Sunday, December 28, 2008

Shortly Has Arrived...

NOTE: Photo heavy post.

In my last post, I mentioned that regular postings and lots of knitting would "return shortly". In the past day or so, some weisenheimer called me on the "shortly" reference and asked when that would be??? The answer is that "shortly" is a relative term, kind of like when you your mother says, "we'll see..."

I have been knitting (quite a lot), just not posting about it. I have a variety of reasons, none of which seem to hold up in the Court of Mom, but still valid in my world none the less. Without further ado, the aforepromised knitting post. Drum roll please (((brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr))))...

These are the dishcloths that I knit for various Christmas gifts, and also the pair of footy/slippers that I knit for a friend so that she could give them to her grandson for Christmas. Sorry about the blurriness, this was before Cheryl helped me with my camera.

The round dishcloths were threaded with satin ribbon, filled with a surprise, and turned into this.

For three ladies that I work with, I knit them book marks. It is the diamond lace bookmark pattern, knit from Lanett, a Sandnesgarn yarn that is 100% merino. They were a deep red, but very Christmas-appropriate. As you can see, they blocked out pretty well.

Christmas morning at my home looked like this.

These are the Flower Power Elephants. I have not yet embroidered the daisies on them, and may not as the previous attempts have looked somewhat out of focus. If the daisies are not going to turn out crisp, I see no point.

I am currently working on the Party Penguins by Alan Dart, and I hope to have a few done in rather short order.

I received two gift certificates from Mike for Christmas to The Yarn Shop and More and The Studio.

We had Christmas with my side of the family on 12/19/2008 at my sister Cristy's house, and this is a picture of Cheryl, me, Cristy, and Mom. My mother says that my clothes are all still a mile too big, and since this photo I have bought some clothes that are several sizes smaller. I still hate to see myself in photos; however, it doesn't help that I am standing near all these skinny hussies. I think I always look like the tard that gets let out of the institution for holidays in pictures...

I have discovered that I am highly sensitive if not allergic to mohair, and that was a bummer as I really wanted to make the Ice Queen project, but it wasn't to be. However, my mother's Ice Queen came out beautifully.

I will have more pictures later on as soon as all the gifts for friends are opened. As far as when, "don't ask me any questions!" Can you guess who says this to me?

One guess where this direct quote comes from...
Lastly, I have started selling Avon. Not to worry, Avon ladies are not set for the attack mode like the Mary Kay ladies. If you have an interest or use Avon, I have a webpage that can be found at:
On this site, you may pay with debit or credit card, and I also have the ability to take debit and credit cards. The site is good for convenience if you don't have a book, but I still prefer to flip through the pages. Sometimes Avon runs free shipping deals, but otherwise be sure to mark "Free Rep Delivery" so you do not get charged an extra fee.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Knitting Hussy Will Return Shortly...

Just a brief service announcement to advise that I have the good camera in my possession (no more crap photos), and that I will be back in the full knitting/photographic swing on 12/10/2008 or shortly thereafter.

The RHIT program is not for me. I also have decided I do not want to manage anyone but myself; I'm something of a handful on my own. My personal activities are a full-time job, and I am not interested in pursuing any additional schooling at this point.

Look out knitting world, the semester is winding down, and I'm planning to hit the ground running!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dreams, Spares, Harze, and Cookies...

I am taking a brief respite from knitting the Harze to knit something out of the norm for myself. It is the Dream in Color Shrug shown at the far left. However, I am trying to knit down my stash, and I am making this in a really pretty deep eggplant color in Plymouth Encore. Maybe it should be called "Dream in Encore" in this case. The picture does not show much of anything, and yes DH still has the good camera, but you will just have to take my word for it that it is coming out very nicely. I know not everyone likes Encore, but it is a good budget-friendly choice with tons of color options, and the ability to be machine washed and dried - plus it looks pretty good for the lace in this pattern too.

As far as the spare goes, DH brought me home a spare head, and I was pretty thrilled. This is one of his mannequin heads that he has gotten down to the final cut on in school, and he donated it to me for hat blocking and fitting purposes.

In reference to the Harze, I have three assembled, and one is still in the dismembered status right now. I will probably assemble the fourth hare sometime tomorrow. However, I am taking a short break from them lest I decide to make rabbit stew. I will finish their little outfits after I finish the above mentioned shrug.

As I may have mentioned two or fifty times, I do not like the intrusion on my time that school seems to demand. I have realized that at times my mood has been a bit dark as I feel very put upon by my lack of time to do anything I enjoy. I do not know how people with kids go to school - I only have a husband and a cat and some days I am overwhelmed!!! With the whole dark mood and overwhelmed theme, I have found a sign to hang on my front door, and probably in my cube at work too. How bad could a place be that gives you cookies?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Holiday weekend, hah!

I am glad to have some time to spend with Mike, but less than delighted how much time the homework has taken this weekend.

I was one of the judges at the Irish Fest again this year, and that was kind of a bust. Last year, I judged on Saturday and got to see all different types of knitted objects - sweaters, hats, shawls, and even an evening dress...

This year, I could only attend on Sunday because of my school schedule. There were only THREE items entered for today's competition, and the theme was cabling. Three afghans, and not my favorite knitted object by a long shot - but I did my best to judge fairly. Two were done in ivory, and one in a blue-green. One afghan was covered in dog hair, one was a little worse for wear around the edges, and that only left the blue-green to be the winner - what happened to only submitting pristine items in contests??? I was told that the general competition was slim for admissions on Saturday as well. I have no idea what happened, and there were a ton of people at the festival.

I have not had too much time for knitting, once again, the wretched school work - bleck!

Oh yea, and someone who wandered up to the table at last week's knit night asked if I was knitting the rabbits for my GRANDCHILDREN!!! That was a lot of fun - right, not so much!

I'd like to knit a little bit tonight, but I am too tired to concentrate, and I need to get my schedule book out to schedule my study/homework slots for this coming week.

Maybe next time I will have photographic proof of progress on the knitting front...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hot Off the Needles

These two little knitted creatures have been my constant companions for the past month or so. I have worked with the Debbie Bliss Toy Knits book, as well as admiring the work of Little Cotton Rabbits, and many other toy artists as well.

I have taken some individual elements from several designs, mixed them with some of my own ideas, and this is what I have come up with. In dressmakers' terms, this would be my muslin mock-up for the design.

Once I get good and find my own design niche, I may sell some on Etsy, assuming anyone would want one of these besides me...

And without further delay, I give you The Prairie Harze. No, this is not a misspelling, I know how to spell "hares", I just really wanted the name to be my own.

The boy bunny, on the right, is the oldest, and as you can see I have been experimenting with the size of the feet, the head, the length of the arms, the width of the ears, as well as clothing lengths and sizes. Their names are Hatti and Herschel.

What good little sister would not be willing to stand on top of her brother for a good photo op?

I know, the harze are not there yet, but they are coming along - I hope.

The end/s, and that's all folks...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Oh, for Heaven's Sake...

This is one of my personality flaws - once I decide something, i.e. the date school starts for instance, I become set in my own delusions.

For example, I thought because the first two classes that I had registered for this semester started on 08/25/2008 that the third class that I added would also begin the same date. You know, same school, same curriculum, yatta, yatta, yatta...

For some unknown reason, possibly the grace of God, possibly mental illness, I happened to check my fall/2008 semester schedule this morning and nearly had an attack!

The third class begins on 08/18/2008 - NOT 08/25/2008 as I delusionally believed. I know that I still have a LITTLE BIT OF TIME to prepare, but NOT MUCH!

If you hadn't guessed, I'm a LITTLE anxious any time my schedule changes, and I am not really delighted with interruptions. My personality just does not really want to lend itself to all this willy nilly changing. I need to plan, to contemplate, and savor the last bits of freedom until the academic Armageddon that I have registered for closes in around me. My rational mind tells me, "It's just three classes; not to worry. You have taken 18 hours per semester in the past, and that turned out fine..." Unfortunately, the size of the rational side of my brain is shrinking on a daily basis, and I fully anticipate full blown hysteria by 08/18/2008.

If anyone is looking for me, I will be the person hyperventilating in the corner rocking back and forth with my knitting needles in hand, and muttering unintelligible sounds...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Postop Activities and Progress

While in the postop period, I have tried to take it easy and not get into trouble as I am hoping to return to work on Tuesday. Yes, that is my own plan, but I will see if I can get my surgeon to agree with that today at 3:15 p.m. - cross your fingers for me, I am not a very good patient.

To ease the nerves of a jangled hubby, and to thank him for the trip to Twist I baked him a peach and blackberry buckle. The recipe started out as a peach melba buckle, but blackberries are what I had in the fridge, so the melba had to go...

I have only finished one of the Broad Ripple socks. I have never had second sock syndrome before, but I just can't get my mojo workin' to finish the second one. However, I will force myself to start the second sock this afternoon. The sock fits well, feels nice on, but I just can't feel the love. I am probably just agitated because I am saddling up for the next semester in school, and there are a million and one projects I want to get done in addition to school.

Also, I may have to slide by The Studio this afternoon for the final day of their sale. I did not intend to go, but I am working on figuring out a double secret project that may force a trip there - you know, just to support the economy...

ETA: Not going to the sale at The Studio; the stars are aligned against me.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Road Trip for the Knitting Hussy

Last weekend, I was the tag along with hubby to Wichita. He had clients to see there, and of course I rode along to be a loving and supportive wife... However, I heard there was a pretty great yarn shop there, so that might have been what I was loving and supporting...

The rumor did not disappoint, and long story short, Twist is a FABULOUS yarn shop. Their selection begins with interesting and affordable yarns all the way up to $30-ish skeins. The displays are creative but not crowded, and everyone seemed very nice. The shop is relatively large, but has a very homey and warm feel, and the owner (Shelly) is very nice. It is definitely worth the three hour drive - even with the $4 gallon gas prices.

Mike has to go back to Wichita again in a couple of weeks, and I am definitely going back - you know, just to be supportive...

I bought a little tiny bit of yarn, just to "help the economy". My favorite economist would be so proud! The camera is not taking great pictures of the yarn, so I will have to link you to the Soxx Appeal by Knit One Crochet Two and to Plymouth Happy Feet (see color #4).

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Swift May Not be So Swift After All...

I just received my Tom Bihn Swift today, and I may be the one and only person on the entire planet that is not thrilled to bits with this bag. For starters, I am not crazy about the color choices that were available, and I selected the cocoa and olive bag. It is just okay in person, but there are no other colors that are currently available that I would prefer over this. The one HUGE plus for the Swift is that it does allow my knitting/purse items to live in one bag. There are some things I really like about the Swift, but unfortunately there are just as many things that I do not care for about it as well. Before you ask, I am not going to return it. One bag functioning as a replacement for two is worth it - maybe...

This is the view from inside the bag.

This is the outside of the bag with the olive side showing. The brown side did not show up that well against my wallpaper and door.


1. The handles - they easily accommodate over the shoulder carrying.

2. The wide opening and no-snag closure.

3. The clear pockets with nice zippers.

4. The space within the bag is very nice.

5. The drape of the bag is also very nice.


1. The color choices available are very limited, and not something I would normally buy.

2. No exterior pockets. I knew this when I ordered, and thought the interior pockets would be more usable than they actually are. They make the bag sit in an odd way if I put my wallet in either one of them. No, I am not buying a new wallet.

3. I thought the whole bag would be lined, not just the clear plastic pockets. The unlined bottom feels kinda cheap for a $70 bag. This is not a cheap price in my opinion. I have admired a friend’s swift for a few months, but unfortunately I never took the time to dissect her bag the way I have my own - this is my fault.

4. The key strap was a purchase I made to use with my scissors. The clasp is so narrow that my little Fiscars cannot fit the jaw clamp. I like the scissors I have, and I am not buying a new pair.

5. I ordered two clear organizer pouches thinking I would love them - not so much… The colors they sent do not match my bag. I could return them, but that is a hassle, and I do not want to pay to ship them back for a return/exchange. Never mind the fact that UPS hates me and I hate them!

Overall, I feel that this bag may grow on me because I take my knitting to work every day, and now I can leave the house at O-dark-thirty with one bag instead two.

Maybe I am being too critical, but with my two clear pouches and key strap (they did not tell me that one key strap came with the bag) the total came to $94 including shipping. It took me a little while to save this money, and I expected to be quite a bit more enamored than I was at first blush.

I will confess that I feel somewhat guilty because most everyone else on-line, as well as my friend, seem to adore their Swifts from the second they took them out of the box. As I stated earlier, maybe the Swift will grow on me…

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Great Customer Service from Two Companies

A week ago last Friday, my favorite set of ebony wood Lantern Moon circs came apart while in the midst of a project. As you might imagine, an easily identifiable fit ensued. After I regained the power of speech and stopped shrieking, I had the presence of mind to speak with Lantern Moon's Customer Service Department.

For those of you that have not heard, Lantern Moon has changed their design so that this "coming apart" that has been experienced by many, many knitters is no more.

Long story short, after explaining to Lantern Moon what had happened to my needles, they gladly shipped me a set of #9 26 inch in ebony. I happened to mention that I had a second set, yet unused, and that I hoped that they did not have the same "coming apart" issue. To this, they suggested I give a yank on the set of #3 26 inch circs in rosewood. Sure enough, I heard a crack, and they were more than glad to send a replacement set for those as well.

What makes this such good customer service is that they did not wait to ship the replacements out until I shipped the defective sets back, but rather took me at my word and shipped two sets to me free of charge with an apology for my trouble. They in fact do not want me to send the defective needles back, and within five calendar days, Lantern Moon had the new circs in hands. I cannot tell you how happy I am with their level of customer service.

Thanks in no small part to the Knit Night Enabler, also know as Christy, I have ordered a knitting bag combination tote/purse so that I may exit my home with only one bag in tow. I take my knitting to work with me every day, and several other locations as well. This multiple bag issue has become tiresome, and I decided I needed this. I ordered the cocoa/olive version, and I am nearly beside myself waiting for it to arrive.

Another long story short, I had saved my money, and decided to splash out on said bag. I am a person who needs not be given too many choices lest I become confused. Of course there are several color options, and I absolutely became confused. The person at Tom Bihn was more than patient during my three week decision process whether to purchase or not to purchase, what colors were available, and finally helping me place the order. I was lucky enough to speak to Josh every time I called, and he was always very kind and patient with my multitude of questions. The really great part is that Tom Bihn's Customer Service Department has a Buffy fan on duty (the aforementioned Josh) who readily identified favorite episodes and seasons of BTVS by name. What more could a Buffy fan ask for???

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Gnomes Have Arrived

Jingle, Tingle, and Dingle have arrived!

Let me be the first to tell you Merry Christmas, 2008!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Santa's Workshop is Open for Business!

Santa's workshop is open for business, and I am on track for Christmas. This is the first time ever that I will have my holiday knitting ready to roll by Thanksgiving Day - good on me.

I have finished the stockings for the Chu Family, five in total as per my sister's request, and I have made personalized and dated name tags for each member of the family as well - double good on me...

The picture is not that clear, but you get the idea...

It looks as though I have gone into a fit and dismembered a gnome, but I in truth I am nearing the finish line for my third gnome. He should come to life sometime this evening. He is the third in the set of Christmas gnomes, and their names are Jingle, Tingle, and the latest being Dingle.

I am torn between starting a lace rib camisole (interactive link to Creative knitting, move your mouse around and the pages will turn - it is the white shell on the page with the light blue lace dolman, a pair of socks, or an Alan Dart Snowme. The Snowme may win out as I am on the "finishing my Christmas projects high" right now.
As you might guess, I am revelling in the fact that I am not in school right now, but I realize that time is marching on, and 08/25/2008, the start of the fall semester (also known as doomsday at my house) will be here before I know it. "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee" (bleck)...
ETA: It is no small feat to felt five separately knitted objects (with different wools), and have them turn out nearly the same size. The Knit Picks Wool of the Andes felted very, very quickly and made a nice fabric, but the Cascade Heather (the darker red) had to be felted twice, and make a slightly thicker fabric which is also very nice.

Friday, May 23, 2008

We Have A Winner!

I put the names of the people who guessed Rain Man into a bowl and drew for the prize.

Beth is the person whose name I drew, and she will be receive two skeins of Wildfoote Luxury Sock Yarn from the Brown Sheep Company in the Blue Flannel color way. I would take a picture, but DH has my digital camera, and my cell phone does not produce good indoor photos...

At any rate, thank you to everyone who submitted a guess.

p.s. Four Christmas stockings are felted, and the fifth is on the needles.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

He is an "Excellent Driver"...

Points for knowing which movie the quote, "I'm an excellent driver" came from. There will be a prize for the winner. If more than one person guesses correctly, I will pick a winner at random. The prize is non-negotiable, non-returnable, and has no cash value outside of the knitting world. The contest will end this coming Friday at whatever time I decide.

At any rate, there is an "excellent driver" pedalling away on Mike's bicycle. This is actually a good friend of mine that was in town from Columbia this weekend. Before you scold me about my photography skills, let me mention that he was sailing by at the time, and this was with a cell phone camera. I am lucky that he is for the most part centered in frame without his head being clipped off, and with my photography skill set that is really all you can hope for...

On the knitting front, I am on my third of five Christmas stockings, but have only felted the first one so far. My thinking is that there will be two red, two crimson, one green stocking with their respective stripe patterns, and that they will be hung in order of crimson, red, green, red, crimson for symmetry's sake.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Meet my new friend, Millie Grace

A few weeks ago, at the last estate sale I went to, I found my new friend, Millie Grace. She is to say the least a mature lady, extremely well-preserved, and not only will she help me with pinning sweater pieces and taking photos, she looks pretty nifty right where she is. I have an odd habit of naming lots of things that come into my world, and Millie Grace is no exception...

This is one of the gnomes that I have been working on. I believe his name will be Jingle, and I am ready to assemble his fraternal twin, Tingle, as well. Both gnomes are in the pinned or ready to assemble faze at this moment. I am only delayed in assembling them and making more gnomes as I am trying to complete at least three felted Christmas stockings before I transition back to the gnome project. It looks like there is a hole in the end of gnomes nose, not really, that is the pin you see holding it in place.

The felted Christmas stockings will be for my nieces and nephew, and possibly their parents if time permits. The knitting of the sock was pretty simple, and I learned how to do attached/applied I-cord on the top as well. It was almost a shame to felt it because it looked so cool! Also, the stocking was knit with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, and it felts quicker and tighter than any thing I have seen so far.

For once, I have actually started my Christmas knitting with a respectable amount of time to make it to the finish line...

Okay, okay - I admit it, I am a fiber slut! In the past few weeks, I have realized that my once managable stash has taken on a life of its own. This came as a total surprise to me as I have continued to tell people I have a non-existent stash (with the exception of a tiny bit of sock yarn as sock yarn does NOT count), and that I only buy yarn when I am getting ready to start a particular pattern. This was not an intentional lie, to myself or others, its just that the stash seemed to get this big all on its own. I do not know where I went wrong, but clearly I need to enroll in a 12-step yarn program. If it gets any bigger, I may have to name it as well...

On a brighter note, I got an A in the class from Hell, and I am taking the summer off as far as school is concerned.

Friday, May 02, 2008

School's Out For Summer...

Can't you just hear Alice Cooper singing, "School's out for summer..."

Cutting right to the chase, I got an A on the final. I believe I will likely receive an A in the class as well; however, one of the Devil's minions served as instructor for this class, so one cannot be sure...

Good, Bad, Pass, or Fail, the Class is Over Today...

I have several pictures to post, but that will have to wait a day or two. Today, I take the final for the wretched class that has held me hostage this semester.

I am hoping that brain function returns to normal after this, but I fear there may be permanent dain bramage...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hurrah for One Last Winter Snow!!!

On Friday night, I finished the Butterfly sweater that I have been working on for a few months. This sweater has admittedly taken a while as I have not knit at home too much due to school - BLECK!!! Most of the work has been done on my lunch break at work, or on Wednesday evenings at Knit Night with the fiber gals.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been quietly lamenting the fact that this sweater took me a while to make, and that I was not going to get to wear it until this coming winter. The universe must have seen my plight and sent a cold snap complete with a little bit of sleet and snow this weekend. Normally, I hate winter, and am beating the drum for spring. One last snow generally sends me into a fit of rage that winter dare encroach on spring's time; however, this year I am downright thankful.

The Encore did create a heavy garment, but it was easily comfortable inside as well as outside throughout the day. Greatest of all, it can go in the washer and dryer, and it looks like a much more pricey yarn that it is.

Mike took this picture of my at Crown Center. The lighting is not great, but I didn't care as I got to wear it!! You can see in this picture (as compared with previous shots) that the yarn is not a bright red, but really a deep red.

I enjoyed this pattern so much, that I bought two more Plymouth patterns this weekend. The first is the Cable Cowl Neck Pullover, and it is made with Royal Llama Silk. That yarn is lovely to touch, but it would be $160 for my size, and I will have to think long and hard about that purchase - but maybe...

The second is the Ladies Lace Panel Pullover. This pattern calls for Encore, and I just happen to have some purple Encore that will fit the bill. I think I could wear this little sweater in the spring and fall, and possibly this summer as well if my office has the air conditioning set for pneumonia again...

Now, I am happily off to start the Yuletide Gnome Project!


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Fiber Friends

If you are a real knitter, not just someone who flirts with the knitting needles once a year or so, maybe you have been lucky enough to have made some fiber friends.

Fiber friends are different from you usual friends, although they can come from the usual circle of friends. Once you enter the fiber circle, the relationship changes into a different kind of friendship. There is just something very special about a group of friends that you meet with regularly to work on your current knitting (or crochet) project. I am lucky enough to have fiber friends like that, and I look forward to every get together. Today, we went to our first knitting show together and it was a lot of fun to be out with the fiber gals and get to shop together. We are all as different as night and day, live in different parts of town, have completely different careers, have different skill sets and ages, and knit vastly different things from one another - but the knitting unites us as one special group of friends. We share ideas, solve problems, talk about new products/patterns. We don't always agree, but we do always try to encourage each other.

To the knitting girls, thank you all for sharing this afternoon and your Wednesday nights with me. You all will never know how much your friendship means to me, and how lucky I feel to be part of the group.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Such A Deal, But What Is It...

One of my favorite weekend outings is to go to estate sales and garage sales. I don't spend much money for the most part, but I get to see a lot of interesting houses that I would normally not see, and I get to see some interesting things as well. I have conscripted Dear Hubby into my avocation, but he has a few rules if he is going to play along.

Rule #1 - We must go to neighborhoods that are better than ours, and no sales that have primarily clothes or children's items - we need neither.

Rule #2 - Start early and finish by 11 a.m.-ish as everything is generally picked over by then.

Rule #3 - Feed him lunch immediately after the last sale as a reward for driving, carrying, and for the most part paying.

Behold my newest Saturday morning acquisition -

This little darning egg cost me a grand total of $1.25. I found in the kitchen of an estate sale, and when I went to pay the cashier told me that it wasn't a complete set. At first, I though I misheard the gentleman because I knew exactly what I had picked up. I really think he thought it was part of a mortar and pestle set. Because the company running the auction had no idea what this item was, it was marked originally for $3, then to $1.50 when the half-price hour hit, and I got it for the $1.25 price because they would have had to break a $10 to get the extra quarter.

I am guessing it to be at least as old as I am, possibly older, and probably made of a golden pine. Being a gadget person through-and-through, I had to have it. However, I must confess that I am not a fan of the Kitchener stitch; I far prefer the three needle bind-off.

As for the sweater, the sleeves are closing in on the elbows from the cuff edge, and I am knitting both at once as DM suggested, but on two sets of needles as it makes me crazy to do them on the same one.

As you might guess, I would like for this sweater to be finished so that I can move on to my gnome project. I plan to do several, but not consecutively or concurrently. They will be interspersed between other projects. Also, I am the proud owner of the Meet the Snowmes pattern now, and that will be put into the knitting queue as well. You can see a particularly cute Snowme here that someone on Ravelry has posted.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bad Old Gnome Enabler...

As I may have previously mentioned, I am not enjoying my class this semester. In addition, I am not enjoying the constant grind and endless demands on my free time that this class seems to impose... All this, and someone has put another project into my queue no less.

She knows I have an addictive personality, and that I am easily led. In addition to adding to my obsession list, this has further led to the running amok of my yarn stash. Bad, bad Gnome Enabler. Shame on you. More to the point, shame on me. I need one more thing to do...

Here is the gnome-enabling culprit, no doubt smiling because she likely is working on one of her sinister plots...

The gnome in question is the Yuletide Gnome designed by Alan Dart of the U.K. This pattern is nearly impossible to get as it is out of print. Luckily enough, someone on Ravelry had an extra and agreed to sell it to me. With all the whining, I have forgotten to mention just how cute the gnome actually is... I cannot get the picture to come in well, so go here to see one of the best examples on Ravelry.

The Butterfly pullover is closing in on the finish line.

This is the first garment that I have attempted to do cabling on. It wasn't too bad - behold the success... Also, once again, the sweater is not cherry or bright red, but more of a wine color.

Last week, a friend gave me some fiber, and I have spun it into a single. I may or may not divide and ply it. I think I kind of like it as a single.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

D is for Dolores, Dolores for President!!!

This week's letter programming is brought to you by the letter D. D is for Dolores, Dolores for President that is!!! As I am unable to reproduce a picture of Dolores without permission from Franklin, The Panopticon blog writer, so I will have have to let you link to her candidacy announcement on your own. The Panopticon is a hilarious blog, but the author is also a pretty great knitter as well. Her campaign promises include making Elizabeth Zimmerman's birthday a national holiday, fiber-related purchases will become tax deductible, knitting will become a mandatory subject in schools, and government subsidiaries will establish yarn shops in high-need areas. What more could you want??? Finally, a candidate that I can get excited about.

I have officially joined her party, the Fibertarians, and now I proudly display this as my Ravelry icon!

My sweater is coming along very slowly as I have been ill, and also suffering with another kind of sickness - SICK OF SCHOOL!!! I beyond HATE this class, and I would rather watch paint dry, but I am in it now and bound for glory. Also, I refuse to suffer in silence! I also have not had much time for spinning - see the same two previous complaints as they also apply to spinning as well.

As you might have guessed, I am in full Grinch mode, and I pretty much hate everything. If there is something I don't hate it is because one of the following two reasons:

1. I have not thought of it lately, but will probably renew my hate soon...

2. I loathe said object, and have went far beyond simple hate...

Also, all you lurkers out there, I have something for you...

Now shut up and knit!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Who in the World Came up with Corrugated Ribbing???

Week three of the ABC along brings the wretched corrugated ribbing.

I want to know right now who came up with this method of two colored ribbing so I can find them and pull their hair - especially since I have spent the last few hours pulling out my own!

Corrugated ribbing or two colored ribbing is by far one of the most tedious knitting activities known to the world. It is not that it is hard, it is just that pulling all of the stitches to the back side as you knit or purl each stitch is so fiddley and painfully slow.

I have successfully knit intarsia garments, so I thought how tough could corrugated ribbing be? Note to self, any thought that starts with "how tough could this be?" should be filed under the heading of masochism, or possibly sadism if I am trying to convince someone else to do said activity... I have completed about 1.5 inches of ribbing, and need 2 full inches. The yarn is actually a wine-ish red, the brown is a deep chocolate tone, and this is Encore by Plymouth.

As far as the spinning goes, I have graduated myself to colored roving, and here is my first colored single, still on the bobbin - sorry about the blurriness of the photo.

I enjoy spinning, but it will never take the place in my heart of knitting. I actually see spinning as an adjunct to knitting, not a separate activity unto itself.

Another C-word that I have recently enjoyed (get your minds out of the gutter, it is not THE C-word) is a book by Crazy Aunt Purl called Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair. It is about a 30-something woman who was married, now single by her husband's request, and trys to drink her problems away until she finds knitting. As tragic as this all sounds, it is pretty funny. I have read more than half of the book in one day, and it is far more interesting than the class I am taking, but then again watching paint dry is more entesting than the class material so far...

And thus ends this week's rant.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

B is for Buffy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer that is!!!

This is week two of the ABC Along 2008. Those of you that know me, already know I am a HUGE Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan!!! One of my e-mail accounts is named "The Buffy watcher" as in I am not simply a Buffy Watcher, I am THE Buffy watcher...

I have several Buffy collectibles, not nearly as many as I feel I need though. Below you see a mug that says "Eat Stake", a pillow with the Buffy logo and many phrases in Buffy-verse, and lastly one of my prize Buffy items - the season five promotional tombstone that was produced as part of a media kit. I got that piece on E-Bay - yea, me!!!

Since school has begun, I feel as if I don't have time to knit or spin, and I am already weary of Legal Aspects of Health Information. I have went back to school to obtain my RHIT - in my case the RH could possibly stand for "really hateful"...

On the knitting front, I am yet to finish the second navy sock, but I am making forward progress every day. I did take time to do a pretty major fix on a friend's afghan. She is a very new knitter, and I took pity on her and took the broken project home to repair. I took out six rows, doesn't sound so bad until you remember it as an AFGHAN!!! All jokes aside, it wasn't too bad. After I ripped back past the error, I re-knit the six rows so she would not feel like she had taken two giant steps backwards. I also rewound her ball of yarn into a neat little yarn cake as Natty got the yarn out of the bag and gave it the old one-two with the bunny kickers. I hope I did not take too much licence with a project that belongs to someone else... The gals/friends I knit with meet on Wednesday night, so I will see if I overstepped my knit-etiquette.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Come On Old Sock!

Even recent projects that are not finished can rapidly become the "old" project when there is something else that you want to work on. I am hoping to have the lion's share of the second sock in the Leaf Lace pattern done by the end of the weekend. I have whined and offered a multitude of excuses why that sock isn't finished including the color is too dark to work on at night, I am too busy, or this is the second pair in a row of the same pattern. The truth is I just want to start my new sweater, I also want to spin, and those two things have led way to the aforementioned excuses. Also, as a last excuse, school starts on Monday...

As far as my spinning goals, I have been forcing myself to spin up the undyed yucko stuff that came with my wheel for practice before I move onto the good stuff, but I am beyond being over that... I have purchased several batts of colored fiber to spin. Starting with the fiber in the upper left corner that looks kind of rainbow-like (Cottage Fiber), then the peach-colored fiber (TerraBella Spun), the the fiber in the lower right (TerraBella Spun), and lastly the fiber in the lower left corner (Cottage Fiber). There is a naughty little enabler who set me on the Etsy path, and now I am hooked. I get kind of a little buzz coming home to a package of something in front of my door that I have ordered from Etsy. Another seller on Etsy that I really like, but have not ordered from yet is
Copperpot Woolies. The next thing you know I will be staying up late to secretly watch recorded episodes of Dr. Who...

This is my "Christmas money from Mom yarn", and it will be my next project as I think I am tired of socks for this minute. However, when I am halfway through the sweater, I will probably be plotting my next pair of socks. This yarn came from Misknits, a "curious little yarn shop" in Kansas City on the Missouri side. Amber, the owner, helped me pick out the colors, and she is just wonderful to work with. She always makes me glad I came into her shop, unlike a few others that shall remain unnamed - at least for now...

In response to FKD's challenge for her readers to participate in in the ABC - Along 2008.

A - A is for afternoon nap (Natty's), which I will not be getting as I am off to work on that "old sock". TTFN and happy knitting/spinning to all!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Too Little Time in the Day...

Leaf Lace Socks by Fiber Trends, Lanett yarn by Sandnesgarn in Navy. This yarn is lovely to knit with, but the color is so dark it is difficult to make much progress without going blind. The red sock blockers really show off just how lacy this pattern actually is.

This is my new orifice hook. Love, love, love it. This tool allows me to draw the roving through the orifice of the spinning wheel without any trouble at all.

This is my first attempt at plying singles. It's not great yet, but I am working very hard at not letting my yarn suck... The ball on the right is what I did in class, and the ball on the left is what I did at home alone.

After much hysteria and a fair amount of screaming, I realized that I NEEDED a tensioned lazy kate. The tensioned kate acts as a second pair of hands for the spinning/plying impaired. I did a little research on the net, and behold my success! You can tell it is nothing fancy, but it has made a world of difference in my plying. The bobbins came with the wheel, the cardboard box is a box that printer paper came in. The only thing I had to buy was size #2 needles that were long enough to go through the box.

I have a pretty wooden niddy noddy from Kromski, but this is my favorite one. I made this from PVC pipe and PVC joints. It cost me less than $10 to make, and it is wonderful to use because it is so small. I extended the length of the arms so I could get more yarn on it.

Here I am with my hair pulled up (more or less) in all my still fluffy glory, trying out my new tensioned kate, and successfully plying. I look a mess, but I wanted to show how easy plying was with the kate. Notice the lack of hysteria??? You can see my wheel in the picture. I still haven't named it yet, but I will. Any suggestions?

I have really gotten into quotes lately, and I will leave you with my new favorite:

"You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd." Flannery O'Connor