December 29, 2005


I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions, but this year I thought I'd give it a whirl.

My fabric and yarn buying addiction is getting out of hand.  I have a long list of quilt projects, especially, that I have planned and I can't just keep buying fabric!

My resolutions are:
1.  Buy no more quilt fabric unless it is to finish a project for which I already have most of the fabric.

2.  Finish one of my pre-cut projects before starting any new project.

OK, let's see how long my resolve can last!

December 19, 2005

Knitting update

Sock1 Two updates in one day???   Well, I have actual KNITTING content today, as well!  I finished my first sock on 2 circular needles and just love the technique.  No more double pointed needles for me!  Although I don't think I'll ever be skilled enough to knit 2 socks at once!

Sock2 I used Vesper sock yarn in Neopolitan.  I made a shortened version of the Lichen Ribbed sock from Knitting Vintage Socks, but used a different heel.  I love the star of three points toe, and this sock fits me perfectly!  I have already cast on and knitted about 25 rows of sock #2.

Quilting update

Momquilt1_1 I finished these 2 quilts I was making for my parents, and got them off in the mail on Friday.  My mom has seen pictures and knows that I made this quilt for her, but she doesn't expect to receive it this year.  I think she will be surprised!

Dadquilt1_1 And my dad and stepmom have no idea I am sending them a quilt.  I hope they like it!

December 13, 2005

Ho ho ho!

Trying to get holiday preparations done.  I have the house cleaned and (mostly) decorated.  The kids are itching to decorate the big tree, and I hope to do that tonight.

I'm still sewing on the binding of my mom's quilt and hope to finish that tonight as well.  I need to get it mailed, for sure!

I baked 5 kinds of cookies in the last few days.  Four are from the Martha Stewart cookie magazine that's on the news stands now.  My reviews:

Cashew Caramels - very good cookie, like a very rich shortbread

Cream Cheese Walnut Cookies - best dough I've ever tasted.  Easy to make, too

Pistachio Lemon Drops - disappointed in the texture and the flavor.  Not very lemony and salty from the salted nuts

Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies - not very good flavor - maybe if I'd have used "dutch process cocoa" as Martha recommended rather than Hershey's!

I have 2 more cookies that I've bought the ingredients for.  Hopefully they'll both be good.  Why do I always seem to experiment with holiday cookies instead of going for the tried and true?  Well, there are always the office scavengers that will eat anything for the rejects.   ;-)

December 2, 2005

First snow!

I left work at noon yesterday because of reports of snow coming down north of Seattle.  It was a little scary driving the 3 miles home from the park and ride.  It was really coming down.

In the afternoon, my DD and I walked to school to pick up my DSs and we all walked back home.  The kids enjoyed the snow so much!  It was a little scary walking because there aren't sidewalks all the way to school and the drivers are crazy.

Pic049 I started a sock this morning, and I think I figured out my digital camera.  No knit pictures yet, but here is my latest quilt update.  The colors of this one will be perfect in my living room.

December 1, 2005

Scarf finished!!!

I finished my scarf and wove the ends in this morning so I could wear it today.  It's really warm and cozy.... yum.  And perfect since it's FREEZING in the Seattle area and we're expecting snow today.

Still haven't worked out my new digital camera issues, but I will share a picture once I have done so.

I started a gauge swatch this morning of the Vesper sock yarn in Neopolitan (chocolate, strawberry, vanilla) - what a yummy yarn!  I think I will do one of the ribbed socks from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks book, but I haven't decided which one yet.  Now, where the heck is my other Size 1 Addi Turbo so I can try socks on 2 circulars???

November 30, 2005

First day back

I returned to kickboxing last night for the first time since my calf injury.  Seeing as how I missed almost all of November and the last week of October, I was pretty wiped out.  It felt like I'd never done it before!  But it also felt good to sweat and I hope I can return to a higher level of fitness.

In my month of vactions/eating/less workouts, I gained 5 pounds, but considering the eating (and drinking) I did, I was amazed it was that little.  And I lost 2 pounds this week, so I'm back on the right track.  It makes me sick that last January I was 2 pounds from my Weight Watchers goal and now I'm back to having a bit over 20 pounds to lose.  It's been a rough and emotional year for me, though.  :(

Knitting and quilting are both progressing.  I'm trying to finish stitching the binding on my mom's quilt so I can send it to her for Christmas.  She knows about the quilt (she picked it), but I'm sure she won't be expecting to receive it at Christmas.  I am also sending my dad & stepmom a quilt for Christmas and they will be surprised, I'm sure.

I am nearly finished with my Moonlight something-or-other scarf from Scarf Style.  I am down to 2 very small parts of the last 2 skeins of yarn.  I may only use one, though, depending on how many ends I want to weave in.

I got a cool new digital camera on Black Friday, but I haven't figured out how to transfer my pictures to upload them.  It requires many more brain cells than I have available at the moment!  But hopefully I'll be able to share pictures soon.

November 23, 2005

Knitting and Stashing

I'm making slow progress on my second Cashsoft scarf made with yarn left over from my friend's scarf.  At least the pattern is much easier than the first scarf.  This scarf will be for moi, since I don't have one I like yet.

Yesterday I received the Handknit Holidays book - what a beautiful book with lots of great patterns!  Yarn is on the way to make those cabled socks with Rowan Cork for myself.  Yum - can't wait.

I also received 2 skeins of Vesper Sock Yarn from kpixie.  I'd been drooling over it for months and finally decided to go for it.  I love the Neopolitan color, especially, though the Knit and Tonic is very fun too.  It's all I can do to not cast on for a pair of socks.  Must.  Finish.  Scarf....

Happy Thanksgiving all!

November 17, 2005

Kickboxing can be hazardous to your health

Between my rib injury, going to Atlanta and going to my quilt retreat, I have missed a lot of classes in the last month or so.  So I went Tuesday night.  Very soon after the warm up, we were doing kicks and I stepped backwards, landed hard on my left foot and felt my calf muscle go "pop" - OMG I was in agony!  We immediately elevated and iced it for about 30 minutes.  Then I hobbled home and iced it some more and popped some ibuprofen.

Wednesday morning it was very painful, so I stayed home from work.  But after icing and more ibuprofen, the pain has subsided somewhat, although the calf is tender and stairs are difficult.

My instructors said "We're sorry we keep hurting you."  I think I need to take a little break from all the jumping put and down, but I hope to get back kickin' very soon.  I miss it!

November 15, 2005

Back, with pictures!

I had a wonderful time at my quilt retreat.  A few problematic people in our workroom, but that happens virtually every time.  We were able to make the best of it, as always.  I also had great success with my sales items, and came home with $360, which is the most ever, and I think I brought the least amount of stuff this time!  I did bring several kits, though, and that really adds up.  I had people asking me if I had more that I hadn't put out yet, so they obviously like what I bring!  Now, if I only stop buying stuff I feel so-so about, I wouldn't have so much to sell.

Hk1 Anyway, I don't feel like I accomplished as much as the last retreat, but I was able to finish my daughter's massive Hello Kitty quilt.  It took me 2 full days to finish, so there was not time for much else.  She loves it though, and with the money from selling, I will have it quilted soon.  I need to find a new quilter, though, and that's not easy to put your trust into someone like that.  My last quilter really screwed up the last 2 quilts I gave her, and although my SIL still uses and likes her, I have lost all trust in her.

Hk2 So here is Hello Kitty.  It turned out 75" x 65".  I don't think I will be making another PINK quilt any time soon!

Blocks This is the other quilt I worked on.  Three blocks completed out of 15 or 16 (can't remember how many I cut).  These colors will look awesome in my living room.  It's a complicated block, but I really love how it is turning out.

Scarf_1 And finally, I finished and gifted the Interlocking Balloons scarf.  The friend I gave it to LOVED it!  And the good news is that I have enough yarn left over to make myself a scarf.  Love that Rowan Cashsoft!

November 9, 2005

I'm a geek

I just remembered something funny from my Atlanta trip.  I was at the airport knitting on my Samus cable.  I realized I screwed something up royally and the only way to fix was to rip completely and restart.  I draped my bamboo circulars around my neck while I was frogging the yarn.

By that time Starbucks was open, and oh, a bagel sounds good, so I make a couple of stops to get provisions.  Visit the ladies' room numerous time (nervous bladder, I tell ya!) and finally, board the plane, all the while wearing my fashionable Clover bamboo needle necklace.  Sheesh!  Wonder if anyone noticed?

Leaving tomorrow!

For quilt retreat!!  I'm so psyched!  Can't wait for girly time with my SIL, good food, mucho inspiration, a massage and all else that quilt retreat entails.

My first project will be to finish my DD's Hello Kitty quilt.  I finally figured out how I wanted to frame the blocks of fabric, and put together a test block, but it got awfully stretched out.  I'm sure it will bug me too much, so I will have to rip off one border and resew it.  Ugh.   Hopefully I can finish one quilt top and start on my next one while I'm there.

On the knitting front, Samus is still giving me fits.  I'm on my 3rd try starting the bottom cable edge of the sweater.  I don't know why I keep messing up.  If I have to restart, I think I will pick another project to give myself a break from cables for a while.

Have a great weekend, everyone!  Ciao!

November 7, 2005

Scarf finished!

I finished the Interlocking Balloons scarf that I made with Rowan Cashsoft Aran.  I ended up knitting only 8 of the 10 pattern repeats because the scarf was getting plenty long (62").  I am disappointed by how fuzzy and pilled looking the yarn got just from the knitting.  I hope it wears okay.

I plopped the scarf into the bathroom sink in some Euculan practically the second I bound off.  The yarn bled horribly!  I tried to squeeze most of the water out by hand, but it was still pretty soaked.  So I ran it through a gentle wash cycle and it came out looking really great and the washer spun most of the water out.  It's blocking on my dining room table right now.  No pictures yet as my camera is at work.

I'm preoccupied with getting my sale items priced and my projects ready for quilt retreat - I leave Thursday.  For my next knitting project, I will return my focus to Samus.  But I'm a little burned out on cables right now.

November 3, 2005

Back from the South!

I had a glorious time in Atlanta.  My stepsister's wedding was very lavish and beautiful.  My dad and stepmom have 2 lovely homes in Georgia and they are great hosts.  I felt like a spoiled princess the entire time I was there.

Dad introduced us to chocolate martinis and boy are they sinfully delicious!  YUM!!!

I did luck into one yarn shop and bought a kit for an entrelac felted purse.  Had to have a knitting souvenir, you know!

Didn't get much chance to knit any more on Samus, and what I did knit I had to rip out and start over.  :(

My suitcase got opened and inspected on the trip home.  When I retrieved it in baggage claim, it had a several yards long piece of my yarn trailing out of it, it was wet and split and dirty.  Gee thanks, guys.  At least it wasn't attached to anything important.

Back to working on my Interlocking Balloons scarf.  I had hoped to have it finished by Saturday, but there is not a chance now.  The birthday present will have to be a belated one.  ;-)

October 27, 2005


Posting from an internet kiosk at the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport.  Had a good flight from Seattle, despite being directly behind a whiny toddler with a hacking cough.  Thank goodness for my iPod and good country music.  ;-)

I was able to get the entire cuff of my Samus finished on this flight.  Will start the cable for the body of the sweater on my flight to Atlanta.

Just had a most delicious strawberry mango margarita at the airport.  Yum, yum.

This is the first time I've flown in 7 years.  I got a little flustered going through airport security in Seattle...  didn't realize I had to remove my shoes.  Then the gal at the gate raved on and on about my cologne and I had to write down the name for her.  I wear Be Delicious by DKNY and have never gotten so many raves about a fragrance.  Men, especially, seem to love the scent.

Well, guess I'd best run.  Will update again as I am able.

October 26, 2005

Countdown to takeoff!

I'll be leaving in the morning for Atlanta.  A whirlwind of packing will ensue tonight, I'm sure.

I've decided I will bring my Interlocking Balloons scarf since I haven't gotten as far on it as I'd like and will have to gift it just a few days after I return.  Hopefully security will not confiscate my bamboo circulars.  If they do, I'll pack some spares in my suitcase, and bring along my trashy reading - Cosmo and Glamour.

I don't expect to be able to visit any yarn or fabric stores in Georgia, but stranger things have happened.  Not that I need any more stash, but I feel I must live up to my blog name!

October 24, 2005

Countdown to Takeoff...

I leave Thursday for Atlanta - going to visit my dad and for my stepsister's wedding.  I will miss the kids terribly, though I am looking forward to a few grown-up days away.  And quite nervous about flying by myself.  It's been 7 years since I've flown anywhere, and never by myself.  Too late to turn back now!

I spent the weekend trying to cram in as much Supermom Fun as I could.  I baked 4 dozen cupcakes and decorated them with mummy faces and spiderwebs.  I did mountains of laundry and cleaned bathrooms and floors.  Hopefully it will remain clean until my return, but I'm not counting on it!

I still haven't quite decided what knitting to bring with me, or if I will even get a chance to knit while I am there.  I do have a lot of "airport time" so I'll need a good book, or magazines or SOMETHING.

I'm halfway through with the Interlocking Balloons scarf.  Using aran weight yarn instead of DK was a mistake in that I didn't order enough yarn.  I have 5 balls and 4 got me to the halfway point.  I have another 3 balls headed to me from Jimmy Beans, and fingers will be crossed that the dye lots match or at least are not too different.  This inexpensive scarf project is now costing me a fortune.  Grrrr....

October 19, 2005

First sports injury

Almost 2 weeks ago in my kickboxing class we did a bunch of relay-type things, including some where we all stood in a circle and TOSSED a 60-pound punching bag to each other.  I had a great deal of trouble catching the canvas bag and didn't realize it until the next day, but I seriously hurt my shoulder by doing that.

I suffered over the weekend until I could get to an already-scheduled chiropractor appointment on Monday afternoon.  He diagnosed that I popped a rib head and that's what was causing the incredible, searing pain in my shoulder.  It took a week of seeing him every day to get back to feeling normal again.

I asked him if I could try kickboxing this week and he told me yes, but to be careful.  Yesterday was my first day back (the instructor felt SO BAD about me getting hurt!).  I quickly discovered my shoulder was not up to punching, so I just worked my right side.  It was good to get back to sweating, though, I really missed it!

October 18, 2005

Finally, some pictures!

Cable I finally got a chance to take some pictures of my current projects.  First up, the cable band for one sleeve of Samus.

Scarf2 Next up, the Interlocking Balloons scarf in Rowan Cashsoft Aran, yummmmmmmmmmmmm - the yarn is divine!

HkquiltLast but not least, here are the Hello Kitty fabrics that I will be using to make my daughter's quilt.  The first picture shows them all laid out.  Each rectangle will have a 2" sashing around it, which you can see in more detail in the second picture.  She is so anxious to have her quilt on her bed - she gets her patience gene from her mother, no doubt!


October 14, 2005

Rowan Cashsoft Aran - I'm in love!!!

Received my order of Cashsoft Aran from Jimmy Beans Wool (great service, BTW).  Wow, this yarn is amazingly soft and gorgeous!  I think I should knit underwear from it, this stuff is so fabulous!  Well, maybe not to that extreme.

I knit the first 26 rows of Interlocking Balloons from Scarf Style.  This yarn is heavier than what is called for in the pattern, but I think it will be great, just a little wider than the pattern, which I don't mind.

Yummy, yummy yarn folks - buy some now!!!

October 11, 2005

Zigged when I shoulda zagged

I finished one 32-row repeat of the Saxon braid cable on the Samus cardigan.  Then I sat back to admire my work, discovering that about halfway down, I purled a leg of the cable when I should have knit the stitches!  I tried just ripping back to the mistake, but lost count of the row - I'm so cable illiterate, there was no fixing it.  But the good news is, I ripped back, cast on again, and got through another repeat of the cable and then 8 rows of the next one!  It was obvious much easier having all that PRACTICE!  Plus, I've loosened up on my tension and it looks much nicer than the first attempt.  Will try and post a picture tomorrow.

I decided that the Artyarns Supermerino did not want to become the Traveling Cables scarf.  It looks horrible with the stark variegation in the yarn.  Definitely needs something much more subtle.  Oh well, I only had about half the number of skeins I needed for that pattern, so it will be frogged for something else.

October 10, 2005

Stop me before I cast on again!

Since I'm kind of at a crossroads on a lot of my projects -

- Wildfell.  Has gotten too big to knit while riding the stationary bike.

- DB baby cardigan.  I made a mistake in the fair isle pattern.

- Berroco Suede purse.  Needs to be stitched together.

- Nothing But a T-Shirt.  I'm at the shoulder shaping.  I want to use short rows, but I'm scared to proceed without step-by-step directions....

So I started the lower edge band of the Samus cardigan.  Love the cable pattern!  Love the yarn in the smoke grey color.  I also started the Here and There Cables scarf from Scarf Style, but I don't have nearly enough of the yarn to make it long enough (I need 8 skeins and only have 4).  I think I might knit for awhile longer just to get into the flow of the pattern.

I ordered Rowan Cashsoft Aran to knit the Interlocking Balloons scarf to start and finish in time for a mid-November birthday.  Nothing like a few more projects and a looming deadline to make my head spin!!!

October 7, 2005

Progress, but nothing to show

I've made a little bit of progress on a whole lot of projects, but nothing exciting enough to show here.  I'm 4" past the armhole shapings on Wildfell - just 6-3/4" and I can start the neck shaping.  It's becoming quite awkward to knit while riding my bike, so I may have to devote some TV time to knitting on it.

I'm working on cutting strips of bright fabrics from my stash for Lily's Hello Kitty Quilt.  I need to sew 1-1/2" strips together for the sashing between the blocks, so we're talking a bazillion strips.  This is going to take a long time, but I hope to have the sashing done and take the project with me to my quilt retreat in November.

I'm also going through my fabric, magazine and book stash to see what I might want to try and sell at the retreat's "sewing room sale".  I thought I had culled pretty much all of my fabrics in the past years, but the stuff seems to multiply from year to year.  Funny how it's never the "good stuff" that I find taking up space!

October 4, 2005

Costume - done!

I was finally able to finish my daughter's cheerleader costume on Saturday - what a relief.  I'm not sure what it is about this project that I didn't like, the color, the pattern, the way the fabric hangs... but I just did not enjoy it and am so relieved to be finished (well, except for hand sewing the IRON ON letter appliques to the front because they won't STICK).

While at the fabric store Saturday, seeing this adorable applique made me want to make a poodle skirt for my daughter - they have a sock hop at school every year.  So I found the perfect magenta pink wool felt and whipped the skirt up in a couple of hours.  It is adorable and should fit her for at least 2 years.  Now to sew on the applique and the sequined "leash" - a really fun project.

I also found out Sunday that we did get into our fall quilt retreat!  Outstanding!  I have two quilt projects I want to take to work on.  My hope is that I can finish a Hello Kitty quilt for my daughter.  I've been collecting various prints off ebay for a couple of years now and it's finally time to put them all together, I think.  I know she will love it, and it would be a nice surprise if I could come home with a finished quilt top for her.

September 27, 2005

Some progress to report

Suede I finished the knitting for this Berocco knitting tote.  Now I have to wait for the bamboo handles I ordered to finish it.  I plan to crochet the trim around the top with a hot pink suede and use that for the tassles as well.



Wildfell_1 I am moving right along with the Wildfell cardigan.  I'm knitting both sides of the front, and I have only 10 rows to go until I start the armhole decreases.  Then Sleeve Island, the collar, and I'm finished!  It will certainly be just the right accessory for these chillier fall days we've been having!

Still trying to finish the cheerleader costume.  I am having a heck of a time with the skirt hem.  I promised the kids they could try on their costumes October 1, so I'd better get cracking and finish it!

September 20, 2005

Simplicity, my ass!

9798bsim Any knitting and quilting projects are currently on hold until I finish my daughter's Halloween costume.  She wanted to be a cheerleader with a purple and pink outfit.  Simple enough...  I made a cheerleader costume about 15 years ago for my niece.  But wow, this little skirt alone has 18 pieces!  The skirt, the top AND the little panties underneath all require inserting a zipper - ay-yi-yi!  The skirt is done except for the hem, which is basted into place.  I started work on the top last night, but was stuck when I realized I needed a zipper I didn't have!  I also need to buy some knit fabric for the panties.  Will pick that up tonight so I can get motoring on this.

I did find an online source for chenille letters and got those ordered.  I am going to use M L E for the name of her elementary school.

September 15, 2005

Wildfell resurrected

With the weather turning colder and more fall-like here in the Seattle area, I picked up my Wildfell cardigan once again.  Love the easy stitch pattern and the Kochoran yarn knits up so quickly!  I have the back finished and now I'm working on both the front pieces at once.

Quilting is on hold as I slog agonizingly through the sewing of my daughter's cheerleader costume.  I can't quilt because i have purple thread in my machine.  I will keep purple thread in my machine until I finish the durn costume.  Then I can reward myself by going back to my quilting.

A coworker wants to commission me to make him a quilt.  I have no idea even what to charge him, but I told him to sketch out what he had in mind and we can discuss it.

September 13, 2005

Old Rowan magazine

Bags I got an older issue of Rowan magazine from a blogger who was destashing.  There were three projects I just LOVED, using a discontinued Rowan yarn called Fine Cotton Chenille.  I did some searching and found this internet seller with their version of a fine cotton chenille at only $1.95 per skein!  I was able to order yarn for all three projects for only $35!  The shipping was a little steep (over $9), but get this - I ordered the yarn Chen1 on Friday and received it MONDAY!  Very, very cool.

The stash, she keeps a' growin'


September 12, 2005


Block I feel like I got a lot accomplished this weekend.  Nothing knitting related, but I did work out a test block for a quilt I'm wanting to make.  Here's a picture - I just LOVE these fabrics.  I've got all the pieces cut and this will probably be my retreat project for this fall, assuming we get in <fingers crossed>!

I also made good progress on my daughter's Halloween costume (she wants to be a cheerleader).  This despite the every five minute "are you done yet?" questions.  Ay-yi-yi!  It's been years since I've put in a zipper, I forgot what a pain that can be!  And next the waistband.  I already know it's too big.  Hopefully I can move the hook closure and it will fit her waist a little better.

September 9, 2005

A week? Already?

Again I must apologize for my lack of posts.  I haven't been making much progress on projects, so there is not really a whole lot to blog about.

I settled on a pattern to use with this fabric collection that I've had for a couple of months.  I saw a tiny picture of a traditional quilt block pattern in a magazine ad, and although my color palette is not as dark as the one pictured, I think it will work out great.  I made a test block using the fabrics and loved how it turned out.  I took a pic, but it's still in my digital camera.  I will try and download it this weekend.

In knitting news, I'm making this tote with Berroco Suede in Clemantine (bright orange).  I plan to do the crochet edging and tassles in Belle Star (hot pink).  It is a very easy stitch pattern, but very boring to knit!  I am into the 4th of 5 balls of yarn, so hopefully will soon be finishing this.  Now I only need to hunt down some handles like the ones pictured!

My baby started kindergarten on Tuesday.  She is so grown up, I can't believe how fast that happened!  And to top things off, she lost her first tooth on Wednesday.  Such a big week of firsts for her!  Here are a couple of pictures of all 3 of my babies from the first day of school...

School2 School5

September 2, 2005

Yay! It's Friday!!!

Sorry for the lack of posts.  My knitting is not so exciting, but with the long weekend, I should progress enough on both my projects to post photos.

I'm also extremely excited about quilting again, after spending last Saturday afternoon with my SIL and quilt-buddy Jan.  We submitted our applications for our guild's retreat in November, and fingers are crossed that we make it in.  Retreat is always a HUGE source of inspiration.  One part I also love is that we have "sewing room sale" tables, where you can lay out all those "why did I ever buy this?" fabric from your stash.  It finds a new home, and you find $$$$.  I've always seemed to make enough to pay for my retreat weekend, which is totally awesome.  Of course, it would be even more awesome if I stopped buying these fabrics in the first place!

August 25, 2005


No, it's not anything knitting related, but I did finish piecing the top to a quilt I started at retreat in April.  I plan to hang this one in our entryway when it's quilted and finished.

Gbquilt     Gbquilt2

August 22, 2005

Short rows

I haven't really made much knitting progress.  I'm knitting a Debbie Bliss fair isle yoked baby sweater, but I'm just starting the color work, so not too exciting to look at just yet.

I'm also at the point of starting shoulder shaping for my NBaT.  I don't want to do the stair-steppy bind offs that I find so hard to seam, so I followed directions from Nonaknits (scroll to her April 8 entry) and made 3 swatches to try out the 3 different short row techniques that she describes.  Let me tell you, her instructions could not have been more precise.  The swatches were fun to do and I really liked being able to compare the techniques.  I like the look of the Japanese short rows the best.  I hope I can figure out how to do my shoulders using this technique, but with Nona's help, I think I should be able to.

I also finally finished the quilt that's been up on my design wall since I returned from my retreat in April.  The sewing rows together and then borders is my least favorite part of quilting (well, that and machine quilting!).  But it's done and now I can start my next project!  Pictures soon, maybe tomorrow....

August 16, 2005

Baby sweater!

Even in a tiny gauge yarn like Baby Cashmerino, a baby sweater knits up so fast!  I am working on the fair isle cardigan from Debbie Bliss' Baby Cashmerino book.  I'm doing it in pink because I had it in stash, though no baby girls are expected by anyone I know at the moment!  I finished the body of the sweater and attempted to steam block it last night to sew the shoulder seams.

Discovered an error where I decided to rewrite the pattern and add an additional 4 rows on one side of the back, so that had to be ripped and reknit.  I'm anxious to get to the yoke part and see how my fair isle skills are!  I haven't knit using many colors in way too long!

August 10, 2005

Breaking up is hard to do

I reached the next section - Chart D - of the corset top and again was stymied by the instructions.  That and the fact that my ribbing pattern was off, yet again.  I am so disgusted with this project, I'm ditching it.  I will not let it defeat me.   :(

Currently working on the NBaT and the fair isle cardigan from Debby Bliss's Baby Cashmerino book.  Also trying to clear out the stash to ease my guilt about how big it has gotten.

August 4, 2005

Yarn Harlot

I had the pleasure of meeting and listening to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee read from her funny bookbookbook yesterday. I enjoyed it very much - she has the cutest laugh I've ever heard. I'm interested to see her blog detailing her Seattle visit so I can find out just where she took "the sock" while they were here.  She got a few really good suggestions from the audience.

Many knitters all around me, but I did not bring knitting. I have a hard enough time concentrating when I'm by myself! It would have been impossible there. If you get a chance to see her, go, it was well worth taking a few hours vacation from work (like I need an excuse?) lol


Finally able to post pictures of my Corset Top progress.  I love my yarn choice - Cascade Elite Premiere.  I hope I am able to tackle Chart D - it was muy confusing when I looked at it this morning.


Yes, I know the pics are upside down.  Sorry!


August 3, 2005

Blasted technology!!!

I was so excited to post photos of my progress on the Corset Top, but the disk I brought my pictures in on today isn't talking to my PC.  Oh brother.  Look for an update tomorrow.  I'm finally past Chart C!!!

Tomorrow I'm planning to attend the book signing at Third Place Books with the one and only Yarn Harlot - can't wait!

July 28, 2005

The last straw!

Okay, once again I ripped the Corset Top...  I got past the armholes and to the start of the bust decreases, only to discover I was off on the ribbing pattern - p2, k2, p2, k1... ugh.  I knew it would bug me to leave it wrong, so I did what I had to do.  I also tried it on before ripping and the armholes were way too tiny.  I need to work on a looser i-cord cast on/bind off.  I also took the opportunity to make a larger size.  I don't know, I just don't think I want it quite so tight fitting, though I may regret that decision.

Well, the learning curve certainly has me flying through Chart A.  Let's hope I can keep going this time.  I swear, this is the LAST TIME I'm attempting this one!  So darn frustrating!

July 26, 2005

Slow Progress

Slowly progressing on the Corset Tank.  I do love my yarn choice (Cascade Elite Premiere) and hope it will fit.  I will knit a few more rows and then try it on to see.  Although I love this pattern, it has been one of the most difficult that I have ever tried to knit.  It might be the pattern, or more likely my brain.  I know I've knit each step 2 or 3 times before it finally "clicks" and this morning I had to rip 5 rows because the bust decreases weren't stacking on top of each other properly!

I'm trying NOT to get discouraged, but it certainly is a challenging project.  I do have some lovely HipKnits silk to make my next one, that is if I decide to make another after this!  I got the Bluebell silk, and although it's lovely, it's not nearly as dark as depicted on their website.  I still like the color, though.

July 19, 2005

Knitting in the dark

Still suffering from pinkeye!  It's not nearly so painful now, but the constant tearing/blurry vision and extreme light sensitivity has limited my knitting ability!  :(    I did cast on and knit the first 9 rows of the Corset Tank.  Loving the way it looks!  I'll be happy to have my normal vision back, though.  Scary to think of not being able to see permanently!

I found someone on Knitter's Review that has 2 skeins of Calmer in my color and dye lot - woo hoo!  Ain't the Internet grand???

July 13, 2005

Two is not always better

What's worse than a case of pinkeye?  Well, having it in both eyes, thankyouverymuch.  Argh.  I'm not a baby, but this makes me feel like one.  It is such a nuisance!  I guess the saving grace is that the kids don't have it, but it will sure make me more compassionate the next time they do!

I'm excited to finish my London top.  I like the finishing instructions in the Dale book.  Seems like it will be easy to do.  I'm crossing fingers that it fits.  I did give it a mid-way try on, but the thing looks huge!  I guess I'll be even more disappointed if it DOES fit because I'm not that big, am I?  lol

Got a few more rows done on my NBaT.  It's pretty boring knitting, but I'm absolutely loving the feeling of the Rowan Calmer.  I think I'm going to scrap the one skein I reknitted so many times for Elspeth and see if Jimmy Beans Wool still has a skein in my same dye lot.  Fingers crossed!

July 12, 2005

Ready to finish!

I finished the last row before the bind off on my London top this morning.  Now to just bind off, sew up the sides and pick up and knit the armhole bands.  I haven't knit an actually sweater since the 1980s, so wish me luck with this!!!

July 6, 2005

London Progress

Londontop I've finished and bound off one side of the London Top.  Now I need to knit from the armholes on the second side and will soon be finished.  Although I'm a little concerned it will be too big on me - the thing looks huge.  I made a last minute decision to make the largest size and it might not have been a good decision.  I will try it on tonight to see if I need to rip and restart.

I have really liked knitting with the Svale - splitting aside.  Even though the sweater is knit on size 4 needles, I think it went really fast!

July 5, 2005


Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy - that's me!  Not that I need any more yarn, but who could resist a yarn store liquidation sale?  Yarn and needles at 40% off, sale tables with 50% off and a table with yarn for $2 a skein?

I got the email late Friday afternoon, the sale started Saturday at 10 a.m.  Part of me was hoping everyone else in town would be gone for the long holiday weekend and that I could buy all the yarn for myself <insert evil laugh!>

Bagoyarn I arrived at the store about 9:40 and was disappointed to see the parking lot full and the store already filled with shoppers!  I had to drive around a few blocks to find a parking spot, then dashed to the store to see the sign stating the sale started at 9 a.m. - bummer!  But I shopped til I dropped and found some really good stuff!!!

Haul2   I made a beeline for the first table inside and discovered that it was the $2 table.  They had a lot of single balls of Debbie Bliss yarn, but I found a basket that had small quantities of a few cotton yarns.  I got 9 skeins of Elizabeth Levold Cotton Patine in this warm pinkish brown color, and 11 skeins of Schulana Supercotton - a nice heavy worsted weight cotton/micro blend that is sproingy like All Seasons Cotton.  The Supercotton was mixed colors, I got 6 in black and 5 in a dark charcoal grey that is almost black.  I figure I could combine the 2 colors to make a short sleeved sweater or tank.

Then I went over to the 50% off table.  There was a box underneath with Rowan Summer Tweed Yarn, but one lady was grabbing all the coral color and one lady all the sage green.  They had an ecru color, but there didn't appear to be enough to make anything out of, plus I'm not such a big fan of the Summer Tweed yarn.

Haul1_1 I started looking at the shelves and first came across some Southwest Trading Company Bamboo yarn.  I'd been drooling over this yarn to make this Heatwave tank, but couldn't justify spending $75 on yarn for a tank.  But for 40% off, heck - it was mine!  They even had the pink and solid pink that I wanted and the free pattern displayed next to the yarn!  Next, I found the Rowan area and immediately zeroed in on the Calmer shelf.  They had black, white, pink and 10 skeins of this lovely light yellow green called Sour.  I got the Sour.  No specific plan in mind, but I know with 10 skeins I'll be able to knit any sweater I want with the Calmer.  Mmmm, Calmer....  The other pink yarn here is Classic Elite Premiere - a really nice tencel and cotton blend.  They had a ton of colors, but by the time I made it back to make a decision, pink and a butterscotch color were all they had left.  I hope 5 skeins is enough to make something out of - another tank, possibly?

Haul3_1   They also had a great deal of Rowan All Seasons Cotton.  I got 5 skeins of a grey/white marbled color to make a tank.  I also picked up 2 skeins of Rowan Cashsoft Baby DK.  The only color remaining was navy blue, but I thought it would make a nice cozy pair of socks.

Waiting in line was a nightmare - it took me over an hour and the line barely moved.  However, it was 5 times as long behind me, and I read on another blog she waited almost 3 hours to check out!  Ay-yi-yi!

Well, it was a great stash day.  Now to get busy knitting!

June 30, 2005


I didn't study my pattern very carefully and noticed after I'd begun knitting that the London Top I'm working on is much shorter than the other tops in the book.  Since I'm far past the age where it's acceptable to show one's navel, I decided I'd just knit as far as I could with the lime green yarn I had, then go ahead and order 2 more skeins to do the stripes up top (and since the greens wouldn't be touching, who would be the wiser?).

I got the new yarn from a different online shop than the first batch and IT'S THE SAME DYE LOT!  What are the chances that could happen even if I wanted it to???

Will try and post a picture tomorrow.  :) 

June 27, 2005

All that remains...

Calmer_1 of Elspeth is these 2 balls of Calmer.  I made the decision that I was never going to want to rechart the front and sleeves and decided to do something I'd had in the back of my mind for quite some time... RIP!!!!

The Calmer will be ressurected as a Nothing But a T-Shirt, using the coral and some scraps of other assorted colors I have left over from a very expensive baby blanket, to make the striped version of the NBaT.

And while I was at it, I also finally made the decision this morning to frog my Clapotis.  Although I admire the many versions of it I have seen, and I loved my yarn, I just HATED this pattern and it was almost torturous to work on it.  Plus, I'm not a shawl person.  I think the yarn is destined for ebay.  :(

But, I feel liberated!  On to more fun projects!

June 23, 2005

Split decision

I am enjoying working with the Dale Svale.  It is a slick yarn and knits up very nicely, but it is so splitty!  This morning while knitting I found a stitch about 10 rows back that I had split and some strands were hanging out the front.  I held my breath, took a crochet hook and dropped it down to the problem, then fixed it lickety-split (so to speak!).  After a few more stitches had resumed, I discovered another split stitch about 8 rows down, fixed that one too.  I've got you Splitty Stitches - ha!!

June 20, 2005

Knitting again!

I'm knitting my London Top out of Dale Svale (I'm making the lime/white/blue version).  The Svale is a really pretty yarn knit up, but it requires careful knitting because it is so splitty.  I love knitting in the round!

I seamed the underarms of my Minisweater/Boobholder.  Now I'm working on weaving in the ends, which is daunting.  Each point of the edging has 2 ends to weave in, and the Alchemy Bamboo yarn is very slippery.  I will try and force myself to work on this so I can wear it soon!

June 15, 2005

Making Some Progress

I actually finished the lower edging on my Minisweater/Boobholder.  Now to seam the sweater, weave in a million ends, and find a button.  I think it's going to go great with my purple linen dress.  I love the addition of the beautiful Alchemy Bamboo yarn on the plain black Rowan All-Seasons Cotton.

Now I'm kind of at a project crossroads, though.  I have only the Wildfell Cardigan on the needles.  It's not a very portable project due to its size and shedding.  But I also really want to finish Elspeth, but that will require some sitting down with Microsoft Excel and trying to chart the blasted thing.  Or, I could just pitch it and start something new?  Hmmm....

June 10, 2005

Really GIF

As in - Really Glad It's Friday!  I could use a quiet weekend at home, not that I'll get it, but one can dream.  Saturday is my niece's second college graduation, she got her masters degree and is going now for her Ph.D.

Then Sunday my mom will come and spend the day with us.  We'll either hang out at home and fondle my yarn and fabric, or pack up all the kids for a trip to the new neighborhood yarn store.  I can only guess which one she'll pick.   ;-)

I picked up and started knitting on my Wildfell cardigan last night.  I had forgotten how much I love the Noro Kochoran yarn.  And it knits up so fast!  Maybe I'll have some signficant progress on the fronts to show you Monday.

Have a great weekend!

June 8, 2005

Lost My Focus, AGAIN!

I needed a new project to take on a long car trip to attend my grandmother's funeral this weekend.  The 3 projects I already have going were not going to work for a car trip - the Korchoran sweater, too hot!  The wool My Little Companion Bag, ditto; the edging on my Minisweater/Boobholder, too slippery.  So I took my bag of Baby Cashmerino and started the Entrelac Shawl from Debbie Bliss' Baby Cashmerino book.

I got the first row of triangles done on the trip over, and thought - wow, this entrelac is a piece of cake!  Then it came to doing the next step and I totally screwed it up.  Had no concept of how to fix it.  Ugh.  So riiiipppppp....  On the trip home, the shawl turned into the fair isle cardigan from the same book, but how boring is it to knit stockinette on size 3 needles with teeny tiny yarn?  I kept falling asleep!

Well, hopefully something will spur me on to be excited about knitting again.  The new yarn I bought on my trip for a new cotton bag?  Perhaps - stay tuned!

May 18, 2005

Noro Knots

Oh my, I didn't realize it had been so long since I've posted.  I finished my second My Little Companion and now have 5 bags I need to take to the laundromat for felting.  Maybe I'll be able to fit this in on Saturday...

I am only 3" from finishing the back of my Wildfell cardigan!  I love the Kochoran yarn, it knits up beautifully and is such a joy to work with.  Although the sweater is very long (23 inches up to the armhole), it does not feel very heavy at all.

My only gripe about the Kochoran is the KNOTS.  I have never worked with such a knotty yarn.  Every skein so far has had at least one knot in it.  Grumble, grumble.

May 10, 2005

At long last - pictures!

Poncho I finally got around to taking some pictures of recent projects.  First, my daughter's poncho, it's Dapple from the Rowan book Pipsqueaks, made out of All Seasons Cotton.  I loved working with the ASC, but was a little peeved that the pattern called for 7 skeins and I had 2-1/2 skeins left over!  I guess it's better to have too much yarn than not enough, though.  :)

Oregon Next up is my Oregon Tote, made with's bulky wool.  This one also took far less yardage than was called for in the pattern, which if I recall correctly was 500-600 yards of the main color.  I bought 540 yards and had 1-1/2 skeins left over.  And see, it's the size of a 5 year old!  Another picture to come once I have felted it.

Kristina Next up is the Kristina Bag.  Love this pattern.  The beautiful Noro yarn does all the work.  The colorwork pattern is super easy to follow.  I had some difficulty with the double i-cord strap, but finally figured it out and I really like the way it turned out.  I used black Cascade Pastaza and can't wait to see how it felts.

Companion2 Next, a My Little Companion Bag that I'm making with's merino worsted and some handspun Spunky Eklectic yarn I got from Knit Pixie in Chocolate Covered Cherries.  Isn't it yummy?  I plan to do a small stripe at the top with the merino worsted, then do the i-cord bind off with the SE yarn.  This is my second MLC bag and it takes only about 2 days' knitting time to finish one.  I haven't felted one of my own, but have seen shop samples at 2 different stores I frequent and I absolutely love the shape of this bag.

Wildfell My final progress pic is of the Wildfell Cardigan using Kochoran.  I love the yarn, the color, the pattern, but I'm allergic to the angora.  I spend the night coughing after I knit with the stuff, and have a permanent sore throat and nasal congestion.  I had several offers at work today to 'take the sweater off my hands'...  I'm going to persevere because I love it so much, and hope I am able to wear this sweater once it's finished!

Lilyyarn And last but not least, I have to share the beautiful birthday surprise I received from my good friend Rani.  She sent me this gorgeous Artyarns Ultramerino and the Rowan All Seasons Cotton book.  Enough yarn for me to make the Smooch tank!  Thanks, R, I love it!  Although can you tell my daughter is a tad envious?

May 5, 2005

Eating My Words

I told my friend Rani that I liked knitting i-cord.  Ha!  That was before I got on this felted bag kick!  Now I've got 3 bags finished - Oregon Tote, Kristina Bag and My Little Companion, save for the i-cord, which I've decided I hate!  I guess I need to force myself to knit it, maybe as an incentive before I move onto a new project?  Nah, I seem to have startitis and will probably start something new anyway!

I have yarn wound into balls and ready to go for 2 more My Little Companion bags.  The pink and purple one I did turned out so cute, I can't wait to felt it.  But again, it needs the i-cord handles knit.

I also finally got the pattern so I can start my Wildfell cardigan and I'm anxious to do that.  I got gauge on the first try!  Although I do tend to knit loosely and it may grow on the actual sweater.  The photo in Simply Noro makes it look like the cardigan is knee length.  Because I'm only 5'3" and also because I may be short of yarn, I'm going to take off some length, maybe make it come to mid-thigh.  Can't wait to get started on it.

My second weigh-in since re-devoting myself to Weight Watchers was yesterday and I'm down 1.4 pounds.  I was hoping for a greater loss, but I'll take it - I actually had a GAIN the previous week.  I am hoping I can get to my goal, if not darn near close by the end of this WW at Work session that ends in August.  I have faithfully stayed within my points range for the past 17 days without one slip-up.  I just need to stay focused and I can get back to where I need to be.  Onward and DOWNward!

April 28, 2005

Knitting Groove

I seem to have lost my groove.  I started the Kristina bag and was really loving the color work on it.  Then I noticed I'd made a huge error in the pattern, one and a half repeats back.  RIPPPPPPPPP!   Then I got the yarns untangled and behaving again, only to make another mistake, only one row back.  I finally seem to have gotten back on track - I hope so anyway!

I have concerns that the bottom of the bag may not be sturdy enough.  I am wishing I had used a double strand to knit it, but on the other hand, I didn't check yarn yardage to begin with (I bought Pastaza and not Cascade 220) and fear I already won't have enough.  Time will tell I suppose!  I guess I could always make the strap in a different dye lot if necessary.

I am still a week behind in my Knitlist digests, but I read there is a new yarn store in my NEIGHBORHOOD!  I must stop by on Saturday to check it out.  Yes, I'm on a yarn diet, but Sunday is my birthday.  If I splurge and buy something... well, everyone needs presents on their BIRTHDAY right???

-Signed, the Queen of Stash Justification........

April 26, 2005

New stash and now I must STOP!

I was lucky enough to find Noro Kochoron at 40% off in #10 denim/lime/grey to make this cardigan.  I received my yarn last night from Purl Soho (what excellent service!) and immediately knit a gauge swatch.  I'm loving the color and the feel of this yarn, there is a really beautiful halo from the angora.  I can hardly wait to get my pattern book and will be stalking the mailbox waiting for it.

I've started a yarn diet every month this year, and never made it past about day 10.  My stash is taking control and I have more projects than I could complete in a LIFETIME.  This stash sickness is genetic, my mom started it long before me and I follow in her footsteps (thanks Mom!).  May is a particularly bad month to try and "diet" seeing as how it's my birthday month, but I'm going to try.  I need to try, my bank statement says I must.

I finished the Oregon Tote and only need to knit a few miles of i-cord before I can head to the laundromat for felting.  I'd also like to sew the striped bag together and try felting it at the same time.

I cast on for the Kristina bag using black Cascade Pastaza and a pink and orange Noro Kuryeon.  I've only completed about 7 rows into the colorwork pattern, but I love how it looks so far.

April 19, 2005

Knitter's Block

I'm back from a really nice visit with my mom & grandparents.  We didn't get much done, but lots of chatting and catching up.  Mom is getting ready to retire and sell her house the end of May.  She will be moving closer (yay!!!!) but it's sad to think that may be our last visit to the house they've lived in since 1989.

I finished my DD's poncho in the car on the trip over.  It turned out super cute (pic soon, I promise!) and she swore she would never take it off.  I'm a little peeved to end up with 2-1/2 skeins of Rowan's All Seasons Cotton left.  I don't know why I would have so much left of the 7 skeins the pattern size called for.  Of course, if it was a sweater for myself, I'm SURE I'd run out of yarn!

I started knitting another bag to be felted on my trip, but I'm not sure it was a wise decision.  I'm making this Pick Up Sticks Vertical Stripe Bag, but thought it would be fun to knit each panel in a different color.  It looks garish right now, and the bag is HUGE!  I know it will shrink and I hope the colors will soften in the felting process.  Also, this thing seems to weigh 20 pounds!  I've finished the bag itself, now I need to seam the tube, knit the purse bottom and i-cord and I can throw it in the wash.  I am running out of yarn too and I really don't want to have to buy more.

I don't have anything knitting-wise that I want to work on right now.  I suppose I could cast on for a fresh project, but I feel great guilt about the ones languishing on my needles now.  Poor Clapotis is so boring, I can only stand to knit a few rows at a time.  The Oregon Tote needs its i-cord bindoff, and poor Elspeth needs major help.  I got an email newsletter from a LYS that offers personal help for $25 an hour, which is LOADS cheaper than the $40 an hour for private instruction that other shops locally offer.  I'm going to see if I can schedule an hour or two and get some help working the fronts of Elspeth.

Back to kickboxing tonight after another whole week away.  I hope I can get back into the swing of things.

My diet plan has certainly fallen by the wayside since the holidays.  I have worked really hard to lose 80 pounds on Weight Watchers.  I was within 2 pounds of my goal weight, then some personal turmoil has led to bad eating and I've gained back at least 10 if not more.  The pants are TIGHT.  I weigh in tomorrow after another week of bad eating.  I know I'll deserve that number on the scale, and now I just have to work even harder to get back to being THIS CLOSE to my goal! 

April 8, 2005


So bloody glad it's Friday!  I only have one day to work next week, then I'm off for spring break - taking the kids to see my mom in the eastern part of the state.  We're all looking forward to the break and getting in a good visit with my mom and other family over there.  Mom's a knitter too, so I'll be bringing my knitting and we can stitch and bitch together!

Not much knitting last night as it was bill paying day (ugh....) then I had kickboxing.

I did work a little on DD's poncho this morning (I have a recumbent exercise bicycle so I can knit and workout in the morning!).  I finished the back and started the front.  The back only took a few days, so I think this project should go really fast.  Rowan's directions are not very clear, are they?  Or maybe I've just been out of knitting for too long....  my daughter is very excited about her poncho.  Her cousin/best friend has one, she informed me this morning, only Bianca's is FROM A STORE!  Can you believe it?  lol

April 7, 2005

Where did you think you were?

Not much knitting to report, though I have reached the neck shaping on my daughter's "ponjo" - no picture to share yet.

I do have a funny story to share about my daughter.  Last Wednesday night, I head upstairs and I'm in the main upstairs bathroom, getting ready for bed.  My DD Lily is already upstairs, asleep on the floor in the master bedroom.  DH is downstairs, but starts to head upstairs too.  Lily comes down and passes DH, seems to be in a daze.  Then she goes back upstairs.  He hears someone in the kitchen and he thinks it's me.  He comes upstairs just in time to see that Lily has pulled the kitchen trash container out from under the sink and peed into it like it's a toilet!  OMG!  I came out of the bathroom when I heard him saying "Where did you think you were?" And she is in tears because she is confused and embarassed.

It was SO funny though!  We can't stop laughing about it!  And she didn't even remember it the next morning.  I'm sure her daddy will embarass her with this story many times over for the rest of her life!

April 5, 2005

Quilt Photos and More

Zany1Here are some photos of the projects I worked on at my quilt retreat  this weekend.  First quilt is using a line of fabrics called Zany for Zinnias - this is my second quilt with these fabrics.  The other one I finished at the last retreat.  I seem to usually have enough fabric to make blocks for 2 or 3 quilts, but I've got to stop doing that!  It really takes a long time to finish a project that way.

Zany2 And here's a close-up of the fabrics.

Monkey1This is the "monkey quilt" made using Moda's Funky Monkey line of fabric and a pattern called "Five and Dime" designed to use fat quarters.  It's supposed to take 5 minutes to shop and 10 minutes to cut, and it really was that easy.  I made a mistake in cutting, so my columns are a bit narrower than the pattern calls for.  Not one of my best efforts, but it's a fun and very fast quilt to make.

Monkey2Funky Monkey fabric close-up

Gbliss1 These quilt blocks got a lot of attention from other quilters at the retreat.  I'm using a line of fabrics from Amy Butler called Ginger Bliss, sewing half square triangles that are 5" finished.  The squares are all finished, but I need to arrange them all and then sew the rows together.  I think I would like to hang this in my entry, it would make a really striking piece for the wall there.

Gbliss2 I LOVE these fabrics!

Stash And in knitting news.  I finally got my order from this ebay seller for the Malabrigo yarn.  The yarn came from Uruguay and took much longer than I'm used to waiting, but it was certainly well worth the wait!  I added 10 skeins to my stash of this beautiful, beautiful yarn.  I originally planned to make another Four Seasons Throw (I made one using Manos wool, it's beautiful, but scratchy!).  But after seeing how well this yarn felts, I may use a lot of it to make purses.  I just don't know.  I will definitely fondle it many more times before I decide.

I spoke too soon about Rowan's Elspeth.  I am stumped at the neck shaping and there is no way I can figure out the left and right front shapings.  I think I will need to make an appointment for a private knitting lesson to see if I can get some help with it.

And so, since I needed an easy knit, I started the poncho for my daughter.  I'm using this pattern and the Rowan All Seasons Cotton in Heart, for my pink-loving kiddo.  It is really nice yarn to work with and the pattern is knitting up quickly.  She can't wait for me to finish her "pogo."

My baby boys turn 8 today.  I can't even believe that on this day in 1997, I was waiting to deliver them, pleading with my doctors not to make me wait another week on bedrest in the hospital.  Eric and Owen, happy birthday my sons...  I love you both so much!

April 4, 2005

Back from Nirvana

My quilting retreat weekend was fabulous!  I came home so inspired and feeling like I got a lot accomplished.  I did not even stay up burning the midnight oil, so I feel very rested too!

I got 2 quilt tops completely put together, the blocks all made for a third quilt (need to lay it all out on my design wall at home and then sew the blocks together), and got the blocks started on a fourth project!  I've never gotten so much done at one retreat - it felt awesome!  I've really gone back to making simple blocks with beautiful fabrics and letting the fabrics stand out, and I think that is the key to making a quilt quickly.

Anyway, it was a weekend of good conversations, lots of laughs, way too much good food, way too much fabric shopping, and lots of creativity.  It'll be a long 7 months until the next retreat!

I did really miss the kids, so it was nice to get home to see them.  I also arrived home to a pile of packages on my sewing table (eek!).  I got some Cascade 220 for more felted bags, 2 cones of Lamb's Pride yarn from an ebay seller (excellent deals!), some Rowan All Seasons Cotton to make a poncho for my daughter, Nicky Epstein's book Knitted Embelllishments, and a pair of shoes from Penneys.  I also have a package to pick up at the post office - a stash bonanza to be sure!

In other knitting news, I finally got back to my languishing Elspeth.  It is a very simple lace pattern, but Rowan only provides a chart for one repeat, and I could not keep straight how to continue the lace pattern while decreasing for the armholes.  After charting out the entire pattern in Excel, I'm finally at the point of beginning to start the neck decreases on the back piece!  I am just shaking my head wondering why I didn't think of charting sooner.  I was struggling so much with this, I was really ready to give up.  A little bit of time at the computer and I've saved myself many more grey hairs.  I love this project now and can't wait to finish it... oh, but first to make some new charts for the sleeves and the fronts.

March 30, 2005

Knitting Injury?

My right wrist is really hurting.  I think too much knitting with the bulky yarn is the culprit.  Thank goodness I'm almost done with the Oregon Tote.  I am ready to start the i-cord bind-off... after I've acquired a pair of size 11 double pointed needles, that is.

Tomorrow afternoon I leave for my guild's spring quilt retreat.  The group does this twice a year and I usually go in the fall but not spring because it almost always coincides with my twins' birthday.  This year the timing was good, though, so my sis-in-law and I are going.

My quilting has really fallen by the wayside since I started knitting a few months ago, so it's been really hard for me to decide which quilt projects to take with me to work on.  I have one set of quilt blocks that just needs to be sewn together, so that quilt is almost done.  That will be my first project.  The second project will be a scrappy quilt made with these fabrics.  And the third project (time permitting) will be one with a variety of Asian print fabrics that I've been collecting.  I'll be sure and post pictures of the quilts when I return.

It'll be a fun 4 days of sewing, laughing, great food, staying up WAY too late, no family responsibilities and good sister-in-law bonding.   I'm taking a couple of boxes of fabric for the "sewing room sale" table.  The past 2 retreats, I've made enough to finance my entire weekend by selling fabrics I've decided I won't ever use.  It's funny how tastes change so much in such a short period of time.  Anyway, if I can make a few bucks selling my fabrics to other stashaholics, so much the better!  I'm hoping I will sell more than I spend... there is always that danger!

March 29, 2005

All Felting, All the Time

I finally made it to the laundromat on Saturday to try my hand at felting some bags I'd knitted.  I have a fancy-schmancy Whirlpool Duet and it does not felt, even using the superheated water cycle.

Lilybag_2The Lily Bag was made with Malabrigo worsted merino from here and came out BEAUTIFULLY with just one hot water wash cycle.  This yarn is by far the nicest wool I've ever had the pleasure to work with.  It is so soft, unbelievably so.  I hope restocks it, I would love to buy a truckload!  It felted to a nice firm fabric and I just love the way it turned out!  It looks even better with the straps, which I neglected to add before I took this photo.  I need to buy a cool button for the closure, then I will take another photo with the straps too.   :)

Boogabag The Booga Bag, knitted with Noro Kureyon came out less than perfect.  After 2 wash cycles, I can still see the stockinette stitches, and the bag is really loose and floppy.  I've since been told it works better to knit with a double strand of Kureyon.  Next time I go to the laundromat, I will take the bag and run it through another cycle or two, see if it felts up any better.

I'm currently working on an Oregon Tote using the Malabrigo bulky yarn in a dusty pink color.  One of the skeins in my order was much lighter than the other 4, so I used that for the bottom and knitted up the sides until I ran out.  Hopefully the color change will look like a design feature.

For some reason, I just love making bags, I really enjoy the construction of them - picking up stitches and knitting in the round.  I have a bajillion more felted projects planned.  Stay tuned!