopefully have it done by Saturday. Then I can start the next one. The last pair of socks that I made in this weight yarn took me 2 years to finish. But I like wearing them so much that I really want to get these done. And I think they will fit me fine.

I am also working on ponchettes for my niece's twin girls. The twins are 6 months old now but I'm making the 18 month size. Knowing how I am with setting projects down and knowing that I have to make 2 of them, I figured the bigger size was a good bet. I'll post pictures and details at another time.

I'm very excited! We made camping reservations at a campground in New Hampshire for August. I did a map quest search and found out that the campground is around 11 miles from Patternworks! Since we camp with Sue and her family, we are both looking forward to visiting Patternworks. I may have to start saving up now!!

And with that news, it's time for me to get ready for work. At least it's almost the weekend!

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