Sunday, April 29, 2007

To Whom It May Concern..

Dear Sir or Madame,

This weekend I competed in the 5th round of Sock Madness.

This was the hardest round yet. Although in my opinion the socks are lovely..the pattern had me pulling my hair out..
Seen here are the lovely cables that go down the heel (a nice touch..but the directions to do said heels were as clear as mud!)

After 3 1/2 hours of sleep and a lucky day off when I thought I had to work...

I finished my socks!

This now puts me in the Final Four..I have won the novice division and must now venture out and compete with the experts.

God help me!

I realize now I have a problem. I want to stop, but I can't. Please send the men in the white coats to get me...I will go peacefully.

Thank you,


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

This, That, and the other thing..

Wow! Thank you so much for all the nice comments on the tunic! I really appreciate all the feedback.

After spending some time reviewing the pictures and the actual piece, I must say that overall I am pleased with it. Very rarely do I like the way I look in something when I first put it on, this includes "store clothes" original reaction is usually "ugh!". It takes a while before I realize that yes, indeed, I look rather nice in this shirt/pants/etc.

And I wanted to apologize for the, "does this top make me look fat?" comments. That is such a stereotypical thing for me to do. But, I wanted to give you all a little background as to why I am a little obsessed about my weight, so please bear with me. I need to do this for myself as well as for everyone else. If you don't want to read it..please feel free to skip ahead..that's totally OK.

First off, I know I am not "fat'. But believe me when I say that I know what fat is.

I used to be more then 100 pounds overweight. No, I do not have any pictures to prove it..and even if I did, I would not post them on the blog. Even harsher, the period of my life when I was that overweight was the last few years of high school. Yeah, it sucked.
But then I got rid of the weight...and for most of my twenties I was a skinny little thing. And I got lots of attention, it was fantastic. Well, at first it was fantastic..then it got a little excessive.

At my smallest I was a size 4/5. I was skinny. I thought I looked great. And I want to say right now that no, I did not have an eating least I don't think I did...I was not always wise in my eating habits, but then, I never have been.

Then when I was 27? 28? I got sick. Real sick. I was dizzy all the time, I had no energy. I could not do any of the things "normal" people did. I was going to school full time, working part time, and trying to manage the household duties (trust me, it was a big house! =) ). But I ignored how bad I felt physically, and instead became extremely depressed because of my limitations.

And then one day I was working a clinical at the hospital, and I nearly passed out in a patients room. Thank God I was with an attendant who noticed what was happening and took control of the situation.

That day I went to a doctor..and had the scare of my life.

She told me I was severely anemic. That my hematocrit was so low that she recommended I get a blood transfusion, and also wanted me to see a specialist right away. I was in shock. I asked if this was a "big deal'" and she said "yes".

It was not until much later that I realized she thought I had cancer. I did go to a specialist. I did not get a blood transfusion,(I felt really weird about getting one) but instead spent an entire day hooked up to an I.V. having iron pumped into my body. That was fun, let me tell you, especially when my skin turned an orangish color and my complexion went to hell for a couple of weeks after that. I had to have a gazillion tests and procedures done. I did not have cancer.

What I had was a body that did not like to create or absorb iron.

So now, I take (or try to take..I am horrible about it)massive doses of iron every day. I eat lots of protein and iron rich foods. And for the most part, I am healthy. And that is terrific.

However, I have gained some weight. About 30 pounds or so..maybe more, I refuse to get on a scale! =) And although I never want to go back to being that is a little hard to think I will never fit into those size 5 jeans again.

But maybe, with a little more exercise, and a little less french fries, shakes and beer..I can get back into those size 10's. But I am not going to obsess about it. Not anymore. Because I honestly believe that as long as I am healthy and happy..that should be enough.

And I think everyone else should feel that way too.

OK, now on to some lighter topics. Look what B brought home for me:

Aren't they fantastic? I love them!

But wait, there's more! Look what they do to the water:

(Yes, I know it's the food coloring they use on the flowers...but is so cool!) I am easily pleased,.

And finally, some knitting content, with a bit of Scrappy thrown in. What, you thought I would do a post and NOT talk about knitting at all?

This is an update on the store sample mitered shawl I am finally back to working on. It is now officially at the half way point. I have just been knitting through the skeins, letting the colors fall where they may..still, that's a lot of will be interesting to see what happens with the rest of the shawl...

Oh, and last..but definitely not least, are my narrowed down picks for the next round of Sock Madness. Round 5 can you believe it? (GULP!)

Yes, I know this picture looks different then the others..I was playing around with flickr trying to get you a picture you can click on..and I think I succeeded.

So give it a click and check out the cool notes I put on it. I am getting more and more computer savvy with each passing day!

Monday, April 23, 2007

I am not sure about this...

For better or for worse, I finished the tunic.

I want to like it. I really, really do. And yes, I know I am finicky and that very rarely am I pleased with anything I make....I will let the pictures speak for themselves (mostly).

This first picture was taken at the mall. Notice the lighter violet ribbon..this is the only pic with that color. I don't like the way the ribbing is sagging in the middle of the back, maybe I need to re block it?

My photographer was too much of a dolt to say, "Hey, pull your under shirt down in the back, you look like you have this HUGE fat roll!" This is the best picture I got out of him. The rest were either me making stupid faces, or almost indecent pictures of my chest area. (MEN!) Hence it is the only one you will see of the violet ribbon and the merry-go-round.

So I fired my photographer, and went home to take the ever popular bathroom mirror pictures. At least this way if the pictures are horrendous there is only me to blame.

Ahhh, now these look a bit better. At least all my roles (real and imaginary) are under control.

Speaking of rolls, check out the bottom right of this picture (HA!)
And I changed the ribbon to a black velvet one ( my original choice)..and just tied it on one side. (Trust me, the cutesy little violet bows on each side were a little much)

I wish it was a bit looser in the bottom area, and a bit tighter at the top. I guess I could fix this by shortening the straps..but I am not sure how to fix it without messing up the whole thing (The straps are cabled as well)

This last picture, surprisingly, is my favorite. I don't think I look too fat, and the top seems to fit me just the way I wanted it to. I think it is how I am standing, I here this is the most flattering way to pose, and I guess I just proved it!

I did wear the top to my Knitting Guild meeting...with the violet bows and all...and I did get lots of compliments on it, but you know, they are knitters..they have to say nice things!

I just felt so self conscious walking around the mall (the meeting is held in the community room there)..I felt like everyone was staring at me and thinking to themselves, "What in the hell is she wearing? The poor girl..doesn't she know she looks like a complete idiot?" But of course, this is a normal feeling for me when I wear my handknits out in muggle public.

So from what you can see, what do you think? Honestly? Which ribbon do you like better? Do I look like an idiot? Do I look like a fat pig? Do I look like I am about 5 months pregnant? (I am not, I promise you)..although secretly sometimes I wish I was..tick tock, tick know!

I think I may wear this one, I just need to give it a little time (and buy a better bra!)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My "Little" Secret

Woohoo! I finally had a day off. And I still have a few hours to go!
It was lovely. I sat on my butt and worked on my tunic, and lo and behold:

I finished the knitting and the pieces are blocking.

I have high hopes for this project. I am a little concerned about the gauge. (As always). I knitted to gauge, even a little smaller, but the stitches still seemed a little "loose". And I really had to stretch the hell out of it to meet the blocking measurements.

I am sure it will be fine. At least, I hope so. If nothing else, I will just need to wear a dark garment underneath.

All that needs to be done now is a little seaming..and a little shopping for some ribbon to thread through the eyelets. Yeehaw!

So now, I Must get back to that store sample I should have finished weeks ago. Woops.

I took it with me last night to Ya-Yo (Yarn Yoga), which is the knitting group at the storefor which the sample is being made. (Wow, now that's a sentance!)I dutifully worked on it..even though I really wanted to finish up the tunic back. I felt bad that it was not finished yet, but the yarn manager did not give me any flack about it. She just complimented me on my work thus, it's all good.

I just better have it done before the next Ya-Yo..or I am going to lose some serious face! =) (I have nothing to feel bad about, I always get stuff made for them lickety split..and B is working on a store sample as well....and he is much more in the dog house then I am. But then again, he is making a blanket out of a furry yarn all in seed stitch..the poor man!)

So that is next up on the knitting agenda. As well as Sock Madness round 5..pattern release is this Friday. I am working that day, so I will get the pattern late..oh well. I am also still working on the mystery shawl..I am now on clue four (I will post on this soon!).

Then I hope to resume work on the Forest Path Stole, and hopefully whip out the Argosy scarf, the 2nd Jaywalker, and the My So Called Scarf that has been languishing in my bag.

I am really trying to truck through these WIP's. There is a whole lot more where these came from! But I am also trying to get my projects done for Dulaan, as well as bust out a few baby hats for Sophia. Oh, and lets not forget all the KAL's I have joined...or all the patterns waiting in line to be cast on....

Wait. Stop. Chill! Does anyone else do this?

Well, if you are still with me after all this rambling on, I guess I will reward you.

Many inquiring minds have asked where my new job is at. Until now, I have not revealed this little tid bit because I wanted to have permission first. And now, I have it.

I work at Little Knits. Have you shopped there? If not, you should. Check out those prices! And why yes! We do ship internationally.

So what are you waiting for? You know you want to browse the site, possibly even pick up a thing or two while you are there. And hey, if you do place an order..tell them Melanie sent you, k? Make me look good people! =) Who knows, maybe I will be the one to pack your order!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


That's me at the moment.
This working thing is kicking my butt! I am loving it though. It is a lot of fun and a lot of exercise..and we all I know I could use more of that. =)
And it is very interesting to be on the other side of the on line ordering business. I have been a customer to many of the lovely on line yarn shops, and I had no idea the work that gos into filling an order. I got a whole new respect now people!
It is funny, the owner thought things were going to slow down now that we are nearing the warmer months..but nope. Not at all. I think all of you are spending your tax returns on all the wonderful sales we have going on. Oh and buying up the new Fleece Artist Sea Wool, and some of the new lace weights (and I can't say I blame you!) So things have been crazy busy there since I started. I feel like I have been thrown into the deep end, and I am not sure how to swim. But I am being told I am doing a good job, and it is a hell of alot of I am relishing in the crazy busy, ass over teakettle schedule I have right now.
I can't believe I am going to say this...but even the old job is not that bad right now. I think it is because it is not my sole bread and butter anymore, and that allows me to take it less seriously.

But yes, I am exhausted. I am working more now then I have done in a long time. But it feels good.

I just wish I had a little more energy so that when I got home I felt like doing something. Right now it's all about sweats and tivo..and maybe a little knitting if I can handle it.
Last night I was working on the back of a tunic (seen below) and there is a row where you twist know..k2tog, then knit the first stitch again, then slip off the needle.
Well, I kept knitting the stitches normal across the row, and I had to frog back not once, but THREE times because I kept forgetting to do it. LOL.
I am hoping I will get into a better groove. I am really missing my knitting time. Right now I am lucky to get an hour a night before I am too tired to do anymore. Of course, I could still be recovering from the last round of sock madness..that was crazy!

But yes, there is still knitting going on over here. Not enough, but I still have something to show. If you look at the side bar you will notice I have a Mists of Avalon project that I have been promising to reveal for a while now. The reason it has taken me so long to reveal it is because I switched projects. I was planning on Making Lady E (from scarf style), and I started it (and I love it!)..but then this caught my eye. And considering I need to have my project finished by April 27th if I want to get in on the prizes, I decided to make the tunic.

So here is the front. It is not as purple as this picture would have you believe. It is more blue then this. Maybe Cobalt Blue? Sorry it has been a long time since I played with crayons.

I am using Knit Picks Andean Silk in Hyacinth. And you know what? It is really nice stuff. (And no, I am not working for Knit Picks! I guess I better stop advertising for the competition now shouldn't I?) =)
I think it is very cute, and it is knitting up rather quickly. I am hoping to have all the knitting done by the end of this week ( I am about 1/4 of the way through the back)..but we will see if that happens.
More detail for you..cuz I like the details. Yes the reverse stockinette side is the right side, and the twisted stitches I was talking about run up the lower body. It is looking rather small, but I did get gauge so I am hoping blocking will make it all lovely.

Oh and here is a picture for Miss Scarlett:

This my dear is an Apricot Weizen, and hot damn it is yummy! Even if my friends make fun of me for drinking it. They say it is not a "serious beer". =) Oh well, more for me! See, here in the Northwest we are very serious about our beer (and our wine!). Yes there are those people who drink Bud Lite and Pabst..but they are usually shunned in polite society.

I think you can get Pyramid in stores all over the country (don't quote me on that)..and anything with weizen in it is bound to be good. As well as anything with "nut brown", or "oatmeal stout." If anyone decides to come to Washington or Oregon for some yourself a favor and check out a few breweries/ wineries. You will not regret it! Oh and the food at those places tend to be good as well.

And this last picture is for Jo ,who is also my next victim..err competitor.. in sock madness. (Yeah I am talking all big and bad right now. She will probably have me for lunch!) She says I don't show enough pictures of my feline friend. It's not that I don't like posting pictures of her, it's just I don't want to bore you all with them..and I don't want to copy what others have done.

Although now that Scrappy knows she is a star, there is no living with her. That is Scrappy in MY knitting spot (notice the heating pad and the mass of pillows!). The little booger thinks it is HER spot now. Especially if the heating pad is on.

Hmm, I wonder who is going to win this little battle, it BETTER be me!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Oops! I did it again!

My sincere apologies if that song is now stuck in your head. I understand how frustrating it is. It has been going through my brain for two days now.
And all because of this:

Round 4 of sock madness.

The pattern is called"Mad Weave", designed by Tina Loren. It is so flipping cool! I have to say it is totally my bag baby!

I tried to get a good shot of the pattern. But alas, this is the best I could do. You could always check out the Flickr group to see more wonderful versions.

It's a hell of a lot of fun to knit. To get the weave effect, you have to wrap stitches, slip them for a few rounds, and then drop them off the needle (like doing a cable) while you knit other stitches, then pick them back up and knit them...a little scary, but SOOOOO neat!

Along the sides of the sock are a twisted stitch pattern. This adds a whole other dimension to the design. I like how it gos all the way down the heel, and then splits to travel down either side of the foot.

Love it, Love it, Love it!

Only one problem though....

They are a little big.
OK, a lot big.

Well, 74 stitches, size 0 needles, and Claudia's Hand Painted ( a thicker fingering weight yarn), what do you expect from me? I think I need to knit for the circus..these would fit an elephants feet!

Ah well, they sure are pretty.

Oh and if you are still with me..why the Oops? Well that is the colorway silly!

And the "I did it again" remark?

I lived to see another round. I am in the top eight baby!

And by the skin of my teeth too. I really thought I was going down this round. Linnakat was ahead of me the entire time.

I was ready to admit defeat. I knew it was over when I saw she was on the gusset of her second sock, and I had not even started the heel flap on my 2nd one yet.

But I persevered. I may not be able to win, but I wanted to see how close I could get to her.

I kept hitting refresh, waiting to see her finished socks picture. And as I got to the last few rounds of the foot, then reached the toe..and still no picture from her..I thought, "hey, I am still in this!"

So I got my e-mail ready to go. All I needed to do was upload the picture when I had it. I madly kitchenered the toe (without even looking it up, and I did it right!), wove in the end, snapped a picture, sent off the e-mail, posted the picture to the group..

And I won! And not a moment too soon. Linnakat had her finished pictures up less then five minutes later.

Talk about a photo finish!

OK, so now, I am celabrating with a Pyramid Apricot Weizen (yummy!). Looking forward to my first day at my new job tomorrow..I am a little nervous, but more excited then anything..I have my kittie sitting on my lap while I write this..I got my man sitting on the couch watching Conan on Tivo..and I am thinking to myself..

"What a great way to end a crummy week. Life is good!"

Friday, April 13, 2007

Little Earthquakes.

That basically sums up my week...
If you are a fan of Tori Amos (if you are not, you should be!) then you know the song.
Basically (at least how I see it anyway)..a "Little Earthquake" shakes you up, shifts you around, pulls you out of your comfort zone, and sometimes can "rip you into pieces".
And so much has been going on behind the scenes here at chez stitchinwench. I feel like I have been ripped apart, tossed around, and then glued back together by a three year old.
Earlier this week a blogger friend lost her sweet kittie. My own professor scrappy meowsnshitz is getting on in age. I believe she is about 15 years old now. She is my baby. She has been through so much with me. And although I know someday she will leave me, I can't even begin to think about it.
So of course this week she gave B and I quite a scare. Acting out, meowing in loud and pitiful ways (she hardly ever gets vocal), and being very sluggish. She seems to be back to her old self now, but I am still keeping a close eye on her. The reality of her mortality has been very hard to face..I hope I wont have to encounter it again soon.
Work has been a fright. I don't want to go into details..but there have been a lot of changes in the past few months, and in my opinion, for the worse. I just can't wrap my mind around the decisions the owner has made. We are heading into our busy season, and I do not feel that he has set his staff up for success. His "improvements" have made every one's job three times as hard, and the customers are suffering for that.

But today my friends, a new light has been shining down upon me.
Today I got a new job.
As of now, I am going to work both the current job and the new job part time. Just so that I can get a feel for the new job, and the new job can get a feel for me.
I am extremely excited about this change. I am not sure how into detail I can get..but let's just say that I will be working with yarn. Lots and lots of yarn. In fact, the next time you place an order on line..depending on where you order..I may be the one boxing it up and shipping it to you. And..who knows..there may be some designing in my future.
(I am a little scared about this, considering I have never designed anything before. But I am also very excited..I know I can do it if I tried.)
So my friends,the little earthquakes that happen in our lives are not all bad. Sometimes we need to be torn down, so that we can rebuild and be stronger and better. And hopefully happier.

Now on to some fun news. Sock Madness round 4 starts tomorrow. I can't believe I have made it this far! I have my work cut out for me this round though. The person I am against is FAST! We have been neck and neck finishing socks thus far in the competition. And I know she is not going to be taking a vacation or working or going to a fiber festival. She is in it to win it, just like me.
The yarn specified is another variegated. The original was knitted with Claudia's Hand painted..LOVE IT! I will most likely use this yarn:

Claudia's Hand painted in the "Oops" colorway.

However, this lovely yarn has been wanting to be knit up for a while now. Please forgive my nasty rewinding..the yarn is rather fun and "spunky".
This is Socks That Rock in the Blarney Stone colorway...and considering who I am up against..I could use all the luck I can get. (heh, get it blarney stone..luck..duh!)

Of course, I will make my final decision when the pattern is released sometime between 5 am and 9 am on Saturday.

Me? Up at 5 for some silly pattern? YOU BET YOUR SWEET ARSE!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

My Pal is Better Then Your Pal!

So neener neener!

I love packages. I love them so much that if a certain amount of time gos by and I have not received one, I will order something off line just to get it delivered.
The "something" is usually yarn. But books, wine, beer, magazines, cross word puzzle books..etc. have all fed the addiction. OK, I guess magazines and cross word puzzle subscriptions are not really "packages"..but they are something to look forward to.
(Speaking of magazines, I subscribed to Vogue Knitting and have not received the new issue yet. Hmmmm.)
But I digress.

A couple of days ago I got an e-mail from my pal letting me know she was sending me a package. So I did what I always do. I stalked the mail box, I checked my doorstep 15 times a day. (Because I live in a "split" house, I do not have a doorbell..)..Whenever I heard an automobile drive by the house, I checked to see if it was the good old UPS truck...

I had today off. I was recovering from The Madness. I spent the day drinking coffee and reading Mists of Avalon..great book, only have 100 pages left..and also working on the new clue for my Mystery Shawl KAL. (I will show you progress later this week. Promise!)
It was a sleep in until 11, lounge around in my pajamas all day type of day.
Now, the mail does not come by here until late afternoon. So I had not thought to check it. Imagine my surprise when B comes home from work at 2:00 and walks in with the mail and a package.
Needless to say I was excited. I squealed and said. "It's from my pal! It's from my pal!." B just laughed at me. I snatched the box out of his hands and ripped open the package (not before noting that the package came from pal lives in Texas, that is so cool!), and squealed again.

This is why:

That would be a cute white sheep tape measure (how did my pal know that I have a fetish for cute tape measures? Yet, I did not have this one yet. Sweet...)

And those needles? Totally cool They have measurements on the needles. So swatching is a snap. That is really neat, I have never seen that before. B wants them. I told him he can't have them.

And then she sent me Knitting on The Road. This book has been on my Must Have list for a long time now, and now it is mine. Those of you that have this book know how wonderful it is. I want to make just about every sock in it.

And as if that was not enough, she sent me some beautiful yarn. 550 yards of Superwash Merino Wool from Fearless Fibers in the "Chocolate Pink Cherry" colorway. And trust me, this yarn is as delicious as it's name. But with fewer calories. And it smells good too!

But now I have a tough decision to make. Which pattern from Knitting on the Road do I pick for this yarn? Oh man, if all decisions in life could be like this one!

Thank you pal! Thank you very, very much!


Not My Bag Baby!

So I bet you all are wondering what yarn I chose for Round 3 of Sock Madness.
The overall consensus was to use the Yarn Pirate.
And I thought about it. I really, really did.
In fact, I grabbed all the yarns and reswatched with all of them..and I just was not happy with any of my choices.
So I dove back into the stash and grabbed some Trekking XXL. I have that in droves. I grabbed color # 106, swatched, and decided it was the chosen one.

All that stress, for this:

Now, far be it for me to pass judgement. I have never designed a pattern, and we all have different tastes...variety is the spice of life after all..but the last time I wore socks like this I was in grade school.

Ok, Ok, maybe it was Junior High. I do recall a time when white cuff socks with lace trim were all the rage to wear with high heels. Usually with white tights...and the legwarmers were optional. It was the 80's people, we all did it..don't lie!

But those days are over for me.

It was really hard to get through this round. I just did not enjoy the knitting at all. What you don't see is underneath the cuff there is 35 rows of 2x2 ribbing...ugh!

My "real life" friends (who shall remain nameless) took one look at the pattern and decided to drop out of the competition..I can't say I blame them..but that also made it a little hard to persevere.

Oh, and don't forget I was competing against someone I really did not want to knock out of the competition...

Many people like the socks..and I think that is great. This is just my opinion. And I am sure stuff I like other people would find hideous/gross/ridiculous. For example, my love of dipping my french fies into my shakes. (Yum! You really should try it!)

I also must say that part of the fault is the yarn I chose. I could not get more "5 year old wearing her new Easter socks" if I tried.


Monday, April 02, 2007

What would you do?

So the next round of Sock Madness starts on Wednesday.
This round has thrown me for a loop.
I totally thought I knew who I was going up against this round..but the hostesses decided to shake things up a bit and pair us up differently then we all thought they would.
So now, I am going up against someone I consider a friend. (Hey Kellie!) And although the competition is all in fun.. (that's how Kellie and I made friends ;)..and she is just one out of many wonderful people I have met.) is hard to feel competitive when whether you win or are going to be disappointed.

In the famous words of the late Crocodile Hunter...Crikey!

And that is just the beginning of my woes.

Wait hold on a second.....

B just pulled out the worlds smallest violin.

OK, now that we have the sad mournful music in the background (just pretend alright?). I will tell the second thing that has my panties all in a bunch.

The freaking specs for this pattern.

"gauge: 7 sts. per inch on size 1 1/2 needles with fingering weight yarn."

The gauge and the needles size make sense..but how the hell do you get a good fabric out of that yarn weight? I know I am not the worlds tightest knitter...but seriously? So I thought, "OK fine..I will just use a 2mm needle instead. " After all, going down a needles size or two is nothing new in my book.

Oh and here is the real kicker:

" 2 skeins used..each about 280'ish yards per skein".

That's alot of yarn my friends.

For further clarification we have been told that the designer used big skeins like this with "plenty left over"..and the person who test knit the socks did hers with Lorna's Laces (215 yds. per skein) and also had "some leftover."

Could anyone out there please clarify to me what "some leftover" and "plenty leftover" means?

When we first got the supply list I did what any dutiful competitor would do. I burned a hole in the credit card buying yarn.
And I totally thought I had this one under control.

I bought a skein of Schaeffer Anne (560 yds per skein)..and thought I was golden.

I absolutely love this yarn. I have been looking forward to knitting with it ever since I saw it at The Loopy Ewe website.

The problem is that I am getting about 10 sts. per inch on the 2mm..which would totally slow me down..and also make too small of a sock. And I am not all that happy with the fabric I am getting. I think to be absolutely satisfied with this yarn, I would need to use the dreaded 000's.

OK, so the Anne is out. Right?

So I started to think about other yarns in my stash. Stuff that is categorized as fingering weight, but is a bit thicker.

So I pulled out the Claudia's Hand painted:

For those interested..this is the Oops! colorway.

And then I went for the Socks That Rock:

This colorway is called Blarney Stone.

I get absolutely beautiful fabric with both of these yarns. My gauge is about 8 sts. per inch on the 2mm, so a little off but not too bad. I would not go up to the 1 1/2 size needle though..because again the tension would be too loose for me. And considering that socks are usually a tad bit too big on me, the gauge and fabric seem why not just pick one of these right?

The yardage.

STR has 360 yds. per skein. Which would mean I would have 180 yds per sock.

The CHP has 172 yds per skein.

That is a far cry from the 280'ish yards per skein that was posted. And I am not sure if either of these would give me "some leftover" or even enough to finish the socks.

I can just see myself getting 2/3 of the way through my 2nd sock at 3:30 am and realizing that I am OUT OF YARN!

So..I guess these are out as well??

Next up, the good old Lorna's Laces. This is what was used to test knit the I should be totally fine in the yardage department.

And even though my gauge is gives me an OK fabric with the 2mm's.

(Sorry for the bad picture. This yarn is impossible to photograph.)

I guess this yarn would be the most logical choice. But I am just not all that jazzed about using it. I love Lorna's, but there is nothing "special" about it..for me anyway..and the colors are pretty, but, well..I just feel "blah" about it.

And trust me, when you are trying to knit a pair of socks in less then two days..the last thing you want is to feel "blah" about your yarn choice.

So here is my final option. Final because this little dilemma has occupied way too much of my time, and I refuse to dive into my sock stash again. ( I say this and realize that my stash is sitting right next to me..and I have been pulling out yarn at random through out writing this post, hoping one of them will say "pick me, pick me! I am PERFECT!"..Nothing yet.)

OK, here is my final option..and after doing a search..I think this one might be saying "Pick me!"
This sexy little number is Yarn Pirate in the Sonoma colorway.

I adore this yarn..this is the yarn that sits out on the table so I can enjoy its loveliness. This is the yarn I pet when I need soothing.

Now I originally thought there were only 400 yds. per skein, but after the search I just did I believe it is a whopping 480 yds....that is a huge bonus! I think that would allow me to have "plenty left over".

And on size 0's I am getting a nice fabric..not as tight as I would like..but doable. Again gauge is totally off...I am getting about 8 1/2-9 sts. per inch...but I still think that would be alright..(it just would slow me down a little bit..but then again..all my choices will do that.)

So maybe this is the one? I would marry this yarn if I could. And I believe it deserves to "grow up" into something my concern lies in the fact that I don't know what the pattern looks like yet. Will it be worthy of the Sonoma?

Please help me, I am in meltdown! Forget global warming..forget the starving children in Africa. Forget the Iraq war and the terrorists! THIS IS SERIOUS! I can't decide! The fate of the world..I mean my socks...rests in your hands. Don't fail me now!

What would YOU do?

Sunday, April 01, 2007


I am having a hard time writing this post. Let's just start with that OK?

For a long time now, and I mean years here people..I have been jealous of other people.
It seems everyone around me drives a Beamer, or a Lexus, or some other massively expensive car.
In "normal" neighborhoods, houses are being bought up left and right, torn down, and gargantuan monstrosities are being built in there place.
Woman who are old enough to be my great-grandmother have faces that look like onions, and breasts that look like cantaloupes. Now that I think of it...the men do to.
In my town, it is all about appearances. It is all about the toy's. It is all about who has the most stuff.

And I can't help but be taken up by all that.
Here I am. Driving a VW Bug (which I love), trying to go to school (not right way can I afford it even if the government says I can), and living in a shoe box because rent is ridiculous and you can't buy a house for less then $400,000.00 (and that is a fixer upper!)
And I work in a job where I am reliant on the afore-mentioned people to pay my bills (tips). Funny how so many of those people get real tight in the wallet when it comes to a tip...hmm.

So yeah, for the past few years..I have been jealous, envious, resentful of "the Joneses". It's been ugly.

I have been ugly.

And I have been blind.

With knitting, I have done some charity stuff. I have donated a few dollars here, a few chemo caps there..but I never really gave a thought as to where it was actually going...

Until now.

I don't know if anyone who reads this knows about Dulaan. It is a charity that sends clothing (and other stuff) to Mongolia. I can't even do justice explaining it, so I am not going to even try. You should really check this out and read more about it.

In a nutshell:
Mongolia is Effin freezing. There is no government. Many children are homeless. Most people do not have warm clothing. It's pretty ugly any way you look at it.

But what set this charity apart for me.

Pictures. The pictures Ryan posted on her blog of these people, these children.. it hit me in the gut.
I have been so self-absorbed.

Here I sit with a roof over my head and a full stomach.
I have electricity, clean water, and warmth.
I have a closet full of clothes, a kitchen stocked with food. I have reliable transportation. I have a steady job that pays the bills..barely..but it does still pay the bills. :)
And I have entertainment. TV. Music. The Internet. Books. And yarn..did I mention the yarn?

Why is it, with all that I have...I want more?

This little sweater you see here, it is the first of 5 items I have committed to send to Mongolia for the Dulaan project.

It may not look like much, but it is the most amazing thing I have ever made.

While I was knitting this, all I could think about was the child who will be wearing it someday. A child I will never meet. I will never know there name. But this sweater will keep them warm. It will allow them to go to school. Who knows, it may save their life.

I was crying when I finished seaming this sweater up. I never want to forget the lesson I have learned from all of this. A lesson in humility.

I have so much. I am blessed beyond measure. And I am Thankful.