Friday, December 30, 2005


Rogue is moving along. It's quite an interesting pattern.

Here's a picture of the front pouch pocket:

Here's the side cabling:

My goal is to finish this by Jan. 30th. I figured that I need to do 1/2 skein per day, considering that I have 10 skeins (and hoping it won't take all 10.) That will take 20 days, plus 11 days extra for all the other projects.

Rather ambitious, isn't it?

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas haul

Here's my knitting stuff from Christmas.

My un-opened bag contains a bunch of skeins of Knitpicks Andean Silk in a color called Cornflower. It looked WAY bluer when I ordered it, but since I preferred purple anyway, this makes me happy.

I also got a huge skein of Merino dye-your-own sock yarn.

Then, as a surprise, I got KnitLit the 3rd and Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac. Yeah!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Must I wait?

This came in the mail today.

Now, it may not look very impressive, but I happen to know that it's yarn to make this: (You're not imaging things. It's a purple tree with purple decorations that is in DD#2's room. You should see the glow at night!)

However, it's a present for me. Since I know what it is, and who's it for, must I wait to open it? What if the order is wrong? Shouldn't I know that as soon as possible?

You may be asking at this point, "How do you know what it is?"

Well, it's because I ordered it. Just helping out DH, ya know.

He gave me the book "Quick Knits to Wear" for my birthday. When asked what I'd like for Christmas, I replied, "How about some yarn to make this yummy sweater?"

"Well, I wouldn't know what to get," he replied.

"Oh, don't worry, honey," I said, "I'll take care of that detail."

I'm as bad as a kid waiting for Christmas. Really.....must I wait?

In other news, on days where I didn't seem to be knitting much, I was actually working on these:

See those socks nestled in a tree? They're a gift (that has been given) to a good friend.

What? You don't see them? Well, that must be because I forgot to take a picture. Yep, been done for awhile now, thought about a picture about 10 times today, but did I take one? Nope.

The kids and I did a crafty thing tonight. We made snowmen. So cute!

Two days left to finish the red socks. Time to panic a bit. Although, at work today several people were buying yarn. I'd ask if they were planning on making Christmas gifts with it, and occasionally one would say "yes". So there will be plenty of knitting going on in my county tonight!

Thursday, December 22, 2005


I'm providing these pictures to show that
1) I have finally decorated the tree. No longer are the decorations scattered in all corners of the living room,
2) I continue to knit. (At least on the days where I don't fall asleep on the couch, only to stumble to bed hours later.)

Here's a closeup of our tree. Check out the ball of yarn and needles. It was made last year following a suggestion of the Yarn Harlot's daughter. (You might also notice a Lego guy on the tree. He's not an ornament, but my son seems to think that he and several of his friends belong there.)

This is all the gift knitting that I have left to finish.

These are for DS#2. I can't brag a whole lot, though. They started out being made with Tiger Stripes yarn, but got ditched when I realized that I had to use sz 1's. Then I figured I could make red socks with black heels and toes, but didn't have time to figure out the short rows (I've done short row heels before, but they are a source of frustration to me.) Opted for the heel flap, all-one-color socks.

These made good progress last night at DS's strings concert. While waiting, and waiting, for it to start, I did all of the heel and part of the gusset. After dropping a metal needle (twice!) onto a metal seat, then onto the tile floor whereupon a kid 2 rows up says (loudly), "What was that???", I decided it was best to put them away before the concert began. Three knitting nights until Christmas--plenty of time to finish!

While DS is around me, I've been working on this:

This is Rogue, which has been ripped out and started again, this time ditching the twisted st st in favor of a 1x1 ribbed hem. See the pouch pocket starting to form? I've been showing this to DD#1 every day--Look! I've done 2 more rows! Look at how great it is!! And to her benefit, she is equally excited. To keep that excitement, however, I'd better knit faster and show it less often.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Wristwarmers to beat the COLD!

Not only was this an exhausting week, but it was a C-O-L-D week at work. At the time when it was in the twenties outside, the door decided not to close. Brrrrr!

That inspired me to pull out my wristwarmers and knit feverishly. (What Christmas knitting???) I got them done on Friday--just in time for 40 degree weather. Ok, I won't complain, because I'm sure that colder weather will be coming back.

Here they are, my diamond wristwarmers. Knit in Wool-ease so I can wear them to work and just say that I'm doing a yarn promotion.

The diamond is an openwork diamond, loosely taken from "Knitting on the Edge". It seems to move around--sometimes it looks to be in the middle of my hand, sometimes it move towards my thumb. One of my many attempts to get this correct I had it further out (by just one stitch), but then it was too far. I give up--they're done and they're warm!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Birthday Presents

(It's been a busy/exhausting week with no blogging. I'm changing the date to pretend I'm blogging on the 12th--but if you're a regular reader, you'll know the difference....)

I had a nice birthday this year. Work went well, and DD#1 stopped by to bring me my favorite holiday drink--a Starbucks peppermint mocha. (We won't mention that I had to keep sneaking a sip since I'm not supposed to have any food items with me while I'm working. Hey, it was my birthday, and it's not as though I bought it. Then I came home and had a nice family celebration. My daughter made me a cheesecake (alas, no picture, but boy was it good!)

I got this knitting book from my family:

How exciting--I can't wait to try a pattern.

And from a good friend I got:

That's right--chocolate! (The fact that there's any left just goes to show just how exhausting this week was!)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Knitting news

Not much knitting news to report. I did do another helmet liner, this time in tan, but I forgot to take a picture. It's going to Brittney's Uncle Murray in Iraq. Otherwise, I've been spinning my wheels, and maybe doing some Christmas knitting that I can't show.

In the midst of knitting on the above, I might've gotten distracted and dyed some yarn. Thoughts of a Potato Chip scarf just won't go away.

It's been dyed in a glass baking dish in the microwave using Wilton icing colors and white vinegar. I used a baster to add the color. I'm not crazy about the pink, though, so I'll probably overdye it.

My kingdom for the right-sized needle

I've been spinning my wheels. First I cast on for DS#2's socks, in Opal Rainforest Tiger. I cast on using #2 dpns, like usual.

Not looking too good. Gonna need #1's (and I hope not 0's--that's way too scary). I guess I usually use the cheaper sock yarn that is slightly thicker. When I get to the good stuff, I need to size down.

Thinking that this will take way more time than I have, I switched gears and bought red Wool-ease for his socks (I might make the Tiger socks for me :)

While at basketball practice for DD#2, I cast on.

Yep, the needles were too big.

So....I decided to continue on Rogue for DD#1, which so far has only been the hem. (Check out the yarn tail that is wrapped around a bread tie. Thanks for the tip, "Knitty Gritty"!)

I'm ready to start the front, and have to switch needles sizes.

You guessed it--didn't have them with me, even though I had all these sizes.

Hoping to have better success tonight...

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Princess Quiz

Not much knitting news to report, so here's the Princess Quiz. I'm a Noble Princess, what are you?

The Noble Princess

You are just and fair, a perfectionist with a
strong sense of proper decorum. You are very
attracted to chivalry, ceremony and dignity.
For the most part you are rather sensible, but
you are also very idealistic.

Role Models: Guinevere, Princess Fiona (of Shrek)

You are most likely to: Get kidnapped by a stray

What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork (Original Music is BACK!!!)
brought to you by

(Don't worry--I'll be on the lookout for any stray dragons!)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Pick Up Sticks

I've been knitting a red helmet liner for DS#2. It's done, but doesn't fit properly, so I'm going to have to re-do it. DS uttered these ominous words when he tried it on, "It's itchy."

Arrgh! Does that mean it's a bit too tight, or is it actually itchy? The wool seemed soft to me. Now what? Re-do the whole thing? Or believe in the itchiness and give it up? I'll have him try it on again tonight to figure it out.

I fixed this sock once already. Then it got worn. Once. And here's the result:

While I did knit a piece on the toes, obviously more work was needed. This time I cut off the front part and ravelled it back so I could re-knit the whole toe.

It took a very small amount of time, and will wear much better, unless he gets a hole somewhere else. Then they will go into the trash.

I've been very proud of my kids lately. DS#2 remarked that these pick up sticks would be perfect to use as knitting needles. (And they are. I made a stuffed elephant using these needles, er sticks, when I was in college. It was different shades of blue and had flannel on the ends of his feet. I still have it....ummm.....somewhere......)

And DD#2 remarked that they needed to be in this formation.

They're getting to know their knitting!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Helmet liner

Had a not-very-clean house, but plenty of good food and fellowship, and my oven mitts worked like a charm!

Here's Jasper, sleeping on DD#2's pillow after a hard day's work.

My family decided to play checkers, but couldn't find all the pieces, so they used animals. Jasper's not a piece, he decided to play too!

King me!

Here's my latest knitting project. It's helmet liner for a soldier in Iraq. There's a whole group that's knitting these hats, and I thought about knitting one and sending it there. Then, I realized that I have friends whose son just went over. Who better to knit for than someone you know?

Here's the helmetliner pattern. I knit it in black Cascade 220 using size 6 and 7's. The bottom half can pull up or down over the nose.

DS#2 is modelling it. The sides gap a bit on an 8 year old, but on an adult, it fits fine. The modelling payment, of course, is to make him one!

Monday, November 21, 2005

My mitt has a mate

Here it is before felting:

And after:

If only I could make such good progress on the housecleaning.

Pecan Pie Soda

Had to take a test. I'm Jones Pecan Pie Soda which doesn't actually sound too bad. Click on the link below to take the test yourself!

You Are Pecan Pie Soda

Sweet, but totally nuts

Saturday, November 19, 2005


I've been swinging into mild panic mode around here. Thanksgiving is a week away, and I have to work 4 days next week. When, exactly, do I plan on preparing? Not only is there a dinner to plan, but all the normal housekeeping chores (plus some--my house is a worse wreck than normal.)

I made a start yesterday. Gave the dog a bath, washed the bathroom rugs, cleaned up the hamster cage and put it away. (Yes, both hamsters have now passed away.)

I also made a list for Thanksgiving dinner. I asked my family if they'd like any changes in what we eat. NO! no! NO! came the immediate responses. Okay...then....

I don't know why I'm surprised by that. Several years ago we had friends over for dinner and they brought several things, including a vegetable casserole. "Good", I said, "then I don't have to make a vegetable". "We still need the succotash," said my family. Really? It's not like it's that special, just corn and lima beans. But it was served along with everything else.

I should just make a list of everything we need, and keep it from year to year.

I might've gotten distracted and knitted this oven mitt.

In my defense, it goes with my kitchen that isn't done, and maybe it will distract everyone from the other unfinished elements. I need something new while I do all that cooking, right?

It used an entire skein of Lion Wool, and a couple bits from other skeins. It will be felted and will shrink down to exactly the right "oven mitt" size (I hope, but don't put great faith in. I have 2 other oven mitts hanging around that are now kid-size.) I'm waiting a day or two to see if it will have a mate.

Preparations are underway....

Monday, November 14, 2005


There are some days where I just feel like a helpless female, and this is one of them.

Normally I'm reasonably competent. I have a cordless screwdriver, and know how to use it. I can paint the ceiling, move the refrigerator to clean behind it, do figure logic puzzles, do various crafts other than knitting, and keep the 4 kids' (and husband's) schedules reasonably straight.

However, the best that I can say for today is that I took the garbage to the dump without any major mishaps. The day went downhill from there.

I was late for an appointment because I was preparing packages for the post office, then forgot them.

I stopped to fill my really-too-low tires with air, but the compressor didn't do a thing. "Is it putting air in or letting air out? This doesn't look good." This is the second time I've attempted this. The first time the compressor was out of order. (Yes, I pushed the button anyway "just to check" and yes, I drove away with it's annoying hum pursuing me.)

Then, I attempted to change my kitchen light.

Here's a before picture.

The previous fixture had crashed to the floor and shattered, and I actually left it in this state for months. Literally.

I bought a new light finally, and attempted to do it myself.

I wish I could say "Look what I did all by myself!"

But in reality, "Look at what my husband did after he so kindly rescued me!"

The directions were easy, simple even. I couldn't get it to screw onto the ceiling, and what's the use of a light if it's just dangling in the air?

I finally gave up, and watched some mindless TV. Nope, not doing anything else. I'm shutting down before I ruin something else. Waited til DH came home, and he figured it out. Stupid directions--what good are they if they don't work?

The Opal Rainforest Tiger yarn has arrived. This is for DS of the "you never make anything for me" who incidentally found a hole in his sock today--handknit last year by me.

I can't handle "fixing" anything else today!

knitting event

Well, I forgot the camera at yesterday's knitting event. DD#2 fit right in, though, working on her fuzzy fur purse and her spool knitting. My highlight of the day was showing a fellow lefthander how to crochet. She's never found a person to teach her, and even took a class where the righthanded instructor told her that she couldn't help her.

Anyway, that was fun, and she seemed to get the hang of it. I told her to get a hook and some yarn and practice before she forgets.

DD showed off her Homespun Poncho, and I worked on my handwarmers.

I finished the first one last night after I got home ( finished is a relative term). I haven't cut the yarn yet as I consider whether or not to rip it out and start over. There's just minor tweeking to do, so it may not be worth it.

There's a diamond lace pattern on the back that may still be gaining stitches. And maybe the ribbing should continue for the whole cuff, but that might itch my arm. Hmmmm....

Friday, November 11, 2005

Let me think about it....

Normally that is a prudent thing to say:"Let me think about it....and I'll get back to you."However, there are some circumstances where thinking is unnecessary.

As I've previously mentioned, I work at a big-box craft store (Michael's) as a part-time cashier. I was asked last week if I wanted to help with the 5 Hour Knitting Event that is this Sunday.

"What do I need to do?""Just sit and knit on a project that you're already working on and answer any questions that people ask.""Do I get paid?""Yep, just clock in, then sit and knit."

So I said, "Let me think about it....and I'll get back to you."

(At this point I'm glad I'm telling this story in cyberspace and not in real life. I'd be afraid of getting slapped upside my head. ARE YOU CRAZY????? Get paid to sit and knit and YOU HAD TO THINK ABOUT IT??????

In my defense, it's not a normal workday so I had to check my schedule. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.)

So, when sanity returned, I told them I'd be happy to do it. And I proceeded to knit a fluffy scarf for the occasion. (That was pictured in the previous post. I hadn't gotten the nerve to tell this part of the story yet.) The scarf was worn twice this week while I promoted the event. (Well, the scarf promoted the event--I didn't do much promoting. Have to work on the whole salesmanship issue.)

Then I had the brilliant thought of bringing DD#2 along. She can knit and promote to the whole younger generation. If I get up my nerve, I'll take some pictures to post.

Next, I've been thinking about what to take with me. I figured that even though I could work on whatever I'm currently knitting, it would be better if customers could buy the yarn in the store, right? So I bought more yarn, and started these:

These will be fingerless mittens. (I know that this isn't these, this is this, but just imagine the matching one so that my subject and verb matches.) I'm still at the "I think I want to design these myself" stage. Therefore, they started with a ruffled edge that got ripped out--way too ruffly. Restarted with a 2x2 ribbing, but I think the circumference is still too wide. I'm also planning a diamond lace pattern on the back. And the goal was really to have one of them done for tomorrow to show what I'm making. Think I'll reach that goal? Not a chance.....


This is the only knitting that I've accomplished this week, and the sleeves were mostly done during a migraine hangover. Couldn't do much but sit and knit, so I did.

Have I mentioned how much I love this yarn????

Here's my next ambitious project. Orange yarn. Lots of it. 10 skeins of Plymouth Encore that I'll be using to make the Rogue Hoodie for DD#1.

In my defense, the color choice was totally hers. However, the yarn type was mine. (I know that Plymouth Encore isn't aran weight. Don't confuse me with the facts. I can achieve st gauge with the Encore. Will it be too drapey? Time will tell.)

Will I be tired of orange yarn by the end of this project?

Hmmm....let me think about it....

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Competitive side wins!

My competitive side won out. My family said I couldn't finish this poncho in a week, so that's what I worked on first.

On Sat. night it was finished and ready to wear (several hours before the deadline).

Next, I worked on the balls of yarn to make a CIC vest. This was then frogged. Sometimes it just doesn't work out.

Next was the quick and easy scarf for me. Something to wear to work. Hey, I can branch out into marketing, can't I?

And last was the baby Nutcracket jacket from Morehouse Merino (pattern and yarn).

I'm LOVING the pattern. Works up very logically, using as few yarn ends as possible. Still have the front bands to do, then the sleeves. It's a 6-12 mo. pattern, so there's plenty of time for Sophia to grow into it.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


First, here's a picture of my completed CIC vest.

I went through a couple of looks before settling on this one. An alert reader posted that the yarn I was using can vary in length as much as 10%. So, for a 200 yd. skein, it could vary as much as 20 yards. How is that ok? Aren't there machines that measure the length as it's being wound into skeins?

The problem was solved by using Fisherman's wool for the top bit. May not be extremely pretty, but it'll still be warm.

So here's my dilema: What to work on? Things are piling up and I want to work on them all. There's only so many knitting hours in my day (even less than normal since almost every day this week I've fallen asleep on the couch, only to stumble up to bed hours later.)

Exhibit A: This is a poncho for DD#2 made out of Lionbrand Homespun. Not my favorite yarn, but at least it's not squeaking on the bamboo needles.

This item has my attention because my family can't believe that I can finish this in one week. So....I'm all set to prove them wrong. Except that my attention is diverted by:

Exhibit B:
This is my sentimental favorite. I went to the MD Sheep and Wool Festival with a pregnant friend back in May. At that time I promised her that if she couldn't get this done in time for the baby's arrival, that I would take it over. Well, her due date is in one week, so I have it back.

That's right. It's a kit. The yarn hasn't been wound yet. But it'll knit up fast. (And it's a 6-12 mo. size, so it should be too big right away, right?) This is with Morehouse Merino yarn that my hands are just itching to knit. And she tends to deliver early.

Or should I go with
Exhibit C:

Why could I possibly be drawn to a bunch of non-matching yarn?

Because the CIC vest/challenge will be done on Oct. 31, so all items have to be mailed by then to count. My theory is that somehow I can arrange these oddly colored bits and pieces in a pleasing manner and knit them up on my knitting machine. Maybe I can do two. (If I'm dreaming, why not dream big?)

Or maybe I should do
Exhibit D:

This is just one skein of Fancy Fur yarn. I figure I'll make a skinny scarf and wear it to work.

Maybe I should do this one since it'll be so quick.

And down the road I have committed myself to
Exhibit E:
"Mom, how come you never make anything for me?" says DS#2 who owns 2 pairs of handknit socks, more than the rest of my family. He's been promised another pair.

There's always Exhibit F:
This is an intimidation project that I can't believe I've committed myself to. All I can say is that it involves bright orange yarn and the word "Rogue". Yarn's in the mail (and it can just take it's time!)

Off to knit! (now if I can just keep from falling asleep. :)

Saturday, October 22, 2005

How did this happen?

I'm knitting this vest with 2 strands of yarn held together. All of a sudden, I looked down and saw to my horror that 1 ball is DONE! (the other is a tangled mess, but I digress...)

How did this happen? They were both new balls of the same yarn. Am I putting more tension on one strand but not the other? Is one getting wrapped around the other enough to make this difference? Or, were the balls not really the same length to begin with?

Gonna untangle the mess, tie the other end to the short end, and knit on!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Ahhh, yarn

First, a bit of whining....

I have a new job at a big box craft store. Next week I get an extra big employee discount, and I've been making a list. The one thing that's missing? Wool yarn.

We don't sell any wool yarn. None. Nada. Whiny whiny whine.

I had high hopes for Lion Wool. Or even Fisherman's. Nope. Nothing but Wool-ease, and while I've used it before and will use it again, it's not what I want.

I want wool yarn, the type you can felt. The type that can breathe. The type that keeps you warm.

Well, we don't have any of that, but we have plenty of the other types--flashy and fun.

To add insult to injury, the other yarn just mocks me. "HA HA you could be at home knitting right now."

"Ooo--look at me! Aren't I pretty? I'm not wool, but I'd make a cute scarf!" (Like I need another one of those!)

Even the Pound 'O Love mocks me "you can make a whole baby blanket out of one skein of me. Don't you wanna?"

Every time I ring up yarn I think, "Ahhh, yarn." And then I want to know what you're making, for who, and on what kind of needles, and, and, and.... But, I don't ask (usually). The customers in line behind might get a bit upset. :)

While at home, I've been working on the CIC heart vest. I have ripped it out and started again on larger needles. It makes the BIGGEST difference to my wrists and it goes much faster.

However, I'm thinking I have a problem. Can you tell?

I forgot the armholes. That's the problem with not figuring out the pattern fully before starting, plus my dislike of reading ahead.

I changed the pattern from flat knitting to knitting in the round. Apparently the pattern has dropped shoulders therefore no decreasing for armholes. I'm almost up to the neck. It's going in timeout while I decide whether to make an extra long sweater, or to go ripping again.

Today I received this package of homespun yarn by Marilyn. All WOOL!

Ahhh, yarn....