Monday, October 22, 2007

a sock yarn question...

So I am going to knit some socks for a Christmas gift. I haven't knit many pairs of socks, especially lately. I don't have much experience with sock yarns, though I've used Trekking and liked it a lot. So I ask, what's your favorite sock yarn? Why? Pretty please leave me a comment and tell me. I'd like them to be soft, hopefully washable, warm, and - you know - yummy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

a gift basket

This is the first gift basket I've ever put together. It is small and simple, containing a couple of really cool travel coffee cups that passed the car accident test. A few weeks ago my husband had left his Contigo Autoseal cup at work over the weekend. On Monday he had to use an older one with just a hole in the lid (the contigo one has a push button that opens the drinking hole, easy to use while driving!). On the way home from work he was rear-ended and both cups, both with some coffee left in them, went flying. But only the older one spilled. The Contigo cup didn't even lose a drop!

Also in the basket is a package of Starbucks coffee beans - Colombian, and homemade anise biscotti. I was scared to make the cookies and put it off for two days, but it really wasn't hard. The recipe called for anise extract and brandy, both of which I did not have. Instead of the anise extract I used extra vanilla and I used pineapple juice in place of the brandy. I'm told they turned out well, but I can't eat wheat or sugar so I'll just have to take my husband and children's word for it. I lined the basket with the black and white dishcloths, wrapped it in cellophane and voila! A gift basket!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Black & White

The line-up:

white blackberry stitch (#242) from Vogue's Stitchionary Vol. 1

slightly modified b&w garterlac dishcloth with a black crochet border

four corners in black

grandmother's favorite using salt and pepper cotton

black outlining salt and pepper on textured slip-stitch

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Little Things

I'm borrowing the idea for this post (and the title too) from Wool Winder, who has graced the knitting blog world with pictures of some of the lovely things in her home.

Here are a few things that make me happy:

This plate was one of many that my grandfather collected. He passed away over ten years ago. Since his death, my grandma has given a lot of the plates away to Grandpa's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Five such plates reside in my home, one for each of my daughters and one for me.

I was given this angel figurine about six years ago by a good friend. Shortly after having received her, she was accidentally knocked off of the table and broken just under her arms by my oldest daughter, who was four-years-old. At that time we only had three children (we now have four). The accident made me sad, but I went on with my day. When I came up from doing laundry I found that my baby, then only two-years-old, had taken the angel and scotch-taped her back together. I scratched my plans to super glue the angel and she remains taped around the middle to this day.

Finally, this apple shaped teapot was a gift from my second daughter a Christmas or two ago. Her face while I opened such an obvious treasure was priceless. She's a very thoughtful little girl who knows how much her mama likes both tea and apples.

And so, like Wool Winder, I ask: What are some of your favorite things?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Blackberry Stitch

After knitting the Garterlac Dishcloth I decided to give a few other new dishcloth patterns a try. A bobble cloth caught my eye but after looking the pattern over, I decided I'd rather look through my stitchionary for a bobble, or something similar, that I could knit into a square. #242 was the winning pattern. I like the idea of bobbles for scrubbing purposes, but because I knit this for a gift (it will be part of a black & white dishcloth set) I won't be able to test out my theory until I make time to knit one for myself. Though this isn't a true bobble (I don't think so anyway), it is bumpy and I love the texture. It was a fun pattern and I'm thinking I'd also really like it for a sweater, maybe a cardigan or something. Of course that means I'd then have to knit a sweater (terrifying thought that it is).

For my black & white dishcloth set, I picked up Sugar 'n Cream cotton in three colors: white, black & salt and pepper. Now, I have some white still on a cone. There isn't much left, but plenty for several dishcloths. Why did I go buy more when I still had enough? Oh, because the mostly-gone cone would not have looked so cute in this picture.