Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone! And if you celebrate something else around this time, well, Happy Holidays!

I'm still recovering from my knitting frenzy. I did manage to knit the 1hour baby shoes from SnB Nation. I couldn't find my LP bulky, so I used some cheapy thicknquick Woolease. Uhmmm...they came out HUGE. But cute. And seriously, less than an hour.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Boy, are my arms tired...

Yep, you got it. Count them, 10 scarves done and wrapped and ready to go. Actually, there are 2 extras that I'm planning on giving to my friends after the holidays (I won't get a chance to see them until then). I've taken pics of them, and will post (with specs if I remember what the specs were) when I get a chance. Now, I've just got to do the actual shopping/wrapping of everyone else's presents. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 18, 2006


What I great idea I had...scarves for z and a's teachers...that's not too bad, 3 teachers each. I can whip up 6 scarves in 7 days (actually, only 5 since I had that one chenille one done already). la la la...go shopping for la la, maybe some wool, some blends, some pretty ribbony yarn, and some acrylic but soft la la...yeah, no problem...wrong.

uhmm...turns out since a's in the baby room, there are actually 6 teachers!!!!

How in the heck am I gonna knit that many scarves?! That is 9 1 for the director. If I'd known that, I think I'd have just gotten them gift cards...

ack! I've knitted all weekend, and surprisingly I've got 5 done. (AND they're not all bulky yarn, so I didn't cheat too much.) Albeit there is one neckwarmer. I think I'm making a couple more of those.

Pictures to be posted when I'm done. Oh, did I mention that since daycare is closed on Friday, they've got to be all done and wrapped by Thursday?! ack!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Lacevember winnings

Here's what I won:
a bag for knitting project
3 balls of Kidsilk Haze
stitchmarkers (which I've already put to use)
Kiri pattern
lovely note from the Lacevember hostesses.

Cool or what!?

You know, I think I'm not a good picture taker, that or my camera has blue issues, and my monitor, yes, it's off too. I've ordered yarn from ebay and found that it doesn't look too much like what I see on the monitor. Everything is bluer in real, does that mean that I need to overcompensate on my monitor? But when I get my pictures printed, they are also bluer than real life...I guess there's not much I can do there except edit every picture ...there must be something I can tweak with the camera. Heh, whatever, the yarn is a beautiful purple. (I have no idea what it looks like on your monitor).

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Early Xmas!

I got home yesterday from shopping and found this.

How lucky am I?!
This is Zephyr from Sarah's Yarn (in Basil). I split this cone with a friend of mine 'cause I just can't see using five THOUSAND yards of yarn. But with the split, it's perfect. I can make 1 large project and 1 small one, or make 2 medium sized shawls. It's beautiful. Can't wait to start using it. But only after I finish gift knitting.

Oh, and she sent colour cards of ALL the yarn she carries.

I actually received something else too -- my lacevember prize! I haven't taken a picture of that yet, but go see it on the lacevember site. I'll post about that tomorrow (with pic).

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Nonknitting mom rec-type post

I'm in a mom's group. Actually, I was in two mom's groups, and one was at the knitting shop (so I guess this post is knitting related). Several of the knitting mom's group members had very comfy looking carriers, and of course, me being the covetor of baby carriers, why, I was intrigued. I have several and there are two that are current favorites.

This is in the order of trying/procuring them:

Bjorn - that's the Baby Bjorn. Had that w/ Z and he loved it until, wait, he loved it. I hated it after he was 3 months old. My back hurt like the dickens and it was no longer fun. With A, she's lots smaller (at 6months, she's 14lbs and 5th percentile).We're okay using it, but it's all straps and octopus-like when not in use. I've got to say that the Bjorn worked great for Halloween this year since we were able to zip her costume on over the Bjorn. So, I had a lobster strapped to me while we went Trick-o-Treating.
Bottom Line: we don't use it much any more. And then there's the issues about all the weight being at the crotch etc. (sigh)

Knitting scale: 1 ball of yarn - you can knit w/ it on if the baby's turned toward you and better if they're asleep. But, your arms will get tired from holding the knitting away from you.

Ringed sling - too fiddly. Worried about ring slipping and child dropping out. (Altho' I've had many-a-moms swear by this type.)

Knitting scale: didn't try it.

New Native/other pouches - I have count them, 2 NN pouches and another pouch just because. Why do I love these? Why they're wonderful. Very compact and baby stays put. When infant-sized, they're snuggled like a bug in a rug and when they fall asleep, you can take the whole thing off and put them down in the crib where the sling acts as a blanket. And super portable. You want to hop in and out of the car w/ baby, no problem. And did I mention the handy dandy loop on the side? Why you can connect your keys or a favorite toy to it and it's not going anywhere. When they get older, you can have them sit in the sling and you can even swing them around to the back. With z, I had him in a sling at 1.3 years while we hiked around the lava fields of the Big Island.

Knitting scale: 3 balls of yarn. If you swing the whole contraption around at least to the side, works pretty well.

Ergo carrier - This is my favorite right now. The on the back thing. Great. Thumbs up. Everyone should get one. No, really, go to the store and get one now. Stop reading and go. It's pretty much a soft front/back pack with backpack clips. It's a tad expensive, but if you think about the fact that it should carry them from birth til 40lbs, that's pretty good. When I went to check them out, I had z, my almost 4 year old, climb in and we walked around the store with him on my back. And now I'll carry him around in it sometimes just for fun.

Knitting scale: 5 balls of yarn. Have them in the backpack position and you can pretty much do all the normal tasks...including knitting.

Other carriers:
The Kangaroo wrap and others - you know, the long piece of cloth thing. Well, a couple of moms in my group have them and they swear by them. But I've got an aversion to tying things, I'm paranoid that the knots won't hold, or more frustrating, they will be too tough to untie.

Kelty or other framed backpack - yes, I have one of these too. They're light for what they are, but man, they're heavy and bulky and I kinda feel like a pack animal when I have it on (think lumbering elephant carrying the maharajah...yeah, don't go there).

MaiTais and other Asian inspired carriers - yes, I covet these too. They are darned purty. But see above and my aversion to tying. Maybe sometime I'll get supercrafty and make one...hmm...not going to happen.

Oh, I was once upon a time thinking I could knit a sling, but have since talked myself out of it (there's a pattern somewhere on the intarweb).
1)It would take a ton of yarn
2)It would be very boring to knit
3)One word. Stretch. The baby and the sling would end up dragging on the floor.
3a)I could felt it, but see 1) and it would take 2 tons of yarn
3b)That would be like knitting a big purse...hmm...nope, not doing it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Red Scarf project

At SnB a bit back, we were chatting about charity knitting, and I mentioned that I'd be interested in doing that (since I had all that free time and all). I commented on the Red Scarf Project, and how I thought that was a cause I could knit for, if I only remembered to get some red yarn. Well, I was given a skein of Lamb's Pride in Blue Blood Red by Ann, so now I had to knit the scarf. As I looked and fondled the yarn, I remembered how much I enjoyed working with LP, and oh, what a color.

This is a nice yarn. And a nice red. I must do it justice. I was a tad worried that one skein wouldn't be enough to make a scarf to spec (something like 60in and 5-8inin width). I was thinking Irish hiking scarf, but that took too much yarn. Then I thought about man-lace (since it should be a non-gender scarf), but I didn't have any pattern books handy. So, I surfed and found a nice pattern. In my first attempt (trying to get the width) I casted on 23 stitches on #8s. 4 seed stitches on each side as a border, that's the ticket. That will get the width. But, as I continued, I realized this will be a really short scarf.
So I ripped it and started over and did a 2-stitch seed border. Looks much better. And I knit. And I'm done. And I blocked it. And it's dry, but darn it, it curls! How do you fix that?!Specs:
Yarn: 1 skein of BlueBloodRed LP worsted
needles: old pair of plastic #8 (which, btw, I love using)
casted on 19 stitches (one pattern repeat)
start-finish: 12/1/2006-12/4/2006
size: approx. 5in X 55in
-Will send off in January

You know, this charity knitting thing does give you the warm fuzzies (and it's not the mohair). I must do more...AFTER I finish more presents.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Baby needs a new hat!

Through surfing around, I came across the meathead hat kal and shoot, I just had to do it. However, stitch marker requested it be done in Lambspride bulky, doubled. And to fit my ginormous noggin, I'll have to make a large hat (46 stitches)...that would mean getting 2 skeins at the LYS. Well, with my chaotic schedule (okay, fear of inadvertently increasing the stash), I haven't had a chance to do that yet. So, the hat remains unmade.

Yesterday, it was chilly here on the Island, so, I went to put a hat on A (you know, one of the super cute ones she got from her knitting buddies), only to find that her little head ain't so little. Yep, baby needs a new hat.

I had some Sirdar bulky hanging about, so I set to knit the hat. Whoah, what a fast knit. I didn't bother knitting in the round since, well, it's only how many rows? 30 something? So, I did my back-o-the-envelope math and figured I'd follow the pattern exactly without doubling the yarn and using size 8 needles and cast on.

I finished and seamed it and guess what?! It's a tad small. She can wear it, and it's darling, but it sorta rides up a bit.

I then casted on again (same yarn, same needles) adding 4 more stitches and an extra row of decreases. This is much better.

A big part of these hats is the embellishing. I crocheted a small flower from yarn 'left over' from my Flora UFO and stuck that on the hat. We're all better now.

pattern- meathead hat
yarn Sirdar
needles #8 straights, then seamed
crochet 5-petal flower with purple yarn

Comments: This is not only a quick and easy pattern, but dang, my kid keeps her hat on. I don't know if it's the construction of the hat or what, but it stays put.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Water bottle cozy finally felted

I was surfing months ago and came across a felted Nalgene bottle cozy. I thought, heck, what's with that, there's no directions or nothing...Well, her directions were something to the effect of knit a circle, then stop increasing and knit a tube, then felt it.
Well, I got a skein of Patons in Palais and did exactly that...knit a circle, then a tube. I do remember that my circle was approx. 6inches in diameter and 13 inches tall. I also knitted a rim on it ala felted slippers. And a handle. Then I forgot to felt it until today (it's been months). I stuck it in hot water to see if I could run it with my whites (hot water) and discovered uhmm, no. That's probably a bad idea. The water never ran clear. Very disappointing. Now, do you think that my other felted items turned water that color too? and I just didn't pay attention?

What to do, what to do...I decided to do it the old fashioned way, in the sink with soap. It looked like a little girl purse, then I stuck the bottle in and voila! It is done. I wasn't too keen on the variegation that was going on pre-felting, but it looks pretty good now. The picture is looking blue...for the true color, go check Paton's site.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Star for me!

A couple of notes....

I can't link to Lacevember and so, no posts on that site. If you haven't been yet, you've got to go check out the FO's. Fabulous.

I got my star! yippee. AND I won the naming contest. How cool is that? It was for naming a shawl contest. And my name for it was 'Dreams into a Sea Stole'. I got the name from the poem "A mother casts her dreams into the sea". Anyway, happy dance.

Also, I'm working on the circular shawl from my new book (see previous post). I'm doing it with blueberry linen yarn, and I'm hoping it doesn't end up looking like a tablecloth...but heck, if it does, I have the perfect circular table for it...

I've also done the calculations for Alpine shawl from the same book, but with an additional central leaf motif so that it'll be wider. (From my calculations, it should add 3 inches to the width, but who knows, my swatches never match my actual knitted piece. )

I'll be using my bonbon silk from ColourmartUK, and size 3 needles.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Spiral Blanket for Z done!

So, back at the end of October, I was working on a big boy blanket for may remember it. Well, I was done at the end of October, but it just didn't look 'finished'. It needed a border. As I was contemplating the border issue, I moved on and worked on other projects. When I finally finished my Lacevember item, I got inspired to finish the blanket. Without further ado, here's the finished (ends weaved in and everything) blanket.


less than 4 skeins Encore Medium blue
less than 4 skeins Encore Miami aqua
1/3 skein Encore Denim blue (this is the blue used for the edging -- AND the one z didn't like and I ended up getting the aqua)
Edging: single crochet 1 round
Time: October 16, 2006-November 21, 2006**
**actually October 30 finish date without the edging
Pattern: Inspired by Loop-D-Loop Geek sweater and Wooly Thoughts (since I had to make up the #'s for each triangle)
Needle size: #7 (I'm a loose knitter)
Finished size: ~52inch square blanket

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

One x-mas gift done

I finished a 2X2 rib scarf out of Silk City Chenille 500. Casted on 26 stitches and knit away. #7 needles and started it Wednesday night (11/08/2006). Finished it 11/10/06. Just got around to taking the picture. I really like it because it's chenille and soft and yet in a neutral colour and pattern.

And, uhmmm, yes. That is a changing pad that the scarf is on (it's clean, I promise).

Monday, November 20, 2006

FO Lace (Flower Basket Shawl) for Lacevember

I had such great intentions -- I was going to start and finish a large project from Folk Shawls, wait no, I was going to start and finish a stole from my new Victorian Lace book, ooh, better yet, I was going to design a shawl of my very own (not that I've done that yet, mind you, but how hard could it be?!)...

Yeah right. I was a-surfin' on the ole intarweb and realized that more than half of the month is gone...In fact, someone mentioned that it was already almost over! Yikes! Anyway, I started this on Tuesday so that I would have something finished by the end of the month and not be lame. This is the good standard Flower Basket shawl from IK Fall 2004. I was able to find the mag from a friend from knitting group (Thanks!).

Having knit this shawl as well as the Shetland triangle (from the same author), I'd say this pattern is a little more fiddly. You need to pay attention a bit more with the yo's and it took a tad longer to get into the rhythm of this shawl (I didn't really get into the groove until I was almost done, and even then, I had to look at the pattern at the start of the row to confirm). With the Shetland triangle, you could easily look at what you've done and realize what the next row needs to be.

Anywhoo, here's a closeup of the shawl.

yarn: 70% angora 30%nylon
Cast on date: 11/14/06
End date: 11/19/06
pattern: Flower Basket shawl from IK Fall 2004
needles: #7 Clovers

You know, I almost ripped it a couple of times when I realized I missed a yo -- am glad really, since I really like this pattern much more than Shetland triangle, and I like that alot.

Now I've got to jet over to Lacevember to get myself a star!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lace schmace and the LYS no more

So, what am I doing instead of knitting lace? Why, thinking about knitting lace and aquiring stuff for lace knitting.

Exhibit 1: Books from the local library
Exhibit II: The new book. It's amazing. Yes, I went to Big Bookstore and got this. Go check out Grumperina's review.
Exhibit III: The new patterns thanks to my LYS going out of business. Altho' I never attended her knitting night nor honestly bought that much stuff from her (okay, that's a relative statement--compared to most knitters, I probably didn't purchase that much, according to normal people, I did) , I am really going to miss her and the store. She has great taste in yarns I really liked to go visit the said yarns. She is a fab knitter and her lacework is amazing. Sadly, her last day open will be this weekend. Sadness.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Happy Birthday to me.

Today is my birthday and the family got me a really yummy chocolate cake, and chocolates... and yarn money. I think I'll actually get my Knitpicks order that I've had in my basket for about a couple of months. Monday, I want to run to Big box book store to see if they've got the new Victorian Lace book (the site said they had it in stock).

And to top it off, I got another package of the silk bonbon yarn from Colourmart, and when I emailed them, they said to keep it because they made a mistake and sent my order again. Yippee! Of course, my evil twin is thinking why didn't I order the cashmere, I could have gotten 2 cones...naw, I'm just happy to have this yarn. Altho' they've got more beautiful silk yarns and I may have to get another cone (although they raised the price by $2.00). I promise not to order any cashmere until I've used up some of the noncashmere yarn I already have.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Ideal lace making conditions?

Ideal lace making conditions include beverages of any kind, and a wee bit of distraction. Total silence is maddening, so a little noise is good, and makes that lace magic happen.

I enjoy working on 'easy' lace patterns at know: k2tog, yo,k,yo,ssk,k, repeat. I can actually chat and knit at the same time. However, if it's a pattern that actually requires me thinking about it (which is uhmm...most of them), I tend to have the television on, and follow the chart. Hopefully it's on something I taped, so that I can rewind the tape if necessary (no TiVo here).

And ideal would be no small children tugging on me whilst I'm knitting lace (that's not about to happen, so most lace knitting occurs after bedtime).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I was so close on getting some ca$hmere from ColourmartUK, but I just couldn't do it. Why not? I want to order from his non-Ebay store, but the colors are a little lacking. I'm waiting for a good 4-ply. Anyway, I saw this and couldn't pass it up. $10/cone of laceweight silk. ooh...bonbon...sweet...I knit up a little swatch using #3's and it was nice.
100% silk lace weight yarn for hand or machine knitting
Simply silk, deep deep lustrous colors...
Cone Weight: 150g, 5oz
Yards on each cone: approx 2,500 (7,500 yards per lb).
This yarn comes from one of the top knitting mills in Scotland, and was specially made for them in France.
This yarn is supplied still oiled for industrial knitting, and needs to be washed to "bloom" further.
This yarn is a 2 ply yarn, (2/28NM), and will knit similarly to the lace weight yarns described in the table comparing the knit properties of most of our yarns here .

Non-knitting cool kid post

As I'm dropping off z and a at school this morning, this is the conversation I had w/ z (who's 3 1/2):

z: momma?
me: yes, z?
z: this weekend, on Saturday, I want Viks for lunch.
me: really?
z: two dosas, one puffy bread (cholle), and no chicken biryani.
z: because the chicken biryani is too spicy.
me: yes, the chicken is very spicy.

Last weekend, we went to Viks
(in Berkeley, and if you've never been, go), and we got our usual order: one dosa, one cholle, chicken biryani and one Thumbs Up soda (tastes like wood) for z and a's dad...

Anyway, how cool is that? I've got a kid that enjoys eating more than turkey hotdogs, mac&cheese, and chicken strips (although he really likes those too)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Lacevember Activity

First activity for Lacevember...actually, I probably should go grab a button. Maybe tomorrow...

The knitting questions, or the usual suspects

How long have you been knitting? January 2005

How did you learn to knit? from book and friend

Favorite thing about knitting? endproduct

How long have you been knitting lace? a year ago, I made Liesel, but didn't 'catch the bug' until a couple of months ago

Favorite thing about knitting lace. It keeps my interest and is very cool

The yarn questions, or flash your stash

Favorite lace yarn? Misti Alpaca (mostly 'cause I haven't tried alot of others)

variegated or solids for shawls? depends of the pattern, mostly solids

Favorite lace color? all colors.

Technique, or show us your skillz

Circs or straights? both

Favorite lace knitting trick? doing nupps in parts

Lifelines? If so with what? only once, am too lazy now. I used crochet cotton.

Fancy blocking wires, or just sewing pins stuck in your carpet? wire from Ace Hardware

Pattern, or can you follow directions

shawls or lacey items? ummm...Yes!

triangle, rectangle, or circular shawls? I like the look of rectangle shawls, have made more triangle shawls, and would like to attempt circular shawls (once I get past the thought that circular shawls look like big doilies or tablecloths)

Charts or printed instructions? I love charts, but sometimes need to look at written instructions to confirm

Favorite lace you've knit? Eunny Jang's Print O'Wave

Favorite lace you want to knit? Someday, I'd like to do an Orenburg shawl in cobweb yarn

Just Fun, yup that's right, just for fun

Favorite jelly belly flavor? not a big fan of jelly bellies, red flavor?!

Tell me everything you know about Eric the Red.....all I know about him is that he was a Viking

Coke, classic or with lime? diet coke or diet coke w/ lime

Holiday carols, sing along, or wish they would be banned from all public airwaves? ban them! naw, they're okay

What is the definition of irony? seriously...seriously?!

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop? 1

Why is my cat always puking in front of my son's bedroom door? because he can

What is your superhero power? with my super spidey sense, I know when my children are doing things that they shouldn't.

If the laundry is 9 foot by 11 foot (just dreaming, that's a big laundry room), and the walls are 8 feet tall, and you are going to tile the entire room in tiles that are 3 inches by 5 inches, what color should those tiles be? green

What's for dinner tonight? nachos

What is clogging my children's bathtub drain? hair

Swallowtail II

I got this partial cone of laceweight wool, clearly used for machine knitting (it's oily and smells like machine oil). So, I started another Shetland triangle from IK Wrap Style (you all know that's what everyone I know is getting, right?!), but realized that I wanted to make the Shetland square using almost the same type yarn (a slightly lighter green wool). So, I bound off my sample and washed it to see how it would look. Using size 7 needles, this is what I have.

Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, it's super soft and really shows the stitches very well. I was a tad doubtful when I started knitting with this yarn because the stitches were all wonky. But this is purty, isn't it.

Instead, I decided to do another swallowtail, and maybe this time either add another repeat, or (gasp!) do different edging. (Note to self: read the information from Eunny Jang re: lace). Here's the WIP at 150 something stitches. This is using old #5's that sizes to #6's. Okay, look how much yarn I have left, I really need to either do additional repeats or something.

On the blanket front, I'm still trying to decide on edging. I think I'll do a mitered knit edging ala Mason-Dixon blanket, but I've got to figure out whether to use a 3rd color for the edge or to use the aqua or medium blue.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Oh, wait, it's lacevember

and I haven't chosen a pattern yet.

I'm presently working on another Shetland Triangle as well as a scarf in some random lace book. However, I believe that I should do a largish project. I've got some green Shetland wool...maybe I'll do a Shetland square from Folk Shawls. Or the birdnest one... I was looking at my Modern Lace Knitting book (the 1st one) and I really like the curtains, I was wondering if that would be too weird to be a reinterpreted as a stole ala Scarlett (O'Hara, that is).

Oh, I came across Lace Style. Too bad the book doesn't come out until next year. All I can say is that they'd better not have previously published patterns in this book(like the Holiday issue I got suckered into purchasing). I'll be bummed.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Here are the pics for the blanket. The initial triangles were fun to knit (albeit the simultaneous 4 skeins of yarns did get tangled alot).

However, as the blanket grew, the knitting did get a tad more monotonous, however, the yarns stopped tangling. Okay, easy knit, since it's only knit stitch. I used #7's on Plymouth Encore. I've used almost 4 skeins of each colour. I'm not done yet, I've still to put edging. Without edging, it just doesn't look finished.

Happy Halloween!

So, I was in charge of hollowing out the pumpkins and the boys were in charge of carving while I was at knitting last night. What do you think of these. Fabulous.

Yes, z picked the baying wolf and helped dad carve it. Cool or what. Now, 2 more pumpkins to go...

Monday, October 30, 2006

Non-knitting Molbio (work related) post

So, since the demise of the company that I worked for, I've been primarily learning to knit, and then doing lots of knitting (in case you're wondering how I can manage 2 small children, work, the beginning of a huge remodel, and knitting, well, I hadn't).

Anyway, seems that I may have landed my perfect job -- all without actively pursuing it. At a wedding this summer, I was seated with friends who asked when I was going to go back to work. I flippantly said ' when there's a part-time job on this side of the bay'...knowing full well that 1)most positions were located in the Penninsula and south and would require a huge commute and I've been there and done that and don't want to do that again, 2) there have been huge layoffs at biotech companies around here and the market is saturated with desperate folks looking for jobs in my field, 3) part-time biotech? yeah, that's like cheap housing in the Bay Area... Well, it turns out that such a beast does exist. I got a call from a friend who told me about her friend (who I've met and quite like and have actually worked with their company) who was looking for ...yes, a part-time molecular biologist. Yay me.

Looks like I'll be starting this Wednesday. The only sad thing is that I had just gotten into a good schedule with a, and now, she'll start at z's school this week.

On the knitting front, I've 'finished' the blanket, and now it's only edging, yeah, right, only edging.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Spirally Loop-D Geek transfiguration

I'm over the moon. My z actually requested a knitted object. This is the boy who refuses to wear the sweaters I knitted for him (orange lovely from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, blue rolled collar pull-over from some pattern, and the Italia Fingerpaints toddler cardi). This is also the same boy that had no interest in a kitty or elephant that I knit for him. Or any of the knitted bags, scarves, hats, etc...

Well, he wants a baby blanket. But not a baby blanket, a big boy blanket...I immediately started looking for a pattern. I showed him the Curve of Pursuit that I first saw in the Mason-Dixon book. He thought that would be cool. I then saw the Swirl Without End and he thought that was also cool. I thought hey, I have this pattern...Loop-D-Loop as the Geek sweater. Well, gee, I wanted to start it now, and to order the pattern from across the pond would just take too long.

As for the yarn, he likes blue. We went on-line and he picked out the blue colors he liked. I came home with navy blue and medium blue and he pitched a fit (did I mention he's not 4 years old yet?). Apparently, he doesn't like the navy. What's a mom to do? Yeah, I caved. I told him that if he didn't like the Miami Aqua (I had that for a sweater I never finished for him because I wasn't going to knit him any more clothing -- and yes, the sweater was done minus one sleeve. Yes, one sleeve), he wasn't getting a blanket. He said he liked the color and so I started knitting (after ripping and rewinding the sweater).

I knitted the blanket according to protocol in the book. At triangles 8 or so, I figured out that I've knitted a bowl. Awww, pickles! The pattern asks for an increase of only 2 stitches per side and well, that's not enough. Think about geometry and tell me how an additional 2 stitches per side would work out. (it doesn't.)I could stretch it out to flat again, but since this is being made w/ Encore, it's not going to ever block out. Soooo, ripped out to block 6 and started again. At block 9, realized the culprit was at block 5 (double pickles!) and ripped it back. The nice thing about Encore is that no tinking required. Pull out the needles and rip away and super easy to pick up the remaining loops.

Anyway, I'm knitting triangles. And more triangles. I'm tired of knitting triangles, so the blanket should be done pretty soon. I have pics in the camera, but can't be bothered to upload them. Will take finished shot and post then.

One thing tho'...he's got a good eye for color. It looks really good.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Shetland triangle

I've been coveting the IK Wrap Styles for awhile now. It's not one of the books available at the library, and I so wanted to make a couple of wraps. I've visited the book on a number of occasions and finally picked it up (the one remaining copy -- I felt that if it were still there, I'd get it since I had a 50% off coup). No, seriously, I'd go visit the book. Pick it up and walk around with it for awhile, then put it down again, 'cause, you know, I've not worn a wrap since I was 8 years old and my mother made me a yellow poncho with a multi-colour strip in the middle, and it had fringe. And it was acrylic -- I'm suspecting it was Red Heart or something similar. I have nothing against petrochemical ponchos, I wore that thing for years...Anyway, I'd go to the store and see that yes, they still had the book, but did I need that book?

Why, yes I did. I'll be making a project from this book for at least one person on my xmas list.

I'm starting with the shetland lace. It doesn't use much yarn and it's an easy pattern to memorize. Of course, remember when I first started lace and was amazed and confounded by folks that, wow, can remember the pattern. Well, I've become one of those folks. yeah for me.

Here's the specs:
Start date: 10/8/06
Finish date: 10/11/06
yarn: blue angora yarn (same as black but blue) 1 ball
blocking: 10/13/06

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Kiri shawl was such a fast knit that I didn't even have time to blog about it.

black 70% angora 30% nylon yarn
1.5 balls of it
started: October 2, 2006
finished: October 9, 2006
15 total repeats
needles: size 4 Clovers with size 9 bind off (after reading about too tight bind offs on other blogs)
*edging looked pretty crummy since it was so loose.

Blocking: Check out that scallop (yippee!). Of course, I'm not a huge fan of that pointy thing at the bottom pointing to your bottom, but I guess the new thing about shawls is to wear it skewed (or is it just me?)

It blocked much much larger than I expected. It spans the extra large bath towel (aka bath sheet) and I had to block it in our almost cleared out basement.

Very very pretty. I am a tad worried that the angora won''t block out that well, the pattern will be obscured and look like a black cat around the shoulders. That and that it'll shed everywhere. I noticed that the water did change color when I had it soaking in the sink. Either way, this yarn was lovely to knit with. I'll likely make this again with another yarn (in a lighter shade).

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Wave Bye Bye

Yep, I finished Eunny Jang's Print O' Wave shawl. Here are the specs:
start date: Aug 2006
finished: Sept 29, 2006
materials: 3 skeins of Misti Alpaca (actually, more like 2.4 -- surprising since I thought I'd read that you're only supposed to use ~900 yds of laceweight. I tend to have much more left over yarn than other folks, especially if I follow the directions)
needles: size 4 Clover straights, Clover circs, Boye circs (didn't like the Boyes because they are too slippery for alpaca and got the Clovers)

Observations and alterations from nicely written protocol:
- knit the main piece in one piece, not two. I didn't like the way they joined in the middle.
- they should warn you that most of your time is spent on the edging...damn that edging. That part of the stole took me seriously, a month. None of that 40% of the scarf is edging, more like 60%
- in hindsight, should have taken the time to do the math, and figure out the pattern of the edging. It sure got wonky right on the corners. I hope it'll block out.
- knit with different needles. I figured out that for Misti Alpaca, must use bamboo.
- I'm really a loose knitter, and I really should consider smaller needles.
- Misti Alpaca is quite warm, and I hope I'll wear the stole.
- will attempt to block using music wires and am hoping that they don't rust
- I really like this pattern.
- I really like knitting lace.



Observations about the blocking:
This blocked large, way large. I had purchased some music wires and had to use additional pins to pin it out (it's larger than 72 in). The stole blocked beautifully, but I did come across a glaring mistake on the edging. Okay, not glaring, but somehow I managed to have 2 somewhat peaks instead of 1. I'm a tad puzzled since the math worked out, but oh, well.

Will post beauty shots once I get a chance. (The weather is crummy).

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Linen bookmark

I've revisited the bookmark making thing since I've decided I like lace. I have some linen laceweight yarn and thought I'd make this bookmark.

I used 100% linen yarn
#1 plastic straights.
pattern from the internet -- starts as 1 stitch on the bottom and each row starts as a YO

I thought I had #1 Addis but they were in fact #2. I swatched this yarn (actually, more like string) on #4, #3, and #1. The 4s were a little too lacy for a bookmarker, but if I decide to make a larger project w/ the linen yarn, I may opt for the larger needle. I blocked it and now it's soft, so I'll have to stiffen it w/ whatever concoction folks use to make crochet snowflakes and angels (which I'll be attempting soon).

I liked the pattern, but the first thing z&a's dad said when he saw it was that it looked phallic.

btw--the book it's on is Omnivore's Dilemma. You'll never think about food in the same way again...(or at least that's what z&a's dad says -- I bought him that book for his birthday).

Monday, October 02, 2006

Oregon Stash

While at the Oregon Flock and Fleece Festival, I saw some beautiful stuff, roving mostly, but lots of yarn too...I'm still bummed I didn't get additional alpaca yarn, or the beautifully soft cashmere that was available (the $$$ it cost was another factor).

Now, for what I did get. I got enough laceweight wool for a shawl (in dark grey), a ball of laceweight alpaca (2 oz) for another swallowtail or a shawlette, and a little alpaca. You can't see the alpaca very well in my picture. I may take another pic at a later date.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


The Oregon Flock and Fleece Festival was this last weekend so I thought I'd stop by. We had planned a trip up to Orygun earlier this year and upon searching for knit and yarn events in the Northwest, it ended up that our trip coincided with the festival.

We drove south to Canby, a mere 30 miles from Portland (what's 30 miles when you've traveled 500+?). We followed their directions and pulled into a dirt/grass parking lot to find animals the size of sheep, but were in fact large dogs. We think there must have been a dog show going on at the same time. Anyway, we got back in the car and went a couple hundred yards further to another dirt/grass parking lot (bigger than the other one) and I noted that there were folks carrying large bags of loot, I mean fleece, to their cars...

The four of us went in and saw lots of folks in the central area spinning. There was also the yummy smell of barbeque, but since we'd eaten right before, it wasn't that tempting (especially the huge lines). We perused one building and realized that the animals weren't there.

btw-- that's how I was able to get them to go to the OFFF...the promise of sheep, llamas, and alpacas.

We finally found the animals and they were utterly charming. I love love the alpacas.
Also liked the llamas.
The angora bunnies were freaks . They were huge and fluffy and they took up the whole bunny cage.(didn't take pictures)

While z&a and z&a's dad were looking at the animals, I got a chance to look at yarn. I will post pictures of the small loot when I get a chance to take pics of them.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Whiny winding

Okay, I love love my new swift. In fact, I wanted to wind my first windable-only-with-swift laceweight yarn on it. It's a lovely dark blue wool...Placed it on the swift and noticed that there are more than 2 ends...hmmm...what's that all about?! Maybe a separate piece of yarn was used to tie off the skeins...yes, that must be it.

Well, no.

I now have (count them) 7 cakes of yarn! One large and 6 small to very small cakes. What the F? (I'm so bummed I'm not even dignifying it with a picture). I'd be winding a bit, then it would end. How frustrating was that? I'll be able to Russian join them together for the stole I have in mind for it (Persimmon from Summer Knitters mag), but still. I think (I'm hoping) that the hank of yarn was accidently cut? I think that's the case because there were times where I fished out 2 yarn ends that matched perfectly. But still, how annoying. It's not like I'm going to go and get my money back (all purchases final and their last day will be Saturday). Also, I got such a great deal on the swift itself...

Anyway, whine whine vent vent.

Thanks for listening.

On a less whiny note:
I'm 44% done with the edging on the Print O' Wave stole...I am seeing the light.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Swift Story

I've been yearning for a swift for gee, I don't know how long. I have been making do with the 70's style floor lamp and aging non-matching shade as my swift. Here's a picture of it. (Please disregard the quikrete bag in our basement.)

How funny is that?! I've had on more than one occasion been so enthusiastic with my winding that the finial went flying off. Oh, and the shade does not match the lamp, the original shade was cylindrical in shape (and that just won't do). Also, please note the clips literally holding the shade onto the metal shade cage. Classy, I know.

Aside: You probably already know how using a lamp/shade as a swift works, BUT...For using a lamp/shade as swift, you find a nicely shaped lamp and shade (unplugged, of course), and place hank of yarn over the shade. Then loosen the finial (nobby thing on top that holds shade to lamp) and you are set to wind. Words of caution: try not to get too enthusiastic in your winding because 1) the finial can fall off and the lamp shade may derail, 2) you may end up with a tangled mess around the lamp base or harp, 3) the hank of yarn can slip off the shade since the only thing stopping that are those lovely clips. Guess how I know these things.

As I said, I've been craving swifts. I've been checking and rechecking the Joann site, looking at Mama Bear's swift, and even downloaded,printed out AND purchased items to make a swift myself. But I got hung up on the make it yourself model. I didn't have a drill bit to drill the holes for the dowels (how lame is that?!).

So, I thought I'd think about purchasing a swift. I had the wooden swift in my basket at Skein Lane when it was 20% off. Nope, too expensive, back it went. Then, I had the Japanese metal/plastic one in my hands (50% off) when I was at Skein Lane a little while ago. I checked it out, and couldn't pull the trigger on it --it would have been very close to the price of the Joann swift(also at a 50% discount). It just looked too rickety, and the metal clamp? Don't even go there. Instead, I did the enabler thing, I found a woman in the shop who I overheard had wanted to purchase a swift (she was looking at me with envy as I had the only swift left in the store in my shopping basket) ...And I gave it to her. Then I had non-buyer's remorse for about a week...shoulda...shoulda...but didn't. Not only that but later at another yarn store, I realized that this is what they use for winding yarn?! Can't be THAT rickety. Drats!

Then I went to Lacis and looked at their wooden swifts. Very pretty, like furniture. But it takes up room, but very pretty...hmm...oh, and they had the metal one also, at full price. Drats!

I read up on swifts some more and I read about the Schact GOKO swift. And how this swift is the perfect swift for lace, and you all know how I'm crazy for lace now. It's got a flywheel and gravity isn't an issue with this swift since it's ferris-wheel like.

Back to my story, yes, I thought what a wonderful swift, and didn't I see some metal bits that looked like the swift in a box under a table at Skein Lane? Naw, that was a spindle for spinning...

I ended up stopping by the shop as it's now been several days at 75% off original prices and I thought a few patterns would be good. I walked into the shop and looked under the table where I thought I'd seen the box, and was a little disappointed when it wasn't there. Oh, well...then I looked AT the table and a shopper moved a box off the buttons so that she could look at the selection., it can't be...why, there's a sale tag on the box saying spindle on sale. I nonchalantly went up to the box and peered inside and took out the manual. It was indeed the swift and they had 2 of them! I asked about the adjustability of the swift and I apparently couldn't read, because the shop owner looked at the instructions and said yes.

I promptly bought the swift (at 75% off). I told her how surprised I was that this wasn't snapped up and she thought that folks didn't know what it was. Seriously, this is what she was selling. And really, would you have purchased this box? And it said spindle. And it's mine!

Took it home and have set it up and finally got around to winding the Koigu for A's socks. It is wonderful. And it's mine. And it was very inexpensive. And did I mention it was mine? Ends up the swift is a little limited as to size of hanks for winding (57"-63"), but it's very very nice.

Monday, September 11, 2006


I'm blocking! This has been a super interesting knit. I'm finding that I really do like doing lace work (altho' it's a real challenge doing it with a 3.5yo and a 4mo old, especially the older one pulling on the arm whilst knitting). But I finished this lickity split fast (for me).

start date: August 29
end date: Sept 7
blocking: today
yarn: 1 skein of Misti Alpaca in Blue (I have some left over)
needles: size 3 Clover circs

Thinking that this:

would turn into this:

I did make a major error in knitting this (besides not paying attention to how I'm blocking this sucker), I shifted off a stitch on the edging and didn't realize it until much later. It's here. On the edging, I misknitted and then somehow recovered such that two of the triangles aren't pointy (extra yo?)
I'm pretty darn proud of this. And it was such a nice fun knit that I'll just have to do another one. It really is too bad that I don't like triangular shawls...I may have to make another, but alter it to become a stole (ala print o'wave).

Thursday, September 07, 2006

It's a good day

It's been a good day. We went to Baby knitting at Article Pract today. Wow, there were lots'o babies and many moms. In fact, stroller parking was in the back (aside: didn't know that they had a back yard, will have to investigate another time).

Very nice moms and kids ranging in age from 7 weeks to 14months (that was the teacher's baby, so that doesn't count). Not alot of knitting got done, but I tried. I brought my swallowtail because I'm binding off (happy dance happy dance)...I've not done this type of bind off before, but pretty cool. I'll have to check to see what's the real name for this bind off and also whether this is SOP for lace. I managed to bind off maybe 12-15 stitches...the rest of the time was spent chatting and admiring other babies. Like I said, a good day.

I come home to find this:

yes, this is my sample pack from ColourMart. Plus they sent 250yds of washed cashmere. I will be super good and just knit up one of these samples (and then wash it) to see how it compares with their sample. Their laceweight is a bit thinner than I expected, and I believe I'd like the 4-ply the best.

The only thing is that their DK and Aran weight is just strands plied together.

I do want me some cashmere...

Did I mention that I have very expensive taste in yarn? I always seem to find the absolute most expensive ball of yarn in a yarn store. Today for example, I am minding my own business and browsing and come across a little ball of pretty yarn. Yep, Qiviut at $52(?) for a small ball. Or the hank of yarn that I was admiring, only to find that it's cashmere (sigh).

Can you knit up a neckwarmer with 250 yds? I think I'll have to find the perfect pattern before I invest in this yarn. (they're about $30/1150yds plus $5 shipping). That is not too expensive. Maybe for my birthday...but I may want either a pressure cooker or a swift for my birthday...I'll have to try to remember if I got myself a present last year...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Lace on the brain

I had to post this picture from IK as inspiration. As I'm nearing the end of IK's swallowtail, and feeling that I'm screwing up the final edging. Don't ask, I somehow gained 2 stitches and tinked it a couple of times back a couple of rows, and couldn't figure it out, so I just faked it.

Anyway...I felt the need to get some inspiration, so it was pack up A and head to lovely Lacis (I also had to run errands, so it wasn't too bad). Yes, just you shush, I've driven by it how many times and never went in. I wanted to check out their book selection as well as their tools and you KNOW I just had to take a look at cobweb weight yarn.

What a neat place. I was directed to the knit lace part of their book section, I got a chance to look through (albeit quickly since I had A in a sling) some of their books. Prices for books were steep. Maybe I misread the sticker, or else it's signed by the author or something, but they were about twice the amount I've seen elsewhere. I was specifically looking for A Gathering of Lace, but didn't see it there. But what I really liked was their needle selection. Wow. There are some seriously dangerous tools there. Their metal dpns were amazing. They had 000 (?) double pointed needles. I swear they were wire. They looked like wire. Anywhoo, they carried the Inox, so I got a circ for my next project.

I was shown what cobweb weight yarn look like (yes, it looks just like sewing thread, but slightly thinner!). Yeah, I'll be doing a project in that weight real soon...yeah, right.

I was told that they're getting Zephyr yarn in pretty soon. They will only be carrying white ecru and black to start. I can't wait!

Back to Lacis, they have all this lace stuff, just beautiful stuff. It's so inspired me that I may pick up crocheting again and doing some lace. I wonder what I'd do with lace doilies...

So, if you're in the neighborhood, definitely go!

Oh, and since Lacis doesn't open until noon, I had a little time to browse at Article Pract in Oakland. They reminded me (again) that they have baby knitting Thursday mornings. I'm going. I'm really going to go. Really. 10:30am. Really.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Nupps suck!

So, I'm thinking that lace is fun. It's easy, lot's of yos, ssks, and k2togs...until now, got to nupps and thought, 'oh, my friggin goodness' (okay, in stronger terms than that). How are you supposed to purl 5 stitches to 1 stitch.

I had recently checked out of the library the Barbara Abbey's knitting lace book and there's a bit on bundling stitches and such. Instead of trying to purl all the stitches at once (which was what I was attempting) the book suggested purling a couple of them then psso. Now, I'm thinking, the book is old, that can't be the "correct" way of doing this stitch, otherwise, they'd tell you in the protocol, right?! Anyway, googled and found that yep, that's the way to do them without going crazy. (At one point, I had extra needles out, a couple of crochet hooks, it was ugly, really ugly...AND I had to tink back to reknit the ,k,yo,k,yo,k into the same stitch several times because those yos tend to sprong away if you're not careful).

So, pics will be available when I get around to it.

Happy Labor Day!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

On another edge

While waiting for a reply to my dilemma regarding the stole o'the wave, I couldn't help myself...I started the Swallowtail from IK. I'd read about it on Yarn Harlot's blog( I think it was her site) a bit back and I thought 'wow, a scarf done with one ball of yarn -- I'm so there'. I think if I could do 1 cone/ball/skein projects, I so would.

Anyway, I casted on and started working on this project while waiting for an answer, any answer from the KAL. Thanks so much to Eileen, I now have the numbers correct in my brain to finish Print O'Wave, but first, I must must finish the swallowtail. I'm at the edging now. Will post pics later.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Postcard from the edge

Dear Reader,

I'm having a grand time! Wish you were here...

The center of the spiral rug was finished in 2 days, liked making the circle, very cool. And then the madness began. That outside piece? that would be done in knit stitch for the circumference of the rug (wait for it...twice). Since there's another knit piece for the outer section. All I can think of is 'don't run out of yarn don't run out of yarn don't run out of yarn...'

On why I don't want to run out of yarn: Peaches n Creme is an okay yarn, but I don't want another cone of the darn thing. Unfortunately, the way the edge is knitted, if you run out of yarn, you either rip it and reknit with less stitches (I'm doing 9 vs. their 10) or buy another cone. Update: yep, need to buy more yarn (at least it's cheap!).

On another note of madness, I just picked up and am knitting 240X2 + 160 stitches for the edging of the shawl. Picking up 240 stitches per side was a little harrowing. I calculated that I needed to pick up approximately 7 stitches per wave motif. Yes, I had to repick up the first 50 a bunch of times before it was okay. The last 40 stitches were also a pain since you can't fudge it since you run out of edge. And the other side? I tried my best to match the previous side, but oh well. Oh, and since I knit it all in one piece without reading the directions carefully, I have an additional knit row on one side.

And now, I'm stuck on the stole. If only I knew how many stitches I needed at the end, I could fix it...really I could.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bandwagon here I come!

Yes, I'm knitting a rug! Something I never thought I'd do. I'm doing it due to the Mason-Dixon book (I WILL get value from the book, besides a good read). I really liked the concept that your house will never complain...good thought. Oh, but I'm not making Absorba, I'll be working on the pinwheel rug using short rows. I'm using Peaches n' Creme denim 3 strands held together. At SnB last night, I wound some of it off the cone and then realized I didn't have the appropriate sized needles -- I think my assortment of needles from size 10-13 are all on UFOs.

So, I swatched with #13 and 9's and realized that I almost got gauge with the 9's (12st/4in verses their 13st/4 in). Not a big surprise since they're using wool and doubling the yarn while I'm tripling.

I was able to finish one wedge last night. I think I'll be doing alternating with the ecru color. Not sure yet about the look.

Oh, if this rug turns out, I've got the wool yarn ready for a rug in the kitchen! Yep, kitchen.

Monday, August 21, 2006


We left a and z at our wonderful friends' home and went off to a beautiful wedding in Berkeley this weekend. Although the bride (and some of our friends) asked about the children, I must say it was absolutely liberating attending an event without having to have mom-radar on and repeating over and over 'please stop doing that'...

It was a very touching ceremony at the Botanical Gardens -- now, why didn't I know about the site? It's absolutely serene. Very gorgeous. I recommend this site to anyone wanting a smallish outdoor wedding (besides our beloved Oakland Rose Garden, of course). And honestly, I think that it takes being married (and having had to plan said wedding) to really appreciate a wedding. I now understand all about the care that goes into such an event, the songs to be picked out (they really are meaningful!) and the details...things I didn't pay attention to when I was single and clueless...oh, well.

A 'friend' (what do you call a person you like, but doesn't live in the same town, don't keep in touch with, but really enjoy their company when you see them?), a friend just had a baby (5 weeks) and was telling us about their delivery -- much to my surprise, we had similar (horror) stories. At 48hrs after birth, her son's heart also had to be restarted, just like a. And I totally understood about the trauma of trying to recover from a c-section (her's was an emergency c-section after 30 hrs of labor) and being told you need to sign this consent form because your child's heart is getting ready to bounce out of their body!

So that was Saturday. On Sunday, we went up to the Marin Cheese Factory to celebrate MIL's birthday. It was lots of fun seeing family and meeting her friends.

She had said she didn't want presents, but what was I to do? I got the yarn early this year specifically for I presented her with this (completed of course).

Interlacements Rick Rack II
Scottish Lichen - purchased at Stitches West in February
Feather and Fan pattern from them
80in X 30in?
off and on knitting 2/2006-8/2006

The nice thing is that I've got more yarn so I can make one for myself! Altho' this is 'novelty' yarn, it was pretty spendy. But it does feel lovely!

Yarn Info:
Rick Rack II - Scottish Lichen - Color 119
The most beautiful rayon yarn to weave and knit. Knit as a fine yarn or as lace with a 6 needle, we have a Feather and Fan Shawl that is to dye for. Also weaves into scarves and in combination with other yarns for clothing.

Colorway: Scottish Lichen
Colorway Color: Sky Blue, Olive, Turquoise, Dark Green, and Blue Green
Type: Novelty
Fiber Content: 100% Rayon
Yardage: 1400 Yards
Size Weight: Approx 16oz.
Putup: Reeled Skein
Gauge: 10 epi plain weave, 13 epi for twill.

Friday, August 18, 2006

What I knit on my summer vacation pt. I

While down south, when I wasn't dealing with the kids, or when I wasn't lazying around watching TV, I knitted--actually, I knitted while dealing with kids, lazying about, and watching television. I finished another bib and worked on Eunny's Print O' Wave stole. I originally got the Misti Alpaca to do the Mystery Stole II, but as the clues got printed, I realized that I wanted a lacy lace stole, not one that was knitted fabric with a few YO patterns. I do like the MSII stole (especially the pictures I saw on the yahoo group--gorgeous!), just not right now.

I then hit the intarweb...what a wild wacky world...where all your dreams can come true. Anyway, I searched a number of sites and found Eunny's beautiful stole pattern. It's supposed to be an easy pattern -- if I can make a Liesel scarf this should be a cakewalk given that it's only a 9 row repeat. I'll put some markers in...first mistake. I ripped it by the 5th row. Oh, yes. Step back and realize that although all the stitches at the end of the row end up totalling 80 stitches, umm...well, the markers I so diligently placed, well they move!? Now, why didn't I think of that before. I literally knitted and ripped it 2-3 times before I got it, then it was a smack on the head and a 'doh'.

I then searched 'Eunny and wave' and found that there was a Yahoo group, which I then joined. I also found that there were much discussions about this stole so I spent time reading that too. Finally, I looked at the joining the two center pieces together and vacillated between knitting the pattern as written or knitting a big long piece.

Many bloggers were in the same boat regarding the seam down the center. Now, I'm a symmetrical type of a girl. Given there's one side, I'm compulsively trying to make sure there's another that matches...sort of. For example, socks with variegated yarn, yes, I do make an attempt at trying to sort of match the two socks (that's not to say that by the end, they do match -- but I try). And I did like the waves flowing downward. But then I kept going to the center of the pattern and how there's a visible connection seam. Well, that just won't do. A blogger thought she was going to knit an additional pannel to 'fix' it, but well, I've just not looked at enough lacework yet to figure out what pattern would look nicely there. So, my solution is to just keep on knitting...
After that issue was resolved, I'm continuing to knit. But again, as this is my first true knitted lace item (don't count worsted weight scarves or bookmarkers), I'm stressing about how big and long it's going to be. Again, Eunny has written how if you use laceweight yarn, it'll turn out huge at 70in long...BUT I like scarves/wraps/stoles long. On one hand, I really want to believe the lace knitting gurus, but on the other hand, as a scientist, I compulsively 'do the experiment' to confirm results. You may think it's reinventing the wheel, but as a scientist, you need to confirm published results before you build on them...yeah right, you should do a gauge swatches too!

Since I'm knitting one long panel, I have a ways to go before I decide whether to veer even farther away from the original pattern...

So, right now I'm on 21/34 pattern repeats. But I read that the edging is what kills ya.

I should add that it's being knitted on #4 bamboo straights mostly and somewhat knitted on SB circs when I need to add a lifeline. Why not Inox or Addis? Don't have #4's in either, that's why. Also, that blue bit on the needles, that's the curly doodad in action

Monday, August 14, 2006

Curly Doodads

I love tools, specifically knitting tools. You know, point protectors, stitch markers, needle sizers, organizers, needle holders, counters, I love them all. And I like to collect them. And organizers to put the doodads in (sigh).
I'm not one of those folks who would rather use cheapo needles and spend all their $$$ on yarn. Nope, not me. Yarn, once knitted up, becomes an object to be used/worn/given away. It's the perishable part of knitting...unlike the tools, which are more like the well-honed chef's knife or the perfect pot for making toffee.

But my newest love are these plastic phone cord deals, made by Clover (Clover Coil Knitting Needle Holders). They're outrageously priced at $5plus for 5 small plastic coils, but I've only gotten the set when I've had a coupon, so they're a little more reasonable. But man, they rock!

They're even better than the plastic needle holder licorice twist looking things. With these, they hold the stitches on the needle well enough so that I'm not going to come back to a big mess. Yet, the holder can be 'wound' onto the needle so (yeah!) I can find the darn things when I need to set the knitting down momentarily -- like when the baby cries.

Anyway, they're awesome.

In other news, I'm reading Yarn Harlot's newest book Knitting Rules . Of course I should have read her first book first, but oh, well. I really do like her blog and thought her book would be interesting. As I said, I just started it, but I've already learned a lot. For example, I am a Knitting Scientist (according to her quiz). She must have known about my uncontrollable need to do quizzes. Maybe this is knitting thing, the urge to quiz, or maybe a blog thing, or a knitting thing. I do wonder if there's a natural selection for certain traits to be a knitter. hmmm....

Oh, and I did enjoy her table on how to determine the fiber type of an unknown yarn. My first response (as a scientist) was to put it under a microscope. You'd be able to tell fibers pretty easily, especially if you had control fibers on hand. But then again, I guess not everyone has access to Zeiss scope. But very handy tool to figure out what type of yarn you have.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Just back from 'TV vacation'

Not at all what you's a vacation full of TV watching. Yep, went south to visit the family and you know that my mother (actually parents, but the driver is my mother) is a technophile. Growing up, I never thought twice about the fact that we got a clunky box thing called the VCR (VHS not Beta -- that was my brother-in-law), SelectTV, Apple II Plus computer, etc...

Well, for the last how many years, my parents have had all-the-channels-all-the-time-cable-tv with the DVR AND my fave 'On-Demand TV'. Sweet!

Z was in TV vacation heaven. He's normally monitored as to the amount of television he watches due to the fact that we have experimentally concluded that z + TV in the morning = non-listening z for the day. Why yes, it was imperically determined. However, when you put z in front of the TV ALL DAY LONG, he does eventually get bored and will turn the thing off. When asked what his favorite part of this vacation was, his answer was "watching TV". that's my boy!

As for me, I only watched TV when z slept (he's only 3 1/2). So, here's a list of the movies I saw (in no particular order)**

Proof - Gwyneth Paltrow movie. Why yes, math geeks are crazy (no. really, they are) and they can party too!
Serenity - sci fi by Buffy the vampire slayer guy. It was a series for awhile. I didn't like the series. But the movie rocked!
Robots - This I watched w/ z. Robin Williams sometimes gets a little old. Overall a cute movie.
Herbie movie - Matt Dillon and Linsey Lohan. Linsey used to be able to act when she was a child star, what happened?
Sky High - Didn't remember Kurt Russell was in this flick. Kinda lame, but another one that I watched w/ kids.
Alexander - Didn't watch it all...missed the middle part. It was disconcerning seeing Alexander with a Scottish(?) accent.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith - cute movie. Nice eye candy.
Final Encounter - really bad futuristic Dean Cain movie. Yeah, you never heard of it? yes. waste of time.
The Island - another eye candy movie.
Lords of Dogtown - I saw the documentary, heh on the movie. Keith Ledger as the stoner head guy was pretty cool.
Kingdom of Heaven - Orlando Orlando Orlando

**if there's more, I'll add later

Oh, there was knitting too. Will post pics later.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Cotton and food entrapment devices

Here's a picture of the dishcloth that I whipped up awhile ago as requested by z&a's dad. And here's the bib done also in Sugar n' Cream for the girl. I didn't have the book at the time, so I faked it. Casted on 40 stitches w/ #7's and knit until the right size. Then knit the straps 10 st wide.

As a 2nd time mom, I know that the buttons used to hold the bib , whether the back of the neck or on the bib are very nice and super cute, but guess what? It's a NFED (nasty food entrapment device). I just know that I'll be having to hand wash the bibs because the buttons are fragile--and you're not going to see me w/ a toothbrush cleaning out the crevices. Instead, I made an I-cord and this system seems to work. I'll also be making more bibs in the lime green, blue, variegated, etc.

At first, I was all like, why would you make bibs for a baby? especially when you can buy them? but you know, z&a's dad really likes to use the dishcloth, and you just rinse them out or toss them in the laundry...what could be easier. And for less than a buck a piece, pretty darn good deal.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Picotless Picovoli

As you know, I hate to seam, so I really do try to find patterns that are in the round. Yes, it does drive me a little batty (and yes, that's an intended pun to raglan sleeves), but yes, back to patterns in the round. I've had this yarn for a year (gotten from that yard sale) and there were 10 balls of it. I was thinking I'd make myself a cardigan from it, but given that it's summertime, and I'm not carrying around a beach ball aka big belly, I thought I'd make myself a little something smaller.

I loved Ms. Grumperina's Tivoli/Picovoli pattern (later put on Magknits) and I think she presented Tivoli around the same time I started reading her blog. So, I printed it out and actually did circular swatches. Of course I cheated and swatched in like a 4inch circumference swatch. I switched needles a couple of times and actually got gauge. But then I realized the knitted fabric would be way too dense and stiff, so I bit the bullet and got out the ole calculator. I also did my research and checked out her gallery of tivoli/picovolis and found that they all looked different and maybe some folks did some pattern modifications (come to realize that maybe they just have different body types). I decided I wanted a more tanktop look without the neck plunging.

Here's my modifications:

I kept the front and back the same across and increased the shoulder/arm stitches. As I was experimenting, I didn't feel the need for the picot edge--mostly since I'd have to rip it out if the neckline turned out to be too hootchy mamaish. Well, I then followed the raglan increases as specified and when I was doing the bodice part, did 17st under the arms. I followed her basic pattern and then bound off.

Instead of the picot edging, I did a single crochet edging. I'm a lazy knitter (and apparently I enjoy tinking) so I sort of faked it. Now, is it a one-to-one ratio for crochet to knit? or different. I just crochetted into spots I thought were appropriate.

Did I mention that when binding off, I found that I ran out of yarn almost at the end? I was using the remnents of another ball for the crochet edge, but that's not enough for the bottom. I'm thinking that I may go back and tink the bottom back a couple rows and seed stitch it or something.

General comments:
The yarn was nice to knit with-- very sprongy. And the negative ease, devine.

Probably took 1.5 weeks to knit. I forget.
Yarn:Reynolds Cantata 90% cotton, 10% nylon 110yds
4 or 5 balls
#6 Addis

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Follow up on sale at Skein Lane

Went on the first day of the sale. TOO CROWDED! Stood in line for over 2 hrs w/ A in baby bjorn. She was wonderful and slept through the whole thing. The crowds were horrific. Knitters are great people, but too many in one spot?! yikes. It does blow my mind to realize that the line was huge and each shopper spent probably a minimum of $200! I think that your mind goes to this 'sale' place where you think that if you don't buy it now, it'll be gone and you won't ever see it again. And then there's the 'think of all the money I'm saving'...

I specifically was looking for Addis. Well, even though I went early, the pickings were slim. In line, I was talking to one knitter who said that Carolyn had not been restocking when she sold out of stuff. Oh, well. I found all 3 Addis that were over 40 inch and held on to them. I originally thought I'd get enough yarn to make a sweater for myself, but the thought of digging through the yarn to find enough of the same dye lot was too overwhelming, so I didn't. I then decided I wanted to purchase laceweight yarn. Well, all the lace yarn I found didn't have price tags and I couldn't find anyone to tell me the price, so they too went into the bag. I also saw a gorgeous silk laceweight cone of yarn... She also had stuff like the Lantern Moon needle holder and wooden swift, they also went into the bag.

But I snapped to my senses and realized that a swift could be had for less (on sale it was still $47) and the needle case, yeah, that's what I need, another needle case. I think that if the line was not so long, I wouldn't have thought so much and returned everything. Back to the lace yarn, I stood in line to get a price check!? To my chagrin (actually horror), the yarns were $50, $52, $40, $40, and $52. So, the 3 hanks of yarn and 2 cones added up to $234 before tax. Yeah, right. Away went all the yarn except for the silk on the cone and the Loren's Laces Helen (both in natural colors). Which to get? Carolyn and the other sales person suggested the LL but you know what, I didn't say anything at the time, but there were yarn issues! I slid the band a bit and saw that the yarn's a little different in color. I'm sorry, I'm not going to pay that kind of money for yarn that's either dirty or faded. I ended up with the $40 cone. I'd better get 2 shawls out of it (I should, there should be 3200yds on the cone).

How disappointing was that? I also put back 2 of the Addis since I really didn't need them.

What did I walk out with? One set of needles, a cone of yarn, and needle protectors ($.40/each).

How sad was that?

Monday, July 24, 2006


No, I'm not talking about oil prices, the freakish heat wave, or even any volcanoes erupting (and political unrest and nuclear threats, let's not go there). Sheesh, I'm talking about the fact that Janice is selling Yarn! and Carolyn of Skein Lane is retiring and closing the shop. That is TWO of FOUR yarn shops I go to...

What's a girl to do?!

You guessed it...I'll be going shopping. Yes.

Of course, I do wonder if knitting is becoming the next scrapbooking -- you know, fair weathered crafters that embrace an old craft and make it new remember scrapbooking. LSS popping up in every shopping center and such. Such cute stores with such not-so-cute prices...for paper! And I've noticed they've slowly gone away. There's only a few left, the rest, well, you'll have to shop at the big box stores to get what you need. I can say this 'cause I still like to scrapbook, I just enjoy the portability of knitting more.

I do really hope that LYSs aren't closing because of fickle crafters. Altho' if you want to quote me, I think that the next 'craze' will be sewing--haven't you seen the trend? why knit fabric when it's already available and all you have to do is to construct the garment. How many knitters sew, or are learning to sew? They've gone to the dark side...

Or maybe glass fusing will be the next 'in' craft. Or stained glass. I'm just hoping that bleach bottle animals, folded readers digest dolls, and such do not make a comeback. Macrame would be cool 'tho.


Monday, July 17, 2006

I've been knitting! and even a FO

I checked out One Skein from the local library with the idea to make the baby bolero. Very cute. And only one skein! Of course I'd already had the Bernat Cottontots in strawberry (2 skeins). But upon reading the pattern, realized it took a lot of seaming and you all know I hate to sew together when I can raglan...

Anyway, I was faithful to the pattern and got about a third done (okay, don't be too impressed, it's not that big of a sweater) and realized that I really really don't want to sew up the sleeves. Ripped it out (no tinking there) and started over and made a top-down raglan sorta bolero cardigan. I printed out the various 5 hour baby sweater patterns to look at their neckline count, then I just started knitting. Yes, go ahead, you can say it...'and it looks like it too'.

A raglan cardi was born. I liked the islet motif on the back of the sweater and was too lazy to get a stitch pattern book so again I winged it. I knit it sort of to the specifications of the baby bolero sweater and tried it on the live model (baby o'mine) and stopped knitting when I thought it was done. I picked up stitches all the way around for the ribbed edging. The only thing I wished I'd done (again, that pesky laziness thing) was I should have casted onto waste yarn so that the neck edging would have looked better. Oh, well. This took very little time and I recommend it for anyone w/ a baby (or needed to make something for a baby). I figure I can whip out more of these as the mood strikes me so that she could have coordinated sweaters...yeah right.

Here's a picture of the sweater as being worn by the model.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Happy 4th

We did the Independence Day thing:

parade -- check
barbeque -- check
fireworks -- check.

Yep, that was the day.

The parade was fun. It's always fun to attend a parade where you spot folks you know, and in fact, if the feeling took you, you too could have joined the parade. There were clowns (scared Z), there were electric cars, there were horses and riders and horse poop, there were political floats, there were nonpolitical floats, there were a lot of local businesses' floats, and there were floats where to the best of our knowledge, they were just folks that wanted to walk the parade route. You know, our local parade is the longest in the state of California, and it's the 2nd longest in US (according to local info). Anyway, we ate bagel, croissant, and muffin (and milk for the baby) and watched for awhile. Then we went home to ready ourselves for barbeque/birthday party for one year old.

The Q was great, yummy chicken sandwiches w/ veggies, fruit salad, tater salad, and chips (we were requested to bring said chips from Chevy's -- didn't know that you can buy chips, but okay).

Then it was off to San Ramon for the fireworks -- very nice. What was scary was that on the way home, we kept seeing additional fireworks along the freeway, and it wasn't the sanctioned ones...quite scary. I don't know if that's something NoCal, but I've not seen this type of blatant unsanctioned display of fireworks ever. What's w/ that?! Don't folks realize that fires can occur? that your house can burn down?! sheesh! Of course the frightening thing was seeing on the news today about how people were throwing (yes throwing) lit fireworks at cars driving by! Had we gotten off the freeway, we would have been on the road the reporter was talking about. Double sheesh!

Anyway, Happy 4th and I do hope everyone had a great time.

As for knitting, I've swatched and started Picovoli with much neckline alterations. I hope it turns out...

Monday, June 26, 2006

I knitted something!

Amazingly, I actually knitted something. What is that something? Well, it's a dishcloth for the husband. Made from cotton (Sugar'n Cream Natural) using Grandma's favorite dishcloth pattern. Ya'll know that one, k2, YO, k, YO, k2. Makes a diagonal square. In fact, I received a beautiful baby blanket using that pattern.

About this dishcloth: I've made him a couple already. The first one he thought was too closely knit and turned out too bulky to use on some items(I used #7 on SnC yarn). So, I've been using #9 or #10 needles and knitting loosely.

Well, last week, I ran the garbage disposal and it didn't run. I thought it was kaput. He investigated and found that the old dishcloth was jamming the mechanism and was a gonner (the dishcloth, not the disposal). I told him I'd make him another one and while he was away this weekend on the annual rafting trip, and while the children were sleeping, I actually whipped the dishcloth out.

As for the rafting trip, he's been going since he was in highschool, and when I met him, I got to go too. Since A wasn't due until May 23, we had thought a month post-partum w/ c-section was not consistent with rafting. And by the time A was born, well, the rafting trip was already all set up. Maybe next year.