Finally Some Stripey Sock Goodness

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Yesterday I took some pictures on my lunch break and here I am posting them on the tail end of my lunch break. Good use of my time I say. Last night I knit more on one of the socks and today decided I might frog a good 4-5 inches. That is not a good use of time but it's my own fault for not planning better. Anyway, on to the pictures first!

Ta-da! Look at those beautiful stripey socks. Admire that beautiful, bright, awesome yarn Marisa sent me. I love it! Maybe you can see why this yarn just begged to be made into knee-highs rather than just calf jumpers.

Take a look at this pic and see if you can spot the surprise...

Oh my gosh it's true: they match! I could hardly believe it myself until I actually saw the photographic evidence. There is a slight difference in the bright color stripes height - they look wider on the short sock - but from toe to heel they still match so I'm really excited. And it wasn't even that hard! I did have to sacrifice a few stripes from one ball of yarn but I think it was worth it.

Now, back to the frogging. Well, the socks just seemed so stretchy, and my legs are so damn skinny, I thought I might be able to get away with none (or very few) increases for the calf. But they're stretching so much to fit that it kind of looks funny. You know, like the sock is just about ready to burst at it's seams (if it had seams, that is).

So I used the handy-dandy Sock Calculator to find out what I probably should have done instead. I don't know about that calculator though... if I had as many stitches around as they called for with my gauge, this sock would be slipping off... Anyway, I then converted the increases and decreases in that pattern (top down) into decreases and increases for my pattern (toe-up) to see what (if any, please don't let there be any!) changes I would have to make. Yep, there's changes. I didn't have the heart to rippit on my lunch break so it will probably happen tonight. It's okay, I guess. I mean, I still hadn't gotten to the fabric store to buy some cotton covered elastic for the tops anyway. More math forthcoming tonight. Cross your fingers that the increases won't eat up too much yarn. I want real knee-highs here.

Movie Day II

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Actually, I can't believe I'm posting again without pictures of the socks. How can I keep doing this?? Well, someone else had the digital camera from work this weekend, so I was camera-less. But I did get a lot done on the socks! I promise to show you soon. Meanwhile, let me distract you with this fuzzy camera phone (my sisters) pic of my grandma and her new shawl:

Now, doesn't she just look like the happiest 97-year-old you've ever seen? She was practically bursting with happiness and awe that someone would make her something so beautiful and intricate. I kept telling her the pattern was actually quite simple but she just wouldn't hear it, she's in love. So much in love, in fact, that she rushed (as fast as any 97-year-old woman can rush) to her dresser drawer where she had put the other shawl I made her. You know, the one that was "just too small" that she "really liked, but it's just too small". She rushed to the dresser to get it and practically shoved it into my hands to take home. It was hilarious and fun and just the best Christmas present I gave to anyone this year. The best response in the world.

The other gifts were well-received but man, oh man, my grandma was so cute.

Now I must work because this afternoon my office is going to a movie. Either Rumor Has It, which I don't care to see at all for numerous reasons, or The Family Stone, which I do want to see because I love Luke Wilson and think it looks pretty good. Speaking of the office... I finished watching the British version of the series The Office last night as a cap-off to a wonderful movie day. Kurt and I watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Secret of NIMH before he left for his grandma's house - and ate popcorn and candy and had a grand ol' time. Then he left. And then I cried. It's been much too long since he's spent this many days away from home all at once and I'm just not very happy about it (since the only real reason he's going is because I can't afford the outrageous cost his daycare charges for holiday days off.) BUT, The Office was just spectacular and hilarious and exactly my kind of TV. So much so that I have no desire whatsoever to watch the American version, which I've heard is quite less than par when compared to this one.

Anyway, like I said: gotta work. Hope all your holidays were splendid!

Christmas knitting and holiday cheer

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Listening to: Magnolia Electric Co. - I Can Not Have Seen the Light

I was finally able to take pictures of my Christmas knitting today... in a short snacking session in my supervisor's office. She makes the best chip dip ever.

Not too much has been going on at the Red house (I can't believe I just said that... but I'm beginning to understand why people do, so there it is. Internet anonymonity it is.) I finished my Christmas knitting last week. I had fun little day dreams that I would end up bringing the pink socks to Christmas Eve and finish knitting them there, thus surprising the SIL with them, but alas, they're completed. Now I just have to wrap them all up and get them ready to go.

I've also stumbled upon Blogger's picture inserting thing today when trying to figure out how to make a thumbnail-type pic in here. I guess I'm so used to using photobucket for uploading pics that I hadn't realized Blogger can do it for me. So I'll be posting one picture how I normally do and another with Blogger.

Image hosted by

SIL's cable socks (I also never thought I would use the acronym SIL, this is a day of firsts people.)
Needles: Katie Size 1's... since I've realized my gauge with these puppies is waaay different than my gauge with "real" wood needles. I made these.
Pattern: None, really. Wendy's generic toe-up with added cables.

These socks are so awesome. If they weren't bright pink, I'd be very, very tempted to keep them at home with me.

And the blogger pic. This is my stack of Christmas knitting. I really hope you can click it for a zoomed in version. I was amazed at my photography skills here for the clarity I got of the stitches. Never have I seen such beauty. Ahem, just kidding. But it does look much better big. And you can actually see the cables on this one.

As for current knitting, here are the WIPs of the day:

For me! This is with the awesome self-striping yarn Marisa sent me and the awesome US 2 bamboo needles she included. Knitting socks goes so much faster with these slick needles! I really will get a picture soon. And I have a surprise about these socks when I do, an accomplishment of sorts.

Fingerless gloves with mitten flaps.
I've had this pattern since before I learned to knit. See, I'm a little over-confident sometimes and I had thought that once I learned the knit and purl stitches I could figure out how to make these gloves. Well, that didn't happen. But here I am, a little over one year later, making them! I started them when my grandpa first went into the hospital, started wearing them (sans flaps) yesterday, and now have one flap done. They're sort of a interim pair until I get some yarn and decide what I really want for a matching set of winter gear. More on this in another post.

So that's it. I'm not too thrilled about Christmas but I am glad I'm almost completely ready for it. I can't wait for it all to be over and 2006 to start. The calm of January will be my saving grace, I think. Not sure when I'll get to post again but I hope you all have happy holidays for whatever holidays you celebrate. Today I'm celebrating the Solstice. :)

*edit* Blogger is the best! I'm posting my pictures through Blogger from now on!

Narnia, Knitting and Hospitals... and Cats

Monday, December 12, 2005

The movie was fantastic! Kurt and my friend Susie thought it was the best movie they'd ever seen. I am unable to say that due to my nit-picky annoyance with inconsistancies but it really was great anyway! I don't want to spoil it for anyone though so I'll keep my grudges to myself unless someone really wants to hear them. I will say the wardrobe scenes were perfect! No weird shining, they literally stumble through just like in the book.

The pink socks are over half done. Here is an attempt to show the first finished one in our pale winter sunlight on a cloudy day. I love how the cables get wider towards the top of the sock and seem tiny by the toes. They're all the same size but the stretch just makes them look so much more complex.

Image hosted by

I'm a little over halfway up the foot on the second one. I can't believe it's like 13 days before Christmas and I haven't even started shopping, haven't finished this gift, and haven't put up a single decoration. But I guess part of that is the trips to the hospital and just the regular busyness of the season. Yesterday we had quite the scare again with my grandpa. He had been doing so much better but yesterday they thought he may be having another small stroke. Late in the day they ruled that out but so far have no idea what happened - why he became unresponsive and his blood pressure dropped so low (it was 75/47 when we first went back yesterday morning!). An MRI was planned for this morning until he woke up last night, now it seems it's not needed? So frustrating.

Before all that happened though, I decided I should probably prove to you all that I really do have two cats. They're the sweetest little scaredy-cats I've ever met. And they're very hard to photograph, especially together! This is Fred and George; Fred is the one looking at me and trying to figure out why I'm pointing that little silver box at him.

Image hosted by

And here's George since he's looking away in the other picture.

Image hosted by

This one sort of shows how we tell them apart: George has a little white on his chest and a spot on his belly and has really deep orange colored eyes, while Fred's are yellowish-green. Also, George has thick almost coarse fur compared with Fred's soft and fluffy fur (you can kind of see this on his tail in the first picture).

Anyway, I won't go on and on about my cats but there they are, real and everything.

Polar bears and wardrodes that shine from within...

Friday, December 09, 2005

The title today is just a few of the gripes I already have about the Chronicles of Narnia movie. I can live with the polar bears since they only pull the witches chariot and not the sleigh but if that light is shining out of the wardrobe as soon as Lucy opens it I'm going to be very disappointed. In the book, every time they go into the wardrobe, they don't see a light until they are past all of the coats - then they begin to see a faint bit of sunlight. It just seems much more suspenseful to me like that. Anyway, we're going tonight as long as there aren't a hundred people in front of me in line when I go buy the tickets when the box office opens. I'll let you know how much I like/don't like it in my next post. I try not to be too picky because I realize things need to be changed for movie adaptations but often I just don't see the logic in *what* they decide to change.

On the knitting front, I finished the first hot pink sock last night and it looks awesome! The more I knit the brighter the pink looked but I'm pretty sure she'll love it. I'm going to try to get a good picture on my lunch break - last night the camera batteries were dead and it was really dark and crappy in the house.

Also, my last package arrived at my Secret Pal Jessica's house so she knows who I am and is thrilled with her package. Go over to her blog and check it out! I can't wait to find out who my pal is.

Secret Pal was so fun but I don't think I'll be participating in the next round. January and February are going to be quite hectic for me, I think, so I'll just watch this one from the sidelines.

And last, but certainly not least, my grandpa is doing much better though he has still not regained movement in his left side. Unfortunately, this means he will not be able to go home. Talk is that they are going to send him to Fargo (an hour south of here, two hours south of where he and my grandma live) to a long-term care facility. This sucks but I've heard it's a pretty good place so hopefully he'll improve even more while he's there. I have mixed feelings. On one hand I would rather he go home but on the other, if going home means my grandma has to take care of him like he is a child and further demean his sense of independence and decency I would rather he go to the long-term care facility.

So, that is my super long update. Have a great weekend!

*edit* What in the world was I thinking "pictures on my lunch break"?! I had to get Narnia tickets! There wasn't a crowd there but the lady in the box office told us to come an hour early in order to get seats together (there will be five of us). An HOUR! Guess I'll be bringing the sock. ;)

Worrying + Knitting = Comfort

Monday, December 05, 2005

Thank you so much for your comments. Things are looking a little better now though Grandpa's still not "in the clear," IE: sent to his own room out of the critical care unit. Throughout the weekend I spent quite a bit of time up in the waiting room with my Grandma and other family and the mood is definitely more optimistic.

I'm sure you know the little equation in my title today since you're all knitters. :) I've always been one to create when things are looking dim. So far, I've now finished one fingerless glove, minus the flap, the cuff of the second (my hospital project) and knit up to the heel of a sock for my sister in law. Hah, that's right. Everything I tried to make for her wasn't working and driving me nuts so I thought "Well, what *is* working right now?" and the answer was socks. I took a bit of time on Saturday to stop by my LYS, which I found out was CLOSING, for GOOD, THAT day, and bought some Baby Ull in bright, hot pink. I'm doing two little cables up the foot and am thinking about doing cables instead of plain ribbing on the cuff. They're awesome and it's going swell. Amazing what happens when you find the "right" project. Though I am very sad about my LYS.

So my socks are sort of on hold until hers are done. Then I will knit for myself! Really!

Oh, and I got a message today from my Secret Pal with a Yarn Market gift certificate. I'm overwhelmed by all the beautiful yarn and have no idea what I'll buy yet. Thank you, Secret Pal!!

And the new Knitty... well, it never fails. I'm underwhelmed. I do love Tubey but not sure how the square neck would look on me - usually they're not too flattering. i think it's because I have such a long skinny neck and white pastey skin. Oh well, it's always fun to look at the new patterns! And it reminded me that I was going to post pictures of my Knitty submission that wasn't chosen. I shall do that soon. For now, I'm off to try to concentrate on work...

The Good and the Bad

Friday, December 02, 2005

Well, I probably should have posted yesterday. Yesterday was a pretty good day. You see, my grandpa is in the hospital and is not doing so hot. But yesterday he was doing good. He had surgery on Wednesday for a clot that was bleeding in the back of his neck and it went well, and he was doing well yesterday. Today, not as much. Last night his breathing stopped and they put him back on the ventilator, via an emergency trach in his throat. You know, like you see on ER all the time. Ugh. This is tough. They're not too optimistic right now. If he does get out of the hospital (50/50 chance they say at this point) he'll go to a nursing home and well, the thought of my grandpa - who always needs to be busy with something, whether it be farming, fixing machinery, or the like - in a nursing home is tough indeed.

I've been wanting to post because I got a package the other day, which really helped with surgery day, helped me smile, you know? Thank you so much Marisa! I plan on posting pictures just as soon as I can - the card is so beautiful. And how did you know my favorite incense is Nag Champa? :-) I've already started a pair of socks with the yarn, though not in front of my Grandma, of course - not that she would necessarily notice at this point. It seems I knit a hell of a lot tighter with nice slick bamboo needles though so... they're a bit small and will have to be restarted.

Anyway, I just wanted to update and say "thanks". I also heard from my Secret Pal the other day and am excited about that. I'm headed to the office then the Post Office to send *my* pal's last box. I'm so excited to let her know who I am! Excited and sad and anxious and everything else. It's a difficult mix of emotions today. Hope you have a good one.