Sunday, January 28, 2007

I went scrap booking on Friday night --- left the house at five and didn't get back until midnight -- and it was so much fun! I've gotta get out and do that again soon.

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Oh, and that is a handknit sweater on the chicken in the picture! Have I mentioned that my daughter is creative?

Thursday, January 25, 2007


This one is Yvonne's Double Flower Cloth. I just totally horrified Alex by using it to wipe banana apple yogurt off of Leif's face. If I'm going to use the thing, is there a better way to use it? A bit of baby food will wash out easily enough. And it's not like it was hard to make. I thought it was going to be hard, but once I got started "* yo, (k1, p1) 5 times, k1, yo, k2tog, k1 * [8 times]" was no problem. The most difficult part was getting started with 8 stitches on my dpns.

Last week, I printed up a bunch of dishcloth patterns that I wanted to try once I got something bigger done. But the big projects aren't getting done because they're so big and I couldn't wait to give the 4 Corners Cloth a try....and the first yarn I cast on with was this blue stuff, which didn't have enough contrast between the color changes, but I thought might work great for a lace cloth...and then I had to see how the blue yarn looked knit up into the lace.... and now that I've done two, I might as well do more.

I had some deadlines I wanted to meet, but none of them are that serious and I seem to have done something to my wrist. I'm guessing it's a baby-lugging thing and not a knitting thing. It doesn't bug me at all when I knit, but I'm a little worried about trying to knit too much for too many days in a row. So I knit two dishcloths and a repeat of the Alterknits wrap yesterday...yeah, that makes sense...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


It's a 4 Corners Dishcloth, the first of what I'm sure will be several. I really like this pattern. It looked long and complicated on paper, but it only took me a few rows to figure out what was actually going on and I'm sure I'll be able to do the next one from memory.

Monday, January 22, 2007

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I'm not sure what I've been doing lately really counts as knitting from my stash. I'm just working one on huge project, the Alterknits lace-up wrap/shawl/stole thing. I can't find links to anyone else who's made this, probably because it has such a stupid name that no one is going to type the whole thing out when she's blogging about it. I really think it's going to be more of an afghan than a wrap, even though I'm shortening it by almost 20", but that's fine because I wanted to it to use for snuggling up in the car on long road trips. The best thing about this project right now (besides the fact that it's gorgeous) is that it's EASY! So I can knit a repeat or two at night while watching TV with Bill, or during the day while the kids are tearing apart my house. The end is in sight. If I do at least one pattern repeat a day, I'll be finished by the Fall Cables KAL contest deadline.

I haven't finished anything so far in 2007...still haven't cat on those Socktopia socks...haven't worked on the Endpaper Mitts in far too long. Someone little took all of the magnets off my chart keeper, so I'm hoping I can find my place again when I do want to work on them. And not wanting to work on them because what if I can't find my place?

Working on one project for long stretches of time is supposed to be a good thing, right? I might feel better about it if there weren't so many other things I'm dying to start.

I have a hard time changing yarn plans, but this seems just *too* cool not to try. I don't have "Owl", but I do have a similarly striped brown sock yarn (it's that cotton Regia that Elann had cheap a while back) that was going to be my Eagle's Flight socks. Eagle's flight will look nice in blue, won't it? Because Heath really truly needs a pair of rattlesnake socks. I joined the Six Sox Knitalong and just printed out the pattern.

I should make snake socks, shouldn't I?

I've found far, far too many neat new patterns already today -- seen the 4 corners dishcloth? Or this a very pretty cabled wristwarmer pattern. In my defense, they were all on the same page of the same blog, and I've also done school and gone grocery shopping.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

If I was allowing myself to buy yarn today, I'd order three skeins of Mister Joe Montepulciano in Night Sky
to make myself a Reversible Lace Rib Shrug With Swing Shaping. I'd add enough Peruvian Highland Wool to make a Felted Birdhouse Handbag (in nice, gardeny shades of brown and green) to the order, and maybe four skeins of Lisa Lashes to make the Bulky Pinwheel Jacket because it's silly to pay postage for just three skeins of yarn. But I'm still being good, so I've printed the pattern and I'll ransack my stash for Rib Shrug yarn when it warms up a bit. With yarn requirements that vague, there's got to be something out there that'll work.

There's nothing out there suitable for felted birdhouses, but I might be able to pull together enough worsted weight acrylic to make a pinwheel jacket for one of my boy babies. That would be a lot more sensible than an eyelash version, no matter how cute the picture looks, because I don't have a girl baby to put one on.

I've been knitting away on my Alterknits wrap, making faster progress than I expected. I should actually be able to finish it before the Fall Cable Knitalong is over! If I don't get sucked into a new project.

I should also at least get started on my January Socktopia socks. I can think of at least three possibilities for the "Blue Monday" theme...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Scarves are deceptive. I know I've heard somewhere that they're quick and easy knitting projects, and maybe if you're using novelty yarn and size fifteen needles they are.

The scarves I wind up knitting aren't. There was the blue Madeira Lace scarf I sat in an empty room and worked on when they laid the new carpet. It took twenty hours and more concentration than I thought I had. There was How Does Your Garden Grow with its miles of I-cord and oodles of little leaves. There was the Dream Swatch.

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So I shouldn't be at all surprised that the pink lace scarf is taking me so long. It's a scarf. And it's got that tricky "knit three, then pull the first stitch over the other two stitches and let it drop" maneuver, which would probably be easier with smoother yarn, or yarn that had some stretch to it, or pointier needles.

The whole thing makes my hands hurt after a few repeats, but it's pretty and soft and scrunches up nicely and I'm convinced I'm going to love it and wear it when it's done. (Keep in mind that I haven't worn any of the scarves I've knitted so far, and that this is probably another pretty-yarn-induced delusion.)

It's hangs out on the arm of the couch and I knit a few repeats at night while we're watching television or in the afternoon while I'm watching the babies. Except for that little bit of knitting, I've been puttering around the house and enjoying the running water and the wonderful fluffy bath towels Bill bought me for Christmas.

I made banana bread from scratch this morning, but something went wrong. Banana bread is not supposed to look like this. I don't know if it was the bananas, which were far past their prime, or the flour Bill made in the Vitamix last night, or the recipe I printed off the internet because I couldn't find the one I wanted to use.

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In case anyone but me cares, I'm still knitting from my stash -- fifteen days since I bought yarn or fabric!

If I switched to scarf knitting, my stash would probably last forever...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Apparently, I can have the pattern, yarn, and needles for the project I'm anxious to start laid out right beside me and still wind up casting on for something totally different! How does that happen?

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I'm suddenly knitting a scarf that I had only the vaguest intention of making, with yarn that I had almost no intention of using. But I'm enjoying myself. And, unlike the Squirrel and Oak Mittens, I can work on this one while I'm supervising the babies because it's such a simple lace pattern.

There's something satisfying about finding a good use for yarn that I thought might sit in my stash forever. I didn't need to find a use for this yarn, which is a salmony-pink thick and thin mystery skein -- I'm guessing it's cotton -- from a bag that Grandma bought us at the thrift store. But I'm happy to be doing something with it. I pulled out this skein and a black skein of the same stuff, and a partial ball of pretty varigated something (hey, that might work for Calorimetry!) and Alex got the rest. It's a fairly good system, with yarn. The big bag of quilting cottons we got for Christmas to share is going to be harder to divvy up.

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If Leif will stay asleep and Quinn will go to sleep, I'm going to try to start these tonight. The Endpaper Mitts still aren't done, but if I can't buy yarn for nine months, I'm going to cast on as many projects as makes me happy. I can't buy new needles, though, so I may have to get creative. There'll be plenty of time later to worry about how many projects I have going and decide which ones should be finished when. And nothing says I can't just frog a few if that's what I feel like. There's no rule against just playing with the yarn for a while.

I've looked every place that issue of Knit It! with the Nanncy McPhee sweaters could be, and it's not in any of them. I googled and found pictures of three sweaters from the article, none of them the electric blue one that I fell in love with. And a post by another knitter who's just as excited about the blue one as I am. I guess it's a gansey. I've got gansey patterns in that set of needlework books up in the sewing room, so once I can buy blue yarn, I'm all set. I would like to find the magazine, though, because I've got yarn for the little blue toddler vest. And a toddler!

I pulled out the Cotton-Ease and looked at my patterns, and it looks like it's going to be Trellis after all. The size poncho I want to make only takes two skeins and I've got this thing about making the largest size possible with the yarn I've got. There's enough for the largest size Trellis, which would give me time to knit it. And I think I've maybe got a better idea for poncho yarn.

I was going to add a picture of the running water, which will be hot running water as soon as the hot water heater works its magic, but the camera wouldn't turn back on. Please please please let that be the low batteries and not a new thing to stress about.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A whole lot of temptation arrived with the afternoon mail today. There was the new Joann's flyer (50% off Keepsakes Calico, 50% off clearance fabric, $1.50 balls of Sugar N Cream....) and the new Lion Brand Catalog (organic cotton and pretty new colors of Cotton-Ease) and the new issue of Vogue (strangely, nothing in there that makes me want to rush out and buy yarn or resubscribe.)

I really like the Lion Brand catalog. Lot of pretty ideas, and lots of the projects are available as free downloads from the website. I've been printing patterns for little hooded baby ponchos since Quinn was born, but haven't come up with the right combination of pattern and yarn this might be the one. I just have to decide whether to use the skeins of Cotton Ease I've got in my stash that I bought to make Trellis with, or find something else to substitute.

I have a hard time using yarn I bought for one project to make something else. Even though I know it's not special yarn, I can't get over the feeling that I'm giving up that first project forever. Even yarn that doesn't have a specific project gets me into trouble because if I use it to make this, then I can't make that...

Trellis is going to be a substantial amount of time and effort, and it would be much...can't say prettier, because it's for a little boy, but it'll be much more something in one of the new Cotton Ease colors. Which I can buy nine months from now. Because I'm going to stay good and resist all of this fun temptation.

I like the Sweater Bag, but it's a lot of knitting and I never even wind up using the bags I do knit for myself. But I printed it out so I can add it to the binders. Maybe one of these days I'll have exactly the right yarn and the urge to knit it. Or not.

What I do have the urge to do is figure out where I put my copy of Knit It! We were watching Nanny McPhee on DVD the other night and I was drawn to the boy's bright blue sweater and trying to figure out what it was that made me like it so much. There are textured stripes, but are they rows of garter stitch or something else? Then it got to the scene where they're flying kites on the gravelly beach and I remembered the Nanny Mcphee inspired sweaters in Knit It! But not if there was a sweater like the blue one.

Friday, January 05, 2007

on my walls

Dawn showed off the gorgeous framed puzzles she's decorating her new house with and asked what the rest of us have on our walls. There's not much on mine yet, even though we bought the house a year and half ago.

I do have nice looking walls, though. The woman who owned the house before us must've had a crafty streak because she cut individual little leaves from the wallpaper border to make these vines that go down the walls and around the windows. I don't think I really like the wallpaper pattern that much, but the vines are fabulous and aren't going anywhere, ever.

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She wallpapered and paneled just about every room, including the pantry and mudroom. We repainted the kitchen in a radioactive shade of green I let myself get bullied into. Someday, it's going to be a garden-y green. With vines.

This is the one picture I've managed to hang --

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I love this still life. Doesn't it look like it belongs on that wall? The picture doesn't show the lacy swagged border just below the ceiling molding, or the light oak chair rail, but it looks even better when you can see the whole room. It's one of my signs that we belong in this house, because I bought the picture long before we ever saw this place.

It used to hang in our old living room, against light pink paneling sprinkled with butterflies. I'm probably going to wonder for the rest of my life why someone would deliberately put paneling that looked like it belonged in an old rusty singlewide trailer up in what could have been a cute house. And why I lived with it for eight years.

The picture itself is one of my best ever thrift store finds ($7.95 from Red White & Blue, a place up in Portland where it seems like a bunch of crafty bloggers are always finding neat vintage stuff.) I saw it from across the store just as a guy took it down from the wall and started in that direction, whispering under my breath for him to put it down. He did, and I grabbed it, and it's been on my walls ever since.

I brought all of our framed stuff down in the back of the Durango so it didn't get banged up during the move and there was a nail on the dining room wall in just the right spot. It was meant to be there.

Just like I think we're meant to be here, despite what other people are saying and despite the current water situation.

Rachel asked in the comments what was going on. To make a long, whiny story short, our old well suddenly has no water. Two weeks and $10,000 later, our new one isn't hooked up yet. And I'm dying for a long shower that'll turn my skin red and peel the wallpaper off the bathroom walls.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

crazy talk

I wonder if any of the other knitters who decided to knit from their stashes in 2007 worry about running out of yarn? There's no way I could knit all of my stash -- but what if I use up all of the laceweight? What if I use the blackberry Super Kydd to knit my Print O the Wave stole, and the Zephyr that I bought for the Print O the Wave Stole to knit a Gerda Stole and the Knitpicks Shadow for something from Victorian Lace Today and then wanted to make another big shawl?

It's crazy talk. I know it's crazy talk. I'm as likely to run out of laceweight as I am to run out of sock yarn. If somehow I do wind up knitting three big shawls one after the other, at the speed of light, and still want to knit more lace, I've got single skeins and I can do scarves.

But fourteen days without running water is enough to make anyone start talking crazy.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The border between what I want to knit and what I dread knitting faded again last night, and look -- it'a a finished Endpaper Mitt! I still have my doubts about the yarn and color combination, but it fits! Sort of. When I make my "real" pair, I'll use softer wool and make sure there's more contrast between the colors. And go up a needle size so they're easier to slip on and off.

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I was up finishing the thumb ribbing early this morning and while I'm not sure I'm excited about knitting the next one, at least I know I can do it and that I'll like the results. Alex (who took my first pair of Target Wave Mittens) wants a pair, which gives me motivation to finish these and then make a second pair. This time, though, I'm going to keep the pair that fits until I've got another pair for myself.

Unfortunately, the rest of my life isn't going nearly as well at the mitts. We're on day eleven without running water, the well is twice as deep as they thought it would need to be -- and they're still out there drilling. sigh

I'm going to bury myself in knitting and try to forget how long it's been since I had a real shower.

Monday, January 01, 2007

What I might be knitting in 2007

This is not a schedule or plan of any kind! Instead, it's a list of projects that I'm excited about knitting and have the yarn for. Along with the eight projects already on my needles, there's more than enough here to get me through nine months of knitting from my stash.

According to the rough math I did last year, at the rate I was knitting then I've got enough yarn to last 10 years or so. But things would be getting pretty ugly by the end!

So here's what I'm excited about. Remind me what they were in a few weeks when I'm sulking because I can't have pretty new yarn...

sweaters and tops for Me -- Cinxia, Spring Fling, Calla, Soleil, Crest O' The Wave top, Sonata Print Lace Up Tank

sweaters for the big two -- hooded pullover with front pocket, blue denim style hoodie, Down Under bulky cabled sweater, purple raglan, Tater's Cotton Cardi

sweaters for the babies -- Intarsia Chicken Sweater, mint and brown sweater, wiggles raglan, Cozy in Cables

other stuff -- Rabit Proof Fence Scarf, soy silk scarf, Cabled Aran Mittens, Pirate Mittens, Pirate Hat, Dayflower Hat, Swallowtail Shawl, cabled Christmas stocking, Print O' the Wave stole, Mobius Cowl from Knitty Gritty, Mermaid Tail, Lace Wings Fixation socks, Eagle's Flight socks, Penny Socks, Bayerische Socks, Snicket Socks, Baudelaire Socks, Pomotomus Socks

Oh, and there's just about everything from Victorian Lace Today. I'm not listing those because I haven't matched up yarn with the patterns and I'm not sure which ones I'll be able to do.


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