Monday, January 29, 2007


I worked a little on the lace shawl. Very little actually. I put about 5 rows on it last night. I wanted to pick it back up again so I wouldn't forget what I was doing. It all came back to me. Knitting straight lace is not quite so challenging as this:

I have to say that decreasing in the middle of a lace pattern when the instructions are vague and wishy washy is not easy. I did get help at the LYS and got lost again almost immediately after I got home. In my next life, I want my brain to work.

Here's my new soap.

I made this last night. It smells like watermelon. Turned out great. I get to cut it tonight.
It doesnt' take much to excite me.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Ready For The Woods....

Today, for no apparent reason, the New Blogger added this photo and I didn't have to use Photobucket. I did absolutely nothing differently this time than I've been doing for the past two weeks. I don't understand the finickiness of the whole thing. But anyhow, looking at the Koigu sock I do wonder why a chose a "camouflage" yarn. It's not like I hunt turkey or anything. These colors did not say camo to me until I knit it up. Funny.
This weekend is nothing but work. I don't think I'll have much knitting time although I would like to find some time to stop at the LYS for some help with Meghan's sweater. Hopefully I can squeeze that in. I'd also like to make another batch of soap. I don't know. That's really wishful thinking at this point. I found some Lemon Verbena frangrance oil that still seems ok from a few years ago and that was always my second favorite (next to lavender).
My son commented last night that he loved my fingerless mitts. I think that was a hint. I guess I'll be looking for a pattern for him. I think mine are a little girly. I'm open to suggestions.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Blogger still won't let me post photos and it finally dawned on me that I could use photobucket to post. The sweaters above were knit in 1986. I found them in my attic in a box. The were knit with Phildar Prognostic (I think). The pink and yellow were Catie's and the blue was Kellys. Now all I need is a grandaughter to pass them down to!

Below is the soap. Not bad for my first attempt in about 5 years. All of it turned out much to my surprise. I can't wait until it cures and I can use it. I do need to get better at cutting though. I had a nice wire cutter that I can't locate now.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Lastly, the progress (or lack thereof) on Meghan's sweater. I'm so stuck. Figuring out the decreases in the middle of the lace pattern is going to be so difficult for me. I can't "read" the pattern like most people can. I'll figure it out. Eventually.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Monday, January 22, 2007

Knitting Flashback and other stuff

Wow. I had so much stuff to show today and, once again, blogger will not allow me to post photos. I have tried all the little tricks they suggest for trouble shooting this problem and nothings works. Boy, I'm just SO glad I upgraded to the new blogger. Yeah.

I got stuck on Meghan's sweater at the arm decreases. Something about decreasing and continuing in the lace pattern didn't agree with me. Very vague instructions for my very math impaired mind. Anyhow, thank GOD for the lifeline. I'm off for help this weekend for that one.

Yes, Yvonne, I did make soap. And, yes, Carol, it was just like riding a bike. It all came back to me (sorta!) Believe me, I was reading every step of the way. It all turned out good with the exception that my new mold ended up making the bars way too big so I had had to cut them in half. Now they are too small. So the trick with that the next time is to make 2 lbs. in that mold instead of the 3 lbs. it called for. I made Lavender, Oatmeal and Honey, and Baby Scent soap.
My dining room smells divine! Photos hopefully to come!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday Stuff

I've been trying to post all week but the "new and improved" Blogger would not allow me to post photos so I figured what's the sense? Today must be a good day in new blogger land. It has decided to cooperate.

The new edition of Creative Knitting. Best not to go here... nuff said. (Although, for a laugh, you really should see the photo of the guy with the camera in the knitted vest. Whomever was responsible for that needs to re-evaluate her thought process)

Progress on the koigu socks. Slow going for some reason. I love the colors. And I love the feel of these. I also have the body of Meghan's sweater completed. I will begin decreasing for the sleeves this evening. I've decided instead of having Shelly dye it pink, I'm going to photograph it in it's natural color and have Miss Meghan decide what color she wants it. It only makes sense. I'm not sure but I think she is kind of a purple-y little girl.

Here is the new soap mold I just got in the mail. They sent it LINED! How cool is that? That process is always a pain in the butt and they did it for me. (for the first batch at least) So I think I'm ready to go now. I got the oils in the mail yesterday. I bought the lye and the distilled water. Now if I can just remember how to do this! I'll have to really read up again before I start. (by the way, the chibi has nothing to do with it, I just sat the box down beside my knitting stuff) I'm excited to get started again. Hopefully I can do this tomorrow some time. I'm thinking Honey Oatmeal for the first batch scented with vanilla. This will be for Kelly. It was always her favorite. Next up will be Lavender... for moi!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Knitting Update...sans boring photos

I finished Emily's (daughter's MIL) socks. I made progress on Meghan's lace sweater, and I started the new Koigu socks. So it was a productive knitting weekend. The trip to Sewickley helped. Lots of knitting time in the car.

After just completing socks, and then starting with Koigu immediately following, it's clear to see what all the hubbub is about. I've knit with it before and loved it, but being able to compare it with another yarn right away makes all the difference. It's definitely the twist. The "sproing" if you will. I gave my other pair of Koigu socks away, I can't even remember to whom, but these babies are mine.

So how big is Colin these days??

Well he is SO big. Of course!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

My Bad..

So I told my husband that the baptism in Sewickley started 1/2 hour earlier than it actually did knowing we would arrive an hour early and have to kill time. Low and behold, much to my amazement, there was a yarn shop on the main street that we might as well check out since we were there and we had the time. (heh heh, I'm going to burn in hell :-) But anyway, Yarns Unlimited. GREAT store. They have everything. (a decidedly unimaginative name for such a great place, but on the other hand, it does say it all, doesn't it?) The store was busy and obviously very successful so, really, what's in a name?

I got this:

And make no mistake, these socks WILL be mine. Perfect for wearing with khakis.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Off to Sewickley....

Baptism today in Sewickly. Definitely not a nice day to drive. But what do I care? I'll be knitting socks.

Wish I had one of these for the trip:

MAGELLAN ROADMATE 6000T W/ 512MB SD CARD 3050T 2000 2200T

I had clients in my car the other day with one of these and it was so much fun. I want one! I need one!
I have to have one!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Michael's Neck Gaitor

Hmmn.. so I guess we can post one photo at a time on the New Blogger. Interesting.

Blogger Bashing

Ah, the new Blogger. How wonderful it is. I had two photos to upload for today's post. It allowed me to upload this one with no problem. For the second photo, it said cannot display page. New and improved my butt.
Anywho... This is a felted make-up bag I made a while back. It was sitting on the desk and my son walked past it and thought it was open at both sides and he presumed it was a neck warmer. He got all excited and said it would be perfect for playing hockey. So naturally I had to put all of my other knitting aside and start a neck gaitor for him to wear when he plays hockey. I was going to show it to you. WAS being the operative word. Ugh.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Knitting Friends

I was going to show you a 2007 knitting calendar that a friend got for me, but Blogger won't let me.

Truth is, I've been ignoring the invitations to upgrade to the new Blogger. Every time I log in it tells me that the new version is available and it has more features, better performance, less quirks, etc. Due to my fear of the unknown, and my lack of computer knowledge, I thought it best to just ignore it. Stick with what I know. Stay the course. Follow the safe path. But today, for some unknown reason, in a moment of "out of character" feeling of adventure, I clicked on the "upgrade now" button. There was no turning back. I guess I could have just x'd out of it before it went too far but I just sat here and watched it do it's thing. Before long I got a message of congratulations. My upgrade was complete.

The first thing that happened was that everything froze up. I had to get out and come back in. The second thing that happened was that when I tried to upload a photo I got an error message that said it could not find the server. (And that is still happening after about 10 tries)

I need to learn to go with my gut. I wasn't cut out for adventure. Maybe this would be a good time to just say goodbye to blogger and start over with a whole new blogging host or whatever you call these things.

Good grief. Who am I kidding?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Oh Good Lord!

You know you're in trouble when a pattern starts out, "We encourage you to explore the following books to help you develop a thorough understanding of sweater structure and design, which will enable you to knit custom-fit sweaters of your own design." This is trouble with a capitol "T".

Let me just put it this way... there is math involved. Lots of math. They know not who they are dealing with here. I come from a long line of math impaired people. Well that's not really true but I pretty much did give birth to a long line of math impaired people. (sorry for your luck kids)

Imagine my dismay at paragraphs like, "To determine your number of cast-on stitches you will need to multiply your gauge by the chest circumference in inches = ___ stitches. This number of stitches will be the base number you will use for other calculations in your sweater." Um, yeah. Uh huh. Riiiiiight.

Then we have: Multiply base number by .8 (20%) for ribbing number. For example: 180 X 8 = 144.

Not to mention this:
Preparing the sleeves.
You need to place 8% of the base number of stitches on a scrap bit of yarn. This number will be the same amount of stitches that you held at the underarm of the body.
Base Number X .08 _______.

But lets get to the bottom line. Could I do this? Probably. Do I want to? Not in this lifetime.

I want someone to tell me to cast on 144 stitches for the back.
And cast on 144 stitches for the front.
Etc. Etc. Etc.

I know some people who would think they died and went to heaven with this pattern. Math people. You know you're out there. You know you want this pattern. You know it will fit you like no other when you're finished with it.

I paid for it. (very little, thank God) and I will send this pattern to the first person who emails me to tell me that they want it. C'mon. admit that you're a numbers cruncher.


I came home yesterday to find these two catalogs.... I'm sure many of you did too.

There are some cute patterns in both of these books. I really like the afgan in the cover photo of Lion Brand. But I learned my lesson about knitting afgans. I don't have the stick-to-it-ness required for the process. Hopefully someday I'll inherit the one I knit for my parents. That's the only way I'll ever have one. (my mother recently forbid my father to use it because she caught him with his toes sticking through it. really. you can't make this stuff up)

Anyhow, I LOVED this pattern and I'm going to buy it:

This one is in the KnitPicks catalog. Looks easy. I'd like to see more of the neck though. I'd knit that. I'd wear that. All I have to do is find the time. I have SO many projects in the works.

Thanks for the words of encouragement about the soap thing. I ordered my base oils. And I checked my frangrance oils and they still seem ok. I have promised myself that I will not become obsessed with it like I did before. I will not fill my house to the brim with soap again.

That's what yarn is for.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Progress... Emily's Sock, Meghan's Sweater

Soapmaking and other stuff

I used to make soap. Really, really good soap from scratch using the lye and all. I got started doing that when I came across it in a house I was showing one time. There were bars of soap layed out on a table in the basement of this house and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out what it was. There were about 50 of them and at first, I thought it was some kind of candle wax. So I asked the seller what it was and she said she had a little soap making business. So I bought a few bars and I was hooked. If you've never used a bar of handmade soap made with really good oils, you haven't lived! The difference is incredible. So I ended up researching online and buying everything I needed to get started. And I got incredibly hooked. And let's face it, one can only use so much soap. I needed to create and experiment, and the only way I could afford to do it, and not have my house taken over by soap, was to sell it. I mostly only sold it at Christmas time. But I did well with it then. I was one happy soapmaker. Sort of a mad scientist with it if you will. Then my mother got sick. My mother had a job when she got sick. She worked at home for the state. So, initially, I did that job for a long time until my mother finally conceded that she would not be able to go back to it. I stopped making soap during that time because I didn't have time to do it. It takes the better part of a morning or afternoon to make a batch of soap. And I did it in my kitchen so I had to put a lot of time into preparation and clean up. When I finally had the time to do it again, I just didn't have the desire. That's when I started knitting. There is no one hour prep time and one hour clean up time with knitting. But to make a long (very long) story short, I found an old bar of my soap with the Christmas stuff this year. It was still good. So I put it in the shower and it all came back to me why I started making it in the first place. It's fabulous. I looked online to try to buy a bar similar. I found one for $5.50. plus $5.50 shipping and handling. $11.00 for a bar of soap? I think not. So, soapmaking, here I come again. I hope my knitting doesn't suffer. And speaking of knitting..... I'm making good progress on Meghan's sweater and I finished a sock. I'd love to show you photos, but apparently Blogger doesn't want me to.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Vogue Knitting - Winter

I SO, SO, SO wish I had taken the time to look through that magazine before I shelled out the $7.00 for it. (but I had Colin with me. He was in the shopping cart and I was hurrying)

All I can say is, what were they thinking??

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Meghan's Sweater

I've decided to do this:

From this:

I worked on this for 5 hours yesterday. Yes, five hours. I had two repeats finished and had to rip. I was a stitch short and couldn't find it. It was obviously a forgotten yarn-over. I think I can save it from here although I did not have a life line in it. Lesson learned. There WILL be life lines from now on. The whole body of the sweater is done at one time so it was a lot of knitting lost. There was no pink worsted weight at the big yarn sale and my LYS yesterday so Shelley said she will dye it for me when it's finished. I'd like to have it done by Easter for my grand niece, Meghan.

Lots of Knitting!

So much for knitting less. I couldn't get enough over the holidays. I started these on Saturday and finished them on Sunday. Very quick knit from

Yeah, yeah, I know. I did a whole post one time about how stupid I thought fingerless gloves were. Truth is, I still don't get the concept, but I'll keep these near the computer and when and if we ever do get serious winter, and our barn of a house once again becomes an icebox, I guess I'll be glad I have them.
Knitty: Summer 2006

Only modification.... no picot bind off. Not only could I not understand the instructions, I just didn't like it anyway.
What I learned: I don't like doing cables on DP's. So any thought of doing the "Child's First Sock" pattern from the "Knitting Vintage Socks" book has been pretty much killed since that's all they are. I think that learning how to do cables without a cable needle is definitely in order for socks.

Below is the scarf made with Shelley's handspun and hand dyed yarn. I forget the name of the pattern but it's from Interweave Knit's ScarfStyle book. It will come to me eventually... Something garden... something something... brain cells are obviously dying.