Friday, May 25, 2007

Not so finished projects!

Seems like I won't be able to manage very regular updates any time soon! I've been lazy about taking pictures (well, I took them but they are still on my camera!). One improvement though : I now am the proud owner of a laptop and I have Internet connection here at work! I won't have that much use of it as I'm usually quite busy at work, but this week has been very slow a many kids are on trips with their school so it's all quiet over here! I'm happy I have my computer or it would have been boring. Rest assured, I have been working as well! It's a lot easier now as the 2 computers here at work are often in use so I didn't get much done. Now I can easily work here. So much nicer!

Knitting has been ok the last couple of days. I was doing great on some excisting projects, but then I couldn't help myself and I casted on for 2 new pairs of socks! Not very good of me! :D But I am moving along nicely.

In September last year I was asked to knit a little vest, Carolina, out of the Rowan Summer 2006 magazine.


Somehow I never got much done. Just after Easter I picked it up again as the lady still wanted it, and started knitting again on the back. The back/front (it's all one piece that has to be folded) is a black hole of K3P3 ribbing over 120 stitches for 170 rows! And that with 2 strands of mohair (I used a cheaper replacement for Rowan Kidsilk Haze) on 4mm needles. I finally finished the back over the weekend as I deperately needed the 4mm needles for a pair of socks! Now I started on the lace that's around the complete back/front and the sleeves. It's not really exciting lace, but better then the ribbing. I also don't like the yarn the person picked as it's variegated and though it was fine for the ribbing, it's obscuring the lace in my opinion. But hey, it's not for me after all. So hopefully this'll get done soon!

I'm also trying to finish up the previously mentionned socks on my 1,5mm needles! It was hell as the pups kept getting their little paws on this sock and it seemed doomed. I think they pulled out the needles 4 times, at the same time ripping out quite a few rows!! And then, as I already said, I ended up with 4 needles instead of 5. Well, the 5th one turned up on Monday. I went home sick around noon and crashed on the couch. I put my head down on the pillow and felt something. Guess, what, the needle was hiding in the pillow! Smart needle! :D So I'm back knitting comfortable on 5 needles! Now I just need to finish up the foot, but it's going quite well. Well, I'm distracted again by new socks. But I need to finish these because coming July they'll be on the needles one full year (they were started in Turkey last year).

Long ago I promissed I would knit a pair of fair isle socks, preferable my own design, for every part of project spectrum. The socks for February/March are still no further then the cuff of the first sock (half way the leg). I will finish them some day. Maybe I'll finish them for Project Spectrum next year! Anyway, I had the yarn ready for this round, and the idea. I wanted to do a cuff in Double Knitting so you could turn it up or down on the sock, and then the leg in a solid. I designed the cuff, and started on 2.25mm needles on Monday. This is what I ended up with :

Double Knitted sock start

The left is the infamous Gentleman Sock (with the 5 needles! :D), the right is the start of the PS socks. Can you see it? It's huge! It's almost big enough to fit on my head, and I have a big head! to bad, 'cause I liked the Double Knitting.

But I ripped, and started thinking about another possibility. Well, I started a plain fair isle cuff, and this will be knee highs again, but I'll be changing to one colour by the end of the leg and the ankle and foot will be in one colour only. Hopefully it'll work out. The fair isle isn't really lending itself to decreases, so I'm planning on trying to switch my needle size to make the sock smaller. It's a big try-out. There is no question though that I won't be finishing the socks before the end of the month. But at least I'm knitting them! Next round will be quite easy as it's black, my fave! With a dark burgundy it'll give some nice socks!

I'll leave you with a few pictures of my doggies. The boy left last Wednesday. His new home is worrying me. They didn't rush to pick him up after their trip and what I heard from the boyfriend (I wasn't at home when they were there to pick him up) they weren't to positive. :( I hope he'll manage, he was such a sweet boy! We miss him, but I'm quite realistic and now we couldn't keep him.

Gismo the morning he was leaving, enjoying some sun.

Aife 23/5
Little Aife, who is missing her brother but doing quite well! She's quite huge by the way! (13kg at 3 months, while her mom weight only 25 kg fully grown!)

Sky 20/5

This weeks sky. It's better today, with blue and sun, but it'll get worse again over the weekend!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Missing sock needle ...

Today I decided to take a long relaxing shower (I did clean the inside of the shower at the same time, so it was productive - yes I'm crazy like that) and then pamper myself in preparation of a very boring evening with the in-laws.

So I showered, washed my hair and did the small stuff (nails, etc.). Then I used a mask for my face and used body cream all over (usually don't do that). I rinced the mask, tried to make my eyebrows a bit more decent, and used facial cream. And then I dried my hair (after covering it with 2 special creams). I was pretty happy.

I did check on the pups during it as they were sleeping on the couch, but I had totally forgotten my sock was still on there. So when I was completely done and got downstairs my sock no longer had needles in it and I could only see 2 DPNs. After better looking I found 2 more under the couch, but the fifth one has dissapeared! :( I hate having an incomplete set and as these were 1.5mm DPNs I'm not sure yet when I'll be able to get a new pair (have to go to the store in Brussels that was close to my previous job, but I don't remember the opening hours really well ...). Might show up - the needle- but for now I'm knitting the sock on 4 needles instead of 5. (I tried using my 1.5mm addi turbo, but I didn't like the needle being so fragile and bending all the time so I switched to DPNs which seem to be more sturdy).

I'm off to bed now with a bit of knitting. Boyfriend is trying to get the attention of our little Aife but I think she's ignoring him! :D She's so great at that! He was totally surprised when I mentionned she already knows a few things, as he sais she always ignores him! But she can sit, give paws and is starting to get the "down" thing too!

I'll try to remember the pictures tomorrow!

Friday, May 18, 2007

My first contest winning!

Since I started reading blogs - and keeping one myself - I've been participating in Blog contests and swaps (with related contests etc). I never had much luck and didn't win a single thing. After a while you stop participating in contests, right?

Well, a few weeks ago I did enter a "contest". Not really for the contest though, but because I was really inspired by the question! Ann asked about blocking socks. And well, I found that a nice question!

I only block my socks after the first soak, and only if it improves the look of the sock. I might put my socks on my blockers (homemade from wire hangers) for pictures. But after that I never block my socks! I usually save up my socks to do one big washing of them all. So I end up washing 10 pairs of socks or more all at once. I wouldn't be able to block them all if I wanted. Plus I don't see the use of blocking (socks stretch on your leg so the pattern will show no matter). I do however lay all my socks flat to dry.

When I make socks for someone I will block them. I think it adds to the look of the sock for the recepient. Plus of course washing them erases all the dirt that might have gotten in them while knitting them (I'm not the one to wash my hands every time before I start knitting).

Lately I have worn socks directly after finishing them without washing them. After all, it's just my feet and it's not like those feet aren't used to a bit of dirt (not like really dirty as I hate walking barefoot). I just cast off and wore them! And I liked it! :D

So where was I heading? I answered the question for Ann but didn't really notice the contest, and forgot immidiately. Till I got an email from Ann! She wasn't on my regular blogroll then (I don't know how I got across her blog in the first place) so I wouldn't have known is she hadn't emailed me. Turned out I had won! Someone (her husband? I don't remember) had pulled my name out of the pile! I was shocked (in a good way!).

And what did I win you ask? Well, I got to choose between the new Interweave book Favourite socks and 2 skeins of Koigu. Though I of course would have liked the sock yarn I went for the book as it's not availabe at till the end of June or something like that and I really wanted the book!

I recieved the book earlier this week (the last mail I recieved as there's a big strike going on in one of the big distribution centres here in Belgium). I love it! I already have several socks I want to knit from it. I wanted to start a pair last night but couldn't find a free 4mm circular. I'll have to free one up quickly, or order some more needles. I do plan on getting a bigger Addi turbo collection, but I'll need a few weeks to get a good list of the ones I already have. I don't think I have a 4mm though, or maybe only one. As I use the turbo circs for all my knitting I need more then one needle of course. Oh well.

Anyway, this way I want to thank Ann big time for the contest and the book! Seems like I do have a little online luck left anyway! Thank you!!!! Oh, and check out her blog of course!

Hopefully I'll find some time this weekend to take pictures of a few FOs, 'cause I have been knitting!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Weeks sky - Stash sale

Sunset 29/04

This weeks sky.
As you can see it has been extremely beautifull over here. For the last 4 weeks - or even more - we've had wonderfull weather, with high temperatures. It was more Summer then Spring really. We didn't have rain for over 33 days so I'm quite relieved this week will be a lot cooler and lots of rain. Yeah, I'm not that much of a Summer person and stuff is starting to be very dry!
I don't have any FO's to show. Well, I do, but I'm keeping them for another day. I just don't feel like it. It's not such a good day today.
I was just watching Let's knit 2gether and I was a bit dissapointed they weren't able to show just a tiny bit of the Harlot's speach. Due to various reasons - one of the being I live in Europe - I will probably never get to see here in reality, which is sad. But hey, at least I got to see something.
It would also be nice to have some kind of community to be part of. But that's not really the case over here in Belgium. I'm sure there are quite a few more knitters out there then I know of, but it's still "hidden" and "weird". It doesn't keep me from knitting about everywhere, but it's still a bit lonely.
That being said, I'm going to try to get rid of some stash again. It's hard for me as nobody seems to be interested. Mostly probably because of the shipping. So I'm thinking of offering free shipping, but economical, and if one wants priority they have to pay the difference. We'll see where I get. It would be nice to get some things moving because last week I was really confronted with the enormity of my stash. It's getting out of hand. I either need to knit a lot more (not possible) or get some stuff moving.
Oh well, of to take a nap now!
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!
Edited to add :
As per request I made a Flickr set of the yarn I have for sale. I am also willing to swap, but I would prefer to sell.
A special for those commenting here willing to buy/swap : I'm giving away the mohair (the Schachenmayr and the No name Red/white/yellow) for free!! Just comment and don't forget to add the email where I can reach you!
As for the others, no fixed prices if you found this through the blog, just do me a good offer. I'm putting them up on the Destash blog later this week.
I'm willing to pay shipping, but only economical (takes 2 to 4 weeks to the US), if you want Priority (about a week) you just have to pay the difference.