Friday, December 30, 2005

Crossed In Translation KAL

There's a new button over in the sidebar. Yep, I've joined the CIT KAL. I have the book (remember the package from I have not yet swatched for this project. This is going to be one of those sit down and think projects, and with the holidays, there hasn't been much time for thinking!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Preparing for the new year

Many knitbloggers have written about how they prepare for the new year by:

1) taking inventory of all WIPs
2) either finishing them, or
3) RIPing them out.

I have so many UFOs laying around that I cannot even see the top of my nightstand. I'm going to try to list them all, and take a hard look at why the project moved from WIP to UFO status, and what to do about it. So, here goes...

1) Angela's regia socks - WIP
2) Manos cable sweater - UFO-I didn't follow the 'knit from 2 balls' mantra with this handpainted yarn, and unfortunately, it shows. I need to RIP the back and reknit.
3) The Decade Aran - UFO, but it has been given a certain name for a reason. Winter 2006 will be it's decade, so I better finish it this coming year. I think there is only 1 sleeve left to do.
4) Koigu t-shirt - UFO - can't decide whether to make this a long sleeve or short sleeve. Of course, the pattern is called "t-shirt". Maybe I should just finish this durn thing.
5) Gansey from Handknit Holidays - WIP (for youngest son who did not get a handknit for Christmas)
6) ChildHood - UFO - it's too small for my DD by now. Maybe I will just RIP this down to the armholes and add some length to it. But for now, I think I am all cotton-ed out.
7) Stained Glass Scarf from HandKnit Holidays - UFO - this has already been RIPed 3 times and is currently just a cast on. I should RIP this and redo if it ever gets cold again.

Oh my, I think I will stop there. That covers the night stand area. Next post, the dresser. Eeekkk!

Edited later to add:
And then there are the projects by the nightstand that I forgot about:

1) Short Row Rib - UFO - finish this thing! It is beautiful!
2) I'm sure I will find somwthing else lurking under the pile...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Girlfriend got a new coat

In a moment of madness, I decided that I needed to do some last minute Christmas gift knitting. Because Girlfriend needed a new coat:

I started and finished this within a week. It was a great, quick knit. The only mods I made to the pattern were to add a seed stitch border on the bottom and sleeves, and I knit the collar in seed stitch as well to pull it all together (great idea, Sam!)

I thought Friday morning I would need to make a quick run to a LYS for a button, but when I was perusing my stash, I came across some great buttons I had picked up in NZ this summer.

This one met with Girlfriend's approval:

edited to add: Girlfirend in action:

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Quote of the day

From my 4 yo daughter,
"Mommy, you were wrong. Santa wasn't watching. He brought us LOTS of stuff."

*sigh* somehow I missed the discipline gene.

Cookies, anyone?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the place,
kids are so excited
They're sledding down the steps in a race.

The handknit stockings are hung
on the banister with care...

There's an awful lot of praying
that Saint Nicholas will appear.

Children still up,
caroling along,
Tum tum tum tum tum
Oh my, I hope Santa brings a drum.

Out on the lawn the beagle is howling,
The neighbors are cringing, the husband is yowling
There will be no Christmas this year if you don't get your butt into bed RIGHT HERE!

The snacks are in place,
Santa's on a diet.
This year there's grapes and carrots
I think there will be a riot

Dad has it on good authority
That only one drink will do
Lactaid milk? asks my son
No, a good stout whisky, it's true!

It's starting to get quiet
My job has just begun
I'll go upstairs now
and read Twas the Night Before Christmas to the dwindling son

I hope if Santa comes,
he is as quiet as a mouse,
it is no easy feat
to get some peace in this house!

Merry Christmas to you and yours! HoHoHoHo!

Getting ready

Expecting a visit from Santa?
Here is a recipe I have found.
It is a special reindeer food
to sprinkle on the ground.

The oatmeal is for energy,
The sparkles are for flight.
So sprinkle the reindeer food
on Christmas eve night!

All of Santa's reindeer
will love this healthy snack,
and next year Santa and his reindeer
surely will be back!

Bagel has given his approval on the reindeer food. He'll be pooping sparkles until next spring!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Clapotis Finito!

Sam asked for a picture of the scarf post-soup.

If you are my SIL, you better not open the present until Christmas:

Look - no pink!

Scarf Soup

Warning - this post is not for the faint of heart!

Also, if you are my SIL, you are not allowed to read this. Close the browser window now. Navigate away. Now. I. MEAN. IT.

OK, here goes (checking to see if SIL is still reading...)
Coast is clear.

Last weekend, I had two knitted holiday gifts to wash and block. One is red. I can hear the collective groans, because you know the story that's coming.

This is the red Clapotis in its initial bath.

If pea's were pink, this would be pink pea soup.

I washed and rinsed this at least 10 times in a water/vingegar solution. Finally - the water was running clear. So I gave it one more bath in Eucalan to freshen the scent, and -poof!- red dye everywhere again.

I posted a plea for help to my buddies at FiberTraditions, and the very talented LisaS gave me some suggestions.

Last night, with Sam holding my virtual hand, and chocolate reinforcements at my side, I prepared a steaming pot of water and vinegar, then gently placed Clapotis in the broth:

There was very little pink runoff. I simmered for 50 minutes, then my kids were really tearing the house apart so I had to turn the flame off. I covered and let sit overnight. The water was clear this morning. I rinsed and spun it in my front loader, then laid it out on white towels to dry during the day. Dear SIL's Christmas present is salvaged! Yippee! Hooray!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Birthday Thanks!

Thank you, fellow knitbloggers and FT friends, for the wonderful birthday wishes! I received the funniest birthday card from my DB and DSIL:

The caption reads, "Henry! Our party's total chaos! No one knows when to eat, where to stand, what to... Oh, thank God! Here comes a Border Collie!" How cute is that?

I had such a great day, I even had time to cast on for a new project. I've started the stained glass scarf from Melanie Falick's Handknit Holidays, I've also joined a new KAL, you may have noticed the button over in the sidebar. Jessica is hosting this great KAL from the same book.

The scarf has given me some troubles to start. It is a double-knit fabric, which means that it has two right sides, or more, that there is no wrong side. You knit both the front and back at the same time, making a double-thick fabric, which takes twice the work because there are twice as many stitches!

The author provides instruction for how to accomplish this on straight needles, with one pass through the stitches per each row. As an alternative, she also provides instructions for a more traditional "slip and slide" method, where the knitter, using circular needles, makes two passes through the stitches, knitting and slipping per pattern.

Always up for a challenge, I cast on with my lovely Brittany straights using the first method. My first attempt left me with a double-knit fabric that was solid on each side. A visit to the frog pond was in order. My second attempt, under careful survellaince by one of the Pink Tea knit divas, and appropriately reinforced with the knitters drink of choice (for a Sunday morning), resulted in a double-knit fabric with stripes appropriately placed, yet uncanny floats where none were supposed to be.

My darling friend very gently encouraged me, the way we knitters do, to whip out the circs and do the double-knit the way knitters have done for generations - with the slip and slide. I cast on for the third time and we were able, quite easily, to make a scarf that resembles the pattern in the book:

I've been making steady progress on this scarf, but feel that it may be destined for another trip to the frog pond. I just can't stand the edging:

The pattern calls for the edge stitches to be knit using both colors held together. This is quite logical, since this is the only way that the two "sides" of the scarf are held together. But I think it looks sloppy. Any suggestions on how to make a neat edging that will hold the two sides of the scarf together?

Knitmobile sighting

I was cruisin' through the town this weekend when what should I see...

I gotta get me one of these. I think it might be too big to fit on the bumper of my sporty sedan, but think how great it would look on the back of my husband's truck, right next to the DU sticker!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Happy Birthday To Me

Happy Birthday to me,
My kids are driving me craz-y,
But the nanny made me a ca - ake,
And the gifts were all sheep-y.

So all in all, a pretty good day, so far. I'll update this post later with some great photos of the sheepy gifts. And there was a new snowfal this morning, so everything looks bright and sparkly clean, just for me!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Just in time...

Last night, I finally finished the endless garter stitch really cool fox stripe scarf from Morehouse Merino. It was well received:

And just in time, for when we got home from work/school today, we found this guy visiting in our backyard:

Say hi to Bob! Not to be outdone by the preschool kids who got to play in the SNOW all day, we quickly made a smaller version of Bob. His name is Freddy:

By this time, the snow was already turning to rain, and it was getting quite dark (at 4:30-ish pm). It's a good thing everyone got a quick snow fix while it was here, because who knows when it will come to visit again.

Next on the needles: Angela's socks. I started to turn the heel last night, using Wendy's toe-up sock pattern.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Good delivery day

I love driving home from work this time of year. Houses are starting to get decorated for the holidays, candles are glowing from the windows, and there is just a hint of cold in the air - enough to make it feel like Christmas. The kids are usually in a good mood (or at least mine are, because they know Santa is watching), the house is warm and cozy, and you never know what packages may have been delivered.

Last night when I got home from work, this was waiting for me: -> the .jp stands for Japan. Oh yippee! Oh boy!

In this rather large box (given the contents), was a single copy of this book:

titled New Style of Heirloom Knitting.

Which contains the pattern, in Japanese, for this yummy sweater:

Words cannot express how excited I am!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Spinning, spinning, spinning

My head is spinning with all I need to do to prepare for the holidays. As DH has business trips coming up to both locations where we would typically ship packages, I have decided that he should take the presents with. Which means that I have got to get my act together QUICKLY! Now, where did I hide all that stuff we brought back from NZ/Oz?

Friday night, while those of you IN THE KNOW were watching HP, or having fun at the WW spin-in, my friend Sam came over to entertain me and the kids. I was able to finish spinning 2oz of a merino/angora/silk blend that I had purchased at OFFF. It spun like a dream, but 2 oz is not much, so I plyed it with some of the light brown NZ merino from my vacation, and this is the result:

I kept telling my self to slow down as I was plying, so as not to create the overstressed mess of kinky-doubled-back-on-itself-blob I have done in the past. This stuff came out perfect, not even a half twist in the hanging hank. I am thrilled! This one may become a hat for DD.

Friday, November 18, 2005

How has knitting changed YOUR life?

Cyn posed the question, "How has knitting changed your life?"

Knitting has been my cornerstone, my constant, my security blanket, during every move the adventure that is life has taken me on. It has taught me to believe in myself, that it's ok to do things different, and it has also given me a way to make new friends.

I learned to knit while an exchange student in Berlin, 19 years ago. My penpal from Southern Germany taught me to knit while on a mini-vacation, then put me back on the train to Berlin. I didn't have a knitting resource in Berlin (I am sure they were there, I just didn't seek them out.) I had to figure out dropped stitches, binding off, and sewing together, all by myself. Knitting taught me to trust myself, that with enough patience and perseverence, I could figure it out.

I didn't knit much when I returned to the US and the safety net of the familiar. I recall taking a class on how to use dpn and knit fair isle. I vaguely remember a humongous blue sweater (this was my lesson on gauge - we all have one, don't we?) And of course the precious baby sweater for my new niece.

Then there was the move to MN. Resuming knitting seemed the natural thing to do. I had no friends, lots of stress with a new job, and besides, warm woolens were needed. I was taking a Swedish class at the ASI, when I met a woman who was knitting socks. She opened up the world to me. She taught me how to turn a heel (lifetime socknitter here). She introduced me to the knitlist, the MN Knitters Guild, knitting retreats in Ely, and the importance of a stash. Need I say more?

Next move - MA. Here we go again: new house, new job, no friends, and a child *sigh*. Thanks to the internet, I found a few local knitters and learned about some wool and sheep events. Mostly, I added to my stash at some of the local shops. This made the time bearable.

Not much later, next move - WA. Here we go again, new house, NO job, no friends, two kids, *double sigh*. Again, with the luck of the internet, I came across Sheila's NWKniterati blog, went to my first soiree, and met many, many, many, friendly and talented knitters. What's more - they spin. Now I've never been interested in spinning, but when we hit the 4 year mark in WA, I decided I better take advantage of the resources before DH gets the itchy feet again! I am so glad I have, as I have yet another enduring hobby that helps me branch out and open up, both socially and creatively.

And that is how knitting has changed my life.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

New Style of Heirloom Knitting

I came across January One's blog today with a photo of this:

Isn't that gorgeous? It's from the book, New Style of Heirloom Knitting, and it's in Japanese. Do I dare order it on-line? Evidently, some people are locating copies at local specialty shops. If you know of someplace in the US or Canada that has this, leave me a comment.

Still working on the garter stitch fox scarf. It's not even worth photographing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Who is this person?

Your Birthdate: December 3

You are more than a big ball of energy - you are a big ball of hyper.
You are always on the go, but you don't have a type a personality.
Instead of channeling your energy into work, you instead go for fun and adventure.
Witty and verbal, you can have an interesting conversation with anyone.

Your strength: Your larger than life imagination

Your weakness: You tend to be pretty scattered

Your power color: Lime

Your power symbol: Lightening bolt

Your power month: March

If my husband reads this, he will either be:

a) ROFLOL or
b) wondering who this woman is and why he didn't marry HER.

This is SO not me!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Help - there's a snake in the house!

The snake scarf is done. It was (and, most amazingly, continues to be) a hit!

From endless stockinette, to endless garter stitch...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Every Now and Then, Your Kids Will Surpise You

My son has been bugging me to teach him to knit. You would think I would be jumping for joy, but really, we've been down this path twice before. So me, of little patience, finally gave in. Here he's working on Alex' snake scarf (don't tell Alex):

I think he actually gets it this time. He's easily distracted though, so I just sent him back in the living room to knit to the end of the row.

Teddy: "But Mom, how will I know when I am at the end of the row?"
Me: "When there are no more stitches on the left needle."
Teddy: (earnest look on his face)
Me: "There won't be any more fences to go under."
Teddy: "Ohhhh".

This moment of pure joy reminded me of another such moment that happened, just last month.

Maybe there is hope for world peace.

Halloween and More...

I am starting to recover from last weekend's crazy, crazy schedule. First, a few cute pictures from the holiday weekend:

The world's cutest pumpkin and its maker:

Nananana nanana - BATMAN:

The world's best husband - he offered to trade costumes with me when I told him that my mask made me claustrophobic:

And finally, to the fiber part. The Joseph's Coat Biffle from Lisa has been transformed!

I hope your Halloween was less freaky than mine!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Friday's are for 'Fessing Up

I started a new project. I just couldn't resist. The Joseph's Coat Bifle was calling my name, saying, "Dont' abandon me - be true to me - you spun me, now you should knit me!"

Uh huh. I started a new project. Or maybe it's not really a new project, since I was already spinning the fiber, and that was a project. But then we'd have to count the yummy merino/angora roving that I put on the wheel because it looked so sad sitting in the corner of the room empty. Ahhhhh. Let's leave it there.

So I am knitting along on this yummy Joseph's Coat. And what, you may ask, am I making? A mistake stitch rib scarf. It'll be a Christmas present. Perhaps for myself, if it turns out too wild for the men in my life. Only time will tell. And no pictures today. It's a picture-free Friday.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tuesdays are for...

...I don't know what. My brain is starting to un-numb after having some dental work this morning. Perhaps I will come up with a catchy title later? (it's doubtful)

Lest we think that I never finish something, here is the Blue Faced Leister in color Joseph's Coat from the fabulous Lisa which I wrote about last week:

OK, so it is not totally finished. But the yarn has been washed, and will hopefully be dry tonight. This is destined to become a chunky scarf, perhaps using a mistake rib stitch and my new #10s from Sheila. (and no, Sheila does not pay me royalties. I just love,love,love her stuff!)

And, for Angela, a photo of the Short Row Rib, in progress:

Monday, October 24, 2005

WW Spin-in

I went to the Weaving Works spin-in Friday night with Sam. Amazing how much spinning one can do when locked in, without interruption from people < 3 feet tall. Terri and Jessica were already there and spinning away, when we arrived.

I love love love the color of Jessica's wheel. Such a beautiful, soft brown. Terri was spinning away on some Blue Moon roving I had picked up for her at M$W. It is called Seal Rock, and the colorway is still one of my favorite. I love the acid green mixed with blues and purples. I forgot to take a picture, but maybe Terri will post one?

Sam, although blogless, is most easily identified by her gorgeous, looonnnnggg, hair. She was sporting some beautiful works of art from Sheila Ernst.

I got to meet Katie from the FiberTraditions mailing list, and she got to treadle on my little Gem. I thank everyone there for not noticing how long it took me to get my wheel set up. Let's skip over the fact that I put the bobbin on backwards. This was only the second time I had set up my portable wheel, so there are many things I am still getting used to!

After the meet-up, we chatted outside for a while. Terri was finally brave enough to share with us her MongoLEEan camel sock. Where did she get the yarn? The local zoo. How come they are never selling yarn when I am there???!!!!!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Catching up on some photos

I couldn't post pictures of Wool Peddlers until a certain someone had received it in the mail. Here she is blocking:

Check out the cute blocking helpers. Some areas of the shawl had so many pins in them, there is no way this shawl could be crooked!

On a different note, imagine my delight to see my daughter dressed like this:

Yep, uh huh. That's the rainbow sweater I knitted for her last year, but it was never cold enough to wear it. It does my heart good to know that she picked it out herself!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Sock Fever

Have you seen Lolly's Socktoberfest yet? There's a lot of great inspiration going on over there. I personally have not joined, as there is no way I could knit a pair of socks between now and the end of October. Or is there? Suddenly, I recall a special gift recently received from Angela.

Hey Ang, they fit! Angela was knitting these great socks when she realized they were too big to fit any normal sized human. So, she asked, rather politely, if there were any abnormal sized humans out there :-) (I'm making this up - Angela is WAY too polite to do this). Luck was with me, for I, bearer of extremely wide feet, became the recipient of these beautiful Regia socks. And look - they are half way done!

Maggie says they look pretty good to her, too.

So I suppose it is feasible for me to finish a pair of socks by the end of the month. But, is the motivation there?

When I have this calling me:

And I know it will magically become this:

And really, what I should be working on, is this, for SuperNanny.

Monday, October 17, 2005

No < insert noun > today, Mom's sick

No photos today, Mom is sick.

I can't tell you how many times I said that this weekend. No light saber fights today, Mom's sick. No chess games today, Mom's sick. No princess dress-up see what I mean?

So you, dear reader, will have to wait your turn. Just like my kids. Because Mom is sick. (I'm actually starting to feel better, but I see the need to milk this for all it's worth).

I am ashamed to admit that it was a marathon movie watching weekend at my house. That's what happens when Mom is sick. It's a good thing we had some new movies in the house, including Cinderella and Star Wars 1 & 2. The kids were thrilled and I got a lot of knitting time.

Ah hah - knitting content! You may have been wondering when we would get around to that.

First to report, Wool Peddlers is done! She is even blocked!!!!! It is gorgeous, huge, and I really, really, really want to make another. I might even use my handspun for it.

Second, and not so dramatic, is a multi-directional scarf made out of Blue Sky's Alpaca and Silk in the mocha colorway. This stuff is like heaven on earth. I wish I hadn't added a charm-type bit of color splash, because the novelty yarn distracts from the softness. I still need to weave in the ends and add fringe on this scarf. Photos will come, eventually... but not today, because Mom is still sick.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Koigu raglan and stash enhancement

I mentioned a few days ago that I was working on a raglan-shaped sweater out of koigu kpppm. Here's the current status:

I have enough yarn to make either long sleeves or 3/4 length sleeves, but I am not sure that I like the way the colors line up differently on the sleeves compared to the body. I am considering leaving this as a t-shirt style, adding a half inch of ribbing where I am and then casting off. What do you think?

I've had a pretty bad week what with a severe allergy attack and now a cold. Imagine my surprise when I came home to a lovely package from dye-master Lisa:

I missed the debut of her new Sock! yarn when I was down under, so I finally got my hands on some in the lovely colorway Shade Garden. The roving on the left is superfine merino in Petroglyph, and on the right, Joseph's Coat in biffle. Now if only me head would stop pounding so I could spin!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

To my dog

Dear Bagel,

Since you came into our lives a little over a year ago, we have been through a lot together.

First, there was the peeing on the carpet.

I forgave you.

After all, you had been to so many different, unloving homes before you found us, I assumed you were just working through the transition. A loving family with a big backyard and three wonderful children to play with was like a dream come true. I probably would have wet my pants, too.

Then came the toy chewing.

I forgave you (although the kids did not.)

After all, we have had too many toys. Besides, they were laying all over the floor. How were you supposed to know that they were not for chewing? This period of family life soon earned the codename "The Great Toy Reduction Campaign". We couldn't have done it without you.

Then came the barking.

I forgave you (although the neighbors did not.)

After all, you are a beagle, and it is in your nature to bark. You can bark all you want until that pesky neighbor with the rooster and the little dogs that sh*! poop all over our yard moves.

Like I said, we have been through a lot:
  • You amazed us with the improvements you made at doggy camp.

  • You astounded us by tolerating birthday parties.

  • You became "the good dog" when Mocha moved in.

  • You slept in the oldest sons' bed when he needed some extra love.

But then...

One day, you went too far...

THIS is by NO means acceptable behaviour.

You are banished.


You are now a downstairs dog with the other one.
You will sleep in a kennel.
And you will stop barking ALL NIGHT LONG.

These changes are effective immediately. If you feel these changes are unfair, you may speak with my manager.

With love and affection,

Who the heck is this?

Your Hair Should Be Pink

Hyper, insane, and a boatload of fun.
You're a traveling party that everyone loves to follow.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Knitters envy

Weebugknits mentioned yesterday that she cast on for the koigu turtleneck from VK Fall 02. What? Huh? A koigu pattern that I don't recall? Google wasn't much of a help, so I patiently waited for the clock to tick past 5pm, then raced home to pull out that backissue of Vogue. Ahhhh. A sigh of relief. A classic turtle crafted from blending 5 shades of kpppm. Interestingly, the photo didn't indicate much shading. I wonder if the model sweater used only one color? The turtle looked close enough to my top-down raglan v-neck, so I decided not to turn pea green with envy. Instead, I will live vicariously through Marti as she knits her own version of this lovely, colorful, turtle.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


There was a Little Gem action over at my house this weekend.

Notice the scrumptious Petroglyph in the bottom left corner? It's a good thing mine was already on order, or I might have had to tackle the Fiber Freak and demand some.

Lisa, oh LISA, when will mine be here?

Friday, September 30, 2005

Kinky Yarn and Peddling Along

I've had some singles sitting on a bobbin for a while, and decided that it was finally time to ply it and get it off the bobbin. It plied easily, and looked great on the niddy noddy. Once I took it off, however, imagine my surprise when the yarn did this:

There is not much overtwist in this skein, only about half a twist, which is fine. The yarn just wants to kink back up on itself, unless stretched. I washed it and left it hang to dry overnight, with a little bit of weight on it:

It will be interesting to see what the yarn does when I take it down tonight.

In knitting news, I am peddling right along on my Wool Peddlers:

This is being worked in a wool/mohair blend from Persimmon Tree Farm, pikced up at MDSW. I've been a fan of theirs for years, and was happy to see them at OFFF as well. I didn't realize that they travelled the country. I'll have to remember that for next year!