Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Smoking Hot Sock pictures!

I'm starting to receive some cool pictures of knitted Smoking Hot Socks! Go have a look at my Reader's Gallery. It's worth it. I just love to see all the different socks. Thanks for sending me your finished pictures and keep them coming! ;o)

PS. This is my latest project I'm working on. It's going to be a bag.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A lotta pink ...

This is one skein Silk Rhapsody, and 45 minutes later, I've got this wound ball. It almost didn't make it! It was so tangled up (doesn't look like it in the above picture, but the skein was pretty messed up somewhere in there). I had to muster all my patience to get it done right, since I couldn't afford to loose even one inch of it.

My mom has a friend. She is blind. Mrs. M got to touch my mom's Diamond Chevron Scarf I made for her, and she thought it was wonderful. My mom's a good friend. She asked me to get some Silk Rhapsody in either blue or pink colors. So I did. I would have chosen blue, but there weren't any. I bought it at Little Knits to an introductory prize, which was great. Pink is NOT my color and seeing the skein, I was not too impressed. It grew on me though.

At first I was pissed because of the pooling going on. As I knit on however, the pooling appeared to have it's own method and showed up in an orderly pooling fashion. Suddenly I LIKED it!

From the time I cast on for this scarf I thought it reminded me of Hubba Bubba bubble gum. There's a factory around here somewhere, and it smells of bubble gum, whenever we drive by it. I don't chew it, but I like the smell. (The gum in the picture is NOT Hubba Bubba, because I couldn't find any , ha!)

I hope my mom and her friend like the scarf. I'm going to wrap it up now and send it off on it's journey to Europe.
Here are the specs:
yarn: Artyarns Silk Rhapsody color # 110, one skein, on 4.5mm needles
pattern: Iris Schreier
size: 57" X 4.75"

Biko is resting in Karl's room. She goes there, whenever there's some sizzling going on in the kitchen.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

ASHES - new free pattern!

Now you can find this sock pattern on my Free Pattern blog, link on the side bar.

As I said, I've ripped out the Montgolfiere (two color slip stitch knitting), because they were too big. I did stop at the ribbing and couldn't frog it all. So I was picking up the stitches and thought, what else I could do with this yarn ....
ASHES was the outcome. Naturally, because I loved the heel of the Shapely Sandal Socks, I had to try it out on my own terms, and I think it came out nice. Of course I realize, there are many socks out there, which were knit that way, but it was new for me.
The stitch pattern is a slip stitch pattern (again), but with only one color, duh, and sooo easy. The columns look a little like cables and it's lacy too, with little, purposeful wholes.
I've enjoyed knitting with the almost uni color. Not getting tired of the multicolored yarns, but still, it's restful to knit with simpler stuff. I've got some uni colored sock yarn in my stash and will dig them out shortly.
I've knit them in size 9, for Hannah and they fit perfectly. I still make mistakes Kitchener stitching the toe stitches together and ripping that out is always a pain, but with tongue in cheek, I did it. Very satisfying!
Well, off to the weekend now, ups, it's half over already! ;o)

Don't believe his innocent look! Sam was chasing Biko around the balcony, when I called him, and he stopped short, looking all nice for the camera! He's a bad boy really! ;o)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Snow day! Yipee!

This morning this fantastic sight presented itself to me. Did I mention that I love snow? Well, it was coming down hard, in big, fat snow flakes. The camera was even able to catch a few of the big ones, and you can see the crystals! Naturally I had to get right in the middle of it, and so did the dogs.
Lovely! (as long as you can sip your tea and don't have to go anywhere, of course)

Biko has Sam in her sights, and is about to chase him around the balcony. I promise pictures of Sam the next time. I've got some lovely ones. But it was brought to my attention, that I don't take enough pictures of Biko. (maybe because she's not around me as much) ;o)

The picture below was taken a couple of days ago. It was a gorgeous day, but cold.

click on pictures to see the full beauty

I thought I show/tell you about some of my failures and my latest project. I've been knitting on this slip stitch sock for a couple of days, until I gave in and acknowledged, that it was not going to happen. It's a wonderful pattern, but the slip stitch pattern was getting on my nerves, and the thought of having to make another one, was too frustrating. Also, they were meant to be for Hannah. She's got a narrow foot, and with the 68 sts it was to wide even for my big foot. So after some soul serching, I decided to frog it. There was no resistance coming from my knitting self. More like a sigh of relieve. I don't understand it, because I wanted to knit these socks for quite some time now. Oh well. ;o)
I started something other instead.
This poor grey thing, might not look like much, but I even found a name for it : "Ashes" will be my next sock (pattern?). Of course, depending I like the end result and it fits Hannah's foot, which we'll know in a few days. I've turned the heel, and am on the foot part already, but it's still sock # 1. I couldn't get a better shot, because after this picture, the batteries died. Reloading as we speak.

If it weren't for socks, I wouldn't have to show you anything. I've been knitting on my Noro blanket, and there's nothing really to show, since it looks the same, just with a few more rows.
I made a few more squares for the magic mosaic blanket as well and will tell you about it in another post.
I've been knitting on my Tofutsies sock. Let me tell you. I've started three times, each time with different stitch patterns, but nothing was really right. I ripped it all out and put the yarn away. I didn't like the color from the beginning, and after giving me such a hard time, I don't want to knit with it right now. But I think I figured out why it didn't work for me. I used 2.5mm needles, and the knitted fabric was too loose for my taste. The next time I'll use smaller needles. I DID like the feel of it , however, even though the easy splitting was very irritating. And another thing, I've used bamboo needles. I think I'll use metal ones the next time. The bamboo's were too "sticky".
I've got a couple of pictures of Smoking Hot Socks, which readers made. I've put up one picture in my Readers Gallery, the second one, will follow soon. It's fantastic how they look, with all the different yarns and colors!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Shapely Sandal Socks

Ever since I saw this pattern, I was in love and wanted to knit this pair. I rarely purchase a sock pattern, unless it's different, like this one. This is the Shapely Sandal Sock pattern by Heart String Fiber Art . The pattern calls for two strands held together or as I choose to do it, use a worsted weight yarn. I've chosen Artyarns Supermerino in the color # 102, which was in my stash and I didn't know what else to do. For my size 10 1/4 feet, two skeins where not enough.

Look at this construction! See the diamonds? And - hold your breath, they are knit cuff down! Oh yeah! I had to kitchener the toes! I did that - soso, not invisible, but it will do. I had to rip out the second kitchenered toe, but for some reason, I did it differently, after another instruction and it turned out just awful. Ripping out kitchenered stuff is not fun and not easy. Thank god it was only a few stitches!

They fit very well, but are on the very warm side, which is a good thing, since we've had -25 degree here (but not today, it's +2 C outside and my lovely snow is m-e-l-t-i-n-g!!!)

Look at the heel! Isn't it a beauty? I LOVE it!

The best part about these socks is, that this pattern is so easy, it's unbelievable! I didn't need the instructions for the second sock. I got it real quick, and ahem, I'm usually not that quick to memorize something. And they are a fast knit. I did this pair in two days, just in the evenings! Didn't I say they are quick?!

I'm sure I'll knit them again, and again, and again. Right after I knit some other stuff! ;o)

Couldn't leave you without a dogie picture. Biko is sun bathing (not today though, today is dreary.)
Oh, and I almost forgot. Once again, Sybille made a wonderful Patchwork shawl with her left over sock yarn! One day I'll make one too. This is so beautiful!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my moms 65th birthday. She almost didn't make it. She was very ill some time ago, but she's back in full swing, and having a p-a-r-t-y! She's a very social person, and one party will not do, of course not. And right she is, because you'll never know, when it will be your last party!
So, happy birthday, mom! I wish you lots of fun (wish I could be there)! ;o)
I made this heart sachet for her. The pattern is from Interweave Press by Vicki Sever. I've wanted to do this heart for a long time, well, since I first saw it's picture.
I used Trekking XXL, color # 103 (only 9 g, Hannah is knitting socks, with the left over ball).
I filled it with lavender. Unfortunately, I could NOT find genuine dried lavender ANYWHERE! Do any of you have an idea where to get this? I found a little paper bag at Michaels, but it's only scented paper dust? Very awful. I wish I could have gotten the real deal! It does smell good, but if you hold the heart, and don't even squeeze it, the "dust" is coming through the tiny wholes.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentin's Day!

I wasn't going to say anything about Valentin's Day today, but when I got home from shopping, look what I found on my doorstep! Such wonderful roses from Karl, who is still in Germany. Wow! How beautiful!

Last night, a little after midnight, the long awaited winter snow storm just started to blow. Boy was/is it ever cold. I took three pictures and my fingers almost fell off!

This morning, right after it was light out, the snow was still coming down, but not as hard as last night. I LOVE snow!

Well, at noon, the sun was out, no more snowfall, but now the fun could begin.

Biko and Sam out on the balcony. They were on their way down the stairs, but I've made a barricade, because the stairs are too dangerous right now. See Biko squint her eyes? She knows, from painful experience, that standing behind Sam, she gets slapped with his tail pretty hard.

This is my new sewing machine. I'm still mourning my old Singer, though. I don't want to learn new tricks on this machine, but I better. I've some nice fabric, with which I'd like to make a tote bag - soonish.

Of course, today of all day's Hannah had an eye examination appointment, that was before the sun came out. A couple of hundred meters down the road, we encountered cars in the ditch. Thank god we didn't have to go far. While I was waiting for her, I started a plain sock, because I wanted to try out a new yarn. It's Tofutsies by SWTC. It's 50% Superwash Wool, 25% Soysilk Fibers, 22.5% Cotton and 2.5% Chitin from shrimp and crab shells! The knitted fabric is soft and cool to the touch, but the strand splits easily. We'll see how I like it, after wearing it and how it holds up after washing.
That's it for today. Have a very nice Valentin's Day!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Country Bumpkin meets City Slicker!

Back in November 2006 I bought Simply Knitting magazine, issue 21, only because there was a small picture on the cover with this cute little hedgehog fella, called Hibernating Harry. Since I just made (h)adorable Hermann, I knew right away, that I wanted to make Harry as well. Well, times goes by so quickly, but finally I did it.

The designer, Alan Dart, promised hours of knitting pleasure, but forgot to mention hours of sewing (pleasure?). No wonder! Make something out of this pile of knit pieces and all those ends.
I made a huge mistake in assembling Harry. Because I didn't come to this project with an open mind. I made Hermann, and thought this one had to be constructed in a similar way. Hence the mistake. You see, his fuzzy back was not supposed to be sewed on, like I did in this picture, and then stuffed. It was supposed to be sewed on later, after the body was done!!! Didn't read the fine print, and didn't take my own advise, to read through the whole pattern before I started. Well, that's one reason my little Harry is on the bald side, and he's fat!

As soon as I realized my mistake, I lost all drive to finish him, but Hannah said, Harry is cute, and I should finish and love him. He has his own charm, with his lop-sides head and his drunken stance, but with a winning smile, don't you think? And he can stand on his own! It was a delicate balance to give him legs and as you can see above, with no arms, he had that balance. After he got his dressing gown, the balance was somewhat off, hence the dorky pose.
Somehow he reminds me more of a Kiwi bird, then a hedgehog, but that's O.K. I'm not a doll making expert, and never will be. At first I thought I'll make another one, this time correct, but I don't feel like sewing tiny pieces together, right now. And one other thing, better not spoken off too loud, because there was a fatality in the making of Hibernating Harry. Ever wonder where he's got his eyes from? ;o)
I hope I don't come down with something. I sure could use a hot water bottle right now and a cuppa tea!
P.S. Hannah also suggested making him a wig. ;o)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Kaernten Omi!

I've been meaning to tell you about my grandmother for some time now, but I never thought it was the right time for it. Today, my mom called to tell me, that my grandmother is in the hospital, has been since Tuesday! Well, the smoke signals took a little longer to get here, over the big pond, I guess.

My grand mother, Aloisia (she was never happy with her name) was the first of 17 children! (no, that's not a mistake). Funny thing is, I've been thinking of her a lot lately, probably because I've read a story about his grandfather on Dave's blog. This got me thinking of my grandfather, and that led to my grandmother and so on. I even ended up thinking about a tenant, my grandparents had, a really long time ago. I was a little girl, like in the black and white picture below (it's a picture of a picture). This tenant was an old man, pretty much, as you would think Santa Claus looked like, but at the time, I have never heard of Santa Claus, since we had the Nikolaus and at Christmas time there was the Christkind, which was so kind to bring us all the lovely presents!

Anyway, this old man had a room in my grandparents house, and whenever I stayed with them, which was as much as possible, if I could help it, we kids where reminded to be quite, at least passing the floor, where his room was. I think his name was Herr Reichl. Boy, what the mind can come up with sometimes. I remember being in his room several times, for a short period of time, just doing an errand (bringing coals or fresh towels or something like that). I was a little afraid of him, but that couldn't have been that bad, because I also remember, standing on his feet, and we were dancing in the hallway, to some old music he's put on. We all had a good laugh, and even though I remembered being quiet when passing his door; I think I didn't mind him too much.

Back to my grandmother. She was a farmer's wife. I do not know how she could have managed everything she did. Of course my memories of her at that time, and all what was going on, was that of a child. You don't know what's really going on around you, most of the time as a child. Anyway, they had livestock of course, fields, a big house, stables and everything you need to make a living as a farmer. My grandmother took care of the pigs, the chickens, the house, she had also three men to take care of, her husband and two sons. My mother did not life there anymore. My grandmother had a wood stove in the kitchen, as well as a gas stove, but we used the wood stove most of the time. She also had tourists throughout summer and sometimes in winter too. She baked her own bread, mended clothing, and if it was slaughter time (in winter), she made the most delicious sausages and double smoked bacon and so on.
As a child I ate cooked pigs tail!, because everybody said it was yucky and it made the grown ups laugh, when I chewed into that thing! (shudder)

What I want to say here is, how could she do all that? I don't know how much help she had, but I was right there beside her, "helping" whenever I could. I loved to be with her and she taught me so much. I was paying attention with whatever she did. I wanted to know how it worked, and I guess she liked my companionship as well. I always thought I was her favorite (being the middle child of three, I really needed to think that). Since it was almost like playing for me, I loved to get those beautiful potatoes out of the black soil. I laughed when I hacked one in two pieces and threw them in a bucket. I also liked chopping wood, which I did, when I was older. My grandfather showed me some tricks, yeah, you can do it the hard way, or the easy way, and after that, I chopped wood for fun.

As I got older I spent all my school breaks with her, I liked to be there as much as possible. We had fun, and what is unbelievable to me, we had some free time every day to take a break and sit down to coffee and cake every afternoon! We would sit in the living room, with windows overlooking the street which led to the village, so we could and would see who came and went, and she knew them all. She told me stories about them and it was very entertaining for me. Sometimes a window would be open, and we would call out to the person passing by. They said a happy Hallo, and exchanged a few words with my grandmother, and went on their way.
During hot season, we would sit in the garden, in the shade, and she would mend some cloth, sunbathing at the same time. I've got a great shot of her, but I know she would rather the earth opens underneath her, to swallow her, than to see this particular picture of hers on my blog! ;o)
We called her Kaernten Omi, because that's were she lived (and still is living), and we had another grandmother, so we would not confuse who we were talking about.
By now, you probably ask yourself, why in gods name, am I telling you all this? Well, there's some knitting content in here pretty soon. It's just so overwhelming thinking of this time in my life, before I became an adult myself. The following picture was in the local newspaper at the time, because we were five generations in one picture. My great grandmother Josephine, my grandmother Aloisia, my mother Erika, myself and my baby girl Hannah.
I was lucky to have known my great grandmother as well. I helped my grandmother take care of her for a short while. She's the one with the 17 children! Unbelievable! And there where no twins, and all survived!

five generations

This is me with my grandparents and dog Waldi, with a snowman my dad made.

This is my grandmother today. This picture was taken this past January. She's knitting socks! At the end of last year I asked her, how many pairs she made. She could not remember, but said, that from July to the end of November she made 19 pairs. She's 85 years old and still knitting! I want to be able to do that as well.

She sent me this pair of socks and I sent her some sock yarn, so she'll not run out of yarn any time soon. ;o)

She might not be knitting right now, but I'm sure she likes to be taken care of in the hospital. She's getting mud-packs for her bad leg. Well, I did talk to her today, because when my mom called, she said, that whenever my Omi heard my voice, she's feeling better right away. No that's healing power! (I'm sure the doctors and the mud packs will help a little too) ;o)

So I called. We both were happy about it, there were some tears involved as well, because she said, of all people, I had to move away so far.... indeed.

Here's the baby girl Hannah, knitting socks now.

One other funny thing is, Hannah wants to learn cooking and baking, and we have a "Kaerntner Reindling" in the oven. Tomorrow we'll bake some sourdough bread. My grandma was very pleased as I told her. ;o)

While I was writing this post, the "Kaerntner Reindling" finished baking and here it is. It's a yeast dough, filled with sugar, cacao and cinnamon and the dough was brushed with melted butter. Kind of like the cinnamon rolls, or sticky buns, but much better! It's usually baked in a pan, but Hannah wanted it to look fancy so we used a "Gugelhupf" mould. ;o) It's still hot!

I know you don't need to see dog pictures right now, but I do. Biko's so happy outside. Today the sun is shining, and she's running like the wind, and chewing her tennis ball. Happy dog!