May 31, 2006

Finished Halters and More Green

P5310910Pattern: Katja from Knitty
Yarn: Elann Denim and Lion Brand Cotton Ease
Dates: 5/25/06 – 5/30/06 (2 tops made in this time)

Notes: Once I found my size 7 circs these were a breeze. As I mentioned the other day, they are for my friends twins who are turning one in June. Except for 1 or 2 ends that I still have to weave in they’re done. As with the red top, I added the white picot edging to the bottom of the halter. I’m still not sure if I’ll hit the denim one with a bleach pen. I tend to think not because I kind of like it as is. I’ll go out this weekend and get hats to go with them – perhaps a white eyelet one and a denim one.

WonkinessThe pattern is very clear and works well with one troubling exception. When you start the body, it says to cast on more stitches and knit them before knitting the cups. After knitting the cups you cast on yet more stitches and then continue the body either in the round or back and forth. Can you see where the problem is? The first cast on stitches are knit an extra row so that there is weirdness in the back of the top. On one half of the tops back is one row longer than the other. You may be able to see that in the comparison picture here – then again, you may not. Take my word for it – it’s wonky. On the denim top I fixed this by not knitting the first set of cast on stitches before adding the cups. It worked just fine. I suppose that another solution would be to cast on all of the additional stitches at once and knit them before adding the cups. This way the seam or beginning of the round would be on the side and all the rows accross the back would be the same. Does this make sense? I hope so.

Green Favorites

Today is the end of May and the end of Project Spectrum’s month of green. I really love green. It’s fresh and soothing all at once. I put together a quick little collage of a few of my favorite green things. If you want to know more, click on it and check my description.

This last picture is of a plant that has a little sentimental meaning to me. She doesn’t look so great right now but this ficus tree is beautiful to me. I bought it about 13 years ago when I was still living in New York. It was no more than a twig in a pot then with a half dozen leaves. We lived way to close to a nursery at the time and many plants followed me home so when Bruce saw this one sitting on top of the television he was not thrilled. He made fun of it and how pathetic it looked. I told him that one day it would be a tree and he just couldn’t believe it. Since then it’s survived 4 or 5 moves and rampant neglect and today it’s taller than I am. It sits in a corner of my kitchen and serves as a constant source of wonder and amazement.


May 30, 2006

Sun & Stuff

Most years, the Memorial Day weekend is way to cold and/or rainy for the pool and I spend the majority of my time trying to reason with two little fish who’d like to go for a swim despite the weather. This year was, happily, the exception and we enjoyed a weekend filled with this:

That's Stinkerbelle jumping into the pool. Unfortunately Lindsey didn’t enjoy it as much as the rest of us because she was busy trying to keep her cast dry. Poor kid! She spent most of the time reading at our table by the side of the pool. I got some reading done too. I started Madame Bovary (still catching up with the classics) and I read most of the Harlot’s Knitting Rules. I could not put KR down. I love it!

P5290893All the time spent at the pool was excellent for my knitting. I finished this on Sunday and the second one is about a dozen rows away from completion. I stuck to the pattern pretty faithfully except for the addition of the white picot edging on the bottom. I just thought it needed a little extra something. I’m really happy with it. I’ll do a complete wrap up when I finish the second one.

Sadly we’re back to work today and I’m paying the price for my stellar weekend in the form of a nasty sunburn. I did apply sunscreen – I just didn’t do it well. So aside from being burnt, I’m also blotchy. Yuck!

KAL Prep

I’m participating in the Amazing Lace and Trek Along With Me KAL’s and I had last minute stuff to do for both of them. P5280869First, my Trekking XXL arrived on Friday. I bought color #108 and #105. I really like both of them and I’ll have to find great patterns for each. That’s no problem because I have a huge notebook at home full of patterns I want to try. I just need to settle on one for each.

My Amazing Lace prep was a little more difficult and became still more difficult last night. I had chosen a team mate (M.M. Cozy) and a back up (Lily Louet) but then the yarn for another project in the queue was finished (more about that another day). What to do, what to do! I’m gonna stick with M.M. Cozy as my teammate and allow Lily Louet and the newcomer to battle for the alternate spot.

P5280872 This is my teammate for the Amazing Lace, M.M.Cozy. Here you see her resting against a tree but don’t be deceived – she’s no slacker. There’s a mental toughness and determination about M.M Cozy that will get her through anything. Her colors are spicy but she’s got a soft side too. This is the lace to comfort you in the hard times and kick you in the ass when necessary too.

May 26, 2006

I know this is a bad idea but I’m not sure why.

This was my husband’s response 2 years ago when I called and asked him if I should adopt a turtle. Clearly that translated to yes, please bring her home with you. Now, 2 years older and wiser, I know exactly why it was a bad idea. Turtles can be a little expensive to maintain. We’ve bought 2 tanks, a tank stand, very expensive Congo wood that didn’t work out, lights, timers, filters and countless other things to make her happy and healthy. Today Frankie lives in a 75 gallon tank in our living room and we love her. She has survived the longest of any pet we’ve ever had and, since she’s only 6 or 7 years old, she has a long life ahead of her.

FrankieOur Frankie is a red eared slider and she’s not as pretty as some turtles you may see because she was a rescue. Two years ago Stinkerbelle claimed to want a turtle (you can see where this is going) and, after many inquiries to pet stores we were surprised to find out that there were many turtles living across the street from my grandparents in Queens, NY.

So, while visiting my Grandparents I went to see the turtles and they offered me Frankie. I was assured that they were low maintenance (yeah right!) and told that our dear Frank-uh-la had been rescued from an elementary school classroom where she was kept without proper lighting etc. This is why her shell is bumpy. When I took my crazy, cranky, Stink to see the new pet she literally ran screaming from the house. I kid you not! Never-the-less, we took Frankie home and have found, much to our surprise, that we’re turtle people. She’s very entertaining when she wants to be.

Katja top #1 Ready for a little knitting content? It’s not what you’re expecting. It’s not green or blue or purple and definitely not a sock. I saw this Knitty Surprise posted yesterday and instantly started a mental stash inventory. Some close friends have twin girls who are turning one in a few weeks and they’d look so cute in little halter tops. I had planned to make them sweaters when they were born but I was cursed with indecisive yarn that couldn’t figure out what it wanted to be. (the yarn still resides in the stash) These halters, like the girls who will wear them, will be fraternal and made from yarn I found in the stash. How cool is that?! Both will be white on top (the cups) but the bottom of one will be red and the other denim. I may dress them up a bit with crochet edging or maybe I’ll hit the denim with a bleach pen a-la-Kay. How much fun would that be? The best part is that I’m pretty sure I can finish at least one of them this weekend. I know that I swore off making promises and guarantees (after all - I’m no Messier) but I’m pretty sure I can deliver on this one.

May 25, 2006

I'd Buy It

Dye o rama yarn 1

Why does yarn look so crappy until you skein it up? I was soooo worried about how this yarn was turning out. As I went down to retrieve it from the drying rack last night I was already planning an intense weekend of dyeing to make up for it. But a strange thing happened as I wound it up on my swift. It started looking better. When I took it outside to take pictures I realized that it looks really good. I’m not sure it’s exactly what I had in mind but it’s damn close. It's a quiet yarn without the dramatic highs and lows but I think it's nice in it's subtlety. What do you think? Really! Am I fooling myself?

It’s definitely something that I’d buy so I feel confident sending it to my Dye-O-Rama pal. I can’t tell you what I’m gonna name it because that might spoil my dye buddies surprise. Is the yarn green because of my dye buddies preference or is it because I was overwhelmed by Project Spectrum this month. Again, I just can’t say.

U-Neck Top backI can also show you the finished back of the U-Neck Top. I hit it with the iron a little bit last night and you can see the lace much better now. I think that these colors are just right. More importantly, the Drama Queen likes it.

With m needles free again I was compelled to start the second Green EL sock last night. I’ll cast on for the front of the sweater tonight. I also chose my partners for the Amazing Lace and I’ll introduce them to you in the next few days. Last, but not least, I ordered my Trekking XXL yesterday for the Trek Along and it should be here just in time for June 1. Nothing like waiting till the last minute.

May 24, 2006


Before I start let me just say that I’m fully aware that there is an element of crazy to my weekend dyeing activities. in the pot
The first sign of crazy was Friday night when I decided that I just couldn’t wait one minute longer and threw my dye pot on the stove to create what I hoped would be a nice green base on which I could apply deeper greens and maybe blues. I was in the kitchen anyway, making the birthday cake so it sounded like a good idea. Stuff like that always sounds good at the time.

The picture sucks but when it came out of the pot it was really nice with darker spots and lighter spots. I set it aside to cool. On Saturday afternoon we returned from the Bar Mitzvah and it was only 4:30-ish and there was plenty of light so I took the yarn outside to spread it out and paint.

Suddenly there were tangles everywhere. The more I worked on it the more tangled it got. I struggled with it for hours before finally giving up and (literally) throwing it in a corner.

By this time it was about 1 or 2 in the morning. I kid you not! What would a sane person do? Go to sleep. What did I do? I took out another skein to prepare for dyeing. I started winding around 2 chairs that I placed side-by-side and I was nearly finished when things went awry again. There were suddenly tangles everywhere. I was feeling that insane need to conquer the yarn so I battled on and at 4:45, when I finally went to bed I could claim victory. The yarn was retied in many places and sitting in the pot waiting for dye.

dyeing - take 2Sunday morning I threw more Leaf Green Wilton, water, and vinegar in the pot and started dying the yarn. After the party I came home and painted it and by the time I went to bed it was hanging in the basement to dry.

Here’s where you’d expect me to show you the finished yarn but… it’s not ready to make it’s debut yet. I went to check on it last night and decided that it needed a little something more. Out came the dye pot and a little more Wilton. It’s drying again and I think that it has more variegation. I hate to disappoint so maybe I can I distract you with a sock.

Green EL sock 1 - again
This is the first of my latest pair of Embossed Leaves socks. I have to say that this pattern and I really “get” each other. The only problems I have are the gauge and the toe. I usually chose to dive in and not swatch for socks. I usually realize the issue before I get too far and socks are small and not too painful to frog. In this case I felt especially carefree since I like my socks short-ish and planned to omit a repeat anyway. As I got to the toe I noted that the socks were getting long so when the toe and I ceased to get along I whipped out my needle and quickly grafted it shut. The length is now perfect and I’m ok with the fucked up toe. Shut up! It’s my sock anyway!

May 23, 2006

Mixed Bag

No post yesterday because I was sick – still am. I’m trying to get through what ever this is by ignoring it and the fact that I’m unable to eat anything. Not fun.

Friday night I did a little dying and what started out well ended horribly at 5 am on Saturday night. I kid you not. It was a mess but I’ll wait till tomorrow to give you the nasty details.

Saturday morning we went to a Bar Mitzvah. I awoke to the sounds of Bruce trying to convince Stinkerbelle to go take a bath. It went something like this:

B: Stink, go get in the bath. We all have to take showers before we go.
Stink: Does it say so on the invitation?

We all managed to get ourselves ready and as I was moving a select few items from my ten ton purse to a smaller, more elegant bag Stink came to me announced that she knew what I was doing. “You’re taking your sock – right Mommy?” No, I did not take my knitting to the Bar Mitzvah. That would’ve been bad form.

We got home and prepared for Stinkerbelle’s birthday party before I dove back into dyeing hell. I made the cake and this year it looked like this.

7th b cake

The party on Sunday was at a laser tag place right next door to a yarn store. Believe it or not, this was a total coincidence. I didn’t plan it that way at all. Not only that, I went into the store while we waited for everyone to arrive and I DIDN’T BUY ANYTHING. I was so proud of my restraint.

The laser tag itself was somewhat successful. I asked Stink at length before we made the reservation if she was certain that her friends would like it. She was firm in her belief that they’d all love it. Guess what! Not all 6/7 year old girls are up for running around in a loud, dark, room wearing laser tag packs that weigh nearly as much as they do. How’d Stink do? She was upset that they didn’t turn on the fog machine. She’s also protesting the scoring. Otherwise it was all good.

By the way, please remind me not to make predictions in the future. I did knit this weekend but I did not fiish the first green EL sock or the back of the U-neck sweater. Either of those were do-able but I cursed myself with a prediction and finished neither. The dyeing mishaps had something to do with it too.

May 19, 2006

More Embossed Leaves

It’s official now… I am addicted to sock knitting. At 10 o’clock on Wednesday night, when I finished the Stinky socks, I immediately cast on again. What did I start? Well, truly there were way too many ideas cluttering up my brain so I went with the one that had the strongest pull and started another pair of Embossed Leaves socks. I guess that there are just some patterns that speak to you and this one calls my name loud and clear. I love that the pattern which I find easy and intuitive looks so detailed. As you can see I’m moving along pretty quickly on these and I’ll turn the heel today without a doubt. The yarn is Sundara’s Seaweed. I knew that it would be perfect for the EL pattern as soon as I saw it.

2nd EL Sox
Just in case you’re wondering if I’m doing anything at all besides socks I’ll mention the U-Neck top which is moving along nicely itself. I’m nearly finished with the back and I hope to start the front over the weekend.

Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!

May 18, 2006


There’s a bunch of stuff that’s making me happy right now and that’s good because I can use some happy… heck, I need some happy to get me through the weekend ahead. Don’t get me wrong, it’s going to be a great weekend. I’m just woefully unprepared for it.

After what seem like eons since I had a finished object, I have Stinky Socks to show you. I am really happy with them and this time they fit perfectly.

Stinky SocksPattern: Mine
Yarn: KP Dye Your Own in Kool Aid
Dates: 4/31/06 – 5/17/06 (way to long!)

Notes: When I started these socks I planned to do the welt fantastic pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. I quickly realized that it wasn’t quite fit my plan so I started to modify and I love the variation that I came up with. I actually swatched for these and decided that 60 stitches was right for Stink. It sounds like a lot but I’m happy with the results. They’re not tight socks and they’re not meant to be. They’re also not tall socks because she pushes them down anyway. I took the number of stitches and the small scale of the person and the sock into the account and made additions (4 stitches in each repeat) and subtractions (only 4 rows of chevron pattern between garter rows). I chose an eye of partridge heel because I like it and a simple toe. Finally I decided to remove the garter rows from the pattern alltogether as it travelled down the foot for obvious reasons.

Stinky Socks 2

There’s another thing about this sock that I’m feeling very proud of – the yarn. It’s Knitpicks Color Your Own that I dyed with Stinkerbelle months ago. The colors are a lot better than I thought they were and there’s no pooling. I’m pretty sure that if I’d intentionally tried to create yarn that didn’t pool I’d have wound up with pools and puddles everywhere.

I’m also happy today because it turns out that Lindsey will only be in a cast for 3 weeks instead of the 5-6 they originally expected. Hooray! This means that it won’t interfere in too many planned activities. She’s still not happy about it and going to school today was hard for her because she’s certain that everyone will call her a spaz – and I’m sure she’s 100% correct. I tried to prepare her with a few witty comebacks like “I’m just evening things out” or “I’m collecting lots of points for frequent doctor visits.” Sadly I’m just not that witty. She smiled but I
know she’s not happy. Any better ideas?

By the way, the title of this post refers to the number of the posts I've made to this blog so far. To say that I'm shocked is an understatement. I've never had a diary or journal with more than half a dozen entries. I just forget where I left them or lose interest. Similarly, until I started knitting I was the queen of unfinished projects - now I finish things regularly. This may be corny but knitting seems to be having a positive effect on all aspects of my life except my wallet.

May 17, 2006

Murphy and HisLaw

I’m usually a very positive person but Murphy’s been screwing around in my shit again and I’m really irritated. Not only do things go wrong at the worst possible time – there is always the potential for things to be worse.

Last fall I changed jobs and on my last day at the old job the Drama Queen broke her wrist at school. I had arranged a few vacation days between jobs and it was somewhat irritating that I had to use time that I’d set aside for relaxation (and knitting) to take her to get her wrist set but that’s what being a parent is all about. The real stress in that situation was insurance related – due to the job change, when she broke the wrist and was seen in the ER we were on one policy but when it was set in a cast we were on another. It was confusing and stressful but it worked out.

Yesterday she did it again! This time it’s her right thumb. Yes, she’s right handed. She broke it right at the growth plate (whatever that means). They say that it’ll take 5-6 weeks to heal and that’s freaking her out because of all the stuff coming up in the next few weeks. Today she’s missing a standardized test – it’s math which is one of her best subjects. She’s a real student so not being able to take the test and show off what she knows is upsetting her. She also has her dance recitals (what color cast will go best with tacky recital costumes?) and horseback riding camp coming up. All of this is up in the air now.

I’m quite certain that there is still potential for her to break her hand/wrist again at a moment that is even more inconvenient but I’d rather not find out.

May 16, 2006

The Many Shades of Green – Part 1

Because I am weak, I gave in the other day and threw together a quick quiz about me. A bunch of you actually took it and I love that. I also love the comments that I got from my siblings who both complained that I ought to have listed tomatoes as the veggie I won’t eat. Well, yes, I won’t eat fresh tomatoes – unless they’re prepared in just the right way – but green beans fit the theme of the question and the month much better because they’re green! Likewise my partner in crime, Blogless Felicia (who’s birthday was yesterday), was aggrieved that I listed green as my favorite color when there is so much purple in my life. Yes, that’s also true but you have no idea how hard it is for me to stay away from green. My whole house would be some shade of green if I didn’t exercise a little control. Can you see where this is going?

Here's a little green from around my house. It's just a quick hint of the landscaping I've done. I hated all of the landscaping that the previous owners did so I ripped it out and started over. these are three of my favorite additions. They are Golden Mops, Andromeda and a Dwarf Hinoki Cypress. In the bottom left is a bed of Tiger Lilies that I love. It's one of the few things that we kept from the previous owners. When I re-did things I was looking for a variety of textures and colors. I think that these fit the bill nicely.

Green Part 1

How can you not love all the glorious green?

By the way, after harassing the nice people in the lost and found at Dorney Park over the weekend I finally accepted the fact that my driver’s license was lost and ordered a replacement last night. Naturally, I just found it in my bag. Duh!

May 15, 2006

Lucky us!

On Friday afternoon we headed north to meet my sister and her family in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley for the weekend. We ran into traffic at every turn and it took much longer to get there than I would’ve liked. Normally this would’ve been perfect knitting time but between navigating and the darkness I barely had time for a dozen rows on the Stinky sock. This is the same Stinky sock that I predicted I would complete by last Monday! I am embarrassed to admit that the darn thing is still on my needles. Sadly the ride home was even worse because I had a wicked migraine that required me to take 2 Imitrex and 2 Advil over 5 hours just to make a dent. The pain was literally nauseating and, despite my best intentions, there was no knitting what-so-ever on the way home.

P5140793P5140792We went to Dorney Park on Saturday and, in between showers, we rode roller coasters and other rides all day. It wasn’t bad until about 4:30 when the heavens suddenly opened and the real downpour started. Considering that there was a 70% chance of rain predicted we felt lucky to have enjoyed as much dry time as we did and decided to go for dinner.
We arrived at
Teppan, a Japanese Hibachi Steakhouse with no reservations but perfect timing. They found room for the 8 of us and it was such a treat. The kids loved all of the tricks that our chef did and I even caught a piece of zucchini in my mouth (don’t ask – just go with it). The food was great! If you’ve never done the Japanese Steakhouse thing then I highly recommend it. Clearly it’s quite popular because the place was full – as was the lobby full of people waiting to get in.

After dinner the sky was clear and the ground was dry so we went to our rooms to grab jackets and go back to the park for some night riding. That’s when the luck ran out. We stepped outside and it was raining again. Not only that but I realized that my drivers license was missing. I guess I lost it at the park. This is a total bummer because after many calls to the lost and found it’s still missing which means I’ll have to get a new one. Talk about lousy!

M Day CardsBooks
Mother’s Day was lovely. I got very special cards from my girls along with 2 books that I’d been coveting. We drove to Easton where we visited the Pez Museum (who knew?) and found it in a really cool alley (not on my lousy map) that had mosaics along the walls.
Bank St - Easton, PA 2Bank St - Easton, PA 1
Can you guess what else we found in Easton?
Easton, PA

May 13, 2006

There's Always More Room on the Bandwagon

Greetings from rainy Pennsylvania. This is just a quick entry without much knitting content to offer. It seems like everyone's doing the quiz thing so here's mine.

May 12, 2006

Hike - To go on an extended walk for pleasure or exercise

I was gonna write about all kinds of other stuff today but then I saw the new KAL that Margene and Norma started and I knew I had to join. I told Blogless Felicia about it and I think she’s still laughing at me. She’s been scheming to get some form of exercise into my life for a while. Two of the more memorable recent suggestions were 8 am Saturday yoga (so wrong for so many reasons beginning with the fact that I’m not a morning person) and working out while Stinkerbelle does her swimming lessons (Hello! That’s prime knitting time).

I’m truly not exercise averse – I just haven’t found a form of it that I like. I’m not big on the gym and I’m way too uncoordinated for most aerobics classes. I’ve been toying with the idea of bicycle riding but that’s a little problematic. I bought a bike a few (5 or 6) years ago and, being a bit of a do-it-yourself-er, I declined to have the nice men who know what they’re doing put the bike together. I’ve put together gas grills and furniture and even had success with a few electrical projects around the house. How bad could a bike be? Well… I got it put together and took it on an inaugural ride but I was afraid that I might not have done such a hot job with the brakes and even I can appreciate their importance. Since then the bike has been hanging from the ceiling in my basement waiting to have someone with a clue to look it over. I was gonna take it down this summer but now I may not have to.


I’m gonna Trek Along With Norma & Margene! Hiking once or twice a month is totally do-able and I have a list of people in mind that I can force coerce invite to come with me. I’ll be in North Carolina at least twice this summer which will provide opportunities and I’m sure I can think of lots of other places to hike. The outlet shopping mall perhaps? A good friend pointed out that hiking is actually just a long walk and that technically we hiked MDS&W last weekend. Too true! My feet can attest to that.

There is one catch. I nearly bought some Trekking XXL at MDS&W last weekend but I didn’t so that may be one of the few sock yarns that I don’t have yet. Shhh… don’t tell the dh that I need to buy more yarn or he may go over the edge.

Happy Mother’s Day and have a great weekend!

May 11, 2006

U-Neck Top Progress

U-Neck Top in Progress
Here is the progress so far on the U-Neck top. I’m really happy with it now and I think that these colors relate well to each other. I’m not really loving the yarn though and that’s kind of odd because until recently I knit mostly with cotton. Most of my old stash is cotton but, as you can tell by my post yesterday, I’m in a wool/silk groove now. I think that this is one of the most obvious ways that the knitbloggers have influenced me for the better. I am trying all kinds of new things and developing new preferences.

I have to say that I found something disturbing as I did the laundry the other night. One of my twin-sets still had the size sticker on it. They usually put those things right on the chest so does that mean that I walked around with my shirt size displayed on my boob all day? Why didn’t anyone say something? How could I not have noticed it when I gave myself the once over as I walked out the door? Ugh!

May 10, 2006

The Haul

MicahBefore I get to the haul I want to say Happy 30th Birthday to my brother, Micah. This is a picture of him with his wife Lucy who I've never met. The picture was taken somewhere in South Korea because that’s where they live. He teaches English to Korean kids. It’s hard having my brother on the other side of the world and I can’t wait ‘till he’s back in the U.S.

On to The Haul. I put that in caps because I really outdid myself in the shopping department. I bought enough so that at the end of the day my shoulders (and my feet) ached. I went without a budget but, instead, with a mental note about how much I was prepared to spend and how much would break the bank. I would up somewhere in between. I’m really very satisfied though because I did exactly what I hoped to – I bought things that were new to me. I missed the STR but buying that wouldn’t have satisfied my purpose of broadening my horizons with new things. Without further ado I present The Haul.

Blue Spirit Trail & Recycled Sari Silk
The recycled sari silk in this picture was my first fiber purchase. I love the colors and see it becoming a scarf or a decorative element. The blue sock yarn is from Spirit Trail Fiberworks and I had a weird thing happen to me when I bought it. A woman stopped me and asked if I’d seen “Big Girl Knits.” Well, yes I have but... huh? She thought I looked just like one of the models in it. I’m not quite sure how to take that. Other than the fact that I am larger than I’d like to be I’m not sure that I resemble any model of any type. Hmmm….

Flock Bransonas red sock
Don’t you love this Flock Bransonas sock yarn. I had to buy it. The deep red color is fantastic. They had other great colors too but I was sampling – not stocking up.

Spirit Trail Silk/WoolTo the left is more Spirit Trail yarn. This is their silk/wool blend in a warm yellow and orange combo. I see it as the highlight of an otherwise solid sweater – maybe a fancy collar or an edging. It's really soft and has a great shine to it. I’ll have to think about it.

A Touch Of Twist Alpaca
This charcoal gray and taupe yarn was the best deal I found at the festival. It’s 100% alpaca from A Touch of Twist and it’s so soft and beautiful. I really wish you could feel it. One bunch is 8oz and the other is about 7. They were each about $20. I’m thinking of shawls from each. I’ll start one very soon because I just can’t keep my hands off this yarn. It’s just that soft!

Below are some silk caps that I bought in the spirit of trying new things. The woman who sold them to me demonstrated how you can knit with them as they are – without spinning them into yarn. I was fascinated and I had to get some. I’m only sorry that the picture doesn’t do them justice.Silk Caps

Here’s more sock yarn – this is from Cherry Tree Hill which I’ve never tried before. I also got some Morehouse Farm lace weight for yet another shawl. How many shawls do I really need anyway?
Cherry Tree Hill & Morehouse
Drop SpindleOne of the things I was looking for at the festival was a drop spindle. I’m intrigued by all the people out there spinning their own. I’m not sure if I’ll like it or be able to figure it out so I don’t want to invest in a wheel but a spindle seemed like a good start. Here it is resting in a cloud of roving. I can’t wait to play with it.

Lucet, silk & dyeThe last entry is more new toys. I got a lucet to make cord and dye for the Dye-o-rama. I also bought some silk hankies and silk cocoons. I mostly bought them because they fascinated me and truly have no clue what I’ll do with them. I gave a cocoon to my daughter because she learned about silk in school. I think that you may barely be able to see the sock holder in the background too.

I also bought a t-shirt and a bag and some Eucalan.

Tomorrow I hope to show you the progress on the U-Neck top. I could barely put it down last night.

May 9, 2006

Tales of a U-Neck Top

Once upon a time there was a sweater in a magazine which caught a knitter’s eye. It was a cute sweater in all the wrong colors. A-ha said she, (in an iris induced haze) with the right shades of lavender and green this would be the perfect summery top for Princess Tweener. For the next few weeks (yes, weeks) she searched near and far for just the right yarn. She agonized over the relationship of this color to that one. The weights, the prices, the sheen! Egads! It was quite a quandary.

Finally, one bright and sunny day she stumbled into the LYS and there, upon a gilded shelf she spied the perfect shades of green and snapped them up in an instant. They were not too bluish, not to yellowy, not too thick or thin… it was a sign that the sweater was meant to be. Happily the knitter carried the precious fibers home and consulted the magical screen to divine the identity of the purpley fiber that would complete the palette.


At last the missing skeins arrived and the knitting began in earnest. The needles flew as the ribbing was completed. Then the majestic purple yarn was joined and it became obvious that something was amiss. The colors were off! In horror the knitter cast aside the offending sweater and sought solace in socks… many, many, socks.

As the days went by and the piles of socks grew, the knitter regained her strength and the will to, once again, search for the perfect lavender hue. Suddenly, it appeared in the land of Elann, not one but three lovely yarns. Did she dare? Could one of them really be the one? With high hopes she once again ordered yarn – the correct amounts in ALL THREE SHADES! (What? It’s not as if the extras will go to waste.)

With great excitement the offending stitches were frogged and the knitter contemplated the 3 new options. Lighter? Darker? Pinkish? Bluish? Would the story have a happy ending? Would balance and harmony among the colors ever be achieved?

Stay tuned!


Here’s a quick peek at my MDS&W haul. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow – I promise! P5080763

May 8, 2006

The Blur that was My Weekend

I should start by saying that this was a great weekend. It was full of good things, starting with Stinkerbelle earning her white belt on Friday night. From there we went to buy her skateboard (a birthday present from the dh & I). OMG! They are expensive! She’s really happy with it and I’m sure that there will be skateboarding pictures in the near future for anyone who’s interested. I also have some cool action shots of her taking her Tae Kwon Do test but I’ll save them for later as well because I have so many other things to tell you about!

On Saturday Blogless-Felicia and I left bright and early for the hike up to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. We would’ve been there when it opened but there was an accident that closed the beltway and we sat in traffic forever. That’s really not how I hoped to start the day but, thankfully, it got much better after that. We arrived at about 9:30-ish and the parking area was already starting to fill up and as we entered the festival we saw people were already carrying stuff out. As a first timer I was surprised. I don’t think that I realized just how intense it would be.

knit bloggers
We ate, bought t-shirts (standing in line for an hour to get them – ugh!) and checked out several barns full of vendors before it was time for the gathering of knit bloggers. When we arrived at the spot we found this group. Well, actually we found a bigger group than this but it took me quite a while take out my camera and take that picture. By then people were starting to move on. I did meet a bunch of cool people including Wendy! Yes, that Wendy, and she was very nice. I was just wondering where to go to get my book signed when I turned around and saw the sock. Can you believe that? I recognized the current sock she’s working on before I recognized her. What does that say about me? I also met Trek, Heather, Lolly and Phyl and so many more.

I bought stuff at MDS&W… enough to raise Bruce’s eyebrows a bit. I’ll show it to you later. It’s enough for an entry all by itself.

P5080777Yesterday was another crazy day – more shopping (can you believe that?), Girl Scout stuff for both daughters, and lots of birthday celebrating. At the left you can see Stinkerbelle sporting one her new BMX helmet as she rides a scooter up and down the block. She loves that thing and took it to school today to show all of her friends as they celebrate her as the “Star of the Week.” She can’t wait to get a dirt bike to go with it… when she no longer lives under my roof.

Last but not least, I can show you what I did last night instead of watching my shows (thank you Tivo). I made cupcakes… tons of them. There are 41 there so that everyone in her class (23 kids) can have one and then some. We saw the eyes at the cake store recently and that was the inspiration for the design. I cut out the tongues from fruit roll-ups and added the red hair and voila!

Cupcake Close up