Tuesday, May 31, 2005

And to add to the stress of flying....

there was this little number

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Well, in spite of my fear of heights and flying I had a great trip. I ended up being very angry at myself for not starting a pair of socks to take along on the trip. Soleil was NOT mindless enough for the the plane and airport so I ended up doing no knitting on the trip. I could have had a sock completely finished. I will remember that the next time.

So it's back to work, back to knitting, back to blogging, etc. There's no place like home!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Any Questions?

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Let's review why I am afraid to fly.

A. There is no pulling off to the side of the road.
B. If people were meant to fly they'd have wings.
C. No one feels the need to give you emergency instructions on a bus.
D. Panic attacks - Ever had one? Not fun. Not fun at all.
E. Air pockets. Why? Why are there air pockets?
F. Turbulence - Say that word a few times. Is there a scarier word in the English vocabulary?
G. Terrorism - Too scary to even THINK about.
H. Lazy plane mechanics. "Oh, I THOUGHT I tightened those bolts."
I. Lost luggage...ok, not scary, but DAMN annoying.
J. Take Off. The worst part by far. The noise alone takes 3 years off my life.

I could go on but what's the point? You get the picture. I need some serious medication for tomorrow... but I can't take it because I need a clear head to help my parents travel. So, to all my knitting buddies out there in cyberspace, keep a good thought for me tomorrow around 7:00am EST. I need all the help I can get.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Knitting Rut

I'm in a knitting rut. Instead of branching out I'm stuck repeating already tried patterns. Don't get me wrong... I LIKE the patterns and I want to make them again but I had vowed to try new things and I'm not doing it. Wait, I take that back. I never dropped stitches before and I did with Clapotis. I never knitted lace or did YO's and I am doing that on Soleil so I guess I am doing a little experimenting.

But I want to knit LACE lace and I want to make another big cabled sweater pattern and I am avoiding both. I also want to make a big rectangular wrap. So many projects, so little time.

I am also drastically disappointed in how my big sweater is looking with the new cascade 220 that Karen was wonderful enough to send me from Seattle. I didn't think it would make that much difference but it does. It is much brighter in the piece and very noticable. I cannot believe I can't locate ANY of that yarn. I bet I contacted over 50 yarn shops that I found online. I even had my LYS's Cascade rep looking for it for me. I don't know what to do about it. I hate the thought of frogging the whole thing but I also hate for all that good yarn to go to waste. I guess I'll give it more time.

38 hours and counting to airport hell. I'm feeling queezy already. I HATE to fly!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Smooth as Butta - Soleil II

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Here is new Soleil resting on blocking Soleil. Knitpicks "Shine" yarn this time. Feels much softer than the Butterfly cotton. I'm detecting a bit of inferior quality but I love the softness and the color (butter). And you can't beat the price. I really was on the verge of doing a different top but I ended up with another soleil. I figure I like the pattern so much I might as well make one that fits me correctly this time.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Finished Soleil.... almost

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Well, it's almost finished. I just need to put the crocheted edging around the armholes and block it. It's big. But, I do think it's wearable. The next time I would make the smaller size and NOT add the extra two inches to the length. All of the posts in the soleil-along said they regretted not making it longer so I went with their advice and added two inches. I think I would have preferred it shorter. Oh well, live and learn. I also regret not grafting the shoulders together instead of sewing the seam. I know I could easily frog that and re-do it but I'm just so glad to have it done that I'm going to leave it alone.

I'm flying to Florida on Friday so I have to start a pair of socks for airport/airplane knitting. I don't think I'll have small wooden needles confiscated and socks are very portable so I think that's the way to go although I'd much rather work on clapotis II. I hate to fly. HATE IT. In order to work up the nerve to get on a plane, I usually just get plastered to the point that I can still function and maintain a look of sobriety all the while being pretty much buzzed into submission. However, with a 7:00am flight on Friday, alcohol consumption isn't really an attractive option this time around. My parents and siblings have stated that they would never fly with me again but they got roped into it again... probably much to their regret. The fear of flying is something that I have managed to pass down to two out of three children. I'm not proud of it. My oldest has recently visited her physician to get the proper medication to endure a flight to Ireland next month. My youngest has stated that he will never fly. Period. Poor kids. It can't be easy having a nut case for a mother.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Designed for Negative Ease

While it may sound like these words are describing my life, they are not. I have the nasty habit of ignoring things I don't understand. Take the Soleil pattern for instance. It says "this top is designed for zero or negative ease". I had no clue what that meant. What did I do about it? Nada. Zip. Zilch. I just ignored it. Maybe, just MAYBE, if I had taken the time to do a little research, my soleil wouldn't have ended up HUGE. I am still hopeful that it won't look so bad being loose fitting but the chances of that are slim (no pun intended). I have a photo but Photobucket isn't cooperating this morning so I'll add it later. I can't say enough good about the Butterfly 100% mercerized cotton. The drape is awesome. It feels good and looks great. I'm going to try to get a few more tops done in this yarn before my trip to Kiawah in August. I also ordered some Knitpicks "shine" cotton yarn to do something with...probably a smaller soleil. Have you seen the soleil with short sleeves yet? Check it out!!! www.artisokka.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Weather Chic

Totally off topic... but look at the weather chic. I want to be built like her. Yeah, that might happen... in my next life.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


What is it with me and sweaters? I get to within 4 inches on a sleeve to finish my big sweater and run out of yarn. I end up hating the baby sweater and rip it all out, and now I'm realizing that the Soliel I'm making is too big for me. As I was knitting away on it last night... and loving the results.... I'm thinking, this thing looks awfully big. I measured myself, I swatched, it should be right, but it still is just looking very ...large. So I got some waste yarn and threaded it through the stitches on the needle and took it off the needle and tried it on. Sure enough, it's too big. I refuse to frog this thing. I will keep it as a gift for someone although I'm not sure who. It was meant to be form fitting and it would be very loose on me. I think it would fit my older daughter right now the way it is but she is rapidly losing weight so that's not an option and I don't think she would like it anyway. It's not her style. Hey, maybe I'll sell it on Ebay!! One thing is for sure. I like this pattern so much that I will try it again in the smaller size. I'd like to try Knitpicks "Shine" yarn in yellow the next time although I'm really liking this Butterfly Mercerized Cotton too. Decisions, decisions.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Awwww..... Anniversary Flowers

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Tulips are my favorite. Aren't they beautiful?

New Clapotis and Soliel Progress

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I forgot how addictive this pattern can be. You can't put it down for some reason. While you are constantly changing stitches, it's an easy repetition to remember. I just love knitting this and this yarn is so different from my last one that the project is still as enticing as it was the first time around.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Blurry photo of soliel but you can see the progress. I found a "soliel knitalong" and I was perusing the posts yesterday and found that almost everyone wished they had lengthened the pattern. So, with that advance warning, and being at the perfect place in the pattern to take care of that, I added on 2 inches through the body. I will start the armhole shaping this evening... if I can stay away from clapotis long enough. Why, oh why, did I start that thing before I had soliel finished? ADD - that's why.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Yay!! Yarn!!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

The yarn from Karen arrived yesterday and here is what I've got. The little one is my leftover. The big one is what I'll have to work with. You can see the difference in color. One web friend suggested alternating rows with the two different yarns to help it blend better so that is what I'll do. (great suggestion, huh?) Knit together with the off white.. it shouldn't be too, too noticable.

A Blog Thing

Yep... this would be me:

Your #1 Match: ISTJ

The Duty Fulfiller

You are responsible, reliable, and hardworking - you get the job done.
You prefer productive hobbies, like woodworking or knittings.
Quiet and serious, you are well prepared for whatever life hands you.
Conservative and down-to-earth, you hardly ever do anything crazy.

You would make a great business executive, accountant, or lawyer.

The Birthday Thing....try it!

Your Birthdate: August 23
With a birthday on the 23rd of the month (5 energy) you are inclined to work well with people and enjoy them.
You are talented and versatile, very good at presenting ideas.
You may have a tendency to get itchy feet at times and need change and travel.

You tend to be very progressive, imaginative and adaptable.
Your mind is quick, clever and analytical.
A restlessness in your nature may make you a bit impatient and easily bored with routine.
You may have a tendency to shirk responsibility.
Very sociable, you make friends easily and you are an excellent traveling companion.

What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

Friday, May 13, 2005

Soliel Progress

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Friday the 13th... with a vengence

Sooo.... If it was a perfect world I'd be in Niagara Falls by now. A trip planned in September that I was really looking forward to that got nipped in the bud a few weeks ago when DH realized he had a mandatory quarterly meeting this morning and a charity golf outing this afternoon. Goodbye Niagara Falls.

You're probably asking yourself (I'm sure) how I'm spending my day today since I no longer have travel plans. Well, after my house caught on fire in the middle of the night and after the engine in my car blew up on the way to work this morning, I'm pretty much just hanging out here happy to be alive and wishing I could get some sleep. It's all a long story but suffice it to say that when the next Friday the 13th rolls around, I will be hiding in a hole somewhere with a blanket over my head. Oh.. no damage to the house... somehow the shrubbery and mulch outside against the porch railing caught on fire (cigarette butt?) and I actually was wakened by the smell of smoke through the bedroom window...thank GOD the windows were open. I live in a 1891 historical victorian tinderbox. Had that porch caught on fire, it would have been all over. Yep, we had fire engines, an ambulance, a police car, and fire whistles and sirens to wake the neighborhood at 1:30am. I'm a very lucky person today. I think I'll celebrate life tonight with a bottle of wine ...or two.

Now, on to knitting news. I'm enjoying Soliel. I had trouble with that decorative edging though. Very simple pattern... should have been a no brainer.... but I'm a little distractable and I kept forgetting yarn overs or psso's. I'd be knitting along thinking everything was fine until I got to the end of the row and didn't have enough stitches to complete the pattern. Frog. Frog. Frog.
This poor cotton yarn has taken a beating.

So Cate just called me and told me she did something to her knee and she can't walk. I'm sorry but it's getting a little freaky now. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


I am still working on the patterned bottom of this tank top and I am one stitch off. Somehow, somewhere, I ended up with an extra stitch and do you think I can find it? I have ripped, I have knitted and I have ripped again. And the little bugger is still there. It's driving me nuts. I hate it when things like this happen!! I kept getting interrupted by the phone so no wonder it's off. I want to knit on a desert island.

But the good news today is that Karen in Seattle has come up with some Cascade 220 that I can use to finish my sweater. She sent me a little piece, and when I looked at it last night when I got home late, it looked like a perfect match. In the light of day, I can see that it is a little different, but, when mixed with the other color, I don't think it will be too noticable and I am definitely going for it!! Thank you Karen!

Monday, May 09, 2005

A Funny Side Note about MS&W

I have a friend who does not understand knitting and fiber. She is the friend I refer to in 100 Things About Me in my February Archives. She is the one who can talk anyone in to anything.
She is not crafty and wouldn't know a knit from a purl to save her life. When I told her I was going to Maryland Sheep and Wool she thought that was just about the funniest thing she had ever heard of. However, coincidentally, she was going to be in Baltimore for the weekend at the same time for a little relaxation at Inner Harbor. So she calls me late Saturday afternoon on my cell phone and can't wait to tell me that her whole hotel in Baltimore is full of people from all over the place (including Hawaii) going to the "Sheep Festival". I have a feeling she may have a newfound respect for my hobby! Maybe.

Baby Jacket Out... Soliel In

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I frogged the baby jacket. I hated it. My philosphy is, if I wouldn't have worn it on any of my kids, I'm not giving it to anyone else. So my Butterfly Mercerized Cotton is turning into Knitty.com's new pattern, Soliel. This is the first time I ever worked a pattern from a graph with yarnovers and I'm loving the results. No wonder people love to knit lace.

Maryland Sheep and Wool - Part II

Below are my photos from the festival. They are just some general photos of the whole experience. There are very few photos of actual yarn vendors because you really couldn't get good photos in the barns as it was too dark for my camera. There are also some photos of the yarn that I purchased. I got a 75% wool and 25% mohair blend hand dyed from The Good Shephard - a Vermont vendor. I'll use this for the "Besotted" scarf. The second yarn is a cotton/rayon blend from Dyed Dreams in Silver Spring Maryland. I'll use that for the Clapotis. I spent a grand total of $80.00 on this yarn. To me, that's a lot for two small projects. The yarn "weren't" cheap folks!!! But it's beautiful yarn.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Rest room line

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I wish you could see these colors. There is no way to tell from these photos how nice this yarn is.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Maryland Sheep and Wool

Where do I begin? First of all, I was unaware. About a lot of things. It was much bigger than I thought. There were more people there than I thought. There was much, much, much more yarn there than I thought. I didn't go quite prepared enough. Next year I will sell a house and dedicate the commission to that trip alone. (over my husband's dead body) I went with the thought that I would not spend money on yarn similar to that which I could purchase from the LYS locally and I kept my word on that. But I definitely needed more money. I'll dream about that yarn at night that I wanted to buy and didn't. (ok, I'm getting a little carried away here but I'm telling you .... it was truly sensory overload) There was a silk-merino blend to die for at $40.00 a skein. It would have made the most fabulous clapotis.

I was there from 9:30am to 2:30pm and I know I didn't get to see everything. Many of the vendors had small box-like cubicles with their yarns in bins and you couldn't get near it....too many people. So, some of the yarns I really wanted to see, I couldn't. The lines for the bathroom were incredibly long. The lines for the food were even longer. Getting there early, we didn't have to walk far but some people were parked so far away that it was an actual hike for them to get to the fairgrounds. There were cars in that parking lot from every state in the country.

I watched a border collie exhibition that was fun. Those dogs really can herd sheep. And it was interesting to see all the different breeds of sheep and shearing being done. There were people everywhere with huge bags of fleece that they had purchased. I kept thinking, wow, there are more people out there who spin than I thought. That is something I have NO desire to do. Talk about taking time away from knitting!

All in all, it was an excellent "Mother's Day" weekend event. I was in what my kids refer to as "mommy heaven". Next year I vow to take more money, perhaps stay longer, and go with a better plan of what I want to purchase. (I thought I had that one covered until I actually got there) Photos tomorrow.... my camera cord is at the office.

Friday, May 06, 2005

holly stuff

I love "holly" things. (go figure) I found this the other day while searching websites trying to locate my cascade 220. I have to have it. I have to make it. I'll put it in a box for a grandaughter to be named later.

Holly Hat


If I read one more blog that says "this is what I'm knitting to wear to Maryland Sheep and Wool" I'm going to scream. Apparently it is going to be a fashion show of hand knits. I was unaware. I am unprepared. All I have are socks. Dammit.

Not to switch the topic or anything but I was watching the movie "Sweet Home Alabama" last night and Reese Witherspoon had on the cutest basketweave stitch shawl. It was something I could definitely see myself wearing. It reminded me of the Lady Eleanor shawl in ScarfStyle a little bit but it was less fancy. I just loved it. Another future project. I really don't need more future projects at this point. I have so many now I can't keep them all straight.

My New Obsession

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Here she is. I want her. I want her in cotton. From Vogue Spring/Summer 2005. I am enjoying the "Butterfly" mercerized cotton so much that I want something for myself made from it and I think this is the thing. When I get the monster baby jacket finished I'm all about this sweater. But hopefully I'll get another pair of socks done in between.

Cate is home. The house looks like a bomb went off with all her stuff everywhere. How does one dorm room hold so much crap? I don't know where we're going to put it all. And, get this, the air conditioning in our van blew when Cate and DH were on their way home. All I can say is that I hope it's not warm on the way to MS&W because there certainly isn't enough time to get it fixed before 7:00am tomorrow. Sorry ladies... we're going to have to tough it out. Thank God it's not July or August. I have not gotten organized for the trip yet. I have to decide what I'm looking for when I'm there. I don't want to get there and not have a plan. I know more Clapotis yarn for sure but I can't decide what else. I have visions of cashmere scarves for Christmas. I hope I can muster up some restraint. I'm thinking I should take cash and no credit cards. I'm usually pretty good , but this is YARN we're talking about here! And lots of it!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Posting just to Post

If you're looking for exciting blog content today you've come to the wrong place. I wanted to add a photo of the baby jacket today but I forgot to take my camera home from the office yesterday so that won't happen. I may not be using that jacket for the baby gift after all. I think I'll keep it in case the jolly green giant ever has a kid. I'll be so prepared.

Cate comes home from school today for the summer. She still doesn't have a job and I'm starting to panic. She REALLY needs a car for next year and she REALLY needs to help pay for it! She'll be wanting help with her Sophie bag which she is currently in the middle of. I thought about finishing it for her but I never did. I'm glad I didn't now because it will give her something to do until she finds a job. She has real knitting addiction potential. Like mother, like daughter. Too bad she can't go to MS&W. The bus is full.

I posted to KnitList to try to find my blue Cascade 220. I've gotten some responses from some really nice people. No solid leads yet but a few maybes. There are other people out there like me who do not keep the bands from their yarn. I'm glad I'm not the only one. I have learned though, that from now on, I will keep at least one when I purchase multiple skeins. At least if I ever run out again, I'll know exactly what I'm looking for.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Knitting News

Last night was knitting night at the LYS. I worked on my Opal sock and we finalized our plans for Maryland Sheep and Wool. There will be 7 of us going and I will drive our 7 passenger mini-van so it all worked out pretty well. I have visions of having to stop at the closest Sears to buy one of those "luggage bubble" things for the top of the car to bring home all the loot. I told them it IS an "extended" van but let's not get carried away!!

In non-knitting news our dog has recently been hacking up a lung and I was sure something was caught in her throat. My husband called the vet (who is our friend) and told him about it. He said, "Well, is she dead?" My husband said, no, she is decidedly NOT dead. To which the vet replied, "then she doesn't have anything stuck in her throat and she has kennel cough". I'd like to know how a dog who has no social life whatsoever (sort of like her owners) ends up with kennel cough. She has not been boarded, she has not been walked (we're terrible dog parents), and she does not have any close doggie friends other than the dogs in the neighboring yard who also have no life. Anyhow, he said to give her Robitussin cough syrup. YOU try giving a 85 lb. dog digusting cough medicine. Not gonna happen. Strange that at 9 years of age it's her first bout of kennel cough.

I've made progress on the Debbie Bliss baby jacket. I have to say that it is turning out much larger than anticipated. I did not swatch it to get the gauge correct because I didn't care if I didn't knit to gauge on this. I mean, it's gonna fit the kid at some point, right? I just didn't anticipate the fact that the kid would have to wait until 5th grade to wear it. I think Debbie Bliss is British, right? They must grow 'em big over there. :-)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Dump Truck From Hell

On Sunday I had an Open House at one of my new construction listings. It's a beautiful new home in a nice development. I expect lots of people to show up. I never bothered to tell the contractor that I was having an Open House because the house is finished and I can pretty much just do as I please with it at this point. As I approach the house, THIS is parked in the driveway:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Yep, it probably would have been a good idea to tell him about the Open House in advance. So no one bothered to approach the house with this monstrosity in the driveway and I got about a half of my second Opal sock finished!!! Everything happens for a reason ;-)

Sunday, May 01, 2005

So much for socks and stash reduction...

Traveled the 40 miles to State College, PA, to go to Barnes and Noble Friday night in search of a "baby knits" book. The choices were endless but I finally decided on this one:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I don't think there is a pattern in this book that I wouldn't make. Every single one is cute. I think it's a book I will use over and over as (hopefully) grandchildren come along. So, since I got the book, of course I had to get the yarn for the baby gift I have to make. The pattern calls for Debbie Bliss (of course) cashmerino aran yarn but I didn't want to make it in wool so I settled on this:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

It is "Butterfly" mercerized cotton in DK weight. It's braided so there is no splitting and I am enjoying working with it although I usually hate knitting with cotton. I will definitely use this yarn again. The project is a very simple garter stitch jacket and hat on size 8 needles. Here's the progress so far:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I found out yesterday that the lady who said she had the skein of my Cascade 220 yarn that I need to finish my big sweater was actually mistaken. She only "thought" she had it so the hunt is still on for dye lot 8811. I need so little of it! I can't believe it's been this hard to locate it.