Thursday, January 10, 2008

I will miss you!

We leave tomorrow for Tampa and sail out on Sunday. The flight will be a killer. We depart home at 6:30pm, fly to Anchorage, wait two hours, fly to Seattle, wait four hours, fly to Houston, wait three-and-a-half hours, then final flight to Tampa. Spend the night in Tampa and wake up the next morning, do some shopping, I found Knit 'n Knibble so I might try to hit a Tampa LYS for an hour or so. All seven of us are going. HiOhSilver, me and boy1, 2, 3, 4, & 5. They are so excited to go they barely slept last night. No school for two more weeks. They had two weeks off for Christmas vacation, back to school for one week and then off again for another two weeks. The teachers are not happy, but the life experience from traveling fullfills so much of a greater appreciation for foreign cultures, languages, geography, vitamin D processing. And we are three days out and they are already not sleeping. So what am I going to do tonight to verify they sleep well? Uh, how about some popcorn and Ghost Ship? It was either that or the Poseidon. or Titanic. We already watched Madagascar (at the expense of our teens, ha ha). That should really get them to bed! With all the flying, and waiting, and sailing (only two days at sea, the rest are days-at-port) I will have lot of time to start and work on my Chevron Scarf. I thought the miters need to stay at home. I thought about bringing along the Log Cabin Socks, but decided against it. I thought about knitting a bikini, but I won't shame the boys with that horror, so that is out the window too. A nice tight project that I can write the pattern on a notecard, in case either the jetlag or the Dramamine kick in. See you at the end of January, signing off and shipping out... Krista

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

truck unplugger

Caught him sneaking around the back property, scoping out the truck. See if you try to unplug it again. The dogs saw him and his friend, so the barking kept them from coming up to the house. And since it is always dark, the picture was not the best. National Geographic is not calling me to take any wildlife pictures, yet.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Negative post ahead

If you are only looking for happy knitting... stop reading here! Uh, Sock a Month 4 SUCKS! (edit, bitterness over, it was frustrating for the moment, emails get piled to the ceiling for volunteers, and some get missed) And I am/was just bitter! I completed a sock a month, which is fun, the KAL helped me both start and finish six pair of socks. but the girl that is recognizing the participants for my alphabet slot missed me three times. After gentle reminders, she caught two of them, but missed December. So no credit for my Grinchy Grouchy socks, no credit for a sock every month of the Sock a Month KAL, no entry in those prize drawings. Not that I am a sore loser, I do not "need" any more sock yarn, I could knit until 2009 and still have fiber left over. And I joined the Rockin' Sock Club, so more is coming my way anyway. It just kills some of the fun. I joined SAM5, but I might be changing my name to AfternoonMoon because there is already another Krista and it looks like she might have received my credit for January. Does that not completely blow? well, enough with the bitter, and back to Miter3!

Duets are done

Pattern: Vogue Knitting Socks Universal Toe-Up socks pattern.
Yarn: A Swell Shop's *skinny* Duet Socks in "Chocolate Crunch 2"
Needle: addi turbo size 2 40"circular
Cast on: Dec30 Bind off: Jan5

This pattern, while "universal" needed a lot of help. A very customizable pattern, but I had to find tutorials for the cast on, short-row heel, and the bind off. I found the cast on on It is Judy Becker's Magic Cast-on for Toe-Up socks. I used Silver's Sock Class for the short row heel and the bind off. I customized by using the k4, p2 ribbing which gave the sock some structure. And can I say, "I love this yarn"! The color is gorgeous. It was so fun to work with. Although I was continually desiring Black Forest Cherry Cake, chocolate covered cherries, and cinnamon hot chocolate because of the colors. It was a delight to work with both in color and softness. Oh, and the first time using the Magic Loop method. Wonderfully easy and FAST!

Ah, and here is the first of many, many miters for my Mitered Square Blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting. For the love of Ravelry! I was looking at some Raveler's Chevron Scarves for color inspiration and came across a Flickr account with some wonderful pictures of this blanket Man, addictive (both Ravelry and the miters). My first miter is an homage to my alma mater, Portage Northern H.S. Go Huskies! Yes, our school colors are Orange and Brown. Made school spirit days a little bland on colors.

And this showed up yesterday in the mail. It is not a great picture of the yarn, you can check that out in my stash. I was estatic over the stitch marker. I love the Loopy Ewe. Not only do they have every single skein of yarn that I want for my sock stash, they include gifts in the first five orders that you place. My order number Four included this wonderful LoopyEwe marker. Nice, would go and buy some of the other Zephyrstyle markers if I ever get money to burn. The Dream in Color Classy in "Happy Forest" is for my wonderful sock model's Log Cabin socks from Handknit Holidays that I HAD to pick up from Barnes and Noble after Christmas. Love the book, there are so many patterns that I love from that book. Mainly the Santa hat. Oh, love it!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

S.E.X.y Wednesday

Wow, Wednesday was a Stash Enhancement eXperience. I think the mailman was saving up all the shipments for me to deliver on one day.

And the day started out so poorly. I had a 9:30 am dentist appointment. I wake up at my usual 7:30am, still dark and will be for another two-and-a-half hours. Take a shower, brush my teeth extra special careful (cause the dentist will think that I always spend five whole minutes brushing instead of the requisite two?), get dressed, and grab the gargantuan key chain off the key-monkey and point the auto-start at the window.
{Blue Moon Fiber Arts; Socks that Rock - mediumweight; "Farmhouse"}

{BMFA; STR -med; "Chickabiddy}
No starting of the Dredge-truck. Press the key button again, no start. Okay, battery... check. Point, press, nothing. Oh, lovely. Going to be a wonderful morning. I walk out to the trucks and notice that both of the cords are unplugged. Since cars in Alaska at 25F below need to be plugged in so the battery blanket keeps the battery warm, the water circulator keeps the water/anti-freeze flowing, and the engine pad keeps the engine warm (relative term here), ours are frozen. HiOhSilver comes out and his truck starts right up. Mine? No go. So, how did the trucks get unplugged? Did the Karma gremlins know that I really, really didnt want to go to the dentist first thing in the morning? Did little wood sprites not want me using evil electricity? No, there are moose prints all around the tree that we dangle the cords from and they have tripped over the cords and unplugged both trucks. Yes, imagine my embarrasment when I have to call the dentist and tell the receptionist that I am unable to make it to the appointmet because a moose unplugged my truck. She laughed, "only in Alaska."

{BMFA; STR - lightweight; "Mustang Sally"}
So that brings me to my lovely Stash Enhancement Experience. With now a couple free hours on my hands, how about we take MrK and Linger-Pingers on a brisk 25F below walking trek to the mailbox to grab the couple pounds of junkmail that I receive on a daily basis? Living here on commercial property, I cannot legally (man, those postal workers have some complicated rules) receive mail and if I do, I cannot forward mail to a new moving address because mail-forwarding is only a residential option. So everyone who has ever lived here still receives all their junk mail, here. All of my foreign employees that order anything through the internet (and boy-'O-boy do those kids order some wack-arse stuff) all receive junk mail for years, here. With no end in sight! Mail time is almost like recycling time; but only if we just recycled here in Fairbanks. It would be great.

Three Whole Boxes of fiber! First package: my order for my Chevron Scarf, the BMFA mediumweights in Farmhouse and Chickabiddy.

Second package: And here is the kicker: I won the tiennie knits blog giveaway! Whoo-hoo! Here is the BMFA; STR-light; in "Mustang Sally". I was squee-ing something fierce when I opened the package and saw the loot! And everything was so well coordinated. Matching mailing label, congratulatory card, security sticker on the tissue paper. Excellent use of logo, Tiennie, thank you, I love it!

Third package: My order from Yarn Market. I highly recommend this online vendor. Their order form is easy, they carry a million different brands, the free shipping isn't free to Alaska, which it usually never is anyway. After some haggling, they were willing to drop the shipping charge of the backordered items and are shipping those for free. I ordered 34 different colors of Tahki*Stacey Charles Cotton Classic for Park's Mitered Blanket from the Mason-Dixon Knitting book. I am really excited to start this project. I will give it to him for his birthday in June. I know, I am probably setting myself up for failure. What 12 year old boy wants a blankie for his birthday? But of all my boys, Park is one to appreciate the hardwork that handmade gifts require. After modeling my socks for the blog, he decided a couple weeks ago that he loves the softness of the socks and would really like a pair for himself. So, quick as that request came out, I jumped to the Loopy Ewe, ordered the Dream in Color "forest" and added the Log Cabin sock to my Ravelry queue. Until then, looks like I have my hands full!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Shelf of hats and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

My lovely shelf of hats that HiOhSilver (DH) would like me to get into the mail so he can have his travel shelf back. I have the Children's Hats from the Last Minute Knitted Gifts book for the Johnson girls, the Upside-Down Daisy hat for chef's niece, and my Unoriginal hat, which incidentally is too small. After wearing it for a couple days, it keeps coning, so it too will go to chef's niece. Lovely hat, but the Del Sur wasn't bulky enough and I didnt realize it until wearing it a couple times. I will attempt to make it, one more time for the final time until the next time, in the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Leticia in the 24Karat colorway. Oh, and QuarterPig loved trying on Layla's hat. It kept his cold ceramic ears nice and toasty! More pics on my Flickr account and also over in Ravelry as AfternoonMoon. And speaking of Ravelry, wow, what a time-drain! But a lovely one at that. Here is what I am working on currently, my first attempt at the Magic loop technique. I used Judy Becker's Magic cast-on for toe-up socks on and from Vogue Knitting The Ultimate Sock Book Vogue Knitting Universal Toe-Up Sock Pattern. I did run into a slight issue with the cast on numbers (30) and the increases up to 60. Since 30 is not divisible by the 4 increases per round, I am working with a 58 st foot. So far, not so bad, a bit loose, but will give me just the right amount of stretch for the ankle. Anyone {Pat} have a suggestion on MagicLoop short-row heels? I was not impressed with the M1 increase of the suggested toe from the cast-on directions; it left a lot of little holes that I had to weave up from the tails.
Oh, and the yarn is FABULOUS! I am totally in love with both the fiber, A Swell Yarn Shop's *skinny* Duet Sock Yarn and the color, Chocolate Crunch 2. It is a pure treasure to work with. I don't know who's base yarn they use, but it is wonderful. I will be making these again, both in the same technique (new toe) and the same fiber, different colorways. And why? Cause I had a New Year's Eve party last night and everyone politely but poignantly expressed their disappointment in not receiving socks for Christmas. I just didn't think they would appreciate them, but I guess I was wrong. At least their birthdays are not all at the same time. I can start working on them later in the Spring.