my bland and mostly dull life with knitting thrown in for interest

Friday, December 21, 2007

and to all a good night!

The family and I are headed to CT tomorrow. I love getting out of my house for the week. I barely have any responsibilities when visiting others - I just love that! Again, we will be at my in-laws and, as I've mentioned before, they've got the two great knitting chairs! I've got 3 projects bagged up with the yarn, pattern, needles and various notions raring to go once we get there. Can't wait to share what I've been able to do once I get back.

Enjoy your time with friends and family (if that's what you've chosen to do). Hope your holidays are happy and delicious! See most of you in 08'! (don't forget that the Minimalist Cardigan KAL is starting up then!)

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

now what?

Le Slouch is done! I'm feeling very productive. I finished 2 items this week. I think I've realized that it's good to throw small projects in here and there to perk up the knitting morale. I feel like I could conquer a sweater right now...but I'm not! I'm saving sweater knitting until the Minimalist Cardigan KAL coming up in January. Over the holiday break, I hope to be knitting my very own Fanning the Flame mittens in Cascade Alpaca Sox I just picked up - aren't the colors beautiful? Can't wait!

In the mean time - I've got more yarn and more hats!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Calorimetry down - Le Slouch to go!

Finished my Calorimetry. Great quick project on chunky yarn - you have to give it a try. As it's advertised, it's great for those who wear ponytails!

Le Slouch has been cast on and I'm chuggin' away. The yarn is scrumptious! It's Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran - 85% merino, 10% silk & 5% cashmere - YUM!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Holiday Rush

Wow - have I been busy with the upcoming holiday! I took inventory of what I've got and I can honestly say - I"M DONE! Oh yeah, baby! I kept things in reason and didn't get every single person I say hello to something (like others I know, but won't mention) for the simple fact that I can't afford it. I'm not ashamed to say that I re-gift when necessary and keep a bag of things I receive that are not really me just for that very purpose. It's not to say I don't want to purchase a new gift for those I do give to - it's just sometimes I can imagine something I already received in the hands of someone more complimentary. Okay - it sounds shallow...but when you aren't rollin' in it - you have to make alternate arrangements work. You know?

Plus, let's not get into the sheer fact that I don't think you need to get every little person you know a gift for Christmas. Let's talk about your children's teachers for example... come on - maybe if they are really great or something or at least super nice, but frankly, I don't really think mine are going out of their way to educate my children to really deserve a GIFT. Oh no, there I went...I blurted it out...oh my. Too bad - that's what reality is.

RELAX, RELAX, RELAX......Okay - I'm calm again!

I have to admit that I'm really feeling the crafting guilt now that it's 2 weeks until the big exchange day and I haven't made any handmade gifts for the ones I love (with the exception of Sheldon the Turtle for my new niece - isn't he cute?).

I'm not having any problems with finding projects to knit for myself though! I keep casting on something new every few days. I'm into hats at the moment (maybe because they are small projects) like Le Slouch, Trinity Stitch Hat, Foliage and Just Like a Peasant Cap are just some of the patterns I'm buying yarn for as we speak. Then there's these awesome mittens a friend of mine is working on now that are a MUST KNIT - so I ordered the pattern, Fanning the Flames. I just fell in love with the site of them! Thanks Mary!

Okay - well - if I'm not blogging by the big day - have a merry one. Hope you eat some good food - cause if you're like me - you'll be starving yourself come 2008!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Despite being sick with a stomach bug, I am getting my family packed to head down to CT for Thanksgiving. We stay at my in-laws and always have a great time. And let me tell you about these chairs they've got in their living room! I've bragged to my knitting group that they are the perfectly designed chair for knitting in! They are U shaped with the perfect arm height to allow my arms to settle into a very comfortable knitch (nice huh?) were I can knit for hours! They swivel too, which allows me to always be a part of whats going on. I can whip out sweaters or more while in those chairs in no time at all. Maybe it helps too that my children are playfully entertained by their grandparents...but I'm sticking with my belief in those chairs. They're wonderful!

I'm bringing 3 projects along with me: crochet eco-friendly carryall, Sheldon the Turtle & Rusted Root. They're all on some needles and partially done - Maybe I can finish them all by Sunday! Anythings possible in those chairs!

Hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving with whomever you may be spending it with this year. If it's a quiet one, good for you! If it's family/friend filled, good for you too! All's good one way or another. Either way - have a good one.

Friday, November 16, 2007

crochet hurts!

I have been crocheting my first ALL crochet project the last few days and I have to tell you - crochet hurts! I know it's all in the way I'm holding the yarn. I can't seem to help it. I hold the yarn the same way when I knit - but with my right hand - and it has gotten so used to it that it doesn't even phase me anymore. My left make that left pointer finger is killing me! I've been trying other methods of holding the yarn with good tension - but without me even realizing it - I go back to using my pointer as a vice and WHAALAA - sore finger.

I do like the bag I'm kni....I mean, crocheting. It's the Crocheted Eco-Friendly Carryall. I'm huge into using my own bags when I shop and love this one because I can scrunch it up into another bag until I need it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hugs & Kisses

I wanted to make a friend something she could use and remember that she is missed and thought of. Here is my Hugs & Kisses Mug Cozy. It's a wrap around with snap closure, so you can insert it in the mug's handle as shown.

Hugs & Kisses Mug Cozy

YARN: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes - Chocolate - less than 1 skein, Cascade 220 - Rose - small amount for edging

NEEDLE(s): sz US 7 knitting needles & US G-6 crochet hook

NOTIONS: 2-3 snaps OR hook & loop tape (like Velcro)

finished measurements: 12 inches long & 2.5 inches wide

OXOX cable - (panel of 12 sts)

RIGHT CABLE - sl 2 sts to cn and hold to BACK of work, k2, k2 from cn.

LEFT CABLE - sl 2 sts to cn and hold to FRONT of work, k2, k2 from cn.

Row 1 (RS): P2, k8, p2
Row 2 and all WS rows: K the knit sts & P the purl sts
Row 5: Rep row 1
Row 9: Rep row 1
Row 11: Rep row 7
Row 13: Rep row 1
Row 15: Rep row 3
Row 16: Rep row 2

Slip Stitch Picot edging:

work one slip stitch, *chain three, insert hook into the same stitch and pull the yarn through both the stitch and the loop on the hook, slip stitch the next stitch; repeat from the * to end.

cast on 18 sts -
row 1: k3, work row 1 of cable pattern, k3.
row 2: p3, work row 2 of cable pattern, p 3.
Repeat Rows 1&2 until you have worked 5 cable repeats (measure your mug and add or subtract cable repeats as needed to snuggly fit YOUR mug)
Continue as for row 2 in cable pattern for 3 rows. BO in pattern.

With crochet hook and Rose color work slip stitch picot edge on both sides of cozy.

weave in all loose ends. Sew 2-3 snaps or hook and loop tape on each end. Wrap around your favorite mug and enjoy!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

rough & tough

I guess I'm a rough and tough knitter. I've gone and broken one of my new Knit Picks Options interchangeable needle cords! I was working on a hat in the round - yes, it was a tight start - when the unthinkable happens - SNAP!! The cord simply popped out of the metal join that screws into the different needle sizes. I didn't realize that it was just squeezed in there without some kind of glue or somethin. So - in my hands came the unraveling Andean Silk - yarn overs a plenty popped out and it was beyond my repair. Ugghh. Good thing it was just a hat! I frogged the project, called Knit Picks (no questions asked - they're send me a new cord!) and on to something else!

What is that something else, you say? Well, if it wasn't my luck that the
Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece I ordered happened to come to my door! I choose the Cavern (black) and have begun Rusted Root. So far, so good. It's knit in the round - so I'm making sure I don't tug too hard on the joins of the cord!

Tomorrow is Monday! That means knitting group! Get me out of the house and knit, knit, knit!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

rusty & green

Bison scarf in the mean time....I'm awaiting the arrival of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece to knit 2 Zephyr Designs patterns: Rusted Root & Green Gable. I got the yarn in Grey Dawn & Cavern (both are mid to dark grays to black) and will choose which one for which sweater when they arrive. Oh, I cant' wait til' the yarn comes!

In the mean, mean, time, I think maybe another hat or two from yarn in my stash. I have pretty much determined I am not knitting gifts this year, too. It's already November and I haven't started a thing for, I like too many patterns for myself. Who said that a knitter has to generously make things for OTHER people? Why am I feeling slight pangs of selfishness? This is my time and effort here, right? Why am I still feeling greedy? I'm going to stop another minute...okay...nope! I need to get to knitting group for some therapy! Monday can't come soon enough girls!

oh - just go knit something and RELAX!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Wisp Away and Old Spice

I'm chugging along on my Wisp scarf and am really liking the results. This buffalo fiber is deliciously soft and cozy. I'm about 75% through my 125 yds of yarn and will yield about a 28 inch scarf before blocking. Since it's so lacy - it's going to stretch quite a bit. This will be a neck wrap in the end - nothing that's going to go around a few times. I'll have to email a photo to Dream Come True Farm in Oxford, CT to show them what I did with the beautiful buffalo yarn they spun.

Minimalist Cardigan has been shifted to a post holiday KAL (knit-along). Most of us who wanted to do this all have too much going on through December, so we opted to commit to casting on in January. Gives more people an opportunity to join in too. I've created a Ravelry group for this KAL - so if your a member of the community - join up for the post holiday fun!

I'm taking my kids to a school Halloween party today. I've got an American Indian and a Knight. Remember the days of the plastic hospital gown style costume with the mask that would cut your lip on the mouth opening? You could go to Caldor or Bradlee's and choose any one from the bunch. I was Wonder Woman a couple times for sure! Happy Halloween!

PLEASE, PLEASE - you've got to agree with me....this is the funniest ad on TV right now, right? Click here to watch Pay close attention to that bar of soap! FYI - I use shower gel!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A package at the door!

Oh yeah! I came home today to find a package at my front door! Andean Silk from Knit Picks has arrived and I am ready to start my Minimalist Cardigan in the knit-a-long! Ohhh yeaaah!

In the meantime, I'm going to get my thrills knitting Wisp in my bison yarn. I only have 125 yards or so - but I'm going to go with US8's and hopefully will get enough length to wrap this baby around my neck.

Off I go! Knit today and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Topi down

oh yeah - finished my Topi hat late last night. I couldn't go to bed without finishing the brim. It was knit as a pocket and then you inserted plastic canvas into it for stiffness. I think it came out cute. My kids really like it! They're so proud of me after having watched me knit this for way too many days!

I was hoping my Andean Silk would arrive while I was at work today so that I can get my Minimalist Cardigan cast on and started - but much to my dismay - no packages at my door. Bummer!

I've got the knitting bug - so I've got to start a project NOW! I just don't know what....with the knit-a-long starting soon I don't want to get into anything too big....I wonder.

knit today and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

one last time...

I'm passing my time knitting Topi - a Knitty pattern - inspired by cadet style hats that are all over the place now. I am using left over Elann Sonata yarn in a steel gray from Reid's skull sweater. I thought this would be a day and a half project - but here it is the 3rd day I'm working on it. First it was getting it started. No lie - it took no less than 12 times to get it going. Then I didn't increase enough and it was too small for my head. Then I didn't make the edge long enough and it wouldn't stay on my head and then finally I forgot to switch to smaller needles for the border and had to redo that. I am just about done now - but I swear, if I find one more "mistake" I might freak!

On another note, I've heard lots and lots about Rhinebeck. I am green with envy about all the yarns I missed seeing and touching. There were so many vendors it made people's heads spin! Since I tend to be more of an impulse shopper - it was good I didn't attend because I would have spent all my money in the first hour! I heard it would have been very hard to be strategic and hit those vendors you were most interested in just because of the sheer numbers in attendance, some said it was hard just to remember where you saw what yarns. I recommended that next year they utilize technology and bring a phone with GPS on it so they can mark where they saw good yarn and be able to get back to it!

Some of my Monday knitting group and I are starting a Minimalist Cardigan knit-a-long. I'm waiting for my Barn Red Andean Silk to arrive. This came up at the suggestion of a one of the groups members last week...I hadn't planned on knitting this cardigan quite yet...but a knit-a-long...I'm in! Thanks Margaret!

ssk, k2tog....enjoy!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bison on the brain and endless ideas

I've got so many projects on my brain I don't know what to do first.

I won an Ebay auction for a hank of lace weight bison yarn a couple weeks ago. I can't seem to stop thinking about it! It's appx 125 yards of the softest, luscious brown yarn I've touched, EVER. I'm thinking about Branching Out from Knitty. This pattern calls for 190 yards - but I think I can swing it with my 125.

But, my brain is running through other projects that seem just as worthy
1) finish my Seda Vest (so close - but just not thrilling me)
2) frog my Seamless Chunky Raglan Sweater because I knit it too large (and now I've misplaced the dang pattern!)
3) frog my recycled Unbiased Bag I started 2 years ago in the recycled sari silk yarn (because it's too shallow a bag to actually put things into.
4) OR start any one of the new patterns I recently purchased that I can't wait to make! (like Rusted Root by Zephyr Style, or Deep V Argyle Vest by Eunny Jang, or Trapeze Jacket by Stitch Diva Studios)

I don't know what to do! So many choices - all so tempting...I need to quit living and just knit all day, I think!

ssk and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


My children struck again! I missed out on another Monday night of knitting group because of my family! Don't they know that if they keep me from knitting, I'm going to be grouchy? I guess they haven't figured that out yet. Both kids are in the early stages of a cold - weepy, clingy and low fevers. They couldn't wait until Tuesday....oh no. Monday's are jinxed! Maybe I should tell them I've changed knitting to Wednesday nights and then they'll start getting sick or make plans for Wednesday's instead! Maybe I'm on to something here....

I telling you now....nothing stands between me and NEXT Monday....only blood or something messy will stand in my way.....well, maybe!

ssk and enjoy!

Monday, October 15, 2007

take the plunge

so - I'd been working diligently at my Seda Vest and even got to cutting the steeks...but then I noticed that there was some unraveling occurring at the top edge where I obviously didn't crochet correctly to anchor the bound off stitches. I balled it up and shoved it into a bag and refused to deal with it. Until now...

I'm going to take the plunge and stitch down those unraveling ends and finish the damn vest already. I was so freaked by the unraveling I haven't knit in 2 weeks people! This was trauma. I researched steeking and took step by step actions to prevent just this from happening and when it did anyway I think I took it too personally.

"to err is human, to forgive devine" Alexander Pope

enough said

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A long pause.......

I don't know how it day I was posting and the next...

I must have hit my pause button somewhere. But I think I'm back in the game again. is that a word you would use if you were going to commit to something? I probably should keep it in there just to use as an 'out' should someone say "why haven't you updated your blog lately?".

Anyway - I'm up on Ravelry and I couldn't be more excited. I'm so anxious to knit and knit some more that I can't get a hold of myself. Some friends and I decided that the initial week or two you are on are going to be the most time consuming - you're loading pics, patterns, books, projects, etc. I was on for 2 hours the first day and didn't even realize it. I am going to have to pace myself. Easy does it!

ssk & enjoy!