Monday, May 25, 2009

2 At a Time Socks

Here we go again - I first bought this book early last Spring, and I tried and tried to learn Melissa Morgan-Oakes method of 2 Socks at Once using the Magic Loop method. This particular book is a cuff-down method - all her patterns are cuff down. The reason this method is so appealing is because I knit slowly, have a bit of the Second Sock Syndrome, since I'd ideally like to wear the socks immediately, without having to motiviate myself to do the sock mate. Another important part of wanting to work this way is the fact that I love to learn new things. Learning fresh techniques keeps the mind exercised and fresh. Keeps the thinking flexible and agile - which is important to me as a "woman of a certain age."

Opinions on the book? First let me say that I LOVE her concept. I love the patterns in the book. And I think it's the best $12.95 I ever spent on a knitting book. Hands down. However, the book is not without its challenges, mainly Errata galore. Be sure, if you buy this book, that you go download the Errata and save yourself a lot of frustration. Not only does it have more than it's share of errata, but unfortunately it sometimes affects key concepts. So I found the Errata, but even so, I found myself getting stuck on the heels. There is a Ravelry group that is dedicated to discussing this method, and I found their discussions tremendously helpful.

Even so, what has kicked me in the butt to try this method again is our Blue Springs Knitting Group which has started a sock Knitalong. We are all going to learn the Afterthought Heel technique together - and we're using different methods of making the socks. Several of us are learning this 2 Sock Magic Loop method, and Julie (Juliebug on Ravelry) is stepping me through this. I haven't gotten to the heel yet, so I'm still holding my breath, but now I have a real live in-person friendly knitter holding my hand through the process. That is making it more fun, and this time I'm determined to master the dang technique once and for all.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Twenty Wishes

Okay, I'm nearly finished with a Debbie Macomber book in the Blossom Street series called Twenty Wishes. It's about a group of middle-aged widows, several of whom are knitters, who get together and decide to make a list of Twenty Wishes - things that they would like to do in their lives. Since these women are widows, they've all had a loss of a partner, so they're each exploring ways to find new joy in their lives.

The wishes on each woman's list are really varied, some things are skills they want to learn to do. Simple things like learning to knit, or taking belly dancing lessons. The thing I'd like to do is to finally learn a foreign language - for practical purposes, I SHOULD learn Spanish, but in my heart, Russian has always had an intriguing appeal . . . ever since I read WAR AND PEACE back in high school.

Other things are whimsical, such as dance in the rain with someone they love, going to Paris, etc. Some items are things they want to buy for themselves, such as a red pair of cowboy boots one lady had on her list. Other things involve giving to others, such as donating time as a volunteer, or participating in some charity that is close to one's heart.

There's a heartbreakingly charming little girl in the book, Ellen, who writes her own list.

While the book started rather slow, I am really enjoying it, but mainly because of the list concept. This novel is inspiring me to make my OWN list. What 20 things do I really want to do for fun, enjoyment, enrichment and growth in my own life? I am going to start a list right now . . . feel free to join me if you care to. And if you do, be sure and tell me about it. Maybe we can inspire one another with ideas.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Remember Wedge Sandals?

All during my teen years, during the '70s, I often wore these really high wedge sandals that I THOUGHT made me look taller. I haven't worn anything like that in decades. Well, guess what? Today, I was feeling young at heart and bought these. Don't ask me why. Pure fun wearing them though.

Also, today I finally finished up the Scrabble Lace Vest that I have been making from the Alpaca Grande Vest pattern that I made a couple of winters ago in heavyweight alpaca. Pictured here, the red vest is the winter version, made from heavy warm Alpaca Grande yarn.

Using the lightweight Feza yarns in Iplik Fiona - it only took 1 1/2 skeins, a bit less than 2 balls, to make this cute and lightweight spring vest. The pattern is amazingly simple. You make a ribbed rectangle, seam it up in two side seams and voila!

This colorway #1456 appears mostly with browns and beige and peach in the photo, but in person, it also has a wide spectrum of other beautiful colors such as Rose and Lavendar. It’s really a pretty yarn that produces a nice garment. The yarn has sections of cream and then it has runs of peach, brown, rose. When knit in this scrabble lace method, it makes splotches of color and texture that is very freeform like in its appearance. I knit this on size 11 needles and that is what gave the scrabble lace effect and all I did was just plain garter ribbing in order to produce it.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Prom Time

Last weekend, my daughter had her prom. Here are some photos.

Friday, May 01, 2009

8 Things MEME

Bellatrina tagged me with a very fun MEME. I am going to participate in this one because the number 8 is my favorite lucky number AND the MEME sounds easy, fun and intriguing. It's a good way to learn more about people I like. So here goes:

Here's how to do this 8 THINGS thing:
Mention the person that tagged you (Trina). Complete the lists of 8's. Tag 8 of your wonderful bloggy friends. Go tell them you tagged them!


1. Having a week off between jobs (yay!)
2. Starting the Comfort Shawl from Knitter's Daily, even though I said a couple of days ago that I was "all shawled out." Yeah, right.
3. Going out to a comedy club tonight with my husband and another couple.
4. Watching Lucy Neatby DVDs I just got from Smartflix.
5. Seeing my daughter get all dressed up for prom tomorrow night.
6. Spending a day relaxing in my PJS and knitting, watching movies - I MUST do that at least one day during my days off next week.
7. Going to Sprouts (yarn shop) tomorrow with my Mom. Never been there before.
8. Going off on a weekend with my family at the lake - maybe sometime this summer. It's so hard to all be available at the same time with our busy schedules.

8 Things I'm Pretty Darned Good At:

1. Getting stains out of garments - when Emily was 3 years old, she told her preschool teacher, "My mom is a good stain remover."
2. Pulling myself and others up when I'm down or they are down.
3. Writing.
4. Looking for deeper meaning in things - and trying to see patterns in my life.
5. Being a wife - I've gotten better.
6. Cooking.
7. Finding humor in nearly everything.
8. Knitting.

8 THINGS I DID YESTERDAY (in no particular order)

1. Said goodbye to the warmest group of people I've ever worked with and will truly miss several of them.
2. Finished the LaLa Prayer Shawl for an unknown recipient who became known to me today.
3. Figured out that the plant they gave me at work is a Tubular Begonia. Very pretty flowering plant!
4. Traveled through a huge rainstorm to reach my daughter's high school musical performance and arrived just in time.
5. Watched my daughter's concert choir perform several songs from Mama Mia! (which I love) - that musical makes me happy.
6. Was able to laugh instead of cry when a deceased relative gave me a good belly laugh.
7. Ate a delicious piece of Jenny Craig cheesecake.
8. Listened to Andrew Lord Webber's Diva CD. Very enjoyable.


1. Play the piano that sits lonely and largely unplayed in my livingroom.
2. Speak and understand Russian. Don't ask me why - but I want to. Spanish would be more doable and practical, but since when am I ever practical?
3. Spin a skein of yarn that is well plied, balanced, and knittable. One that I'm proud of.
4. Slow down a bit - appreciate what is going RIGHT in my life.
5. Lose the last 10 stubborn pounds~!
6. Be more patient and understanding with my teenage daughter
7. Travel to Europe with my husband and have a romantic 2 week vacation in England, Italy and Switzerland.
8. Make a living as a full-time freelance writer - my dream job in life.


1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Maggie Smith
2. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
3. Siddhartha - Herman Hesse
4. Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
5. This Perfect Day - Ira Levin
6. The World Below - Sue Miller
7. The Opposite of Fate - Amy Tan
8. The Eight - Catherine Neville


1. Phyllis
2. Elysbeth
3. Lynn
4. Kay
5. Kim
6. Christine
7. Jennifer
8. Ellen

BTW, ANYONE who reads this blog and see this and wants to participate - please do. Come back and let me know when you've put up your reply :)