Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Heads Up! We've Moved

If you haven't caught on - I moved! Since there were problems with getting into this blog to post, not to mention downloading photos, I changed the name slightly and moved to another Blogspot blog. It's now Sheepish Fibers. The format is a little different which allows me to post more often. I hope you enjoy the change!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Back from the Land of UFOs

Originally uploaded by bruggerknits
I really, really try not to have UFOs. But the reason you haven't heard much from in the past month is that I've been stuck in the Land of UFOs. Granted, I was a little proud of myself for finishing the Plunge early and yes, pride goeth before a fall. First, there was the Evenstar debacle. I debated simply tearing it back and forgetting it. But then there was so much done on it. So, I let it percolate for a month. I'm back to it and was quite surprised to find I remembered where I was in the pattern!

But I didn't get back to Evenstar until I battled this top. I found the yarn on sale last summer. I couldn't resist it - it's in one of my favorite colors. I pictured in my head exactly what I wanted. It wasn't exactly what you see pictured. In fact, I did finish it once and it looked just like what I had pictured in my head - except for the irregular stockinette stitch I have when I knit cotton. What you see pictured is actually the third and successful attempt to escape the Land of UFOs. In case you're wondering, the first was a lace version.

So now that I'm back on track, I'm wondering what makes a UFO or what causes them. I think one element is frustration - which is exactly where I was with the Evenstar pattern. I think another element can be boredom. Have you ever noticed it seems to take forever to do something in all garter stitch? An additional element can be it's is just plain taking too long, which can incorporate one or all of the above elements.

I worked in a yarn store when I was just out of college and one thing the owner emphasized is quick projects, particularly for newer needleworkers. Once they finish one project, they'll keep coming back for more. No matter how long I've knit, there's still something to be said for the "Rawhide" method of combating UFOs - Head 'em up, move 'em out.

What do you do to combat UFOs or do you have a concern about a possible intervention from loved ones?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

At Long Last - Finished! Pair No. 52

Originally uploaded by bruggerknits
As I noted in my previous post, I am having some problems adding photographs to my blog today, so I'm going through flickr.

The big news is that I've finally completed the 52 Pair Plunge III with this pair of baby-sized socks. While I'm not sure if these will actually fit a baby, I used these to develop the pattern I will be using at a beginning sock class this fall.

THE OTHER BIG NEWS: In celebration of completing "The Plunge" I am having a sale at my Etsy shop through the end of May. 'Just put "Plunge" in the message section and I'll take off 20% on your entire order (excludes shipping and expires Monday, May 31, 2010 at 11:59 pm CDT). If you don't see what you're looking for, check back because I am adding colorways this month. My Etsy site is www.sheepishhandknits.etsy.com or just click the Etsy button in the column next to the blog.

Pair No. 51 - Bike Socks

Originally uploaded by bruggerknits
I'm having problems today uploading photographs to the blog so I will post separately from flickr.

This is Pair No. 51 in the 52 Pair Plunge III. This pair was made from a leftover sock blank. I knit these toe-up/2-at-a-time and just knit until I was out of yarn. I usually like the leg of my socks to be 6 to 7 inches. These are considerably shorter, but will serve their purpose.

Monday, May 3, 2010

What in the Sam Hill AM I Going to Do With All These Socks?

Pairs 48, 49 & 50 in the 52 Pair Plunge III

This week I confirmed a concern I've had about myself - I can't count. If you've followed this blog for even a month you probably noticed that I miscounted the pairs of socks. So there are two Pair Nos. 48 and one of the earlier 40s was skipped. I think I now have it straight and that I have completed No. 50 and am working on 51. I picture my self falling off my bike and breaking an arm in the middle of 52, but I think I'm just being an alarmist - we'll see. So above is a photo of Pairs 48, 49 and 50. All three of these are baby-sized socks. Pair No. 51 is a small adult-sized sock for me.

   I've had some comments/questions about what I am going to do with all these socks. Most people assume I'm going to give them away. Not that I'm greedy, but I had two reasons for going into the Plunge in the first place. One, I was about out of socks. I have child-sized feet and find it next to impossible to find socks that fit that don't have Barbie or My Little Pony on them. Frankly, that's just not the professional image I want to portray. So all the adult-sized socks are going to me. Second, I wanted baby-sized socks to decorate for Christmas ornaments. I work for a non-profit and we have a Festival of Trees every year as a fundraiser, but also as a fun holiday thing for the public. I thought a tree of snazzy socks might be kind of neat - we'll see.   I'd also thought about writing a sock book and using the ones that were my own design in the sock book, but with the huge number of sock books on the market right now, that no longer seems like a good idea. 
   So stay tuned for next week, when I unveil my celebrations plans for completing the 52 Pair Plunge III (unless of course, I break an arm or a hand!)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Light at the End of the Tunnel - 52 Pair Plunge III

This morning I finished Pair No. 48 in the 52 Pair Plunge III - four more pairs of socks left. Four more pairs to be completed by June 1. I think I'm going to make it. I hit the doldrums back in January and took some much needed time off from sock knitting to work on a couple of much needed sweaters. I'm already planning a contest in celebration of the completion of Pair No. 52. In the meantime, here are Pairs 45, 46, 47 and 48:

Pairs 45, 46 and 47 are baby-sized socks made from left-over yarn from other sock projects. Pair No. 48 is made from one my favorites, Brown Sheep Wildfoote in the Deco Lime colorway. This yarn was marked as seconds and usually when that happens with Brown Sheep yarn it means there was a problem with the colorway. While some may not like the color, I don't think that was the case this time. This yarn was very "splitty" and that is very unusual for Brown Sheep and is one of the reasons I really enjoy knitting with their yarn. While this knitting experience was not the most positive, I'm still very pleased with the socks (and yes, I love the color!). The pattern is a K1/p4 broken rib.

Now on to Pair No. 49!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


About a year ago, we decided to cut back on cable. While it was great to have all those channels to watch for knitting, we felt the quality of the programming really didn't warrant paying what we were paying. In fact, I found myself watching more television, just to justify paying the monthly bill. So for a year, we've had the very basic cable, which includes the local affiliates of the traditional networks and The Weather Channel. Even though I didn't watch them often, I did miss some of the movie channels, like Turner movies. Recently, I received an offer I couldn't refuse from Netflix. So far, I've been pleasantly surprised by the quality of their service. Even though we don't live in a super-populated area of the States, we still have one-day service. The best part, is that I'm back to knitting and catching up on the 52 Pair Plunge III. For that reason, I have renamed Netflix - Knitflix.

Off the Needles: The three pairs shown in the first photo are pairs 40, 41, and 43. The adult sized pair is 44. Pair No. 45 is also off the needles, but I misplaced my camera Monday and so have not photographed that pair yet. (Fortunately, the camera has been found!) The first three pairs of baby-sized socks and are made from leftovers from other pairs. Remember the requirements of the 52 Pair Plunge are just that the socks have a toe, a heel and a leg. Pair No. 44 is from Brown Sheep Wildfoote in a colorway, which if you've followed this blog, is one I've used in an earlier pair. Every time I see it, I buy more. I think I probably just need to made a sweater in it!

On the Needles: Pair No. 46 is another pair of baby socks. This time I used some leftover Tempted. Also on the needles, is Evensong; however, that is going to remain in hiatus until I receive all the clues and errata, just so I don't have to do an enormous amount of frogging again. It does look better, now that I've done a repeat of the corrected pattern. Nevertheless, I am approaching this project with a great deal of caution.

On my Lap: Today's guest blogger is Greta, our big girl cat, who is going through all sorts of contortions to get the maximum amount of petting in as I type.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Good-bye Plurk - It Was Fun While It Lasted

After a couple long bike rides and a couple long walks and a sort of sleepless night, I have decided to de-Plurk for good. Apparently, by saying I was disappointed in a pattern on Ravelry, I have offended not only the designer, but just about every person I've friended or has friended me on Plurk. I deliberately did not mention anything about my disappointment in this particular pattern on Plurk, because I had done so on the designer's board on Ravelry. I expected some ganging up on her board, but felt it was important that she knew her error cost me a significant amount of time I really don't have right now. Then last night, she brought the matter to Plurk. I read her thread and the responses of those who felt I and others who expressed their disappointment (and some frustration) in the error were just unfair and horrible people. I'm not. I have the same right to express my opinion as anyone else. Since I can't do it on Plurk and I can't do it on Ravelry, I will do it here.

For those of you who still want to be my friend, some of you have my e-mail, if you don't, PM me on Ravelry (mightymite) or DM me on Twitter (sheepishfibers). I'd love to to know what you're up to, what you're stitchin' and how life is treating you. If you don't want to - it's been fun and have a great life. But please understand - I am disappointed. This morning, in far more ways than I was when I posted about my disappointment on Ravelry.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Still Here!

It's hard to believe it's been almost a month since I blogged. A lot has happened and a lot didn't happen, like this blog. I think I finally have things back in control at least for the next few minutes!
I've continued knitting and am slowly getting to see the light in the 52 Pair Plunge. I am currently working on Pair No. 40 and since I'm running low on sock yarn, I'm doing quite a few baby-sized socks . But before we get into that, let me show you what I have accomplished:

The green neon pair is Pair No. 37 and are made from a dyed sock blank. They're also cabled - not that you can tell. I enjoy wearing cabled socks because they hug my feet. This pair will never get lost under a bed. I haven't check, but I think they may glow in the dark. The next two pair are Nos. 38 & 39 are are made from leftovers. The pink and blue are Lorna's Laces and the multi-colored ones are from Nashua and I recently made an adult pair out of the same yarn.

I have completed Clue #3 in the Evenstar mystery shawl. I understand there is a total of seven clues. The next one will not be out until Friday. So, for my stay-at-home knitting, I'm working on a Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair sweater in black. This is one of my own patterns and people have repeatedly requested it. I'm finally getting it down to written form.

While I don't have the size stash that many knitters have, I still have been limiting my buying this year. I'm not on a yarn fast, but I am on a yarn diet of sorts. I really want to get a lot of what I have used before purchasing anything else. I'm committed to getting my stash to fit on the two shelves (okay, they wrap around three walls) in the laundry room.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monogamous - Again!

Some time ago, I wrote about the virtues of monogamous knitting. (At this point, my family members can now take a breath. Admit it, you had a fleeting thought this might contain some great revelation you didn't know about me. I can only shake my head.) Since that time, I've had a heck of time living up to one project at a time. I just want you all to know, I'm back on track.

Off the Needles: I finished the Celtic Knot sweater in the palest of pink wool from Elann.com. Was not as thri
lled with the yarn as I thought I would be, but loved the pattern, love the fit and will probably make it out a something a little less smooth. Lana Pura is a very smooth wool and every stitch shows, so something that is primarily stockinette stitch is probably not the best use of this yarn, unless you are a super even knitter. I'm thinking handspun for the next one - stay tuned.

I also finished Pair No. 36 in the 52 Pair Plunge III. They're a plain vanilla version using Nashua Yarns, Best Foot Forward. This is a great base yarn with the crazy color combinations of Kristin Nichols. These have calf scours green in them and I still love them. One of the reasons I picked up this year was it's affordability - a top-notch sock yarn for less than $15 for a 2-pair skein (100 grams).

On the Needles: While I await the next clue for Evenstar (I was sure those clues came out weekly.), I have started a toe up/2-at-a-time pair of socks from a sock flat. Since I just started this pair, I haven't decided what kind of stitch I'll be using.

Books: Please feel free to check book list at Goodreads.com (just click the Goodreads box in the column). I finished two books this week. The Whiskey Rebellion, by William Hoaglund. Usually the Whiskey Rebellion gets a line or two in the history books, maybe a paragraph; but this is an in depth account of the uprising in western Pennsylvania during George Washington's administration. A little slow at times, but well worth the time to read it.

In my quest to find additional series, I tried one of the Vicky Bliss books by Elizabeth Peters, Laughter of Dead Kings. I may have enjoyed it more, had I read it, rather than listened to the audio version. It has a great plot and wonderful characters, but I was a little distracted by the female narrator's male character voices and dialects. I enjoyed how she played the Vicky Bliss character and the minor other female characters, but the audio version would have been enhanced by a male playing the male characters.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Catch Up

I've had "Blog" on my To Do list for well over a week. As soon as I get ready to check in, a little voice in the back of my mind says, "Wait! Let's get one more project done and photographed!" The entry on my To Do list finally won. In the past few weeks, much has been completed, some has been started. The following is a mere summary. I won't bore you with the dishcloths I completed!

E NEEDLES: Pair No. 34 in the 52 Pair Plunge III were made from the leftover yarn from the Herbivore Shawlette/Scarf I completed a few weeks ago. The socks are in a simple cable pattern. I really love the colors of turquoise, blue and purple.

Pair No. 35 in the 52 Pair Plunge III are mosaic socks which were part of the Knitting Brewing Company's mystery knit-a-long (KAL). I learned a new technique and came away with a great pair of socks. I did have to significantly alter the pattern to get them down to my size. It's a little difficult to tell in the photograph, but there's also a patterned design in the green section.

I also signed up for another KAL. This one was The Enchanted Wood by the Unique Sheep and designed by Janine La Cras from Guernsey. I used the Unique Sheep's Gradience yarn in the Peacock colorway, Gradience meant it came in six different little skeins which I blended during the knitting of the shawl.

ON THE NEEDLES: I realized after well into the two KALs that I might be developing a problem with saying "no" to KALs. This occurred to me after I signed up for Evenstar by Susan Pandorf. Fortunately, Evenstar did not start until one KAL was completed over and the other had the last clue arriving on the same day as the Evenstar first clue. I fussed and fumed over the cost of lace yarn and what it would cost to come up with the 1700 yards of lace weight yarn. Then it dawned on me. I received a ten-pound cone of lace weight by accident - it just needed to be dyed. I decided on "legal pad yellow" and dyed up 1800 yards just in time for the first clue. Now that the first clue is completed, I very pleased with the results, but have vowed to give up signing up for KALs for Lent. This one should be done about Easter. Then who knows.

Also on the needles, is a Celtic Knot Pullover in pale pink. It's very different from the pullovers I usually wear in that it has a deep v-neck and no ribbing on the cuffs or bottom. I do wish I used something a little fuzzier for the yarn, but I really love this color. That's a good thing, I think the pattern may have a mistake in the yardage or the yarn label is wrong, because I seemed to have purchased twice as much as I needed! Pair No. 36 in the 52 Pair Plunge has also been started.

As you can see, I've been way too busy to get into much trouble in the past few weeks!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to Handle Winter

My big guy cat, Hans, has been very frustrated this winter. We're quite sure why, it may have to do with the change in the feeding situation here. He can't eat Greta's food because it upsets his digestive tract and Greta shouldn't eat his because of urinary tract problems. Long story, short: He and Greta have been feuding something fierce for the past week. Finally, he gave himself a time out in the bag. Both Greta and I appreciated the break.

Off the Needles: Pair No. 33 in the 52 Pair Plunge III (or maybe it's 34) a pair of Trekking Ribbed Socks.
As promised in my last post, I finally got a photo of the elusive moebius scarf from my handspun. I think I'm going to use it more as a cowl than a scarf, as it did not block out as wide as I would have liked. Even so, I'm pleased with my first attempt at this technique.

On the Needles: While I have kept my resolution not to sign up for anymore challenges, I have discovered knit-a-longs (KAL), particularly Mystery KALs. I have Clue 1 completed for The Enchanted Wool Shawl and have completed Clue 2 in the Girls Night Out Mystery Sock Knit Along. The Sock KAL is a mosaic and is a bit more challenging as I have to size it down. So, my finished socks will be a little different than the rest. Clue 1 of the shawl is to the left; Clues 1 & 2 of the sock are to the right. (Although you probably figured that out by now.)

Also, on the needles is the next pair of socks for 52 Pair Plunge III, made from the leftovers from the Herbivore Scarf. I'm going toe-up and am already on the leg portion.

After I posted last week, I realized I forgot to list what I've been reading and listening to. Since it's been so cold I have had ample opportunity to do both.

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery), by Joanne Fluke. This entry into the Hannah Swensen series involves Norman's purchase of property the dream house he and Hannah designed for a contest and won. Hannah's mother then finds the body of the last owner in the basement and then bank loot from an old robbery begins showing up in town. As you might expect, Hannah makes sense of all this with the help of her two suitors, her partner and her sisters. Another fun read.

Fearless Fourteen,
by Janet Evanovich. While this entry into the Stephanie Plum series includes all the great characters of the previous mysteries, Evanovich has added some new quirky characters. Of all I've read or listened to so far, I've enjoyed this one the most. I think there's even more humor and more outrageous situations.

Rumpole Rests His Case,
by John Mortimer. More short stories involving Rumpole's legal career. This was supposedly the last in the series as the last story has Rumpole arguing his last case from his hospital bed after suffering a heart attack.

That's it for this week. A quick update on the Hans/Greta feud. When I went upstairs to grab my book notes, they were ka-noodling on the top stair and looked a bit guilty as I rounded the landing.

Friday, January 8, 2010

"Snow" the Other Four-Letter "S" Word

We have snow - lots of it. I'm tired of it. It's cold, too. I'm tired of that as well. After that depressing note, let's go on to the fun stuff. If anything, this weather has given me plenty of time to knit.

Off the Needles: Pair No. 32 of the 52 Pair Plunge III is yet another pair of Dead Simple Lace Socks, designed by Wendy Johnson (aka WendyKnits) our of her Socks From the Toe Up book. I altered the pattern significantly to make a much smaller size than her smallest size - so these fit very nicely. The yarn is Festivus from Tempted which arrived as part of her sock club.

Moebius Scarf is being blocked as I write. It turned out a little narrower than I hoped; but I am very pleased with how my hand-spun looks in it. Hopefully, I'll have photos next time.

On the Needles: I'm still plugging along on Herbivore. I hope to have it finished by next week.

As one might well imagine, I have Pair No. 33 of the 52 Pair Plunge III on the needles. I just turned the heel, going toe-up, 2-at-a-time. I'm using Trekking, one of my favorite commercial sock yarns.

On the Wheel: I'm finishing up on a two-ply superwash and I'm hackling (is that a word) some of my hand-painted roving for an article on using a diz and hackle in the preparation of worsted yarn (as opposed to woolen yarn). If you're confused, I'll post the link when it is "on the net".