Tuesday, October 31, 2006

the squished (tasty) bread

Yesterday, I made two loaves of bread -- one for me, and one for the kind neighbor who has befriended me. Unfortunately, when I went downstairs to deliver it last night, she wasn't home. I'll have to bring it down sometime today.
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(The squished one I'm keeping, of course. Took it out of the oven a little early and had to drop it back in the pan. Whoops!)

This bread is from the recipe that I shared on the most recent episode of my podcast. The recipe is all laid out in the blog, in case you're interested in making it too.

Speaking of making it too, a listener of the show, Lisa, made the bread already and loved it! Check out her blog. It thrills me to no end that I can share a recipe, and then people on all parts of the globe can make it and taste for themselves. I never imagined that I'd be able to share food quite like this.

This morning while I was getting the boy's breakfast ready, they ran outside on the porch to play for a minute. Thankfully I'd already put their shoes on and managed to slip hats on each of them, because it was so cold, that I could see their breath.
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They didn't seem to mind though.

Since last night I've had a killer headache. I went to bed at 9:30 (the earliest in months!), and thought that would take care of it, but I've still got it today. It's so bad that it's difficult to bend over, because that just makes it feel worse. I took two Tylenol, which seem to be helping some, but I have a feeling that today the boys are going to have a video marathon while I knit, read Saveur and drink hot tea on the couch. (Still working on the Wallaby sleeves. They're so boring...and I had to reknit one of them almost entirely when I discovered that the three sleeves already completed were three different sizes. Aggghhh!)

We don't celebrate Halloween, so I always forget it's approaching and end up running out at the last moment to pick up a load of candy for little visitors. Do they even celebrate it here at all? I haven't seen any decorations around town. I'm not feeling well enough to go out, so I suppose I'll just have to hope that no one will knock on my door tonight...

Oh, one last thing: someone just posted a very terrible, offensive review for Cast-On in the US iTunes store recently. If you enjoy the show, please take a minute to review it nicely so that we can bury the badness. And while you're there, post a review for my show as well (I know, it's a cheap self-promotion, but do it anyway.) =)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Knitterly generosity, circulate!, and celebrity spottings

I will always be amazed at the generosity and kindness of spirit so often found in our international knitting community. Last week, I posted a message to the KnitList that I was considering using Panache for toddler hats and mittens. I wanted something buttery soft for them, because I don't want my fellows growing up into men who hate wool and don't appreciate knitting. (I am so afraid of this that my boys get more say in what I knit for them than most tots probably do.)

Several people responded with helpful comments, but one lady, Kathleen, did one better. She personally emailed me with the offer of a sample. She had used it for a sweater, and had some left over. I was floored that she would just offer this out of the blue to a stranger (not that it's so expensive, but I mean, this meant that she not only had to find it in her stash, but she also had to package it, write out an address lable, drive over to the post office and spend $4.05 in postage for someone she's never met). Amazing. Not only that, but she actually got it in the mail that day or the next, and I got it two days ago. There's so much in the sample that my swatch might actually end up being some sort of a Panta, although I think I remember swearing to myself I'd never knit one of those...
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The Regia silk is what I picked up at the LYS yesterday (I suppose that it has a few things that I'm interested in) =) These are destined to be Christmas socks for my mom. I know what pattern already, but I can't remember the name. It's from Fall Vogue Knitting. I'll post more when I cast on.

The following I've included for the sake of all the pregnant (and pregnant hopefuls) out there. I think there's several billion in our knitting community at the moment (have you taken a look around blog-land lately?) This is a topic that is so important, and from what I understand, nutrition is badly misunderstood or people are just sorely underinformed by their caretakers. (I could go into the whole "you are your own caretaker thing", but the following is a bit long, so I'll spare you)

(Oh, another aside before I get started: if you have no interest whatsoever in what I'm about to say, skip down to the last paragraph, because there's something that may be more interesting to you there there.)

For my last two pregnancies, I was very careful about removing refined sugar from my diet. At my prenatal visits, my birth assistant had told me that especially because my mom has had trouble with varicose veins in her legs (from pregnancies), that I needed to be very careful about staying away from white sugar. She explained that when refined sugar (white or brown) hits the system, it causes the walls of the veins and arteries to thin, which can allow the blood to pool and parts of the veins to bulge out. This ends up as varicose veins. For pregnant people this is especially a possibility because of the huge weight of the uterus and the 200% increase in blood, which often makes circulation sluggish anyway, particularly in the legs.

There was one time when I was pregnant with Max that I finally broke down at one point (maybe 7 months pregnant or something), and went to Duncan Donuts. I'm pretty sure I only had one doughnut, but within an hour I could hardly walk. My legs were throbbing with pain. I put them up, put ice on them, a hot water bottle, but nothing helped. Finally I called my birthing assistant, and she told me to take 1 Cayenne capsule, 2 Yellow Dock Root, and 2 Vari-Gone (a Horse Chestnut Seed blend for vascular health by Nature's Sunshine) either every meal or once every two hours -- can't remember -- for 3 or 4 days. My digestive system hated it, but within the first day the pain had subsided, and by the end of the week there was no pain left at all. I didn't eat any more doughnuts until the day after Max was born.

It's interesting though, how memories can quickly fade. With Sparky, I stayed off of sugar from when she gave me this information at about 2 months, and followed through for my entire pregnancy. With Max, I cheated through the first trimester, then got into gear for the second, jumped off the bandwagon for that doughnut, then finished out the pregnancy sugarless. With this baby...well, let's just say that up until today, there has been no bandwagon. Doughnuts? I'll have half. Cookies? I'll try Sparky's. Frosted Mini Wheats? Fiber is good for me. Straight sugar candy? Why not. If I'm craving it, I'll have it in moderation.

This week I've discovered German chocolate. I had some after lunch, and then some after dinner (I place the blame for the second serving squarely on my neighbor, who brought over two huge bars for me to try. I only had a few chunks...)

This morning Max woke me up unusually early at 6am (bad dream?) I got up to give him his bottle, and when I got back into bed, I noticed that familiar throbbing ache. I was so pissed off that my sleep had been disturbed, and then to add insult to injury, I instantly knew that I'd brought this leg pain upon myself, so then I was mad at myself. A fantastic way to start the day. I made myself fall back to sleep on my left side (the best side for circulation when pregnant -- has to do with where the vena cava is located; lying on the left side relieves uterine pressure and allows optimum blood flow to mother and baby), and by the time the boys woke me up at 7:30, my leg felt a good deal better. By the time that we got home from our morning trek through town, however, my leg was not really feeling so well. At breakfast I took my last Cayenne cap and 2 Vari-Gone, and I'll continue to take 2 Vari-Gone at each meal for the next few days, but this sucks. I suppose I'll have to order some more herbs on eBay. My leg is up on the desk as I type.

I really wish that I would have been more careful...unfortunately I found this incredible pudding yesterday made by Dannon, available only here...I might have picked some up...I might have it in chocolate and vanilla. Who will eat the chocolate if I don't? Is it a good idea to let it go bad? Oh, so many questions.

On a random note, I saw Catherine Keener the other day (Being John Malkovitch, Capote). I think it was on Tuesday, the boys and I were out walking around town in the morning, and I saw this lady walking down the street towards us. We had almost reached her by the time she got in her car, so I had a very long time to keep looking back at her and wondering "where do I know you from?". I felt like she must be a shop keeper...or a familiar shopper...but definitely someone I'd had a few real conversations with. I could not place my finger on it. Yesterday it dawned on me that it was someone from a movie, and this morning it hit me out of the blue. I looked up her picture online, and sure enough, it was her. Or perhaps her sister Elizabeth? Can't find her pic. However, Catherine has a very distinctive face, so I imagine it really was her. I'll let you all know if I see her again. I know you'll be holding your breath.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Love the curves you've got

Just posted the latest podcast! Go check it out!

I finished both sleeves, and have cast on for a third sleeve. I'm knitting matching sweaters for the boys, so I figured I'd get all of that out of the way first.

Yesterday's market purchases were mostly for dinner. The huge soft pretzel and chunks of cheese were just for lunch. There are about 5 bakeries within easy walking distance from my house, the closest being nearly across the street. This particular bakery happens to make the best pretzels I've tasted so far, so we go there several times a week. The boys split one and I eat the other. There's a shop right next to the bakery that has a fairly respectable cheese counter, so we go there about once a week to stock up. It's cool, because you can taste before you buy. There are so many that I've never heard of, so I taste one or two new ones each time. This is one of Sparky's favorite parts of our trips. At the bakery sometimes he gets to pick out a big, interesting cookie. He likes that too.

The vegetables were mushrooms (not white button -- some other kind that's a little more grey and stronger tasting), red bell pepper, a zucchini and a handful of shallots. I sauteed them up and tossed them with the spinach/walnut pasta (the thick ones that look sort of like egg noodles) and some butter. It was quite good. Mr FiberFlash and I wished there were more vegetables in it; the boys wished there were less. Everyone was happy in the end. I added enough seasoning to it that it didn't even need any shaved Parmesan.

The chocolates were for test tasting for Christmas gifts (of course, it's all in the name of research. What will I say after the holidays are over?) The very best ones were a white chocolate with coffee grounds in it (the chocolate is not cloyingly sweet as white tends to be in the States), and a rather rich dark chocolate with a dark chocolate/red wine/raisin filling. I could hardly eat any of it, but it was really good, strangely enough. I think that I would like it even if I wasn't pregnant. =)

Here is the official 16 week shot:
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All my life, I've had body image troubles. I've always been one of the smallest people I know, yet I've been unhappy and uncomfortable with the way that I look for years. I've especially always thought that my stomach was fat and terrible, and that my legs were chubby, although I'm not entirely sure how I got to that conclusion. It's kind of a stretch to go from "short legs with not a lot of muscle tone" to "stubby and chunky", but I got there somehow.

An interesting thing happened when I got pregnant for the first time. I suddenly loved my body. It took about three months to adjust to the fact that things were going to expand a little (a little?!), but I started walking prouder, feeling more confidant, being completely positive that I was beautiful. I wonder how this happened? I didn't even really notice that I'd changed, I just knew that I was happy and felt damn sexy in all of the new curves.

After giving birth, my body was like an empty thing. None of the skin on my belly wanted to go back properly, and I fought to get a flat stomach back with no avail. I probably could have tried harder...but that's always what I think. I remember feeling so helpless about it all. Sparky was around 9 lbs, and I'm 5'3" and started out weighing 110 lbs. Just imagine all the new belly skin that had to grow just to cover that beach-ball.

I started working out relentlessly, and was able to tone up my legs and arms a lot, and even got back some of my belly. I started feeling better about things, because I was actually really doing something about it. Then I looked at some old photographs of myself pre-baby, and realized something: I had back then what I now consider to be the perfect body (for me). How ironic!

Almost as soon as I felt like I was really getting back into shape, I got pregnant with Max, and the cycle started all over again. I worked out even harder after Max. It was more difficult, but eventually I felt confidant enough to wear a bikini even though my tummy was still a little puffy. I've got two adorable babies to show for it, so I started learning to accept the imperfections.

Now with this baby, I'm on that "curvy high" again. Seriously, there is nothing quite like being able to stick out a perfectly round belly and walk down the street with pride. Someday when I'm done having children (we're having them one at a time -- no promises, but no limits, either), I'm sure that I'll fight like mad to get that pre-baby shape back once and for all again, but for now, I'm going to learn to enjoy the ride.

I hope that more women would learn, as I am, to love the curves (or lack of!) they've got.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A very happy hat

I just had a heart stopping experience. This morning my boys let me sleep in until 8am, and even stayed happy while I took a shower and fixed my hair, so I have felt great all day. While they were having fun playing in the living room, I took the opportunity to record Episode #3 of my podcast. I had completed 45 minutes of it when I decided to save the file. I didn't want the program to crash or anything stupid like that and loose the whole thing just because I hadn't saved it. So guess what happened? The program crashed. I was so crushed. A few hours later I started wondering...Does Garage Band save things for me...? So I opened back up the program to see, and AHA! There it was! In it's entirety! Oh my gosh. So amazing. So there will be a podcast in the next day or so after all. Happy happy.

There were supposed to be in progress pictures of this hat, but...well, I sort of finished it before that could happen.

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As you can see Sparky is terribly happy about it. (Click for larger, if you wish)

Pattern: My own (two 2x2 ribs, and a 4 stitch cable twisted every 6 rows. It's a 14 stitch repeat, this hat was worked over 70 stitches. If you want to knit it, you should be able to figure it out from there.) =)
Yarn: Lang Tosca in a self striping blue/green (can't find the label already)
Needles: #7 DPN's -- I think they're aluminum, but I can't read the German on the product card
Cast-on to cast-off: October 18-22
Notes: I got a little confused when I was doing the decreases. Well, actually I just didn't do any math, and just did decreases whenever the hell I felt like it, so the final shape off the head is a little bit....um, like a bullet, I guess. But it looks adorable on, so I feel like it was a success. Would never use this yarn again. It catches on itself and splits a little too much. However, knitted up it is thick and soft and warm, so I don't regret using it.

Also, I've started on a Wallaby Sweater. It's a sweater knit entirely in the round; I picked up the pattern from my LYS in NY, Spin A Yarn. (Sarah or Emily, if you feel like knitting this, now you know where to get the pattern for it.) The pattern is delightfully chatty in the beginning, then gets all down to business and isn't confusing at all. I love how simple it is. Of course it lends itself to all kinds of modifications, but I'm trying to keep it very easy so that Sparky will actually be able to wear this sweater as soon as possible. He really needs some hoodies!

I started knitting the arm with a 1x1 two color rib (I think it's called a corrugated rib -- not sure) that's often found on Latvian mittens (correct me if I'm wrong). I found out why it's usually on mittens, and never on sweaters. It's not very elastic, and is far too warm for something that you'll be wearing all day. So. I got this far:
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Then ripped it all back. Thankfully, it doesn't take long to knit (StSt in the round!), so by last night I'd gotten this far:
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I worked on it a little bit today, and I'm pretty sure the sleeve is finished -- haven't measured it yet, but I'm guestimating. I'll knit the other sleeve too, just to have them over and done with before I get to the body. Sleeves are the best gauge swatch. If you're on gauge, then you've gotten part of the sweater accomplished! Some people are very smart. I like to listen to those people.

What I gathered at the market today:
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I'll give details on the chocolate and what I did with all the vegetables and pasta tomorrow. Tonight's date night, so I've got to go.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Fifteen socks

In honor of the esteemed Socktober Fest, I present you with all of the socks I've knit to date, starting in August of 2005.

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Clickable, if you wish to view a larger version. To find details on any of these knits, I've just updated the project list in the sidebar, so you'll find them all there.

Out of the 15 pairs, I've only knit 3 for myself. As it turns out, I must be a gift knitter. I've knit 3 for my mom, two for Sparky, one for Max, and then one for several others. No wonder why I always feel like I have socks on the needles!

Our household goods finally arrived yesterday. As we soon discovered, the packers in Georgia did a completely horrible job. Did you know that DVD's can also be called books? Yeah. Also, some very carefully packed scrapbooking stuff was DUMPED from a plastic bin I had put it in to a cardboard box. To say I'm pissed... Anyway, the Mr. is pretty much organizing the rest of all of it. I just take a box and say "OK, I'll put the books in the bookcase" or whatever. I also break down boxes and bag packing papers. It's a hard job, but someone has to do it. =)

Today I was at the German grocery store, and needed to get ground beef for meatballs. I was a little concerned, because it seemed that the only ground beef I could see was about 10 euro a kilo. That looked pretty expensive and I had limited funds. (Most stores only accept cash, and there are no ATMs that we can use except the one at Mr Fiberflash's work, so once he's home for the weekend, I'm stuck with whatever I have and have to make it stretch)

I had my little German survival guide with me, so while standing in line I looked up the words for "beef" and "meatball", then refreshed my memory on the phrase "I only speak a little bit of German". I was trying to read it unobtrusively, holding it down in the stroller so that I wouldn't look like a complete tourist. (I do really live here, so I have to fit in, somehow!)

When I finally reached the counter, I started out with the "only a little German" phrase, then started to make a stab at the meatball thing when the lady behind me in line said (in English!) "tell me, and I will translate". I wanted to hug her. There's almost no English speakers in this town -- actually a lot of people know at least a little, but they refuse to speak it until you've shopped at their place of business enough times to let them realize that you actually live there, are not going away, and are desperately trying to learn German. Anyway, this experience wasn't good for my quest to learn German, but it was very heart warming. Everyone could use a warm heart from time to time.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Broadripple II

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Broadripple by Rob Matyska
Needle: KnitPicks Classic Circulars, size 1, magic-loop method (the only way I'm currently knitting socks!)
Yarn: Lorna's Laces, colorway Vera (good eye, Sharon!) =)
Cast-on to Cast-off: October 9 - 18
Modifications: I substituted an eye-of-the-partridge heel, and knit the leg to 8 inches instead of 7. Even though my feet are size 8-1/2, I still had a ton of yarn left over. Enough for at least one 8-1/2 sized footie, actually. Definitely enough for at least one pair of baby socks. If this new baby is a girl, perhaps she has some tiny Broadripples in her future? Maybe I'll just knit some, for fun. Hmmmm....
Notes: This pattern is perfect with handpainted yarns that companies like Lorna's Laces put out. The end effect pools in a brilliant way that mimics the way the colors were on the skein. This makes me very happy. Jaywalker is another pattern that works this way, and because of this, I very well may knit more of these as well as Jaywalkers.
The pattern is easy to memorize, and was a great "movie knit". Simple enough to fly through the rows, while just varied enough to hold my interest.

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In general, I have set out to make this blog very much a Knitting Blog, and not get too personal about anything, because I figured, knitting is something we all do, and there is much to be interested in. As far as my views on things, political standing, religious beliefs, and day-to-day adventures...well, there may or may not be anything that you can relate to. However, I've realized, in my year-plus of blogging, that the knitting community is what we make of it. It is who we are, how we live our lives, how we treat each other and relate to the situations around us.

I will not turn this into a Life Blog. I already have one of those (a private one for family to follow us around the world). But, especially since we are now living in a very interesting place and live a vastly different life than the one I was used to, I will start relating more of the day to day things, and let you all see more into my life. I hope you don't mind. I promise that there will still be knitting, which will probably always be posted first. I know that there are days when I simply don't have the time to read everyone's life stories, and all I want is a progress pic to inspire or a little yarn pr0n to keep me going, so I'll try to keep it simple for you. But I've gotten to know some of you a little, and I feel like I owe it to you somehow.

To those of you who read the personal blog as well, please forgive me, because there will sometimes be repeats between the two sites.

Ok. Many apologies for the long winded and boring explanation of the fact that I will now try to make this a more interesting and personal blog. =)

Stop by tomorrow for a collage of all the socks I've ever knit.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Pembrokeshire Pathways Socks

I finished the Broadripple socks last night. I was going to show them to you today, but I found something else instead, that needs to be blogged about first. I'll post pics tomorrow. (I'll be wearing the socks all day though -- so thrilled to have another pair! MA, if you're reading this, I'll be thinking of you!)

So what was it that bumped the FO out of the way? A long overdue one, and socks, at that.

Before I gave the Pembrokeshire socks to my mom, I made sure that I took a picture of them so that I could show you all. After moving, however, the picture seemed to be lost. My husband had taken over the job of uploading of pictures to computer while in transit, and I couldn't figure out his system (or, I suppose that I didn't realize he'd changed the system). Anyway. Today I was going through pictures of all the socks I've ever knit, and -- there it was! The Lost Socks. So here they are.

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Pembrokeshire Pathways Socks by Brenda Dayne
Yarn: Superwash fingering weight baby wool, beautifully handpainted by my blogging partner, Sarah (using Wilton's Icing Dye)
Needles: KnitPicks Classic Circulars, size 1 (Ever since my mom's Jaywalkers bagged out and wouldn't stay up anymore, I've knit all my socks at a slightly smaller gauge than suggested. Also, size 1's just give such a lovely sock fabric.)
Cast-on - Cast off: June 23rd - August 17th. These took so long because I had a hard time working at them consistantly. All the cable twists were a turn off, although thankfully they were turning out so beautifully that it kept me going.
Notes: I would not knit these again. Two many cable twists (6 every 4 rows!!). However, it produces a gorgeous sock. By the time I was done, I wished that I hadn't already earmarked these for my mom, because I loved them so much. The trouble is...as I said, I won't make a second pair for myself.
Also, there was some errata in the pattern stitch (discrepancy between written and charted instruction), but I did whatever seemed to make sense and look the best, and I'm pleased with the result. Also, I substituted an eye-of-the-partridge heel and a German Round Toe (my gift sock toe, since I feel like it might hold up a little better).

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But seriously, look at that stitch (and the heel!). It really is beautiful. Also, with the Easter colorway that Sarah came up with, it just worked so well with the idea of the sock. Love em. My mom loves them too. She was especially touched by the fact that Sara had dyed the yarn and then I knit it (my mom kind of considers herself to be Sarah's second mom of sorts).

So Sarah, I hope that you've seen them in real life by now! If not, here they are on the blog, finally. I'm so glad that I found the pictures.

Today its been raining all day, but the sun just came out, so the boys and I will be headed out to the little produce market shortly. Today is Mr FiberFlash's birthday (29!), so we'll also be baking...shhhh, it's a secret! I promise that I'll start blogging more about my life soon, since I now have pretty interesting surroundings and adventures. I've realized that I haven't really personalized this blog all that much, but more on that tomorrow. For now, it's action time! Gotta organize my little troops. Hope you get to see a blue sky today too!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Progress: belly and socks and such

As it turns out, I forgot to have Mr. FiberFlash take a belly shot over the weekend, so this morning I balanced my camera on top of a honey jar on my counter, set the timer, and shot through the open door onto my balcony/porch/roof-cut-out-open-air-room.
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It only took me three tries to get this. Not too bad! The only problem is, here in Germany they seem to be pretty private about pregnancy and such (I've only seen one pregnant lady since moving here). I'm sure that any number of neighbors around the courtyard could have been looking out their windows at that moment (and probably were), but they probably just chalked it up to Those Crazy Americans. They all know where we live. Ah well. The things I do for you, let me tell you.

I purchased my first yarn since moving here. There is a yarn shop down the street that sells things I'm not familiar with. There is some sock yarn, but mostly patterned stuff; no handpainted at all, and only a few solids. Strange. Then their worsted/bulky weight workhorse wools are also very limited.

After looking for quite a while, I came up with this. Sparky and Max need hats since it's getting pretty cold here (30 degrees this morning!). For some reason I didn't pack any; they're with our household goods, which are still on their way over here. They need hats and mittens anyway, because the selection that we own is very limited and most of it is quite ugly. Also, I haven't knit any of it myself, which of course needs to happen. So thus this 55% wool, 45% acrylic.

I would have preferred entirely natural fibers, but as I said, the selection is crazy limited there. Pretty frustrating, because this is the first time I've lived this close to a yarn shop, and there's almost nothing to buy there! If nothing else, this will help me save money, but that's the only bright side I can see. At least the staff is friendly (although conversation is limited, since they know only a little English, and I am struggling to learn German).
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Something strange: I asked the lady how much the needles cost, and she said 10 Euro. I looked at the sign to confirm (as I said, her English is pretty good) and thought that was pretty expensive for a set of DPN's, but I didn't pack a large selection of needles with me, and have no idea when all my craft stuff will get here. When the lady rang me up, however, the needles only came to 4.10. I didn't ask any questions, but I wonder if she gave me the discount on purpose? Or did I misunderstand her? Or is it possible that I can't read numbers on signs anymore? Hmmm. Anyway, it was a nice surprise. And now I can use the same needles for hats and mittens for both boys, so that will work out well.

This is how far I've gotten with the Broadripple socks. I started the second one yesterday and got to the heel flap. I have to say, the eye-of-the-partridge heel is my absolute favorite now, and I substitute it for a plain slip-stitch heel every time. I can't help myself. Especially with a multi-colorway like this, it makes tiny little pops of color that are very fun. The heel isn't any harder than any other -- you should totally try it if you haven't yet.
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Completely unrelated, but earlier I was calling my one-year-old, Max, to come get his bottle for naptime. Usually this gets him excited but this time he was totally silent. I went to find out what was up and found him in the shower, busily stuffing chunks of his rice cake down the drain. Moral of the story: If your toddler is ever too quiet, you should probably go check on him.

Final note: to those of you who have left wonderful comments (some requesting a reply) in the past few months, I am terribly sorry that I haven't gotten back with any of you. I've been either overwhelmed or internet-less, so please, if it was important, ask again. =)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Lovely Socktober!

On the flight to Germany, I brought my half-finished Kiri shawl, hoping that it would be enough to keep me sane on the journey. Instead, between trying to handle two toddlers and attempting to (unsuccessfully) sleep, I did not knit a stitch. After arriving at our hotel, I manage to spin up a bunch of laceweight Spunky BFL singles (colorway "Berry Pickin'" from the Fiber Club a few months ago -- sorry, no pictures yet!), but as far as knitting, I was only able to knit on the simplest project: the mindless toddler sock.

I'm telling you people, these two little pairs are all that has made me feel normal on certain days, and a huge comfort to knit something so familiar and mindless. (I've knit this pair once before in solid blue for Sparky.) I don't want to make you all think that my time here in Germany has been terrible. It's actually been amazing, fun, tons of discovery. We live in an awesome, large apartment in a great section of a gorgeous little town, and every day is an adventure. It's just that...well, some days it's nice to have one thing that's not an adventure at all. Something that's more...homey, or home-like I guess.

The boys are absolutely thrilled with their matching socks. I could not ask for better thanks then the squeals of delight that met me the morning I presented them with their pairs.
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What cute, chubby legs.

Yarn: LB Magic Stripes in Lumberjack Plaid pattern (I think)
Needles: For the smaller pair (on right), size 0, for the larger, size 1. Both 32" KnitPicks classic circulars using the magic loop technique, one sock at a time. This is my current favorite way to knit socks.
Pattern: Spunky Toddler Socks
Cast-on to cast-off: I took my time with these, so the first three socks took a few weeks.The last one took two days.
Pattern notes: I love this pattern. The only thing I'm struggling with is the short row heel. I end up with holes some of the time, even when using Miso Crafty's little tutorial. Not sure what I'm doing wrong. Thankfully, since these are toddler socks for very forgiving little people, and since I've been able to suppress the perfectionist side of me for the projects, I just sewed the holes up and kept right on going. I would highly recommend knitting something similar for mindless, therapeutic knitting. The project is quickly over so you have a sense of accomplishment, and there's something comforting about counting the stripes as they roll of the needles. (For those that follow this blog, you will know that this is a departure from the norm, as I usually do not approve of self patterning yarn, finding it...vaguely...I don't know, distasteful to me?)

After completing the two pairs, I started on this Broadripple sock at the beginning of this week.
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Once again, it's a pattern I've previously knit, but this time only because it's something I know works well with Lorna's Laces colorways, and is a no brainer for a good looking sock. The lace pattern is simple to learn; within the first few rounds I had it memorized once again.

After knitting with LB Magic Stripes for the two toddler pairs (which is a little coarse, although softens up nicely in the first wash), the Lorna's Laces feels like Cashmere through my fingers.

So that's my Socktober Fest update for now. I'll post as often as I can! Hopefully I'll put a button up in my sidebar before the month's up (because it's all about the button, right?), and I plan to finish this third pair within the next week.

For those of you who like this sort of thing, yes, I will be posting a belly shot in the near future. Perhaps over the weekend? Check back! The belly is ever growing. =) (I'm 15 weeks as of two days from now. 25 weeks to go!)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bad Socktober

Wow, so I joined Socktober Fest just in time to be shut out of the internet alltogether! But I'm back, kids, and I've been knitting socks. I promise to post pictures tomorrow. I haven't dissapeared, so don't give up on this blog yet!

Write more tomorrow...


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