Monday, March 31, 2008

Wee Tiny Sock Swap 2008

I finished not one but two Wee Tiny Socks.

The first was a practice sock. Just to get the feel of the needles.

Pattern: Wee Tiny Sock pattern modified to 24 stitches and using the pattern repeat from the Show Off socks(which I think are only available on Ravelry?)
Needles: size 0 bamboo dpns--I NEED to find short, metal size 0's because those bamboo things are now warped beyond recognition. I'm thankful I didn't break any though--that is a small miracle.
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill/Louet Gems fingering in Caribou Creek

I would have been happy to send to that sock off BUT once I did a little friendly spying on my pal, I realized that she is really into green. Now this presents a problem for me who really does not have much green going on in the stash. I searched and searched and found yarn to make this:

Pattern: Wee Tiny Sock modified with an Eye of Partridge heel
Needles: Again with the flimsy 0's
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Turquoise(which is blue-green; I'm hoping she'll like it)

Not to give too much away but my sock is taking an incredible journey--for much cheaper than I could--and I can't wait to see if it makes it in one piece!

This was fun and I'd definitely do it again. Thanks Stacey for the heads up!
Sam and Kelly played along too. All three produced great socks :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

While acknowledging that we can’t judge books by their covers, how much does the design of a book affect your reading enjoyment? Hardcover vs. softcover? Trade paperback vs. mass market paperback? Font? Illustrations? Etc.?

First, I need to disagree with part of the first question. I know we shouldn't judge a book by its cover but I can't possibly be the only person who does?! If I am just wandering around the library or bookstore with no particular book in mind, a cover most definitely sways my opinion on the book. If I don't like the cover, sometimes I don't even pick up the book to check it out. Now if it is an author that I already love, that's a different story. I couldn't even tell you what are on the covers of my favorite books; titles and authors are all I remember.

Hardcover vs. soft cover:
I have to say that given the choice I am a hardcover person. I love the way they look, the way they feel, the thickness of the pages, all of it. That being said I don't think hard or soft cover affects my "reading enjoyment" to that large of an extent.

Trade paperback vs. Mass market paperback:
Honestly they are the same to me. Trade paperbacks are usually better quality but paperback is paperback.

Font? Illustrations?
I'd prefer fonts not to be microscopic but other than that font doesn't make too big of a difference in my enjoyment of the book. And illustrations?! I have to laugh because the only books I see now with significant illustrations are my children's picture books and knitting books.

Did anyone ever have to read any of the Norton Anthologies in college? I still have a few of mine. I LOVED how big they were but the pages--good Lord--they were thinner than tissue paper. It used to drive me crazy!

So to sum up, I guess the design of a book affects my love of the book itself but not the content.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bird in Hand

Lest you think there has been no knitting getting done, I present my minimal progress on my Bird in Hand mittens.

I have been pulling it out while I watch TV. I have also been playing around with the colors. I have been switching which yarn I have been carrying in my dominent hand. It is interesting to see the differences. You actually can't tell too much from this picture but if you look at the other side of the mitten you can definitely tell. It should be interesting to see how it all smoothes out in the blocking.

I love thee, I Love Thee

Last weekend there was a HAED SAL for backgrounds and I have no shortage of pieces that need background stitching done. I decided to work on I Love Thee(Seed) for a couple of reasons: one, it is on my yearly goals to finish two pages on this piece and two, I love the piece.

This piece is kind of an experiment in HAED stitching. Normally I start all my HAED pieces in the top left corner, this one I started in the middle AND I am flying without a net and not gridding. I figured this was a good piece to experiment with as it doesn't have that many colors.

When I sat down to stitch this weekend I realized that in order to work on background I need to work a page above where I was. Now I am in no way brave enough to try and count my way to the top of a page that I am not currently working on--for me I think it would be stitching suicide especially on 28 count over 1--SO I decided to work my way up to the background. I ended up doing a kind of reverse parking method. I worked from right to left and parked up in 10x14 stitch blocks. Even though it feels really awkward it seems to be working out okay.

Here is where I ended up:
I Love Thee--25Mar08

I think I may keep this one out until the next SAL Challenge weekend in April.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I'm Three

Today my blog is 3 years old :)

I finally feel like I have found my voice. I finally feel confident enough to want to try and mix things up occasionally. I hope to try some different things over the next year.

I cannot sing the praises of blogging enough:
**the people I've "met" (online and in real life)
**the enabling (in stitching, knitting, and reading)
**the information(I have learned SO much from other bloggers and websites)
Try explaining to someone who doesn't blog why you do it--do they "get" it or do they just look at you like you're nuts? I guess it is not for everyone but it works for me.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

HAEDless Sampler SAL(3/12)--The Last Rites Edition

I had a fantastic stitching weekend. I completed the entire right border--top to bottom. I was a bit concerned at first when I noticed that I only had about 2 inches fabric allowance on the left side of the fabric. I called the framer I use and they said they could work with 2 inches so I soldiered on. When I reached the bottom, I found out that I barely had any fabric left(about 1.5 inches).

Long painful story short, I have to rip out EVERYTHING I have completed so far. That means over a skein of Caron Wildflowers is wasted; hopefully I can salvage the fabric. I honestly do not think I have the fortitude to restart this particular piece right now; I may change my mind by next month I do not know.

This really, really, really, really sucks. I started the piece just after Rage was born and clearly I was in a sleep deprived stupor and started off about 1.5 inches--which unfortunately I did not figure out until I picked the piece back up this year.

So bow your heads and join me in a moment of silence and last rites for my Provence Sampler--may she rest in piece.

(it's a clickable thumbnail)

**Update: Louanne and JM have talked me down from ripping it out just yet--it may be salvageable but I'm not entirely sure I can live with stitching on something so messed up.

I guess this was bound to happen at some point. I have been stitching for 27 years and this is the first time I have made such a major miscalculation.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

There Something in the Air

Yet another new start.

Completely spur of the moment without my usual "justify what you are starting" conversation with myself. First I saw this pattern, then I got my hands on some Dream in Color Smooshy in the Deep Seaflower colorway(which is REALLY difficult to photograph), and before I knew it I found myself here:

A few things about this "new-start-itis" thing concern me.
1. What's with all the out of character impulse starting? I honestly believe there is something in the air.
2. What's with the crazy desire I have right now to cast on about 5 more pairs of socks? I was burnt out on socks for a while but apparently I have gotten past it.
3. Will I be able to rein these new impulses in and actually finish some stuff?

The new-start-itis bug has not been limited to my knitting either. I am fighting major impulses to start more than one cross stitch piece AND for the first time since college I am reading more than one book at a time(I usually like to savor one book before I start another).

Like I said, there is something in the air.

Monday, March 17, 2008

More Truth than Fiction

What Kim Means

You are a seeker of knowledge, and you have learned many things in your life.

You are also a keeper of knowledge - meaning you don't spill secrets or spread gossip.

People sometimes think you're snobby or aloof, but you're just too deep in thought to pay attention to them.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated.

You master any and all skills easily. You don't have to work hard for what you want.

You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you'll knock down anyone who gets in your way!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

HAED SAL Challenge 2008 (2/12)

Even though this is March, it is only the second month I have participated in the Challenge. I am allowed two months off and I had to take one last month because I was in Hawaii during SAL weekend.

I thought I would have had a bit more time last weekend to stitch than I did, but here is where I am:
Swimming with Dolphins--11Mar08

I made it to the bottom of the page which is always a milestone and I thought that green on the bottom was her tail but I think it's seaweed. Her tail is on the previous page. And those clam shells--good grief who would have thought something so small would be chucked full of so many "detail" stitches.

Here is what the finished product will look like:
Swimming with Dolphins--original

Pattern: QS Swimming with Dolphins(Tate) charted by HAED
Fabric: 28 count white
Needle: size 28 Piecemaker
Stitched: 2 over 1, tent(half cross)

This weekend is the Sampler SAL, so Provence Sampler will be making an appearance in the Q-Snaps. I'm getting anxious to finish this one(I have a way to go) because I have no less than 4 samplers I want to start: CDC(Ink Circles), CDT(Ink Circles), Hawaiian Mandala Sampler(Ink Circles), and Sampler Game Board(Drawn Thread).

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Road to Hell is paved with--

--new starts.

Now don't get me wrong. I love a new start as much as the next person. Whether it be cross stitch or knitting, there is something about the blank canvas. Casting on, starting to stitch. . .there is always a thrill there. It's a siren song that few, if any, of us are immune to.

This month I wanted to work "red" and make a dent in my already overflowing WIP pile(knitting and stitching). But the other night, before I even knew what was going on, I had cast on the Bird in Hand mittens. Here's the progress so far:

I'm going to do the other one in the opposite colors--just to spice things up a bit. Not that stranded knitting of any type needs a lot of spicing up.

This weekend will be a stitching weekend--after knitting tonight, of course. Then I will make every effort to get back to my red stitching, maybe--once I do a few more rows on that mitten ;)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

I have taken a very extended hiatus from Booking Through Thursday but this week's question was too good to pass up.

**Who is your favorite Male lead character? And why?**

This is easy and there are two of them. They are both from one of my guilty pleasure authors--one was the lead character in a book and the other is the lead character in the series. Both are from the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Zarek was the main character in Dance with the Devil. He is one of my favorites because he was completely insane and unpredictable. He was a bada$$ and every book needs a main character like that. It always disappoints me that these books are romances because he ends up changing in the end--he had a lot of potential in the tall,dark, insane character arena.

Acheron is, not so much a lead character but, a recurring character in the series. He is all knowing--I think it helps when your mother is a goddess and you yourself are a god--and he can alter the course of your life just by voicing a thought. He is the reluctant leader of the Dark Hunters, he's got a demon who lives on his body in the form of a tattoo, and he has the reputation of being a bada$$ so much so that hardly anyone has ever tested him on it. He is finally getting his own book this summer.

I suppose I should really wrack my brain for a character from a "real" book--I'll get back to you on that.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

March Goals

First, I cannot believe it's March. Did someone turn on the fast forward button this year?

I'm paying tribute to Project Spectrum this month by working on almost all things red. I'm hoping to make headway on all of the following:

**I love Gansey socks
**Top down raglan

**Provence Sampler
**Swimming with Dolphins(my only "non red" item this month)
**a possible new start which I have not narrowed down yet

Scarf in a Month. . .check

Late, late last night I finished my Trekking is for Necking scarf. I love the colorway and I'm sure I'll really love the scarf once I've gotten past my "I really hate knitting scarves" after effects. The pattern is great: easy to memorize and perfect for knitting group/TV knitting.

Yarn: Trekking XXL (109)
Needles: size 4
Pattern: Trekking is for Necking from Nipperknits.
Would I do it again? Probably because I think it is a great use for some sock yarn that you want to last longer than socks do.

**And just an aside. Thank you very much, Marsha, for the bag. Stealth skulls, nice color, and just enough room for a small project and my wallet. Thanks so much!!