Don't it make ya crazy ...

when you do something stupid as a result of doing some good?

I spent the day yesterday doing some seriously overdue yard work that included not only mowing and weeding, but also some hedge trimming. That meant getting out the Almighty Shears(tm) and hacking away for a good half hour.

While the yard looks GREAT, there is a downside. My wrist is absolutely shot. I know that pain and stiffness is the invariable result whenever I use that darned tool but I couldn't keep from not finishing the job! The yard is now at least presentable (I won't say it's gorgeous) and I'm very happy it's done since my next few weekends are totally booked. It does, however, mean that my progress on the Grasshopper Socks has slowed to a crawl. I'm ready to start the heel but I'm not sure I'll do that for another day or two. Ah well. Let's change topics.

It's now firmly spring time here in California so here's some beauty in the form of a picture our tea tree in the front yard.

When we bought our house 10 years ago, this was a little guy - as in about 4' tall and the top wasn't more than two feet around. Now it's HUGE and actually drive our friends crazy since it blocks the porch steps from the garage. But then again, just look at these wonderful blossoms!

So I'll keep enjoying the wonderful weather and nurse my wrist. Happy Monday.

April STR Yarn Is Here!

Hooray hooray hooray! The most luscious, silky and gorgeous yarn has arrived! Here it is laid out on my coffee table for winding in to two center-pull balls:

The lighting isn't the greatest here so it doesn't show off the colors as well as I'd like. The colors go from a warm light brown, through a STUNNING fuscia in to green and blue. Amazing. The silk in the yarn doesn't take the dye like the wool so it has this really cool "tweed" effect. I just love it. After winding, I put the balls in to some natural light and they look like this:

Mmmmmmm. Gorgeous.

The pattern is another toe-up sock (hey - I like this kind of knitting) but the first few rounds of lace are hard! I'm doing 2on2 circulars and was wondering if it was just me that was struggling - nope! Rumor has it that I simply need to PERSIST and the lace will get easier. That'll give me something to do today before it's soccer time.

Anyway - thanks again STR ladies! This stuff is wonderful! (now, if only I can get my wool/bamboo cone so that I can try my own dying ...)

Hooray! They are done!

Huzzah - I finally finished my Horcrux socks for the Six Sox knitalong. Nothing like a deadline to give me motivation. Rumor has it that the next Rockin' Sock Club shipment has been sighted at various points nationwide so I got myself in to high gear!

These socks are wonderful. The TOFUtsies yarn is so lightweight that it feels like I've got pillows wrapped around my feet. I ribbed the foot all the way around so that it would be extra grippy and it just feels fabulous. I suspect I'll be running around all over the place in these!

Yes, that's me on my Mini Cabriolet (one of the ORIGINALS, I'll have you know!) - I thought the headlamp was a perfect pedestal to put my foot. I'm pretty sure that I'll be doing the worsted weight version of these - but I don't think I'll be doing a square heel. I'm just not a fan. I've done it twice now and it just feels "funny". It's definitely back to the short row - and now it's just a question of whether I'll do it in garter stitch or with heel flaps. We should all have such things to worry about!

Onward to brainstorming for my Coffee Swap pal and anxiously awaiting my latest skein of STR - and I only have two days of vacation left!!!!!

Horcrux Sox Progress

I just posted an image to my knit-a-long group to show the progress to date on my "Horcrux" socks. For those not in the know, the Horcrux features prominently in the most recent of the Harry Potter books.

Anyway, I'm including a thumbnail here, but just click the link to get a full size image.

Free Image Hosting at

The sock is being knit in TOFUties yarn from South West Trading Company. The yarn is made from soy protein and also includes a small amount of chitin - which happens to be naturally antibacterial! How cool is that?

These guys should be done in another day or so - which means I get to move on to my April Rockin' Sock Club sock!

(yes, Dad's sock is done - no it's not a Boyfriend Sock either! Pix pending)

Coffee Swap Q&A

I was lucky enough to get in to the Knitters Coffee Swap - hooray! My partner's name is Jenni - she lives in Aberdeen and sounds like a wonderful person. I'm thrilled to have a pal from overseas as I always love to talk to people that live outside of the US.

My first mission is to answer a set of questions to help my partner put together my box. Well - here goes:


1. Whole bean or ground? - whole bean ... definitely!

2. Fully-loaded or decaf? - prefer fully loaded, but a nice cup of decaf is good, too!

3. Regular or flavored? - Regular. Flavor should come from the bean.

4. How do you drink your coffee? - mainly made in a vacuum pot (as that's the morning ritual) but we do have an espresso maker for special occasions. If the coffee is fabulous then with just a touch of good cream.

5. Favorite coffee ever? - Aged Sumatran. From Peet's!

6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do? I am fussy - I really don't like bad coffee. Like the old Mark Twain saying, "If this is coffee, please bring me tea. If this is tea, I'd rather have coffee." It should taste like what it is.

7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee? Biscotti, a simple fruit kuchen, molasses cookies.

8. Anything else about your coffee preferences? I don't prefer dark-roasted coffees. I find that slightly "burned" flavor to be overpowering. Coffees with lots of flavor and a medium- to low-acid are my favorite. Then again, I'm willing to be surprised!

9. Yarn/fiber you love? - I love anything handpainted and nearly any wool. I'm starting to experiment with plant fibers (hemp, linen, soy) and have fallen in love with Tofutsies!

10. Yarn/fiber you hate? I wouldn't say that I HATE any fiber, but I really prefer natural to synthetic. In a pinch, particularly for things that will see lots of washing, I'll pick up big skeins of Red Hart or Lion's Brand, but that's about it. I guess I'm not a big fan of the "fashion" yarns, but that's probably because I don't know what to do with them!

11. What's on your needles? Right now - socks. Between the Rockin' Sock Club and the Six Sox Knitalong, I've been beavering away at them. I've also got a few sweaters in progress; but now that summer is here I'm less worried about finishing them. That'll be a "side project" in between keeping my feet warm!

12. Favorite colors? Blues, greens, browns, earthy-reds. Anything earth-tone and "natural looking".

13. Allergies? Sulfa - though I doubt that is a part of yarns nowadays!

14. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest? I'm just thrilled to be a part of this and can't wait to put together my box to send. I'm hoping to get some things that I can't get over here and that will make me think of Scotland and Europe. June can't come soon enough!

UFO Sightings and Sock Update

I know, I know - I said I would do a better job of keeping the blog up to date but I've been busy!!! I've finished the first of two Conwy socks from Knitting on the Road and I'm just not happy with the wool choice. I used Lorna's Laces in Black Watch. Personally, I love the striping/pooling/whirling but I don't think it's appropriate for my dad. Bummer.

Ok - plan B. First, I throw myself on the grenade and admit that I'm not going to finish his socks in time. Next, I'm getting started on a different pair - specifically, the Boyfriend Sock pattern listed here. I think my dad will like this one and I'm going to stitch it in a lovely burgundy Merino. Yes, I know, I said I was going to use the merino for the Conwys, but I changed my mind. Now I'm sorry.

Time to get busy casting on and getting this one done. Man. I gotta get my act together.

(the camera is still AWOL - it'll be another week or so before I manage to get my pictures up)