Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas dear readers!

This year we were blessed to get a beautiful snow the week of Christmas. This past Tuesday my son had a snow day. I stayed home with him. When we went out to play I brought the camera out with me. These are a few shots from my neighborhood.

I did have one other Christmas gift made that I gave to a past coworker.

I can't remember the name exactly. I think it was called chunky neck warmer.
The yarn is Plymouth Yarn, More than one skein.
Needles U.S. 105.
I got the buttons at Wal-mart.

We had a very nice Christmas eve. Today we are taking it easy. We played some games and a late breakfast. It's too chilly to go out so we have "A Christmas Story" on tv. For me that is turning into a Christmas tradition.

I hope everyone else is having a wonderful day.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Busy day, no photo

I was fortunate enough to sleep in the last few days. But I've been working hard around the house the last few days getting stuff picked up, purged out, etc.

Today I wrapped up the last of the presents. I ended up doing a little switch at the last minute. I think the one coworker of mind would rather appreciate one of my monster rice packs than a pair of fingerless mitts.

Yesterday I started working on the heel of my vanilla sock. I also did a round on the Pi Shawl.

Right now it's almost 10 p.m. I've got a couple loafs of bread in the oven. I have a feeling I won't be going to bed anytime soon.

I think the next couple days are going to be a blur. A complete blur. Thank goodness for short work weeks the next couple weeks.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A quick spin

I just couldn't fight the urge anymore, I had to do some spinning.

So pulled out the wheel and made this fluffy bit

into this

I don't know how much I had and I haven't pulled it off the bobbin. It was quick and dirty, lol. I let it go bumpy in places. It was nice to just let it go. I had a pretty great day but I have been itching to spin and yet I didn't want to sit for a long time. This was just what I needed.

The fiber is some shetland fiber that I processed myself. A year ago my SIL brought me a fleece that came of a sheep that belongs to her friend. Her friend has "pets" which means that they are treated as such and the fleece isn't taken care of. I'm sure they don't do a real clean job of shearing either. But hey, it was free and it gave me the opportunity to process a fleece and learn the ins and outs of it.

However, the fleece was brought to me when it was the middle of winter and I was completely overwhelmed at how much it was. It was a very dirty fleece. I pulled it out this summer and tried to pull out as much of the clean bits as I could and then I scoured it. The neighbor's dog came over and burrowed into the dirty fleece. I know the neighbor wasn't too thrilled at that. But I got such a kick out of that because the dog is a little prissy otherwise.

So I've got a bag of fleece that really isn't all that big, and I'm carding it, bit by bit, with a pair of dog slicker brushes.

This coming spring I think I will keep my eyes open for the local fiber sale and try to get up there and buy a whole fleece who raises sheep for their fiber.

But first ... I must take care of this bit that I have.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas knitting is done!


I didn't finish by the end of November like I wanted. I was having second mitt syndrome and decided I *had* to work on the 3 a.m. cable hat, and my vanilla sock was suddenly very interesting to me.

But I finished! This past Monday I cast off and weaved in the ends of my second fingerless mitt that I am making for my nephew.

Pattern is my own design. Knit using Kathmandu DK yarn, color 408. This yarn is super soft. It's Merino woo, silk and cashmere. I did have a bit of a struggle knitting it with wooden DPNs though. I used DH as a model to get the sizing. One person at my work really likes the pattern and wants it. It's in my head right now screaming to be let out.

These are a pair of my vanilla socks that I made for my SIL. I couldn't get the color quite right. It's a really pretty deep turquise color. Knit using Berroco Vintage yarn.

Susie's reading mitts. Made for a coworker. I *heart* these mitts. I'm going to make a pair for myself.

Look at that adorable picot edging. Adorable!

And what would the gift giving season be without a pair of fetching mitts? This is another pattern I enjoy and have made several pairs of them. None for myself -- yet! I made this pair for my other coworker. Blue is her favorite color. Knit using -- what else -- Berocco Vintage yarn.

No I have two projects on the needles. My vanilla socks and the Wendyknits Pi Shawl.

The sock I'm working on here and there. The shawl ... I am *not* going to get this shawl done by the end of the month. I have transitioned to clue 4 and I have almost 600 stitches per round. It takes me quite a while just to do a all-knit row. But I have a lot of energy and focus on these two projects right now. So I'm going with it until I burn out again. I am breaking the shawl up into bite size pieces so it's not so overwhelming.

I will post updated photos of these two projects soon.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

FO ~ 3 a.m. cable hat

This morning I finished up the 3 a.m. cable hat I have been working on.

Yarn: Super soft acryllic yarn
Needles: U.S. size 8

Took me around a week to knit. I worked on it off and on. I really do like this pattern.

As soon as I finished it the little man promptly put it on his head and wore it around.

However, I think he likes his blaze orange store bought hat better. Well, you can't win them all.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gillyweed is all done

This weekend I set the twist on my gillyweed. The yardage ... 403 yards approx. Wow! Did not do a WPI on this either. As I was putting it on the niddy noddy I was impressed that I did thick and thin.

I may not touch my wheel until after Christmas. I really want to focus on the few things I have left on the needles.

I finished the fingerless mitts I was working on yesterday. This weekend I also cast on a 3 a.m. hat for my son. I really do enjoy this pattern. This is my second time with it.

Okay, ... so what's currently on the needles:

Wendyknits pi shawl

Socks of doom (vanilla socks)

3 a.m. cable hat

Second fingerless mitt for my nephew.

What needs to be done by the first is that fingerless mitt. I suppose I could try and push for the hat to be done by the first. It's pretty cold out now. Not that my son is lacking for hats but he loves the hats I make him.

I have really been enjoying the four day weekend. We haven't done too much outside of the house. I have gotten some projects around the house taken care of. I'm now hitting that time of year when I am really itching to clear out and clean. Unfortunately by the time I feel like doing it and have the time and energy it's time to get ready to go back to work.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Today has been a pretty great day. My MIL made an awesome Thanksgiving dinner.

We did go out and hit a few stores that were open. I was surprised at how cold it was. Later I realized the windchill was about -15. Jealous? It did snow a bit yesterday. We did shovel a little bit but the wind was just enough that it kind of blew some back.

On the knitting front I did do the finishing touches on one of the fingerless mitts I've been working on. I haven't done much else today except clean and help the little man set up the Christmas tree. He has been looking forward to doing this for the last two weeks.

Yes, I am planning on doing Black Friday shopping. I hope I'm not too loopy tomorrow.

If I have the energy I want to skein up and set the twist on the Gilly weed fiber I finished up a week or so ago.

Three bobbins of loveliness. I decided I was going to keep it as singles and make a shawl (perhaps) out of it. I'm thinking I must have at *least* 600 yards. I should be able to make something out of that, right?

I know a few people on my blogroll has posted today what they are thankful for. I am thankful for so many things and so much seems so trivial. I am thankful I have a healthy family, a roof over my head, I don't have to worry about food or clothing. I have a job when so many don't. I'm thankful that I have a partner who treats me better than I could have ever though possible. When you are a young girl/woman you dream about a man who will come and treat you like a princess. I was fortunate enough to meet someone who does just that.

I have a wonderful MIL who has been more of mother to me than my own mother has these past 13+ years.

I feel *extremely* fortunate to have found, not one but two, online support groups. One group I've know them for five years. The other group I have known for two years and is an awesome group of ladies. Well, they both are. We all can go online and blather absolute nonsense and it will be well-received and reciprocated.

Well, I could go on but I better stop. I have to start getting ready for that Black Friday shopping. :-)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Brr it's getting cold out there

Less than one week til Thanksgiving. I am very much looking forward to the holiday/family break. What I'm not looking forward to is the cold.

The cold has hit the Northland. That does not make for a happy me.

However, it does put me in the mood for making mittens, hats, scarves, etc.

But I can't make anything because I'm still working on Christmas gifts.

*insert woe face*

One of my friends pointed me towards these fingerless mitts. Susies reading mitts.

They look simple and elegant, which I think will be perfect for the person I'm making them for.

Last night I cast one on. I haven't made much progress on it. I did finish the first fingerless on the other pair I'm making. I still need to put the thumb gusset on it though.

Today I tried tidying up this shelf that yarn and fiber have slowly been accumulating on. MMmmm, it's not looking too much better. But it's a start. I have a grand plan of clearing the clutter and tidying up my itty bitty yarn stash. I don't think it's gonna happen anytime soon though.

So ... yeah ... not a lot of progress this week. I've been feeling a bit run down this week. Since I'm concerned about getting sick during the holidays I've been taking it a bit easy in hopes that my body will fight off whatever has been going around work my son's school.

And on that note, I'm going to go pour myself a glass of orange juice and get ready for the night.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I have a goal

I have two more Christmas gifts to make, plus one in reserve. Then I want to make the little man a hat. That's all small stuff, right? I wanted to get that stuff done by the end of the month plus finish up the fiber that I'm currently spinning, which isn't much. But I haven't decided how I want to ply it yet.

Then I have the Pi Shawl from Wendyknits. I'm one repeat away from finishing up the third chart. Yay!

Then I have a sock of doom currently on the needles. Oy! This sock I have sent to the frog pond twice. I just finished the heel flap and need to pick up the stitches. But my word, I'm so not enthused with this sock. I'm sure it will be fine when I'm done.

The goal is to have all this stuff done by the end of the year. One side of my brain tells me I can do it, the other side is screaming at me, that I'm putting too much pressure on myself.

I blinked at November was half over. So that leaves me about six weeks before the end of the year. When I say that it sure doesn't sound like a lot of time left.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Busines trip

It feels weird to say this, but I had a business trip last week. It was my first trip that I had to stay overnight somewhere for my work. The weeks going up to it I was a slight mess. The night before and the morning of I was so anxious that I had could barely stand still.

First time being away from my son since he was born. I know, that probably sounds slightly pathetic but I am not a traveling gal. I like sleeping in my own bed each night and the fridge is always stocked with foods I like.

Anywho, it ended up being a good trip despite some hold ups. I came back home with a lot of notes and a lot of things to think about. I was pretty glad to have gone and even happier to be back home.

I didn't do any driving on this trip so my hands were free to do some knitting. On the way there I was working on some Dashing mitts for a Christmas gift. I like the pattern but I got confused when I got to the twisting cable bits. So I ripped it back and started over again with a different version of cabling. I messed up a cable so I ripped it all again and rolled the yarn into the ball and put it away. I ended up pulling out the Pi Shawl that was a mystery KAL with
First I had to remember where I was since I had put it away. It's been a few months since I've touched it. I'm in the third clue and starting repeat 10. I call it four row purgatory. I have got a renewed interest in it now. The repeats take me a while though. Then I seen in the next clue the repeats need to be done nine times. Oy! Just got to take it one repeat at a time.

I'm not sure if I'm going to try the dashing mitts again though. The yarn has some silk content in it and I have only bamboo needles. Very sticky combo. Unless I try for a magic loop technique so I can use my metal Options needles I think I will search for a new pattern.

I've got the shawl on a 16-inch circular. Can't recall what size needle, but it's the recommended size from the pattern. The picture doesn't quite do it justice. The yarn is KP bare yarn that I dyed. The yarn was originally bought for a mystery KAL. The one that people threw a fit over at the end because it had a Bible verse on the last clue of the pattern. ... Uh yeah, some people just look for stuff to Bi&^h about, I think. It was a lovely verse to go along with the pattern. Granted, I didn't finish it, but it was a nice project when you seen it all put together.

Anywho, that was a slight diversion. I have seen the Pi shawl finished and it is lovely.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Progress this week

I need to think of a proper title for this weekly wrap up. Here goes. ...

I did get all that was on my needles finished. Both fetching mitts are done and they have thumb gussetts. The worst weight sock has been kitchenered. I do see a weaving in ends party in the near future. I would like to get the second worsted weight sock done before my road trip on Wednesday. I still need to decide on what to bring with me for working in the car ...

I didn't touch my spinning wheel though. There is one more full bobbin of fiber that needs to be plied. If I can, I will get that done before I head out.

I don't imagine I will be getting much done this weekend though. Got to get my ducks in a row at the house. My two guys will be left to their own defenses. I'm kind of nervous.

That reminds me, I should check online and see if there are any LYS in the town I'm going to. Gotta get a skein to remember the trip!

Waltzing scarf

Me and a bunch of my online buddies did a KAL/swap and used the Waltzing scarf. It's a fabulous scarf pattern.

This was my first time using Malabrigo yarn. It was divine to work with. I don't remember what the colorway was called. But it was mostly blues and some purple bits. And so soft. So very soft.

I believe I did 35 repeats. By the time it was blocked out it was at least six feet long. Blocking was a bit interesting because I couldn't find any T-pins. I may need to invest in some blocking wires. I did do a couple modifications. One purl between the repeats instead of three.

The people I showed it to loved it. It was hard letting it go but I did ship it out this past Tuesday. My swappee got it yesterday. She loves it! Which makes me really happy.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I rediscovered podcasts and my MP3 player

As soon as the weather turned cold I started listening to podcasts. I have missed out on a lot. I've debated on going back and listening to all the back episodes. I'm going to catch up on my favorites but probably start out with the most recent on some of the new ones.

I download them on Itunes at my work but I have an RCA MP3 player so I can't transfer them, which is a bummer. I really like my MP3 player. However I have run into some problems when I want to put podcasts on my player. I can't connect it to my work Mac and this new Windows media player is not the same as what I was using on my older laptop. Why doesn't the new Windows media player have a podcatcher in it? That boggles my mind. Not everyone is an Apple freak with a i-something.

I did figure out a solution. I'm now downloading the MP3 players either directly to my desktop and I can drag and drop the file and sync the MP3 player.

Oh! I am in love with my MP3 player again. It's funny how something as this makes me so happy.

The podcasts I'm listening to are:

Stitch it!
Sticks and String
Knitmore Girls
Cast On
The Knit Wits podcast
Round the Twist with Carin - videocast

I've just started listening to:

Knitting Pipeline
Crooked Row

I'm sure there are a few others but I don't have my list right in front of me. I forgot how much I enjoy listening to them.

Monday, November 1, 2010

November goals

There are a few items for gifts I'd like to get done by the end of the month. They are not big items. It's a few Christmas gifts and a few birthday gifts.

Then there is the spinning that I'd like to finish up. I want to finish the gillyweed that I'm working on. I have 1/3 of the braid left. Then there is some stuff on the bobbins that need to be plied up. Wow, I can sure tell the difference in my spinning since the beginning of the year.

Then I have a road trip coming up next week. It's silly of me, but I would *love* to get the two current projects I'm working on done before I have to go. Then I'm not sure what I will bring with me on this road trip. I'm gonna be passenger for the majority of the trip. I'm tempted to bring a pair of vanilla socks that have been on the needles forever. It's the kind of knitting that puts me to sleep. That might be just what I need.

Friday, October 29, 2010

WIP(s) this week

This week I'm working on a pair of Fetching mitts and vanilla socks for gifts this year.

Last night I finished the first mitt and need to knit the thumb gusset. I'm using Berroco Vintage worsted weight yarn. It's a gorgeous deep blue color. And it fits my hand super nice. I swear, I have made so many pairs of Fetching and I don't have a pair for myself. I am seriously contemplating keeping these. The recipient won't know what she's missing, right?

The vanilla socks are being made in the same Berroco Vintage worsted weight yarn. I really, really like this yarn. So far I've knit the first sock all the way through the heel flap. I still have to pick up the gusset stitches. Since I do that with a crochet hook I usually wait until I'm sitting at home with no interruptions. The yarn I'm using for the socks is a really pretty teal blue with hints of green. In natural light it looks almost like jewel tones.

I've also been spinning a bit each night. It's fiber from Forbidden Woolery that I purchased back in July. Like I wrote in an earlier entry I really missed spinning. I forgot how much spinning relaxes me.

So, a little bit of progress on both fiber fronts.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The gales of November

A radar shot for my area today. We have hurricane strength winds going. Last night was pretty bad as well. The compared the winds yesterday to those similar to the winds that sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald. For my area, this ship is a big deal. The cities observe the day in remembrance.

I think it's been a while since the winds have whipped up so furiously. I heard them last night but did my best to ignore them. We have a neighbor who has some large, beautiful pine trees in his yard and when the wind blows I always worry that they are gonna come tumbling down on our house.

Yesterday evening the family drove to "the point" to see if the waves were going. If the wind is blowing in the right direction you can get something like this

This is a picture that was taken over in Duluth, probably last year. I will admit, it's not my photo but I don't know who to give proper credit too. This is where ships come in on Duluth's side. As you can see the waves were washing over the sea walls.

Last night the wind was blowing in the wrong way so no big waves. My umbrella did rip however. I guess that's what you get for buying a $4 umbrella.

Schools were closed today across the bridge and my coworkers told me that the wind was pretty strong on the high bridge.

I'm not ready to admit that the pretty side of fall is now over and we have to start preparing for winter. Time to bring out the scarves, hats and mittens.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spinning wheel, how I have missed you

I spent about an hour and a half tonite spinning. I haven't touched my spinning wheel since July. It felt good spinning again.

The last few weeks or since the change in the weather I've been really getting back into knitting. And podcasts -- whoo boy! I am so far behind on podcasts. Over the summer I pretty much stopped listening. But once the weather changed and I got the knitting out again and started planning what to make for gifts I got all knit-geeky, so to speak. I forgot how much calmer all this stuff makes me feel.

So now I've got my wheel sitting back out in the living room so I can listen to tv programs while I spin. I've been getting most of my knitting time in during the morning before work. Then late evenings.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

FO ~ Washcloth (gift)

Standard discloth cotton yarn
U.S. size 5 needle

Pattern is "baby fern stitch" pattern. It can be found here.

Yarn color is lemon and lime, I think. I love the long color repeats on it. The pattern itself if a fairly quick knit. I think each repeat took me 15 minutes. I made this to give to my son's teacher at Christmas time. I would definitely make this pattern again but in a solid color. As pretty as those colorways are on the ball I dislike the short color changes and those tend to hide the pattern when you are making lacey dishcloths.

FO ~ Socks (a gift)

Yarn: Berroco Vintage sock yarn, worsted weight.
U.S. size 3 circular needles

I made these for my niece. I found a cable pattern in a book and used it for just the cuff. I would have brought the pattern down to the foot but I couldn't find a way to transition the cables down and not mess up the pattern. I really do like this sock yarn. The price is right for it as well. The socks are come out toasty and are perfect for walking on wood floors.

Redefined and starting fresh

I can't really decide on a good title for this blog entry. I'm not really starting over and I'm not deleting anything. I am who I am and that's about it.

I really did not want to lose all my entries over the last two-plus years so I researched and discovered I can change the blog address. Perfect. Then I gave the blog a bit of a face lift and updated some of my links.

Tonite I took a picture of my knitting bag. As of ten minutes ago it was empty. I have now filled it with two more knitting projects and I'm pretty excited. One is a pair of fingerless mitts, the other is a pair of worsted weight socks.

I got two finished projects this weekend which I will post in separate entries. I have new ideas for my knitting life and I have gotten interested in more things over the summer that I'm sure will be brought into the blog. In short, I'm quite excited about starting a new chapter.

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself ~ Emerson

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

In the grand scheme of things does it really matter?

Okay, so that title may not make a whole lot of sense. But let me explain a bit.

About a year ago my heart went out of blogging. I thought "I don't care, I'm not embarrassed, I'm gonna keep on keeping on. I did nothing wrong.

And I think I did a good job of that in the beginning. The time spans between posts are getting longer and longer. I had seen other people abandon their blogs and I was determined that I wasn't going to do that.

However as life as gotten more complicated and I wasn't knitting much over the summer I fell away from blogging.

Well, part of it *is* because I haven't been knitting a lot, but another part of it is because in a way I feel like I'm wearing a scarlet letter -- choose any letter -- because of something out of my control I've been labeled. Do I deserve it? No, none of us do. And no matter how nice I am on other places on the web I feel people are going to make assumptions about me right off the bat.

Now I would be a fool to think that I'm *so important* that everyone in the knitting community knows what this even about or who I am. In reality I'm sure I'm a very tiny blip on the radar of the knitting community.

But then it's hard to believe that when I see how people are coming onto my blog. Sometimes in waves I get hits.

When I first started knitting I scoured the blogosphere. I was constantly on the search for patterns, how-to's, and all kind of ideas to help me on this adventure I was on. I wanted to still leave my mark on the knitting community and in a way I have.

Until the last couple years I never knew how nasty the online community can be. It doesn't matter what online group you are a part of either. But I have also learned that it blows over and then the next month there is some sort of other drama that is taking up people's time.

I could remove certain blog entries from here. Other people's links would be dead, but I would still be out there and I want people to know other people's side of the story.

So what do I do now? Do I just end the blog or do I start a new blog. Fresh start and all that.

I'm gonna have to stew on it for a little bit but I think I know my answer.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

FO ~ Splendid shawl

I made this during the month of August. It's the second one I made. I forgot to take a photo of the first one. The first one was a gift to a dear friend who is in need of some comfort right now. This is a Lion Brand pattern and pretty easy. It's also a quick knit and is good for working on while watching tv.

The only thing I did different from the pattern was that I didn't make the crocheted edging. I don't have a proper size crochet hook.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A gift to my bishop

Today my work place had a party to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our bishop's ordination. As soon as I heard about this significant milestone I immediately knew which pattern I wanted to knit for him. The Irish Hiking Scarf.

I made it green to honor his Irish heritage.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The knitting doldrums

So the last several weeks I haven't had it in my to knit or spin. I did both but my heart was not in it. For a long time my two projects was the Adamas shawl and the vanilla sock. The vanilla sock is hardly anything to get excited about and when I made the mistakes on the Adamas shawl and had to frog I felt all my enthusiasm deflate.

Combined with the other stuff that is going on my life I decided to just set everything aside and decompress.

Well, it worked, I think. I've been enjoying all the stuff that we have been doing at our land. The garden is doing great. I took photos but they came out all blurry. But I have actual veggies growing. We've got peas, beans, little baby cukes and one tiny little tomato so far. DH and DS have been out hunting raspberries the last week or so. We thought we'd have to bring raspberry canes in and to our happy surprise there are raspberry canes all over the place. So the plan is to get some blueberry bushes and strawberry plants for next year.

So after decompressing I've felt pretty great the last few weeks. I gradually moved back into spinning and it's been great. Tour de Fleece has really helped with this.

The fiber is Gillyweed from theforbiddenwoolery on etsy. So far I've split it into thirds and I'm still working on the first third of the braid. I've been spinning at least 20 minutes most nights. It's been pretty great.

And I've started working on a shawl out of some acryllic yarn. The Simple, Yet Effective shawl.

This pattern has been exactly what I needed to give my knitting mojo a boost. It's mindless but not too mindless. I've been working on it since middle of last week.

When this shawl is done I think it may be an office shawl. ... Not completely decided yet. After this I suppose I should start thinking about any Christmas knitting that I may do this year.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tour de Fleece and a mini update

A week ago or so I seen scuttlebutt about the Tour de Fleece coming up. I thought this was perfect since I want to get back to my spinning. So I got my spinning wheel back out and it is in my bedroom right now. I did some quick spinning Sunday night and oh it was heaven. I felt tension leave my body and there is something so soothing about the sounds of the wheel spinning and the foot treadles going.

A few of us over on the BB are going to do a spinalong together. Since we aren't competing against each other we are just setting some goals. Right now I'm trying to decide on personal goals. I have a braid of fiber that I bought a few years ago and I may just spin that OR try my hand at dyeing up some fiber and spin that.

In the knitting world I did start up Adamas but just frogged it again. I managed to make a boo boo on the first repeat and I don't know what I did. This past weekend I started up a vanilla sock again. I am going to keep that project in the background and work on it during the weekends we are out and about.

I have started jogging and I'm learning a ton about my breathing. Last night I went out jogging and I didn't feel like I was dying. I take that as a positive.

My son started summer school this week. So far he is loving it and I think it's a wonderful intro to the school that he will be going to for kindergarten.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Has it really been over a month?

Yikes! :-(

No knitting. That's right. I've done no knitting in almost a month. Cannot recall the last time I did any spinning.

The reason? DH and I bought 10 acres of woodsy goodness. Just about all our spare time is spent out there doing projects.

My Adamas shawl has an error in it. I decided I'm going to just frog it rather than try to stick a lifeline in after the fact.

The sock I'm working on will probably get frogged as well. I'm not real happy with how the ribbing came out when I did the heel gusset.

To be honest I have not been much in the mood for knitting. I have been having some pretty stressful times this last little bit. A lot of it has been work-related. When you work in the newspaper business this is perilous times. And while I probably need the relaxation that knitting gives you, I've been too tense to do any and my guage would probably be way off. I really should be spinning. I am contemplating setting my spinning wheel up in my room and after a certain time in the evening just go in there and start spinning. I've tried setting aside time for myself in the past but it hasn't worked out. I should just say to heck with it and make the time my own.

On the health front, I'm getting close to my peak weight. The work stress of early 2009 had turned me into a stress eater and I gained more than 10 pounds. So I'm now trying to manage my weight and lose it again. So far I think I'm doing all right but it's certainly not coming off as quickly as it did when I was on the Atkins program.

My son is all done with Headstart/Pre-K. The school year went by so fast. I marvel at how far he has come in the last school year. I tell people what he is capable of doing and they are quite impressed. It makes me nervous that he will be more advanced in the other kids in his class, so he will be come bored with school.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Playing catch up

Or as one of my friends would say, a state of the knitting.

Well, that fiber that I got at at the beginning of the month was spun up into 2 singles.

159 yards of yumminess. I got it from forbiddenwoolery. Not enough to do a pair of socks like I had hoped. I didn't figure the WPI for it either. I think I can make a cowl with the amount of yardage I have.

While we are on the topic of spinning. I have something to share:

This is about 28 yards of what I would call lace weight shetland yarn. Last year another SIL gave me a couple fleeces from one of her friends who has a few sheep. I took a bunch off of the fleece and processed it. Then spun it up on my wheel. No plans for it whatsoever but I sure felt a sense of accomplishment with it. Next year I think I'm going to get a drum carder.

I've also been working on the Adamas shawl in a KAL with my BBs.

Yarn is Knit Picks laceweight that I dyed myself.

A close up. Don't you love the varigation?

I'm also working on a couple of gift knits so I don't want to post about them yet.

I also have a sock on the needles. Just about ready to turn the heel on it.

I'm using this pair to figure out my very own vanilla sock pattern. First time I have taken the time to count the rows on the leg and the heel flap. But it has made things easier. I'm knitting the sock in a 2 x 2 rib. It's gonna be so snug! I'm debating on continue the ribbing through the foot.

I also knit a pair of worsted weight socks for my SIL for her bday. A pair of lovely purple socks in Berocco yarn. Alas, I forgot to take photos of them. But trust me, they were very nice :-).

Well, I guess that's about it for now. When I put it all down it sure seems like a lot has gone on the last month, but I feel like I haven't accomplished much.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The fever made me do it

A couple weeks ago (March 30 to be exact) I had a cold and all the fun stuff that goes with it, including a fever.

It was during this fever that I decided it was a good time to learn to crochet.

(Doesn't it look like Nebraska?)

Using some leftover dishcloth yarn I had I managed to figure out how to single and double crochet thanks to videos on Youtube and Lion Brand.

I have a crochet video at the library waiting to be picked up. Can't remember what it's called though.

Isn't if funny how you decide some things are so important that you have to do it *right now*?

Well, I haven't picked up my crochet hooks since. I have been on a bit of a spinning kick and I'm having daydreams of processing the fleece that is sitting in my garage. (Even though I don't have "proper tools" that's not stopping the daydreams)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Today was a good mail day

Today I got in the mail a braid of fiber from one of the ladies on my online knitting group.

L is very talented. I told her what I wanted and she created exactly what I had in my minds eye.

Since we started discussing the fiber around Valentine's day she called it "Funny Valentine"

The plan is to spin this into a pair of socks.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Knitting Olympics project done!

Ice Queen from

Yarn was Schulana Kid-Seta by Skacel company. It is 70% mohair and 30% kidsilk haze.

I finished this item a few days before the closing ceremony.

This pattern was easy and not. I mixed up a couple things but it still turned out great. Basically I meant to use the chart that called for the lesser amount of beads. I started using chart B and didn't realize that I mixed up until I was halfway done. I needed to get a second ball of yarn. I was ready to bind off and I ran out of yarn. After a quick trip to the LYS I was able to finish.

But now I have an almost full ball of this yarn. I'm going to set it aside until I decide on a project. I may end up combining it with another yarn.

I've never used true laceweight on a finished project. It's my first finished pattern with beads. I did a successful picot edging. I've never done a provisional cast on before. I didn't get the cast on to "zipper" correctly. I ended up doing a lot of snipping and carefully placing the stitches. I didn't have the correct sized 16 inch circular needle for binding off. So I did it magic loop. I have never done that before.

I learned so many new techniques. I've very glad I did this pattern for my knitting olympic project.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Off to a shaky start

My Olympics project that is. I swear, I can over analyze a thing to death. I did a crochet provisional cast on directly onto the needle. Then I didn't know what to do after that. So I think I sat there for quite a while. Then I "got it" and I have three rows of Ice Queen done. Then I quit for the night.

The opening ceremonies were beautiful. I loved how they integrated the First Nations into the program. I was surprised at the time when it was all done. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't stay up that late normally.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Knitting Olympics time

Are you ready? I sure am. ... Well, lol, maybe not completely ready. I still have to learn a provisional cast on and I need a US 5 16-inch circular. But that needle is for the cast off and it's on order over at my LYS. Maybe if it doesn't come in time I can just use DPNs. ... maybe :-)

I am NOT waiting til opening ceremonies to cast on. I have to figure out the provisional cast on and I figure that could take me a while and I have to cast on 150-something stitches for Ice Queen.

It is going to be an exciting two weeks.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

FO ~ Son's birthday socks

Yeah, his birthday was over a week ago. I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the sock til now.

Yarn is a DK weight that I handpainted. Socks were knit with U.S. 5 DPNs. I'm quite please with how well it turned out. Though the photo doesn't quite do it justice.

In other news, I'm *this* close to being done with the first vanilla sock of the pair I'm working on in the background. I'm decreasing the toe. I'm feeling so OMGOSHWHYISN'TTHISDONEYET about the sock. But it's my only current project. I'm itching to start something else though.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I've got a swatch pattern

Today I put the final touches on a chart to make a guage swatch for my SSP. I'm excited and nervous. I absolutely love the idea of being able to see how the majority of the elements will look together.

In the back of my mind I'm a little nervous that it's not going to turn out quite like I have in my mind -- or worse, it's gonna look so terrible that no one will make it. On the flip side of that though, I will have a knit item that I will have the only one of. That's pretty cool. :-)

Olympics knitting project

So the BBs decided to have a Olympic KAL/CAL. I'm majorly excited about it. I stopped the the LYS today and got yarn to make the Ice Queen from I have beads, though I'm not sure if they will go with the pattern. I may be making another trip to the LYS.

I think this is the yarn. It's from Skacel

We have so much fun in the bunker. It's a great group of ladies and gentleman. Stuff going on all the time. This is the first time I will be able to participate in a KAL there. I was going to do the Febuary Lady sweater KAL, but I didn't have the right yarn.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

January, the month of selfish knitting

I heard about January being the month of selfish knitting a couple weeks ago. First time I had heard of it since I started knitting.

Well, I sure wish I had known that sooner. The only selfish knitting I did this month was the blowsey scarf.

I finished my son's birthday socks this past Sunday. He put them on his feet right away so I haven't had the chance to take a photo of them yet.

The design is firming up

In my mind the design has fallen together in a way that was not originally conceived. I'm not surprised by that. My first idea was pretty grand and I knew it probably wasn't realistic. I have constantly reminded myself that it doesn't have to be complicated to work out. I want just enough interest so that the person knitting it isn't bored. Miles and miles of stockinette or garter stitch it is not. But I don't want someone to decide it's boring midway through. Midway through is kind of the most significant thing about it.

I haven't received any books from the library. Now I'm a bit nervous about that. What if I don't see anything in there. What if I see something that completely changes my thinking?

There is at least a couple more swatches to go before I can start charting and working the design, I think.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I could barely sleep last night

I'm not sure if it was because I drank coffee so late or because my head was brimming with ideas.

Yesterday when I was walking to work I had an idea for a knit stole pattern. It has completely captured me for the last 24 hours.

People that I have mentioned it to said it sounds like a good idea. It's still boggles my mind that I came up with an original idea.

Previously, my game plan was that my first design would small, maybe a set of mittens along the lines of the fiddlehead mittens. Meaning I wanted to do colorwork on a small scale and a small design.

This will certainly be a labor of love. I guess from this time forward it will be my super secret project (SSP) that only a few people know of. One thing I am immensely grateful for is that I know some designers so I can ask them for guidance.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tea attacked my yarn today

At lunch today I poured some tea and heard a ping. I thought "What?" Lifted up my mug and the bottom dropped out and tea went everywhere, including the pair of socks I'm working on for my son's bday on Monday. Ugh! So I got the stuff in cold water right away and cleaned up the mess. I have my stuff sitting in some water with soak-type stuff right now. The socks have to be done by Monday for DS's birthday. Oh I'm not even sure where I can sit them to dry and he won't see them.

I had just picked up the stitches around the gusset. It kind of hurt to pull those needles out so I can soak the sock. :-( I'm also wondering if my bamboo DPNs are ruined.

I find it kind of funny now that when it happened my first thought was "Oh no! It's on my knitting." Never mind that tea is all over my desk, dripping onto my floor and everything, it soaked my knitting!

I'm pretty sure I know have a stain on my carpet. Good thing the carpet is brown. And I was wearing all black.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The importance of guage

I decided to participate in a KAL for the February Lady Sweater by I have a bunch of acryllic yarn that I decided to use for it.

Not too long ago I was listening to the podcast and Chrissy was talking about qauge. She had decided to do a gauge swatch for a sweater and take all her measurements, etc. and she was surprised at good the sweater turns out when you take the time to do a gauge swatch, prep it properly, and take down all your measurements. With this still fresh in my mind I started swatching Saturday.

I swatched on size US 8 (Got 14 stitches for 4 inches), then size US 6 (Got 14.5 stitches for 4 inches) and finally US4 (Got 16 inches for 4 inches). Some told me that I was a loose knitter.

I watched my guage swatch go from loose and drapey, to smaller, dense and kind of stiff.

I asked for input and came to the conclusion that this yarn was not for the "The Lady" I figured that there was just no way that I could be that loose of a knitter. The knitting sure didn't feel loose on Size US 4 and US 5.

On a "Oh for the heck of it" moment I dug a small ball of Cascade 220 that I have and started a small swatch. I got a couple inches into it on US 8 and measured. Guess what? I got 17 inches to 4 inches. So I'm only guessing that if I dropped to a US 7 I would get guage.

So I pondered this for a few moments and got up to go get the original yarn. I compared the yarns side by side. The yarn I origianally swatched with is MUCH thicker than the Cascade 220.

No wonder I wasn't getting gauge. Now I have to decide if I want to continue with the yarn and just try my hand at a smaller size or buy new yarn.

This weekend taught me that not all yarn weights are the same even when they both say that they are the same weight.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dye project Jan. 2010

Last week I dyed some white superwash yarn I had. It's to make DS a pair of socks for his birthday. I didn't feel like kettle dyeing this time. I wanted some variation in the blues so I tried handpainting yarn again. I've done this only one other time.

This is what it looked like after the dye had set and the yarn was completely cooled off.

I've been asked very nicely to not do this in the house anymore when the windows can't be opened up. I put the yarn, covered, in the oven to heat and set the dye. The odor coming from the oven was not very pleasant. I was told I could do this again as soon spring rolled around. But preferably outside.

Here it it all skeined up and pretty, sitting on a window ledge. This was the first time I got to use my umbrella swift that I ordered from Knitpicks back in June of 2009. Took long enough, huh?

I am almost done with the leg of the first sock.

FO ~ 2x2 ribbed scarf

A simple 2 x 2 ribbed scarf that I made for DS for his birthday next month.

Lionbrand hometown yarn in the "green bay" color.

One skein

His favorite colors are green and blue. So I thought I would make him a green scarf and then blue socks.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Blowsey Ruffles scarf

From the now defunct knitting site.

I cast on yesterday and got the first ruffle done. Then I got to the main pattern. Wow, talk about slightly confusing. They are using a chart and it's charted for all rows of the repeat. So it's got symbols that means different things depending on which row you are on. Since I don't know what other people have done for this I am going to write out the pattern.