Thursday, March 30, 2006

Earmuffs For Cars

When the man next door saw us putting earmuffs on the side mirrors of our new car it prompted him to say, “Awww, how cute. You really love that car don’t you?” I answered, “Yes, we really do, but you see all of the bird droppings down the side doors of your car? You’ll notice there are none on ours.” He looked long and hard and asked, “Why is that?” I explained that the resident male Cardinal, who lives in the tree between our houses, loves to admire himself in the car mirrors during the early morning hours. While sitting on the window edge of the door, he pecks at the bird in the mirror, and drops little packages of appreciation down the side of the door. “Where did you get those covers?’ he asked. I told him I knitted them, and of course, he asked if I could make him some. Now there is a Christmas gift for the neighbors--car earmuffs.

I didn’t really knit them as earmuffs for the car. These are a project gone south—totally off beam. The useful covers are, I confess, my first try at knitting socks from many years ago. I was so happy to have actually created a heel flap and gusset that I didn’t notice that they were more than just large. Then, I just couldn’t throw them away, and no one in our family has feet that big (I’m talking really gigantic), not even our 6 ft. 6 in. son. So, when Sir Cardinal started demolition on our new car, I marched outside and slid the big foot covers on the side mirrors. He never came back. He's too busy working on the neighbor's car. There’s a way if there’s a will! Life is good….

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Easter Egg Colors

No, these are not a new style of Legos, and they are not “do-it-yourself “ Pick-Up sticks. These are…TA-DA… the new colors of #0, #1, and #2 Comfort Zone dpn’s. This is what they look like when they come out of the mold. Then they have to be popped off their frames (which holds one of each size), polished and matched by size and color. When I got these I immediately pulled the #2’s off, polished them and put them to use in the second Carbon sock.

Then, I decided that we should sell them in multi-colored sets—sort of a coat of many colors needle set. I will have to show them as a mixed set on the website and see if there is any interest in them. I think the different colors are pretty together, but then everyone who knows me understands that I am always a few degrees off center. Who says all four or five dpn’s have to be the same color? Oh well, sets of all one color will be pretty too!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Puppy Power

Before I begin my discussion of canine knitting companions, I must thank Bliss, Kathy and gardengirl for their comments, which strengthened my weakening resolve to finish the second Carbon sock. I did try the first one on with jeans last night, and decided that they will be perfect with my black leather mules. I actually liked the little monster, and immediately cast on for the second sock.

Now—dogs. I was reading a blog yesterday about how most knitters have cats. Lest all you cat owners jump to the conclusion that I don’t like cats, au contraire! I like cats—they just don’t like me. They probably sense that I belong to a dog, and decide that there is no hope for me. DS had a most unusual cat once. Stinky—yes, that was her name—decided early on that she liked me immensely, and would plop into my lap whenever I visited. If she ever smelled dog on me, she clearly wasn’t offended by it.

But I digress…I just need to say that dog-owning knitters also have faithful knitting companions. My Macy loves to curl up in my lap in a tiny dog-ball, as Jack Russell Terriers are somehow able to do. She occasionally objects to being stuck with a dpn, but usually she is content to sleep for hours, while I knit. It is comforting and sometimes relaxes me to the point that I drop the knitting on the floor or into the basket, and stretch out on the couch, dog and all, for a wee nap. It doesn’t get any better than that!

So, knitting companions of the world, both cat and dog, I salute you. With all of you around…life is good.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Yes they are! I have been so enthralled with the Socks That Rock yarn and this Carbon color, that I did not realize just how different they are from what I usually knit—until now. Not different in a bad way, or in a “well, I’m certainly not going to wear those,” way. Just different! I usually opt for bright colors—really bright like lime or hot pink. These are dark and subdued, and…you know. DH thinks they “grow on you.” Just so they don’t actually look like something is “growing on” my feet, like maybe mold.

You can tell that I am at odds with myself about these socks. It doesn’t help that I have a skein of Socks That Rock in Fire On The Mountain sitting here waiting for me to finish Carbon--the bright reds, greens and golds calling out to me. I’m going to muscle my way through the second Carbon sock, and I’ll bet that they will become one of my favorites. That happens to me often. I finish a pair of socks, a scarf, or a sweater and think, “that’s not exactly what I envisioned,” and then, the item becomes one of my favorite things to wear. I hope these socks are like that, because the yarn is so luxurious. I know it will be a joy to wear. If they only weren't quite so...different.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Discovering Comfort Zone

Thanks to all of you wonderful people who have said such kind things about Comfort Zone dpn’s! We’ve been talked about in the sock knitting groups recently, and it has made it possible for us to put these great needles into the hands of many sock knitters. After ordering and using them, lots of you have said things like, “The best thing since sliced bread,” and “I just can’t believe I can knit for hours without my hands hurting.” We have also received constructive comments like, “why don’t you post the length of the needles on your website?” And, so we did. (They are 7.75 inches by the way). It’s a nice thing to have a good product, and enjoy using it, but it’s a completely different picture when others discover it and want to use it too.

On the knitting front—I have finally started the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock in Carbon. I am also working on Wendy Bernard’s “Something Red,” a cute little summer sweater worked from the top down in one piece. It can be found at The Garter Belt. I also have two pairs of socks to repair for DD. She wears her socks with mules in the ER, and for some reason they seem to take a beating. Of course, she also admits to taking her shoes off as soon as she gets home, and walking around on flagstone floors in just the socks. Yeah, that would do it! So, I’m not in danger of running out of knitting projects any time soon. To top it off, I just ordered two more skeins of Socks That Rock, in Marbles and Falcon’s Eye.
Life is good!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Orange They Cute?

Orange you gonna tell me you like them? Okay, enough with the orange jokes—these babies are orange Blauband. Sadly, I am not fond of Blauband. I have had several pair of socks in Blauband that:

1. didn’t wear well
2. seemed thin and not very warm
3. felt rough on my feet
4. did not give me warm fuzzies while knitting them.
But thanks to a contribution from a friend (who does not like Blauband either), I ended up with six skeins of this orange stuff. What to do—what to do. I decided to make some thick, 60’s style, cuff-topped socks. I used a double strand, so as to get rid of this blasted yarn as quickly as possible, then made them l-o-n-g in the leg, and reinforced in the heel and toe with yet another strand of—yep, you guessed it—Blauband. I am now down to the toe on the second sock and to my surprise, I still have two skeins of it left over. I think it is multiplying in my yarn basket. Soon I will have baby skeins of orange Blauband all over the knitting room. I can hear the Mom and Dad laughing at me. What a joke they pulled on me. “You’ll never get rid of us!”

I am trying to finish the cursed socks because I want to start the Blue Moon Socks That Rock in Carbon. I’m going to use the same Yukon Leaves pattern that I used for my Sock Pal’s socks, because I love it. At the same time, I am starting DD’s sunshine yellow shawl. That should keep me knitting for at least two months. Then it's on to DIL's afghan. I don’t know what yarn I will use for the latter just yet. I need a trip to my favorite LYS to decide.

DH says I’ll use any excuse to buy yarn. He walked into my office a few days ago just in time to see me log-out of Paypal. “What was that?” he asked. “Nothing,” I answered. “You bought yarn didn’t you?” “Yarn?” I answered. He glared at me and said, “Yes, yarn—that soft, fluffy stuff that you obsessively collect.” “Maybe a little,” I answered. He just shook his head and walked out. At least I have him trained not to argue about things he cannot change. And it only took 45 years.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Ecclesiastes Says:

Original design?

“There is nothing new under the sun.” Just where does that leave us when it comes to our “original” knitting designs? I have said before that I much prefer the knitting aspect of the art to the design end of things. That is because I can never decide if what I have created is “original” or not. I can knit a little tweedy sweater jacket with patch pockets and contrast piping, and call it an original design, but Coco Chanel might disagree. And, if I adapt a pattern from a stitch pattern book—add a stitch or two, or run the pattern horizontally instead of vertically, is it original, or is it from a book. AND do I give credit for the stitch pattern to the person who wrote the book, or did she/he get it from another source? I know that volumes have been written in answer to these questions, but the bottom line is this…there is nothing new under the sun.

All of this leads to the fact that I am about to knit this simple stitch pattern in a sock, from a stitch pattern book:
Row 1: k2, p2
Row 2: p1, k2, p1
Row 3: p2, k2
Row 4: k1, p2, k1
I will not be posting a pattern when I finish because I don’t know if it is an original or an adaptation. Anyway, it may be a pretty design, but it’s nothing new. So says Ecclesiastes.

BTW, friend Kris at Little Bits Designs is having a contest. She is a designing guru. She knows all about original designs, and is offering one to the lucky winner who tells her a story about why she/he needs a specially designed sock pattern. Go ahead, tell her a whopper! She will love it! (I told her the dog ate my vest pattern).

Sunday, March 05, 2006


The Sockapaloooza socks are finished. At the appointed time they will be mailed with the extra yarn and matching purple Comfort Zone needles in their own little handkerchief linen bag (I love these bags), along with some other goodies. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating—this is lovely sock yarn! I have had such a great time, knitting these socks for my sock pal. My sincere thanks to Alison for hosting the KAL, and to Donna, my sock sister, for reminding me of the updates.

And now, on to the Christmas knitting. That’s what I said—Christmas! With children, grandchildren, and inlaws, our immediate family totals twenty-two. If I don’t start now I’ll have a repeat of knitting through Thanksgiving dinner, and taking knitting to bed with me in case I wake up during the night. Last November and December are not happy memories. I waited until October to start which resulted in a lot of family members being unhappy when they didn’t get a pair of socks. Nope, this year I’m ahead of the game. This is me being organized and motivated. If I start to run down around August I’ll need a major yarn shopping expedition to bolster my resolve. That’s not at all a bad thing—I think I can do this!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Graduation Day

I've graduated from a simple straw basket (lined, as it is) to a new, improved BagSmith bag. Wow, am I organized! It holds all of my knitting equipment, and as of now, three projects--the vest, and two sock projects. You can see that it would hold a lot more, so I have to resist the urge to fill it up. The back pocket can't be seen in this picture, but it is long and wide and will hold lots of patterns. It also has a shoulder strap that clips on to the handles. I took it to house sit yesterday at DD's while workmen put carpet in the newly finished upstairs rooms. I had plenty of knitting with me, and several recorded episodes of The Closer to view, so I had a nice relaxing day--right? Wrong! Every 10 minutes I had to run upstairs to answer a question--which was usually, "How does this look?" Man, they were a bunch of prima donnas.

I finished the Sockapalooza Sock Pal socks, and am very happy with them. The size requirements seem right-on, and the color is gorgeous. I'll post a picture of them next Tuesday for the update. So, now I'm knitting some orange Blauband using a double strand and a US #2 so I will have a tight weave, and a little thicker sock. After that, it's on to the new skein of Blue Moon in the Carbon colorway. At the same time, there is a bunch Regia waiting for me...could life get any better.