Thursday, August 31, 2006

Don't forget to breathe...

Ohmygoodnessohmygoodnessohmygoodness(deep breath!!!!)ohmygoodnessohmygoodnessohmygoodness

(severely edited from my original comment for language as this is a PG-13 type of blog, mind you)

You will not believe who e-mailed me today. No really, you won't. And not just some generic "thanks for your comment" type of automatically generated e-mail. But a real e-mail. Talking specifically to ME.

No seriously, you won't believe who.

Brenda Dayne.

Yup, THE Brenda Dayne. She of Cast On. She of the Interweave Knits articles. (For my husband, whose eyebrows I'm guessing are currently raised in 'who the heck is that?' bewildered puzzlement I'll give you a hockey frame of reference........think Chris Chelios. Then think of him again and realize how incredibly amazing it therefore is that this woman is e-mailing ME.)

Why, you might as, is she contacting me? Ahhhhhhhhh..................well, that will just have to remain a secret for a little bit longer. Mwah-hah-hah-hah!

Today, I feel like the queen of my own little pointy stick kingdom.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Is this whipstitching?

Regardless, I really like the little extra edge the silk ribbon gave to the poncho. It's now all wrapped up (in Easter-egg dotted tissue paper, as that's all I had on hand!) and ready to go!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"I think of you night and day....."

I really do these days, you know. It's ODD how lately I find myself (while knitting) composing a blog entry in my head to "you guys", even though I really don't know who many/most of you are and indeed if there are any of you some days! But talk to you in my head I most certainly do....and I have to say it makes a lovely change from the normal chatting with myself that used to go on in my noggin......

So this afternoon I was home (I work at the reference desk every Tuesday night from 6-10 PM so I don't come in to the office until 2 or 3 PM) cleaning the house and making a batch of pear jam when (no suprise) I switched over to a knitting frame of mind and (!) ding!

.......Get The Camera........Take Pictures Of This For The Blog......

See what I mean?

So without further ado - voila! More ant jam put up for the winter.

This batch was pear and I have to say it's more preserves than jam. For those who aren't up on their formal condiment lingo jam is wee bits of pulp and suchlike - jelly is absolutely nothing more than juice and should be absolutely clear - while preserves are clearly visible chunks of fruit in a bath of jam. Depending on the fruit I greatly prefer one over the other. Blueberry jam - not blueberry preserves. (They squish too much.) But pear preserves over pear jam, as pear jam can quickly turn grainy if the pears aren't *just perfect* and pears are tricky fruit indeed....

The fruit in question was literally perfect - my mother in law came flying through town this past weekend to watch my nephew play in a soccer game and gifted me with three full grocery bags of fruit hand-picked from her tree. In the three bags only one pear wasn't any good - a truly amazing ratio! Rather than hem and haw over what to do with them I simply bit the bullet and peeled and diced each sticky globe and turned them into the most incredible lusciously amazing batch of preserves that I have made in years. People, I mean it's THAT good. And as Murphy's law goes, I have only 5 precious jars.

I did the basic sort of preserves recipe - dice the fruit, toss with two cups of sugar (god but jams & suchlike use an amazingly high amount of sugar, don't they?) add in some spices and a goodly shot of vanilla and let steep for an hour while the wonderful dishwasher churns away on the 'Sanitize' cycle making my jam jars cleaner than clean. Then after an hour of steeping start on high heat and work down from there, stirring constantly, until things are nice and thick and sticky and the smell is just so concentrated that it almost has a golden weight in your nostrils. Stir in the top-secret ingredient (why does nobody else ever have this listed in their recipes? It seems like such a common-sense addition yet nobody - and I mean nobody - has ever listed it anywhere I've seen. And trust me, I've looked...) then bottle and preserve just like Mom taught me to - lots lots lots of boiling water and squeaky-clean jars and jar lids and then back into the canner to be formally sealed & processed so that they can safely be kept on a shelf for several months to mellow and taste even better when opened....
Why, you might ask, is it THAT good? Secret ingredient. Seriously. One simple thing that totally makes the recipe and ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh does it make it. Think slightly warm over vanilla ice cream. Or warm on something like pound cake or vanilla cake - or drizzled over top of the thinnest slice of really good cheesecake. Or even cold spooned right out of the jar. Warmed drizzled over roasted pork would be incredible too, if savory is more interesting to you than sweet.

So - my first ever contest!
To the first person who guesses what my extra-special addition is I will gladly part with one of my precious jars of pear preserves - and I'll even pay the postage on this one - even overseas if it comes to that! Two guesses per person, please. It wouldn't be fair for someone to come along & flood the comments section with multiple guesses & get it before anyone else has a chance..... If nobody guesses correctly by Friday I'll close the contest & will instead just publish the full recipe instead. Sound fair?

On to the knitting content!

I finished S's baby poncho last night and soaked it all evening and then tried my hand at hand-dying the end product. I seriously need to get myself some real dyes that set with acid instead of heat (I've been using the perennial newbie favorite - Kool Aid & Wilton's icing gel.) I was trying for a nice deepish blue with a bottom border of a deep purple, but alas all that simmering in the pot filled with Delphinium Blue resulted in a deep rose/purple sort of shade, and when I painted the bottom with a second colour and then microwaved it to set the shade the bottom turned a hot pinkish. So it's not at all what I was aiming for, but I do like it overall - especially as I was completely undecided what colour to make it in the first place!
I was downstairs trying to let the Munchkin have a nice slow dinner (he eats way more if we give him a loooong feeding time) when I got to the part where I needed to start the decorative bottom border and for the life of me I couldn't remember what it was supposed to look like. So instead of grabbing the correct pattern book (it was upstairs) I pulled the closest knitting one on the table over to me & did a sort of feather & fan bottom instead. I actually like it better than what the pattern calls for as it mimics the wavy bit at the collar that I so liked in the first place...
That having been said it still seems like it needs a little something extra, so while rearranging/cleaning my room today in preparation for a potential visit from my dad & stepmother this weekend I stumbled across the wee-ist bit of silk ribbon that my mom gave me way back when. It's just BEAUTIFUL and I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm going to whipstitch it along the bottom of the poncho to kind of jazz it up. If anyone else has any other ideas I'd *love* to hear them!!!!!

Monday, August 28, 2006


The poncho, it is (almost) done.

Except for about 5 more rows, that is, which will totally be do-able tonight. Pics to come tomorrow, both of the finished product undyed and then dyed. The more I think about it, the more I want to dye it one solid colour and then do a second (bottom hem) dip. And then I'm debating duplicate stitching some extra stuff to make it even prettier.

But that's just mental dialogue at the moment. The final decision will have to come after the double dipping is done and I see how it looks......
Kool-Aid here I come!
p.s. why did nobody tell me how AMAZING this Paton's 100% merino wool is??? I'm totally in love - from the softness factor to the sheepy smell to the subtle colours........ I'm seriously thinking a sweater for myself in this would be a niiiiiiccceeee thing.................

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The ants go marching...

This weekend I felt like Clotilde's ant.

That having been said, no huge amounts of knitting were done in the past two days, so someone looking for a 100% fiber content should click on another link now...

But back to ants - lasius niger is the common garden ant, fyi - the one that will follow a sticky trail of sweetness right into your kitchen.......bringing along roughly fifty million of his best friends. While it certainly doesn't say so on the official calendar, Saturday - to me at least - seemed like the first day of fall. Now granted, it was at least 90 degrees outside that afternoon (32 degrees C for the two folks who I see are reading from Canada & the UK!) but STILL. I saw some falling leaves when we were walking over to the neighborhood park in the afternoon, and voila - that was it for me!

So I took out of the freezer several bags of white Concord grapes that R (R of the clapotis, that is) had just gifted me with this past weekend and I made jam.

So quite a productive Saturday - especially seeing as how the Munch and I were home alone - Peggers having driven up to Baltimore to attend a Counting Crows concert as an early birthday present from his parents. Making jam while keeping an eye on an active toddler is an..........interesting experience, let's just say. But the good news is that I have a quart (!) of jam for R (hey, the woman has 7 kids, she'll need a quart of jam to make all of those pb&j's!) a tiny little tasting jar of jam for my boss, and four jars for ourselves - probably one of which will be gifted to my dad & stepmother when they come to visit next weekend.

On the knitting front I worked more on J's sock. Now that I'm using a pattern that I like (, that's not at all accurate - as I still very much like the Badcaul pattern - maybe I should instead say that I'm using a pattern I understand???) these puppies are simply sprouting off my needles. After roughly, what, four days of working on them (and 2 other projects at the same time) the first sock is 5 1/2 inches long. After, what, four weeks of working on the Badcaul socks they were about three inches long.....I have switched from the larger needles to the smaller and now the socks are totally happy works in progress - using tiny soft yarn on tiny needles is a joy that only a true anal retentive can understand....but oh what a joy it is! At this rate I'm guessing that the heel flap will be knitted and turned before Friday and serious work on the foot will have begun by then. Yipee! Once this sock is finished I'll introduce you properly to its other two single buddies & will ask for guidance on which set to finish first. Currently I'm totally leaning towards J's socks, for reasons I'll explain later, but am not 100% committed to that yet.

I started a totally new project yesterday (because of which the clapotis has been on hiatus this weekend - it resumes it's typical place in my lineup tomorrow) and am happy to say that I'm about 1/3 of the way finished already. Not too bad, especially considering that my attempts yesterday to start it included only casting on and knitting it for a few rounds before I realized that either my pattern or gauge (or both!) was off and so I ripped it about 4 times before I realized I was waaayyyy too tired to be knitting and so gave up and went to sleep. So in all honesty the real work was started this afternoon around 2:30 when the Munch went down for his nap.

During all of last week's meetings and conferences I ran into S again - a lovely new faculty member on campus - and got the shocking news that she is due September 14th, not sometime in October or November like I was thinking. (And having been in her shoes, I know that at this point in time that pregnant women are NEVER wrong about their expected due date!!!) So knitting books were rapidly consulted and my stash was tossed and I came up with a baby poncho from Sara Lucas & Allison Isaacs 'Holiday Knits' book. I'm using basic grey/cream Pattons wool - and will dip the bottom half/two thirds in some 'wine' Rit dye when I'm finished for contrast and excitement. It's pretty so far - despite not being very big as of yet.. I particularly like the 'Old Shale' pattern that they have you use around the neck - I like how it leans right then left then right again as it goes 'round and 'round the neckline.....

Friday, August 25, 2006

A good fisherman's woman

"I'm pretending to be a good fisherman's woman. Just like Anna Ingunn's mum, the gladiator of all fisherman's wives..." - Emiliana Torrini

Honestly but these good women are *everywhere* these days, have you noticed? Loads of gansey knitting going on - from the Harlot on elsewhere. Odd then that the Torrini album was one that I chose to include in Emily's care package - talk about one of those odd coincidences! It must be the subtle changes in the air signifying that fall is slowly but surely coming around the corner - for me it's the double sight of both the freshman swarming all over campus and two lovely (aspen?) trees turning a deep golden yellow already...

I was absolutely as thrilled as thrilled can be to get word from Emily that the package arrived safe and sound (I mailed that box priority mail a week ago on Thursday, and she got it late this week! Hmph, but the US Postal service certainly has something to answer for in that one - - - honestly, what if that delay in shipping had caused her chocolate to melt???) and was even happier to hear how much she liked it. I had SUCH a good time picking everything out that I had been walking around for days with my fingers crossed waiting to hear from her... The chocolate (in case anyone is interested) is both Green & Blacks and some Chocolove - - they make the best dark chocolate bars that I've probably ever had (except for a few morsels I sampled while in Germany) - - well worth searching them out. And hey - if you can't get them in your particular town let me know, I'm always willing to put together a box o' chocopower for a good cause! And why certainly - I'll happily provide muffin recipes to anyone who asks, but I must state up front that while I myself am a HUGE fan of those muffins they aren't my original recipe. Whose they are, though, I dare not say, for fear of being carted off to jail for insider stock trading...... [snicker, snicker] Poor thing, she really is the butt of far too many jokes, isn't she???? I really *should* be nice to her, after all when the Harlot was on tour last year she went onto M's radio program and spoke to the woman herself who was quite kind to our Wild-Haired and Under-Caffeinated leader..........

I have to admit, though, it felt very strange to not include a knitted dishcloth or a knitted......something in Emily's box. I mean, I totally rely on kitchen cotton and washcloths plus a bar of locally made soap to get me through the emergency gifts - so not including anything handknitted felt very strange. But honestly - have you seen the woman's socks? She's a genius with the needles - she can make a dishcloth that would whup my dishcloth's soggy bottom any ol' day.......... ;>

Speaking of genius, does anyone have any good ideas on how to deal with the following?

No, not the coffee (decaf) and chocolate (G&B's Mayan Gold. Emily, have you tried this yet? I'll be extremely interested to know what you think once you do!) - I totally know what to do with both, but rather the huge nasty snarled mess next to it, under the (since) frogged sock. I spent a good hour winding (barely) enough tangled yarn into a ball to knit a sock. Hopefully enough to knit one sock, but I'll obviously need to eventually produce a second.....and will want to salvage the rest. If this were hair on one of my little sisters I'd yank out the mega bottle of conditioner and find a good comb, but as it's not I have nooooo idea even where to start or if there are any tricks/tips to follow?

Speaking of the ripped sock, here is the replacement in all of it's four inches of colourful glory. I'm quite thrilled as I have moved in the pattern instructions from my four size-2 dpns to five size-1 dpns, which makes me feel a bit more skilled and a bit more confident that I won't have as many ladders in these socks as I otherwise would. I just can't believe how fast they're coming along now that I switched patterns!

And speaking of fast, I made some decent progress on R's clapotis this week during all of my meetings and suchlike - I'm up to 3 dropped stitch rows. I'll have to consult the pattern, but I think (?) I'll do at least 15 or 17 before I start to even think about doing the decrease section. And R, being bored with a piece of knitting is part & parcel of the craft, so don't fret one tiny bit if I start to whinge a bit about the clapotis - finding the discipline to push past the boredom is a good thing, as once you do that you discover some truly interesting things about whatever it is that you're knitting, plus it always seems to be just that same time when you learn a knew knitting skill yourself! Check out the recent progress - I'm truly just loving these colours the more I see of them....

And last, but not least, a long-ago promised cat picture for Emma of my cat Ella in her new sleeping cubby!
Ahhhhhh........I love it when I'm finally able to upload proper photos again!

(See the knitting book collection above Ella's head?)

Eye Candy Friday

Old Eye Candy, but still Eye Candy!

The picture in the picture is of my brother & I waaaaayyyy back when........

Set the oven to 90 degrees (F) and bake for approx. 75 minutes....

Want to know what my afternoon was like????

Seriously, these horrid-quality (cellphone) pictures cannot even do the scene justice. Sitting there draped in BLACK fabric with a BLACK velvet hat on my head in the full sun around 11:30 AM (I know, 1 PM would have been hotter, but at 1 PM I would have just passed right out, so it wouldn't have mattered then) for well over an hour.

The worst was when the sweat running down my lower back actually seemed to PUDDLE in my seat. I stood up with wet trousers and a soaked t-shirt - - and brilliant me wore a white t-shirt today, folks!

So off to the (blissfully) AC'd office to dry off in privacy and apply extra deoderant and a spritz of perfume..................

Needless to say, no knitting was done in any of that. Mostly because the last time I knit in such an official gathering (Spring '06 graduation) someone actually called the President's office to complain about me. ME! Because I was knitting! Obviously neither a crafty sort of person nor a person with any sort of perception of how truly mind-numbing these events are for those of us who attend them TWICE per year. Each graduation ceremony lasts approximately 2-3 hours. HOURS. Tell me that's not just perfect knitting time waiting to be taken advantage of???

A fellow knitter would be doubly sympathetic - not only would s/he know that I was totally in the right to knit and thereby keep the top of my head from exploding by the endless droning of names (I only pulled out the baby sweater(s) when the recitation of names started - I was polite & waited with my hands carefully folded until the speeches and recitations & music interludes were all over) but a fellow knitter would know that you can TOTALLY knit and listen to a bunch of names being read at the same time. I mean, please - it wasn't like I was doing lace or anything..... My friend sitting next to me actually paid less attention - he was reading a book & kept letting out these rather loud snorts of laughter. The science faculty member next to him was playing Yahtzee. (is that how you spell it?) But's the knitter who gets the angry call...............

So after that I figured any time that a set of parents was around I should probably keep my knitting to myself.

(And last night I fell asleep around the stunningly early hour of 9:30, so literally NO knitting was done last night either.)

But stay tuned! Classes start on Monday so life will soon be back to *normal* for me. Yipee! Even better, I'm team teaching a CMAT class this semester, which should provide me with some good knitting opportunities THREE TIMES a week for a full hour (!) as well as some good meetings during which I will certainly be 'permitted' to knit by my meeting-mates....

So Eye Candy Friday? Hmmmmmm...............I'm going to have to do some DEEP digging in my old pics for this one.......................

Thursday, August 24, 2006


I am sitting here blogging with my diaper-only-clad son at my feet. He is happily playing with an (unplugged) glue gun and is lovingly trying to re-tape on the bottom half of a picture that he ripped off a plastic box. My husband is downstairs with some of his friends playing a game, and I am here typing wondering where on earth in my king-sized bed my fourth size 2 dpn could be. (And more importantly praying to every known deity above that my husband doesn't find it by rolling over in the middle of the night and getting impaled by a 2.5mm, uh, 'splinter'!)


I'm already bummed enough as it is because I don't have a 5th size 2 dpn to use - my knitting still isn't good enough with dpns that you can't see the ladders where I switch needles - and this problem is greatly reduced when I'm able to decrease the angles between needles by knitting with a grand total of five.

NOTE: found needle. Behind bed. Now just need to find other, other lost needle so that I can knit with 5 instead of 4.

The new sock pattern is going amazingly well. Rapidly and amazingly. I have already almost 4 inches done (now, that was done on the size 2 needles, and I was working before on the size 1 needles, but STILL) and that is after only 2 days. The pattern (k2p1 ribbing with two cables on either side of the ankle) is just flying past. One more cable turn and I'll have the four inches done at which point I'll be able to switch to (five!) size one needles and will knit another four inches. At this rate I'll have a sock done by the end of next week! Which will bring my grand single sock total up to three, which means then I'll have to make a serious decision as to which second sock I'll cast on for next. I'm thinking the embossed leaves sock - the person I'm gifting those to has no idea they're coming, which is good. And they went by VERY quickly - only 4 pattern repeats and you're at the heel - and they use the double circulars. So I might cast on again for J's sock and the embossed leaves sock at the same time - after all isn't it probably somehow best to have 2 socks on the needles at all times? Especially one sock that you can do without consulting the pattern and one that you have to actually concentrate on?

In an attempt to keep this post from being totally picture-less, I'm going to see if I can't find someone else's picture of the sock I'm currently working on and upload it here. But first (see what last post taught me after only crashing Safari and losing the whole post, what, five times?) - first I'm going to save it ......

It worked! Now how bizarre is that? Even better, this is the original picture from the 2005 IK issue, so you can exactly see their true allure and the Beauty That Is Their Heel Flap. A cool pattern, isn't it? Very lovely and striking in it's simplicity, I think. I'm leaning more and more towards trying it again in some different yarn. Just what exactly I mean by different (solid? Less striping?) I'm not too sure.

Tomorrow I should be able to produce a proper post. For the first time this week I won't be monumentally busy at work ("only" leading an orientation with a group of freshman for an hour tomorrow morning starting at 9 AM followed by convocation at 10:30 then lunch with everyone...THEN I'll have a break until my virtual reference hour at 3. So while I have an absolute boatload of work to do I might even get in a real post with real pictures. Maybe.

At the very least I have to try and get something up for Eye Candy Friday!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Frog & Toad



The Badcaul socks are no more. I was lovin' those suckers, too. Until I started to totally hate the fact that for some bizarre reason I couldn't (for the life of me) remember the Very Simple pattern. Something about the slipped stitches and that extra k3p3 row that was slipped in after the cabled row threw me every time. Then I made the absolutely FATAL mistake of switching from two circulars to four dpns and that was absolutely it. Trying to do a 1 and 2-stitch cable twist on dpns was the thing of absolute folly - so rip rip rip rip (ribbet, ribbet, rip-it, rip-it......get it?) the socks were frogged.


That'll teach me to try & blog from home instead of right before I leave work!

Well, I would show you the sock before it was ripped - especially the back of it which was my favorite part (plain stockingknit stitch) as well as the HUGE pile of tangled yarn vomit that I got when I tried to rip out the sock. Apparently when I center-pull wound the huge skein of Mama-E yarn that I am working with, I got far too greedy and tried to make the whole skein fit when I should have broken it up into smaller balls. The yarn *did* get tangled when I wound it, but silly and stupid me I kept going - - and now I have a huge mounded mess of five smaller balls - each one having pulled from the center of it's larger parent - the whole being a Nasty Mess. Ugh. I have cast on for the socks again and am going to follow the Cable (I know, I never learn, do I?) Rib Socks by Erica Alexander from the Spring '05 Interweave issue. The cables are k3 and they only happen twice per sock, so I'm much happier with that. Plus I really am digging this ribbing - it's a k2p1 ribbing that I think will show off both the colours and the absolutely tinyness of this yarn.

For posterity and replication's sake: I've cast on 66 stitches, and am starting with size 2 needles. After 4" of sock I'll switch to 1 dpns. I'm even going to do the heel flap like they tell me to - it looks really cool, I think - ditto with the way they decrease for the toe. Even though this yarn isn't my personal favorite I might have to make these socks for myself if they turn out as nicely as I think they're going to. Hmmm....maybe that would be the perfect pattern for my Dusk sock yarn???

I was also going to show a picture of a completed and CORRECT Mason-Dixon knitted warshrag that I did in a whopping 2 hours this weekend as a respite from Clapotis, but that will also have to apparently wait.

Knitting this weekend was simply Not On - - my son is teething (we're guessing all of his canine teeth AND his back molars at the same time) which means interrupted evening knitting and serious interrupted sleep (last night he actually woke up crying - - he hasn't done that since he was about 5 or 6 months old!) so that means for a tired knitter. And in my particular institution of Higher Learning classes start this coming Monday, which means nonstop meetings and deadlines out the wazoo at the moment - so no knitting lunch breaks for me this week either! Luckily the administrators of my college have come to my rescue somewhat - tomorrow is Faculty Development Day from 8 AM until 4 PM - and that means several hours of sitting and listening to other people talk while I knit. So R never fear, there should be some good progress made on the Clapotis tomorrow! Thursday is even better - the provost's annual talk - that's TWO SOLID HOURS of sitting and knitting - I'm guessing I'll whack off a good 3-5 inches of sock during that time, what do you think? Anyone want to place a virtual bet on that one? I'm totally willing to do a before & after measurement for you.........

And last but certainly not least I had prepped and ready to go a picture of my new office/knitting room arrangement - after Fig & Plum showed a picture of her yarn stash spot (a lovely bookcase STUFFED with skeins) I decided to do a little rearraging of my own and moved a new bookcase into my room and got ready to fill one shelf with knitting books & xeroxed patterns and all the other shelves with yarn. (And nooooooooo, Peggers, I know it wouldn't have all fit in that little bookcase, but I could have put my favorite yarns out on display in the 'case & kept the rest in the XXL Ziplocs in the closet....) So that was the plan, until our cat Ella decided that the shelf below my knitting books would now be her favorite sleeping spot..... so for Emma, she of the lovely comment & Tricksy suggestion, I was going to put in a cat picture. But alas, it will have to wait until I can get Blogger & my web browser to play nicely again...........which won't be until Thursday or Friday at the latest, as I have to sit and knit all day tomorrow.

Ahhhhh.....poor Me!


Friday, August 18, 2006

Pooling Eye Candy

One hundred thirty two. Stitches, that is. That's when I nodded off the other night - I got to a 132 stitch count on R's clapotis (with still one increase row to go) and I just zzzzzzz'd right out. But the good news is that last night I made it to the end of the [boring] increase rows and started the straight rows. Yipee! And then during today's luncheon knitting meeting with K I got to my *first* dropped stitch section. And by happy coincidence, the blessing of the knitting gods, and almost no fudging by me* it is pooling now quite nicely instead of striping. Which I, unlike a myriad of others (scroll down to the stripey socks to read her pithy comment on pooling yarn), actually happen to prefer.
So, good times were had by all involved (okay, okay, only me as I was the only one around last night when the straight section started) now that the clapotis is not only pooling quite nicely but also moving along happily. This sucker is HUGE. And I mean huge. So R will totally be enveloped once it is finished and all of the stitches are dropped, which will be VERY cool as the hugeness of this will be necessary, I think, to make it warm enough as the yarn is so beautifully thin and almost lace-like. And even better? Because the yarn is so thin it can simultaneously be huge and enveloping and will still collapse easily into a perfect scarf-sized bundle to wrap around her neck if she should so wish. I tell you, with that russet/auburn hair of hers this thing is going to look perfect..................

*I did do some fudging to keep the pooling action moving along like I hoped it would. I had about 2 more increase rows to do (a total of 2 more increased stitches) and I was afraid that if I worked those rows normally I'd lose the pooling - so I cheated and instead of increasing one stitch at the end of the row I was on I increased 2 - thereby finishing the increase section in one fell swoop. R won't be out more than a fraction of a millimeter of size, and the nice colour gradations will stay. So, yes, a wee bit of cheating, but in an acceptable way, I think...

Have I told you guys, too, how incredibly shiny this stuff is? Soft and shiny - and 2 pounds of it for $24. A truly fantastic deal.....

So, on to Eye Candy Friday.

These pics today are mostly for K, as she's the horticulture chica here and this particular set is actually a test for her to see if she knows [snorts] every single plant, flower, and leaf on campus. Yeah, right. (I'm actually guessing she'll get this one, as I don't think it's *that* tough, and even more importantly, she is *that* good...)

Okay, that one is waaaaayyyyy too easy. Not even a challenge. But it 'tis pretty.

It's the next two that are tough-ish. But only 'ish........

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mmmmmmmmmm.......................smells GOOD.
The smell of yarn (for me) ranks right up there with freshly baked bread and the crook of my son's neck.

Sundara's yarn is especially yummy. There is something about the true saturated quality of the colours that somehow seems to add to the olfactory experience. Check it out with my new Sundara treasure - 'Dusk' yarn for a pair of socks. And seriously? This stuff is SO beautiful that I think they're going to be............................(wait for it)..................stocking stitch. That's right, just plain ol' knitting around and around and around. Anything else would totally obscure the beauty and the colours and the gradations. (Hey, if it works for the Harlot why wouldn't it work for me???) With a k2p2 border at the top - but done like Amelia's latest pair of socks where the knit stitch in the ribbing is knit through the back which I find just makes the stitches 'pop' that tiny little wee bit more. Yet is still visibly different in a "hmmmmm...why does that look different?" sort of way.

There is also something about the actual fiber that she uses that is just too lovely for words. It seems like it's going to knit up into the most springy, squishy, comfortable socks in the world. The kind that make you want to go for long walks and when you come home NOT pull off your shoes and socks and prop up your aching feet. Instead you'll just happily toe off your shoes and prop up your happy feet to stare admiringly at your lovely socks.
Of course, I won't know how her yarn knits up into a pair of socks for quite a while it seems like. I have, what, 4 more socks to still finish? Yesterday's woefully single socks each need a mate, and J's Badcaul socks still need to be knitted. What's that Peggers? You say that I still need to knit your pair of fire-engine red knee-high socks? For your size THIRTEEN feet? Making sure to adequately size them for your SIXTEEN INCH LONG CALVES? Oh yes dear, that's right. Thanks ever so much for reminding me. [LOL. If truth be known, the knitting of the Red Knee-Highs *was* my idea.......................]

But, on to what IS finished!

No, not me, sillies. K! Perfect Birch! [ahem]That is an 'R' in there people, NOT a 'T'!

Her lovely lovely lovely Rowan Birch shawl is finished and the statue kindly agreed to model it for us. We (okay I) felt a little silly again posing a shawl on a statue.........until K told me that sometimes due to the overly-alcoholic antics of some underclassmen she sometimes as part of her work duties has to pull both bra & underpants off of the same statue that we were modestly covering with a lovely silk & mohair shawl. So then I felt far less silly.
She didn't use KidSilk Haze like I did - she instead used a slightly different type of KidSilk that had some really interesting tonal variation in the yarn. Now, it came out BEAUTIFULLY but I have to say that the changes in colour made the actual knitting that much more difficult. Which is why we should have so much more admiration for her - knitting with KSH is a total pain in the first place.....the overwhelming fuzziness......the microscopic actual thread in the middle of that halo of mohair.....and then add in colour variation that almost makes stitches look invisible???? OY.
So seriously - K? Really and truly beautiful........and something to be VERY VERY VERY proud of!!!
(and won't it just look perfect with a pair of flamenco heels?????)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Two socks walk into a bar........

.....and one sock says to the other sock, "is it just me, are we the only two single socks in this place?"

So okay, my count on single socks is now up to two. Which isn't bad, but a grand count of ZERO would still be better.

Last night's finishing went extremely well on the silky-wool sock - - did about 8-10 rounds of a very simple k2p2 ribbing (yeah, I know, but stopping after just 3-5 rounds looked too skimpy) and then I flipped the sock inside out and did the EZ sewn bind off. And yes, the bind off is now nice and stretchy. Maybe too stretchy, in my mind, as my friend C (who these are for) is a skinny tiny little thing, and I'm worried that the socks will bag horridly on her, but a little bit of slouch is probably much better than cutting off the circulation in her feet. Especially as she lives in South East Asia and is literally HOURS away from any sort of doctor - much less an actual hospital....... I have to say thank GOODNESS for Brenda Dayne and her Cast-On episodes. I listened to about 3 last night (all of the menfolk were zonked out in the next room - baby, hubby & dog all three snoozing away in unison) - 'twas only the two female cats and myself awake in the whole house! Well, the two cats and Brenda, that is.............

So what now? Ah, I'm glad you asked! I'm on 21 and a half repeats of the increase section on the clapotis. 23 as you might remember is the magic number, so I'm going to devote myself to that tonight. I might do a round or two on J's Badcaul socks, but then again it might be All Clapotis All Night. I just know know know that once I get started on the straight section and get to drop a few stitches that my love for this thing will be Pure and Complete. And that R will be lucky if she can pry it out of my greedy hands. No, just kidding, I'm actually still totally smitten with my own Silk Garden clap. What does that look like, you ask??? WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?! Have you forgotten the Beauty that is Noro already?????????

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.................there now..............isn't that better?

So, today is a short post. With barely any knitting content. But as it contained pictures of sock critters I think that should count for something, don't you? Many thanks to K for help with the critter photo. And make sure you return to read again tomorrow because............tomorrow? Tomorrow involves pictures of K's finished Birch shawl ~AND~ photos of my latest Sundara yarn. (Whaaaattt???? Don't look at me like that - it was a gift, thankyouverymuch!)


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Samesamesame........but at least one end in sight!

Wooooooooaaahhhhhhh but it's been a long five days away! My time off was funfunfun - - absolutely no knitting was done except for a few rows that I snuck in when I went to visit R for a clapotis fitting (almost done w/ the increase section - we decided that it truly needed to be 'enveloping' so I'm upping the pattern requirements to a whopping 23 dropped stitch rows before proceeding with the straight section) and a few more that I snuck in while......................riding in a Jeep with the top down....................on our way to Assateague for an afternoon/evening of sand and fun and salt water and sand and hot dogs and shooting stars and More Sand!

(The way that small children can almost seem to hoard sand in the folds of their legs & arms & necks - and even in their EARS - is seriously not to be believed until you have experienced it yourself first-hand.)

(many thanks to my hubby who accidently didn't get the entire Munchkin in the photo, thereby providing me with a perfect creep-proof picture to put in the blog!)

Unfortunately on the knitting front there is almost NOTHING to report. It's so boring I'm bored myself. The clapotis is getting......wider. That's about all I can tell. I'm up to 19 and a half pattern repeats - 23 is the magic number. As far as J's Badcaul socks go, I try and do two or three pattern repeats a night - and they're oddly very slow going - so far I've managed to cover over the ball of my foot. Now if I was working from the cuff-down I'd be thrilled............but as I'm working from the toe up you can see how this is s-l-o-w-e-r than s--l--o--w. . . . . .


The silky wool socks are giving me hope. I had figured to keep working on them until I ran out of wool - - rather stop working when I had just enough to work a round or two of 'finishing cuff' and then bind off. But lo and behold last night I tried one on just for kicks and it seemed.... Well, it seemed plenty long enough for me. Now this might just be me - - it might be a perfect example of (to paraphrase the Yarn Harlot who was paraphrasing Elizabeth Zimmerman) "how do you know when you have enough ribbing? When you absolutely can't stand to knit any more ribbing then you have just perfectly enough."

So that might be it - but last night when I tried on the one silky-wool sock that I have so far (and the leg is less than the 6" I thought it would ultimately be, mind you) it seemed to be Just Right. So I've decided that tonight 'twill be the magic moment - - I'll knit a few rounds (4 or 5 strikes me as just about right) of some random ribbing (note to self - remember to write down WHAT kind of ribbing you knit, or else you will have managed to knit an entire sock with absolutely no documentation, making it almost impossible to knit a duplicate one to complete the pair. Which is - you know - what a pair of socks are supposed to be. Duplicates.) and then I'll try the Elizabeth Zimmerman sewn bind-off, being sure to use the Brenda Dayne passed-along tip of turning the sock inside out before doing so.

And then I'll have a sock. And then I'll have a sense of accomplishment. Because my previous post? That cute bunch of colourful loops on a circular needle? That was ripped. And then re-cast-on and finished in only a matter of hours - - a M-D warshcloth (yes, with the R in warshcloth, I know) - but dontcha' know I read the pattern wrong? And while it's lovely and functional I still didn't knit it correctly. A washcloth. I screwed up knitting a washcloth ferpetesake. Ah well - it still works - - it at least got some sand out of the Munch's ears.

So an end is in sight. I hope. And then the silky wool sock will be #2 in my pile of Single Socks. Why can't I be like some others and knit them both at the same time???

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Any ideas?

A teaser before I leave you in blog silence for a whopping four days! I will be home with the Munchkin having a lovely time while his home-daycare provider takes some time to herself with her family. I will also (hopefully) be knitting and recording - so be sure to check back on Monday to read & see the results! little mystery project.....

Happy weekend, and Happy Eye Candy Friday!!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Deliverance & Delivery

Nooo.........not the movie.
KK's clapotis was successfully & happily delivered today. I re-gifted some lovely Sundara tissue paper and wrapped it up as prettily as I knew how and brought it into work this morning. She was quite thrilled (made me very happy when she commented after looking at the tied-up box "ooh, look at that yarn you tied the box with - oh, I can't cut that - it's too beautiful!" - said yarn being - of course - the very same Interlacements that her clapotis was knitted with!) and the clapotis seems to fit her quite well. It even matched the little embroidered flowered border on her skirt today - so it was just perfect!

My friend K (she of the perfect Birch that is now completed - pictures coming soon - yayyyyyyy K!) had the funny idea to drape all of our FOs on a statue that resides on campus - so yesterday I grabbed KK's clapotis and trudged on over in the afternoon heat to drape the female statue (we have one of each) and snap away. Look at the pictures below - isn't that WEIRD??? I have no idea why the pictures came out all misty and 'atmospheric' like they did - K's idea was that I came out of my overly-AC'd office into the 87 degree humidity, and that caused the camera to fuzz up. Certainly sounds like a total possibility to me!
It was really fun to take these pictures (only one up here, the rest up in Flickr via the FO link to the right), even if I did feel like a total git standing there tenderly smoothing and arranging clapotis folds around this (hot to the touch!) metal chica. Happily though because the fall semester hasn't yet started up barely anyone - if anyone at all - saw me taking my photos. I'm guessing, though, that after I finish a few more objects & take more statue pictures I'll stop feeling so silly and will just start to feel matter-of-fact...

I have quite a bit of Interlacements left after this project. The original skein came to 16 ounces and worked out to 1400 yards. I have now 6 ounces left, which (if my maths are correct) works out to 525 yards. I really really liked the shawl that Franklin's coworker brought back from Russia. I'd like to try out the Interlacements on that sort of a very open ropy pattern (I particularly like the vines that were on the Russian shawl) but don't even know where to start. Anyone have any idea on where to start looking for a similar pattern or (even better) what I could do with my remaining 525 yards? (And Peggers? No rude comments from you allowed here, me boyo............)

So, that is the 'deliverance' I reference in the post title. The 'delivery' I reference is the fun arrival of my new headset today at work - I played around with it and within a whopping five minutes got the Audacity software to work and the sound quality is so much better. Now I just need to download Audacity to my home Mac & do some practice recording with the headset at home (in private!!!!) before I sign up for a LibriVox chapter. But it's only a matter of time - yipee!!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Monday with a vengance...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh goodness but I'm tired! The Munchkin decided that last night was not - apparently - a night that he intended to spend in boring slumber - and instead decided to first toss & turn for a good hour or so before sitting straight up in bed and saying (in a very high-pitched far too loud voice for what turned out to be 4 AM) "Mommy? Daddy? Down! Down! Down!" and then proceeded to 'get down' and climbed out of bed. He played until quarter to six, at which point he humored me and went back to sleep after about another half hour of tossing and turning. When I woke up at 9:15 this morning it was with a jolt that I realized that I had to: get the Munch up & dressed; get myself up & showered & dressed; give the dog his meds; feed the dog breakfast; feed the Munch breakfast; take the dog outside for his morning constitutional; pack up my lunch; pack up all my necessary odds and ends; and bring my SIL's organic vegetable share into work this morning. All in 45 minutes - and drop off the Munch at daycare. And if I didn't get a cup of coffee I'd probably fall over dead on my face. So needless to say it was a *very* interesting morning! Luckily my 10 AM meeting went very well, and I'm now fairly proficient at the motion-captur software that I need to know how to use to create online tutorials for my student workers. AND in a total bonus my office is at this very moment purchasing me a nifty headset/microphone setup so that I can record audio along with my motion capture pieces. Which means I'll also be able to start recording book chapters for LibriVox before too terribly long - which is something that I've wanted to do for quite some time now! And because it really and truly was the best way to go, I got a headset with a USB hookup, which means it can totally operate with my Mac so I can do both necessary pieces of recording in the privacy of my own home instead of in the incredibly public sphere of my office!

So that was a lovely thing to find out before noon today, which has put in in a considerably better mood than I was in this morning. (Eh, plus the 24-ounce cup of coffee kicked in!) Then I got a lovely e-mail from Emily chatting to me about a potential skein of (woo-hoo!) sock yarn in exchange for chocolate - so that made me even happier. So now I not only have a headset coming my way but maybe some sock yarn as well. And of course I'm still on the eager lookout for Sundara's 'Dusk' yarn to arrive - - that is my payment for knitting R's clapotis.

(And ahhhhhhhh can you belive it? In an e-mail from none other than Sundara herself on Friday last she said that she had dyed this batch of Dusk with me in mind! With me in mind! That's like the Harlot saying that you're funny or Grumperina saying that she thinks you're a pretty knifty and proficient knitter! Aaaaahhhhhhhhh I almost fell over in my chair - chair and all - when I read that!)

And work on R's clapotis I am as I can now devote myself guiltlessly to as I have (cue drumroll!) finished KK's clapotis!!!!!

(Snippet of head courtesy of my non-sleep-needing wee one.)

After blocking this puppy was LONG - longer than I had anticipated, but still not too long, I think. I was quite pleased with the way it turned out - the drape is just lovely with this yarn and the colours really turn into something subtly bright (?) with the dropped stitches separating the solid panels.

Finished length came to 75 inches and finished width to 14.

I Photoshopped the extra-close up picture below to try and get a more accurate shot of the colours - but I'm not at all sure that I succeeded. The real clapotis is probably hovering somewhere between the two...

More pictures later in a separate post either today or tomorrow - I started a new pair of Amelia Raitte 'Badcaul' toe-up socks with some Mama-E yarn that I purchased for a friend's (very) late birthday gift and some commercial pictures from our evening jaunt to Assateague Island National Seashore where we spent a wonderful time watching the sun go down and the moon come up!

FYI - Previous posts that reference 'KK's Clapotis' include:


Weekend Update

....and if and only if I ever figure out how to 'tag' each blog entry under a nifty category like other blog programs let you do, I won't have to keep referencing Finished Objects as such. Wish me luck on that one - and please drop me a line if you know how to do it yourself!!!

Friday, August 04, 2006

A cup of good (hot!) cheer

This afternoon when I went outside to take my Eye Candy Friday pictures it was a whopping 93 degrees (and with the heat index you can safely bump that up to over 100 degrees) - which is just plain ol' HOT. Yet walking down the steps that lead to my building I was greeted with a smile and a cheery hello and a blast of funfunfun music from one of the younger men who works groundskeeping. Baseball hat and sunglasses protecting him from the direct rays of the sun, he was cheerfully wielding a broom and dustpan, carefully sweeping up dead leaves and general debris into small, tidy piles before going back and picking everything up. This gentleman in question can be seen all over campus - working grounds, delivering supplies to departmental secretaries - everyone knows him and he has a kind and friendly greeting for absolutely everyone he sees. He apparently used to be a student and athlete here - until he was on the somewhat tragic side of a car crash, in which he suffered permanent mild yet significant brain damage that stopped him squarely in his proverbial tracks. I cannot help but absolutely love and respect whoever it was in this institution that decided that J should be hired to help out on campus - giving him a place in the world where I hope he is not only happy but also feels a sense of accomplishment and usefulness. His cheerful attitude is exactly what everyone in this world needs on such a hot Friday!

So, on to pictures! Our grounds were declared an "arboretum in 1988. It exists to provide an attractive landscape setting, conducive to learning, that demonstrates the diversity of the Plant Kingdom." So given all of that there is no lack of beautiful things to photograph on a hot hot hot Friday afternoon!

(passionflowers are so my favorite!)

And who, you might ask, is the incredible person responsible for growing and pruning and weeding and mulching and cultivating and watering all of these incredible plants that make our place such a wonder to work in? None other than perfect-knitting-Birch K! Yes, indeedy, and that's her at left, carefully working on her previously-mentioned absolutely perfect masterpiece! So not only can she knit, she can also garden up a virtual storm!!! (And she has fantastic music taste to boot - and can eat chocolate and still look incredible bending over a raised bed to weed in a pair of shorts - doesn't it just figure???) Now, I should note, as if I don't she certainly will, that she does NOT do all of the gardens herself - she is one of several hard-working completely underpaid staff, and she has several student workers at her beck and call. But still, she's the brains behind the brawn for all of the particular plants I featured today, as she is in charge of both pergola and containers, as far as I know.....

No real knitting progress to report - yesterday thanks to K and J's help I decided that KK's clapotis was finally long enough, so I started the decrease rows and have been working on that ever since. Dedication, thy name is clapotis this weekend!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Stash Bug

Oh, I totally forgot. Had a lovely lunch this afternoon w/ a colleague of mine at a new cafe in town (planning a faculty workshop scheduled for 2 weeks hence when the action here on campus heats up to almost unbearable frenzied levels) and he and I browsed the attached shop on our way out.

I couldn't resist.............

A new little friend to guard my yarn stash!

Deadlines & Toddler Hell

Yesterday I was stuck in what was probably only the 3rd or 4th level of hell, but at times felt all the way like the 7th. My wee one was sick - Tuesday night had a sudden temperature spike of 101.5 for about 3 hours and some rather - well, let's just say that no diaper-change is ever exactly pleasant - but the diapers he was, uh, gifting us with were more funky than usual. So that meant that it was a mommy/toddler stay-at-home day, as he's required to be out of daycare for a full 24-hours after he goes over the 101 temperature mark. Of course by Wednesday morning he felt absoulutely FINE and while quite cheerful must have been somewhat dismayed to be stuck at home with me as he went ABSOLUTELY NUTS running around the house getting into absolutely anything and everything that he wasn't supposed to get into. I ran around him like a chicken with no head trying to mop up, sweep up, straight up, and pick up what he spilled, broke, knocked over, and threw down in his whirlwind-like mood. Daycare is a godsend - especially a small one like he attends with only 3-5 other kids - it's like a large extended family - and he's taken care of by the most patient and incredible woman - it really is a dream situation! We all get the best deal we could have hoped for (me with work & solitary time, him with multiple steady playmates, and her with a stay-at-home way of making ends meet.) So last night by - oh - 8 PM both Peggers and I were ready to duck-tape his little body into one solid piece and stick him in a box for just ten peaceful minutes - he was that wired - but instead we decided to brave the soul-sucking heat and let him run around the large grassy area we happily have next to our house. (Yes, some folks call it a cemetery, I know - but for us it's a playground & dog park! A 'clean-up-after-your-dog dog park, that is!!!) An almost full round of the cemetery made for one slightly sleepy babe - but still he got a second wind after bath and it took some Daddy bouncing & swaying to get him to finally conk out at the overwhelming hour of TEN PM!!!

I was thrilled as thrilled can be when he met all of the requirements to go back to daycare today - especially as things are on high gear for me this month and daycare is closed 3 days over the next 2 weeks so I'm working on Short Time before the students show back up and my life is (briefly) no longer my own. Not that it really feels like it's my own at the moment anyway, but you know what I mean.

So that was my toddler hell. And the deadline I reference? No, nothing as paltry as work deadlines - it's a KNITTING DEADLINE. My boss (the afore-mentioned KK) is on leave this coming Friday & Monday, and I hope beyond hope to have her clapotis finished by Tuesday so that I can gift it to her then. I long-ago hit my 10 dropped stitches mark and decided that this sucker needs to be much longer - it needs to be warm and wrappable, and not just something to drape over your shoulders and barely skims your elbows - so keep knitting I am. Luckily you get a whopping 1400 yards of yarn with this particular Interlacements skein, so I have lots and lots and lots and lots to keep knitting with!

I sometimes got tired of knitting 5, purling 1, knitting 5, purling 1 - so I also worked on socks and (of course) decided that the knot in KK's yarn was providence's way of telling me that I should cast on for R's clapotis as well. [snicker, snicker] So of course I figured "who am I to argue??" I've set up 9 dropped stitch rows so far for the clapotis (the pattern tells you to set up 15) and it's just chugging along. But it just seems too small - the yarn is so nicely thin (closer to a chubby laceweight - if there is such a thing! - than the sport or DK weight of KK's yarn) and the drape and feel and colours are lovely - but in order for R to get full and proper use out of this I'm thinking I'll need to set up more like 21 or 23 dropped stitch rows. We'll see as it progresses - that's the extra-nice thing with this pattern - you really can judge and guesstimate as you go along!
That same see-as-you-go is also my current favorite thing about my silky wool lace socks. The stitch pattern is just flying along like a DREAM - I no longer need the pattern to work on these, which is extra nice - and I think the silky wool looks particulary nice in the twist and ladder section. I'm not too sure how long to make these - I'm thinking crew length instead of full calf-length as they're supposed to be cool socks for her - and more length just equals more overheated leg, is my guess.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Dumb dumb dumb dumb

Remember what I said yesterday? About today's work schedule, and that lovely lovely lovely opportunity to sit with my feet up for an indecently too-long amount of time (with far too much coffee) and do nothing but knit? Well, I certainly did it - watched two movies ('Hawaii, Oslo' and 'Amelie') and then in desperation because the clapotis still wasn't looking long enough moved to some episodes of Smallville (I knew I hadn't seen them before & I wanted to watch something - anything! new). So I rolled into work happily late in the afternoon all prepped and ready to hit the ground running and start working.........only to be told that today is the first day of the non-summer-school schedule and lo and behold but we close today at 4 PM. And I strolled in around 3:35. So basically I came in to work less than 30 minutes.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..................... It wouldn't be so bad but what it essentially means is that I just took a vacation day and didn't mean to!

At least on the knitting front I got some stuff done. Last night I made some happy progress on my silky wool socks - I had tried a 'simple lace rib' from the Wendy Knits! blog but the pattern just didn't work with the yarn I was using, so I ripped back and tried an Amelia Raitte pattern - 'Giotto' with quite pleasing results. The first 4 rounds absolutely killed me as I was doing them on two addis and you need to so some serious ssk and T3 knitting - and the Addis just were NOT pointy enough. So after 4 rounds of frustration I switched to 5 dpns (bamboo) and have been having not a single struggle ever since. I'm just a few repeats into the pattern, but already it's really flowing nicely and I can see what to do next and can easily figure out what row I'm on, etc. - so they make me very happy. And I hope my friend will like them - I think the pattern is just perfect considering that the yarn is a bit thickish and she's in Thailand - so the nice lace and ladders will hopefully help to lighten them a bit. I'd show you how nice they're coming, but I took a picture of them with work's camera (all I had on hand) and the camera cable is no longer communicating to my computer. So no luck until later. Bah.

So on to other updates - new pictures of beautiful yarn! A good friend saw my Silk Garden Clapotis & asked me if I'd knit her one - so she browsed around and ordered some Interlacements rayon in an incredible colourway called "Woodland" and it came just the other day. I shoved it on my swift this afternoon (swift & ball winder were lovely & amazing birthday presents via Mamacita!) and wound off a ball & now (of course) want to get started ASAP! I'm going to try starting this out on size 5 needles - the last two were done on size 7s - but Woodland is a bit thinner than the other yarn(s) I used and I'd like the drape to be a bit more cohesive, if that makes any sense. I can seriously hardly wait to get started and see how this works up.

The best part? She's 'paying' me for knitting this for her in YARN! And not just any yarn - Sundara sock yarn! Two skeins of 'Dusk' were ordered for me yesterday and will undoubtedly soon be on their way to my greedy little door. Wooo-hoooo!!!!!!

I might actually start on the Woodland Clapotis tonight rather than work on / finish KK's clapotis only because the working ball on that knitting project has a nasty ol' tangle in it (I took a pic of the horrid mess, but again, stuck on the camera) and I just can't bring myself to stare at it any longer. So I'll probably be a Very Bad Knitter and give in to my starter-itis and cast on for R's clapotis tonight. Good for me, Good for R, but bad for KK! Ah, but that's okay - her clapotis is a total suprise, so what's one more week - give or take - when you don't even know you've been made to wait an extra week?

Sock yarn pictures tomorrow. I forgot I had 2 skeins of Altacama that I want to make into Nancy Bush's 'Friday Harbour' socks................................