Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hooked on Dishrags

There are just not enough hours in the day! When all I want to do is knit, knit, knit, but have to do other things, I get a very unsettled feeling. Is this the sign of obsession? addiction? or just enjoying a harmless hobby? I have to say that when I got an e-mail from Allison announcing the shipment of sock yarn for this month's sock club, her salutation gave me pause. "Hey, Sock Yarn Addict", she wrote. Is that what I've become? Just because I belong to that club, Yarn Pirate Booty Club, and the Zen String sock club, and also have been known to buy a skein or two from the Loopy Ewe when there's a particularly good "sneak up", I don't think I have a problem. (Or is denial indeed the first sign?)

The first Monkey sock is done. See, I actually use the yarn!

Moving right along, participating in Dishrag Tag has broadened my obsession to include cotton yarn. I had never purchased so much as a skein of it until I signed up for this fun game. We are now in the thick of it, the (probably slightly battered) box is on its way to Bonnie in Ohio and we are hoping the mail carrier sprouts wings. These are the dishrags I've knitted while worrying about the mail.
Seeing the beautiful cloths everyone has been making has been so inspiring! I really liked making the circular one. It's much easier than it looked. The dark one was made from the yarn Emily sent in my tag box. I like the way the colors distributed themselves.

And we can't forget the Mystery Stole. I finally finished Clue 4 and moved on to the wing section. Yes, I decided to do the wing, just as a learning experience if nothing else. The short rows are making things move along quickly, and I finished the first chart of Clue 5 yesterday. Here's my progress through Clue 4.
Coming back from feeding the rabbit just now, I noticed how pretty the drops of water were on the leaves of the Lady's Mantle. Yes, we've had rain in the Seattle area too, but nothing like in other parts of the country. Hello, it's supposed to be summer!

The dahlias seem to like some extra water, though. I'm always fascinated with this one - I think it's called Hulin's Carnival. Each flower is slightly different. They are basically white with a plummy-grape accent; some just have some freckles, some have a few dark petals, and some have whole sections of color. I love them! I also have a red and yellow colored plant that does the same thing. Nature is indeed wonderful!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Monkeying Around

I feel like Roseann Roseannadanna...."What's all this I hear about monkeys and why would you want to wear them on your feet? Oh, they're socks? Never mind."

I've been seeing pictures of Monkeys , even looked at the pattern several times, but for some reason decided they were too hard. OK, so when I read about them the millionth time, and how much fun they were to make (the word addictive came up more than once), I decided I had to try them. This was difficult, since I'm having a good time with my Six Sox and Favorite Socks Knitalongs, and really wanted to continue with another pattern there. I finished my Yarn Pirate socks which were good plane knitting since I didn't need a pattern and was ready for another pair or two of socks. The colorway is Mermaid; here they are ready to go sailing in the pool, since they match the floaty so well.I looked at the Monkey pattern again and decided to try it. This decision involved an hour-long sort through my sock yarn stash, much to husband's amusement (annoyance?). Anyway, I decided to go with Zen String Harmony in the Opal colorway. It's merino/tencel and felt so soft and shiny, I couldn't resist it. The colors here don't really do it justice. Where it looks blue it's really a beautiful periwinkle color and much more vibrant.

Dahlias are blooming! I'm going to finally record what colors I have, since I seem to keep buying the same ones. I guess at least my taste is consistent! I don't dig them up every year; I move them around; sometimes they die....I've lost track of exactly what I have. I do love them, though. Like with lilacs, all you have to do is cut them and stick them into a vase and they look good. A plus for people who are not so talented at flower arranging! You can see Buddy in the corner of this photo. This was just before he jumped up on the table to see where I'd gone and knocked the vase over.

MS3 progress: I'm slogging along, quite a bit slower than I'd hoped, but no major problems (knock wood). I'm just halfway through clue 4, and clue 6 came out yesterday, but oh well. Next week will be the final, and I'm sure I'm not the farthest behind. It's turning out to be quite pretty.

Dishrag tag is going well. Our team of knitters is super-speedy, but the postal service doesn't always come through as we'd like. The prizes are pictured on Emily's blog, and they look great. I think one of our team (Sarah-Hope) is in the running for fastest turnaround time. She only had the box a couple of hours before it was back in the mail. Hi Team! Go Cotton Commandoes!

Finally a nice day here...off to Green Lake with Buddy for another walk and glimpse of the tortugas on their logs in the water.

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Race Begins

Dishrag Tag has officially begun. I drove home this afternoon, saw the mail carrier leaving our house, and found not one but TWO boxes in the mailbox! One was my dishrag tag relay box, and one was yarn I bought earlier in the week at The Loopy Ewe.And inside the boxes, I found goodies. The first box held a dishrag from our fearless leader, Emily, two balls of cotton yarn, a recipe for shortbread, and two cute little gingerbread-man (person?) cookie cutters.

Of course, beautiful sock yarn was in the other box: GypsyKnits, Melon Patch colorway, and Cider Moon Flurry in the Midnight Special colorway. The third beautiful skein is my July sock club yarn from Zen String, Harmony in a colorway for spring called Dragonfly. That arrived yesterday. It's been a good week!

Of course, I immediately had to begin making my dishcloth for the relay so I can get the box in the mail tomorrow. I chose the yellow/orange yarn and made a simple pattern so I could finish quickly. Here it is drying in preparation for mailing off to Sarah-Hope in California tomorrow.
In other KAL news, Mystery Stole 3 is coming along slowly but surely. Today was the big reveal of the theme, Swan Lake, along with Clue 5. Since I'm barely a quarter of the way into Clue 4, it's going to be awhile (or maybe never) before I'm caught up. Here's how it looked at the end of Clue 3. I can see a mistake way back in the Clue 2 portion, but I'm just going to say, "nobody's perfect" and continue on my merry way. I don't think it's too bad for my first major lace project. I'm finding it to be good exercise for my brain, since I really have to concentrate in order to have any chance of ending each row with the correct number of stitches. And I've learned it's deadly to start thinking that things are going well - the next row is guaranteed to have too many or two few stitches!

It's time to bring the garden into this "Knittinggarden" blog: The dahlias are starting to bloom, the garlic's been harvested, and tomatoes are starting to look good. We picked the first crop of raspberries a couple of weeks ago and are waiting for the next one. Laura really liked the raspberries and she helped me pick enough to make a pie. It was good!

I grew two kinds of garlic this year (but never remember to write down the varieties). One was ready before the other, and is already dried, trimmed, and in baskets. The other, larger variety is about ready to be cut off the stalks and stored. It's fun to braid the garlic, but these are both hard-necked varieties and they don't braid. They keep longer than the soft-necked and that's why I like them.