The Nots Socks

Lookie here!  I finished a pair of socks. 

The Not-Florida Footies

Pattern:  Fast Florida Footies in size 8, free on Ravelry.  Well, before I say much about my difficulties, let me point out that while I am thrifty (sometimes), I do not wear a size 8.  So, I most likely could have avoided having two very different-looking toes on the socks if I’d coughed up the meager $6 for the pattern that would have included the instructions for my size.

Sock #1, seen on the left, was too long when I finished it, so I had to frog back, and decided that since it was for me, I’d just graft the toe closed where I stopped frogging.  It’s just fine comfort-wise, but it looks rather square, so I started the toe decreases a good half inch or more earlier on sock #2, and isn’t it purdy?

Yarn:  Cascade Fixation.  I used slightly less than one ball for this pair, but I do have a small foot and like socks with a bit of negative ease.  Isn’t this a happy colorway?  Thanks, Wendy!! 

Do note the purl-side out sole.  It makes walking in these socks a little dream.  I’m using these as house socks, so I can’t comment on how the textured Fixation feels in shoes.

Needles:  Knitpicks metal dpns, US size #3.  I really don’t enjoy DPNs so much, but clearly, I wasn’t bothered enough by them to switch to a circular.

Verdict:  They’re very comfy, warm socks.  Interestingly enough, the square toe sock doesn’t seem to turn on my foot as much as the purdier rounder toe.  You see, when I wear house socks, they often twist around my foot, as I shove them under me and sit on them, or cross my legs or…

They weren’t fast.  That was my fault…  I’ve lost my sock mojo and I’m beginning to accept that it just might not ever return.  I can still knit socks, but they don’t fly off my needles anymore.  Obviously, they weren’t Florida either.  I’m about as Virginian as you get.  They are however, footies, and oh how I love footies.

So, how was your weekend?  Ours was gloriously slow.  There was some tree removal, which resulted in a soupy, nasty, muddy mess, but it’s all good.  That’s really about all there is to report, other than that laptops don’t care to share a glass of milk.  Hem…

Stashing the Stash

My fellow Rav-stalkers out there have already figured out that I’m organizing my stash on Ravelry as part of my Ravelympics competitions.  I apologize for flooding your “friends activity” tab with my stash photos, but another run of them is coming today, I hope.

As you can see, the fur-girls are very helpful while I snap photos of my yarn.  You can also see that my yarn lives in clear, plastic bins.  Some of it does live in a basket here or there, but the vast bulk of it lives in the bins.   Currently, most of my fiber/roving stash lives in a series of plastic bags, sitting on a very pretty bench in the guest room.  The plan is for the fiber to move into the cedar chest in the same room…

Where does your stash live?  Do you have any sort of inventory?   Is it sorted or stored in categories of any sort?  For instance, my “dish cloth cotton” lives in one not-clear bin, and my “utility” wool, another.  (Those yarns won’t be entered into Ravelry’s stash inventory.) 

And can I tell you how much I love those freckled feet?!

This might possibly be the longest week of my life.  I can’t believe it’s only Wednesday.  Staying up way past my bedtime to watch the Olympics doesn’t help, but I can’t seem to stop myself.    I keep telling myself that I can sleep next week…

Having over 500 stitches (540, to be exact) on the needles for Citron‘s ruffle doesn’t help.   The end is in sight, but it’s like the interstate in Indiana…  You can see into Illinois, but it’s still several hours away.  (And immediately, I’m 22, road tripping with my BFF, on the way to or from the first wedding of college friends, screaming along to “Life is a Highway“…the original version.)

And we have another “dusting” of snow coming.

How goes your week?

Ravelympics Week 1

My team "uniform" mostly designed by Jessi

I promised some knitting content today.  It’s a stretch, but I’ll manage to keep my word.   I am wrapping up Citron, which is NOT a Ravelympic entry, and next on the needles will be Multnomah.   (I’ve included the free pattern links here because I do have a lot of non-knitter, non-Ravelry readers.  Both are shawls, if you’re not really curious.)

Citron is being done in the most luscious alpaca lace, custom-dyed by NH Knitting Mama early in her dyeing career.   Ironically, this yarn is “old enough” that it was a competitor in the summer Ravelympics two years ago too!   I’ve struggled to find the right pattern for this yarn, but it found its soulmate in Citron, and I look forward to sharing an FO report soon.

Multnomah is a mouthful.  Barbara and I are having our own little KAL for two with Gypsyknits yarns on this shawlette.  As if knitting “with” a friend, using another friend’s yarn isn’t special enough, the colorway is called Victorian Tea.  Gmarie also owns a hank of it.   Because of all of the details, I call this project V is for… 

I also expect it to earn me my first Ravelympics medal.

Isn’t Bob (the Ravelry owners/founders’ Boston Terrier) dapper?  

I do have other projects in other events, but we’ll need something to talk about another day, right?

What’s up for your weekend?  We’re rather giddy about the sunshine and warm weather, even though melting snow and already saturated ground makes mud.

It’s also Vintage Vegas time!   I promise a photo of my attire.  I ended up purchasing a total of five dresses in the last week, although only two were with this gala in mind.   As a result, I have a lovely, lacy spare that I vow to get altered in the next few weeks so I have it when I need another party frock, but as of this morning, I’m going with the LBD (little black dress) I bought and a nearly pink wrap Ruth gave me when she and Jim were here, in memory of my friend. 

Have a great weekend, whatever you do!

Team Ravelpaws

Happy little tuesday friday!  All this snow day stuff has me very confused, but it is indeed Thursday, which makes it little friday, Dogs on Thursday and Thankful Thursday.  Phew!

I’m so thankful for my internet friends.   A bunch of us from the Stash Sock Club group on Ravelry comprise Team Ravelpaws, and we’re getting ready to knit our way through the Olympics.  

The fur-girls want me to doctor on the team logo and get their names or something in there, and maybe after lunch, I’ll have time…

Oh, the girls have enjoyed the snow, and having us home with them!  Queen of the mountain is the favorite game.

Yes, our deck is basically level with snow, compacted to the point it really can’t be removed right now.  See that tiny, dark strip behind Gretchen?  That’s the TOP of the wrought-iron loveseat/rocker.

Tune in tomorrow for the next round of as the snow falls.  We have more coming on Monday, so I hear.

Sleep-deprived FO

I’m going to have to sleep for three days straight when the Olympics are over.  I just can’t be a responsible adult and drag myself to bed in a timely fashion.  Last night, I couldn’t even work on my lace project because I was too emotional.  I ran hurdles once in 8th grade, and the result was more dramatic, but all too similar to Lolo Jones’s fall last night.  Then, her very poised, “proud of the USA” interviews since have really just broken my heart…

Thank God little Shawn Johnson got her gold medal.  Again, that constant smile, even with tears in her eyes earlier this week, won me over.  How could I try to K whatever YO – was it ssk or k2tog? – over and over while such positive young women were contending?

Before I get distracted and wrapped up in the Olympics, here are the details:

Pattern:  Spiral Hat from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders.  This is the second time I’ve used this pattern, and I just love it for self-striping yarn.

Yarn:  The always dependable Sugar n’ Cream cotton, in stripes.  I used just less than one skein.  It was pretty close!  I figure I used about 85 yards.

Needles:  I went up a size for the cotton, to a #7.  Knitpicks Options, Harmony tips, 24″ cord.

Verdict:  This is #2, and I’ll certainly do it again, and again…

Spinning?  There’s been a bit of that going on too.  I wish I had more to show you, but Yettobenamed wheel had a “wardrobe malfunction” last night.  You know, the measure of a company and its customer service comes not with the initial order, but in the first problem.  Jan knew instantly what had happened, and replacement parts are on the way, along with a little something to express their regret that I broke something.  (It’s not a workmanship issue, so there’s no need to get into it here and have more non-spinners’ eyes glaze over.) 

So, that’s the bit of very chunky yarn that the Knight and I spun together, from this lovely knot of roving Jan sent with the wheel.  I wasn’t going to have time to spin in the next few days anyway, so it’s all good.  I’ll cast on for Hatdash #2, and drag that around with me to my meetings and such, save class tonight, because I have a hard enough time keeping up with Sissy without any knitting in sight.  If I’m lucky, Sissy will be tired enough from class and Mugsy will have done whatever he will do this afternoon to expend all of that terrier energy, and when we get home from class, I’ll be able put my feet up and knit on my lace for a bit. 

Don’t tell me what’s on the schedule for tonight from Bejing.  Maybe I won’t even turn the TV on…

Monday, Monday!

photo taken at work 1/2008

photo taken at work 1/2008

Thanks for all the good wishes for Mugsy.  He sure is a rotten patient (read: bad at bed rest), but we’re all muddling through.  It’s going to be a long three weeks, but the end result of having a mobile pup again will be worth it. 

The rest of the weekend was a blur.  If I wasn’t toting Mugsy outside or to his water bowl, I was knitting.  No, I’m not showing you my Luke squares, because they’re totally unremarkable.  I cast on my Blue Jay shawl for Ravelympics, but I can’t keep my hands off of my Voyager in Debbie Bliss.  I’m well past halfway, but I love the pattern and the yarn so much that the normal rectangle blues haven’t set in.  Of course, the stitch count is different in each of the 10 rows in the repeat, so maybe that’s what keeps me interested? 

In other news, pop in and wish Grace  well.   She’s on bedrest too.  (Wish she lived closer so I could just plop Mugsy in bed with her and we could combine efforts on keeping them both still!)  Also,  Robin had a birthday which I missed, AND she not only finished her first 5K, but came in third in her age group!  Way to go, Robin! 

Also, the wheel saga has reached a happen conclusion, despite being unable to test anything this weekend.  I am in the process of ordering a Bellus from Heavenly Handspinning.  Yes, it’s Irish tension and I learned on Scotch, but I had trouble slowing the wheels down to take up as slowly as I was spinning, so I think that’s not an issue.  I’d very nearly ordered one as soon as the double treadle Bellus was introduced, because Anita loves her Adamo so very much, and is so pleased with Jan and the customer service she receives from Heavenly Handspinning, but I let the Irish tension scare me off.  

Then, another friend (and we’ll let her share her own news with the rest of you as she pleases) announced over the weekend that she’s ordered a Little Meggie, and suddenly, it became crystal clear that Bellus was the wheel for me.  The price is such that I can order without FURTHER belaboring my wheel research.  The price is such that should Mugsy not recover as well as we hope, I’ll have the cash in my pocket to order a wheelchair for him.  (No discussions necessary, as I won’t have to touch savings, or even dip into our rather generous “fun money” budget.)  It is sturdy enough for a Sissy household, and yet it’s still lightweight enough for me to take it anywhere.  It’s wood, it’s pretty, and it’s not a wheel I’ll see everywhere else.  Just what the doctor ordered, and I hear that Jan – the woman behind these great wheels – even does laceweight on hers.  It’s also been long enough since those few hours of spinning in class that I’ll almost have to start from scratch as I get to know my new friend anyway.  Can’t wait!

How was your weekend?

Just Like Me?

You know those photos where they show how much the owner and the dog look alike?  Okay, not so much on the outside, but inside, Mugsy is too much like me.  After a LONG night last night with a dog who couldn’t walk at all, couldn’t get comfortable to sleep, and a first thing this morning rush to the vet’s, we have answers and a plan.  Mugsy has a ruptured disk in the same spot as my first one, right at the sacrum.  Our vet (one of three in a practice) is sick about it, as it was likely bulging the last time he was seen (but not by her), but due to Mugsy’s very stoic ways and his exceptionally high tolerance for pain, it was missed. 

Surprisingly, this didn’t dampen the Knight’s faith in the still rather new to us vets.  Frankly, I think that both of us were just relieved to hear there’s still nothing but hope and healing.  Mugsy got a steroid injection, and starts on Prednisone and Pepcid tonight, for three weeks.  He’s also on STRICT “cage rest” that whole time.  NO walking at all.  He is to be carried outside and held up for potty breaks, carried to the water dish for the intense thirst steroids causes, and his food – an unlimited supply of green beans and baby carrots, with senior kibble once daily – is to be served “in bed.”  In theory, he will be able to walk again after some rehab at the end of his restriction.  He will never run, jump or even do stairs again, but believe me, especially after last night, we’re quite happy to hold him, heart to heart, and tote him wherever he wants to go.  He should even be up for walks on the beach when we go at the end of next month, but no more running in the surf, for either of us.

I’m watching women’s beach volleyball at the moment, with both dogs asleep nearby.  I’m going to finally cast on for my Blue Jay momentarily, but two Luke  squares are done.  (Only one is 8 inches square; the other is about 8 1/4″, partially because I decided I was going to make myself learn to pick when I purl.  I did it!  It is faster, although I need a little consistency work yet.)


ETA – Oh!  I forgot to share Mugsy’s good news.  He’s down to 22.5 pounds, which was his ideal weight as a young punk.  Dr. C still wants him a little lighter (but she laughed, because she knows that will be a challenge with 3 weeks of steroids and the hunger they fuel!) to take as much weight as possible off of his back.

Opening Day

And away we go!  Ravelympics, as you might guess, is a Ravelry event, synched with the Olympics.  Several of my Rav-friends have started without me, but there’s not much I can do about that.  Payroll is behind me, but the work day remains.

My main event for the Ravelympics is the Laceweight Long Jump.  I’ll be doing the sweet Alison‘s Blue Jay Shawl in the awesome Amanda‘s custom-dyed alpaca lace for a special someone in my life.  (Photo from Knitpicks’ peek into Alison’s book, Wrapped in Comfort.)

However, we all know I need breaks from the lace (read: the Knight and Sissy won’t always cooperate), so I’m also doing the Hat Dash, with three entries.  (We’ll chat about them as they come up, okay?)  I find it hilarious that I selected events with a track and field connection, since track was a big deal for me in my teenage sporting life.  I was a sprinter, although my junior varsity dabblings in the hurdles resulted in knee surgery.  I also ran cross-country just long enough to develop shin splints, but I never enjoyed distance running.  (Until Mugsy, but the back problems almost immediately followed…)

Rosanne and a friend stopped by the shop yesterday afternoon.  I hadn’t seen the friend in many, MANY years, so it was great to see her and reconnect.  Rosanne also came bearing a gift, which was an extra treat!  It is another GypsyKnits Sock It bag, and if you are a regular reader, you know how I adore these bags.  (Yes, I own several.  Let’s just leave it at that, okay?)  Rosanne also offered a suggestion as to how this bag can easily work on the grab bar in the Knight’s truck – just wrap the elastic loop around said bar, then hook the bone ‘beaner in that…

You needed a close-up of the fabric.  Kathy finds the cutest fabrics, cute enough to make me yet again think I should learn to sew!

I didn’t make it to Stony Mountain Fibers knit/spin night last night.  My sweet Prince is showing his age more and more, and his hind legs are weakening almost daily.  Since he was home alone Wednesday night while Gretchen-Danica and I were in class, I just couldn’t sentence him to another night in one spot.  So, I stayed home and carried him wherever he wanted to go.  (Yes, he’s on several supplements and medications.  Steroids are next, probably as early as next week, but the vet says they trade quality of life for quantity, so we need to be sure we’re ready to start about a year of cycling on and off steroids as needed to keep him mobile and comfortable.)  This might surprise some of you, because I haven’t talked about it much with many, and frankly, I’m shocked my fingers just shared it today.  (Denial is a defense mechanism…) 

So, my weekend is going to be spent Ravelympicing, keeping Mugsy comfortable, and talking to the Knight about when we ask for the steriods.  Last Sunday, Mugsy had such a great day (a wobbly version of what you saw in the early spring, Michelle)  that it’s possible this week was just a result of over-doing it that one afternoon.  Some of y’all have older men in your lives who do the same thing, and you know how long it takes to recover after a certain age…  I might venture to Misty Mountain if they have the Lendrum, the Majacraft Millie and/or the Louet Julia in stock for me to try, but it will depend on Mugsy and the Knight too.  The Knight wasn’t home Tuesday night while I was in my meeting as I’d hoped, so the dogs really are starved for his attention.

So, there’s the plan such as it is.  We’ll see what really winds up happening, but finishing up my second Luke square is top priority. 

What about you?  Is your down time going to center around the Olympics for the next 17 days?  What are your must-see events?  For me, it’s the equestrian events, the sprinting events in track and field, women’s gymnastics, basketball and beach volleyball.  Other things I enjoy catching include any sport where the USA is expected to medal (I readily admit to being a fair-weather fan in almost all cases), archery and diving.

Good thing we don’t have a DVR.  I’ll be spending too much time in front of the TV anyway.