Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

It's the year of the tiger!

Here's my new
kumade from the K. family in Japan.

...and this guy was in the box too, he's adorable!


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

Been busy here, not much knitting in the past week or so, but look! Gingerbread!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

This an incredible knitting tool.

Especially when you are dealing with this. It was a lot of fluff, and it was big, and it was very late, and I just wanted to get it done by the time Aunt G. stopped at the house in the morning.

Thanks to the i-pod I kept working, and listening, and was able to sit and focus on the project at hand.

Thanksgiving leftovers, mohair version.

Then I was able to put my scissors down, and it was finished.

Over 10 years in the making. Why did it take so long? Lack of enthusiasm by me, by the recipient, and some pretty intense years.



I'm happy to be finished. Happy to see it go and leave my home. Of course, D. didn't bother to look and make sure Aunt G. picked up the bag from the porch when she stopped by, so I had to drive it over. I didn't stay up late to have it sit here another day, but that's another story and I don't care because it's finished.

Cabled Tunic by John Brinegar, Vogue Knitting, Fall 2006
Classic Elite La Gran Mohair, 430 grams used.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Guess what I did?

I baked a pumpkin pie.

I made stuffing for the turkey.

I got the turkey in the oven in a timely manner.

And I burned the giblets.

Happy Thanksgiving!

(and I'm ignoring the mohair sweater, for now)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Update - Project Mohair

I took off the bind off, and knit another inch or so to the front, AND have finished knitting the back of the mohair sweater.

I even started seaming the shoulders...

Monday, November 16, 2009

You were right!

The front of the mohair sweater is finished.

However, I just tested it for size on my mom and I think it'll be a bit too short. Especially since sweaters are longer again, I think it needs another inch. It seems like it always needs another inch.

Time to go rip out some mohair.

grumble, mutter....

Friday, November 13, 2009

Here it is.

The parts of this dreaded mohair sweater, per Marcy's request.

Ollie is helping with the loose ends there.

It was a trick.

She knew that when I pulled it out of it's hiding place, I would look at it and say, "Oh, there's not much left to do, why don't I just finish the thing?".

Okay, I'll try.

Thanks Marcy, you're right.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Dear Mr. Noro,

First, thank you for producing such truly amazing yarns. Second, please forgive me. I know that colors are chosen through a very thoughtful and careful process, I read the booklet that is available and very informative. I understand that colors don't always"match" in a Japanese aesthetic, but I had to do it.

(That's Cupcake's tail and butt in the photo)

It's true. I'm sorry. I mucked with the order of colors in my skeins. I even edited. I knit a Noro striped, ribbed scarf, and after completion I even cut it apart and mucked around with it some more. I like my version better.

The knitting gods are still on your side though. My grafting was not the best, it's really fiddly grafting a live edge and then a bottom edge that was unraveled and I had to fudge in some spots.

I still like my scarf, and this is mine too!

I saved all of my leftovers and edits, and I spliced them together rewound them. I think they look pretty good too.

Thank you!

Friday, November 6, 2009


(Done) Here they are. Sock 1 still needs to be a bit longer, but sock 2 is perfect.

For me!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Where are the socks I made for myself?

Well, I quickly finished the first sock, and couldn't wait to stuff my foot into the thing (I felt like Cinderella), and it was too small (then I felt like the ugly stepsister). Grrrrrr. I should have made one more repeat on the foot. So I took the sock off and put it and it's toe-less mate into time out.

My first reaction? "Oh, well, (not really, but let's keep it clean here) who should I give these too?"

The thought of any frogging or ripping was so entirely unappealing that I thought I'd rather give them away. Yes, I snapped out of it. I just finished knitting the second sock, and it's waiting for a kitchener stitch up. Hopefully the weather will be nice enough for some decent photos tomorrow, assuming I kitchener tomorrow sometime...the thought of tackling the toe, blech.

It's not that I really mind doing kitchener, I think it's quite fabulous. I don't know, something about the toe has just lost my interest, I mean it's a sock toe.

The other project that will soon be in need of kitchener is my 2x2 rib 2 color Noro scarf.

Wait a minute, scarves like that don't need kitchener! Um, well....they do when you've knit the darn thing - the whole thing and realize you don't like the grey & brown grey section in the middle and decide to cut it out and reknit it with hot pink and brown grey and then you need to kitchener the sucker together again. It would have been great to photograph the whole ridiculous progress, but ...ummm, just use your imagination. Yeah, it'll boost your creativity. Yeah.

Mohair? Huh? I think I have some knitting attention issues.

edited to add some photos.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Knittin' for myself

Sounds like something Billy Idol should be singing, huh?

Okay, I never knit for myself. I have knit sweaters, scarves, socks, mittens, etc. for almost everybody - and let's leave Aunt G. out of this please - but I very rarely knit for myself. Here's how it works, I knit something, I like it, but as I'm knitting someone LOVES it and I know it would be perfect for them, and I give it to them upon completion. I know I can always knit myself another, and I know they'll (usually) appreciate the knitted item.

Right know I have a sweater that I knit myself, and that will be headed out to Salvation Army soon because it really does not suit me. That's it. No mittens, no scarf, no hat, no socks for me and by me. The items I do have that are handknit have been given to me because my fellow knitters cannot believe how ridiculous it is to not own any of the items listed. J. made me some cool socks and a hat, B. gave me a scarf, I bought my mittens from Nancy Bush...

guess what?

Yep. The Mystery Socks.

I am all caught up and the clue for the toes comes out tonight.

Tomorrow at this time but hopefully a bit earlier, I will have knit myself a pair of socks.


...then it's back to knitting for everybody else.

Assuming the weather is okay I'll post a photo tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mohair Headache

No. It's not done yet.

I dug it out today, ready to work on it. It took me ages to figure out where I was in the chart, and then I was completely baffled by the fact that the 2 front pieces were at different rows in the chart...blah..blah...blah.

Massive headache. It required a nap.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I went to YarnCon today with my friend M. It is a lovely fiber show and sale in Chicago in a really beautiful old Chicago Park District building. I saw many friends, and met some new people, okay, I know, you just want to see the goodies...

This gorgeous stuff is by Halftone Yarns.
75% wool, 25% nylon, machine wash, 462 yds. 100gm

I love that it looks like a favorite pair of faded and broken in jeans, and let me tell you this is the softest stuff around. So soft, so this will be for socks for me.

Sophie's Toes Sock Yarn
100% merino superwash, 350 yds, 100gm

L - Christmas Lights, R- Cranberry

The colors on these yarns are amazing. My friend M. kept picking up more skeins and I had to stop looking because I was really tempted to buy more...

I also bought a really nice smelling bar of oatmeal and honey flavored goat milk soap, mmmm, and I bought a Pattern Tamer. Pattern Tamers are the greatest thing, magnetic ribbon strips for keeping your place in a chart. Much better than a Post-It! I can never find my smallest Pattern Tamer, so I bought an extra.

That's it. Hope you are having a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


My friend L. lost her battle with breast cancer this afternoon.

She was 40 years old.

Do me a favor ladies, and make sure you get an annual mammogram.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

That's My Story

When I buy yarn I generally try to think about how I would use it. I don't knit particularly fast, and I don't have that much time to spend on my knitting. Truthfully, I am not always in the mood to knit either. I have still managed to amass quite a collection of yarn. I cull it with some regularity, and I have traded some of it and donated more. I still have a lot, and there still many projects waiting to become the intended knit item.

I want to knit it up my yarn and use it, not save it, otherwise what will I have gained from it? Not feeling the spring of the wool in my hands, or seeing the knit fabric being made...I could look at yarn anywhere, I don't really need to see more of it hanging around our already cramped apartment.

That's my story. did this happen?

1 skein of Fibranatura Yummy.

Sock Yarn, you know.

Sock yarn doesn't really count, because you know it's going to be used for socks.

That's my story, and I'm sticking with it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Shoe Check

I went to get my haircut the other day, and unfortunately I now get my hair cut at a "Full Service Salon and Spa". I say unfortunately, because I am not a salon-y person at all. The salon is in a nice mall, not the Sears or Kohls type, but Neiman Marcus and Saks type mall.

I got the shoe check at the salon, I got the shoe check in nearly every store I went in, and let me tell you it was NOT subtle at all! They smiled at me and asked me if I needed help, and then looked down at my shoes to check them out! I couldn't believe it.

I was dressed nicely, and appropriately, make-up done (yes, mom) and I was wearing a nice pair of cowboy boots. Nothing weird, unsightly or possibly embarrassing, well, at least I don't think so...

Has this ever happened to you?


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Stash Mystery Sock

I couldn't resist. It was broken down so perfectly into 5 very easy steps, and then at the end you have a lovely sock. No idea of what it will really look like, but given the track record of the awesome designer, I think it's a safe bet that it'll be lovely.

Of course I had appropriate yarn in my stash. I grabbed this beautiful Dream in Color Smooshy that T. bought for me at the DIC mill end sale, and I hesitated for a moment, thinking that perhaps that color was better for a shawl or wrap or something else that might never actually materialize and fulfill it's knitterly destiny as a perfect knitted project...forget it. There will be more lovely yarn in my life and this would make some really gorgeous socks. I wound it up before I had a chance to talk myself out of it... I love it. I am so glad I used it.

It's got a bit of sparkle which doesn't show up in the photo, and sadly will wash out. That's why it was a mill end I guess.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Stocking is Done.

Yay! It's done. Now I have to make another stocking for C#1, and then hats for everyone. What I would really like to know is how C#1 managed to lose every hat last year? Except for the one he will no longer wear, of course. D always loses hats, so I'm really thinking about what kind of hat I'll make him, nothing too fancy that's for sure.


You had to ask, didn't you? No. I have NOT forgotten about, nor have I finished, the mohair sweater.

Well, I guess Aunt G. will be in town on the 15th of October, so that's my new deadline for the mohair thing. Can you tell I have no more enthusiasm or energy for this sweater?

I don't know. Knitting someone a sweater is a big deal. Especially when it's a big person, well, no she's not that big, I mean she is an adult. So you know, it would be nice if someone acknowledged all your hard work in making every single ****ing stitch and cable in a handknit sweater...


Sadly, I am sure you know what I mean.

Well, there really isn't much more left to knit. If I dedicate a day to it I should be able to finish. I need to get it done and out of my house. If it stays any longer it'll just gather more hard feelings.

I'll try to take photos of the stocking tomorrow...

Friday, September 25, 2009


Drive me crazy. I always get stuck on them and have to put my sock in time out until I can sort out the idea of the heels in my head. Completely lacking in confidence and in need of more practice.

I took a Sock Heel class at Sock Summit with Heather Ordover. She showed us some great heels with different fits, but the one I really liked was this fabulous square heel and it fit me quite well. The problem is, I knit toe up and the pattern wasn't.

Math drama. Crud.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bohus Stickning Wristlet

I took this class at Stitches Midwest with Susanna Hansson, who is a fabulous teacher, and I fell in love with Bohus designs. The sweaters are just lovely, and even though the charts can be challenging, they are not really difficult as long as you pay attention. I love the fudge factor in the patterns, add a stitch here, take one out there... the gauge is small enough so that it doesn't change the size by enough.

The Blue Shimmer pattern had 5 colors total, and the chart had some stitches knit in stockinette, and some in purl. The purl bumps add so much to the designs, the charts in plain stockinette are interesting, but with some of the stitches purled they really pop and have so much more texture.

The yarn is a blend of very fine wool and angora. Even though I tend to dislike angora since a lot of commercial sweaters seem to use just enough angora to make the sweater seem soft, later it proves to be just the right amount for an inordinate amount of pilling, this yarn was luscious. Even the samples of old sweaters weren't pilled and still looked lovely and soft.

I was on a mission, and I decided that I was going to finish my wristlet that day, otherwise if it hit the UFO pile once it got home, well, who knows when it would be completed.

Here she is:

Susanna dubbed our row "the speed demon row" since all three of us seemed to be zipping along, ... if she only knew

...don't tell her about the mohair thing, okay?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm Ahead of the Game!

Look, C#2's Christmas stocking! Since the beginning of Christmas-time in a kid way in our house, C#1 and C#2 have made do with hand-me-down from daddy and uncle Rice-a-roni Christmas stockings. They are made of wool, hand knit by MIL, and while they are quite cute and nostalgic, they are also moth eaten. Hard to put things into and pull things out of a piece of Swiss cheese.

The Cs chose new patterns, designed by Arnhild Hillesland, and I started C#2's on the way to Sock Summit. I'm starting the heel now and the toe won't take long. I had to frog over 1/2 of it once (forgot the decreases) and it still went quickly. I forgot how much I like stranded knitting and working from a chart for color.

So, this means I'm ahead of the game for Christmas, right?

Yeah, right.

Okay, you can stop rolling on the floor now, and go get a rag to wipe off the monitor.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mint Chocolate Chip

This is what C#2 picked out for his warm (wool) socks, which coincidentally matches his current favorite ice cream - mint chocolate chip. He wanted stripes and even though this isn't exactly what he envisioned he seems pretty happy with them.

And he wants the second sock NOW!

In progress as we speak...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

February Toddler Sweater is Done!

Done! The buttons were in my button stash, from where or when I am not at all certain, and the yarn is Cotton Fleece from Brown Sheep. I used exactly 2 1/2 skeins (250 grams- exactly!) on US size 6 needles. The original pattern is from The Knitters Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmerman. I knit it for a toddler rather than an infant.

I'm not entirely certain of the proportion of this sweater, I need a toddler model to try it on.

...and since he hasn't been seen in a while, here is Ollie, keeping an eye on things.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Button Related Inertia

Why is it so hard to sew on buttons?

Not actually physically difficult, but the procrastination over some little plastic, glass or shell bits that can be essential to some clothing is just so difficult to overcome.

Yes, the February Toddler Sweater.

No, I haven't sewn them on yet.


Photos? Oh, maybe tomorrow...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Skein Insecurity

You know how it is when you start a new skein and it feels so full, you dig out the yarn barf to find the end on the inside of the skein and start knitting away happily. When you knit a bit, you squeeze the skein feeling confident and secure that it is still quite full and there is plenty of yarn in there still...then when you have knit a bit more you look over at the skein and it's has lost the fullness and is looking somewhat gaunt...that's when it hits...skein insecurity!

You panic and think that you may possibly run out of this yarn!!! Even when you know you have a second and third skein waiting in the wings, there is still that sense of panic that YOU MAY RUN OUT OF YARN, then what? Use a different yarn? No. A different color? No, and yes, everyone does notice - well, okay, not EVERYONE, but everyone who knits and has either run out of yarn or experienced skein insecurity.

I suppose I could just weigh the darn skein and calm myself down, couldn't I? I don't know, I think I'd still fret about not having enough to finish my project.

It's not just me is it? Well?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Summit Yarn and Goodies

My suitcase was VERY full, but I didn't take a very large one intentionally. I DO NOT NEED MORE YARN! My cousin is shipping me my pants and a few other things. oops. I did need to bring some presents for everyone back home, so it wasn't all selfish indulgences you know!

Yep. That's it.

4 skeins of Blue Moon Fiber Arts, 2 of which are gifts for T. and B. (the 2 on the right).

2 skeins of Pagewood Farms, 1 of which is for M.

3 small Split Yarn pouches, 2 of which are also gifts for T. and B.

3 skeins of Malabrigo Sock for me to make myself a Tempest. The color isn't great in the photo, but it's a lovely blue with a black wash over it.

Also, in the top photo, a Good to Be Girl project bag, very nicely made with cute fabric and with nice touches on the inside.
swag - A little sample of sock yarn for a mini sock
swag - a goody bag from the Ravelry party with a lovely skein of green yarn

I also bought a couple of books by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. I was tempted to get all of the Barbara Walker treasuries, but didn't. I should have.