Pictures of finished swap socks - maybe

Well, the socks for the swap are finished. It's always a let down in a way to be done with something.

So, I cast on these:

They are a shorter sock with some little black beads inserted to outline the arch. I'm not sure of the name of the colorway, but they are made out of Anne. Hmmm... maybe she'd like these instead. It looks like they are going to be really cute. Good grief, we all know by now I won't have a final decision until around midnight on August 1! I need to quit kidding myself and just keep doing what I do.

Here are the little socks and a new bib for the nephew to be: I won't be able to make the baby shower, but it will give me more time to make things and shop a little bit for him and his mom.

On the home front, Lucy and Princess have decided they are now best friends.

Here is the back porch, all cleaned and with new floor paint.

This is one of the doors going into the house from the porch. (There are two.) It's a terrible picture, but you can see it's all freshly painted with trim to match the floor paint. The best part of these doors is the top. See the little window? If you want to have some privacy and close the doors, you can still get a little breeze by leaving these windows open.

Just for my other mother since you asked:

Yep, it's the outhouse. Of all things, it's painted an eye-searing state road yellow on the inside. I grew up in West Virginia and lived in Tennessee, but never had one of these until we moved to Pennsylvania. Go figure...


Chart Magnet Instructions

For those of you who wanted to know how to make the chart magnets, here are the instructions.

Pack of shrink film like 'Shrinky Dinks' from your local craft store
Magnet sheet
Permanent Markers

The first thing you need to do is chart out your pattern. When you get sorted out where your repeats are, copy it heavily in black or another dark color on paper using blocks about 1cmx1cm.

Trace this onto your shrink film using the permanent markers. A 4"x6" piece is about as large as you want to use due to distortion in the shrinking process. This will make approximately a business card size chart. Don't forget to put the name of the pattern and a key on here. I've made that mistake and charted things that I have to swatch to see what the heck they are!

Cut out the chart and shrink them in the oven at about 250 F for approximately 10 minutes. This is a lower temperature and longer time than called for on the package of shrink film, but it gives me opportunity to check the progress.

After the plastic has cooled, glue your magnet to the back and stick it on the refrigerator!

These are not going to be perfect rectangles due to some amount of distortion in the shrinking process, but they are close.

If anyone doesn't want to do their own, I'll be happy to make them for you for $3.00 each. This will keep me in shrink film and magnets. You would need to provide me with the pattern instructions to work up your chart. Since it's your pattern it wouldn't be shared out to anyone else.

If you have any questions, let me know.


Keeping Track of My Patterns

I have visions of all these wonderful organized knitters out there with their patterns neatly printed, perhaps placed alphabetically in binders, with yarn samples and photos of finished projects beside each pattern. I wish I were as organized as you!!! It seems that I'm always losing a written pattern or getting pages of different patterns shuffled together in a big mess. The best way for me to keep track is to make myself a chart of the pattern and put it on a magnet. Magnets always make it to the refrigerator, so eventually they turn up again.

We got roof!


Detail Shot and Stretch What?

You really can't tell much difference between the last picture of these socks and a newer one. I'm on the second sock and I promise it's just like the first one! Here's a little detail shot of the pattern stitch:

OK I've seen stretch Limos, stretch Hummers, and even stretch Suburbans, but a stretch Nascar Dodge was a new one for me


The Cool Thing About Old Houses

The cool thing about old houses in this area are some of the details like these light fixtures in the ceiling:

Some old houses were originally built without closets, and have brass hooks on various walls like this:

The not so cool thing is pulling up the rugs in the bedrooms and finding lots of unfinished floor that needs stained and/or varnished, like this:

Lately I find my constant refrain to be, "One thing at a time, one thing at a time".




You never have to eat your greens all by yourself...
(Yep, the calico really is that big - over 28 lbs)

You never have to nap alone, either.. or should it be that you never get to nap alone?


Green Socks Done and Lots of Pictures

Finally got a cable to hook the camera up to the computer - geeesh. Gave up looking for the one we had and called big office supply chain. The person who answered the phone told me you can't buy those cables in any store. They have to be ordered direct from manufacturer via the internet. This was before she even asked who the manufacturer was. Hmmm.. I called Radio Shack and surprise surprise - no problem - come on in and we'll hook you up.

Anyway, I got the 'Second Draft' green socks done.
I don't remember what the original pattern was, but I remember I modified it down to a six stitch repeat and went from there. I think they turned out pretty nice.
There's still that problem of my downstream buddy liking fall colors, so I've started these: I'm using Opal in an orangey color that reminds me of maple leaves in the fall. It's dreary outside today so they are showing up dark. The pattern is Yukon Leaves.

I mentioned the baby hat I was making for the nephew to be. Here it is. Yeah, I know. I was watching tv, knitting along and never checked the gauge. Not once. Anyway, my husband is glad his new hat will keep his ears warm next winter.

Since I was bound and determined to have something done for the nephew to be, I made this:
Not the most inspired thing ever, but it's a start on the baby items he'll be getting.

The yarn I ordered last week got here on Saturday (48 hours). They have to hang out in here for a while until I can decide what patterns would show them off the best.The sad thing is, this isn't all of the stash. It's just what's close to hand in the living room. There's more in the attic and more in the office. What you going to do when there are so many beautiful yarns out there just begging for a new home?


Shoulda checked the guage

I mentioned the nephew on the way. Well, there was this really cute hat that looked like the one Elmer Fudd wore when he was hunting Bugs Bunny. I cast on the 84 stitches and started knitting away. Awww, the little earflaps and fake shearling brim were gonna be so darn cute. Watching tv, knitting along, then finally, I looked at what I was doing. This sucker is HUGE! It dawns on me I didn't even check the guage. Instead of 5 spi called for, I was getting 3.5 spi. After measuring what I was knitting, it hits me that this is going to be big enough for my husband. Didn't make the earflaps, but did do whatever the hell you call the extension that goes from ear to ear across the back, and voila, my husband will have a toasty noggin come next winter.
On the Sockapalooza front, it turns out my recipient isn't wild about lace but loves cables. That's good. I can do that. Hmmm... had to put in a call to the folks at
The Fifth Stitch. A new pattern calls for new yarn, right? I intended to order one, just one, little skein of something pretty that would show off cables. I end up ordering more than one thing. I can't say I'm surprised; it happens every time. They totally understand what I'm saying when I describe a color (you know, like maple leaves in the fall when they're really red, but not gaudy). I've called with requests like this several times and they have never failed me! Gotta love that. Anyway, the new yarn should be here today, so I need to get finishing on the 'second draft' socks. You never know who might need some pretty green socks. (Yeay for the mail lady!! - 2 Opals in 2 different reddish colors - 2 Lornas Laces in a yellow/tan/rust/navy - 1 Anne in a rusty/grey/goldish) My buddy is a fall color kind of girl so I had to run the gamut to see what would look good with the pending pattern.


It's a BOY! - Random sockiness

I knew my niece was having a baby. Knew it all along. For some ungodly reason I just assumed this one would be a girl. The other babies this year are girls. I've got pink girly stuff ready to go on the needles. Picked out a pattern for a beautiful little dress with a little leafy design around the neckline. Well, I get the phone call, he's a boy. I'm finding myself in a mad scramble to come up with boy ideas. There is an awfully cute little one piece outfit in an old 'Baby Bubbles' . I guess I could break down and buy some more yarn if I have to... ((snort - like I'm not dancing for joy that he's healthy and going to have a terrific mommy and I get an excuse to shop for yarn!!))

On the Sockapalooza front, my recipient emailed me. She seems very nice. Now that I 'know' the person getting the socks a little better, it's even more fun! My 'second draft' socks are coming along nicely, and hopefully in the next couple of days will be picture worthy.


Stitch Markers For You

Yesterday I put on here about some stitch markers I'd made. Since I've got to do some chores around here today (4 animals = tons of hair everywhere), I'll make this short and sweet. Anyone want a pair of stitch markers? The camera batteries are dead, so I'll just say they're blue or (mostly) green. I figure the first five people that let me know they want them can have a pair. Just let me know a color preference and how to get them to you.
Got the five to go.. thanks for looking


Still Going

Knitting along on my (maybe) buddy socks today. Not much to show since I've been a slacker the past couple of days. The way I've got it figured, even if I slip up and my buddy finds out who I am, by the time mailing day comes there will between two and three pairs to choose from and the ones they receive will still be a surprise.
There was really not much in the way of knitting here yesterday. It was stitch marker day. We'd gone to a local craft store and got some cute beads. You know how it goes. You get a new toy and you have to play with it for a while. When it was over, there were ten new pairs of stitch markers and hundreds of tiny beads spilled on the carpet. Oh well, it needed vacuumed anyway.

Since there's nothing good in the way of buddy socks to show, here are some other socks that don't have homes yet. None of them are blocked yet. That's always the last thing I do before sending them off into the world.

Oh, and if the person who's knitting for me is reading this. The only things I don't like in socks are "neon" colors. They are def not my friends. Since I've quit working, my wardrobe is very simple and socks are the most colorful fun part . Jewel tones, earth tones, greens and blues like me ok. Darn that covers about everything but UT orange, chartruese and neon yellow doesn't it?


Still under way with the green

I'm loving the green socks I took a picture of yesterday. I'm around the heel and working on the decreases. For once, the more I look at a sock, the better I'm liking it. Wonder if the buddy likes green, too? If I get an email from her saying 'anything but green' , there's still a pretty lavender/blue color from this same purchase and thousands of pretty patterns out there to choose from.

Just a little side note. The dog in the header is our little Lucy. She's an eleven year old spoiled rotten 30+ pound labrador/mystery who thinks she's either our baby or a 300 pound guard wolf.


Finally Got Some Pictures to Share

Here are the pink socks that were my 'first draft' for the Sockapalooza .
The yarn was great and so was the pattern. They haven't been blocked, so you really can't tell how beautiful they would have been if I'd not left out a row on one of them. There was enough left over for these baby socks.

Here are the second draft socks for my buddy. They're being done in a sort of spring greenish Opal.

Last, but not least, here is the probationary hen. Can't have everything be about knitting.


Waiting on my Buddy

I'm still waiting to hear back from my buddy about her preferences. I'm so darned impatient, BUT it's giving me great opportunity to swatch some different patterns. The added benefit of this is that they are in small guage and on small samples, so the little baby socks for a friend's impending daughter are coming along nicely. Instead of one pair of sox it looks like girlie to be will have several. Decisions, decisions...

Looks like the Pligg system for keeping up with the Sockapalooza is going to work great. I love reading all the blogs and seeing the pictures of what everyone's choosing for the swap.


First Draft

Finished the socks early this morning. The yarn, pattern, texture - all beautiful. Then I'm admiring how pretty they are and see that I've left out a row about 1-1/2" down from the ribbing. I don't mind frogging a couple or ten rows when I goof, but darned if I'm going to rip out 80% of a sock that still looks pretty darned good. My feet freeze here in the winter, so they'll be mine. These will just be considered a practice run for the Sockapalooza pair. I'm just going to blame this one on the dogs and start over.
Yeah, blame it on the dogs. Sleep is a major issue here. Actually, sleep deprivation is the issue. The night before last one of the dogs fell out of bed. Nothing like a huge thump at 1:00 am to start your heart and wake you up. This morning, the other dog had an upset stomach at 1:30. Let's see - - that's a total of 6-1/2 hours sleep in two nights. I'm thinking nap time.
It's supposed to be a gorgeous day here today, so maybe making use of the clothes line would be good. That dried in the sunshine smell can't be beat for sheets and blankets. I'm thinking pot of coffee, chores and start the next sock to work on during Survivor. It is Thursday, isn't it?


Telling on myself

Ever have one of those days where you wonder if your brain is totally all used up?

The other day I wanted some peanut butter on crackers. The peanut butter was stiff because the house was chilly since I forgot to close the windows. So I got the bright idea of putting it in the microwave for a few seconds to warm/soften it up. Hit the start button, turned away and ZAPOW!!!! Lightening storm in the microwave. That little bit of foil that didn't get pulled off when we opened the jar, yeah, that little bit of foil...

Later that same day, fixing dinner, putting some vegetables in one of those little pouches in the microwave. Hit start, walk away and KABOOM!! Sounded like a shotgun outside the window. You know, you're supposed to put a little slit in the bag to vent steam.....

Twice, in one freakin day I tried to kill the microwave and it still works. Amazing!

On to knitting.. After trying to rearrange the office/bathroom/junk repository, I went back to work on the possible buddy sox so the second sock is halfway finished. I'm loving the Regia Silk. It's 55% merino, 20% silk and 25% polyamid. It feels like I'm knitting with soft fluffy air.

Anyway, it's back to bed for me for a while. Lucy fell out of bed at 1:00 this morning and we've been up since then. Nap time for us.



I finally joined a knit swap. The swaps were always something I thought was really cool, but maybe I wasn't 'up to par' and nobody would want my stuff. I tried really hard to be objective, got out some of my knitting and compared it to the pattern photos and, where possible, photos that various bloggers had taken of the same item. Guess what? I'm not the best knitter in the world, but overall mine ain't too shabby!

I got some beautiful Regia silk from the
here and a gorgeous pattern from here. One sock is done and the other is well under way. If I ever find the cord to the camera, we might be able to get some photos on here.

Hawk, the chicken, had a sleepover last night. That's right. The little huz didn't even ask if it was OK, she just did it! When I went to change out the water and feed her this morning, I saw one of the neighbor's hens in there. Ah, well, she must get lonely down there by herself.