Mar 31, 2006


Today is the end of March and, as such, the end of red and pink month for Project Spectrum. In the past few days, many other Project Spectrum participants paused to reflect on red and pink. It seemed like a good idea – especially since, in my earlier list I left off my most favorite red of all. Stinkerbelle!

'Nuff said! Have a great weekend!

Mar 30, 2006

Knitting for Tweens

Aubergine and the Jet Pontoons are moving right along but there’s really no bloggable changes to report. I also don’t have any really great kid stories to relate. What can I say – it was a very boring hump day. The weather was gorgeous. It was so beautiful in fact that I ate lunch outside while I worked on the sock. That still doesn’t really qualify as bloggable news.

What about if I said that it’s been over a week since I bought any yarn? Now that would be bloggable news wouldn’t it? It’s true! I haven’t even bought any needles, notions etc in over a week. I am trying really hard to exercise a little restraint. Have I suddenly become a responsible adult? No. I’m plotting my next (not so secret) move. Yesterday Bruce noticed my countdown to Maryland Sheep & Wool that I tucked in at the bottom of the blog. He was frightened! I, on the other hand, find the counter motivating - it’s only 5 weeks away and I must save up.

I’m also pondering two projects that are not socks. I really want to cast on for Seraphim but I’ve got an idea in my head about the yarn I want to use and, sadly, it doesn’t actually exist. I’m working on that though. I have a plan.

I also saw this in the new VK and I knew immediately that it would be perfect for Lindsey. (sorry about the photo quality)

I find that it’s so hard to find patterns for tweens that are both interesting to knit and age appropriate. There are frilly, yucky, cutesy things. There are boring things. There are things that are nice but inappropriate for school and camp and life in general.

This sweater appeals to both me and her (we agree!). The details are nice (although I question the flower thingy’s) and the construction of the lace piece and how it fits in to the sweater looks like fun. There is just enough challenge to keep it interesting and yet not so much that she’ll grow out of it before I finish. Hooray! I just need to find the right yarn and then I can dive in. I’m thinking of a lavender body with 2 shades of green for the trim. What do you think?

Mar 29, 2006

Pontoon Covers

I can’t believe that I resisted sock knitting until this past January. It’s addictive and really satisfying in its own way. I’m currently working on Jet socks for Bruce which really look more like pontoon covers. They’re enormous! Every now and again I look down at them as I knit and I feel certain that they must be way too big. Thankfully I’m knitting these toe-up - so I can slip them on his feet at regular intervals just to convince myself that they really are the right size.

This is what they look like so far. (See the quarter placed as a reference. At this point these barely cover the ball of his foot.)

After finishing the toe, I looked at a bunch of neat patterns for the insole and leg and even considered plain stockinette before settling on the Lace Rib pattern in Sensational Knitted Socks. He really wanted Jaywalkers and I thought about doing a chevron pattern to achieve something similar but I was afraid that they wouldn’t have much give. This pattern is easy to remember which makes it perfect for on the go knitting and the rib makes the sock pleasingly stretchy. I also think it works well with deep, rich colors in the yarn. Very manly! Don’t you think so?

Mar 28, 2006

Socks and Rationalization

Thanks for all the nice things that you’ve all said about the Embossed Leaves socks. I put them in the mail yesterday to __ before I could change my mind.

I got a call last week from my daughter’s school. It seems that after 3 years of speech therapy the newest speech teacher thinks that she may no longer need speech class. Here’s the thing… how can you assess her ability to say “s” and “th” and “f” (all problems for Stink) when she’s got her two front teeth missing? Hmmmm…

If you’ve been paying attention, and read the blog recently, then you’d notice that I said TWO front teeth are missing. Yup! The second one came out on Sunday night and the tooth fairy fucked up! Sunday night Stinkerbelle forgot to put the tooth under the pillow so she was very careful about it last night. Imagine her surprise when she checked it this morning and found the tooth still there. The horror! She started crying and I felt like shit.

It was time for a little parental subterfuge. I comforted her and snuggled her in my room while Bruce remedied the situation under her pillow. When we went back to her room, like magic, the money was there. All done? Nope, then I had to convince the child that she missed it the first time around. “Are you sure that you looked well?” I think she bought it. I can be pretty convincing.

Speaking of convincing… I managed to convince myself last night that casting on another project was perfectly ok. I started Bruce’s Jet socks with a short row toe. I know that I’m supposed to be working on the vest and Aubergine and the scarf and the teen top but I can explain. Really I can. Here are all the reasons why casting on another pair of socks was the right thing to do. Choose the one that suits you best.

1. I finally finished the armhole decreases on the vest and I deserve a reward.
2. I measured the vest and realized that I still have 6 inches to go to complete the back. At this rate he’ll be lucky if I finish it by Winter ’08. Doesn’t he deserve a little something to reward his patience?
3. The WIP Wipe Out rules say that if I finish a pair of socks I can start new ones.
4. At least I didn’t cast on a sweater…
5. Or buy more yarn.
6. The yarn was calling me!

Ok, if none of those are working for you then just look at this and tell me that you could resist.

I think I love short row toes. Did I mention that I stayed up until 1 am trying to get it right? That's waaaay past my bedtime. I am so tired today!

Mar 27, 2006

Go Patriots!

I am really, really not a sports fan by any measure but how can you not get just a little excited when Cinderella is practically in your backyard? I live really close to George Mason University and many students rent homes in my neighborhood so Sunday afternoon was full of honking horns going up and down my street. Yes, they’re a little excited around here and I’m perfectly ok with that since the craziness will be over in a week. The fireworks that they shot off last night at the school were a nice bonus too.

I attended the Family Day festivities at the National Building Museum on Saturday. It was lovely. There were a bunch of creative activities for the kids including a chance to dress up in kimonos, make origami objects, create their own boxed Japanese gardens and dance with DDR. Lindsey tried to get me to play DDR with her but I am incredibly uncoordinated and was thrilled to find that they shut it down early so I didn’t get a chance. Oh well!

What was not lovely were the speeches. OMG! We tried to stay for the official opening ceremony for the Cherry Blossom festival but, after a nice musical intro, they started speeches which went on forever. I tried to stay but I just couldn’t. We decided to head over to the Tidal Basin instead. As we approached we could see that the blossoms just weren’t ready yet so we decided to try to go back next week. There were some but I love when they form that delicate pink ring around the basin. Who doesn’t?

It was a great weekend and it even included another pair of finished objects. My Embossed Leaves socks. I really do love them and I will definitely do this pattern again.

Embossed Leaves Socks - 1st pair

Pattern: Embossed Leaves Socks (IK, Winter 05)
Needles: #2 Addi’s
Yarn: Knit Picks Sock Garden – Geranium
Dates: 3/3/06 – 3/25/06

Notes: I knit these on size 2 Addi’s as the pattern says and they’re fine but I think that if I went down to a size 1 for the foot they’d fit just a little more snugly. I’ll try that the next time. I also think that the yarn is getting in the way of the pattern a bit. (maybe a lot) It’s not a problem all over – just with the green. I think that color variation would work with this pattern as long as it’s the same color family. I’ll keep that in mind when I do the next pair… and the next… and the next…

I was less successful with Bruce’s Vest. I did work on it all weekend but I’m starting to remember why I put it away in the first place. It’s TEDIOUS! I will not frog it – however tempting it may be. I will also not complain about it every single day. I think that updating you all on how much I hate it is better suited to a weekly occurrence.

Mar 24, 2006

Cherry Blossoms

Tomorrow is the start of the National Cherry Blossom Festival and I hope to be taking part in the festivities. The kick off will be taking place at the National Building Museum and there will be lots of hands on stuff and demonstrations. I wish I could say with some certainty that we’d be able to go but there are way too many other things to be done this weekend. If we do go it will be the first time, in the nine years that we’ve lived in the DC area, that we attended any formal festival activities. We did get to see the cherry blossoms in person about 2 or 3 years ago but it was a spontaneous, on our own thing.

Anyway, the cherry blossoms are always gorgeous and in the past I was able to track their progress daily on my commute to the city. I used to slug (more on that some other time) and I’d approach the city each morning over the 14th Street Bridge. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, the Tidal Basin is along side of the Bridge. In the weeks leading up to the bloom you can see the subtle changes in the trees as they slowly come to life. You can kind of see what I mean if you go here.
When they finally bloom it is spectacular. Unfortunately it’s also fleeting and we’d watch the weather with great concern. Cherry blossoms are very fragile and wind or rain will hasten the end of their bloom.

This year I’m working across the river so I don’t get to see them each day and I miss them. *sigh*

In other news, I turned the heel on the second EL sock last night so I’ll definitely finish these by Sunday. Then I can try out the new blockers. Hooray! That also means that I can start a new pair of socks – maybe for me.

Have a great weekend!

Mar 23, 2006

An Experiment

I drove to work today. I’ve been thinking about trying it for weeks because I was told that it’s much less expensive than Metro and that it’s quicker. I could easily believe that it cost less but quicker… I don’t know. D.C. traffic is pretty bad. Anyway, I tried it today and I got here about 10-15 minutes faster. Considering that this is the first try on an unfamiliar route I expect that it would be even faster if I did it more often. It sounds like a win – win situation. Driving is quicker, less expensive and I don’t have to deal with the irritation and frustration that is the essence of Metro. The downside is that I usually knit on Metro and I love that. I’ll have to think on this some more before I commit myself.

So, what was I not knitting on my way to work this morning? Just the same old stuff – Aubergine, Embossed Leaves socks and… drum roll please….Bruce’s Vest! Yup, I’m actually working on it on a regular basis. I was knitting it again last night again and I hope to have the back completed by the end of the weekend. I also think that the EL socks will be completed by Sunday night.

I’m a goals oriented person so I was thinking about my immediate knitting goals yesterday and I realized that I haven’t completed much this month. What’s up with that? It’s true that I did make the 2 bears but I just don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much lately. I think it’s because none of the projects currently underway are really a stretch. The bears were easy, ditto felted bags, and the vest is just endlessly knitting the same pattern with a few increases and decreases thrown in. The socks are not mindless or easy exactly, but after working on them for so long they’re kind of familiar. All this simple knitting is making me itch for something more. Maybe that’s why, even with so much WIP, I still find myself checking out all of my magazines and web sources looking for something exciting to knit. It really makes no sense at all.

Mar 21, 2006

Snow again... WTF!

It is snowing here today after all. Who knew! Maybe they weren’t guessing after all. Normally this would make me very happy because I love everything about the snow. Really! Today it sux! It’s the first full day of spring and I’m soooo ready for it. I want to sit outside and knit and read and watch my children play.

Oh well, at least the cold outside is appropriate to the WIP that I chose to pick up again as part of the WIP Wipe Out. Last night I knit a few rows of Bruce’s vest for the first time in about a year. It wasn’t bad at all. It’s still kind of mindless but not a bad balance to the socks that I knit on the Metro every day. I have decided not to put it down again until it’s done. That means that right now I’m actively working on a pair of socks, the vest and the aubergine bag. Hmmmm… I sense there may be room for one more active project. Can you say lace?

Yes, I said lace. Specifically – Seraphim. It’s calling me. It needs to be started. Really! I just need to find the right yarn. Naturally I have a perfectly plausible reason why I must do more lace right now. Here it is – I gave away my lovely lace shawl. *gasp*

It’s like this. My trip to New York City was nothing if not full. In addition to the site-seeing and shopping I also had dinner with my in-laws on Saturday night and on Sunday we visited my grandparents in Queens. I brought the shawl to show my grandmother and the more I thought about it, the more I knew that I just had to give it to my grandmother. She tried it on and it was just perfect. Here she is in the shawl. Perfect! Right?

Here’s the thing. I was really planning on wearing that shawl to the Bar Mitzvah in May. Not that I have a dress or anything. I just know that whatever I wear – it will be better with a black shawl. So now I have to find just the right yarn for Seraphim. Any ideas?

Mar 20, 2006


Hooray! Spring arrives today at 1:26 p.m. Eastern time. I’m wearing my sweater of many colors today in it’s honor. I‘ll show you a picture of it sometime when I’m not in it. Anyway, the weather people are predicting snow for tomorrow but I’m not worried at all because I know they’re just guessing. I am positive that tomorrow, the first full day of spring will be a wonderful day. The birds will sing and the sun will shine and I WON’T FEEL LIKE CRAP ANYMORE!

If you need a little reassurance that spring is indeed coming to the Metro DC area here it is. I took this picture right in front of my house this morning. It doesn’t dare snow on lovely flowers like these. Right?

On Saturday morning Bruce and I drove to New York City. It was uneventful (always a good thing) and productive. On the way I started the second Embossed Leaves sock and I added a few inches to the Aubergine bag. Not bad. Not as much as I hoped for but… not bad either. It was a good thing that I knit on the way up because I was too worn out and tired to knit on the way home.

We got to NYC and had just enough time for a little playtime in the village. We found the handmade paper store again and I got 2 journals/notebooks (seen below with a NYC subway map). We found a store full of fancy olive oil. We ate pizza and cookies and generally enjoyed ourselves. Lovely! We walked and talked and walked some more. Suddenly, before my eyes there was a fabulous sight.

“Wow Bru, look!”
“No, next to the bakery… a yarn store!”

We had found Purl Soho. I ought to note that my dh knows me well enough to recognize that this was less the result of serendipity and more likely the product of careful studying of my handy copy of the Knitter’s guide to yarn stores. Even so, he was very patient and he sat at the table and examined the yarn with me. He even convinced me to buy 2 extra skanks of Cascade 220 “just in case”. In the end I got a little Koigu and the Cascade (seen below). The prices were comparable to home and the selection was wonderful. I hadn’t seen Koigu up close and personal before because my LYS doesn’t carry it. Yum!

NY Mosaic

Did you notice the Black Sheep above? I love it! My dh found it while he was waiting for me and we agreed that he was adorable. I just need to protect him well or he may wander off and get lost in the twin black holes that are otherwise known as my daughter’s bedrooms.

One last thing. We saw Spamalot on Saturday evening. It was fun and silly and just what I expected. Unfortunately the show started at 8 and by then I was feeling really and truly lousy. I was tired from all of the excitement of the day and just wanted to sleep. This is a picture of the t-shirt and the Playbill. If you ever get a chance you ought to check out the Playbill. It’s got a whole bunch of silliness in it that cracked me up while we waited for the show to start.

Mar 17, 2006

Mocked by a Sock

Well, I still feel lousy today but that’s probably still my fault. As it approached bedtime last night I started getting that feeling. You know the one. You’re just thisclose to the end of a project (or a sock) and you just can’t put it down till it’s finished.

The good news is that the sock came out really well and I love it. Unfortunately the pictures I took sucked so I’ll wait until I finish the second sock and do a proper photo shoot. I just got sock blockers so I can do a proper blocking job too.

I did try them on briefly and they felt so good. I begged and pleaded with them to just hop into my sock drawer to but they held firm and reminded me that they are not mine. *sigh* Parting is such sweet sorrow.

On a positive note, I’m off to NYC tomorrow morning. Bruce is driving so I get to knit the whole way there and back. Woo hoo! Better yet, my dh suggested that if we get there early enough we might do some shopping. That means yarn – right? There is a really cool place in the village where I might get a hand made journal for knitting notes too. Hmmm…

Mar 16, 2006

Look Ma - No Holes!

I feel lousy today and it’s my own damn fault. I have horrendous allergies and I always have. I can’t remember a time when the spring didn’t turn me into a sniffling, watery eyed mess. EVER!
When I was growing up my grandfather was pharmacist and he’d always bring me the newest and best allergy meds and tell me just how much a child my age ought to use. Yeah right! I’d pop pills ‘til my eyes stopped itching. There wasn’t 4 milligrams of anything that could put a dent in my allergies. Eight was good but 16 was better.

Anyway, I got older and started taking shots and rotating through all of the heavy prescription allergy meds. Finally I just got tired of being a pincushion. I also realized that I hate being medicated in any way unless it’s absolutely necessary. It seems unhealthy to prophylacticly (sp?) medicate for allergies that aren’t currently bothering me. If I don’t feel stuffy I don’t want to take meds for stuffiness.

This brings me to my current issue. It’s spring again and last weekend I could feel the pollen in my throat so I took a pill. I took them regularly, as I’m supposed to, for a few days. Then I started feeling better and stopped the *unnecessary* meds (no sniffles = no meds, see?) and got slammed with congestion which became a post-nasal drip with alarming speed. So now I’m miserable and it’s all my fault. I really do know better – I JUST HATE TAKING MEDS!

There is one bright spot in my day. It’s this lovely heel on the Embossed Leaves socks. I’m unreasonably proud of it. It’s nice and smooth and tight with no holes where they ought not to be. Sadly the sock has spoken and, though I have loved and caressed it and treated it well, it has told me that it is not destined to be mine. I can’t say who the recipient will be ‘cuz it’s a surprise. Perhaps the next socks will want to stay with me. Perhaps not.

Mar 15, 2006

That Toothless Grin

Toothless! I just couldn’t resist a shot of Stinkerbelle with her front tooth missing. It came out last night and she was so excited! It’s not the first tooth that she’s lost but it is the first in a long time. She’s been waiting (not quite patiently) for it to come out. There’s something about a kid with her front tooth missing – don’t cha think?D - toothless

I took this picture on the way to work this morning. I looked out the window of my car and something about the gray in the clouds against the blue sky struck me. It’s a little blurry because just as I snapped the picture the light changed and I had to get going. Pre-blog I wouldn’t even have had my camera with me but these days it’s ever-present.

What you can’t really appreciate from this picture is the wind. It’s incredibly windy here today. This weekend was gloriously warm and it stayed that way until yesterday. Today it is cold again. That’s ok! It’s also wicked windy out there and that’s not ok at all. Stupid me decided this was the day to go headbandless (is that even a word?) I think that all of my pictures today are a little fuzzy and hurried due to the ongoing battle with my hair.
I was also thinking this morning that I’ve shown you a lot of UFO’s lately but not much that’s current. This is the bag that I’m making for the school fund-raiser. Its aubergine and when I finish it there will be a white furry band around the top. I don’t know much more than that because I’m winging it. I do know that the strap will be a little different. Whether that’s a good thing is another question. I just haven’t been in love with any of the straps I’ve done to date. I want something more substantial than the usual i-cord.
You may also notice something else about this bag… I’m knitting it on DPN’s. See – I do have them. I just hate them. Hate may be too strong a word. I dislike them very, very, very much but in this case they’re the only thing that’s working for me. Why is it that socks feel good on 2 circs but this bag… not so much? Hmmmm… Anyway, one side benefit of using the DPN’s is that I was able to stick them on the mesh table top for a less ordinary shot of the bag in progress. That’s a plus!

Mar 14, 2006

Admitting to the UFO's

Ok, in true librarian form I figured that the best place to start my WIP Wipe Out was an inventory of WIP. Right? So here it is in all it's glory.

  1. Pattern: Lily from Louet Sales WIP - My Cami
    Yarn: Euroflax Linen

    Needles: Addi Turbo US# 0 & 1
    Start Date: Summer 2004

    Why it’s a UFO: I saw the linen yarn on Elann and I had to have it. The pattern was incidental to the yarn purchase but I like it and I think that I’ll enjoy wearing this cami if I ever finish it. I think that I put it aside because it intimidated me a bit. I’m not sure though because it was quite a while ago.

  2. Pattern: Shhhh… it’s a secretWIP - M's Scarf
    Yarn: Elann Peruvian Collection Uros in Arizona Clay
    Needles: Boye US # 10
    Start Date: Fall 2005

    Why it’s a UFO: This is for my brother. I’m less inclined to work on it right now because I’ve got some unresolved issues with him. It's hard to knit for someone who's making you feel badly - ya know? I could probably post pictures and details without any worry that he’d see them but just on the off chance that he checks in I’ll leave the details out.

  3. Pattern: On the Go Vest from Knitter’s (Winter 2001)WIP - B's Vest
    Yarn: Elann Peruvian Collection Highland Wool in Deep Blue Sea
    Needles: No clue
    Start Date: Winter 2004

    Why it’s a UFO: This is for my DH who has watched patiently for the past 3+ years as many items have left my needles and been distributed among children, nieces, nephews, siblings etc. Yes, I admit, the only things I’ve finished for him so far are hats. The worst part is that about 2 years ago my aunt came to visit and liked the vest so much that she copied the pattern and made one for my uncle. My uncle likes his very much and still my DH waits.

  4. Pattern: Teen’s Top 2 – a freebie from S.R. KertzerWIP - L's Top
    Yarn: Elann Endless Summer Collection Lara
    Needles: No clue
    Start Date: Summer 2005

    Why it’s a UFO: There is no good reason beyond the fact that I didn’t finish it before the season ended. It’s coming out well and it’s still fit the Drama Queen if I finish it this year.

  5. Pattern: Triple-Patterned Watch Cap from Hats On! By Charlene SchurchWIP - L's Hat
    Yarn: Elann Peruvian Collection Highland Wool
    Needles: No clue
    Start Date: Winter 2005

    Why it’s a UFO: The Drama Queen wanted a hat so I let her choose a pattern and colors. I started this hat but I couldn’t get past the cuff. It just didn’t make sense to me. Maybe if I take another look at it it’ll make sense. Now that I took it out I can see that it’s come off the needles and will have to be restarted. No worries! I still intend to get it done.

Now that I've written it all down it doesn't sound quite as bad. It almost seems do-able. Of course this doesn't include the felted bag I'm currently making for the school auction or the socks on my needles. Hmmm...

Mar 13, 2006

I See Spots!

Last time I posted it was Friday afternoon and the sun was shining and the birds were singing and I was feeling rather pleased with my parental abilities. Aside from the dead cordless phone it was all good so I made ambitious plans for the weekend.

bike Saturday was a whirlwind of activity. We had various lessons in the morning followed by a quick visit to the craft store (guess who got a ball-winder… woo-hoo!). This was followed by a quick stop at the GS Cookie Depot (wake me when the cookie sale is over) and a visit to Macy’s. The car was pretty well loaded down at this point. Any normal person would’ve gone home and knit but not me. I went bicycle shopping! Yup! With 8 cases of cookies, 3 giant bags from Macy’s and 2 kids in the car I went in search of a new bike for the Drama Queen. I ought to mention that my DH took the family SUV with him on the Great Golf Outing. Thankfully my Pontiac has a very deep trunk and my kids were very cooperative because we found this lovely and very expensive bicycle and took it home with us.

By the time we got home it was about 4:45. Did we rest and knit then? Nope! We went out to dinner and then to a Girl Scout craft marathon at Felicia’s. By the time I got home it was 10:30 and I was really tired so naturally that’s when Stinkerbelle got sick ALL. OVER. THE. HOUSE! Why is it that a child who is vomiting can’t stay in one place? Why?

I settled the child down and cleaned up the nastiness (that is soooo Bruce’s job) while panic set in. What if this was the wicked 5 day virus once again appearing in my house? Who’d stay home with the kids? I really can’t. What about all the shit I was supposed to do on Sunday?

Never fear – Stinkerbelle woke up Sunday morning feeling fine and there was no sign of her illness except for little freckle-like dots around her eyes. They were apparently petechia caused by the vomiting. Nothing major but they totally freaked me out. Never-the-less I stayed close to home on Sunday. I watched Stinkerbelle to be certain she was ok and did household stuff that I’d been neglecting.

Sadly the one thing mostly missing from this weekend was knitting. I did break in the new swift and ball winder and they were great – but not much knitting was done. Not to worry, I’ll make up for it this week not that Bruce is home. I also joined the WIP Wipe Out to try to focus on old unfinished projects. I guess that means that if you’re waiting for me to finish something there’s hope!

Mar 10, 2006

Golf & Guys - Day 1

Actually, Bruce left on the Great Golf Outing on Wednesday night so yesterday was my first full day. That leaves me solo for a few days. I felt a little worried about this because I'm really not a morning person at all - I'm also not a cleaning the house, doing the dishes or taking out the garbage person. You get the idea - right? Anyway, I wasn't sure how this all would work out but so far so good. For those interested in keeping score I can sum up the first full day like this:

  • Bloody noses - 2
  • Cordless phones in the bathtub - 1
  • Children delivered to school on time with all their crap - 2
  • Children picked up from school on time - 2
  • Children declining to eat the nutritious dinner I served - 1
  • New knitting projects begun -1
I'll spare you all of the boring details but I think I did quite well. There were no real surprises (except for the phone in the tub but it recovered nicely). Notice that I started a new project last night. The school is doing a silent auction and they called for donations so I'm making a felted bag for them. I'm using the purple yarn for which I already test-felted a swatch a few weeks ago. How's that for being prepared? It's not terribly photogenic yet but I think that it will be soon.

I had been pondering this yarn before I got the flyer from the school. It's left over (yup, you heard that right) from a blanket and sweater set that I made for my neice 2 years ago. I don't know if I just totally miscalculated and overbought or if the yardage was off or what. I really just don't recall and, as I 've stated before, my math sucks so anything is possible. The bottom line is that I have 6+ skanks of this cotton yarn and I think that it would make a nice summer top for the Drama Queen. I sat with all of my assorted books and magazines on wednesday night and I came up with.... nada! I just don't know what I want to do. Figuring this ought will be project #2 for this weekend.

I have one other thing to offer today. I saw this flower as I was getting into my car this morning. As usual I have no clue what it is but I love it. I actually recall planting it at some point but still I can't remember the name. It's so delicate and the color is lovely. I hope it brightens your day like it did mine.

Mar 9, 2006

Seeing Red... and Pink

Well, I took a tour of my house last night in search of all things red or pink. I was shocked to find very little.

chair cow

Here is Bruce's La-z-boy which is too big for anyone else to sit in comfortably and a cow from my collection. I think that it's a replica of one of the Cows on Parade cows.

butterfly strawberries
Here is a butterfy from Stinkerbelle's room. It's one of 6 that hang from her ceiling. It goes really well with the rag-rolled walls in sky blue and the band of butterflies stamped around the perimeter. Naturally - she wants it all gone! she'd much prefer Star Wars or superheroes. Oh well! I'm the mommy and I say it stays.

Next to that we have some strawberries - one of my favorite fruits. I can never resist them but they often go bad in my house because I'm the only one who eats them.

hilfiger sweater hair dyrer
Here is my favorite sweater that I didn't make. I'm actually wearing it right now. Bruce bought it for me for Valentines Day last year and I always feel good when I wear it.

Ok, this is lame but I'm including my hair dryer too. It rounds out the display nicely and it's way more photogenic than my red fleece Lands End Anorak. I love the jacket but the hairdryer is nice too.

I really do like red but I guess I'm just more drawn to other colors. Thanks for the meme Margene!

Mar 8, 2006

Long-A** Post

I've been seeing a lot of folks flash their stash, or some part of it lately and it's been fun. I'll get to that another day. Today I'm flashing my readable stash of knitting books, magazines etc. This first shot is of my books. As you can see I've got a few of them. I think that it's a reasonably well-rounded collection but certainly it is not without room for improvement. Not shown is Knitting Without Tears because it was in my shoulderbag at the time. There is some Alice Starmore, Nicky Epstein, Nancy Bush and others. The binders are full of stuff that I've pulled from the internet. There is a wealth of stuff out there provided by magazines, fiber companies etc and I have copies of a lot of it. I've got it all organized by type of project right now - socks, sweaters, bags, etc. - but the librarian in me really wants to index it by designer and yarn type and cross reference it with "see also's". I'm working on a plan for that. Really I am.
This is my basket of magazines and stuff that I'm pondering. I'll admit that there are a few People Magazines thrown in there too but mostly - it's knitting. There are issues of many knitting magazines in there - Knitter's, Interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting, Knit 'N Style, Family Circle Easy Knitting, and Knit It! I've tried them all at one time or another but these days I'm most into IK and Knitter's. The basket sits next to my knitting seat on the couch so they're always at the ready. As you can see I have some Katia magazine/leaflets too. I find that they have a lot of nice, unfussy stuff for older kids. I'm thinking of doing another one from the one in the picture soon. I just need to get the right yarn.

Just in case that doesn't provide enough inspiration there's also this stash
which is stored inside my knitting cabinet. The pile hiding among the yarn is more Knitter's Magazines. In the plastic bin is the real treasure though. That's where I keep all of the really old leaflets that I got from my grandmother. Some of them go back to the 1950's. I have her notes for sweaters made when we were young and stuff she cut out of magazines.

While I hope it's been entertaining (and not too scary) this tour has a point. I have ample sources for projects. I could stay busy using just these books and magazines for many, many years. There are plenty of things in there that appeal to me and I've actually bought yarn to do a few of them. Why then did I need to get
this yesterday? Didja peek? It's the Seraphim Shawl. You'd think I would have learned my lesson with the Diamond Fantasy Shawl. Perhaps I enjoy the torment. Actually, I'm hoping that without OYLMPIC PRESSURE weighing down on me this will be a more pleasant experience. Here's the thing - I'm gonna wait to get the yarn for it at Maryland Sheep & Wool. In the next 2 months it's possible that I'll come to my senses and realize what a bad it is for me to attempt this shawl.

While I ponder the Seraphim Shawl I need a project so while exploring the stash I came up with 2 UFO's and I need to decide which one to attack.
On the left is One of the Teen tops found here. It was actually making nice progress before I pushed it aside. I like the colors (I forget the yarn - probably Elann something) and I could finish it well before the Summer - perfect timing! On the right is another, much older summer project. That one is/was for me. The yarn is Euroflax Linen in Sandalwood (?) and it is going to be Lily a lovely camisole knitted in the round. I probably started it about 2 years ago and, as you can see, I didn't get far. What do you think? Which shoud I pick up again? I think that it will be the stripey top for Lindsey because I can't even figure out where I was in the other pattern. than again - you never know!

Last but not least I present - the Cable Guy!
Some anonymous commenter suggested the name and it works so there you have it - my second Bay Window Bear. I think I'll lay off the bears for a while and see if I want to go back and do a third.

Sorry for the long-ass post. Happy Hump Day!

Mar 7, 2006

Six of One...

... and half a dozen of the other. Isn't that how it goes? It does for me. Bear number 2 (no name yet - suggestions?) is a perfect example.Bear in process I have succeeded in eliminating most of the annoying seams and that makes me happier than you can possibly imagine.Unfortuntely, knitting this bear in the round necessitated using the dreaded double point needles and I'm hating that - A LOT!

I think that knitting it in the round also makes the bear a little more pleasing in shape. I have added just a few extra stitches to the feet so that they'll flare a bit but most of the dimensions of the bear remain as written. Because there are fewer stitches consumed by seams it ought to be slightly fuller. Right? Anyway, as you can see, this bear doesn't use any fuzzy yarn but it does have a seed stitch hem on the sweater and a slight cable up the middle. If I do another bear I expect that I'll add a few stitches to the sweater to allow for a little more fun in the cable.

I am also working on a sock right now. I'm doing the Embossed Leaves pattern and I think that I may do this pattern many times. I still think that the color of this yarn is a little funky and I wonder what I was thinking when I bought it but it's growing on me. Can you imagine what this pattern will look like in Seaweed? I may have to try that out.

Right now the pattern is a little hard to see in this picture but I'm sure that blocking will do wonders for it. I have to say though, that I'm really enjoying the sock in this state. It's kind of sculptural.

I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that I went to another craft show last weekend. I have a friend whose husband insists on referring to them as "crap" shows. Hardly unique I'm sure but, in this case, it was fitting. It was so small and there was little to warrant any excitement at all. I bought nothing! That should speak volumes.

Mar 6, 2006

You can call me Al!

This is Al. As it turns out, he would prefer not to be known as the Alien Bear. He likes Al much better. Ok, Al it is! I think that he may bear (pun intented) more than a passing resemblance to Mr. Bill. What do I know? Anyway, here he is in my backyard. I planned to do a post yesterday morning as part of the field trip and I even took the pictures but my yard is way to gray and uninviting to share right now.

I did see some encouraging signs of life though. Here
are some Tiger Lilies that are just starting to make an appearance. I didn't plant them in my yard but I love them. My backyard has a major slope to it (thankfully away from my house) and this bed of Lilies forms a ridge that is about 2-3 foot in length and 18 inches wide going across the hill. Due to the slope, the yard is mostly unusable and therefore - unkept. But... someday I plan on adding a deck off of the back of the house. I expect that will inspire me to do some yard improvements. Water feature anyone?

This is a picture of
the flowers that are scattered in the lawn in front of my house starting to reach for the sun. They too were planted by the former owner. They had a habit of planting haphazardly and we ripped our most of their efforts within a year of moving in. These flowers remain though because they pop up so early in the Spring and it's always a kick to see the pretty purple flowers peeking out of my nasty lawn. I think they're crocuses but I could totally be wrong.

These are the last discovery that I made yesterday morning. I had put the camera away and was getting in the car to go to the cookie sale when I looked over and saw these cute yellow flowers. Again, I have no idea what they are but a little yellow surprise makes you feel happy. It's sure evidence that Spring is on it's way. Much more reliable than a Groundhog!

Someone noted that the Black Lagoon yarn isn't really that green. Yep! I noticed that too but my dh thinks it is and since he chose it for his Jet socks who am I to complain. It's still a great colorway and he's the one who has to wear it. I originally ordered 4 hanks of Seaweed - now that's GREEN!

The same someone asked if I'm just making socks now. Um, no - I'm just indecisive. I want to do another sweater - goodness knows I have the yarn for it. I just don't know what to make next. I'm overwhelmed by the options. I would love to make more stuff for the girls but... I need inspiration. There is one other possibility... shhhh... a certain linen project has been languishing in the deep dark (oh so dark) recesses of my cabinet for way too long. I'm feeling somwhat emboldened by my success with DFS. Do I dare?

Mar 4, 2006

This is what green looks like

You like? This arrived today in the mail and I am so excited! It looks awesome and rich and deep in person. This is my new yarn from Sundara Yarn. The top is Black Lagoon for Bruce and the bttom is Seaweed for me. Did I mention before that I like green? I LOVE GREEN. I've always loved it. Can you imagine the socks this will make? I took it outside to get a picture in the natural light and placed it on my DEAD STRAW LAWN to illustrate for the monster what it's supposed to look like. "See the lovely green - lawns are supposed to be green too. Get it?" Sadly the lawn is remaining stubbornly nasty. I'm not sure I'll be able to post shots of my yard tomorrow because I have to be out selling Girl Scout Cookies at 8:30 am! I know it sounds crazy - don't ask. Just chalk it up to the things we do because we love our kids just that much. If I do get the pictures taken and posted I will be certain to enhance them with sexy shots of the alien bear. He is finished now and bear number two is well on it's way. Hooray! Truthfully, there's not much to see in my yard this time of the year. It too is rather nasty and grey. I'll do my best.

Mar 3, 2006

Project Spectrum

I'm a little late posting on this but the picture above was actually taken on Wednesday. This is one of 2 colorful Ralph Lauren shirts that Bruce bought me for Valentines Day. I love the colors even though I'm really not a pink person at all. I'm actually one of those people who's most comfortable in black. I really never thought about it much until a few months ago when Stinkerbelle told me how sorry she was that I was a librarian. Huh? Well, if I wasn't a librarian I wouldn't have to wear black all the time. Ahhhh! Point taken. Since then I've tried to wear more colors. Wearing the pink shirt at the start of the pink and red month - pure serendipity!

It's kind of ironic because I LOVE colors of all kinds. I'm all about color and texture. that's what makes trips to the LYS so wonderful, torturous and expensive - all at the same time! I see a great colorway or some thing shiny or soft and I NEED it!
I need to take it with me so that I can look at it ALL THE TIME. I think that's why I bought Knit Picks Geranium which, as you can see, is on it's way to becoming a sock.I was drawn to the combination of pink and red and brick with just a little green thrown in. I'm a little uncertain now about the green. What do you think? A little Christmassy maybe? I like the pattern so far and the feel of the yarn is so soft. I imagine it on my feet and I just can't wait! I'm not gonna tell you the pattern yet - see if you can figure it out. I will say that it seemed fitting for a yarn called Geranium. Did I give it away?

Anyway, I think that my shirt and the current sock demonstrate that I'm firmly in Project Spectrum mode. There is so much more where that came from too. More red an pink sock yarn and who knows what else.

I need to take a brief moment away from red and pink now to bring you green and a moment of clarification. At left is another picture of the object recently seen here. More than one person asked what it was and I hope that this is clearer. It's a platter that I fell in love with. I love the color (green is a favorite) , the organic shape and the way it catches the light. I see it covered with apples and cheese at my next gathering. Unfortunately the ability to catch the light doesn't make photography terribly successful.

Last but not least is the alien bear. He's not quite finished yet but he's worth presenting. He still needs a scarf and ears might help too. I still hate Polarspun - it feels so good but it's nasty to knit with. Now that I've knit the pattern as written I can play with it a bit on the next bear. There will definitely be less sewing involved!

Mar 1, 2006

Catching the Random Bug

Here are two pictures of the socks I made for Stinkerbelle last week. As I suspected - they're too tight. She wore them to school on Monday and when she took them off she complained about the "lines" they made in her feet - ouch! I washed them last night in cold water and when I was done I noticed the incredible degree of felting that took place during one day of wear. I think that you can see it in the pictures. On the insole the stitches are still distinct but the soles are one felted mass. The socks still look good. The color held up and the patten works but I'm surprised none-the-less. I hope my niece likes them!

Here is a shot of them looking down at the insole. Not the most beautiful pictures ever but I was on my way to work at the time. I wanted pictures in natural light so as I was walking down the street I saw some tables on the sidewalk that weren't in use. Quickly, I whippped out the socks and my camera and voila! As you can see, the colors held up in the wash. I just love Kool Aid dying but I wish the yarn wouldn't felt quite so much. Oh well!

I should say that If Bruce reads this he will be afraid. Yesterday he looked up my blog and saw the cheese post. He immediately called me and said "You took a picture of the CHEESE!" He seems to find this behavior odd. Hmmmm...

While I'm thinking of food I should mention a new addition to my blog. Did you see my nice shiny medal? I was thinking about where to post it and finally decided to relace the avatar with it. Looking at that avatar was disturbing. It was kind of me but waaaaay skinnier. They need real woman avatars with a little meat on them. Oh and they ought to offer turtles as a pet choice too. Anyway, I'm feeling a little large lately (maybe it's the Olympic Oreos or the cheese) and that avatar had to go! Is it obnoxious to put the medal there? I really feel quite proud of the accomplishment.

By the way, just in case you care - I'm still waiting to see who my new neighbors will be. It's been a week now and there's still very little sign of anyone. There were lights on a few days ago but, as far as can see nobody's moved in. I'm quite nervous. If it was me, I'd be there already! I hope they're not going to rent it out. Please, please, please not that!