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I just got home a few hours ago from a long 3-day work trip, and look what I came home to:

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I am in sock yarn heaven!!

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The next month for me is hell.  Pure freaking hell.  Well, the last month has been pretty hellish, but March is worse, much much worse.  In February I have been away from home for 12 days.  In March I’m gone 14 days (L.A., Key Biscayne, and Albuquerque), with the possibility of more days if my sister doesn’t have her baby while I’m visiting.  And in the middle of the month I’m also in a wedding!  And I have to finish 2 shrugs for it, in addition to a baby blanket.  WTF was I thinking????

In all of the chaos that is about to enter my life, I also decided to take up Bikram Yoga.  There is a studio minutes from my house, and I can’t. freaking. wait.  I hear its sooo good for you, especially for people that have neck and back issues (which I do..I have my ample bosom to that for that).  So I’m taking the plunge, shelling out the $120 for 10 sessions and have already written the days I’m going to go on my calender!  Another plus about Bikram is that its also good for weight loss (the guy that I spoke with on the phone who is now a teacher there said he’s lost 50 pounds doing just Bikram yoga – gives you something to think about!!). And I am in serious need of some weight loss.

Since I have no update on my knitting, here’s some yarn p0rn!

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Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Greenlake

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MadelineTosh Sock in Lichen

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Tempted Good Grrl Sock in Bordello

Enjoy!

Due to the fact that I CANNOT control my purchasing of sock yarn – seriously, it has become some sort of obsession where I cannot NOT buy sock yarn, like I went to The Loopy Ewe during there most recent sneak up and placed three separate orders because I kept going back for more yarn, then went to Etsy and put more sock yarn in my cart although I haven’t actually bought any of it yet…that’s my restraint, adding it to my cart without checking out…Anyway, got sidetracked there.  What I really want to blog about is that I cast on for 2 pairs of socks:

This is Bayerische by Eunny Jang in The Natural Dye Studio Alba Shetland 4 Ply Sock in Leaf:

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I think they are coming along nicely!  This pattern is so intense, cable after cable after cable!  At first I thought the yarn might be too fuzzy for the cables to show, but after a full repeat I think not.

I also wanted to start a pair of socks that weren’t so time intensive, so I cast on for Nutkin with Sunshine Yarns Soft Sock Yarn in Lava:

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Oh, I’m in love with this yarn.  If you don’t have a skein of Sunshine Yarns in your stash, go get one!  the colors are beautiful and I love how the yarn feels when knit.  Yummy!!

And the last recent cast on is a shrug for one of my bestest friends’ wedding.  I’m knitting two of these, one for myself and one for my fellow bridesmaid.  Its the Two-Toned Ribbed Shrug found in Fitted Knits in Blue Kky Alpaca Suri Merino in Earth.  Oh is this yarn yummy.  So soft and delicious!  I think the color matched very well with the dress (I’ll show the final result after the wedding!) and love how its knitting up (please ignore that white thingy near my middle finger…I have no idea what that is):

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I am still knitting on my niece’s baby blanket, but its not much to blog about.  But my Salina and the other shrug I was knitting have taken a back seat to some other projects that need to be done (ok, so the socks didn’t really need to be cast on but I wanted to participate in the Sockdown challenge this month!!) .

Oh, and I was lucky enough to see Barack Obama speak here in Dallas yesterday.  It was an all day affair, starting with standing in line for well over an hour (it might have even been two).  I think in the end it took about 5 hours.  But it was worth it.  See, here in Texas the primaries generally don’t matter.  By the time we are able to vote we already know who there candidates are going to be.  But this year it matters!  And I really felt like I was part of history.  I’m really not into politics myself – I of course vote every chance I get (even though it doesn’t really matter as I’m a democrat is a heavily Republican state), but I don’t dig politics that much.  But I thought this was a chance of a lifetime.  And it was so worth it – Reunion Arena was electric and buzzing and it was just fantastic!  Now I gotta get myself to early voting tomorrow as I will be out of town on March 4th!

P.S.  I just ordered the yarn in my Etsy cart.  Dammit.

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Pattern: BFF Socks by Cookie A.
Needles: US Size 0 Bamboo DPN’s
Yarn: Ashabee’s Fiber Oasis Superwash Merino in Plum – add but 5 grams!
Mods:I knit the medium size and did a short row heel over 50% of the stitches, and knit up a rounder toe.

 

These turned out great.  I wish I had knit the heels a bit longer, but I was periously close to running out of yarn so I’m glad I didn’t!  These were knit cuff down so I consider myself verrrry lucky.  Here’s what was left:

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The colorway of this yarn is yummy!  Its thick and soft and sturdy, and I know these socks will last a good long while!

Last night I cast on for some Nutkin socks in Sunshine Yarns Merino Sock in Lava.   Love love love the yarn, and love the pattern too.  I don’t have a picture but might in a few days when its something more than just the cuff.  I also cast on for Bayerische in The Knittery Merino Slim Sock, but the yarn and pattern aren’t a match so I frogged that and will re-cast with some other yarn I have in my stash (I’m actually really excited because I think the yarn is a fantastic match!!).  And lastly I cast on for another Ribbed Shrug (Ravelry link) in Blue Sky Alpaca Suri Merino for my friend’s wedding.  These need to knit up fast!

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Pattern: Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang
Needles: Us Size 0, 1, and 2 DPN’s
Yarn: Rowan RYC Cashsoft 4 ply in Spa (blue) and Mosaic (pink) – less than 1 ball each (specifically, 2/3 ball of the blue and 1/2 ball of the pink)
Mods: I used US2’s for the tubular cast on for the cuffs, size 1’s for the body of the mitt, and size 0’s for the palm and thumb ribbing and cast off.

These are for one of my bestest girlfriends, and I think she’ll love them.  They were my second attempt at fair isle and the end result was much better than the first.  And I’m not sure why but the second mitt was larger than the first (maybe my knitting got looser towards then end?) but even so the mitts were still the right fit after blocking! They are a tad bit late though as they are her Christmas gift – oops!!  And I learned a great technique – the tubular cast on and cast off – totally in love!

First I’ll post my FO. It was a gift to a friend over at Paperback Swap, and she asked that I knit up a Calorimetry in purple for her daughter.

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Pattern: Calorimetry by Kathryn Schoendorf
Needles: US8 Susan bates Straight Needles
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky in Plum (#08) – less than 1 ball
Mods: Cast on 92 stitches instead of 120.

I think it turned out great. I love the button!

On to other things..has it really been almost 2 weeks since I last posted?? That’s insane. Just not possible. Where does all the time go? Granted I have been out of town for over a week (since the 6th) but still, come on, slow down a little!

I’ve actually been a bit stressed lately. Work has been crazy…I travel every week up until the last week of March. And the weekly travel isn’t so much of a big deal except that I also have some travel for personal reasons, mainly to Albuquerque to visit my sister and her growing belly (only 5 weeks until I’m an auntie!!). Luckily my cats have been fairly forgiving – I didn’t come home to piles of crap or vomit everywhere. But they did miss me, that I can tell.

And has everyone else gotten that nasty bug that’s going around, or is that only an epidemic here in the Lone Star state? I got sick on the flight over to Tulsa the last week of January, and it was a doozy – first it was a hacking cough where I gobbled up an entire bag of cough drops in one night (where is the cough syrup with codeine when you need it?!?!). It then progressed to the hacking up of nasty green gunk, so of course I started antibiotics. I decided maybe I should go to the doctor, cause you know, maybe they have this wonderful new cure that would make whatever I had go away. Instead I got a shot of steroids into my a$$ and it did nothing – absolutely NOTHING!!! And I got to hear that people who travel get sick all the time because of the recirculated air on planes, so I started to get paranoid. Thanks doc, can I get some Xanax with those steroids? After a week I finally felt normal, only to have everyone else around me get the bug.

Plus I’ve got gift knitting going on all over the place. I’m starting the first of two shrugs for my best friend’s wedding this weekend. And I also started the third panel for my sister’s baby blanket (woo hoo!!) while I was in San Francisco (speaking of, below you can check out the yarn I picked up at ImagiKnit while I was there – LOVE THAT STORE!!!). I’ve only got the thumb and cuff left on the second Endpaper Mitt, and I finally turned the heel on the second BFF sock while on the flight back last night (these are for ME!).

Maybe I need to do some meditation to curb this stress.

Or some Xanax…seriously.

Ok, knitting does calm me down, so I plan on chilling out at home tonight with my knitting and the tube. I know, I know, its Valentine’s Day – Oh, Happy Valentine’s Day!! Its sacrilegious to stay home on V-day. But I don’t really care…I already have some flowers (which are beautiful), and I have a date tomorrow night so its all good.

Onto some yarn p0rn. Earlier I mentioned that I was in San Francisco this week, and I also mentioned that I was able to make my way to a fantabulous knitting store called Imagiknit. Wow. Holy sh*t. OMG. I was like a little girl in a candy store. I was with some friends who are not knitters and ended up sitting on the couch there waiting for me to pick out my loot…they must have thought I was crazy. If you ever in the Bay area and have a chance to go there…GO THERE! I was fingering (that work makes me laugh) everything they had, and they have EVERYTHING! Well, not everything but a lot of yarn! I had a hard time keeping my purchase under $100 (I didn’t want to go overboard) but here’s what I brought home:

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Notice how they are all of the same color family?? On the left is some Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn in In Vino Veritas. On the right is some Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Velvet Grapes (for a scarf for ME!), and on the bottom is some Koigu KPPPM in #318. I also picked up some Clover sock needles that are 4″ in length, so I’m excited about using those.

I must also confess that I purchased some yarn at my LYS whilst picking up the rest of the Suri Merino for the shrugs. I had asked the proprietor Ronda if she could order me another skein of Claudia’s Hand Painted Sock Yarn in Plumlicious as I only had one and wanted a set. So I go in to pick up my Suri Merino and Plumlicious only and I see she has other Claudia colors. And I just can’t resist. Must. Buy. More. Sock. Yarn. So here’s what I snagged:

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This colorway is Walk in the Woods.

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And this one is Electric.

YUM!

I’ve been meaning to blog, really I have. I don’t know how many people actually read this blog – maybe 4, or 5? And I love you for it! I traveled To Tulsa this last week for work, and meant to blog while I was there, but then I got sick. And it got worse. It took all my effort just to knit much less attempt to write a coherent sentence. Although I am still sick and am gobbling up as many meds as I can to fight the green goo that has invaded my head and chest, I feel well enough at the moment to blog. YAY!

First of all, I was honored to discover that one of my favorite bloggers and knitters Elin nominated me for the You Make My Day award. When I read that she had nominated me I even said out loud to my computer “Awww!” because to be honest, I don’t think I’m a good blogger – I don’t write well, never have. It was always to weak subject for me in school. And I can express myself ok in person but it takes many attempts to make it clear, so who knows how it comes across in a blog. But regardless, she really made my day. So here’s my contribution to the You Make My Day Award. Many or all of these bloggers have already been nominated, I’m sure:

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The Rules:
Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times.

By Elin
Ysolda
Knit and Tonic
Mustaa Villaa
Stitchywich
TenTenKnits
Girl Who Knits
Knitting Lemonade
Grumperina
Brooklyn Tweed

I love reading everyone else’s lists – I have added many bloggers to my blog lines!

Ok, now to the knitting. Yes I’ve been knitting, almost every night. In fact the night that I was out of town for work I missed my knitting (I thought I could take a one night break but apparently knitting is like crack or heroin or something and I was jonsing for my needles). It seems all of a sudden I have all these gifts to knit – and don’t get me wrong I love knitting for other people. I really do. However, I am having to set aside some time every night to knit something for ME, whether it be the BFF socks (which I have to rip the heel out AGAIN – 2nd time – because I made a mistake before the heel grrr) or Salina (which I have to rip out about 10 rows as I did something jacked up in the increase round) or the Ribbed Shrug (which I also have to rip as I don’t like my decision to go up in needle size instead in increasing stitches) – Do you see a pattern here??

I am the frog queen.

I have always been someone who makes mistakes. Whether it be in typing (I am also the type queen), or mailing books to the wrong recipient (just ask my PBS friends – I’m sure they will agree that I am a bit absentminded at times), or jacking up a recipe. Its always because I’m in a hurry to finish something, to get it out the door or off my “to do” list.

Must. Chill. Out.

Here’s what’s on the needles or will be soon as gifts for other peeps.

  1. Twining Vines Baby Blanket – OTN
    I’ve been taking time every day to knit one repeat of this blanket. Unless I’m feeling icky (like last night where I knit two rows and wanted to throw it across the room), this blanket is made with so much love for my niece (due March 17th!!). Its really beautiful, but time consuming and I have to concentrate on it 100% of the time to get it right. And it requires counting, lots of counting, in my head. As a general rule I’m knitting one repeat a night, and given there are 11 repeats per panel and 3 panels total (the original pattern has 30 repeats and 4 panels – OMG!!) , I should have it done by the end of the month. I’m about half way through and love it.

    twining-vine-blanke-wipt.jpg
  2. Endpaper Mitts – OTN
    I was making a gift for one of my bestest girlfriends…and after pulling it out after the holidays (I never had time to finish it before Christmas), I hated it. Not necessarily the pattern, but more the color of the yarn – it was so…blah. Boring. The pink is pretty, just not for the pattern.  I cringed every time I pulled it out. I think the pattern needs some variegated yarn to make it inspiring for me, so I have decided to add that to the frog pond and instead cast on for some Endpaper Mitts. I had some Rowan Cashsoft 4 ply in Spa and Mosaic in my stash and decided that they would make a lovely pair. I think they look great so far – given its only my second go around at colorwork. I finally figured out how to knit fair isle with both strands of yarn in my left hand – I wrap one around my middle finger and one around my right finger, and both are placed on my index finger to knit from. I think I still need to work on the tension for the ring finger – it seems a bit loose to me – but for the most part I love how its turning out.

    endpaper-mitts.jpg

    Before I started knitting these I did some research on yarn dominance. As a test, I started the pattern at the cuff with the blue yarn as the dominant yarn, then switched halfway through the repeat to see what the difference would be. I didn’t see one – maybe if I had knit a more with each I could have seen it, but I didn’t want to fiddle with it. The back does look nice though…

    endpaper-mitts-inside.jpg
  3. Odessa – To be knit
    During an elephant swap on PBS I was asked by one of the hosts to knit a few gifts as prizes for some of the players. I of course agreed, and the lucky winner picked Odessa as the hat she liked. I’m going to knit this in Cascade 220 Wool in Black, some leftover stash yarn that I have from knitting these fetching gloves, sans beads as I don’t have any at the moment. I also knit up a Calorimetry for another winner, and that’s all knit up but it needs a button (which reminds me I need to go to Joann’s).
  4. Ribbed shrug – To be knit
    I must say this is going to be my favorite gift to knit. I will be knitting 2 of these, one for myself and one for a friend. We are both bridesmaids in our best friends wedding on March 21st, and are wearing these bridesmaids dresses. But March may be a little chilly, and this wedding is outdoors (plus both her arms and mine are a far cry from toned and slim, so we’d like to cover them up if possible!!) so I offered to knit up a shrug. We decided to go with the Two-Toned Shrug from Fitted Knits (yes, I already have one OTN but I love the pattern). I went shopping for yarn this week with dress in hand and found this which matched the best.

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    Its Blue Sky Alpaca Suri Merino in Earth. So soft and yummy. Its yarnalicious. I’m showing the skein to the bride-to-be tomorrow and hopefully she will approve!!

I’ll be really lucky if I finish everything within a decent time frame. I’ve got 3 different business meetings (one in Dallas, one in Houston, and another in Key Biscayne) between now and my friend’s wedding. Plus my sister’s baby is due around the same time, so I’m traveling back and forth to Albuquerque to help her out while she’s close to her due date (and after if she’s late). I’ll be lucky if I still have all my hair and haven’t broken out in hives, or adult acne.

That’s my mammoth post. If you are still with me, thanks for reading!

P.S. why is it when I finally sit down to blog the big black cat decides to be all sweet and gets in my faceto purr and lick? He finds it necessary to sit on my boobs – and he’s not a small kitty (17 pounds!!). Granted I have ample room for him but are you kidding me? He’s 17 pounds for crying out loud!!

P.P.S. Can I please tell hou how much I HATE the fact that WordPress is not allowing me paragraph or breaks in my posts.  I have to go back and add them to the code section, and then  if I go back and edit the post, those <p>’s and </p>’s disappear.  WHY?? I’ve tried it in Firefox (which I use exclusively) and Internet Explorer, and I come across the same problem.  I am anal and like my posts nice and neat, but at the moment I am too tired and sick to fiddle with it.  WordPress peeps, fix this bug!!!

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