Monday, December 31, 2007

It's all a mystery

So my friends, another year comes to an end.

It's been a year for healing and changes, both good and bad....but a new tomorrow is on the horizon and I'm excited!

For every new beginning something must end and I thought this beautiful picture I took tonight was a fitting last sky of 2007.....It's the last few minutes of tonight's sundown, a glorious last hurrah....symbolism, anyone? :)

Now I'd like to invite you to an exciting new beginning - I've been really enjoying participating in the monthly Sockdown over at the Sock Knitters Anonymous Group over on Ravelry.

Every month we have a different sock "challenge" to help us learn new skills and expand our sock knitting horizons. We now number over 2600 members (!!) and every month we all knit a variation on two different themes. It's been really amazing to see how differently each knitter interprets the challenge yet makes customizations to make the finished sock their own.

We have 2 months to complete each challenge and all that do are entered into a drawing for some really juicy prizes!

January's Sockdown challenge is a "Mystery Sock- Intarsia" or any pattern by Cookie A, brilliant designer of Monkey Sock fame!

Well, yours truly was asked to test knit the Mystery sock! Never having attempted intarsia, I accepted with much trepidation (and the caveat that if it looked like ass, I was cutting and running! LOL) But I wanted a challenge when I signed on so I plunged in.....and I'm really glad I did!!

Now I can't give away the mystery but I can give you a tiny peek in the guise of showing off my latest mani and some spiffy new knails! Have a peek......

Just look at those pretty stitches knails!

Here's another view

This is OPI Brights, "Bright Lights, Big Color" - it's a really pretty, bright coral with a subtle golden shimmer. It's so bright and happy, just right for those grey winter days!

Now about the sock, it's a wonderful design by our SKA administrator Sara, aka Fyberduck. It has a February 14 theme but it's not really a "holiday" sock ie: it can be worn at any time and not look odd or out of place. As you can see there is a bit of beautiful lace and a very clever (and very small!) intarsia design that I actually executed without invoking Armageddon! It's also a design that would look very cool in a plethora of and red for you gothy types or juicy brights like hot pink with lime or tangerine and turquoise come to mind.

So why not make 2008 the year you accept the challenge and join us over at Ravelry?

This is not a new pic but it's one of my favorites of my Best Boy, my P-Man....

He kinda looks like he's peepin' out in excitement wondering what new experiences 2008 will bring....more chicken and organic salmon perhaps? :)

No matter what 2008 brings here at Chez Blog de Fluffy we hope it brings you, all my wonderful readers along with it! Y'all have given Pumpkin and I so very much and we are very grateful!

The P-Man and I wish you a happy, healthy New Year with lots of love! See ya in 2008!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Today and everyday

No matter what you celebrate, we are ALL God's children and my wish for all of us today and everyday is

Peace On Earth

Enjoy an angel's voice singing my favorite carol and have a

Happy Healthy Holiday!

And don't forget to burn your bayberry candles tonight for good luck!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Down to the wire...

Nothing like taking it to the last minute but I finally finished my last hand knit gift! With 3 days to spare, go me! Never mind that it still has to get wrapped, taken to the post office and travel many miles before it finds a home but my loved ones are used to Christmas in January :)

I give you the much loved and ubiquitous Monkey Socks!


Monkey Socks by the brilliant and prolific Cookie A.

Dream in Color Smooshy in the Wisterious colorway

Magic Loop, 32" addi turbo US #1.5 (2.5mm)

Mods: I upsized these quite a bit because they are for a fluffy friend. I went with a simple 2x2 rib because I was afraid the twisted rib suggested would be binding. I added pattern repeats to the leg and then added a mini flap and gusset plus a short row heel for better fit and more depth in the heel. If anyone is interested in modifying Monkeys for the ample leg/foot I'll be glad to share more specific mods, just send me an email!

These were a fun knit and relatively fast considering I used almost an entire skein of Smooshy! As an aside, I have sung the praises of this wonderful yarn many times however the weight is not very consistent...the gauge can vary from fingering weight to sport weight! For these socks I got a gauge of 7.5 - 8 sts/inch where I got a gauge of 9 sts/inch on the very same needles for my Caramel Apple Twisted Flower socks. (Ravelry link) so be careful!

Having said all that, the Smooshy is soft, lofty...smooshy and just a pleasure to knit! The color is glorious, deep and rich...Did you know the new 400 color series is due out in January? w00t!! I can't wait! (like I need another skein of sock yarn in this millennium, hee!)

Even my knitting supervisor and sock protector loves these socks too...

I know Pumpkin will be sorry to see them go but he'll make the sacrifice for anyone who appreciates a handknit :)

I'm glad everyone enjoyed my "favorite things" post and it's been really cool to see my readers making their own lists. Unfortunately one of my not so favorite things has again become a reality...two nights ago my computer completely died again. I suppose I should be grateful, it's been 10 months since I had the motherboard, video card, hard drive and memory replaced and I believe that's a record for crapway Gateway! Anyway I'm back on my well love but 10 months more elderly 8+ year old laptop so posting may be spotty.

The P-Man and I will be thinking of y'all and wishing you a happy holiday and we'll see you when we can!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My favorite things....

Since I'm doing a bit of clandestine knitting these days I thought I would share some of the things in my life that make me happy.

Oprah's got her favorites, here are some of mine....(and you can actually afford them! woot!)

This amazing soap

I read about this wonderful product on a message board and being in possession of extremely sensitive skin I thought it might be worth a try.


It is not truly a soap as it has none of the harsh additives of soaps. It is made to restore the skin's natural pH and protective "mantle". I dunno know about all that but I will say it is the ONLY soap I will use. I recommended it to my Mom who has very troublesome Rosacea....cleared it up in less than a week! Recommended it to a friend with an acne problem, he saw improvement after ONE use and now you'd never know he had a single blemish in his life!

You can get it here and trust me, you'll be very glad you did!

Florida's beautiful skies...

And her beaches at night...

Seche Vite!!

This topcoat makes your nails strong but flexible so they can survive life's daily assaults. Seche Vite literally translates to "Dry Quick" in French and it lives up to it's the time you finish your last nail, your first is dry! Plus, this topcoat keeps my manicure looking fresh *at least* two weeks, often three! (and yes, I do my own housework and everything!) Good stuff and the only topcoat I'll use! Go here if you crave perfect knails!

Best hand and body cream EVER!

Delicious fresh, clean scent. Lovely, rich, creamy and not greasy and makes your skin so so so soft! Get some here.

Sunflower Sprouts!!!!

I admit, I'm a sprout lover but these are the BEST!! Delicious flavor and a nice chewy leaf at the end...I adore these on a nice crusty whole wheat bread sammie with a bit of cream cheese, some roasted garlic and a sprinkle of green jalepeno sauce...mmmm.....

Who would have thought a fat girl could wax so poetic about sprouts? So you know they must be extra yummy! :)

My all time favorite book...

Get a copy here and have a peek at this book too...another amazing book by this brilliant author.

Bayberry candles - they always smell like Christmas to me!

I love the warm, inviting scent of bayberry and it is tradition to burn them as well as gift them during the yuletide season.

Legend has it that the Bay Tree gave shelter to the Holy Family during a storm. Sweethearts who light bayberry candles when they are separated during the holidays will be united by the bayberry's gentle scent. According to tradition, a bayberry candle lit on Christmas Eve and allowed to burn down to the nub will bring good luck, health and wealth for the coming year. Being very much a woman on the superstitious side, the scent of bayberry is thick and heady around Casa de Fluffy on Christmas Eve, rest assured :)

Since it is a knitting blog, you know knitting and knails are some of my favorite things. Here's my latest...

A color you rarely see here at FKD, in my knitting or my knails -- PURPLE!!

I don't dislike purple, it's just not one of my favorites but I'm loving these!

The yarn is more Smooshy sock yarn in the Wisterious colorway,and my knails are OPI Designer Series "Original" (the designer series is great cause they have a special brush that makes the perfect mani even easier!)

Both have a lot more richness and depth than my photos can convey - the yarn has so many shades of lavender, violet and pink and is really beautiful and the knails are a kind of holographic glittery warm violet. More branching out colorwise, this is becoming a very fun habit!

Of course my very favorite thing is this little cutie...

Wanna share some of your favorite things?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

WTF Wednesday returns and a hard act to follow

Random wtf things that have made me go hmmmm lately or You too can crawl inside FKDeb's head :)

1a - Does Beyonce looking like she's starring in a porn flick make YOU want digital TV?

1b - Can Beyonce BE in any more endorsements?

2- My guilty pleasure shame... I LOVE the Spice Girls and I'm so glad they're back. I even endured that vapid Victoria's Secret Special just to see them. Now that's love, baybee!! Look at how cool they look:

Now and Then

Doesn't it really, really, really make you wanna zigazig ha?

3- This:

That King Herod, always after me Lucky Charms! :)

Shamelessly nicked from this hilarious website

So what random wtf thing makes you go hmm these days??

Onto a bit of the knit....

Thank you all for the rousing response to the Caramel Apple Twisted Flower Socks. Your compliments really made my week! Y'all should knit a pair, they are really fun and I miss them!

The Caramel Apples are a hard act to follow but...cute in their own right, I give you my latest pair...

These are my penultimate pair of gift socks for this year...aren't they a breath of spring to come?


Marigold Socks by Pamela Wynne

Opal Petticoat #1290

Toe-up, Magic Loop 32" circ, US#1 (2.25)

Mods: The socks are written for a wrapped short row toe and heel. I switched to the Turkish cast-on for the toe and a yo short row heel. I also eliminated the ribbed cuff and just did a 5 row garter stitch edge which I feel blends in well with the look of the sock.

This was a very easy and very fun knit. The pattern is impeccable and it produces a really good looking sock. The lace is way simple yet attractive and as I mentioned before, this would be a perfect first toe-up sock adventure for you toe-up virgins out there!

Pumpkin wants to wish everyone a Happy Chanukah and a week that's full of latkes and dreidels (and knitting of course!)

See ya!