Monday, April 30, 2007

My monkey swap package

was so fabulous, and the socks beautiful ... I am so sorry DH is zonked out after having only had 2 hours sleep yesterday, it is exam time, but he will take a picture and I will reveal all tomorrow. I can't thank my monkey pal enough ...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

I just cannot wait!

May first is just not getting here fast enough. I haven't knit the monkey pattern yet, so this should be really fun. Thank you everyone for including me.

Monkey Business - Package Etiquette

Monkey Swap One is coming to an end, only one day left.

Tomorrow is the last day of the swap and only half of you have posted pictures of received packages. So that means that either there are several packages still in route to Monkey Pals or you have not posted pictures of the packages you have received. If you haven't posted pictures please do so soon, soon, soon! We have a few nervous monkies wondering if their packages made it to their pals.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Monkeys find a new home

Look what arrived on my doorstep yesterday...chock full of marvelous things, both knitwise and monkey-wise. Inside the funky, monkey backpack were sock blockers, two skeins of lovely hand dyed yarn (by Joni, my pal, herself!), a cute monkey card, and two wonderful monkey buttons. Take a look at all the good stuff...

...and here they are...the monkeys I've given a new home to. The color is a wonderful combination of greens and blues. I can hardly wait to wear them. Don't they look great?

Thanks again, Joni, for everything. You're the greatest! Lynn

The Monkeys Are Here ......

This arrived today , I could hardly wait to open it,

Everything was beautifully wrapped.....

It seemed such a shame to rip them open .......

but I forced myself .... the monkeys in a barrel are so cute, and what about the tape measure , it now lives in my knitting bag ......oh the knit picks options cables , size 40" and 60" , now I can knit moebius (or is the plural moebii ? ) to my hearts content.

The monkey pad is sweet , but what about THE SOCKS ??? they are knit from the softest merino wool that I have ever felt , I wore them yesterday afternoon and they are so warm and cozy ........

I have a monkey tea towel and potholder (far too nice to use ) and the wool is so soft and the most exquisite blue . I am , honestly , what my daughter would call ' gobsmacked' (quaint expression !! ) , this is the most wonderful package , thank you so much Lynn for all of the thought and effort you put into this , not to mention all the knitting !! , and thank you Rebecca for hosting this swap , it has been such great fun , all raring to go on round 2 now ..

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Monkey has landed .

My incredible package from LYNN arrived today , I will post the photos tomorrow when I have more time to do them justice , but just wanted to say .....WOW .... it is BRILLIANT , thank you Lynn , and thank you Rebecca, ooops , just remembered that I have to post the questionairre for round 2 on my blog ....

Better Late than Pregnant is what we say at my house

So, I haven't gotten my pics posted!! Bad blogger! Here is the lovely package Cheryl sent me. She is awesome!! Can you see the banana earrings and the Monkey Farts perfume? The perfume is like Chapstick so you can take it with you and it doesn't spill. Who thought of that idea?? And, despite its name, it smells wonderful!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Monkeys? Not here

Went out and about at lunch today looking for monkey stuff.....nope, nada, nothing! Will have to venture forth away from my work area! LOL I remember when my nephew was into monkeys (ok like 15-20 years ago!) there were monkeys everywhere. Well, I'm sure I'll find something, if not, there's always Ebay! ROFL. And by the way, I can't wait to start. I haven't done this pattern before so I'm looking forward to something new. Of course, I have to finish some socks first, so my fingers are going full-blast ahead. I need those circulars! I have a huge stash of sock yarn so I'm sure I'll find something in those bins (hidden in the closet!) that my secret pal will like. If not, my LYS is great! Happy knitting all! Cindy

Nevere Enough Socks or Yarn!!!!!

Hell Monkey Swap Pals
I am so excited about this swap. I have already knit one pair and they were so fun I cant wait to do it again. I have found so much fun monkey stuff!!!! Well off to swing through the sock trees. Mary

Monday, April 23, 2007

Monkey Swap TWO

Monkey Swap TWO is going to be starting in one week!

Kris, Cheryl, Ronnie, Chrissie and Lynn have signed up for the second round. Do any of you other Monkey Swappers want to sign up?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Monkeys complete

Yeah!!! I finished my pal's Monkey socks. Now I just have to get to the post office this week and send them off. I would say which direction they are heading but that would give the destination away. So I will just say that they are leaving Oregon. :) I actually went thru the second one faster than the first. Pretty impressive for a slow knitter like me. Is it too late to sign up for the next Monkey Sock Swap?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Box Received....Squeeeeee!

I received my box today from Kris. I want to start off by saying Thanks Kris. I loved everything in my package.
Ok here we go. :~)

The Box (before it was ransacked):

All My Loverly Goodies Before The Paper was Shredded :~)

Some of my Goodies....There are several things I'll be making out of these magazines:

Some more of my Goodies....Isn't it all so cute. My kids will love the book and cup. The rest is mine, all mine. :~)

Finally My socks....Lovely Monkey socks made with Lorna's Laces Purple Iris & Pretty stitch markers......I love stitch markers & I love my Monkey socks:

The Monkey's in the natural habitat :~)

Thank you, thank you, thank you Kris. It was soooooo fun to be on the receiving end of knitting. I love all my stuff and the Monkey socks have found a new loving home. Yippy, I now have 3 hand knit pair of socks for myself.

My Package Is On It's Way

I have heard from my secret pal , and my package is winging it's way over , I am not known for my inexhaustible reservoir of patience , we live out in the sticks, our postman takes his time delivering , it can be anything from 2 .oo pm through to 4.30 pm , now , the BIG question , do I go out stalking the mail van ? or do I just bite my nails until it gets here ? This has been such a fun swap , thank you Rebecca

Friday, April 20, 2007


Picking Up Gusset Stitches
Have you ever experienced that dreaded gusset hole? The little hole peeking through where the heel joins the foot?

Last summer I learned a technique from Charlene Schurch that will help you to avoid that gap at the top of your gusset forever! I will explain this tried and true technique in a moment but if you want an excellent explanation with pictures, please take a look at Sensational Socks by Charlene Schurch. I used this book to teach several friends how to knit socks. It is one of my favorite knitting resources.

Let's pick up those stitches for our heel gusset.............
We are going to drop down to 4 needles for the gusset. Our stitches will be on 3 needles and the 1 empty needle will be our working needle.

Using the empty needle, pick up 18 sts along the right side of the heel flap. The grey slipped st will be the last st you pick up. Now 2 additional sts will be picked up at the top of the gusset. To do this you need to look for the horizontal bar between the first instep stitch and the heel-flap stitch. Those little sts that loop over on either side of the bar will be the sts we pick up. Using gusset needle insert the needle into the loop on the heel flap side and pick up 1 st. Pick up the right half (instep side) and put that loop on the gusset needle. Now you have 20 sts.

Needle 1: Knit all the instep sts onto a single needle following the K3, p1 pattern. 35 sts.

Needle 2: With empty needle, pick up 2 sts at the top of the gusset on either side of that horizontal bar. Then, pick up and knit 18 sts along the left side of the heel flap. 20 sts.

With Needle #2 continue to knit 9 sts from heel flap for a total of 29 sts on Needle#2.

Needle 3: With empty needle knit 10 remaining heel sts. Then, knit the 20 sts picked up from the right side of the heel flap.

Your needles should now have the following stitch counts:
Needle 1: 35 sts
Needle 2: 29 sts
Needle 3: 30 sts

Total on all 3 needles: 94 sts.

G-R-E-E-N with Envy, Sorry They are M-I-N-E!!

Hello Monkeys, Chimps and all other lovely creatures...I am here to tell you today, I-yes me- received a box from MTN HOME AFB ID...heeheeheee Did I know what would be in there? Sure as it was marked Monkey Sock Swap. I wasn't even careful opening it, tore the top off kitchen knife in hand to get thru the tape and here is what I was met by..

Heeheehee-packages of shiny crinkly paper so easily distracting for a monkey..I received a lovely note from my Pal,Patricia. Oh Patricia, how you do spoil me!!!
Look what was in there:

There was coffee, THREE kinds!! Some lovely tea, ohh, berry...and those crinkly packages, jelly beans and chocolate!!!! I was good and didn't rip into the jb's ...however,I have never had Dove chocolate with messages, inside the wrappers there are messages, like Dove fortune cookies!! Ok ok I digress!!!

OK, THEN I starting unwrapping the other things; There were locking stitch markers, I cannot tell you how long I have wanted these!!!,a Black Sheep tape measure, I just told my DS it may be the ultimate sign of being a knitter(so why didn't I have one? do we ever buy the things we want for us?),isn't she cute?? A very tiny bobble head monkey, DS insists it be glued to the dash of my banana yellow Beetle, an article with a Monkey medallion and beads in the Hufflepuff House colors(coincidence?) I apologize for not knowing if this is a book mark or needle holder is grand no matter!!!

My oh my oh my:
How does one describe the monkey goodness of these gifts? I have been oohing and ahhing over a few pairs of posted socks, I kept checking for clues, are these mine, no these are mine, no no...I nearly drove myself BANANAS!!!!! Anywhooo...
I got BOTH!!!! The greatest green socks EVAH(to borrow a phrase from my Monkey Pal, Dawn) and the greatest green Koigu yarn EVAH!!!! I had mentioned hoping the Koigu socks were mine but if not I would search out the yarn to have for me...THEN I saw the green socks(Fearless Fibers in Kildare, heehee I love that name) and I thought I NEED those socks, Koigu will have to wait, I must find out what these socks are...and like magic, they came on the backs of winged monkeys(not really) and are here with me...they are perfect, soft, squishy, fit perfectly and GREEN!! bwahahahaha

Ok Ok Ok OK...I saved these for the may have spied them up there in a picture...Look, little monkey/gorilla stitch markers!! Are they just TOO cute??!!??

This is my second overwhelming package of goodness this week, I don't know if this is a new experience for you all but being the maker I was also the giver, to receive invokes a lump in my throat , trembling in my hands and water in eyes. Hopefully I will learn to get past all that, lol.
Thank you Patricia, for all the wonderfulness contained in the box, for your thoughtfulness, and for the time and effort you put into my WONDERFUL Monkey socks.


Part 3
The Traditional French Heel
To prepare for heel flap, rearrange 68 sts as follows:
Needle 1: 16 sts
Needle 2: 19 sts
Needle 3: 13 sts
Needle 4: 20 sts
Transfer Needle 3 sts to Needle 4. These are the 33 heel sts.
Turn Needle 4 around to ws. You will begin to work across wrong side.
Break off grey yarn and join natural(white) yarn for heel flap.
Row 1(ws) Sl1, purl to end of needle, turn.
Row 2(rs) *Sl1, k1; repeat from * across row to last st, K1.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 (16x) ending after completing a rs row.
Heel Turn
Begin turning heel on a wrong side row.
Break off natural(white) yarn and join red yarn.
Row 1: Sl1, p17, p2tog, p1. Turn to rs.
Row 2: Sl1, k4, ssk, k1. Turn.
Row 3: Sl1, p5, p2tog, p1. Turn.
Row 4: Sl1, k6, ssk, k1. Turn.
Row 5: Sl1, p7, p2tog, p1. Turn.
Row 6: Sl1, k8, ssk, k1. Turn.
Row 7: Sl1, p9, p2tog, p1. Turn.
Row 8: Sl1, k10, ssk, k1. Turn.
Row 9: Sl1, p11, p2tog, p1. Turn.
Row 10: Sl1, k12, ssk, k1. Turn
Row 11: Sl1, p13, p2tog, p1. Turn.
Row 12: Sl1, k14, ssk, k1. Turn.
Row 13: Sl1, p15, p2tog, p1. Turn.
Heel turn is complete. 19 sts remaining.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Monkey Socks Are Mailed

I mailed my pals box off this morning. Looks like there are others that had the same idea. Just as a heads up, if you get a box from Patricia, on Mtn Home AFB, Idaho please make note that it is me. I had one of my moments where my mind completely dumps all information......I forgot to put my blog info on the card with my name last night when I was packing up the box. :~)

Thanks Rebecca for starting this swap. It's been lots of fun.

The monkeys have left the building

They are done!!! I think they were so tired of being on the same needles, in the same hands, that when I bound off the second one if they had my partners address they would have walked there themselves. This was alot of fun and a great learning experience for me. So I hope my partner doesn't mind that I've been referring to her as Guinea (as in guinea pig). Enjoy them and the monkey accessories...and stay in touch.

Monkey Box Mailed

My Monkey Box has been mailed and I hope the receipient enjoys the contents as much as I enjoyed picking everything out for her!

And, I just had to show you how PERFECTLY the Monkey Socks Ronnie knit for me match my very favorite corduroy dress! I'm taking sign-ups for Monkey Swap TWO so spread the word if you enjoyed this swap!

Monkey Package Is On It's Way!

Hi Secret Monkey Pal,

Greetings from flooded NH. :) My package is officially and finally on it's way via USPS priority mail. Hope you like it!
Kris in NH

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Monkey's Are Done!

I finished my Monkey socks and later this morning they will get their bath. The box will go out to my pal on Wednesday morning so if all goes well my Monkey Pal will get her box by the weekend. :~)
So the next time you see these they will be in a picture taken by someone else.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Mondayitis Cured!

Imagine my delight after a very stressful day at the office to come home to a parcel from my thoughtful sock pal. Thank you so much Chrissie. I love the warm socks you have made for me. Hand dyed 100% wool. The colours are great and they fit perfectly. My monkey bookmark will get lots of use in between the pages of my latest book and I just love the boots for my needles! You went to a lot of trouble to find lovely things to send and I really appreciate it. Can't wait to show off my monkey thimble and stitch markers. Thanks again Chrissie.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I hate to disappoint all of you but...............


And, my dh has made off with the camera, so pics later, k?

Cheryl is my pal!! Oh my the sock die for. I apologize to my recipient RIGHT NOW because my sock knitting skills are no where near Cheryl's. I had the el crappo day of the year yesterday and didn't get home until 10 PM and there was my box!! I had vowed to Cheryl/Cheetah that I would not open it until I had sent mine off, but THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT, y'all!! I slept in the socks, they were so yummy!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I am bananas over my pal!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

1st One Done

Here's the first sock. This one took a little over 4 days of knitting to complete, well actually its about 3-5 hrs off and on through out the day and evening for 4 days and 5 nights. It's mate should be completed by the end of the weekend and if all goes well the box will be mailed before the 20th.
I missed several rows of the last pattern repeat before starting the toe decrease. This was probably due to having to rip the toe out the other day. I didn't notice until the the toe was grafted. It looks good so hopefully my pal won't mind. I just don't have have the heart or time to rip out the poor toe again. Plus if I rip it out I'm going to have to join yarn and I hate having to do that if I don't have to.
Please pal forgive me. :~)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Monkeys are Finished!

My pair of Monkeys are completed as of 7:54 this morning. :) Now, they've been gently washed by hand with Eucalan, and they're blocking before I pack them up and send them to their new home. I hope they fit! This was such a fun pattern to do. It was my third or fourth pair of socks I've ever knit, and I think it was a fun pattern for us to share together. Thanks Rebecca, for hosting this swap! I look forward to the next one. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

One down...........

one to go. I will not be stressed out over this!! I hope to start #2 today or tomorrow and I will have it mailed by April 20th, period. I have everything else lined up, just need to get the socks finished.

Hang in there pally poo! Mommy Monkey is working hard!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Thanks for the advice


thanks for all the advice. I am going to send the socks out today, and she will post a picture in 7 to 9 days time. Must admit, I am both more proud of and more anxious about these than any other socks I have ever knitted using yarn not hand dyed by me. Does that make any sense?

But I think she will like the Monkey items too. I tried to keep them at least a little functional, and they are certainly unusual. Thanks so much for letting me join. I now feel now joining the second round, there so other Monkey items there I have got an eye on!

One step forward...two steps back!

Just when I was getting so excited that I was completing the toe of my second sock...I noticed that one seemed curiously shorter than the first one! Count repeats, again, and again. I really think it was just too late to expect my eyes to function, but I finally realized that I needed one more repeat of the pattern before beginning the toe decreases. Wouldn't that have been absolutely send two different size socks to my Pal? Well, I'm back on the right path now and almost finished. I should be able to send off my Pal's package by the weekend. I guess if everything went perfectly, we'd get bored pretty soon!


Finished Monkey's

Here's the Monkey's. Hope my pal loves them. I plan on getting to the post office in a day or two.

Buh Buh

Since the Monkeys are swinging from tree to tree on their way to my Pal I thought I would post these pics...

Easter socks

I finished my socks yesterday, and ... I am amazingly proud of them! Why?

Well, in my last post I had cast on my pal's Monkey socks with the handpainted merino sock yarn that just arrived from an Etsy seller. While the color combination was beautiful, and the yarn felt very soft, by the time I reached the heel I was having second thoughts. not only were the colors pooling, the gauge on 2.5mm needles felt too loose. I re-checked the specifics and the yardage was over 800yds/4 oz skein. A very generous yardage, more than enough for two pairs of socks, but I think the yarn is more suitable for delicate lace items, especially since it's not superwash. I do love the yarn, especially the color combination, but it's just not right for the Monkey socks, which is sort of sad because I got two skeins (combined shipping $9).

So I had to re-t(h)ink, and fast. Well, I decided to give sock dyeing another go, and the result is this pair of Monkey socks in what I consider a beautiful color combination ... and what I really like about it is that not only is there NO pooling, but the two socks are almost identical twins. It's 100% merino sock yarn, but unfortunately it's also not superwash. Do you think it will be a problem? My pal has so far only used 75% wool sock yarn, and while this yarn is way more cushy and comfortable, the question is, would she be ok with handwash? I probably still have time to knit a pair in standard 75% wool sock yarn. I wouldn't have time to order more but I do have some stash English handpainted sock yarn that she might like. Tell me what you all think, is non superwash a problem? I won't post any pictures coz I don't want to spoil the surprise yet.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Monkey Update from NH

Since you asked...I'm working on the foot of my second Monkey! :) I have the Monkey items ready to go, so once this sock is finished, my package is ready to go to....
Oops, can't tell you... :)

Monkeys Away

So the socks are done!!! They are going into the Monkey box and leaving tomorrow...I hope my pal enjoys everything. This has been fun...I can't wait for the next swap.

still working at it.....

i'm on the foot of my first monkey sock, and i hope i have enough to finish it....i also need one more monkey item - for sure i'll make the deadline, but i want to finish this first sock by tomorrow cause if i run out of yarn ( discontinued) i need to dig into my stash - it took me long enough to finally choose a yarn i felt compatible for my pal....btw, i'm loving this pattern too much!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Whatcha doin'?

So, how is everyone coming along with their packages? You guys are awfully quiet!

My package is all ready to go except for the socks. I hope to finish them on Tuesday and get my package shippped out later ths week.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Angora Valley Yarn

Oh boy, 24 or 25 skeins of sock yarn came today, all were on sale but the AV, but I wanted to show you some of the other colorways. Monarch is a 3 ply sport as I am using in my Monkeys, Lacewing is fingering weight, they are all so gorgeous..

One for you, one for me...

I thought I better post on the progress of my socks, so here they are. These are only my second pair of socks to ever make, my first pattern to ever knit, and my first time to use a graph. So I have been spending a little time at my local yarn shop sponging from their knowhow. I learned how to make toe up socks and I just finished the heel. The yarn is from Lorna's Laces, and I would like to spout about it's weight and whatnot, but I don't know enough about knitting to do that (I've only been knitting six months). All I know is that the yarn is pretty. Don't you think?

And in honor of someone getting these as a gift, I decided I needed to get myself something as well. I ordered this sock project bag from Jennifer at her etsy shop I love it. It has a drawstring top and a divider inside. Guess that means I have to keep making socks......

Monkey Package from Ronnie

I've heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words and I will try not to use a thousand words to thank RONNIE! Her package left me with such a feeling of elation and I am amazed at her generosity. After all, all I really wanted was a pair of Monkey Socks....but I'm not complaining, mind you.
Ronnie and I immediately discovered that we share a love of literature, most particularly Jane Austen. Since monkey items are rare in her part of England, she made a special trip out of her way to locate a vintage edition of one of my favorite books, Sense and Sensibility. Must I tell you that it is older than I? It is. And, she also included three DVDs which I am most anxious to view. The David Copperfield is also amongst my favorites as Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher. The Darlings will be something new for me and one of her favorites. Okay. I will now confess I stayed up until 1:30 a.m. watching The Shell Seekers.
Lest you think this is a Knit the Classics exchange, fear not. I have more lovelies to share. The needles will be used frequently and are a welcome addition to my collection. BTW, check out the ingenious counter attached to the needle set with cables. I've never seen such a thing, how clever! Vintage Patons Patterns to look at, including one hubby spotted right off, MEN'S SOCKS. And, a cute little monkey holding something warm to drink. I have not yet discovered if it is tea or coffee but will soon.
And last but not least BEAUTIFUL, HEAVENLY , GLORIOUS Monkey Socks knit at a very fine gauge (2.0mm) with cashmere. Ronnie said the color reminded her of the Scottish moors and forevermore they will remind me of Scotland. And.................hold your breath.....don't get too jealous.... MONKEY FINGERLESS mittens!! Can you believe it? I love them and they are a very welcomed into these chilly Rocky Mountains.
THANK YOU RONNIE! You are the greatest! Friends forever?