Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Can't you just see it?

I can just see some sweet little baby girl with chubby cheeks wearing this hat! I finished it last night for a baby shower this weekend. It is a pattern from called the Sweet Pea Hat. I am not thrilled with the tension because I had to adapt the pattern to a different yarn. Next time I will go down a needle size to make the gauge look nicer. But what a fun, easy piece to knit! Hopefully, I will get a picture of the recipient wearing it after she's born.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Lace Shawl

Here is a close up of the Shawl pattern after the blocking process. I was very pleased with the lace blockers and the exercise mat to block them on. For some reason I had a hard time getting a photograph of this project. It just wouldn't come out clear for me. Anyway, this gives you an idea, and really shows what a difference the blocking makes!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Block On!!!

After a good nights soak, I let the water out of the sink to start the blocking process. Even though this is burgundy, I was happy to see that there wasn't color in the water. I gathered up two beach towels and kept one of them pretty much folded up. I squished some water out in the sink by pushing on the shawl. I had read to absolutely NOT wring it out. I then lifted it with both hands and plopped it on the beach towel. I folded on section of the towel over it and stepped on it several times. This got rid of most of the water. The second towel I arranged the shawl on it jelly roll style. I rolled it up in to a small roll and stepped on that also. It actually felt almost dry and I worried I wouldn't get it on the blockers before it was dry. I had read about the exercise mats on Wendy Knits and thought it was a great portable idea for blocking. I ordered mine from . They don't take much storage space and you have the flexibility of making them whatever size you want. I have never used wire lace blockers before, so I'm not sure I did it right, but I wove the wires in and out on the edges and pinned them to the exercise mats. I will now let it sit overnight to dry. Weaving the wires was a bit tedious and I'm glad I had a table big enough to hold the mats otherwise I can see where one's back could really start hurting if it had to be done on the floor. So, hopefully tomorrow, I will have a nice photo of my finished shawl to post.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Shawl Blocking

I finished the shawl that I started a while back and wrote about on June 25th. This will be MY first time blocking a shawl with blocking wires, so I thought it might be helpful to photograph the process for others. Experienced blockers; PLEASE feel free to comment! So, here is the shawl before blocking. I have it soaking in water. I have read everything from overnight to 30 minutes, so since it is wool, I'll let it soak overnight. Tomorrow I will roll it carefully in towels to squeeze the water out and put it on the blocking wires. Stay tuned for part two tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

One Crazy Halloween Sock!

Here's the crazy Halloween sock. I took one picture with flash and one without so hopefully the true colors will come through. This is the kit in the previous post that I had hoped to get one done by Halloween. I did indeed do that. They sure are wild and crazy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween !!!!!

I hope all of you have a day full of sweets and treats!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Halloween Treat

I'm a little behind in my knitting but I finally started my Halloween Sock kit from Wool Girl. When I received this package it was such a treat! I felt like a little kid again. The pattern is called "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown", and it uses yarn from White Oak Studio called TV Yarn. I love knitting with this yarn. It feels nice on the hand and flows off the needle. There is even enough yarn to do an optional orange toe. Also included in the kit was the cute little Charlie Brown bag to store the socks in while knitting them. If you look REAL close, you will also see a little tiny pumpkin stitch marker sitting on top of the ghost character. There WAS one more element to the package, but sorry, I ate it all before I took the photo. It was truly a wonderful Trick or Treat for me the day this kit arrived!
Now, I just have to think of a costume that has only one foot, since I won't have a pair by Halloween! lol

Friday, October 19, 2007

A Pair With a Week to Spare!

I finished my second sock from the Rockin Sock Club. This pair of socks was fun to knit and because they were anklets, they worked up fairly fast. At least they seemed to work up faster! My next kit should be shipped next week, so I'm ready. Meanwhile, I started a Halloween sock from Woolgirl. More about that in the next post.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Another project finished!

The day before I went to NY, I went to Bainbridge Island and took a Fair Isle class at Churchmouse Yarns. I know some things about Fair Isle, but it bothers me that my stitches aren't even in the colorwork, and I"m trying hard to eliminate puckering. So, I take a class whenever I see a good instructor is offering one. I am amazed at how I pick up one little tip from each instructor. My work is getting better, but I'm still not "there". This hat is a design by Karen Alfke, who is a great instructor and has designed many patterns. She is so knowledgable! It is made of Jamieson's DK. I have never used this yarn before so that was a new experience too. It is quite scratchy, but I understand that is softens up with laundering and wear. I personally wouldn't be able to wear it next to my skin. It is the ORIGINAL Fair Isle yarn so "real" Fair Isle knitters use it. Anyway, it was a good color lesson. I would change things a bit next time because you can see that my design doesn't stand out clearly. I'm told that Fair Isle designs have and X & O pattern. Mine is there, but it doesn't stand out clearly. I think a color change would correct that.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What's a trip without a purchase?

I really didn't have much time to visit needlework stores while in New York City, but I wanted to bring SOMETHING home to remember my trip. I decided a needlepoint canvas would be more memorable than yarn. I called a couple shops and Annie & Co assured me they had several canvases that were NY scenes. This was a lovely shop with a very friendly and helpful staff. The downstairs part is the yarn portion and the upstairs portion is all needlepoint. There were lots of canavases, samples and threads. Since I had called ahead, she had pulled some NY scenes for me to look at. This is one by Raymond Crawford and I felt it depicted the most memorable parts of my trip. I will start working on it and show my progress on the blog, one step at a time. This is a small piece (about 6x6) so I plan to have it inset into a pillow. Annie & Co is definitely worth a trip if you are a needlepointer and in the Manhattan area.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Wow, what a vacation we had! No, I didn't get to a yarn shop, but I did go to a needlepoint store and bought a great little canvas which is a montage of NY. I'll post a picture soon. What a great city! So much to see and do and......EAT. I must say, they know how to cook in Manhattan, including the best pizza I've ever tasted. This photo is from the "The Top of the Rock" (Rockefeller Building) and provided beautiful 360 degree views of Manhattan. I was amazed that they were able to keep Central Park intact in the middle of this hustling bustling city. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved New York. I thought, it would be "just another city" but I was definitely wrong. The cultural diversity, the architecture, the food, the people, and the friendliness! Yes, the friendliness! I was prepared for rude people, but we found the New Yorkers friendly, helpful and willing to offer help without us even asking. It became a game to listen when we were on a street corner for a light change. We always heard someone speaking a foreign language and they weren't tourists. I loved it! I'll post a few more pictures in the coming days.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

One down, one to go......

I finished the first of my August shipment of the Rockin Sock Club. I love this pattern! It is called Summer of Love Lace and it's knit in the colorway Flower Power. I knit this on two circular 2.5 needles and I will definately knit more of this pattern. They knit up so quick! Part of the reason I joined this club was to learn techniques, but also to discipline myself to finishing things on a deadline. So, I have forced myself to have each pair done before the next shipment. So far, I'm on track! Yippeeee. Now, I'll start the second one today. Happy knitting!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ahhhh Fall!!

For many people the first sign of fall is the leaves turning. Or maybe the first college football game. Or maybe a crispness in the air. For me, seeing caramel apples in the store is a sure sign, but the biggest sign of all is the phone ringing. Yes, the phone ringing. "Lilly, do you want to get together and knit?" "Mom, can you help me figure out where I am on last winters project?" "Do you want to help me pick out a new knitting project?" Yes, all the seasonal knitters show their faces in the fall. I love it! It's lonely knitting away in the summer with just cyber friends. Now there will be actual people to knit with, laugh with and enjoy the onset of fall and the long winter months! Bring it on.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Busy, Busy

Wow, time flies when you're having fun!!! I am making progress on several of my knitting projects, so hopefully soon, I can post some pictures. The lace shawl is close to being finished as well as a bolero that I haven't posted pictures of. I did however, get time to try out my new Signature Arts Needles. First of all, I confess that I rarely use straight needles. I feel more comfortable using circular needles but these were so beautiful, I couldn't pass them up and I bought two pair shown in a previous post. I was fully prepared for these to be very slippery, but I went ahead and cast on with some Touch Me yarn. This would REALLY be the test. Much to my surprise, they weren't slippery at all. They are smooth but not really slick. The points are WONDERFUL. Long and precise. I could feel the weight of the decorative tops a little bit, but not enough to discourage me from buying or using them. I was very pleased with the knitting experience while using these and I will finish the mistake rib scarf with these needles. They are a beautiful product and the options are wonderful too.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mission Impossible~~~~Accomplished!

Da, Da, Da...Da, Da, Da... Okay, you get the idea. For the past couple of years I have wanted to get all my circular knitting needles organized. I am always digging away in drawers and bags trying to find the one I want. Well, I finally came up with a system that I think I will like, as well as EASILY be able to take ALL my needles to classes and on vacation! I purchased 17 pencil pouches @ $1.29 a piece and designated one for each millimeter size! The pockets are clear so I can see in them, but I also wrote the US size and the mm size with a permanent pen on the outside. They are held together with three locking rings. As you can see, they are reinforced with grommets and made of heavy nylon and plastic. I think I finally found a solution to all my needle tangles! Now is the time to buy those pencil pockets while all the back to school sales are on!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Over the River and Through the Woods

Sometimes, I just get in the mood to get in my car, plug in my iPod and drive. I had a day off today and the sun was shining and I said to myself "time to get in the car and drive". I think unconsciously I DID know where I was headed, but I refused to say it out loud. I took off and drove a back road to Issaquah, Washington. It's faster to get there by freeway, but it was just one of those meandering days to drive through a Maple tree forest.

I ended up at a new yarn shop (really I didn't plan that) called Cultured Purls. It is a lovely shop with a very helpful owner. She has a little different selection than most shops, so I found it fun to browse. Of course I didn't leave empty handed! I bought a skein of Blue Heron Yarns Rayon/Metallic in color Blueberry. This yarn is SO beautiful that I just couldn't resist it!

It is destined to become the Clapotis Wrap which is a free pattern on I'm not sure when I will start on it, since I have several "must start" projects and of course there are those "must finish" projects that I will not mention. This yarn is really calling me though and I think it will jump to the front of the line! That's all I will fess up to today, but yes, there's more. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

OH, that UPS man!!!!

Oh, I just love the sound of the UPS man rumbeling up my cul-de-sac in his big brown truck! It ususally means it's going to stop at my house with something wonderful. Remember, I already confessed I love to shop! Well, today my package was some new knitting needles I ordered from Signature Needle Arts. I collect different and unusal knitting needles so when I saw these advertised in Vogue Knitting, I had to have them! They are aluminum needles and first you choose the length you want. Then you have a choice of points and lastly you can choose between three tops. How cool is that?!!? I haven't knit with mine yet but when I do, I'll let you know how I like them. For now, they will just stand proudly in my vase with the rest of my collection. :o)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

AH HA!!!

They talked about Firebirds. They talked about Summer Sun. They talked about Summer Soltice. They named the sock Soltice Slip, but I don't know. I think this might be the true inspiration. What do you think? I loved making this sock! The pattern was easy to memorize and it was also easy to put down and pick up again! I must say, I did have to put it down a time or two to have a Berry Rainbow Sherbet break! Happy Summer!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Just Knittin'

I haven't forgotten anyone, I'm just knittin away on socks!!!!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Little Lost Blogger

I have been so neglectful of our blog. The bag has been one ball of yarn short of a full blog. I do have lots of excuses. My oldest son came home from collage and started an intern job. My youngest son graduated from high school. I went down to California to pick up my daughter from collage and arrange to have her horse shipped back up to Washington. We then visited with my mom and sister and said good bye to my nephew who was leaving for the army. We then raced back up to Seattle in her little red Blazer to get here before the horse did. The horse arrived we had fun riding together for a couple of days and then I break a couple of bones in my foot. It's my left foot, which means I can still drive, but it's the foot I use to mount my horse. So now I'm hopping around in my " oh so cool looking ski boot" . My family was helpful at first, but after the first 24 hours the honeymoon is over, and helping mom isn't very fun anymore. I have been knitting though. I have been finishing all of my daughter's projects that she started while at collage. She had a few of them because whenever she was home, like for spring break, Christmas, last summer we always made a trip to the LYS and got a new project.
Before my kids got home we had made lots of plans for the summer, involving trips to Pike Place Market, (one of my daughters favorite places), going on lots of day hikes, especially up to Mount Rainer,I think the most beautiful mountain on the planet, and of course lots and lots of trail rides on our horses. But it is not to be, they will have to go without me and I will console myself by knitting more socks for those hiking and riding boots.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Here and Now

Yeah, I'm still here, although I'm here, which is where I'm currently sitting and reading all about Lilly's progress on her various projects. Kudo's to you, Lilly, for keeping us honest about our knitting blog. We wouldn't want to be known as "bloggerwannabe's" now would we?

Believe it or not I'm going to start a new sock(s) project, which must mean I have at least ten or more lying around in wait hoping for a professional knitter to give them some "hands on" attention. They have the foresight to know their position at the bottom of the bag means they will never see the light of day again. Pitiful and partner-less socks. They are actually considering starting a local chapter for the Lonely Sock Club of America. Surely there are plenty of poor soles living an empty and unfulfilled existence at the bottom of the heap of some lowly disheveled knitting bag lying in a dusty corner in some knitterwannabe's house.

Well that's about to change for this fortunate ball(s) of yarn. They have a future. I can feel it and I'm hopeful this will be the beginning of something new and exciting. A year of finished projects except this year is beginning July 1st because, well, I don't like to do things the ordinary way and besides July is a half-year. So there. And I'm posting this new resolution, if you will, and I don't really want to be a failure to the proud and the few who read this blog. Even it is only Lilly, Jo and myself, I want to save face and be a proud knitter. I want to go into the LYS and chat about my finished projects like Jo and Lilly tend to do.

"Oh, I made a pair of socks out of this.

Oh, I just so happen to be wearing them.

Oh no, that was yesterday, today I'm wearing these."

They have so many socks to choose from. One pair for every day of the week. I have one. Period. One lonely sock that doesn't even fit my foot. Or any foot for that matter. It is a one-of-a-kind specialty that will forever hold a place dear to my heart. Kind of like my trapezoid dishcloth I made. It was my very first project and I took it over to Lilly's house to show her what I had achieved through blood, sweat and tears, and she held it up and out like it was some kind of rodent, turning it this way and that. She was gracious and kind as she always is and our conversation at her front door went something like this:

Lilly: Oh

Me: Smiling proudly

Lilly: I love the colors.

Me: Yeah, well I made a few mistakes but I really don't think they are that noticeable. I can't figure out why it isn't square.

Lilly: Hmmmmm. Did you count your stitches at the end of every row?

HELLO! I was having such a good time knitting I wasn't about to stop and count my stitches at the end of every row because if it wasn't the correct amount then I would have to pull them off and start anew because in those early years I didn't know how to do anything different. No way was I going to keep starting fresh or I would never finish so I just kept going thinking I was all that and a bag of chips.

I've come a long way from those early days of trapezoid dishcloths. I learned how to fix some mistakes and I no longer need to count my stitches at the end of each and every row. If I'm off by a stitch I can make one. If I have too many, I'll stitch 2 together. No problem. At least until now. I've finally reached the point in my knitting journey where I want to strive for perfection. At least my definition of perfection, which is something totally quite different from Lilly and Jo's definition of perfection. There are bound to be mistakes but I want the end product to closely resemble the picture on the pattern. That's all.

Monday, June 25, 2007


A few months back there was a dissussion on Wendy Knits about lace. A reader wanted to know a good pattern for a first lace project. Wendy suggested her Fir Cone Wrap. I looked at the pattern and even though I had knitted bits of lace for an inset on a baby sweater etc, I had never knit a WHOLE lace piece before or gone through the blocking process. So, I printed the pattern and bought some burgundy colored Gems by Louet. I have really enjoyed this pattern!! It is easy to pick up and put down and the needles are a decent size, so at least you feel like there is hope that you will finish it in your lifetime. This is a photo "in progress". I can't wait to block it with my new lace blockers! I am halfway so hopefully it will be on the blockers before too long.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Rockin On!

Well, this truly is a sock year for me. I have a sock in various stages in every one of my knitting bags! My main focus though is the Rockin Sock Club from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I finished my last pattern on Wednesday after reading the June pattern was starting to show up on doorsteps and sure enough, mine was at my house on Friday! Phew! Just in time. The April project was a challenge, but I learned several new techniques (like life lines) so it was worth all the struggle and grumblings. The pattern for June is much easier and relaxing to knit. The colors are happy colors, probably not ones that I personally would wear, but they make me happy. I'll post next week my progress. I have also been working on a shawl. It is also an easy repeat pattern which I found on Wendy Knits. It is her Fircone Wrap pattern and I'm using Louet Gems for the yarn. Lots of knitting, lots of fun. Yes, my house is a wreck, my yard could use some work, but a girl only has so much time. Needles come first!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Happy Birthday to YOU!!

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear JOOOOOO, Happy Birthday to you!!! And many morrrre!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Yes, this is the culprit that made Lilly cranky. The pattern isn't hard, but the fit, well it just gave me fits! I took it back so many times that I finally decided I didn't care if I ever wore it! This is part of the Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Rockin Sock Club. I made a pact with myself that I would make each project exactly as they say, so I would learn new techniques and ideas. I must say, it was tough to stay with my pact on this one. Will I make the second one? I'm not sure, but if I don't, I decided Flo and I will go have coffee wearing ONE sock. It doesn't matter if the rest of the world understands, because WE understand. Aha! The birth of the One Sock Coffee Club!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Remembrances

On this Memorial Day I remember~ God Bless Them

Henry, Verna, & Wilbert Boston, Leland Ennis
Lillian Story
Gladys Chamberlain, Betty McWilliams, Roy Jamison
Gladys Doris, Art & Lucille Kelm
Shirley Laes
Gary Gaydeski
Randy Goos
Terri Addleman
Bob Walkoff
Norm Lodholm (Vietnam)
Jesse Peterson
Melanie Kitchell
Tana Simpson
David Gaines
Dale Zoffel
Michael Kerns
Aaron Martin

Rest in Peace xoxox

Sunday, May 27, 2007

This ain't your ordinary chicken egg!

I finished this egg on Friday. These are so fun to do. I have my next one planned. It will not be glamourous like the other two, but a fun surprise instead!

Friday, May 25, 2007

A Cure for Crankiness

There is nothing like something pink for a baby girl to put a smile on your face! I just finished this project for a baby shower I'm attending in a couple of weeks. I have made this little sweater for years and the recipients always love them. You can see the blue version on Flo's February 14th post. That one was made twelve years ago. It's called the "Coming Home" sweater because it is so tiny! It usually fits the baby for about one to two months. I still have to steam it, but I couldn't wait to take a picture. I used GGH Merino Soft for this one. (two balls) I liked the feel of the yarn, but I did tend to split it. I use really pointed needles, so that probably contributed to the problem. It is a machine washable yarn, but of course no dryer. Now, I can go back to my Rockin Sock Club project but I hope I don't get cranky again. I'm glad I have so many projects started so I can just jump to another one when I'm not enjoying the current one. Never fear Flo, my needles are a clickin' and there is a smile on my face!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Retail High !!!!!!

My, my, my, there is nothing like a Local Yarn Shop Tour!! It was held last weekend in Seattle and it included 20 yarn shops from Bellingham, to Kent, Washington. I have been to most of the yarn shops in the area but there were a couple that have opened in the last year or so that I wanted to visit. I loaded my driver (husband with Sudoku puzzles) into the car and off we went. I visited seven shops in one day and did serious damage to my checkbook, but it was SO much fun. Each shop had a free pattern that would make something with ONE skein of yarn. The prices ranged from inexpensive to expensive. The yarn to make the pattern was offered at 10% off. Of course, I will reveal my treasures in the coming months, but I highly recommend going on this type of tour if they offer this event in your area. It was fun to talk to other knitters that were touring all the shops and listen to their comments.
One of the shops I visited was Village Yarn and Tea. This was a wonderful little shop with the friendliest staff of the tour. They really made you feel welcome. I even heard the owner looking up Ferry schedules for another customer to go to a shop across the Puget Sound! I made a couple of purchases in that shop, (Hand Maiden Sea Silk, Kid Silk Haze) but I wanted to share these darling little stitch markers. I thought these were the cutest stitch markers I have seen and the lady that makes them happened to be in the shop knitting and having tea. She has a website called Good to be Girl and it shows her current offerings. It was so hard to decide which ones I wanted. She also had some cute little pea pods but I restrained myself and stuck to desserts this time. Desserts before veggies right? Hey, there are NO calories in these little treats!

Friday, May 11, 2007

I thought I would try something new this year. I love knitting but I always have a need to try something new. I always enjoy learning new things but it always adds a complication to my life. I don't want to give up the old hobbies, I just keep adding new ones to the list. I used to just love to read , play the piano and flute a little and have a cat or two. Then I started crocheting, then I started to make my kids cute little clothes. Then I added a horse to the mix, then a dog. But the horse and the dog wasn't enough, I take lessons to make my horse and I the best we can be. I take my dog to class to compete in competition obedience. I now have 4 horses, 2 kitties, and 1 dog. Flo and I used to go to kick boxing classes. We were really into that for a few years until the class got cancelled. Then Lilly taught us to knit. Then I started to go to line dancing classes. That was really fun. I wanted to keep going to learn all the dances and all the moves. Then a friend got me started on quilting. I loved all the colors and designs of the fabrics. I find myself going into quilting shops just to gaze at and touch all the fabrics. I spend time pouring over books of quilting blocks. I must be such a bore to my husband. This is a picture of the quilt top of a table runner, one of my first projects. Gracie, the kitty is examining the bird in the fabric. I really enjoy piecing the quilts together, this hobby will always be on the front burner.
I do have another idea that's been burning inside me for awhile. I have confessed to Flo about it several times. I really want to learn to play the guitar. I wonder if I could get a band together.......

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Shattered Image

Lilly cranky? From Knitting?

This saddens me deeply. The peaches and cream image of the "Mother of Knitting", and the epitome of patience will now forever have a snarl on her face when I think of her. This totally shatters my memories of her sitting comfortably in her chair with her little feet planted on her ottoman, (hand-crafted needlepoint ottoman none-the-less), her ipod rocking in the cradle of her Bose sound system, a fire roasting in the wood stove, her rosewood needles neatly nesting in an antique vase, all the while her little hands just a flurry of activity. One would walk into that room and be overcome by a sense of hominess, contentedness and a warm baked cookie from the oven kind of feeling all rolled into one. If you were not a knitter when you entered her domain you would be before long.

When Lilly first taught Jo and I to knit we would meet at her house or mine, and have a few hours of knitting lessons, lots of laughs and mistakes (mine, certainly not Jo's), and a project to work on until the next time. Well, we couldn't wait to get together with Lilly and have her marvel over our project. We would gather around her with our matching trio of knitting bags 'cause we just all had to be alike, mind you. If Lilly had something in her bag, we just had to have it in ours because it made us feel all homey and cozy and Lilly-like. We would jockey for position to be the first to pull out our project and have her look it over and ooh and aah over the colors and texture and...fine handiwork. Usually she got excited over my colors and textures and Jo got the accolades for "perfect knitting" even though when she knits her hands look all cattywampus and you start to wonder how she can possibly be comfortable knitting with such a painful presentation. But, she has been known to finish her projects so I will give her credit where credit is due.

Every once in awhile we would go on a field trip to a LYS and we would trail after Lilly like baby ducks. This is how she got the name "Mama Duck" because every so often we would stray from her watchful eye and do something trivial like knock a display over or send a ball of yarn flying off the ball winder, all the time laughing so hard and standing with our feet crossed so we wouldn't pee our pants. Lilly would get her feathers all ruffled up and come clucking after us. Her favorite line was, "oh dear, what are you two up to now?" After all we were still newbies and we hadn't memorized the rules of LYS conduct and ettiquette.

We referred to her as a "professional knitter" because this is what she was, in our eyes.

Until now....

Cranky or not, we still love her but I would like that homey, contented, home-baked cookie all rolled into one feeling back!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Cranky knitter

Ok Flo, I can totally understand now WHY you put your knitting needles away sometimes! I was at that point yesterday. That is the first time in YEARS that I have felt that way. lol
I am really getting a challenge with this months Rockin Sock Club pattern. I love the yarn, love the pattern and I can work the pattern, but the fit of the sock is giving me headaches. It is a toe up pattern and I was to the point where I was working the leg and I ripped the whole thing out! It was OK until I turned the heel and then it was too tight. It's a lace pattern, so I don't want to be yanking on it to wear it. Yup, I decided to start over. Several days work gone. Poof! I know I will be happier now with the next results though. I joined this club for the process rather than the project, so I had to say that out loud about ten times yesterday to calm myself down. Thanks for listening, I feel better now!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Get Well

I'm glad your surgery went well Flo and I hope you have a speedy recovery. xoxox

Monday, April 23, 2007

Cutest Baby Hat

This little hat looks like I picked it out of a case at New York Cupcakes. I can imagine a sweet baby in this hat. I made this hat from a kit from Fancy Image Yarn. The pattern is called Cutest Baby Hat by Myra Hansen. It would look really sweet with the sweater Lilly made from Fancy Image Yarn. A picture of that sweater is on a Jan. 31st post.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Very Special Birthday

BJ shown here is a significant member of our family. Unknown to us , on a large farm in Idaho 30 years ago a bay filly was born on St. Patricks day with a star as big as her little face. She was a carefully bred horse, having the most famous names in the Quarter Horse world on her registration. She acquired numerous points and awards in the American Quarter Horse Association circuit. She then bred 4 very successful colts. Taking advantage of her beautiful forward movement she was trained in dressage and became very successful, going up to the third level. All this was unknown to us when she came into our life. We were looking for a horse for our then 10 year old horse crazy daughter. We found her at a day camp for horse loving kids. She was not used by the children though since she was a highly spirited horse. She was used by the experienced trainers. It was one of those trainers that we knew who told us about her. We came to try her out. She was a beautiful sight. Huge muscular hind quarters and a wide deep chest gave her that classic foundation Quarter Horse look. She had very polite ground manners and a friendly curious interest in my daughter and I. Being the safe mom I tried her out first. She was smooth as silk, but boy did she want to go fast. I felt like I could barely keep her under control. My daughter could hardly wait to try her. She was a very capable rider but I was afraid BJ was too much horse for her. Before she got on, my daughter has a little ritual of letting the horse sniff her and pressing her head against against the horse's head. Well BJ understood, and she moved out with my daughter on her in a calm steady gait that was the picture of control. We bought her right then and promised BJ she would never be sold again. BJ and my daughter had many adventures together and they both loved to show winning lots of blue ribbons. BJ always gave me and any other person who rode her a wild ride, but she always took care of my daughter and kept her safe. My daughter is still riding dressage, she is competing nationally on the east coast this week for her collage team. She compares every horse she rides to BJ, as the perfect standard. So when BJ turned 30 this year, we felt we had to celebrate with a party with those who knew her and appreciated her for the wonderful spirit she has brought to all of us.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust

OK, as promised, here is the A Swell Yarn "Duet" socks. It was quite a challenge getting a photo of them on my feet! I didn't want ANY of my white legs to be showing!
Two years ago Flo, Jo and I went to Flo's lake cabin to have a weekend "stitch and bitch". The first night all of us got ready for bed and Flo ( after a few glasses of wine) looked at me and said, "I didn't know you had to wear support hose!" I quickly told her I didn't, but we all cracked up laughing. My legs were SO white that she thought they were the white nurses support stockings! I have never heard the end of that one. So, since I didn't want this confirmed on camera, I had to get a picture of my socks WITHOUT legs! As you can probably tell in the photo, these were just a tad bit too loose on me. I will wear them as bed socks or slipper socks and I will adjust the pattern for the next pair. I will try four stitches less and an inch shorter. So, I learned three new techniques I hadn't tried before with this pattern. First there was the Magic Cast On, which is demonstrated on Renaissance Yarns web site, then I learned the Afterthought Heel, and finally I learned Elizabeth Zimmerman's elastic bind off. Socks are a whole new world! Yes, Flo, there is enough yarn in most skeins if you should ever decide to make two socks! :o)

Here We Go Again

Well, I was knitting along and I finished my Turquoise Duet socks, (that's really what picture I should be putting here) but I got an opportunity to
make these eggs. I have always wanted to make one of these and a very good friend of mine has made them for years. Soooooo, she said, "come on over and I'll show you how". What fun! It does take patience, but the reward is worth it. The bunny is the one I made with my friend and the bird one is going to a good friend for her birthday. I guess I have one more reason to shop. Well, yes, there is the chicken eggs, but then there are flowers, glitter, trims, miniatures............who would have thought a chicken egg had such potential!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Afterthought Heel

Who would have thought there were so many ways to knit a sock heel? This is the Afterthought Heel, which has been quite interesting. A row of waste yarn is knit into the sock (shown in previous post), then the waste yarn is removed when the sock is finished and the stitches from the removed yarn are picked up and knit with decreases. So far, so good! It is decreased until 24 stitches remain and then they are grafted with the Kitchener Stitch. Between the Magic Cast on and the Afterthought Heel, I am amazed by this pattern from Renaissance Yarns.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Miles Away

Okay, Lilly, I'll make a deal. You can teach me your new technique and I will purchase some new yarn and then I can start on a new pair of socks.

Note the word NEW.

This just might do the trick and get me motivated to knit, at least until summer. The real reason I don't knit in the summer is because I spend the summer months at our cabin, which is miles from the nearest milkbox...Lilly's Magic Milkbox.

I put my creative juices to good use, though. Making a Mojito is a fine art and I don't need Lilly for that, but I do need her to drink one with me every now and then!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Heaven, I'm in Heaven....

PUT YOUR KNITTING NEEDLES AWAY!?? Flo, say it ain't so! I'll never forget when Flo's daughter asked if Lilly knits in the summer too. Yes, daughter, Lilly knits in her sleep and all year round. I guess I need Flo to come over and work on my flowers because not only do I not like to get my hands dirty, but they are rarely without knitting needles! I have to save my hands for silk, alpaca, wool and cashmere. :o) My poor garden could REALLY use some help. Hmmm, maybe I could knit some felted flowers!
I just love this new sock yarn. I am in absolute heaven knitting with it. It is so soft and nice and the color is wonderful. The contrast heel and toe give some extra pizazz. I think I really do like the Magic Cast On and the toe up pattern. This is my second toe up sock, but I haven't done an Afterthought heel before. You use a row of waste yarn (which you can barely spot in the photo) and go back after the sock is finished and knit the heel. At least I THINK that is how you do it. Here's some progress, so you can see the beautiful colors of this yarn. Back to knitting, my hands have been without needles a whole 20 mintues! Hopefully, when Flo gets her garden finished, she will take pity and come work on mine.

Good Day To Be Me

This time of year is when my poor knitting needles go into hibernation, usually until October. I gather up my projects, stuff them in my knitting bag and there they will sit until I start getting that ancy, restless feeling that I can't put my finger on and it doesn't go away until I finally settle into my comfy chair with a new project in hand. Note: New Project. Picking up an unfinished project after months away from the needles is akin to eating a half eaten cookie that has been sitting on the counter for a day or two. I've been known to do just that, by the way, but nothing compares to a freshly baked still warm from the oven cookie...or two.

What will I do with my idle time between now and October? I will find any and every excuse to go outside and putter in my garden, digging up plants and dividing them and planting new ones. My approach to gardening is similar to my approach to knitting. The minute the plants start arriving at the nurseries I start itching to fill up a wagon full of perennials and annuals and anything that just might survive in my yard. I hunt and gather. I'm on a mission and I never go to a nursery looking for a specific plant. I search until something catches my eye. I don't have a plan, just yet. I buy first and think later. I won't know where I'm going to plant it until I get it home and then I take the little guy around until I find the perfect home. Sometimes it isn't perfect and I must dig him up, usually after he starts wilting from the heat of the all day sun because he is, in fact, a shade lover whose owner neglected to take notice and put him in with the geraniums and their sun loving friends. They probably talk about him behind his back which is why he is droopy and sullen and his leaves are burning from embarrasement. It causes me great angst to know I may have damaged him forever and he quite possibly would have had a better life in the hands of a Master Gardener with a Ph.D. in Soil Studies.

The way I approach gardening and knitting, or whatever it is I do, speaks volumes, which I am now finally discovering. No need to pay for a session with a shrink; take up a hobby. Start knitting or gardening and you will learn more about yourself than you ever care to know. My husband is the polar opposite and his approach to everything is very analytical and precise, always with a spreadsheet full of data he has gathered and entered ever so carefully. Very neat. Very tidy. Very structured. He often has a look of bewilderment or confusion on his face when I back in the driveway, open the back of my Suburban and, voila, there is a garden in my trunk. Green leafy plants spring forth, colorful blooms are abundant, a new pair of gloves to start the season. I am in my element until I hear my husband as he approaches.

"Where are you going to plant those?"

"Huh? I don't know. I havent' thought about it yet."

"If you had a plan and stuck to it then you would know exactly where you are going to plant them and you wouldn't waste so much time digging up plants and moving them every year."


Then we both look deep into each others eyes and walk away in total confusion. We don't think alike and never will. He doesn't understand my approach and I can't begin to think how boring it would be to approach things the way he does. I would be tired before I even got started if I had to lay out my garden on a spreadsheet and draw a detailed 3 dimensional layout of my yard before I could shop for plants.

There is a slight problem with this method, both in my gardening and knitting. I have a garden of yarn spilling forth from drawers and bags, needles a go-go, and several completed socks...but they are all different. Not one completed pair to wear.

Maybe I do need a shrink.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Yippppeeeeee! A new project! I bought this yarn from Renaissance Yarns about a month ago, but I made myself wait to start it until I finished my Rockin Sock Club project this month. This is another sock yarn called "Duet" It is a superwash Merino Wool and as you can see it includes a contrasting yarn for the heel and toe! It is produced locally here in Washington State by a company called A Swell Yarnshop. She doesn't repeat the colors, so when you see one you like, you HAVE to buy it then! My kind of purchase!! :o) I am so excited about the toe up technique from the STRC that I am going to try a traditional sock with this method! I will post my progress next week.

Pretty in Pink

One of my latest completed projects is this very soft feminine scarf designed by Megan Wright. It is a Hilltop Yarns pattern and is knitted in very soft Alpaca and Silk Yarn. I loved this pattern! It was easy to memorize and quick to work up! I hope I can do it justice and behave myself when I wear it! ME? Behave?
Pattern: Rhapsody in Lace and Ruffles #00074
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca Silk (4 skeins) color: Blush
Needle #7 US

Monday, April 2, 2007

Latte Art

No, this isn't from Starbucks!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


If I drink a Mojito AND work on Lizard Ridge at the same time, does that make me a "lounge lizard"? hmmmmmm

Saturday, March 24, 2007

One Down.....

One Croc Sock Rockin' and one more to go!

Here's a close up of the cable pattern on the leg.