Friday, December 30, 2005

Quality Sleep

Woo Hoo.... 10 hours last night and, boy, did I need them. If that doesn't translate into no knitting, nothing does. I was asleep at 8:00pm. Total exhaustion. The holidays wipe me out. I can't go at that pace. A party every night. Not for me. And it's not over yet. I am looking forward to New Year's Eve with my sister and brother-in-law but after that I want Peace and Quiet for a while!!

This weekend I hope to finish the brown socks and the big Erin Bag. (sans handles, that is) Then I'll work to get Clapotis III finished so I can concentrate on Kepler which I am really enjoying. After that, it's baby, baby, baby for a while.

Last night my little grand niece, Meghan, from Colorado, was wearing the aran hat I made for her last winter. It was nice to see it on her. She looked so cute in it. That was a great pattern and fun to knit. I wish I could have gotten a photo of her wearing it to post but, at 2 1/2, she doesn't stay still for long and she's not having much of me anyway. She is my brother's only grandchild and she looks so much like his late wife's family that it's scary. It's sad my sister-in-law never lived to see her. She died of MS at the age of 52. Meghan was born shortly after she died.

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Meghan's Hat

Oh, I heard on TV this morning that there is a 24 hour "Law and Order" marathon on New Years Day. I'm pumped!!! (not that I haven't already seen them all 30 times)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Baby Corrie's Sweater

Decision (finally) made.

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As I said, I've been putting off making a sweater for my nephew's new baby due on January 16th. The sweater above just knocks my socks off. I originally thought of doing it for Corrie but then I thought I might like to do it for my daughter's baby and I didn't want to make two of the same sweater for little cousins. So, since she's getting a boy, it turns out that this will now be perfect for Corrie. I ordered the pattern this morning here:

Baby Jacket

Since I have so many other things going right now, I'll just make the bigger size once I get it started.

Only 3 more days until the big New Years Day sale at my LYS:
Victoria's House of Needleart

My plan is to get the sock yarn for next Christmas's socks (a tradition in my girl's stockings), the yarn for the baby sweater, and maybe the yarn for Kelly's big bulky sweater that she wants. I may save that for Maryland Sheep and Wool. That will be here before we know it.

Oh, my daughter told me this morning that when she went out last night, people were going crazy over the little Erin Bag that I made her for Christmas. If you ever need a quick gift, whip one of those up. Everyone seems to love them.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Thank Heaven for Little Boys

Yep, I'm getting a grandSON in May. Yay! Is there enough blue yarn??? :-)

Let the Kepler begin...

Since having the brown socks, Clapotis III, and the large Erin bag currently on the needles just isn't enough, I started Kepler last night.

Not to mention the fact that I'm down to crunch time with a baby sweater that I have yet to start. I don't know why I did this. I just had to start it. Some things you just can't explain. This is the hand spun and dyed yarn I purchased from a local spinner. I've really been looking forward to using it.

I don't know why I put this pattern off. The cable graph is easy to figure out. It's time consuming because you have to keep looking at it, but it's easy. People (including me) get it into their heads that this kind of stuff is difficult when, really, it isn't at all. I have much more trouble with lace than I do with cables. It looks a little scary, but looks are deceiving.

I added about an inch to the cuff of the second brown sock last night and just got so bored with it I had to put it down. Once I turn the heel and get to the stockinette part, I'm ok. I really don't like that cuff pattern on those socks.

I had to go buy more yarn for the big Erin bag yesterday and I need to get it outside in the light to make sure the colors match. It is Wool Ease Chunky off white. That should all be the same I think. Every time I think about doing it, it's dark. And you can't go by artificial light with these things. I am anxious to get that finished and get it off to London. Finding handles for it is going to be the biggest challenge.

Congrats to Natasha for the new website.. it's great. Her yarns are awesome. There is no other word to describe them.
Welcome to

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Back to business.....

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. We did. I'm completely exhausted so I guess that's a sign that it was good. I don't know.... but I feel like I need a vacation! I was glad to get back to work! Eating and drinking and socializing must be hard work.

I finished a sock yesterday. I'm not crazy about the pattern but it feels great. I started this sock on the spur of the moment instead of really thinking about a better pattern. It's ok. Just ok.

Here is Catie's Erin Bag. I couldn't show it before because I didn't want her to know I made it and she does read the blog. It turned out really cute and I love the oval handles. (from the rip off company, of course) She really liked it. My older daughter went nuts over the charcoal gray felted bag too. She was surprised. She thought I had forgotten all about it.

My kids are so great. They knew I was really depressed about the demise of our big Minolta 35 mm camera so, for Christmas, they got us this:

It's a new version of the same camera. It's lighter, it's all automatic (unless you want it to be manual) and it's really easy to use. Having said all that, I just couldn't believe that the picture quality would be as good as my old camera which was perfection. I was wrong. I had the first film developed yesterday and they are every bit as good as the old camera's photos. So Mom is a happy camper once again. With a new grandchild coming, you have to have a good camera!

And, lastly, my sister spoiled me a little too. Well, ok, a LOT. I have just two words to say about this:

So, yeah, uh huh, it was a good Christmas. :-)

Friday, December 23, 2005

May All Your Wishes Come True.....

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Merry Christmas!!! That's what we celebrate and if you're celebrating something else, enjoy!

Since my home computer doesn't like my digital camera software, I'll be taking a blogging break until next Tuesday.

Enjoy your family. Enjoy the food. Take lots of photos so you can always treasure the memories.

God Bless You!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A little crochet action

I was at a holiday party in November and one of the lenders that I work with had on a beautiful lacy shawl. It was done in gold glittery yarn and looked fabulous with her dressy dress. I commented on it and she said she made it with a "hairpin loom". I told her I had never heard of that and she said she would send me the information I needed to make one. Well, yesterday, a little Christmas package arrived for me from her to thank me for the referrals I sent her this year. Along with a pretty little poinsettia, there was a package with the makings of that cute little shawl. I haven't crocheted in years but I'm definitely going to try this. That shawl was so cute. Check it out here... It's the Dagmar Shawl...
Crochet Pattern Central - Free Hairpin Lace Crochet Pattern Links

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

On the knitting front...

I got nuttin honey. Nada. I did work on the brown socks last night but that's kind of boring. I decided to forge ahead with them even though they are probably going to be big, droopy, brown yarn boats.

I'm using my little rice foot warmer today in the office. This floor is so darn cold. This thing works like a charm. A charm I tell ya. I might make a few of these for home. They're great to have on hand. (or feet...ha ha)

I definitely have the yarn bug again. Only 12 more days until the LYS New Years Day sale. I want to get the bulky yarn for my daughter' s sweater and some new sock yarn. I want to try Grumperina's Jaywalker Socks. I still need some pink yarn for the baby sweater too. I need to get cracking on that! I decided not to use the pastel Opal sock yarn for the baby sweater. I think it would be adorable but not "sturdy" enough. I think I want to knit a more substantial sweater for this climate. The one pattern that I found that I love starts out in a 2T size and that's too big. So I'll keep looking. I'm thinking Aran. You know how I get.

Ok.. enough of the boring chit chat. Back to real life....

Monday, December 19, 2005

New "Erin" Bag

Since I didn't have anything to do over the weekend (HA HA) I started another little purse but this one won't be so little. I've decided to call these little bags "Erin" bags since the first one I made, I made for my niece, Erin. She said her friend wanted one... only bigger than hers. This one is Wool-Ease Chunky (or bulky... whatever) on size 10 needles. I had been trying to come up with a pattern that would be good for this size bag and, get this.... I was sitting at work on Friday, just happened to look down at the sweater I had on (from J.C. Penney's), and the pattern was right in front of my eyes. So I went with it. It's cute. One of these days I'm going to make one for myself! I am having trouble finding the right wooden handles for this though. The 4 1/2 inch ones I got before are too small and I can't seem to find larger round ones that are good quality. If I wanted cheap plastic I'd be in great shape.

I also made some progress on the brown socks. I'm embarassed to admit this, but out of all the socks I've made, and I've made dozens of pairs, this is the first time I made them with a design in the cuff other than a plain ribbing and basic stockinette stitch. I just never wanted to complicate it. I'm liking the process but I can tell that this yarn isn't what I should be using. Yes, I needed that elastic stuff. I need to decide whether to rip or keep on going. I'm not sure at this point.

The list of things I need to get done today is about a mile long so I better get hoppin. Have a great Monday!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Another (teeny tiny) FO!

Georgio's socks. And, please notice, once again, they MATCH!! Well, pretty close anyhow. These things are so small that he better wear them home from the hospital because they may not fit him the next day. Next time, size 2 needles instead of 1's. INFANT SOCKS By Judy Ellis

I worked on Clapotis III after I finished the socks. I still have all of section 4 and 5 to do yet. As much as I love this pattern (and I really really do), I think this will be my last Clapotis for a while. I am finally getting tired of it. And never again with a mohair blend. Duh. That was stupid! It's only 20% mohair but those darn little fibers really tangle. It's going to be beautiful though and it's going to look fabulous with my camel coat.

And because I think there should be socks on needles at all times, I started these last night too. I need some plain black and brown warm socks to wear to work. I wear these opaque trouser socks all the time and they do nothing to help with the cold feet. All of my hand knit socks are a little too flashy for work so I'm going to attempt to remedy that little problem. I don't know how this yarn will do with whole "memory" thing that is so important with socks but we'll see. I have a feeling it's not going to do very well. It's a cashmerino blend. It feels wonderful but the first time I wear them I'll probably end up with yarn "boats" at the end of the day.

Catie will be home from school tomorrow. I'm hoping her arrival will help me get more into the Christmas spirit. I just haven't been motivated at all to do the things I need to do yet. I have my family for Christmas Eve... about 28 people.... so getting my house in order is the number one priority. I keep thinking about everything that needs done, but instead of doing it, I sit and... well....knit.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Quick Fix for Cold Feet

Ok, ok, I know. It's not real attractive. It would definitely be better if I could have found a NEW tube sock but I grabbed what I could find on my way out the door (and it IS clean). I may have mentioned that my office is built on a slab and my feet get cold to the point of having my toes go numb. I must have poor circulation because no one else seems to be complaining. Anyhow, I read online that you can make footwarmers with whole rice and a tube sock. Just fill up the sock with rice, tie the end, and pop it in the microwave for a minute. You can't believe how well this works. I did it and the thing stays toasty warm for over an hour. I feel like my feet are resting on hot sand at the beach. It's wonderful! So have one ready for when you come in from shoveling this evening folks!

tip: if you have a plastic cup, cut the bottom out of it and place the cup IN the neck of the sock. That way the rice pours in very easily. And, yes, I came up with that myself thank you very much. :-)

Winter Interweave Knits

I love this issue. I believe this is the first issue of this I've purchased in a year. While there are still a few items of "fug" for sure (that skirt??? could it be any uglier?), I do like most of the patterns. Especially these:

I really didn't need to add new obsessions to already existing obsessions, but I'll be thinking about these patterns for a while.

Oh, and if that green skirt doesn't end up here.....You Knit What??..... I'm going to be disappointed.

We had our family cookie exchange party last night. I opted out of the cookie part of it a few years ago (way too much stress) but I still go to the party. I had on my old winter jacket (I usually always wear a dress coat because I normally always go everywhere from work) and a terrible scarf that I just threw on because it matches my old jacket. Anyhow, the scarf is a plain garter stitch scarf knit out of two strands of cascade 220 held together without fringe that came into being because I was stash busting last year and just wanted to use it up. To make a long story short, people went nuts over that plain, stupid scarf. I left there with all kinds of relatives begging me for knitting lessons.... including my nephew! I can't imagine what might have happened if I had actually worn a NICE scarf!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Way too cute....

...and way too small. These things are teeny tiny. No baby born is May is going to be wearing wool socks any time soon. And these will only fit a newborn. So off they go to London to baby Georgio due in February! It was a cute idea to tuck them down into my daughter's Christmas socks since they match but her baby would never wear them. No sense wasting them. Blogger won't let me drag and paste the pattern for some reason but you can google it by searching "Infant Socks" and "Judy Ellis". That should bring it up.

Also...thanks to Heather for the tip on the baby Opal sweater. I found the pattern, printed it out, and I'm excited to get started on it with the new Opal yarn. According to the pattern, if I make the smallest one, I should have enough left over for a hat and booties too. It's perfect! Perfect for baby Corey due in January. (Like I said before, there's this crazy population explosion going on in this family! We're going to have enough little second cousins running around to start a daycare center!)

I realized the other day that I am putting off starting Kepler like I put off housework. Subconsciously, I think I'm afraid of that braid. I don't know what's the matter with me. That is my favorite kind of knitting. Once I get started I know I can figure it out, and yet I just keep putting it off because it looks complicated. I'm such a chicken!

Monday, December 12, 2005

OK.... Maybe one more little Christmas project

And I mean little! I found a cute infant sock pattern online yesterday and I thought it might be fun to put these little socks inside the ones I made for my daughter. It will be cute little surprise and I certainly had enough yarn left over. These are knit on size 1 dpn's. I've never used size 1's before.... wow.. skinny!

Here is the new Opal "petticoat" yarn I got over the the weekend. I was asked if I wanted to be on the waiting list for this since it is in such demand. I said......sure, why not. While it is beautiful, the pastel thing really isn't me. It's going to be something awesome for the baby though... I just don't know what yet. Any suggestions???

Friday, December 09, 2005

It's All About Me me me me

Ten things you may not know about me:
1. I want a West Highland White Terrier
2. My first job was helping to computerize the water bills in my little town when I was in high school
3. I have a big problem with splitting finger nails
4. I'm going to be a first time grandmother in May
5. I never enjoyed being pregnant myself
6. I come from a very quiet and reserved family. No one tells anyone anything. It's weird.
7. I'd rather travel alone and do my own thing most of the time. I don't, but I'd like to.
8. When I was in 8th grade I had a crush on the high school quarterback. 9 years later I married him
9. I have never mowed a lawn
10. I used to play golf. I don't anymore.

Nine places I have visited:
1. Ireland
2. Chicago, Illinois
3. Oxford, Nebraska
4. Vail, Colorado
5. Sarasota, Florida
6. New York, New York
7. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
8. Kiawah, South Carolina
9. South Bend, Indiana

Eight ways to win my heart:
1. Make me laugh
2. Cook for me
3. Buy me ice cream
4. do some housework while I'm working
5. Listen to me... really listen
6. go with me even though you don't want to
7. visit my parents
8. understand my job commitment and long hours

Seven things I want to do before I die:
1. Achieve financial freedom
2. Take my grandchildren to New York City at Christmas time - on a WEEK DAY
3. See London and Paris
4. Drive a new SUV
5. Spend an entire winter in a warm climate near the beach
6. Wear a size 10 for more than 2 months every other year
7. Go horseback riding... why does that seem like such an impossible thing?

Six things I am afraid of:
1. Spiders
2. Snakes
3. heights
4. flying
5. my husband falling on his two new hips
6. getting sick and not being able to work

Five things I don't like:
1. Brown or spicy mustard
2. Rude people
3. Not being able to find pants long enough
4. the hell hole that is my son's room
5. dishonesty

Four ways to turn me off:
1. being arrogant
2. smoking in my air space
3. not listening while I'm speaking to you
4. inappropriate cell phone etiquette

Three things I do everyday:
1. work
2. communicate with my kids
3. read and send email

Two things that make me happy:
1. Knowing that I raised 3 good kids.
2. My husband bringing me a cup of coffee every morning when he wakes me.

One thing on my mind right now:
1. Christmas Stressing

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

I think we got about 10 inches last night. My husband got up at 5:00am and cleaned all three cars off. He's good like that. The drive to work was a little hairy. It appears that the road crews just don't give a rat's patoot anymore. I don't know what's going on with that situation. They used to actually plow the roads. Anyhoo.....

I finished Opal socks and baby hat last night. (hey, the socks actually MATCH... that's a first) Look at that stupid hat. The pattern is from a Debbie Bliss book and at the end of the pattern, at the decreases, the instructions just vanish into thin air. It says something like "continue decreases in this manner on alternate rows" or something like that and it makes no sense whatsoever. So I did just that. I continued doing what I was doing and there is a now a "point" at the top of the hat that isnt' supposed to be there. There are 3 normal rows in between the decrease rows. Obviously I was not supposed to do that at the end but did it SAY that??? No, it did not. Grrrr. I should have ripped it out but I just kept going. I lose my place when I rip. Anyhow, this hat is going to charity. Some baby somewhere with a pointy head is going to have a lovely new cashmere (blend) hat.

Notice that I lost my floral background for the photos. That's because my helpful husband rearranged the furniture and now the chair is under the light and not the loveseat. It makes for a pretty dull background. Don't you think? I don't know if I can live with this. I think I have to come up with plan B. I don't know what it's going to be though because I need that light for the photos. And I can't move the light.

So my Christmas knitting is finished. I'm sure I could still squeeze something in for someone but I think it's time to finish Clapotis III for myself. Then the girly baby sweater for my neice. Then Kepler which I have been dying to start.

I'm still considering lining the alpaca scarf with flannel (Natasha's great suggestion) and giving it to my boss. My only problem at this point is finding someone to do that. I don't sew. And you really hate to ask someone to do something like that this close to Christmas. I don't know. I guess I could just give it to him itchy!

Thursday, December 08, 2005


that's what I need. Work stress is what today is all about... and lots of it. And I don't need it on top of holiday stress. Give me strength....

I had a client a few years back who told me that his wife got so stressed out over the holidays that they began the tradition of going on a two week cruise over Christmas. I don't know if I could do that (well, yes, I DO know that I couldn't do that) but it does sound enticing.

No knitting news. I worked on the Christmas decoration chaos at my house last night and got about half way through it. So much work for such a short amount of time. I know... just call me Scrooge. If it weren't for the kids I'd stick a little pre-decorated tree on a desk and call it a day. My son just shakes his head when I say that. Mom is definitely losing it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

New FO!!

Pattern: the petal pusher

Designs by Shelley - the petal pusher: One Fine Yarn

Designs by Shelley

Cascade 220 yarn - (some charcoal gray shade... didn't keep the band)

Buttons and Handles: M&J Trim, New York City

I actually finished the knitting on this project a while back but I just got it back from the seamstress last night. She put an awesome lining and bottom in the bag. I just thought she was going to simply line the bag but she put all sorts of pockets in the lining and lined some sort of heavy material that sits on the bottom creating a solid base which is nice. This is the bag that my daughter saw in the yarn shop in Kennett Square and wanted me to make for her. She doesn't know that I did so she'll be surprised. (I'm 99 1/2 % sure she doesn't even know about this blog...let's hope I'm correct!) I figured out that I will have almost $60.00 in this bag when it's all said and done. The handles and buttons alone were $30.00. And it's just a small bag! Using Cascade 220 yarn which is realtively inexpensive. ( Here is the money sucking culprit.... but the handles and buttons are perfect so I guess you have to just suck it up and be happy they had them)

Our knitting guild christmas cookie exchange last night was very nice. I've come to the conclusion that knitters are just nice people. We had a good time... and, yes, I ate too much as predicted. One of the girls brought her drop spindle and I was watching her spin yarn. She told me that if I bring mine to the next meeting that she will help get me started. She made it look so easy... but I know that it takes time to get the hang of it.

I'll leave you with a New York photo taken on Saturday. This is Cartier on 5th Ave. I'm sure all of my Christmas gifts are going to come from there.... at least the one's that don't come from Tiffany's. Um... yeah. Right. That might happen.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Days of wine and.... FOOD

It's already started. FOOD OVERKILL. This is the time of year when food starts pouring into the office, friends invite you to dinner, holiday parties are everywhere, etc. My problem is that I have no willpower. None. Last night I baked cookies for my Knitter's Guild cookie exchange and I ate a bunch of them right off the cookie sheet and then a few for breakfast this morning. I get totally out of control this time of year. Our guild is having a party tonight so I guess I'll just pig out there too. Ugh!

I'm really out of it today because I took two Tylenol PM last night to help me sleep. That stuff works like a dream (no pun intended) but it makes for a groggy morning. But I get so stressed out this time of year that I have no choice if I want to get any sleep.

No knitting to report. My husband took the day off yesterday and brought down all the Christmas decorations and they are scattered everywhere waiting to be put where they belong so it could be a while until I'm able to sit and knit. He also rearranged the furniture and now my little knitting corner on our loveseat is in a totally new location without my usual proximity to the televison or the light. He moved a chair to that location and I just don't think a chair there is going to cut it for me. I cannot spread all my stuff out on a chair. (MEN!) I have to finish Kelly's socks. Then I'm finished with Christmas knitting. I wanted to get a few other gifts done but that isn't going to happen. You can only do what you can do.

Well, I better run. My goal for today is to stay awake and stop stuffing food in my mouth. Wish me luck.

Monday, December 05, 2005

New Knitty

The new winter edition is up today. Hmmmn.....

I love the entrelac it, love it, love it.

But there isn't too much else there that excites me. There are some nice things , and cute things, but probably nothing I feel like I have to knit. The little cat featured on the homepage is adorable.

It was fun to see all the scarves people were wearing in NYC over the weekend. Thousands of scarves! Thousands of people... we almost got crushed in front of SAKS 5th Ave. and I'm not kidding. Pedestrian traffic came to a total standstill because people were stopped to look at the window displays and take photos. They have the area right in front of the windows roped off for people to get in line and SEE the windows, however, people decided not to wait in line and do it outside the ropes thus creating a total pedestrian "traffic" jam which got seriously out of hand. People were pushing and shoving and getting angry. It was so tight that you couldn't move your arm up to scratch your nose if you had to. There was nowhere to go and no way to get out of it. Fortunately, we were right near the roped off area so we crawled under the rope to escape the crowd. The people who had stood in line in the roped off area just glared at us ... if looks could kill we'd be dead! They didn't understand we were line jumping for our lives! Later I noticed the police had come to keep people moving. If I had been caught in the middle of that with a child I'd have really panicked. Here is a photo of SAKS.... from across the street:

They have snowflakes for their Christmas decoration.

This is us in Central Park... notice my Godiva Chocolate shopping bag. Do I have my priorities straight or what???

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I hate Blogger

I just created the longest post with tons of photos ... it took me 45 minutes. I hit publish, and I got an error message that said "the blog you are looking for is not found."

I can't believe it.

But, sorry, I'm not going through that again.

New york was fun. There were photos. There was content.

Pulling my hair out.

Friday, December 02, 2005

New York Knitting

I decided I needed some mindless knitting for the bus trip to NYC tomorrow and I decided on this baby hat from a Debbie Bliss book that I have. I'll send it to baby Georgio (my sister, who is grandma, already has his name embroidered on a Christmas stocking so I guess it's going to stick) who will be born in London in February. I had some left over Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran from the scarf I made and I thought this would be a good stash busting project. To me, it looks a little big for a newborn but we'll see. It's super soft... lovely yarn. I love working with it.

So the bus trip leaves out of State College at 5:00am which means I will have to get up around 3:00am to get ready and make it there on time. Lord! I might as well not go to bed tonight! I know that I'm going to be asking myself, "Why did I say I'd do this???" I've been there and done this so many times before that I'm not really sure why I AM doing it!

I decided that once I am completely finished with Christmas projects, I'm going to do another baby sweater and then do a lot of little hats and socks to use up some left over yarn before starting Kepler. There are enough babies coming in this family to benefit from a little stash busting... that's for sure. I really need to get rid of all this yarn. It's taking over my house. And I love knitting socks for myself from left over yarn. Playing with the different colors and striping is a lot of fun.

My feet are freezing in the office again. Buildings built on a slab are murder on the feet in the winter. If I lived in a house built on a slab I'd just have to die! I sell a lot of them and I think....never! No way! I don't know how people can stand it.

I think I've rambled on enough for one day. Happy Weekend!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

SO stolen from Cheryl

Hottie Offering Lustful Loving and Yeses

Alpaca Scarf

I was looking in my bin of FO's last night wondering what to give to who for Christmas when I came across the alpaca scarf that was originally intended for my son-in-law. (see it in my September archives) I don't know what to do with it. That is the itchiest thing that I've ever put next to my skin. And if I wouldn't wear it then I'm certainly not gifting it. I guess it would be a good accessory with a black coat as long as you didn't try to actually use it to keep your neck warm. I have to say that is the most disappointing FO that I made this year. And everything you read about Alpacas on the various websites says, "Softer and not itchy like wool". Softer, yes, but heck, give me wool around my neck any day! I'm just wondering if that is normal for Alpaca or did I get a weird batch?

This and that....

I finished a little project that will remain nameless and photoless (?) until after Christmas due to beautiful bright blue prying eyes. So, I have no knitting to show you. But I did buy this yesterday:

There are some cute things in here. It is obviously a collaboration of Better Homes and Gardens magazine with Lion Brand yarns because most of the patterns call for that yarn. Projects of interest to me in here are a toddler's hat and mittens (very cute made with bright colors of Lion Brand Homespun), a big felted bag that called for Lion Brand Landscapes, and a really cute child's rainbow cardigan that calls for Lion Brand Jiffy Thick and Quick yarn. There is also a man's aran sweater that calls for really bulky yarn that I like. I would knit it in a small for me.... my husband would never wear anything that heavy.

Also, there are some cute baby things knit in chenille. I can't stand the feel of chenille so I would never go there but they are cute.

The real reason I did purchase the magazine, however, was for the felted bag pattern. It looked like it would be a great diaper bag for my daughter. But, it calls for 13 skeins of Lion Brand Landscapes yarn and I think a $90.00 diaper bag is out of the question. If I'm spending that kind of money on the baby it's going to be for something more important than yarn! And, come to think of it, how does a 50% wool/50% acrylic yarn felt anyhow? Probably not very well. It really is nice though.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The good news... and the bad news

The hat is finished... at long last. That's the good news.

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The bad news is that it will never fit my nephew... after all this. I couldn't have made a normal hat. No, I had to go for the gusto. It fits me... barely. It comes down to my ear lobes. I'm not sure it would even get to his ears. I will make him another hat I guess. I have enough yarn but it is not going to be this hat. Nope. Not again. I swear I could have had a sweater done in the time it took me to knit this hat. Isn't it interesting that the red side looks smaller than the blue side? I think the red side definitely knit up smaller. That would mean that I purl tighter than I knit because all the red stitches are purl stitches. Weird. Very weird. I have to say that while I didn't enjoy knitting this hat, the pattern is ingenious. Very impressive ... whomever came up with this technique. I admire people who's minds work that way. The pattern can be found on the Blue Blog if anyone is interested. Anyone with a lot of patience.

And, on a sad note, totally unrelated to knitting, I am saying goodbye this week to a dear, dear, old friend. This old friend has seen me through weddings, babies, baptisms, graduations, football games, basketball games, plays, etc. Farewell old Minolta....

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I bought this camera in 1977.... the year we were married. I saw it in a Spiegel Cataglog with all the different lenses and gadgets and I had to have it. I opened a Spiegel charge account to get it.
I thought my husband was going to divorce me after about 3 weeks of marriage over it. We really couldn't afford it. But in the last 28 years, this camera has so beautifully documented the history of "us" that it has paid for itself a thousand times over. I have had it repaired 4 times. The last time I took it they politely told me that they pretty much didn't want to see me back there with it again. They don't make parts for it anymore and the cost to fix it is unreasonable. And they really didn't understand why anyone would pay to have such a dinosaur fixed when so many great new cameras are available. But how do you really trust a new camera when you've had total perfection? I'm sad. I'm sad to see it go. Say what you want about digital... I have yet to see the quality in a print that you get with one of these cameras... no matter how expensive the digital is. I have a grandchild coming... what a time for this thing to die. :-(

Monday, November 28, 2005

Stolen from some knitting blog... I don't even remember which one!

The Stupid Quiz said I am "Totally Smart!" How stupid are you? Click here to find out!

Turnpike Knitting

Our trip to Delaware gave me the opportunity to knit for about 7 hours! I finished Clark's scarf and one sock and made good progress on the second sock. I will try to block out this ribbed scarf. I was up in the air about that thinking that no matter what, it will just go back to it's original shape. I don't like it so thin though so I'm going to at least try.

As you can imagine, my thoughts right now are back to baby projects. Hard to imagine that I'm going to have a grandchild to knit for! I really do want to use up some of the yarn I have and complete some planned projects before I get into that though and I do have until May to make something nice for the baby. Actually, going into the summer, I have until next Fall to start knitting warm clothes for him or her. I'm thinking that a nice, lightweight cotton pinwheel blanket would be good to start. I've always wanted to do that pattern.

I gifted Trellis at my niece's baby shower on Saturday. She really liked it. I found a cute little outfit that went with it very nicely. Next on the baby agenda is a sweater for my nephew's baby due in January. It's a girl... I'm thinking pink! They already have a baby boy and I'm sure they will appreciate something girly this time around. Here's a cute photo of the two expectant moms.
Our family is having a true population explosion!

Knitting Box

My husband politely suggested that my knitting basket was, shall we say, a bit of an eyesore in the living room these days with all kinds of things shoved in there and falling out all over the place, etc. So, I took the hint and went in search of a decorative container that I could still keep in the living room but hide all the mayhem. I found just the thing, a pretty wooden chest, at Value City. It only has enough space in it for my works in progress and I'll still have to keep a good bit of my other stuff in a different location, but I have to admit, it looks a lot better and my work is still at hand. It has a velvet lining! No yarn will get snagged inside on anything. Run, don't walk, to Value City and check this out. It was only $29.00 and really, it's fairly large. It's difficult to tell from the photo.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Pittsburgh Secret Pal Package

Like I said, this was such an awesome package from my secret pal. I didn't have this hand spun yarn in my possession for 5 hours before I had this scarf finished. I knit it on gigantic needles with some of the yarn from the first package she sent me.... it was a perfect match. This photo doesn't do the handspun justice. It's just gorgeous.

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Then, there is this big skein of beautiful alpaca lace weight in beautiful colors. I'm researching patterns for this right now. I'm picturing a rectangular shawl of some sort. I'm going to have to come to friendly terms with lace before I tackle this one. Isn't it gorgeous??? (I know it's blurry, but you get the gist)

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And this is what really gets me.... how did she know I had a little secret desire to learn how to do this?? I've been tossing this around in my head for months but just never took the initiative to dive in...

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A book, a spindle, and some great fiber to get me started. I'm going to take it to my next knitting night and get one of the girls there to help me. I did try it on my own and I wasn't too successful but I think with a little help, I'll be good to go. And totally addicted.


Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thanksgiving in Delaware

I'M GOING TO BE A GRANDMOTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Secret Pal Stuff

I hate to break it to everyone but my Pittsburgh Secret Pal is the BEST! However, she may have just started me down the road to a serious addiction :-)

More about this on Monday!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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Well this is what I want and I want to see it on my daughter's table. If this weather doesn't cooperate, and we can't go to Delaware, I'm going to scream. I'm picturing myself having the Thanksgiving Buffet at the Ramada. So I have the decision to make today whether or not to shop for food to cook in case of canceled plans or let it go and end up going out if the weather gets bad. My daughter is freaking out. She says she can't do it without me but that is so much crap. She's a much better cook than I ever was.... already! She enjoys it. I hate it.

On the knitting front, I worked on the Opal socks last night. I have to get them finished for Christmas and I'm weary of the scarf and hat at this point. I'll finish the socks and then go back to them. I love knitting socks. I want to start socks with the hand dyed yarn my Pittsburgh Secret Pal sent me. I think I will do them even before I start Kepler which is really high on the priority list. I just want some warm, new socks for ME! My LYS is getting some kind of new sock yarn in that's supposed to be very much in demand and with very limited supply. She asked me if I wanted on the list for that when it comes in so I said...sure... sign me up. I don't even know what it is! But there goes my vow not to buy more yarn until New Years Day.

At the New Years Day sale I intend to purchase a bulky yarn for my daughter's big knock-a-round sweater. I'm not sure exactly what I want yet. I guess I'll know it when I see it. I do know that I don't want it to be a solid color. I'd love something "tweedy". Is that a word? Debbie Bliss has a bulky tweed yarn but my LYS doesn't carry her yarns. I'll think of something.

So, I'm off to work. Have a wonderful holiday and keep a good thought that I don't end up at the Ramada buffet with a husband and two college kids all depressed that they missed the good meal at daughter # 1's.

Monday, November 21, 2005


We have a problem.

RE: Double Knit Hat

I have a bad habit of not reading ahead on a pattern. I usually just take it one step at a time. Imagine my dismay when I came across these instructions:

Begin decreases:
Color A: *(K1, bring yarn forward, slip 1, bring yarn back) 7 times, slip next stitch (color A) purlwise, place next stitch (color B) on cable needle and hold at back, place first stitch back on left needle and knit it together with next stitch (both stitches should be color A), bring yarn to front, place color B stitch back from cable needle onto left needle, slip both color B stitches purlwise, bring yarn back*, repeat *to* around.
Color B: *(slip next stitch purlwise, bring yarn forward, P1, bring back) 7 times, slip next stitch purlwise (should be the stitch you decreased above), bring yarn forward, P2tog (both stitches should be color B), bring yarn back*, repeat *to* around.

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? I'm dizzy just trying to read this let alone understand it. And it goes on from there in equally dizzying fashion. Eventually I will tackle this. Eventually I will work up the nerve to dive in. But for now I'm going to do what any red blooded individual with ADD would do.... work on the scarf.

Light at the end of the tunnel....

I'm getting there.... I worked on this all weekend. Yes, really. It's S-L-O-W. Only a grandchild who's head I will want to keep warm someday will entice me to do this pattern again. And I noticed something concerning that I've never noticed before. My hands ache when I work on this. I don't know if it's project specific or if my hands are going to hurt all the time when I knit now. I take enough ibuprophen for my back so I don't want to have to start taking it for my hands too!

I watched Monster In Law while knitting last night. It's a cute movie if you haven't seen it yet. Jane Fonda is a hoot and Wanda Sykes as her assistant is great. I just LOVED J Lo's wedding gown in the end. It was gorgeous.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Painfully, Painfully Slow

The double knit hat is such slow going. I worked on it for 2 solid nights and I have about 2 inches complete. You figure that you cast on 132 stitches in two different colors and only knit one color with each row (but you have to move the yarn forward and slip the stitch you don't knit)... so, in actuality you're knitting 324 stitches to complete one row of both colors...on size 6 needles. This is going to take FOREVER. But in the end I know this is going to be the warmest hat I could have knit and I'm going to feel good about it. It's cold on those ski slopes!

Tonight is our office holiday party. My boss likes to do it early so it doesn't interfere with other holiday happenings and people can relax and enjoy it without worrying about what all they still have to do to get ready for Christmas. At first I hated the idea of celebrating so early but it has sort of grown on me. Then, tomorrow evening is our Board of Realtors holiday party too. I guess they have the same idea. My knitting group is celebrating on Dec. 6th with dinner at a local restaurant and a cookie exchange. That should be fun.

Last night I went to an Open House at a new, huge, dental office. (we were involved with finding the site for the new construction) I was amazed at how dentistry has evolved. The new technology is incredible. It was like something out of "The Jetson's" if you're old enough to remember that cartoon. And the best part of all is that it didn't smell like a dentist's office..... yet.

I need to stop at the LYS today and see if I can find something else to send to my PGH Secret Pal. I wish I had something in mind but I don't. I guess I'll know it when I see it.

Ok.. well, this post was pretty boring...but that's all I got folks. Until I get that hat finished, I don't think I'm going to have much.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

"Creative Knitting"

I subscribed to this magazine simply because it is one I don't mind waiting for if the issue hits the newstand before I get mine in the mail. (It would make me insane if that happened with Vogue or Interweave Knits) To me, this is usually average. But there is a pattern that really speaks to me in this issue:

I go out and buy a new camera and I still get blurry.......grrrrrrr. Anyhow I love this sweater. It's knit in bulky weight yarn on big needles (9's I think) and I bet you could have it finished in no time. I guess I'll have to add this to my list.

Double Knitting Fun

This is the first time I've ever done this and it IS fun. But it's also slow going. I feel like the winter might be over by the time I get this finished. You alternate knitting and slipping the different colors on every row so essentially, you're only really knitting one color on each row. The result is a double layer of knitting. You can find the pattern here:the blue blog patterns: double knit cap She describes it as being "one warm a** ski hat", and, yes, it certainly will be. I'd love to make one of these for my son but to tell you the truth he loses everything he owns and I would want to scream if I went to the trouble and he lost it. (He lost two hats I knit for him last winter) Hopefully Clark will hang on to this.