Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas to all!!!

I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Christmas Tree
Originally uploaded by Orchid22

Here is just a little glimpse of our decorated tree.

I did the whole tree in cool blue shades and silver snowflakes.

I am so glad we finally got a tree. I have been wanting to have one to decorate for a few years now. I was kind of worried that the dogs would knock it over or eat the ornaments, but the have actually been pretty good. I had one little issue with Tanuki trying to eat an ornament, but I caught him before he ate too much.

I love this little lambie ornament. I got it at the lobby store at my work. It is so nice to work at home office and be able to shop on my lunch break if I need to pick up some gifts.

I can't wait for all of this holiday craziness to be over so I can get back to more knitting!!!

I have 3 pairs of socks on the needles right now, but I have been itching to start something bigger. I hope there are some good yarn sales after the holidays so I can get some yarn for a bigger project.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Will it felt?

I have been wondering about the durability of the new Noro sock yarn since this is a single ply non-superwash yarn. I had heard some rumors that it was indeed superwash, so I decided to put it to the test. I knitted up a VERY small swatch (4sts x 4 rows). I couldn't bear to part with too much of this georgeous yarn for a destructive test.

I then measured it pre-washing.

I hand felted this swatch in the sink in warm water with some hand soap. It did felt rather quickly.

I measured the swatch post wash and it had shrunk about 1/8 inch in both directions. This yarn definitely is not superwash, but it sure is beautiful!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Noro Sock Yarn Review

Noro Sock yarn at last!!

This yarn is just as beautiful as its worsted weight counterpart. Subtle shifts of color over several rows give your project a handspun look. I picked mine up at Knitter's Mercantile. They had several lovely colors to choose from, but I liked this one with its mix of purples and greens. As you would expect from Noro, the colors are very saturated.

The texture of this yarn is similar to the regular Kureyon. It feels slightly scratchy at first, but softens up considerably in the knitted fabric. This is a tightly spun single ply yarn with very little bounce, and surprisingly little splittiness. Also, its variable thickness has a quality that enhances the handspun look. I have not yet encountered any hay or twigs in the wool, as I have with other Noro yarns. It has been a little problematic getting the yarn to feed smoothly from the center pull ball. I think it is the yarn's somewhat twiny texture that causes it to tangle. It isn't a huge problem, but just something to be aware of.

I am knitting my socks on size 2 needles. I was advised to knit this yarn on size 1's, but mine are currently in use. I don't believe the fabric is too open to compromise the durability of the socks; it is a 30% nylon blend, so I think they will wear pretty well. I am knitting this 64 stitch sock toe-up on a magic loop with a short row heel. The instep and cuff will be a 3x1 rib. I am consistently getting 9 sts/in.

I look forward to finishing and wearing these to test the softness and durability. I do admit that I am really enjoying knitting with this yarn so far!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Ravens have landed!!

Blue Moon Fiber Artists have outdone themselves again!

Their new series of colors is deep dark and saturated. Inky ocean blues, dark cherry stains, eggplant hues and murky waters. They are georgeous!!

I have attempted to take pictures of the two I got, but it is very hard to capture all of the depth and color in these. Plus, the camera doesn't know where to focus!

The first above is Thraven - described as "blusey greens and greensy blues painted black". This color is really beautiful in person. It is the deepest blue green suffused with charcoal and black.

Next up is Tlingit above - described as "hot pink, chartreuse and robins egg blue stewed in black". That sounds dramatic! This color really does remind me of the irridescence of a raven or blackbird's feathers.

Both of these yarns are in the "Socks that Rock - Mediumweight" base. If you haven't knit with this yarn yet, I highly recommend trying it out. It is by far the best sock yarn I have knit with.

I'm not sure yet what i will knit with these (maybe some gloves?). I am still having too much fun petting them in the skeins!

Monday, November 12, 2007


Tanuki's first day home
Originally uploaded by Orchid22
Let me introduce you to Tanuki! He is a 2 year old male Keeshond found as a stray in Northern Ohio and picked up by the Animal Warden. I worked with a local volunteer for Keeshond Rescue of the Central States to adopt him in April of this year. She told me that he was covered in mats and a real mess when she picked him up. Luckily he didn't have to stay in that condition for long!! He blew out most of his undercoat this Summer and it is filling back in nicely this Fall.

He and Pepper got along really well right from the begining. They wrestle and tumble all over the house. I know that Pepper is happy to have a little brother to play with.

It has taken Tanuki a little while longer to come out of his shell with the humans in the house. All he would want to do is play and roughhouse (I love that word!) 24/7!! He finally seems to seek and enjoy affection from us. He can be a real cuddlebug in the evenings when we are winding down for the night. He doesn't seem to understand that he doesn't quite fit on my lap!! I sometimes wonder what his life was like before us, but I know he is happy now.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Sea Wool Pomatomus

Sea Wool Pomatomus
Originally uploaded by Orchid22
Finally finished!! I love these socks! Is it wrong to be in love with a sock? I think not!

These are probably the hardest thing I have knit to date. The pattern isn't particularly hard, but you do have to pay attention. The hard part is all of those kbl (knit through back loop). I think I am going to have to take a few days off from tiny needle knitting.

These are knit with Fleece Artist Sea Wool. A lovely yarn with a beautiful sheen. I have another hank dedicated to some Monkey socks.


Smiling Dutchman!
Originally uploaded by Orchid22

What is a Keeshond you ask? They are a member of the spitz group of dogs and are incredibly smart. Sometimes my husband and I feel like we have furry kids running around the house. They have a very extensive vocabulary of howls, growls and things I can't even describe. As you can see, they also smile. :)

This is Pepper. He just turned 8 on November 7th.

Coming soon...Tanuki!!