Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Wow. Where the heck have I been? I mean, I know I've been busy working and knitting and Christmas card writing and shopping and making small, unsuccessful attempts to clean house but how does a month and a half go by with no blog and not even the urge to blog? I just don't know and if anybody out there even still reads this blog - bless your heart! I guess its just the way I tend to communicate - hiding out and not returning emails or phone calls until it gets awkward and then I end up having to apologize for being such a hermit. Anyhoo, I'm back and I'm bad (hah!) and I hope everyone had a Happy Whatever and Best Wishes for the most super wicked awesome 2009!

So, yes I've been knitting. I finished knitting the pieces of a lovely malabrigo sweater - it needs blocking before seaming though and since its for me, I've put it off til the Christmas knitting was done. In addition to Dad and his "ladyfriend" Louise's socks, I assisted with a lace scarf for my stepdaughter; as well as the syncopated hat for the stepson. Hubby did a great job hand dying the colors for the hat. I'm not sure if he's blogged about it yet, but check it out if you can. Pictures of the socks can be seen in my flicker pad here or on my Ravelry page.

I hadn't been feeling particularly Christmas-y this year. Mostly just a feeling of missing home and the family. The kids are mostly grown now and I don't send as many gifts out as I used to. Most people would love that, but shopping for my loved ones is fun for me! I wish I could still do it, but I would feel like if I was shopping for one I'd need to shop for all and I just can't afford to do that anymore - the family is much too big. And I know that my nieces and nephews and their kids are all well taken care of by their parents, but I sure wish that Auntie Deb could still do it. I think it was more for me than for them in a way; but I do know that several of them did look forward to a package from California!


We did put up a little Christmas tree and I love him! Yes, its a him - Justin. And yes, I named him. Hubby thinks this is the weirdest thing, but I do name them. Last year we had Raoul. :) So, anyway, Justin is short and round and sort of looks like a Christmas ball really - actually he sort of looks like those hanging Christmas bough (kissing ball?) things that my sister makes every year. Annnnnnd he has purple lights! They photograph a little pinkish and give off a sort of funky pinky plum glow but I think he's kinda beautiful. Hey, nobody ever said we were super traditional in the Twisted/Peeps household!

Hubby was very thoughtful and sweet this holiday and I want to thank him for cheering me up and helping me find some Christmas spirit! He is truly the best gift I've every gotten and I will treasure him always!

I also got to talk to a big chunk of my family yesterday and that made me so happy. My Dad is doing great in Florida even if he didn't get my package yet (GRRR!) I then talked to several nieces and nephews, two sisters and a brother yesterday. Sometimes I get a twinge of sadness cause I just feel left out and I miss them all so much during the holidays. I mean, how is it that they could celebrate, live, go on without ME? Wow, narcissistic much? Not really, but I bet anyone who's separated from their family knows that feeling. And I do know they miss me. Its just hard sometimes to be 3000 miles away from the people who make you crazy/love you. Again, I'm grateful to have the wonderful Twisted Knitster/Mr. Peeps in my life cause he's my West Coast family and he is just always there for me.

Alrighty then! I'm going to make a greater effort this year to update this blog in a more timely manner, so you should be hearing from me soon! I wish everyone only the best for the coming year!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dad's Christmas Socks

First off, let me just say that my Dad currently lives in Florida. One might ask (and maybe one should!) why on earth I would knit socks for a man who lives in such a steamy state. And I would reply that ... 1. I love my Dad and what says love better than a pair of homemade socks?! 2. He does visit the New England states once or twice a year to see my siblings and I know he (and I) think we may die if the temps go below 65 degrees Farenheit. (Former New Englanders living in warm climates are the BIGGEST wimps) and 3. He told me last week that it got down to 52 degrees one night (in Florida, no less) and he thought he would never get warm again! (Former New Englanders living in warm climates are also quite dramatic) So maybe he will wear them a few times a year and when he does, I hope he thinks of his goofy offspring who just wants to share the knitting love and be glad I didn't decide to make him a sweater. Below are a couple of in progress pictures. The pattern is by the incomparable Ann Budd, using Socks that Rock lightweight superwash merino in Black Onyx pilfered from Twisted Knitster's abundant stash. He may get a pair too; but in softer yarn, of course. Maybe I'll even make a pair for me, if I can stand to repeat the pattern that many times.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Post Traumatic Spring Sock Disorder

Well, the name came about because the hubs and I both thought it really weird to be working on such a springy looking sock as I was complaining about our lack of seasonal weather and longing for the crisp New England autumn that I love. This yarn would not be denied - it demanded to be knit! I think I swatched 6 or 7 different patterns and, while lovely, none of them were quite right. The yarn suits this pattern, IMO, but I do wish I had a tighter gauge. I am NOT going to reknit them however, slightly baggy ankles be damned! They are destined to be comfy couch socks after all. I think because the spiral pattern doesn't pull in at all, it would have been better to knit the leg, foot and toe on size one dpns and keep the cuff on size two dpns. Que sera, sera. I'm done with them. The yarn (Seacoast Handpainted in San Francisco Surf) is what it wants to be and that's that!



Monday, November 3, 2008

The 46 Year Old Virgin....

Um, its not what you might think. I am 46 years old and I will be voting for the very first time tomorrow - November 4, 2008! Its not like I'm proud of it, you see. I've just never been very "political" I guess is the word I'm looking for. When I was young, I was callous about what was happening in the world. As long as I had enough gas to get to the party, life was good. Then as I got older, I told myself I didn't know enough about the candidates to vote. How hard is it to read a newspaper now and then? Then I thought "how can my one little vote count"? If everyone felt this way, nobody would vote at all! Enough with the excuses! ALL of our votes count! Its time that I grow up and take some responsibility. Everyone of us can make a difference if we get out and vote. No matter what you believe or who you support, please vote. Go out and "lose it" tomorrow - let yourself be heard!


I am Stale Peeps and I approve this message.
.
.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Falling for Autumn

Wow, how did two months go by without a post? There are no excuses - I just didn't feel like blogging. But, I have done quite a bit of knitting. Finishing up an idea I had for a baby jacket - pictures forthcoming. If it turns out like it does in my head it will be SO cute! I'm also attempting a shawl pattern that isn't liking me much. Its Gail (aka Nightsongs) by MaweLucky/Jane. So pretty and just one skein (or more) of Sea Silk; but it hates me, as most lace does. A knitting/spinning friend recommends using highlighter tape over the pattern in a plastic sleeve and I might try that. How many times must I knit and tink, knit and tink? GRRR!

Managed to finish a couple of summery sweaters - a cute halter top and Annie Modesitt's corset tee. I love the corset tee on - such a simple, yet ingenious pattern! Check out Ravelry for pics. There were other odds and ends, including a butterfly hat in Malabrigo (ah!) and a couple of pairs of socks - the River Rapids for a friend's birthday and finally, Embossed Leaves for me. Both in Koigu, which I've gotta say - I'm loving. So soft after washing, yet the stitch definition stays crisp.

Got no idea what to do next. Probably finish the baby jacket and then re-tackle the lace. Or not. I'm itching to knit a gorgeous fall cardi, but don't have the stash or the funds for it right now unless I want to make it in bright pink Karabella Aurora 8. Not that this is a bad thing, but bright pink just doesn't work for the everyday-wear-with-everything type sweater I'm dreaming of. Not to mention, its been hot as hell lately here in lovely, sunny SoCal. I mean, yeah, I know its California. Can we just have a break with the 80+ degree days already? I'm missing home now - apple picking, cool but sunny days, chilly nights requiring sweaters like above, colorful leaves, pumpkins, baking. Sigh. I suppose I could turn the air on high, throw on a sweater and bake something pumpkiny while munching on candy corn and pretending I can smell the fall air. Hey! Does anybody make an autumn leaf candle? The leaves have a certain smell....my brother used to call it "Eau de Dead Leaf" (jerk!) Anyhoo, it would be awesome to smell that smell again....Anyone?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Inspiration

After the dye experiment the other day, I felt something I hadn't felt in a while - inspired. Suddenly the world was full of possibilities again. The day seemed brighter, the flowers fresher, books more thought provoking. Ideas blossomed in profusion and so quickly that I scribbled notes about things I love, things I want to see and do. Wish I could bottle this feeling and open it up and take a swig whenever I'm feeling "blah". So happy to have my brain buzzing with new ideas! I've seen a few gorgeous knitting patterns (have you seen "Juno" by Amanda Crawford?) and upon reading some posts by fellow Raveler, knita, I discovered this website for the Victoria and Albert Museum. It is SO cool! I spent many hours pouring over the exhibition pages and designing things on the "To Do" pages. Check it out if you are interested in design, fashion, glass, metalworking, sculpture, jewelry, even knitting! In the knitting sections, you will find vintage patterns, even a free Rowan pattern, the history of knitting, a place where you can share your knits, etc. You can even send an e-card like this one of a Dale Chihuly work.

























Just one more reason to visit London someday! :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Meme and stuff...

Well, I finished the Tangled Yoke Cardigan for my sister and its beautiful. Photos to come once its finishing blocking. All it needs now are buttons! Also finished my halter top, but the strap is wonky. Will probably tink back past the buttonholes, reknit with no buttonholes and then kitchner stitch the sucker together. That might work. Also, I decided to give up on the chevron socks. Just didn't like how they looked or felt on. Reconsidering perhaps using a feather and fan pattern instead, but while I think it over, I started the Combo Corset-T by Annie Modesitt. We had a bag of lovely soft pink Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran that we scooped up at a sale last year at Suzoo's and it would make the perfect compliment to a skirt I've had forever but never had a top to wear with. I plan to use some natural colored Optim that Jerry has spun as lace trim. Lastly, Mr. Twisted and I did another dye experiment and here is the result:

























I'm calling it Pansy as it reminds me of them :)

















And now, here's the meme. One word answers only please!

1. Where is your mobile phone - purse

2 .Your significant other - Jerry

3. Your hair - overgrown

4. Your mother - gone

5. Your father - Florida

6. Your favourite thing - ocean

7 . Your dream last night - weird

8. Favourite drink - margarita

9. Dream/goal - happiness

10. The room you're in - living

11. Your ex - manipulative

12. Your fear - failure

13. Where do you want to be in six years - happy

14. Where were you last night - home

15. What you're not - rich

16. Muffins - cranberry

17. One of your wish list items - kiln

18. Where you grew up - Salem

19. last thing you did - Blogged

20. What are you wearing - pjs

21. Your TV - Olympics

22. Your pets - yarn

23. Your computer - laptop

24. Your life - good

25. Your mood - creative

26. Missing someone - sisters

27. Your car - old

28. Something you're not wearing - socks

29. Favourite store – TJ Maxx

30. Your summer - quiet

31. Like (love) someone - Jerry

32. Favourite colour - purple

33. last time you laughed - today

34. last time you cried – Monday

35. Who will re post this - Denise

There we go, it's harder than you think, because you want to explain choices and you can't.

Try it yourself if you want!

Monday, August 4, 2008

August....already?


Hopefully everyone is having a good summer. As for me, the knitting injury (strained shoulder/arm thing) is feeling much better and only acts up a little when I overdo. And god knows, there has been precious little "overdo" in this house lately!

I seem to have more thoughts and ideas than actual knitting content lately. Maybe that's because its summer and its hot and I'm just over it. I dunno. What I do know is that I'm feeling pretty scattered. The Tangled Yoke Cardi for my sis' birthday (8/31!) still needs sleeve extensions and I haven't touched it in three weeks. Started, and have nearly finished, the Magic Halter and it's beautiful, but it needs elastic and buttons and of course, haven't done anything about that. Also started some basic chevron socks with two different colorways of Lorna's Laces and, even though they are nice, I don't feel my usual inner push to finish.

Add to this is the fact that I keep coming up with new projects and adding stuff to my queue and thinking that I'll never do it all and I must be crazy. Yesterday, while hanging up a skirt I've never worn cause there is nothing that goes with it, I thought "hey, that pink Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran is this color! I should make a top with that to match this!" You know what happened next, I rushed to my Ravelry queue to find the perfect top to make with the amount of yarn I have and WHOOSH, new project when 3 are in the unfinished stage.

Anybody who knows me knows this is a bad sign. If I don't finish things before getting involved in something else, chances are good they will never be done! Broke my cardinal rule of finishing one thing before starting another and POOF - I've already lost interest in my three UFO's. Instead of working on said UFO's Sunday, I spent the day making a project bag for hubby's secret pal. Sometimes I forget how much fun sewing is. Then, of course, I started thinking about the skirt never finished and found the panels and started contemplating doing that. Cause you know, right now there just ain't enough unfinished stuff lying around.

I do have to give a shoutout to the one person in my life who is always there for me. He cooks great dinners, knits and spins, figures out how to add cool stuff to my blog (check out the blogroll and WIP progress bars - in PINK, no less!) and is just the greatest hubby a girl could ever have. I am truly lucky to have him in my life. Thank you Jerry for being you :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Plodding Along and Knitted Related Injuries



Well, I'm still working on the Magic Halter by Mandy Moore. I know, a halter - sounds a little "chicka-bow-wow!", but all the bits that need to be covered will be in this pattern. Its just taking SO long! Little needles, thin yarn - it has the most wonderful hand and drape, but it sure takes a lot of knitting to get anywhere. Here's the obligatory in progress shot

Ravelry: stalepeeps' Magic Halter

And the injury. Um, well, I was trying on the Magic Halter and instead of putting the stitches on a longer cable or yarn so I could easily try it on, I used the cable it was already on. I don't know what I was thinking cause the cable is many inches smaller than my, uh, bodacious rack, and as I saw that the stitches were about to slip off the needle in the back, I did some weird arm gymnastics and reached around and up and back and something in my neck/shoulder area went "aaaaaachhhhhhhhht". Of course, this did not stop me though. I got the thing off with a little help from the hubby and went right back to knitting, not thinking much about it. A half hour or so later, I thought - "hmm, my neck is killing me" and then "wow, my shoulder hurts too". I can't believe it took me so long to realize that I must have pulled a little something. So, now I've taken some blue-eez and brown-eez (in my house this means naproxen and ibruprofen) and even put a heating pad on it. And it still does not feel real good. In fact it hurts. Quite alot even. I'm sure it will feel better tomorrow, but it might be best if I put away the knitting for the night.
Wah!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Long Time, No Blog


Where have I been, you ask? Um, trying to stay cool and getting some knitting done. Last night, while watching season 1 of Project Runway , (yeah, I know - we missed it the first time around) - finally finished my Esther socks. Love the pattern, its so easy and SO pretty! Its a great pattern by Stephanie van der Linden. If you're interested, you will need to join the yahoo group to access the pattern - The yahoo group is German; however, the pattern is available in both English and German. Join the waiting list of the Socken-Kreativ-Liste Modifications made were to start the socks on waste yarn and do a bind off picot edge instead of the traditional picot, which felt bulky to me and I wouldn't have had quite enough yarn had I followed the pattern exactly. I did a standard S1 K1 heel and wedge toe also. Pretty, n'est-ce pas?

I've also been making great progress with the Tangled Yoke Cardigan. It would actually be done, in fact, if my sister had short arms. After asking a friend to try it on for me, I realized the sleeves would have to be lengthened. Ah, such is life! Now just trying to figure out the best way of doing this. I tried picking out the cast on row and going forward from there, but the rib doesn't quite match up going in the opposite direction. Now I think I will cut it close to the point where the ribbing switches to stockinette, pick up the stitches and redo the entire cuff. Because the sleeves are attached to the body and then continued in the round for the yoke, you can't really tell how short or long the sleeves will be until you are almost finished. It sucks that I have to redo the cuffs, but I want it to be right, you know? While pondering this conundrum, I started the Magic Halter from my queue in some fine lightweight cashmerino that's been hanging around the stash for a couple of years. This is small yarn on small needles and likely to be a long term project in my size. What am I thinking???

Well, that's about it for now. Hope everyone is having a great summer!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer Knittin'


Well, ain't nothing going on but alot of tweedy brown Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I'm on the yoke part and finally about to start following the charts. Woohoo!

It makes for a pretty boring pictures at this stage, and I need to post about something and so here is a little ditty I've been composing in my head for the past few weeks to the tune of Summer Lovin' from Grease.

Summer Knittin’ had me a blast
Summer Knittin' happened so fast
I knit a shawl called Clapotis,
I knit socks – they were Monkeys
Summer days driftin' away, to uh-oh those Sum-um-mer Knits
Uh Well-a well-a well-a huh
Tell me more, tell me more
Cause the pattern is key
Tell me more, tell me more
Are you on Ravelry?
Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh

It got hotter, I made a tank
Oh so simple and only one hank
Lots of knit groups, I have sure found
Hemlock ring, goes round and round
Summer sun, something's begun, but uh-oh those Summer Knits
Uh well-a well-a well-a huh

Tell me more, tell me more
Is that pattern alright?
Tell me more, tell me more
Cause it seems it bit tight!
Uh -huh-uh-huh-uh-huh-uh-huh

We went knitting, down at the Mall
I was knitting the Mystery Shawl
Pomatamus, is that a sock?
Frogged again, oh what a shock
Summer fling, don't mean a thing, but uh-oh those Summer Knits

Uh well-a well-a well-a huh
Tell me more, tell me more
I can’t keep up the pace
Tell me more, tell me more
I have trouble with lace!

shoo-bop bop, shoo-bop bop, shoo-bop bop,shoo-bop bop, shoo-bop bop, shoo-bop bop, shoo-bop bop, YEH

On vacation, where did you go?
On vacation, I got Malabrigo
It was soft, just like a hug
Should I make a simple shrug?

Woah!

Summer heat, yarn and I meet, but uh-oh those Summer Knits

woo, woo, woo

Tell me more, tell me more
How much dough did you spend?
Tell me more, tell me more
Is that by Fiber Trends?

Getting hotter, wove in the ends
Getting hotter, are we still friends?
Entrelac, I don’t know how!
Wonder what I should knit now
Summer dreams ripped out the seams,
bu-hut ahhh, those Su-hum-mer Kni-hits
Tell me more, tell me mo-o-oore!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

What a Weekend!

Saturday we went to the WWKIP day picnic held at El Dorado Regional park in Long Beach. What a great park! They have a golf course, an archery area, paddleboats, bike trails, heck - even a train for the kiddies. We will definitely be going back cause I have an itch to learn archery and its just a really cool place to go play. :)

Ok, so the picnic - it was awesome! Organized by Renata, Marie and Anne from All Things String; there was food, contests, guitar players, even a baby alpaca made an appearance! Mr. Peeps was busy spinning some luscious purple yarn for me; and Kristie, Renata, Melissa and a couple of others were spinning too. Denise and Shanda participated in the mystery speed knitting contest and neither won, but I think they had fun anyway. Michelle and Holly sat with us also. It was nice to see so many friends there and we had a great time. Go on over to the Mister's blog if you want to see the pictures, cause he's got em all over there.

Sunday we were off to the Huntington Library in Pasadena for a spinning demonstration (hubby was one of the demonstrators) and we got to tour the facility and grounds. If you've never been, you gotta go. We got to see Pinkie and Blue Boy by Gainsborough and lots of other art. My

favorite is the statue of Diana the Huntress. What a nice day, spinning and knitting and touring the grounds. We had some fellow spinners accompany us - Randall Hayen, who we knew a bit from GLASG; Diane Taylor who is a spinner and actually lives close by we found out; and another very nice woman whose name escapes me, but she came all the way down from Ventura County. A wonderful, if warm, day was had by all.

Oh, there is actual knitting going on too. I finished the candywrapper socks and have finally taken pictures! WOOHOO! Laura's pattern was a bit of a challenge for me since I hate charts, but they came out so cute!



















Also, I'm about 1/4 or so finished with the Tangled Yoke Cardi by Eunny Jang for my sister. I'm using the Rowan Felted Tweed in the Treacle colorway, which, by the way, I LOVE. Its a dark chocolate with cornflower blue and gold flecks. I hope she likes it as much as I do! The color is a bit darker than in the photo, but you get the jist.



















So there you have it. I'm a little burnt out on knitting to tell you the truth and so I'm staying home tonight while hubby goes to yet another spinning group. I will be in HB for the Sip or Stitch tomorrow night however.

Knit on!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I've Been Bad (But It Feels So Good!)

Well - every time I leave the house lately, I manage to come home with more sock yarn. Thank you Economic Stimulus Payment! Sock yarn that I surely do not need. Sock yarn that I really cannot afford. (But there's that Economic Stimulus Payment!) Sock yarn that is just so darn irresistible that instead of being called sock yarn it should just be called George Clooney (or whoever floats your particular boat). Below are photos of the latest. I'm SO ashamed....

First is the heavenly Handmaiden Casbah - Merino, Cashmere, Nylon - OH! This is the most beautiful ocean-y colorway. Plus it is so soft and so darn squishy I am tempted to just sleep with it. Purchased at Twist when going in to supplement some lace weight bought there previously. Really, it just leapt into the basket!



















Second is the Kraemer Luxury Sterling Silver and Silk - colorway is Tuxedo. I've been coveting this for awhile and when I saw it at A Mano, just had to have it. People, HELLO!, it has STERLING SILVER in it! One of the hardest decisions of my life was deciding between the red, the purple and the black. I went with the conservative choice.



















Ok, so you know last night was Stitch n' Pitch in LA right? And, well, we were signed up to go on the bus with the gang from A Mano, right? And, um, Shannita and Annette give goodie bags and a special Stitch n' Pitch discount, right? Uh, so, I was just "holding" the two different colors of Shibui (love that sock yarn) and that darn Mr. Peeps was no help at all. I asked his opinion as to which color we should get (should, HAH!) and he said "BOTH". Well, who am I to argue the point? And I ask you, who could ever have decided between the Chinese Red and Peony colorways anyway?



















Stitch n' Pitch was a good time. We won - go BLUE! Here's a photo to commemorate the evening. I even wore two knitted items - my Cabled Tee in Lobster Pot Whale of a Skein and my turquoisy monkeys in Shibui. (I think this is against knitters law, but whatever - catch me if you can, Knit Police!) More photos to come on Mr. Peeps' blog - AKA Twisted Knitster. Thank you Shannita and Annette - Shannita, you looked GREAT on the big screen!


Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cabled Summer Tee

Check it out - its done - YAY! Love the yarn and the color and the pattern was pretty easy. The yarn is Lobster Pot Whale of a Skein in Hydrangea. Do not adjust your computer, the color is more like a soft variegated aqua than hydrangea, which I always thought was either purplish- blue, pink or white. The fit is good and I'm happy with how it came out. It does need a blocking, but might just steam it so I can show it off at Stitch n' Pitch at Dodger Stadium on Monday night. Its not Dodger Blue, but its probably the closest thing I have to that color anyway.

What to do next? There is a sock project that got put on the back burner while I worked on the Cabled Summer Tee; but I'm itching to do a rectangular shawl. Haven't yet found "the one" yet, but I've seen some gorgeous patterns on Ravelry and the net. There are even a few crocheted ones and, believe it or not, I'm considering it! I know the basics of crochet, but I've never been very good at it. And also, there is still a bad taste in my mouth from the 70's. My mom crocheted some hellacious vests for me to wear and I swear I get hives upon hearing the word. But maybe its time to forgive and forget and move on, eh?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

New Sock Book!

A wonderful lady that Mr. Peeps and I know through the GLASG (Greater Los Angeles Spinning Guild) has a new sock book out. Its called The Eclectic Sole - Socks for Adventurous Knitters. The book has 14 new patterns and I'm looking forward to diving in and making some new socks! We picked ours up at the Guild today, but you can order it through Amazon. I may do the Jacaranda as my June sock, since the Gluttony ended up being May. I'm aiming for a pair (or more) a month in 2008.

Still plugging away on the cabled tee. Front is done and I'm about 2/3 through the back. Not sure yet if I'm going to do the sleeves or not. I'll decide on that once the back is done. Already thinking about the next project - I'd love to do a rectangular shawl in the new lacy yarn we picked up at Twisted - Graceful Lace Yarn by Yarn Place. I love the depth of color in this yarn and think it would make an awesome shawl. Now to find the right pattern. Any suggestions?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Buses and Cables and Socks - Oh My!



















Mr. Peeps and I saw this bus in LA a few weeks ago and we just had to take a picture. :)



















This is my latest project - its the Cabled Tee by Maureen Taylor and Patricia Brunner. Believe it or not, I had almost the entire front done this morning and had to rip it - it was just too big. Mistakenly thought to make my usual size instead of checking the measurements. It was so cute, I should have taken a picture before the ripping, but just had to jump in and do it before losing my nerve.



















And here, finally, are the finished gluttony socks. I think they came out pretty good (if I do say so myself!) They were a fun knit and the yarn was nice. This was part of the Seven Deadly Spins and the yarn was Verve. Cute, eh?

That's it for now - we did manage to visit the South OC Weekend KIP at Fashion Island where we caught up a bit with the ladies (and Chris!) It was good to see them and find out what everyone is up to.

Back to the cabling....

Monday, May 12, 2008

Wrath? Caution - 7 Deadly Spins Spoiler ALERT!

There will be talk about Wrath at the end of this post, so if you don't want to know, don't read the whole thing!

Been working feverishly on the first 7 Deadly Spins project - the gluttony socks - and I'm still not done - BAH! Had some issues and had to rip a few rows a few times. Its not a complicated pattern - I just can't talk and knit at the same time apparently!

I did manage to visit the UCI knit group on Thursday since Mr. Peeps was traveling on business. It was a smaller group this week, but so nice to catch up with Diane and Juliet, Juliet's sister and friend. We had a good time giggling over silly stuff and that's when I goofed up my sock again; but it was fun and I'll probably be heading back over this Thursday too. By the way, Diane is a super knitter. I don't known how she gets it all done - she is truly an inspiration!

Saturday was Stacey's birthday dinner at P F Chang's. Mr. Peeps and I had never been there before. My recommendation is the Moo Goo Gai Pan and the tiny shot glass desserts - YUM! We gave Stacey some Shibui sock yarn in a pretty jade green color - can't wait to see what she does with it!

Also spent a couple of days last week working on a pincushion for a swap I'm involved in. The picture will be posted once the recipient lets me know she has it. It was alot of fun to make and I'm looking forward to doing more :)

OK - This is the Spoiler part, so if you don't wanna know, stop reading!
......
....
...
..
.


Alright, so this is Seven Deadly Spins Shipment #2. "Wrath vs. Peace". For some reason, they chose to do the opposite of Wrath, i.e. Peace. So the package is full of peaceful things - blue cotton yarn with pattern to make a soap sack and cute sheep logo bath cloth, bath salts, beeswax candle, chamomile tea, a chocolate lamb and a little sheep stitch marker. Oh, and my package had the added pleasure of stinking to high heaven of some kind of perfume. I thought it was the soap, but it appears to be something sprayed in the bag or box. I couldn't open it in the house, so the picture is outside on the balcony. While Wool Girl does an excellent job of keeping to the theme and including lots of wonderful goodies to inspire you, I wonder if those who signed up for the 7 Deadlies were expecting, or even wanting, a Peace package.

I don't know - maybe its just me? I was wishing for something dark and sinful. Its not that its not a nice package, it just doesn't especially appeal to me. I'm not into baby blue cloying sweetness that you can smell a mile away or I would have joined the 7 Heavenly Things that Make You Nauseous club. Its a pretty little package that I'll probably never open. Anyhoo, now I get to wait another two months to see what the next package will be. I just hope there are no more "opposites".

Monday, May 5, 2008

Gluttonous Maximus

After a week spent clearing out the last of the moving boxes (I know - we moved in August!) and mopping the stupid floor many, many times, Mr. Peeps (AKA Twisted Knitster) and I hosted a newbie spin group with the wonderful Janel Laidman as instructor/mentor on Saturday. None of the attendees looked like newbies to me and I hope everyone got what they wanted out of the day. I know I did. Mr. Peeps was learning a new technique and he's so happy when he spins, it just makes me smile myself. Sort of a like that James Taylor song - do, do, do, do, dooooo! It was fun to mix various knitting and fiber friends and watch them make YARN. Yes, fun to watch - I don't have any desires to spin. Being too short attention span for that, I just want to go to the shelf and say "oh, yes, my pretties, come to Mama!". I figure with a spinner in the house, I'll do alright. :) Check out Mr. Peeps' blog for the details.

Me, I've been working on socks. I love em, but maybe I need a break. You see, socks are my go to item when I don't know what else to knit. There are only two pages of stuff in my Ravelry queue; but I had my really super turbo knitter phase 3 weeks or so ago and now I'm just moping around. Started some great socks by our knitting buddy Laura - Candy wrappers - the pattern is fabulous, but a bit challenging and I showed them to Kristie who was here for the spin-in cause I wasn't happy with my crossover stitches and she said, "oh, those are fine, but what happened to the pattern on the back - its missing a purl stitch!" Ah, THAT'S why they looked funny! Rip, rip, rip, but someday I will conquer those socks. Once I realized that this pattern wasn't super super easy, I'd also started the gluttony sock by Kelly Eells - The Unique Sheep. This is part of the Seven Deadly Spins Club. This sock is a pretty cool idea - you get a glut of mini Verve sock yarn skeins (4) in various colors and you blend the color changes throughout the pattern. Alot of club members have finished them - go check em out on Ravelry if you can. These are an easier pattern, but you definately have to pay attention since the colors change and there is shaping, etc. So, last night I dug in with the notion of finishing these before trying to do some justice to Laura's funky pattern.

Maybe I need to do something summery next. Maybe that chevron pattern from More Big Girl Knits? If only we could find that capelet kit I bought at Stitches West last year - that yarn would be perfect for it! How is it that these things keep disappearing? We also have a sock book lost to never never lands and that just frustrates me no end. Cause now that I can't find it, I NEED it! Grrr.....

Oh please, great and wise Knitting Gods, help me out here!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Trifecta

This was a productive week in the House of Peeps . I actually somehow managed to finish 3 projects! The first is the Swallowtail shawl by Evelyn Clark. I had such a time with this shawl. I started it almost 2 years ago with another yarn, frogged and reknit it several times and finally just wound up the yarn in disgust. I just couldn't concentrate enough to do lace. This spring I decided to give it another try. I had to rip here and there, but I finally did it and I'm so proud of myself! Its nowhere near perfect, but its done and I love it and whew, got that Swallowtail off my back.




















The yarn is Fiesta Yarns La Luz Multi in colorway Poppies. Its 100% silk and a bit splitty, but vibrant and lovely to look at.

The second FO is a Sock for All Seasons - Spring Sock - designed and handpainted by none other than Lori Lawson of Capistrano Fiber Arts. This is the second to last shipment of the Yarn Tree sock club and my favorite thus far. I found the original pattern to be a little tight on me and so I increased to my standard 64 stitches cast on rather than the pattern's 56. I also carried the pattern down the top of the foot, unlike the pattern, but it just seemed to work better for me. I love these - they are the epitome of Spring!



Lastly, I needed a quick baby gift for a former co-worker. Am I only one who decides these things the night before? Once again, Mr. Peeps came to the rescue with a pattern and yarn to make a Child's Ruffled Ballerina Shrug designed by Ellen Rich. The yarn used is Ella Rae Shibu in a mauv-ish color with little pearly bits. I know it sounds weird, but its actually quite attractive.



Ok, I'm off to find a new project - happy knitting!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

Today (4/14/08) is a wonderful day. I'm just back from a short vacation with a couple of wonderful friends from back East and I finally got my new laptop - YAY! No longer do I have to go to the library or wait for Mr. Peeps to get home to post or read blogs or see what's happening on Ravelry. It has been a long time without computer access whenever I want for me. I'm happy to be back!

First off, the vacation was wonderful. My good friends Liz and Dave flew out to San Francisco and booked a resort in Windsor. We did alot of driving since they had never been to that part of CA before. Let's see - first we went to Big Sur (yes, I know - it WAS far, but so beautiful) and found a gorgeous waterfall and saw elephant seals. It was such a pretty day that I wished I had paints with me. It been so long since I've painted, but it just felt like one of those days - it was THAT pretty.

video

Then we did a more local day - we saw the Old Faithful Geyser - yes, there is one in California and I had to get some pictures of the animals too. We also went to the Petrified Forest and that was cool for me since I love rocks of all kinds. Dave and Liz enjoyed it for the flora and fauna also. I had read something about a castle that had a torture chamber and, of course, we were all over that. It turned out to be sort of a rip-off, the castle was built in 1993 and it was too expensive to tour. Had they thrown in a glass of wine, I'm sure we might have gone for it.

Day three was breakfast in Windsor at a great place called KC's Grille and a bit of shopping; then a long and WINDING road to the Sonoma Coast - I had some carsickness issues (this has been happening lately and it really sucks), but when we got to the ocean, it was breathtaking. We stopped to take pictures and noticed an older gentleman changing from his wetsuit to street clothes. He had a big duffle that he threw in the back of his truck. We ended up talking to him and his wife and found out he was diving for abalone. He pulled one out and let Dave hold it. It was huge and seemed to be breathing. The old man said he has a permit for 24 a year and can get three at a time. He takes them home and freezes them which I guess helps to pull the muscle away from the shell. Then his lovely wife batters and fries them and as he said "they taste like candy!" He then saves the beautiful shell for his collection. Such a friendly couple and so helpful. Its fun to talk to people on the road. When we got back to the resort, Liz and I had a white sparkly wine from Toad Hollow winery called Risque - it was crisp, fruity and delicious.

Sunday we drove down to San Francisco and went to the Golden Gate Park. We ended up touring part of the botanical gardens. It was a warm, sunny day. We took alot of pictures - Dave especially likes the flowers and trees and then headed back through an art exhibit. Then it was off to the airport to wait for my flight. I hope Liz and Dave got a day to relax by the pool!

Well, that's my little vacation - Mr. Peeps didn't join us - he stayed home and did alot of spinning. Here is a picture of the footie socks I made for Liz



















And it all took for a week to post :) Getting into the posting habit in a more timely manner is my next goal! Next post will hopefully have a new finished object - something that's been haunting me for a long time.


Til next time!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More Big Girl Knits


Well, we went in search of the new More Big Girl Knits by Jillian Moreno and Amy Singer and we found it Tuesday at Barnes and Noble. This is sort of my review of the book and the new designs. First off, let me say that I don't need more patterns for felted bags and scarves. I already have patterns for those and there are also tons on the web. I buy these books to get help with shaping issues for clothing and it burns me a little to pay $30.00 for a book that I've been anticipating for a year to find three shawls (come on, just make your standard shawl pattern bigger if need be!) two purses and three pairs of socks. I don't want to waste my time and money on these items! I want great garments sized for me! That said, Jillian and Amy, if there are more books in the works, please focus on the clothes - us big girls can manage to find accessory patterns without too much trouble.


Now the patterns. Well, there are a few that I like. The magic halter top, orange smoothie tank and the summer chevron tank are all great. And I love the Susie coat with the cables - not that I'll have much occasion for such an item much in Southern CA, but for those few days a year when its chilly or if I visit the family on the East Coast it could work. I'll just put that in the "maybe someday" pile. No skirts this time, which is disappointing as I'd still like to try a skirt. The bountiful bohus sweater is nice, another possibility. I love the pink trellis diamond socks too, but honestly, I don't need three patterns for socks in a book for bodaciously blessed women. Its not that hard to make a bigger sock for a shapely calf. Otherwise, I'm really not that impressed. The fit of these sweaters doesn't seem up to the quality of the first book. There is still alot of good shaping information that I'm sure can help with alot of fit problems though. We've all seen Ms. Moreno's Folly and boo thing before and rehashing old free patterns is sort of a ripoff in my book; especially since neither pattern seems much improved.

Why on earth would I want to knit an overly bobbled peapod sweater? Did anybody really like those mosiac patterns in the first book and did we need another (pastille)? The slipstream pullover, while done in a gorgeous yarn was shapeless and sort of dowdy. Oh, and the guatamalan top? That is just wrong. Sorry, but there just seems to be a lack of style this time. The rest of the items are ok, I guess. Honestly, I might knit the two tanks and the trellis socks and that's it.

However, the measuring section and the adding side inserts to a too small sweater section were awesome as usual. There is a pretty sweater done in Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb that has been languishing in my closet as its way too tight for me; I could actually fix it with the insert method. I honestly considered not purchasing this book since nothing really knocked me out, but it is a good resouce for knitting garments shaped and sized for me and therefore, will be a valuable addition to my library. If you're looking for real style though, you might want to start designing your own or go elsewhere. This just might be the push I need to get busy and design my own knits.

Monday, March 31, 2008

I'm Somebody Now!

Well, after much cajoling and harassment from my blogging and knitting friends, its here, I'm doing it - this is my blog. And I joined Ravelry too. Man, I am such a pushover! No, really, I've been wanting to blog for quite some time, but I always thought I didn't have much to say. So this blog is mostly for me. Its about what I like and what I want and what I think. I hope at least a few of you out there will be interested, but if not, that's ok. Hey, its better than talking to yourself, right?

Please bear with me while I get the hang of this - I'm not sure where to begin exactly. I love knitting and yarn and making stuff. Truly! If you can think of a crafty type class, I've probably taken it. I'm no expert either, believe me. I'm whatcha might call a dabbler. Trying everything and excelling at nothing, but having alot of fun. The best thing is there are still so many cool things out there I have yet to try! I'd love to learn glass blowing and lampwork bead making and I would die for a kiln to make precious metal clay jewelry, enamels and slump glass. But don't worry, knitting will always be a part of my life. If I don't knit at least a little each day, I get withdrawals....:)


Ok, on the knitting front. I currently have a pair of beautiful multi-gray no purl monkeys on the needles that I'm making for Mr. Peeps, AKA Twisted Knitster (yes, he's a knitter and a spinner too!). Now you might not think the monkeys are a particularly manly type of sock, but they aren't bad actually. They aren't super lacy and they knit up pretty quickly; even though I have been poking through the second one. Hey, YOU try whipping out a pair of size 15's in just a day or two! My goal is to finish them by midnight tonight as our last submission to Southern Summer of Socks.


I have two other things OTN. One is a straw bag that I started last summer from raffia and let me tell you, that stuff is a BEE-YOTCH to knit. It makes your hands all sore and red and it takes so long to knit that the end of summer came before I could finish the dang thing. I will finish it up this year though just cause I hate to have unfinished projects. I'm one of those weirdos you've heard about - the one who has to finish the project she's working on before she starts another. I know, I know, but otherwise I would never go back to the previous project. I have too many things in mind and would just build a giant half knitted stash for the back of the closet.


The second thing is something I started oh, two years ago? Maybe three? Its a self-designed tank top done with an intarsia sunset on the front. Its pretty and the front is nearly done, but when I started it I didn't know much about shaping so now I'm worried that its not going to fit right. I really should go back and tackle that soon.


My last bit of news is about a shopping trip. Yes, Mr. Peeps and I have been on a yarn diet for quite some time now. At this point, it is more of a lifestyle! But we do give in to our cravings here and there and on Saturday we went off the wagon just a bit. We had heard about this new store Twist that had opened up in Manhattan Beach. I knew Mr. Peeps wanted to go cause they have the new Malabrigo silk and so I suggested a trip up the coast. Well, what a wonderful little shop! They have so many glorious colors of Malabrigo - all weights except sock which is COMING soon! Its a very charming and beautiful shop chock full of yarn and even has a dye studio on one side. The owner, Cathy, was wonderful, chatting about the yarns - what we like and what we think. Such a sweet, knowledgeable lady. If you have the opportunity to go visit, I hope you do! I came home with gorgeous yarn for a shawl that varies from deepest purple to a lighter shade. It is Graceful Lace Yarn by Yarn Place. Cathy had done up a sample and it was so beautiful I had to have some. I also ended up with some sea glass buttons and one lovely mother of pearl button. (I'm a bit of a button freak). A very satisfying yarn shopping trip and I'll definitely be going back. Oh yeah, Mr. Peeps got some of that awesome Malabrigo silk in a purply color also. Go to his blog and check it out!