Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Roundup

Announcing the grand totals from 2009!

Regular knitting

- one camera bag
- 2 adult hats
- 7 pairs of adult socks
- 1 baby sweater
- 2 Lucy bags
- 1 pair baby Soc-a-Mocs
- 2 market bags
- 2 scarves
- 1 Easy Lace shrug
- 1 Elefante
- 1 teeny tiny turtle

Charity knitting

- 6 adult hats
- 3 toddler hats
- 1 sweater
- 15 pairs of kid socks
- 3 pairs of adult socks
- 9 hat/mitten sets

December Roundup

Not many Christmas gifts were knitted this year, so I had time to do some charity knitting.

For charity:
1. Teal hat and mittens, knitted for charity
2. Tan cabled hat and mittens
3. Two more hats that may or may not get matching mittens.

4. Elefante, completed on the day after Christmas. One day too late, but loved just the same.

5. Tiny (but adult-sized) Chouwi socks for some tiny, friendly feet.

6. A teeny, tiny turtle. What could be cuter?

At the last minute.

Oh, look, it's a last minute blog to show off some finished objects to make sure they count in the year 2009. (That's right, I'm not out at a wild party, I'm sitting at my computer writing a blog.)(At least I'm not asleep...)

I made a pair of mittens to go with the hat.

Plus, 2 more hats.

PLus a hat and some mittens to match. They were finished, oh let's say, approximately 10 minutes ago. Just in time. They look mis-shapen, but I think they'll both fit the same person.

All sized for a small adult and all made out of Paton's Classic wool. All are for charity.

And last, but not least, a tiny turtle.

Fiddly, but oh so cute! Don't you just want to make one?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gifts Received

DH gave me several knitting-related gifts this year that he wrapped up in a unique way.

He said that knitting is really just a bunch of knots, and while he was unable to knit, he could tie knots and so he did.

The presents were all connected one by one with a gold cord, all "knitted" together.

And this is what is what they were.

Two knitting books (I was going to type the titles here, but I bet you can read for yourself), a soft and cuddly lamb, and a gift certificate for my LYS.


Gifts given

The t
I wrote that and then ate supper. I wonder what I was starting to say....

The tiger exploded.
The torch was passed.
The truck drove 5000 miles per hour.
The triangles are all isoceles.
The trapezoids were squished.

None of those are it. Okay, I'll start over again.

I didn't knit many Christmas gifts this year. I made Sixth sense socks, blogged about here, for my MIL. The NY trip was delayed due to the incredible amount of snow we got, so if you know her, don't tell her about them, 'kay?

The Chouwi socks (from Judy Sumner's book) were finished for RB. She's the one with the tiny feet and is always a pleasure to knit for. (Plus, I usually have to rip out some rows. What do you mean I'm ready for the toe? Surely not already!)

The last thing I made was an elephant for DD#1. She's been wanting this for months now, tried to knit a leg, gave up (it's very fiddly), and endlessly begged for it for Christmas.

She received the body and legs.

The rest was finished the next day.

Pictures by DD.
Pattern: Elefante by Susan B. Anderson
Yarn: Red Heart stripes (I don't remember the name, but I like the yarn) plus some yellow for the head.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


We live right in the path of the snowstorm, and boy! did we get snow! At least 14 inches, and most likely more (considering our precise method of sticking a ruler in the snow. When it was getting covered we taped another one on the end.)

You'd think that would make good knitting time, but instead, I've been lots of other things.

Things like shovelling out the cars, finding all the kids' snow gear, fixing a pair of snow pants, drying all the snowgear, baking cookies and pumpkin bread, putting up the Christmas tree and other decorations, working on Christmas cards and finishing a puzzle.

Plus, washing dishes and dishes and dishes. It's amazing how many more dishes we use when we're all stuck in the house and bored (and baking).

Here's some pics:

Out the back door:

Out the front door:

When I finally put on shoes and walked out to the road,

Up the hill:

And down the hill:

Nicely plowed and ready to be driven on.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Another bright hat

Tonight was the first home basketball game, so I took my knitting. (I took it to the away game last week too, but after working and then driving 1.5 hours on the beltway in rush hour, I was too exhausted to knit.)

I didn't have anything good (meaning portable) to knit, though, so I started a hat.

Here it is at the beginning of the JV game. (Don't bother looking for DD#2, she's not in this pic.)

Here it is at the end of the Varsity game.

I'm ready for the decreases, I do believe.

The time it takes for me to knit the body of a simple equal to...two basketball games (or a field hockey award ceremony).

Monday, December 07, 2009

Quick update

Sorry, I didn't mean to keep you in suspense....

It literally took me a couple more hours to take the sweater out of the washer to find...

not much difference.

I laid it on the bed under the fan to dry, and then remember that machine that sits next to my washer. You know, the dryer. The machine that automatically shrinks any new shirt that DD#2 owns.

So, I put it in the dryer for awhile.

And it shrunk.....some.

Not as much as I'd like, but some.

So.... I might do it again, the next time I get up my nerve.

But not today.

It takes awhile to be brave enough to intentionally shrink something, and today's not that day.

Tomorrow doesn't look good either.

But, I don't need to be very brave to knit, so that's what I'll do.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

On the other hand....

If I don't get the sweater out of the washer, I can't do another load.

But, it's scary.

Maybe I'll just shut down my productive day and go knit in the corner.

It'll still be there tomorrow.

Ahhh....a day off

It's a wonderful thing: I have a day off today.

I'm not going anywhere, not even the grocery store. (Hey, we have milk and bread and coffee and chocolate. What else do we need?) I do have to go out twice to pick up the kids, but I'm not going anywhere else.

So far I have done a load of dishes, 2 loads of laundry, and vacuumed. I also sorted through my clothes and got out the winter ones (it is December, after all, and sooner or later we have to be getting cold weather and not just more rain.)

I've decided to try to shrink my teal cardigan from several years ago so it's now in the washer. (I'm afraid to look to see what happened, so when I get up the courage I'll check it out and maybe blog about it tomorrow.)

Here's where I am with my knitting:

I made some mittens to match the hat:

I've started the Mirepoix bodice. I've been knitting it inside out to hopefully help with the tension,

but here it is right sides out. It still looks rather blurry, but it's too hard to spread out. (I'm going with no pink and hopefully that's the right decision since I won't be at all interested in ripping this out and trying again.)

I'm on square 11 on the Curve of Pursuit afghan. It's getting too big to take a good picture, but not big enough to stop. I'm still loving it, though.

I've been making the Chouwi socks from Judy Sumner's book "Knitted Socks East and West" and they're a lot of fun. I've run out of yarn, though, so ordered some more yarn that will hopefully coordinate with this.

And, I might've cast on for another hat. I have nothing portable (see above) and there's a lot of this in our future.

DD#2 made the JV basketball team and there's a game tomorrow.

And I have nothing to knit!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Computers. The big time warp.

Last night I attempted some Christmas shopping. I added 8 items to my cart, one for each person on my list. Then I got to the shipping. The cheapest was $15, which was 3/5 of my order's cost so I said forget it and deleted the whole thing.

Tonight I spent two hours searching for penguin earrings on the internet.

Yes, you heard me. Two hours. It's not that I couldn't find any, it's that I couldn't decide.

They're not even a Christmas gift, they're for me, so I can't even justify spending two hours shopping on the internet.

And how did you spend YOUR evening? (Doing some knitting, I hope.)

Monday, November 30, 2009

November roundup

November went by in a blur. I managed to survive Black Friday at my job. (Just barely, but I did.) A major upheaval is occurring, and I feel like I'm riding the top of a huge wave. If I can just stay on top I can make it to the other side, with my sanity (or what's left of it) intact. However, looking down is a bit scary. (Especially since I can't surf.)

Thanksgiving came and went, and so did my family. Dinner turned out well (nothing was burnt or undercooked-- a minor miracle) and I am the reigning champion at "Clue".

I've been having knitters ADD and have been going back and forth between projects. However, a couple of things got finished.

1. A scarf that we shan't discuss. (It's really warm and cozy and long, but I didn't really get distracted with it. Did I?)

2. A pair of Sixth Sense socks from Colinette Jitterbug yarn. I'm definitely a fan of this yarn.

3. A teal hat that now has a green stripe. See?

I think it needs a pompom and a matching set of mittens.

Also, it stopped raining long enough to get the science project finished and it was TURNED IN TODAY!!!!!! It's a happy day in my life. (DS#2 is pretty happy too. :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Next time I'll bring green

Last night was the athletic sports banquet for the fall sports. It's still called a banquet even though there's no food. At all. When my older 2 went through the system, it was called a banquet but we all brought desserts. Now.... nothing. But, I digress....

All the sports meet together and the big awards are given and then the group breaks up and each sport has it's own awards ceremony.

We (DD#2's field hockey team) were there the longest. By a long shot.

How long, you ask?

This long.

Long enough to knit 6 inches of a hat. I could've knit another 20 minutes worth, but want to add a green stripe so I stopped. And then I got fidgetty.

Don't get me wrong. The team is great on bonding and "there is no I in team" and playing together and making relationships and developing as a person in addition to all the normal sport stuff.

But 2.5 hours to recognize all of that?

Next time I'll bring the green yarn.

(P.S. DD#2 got the Offensive MVP award for JV, so I guess I can handle long awards ceremonies.)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Socks and rain

I'm quite happy that those of you in Florida, and up the coast, did not get hit by the hurricane.

Truly, I am.


The remains of the system have been hovering over our area for four days now, and that's enough.

Sloggly, slushy rain. Blech.

We have a science project to finish around here, people, that must be done outside using a dry driveway. (We meaning DS#2, but also me as the one who pushes children into hurrying along.) That project is due on Monday. Not the display board, but all the other work that goes along with the experiment, including data and charts and experiment results and such.

Dry, driveway, dry!

While the project is not getting done, my socks did!

Yarn: Collinette Jitterbug frangipana 145 (who knows what color this is really--I can't read it).
Pattern: Sixth Sense Socks from 6SoxKAL
Size 1 dpns, following the pattern as written.

Lovely, cushy socks!

DH and I both had the day off yesterday (a minor miracle). We decided to go shopping and we went to a bookstore where he told me to pick out a book.

And I did!

I was checking out each knitting book, but nothing was quite catching my eye when I saw this:

Knitted Socks East and West by Judy Sumner! I've been wanting it for awhile and snatched it up and it became mine! (Using a couple of coupons made it practically free which was just icing on the cake.) Judy is a poster on the KnitTalk group and it's even more special to own a book from someone I almost know. Plus, the book is lovely with fun patterns.

With the last pair of socks done, it's time to cast on for a new pair. Now, if I can only decide which one!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Time to decide

One week ago I decided to attack my Mirepoix vest with new vigor. The only requirement I had was to knit "a bit" every day. I didn't define "a bit" any further. It didn't need to be for any length of time or any amount of rows as long as I knitted on it every day.

I put markers to mark my daily progress and they really helped to keep me moving.

In one week's time, I've done 7 inches and am now ready for the bodice (i.e. the hard part).

Pulling out the rest of my yarns, I found this hot mess.

I still haven't decided on the color combinations.

To recap, I needed 2 shades of 3 colors for a total of 6, including the grey. I originally have 6 colors, but 3 shades of teal, 2 of yellow, and grey all by itself.

This is my first swatch.


Then, I bought 2 shades of pink and tried this out.

Double hmmm...

Then I put it all away and forged ahead on the ribbing.

Figured I'd deal with it later.

Now, it's later and time to decide.

Or knit another swatch.

Or two.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Yippee-i-y-yea! and Hip hip hoorah!

Today was a day off work. Yippee-i-y-yea! and Hip hip hoorah! (Spirits were slightly dampened when I found out that I somehow missed that I have to work tomorrow--I'm sure the schedule didn't say so, but then all of a sudden it did. Still, I had one day off and that was good.)

The day was started with me being all motivated. Balanced the checkbook, did paperwork and computer stuff. Knitted. Mowed the lawn. (So, I'm running late with that. The ground up leaves can just be called mulch.) The mower died so I switched to raking leaves. Found a spider on my back (Not an ordinary one but a rather spectacular one.) Ran screaming into the house and that was the end of that.

The kids had a 2 hour early release so we were going to do errands and such, but they were tired so instead we stayed home and they took a nap. (And maybe me too.)

That's the end of my productive day.


I finally got the nerve to put my vest on some scrap yarn and try it on.

And it fits.

Yippee-i-y-yea! and Hip hip hoorah!

I have about 2 more inches to go and then on to the bodice. And the colorwork. I'm starting to shake in my boots but am determined to keep going so I can wear it this year. And be done with it.
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Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Q: How are the Redskins like a 'possom?

A: They play dead when at home and get killed on the road.

(Explanation for those of you who live in another country: it's the local professional football team that's doing very badly this year.)

Another 7 rows were knitted onto the Mirepoix bodice today, but I'll spare you the picture.

Monday, November 02, 2009

The daily knitting

November is NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month where one blogs every day for the whole month.

I, however, will not be doing that. (Surprised?) There's not a chance that I can keep up with that, so instead I'll just try to blog occasionally. That's all the commitment I'm going to give. November needs no more pressures, especially for one who works at a retail store. Shudder... Plus, Christmas is just around the corner and Christmas gifts may or may not need to be knitted.

However, I am committed to working on my vest for a bit each day. (Fuzzily defined to avoid pressure. See above reasoning.)

Today I've knitted between the orange marker and the needles. (natch). Five or six rows. Not much but it will add up.

But that's not all the knitting that I've done today. I've also finished this scarf. (I have no idea where it came from and what it was doing on my needles... All of a sudden, it was just there.)

16 stitches, size 15 needles, one skein of Cherry Tree Hill Bulky Loop Mohair. Color Champagne.

It's longer than 8 feet plus the fringe--just 'cause I wanted to use the whole skein. VERY warm and cozy.

The sock has also made progress (but has not lost a stitch!)

It's nearing the toe and going well.

(blah, blah, blah. boring. boring. Here's the interesting conclusion to tie this whole post together......)(Hahahahahaha--a conclusion sentence? You didn't think I could do that, did you? It's not happening today. Or on most other days, either.)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Another inch

We have recently upgraded to Windows 7, and so far, so good. Everything is working okay. Nothing significant is lost.

However, there has still been changes.

I'm trying out the new IE instead of the Avant browser that I used to use. That meant, however, that now my old bookmarks are now merged with my new bookmarks. And you know what that means...I have to repeat all that work of checking old links to see what still works.

Also, I lost my old picture editor and am trying out Picasa3 as both the editor and the picture uploader for Blogger. Things seem to be okay, but the learning curve is a bit steep for my middle-aged brain. Like, I just spent the last 10 minutes figuring out how to edit a picture. It turns out that my screen window wasn't showing the bottom where all the choices were. Huh. Move around the window and all was fixed.

I know, whiny, whiny, whiny. Moving on....

I've decided to knit a bit on the Mirepoix ribbing EVERY DAY until it gets the length necessary. That's the only way it will every get done.

This is what I did today (from the marker).

It's 8 inches now. If I do this much every day (or maybe even half as much), I should be ready for the bodice in another week. (and then it'll be decision time on the colors. I've been ignoring that for as long as possible.)

Of course, I still haven't tried it on, so I might have to start over. But I think not. (At least, I hope not.)
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Saturday, October 31, 2009

October Roundup

What did I finish in October....


Well, DS#2's room was finished and all the re-doing of various rooms is now done. For just the moment, I'm sure, but still it's done.

Let's see....on the knitting front....

I felted a pink and black Lucy bag and it's all dry and ready to go...


I guess that's it.


Not much to say about that, is there?

Wait, I'll list some excuses...

I'm working on 4 projects, usually knitting on at least 2 on any given day.
1. an afghan
2. a vest with endless ribbing
3. a pair of socks
4. a scarf that's the closest to being done of all the four.

Okay, so not much done but lots of things being worked on.

There, I feel much better.

Being myself

We don't really "do" Halloween at our house, but usually go to our church's fall festival where the kids play games, win prizes, and get candy. This year they also had a costume contest.

I wasn't allowed to go as myself (said the kids), so about an hour before we left I was thinking...

What can I do to easily take my knitting with me?

And I decided to go as an Obsessed Knitter.

Easy costume...I just went around putting on one of everything I've made. (I chose a short sleeved sweater since I knew that all that other wool would make me hot.) And, as every knitter knows, nothing that you knit for yourself matches, so neither did I.

The best part? I took my knitting with me (that's my "nothing-at-all" scarf that has grown quite larger.) It was actually quite a good way to knit a scarf and I got quite a lot done over the course of the evening.

So....maybe it was a costume, or maybe it was just me being myself. You decide.
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cake and...nothing at all

I tend to not read many blogs besides the knitting ones, but occasionally I run across an interesting one that I add to my list. Two of my favorites are about food.

Cake, to be exact.

Bakerella makes some beautiful things, especially her cake pops. And what can be better than cheesecake on a stick?

Last week, though, she helped out on a marriage proposal. You can see the question here and then the explanation here. It just made me tear up, I tell you.

Another blog always good for a laugh is called Cake Wrecks where "professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong". While divorce isn't at all funny, Divorce cakes are. And how about these Literal LOLs?

Being inspired by all this cake-y-ness, DD#2 and I decided to make our own cake using fondant for the very first time.

What's the purpose of fondant, you ask? Well, it must be to look good, 'cause it sure isn't to taste good. Yuck.

We made lots of colored fondant, so we put on lots of stars (hey, we weren't eating them anyway, so the more the merrier.)

It was a fun experiment but I don't picture us doing that very often. It's a lot of work for something that doesn't taste good.

Move along, now, there's nothing to see here.

Nothing, I tell you.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Place the State, round the corner

I've checked out a few more knitting links, but then I moved on to this Place the State game. (I guess you call it a game, it might just be called "how dumb are you today?)

Anyway, I used to do this every couple of days, just to see if I got any better. The basic idea is to place a state in the correct place in the USA. I've found that it all depends on what order they come in.

If I get several easy, coastal states to begin with, it's easier to fill in the rest. But to start with a boxy state like Colorado or Wyoming that doesn't attach to any border, and forget it! I even had trouble with Indiana, and I know where it is. (I've even gotten Maryland wrong--I attached it to the wrong peninsula).

How can you do?

In knitting news, I've rounded the corner, or rather, the heel, of the first 6th Sense sock.

The yarn is very dense and springy and is knitting up a nice sock. The heel is a garter stitch short row heel that has wraps, but no picking up of them. Lovely.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Black hole

Lately, I've been organizing. Not my yarn, but my patterns. First I worked on the printed patterns. You know, the ones that you print out, lay down on the desk on top of all the others that have accumulated.

They were sorted, stapled, hole-punched, and put in the correct binder. The "socks" binder has the most patterns. What does that say about my knitting? (I know. I like to knit socks. Sorry, it's late. Moving on.)

Now, I've moved on to checking my knitting links to see if they still work. (What a black hole that is!) The 'net is moving pretty quickly at the moment so I thought I'd do it while the going's good. It's quite amazing how many links no longer work. (And how many I never categorized further than under "knitting". That's a wide open subject.)

Here's a couple of links I just finished checking:

Nonaknits tutorial on Japanese short rows and a random stripe generator.

There's just time to check a couple more links before bed!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm resisting

After taking a picture of my ball of Cherry Tree Hill bulky loopy mohair, I set it on this table.

And it's been sitting here for the past week....mocking me....

"Make me into a garter stitch scarf," it says. "You know you want to"

"Come on, it won't take but a little while..."

So far I've been resisting, but let me tell you, it's been hard.

Instead, I've cast on for a new pair of socks. (Move out of the way, CTH Mohair--it's socks time!)

It's getting close to heel time.
Yarn: Collinette Jitterbug frangipana 145 (who knows what color this is really--I can't read it).
Pattern: Sixth Sense Socks from 6SoxKAL
Fun, fun, fun, I love this pattern!

The afghan is also coming along. It's on square 10 with 2 or 3 left to go. (I'm sure there's more than that since I bought 3 balls of green and just finished the first one. )( The triangles are getting bigger and bigger, so I might just have 3 squares left.)(Obviously, I'm undecided.)

The projects are all going along okay, as long as that CTH just keeps its distance!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Random knitterly things

Here's a list of the knitterly things that I've done in the past week, as told by some bad pictures.

1. The Lucy bag was felted.



(A bit over-felted, but I think it'll still work.)

2. Sweaters were washed and laid out on the new rug to dry.

(What else is a clean living room for?)

3. Gloves were knitted, and tried on, and hoped that they would fit.

They were finished (except for those pesky ends).

All hope is lost, and they are crazy big. Too big even for 6'4" son's hands (although that one is mine.)

They are in timeout as I figure out what to do with them. (There's plenty of yarn, so if I thought these ones would fit a real sized person, I might donate them to charity and start over. But, since that's not really true, I might rip out most of them. Or all of them. Or, try washing and drying them in hopes that they would shrink the right amount.)

4. A ball of yarn was wound.

After looking on Ravelry, it doesn't look like it's enough for a shawl, like I hoped (Again with the hope!), so I'll save it for a scarf.

5. A new yarn store was visited.

The Yarn Garden in Annapolis was a fastinating place to visit. I did good--coming home with only two skeins.

6. Some loose ends were hidden.

(I know, I know, I should hide them all as I go. But forget it! That's only a good suggestion if I'm making it, not if I have to follow it!)

7. Some point protectors were purchased.

The afghan is getting too big and I'm afraid I'm going to lose some stitches. So far, they're staying on. Plus, they're purple!

8. Some more ribbing was knitted.

Not many rows, but this was at today's field hockey game, and it got really cold really quickly!