Wednesday, August 29, 2007



The socks and bonnet are done, just in time to get them to someone who can get them to someone who will be seeing the parents soon. I don't love the bonnet as much as I'd hoped, but the socks are awfully cute.

Monday, August 27, 2007



As much as I love toe-up socks, I couldn't get these to work that way. I tried following the pattern as written, I tried doing it the way I usually do my toe-up socks, then I decided to make things easy on myself and just start at the cuffs. After that they worked up quickly, even though it's been a frighteningly long time since I did a short row heel and I couldn't quite remember how it's done. Right or wrong, they've got heels. I'm hoping to finish the second toe tonight.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I've got this skein of pink yarn that surfaced first while I was digging through my stash to list it all in Ravelry inventory, then again yesterday after I found this neat lace scarf pattern.

I owe my buddy a pink scarf. Because the pink scarf I didn't knit her for Christmas of 2005 may have saved my littlest baby's life. I'd planned to knit her a brown lace scarf. I had the pattern and yarn all picked out, then she showed up at karate all happy about a girly scarf she'd just bought.

It took me until the next day to decide that her Christmas scarf had to be pink, that I didn't have the right yarn, and that I couldn't justify driving 100 miles round trip to get the stuff I wanted. But I'd been feeling a little icky, it was Friday, and I could justify going to the OB just to make sure I was fine. And stop at Craft Warehouse on the way home.

I wasn't fine. I was in labor at 29 weeks and had dilated to three centimeters without feeling a single contraction. Go straight to the hospital, do not pass go, do not stop and buy the pink yarn that was the purpose of the whole trip...

It all turned out much much better than it would have if I hadn't gone to the doctor to justify a trip to buy yarn.

Then today at church I found out that a couple just had their first baby a month early. She's in the NICU, won't nurse, and although I'm not sure I've ever heard of anyone knitting a prayer bonnet and socks, I'm feeling an awfully strong urge to make something pink and lacy.

I've got a little feather and fan blanket that never made it to the baby it was knit for, and I want to make this set. And of course the only pink dk weight stuff in my stash is that same skein I was going to use for my buddy's scarf.

That's okay. I'll order some pink wool for Janet's scarf later. There's plenty of time before Christmas.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

HPIM1347


I paper pieced! Thursday, while the littlest guy was napping, I found the magazine with the article in it, moved all of the yarn I'd piled on the sewing machine, and experimented a bit. And it worked!

I've checked out a dozen or so books on paper piecing from the library. I actually sat down one night a couple of years ago and tried to do it, with disastrous results. Since then, I've stumbled across instructions that made sense, but I've never had the right book checked out from the library on the same day as I've had time to play around with it.

The pattern for the tree, and the instructions that made sense, are in the Spring 1993 issue of Quick and Easy Quilting. The whole block is supposed to be a dozen little trees surrounding a house, but I'm not anywhere near crazy about the tree to make eleven more of them.

I've got another magazine with a pattern for a paper pieced schoolhouse block...and one with patterns for a paper pieced village...and somewhere, there's one with bird houses...

I'm going up to the sewing room to see what else I can find.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The sun is shining, the kids are playing, Bill is out shopping for porch windows, and my Luna Moth Shawl is all spread out and pinned to the bed in the sewing room.

Life is pretty good!

HPIM1341

Pattern - Luna Moth Shawl
Yarn - Elann Callista (copper, 4 1/2 skeins)
Needles - old nylon circular, size 8

I can't wait to see how the shawl looks once I unpin it. The yarn was gorgeous and the shawl had such a great texture and drape when I was knitting with it that I want to be wearing it right now.

And I want to order some more Callista to make a top with. But first I'm going to use my leftovers to knit up a swatch and wash it and all of that stuff that some people say knitters are supposed to do.

No Picovoli pictures today because it seems to be misisng. I'm sure that wherever it is, it's safe and sound and I'm not going to panic. Yet.

Oh, and --

Rachel at Yarn Over is having an anniversary contest and giving away some gorgeous stitch markers.

The Majestic Mountains Stole is making my heart go pitty pat. Now I'm on a yarn hunt...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I've always envied those knitters who have their entire stash entered into a spreadsheet and can tell exactly how many grams or yards they've got. I don't know WHY I want to know exactly how much yarn there is in the sewing room, but I do. Sometimes. And now I've got a list of almost every single skein of yarn I own.

I had doubts about entering all of it into Ravelry. This dial up connection is so painfully slow I didn't even think it would be possible. I wasn't sure I wanted to admit to the world just how much cheap acrylic I've accumulated.

But I started entering the "good" yarn and that went so painlessly, I decided to add all of the yarn I'd bought on purpose. And now I've entered absolutely everything that has a ball band, or that I can identify without one.

This is fun!

Saturday, August 18, 2007



I didn't make it online to post my show and tell on Friday, but I can't wait another week to share these!



I love old children's books, especially the series. The Bobbsey Twins was never one of my favorites, but when you find two copies this old for a quarter each, you don't get picky because they're not Nancy Drew.

The inside cover of one says

Stevenson Hall
1930

Reading Room
Small Girls




I'd love to know how old those small girls were and what else they had in their reading room. Did the boys have their own room? Or were there no boys at Stevenson Hall?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

We had playgroup in the woods on Monday and I took Picovoli since I always seem to wind up sitting somewhere away from the other moms so I can watch my littlest guys. They sat on the sandbar in the middle of the little stream, throwing rocks into the puddles of water and I was stretched out on a quilt in a patch of shade.

Then one of the older boys startled a snake, which raced across the quite and right under my knitting bag. I suppose I should be glad it didn't go into the bag, which was lying on its side.

What's a knitter supposed to do if a snake crawls in with her knitting? Has it ever happened?

My wonderful daughter caught the itty bitty snake and let it go on the other side of the stream. And I got Picovoli finished this morning, but can't wear it until it has a bath to get rid of the smoky smell that it picked up while I was knitting by the campfire.

And I've got almost all of my yarn stash entered into Ravelry -- yippee!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I'm getting more and more antsy! I was really really really hoping my Ravelry invite would be here when I got a chance to check email tonight. I even rented the kids a movie with a ton of bonus features and games. But it looks like I'll get to watch Ice Age The Meltdown with them -- there are still 29 people ahead of me.

Maybe tomorrow?

For now, I've printed a new-to-me pattern for a lace scarf and dug out some yarn to use. And I've got to put the new Picovoli on some longer needles to make sure that I really did get the math right before I get much more of it knit. I should finish the old Picovoli. And work on some dishcloths for Mindy's housewarming present.

Those Bernat Handicrafter Cotton colors that don't seem to exist would be great with her color scheme. but since I can't find those, I've found some stuff in my stash which will work well enough.




And I'm suddenly overcome with the urge to knit Neapolitan ice cream pink cloths for my own kitchen. There's a bit of logic here - I couldn't afford the pretty pink and brown quilt kit at Craft Warehouse and Michael's had Sugar N Cream on sale in similar colors.

But when we bought this house, I couldn't rest until we painted over the pink kitchen cabinets. And now I'm knitting pink stuff for it. And getting excited over cheap vintage dishtowels. I don't care how many calories are in each hard to identify shape, but it does go with my pink and brown yarn.

Friday, August 10, 2007

-- scroll down for my Show and Tell Friday post --

I've been having problems.

Tuesday night, I sat down to work on my mystery stole, planning to do just a few rows before I cast on for something else. I made a mistake. I recounted stitches five or six times, looking straight AT the huge glaring mistake the entire time, before deciding to cheat just a bit so things would line up. A row and a half later, I figured out what I'd done and had to tink back. But something went wrong with the tinking and I wound up taking the whole thing off of the needles and ripping back rows until I hit a point where I knew everything was okay. Then I had to figure out which row I'd landed on and do the next few rows to be sure that I really had fixed things and could safely go on from there.

I packed away the stole before anything else could happen to it and spent the next hour trying to start the Sonata Crest of the Wave top before finally figuring out that the pattern, although it doesn't exactly say so, must want me to do my increases in the lace pattern and that's one of the things I absolutely can not do. So that project is gone now.

Pulled out the Honeymoon Cami, which I've been avoiding because I'd taken off the needle tips for anther project and stopped in the middle of the increases. You won't believe it -- I actually wrote down which needles I'd been using and which row I stopped on! But I tried it on and decided that, at my current weight, I've got better plans for this yarn. Never mind that the thing was almost finished except for the neck and arm shaping....

It must've been about midnight by the time I pulled out the Denim Style and the Picovoli pattern and started my gauge swatch. It was definitely 1:30am by the time I threw up my hands and admitted defeat. And it was two days later by the time I finally got the adjusted numbers right and made it through the first few rows.

This is ridiculous! I should be able to convert a pattern from one gauge to another without quite this much drama, even if I can't find the calculator.


It's Show and Tell Friday!



Believe it or not, this fella isn't a thrift store find. As far back as I can remember, he hung over the massive wooden stereo in my grandparents' living room. I never thought much about him until the family was clearing out the house after they died. Now, though, I'd love to ask Grandma what the story behind this thing is. Did she like him? Was it just that he went so well with the blood red shag carpet?

I wonder if she'd have an answer. I don't know why I snagged him from the garage sale pile and have dragged him from house to house over the past decade. He's never hung on a wall, because my husband hates him.

But he's neat.

As much time as I saw this thing over the years, I never even noticed the shadowy figures in the background until I got him home.



It hit me while I was taking the pictures for this post that I really want to make a blue and gold applique tiki quilt. With embroidered figures in the background.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I got bit

Sadly, it wasn't the kind of bug that makes you order Japanese knitting books or join an expensive sock yarn club -- not that I could really afford either of those, no matter how hard the bugs bite!

This was the kind of bug that left me in a miserable little lump on the couch, aching and wishing the chills would go away and the toddlers would stop hugging me quite to hard. And sent me up to the doctor's office to get some antibiotics.

I think I hate the antibiotics more than I hated being sick. And I just bet I could've bought one of those Japanese books for what I spent on the copayments.

How unfair is that?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Bill came home the other night and wanted to know what brand of frozen green beans I'd just bought. I don't know -- whatever kind that Costco had. I've got a few brand loyalties, but frozen veggies isn't one of them. So I dug through the chest freezer and came up with the bag and it turns out that I wasn't feeding the kids the brand that just got recalled for botulism. Which, as far as I'm concerned, is one of the scariest thing that could happen to a person.

Then he asked if I knew about the Mattel recalls for lead paint. Oh, crap. All I could think was that if they were recalling Hot Wheels I was in a world of hurt. My babies have soooo many little cars and if I had to get rid of them all, I would not be a happy mommy. Luckily, we've only got one of the toys on the list, it was made long before the ones they're recalling, and the boys never played with it anyway. So that's okay, but I'm afraid this is only going to be the first recall of many.

Ugh.

There is happy stuff going on, though -- the Mystery Stole has short rows! I love short rows and the magical things they can do, enough that I'm going to cast on with nicer yarn and try to catch up.

Friday, August 03, 2007

"Show and Tell Friday"




The first thing that jumped to mind when I stumbled across Show and Tell Friday last week was my great-grandma's sock monkey, which I've been wanting to post about for a while now.



Grandma Walters made everything. She covered bars of soap with straight pins and sequins and beads to make glittery swans. She made little baskets from safety pins and those three sided beads that nest together. She crocheted afghans and intricate little doll dresses. She dried apples into wrinkled brown doll heads that gave me the creeps.

And when sock monkeys were the big thing, she made a sock monkey. I don't know if she made more than one, or who she made this little guy for. He didn't make it into my custody until a few years ago, but I know he was around when I was a kid.

I got curious about when she might've made him and did some Googling -- Wikipedia answered most of my questions. I'd just bet that Grandma's monkey was inspired by the Pack O Fun leaflet. She made a lot of things from that magazine.

There's a pattern online, and, according to the manufacturer's website, they sell the red heel socks at the same place we buy our chicken feed.

5,000 Gram Update

The plan was not to buy any more yarn until I'd used up 5000 grams of my stash. It's been three months and I'm at about 2400 grams. That's almost halfway there!

I can't figure out how I made it through so much yarn last month. It didn't feel like I was knitting a lot, but somehow I guess I did.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I dunno...

My Rose Garden Shawl is done.



I was happy until I got it bound off and now I just can't figure out how I feel about this thing. I should have gone with my first instinct and made it a few repeats narrower, but there is no way I'm going to rip it out and knit the same exact thing over again. I 'd like it shorter and wider, but I don't want it anywhere near that bad.

And, now that I've started working on Picovoli again, I've got the nagging temptation to use the yarn to make myself a cute little top. Which would be foolish. I've got yarn in my stash for a second (and third and fourth) top. Or I could buy some Sonata in one of the other colors I'm tempted by or some Callista...

I'm leaving the forty-some ends unwoven until I figure this out.

There is something to be said for stumbling across a project, deciding I can't live without it, ordering the yarn, and getting it knit up within a short span of time. It won't haunt me like that Victorian Lace Poncho from Elann still does.
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