Mar 31, 2010

Adina's Welcome

I finished another baby sweater. This one is for my cousin's daughter, Adina. I really love making baby stuff. You can get all the details and interesting construction of an adult garment but the nearly instant gratification of doing it on a much smaller scale.

I love so many things about this sweater, staring with the yarn. I used KP Swish DK in Tidepool Heather and I'd use it again. I chose it because it was superwash and offered many colors. I'm very into nontraditional colors for baby gifts and I think this fits. The blue-green is really nice but the heathering makes it truly lovely and soft. Speaking of soft, this yarn is really, really soft. It was perfect for the purpose.


The pattern is Baby Ferris by Norah Gaughan and it's been in my favorites for a really long time. When I finally started on it I was surprised to see that more knitters hadn't made it yet because it's vey cute. Then I started working on it and I'm thinking that the amount of finishing may be a turn off for many. This knits up in six pieces including 2 for the back. That's a lot of finishing and then there are the bands that get knitted on. I think the finishing took almost as long as the knitting.

But when the results are this cute isn't it worth it? Look at the shaping on the back. So sweet.


I really enjoyed knitting - and even finishing - this sweater. I think that the end result is worth any fiddliness and the instructions were very clear. There were only 2 places that I ran into trouble and I think that it has to do with sizing the pattern down (it was originally published as a child sweater). The sleeves are wrong. The pattern says to cast on using the larger needles and knit for 5 inches before picking up 50 stitches and knitting the sleeve. I couldn't do it. I tried. I wound up casting on with the smaller needles (I switched to the larger ones for the rest of the sleeves) and knitting a 6 inch strip. That allowed me to pick up the requisite 50 stitches and knit on happily. The other issue was seaming the sides. It just didn't match up quite right but I made it work.

Mar 30, 2010

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Favorite Easter/Passover Traditions

Once again Carole has come up with the pefect topic for a Tuesday - 10 Favorite Easter/Passover Traditions. It's all the more perfect for me because, for the first time in memory, I'm not doing any seders at my house at all. I was so gratified to have more than a few people express regret that they won't be coming to a seder at our house this year. It's nice to be missed. I'll need to remember this next year when I'm making myself crazy with preparations.

My family is actually having a completely non-traditional holiday in ways I'm not quite ready to share. It feels weird not to be busy changing my dishes and preparing a feast.

  1. Filling the house with friends and family

  2. Preparing the festive meal

  3. Reading the haguddah around the table. There is lot's of giggling and discussion and it's all wonderful.

  4. Spicing up the celebration with little extras like props, masks, articles, and atories

  5. Setting the huge table with all the crystal and flowers and pretty things.

  6. The stealing of the afikomen. The bargaining and the wheeling and dealing for a gift in exchange for it later.

  7. The wine - 4 glasses. Make mine 4 full glasses please.

  8. Making the charoses - wine and honey and apples and nuts. Yum!

  9. The hard boiled eggs with salt water. - Yum again.

  10. Really, all the food makes me smile. It's not until day 4 or 5 that the dietary restrictions of the holiday start to wear on me.

I can't wait to hear you're favorite holiday traditions.

Mar 28, 2010

Know Your Own Strength

Here was my husband Bruce last August wearing his new vest. Quite a bit has changed since then.

In January of this year my husband was selected from over 750 applicants to be one of 6 contestants in the Know Your Own Strength Challenge sponsored by Gold's Gym and the Washington Post. He was assigned to a trainer named Antonio (below left next to Jim Snow, the President of Gold's Gym) who worked him hard for 12 weeks.

It was a little weird because his progress and that of the other challengers has been appearing in the Tuesday issues of The Express. The first week caught me totally off guard when someone told me they saw my husband in the paper. I hadn't realized it was such a big deal.


Last Thursday night was the big reveal. All six of the contestants were given spa days and new clothes for the big day. Bruce got an amazing custom suit from Geoffrey Lewis Ltd. that he loves. We all gathered at the Washington Post offices for a lovely dinner and a celebration. Unfortunately my husband didn't take home the oversized check for $5000. He came in second and got a small gift from Gold's.

He is still a winner though because he lost 56 lbs during the challenge. 56! It's a big deal because he's still out of work and without the challenge he could easily have been sitting at home watching TV (more than he did anyway) and gaining weight. I call that a win.


Happily, although his pants are barely staying up - even with a belt, the vest still fits. It would truly suck if, after years on the needles, I finished it only to find it's way too big. That could change though because Gold's gave each contestant a year membership to continue their workouts.

Mar 26, 2010

ECF - Daffodil Edition

My daffodils did open this week. Just days after I first noticed them.


I wish you all a wonderful weekend full of the signs of spring!

Mar 25, 2010

The Ever Evolving Yard

I'm still on Cherry Blossom watch and when I checked last night I saw changes already. Something is popping out of the buds I saw on Sunday. I just heard that the blossoms are supposed to peak aroung April 5th so i suppose it's no surprise that they're moving fast right now.


There are other changes in the landscape too. Here's what I saw when I took a really close look at the huge Euonymous bush that was near our carport. Externally it looked great with lots of fresh new leaves springing forth all over. On the inside it was horribly damaged. After cutting it back to remove the damaged parts it would've been little more than a stub. It had to come out and it did.


By the time I got home last night all that was left were the stumps. I was sure that we could get them out ourselves. I am really goot at supervising and stage directing. Heh! No, seriously, I got involved enough to make a muddy mess of my pretty Danskos. By the time we called it a day one of the 2 stumps was out and the other was on it's way.


I'd hate to end on a down note so here are my lilacs. When I planted them 2 or 3 years ago they were little more than twigs. Each year they get bigger and stronger but they've yet to flower. Could this be the year that we finally see it bloom?


Mar 24, 2010

Jackie's Socks

I finished a pair of socks last week. It's my third complete pair for this year but I was hoping to knit 18 pairs in 2010 so I'll need to pick up the pace a bit.

These are one of those rare pairs of socks that I've knit by request. I give socks away all the time but it's usually something I decide on my own or because my girls see a pair on the needles and claim them mid-knit. This time my S-I-L saw me knitting socks while visiting last fall and asked if I'd make her a pair. I was kind of flattered and said yes.


As I mentioned before, these started with the Nutkin pattern but it's really just a Nutkin leg surrounded by sock elements that make me happy. I started with a picot edge rather than a plain one and I did an eye of partridge flap heel rather than short rows. I also went with a foot that was plain except for purl rows traveling down the sides for definition. I like elements that flow into each other and the purl rows continue from the sides of the leg. It works for me.


The yarn is Caper Sock by String Theory in a color called Isis. I like Margene's idea of calling it Iris in a Blender. It's superwash wool with nylon and cashmere. You can really feel the cashmere. After a soaking and a blocking (yes, I blocked a pair of socks for the first time in years) the cashmere has a lovely fluffy haze and these socks are amazingly soft to the touch.

Now these socks are on their way to Brooklyn where I hope they'll be greeted happily.

Mar 22, 2010

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Signs of Spring

I'll bet that there are quite a lot of folk who are only too happy to tick off the Signs of Spring. I know I am. In fact, I was doing just that last weekend when I took these pictures.


It was such a long, hard, winter, and I was anxious to see how my little yard fared. It could've been worse and it could've been better. Today we'll focus on the good.

  1. The daffodils are out all over the place. Above are the ones I planted near our mailbox. They'll pop any day now.

  2. There's still enough light to relax outside when I get home from work each day.

  3. My irises are starting to poke up through the soil. You know how I love my irises.

  4. The streets are filled with bicycle riders. It seems like everywhere I go I see bike racks on cars and people riding. I feel the spark of inspiration.

  5. There are bags of dead leaves and detritus at the curbs all through the neighborhood. Spring cleaning is underway!

  6. Stinkarooney got her team assignment for Spring Softball. Practice ought to start any day.

  7. The weather is warm enough already to eat on the deck. Yes, I mentioned this in yesterday's post too. Can you tell how excited I am about this?

  8. Festival season is just around the corner. Can you believe that MDS&W is just over a month away?

  9. I don't need to wear my jacket anymore. I happily washed my winter coat and hung it in the closet.

  10. Cherry Blossom watch has started. My little tree is laden with buds. I just hope I don't miss too much while we're on vacation.


Meet the Boss

Did you see the show last night? Did you see Undercover Boss? If you did then you'll recognize the guy standing between DQ and Bruce as our cousin Michael. The other person in this picture taken at a family event last November is their Uncle Steve. Can you see the family resemblance?

Bunch of Rubins

I think it was a good show and very true to the person we know Michael to be. He is very focused on his company but he's also unfailingly generous and I think that came through.

Excitement over the show was huge this weekend but we managed to get a few other things done. The big theme was the deck. We ate out there Friday and Saturday night. It was glorious!


Saturday I hit a local nursery for seeds and seedlings. This summer our garden will include the usual green peppers, corn, zucchini, pumpkins, and tomatoes but we're also trying a few new things. We'll attempt to grow broccoli, brussels sprouts, potatoes and spinach. Stinkette and I made a big mess on the deck on Saturday afternoon planting some of the spinach in the planter boxes (you can just see it peeking out) and re-doing the strawberry planter. If we can just remember to water all out lovely plants then we ought to be eating well this summer.

Mar 19, 2010

ECF - Green Fountain Edition

It's been a gorgeous week here in DC so on Wednesday I took a little walk during my lunch hour. I really wanted to see the White House fountain turned green. I don't know if it was the bright sunlight or the water wasn't tinted that dark but I was underwhelmed. It's ok though because it was a nice excuse to get out and walk a little and still a great day.


What do you think? Can you see the green?

Mar 18, 2010

Twenty Things Meme

IMG_3058[1]I did finish the String Theory socks yesterday and the weather report for this weekend is good so i hope to have pictures for next week. Not only that but I'm down to the last sleeve on the Baby Ferris. By this weeked that could be finished as well and they could both be on their way to their respective new homes in NY. I rewarded myself for finishing the Nutkins by casting on a new pair of socks in some lovely Claudia Hand Paint in Caribbean Blue. I don't have a specific pattern in mind, I'm just starting with a toe and seeing where it takes me.

I've seen this meme around a few places this week. I think Carole did it first but I've seen it on a bunch of other blogs too.

1. Explain what ended your last relationship?
Who can remember? I’ve been married for nearly 16 years and we were together even before that.
2. When was the last time you shaved?
Last Saturday. It really needed to be done.
3. What were you doing this morning at 8 a.m.
On my way to work
4. What were you doing 15 minutes ago?
Reading the news
5. Some things you are excited about?
An upcoming trip. MDS&W and all the great fairs and festivals coming up. Starting my garden plans.
6. What is your favorite flavor of JELL-O?
None! I’ve never liked the stuff.
7. Your prom night, what do you remember about it?
My pretty mint green dress. Missing the boyfriend I started dating a week or so earlier – who was not my date.
8. Do you have any famous ancestors?
Not really.
9. Last thing received in the mail?
A letter from my sister. She loves snail mail.
10. How many different beverages have you had today?
Just one – a cup of tea.
11. Do you ever leave messages on people’s answering machine?
Occasionally. I kind of hate them and I’m most likely to hang up and wait to get an actual person on the phone. Just bein’ honest.
12. Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?
Not really. I take pictures. I soak up the rays. I read books. I knit.
13. Any plans for Friday night?
I can’t recall. How sad is that?
14. Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?
No. I’m not a huge fan of being in the ocean in general. The salt feels icky and the sand goes in places I’d rather it didn’t. I do like to look at the ocean though.
15. Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns?
16. Do you re-use towels after you shower?
Yes. I don’t need to add any more to the mountain of laundry to be done. Besides, I’m clean when I get out of the shower so why not.
17. Describe your keychain(s)?
Aside from my keys, I just have a medallion from the 2005 Rose Parade and it all hangs on a strap embroidered with DQ’s school name. Go Rams!
18. Where do you keep your change?
A little bit is in my wallet but most of it is on the bottom of my handbag. There’s a lot of it there.
19. When was the last time you spoke in front of a large group of people?
The last time that I couldn’t avoid it. I hate public speaking so I’ve blocked it out of my mind.
20. What kind of winter coat do you own?
I have a few but I don’t love any of them. The one I wear most is a black Eddie Bauer parka-like thing. I’ll need to address that before it gets cold again.

That's it.

Mar 17, 2010

The Felted Daypack

I finished - and delivered - another handknit about a week ago. As my brother noted, it was a bit non-traditional. I made a Felted Daypack from the pattern by Joy Geib Doss for my sister-in-law.


I first started this way back in November intending to give it to Misun for Hannukah. No dice! I got lost in a slog of stockinette and made slippers for her instead. I turned back to it in February intending it as a birthday gift. I'm either way early or a little late depending on how you look at it. My S-I-L is a leap year baby. Ha! I chose to see it as early for her next actual birthday.

daypackI wish I had a better picture to show how it fits but here it is on my S-I-L's back as she walks my niece who likes to climb on everything. It looks like the right size to carry the stuff you'd need out and about for the day. It's really the same size as my handbag but without the pockets.

This brings me to the knit itself. I used Elann Peruvian Highland Wool in Daffodil and Ink. When I was about 3/4 finished with the project I started worrying a lot about the yellow and if it would felt since I know that light colored yarns are a bit of a crap shoot. I needn't have worried. As always this stuff felted like a dream.

I knit it mostly as written except for most of the finishing. I left off the pockets because... ok, let's be honest - I was tired of stockinette. I could say that it was a matter of practicality or aesthetics but I'd be lying. If she really wants them then I can add them later.


The other change was the closure. The pattern called for making a felted cord to fo through eyelets and a loop to attach the flap to a button on the body. None of this sounded great to me. I was worried about the flap staying shut and stuff falling out and I just flat out didn't feel any love for the felted cord so I left them off.

As I sat and attached the straps it hit me that I really wanted the same type of closure for this bag that I have on my Keens and I told Bruce. Wouldn't you know that he had an extra one laying around? He'd requested a replacement for one of his shoes a while back and they sent an extra. It was perfect. I threaded it through the eyelets and it holds the bag closed very reliably.


Now the pretty blue and yellow button is just decorative. I really like it like that.

Mar 16, 2010

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Today Carole suggested that we list 10 Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Although I love greeen and I really do like St Patricks day celebrations I'm not sure how far I'll get on this list. I don't drink beer and it's unlikely that, with our crazy household schedule, we can fit in much celebrating at all.


1. Wear Green - This I can certainly do. I'm thinking of a green sweater and green
socks for sure.
2. Cast on for something new in green - I'm hoping to finish the current socks OTN today and the next yarn has plenty of green in it.
3. Eat Entenmanns Cupcakes - I am a total sucker for their holiday cupcakes. Yum!
4. Walk over to the White House and see if the Obama's tinted the fountain green again this year.
5. Remember to set up the Leprechaun trap with Stinkette. She pretends that she's serious about it but I think it's just an excuse to get me to give her a treat.
6. Remember to make sure the leprechaun leaves a treat. ;)
7. Eat corned beef maybe - I'll see if I'm in the mood.

That's it. That's all I've got. Seven. How will you celebrate the day?

Mar 15, 2010

The Monday After

Is it me or are Monday's even harder when you've had a long weekend? Throw in the whole Spring Forward thing and a ton of rain and this is one miserable day.

I had a few use it or lose it days and I took them last Thursday and Friday. Mostly because I needed a bit of quiet time and partly because I was hosting the cast party for DQ's Middle School Musical on Friday night. Those things always make me nuts but the party turned out to be a huge success and I am soooooo relieved. I'd hate to be the parent who threw a dud.


Aside from the party there was a visit to the dentist and, for balance, a visit to a new-ish yarn store. Fibre Space is a great addition to the area. I walked in and found a really welcoming space full of gorgeous color, arranged - and labeled - really clearly. Ya gotta love that. There was a lot of familiar yarn and a few that were new to me like Shokay, Queensland Kathmandu, and a local indy dyer - Dragonfly Fibers. Of course I brought home a few.

Now I'm back to work and looking forward to next weekend. It'll be a great one because Bruce's cousin is going to be on Undercover Boss and we're all really excited about that. We are going to laugh our way through a week of promos for the episode featuring cousin Michael.

Mar 12, 2010

ECF - Farm Edition

Ok, here's the last of the pictures from last weekends trip to the farm. I promise. No more random cows, barns, and country stuff ....


... unless I find one I missed in my camera.

Have a good one!

Mar 11, 2010

Holding Out.

I've got another finished object waiting in the wings to show off but I'm saving those for another day in favor of a progress post. I feel like stuff ought to appear at least once before it pops up as a finished project.

DSC_1336As usual, I'm working on a bunch of stuff all at once. This is an oldie, a bit of lace that's been unfinished for over a year. Ugh!

This is Juno Regina. It's not quite half way finished but I already know I'm going to love it. I love the color of the yarn and the combination of beads in blues and silver. It really deserves to be finished and I know that if I can find the right rhythm for the middle section that this will be finished in no time.

DSC_1334There's something new on the needles too. This is the Baby Ferris by Norah Gaughan in KP Swish DK. What do you think of the color? It's called Tidepool Heather and I've been going back and forth about it but now that I'm actively working with it I think I really like it. It's not the usual color for baby sweaters and I like that.

Anyway, this is the first 2 pieces of the sweater - both for the back. A 2-piece back! I knew that there was interest in the front but, until I started working on it I had no idea that the construction was anything out of the ordinary. This could be more fun than I anticipated.

DSC_1335Finally, there's a sock. Isn't there always? This is the second modified Nutkin for my S-I-L. Really, it's a Nutkin leg with a simple foot I like better.

The yarn is String Theory in a color called Isis. I'm not getting the Isis thing at all. When I see these socks all I think of is Monet's Waterlilies. It's a good thing.

So what are you working on?

Mar 10, 2010

Skully Mitts

Yesterday I enjoyed my lunch al fresco for the first time in quite a while. It was a lovely, warm and sunny day, the kind that reminds you that spring is really close. Soon we can put away our winter coats and winter accessories...

So let's talk about gloves today. Fingerless gloves. As a friends says, they are the potato chip of knitting and that is such a good thing because my daughters love them. Sometimes I wonder which they like better - handknit socks or handknit fingerless gloves. I think that the edge goes to the socks but not by much.


It seems like my girls constantly have a suggestion or a request for the next pair of fingerless gloves I should make for them. At this point I rarely knit the available patterns "as is" because my girls have definite requirements and also because doing my own thing makes it more interesting. More challenging. More fun.

Most recently I had been pondering a lovely skein of Dream In Color Classy for months and trying to come up with a plan to incorporate rays of sun and circles and waves into a pair of fingerless gloves. I wasn't getting very far.


About a week ago Stinkette changed up her list of demands. She just wanted skulls. That was so much easier. First I abandoned the DIc in favor of some KP Merino Style in dusk and cornflower. I'll use the DIC for the next gloves for her but the pattern that immediately popped into my head needed solids. I really loved using the Merino Style and stinkette likes wearing it but these gloves are getting really fuzzy, really fast.


The pattern itself just came out of my head. I kept notes in Rav so that I could do the second mitt to match the first so that's the closest thing to a pattern. Start with a picot edge, move on to a few contrasting purl ridges at the wrist and fingers and in between knit straight to provide a nice canvas for overstitching.

The overstitching was just a graph I made for myself. I'm happy to share it if antone wants but it was really pretty simple.

The bottom line is that Stinkette loves these. She wears them to school, to play and to bed. I'd better start planning the next pair because she loves her mitts to death.

Mar 9, 2010

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Movie Stars You Would Like to Meet

Check out this lovely bovine that I saw last weekend. She oughta be in pictures - don't ya think? Such an expressive face.


Speaking of expressive faces, my friend Carole is still in an Ocsar frame of mind and suggested that today's list should be 10 Movie Stars we'd like to meet. I think it's a fine and timely idea. While I admire many movie stars, I'm usually content to worship them from afar, the list of those I'd really love to meet is actually pretty short. It's not necessarily those who are the most talented but those who seem like they'd be fun to hang out with.

  1. Meryl Streep - This is just one classy lady. She is one of the very best actors out there and yet she seems to have a truly generous spirit.
  2. Julia Roberts - I have loved ever since Pretty Woman and we share the same birthday. She's gotta be cool! We could even knit together.
  3. George Clooney - Why not! He's so talented and so easy on the eyes. I bet he'd be a brilliant conversationalist.
  4. Harrison Ford - Here's a man who's aging incredibly well and he's so down to earth.
  5. Maggie Gyllenhaal - I'm not sure why but i think she'd have a lot to say.
  6. Bruce Willis - I'm entertained by him every time I see him on TV and I think that he is one cool dude!
  7. Morgan Freeman - Talk about cool. This man epitomizes it.
  8. Sandra Bullock - This would be a sentimental favorite for us and she's from our area!
  9. John Cusak - I've loved his movies forever!
  10. Hugh Grant - Funny with an accent. Win!

Who would you want to meet?

Mar 8, 2010


This is my 1000th post. Can you believe it? I was so surprised when I noticed it this morning. As one who has a long history of abandoning projects I am shocked that I'm still knitting after all these years. That I'm still blogging about it - and getting answers - is just the icing on the cake. Thank you all for keeping it fun.

Speaking of fun, this past weekend was both fun and exhausting. We started right after work on Friday. Bruce, the girls and I enjoyed an evening on the town. It's one of many this month. This time we went to see the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit at the National Geographic museum.


It was wonderful. When you see the statues up close you notice all the incredible detail and it's just jaw-dropping when you realize the amount of work that must have gone into creating thousands of figures that are all unique. Amazing!


Happily my weekend also included a bit of time out in the country. A friend called early Saturday morning and suggested a trip out to a farm in Maryland for a bit of yarn. Who was I to say no?


Stinkette and I really enjoyed the fresh air. It's still very wet and muddy out there but Spring is definitely coming.

How was your weekend?

Mar 5, 2010

ECF - Hamantaschen Edition

Last weekend we celebrated Purim. It's yet another Jewish holiday that follows the general outline: they tried to kill us, we won, let's eat. The twist on this one is that it's observed a lot like Halloween. Those who choose to do so (not me) get in costume and we go to hear the Megillah read while the adults get smashed. Really, at our shul they beak out the blender right in the sanctuary. Margarita anyone?


Anyway, the other thing that Purim is known for is Hamantaschen which are 3 cornered cookies filled with whatever you like. The shiny red filling is raspberry, which my girls made for me. For themselves they used chocolate chips and marshmallows. Yum!
Have a great weekend!

Mar 4, 2010


As I said in earlier posts, my knitty mojo is really working lately. It's so good right now that I finished Bitterroot by Rosemary Hill on the same day that I finished my Ravelympic Mittens. Even better, I was able to get it blocked on a timely basis and the weather cooperated for a photo shoot.


I convinced DQ to take a brief break from her homework and we went down to a local park. I thought that we'd take pictures by the lake but the ground was mushy and gross. We had fun anyway. It was good to get out.


I used Elann Peruvian Baby Silk in gentle violet. I really love the feel of this yarn. It was fun to knit, it behaved well, and the color is lovely. The best thing about using this yarn was that it was stash. It had been in my posession for years. I am so happy that it's moved on.


The pattern was a win too. I am very picky about the lace I knit. I look for graceful transitions between motifs and Bitterroot has them. I also adored the lacy edge. It's light and airy and looks much more difficult than it was. As a bonus, the loops made this much easier to block.


Possibly the most satisfying thing about this knit is that it didn't linger. It was just a month from the time I started it to the time I gifted it. It didn't go to famiily, it didn't even go to a friend. I gave it to a woman I know who's been admiring my knits for quite a while. She loved it and I know that she appreciates it and that makes it a success for me.

Mar 3, 2010

Random Wednesday

On Monday morning I splashed my coffee all over the sleeve of my sweater and jacket on my way to work. How can that be anything but an ominous sign that the week will suck?

Despite the fact that my knitting mojo is still flowing and, in fact, I have 2 projects that are likely to cross the finish line by Friday, I feel very random. This is one of the nearly complete projects. They're Stinkerbelle's long awaited fingerless gloves. Her next pair. She has a few but she always has an idea for what I can do with the next pair. There is no pattern for these other than the notes I'm making in Ravelry as I go along.


I am currently planning 2 party-like events. I'm not sure how I keep getting myself into these things other than a habit of saying "Yes." It's really ok ecept that both events have itty bitty budgets. I'm not an itty bitty budget planner. I want every event I plan to be awesome.

The snow is still very present in our area and I really think that people need to get over it already. Parking in the commuter lot is still ridiculous because people are continuing to ignore the painted lines and park any which way. If I can see the lines then so can they.

Yarn is multiplying in my house. I swear I have no clue where it's coming from. I cannot possibly have bought it all. I was trying to clean it up last night because I was sure that there was more than one chair in the living room and I suspected that the other one was buried under yarn. I was right. DH suggested storing the yarn with birth control pills instead of cedar balls. It's an idea.

Finally, I know exactly how I'll spend the money I'm saving on yarn. My diffuser recently bit the dust so I went looking for a new one. Most stores only sell diffusers with hair dryers so I had to go to a specialty store to get one by itself. I did that last weekend and used it happily for 2 days. This morning my hair dryer died. I have bad hair today. I need a new hair dryer.

Mar 2, 2010

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Things You Want to Knit RIGHT NOW!

The Ten on Tuesday topic this week is 10 Things You Want to Knit RIGHT NOW. Considering that I just finished 2 projects and I’ve got another 2 that will be complete really soon, this is a timely subject. There are so many great patterns out there that I’d love to cast on right this minute. I bet that reading other people’s posts will add even more to my queue.

1. Citrus – After my recent success with stranding I can’t wait to try another pair.
2. Knotty Gloves – This has been in my queue for well over a year and I evenbought the yarn for it - mmmmm cashmere – I need to start these already.
3. Secret Garden – Another pattern that’s been in my queue forever and, again, I already have the yarn. I need to knit this before all the small people this might fit get too big.
4. Baby Ferris – Speaking of small people, I need to get started on this little sweater for my cousin’s new baby.
5. Shipwreck Shawl – I just want this. Lace is one of the most fun things to knit.
6. Graph 19, District of Vidzeme – Am I a little preoccupied with stranded knitting right now? Of course I am.
7. Central Park Hoodie – This would look so cute on DQ and, as with so many projects, I already have the yarn for it.
8. Bella’s Mitts – DQ wants these and I think that I could really use a quick little knit. Gotta get these done before it gets too warm.
9. Slippers For Me – I saw a pair of slippers on Ravelry () that I want desperately and I just know I can make a kick-ass pair.
10. Socks! – It seems like everyone wants them and I love making them so it’s a win-win.

Mar 1, 2010


For those of you who have not yet seen them on Ravelry, here are my finished Ruba'iyat Mittens. Words cannot adequately express how pleased I am with them - mostly because I expected that they'd be an epic fail.

This was not my first experience with stranded knitting but it is the first success. The other 2 items are long standing UFO's and unlikely to ever see the light of day. They are puckered and pathetic. This history of failure is why I chose stranded knitting for my Ravelympic project. It's not a challenge if it's a sure thing.


I used a combination of Dream in Color Smooshy in Spring Tickle and KP Essential Kettle Dyed in Soot for these mittens. Not only are these yarns incredibly soft and warm but I think that the subtle variegation in the colors adds a pleasing depth to the pattern.


Of course the yarn is only part of the story and the project would look like total crap if the stitches were puckery. It's a little indulgent but I just have to share these 2 pictures to demonstrate how smooth these stitches are. These have been finished since last Thursday and I still can't believe how even the stitches came out. Inside out or rightside out - they make me smile.


The pattern was really easy to follow and I found it to be a good one for learning stranded knitting. I especially like the way the cuff pattern isn't pefectly centered so it doesn't look all matchy.

There was only one place where I had trouble and that's the thumb. Three times I tried to pick up the stitches so that the palm pattern would continue perfectly and three times I failed. You can't see it most of the time and it's really pretty close but I know the imperfection is there and it's making me a little obsessive about getting it right. I'm wondering if there is a pattern out there where the thumb instructions are written in a foolproof way or at least explained better.


So, what's the takeaway from this experience? I really like stranded knitting. I know myself well enough to know that I'm way too ADD to tackle a sweater and get it finished in a reasonable time frame but there are certainly more mittens, and maybe hats, in my future. A whole mess of KP Palette and the Latvian Mittens book may have arrived on my doorstep I the last week or so. And did I mention that I saw (and fondled) a Starmore hat kit last weekend. To. Die. For!