Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Secret Pal Birthday Goodies

It's been over a month since I received this fabulous package from my SP8 Secret Pal, but I'm just now getting around to blogging about it. It's not that I'm not grateful - it's just that the computer, the camera, the internet connection, and I haven't been in the same place very often.

So I received an e-mail from her, telling me about a "surprise" at River Knits. Then I came home to find this in the mailbox:

There's all sorts of good stuff here. Yarn, Kool-aid for dyeing, notebooks and index card holders, cool portable nail files, and some really yummy scented peppermint soap. She says the "Bass Pro Shop" tape measure is a vacation souvenir - I wonder where she went?

I know exactly what I'm going to do with the yarn, too. I don't buy magazines very often, but by delightful coincidence I'd just picked up a copy of Spin-Off that had an article on dyeing your own self-striping yarn. So as soon as I manage to get a peg board, this yarn and the Kool-Aid are going to become self-striping socks. I can't wait!

Then I went to River Knits to claim my surprise. It was a gift certificate! I intended to save it for something later, I really did, but then I noticed that Elizabeth had a display of Cherry Tree Hill yarn by the cash register. One thing I've learned is that it's important to pick up good yarn when you see it, because it may never appear again. So within 10 minutes, my gift certificate had turned into this:

I don't know yet what this is going to become. Socks, probably, but we'll see what happens. Right now I'm just enjoying the colors. So it was a VERY happy birthday, thanks to my Secret Pal!


Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Sock Break

I spent the past two days not knitting socks. I don't think I put one single stitch in a sock. It's an unusual break.

Instead, I picked up embroidery. 14th-century German embroidery, to be more specific: I'm copying this.

It's easy to get these nifty embroidery patterns, thanks to the work of Timothy J. Mitchell, known in the SCA as Master Richard Wymarc. He has lots of great patterns and photographs on his website, here.

I started this because I didn't want to be knitting rainbow-colored socks at an event. I feel really good about it, because one person said to me that what he loved about the SCA was seeing all the historical stuff people did off the battlefield - so I'm really glad I made the effort to bring something appropriate!


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Secret Socks, round 1

I've finished my first round of socks for the Sock Day Club. Too bad I can't post a picture yet - but they're a surprise!

Now I can get back to some of my other socks, and lots of other projects to do.

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sick of Being Sick

Who manages to get a cold when it's 90 degrees out? I do! :-(

Yes, I know the weather has no effect on whether or not I'll pick up a virus, but somehow a summer cold seems so wrong.

So I'm too sick to do anything around the house, and this was supposed to be my Getting Things Done weekend. Too sick to read. Too sick to knit!

On the brighter side, I worked at Black Expo on Friday (before the cold attacked with full strength). We shared space with the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and they had a beautiful display of quilts, sort of a preview of an upcoming exhibit. Now I'm inspired! I want to get out and quilt stuff. There was one incredible quilt made from T-shirts....and I've been saving my high school T-shirt collection for YEARS, planning to do something with them. I love Black Expo. There's all sorts of neat stuff to see, and I collected four bags of loot at the health fair! Pretty cool, eh?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Sock Knitty

Wow! Six new sock patterns in this month's Knitty. A definite embarassment of riches.

I still have more than my share of socks-in-progress, with all these on the needles:
  • Gull Lace socks from yarn I bought in Germany
  • Secret socks for the Sock Day Club
  • Cotton socks for the May-June River Knits Sock Club
  • Bavarian Strolling Socks, an eternally-interrupted project
  • Bulgarian rose socks, and even more interrupted project

It's been awhile since I've completed any socks. It feels like there hasn't been any time to knit. I think I may start a knitting slowdown soon, as I realize it's been a very long time since I paid attention to any of my other hobbies. Two things on the needles (something portable and something less so) is definitely enough.

And I even have a future project lined up. About 10 years ago, I decided to try to crochet an Ugly Granny Square Afghan from every color of Sugar and Cream yarn I could find. I have nearly an afghan's worth of granny squares in my closet, just waiting to be edged and assembled. So I think, once I know the Sock Day socks are done, I'll pull the crochet back out and see what happens.


Monday, July 03, 2006

Yarn Abstinence

I still don't have a good word for it (embargo? rationing? diet?), but I seem to be doing it rather successfully. I took no-new-yarn vows a couple of months ago, but with the following notable exceptions:

1. Yarn for Sock Club is OK.
2. Yarn for other people (notably my Secret Pal and the Sock Day Club) is OK.
3. Lorna's Laces Baltic Sea is OK.

So far I've only broken the rule once - and that was when I was surprised with a gift certificate from my Secret Pal, and promptly spent it on a nice-looking skein of Cherry Tree Hill yarn. I've learned my lesson about the interestingly- dyed yarns the hard way - it's important to buy the good stuff right away, because it it may never appear again (see exception no. 3 above).

So my latest purchase was some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Georgetown for July's sock club, and some yarn for the next round of Sock Day Club socks.

The truly amazing thing is that I stumbled across the annual sale at the Mass. Ave. Knit Shop in Indianapolis and didn't feel a strong urge to buy anything (although I did pick up the significantly-marked-down sock day yarn). I should like the Mass. Ave. shop - they have some stuff that River Knits doesn't carry, and they always have sales. But somehow I manage to avoid going nuts when I'm there. I guess that's good. I hope I don't regret the $5.50/skein Ultramerino that I didn't buy. Right now I'm still feeling proud of myself for keeping to the diet.