Thursday, December 29, 2005

WIP's, traditions and looking towards the future

I haven't been knitting lots so I'm not sure if I'll have any more FO's for 2005.

Here is sock #2 of the STR Mesa Footie....these are so pretty and as chilly as it's been here lately, I can't wait to wear them! These have a decent shot at being completed soon.

Here is the progress on the Market Square bag. I'm on tier #6 (of 15). I just LOVE these colors and I can't wait to see the bag after it's felted. It's really fun to knit, I highly recommend it! It goes pretty fast but I think it may be my first FO of 2006, rather than 2005.

Being of a superstitious nature, I have lots of little New Year traditions I love to execute to bring good luck in the New Year. One popular tradition here in South Florida is borrowed from so many of Cuban heritage. On Jan. 1, Cubans eat 12 grapes, one for prosperity and luck in each month of the coming year. Another of my favorites is if you drink a glass of champagne with a diamond in it, you will always have wealth throughout the year. I eat a piece of apple on Jan.1 for good health and I toss a glass of water out my front door to toss out all the "bad luck" as well as the southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas and greens. Hey, I'm a busy gal on January 1!! What are some New Year's traditions YOU observe every Jan.1....I'd love to hear them!!

I believe that whatever you do on the first day of the year, you will do thought the coming year so I try to laugh lots, be happy, tell someone I love them, eat chocolate, cast-on and KNIT! Since I've returned to knitting these last 3 years, I always start a new project on January 1. This last few months my knitting ennui has kept me close to smaller projects but I'm ready to jump back in! After much deliberation I've chosen this as my January project:

It's the Lacy Aran Pullover from Knit One Crochet Too. Isn't it lovely? Looks like a challenging, interesting knit as well.
The pattern calls for K1C2 Second Time Cotton and I've heard really good things about this yarn so I decided to use some of my holiday spoils to try it. Now I need help in choosing a color!!!
I've narrowed it down to these three choices:

L-R : Valencia, Glacier, English Heather

I know what I am leaning towards but help me decide, o faithful reader! :)

I wont be able to start this on Jan.1 since my favorite vendor (hi Judy) is ordering all three colors for me! I guess I'll cast on a new pair of socks on Jan. 1 for luck and wait for my new yarn in January....And for those that are interested, the Ample-Knitters are hosting a Knit-a-Long for this lovely pullover!! The pattern ranges in size from 36" to 54" so everyone is welcome, including the non-fluffy :) If you're interested in more info or where to purchase the pattern, I'm just an email away....come on, join the fun!

Of course, a post from FKD isn't complete without a visit from the P-Man!

Pumpkin wants you to meet his new friend Brittany....

Brittany lives in the same condo complex as Pumpkin and I. I met her when she came around selling candy to support her school. The minute Pumpkin and Brittany met it was love at first site. Brittany's Mom told me that Brittany has a real affinity for all animals and really wants to be a Vet when she grows up (she's six!)

To help Brittany get even more comfortable with animals she chose 3 residents in the condo complex and every Saturday she comes by to provide a "service" for the chosen pet. Every Saturday Pumpkin gets thoroughly brushed by his new pal Brittany. She carries him throughout the condo and I've never seen him so docile, content and well groomed...see?

It's true love, I tell ya!

So what will you be casting on for knitting luck on January 1?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

And to all a good night.....

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Be it Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or Festivus.....To all my blog friends Pumpkin and I wish you .....


Monday, December 19, 2005

There be DOOR here!!!

Finally, after 8 LOOOOONG weeks, the homestead at Chez FKD is secure!! YAY DOOR!!!!! I never thought I could find a door so attractive but just have a look at that cheesecake shot! :)

Even Pumpkin is swooning!
Bob, the door guy, did a great job and I can finally have some peace of mind! YAY BOB!!! And I can start fixing the rest of my hovel disaster area condo....anyone know someone in the market for a slightly used kidney? heheh....

Despite all the chaos, knitting is the constant at FKD so here is sock #1 and the beginning of sock #2 using the Mesa colorway Socks That Rock yarn. The color on my monitor is very's a pretty vibrant, saturated mix of colors reminiscent of a painted desert. The pattern is a simple lace rib called Elongated Corded Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. This new book is another must have for the avid sock knitter! It's a formulaic compilation of many sock patterns that can be adapted to the yarn/gauge of the knitter's choice! A really good all around book, even for the beginner sock knitter! (Thanks Darilyn !!)

I've again used my two new favorite sock knitting techniques.....a 2 x 2 tubular cast on and my new Eye Of Partridge Mini Gusset Short Row heel. Both of these really help with the perfect fit for fluffy feet!

I've finally been able to overcome my indecision depression ennui and focus on a project other than socks! I've chosen these five colors of Cascade 220.....

To make the Market Square Bag from Knitter's Magazine Summer 2001. This entrelac, felted bag has been making the rounds on blogs since the magazine came out with a resurgence last year because the pattern is also featured in the book, Bags, a Knitter's Dozen. I've loved the bag ever since I first saw it and collected the yarn that's been marinating in stash for about 2 years! I figure it's a small enough project that will hold my interest cause I love doing entrelac! Yes, shoot me now, I'm one of those weirdo knitters who actually loves to pick up stitches.....hey I even love mattress stitching and you know I'm the Kitchener Queen, right Margene? I love these colors and I think the bag will be spectacular!

And finally since happiness abounds at FKD Pumpkin is seen here doing something that makes him VERY happy! He loves to jump onto the back of my office chair and balance precariously! The chair is quite "swivel-y" so he really does have to hang on! You can see how badly scratched the top is cause he digs his little nails in HARD! I guess this is the P-Man equivalent of Space Mountain, hehehe.....

Enjoy your week, don't stress over last minute gifts and hang on just like Pumpkin!!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Everything's coming up orange!

I'm still hanging in there, sort of...

I never mentioned my little "accident". The day before Thanksgiving I had ventured out for the second time since the hurricane (a month prior) because I STILL have no stable front door. Walking back thru my parking lot I tripped over some hurricane debris that I didn't see because the lights in the parking lot that were damaged have not been replaced (yes, it was one of the dreaded hunks of roof that were still not removed in over a month jutting out onto the sidewalk!) When I fell I cut both my hands and really slammed my knees into the concrete. Both knees were bruised but my left knee was badly damaged. It swelled to the size of a small watermelon and I was black and blue from mid-calf to mid-thigh. I went to the doctor the Friday after Thanksgiving and have lots of soft tissue damage but nothing was broken. My knee is still very swollen and completely numb but the only treatment is keeping it elevated, anti-inflammatory meds and a warm heating pad until all the blood that seeped into the joint and tissue is reabsorbed. So even if I had a front door that locked, I wouldn't be going very far....Lovely, hmmm? Is 2005 done yet???? 2006 HAS to be better!

There is good news on the horizon tho....I have an appointment for a NEW DOOR on Sunday! Now let's hope the dude shows up!

On the knitting front, the bad news is the Jaywalkers are no more and the real expensive Opal is in the trash! I did ok with the pattern for the leg portion but even tho I was still getting gauge, the foot portion came out way too big. After ripping and re-knitting a good portion of the sock three times I decided the Jaywalker pattern, being designed as close fitting with negative ease, was not the best choice as a gift for someone who's feet were not accessible to me for ongoing fittings. In addition, the Opal did not hold up to frogging very well and altho it hurt my heart to toss the skein that was so dear and spendy, I couldn't live with the now fuzzy, worn appearance of the yarn! Sometimes a knitter's just gotta cut her losses so Jaywalker and $500 Opal, R.I.P!

Seems all I can knit these days is socks. Perhaps I need the relatively quick sense of accomplishment or it's all my present short attention span can handle. Here's the sock that took the place of the Jaywalkers.....It's the "Child's First Sock" from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush made in Louet Gems Quartz....a light sportweight, ultra soft merino in a orange/terra cotta marl. I adore this yarn and the pattern is a very fun knit. For any sock knitters, the Knitting Vintage Socks book is a must have! Full of lovely patterns for men and women with lots of history and various interchangeable toe and heel treatments.

The pair is finished but I'll allow the recipient to show off the completed pair on her blog if she wishes. I just hope they fit and she likes them!

Since it's been all orange all the time here lately next I give you........drumroll please.......


I've been wanting to design the perfect pair of footies for my extra fluffy feet and I thought, what better yarn to use than the extra special, dyed just for me, Pumpkin Yarn?

A bit of math and a bit of experimentation and these fit PERFECTLY!! And I love, love, love how they came out! They are sooooo soft and I love how the color goes from apricot to almost rust, just like the P-Man!!


Knitpicks "Dye Your Own" Fingering weight yarn, expertly dyed to match my Pumpkin by
La of JenLa fame
Pattern: My down, tubular 1x1 rib cast-on for cuff, 2x2 rib for leg and instep.

I really like the look (and less bulk) of the YO short row heel but I find the heel cup a bit shallow. To combat this I unvented my own version. Here's a close up......


After dividing the stitches for the heel, I worked eight rows even before beginning the short row/yo decreases forming a "mini-flap". I used an Eye of Partridge slip stitch pattern starting with the work even rows and throughout the rest of the heel construction for extra cushion and strength. I worked the heel as I normally would for a yo short row heel but when I had completed the heel I picked up nine stitches on each side of the "mini-flap" for a mini-gusset.


Once I picked up the gusset sitiches and joined them with the instep, I decreased one gusset stitch (two stitches per row) every other row until the stitch count was back to the original number.

I'm really proud of the look of this heel and the fit is superb!! I think I've finally found my "formula" and can expand on more sock design from here.

La, thank you again for this lovely sock yarn that's inspired me to build a better mouse trap and will always make me think of you and my P-Man!

Even the P-Man has a thing for orange these days.....LOOK!

He was huggin' the Gems Quartz like no tomorrow! He knows soft and delicious orange yarn when he sees it! Just like, soft and delicious :)

Now a girl can't limit herself to only the orange spectrum, especially when she gets something like this in the mail......

Yes, it's a beautiful skein of Socks That Rock yarn in the Mesa colorway!! My favorite grrlfriend Margene and her buddy Susan sent me a splendid care package that included this amazingly beautiful yarn, some patterns, a cute quilted bag, and a few other little goodies to make me smile! Thanks Utah Grrls! You made this knitter's day (week, month....) I'm planning another pair of footies, this time with a bit of textural interest that should do this lovely yarn proud!

Thanks for all the ongoing support and kind words, now please think good "door fixing" thoughts for Sunday!! See ya soon!!

Monday, December 05, 2005


As promised, here are some finished objects.....

These are the socks I knit as a thank you gift for my generator endowed neighbor who was so kind and helpful during our EIGHTEEN DAYS without power!!


Mountain Colors Weaver's Wool in "Wildnerness". 2x2 tubular cast on and 4x2 rib, my own design, on size #2 US (2.75 mm) Crystal Palace Bamboo DPN's. LOVE this colorway and the yarn is sooooo soft! My neighbor has already sampled sock #1 so he is eager for his first pair of hand knit socks!

It is with great joy, I announce the completion of the Ocean Lace Stole!! Since I've been bitching about the "ick" factor of this yarn since I cast on, I'll spare you yet another harrangue!


Ocean Lace Stole Kit from Just One More Row. Knit on #9 US (6.0 mm) Denise Interchangeable Needles. A very easy lace pattern and a lovely stole in the end if you don't stab yourself with your needles because the yarn is THAT heinous!
The color in the above shot is true and it's a gorgeous turquoise, teal, purple and green colorway. It's a light, airy stole and a classic that can be casual or dressy. I think the recipient will LOVE it!!

Ubiquitous over the rail close up

Altho the end result is a winner, I would NOT recommend this kit....The lace is a basic one and it would be much easier to choose a suitable lace pattern from any stitch dictionary and knit up a comprable stole in a nice soft alpaca or merino and step away from the nasty boucle!! Thank god this is finally DONE!!

They say out with the bad, in with the good right? Well the boucle was very very bad but look at the "good" that showed up in it's place!! Two glorious skeins of Diakeito Diamusee Fine yarn! My great friend Liz sent me these as a "cheer up" gift along with the cutest hand made survival kit, some kitty-themed doodads, some treats for the P-Man and the all important chocolate! Won't these make the dishiest socks EVER?? I'm not knitting so much now but footies for me with the Pumpkin Yarn are next up in the queue and then these little beauties if I can stop petting them long enough! Thanks so much Lizzie Lui!!

I wanted to show off one of Pumpkin's most unique features. Aside from his devastatingly handsome face he has tufts of hair growing from the tops of his ears like a Lynx! Doesn't he look ferocious? Har.

I've gotten some emails inquiring about my well being because I haven't been posting much. I really try to keep the content of this blog focused on my knitting but I am really having a hard time coping with my ongoing situation. Knitting is really my only salvation because I am emotionally, financially and spritually spent. I'm not sure when I'll feel up to posting again but I'm greatful for the concern and that I'm missed. I'll be back when I'm able.