Sunday, April 29, 2007

Before and after, and some traveling.

Ding dong the floors are done. I am still dusting, but it is totally worth it. I didn't think to take before and after shots until we'd already started to move everything out of the room, but here was my living room before:

I don't even want to know what the stains in that carpet were.

and after:


They are everything that I thought they would be and I just love them. Now I am just going to have to knit more socks to keep my feet warm on the floors!

Speaking of, I finished the birthday gift socks just in time to give them to my mom today:

That's me modeling — not my mom — right before I washed and dried them and wrapped them up. The Regia Bamboo washes very nicely, and gets even softer after the wash. I think she liked them!

Now that I have the floors (or, big spring thing #1) out of the way, I have begun to freak out about big spring thing #2 — vacation! Mark and I leave for the UK in just two weeks, and I am so not ready. Most of our travel arrangements are made, but I need to get everything in order and shop for some new traveling clothes since I've, er, grown out of my old stuff. The clothes are a tricky situation since we'll be away for two weeks and will be traveling to multiple towns. Our checked baggage limit is also fairly limited at 65 pounds (my suitcase alone weighs 15), which is probably a good thing considering we'll be schlepping those bags around a lot.

My Google Analytics tells me that I have, on occasion, a couple of readers from the UK, so I am now going to solicit some yarn shop recommendations. We will be staying and/or making day trips to the following towns: York, Masham, Durham, Stirling, Doune, Keswick, Penzance, Canterbury and Dover. Can anyone recommend any yarn shops in those places? We'll definitely try to make it to the Lakeland Sheep and Wool Centre if we can figure out how to get there without a car! Suggestions? Anyone?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Not feeling it.

Have you ever, you know, not been feeling it? Your knitting, I mean.

Here's the situation. I've been trying to get a new pair of traveling socks going, but every time I start a pair, I'm just not feeling it. A couple of months ago, I started these:

bored. already.

with the Koigu that just insisted on pooling. I tried a different pattern than my normal plain sock pattern, and for a while, I was infatuated by that Jaywalker. Alas, by the time I got to the toe, the infatuation was lost, and so was my interest. I'll make the mate to that sock. Someday.

I yearned to go back to my plain socks, so I tried casting on with some yarn from the stash - a bright and cheery Trekking XXL. I didn't even get past the cuff ribbing before I lost interest.

Despite the fact that I have a good amount of sock yarn in the stash that I remain absolutely in love with, nothing was calling to me. I thought that maybe I needed to knit with some new and exciting yarn - squishy, woolly and lovely yarn, and bought this Claudia's that had been calling my name for some time.

yikes! stripes!

Jenn and I once had a conversation about how we insist on buying variegated yarn, only to be disappointed with the pooling or diagonal striping (and yet we keep buying it). I'm not sure what I thought was going to happen with this yarn, but just look at those big, fat, spooling stripes. Sigh. I think this yarn maybe needs a different pattern.

I started feeling a little down on sock knitting. Would I ever knit another satisfying pair of socks? I tried the "buy new and exciting yarn" tactic again, and although there is some pooling/striping going on, this yarn has held my interest so far:

damn you dirty stripes!

By the way, that's Regia bamboo sock yarn from Yarns By Design. I'm trying to have these finished to be a birthday gift before the end of April, so wish me luck!

To further complicate matters as far as knitting time goes, I'll be losing my weekend to prepare for some upcoming housework. We're having new wood floors installed next week, so with any luck, by the end of the month there will be a finished sock photo with me sliding across our new carpet-less floors à la Risky Business. Kidding.

And to close tonight, the obligatory Lady E progress shot:

for scale, I am 5 ft, 4 in tall