Smokin_socks No, not cigarettes, though I still think about them, but have you seen this new pattern?  Smokin’ Socks.  Anne has other patterns, and they’re great too!  This one is very easy and it’s very interesting how simple arrangements of knit and purl stitches can look at first glance like cabling.  This yarn is from Twinkletoes in Overalls, I’ve had it for ages.  I am listening to Christine’s Pointy Sicks Podcast, the Pink Show with Staci.  They are having much fun and they both sound great!  AND Christine is having a Podcastiversary Contest – You have to listen to the podcast. 

Just a reminder about March 11th, at Hill Country Weavers, Second Sunday Knit N Knosh is Meet the Bloggers.  RSVP if you wanna have a face to face with a local knitblogger you have only met online. 

Also, at HCW, April 21, Amy Singer of will grace the shop and that’s the weekend BEFORE AFTER the DfW Fiber Fest.  Hey y’all, there’s a seaming class for $10 $50/60- that value still makes the whole trip worth it.

Edited to correct link to DFW FF and fix other errors.

My last nudge is for the Surprises – They’re great – 2 fab sweaters!  And, ohmigawd, this scarf!

Back to smokin’, er, I mean knittin’ socks.

Edited to add the link to the New Wiki for the Knitting Touristas headed to the Fiber Fest.  Check it out, sign up, or just give us a hard time.  Your call.

Fiber Alert!

Another_fetch Just when things were starting to get a little boring and predictable around here (yet another Fetching), just when I don’t think I can knit another row of interminable ribbing on Kandis’ Mommy Snug, Just when I think the next issue of Ik can’t get here soon enough, That’s when I see it:Beetle No, not this beetle, though he is pretty impressive, eh?  No I am talking about the buzz I just caught on the fibergroup email.  Check this out!  The Old Oaks Ranch FIBER ARTS CENTER!  People, it’s a yarn shop and soooo much more!  In Wimberley, TX – That’s about 40 miles from Austin give or take a fence row or two.  Who wants a road trip?  Omigawd, I am so excited!  Beautifully built in a beautiful location and they have it all, spin, weave, knit, quilt, classes, they even have a porch for knitting al fresco!  Oh and there’s a sculpture garden too. 

Under_beetle Okay, the rhinocerous beetle (Dynastes tityus) was used just to get your attention, but for the truly curious among you, here is thh beetle underside, and he’s not alive, someone brought him back to me from travels abroad – cuz I like those kinds of things.

Ice Day!

We don’t really get Snow Days – it so rarely snows here, but it does Ice over and this Ice Storm is pretty spectacular.  We’ve been stuck in the house since the weekend and it looks like tomorrow might go the same way.  I have cooked till I am sick of cooking, though I was very impressed with my first Chile Verde that I made yesterday.  Yum, and Tom and Abby ate it too! 

Abby got tired of me telling her to put something on her feet, she screamed at me to make her a pair of socks.  Well, I hadn’t made her any in a couple of years mostly because she wouldn’t wear the ones I made her before.  She has this issue with socks.  They don’t fit her well.  She has my mother’s narrow, long feet and she can feel the seam in socks.  And it drives her insane.  The nice thing about hand-knit socks is there usually isn’t a seam.  Anyway, one sock down and one 1/4 done.  It’s nice to have something else when I need to take a break from the never-ending ribbing of the Mommy Snug. 

I had to go scrounging for firewood today, and after that task and I was already bundled up, I decided to survey the property in it’s winter garb.  I found these frosted bluebonnet leaves.  The cold and ice won’t hurt these little babies and there are a ton of them this winter so we should have a very nice showing in the spring.  Dewberry_vine
Then while skirting the banks of the very full pond, I came across this blackberry vine growing over a fallen cedar tree.  They are pretty and hardy.

No school or work today and maybe not tomorrow.  Forecast says more precip, maybe snow, who knows.  Knitting continues.  Stay warm.

Wicked Weather

As with a larger part of the U.S., a giant winter storm is moving in tonight.  It’s been raining for 2 days and now it’s getting cold.  Cold enough to freeze the stuff falling from the sky.  It’s an interesting event in central Texas since it pretty much shuts Austin down.  Tom is at work, and I just hope he gets home before it gets really bad.  There was a tornado in San Marcos yesterday and the creeks in Austin have been bank-full for 24 hours.  I have been cooking.  And knitting.  I delivered food to the church today because it’s our turn for Freeze Night.  That’s where we house and feed 50 homeless men from the streets of Austin at the church.  I always cook for the homeless.  As I was leaving the kitchen I noticed once again the japonica bush blooming and realized that I took a picture of it last year as I was doing the same thing.  It was February and it had more blooms, still, these are the first things to bloom almost every spring.  Jan_berries
As I got into the car I noticed another botanical wonder hanging above the parking lot…this evergreen shrub or tree was sporting lovely bunches of berries that resemble grapes.  I don’t know this plant or even if it is native or not.  If anyone recognizes it, clue me in.

I finished another pair of baby booties only this time using size #1 needles. I like them and I need to mention the designer because I have gotten a couple of inquiries to where I got it.  Theresa Gaffey Designs #17.  I bought this pattern in Dallas at PassionKnit while I was visiting my mom.  Nice little store with a surprising amount of good yarns. 

The other day I finished up a pair of Fetching for myself from a skein of yarn a friend gifted to me.  She picked it up in Arizona at the Hubbell Trading Post, the oldest continuously operated trading post in the U.S. and it’s a National Park too.   Fetch
The yarn is hand spun and looks like a natural, undyed wool.  It’s a bit bulkier than the Cashmerino, but it’s warm and soft and looks more rustic and I like that.  I have enough to make a hat if I add the leftover Patons SWS from Kandis’ Caloriemetry.  I just need to find a pattern.

We are well stocked with homemade soup and firewood and I made a Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake today.  Hope everyone stays safe and warm during this little Arctic Blast we’re having. 

First FO of 2007

Okay, it’s small.  But aren’t they cute? And very fast.  I think the next ones I’ll make I’ll do on size 1′s, these were done on size 2′s and I think they are a little big for a newborn.  I used Regia sock yarn.  Since I didn’t photograph all my gifts at Christmas, Kandis sent me the shots of some of the things I made them.  Head_thing1
First is the Calorimetry I made Kandis out of Patons SWS, very soft stuff and I think it looks nice on her.  And then there’s the
Baby Viking Hat.  I could not resist making this one when I saw it online.  Rob has an adult version he wears – I think to WurstFest, though I don’t know why.  Anyway, it’s for my grandson who is expected in Viking_hat2_1

For any of locals who frequent Hill Country Weavers, or even if you don’t, you may want to know that in March, the Second Sunday Knit & Nosh will feature Meet the Bloggers.  So if you knit and blog in the area, come on down and meet the other local knit-bloggers face to face.  It’s 11am-1pm and if you’re coming, RSVP to the shop by the Saturday before.  Oh, and spread the word, not that many people read my blog.  No, really.  Anyway, hope to see you there! 

Falling Behind in the New Year

Five days into the new year and I’m playing catch-up.  That’s not a good sign.  But I’m not superstitious, just distracted.  Abby doesn’t go back to school till the 9th and Tom the 15th, so things are still a little out of kilter. 

Fantasia_yarn I did complete 15 knitted Christmas gifts, however I can’t find all the photos, so those may appear later in the 2006 gallery.  I did get some knitting related gifts for Christmas, Kandis gave me Yarnplay, a nice book by a local designer.  My Vermont MIL gave me One Skein Wonders and my SIL gave me Fantasia_band YARN all the way from Seoul, Korea…20 skeins of a gorgeous variegated alpaca/wool from a company I never heard of.  I’ve done a bit of sleuthing on the innerwebs and have found mention of the yarn company (thought not the specific yarn) from places like Japan, New Zealand and UK.  They don’t make junk, but apparently they don’t have a North American distributor yet.  It’s called Fantasia Ski Yarn in Alpaca Print and this one is 70/30 Alpaca/wool.  I could not resist casting on.  I am supposed to be working on Kandis’ Mommy Snug – and I am, but this stuff is so soft and it knits up so quickly, that I am already on the first sleeve think I could finish this weekend, if left to my own devices.  Cardy_zine The pattern I am using is from an IK from last year I think. It’s the Dropped Stitch Cardigan. Fantasia_close_stitch The yarn creates subtle muted stripes and I really think it’s going to be a good match for this pattern, even though I did not get gauge.  Yes, I knit a swatch and did not get gauge and still cast on for this sweater.  The gauge is supposed to be 14 1/2 and I got 16.  So I cast on for the next size up from what I would have knitted.  I think it’s working.  You may get the chance to ridicule me later.  We’ll see.  I will probably have to order another custom zipper for this baby, but it will be worth it. 

Snug_rib And the Mommy Snug goes on.  And on and on and on.  Lord, there’s a lot of ribbing in this thing, but I do like the Cotton Fleece I settled on and I love the little cables in the rib.  I held it up to Kandis the other night to make sure I was on track, and I think it’s working out.  The color is Candy Apple, or at least that’s what it says on the ball band.  It looks much more brownish red, almost like a velvet cake. 

As much as I complain about the holidays, I do really look forward to the new year.  I am a sucker for new beginnings.  I’m not big on resolutions, I hate to make promises to myself I can’t keep.  I do like thinking about the future though.  Come April I’ll be a new grandma and looking forward to the long hot summer which I love.  Which reminds me, as soon as these two sweaters are done, I need to get going on baby knitting.

Here’s to a happy and abundant New Year to everyone!