Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March roundup

(Here's my March roundup that's late as usual. I'll change the date and put it where it belongs in a bit....)

1. I finished a hoodie sweater and then ripped it out and made it longer and with a collar. That plus 2 other sweaters, a pair of socks (done this month), and a vest were mailed en route to Kazakakhstan.

2. We got snow! (Not exactly knitting, but still exciting.)

3. DH and I celebrated our silver wedding anniversary. (Ditto).

4. Three more warm gifting sock pairs. They'll be waiting for the next mailing.

5. Hedera socks for me! This is only the second pair I've made for me this winter. As I've been wearing them I've been loving the color but wishing the length was about 4 rows longer.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

25 Years

I walked into work today, which is at a retail store, and was greeted by 3-4 co-workers all exclaiming, "Ruth! You got flowers!"

"Are they from my husband?" I asked.

"I don't know, I didn't read the card."

Oh, ok. Good for you. (In this same conversation I also got a "can you work late today?" Back to the real world.)

Well, they were. From my husband. On the occasion of our 25th anniversary of our wedding.

Beautiful flowers.

The real kind that actually smell like roses (and not like the silk kind that we sell that might smell vaguely of dust.)

They sat in the office while I worked and I visited them a couple of times. I felt special all day long (and remembered to bring them home. Yeah, me!)

(And I have to tell this story since DH knew I would. I took a couple of flower pictures but they weren't that great. When DH got home, I asked him to take a photo or two. Two hours and 80 pictures later, he had two pictures for me. Well, he did have 78 more, but I picked two.)

We went out to dinner over the weekend at Red Lobster, which is the same place we've been going to for years and years. (I'm big on tradition. We even found a Red Lobster one year when we were away at one of DS's baseball games.)

I also got a ring. DH wanted to get me a new set, but I didn't want to trade up. I love my originals and they have such sentimental value. The new band matches well and I can wear it to work without worrying about it. (Too much.)

Here we were 25 years ago. (Everybody together now, "Awww, they look so young!")

Twenty-five years ago I never would've been able to predict my life. It's been wonderful and more than I could've imagined. I love him, and am looking forward to the next 25!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Knitting for Others

For this week's knitting for others, I finished my bee socks.

I even walked to the other room, you know, WAY OVER THERE, to look up the mosaic pattern. It's #10: "Chain" from Barbara Walker's Mosaic Knitting done on sz. 4 dpns. The socks are 28 sts 1x1 ribbing, increase to 30 sts and do 3 repeats of "Chain", garter st short row heel and toe with the instep in stripes of garter stitch in the round. Next time I would decrease back down to 28 sts for the instep--the garter st is strechier than the mosaic.

Then, I started a plain pair on sz. 5 dpns, using a wt wt and a sock yarn combined which make them nice and thick and warm.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I'm continuing in my quest to catch up on things ("things" mean "knitting things" and not "cleaning things" or "laundry things". Those things will never get caught up.)

Here's a picture of my finished Hedera socks. I didn't make any changes to the pattern. Well, other than that "knitting a yo so that it closes up instead of leaving a hole the entire way thru the pair". Other than that mistake every 4th row on every repeat around, no changes.

The yarn is from Spirit Trail Fiberworks in an almost solid teal. The color is so vibrant and has such depth. The pictures don't quite do it justice.

I love the little details. This pair has a twisted rib that works down into the gusset decreases.

Lovely, even on unblocked socks.

Is it an obsession when I start making socks just to match my shirts?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Socks, just like potato chips

Continuing my recent fixation of knitting little socks (yep, Lynn, just like potato chips), I immediately cast on another pair.

I got this far and all of a sudden, I was done.

Which, of course, is not actually done like a bag of chips gets done, I just got stopped. Not able to knit another stitch on them. Rather weird, but I went with it.

And... I switched over to this sock (Started at some previous time so it's not like I did all this at once. But maybe within the last week.) This time it's for me, and is a Cat Bordhi pattern that not called "Leaf" or "Leaves" but that's what I'll call it right now (the pattern is far, far away in another room, too far for me to walk right now.)

Anyway, it's been a fun knit so far, even if the whole sock is in twisted ribbing which is not my favorite. But, it's pretty.

Then, I had a renewed interest in the little sock so I started a second one.

Size 4 dpns, ww yarn, 28 sts in a 1x1 ribbing, increasing to 30 sts for the mosaic pattern. 3 repeats of mosaic pattern and waiting for the heels. The rest of this pair should go rather quickly.

That is, if I can refrain from casting on for a new pair.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


First I'd just like to complain a bit. I had to work extra early this morning (7am which is o'dark am for any Irish out there.) Not having time to come home after the bus stop I arrived at work 27 minutes early. Without any knitting. Or a book. (Which wouldn't have been very useful as it was o'dark.) I'm never early. Especially that early. Where are the red lights when you need them? They're out in full force whenever I'm running late. But when I 'm too early? Oh, no. Then it's green all the way. (Maybe for St. Pat's Day?) Okay, I feel better. Complaining is over. Moving on...

Today I'll ignore any catching up that needs to be done and just discuss what's been done in the past couple of days.

I made a pillow.

To be more accurate, I re-covered a pillow. I've had this pillow for more than 20 years and have re-covered it at least 3 times. It's nice and soft and cushy.

I was looking for fabric that would match both of my new slipcovers. One is brown and one is rust. It seemed like I could find some nice decorator fabric that would tie them both together.

What I found is this.

That's right. They're turtles.

Not exactly what I had in mind, but it's cute and it matches and that's what matters.

I've also knitted two pairs of CIC socks. Both are knitted with one strand of rust yarn (sport weight?) and one strand of sock weight. The left pair uses 28 sts and the right uses 32 sts, both on size 5 dpns.

They seem nice and sturdy and warm and are a good way to use up leftover sock yarn.

Once I get going on little socks I can't seem to stop. I might just make another pair or two...

Monday, March 16, 2009


When I get an email from a friend, I feel like if I respond right away I can say something short. "Thanks!" or "It was good hearing from you. Gotta run!" or even "great" can do.

However, if I put off responding, then I feel like I need to add a note. What's new in my life (which almost always includes what sports my kids are currently playing or--if I'm talking to a knitter--what I'm currently knitting.)

The longer I put off writing, the more pressure I put on myself to say something worthwhile (or at least wordy).

It's like that with my blog.

If I have something to show, I can usually do it right away without too much effort. Daily progress can be shown easily (as long as there was progress). The more I put it off, though, the more I feel the need to actually have a good picture and a little story.

Sometimes things get put off so much that there's nothing left to say, so before that happens, let me show you this:

A lovely purple shawl, knitted by my friend Janice and mailed to me about a month ago. It's my favorite color and it's warm--just the perfect thing for downstairs. It looks lovely draped over a couple of different chairs.... just waiting for me.

I've finally given up, though, on getting a picture of me wearing it. It's just not going to happen. (Doesn't match my clothes at the moment--especially my green and blue plaid pjs. It's rainy outside so I can't get good outdoor pictures. There's no one around to take the picture. You name the excuse and I've said it.)

But I know that only a knitter knows how much another knitter loves to receive a handknit gift. So, thank you. I love it and will think of you whenever I wear it.

(I may get a picture of me wearing it. But don't hold your breath.)

Monday, March 09, 2009


Just a mere 7 days ago we had 11 inches of snow. We had on snowpants and sweatshirts and winter coats and hats and gloves and scarves and boots. We spent 2 days sledding (we means not me) and bundling up. On Weds. morning it was 8 degrees. By the afternoon it was in the 30s. Every day after that it rose at least 10 degrees.

Today we had on t shirts and shorts.

Crazy weather.

Now you see it, now you don't (the hood, that is)

When last you saw my cabled hoodie, it was completed and ready to go. I blocked it and let it dry. Then, as DS#2 owed my one more try on, he tried it on. (But no picture even though I had the camera in my hand).

The next day, the hoodie became this:

I tried reasoning with it, but no matter how much I tried, it just wasn't going to fit a real person.

Of any shape.

The sleeves were nice and long but the body was short and loose. (It was supposed to be a shorter waisted sweater but it just wasn't working right.) The worst part was that the shoulders were too snug for anyone. Especially someone with really long arms and a short waist. Also, the hood was a bit loose so this person had to have a neck like a giraffe.

In the meantime, I used the leftover yarn to make a pair of socks. (Doublestranding Patons Classic Merino Denim Marl with a sock weight light blue yarn. 36 sts, 36 rows.)

They turned out great, but used up the rest of the yarn.

So. Considering that I wanted to make the body longer I had to lose the hood.

The body became 3-4 inches longer and the ribbed collar looks nice. (I did not try it on either child, but I did get it over my head so it should be good. And done. And good and done.)

The sweater and socks were joined with 2 other sweaters and a vest--all that you've seen before but just waiting for a place to go.

And they're going to children in Akkol, Kazakakhstan.

Packed up and in the mail today. Now, to cast on for some socks!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Snow day

Even though neither kid got up for pretend school, it still seems liked Christmas morning.

Wow, snow! Look at that! I'm not sure I've ever seen it this high! (Sad, but it might be true.)

By 10 am the kids had gotten dressed, went sledding down the hill, and were already back inside.

I stayed inside and periodically got called to the door. "Mom, can you fix my hat/glove/boot?"

Snow angels became "I'm so tired I'm going to lie here for a bit".

I know for some parts of the country you've gotten more snow than you could possibly stand. We, however, are quite enthralled with it.

DH is on a business trip (Don't worry, I don't think he's missing out--the snow is coming where he is, too). Sadly, the food readiness fell to me. DH does a good job purchasing the essentials for a snow storm, plus plenty of snacks. I do not. We managed to make Rice Krispie treats (the kind with peanut butter) using Cheerios instead and making a half recipe. We're now down to no sugar and have one egg and no cocoa.

There are no brownies in my immediate future. Or DD's.

Nor is there any interesting food left. (For the kids, anyway. I can always find something.)

Here's a picture of the down part of the hill. You can see faint tire tracks but those most likely are from last night. I don't think anyone has tried going up today. (It's always part of our snowstorm entertainment to see who can make it up the hill on the first try.)

I might try for the up part of the hill later, but that would require putting on my boots and coat. So far I've been content to stay inside (and do a bit of knitting between running to the door, helping with the Cheerio treats and trying to get the snow gear dried. And blogging.)

Sometime, though, we'll have to dig out the cars.

There's plenty of time later. Maybe after a nap.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Chaos ensues

This is DD#2 blogging. I just wanted to say hi and be a guest blogger once again. News of the day is that it snowed. And to my surprise, my mom didn't knit at all, or very little. So she may not have many updates for your pleasure, so you should stop reading before she starts talking (just to save time.)

Mmmmm... I think my mom should make me some brownies. :) What do you think? Considering I made brownies for her 2 DAYS IN A ROW, that she should make some. :) The downside to her making brownies is that she makes them late at night so that in the morning there is little to none left (so no one will know.) Since she decides to leave the pan in the sink for a while, it makes it easy to tell who ate all the brownies the night before, all by process of elimination of course.

Well it's about time for my mom to come down stairs with bowls full of sweet snack, and for her to give me "the-eye-brow-look", and make a "GRRR"ing sound at me. TTFN(Ta Ta For Now)



I left the computer just long enough to walk a kid up the hill in the snow in the dark ('cause it's snowing and we have a hill and you can come down with a car but it's questionable whether you can get back up and it was a guest that would like to be back at his house for the snow, especially since I have to work tomorrow but probably won't go. See above discussion about the hill.)
Oh, well, then we ate supper and watched a taped "Survivor" and then I washed the dishes (how long has this pot been sitting around?) and made jello.

But then I got right back to the computer and look what happened? Chaos ensues. (Just for that I should tell her that we got another phone call from the school system and the first one was wrong and that you really do have school tomorrow so go ahead and set your alarm clock for 5:30am. That'll teach her.)

She's right, though, in that I haven't knitted much today. However, I have several hours of the day left and it's prime knitting time. (Especially when I send her to bed to make sure she gets up for pretend school tomorrow.)

Here's two more pictures of my cabled hoodie in the completed state.

I grafted the hoodie together at the top, and managed to graft the purl sts correctly too, I think.

Then, since I've been complaining about the quality of my pictures again, DH decided to build me a soft light photo box. Here's a picture he took in there.

The blue on the sweater sure does change from pic to pic, doesn't it? I hadn't blocked the sweater, but I've done so since. If I can get it on DS#2 I'll try for a picture. If not, just consider it done.

Cabled Hoodie pattern, free from Coats and Clark (however, I can't seem to bring up the link. But it's there. Somewhere.)
Did a lot of changes. Made the waist 1" longer, but it's still a short waist so it could actually use a couple more inches. Knitted it in the round which made me improvise the underarms and hoodie pickup. Did a cable around the hoodie that looks nice with the rest.
With all the changes, it still fits a real kid (or two) so I think it will be okay.