Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Another gift finito

We played tennis Sunday, it was cold and windy which called for some extra warmth. I grabbed my alpaca Fetching's on the way out of the door. While playing, my friend mentioned that she needed some fingerless mitts.

I dug out the leftover yarn from my daughter's On Demand Gloves and whipped up these little Fetching's for my friend.


6 row cable repeats, just knit an extra row before working cable row

Worked palm rows in stockinette instead of 4 x 1 rib

Bound off normally omitting picot edge (that rolls)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Redwood Smoke: help from a fellow knitter

Back in November I found myself in a quandary. Redwood Smoke was nearing completion and the edging yarn ran about 10 yards short. This is the Woodsmoke scarf pattern published in Brave New Knits. Smoke signals were sent up with success and this sweet knit was finished in a jiffy!

Just one more example of what a helpful tool Ravelry can be in making our fibery dreams come true.

The updated search options made it super easy to locate projects that had been knit out of this particular color of Malabrigo Silky Merino. I searched for finished projects and then asked those who had bits and pieces of the yarn left over for help. Locating a fellow knitter who would not only part with her yarn, but sent it to me right away and refused to accept payment was made easy.

Once the package arrived, this scarf was finished in no time flat. The colorway matched and is indistinguishable from what was originally used.

My plan was to gift this as a Christmas present, but I am finding it difficult to part with.

Many thanks to Mary who goes by Hellskitch on Ravelry. I appreciate your kindness.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

It's just that time of year

We are hosting my husband's work Christmas party this year. I believe most of the stress has passed (thanks to red wine)and the oh-well-it-will-all-work-out stage is firmly in place. Up until yesterday it looked as if Elves threw up all over our house. There were boxes and containers everywhere holding plenty of mis-matched Christmas decor. We've tried to whittle down things that probably won't be used, but there is always one more box. Yesterday allowed some headway and I was even able to sweep the floor!

Knitting has been occurring and this vest is a gift for my dear friend, Amy. It is the Mary Swanson cardi-vest and I simply adore it. It is knit in Brown Sheep Worsted and the main color lived in my stash for a long time. I picked up the contrasting colors from my LYS. It was a quick knit and this is definitely a pattern I will knit again.

The colorwork is actually knit in, but duplicate stitch will be used next time. Purling in colorwork was fiddly even though it turned out nice and pretty even.

Typically, I do not gift handknit items for Christmas. Amy is an exception. She appreciates everything and will be thankful (even if she doesn't like it). I suspect she will wear it quite often as a vest in this weight is very practical this time of year.

Stay tuned, there is at least one more post in me before the holidays are over and I might even throw in a photo of the decor!

Friday, November 12, 2010

sending up smoke signals

redwood smoke scarf (4)
Have you checked out Jared Flood's Woodsmoke scarf? What a great gift idea! It doesn't take long to knit at all and I've always loved the process of knit-on edging.

redwood smoke scarf
The nagging began in the back of my mind two days ago. It seemed like I may run short on the edging yarn. I kept knitting and tried to focus on the positive possibility that there may be enough...just enough yarn to finish.

Sadly, my suspicion was confirmed. Last night, I knit the last full repeat possible and found myself short of yarn.

Estimates put me approximately 10 yards short and I've messaged a Raveler with leftovers to see if she is willing to part with it. Let's hope she answers my 'smoke' signal!

Malabrigo Silky Merino is very pleasing to knit with. I've used it before and remember how yummy this yarn actually is. It usually runs around $11 for 150 yards and the colors are fabulous. The inside of this scarf is knit with Redwood and the edging is, of course, Smoke.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Christmas swap

Our first Christmas party in the South introduced us to a different way to exchange holiday gifts.

In the North, you bring a wrapped gift, they put a little number on it, you pull a number out of a 'hat' and receive the corresponding gift. Nice, neat, over.
ruffle scarf gift swap (3)
In the South, you steal. The host figures out a numbering system and each person chooses a gift in order. If you like a gift that someone else has already claimed, you can 'steal' their gift in place of your turn and that person gets to choose another package to unwrap. Ideally, you want to be the last one then you get to choose from everything then no one has a chance to steal it from you.
ruffle scarf gift swap (2)
I must admit, the Southern method is much more fun!

This year, my day tennis team is having a gift swap. Most of the ladies are....a little more seasoned than me and I was having trouble coming up with a gift idea. Hopefully, they will love the idea of an alpaca scarf!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

News and new socks

From time-to-time, I browse articles online from my hometown newspaper. I first moved away 8 years ago and had my parents send the papers. It was a fun day when a package arrived and there was time to catch-up on happenings where growing up meant you knew everyone. Eventually, the packages converted into piles to be enjoyed with a visit to my parent's house. Finally, infrequent visits to the online site replaced the paper altogether.

1980 population was almost 9,200 and ticked in at nearly 23,000 this year. You can still find a very nice home in a wonderful neighborhood (there is no 'bad' part of town there) for under $200,000. It was a great place to grown up. During returns for visits and browsing wedding announcements, I find few names that are familiar. Many of my graduating class and those near my graduation year still live in town. Sometimes, there will be reference to people who have to be the children of my long ago friends.

Today was a browse the news online day and a smile came easily. A teacher who tutored my oldest son in middle school is getting married. I am happy to have taken time today to check on my hometown.

On the knitting front, Through the loops Mystery Socks 2010 is complete. The Madelinetosh yarn is fabulous! I think yarn with some elasticity should be used for my socks and I rarely choose sock yarn with that characteristic. Our climate is warm and handknit socks are generally worn around the house so it tends not to matter much.

The pattern is lovely and a new pair of socks are in the house!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Through the loops mystery sock: the foot

TTL 2010 footWhew! Where have the last few weeks gone?

Most of the family has been fighting some kind of bug which seemed to have passed me by - until yesterday. I woke up with sore muscles and feeling a little under the weather but am better today. One day of feeling a little bad is bearable. The weather is changing most noticeably by the number of leaves in the pool. We don't have many plants which loose their leaves, but our neighbors do! The winds blew strong yesterday and the skimmer basket was so heavy that I could barely dig it out to empty it. It has been warm and humid, though. No complaints because we have 20 degrees on our previous town and 10 degrees on my home town. Seems like this is where the big difference begins in temperature.

The TTL Mystery socks are nearly complete. The toe directions come out this Friday and it is exciting to have a pair of new handknit socks. It has been quite awhile since I've made a pair and had been hankering to knit some when this sweet KAL came along. Kirsten does a wonderful job of keeping up with questions and her designs are fun and different. My socks from last year are still a favorite.

TTL 2010 foot (2)The Mardi Gras vest is still coming along. I have knit through the second whirligig and started on the 3rd. It does occur to me that it is nearing time to begin any Christmas presents that might be needed...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mystery sock and a vest

whirligig version 2
Let's talk about the vest first. I've covered this darned thing so many times and feel like it is on the verge of a breakthrough. The second one is cast-on and through the first Whirligig pattern. The side stitches and middle stitches are are marked proving that the pattern will be centered when the decreases begin. I can't bring myself to frog the first version and if I end up not needing the extra yarn, maybe it will become a bag. The goal is to have it finished for Mardi Gras '11. A noble goal since it should have been ready for Mardi Gras '09.

the heel
The TTL mystery sock is going well. With the short heel clue this week, both socks are all caught up and ready for what comes next. I've knit enough socks to know that there should be nylon in the fiber content, but this sock yarn has been with me for awhile and wanted to be knit up. It is Madelinetosh and the color is fabulous.

Mid-way through the first trowel pattern repeat I switched to smaller needles. This is the largest size and I've found that doing this makes a snug fit around ankle and helps prevent sock slippage.

There have been 1001 interruptions while trying to blog this today so let's call this finished and weave in the loose ends in the next post.

Monday, October 04, 2010


Have you seen the Twist Collective Newsletter?

They've included a photo of my Acorns!

Take a look.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

How did I forget this?

The Pi shawl is finished blocking! How I missed posting photos mystifies me. The thought was to take some modeled photos, but these will have to do for now.

EZ 100h pi shawl complete (3)

EZ 100h pi shawl complete (4)
Yes, I wove in the little loop sticking up through the middle.

EZ 100h pi shawl complete

EZ 100h pi shawl complete (2)

Through the loops mystery sock: the cuff

The first clue came out yesterday. I knit it up while catching up on Greys Anatomy and Fringe.

One repeat was added to the cuff to make it just a tad longer.

It isn't too late to join! Zip right over and get the first clue.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


For all of you podcast lovers, check out Knit Knit Cafe. This week they cover Acorns by Carol Sunday and my technique is discussed.

It has been hard to find something worthy to blog about. Sure, lots of things are going on, but to sit down and actually put something into an interesting context...that takes some concentration.

I have been knitting. Still flying high from the Acorn sweater, knitting continued on with Wendy Knits' tribute to Elizabeth Zimmerman's 100th birthday Shetland Pi Shawl. I double-stranded some incredibly beautiful Briar Rose Angel Face and went down a path that led to casting off over 1100 stitches. I thought it would never end! The shawl is ready to be blocked and every night leaves me wondering where in the world this monster can be pinned out and left for a day or two.
October 1st marks the beginning of Socktoberfest and Kristen Kapur's Through the Loops mystery sock will be the project again this year. Last year's sock is a favorite and the yarn for this year nearly matches in color.

The closing of Bloglines nudged me to finally find another way to track blogs. Google Reader allowed easy import of my tracking file. It is very pleasing to have those blogs there waiting to be read, but there hasn't really been time to peruse them.

Physical therapy has taken a lot of time. My calf muscle was strained playing tennis the first week of day play. 3 visits a week for 3 or 4 weeks now has left me irritable at not having the regular activity that brings such satisfaction. It is better and we began strengthening it last week. The first few times back on the court were questionable, but there have been a few wins (one miserable loss) to boost my confidence.

So, I am not sure these tidbits leave you with anything useful. Just sitting down and putting it out here has helped me slot my thoughts in a more organized manner. The last drop of coffee has been drained from my mug and the day began long ago with Darby nuzzling me to get up out of bed. There must be something that needs attention.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My favorite new knit

acorns grandmas blessing (6)I've fallen helplessly in love with this sweater. My journey began nearly two years ago with a package from Chris at Briar Rose Fibers. The box contained a huge, squishy hank of Grandma's Blessing which is a superwash sport-weight wool. The colors fit me (Chris has often indulged my desire for greens and blues) and that huge skein called to me.

Enter Carol Sunday's Acorn pattern. Hours were spent on Ravelry while looking for the perfect sweater for my coveted yarn. Acorns did not disappoint.

It took a quick month to finish, but it honestly sat over a week waiting for buttons.

The only modification made was to lengthen the torso by 1 1/4 inches.

Instead of using waste yarn for the cast-on, I decided to use an extra cable with the screw-on ends already attached. These are from Knit Picks. The cable was just held in place of the waste yarn and is flexible enough to stay in place. This worked wonderfully and the live stitches are already on a cable! When ready I just screwed on the correct needle size and knit. When using this technique, you want to keep the provisional yarn tight and you may want to work the stitches through the back loop for the first row to tighten-up the provisional stitches.

Although it seems intuitive, I also slipped the live sleeve stitches onto small cables with the screw on ends. They were waiting there and when it was time to work the sleeves, I attached the needle ends and went to work.

Next up: Completion of the EZ 100th birthday Pi Shawl

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hat to dye for (and Pi too)

My knitting mojo is back with a vengeance. The Pi Shawl is coming along nicely and here is a photo with the first and second parts complete.

Knitting this is making me very happy and the fact that the pattern is broken into pieces is a bonus. When a portion is published, I knit on it until finished and then go back to my other project (which I really need to blog about).

What I really want to blog about is a hat that came out in the newest edition of Vogue Knitting. Color work calls to me and this hat just made my heart do cartwheels.

Buying new yarn hasn't really been on my list of things to accomplish so I searched through that big bag of KnitPicks Palette and found some things that might just work.

The pink was not 'wine' enough. Then thoughts went running through my mind and a pretty good idea came.

Some of the pink yarn went onto the knitty knoddy

and was cooked....for too long! The yarn turned black with too much dye.

After a second try, the perfect shade was produced

The first try is on the right and the second on the left

This is the color before and after

All ready to cast-on.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pi Shawl Section One

Directions for the first section were posted Sunday morning. Here is a link to the PDF.

We had brunch with friends and I cast on as soon as we arrived home. At first, this shawl and I appeared to not be getting along, but my eagerness was the culprit. Everything finished up pretty well later that afternoon.

The next section comes out this Wednesday. It isn't too late to join if you are just yearning for a way to celebrate Elizabeth Zimmerman's 100th birthday.

My morning did not begin as expected. Today was my annual exam and I know we all dread it. Once the process is over, I feel empowered and accomplished. Last year was my first in our new location and I saw a new Doctor. My appointment was in the afternoon and after waiting a good, long time they told me that she was in delivery at the hospital adjoined to her office. She was nearly finished and then arrived a small while after they informed me.

Fast forward to this year and keep in mind that I am not typically a ultra patient person. My appointment was for 9A and I arrived 10 minutes early to update paperwork. They took me back at 9:20A and gave me instructions for the paper gown... Time ticked away and all of my feelings about the previous year were bouncing around in my mind. I was cold and by now I needed to go to the restroom. No option to solve either problem. It felt like it had been for-ev-er since I'd disrobed, there was no clock to help me with the time. Finally, I got up, got dressed...and left. Boy, was I angry! Fortunately, my daughter's doctor office was right next door and they had a new patient appointment in less than a month.

It is incomprehensible to me that a medical 'professional' can be so unprofessional in the treatment of their patient. My time is just as valuable as hers. I guess that is why it is so easy to just choose a different provider.

Later in the day things began to work a little more smoothly and the afternoon has been peacefully nice.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Me-oh-my Anniversary Pi

Fleeting thoughts about celebrating Elizabeth Zimmerman's 100th birthday have been crossing my mind and then promptly being forgotten.

Today was the perfect day to catch-up on some of my favorite blogs and Jodi's post laid out the perfect opportunity to show appreciation for EZ's contribution to this craft I so truly love. Plus, I've always wanted to make a Pi shawl. Seriously, yummy lace and it is named 'pi'. I love pie and think of it every time 'pi' shawl is mentioned.

The link to Wendy's blog gave details for the swatch and ideas for the perfect yarn danced through my head. After much searching, the yarn was located and the swatch was complete - I am in!

I’ve chosen to use Briar Rose Angel Face in Autumn tones. The yarn will be held double which may run me a tad short. If this happens, I will make modifications or finish it out in a complimentary colorway. Definitely walking on the wild side - first pi shawl and fearlessly tempting yardage.

Pre-block swatch measures 3.75” across by 2.75” high Blocked swatch measures 4.25” across by 3.25” high. This means my finished shawl will be approximately 60".

I just can't wait until Sunday!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Baby things go so fast

No babies here, but when this pattern was published in a special issue of Interweave Knits last year I wanted to make it.

Anything with seed stitch attracts me. It is such an attractive stitch adding just the right texture. It can be a pain to knit in large amounts.

While browsing through a yarn store, this yarn jumped at me. It looked like enough yardage for the Whirligig Shrug, but it was a guess as to if it would really work because there was no yarn band. They may have told me what this yarn was. I didn't remember. Anyway, the color was perfect and it is washable.

This pattern is well written and should fit like a dream. I will definitely make this again in the future.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Warm hats not needed

My new issue of Interweave Knits arrived with the Brattleboro hat pattern that could not be resisted. The designer used worsted weight malabrigo which is beautiful but a little warm for Louisiana weather. I knew there was some beautiful Malabrigo Silky Merino in my stash and it was easily located (bonus)!

After swatching it was apparent that the DK weight yarn could be made to work and it turned out quite nice. The lighter weight will work well for Bugg while going to school in the 'Winter'. She has decided to stay here this semester to see if she likes it. We are thrilled!

All things Darby: After one week on the new insulin, Darby is back to himself. He has gained a little weight and has been playing with his buddy Kasey. When it is time for his shot, he walks up to me and bows his head down. Once finished, he looks up for a kiss on his little snoot. Gosh, I love this dog!

Friday, July 30, 2010

I finished something!

I've wanted to blog, but things here tend to be kept light and focused on crafty pursuits. There have been way too many distractions with my Hubs and favorite pup.

Hubs is much better and they are keeping tabs on his blood pressure. He can finally drive himself, lift moderately, and get into the pool. It must have felt like he was on lock down.
Easter photos for Alaina 2010
Just as Hubs healed, Darby began getting sick. This is a major issue for us because Darby is the favorite pup of all time. I joke and tell people he is my 'best kid'...and sometimes (most), I mean it. Hubs and I have often talked about having him cloned because he is the best dog ever. Darby does whatever is asked of him and he is very smart so he understands many words and requests then carries them out. When he began drinking LOTS of water and had an accident or two on the floor, we were very concerned. Turns out that he is diabetic and now requires two insulin shots a day. For the past two weeks, I try to get him to eat a little in the morning then watch him bow his little head for me to give him the shot - what a trooper! He has lost a little weight, but is doing much better. Whew!
Chiara wrap (4)
I've been spending a little more time sitting with my pup in his chair while knitting. The upside has been that the Chiara shawl is finally finished. This is a very nice yarn which has sheen and a small halo. The brown lured me in, but I don't wear much in the tones that will match. I guess it was a step outside the usual of blues and greens.
Chiara wrap (6)
Chiara wrapIt seems my knitting mojo may have returned, because the Battleboro Hat has been cast-on. This is an experimentation on making DK weight yarn work for a Worsted weight pattern. More to come.