Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Fat Tuesday

Feeling water logged today, appropriate, no?

I'll try to catch up, if blogger will allow me to upload pictures! OK - I got two, so for now you have to imagine the yarn for The Husband's pirate hat - black pirates with a brick red background. Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport.

The second Trekking sock is at the toe decreases.

I was worried that I would need to buy yarn for the charity knitting, as I didn't think I had a good stash. Ha. I think I'll be OK. This is now residing in a hyouge plastic JoAnn's bag next to the couch, just waiting for tomorrow!

Tonight I gathered all of the yarn that I will start knitting up tomorrow. Or not. Perhaps I just gathered all of the pink/red yarn that has potential to be cast on tomorrow. Ahh, but what is it all for? All shall be revealed tomorrow!

This post is a bit incoherent. My apologies for the scatteredness.

I went back to the fabric stores today hoping that they had gotten in some new "springy" fabrics - nope. I'm thinking I'll go to the expensive store tomorrow and scope their selection of Amy Butler fabrics - all so pretty! Fingers crossed that I find something, as my skirt is supposed to be done by March 20 and I'll be out of town from the 11-20. Must be done by next Friday to make that deadline! Yikes....

In response to yesterday's post - as far as the sock yarn "quiz" goes - I forgot to say that I think it's crap too Mim! I found it funny that it chose blue as "my" sock yarn, when blue is not one of my favorite colors. Nothing against it, I just prefer "warm" colors.

And for the baby hat issue, I had the brillant idea to knit two hats - one blue/gree/yellow, and one pink. Baby will get the "appropriate" hat, and the spare will go to charity! Good solution? I think so too.

Off to frantically knit the sock some more. I'm so excited for Project Spectrum to start tomorrow!

P.S. Anybody know how to stop a twitch? My left eye has been twitching for about an hour and a half and I can't make it stop!

Monday, February 27, 2006


Almost like Random Wednesday, but on Monday today. Scattered Monday.

Mondays always seem scattered to me - rushing to get back into the work swing, get stuff done around the house, planning for the rest of the week, etc. So now you get it in the blog too.

Well, you would get it in the blog if freakin' blogger would upload the damn pictures. So imagine lovely photos here of the yarn for The Husband's hat, the status of the socks, the charity knitting stash and my cute kitty.

In the spirit of the sock knitting madness that has overtaken many of us, I give you this:

You like blue sock yarn. You are a fellow. You don't like bars, you prefer pubs.
You like blue sock yarn. You are a fellow. You

don't like bars, you prefer pubs.

What color of sock yarn do you prefer?
brought to you by Quizilla

And finally, I need your opinions. We've got a wee one arriving in about a month (no, not us! The Husband's cousin!). They are not finding out the sex of the babee until it's arrival. What to knit? The Husband suggested something green. I'd like to try the umbillical cord hat from Stitch & Bitch, but would blue/green/yellow be too "boy-ee" to use in case it's a girl?

Sunday, February 26, 2006

On the Podium

So I did really finish this about a week ago, but I just now received my medal! Someone needs to be on the ball with these things - no knitathlete should have to wait 7 days for their medal.

Whaddya think?

I awarded myself the silver medal. Partially because I could not find any gold medals in the house, and partially because the more I inspect the hat, the more minor errors I find - almost all as a result of tension difficulties. However, I will be remedying the situation, as The Husband has already placed his demandorder for his own hat. It shall be dark red with black pirates. The yarn has been ordered - I hope it gets here eventually! He wants it done in time to wear skiing, which means I have to finish it before I leave for Boston. Um, hello? I have other things to do, like finish my sweater and socks to wear *in* Boston! Priorities!

Here is the finished sleeve - I made it 3 inches longer than the pattern specified. However, this is still not as long as the sleeve of my favorite sweater, but I think it should work. It seems long enough when I hold it up to my arm.

I have no sock pictures for you today - I'll try to take one tomorrow. Not much progress today - busy doing some pre-spring cleaning - putting away the Christmas dishes and some random leftover decorations (hey, don't judge me, Lent doesn't start until Wednesday!), cleaning out cabinets and doing massive loads of laundry. I just couldn't bring myself to go out in the freezing garage last weekend and now I'm paying for it.

I also handwashed all of our handknit socks. I had been putting my sockpal socks in the washer and dryer, but figured I would start handwashing them to make them last as long as possible. They bled a ton! And they've been washed at least 4 times before! I'm sure glad they didn't bleed on anything in the wash! My Jaywalkers bled a tiny bit, and The Husband's Paton's Kroy socks didn't bleed at all.

Inspired by a photoset by another knitblogger, I decided that I needed to take pictures of all my "want-to-knit" objects and put them in photosets. Sadly, flickr doesn't have enough room to upload them all at once, but I'll put them in as I have space. I did, however, make albums for them in my iphoto. I was shocked to discover that there are about 70 sweaters/tanks that I want to make. Yikes.

I also gathered yarn for charity knitting, but more on that tomorrow.

I'd really like to finish my sock by Wednesday, but I just don't think it's going to happen. A whole foot in two days when I have to work both days? Nope. Ah well. They can be my "M" for March.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Last updates!

Jess is nearing the finish line on her Zig Zag sweater! Go cheer her on as she reaches for that gold medal!

Sherrill finished up a two year old UFO this week! And they are so cute!

Aria is still getting settled into her new digs!

Theresa is ohsoclose to finishing up Am Kamin in time for her gold medal! Go Theresa!

Tara is waiting for the yarn to arrive to finish her Olympic Knitting. And she's my pal for the Project Spectrum Postcard Swap!

Chris started a ribby cardi! I'm sure, with her rate of speed she'll finish it next week!

Laura finished up a very colorful pair of socks!

Erica is still working on Olympia!

E is still gathering her thoughts after vacation!

Julie's finished object this week is a gift, but they're so pretty! Go see!

And I've been knitting - sock one is done and sock two has a heel turned. The first Ribby Cardi sleeve is done too! I managed to power through all that ribbing tonight as we caught up on this season of 24. My camera battery is dead, so pictures tomorrow.

It's the final day for our "Not a Gift" KAL. I want to thank y'all so much for knitting along with me! If you're recently joining us, I decided after all my gift knitting for the holidays, I need some goodies for myself! And I encouraged y'all to knit along with me. I've had a great time "meeting" new people through the KAL and being inspired by your projects!

After all this is said, however, I came across this a few days ago and I've been stuck on it for a while now.

Annie is taking time during Lent to knit for others. Not all her knitting, but about half. I'd really like to do more charity knitting this year, and I think this would be a good way to keep me on track. I plan to knit up some baby hats for the preemies at the local hospital and some other kid/adult sized hats for the local shelters. It doesn't get very cold here, or stay cold for very long, but when it does, it usually hits the homeless hardest, as we are not prepared for it to be that cold. Hopefully some of my items will warm some heads and hearts next winter. I'll be going through the stash tomorrow to see what I've got to use up, I'll keep you posted!

Friday, February 24, 2006

D is for


We have three. We sometimes have more when we keep Miles' brother, Gus, and Olivia.

We've always been dog people - The Husband and I both had dogs growing up - him several, me two.

I adopted Rocky in the summer of 2001. I was living alone and really missed having a dog. I looked at the Humane Society, but the only small dog they had hadn't been there 48 hours - the amount of time the owners get to change their minds. And when his 48 hours were up, I'd be at work. So that weekend I went to Petsmart during their adoption days. Rocky was curled up in a tiny ball in a small cage. He was the only small dog they had, and when I heard that he was a "senior" dog (over 7), I was worried that no one else would adopt him (because he wasn't a puppy) and I couldn't let him be put down. So home he came!

He was very unhappy in my apartment. He was alone all day while I was at work and would show me his displeasure on the living room carpet. He also went nuts if I tried to put him in his kennel and bit me pretty badly once.

When The Husband and I decided to move in together we were nervous - he had Cassidy, and the group I adopted Rocky from had said that he couldn't be around other animals. No reason why, but still. We shouldn't have worried - they got along great, to the point that they would not go outside without the other. Not really friends, but companions.

It was just the two of them until last year when Miles came home. I had been begging for another dog and The Husband kept saying no, until he brought me to Miles.

We really want a Great Dane too, but that will have to wait until we have a bigger house! For now, The Husband says "no more animals!"

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Knittin' Along

So I've joined a few KAL's recently and though most of them are already listed on the sidebar, I haven't discussed them. So here goes!

I'm super excited about Sockapaloooza! I had good time knitting along for Sockapal2za and checking on everyone's updates. I found a lot of favorite blogs this way. However, I have to say that while I received beautiful socks from a great pal, I didn't feel that mine were warmly received. All this talk of not bragging on your blog - if someone makes you a hand-knit item, you show it!

A while back, Alison asked for sock saviors. Since I had a feeling that the person I knit socks for didn't knit socks for anyone (she never mentioned sockapal2za after saying that she signed up), I felt compelled to pick up the slack. At first Alison didn't need me, but later after a savior begged off, I got the call! And I had a great time the second time around too! It was nice to make someone's day a bit brighter. And the socks fit great! Go see!

When signups came around this time I stayed up late to sign up! Nerd! And waited with baited breath to get my pal. OK, let's face it, I really wanted an excuse to buy yarn! And buy yarn I did! After much agonizing over the perfect color, I went with this:

It's Shaffer Anne in color 6F. A delightful blend of reds and purples. Very nice! Can't wait to knit it up. I'm thinking about doing Broadripple as I think it will work well with the varigated yarn. Any other suggestions? Oh, and I should add that The Husband balled this for me - it took him some time and after about 45 mintues, he said "We need to get you one of those winding things." I said OK! And he just laughed. He won't be laughing for long!

I also joined the Sock-a-Month KAL - I've earned my F with my Jaywakers (anyone else think it's weird that I'm excited about getting an F?), and I'm working on my first brownie point!

I joined the Sew? I Knit! sew-along. I'm really excited to use this as a way to become more adept at sewing. I'd like to make some of my own clothes, and I think this will help. I don't have fabric yet, as I can't find any that I like, but I do have a pattern. You can see it here - I'm making the pattern the model is wearing.

And finally, I'm most excited about Project Spectrum hosted by the lovely Lolly. I've been cooking up some ideas for this, and I think I've decided to do socks. I can (hopefully) complete a pair of socks each month in the designated color(s). Of course, right after I had this idea in my head, I had to order some yarn! Fortunately, most of this came from my stash, but green and purple had to be ordered. Here it is:

From left to right: Knitpicks Sock Garden in Star Gazer Lily, Sockotta in a pink/orange/yellow blend, apple green Opal, blusey Cherry Tree Hill, purple Koigu and grey Patons Kroy Sock. Whew!

My plan is to use a different yarn each month, and to use one I haven't used before. Sadly, I have used Koigu and Patons Kroy before, but hey, I had to draw the line somewhere! Perhaps I'll find some substitutes on my trip....

I'm also planning to use a new-to-me pattern for each month. I've been studying.

And I've got nothing. Well, that's not true. I want to to the Child's Shell Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks with the green and possibly another pair of Jaywalkers with the Koigu (because I love my pink ones and I may have worn them from Friday to Monday morning. Just sayin'.).

I gladly welcome any more sock patterns - the lovely Julie sent me a few, but I'd love some more!

I'd like to knit something else each month in the color. I've got some sweater options, but I'm not sure I can get a sweater done each month. That would be a stretch for me.

I also joined the postcard swap and picked up some blank postcards today at JoAnn's. Now for inspiration to strike...

Off to frantically try to finish my trekking socks before March 1! And try to avoid starteritis. It's getting a firmer hold by the minute!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Random Wednesday

Hey, it works for others, I'm stealing it.

1. I was gifted! The lovely Karen sent me a pressie! Just for participating in her KAL! Wow! Here it is:

I am so excited - sock yarn (in and of itself a big woo hoo!) in some great colors, from a source I haven't used yet (seriously, it is one of about 5 yarns from Knitpicks I haven't used!)! I'm so excited - I almost ordered this for myself yesterday!

And how generous is Karen? I believe that she sent each participant a goodie! Wowzers! Thanks Karen!

2. I saw this over at Chris's blog and I couldn't resist.

Meme instructions : Look at the list of books below. Bold the ones you've read, italicize the ones you might read, cross out the ones you won't, underline the ones on your book shelf, and place parentheses around the ones you've never even heard of.

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger - This is actually up next in my stack.
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell

Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies - William Golding

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
1984 - George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown

Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
Neuromancer - William Gibson
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
(Good Omens - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman)
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

Dune - Frank Herbert

How did you do?

3. Aren't my babies cute? They are so sweet when they don't attack each other (OK, really, the dogs attack the cat).

4. Wow - all you bag harlots out there - I didn't think y'all hid such dark secrets! C'mon - show me your favorite bag, knitting or otherwise!

5. Those of you who live in the Boston/NYC area, I'd love to get together when I'm there! Let's make a plan! And shopping-wise, I'm really interested in one thing. Let's see if you can guess what it is....

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Stash enhancement!

But not the knitting kind!

Not much to say today - sock needs toe, sleeve has a few inches before shaping. Hope to have some yarny pictures for you tomorrow.

In the meantime, I give you this:

My new bag! Those of you who know me well (or have been to my house!) know that I have a *bit* of an addiction - bags. I love bags. From smallish purses to the LLBean gian tote, I can find uses for them all. The past few years, as I was going to school, working for a professor, teaching preschool, teaching sunday school, teaching ballet, going to the gym, going to the library, and sometimes working another part-time job, I had a bag for each destination. This made life so much easier. I would get them ready to go, line them up at the door, and just put them in the car in the morning. Some days I'd do up to 6 activities a day - no one wants to drag around one bag with all that stuff. Granted, some days I drug around two or three, (plus my purse) as I didn't have a chance to go back to my car, but still - so nice for everything to have it's place.

Of course, I also carried my lunch and my purse. And my purse had to be somewhat sizeable. It had to hold my water bottle, wallet, keys, phone, bag 'o sundries (chapstick, advil, gym, etc.), book, day planner and knitting. No small feat. So my purses had high standards to live up to. And, being an addict, I had to switch bags every few days to keep the excitement high (and to lose my keys as often as possible). One thing I've learned in all this madness - get a little zippered pouch. Put your small items (ie: chapstick/lipstick, gum, mints, painkillers, etc) in it. Now when you change bags, you're not digging at the bottom for your chapstick or cursing yourself when you have no tylenol because it's in your other bag. Genius. (I also now have a small zippered traveling knitting pouch - folding scissors, tiny pen, retractable tape measure, small box of stitch markers, row counters, cable needle - that I take with me everywhere.)

We were at Target a few weeks ago, looking for a small Valentine's gift for The Girl, and this caught my eye. In the handbag section? No, in the diaper bag section. Yup. I'm carrying a diaper bag and I'm not pregnant! I was mocked at first (mostly because it included a changing pad), but I love it. It has a large zippered removable pouch, one long interior pocket and three small pockets, and one exterior pocket. The handles are the perfect length (something very important in my world). I can easily fit all my goodies in here - in fact tonight I put both the sleeve and the sock to take to knitting, and still had tons of room left over - even with everything else in there!). The large interior pocket is perfect for stashing the knitting out of the way of everything else.

And, well, it's pink and brownn. My current two favorite colors. The colors of both of my current knitting projects. It was clearly a sign. Right?

Monday, February 20, 2006

It's a bird, it's a plane,

It's a book review!

I know, it's been ages since I've posted any sort of book review. I keep meaning to do better, but these are posts that actually take some thought, so they often get pushed down the list. However, I just finished an amazing book, one that I want to heartily recommend to y'all.

Love and Other Impossible Pursuits by Ayelet Waldman.

This book is wonderful. It seems really simple to summarize it that way, but it just is.

The story centers around Emilia, a 31 year old "second wife" with a 5 year old stepson and an infant who has recently passed away. She is overcome with grief at the opening of the novel, and the majority of the novel describes how she manages her grief and comes to terms with what it means for the coming part of her life.

She and her stepson don't have the best relationship, partly because of their temperments, and partly because she doesn't want to have to deal with anything so soon after her loss, especially another child.

She avoids playgrounds and parties, and barely survives picking William up at school once a week. To top everything else off, she has a horrible "first wife" to deal with and she isn't communicating with her husband.

What I found very interesting was her discussion of being a stepparent. It really is such a complicated dance we do, please the kid, please the spouse, please the former spouse. It's exhausting most days. And it's so refreshing to hear someone say that they don't like their stepkid. Don't get me wrong, I love The Girl, but it's a tough road.

And her discussion of going on after losing an infant is remarkable. Having never been pregnant, I can't really verify her feelings, but I can say that she made me feel like that was a situation I never want to find myself in.

I'm really not doing justice to this book - it's so much more than I can say here, so for more eloquent descriptions, go here, here,and here. Then go buy the book. It's great.

And for your daily funny (really only funny if you're a bit liberal minded), go here. Too funny!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The one with all the FOs

So it finally got cold here, and I got knitting! First, I finished up my pirates.

Pattern: We Call Them Pirates from Hello Yarn.

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, just over 1/2 skein each color.

Needles: Clover Bamboo Sz 3 DPNs

Mods: I didn't knit a lining.

Thoughts: Love, love, love this pattern! It was my first time doing any stranded knitting. There are some wonky tension spots, but they're not really visible when it's on my head. The only thing I really don't like are the loose stitches where I went from one needle to the next. I do tighten my stitches when I knit on DPNs, but I didn't want to pull too tightly on this due to the stranding. I know it would look better if I had used a circ, but I didn't want to go buy one. I'll live with it.

The Husband has already requested one for himself, and yarn has been ordered.

When I saw how cold it was supposed to be this weekend, I got thinking about some projects I've had mulling around in my brain for some time. I've had my eye on two patterns, and when I cleaned out the stash a few weeks ago, I set some yarn aside as candidates. And this weekend, I decided to knit it up.

Pattern: Super Mittens from Weekend Knitting

Yarn: Lion Brand Landscapes, 1 1/2 balls

Needles: Clover Bamboo Sz 10.5 DPNs

Mods: I knit the hand longer than the pattern called for so that it would fit!

Thoughts: I LOVE these! I've been wanting mittens/gloves for some time, and I loved this yarn. It's a perfect match. They are very cozy and warm. And I love the colors. I'm thinking now that I need a matching hat - I have 1 1/2 skeins left....

But I made this instead:

Pattern: Belle Cloche from Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar 2005.

Yarn: Leftover Brook Farms Fourplay (leftover from my Clapotis).

Needles: Sz 7 Clover Bamboo circ and DPNs

Mods: I left out a few rows on the brim as I was afraid I'd run out of yarn.

Thoughts: The brim on the pattern hat seems to stick out more than it does on my, but that could be resolved by blocking. I really like the pattern - it's a nice alternative to a snug cap. I love love love this yarn. I was in torment about trying this for this pattern, as the pattern calls for 100g of worsted weight yarn, and I had 69g left over. But I thought I'd try it, and the worst thing I'd have to do was frog. Amazingly enough, I still have some left over! I think this is a nice "spring" hat - however, I'm sure that it will never be in the cool range this spring to wear!

Why all these cold weather projects in Texas? Because in three weeks I'm going to Disney World Boston! Woo Hoo! I'm so excited, and would love to hear your thoughts on what I should do/where I should shop! Mom and Em and Jules and her momma and I are taking on NYC too! I hope to have a finished sweater and a new pair of socks to wear there too!

I'm working away on the first sleeve for Ribby, and I'm over halfway through the foot on the first Trekking sock. I've got lots up my sleeve to show you this week too!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Get along little knitters!

Lots of Olympic knitting going on!

Jess is busy working on her Zig Zag sweater.

Sherrill finished up some colorful socks for herself, and has some yummy stash enhancement!

Aria is too busy moving to knit! Go wish her well at her new job!

Theresa is powering through her Am Kamin - it looks amazing!

Tara has had trouble getting her hands on her Olympic yarn.

Chris is working on a secret project this week!

Laura is busy working on her stranded mittens and Backyard Leaves. Both look great!

Erica is knitting up Olympia for the Olympics!

E is back from vacation, now she needs time to knit!

Julie is busy working on some cute socks!

And I've been busy, but I'll show you tomorrow, fingers crossed for some light to take pictures!

Just one admin note - I'm thinking that the KAL will wrap up after next week. I had originally intended for us to knit something for ourselves after the holidays. Most of us have knit at least one thing, so I'm thinking we've met our goal! Let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for knitting along with me!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Drunken Pirates

But not so much drunk as drinking. Long day. Hard class. Lovely red wine. I was never a red wine drinker until the last year or so. Mmm, love me some good red wine.
The pirates have three (almost) full faces now. 15 rows to go (and most of those are decrease rows).

It was 85 degrees yesterday. Today the high is 38. Tomorrow we're expecting freezing rain and snow and highs barely at 30. Yikes. I'm thinking I need to wear pirates on Saturday if it's chilly. Can I do it? Can I finish tonight? I think maybe. We've got a school thing, but I might have time after before bed.

And, because it interests me, this is how I'm holding my yarn. I decided that learning one new technique was enough, so I'm holding both yarns in one hand instead of two hands. I do drop the yarns from time to time and pick up and throw, but I don't think it slows me down anymore than I already am, due to trying to keep tension and reading the chart.

However, the chart reading is going much better now. It was never hard, I just had to keep track. Now I can "read" the pattern, and, since I'm on the third repeat, I sort-of know what to do each row.

I'm very tired, so this is it for now. I've got lots going on to share with you, but it will have to wait. And if I'm powering through the hat tonight , it may have to wait until the weekend. Try to contain yourselves.

Oh, and the sock has a turned heel and I'm into the foot. Taking it with me to school tomorrow to work on during my "planning" period. For those of you who asked, yes, it is Trekking, color #126. I'm in love.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

*&^%$ Blogger

won't let me upload pictures. So go here for now. More excitement tonight, hopefully, assuming I can upload pictures.

(Seriously, I tried for nearly an hour last night and 45 minutes this morning. I know they get cursed for this kind of crap all the time, but I just can't bring myself to *pay* to blog yet. Sigh)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


The number of pirates in our house has doubled today. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

And for mom and Ashley, the pattern is from Hello Yarn.

And, because it's there, what we had for Valentine's Day dinner (which we don't really "celebrate" with gifts and flowers and stuff, but do like to have an excuse to have a nice dinner!). I walked into the room when The Husband was taking this picture. I said "Why are you taking a picture of dinner?" "Because you like to blog about it" was his answer.

It was yummy!

What was up with the men's skating tonight? Was it fall-down day or something?

Monday, February 13, 2006

C is for

Our kitty, Cocoa

And our Border Collie, Cassidy.

And the pirates have heads - one pattern repeat down, two to go!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

KAL Update and Day 3

Lots of updates for you today!

Jess has started on her Zig Zag - looks great so far! She also dyed up some yarn this week that is so pretty!

Sherrill has some lovely new sock yarn and the cutest needle holder!

Theresa has been crazy busy! She finished up a hat (her knitting olympics swatch), Winter Folly, her 90th(!!!!!) pair of socks, and started on Am Kamin! Whew, I'm tired just typing that!

Tara finished up a gorgeous Noro cardi, is working away on her Jaywalkers and is casting on for her Olympic cardi!

Chris finished *another* lace project! This time it's Ella, and it's beautiful! She is on a knitting tear!

Laura has started some beautiful stranded mittens!

Erica celebrated her blogiversary this week! And she has pictures of an oh-so-cute buttonhole bag!

E is on vacation, and she didn't take us!

Julie has cast on her Olympic knitting as well!

And I've been knitting along for myself as well!

Here is the sock - ready to start the heel flap. Have I mentioned how much I love this yarn?

Yum, yum, yum!

And here are the pirates!

So far, so good, but I hate to jinx myself! This is my progress on day 3 (really day 2 for me!):

And the floats:

I am a *bit* nervous due to my lack of training swatching. However, I'm rationalizing just a tad. You see, I just finished a hat out of practically the same yarn (just a bit bulkier) and my socks are sort-of fair isle, right? Totally counts.

I have to say, without sounding egotistical, that I think it looks pretty good so far. There are a few wonky tension spots, but they don't bother me.

When The Husband got home from work today, he asked to see it, and said: "Oooh, it looks so good! You might have to make me one too! We can be pirate twins! Would that be OK?" Aw, isn't he sweet?

Oh, and I think that shot of my pattern caused some confusion - I'm making the hat, but it sure does look like a mitten on that chart!

Thanks for all the sweet blogiversary wishes! I hope to be around for a long time to come!

Saturday, February 11, 2006


KAL update tomorrow - I must go make little pirates!

Oh, and happy blogiversary to me! One whole year!

In honor of the blogiversary, you get to learn 100 things about me. Aren't you excited?

Knit on, Olympians!

100 things

100 Things about me:

1. My middle name is Lois
2. I was named (middle) for my great-grandmother
3. I only clean my house once a week
4. I am cheap
5. I wish I was more creative
6. I love getting magazines in the mail, but I never seem to read them
7. I can be very lazy
8. I hate doing dishes
9. I love to organize
10. I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was little
11. I get sick very easily
12. I love bad movies
13. I would eat nothing but junk food if allowed
14. Some days I want to put zesty Italian dressing on everything
15. I like cookies, but I’d rather eat raw dough
16. I don’t like my house most days
17. I wish we had money for “real” furniture
18. I hate that my border collie eats fabric (specifically my sheets and blankets)
19. I could eat chips and salsa all day, every day
20. Some days I really want a drink by 3 pm
21. I love my husband, but he drives me nuts sometimes
22. Ditto for The Girl
23. Parenting kicks my butt most days
24. I never intended to be a parent this young
25. In spite of this, I am jealous of all my friends with babies
26. But really, not sure I want one
27. I think I would like to be a surrogate
28. This freaks The Husband out
29. I like to read trashy novels
30. But I can only read so many before I feel the brain cells dying off
31. I love that The Husband cooks
32. If forced to cook, I can make an excellent grilled cheese, macaroni & cheese or soup
33. I have to have some time completely alone each week or I start to go a bit nuts
34. I barely watched TV growing up or in college, but since I got married (and started knitting), I’m glued to the tube
35. I wish we could have knitting group each week
36. I am really bad at staying in touch with people
37. My books are alphabetized.
38. And non-fiction books are categorized
39. It drives me nuts that we are out of bookcase space (perpetually) and some are out of order.
40. I wish I were a faster knitter, so I could try more patterns
41. I’m not in touch with anyone I went to high school with.
42. I like it that way
43. Neither is The Husband
44. He likes it too
45. We have a small circle of friends, but they are great friends
46. I love to entertain
47. This is sometimes the only way I’ll clean the house
48. Most days I wish money were no object
49. So I could buy yarn
50. And great food
51. I can get very irritated when The Husband reads things out loud to me
52. But I do the same thing to him
53. I’d eat out more if I wasn’t so lazy – as it involves leaving the house
54. My favorite store (after craft/yarn stores) is The Dollar Tree, followed closely by Big Lots
55. I wish I weighed less
56. I regret quitting ballet often
57. But let’s face it, I wasn’t very good
58. It can be physically painful for me to watch ballet now.
59. I love to give people gifts, and often spend too much money doing so.
60. I feel the need to use any coupon I have (especially those for craft stores) even if I don’t need anything.
61. If I had my way I would rescue as many dogs as possible.
62. When we “retire” to the county I want to train service dogs
63. But I don’t know if I’ll be able to give them up.
64. I want to move somewhere out in the country (ideally where it is cooler) and live off the grid.
65. I’ve never been happy with my physical appearance.
66. This is probably due to too many years of dance training.
67. And now, the fact that I sit around all night and knit and someone cooks for me.
68. I started doing crafty things by cross-stitching.
69. I love cross-stitch, but it takes forever.
70. My mom taught me to sew, something I am so grateful for.
71. I cannot wait to start making garments.
72. I dyed my hair black in high school (but the package said dark brown!)
73. I’ve never seen a Rocky movie
74. Or a “Jason” or Nightmare on Elm Street
75. When I was small I was afraid of aliens
76. I lettered in “nerd” in high school – academic letter
77. I hate going to the mall.
78. I love quoting movie lines
79. Some days I wish I had done “more” to be well-educated when I was younger
80. I was half in love with The Husband while dating someone else
81. I wish I could watch re-runs of PBS educational shows as an adult
82. I am disgusted by the current administration
83. I am horrible about keeping in touch with people
84. Most days I don’t want to leave the house
85. I feel guilty for not working more
86. I wish I had more “skills” – cooking, photography, drawing
87. I love bags/purses/totes.
88. I’ve started to make my own, but I still buy them!
89. Sometimes, when I ‘need’ chocolate, I will open a bag of semi-sweet morsels and eat them.
90. I am one credit away from a second master’s degree
91. I wish I was a better writer
92. I’d love to write children’s books
93. I tell really bad jokes
94. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t love to read.
95. I cannot wait to teach kids to read.
96. I really, really love knitting.
97. And I love this “world” of friends I’ve met through the blog-o-verse.
98. I am a sucker for sappy movies.
99. I would knit and watch bad movies all day, if allowed
100. I cannot wait to finish my first sweater!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Cast on!

Everyone but me, that is!

I did do some training today - I got out all of my knitting "how-to" books and did some research on this Fair Isle business. And, not suprisingly, the best book was The Knitter's Handbook by Montse Stanely.

But reading books is one thing - all will be tested upon receipt of the yarn.

Until that time, I've been knitting a sock. And can we just pause for a moment to admire its beauty? (Um, we could if blogger would let me upload a freaking picture!)

It also watched the opening ceremonies with me and Mr. Stanley.

It is just over 4.5 inches now, and I am in love. When I faced the stash last night I knew this had to be the next sock. I loved the Trekking I knit up for my sockpal savior socks, and I love these colors - mmmm, brown and pink! And I love seeing what color is coming next! Fun!

On the Olympics ('cause really, we've got to talk about the *real* ones too! I want the pattern for the scarf the Beloruse (sp?) team was wearing - so cute! Most of the opening ceremonies were "eh," and doesn't Pavorotti have the biggest eyebrows in the world? Nuts.

I put Mr. Costas up in the sidebar there. One of my most favorite things about the Olympics is the "human-interest" stories they do. The Husband says "well that's my least favorite part." Fine. But I love a good "rags-to-riches" story, and Mr. Costas does them like nobody else. I just love his voice and his delivery - he's the whole package baby!

And while I may be drunken at some points during this adventure, I hope I'm not knitting while drunk! But I love that button!

Finally, in exciting news, I found a local team! Woot! And we may be doing a closing ceremonies thing - yippee!
ETA: This was supposed to go up last night, but blogger was down, so you may get two posts today!

Nothing outlasts my yarn quest....

So (obviously) still lacking yarn. I did get an email today (only after I sent an email and called again) stating that they were out of the black yarn, and had just received some more and shipped it today. I was told that they emailed me to tell me about the out-of-stock status, but I never got that email. Oh well. So it should be here Saturday, just in time for me to leave for a wedding. I predict cast on will happen Sunday, two days behind schedule.

Of course, the finishing of the Jaywalkers left me project-less, and we couldn't have that. So I grabbed the ball of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky I bought out of the half-off bin at a LYS, and, after refusing to use two different patterns, cast on for myself, with my own maths as help, a simple 2x2 ribbed hat.

And after two episodes of 24 and Lost, I cast off. I love it.

Pattern: Cast on 60 stitches, knit in 2x2 ribbbing until close to top of head. (about 8 inches from the bottom of the hat) Decrease round: K2tog, p2 around. K1 p2tog around. Knit 2 rounds in 1x1 ribbing. K2tog around. K2tog around. Draw yarn through remaining stitches and cinch up.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky color 16009
Needles: Clover Bamboo US 10.5 DPNs
Dates: Wednesday February 8
Thoughts: Seems to be a bit pilly, but so freaking soft! And just the right amount of snugness. I'm not sure where the pointy bit on top came from, but that's OK.
Finished just in time for it to get "cold" here - about 50. Brrrr. Not.

I also cast on for some wrist warmers yesterday morning, but after a few more rows yesterday afternoon I ripped them out as they were not snug at all.

I was feeling pretty crabby yesterday afternoon, what with the lack of yarn and all, and the ripping of the wrist warmers didn't help, so I attacked the stash. And dug up my lovely neopolitan ball of Trekking XXL and cast on for another pair of socks for me! They will be my "travel/mindless" knitting during the Olympics and I'd just like to sayconfess my neuroses, that I love those tiny stitches. Somehow they are so calming. It was as if I could feel my blood pressure return to normal. Ahhh. I will show you this afternoon. They are so cute, and my first experience with self patterning yarn - fun!

I've spend most of the evening catching up on blog reading (I can't read blogs, knit and watch 24/Lost/Project Runway at the same time!), and creating future posts. Oh, come on, you know you have been doing it too! Saving up posts so you have something to post during the Olympics! I have decided that each day of the Olympics you will get a photograph of my Olympic knitting, progress or not, so that it is more "real time" for y'all. I think it will be interesting to see if there are more or less posts in my bloglines to read for the next 16 days.

Y'all have been so supportive in the yarn quest. I hope to have something to show you this weekend. And yes, in keeping with the spirit of the challenge, I've not even cracked a book to read about Fair Isle yet. I guess that will give me something "olympic-ey" to do tomorrow night while I knit my sock. Mmmmm. Socks. I'm feeling a theme this year....

I'm kind of enjoying this knitting for myself!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I'm a Jaywalker!

I know y'all know this by now, but here we go:

Pattern: Jaywalker by Grumperina.
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM #P621
Needles: Sz US 1 and 2 Susan Bates DPNs
Dates: early January to February 8, 2006
Mods: I knit the ribbing on Sz 1's, as I normally cast on 72 stitches on US 1s for "normal" socks and didn't want them to be too baggy in the ribbing. I went to Sz 2's as soon as I started the pattern. I also made the heel flap longer - 38 rows instead of 32. I just like a bit longer heel. I also didn't make the leg very long, mostly because I was worried about running out of yarn. And, I like a bit shorter sock.
Thoughts: LOVE THEM! Fun to knit, and seemed to go really fast on those 2s. Easy to remember, kind of fun, and comfy. I can see how Cara can have knit so many pairs. I will be making another pair sometime in the near future! I also think these turned out to be the perfect length in the leg - not high enough to "bug" my calf, but not low enough that they seem "slouchy" or like ankle socks. This was my first time making such a square toe. I like it, but it's a tiny bit short for me. Next time I'd add a few more rows.

I kitchenered the toe of these in the car on the way to work this morning (don't worry, The Husband drove). It was a bit nerve-wracking, but all is well!

I have been driving myself crazy trying to take a picture of these that shows the color accurately. They are actually a bit more pink than red. They are lovely.

They are also the first "real" pair of socks I've knit FOR ME! The first pair are my worsted weight "learn to knit socks" socks. They are fine, but not wearable with most shoes. I cannot tell you how excited I am to have these for MEMEMEMEMEMEME!

I also finished up the gift knit, no pictures yet, of course!

Oh, and yeah. No yarn yet. Guess I'm flying by the seat of my pants. I did call to see where it was, and got an answering machine. Not a good sign, yes? When I asked The Husband what I was going to do, he said "knit fast." Thanks sweetie! The lovely Scout suggested I drive up to see her at the store and get the yarn. Hmmm, how far is ABQ from Fort Worth?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Yea for yarn p0rn!

Lookie what the mailman brought me today!

Oh, wait. You can't see anything? Huh. Must be because I still don't have my freaking yarn for the Olympics!

I am just a wee bit stressed about this. I am using a yarn new to me, that I haven't swatched, and a technique that, hi!, I've never done before! No worries!

I'm also irritated because I paid extra for priority mail shipping, so that this wouldn't happen. I ordered the yarn Wednesday. Even if it didn't ship until Friday, it should be here by now! I guess I'll be making a phone call tomorrow.

Nothing else new to report, except that friend and fellow knitter Laura had her little Noel Saturday night! He was a month early, but both momma and baby are doing well. Two babies in two weeks - wowzers! Sadly, we didn't have Laura's shower yet, so she doesn't have her crafty gifts yet (no hints here!). But hopefully soon!

I finished up my gift knitting today, but no pictures until it has been received.

Whew! Can you stand the excitement here? Me either.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Just a quick note before bed.
First, thanks to all of you for your sweet comments about the shrug! I really do love it, wish I thought it was "nice enough" to wear to work, but I feel like it's just a touch too casual. But I will wear the heck out of it otherwise!

I'm afraid that I can't win Scout's Super Bowl Contest, as I can't photoshop in an arrow, but I can tell you that when I started knitting these yesterday, I had the cuff and about ten rows of the pattern done. The tiny needles started hurting my hands though after a few hours, so I cast on for a secret gift knit, and made tons of progress, but I can't post a photo, 'cause it's for one of y'all! Oh well. :)

Here's where the Jaywalker is tonight, no progress today, as spent the afternoon in a meeting and cleaning the house. Still think I can get these done by Friday? Plust the gift knit? Yikes.

I still have not received my Olympic yarn, so no swatching/training has been taking place. I did end up ordering it, and will share more details when I have the yarn to show you!

Speaking of showing yarn, I'm sure many of you have heard about the current discussion in blogland. All I have to say is go read Bron's, Vicki's and Jillian's posts on the subject.

I started to leave this comment on Jillian's site, but decided it was a big long-winded for a comment, so here it is:
Thank you for having the guts to say all this aloud! I've been thinking about it all weekend - worried that I had offended someone (but really, who reads my blog?), and not sure how to go forward. There have also been some comments lately about the abundance of "FO blogs." Oops. I guess I'm one of those too. Truth is, I don't know much about knitting. I'm still a newbie. I love reading others (Eunny) who are able to share their knowledge in such an easily accessible manner. Believe me, if I knew how to do something, I'd tell you!
But I'm not going to act like I invented the wheel on my blog. I didn't! I'm just now discovering that round wheels work better than square ones!
I blog because the knitting community in my town is small. Lovely, but small. And blogging is a great way to "meet" other knitters, and to get tons of ideas about yarn and patterns (as Bron noted today).
Yes, I like to post about my yarn purchases - part of the process! What am I going to knit with if I don't buy yarn? And no, I haven't done any swaps (other than socks) because we just don't have the finances right now for it. Do I love seeing what others get? You bet! Am I jealous? Um, no! If I want it I can buy it for myself! But as someone who loves giving gifts and spending a great deal of time shopping for that perfect present, I'd love to "see" the appreciation of it!
Why can't we all just get along?

Hopefully lovely yarn photos for you tomorrow! Don't look if you'll be offended by my purchases! :)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

KAL update and final FO for the week!

Aria has decided on sock knitting for her olympic knitting. They will be her first socks - go Aria!

Sherrill is working on the Airy Scaf from LMKG, some lovely socks and she made two "go knit" bags - love them!

Theresa has been in deep training this week - she found some help with reading her pattern, ripped her Flora and continued work on her hat and Winter Folly. Whew!

Tara is working on a beautiful Noro cardigan.

Chris blocked her Kiri - it is gorgeous!

Laura has cast on for two new pairs of socks!

Erica finished up a lovely multi-directional scarf!

E started her Leaf Lace Pullover out of her own handspun! Looks great!

And I actually finished something for myself! My first FO that I get to keep this year! And I love it!!!!

(Sorry for the crappy bathroom-mirror shot - The Husband is at work).


Pattern: Turtleneck Shrug by Teva Durham from Scarf Style
Yarn: Knitpicks Merino Style in Petal - 6 skeins
Needles: Clover Bamboo DPN US 7
Dates: Started early Jan, finished Saturday February 4.
Mods: I used a DK weight yarn, pattern called for worsted. I really wanted to use this yarn though, as it is so freaking soft.
Thoughts: I think it turned out really well. I didn't feel the need to add stitches, as it is ribbed and would stretch. And I really like the way it fits - not baggy, but not tight either. I put it on for this picture about three hours ago and have yet to take it off. Did I mention that it is so freaking soft? I cannot wait to wear this all the time. So worth the hours of endless ribbing for the final product. Go make yourself one now!

Yippee - the first "not a gift" for myself! And I'm nearly halfway through the leg on my second Jaywalker - trying to finish it up in time for the Olympics.

I somtimes feel bad about having so many projects on the needles, but it sure is nice to have so many finished at the same time! Makes one feel very productive!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

And the finished objects just keep on coming

Here's the Red Scarf for you, in all it's hard-to-photograph glory.

Pattern: 2x2 rib over 48 stitches
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease
Needles: Susan Bates US 8 Circ
Started: Saturday January 21, finished Friday January 27.

No, Einstein's didn't take it. I'll be donating it locally to a shelter here. A little peeved though.

Not a lot of knitting for you today - my thumbs hurt (the bottom part in my palm) and momma tells me could be carpal tunel. Must rest hands. Worried that this will delay the completion of the Turtleneck Shrug, but what are you gonna do? It is joined for the neck right now, and is horribly ackward to knit. It's like two legs getting twisted around each other every round.

I did cast on the stitches for my second Jaywalker, to take to work tomorrow - the shrug is not portable at this point. We'll see how the hands feel.

In place of knitting, you get mememememememe!

I have to say, that it may be nerdy of me, but I love getting tagged! And ms. pea tagged me, and I can't resist.

Four jobs in my life:
1. Grocery Store checker
2. Smoothie maker
3. Copy Editor
4. Fluffer/folder (This was my actual job title at a large department store chain. My job was to go around and clean up after people, fluff and fold the clothes, put them back on hangers, clean out dressing rooms, etc. It sucked!)

Four movies I could watch over and over:
1. You've Got Mail
2. Austin Powers, the first 2
3. Aladdin (DORK!)
4. Dodgeball

Four favorite TV shows:
1. Veronica Mars
2. Lost
3. Grey's Anatomy
4. Alias

Four favorite albums:
1. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band Live
2. CSNY's Deja Vu
3. Lucinda Williams' Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
4. The Band's The Band

Four places I have lived:
1. Fort Wayne, IN
2. Fort Worth, TX

That's it, just two. I'm boring.

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Hawaii
3. The Caribbean
4. Big Sur, CA

Four websites I visit daily:
1. Hotmail
2. Bloglines
3. Yahoo
4. Cute Overload

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Really good pizza
2. Mexican - anything
3. Chicken with Snow Peas
4. Cake - chocolate with white icing

Four places I'd rather be right now:
1. On the beach
2. Asleep
3. Shopping with an unlimited credit card
4. Hanging out with my friends

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Today marks my 200th post - that's a lot of babbling! Thanks for seeing me through all this fun! It's so nice to have "regulars" - makes me more apt to post to get to hear from all of you! And to all you lurkers out there, come out of hiding! I kept forgetting to post about "De-lurking" week, so consider this your call to delurk!

I have another finished project to share with you! Hold on to your hats! Literally!

Em - your hat is done!


Pattern: My bastardized version of the Basic Cable Hat from SnB Nation
Yarn: Patons Classic Merino - ivory
Needles: Sz US8 Clover Bamboo DPNs
Time: Sometime last weekend, finished Saturday night
Mods: Well, I really changed this up. I've knit it four times now, each different. The first attempt was a *bit* too small. For the second attempt I added two cabled sections and one more pattern repeat. It worked out OK, but was a bit too big. The third one I removed one of the cabled sections and added six more rows of ribbing and one pattern repeat. Still a bit too big. So, for this one I went with the same number of cabled sections, but kept the other mods. It seems a bit longer than the third, but is more snug than the second or third.
Thoughts: I love it! I am loath to part with it, and will be checking the drug-dealer scale to see if I have enough yarn left to knit one for myself. It fits great.
I cannot say enough good things about this yarn. I knit three of these hats with this yarn and it seems much sturdier than the Knitpicks I used for mine. Don't get me wrong, I love my Knitpicks yarns, but they just don't seem as sturdy as the Patons. And it's almost just as cheap (especially if you get it at Joann's with a 40% off coupon like I do - then it is as cheap as Knitpicks).

I have been very neglectful in blogging about these beauties. You see, a few weeks ago, Lauren posted some knits that she wanted to send on to a good home. Being the bag lady that I am, I jumped at the chance to have a bag knitted by the awesome Lauren. And I didn't luck out on just one....she sent me two!

Suki Bag from Knitty.

Cabled Bag from a Vogue Knitting pattern.

Lauren was kind enough to send along a lining for the Vogue Bag, I just have to sew it in, and it has a zippered pocket and everything! Cannot wait to put these to good use! So nice to be able to give them a new home! Thanks Lauren!

And finally, because it is the beginning of a brand new, though short, month, I've got goals.

To recap:
January Goals:

1. Finish Turtle Neck Shrug - almost done...
2. Finish sockpal socks - DONE!
3. Finish at least one Jaywalker sock - DONE
4. Start The Husband's Whitby socks - started and frogged
5. Finish the back of Ribby Cardi - DONE!
6. Clean and organize and inventory stash - DONE! And I did the books/mags too!
7. Basic Cable Hat for Sis - DONE
8. Start Leaf Lace Shawl - started
9. Seam Baby Cardi - DONE
10. Finish Anouk - DONE!
11. Make baby tote bag for shower gift (sewing) - DONE
12. Buy yarn for February projects with xmas $$ (as if this needs to be a goal!) - DONE!
13. READ!!! - Finished 3 books
14. Spend some time each week on The Girl's cross-stitch stocking.

I'm really upset that I didn't finish the Turtle Neck Shrug. I'm so freaking close - literally a manner of inches, and if I had just been able to concentrate on doing one thing on Sunday, I'd be done. Ah well. Hopefully by the end of this week, it's almost still January right? I tried the sleeves on last night and it is SO FREAKING SOFT that I want to wear it right now! I think I would have finished this if it wasn't for the red scarf project.
I also didn't do any work on the stocking, but I'm thinking that it might be a great summer project, as it sometimes gets too warm here to be comfortable knitting. You know what excuses are like...
I didn't finish my fourth book - I just can't get into Mrs. Dalloway. I may scrap it and start something else tomorrow night.
I frogged the Husband's Whitby socks - he told me he didn't want more socks, he wanted a sweater. Who am I to argue? I did tell him he'd have to wait until my sweater was finihsed. Might be a while.

February Goals:
1. Finish Turtle Neck Shrug by Feb 4.
2. Finish second Jaywalker by Feb 14 (Hopefully by Feb 10, in time for Olympic knitting)
3. Olympic knitting!
4. Start plain sock for me - brain break and portable knitting during the Olympics.
5. Order yarn for Olympic knitting and Sockpal socks!
6. Make some progress on Ribby Cardi - ideally one sleeve and one front, but that seems like a big bite with Olympic Knitting and all...
7. Read 4 more books and post reviews of them!

Whew! I think that's plenty!

And just for fun, a cloud: