Thursday, March 31, 2005

Keys Found!

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It's nothing less than a miracle. The keys just appeared on my desk at home. Out of nowhere. My son said he found them on the floor behind the desk. What was he looking for behind the desk? Has he ever truly looked behind the desk before in his lifetime? Could it possibly be that he DIDN'T use the spare set the last time he drove the car like he said he did and the last time the keys were seen? Could it be that he actually found them in one of his pockets today and just SAID he found them behind the desk? I think so. Teenagers. Can't live with em, can't live without em. (I should use that pepper spray on him....JUST KIDDING)

On the bright side, I haven't bought any yarn today. I haven't even looked at yarn online today. Might I be on the road to recovery? NO. I was too darn busy working today. I have to do something every once in a while to pay for all this yarn and today was the day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


I just found a "scarfSTYLE" knitalong. Very cool. Check - it - out!

Scarf Style Knit-Along: October 2004

Scarves, Scarves, Scarves

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I arrived home yesterday to find this in my mail from Amazon. (please ignore the desk...I know it's a disaster area but I DO work here) I like this book although it looks like they borrowed MY camera to take the photos. (and that's a bad thing) The patterns are interesting. I especially like the "Here and There Cables" (Norah Gaughan) pattern that has no right and wrong side. Having a wrong side in a scarf makes me crazy.

But THIS is the pattern I LOVE:

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Lady Eleanor Entrelac Stole by Kathleen Power Johnson
Could someone make this for me please? I really don't have time. Ha ha. Seriously, I don't know if I love the yarn or the pattern. I looked the yarn up online (La Lana Wools Forever Random Blends 60% wool, 40% mohair - Faerie Queen) and I'd have to sell my house to make this thing with that yarn. So, do I settle for it in less expensive yarn or just scrap the whole silly idea? I know... this will be my "after I win the lottery" project. There you go. That's settled. I love it when I make decisions.

Clapotis is clicking along, the sweater and socks are in limbo, and all I can think about is buying more yarn. It's a sickness I tell you. A sickness.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Camera found...keys still lost!

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I'm amazed at how bland this looks in the photo. In looks so pretty in person...really, honest, I wouldn't lie about this. I still can't find the perfect dress for it. It occured to me the other day that this may be the first time I looked for a dress to go WITH an accessory and not the other way around. I know what I want, I know I could make the dress, but that would take time away from knitting and I'd actually have to hunt for my sewing machine so forget that idea!

I really have the bug to do a summer top. Since I like this yarn so well (Wool In The Woods...100% rayon) I think I'll just get some more of it in another color for the top. The cost of it is very reasonable which is really a bonus. I usually only want the yarn I can't afford.

I'm depressed today because I found out my son will probably have to quit a job he loves because of his asthma. He just can't take the dust and fumes. He is so disappointed and frustrated. I feel bad for him. You wish you could just make it all go away for them but you can't. But it's times like this that I think, wow, it could be so much worse and we should just be grateful that it isn't. He'll figure it all out.

Monday, March 28, 2005

I'm in Love....

with this yarn. I SOOOO want this yarn in "Tropical Sunset". Isn't it beautiful?


Easter Monday... Can It Get Any Worse?

Yes, of course, it can always get worse but this day is the day from HELL. Can't find my car keys, can't find my digital camera (after laying Clapotis all out on the table and arranging her nicely for the photo), my cell phone isn't working, my daughter's cell phone isn't working (gee...are you seeing a pattern here?) We switched from AT&T to Cingular for the cell phone and the bill is now coming in a large envelope which my DH thought was junk mail and chose to ignore it. (ugh!)

ON the bright side I managed NOT to poison anyone yesterday but I also would never have pulled that dinner off without my mother coming in and taking charge. ThankGOD. I was in way over my head on that one. I think I just need to stick to knitting and forget cooking. I know my limitations.

So I tried all afternoon yesterday to follow the directions that Jillz ("purl up with a good yarn" blog) was kind enough to send me to activate my blog buttons... I failed miserably...sorry Jillz...after all that work sending me that stuff. I will keep trying though.

Cate came close to finishing her Sophie bag before having to go back to school. If I had had more time to help her she could have done it. I'm tempted to finish it for her but that won't help her learn so I guess I'll let it sit until she comes home again.

I'll drop the third row of stitches on Clapotis tonight. I am enjoying this project more than anything I've knitted in a long time. I keep waiting to get bored with it (I have a small attention span) but I'm loving every minute of it. (have I already said that? about 100 times?) I'm already envisioning the yarn for the next one.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

To Knit or Not to Knit... that is the question

I did NOT have time but I did manage to sneak in a little knitting late last night. Catie and I knitted until midnight. Her sophie bag is taking shape (after a few minor mishaps) and she'll soon be ready to start the straps. I dropped my first row of stitches on Clapotis. What a feeling. I wonder if anyone else got knots in their stomach watching those stitches run the whole way down to the bottom. I mean, really, what is the one thing you DON'T want to happen under normal circumstances? That! So from what I can tell, you drop stitches at this point every twelve rows. It really keeps you wanting to knit ahead quickly so you can repeat that process. I'm lovin it. Just like Sophie, I see a few more of these in my future. Happy Easter to everyone!!

Friday, March 25, 2005


Ok, so let the madness begin. I have 2 days left to do 2 months worth of housework to prepare for my houseful of company for Easter Dinner. I have to work today, I have to work tomorrow and I have a hair appointment after work tomorrow that will take a few hours. So, yes, panic is setting in big time. The good news is that I got the grocery shopping and the wine shopping done last night so I consider that some type of progress. I guess I should just be happy that it's not 10 - 15 years ago when I was worrying about easter dresses, easter shoes, easter baskets, dyeing eggs, and all the things that come with having 3 little kids to get ready for Easter. In spite of the craziness, I'm looking forward to having everyone there. I'll miss my sister visiting her daughter in London and my oldest daughter who can't come home from Delaware. But, hey, more ham for the rest of us, right??

No knitting news to speak of. I got to the point that I could drop stitches on Clapotis last night and couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to get into it. What a disappointment. And I don't see that I'll be able to pick it back up any time soon. Since I started Clapotis, the sweater has been sitting in a corner begging to be worked on but I'm too enthralled with the pretty green yarn and interesting pattern that I can't force myself to go back to the sweater just yet.

I noticed a honeymoon cami knit-a-long going on. That pattern scares me for some reason. I love it, but I think it's the decreases for the fitting that sends the chills down my spine. Everyone seems to have trouble with left-facing and right-facing decreases. Without someone sitting beside me and telling me what to do, I don't think I'm quite ready for that.

I finally ordered the scarf book that I wanted from I looked at it at A.C.Moore and loved some of the patterns in there. Definitely good Christmas knitting material.

Well, keep good thoughts that I get my house in order and don't poison anyone on Sunday.
(not to worry family... I have it all under control...honest)

Thursday, March 24, 2005


I found my blog button on a knitting blog today! That certainly made my day. Thanks to Tara at Dirty Purls for adding my little Westie. Tara's blog is WAY entertaining for those of you who would care to visit there. ( I have her blog button on my sidebar but I'm still trying to figure out how to make them "active". At this point they go nowhere when you click on them and I can't seem to figure out how to make them link to the blog. Maybe they have one of those "dummies" book for blogging. You know, Blogging for Dummies. That's what I need.

Cate's Sophie

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This is Cate's first attempt at picking up stitches and knitting in the round. She got it with no trouble at all. Yes, I'd say we have a third generation knitter on our hands. Good job Cate! She informed me that she has seen many versions of Clapotis on other knitting blogs which is an indication that she might be getting a little addicted. Let's hope that knitting time doesn't interfere with studying time!! Maybe I should have held off teaching her all this stuff until after graduation.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Progress on Clapotis

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A few more rows and I'll be finished with section 1. I think I'll be able to drop some stitches then but I haven't read ahead yet so I'm not sure. As you can see, I got nothing but knitting done again last night. But in my defense, I'm still sick and my back is killing me so housework and shopping are out of the question anyhow. I'm wishing now that I would have made a few more of those bunnies because they would have been cute decorations and gifts for Sunday. My problem is too many projects and not enough time. It is pouring rain here today. Totally miserable. But I see that part of the country is getting pounded with snow so I guess I shouldn't be complaining. I'll take the rain over snow any day.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

I'm Hiding My Knitting!

I've decided that the only way I am going to be able to prepare my house for the Easter festivities is to have my husband hide my knitting. I'm telling you that the Clapotis pattern is TOTALLY ADDICTIVE. Once I get started I can't put it down. The variety of stitches almost insures no boredom. And you just have to keep on going knowing that soon you'll be able to drop those stitches and see the pattern emerge. I can't get anything else, yeah, he's gotta hide the knitting. I have NO will power.

On an unrelated note, I won our family blog limerick contest! Yay me! I gotta tell you there was some stiff competition. I think WAY too many of us have kissed the Blarney Stone! Anyhow, that was a fun little March distraction to pass the time until Spring. My winning entry was in reference to my sister's two big dogs who both passed away last year (not at the same time and under totally different circumstances) They now have a little Westie that is the cutest thing... I gotta get one! Anyhow.... here is the winning limerick:

The Stapelfelds used to have dogs that were tough
with tails like big guns that would knock over stuff.
They now have a terrier
that fits in a carrier.
Poor Ben, that's gotta be "ruff".

Well, whadaya think?

Monday, March 21, 2005

A Banner Day!

I was reading all my blogs this afternoon when what did I come across????? This is very exciting folks.... I came across a link to my blog in another blog! Hurray! I feel so official! Now, it was only the name of my blog and not my button so that will be the next step. (hey, as Michael would say, "it's a start".) When I see that little Westie on another blog that will really make my day!! So, c'mon, steal that thing people!! Go ahead... MAKE MY DAY.

I'm feeling under the weather the last few days...terrible head cold.... the kind where it feels like your freaking head is going to blow off. The kind where you don't even feel like knitting ...I know, hard to believe. But I've been lucky this winter. This is the first malady of any type.

A Sleeve!

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I managed to find the time to start a sleeve on the sweater. Yes, this sweater will be finished just in time for me to put it in storage for the summer. But I'll have something to look forward to when the cold weather starts creeping up. This bugger is going to be super warm!

Holey Clapotis!

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So it turns out that the holes were SUPPOSED to be in Clapotis! Who knew? Anyhow, what a fun pattern after you get the hang of it. You can't tell from this photo, but the yarn is shiny and I'm really happy with it. I'm glad I took my time searching for the yarn for this because it's just perfect. I'm picturing this wrap with a camel colored linen sleeveless sheath dress. Now if I can only find that somewhere!

Sunday, March 20, 2005


I did cast on for Clapotis yesterday in spite of every effort to talk myself out of it. However, I am running into a snag. After not understanding the instructions, and visiting the LYS to get the stiches explained to me, I still have a little hole in the same place on row 14/15 every time I try it. It know it has to do with the last yarn over on row 14 but I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. Ugh! I guess it's back to the LYS at some point this week. So frustrating! But the good news is that this yarn is so fabulously beautiful knit up that I can't describe it. I can't say enough good things about it. It does separate, but if you could see how it looks, you'd know it's worth the effort to put up with that. I never dreamed I could love 100% rayon, but I do!

Friday, March 18, 2005

Clapotis... Thy Name Is Green

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Wow... beautiful yarn. I can't wait to get started on Clapotis. I looked for a LONG time for the right yarn for this project. I wanted the drape to be perfect and this should do it. I wanted to clear up some other projects before I started this but I don't know how I'm going to resist. I have so much to do to prepare for Easter and just tons of other things on my plate as well. I'm feeling a little stressed out right now. I know I need a vacation.... I can feel it. Well, stay tuned to find out how long I can go without casting on. Anyone want to take bets?? :-)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Big doins in the O'Connor family tonight! Everyone will be wearin the green. Got the soda bread baked and the whiskey cake too. There are two cups of irish whiskey in that sucker! Look out! The fumes alone will kill you! My sister is in charge of the corned beef and cabbage (yum). We had a St. Patrick's Day limerick contest on the family blog and all entries will be read aloud tonight. It should be fun.

So, on the knitting front I purchased the yarn today for my clapotis. This was supposed to be for a gift. The more I think about that yarn and how nice it would look with my camel coat, the more I think that this first one could be for MOI. I am so excited! The yarn is gorgeous. There's no other word for it. It is green "Wool In The Woods" rayon. I'll post a photo as soon as I get it. My LYS lady is being kind enough to wind it for me and I'm picking it up tomorrow. Interesting that I chose green yarn on St. Patricks Day. I never gave it a thought until the LYS proprietor mentioned it. Well, it's appropriate! Erin Go Braugh!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Front of Sweater

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The front of my sweater is blocking. I sort of had a dilemma with this. The instructions say to sew shoulder seams together and pick up stitches for the sleeves at the shoulder. So, do you sew everthing together and then block it? Or do you just block pieces as you go? Because when I do block the sleeves, they are going to be attached to the sweater. I guess I'll figure it out. I will be so happy to finish this. I am NOT a big project type person. I get bored so easily. But I am going to LOVE this sweater. It feels so good.

In looking at other blogs, I'm seeing so many things I love. The "Tempting" sweater is so cute. It looks like it would go rather quickly. I don't know that I'd want it for myself, but it would make a great gift. (ok, I'd LOVE it for myself...but only if I could lose about 20 lbs. before having to wear it) Wearing ribbing from top to bottom doesn't hide any flab if you know what I mean!

Tonight is baking night. There will be no knitting tonight for sure. I will make Irish Soda Bread and an Irish Whiskey Cake. Big St. Patrick's Day bash at my sister's house tomorrow. Admission requires the wearin of the green. Which also means that I have to find some time today to go shopping because I don't have anything green that actually fits me. The pressure is on!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Knitting Night

I actually did a lot of knitting last night but nothing worth taking any photos of. I made progress on the sock and nearly finished the front of the sweater. I knit while watching a Pittsburgh Pirates pre-season game on TV. No, I'm not a big baseball fan...but, you know....when in Rome.... In our house you don't have much choice if you want to sit in the living room and knit using the best light. We have other televisions, but that's my knitting spot and if I want to use it, I have to deal with the majority when it comes to the TV.

Today I will stop at the LYS to check out some more Cascade 220 for a few more Sophie Bags and I also want to find some good, soft worsted for another Irish Hiking Scarf for my son in law for Christmas. I'd love to find a "tweed" look for that. Any suggestions? My LYS proprietor is searching for a good yarn for me for the Clapotis I want to do for my sister. She got some great Wool In The Woods cotton/rayon spring yarns in but the colors are not right. I'm picturing Fall colors for that project.

Wow.. so many projects, so little time. I want to win the lottery so I can knit all day long. I've heard that you actually have to buy the little tickets in order for that to happen. My chances are slim... very slim.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Felted Sophie

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Wow is this bag cute. I could become addicted to felting in a real hurry. Surprisingly (to me, anyhow) the Aran yarn didn't felt as well as the Cascade 220. But I don't care. I still love it.
And speaking of Cascade 220, I love working with that yarn. I highly recommend it for 100% wool worsted. I can see a large stash of that stuff in my near future.

New Socks on the Needles

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I got this yarn (confetti by DGB) on Ebay about a year ago. I didn't like the colors on the skein so I just let in sit in my yarn stash. But I'm really liking it knit up. I had to start socks or go crazy. I MUST use up some of my stash of sock yarn. It's taking over the house. (or so I've been informed) I had to crack up at the name of a blog I saw the other day. She named it "I Hide Yarn". Funny! Been there. Done that. Still doin it.


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Wow. What a difference blocking makes. I have only knit about 3 or 4 sweaters in all the time I've been knitting but I never blocked any of them. I always skipped that process in a hurry to wear, or give, the finished product. I can now see the error of my ways. I unpinned the back of my sweater from the blocking process this morning and I immediately began to understand the importance of this step. It has a more finished and "stable" (for lack of a better word) shape. I'll never skip this step again.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Cate's Landscapes Scarf

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Close up of the Landscapes scarf. Love those colors.

Lion Brand Landscapes

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Here's Cate (and Irish) modeling her recently completed Landscapes scarf. Good job Cate! Very cute! Landscapes is a fun yarn. You have to love the colors. I think Cate has mastered the garter stitch... and it's time to move on. Maybe mittens next?

Friday, March 11, 2005

Finished Sophie Bag - Before Felting

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Here's the finished Sophie. Cute, huh? I'll felt it this weekend.

I was looking at the book "Scarf Style" by Pam Allen at A.C. Moore yesterday. While I find scarves very boring to knit, I was thinking that is the perfect book to get me out of my rut and learning new techniques. The scarves are gorgeous and every one is different. And who doesn't love scarves? By Christmas I will have learned a lot of what I want to learn and have a great collection of gifts all ready to go! Sounds like a plan! My only problem with that book is the photography. I thought there was something wrong with my glasses at first. Why all the blurry photos? Yeah, the models look great, but shouldn't we be focusing on the SCARVES??? Stupid.

It occurred to me yesterday that I haven't followed through on my promise to myself to improve my skills this year. Not one project that I started so far has had any challenge whatsoever. I vow not to put anything on my needles (other than socks, of course) after the sweater is finished that does not include some new technique that I've never done before. Oh wait! I really DO need to make a few more of these Sophie Bags so they are an exception to the rule. I will re-phrase... no more BIG projects without some sort of a learning curve. How's that?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Sophie Could Become Habit Forming

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I can see many more of these in my future. What a fun knit! I've never felted anything before and I'm really excited to see how this turns out. I was going to make it solid and then I spied the leftover aran yarn from my mother's afghan and decided to make the stripe and one strap rope from it.. knowing for sure that it will felt.

The St. Patrick's Day parade in Pittsburgh is this Saturday. All the Irish gear I knitted to wear to the event may be for naught. It's supposed to be 30 degrees and snow. I don't think I can stand outside for three hours watching a parade in that, so I'm majorly disappointed. Last year was sunny and 50's. We may still go...I don't know. I HAVE to have that Primanti Bros. sandwich. I think I was looking forward to that more than the parade!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Sophie Bag

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Here is the start of my sophie bag. (free pattern - It's Cascade 220 and I started it last night at our monthly knitting group and then couldn't stop when I went home. I really had trouble putting it down to go to bed. It's a fun project. I just wish that I could put the lining in it myself when it's finished but I know I'll have to find someone to do it for me. My sewing days are long gone. And since I didn't buy ENOUGH yarn earlier in the day, I had to purchase THIS last night at our group:

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It's beautiful wool, and my first purchase from a local spinner. She brought her yarns to group last night and I wanted all of it...of course! This will be the next Coronet Hat. (free pattern - And this time I will FOLLOW the directions and not make them up as I go along! Yes, there is a reason I don't design. :-)

And lest we forget to mention the progress on the sweater:

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I'm ready for the decreases on the front...finally. I saw my oldest eyeing this up over the weekend... so, let me repeat....IT'S FOR ME!!!. Oh, speaking of my kids... hey kids... notice how my digital camera suck? Hint Hint. Great Christmas idea, huh?

Monday, March 07, 2005

New Sock Yarn

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New KnitPicks sock yarn arrived on Saturday. I love the colors, and it is so soft. This is the Cape Cod colorway. My daughter's golden retriever really liked it too... I rescued one skein shortly before it went down her throat. She loves to eat socks, why should sock YARN be any different? I'd like to have a lot more of's wonderful.

I made progress on the sweater this weekend. It's coming along nicely. I can't decide whether or not to make more of the bunnies. Maybe one is enough for this year. The bunny was done in Paton's Divine. While it turned out very cute, I did not enjoy working with that yarn. I don't like fuzzy yarn at all. If I had to make a whole sweater out of that stuff I'd go crazy!

Mystery Project

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Here is the beginning of the project.... who knew that a simple square could be transformed into this:

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Saturday, March 05, 2005

Lots of Knitting!

Last night I made progress on the sweater AND the afghan. I also started the mystery project which I cannot name here because I have Cate totally guessing what it's going to be. Thanks to Alyx from the Sock It To Me KAL for the pattern. All I can say for now is that it will be a 6 inch square when it's finished. Sort of. :-) It's pink and a little bit fuzzy. Keep guessing Cate... photo to come later!

Friday, March 04, 2005

Another "no knitting" Night

So last night was shopping. I hate to shop. What I really hate is WalMart but I had to do it. There was no escaping it.... even though I tried. I always march up and down the yarn aisle when I'm at WalMart hoping to reward myself for the brutal reality of having to be there, but of course there is never anything on the shelf worth putting in the cart. When I got home I stared at my knitting for a little while but never picked it up.... too exhausted from the trauma that IS WalMart. But, let's face it.. it IS one stop shopping. While I hate it, I'd hate going 3 different places even more.

Cate is coming home tonight for Spring Break. We're going to strip wallpaper. I know that's exactly what she wanted to do instead of go to Cancun. Oh well, hopefully someday she'll really appreciate what other people take for granted.

I've been reading so many knitting blogs and I love the "100 things about me" posts. Funny thing... this morning I read two of them that said the author is "afraid of clowns". I have a friend who is afraid of clowns. I didn't realize it was such a "thing". I also find it interesting that many knitters learned around 1st to 3rd grade... gave it up totally shortly thereafter, and then went back to it in adulthood in a major way. (like me) The ones that really astound me are the ones that say they just started knitting last year and have photos of finished projects that I can only dream of completing. I think understanding complicated knitting patterns draws on some of the same brain power that doing math requires. I think you have to have the ability to think "spacially" and "numerically" to grasp the concept of reading and understanding the patterns. It's difficult for me. The people that design really blow my mind! Oh well, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Right?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Blog Button

Hey! Check out my new blog button. Thanks to my niece Erin for creating it exactly the way I wanted it. So now I have the button, all I need is the real dog! Somewhere out there, there is a little Finnegan Purl just waiting for me to come and get her.

Sweater Progress

When I started this sweater I wanted a project that would be mindless knitting. I was burnt out on the Irish patterns...cables, honeycombs, chevrons, you name it. Too much thinking. I just wanted a project that I could sit back and knit while watching tv and not have to concentrate. This sweater certainly meets that criteria. I love the wool. I love the colors. I love the pattern and I will wear this sweater into the ground I'm sure. But it is boring me to death. To DEATH I tell you. I guess I liked to think while knitting more than I thought!!

Look...I'm NOT a yarn snob!

Yes, it's acrylic. Actually it's TLC by Red Heart. (no heart attacks please!) Would I want to WEAR acrylic? No way. But I like how this is turning out. I like the look and feel of it...for an afghan. And these little pieces are fun to make. It's a great break from the sweater boredom. I have lots of pieces completed but just one little strip sewn together so I could see what it looked like. I forget what magazine this pattern was in but if anyone wants to know, just email me and I'll dig it out.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

No Knitting For You!

No knitting last night.... watched Baby Ben all evening. He was a little freaked out for a while being left with "strangers". He lightened up after about an hour of the lip and intermittent wailing. What a cutie! I'm going to order some sock yarn from KnitPicks today. Adelle from the "Sock It To Me" knitalong couldn't say enough good things about it so I guess I'll try it out. I have one of their catalogs and I was considering it anyhow. You can check out their stuff at That's all for now... on to working for a living.... let the stress begin. (It's that time of year)

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Finished socks... you can't tell but they have pretty Fall color specs in them. It's Sirdar Country Style DK weight wool yarn. They'll be warm. Hand wash only unfortunately...but, hey, you have to take the bad with the good, right? No more socks until the sweater is finished. (yeah, right) Posted by Hello