Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Made It!

Why, yes, I did make another mistake on this lace, but I think it is one I can live with. I noticed that I neglected to work an eyelet row between the edging and center. I will just do the same on the other end. I saw this after I had worked two center chart repeats. Speaking of the center chart, I began knitting it in garter instead of stockinette. I am glad I noticed this after only one incorrect row.

I have accidentally yanked a needle out of the work halfway. Twice. I was able to get back on track easily enough. These kinds of problems are unusual for me.

There are good things to report on this project. Making the nupps has been smooth. I bumped up two needle sizes, and I am glad for that decision. I think the lace looks better this way.
This really is not a complicated pattern. My brain is just a bit fuzzy. Sometimes knitting something that requires a bit more concentration helps. I do not think this is one of those times. Therefore, I am going to work on something a bit less complicated today.

My plan for today is to knit hats and bask in the glory of successfully completing NaBloPoMo. I am surprised to have made it all the way through. No photo because the batteries need charging.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

It Fits!

I could not wait any longer to find out. Now, I just have to wrap it, and wait for Christmas to see her open it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Plans Change

My Friday of sitting to knit and spin was not. Due to unforeseen complications, today was another day of watching my nephew. He has been so great that he is spending the night, too. We played a lot of video games, and engaged in general silliness.

Anyway, I still took time to knit today. I worked a few more rounds on the llama earflap hat. I have one more small chart before I begin the crown chart. I will have enough yarn to knit a few of these if I so choose. I think these kits could be nice gifts for fellow knitters. I am not planning anything, but the idea just struck me.

I worked on more hats for Jean. My nephew had cold ears and put on one of the finished hats. It did not take long before he needed to take it off because he was too hot. I take that to be a good sign. My husband continues to admire the growing pile, and thinks it would be a good idea to make some hats to keep.
I did not get to the re-start of my mom's Peacock Tail and Leaf Scarf. I began it on Monday, but had to frog it. I began knitting the first chart in stockinette instead of garter lace. I was halfway through that chart when I saw my error, but it looked like it would work, so I continued. I worked the change in stitch count and began the main chart. It was then that I saw it would not work. I also wonder if maybe I ought to go up one needle size. What do you think?

My only disappointment in frogging this is that I had hoped it would be my mom's birthday present on Friday (December 5), but that does not appear likely. I have backup plans, so I am not too worried. It will be a wonderful gift whenever I finish it.

Speaking of gifts, I want to knit Miralda's Triangular Shawl (rav link) for someone. I may want to spin the yarn for it, too. I just thought of my bag of CVM. Yes, that could be lovely. Maybe I should make one for me, too.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Like other important days, it is not a once-a-year occurrence. I am happier when I am thankful. The irritations of life matter less when I focus on the blessings of my life. Appreciation snuffs the flames of the wanna-get-mores. Acknowledging all that I have shows me more ways I can help others. Knowing that there are people thankful for me is humbling.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

S'more Smatterings

I would like to be sleeping right now. The more I do tonight, the later I can sleep in tomorrow. Therefore, I am making a S'more Pie. I was going to link to the recipe, but the one listed on the Keebler graham cracker crust site is not the one on the back of the old label that I use. Also, I do not use frozen non-dairy whipped topping (thawed), but rather real whipped cream.

I have frogged another knit. I will probably show you on Friday. I would love to show it half-finished by then, but that just is not going to happen. I actually do not want to finish it that quickly. It will be an enjoyable knit once I get it back on track. The yarn and pattern are wonderful, and it is to be a special gift.

It is almost midnight, so I had better hit that publish button. I can hardly believe I have made it this far with NaBloPoMo.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hats Everywhere!

I decided to settle in with the wool and knit some hats for Jean. I do not know how many I will be able to knit, but I love knitting them. I just need to remember when I put that other bag of yarn. Wait! I do believe I sorted it into its proper bins. Imagine that, eh? Yes, the yarn I want to use is in one of the bottom containers. I will get to it when I need it. I do have a bit of other yarn to knit with for now.

Anyway, these hats are great for on-the-go knitting. I grabbed one of my smaller knitting bags, a needle, an assortment of yarns, and carry it with me everywhere. I am close to finishing the second hat. The automatic knitting has soothed me when I worried, and helped to pass time when I have needed to wait. I think I have knit half of a hat in Costco. I definitely need to take this with me to the grocery store tomorrow.

I am pleased with the way I have been doing jogless color changes as I add the stripes. It is fantastic to completely use some small balls of yarn that I have been saving. For example, I am completely out of the green I have used on these first two hats. I think the next one will have mostly red along with an oatmeal. I am getting to remember other things I knit as I work through each small ball of yarn.

I feel strongly about doing quality work when I knit for charity. I sometimes worry about it a bit more than is helpful. What have helped me to quiet those concerns have been the compliments on what I am knitting. I tried the first hat on myself to see that it would fit a somewhat larger head. Then I tried it on my husband. He said, "Oooh, this is a nice hat. Who is it for, buddy?" I think maybe he needs a new hat, too, but he will have to wait.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Good Thing About Mondays

I planned to shop for buttons, and then a brief knit with my Skanks. I did not think I would stay the whole time because I was feeling bleh. I am so glad I stayed. I had a great time, and my wonderful friends boosted my spirits tremendously. Those laughs helped so much.

While it was not a productive night of knitting, it was wonderful in so many other ways. The anticipation for next week's annual event certainly gave the evening extra energy. I think the night has helped to ready us for this week and all of its busyness.

The icing on the cake for the evening? Helen bought me this:

Mmmm...must knit these gloves.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Spin

It seems like the busier I get, the more I enjoy my ten minutes with the wheel. I had gotten out of the habit, and it feels good to be back at it. I still have days where I fail to make time to spin, and the wheel lets me know about it.

I do prefer to spin for longer than ten minutes. Still, those minutes add up, and the bobbin is filling at a steady pace. I am not in a hurry. Although I look forward to finishing the yarn and starting the mittens, I have plenty to keep me busy.

Yes, the daily spinning time is great, but I need to schedule a spinning day soon. I would like to get out the fiber bins, the spindles, the wheel, and just play. I have some fibers in the stash that I have not yet sampled. I find that to be a nice, relaxing, and inspiring way to spend time. Also, I think it would be a great break from all of the busyness. When I am trying out a new fiber, I do not yet have any expectation of the yarn I will create. I just get to know it, and see what happens. Yes, I want to do this soon. I think I might like to invite a friend to join in on the fun. That is a little scary for me. I think I should sit back down at the wheel to calm myself.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Llamas Up to Here

Some knitting goes better with extended, uninterrupted stretches of quiet. This hat is that kind of knitting. I feel like I have the hang of the Philosopher's Wool style of two-handed Fair Isle knitting. I will not use this method every time for colorwork, but it is good for this hat, and I think I will like it for mittens and gloves.

This is also a very entertaining knit. I like watching as the llamas grow. Next up are their little heads and flowers. I think I want to use the Flourish and Spirals for the last two small charts. After that, it is time for the crown. This is not a quick knit, but I am making good progress. I would really like to have it finished by December 1.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Frog

When I first thought of knitting a February Lady Sweater, there was no doubt in my mind that it would be for me. However, I did not get around to starting one until NaKniSweMo. I thought of making one for me and one for my sister. I loved the idea of using the same yarn in different purples. I had one that I knew she would prefer, and I love the other. I thought that I would knit mine first, working out any modifications and stumbling through any problems. Then I would knit hers, and it would benefit from any improvements. Then I thought that it would be better to knit hers first so that it could be a Christmas present. Also, if I did not have it in me to knit back-to-back FLS, hers would be done.

There is another reason I knit the FLS for my sister. If you remember the Annie I was knitting for her, you might also recall my worries about its size. Well, I put it on waste yarn and tried it on me. It was too big. My gauge was correct. I decided to do a little research. It did not take long to see why I was displeased with the way this top was going. You see, when I first purchased the pattern, the only modeled picture was on a mannequin. I thought it was going to be close fitting. I did not have the benefit of the human modeling it with a belt. This was not the look my sister wanted. I will give this top a go again in the smaller size, and hope it works. However, I am not so keen to start it again just yet. The big fail has squashed my enthusiasm for the project for now.

When I knew what must be done, I could not immediately frog it. I had to set it aside and try to shake off the experience. It kept creeping in on me, leaking anxiety onto my other knitting. I finally was able to move on, and was ready to do what had to be done. Satisfying.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Put My Left Hand In

The new sweater is still not dry, but it is getting close. I love this sweater. I tried it on, and began to wonder if perhaps my sister might like a scented candle or bubble bath for Christmas instead. Actually, I am excited to give this to her, and feel great about having it done. Well, it still needs buttons, but that is not a problem.

Lately, my knitting has been for others. I love to knit for people, but it is important to make things for me, too. With one major present completed, I knew it was time for me. As I thought of what I wanted
LMMMto knit for myself, my cold hands called out the most. I thought about starting something from Selbuvotter, but I already had colorwork going. Then the new Knotions went live, and I knew what I wanted to knit.

I had first noticed the Magic Mirror Mittens in Ravelry queues, and was immediately interested. This is a wonderful pattern. I have already finished the left mitten. It was quick and fun. I look forward to knitting the second mitten even more because of the direction of the cables on that one. Those are easier for me to knit. I am excited about having a new pair of mittens soon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thankful Tuesday

Ten Things I Am Thankful for This Year
(in no particular order)
1. Love
2. Chocolate
3. My husband
4. Skanky Knitters
5. My family
6. Ice Cream
7. My faith
8. My home
9. Flowers
10. Friendship

Monday, November 17, 2008


CupcakeHatHere is a bit of sweetness to brighten your Monday. The pattern is the Cupcake Hat, and it is quick and easy to make.

I am pleased to have something accomplished today. For some reason, I am a bit stalled out, but I am steaming forward and trying to keep moving. I may even try to make it out to knit with everyone tonight.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sleepy Sunday

I think I took two naps today. I also sat at the wheel for a while and thought about the mittens I plan to knit from the yarn I am spinning. This inspired me to get out a new book. I started a baby hat while flipping through its pages. I'm not sure if I spent more time looking at the patterns or reading the history and techniques. I saw so many I want to make from this book. I just need to set it down and get some things done. My hands long for a new pair of mittens, but for now, they will have to settle for a cup of tea.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Home Again

We are glad to be home again, and I am pleased to say that everything went well. In fact, it went better than well, in that we saw rays of hope. While we do not want to get our expectations too high or be unrealistic about the situation, it is nice to be able to look forward to possibility. Much of what has made these trips so difficult has been the seemingly hopelessness of it all. Oftentimes, this has overshadowed the joy that we have experienced through it all, and been so painful as to knock us down for days afterwards. I will leave this topic for now, knowing that I am not alone in my prayers for December 8th.

More good things happened while we were gone. I enjoyed
CalorimetryForMom some fabulous car-knitting. This resulted in a Calorimetry for Mom. I saw some buttons in the store the other day, and thought that they would be a possibility for these, and they work wonderfully. I am quite pleased, as the weather has made a turn for the much cooler.

I am glad to have so much knitting ahead of me to help warm others and myself, and celebrate many happy occasions. A baby's first birthday is rapidly sneaking up on us. In addition, today we received news of an upcoming wedding.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Photo-less Friday

We probably have a short road trip tomorrow. In fact, I should be asleep right now in preparation for the journey. I feel guilty about wishing we would call the whole thing off, but then I would feel guilty if we did not go.

Anyway, I hope to get in some good knitting time while we are gone. I will bring FLS along, but that is backup knitting. I think the Lace Ribbon Scarf and Calorimetry are better choices for travel. On the other hand, the sweater is getting so close, I feel like racing through to the finish.

Of course, with the wacky travel schedule we have, my car time is likely to be spent sleeping or driving.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Taking a Breath

Thank you all for the encouragement and suggestions. Both knitting as fast as I can and holding my breath seem to be working. I am beginning to think this is going to work, but I do not want to jinx it with a photo. While the chronic oxygen deprivation seems to affect my speed, and the frequent blackouts also hinder my progress, I am getting the best ideas. After a few deep breaths, designing and knitting new Christmas stockings for everyone I know holds less appeal.

However, some ideas have stuck. I think it is time for some lace. I have been flipping through Knitted Lace of Estonia looking for my first project from the book. First off, I must say that this is a wonderful book, and a fabulous lace resource. There is so much information, many lovely patterns, and the stitch patterns in the back are inspiring. Anyway, I decided I would like to knit something for my mom, and I had already chosen the yarn. It is special yarn. I received a gift certificate from a friend, and when the yarn arrived, I knew it should be knit into a gift. It is GoGo Grassy Dream in Color Baby. I think this is perfect for Mom.

PeacockTailAndLeafScarfDICBabyGoGoGrassyYarnAs I looked at all the possibilities, I decided that the Peacock Tail and Leaf Scarf is the perfect choice. With the finished dimensions of 15"x49" from 525 yards of fingering weight yarn, I think my 700 yards will make the perfect size scarf for her. I have never worked with DIC anything, let alone their Baby stuff. It is soft and nice, and it seems to me that it is between lace and fingering weights.

Now, I just need to keep from beginning the scarf. I think if I can remember that I ought have my wits about me before attempting to operate the swift and winder, I may be able to hold off for a few more days. If I cannot, I hope my husband knows to call knitting friends to help disentangle me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

All By Myself

FLSProgressNone of the other Skanky Knitters could make it out to Starbucks tonight. Therefore, I have resorted to taking my own sweater-in-progress shot and blogging it. If this sweater makes it, it will be so close. I keep looking at the dwindling supply of yarn and knitting faster. That's the way to make this work, right?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Little Trees

Another Veteran's Day is coming to a close. Bruce has had the movies going. We went to the parade. We won admission for one to the 2009 Chicken and Egg Festival. We have exceeded our yearly quota of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA."

Please enjoy today's autumn leaves while I attempt to clear my brain.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Case of the Mondays

I gave away my Monday and have nothing to show for it but a bad mood. Actually, I have come to terms with it all and am doing my best to display a more pleasant affect. The single serving of chocolate ice cream in the freezer is ready to swoop in and assist.

Anyway, I think my evening would be best spent knitting something that requires significant attention. Either that or a challenging aerobics workout might be a good choice. That being said, I do not know that I will have the opportunity for that kind of knitting, and definitely not for the workout. Never fear, there is plenty of other knitting to do, and it will help me.

Lest this all be doom and gloom, I started the son's hat.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Knit Gifts That Make You Go, "Huh?"

When I first saw Calorimetry, I did not think anything more than, "Meh." I just did not get it. Then my friend sewed the button on hers and modeled it, and I finally saw the appeal of it. I knew it would be great for me, and I could think of several other people who could use one.

I decided to knit one the other night, and I was done in no time.CalorimetryForHerjer I love Calorimetry, but there is something of a problem with it. It is a gift knit that requires a little bit of explanation. When I showed my mom the one I had knitted, she offered a kind smile and a generic compliment. Then I modeled it, and she understood why I said I would make one for her. We were soon discussing color options. I gave this to my sister-in-law for her birthday. She smiled and thanked me, and then I demonstrated what I had given her, and she liked it even more.

I think I will knit a few more of these for gifts, and for me. Oooh, and it will be another project pile in need of buttons!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

One Week Later

I am flying along with the February Lady Sweater. I would have shown it before, but I cannot get a nice picture of it. I decided that I could not wait any longer to show it. I promise that it is much nicer than this, and it keeps looking better each time I check the fit. I have not decided how long to work the body, but I am already thinking about buttons.

Las night, I had reason to browse my button box, and I confirmed my suspicions that I do not have any that will work for this sweater. This means I have a nice outing to look forward to soon. I like to shop for buttons. They are lovely little treasures.

Ah, but I am getting ahead of myself. I do not know why I am so excited to have this finished. I love knitting it, and I still have most of the month left to complete it. I suppose it is because I am happy to make this for my sister, and I think she will really like it. I almost want to give it to her before Christmas.

If you have the yarn, needles, and desire to knit this sweater, I highly recommend it. This is such an enjoyable knit. The pattern is easy to follow. It is amazing how quick a sweater works up in worsted weight yarn. I just might have the body finished by the end of the weekend.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Rinse, Rinse, Repeat

When I got my wheel out the other day to ply, I thought that would be the longest part of the process remaining between me and my new yarn. I planned to ply, skein, and wash, and that the yarn would dry overnight. I did not count on the amount of excess dye I would have to deal with. I lost count sometime after the seventh go-around.

Anyway, if my calculations are correct, I have about 570 yards of new yarn. The fiber is Mountain Colors Targhee Top in the Lupine colorway. It looks to be somewhere in the lace/fingering weight range, and I want to knit with it. I had hoped for Waves of Grain while I spun the yarn, so I might just try it soon.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Colorwork Calls

I decided what to knit for the son. When he saw it in the Knit Picks catalog, and noted that it is the type of hat he likes, I went to order it right away. However, it was unavailable at that moment. I checked back later, and saw in my Saved for Later basket that I could add it to my shopping cart, and I did so immediately. When it arrived a few days later, I was so excited. I looked over my kit, and discovered that they had made a few color substitutions. I think they did a good job with the other colors they chose, but I was still surprised at the changes. In my stash, I have one of the three back-ordered colors, so I can use Bark (as in the original pattern) instead of its alternate, Navy, if I choose.

My color options are not the only choices I face. The pattern for this hat is neat. There are extra charts from which to choose. For example, I can use either the ripples or the llamas chart (the charts label them as alpacas, but they look more like llamas to me) on the earflaps. There is plenty of yarn in this kit to make more than one of these hats, but the son is probably the only one who would wear one.

I am excited at all this project offers me. As the earflaps are worked back-and-forth, I have my first opportunity to work stranded on the purl side of a project. I also plan to try a different method of colorwork. I have never tried this before, but I think it might be ideal for this hat. I have also seen the beautiful work of other knitters who employ this technique, and I would like to try it.

Now all I need is to make the time to get going on this hat. I have everything set aside in a bag, and the kit calls to me. It has several different calls. At times, it comes from the colors, or it can be the promise of new techniques and learning, and other times it is knitting for my son and the impending deadlines that urge me to this project. Whenever I do sit down to knit it, I know I will enjoy it, and it will be a wonderful labor of love.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Now with 30% More Camel

I finished binding off this shawl almost a month ago. It was close, with only about five yards of the discontinued yarn remaining. I blocked it, and then secured it in a difficult to access area of the wildly piled-up room. Once I made my way to it, I attempted a photo shoot. It was not a success. I kept thinking that I would get back to it, all the while feeling bad about not getting it in the mail. I finally decided that getting the shawl to the owner is more important than modeled pictures, so you only get to see it being blocked. Sorry.

When I wrapped myself in the shawl in its lumpy-bumpy, pre-blocked state, it did not look like it would be very big. I knew the size of the Noro one, and I had only knit one more repeat of the main chart on this one. The blocking was magic, and if I were not so fond of my friend, I would keep this for myself, too.

Yarn: Froehlich Wolle Camel 70% superwash wool/30% camel (discontinued), 3 skeins
Needles: US 6 (4.0mm) Knit Picks Options
Size: 86"x43"

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I Brushed My Teeth, Too

Stay tuned to the blog. I may share other responsible, adult outings such as paying the utility bill. Cranky much, Sarah?

I have never missed our old polling place across the street more than I did today.
Actually, the process only took about ninety minutes. I was number 555 at my polling place. I did people-watch and knit while I stood in line. I carried way too much knitting stuff with me. The lace ribbon scarf was enough. I managed a couple of repeats, and it made the wait and close proximity to people more bearable.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Autumn Afternoon

Weekend knitting was productive. We had a niece for the day on Sunday. All that stands between her and felting her purse are about five feet of i-cord. I kept my needles flying alongside her. She needed encouragement to keep going. The poor dear struggles with a chronic state of boredom, and difficulty keeping to an activity beyond the shiny stage. The fact that she is this close to the finish is quite an accomplishment for her. I hope we will be able to spend time with her again soon so she can complete it.While she worked on her purse, I was busy with a sweater. By the time she left, I only had one more set of raglan increases, and I started reading discussions on the February Lady Sweater. I wanted to familiarize myself with modifications others have made (no need to re-invent the wheel) and make myself aware of problems people have had with the pattern. Considering the fact that Ravelry shows 1013 finished FLS, I figure that the pattern is good, and I should achieve the desired results. However, having just enough yarn to knit the sweater has had me a bit anxious. Add to this the sizing issues people have encountered and the fact that it is a gift, and you will find me constantly checking and re-checking. I have already put it on waste yarn and tried it on, and it looked like it might be OK. For now, it is almost time to separate the sleeves from the body, and I am looking forward to the shorter rows.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


I am not quite sure how this happened. This greeted me Saturday afternoon with pleas for repair. I still have yarn leftover. I will try to fix it, but am not looking forward to the work. These are the perils of knitting for children. At least I know my nephew has been wearing his pirate hat.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

When Abbreviations Attack

I decided to take a double plunge. Not only am I doing NaKniSweMo, but also, NaBloPoMo. After I saw that I would be in good company, and received a bit of encouragement, it became an easy decision.

It was easy to plan for NaKniSweMo. I only hope the knitting goes as
smoothly. I will be knitting the February Lady Sweater for my sister. I did not tell her about it, but I think she knows I am planning a new knit for her. We discussed purples, and I think I know which she would prefer for her sweater.

I was surprised at how quickly I was able to come up with a nice plan for NaBloPoMo. I do admit that much of it relies on me making a fair amount of knitting progress. That concerns me a bit, but not too much. I think I might have fun with this.