Dishcloth Square Blocks

Meet Dishcloth Square Blocks. Or at least, that’s what I’m calling him. He’s #2 in what seems to be a weekly series of dishcloth patterns, being designed by Anne. He’s done in Lion Cotton Red, with #7 straight needles, in my very Continental method. You can find the pattern here, but be sure to note the contest rules for both cloths.

And don’t worry. He’s not going to live on the tree. The Knight has already claimed him as his own, and I suspect that before the sun sets, DSB will have been called into action.

I was impressed with the Lion Cotton. It was soft! I’ll have to see if I can’t find some more, since I don’t recall where I picked up this ball, but I do remember that it was the only color they offered…

Now, what next?? You’re not going to get to see Amanda’s socks while she’s on vacation. That just doesn’t feel right. If she was here to taunt – er, make that see them herself – that might be different, but since she’s out in the middle of the ocean enjoying some alone time with her beloved, I think the socks will just quietly head north on Monday, and you can pop over to her blog for a shot of the finished pair. I *NEED* to start on my Sock it to Me pal’s socks, but her yarn won’t be here until next week. I am going to send my pal a little package next week too, but the socks obviously won’t be included. I guess that forces me to figure out what I’m going to knit for my tea swap pal, huh?

Boxes First

I stop for boxes containing yarn. Who cares about planes, suitcases or other little details? I got to leave with the joy of new yarn in my heart (but without a hairbrush, not that it counts, because I figured it out in time to stop and buy one en route to the airport), and I arrived home to find more of the same (both yarn and hairbrushes, but the hairbrushes weren’t new). As the Knight was trying to get me to the door so he could get me to the airport Tuesday evening, I was admiring the Vesper Sock Yarn that had just arrived. On the left is Meteor, which is a lovely brown/red/turquoise colorway. On the right is Crew, which is just assorted greens and white. The picture hardly does the yarn justice. I’ve often admired the Vesper colorways, and now I have two to call my own!

When I got home Thursday night, there was another box waiting for me from Knitpicks. There was another pair of 16-inch circs, as I’ve decided I like that length best for my sockies, and finally, at long last, there was some CotLin to try. (Center, in Moroccan Red.) It feels softer than the other cotton-linen blend I tried, so I’ll give it a whirl. My mother inlaw selected some of the Felici self-striping in Hummingbird (on the left), as she was honest enough to admit that she won’t be bothered to hand wash hand-knitted socks. I couldn’t help but order some of the Firefighter colorway in the same yarn. I don’t know whether I’ll make them for the Knight or for me, but I want to come up with a little Maltese Cross pattern for them. (No, I still haven’t unpacked. I packed light, so there’s nothing but dirty clothes and the books from my workshops in there, and the two cookbooks I purchased, but they aren’t touching my soiled laundry. However, the yarn has been fondled and blogged, so don’t question my priorities!)

Since I don’t think Knitpicks does a great job of displaying their colorways, here’s a closeup of the Hummingbird. We really lucked out here! My mother inlaw will love it, and I’m looking forward to casting on for her wee little socks. She wears a ladies size 5 (US), so it won’t take long at all to whip out some simple socks for her. I will say that the colors aren’t quite as bright/neon-ish as my photo shows, but it’s a heck of a lot more than you’ll see on the company’s site, so I hope it helps. Her birthday isn’t until November, so I doubt you’ll see these socks much before early November.

Likewise with the Firefighter. There’s nothing close to the whitish pale gray I captured with my sub-par photography skills. There’s a rather solid, true light gray, a dark gray, and some not quite fire engine red in this one. Heaven only knows when I’ll cast on with this, because unless there’s a pattern I’ve not been able to Google, I’m going to have to swallow hard, take a deep breath and venture into the land of writing my own pattern on this one. I don’t want anything too lacy or patterned, but I do want a Maltese Cross or two on there somewhere, maybe dead center of the front of the leg, between two twists or something?

In other knitting news, Amanda’s second sock is into its toe decreases. Then – of course! – I’ll whip out Anne’s second, “manly” pattern, and then, with whatever is left of a rather busy weekend, I’ll tackle the elusive heel of the toe-up Tofutsie. I also need to finalize my plans for my Sock it to Me pal’s sock pattern and yarn selections, because that will be my project for next week, and likely, the week after that. I haven’t forgotten about my Tea Swap pal either, so that’s the NEXT item in the assembly line. My felted bag pal has a pattern, and I need to make yarn selections there too, but since she reads my blog, that’s about all you’ll hear on that project. I also need to get started on the Knight’s blankie when he’s not around, but again, SitM and the Tea projects come first! Once those are safely behind me, I can start holiday knitting.

Knit, Sip, Chew, Chat

Not necessarily in that order, of course.

Invitations are in the mail, so to speak. If you’re on the guest list, you should receive yours sometime today. If not, check your spam folder, and then let us know. If you’re not on the guest list this time, there will most likely be a next time, and we hope you’ll join us then!

Last Call for…

…the tea swap sign ups.

That’s not what you were thinking, is it? Are you kidding?! There’s no such thing as last call for alcohol at our house. There’s a glass of wine or a bottle of beer for any guest still capable of appreciating it. The dogs and I might retire before you leave, but the Knight will host on…
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go knit a blankie. Sigh. Didn’t I vow not to wait until the 11th hour again? (It’s her first. She’ll be in labor for HOURS, right?! And she’s not *IN* labor yet, so I still have time!)

Still Green

Friends, I think I’m in a rut. It’s a lovely cloth in a cotton-linen blend, but it’s a sage green. Green. It’s all I seem to be able to reach for these days, but that will change. It must! I’m going to knit a little something for my KVVS pal, so unless she’s really into green, there will be a different colored finished object soon enough. I love this pattern. It’s in a booklet the awesome Anne gave me, and it’s called “Soft Texture.” Indeed. I think Mark wants it for his own, but no dice. I also must announce that I care not the least to knit with linen or linen blends. Ick, yuck, and almost yuck yarn worthy. Scratchy. I will do a linen face cloth for Mark (and let’s all hope he doesn’t adore it and want more), and mostly likely, he’ll get a twin to this one too, just because I’ve got the yarn, and it’s good to keep the Knitter’s Knight happy.

I did find the link for the Petal Dishcloth (pictured a couple of posts before this). In a true gooblette moment, when I unfolded the page, which was merely folded in half, there was the link, across the bottom of the page. Imagine…

I also shoved the Sockza socks on blockers. Follow the link to note that you’ve knitted your socks, sent your socks (tomorrow, for me!) and again when you receive your socks. Maybe all of y’all knew to do that, but I needed my dear Devon to point that out, so I’m returning the favor. I really do love that pattern, but there are so many others I want to do that it will probably be a while before I knit the same pattern twice again. I’m pretty sure the June Tofutsies Sock Club is next for the needles, and yes folks, that will be a return to the two circs. method. I like dpns a lot, but they wore out their welcome (snapping, poking in the palm, etc.) with that last effort. The yoga socks in Wick remain on the needles in a fancy Ziploc bag, but when Mugsy isn’t sleeping on said bag, I am picking them up once in a while, because I love the Wick.
Thanks for all the Fred good wishes. He’s better, but not much, so I’ll call Dr. Nancy in the morning, and either tomorrow or Tuesday, the big boy will go see her. It’s heartbreaking, but I still have hope…
There’s still time to sign up for the tea swap. We’re rounding up some nice prizes, and the first contest isn’t far off, so don’t wait until the last minute to sign up or to post your questionnaire!

Meme and Swapswap

Dearest Anne tagged me a while back, but was kind enough not to hit me over the head while I was on vacation. I’m also aware that I never tapped any other Rockin’ Girls for that award, but my time has been a bit thin, so forgive me, okay?
Instructions:Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot:

Next, select 5 people to tag: (If you’ve been tagged already, my apologies!)

1. Stacey

2. Cass

3. Holly

4. Paula

5. Sue

What were you doing 10 years ago?

Um… My serious back problems were just beginning. I felt a twinge, argued with the brand, spankin’ new personal trainer about what I should and shouldn’t be doing, given my known back issues (from my teens), but listened to Mr. Expert and pinched a nerve, again. I was also just a few weeks away from marrying my best friend, and let me tell you, you haven’t lived until you try to put the finishing touches on a wedding for 250+ of your closest friends and distant relations while on narcotic pain killers!

What were you doing one year ago?

LOL… Alzheimer’s already!? Ten years ago was easy. One year ago, not so much. Mourning the first summer vacation without Randy, my stepson. He opted to stay with his mom rather than do the beach thing with us. Ouch.

Five snacks you enjoy:

1. Dark Chocolate

2. Fruit of most any sort

3. Nuts

4. Popcorn

5. Cheese

Five songs that you know all the lyrics to:

1. Amazing Grace

2. How Great Thou Art

3. Bat Out of Hell – Meatloaf (how’s that for transition?!)

4. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond

5. Old the Good Die Young – Billy Joel

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:

1. Open a Yarn Store/Bookstore Combo with a Coffee & Pastry Cafe attached. (Yep, that is exactly how Anne wrote it too, but friends can share a dream, right?!)

2. Sponsor a house for Habitat’s Women Build

3. Tour the world with my cousin Sherri

4. Finish College

5. Buy a house in Sedona, AZ

Five bad habits

1. I sometimes have a potty mouth. (I blame the fire service for that.)

2. I interrupt when Mark is talking.

3. I have “safe places” which means I put things away and can’t find them later.

4. I am moody. It’s not a habit, but it’s something I’d like to change.

5. I am a rotten housekeeper.

Five things you like doing:

1. Knitting

2. Blogging

3. Reading

4. Listening to music and singing along.

5. Cooking

Five things you would never wear again:

1. Those floppy, big bows Madonna inspired me to put in my hair in 1985.

2. A string bikini

3. Stirrup pants

4. A big, pouffy wedding dress or other formal gown

5. The Guess jeans with the zippers at the ankles – not that I could get into them now anyway!

Five favorite toys:

1. My Laptop

2. My clicky stitch counter

3. My Pampered Chef Food Chopper

4. My Moonlight Knitter row counter that looks like a bracelet

5. The Garmin GPS thingee

And now, more joining has happened. I don’t have a button yet for SP11, but I’m in and waiting on my match.
I’ve be remiss in noting that there’s another felted bag exchange!

Y’all know about the Colors of Tea Swap (it’s my swap; I can call it something slightly different each time if I want!) which at this moment, is still open.

Then, there’s the Vegan Pal 2 Swap, which is also still open. I can’t decide which option I want. I hate orange the color, but totally LOVE pumpkin, the food, so…??

That’s enough for now. I’m supposed to be working on the tea blog site, and I have more vacation excitement to share, and a BIG THANK YOU to make too, but… later.

Knit 1 Tea 2 Color Swap Questionnaire

**Folks, I will post about my vacation and the awesome swap packages I had waiting on me when I got home yesterday, but first, I need to be a good hostess…**

Knit 1 Tea 2 Color Swap Questionnaire

Do you like loose tea or bags, or both – something you want to try?

I am a tea snob, which means I buy loose tea, but bags certainly have their uses! I use bags in my Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Pot, and they travel nicely. There are premium bagged teas, and I must confess, they rival my beloved loose tea!

What is your favorite kind of tea (Brand, flavor, variety, etc)?

Harney and Sons is my favorite brand, but I’ve been introduced to some good ones recently. Green tea is my favorite in general, but I also like black tea in the morning, and white tea in the evenings. And there’s nothing like a good, BIG cup of Chai, especially on a lazy Saturday morning. (Just no red tea. I can’t seem to find one I care to drink.)

Favorite color in regards to tea or one you would like to try? (black, green, red, and white) (keeping in mind that this is how this swap is set up).

Can’t you take a hint? (grins) GREEN!!

Would you say you were a tea pot kind of person or just a hot water heater kind?

Depends. I mean, am I at work? Is it a Saturday morning? Summer? Winter? I love my big ol‘ teapot, but the truth is, I generally use my fancy electric kettle, set to heat the water to just shy of a rolling boil (ideal for brewing the perfect cup of green tea), and a great big mug.

What tea accessories would you like but have never purchases for yourself?

You’re kidding, right? I guess the only things I don’t have that I might want is a little 2-4 cup teapot, or one of those glass infusers. (Lia gave me my first ornamental tea, so I REALLY want to see the flower “bloom” properly!)

How do you prefer to be pampered? (examples: mani/pedi, bubble bath, yummy treat, etc).

There’s nothing in the world like a pedicure, except dark, DARK chocolate. However, it’s too hot here right now for most chocolate to survive in transit…

If you were a kind of yarn what would you be and why?

(I’ve had longer than most of you to ponder this question, so you’d think I’d have a great answer. Nope, but I’m definitely looking forward to reading your answers!)

As much as I’d like to type something chic and neat here, I’d most likely be a hand-dyed superwash merino. I’m rather classic (boring) and utilitarian by nature, but I like the finer things in life. I’m definitely wash and wear, although I do have quite a collection of formal wear.

If you had to knit/crochet baby booties, a fun fur scarf, or a fair isle sweater, which would you choose and why?

Baby booties, because I want to make a pair for a special newborn about to arrive, and because they are the closest things to socks on that list.

What other event would make you skip a tea party? (A garden party? A book club meeting? A yoga class? Opening night for a new action thriller? etc?)

I can’t see skipping a tea party, unless it was an important event for someone else close to me, like a family dinner, or something of the sort. As much as I love tea, there are precious few tea parties in my life.

What treat would you consider essential at your tea party? (Sweet? Salty? Scones? Those petite pastry trays with a couple of all sorts of things? Little crust less sandwiches?)

Picture an at least three-tiered tray thingee with dozens of little treats. Maybe fruit and cheese on one level, petite scones on another, and sweets on the top.

When buying yarn for a project how do you choose – do you buy the one called for or do you substitute?

I substitute, because the yarn shop I’m in at that moment never has the yarn recommended in the pattern.

What do you carry your knitting/crocheting in when on the go?

I think I’d like to evoke some sort of executive privilege here and not answer this one. I took my Wick yarn that is on its way to being a yoga sock to Chicago in a Ziploc bag, in my Healthy Back Bag. I look my Sockza socks in progress to Myrtle Beach in a retired tote style handbag. I’ve carried other socks in those plastic bags from the grocery store. However, I’ve recently received some exceptionally lovely bags that will be called into service immediately. (Stay tuned…) My days of being a tacky knitting bag lady are over!

Favorite movie to watch while knitting/crocheting?

Well, after watching Homeward Bound last weekend, I can tell you that anything that makes me mist up isn’t ideal for while-knitting viewing. Honestly, I watch whatever Mark has on, or whatever Netflix has sent most recently.

Are you a traditional tea cup kind of person or a mug type of person? Do you care if they match?

Again, my ideals and my life conflict. (Anyone else a student of classical philosophy? Ideals vs. ideas?) I love the idea of mismatched china cups and sterling silver, but my rustic life finds me grabbing a big ol‘ mug and a stainless spoon, to be sipped by the computer in the study and/or on the sofa with Mugsy.

Favorite childhood birthday party?

Hands down, my eighth, which was my first sleep-over party, with eight of my best friends on our big porch, with the bloomed yucca plant being mistaken for a ghost in the garden by a gal my hubby still buys my jewelry from…

Favorite type of scone and jam?

One of my girlfriends gave me a recipe (which is filed away somewhere so safe I can’t find it right now) for pumpkin scones and pumpkin butter. Now *THAT* is good stuff, but in a pinch, any ol‘ scone with some clotted cream and real strawberry jam will do.

If you use candles, what is your favorite scent?

I hope you weren’t looking for short answers, because you won’t find them here. Mark is the candle person in our house, and he likes baked scents – sugar cookie, apple pie, etc. I like the smell of soft florals.

If you could choose 3 people to have ‘tea’ with, who would they be and why? (famous or not, living or dead).

My two grandmothers, and my Nana, who was actually my great-aunt. I don’t recall ever having tea with Ru-Ru, my father’s mother, but she died when I was four. I have my Nannie’s tea service, which was given to her as a retirement gift after a lifetime in nursing, and I’d love to serve her a cup of Earl Grey in my best china cup. I did have tea with Nana, so I would love to have the three of them at one table, with all of us in ostentatious hats and pearls.

You’ve been invited to a tea party, what ‘props’ will you wear (formal or casual)?

Formal: A “Derby” hat, made by my exceptionally crafty stepmom, and my pearls.

Casual: For me, casual tea means I still need to wear my Sunday best, but I can skip the frilly, silly hat. So, the pearls are still on!

Any allergies/preferences you have or are willing to admit to?

Not that pertain to tea.

Anything we missed that you want your pal to know?

The more I learn about tea, the more I realize I don’t know about tea. I still want to attend a tea ceremony…