Friday, December 16, 2005

Warm Hands, Warm.....

Well, the Fair Isle Gloves have been finished for over a week now. Today I finally blocked them and here they are drying. Considering they are my first Fair Isle knitting, I am fairly pleased, but I can see that they are WAY far from perfect. Still, I love the colors and I hope the recipient loves them too! I will report back after Christmas.

Here is a pair of Arm Warmers I made from the "Stitch and Bitch Nation" book. We are conserving fuel by keeping the house at 66 degrees, and I need these toasty things to stay somewhat warm here. This is the first time I've used Kureyon, and I can't even pronounce it but I just love the colors. I'm planning to start a modular vest using Kureyon and Cascade 220 on my next road trip.

And finally, here is the Misfits logo sweatshirt on the needles. I hope Ben likes it because I do not LOVE intarsia, but, even worse, when the intarsia is finished all I have to look "forward" to is black stockinette stitch. And the kid has gotten much taller lately, so it will be a loooooooooooong knit. No more comments on Mother's love needed. Second photo is the original logo.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Seasonal Humor

I couldn't resist this cartoon from The New Yorker about a month back. I hope I'm not going to be sued for putting it on my blog!

I finished the Fair Isle Gloves!!!! I even sewed in all the loose ends. All I need to do now is block them, after which I will post a photo here.

On the needles now: Teva Dunham's gorgeous "woven" scarf for future SIL Chris, and the infamous, dreaded Misfits logo sweatshirt for Ben. A mother's love knows no bounds. I twisted my brain around a bit making the chart for the sweater. It's the first time I have charted anything this big. In the process, I created knitting graph paper with eight stitches across and 16 stitches down, with red lines at each "inch". The paper is quite nice, a full 8.5 x 11 inch page, and if anyone wants a copy, please email me and I'll send it to you. Here is the logo I worked with:

Well, blogspot is not doing what it is supposed to, so the photo will have to wait. Sorry!

I have a real Jones to learn spinning. Somewhere I have the name and number of a woman willing to teach me. Wonder if I'll ever find it....If you are a spinner in the Pacific Northwest (Tacoma area in particular) and are willing to be "plied" (pun intended) feel free to step up and volunteer!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Knit Hits the Fan

With less than a month to go before "December madness", I am knitting like a madwoman. I finished a scarf for my son's friend Abby (sorry, no photo). No, I do NOT have time to vacuum :) The scarf was not exactly planned, but, having knit the Alien Illusion scarf for Ben, in lime green and black, his friend Abby was really taken with it. Well, who can resist a compliment to her knitting? I had to make her one. It is a surprise, so please don't tell anyone!

Oh, and these socks from Louet Gems, a really nice yarn to work with!!!! For Ben (shhhh).

I am now on the THIRD Fair Isle glove, and, being a new Fair Isle knitter, it is different from, and nicer than, the other two.

I promised Ben a zipped hoodie with the Misfits logo on the back. I have the yarn, I have the pattern, but I haven't started it. Being sixteen (next Monday) Ben will only wear BLACK. My (not)favorite color to knit. No mercy for this middle aged mother with incipient cataracts. Oh, and I still have to start and knit my daughter's two surprises, which I will not describe here since I'm sure she will read this. Oy vay!!!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Back from the Big Apple

Well, it's been two trips since my last post, actually. After LA, it was a week in Sun Valley. While there I finished the second Fair Isle glove and started the third -yes, I'm learning as I go and three will match two better than one- and who's on first?

In Sun Valley I visited Isabel's, the only yarn shop in town. I had planned on starting Teva Dunham's Lace Leaf Pullover with some yarn I'd scored from Knitpiks. I felt like a real idiot when I discovered that the yarn I'd bought was so far from the right gauge as to be unusable. Isabel had some lovely Rowan Big Wool Fusion. The sweater is knitting up quickly. I have the top and bottom of the body done (they get grafted together) and tonight I will start the first sleeve. I haven't knit a sweater in a LONG time, but it seems already to be exceptionally cold here this winter. Maybe it's because we're keeping the thermostat at 66 degrees. Yikes! and we ran out of fire wood today. Karen, don't say I didn't warn you....

In New York much had changed since I was last there in 1999, but much is the same. I got right into the routine of walking aggressively and quickly. Visited many museums: Natural History, including the new Planetarium, Metropolitan Museum of Art - twice, and MoMa (my personal favorite). Here's a photo of two chairs in their design collection:

Ground Zero. What can I say? It brought me to tears. I saw it and I still can't believe it. I remember taking an elevator once in the World Trade Center to about the 140th floor or something. It was fast and noisy and scared the crap out of me. It was like being in an airplane going straight up. It was the only time I was up in the towers, although I've been in the Plaza a bunch of times. I have now seen the hole in the ground with my own eyes and it is still unreal. Everywhere in lower Manhattan there are signs and reminders of what happened and the lives lost. I was moved and angered and, finally, baffled. I suppose I should mention here that I have lived most of my life in New York City; it was MY town those sickos bombed.

I met my dearest high school friend, Robin, for lunch and espresso in Greenwich Village. This had to have been the highlight of my trip!

Saw two shows: The first show was Blue Man Group. It was silly and funny and totally meant for tourists. Not that there's anything wrong with that :)

The second show, which dazzled me, was a revival of Sweeney Todd starring the amazing Patti Lupone and the mesmerizing Michael Cerveris. This new production was still in previews last Saturday night, but wow, what a production. It is a far cry from Hal Prince's original staging. This is a stark, cool and unusual rendition where the actors are also the orchestra. If you can get to see this, run, don't walk, to the Eugene O'Neil theatre! This is a demanding show, for, dare I say it, sophisticated theatre goers.

All for now, I need to knit.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Some Finishes

I am back from my trip to LA. I finished the beaded fringe on More Than Circular and it was a great hit at Rosh Hashanah services. Thanks, Roxi, for your compliments!

Here's a dumb felted purse that I worked on while sailing a bit on Puget Sound. I do love purple, but this was idiot knitting. Still, I now have yet another purse which will not fit my wallet, Filofax or make up case. This knitting stuff sure is fun!

I also finished the long-on-needles Toe Socks. They are being modelled here by my daughter Dalya who had to be wrenched away from her latest obsessionk, Sudoku. Warning: Do NOT start playing this game. As I found out much to my chagrin, it can take up loads of time otherwise reserved for knitting. If you are unaware of this game craze, please do NOT investigate. You have been warned. (If, on the other hand, you want to work out your logic skills, go for it, just don't say I didn't warn you).

Anyway, these socks had been mouldering in a bag for way too long. I am so glad I finished them, I might even wear them! I adore flip flops, which is why I fit in so well in LA, but my feet often get cold. Now I can have my flip flops and warm feet too. Life is good.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

On the Fringe

Yesterday Karen and I visited Blue Iris Beads in Kent. There I purchased beads to add to the points on the shawl. Here's a sample. It took me about two hours to do half of the shawl. I will finish today, while watching some fabulous TV, I hope!
I am flying to LA tomorrow morning, so I must dash. I have one more FO to post, and I'll try to get it up here later today.
Knit on.....

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Handpaint Hell

I guess it's Murphy's Law. Last year I bought some amazing Colinette Giotto. It is luxurious with a rich, deep, palate of purples, greens and blues. At least, it is SUPPOSED to be! I scoured yarn shops to find the Giotto book and selected a really nifty cardigan with a ruffle on the bottom, not fussy, just gorgeous. I knitted the back, dutifully following the mandate "use two skeins; alternate skeins every two rows". The back was lovely. I knit the left front, dutifully following the mandate "use two skeins; alternate skeins every two rows". Again, a lovely luscious left front. I knit the right front, dutifully following the mandate "use two skeins; alternate skeins every two rows."

NOW...these lovely skeins were all from ONE dye lot. They are the same color. I followed the directions. So WHY, WHY, WHY does the right front look like crap? Or, more specifically, why is there NO GREEN!!!!! and what do I do about it? Sure I can frog and use another skein and reknit; that would take about five minutes. Well, an hour anyway. But when I get to the sleeves, I will STILL have to use that *&#@@*&% ball of yarn with NO GREEN. Yes, I can distribute it all over the sleeves and have yucky ribbon ends to weave in, but I am NOT A HAPPY CAMPER!!! I think this is a "Curse of Colinette", of something.

One of these things is not like the others....You can clearly see, can you not, that the middle piece is DIFFERENT!!!!Geez....if anyone out there can help me, please, please, please suggest a cure. I really wanted to wear this sweater in two weeks.

OK, back to those LOVELY Fair Isle Gloves, which are giving me NO grief!!!

Lace I Love

I FINALLY, FINALLY finished "More Than Circular". I don't know why I waited so long. Actually, I do. I had a mistake in the last row and I just set it aside one day when I didn't want to deal with it. I got caught up with the Fair Isle gloves and never looked back. Until Thursday. I just tackled the thing and finished it. Now it is sitting on my floor while I block all those little points out.
Now this thing is a bear to block, because, as the title says, it has more than 360 degrees. It is impossible to stretch it all out flat, but the wonder is, it really does stay on my shoulders and won't fall off no matter what!

I do plan to add some beads, to the edge, I just haven't decided what yet.

So, of course, I am ready to make another lace shawl. I have a skein of Lorna's Laces "Helen's Lace" in Purple Iris and I found a lovely pattern that requires just the right amount of yarn. I hope to have it on the needles by this evening.

There is no knitting quite so thrilling to me as when I work on lace and it looks like a bag of messy yarn, and I can't really see it, and finally it is off the needles and I spread it out and, voila, it is a thing of beauty and magic.

Must knit more lace....

Monday, September 19, 2005

Fair Isle First

I finished the first of the Fair Isle gloves. I've never knitted a glove before. What a pain working with the dpns! I'm so much fonder of two circulars. Bear iin mind that this glove is unblocked. I expect it will look lots better after blocking. It was really fun to do the Fair Isle part. Can't wait to do the second, which is not typical of me!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Finished! Object and Level

Wow! I passed Level I of TKGA Master Handknitter Course! I'm so excited that I've already sent in my payment for Level II. Why wait? The best thing, I think, after achieving a goal is to set another. I can bask in my success until the next set of requirments arrives in the mail. I learned so much from having to re-submit ten (yes, ten!) swatches. My knitting has improved more than I thought it could in such a short time. After knitting for more than a "few" decades, it improved markedly in just a few weeks. It gives me a good model for success in other areas. Effort can, in fact, be rewarded, something we parents don't always realize.

And onto a mixed success. The Flower Basket Bag. It's finally completely finished! I still don't like it. It's so big and heavy, I can't imagine actually carrying anything in it. Maybe I'll try it as a carry on on my next plane trip; that would be kinda cute. Even so, I am going to make this bag again. A glutton for punishment? No, I want to make it the way I imagine it SHOULD be. It will be smaller, the colors will be more to my liking, and it will be lighter and more user-friendly. I am going to knit it in the round. I still haven't decided whether to make it a backpack or a shoulder bag so I won't start until I have that detail worked out. Watch this space for my progress on "redesigning" a pattern.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Two Swans and some ferals

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Karen C, proprietress of Two Swans Yarn ( I have been tempted by Fair Isle knitting for a while and the web pattern from Interweave Knits for Fair Isle gloves pushed me over the edge. I have done stranded knitting and color work before, but not since I've become as self-critical about my knitting as I am currently. Here are some photos of Karen with some of her "goodles" and with the yarns I chose.

And here is also a photo of the gloves on the needles. I made myself finish the darn Flower Basket before I let myself start these. They are to be a Christmas gift for my future mother-in-law whom I adore. I'm using the two circulars technique. I do not love dp needles but I know they are going to be needed for the fingers. Fingerless gloves anyone?

More felting photos

Here is a photo of the laptop case (from the current Interweave Knits). I love this thing but I'm thinking of adding a leather shoulder strap. It fits my little ibook perfectly.

I love/hate felting! I've recently felted a laptop case, a purple purse, and the "infamous" Nicky Epstein Flower Basket Bag. I am not crazy about how this bag came out! I haven't sewn the flowers on it yet and I might like it better when I do, but the thing is HUGE and must weigh five pounds. I made it with Lambs Pride Bulky on size 19 needles. Well, here is what it looks like after being run through the "super" hot cycle five times.

I plan to stitch the flowers on tonight. Also, crazy that I am, I do like this bag so much that I am going to make it AGAIN! Yes, you heard me right. But I am going to improvise. I bougt some Cascade 220 in colors that I love and I'm going to knit it in the round, make it smaller, redo the design seriously. Progress reports to follow.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Finished Objects and others

I have yet to find out how to put photos up from a Mac, but I did finish Ben's "Alien Illusion" scarf and a felted laptop holder from the latest IK. I am on the LAST ROUND (finally!) of "More Thank Circular". I think I will set it down for a while before beginning the sideways edging.

I have a serious case of "Startitis". I want to start about three projects. I haven't decided yet between a gorgeous coral colored sweater with lacy hood, the ubiquitous Nikki Epstein Rose Bag from last winter's Vogue Knitting, another bag to knit and felt with some yummy Manos and novelty yarn, Fair Isle gloves for my future MIL or an ipod case for my son with the Misfits logo on it. Decisions, decisions.

OK, I need to get to work! Photos to follow.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Long Time No Post

Well, it has been quite an eventful summer! I recently returned from a long trip with my two kids. We went to Oregon, Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin. My daughter learned to fish, which really thrilled her vegetarian brother :)
Our home was burglarized. I lost my computers, all my digital photos, all my music CDs, all my software. I'm now the proud owner of a new Mac but I have a lot of work to do before I'm completely comfortable with the PC to Mac switch.

Knitting! Oh yes, I've been knitting. I finished a laptop case from the new issue of Interweave knits. I am ALMOST done with "More Than Circular", and almost done with the Giotto cardigan. I'm kind of off knitting socks at the moment.

I have yet to learn how to post photos with the Mac, so that's it for now!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

With Due Deference to the Yarn Harlot (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee )

You know you knit too much wonder whether you can get away with knitting socks during your ex-husband's wedding. Oh, yes, I am serious. The wedding is next Sunday and I KNOW that knitting will make the experience ever so much more fun.So maybe if I sit in the back, bring a huge purse, and use bamboo needles, nobody will notice. They will, after all, be watching the bride and groom, right? Then again, maybe my kids will take it the wrong way: Mom sitting there with two sharp implements in her hands. Hmmmmmmmmmmm.....

On another subject, I had a semi-Eureka moment while working on my Master Handknitter swatches. If I make my stitches with just the tips of the needles, I get virtually no rowing out. I know, I know, every book says to do this! I've just gotten very fast and loose over the years (in my knitting, I mean!) and I've been trying to compensate by tightening up. The result of that has been exascerbated arthritis, sore hands and arms, and a bad temper. Not to mention continued rowing out. Well, I think I've solved the problem. No full-Eurekas yet, however.

I've set aside the "More Than Circular" shawl for a while in order to knit a cardigan out of Giotto. (I want to wear it to the above-mentioned wedding) It's a quick knit on huge needles. I HATE huge needles. I am simply astonished at all these new knitters who persist in knitting with eyelash yarn on these things that feel like broomsticks in the hands. I would detest knitting if that were they only knitting I could do. Someone should clue these newbies into the JOYS of knitting with size 5 or 7 needles (or smaller) and worsted or lighter weight yarn.

Well, so much for that fantasy!

Back to the swatches for me...

Saturday, June 25, 2005

My STASH! Posted by Hello

Statue on the Stairs Posted by Hello

Dalya as Statue Posted by Hello

Mastery and Life, too

I have been reworking my swatches for Level I of the Master Handknitting Course. I have ten swatches to resubmit. I believe I have five that are now good enough to send in.

Other than that, many exciting things have been happening, not knit related! My daughter appeared in a Gala for her local ballet company and it was thrilling to see her progress and how grown up she is getting. See photos!

Also, my "office/studio" is finally in an organized state. I'm posting a photo of my "stash" which includes yarn, fabric, beads and photographs.

On the needles: Still working on the second version of "More than Circular" this one is yellow. I'm also working on a lovely cardigan in "Giotto" which I'm hoping to wear to the Ex-husband's wedding next week. I've lost three pounds this week and am bound to lose more by the 3rd. It feels GOOD!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Giving It Up

Sometimes it's good to know when to STOP! I am still messed up on one stitch on "More Than Circular". I can SEE the error. I know exactly where the error is. I just can't figure out how to fix it. I've decided to set the thing aside and start a new project. If I don't do this, I will obsess and rip and obsess and rip and I will get more and more frustrated. Better to wait until I have a better understanding of lace structure or find someone who does!

Saturday, June 11, 2005


After frogging the "More than Circular" shawl four times, I finally got wise to the "lifeline". I think I've spent more time ripping than knitting on this and it's all because I have yet to really learn to read the structure of lace knitting. The YOs and decreases just have me dizzy if I have to correct an error. I am perservering, however, and now that I am inserting lifelines, I feel more confident that I will finish the thing before my trip to Los Angeles next week!

I have been disappointed in most of the yarn stores in the LA area, with the exception of "A Major Knitwork". Most are trendy and seem to cater almost exclusively to scarf knitters. I am baffled that so many Angelinos need so many scarves! I will continue to explore the area, however, on my next trip.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Road Trip

Still on the road trip. Yesterday I had to frog the entire "more than circular". I had a mistake about five rows back and I could not figure out how to correct it. Lace still confuses me; I don't know a good way to rip out with all the yo's and put the thing back together. I tried, and failed, to rip just the offending sector of the shawl. So I have started over from the beginning and I'm about 1/3 done. I'm itching for a different challenge but I'm not sure what it is!

Tomorrow, Minneapolis. I know some great yarn shops there, so I have plans...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

On the needles

With all this driving, I'm getting a lot of knitting done. I finished one of my sandal/clog socks with the separate big toe. Very fun. I'm making lots of progress on the Hanne Falkenberg DaCapo jacket. I'm beginning to fear I may run out of yarn since I notice I am SUCH a loose knitter! Yikes...

I'm about halfway done with the More than Circular shawl. I may finish it in time to wear to the wedding we are traveling to in Petosky Michigan this coming weekend.

I also brought with me a kit from "Knitability" for an entrelac felted back pack.

that's it for now!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

You're It

I am tagging Cathy, HomeJewel and Luvs2Knit!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Karen tagged me. Here is the game:

Pick 5 of the following and then complete the sentences. Then pass it on to 3 more of your blog friends! But no tag backs!

The Premise (pick 5):

If I could be a scientist?
If I could be a farmer?
If I could be a musician?
If I could be a doctor?
If I could be a painter?
If I could be a gardener?
If I could be a missionary?
If I could be a chef?
If I could be an architect?
If I could be a linguist?
If I could be a psychologist?
If I could be a librarian?
If I could be an athlete?
If I could be a lawyer?
If I could be an inn-keeper?
If I could be a professor?
If I could be a writer?
If I could be a llama-rider?
If I could be a bonnie pirate?
If I could be an astronaut?
If I could be a world famous blogger?
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world?
If I could be married to any current famous political figure?

I don't like the way the questions are worded. "If I could"???? What's up with that. I assume I could be amost any of the things on the list, so I will respond "If I were a....." OK, here goes:

If I were a musician I would play honkin' saxophone and sing like Bernadette Peters.
If I were a scientist, I would be a physicist, meaning, a philosopher in scientist's clothing.
If I were an architect, I would specialize in spaces for children AND adults to play in.
If I were a doctor, I would go to law school and become a forensic pathologist.
If I were a lawyer, I would work for health care reform and women's rights.

Well, I'm not sure who to tag, so I will find some tagees tomorrow.

My first felted project. This backpack is from an old issue of Knitter's. I believe it has been republished in their new book "Bags: a Knitter's Dozen". This was very fun to make. Posted by Hello

My mobius scarf from Cat Bordhi's first book. This was more fun to knit than it is to wear. I still haven't gotten the hang of it yet! Posted by Hello

And one more... Posted by Hello

Another lovely rhodie Posted by Hello

I finally took some photos of our rhodies. I couldn't resist sharing them. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Clouds and More Than Circular

I've been working on "More Than Circular" from the Knitter's Shawls and Scarves book. I'm making it in Dalgren "Stork" cotton in a pale lavender.It is really going fast and is quite easy. I expect I'll finish it by the weekend.

Still have the Hanne Falkenberg DaCapo Jacket on the needles. That is a LONG, somewhat boring knit, but I expect to like the outcome. Also I've almost finished the first sock of Fiber Trends Clog/Sandal socks (with a separate big toe and cables down the back).

I was disappointed in the new "Knitter's" which came yesterday. There are a few things in it that I would make, but most of the designs leave me cold (no pun intended). Perhaps I will actually design my own stuff soon.

Friday, May 06, 2005


I finished the last swatch last night and blocked it. I'm about to attach the tag and then-- to the post office! I've decided to stop obsessing about the Master Knitter business and start a new project. I bought some cotton yarn in Sun Valley to make the Joann Besold "more than 360" circular shawl from the Knitters Shawls and Scarves book. I've been resisting starting it because she increases the size of the circle by increasing needle sizes as the work progresses. I think it takes five or six different circulars to make the thing. I have all the needles, I am just a bit leery of this process of gauge-increasing. Well, I can always frog it if I don't like it.

Carry on!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Close up of Mananita Magic Posted by Hello

Close up of the shrug pattern. Yes, its SUPPOSED to be on the bias :) Posted by Hello

OK, it's a weird model. This is a shrug I made in "All Seasons Cotton". It was in Interweave Knits, Spring issue, I think 2005. It is knit in two mirror image parts then grafted in the center. Posted by Hello

Ruffled cuff socks in self-patterning yarn. From Lucy Neatby's "Cool Socks for Warm Feet" Posted by Hello

My first gloves, made from self-patterning yarn. I used a pattern from "Not Just Socks" but the sizing was way off so I totally improvised. That's why the two gloves are different! Posted by Hello

Mananita Magic. My first lace knitting. Knit from kid mohair and silk yarn. Very soft. I enjoyed doing this! Posted by Hello