knit twisted

where the cats in my head unwind the thread of my thoughts around the legs of the furniture.

Friday, June 29, 2007

if anybody's keeping track,

I made it through the 5th repeat and a couple rows into the 6th with the first ball of cotlin, yesterday. I'd probably be content with 11 repeats instead of 12.. but don't believe I'm going to get there, either. I believe this towel is going to be.. coral colored, with one natural end. :)

the kids got home last night from their trip to boston. they hated being in boston, it was a really hot week. they didn't hate boston in general though. still no firm decision whether the move will take place. they stayed for dinner and some yacking and then headed home, taking daphne with them. we'll sort of miss daphne, and she'll sort of miss being here, there's more to keep her busy. harpo won't get around to missing her until tomorrow, though.. he's got a week of sleep to catch up on. :) he was so worn out he put himself straight to bed once she left last night. one of the reasons we'll miss daphne most is that she keeps harpo so busy keepin' an eye on what she's up to that he forgets to come wake us up at 5freakinthirty, looking for his breakfast. she was not here long enough to break him of that impulse.

made soup for dinner since it's the easiest thing to make when you don't know what time dinner is going to be and I've made dinner enough times lately that nobody showed up to eat that I'm kinda touchy about that. :) is good soup..

turkey and black bean..

you need 1lb of turkey italian sausage.. the kind from walmart comes in a nice plastic log so you don't have to squeeze it out of the skin link by link.. and 3 cans of black beans, and about a cup each of chopped celery, carrots, and onions.. more onions is always good.. a can of petite diced tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, a bit of cumin, some chopped garlic, 1/3 cup or so fresh cilantro, chopped, a box of chicken broth (or a couple cans), and... some lime juice. you brown the sausage and garlic a bit then add the onions and carrots and celery and cook that some, then the tomato paste (measure the rest of the can out in 1 tablespoon blobs on some waxed paper and pop 'em in the freezer for a bit, put 'em in a ziplock when they're solid and next time you can just grab two blobs from the freezer to toss in the soup :) ) and tomatoes and chicken broth and cumin ('bout a teaspoon) oh.. and some red pepper flakes.. (I usually add a few packets of red pepper flakes to my papa john's order.. don't want it on my pizza but it's free and handily pre-measured for soup :)) and 2 cans of black beans and the cilantro and cook it a while.. pour the other can of beans in a bowl and mash them and add them in a bit later to thicken it some.. you can add the lime juice then, about a tablespoon.. cook it a bit more and taste it, it might want a little more lime juice, or maybe some salt. for serving, you can garnish it with some crumbled tortilla chips, a sprinkle of cheese, a blob of sour cream, some chopped avocado and/or green onions and/or tomato.. or all of 'em, if you really want a feast in a bowl. :)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

more words

all those words I used yesterday and still didn't say all the things I meant to or should have..

the yarn! I like the yarn a lot, sort of. I like how it feels, I enjoyed knitting with it..

I'm not a big fan of such dramatic pooling. I know some people really do like that, someone on the knittyboard told me that the gal that dyes this yarn really likes it, which makes sense! but me, I like something just a little more.. orderly, or homogenous, or completely scattered.. really I prefer most any other behavior.

I really enjoyed knitting this medium weight but it's not a very practical weight for south carolina so I don't know that I'll do it again. unless I have plenty money to spend on yarn, it'd make a great toddler cardigan. and.. I do have some family in utah, and my daughter and her boyfriend are fixing to move to boston (I think.. she has to decide by next week, they're due back from their recon trip tomorrow.. guess we'll know for sure soon) so they'll probably need nice thick socks.. so.. yeah, maybe...

but, I believe I'll try the lightweight next, in one of the nearly solids, to be on the safe side. :)

I really did enjoy knitting that weight, though.. I knitted it on my #2 bamboo needles which are my favorite of my bamboos, the smaller ones I'm not as fond of, the flex makes me nervous or something.. so it was enjoyable to get to use them.. not much wants to be knitted on 2's.

Do you think 8oz of this weight yarn would be enough to knit a baby sweater?

Ok.. and the baby socks..

a nice gal in my email has been letting me think at her all day and I was about convinced to rip out the part sock, rip the whole one back past the heel and take one repeat out of the leg, and go forward from there but thinking about it further.. that'd give me enough yarn for.. 2 repeats more.. the sock is 1.5 repeats and a whole toe short of finished so.. that's still not going to be enough yarn.

SO.. I've decided the finished sock is a christmas ornament. Mary Sue and Win got the yarn for me when they went to oregon to introduce her to his parents. they're getting married at thanksgiving. the yarn has green and gold in it, which are the school colors of both of their alma maters.. william and mary, in her case, oregon (the one with the ducks) in his.. so the colors are right.. so making the leftovers into an ornament for their first tree together.. that's cool.. that's significant.. and symbolic enough to be worthy of the remains of this special ball of yarn.. and the little bit that's left.. maybe it'll turn into a catnip ball for the cats. :)

when I ran out of yarn last night I also ran out of projects on needles. not projects.. I have 2 socks waiting for mates but one of them is a really fiddley schaefer anne sock I can't get real excited about starting because.. it's tedious and I won't be able to wear the socks until november, and the other.. is a plain mindless regia cotton that I could wear if it was finished.. nothin' stressful about it at all.. nothing exciting either.. I'll do it next, I swear. I wanted to start a whole new sock but felt guilty doing it, oh.. geez.. actually.. there's another sock waiting a mate too.. I'm disgusted with it because it was supposed to be for me but doesn't really fit me.. the sock I knit on the flights to/from europe in january.. I really wanted it to fit me, it was full of anticipation and memories.. it does fit Erin and she likes it OK so I should suck it up and do the other one before she moves, at least, 'eh? ok.. I'll get to that. eventually. :-P

but I decided last night to start another towel. I keep trying to find something that's good enough to knit those towels out of, that I'll stop spending so much of my spare time trying to find a killer deal on the euroflax! so this one I'm trying out in knitpicks cotlin. It's a better choice than what I used for the last ones (patons grace.. made pretty towels, but I'm sorta afraid they're gonna repel water..), and I believe it's cheaper too.. *if* 2 balls will make a towel. that's what I have, 2 balls. I'm almost sure this first ball will get me to the end of the 5th repeat but it's going to take a miracle for it to get me to the end of the 6th one and.. the towel wants 12. 10 will be.. kinda short. but.. I can get enough more yarn to finish it for 2.49 if I'm patient enough to wait for it to finally be back in stock.. so this is not a big deal. heck, this is a test towel.. I can stop it at 10 repeats and keep it for myself if I'm inclined to.. or I can finish the thing in a whole different color.. I'm sure I have plenty bright green.. rofl. that'd be pretty horrid looking.. anyway, this doesn't stress me at all, I'll deal with it one way or another.. I have.. 2 balls of 3 more colors and a ball and a bit of the green so if I like this one when it's done, I'll switch to the chevron towel pattern for a bit maybe... mainly I want to finish this towel and toss it in the wash a few times to see what happens, to see if this is good yarn for it.. so.. if it's unperfect in appearance but winds up being a wonderfully functional towel, I've won big. :)

I like the cotlin yarn, I used it to make the tank top for erin a while back, which I didn't do that great a job on but.. hey.. it's a finished garment and she says it fits! (she better show me it fits sometime, if she wants any more clothes..). I think it'll make good towels...

the linen of course will make the best ones.. I tracked down euroflax at 75.00/bag of 5 the other day, and 5 is enough to make 2 towels and the curtain for my powder room and 75.00 is a good price for those finished products but I can't seem to find a color that'll make a good curtain for my powder room *and* make 2 nice towels for my sister for her wedding! course.. we've been here 16 years living with the wallpaper that came with the powder room so I guess it wouldn't be too horrible to make a curtain the color I *wish* would go with it, and eventually change the walls to match the curtain.. right? probably I'll go with natural..

I've been dieing to knit that curtain.. and knit that linen... and my baby sister's wedding, what better excuse..

we went to virginia this past weekend for the wedding of her older son.

nathan and mandy

my kids were the official photographers so hopefully there will be some great photos eventually.. cross your fingers. :) it was a lovely wedding, and a great party after.. we all missed steve (my sister's husband passed away 2 years ago after a nasty battle with an aggressive blood cancer) but 2 of his brothers and their families were there to celebrate this milestone along with us and.. you go on, right? you go on. So.. we all congregated to wish Nathan and Mandy..

bryce and minihorse

and Bryce! (Mandy comes with a 2yo perpetual motion machine!) all the best for a long and happy and steady life together. :)

ok.. I think I'm done. sure I'll change my mind once I click the done button, though..

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


nearly as long as I've been knitting socks, I've been shopping for sock yarn. I shop for a lot more sock yarn than I actually buy and really, I actually buy it faster than I can actually knit it but I spend a lot of time.. window shopping. and a lot of time hangin' out via e-lists, message boards and blogs, with other people who knit socks. since that time.. comin' up on a year and a half, I've been seeing people rave about the wonder that is socks that rock. I look at it often, thanks to the internet, I lust after it often, but my LYS doesn't carry it and it comes with a price tag that I tend to rule out. I might not rule it out if it was available somewhere where there were other sock yarns that more fit into my budget that could share the shipping cost, and I may not always rule it out, but so far it has remained beyond my means.

a few months ago there as a thread on one of the sock knitting lists about.. the cost of sock yarn, justifying that 18.00/skein price and I spoke my piece about how that price exceeded what my budget would justify for a pair of socks but with some good shopping around, it was quite possible to knit luxury socks on a knitpicks budget. (gonna have to try a few balls of that new yarn). I rambled on about how it was possible if you looked hard enough, to knit socks of nice european balled yarn for 6.50/7.50 a pair, how you can get mill ends of luxury merino sock yarn on ebay and come in around 10.00/pair.. I didn't mention how it's even possible to order lorna's laces from an actual store for less than 5.00 a skein if you happen upon the right sale because that hadn't happened yet but I still maintain that it is, quite possible, to knit socks of quite a variety of nice yarns without having to spend 18.00 plus postage on a skein of yarn... and I did then.. and allowed as how one day I would like to try some of these other nice things, the small batch handpaints from the various raved about sellers, the socks that rock, etc.. and I was confident that some day my budget would allow me to do so but until then, with diligent shopping, I was not feeling all that deprived, and was able to make nice socks for everybody I thought would enjoy them. :)

a gal on the list emailed me a few days later and said she wanted to send me some yarn. she mentioned socks that rock, and claudia, specifically and I allowed as how she didn't need to do that, I was not deprived but she insisted she wanted to so I sent her my address and we went back and forth a few times over a lot of weeks, her saying she was mailing that yarn asap and me assuring her if she'd changed her mind that was perfectly OK and her reaffirming her intention to do so but it never happened, I didn't figure it would.. it was nice of her to want to and nice of her to feel the impulse to make that gesture and I perfectly understand how mailing off her expensive yarns was not a high priority for her, after the initial impulse. :)

but around that time, my sister showed up for a visit, and she brought me a cake of yarn that she had purchased on a trip to oregon with her fiance. guess what? socks that rock. :-D I emailed the yarn-offering gal and told her I had some now so she didn't need to worry about sending me hers anymore. :)

so.. my sister brought me a nice cake.. yes, cake.. I didn't even have to wind it.. of STR medium weight in the harlotty colorway (mine doesn't look much like that one). it was particularly cool because she came the weekend of sock camp when I was reading everyone's blogs about how much fun they were having and wishing I was there.. really cool. :)

I had some other things to do first.. it's not really weather for medium-weight socks.. I put off knitting the yarn for as long as I could and finally I couldn't any longer so then I had to think what to do with it. the harlot for which it was named did a nice feather and fan sock that I figured was lovely enough to attempt to duplicate, however.. my attempt in no way resembled and I didn't find it attractive at all.. with the pattern I found on the internet and the yarn I had, I produced the initial portion of a sock that was going to be too big even for me, and was going to be vertically striped. pooling isn't my favorite attribute of yarn anyway but if it's going to pool I'd prefer it to at least... meander a bit..

so I thought about it some more. and I decided that since I had made my sister a pair of monkey socks of some yarn I purchased in germany when we were traveling together this winter, it would be fitting if I made a pair for myself, of the yarn she purchased for me on her trip with her fiance.

str monkeys facing right

and so I did. still not happy with the way that yarn pooled, but.. it did meander a bit, at least..

str monkeys facing left

they remind me sorta of owls in the trees.

anyway, I finished the socks and there was some yarn left over, so I thought.. I should make a pair for the baby! my sister's fiance's daughter is going to produce a second child.. this one a son, in september and what better thing to do with the yarn they purchased while visiting oregon (and the child's great grandparents!), than make some socks for the baby. :)

str monkey and baby monkey

so.. I did! it's so cute! I found an adaptation of the monkey pattern for a baby version and.. it's too cute!

so.. I made another!


sorta. :(
and that's where the story ends.. about 5 yards or 600ish stitches shy of a second baby sock.

if you happen to run into anyone with a few yards leftover of this color/weight.. please aim them my direction.. please?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

wedding towels

towels.. better color, worse definition

here are the towels I knit for my nephew for his wedding. this is a not great picture of them because the color is wrong and the definition is not great.. there's a picture on my flickr that shows the pattern great! (in small size..) but the colors are TOTALLY horrid.. rofl.. so.. I picked this one. they are one blue and one green.. just not quite the blue and green they look.

these are the towels from mason dixon book, but I knit them in cotton instead of linen because I cheaped out.. I don't think they're really going to care about the towels (I bought them some stuff off their registry too) so.. I cheaped out on the towels. they're kinda pretty though.. wish you could see them in person. :) and one of these days I'ma knit some of linen but before I get around to that, I'm gonna try one in knitpicks cotlin.. soonish..

with any luck, I should come back from the wedding with a finished pair of monkey harlot socks.. and the horcrux ones came out of the wash today, not quite sparkley.. last time I wore 'em I wore 'em with sandals and walked all over williamsburg so they may never recover from that but.. it was worth it and I'll take their picture when I take the picture of the not yet finished ones. :)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

a little sock catch up..

I keep putting off taking photos of the socks that are done because it's nice weather now, and I keep meaning to take them outside and take nice pictures.. and then when I'm inspired to do it lately, it's been raining. we really need the rain so I'm not complaining.. but the other day I wanted to talk about one of these pairs of socks, and it was pouring rain, so.. we have more socks posing on the bed. I know that's getting boring..

sherbet socks

this is a pair of fairly plain loud summer socks, of regia surf.. wool cotton nylon blend. I think I'm fixing to run out of this yarn finally.. I bought 6ish balls last spring and.. hmm.. ok, I guess I've only used 3.. and a 4th is in my backpack, one sock done.. oh! erin has one pair.. ok, yeah.. I've used 4.5 balls of it now, and I'm sure there's one ball left.. maybe.. 2.. but that's getting kinda low, stash-wise, on the mass-produced cotton blend yarn so.. I guess I should keep my eyes open for a sale, to replenish. :) in south carolina, really, cotton blend is more practical than the wools.. but.. the wools are so pretty. :) I like the yarn, I find it shrinks a bit and isn't stretchy so it's really more suited to ribbed patterns than it is to lace, and it's better to use a few more stitches than you normally would to boot.. although I don't believe I did that with this pair. I did use 2.5mm needles though. :) so far this is my favorite pair of the socks I've made of this yarn to wear, despite the fact it goes with *nothing* I own in the way of clothing, really and it's probably the least favorite.. ok, second least favorite.. to look at.. that eagles flight pair I made last spring are just wonky socks all around so that's my least favorite.. the lacy ones I finished on the bus to paris are my favorite to look at.. and I like wearing them.. but they do take some work to get on, what with that not being stretchy thing.

anyway.. this is a pair of fairly plain stockinette socks with a 4x2 rib cuff broken up with a couple purl rows after a bit, then a little more rib.. then plain sock.. I gave 'em the heel flap that has you slip every other stitch going and coming.. I think that's my favorite heel flap when it's finished but I haven't used that one since. :)

and then there's this pair..

yellow socks

these ones are of brown sheep cotton fine, 80% cotton 20% wool.. seconds. I wasn't sure I was going to like this yarn for socks so this was an experiment but I do.. I like it very much, actually. I will buy more.

I really like these socks, although they aren't perfect.. I'm not 100% on that garterstitch cuff.. I probably shoulda gone with a picot edge instead.. but otherwise I think I'm very pleased with them and I made them up myself. :) my first finished pair of socks that aren't no-brainer plain that I "invented" all my own self. hehe. :)

earlier in the week I finished a pair of plain gray wildfoote socks in a garter rib pattern that I'll photograph sometime.. they've gone into the gift pile for now, and this afternoon I finished the first of a pair of monkey socks in harlotty colorway of medium weight socks that rock.. it's pretty ridiculously funky looking and a really impractical thickness for south carolina but I'm liking it a great lot, the second one is already commencing (although barely, it's got 3 rows of rib so far :) ).

really need to stop doing that and finish a towel though.. is meant to be a wedding gift and the wedding is saturday!