YO! ZMK Knits!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Belated FOs Post

Folks, I've been remiss in posting some of my FOs. I actually took these photos and uploaded them the same day I made my last post; however, two blog posts in the same day bugs the tiny bit of me that is anal-retentive, and I also didn't want to put my FOs in with my Rhinebeck post because they wouldn't fit in there. Again, a tiny bit of me that is anal-retentive (if you saw my housekeeping you would surely see that that bit is not only tiny, it's microscopic. I would say that I'm anal-expulsive, but that's just gross).

Getting that out of the way, here are my fabulous (and still in the to-be-handwashed-pile-since-that-very-day) Socks That Go To Eleven:



This yarn was FUN! It's superwash wool from an Etsy seller called Sharing, who sells really lovely yarns and project bags. This colorway is called "Neon Lights". I used the Chevron pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks, and size 1 needles.

Here's a little something I came up with on my own (well, sorta):


I used a houndstooth stitch pattern from an old stitch dictionary book put out by Spinnerin. I was too lazy (yes, I was too lazy, and will be the first to admit it!) to figure out how to convert the stitch pattern to knitting in the round, so the houndstooth part is knitted flat, but the ribbed parts are knitted in the round -- I cast on provisionally so I could pick up the stitches for the cuffs. I had to sew up the seam, of course. I may try to improve on this idea by converting the pattern to the round, and maybe make them fit a little more snugly, especially around the fingers.

It was a stash buster project -- I had a tiny bit of that cornflower blue yarn leftover from some blanket squares I made, and the red was leftover from one of the pairs of alligator mittens I made 3 or 4 years ago. At the time I started these mitts, I didn't know if the yarn was Cascade 220 or Lion Brand Wool-Ease, but I think now that it is Cascade 220, meaning I can't put these in the washer. Crap. The cornflower blue is washable, probably some kind of acrylic.

Speaking of stash busters and blanket squares:


These are some of the squares I knit up for the Pine Street Inn Knit-a-Thon on November 8. I've knit 12 in all, all of them machine-washable. The Pine Street Inn is a local homeless shelter/assistance program, and the blanket squares are knit to raise funds to help the Inn place homeless people into permanent housing. Several knitters will meet up on November 8 to sew the squares together to make blankets as "housewarming presents" for every person going into his or her new, permanent home. I'm not completely whoring for donations here, but if you want to, my pledge page is here.

Luciano says, "Oh no you di'nt!"


I have a few other projects on the needles. My Swallowtail Shawl hasn't changed much since you last saw it. Shit, that was right after Ken died. I was reluctant to work on it with Luciano around, and it is in a safe place but has a thin layer of cat hair on the top. I really need to work on that soon.

My Lacy Waves Sweater is under the couch. Remember back in June when I had a fit over it and threw it across the room? I started to work on it again, and decided that I just don't love it enough to finish it. Attempting to frog it, with all of the bound-off stitches along the neckline and sleeves, caused it to get off my lap and fly across the room again, so for now, it lives in the box that the yarn came in.

I started a pair of socks for Mike with some of the yarn I purchased at Rhinebeck. That link will just take you to my Ravelry page for them, and the only photo is a photo of the orange yarn I got at Rhinebeck. It's the "Sam" pattern from Cookie A's book "Sock Innovation". It's a slow-going pattern, but it's really interesting with the moving cable and all.

I've been working on a secret project for Mike. It's not a secret from him, but it's a secret from everybody else because it's using intarsia and I've been askeered to say I was doing it in case I mess it up and frog it. Hopefully it's at the point now that I can talk about it. I often have grand plans for things that I want to make, but I don't want to be one of those people who always talks about all these GREAT things she is going to do and how COOL it will be, only to have it never happen. I'm sure y'all know exactly the sort of person I'm talking about. I don't want to be one of those, although I think I in generally come clean when I've fucked up. I hope I do. After all, it's only yarn, it's only projects, and I'm only human.

In the "only human" department, I certain haven't spun in quite a while. Oopsie. I started spinning some gorgeous blue stuff months ago, but I don't think I have a photo. I know I have spun since we got Luciano, because I was surprised at how well-behave he was with my wheel. Since then, he has run around with blue fiber hanging from his mouth -- he pulled the end off my spinning. All fibery things need to be locked up from him, as well as all needles and plastic bags (since both he and Ellie will chew on them). Cats. . . what a concept.

Hopefully soon I'll have some good WIP (and maybe FO) photos for you!

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Rhinebeck 2009!

What better way to make a 2 month blog absence comback than a post about Rhinebeck?!?

We left mid-morning Friday and made it to Kingston (where our hotel was) around 3:30. We unfortunately were given a smoking room with the explanation that it was what I had booked. The smell hit us like a ton of bricks once we walked in, but it got a little better after we were there for a while. Unfortunately, most of what we had in that room now smells like cigarettes.

This is what my boobs and I have to say about a smoking room:


I think we may try a different hotel next year, and not just because of the smoking room. We're way overdue for something different. Tradition, smadition.

We got some awesome, but kinda expensive, Mexican food at a place in Kingston called Rosita's. The food was seriously good but a little more than we're used to paying for Mexican, but they did give us A LOT. In fact, half of my dinner will be my lunch today -- our hotel room did have a fridge, and the car stayed cold enough to keep it on the way home.

When we were leaving for breakfast on Saturday morning, about seven turkeys were looking for food along the side of the driveway at the Rodeway:


We were told that it was opening day for turkey hunting season, so I think it was a good thing that they started ducking out of sight when we stopped the car to take photos.

On to the fair!

As usual, there was beautiful fiber everywhere we looked:




As well as displays of projects:



Including some "wearable art":


Her only request for the photo was that I crop out her shoes. She was wearing plain black clogs; I suppose she wished they were painted to match.

There was lots of knitting going on:


And beautiful tools of the trade too:


I barely spun this past year, so I didn't buy a spindle from Golding's. Maybe next year if I'm a good girl and spin more. I love the Tsunami spindles (upper right hand corner), and they do have smaller, lighter weight ones that are fairly reasonably priced (about $44). My other spindles are a $4 job I bought when I decided I wanted to try, and the one I bought from Spinsanity on Etsy for under $20, which is absolutely gorgeous and has the same alpaca project on it from when I first got it about 2 years ago.

Golding's also had this thing of beauty:


HOW BADLY DO YOU WANT THAT? I really wish I had a house large enough to have that on display always. I'm not sure if I want to know the price, if it was indeed for sale.

There were also animals galore:


There were so many super-sweet llamas, but they liked ZMrK more than they liked me, I guess. I didn't get any kisses.


One of the alpacas gave him a kiss as well, and he said they have bad breath.



I only took a few photos at the little zoo. The poor sulcata tortoises were out, and it was freezing! The same with the poor gator. Only a few of the animals gave me good photos:


I really like geese, but they're mean as shit. A couple of them that were much bigger than these once trapped me in the corner when I worked at an animal shelter. I also got bitten by a swan once.

Mike loves feeding goats because they are so obnoxious about it:


It looked like a mosh pit of goat noggins.

A couple of calm ones napped in the back of the pen:


Then there were the bunnies. No shit. They were really cute:





Bunny, meet Dollipede:


Working at said animal shelter provided me with a great many reasons NOT to get a pet bunny: (a), they poop a lot, (b) their pee is very acidic and burned through the fiberglass cages, (c) my eyes and nostrils used to itch like mad when I had to clean their cages, not to mention the little round poops that would roll all over the place, and (d) one of our local shelters is often overrun with homeless bunnies.

But Mike really loved them, as you can see. They are so damned cute. But no, we didn't come home with a bunny.

There were also really cool carved pumpkins:


And the meetups! Woo hoo, the meetups! I went to the Rav meetup "on the hill", and met up with other members of the Lazy, Stupid and Godless group:



I also managed to look like I had a missing front tooth:


That wasn't the only silliness on my part that weekend:



Red Heart Penis For The Win!!!!

Mike got into the silliness as well:


Not as obvious a penis replacement as my Red Heart.



Not silly or perverted; I just like the great big red-eyed tree frog representative for one of the dye companies.

I also finally met my favorite fellow Rubbernecker, Terri:


She blogs even less than I do.

We had to hit the road shortly after meeting up with and kissing her. Getting home was pretty clear until we hit the Mass Pike, which is the majority of our trip:




It sucked this much:

As it turns out, it only added about an hour and some minutes to our return trip, but that was an hour we could have spent drinking beer.

Now the big question is, "What did I get?". I certainly got less than I did last year, which was less than I got the year before:


I don't think I can leave Rhinebeck without buying one of the Tsock Tsarina's kits:


When I saw the drawing for Golden West, I knew it would be spectacular. What stupid me didn't do is take a photo of the display of the finished object. Well, she's got one on her blog. It is so fucking cool. I hope my skillsnesses are up to knitting this one.

I also got Candy Cane self-striping yarn from Holiday Yarns:


As much as I was tempted, I did not get the Bacon colorway. I think I'd be so hungry every time I looked at my feet (although it would make a really cool scarf, wouldn't it? BACON SCARF!!!!!!)

Also, this:


770 yards, multi-tonal orange, superwash merino sock yarn for $20. Enough to make socks for both Mike AND me! This was from Fessler Spinning and Weaving, not one of the "big name" yarn sellers but really nice folks from Pennsylvania.

I think that Ellen's Half Pint Farm is the best kept yarn secret there is:


475 yards merino/bamboo/nylon in a gorgeous pinky blue colorway (should I call it SkyBluePink?). I used her merino/bamboo blend last year to make the Fawkes socks, if you recall.


This is 400 yards of merino/nylon and the photo doesn't do it justice. Plus it's the softest shit I bought all weekend.


Again, photos don't do this justice. It's 400 yards of worsted-weight merino in a cool light green color that I got from Oasis Farm Fiber Mill. They're in Maine, and I had never heard of them prior to yesterday. I'd love to use these to knit up my friend Amy's patterns for an embossed leaf beret and matching cowl.

Y'all know I have the best husband in the world, right? And that sometimes I let him buy stuff for me? Yup, he got me this:


Something about it just spoke to me. I love Burgis Brook Alpacas, and the project sitting on the spindle I linked to earlier is alpaca from them. I think that goes back to 2007, but I'm embarrassed to look.

We got a sheepskin rug for the cats:


Once we realized Ellie would be making bread like crazy on one of these, we knew we had to get one. We did, for $38, and it's pretty darn nice.

I also purchased Hiya Hiya DPNs in US Size 00 and 000, for tiny little projects, and some Addi Turbos in US Size 3, 20" for a current WIP that I don't have photos of, and more cheese than we have had in our fridge for a long long time.

We finally got some deep fried artichokes! At 10:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, there isn't a long line for them. We didn't get the artichokes french (maybe next year), but the deep fried artichokes were worth the wait! I also finally made it inside the booth for The Fold, which is always super crowded (also less crowded on Sunday morning, once they decided to open, which was probably around 10 a.m.), but I wasn't blown away by it at all, nor was I blown away by the colorways of Socks That Rock that were left. I think I am an Ellen's Half Pint Farm/Holiday Yarns loyalist.

Overall, it was a great time. I went with lower than usual expectations; I don't know why, but I felt like I was setting myself up for some sort of disappointment as far as socializing goes. Maybe it was my own social anxiety getting in my way. As it stands now, I think it was the most fun we have ever had at Rhinebeck. I'm already looking forward to next year!

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