Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Waiting for the next swap

While waiting for the next swap, I'm collecting sock patterns (and knitting sox, of course, amongst other crafts). My poor husband swears he's going to need to build a library just for the sock patterns, between the books, the 3-ring binders and the yarn!

But while collecting patterns, I came across something I'd like to share with the rest of you sock fanatics (you have to be fanatics .... you are making socks for people you've never met! LOL)

My least favorite part of making socks is grafting those toe stitches. It can be frustrating, especially on dark yarn, to see what you are doing. Occasionally, I lose a stitch, somehow - I get to the end of the needles and I'm one stitch short on one of them. Where did it go? I can't find it!

So finding a way to avoid that really made my day! And it's *so* easy to do! Once I read it, I wondered why I had never thought to do that on my own, it was *so* obvious!

Okay ... what is this wonderful, magical method (well worthy of Molly, I assure you!) ....

When you've reached the finish of your sock, and you have just the stitches that need to be grafted left on your needles, change to another yarn of the same size, but of a contrasting color. Cut your working thread several inches long (whatever you are comfortable with, you won't be using it for doing the seam). Knit 3 or 4 rounds on the remaining stitches with the new waste yarn. Cut your working thread long enough to thread on your tapestry needle and slip your stitches on to the tail. Now tuck the tube you've just knitted inside your sock, so you have your toe seam 'looking' at you, outlined in your new, contrasting color. Use your sock yarn to cut a piece of yarn several inches longer than your toe seam and start duplicate stitching from the center of your toe seam to each end. (From another website, that I didn't write down, sorry, .... try slipping a plastic easter egg or darning egg inside your sock to make it easier to see what you are doing.) Kitchener stitch is actually just duplicate stitch but done on two live edges instead of on knitted fabric. Now you have knitted fabric to work from, and duplicate stitch is easy to do because all you are doing, literally, is duplicating the stitches that are already there!

Once you've finished your toe seams, and you are sure all the stitches are joined, tidy in all 3 ends (your old working tail as well as both ends of the yarn you just used), remove the egg if you used one, and remove the waste yarn. If you didn't catch it in your stitches, you can even reuse it for the next sock. :)

If you'd like to see the website I got this from, here's the link:


Doing my toes is so much easier now!!



First confession: I sent off my swap package today. Final exams and work trouble got to me, and things fell by the wayside, so I must confess to throwing in a bunch of Guilt Presents. I had to use Muggle Post 'cause my owl refuses to do anything in the daytime, but here's what it looked like before being boxed up:

My pal is a Gryffindor, can you tell??

My second confession is one that I thought would be an incentive at first: I didn't open the package *I* received until my package went out. So my poor upstream pal has been thinking nothing ever got here, when in fact it's been taunting me from my bedside table for a month. ARGH! But today I finally got to crack into it, and man, was it worth the wait!

And underneath all that awesome packing was:

Eeee! I love it. SO MUCH! Irish Breakfast tea, a loverly pink mug, and a little kit to make a wee stuffed owl! Ule, my horned owl,  will be so pleased to have a companion! And - excuse the exclamation marks - a knitters poetry magnet set!!!! Squeeee!!! I've been wanting one of those for-e-ver. And the socks? Freakin' perfect. My roommate thought I was going insane from jumping around. So Auntie Enid Finnegan, I adore you, and thank you SO MUCH! Ahem. I'll tone down the exclamation marks now.

But ladies - both up and downstream - thank you from the bottom of my (now much lighter) heart. Spring semester this year kicked my butt, and I'd like to publicly apologize for my negligence on both ends of the spectrum.

Auntie Enid, you'll be happy to know that Mr. Darcy appreciated your gift to him almost as much as I appreciated your gift to me. He is happily ensconced and has warned the other cats away from his new bed:

He says: Keep out! This Means You!

Friday, May 23, 2008

oh well...

I sent my Owl a while back, and haven't heard how she was received.
And no Owl here yet...
I'm glad it went so well for everyone (else) :)

A little bummed,
Auntie Enid Finnegan

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Marvellous Socks Arrived!

Yesterday these incredible socks arrived from Cassandra Black of Slytherin House!

They are the heart of an absolutely dazzling package! Details on my blog, and more pictures of the goodies, too!

Elizabeth Stewart Moody

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

OWL's Away

Hello fellow swappers. I am sad to say I was a late OWL. But the OWL's have flown and I am hoping they arrive safley. Hope you all had fun. I sure did. Have a Happy day :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Package arrived

I just got my package from Perenelle today, it is awesome... and as it was my birthday yesterday, it is almost like a birthday present.

I will post pics and more detailed information later on my blog

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

If you have not got a package or an email from your pal letting you know it is going to be late please let me know as soon as possible! Thanks!

Forgot to Post

SO sorry my Pal, Olive, sent the most wonderfully creative package...stock full of items all wwrapped and tagged with creatively delightful tags. I am quickly posting a pic and will elaborate in a bit.

I have already worn the socks and made everyone in the ER look at them, LOL. I was truly spoiled

Monday, May 12, 2008

My owl finally arrived!! Poor thing was *so* tired, the box was just stuffed with wonderful items!

The first thing out of the bag, of course were my BEAUTIFUL new socks!!!They are done in stripes, in shades of red and gold with robe-black accent stripes. It took me about 10 seconds to change socks!!! And they fit perfectly! The top of the foot is done in a rib-stitch pattern, so nice because it causes the sock to hug my foot and not slide around - very important to me as I'm a diabetic and have to be so very careful not to accidentally injure my feet. Slippy-slidey socks tend to cause ulcers (big sores) which take forever to heal .... these socks won't do that!!! And since I never thought to mention that in my original request, my partner obviously has perfected the spell of mind-reading! (Wonder if I can talk her out of that spell? Would it work on teenage grandsons???? How about very young grandsons????)

And two packs of a special washing solution to keep my new socks fresh-smelling longer. Yay, 'cause I'll need 'em!!!

AND in a *wonderful* bag marked Polyjuice Potion and lined with stars, I found balls of hyacinth colored Peruvian Highland wool to make more socks! It will make wonderfully warm socks for this winter. ::smiles with delight:: (BTW, I see if I can persuade her to tell me where she got that fabric for the bag! It's perfect!!)

I also received the *coolest* knitting needle ever ... just one ... a circular needle .... that you wear on your wrist! Yes, it's a size 1 straight needle bent into a circle to form a bracelet!! So very, very cool!!!

Also received a bamboo crochet hook (to finish those edges off, you know LOL) .... it's a whole 3" long!!!! Wonder if I can use this to make the sleeves for Molly's Amazing Technicolor Houserobe? hmmmmmmmmmm

And then there's my beautiful new stitch markers in deep ruby and bronze - nice timing because I'm about to start a sock pattern I'll need 'em for.

And TWO patterns! A felted spiral wizard hat and a mini-sock pattern for a keychain holder!

Now, when my daughter brings home the digital camera later today (and I figure out how to get those pictures from *there* to *here*!), I will post a picture of all my goodies!

All in all .... I'm thrilled! (In case nobody figured that out yet!) Can't wait for the next swap!!


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Pattern request

I've seen so many wonderful socks here ... I hope my owl arrives here soon!

Meanwhile, are we allowed to request a particular pattern? I really love the socks that Chrysta the Cursed knit for her partner and would love to make myself a pair ... especially as I just happen to have those colors on hand!

Lady Felula

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Wow! Look what the Owl Brought Me!

Chrysta the Cursed of Hufflepuff here. When the Owl Post stopped by my place this weekend I was out. And yesterday I had to work from 7am to 6pm, so the Owlery was closed. I couldn't wait to pick up my package, so I went over on my lunch break. My, what lovely things were in my package! Nymphadora, you done good!

First, a couple things not included in the pictures: a bag of maple sugar candies only found in Canada (They are absolutely yummy!), and two strips of film from the movie. Yes, actually, real stills from the movie, one strip featured Dumbledore and the other was Mad Eye Moody. I think they must be from The Goblet of Fire. How unique!

My socks are the back to basics socks from knitty.com. The way they are formed are so clever. They cup my foot and fit like gloves. The bold yellow and black stripes are so perfect for Hufflepuff. I can't keep the cat away from them!

There was also a Hufflepuff lapel pin, a luscious scented bar of soap, knitting needles that I've been wanting for months, a pack of Soak wool wash, a yarn cutter pendant, stitch markers, and more candy (again, I've only found the Smarties on Canada. These are chocolate candies, not the sweet tart things from the states)

I'm so pleased with everything. Thank you so much, Nymphadora! I'll post on my own blog too, www.ladymaddy.blogspot.com

Monday, May 5, 2008

wonderful package received

I received the most wonderful package today from Selina Starfire. In addition to beautiful socks that fit perfectly, it was filled with all kinds of goodies. She spoiled me!

There's more on my blog. Thank you so much, Selina!

My Owl Almost Didn't Make It!

There was so much in the package that Morgana McGonagall sent to me that the owl was almost overcome by exhaustion. The prime reason for the delivery - the socks - were fantastic! Morgana didn't include just one pair of DPNs, she sent a whole set! Poor owl.

Take a look for yourself...

Not only Prisoner of Azkaban socks in my Ravenclaw colors, but the pattern for them, which is good because I love the pattern and want another pair. Plus, look at all the lovely knitterly accessories!!
Thank you Margana (aka Natalie Olivas) for a superb swap package!!

My Owl Almost Didn't Make It!