Friday, January 26, 2007

Confession is good for the soul, right?

Or..... In the interest of full disclosure, part 2!

Yep, it's true, I caved AGAIN but I have another really good reason :)

As you know, the Forest Path Stole-a-Long starts on February 1, less than a week away.

Being the co-host, I've been very organized....

I wound my ginormous 1 pound hank of yarn into center pull balls.

I looked thru all my needles to pick what I thought would best suit the yarn.

I swatched with different needles and practiced the lace stitches.

And I washed and blocked my swatch to see what the finished product would look like.

I was organized and ready!! But the little voice inside my head was making quite a bit of noise! In fact she was screaming....

After almost 2 years of denial I finally admitted to myself, that I HATE the yarn I was planning to use for the FPS!

When I ordered it to be custom dyed, I sent a pic of some yarn that was cream, rosy pink and spring green. What I got was perfect except the spring green was actually a neon yellow with a bare tint of green. TOTALLY NOT THE ROSE GARDEN I ENVISIONED!!

Unfortunately, the yellow parts couldn't even be overdyed because the skein came to me with the color already scattered all over (rather than the chunks of color that appear when the hank is freshly dyed and unskeined)

So I kept telling my little voice to shut up and telling myself it looked fine....til 3 days ago when I finally let my inner voice speak her mind.... and tell me it HATES THAT YARN!!!! She (and I) longed for the vision of a rose garden I had in my head.

In light of this sudden ephiphany, I'm not interested in knitting a complicated heirloom quality shawl in a colorway I loathe!! Don't get me wrong, the yarn is lovely and soft by itself and the colorway is beautiful - especially the pink and cream parts. Just not what I've been dreaming of for the shawl that's been on my mind for almost 2 years!

So I was forced (hee!) to purchase four skeins of Handmaiden Lace Silk in the Rose Garden colorway!! Actually I was kinda forced cause I have absolutely no laceweight yarn in my stash! Being fluffy, often knitting with fingering weight rather than laceweight offers enough "upsizing" to spare me any major construction changes so knitting the FPS will be my first journey into laceweight knitting! Here's a pic of the object of my weakness...

Beautiful, isn't it? Even this isn't *perfect* (I don't love the brown in the colorway) but it is stunning and the shawl will be lovely in this shiny, luminous silk! Plus it's a lot closer to my vision than pink and neon yellow!!

The moral of the story? Always listen to that little voice cause she's pretty much always right!

Now Pumpkin says......

Is it any wonder my Mom is fluffy? She has no willpower at all!!! :)

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

In the interest of full disclosure

I bought yarn! Yes, it's true, I caved!

Now before you get all judgy here's the facts....

I live in a semi-tropical climate (Semi? I dunno, it's pretty damn tropical 51 weeks a year!)

I love to knit socks!

Many of the feet I knit for live in the same semi-tropical climate and/or have enough wool socks.

Many of said feet have requested cotton sockage but as we obsessed avid socknitters know the choices among cotton sock yarns leave something to be desired. Oh some are pretty indeed but since cotton has no memory there's a high incidence of Floppy Stretched Out Sock Syndrome (FSOSS), even if the sock has some wool/nylon content.

Enter the addition of some sort of "elastic" to conquer FSOSS, socknitters rejoice! But....and there's always a but, right?.....But, the cotton/elastic yarns are all on the somewhat *fluffy* side being of at least a sportweight density. Cascade Fixation and Socks That Rock Sock Candy are two that come readily to mind - both lovely yarns but of a thickness that can make any shoe a tight squeeze!

Where oh where are the soft, thin, pretty, STRETCHY fingering weight cotton yarns of a socknitters dreams??

When I decided that 2007 was to be my year of knitting from the stash, I made my rules short and sweet...don't by yarn and sock yarns DO VERY MUCH COUNT!! In fact, without sock yarns I would have a pretty anemic stash and as the sockyarn stash stands now, I believe I could cover a good many of the feet in Ft. Lauderdale and still have leftovers :)

The one caveat I did not disclose was that I had heard a rumor....yes, there was a long awaited STRETCHY fingering weight cotton sock yarn on the horizon and I knew that I would be indulging.

And so I have.....

Rosewater, Fall Herbs and Painted Iris

This is Panda Cotton from Crystal Palace. It's a bamboo, cotton and elastic blend and it's as soft as a baby's bottom! And it's fingering weight! And it's light and comes in lots of dreamy colors, both variegated and solid! Woo hoo, I'm bending my Brittany's with joy!

I haven't swatched yet but when I do I'll give y'all a full review.

So what can I say, the flesh is weak but isn't it a woman's perrogative to change her mind? :)

What have I been doing since my last post? Well, lots of knitting has occurred but not lots of picture taking. I knit a second pair the
Wine and Roses Mitts because my sis-in-law fell in love with them when she was here for Dad's funeral. I also knit my big footed brother as well as a friend some felted clogs that look very much like these....his in a dark aubergine Galway and hers in a funky grass green heather with bright tangerine trim Cascade 220.

I'm eagerly awaiting the start of the Forest Path Stole-a-long that starts on Feb. 1. We're up to 40 participants now, woot!! So while I wait it's more of the little projects for me. I cast these on this morning:

It's my first green sock for the Green Sock unKAL!!

It's the Oblique Openwork pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. I'm using Mountain Colors Bearfoot in the Evergreen colorway. It's hard to capture the color but it's a rich blend of spruce, olive, teal, navy and a bit of burgundy. So soft and pretty! I adore knitting with Bearfoot!

Since the knitting pics are skimpy I aim to appease with two beautiful non-knitting pics here at Chez FKD so I give you....

My first Saturday Sky of 2007

It was such a clear, glorious day with cool ocean breezes and warm, golden's days like these that make me realize how lucky I am to live in a place where cotton socks rule :)

As always, my handsome Florida Orange bids you adieu

(I just love it when he tucks his little feet in like this!)

and says have a great week with lots of even stitches!

Monday, January 08, 2007

It's the little things...

Wow!! We have 20 participants for the Forest Path Stole Along! I'm totally tickled!

I think it's gonna be a great KAL because so many knitter's have had this project in the queue since the pattern came out in the Summer 2003 issue of IK and you know they say misery loves company :)

For anyone else considering joining, first let me say entrelac LOOKS much harder than it is! If you can pick up stitches, entrelac is easy!! The FPS is a perfect intro to entrelac as well because you have fairly large blocks and so don't have to worry about the constant flipping, flipping, flipping (because the knitting is directional) that can be a tad annoying when you're doing entrelac with smaller blocks.

The stole looks impressive and "complicated" as a whole but in reality there are only three lace patterns throughout and they are pretty basic, easy lace patterns. These three patterns also have the benefit of being really intuitive which makes the occasional screw up easy to recognize and fix before you've knit another 100 rows!

So if you are still on the fence about joining, be like Nike and "just do it"! It will stretch your knitting horizons and be lots of fun!

I finally wound my ginormous hank of yarn, it took me 90 minutes to do and that was with a ball winder and swift! It is a full pound of yarn so it's about 3000 yards but still...But here is the fruits of my labor - I swatched!!

The color on my monitor is a little bright but it's pretty close and I LOVE it!! It's just what I wanted for my FPS stole!

I swatched with #3 (3.25 mm) in both a Crystal Palace bamboo DPN and a Bryspun DPN. I like the feel of both so I'll decide which I prefer as February 1 draws closer. I washed and blocked my swatch and I'm very happy with the fabric and the openness of the lace....I can't wait to get started!!

Now for the part everyone's been waiting for....the contest!

Of course the quote is from Dirty Dancing...I really thought the movie quote was an obscure one - apparently not for those hard core Patrick Swayze lovers and brilliant residents of Knitbloglandia! Alas there can be but one winner to whom go the spoils so :::drumroll please::: the winner selected by random number generator is Kristyn of Crazy Knitting Fool!! Your crimson laceweight merino will be on it's way this week with a couple of extra surprises too -- -- congrats grrlfriend!

Since I'm eagerly awaiting the start of the FPS KAL I've been working on assorted little things and short term projects. My first FO of 2007 were my two scarves for the Red Scarf Project but alas I sent them off with no pictures.

Then I jumped back on the wristers frenzy for these Koigu cuties...

About 2/3 of a skein of Koigu PPPM #450, size #1 (2.25mm) DPNs, my own basic pattern.

And these...

More beaded wristers from Regia Silk 6 ply, size #1 (2.25mm) DPNs, about 50 amethyst rainbow 6/0 seed beads per wrister, #11 crochet hook same basic pattern, less stitches. I just love making these - they're so easy and so cute and everyone in my family wants a pair so more will be coming :)

On the needles now is a pair of extra large felted clogs. Sashquatch my brother liked the clogs I had made for my Dad but they were too small for him so my tiny footed sis-in-law appropriated those and I'm making a giant pair for FKBro -- in dark aubergine, bless him - at least he didn't choose black :)

Anyone who's visited FKD for more than a minute knows I love green!! I can't wear it near my face (I look ill when I do) but I love to look at it! I also love to knit with it for those that can wear it, like the recipient of Ruben (who was blown away I might add - woot!!) But it's my opinion EVERYONE can wear green on their feet!

Now, I love green and I love to knit socks so when I saw this button, I had to have it! Isn't it the cutest button? It's not a KAL** so there is no link, it's just for folks who love green, love to knit socks and love to knit green socks!

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So yoink this cute button (on your own server please!) and knit up some pretty green socks too! **I cannot for the life of me remember where I found this button so if you are or know the artist please leave a comment so I can give you credit!!
ETA: the artiste is Maritza of Knotty Bits...well done Maritza!

I leave you with the face of absolute innocence....

Would you buy some used catnip from that face? I know I would :)

Happy Monday!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Quite the little joiner, aren't we?

ETA: OMG! OMG! I just found out I won the Heifer International Drive grand prize over at Wendy's, WOWIE, WOW, WOW!!!! Thank you and happy birthday, my friend!!!!

Ok, now back to our regularly scheduled programming :)

Everyone have a great New Year? Good!! Now lets get the real party started!!

First, thank you so much for the compliments on Ruben. I'm very proud of him too and I think his new owner will be thrilled! I can't wait til Ruben reaches his final destination - there's nothing like the feeling of having your handknit gifts truly loved and appreciated!

Next, let's usher in the new beginnings with a little contest!!

The title of this post is a movie quote. Leave a comment with your best guess and I'll use a random number generator to see who wins this: (plus knowing me, I might just toss in an extra surprise or two, hee!)

880 yards of oh so soft, handpainted, almost solid laceweight merino in a gorgeous crimson colorway!! Now put your thinking caps on cause you know you want it (and remember all you KFYS 2007ers, GIFT yarn doesn't count!)

So why all the post holiday glee and movie quotes about joiners you ask? Well, we here at Casa de Fluffy Knitter Deb are co-hosting our first knit-a-long!! WOOT!!!

My good bud
Agnes and I have been admiring this stunning creation:

It's the amazing Forest Path Stole! Isn't she lovely?

And we thought, hey there must be other knitters out there having nightmares dreaming thinking about this challenging creation so misery loves company the more the merrier, let's have a knit-a-long!

So we created a Blog

And Agnes made some beautiful buttons {that you can save to your own server please}

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And now we are extending an invitation - if you're interested in a challenge, love (or want to fine tune) your entrelac and lace skill set, and play well with others this is the KAL for you!

We plan to start the KAL on February 1** so those of you who are interested have a month to obtain the pattern (information on obtaining the pattern is on the FPS blog!) and choose a yarn that makes your knitting heart flutter with joy!

Head on over to the FPS blog, look around and leave us a comment if you're interested in joining us cause I predict a fun time will be had by all! Support, camaraderie, someone who understands the urge to toss your needles across the room while a blood curdling scream escapes from your lips....what more could a knitter ask for? :)

What will I be knitting with you ask? This:

I purchased this on my birthday before last (!) specifically for the Forest Path Stole so it's been crying from the stash for far too long. (The green isn't quite as neon as it looks, it's a very hard color to capture!) I haven't swatched yet so I have no idea what size or type of needle I will use. Actually I'm kinda scared about winding that giant hank...I usually use a nostepine to wind my skeins but I think even my ball winder may spontaneously combust on this one!

So come join Agnes and me and have some fun!! Don't forget to leave your contest guesses here in the comments, and your interest in the KAL over at the FPS blog! I'm so excited!! :)

** latecomers are welcome if you can't make the Feb. 1 start date and you don't need a blog to join, we will post pics at the FPS blog if you like.