Life at Shaky K

Ramblings on knitting, living in the desert, family and our critters here at Shaky K

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Shaking off the dust...

Wow! Has it really been that long? Bad, bad blogger!

What's been happening here in the desert? Pretty much the same things as always.. taking care of critters, loads of knitting, done some traveling to trade shows (kids & grands are still in awe of the fact that I actually flew to a couple this last year), some design work here and there with some actually appearing in publication, which is fun!

Recent family news: Brittany just graduated, Alexandra's expecting our first "great" next month, Breanna's headed to Girl Scout summer camp, Kyle and Lexi are headed to Lake Havasu with their dad, and Glen's birthday is Saturday.

Horses are all doing well, or as hubster puts it: fat, dumb and happy. Having added a couple more "rescues", herd is up to 8 now. Seven are ours and the 8th is boarded.

Most of my online time lately has been keeping busy helping on ravelry and helping folks in the help room there. Also testing the waters on Twitter and Facebook. You'll find me on any of these as "sandysays".

The sad news is that our days with our cocker, Snuggs, are numbered. "How" numbered at this point, we don't know yet. Within a couple days of returning from Brittany's graduation, she developed two huge swellings on her right rear leg that we thought were abcesses from a possible snake bite or something. Took her to the vet right away and it turns out they're tumors. She's on some meds to try and get the swelling down and he'll biopsy when she's done with the meds and antibiotics. Will have to decide between removal, amputation or ??? once we know the results of that. Meanwhile, we're spending lots of time loving on her and makin sure she stays comfortable. Fortunately, she doesn't show any signs of being in pain, for which we're so very grateful. Don't think I could handle that.

Just gave her meds, MUCH caffeine has been consumed at this point and the needles are calling. 'Til next time...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

For my Sekrit Santa

I've been *reminded* that I need to post something of a Wish List. Siiiiigh.

My *about* me page at Ravelry and my library page should give you some hints. Pretty much the books I keep an eye out for these days are stitch dictionaries I don't have (Mon Tricot ones I'm still looking for), or books on lace or socks.

Colors are fair game! Never met one that I didn't like!!!

Yarns: I'm always on the lookout for new and/or different ones. Loopy Ewe is a good example of a variety of ones I'd like to try at some point. Sock yarns & laceweights are what I tend to lean towards most often. I'm intrigued with the notion of trying most anything new to me tho, so don't let that restrict you.

Whatever you choose, rest assured I'll love it!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Spreading the love and paying it forward...

....the "yarny" love, that is. Over at Wendy's Woolies, I read her post about a "Pay It Forward Exchange". Since I've always loved to do things for others out of the blue and unexpectedly, I jumped at the chance to play too. Just a random act of kindness for another knitter (OR crocheter!) with no expectation of anything in return. Warm fuzzies for all involved!!

Here's the deal.... I'm going to commit to either making at least 3 yarny gifts (could be more, but it won't be less) to send forward out into knitterland to be fruitful and multiply.

I don't have an idea of how long it may take (I have other commitments as well and deadlines to meet), but I'm going to promise to send these out randomly (I'll use a random number generator) and promise an outside end date of 3-6 months at the latest.

If you like the concept and would like to be considered to be on the receiving end of one of these gift packages, and are willing to make the commitment to do likewise and "Pay It Forward", please leave a comment and make the same promise on your blog.

Doesn't have to be a knitted gift, just three random gifts made by you and sent to to others with no expectation of anything in return other than that they commit to do likewise.

Have a great weekend everyone and let's spread some yarny love!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Monkey Sock Swap THREE

Just heard about the Monkey Sock Swap and rushed to sign up!! Looks to be a whole BUNCH of FUN!! IF you haven't signed up yet, RUN, do NOT walk over and sign up QUICK!! Sign-ups close on August 31, which means there's only a couple days left, so don't delay!!

Monkey Sock Swap THREE Questionnaire

The basics:
Do you consider yourself a beginning sock knitter, an intermediate, or have you been doing this so long you could probably knit a pair in your sleep?

Hmmmmm, except for the most intricate of details that I'd surely need to pay attention to, I'd probably say I could do most in my sleep.

The measurements:

Shoe Size: 7.5-8

Foot circumference: 9.5”

Foot length: 9.5”

Yarn Preferences:
What colors do you love?
Never met one I didn’t like

Do you prefer solids or variegated?
Variegateds (I don’t mind “pooling” – in fact I’m kind of intrigued with it and prefer it over striping)

Do you prefer wool, cotton or acrylic yarn?
Wool first, then cotton

What colors would you never wear?
None that I know of, I like em all.

What are your favorite brands of yarn?
STR, Seacoast, Koigu, Cider Moon, Fleece Artist, J-knits, Hand Maiden, Interlacements, Lisa Souza, Schaefer,
ShibuiKnits, Wollmeise, Yarn Pirate, etc, etc (I could go on all day!! J )

Are there any new brands you would like to try?
Dream in Color, Yarntini, Zen String, Wooly Boully, Scarlet Fleece, Posh Yarns, Apple Laine, Misty Mountain Farm, Fiesta, Chewy Spaghetti, (LOVE the “indies” and would eventually like to try them all).

Cookie A. Patterns:
Which of her patterns have you already knit?
Monkeys, BFF,
Baudelaire, Pomatomus, Hedera,

Which pattern(s) would you like to knit and don’t already own?
ALL of them (tho I do own them already)

Other pertinent information:

Would you be willing to have an international Monkey Pal or do you prefer one in the US?
I wouldn’t mind having an International pal at all, it sounds like great fun.

Do you have any allergies?
Only to meds ending in “caine”

Will your knitting be exposed to smoke or animals?

Are you on Ravelry yet? If you don’t mind having new friends, what is your Ravelry name?
I am on Ravelry and can be found under “Sandysays”

Monday, August 20, 2007

Five sizes and counting

Pattern is working out nicely so far! Still have a couple adult sizes, infant's and toddler's to work out and then off to be tested!

Seems like I should be farther along at this point, but I guess I shouldn't complain. Since this past Thursday, I've done the 2nd Sasquatch size, the women's large (blues), and the kid's pair (on the far right there).

Started a pair yesterday for our oldest granddaughter, got all the way into the heel flap and remembered that I'd intended to use "Bellatrix" for her pair, and here I was moving right along with another size for this pattern! What's a G'ma to do? Frogged it back to the cuff and started over! Got into the cussit gusset before calling it quits last night. Hopefully by tonight I'll have them done.

GOT to get as far as I can with the knittin while I can. Daughter-in-law is bringing our (I'm ALMOST 6 G'ma!!) granddaughter down tomorrow to spend a few days. I'll meet up with Mom somewhere around halfway between our place and theirs on Friday to pass her back.

Knitting time is pretty much limited to late at night and early morning when she's here. She'll give Papa a run for HIS money when it's time to feed the beasties! She LOVES to sit on Breeze and ride him around while he follows Papa to get his grain tub. I've GOT to get some newer pics of THAT action! The links are from when she was a little over 2, and here she'll be 6 next month! Child has ALWAYS scared the snot out of me around the beasties! She has absolutely NO FEAR whatsoever! She and Papa are totally relaxed and nonchalant about her riding Breeze and the thought of her on/around THAT 1350 lb package of solid muscle absolutely scares the stuffin out of me! Siiiiiigh!

Best get back on that pair of socks while I can! Y'all have a great one!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Bad blogger - no cookie

Where HAS this summer went? The days have all seemed to melt into one another and disappeared already. Seems like yesterday that it was starting to warm up, and here it is almost mid August already.

Our summer's been bassackwards weatherwise to the usual pattern of HOT, HOT, HOT to HOT monsoon with humidity by August. So far it's been humid all summer and now that we SHOULD be in monsoon season, the humidity has dropped dramatically! Still way too high for me to tolerate being out in it for more than a few minutes, but it's not as bad as what it's been in the past. Will be sooo glad to see the temps drop into a range that I can stand to knit things other than lace and socks!!!!! While I DO love both, it gets a bit monotonous after awhile.

Finally after a whole bunch of lace, I've got my sock mojo back (I "think"!). I'm almost to the heel flap on the first sock of my 6th pair since last Thursday.

First up was the J-knits that youngest son brought me from Texas at the end of spring when he was there for his 4th year classes. Started out with a pair of Monkeys for myself. Then I moved on to a pair for one of our granddaughters. Sheesh! Can't find the link to the original pattern for the Blueberry Waffle socks, but that's the stitch I used. EASY stitch! Just knit two rows and then work a k2,p2 rib for two rows. Finished off that skein with a dress for her Barbie to match. That was a plain tube of 40 sts to the waist, k1,p1 rib for about an inch and back to stockinette for another inch and bind off.

Moved on and made myself another pair from a skein of Merino Sock! from Lisa Souza in the "Can't Elope" colorway. Also made another granddaughter a pair out of the leftovers. Used the same stitch on those that I used on a pair for my Sockapalooza pal (dag nab it! Plum forgot that THOSE were the first socks I did when I set the lace aside!). NEED to get some more pics taken this morning and uploaded on flickr. I'll get those and the current Sasquatch pair I'm working on this morning. I thought hubster had big feet, but the grandson the current pair are for has a pair on him that are even bigger yet!

Current pair are also the same stitch from the Sockapalooza pair and the granddaughter's pair. I've got a little more experimenting to do yet and then I'll get it written up and sent to some testers first and then upload that pattern here. So far, I'm really liking it in anything I've used the stitch in. I've used Cherry Tree Hill, Lisa Souza's and the current pair is Jitterbug from Colinette. Seems to kinda break up pooling and has a feel of a thermal texture to it. Hope when it's uploaded y'all like it as much as I have so far. It will be available in sizes to fit from infants to those men with Sasquatch feet like hubster's and our grandson's.

I know as soon as I save and upload this a dozen and one things are going to pop into my head that I SHOULD have added, but the mind is fading on me this morning. As if all the thoughts running around my head on what I want to do with this sock pattern aren't enough, there's some proposals and design submissions that I NEED to get completed and sent before the deadlines jump up and smack me upside the head!!

Til next time......

ps.... if you have time for a quick knit (say within a week?) and would be interested in testing this sock pattern let me know. email me at : sandy at sandysays dot net (replace the "at" and "dot" with "@" and ".") and please put "sock testing" in the subject line. I'll have mail filtered into a special folder using the subject line as the filter. Have a GREAT weekend everyone!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lace Interlude

I've got to get my backside in gear and get my sock count caught up for the 52 pair plunge!! I've got two more pair done and a pair of alpine boots that I need to get some pics of, but I still need to get 4 more pair done this month yet to stay on track.

I've spent the last couple evenings getting my stuff entered in the databases on ravelry and still have a lonnnng way to go, but at least it's a start! WHAT a wonderful resource to the knitting community it's going to be once it's all up and running! All I can say is WOW!! While it's still in the beta stages, they've done a tremedous job so far and my hat's off to them!! Joining is still by invitation, but they're sending those out fast and furiously, so if you haven't requested an invite yet, be sure to do so soon!!

On and off the needles recently....??? LOTS of "stuff" ggggg In addition to previous design projects for SWTC, in the last week and a half before the TNNA show in Columbus, I did a sweater, a 10 ft wide lacy shawl, and a 100" sash style belt. The sad news is that the camera needed batteries, so I didn't get pics before sending everything off. FORTUNATELY, hubster is at Costco this afternoon shopping and picked those up for me. I still have lots of stuff here to photograph and get uploaded to flickr, and from there into ravelry. So far, only the "Craft" jacket has been added to the patterns at SWTC. On the Craft patterns page, scroll down and look for "Katie's Jacket". I'll add links to the others after they've been added. I know the bamboo dress, the shawl, the crocheted bag and I "think" the belts were on the runway as SWTC's entry for the fashion show at the TNNA show in Columbus.

Once the design items were in the hands of Fedex, then it was on to some more shop samples for the shop in San Diego. I'll get pics of those tonight or tomorrow and get them uploaded to flickr. There's the triangle Version of the "Florence" scarves (A Fiddlesticks pattern), a stole from a Cherry Tree Hill kit that I can't remember the name of (nor can I find the pattern for at the moment), and from their Lavish Lace book (and also from a kit) Rosebuds and climbing Roses stole. Since it was one of their huge [2400 yds] merino lace hanks, there was quite a bit left over. I started the Flower Basket Shawl (closeup pic above) out of the leftovers, and am in the midst of about 13 repeats so far. I'm thinking that I'm going to go to about 20 repeats overall unless I start running out of yarn before that. I'm using a #5 addi lace needle. Would prefer a 6 or 7, but since they only go up to 6 and 5 is the largest I have so far, 5 it is.

I also finished off a pair of socks that I didn't realize was in the bottom of the knitting bag and played with the Socks That Rock yarn from the first club kit in a little experiment on color pooling. I proved my point that gauge and needle size are the keys to making color move. Can't wait to get THOSE pics taken and posted!! I managed to force the colors into almost matching "pools" of color on opposide sides of the two socks. While it does happen that way on occasion, this was a deliberate attempt to push the color where I wanted it to go and it WORKED!! LOVE it when a plan comes together!! gggg

Happened to see a reference somewhere in the last week or so about the Mystery Stole 3 getting ready to start, so I signed up for that. That's due to start June 29 and she'll close signups to the group on July 6, so if you're so inclined, hop on over and get signed up. IF I had any "sense" and the operative word here IS "IF", I'd pull my pi shawl out that I did last summer and finish the edging on it, and then the Shetland Tea Shawl and figure out what stitch pattern I want to finish it off with. I absolutely LOVE the center of that one, but I don't particularly care for the stitch pattern on the outer ring. Set that one aside last fall when I couldn't decide on a stitch pattern I liked and it's been "out of sight, out of mind" ever since.

Socks and lace are about the only two things that I can stand to handle this time of year here in the desert. My window unit ac (which does the BEST job of cooling) died today, so I'm going to have to break down and start using the central air unit instead. Sooooooooo DREAD using that one, cuz I sure don't like the power bills that go along with it, and it doesn't cool this portion of the house as well as the window unit does. Landlord's supposed to be here at 6am to put a freon charge on it. Was only 104 degrees here today, and fortunately between the breeze and 3 fans to circulate air, it's been tolerable. Would NOT like to try and do the same through the weekend with temps predicted to hit 111 and above.

Gotta run for now... hubster just arrived home with dinner!! Will add another post a little later or tomorrow. Byeeeeee for now!!