Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas in Alexandria

We saw a beautiful green wreath in Old Town Alexandria yesterday. I had to get closer to see what it was made with. Amazingly, it was done with brussel sprouts. How original and quite a striking wreath.

With four days off from work, I have been getting a lot of knitting done. I am trying to get some things together to take with us to the Continental Line annual meeting. So far, I have knit a Liberty or Death Cap and two Monmouth Caps (in my new design). I want to knit one more Monmouth Cap and then two or three pairs of stockings.

Hopefully everyone had a great Christmas. The pies were delicious.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Hawk Cometh

Every winter we have hawks that come to our yard and eat the birds that come to the bird feeder - mostly Cooper's Hawk and Sharp-shinned Hawk. Saturday, we had a visit from one of the hawks. It just sat there on the fence waiting for a bird to make a mistake.

In the past, I have seen the hawk on the ground jumping from bush to bush looking for any birds that are hiding. Our neighbor has reported that they have had one on their sky light eating a bird.

I knit a mobius scarf today. Now I am knitting a head warmer to match.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Home Sick - Socks Knit

I stayed home from work today with a cold. I didn't get much sleep. My husband is sick as well but he had to go to work. The only thing I really missed was the office Christmas Party.
Gave me time just to sit in front of my knitting machine with Gwen on my shoulder and knit some socks. Both are Christmas gifts. Nice. It will be an early night tonight. I am exhausted.

And in my new packaging, they look like this when finished.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Knitting Machine Eats Socks

While trying to knit some more machine knit socks, I purchased the wrong size yarn. I have two balls of Knitpicks Andean Treasured (100% baby alpaca) in Woods and four in Mystery Heather that I had planned on turning into man's socks (for Christmas). These are sport weight yarn balls which my knitting machine decided it didn't want anything to do with except to eat the yarn. I just don't do enough hand knitting to justify keeping these in reserve.

Know anyone that is in need of some soft baby alpaca?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas is Getting Closer

Finished knitting another pair of stockings. These no longer have holes showing the increases up the leg.

And, I finally put up a Christmas decoration - on my front door.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sock Difficulties

I finished knitting another scarf. This time with KnitPicks Imagination in Seven Dwarves. Very nice yarn. I didn't make socks out of them due to their chance of felting (they are marked as machine washable).

I have stopped making socks for right now. I usually make over the knee stockings and I never do ribbing at the top. With the regular socks that I have been trying to knit, I haven't found a way to add ribbing to the top in a manner that looks good, isn't too much of an issue, and can be done using the machine.

But, I finally figured out what to do. Not on my own though. I had help from another machine knitter, Lorna in Australia through Ravelry. Thanks Lorna. She has coached me into buying some decker combs to be able to move one bed of stitches over the the other bed. She has been doing it and her socks look great. I especially love her Marokko Socks.

I also caught Gwen playing with a toy with red and blue LEDs.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Not a Finished Pair of Socks

I knit up a sock using KnitPicks Risata. I am not happy with this yarn. Works great until you have an issue- like ripping out stitches or grabbing a lost stitch. When that happens, the yarn untwists and is difficult to handle.

I balled up some other yarn that I can't wait to use - Knitpicks Imagination. Pictures later.

Tomorrow evening we are going to the DC zoo to hear Irene Pepperberg speak about her new book Alex and Me. She is the woman that trained Alex the African Grey Parrot. I am really looking forward to it.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Another Pair of Socks

I finished another pair of Christmas socks. These are made form Knitpicks Shimmer in Bayou. I double-stranded this lace weight yarn. I love this pattern and am probably going to make a few more.

I knitted my new heel on these stockings (see detail below). Instead of having the usual machine knit heel I attempted to make these more hand-knitted in style. I believe this is what I need to do with all of my re-enactment stockings since I am attempting to mimic the hand-knit stockings of the day, not machine knit.

This yarn is very soft and I believe the color is good to give these socks to a man on my Christmas list.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Another Pair of Socks Completed

This is the first time that I am posting my blog using email while I sit in the Dallas Fort Worth airport waiting for a flight.

I finished my pair of Noro socks.

I brought my Baby Cables sweater with me but in my rush out the door, I grabbed the wrong yarn. So instead I was working on my travel sock. I am now at the heel so perhaps I can finish the sock this trip. I'll try to take a picture tonight in the room.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, November 30, 2008

More Gifts

I finished some more gifts. The first is a pair of Suri socks. I bought two skeins at Stitches of Frog Tree. The yarn is so soft and light. The socks are great. They are a little big for me. Since they are for a man, I wonder if I should dye them a darker color. I like these socks so much that I think that I am going to use some maroon alpaca that I have upstairs to make another pair.

I knitted a pair of socks using Fortissima Colori. Not only did I mess up the size of the second sock, but the yarn isn't even close. The one sock has a blue colorway and the other skein has a red colorway. So, there is one pair of socks that I won't take the time to complete properly. Who would want a pair of socks that don't even come close to matching.

I knitted another scarf using Knitpicks Felici in Patina. This time I used Crystal Palace Lace Yarn which made the weave more open and the scarf lighter. I like the colorway of this one better than I do the other scarf.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


This year, I am celebrating the fact that Mike and I are together for this so American of a holiday - Thanksgiving. And a celebration cannot be without lots of great food and drink.

On Wednesday evening I made the pumpkin pie and cranberry jelly. I also broiled the brine, let it cool, and started soaking the turkey. What a turkey. I ordered it a few weeks ago from our butcher down the street, "Let's Meat on the Avenue". It's a 15 pound free-range never frozen turkey.

On Thanksgiving day, I made the bread and garlic mashed potatoes and of course roasted the turkey and Mike made Gluewein.

And there was knitting. Here is a striped scarf knit in Knitpicks Felici in Dakota. With that scarf finished, I have just a few more knitted gifts to finish.

I knitted two more Monmouth caps and another gift - a Liberty or Death Cap for a friend's baby. I will add the pom-pom later.
I hope your Thanksgiving was spent with loved ones as well.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Progress of Too Many Unfinished Projects

I have been playing around with indigo-dyed wool in making Monmouth caps. Eventually, I would like to have a pattern that I can sell. I believe I am really close. Here are three of the latest "test" caps.

I finished the ribbing on top of one of my Noro stockings. Still have the other to finish. Doesn't the cochineal-dyed wool look great on the top? Seems to fit right in on the color scheme.

What is currently keeping me from finishing the Noro stockings is my Baby Cables and Big Ones Too sweater. I have ripped it out three times now because I didn't like what I saw or there were some major mistake. I am afraid that the dark color is going to "suck up" the cables. We'll have to see.

Close Up - see no cables

I started from scratch again this morning. I am up to twenty rounds.

The other project that took up most of my weekend was inventorying all the 1st Virginia Regiment's Quartermaster goods, taking pictures of each item, and starting to add them to the QM's website. Very detailed work with lots of counting tiny little items.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Knitting Socks Ribbing

I have started the ribbing on my Noro socks. I am using some wool that was dyed in a previous cochineal dye bath. I believe it looks good with the other colors of the yarn. But with size 0 needles, the ribbing goes slowly (doing K1R1 ribbing gets boring after just a few rows especially when I really want to be working on my sweater).

We finally downloaded Gwen's Ocean City picture (out front of Ripley's Believe it or Not). Too funny!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mini-Vacation Ocean City Maryland

We could not have picked a worse weekend to have a min-vacation in Ocean City, Maryland. The weather was not so nice (rain Saturday, cold and very windy on Sunday).

We stayed at the Safari Motel right there on the boardwalk (13th Street). We were the only ones in the entire motel. And the hotels around were all closed up so it turned out to be a very quiet weekend. Our room was very simple and affordable this time of year ($59 per night versus hundreds of dollars). We were surprised to find most of the city boarded up for the season. Hardly anything was open. It would be depressing to live there year round - extremely busy in the summer and a ghost town all other times.

We drove around Assateague Island(Maryland side only) and saw some deer and ponies.

We saw about a dozen very brave souls kitesurfing on the coast.

On Sunday morning we rented some bikes (bikes in a very loose sense compared to the ones we own and commute on) and rode up and down the boardwalk.

I worked some more on my new sweater in the car, Baby Cables and Big Ones Too. Lots and lots of stitch markers to keep track of the different cables and the raglan increases. I am using KnitPicks Elegance Yarn in Raisin. It is an alpaca and silk mix (70/30).
And I started the ribbing around my Noro socks (sorry no picture yet). Since I ran out of yarn, I am using some left-over wool from my last cochineal dye.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Noro Socks

I almost have finished a pair of socks using the Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn that I bought at Stitches on Sunday. I have only the ribbing to do at the top of each sock.

The reason I didn't do it at the time they were on the machine, is because I ran out of yarn. I am going to have to knit the ribbing in another color. I have some cochineal dyed wool that will look great on the top of these socks.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Stitches East 2008

This is a picture of the USS Constellation harbored in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. We had lunch overlooking this ship right after we finished shopping at Stitches East. The weather was wonderful but not nice enough to keep us from spending 4 hours shopping.

I was overwhelmed with the amount of beautiful yarn filled the Baltimore Convention Center. Unfortunately, not a lot of undyed yarn for reenactment stockings. I did buy some yarn for myself though. My favorite is a Kureyon Noro sock yarn in Color 182 from The Mannings booth. The colors are just so beautiful. Can't wait to see what a pair of socks will look like with it. This picture doesn't do the colors justice - they are so much brighter.

I bought Vogue Knitting's The Ultimate Sock Book and Richard Rutt's A History of Hand Knitting because they had additional history of socks. I found a copy of Stepahnie Pearl-McPhee's new book Free Range Knitter. My last book is Shadow Knitting by Vivian HØxbro. And I actually won a book too! Babies and Toddlers A Knitter's Dozen.

Besides the Noro, I also bought 3 skeins of one ply wool from Cottage Craft that I will make into stockings. I believe the non-uniformity of the wool, will give the stockings an even greater look of the 18th century.

Another yarn to add to my stash are 10 skeins of Laines Du Nord silk in a bright red from Webs.

The very last yarn I indulged myself in are 2 skeins of Frog Tree 100% Brushed Suri in natural from Yarn Barn. Read about this lovely yarn at The Yarnery Blog.