Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  One of the fun things about my job is that since children are involved we get to wear crazy outfits sometimes and we are all required to dress in costume for Halloween.  My mitts are all blocked and ready to go, but more on that Friday.  I am the only one home because Chris has started his new job (yay!) and leaves before I get going in the morning, so I have no costumed photos to share.

Is it cold where you are? It is suddenly and ferociously cold here.  We appear to have caught the edge of Sandy's wake. She did not make landfall here (for once), but the dramatic cold and snow was our trade off. Minus the snow.  All of this cold has me thinking about knitting more.  I cannot knit fast enough!  I have a swatch started for a cabled sweater that I would really like to get going on, and I am dying to cast on the Palomino Mittens from November Knits.  Super chart heavy but they look fun.  And warm!  Which, after all, really is the point of wool.

In the meantime I am knitting furiously on my Sock the Vote socks.  They need to be done and photographed by Monday, but my personal goal is to wear them to vote.  That might not be until Election Day, but I may yet manage to hit up an early voting location.

I am really enjoying learning how to knit a Star Toe on these socks.  I personally love a good kitchener session, but it was really cool last time to just pull the yarn through the stitches and be done.  Maybe I will start introducing this into more of my sock knitting.  Only time (and wearing) shall tell!

To check out more works in progress, head on over to Tami's Amis!


Managing a Weekend

Why hello, all!  I hope you had a lovely weekend.  I know I did.  Why?  Because I actually had a weekend! Not one of my fake weekends, when I manage to get two random days off in a row, but an actual weekend!  (I'm trying not to think about the fact that this is because I have to go to work today, a Monday, my standard if no other day I know I'll have this day off -- though this does mean that I am spared Laundry Day for another week)

I managed to be rather productive with my free time.  I finished the knitting on my Quilted Mitts of Crazy.  The plan is to weave in the ends today and set them to block over night.  That way any problems should present themselves before they are called into duty for Wednesday.  I hope.

I also got a bit of work done on the Sock the Vote socks.  Those will have to be kicked up to the top of the priority list this week as we are only a week out from the end of the KAL.

But the real product of the weekend came yesterday when I ran a 5K with some of my coworkers -- in costume.

Let's just say I'm glad we have gotten some cooler temperatures in the past few days, because that fabric does not breathe.  Running in costume may not be the smartest thing I have ever done, but at least I was able to move.  There was a gentleman running in a full on Doc Oc suit, complete with the extra arms affixed to a box on his back.  Overall everyone seemed to have a really good time and we were all just grateful that the hurricane bypassed us this time around.  If you are in an area affected by any of the storms out there today, stay safe.


FO: Thistle Tea

There are some items that inspire us to knit.  We may not knit them, but they're always there in the back of our minds, daring us to try.  For me that item has always been legwarmers.

I have had plans to knit many a pair of legwarmers, but never got around to it until now.  And move over store bought, Melissa LaBarre's pattern is stunning.  If you are on the fence about buying November Knits, this alone should push you over the edge.  The cables combine with seed stitch panels to create a deceptively simple pattern that has enough interest to occupy the knitter (reading while knitting was not as easy with this one), but is classic enough to carry them into the next season.  I just wove in the ends last night, but I can already guarantee that from now on these will be a staple part of my wardrobe.  I wish I did not work all daylight hours so that you could have some natural lighting to see just how lovely these turned out.

And as awesome as the pattern is, the yarn carries it off splendidly.  This is Work + Shelter yarn hand dyed with chamomile and it is absolutely delicious (Seriously, it kind of is.  I had to spit join a section because I did not have any water nearby and it actually tasted like tea).  There is something rustic and crunchy in the quality of this yarn that makes me feel like these legwarmers would be just as at home on a farm as they are on a night out.  My only complaint is that I wish this line came in more colors, but the humanitarian nature makes a growing affection of yellow totally worth it.

I know, I rave a lot about the projects I knit.  But don't let that detract from how lovely these turned out.  Maybe it is just because I still dream of wandering into an 80s dance video, but I think these go down in the books as one of my favorite FOs so far and a complete success!  And yes, I am still working on the Quilted Mitts of Crazy, but don't you want a rest from the insanity every once in a while?

For more FOs, check out the gang over at Tami's Amis!


Geektastic Thursday: Redacted

Dear Blog Readers,

We regret to inform you that this week's Geektastic Thursday has been redacted due to a lack of constructive content.  While Faith professes to want to discuss such topics as the Pretty Little Liars Halloween special and the need for mind altering drugs to prevent certain individuals from remembering the way in which she screamed like a small child who does not want to go home for a nap, she is instead persisting in a rather graphic rant about why she decided to knit a pair of mitts on US 1 needles one week before she needs to wear them.  Yarn for which she has previously professed great affection has suddenly become "splitty" and "coarse" and engaged in "malicious entanglement".

We recommend that you instead look elsewhere for a more geeky pursuit.  Perhaps the discussion of a Little Red Riding Hood costume has piqued your interest in learning more about the character?  Do not do a Google image search.  Unless you are into that sort of *ahem* thing.  When we checked in with Faith about this subject she managed to suggest checking out the character of Red in Once Upon A Time, which is streaming on Netflix if you are into that sort of thing.  An undying love of Jane Espenson brought her to this show, but the strong acting and compelling storylines have kept her there.  Plus this interpretation of Red is just simply bad ass.

In the meantime, we hope you forgive Faith's absence.  We are certain hope that she returns to her senses relatively soon.


The better part of the stash


Little Red Accessories

I suspect you thought I would be writing about socks today.  Well, I thought I would be too.  Then I thought that I'd give in and do a little swatching on my pumpkin yarn so I can actually cast on for the project.  But then 9:30 happened.

Last night at 9:30 I was finally getting around to putting away all of that laundry (read: Chris put stuff on the bed so I had to deal with it) when I pulled down my box of knitted accessories.  This is not to be confused with the basket of knitwear or the bag of knit wear or the stack of knitted sweaters falling out of the closet or the knitted socks staging a hostile takeover of the bathroom.  This is the box of warmer items that goes on the shelf at the end of the year so I am not mocked by the amount of items I make that I only wear two months a year.  In the top of the box was the hood I knit last year.  A perfect hood in prefect red and it goes just splendidly with my new hair cut.  Then it hit me.  I still need a Halloween costume for work.  We are required to be costumed and it must be child-friendly.  I decided then and there that I would be Little Red Riding Hood.  I mean, I already have the hood, how hard can the rest be?

I have a personal rule when it comes to costumes that are not specifically for Con.  I don't make them.  I don't buy things.  I don't stress out over things I cannot control.  Instead I go through my ragtag pile of clothes and put together something and call myself a "dimension manipulator" or something else exotic.  My goal is to not embarrass myself and to look halfway decent.  This was a lot easier before I rid myself of everything I wore pre-college (Well, almost everything.  There is a Top Gun tshirt you will have to bury me with), but after an hour I managed a sort of "little red goes to work" outfit.  I plan to pick up a pair of red tights and call it good.

Or I had.  Until I decided that I need more red.  I ran it by Chris and he agreed.  More red.  The brown isn't traditional but it will look great once it has more red.  But none of my jackets are that perfect shade.  But wait!  I have some leftovers of the same yarn in my stash.  I can knit something!  I became a woman on a mission.  I had to knit something.  I had to.  It wouldn't be right if I didn't and I'm the knitter after all.  It has to be done!

I'd recommend you go ahead and hop on over to Tami's Amis.  I am now knitting mitts to wear in a week and they say the crazy is catching.  Save yourself.


Of Socks and Soups

Yesterday after my dismal morning spent enduring Laundry Day I decided to make dinner in the crockpot and spend time that should be spent on housework working on the Thistle Tea Legwarmers.  I was a woman possessed.  I sat at my computer reading knitting blogs and was to the bottom ribbing by the time dinner was ready.

I made this sweet potato soup recipe, only I substituted water for broth because we did not have any and substituted a can of mandarin oranges for the canned mangos.  I am of the belief that canned mangos can only be found in Southern California and I am unwilling to endure a return to Whole Foods to test my theory.

After playing with the submersible blender I added the cream and Chris and I walked to the grocery store to pick up some bread to go with our meal.

I am on a serious soup kick.  I picked up more of the Trader Joe's red pepper soup over the weekend and am already making plans to find something that involves pumpkin (mostly because I know I only have a few weeks left to decide what pumpkin items I want to stock up on before it is gone again until next year).  I also seem to think that if I keep making good filling soups that the weather will finally get the hint.  It is late October.  Time for a temperature drop (Please don't remind me of this when I complain about being cold.  I'll remember.  Trust me).

The Thistle Tea Legwarmers are now off the needles, but not before making one last stand against their completion.  My right hand has now decided that it is over this whole sOcktober thing and is pleading with me to start swatching that worsted weight in the corner.  But I'm not listening. I just started watching Freaks and Geeks for the first time.  I know I have at least one more pair in me.


Laundry Day

Today is one of the most dreaded of all days in our home.  Today is Laundry Day.  Laundry Day comes about every two weeks and always on a Monday because that is my day off.  Laundry Day has no consideration for what I want to do with my day off.  It doesn't care that my car looks like a carpetbagger has taken a few train rides inside.  It doesn't care that I have not one, but three packages to put together and pop in the mail.  It doesn't care that I would really like to try out this aqua zumba class.  Instead it pops up and says "Hey.  Your husband is out of clean undershirts and if you want to go to yoga tonight and continue rediscovering how to touch your toes you need to take care of this because everything you own smells."

There is one key piece of information you need right up front to truly understand Laundry Day.  We do not own a washer or dryer.  We also live in one of those rare apartment complexes with no laundry facility.  We must then pack up all of our dirty clothes into presorted sacks and then lug them a fair distance to the closest laundromat mat.  Evidently part of "urban renewal" is the elimination of many such facilities as we must drive ten minutes to the closest one in a slightly less desirable part of town (Not that there is anything wrong with that part of town.  The reason I know where the laundromat is is that we almost moved to an apartment complex next door but we couldn't afford the units they had available).

Now I know what you are all thinking.  You have immediately started singing lines from Dr. Horrible.

Well stop.

There is nothing sexy about the laundromat.  It is dark and cramped and while clean you always come out with the slight aroma of smoke in your work clothing.  The washers never hold quite enough and the dryers never get everything quite dry.  There are only two chairs in the whole place and those are being used by small children playing video games and chattering on loudly in a language you don't understand.  The only real good thing about the laundromat is that this is one of the few that still takes quarters.  Everyone is so proud of their reloadable cards, but I prefer to carry around eight dollars in change rather than be stuck with a perpetual fifteen cents on my card that I'll never get to use.

Joss Whedon lied to you.  There's no flirtatious interaction and absolutely no one wants to go more than absolutely necessary, let alone twice a week.  And there is absolutely nothing to do, at all, except time how fast I can knit a pattern repeat.

For the record, about six minutes.  It would be faster if I did not have to stop to explain myself to a very confused older woman.  Evidently people do not think better of you for surreptitiously pulling out your phone to snap a picture of your legwarmers in progress.  Who knew?


A Brilliant Shade of Birthday Red

Today is Chris' birthday.  While our birthdays are little more than a week apart we do try to have two distinct days for one another.  So today was all about him and all he asked for was to have his pal Matt come over to play video games.  Somehow, though, the subject of cake arose and I volunteered to bake it myself.

I have never baked a cake.

Until I got this fancy Kitchenaid mixer I hardly ever baked at all.  It has just never been part of my day to day life.  But as I appreciate handknits, I have developed a deep appreciation for homemade food.  So for some crazy reason I decided that not only was I going to bake the birthday cake, but I was going to make Chris' favorite -- red velvet.

Recently Wendy Johnson wrote a blog post about how she believes the internet is holding knitters back.  She postulated that so many people are nervous about steeking (cutting a knitted fabric to create two parts, like to insert a zipper in a cardigan) because they have encountered so many other people on blogs and message boards who say that they are afraid to steek.  I completely agree with her.  The only way to reach a skill level is to do it.  It is how I've learned to do most things and how I have failed at many.

So with that in mind I woke up at 630 am this morning to get dinner started in the crock pot and to make this.

Oh my goodness but is that pink.  I have a washcloth that I believe is permanently stained.  While I am a firm believer in following all recipes exactly the first time, I did have to improvise with this one a little.  For starters it is written for a layer cake and I wanted a thicker, single layer cake.  Because of this I only baked it for 25 rather than the recommended 35-40 minutes.  I did take a nap (if you can call falling asleep at 8am waiting on a cake a nap) and dream that it did not cook all the way through, but it turned out just fine.  I also cut the icing down to 1/4 because A) I did not need that much because I was not doing layers and B) there was no way I was going back to the store for three more cream cheese cartons.

The result was quite lovely.  I don't even like red velvet cake and I went in for a second piece.

Happy birthday Chris!


FO: Neon Neely

The knitting world has been obsessed recently with self-striping socks.  I don't know if this is any more so than usual or if I just became aware of it, but it seems to be a definite trend.  And one I completely understand.

I cannot decide if what I love so much about these socks is the pattern or the yarn.  This was knit in the one skein of Lollipop Yarn that I managed to score in an update, called Good Vibrations.  You may recognize this yarn from an earlier reincarnation as the Good Vibes socks, knit out of a very simple stockinette with an afterthought heel.  Well it seems that I am completely incapable of letting the yarn do all the work, and so the one half of a sock was frogged back into the ball to wait for a more patterned sock to emerge.

Then Liz Abinate's sOcktober KAL came about and I had to knit (had to, ok, I have no choice but to participate when Liz does one of her KALs) at least one Neely O'Hara sock in two weeks.  So I decided to throw caution completely to the wind and cast on out of my neon stripes because at the time I had "absolutely no yarn and I can't find anything anyway."  The result was a little daring and completely magical.

Like all of Liz's patterns, Neely is masterfully written.  The instructions are clear and the patterning looks complicated but is easy to remember once you get going.  Even though the KAL ended last night I highly recommend snagging it -- it is a free Ravelry download after all.

And for more lovely FOs, check out Tami's Amis!


Geektastic Thursday: A Strange Encounter

I was totally not going to geek out about the season changing today.  I don't have any photos and plus it seems everyone has to comment on the weather.  And if there is one thing I'd like to avoid doing in this blog is give you exactly what everyone else is writing about -- especially without photos.  But then I went running yesterday.

I may have neglected to mention this lately, but I live in a city.  Not only do I live in a city, I live in a rather sprawling one that is forever expanding to create our own urban jungle.  At times this is really hard because I am a country mouse at heart.  I grew up in rural North Carolina, just shy of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I used to mock the "leaf people" who would arrive every year like migrant birds and perch dangerously on our narrow roads to look at the changing colors.  But at the same time I loved our seasons and the peace that comes from living in a town where a young teenage girl can ride her bike for half an hour to the library and stay until it closes.  This is something I have missed dearly since moving to the various cities in which I have completed graduate work and made my home.

Yesterday I came home from a frustrating work day and determined to go for a nice run on a paved trail about half a mile from our apartment (As an aside: I just tried to type "flat".  One of my coworkers is a British citizen and I often find myself adapting to her vocabulary.  Plus I just love the idea of having a flat).  This route goes through the back of a fairly wealthy neighborhood and follows the course of a stream through a small patch of woods.  I often find myself taking to this trail for its familiarity.  It is lovely to be surrounded by trees and small critters who make their way across the paving.  I often pass families out for an evening stroll or artists set up to work on their landscapes.  This time I passed two enterprising young boys who had taken a sturdy rope and secured it so that they could zipline across a deeper part of the streambed.

As I was running I looked up and to my astonishment watched a young deer cross the path about twenty yards in front of me.  I almost came to a stop out of shock.  This was the middle of an urbanized environment and here was this beautiful creature all alone, trusting me enough to walk right out in the open.  Even though the deer back home are way too skittish for this sort of behavior, it was still beautiful and for a little while quelled that homesickness I always have in the back of my mind.  I love living in the city, but I long for more than a few colored leaves to mark our transition into Autumn and eventually winter.  It was a wonderful moment that made me appreciate the beauty of this season all the more.

Now if you will excuse me, I have some pumpkin colored yarn just dying to be swatched for something cabley.


Thistle Shelter

This week for WIP Wednesday I thought I'd show you something besides socks.  I mean seriously, it's Socktober.  Aren't you tired of all the socks?  Me neither.  Which is why this project is knit out of fingering weight on small needles and comes in a pair.  And you wear it in proximity to socks, so it counts, right?

I am speaking of course about legwarmers.  That awesome article of clothing that I've always loved but with which most of our wardrobes have a love-hate relationship.  Well, prepare to fall completely in love.  This is Melissa LeBarre's Thistle Leg Warmers from the new book November Knits.  I am knitting mine out of WORK + SHELTER, a hand-dyed yarn that benefits women in India who need exactly what the label states -- work and shelter.  The combination of this yarn with the stitch pattern has been absolutely perfect.  The yarn has an almost crunchy quality that takes the seed stitch and cables in a wonderful rustic fabric.

Speaking of wonderful things, have you heard about November Knits?  I had seen it pop up on Amazon for pre-order and decided that it looked interesting to stick into my wish list for later viewing.  Next thing I knew it was my birthday and I received the book from a very dear friend who had fallen for the gorgeous photography and called around to find a copy.  Fortunately the book had just arrived at stores in our area.

Sometimes I like to wait to see what other people on Ravelry have knit up before I start a pattern, but nothing about this book makes me want to hold back.  The photography is stunning and the patterns are full of interest.  The Thistle Leg Warmers are deceptively simple.  I can knit them while reading, but they require quite a bit more concentration than I expected.  I already have stash yarn picked out for the Palomino Mittens and I am dying to buy yarn for the Walden Pond Socks and the Damask Mittens.  Clearly my knitting is veering sharply into a colorwork place.  And what is with all of this paired knitting?  Hopefully I will find my sweater mojo again soon.

For more Wednesday progress, check out Tami's Amis!


A Heart-Felt Visit

The last few days have been a whirlwind.  My mom drove up Sunday for a visit because somewhere in the universe the stars aligned and I was given free lawn tickets to see Heart!

It was an absolute blast.  We screamed and yelled and jumped up and down and danced and sang at the top of our lungs.  We bought matching tshirts and split a mini bottle of wine and generally had just about the most fun a mother and daughter can possibly have.  Of course there was an opening act and of course we were so not there to see them, so the knitting did make an appearance.

This project just keeps popping up. Are you getting curious?

Yesterday we decided to do something neither of us had ever done and hit up Trader Jo's and Whole Foods.  I come from a very rural area, so I tend to disdain what I think of as "trendy food stores" because they are nigh impossible for us to get to.  But we kept open minds and went on our "fact finding mission".  The verdict?  Trader Jo's is awesome and Whole Foods feels like a very wealthy Harris Teeter.  Really, the fact that I could actually afford things in Trader Jo's was the kicker.  They were serving samples of Red Pepper Tomato soup, which is a new found favorite at a restaurant near Mom's school.  The nice woman who was serving the samples was combining it with a spicy hummus and serving the much thicker and creamier soup with a sourdough bread.  I wish I had taken a photo because it was awesome.  We just looked at the woman, looked at each other, and quickly said "We'll take two."  I already made up our batch for lunch yesterday and am planning a trip back to buy more.

And no visit with Mom is complete without something fiber related.  My aunt was in a quilt show this weekend, in which she took home a blue ribbon, so Mom stopped to see the winning artist and her work.  While there she encountered a woman selling alpaca yarn that she raises in a nearby city (Empty Pockets Alpaca).  Mom has heard me talk about my socks having issues, so this made their way into her car.

I don't know, I think this may be too decadent for socks.  They may need to be some sort of giant shawl.  Something to think about while I use the amazing fiber-wrapped soap that tagged along with the yarn.


Chocolate Hangover

Thank you to everyone who sent along birthday wishes.  We had a really good time celebrating last night.  I was more than happy to be wearing a tank top as the amount of people in our tiny apartment combined with   the baking I did elevated the temperature by quite a bit, but it was worth it.  Plus there was cake! (made by my friend Sarah)

And even a few knitterly gifts.

Chris and I are spending the day in our pjs watching college football, but I may have cast on a new project already, so watch this space.  Happy weekend!


FO: Gil Ain't No Holla Back Girl

I have been knitting garments with some measure of success for about two years.  For a while everything I made was amazing, but then I found myself in a bit of a hit-or-miss patch where nothing seemed to turn out quite as planned.  So when I decided to make some changes in needle size and stitch count on the Holla Back Tank I was really nervous.

I went down to a size US 4 needle and knit the front per the size 36 directions.  This gave me a fabric with a density that I liked.  Not too tight, but not see-through either.

After I finished the front I looked at it for quite some time, trying to decide if it was too big.  It wasn't but when paired with a similar size back it would be more sack-like than sexy.  And for once I wanted to knit something that would turn out the way I imagined.  So I took a deep breath and cast on for the size 32 back.

It took me several times to get the first few inches of chart correct, but I finally vowed that I would not rip back again and stopped second guessing myself.  Emma Welford wrote up excellent directions and even though I found myself yelling "Is this what you mean by stretched?  That's going to be too tight to be anything other than a medieval binding!" it worked out perfectly.

Some designers you have to second guess, but Emma is not one of them.  She does not hand-hold through the pattern, but she does give you all the information you need and trust you the knitter to be intelligent enough to put it into practice.  The pattern, like all of the Holla Knits collections, is absolutely lovely.  Even without the KAL the support is superb.  When I was first deliberating over what size and needles word somehow got back to Emma, who left a comment on the blog offering her assistance if needed.  I highly recommend it and am really looking forward to wearing it to celebrate my birthday tonight.

For more FOs, check out Tami's Amis!


Pride Goeth (And Goeth, And Goeth)

When I started Sock the Vote I may have expressed some concern that I would not be able to finish all of the requirements on time.  And then when I started Liz Abenathy's sOcktober KAL I may have been very hesitant to tell anyone for fear I would fall into serious disaster that would leave me hating the best month of the year.  Well, they say pride goeth before the fall, but it's my birthday, so maybe they'll let it slide just this once?

I already showed you my Neon Neelys on Monday.  That single sock was all I needed to submit for the pattern prize on the 16th.  I would have knit both but I had a slight malfunction.

Yep, you are seeing that right.  Brand new Knitter's Pride needles snapped in half because of an enthusiastic SSK.  Fortunately this was after I finished Neon Neely #1 and before I cast on the second, so I subbed out the needles and have already finished the week 2 requirements for Sock the Vote.

Part of me wishes that the requirements were more challenging, but we don't listen to that part.  Plus, my sock knitting mojo is never as present as it is now.  So I should go back to working on that dreadfully boring stockinette sweater.

For more WIPs, check out Tami's Amis!


A Neon Sort of Peace

This weekend Chris and I took a much needed escape.  I had just worked two of our biggest events of the year at my place of business and I desperately needed to take the time to relax away from any obligations or errands that often pop up when I have a day off.  So we packed an overnight bag, grabbed some travel knitting, and drove out to Western NC to see my family.

On the way there we listened to NPR and I worked on the Neely O'Hara socks (affectionately known as my Neon Neelys) which I had not touched since casting on earlier in the week.  By the time we got to my parents' house I had completed the heel flap.  By the time I went to bed I had turned the heel and started the gusset decreases.  I was in shock.  I had never knit a sock this fast.  It was rather incredible.  But it did not stop there.

The next day I went out to visit my mom's school, which is set in the most beautiful mountain lake town.  The above photo is one of the trails her cross country team runs.  It was stunning.  While there I helped out with some things and knit a little more.  When she did afternoon car duty I sat on a rock at the top of a hill, knitting under the trees and feeling like I was in a movie.  It was one of the most incredible knitting-related experiences of my life.  The music teacher who was helping played harmonica between cars and the weather was just warm enough that I did not feel chilled in my tshirt.  It is no wonder, then, that by the end of the school day I finished the foot of the sock.

As I am sure you can guess I finished the sock that night.  I write about this not to say "hey, look how much I did! be in awe!" but rather to point out just how much one can accomplish under the guise of relaxation.  I spent time focusing on the people I love and being present in the time we had together, rather than focusing on how much I miss them when I am not there.  All the stress and worries of life and work and just being an adult faded into the background for a while and it was just me, my family, and my crazy stripey sock.


FO: Byzantine Cowl

Today I can present you with the item that I feel has taken me to the next level of my knitting.  The Byzantine Cowl.

I received this as a club shipment from Dragonfly Fibers and knew I just had to cast it on.  One of my things I wanted to learn this year was colorwork.  I was a little nervous, but since I had the yarn all picked out for me and the pattern ready to go I decided to give it a try.  Like most things I try out I did not do any research or take a Craftsy class or read an article.  That would probably have been helpful, but I decided to go with the directions alone with a little help from the random tidbits I have heard people mention.  Knitting with two hands?  Evidently key for a continental knitter.  I'm not sure where I heard about it, but I'm glad I did.

The actual pattern is genius.  I was completely addicted to trying to finish just one more row of the chart.  Stephannie Tallent wrote up very clear, but very concise directions.  The entire pattern is three pages, with one introductory "front" page and one full page of charts.  I love that I did not get lost in a lot of written out directions.  I just got to knit.  In fact, I loved it so much that I have begun eyeing her book California Revival Knits.  There is a peacock cowl that must one day be mine.

As with every shipment, this installment of Club Dragonfly was great.  The yarn came pre-packaged with just enough for each color all tied together.  It is so soft and the double thickness of the two-sides makes it a squishy delight.  When I do knit that peacock cowl, I think I will be contacting them so that I can use the same base.

To check out more FOs, head on over to Tami's Amis!


Geektastic Thursday: The Return!

It is October, and you know what that means.  Well, yes, it does mean sock knitting (lots and lots of sock knitting), but it also means the official return of network television!  Sunday, though technically September, was the start of my personal television schedule with the return of Once Upon a Time and Revenge on ABC.  I am so excited that they have decided to air these two back to back as both have excellent writing and the themes fit together nicely.  I felt like I had attended a class on the different flavors of vengeance after watching those premiers.

Next week the CW threatens to dominate my week with the returns of Vampire Diaries and Supernatural (did you know a certain fan-favorite red head is returning?).  I am sadistically hoping that Elaina cannot survive the transition to be a full vampire.  She can die and Cathryn can take her place.  But honestly the story quality could drop and I would still watch as long as there were hot men running around.  That is what I come to the CW for anyway.  Which is why I am so excited for the series premier of Arrow.  It isn't Justin Hartley, but this new guy looks promising.  I'm looking forward to having green leather on my television every week and hoping that the writing measures up to the standard set by Smallville.

But what you should really be giving The CW props for is the television premier of Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog.  Every geek I know will be tuning in to watch Nathan Fillion and Neil Patrick Harris compete for the affection of one Felicia Day (she's going to be on my tv two nights in a row!) in an epic musical love story.  I simply cannot wait.

There is so much more fall television to geek out about.  Castle, New Girl, Parenthood, How I Met Your Mother, and Grimm have already returned, and Don't Trust the B in Apt 23 is back later this month.  Gossip Girl is getting ready to start its final season, though I have yet to finish last season.  Before we know it it will be winter hiatus time and we will all flock back to Netflix and cable.

Now you know just how much television I really watch.  I would apologize, but really I can't.  I love it.  When Once Upon A Time went to commercial on Sunday I ran into our bedroom to inform Chris that television was way better than movies.  And it is.  It is second only to a really good book and much more amenable to complicated stitch patterns or colorwork.  I love television and I will not be ashamed!


Guess That's Why It's Called Socktober

I seem to have contracted a new disease.  I'm calling it KAL-itis.  It's the fear of not participating in a KAL because one does not want to miss out on any fun.  It may also be related to a lack of in-person knitter interaction.  The only cure is to participate in a regular knit night or VKN (Virtual Knit Night).  Sadly my computer does not have the memory to support VKN madness (it is still contemplating blip-induced suicide),  and I exhibit incredible hermit-like tendencies, so I am stuck with a badly managed case.

Right now the problem seems to be related to socks.  As it is October, this is not entirely surprising.  I already mentioned my Lindsay socks for Sock the Vote, which I cast on yesterday.  So far so good -- or as good as it can be with only three rows.  I have to make it down to the heel turn by Monday.  Why I selected such an intricate stitch pattern I cannot possibly explain.

The other KAL I've been sucked into is Liz Abinante's sOctoberfest.  Similar to her Cowl KAL, she has released a free sock pattern, Neely O'Hara, which must be knit by the 16th to earn a new pattern she will be releasing mid-month.  This second pattern has a value of $6, but is free if you finish one sock by the deadline.    I am helpless in the face of another one of Liz's KALs and so I have cast on using my only "uncalled" skein -- the Lollipop Socks yarn that was the start of a vanilla sock in a previous life.  Turns out even when I'm reading, listening to music, and functioning on four hours of sleep I still cannot handle that much stockinette.  I guess that is why the Abalone from the Stockinette Zombies' KAL has hit such a rut.

For more WIPs that are probably more than a few rows of sock ribbing, check out the lovely gang over at Tami's Amis.


Watching Cast On Dates Pass Me By

Yesterday was the cast-on day for Sock the Vote, but I have not cast on yet.  Instead I have been furiously knitting away on my Holla Back Tank in an effort to get it done before my self-imposed, unannounced deadline of my birthday.  Don't you just love self-imposed deadlines?  No one but me cares if I have the tank done by then, and realistically I should not be wearing a tank top in October, but I am still suffering under the stress and fury of finishing it in time.  

I think I can make it.  Whether or not I get it done in time to have help getting pictures this weekend is another story.  I could have finished it yesterday but then I went to the laundromat, took a nap, and swatched for another sweater.

I did at least take my supplies photo for Sock the Vote, thus officially declaring myself part of yet another knitalong (what was that I said about not jumping in on any more KALs?).

I have had this pattern (Lindsay by Liz Abinante) for a year, but never knew what I wanted to knit it with.  You may recognize the yarn as my Yarn Pirate from the Ravellenics.  I decided that I would never wear a shawl that reminded me of camouflage. and so I frogged that puppy.  I know the color choice may seem a little unorthodox for Lindsay Funke, but one of my favorite Lindsay moments is when she goes to protest the war and ends up dancing in a cage wearing a rather wet and revealing camouflage outfit.  Plus I am hoping that in socks the yarn pools up a bit and brings more of the neon to the foreground. 

I know that this is a 100% superwash merino and I am totally breaking my no nylon no socks rule, but Lindsay is a decadent, fickle creature and she won't take no for an answer.