Thursday, February 28, 2008

In Search of the Perfect Purled Sole - Part Deux

Last summer, I posted about my attempts to make socks that were more comfortable underfoot than the purl bumps of the usual knit socks. I have super-sensitive feet and I also have diabetes so I need to baby my feet to avoid complications.

I was pleased with LynnH's method of purling the sole in the Fast Florida Footies pattern but started thinking that I'd like more padding under my heel. Working the heel flap pattern under the heel is frequently offered in toe-up sock patterns so I figured I'd try it on a top-down pattern. I worked the slip-stitch pattern on the heel flap, through the heel turn, and on all of the sole stitches until I finished the gusset. Then I started purling the sole. Here's what I have so far.

I wondered if I would have to add some short rows to make up for the slip stitch pattern pulling in the knitting and changing the tension but it seems to be okay. I'll keep trying it on as I finish knitting it and add some short rows if it seems necessary. I'll let you know and post a pic when this sock is finished.

My medication snafu prompted several comments from readers. It was comforting to know that I'm not the only one who has done that. I'll be sure to be very careful in the future. And I'll also make sure that the Preparation H is kept far away from the toothpaste!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

prize yarn

Here is the winning skein of sock yarn that was dyed to suit Christy's directions. Her request was for a golden green semi-solid yarn. Hopefully it turned out the way she wanted. It will be sent out in tomorrow's mail

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Go ahead.... make my day!

Warning - shameless brag ahead.

Lisa made my day!

She ordered this yarn on Valentine's Day.

And this yarn today.

I asked her if the first package was delivered to her yet and here is what she said, "I just got it yesterday. I love it! It's what brought me back to your shop."

I am tickled pink! I am also off to dye some more yarn.

Friday, February 22, 2008

And the winner is....

ChristyH!! An email has been sent to her requesting her sock yarn preferences and I will try to dye the yarn next week and send it out as soon as possible. I'll post a pic of the yarn here before it goes to live with Christy.

Thanks to all of you for commenting on my blog's second anniversary post! I had a blast reading all of the comments and will answer some questions from them in the next few days.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Stupid Human Trick

Of course, as soon as I put in print that some less-than-stellar moments and events can be humorous blog material, I go and pull a good one. It's fate.

Every morning I go through a routine before I feed the dogs. I have set up a photographed re-enactment of this routine for you.

First, I get out the pills.

I dump the morning pills from the dosette into this little bowl.

I take one of the pills out of the little bowl and half a pill out of the bottle. Does anyone see where this is going yet?

Here - a close-up of the pill bottle might enlighten you.
That's right. It's a pill bottle from the vet.

I take my round yellow pill (Pariet) before I feed the dogs because it needs to be taken a while before eating breakfast to work properly. The other little yellow pill is thyroid medication for Harrison the sheltie that he eats before the dogs get fed.

One would think that this routine should be automatic just because of its frequency, no?

For some reason (stupidity is the only excuse that comes to mind) I took the dog's pill this morning. As soon as I swallowed it I realized that it was the wrong pill. I briefly considered inducing vomiting but then remembered that I, too, take thyroid medication. Harrison's pills are listed in mg. My thyroid pills are listed in mcg. I realize that I have no idea how to compare the two so do a quick internet search. Then I consider the possibility that dog thyroid pills are not made of the same stuff as people thyroid pills, swallow my pride, and phone the pharmacy. Bless her heart, the pharmacist didn't even laugh at me. (I bet there was laughter after I hung up and she shared the story with her co-workers though.) She assured me that it was safe to take dog thyroid medication this one time and advised me to take another quarter of his pill to equal my daily dose.

Needless to say, I am still alive to write about it. But if I should start barking and herding moving objects, someone phone the doctor.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Don't Forget Those Email Addresses!

Huge thanks for all of the comments on the blogiversary post! Please remember to include your email addy. If I can't email you, you can't win. I can't always find your email in your Blogger profile so please check your comment and make sure it's there.

Also, the pics of yarn in the post are not the ones that will be given away to the lucky winner. Those yarns are already in my Etsy Shop for sale. I'm going to dye one just for the winner and will ask him/her for color preferences before doing so. It will be a custom order.

Several people have commented that it must be so difficult to keep a blog running for two years. I don't find it hard at all! It's great fun! I have to admit that everything that happens in my life is scrutinized for its blog suitability, not just by me but by members of my family (well, mostly my sister - Hi Darcie!) who remind me that some occasions are good blog fodder. It's especially true when frustrating things happen. My mind tries to figure out how I can put a humorous spin on them to make them entertaining to someone else. That's got to be a good thing, don't you think? I also find that it's wonderful to go back and see a journal of what's happened in the last two years of my life. Blogging is really a very rewarding experience and it's great fun to get comments from all over the world and know that my little slice of life is being shared by others from far and wide.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Second Blogiversary, a Contest, and an Etsy Sale!

It's my blog's second anniversary and you could win a custom hand-dyed skein of sock yarn!

Do you like it cool and serene...

warm and bright...

or natural and earthy?

It's your decision!

Just leave a comment on today's blog post between now and Friday, February 22, 2008 at 10:00 p.m. CST. Make sure to include your email address. I will use a random number generator to select the winner. One entry per person please. I will dye a skein of new fingering weight wool using the color preferences of the lucky winner!

Also part of the celebration - 10% off your purchase from my Etsy Shop until February 29, 2008!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Surprise is Coming.....

February 19 will be my blog's second anniversary and I'm planning a special give-away! Be sure to check back next Tuesday for details....

Today, I have a couple of kid-bits finally. I went to visit my class a couple of days ago. Even though I was only there for a half an hour the little darlings supplied me with two kid-bits. Little ones are so funny!

The kids were eating cupcakes when I got there. It was one of the boy's birthday. I said, "So, what are you now, sixteen?" All the kids laughed and the birthday boy said, in some surprise, "No, I'm seven. If I was sixteen I would have to be in Grade 6 or something!" I'm pretty confident that said child is bright enough to avoid that possibility.

I gave the kids a chance to tell me something about them that I didn't know before I left at Christmas break. One little girl, one of the youngest in the class who had just turned six before the end of the year, sighed dramatically and told me, "It was the worst Christmas of my life!" When I asked why, she said that she went to her grandma and grandpa's out of town and she didn't like being away from home at bedtime and there was nothing she liked to eat there. Lest you think that they didn't offer much in the way of Christmas vittles, be assured that I taught this child's older sister and know enough about the family that I'm sure their Christmas dinner was a feast of turkey and the fixings. I wonder what this little girl's idea of good food is at her age. I'll bet it's something out of a can.

I'll leave you with a couple of pictures of our front yard after Dan dug out the driveway from our last blizzard. It would be nice if we knew it was the last blizzard of this winter but, around here, large snowfalls have happened in April some years.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wow! and Ow!

Wow! Today's the day my Etsy shop is featured on Lime & Violet's Daily Chum! Check it out.

Ow! I went for my second private yoga session. My first was last week and I was really sore the next day. My muscles are already letting me know that today was a workout as well. My body is in terrible shape.

The weather this afternoon is quite nice. Temperatures around normal, sunny skies. We got out to enjoy it while it lasted as there is now another blizzard warning for tomorrow. It reminds me of the winter of terrible blizzards in Laura Ingalls Wilder's book "On the Banks of Plum Creek" which I read to my class every year.
Playing in the back yard.

Robbie was racing around sticking his nose into the snow, just because he's a sheltie and he loves snow.

Speaking of love... doesn't it look like Bentley is whispering sweet nothings in Pocus' ear?
Actually, he was trying to drag Poke around by yanking on his ear.

Here is Pocus giving him the evil eye about it.

Can you guess how much knitting I've done lately what with all the dyeing, etc. that I've been doing? That's right - bupkus.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Just a quick post to show you a bit of this fiber spun and plied. It's so soft and pretty! I have a lot more of it to be spun. I don't have the foggiest idea what I will make with it.

We're back in the deep freeze in southern Saskatchewan. The wind chills have been in the -40's again. We're getting tired of it.This is the coldest winter that we've had in a long time.

The dogs are still coughing. At least they aren't really sick. They seem active and happy except for the rasping cough.

I'm going to dye some more yarn.

Friday, February 08, 2008

a coughing cacophony

There is a cacophony of coughing at my house. All five dogs have kennel cough (bordetella). I vaccinate against it but it's like the flu shot for people. It doesn't completely prevent it but can lessen its severity and help prevent complications. None of the dogs is sick at this point but they all have dry, hacking coughs. I gave them Benylin last night (with my vet's permission and dosage recommendations, of course) and it helped us all get some sleep. Fun.

I have been playing with the new knitting machine to try to knit doubled fingering weight yarn to make sock blanks and it's not working. I don't know if it's me or the machine. I did, however, dye some more yarn. Here it is drying in the laundry room.

The base yarn for the two skeins on the left is Trekking ProNatura, a wool/bamboo blend. I was surprised at how well it took the acid dyes as bamboo is a plant fiber! I'm really pleased with it and have more skeins still to dye. Bamboo is such a nice, breathable fiber, good for summer socks. The yarn in the middle is a blend of Canadian Rideau Arcott wool, Lincoln wool, and alpaca. It bloomed nicely during the dyeing process. It will make beautiful winter socks or other warm knits. The two skeins on the right are merino/alpaca blend worsted weight yarn. I've dyed this blend before and it always turns out so soft and lush! It took me a while to get just the right pink for it. I didn't want it to be too Barbie-ish. Once I get these reskeined I'll put them in my Etsy shop.

We're in the midst of another blizzard, an Alberta Clipper. I'm not exactly sure what an Alberta Clipper is except that it means storms for us here in Saskatchewan. It's snowing and blowing out there and the temperature is supposed to drop considerably again. It was actually quite nice the last couple of days. We had ice fog this morning which left beautiful frost over everything.

Here's what it looks like now that the blowing snow has started.

Monday, February 04, 2008

they like me, they really like me!

Look!!! I got an Etsy convo that my shop will be featured on Lime & Violet's Daily Chum in the upcoming days!!!! Woo hoo!! How cool is that?!

Now I feel kind of panicky because there isn't very much for sale there just now. Must. Dye. Yarn.

I stopped today to buy some foam paint brushes to hand-paint sock blanks (kind of like this). I'll knit up the blanks on my new knitting machine double-stranding the fingering weight yarn. Then I'll paint on the dye. People who knit socks two-at-a-time can knit right from the knitted blank (unraveling as they knit) with no worries about yarn balls escaping. Or I can wind each strand into its own center-pull ball for knitting one sock at a time. The beauty is that each sock is guaranteed to match perfectly.

I just got some undyed Trekking wool/bamboo blend fingering weight yarn to play with as well as some regular Trekking wool/nylon to dye. I've also got some Blue-faced Leicester sock yarn that I haven't dyed yet. I need to get busy!

For those of you that aren't old enough to remember, my title today is a spoof of Sally Field's Oscar acceptance speech from years back.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

honkin' big socks: the Epilogue

Finally!! I finished the third sock of Dan's pair* on Saturday. I had to really push myself to work on that third sock. As you can see, they don't match exactly but they're close enough. One thing that was positive about this fiasco is that I'm getting good at doing the toe-up Queen Kahuna style. Practice makes perfect as they say. It really is a great way to knit sturdy, well-fitting socks for anyone's feet.
*If you're new to my blog and wondering why on Earth I made three socks for this pair, click here.

Friday, February 01, 2008

it's here!

My new knitting machine (Studio LK150) finally came this week! I haven't had a lot of time to play with it yet but managed to knit a few swatches for practice. It's a whole new ballgame to work with compared to hand knitting. I have a lot to learn. The instruction book is terse to say the least. I don't think I could learn much just using it but luckily it also came with a DVD that makes everything much more clear. Dan is bringing his laptop home for the weekend so I'll be able to set up the DVD right next to the machine and try to understand how to do stitch manipulation.

I wasn't sure where I was going to put the machine but discovered it fits on my sewing machine desk in the spare room so that's the perfect place for it.
Look! I changed colors in the swatch! Yes, I'm easily entertained.