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I spent Mother’s Day weekend working on something completely mindless…a washcloth.

Just simple garter stitch. Slip the first stitch, increase with a kf&b at the end of each row *sigh*.

My washcloth

My washcloth

This took about 5 hours to knit. The crochet edging was done on my Monday commute into to work. That’s probably the most peaceful part of my week so far.

And now? It’s time to go use said new washcloth. Time to wash away the frustrations of dealing with JIRA tickets and compressed timelines. Time to look forward to actually going to bed and sleeping.

Score!

This past Saturday was the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I made the most fantastic score.  This year was all about fiber since my friend TinkrKnit taught me how to spin. But the bargain of the day was picking up 1lb. of 100% cashmere for $30!

Cashmere Fiber
Cashmere Fiber

Yes, you read that right. Cashmere. $30.  How could such a thing happen? I asked and was told that the vendor bought the remnants of a warehouse (said fiber being sold and purchased as 100% cashmere). They went to have the fiber certified and unfortunately they couldn’t it since the fiber had already been dyed.

Well…their loss is SERIOUSLY my gain. And I’m grateful for it. So Mama-san, I had just enough money left from your Christmas present to go buy this…

I also purchased a lace-weight spindle and have already started spinning up the luscious 50% yak-50% merino fiber. Again, I’m totally in love with the color and the texture is just a delight to have running thru my fingers.

Lace-weight Yak/Merino
Lace-weight Yak/Merino

I’ve broken down and started spinning while commuting. After watching my friend TinkrKnits at knit night on Wednesday, I realized my spinning technique wasn’t quite right and followed her example. Since then the rate at which I’m spinning up fiber has increased 3-fold and I’m getting a more consistent thread.

Time to invest in a wheel…just not quite yet.

The Vintage Socks are simmering along. All the leaves are done and the toe portion to 1 sock is started.

Vintage Sock-grape leaves
Vintage Sock-grape leaves

However, I’ve let this project marinate a while since I’m to a point where I really should inset the grape-leaf into the big toe area. I’ve read the instructions and looked at the pieces but still I’m kinda waiting until it all “clicks”.

Vintage Socks-toe
Vintage Socks-toe

For commuter knitting, the Bavarian Rockstar socks have made it into the rotation.

Bavarian Rockstar socks
Bavarian Rockstar socks

And finally, I’m starting to feel like the Clapotis scarf is coming to an end. Sometimes it’s not important knowing how much fiber or yarn is left. It’s important to just feel like progress is being made.

Clapotis scarf
Clapotis scarf

And now really last is the Hourglass Sweater. Progress. Gotta love it.

Hourglass Sweater - 1 sleeve
Hourglass Sweater – 1 sleeve

There was much, much, much more happening at Maryland Sheep and Wool but not enough time and space here. I’ll share more photos as I upload them. The alpacas, angoras, bunnies, llamas, and sheepies were just adorable this year. But then again, when aren’t they?

So, to all the Mother’s out there…Happy Mother’s Day.

This evening while watching The Daily Show with John Stewart (and being thoroughly charmed by the French Minister of Finance), I finished the grape leaves.

I’m just too tired to contemplate starting the sock portion. That is a task for Tuesday’s commute.

Spring usually makes me want to START a whole bunch of projects. Instead, I’m loath to start anything new but I’m in a regular tizzy FINISHING stuff!

WH’s Woven Bands Pullover is 100% done. I just need boy to model if for me. Turns out, everbody is a bit camera shy right now.

I must confess, I did actually start something new–The Pinwheel Baby Blanket. This is a “surprise” present that is woefully late. But I’m thrilled with it. It’s easy and has a good rhythm which is one of the things I really enjoy about knitting. The whole “let me interrupt you with odd-ball syncopation” patterns tend to send me right over the edge. Not that I don’t enjoy a challenge–but most of the time, I leave that kind of thing to figuring out IE 6 bugs.

Pinwheel Baby Blanket

Pinwheel Baby Blanket

I should mention that quite a bit of progress has been made on Vintage since it’s now in the Commuter Knitting rotation schedule.  My commute is approximately 35 minutes long from station to station.  Which is just about enough time to complete 1 grape leaf.

Vintage Socks-leaves

Vintage Socks-leaves

I’ve been getting odd looks from fellow commuters since I keep switching a DPN to a crochet hook depending on which part of the leaf I’m working on. Oh, forgot to mention the key part of that statement. I keep them anchored in my hair so I’m constantly reaching up into my hair to pick out a needle or hook.

Okay, time to hit the hay. Sleep and I haven’t been the best of friends this year but then I guess I shouldn’t complain too much since it means I have more time for knitting (and reading SG-1 fan fiction).

I leave you with how we entertained ourselves on Easter Sunday: fishing.

WH Fishing

WH Fishing

Rock in creek

Rock in creek

Geese in creek

Geese in creek

No fish. Just a peaceful Sunday morning knitting, spinning, and reading while WH fished.

More stuff done

I’ve been flying under the radar lately. While there has been a fair amount of knitting getting done, I must admit I’ve been spending waaaaaaay too much time reading Stargate SG-1 fan fiction.

While WH was attending the Arms and Armor show in MD this weekend, my best friend came over to keep me company.  I think we hit a new level of doing the absolute minimum to entertain each other. While we can pat ourselves on the back for not turning on the TV for 48 hours, we failed miserably at avoiding other electronic devices–namely our laptops.

And I must confess, I have succumbed to the peer pressure and gotten myself a Facebook account. Yes, my best friend is an evil minx.  My only excuse is sleep deprivation (as I don’t sleep very much when WH is away).

WH’s birthday sweater is more than 65% done. It looks like it’ll be done before the end of the month but since it’s experiencing a case of the “shy-bees” I couldn’t get it to pose for a picture.

In other completed news, the Inuit Adventure socks are done and in Dad’s possession.

Inuit Adventure Socks

Inuit Adventure Socks

For these socks, I used an “afterthought heel“. Yes, I tested these socks on my feet before delivering them to Dad and discovered that this heel just might be my favorite heel for fit.  If you know how to do a toe decrease/increase then you already know how to do this kind of heel.

Afterthought Heel

Afterthought Heel

I mean, look at it! Isn’t it just beautiful? And ever so suited to stranded/Fair Isle knitting.  However, I’ll be stepping away from multi-strand knitting for quite awhile. This project simply tuckered me out (but not on a permanent basis–I just need recovery time).

What else have I been up to? Well, there’s a new sock pattern. I’m pretty sure I’ve settled on the name and am almost done with writing the pattern.

New socks

New socks

For this sock I used a modified “Eye of Partridge” heel. I kept the 2×2 rib as I worked the heel and slip stitches.  I’ve worn these socks several times now and the heel is nice, sturdy, and very cushy.

Modified Eye of Partridge heel-interior

Modified Eye of Partridge heel-interior

Aren’t those stitches just beautiful?

So. My gems of wisdom for the day? Nope, don’t have any.

It’s me–Roralee.

The snowdrops have bloomed. The dog is getting us up earlier and earlier. We’ve just about given up using an alarm clock.  In short, the depression of winter has just about released its grip–but not quite. These past 2 months have been much more challenging than I’d really like.

There’s nothing that lifts the spirits like a newborn baby–specifically, someone else’s newborn. Hence, my knitting the Inca Dincadoo Jacket from Luxury Yarn One-skein Wonders.

This is so adorable, I can barely stand to be in the same room with it.

Alexi in Inca Dincadoo

Alexi in Inca Dincadoo

And the buttons, ugh. I can’t wait to give it to my co-worker for his brand-spanking’ new daughter.

Inca Dincadoo Buttons

Inca Dincadoo Buttons

This jacket is knitted in 1 piece starting with the back and progressing to the fronts.  The only finishing is weaving in ends, seaming up the sides, and sewing on the buttons.

Now? Back to working on WH’s birthday sweater. Three weeks to go and I’m determined to get it done.

Such grace and elegance

My LYS owner is evil. Through and through.  She’s managed to derail me from my holiday knitting schedule.

Yes, I’ve succumbed. It’s the 8088th incarnation of Clapotis, the scarf version.

Clapotis/Noro SilkGarden Sock

Clapotis/Noro SilkGarden Sock

It’s absolutely addictive. Not just the pattern. Oh no, it’s not enough that the pattern is like eating potato chips. The yarn! KnitHound quickly and enthusiastically confirmed that the Clap scarf was the perfect project for this 1 generous ball of fiber crack.

Now, normally, I’m not in love with Noro. I’ve got a single skein of Noro Hana Silk that I inherited. And despite being in my possession for just about a year–I’m stumped on what to use it for. Pretty much all the other Noro yarns leave me with welts. But this Silk Garden Sock is luscious. That’s not to say there isn’t any roughness but the silk off-sets everything and the color blend is simply mesmerizing. I’ve kept knitting so I can get to the next color.

I should also mention that I’m knitting this scarf using my Brittany Birch needles. And these needles are just the height of elegance for me. I don’t normally work on straights. But these needles–oh. my. stars! They’re amazing on the hands.

But! There’s more:

Inuit Adventures Socks

Inuit Adventures Socks

Progress is finally clicking happening with the Inuit Adventure Socks. Now I just need to finish the “after-thought” heels.  Then—I’m done! Oh, thank Heaven’s to Mergatroid.  I don’t want to have to think about these socks for awhile.  I’ve had to grit my teeth to get this far.

I want to re-engineer this patter into something that’s more stitch-y, textural if you will.

In other news-I officially have THE COOLEST DOG EVER!  I have to confess to my latest obsession for the past month: reading Stargate SG-1 Fanfiction.  I know. I know.  There’s quite a bit out there that doesn’t even rise to the level of mediocre.  There’s a modicum of stories that rise to the level of exceptional.  My definition of exceptional being “as you read the story you see the episode happening in your head and when you’re done reading you really wish it had been an episode”.

But the cool thing didn’t happen with reading fanfiction, no the coolest thing happened as I was watching a DVD of Stargate SG-1 on my laptop while knitting (I just didn’t have it in me to get up off the couch and walk across the living room to the DVD player and TV).  Nope, it was a keeping everything you could possibly need except the bathroom within arm’s length day.

I happened to look over to Murphy who was sitting on the couch with me and saw he was watching Stargate with me. Yes, really. He was totally engrossed in “Enigma” with me.

Now how freaken’ cool is that?