Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter Has Arrived

No spoilers here.

Doesn't this Horcrux sock look perfect to accompany the new book? My Hogwarts sock swap package has not yet been delivered by owl post yet, but I woke up early this morning to greet impatient garage sale buyers. I was informed yesterday afternoon by DD that she and a friend were holding a garage sale at my house this morning. Of course they both overslept (!!) They eventually arrived and had a somewhat successful day of sales while I did the laundry and read DH.

My book package did arrive at about 10:45 am, stuffed in the mailbox. I think the muggles started their shift early today to avoid being rushed by anxious readers. My friend who lives around the corner was leaving for a party and her daughter was stalking the mailbox because it hadn't arrived before they had to leave. I lent her my copy of the book so she could read it on the way to the party (and probably at the party too). I was already on page 83 when they showed up to snatch my copy. I had to wait another hour and a half before I could walk over to her house and look in the mailbox for a now familiar package. I was a little paranoid that I might be arrested for stealing mail, so I walked up to the front door, rang the doorbell, opened the package, left the empty cardboard by the door, and walked away carrying my book.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday the 13th Again? Let's Feast

It's time for another Friday Feast!

What is your favorite fruit? Watermelon

Who is someone you consider as a great role model? Audrey Hepburn

If you were to spend one night anywhere within an hour of your home, where would you choose?
The Sheraton Palace Hotel in San Francisco

Main Course
Name something you do too often. Eat

Fill in the blank: I really like dyeing fabric & yarn because I love to create something incredible out of nothing special. I made the quilt at the top from pima cotton that I dyed in a rainbow progression. The borders are commercial prints because I lost the leftover dyed fabric (found it again long after the quilt was finished!) but I think they worked out well.

Hogwarts Sock Swap Questionnaire 2nd Years

I've joined the second year Hogwarts sock swap (signups open tomorrow 7/14 for first years) and need to post my questionnaire here for my pal to read and to earn my first house points.

You can see the results of the first swap in my last post. I haven't received my swap socks, but I've been told they are coming soon, all the way from Harry's homeland (I guessed). I might have to wait to see the new movie until I can wear the socks to the theater! Maybe I'll just bring my newest Hogwarts project.
I ran several of my name combinations (nickname, real name, maiden name) and came up with my 2nd year Hogwarts name (it's supposed to be a secret until the swap is over). My first year name (Penelope Clearwater) was not available as a Gmail account, so I chose another name.

I've been taking a break from sock knitting this week and working on a lacy cotton top, a free pattern from Elann. This is what it looked like on Monday, before I divided for the sleeves. I am knitting the lace pattern all the way through instead of making most of the top in stockinette.

Sock Swap Questionnaire

Second Years

1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into?


2. Shoe size? Foot length? Foot circumference?

Shoe Size 8.5 US Wide (D width) Foot length 9 3/4 inches Foot circumference 10" (ankle is 11", as is calf)

3. List your three favorite sock yarns.

a. Wool/cotton blends from several companies (Opal, Regia, Meilenweit, Lang Jawoll), or Tofutsies

b. Socks that Rock Lightweight

c. Shelridge Farms Handpaint Ultra and Heathers (limited colors)

4. Would you like to try a new brand of sock yarn? If so, which brand? I really want to try the great Fleece Artist Sea Silk sock yarn, Adirondack Yarns Silky Sock yarn, or the new Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome. I'm always willing to try a new cotton blend yarn. Aside from being soft, the yarn must be machine washable, that's my sole criteria.

I've tried many sock yarns that I like, but they didn't make the top 3 (which I had to augment). In no particular order, I present more choices:
d. Cherry Tree Hill Supersock
e. Hand Jive Nature's Palette
Claudia Handpaint
g. Louet Gems Merino
h. Koigu KPPM
i. Lorna's Laces shepherd sock
Colinette Jitterbug
k. Regia Bamboo
l. Fleece Artist Merino sock
m. Lisa Souza Sock Merino

5. Do you prefer variegated or solid sock yarn?

Variegated, if you look at my stash, or semi solids (like Lorna's Laces). Heathered yarns are my absolute favorite, but they are hard to find in superwash, which I have learned (the hard way) that I must use for socks. I like to combine a variegated and a solid yarn in stranded or slip stitch designs, so both are good to have on hand.

6. What colors would you like to add to your sock yarn stash?

I LOVE color, but it seems I gravitate towards blues, greens, teals, purples, rosy reds, cocoa brown. Orange is my absolute least favorite color. Black is good as an accent, dark navy is better. I've even used plum.

7. What kind of sock patterns do you gravitate toward? Lace? Ribbed? Fair Isle?

I love to do lace and fair isle, also mosaic or slip stitch. Textured socks are fun too. Plain rib drives me crazy but it does fit well. Cables are not a favorite, since they combine ribbing and a cable needle, plus they pull in the sock and also add bulk.

8. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, animals, etc.)

Smoke, cats, dogs, birds, dust, perfume, MOHAIR, shetland wool bothers me too

9. Will your socks be exposed to cigarette smoke or animals as you knit them?


10. Are you willing to have an international Hogwarts Sock Pal?


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hogwarts Sock Swap

I finally sent off my Hogwarts sock swap package to Shannon in Maryland on Friday. She received it by special delivery Owl post on Tuesday! That owl must have been caffeinated or something. I've never had a package fly so fast all the way from California to the East Coast. It must be the higher rates the owls are charging now. I couldn't post any pictures earlier because Shannon had figured out who I was and I didn't want to spoil the surprise. She also took wonderful pictures and said I could use them.

I modified the Horcrux sock pattern quite a lot to make this pair for Shannon. I used the fingering weight version of the pattern that Susan shared with the Six Socks KAL Yahoo group. I also striped the top ribbing, left out the ribbing after the lace, added a reversed repeat of the Horcrux lace and a slip stitch stripe, used my usual eye of partridge flap heel, made the foot solid stockinette and crenelated the toe to look like the Hogwarts School ramparts (and reintroduce the grey yarn to make the socks look complete.)

My DD Elanor (age 26) was my creative consultant on this project. If she had been a Slytherin Shannon might never have received this pair! I'm proud and happy to say that I used my stash yarn to make these socks. If I had received a Gryffindor or Hufflepuff pal I would have had to shop for those colors, because, amazingly, they are not in my stash of almost 300 skeins of sock yarn. These socks took me just a week to make, although it took 2 months for me to get around to weaving in all of the yarn tails.

Thank you to Shannon for being patient and sharing her pictures with me (and the world) and to Rebecca for having the idea and hosting the swap. If you want to sign up for round two the signups open on the 14th. Click on Rebecca's name for the information.

This is what was in the package I sent to Shannon. I even ordered special bamboo sock needles from Astrid's Dutch Obsessions. Of course, along with the needles came quite a few skeins of sock yarn. Maybe I should have shared one of those with Shannon too. Oh well, hindsight. I am going to send her the leftover green and grey sock yarn to make a mini Horcrux sock for her keychain.

Friday, July 06, 2007

It's Finally Friday's Feast

This flower doesn't even look real, but it was blooming outside my room in Costa Rica.

The chef was away this week, so there weren't any new questions posted, but I've missed a few Fridays, so here's a new one for me.

What do you consider to be the ultimate snack food?

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 as highest), about how popular is your last name?
6? (I have no idea, but there are roads and a semi famous actress with the same last name, albeit spelled slightly differently), so I'm guessing it's pretty high. Now, my maiden name would be a 2, although if you went to Lancaster County PA, where there is actually a town named after my ancestors, the number would rise significantly.

Who is your all-time favorite sitcom character, and why?
It's hard to choose. I thought of Marlo Thomas in That Girl, and Lorelei Gilmore, but I'm going to pick Rhoda, because she made me laugh & gave me confidence in myself. It's definitely a woman.

Main Course
Do you shop online? If so, name some sites you like to browse for goodies.
Amazon, Knit Picks, Astrid's Dutch Obsessions (yarn),

Fill in the blank: I think knitting should be mandatory. Think how busy, warm & calm everyone would be.