Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Giveaway!

So Irene is gone, though her effects are still being felt up and down the East Coast. On this sunny cool morning, I'm feeling so relieved that Irene wasn't more awful that I thought a giveaway was in order to celebrate her passing. I'm giving away some nice nice sock yarn and a free sock pattern.

Here's a beautiful skein of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn (based in Barton, Vermont! Yee haw! Go, Northeast Kingdom of Vermont!), 420 yards of superwash merino. Colorway is Champlain Sunrise - beautiful deep red, magenta, blue, orange.

I'll also email you a copy of either the Momogus Knits Easy Toe-Up Socks or Momogus Knits Twisty Toe-Up Tube Sock pattern - y0ur choice.

Leave a comment here or on the Facebook page and let me know your most interesting hurricane experience, and I'll pick a winner at random. Mine was not particularly interesting (thank God!) but it was kind of sweet: because our house is surrounded by big old trees (two of which have crashed down and just missed our house already this year), my husband and I decided it would be prudent to all sleep downstairs in the living room. So we blew up an air mattress and my son got in his sleeping bag, and we all got cozy and listened to the rain and fell asleep. It was fun, though we did have to take shelter in the basement once when there was a tornado warning for our area, which was spooky. And for you readers out west who missed all the Irene fun, any interesting weather experience will do!

Monday, August 22, 2011

More Sock Stuff - for the Frugal Sock Knitter!

Have you ever knit a pair of socks and been left with a ton of leftover yarn? I have, for sure, and here's a post about a recent experience I had using up that yarn.

I have been off the sock bandwagon for some time, but after coming across the yarn Indulgence by KFI, I have jumped right back on. The socks are nothing fancy (just my regular toe-up sock pattern), and as I've said before I'm not in love with the colorways of this yarn, but it is a dream to knit. Soft soft soft!!

Anyway, as I vowed, I made my second pair of socks fraternal twins:

It was a little difficult to make myself NOT wind off the yarn to make them match, but I did it! I was a little sad when I finished these because I was done and I wasn't knitting with that yummy yarn anymore. But then I looked at how much I had left from each ball, and I had a revelation!

What if I knit another pair with the leftover yarn?? Here's the thing I've found with most commercial sock yarn - I always have a lot left over. And I have big feet!

So here's what you need:

A "food" scale (ha ha - seriously, all I ever weigh on this scale is fiber and yarn), a ball winder (or your own two hands), the yarn, a toe-up sock pattern, and your noggin.

I weighed one of my finished socks. It weighed 35 grams. I weighed the leftover yarn from one of the socks. It weighed 35 grams. I weighed the leftover yarn from the other socks. It weighed 35 grams. Hallelujah! So I knew I had enough leftover yarn to make two 35 gram socks. I put the leftover yarn from one sock on the scale and wound off yarn onto the ball winder until the scale read 17.5 grams. I did the same thing with the other leftover yarn.

So I was left with four 17.5 gram balls of yarn - two each from the leftover yarn from each sock. Are you still with me? So now I was ready to cast on. Here's how far I got with one of the little balls of leftover yarn:

I got all the way up the foot and beyond the turned heel! Phew. I felt comfortable knitting with the leftover yarn because I was knitting these socks toe-up. I'll make the leg as long as the leftover yarn allows me - just knit till it runs out. If I were coming cuff-down, I wouldn't know how long to make the leg and still have enough yarn to finish the foot down to the toe.

Done and done! Frankenstein socks!!

Now I know that someone is out there thinking, "If she had enough leftover yarn to knit one sock, why did she split it into two balls? Why not just make a third sock from each yarn?" Good question, person out there! The answer is that I wanted to make a third pair of unique socks. Also I wanted to try out my fancy-pants calculating and stuff. Now I just happened to have enough leftover from two similar yarns to make a whole pair of socks, but you could use this method to use up odds and ends of sock yarn from many socks.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Nutsy

Holey schmoley, it's already August!! I had very good intentions about posting regularly this summer, but they disappeared in the wind. I have a lot of knitting to post and talk about, but first please indulge me a moment while I go all crazy cat-lady on you.

We just got back from a nice vacation in northern Vermont. Unfortunately, the morning we were coming back I got a call from the vet that our beloved cat Nuts had died that morning.

Listen, I was a dog person all my life. The cats I knew growing up were aloof and bitey. I never understood why people liked cats at all. Then I got married and my husband (a devout cat person) convinced me to adopt two kittens from the SPCA. My son (3 yrs old at the time) named them Funny and Silly. And they were awesome. Sweet, affectionate, cuddly - I got it! I became a cat person.

Then a stray I named Smokey adopted us and had a litter of kittens which she deposited under the wisteria tree in our backyard. We caught and placed all but two, which we adopted. Nuts and Caroline. Caroline is very independent and funny, but Nuts..... Ah my Nutsy....

Nuts was 100% pure love and contentment. He would walk into a room and start purring. He loved the other cats (and they tolerated him). He loved the three of us. He loved visitors. He loved shrimp. He loved a squishy pillow. He loved to get a "tour", where I would pick him up and point out various objects around the house, which he would reach out and touch gently.

He had very severe asthma, which meant he took steroids daily and had to take puffs from an inhaler, believe it or not. He tolerated all this with patience and the good nature that was inherent in him. And finally, though he was only 4, his body gave out, and he died. And we weren't there, which I'm struggling with. We always boarded him at the vet's, so that he could get his medicine, and I know they took good care of him.

But I wish we had been with him. I wish I could have given his big orange lovey body one last hug. My Nutsy......