Monday, December 22, 2008

'Tis the Season ... be completely swamped with too much to do.

I have been running around like crazy trying to attend all the kids plays, concerts, Nutcracker ballet spotlights, basketball games, work parties, recitals and all the other extracurriculur activities that pop up at this time Not to mention getting ready for Christmas and family vacation to England, plus preparing for son #1's 13th birthday (Ahhhh! a teenager is about to be on the premises). Of course, being a crafter/knitter I felt the need to add to my workload by pulling off some quilts and other crafted gift items. But I love this time of year, I'm a happier person for the busy, yet cheery schedule.

I mean what's not to love about watching your daughter perform for the first time in the Nutcracker Ballet as a Angel. Priceless!

Son #2 score his first 2-pointer at his basketball game. Priceless!

Son #1 directs his first school play. Priceless!

Son #3 is in his first Christmas Program at Preschool and waves the entire 20 minutes to his mum and blows her kisses throughout. Priceless!

But I do have some catching up to do on the blog:

First, if you recall my last post was about my frustration with trying to get my hands on some Wolmeisse. I didn't post with the intention of someone saying "oh, you want some Wolmeisse? well, here you go have some of mine." But that's exactly what happened. Tonia, whom I have never met but who reads my blog, decided to send me some Wolmeisse. She wouldn't let me pay for it. Said she was "paying it forward". Well, if that's the case, I think she paid forward enough for an awful lot of good in her life. I opened my mail the week after I posted, to discover a package with not only a beautiful skein of Wolmeisse, but four other sock yarns to play with. She thought I'd "like a sampler". Her generosity overwhems me. The Cute Guy was amazed, and kept saying "so, you don't even know her and she sent you that?!" Of course, I am aware of the generosity of knitters and know how we take care of our own. But still, I was a little gobsmacked at beautiful the yarn was.

Aren't they absolutely beautiful. They will be perfect knitting for on the plane and travelling in the uk.

I've also been whipping out Son #1's quilt, then promptly stalled. The top is now done, although in the picture below doesn't have a border on and still needs the two main halves sewn together, but will wait until I return to be tied (I decided the flannel would look really nice tied rather than quilted) and the binding added. I should be able to get that done when I return for him and the quilts finished for the other three kids.

I'm not sure if I'll get a post in before I leave, so for now I'll leave you with wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Okay, Now I'm started to get annoyed!

I've been hearing about Wollmeise sock yarn for the past year or more.

I've been desperately trying to find some Wollmeise sock yarn for the past year or more.

I've searched Loopy Ewe at all the weird times of the day hoping that I would catch them when they had a shipment, that usually disappears in five minutes.... no luck.

I've checked the Wollmeise website religiously on all the days she says that she is going to update the in stock store, plus many days that she hasn't planned on luck.

I've checked peoples stash on Ravelry to see if anyone is interested in selling their yarns, but have discovered only knitters who wish to swap for a different luck.

I guess I could break down and pay some crazy prizes on ebay, but to be honest, I'm starting to get more than a little frustrated at how hard it is to find this. I've been a little put off by the owner of the Wollmeise who is annoyed that you ask if she'll ever have any yarn in stock on her website again. I'm starting to think that this is some big conspiracy, that is yarn really isn't THAT special, that you're all a bunch of followers and crazemongers.

Truth is.. I want to be a Wollmeise groupie myself. I don't care if I'm being a follower. Yet, still am annoyed at those who purchase the yarn only to mark it up 100% for pure $$$ reasons. I guess that's perogative, but I don't like it. I admit to getting a little tired of the search and am thinking of snubbing Wollmeise and turning my back to the yarn forever, but I'm not sure I have the backbone.

Tell me, is it really as nice as they say? does it glide through your fingers? does it make you salivate? Wait, don't tell, I don't think I really want to know. It would only add to the frustration.

I'm starting to get a little annoyed though..!!!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No time to say Hello, Goodbye

Prize drawing for whoever guesses what movie the title came from.

I'm too busy to blog, busy cooking mounds of food (or was, am now completely on schedule for tomorrow's big do - the Cute Guy says that I celebrate Thanksgiving like a new immigrant, trying to make up for the first 20 years of my life on the Island.)

Now, am too busy to blog because I'm sewing away on a quilt on my NEW Bernina 240. Thank you everybody who emailed me or commented. Your advice was very helpful. Particularly Marji, who researched like crazy for me. Got an amazing deal - saved 45% off the price. Am feeling very consumer savvy right now. Unfortunately, am also feeling rather clumsy with my cutting and piecing technique - it's been awhile.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!!

P.S. did I mention that it's only four weeks until I go back to the Land of Clotted Cream and Scones.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Early, For Once!

I'd like to share with you all the disease that I suffer from ... Tarditis. I'm always late. Even when I'm running on time or early, I'll manage to come up with something to make me late. Because I'm always running late, I can't stand people who show up early, because it shows off how bad my tarditis has become. Knowing this, in case I don't get the holiday cards out on time, consider this our early Holiday Card. Wishing you all Happy Holidays from our house to yours (note the Cute Guy prefers to stay out of the limelight, so we're pretending he's in costume as the Santa).
Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Happy HOLIDAYS!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

I've been trying to decide on buying a new sewing machine. I won't even go into details on my present one - let's just say old, poor quality, but can stitch a straight line, but tension is poor.

I'm thinking of buying the Viking Sapphire 830.

Any thoughts???????

What do you have for a machine that you love??

Share with me, please.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Why didn't you tell me about this????

I came across this blog yesterday and I'm loving it. The tech articles are so helpful.

The weather has turned rather chilly in Wisconsin suddenly and I have lots of little heads to keep covered in this family, so I'd whipped up a hat for one of the boys in some Berroco Pure Merino (I'm seriously loving this yarn - knits like butta') and was looking at their pattern/articles on knitting 2x2 hats with a flat top. They have some pretty neat tricks - check it out. They referred you to a link for an easy kitchener stitch for grafting the top stitches together on the hat. That's when I discovered a way of doing kitchener that just sinks in, too easy to remember and more importantly I don't have to dig around for the ever lost darning needle. You actually knit the Kitchener stitch. I'm sure you've all heard of this before, and I'm the last one to catch on, but I think it's totally awesome.

I'll try and snap a pic of the littlest guy in his new hat, as soon as I weave the ends in.

Monday, November 03, 2008


I met my friend at the Quilting store on Saturday to see her quilt that she was turning in for machine quilting. It was just supposed to be a quick five minute visit. Two hours later, we both left with flannel material for quilts. I admit, I started it, but like all good friends, dragged Deb along for the ride.

I had this idea to whip out a couple of very simple brickwork style flannel quilts for the boys for Christmas. I started with the idea of just using blues, browns, and greens.

But then a red piece of fabric was sat next to my pile of flannel and quickly I added the red.

Now, here's where you all come in. Do you like just the mellow browns, blues and greens, or the fuller spectrum of colors? Tell me what you think?

When I was in Mackinaw City, Cynthia's Fine Yarns had a huge selection of Frog Tree and I was sucked into its fibery vortex and walked away with yarn for quite a few projects. I know - black, not the most interesting color choice, but was good for the mood I was in at that time. It's Frog Tree Merino and the pattern is about as simple as it gets. Although it's black, it's perfect TV knitting, because it's so mindless. Will whip up very fast, if I can just stay focused for five minutes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Presidential Candidate

Now here is a Presidential Candidate we knitters could all get behind!!

P.S. Make sure you click on the screen to watch the video.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wow, that was a long weekend ;)

Okay, so I know that I said I'd post after that weekend (almost a month ago) but life's been more than a little nuts.

Okay, first things first.

Mum's Car Accident

My mum was involved in a serious car accident (in the UK where she lives) while driving to work early one morning on some back country roads. She hit a Yamaha 1300cc bike head on when she came around the corner and the biker was trying to overtake an Audi. Mum tried to get out of the way, but the roads are so narrow and the hedges so thick and tall that she had nowhere to go. The biker appears to have attempted to accelerate and squeeze between the cars, but hit Mum head on, in line with the drivers steering wheel. The biker died instantly and Mum really walked away without anything seriously wrong, apart from the obvious shock. The police kept telling my Dad that they couldn't understand how she walked away from the accident and that it was a really terrible scene. When he went to see the car the next day, he finally understood what they were saying. The entire roof of the drivers side of Mum's vehicle was crushed down and they can't figure how she even got out of the car. The bike had the same size engine as her car and was going over 55 mph, she was going around 45mph. Mum is of the "stiff upper lip" British variety and can't stand a fuss (at least, about her) and when I informed her that I was going to jump on a plane that night, she became very agitated and upset. Dad and I spent quite a lot of time for the next couple of weeks chatting and deciding on an almost daily basis whether I should come over and help or not.

The important part is.... she's doing well and is recovering, although still suffering with some pain from some of her injuries, but of course she never complains. My dad has always said that if my Mum fell out of a twenty story building, as she went past each floor you'd hear her saying "I'm fine! Every thing's just fine!"

A couple of weeks after this event, I drove six hours to Mackinaw City alone to attend a Sally Melville Retreat. (Mum called alot to check on me during the trip, and happened to be on the phone with me as I rounded a corner and came across an accident that had just happened where a car was completely on fire. I quickly faked static and bad connection - knowing her nerves couldn't take much more excitement - and sat in the backed up traffic until I could pass. This caused me to be late for the opening presentation by Sally M. on creativity.

I always try to go to these retreats or classes with an open mind and am interested in the different techniques and preferences from the different designers and teachers. Sally is very entertaining to listen to and very organized in her approach. I had a couple of AHA moments that made the whole thing worth every penny. That gal is one smart cookie. It is hard though, as an EZ lover, to not question why she does everything and understand the choices she makes, and not sound like you're questioning her abilities/decisions. She was pretty clear that she had a very different approach to Meg Swansen and EZ. It was a very different crowd than attends Knitting Camp and I would say a much less experienced crowd, which was a little limiting when we were doing hands on examples. I think next time she should have requirements and experience levels for attendees, so that the less experienced don't hold back the rest of the class.

Bottom Line: I would absolutely attend another Sally Melville class and would highly recommend.

One of the best things about going to the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) is loading up on the wonderful pasties. I stopped off at the Mackinaw Pasty & Cookie Company and filled a cooler up with the 'Beef' and 'Cheese and Vegetable' pasties. My parents had a fish and chip shop growing up and they sold Ginsters Cornish Pasties. This gave me a nice taste of home. The cooler full of pasties lasted three days before the family had finished them off.

The retreat was put on by Cynthia's Fine Yarns and she has a huge selection of Frog Tree Alpaca yarns, which I love because it's so affordable. So, even though I'd just cleaned out some space in the stash, I promptly filled it right back up with yarn for four projects. Yes, that's right four. I'll post more details later this week (yes, you can count on me this time Marina, it will be this week I promise).

Well, that should get us caught up so that next time I can post about knitting projects and progress.

Friday, October 03, 2008


I know I've dropped off the face of cyberland for a few days, but lots has been happening. Will fill in with lots more details next week on the following:

Mum in very serious car accident.
Six football games.
New braces
Lots of baking
Six hour drive and lots of wildlife
One retreat in Northern Michigan with Sally Melville

Anybody else doing the Mystery Sock KAL?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Conversations with a 3-year old

Scene: Mum placing her 3-year old into his car seat smells something she can't quite identify.

Mum: "EB whats that smell?"
3-year old: (very matter of factly) "It's my cologne."
Mum: ......(can't speak over shock of 3 year old applying cologne and knowing what it is - stares at son dumbfounded.)
3-year old: "I know, I smell cute!"

Thursday, September 25, 2008


WANTED: Home for some yummy yarn stash. Owner has more stash than can handle and needs to focus her time and talents on other stash. Is seeking a kind and loving, and moth-free home, for a giving and soft stash. If interested, please check out pictures and info on each skein at my trade/sell stash page on Ravelry. (Thank you Marji, for helping me figure out the link thingie).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We're on a roll here

Three posts in three days. Earthtonesgirl will be in shock now.

As mentioned yesterday, I plan on showing some of the other "gentle domestic arts" that I've been working on.

Today I have some pictures of a quilt that I'm working on for my Little Princess. It is the Heirloom Romance Quilt by Crabapple Hill Studio. It has eight stitched purses on it, with lots of crazy quilting and additional embroidery. I loved it and have set a goal of completing this by LP's 8th birthday for her baptism.

The quilt and embroidered purses will also be accented with beads once the quilt is completed. (I'm kind to the person who will do the quilting on this quilt, so that she won't have to work around the beads)- and No - I'm not going to quilt it myself - to quote Austin Powers - "that's not my kind of thing, baby!"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pieces of Me

I don't have any real knitting news to share today, but thought I'd show you all some of the other projects I've been working on over the next couple of days. Today, you can see the quilting side of me.

Here are pictures of some of the pieces that I've completed for a Foundation Paper Pieced Quilt called Autumn Splendor by Judy Neimeyer. I started it last fall and worked on it until Thanksgiving and then put it away. It's fall again and the colors of the leaves reminded me of this quilt, so it's back out and hopefully going to get some more progress done soon.

Monday, September 15, 2008


The name Rebecca has been on my mind recently:

1. My new project - Rebecca by Beth Anne Paustain of Black Purl Designs. I'm struggled on and off with my yarn choice, which is Organik by the Fibre Company. I struggled with deciding which needles were the right ones for gauge. I struggled with the cable, although such a basic cable. In fact, such an easy cable that I got cocky and screwed up way to early and discovered rather late. One visit to the frog pond, and we were on our way again. Now, just struggling with whether I really like the color on me or not. Will I wear it? Hopefully.

These pics were right before I ripped it out for the first and second times.

2. One of my daughters middle names is Rebekah (okay, a different spelling, the same name basically). She started piano and ballet this fall and has been really having a fun time. Her name has especially been on my mind as I was filling out passport forms, because we booked our tickets to England for the holidays. (excited, would be an understatement).

3. I'm incredibly homesick for a visit to England and booking the tickets seems to have made it worse. Three months seems so close, yet so far away. To ease the craving for England, I've been watching all things British with my netflix account. I have been on quite the run of English movies. I watched a biography on the very famous Daphne Du Maurier who wrote the wonderful book (which inspired the Hitchcock film) Rebecca. Then I rented the modern version of Rebecca (I didn't think that it did as good a job as Hitchcock, but I'm rather partial to his movies). Now, I think I need to reread the book.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Back from Falling Off the Face of the Earth

Wow! Those Ravelympic events can really take a toll on a Ravelympian. As I sat up until 4:30am the morning of the end of the Ravelympics, I could feel a monster headache coming on. By the next day, it was an all out mutant migraine. After taking a few days to recover (of course, family and life didn't provide me much of a rest, so it took longer than should be necessary to recuperate), I kept meaning to take pictures of the New Zealand Pullover, but to be honest, I was completely burned out with the project. I'd put on the back burner some family and back-to-school stuff that needed to be completed and it was the last week of summer vacation and the kids wanted and needed some attention.... So, excuses were not hard to find in delaying photo shoots and blogging about THE sweater.

Finally, tonight, after day two of kids in school, the 'cute guy' agreed to take a couple of pics of the sweater. I'm so wiped out still that I didn't bother to look in the mirror and make myself look presentable, so beware of the fairly scary modelling job. He In fact, that's why I'm scowling at him, as it took him five minutes to take a crappy photo. Next time, I'm having the three year old take pictures.

I love the sweater, but am still thinking about ripping out the bottom half of the arms and changing the decreases. They're a little too narrow. I like tighter arms, but I think these are too tight. I decreased every 5th round as the pattern suggests, but really should have gone with at least every 6th, seeing as I had adjusted the pattern to suit my gauge of 6.25 per inch.

What do I love about this sweater:

The short row detailed yoke.

The gussets.

The color

The yarn

That it's finished and that the Ravelympics are over.

Often when I've pulled out a big project I find that I'm at a loss for what to start next. I can't decide whether to start which of the following next:

Staghorn from a Fine Fleece

Drops Jacket in Eskimo 103-1

Rebecca by Black Purl Designs/Beth Anne Paustian

Linden from Twist Collective

Shalom Cardigan

Butterfly Vest from Schoolhouse

DB sweater for Little Princess

Too many choices. Maybe I should finish some of my UFO's.

Maybe I'll just cast them all on.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Interview with a Tween

Hubbub (not his real name for those wondering), was interested to hear about DH's interview the other day, and didn't want to be left out. Here's the view of my knitting world according to Hubbub.

ME: What is your favorite thing about my knitting?
Hubbub: "The hats you knit me."
ME: What is your least favorite thing about my knitting?HUBBUB:"Whenever we go somewhere you always have to stop at a yarn store."
ME: What is something I have knitted that you recall as good?
HUBBUB: "The scarves that you made us a while back"
ME: Do you think that knitters have an expensive hobby?
CUTE GUY: "No! There are other hobbies that cost a bit more. Like my model airplanes I like or flying lessons."
ME: "Do you have a stash of any kind?"
HUBBUB: "Of what?!!! A stash of change." mum thinks that he has a stash of dirty socks somewhere in his room or a black hole that sucks all dirty socks into them.
ME: Do you know what my favorite yarn to knit with is?"
HUBBUB: "Shetland?!" Okay. I'm pretty impressed that he knew what Shetland was. Still, it isn't my favorite, but am very impressed that he has paid attention to my yarn ramblings at some point in time. Unfortunately, he's never listened to my asking him to search out the missing dirty socks, or my constant nagging for him to stop watching the Science Channel and go out and play or make his bed.
ME: "Can you name another blog?"
ME: "Do you read my blog?"
HUBBUB: "Yeah."
ME: "My knitting blog?"
HUBBUB: "Oh, do you mean like Ravelry?" I'm shocked that everybody in this house seems to know what ravelry is, but don't seem to know what "load the dishwasher" means.
ME: "Do you mind my wanting to stop at knit shops wherever we go?"
HUBBUB: "No, not really. I don't mind it that bad. It's just when you're in there for two and a half hours, when you said that you'd only be a few minutes; that makes me dislike it."
ME: "Have you ever left a comment on my blog?"
HUBBUB: "Mmmm. No."
ME: "Do you think the house would be cleaner if I didn't knit?"
HUBBUB: "No!!!!! You have four kids. Well, maybe, but not that much. You're pretty anal."
ME: "Have I ever taught you how to knit?"
HUBBUB: "Once. I thought it was okay."
ME: "Do you still knit?"
HUBBUB: "No. I like doing other things. I pursue other hobbies."
ME: "Do you think that boys should knit?"
HUBBUB: smirks. "They can if they want, but it's a little weird."
ME: "How much money do you think I spend on yarn and knitting?"
HUBBUB: "$500, plus, and then some, or maybe a $1,000" (dad chirps up in the background - "more like thousands".
ME: "Do you think that Dad realizes how much I spend?"
HUBBUB: "Yeah. He lets you spend that much because he loves you." (DH was in the room, so Hubbub suggested that I ask him if he knew. He said that he didn't know exactly, and didn't want to know, that ignorance was bliss.)
ME: "Do you remember that for the longest time you were adamant that when you grew up you were going to work in a yarn store winding yarn?"
note: it's true. he was convinced that "a yarn winder" was the perfect occupation. i explained that the pay wouldn't be so hot, so he decided he'd be a dentist and work with his day 3 days a week, so that it could support him and then he'd donate his time doing yarn winding.
ME: "How long do you think I could go without knitting.
HUBBUB: "Days."
CUTE GUY chirps up and says "Days??!! More like hours."

Friday, August 15, 2008


I was reading Janet Szabo's blog today and came across her interview with her dh. So, I took advantage of the car ride to dinner this afternoon to pepper the "cute guy" with a few questions.

ME: What is your favorite thing about my knitting?

CUTE GUY: "You seem to really enjoy doing it."

ME: What is your least favorite thing about my knitting?

CUTE GUY:"Being woken up at 3am by you knitting away in the chair in our room with your knitting light or on the closet floor."

ME: What is something I have knitted that you recall as good?

CUTE GUY: "It's all good! You knit so much, that I have no idea. You're always knitting something new. You don't usually show me when you've finished something. What do you do with it all?"

ME: I show you the items all the time, but you're usually absorbed in the Weather Channel watching the weather in some other state that we've never visited, or more than likely never will, or watching CNN. Thanks for listening. I also wear a lot of what I knit (when it's not summer) and give quite a few things as gifts.

CUTE GUY: Oh yeah, I remember one thing I really like. You always knit the hats for the kids and I in the winter, whatever style and color we like.

ME: Do you think that knitters have an expensive hobby?

CUTE GUY: "Yes! Oh wait, compared to what?" (He then smirks that cute mischievous smirk of his as he remembers his Hummer and all the extra skid plates and rocker panels he purchased so that he can go and climb rocks, and drive through mud lakes and rivers.) Well, how much does it cost, like $1,000 for a sweater.

ME: "No, it's averages somewhere between $50 to $100 a sweater."

CUTE GUY: "Oh, that's not so bad."

ME: "Do you have a stash of any kind?"

CUTE GUY: "Of what?!!!"

ME: "Well, how about all of those dental school books and magazines, or all of your Sports Illustrated and National Geographic magazines."

CUTE GUY: "I've been wondering why you don't just throw them away."

ME: thinking "Woo Hoo! Finally, I have approval to ditch some of his junk, which means more room for yarn stash."

ME: "Have I ever embarrassed you, knitting in public?"

CUTE GUY: "No! What's embarrassing about knitting?"

ME: "What's the weirdest place I've knit?"

CUTE GUY: "3am in our closet."

ME: "Do you know what my favorite yarn to knit with is?"

CUTE GUY: "No, but I'm guessing it's the real expensive kind."

ME: "Can you name another blog?"

CUTE GUY: "No, I'm way to busy to mess around with blogs. By the way, what exactly is a blog?"

ME: "Argghh! You are sooooo computer challenged."

ME: "Do you read my blog?"

CUTE GUY: "No. Wait, is your blog that Ravelry thing you're always on?"

I then explain to Cute Guy the difference between my blog and Ravelry. He still looks confused, but quite frankly I can't be bothered to go into further detail. It would be like trying to explain to a three year old the Pythagorean Theorem.

ME: "Do you mind my wanting to stop at knit shops wherever we go?"

CUTE GUY: "No, I don't mind at all. Although, I do mind how long you spend in them."

ME: "Do you understand the importance of a swatch?"

CUTE GUY: "No... wait, I don't know what a swatch is. Oh yeah I do. Isn't it that a European watch? what does that have to do with knitting?"

ME: After laughing my arse off for a few minutes, explain to him what a swatch is. For his scientific mind, it not only immediately makes complete sense, but also surprises him that anyone would consider not doing accurate calculations and doing a gauge swatch. I stop laughing and look at him thinking, "you're not so cute, when you're being annoying and questioning why I wouldn't always knit a gauge swatch. I liked him more when he though I was talking about an 80's style plastic watch."

ME: "Have you ever left a comment on my blog?"

CUTE GUY: "No. What would I say?" After pausing a moment, he winks and says "Oh, I know, Go to bed. Turn off the light, stop knitting and go to bed."

ME: "Do you think the house would be cleaner if I didn't knit?"

CUTE GUY: "mmm, No. Isn't that why we hired a maid?"

FOR THE RECORD: I hired a maid after I had EB (child #4) and I was sick, and he was very ill for a few months and in and out of the hospital and I couldn't keep up with the house and kids. Then things got better and I became attached to our maid and EB loves her like a granny. Although, to be honest, I often do knit while she's here, because she entertains EB and let's him help her clean and I entertain myself and don't clean by knitting. Perfect arrangement. Every knitter should have one. Go on girls, add it to your Christmas list.

ME: "Anything you'd like to add?"

CUTE GUY: "You're gorgeous!"

ME: "No silly, something about knitting, but thank you and your bias."

FOR THE RECORD: I smiled at that, after almost 17 years together, he still thinks I'm cute. Score 1 for me.

CUTE GUY: "It's a good hobby for you. It makes you happy when you get to knit, and when you're happy, we're all happy."

We had such a fun time doing this. I think I'm going to interview the kids too this weekend, I find it quite enlightening to hear what they think about my obsession.

In conclusion: Besides feeling greatful for such a cute guy, I'm excited that he doesn't think I spend too much on my hobby and when he compared it to his, I feel that I have plenty of spending room still available to me, so I'm working on my next yarn purchases to balance the scales a little.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Boredom Buster

Yesterday the weather was rather crummy and the wee ones were moping around, so I suggested a project to entertain them that I was sure the oldest two would love. It involved equipment - the digital camera and my laptop. They eagerly hopped on board and started photographing and stashing on Ravelry my yarn. There is still plenty to do (okay, they got as far as the tip of the icebery), but it was a good start and they are hooked. They've already asked if they can finish up the rest.

We all know yarn stashes are a wonderful thing, but who'd of thought that they could save the lives of two of my kids, because I was getting close to using a circular needle on either them or me if they didn't find some way to entertain themself. Instead, they discovered how wonderful my yarn stash is.

Yarn, Knitting, Stash .... it's a wonderful thing.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Race So Far

I haven't posted any pics until now of the progress on the New Zealand Pullover for my Ravelympics Event, seeing as well it was just the body in nothing but stocking stitch. It's not that exciting to photograph. Now, I've completed the gussets, completed the short rows for the angle on the yoke and started the garter stitch yoke.

I know I had my problems with the look of the stitches when swatching before. I'm thinking it was really needle size, I was getting the correct gauge with the bigger needles, but was forcing it, the smaller needles made all the difference.
Loving the yarn! The color is exactly what I'd hoped for and I'm really looking forward to wearing this sweater. Deep red with flecks.
I had a couple of knitting blibs last night and this morning. I was too into watching the olympics last night and screwed up my short rows, so I ripped them out and went to bed. This morning I reknit the short rows and then started the yoke, I was watching the end of the movie Tess of D'urbervilles and screwed up the row where you knit up the wraps, so had to rip that out and reknit it. Now, I'm back on track, hopefully.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Problem Photo Shoot

Thank you for those who have commented or emailed me regarding my poorly constructed question regarding stitch ?orientation ?spacing - oh well, whatever you wish to call it.

I attempted to take a couple of pics today of the minuscule swatches that still remain on the needles. They really don't show the problem very well.
This one really shows the v's upside down because of the gappy stitches.

Rosekimknits asked to see the back of the piece (the extra strings are because I'm knitting the swatch "cheating" in the round.)

I'm letting the pictures do the explaining because I was really in the back of the line when technical writing skills were handed out (pointless waffling - I obviously fought my way to the front of that line).

I'm sure I'm over thinking and over analyzing this, but still... it's bugging me.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I have a Question!

Quick Question:

When you look at a swatch of stockinette knitting and see that the V's, although looking very pretty and producing a nice fabric, look upside down (because the space between the "n" loops is bigger than usual) do you:

a) go up a needle size
b) go down a needle size
c) don't worry about it, it will block out
d) after numerous attempts to fix said stitch origin looking problem, use needles to stab yourself in the neck (like the girl does on The Happening with her hair stick)
e) although you don't drink at all, consider that this is as good a time as any to get drunk
f) whine to your husband about it and become so desperate you seek non-knitting husband's advice on what the problem is. Listening attentively as his scientific mind attempts to make a mathematical problem/equation of your dilemma.
g) seek kind sympathetic, yet experienced, advice from your favorite knitting blog readers.
h) wish that Meg Swansen would stop by unexpectedly for Teatime and to help you with any knitting problems.

Although I'd prefer h), I'm going with the much more realistic g).

Come on , knitters, shower me with your experience and advice.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Knitters Souvenir

Some people buy postcards, t-shirts or bumper stickers as memento's of vacations past. I'm a knitter, so I always find a yarn store on our adventures and pick a yarn (usually a sock yarn) to remind me of our trip. I also always knit a sock while on vacation that reminds me of our trip.

When our family went earlier in July on vacation to Mackinac Island, I stopped at Mackinaw City and purchased some wonderful Casbah Hand Maiden sock yarn in beautiful blues and greens to knit a sock that reminded me of all the beautiful lakes, skies and trees that we admired on our trip. I'm running out of yarn so I'm trying to locate another ball though, so hopefully that will get finished just as soon as I locate another skein.

This time, when we went on a trip to Drummond Island (also located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) for a Hummer Invasion weekend to Turtle Ridge Off-Road Park, I grabbed yarn, Araucania Ranco Multi from the stash to knit a Coriolis sock that would remind me of our trip. I stayed up until 3am on Sunday when we returned so that I could finish the sock. I like them, don't necessarily love them, but will definitely wear them.

It was a wonderful little get away and we enjoyed all our toy has to offer us. She's definitely not a "Pavement Princess", yet she was comfortable enough that I could quite happily knit away on the sock as we went along some of the less bouncy trails.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I lied!

So, I lied on yesterday's post, here are a couple of pics of projects worked on this week.
It's all curled up on the edge (I haven't put the ribbing on the bottom yet) but this is the body of the sweater.

An unblocked Bartholomew's Tantalizing Sock. The linen stitch gives the yarn a stained glass effect.

It is a perfect souvenir sock for our Mackinac Island vacation. I'm starting on the second sock, but am pretty convinced I'm going to run out and will need to order more yarn.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

quick post, no pics

I doubt I'll have time to snap a couple of pics in the morning, but you never know. In the meantime, here's a quick post before we head out to vacation to Drummond Island for a family Hummer Adventure weekend. We're so excited, don't worry, you're not required to be.

I've been knitting away, when I've had a chance, on the Henley Fair Isle yoke sweater and have the body completed. I've just cast on for the sleeves and have the cuffs done, hopefully I'll be able to get the sleeves done this weekend while driving up and back (although I wouldn't hold my breath).

I finished one of the Bartholmew's Tantalizing Socks in the Hand Maiden Casbah that I bought on our last vacation to Mackinac Island and realized that I'm going to need another skein. That's easier said than done as everybody seems to be sold out of the Nova Scotia colorway. But, I remain optimistic. The sock is gorgeous and my family is tired of my requesting that they watch me put it on and rattling on about what a knitting genius Cat Bordhi is. Again, pictures, would have been good here, but I'm sure you can imagine how beautiful they are.

I'm also waiting to hear if my yarn has come in for the New Zealand Sweater for the Ravelympics. I'm looking for 14 skeins of Jamieson's Spindrift in #187 Sunrise and can't seem to find them all in one colorway. I have other choices and back up plans, but again, hope springs eternal. (what exactly does that saying mean?)

More to follow on Monday, hopefully with lots of wonderful knitting to show you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Team Knitting Camp - Knitting Athletes Required

All fellow Knitting Camp attendees. I've set up a Team on the Ravelympics for the Team Knitting Camp that start on August 8th and end August 24th. Please sign up, if your interested. I'm encouraging (not forcing, as Meg always says "Knitter's Choice") team mates to knit something inspired by camp, EZ, Meg, Joyce or Amy. Even better if we're authentic and use Schoolhouse products, but certainly not a requirement.

If the yarn comes in, Shetland Spindrift in Sunrise that I've ordered (it's annoyingly backordered right now) then I'm going to knit the New Zealand Sweater as my Ravelympic event, but haven't decided on a backup if that falls through. Although, the compass point sweater is calling me and tempting me to start yet another project, naughty thing.

Go to the groups tab on Ravelry and look for the Ravelympics 2008 group and sign on up. There is a thread that I've started for our team. Come, join one, join all and let's Knit Onward.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

This one time at Knitting Camp ....

Meg showed us the wonderful new design for the 35th Anniversary of camp that is going to be in the next Wool Gathering. I want it. Bad.

Lots of gorgeous lace shawls were modeled for Show and Tell. ThereseS is here modeling hers. (I think she said that this was her first lace shawl that she knit. Her lacework is beautiful). I had the pleasure of driving ThereseS to camp from Wausau as she was in town visiting her daughter. She is lovely and was a delight to have in the car.
Meg modeled one of the designs coming in the new book published by Schoolhouse Press on Double Knitting. AHHHH! Sorry, I can appreciate the project, but I think I'd rather have a root canal without gas than double knit.

We watched campers model items they had made or wanted to. Now, I want to make them... ALL.

We acted a little goofy. AmyKnitsOn is wearing a hat made by a camper.

We shopped, and shopped, and shopped, and shopped, and thought about shopping, and shopped some more. Here is one of Earthtonesgirl's piles of purchases for consideration.

Meg cooed and ahhed in all the right places about our Show and Tells. Earthtonesgirl modeled her G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S. Aran Coat knit in Malabrigo.

Did I mention we shopped?? Here is a picture of the Henley Neck Fair Isle from Knitting Around that I fell in love with. I kept putting it on and didn't want to take it off. After a few tries I came up with a different color scheme that I wanted to do and cast on.

The Clique had their picture taken with Meg. (left to right: me (notice this is the only picture I got with the February Lady Sweater on, RoseKimKnits, Meg and Earthtonesgirl.

I had to overcome my fear of the Knitted Gimp masks that were scattered around the room, that remind me of Pulp Fiction. So, how do I overcome that fear, by modeling them with Earthtonesgirl (for the record: RoseKimKnits drew the line with sticking a funky gimp mask on her head that probably numerous campers have worn.) Note: I was so sleep deprived at this time that I actually smiled behind the mask while posing for the picture. Ditsy or what?

Amy D. and I pose a shot together. The queen of all things purple!
Jessica and I mime our dinner at Royal Tokyo Restaurant, when we forgot that we shouldn't talk about politics in public. Jessica is channeling Rosemary's Baby or Satan Reincarnated and I'm ... well, I'm in need of a diaper change.
The girls. Nuff said. xx