Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 roundup

Here's where my monthly roundups come in handy. I was able to look back and add up all that I've knitted this year. Here's my list:

6 pairs of adult socks
3 scarves
4 pairs of baby booties
2 shrug
1 shawl
2 baby afghans
3 adult sweaters
11 dishcloths
1 camera bag
1 pair of mittens
a bunch of chair socks
1 hat

I also made a bunch of toddler stuff for charity:
15 pairs of socks
3 vests
8 sweaters
9 pairs of mittens
9 hats

My trend is to make lots of smaller stuff and not as much larger stuff. I don't see that changing in '09, either (blame my short attention span.) However, I'm tossing around the idea of making an afghan for me, which definitely won't be small.

My goals for '09:

1. I'm going to try steeking. (I'm already feeling the anxiety). I might do a teddy bear sized sweater to attempt the steeking without having to do all the fair isle knitting that a larger sweater would require.

2. I will finish that sweater made with my handspun yarn. (after I start it, of course.)

3. I will knit enough from my stash that my yarn will fit in the four bins that I have. (Rather than in the four bins plus those bags over there. Oh, yeah, and that bag over there.... It's not like I have 20 bins worth, or anything, so I should be able to achieve this goal.)(Wait, I only have 3 bins. One is for roving.)(Does that mean that I can now buy another bin?)

4. I will try to knit for others at least once a week, aiming for Sundays (but it's okay if it's another day.)

That's good enough.

Happy New Year!

December roundup

Here it is, the last day of December. My, how time flies.

I didn't go overboard on knitted Christmas gifts, and they were done ten days early. And I didn't add any on at the last minute. These are the socks that I haven't shown to you yet, for my friend with the tiny feet!

Patons Kroy yarn, size 1 needles(which worked much better than 2s). Basic pattern, but with a short row heel and a star toe.

I'm making an attempt to set aside Sundays to do some charity knitting, and as a result I did four hats and a vest. (If I wanted to go now and hide some ends, I'd have a couple more hats. Instead, I'll put them on next year's count so it looks like I've been knitting really quickly in '09.)

A pair of moc-a-socs for a niece to be born in March.

Three dishcloths.

Also, I've worn out (and thrown away) the first dishcloth that I've made for me (and used).

A pair of Kroy socks for me! (And a partridge in a pear tree).

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Opportunity was there, knitting was missing

I had two appointments today: the eye doctor and the dentist.

Last Tuesday I managed to poke myself in the eye and lose my contact. It's taken until now to get an appt. and then will take another week for the contacts to arrive. In the meantime I've been wearing my regular glasses. Uggh. Sometimes I double layer them with my reading glasses, and sometimes I double layer them with my sunglasses. Sometime I have my glasses on my nose and my reading glasses on the top of my head. It's an attractive look. Especially when I'm at work.

I went straight from the eye doctor to the dentist. I was informed that the dentist was running 45 min. to an hour late and I could reschedule if I chose. Forget it! It's way more trouble to reschedule the appt. (and then remember to go) than to just sit there for another hour.

Which I did.


I managed to forget my knitting at home.

Both places had uninteresting magazines from at least six months ago. One place had a Time magazine that I read the last time I was there.

(The last time I was at the dentist's, I was told I'm grinding my teeth. I totally denied that I was doing that. However, in the next few days I've discovered that in fact, I am. Not while sleeping. Not while under stress. But, I find myself singing a song in my head and grinding my teeth in rhythm. Seriously? How weird is that? Is this just another way I've found to fidget--this time with my teeth? Is this what happens when I don't have my knitting around?)

Two things this has taught me:
1. Knitting will save my sanity and my teeth!
2. Always keep some spare knitting in the car!

And how was your day?

Friday, December 26, 2008


Nov. 17:

Remember this? This was a Christmas present for my brother.

It unrolls to something very long.

15 feet, to be exact.

Did anyone guess that it was a Doctor Who scarf? Doctor Who is a British science fiction series that has been going on for at least 18 seasons. There are different versions of the scarf that the Doctor wears, but this is from season 12.
I followed along on the pattern, trying to buy the correct colors (almost everything is Vanna's Choice yarn. See my Ravelry entry for more details.) This was started on Oct. 21 and finished on Nov. 17. Not too bad!

However, I made one really big mistake. The pattern calls for doing the colors by the number of ROWS, and somehow I read that to be the number of RIDGES. I was sure I was right, but somehow I was wrong. Anyway, this meant that the stripes are each TWICE AS LONG as they were supposed to be.

When it's 15 feet long, there's no such thing as a do-over!
Dec. 26:

My brother almost guessed what this was. First, it was a "hmm....I wonder what this is.....", then he rolled it out and put it on. He thought it reminded him of a scarf that Doctor Who wears. That's guessing very well after not having any idea of what it was! (I won't hold my breath that he wears it, but it might be handy in a snowstorm!)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Our recent trip

This will be mostly a non-knitting blog post, as I catch ya'll up on what I've been doing.

First, work. At a retail store. During December and before Christmas. When several people have either quit or been let go. 'Nuf said?

Next, we took a trip to Miami.

Our main stop was here:

To see this:

If you look closely, you can see DS#1 on the big screen, shaking hands with Donna Shalala, the president of UM, congratulating him on his GRADUATION!


Even though he has that professional baseball career, he still has a slightly panicked, "gee, what's next in life" look to his eyes. Plus the whole "I'm glad finals are finally over so I can catch up on sleep" look around the edges.

How many campuses have palm trees growing? (Probably a lot in the south, but it's new to me.)

While in Florida, we decided to take a trip to Key West. Here we are at the buoy that designates the southernmost point of the continental U.S. (Take a close look-- DD#1 and DH are in this picture--they don't show up very often as one is camera shy and the other is never home.)

We went to Mile 0 of route 1, which starts the highway which goes up to Canada, I believe. (Not completely sure, but I think so.)

We spent some time at the beach where DH took some cool photos. Here's one:

The weather was overcast and breezy for most of the time. However, it still didn't seem like mid-December. It just didn't seem right looking at Christmas decorations while we had flip flops on. It was a shock to arrive back home in 30 degree weather, with the temperature in the teens this morning. It is Christmas time, after all.

(I guess it's a totally non-knitting post. I'll save the knitting photos, such as they are, for the next one.)

Monday, December 15, 2008


Just a brief Announcement (with a capital "A").

The knitted Christmas presents are done.

You may go back to your normal activities now (and I'll try not to add any last minute items.)

Continue on.

Kntting for others: Two hats

In effort to continue my "Sunday knitting for others" for more than one week, I worked on a hat yesterday. And started another. And finished it today.

I'm using up my White Buffalo stash (yarn brand, not fiber). Both hats are 48 sts, 3x3 ribbing, knit until it has a big cuff, decrease using smaller needles (Note to self: Must buy larger dpns).

There is only one wheel of teal White Buffalo left, so I think I'm going to leave that alone and start something else.

Hmmm...what to knit, what to knit.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Birthday Spoils

Just thought you'd like a peak at what I got for my birthday this year from the people that know me the best.

An expresso machine and some chocolate (yes, I haven't eaten it yet. Maybe tonight. I have to plan these things out.) It's taken me two days to take the picture since the expresso machine always needs to be cleaned. I'm getting good use out of it already.

Also, the new 2009 page-per-day calendar from the Yarn Harlot. (I haven't opened that either. I've been good. And DD#2 has been guarding it since she thinks I should read it one day at a time like it's designed. We'll see. She has to go to bed sometime.)

I also received 3 more penguins for my penguin collection. We've named them Happy, Confused, and Slim.

DH and I both happened to have the day off so we went to the mall in an attempt to go Christmas shopping. We didn't get much accomplished but we did have a nice lunch. And we made it back home in time for the school buses. The kids made me cake and we got takeout for supper. The evening was spent knitting and watching TV. Ahhh....what a nice day.

And here's a Shout Out to my twin cousin--Happy Happy Birthday!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Knitting for others

I've been tossing around an idea of making Sundays in 2009 a day of knitting for others. I tend to do a reasonable amount of charity knitting anyway, but I thought it would be interesting to concentrate on doing it on a specific day each week.

So, I decided to try it out last week. I spun a bit more homespun to finish the hat, so last Sunday it was spun, washed, and dried and I finished this hat.

52 sts, size 9 needles. 1x1 rib, just enough homespun to finish it.

The problem I had, though, is stopping.

I then cast on for this hat:

White Buffalo 3 ply unspun brown mixed with rust sock weight. 48 sts, 1x1 rib, size 11 needles.

And then, there's the vest (this was not done all on Sunday. The vest was just finished today).

White Buffalo 3 ply unspun brown mixed with white handspun (not mine). Normal "What's in my pocket" vest pattern, size 4 (that looks much larger), size 11 needles.

Not that it's a problem continuing my charity knitting throughout the week (I already have tomorrow's charity knitting picked out). It's just I can't seem to stop.

Anyone want to join me in 2009?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

You Nork Mets

Look what came in the mail:

Sock yarn from Knitivity. The color is called You Nork Mets. How cool is that?

I wasted no time in winding it into a center pull ball.

The next day, I knitted it up.

Usually when I buy a skein of yarn, I buy it with a pair of socks in mind. After the socks are knitted, I have leftover yardage that I use here and there as the mood hits.

This time, I used the leftover bits first.

Little baby booties with Mets socks attached.

Pattern: Baby Moc-a-Soc from Bekah Knits, following the pattern as written. I had the Moc part already made up in Baby Ull so when I was ready to make the Soc part, it was a quick knit.

This is going to the soon-to-be newest Mets fan (aka nephew due in March).

Now....what to do with the rest of the yarn?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Earlier this week....

Being only three weeks before Christmas, I had many plans for today. Instead,

I did nothing, nothing, nothing
I did nothing all day long
I did absolutely nothing
How do you like my nothing song.

Second verse, same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit worse

Oh, I did nothing, nothing, nothing...

I woke up with a headache and drank two cups of coffee. That didn't help, so then I took two Tylenol. That didn't help either. If I could've backed it up I would've taken Excedrin first, but with two cups of coffee already in my system I didn't want to add the equivalent of two more. So....I waited the four hours and then took Excedrin and now feel back in the land of the living.

In the meantime, I managed to knit about four rows, take two short naps, and do a bit of reading. Sigh. I had plans for today.

Earlier in the week, though, I was more productive.

I finished the toe of my second sock. Not wanting to make the error of cutting the yarn too soon, I let it marinate overnight.

The next day, I tried it on and decided it was the same length as the other (I had counted the rows already, but I still was apprehensive). I then cut the yarn, weaved in the ends, and wore them to work.

I used a generic sock pattern using Kroy sock yarn with 56 sts on size 2 needles. If I did them again, I would switch down to size 1 needles since the resulting fabric feels a bit loose.

I say generic, but I actually switched it up a tiny bit, this time doing a short row heel (I'm beginning to get the hang of these) and a star toe. I'm excited on having a new pair of socks to wear.

Happy Early Christmas to me!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

November Roundup

Here's my monthly roundup--late as usual (but you didn't expect otherwise, did you?)

I finished the Spring Forward socks and the VeryBig project which are Christmas presents.

Applause please! Two Christmas presents were done in November! Plus, I took final pictures of VeryBig and wrote the blog entry, so if I can remember to post it after Christmas you can see what I actually made.

DD#2 made several scarves and some braided lasagna, but we won't talk about her.... much....

I mailed a box that contained 6 larger pairs of socks, 8 pairs of toddler socks, and two toddler sweaters to Mittens_for_Akkol that should be on their way to Kazakhstan right now.

Oh, wait, I also finished the Wedge scarf which was also a Christmas present.

Even more applause, please!

There's at least one more present to go--I can't be done in November, now can I?

The race

DD#2 and I had a race today. I lost.

All I was doing was finishing the toe on sock #1. This time it fits. I've tried it on at this stage before I've cut the yarn.

DD managed to not only knit this entire scarf, but she hid the ends.

And not only that, but since the last time I blogged (which was just yesterday), she's made two scarves!

And for an added display, here is her scarf collection. I've knitted several of them, but she's definitely knitted a lot, especially this weekend.

They will keep her neck warm for many days.

(Note to self: Must knit faster.)

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I've been knitting and knitting. I've finished my first sock. Feeling all happy, I tried it on.

Too short.

I've made about a bazillion socks, including about 10 pairs for me. How can I mess up that badly? I used to finish the toe but not cut the yarn in case it was too short or too long. Confidence got me this time, though. I cut the yarn and even hid the end. Sigh.

Since I have nothing to show you, I thought I'd show a couple of finished objects from DD#2.

This is her glow-in-the-dark scarf which actually got finished yesterday. It took a total of 24 hours to make (with the necessary bathroom breaks. And naps. And snacks.) It's really cool 'cause it really really glows. What fun for the morning bus ride, huh? (Yes, it is completely dark at that time.)

In an unrelated craft (although it falls into the category of playing with anything nearby), she decided to braid a piece of lasagna.

She's becoming more and more like me each day. I remember sitting at the dining room table and my parents periodically removing everything within my reach. The candle (what fun to get wax on your finger then peel it off as it dries), the salt and pepper shakers, my knife and fork. This was interchanged with "put the chair on all four legs".

Also, she's already cast on for another scarf. (Shhh.....don't tell. I think she's becoming a knitter.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Day of many knitted objects

Today was the day of many knitted objects. First, I finished the Spring Forward socks. This was done while still watching the morning's parades.

It's hard to get a good picture of this pattern, but trust me that it's easy. Done on size 1 needles, 60 sts, yarn from Ellen's 1/2 pint farm. There is actually some mauve in the colorway even though it looks all grey and white.

We ate Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant--which I'm truly thankful for. (I'll probably go back to cooking again next year, but this made for a nice change. And no dishes to wash!)

Then, there was more TV and more knitting. This is a hat with my handspun, very lumpy, yarn. I ran out of yarn so will have to spin some more to finish it.

And.... since I ran out of yarn on the hat, I started a pair of socks. This time they're just plain vanilla. The kind I like the best.

I wasn't the only one knitting.

DD#2 finished up a scarf that she was making. (She started this last week, so it moved along very quickly.)

Then, she cast on for another one. This one is using glow-in-the-dark yarn. It's hard to photograph when it's glowing since the flash just goes off and the scarf shows up. I'll have to give that as a project for my DH to photograph.

If you're in the US, Happy Thanksgiving. If you're not, then Happy Thursday. If you're like my dad and are on the way to Australia (Or live there), Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Potential vs. Kinetic

Since I've been knitting but I'm only about 2" further along on my sock, I'll skip the photo. Instead, I present DD#2's science project. It's not the big, dreaded science project that creeps up upon us every year. This is just a little one night project that we can handle without shreeks and meltdowns and crying and hiding in the corner. But that's just me.

This is her project on Potential vs. Kinetic Energy

1. Potential: Getting ready to mix the pumpkin bread. (These were loaves 1-3 out of 9 that we baked this weekend.)

Kinetic: Mixing the pumpkin bread. (these loaves went with DD to school for a Freedom Feast, which they forgot about for her class and instead fed them to a different class. Bitter? Not a bit.)

2. Potential: DS getting ready to kick the ball.

Kinetic: DS kicking the ball. (In the house? Of course. Where else could that happen, anyway?)

3. Potential: Getting ready to jump (that's quite a sneaky look, isn't it?)

Kinetic: Jumping. (Look at that height!)

P.S. Dear teachers who gave my kids homework today,


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekend Update

I have finished the first sock of Spring Forward. (And I'm slightly worried that I didn't immediately cast on for sock #2. I don't usually get Second Sock Syndrome, so I hope I don't catch it this time.)

It has been fun to knit, but at the end I decided to take a mini-break and knit this sweater ornament. It's a pattern on Dawn Brocco's blog and this is my version.

It turns out to be about the size for a Barbie doll. That might be a bit big for a tree, so I'll have to see if I have DK weight yarn and make a smaller version.

I returned the leftover skeins from the VeryBig project and got two skeins of sock yarn, with $.24 to my credit. That's the way to do it--a new pair of socks that will cost me nothing.

Now if only I can get them knitted up, it's getting cold around here!

Friday, November 21, 2008

M4A Box

Since CIC has enough knitted items for the moment, I've been knitting for Mittens For Akkol. These items will be going to orphanages in Kazakhstan.

Here are the socks (the top row contains larger socks while the bottom row contains smaller ones.)

Plus two toddler sweaters to fill up the box.

Hopefully some kids will be warmer this winter!

Random is as random does....

In an effort to actually blog, here are some random thoughts.

1. We have two fall/Thanksgiving tablecloths. The smaller one has shrunk enough that it barely covers the table. As soon as I think it's done shrinking, it shrinks some more. What's up with that?

(And yes, that might be my bunnies tablecloth underneath. Let's just call me early for Easter next year.)

2. The footman connector on my spinning wheel has broken. (Impressed that I know its name and didn't call it a "thingie"? Thank the internet.) On the internet I read that a piece of leather strung in a figure 8 fashion can do the job just as well. And it does.

To try it out, I spun some random pieces of wool. One strand was white and the other was a mixture of grey and red. The two strands were plied together and then washed. I have two hanks in this picture. One stayed together. And one didn't.

It can be sorted out later.

3. I have this nice bag that contains my knitting. Since I had finished VeryBig, I could use the bag for the next project. The only problem was that it contained all the leftovers.

So I dumped it out, just like this:

(Really, I dumped it out on the couch and only later dumped that pile onto the floor.) It's still there two days later. (Please tell me that others of you have piles in your house that look like this and it's not just me.)

4. I dug out the wedge scarf that was just waiting a final blocking. I had had hopes that it would stretch during blocking, but still it didn't seem long enough, so I knitted on it some more. As much from the marker to the shorter end.

And then I blocked it. Now it seems a bit long. (The ruffled edge was fixed. I hope.)

How was that? Random enough for you?