Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Cast-on Curse

Oh yeah, I'm going to talk about it.

I know I am not the only one who has a few *cough cough* things on the needles. There are a select few who only do one project at a time, but I think most of us like to have a little flexibility with our knitting projects.
Yeah, that's all fine and dandy..But I think I may have taken it to a new level people.
In the last month, I have gone out to buy row counters and stitch markers a total of 4 times..Some of those visits consisted of buying multiples of afore mentioned items. I knew I had a fair amount of things on the needles.. So much in fact that my many, many row counters were getting used on multiple projects with me making notes each time I switched the counter from one project to another..And that my WIP's have accumulated into multiple bags and it has gotten difficult to find the particular WIP I want to work on at any given time..Thus I just cast on for another project..And the cycle continues.

I have gotten to the point where I am embarrassed to cast on in front of B, and I try to hide my new WIP's from him. LOL. I feel like an alcoholic hiding my booze around the house and taking swigs when no one is looking. Seriously, I think I may have a problem.
A while back I posted about my WIP's...Well the list has grown since then. So I decided the other day to sit down and plan out how I was going to finish all this stuff, and then make a vow to not start anything else until I had made a good dent in getting some of these projects finished.
I decided I would work on 2 projects at a time..One for home and one for commute..Until they were all finished.

So here, for your enjoyment, is my list..Read on if you dare.

Projects are listed in order of priority and commute vs. Home knitting.

1) Baby Blanket for niece Amber's new arrival (due in January) HOME
This thing has been OTN for about 2 months now, and its half way finished. Plan on finishing it in three weeks, (mid-January).
1) niece Heather's Monkey socks (last post) COMMUTE
One sock just past the gusset, one not even started..Plan is to have them done by January 7th....Not sure that's gonna happen.
2)Peapod Baby set..Again for Amber's baby. HOME
Sleeves done, body started..Giving myself 3 days to get it done..So we will say end of January.
2)Argosy scarf. COMMUTE
About a 1/4 of the way through. Fast knit..So I will say about 5 days to finish...So around the 12th of January.
3)Flower Basket Shawl HOME
Again OTN for a very long time..Seriously I should have this done by now.
Allowing myself 2 weeks to finish this one up..So early Feb. For this one.
3) Malabrigo My So Called Scarf...COMMUTE
Only just started..Estimating 3 days..hah! A girl can dream can't she? So we will say Jan. To finish this as well.
4)Fairly Easy Fair Isle..HOME
Started this during the blackout..It's on large needles with chunky yarn and I have about 6 inches week...Mid February finish
4) Irish Hiking Scarf COMMUTE
Again barely started...But going to give myself a week to finish.
5)Shetland Triangle..HOME
This baby is barely even started..Think I have done one pattern repeat..I will say February as well and 2 weeks time to finish it.
5)Elfine socks..COMMUTE
Got the toe done on one pair..That's it, but man do I LOVE the yarn (Claudia's Handpainted) and the pattern. On 000 needles..2 weeks...Finish in February sometime
6)Kimono Shawl..HOME
Again, this is just started as well...3 weeks, finish in March
6)Linen Scarf..COMMUTE
1 week, finish in February.

What do you think? Is it doable?

All that, plus I got to find time to knit up 5 things for Dulaan..
and I am a part of the Sexy Knitters Club and our KAL is starting the first of the year and I am dying to make Wicked..

And then this happened..

The Hidcote Garden shawl KAL

oh yeah...Im screwed.

Edited to add: OMG! I forgot about the mitered sock blanket...which is ongoing..and needs a lot more attention! As soon as the baby gifts are out of the way (and the Hidcote is complete..there is a prize for the first one done =)) I will be working on this regularly as well. Geesh!

I guess we should all ignore my last post about the Holiday gift knitting, apparently I am that nuts all the time!

Friday, December 29, 2006

I may be crazy.....

..But I'm not insane!

When it comes to Christmas gifts, some people go all out on the handmade stuff. And although I admire those people and think they are amazing, I don't go for that craziness.
don't' get me wrong, right after Christmas (like now) I think of how awesome it would be if I made handmade gifts for everyone on my list next year..Back when I was a x-stitcher I envisioned making Christmas stockings for everyone..That never happened. Last year I thought I would try to make scarves, hats, or socks for everyone...Nope.
The reason is I live in this fantasy world for about 2 weeks, and then I forget about it until mid-November, and then realize there is no possible way to get it all done. Trust me, I have tried.

So when mid-November crept up on me again this year..I told myself there was no way no how I was going to stress myself out this year by trying to make a gazillion presents..Again, like some people do, and do very well I might add... But then I remembered how I had promised my landlady something hand knit ages ago, and she is so sweet to us, and so helpful..And then, I walked into a LYS, and found the perfect yarn, and the perfect pattern, and well..I just couldn't help myself...

And of course, the close up shot...

This was my first finished cable project, and I did it all without a cable needle, thanks to Wendy's and Grumperina's tutorials. It was SO easy, if you have not tried cabling 'cuz you were intimidated, (like me) do yourself a favor and just DO IT already! I promise you, you can do it! It is so easy..Especially without the cable needle.

Pattern: Alchemy Lace and Cable Scarf
Yarn: 2 1/2 balls Rowan Cashsoft DK in "Ballad Blue"
Needles: size 2 (I'm a loose knitter remember?) Knit Picks Options
Started December 12th, and Finished December 23rd

Yeah, so anyways..I was working on this scarf and then I thought of my niece..And how I would like to give her something handmade...And then Knitty had to come out with their new issue...And I saw Monkey...and then this happened

I know, I know they are not finished...But she won't be back form her Holiday vacation until next week...And besides, she'll understand, she's a knitter as well.

Maybe this handmade gifting to a few select people each year is the way to go...I think I am on to something here...Or maybe that's just the "fantasy" speaking again.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

From B and me to you!

I hope Santa brought you everything you wanted. And I hope you have peace and happiness today and always.

Me? Oh Santa took VERY good care of me. Much fibery goodness, yarn shop gift cards, a spa package, and a Tivo! Woot! Boy do I love Santa, he rocks!
Of course, I take good care of him too. I bought my Santa a new guitar..and I don't think he will ever put it down! I LOVE It! There is nothing better then getting someone a gift you know they will love, and seeing their face when they recieve it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


For those of you that don't know, Seattle and its suburbs experienced a massive wind storm last Thursday. Horrible damage, everywhere. Over a half- million people lost power. I was one of them.
Today, at around 6:00 pm, I got my power back. Yes, that is right. I went 6 days with no power. That means no heat, no stove, no light, no blogs, no nada.
I seriously felt like I was living in a war zone, there were times I thought Armageddon was upon us.
Everybody was affected by this. Hotels are full, gas stations are out of gas, stores are completely out of fire logs, batteries, flash lights, etc."Do you have power yet?" is the most popular sentence of the week.
Imagine no Starbucks, no mall, no grocery store, no work. The day after the storm only three places were open to eat in Bellevue. They were Subway, Jack in the Box, and a Thai restaurant. We stood in line at Subway for well over an hour. I felt so sorry for those poor employees working there butts off for minimum wage (or close to it) and having to put up with cranky people. I made sure to thank all of them and threw a 20 in the tip jar. Hell, they deserved it!
I heard that the food story I just told you made the news. The Thai place did over 3000 people (or some number outrageous like that) on that day.
It was extremely eerie to drive through a city..And not see it. This is the first "emergency situation" I have been through, and boy was it a doozie.
I am thankful. Thankful for the hard working people that have been pulling 20 hour shifts day in and day out to rebuild practically the entire power system of Western Washington. I am thankful for the many kind and wonderful people whose positive spirits helped through this ordeal. I am thankful that I am finally warm after a week of freezing temperatures. I am thankful that I get to write this blog. And I am thankful for so much more that I cant think about right now because I am still so overwhelmingly emotional that I have been given back so many things I took for granted before.
I am thankful for my B..He really helped make the whole thing livable. He always made sure there was a fire going...He covered me with extra blankets every night and every morning...He pulled out the itty bitty book light (awesome invention by the way!) and read to me every night..And when nothing else was to be done...He made sure I had a drink in hand =).
It's good to be back.
Now it's time to knit.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

What a Week Will Get You

For quite some time now I have been working on the Flower Basket Shawl. It is my first attempt at lace knitting..And I fell in love with it instantly. The tiny needles...The changing patterns...The simple/yet challenging way of it.
Right now I am into the 2nd chart and 6th repeat. My plan is to make this in the large shawl version..So I need to get 17 repeats on this chart before I get to move on to the next.
I promised myself I would not start another lace project until I finished this one..Even though I have about 15 projects in mind and I want to cast on for all of them right now!
Do you think I kept that promise?
See, it all started because I joined the Lacevember KAL..And I really wanted to have something done by the end of the month for the KAL..And considering I did not join up until the 18th of the month...I pretty much figured there was no way for me to get the FB finished in that amount of time.
What's a girl to do?
In my case, find a new project.
I had been lurking the Swallowtail KAL for a while..And so I decided it was time for me to make one.
And I did. Funny thing..I actually had the exact yarn in the exact shade sitting in my stash. See it was fate..It had to be done.
Time for the pics! =)

We have all heard of the magic that happens when blocking lace, here is my example of this phenomenon.

This first picture is before blocking..Sorry silly me did not get the exact dimensions..

And a pre-block close up:

And now, the after pics.

I love this shawl. It was so fun to make..Kept me interested the entire time.

And it was a fast knit as well. 7 days from start to finish

Nice butt shot huh? I do think it looks nice over the black though...

So specs (what I can remember off the top of my head anyway)

Yarn: Misti Alpaca, 1 ball in the sea mist colorway.

Needles: Knit Picks Options Size 3. (I LOVE these needles, they are awesome!)

Did pattern exactly as directed, except for the nupps. Instead of purling 5 together (yuck!)..I slipped 3 purled 2 and then slipped the slipped stitches off the needle. It looks exactly the same and was so much less of a headache.

Started Nov. 19th and finished Nov. 26th..Oh yeah I was a knitting fiend!

Alas this shawl is not for me...I am going to give it away at my knitting groups holiday gift exchange..I hope they all fight over it. LOL.

But even though I don't get to keep this one..I do have 2 more balls of that yarn in my stash...=)

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Sizzler

AS we all know my blogging is sporadic. There will be times you get 5 posts a week, and then there will be times where you get a post a month.
Well, I am trying. =)
See, the thing is, I have a bit of an obsession called knitting. Not like most people..I MUST do it in all free time afforded to me. I used to play online more. I used to read a novel (or more) a week..Not so much these days.
Knitters Anonymous was made for people like me. I really am an addict. KA actually has a patch...You know like the smokers patch?..And B said he was going to make me wear it. LOL.
But I consider this a good addiction. I have not smoked a cigarette in over a week (I'm not saying I am quitting 'cuz every time I do I end up lighting up again..In fact Im craving one right now!), and I cannot remember the last time I was at a bar. The truth is, I'd rather be knitting. Yes, maybe with a beer or wine close by..But Im finding that "hanging out" and drinking is not so much fun anymore.
I just wrote a big schpeel about drinking and restaurant workers.. But I don't really want to get into that right now.
So yes, I am an addicted OC knitter..And I am proud of it.
I have a heck of a lot of things on the needles right now. Some have deadlines, some do not. But for me I guess all my projects have deadlines..cuz I am a freak that way. I set goals and try to meet them with my knitting. LOL.
So currently on the needles (and trying to be knit ) is:
Baby Blanket
Peapod Baby Set
We Call Them Pirates Hat (for the Stranded KAL)
Irish Hiking Scarf..Not sure where this is online..I think Hello Yarns.
Branching out scarf (from Knitty)
Flower Basket Shawl
Kimono shawl
English Lace scarf
Elfine socks
Mitered Sock Blanket

I think that is it. Wow that is a lot. Maybe I have a bit of attention deficit disorder as well.

But with all this going on, I have managed to finish a few things, and I am now FINALLY getting to the point of this entry.

That would be Sizzle by Wendy Bernard of Knit and Tonic fame.

I started it on 11-5-06 but had to frog 'cuz it was too big..Even though I thought I had gauge.

So I restarted on 11-7-06
and finished on 11-15 06 with most of the knitting done in about 4 days time.
The yarn is Plymouth Suri Merino and it is lovely.

The pattern was clear and easy to follow..And I am VERY pleased with the results. Do yourself a favor and knit something by Wendy today. She's got some great patterns. I have yarn for 3 more projects from her (as soon as I get some of that stuff above off the needles I am casting on!)

And yes...I do have another FO to show you..My first finished lace project ever! Some of you may have seen it already if you checked out the lace KAL's. Hopefully I will post about that tomorrow!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

To Spin or Not to Spin.....

That IS the question.

I think at some point in every (guess I should not say "every" ok most) stick and/or hook addicts life, there comes a time when they ask themselves the afore said question.

When I last blogged I told you I had a beginning drop spindle class planned.

Well, I did, And I went, and I tried to spin, and I think it was fun...But all in all I was just frustrated and a bit disappointed.

Now, before I go any further, I think it is important for you to know that I am a tad bit of a perfectionist. I am also very linear in my thinking. I also think I am a darn quick learner.
If you were to give me some yarn, some sticks, and a pattern..Let's say the most intricate, complicated thing you ever saw..It just needs to have semi-clear directions..And said "make this" I would do it. I would delve right in and go for it, and further more, enjoy every step of the process.
But if you said, "here, make up something with this yarn and don't follow a pattern", I would just fall to pieces.
I need directions, I need clear cut rules, I need concrete!

Now that you have that bit of information about me..I think those of you that spin are getting a good giggle at me right now...You will soon understand why Spinning is causing me such grief.

I have been thinking, dreaming, desiring, needing to learn how to spin for almost a year now. I have been a bit obsessive about it. And I really thought that it would just come naturally and be the best thing I have ever learned since knitting. NOPE!

Poor B has been putting up with my incessant spinning blabber for all this time, and now that he has made a lovely gift of it, I am less then thrilled with the whole deal.( I feel like a real jerk.)

The reason Im not thrilled is that spinning (decently anyway) is something that "comes" to you. It just "feels right". AAAAAAAGH!
But it's not only just learning how to draft the dang fiber, how to hold the darn spindle, and how to give the yarn enough..But not too much twist, oh no. Then you got to soak it and weight it and ply it. And God knows what else. Oh, and every fiber is different. So just cuz you got wool down pat, don't think you are going to rock out the silk blend you got on your first time.
Enough of my moaning already..Here's some pictures of my pathetic attempts. It's ok to laugh and ridicule..I know it's bad.

So this was my first attempt. This was on my own before I ever took the class.

Abso-friggin-lutely gorgeous stuff huh? You know you want it.

This next pic is the roving I got in class, and underneath my second attempt at making yarn. Oh, and my silly attempt to try to wind it and put it in a hank.

The stuff is like glue now, it wont come apart. A more experienced knitter told me she thinks this is because the yarn is trying to ply itself. Oh joy! Maybe if I soak it....

This is attempt # 3:

The stuff looks a bit better, and it's kind of fun cuz of the multi-colors..But still it is pretty horrible.

The class did teach me a few things...Like never switching your hands..And about different way's to spin (S vs. Z) and how different spindles make different yarns.

It is fun..But I just cant "get it". I cant wrap my brain around the fact that there are no real "rules" for it. That it is just a "do it your way" kind of craft.

Who knows..I hope to get together with a spinning friend after the first of the year (Hi Dawn!), maybe she will help me change my tune.

Maybe I am destined to be a wheel spinner..Yeah that's it..I need a wheel! That's my problem!

(Great idea Mel...Plunk down $300 or more on something you don't even know if you will like..And at the rate your going..You will probably hate it!)

Until then....I think I will stick to my knitting.

But maybe, just maybe..I will get a wild hair and try again.

Stranger things have been know to happen around here......

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Birthday Bash

Yeah, I know I'm a bit late with the post, but well....Stuff happens.
Hope you all had a great Turkey day. Mine was very quiet and relaxing. Just B and I hanging out at home and making a nice little meal for the two of us.
This post, this Most Excellent Post, is about my Birthday, and about my Birthday loot.
First off, I had an amazing time. It was just what B and I needed, some time away from all the hoopla and crapola that makes life so interesting at times.
We ended up going to the Washington Peninsula. Somewhere not too far away, but far away enough to be AWAY!
The first part of the journey was an adventure. What with torrential rain, bad wiper blades (which we had to make a detour and replace), and VERY. Windy. Roads. I thought I was going to die a few times that evening.
When we reached our destination we got the surprise of finding out we were staying in a Reservation...That's right an Indian Reservation (is that PC? Or should I say Native American Lands?). That was fine, what was interesting about it is that our B & B (cough cough) was a woman's (unfinished) house that she was letting rooms out of. Seriously! There were paintbrushes and a ladder sitting in the hallway, and the stairs were being stripped so you could not use them barefoot unless you wanted to chance a nasty splinter. Top that with a shared bathroom used by all in the house, and no Locks on the doors...There was not even a lock for the front door..And you have a "growing" experience.
On the night we arrived I was so exhausted and strung out from the horrid drive, and we were so late getting there, and then seeing our lodgings...I broke out the wine STAT and threw myself a little pity party. Happy 30th to me!
The next morning we decided to make the best of it and went to explore. There was an amazing museum..Sorry no pics were allowed..That was based on the history of the tribe. It was awe inspiring to see how these people lived/live, and how they have struggled to maintain there culture. The museum had a long house replica (which is used for ceremonies) and a complete gray whale skeleton. The whole experience was breathtaking.
Now I do not want to get on a soap box here, but I do have to say that the Native Americans sure got the shaft from our government. I thought I knew and understood before, but I had no idea.
The people we met here were so kind and polite and open. They had so much pride (I mean that in a good way) for who they are and where they came from.
I am sure I am botching all this up and sounding like some "stupid white yayhoo" but I wanted to at least try to show my respect and admiration. Being a self-admitted "stupid white yayhoo" I can say that even though I think I get it, I know I have absolutely no idea. =)

After the museum, we realized that we had done all there was to do in that area of the peninsula, and we were desiring better, more secure lodgings, so we decided to head down to Port Angeles and stay at a B&B there.

The Tudor Inn

This place was Much Better. It was AMAZING! If you ever come this way...Stay here. Betsy is a wonderful hostess who knows everything and everybody in this little town, and will treat you like royalty.

Our room was absolutely breathtaking. The mural you see wraps all the way around the room, and it is a replica of there coast line (Gosh Im horrible, I don't know the name!) The room had it's own fireplace and clawfoot tub (as well as a personal bathroom, and locks on the doors!)
Yes that's B...I hope he does not mind me posting him in his "draws"...Oh well, what he doesn't know won't hurt him! =)
This leg of the journey came complete with an amazing dinner at a wonderful restaurant that was underground (cool, kind of wine cellar"ish"), lot's of awesome book stores, and lots of spoiling of yours truly.
B really did spoil me rotten. Not only did he give me this trip, and the amazing bouquet of roses...But he also got me 2 very generous gift cards..One for Knitpicks ( woot! I love that place) and one for my favorite LYS, Cultured Purls.
That would have been more then enough, but he had only just began....
As all yarn-aholics know...A trip is not a successful trip unless you score some fiber schwag. Check it out.
We made a stop on Bainbridge Island to check out Churchmouse yarns and teas. This place is SWEET! Words cannot express my love of this store. Here I scored some Koigu,
some misty Alpaca, a HUGE hank of black lace weight merino wool..I'm talking like 1500 yards (for $17!), and some very lovely fingering weight yarn (Gems Pearl by Louet).

The lovely hank of green you are looking at is my favorite acquisition of the entire trip. While B and I were in Port Angeles, we happened on the Fiber Arts Gallery. This is a place that sells all handmade items..ahh the beauty and the inspiration the abounded in that shop! The owner sold a tad bid of yarn..Including her own hand dyed yarns. This is about 230 yards of hand dyed mohair and it is amazing! I love it, love it, love it! I am not sure what to do with it yet..I would really like to try a lace scarf with it..But not sure how it would work. I have seen other people do beautiful things with mohair and lace, but I just don't know if this is the right stuff to do it.

Had enough yet? Good, cuz I'm not done.

On the last day of the trip, we stopped in Port Townsend..My absolute all time favorite place in Washington. It's awesome! If you like history and gorgeous old places, you must check it out!
We strolled along the main drag. B was in heaven with the rockin' book stores they had. I'm not talking Barnes and Noble here people..I'm taking rare and/or used places that are wall to wall books. B found things he had been searching for for ages.
Me, I found Diva yarn's. It's a bit hard to find considering it's in a little "mall" of craft stores and theres no big sign pointing to it..But I sniffed it out.
Guess what they had? Spinning supplies. Yours truly has had an inch to learn how to spin, and look what B did..As if he had not done enough already!

I am so excited..I have a beginning drop spindle class tomorrow! I can't wait! My own try's have not been very successful so I hope having a teacher and a visual will help.
I am a spoiled, loved, and lucky girl. My man knows exactly what I crave.
Next post will probably be about spinning..But I have a FO or two to share with you, so stay tuned!

P.S. There is a skein of STR in the above yarn pic that I got at another store in Port Townsend..The Twisted Ewe. This place was a block off the main drag..but again I sniffed it out. =)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Wake Up and Smell the Roses

Although the big day is not until tomorrow...B sent these to me at work today:

These babies are HUGE! They are the longest long stem roses I have ever seen.
I can safely say things are looking up. I'm feeling more positive about us and about the B-day.
Although the flowers are amazing and romantic in and of themselves, it was the card attached that really did it. That, however is private, and I will not be sharing his words. I am sure you understand.
Today has been a good day. Despite the fact that all my knitting today has been a fiasco.
I messed up somewhere on the Flower Basket shawl and silly me did not have a life-line in. So I have been tinking, and tinking, and tinking (that's knitting backwards by the way).
I think one more row will get me back on track.
And Sizzle? Although I did a gauge swatch and I thought I was spot on..I was a full inch off and the front was too big. So I had to rip the whole thing least I was only about 5 incnes into it. The bright side is, now that I am on size 3 needles...I can do this on my Knit Picks option needles (which I love).
TaTa for now...won't be around for a few days!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Rain, Rain Go Away!

The weather here in Seattle is everything you would imagine it to be. Windy, rainy, and just plain nasty! Add to that Daylight Savings time which now makes it dark around here at 5 pm, and you got some cranky Seattlites.
No wonder we drink a lot of coffee and suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Another storm came in last night and there are flood warnings in effect, and I think that the lack of sunshine has made everyone forget how to drive.
But I can't complain too much. I'm what you call a "transplant". I moved here from Southern California. I CHOSE this! And even though I'm bitching right now, I do love it here.
Driving home today I saw people out holding signs for the election tomorrow. Whenever I see this, I get the reality that my birthday is just around the corner. And that I procrastinated too late yet again to register to vote. (I thought I was registered...But I did not receive any voter stuff...So that means I am not). Damn. Well, there is always next year...Vote well my fellow Seattlites!
Yes, Wednesday is my 30th birthday....I have been talking about this for awhile now, I know, and I am sure you and many of my RL friends would like to tell me to get over it already...Believe me, I am trying.
B is going to take me away for a few days. Sounds nice. I hope we don't fight. I'm afraid we will. I'm afraid that when I remember my 30th b-day..I will remember a disaster. But I will try, for my sake, to get along with him.
that may sound like a selfish remark. It is. This is my darn birthday after all, and it will be my memories.
So what do you do when it's dark and stormy out and your stressed, anxious, and depressed?
I don't know about you, but I poor a glass of wine and I knit.

Tonight I am going to talk about my UFO's. I got a few things on the needles..

As talked about before, I have the Elfine Sock in progress, as well as the mitered sock blanket. I am not going to post picks of them tonight because there has been very little if no progress on them since the last time I showed them.
I have let other things distract me once again.
Last night I started Sizzle. I have known for a while now that I wanted to make this, but I have been trying very hard to hold off on it until I get some of my WIP's off the needles.
I justified starting it because:
-It was one of the projects for the Sexy Knitter's Club KAL (the other being the Simple Knitted Bodice), and I wanted to have the satisfaction of getting both done for the KAL ( we will see about that, the KAL ends mid-November).
-It is supposed to be a fast knit...
-And it's my damn birthday week and I can do whatever I want! =)

I am making it out of a beautiful Forest Green Suri Merino. The pic does not give it any justice what-so-ever, It is so soft and delectable to work with on my Addi Natura's (I think that's what they are called). The pattern calls for Size 7 needles, but I got gauge on Size 4's. S so far, I am loving this knit.

Next up,

A baby blanket. I said I had a story about this.

The story goes I am finicky. I have started many a baby blanket for my niece, and have been disappointed in all of them. The reason? I saw this pattern a while back and fell in love with it, became obsessed with it, but did not know where to get it.

Then I found it, In the Debbie Macomber knit along book for the Shop on Blossom Street. I knew then I MUST knit it, it was a sign.

I am making it out of the called for yarn (Bernat Satin), and even though it is a cheap acrylic, it is quite nice to work with.

The ironic thing...Now that I am reading the pattern I realize it is just a simple basketweave design, with a smaller basketweave for the borders. I should have been able to figure this out on my own. Oh well, there are many cute patterns in this book, so I am still happy I bought it.
The baby is due sometime in January. I plan to make this and the PeaPod baby sweater/hat ensemble for the wee one (tentatively named Sophia). Right now I feel like I have tons of time...But I know January will be here before I'm expecting it. So I know I need to crank on this puppy.

Last but not least..I am really proud of this...And it is my favorite knit on the needles right now.

My Flower Basket shawl:

I am making it out of Lorna's Laces, not sure of the colorway. It is my first "real" lace project. (I did a feather and fan baby blanket out of worsted, but I don't think that counts as lace.)

I LOVE this! I wish I could work on it more, but it does require a level of concentration I don't always have time for. I can't/won't work on it while watching TV. It's a listening to a book on tape kind of knit. I do feel a deep desire to finish this, not only because I can't wait to block it...But also because I have about 6 other lace projects in wait..And I won't let myself cast on for another until this is done. (SO far my resolve has been good...But we will see if that lasts...Look how I justified Sizzle! =)

Off to the wonderfull world of knitting. Funny how much that brightens my mood! =)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

There's a monster at the end of this blog!

OK, not really but it was a little exciting to say that. =) (Anyone know what I am talking about? It was a Golden Book I had growing up starring Grover, it was my FAVORITE!)
So first off, the rant is over for now. My mood now is to be patient for a while longer, and wait and see. What else can I do?

MMmmmmmmK. Now onto other news.

I have been talking about the "Pink Monstrosity" for awhile now. And today it is making it's appearance on my blog. This sucker is now out of my home and hanging in a yarn store where I am sure it is getting ooed and ahhhed over by someone with different taste then me.
I have to admit....It's not that horrible. I thought the fringe would just add insult to injury, but it actually made something I thought looked like pepto bismol and cotton candy regurgitated into something half way decent.
What do you think?
First off, the condor pic...

It really does look like I have wings there doesn't it?

Now the sweet, demure pose..( I always feel self conscious getting my pic taken...Especially if I don't have make-up on or my hair done, and it always seems my blog pics are when I look my worst...) I never know where to look (looking at the camera seems so phony) and I never know how to smile..LOL guess I will never be a model.

And finally, just a fun pic with a little detail of the "monster". Yes, that really is what it looks like. One of the yarns reminds me of the bubbles and suds you get in a bubble bath...Weird description, but others agreed with me on that when I showed them.
(Please disregard the overflowing stash, the dead plant, and the stacked puzzles in the background. While you are at it, disregard the stained fireplace as well) ;)

I'm sure someone is buying the yarn to make this project, and more power to them..It just is really not my deal, I am a lace shawl fan and not real crazy about fringe as the "main event" in my projects.

So what do you think? Trust me, you won't hurt my feelings!

Speaking of lace, I am off to work on my Flower Basket shawl...If I can concentrate enough to work on it...If not, it will be the baby blanket I started..Yes another one...That is a story in itself! Guess what my next post will be about?

'Cuz there is nothing else to do...

Not having a man around during the later night hours makes me restless. I don't want to go to sleep yet (even though it is late and I work in the morning), not really motivated to knit (may try again after this post), and don't feel like turning on the boob tube or listening to more Harry Potter on CD.What do people do when they live alone?When B (not PC, not right now, just B) and I lived together, this would be the time we would say, "we should go to bed", or watch some late night TV...This was our "cuddle" time. (Not always x-rated, but true cuddling).Although he still hangs out with me, and sometimes stays over (again not x-rated, not right now), he leaves more then he stays, and I miss him.It's complicated, right now, he is staying with his dear grandmama (aka the wicked witch of the west...Or if you watch Gray's...McBitch!), oh yeah, she hates me...And I think in 20 months we have said about 25 words to each other! I made her a fricken scarf for Christmas last year, and she still thinks Im some black sheep with a heinous disease that has been possessed by the devil. I have been nothing but nice and polite to her...No effect what-so-ever.I don't care what she or any of his family thinks of me, him, or our relationship..But he does. Well, he cares what they think about him....And grandmama pays for his expensive private college tuition, which she threatened to stop doing when she found out about the engagement. See what I mean a Grade A Mc Bitch!Wow, what a rant. And there is more where this came from...But I will try to withhold a bit.I miss him. And I hate when I ask him to stay and he has to go home so grandmama won't be angry and change the locks on him (or tell his ANTie who will spread mean things about him to the rest of the family about how he takes advantage of dear grandmama).All I want is for him and me to be happy and live a good life together. I want him! Yes, I would love to have the Norman Rockwell family gatherings during the holidays and crap, but I did not have that growing up, so screw it. Besides, B and I could try to do that with our offspring, We have had enough lessons and wrong examples to try and avoid the bullpoop.I don't know what to do..I know B is stuck between a rock and a hard place ( I like to think I am the supportive rock holding him and you-know-who is the hardplace), but seriously, how long do I have to put up with this?When is enough enough? I am so tired of playing tug of war. I'm so sick of fighting for our future. I know he is trying, but it's not enough.I wish he could say F.U. and grow a pair. I know it's hard, but how can I respect him if he does not demand respect for himself? He let's these people walk all over him! (And me as well, through association.)Alone, writing a blog no one will read, drinking wine, and feeling sorry for myself. How pathetic!When all I want is to curl up between his chest and his arm, smelling him (he smells so good), and whisper I love you....And know that when I reach out in the middle of the night he will be there, when I wake up from a nightmare, he is there, HE IS THERE! Even when his snoring and twitching keeps me awake and I complain, he is there.For so long he was there, I used to brag about how we never spent a night apart...But that is no longer. That surety of "at least we will see each other in bed if nothing else", is no longer there.All that's left is a cold, lumpy, empty bed....And it's the last place I want to be right now.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


I finally finished something that actually fits me. Something I am dang proud of. Something I would actually wear and not feel a little self-conscious about.......And it's not for me.

This is the Pure and Simple Wrap Cardi (bottom left of page)that I knitted as a sample for a LYS..Ben Franklin's.

Granted I could opt to keep it instead of getting store credit for it....But I would only get it back after the store decided not to display it anymore. Meaning I would get it back in about 6 months after it has been handled by hundreds of people and looking worse for wear. I know this because all the other samples I have knit look like rags by the time they decide to sell them.

I would rather get store credit and buy the yarn to make another. I think I would like it better in a plain color...A dark red or midnight blue perhaps.

It is a great pattern, for those of you thinking about knitting this, (and I have read a number of people who are interested) I say go for it.

It's a top down cardi, there is absolutely no seaming! In fact the only finishing I had was weaving in a few ends. It's pretty mindless as well....Just a lot of stockinette with some garter ridge borders.

And it's also fast to knit up. I started it on Oct. 7th and finished on Nov. 3rd..And that's while I was working on many other projects (i.e. socks, blanket, pink monstrosity, and a scarf).

I did knit this smaller then my actual size....Go figure. I guess I know now that if I want something more fitted...I need to go down a size or 2. If I make this again I might possibly go up a size since the tie can adjust the fit...It is a little snug, but not by much.

I may make another of these...But I have been eying Ivy for some time now..And when I am ready to do a top down sweater that will probably be the one I do. Life is too short to do the same pattern over again after all. =)

Coming up next....The Pink Monstrosity takes wings!

I forgot to add....the yarn is Fantasy by Dark Horse's a nylon and acrylic blend. I was surprised at how nice this yarn is ...very soft and easy to work with. Give's a nice drape as well. And pretty dang cheap I may add. 205 yards for $6.49, and it took about 5 balls. Not bad, about $37 to make this.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Better late then never.......

Well, looks like blogger is going to cooperate tonight...So that means I get to post the entry I planned on doing the other day.
I can't believe it is November already! It always surprises me every year. Time seems to go faster as I get older (isn't that the case for everybody?)
My 30th birthday is less then a week away. I cannot believe that either. I know for many people that is not a big deal, but for me it is. I think I am having an early midlife crisis! =) I thought that by this time in my life I would have a family, a career, and feel settled.
SOOOOOOOOO not the case. Everything is on hold right now: school, marriage, children, etc. Yeah you heard me correctly. Mr. PC and I are "taking some space". I guess we are still a couple, but we are now at different addresses, and as far as where we stand and where we are headed...That's kind of cloudy right now.
Sorry to break the news to you. So many people have offered help and well wishes, and I hate to disappoint, but I have to tell the truth.
We have decided not to tell people in real life yet..Just going to say we are still in the "early planning stages". All hope is not lost yet...But I am starting to wonder.
But enough about that, it's time to talk about the knits!
As many of you know, Socktoberfest ended a few days ago, and although I did not accomplish all that I planned, I do feel please with what I did accomplish.

Exhibit #1: My first pair of toe up socks (on dpn's, that was a first as well)

This is the plain toe up sock I got from Wendy's website. It was a heck of a lot of fun, and easy as well. They fit great, and feel so good on the feet. I made it with Trekking XXL and forgive me, I don't remember the colorway. After making these, I am a toe up fan all the way!

Exhibit 2: Elfine socks (also toe up using the magic loop method)

I did not get that far as you can see. But I love this pattern! It is so pretty and so much fun to knit. I am realizing that I love doing lace projects (first one ever will be posted about soon), and this project incorporates my 2 new loves...Lace and socks, duh!
I really like the magic loop method as well..Only took me about 30 seconds to figure it out. It's just like using 2 circs, just with one long needle that loops around instead. Definitely need metal needles for this though. It drives me crazy to do this method with my Denise's or with wood needles.
Exhibit 3: Mr. Sock Blankie

I am still loving this project, it is so much fun. Pretty mindless as well so good to do while watching shows or before bed. It is fun to see how all the colors work together. I have been trying to "clash" the yarns, but it is not happening, everything seems to work well together no matter how hard I try. LOL.
Since this pic I have done a bit more. I am trying to get all my individual squares attached to make sure it is wide enough before I work my way up on it.

And that wraps up the socktoberfest knitting.

Now on to other projects.

I managed to finish a scarf in a few days using the linen stitch. I cannot begin to tell you how much fun this is. I recommend everyone try it. It's just a slip stitch pattern after all, and you use 3 colors to get the effect. GREAT for left over yarns. I would say apx. 75-100 yards per color to make the scarf.

The picture sucks I know, but I wanted to show some detail of the stitch. I will try to post a better pic of it sometime soon.
I will be doing this pattern again and again and again. It's a heck of a lot of fun but does not take a lot of brain power...So good for late nights and TV as well.

Now last, but definitely not least..I finished the SKB for the SKC (that's code for Simple Knitted Bodice and Sexy Knitters Club) I finished this almost a month ago but have been too lazy to get pics of it.
So here is the forever popular late night pic of oneself in the bathroom!

I made it out of Nashua Creative Focus worsted (dreamy, you MUST try it) and I am pleased with the results. It is not as fitted as I would hope, ( I think I need to go down a size on garments..They all seem too big) but I love it all the same. It is comfy, and warm, and I feel good wearing it.
I need to reshape it..I have worn it enough times that it is getting a little, well, worn. I may do this pattern again, I would love a long sleeved one, but I will definitely go down a size and add short rows. (I wanted to do that with this one but could not figure out how to do short rows in the round, anyone know how that can enlighten me?)

The blue sweater is almost finished, should be done by the end of the night..Hope to have pics of that up soon. I have also been working on the most hideous shawl imaginable (sorry, but it is true) as a sample for a LYS. I call it the Pink Monstrosity...You'll see. I just have to fringe it (hah! Can't wait to see what it looks like after THAT!) and it will be done.

Hope all is well in everyone's worlds today! Talk at you soon!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Blogger HELL!

So for the past 45 minutes I have been trying to post an entry.
The first problem is that even though I took a bunch of pictures....they got erased somehow. Now considering that I took them minutes before, did not mess with them in anyway except to tkae the card out and put in the computer drive, it is a mystery to me how this happened.
So take 2...Get all the pics retaken..and this time they load up as usual.
OK, we are rolling again.
Now, I try to upload images...and blogger is not having it...I get the hourglass screen of hell and then the "page cannot be displayed" window of doom..twice.
I should have known I would have problems, earlier I was trying to post comments on others blogs and they got eaten as well.
Screw it, I'm gonna knit.
There will be a post as soon as blogger stops acting like an asshat.
Hope you all had a Happy Halloween, and Happy Day of the Dead (is that correct to say Happy? I'm not sure..whatev)

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Yup today is my mother's birthday. I am sure she would not appreciate me telling all of blog land her age..So I will withhold that information. Let's just say she's a rockin' party animal and I sometimes have a hard time keeping up with her! Party on mom! I'm gonna celebrate your birthday in style! McDonald's, knitting, and hanging out with my niece (Heather). Heck ya!

In other news (aka knitting) I wrote yesterday that I was planning on starting a new pair of socks with this lovely yarn.

Well I did,

And this is the result. Pretty no? The only thing is, it's way too big. The size 1's called for are meant for a much tighter knitter then me....So I swatched with zeroes....No dice.
So then I HAD To go to my favorite LYS (Cultured Pearls) and buy some smaller needles. I got gauge...On 000, that's triple lot folks! You know what I have to say to that? BRING IT!
And then, I saw this,

Yup that's more Claudia, in the Caribbean Blue colorway...And it just seemed so right for the pattern..........So...........I bought it. And I am now going to do the Elfine socks in this colorway..I think it goes better with the "elf" theme, and I just LOVE IT!

Don't worry about Oops though, she's going back in the stash for now...But I got plans for her. =)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Socks, Stash, Distractions, and Magic!

Happy Friday the 13th!

My first sock of my first pair of toe up socks is complete. And to avoid SSS (second sock syndrome) I made myself cast on for the new sock and finished the toe.

(I know, I know lighting sucks as usual, someday I will get the urge to photograph during the day time).

I used Trekking XXL on size zero (2mm) dpn's Crystal Palace bamboos. I have to say this was so simple compared to the top down that I did..No weird gusset, no kitchener stitch..It was easy.

I followed Wendy's toe up generic sock pattern. Her instructions call for a provisional cast on, short row toe, and short row heel. That's as hard as it gets. I like this pattern because it's pretty straight forward and allows for endless possibilities.

My only problem is I cant get the cast off right..My first try was too big: (Grumperina's method)

(Work 2 sts in pattern (either knit or purl). Move yarn to back (if the last worked st was a knit, this is already the case). * Transfer the 2 worked sts to the LH needle, and k2togTBL. Work 1 st in pattern (move yarn to back if it was a purl), * repeat between *. )
And my second try was too small (k2tog tbl, slip stitch back to L needle, rinse repeat). Hopefully my third try will be just right. I'm not sure what method to try next though.

It is all the afore mentioned Wendy's fault that I acquired this! This is Claudia's Handpainted Yarns in the Oops! colorway. Isn't that hilarious? I have often pondered why she decided to call it that. Was it a dye mess up? (If so it is a beautiful mistake) or was she just feeling silly that day?

Anyway, I have seen Wendy make numerous amounts of socks, and she raves about Claudia's Handpainted, and from the awesome results she gets with her socks using this stuff, I had to give it a whirl.

My next sock excursion is going to be ambitious. I am going to do 2 socks at one time using the Magic Loop method AND I am going to do the Elfine Leaf Lace Socks. Wish me luck! =)

Yes, I am going to start these even though I have not finished the first one's yet... What like you've never done it?

I think I am showing a tremendous amount of restraint considering all the cool stuff sitting in my stash I am yearning to try.

Here's a pic for ya:

In that sock stash there's Koigu, Lorna's Laces, Socks that Rock, Regia silk, lots of Trekking, some luscious Frog Tree (pure alpaca, it's so freakin soft!), some Knit Picks stuff, as well as some stuff I bought and lost the labels for.
Remember though that this month is not just about the socks...It's about the blankie's too.
However I have not been able to get a massive amount done 'cuz I have been distracted.

I'm trying to make all the individual squares first. They measure 4x4 inches each so I think I'm going to make it 10 squares (diamonds, whatever) wide. It takes me 40 minutes to make a square, that's why I'm taking so long to do this. I think I'm going to have to buckle down and sit with it for a few hours someday soon.

I just realized when this sucker is all done Im going to have well over 120 squares in it....120 X 40 = 4800 minutes which is 80 hours. YIKES! Thank God I love knitting and I love this project!

This is what is distracting me at the moment... It's a really cute wrap top that I am making as a sample for a LYS... I always get suckered into doing these...Read: I love making and taking pride of "my" stuff being displayed in a store..And I love the store credit I get, that I jump at the chance to make samples at any opportunity. LOL.

I've got more to post about..But I will save it for a later time. Im off now to figure out how to do a magic cast on and learn the magic loop method. Maybe it will make my socks whip out like....... Magic!