Sunday, December 31, 2006

The end is near....

Not Armageddon, just the end of 2006 -- bring on the new beginnings!

Thanks for the compliments on my Scale Skin socks! I'm glad my unnatural love for them has been validated :)

A lot of commenters asked for the pattern and it's readily available at the Six_Sock_Knitalong yahoo group. It's called "Michelle's SSS pattern" listed under August 2006 in the file section BUT you must be a member to get the pattern.

That being said, I know my readers are so smart and the pattern is honestly so EASY, it's ridiculous! So for all you smarties, here's the stitch pattern:

Cast on an even # of stitches divisible by 4 (52, 56, 60, 64, ect.) I used 64 for my picot edge, then decreased to 60 for the leg and 56 for the foot. I feel the scales do run a bit big because I usually use 64 as my "standard" for a woman's medium.

Round 1 and 3: Knit
Round 2: *K2, yo K2, pass the yo over the 2 stitches just knit*repeat from * to end
Round 4: *yo K2, pass the yo over the 2 stitches just knit, K2* repeat from * to end

That's it, I swear!

So you can plug this stitch pattern into your standard sock formula and you can have a love affair with your socks too! :) And for those more adventuresome among you, why not give beaded knitting a go in 2007? It's so much fun and really enhances the finished object AND there just happens to be a nifty tutorial on my very own side bar!

Now for some more knit love, I give you Ruben!


Ruben designed by Elsebeth Lavold in Designer's Choice, The Sentimental Journey Colllection, Book Two

7.5 skeins Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in Verdigris (subbed for the cotton patine suggested in the pattern)

US #3 (3.25 mm) addi turbo for ribbing and US #5 (3.75 mm) for the body

Mods: NONE! :)

I love this design and I LOVE Silky Wool!! It's become one of my favorite yarns as it knits like a dream and just flows over the needles plus it's sooo soft.
On the downside, altho it was a simple cable, the pattern is pretty organic in that it leaves quite a bit up to the experience of the knitter. Plus, there are no schematics so size is kinda based on getting gauge and trust! Lining up the cables to "flow" into the ribbing was quite hair raising too so I'm pretty proud it only took me two tries :)

The Silky Wool is pretty fragile, you can pull it apart quite easily and I was concerned about using it for the sweater finishing. Being unable to find a suitable colored yarn to seam with I did use the Silky Wool but *very* carefully and did tear the working yarn in mid-seam a few times.

In the end, it's a gorgeous, classic, manly sweater that I would knit again keeping in mind the caveats I mentioned!

There's been a lot of buzz around Knitbloglandia about paring down for 2007. In other words it's cool to.....

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And here at Chez FKD, we will be jumping on this bandwagon! And we'll even be paring down the rules......

The Rules:

1- knit from stash for the entire year, 2007
2- sock yarn DOES count (boy oh boy, does it!)
3- yarn purchases can be made for gifts but only after all possible stash options have been exhausted
4- Gifts of yarn and yarn swaps don't count - especially birthdays (hint, hint!)
5- I'm on the fence about the one "free" day...I would really like to try to make it thru 2007 with no yarn purchases at all! It's not so much that I have this ginormous stash, but that I have yarn for so many projects already that I really want to knit, it just seems a shame for them to be languishng in the stash!

ETA: The showing of the stash will NOT be happening, never ever, no way, no how, nein, neit, nunca, nuh uh so I'll just pretend we never had this conversation :)

That's it! So good luck to me and all the other knitters taking the plunge!

To all my friends in Knitbloglandia who've shared a little bit of our lives here at FKD in 2006, Pumpkin and I want to thank you for your friendship, kindness and support and wish you a

Happy, Healthy 2007!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Is 2006 done yet??

I am SO ready for new beginnings, you know?

I just want to say a heartfelt thank you to all my blog friends for the amazing outpouring of support, kindness and love for me and my family. It means more than mere words can convey and has helped me so much!

I still don't think it's all really hit me just yet and I miss him terribly but I'm glad you all enjoyed the answer grape story. My Dad was so very special and I'm glad you all could know him even just a little.

Now for some knitting because as EZ said - knit on, with confidence and hope, thru all crisis -- and I did!

First up, some festive Regia socks


Peaks n Valleys socks from Knit Socks! by Betsey McCarthy

2 50 gm skeins Regia mini ringel #5217

US #1 (2.25 mm) Aero Teflon DPNs

Mods: I used one less pattern repeat for the leg as the recipient is pretty tiny and slender (they fit perfectly!) and I changed the heel to my standard mini-gusset yo short row heel.

I enjoyed this pattern (thanks
Carole!) - its only a 2 round, 9 stitch pattern repeat so it's easy to remember yet just interesting enough to keep your interest. It makes a nice stretchy, comfy sock and I love how the pattern turns the stripes into scallops. The Regia is nice to knit with, it's a basic staple for most socknitters but altho the dye lots were identical the socks are fraternal because the striping sequence was different in each skein! One skein had a three row stripe in with the twos so it threw off the "identicalness" of the socks. I thought about "cutting and pasting" to make them match but they are kinda funky looking anyway so I thought their disparities were endearing! Their new owner agrees!

And now for something completely different, I give you....a sock!!

would ya look at these beauties?


Scale Skin socks from the Six_Sock_KAL Group

2 skeins Claudia's Handpaint in the Sea Dreams colorway

US #1 (2.25 mm) Aero Teflon DPNs

32 8/0 silver-lined turquoise seed beads per sock, #13 crochet hook

I confess I have a completely unnatural love for these socks! This was my first experience with Claudia's and ooooo the love!! The base yarn for Claudia's is Louet Gems Pearl and that is already a favorite of mine but add the glorious color that Claudia imparts and the result is just about the perfect sock yarn! So soft, such delicious, saturated color!! Add to that this incredibly simple yet attractive pattern and ding ding ding, we have a winner!!

Mods: Once again I changed the heel to my standard yo short row, mini gusset.
I love the delicate picot edge and I thought it screamed for a bit of embellishment so I added one row (every other stitch) of seed beads using the crochet method. Here's a close up of the beads and the stitch pattern and also to really see the glorious color.... (it was hard! it's been gray and rainy for days!)

I have to say that I think this may be my favorite pair of socks EVER, they are that pretty and striking in person! I hope the new owner loves them as much as me! And if you need an easy, really atttractive pair of socks, I can't recommend this pattern or this yarn enough!

That brings me to a total of 22 pairs of socks knitted in 2006! Not too shabby!

Ruben is completed and will be taking a final bath tomorrow with pics in my next post. Would you believe I have NOTHING on the needles at the moment??? I'm doing some sweater finishing as a gift for a friend so I want to finish that before I start anything new but I plan to have one more Red Scarf on the needles by Jan. 1. I'm also gonna be announcing a new KAL that I'll be co-hosting next week, with a start date of Feb. 1. Wonderful plans are being made for 2007, stay tuned!

I leave you with this pic of the P-Man....he reminds me of a Weeble :)

Happy Wednesday!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Joy to the World!!

Whatever you celebrate, Pumpkin and I want to wish all our blog friends a

Happy Healthy Holiday!!

Here's a little holiday fun from the two of us! Be Merry!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I remember....

You know how Dad's just seem to know everything? Even when you're a grown woman and have spread your wings, Dad's just always seem to be the one to have all the right answers.

My brother and I used to jokingly call Dad "The Answer Grape" which was a character from a TV commercial who knew everything just like my dad! Even when Dad really didn't have a clue, he was the master of making up completely plausible answers so you never doubted the veracity of his stories. And he could never admit he just didn't know!

About twelve years ago we had some relatives visiting so we all took a trip down to Miami to visit Metro Zoo.

Metro Zoo, prior to being destroyed by Hurricane Andrew, was a "cageless" zoo...the animals lived on little islands of "natural habitat" surrounded by moats so you could really get close to the animals without having big steel bars in the way.

We walked around, taking in all the exotic sights - the white tigers being exceptionally beautiful to see.

Finally we came to the bird exhibit....imagine an enormous microforest (this was enclosed by an even more enormous net so the birds could fly freely) with all manner of rare birds flying from tree to tree.

As I walked around I stopped behind a man who was pointing to a large green fruit hanging from one of the trees. The fruit was dark green with a surface like a porcupine - covered in green spikes.

The man was pointing to the fruit as his wife gazed raptly....I leaned a bit closer and over heard the man say "yes, it's true...those green things are the nests of a very rare bird! The bird hollows out the fruit and lays her eggs in there so the nest is camouflaged and when the babies are born they can eat the fruit!" The wife was fascinated and replied, "wow! How interesting, who told you that?" The man turned and said "that guy told me!" and of course he was pointing to my Dad - who turned to look back at us with an impish grin....The Answer Grape had struck again!

Tonight the man with all the answers and the finest man I will ever know has left this life and my only consolation is that I am lucky enough to be his daughter.

Thanks for all your prayers and support, it means so much.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A heartfelt request

I'm a very private person and when I started FKD I made the decision to keep my posts mainly on the knitting track. That being said I do believe in the power of collective prayer and positive thought.

My Dad had a stroke this morning so could you please keep him in your thoughts and prayers?

Thanks everyone.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

In the interest of science?

It's been suggested I post this and then ping technorati (whatever that means!?!)to assess how fast we knit bloggers can spread the word and help a fellow grad student out.

Go ahead, you can do it too, it's painless!

Pumpkin thinks pinging something sounds like more fun than a catnip mousie!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Days of wine and roses

Well, mitts of Wine and Roses anyway....

Yes, I'm still hanging with Ruben on Sleeve Island but when I saw this pattern in the latest issue of Interweave Knits I knew they had to jump to the top of my holiday knitting queue! Besides the fact that I'm almost as obsessed with knitting wristers as I am socks, I have a recipient in mind who will just adore these!

Aren't they lovely?


Wine and Roses Mitts, Interweave Knits magazine, winter 2006

1 skein Louet Gems Pearl in Fern, US #1 (2.25mm) Aero teflon DPNs, approx. 150 olive green 8/0 seed beads, size #13 steel crochet hook (I used the crochet method to add the beads)

Mods: Honestly, I made so many mods to this pattern they should be called "Essence of Wine and Roses Mitts"!

This pattern just said *vintage* to me and I thought adding the beads would really complete the picture! I added the row of beads after the lace border and then instead of the yarn overs the pattern called for on the cuff, I subbed a bead. I also added 6 additional rows of stockinette.

I added 2 rows of beading with a K1P1 rib rather than the "pebble stitch" the pattern suggests.

I followed the lace pattern for the palm as written (surprise!) then added another 2 rows of beading with a K1P1 rib.

Lastly, I didn't care for the purl hem stitch so I switched that to a K2tog, yo picot edge for both the fingers and thumb.

I really love how these turned out and plan to make a few more after the holidays!

I know lots of people are dealing with some horrible weather....oh well, here in Florida the weather is perfection! I guess it's the trade off for living in the spectre of that nasty "H" thing all summer long! (Yes, "H" season ended November 30 - Woo and Hoo!!)

So here's a perfect Saturday sky on Sunday.....

Perfectly blue and clear with a scattering of clouds down by the beach. Anyone want to come on down for a visit? :)

This lil guy is a willing host with the most...

As long as you bring lots of chicken, he's says you can stay forever!