Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas knitting revealed

For my husband: a surprise pair of socks. This is my own pattern, knit from Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in chocolate.

I love this yarn; it's soft and squooshy and I love the variegation. I think that someday I may try to make myself a sweater out of this stuff. The other great thing is that this pair of socks only took one skein (I literally had about a yard left, including all the little ends), so I get to use the second skein to make myself a pair.

I also made a pair of tufted mittens for my sister M. Unfortunately I was rushing to wrap and mail them so I forgot to take a proper picture. Both M and Bob were very pleased with their gifts and I was very pleased with their reactions.

Works-in-progress Wednesday

Yes, I'm late, but I just didn't feel like posting on Wednesday. I've had false labor twice, on Sunday and Wednesday, and it is so exciting to think that you are finally going to get to meet the baby and then so depressing when they tell you that you're crazy and send you home. Okay, well, maybe they don't use that word exactly. But you know they're thinking it.

At any rate, here is the new work-in-progress:

This is the Fleece Artist merino in Midnight that I got on sale from Simply Sock Yarn. I love this stuff and I now know why so many people rave about it. It's soft, feels like it'll hold up well, and the colors are just gorgeous. The pattern is Lichen Ribbed Socks, another one from Knitting Vintage Socks.

I'm not going to post a picture of the Blueberry Pink Lemonade socks because a) they're packed for the hospital and it would just be a hassle and b) they're not that much longer than they were last time I posted. I did finish all the calf decreases, though, so now I can work on them without thinking (until I get to the heel flap).

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Oh my goodness!

I won! I never win anything. Emily of Yarn Miracle held a "What's So Great About Christmas Sweepstakes" and she drew my name out of the hat. I will soon be the proud owner of the "Shear Panic" board game. We'll have to have some friends over for a game night; it's been too long since we've done that anyway.

Thank you so much, Emily!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Oh, and by the way...

This morning my doctor said I have a 50% chance of delivering in the next week. So if I disappear for a while that's probably why.

What do you like about Christmas?

I've seen this on several blogs and have enjoyed reading the answers, so I thought I'd join in.

1. Eggnog or Hot Chocolate?

Eggnog all the way. But only homemade or Organic Valley brand; the regular artificially flavored stuff is gross.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?
Santa sends boxes from Amazon. The stuff inside is unwrapped because it costs like $4 to have them wrap a book.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
White. Because that's what was left and on sale after Christmas the year that I bought them.
4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No, but I should. I like the idea of hanging mistletoe.
5. When do you put up your decorations?
Shortly after Thanksgiving.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
My family always had crackers with cheese and sausage at Christmastime; I don't remember any other out-of-the-ordinary dishes. Since being married we've sort of adopted latkes as a Christmas meal. If we're counting Thanksgiving (it does say "holiday"), then I'd be hard pressed to choose between the turkey, the sweet potatoes, the stuffing, and all the pies.
7. Favorite Christmas memory as a child?
I don't know that I can name one thing as a particular favorite; one year when we were young my parents filled the whole room with balloons. I always loved going downstairs and looking through my stocking. Everyone loves hearing my memories of being "drugged" with Benadryl every Christmas Eve so that we would sleep (we never did anyway).
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
From the start my parents always said "the pretend Santa Claus." That's what we plan to tell our children as well. I'm not anti-Santa, but I really think that parent-child trust can be broken by things like that. Even if my parents had told us there was a Santa Claus, I'm almost certain I wouldn't have believed them; I could always see through things like that even when I was very young.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Nope. My parents never gave in to the begging, and now that I'm older I know that the anticipation is half the fun.
10. What kind of decorations are on your Christmas tree?
Hodgepodge. All the ornaments from when my husband and I were children, several miniature Starbucks mugs, several nutcrackers, a miniature knitting basket that a friend made for my family when I was in high school. Lots of miniature things, I now realize.
11. Snow! Love it or dread it?
Love it. I just hope we're stocked up on groceries so I can stay home and enjoy it instead of driving in it.
12. Can you ice skate?
I think I've ice skated twice, both sometime around junior high. I can probably stand up and scoot around a little.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
The thing that sticks out in my mind is the year each of us kids got a sleeping bag; I was probably about 7.
14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?
I really don't think I can name one thing. Spending time with my family and friends, the fact that the world stops and thinks about Jesus for a brief period, the Christmas candy (I know that sounds shallow but really, I would be very sad if I didn't have my Christmas baklava).
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Baklava. A wonderful tradition in my husband's family. I also like chocolate covered marshmallows, this is the only time of year I get them. (Okay, so they're not really a dessert, but oh well.)
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
When I was a child we would drive around and look at Christmas lights. Now I think some of my favorites are getting together with friends to make chocolate truffles (though we skipped that this year) and all the various homemade candies.
17. What tops your tree?
A small beaded angel that my husband's Aunt Carol made.
18. What is your favorite holiday book?
I can't think of a favorite.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Pat-a-pan and Carol of the Bells. Not these versions, but you get the idea.
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yummy?
Yummy, though the soft old-fashioned peppermint sticks are even yummier.

Oh ladies! Fresh baklava!

I finally got the Christmas baklava made today. I think that my husband is probably appalled at the amount I've already eaten, but at least this year I have the excuse of being pregnant! I also made chocolate fudge. My fudge will never be as good as my grandmother's, it seems, though I try to remember that she's been making it for a few years longer than I have; maybe by the time I'm a grandmother I will have gotten it right....

Also finally, a photo of the finished Little Child's Socks (from Knitting Vintage Socks, in Lorna's Laces shepherd sock). The color is waaaay off, but you can see the neat texture pattern (click on the picture for a larger image).
The color is much more accurate in this progress picture:
I am very happy with these socks, though the Shepherd Sock seems so soft I'm not sure how well it will wear. Time will tell.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Works-in-progress Wednesday

I started the Blueberry Pink Lemonade socks. I wasn't sure how the stripedy-ness of the yarn would work with the pattern, but I think it's turning out pretty well. This is the Gentleman's Shooting Stockings pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks (the third pair on my quest to knit every pattern in the book).

My husband said "But you're not a gentleman." My reply? "No, but my feet are the size of a gentleman's."

I am done with all my Christmas knitting so I can now work on these guilt-free! Hooray.

The if-it's-a-boy hat

It's finally done (it didn't take long at all, I just procrastinated about going and buying appropriate yarn).

I recently read a great response to the question "Do you know what you're having?" "Well, we're hoping it's a baby, but there was a woman in the Enquirer who gave birth to kittens...."

Eustace* or Imogene* can come any time now.

*No, those are not the real names we have chosen, but that's what I decided to jokingly tell my family and friends.

Dear Anonymous,

In case you don't go back to check the comments on the original post, I don't know if that yarn is available online. I did a quick search and couldn't find it. However, I ended up ripping the Pomatomus socks (they were a source of endless frustration to me) so I still have the yarn. If you are interested in a trade drop me an e-mail at MitoRocks at juno dot com.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I love electricity.

Yay! Our electricity is back on, finally. For those of you who don't pay attention to the weather in places other than where you live, here in Seattle we had a major windstorm on Thursday and our power has been out since then. Temperatures have been below freezing at night and somewhere in the forties during the day. Because we live in an apartment, all of our heat, hot water, stove, etc., is electric and so we've been without warmth for a while! Thankfully our dear friends Holly and The Krunchy Krab got their power back yesterday and invited us to spend the night there, which we gratefully did (and we got to take hot showers, too).

Now I just have to tackle the little problem of the refrigerator....

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Short blog break

Not that anyone probably cares, but I will be taking a short break from blogging because my husband has a long weekend. See you in a few days!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Works-in-progress Wednesday

There's not a single thing I can show you. My Little Child's Socks have been finished and washed (and are just hanging there droopily because I don't own sock blockers), and everything else I'm working on is a Christmas present. I hope to get those presents finished up this week so hopefully I'll have something interesting next Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What kind of reader are you?

Found this over at Beth's Knitting.

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you're not nerdy about it. You've read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Book Snob

Dedicated Reader

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

Fad Reader


What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

For some reason the bar graph isn't working, but at least you can read my result. I don't usually do quizzes but this one caught my attention.

It's a good light day

So you get some pictures! I've had some new yarn for a while but never took pictures of it - first, this is "Blueberry Wine" from Hill Country Yarns. (Purchased from Discount Yarn Sale.) I would say that "Blueberry Pink Lemonade" would be a more accurate color name; I still like it but it is not at all what I was expecting (and yes, I know hand dyed yarns vary).

Also from the same company, "Prairie View" (though in my book it's "Huskies"):
I also scored some Fleece Artist for 40% off from Simply Sock Yarn. "Midnight" is a mix of deep purples and blues:

And "Marine" is bright blues and greens:
The Fleece Artist is calling to me. Must. Knit. Christmas. Presents. First.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Works-in-progress Wednesday

But first, a couple of finished objects to show you:
The if-it-is-a-girl hat. I still need to go buy something to make the if-it-is-a-boy hat.

And, my finished pair of mittens. They are fine for a first pair, but next time I will definitely alter the pattern a little to fit my hands better.

Now, on to the in-progress:

We have a dark-but-clear photo and a bright-but-blurry one. Take your pick. (As always, click to see a larger photo.) You'd be able to see the pattern much better if I was actually wearing the finished sock, but at the moment I don't feel like contorting myself to take that sort of a photo, so you're out of luck.

I also have a pair of socks that I just cast on so there's not much point in taking a picture, and a few Christmas gifts on the needles but you can't see those for obvious reasons.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Stuff and Things

("Stuff and Things" is, by the way, the name of a secondhand store in Oregon.)

I have too much stuff. I have mentioned this before, and I have thought it for some time, so why do I still want more stuff? It is human nature to be selfish and greedy and to not be thankful for the things that one already has. Americans in general have too much stuff, and yet we are never content. A Bible verse that really struck me is Ecclesiastes 5:11:

As goods increase, so do those who consume them.
And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?

I tend to make resolutions throughout the year, not just at the beginning. I resolve to be more grateful for what I have, and to do my best to focus on those things rather than on the things which I don't have.

Along those lines, if someone you know has too much stuff, you might consider giving a donation to Samaritan's Purse or some other charity in their honor in lieu of a Christmas gift. I personally have never done this because I am always afraid to step out and do something different. However, I think I will do this for a few people this year. I know that I would be thrilled if, for example, someone bought a goat for a poor family in my name. They could use a goat much more than I could use more sock yarn, I'm sure.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Yes, yes, I'm still alive.

Last night my husband and I went to the symphony. We have been four times, and going by our last three visits we average about once a year (the first time was several years ago). Last night we saw Grieg's Peer Gynt, John Williams' The Five Sacred Trees (a bassoon concerto), and Schumann's Symphony No. 1 in B-flat major. Peer Gynt was outstanding, I was really enthralled by it. I was unimpressed and bored by The Five Sacred Trees, though there were some good parts in the second movement. Honestly I believe that a large part of my feelings toward it are because it is modern (1993); I don't care for a lot of modern classical music. Schumann's symphony was good, but it didn't "speak to me" like some music does (Beethoven's Ninth, for example, or Mozart's Requiem). I am really glad that I got to hear Peer Gynt performed but I went away feeling a little disappointed that the rest of the concert wasn't as good.

These all were led by a guest conductor, Arild Remmereit, and I thought he was really good. He was very animated and seemed very good-natured - I saw him wiggling his eyebrows at several musicians before the concert started - and I was impressed that he only used a score for the bassoon concerto.

The baby is definitly reacting to sound now; after that first cymbal crash in Peer Gynt he woke up and started jumping around.

Last year for Christmas we were given a Seattle Symphony gift certificate and we used part of that to buy tickets to see the Cowboy Junkies in April. I'm really looking forward to that, and we still have a balance left so we'll get to go see another concert as well.

I had a really good, really long blog post written up in my head last night but unfortunately this is all you get....

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Works-in-progress Wednesday

Here we have a hat for our baby (if it is a girl). It's Rowan Cashsoft aran, which is wonderfully soft; I just grabbed it from my stash but I think I may have to go buy another ball in a boyish color for the if-it-is-a-boy-hat.
Here is some great (for me) progress on sister M's socks. These are in kid mohair and they are turning out very fuzzy and snuggly feeling. The mohair is kind of annoying to work with so I can only knit with it for so long before taking a break.

And last but not least, my very second mitten ever. I am doing this one on 40 stitches instead of 44 and I think it's going to be a much better fit. That means I have to rip and reknit the first one....

It is only through great willpower that you don't see a partial baby sweater here today. I've already got most of it planned.

Note also that there has been no progress whatsoever on the Grey Sweater II or the Little Child's Socks. What's it to you?

Monday, October 09, 2006


Recently I have started itching to spin again (like I don't have enough other things to do). I spun in high school on a homemade wheel similar to this one, but it is long gone. After some brief research it looks like a "real" wheel will cost me around $350 (and that's the lower end) so I guess I'll have to start up with a drop spindle (which start around $10-15).

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My daughter, the knitter.

This morning F was drawing with her markers, and as usual, after a few minutes became bored and started playing with the caps (on, off, on, off...). My husband noticed she had taken two caps and was sitting on the couch, holding one in each hand and rubbing them together over and over. He asked what she was doing and she signed "knitting". Of course.


I have had a craving for ice cream for days. Weeks, maybe. Specifically, I've had a craving for Snoqualmie Gourmet ice cream. This afternoon I went to Country Village to get a scoop and, horror of horrors, the restaurant that serves it had closed early today. Sigh. So I had to settle for some Ben & Jerry's. Not as good as the Snoqualmie Gourmet, but it (mostly) took care of the craving. I'm still hankering after SG's pumpkin ice cream.

As you may have noticed, I completely forgot about Works-in-Progress Wednesday last night. Here you have a finished sleeve:

And a rather short sock:
(I figured out part of my dark photo problem. The pictures look lighter on the camera than they do once I move them to the computer. Phooey.)

Now that I have started posting regularly about my progress I am embarrassed about how slowly everything is going. I realize that I have other commitments, but it still seems like I should have more to show each week.

Today I bought yarn for a secret Christmas project. I would post about it but I know the intended recipient reads my blog. So you'll just have to imagine some Brown Sheep worsted until after Christmas.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Well, Socktoberfest is officially here. I have decided that my goals for this month are:

a) to finish sister M's socks. These have languished on the needles for months (she asked me to make them for her back in March) and I've finally decided that toe-up is not going to work for this pair. When I next attempt toe-up socks, it will not be with kid mohair.

b) to finish my Little Child's Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks

c) make the Thick Woodsman's Socks from Knitting Around

d) learn the two circulars method of sock knitting, and

e) attempt toe-up socks again.

Obviously, I have too many goals. Especially because we are going to go on vacation for two weeks and I've got a million things to do before we leave. But maybe I can do three out of five....

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Works-in-progress Wednesday

This - the Grey Sweater II - is all I've worked on this week. Terribly exciting, I know.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

My very first ever mitten.

My sister M requested mittens for Christmas. I still don't know if I'll make them for her or not, but my first mitten (a test) turned out well, if a bit wide. It was a lot easier than I thought, once I figured out that a "gore" was the same thing as a "gusset". I don't think that Folk Mittens does a very good job of explaining the construction of a mitten - they need more pictures to go with the explanations - but boy are there some great mittens in there.

But here's what I don't get:
a) I have large hands. I usually have to buy men's gloves because women's aren't made large enough.
b) I followed the directions for a women's size medium (no measurements specified).
c) I got gauge.

So why is it that:
d) they are about an inch too wide for my hand?

Are mittens supposed to be loose? I haven't had any since I was a little kid, but it seems like they should be snug.

I'm a joiner.

As you can see from my sidebar there, I have joined Zimmermania, Socktoberfest, and the Warm Hands Knitalong. All within a couple of days. Let's hope I haven't overcommitted myself.

Thanks to all this joining, I now know how to put a button on my blog all my myself. (Aren't you proud?)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Works-in-progress Wednesday

I didn't forget. But I can't find the camera.

My sock is a bit longer and I've restarted the grey sweater.

How's that for an update?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

What I did last night.

Before: a sad, sad sweater that was about a foot too wide in the body, about two inches too narrow in the arms, and puckery where I had tried out my first color patterns.
After about 15 minutes:

A second example: a baby shirt that, though knit of the softest alpaca, was way off gauge and ended up too wide and with too small a neck.
After about 30 minutes (you know you've become a better knitter when you are ripping something and think "how in the world did I manage that?):
In a way, it's almost like having new yarn. I really am looking forward to re-knitting the sweater (ironically, I was "blindly following" Elizabeth Zimmermann), but I'm not sure if I'll re-knit the baby shirt or do something different. If only I could knit as fast as I can rip....

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Works-in-progress Wednesday

I got the idea for posting my current projects every Wednesday from Alianne. We'll see how long I keep it up. You can click on the pictures to make them larger.

First up, the Little Child's Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks:
The yarn is really not purple; it's a dark berry pink. I am planning for these socks to be mine. It's an enjoyable pattern so far though counting rows has slowed me down quite a bit. Perhaps someday I'll get myself a row counter.

Secondly, a striped Tomten jacket for my daughter:

I am pretty happy with this. I'm making it out of leftovers; had it been an "original" project I would have chosen different tones (or is it shades? I always get those confused) because they just don't seem to harmonize perfectly. If I had thought about it sooner I would have swatched for felting this and perhaps I still will. I love the look of a "boiled wool" jacket and it would be much more weatherproof.

And that's all that was worked on this week.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Blind man banned from driving for three years.

Only three years? I don't think I'll be driving in England anytime soon....

Read the full story here.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I'm having a busy, busy week. In addition to all my normal activities of caring for a toddler, being pregnant, errands, cooking dinner, cleaning house, etcetera, I have been:

a) toilet training said toddler

b) getting ready for our first MOPS meeting of the year (I am the coordinator of our group), and

c) preparing a devotional to give at the annual ladies' luncheon at our church on Saturday.

At least the MOPS meeting is over now. It went pretty well and I hope that things will just get better and better as I become more practiced in leading meetings.

My house is a wreck. I have mountains of laundry. Very little knitting has been done. I was going to post pictures of my works-in-progress, but the light was really bad and they didn't turn out well. Maybe in the next day or two here.

Monday, August 28, 2006

My new yarn came today!

It's super soft and I can't wait to cast on. This will also probably be turned into a pair of socks for a Christmas gift. Not sure yet for whom.

Woman crashes while teaching dog to drive

Really, what more can I say? Read about it here.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The REAL reason I've been slack on blogging...

I've been nauseated and exhausted. Thankfully most of that has passed now, though I still have to take a nap every day and eat seemingly constantly.

Notice the baby is sucking his (we don't know the gender; I call it "he" to avoid calling it "it") left thumb. I am left-handed and F only sucks her left thumb - like her mother before her - so I think we've got Bob vastly outnumbered.

For those of you who are curious, the due date is January 5.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

'Nother hat

I finished another hat today. Again, just a simple stocking cap. I love the colors in this yarn (though I no longer have any clue what yarn it is; I bought it years ago and the label is long gone) and have been meaning to make it into a hat for some time now. This is for me.

My current "stash reduction" strategy is that I have to finish two projects before I can buy yarn for one more. Since I recently purchased that Twilight yarn from Dani I needed a quick project that I could finish before it arrived! Mission accomplished.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

E's birthday shirt

Here is the little shirt I made for E for her first birthday. It is a (major) variation of the Party Dress from Knitting for Baby. That pattern has a short knitted bodice with a sewn skirt. I thought it was very pretty, but E isn't walking yet (well, now she is but she wasn't at the time) so I thought a shirt would be better.

I changed the bobbled edge (I don't like bobbles) to a picot hem, then worked the pattern as written only longer; it's about 10". As I was sewing it up - the morning of the party - I realized that there was no way it was going to fit over her head so I added a little strap, miraculously found a matching button, even more miraculously found some pink thread (in a hotel sewing kit that I've saved for years and years), and decided that the neck and armholes looked fine the way they were. Phew.

Back in the saddle again

I made purpley goodness socks! I love love love these socks but I think I'm going to have to give them away for Christmas. I have someone in mind, but I'm nervous about whether or not she'll appreciate socks as a gift. Especially as an only gift, because the cost of the yarn is what we have agreed on as our gift budget limit.

Anyway, these are the Madder Ribbed Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks. The yarn is Violets by Sunshine Yarns. It's the old non-superwash yarn that she doesn't sell anymore, but I loved knitting with it; it feels great. I just ordered some Twilight - in the superwash - and am anxious to see how that yarn feels.

Speaking of Knitting Vintage Socks, I love that book and think it is worth every penny. I like all but about two of the designs and I think that I will (slowly) knit my way through the book. But not in order, because I would get bored that way.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Things you will never say until you are a parent

"No, I don't want your carrot in my belly button."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Police Blotter

From our local police blotter:

June 25

Deputies were dispatched to respond to a domestic dispute in which a girl threw a boneless pork chop at a family member after being told that she needed to finish school and get a job. The police report says she then threw a stuffed animal at another family member. The victims did not complain of any pain.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I heard a funny story today...

My sister M is a nanny. One of the children she cares for is I, just turned four. The other day they watched Richard Scarry's Best Busy People Video Ever!, a video telling stories about various people and what they did all day. Afterward, M asked I what she wanted to be when she grew up. She answered "A baker!" and M replied "My sister is a baker! She makes cookies and pies and cakes." I's eyes grew wide, her mouth dropped open, and with awe in her voice she said, "You sister is growed up?!"

Thursday, June 15, 2006

What I've been doing

Kntting-wise, that is. Putting the sawtooth border on my Pie are Square shawl (from Knitting Around). I really like this border. I like the way it looks, plus after the first couple of teeth you don't even have to think about it anymore.

I really haven't been knitting much lately; I've been catching up on my reading instead. I've reread several Lois Lenski books from my childhood: Strawberry Girl, Judy's Journey, and Cotton in my Sack. I've also read children's books about Florence Nightingale - my heroine as a child - and Marco Polo. I'm currently reading The Coconut Oil Miracle; I know, hokey title, but it's actually a very well researched and written book, as far as I can tell. The author argues his points very logically, which I like; I hate it when authors state something as "evidence" when there's really no evidence there. Sigh. Again, I lament the fact that I have become a crunchy-granola diet type of person.

Another thing I've been doing recently is watching movies. I'm watching the Prisoner - a British TV series from the 60s - and I think I'm about halfway through now. My husband and I also just finished watching the Masterpiece Theatre version of Anna Karenina. Neither of us have read the book, so perhaps it would be better, but we weren't engrossed by the story. We only really liked one of the characters (Constantine), and Anna herself caused all of her own problems so we had no sympathy for her.

I have been somewhat discouraged lately because on all the knitting blogs I read, everyone finishes things so fast! My husband is kind and reminds me that not all of them have a one-year-old to care for and are on a special diet which requires making just about everything from scratch. Very true. I just have to remind myself of it often.

I really want to start a few new projects, but I'm telling myself that I have projects already going that need to be finished up first. Oh, the temptation!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Poor Jim Duncan.

We get a lot of callers who have the wrong number. And when I say a lot, I mean that literally half the calls we get are for someone else (usually Jennifer or Lauren). Interestingly, the last caller for Lauren actually checked the number with me - turned out he had misdialed (twice) - so if she gets any more calls I'll be able to tell them her correct phone number. But anyway. So last night at 8:30 we get a call. I can tell it's a telemarketer or survey or something because I can hear the call center background noise. Here's how the conversation went:

"Hi, Jim Duncan."
"Sorry, you have the wrong number." Then, as I was hanging up, I heard:
"No, no, I'm Jim Duncan..."

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I figured it out.

The directions were a bit off. If you also have Knitting Around (my copy is a sixth edition) and would like to correct the pattern in your book, here are the changes to make (page 113):

1. K2, slip 1, K1, psso, *K8, turn
14. Sl 2 p'wise, wl fwd, Sl 3 p'wise, turn
17. K2, Sl 1, K1, psso
18. With left needle, pick up 8 stitches along selvedge PLUS the 3 from the right needle. Then, with right needle, K2, Sl 1, K1 picked up stitch (a selvedge stitch), psso (3 stitches). Replace these three stitches onto left needle. Now: (K2, Sl 1, K1, psso, replace 3 stitches on left needle) 7 times. Repeat from *.


See? See? I have started. I stalled after the cuff for a while, but then I was able to get several rows done while waiting at the doctor's office yesterday. I'm really pleased with the colors of this yarn and like how it is turning out.

I'm also trying to work on a shawl that I started, oh, five years ago or so. I started the border last night (the sawtooth border from Knitting Around) but I'm stuck on the last instruction. Has anyone else done this border? Am I really supposed to carry the yarn across the back of eleven stitches? Of course, I haven't checked for errata anywhere so perhaps I should do that first.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Okay, maybe I wasn't quite "back"...

My daughter has had roseola for the past week. Fever of 102-105 and LOTS of waking up during the night. Several times I've had to hold her for an hour before I was able to put her back down in her crib because she was feeling so badly. Poor thing.

At any rate, I have done virtually no knitting this week. Or much of anything besides try to keep the little one comfortable. Hopefully now that she's almost over it I'll be able to get some stuff done. I've been exhausted.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Back again

I had a wonderful time in Leavenworth. We stayed in a huge, gorgeous lodge and had all kinds of girly fun. I thought I would get a lot of knitting done but I was too busy relaxing in the hot tub, eating candy, making melt-and-pour soap, talking about our kids, playing Frisbee, Mind Trap, and Keep Away, watching traditional Bavarian dancing, and shopping. It turned out that all I bought was fudge (I didn't even get any souvenir yarn!) though I was really looking hard for a toy for our daughter. Oh, and I was busy driving, too. I didn't think I would have to drive but it turned out that I did, so I lost all that knitting time. Oh well.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Did you know you can get custom printed M&M'S?

We got an ad in our mailbox the other day for them. Check out their website, it's kinda fun to play around and look at the examples. Of course, they cost $12.50 per 8 ounce bag (minimum order of four bags), not to mention the fact that I hate M&M'S (all I can taste is the food coloring), but wouldn't it be cool to have custom M&M'S?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Going away

I get a weekend away! I received an invitation to join some friends overnight in a small town about two hours away from where we live, and I am so excited. The gasoline will be expensive, but they have enough people that we're only paying $10-15 for the cabin where we will be staying. I'm slightly anxious about my husband and my daughter managing while I'm away (I'm sure they'll survive, I just want them to have an enjoyable weekend too) because it will be my first time to be gone overnight since she was born. The other drawback is that we have to postpone my Mother's Day breakfast out, but we can go eat out any weekend. It's not every day that you get the opportunity to take a mini vacation for $10.

The town is full of neat little shops that I am itching to explore, and the "cabin" has a hot tub. I can't wait.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

They're done!

Yay! They turned out oh-so-close-but-not-quite identical, which unfortunately creates the illusion that one of my feet is about a half-inch longer than the other. Oh well. I learned a lot and will be able to improve my next pair. I wore them all day yesterday and they were very comfortable despite the fact that they wouldn't stay up. I am so excited about these socks. I made socks! That is just so cool!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

So close...

This is my first pair of socks for ME! The yarn is Opal Chameleon and it's just a plain stockinette pattern (which is all I've used for socks so far). I can't wait to wear these. I have to finish these and at least start socks for my sister M before I start the Pomatomus socks.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Need, not want

I think my daughter needs this onesie.


I have joined the Pomatomus knit along hosted by Twisted Thistle. No button yet because I am eternally confused by this HTML thing and have to have my husband's help. Pomatomus is a sock pattern from Knitty, an online knitting "magazine". I've decided to use Stahl Sche Wolle Socka Cotton Color (I don't even know what part of that is brand name and what part is identifying the yarn) from my stash that is blue/turquoise/green variegated; I like the colors a lot and since it's half cotton I think they'll be comfortable for the summer.

I do have some slight concern regarding the size; I am not an experienced sock knitter (almost done with my third pair) so I'd love some advice. I have huge feet. 10" long, 9" circumference. Are these stretchy enough to fit me? I know I can adjust the length but I'm concerned about the circumference because the pattern says they're 7" unstretched.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

"Spring Skunk Cabbage" is more like it

Spring Flowers is going stinkily. Very, very stinkily. Mind you this is all my own fault; I'm sure the pattern is just fine. After that annoying couple of hours on the hem, I had a minor problem with a stitch appearing out of nowhere. I had to count a few times to make sure that I actually had an extra stitch and was not short one. Then it went well again. For about one row. Then, the most major mistake of them all... I have a twist. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!!! I KNOW it was right at first so I must have accidentally twisted it on the first round somewhere. So now I have to rip the whole thing out and start over.

I no longer aspire to finish by next Sunday. It's been in knitting time out for three days now and I still feel a major pang every time I walk by it.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Any suggestions?

I want to knit a baby gift for my nephew who was born in February, plus I have a new cousin-once-removed (a girl) that I want to knit something for as well. Since it's nearly summer and they both live in warm climates, I'm not sure what to make. My Ever Helpful husband suggested open-toed booties ("Just knit a tube"). I may just make little sweaters for the fall, but I'm worried about them fitting properly if I knit them so far in advance.

Anybody have any better ideas?

Monday, April 24, 2006

The current sock

Dark photo, but you get the idea. It's just a plain army green sock (for my husband).

Spring Flowers

This is the Spring Flowers dress from Fiber Trends that I started for my daughter. I decided to do yellow as a nod toward Project Spectrum, which I am not signed up for but I think it's a great idea and I am somewhat trying to follow along. I had a great deal of trouble with the hem - purely because I didn't follow the instruction to cast on invisibly - but now that I am past that it's going swimmingly, if slowly. I've never worked with mercerized cotton before - I'm using Tahki Cotton Classic - and man, is it slippery! Hopefully I'll get used to it and it will go a little faster - though I am a slow knitter in the first place. My current goal is to finish it by the first Sunday in May. Hey, I did a sweater - with steeks, no less, in sixteen days. I just have to make myself concentrate on this project and not on socks.... Besides, my on-the-needles sock is green and that's May's color so I can work on it then.

Balls, unfinished.

Ball, finished.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


There will be no pictures for a while because our camera broke (the lens motor stopped working). We hope to purchase a new one in the next week or two.

On the last full day of her visit, my mother bought my love - and yes, she actually told me that she wanted to buy my love - by buying me four skeins of Manos del Uruguay for a sweater for my daughter. I got three skeins of a raspberry color and one of lavender for the contrast. I almost got turquoise for the contrast but decided it would look too "trendy". I will be making the snowflake sweater from Knitting for Baby.

While we were there, I picked up my first Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, alas, the very day before Emily made an announcement that she would be giving some away to someone who had never tried it. They only had one skein of lavender left so I chose berry instead. I want to knit something from Knitting Vintage Socks (a birthday present), but I can't choose between the Child's First Sock and the Fancy Silk Sock. Guess I'll just have to buy some more sock yarn....

My daughter just woke up and we have to get to our PEPS meeting so I have to cut this short.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Here are the two balls I knit (before finishing). One is for my daughter and the other is for a gift. I have decided that making these balls will be a good project for experimenting with color, since they are quick and easy and because I want to make about a dozen of them to have on hand as baby gifts. They are knit in Cascade 220, which I have decided that I really like. It's affordable, smooth, and comes in just about every color you could wish for.

'Nother scarf

Here is another scarf that I finally finished the other night. It's for my husband, and I have - quite literally - been working on it for over two years. Why did I decide to make a 10" wide scarf in moss stitch? All I can say is that I was young and inexperienced.

Christmas scarf

So here is the finally finished Christmas scarf I knit for my mother. You can't really see the cables because of the yarn being black, but in between each of those tilting sections are two 2x2 cables. The same pattern is used for the "Tipsy Knitter" socks in Socks, Socks, Socks.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Hmmm... this stuff is pretty good!

One week ago was my daughter's first birthday. She ended up peeling off the icing, eating that, and leaving most of the cake (I heartily agree with her choice!). I don't know where the time went - it seems like it was just a couple of months ago that we were bringing her home from the hospital.

She was, of course, spoiled rotten with gifts. (And they are still appearing, seeing as that her Nana is visiting.) I am going to save several of them and dole them out as necessary on rainy days.

Knitting News

Yay! I finished my mother's Christmas scarf (finally). At least I finished it in time for her to take back to PA; it would have been embarrassing to not have it done by the end of her visit here.

I love the tilting ladders pattern I used for the scarf, but it required thinking and frequent checking of the pattern. While knitting this scarf I learned that I don't like to check patterns frequently; I like to just knit along. It's pretty easy to do with things like "decrease two stitches every other round" or "work to wanted length". It's not easy to do when every row there are yarnovers or cables that are never in the same place as they were a few rows ago. But perhaps I simply need more practice. I would love to have a sweater in this pattern so I might have to make myself do it. On the other hand, it might end up as one of those projects that sits, undone, because I can't just pick it up and work a row here and there.

I think that I may have achieved "Knitter" status (as opposed to being a mere "knitter"). The other day my daughter fell asleep in the car and while I waited for her to wake up, I pulled out my knitting. I came to a cable row, and, of course, I didn't have an extra needle with me. Stop knitting? No way. Switch stitches on the needle? Tried and couldn't do it. Ended up with many dropped stitches. I searched the car desperately for something to use as a stitch holder. I was sure that the earpiece of my sunglasses would work - and it did okay - but it was slippery and I ended up with dropped stitches again (of course I didn't have a crochet hook with me either). On the next cable row, I used an extra barrette we had in the car. Bingo! It even snaps shut so there is no chance of dropping a stitch.

Also related to knitting is the fact that recently I have found myself very drawn to color. I mean, I have always liked colors, but I pretty consistently choose blues, purples, pinks, and reds. Lately I have been finding interest in unusual (for me) combinations such as turquoise and hot pink, and purple and green. I've also been unusually attracted to oranges and very bright shades of various colors; I have never been fond of orange and I tend to prefer neutrals. It's really kind of nice in a way because I am seeing so much beauty that I didn't see before. It makes me want to experiment. That and own a yarn shop just so I can look at yarn all day long.

Yesterday and today I knitted up a little ball from Knitting for Baby as a birthday gift for a friend. I just have to seam, felt, and stuff it now. It's a nice, quick little project that is good for something handmade that you don't have to spend hours and hours on; I think it took me just over an hour to knit.

Sunday, February 26, 2006