Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Drunk Blue Bees

I think it's about time for a post regarding an FO, and although I wish it were the Tangled Yoke, I'm still yet to block it so you'll have to settle for socks.

Drunk Blue Bees

click photo for bigger

Pattern: Drunken Bees by Domesticat
Pattern Source: Ravelry or Domesticrafts
Yarn: ShibuiKnits Sock in Midnight, 2 skeins
Needles: (2) KnitPicks Circular 24" size 2.25 mm
Notes: The pattern is definitely not written for a beginning sock knitter since you need to be pretty familiar with the basic construction of a sock. Thankfully I've knit enough socks now that step-by-step instructions aren't always needed anymore, and for the most part I've figured out how to substitute the heels and toes I want as well as convert patterns cuff to toe or toe to cuff.

Pattern Comments: If you're experienced in knitting socks this would be a wonderful pattern to knit that will not only hold your attention while you knit it, but give you a beautiful sock in the end. It reminded me a bit of the Cookie A patterns that you can purchase, except this one was free. Had the designer given detailed instructions in multiple sizes, she could've easily charged money for this pattern and deserved it!

Yarn Comments: This yarn was even better than I expected and I'm excited to get off my yarn diet in a few days so I can purchase more. This particular colorway reminds me of the STR shaded solid colorways that Blue Moon Fiber Artisans so beautifully dye, and the yarn itself is soft, spongy and has a beautiful twist. Just in case you're tempted to try some, I think The Loopy Ewe may have some in stock. Maybe.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What I did last week

I thought I'd share a bit of my baby sisters visit to California. I was so thrilled that she was able to bring her family here to visit, although I definitely didn't get to spend as much time with them as I would have liked. Thankfully I'll be seeing them again in December when I fly into Salt Lake City, UT for the holidays.

My 8yr old niece Julia had been to Disneyland before, but this was Sydni's first time and since she just turned 3 a few days ago, it was the perfect age for her to visit. My sister, her husband and the 2 girls were at Disneyland Monday all day, but DH & I joined them on Tuesday afternoon for a half day at Disneyland, California Adventure, and then dinner at Goofy's Kitchen.

Did you know that candy corn grows on palm trees?

My sister and Sydni

Julia the Pirate

DH with Julia in the blue teacup

Left to right: me, Julia, Sydni, my sis

This is the look Sydni gets when she finds out that her favorite character, Snow White, has left and will not be returning anytime soon.

Julia with her Mickey cupcake

Julia and Sydni with Chip

I decided to rest & relax on Wednesday in preparation for my day back at Disneyland on Thursday, but the fibromyalgia reared its ugly head, so unfortunately Thursday I spent the day at home. It was extremely disappointing for me since I'd promised Julia that I'd ride her favorite rides that day, but unfortunately I had no choice.

Thankfully though on Friday afternoon I was feeling well enough to go have lunch at Ruby's Diner on the Balboa Pier at Newport Beach and then I got to watch the girls play on the beach and in the ocean. Everyone got much wetter than they thought they would, but the weather was perfect and everyone had a great time.

A beautiful day at the beach

Sydni thinks the water is too cold

Oh No! The water is coming to get you!

Watch out Julia, it's a big wave!

They all left for home on Saturday afternoon, which was obviously just in time since now so much of southern California is on fire. Luckily we live in an area that isn't affected by the fires nor will be, but when I step outside it smells like campfires burning and the air is dry and the horrendous Santa Ana winds are very hot. My heart really goes out to the evacuees and and all public safety workers battling the fires. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

By the way, the IK winter preview is up. What do you think?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bad Blogger

I can tell when I've been a "bad blogger" and haven't posted for awhile because I had to log in to blogger to write this post. Can I use a family visit last week as an excuse? Today I thought I'd share with you all the projects (I'm willing to admit) I have on my needles.

I've realized that since I'm going to freezing cold southern Idaho for a week in December, I may need some real winter knit-wear. So, I decided to design a scarf for myself. This is the Cable Wave Scarf and I'm using Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in Prairie Fire although I've also test knit it in Malabrigo Worsted. I've *got* to add more of that to my stash!

My sister's birthday is in December and she requested a pair of fingerless gloves that convert to mittens. The pattern I'm using is Urban Necessity from MagKnits Sept. 2005, but honestly I'm not in love with all the yarn end weaving that this project entails. I do love the Cascade 220 superwash wool though so that definitely helps. I must admit though that after trying these on multiple times, I think I need to rip these back and make them larger. Drat.

I'm unsure why I was so excited to cast on for these Diamond Waffle Socks when I saw them in the last Knitty issue, but I think I cast-on in haste because I've not liked knitting these at all. I thought they'd be perfect for DH, but I've not liked the yarn (Cherry Tree Hill Supersock) nor the pattern and once I completed knitting the heel, I disliked the particular heel in the pattern, ripped them back, and threw them across the room. They've been sitting in time out ever since. Normally I love CTH Supersock, so that's odd, but maybe it's a bad combination of yarn and pattern. Regardless, since I've already done so much work on them, I'm going to pick them back up soon and maybe DH will have them in time for Christmas.

Tangled Yoke is completely knit and ready to be blocked. This is the first cardigan I've knit for myself (or anyone else for that matter), so I'm excited to almost have it finished. I suppose I should also be concerned about getting buttons too. Hopefully the next photo of this will be me wearing it.

I've had the Drunken Bees socks in my queue ever since the day I saw the pattern on Domesticraft's blog site. Finally I received the perfect yarn (Shibui Sock) and cast on. Can I just tell you that both the pattern and the yarn are exceeding my expectations. I'm in love!

I'm test knitting Laura's South Seas Stole and loving every minute of it. In fact, all the above mentioned projects have been sitting in limbo since I cast on for the stole. I already had the yarn in my stash which I coincidentally purchased from Laura a few months ago. I'm not sure what the yarn is comprised of, but it has very little, if any stretch to it, so I'm suspecting there is no wool. Maybe an Acrylic blend? I have no clue, but the finished fabric is beautiful. Finding the correct sized beads though that complemented the color was quite tricky though and luckily I've discovered (after 2 other stores failed to "wow" me) a wonderful store right by my house called Brea Bead Works.

I've knit the entire length of the stole and am now working on the border, but have discovered I'm running out of yarn. Hopefully Laura has more I can sneak away from her while I distract her with a German beer and deli sandwich from Mattern's deli.

Thanks again for everyone's comments. If I didn't get to yours or your blogs recently, I'm sincerely sorry. My sister's family was here visiting last week and my fibro wasn't cooperating, so computer time was limited. Since this big desktop system won't fit on my bed or my comfy knitting chair, I think it may be appropriate to start researching laptop computers.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Move along, no knitting here

I'm back from my vacation (and have been for awhile), but I'm so far behind on things that you'll have to bear with me while I attempt to get caught up in blog world.

It was wonderful to get away with DH for our anniversary and he spoiled me with a new travel bag the day we departed, a new set of jewelry that I'd been eyeing in the Brighton catalog, and a beautiful white & blue diamond necklace I spied while on our cruise. Believe me, the photo does not do this necklace justice. (I'm having a bad photo mojo day). I'd never seen or heard of blue diamonds before, but when I saw them I was completely captivated. It's odd too because blue isn't even one of my favorite colors, but then again, maybe the sparkle hit my eye, blinded me and knocked the sense out of me. It also is more likely that it was all the wine I was drinking.

We didn't get any photos at our first stop in San Diego, but that's probably because the only thing that we did of any interest was shop for a new dress for me. Even though we cruise every year, and even though I have semi-formal attire hanging in my closet, none of it fits. Ever since my health problems started this spring, I stopped exercising due to the pain, but kept on eating the same amount of food. Unfortunately, this left me with quite a few extra pounds and a very tight-fitting wardrobe. Luckily we were able to find a dress that fits AND it can be easily altered once I start to lose the weight.

Catalina Island was absolutely beautiful and the perfect weather day, but it was also one of my "bad" days, so we didn't get to do much. The scenery was beautiful however, and we did get to walk the main strip that makes up the downtown area, but with many many rests in between. Even thought I wasn't able to do much, it just wonderful to spend the day with DH taking in the beauty and unique quaint town of Catalina.

The last stop on our itinerary was Ensenada, Mexico. I've been to Ensenada once before and didn't care for it in the least, but since DH had never been there, I decided to grin and bear it through another trip to La Bufadora (the blowhole) and the open air shopping market. Here's what I thought of the experience:

Even though it was just a 5 day cruise, it seems that it was the perfect length for me until my health improves a bit more. I didn't manage to knit very much since I chose napping over knitting, so I've been a knitting fiend the last few days. I'll save my knitting updates for next time, but needless to say... I have too many projects on the needles and sharing all my WIP's will definitely take an entire post.

Have a great weekend!