Friday, December 28, 2007

The bird on my thumb

Managing to knit something around the holidays is easier said than done at our house.

Kate Gilbert's pattern - A Bird in the Hand - caught my eye while browsing on Ravelry and I thought the gauge would work based on my Ivy League Vest gauge. Knit Pick's Palette has been sitting around in stash for awhile and seems to have worked fine. The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn, but it is difficult to find the extra Cascade 220 when I need it...

Purple and Cream colors were used for this mitten.

Mom and Dad are visiting for a few days and Mom modeled the mitten for me this morning. I haven't stitched the little bird features yet.

Speaking of which, Hubs gifted me with 10 storage containers for Christmas (yes, I asked for them). They've helped reign in the excess yarn flowing from my yarn closet. In the beginning of organization, it is apparent that I have enough yarn. I won't make promises not to purchase, but I vow to take advantage of the de-stash group on Ravelry very, very soon.

The Short Row Hat designed by Veronik Avery is a free pattern that I used along with left-over Wistful yarn from Briar Rose. The hat is a fun, quick knit and I will make it again in the future with yarn that will show more definitive color changes.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dirty Christmas Carols

I find myself singing Christmas songs at this time of year. I find myself ad-libbing dirty words. Hubs and I discussed this not long ago after musing that there may be a market out there for an x-rated Christmas CD - Hubs replied "everyone I know sings dirty words" after hearing me ask if it was only us that butcher these traditional songs with smut.

While Rockin' around the frickin' tree this morning, it occurred to me that there has not been a sharing of the tree hunt from a few weekends ago. So...a few photos:

...Later we'll share some !#1*&# pie before we do some !$@##!

And on to the tree:

We walked the fields looking for the perfect tree. The youngest son found one, Bugg found one and it didn't take a genius to figure out that we could not choose EITHER of those trees because we'd never hear the end of the bickering. My strategy was to drag them all around the other fields and return to suggest a couple of others that we had not previously eyed. It worked! Everyone was freezing and relented with sighs of relief - Just cut it already...and he did, just before the camera battery died.

Youngest son put the stand on and lugged the brute tree into the house. He stood it up and I winced as it it was pushed up to it's full height.....2" shy of the super tall ceiling (gulp). The only thing working for the topper was a Santa hat.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What I finished today

The photos could never do this scarf justice. I set up the camera on self timer and tried to take modeled shots, but kept getting the door and door knob or just a small portion of the scarf and a lot of chin (where did all of that chin come from anyway?).

Settling for these few shots will suffice for now. 2 skeins of Handmaiden Silken in the Glacier colorway and a bunch of beads ordered from for the price of a song.

For my next project:
Hubs also asked for a 'plain old hat'. I've been making these 'plain old hats' for the past two years and he said, "no, you know - a plain old hat".

Hmm...that got me to thinking and I dug out my copy of Never Knit Your Man a Sweater, flipped to the Watch Cap and proudly produced the page for him to see.

YES! That is the kind of hat he wanted. I was not thrilled - how fun can inches upon inches of 1x1 ribbing be? Turns out it wasn't much fun, but I whipped it up in a day or so and he was SO thrilled that the pain of the 1x1 rib was soon forgotten. As soon as my favorite youngest son spied the hat, he begged for one "just like this". OMGoodness, inches upon inches of 1x1 rib again. Seems that we'll do anything for these guys we love so much.
I've named this hat Watchful Cap because my husband is ever watchful over me. He takes care of all the little things necessary to keep me safe and loved.
1 skein of Cascade 220 in charcoal #8400 (picked-up at Knit a Round's sale bin in Ann Arbor last weekend for around $4.00) on size 7 needles.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Knitting goals and accomplishment

Friend Mitzi and I went to Ann Arbor yesterday. It was the first time we've spent together in awhile and our conversation wandered onto our knitting goals for 2008. UFO's were topping our lists; Mitzi with a fabulous Jane Splicer-Smith wrap, a mostly-finished-item for a work raffle, an Eyelet shell that just needs stitched, and the Babies and Bears Sweater for adults. Topping my list is the Ivy League Vest and...hmm, I thought I had a few other UFO's...

Truth is that finishing is a 'thing' for me. Knitting begins and then it is finished, rewards come in the casting on of something new. Problem is, there are tons of skeins of yarn in my stash which are tagged for projects and they WANT to be knitted. Impulse purchases are few and far between (mostly sock yarn). I am a purposeful shopper.

Mitzi pointed out that for 2007 I had wanted to knit lace and that there were a number of finished lace projects in my portfolio now.

True, true. I did knit lace and am ultimately satisfied with my accomplishments there.

We focused on my 2008 desired technique(s). What do I really want to knit in the upcoming year? Fair Isle (definitely!). Beads (on the needles now). I would also like to knit Baby Jesus - seriously, one of the blogs routinely read had a knit manger and that will be hunt down again. More lace is in order --- beaded lace, maybe? There are sketches for a couple of designs laying right here now (on the back of envelopes). The need to knit a sweater is bearing down on me now. It has been awhile since a sweater was created by my needles and I can feel one calling to me - it will be woolly...

Looking back on 2007, knitting was a huge accomplishment. The photo folder for this subject is bursting at the seams - it was a good year! Looking forward to 2008 makes me giddy. The possibilities, plans, yarn, nearly too much excitement to be contained as my heart beats faster.

Back to the UFO's...there is one black/grey sweater which didn't have enough yarn to finish (the grey yarn is discontinued and unavailable now), a multi-yarn 'surprise' sweater that (so foo-foo I would probably never wear), a navy cotton vest that just needs stitched and zippered (just lazy).

How about you-
What would you like to knit in 2008?

Are you happy with your knitting accomplishments in 2007?

What technique would you like to focus on?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Dance

We had quite the drive to reach our vacation destination last summer. We drove in two vehicles and witnessed this dance after stopping for something to eat.

Funny thing - he couldn't hear the music we were listening to, but his dance was right on beat.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'm so proud

I've been smitten with the River Rock Scarf since No Sheep For You came out earlier this year. Handmaiden Silken was on my yarn Lust List for quite awhile and when Little Knits stocked it (at 20% off, wink, wink), my order was placed.

It was certain that the Glacier colorway would be my choice and it does not disappoint. The 'waves' undulate through the scarf and make me imagine sitting by a stream, listening to the water slurp and gurgle around the 'rocks'.

This scarf is so pleasing to knit that it has nearly caused me to forget about the Ivy League Vest which was well on it's way. My passion has wained a tad (a wee tad). I contemplate the appreciation of skills and knowledge gained since the onset of this fair isle project and muse through possibly frogging the whole thing to begin anew. These feelings led me to put aside the vest for a few days and gain new insight - the answer will be clear once I return to it.

Bugg finally finished a project! We hunted all over the Southern United States for the Berroco Vibe yarn. She was set on this color and it had to be ordered. They were cast on around July ('06 or '07?). Regardless, they were finished a couple of weeks ago and they are fantastic.

I am so proud!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Teen Scarf aka Easy as Pie Scarf

Bugg's friends find my knitting fascinating. They are often anxious to learn, but finding time for them to sit down and actually put yarn to needle is another story. On occasion one of them will ask me to knit them a pair of socks - heh, heh...we ALL know the answer to this one!

In compromise, these scarves will be quick little gifts for the teen friends this year and they can knit up in one evening!

Yarn: Berroco Foliage; 100 yds (or about 100 yards of any bulky yarn)
Needles: US 11
Button: 1 1/2" to 2"

Cast on 18 or 20 stitches work in K1, P1 rib for 5"

On next row work to 2 stitches before middle and ssk, knit next two stitches together, finish row by working in established pattern. (For example; if you cast on 18 stitches you will ssk stitches 8 and 9 and knit stitches 10 and 11 together)

On next row work to gap created by the ssk and k2tog in the previous row and cast on two stitches then proceed to work in established rib pattern

Work maintaining rib until you nearly run out of yarn (or until the scarf is your desired length) and cast off in rib.

Sew button to opposite side of scarf approx. 8" from the bottom.

Note: Buttons this large can be difficult to find (or costly). Try hunting around at your LYS if the craft store buttons are not on sale.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

My new scarf (ISE5 Complete)

Big, Huge Thanks to my scarf knitter for ISE5!

Sarah knit this beautiful lace pattern with Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Fern.

It is absolutely wonderful and I love it.

Sarah also sent yarn that I must make into a dishcloth, an adorable knitting notebook and...candy, yum!

Thank you Sarah!
P.S. Apologies for the wonky photos

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Brown Tilly (finally finished)

The shawl has been finished for a few days and the result is so drastically different from it's beginnings that the post waited for good photos. Chris sent this yarn back in the summer for a sample that would be larger than the original and include a knit-on border.

The border was adapted from a Barbara Walker book and a picot edging was added to the top.

Directions for the borders have been written out. Finished measurements: 78" across the top and 42" from top to bottom point.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Insomnia manifested

What is there to worry about? Maybe I'm worrying too much about not having anything to worry about?

4AM and I was wide awake; I've learned to get up, not toss and turn.

5AM blogs read, e-mail read

6AM brew the coffee and, heck, have some oatmeal

6:05AM Make THE list

The list may be the source of my consists of

1. schedule 4 Doctor appointments for myself

2. schedule my first mammogram

(all of which are overdue)

3. schedule Orthodontic appointment for my Favorite Youngest Son

4. take the dogs to be groomed

5. knit designs
6. scrapbook

The Dr. appointments should have been made and attended by now...I am tired of going to the Doctor - the appointments lead to more work and, ultimately, pain.

Let's just skip to #5. The directions for Lace Cable Scarf knitted for my ISE5 pal has been finished since November and Brown Tilly (shown blocking) instructions are all ready, the PDF files just need to be created
#6 is a whole different issue. Way back in July the pleading began. Fortunately, a friend answered and our first expedition last week was a success. Our second session is today and dread is knocking at my door. I am not a Scrapbooker!
(yawn...sigh) Another cup of coffee, please!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Cold Butt!

Every winter I vow to not complain about the weather. It is what it is - we live in Michigan and it gets cold and grey then stays that way for 8 months. Ok, maybe not 8...but it seems like it (more like 6 months).
The pond is now completely frozen over. I guess there is a lot of work to be completed toward not complaining and I'm starting by thanking God that I don't have to sit my butt on the cold ice. It astounded me that there are Seagulls in Michigan where there is no Sea. Maybe they are fooled by the many bodies of water and the Great Lakes are huge - you might be deceived into thinking you're at the ocean.
Seriously, when it dips below freezing and the water becomes ice, I'd be heading South to visit my Seagull family for the Winter.
Don't you think this Seagull looks much, much happier than his Northern kin on the ice?
...I am a warm-weather Seagull!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Hemlock Ring

My family was here for the Holiday and Mom just left this morning. A still sadness creeps into my body on the day that they leave. It's hard to explain, but it is a realization that we're away from the things that matter and after 5 years this new 'home' is still entirely foreign to me. I had finished the Hemlock Blanket just as the majority of the family arrived for Thanksgiving. It sat in the living room looking like a sad, dried up octopus and left me wondering how something so blob-shaped could turn into something so entirely beautiful. After mom's departure, it occurred to me that blocking that blob could be THE thing that drove aside the loneliness for a little while.

Blocking this item is a monumental task. It took quite a bit of time (over an hour, easy) and I believe it will be blocked again after drying the first time. Anyway, it was impossible to resist taking some 'before' photos while it was blocking.

Yarn: Briar Rose Abundance
Needles: Size 9 DPN's and various lengths of circulars

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dream Weaver Shrug

DW Shrug 15
Originally uploaded by kniterella
It's been a few weeks since something was complete for Bugg and this shrug knit up in 2 days.

Made with Dream Weaver yarn from Briar Rose Fibers - this knit up quickly on size 15's. The yarn is a perfect mix of thick and thin which gave me a couple of ideas for other projects using the same fiber.

I've blocked the border for Brown Tilly and all of the math is complete. I should have time to start putting the border on this week. Also, I cast-on the Hemlock Ring Blanket using Abundance. This pattern was modified by Jared and seems to be all the rave of Ravelry. His photos are fabulous!

My family is coming for Thanksgiving and everyone is bringing their dogs. All of the doggies are below the knee, but there will be 8 including our 2 -- what a challenge!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Give me something to cast-on

I have truly developed cast-on-itis. This is usually offset by my need-to-finish-obia, but it seems the balance is tipping to the favor of beginning new things.

A shrug in Briar Rose's Dream Weaver will knit up quickly on size 15's.

Eunny Jang's Ivy League Vest proved too much to resist. I don't usually knit fair isle, but it calls to me. Knit Pick's Palette was dug from the stash for this project.

The yarn for Eunny's Autumn Rose Pullover was acquired at a semi-LYS last week and I am itching to cast that on as well. I've been able to far.

Brown Tilly - a Briar Rose sample has been languishing on the needles for awhile. Cast-on's described above were only begun once Brown Tilly (BT) had been blocked. The knit-on border for BT will be priority once it is dry.

Oh, that Handmaiden Silken that was on my lust list came in the mail...where are my needles?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

It'snow Joke!

Surprising weather to this point has helped my roses along. All of these were on the bushes this morning and I thought to bring them in.

After arranging them in a little vase, they went on the porch so they didn't get too warm quickly.

And then....

The snow came...

Tis true, God does have a sense of humor.

Remember my first handspun yarn?

Well....I whipped up this hat. There was only about one inch of yarn left after fastening off the crown stitches - I was sweating that one!

The ISE 5 scarf is also complete. The pattern turned out well. There are a few goodies to pick up and it will be off in the mail.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

You're what? ...disappointed in ME?

Is there a 'right' way to quit your job?

I've dedicated 3 years of my life to this place...sure, I take the summers off - but I work my butt off the rest of the year. I take calls outside of work- answer questions, use my personal cell phone (and never expense a minute). Many of these little side interruptions go unbilled. I didn't secretly line something up before leaving, I didn't use company time to surf the internet, steal office supplies, or do anything immoral/illegal/unethical...

They are disappointed in me? (incredulously)

So, I've never - ever quit a job before. Don't you write a letter resigning, sign it, give two week's notice, and walk off into the sunset?

Apparently NOT!

Is there another way to quit? I need help! the way, it looks like I have a lot more time to knit in my near future.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

My Veritable Rhinebeck?

We're off to Grand Rapids (or thereabout) for the Holiday Open House for Briar Rose Fibers.

I've been waiting for this all week!

MY yarn! The yarn in this photo is my first yarn spun on Georgia. We went to an Alpaca show a few months back BG (before Georgia) and I couldn't resist the roving which became this yarn. Really, this is my first attempt at spinning and plying (2-ply) and I am pleased at the beginnings. I'm thinking a class in my near future would help a lot.

The roving came from North Star Alpacas in Ithaca, MI. There were 2 ounces of Berringer with some light blue hand dyed silk added. Maple, from North Star, invited us out to the farm and that is something I would love to do. She was super-nice! Check out her etsy shop here -- PLUS, she has 15% off roving right now.

On another note - there isn't much yarn on my 'lust list'. Of course, anything from Briar Rose is fair game. Handmaiden Silken is the only other yarn that has been on this list for awhile. Let's face it, it would take a stronger lady than myself to resist the Tuscany shawl or River Rock Scarf in Amy Singer's No Sheep For You. When one of my favorite IYS (internet yarn stores) started carrying Silken AND had a 20% discount, I folded! Sometime soon, a package will arrive with 5 shiny skeins of Handmaiden Silken will arrive on my doorstep...all for the price of 4 skeins - what a deal! My lust list has just gotten a little smaller.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Good goobldy goo

...My 100th post! Lots of bloggers have giveaways at their 100th post and I should too, but there just isn't time right now. In the upcoming weeks I will be coming into a lot of time and will make the effort to giveaway then.

For now, I've been knitting away on a couple of things and finished the Summer of Love Lace socks from the Rockin' Sock Club. I love the yarn, I love the colors, I love the pattern. This was a fun knit...on size 0 needles, it took a little while.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Darby and Lucy get new sweaters

The 1st Annual Washtenaw FiberExpo in Ann Arbor, MI was close enough to make me jump in the car and head out. There are two reasons this fiber extravangaza caught my attention - the first being an opportunity to pick up something for Georgia and the second being an opportunity to finally meet Corinne. Darby and Lucy have been in the market for some new sweaters and they can be choosy shoppers. Only the finest for these pups and they now are the proud owners of their own Lucky Penny Hand Made Sweaters.

Lucy decided to take a nap!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Celebration Cardigan

Celebration Retro 004
Originally uploaded by kniterella

While hunting for the perfect color of Abundance to use for my mom's birthday sweater, Chris and I decided to try a double strand of Celebration.

The Retro Cardigan pattern has just been altered for a variety of sizes and I wanted to test knit a larger size for my mom.

The Celebration was very bulky while wet blocking, but dried to perfection. The bamboo in this yarn should help keep the 'heat' down when worn.

I will get some modeled photos as soon as I can see my mom - her birthday is Nov 23rd!

I also finished my first sock from the Rockin' Sock Club. The colors of the yarn coupled with the lacy anklet pattern were irresistible. I worked on it diligently at the Socktoberfest yesterday.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

What can 90 miles get you?

A FAB spinning wheel of my very own!

Spinning has called to me for a very long time. Memories of sitting in a shop (90 miles from home) two years ago watching a lady spin on a wheel. Mesmerized! I always knew a spinning wheel was in my future - I tried to suppress it, ignore it, fight it...surrender!

They say that the wheel needs a name Georgia! Georgia is a sweet thing as far as wheels go and from the moment my feet hit her treadles, she was mine! She is a Kromski Minstrel and I have Chris to thank for making sure I tried a Kromski before purchasing anything else.

I was able to produce some results in the shop - the creamy yarn on top is what I spun to practice.

...And, this is what I spun after getting Georgia home...

Mom-In-Law brought us this bowl from one of her vacations. It has been around for almost 10 years and does not match anything in our house. Turns out that she knew I was going to be needing a spinning bowl long before I ever thought about spinning - rest her lovable soul!

Oh, guess what came with my purchase...