Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Do you know why I've selected the "Blogs I Read" in the right side column?  I'm not sure, but each one has its merits and intrigue.  Today, I've been totally taken by Tech Knitting.  See 11/24/11, and the three links there.  Priceless! and brilliant!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Curling up

Yes, I have plenty of other interesting projects to choose from.  Here's one that I have to keep slapping myself to stop!  This is the one project that I really have no need to finish before February, yet... I love it!  I love watching it evolve...
It's the body of a pullover with 3 button tab neck opening in size 36 months.  (Steeked... or maybe not technically steeked, because I plan on knitting in pattern all the way to the shoulders.  By cutting it open part-way for the neck opening, without steek stitches, does that constitute 'steeks'?)
This morning I read from Mimi that she's unhappy with "Edges that keep curling up".  
Go ahead... read what she says...
I'll wait.  (I'll be knitting...)

It struck me that this rolling happens all the time, doesn't it?  Here's what I mean:

Taken before ruler and crochet hook.  My best guess is that there's a lot of yarn on the backside.  The ribbing isn't going to stop the fair isle part from curling up.  Anyway, I thought I'd give a shout out to Mimi who, indeed, makes pretty things!
See why I'd rather knit this than those Bee Socks?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Repeat after me...

I 'heart' knitting - repeat... I'm trying to remain positive, but these socks are eating my mojo. I love a challenge when it comes to socks. I like the idea of socks with intricate designs but maybe I don't need such minutiae. I'm SO close to finishing yet every round seems like an eternity. Correction: every other row is an eternity alternated with a row that has no twisted stitches or cabling. Will it ever end?
Good:  Two at a time!  I KNOW I wouldn't get a pair if I had done one at a time...
 Tedious: Teeny Tiny cables at both sides.  Criss-crossing 1 by 1 over 8 stitches, the Busy Bee pattern down the middle with "honey comb" on the sides.
 Crazy:  32 stitches of single cable...Quite tolerable until I rounded the heel and it turned into double the pattern on the leg...
Luckily I have four other projects to turn to.
Pattern:  Busy Bees - Augustby Kerin Dimeler-Laurence from Knit Picks Website, however I found this pattern in Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders.
Hmmm.  They look rather nice in the pictures... maybe I'm just tired and grumpy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pattern Alert

I'm not advertising, but just wanted to share!  Very cute idea of a scarf and mittens in one:
Find it HERE.  Not a free pattern: $5.95.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I've half-heartedly been picking up and knitting my "heart and flowers" sweater.  Every time I do, I fret over the size.  It looks too small, and finally on Friday, I got the confirmation that, yes, it is small for my 2.3 year old.  I left it, thinking maybe someday I'll cut it up and make mittens, or a hat or... a teddy bear sweater! Or....
until I need some of the yarn in it...
I found THIS beauty!  It's in a Rauma garn pattern booklet, possibly from 1993, and ADORABLE and interesting.
Just you wait.  Even though I'm making the 3 year old size, and really have no reason to finish it before February, it's calling my name! I hate to put it down.
The history behind the yarn and colors:  My daughter bought a Rauma pattern,

made THEE most gorgeous pullover, and I bought this yarn to make a larger size.  Immediately I lost/mis-placed (I hope) the pattern, so now the yarn has found a new home.  You can't buy just the patterns from Rauma without a yarn purchase... (how rude!) so someday, I'll have to go shopping...LOL

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bird Alert!

Of the many things that keep me busy, this is one of them:
A bit of thrashing around, and that (now) well-known flap of feathers followed quickly by a howl means, "Look, Ma! Look what I brought for you!"
Even though I heard the ruckus, and they were within 6 feet of me (and my knitting), it took me several minutes to locate this beautiful bird.
Question... how many feathers does a bird have?  Do they all have roughly the same amount?  Bigger birds=bigger feathers?  They must have plenty of extras!
From the above perch, it took off as I approached and ran straight into a window, dropping behind the sofa.  I grabbed the cat and put her outside.  I opened said window, moved the sofa and darn if it didn't get UNDER it.  That's a new one to me.  Most of the birds in the house fly up;  shelves, windows... and unlike the many hummingbirds that I rescued over the summer, this one flies silently. Only when the cat made her way inside (somehow) did I notice that she was now interested in this:
I closed the cat into a room this time, and let little birdie rest.  I waved a red shirt at it, determined to catch it but little birdie is SO smart to land on things that I don't want to break.  It finally landed in my giant ficus tree right next to the door, and eventually headed straight out the door.  Happy ending!  Vacuuming lots (but not all) of the feathers.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A typical day...The Knitting Did It!

Oh, please, no...  today should be just one of those flukes...
My Sunday:
6:30 AM:  Alarm goes off (nice soft music to lull me awake).  I glance at the dog.  I glanced at the dog every few hours all night.  She's old, and unreliable... she paces with anxiety for half an hour and then falls asleep for hours.  I still have to watch...
I shower and dress, wake doggy and steer her wobbly arthritic legs to the door.  She limbers up quickly... trots out and does what's expected of her.  "Good 'ole dog," I hear my father saying.  He's been gone for 10 years but I still remember his recreation of Charlie Brown.
7:30 AM:  I'm ready to go, with just a little cereal in front of me.  I've already attempted 2 different combinations of dog and cat food to entice doggy to eat.  She's not interested.  Oh, well.
7:50 AM: If I leave now, I'll just make it to church to rehearse with choir and allay everyone's fears that I might not show up.  But why haven't I located my glasses?  I make another sweep of all of the usual places I might have left them the night before.  I'm in total panic mode ...
8:00 AM: I should be at church.  I locate my old glasses, and notice I haven't put on stockings or shoes... GAAAHH!  I grab 'knee-hi's' and the second one has THEE most enormous run... there's almost nothing left of it!  What happened the last time I wore those????
8:03 AM:  As I pull out of the garage I call my boss at church.  She must be late, too, because she's usually calling me by this time.  I have a short dialogue with her ending with, "I'll be there in 10 to 15 minutes." and hang up as she gasps.  I'm there in 8 minutes, we have time for only one of the two pieces.  My eyes are sticky and blurry from... allergies?  I don't know, but it's very unnerving to read music with 6 or 7 lines on a staff.
8:25 AM:  What elves crept in and took my glasses last night?  The only place I didn't look is in my purse.  But why would I put my glasses in my purse when I put them on my face when I get up in the morning?  I look anyway, and when I see my knitting in there, I have this sinking feeling... and sure enough, wrapped in the knitting are... my glasses.  In my haste the evening before, to prepare for a swift departure in the morning, I grabbed up my knitting and threw it in the purse... my glasses and all. Relieved that I found them, embarrassed that I found them...
What else could go wrong?
Unexpected rain in the desert Southwest.  Good 'ole dog!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Udderly... just Udderly

I'm not thrilled, not convinced it's the best use of my time, and I find my attempt at Sonia Cow is marginally interesting, or maybe a little cute.  But NOT utterly anything.
I can point out several things that aren't 'perfect' but I'll let you name your own.  I was a bit miffed because I didn't feel there was enough instruction, and I certainly wouldn't make everything flat with seams.  Now about that udder...
Even though the udder and teats are quite... obvious, they look better than in the pictures of the pattern, or maybe I was prepared for the worst.
It's done, and will be on its way to Norway for a Christmas stocking.  Moo!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lessons learned in Class

For the past month, I've been teaching knitting.  Not the occasional tip or picking up a stitch when a friend appears in distress at choir practice, but officially offered two classes through the local Community Learning Center.  It has been a HOOT!  The director for the program is jealous.  I know!  She has mentioned that she wistfully peeks through the glass to see and hear our out-bursts of laughter.  And I give these women (one man signed up but never showed) such credit.
You know... you've done it too; signed up for something that you've ALWAYS wanted to do since you were a young adult.  Guitar, piano? Knitting? Skiing?  And then the reality of life smacks you and you realize that it takes gosh dern stick-to-it-iveness. And practice and sometimes hard work and frustration.  Well, these 12 women have gone through all of that.  Then there's the first time teacher... me.  I've been a life-long teacher, so I probably am pretty hard on myself because I know things have gone wrong, and I have only myself to blame.

#1 - One hour isn't enough.  The time just flies, and suddenly there's another class waiting to come in. Or I feel I've just made a critical statement which I should back up before setting them out into the world.
#2 - Test your pattern.  No, duh!  In my defense, I thought I had.  I had looked over the pattern and started it, but imagine copying a FREE pattern, getting started to find out that there's something seriously wrong with row 19.  Yep!  "Take One, I'm Free, Use my yarn" right there attached to the yarn shelf.  When I got to Row 19, I noticed that the cable instructions wouldn't create what I saw in the pattern picture...  Luckily, it was the end of the hour!  I went home, and sure enough, I found a whole new re-make of the pattern through Ravelry.
#3 - Friends!  Suddenly I have a dozen new friends!  They are all happy, think I'm wonderful... (how long will THAT last? LOL) and are looking forward to my next class.  That is SUCH an 'upper'!  Even my Math students are asking if I'll be teaching the next level next semester.  The teacher/student relationship is so special.  I've been very lucky to be in this profession.
The questionable pattern:  Above Red Scarf. Reversible Cables Rib Scarf by Marilyn Losee from Caron International Yarns.  Don't get it off the shelf!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mission Accomplished!

The two gifts are packed away and on their way to WNY.  Of course, there's still the queasiness of wondering if they will fit.  Suddenly, I don't really know how old these 'babies' are... Did I miss a birthday or two?  I should pay more attention.
That aside, I finished them in the 3 days as planned:
Blue Bonnet
Size 12/18 months
Pattern: b18-21 Bonnet in rib in ”Alpaca” by DROPS design from BabyDROPS 18  
Yarn:  (Confession time)  I'm not sure what the blue is.  It was given to me by someone who used to knit, and it appears to be either Rauma BabyUll, or Sandnes Lanett.  Either way, it's a fingering weight, and I used 3mm needles.  The contrasting pink is definitely: Hand Dyed, 50% superwash Merino Wool, 25% Superfine Alpaca, 25% Nylon, 438 yards/100 grams.  It's very soft.  I LIKE!
Boat Ride Sweater
 Q-test Buttons!  Interesting rib pattern on the top and bottom.
Rows 1 and 2: knit
Rows 3 and 4: 1x1 ribbing.
Size 24 months.
Pattern:  Boat Ride by Grace Alexander from Creative Knitting, July 2010 
Yarn:  RYC Cotton Jeans by Rowan, Worsted / 10 ply, 100% Cotton 82 yards/50 grams.
Now, what to do finish!???  Any guesses?
By the way, a few weeks ago I thought about having a prize give-away for the 10,000th page view of this blog.  Pretty impressive number, though I don't know statistically if it's good or bad. Today, I've had 10,022 so I missed the milestone.  And I'm not tech savvy enough to look for who number 10,000 was.  So, officially, I would like to thank everyone for looking in!  Happy November, 2011.  My two-year blog-iversary is coming up soon!  That's a lot of time blogging... good or bad?  I could have been KNITTING!

Monday, November 7, 2011

To do Tuesday...

The pressure is on... suddenly, I'm in startitis mode, thinking of gifts, Christmas, little people growing out of sizes I've started...  you know that sinking feeling when you realize that you haven't picked up a project intended for that 2 year old, and realize that she's almost 3...
My hub is traveling East in less than a week, leaving home in three days, and I really would like to send two UFO's with him.
One:  A new bonnet, requested by a niece for her little one.  It's quite easy to do requests when someone knows exactly what they want, and the colors, and is willing to pay for it, too!  And family, of course.  So, I wouldn't take money for it.  It will be a gift.
Needs an inch of pink ribbing at the bottom, and a row of pink crochet around the face opening.
Two:  A little pullover for another niece's little one.  Back is finished, needs the rest... hmm. Two days?
Very cute ribbing pattern at the top and bottom, done in cotton.
Three:  Not really a deadline, but the child is growing!  Intended to be a pullover, I think I'll cut it open and make it into a cardigan so I can add a bit of width with button bands.
Hearts and Flowers - better be done by the end of the month so it will be delivered before Christmas.
Four and Five:  My knitting class that I'm teaching ends in one week.  Here are the projects, which won't be finished by then...
Cabled scarf, intended for my ambitious beginners, and short row heel sock for my ambitious intermediate knitters.
See you next week!!  HA!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tale of Two Shawls: Part 2

OWS completed!  SO happy with it.  No more holes and this is how I've been wearing it:
 Where did all of that work go? (See Part 1)
Meanwhile, stop me if you can... I finished the Polaris Shawl.  Looks great in this picture, but think how great it will look if I block it!
Then again, I sadly realize that there will be NO points, no double points as in the beautiful pattern picture... I obviously don't know how to cast on loosely.  I've accepted it in the OWS but I'm thinking how much MORE I would love this shawl if I frogged the whole thing and REALLY concentrated on a loose cast on.  OR I could try to cast on loosely and even complete the bottom beaded part without frogging.  I probably have enough to make a second shawl...  Let's not be rash.  Knit night is Thursday... advice before then?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tale of Two Shawls: Part 1

KAL Mystery Shawl is now revealed as Polaris.

OWS (Oslo Walk Shawl) re-visited.
As I spent my first evening on the couch after 3 weeks of toddler activity, I began work on the Polaris above, examining each stitch, looking for those pesky dropped stitches, or worse yet, a stray yarn over.  Four weeks had passed since I blocked my OWS and discovered a hole MID-CENTER.  I don't know how it could have escaped me until after binding off and blocking!  OK.  Maybe I was a tad excited to finish...  Here's the last blog about it, carefully avoiding mention of a hole:  Blocking link
I've admitted it to all my groups:  Knit night group, exclaiming it won't be noticed when it's around my neck, and I "could" take another piece of yarn and tie it closed, or something.  I even proudly showed it off to my knitting classes to demonstrate that 'stuff happens' and it's not the end of the world.  So there I was: At the end of the world.  And that night I chose to DO something about it.
First I spent a half hour with yarn and needle, trying to make it look, well, ... er,... perfect, and surprise!  It didn't.  Then I took a crochet hook and tried to create an extra stitch from the hole all the way down to... it wasn't pretty.  After an hour of head scratching, I resolved it would have to go.  I picked up a row of stitches below it and bravely pulled out the bind off edge.
I knew what I was getting into:  Short rows are worked into that whole "yarn over" section, and I was ready for much more tink'ing and almost certain frogging the whole project, but I persevered!
One side was indeed not on the same row, so hours later I was satisfied I had found a place to begin.  I re-read the instructions and started to knit, and this was the result.
I commented to a friend how horrible my stitches looked compared to the evenness of the blocked part, and she, insightfully, asked if I had used the same unraveled, blocked yarn to make those stitches, and, of course, she's right. The yarn was trying to hold its shape from the previous knitting. But there's NO HOLE in the center panel.  (Cheering!)
It blocked out nicely, and, AHhhhh, all is well with the world.
 No, Susanna, I didn't frog the 'whole' thing to capture the beautiful points at the bottom (cast on) edge.  And the beads (green) show up very noticeably in real life.

Meanwhile, I found a pesky dropped stitch in my Polaris...  better keep looking for more!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Come on in!

For our convenience, we have pet doors.  There's a large one in a screen door for the dog and a smaller cat door that goes to the garage with a third one that goes from the garage to the outside.
The problem with this time of year is that anyone can use them.  The weather is nice, and having an old dog necessitates that there be access to the back yard.

In the past month,
1) I was awoken to scratching at my bedroom door, wandered out to the kitchen to find the neighbor's cat slinking around.
2) Numerous mice are caught by our felines and released for amusement (not our amusement, however).
3) Same for little lizards and grasshoppers.
4) Last night I noticed a certain amount of attentiveness from our dog to activity on the back patio.  It was a beautiful skunk.  They sure are pretty!  It was picking up leftover crumbs from our blind dog and gave a wistful glance and sniff at the doggy door as I slowly slid the glass door closed.
I guess we have to be vigilant...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Altering knits

Some knits I finished, some needed altering, and others needed to be tweaked.
#1:  Romper;  Perfect as is!  Length in the legs for a growing girl.
Previous Romper Blog

Pattern: Gift Wrap Romper & Sweater by Carina Spencer from Gift Wrap Collection eBook;
Yarn: Encore Colorspun Worsted by Plymouth Yarn, Worsted / 10 ply, 75% Acrylic, 25% Wool 200 yards

#2: Scarf with Sprinkles;  an interesting pattern done in mosaic colorwork.  Didn't get a finished picture... One end is attached to the bow, and other end threads through behind the bow.

Pattern: Sprinkles & Squares Scarf by Pam Powers from Art Fiber Design
Yarn is leftovers of Sandnes fingering.

#3:  Altering and extending the life of a beautiful cardigan:  Three tiered, now really three tiers. Original ended with the blue tier.  Cuffs were extended, too.
Previous blog post plus July 23 and Aug 4 (2011)

#4:  Pink Powell;  I was never happy with the collar/opening on this one, and when I saw it on her, I knew it was just too big.  As she wore it, it seemed to widen and begin to fall off her shoulders, so I pulled out some rows, decreased the number of stitches and finished off in a stretchy picot bind-off.  Never saw it modeled, but I think it will work.
Previous Blog Post  plus July 23, Aug 4, Aug 6, and Aug 11 (2011)

#5 and #6:  The Cupcake mittens, and the Eco Vest (made with the well traveled Mongolian Cashmere, total of 5 trans-Atlantic crossings) made their ways home. Whew!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Knot just Knits

Cranking out finished projects on the sewing machine!
None of these are MY ideas... I was held hostage...
On the right, a Christmas gift that my hands never touched: A Tree Skirt, with NM Chile Pepper Motif.
 Christmas jumper.  My first attempt at sewing a zipper on the OUTSIDE of the garment.  Took a leap, and I guess it's the rage.
 Dora, the Explorer, with zipper placed the way I 'thought' it should be.  I don't read all the directions.
 The CUTEST!!!! jacket:  With the CUTEST giraffe pilots, and amazing buttons.
 I hate tiny cuffs.
But look at the model:


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