Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Another Christmas Knitting Finish

I never did find the same ornament pattern I'd lost, but this is a pretty cute replacement. If I ever do another one, I'll use sport or fingering weight instead of the worsted the pattern calls for and make the neck a few stitches wider.

Still no progress on the slippers because I was feeling way too pregnant and achy to knit after taking the kids to a Christmas craft party and karate yesterday. Maybe tonight...

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Christmas Knitting Continues...

I finished Heath's hat at 3am Sunday morning, despite the fact that I hadn't even cast on until after midnight. My plan was just to get it started, but I did the first five rows the pattern and then the purl rows, and then thought I'd just keep going until it was time to decrease the top, and then the top only needed eleven more rounds, and by then I'd totally lost track of what time it really was and was forcing myself to ignore the fact that I've got little kids who expect Mommy to actually move in the morning....

Alex insists that it's far too girly for her brother and that she should wear it instead. At least she spotted the hat in my knitting bag and not her slippers, which I'd hoped to finish after she went to bed last night. Instead, I gave in to exhaustion and went to sleep myself about ten minutes after I got the kids all chased off to bed.

The day wasn't a total knitting loss -- I started the second Cape Cod Sock and a sock for hospital knitting (because it's finally sunk in that no matter what else happens, I am going to be spending some time in a hospital at the end of this pregnancy and may want something mindless to knit on.) I love toe up socks, but the figure-eight cast on is fiddly and I don't always get it right on the first (or second) try. So I tend to put off starting new ones. Now, I've got my Cape Cod sock for a simple project to work on while the kids are in the room, and the other one as an even simpler project to work on when I just want to have my hands moving.

As for the rest of the Christmas knitting... The needles I own won't cooperate with the laceweight yarn for the neck warmer, so that's on hold until I drive into town. I did find some yummy grey yarn in my stash yesterday, so I may go back up and dig that out to see if I can adjust the pattern for bigger yarn. It'd knit up faster and probably be warmer, so if the ruffle doesn't work I may just pick a nice lacy stitch pattern and work with that. My ornament patterns vanished sometime between 3am Sunday and yesterday afternoon. I know they just got picked up and put in with something else, but I can't find them and I can't print out another copy from the internet because of course I don't remember the name of the pattern I finally decided to use.

Today's goal -- finish the slippers!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

My Christmas List

Over the past day and a half, I've managed to put a very reassuring dent in my Christmas knitting list. DH's present, a helmet liner to wear hunting, is done and took a lot less time than I thought it would. Either that, or I squeezed in more knitting hours than I'd expected to. Whatever did the trick, it left me feeling a lot calmer about the rest of the knitting I still hope to get done.

I've decided not to tackle the wristwarmers for my sister, because they look difficult even before I add in the fact that the pattern's written in Norwegian. Maybe she'll get those next year. For now, I'm debating between two scarves I already have finished.

There's an ornament for the Knittingmothers exchange, which could be done in an hour or two if I used a simple pattern, but I really want to try that itty bitty aran stocking I found a pattern for...

There's a pair of slippers for Alex, which should go quickly. I had one almost half done this morning before I realized how impossibly far off the gauge was. Now that I've found the size dpns that pattern called for, I should be able to knit them in a few hours.

I want to make something for a friend who I swear bundles up more than anyone I've ever met in my life, so I'm hoping that the lacy little neckwarmer I found in InKnitters will knit up in time.

If I make something for Alex, I've gotta make something for Heath, so there's a hat pattern in the 2006 Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar and some yarn he picked out ages ago. How long can a hat take? And if I knit for the older two, I've got to knit for Quinn. Probably the basketweave toddler socks from my to-knit list.

21 days till Christmas...five projects left on the could happen...

Friday, December 02, 2005

dreaming of sock yarn...

I dreamed of soft merino sock yarn last night, after finishing the first of my Cape Cod socks. The wool was soft and yummy in the skein and to work with, but I wasn't prepared for how it was going to feel to slip my foot into the finished sock. I was just hoping it would fit right, and suddenly my foot was wrapped in this heavenly warm cocoon of gorgeous yarn. My husband might have thought I was a little nuts when I made him try it on so he could feel for himself why I need more sock yarn from Knitpicks even though he seems to think I have enough yarn already. Once the second sock is done, I've only got two more skeins of this wonderful merino to play with. In Paper Doll, the colors I was dreaming of last night.

I can already tell the second sock is going to interfere with my Christmas Knitting.

Craft Warehouse has racks and racks full of fluffy novelty yarn on sale for $1.99 a skein, which we discovered totally by accident yesterday when the kids and I stopped to price yarn for Christmas presents, just in case I couldn't knit what I need to finish with stash yarn.

The pink eyelash is for the bodice of this. The red stuff is for a scarf for me, because I absolutely love the color and was intrigued by the texture of their sample scarf. The black and white zebra is to swatch and see how it would work with a scarf pattern I want to try. And I've got my fingers crossed that when we go back up to town next week, I can find something that'll work for a Vegan Fox. There were lots of shades of brown in different textures, so I'm hopeful.

And if I wasn't sock crazed enough by the merino, Socks Socks Socks finally came in at the library. I've checked this book out before, but now that I know I can actually knit socks, I'm looking at it through new eyes, thinking I could knit that and that and that and that.... I definitely need to get my own copy of this one. I was so absorbed in it last night and this morning, I totally forgot I also brought home Loop de Loop.

The Christmas knitting is looking less and less like fun....

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I missed Thanksgiving

Actually, I lost an entire week to the nasty bug that made the rest of the family kind of sick but sent me and #4 to the hospital. Twice. My Thanksgiving dinner was two liters of IV fluid and a cup of chicken broth. Bill and the kids got something from a convenience store. The turkey is still in the fridge, hopefully still safe enough to cook. I've got to call the Butterball hotline and see what they think.

And while I was missing that, I missed most of Knit Unto Others. I'd hoped to do a bunch of premie hats, but only managed one before I got sick and two more once the nausea passed enough for me to try knitting again. I'll do a few more when my Christmas knitting is done -- or after Christmas, when I run out of gift knitting time.

My back issues of InKnitters got here the other day, and I'm so glad I ordered the set. I did wind up with one I already have, but the others are new-to-me and even though I've barely glanced through one of them, there are at least three projects besides the baby bunting I ordered it for that I want to try. And I think I've got suitable yarn for all of them!

I can see how I missed the baby bunting when this issue was on the stands. The picture in the table of contents is tiny, and hidden in the fold next to the staples. And it's not nearly as cute in the magazine as the picture on the designer's home page, which triggered the whole pattern hunt. None of the four projects I want to knit are visible on the table of contents page, either not clearly or not at all. Makes me wonder what else I've been missing as I quickly flip through the knitting magazines in the grocery store.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Knit Unto Others

My plan is to knit premie hats for the Special Care Nursery at the local hospital, five before the end of the KAL and another five before baby #4 is born at the end of February. I've been meaning to knit them hats for a little over a year now, so hopefully this will get me motivated!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Working on my WIPs

Despite two spectacular mistakes -- how could I first manage to knit the right side rows on the wrong side and then, only a few hours later, manage to graft the wrong sides together? -- the blue lace scarf is done, except for blocking. I haven't figured out where to spread it out yet. The sewing room or attic, probably, I just need to get up there and get it done while the kids are all occupied.

The Cape Cod socks are still coming along, the Lacy Kerchief Scarf is waiting for me to have some peaceful time to spend with it, and the cardigan is still shoved in a dark corner. I've got thoughts that I should finish it before the end of the year, but not enough motivation to actually pull it out and cast on for the sleeves.

Monday, November 14, 2005


This has got to be one of the neatest things I've seen on a knitting blog. FIFTY SEVEN pairs of hand knit socks all laid out together in a gorgeous ring...I obviously need more sock yarn if I'm ever going to have that many wonderful socks. It does not matter that I hardly ever wear socks. If I had socks that pretty, I'd wear them. Even if I didn't wear them, they'd provide me with lots of hours of stress relieving creative time. Which I need.

I can't buy pretty sock yarn, so I'll work on using up what I've already got. That way if the house ever sells, I'll have a good reason to buy more.

This is the first of the Cape Cod (Knitpicks Sock Landscape) socks. Instead of the basketweave pattern I had in mind but kept avoiding, I'm using the Waterfall Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks and thoroughly enjoying myself. This stuff is turning out to be just as nice to knit with as it felt in the skein. Hard to believe that three days ago all that was done was the toe shaping.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I know better

Every time I cut down on my WIP list without starting new projects to take the place of the ones I've finished, I regret it. Especially when I finish all of the easy stuff and leave myself with nothing I can just pick up and knit away on while I watch the baby play. Starting new projects is never as easy as it seems like it should be. I spent a couple of hours swatching to see if I can use my Opal crocodile yarn for a baby sweater (with a pattern that calls for almost identical yarn)...couldn't get the gauge right. Cast on for a lace pattern dishcloth to see if I liked the pattern enough to make a shawl in it....frogged after it was obvious that the thing was going to be huge.

I still don't have a decent baby watching project. Instead I've got the Lacy Kerchief Scarf (Interweave Knits, Summer 2005).

Love the pattern, love the yarn (TLC Cotton Plus I originally bought for a Honeymoon Cami), love the knitting....but I'm not going to be able to play with this one unless the kids are asleep or really occupied with something. I'm actually knitting lace from a chart!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Having the washer and dryer on the porch makes laundry a much bigger project, especially now that it's so darn cold out there. But I braved the elements this afternoon to wash and dry the Euroflax Stole, and it didn't fall apart in the process. No pictures, because the kids move it as fast as I stretch it out to dry and it's going to need more competent blocking later. For now, it's softer and drapier, and I'm a lot happier with it. The color doesn't go with any of my maternity stuff, so it'll be a while before I get to wear it.

I've spent most of the rest of the day knitting and have high hopes for this evening. Quinn's finally got socks that fit --

He won't keep them on his feet, but I guess I can carry them around as proof that my little guy does have something to keep his feet warm, even if he doesn't seem to want them that way.

Sensational Knitted Socks came home from the library with me last night and after a quick glance through it, I'm thinking this may be the sock book I have to own. Lots of neat stitch patterns, adjustable by size and yarn type.... wonder if I can test the stitch patterns out on toddler socks....

Monday, November 07, 2005

I love this little hat!

It's Julia's Hat from the 2006 Knitting Pattern a Day calendar (September 6), and I knit it up with the Knitpicks Dancing left over from those weirdly striped socks. I like this stuff much better as a garter stitch baby hat. It's cushy and stretchy and when I can, I plan to order enough of the yarn for a whole little baby sweater. Hopefully that will be while #4 is still tiny!

And just as much as I love the yarn, I love the pattern. It's worked in short row wedges with bobbles and fringe (which don't show up well in my picture, but trust me, they're cute!) formed by casting on and binding of stitches. I can see myself using up a lot of leftover sock yarn on these. There's also a toddler size, so I'll have to make one for Quinn.

I don't hate this as much as I did last week...

After knitting and knitting and knitting and making absolutely no progress at all, I flew through the final skein and it's almost done. I just have to weave in the last few ends and wash and block it. The ends I'll do if Quinn naps long enough. The blocking will wait until I find out why there isn't any heat in our house today. Right now, it's too cold to want to mess with anything wet.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

When she was good she was very good, but when she was bad she was horrid....

Why isn't it possible to cheat on my yarn diets just a tiny bit? For me, it's all or nothing. After posting to the knitlist to see if anyone could tell me what yarn and needles I'd need for the baby bunting and finding out that all I really need is the pattern, I'd pretty much convinced myself it would be perfectly reasonable to order the magazine. It's for the baby, after all, and #4 deserves something special and wonderful that was made just for him or her. As opposed to the things I've been making for Quinn that keep turning out too small because I get so caught up in the whole "making things for my babies" mood and don't bother to read the size information until I'm halfway through the project.

Then we went to Walmart to do the grocery shopping and I had to walk through the yarn aisle just to see if the brands they carried came in good baby bunting colors, just in case I didn't have 800 yards of something good already. Not because I was going to buy anything. The yarn is next to the fabric. And the Halloween prints -- and the wonderful autumny stuff -- was fifty cents a yard. Baby will need a little car seat quilt with ghosts and brightly colored moons and stars. I needed the prints with pumpkins and candy corn and leaves. And it was one of those "now or never" things.

I guess I'm going to have to feel guilty about the magazine and work really hard to keep myself in line for a while. Or haul something else to grandma's antique mall. She just sold the absolute ugliest painting on the planet -- the one that I was ready to haul to the dump because it was too bad even for Goodwill -- for eighteen bucks. The thing didn't even have a frame. She tells me she can get quite a bit for the bench by the front porch (which has friends just like it in the barn and garage, so it wouldn't be a loss) and the lamp in my sewing room. Converting the junk the sellers left behind into yarn is fun -- probably the next best thing to finding an old spinning wheel hiding in a dark corner.

The library books I reserved are starting to trickle in. Last trip, I came home with Knitting Over the Edge (lots of neat possibilities in there!), That Dorky Homemade Look - Quilting Lessons From a Parallel Universe, and Alterknits. When Interweave Knits ran the pattern for the Laptop Cases, I thought it was cruel that the model was wearing a really cute knit scarf and of course they wouldn't have the pattern for that. The pattern's in the book, and the scarf attatches to a matching shawl to make a wrap that I've absolutely got to have. Of course it's knit in two strands of yarn and the gauge is over Fish-Scale Lace. That should be easy to figure out a replacement for, right? The yarn the pattern calls for would make it a $316.00 project -- yikes! Somewhere in my future there's got to be a yarn that will make something like this.

For now I've got the Euroflax. It's starting to look like something now that I'm into the third and final skein.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

After finishing the magic stripe socks (is something finished if the ends aren't woven in but you've worn it twice? ), I tried swatching for the Truly Tasha shawl, decided I didn't like what the yarn was doing, thought about using the yarn (salvaged from a thrift store sweater) to follow the witch's hat recipe that was posted to one of the lists last week, was feeling too lazy to go up to the sewing room to get the right size dpns, and wound up working on the Euroflax Stole instead... I've been plodding away on the feather and fan stuff ever since.

Have I mentioned how disappointed I am with this yarn? Yarn that costs that much should be really really nice to knit with, not stiff and scratchy and slippery and mean. I've seen how nice it's supposed to get after it's been washed a few times, but I don't trust it.

What I'd like to be plodding away on is that Heartstrings baby blanket I bought the Denim Style for, but I'm trying to make myself finish the stole before I cast on something else that uses exactly the same pattern.

And I --really-- want these! I want to buy a skein of Shimmer to make Frozen Lake, and the Andean Treasure (or something else nice and green) to make The Woods Are Lovely, Dark and Deep... stupid yarn diet...stupid house that no one wants to buy... stupid website that won't let you print a 12 page pattern without cutting off half the written directions and charts... I'm running out of ink and can't find the box with all of my extra computer stuff, which might or might not have an extra ink cartridge in it.

I did copy the text and pictures into my email program and get them to fit on a page that way, and I'm sure I have SOMETHING in my stash that'll make pretty triangular shawls, but Frozen Lake is going to have to wait until I can buy the Shimmer because it's so neat looking the way it's designed.

The wish list just gets longer and longer...

Saturday, October 29, 2005

So long ago I can't remember when it was, I read a post on Socknitters that explained how to start a sock from the toe up and gave it a try. Everything was going wonderfully until it was time to start the heel and I realized that I didn't have the slightest idea what to do next. I tried something, which didn't work, then put the whole mess onto waste yarn and hid it from myself. It popped out of hiding now and then, but even though I'd figured out how to do a short row heel, I guess I thought that frogging back my miserable attempt at a heel and picking up the stitches would be to hard. Actually, I'm not sure what I was thinking, because once I finally picked it up again it took two evenings to finish the first sock and would've only taken a couple of days to knit the second one if I hadn't been doing everything but knitting.

It's easy to avoid knitting projects, even the ones I want to do. I let myself get scared by people who posted that there wasn't enough yardage in a skein of Magic Stripes to knit a pair of size 10 socks....I couldn't divide the yarn evenly in half because I don't have an accurate scale (that's near the top of my list of things to buy after the house sells)...I was afraid of messing up my "good" yarn (even though in this case, the good stuff had been bought with a 40% off coupon and would be easy to frog or replace if something went disastrously wrong) ....

Because I was sure there wouldn't be enough yarn, I made them short. A lot shorter than they needed to be, but they fit and I like them and I'm going to try making a tiny hat of pair of socks for #4 with the yarn that's left over.

Hopefully this hat:

I tried last night, but wasn't paying enough attention to the instructions so I'll be starting over this afternoon.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Just because I feel like knitting socks in stockinette and plain old k2p2 ribbing instead of doing a pattern stitch on the instep and cuff doesn't mean I'm wasting yarn. I've got myself almost totally convinced that's true. Which is good, because all I seem to want to settle down and knit right now are stockinette sock feet. I cast on for one of the toddler socks I've been meaning to do, but after a few rounds decided that I didn't like the way the yarn looked or want to fuss with cables. So I pulled out the sock I started in Magic Stripes and then abandoned when I realized I didn't know how to make a heel and the foot was too short anyway. That sock's done now, I've got a good start on its mate, and I'm eyeballing the three other skeins of Magic Stripes that have been aging in my stash....

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Devilish Little Horns

I worried about running out of yarn, or that it might not fit his little head, but I never even thought about what a pain picking up the stitches for those little horns would be, let alone knitting them in the round and doing the decreases! Or trying to get a picture of it while he chased me across the room, but I can't complain about that.

The pattern is from here, and I think the yarn might be Woolease left over from Besotted. Quinn's big sister insists that he needs more of a costume, but I don't have the time -- or the yarn -- to knit matching pants, even if I do have a pattern for them.

My socks, which I expected to take forever, somehow flew off my needles:

They've got their little problems (like those weird blue and yellow striped pools of color), but they fit and they were so much fun to work on I'm ready to cast on with some of my pretty sock yarn.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

How many days do I have left until Halloween?

I had it all planned out -- spend the next three days finishing my sock, then finish the blue scarf and knit the little devil baby hat for Quinn. There was lots of time to get my Halloween knitting done without abandoning my other projects. Then the cruel folks at Knitty had to put up Yorick. I so need to knit this to wear trick or treating. I've got yarn that should work, I'm just not sure I've got time to make it and the hat before Halloween without totally abandoning the houses.

I'm also really intrigued with this month's Month of Softies theme....especially after seeing the Zombie Rag Doll.

Friday, October 14, 2005

It's quiet here. Both boys are napping and Alex is reading and I'm revelling in the fact that I'm in my own house using my own computer, even if it is set up on the bedroom floor because I shouldn't try to lift the monitor.

This was the view from my kitchen sink this morning:

It'd be more poetic without the Durango sitting there, but I love the trees and the mist and knowing that there are deer and elk out there -- along with the frogs and raccoons and the cat the previous owners left who wants nothing to do with us but we occasionally spot skulking in the distance.

And I've got knitting pictures:

Branching Out, which I finished a while ago. After the first few pattern repeats, which had me wondering if I really should have blown the last of my yarn money (for a while at least) on laceweight wool and shawl books, it got much much easier.

And the Broadripple Baby Socks. This is some of Alex's mystery yarn, which I had to trade the Goodwill alpaca for. From a distance, it looks a lot like Fixation, but it's definitely something else. I love the dense squishy fabric it worked up into and the color, which reminds me of rubber rain boots. They're too small for Quinn, because his Mommy didn't read the size until she had her heart set on the pattern and yarn, so they'll be waiting for #4.

And my socks, which I'm knitting in Knitpicks Dancing with bits of a couple of different patterns. I started out hating the color and the weird blue and yellow stripes -- how does the yarn do that? But now that I've got one done, I'm anxious to finish the second so I can wear them. And after that, I want to start a pair with the other color of dancing I ordered to see if it's got any neat tricks.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The tangle of sock yarn has been tamed! And I didn't have to resort to the scissors, and I'm almost done with the sock. Which would be finished by now if I hadn't been dumb enough to let the baby play with my skein of yarn while I was trying to knit with it.

I bought a little doily pamplet/book/thingie and a skein of pretty green crochet cotton at Walmart while I was grocery shopping yesterday (any yarn purchase that costs less than $5 and goes in with the groceries can't be considered breaking the yarn diet, right?) and the doily books I had reserved should be in by now, so if I can get all three kids occupied at once, I should be able to give this crochet thing a try soon.

After reading the Yarn Harlot's reasons NOT to learn, I'm convinced that this is something I've gotta do. Fast? Uses up lots of yarn? So I could possibly make sweaters for the kids (who will outgrow them fast, so it all balances) with cheap yarn from Goodwill or the discount stores which would make dh see how much yarn I'm using and agree with me that I need to buy more pretty stuff from Knitpicks. Unfortunately, he might pay too much attention to what I'm knitting and what yarn I'm using.

And I don't have the energy to haul the kids to the other library where they'd actually have crochet books with baby patterns...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

It's been a whole month without my computer, and I'm handling the deprivation a lot better than I thought I would. I still want my internet access back -- NOW -- but I'm not obsessing about it every minute of every day. I've got other things to keep my occupied (besides the family and the homeschooling and the moving...)

Like the Yarn Harlot's new book. I spent two weeks bugging the local bookstore until the copy I ordered finally came in. Now I'm toting it around from room to room wiht me, enjoying the cover with the shocked little sheepie on the front and reading a chapter now and then.

And my sock. Despite the fact that I'm using fingering weight and size 1 needles and have huge feet, I've made it up past the heel, in the process discovering that I can barely get my foot close enough to the rest of me to wrestle a partial sock onto it. Luckily I got the size right on the first try, so as long as I don't lose this one before I need to compare it to its mate, I should be okay.

All that's left to do is the leg, which would be the easy part. If I hadn't let Quinn hold my yarn while I worked on the heel, turning it into a scary tangle that totally wasn't his fault. And if he hadn't shot out out a little hand with that unexpected speed unique to destructive not-quite toddlers and pulled a dpn loose from 30some teeny tiny stitches, which I couldn't fix until we went to the new house so I could get a teeny tiny crochet hook from the sewing room. The stitches are all back in place and now I need to decide whether to keep fighting the tangle of find some scissors in the hopes that it'll be easier to fix without a sock and needles attatched to one end.

I've done a few more repeats on the Euroflax Stole and finished Branching Out except for the blocking, which I'll wait and do at the new place. I'm ignoring the blue lace scarf because it doesn't look like much fun and I've got something like 16 more 20 row repeats to do.

I want to try some of the worsted weight toddler socks that I printed the pattern for months ago and thought I needed yarn for, totally forgetting about the two skeins of highland wool I bought for I-cord Booga Bag straps and then never used....And the Baby Broadripple socks...and a crochet doily if the book I reserved came in and it's got good directions...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Knitting in Isolation

Instead of sulking because I don't have internet access at home for now, I'm trying to see it as an experiment. What will I wind up working on without all of the knitting lists and pretty blogs to distract me?

So far, I've done another ten repeats on the boring Euroflax stole, cast on and done five repeats of Branching Out, and finished most of the foot portion of a sock for mysyelf in Knitpicks Dancing. And it's killing me that I can't post to Socknitters and ask if anyone else's yarn is striping perfectly within the pools. And I can't post a picture of my Branching Out progress to show the other KnittingParents.

And the library's computer doesn't like Blogger's Spell Check feature...And the guy sitting next to me keeps laughing because I'm trying to herd kids while I type...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I brought yarn!

I've got more yarn with me this time than I've ever brought along on a trip -- the Euroflax stole, the cape cod socks, the lace scarf, and the yarn and patterns for Kiri, the baby socks, and a skein of Knitpicks Dancing. Of course the kids haven't let me touch it much, but I've got a fairly decent start on a sock toe with the Dancing. We're not camping this time, so the whole knitting bag went into the back of the Durango after I'd cleared out the stuff that shouldn't have been there in the first place.

Red Rock Knits is just as impressive as last year. They had the Silky Wool for Branching Out (which I promptly bought and added to my traveling stash) and lots of other yarns I haven't been able to find close to home OR online. Not the magazines I was looking for, though.

And the new Knitty is up! I only had time for a quick glance through the projects, but they're so much more appealing than the ones in the last issue. It's faded into a bit of a blur, but I know there were cables and lace and scarves and quite a few things I want to print up and add to my binders.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

It's time to pull the plugs and pack up the computer -- and hope like heck I'll remember how to hook the whole thing back up once we get there!

I don't expect to be updating the blog until the end of the month. Hopefully by then I'll have lots of new knitting to share.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The end is in sight!

I'm running out of boxes. I'm also running out of things to put in boxes, though, so that works. Except for the beds and TV and some ugly pieces of furniture that are going to wind up at the dump or GoodWill, this place is getting pretty empty. For now, I'm pretending I won't have to deal with boxes again as soon as I set foot in the new house.

The brown baby socks are done and came out really cute and got lost or packed or otherwise put away before I took a picture of them. As long as I find them before next August, when #4 will probably be about the right size to wear them, that's okay.

I've played hooky for two days in a row now, first to take the kids to OMSI yesterday to see the science of magic exhibit before it closes on Monday, then to take them to a birthday party today. After getting away from the houses for a couple of days, I'm suddenly looking forward to our trip to Arizona. Wonder if the shop in Sedona carries Silky Wool...and if I should call and find out before we leave town so I know in advance if it's worth stopping in....

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Three or four hours later...

It doesn't look like gorgeous stuff from the LYS anymore. It looks more like a big ball of something from Walmart or the bins at GoodWill, except I know deep in my heart that it's got enough natural fiber to make a much better shawl than 100% acrylic would. I'm still getting over the tangled mess I made while trying to wind it from the skein into a ball, and how much less vivid the the colors are now that they're not all perfectly aligned anymore.

I like it better knitted up, so I guess I'll keep my swatch close until Tuesday morning and hopefully by then I'll know if I want to buy enough to do a shawl.

Oh, and Ruffles is finally done now that I've woven in the ends and taken a picture!

Pattern from Scarf Style...TLC Cotton Plus...size 6 Denise Needles...more short rows than I ever would've imagined possible... But it was fun, and I might do another one if I had the right yarn or recipient in mind.

After a little pregnancy scare last night -- that now seems to be absolutely nothing to worry about -- I'm not supposed to lift today. So I'm taking advantage of the break to catch up on little knitting projects and hope to finish that baby sock tonight, if my fussy baby boy stays happy or goes to bed early enough.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

I need better equipment

This is the sort of thing that makes me think I should save up for a swift and ballwinder instead of spending all of my yarn money on yarn and patterns! I've got to conquer my fear and wind it into a ball today, though, because they'll only hold the other skein for me until Tuesday and before I buy another 500+ yards I should make sure I actually like the way the colors work up as much as I hope I will.

AND I've got to pack boxes, and maybe drive down to get the playpen, which I'm furious with myself for leaving at the new house.

Friday, August 26, 2005

I've got Silky Wool on the brain...

It started when I saw the finished Barbara Shawl at Missouri Star. Then it escalated when I pulled up the pattern for Branching Out and saw that it was done in the same color I had in my hands the last time I was at Fabric Depot. I don't know why I talked myself out of buying that yarn. I spent a big chunk of an afternoon helping my husband move one of his old trucks and wishing I had some of that yarn. It's possible that my desire for the yarn was magnified by the really really disgusting interior of the truck.

Of course the LYS's in town don't have Silky Wool, but they did have the gorgeous stuff I fell in love with a few months ago was still there, and it was 30% off, and I had cash in my purse from hauling a ton of books to the used bookstores around town. So now I've got a huge skein of gorgeous orange/brown/flamey yarn that I'm going to swatch and see if I can make a shawl out of.

That -- and all the rest of my yarn -- will have to keep me entertained until I can get to the next 30% off sale up at Fabric Depot, probably in October.

I did got to spend most of the day yesterday in a back bedroom of the new house, watching the baby play and knitting while they put the new carpet in the front room. I could've finished his little socks, but I left the finished one at home and didn't know how long to make it. At 6am, it hadn't seemed like a good idea to take my whole knitting box in the car. By noon, I really wished I had it with me. So I did the cuff of the sock and then 2 1/2 repeats of the scarf. Don't know if it was the knitting or just being able to sit for such a big chunk of the day, or maybe almost sorta sleeping in this morning (had to explain to Quinn what we were doing every half hour or so), but I'm feeling a lot calmer and more rested than I have in a while.

Monday, August 22, 2005

The sock is just barely the tiniest bit too small. Another round or two, and it would have been perfect. I suppose I could undo the toe, frog back and add a few rounds, but I'm not going to. I'm going to finish the second sock, and save the pair for baby #4. And then I'm going to make Quinn a bigger pair out of the more colorful yarn.

Ruffles is all done except for the ends, proof that if you plod along for long enough you will finish something. It was a fun project to work on, and I'm not sure what I'll replace it with.
I started out on a bit of a wild goose chase this afternoon, after reading on someone's blog that Elann had a new merino laceweight. I never did find a trace of it on their site, so either they sold out instantly, or the blogger meant Knitpicks. Either way, I found a really cute pattern for baby socks. Only one problem...all of my sock yarn is fifty miles from here. I'd already driven down and back today, so there was no reasonable excuse to make another trip. Maybe two problems....I don't think I've got any single skeins of sock yarn in boyish colors and it would be wasteful to use part of one skein and leave myself without enough for an adult pair, right? I've got the solid colors I bought for the Better Than Booties Baby Socks, and they're here, but they're solid. And the whole point of today's little obsession is to make striped baby socks.

Then the kids and I went to visit Aunt Nita and came home with a big bag of yarn. Including partial skeins of sock yarn in about five different colors! And a partial skein of Fixation, which is going to be a pair of Baby Broadripple Socks when it grows up. There was also a gorgeous skein of Opal, two gorgeous skeins of Regia, and more great stuff than I have time to list right now, but I'm all excited about having yarn for my baby socks and will play with the rest of it later.

Now, do I hope he stays asleep until morning, or that he wakes up soon so I can make sure it fits?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

This morning, I abandoned my boxes, grabbed the kids, and headed for the thrift stores. The plan was to see if I could find stuff that, combined with some of the goodies I've discovered while filling boxes, would justify joining the Vintage Swap, but that didn't work out. The swap filled up while we were moving trucks yesterday. But all's not lost. I'll happily keep the stuff I did pick up.

The apron was never going to go live with anyone else anyway. It's so perfectly what I would have been looking for if I'd had a row of aprons on hangers to pick from...and it came out of the bottom of a GoodWill bin and probably cost a quarter!

The sweater has problems, but it also has six absolutely gorgeous metal clasps that I plan on removing before I toss it into the washer and see what felting does to it. I haven't knitted anything that needs a clasp yet, but I'm sure I'll make something sooner or later. And I like the pretty clasps.

I'm so happy with my apron and the sweater claps, I didn't feel too jealous when a pair of ladies next to us unearthed a gorgeous quilt top. I'd seen quilts in their basket, but assumed they were the mass produced department store kind. It never crossed my mind that there would be a real quilt lurking under the rest of the nasty bedding. Next time, I'll pay more attention!

Now I suppose I should get back to the boxes.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Heaven...I'm in Heaven....

I was starting to worry that by the time I got all of the boxes and Rubbermaid bins and mesh laundry bags and everything else inside, my sewing room would be bursting at the seams. Somehow though, it all tucked nicely away and I've still got plenty of room to knit and sew and dream. I swear I could double - maybe triple - my yarn and fabric stash and still fit it all in there!

The pictures aren't great, but you get the idea...

I spent a big chunk of the last two days stretched out on the twin bed the previous owners left, nursing my baby and staring at my yarn. After getting up at 5am and packing like mad until I had enough full boxes to justify the trip. It's even better than stretching out on the new couch and watching trees flutter outside the windows.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

The move drags slowly on...

When did it become my mission in life to keep track of every different promotion Home Depot, Lowes, and everyone else is offering and how we can combine them to get the best deals on our appliances and carpet? I do not remember signing up for that!

Ruffles is a little more than half done, and it's turned out to be the perfect project for me to work on right now. It takes about four minutes to do a section of short rows and even if I put it down in the middle of one, the wrapped stitches are easy to read and I can get myself back on track without much thought or stress. Which is good, because I've been going for days without any knitting and if I had to remember where I was and what I was doing, I'd just fall apart and shove it back into the knitting bag.

And Knitpicks has new laceweight! I had already ordered three skeins of the paint-your-own (along with the Dancing and solid sock yarn that were the reason I was ordering in the first place) before realizing that they also had Shadow and Gossamer. Now I'm trying to figure out how soon I can get away with placing another order so I can have some of the pretty colored stuff.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

I just spent a couple of hours blindly following the instructions for my dolly shawl while halfway watching Lifeboat and I think I'm doing it right! I seem to have all the right parts in all the right places. Now I want to rush out and find a pattern and yarn for a person size Faroese Shawl...

BTW, the yarn really is a much prettier color in person!
That ball of yummy wine colored yarn that's been living on the edge of my desk and making me wish there was more of it has decided that it wants to be a Dolly Faroese Shawl. I like this idea, which will let me play with the pretty yarn while hopefully figuring out how these shawls work so I can make a big one for myself. The first few steps of the pattern are intimidating, but I'm going to give it a shot after the kids are in bed, if the littlest one cooperates.

I never ever wear mittens, but I want to knit them. I've got a gorgeous pattern and the right yarn, but that doesn't stop me from suddenly coveting A Year of Mittens from Two Old Bags. Maybe I can knit a bunch of mittens to hang around the house as wintery decorations...which wouldn't have to fit anyone's hands...which suddenly sounds like a really really good idea....

Friday, July 22, 2005

It hasn't cooled down any, but my urge to have a FO got stronger than my fear of melting, and I finished binding off my Pinwheel Baby Blanket.

Did I mention how happy I am with this project? It came out to almost 40" across, using 2 skeins of SuperSaver and size 9 needles. I definitely need some kind of crocheted edging to tame the curling stockinette, but for now it's semi-finished and will be useful if it ever gets cold enough to need a blanket again. That was a lot of knitting fun for a $4.50 yarn investment! As soon as the weather changes, I'm going to start another one and play with stitch patterns.

Ruffles is coming along nicely, even if it does look like it'll take a long time to finish. I'm enjoying the technique, have the stitch pattern memorized, and have learned to read my knitting well enough to tell which short row I'm on if I put it down in the middle of a repeat. It's interesting, but not quite easy enough to do with a baby in my lap.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


It's far too hot in this house to finish binding off the 500 stitches of the pinwheel baby blanket, especially since I've still got to learn how to do a crocheted edging and having it bound off won't mean the blanket is finished. It's too hot to read blogs, too hot to pack boxes, just about too hot to breathe...

So I cast on for Ruffles...

It's too hot for this too, but I've got to do something.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

New Theory

Everyone says that if you move into a bigger house, your things will expand to fill all of the new storage space. What they don't say is that as you take boxes and boxes out of the house you're trying to pack, the stuff that's left will do the same thing. How does this work?! Is the secret to shove it all into boxes really really fast before it has time to spread or multiply or whatever it's doing?

Despite the fact that it's miserably hot today (the thermometer in the Durango tried to tell me it's 110 in the driveway, but I know it's not quite that bad), I made a respectable amount of progress. You can't see any of it, but I know I put lots of stuff in boxes and hauled lots more stuff to Goodwill.

And while I was catching my breath and reading my email, I followed a link to see a picture of Spring Fling and stumbled across what's got to be the most amazing cabled afghan ever.

I've wanted to make a cabled afghan for ages, but never found the pattern that made me run out and buy yarn. When I found what I thought was the perfect pattern and
what I thought was the perfect yarn (for my budget at that time )the afghan was knitted in panels, and had lots of bobbles, and I'd been reading too much crap on the knitlist about the evils of acrylic and actually took the yarn back to the

What makes me feel really silly is that I've been thinking about using some scratchy grey wool that was a thrift store sweater to make a cabled purse, just a long rectangle folded in half. Why didn't it ever occur to me that I could drag home a bunch of library books and dream up my own?!

Sunday, July 10, 2005


I needed to get out of the house. I need to get out and never come back, but I can't do that quite yet. I can do that soon.

Yesterday, we ran off to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show and spent four and a half hours wandering around and taking in the gorgeous eye candy. The whole town has quilts hanging from every building down every side street, and there's too much to possibly see it all. One of these years, I want to go all by myself so I can read every tag on every last quilt.

I saw lots of things I'm just dying to learn how to do myself, especially the elaborate Celtic Knot quilts and the one that had constellations embroidered on the border. I've got some dark blue fabric I bought for Heath's Titanic quilt that I could use, and a book of constellations, and white embroidery floss...and there was the crazy quilt done in Halloween prints....and the incredibly detailed applique....

My brain is totally overflowing with the things I could do with the fabric I've already got in my stash.

And while I was digging through the mess in the shop, I found the Mysterious Toaster Oven, which I thought was long gone. I don't even know where it came from in the first place. Years ago, when the oven in our apartment had been broken for so long that I was seriously reading online advice about how to cook in your dishwasher (which I never got desperate enough to actually try), I glanced over and realized that that white thing sitting there taking up counter space was a toaster oven. Our toaster oven, because I know it didn't come with the apartment, but no one seems sure exactly where it did come from. My best guess is that it probably belonged to my father's parents and made its way to our house with a bunch of other stuff that we were given after they died. Assuming that it still works (and of course it will because it seems to be a magic appliance that turns up when I need it), this means I can finally use the Fimo I bought to make buttons or stitch markers or whatever without worrying that it's going to release toxic fumes into the kitchen and give us all brain damage.

I know, I should be packing.

Friday, July 08, 2005

I Hate Cardboard

I don't like cardboard. I don't like the feel of it, or the smell of it, or anything else about it. I especially hate cardboard boxes.

I thought I hated brown, but then I found the cone of pretty brown laceweight stuff while I was digging for blue acrylic. According to the tag inside, it's wool...or bamboo....or both? Brown is obviously not the problem. I can do something with this. And with the brownish Woolease and the two wool sweaters that are waiting to be unraveled into yummy soft brown yarn.

The problem is the stupid boxes that have taken over my life.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I've got two houses now

We signed the papers yesterday and the sellers signed this morning and the wonderful house is (or very shortly will be) ours! I have 10 days or so (I'm not quite convinced because it still keeps changing) to pack everything we own so we can get it from here to there. How are you supposed to pack a house that you're still living in and supervise three kids at the same time?

I'm keeping myself sane with the round baby blanket. It's growing and growing and pretty soon it'll be time to add the border and then it won't be easy anymore. I think I found some blue acrylic that'll work. It has to work because I can't buy yarn right now and the other blue acrylic I was digging for no longer exists. Something to do with a five year old and scissors and the fact that I'm not giving his big sister any more yarn for her stash if that's what they're going to do to it.

There's a whole beautiful gallery of pinwheel blankets. After looking at them, I can picture myself making nothing but round baby blankets for months to come. I probably won't do that, but it's entertaining to daydream about what I could do with the rest of that blue yarn I just dug out of the plastic storage bins.

Monday, July 04, 2005

I've been at the coast with my pinwheel baby blanket & husband & kids. Swimming and hiking and watching fireworks and whales and being far away from the bank and the title company and the boxes that now dominate my life.

Now I've got four days to get the closing papers signed and pack a bunch of boxes before I play hooky again and run off to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show next weekend....then another few days to pack like mad before the new Harry Potter book comes out....

These little distractions don't keep me from obsessing that I want my new house and I want it now! I even have new furniture for it. New furniture that's already there while I'm stuck here. How unfair is that?! There's a green couch that's apparently been eaten a bit by ferrets, but the damage is hidden under a quilt and since that was being given to us along with the quilt, I really didn't think it was polite to poke around under the cushions...and a matching oversize chair and love seat that both are in great shape...and a big square coffee table with drawers and a glass top that you can display things under (which should go perfectly with the Victorian love seat my grandmother left me) and an antique dresser thing with glass drawer pulls and a layer of chipped white enamel paint that's about an inch thick. And stools for the bar in the kitchen, and a neat wooden plant stand. Not bad for $128! And the sellers are leaving me both picnic tables and the wooden lawn chairs I was hoping for.

Now I've got to convince Bill that the ancient flowered carpet in the new living room isn't going to somehow poison the baby. It needs to be replaced, but it's so pretty. And it was just shampooed. I'd like to live with it for at least a little while.

I added another two inches or so to the diameter of my pinwheel baby blanket tonight while watching The Hole. I thought the rounds were starting to take forever, but apparently they're not!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

If I'd knit a couple more rows on my scarf and bound it off before frogging the whole thing, would that have counted as a finished object?

Instead of working on one of the projects I had laid out, I wound up playing with a skein of Sari that's been again in my stash for quite a while. The pattern I ordered it for uses size 50 needles, which I still don't have. So I swatched with my 35s and discovered that there is no way on this earth I'm knitting anything on those. So I cast on with some 13s and made most of a very cute scarf. I dropped every third stitch so it had more texture. The bronze and copper colors of the yarn were gorgeous....... I was happy with it until I realized that it wasn't going to use anywhere near the full ball of yarn, even if I added fringe. Using half of the ball on a scarf I probably won't ever wear seemed wrong, and at about that time I dropped the wrong stitch and instead of fixing it, I unravelled the whole thing and put it away until I think of something more useful to make with it. Or more fun.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Don't know what to do with myself...

I get to knit tonight. After spending most of the day sorting through stuff and putting together the 18 boxes of books I hauled to GoodWill, I deserve a long stretch of time to work on whatever I want to. Too bad I don't know what I want to work on!

Not the round baby blanket. Or the Euroflax stole. Those are my big no-concentration projects.

Maybe the notebook cover, which I started last night. It'll probably be more fun once my first triangle is wide enough and I get to start the short rows.

I could swatch for Spring Fling....or Trellis (after the trip to GoodWill, we stopped at Tuesday Morning for three skeins of Pistachio Cotto-Ease)...or I could dig out the pattern for Ruffles and start it with the pink Cotton Plus....the sock yarn won't get the gauge the neat sock pattern calls for, so that won't work...

There's got to be something exciting in that pile of pretty yarn!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Black Sheep Gathering

I love the Black Sheep Gathering. I love my little baby who let me haul him around the Black Sheep Gathering for six hours, only fussing when a sheep made a loud scary noise at him, and my five year old who put up with the experience. Alex doesn't get any credit because she was having as much fun as I was.

That lace knitting I thought I was doing? My lace is nothing like the beautiful creations I saw today! Skaska Designs had a booth draped with the most beautiful shawls -- so many it was impossible to take them all in.

I saw the Heirloom Baby Aran from IK knitted up, and I've definitely got to work up the courage to tackle this one before Quinn is bigger than the largest size.

I think I found out what I'm doing wrong with my spinning.

And as a souvenir, I bought a skein of gorgeous lace weight alpaca to use for the Flared Lace Smoke Ring. That should last longer than a t-shirt, right?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Packing and Abandoned Plans

I'm packing today. It's not fun. I'm only doing it because I'm hoping to make it to the Black Sheep Gathering on Saturday and don't want to be reminded that I should be working on the house.

I tried to work on the Sunshine Sweater this morning while the ER reruns were on. Packing is more fun than struggling with that d--- sweater. So it's been laid to rest. After wrestling with it for a whole fifteen minutes, I came to the conclusion that since it won't fit Heath now and wouldn't fit Quinn until he's at least three, since the yarn hurts my hands, and since I can't remember how to do the slip stitch color pattern, there's no reason to suffer through it just because months ago I spent ten bucks on yarn and finished two sleeves. I transferred the live stitches to a length of waste yarn, wrote down what needles I was using and what size I was making on the working copy of the pattern, and shoved the whole mess into a mesh laundry bag which I'll hide somewhere in the rest of the stash until I find a new use for the yarn or decide to finish the sweater after all, and removed it from my list of WIPs. It's gone and I feel good about it.

There were six projects on the list that made up the plan. I've finished three and will finish the second bootie as soon as I unearth the stupid book with the pattern in it. That only leaves the cardigan which needles sleeves and seams. It's warm and getting warmer -- I'm not convinced I need to finish a heavy cardigan right now.

And if I'm going to pack everything we own into endless boxes, I deserve to spend the rest of my time knitting something fun!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

High Stress Knitting

I don't felt often. I love the look of felted knits, it's just that the process of felting scares the pants off me. There's no turning back if it goes horribly wrong. Not that I've had anything go wrong yet, but it could and if I'd spent a lot of money on pretty yarn that turned into a worthless mess it'd take me a long time to get over it.

I had the patterns for the Buttonhole Bag and the sweater with the little horsies on it in a project bag with the yarn and needles, so last night after the kids were in bed I cast on and started knitting before I lost my nerve. By midnight, I had the horses almost done and was starting to worry that the stranded color work might not felt right. I was a good little knitter and waited until morning to finish the top handles instead of rushing through them and trying to felt it at 2am. Which I've done before -- that's definitely hard on the nerves!

I can't believe how easily this thing felted. Four minutes of agitation and it looked pretty good. A couple more minutes and it was done! I did knit a swatch and sort of felt it in the sink to make sure the different brands of wool I used would play nicely together, but I'm still amazed it felted so quickly.

 I used a single strand of worsted weight wool (Plymouth Galway and Knitpicks WOTA) and sort of kind of followed the pattern for the shaping, adding increase rows to get enough stitches for the horse pattern,making it taller, and making the buttonholes wider. The whole process probably didn't take more than four hours total.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Summer of Lace...and Socks...And Embroidery...

I finished the Cathedral Window Shawl without making a total mess of it!

After lots of false starts over a period of months and months, things suddenly came together and got easy. I even managed to graft the two sides together instead of doing the three needle bindoff that was going to be my last resort.

I'm please with the way it came out. Actually, I'm on the verge of jumping up and down and screaming. This was a big finish, the kind that under normal circumstances would justify buying wonderful new yarn. Or at least something to wear under it, since I obviously wasn't thinking about what would match the grape yarn when I ordered it from Elann.

Actually, I'm not sure when or if I'll wear it outside. This thing weighs an absolute ton. I spent real money on the yarn, unlike Clapotis which materialized out of yardsale stuff and can get tossed into the stroller or backseat without guilt. Which means it's handy when I need it. I feel like I've got to take better care of Cathedral Windows which, knowing me, means it's going to be hidden out of sight and I'll forget it's there.

Next step in the lacey summer...probably more of the Euroflax Stole...a pi shawl if I can figure out where I put the yarn and if it still seems like a good idea after I swatch it. This morning, I was dreaming so vividly of knitting that it was a shock to wake up and realize that there wasn't a shawl in the bed with me.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

I really do knit!

When I'm not reading blogs and following links to neat patterns for aprons and lacy baby bonnets, I do get some knitting done:

Not bad for 4 days of off and on knitting, especially on a project that's been jinxed for the past seven months! And I've been hauling it around with me, knitting while I watch the kids play outside and wait for Alex to get through with her Karate class. There are a few little mistakes, and the second row of windows is one row shorter than the others, but since I did the first half while I was in the hospital and heavily medicated and know I was making mistakes then, I'm not worried about making this half perfect. I don't knit perfect things.

Four more repeats to go, then I've got to weave in a lot of ends and learn to graft garter stitch. Or whatever it takes to hold both halves together.

Tonight's obsession is BAGS. The sewing tote I got the pattern for on the shop hop last week...the patchwork one I think I can make with the squares of flannel I got in the grab bag I bought on the shop hop...the wedding ring bag I found in The Ultimate Collection of Classic Quilt Blocks...the bag Mom and I both fell in love with on the shop hop and were told there wasn't a pattern for (but she found the pattern at several different quilt shops while she was shopping with a friend this week -- yippee!!)...and the idea that I might be able to use a slip stitched pattern on a Button Bag.

I'm going to stay up late and watch movies and play. Hopefully the rest of the family will cooperate!

Friday, June 17, 2005

I've gotten myself a bit lost

I can't tear myself away from the Garnstudio website. All of those wristwarmer patterns I fell in love with a while back are there -- and they're free. They're also in Norwegian, but that's a teeny tiny little detail.

As if the pretty wristwarmers weren't enough, their baby patterns are spectacular. This and that in particular. Not that there's any way I'm going to learn to knit patterns like that, let alone patterns like that in a language I don't speak, before my baby is too big for them, but this is fantasy knitting.

I printed up this wristwarmer pattern, along with their page of knitting term translations and my Googling also turned up
Norwegian to English Knitting Lessons It must be possible to knit from these patterns, or American LYSs wouldn't be selling them. I do wonder why the catalog didn't mention that the patterns weren't in English. If I'd splurged to order a pattern I couldn't read, I would not have been a happy knitter!

Before I got all obsessed by the pretty Norwegian stuff, I jumped on the bandwagon that's taking everyone to Tuesday Morning and came home with two bags of Wool-Ease Sportweight, which I haven't been able to find locally. Three skeins of black, for the Knitty Spring Fling cardigan (thought I was going to have to do it in a baby color or wait months and months for the Mill End Store to have a 25% off coupon and then hope I had money by then) and three skeins of the natural color for socks or a baby aran or I don't know what. I didn't buy any Cotton-Ease, then I got home and found out that it's the exact gauge and fiber content as the two tops from Rebecca I want to try resizing. I'm trying very hard to be good and stay away from the tempting yarn. I don't know if I can successfully resize the patterns or not. If I do make them fit, they wouldn't be practical for nursing in. I really don't need this yarn right now. But I do kinda want it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


I did it! Just like the pattern said, I finished Lolita Toes with one skein of Fixation. I used the ankle from a different pattern to make them shorter, but I also wear a size 10 shoe, so I'm sure it somehow balances out. They're done, and I didn't run out of yarn, and they fit!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Bad Bonnet Sue

I'm in a weird mood today. It started out with a search for traditional Sunbonnet Sue patterns, or maybe some redwork, and I wound up here. I like the devil Sue, and the Lizzie Borden Sue -- they're cute. Sue sitting on the toilet or mooning people is just a bit too tacky and crude for my taste. I'd rather see her freezing on a life preserver while the Titanic goes down behind her, or hanging out of the mouth of a gator.

And those reminded me of the Touch My Scissors and Die wall quilt we saw on the shop hop. Mom didn't approve. I doubt she'd like BadBonnet Sue much, either.

My Lolita toes are coming along nicely, and it looks like I may really have enough yarn to finish them. I think I'm going to make the ankle more like these instead of the picot edge the pattern calls for. Since this is another pattern that says you can make a pair of socks with one skein of fixation, I'm feeling pretty optimistic. And I'm loving the way the yarn is working up. It's tiger lace!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

I had this plan to finish my old WIPs before we moved, then I refined it to "Finish them before we close on the house or frog them and get rid of the yarn." Since the seller was planning on paying rent after our closing date and staying in the house until mid-August, it was a very reasonable plan that still left me time to pack and dabble with new projects. Now he's calling to see if we can close on July 5th or 6th and they'll be out by the 18th.

So, do I stop casting on interesting new projects and stick to the plan to get this stuff done? Give up the green sweater and the yarn that was going to be Pixie Boots and finish the stuff I'm most excited about? Or just be happy that I'm getting my house soon and that before long we'll be out of here and settled there so I can knit and quilt and whatever to my heart's content and stuff the old WIPs into the darkest corner of the new sewing room?

I'm leaning toward the third choice.

Friday, June 10, 2005

I am so tired! Mom and I (and Dad and the kids) went on a quilt shop hop today. I had to be at their house before 7am and didn't get back here until almost 8. It was exhausting, but definitely worth it. All but two of the eight shops were new to me and most had lots of pretty stuff to look at, but I didn't buy much.

I got some cheap but very cute novelty fabric to try making these pants for the baby. Scroll
down past the cool knitting patterns to get to them. I'm also thinking
about trying the mitered felted bag and the baby hats. Because even though
my little guy doesn't wear his hats, I like knitting them.

At the last shop, I fell in love with the shop model for this, which would make a great project bag. The store on the front is embroidered, and I'm sure I can figure out a way to put a spinning wheel in one of the empty windows and add a couple of yarn references.

I also found a card with a really intriguing picture and quote that I plan on hanging in the new sewing room. I'm not sure exactly what it means, but I like it.

I was very tempted by some fabric with Day of the Dead type skeletons on it, and a print that was like an indian map from an old children's picture book. And the Japanese magazines. But I was good. There will still be great stuff in the shops later, after we're out of this house and have it sold. That's what the Yarn Harlot said in her book and right now while I'm trying to be so good and frugal, I'm choosing to believe her.

Since I knew we were going to spend most of the day driving, I thought I'd work on the new shawl. It seemed like a good idea for about the first dozen knit stitches. Either I'm too clutzy, the Euroflax is too slippery and splitty, or Highway 26 is too bumpy. At least I know I'm not missing out on tons of potential knitting time during our long road trips.

And I'm almost afraid to admit it, but I did check for the second Mystery Stole clue before I left the house this morning. It wasn't there yet, but it is now, and I've got it printed off and ready to go.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Not Like Costco Socks are done, done, DONE! That last few inches of ribbing seemed to take forever.

Now I can go back to my Lolita Toes, which I just re-started, and the Euroflax shawl which I finally got gutsy enough to cast on, and whatever else sounds fun.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Mystery Stole Along

For the first time ever, I've managed to start a knitalong at the same time as everyone else! I was still on the couch at two thirty this morning, working on Step One of the Mystery Stole Along. It was almost done at midnight, when I suddenly started dropping stitches left and right and wound up so frustrated I cut the whole thing off the needles. Then, since I was starting over anyway, I had to go online and find a better way to do the provisional cast on. And once I had the 111 stitches on my needles again, I had to keep going. I would've been knitting even later than that, but I convinced myself I should get some sleep before the kid leapt out of bed to start their day.

The most exciting part of this project so far has been the swatch. Feather and Fan really is as easy as everyone says it is! So while I wait for Step Two, I think I'm going to dig out that Euroflax I've been so afraid of and cast on the shawl it was supposed to become.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Just because I have three pairs of size six dpns and two pairs of size six circulars does not mean that I should use them for the round baby blanket I started last night. That wasn't obvious at midnight, but by around two am it finally hit me that my gauge was probably a whole lot tighter than it needed to be. I want a finished blanket that will drape gently over the baby, not stand up by itself. So I'm gonna use the second skein to swatch with bigger needles and see how that feels.

I love this color, enough to convince me that I don't hate Red Heart Supersaver quite as much as I thought I did.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

My DPNs needed a new home too

For the past few days, I've been drooling over blogs with pictures of bags and pincushions and other wonderful stuff. It must've sparked something, because tonight I wound up digging out a Pendleton shirt I felted a couple of years ago and then buried in my stash. I'm not quite sure what I originally planned to make with it, but suddenly it needed to be a needleroll.

I've needed one of these for ages, but making one from scratch seemed like too much work, and I'm way too cheap to buy one of the ones at the LYS. Then someone on one of the lists suggested making one from a quilted placemat and it seemed like the perfect solution, until I tried Walmart and a couple of thrift stores and couldn't find a placemat I liked even a little bit. So I forgot about it.

And then this afternoon it struck me that I could use the felted shirt. Just cut a rectangle and fold it and stitch to form the little pockets for the needles. And since it's plaid, I had straight lines to cut and stitch along.

Think I'll stop losing whole sets of DPNs now?

Plan #1

I've got a plan. Actually, I've got many plans that involve finishing all of my current wips before moving into the new house and knitting lace curtains and cutting up a (deliberately) felted Pendleton shirt to make a needleroll for my DPNs. And packing lots of boxes.

Plan #1 is to finish my currents WIPs before our closing date. I've got fifty days, which means if I finish a project a week, I've got more than enough time to get them all done and still cast on some new stuff.

Clapotis was on the list, but it flew off the needles as quickly as it jumped on.

The Costco Socks are coming along well, especially now that I know exactly what size they need to be. I need to frog Lolita Toes and make the foot a bit snugger and the heel less ugly. The Pixie Boot doesn't excite me at all, so I'm going to start a different pair of booties with the yarn I have left, and frog this one if there isn't enough.

I love my Cathedral Window Shawl, but can't seem to finish it. When I was sleep deprived and heavily medicated, I knit the first half without any trouble. I probably could've finished it there in the hospital, but I hit the center point and my little windows looked a lot different once I was increasing for them instead of decreasing, so I put it aside to knit baby hats and figure out what to do. I like the windows on the first half much better, so the plan is to knit another piece like the first one and graft them together. But now that I'm rested and coherent, I can't make the stitch pattern work.

The cardigan intimidates me. I don't know why, especially now that I've finished the tricky interlock part. All it needs is a pair of sleeves.

I'm even less enthusiastic about The Sunshine Sweater than I am about the Pixie Boot. I'd stopped enjoying it even before the discussion about cotton and all of the nasty things it can do came up on the knittingparents list. The pattern called for Lion Kitchen Cotton, so that's what I bought. Now I'm wishing I'd started it in acrylic. Since I don't need a zillion green dishcloths, I'm going to knit the front and back and wait until Quinn grows into it. Or give it away. Gotta use the yarn so I won't feel guilty for wasting eight bucks on it.

When I get them all done, I'm going to treat myself to the perfect yarn for a flared smoke ring.


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