Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I've been a quiet blogger lately because I have little to show for my knitting progress. I've found it hard to knit the past few weeks because it's been so darn hot here - temperatures in the 90s or 100s with high humidity. Ugh. I think I finally found my groove with the In the Land of Oz shawl (rav link) I'm knitting for my grandma -- I'm seriously flying through the lace right now. Though her birthday is July 7, I'm planning on giving it to her in August, when I see her in person on a trip to Pittsburgh.

I don't think I ever blogged this wee hat I knit for my friend Judy's baby. She's due to give birth to a boy in August.

FO: Baby hat

I used Trekking 100 (white) and scraps of Araucania Multy (blue). It knit up really fast. And technically it's my first colorwork project! I got a little carried away with the checkerboard fun and I definitely think I'll try some other easy colorwork in the future.

I finished the hat over a month ago but waited to give it to her until her shower this weekend. She really loved the hat, so I'm tickled. Nothing like sharing a handknit with a friend! It makes me so happy.

A friend snapped this picture of us -- isn't she such a pretty gal?

me and the lady of the day

Sunday, June 13, 2010

an assortment of FOs

I have a couple finished knits to show ...

First up, a finished pair of socks:

FO: Tricoter Socks

Socks that Rock lightweight in Tricoter
US 2 needles, 68 stitches, 2x2 rib

I knit the first toe-up (to maximize height) and the second cuff-down, just for fun. I really love this colorway knit up.

Next up, a sock that took about a week or 10 days (I think), because it was my trip knitting in Missouri:

another finished sock
STR mediumweight in Quinault Canopy (a MDS&W 2010 purchase)
toe-up, 64 stitches, 2x2 rib
US 2 needles

I'm so happy with how the yarn worked up! No over-the-top pooling. It's just a really tall, cushy/comfy/cozy socks. Again, I cast on the mate as a cuff-down sock, just to mix it up.

And the last of the sock brigade:

FO: a sock

Yarn: OnLine Supersocke 100 Afrika
US 1 needles, 72 stitches

I started this in late April and put it on hold to show my mom how to do a heel turn and gusset when we were in Missouri two weeks ago. The foot of the sock just flew.

Speaking of sock knitting, my mom has finished her first sock!! I am so very proud. She sent me a picture-text message at almost 11:00 last night showing it off once she kitchenered the toe.

Finally (boy, I didn't think I had been knitting this much but now I think otherwise), a Jayne hat:

FO: Jayne hat

This is a hat as seen in the sci-fi series "Firefly" -- many a "Firefly" fan has made this hat. I made it to wear to a screening of "Serenity" (the movie featuring the same cast) yesterday. I saw a couple other Jayne hats but of course I liked mine the best. =)

Next up, I'm going to keep working on the mates to those single socks and keep on working on a shawl for my grandma. I'm in the never-ending stockinette portion of another In the Land of Oz.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Missouri yarn-ventures

Of *course* my mom and I plotted stops at several yarn shops on our trip -- would you expect anything less?

The first shop we went to was Simply Fibers in Springfield, Mo. (Links are going to take you to my mom's photos of the shops.) A little Maltese-Yorkie pup named Charlie greeted us when we walked in. He was one of the cutest pups I've ever seen - when he got going with running, his front legs just went straight and he looked like a marching soldier (for lack of a better description). I have a bias toward dogs in yarn shops (especially when they're small, non-shedding and well-behaved) -- so Charlie was a big hit. Kelle was working at the shop and she was just the bubbliest, nicest gal. She even logged on to Ravelry to friend each of us. (Kelle, if you see this, I hope your trip to Ireland was great!)

I bought two skeins of sock yarn, some Opal (because I'm a sucker for self-patterning yarns right now) and a tweedy purple-blue one by Hand Painted Knitting Yarns, dyed for the store.

Opal Kaleidoskop

Hand Painted Knitting Yarns, Donegal Sock

That was our only yarn shop in southwest Missouri. We stopped at a fabric store for my mom in what felt like the middle of nowhere. The selection wasn't to my mom's liking, but the shop owner was really friendly and outgoing, so I bought some buttons for baby sweaters and that was about it.

Once we got back to the eastern side of the state, we visited Kirkwood Knittery in suburban St. Louis. They had a Memorial Day sale, yippee! Their selection was nice, and they had a nice-sized crowd there, too. One of the proprietors was very friendly and had a ton of questions for my mom about the college where she works (my mom was wearing a t-shirt from it). It's always nice to chat with people when you're on trips. I picked up some Jojoland Melody.

Jojoland Melody

Jojoland Melody

We stopped at Jackman's Fabrics, where my mom picked up some nice things. (Um, can you tell I'm not a quilter/sew-er? This description is a brief one, hee hee.) Then we checked into our hotel in St. Louis, had some yummy Mexican food and a margarita and called it a night.

On Sunday, we visited Knitty Couture in the Delmar neighborhood. This was a cool area, but boy was it a hot day. It was a really cute store ... I *almost* didn't buy anything, but ... at the last minute I spotted this merino-cashmere-nylon sock yarn. Something I've wanted to try for a long while. So I picked it up -- Spirit Trail Fiberworks Frija sock yarn in a deliciously scummy color called Vintage:

Spirit Trail Fiberworks, Frija sock yarn

We weren't going to go to the last yarn shop on our list -- our feet were aching, we were hot and tired. But the GPS told us we were less than five miles from Knitorious. So off we went.

It was a nice-sized store with a TON of selection. I had a tough time deciding but in the end went with something outside my normal color choices -- this Dyeabolic Strong Arm sock.

Dyeabolical Strong Arm sock yarn

And thus concludes my yarn adventures in St. Louis! I think it's time to hold myself accountable publicly and say that's it for yarn-buying and me for some time. I am so incredibly fortunate to have the yarn stash that I do, and I'm going to continue to knit from it as fast as I can. I plan to stay on this yarn diet until Sheep and Wool next year (barring gifts that require a specific yarn that I don't already own). We'll see how it goes ...

Monday, June 7, 2010

visiting Missouri

I'm home from Missouri! (Um, I've been home for a week.) The trip was fabulous -- it felt so luxurious to get to spend four days with my mama!

We visited the Arch (just the base of it -- rides to the top were sold out) ...

Gateway Arch

Best of all, we drove nearly four hours to Mansfield, Mo., to visit Rocky Ridge Farm, home to Laura Ingalls Wilder (for whom I am named)!

Rocky Ridge Farm

This was a trip my mom and I had talked about taking for many, many years. We talked about it as a high school graduation thing, but my dad lost his job around that time and it wasn't feasible. Then college came, and summer internships got in the way. Then I had a job. Then my granddad got sick last summer. But this year, we finally made it happen.

at Rocky Ridge Farm

We both teared up when we walked into the museum and saw Pa's fiddle, which featured so prominently in all her books. They had Mary's nine-patch quilt, which she made before she grew ill (with scarlet fever, I think) and became blind. They had countless "artifacts" (for lack of a better word) from her lifetime, including one of the tablets on which she wrote "On the Shores of Silver Lake." We got to see the very desk she wrote some of the books on, in her study. The house was lovely and I wish we had the opportunity to freely walk around the house and/or take photos indoors. Ah well. I will remember our trip always!

Oh yeah ... I might've taught my mom to knit a sock, too ...

Mom's first sock!

I am so proud!

(I'll be back soon with a yarn-y report.)