Monday, July 31, 2006

Audio Books

Ok. I know that audio books have been out there for a long time. But I am finally just discovering them. Besides knitting and crocheting, my favorite thing to do is read. Reading while knitting or crocheting is not a very easy task. The only thing I can manage is to crochet a plain granny square while reading (and only if the book is worn enough so that it will stay open on its own).

My evenings and weekends typically consist of me sitting in the front room with the kids while they are watching what they want to watch and me working on something. I inevitably get involved in what the kids are watching and then end up not being able to hear it because they are being noisy, which irritates me. If I have to watch something, then I at least want to be able to hear it.

When I was at the library last week, I picked up a copy of Danielle Steel's, Safe Harbour on CD. I haven't read a Danielle Steel book in years (the last one I read was The Ghost, which was released in paperback in late 1998). I used to be an avid reader but for one reason or another stopped. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to follow the story with everything going on around me at home, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a try.

This weekend turned out to be very productive for me, and I think the audio book is the reason. It kept me from getting interested in the kids shows, so no irritation at not being able to hear the TV. When it was my turn to watch TV, I didn't have to bother with channel surfing because I could just pop in a CD and listen to the story. The only problem I did have, is the kids thought they could talk to me while I was listening, despite explaining to them multiple times that I was listening to a story. That's what pause buttons are for, I suppose. I will definitely pursue borrowing more audio books from the library. I will be able to catch up on some of my reading and work on my projects at the same time.

Friday night, I worked on a couple of plain grannies. I'm still trying to work on reducing my worsted weight acrylic stash, and I haven't spent any time working on that lately.

Saturday, I finished sock #1 of my youngest son's socks. He is very excited for me to work on the other and finish them.

Sunday, I completed 2 strips on the baby afghan. That makes 3 down, only 2 more to go.

Sunday evening, I finally spent some time on my Trekking #135 socks. I still have one more pattern repeat to go before I finish the leg. I plan to work on them again tonight while watching The Closer. Progress pic of these will be posted as soon as I make some more progress.

I almost forgot. The Sock Hop yarn arrived on Saturday. In a word, it is awesome.

Wild Thing on the left and Beat Goes On on the right

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Projects and Progress

I now have 3 projects in process. I'm trying to be fair and work on each one about equally, but then I don't feel like I'm making progress on anything.

My oldest project is my Trekking #135 socks. I completed the first sock and have a little bit more to go on the leg of the second. I haven't worked on these since the weekend, mainly because I need kid-free time to work on them and I've been too tired in the evenings to concentrate on anything that isn't simple.

Last weekend, I started on socks for my youngest son. I completed the heel flap and turn last night. If time permits, I will pick up gusset stitches tonight. With any luck, I'll have the first sock completed sometime over the weekend. I can tell already I'm going to get spoiled making these kid-sized socks, since they go so quickly.

Last night, I started on one of two baby afghans I was asked to make. The requests were simple enough "make one in blue and green and the other in blue and white". Because I knew these requests were coming, I had already purchased yarn. At the time, I didn't know if there would be specific color requests, so I changed my initial plan to use yellow for the solid blocks to green. Fortunately, I had a ball of green in my stash. This afghan consists of only 5 strips and they work up quickly. Hopefully, I will be able to get this one done within a week or so.

In other fiber news, I placed an order this morning for some Sock Hop Yarn. Hopefully, my order made it in early enough so I won't have to wait too long for the yarn to arrive. My wish list of colors is long, but I was reserved and ordered enough for only 2 pair.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Knitting Conditions: Practically Perfect

Vacation passed in a flash! It was very hot, but we had a great time. I was able to visit Knitting Sisters. They had lots of yummy yarny goodness. I left with 2 new balls of sock yarn.

ON-line Winter Color #887, a 6-ply sock yarn and ON-line Highland Color #843

There was no time for knitting while on vacation. We returned on Friday and right away I had to start the laundry. My 2 youngest sons were going away for the weekend and needed clothes. So, I didn't get back to my knitting until yesterday.

I completed my Trekking #23 socks.

Top Down in plain stockinette on size 1 DPNs

I also started a pair of socks for my youngest son. I think the leg is long enough as is, but I want him to try them on before I move on to the heel. This is Regia Jacquard color #5173.

Progress on my Trekking #135 socks is still slow, but I am getting there.

More knitting is planned for today and tomorrow (I don't go back to work until Tuesday). And since none of the kids are home, I should get lots of uninterrupted knitting time.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

And Before I Go

This time tomorrow I'll be on the road. Our vacation destination awaits us. Here's a quick sock update.

Trekking #23 - sock 1 is done, sock 2 is on the home stretch (foot and toe to go)

Trekking #135 - sock 1 is on the home stretch, but this one is slower going because I'm using a stitch pattern and I don't want to mess it up.

I will be bringing my socks on vacation, but I don't really anticipate getting much (if any) knitting time. I will be visiting a yarn shop.

In other fiber news, I finally ordered and received a swift. I wound up a skein of Lisa Souza yarn, which will be my next pair of socks for me. I promised the kids I'd knit them each a pair, so those are going to be up next.

I also signed up to take a spinning class at Cloverhill Yarn Shop. Seeing all the lovely handspun yarns on various blogs makes me want to give spinning a try. The class isn't until late August.

I've got to finish laundry today and get everything packed. I hope I can squeeze in some knitting time.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Susquehanna State Park Visit

My husband and I took the kids to Susquehanna State Park yesterday. Susquehanna State Park is in Havre de Grace, Maryland. We had a great time with very little whining by the kids.

Our first stop at the park was the Rock Run Mill. We looked around in the building and then went around back to see the Susquehanna River.

Then we headed for an easy trail that the kids could handle. Only a short way into the trail, we came to an old Flint Furnace.

We countined past the furnace to Deer Creek.

The kids enjoyed walking on the rocks and more importantly throwing rocks in the water. We even had a few locals visit.
A frog sunning himself
And a snake that was resting under a rock. After my husband stepped on the rock, the snake decided to go for a swim.

Check out this cool waterfall we saw too.

After we threw some rocks, we headed back for the main trail. We only walked on the trail for about three quarters of a mile before we headed back (this was when the whining started).

Before we left the trail, we stopped off at Deer Creek again. This time the kids enjoyed splashing in the water. Our frog and snake friends had gone away to hide.

My Trekking 23 socks came along but with 2 kids there was no time for knitting. Here's sock #1.

On our way out of the park, we did a quick loop through the boat launch parking lot for some more pics of the river.
The view down the river

and here's one looking up the river

The kids are already asking to go back.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sunday Morning Sock Update

I've been working on my socks all week. Most of my time during the week has been spent on my Trekking #135 socks. They were cast on Monday. I decided to be brave and try a stitch pattern on this one. It was slow going at first, but now that I've got the hang of it, it's going a little quicker. I'm only working on this one when the kids are up in bed so I have fewer distractions.

Here's a close up
The stitch pattern I'm using is called Melanie's Twist.

I spent most of yesterday (in between loads of laundry) working on my Trekking #23 socks. I'm just about ready to start the toe. I'll be going to my in-laws today for their annual Independence Day Cook-Out. Keith and I are going down early (so we can get a good place to park) so I'll be bringing these along to work on.