Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap Questionnaire

1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into?


2. List your three favorite double-point needle brands, including size and length.

Right now, I’ve only tried a couple, but I’d have to say Inox, the coated metal, and I’m sure I’d love the Knitpicks Options too!
Sizes (US): 3, 4, 5
Length: 6 inch

3. Would you like to try a new brand needle? If so, which brand? Size? Length?

I love the packaging of the Sox Stix, but as I’ve yet to do my first dpn socks, I haven’t purchased any yet. Again, a larger size, because I knit tightly!

4. If you are a RAVENCLAW, do you prefer the colors in the film or the book? Do you have a strong preference?

Oh, thanks for asking! I like the book colors because I’m a book purist, but color-wise, I’d probably pick the movie version for personal wear. So, um, it doesn’t matter…

5. If your pal decides to send candies or chocolates are there any that you don’t like?

Dark chocolate is my vice. Milk chocolate is nice, and my hubby would love the white.

6. What are your favorite scents?

To wear? Gardenia anything. To smell, as in a candle? Rose, or any soft floral

7. Do you have any allergies?

Not that would matter here.

Spoiled Rotten!

I am indeed treated well. My Knitters Treat Exchange spoiler went above and beyond! Thanks again, Barb. As a new knitter, I must confess that I’ve never really looked at Interweave Knits, so as soon as I finish this post, I’m going to go enjoy a cuppa’ and take my time flipping through. Choosing which tea to enjoy from the assortment Barb sent will be tough! The big box in the back (orange in color, with a ball of yarn on top), is Stash ginger peach, which is a favorite of mine, but there are also several “singlets” too choose from too, some varieties unseen to my American eyes. I’ve hidden the Kisses with caramel, because my hubby is as big a caramel fan as I am. (Is that care-ah-mel or carmull?) On the far right are some bath gels and the sweetest little bag of stitch markers you’ve ever seen. As I tend to use scrap yarn or the Lion Brand stitch markers, these are a REAL treat! Then there’s the yarn. THREE skeins! On the far left is the Bernat handicrafter’s cotton in a fabulous varigated green, then a large, soft skein that I’m already thinking will be something sweet for my mother inlaw, and then that grand, bright varigated LaPayla ball on top of the tea. Whew! I’m glad I’ve already signed up for more exchanges. Nothing like a special package to chase that allergy headache away.
I must also give Wolfie a moment in the sun. I know his MommySusie gives him his due, but I am trying to shame Mugsy (see right) into being so civilized. Sue said Wolfie had to have some of the lotion I sent, as in, she had to put some on him! Hear that Mugs? Wolfie’s Mommy doesn’t have to reapply her lotion because he licks it off and annoys her to no end. He simply and kindly has his own lotion applied, the end. I know you’re an old dog, but I keep saying how smart you are, so how about learning a new trick? Instead of trying to lick all the lotion off my legs while I’m trying to get dressed each morning, would you settle for a little pretend lotion application of your own?

So, my first exchange is complete, and it was an incredible experience. Sue likes her treats, I feel very special thanks to Barb, and I am inspired to try hard to make successful matches with my group for the Spring Felted Bag Exhange! (Sign-ups are closed, but mark the site and check in, because I think Anne is going to do another one in the fall or so.)

Just so Mr. Freddie doesn’t feel left out, here’s my favorite picture of the honey hound. He’s much more photogenic than Mugsy, because he’s much more inclined to just be still for more than a half of a second! I must also note that he doesn’t lick lotion, or even bother with kisses very often, but when he does, they are sweet, surprisingly dry little blessings of love!

Contest Entries

See, now that I’ve joined all these swaps, there are the contests. So, for Anne’s dishcloth exchange, I’m supposed to note here what I am most looking forward to about summertime. That’s easy. Toes! While my husband would insist otherwise, I hate shoes. I live for the warmer days when I can ditch the shoes and socks and get pedicures more often than hubby thinks I should. I have a girlfriend with whom we update our “toes showing” status in the spring and fall. A good day is one where we both have toes showing, especially if the toes aren’t too cold.

I’m also working on the Felted Bag Exchange contest questions. I feel I’m kinda’ cheating; I printed the questions to help me track the participants I’m matching up for Anne. I do hope to get through all of the blogs before the deadline for the contest, but we’ll see. I have socks to knit, and that last dishcloth for my mother inlaw, and I do have a life away from the computer and the knitting needles ya’ know.

On a happy note, my secret pal of KTE now knows who her spoiler is, and Sue was pleased with her treats. So, half of my first exchange was a success, and I’m still trying to figure out who my spoiler is. Of course, when the package arrives, I’ll know, but I’m trying to guess before then!!

Get Your Trivia…

I completely forgot that we’re supposed to be answering trivia questions for House Points. So, if my prefect is looking, the answer is Voldemort and Dumbledore. That’s a nice, Ravenclawish blue there, to help her find it! I still can’t believe that I get to combine two passions – knitting and Harry Potter – not once, but twice! There are the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap and Charmed Knits, one for rather selfish fun, and the other for a great cause. I plan to start my first Charmed knit probably next week. I have that KAL dishcloth to finish, and the first sock to hopefully polish off this weekend, and that will allow me to whip out one last dishcloth for my mother inlaw’s Mothers Day assortment. The first hat comes after that. My husband’s blanket’s yarn is now back ordered (just the yellow, but then two other colors I’d selected were from an outdated color chart), so we’ll be well into May before I can start that. I’m not happy, but such is life. I can say I’ll be ordering most of my yarn online from now on.

Oh yeah. There are the baby blankets too. Both will be in non-gender-specific colors, but they’re not due until July. The blankets, that is. The babies aren’t due until August and September. Lots of knitting will be happening here!

My First KAL

Here’s a lovely sneak-peak of Rachel’s first dishcloth KAL, which happens to be my first KAL ever. Can you see the hint of the design showing up, along the bottom and progressing up from there? The color is accurate on the left, but the photo on the right MIGHT help you see the emerging design. Maybe. Anyway, I’m having fun, rushing home, printing the day’s 10 rows, and knitting away. I’m guessing we’re not quite halfway, as all three of Rachel’s patterns I’ve done thus far had more than 60 rows.

However, my sock-loyal hubby did ask this evening, “Why aren’t you knitting on the sock?” Poor sock. Hardly! It is not being neglected. See?

Moving right along. However, it is interesting to contrast that with Anne’s sock. Same pattern, same size needles, both using worsted weight yarn, but she casted on loosely, which is beyond me, as I know I tend to knit tightly. The sock does fit so far, but I do have smallish feet. (Swatch? What swatch? I figured sockie was all about adventure, and that I could frog if I had to…)

Now, back to the sock, my husband, the dogs, and the 408th viewing (okay, not QUITE that many!) of White Men Can’t Jump. My dear hubby is one of the ten men in America who actually appreciates that TV Land others show the same dang movie over and over and over and…

Inch by Inch

There are the first 20 rows of my sock. My first sock. I had to try it on last night, with only 17 rows complete, and my husband wasn’t at his supportive best, at midnightish. “What’s that?” he asked. Like he didn’t know. He’d made the mistake of trying to talk to me during one of the failed cast-ons. “The first few rows of my first sock.” He gave me one of those, “Are you sure?” looks, and said he was going to bed. Hrmph. He knows of the call of the sock. Last week, he politely asked about the yarn for the sock, and then only said “How much?!” twice when I realized I hadn’t taken the price tags off the yarn before showing it to him. He kept asking when I was going to begin the sock when I’d cast on another dishcloth. I had expected more enthusiasm when the sock got under way, but maybe tomorrow?
In other on the needle news, I’m doing my first KAL, with Rachel. I’m trying out Cotton Ease, in the irresistible terracotta. I’ve loved that color since my Nannie brought back a teeshirt in a rose-terracotta-ish color from New Zealand. I’m knitting it on #7s, and since it looked a little prone to splitting, I’m using regular aluminum straight needles rather than the beloved favorite Knitpicks Options. No pictures though, because this is my sock’s moment, and because frankly, what do ten rows of a mystery pattern do? Maybe after tomorrow’s ten rows, if there’s some sunlight left, but more likely, you’ll just have to wait until the dishcloth KAL is complete.
Note to TBL – come on dearie! We can’t knit our first socks together if you don’t cast on. I did hold you up last night, what with my endless questions about Magic Loop, but I’ve got it now, so no excuses!! 😉

Froggy Socks

I was cruising right along on my first pair of socks, when I realized I’d somehow gotten off-kilter with the pattern. Frogged back to the start, because figured the practice wouldn’t hurt. HA! Now, I can’t make the first row happen. First, I twisted the join. Then, I don’t know what I did, but the last stitch was a trainwreck. So, I’m casting on again, after I take a little break here.

This is the Mothers Day cloth I did for my mother inlaw. It’s actually in a rather vivid blue, but with my great photography skills, you could either have the pattern OR the correct color, and I decided you wanted the pattern. I’m certain Rachel would rather I show her pattern in all its glory than the right color!

Using my new “hey, you can see the pattern!” skills, here’s the nurse’s hat. It’s the old fashioned, stand-up on the top of the head cap my grandmother favored, so I hope my mother enjoys it. My mother did some nursing in the cap, but her last few years were without it. My grandmother never did get used to nurses in scrubs and doctors without ties, but the world moves on.

Now, a big sigh, and back the sock I go. It really was going well. Magic loop, pretty colors… What more could I ask? Oh yeah. To be able to replicate the process.

A few minutes later… We have a sock. Again. Mugsy is sleeping through the success, which is too bad, because he was trying to make me feel better when I frogged my cast-on for the xth time.

Learning Curves

I’m learning. Patterned dishcloths are best done on solid colors, especially if the pattern is an OBJECT. The first photo is a nurse’s hat, as my mother was a nurse (and so was HER mother), and the second is a Mothers Day tic-tac-toe board. Sigh. Live and learn. I bought lots of solid colors today.

I also bought the yarn for my husband’s summer/cotton blanket, which won’t likely be done for THIS summer. It’s a Lion Brand Pattern. If you search under “fireman” you’ll find it. (It is of the for sale variety, so there are no good pictures, really.) The pattern says to “cross stitch” the designs over the finished sections, but I’ve decided I don’t think that will look right, nor will it stand up to a man who likes to have his dogs sit with him. So, I’m going to attempt to turn it into my first intarsia work. Joy! I also had to order the yellow, the black, the grey and the taupe I’m using instead of the second grey, because fire hoses aren’t really grey, except right after a fire. My husband also wants the engine to be green and white, because our station’s fleet is indeed green with a white top, and he wants the helmet to be white, because he’s a battalion chief. We’ll see about that one; I wear black, he’s worn black, red, yellow and white, so he’ll get whatever helmet I feel like giving him. The white might not happen simply because I’m not buying skein # 18 just so he can have a white helmet. If the dalmation doesn’t use up all the white, he’ll get a white helmet. I’m using Brown Sheep’s Cotton Fleece.
I also need to do the dishcoths for my mother inlaw’s Mothers Day gift, but I had the yarn for that. It’s just flecked with color, so I hope it will work out okay. I bought some Lions Brand Cotton Ease in terracotta to try, because it felt great. I also bought a linen cotton blend to try, because another customer in the LYS whispered that she liked that best. Same customer also recommended Knitter’s Stash, which I then rushed to my local bookstore to buy, as the LYS was sold out. I grabbed three knitting magazines while I was there, and one of them will go to my secret pal, so I can’t tell you about them, or about the other goodies I picked up today. I plan to ship out on Monday, so maybe by the end of next week, I won’t be anonymous anymore.
Since Michael’s is next door to my bookstore of choice, I had to go in. I picked up a book there too, on felted bags, but I’m not even saying which one, because there’s a chance I’ll make one out of there for THAT pal, when the time comes! I picked up some Wool Ease there, in Ravenclaw (book) and Slytherin colors for my Charmed Knits projects. I’m generally not much on shopping, but I had to shop for my pal, and I had to buy that yarn to start hubby’s blankie, so it’s not my fault the other things found their way home with me. The LYS owner even agreed that the yarn bought for hubby shouldn’t count as part of my yarn purchases, because he asked for it!
So, not much excitement here, but there will be a few FOs this week and next, and since blankie is done in sections, progress reports are possible too. I’m also kinda’ waiting patiently to begin the socks TBL, The Pro and I are going to start in due time. I have enough yarn to keep me out of trouble for a while.
Did I mention it is finally spring here??

I’m Gonna Knit Socks!

I am. Really. I bought the yarn today, so it’s really going to happen. I slipped into the other LYS on a long lunch run, and picked up the very yarn that The Pro had recommended. I knew it was destiny when the shop owner handed me the very color I’d been drooling over online. And isn’t that a great picture? It’s amazing what the close-up setting and natural light will do. Of course, natural light isn’t an option when I’m posting late at night, which is often the case, but I had a little aha! moment while letting Fred inside, so there you go. Can I tell you that those are just about my favorite colors? A little rose, a little rosy coral, some almost kelly green, some sage green… Sigh. Can’t wait to start, finish and have them on my feet! It’s been a cool spring for the most part, but you can bet your bippy that since this Artyarn is 100% merino, it will be 90 degrees when I finish my socks. I’ll wear ’em anyway.
While I was making decent pictures, I dragged the finished Special Companion out for its moment in the sun. No, not really; there’s no sunshine to be had, but here it is, just the same. The colors aren’t really that bright; I guess my close up was close enough that the flash added a bit to it. I think the one below is better for the colors, but not for the design of the bag. The purple is not as vivid as the picture on the right would have it.

I do live in the woods. I tell people that all the time, and I don’t think they really believe me. So, you can glimpse our poor dead grass that will look pretty and green for two weeks in July, when it has had enough sunlight and water to thrive, just before our August scorcher. The little bag doesn’t mind though. I think it liked sitting on the porch and looking at the dogwood blossoms, which are about all I have to offer in the way of flowers, thanks to our late, hard frost and snow.
I tried to arrange a cute pose with the purse handle around Mugsy’s neck, and while it slipped over very comfortably, he didn’t think it was cute and refused to pose. Just as well. This blog is supposedly about knitting, not about my dogs, no matter how cute they are. A friend asked if I was going to design “made by” labels. I don’t think that’s necessary. As with my wardrobe, each of my handknit creations is marked by its stiff, short, white hairs from Mugsy, and the lovely burnt copper and/or white long hairs from Fred. Yep. No matter how careful I am, they’re in there.
Back to the rest of my mother’s birthday present. It’s another dishCLOTH, in a nurse’s hat pattern. If I finish it tonight, I’ll slide it in here too.

Joanie’s Purse of Many Colors

Well, there it is, pre-felting. It took no time at all to whip this baby bag up. Despite the varied diameter of this yarn, it was a pleasure to knit with. Springy, not too rough, and it didn’t split, even on the fat, puffy sections. In fact, I was flying through it so fast, I knit a half inch more than I’d planned, according to the pattern. If my mother inlaw doesn’t like it, I might keep it for myself, since felted, the colors aren’t so… whatever.

Pardon my camera, as usual. I think the muted, blended colors confused it. But anyway, here’s one felted view. The purple barely shows up at all. I don’t know that I’d really carry it, but I’d like to shave it. How do I do that? Seriously, don’t laugh! What kind of razor do I use? Fuzzy isn’t the word for this hairy little bag!

In case you’re wondering, that’s a moist wipes box I’m using. We use them to clean Fred’s ears (the basset hound) but the shape is perfect for shaping this little thing while it dries. Fred’s ears will have to wait for another day, and I’ll have to remember to save the box when we’re done!
If everything goes according to plan, I should make the strap and have a finished object to display tomorrow. It’s a cute bag, but even with my small bag preferences, this sucker it TINY. It will hold a cell phone, an ID, a lipstick, keys, and that’s about it. I’ll be using it just to present the dishCLOTHS I’m making for my mother inlaw for her day, and what she does with it after that is up to her. She doesn’t generally carry a handbag, and only uses her Healthy Back Bag for shopping and work, so I predict this will be a dust collector, but who knows?!