Oct 31, 2006

Gratitude and the St T Scarf

Thank you!!!

Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes and the kind things that you said about the bag. Felted bags are incredibly forgiving so I tend to wing it and design on the fly. It’s the one time when I really feel safe following the yarn and letting it dictate the design. Based on the response from all of you (and requests from small people at home) I’m going to try to replicate it and I’ll take notes this time. With any luck I’ll be able to write it up and post it for anyone who’s interested.

As I said the other day, this month is going to be the only one without a completed pair of socks to show for it. I think that I have a good excuse though because while I have not finished any socks, my holiday knitting is well under way. I have 2 more FO’s and another is pretty close.


Here is the Drama Queen wearing the red scarf I finished the other day. In a nod to Halloween, she is posing in front of our blue spruce that’s decorated with pumpkins for the holiday. Don’t you love the smirk? Apparently showing teeth is not cool. Who knew?

PA301633 This is a close up of the same scarf. I soaked it for a really long time and you can’t imagine the amount of red dye that came out of it. After that I sat and fiddled with it for an eternity. I had to pull out all of the dropped stitches and they were very stubborn.

This was a real learning experience. I’d never knit a scarf lengthwise before and while it was on the needles I could not imagine that it would really be long enough but it is. The 240 stitches that I cast on turned into a 6 foot long scarf. Can you imagine how long it would be if I’d stayed with the original 300 stitches? Yikes!

I’m a little nervous today because I plan to post information about the knitting event that I’m planning tomorrow. I have a nagging fear that some day I’ll throw a party and nobody will show up. It’s never happened but that doesn’t lessen the fear at all. Of course if I could figure out how to get Photoshop to do what I want it to I’d feel a lot better.

Oct 30, 2006

Sam's Green Bag

Another year, another birthday. This past weekend was wonderful. I had a great dinner on Saturday night with some really good friends of mine. We went to PF Changs and ate more than any of us thought possible. I’m still not sure where all the food went but I do remember that it was good. It was very, very good.

This morning we had a visit from my uncle that was way too short but really enjoyable. He lives in Canada so we don’t see him all that often. This visit was extra fun because we got some details on my cousin’s wedding which will take place in Ottawa this March. She lives in Toronto and I tried to convince him that it would be a very nice place for a wedding but no dice. The wedding will be in Ottawa so there will be no Harlot stalking during our upcoming trip.

bagSince my niece received the bag yesterday I can post about it now. In this picture you see it draped over one of my blueberry bushes. It was actually not quite finished when I did the photo shoot and in this picture you can just see the indentation, just under the rim, created by the magnetic snap affixed inside.
bag After the pictures were taken, I found the perfect buttons to cover this indentation. They look like brushed nickel and fit just right. The next picture is a little closer and you can see the way that the light green i-cord weaves in and out of the strap a little better. There were 3 slim paperback books in the bag when I took these pictures. That ought to give you an idea about the size.

bag detailMy favorite thing about this bag is the light green detail. Just after I created the welt around the base of the bag, I started knitting in 3 light green stitches at the bottom right corner. On every row I moved the three stitches one to the left. When the diagonal stripe this created hit the base of where I wanted to put the strap, I knew that the bag was done and ended it with and i-cord bind off. I put the 3 light green stitches on a holder and knit the strap with a large, double yarn-over eyelet on every 10th row. After finishing the strap and grafting it in place, I knit the 3 light green stitches into i-cord which I wove in and out of the strap. I tacked it down at the base of the strap and I was so worried about how the felting would affect it. You have no idea how relieved I was to see it come out of the washer looking just the way I imagined it would. I hope that you can see from the bag detail how nicely the light green makes the transition from the stripe to the cord.

I have a few more finished objects to share this week. How about that?

Oct 28, 2006

On Birthdays - 2006

Here’s my Saturday Sky. It’s pretty miserable but I’m not. Today is my birthday, a day that I’m proud to share with my niece Sam.


The natural inclination is to take stock of where you are on your birthday. Note the successes and failures in your life. At least that’s the way it is for me.

My family is great. I have 2 incredible daughters who are as different as day and night. They are beautiful and smart and they make me smile on a regular basis. We have the type of relationship that I always dreamed of, full of laughter and snuggles and deep discussions about life. I know that it won’t always be this way but today it’s all good.

My father is still living in my rec room, 2 months after the flood damaged his house. Even that has positives. We’ve spent more time together in the past 2 months than in the last 2 years. We’ve talked about all kinds of stuff. I’m even luckier because my husband has been so good-natured about things even though this living arrangement is not exactly ideal.

I have a job in my chosen profession that is interesting and pays me well. No job is perfect but, it’s really not bad. There are far worse things that I could be doing with my days and, at the very least, it provides ample fiber funds.

Tonight, I’ll be going out to dinner with a whole bunch of friends. They’re some of my favorite people and they’ve made it easier than I ever imagined to call Northern Virginia home.

Certainly life isn’t perfect but I just hope that the coming year is as good as this one.

OMG that was sooooo sappy. I'm making myself nauseous from the sticky sweetness. Blech! I'm off to take Stink-o to swimming lessons. Have a great weekend!

Oct 27, 2006

Eye Candy and a Scarf

It's been a while since I saw a sky worth sharing. How do you like this one?

sky 10-26-06

St T ScarfI did finish the St T scarf last night. As with so many things, I hit the home stretch at around 11pm and, at that point, there was just no way that I could put it down until it was totally finished. It’s probably more accurate to say that I cast off early this morning. The picture sucks because I had to use the flash and because the scarf is in desperate need of a bath and some blocking. There are 3 rows of dropped stitches that look really weak right now but with a little bit of massaging the ought to be a neat design element. I hope to get a real photo this weekend. It's going to be a very busy weekend though so it's hard to say.

Oct 26, 2006

Details, details

Last night was all about the scarf. I’ve decided that I think it’s nice as it is and I’m continuing to work on it. It’s a pretty safe bet that I’ll finish it tonight and be able to post a finished shot tomorrow. Thank goodness for that because I’m dying to post the bag and I just can’t do it yet.

bag detailWell, maybe just a small detail wouldn’t hurt. You still can’t see the perfect shape, or the brushed nickel button covering the magnetic snap just so. You can’t even see the way that the stripe detail transitions so elegantly onto the strap. Can you tell how proud I am? I really hope that my niece loves it.

I’ve also got a whole bunch of other small projects swirling around in my head. I joined the Lonesome Skein KAL although I haven’t been able to turn to it yet. I was looking through my stash and I found an astonishing number of lonesome skeins. Some are leftovers and some is stuff I couldn’t resist (darn that Elann.com). Here are examples of both.


These are good examples of what I’m talking about. On the left is yarn left over from a cabled scarf that was one of my first projects. Shortly after I started knitting, I took an old pattern book that had belonged to my grandmother to the LYS and asked for help. They looked at me like I had no business knitting but sold me $70 worth of yarn anyway. I left feeling very dumb and I’ve never bought yarn there since. I did finish the scarf and gave it as a gift. As I recall, it was wearable and I was proud of it at the time. I wonder if I’d feel the same way today. Curiously, I’ve never seen the giftee wear it. Hmmmm….

The more colorful example is from those yarn pushers at Elann.com. I used to have a really bad habit of buying stuff from them because it was pretty. The thought process (when there was one) was something like - quick! buy it before someone else does. There is a lot in the stash that falls into this category. Most of it is stuff that I’d rather look at than knit with.

Thinking about these lonesome skeins rationally, I see many pairs of fingerless gloves, hair wraps, and hats being gifted this year. Sadly, I’m not sure that there will be many socks gifted this year. I’m slowing down. I went back and counted all the socks I’ve made this year – twelve pairs! It’s incredibly ironic that Socktober may be the only month this year that I don’t complete a pair of socks. I’ll make up for it though.

Speaking of Socktober, I’ve been watching Lolly’s blog lately and, among all of the other great Socktober features, she’s had some great interviews with sock designers. Weren’t they fab? Did they inspire you? Did they make you want to run out and design socks right now? Well, just hold that thought till November 1. Timing is everything.

Oct 25, 2006

St Tropez Scarf

What do you think of this?

Tencel scarf

I really am looking for input because I’m torn. This actually represents my second attempt at making a scarf with this yarn, which you may recognize as the wool/tencel I bought last weekend. The first one got frogged last night because, I cast on without fully engaging the brain and wound up with… are you ready… 302 stitches! It seemed like a good idea at the time and it was actually ok until I thought it through and realized that I would not be able to fit all of the double yarn-overs needed for the dropped stitch part of this design on the needle. Oooops!

Off the needles it came and I redid it with 240 stitches. Much better! Now I’m making progress and I’ve added a few rows of the Filatura Di Crosa Saint Tropez. Is it working for you? I think it is but I’m just not sure. The color may be slightly off but that could be a good thing. The w/t is a blend of soft red and coral and there are similar colors in the St T. But the St T also has bright red and a deep brownish shade and those are the ones that concern me. Maybe I’m over-thinking it. Since I’m just going for a simple, lengthwise, garter scarf, perhaps the stronger colors give it the punch it needs.

I’m not really this obsessive over most things. I think that it’s just the knitting that brings it out in me. I always want to get it right – at least the stitches and colors. The finishing is another story. I think this drive for excellence in all things knit is a good thing. I hope you all agree because I’ve spent the past month pondering something and lining things up just right to make it great.

Think socks.
Think original design.
Think competition.
Think fabulous!
Think November 1.

Oct 24, 2006

On Holiday Knitting

Scarves – 3
Socks – 4 pairs
Votive holders – 2 pair
Fingerless gloves – 1 pair

Recognize this? This is the list of holiday knitting that I started last weekend. It doesn’t sound bad since 2 of the scarves and one pair of socks are already well under way. The problem lies in the projects that I’m forgetting. I’m sure that I’m forgetting a lot. There are birthdays coming up too. I’d love to knit for everyone but there are just not enough hours in a day. I’ll just do the best I can and prepare to send a lot of IOU’s.

Of course, the list above doesn’t include the stuff I’d like to make for me, like Tilia, the Forest Canopy Shawl, the Dragon Wing Shawl and the Lotus Blossom Tank. Tilia is stalled but only because other things are more pressing. The Forest Canopy Shawl is moving along. I’ve almost finished as many repeats as the pattern calls for and, in a shocking twist, I have tons of yarn still in the ball. Someone noted that the ball looked big when I first posted it. I knew that it was more than the pattern required. And I thought that was a good thing. Working with it has taught me something important though – I’m not fond of knitting with 100% silk. The weight may have something to do with it but I think that I’d prefer to have my silk in a blend.

Like this…


Or this…

This is the stuff that I picked up at Knit Happens on Saturday. I’ve admired the Alchemy yarn for a while but it’s wicked expensive so I restrained myself. At KH it was 50% off. I couldn’t resist an opportunity like that. I’m thinking hats. Really, luxurious hats. What do you think?

By the way, what do you know about tencel? I started knitting with the wool/tencel blend last night and I’m fascinated with it. It’s got a feel that I can’t quite describe and a crazy luster that seems unnatural. I’m wondering what it will be like after washing. Does it get softer? Will it loose the shine?

Oct 23, 2006

A Weaver is Born - I think

There are days when I feel like the luckiest person around. I had one of those days last week when I opened a birthday gift that had arrived early (the big day is 10/28). A very good friend of mine got me a membership to Springwater Fiber Workshop. I had never been there but I’d been thinking about it – a lot. Among other things, they have spinning classes there. Need I say more?

It should come as no surprise that a field trip to Springwater was quickly planned for last Saturday. We had to check it out! My friend Felicia (gift-giver extraordinare) and I planned a little trip down to Alexandria, VA and Stinkerbelle insisted on joining us. I’m not sure if I mentioned it before but Stink loves to go shopping with me. Always. For anything… except yarn. The yarn store is the one place she usually doesn’t want to go but on Saturday she was game for anything.

Springwater is a narrow but deep place with a supply shop in front and a classroom in the rear. We started exploring the fiber offerings and Stink admired and petted the yarn along with Felicia and I. Then we entered the class area and there were looms set up and people were working on them. Stink was sucked in fast and when a woman (I didn’t get her name) offered Stink the chance to try it out she eagerly said yes.

D weavesD weaves more

Do you see the look of concentration on her face? She sat and worked on the loom for quite a long time and wove about 5-6 inches. More than once she asked if we could get a loom. Thankfully the woman at the store suggested that we can come back and try it a few more times to see if she really loves it before investing in a loom of our own. As we left the store, Stink asked if we can go back again next week. Of course we can.

orange trekkingWool Tencel

This is what came home with me from Springwater. There’s a little orange Trekking which is perfect for this time of year. I also got a little bit of wool/tencel blend which was on sale. Speaking of sales, just wait ‘till I show you what I got at Knit Happens.

By the way, I did finish the birthday bag and it’s perfect but its debut will have to wait until after the other birthday girl sees it.

Oct 20, 2006


Thank you to all of you who not only put up with my little rant but agree as well. I feel much better now but I'm still going to Tivo through that ridiculous commercial.

I have no FO's or other exciting stuff to share today. The body of the birthday bag for my niece is done and I'll make the strap tonight. Happily it will be ready in time to send for her birthday. The Forest Canopy Shawl got frogged last weekend (and restarted) so we'll not talk of that. Linen Lily is still linen - 'nuff said. Blah, blah, blah.

There is a lot of other stuff going on but I think that it's bad enough that I should have to deal with the family drama. I don't need to subject you to it. It should suffice to say that I believe strongly that family ALWAYS comes first. ALWAYS!

So, lacking any content of real interest I present my answers to this meme that I've seen everywhere.

48 Things You Could Care Less About

1. FIRST NAME? Hillary
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yup! We Jews are all about naming after the dead relatives. Can’tremember who right now though.
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Sometimes. If I’m feeling good then it’s not bad but, at other times it’s atrocious.
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Ahem, it’s called deli and that’s one very tough decision – pastrami, salami, rare roast beef – I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Just the blog.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I love breakfast cereal. Grape Nuts, Fruit Loops, Life, granola…
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Nope, like most people who’ve done this meme I rarely wear shoes that tie. Most days I’m in Clarks – I have 4 or 5 pairs.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I know so. Many years ago I had to shelve books and I loved to see how many books I could carry at once. The answer is – a lot! The big, strong, male attorneys I worked for never offered to lighten the load either – even when I was 8 months pregnant. Not that I would have let them.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Breyers mint chocolate chip without a doubt. I need some right now!
14. SHOE SIZE? 8 and a half
15. RED OR PINK? Red
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My ass – it couldn’t get much bigger.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My grandparents who live much too far away in NY.
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Navy blue, red, navy blue (Clarks of course)
20. LAST THING YOU ATE? A salad for lunch with dried cranberries and gorgonzola along with iced tea.21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Office noises

26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? Of course – all of them.
27. FAVORITE DRINK? At a local coffee shop they know me as the iced tea lady. Any questions?
28. FAVORITE SPORT? None really.29. EYE COLOR? Warm, dark, chocolate brown
30. HAT SIZE? No clue
31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Nope, despite all the childhood admonitions about reading in the dark I’m still 20/20. So there!
32. FAVORITE FOOD? Um, pizza, spinach, goat cheese, broccoli
33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings but not sappy. I can’t stand sappy stuff.
35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Spring & fall
36. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs are nice but my girls battle over who gets to give me a foot massage. That’s the best baby!
37. FAVORITE DESSERT? See number 13.
40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? The Optimists’s Daughter by Eudora Welty and Blood Orchid by Stuart Woods
41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? No mouse pad here.
42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? Shark and Grey’s Anatomy
43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? My girls laughing
44. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? Neither really, but, the Stones if I have to choose.
46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? I’m pretty crafty and I have a good visual sense.
48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Nobody – I swiped it.

Oct 18, 2006

Jeffrey !?

I just finished watching Project Runway and I’m a little disappointed. I’m sure that he’s talented but I just don’t think that Jeffery ought to be rewarded for poor behavior. I mean, really, he behaved like a jerk throughout most of the competition. S’ok, I’m over it. I really liked Uli’s collection a lot though. Too bad I’m not skinny or 20.

Speaking of skinny, I need to get a little something off my chest. Have you all seen the commercial for some nameless weight loss company with some chick talking about losing, like 40 lbs, and she’s so thrilled because now she’s a size 2? Does it irritate you like it irritates me? It’s not just that I’m never ever going to be anywhere near a size 2 again. I’m ok with that. It’s that the commercial is stupid and insipid. Who is it aimed at? She says that now that she’s a 2 she can wear a bikini again. You can’t do that if you’re a 4 or a 6 or an 8? Seriously! To me she is a girl who was skinnier than I’ll ever be before she lost the weight and I cannot imagine that this is really who they ought to be targeting with weight loss commercials.

Sorry about that. Rant over!

PA191614 On a more positive note, I managed to work out the details of a gift I’m making for my niece who shares the best day of the year with me. I’m sure that better knitters than I would have a plan before they cast on but, especially when it comes to felted bags, I tend to feel my way through the project.

I’d kind of like my sister to be a little surprised so I’m going to wait until after “the day” to show you the finished product. This is a little tease though. I should say that earlier this evening I was freaking out a little because… wait for it… I was afraid that I was going to run out of yarn before the bag was big enough. I initially bought 4 balls of the dark green which is very soft Elann Highland Wool. I’m doubling it throughout and now, when the bag is 5 inches high, I have finished the first set of balls. After panic and plotting I think it’ll work out ok. I think I was most worried because I was without vision for the strap. No longer! I’m thinking of i-cord and eyelets. If it works it’ll be very cool.

Jeffrey… really, are you sure?

Oct 17, 2006

WTF for the Holiday

PA181612 Guess what arrived today? Vogue’s holiday issue. There is the usual assortment of stuff that I wish I could wear, stuff I hope to make and stuff that’s pretty fugly. Then there is this. WTF! Is it just me or is it never, ever a good idea for anyone to wear a huge cabled bow across their chest?

My Funky Scarf Arrives

Me with a funky scarf This past weekend was a good one because not only did I receive my Socks of Doom – I got my funky scarf in the mail too. The Drama Queen took this picture of me wearing the scarf in my yard on Sunday. I really love it! Heidi, who is blogless, made it for me. It’s the Fickle Fingers pattern from the winter 2005 IK. It’s kind of funny because I have that issue and it was on the coffee table in front of me as I opened the box because I had been perusing it recently but I never noticed that pattern.

funky treat She sent a yummy chocolate bar and a lovely postcard along with the scarf. The postcard is of Colorado, where she lives and, coincidentally, where my sock assassin lives. Those of you who are paying attention may note that geography is not all these two knitters have in common. The both chose astonishingly similar colors to use. Can you believe that! Really now, what are the odds.

socks and scarf I made another pilgrimage to Ikea this weekend to purchase another storage unit. I really agonized over the decision. I was a little torn between two different designs but, really, I was distressed at having to make the purchase at all. I brought the selection home and it’s lovely. Really, it is! I just didn’t take any pictures because it’s still freaking me out. On the one hand, there are no longer bags and piles of yarn all over the living room. On the other hand, it is really scary that I need 2 storage units (however lovely they may be) a cabinet and multiple baskets to hold the stash. This may explain the rash of frantic knitting that is taking place at my house right now. Now that I can clearly see what's there, I can also see all that needs to get done. Every FO brings me closer to getting ths stash under control.

As if to put an exclamation point on the situation, my dad asked, as he surveyed the stash, if I had figured out how much of an investment the stash represents. NO!!! I cannot even begin to think of it. I don’t want to. Enough to pay DQ’s recital fees for 3 classes – yup! Enough to cover the down payment for both girls at sleep-away camp – check! Enough to cover the mortgage for a month – guilty! This is just a rough guess. Please believe me when I say that I just don’t want to know. I will also admit that it's likely that there will be more stash enhancement before this year is over.

Hubbo was in NY yesterday. His step father’s mother passed away at the age of 99 so he flew up for the day to attend the funeral. Returning home on the shuttle at 5:30 he found himself among a throng of business men. They were all reading their newspapers and working on laptops except for one guy that hubbo noticed who was knitting a sock. DH says that what caught his eye was the motion of his hands because the guy was a thrower. He thought the guy seemed far more relaxed than the rest. Imagine that!

Oct 16, 2006

Death by Sock

sOD and sky I’m dead!

My Socks of Doom arrived on Friday night and they’re great. The color is great, perfect for me, and they feel just wonderful on my feet. The sun was bright and the air was crisp so I took them outside on Saturday morning for a little photo shoot and I had every intention of doing a rare Saturday Sky post right away but it just didn’t work out. I just can’t seem to get my stuff together on Saturdays lately.

Socks of DoomParticipating in Sock Wars has been a lot of fun and it got me thinking about competitive sock knitting. I enjoyed it and, judging from the discussions in the Sock Wars Forum there are a whole lot of knitters that are really into it too. Consider me inspired but I’m not ready to share just yet. I need to iron out a few details first.

Intrigued? I certainly hope so.

Oct 13, 2006

Dyeing for Silk

natural silkI am often guilty of buying yarn without purpose – because it’s pretty or soft or, more likely, both. It’s rare that I buy yarn with purpose and stick to it. This may be why the final purchase I have to share from the fiber festival last weekend is special.

I’m in a bit of a lace/shawl phase lately and I really wanted to make one in silk. Enter this lovely hank of Bombyx Silk from Woven Gems. I picked it up and it fell in my bag. Well, actually, I checked my list and then it fell in my bag. Can you believe that?

I bought it with the idea of turning it into Susan’s Forest Canopy Shawl. start of the forest canopy shawlOn Sunday, the weather was great, sunny and warm and perfect for outdoor activities - like dyeing yarn. I used the Cushings that I bought at MDS&W - Navy Blue, Nile Green and something else which I forget right now. I had a little mishap while it was steaming on the stove (must not let the water in the bottom of the pot evaporate) and it took foever to rinse because dye just kept oming out of the yarn. I was scared of what the result would be because I've never dyed silk before but I think it worked out ok. After drying all week I got it on the needles last night and now it looks like this.

I took the picture above last night and it's ok but I think that the daylight really helps show off the shine and the colors better.

forest canopy outside

I managed to get the shawl started and knit 3 repeats on the body last night. It is super easy and I’m really enjoying this knit. As a bonus, the skein of silk had a lot more yardage than the pattern requires so I should be able to make this shawl a bit bigger than specified AND I’m sure I won’t rub out of yarn. Woo Hoo!

Finally, I’ve got some pansies to share. (just in case the shawl isn’t “eye candy” enough) I saw them in a planter right near the spot I used for my outdoor shot of the shawl. I love pansies but I can never bring myself to buy them knowing that they’ll be dead shortly after I plant them.


Oct 12, 2006

Spinners All

Thanks for all of the nice comments about the scarf and hat and, of course – DQ.

I think that I may have misrepresented or understated my love of that yarn. It occurs to me that I neglected to share this pat of a rather large purchase of Andean Silk that arrived last week.

Scarf for LScarf for D

On the left is the yarn I bought for DQ’s scarf. It’s Bluebell and Navy coupled with some eyelash in complementary colors. On the right is the yarn for Stinkerbelle’s scarf. She chose Cornflower and Hyacinth to go with the Lazy Daisy I found on sale at AC Moore. I can’t wait to start their scarves because that yarn makes my hands seriously happy.

I have more fiber to share today… and tomorrow. Yes, I was quite busy at the small Virginia Fiber Festival. I think that, maybe, I was lulled into it by the purchases made by my partner in crime enabler friend Felicia. Usually she comes with me on crafty outings and watches, (with wallet firmly placed in pocket) while I buy everything in sight. Not this time! Her wallet came out first. I can’t tell you how happy that made me.

Anyway, I’ve displayed the yarn but I also bought a little bit of spinning fiber.


This is part of the Finn which I hope to dye as part of the Twisted knitters Dye-Spin-Knit Along. I read somewhere, on one of the dozens of blogs I read, that it’s nice to spin. We shall see.


I don’t recall the type of fiber this is. I guess that you could say I was blinded by the pretty colors. Even so, I was going to resist it until DQ asked for a spindle. Can you believe that? My kid wants to spin! How could I refuse? I couldn’t, so I bought her a spindle and then she searched all the booths till she found fiber that appealed to her – in the same booth as this stuff I was resisting. What was I to do? I bought them both.

DQ's Spindle

Here are her first efforts at spinning. It’s not the smoothest or finest yarn but she’s very proud of it. I may frame it.

BTW - there's still one more new skein of yarn to share tomorrow.

Sock Wars Update - Nada in the mail yet. No socks to wear or knit. I'm still alive but my will to fight is waning.

Oct 11, 2006

Funky Scarf ... and hat!

I know that I promised to share more of my fiber acquisitions this week – and I will. I need to take a quick break though. It’s funky scarf time.

Funky scarf and hat Here is DQ sporting the finished funky scarf and the item formerly known as mystery shot #1. It’s a cute little hat to match the scarf. I’m pretty sure I mentioned that there was a lot of yarn left over from the scarf. Well, I had to do something with it. Right?

I have to say that I love this hat. It could stand to be a little bigger but it definitely works as is. I did the cuff on the fly, starting with a cast on in 2 colors and a corrugated ribbing. I really like the way it came out. I have to say that the fabric created by this Andean Silk yarn is just wonderful. I hope that my swap pal likes it. I’ll be mailing it (along with a few goodies) tomorrow.

The other mystery item from yesterday’s post is, naturally, a sock. It’s a gift sock though so I can’t say too much more about it. I’m planning on doing a lot of gift knitting over the next few months and I agonized over how to handle it on the blog because there are quite a few friends and family who read the blog. I think that I’ll share the items anyway, as much as possible, and leave out any identifying details. I think they’ll still be kind of surprised.

Oct 10, 2006

Purposeful Purchases

Care to guess what these are? I’ll give you a pair of hints. The first climbed onto my needles last night and will depart for it’s final destination later this week with a very funky traveling companion. The second item is just the start of something and going to be staying much closer to home – for a while anyway.


I’m so happy that you all like my sock purchases. I really love them and I can’t wait to get them on my needles. As I said yesterday, I opened my wallet a little more often than I should have so there are many more yarn acquisitions to share. This portion of the ongoing display of Stuff that Fell in My Bag is dedicated to that which was actually on my list. (yes, I did have a list - really!)

alpaca dragon

This is a gorgeous pile of alpaca from Woven Gems which I hope to turn into the Dragon Wing Shawl. I bought the pattern at Earth Guild in July and I’ve been itching to start it ever since. Of course, given my huge Alpaca Issues (I’ve fallen hard for the stuff) I went with some sinfully soft alpaca yarn. I long to wrap myself up in this shawl which will be enormous.

alpaca lace

Here’s a little lace weight for ya’ – in alpaca of course. This gorgeous stuff is from Rivanna River Farm. Technically this was not actually on my list but they had it displayed in the form of Evelyn Clark’s Swallowtail Shawl and nuppin’ will stop me from trying that pattern. (ooo that was painful.) Seriously, I’ve admired the versions of this shawl that are popping up around blogland and I really want to make one.

Not seen here is the silk that I bought from Woven Gems to make the Forest Canopy Shawl. It’s, um, drying at home. I’ll tell you more about that in another post.

Oct 9, 2006

Mud gets in your shoes and your ears and....

Mud 1 Saturday morning dawned ever bit as nasty as expected – and then some. It was cold and wet and generally nasty but that didn’t stop us. The call of the fiber was just too strong.
How cold was it? I wore my favorite Queens College (I just love that they’ve mentioned my alma mater on the first 2 episodes of Ugly Betty) sweatshirt AND my Disney hoodie. The second was supposed to be my back-up, just in case the first one got wet or muddy. I needed both.
mud boots I went to the festival with my buddy Felicia, the Drama Queen, and DQ’s friend Rachel. We are all currently active in Girl Scouts, whose motto is “be prepared” yet none of us prepared by wearing boots. Ooops! How pathetic is that? Both my sneakers and my Trekking socks, which I wore for the first time, came home totally soaked and caked with mud. Regardless of the improper footwear, we were very proud to have remained upright all day long. Staying on our feet and not losing our shoes in the mud were huge accomplishments. We are so proud! There ought to be a badge for mud walking.
mud car Just in case the first two pictures didn’t properly demonstrate the muddiness, here’s one of the roof of my car. Even that was liberally splattered in mud. But, here again I can be thankful because I didn’t get stuck in the mud at all. Many other cars did.
It wasn’t all about the mud at the festival. I got to meet Krista of the Naked Sheep at the festival. She was there with her daughter (who was wearing proper footwear) and I was happy that they braved the bad weather to go to the festival. It was so nice to see her in person.

Still with me? Good, here’s a little reward – fiber talk. I went with a shopping list of sorts this time. You may recall that my trip to Maryland Sheep and Wool was a little more expensive that I intended. I tried to avoid that by using a list. Unfortunately the list is only good if you stick to it. I didn’t. I really don’t think that sock yarn counts though.


Lorna’s Laces in “River”

Spirit trail

Spirit Trail Fiberworks


Bransonas in “Hallmark”

I’ll show you more of the stuff that fell in my bag tomorrow. There’s also a new sock, some dyeing and a bit of spinning to share this week. I’ve been busy.

Oct 6, 2006

Eye Candy Friday 10-6-06

Today is Eye Candy Friday and its rainy and gross here. Thankfully, I saved this picture for just such a rainy day.

Kid Play Sculpture

I saw this sculpture one evening recently as I extended my evening commute with a shopping detour. I love the playful feel of it. The sky was threatening that night and I was worried that the rain would start and I’d get drenched but it never happened. No such luck today. It is doing that lovely horizontal rain that’s nearly impossible to avoid. I am more than ready for a little fiber therapy at the Virginia Fiber Festival – even if the weather report says that there is a 60% chance of rain.

Oct 5, 2006

Charming Indeed

I was in Charm City yesterday to visit one of the libraries I manage and whip it into shape. The office is right in the Inner Harbor and when I arrived yesterday morning there were very few people out so I had a chance to enjoy it and take it all in without distractions. I felt like a tourist and I wondered how they get anything done in that office with this right outside.

IH Sculpture 2
Sculpture with waterfalls

And this…

IH Sculpture
Plaza Sculpture

And, of course, this…

Ship and Aquarium
See the aquarium behind the USS Constellation?

It’s really a miracle that I made it inside at all. I did get a lot of work done though and it was a really productive day. I felt great right up to the point that I started trekking home. Then the trip started to wear on me because it took over three hours to get home. Some of it was bad choices (MARC train rather than Amtrak), some was stupid mistakes (getting on the blue line train rather than the orange), but in the end the blame doesn’t really matter. It all adds up to an exhausting trip home but, like the trip itself, a productive one.

Trekwalkers Look what I finished yesterday! Hubbo’s socks. They look saggy on my feet because I have normal feet rather than pontoons like hubbo. I chose to model them myself though in order to spare you the vision of his furry legs. Just say thank you and move along.

The socks are wonky in more ways than I can count but, hubbo says that they feel great and they look cool if you don’t get too close. I’m just glad they’re done. Although I started them during the summer, I did most of the second sock in October which makes them my first Socktoberfest socks. In honor of Socktoberfest and the completion of another pair of socks, I present my answers to Lolly’s questions:

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class? - I started in January 2006. I learned by checking my reference books as I followed the Jaywalker pattern.
What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time? - They were Jaywalkers that I knit in Ruby Slippers Socks That Rock. I really don’t wear them all that much because I they’re a little tight and don’t work well with my Clarks.
What would you have done differently? - I would have knit them a little looser. I also would have kept them out of the washer. They went through by accident and look a little fuzzy now.
What yarns have you particularly enjoyed? Sundara, Koigu and Elann Esprit made my hands really happy. I think that I like sproingy yarns that are a little more cushiony.
Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method? - I’ve tried many ways but I always come back to my #2 Addi’s. Nothing else works quite as well for me.
Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?) - If I’m knitting top down (which I rarely do any more) then I like a flap heel with the eye of partridge pattern. For toe up socks I still don’t have a favorite heel but I’m in love with the Turkish cast-on for the toe.
How many pairs have you made?This last pair was my twelfth. I only kept four for me. The rest were gifted away.

Still no socks of doom in my mailbox but my victim posted the receipt of hers so I guess that I’m officially an assassin.