Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Best-est Pal!!

OMG - I received my package from my swap pal for the Knit Socks Kit Swap. I couldn't believe who had my name! Uli from Canada whose blog is here, had my name and she sent some super stuff. I'm just blown away!! I've been reading her blog since late last year and followed her through the birth of her son and all the things Little Miss does - I feel like I know her :) It is so special to receive a package from her.

Click for larger
So, I know you can go to her blog and find a picture, but I had to do my own. As you can see, I received 2 bags. The larger one is just perfect for packing several projects for long trips and even though I usually don't like green, I love this color of green and the stripes are slimming - LOL! The smaller bag is in my favorite colors of blues with yellow. I have an entire bathroom done in these colors. I have already been using the smaller bag to hold the Opal yarn that she sent. As you can see, I had to cast on immediately with the Brittany Birch DPNs she sent. The pattern is one she wrote for me and is spectacular! It is called 'Chain Link Socks' and looks great in the red Rottweiler Opal yarn that I can't get here in the states.

I also received 2 skeins of Regia stretch. I've done a lot of socks in Regia but have never used the stretch before so I'm quite excited. She sent a pattern called 'Esther' that is just beautiful. Also included is a box of orange tea that will be so refreshing chilled during this heat wave. There is also a cute cat calendar and a green chibi!

The most special things in the box were the hand made stitch markers and the beaded lanyard for the stitch counter. Uli made the stitch markers and they are just beautiful. And Little Miss helped to bead the lanyard - it is simply wonderful and I will think of her every time I wear it. I also thank JR for being good so that Uli had time to put so much thought into this package.

Thank you again Uli and Little Miss :)

till later ~~ Dene

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sock Kit swap

Update for theKnit Sock Kit Swap - I finished my pal's bag a while back and had it felted - I just finished putting the straps on today. Here are the before and after felting images:

Pattern: Booga Bag from Black Sheep Bags
Yarn: Noro Kureyon Color 159 - 3 skeins. Purchased from Twisted Yarns in Spring, TX
Needles: Size 10.5 Denise circulars
Love rating: 6 <3's

The pattern is cute and the directions were really nice. I found out that I don't love felting which is OK. I'm glad I tried it.

Included in the bag is:
Socks that Rock medium wt in the color Rose Quartz. Purchased at Coastal Yarn in Cannon Beach, OR.
Needles: Crystal Palace 6" bamboo DP's in size 1; Brittany Birch in size 2
Lantern Moon sheep tape measure
Keychain Sock Blocker with sock directions
Sample of Soak Wool Wash in flora scent
Copy of Here There Be Dragons sock pattern. I finished this pattern recently and just loved it so I bought another copy to send to my pal. The upscale socks should be perfect for the medium weight STR.
Plus some eatible goodies :)

I hope she enjoys it.

Till later ~~ Dene

It's SHOCKING ....

Pink !!!

A lovely pink scarf for the Summer of Lace.
Pattern: Mountain Streams Scarf by Susan Pierce Lawrence - also available here!
Yarn: Freza Kid Mohair (85% Mohair, 8% Nylon, 7% Polyester) - gift from Susan (thank you!!)
Needles: US size 6 Susan Bates Silvalume circulars. Not my favorite needle but when you are stuck in a place where there are no yarn shops (Mesquite Texas), you make do with what you can find.
Love rating: 9 <3's

This is the first time I've worked with mohair and it wasn't as hard as I had anticipated. The pattern is wonderful and very easy to follow. The scarf is not difficult but I would not recommend it to a new lace knitter. Now I just have to find cold enough weather to wear it.

The other pink thing I'm working on is what has been labeled the ugly sock yarn project. I belong to a sock-a-month group (Twisted Socks) at my local yarn shop,Twisted Yarns in Spring Texas. The shop picks a yarn, pattern and you get a brown paper grab bag so you don't know what color you are receiving. The first project was the Anne socks I posted back in June and I loved the yarn, the pattern, but not the color. The July project was out of Claudia's Handpaint and the pattern was Y2knit's Lace Rib Socks. I wasn't thrilled about anything in the kit. The yarn is 100% merino wool so I have my concerns about how long it will wear. The pattern is OK but with the color that I ended up with (Fresia) it looked awful. The yarn looked like someone had taken pink, purple and lime Skittles and tossed them into a blender.

I tried and tried to get it to look good .. even trying a child's size .. and it still looked awful. I even complained to the shop which is something I rarely do. But since I had already balled the yarn, there was no exchanging it. I learned to ask before I wind the yarn.

Anyway, this yarn has been the bane of my existance and I was about to toss it out but I decided to try a simple stockinette anklet and see how it looked in a smooth pattern. It is a world of difference! I still hate the color (the acid green/yellow is just not my thing) but they will make a nice charity pair for CIC. What do you think?

When I went to pick up my August kit, I grabbed a bag out of the basket and opened it to find some lovely Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Flathead Cherry. I love the color! I then found out they had put aside a bag just for me so I would not end up with a 'bad' color this time. I went ahead and kept the Cherry and am still wondering what color was in the bag. But thank you gals at Twisted Yarns for thinking of me :)

Not that there aren't problems *sigh*. I put the yarn on my swift and counted the number of 'rounds'. I then divided in half and wound that many into a ball. I then wound the rest into another ball. That is my usual way of dividing a skein exactly in half. But ... I found 2 knots in the skein and some places that were thinner than the others. Plus some places where it looked like the yarn had been spliced. Not at all the standards of Mountain Colors. And the balls did not weigh equally. But seeing that I complained last month, I decided to just settle in fear that I would be labelled a trouble maker. I do love the color, though. The pattern is Mountain Colors Leslie's Double Eyelet Socks. I've done this pattern stitch before but can't remember where but that is OK. I tried something different and cast on toe up using the Magic Loop method. Should be fine.

Till later ~~ Dene

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Dragon sighting

First off, WELCOME to everyong coming over from the Harlot's blog. I'm blown away that I was mentioned - thanks Stephanie!!

I have fallen head-over-heels in love with a sock pattern. Check out Theresa's Here There Be Dragons Socks. I did the upscale version and loved it so much that I cast on a second pair before I even finished the first. (click for larger)

Details: Here There Be Dragons Socks - Upscale Version
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sock Candy - color Sapphire
Needles: Size 2 bamboo DPN
Love Rating: 9 <3's

The only thing I didn't love about the sock was the 'stretchy-ness' of the yarn. The 100% cotton just doesn't stretch and I knew that to start with. They fit snug but I can get them over my heel so that is a big plus. I started another pair with Cascade Fixation hoping to solve that problem. I also added a garter stitch cuff to the top to help with the curling. I think they will be a super pair also :)
Even Nikki (mother Birman) likes them cause they match her eyes.

till later ~~ Dene