Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Avert your eyes if you're squemish!

I never did like these socks. Knit from Lorna's Laces, I wasn't ever happy with the fit. And I really didn't like the color pooling. But I was a relatively new sock knitter and didn't do anything about it.

Until today. I opened my drawer to pick out socks and these were staring at me. I try to rotate which socks I wear so I don't wear out a "favorite" before its time. But these don't get worn their fair share. So off with their toes! Err...something like that.

I figured they were LL to begin with. A good sturdy yarn. And while they had been worn, it wasn't that much. They unravelled rather well. A bit of fuzz, but even the heels and heel flap weren't a problem. I have the rewound skeins washed and hanging to dry. Not sure what they will become now. Jaywalkers? Monkeys? Lorna's Laces needs a pattern to break up the crazy color pooling.

Edited to add: squemish? squeamish? I ran spell check, and it said everything was correct. And neither spelling looks right, so who knows! Do you? Which is it? And it's totally cool that I got a comment from Lorna's Laces! How do they do that??? I mean, I have a tiny blog. How on earth was this post found in the vastness of cyberspace?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Christmas post!

I had grand plans for these pictures to be posted on Christmas. That obviously never happened, but far be it from me to let perfectly good ice pictures go to waste! So what if it's been warmer than that ever since Christmas. You will not hear me complaining about the lack of ice on the roads. Maybe plenty of other things, but not the lack of ice!

Hope your holidays were merry - whatever holiday you celebrate. I don't know about you, but I have grand expectations for the new year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Must Not Lose Focus

I received some bad news today. Nothing health related thankfully. But several months ago, I paid $1,700 to be told the direct opposite of what I was told today. What is not going to happen would have made my life much better. Finances would have been easier. Bills would have been paid and there was actually a plan of action in place.

Not any more. After several hours spent in a funk, I realized that I can not lose focus. I have to keep my eye on what is important. And on the bigger picture. Yes, it will be more difficult. And while the "plan" will not work the way I had pictured, it can still work. It will just take a longer time frame. Everything is still possible. Well, ok, I have to cancel a yarn club subscription.

Must Not Lose Focus.

And in the laugh for the day.....I read a headline (I didn't think I could read the whole article without tossing my cookies) that said Laura Bush and C. Rice do not think that G.W. is the worst president in history. Let's see here - I'm sure they are totally unbiased. One is married to him and one is employed by him. Riiight.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Stockings

A couple of months ago, I knit a Baby Surprise jacket for a newborn. It sorta still fits - his fat little tummy sticks out of the front, but the chest still fits. A new larger one may be in his future. But two weeks before Christmas and I realized this baby needed a stocking. I called my new local yarn shop and got a stocking "kit." I bought Annie's Woolens Snowman stocking pattern and some Cascade 220.

cue ominous music here The pattern is written for Bartlettyarns 2ply at a gauge of 4 spi. Cascade isn't as hefty as the Bartlett and won't ever get 4 spi and not be see thru. And the red bled like there was no tomorrow. Big disappointment.

But little twinkle lights as ideas pop I found a leftover skein of red Patons. And a free pattern from Cascade for a mix and match style stocking. Perfect! With warnings from Ravelry, I cast on more stitches and I am so very happy with this pattern. You do need to be careful though - on at least one of the graphs, the stitch repeat isn't correct. But this is flying off the needles and is so fun! Depending on internet connection issues, pictures will either be added into this post or put up later. I want to be sure to save this for later posting RIGHT NOW while I still have a good connection!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Koolhaas finished!

Finished! I can't even remember any more how many times I ripped. All my doing and not a single thing wrong with the pattern. And the decreases for the crown? Jared Flood is a genius.

So I'm trying to take advantage of the genius and I'm using the left over yarn to make fingerless mitts. The plan is to use Jared's pattern for the cuffs. I'm using a bit of the Dashing pattern and info from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns to come up with my numbers. I'll confess to living dangerously though - I just guesstimated the cast on number and went to town!

So far, so good. I'll let you know when I get back on-line.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I might be gone a couple of days!

This is what it looked like Thursday afternoon:

And Friday morning:

In case I lose internet, I think I'm going to try doing a couple of posts in advance. Might as well take advantage of the wireless while I have it!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Radical Knitter

Courtesy of Anne at Knitspot, you must go here I don't have tv - I miss so much!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Weather, Schmeather!

Last week's huge horrid ice storm missed my area thank goodness. I got a bit of ice that by the next morning was totally gone. I feel bad for the north that got hit so hard. And I realized that I have no idea where I would go if we lost power here - I don't have a back up heat source, so staying here sure isn't an option. Brrr....

Friday I met a friend at Panera for lunch and knitting - rather made up for not going Thur night. And then tonight I met up with a different group of knitters. Good thing there isn't ever a name quiz - I left knowing one more name then when I arrived.

But that is one of the very best things about Ravelry. I have spent all these years being the only knitter that I knew. And now I am making wonderful friends that I see on a semi-regular basis and it's just the best.

My Thur night B&N group is usually fairly quiet. Between five and eight of us are usually there. Now, there's chatter, but we're usually busy knitting away so the talk frequently takes a back seat to the concentration. Not tonight though! It may have had something to do with the fact that there was wine and snacks to get us through the too-close-to-Christmas knitting!

I met some people from Ravelry. Michelle and I drove up together. And that alone was an adventure! Thanks to the never ending PA road construction, it took 45 minutes to drive 10 miles. Then we managed to get lost - well, no not really lost. We just couldn't find where we were going. Stopped at a hotel to ask directions and we were so close they told us to park in their parking lot! I got to see Chris again. She has a brand new blog, so stop over and say hey! Met Eve who is absolutely gorgeous! Her picture on Ravelry really does not show what a very pretty woman she is. She seems to have just as much fun "collecting" yarn as she does knitting. And then there is Amber who is just as cute and nice as can be. Has an etsy store, two very young kids, brought the aforementioned wine and snacks, makes soap and some how finds time to knit! There were other wonderful people there and it will be a lot of fun getting to know everyone. Of course, Amber was the only one smart enough to bring a camera - I'll cross my fingers that I do better next time!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thursday night knitting?

There is a local group of us that met because of Ravelry. We've been meeting weekly on Thur nights at our local Barnes & Noble. Not sure about this week though. This is my weather forecast:

Light Freezing Rain...Possibly Mixed With Sleet In Some Areas...Will Develop Over Northeast Pennsylvania Around Daybreak...Then Move Into The Western Catskills By Late Thursday Morning. The Freezing Rain Will Continue Through The Day...And Become Heavier Thursday Afternoon And Evening. Freezing Rain Is Likely To Change To Rain In The Lackawanna...Wyoming And Delaware Valley Areas On Thursday Afternoon. The Most Significant Icing Is Expected Over The Higher Terrain Of The Northern Poconos And Western Catskills...Especially Across The Heavily Traveled Interstate Corridors. A Half Inch Or More Of Ice Accretion Is Expected By Friday Morning In The Mountains...With Considerably Less In The Metropolitan Valleys.

Freezing Rain Will Change To Sleet And Snow Later Thursday Night...Before Ending As Snow Showers On Friday. Snow Accumulations At The End Of The Storm Of 1 To 5 Inches Are Possible.

Conditions Will Become Very Dangerous For Travel Throughout The Poconos And Western Catskills Thursday And Thursday Night. Trees And Power Lines Are Likely To Be Downed By Heavy Icing...And Gusty Winds. Prolonged Power Outages Are Possible.

Sounds like a good night to stay home!

Koolhaas 1.4

I think this is the fourth version of the same hat I have attempted to knit. Don't have a finished hat yet - but then, that seems to have been the theme of my knitting for about a month now.

v1 I managed to twist the cast on.
v2 I actually managed to knit correctly but it was too small (I'm using sport weight instead of worsted. only cast on 8 extra stitches)
v3 I have no idea what I did. No, I do know what I did. In this pattern, you are instructed to move the beginning stitch of the round twice. Somehow I didn't do that. Instead of the stitches travelling across the hat, it just made little diamonds in a straight row. Not the intention.
v4 is (so far) going well. I'm afraid to jinx it.

Audrey: Do you sleep with your brother? Do you know how sick and twisted that is?
Ellen: Well, I'm sleeping with your father. Don't be so dramatic.
(from Christmas Vacation of course)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fixed the newel post!

One of the fun parts leading up to Christmas is rewatching all the great seasonal movies. Tonight I am watching National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. What a classic! There are so many wonderful lines. This link has a list of great quotes from the movie. I'm always impressed with Chevy Chase at this scene:

Hey. If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I'd like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, fore-fleshing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is. Hallelujah. Holy shit. Where's the Tylenol?

It's almost as if he says it all in one breath!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Magic Yarn Ball Swap

In the NEPA ravelry group, we decided to do a Magic Yarn Ball swap. The idea is to wrap goodies into a yarn ball and as the person knits up the yarn, the presents are discovered. Bet you can see the flaw in that plan - I sure didn't wait to knit up the yarn! Look at all these goodies Chris (sadly blogless but busy with little ones) sent to me:

This was what the box looked like when I opened it up. Unwrapping the Magic ball revealed all this:

What a box full of goodies! And Chris even made the blue stitch markers on the big tag.

But I will admit the yarn has had its first ripping. The first project with the yarn was the One Day Beret. Got it about 95% finished before it met its demise. Not sure I should confess how much longer than one day it took me! I think I'll try a koolhaas

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Meet George

I would like to introduce you to George. George does not belong to me, but is visiting for awhile. A friend believes it is her mission to bring all knitters into the spinning fold and has let George come play at my house for a bit! And those twisty knobby bits? Yep - my first spinning. I can't quite bring myself to call it yarn - but I was the spinner. And in an odd color note - while my hardwood floor does need refinishing that badly, the door is actually chocolate brown and not navy blue! Go figure.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Nighttime walks

I seem to have a bit of an upset stomach. Not the yucky kind, but the crampy kind. So at 8pm I decided to walk up to the post office. It's a "bit chilly" here - low 30's to high 20's, but thankfully I am a knitter! So while I am wearing a fleece coat, notice I am also wearing my warm knit hat and my Bird in Hand mittens. These mittens were knit for me last year in a No More Humdrum Mittens swap. The really fun part was that I knit the same pattern for my partner!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Chocolate and Red Wine

What is it about that combination? The sweetness of the chocolate compared to the dry red wine? I'm not sure, but that's what I'm having right now. I am not a wine expert by any stretch of the imagination. Right now I am drinking a PA wine - Clover Hill Turtle Rock Red. And enjoying a teeny bit of chocolate along with it. yum.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Who are you?

You know it's bad when you go log into blogger and the computer says who are you?? First off, I am going to try to back track a bit and add some pictures into previous posts. I spent quite some time on the computer downloading and resizing pictures. Off I go!

What's your favorite way to drink hot cocoa? I'll confess to using an instant mix. But heat about 1/2 cup full of water, add a healthy glug of Bailey's Irish creme, and top with milk if there's any room left in the mug. Yummy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

All Hallows Eve Swap

What fun! I sent off my swap package and then left for Houston. And while my partner said she was ready to mail, I wasn't home to receive. And I had the best package waiting for me when I got home. But I'm afraid I may have waited a bit too long before opening the box! seems to have been taken over by spider webs!

All of these wonderful goodies were packed into the box -

See that adorable project bag in the upper left corner of the picture? It's got the cute pumpkins and stars. Well, there were so many goodies in the package that I was totally surprised when I opened the project bag and found a ball of dishcloth cotton and a dishcloth!

The candy didn't last very long at all. There are adorable stitch markers (I'm using one now as a matter of fact. They don't weigh a bit which is nice on the needles.), yummy soap, and the yummy yarn in grey and red. My swap partner was the adorable Alabama Fiber Dreams! Thank you so much for a wonderfully fun package!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In Honor

Today apparently all across North America, it is Veteran's Day. I am of the firm belief that all veterans should have today off from work. No matter what they do to earn their living. Everyone else? Should be the workers today.

I spent five peace years in the service - U.S. Marine Corps to be precise. I worked in an office most of the time. My favorite times were when I was working as a WSSI - Water Safety Survival Instructor. Trying to teach people how to survive for long periods of time (without life preserver or life boat) in the water. I am usually very comfortable giving public speeches. Once I was asked how on earth I could be that comfortable. My response has always been related to my experience as a WSSI. Any female who can instruct 100 Marines while wearing only her bathing suit can speak fully dressed in front of absolutely anyone.

My father served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. And to this day he does not speak of it. I know that he bought several sets of bone china while overseas. He worked as a corpsman - and that gave him some skills that really came in handy while we (his children) were young and accident prone. And I know that he served as a corpsman in a max security psych ward. And that has greatly influenced his attitude on mental health/suicide. In passing once, he said that he did not know if he could ever shoot another human - and that was why he chose to be a medic.

For my father. The men he tried to help. And all those who have served their country - no matter which country and no matter in which manner they served.

Today we honor you.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bye Minneapolis!

This is one of only two pictures I took while here. We really didn't see any of Minneapolis. Had to be at the show no later than 9, left around 7 pm, got dinner, went to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I am finally making positive progress on my Feb Lady Sweater thanks be. I put in bunches of markers between each 7 stitch repeat and haven't had a problem since. Other than no pictures of course. The body is finished and I have the first sleeve about half done.

Which could be a wonderful thing. We left Houston and are now in Minneapolis. I have a feeling I will want to be wearing this sweater before we leave here!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An Historic Day

No matter who wins this election, it will be an historic day. Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman selected as a vice-presidential candidate. Personally, I think she would have made a better vice-president than the current female option. But no matter who wins, history will be made today.

It's a travel day for us. Everytime we stopped (for gas, snack stops, etc) I made a point of asking total strangers for an update. They were as comfortable answering as I was asking. Which made for some very pleasant stops.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It's not even a Trick or Treat!

While the picture is a few days old, did you think we'd see this again??


We're in Houston and of course, the weather is fantastic. For the first time since we started going there for Quilt Market & Festival, we did not go to Galveston. There were remnants of Ike all over the drive - mostly former windows covered in plywood or roofs covered in tarps.

Quilt Market wasn't as good this year as last. But Festival was fantastic. And guess who my next-door neighbor was?? In the booth next door was Tilli Tomas! Tracey and Tom were wonderful neighbors - very nice people. Who just happen to sell fantastic yarn. They had their new silk yarns - lace and dk weight silk with either beads or small sequins plus their new silk 6-ply embroidery yarns. I, of course, could not resist for long. I mean really! I was next to them for two weeks - just how long would you have been able to resist???

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Thank goodness for podcasts! And obviously, my mp3 player. I have a Sansa view. I got that specific one because it syncs with books. Audio books are absolutely fantastic!

But on this trip, I needed something to listen to for two 13 hour drives. And I didn't want to be in the middle of a book without Bob and then have to start all over. So I downloaded a bunch of knit picks podcasts, a couple of others that escape me right now. And I'm catching up with CraftLit's Little Women series.

I want to listen to some of Knitmore Girl's podcasts to see what they're like and I've enjoyed Brenda Dayne's podcast. I actually like Kelly Petkun's podcast although I've read some don't like her talking style. She's not Lime & Violet, but I enjoy listening to her. I find myself thinking that in real life, Kelly and I could be friends. Not sure about Lime or Violet though. Which may be a generational thing.

What are your favorite podcasts? I'd love to branch out and have more variety.

Monday, October 20, 2008

In which I lose things

Too much stress. Right now, I have more than my share - I have yours too. And you, and probably you. I just returned from a show in Atlanta. Mostly, I saw the highways of Atlanta. I couldn't tell you a darn thing about the city. Well, no that's not quite right. Flowers are blooming, there is lots of green there, every part of the city that I saw was clean, and the weather was splendid. And of course, there were people walking around in down coats and fleece jackets - in 70 degree weather. Go figure. But I worked the show by myself (for what I sincerely hope is the last time). And it was more stressful than I imagined. I got home very late last night and am trying to catch up just a teensy bit here before we leave Wed.

I spent a stupid amount of time looking for something in the van. Only to find out that I did not take it with me, and the whole time it was in the living room. I have no idea where various pattern copies are (but I know where the originals are). And I have lost a dishcloth.

Not just any dishcloth mind you. This was meant for my All Hallow's Eve dishcloth swap partner. Fortunately, I knit her two. Right now, she is getting one and an IOU. I am sure it will turn up - probably sometime next month. There is enough stuff going on that I refuse to stress out over this. And I don't have time to knit a replacement - therefore the IOU. Final purchases tomorrow and then I'm shipping off the goodies and I can cross this fun task off the list.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Topic 5 Already!

If you could go anywhere at all to enjoy a wonderful fall vacation - where would you go and why? Somewhere you've been? Somewhere you've heard has amazing fall colors? Somewhere that's LESS fall-like than where you are? Post and tell us about it and then post a comment here to let us know you've posted!

Wow. A fall holiday? I live in a very colorful in the fall area. And I'm currently in the deep south. Georgia to be exact. There are flowers blooming everywhere, temps in the mid-80's......and people walking around in down coats and fleece jackets!

I'm not sure I have an exact place. No wait, I do. Some sidewalk cafe in Rome. I can't think of a finer way to spend some time than sitting at outside cafe with a beverage of choice people watching. Now, there is a TON of things to do in Rome. And I'd do them all again in a heartbeat. But people in Italy DRESS. I saw grandma, mom and toddler all dressed to the nines walking down the street. Women wore patterned hose everywhere. Women in dresses and men in suits driving around on Vespas. What a treat.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We hope to resume

our regularly scheduled progamming soon. I have been writing posts in my head for over a week. Just no time to actually type them up and post! And now I am out of town and no camera. I actually had several pictures I'd taken on purpose for the blog.

So.....imagine a picture here (I'll try to remember to add it once home)

Our first frost (that I was home for anyway) was a week ago. I truly believe that the burning bush shrub next to my front door was green one day and wonderfully bright red the very next.

February Lady Sweater.....

No progress. The sweater has been in timeout while I see if I can find enough brain cells to correctly knit a four row lace pattern.

Dish cloth knitting....

Coming along! I need to leave a note for my dishcloth swap partner so she knows I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. While I was at the show in Chantilly, VA last weekend, I bought yarn....

(picture inserted) is absolutely lovely. Gorgeous sock yarn in to-die for colors. So I bought it for my swap partner. She's also a sock knitter (not giving away anything there, many of us are) and seems to have similar color tastes. Believe me, if she doesn't love it, I'll happily take it back.

I am currently in Atlanta, GA. I need to go do a Ravelry search for a yarn shop open on Fri nights! If anyone reads this and plans on going to the GA Quilt Show at the Gwennitt Center (I think I spelled that right, but am too tired to get up to check) please stop by the booth. I'm working alone this trip which mainly means that I don't even get a potty break. I took care of that today by not drinking anything. I'm sure I'll be up a LOT during the night, but I'm trying to rehydrate.

Ok, enough boring stuff. I need to find out what my dishcloth topic is and get that ready!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

AHE dishcloth swap Quiz!!

Oh, my - I haven't taken a test in ages. Our All Hallows Eve Dishcloth topic of the week is a quiz! It's a good thing we don't have to get them all right. We just need to participate.

Q1: Where did the idea of Jack-O-Lanterns originate?
A) Scotland
B) England
C) Ireland
D) Wales

I can't seem to get the bold thingy working, but I'll just add my guesses in here!
(I think I figured it out!)
C) Ireland - no idea why I'm guessing that - just sounds fun!

Q2: Halloween is the 2nd most successful commercial Holiday - what's the first?
A) Christmas
B) Valentine's Day
C) New Year's
D) Easter

Oh, that's easy - A) Christmas

Q3: What is the intense fear of Halloween called?
A) Hallowphobia
B) Samhainophobia
C) Ghostophobia
D) Mortephobia

D) Mortephobia

Q4: The mask worn by Michael Meyers in Halloween (the Movie) was actually a mask of who?
A) Leonard Nimoy
B) William Shatner
C) DeForest Kelly
D) No one - it was an old hockey mask

Never saw the movie, but I know some horror movie had a D) hockey mask!

Q5: In 2004, what was the most popular Halloween Candy?
A) Candy Corn
B) Snickers
C) Dum Dums
D) Milky Way

A) Candy Corn

And finally - tell us what YOUR favorite Halloween Candy is! I'm a Candy Corn person myself - can make me SO sick to my belly, but man I love it! Just the plain old kind though - not the many other flavors and colors there are today!

Oh, I love candy corn! And the pumpkins too - I like the mix. But not the funky flavors. I really like most candy - but I absolutely love the huge variety of very small candy bars that are available. Mini butterfingers are fantastic!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Topic 3 already!

Every holiday has oddball things available to use for decoration, have in the house, or wear - some things are stranger than others. What's the oddest/strangest/weirdest Halloween decoration you have ever gotten for your home? Or, if you've never had a "wow, did I REALLY buy that?!" moment - what's the strangest Halloween decoration you've seen somewhere else?

Ohhh! This is a toughie - I'm really drawing a blank here. So I think instead of the oddest, I'm going to tell about a favorite! Cheating, I know, but there you have it.

While still married, we owned a dry cleaners. Which I detest the thought of to this very day. But we lucked into some wonderful babysitters for the boys. Shelly didn't do a lick around the house. She played with the boys. Took them places, played games, etc. I'd come home from work and the living room would be a complete wreck - they'd been making forts all day. that sort of stuff. And they really went to town around Halloween. All of the doorways would be decorated with wisps of paper decorations they had spent hours cutting. Steamers of bats and pumpkins. Those spider web things you can buy would be dripping from the corners with fun plastic spiders dangling from them. You could barely open a closet sometimes for the webs draped in all the corners. There was a doorway (well, the doorway is still there I'm guessing, it's just not my doorway anymore) from the kitchen area into the living room that always seemed to get special attention. "Creepy" decorations were always hanging from this area.

I sure hope the boys remember this as fun and good because I sure hated being away from them.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Topic 2

So here's this week's topic:

Here in Atlanta, it's finally cooling down, and beginning to truly seem like fall. I sit now with windows open, and the air is cooler than usual, and trees are beginning to change. For me, cool mornings, crisp evenings, and trees in red, gold and orange glory are the very best parts of Fall - What are your favorite parts of fall? How do you know it's truly arrived where you are?

I live in north east PA. Which is truly a shame since I love water and warm weather. But this area is drop dead gorgeous in the fall. I live in one of the areas that people come to see the fall color. And it's already starting to look like a stellar year for color. Usually, the first two weeks of Oct are the best color weeks. Trees are just starting to turn, so I'm not sure about next week - but by the second week of Oct, it should be grand. I really do love the fall colors here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

No time and it will only get worse.

We are home for about 36 hours. We had a show in Michigan this past weekend. Took down all our stuff, had dinner and left MI about 8:30 pm. Slept near the Ohio/PA border (got there about 1:30 - 2:00), got back up about 6:30 and made it home. I've been to the sawmill, exchanged the printer we bought while in MI (defective). And I think that's almost all I've done. We leave Wed for VA. Not much time and tons to be done.

I'll try to get up my topics for the dishcloth swap over the next few days though. My spoiler sent me a wonderful e-card - thanks!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Knit One, Tink Two

I had the most fun knitting EZ's baby surprise jacket. It was done so quickly and the brain that came up with this is absolutely amazing.

I am not having as much luck/fun with the adult version of the Feb Baby Sweater. On the camera (not within arm's reach and too tired to get up) is a picture from over a week ago of my Feb Lady Sweater. While I have knit on the thing, it isn't any different than the picture I'll eventually post. I zipped right along, put it on waste yarn and realized that I needed to rip out some of the garter stitch yoke. Did that, zipping along through the lace pattern. Realized that after the first repeat, I was supposed to separate the arms. Ripped. I have now reknit the first lace repeat at least three times. It's not a complicated lace pattern. I even did three repeats of it in my gauge swatch. I have no idea. I'd knit three rows and take out two. But today, I have successfully managed to knit one full lace repeat and have started to separate the sleeve stitches.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

All Hallows Eve swap weekly topic

I've joined the All Hallows Eve dishcloth swap. I've joined Anne's dishcloth swaps before and it's always fun. It's seasonally themed and this time it's Halloween! I've already got ideas running around in my head about the dishcloths. And Halloween goodies are a blast! Our weekly topic for this first week is to visit other people's blogs and post a link to their blog.

The swap isn't huge in the scheme of things. Which actually makes it a lot of fun. The small group and the weekly topics really help us get to know each other. On Alaina's blog I saw that my dish rag tag team is back in first place! Whoohoo! Which also means that Alaina is also in DRT. It's amazing how much fun knitting dishrags can be!

Amber has posted a books meme. We seem to have read a lot of the same books. Plus there's the whole Pumpkin Spice Latte love going on - boy can I agree with her on that!

And I am not going to link to everyone, but Michelle is a refugee from Hurricane Ike. Everyone wish her and her family a quick return to normal.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Halloween Dish cloth swap questionnaire

Knotting Yarn
1. Do you knit or crochet? For how long?
I do both. I learned to crochet and knit about the pre-teen years.

2. What sort of needles or hooks do you enjoy using the most? Are there some you've been dying to try out and haven't?

Almost all of my needles are addi turbos. I do have some dpns in bamboo, birch, and some of the Knit Picks dpns. I like the bamboo, dislike the birch (bends too easily) and so far like the Knit Picks. I'd like to try some of the Knit Picks circs, which are a cheaper alternative to the addi lace needles.

3. What kind of projects do you most enjoy? Small things you can take with you, or
big complex ones that are just gorgeous when they're done?

I actually like both! I almost always have a travelling project. But I do like a project that isn't always mindless.

4. List one pattern for a dishcloth that you love to make, or just tell us about one you've made or received that you loved.

I think I have two "default" dishcloth patterns! The Ball-Band dishcloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting is really easy and has great texture. I also really like the Four Corners dishcloth pattern from 1870 Pearl. I'll try to remember to find links later.

5. What are your 'must have' notions? Are there any notions you need or can never have enough of? Any that might make you cry if you owned more?

I love notions! I am also a quilter. And I just love all the gadgets that make our craft easier.

Petting Yarn
6. What are your favorite yarns to work with? Any you hate or are allergic to?

Mohair makes me itch. I haven't tried any of the Kidsilk Haze that everyone talks about, so I don't know if that would have the same problem. I was given a scarf that is a very soft wool/mohair blend - and it still makes me itchy. I love natural fibers. I'm working on a shawl in an alpaca yarn that is yummy.

7. What colors do you like to use in projects? Any we'd never catch on your needles?

You'll never see a solid pink in my house! I like pink in combination with other colors, just not by itself - all that pink is too much for me!

8. Any cottons you'd like to try you can't find by you, or just haven't gotten around to getting?

All of my cotton yarn comes from the local "big box stores" - I have an A.C. Moore, Michael's and JoAnn's. A yarn shop has opened about 30-45 mins away, but I haven't had a chance to find her yet.

Halloween, Fall, and General Stuff
9. Do you like to use bar soap or shower gel more? What kinds of scents do you love? What kind do you hate?

Every since I found Got Soap, I've been a bar soap person. I like light floral scents, but not food scents. Food scents just tend to make me hungry.

10. What's more 'Halloweeny' - Ghosts, Pumpkins, or Witches?


11. What's your favorite Treat to get? Sweet or Salty? Anything you're allergic to or just hate?

My problem is that I like them all! Sweet, salty, crunchy, chewey are all good. I love dark chocolate, nuts, caramels, you name it!

12. What was your favorite Halloween Costume as a kid? As an adult??

The only costume I remember as a kid was one year I was Tweety Bird!

13. Are you on Ravelry? What's your ID?

Yes, I'm on Rav as knitflea.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dyeing for Friday

Hmm...seems to be a very lame day of the week thing going on around here! Struck my funny bone. I recently bought some Wilton's frosting gels (or whatever they're properly called) to experiment with dyeing. It just so happened that I had two skeins of cream lace weight in the bin. I decided that I wanted teal and set to playing. I first put the skeins in the microwave with teal Wilton's. But it didn't come out quite right. Instead of a solid teal, I had white parts. And Wilton's dyes are known to separate, so I had some green starting to show. Made up more teal dye, spread the skeins around in the crock pot and checked on it about two hours later. And while there wasn't any more white, I was getting green areas. So I mixed up some royal blue and poured that in. But I didn't take the yarn out first, I just poured in the new dye. It was amazing to watch the yarn suck up the royal blue! I ended up with purple areas! And while I don't have two identical skeins, I am happy with how they turned out. But if I need more than 350 yards, I'll have to alternate skeins.

This is the dry yarn prior to reskeining. The purple blotches are really noticable!

But this is the yarn wound into skeins. The subtle variations really don't show in the picture. And I really like the yarn!

This didn't turn out how I expected....but I sure will be trying this again!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

FOs on Thur

I don't know what I'll write about on Friday, but does a finished object really have to wait?? I said earlier that I had finished my Spring Forward socks. After knitting these, I can understand why people say they have made this pattern over and over. It is a well written pattern and an easy, attractive knit. Not an inspired photo, but I shot it when I had 2 seconds - it shows, but the deed is done.

I made a few modifications:
knit toe up using Judy's magic cast on
used size 0 needles
short row heel on half the stitches, decreased to 11 before increasing
tubular bind off

The twisted ribbing was a nuisance to knit, but looks wonderful. The twisted stitch provides such definition. Tubular bind off isn't the right bind off for twisted ribbing though. I had the dickens of a time getting the bind off right. The second sock wasn't any easier either! But I can see how this is a very handy skill to have in one's knitting basket.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

WIP Wednesday

I get to do a WIP Wed! It's been awhile. And the last couple of days, when I went to put up a post, I couldn't get a stable connection. But here goes!

My mitered square blanket is moving along. It's really fun to work on. Each little square is a celebrated FO. Thank goodness for the ravelry Blankie Mania group. There is no way I'd ever have enough yarn for this. The group has constant swaps and the yarn has all been wonderful. I have it here folded in halves on the couch - side 1:

and side 2:

The Waving Lace scarf is moving right along at warp speed. The socks that rock yarn is just as yummy as everyone says. I'll do a light block when it's finished. I'm debating whether I should wind off enough yarn to knit a square for the blanket. I need to make up my mind really quick!

I'll do a gentle block once it's finished. I like the way the colors move across the scarf:

This scarf has been a surprisingly fast knit. I haven't ever felt like it was dragging on and on. But then, I did cast on last Thurs. I've volunteered to make a bag for someone in the Starbucks and Yarn swap who had a partner that flaked. Apparently, there was a lot of people who didn't follow through on their commitment. So the scarf may be set down for a bit while I quickly make a bag.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Apparently, if I were a camera cord recently home from an extended trip....I would be in the car waiting for the next trip! Camera cord found under the passenger seat in the huge van we use for travel. Found just in time too. The battery was *this* close to being totally dead.

I finished a pair of Spring Forward socks (pattern from knitty, but I'm time crunched so not doing links) that almost flew off the needles. I think I got the whole pair finished in about a week. I know sock #2 was cast on Fri and finished on Tue. There were no all day knitting marathons in there either.

They're recovering from a dunk and dry blocking, so no pics yet. But I do have some dyeing pictures! I received this yarn (among other wonderful goodies) from my Starbucks and Yarn swap partner. But the colors just didn't work for me.

So I decided to overdye it. Actually several times. And ended up with this skein:

The first picture doesn't show it well, but the yarn sorta went red, white, purple, white, red, etc....And all that white bothered me while the red and purple not so much. I overdyed with a lot of blue with a touch of green. I have no idea how either yarn would have looked knit up, but I have higher expectations of the over dyed yarn.

Off to work...I have a bunch of it staring me in the face as I type. No good, better get to it.

Friday, September 5, 2008


It's a self-induced blech so I don't even get sympathy. I LOVE to read. And my weekly sit-n-knit group meets at Barnes & Noble. Instead of a coffee, I treated myself to a book from the bargain table last night. Came home and stayed up way too late reading. Killer headache today. My left eyeball feels swollen.

I started some lace scarf (pattern from Knitty) name escapes me right now - last night from one of the skeins of green STR.

Camera charging cord still missing. Where would you be if you were a camera cord and weren't in the usual place???

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What to knit next?

After I had so much stolen, I was gifted by some amazing strangers with a wealth of yarn. It's all sock weight (which is what was stolen). I probably own more fingering yarn now than ever before. And I'm not sure what to knit next! I've been doing pattern searches on Ravelry. There is an advanced pattern search and as much as I love knitting socks, I've entered "not socks" as a filter. And there are tons of stunning patterns. But with one exception, I only have a sock's equivalent of each yarn.

See that yarn about 11 o'clock that is pink, brown, and white? Usually not my colors at all. But I love that yarn! I'd really like to find a pattern besides Jaywalkers to knit with the 420 yards that would really show off the colors. Nothing against Jaywalkers - I like the pattern and am not adverse to knitting it again, but I'd like to come up with something else.

And the ShiBui knits yarn next to it? I'm thinking of using that to knit a cowl for my cousin for Christmas. I really enjoyed the stitch pattern in the Spring Forward socks and think the zig zag would be great in a cowl.

The stunning pink and tan yarn at 7 o'clock? It really needs to be a shawl. A lot of time lace and variegated yarns fight each other. But the color changes are subtle.

The blue & white yarn that looks like your favorite blue jeans will become a pair of socks I'm sure. I have two skeins of the green STR (prewound at 2 o'clock). Scarf and fingerless mitts? I have four colors that don't go together of STR - in two weights so no Charlotte's Web there. Hmmm....I'm totally lost about which patterns to use. While the reason has been monetary, it is no wonder I usually don't have a stash!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Let's see if I can keep this up!

During the entire Summer of Socks, I didn't not knit a single sock. Although I did get two free patterns. So last week, I grabbed one of my RSC kit yarns.

I'm not usually wild about pastel yarns. And while this yarn is pastel, I liked the pictures of the finished socks that I saw. So I decided to try out one of the free patterns from SoS. Wendy Johnson donated a free pattern, so off I went.

And I didn't like it! I felt like the pattern (while easy and interesting) wasn't the right one for the yarn. So I ripped out (except the toe) and decided to knit a pair of Spring Forward socks from Knitty. And it was too big! So I frogged again, started over, and these socks just flew off the needles!

I decided to do these toe up, and for the first time, I used Judy's Magic Cast on - genius! This is a fantastic pattern. Also for the first time, I used a Tubular Bind-Off - and of course, that's fantastic for toe up socks. Except for the bind off, I have both socks finished in less than a week's time. Finished sock pictures coming when the missing camera charger shows up.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Oh, my

I can't believe it's been almost a month. I frequently compose a blog post in my mind, but that has been as far as it's gotten. I've had internet connection problems lately. Plus working. We have 5 (hopefully a 6th)shows coming up, so there's been a lot of work. Still no viable excuse. So I am just going to be really random.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has been playing on the dvd. We really enjoy watching the movies. The girl they picked to play Luna is fantastic. So far, I have all of the books on cd. I need to start purchasing them from iTunes to listen on the mp3 player. There are just SO many details.

My knitting slump seems to be over. I joined Summer of Socks and Summer of Lace. And then didn't seem to knit a stitch. I've knit one sock (nope, not a pair, just one lonely sock) from the Blue Moon Rockin' Sock Club. And once I had all that stolen, I just drew a big blah. But I was given so much wonderful yarn and I've been petting it all.

I knit a French Market Bag for my Starbucks & Yarn swap partner. I made several extra increase rounds on the bottom and knit it two inches taller. From the Ravelry notes, a lot of people said it was small. Well, I've never knit the size per the pattern, but I think I could have gotten away without knitting the extra rounds on the bottom!

I received a wonderful package from my swap partner. But I can't find the cable to charge the camera. I've NEVER had this problem before, and I'm so frustrated. I kept it in the same drawer all the time. When we left this last time, I put it in the laptop case. It's not in either place right now. blech.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Still Catching Up

We've been back in PA for just over a week now, and I'm still catching up with the trip! Guess that's what happens when you are gone for almost a month and no time to blog.

Our show in Long Beach was over on a Sun night. We knew we didn't want to get into the Los Angeles Mon morning traffic, so drove a few hours Sun night. Right now, I can't remember the name of the town we stayed in. Small town in the middle of nowhere, but conveniently close to LA for those so inclined. We stayed in a small independent hotel. Scrupulously clean. The ac hadn't been turned on all day. Which in most hotels, isn't a big deal. But the giant thermometer outside said the temp was 97 degrees at 11:00 PM!

And I'm not sure I've ever been this close to Death Valley before!

This view reminded me of an old Japanese watercolor.

I think my next post can get us through Colorado and then we're home!

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Beauty of it All

They may do everything bigger in Texas, but they do it prettier in California.

This is another view of Pyramid Lake.

And isn't this pretty! It's the landscaping along the drive up lane at a fast food restaurant. And this pretty tile:

This scene is tiled onto the side of a parking garage....across the street from a W*l-Mart!

The organizers of International Quilt Festival, Long Beach did not want to be left out. In a nod to the California beach scene, this wonderfully restored Woody was at the entrance to the quilts!

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Wouldn't it be cool if you lived here?

Again, blurriness due to photo being taken while driving along the highway (I was not the driver, silly!). But this was such fun to see:

This is Pyramid Lake, CA. As you are traveling through the mountains on I-5 heading south, you come across this wonderful sight! And this is our destination:

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Mudslides & Forest Fires

On one side of the canyon, we had this view:

And directly opposite, this view:

Friday, August 1, 2008

Goodbye Denver!

It was a relief to leave Denver. The hotel gave us two free nights stay. While they are not responsible, it was an appreciated gesture. And the show we worked at was wonderful. The promotion group is Rusty Barn and they were wonderful. We'll be back for the same show next year. I sure won't be staying at the same hotel again. I'll pay more for the host hotel next to the Denver Merchandise Mart. And I won't leave a thing in my car.

Leaving Denver, we went to stay with my cousin for a couple of days. It has been many, many years since I was at her house. I've seen her, just not on her own turf. And what a lovely area. Unfortunately, she was close to the wildfires ravaging CA - the day before we arrived, the fires were 45 miles away. And with a wildfire, 45 miles is nothing. But while we were there, no fire danger. The air was full of soot the first day, and we could smell smoke. But we were safe.

Leaving my cousin's, we drove through the "canyon." This shot is obviously through the windshield. This is the (short) traffic line waiting to pass the firefighter's truck. It was a wierd feeling to hear about thousands of wildfires - and then be driving by some of them.

This is not a shot of CA smog. All the haze you see is smoke from the wildfires. Many of the areas you could see the smoke in the distance, but didn't smell it. And then other areas, you could not only smell the smoke, but sorta feel it while breathing. I will never understand why people breath smoke intentionally. And if you're smoker, please do not feel obligated to try explaining.