Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What I Would Rather Be Doing

With all the stress of this season, the running around to get everything finished for the big moment, [tree decorating, menu planning, gift buying,wrapping, attending holiday parties,etc..etc..] all I want to do is sit and knit. There is a good weather window this morning so I must get on out there and SHOP, along with everyone else. If I didn't participate would it really matter???

These two scarves are from Knitting New Scarves...I am particularly attracted to them since my profession is architecture...Tilted Squares is a very easy knit and fun. Twisted is a bit more complex but after understanding the structure it has a very addicting nature to it. The Noro Silk Garden works exceptionally well with both patterns.
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Monday, December 17, 2007

Merry Christmas

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One Week To Go

The panic is starting to set in. The tree is in the stand but no lights are on it yet, not to mention finding the ornaments and stockings in all those boxes out in the garage. The two holiday parties we went to this past weekend really cut into tree time...I still have to finish the tilted squares scarf...the second fetching is almost finished...I won't make it to the other two scarfs, and the Dashing fits me so I know it won't fit my stepson...geez, and no time to knit up a larger pair. I am in a panic...
I am happy with the results of the red hot slippers. They felted up nicely and will fit a size 8 foot...purrfect for the recipient...At least that one is a go!




Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Little Pleasures



Whipped these slippers out in a couple of days, including the felting and drying time. I used the Felted Slippers Pattern from Felted Knits. I used up some of my stash yarn and was a bit short when I came to finishing up on the soles. The purple soles really don't show that much, and anyway these are for me, so who cares! Yesterday I went to my LYS and purchased wool and mohair to make up a few more, the woman at the counter made a funny comment about how bright the yarn was...I thought to myself, hey these are slippers, fun things to slip on your flippers. I thought that was a weird comment seeing as she had no idea what I was actually going to make. Oh well...
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Friday, November 30, 2007

Slow and Steady


The Russian Coat is starting to become a thrill, yes, a thrill. It is on gauge and the measurements are matching up nicely. I do have a few things to correct on the right side of the coat. Two of the hexagons need a couple of last rows removed to get rid of that nipple effect, then I can move onto the cuff for that side and then the big sew up time begins. I always get nervous at this stage in game...I have just one and a half balls left of the Jasper. I need at least half a ball to finish the cuff...I sure hope that the ribbing takes only one ball...from the picture in the magazine it looks fairly wide and I have to go all around the neck and front...scary!
I have worked on this coat starting on Nov. 6Th...all the other projects have taken a back seat while I have diligently knitted away on it,so finishing this up this weekend will feel good...but I think I am catching a cold. I feel really run down and have a stiff neck and scratchy throat. Woke up at 5AM this morning to the clanking sound of the garbage collectors. I don't understand why they can't start at 6 AM or at least try to keep the broken glass noise to a minimum....then the dog wanted to go out at 5:30. Can't I ever get to sleep anymore? I was so tired I missed my yoga class too. This weekend I plan to start dragging out the Christmas decorations and then next week the dreaded Christmas shopping! It's the most wonderful time of the year...not.
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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Surviving The Turkey



I am glad Thanksgiving 2007 is over. A lot of cooking and repeat dinner, AGAIN. I was going to make turkey enchiladas but I have so much of the "other" stuff still to eat...really looking forward to dinner tonight - not! This was the first year I brined the bird...a must for the future. I was impressed how flavorful and moist it is. And you know, not a big deal either. Get the brining bags at Williams-Sonoma and use the brining recipe on the box. The bags are a bit pricey, but you can reuse them.

The skirt on the Russian Coat is finished. I started the bodice pieces on the other side yesterday. The hexagons I originally worked on will need some work to get rid of that "nipple" effect. This coat has consumed my time lately. I have not even touched anything else on the must finish list. We were going to travel over to Mammoth Lakes for turkey day weekend but Theo got sick. While I was packing things up I had all my WIP bags all neatly tucked into the knitting unrealistic I was actually thinking I would even touch them...lots to do before Christmas starts swamping me.
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Monday, November 19, 2007

Just a Few Works in Progress




Rainy days on Mondays...
The pressure is on for the Turkey Feast this week, so much to do to get out of town and head over the hills [big mountains] to enjoy all that turkey. Menu planning is happening, ingredient shopping lists are being generated and what to take to entertain me! Lots of car time for knitting on the Russian Coat and Clapotis. Mammoth Mountain is open, sort of...if you call the beginner run fun! They can't even make man-made snow because it is not cold enough at night. So I guess lots of hiking and fishing and knitting will happen this week, not to mention eating.

The Russian Coat is coming along. I am past that endless black hole hump. With all those decreases it is now starting to go really fast towards the end. I thought I never would get past the first 5 inches as it just kept sucking the yarn into it. I followed the color way that is featured in the magazine and it looks nothing like the picture. I am also going to frog the first 3 hexagons because they nippled...

New Lorna's Laces I picked up at my LYS, just waiting for the perfect sock pattern...

Panda Yarn. I have never knitted with this knits nicely. And I have never knitted with 2 circulars before. I am a dpn sock knitter. I have been very curious to try circulars. I will have to say the socks knit up faster, so far. I will see when it comes to the heel.

Onward through the rain I go...
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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

On The Clap Wagon


Started my Clapotis this past Saturday. So far so good. I have reservations about the yarn choice for this project.Jo Sharp -Silkroad Aran Tweed. Great for a sweater...may be too thick and rough for a wrap. Time will tell how I really feel about it. The pattern itself is easy and very addicting, and at the same time much repeative work and all that waiting for 12 rows to get a rush of excitement dropping that one stitch! I was in my LYS yesterday and I actually found myself looking at yarns for the next one, so I must be lovin' it!

No pics of the Russian Coat progress...but I did really go on a departure from the pattern steps. I am working on the is sucking so much yarn up. I am just about a couple of inches away from starting the Peruvia body and I have already gone through 3 balls of Jasper. I got a little bored with the bodice and a little frustrated with the pattern. My hexs are getting that "nipple" on them. I really hope I don't have to rip out what I have done. I think I will try the next one and take Norah's direction, leave off the last two rows of the final decrease. It is knitting to guage so I really don't understand why this is happening, unless it is just another Vague Knitting error with the pattern.

My husband came home with this miracle drink yesterday. Mona-Vie. comes in a wine bottle with a screw cap. Tastes okay. Expensive. The new answer to eternal youth.
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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Russian Coat


What an addicting pattern this is. Thank you Norah! The yarn arrived on Tuesday, right on time. Opened the box up and thought to myself...this doesn't look like the colorway featured in the magazine, which is what I ordered since I ordered the yarn on-line and no way to actually check the colors in person, I went with it. I checked the tags and yup it was right. It is amazing how light/camera/printing ink,etc. can change reality. It isn't what I expected but it is growing on me. It's a good thing I love the color green because there is a lot of it in the yarns. The Jasper is wonderful to knit with, as it glides through your hands and the excitement of watching the color develop as it goes along. Peruvia is nice to knit with is a solid so pretty predictable, pattern wise.

I look at my current "load" of knitting and everything is taking a back seat right now during my infactuation stage with this project. Since it is a one-size-fits-all...hope it fits!
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Sunday, November 04, 2007




I finished one Fetching yesterday. Hmmm...looks okay in these pictures, actually quite lovely, but let's critique:
1. Either I have really large hands [average]or there is something wrong with this pattern as written. I may be in the minority here after reading all the fetching entries on Ravelry. I had to increase the length by ten rows and I should have gone on to 15 rows. I added an extra cable repeat to the end...and did not do that picot bind-off [just too stretchy and sloppy]. I still think the length is too short and does not conform to the human hand.

2. The thumb does not take into consideration any gusseting for comfort, it just pokes out on the side. And here again, if I had stuck to the 4 rounds the pattern suggests, I would have had barely enough to keep my thumb warm. I did 10 rounds and I could have gone to 15.

3. The wrist cables are lovely, again I would have repeated one more cable repeat.

4. The anatomy of a human hand: the wrist is smaller than the palm and tapers smaller near the fingers. This pattern does not take that into you end up with a very tight mitt around the knuckle area and too wide at the end.

With all that I think I am going to frog and redux with alterations. Oh! and I forgot to mention: I used Plymouth Alpaca/silk DK on a size us#4. I can get this on and it is snug but does that mean if I used a yarn equivalent to what the pattern suggests, would it have been way to big?
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Thursday, November 01, 2007

We're Having a Birthday

Wow!!! He's really old! My sweet baby boy is 15 today...HAPPY BIRTHDAY THEO!

What's on the needles




My WEBS order is due to arrive on my doorsteps next Tuesday. Can't wait to dive into that Russian Coat pattern from the newest issue of Vogue Knitting. In the mean time I am working away on these socks. I started the "Envy" Jaywalkers a day ago...addictive pattern with this yarn. I can't wait to see how it continues to develop with the stripes. The Baby Fern Poppy is moving along but not as fast as Envy. I think partly because I have no surprises left with it. The yarn is a solid and the pattern continues on as is...but it is lovely. The psycho sock is what I work on when my mind has had it with thinking about ANYTHING.
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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Woolly Buggers




Yesterday, in light of the recent and ongoing fires in So. Cal I decided I should take pictures of my work that I finished at the beginning of the year...[I will be photographing the contents of our house too, but I will spare you].
So the start is with these afghans. I was in a Colinette Ab Fab obsession then. I tried my own version, same fan and feather pattern but with just two simple yarns, bulky wool and mohair. The texture and dying is what makes Colinette yarns what they are. It is really hard to go to LYS and replicate them and think you are going to save $$$...doesn't happen. That one ended up costing actually a tad bit more. I love them all. When I was gathering them up this morning to photo them, what should I find on one of them....WOOLLY Bugs! Those nasty wool, silk, anything natural fiber-eating monsters. I have had cashmere wraps ruined from them. They are carpet beetle larvae...I have almost eradicated them from the house but now that the weather is getting cooler they are reappearing...SMASH...DEAD...and then I find another. It just goes on and on.
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Thursday, October 25, 2007

New Tunes

What a great combination of both...
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Alison Krauss is fantastic and Robert Plant is a fav from my younger days.

Can't keep from thinking about the S.Cal fires...feel so badly for those folks.

Haven't picked up the needles yet today. I tucked Odessa in my purse as I headed out this morning to the outpatient lab for my blood tests and EKG, thinking I would have lots of time to knit while I waited to be poked. Didn't even sit down for less than 30 seconds and it was time to roll up my sleeve. And...the unfortunate "homework" assignment...why is it that after 50 you have to endure all these icky procedures...poop smear collection. I suppose it is a little better than the full blown colon invation...which is down the road in my future. Yuck!
And on that note...I think I will go and sit and knit....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Another Odessa


The first Odessa [sorry no pic] I made turned out just so-so. I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino left over from a UFO baby blanket project..just way too spongy for this pattern. And it really was too small from edge to top of crown and too big around. I went to one of my LYS [Dharma Trading Co]and purchased this beautiful Alpaca/Silk. Time will tell if this hat fits too. I am going to lengthen it .5". The pattern is fun to knit and the beads add so much. I have too much hair so this hat is for my stepdaughter. She looks fabulous in hats.

What is it with me and those circular needles. I am trying to teach myself to use 2 circulars to knit socks. The gauge keeps coming out too loose. Hmmmmm. Cat Bordhi's new book arrived yesterday! New Pathways for socks! Wow! Can't wait to get into that book.

Go away fires! I was looking at the pictures of the wildfires in S. Cal...tears over whelmed me. I feel so sorry for all those people and their could happen to any of us at any time.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

I'm In

Wowzers!!!! I got my invite yesterday, but found out this morning...I am in Ravelry!
I have been cruising the site, and talk about much to learn and so FUN!
I am currently knitting the Odessa hat and had no idea there are so many other knitters knitting the same project too! It is truly amazing. I can't wait to get "up and running". I have my work ahead cut out for me!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Finished Olives


I have more olives than I know what to do with. I made the pickle brine [equal parts vinegar to water and salt]this morning and spooned those plump delicious olives into their brine bath. In about a week we will sample and hopefully they will be perfect! What a great year for stone fruit, even my peach tree made tons of fruit.

I found a hat pattern with beads to knit into...I am having trouble finding beads in my bead box with a hole large enough to get a needle and the yarn through. I may have to drag myself to the bead store later and find ones that work. I only have about 60 beads and the pattern calls for 110...hmmmm...what to do.... And, for some reason I decided to learn to knit socks on 2 circulars. Don't know why other than for the experience. I am quite happy with dpns. I find that I knit really loose on the 2 circulars and that seems to be a problem with the sock I am making. I see a trip to the lys to buy a smaller size. Anyway it is a beautiful Saturday, and the yard work is calling my name,knitting for later.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Moving Along


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Pumpkins of all kinds.
Finished Socks and quite pleased with the match.
Moving along with the Poppy Sock...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Chilly Days Ahead, just gettin ready

Fingerless Mittens

Worsted Yarn
Sample used: Manos Del Uruguay
Small Adult #4 and #6 DPN
Med Adult #5 and #7 DPN
Large Adult #5 and #8 DPN

Cast on 36 sts using long tail cast-on with #5 dpn
Knit one round
Ribbing: k2, P2
Continue ribbing for 15 rounds

Inc to 40 sts
Change to larger needles and work st st for 7 rounds (total 8 rounds including inc. round).

Knit 17 sts PM, K2, PM, K round
Add two stitches every other row between markers until you have 14 stitches. Put these 14 stitches on a holder for working thumb later.

Continue working st st adding 2 stitches under thumb once (co 2 sts). Work in st st for 8 rounds. 9th round decrease 4 sts. Change to smaller needle and start K2, P2 ribbing for 10 rounds. Bind off in rib.

Slip 14 stitches onto larger needle with RS facing K2, M1 knit to last 2 stitches, M1, K2. Work 16 stitches for 9 rows. BO in knit. Leave a long tail to sew up seam.

Weave in yarn ends
Make 2

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Olive Curing Day

This year my olive tree provided me with almost 2 gallons of olives. I have mostly green ones and maybe a few cups of semi-ripe ones. I am going to cure both stages in lye in a little while, after I get over the nerves. I don't know why I am apprehensive about this step. The last couple of years I have avoided the lye cure like the plague using just a salt cure and without very good results. So this is the year to try lye. I have purchased 100% lye from Ace hardware and a couple of heavy plastic buckets and a heavy plastic spoon (OXO) to stir them. I am about to take the plunge and see what happens. After looking at various websites regarding curing methods I think I am ready. So off I go to the garage.

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