Pink Poncho Complete

Ah, whoops. Didn't realize it had been so long since I'd posted anything, and that I never added info about my completed Pink Toddler Poncho. So here goes.

Last weekend we went to visit my friend where I gave her two girls their knitted duds I'd made them. They were well received (the 3-month-old didn't have much to say but she did spit up on it, so I'll consider that a thumbs-up) and the toddler even willingly posed for photographs.

But first some info on the completion of the poncho. First off, the pattern I used/modified for a smaller size was the Yarn Harlot Poncho. After some, er, frogging, I finally decided that I was done with the knitting portion and had it big enough, so I sent the thing through the washer and dryer before I added the fur yarn to give it a wash and make it all soft.

Then I needed to find some ribbon to stitch along the inside of the bottom to make the bottom lie flat since I'd chosen an acrylic yarn that wasn't going to let me block it. This came out pretty well I think:

And lastly, I added some colorful fur yarn to the collar and the bottom edge...

And now for the modeling pix...here we have my friend's little girls wearing the things I'd knitted for them. Here's Audrey wearing the poncho, along with her little sister Juliet in her sweater that I'd made.


Frogs abounding

Since I last posted there have been a couple of visits to the frog pond. I have decided that I'd rather re-do something and do it nicely than just settle for something that's so-so. (This however, does not apply to my Fuchsia Lace scarf where a minor boo-boo in my edging is not being fixed. I practically had to sit on my hands in order to keep myself from attempting to fix it, but the realization of the fact that I have no idea how I'd figure out how to rip back a lace pattern and pick up those stitches again--including a twisted-stitch garter edging with mini cables--and figure out where I was in the pattern was what finally grounded me and I told myself that it's okay if there's a teeny tiny boo-boo. I'm the ONLY one who'd ever know it's there...but that fact alone is what's bugging me...still. No, NO! I won't rip it back.) Ahem.

Where was I? Oh yeah, ripping back. Actually this is more of a "starting over" thing. I was marching along nicely on that soft blue scarf, about halfway through when I went to change balls of yarn and found to my dismay that the new ball of fuzzy novelty stuff was vastly different from its counterpart, despite being the same dyelot. erg. I resigned myself to the fact that I simply must start entirely over. The good news is I had gotten three balls, and the other two are the ones that match, but it's all good as I've also learned that two will suffice for the scarf. The third unmatching ball will be used to adorn the matching mittens I plan to make, which won't matter. But I was seeing enough of a difference in the scarf that it was not going to work.

The other project that took a dip in the ole frog pond was the toddler poncho I am making. It was kicking my butt. This is a little poncho I am making for my best friend's older daughter (I made this sweater for her new baby and wanted to take something for the older one when we go visit soon). I am following the pattern for the Yarn Harlot Poncho but of course making it way smaller. I started by choosing a baby/sport weight yarn (I'm using Lion Brand Baby Soft in Bubblegum and then will do a round of Fancy Fur in Party Pink at the bottom...I think this will be cute for a little girl). I had to do some figuring on what size neck to start with. That's where this thing began its determined process of kicking my butt. First I searched online to find out how big kids' heads are and then I used that, rounded up, checked my gauge and decided how many stitches to cast on. Then there was good news and bad news. The good news was my gauge and estimations were right on and the thing was ending up the size I'd intended. The bad news was that I'd way overestimated it. I mean, I want her to be able to wear it now and for a while, but at the same time, I don't want it slipping off her shoulders now. So I debated, tried other tricks like knitting a ribbed edge around the top, all in an effort to save the rather significant part I'd knitted so far, and in the end I decided I must start over with a smaller neck opening. sigh. Once I'd accepted this fact and started over, all was well and I was back in business and happy with it.

I marched onward and then came Part 2 of the frog pond expedition. I figured I was done, and added my garter edging (not the fur stuff yet, thank goodness). I then paused to look at it and decided that in fact this was probably not yet big enough (it's hard to tell when it's all scrunched on those needles!). So at first I tried to crochet around a bit but soon came to the realization that that was not going to cut it. So I frogged. I pulled those stitches out. yikes! That was a first for me, just boldly pulling them out in the hopes that I'd eventually get them back on the needles. Which I did. But not without some angst. Nervewracking, that little process. All those live stitches just waving around, waiting for me to screw up and give the thing a tug and let them all run, run away free. But alas, they did not, and they allowed themselves to be [painstakingly] picked back up and reassembled on the needles. So am back in business. Again.

My last WIP that's listed is what I'm calling my Fibonacci Pillow for my mother-in-law. More on that later! Meanwhile, here's what I made her a few years ago for Christmas, which I've dubbed the "Math Pillow". (She's a mathematician. Make more sense now?)


A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words...

So here I am, returning with photos in hand.

I start with my NYAs...New Yarn Aquisitions. On my recent trip to Toronto and the lovely Lettuce Knit yarn shop, I purchased the following delightful specimens:


and Fleece Artist Merino

Yummy. I can't wait to start something with them, but I need to restrain myself for a while (have you SEEN my list of WIPs??).

Previously I had been at the shore with my family and visited a yarn shop I'd learned of called Sea Needles in Bethany Beach, Delaware. Cute little shop, though only about half of it was about yarn, the rest involved beads (we like beads though), cross stitch, embroidery, etc. There I purchased some...


and some Regia

And now for some WIP shots. I have a lot of things going right now, but I am really enjoying working on all of them. So much so that I almost don't want any of them to end...which is silly, really, since all I'd have to do is get more yarn and cast on again. Duh. But anyway.

Here is the Fibertrends Fuchsia Lace Scarf I am making, in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. Very lovely soft yarn that is so far excellent for showing the fancy stitches. I hope it blocks well though when done, since it's hard to see the stitches all scrunched up. Here it is as I stretch it out a bit:

WIP Fuchsia Lace Scarf

This has been a really fun thing to knit, I am enjoying it immensely. One of my favorite features on it is the "scalloped" edges. I think it adds such a nice touch and feeling of being finished along the edges. Oh, and I am making the "Trailing Lace" version (there are two in the pattern). I would very much recommend this pattern as it was very well-written and a very high attention to detail.

Another of my favorite current projects is the Feathery Lace Stole from Exquisite Little Knits. (I love this book.) I am making my wrap in Kidsilk Spray, the variegated cousin of Kidsilk Haze. I love the color, such a rich pinkish/red. Should be great for holidaytime wear. Here are a couple of WIP shots:

WIP Feathery Lace

Feathery Lace detail

I got quite a bit of it done on my trip recently. A really great travel project.

One day a while ago while wandering through JoAnn's I happened upon some extremely soft, pale blue yarn that has beads in it. I thought it would make a wonderful soft scarf for a black winter coat. I decided to get some other pale blue yarn to go with it and ended up with a few balls of these two yarns:

I recently just randomly decided to cast on for this, since I'd come up with an idea of what to make. I am working K2P2 rib, and alternating the two yarns every two rows. I think it makes a neat effect, especially since the two colors are almost identical but not quite...here's my WIP:

Soft Pale Blue Scarf WIP

So far I love it, it'll definitely be a cuddly soft scarf. It's not that wide so I will make it pretty long for extra wraps. I then want to make some coordinating mittens out of the wool yarn, with a little of the super-soft novelty stuff with beads on the cuffs. I think it'll be a fun set!

Guess that's it for now...see sidebar for other WIP pix not interesting enough to mention here...!


Knitting Knews

Long time no blog. Well, I do have knitting updates, though no photos at the moment. Let's see...where to begin? I'll start with this past weekend.

I spent a lovely weekend in Toronto visiting a good friend. She showed me all over the city, mostly normal, every-day stuff. Took the TTC all over, walked a lot, and ate yummy foods I don't know where to get here...my favorite meal was Ethiopian. YUM! They bring the meal all on one giant platter on a large round, flat, spongy bread stuff which you rip up and eat everything with, all with your fingers. We had a beef dish called Tibs and a veggie medley dish that mostly had variations on lentils and such. All very delicious. Then after dinner we had some lovely coffee that had a hint of cardamom and when it was served they also brought some burning incense, which was frankincense. It smelled so nice, and made for such a lovely atmosphere.

We did do one tourist thing, which was go to Casa Loma. Very cool place. I guess a bunch of movies (or parts of them) have been filmed there...one of note to me was the school scenes in X-men. They filmed in the really cool hallways that are lined with beautiful dark wood. Very cool. Upon arriving there (after hiking up well over 100 steps to get there) my friend immediately showed me her favorite feature of the house: a secret passageway leading from Sir Henry Pellatt's study directly down to his wine cellar. Hee. Brilliant.

While in Toronto, my friend graciously took me to find Lettuce Knit. I have read about it on blogs and seen the website, so I wanted to go there. Very cute little shop. I wandered a bit in there before deciding on two skeins of Koigu KPPPM and one of Fleece Artist Merino for socks. I thought it was appropriate to get some Canadian wool while I was there. Fun stuff! I'll put some photos up soon. We went to Lettuce Knit early in the morning and then proceeded to wander about the city for the rest of the day. As it was raining, I was glad to have received a plastic bag with my yarn purchase. Even though I had to carry it around all day, to make it less of a hassle (not that I really complained about having to carry around a little yarn!) I knotted the bag to keep it dry and then was able to slip the handles over my wrist and it stayed put and stayed dry very nicely! The best part was I got to admire my yarn for the whole day since the bag was clear. :)

For knitting on this trip I took my Feathery Lace wrap, which was ideal because it is so compact. I am still near the beginning so I only needed to bring the one ball, and I stuffed the ball of yarn and knitting and needles into a quart-sized ziploc baggie, squeezed the air out and sealed it up, and voila! Compact knitting for travel. It kept me very amused while waiting forever in the airport (no, my flight was not delayed, it was just me getting there super early) and I actually made some significant progress on it both on my flight up and on the return as well. Such a fun pattern, easy to memorize, so very travelable. I highly recommend it.

I finally could resist temptation no longer...last night I wound all of the skeins for my lovely and decadent Colinette Absolutely Fabulous Throw kit. Yum. Lovely yarns. Mine is in the colorway "Wineberry" and it will look really nice draped on the back of the sofa, which is a light, neutral color. Maddie Cat was kneading my yarn where it sat waiting to be wound. I let her do it though since I figured she's just going to knead the finished product anyway. So what's the problem of a little gray fur in it now? I then cast on for that (I only got 140 of the 144 stitches because my long-tail cast-on ran out of yarn, but no matter as I am just doing the simple rows of knit and purl combinations) and completed about 6 rows. I am into the second color. I know it's simple knitting but it will be great to keep by the sofa for TV knitting and as it gets colder and this gets longer, it will be so nice to snuggle under and knit.

I guess that's it for now. I need to get my camera out and post some yarn pix.


Lots of knitting, almost no blogging

Hmm. Well, no blogging since April. I got a little lax about it, since I don't think anyone reads this anyway. But I have decided I don't really care. I'll update it when I see fit. And I think I'll just use this for knitting content.

This page is way out of date for my WIPs...amazingly so. But I sure have been knitting.

My biggest accomplishment of late was my Sitcom Chic. I am very pleased with how it came out, although I had to change my plans for it a bit. Since the yarn(s) I chose for it ended up making it very thick, I decided it was no longer going to be a summer sweater. Additionally, the sleeves ended up being longer than 3/4...they were sort of too long to be 3/4 and too short to be full length. I fixed this issue by modifying them. I picked up stitches around the cuff and worked some 2x2 ribbing to both lengthen them and draw them in a little, since they were wide sleeve cuffs in their previous life. So here's my new cuff:

See? I don't think it turned out too badly. Now it will be a nice sweater to wear in the wintertime...I am thinking it'll be great for New Year's Eve or something.

Here are a couple more detail shots of the front of the sweater. I LOVED the eyelet detail of this sweater, and I loved knitting the raglan-style sleeves. So fun.

Back soon, with more photos of finished objects, and soon I'll update my sidebar of WIPs.


Yarn Harlot sighting

Yesterday my friend Jeanne and I went to Doylestown to see the Yarn Harlot at the Doylestown Bookshop. We had a great time, and I was so excited to see her in person. My first encounter with a celebrity! And Ms. Pearl-McPhee is the best kind of celebrity...she's humble and down-to-earth. We were charmed by her talk and my cheeks hurt from all of the laughing. Even my "muggle" non-knitting friend truly enjoyed herself.

Look, here's proof I was there (she very graciously posed with anyone who wanted a photo):

The Yarn Harlot and me

Another first for me...I now have a signed copy of a book! I brought along my copy of her latest bookbookbook Knitting Rules!. I also made a small donation to Tricoteuses Sans

Frontières/Knitters Without Borders. I snagged the button and it's there on my sidebar now. A really great cause.

And now for something completely random.

I took this picture after my cat Maddie decided to thwart my efforts to not get cat hair on my sweater by crawling up inside it to take a nap. I had draped it on an almost vertical throw pillow on the sofa, but she got in there anyway. This is the view looking into the neck of the sweater, after she'd crawled in from the bottom (her nose is way over on the left):

Maddie in the sweater

Maddie in the Gray Sweater

So there you go. Back again soon with lots of pink and purple yarn. Yummy.


Headed for the frog pond

I have decided that the time has come...to abandon the blue socks. Sadly, the pattern I am using is just not working out for me. The main reason being that I made the leg part too long, so I am going to run out of yarn if I continue. (I got out the little digital kitchen scale and weighed what's left of the ball of yarn...I'm not quite halfway but close enough that I would be getting very nervous towards the end of sock #2.) That's a pretty valid reason for frogging if you ask me. Secondly, for some reason this pattern has you work the heel flap as straight stockinette, not that sl1 k1 thing I am used to. So that was throwing me off, and it felt like I was knitting that heel flap for eons. 29 rows of 32-stitch stockinette. Seemed odd to me. (Not that I have much to go on, as my FO sock count isn't that high yet...) But still. I haven't really tried the thing on yet to see how that heel fits since I haven't pulled out the needles and don't want to risk breaking them by trying it on, but when I do and before I frog, I'll try it on just to see.

But I have high hopes for that yarn. It is creating a nice, random and subtle pattern...and I think it would be very well-suited for ribbed socks. The 2x2 ribbing I did at the top of the sock looked neat, so I am thinking that the next time I pick up that yarn it will be for a ribbed sock pattern.

I am searching around for a self-striping sock yarn though in colors that I like...one that makes actual stripes, not that jacquard stuff. I want to try the Jaywalker socks, and from what I've seen on other blogs, they look cool with striping yarn. Just can't seem to find a color combo that speaks to me yet. I'll find one. Not like I don't have other things to knit in the meantime...

But what is it about that unquenchable desire to start new projects? I think all knitters know that feeling. I get it too...perhaps it's that "novelty" feeling you get when you purchase something new...or a new haircut or something. That feeling that can make the most mundane things seem so fabulously exciting for a while. (Like the new light fixture in our laundry area...um, hello?! It's a LIGHT. But it my defense, it's a really cool halogen, directable light. Lights up all areas of the laundry without being an annoyance to the rest of the family room (laundry is just off the family room). It really IS cool--though I'm over it already.) And it so often wears off quickly. Although some things are good enough to keep that feeling going...and then you know you have a winner. I guess knitting is like that for me...not to say I don't get bored with some projects, but I just can't seem to get enough of it. Last night, for instance, I had about 15 minutes of down time while waiting for dinner to cook. I had something on TV to watch...but I couldn't just sit there. Had. To. Knit. Something.

Which brings me to my next topic...the thing I was knitting. Progress is being made on the black sparkly sweater a.k.a. Sitcom Chic. I have finished one sleeve and am a couple of inches into the second. My only gripe...well, there are two actually...is that the DPNs I am using are very short. 6 inches I think? And size 8s. Makes me feel like I am knitting with hotdogs or something. Especially after all of the socks I've been making. I really enjoy knitting stuff on a small scale (ie, thin yarn, thin needles) so this size 8 DPN business is making me nuts. But I will persevere... Even though I am a 4-DPN-set type of knitter, for this I had to get out needle #5 of the set in order to have enough space on the needles for all of the stitches, since they're so short. I come too close to losing a stitch or two off the end a little too frequently. Oh, and gripe #2? The yarn...two held together...this stuff and this stuff...they don't like to behave. But I'll deal, cuz I sure am liking the outcome.

Oh, and I have another WIP that I started last weekend. Some delightfully mindless knitting...a felted tote. Here's the yarn I am using...one strand of each color held together:

Pinkle Tote yarn

I am interested to see how it will come out when felted. I also have plans for another felted bag, a purse, that I am going to knit soon as well, so that when I get around to the felting I'll do both at the same time. As well as a little extra felting on an other project...a bag that could be a little smaller. I'll report back when I get around to all that.


Sense a color theme?

Thought some photos might be in order, especially after that wordy post from before.

I had been wanting to try something lately, but just hadn't gotten around to it. I keep seeing these beautiful beaded stitch markers that people make or that you can buy, and since I have been known to do a little beading myself, I decided I wanted to try. Finally got around to digging out my beading boxes, and also picked up a few pretty beads at a shop, and here's the product of my efforts:

Stitch Markers - misc beads

Stitch Markers - pink fimo beads

Stitch Markers - purple and blue fimo beads

All in all, I'm very pleased with them. It'll be fun now to keep my eye out for more pretty beads that will make nice stitch markers. I like the idea that only one or two beads are needed, so if you find that one, perfect and gorgeous bead, even if it is a tad expensive, it can be put to very good use all by itself.

In other knitting news, I have a couple of WIP shots. Here is the Mimi Verylong I am working on. I am really enjoying it, the yarn is delightful, and the lace pattern isn't too taxing. I am not in any great rush to finish it, and so I am taking my time.

Mimi Verylong WIP

Mimi Verylong WIP detail

Mimi Verylong WIP and detail

At first I wasn't sure what that blue was going to do. The yarn is made up of three colors...a medium pink, lighter pink, and blue. Because the two pinks blend together, their color changing isn't as noticable. But the blue stands out a lot more. So far though, it seems to be following a pattern of making a giant zig-zag back and forth. I rather hope that keeps up. But I'm also not too worried...I know I will love it no matter how it ends up! I just love the colors.

And lastly, a photo of knitting+cat. My two cats are really very good about leaving my knitting alone, though occasionally they show a hint of interest in all that flying string. Especially when winding a hank of yarn into a ball. Or when photographing it on "their" floor:

Maddie and the Pink Sock

Maddie and the Pink Sock

(There was actually another photo where she was sniffing the yarn, but this was a better picture of her, so I chose to post this one!)

Happy Knitting!

New acquisitions

Lately I've been doing a little damage to the ole credit card with a few online purchases. Yarn mostly, of course. ;) One thing I got was some Simple Stripes yarn from KnitPicks. I like all of the stuff I've gotten from them previously, and they are quick and efficient with the ordering/shipping process. The project I have in mind is the Last-Minute Stripes Pullover from KnitPicks baby sweater, which is one of their free patterns. I think it's adorable, and couldn't wait to get started.

Of course, before I could get started I had to go get some new needles. I know, I know. I couldn't believe that in my stash of needles that I didn't have either size 1 or 2 straights. Or circs. Go figure. So off I went to my local JoAnn's (it's the closest place I have and often the first place I try for instant gratification). Found me some size 2 straights (them stinkers is LONG!...14") and also these. Nifty. Four 5-needle sets of teeny tiny DPNs...sizes 1, 0, 00, and 000. Way cool. But learned something interesting too. I just went in search of that link for here and found a review written which I think will be helpful...in it the reviewer suggests that once you figure out the sizes of each one, note them somewhere (they're color-coded). The reviewer, much like myself, didn't have a needle sizer that went that small. So, good advice.

But I digress. Went home and excitedly cast on for the little sweater (which, of course, only took up about a third of the length of those ridiculously long needles) and though I was loving the colors and the patterning that was taking shape, I was not so enamored by the texture. Too scratchy. I am sure that yarn is just fine for socks, but not a baby sweater! And this was the yarn they recommended. I knit onward for a little while longer but soon I had to come to the realization that this was not meant to be. So off I went to TheKnitter.com and found this yarn. This time I got some that I've actually met before (same yarn as my blue socks) and I think the fun pink/orange/yellow striping will be adorable as a little girl's sweater. Plus I got enough to make some matching socks for her mom! I am now waiting anxiously for this yarn to arrive.

The other part of my KnitPicks order was this pattern for sort of "faux" fair-isle socks. I think it looks like a lot of fun, and the self-striping yarn does all the work for you! To me the only trick will be lining up the colors to start with so they work right. And hopefully I'll get close to the same gauge so my colors will line up like they do in the photo. I decided to make it in the same colors as the picture shows, which happened to be the same colors as the sweater I was going to make. So I'd purchased 5 balls of this stuff, but have since returned 3 untouched ones.

Side note: Just had a nice chat with someone at KnitPicks. I was sitting here thinking about this and realized something. See, I'd placed a few orders online recently, and then one evening, we lost our credit card. Doh. So we scrambled around, took care of things, and then I had to call the places where I'd placed the orders and give them a different number. (And of course, as fate would have it, the two things that we have tied to our credit card number for automatic deductions BOTH renewed a day after we cancelled it. Figures. Could have had three weeks or so to get the new card in and take care of things, but noooo.) Anyway, I just realized that the yarn return I mentioned above would be credited to my old credit card. Hmm. So I just called them up, spoke to a very friendly and helpful lady who made a note in my account for someone to contact me when the return was received. So I'm all set for now. Anyway, just wanted to point out how nice they are there. (No affiliation...just a very satisfied customer.)



Sometimes, I just could kick myself. I'd written this post, and then somehow before I posted it, I managed to erase it. On purpose too, because I thought I'd already posted it. See, I use a sort of template file where I create my posts offline and then copy and paste into blogger. Gives me the chance to tweak and fuss and then post all at once. Works for me. Or at least I thought it did. I need to come up with a new system so that I don't do that again...some sort of clue to myself whether I've posted it yet or not.

Anyway, what I was going to say in my post was show you my completed Ski Hat and Ski Headband. I know I showed you the hat before, but here's a photo of it with the coat, so you can see how the colors match nicely:

SKi hat with coat

(That photo was taken in our driveway, before we tackled that foot of snow from a couple of weeks ago.)

The first time I'd written this post was before the ski trip...I was saying how excited I was to go. Now, as I have mentioned, the trip was awesome, and so was my hat! I wore it every day, though on that one windy day I had to pull my hood up over my head as well. It was soooo cold, and if you had any little exposed spot the wind would just find its way in.

Unfortunately it was a little too cold for wearing the headband during skiing, and I almost wore it one evening, but then we ended up not going out after all. But here it is. It came out nicely, though as I think I have mentioned, it's very thick since I stitched it on top of a fleece headband. But I still like it!

Here you can see the whole thing...(it sort of stands up on its own!):

Ski Headband

And here's detail of the pattern, which I love. It was so fun to knit!

Detail of ski headband

That's about it in the way of Finished Objects. I am still enjoying my socks, and am also working sporadically on the black sweater. I did two rows of Mimi Verylong last night before bed. (I would have done more but I was sleepy...)


Back to reality

Well, it's back home for us, after a great ski trip. We went to Sunday River, in Maine. Had a great time! We flew to Portland last Wednesday (took three glorious days off from work!) and rented a car and drove from there. First though we stopped in Freeport for a little shopping. The only store we were interested in was L.L.Bean, which we thoroughly enjoyed! I love that store...it's like walking through a catalog! We didn't end up buying all that much, although we both got some new ski mittens and I got new long underwear for skiing that was on sale. We did scope out some camping gear that we'll order online (we have the L.L.Bean credit card so we don't have to pay shipping). We want to get some new sleeping pads before next summer's camping trip. (Needless to say, we're DONE with air mattresses!!) The only other stops we made in town were some lunch at Gritty McDuff’s before we got started with our shopping, and of course some Ben & Jerry's before we headed out of town!

The weather was perfect for driving and we got to Sunday River without incident. We stopped along the way for a few groceries and beverages to stock our mini-kitchen. When we arrived we decided to pamper ourselves and made use of the valet parking service (a free service, just gratuity-based) and we also stowed our skis in their valet ski check. Very cool! That room is just inside the door from the slopes so it's very convenient. We stayed at the Jordan Grand. It's a really nice place.

The skiing was good, best the first morning we went which was Thursday. We got out there right when it opened and really had a great time. As the day progressed it got a bit icier, though still enjoyable. That evening we relaxed a bit in the heated outdoor pool! (I didn't get any photos, but there's a pic on this page.) The two hot tubs at the end of the pool were wonderful! One with quiet underwater jets and the other all roiling and bubbly.

On Friday the skiing was still good, and again nice that there weren't many people. There's definitely something to be said for making the effort to get in a couple of weekday ski days, because it sure makes a difference. The interesting part about Friday though was the wind. I remember sitting in our room before we left, idly staring out the window at the trees moving around. Little did I know...that meant it was VERY windy up on the top! In fact they had to close the lift that led to the only trail back to our hotel, so at the end of that day we had to take the shuttle back. Wasn't much of a hardship though...we sat at the bar in the Foggy Goggle and had a drink before catching the shuttle. It was very nice! Later we went in the pool again and this time, because the wind was really whipping around, the bubbles from the one side of the hot tub splashed water around and our hair got wet, and because of the low temps, it promptly froze! It was kind of fun, though we didn't stay long.

Saturday's skiing wasn't quite as good, as there had been no new snow to speak of and there were MANY more people. So we called it a day a little early since we were both tired, and wanted to quit before either of us hurt ourselves. We went back to relax in the pool again. Personally I am surprised we went in the pool as much as we did, since I'm not usually a pool person. But the novelty of this one won out I guess!

On the knitting front, I took my two sock projects along. I had finished one of the pink socks, and took the materials for starting the second, though I just ended up working on the blue sock. This was also my first time since you-know-when that I even tried taking my knitting on the airplane. I figured my teeny tiny bamboo needles wouldn't present a problem, and they did not. I knitted some in the airport, but not on the plane after all. I felt that in those oh-so-roomy plane seats it was easier to just read my magazine. (I know... Craziness. What was I thinking?!)

Sorry for the photo-less post...! I'll get on that soon.


Skiing Knitting

I just realized I should probably explain one of my WIPs in the sidebar. That would be the Ski Headband.

Remember the ski hat? Well, I loved that fair isle section so much I wanted to do it again, as a headband. So I did. It's almost complete...I have finished the knitting portion, and now need to weave in the ends and attach the whole thing to a purchased black fleece headband. I think this will work. For a while I was going to abandon the whole idea because this thing's gonna be thick...not only is the fleece headband thick by itself, add to that the fair isle knitting, and it'll be super thick. Warm, yes, but too thick? Maybe. We'll see. But I am still going to complete it, for better or for worse.

And the sock fascination continues. I am now working on some very basic socks with this yarn, the Sockotta 8. So far so good! It's coming out as a mottled blues sort of thing...just a variegated yarn, no stripes or anything. I like it, they'll go well with jeans. The pattern I am using is one I purchased a long time ago, before I ever even made a sock. I decided to try it, though I have already made a modification to use 2x2 ribbing at the top. It is a plain sock pattern, and designed more for a finer sock yarn and size 2 DPNs. My other favorite ribbed sock pattern is better suited for a slightly thicker sock yarn and size 3 DPNs.

Back soon, with more pix and updates!


Think Pink

Started some socks. I couldn't stand it, I needed to start some socks. And even this morning I was thinking that I might even start another pair with another pattern I have yet to try. I have only made four pairs of socks so far, two pairs of which I've given away. The ones I have are my lavender socks which were my very first pair, made in a worsted weight yarn. So needless to say, they're not standard socks, they're much thicker. Better as slippers.

The others I have are my Magic Stripes socks which to be perfectly honest I am not totally crazy about. I do like them, but I've also learned from them...they are a bit too big, and the 1x1 ribbing at the top does nothing for keeping them up. So next pair, I'm doing 2x2 ribbing instead, and a little more of it too. I would also try this pattern again only if I used a slightly thinner sock yarn (Magic Stripes seems to be a little thicker than others I have) and smaller needles. But I have another pattern I want to try that might work. Even on that one I'll have to modify the top to do 2x2 ribbing. I am still a relative novice when it comes to sock knitting, and though I love it, I still have much to learn!

But meanwhile, I have started the Pink Socks. I am using a ribbed socks pattern which I adore. The two pairs of socks I made that I gave away were made from this pattern, and the wearer/recipient loves them. So this will be my first pair of my own in this pattern. And I am making them from Bernat Sox in "Pink Hot." I know the yarn is acrylic but I just couldn't resist that color!

I have other sock yarns waiting for their turn, and they are mostly superwash wool blends. I am interested in trying a cotton blend sock yarn too. For some reason I thought that cotton would be less pleasant as socks until I thought about it and realized that most of my store-bought socks are cotton! The only thing is I am not sure how it'll be for knitting since cotton has that non-stretchyness issue. But the wool blend socks (the magic stripes ones) I find are very warm! Almost too warm at times so that's what made me think of the cotton.

I potentially have some good knitting time coming up where small, travel-worthy projects like socks would be ideally suited. They're so great for that!


Snow, snow, and some more snow

Well, it's been a while, huh? I intend to get down to business here and get this thing going again. Really. I do.

I am currently sitting here, in the kitchen at the island counter, in our new house, typing on our laptop (wireless, baby!) and watching the snow fall outside. We got about 12 inches already, beginning yesterday afternoon and overnight last night. It's beautiful out there! And you have to love the Saturday/Sunday storm so we didn't have to go anywhere at all. Plenty of time yesterday to run our errands, and get home in time with a stocked fridge and everything. And only one car to shovel off this time! We have space for one car in the garage (yay!) so there's only one in the driveway. Of course, the flip side of this is whatever driveway the car is covering, you don't have to shovel. But 12 inches will involve lots of shoveling no matter how you slice it. My car is now a foot taller, and I can see it from the window.

This is the view from the family room window of the back deck, with table and chairs:

Snow...Feb 12, 2006

Snow...Feb 12, 2006

And how is this even possible? The foot of snow is balancing on the top of the chair:

Balancing snow

And now for some...

Knitting Content

Firstly I need to go update that sidebar with my actual WIPs and Finished Objects, cuz, well, even though I haven't been updating this, I have been busy knitting. :)

I finished the Ski Hat. Yay. :) I am very pleased (okay, that's me being modest. I'm actually totally thrilled. It's okay to be, right?) with how it came out, and I was happy with my Fair Isle technique. For the first time, I tried holding the second yarn in my left hand, and "picking" it, while doing my normal English-style fling thing with my right. It worked like a charm! Thankfully the Fair Isle in this pattern only ever had two colors going at once so this was the perfect chance to practice this new thing for me without too much going on. It was fun! I breezed right on through this section and even got my tension right. That was something I had trouble with before, I think I had tried too hard to not pull too tight that I ended up leaving it too loose. But this time I just tried not to overthink it and it worked. Maybe that's the trick?

Here's a photo of the finished hat:

Ski Hat

Project Specs

Yarn: Cascade 220

Colors: heathered purple, black and pale lavender-ish gray

Pattern: Match My Coat Cap

And on the subject of firsts, I also wrote my first pattern! After completing a few pairs of socks and seeing my stash growing with new sock yarns as well as remnants of completed socks, I thought it would be fun to make mini socks to use as gift decorations and/or ornaments. A good way to use up some of the leftover yarn. I had searched the web for a pattern that suited my tastes but didn't find one...so I wrote one. I wanted a pattern that used sock yarn, and so this is just a tiny but "real" sock. All of the regular sock aspects are there...cuff, heel flap, turned heel...right down to the grafted toe. I will post a link to my pattern one of these days, but in the meantime, here's a photo of my first Mini Sock:

Mini Sock

Project Specs

Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks

Color: Harris Tweed

Pattern: My Mini Sock Pattern

In other knitting news, I finished off a scarf or two. Or three.
Here is the Red Sparkly Accent Scarf:

Red Sparkly Scarf

Project Specs

Yarn: Patons Brilliant

Color: Beautiful Burgundy

Pattern: K1P1 ribbing

The Pastel Sparkly Scarf, to go with a jacket I have:

Pastel Sparkly Scarf

Scarf with jacket

Project Specs

Yarn: Karabella Magic

Color: #1727 (pale blue, pale pink, gold, with silver sparkles)

Pattern: Garter stitch

And this is just a fun, thick and soft scarf, my "Fuzzy Blue Scarf" (original name, isn't it?):

Fuzzy Blue Scarf

Project Specs

Yarn: Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair in color "Glacier Bay"; Lion Brand Trellis in color "Ocean"

Pattern: Stockinette in the middle, bordered by garter stitch edges.

And now what am I working on? Well, the ever-present Sparkly Black Cardigan (a.k.a. Sitcom Chic). Then there's the Wavy Scarf (WIP photos of both these items in the sidebar), and also the Mimi Verylong scarf from Amy's KnittyBlog in a beautiful laceweight yarn. This is my very first lace project.

But I'm itchin' to start some more socks. So there might be a sock WIP in my future. We shall see.

Until later then.


Organized at last...and some yarn pix

Well, I finally succeeded. I now have A System. And here's to hoping that I can keep it together.

I had started a binder with project cards in it that I created onto which I attached photos of projects and yarn samples. On the back of these cards are spaces to write all sorts of useful information such as yarn name, color, amount used, needle size, etc. This was working great and created a nice binder that could be flipped through to see completed projects, except it was a tad time-consuming to create these cards and the whole thing was disorganized. I also made the mistake of trying to put in all of my older projects that were completed long before the binder came to be. This was causing much angst in trying to root through my notebooks and yarn to find informations on projects.

Long story short, I now have a plan that makes me happy. I have created two types of project sheets: in-process sheets and completed project cards. When I start a project, I grab an in-process sheet, which is the same as the completed project card except more informal and on paper. This then forces me to write down all of the pertinent information for the project (and eventually, for the card). There's space for notes and a start date and everything. I use a paperclip to attach my yarn ball bands to the sheet and keep the whole thing in my knitting bag. (I also try and keep things as one bag per project.)

Then when I am done with the project, I grab a completed project card and copy all of the information from the other sheet. I then snip a sample of the yarn for the card and one for the ball band. That gets put into a box, the card goes into another box to await a printed photo before completion and being put into the binder.

Sounds laborious, but this is a better system than I had before (which was basically none) and I had completed projects sitting around, waiting to be finalized and put away with all appropriate yarn snippings and notes made, but I didn't have a system. Now I have A System.

Oh and the other thing I've done is started a huge "database" of sorts that has my projects all listed. This weekend I went through all of them and noted the yarn and color as well. I now feel like I have things organized, I know exactly how many projects I have going (which is 6, noted in the sidebar). I love feeling organized!

The reason I finally got around to doing this was because I wasn't going to let myself start my next project until I had organized things. And finished one of my WIPs. So here's the deal: now that I have organized my knitting projects, I need to finish the Red Sparkly Scarf before I am allowed to start the Match My Coat Cap in these colors. (Cascade 220 in 8555, 9454 and 9324.) We're going skiing in early March so I need to have that done by then. Oh, and the headband to match, for those not-so-cold days. I was hit with this idea the other day...I have more than enough yarn for the hat, so I am going to make a headband to match, but since this is wool we are dealing with here, I decided that I will stitch it to a fleece headband which will be the part that goes against my head, since for me, headbands can be very itchy. Good plan, yes? We'll see how it turns out. But I think it has potential.

And now for some photos. My latest delivery of Yarn From Cyberspace brought me this:

Regia sock yarnRegia Sock Yarn

and this:


I'm still waiting for some Trekking XXL to arrive.

I have some other sock yarn waiting in the wings for their day to come...

Red-Gray JacquardRed-Gray Jacquard


Bernat SoxBernat Sox

That ought to keep me busy for a while!



Well I finally have some new knitting to report on! It's been a busy few months...packing, painting, moving...and then the holidays were upon us. I wasn't able to do any knitting except for Christmas knitting, and I finally have something to show for it.

I present to you...Henry's Baby Blanket. We got to meet our brand new nephew Henry, born a week before Christmas. Here is the blanket I made for him. It is just a simple garter stitch square, but in the soft boucle yarn, it came out quite nicely.

Henry's Blanket

Henry's blanket up closeHenry's Blanket

The other project I worked on was a pair of socks for my friend Kathleen. I had made her some a while back. One time I asked her if she ever wore them and she admitted that she had sort of forgotten about them. Some time passed, and randomly on the phone one day, she excitedly told me that she couldn't get enough of those socks I had made her! So I knew I had to make some more. These are made from Lion Brand Magic Stripes in the color Regatta Blue Stripe. I didn't make any effort to make the socks match stripe-wise (mainly because even after finishing the second socks I wasn't entirely sure of the stripe pattern anyway!) but I think they ended up looking kinda cool in their randomness.

Kathleen's Striped Socks

Kathleen's socks up close

Now it's back to other knitting. I have a couple of small accent scarves that I want to work on, and soon I want to begin a hat that is going to go with my ski jacket. I plan to use a pattern called Match My Coat Cap, in Cascade 220 yarn. I found some heathered colors that match my jacket quite well. Should be fun! I'd like to have that ready by the time we go skiing at the beginning of March. Can't wait!

Oh, and I treated myself to a ball winder with a gift certificate I had. Yay. :) Now I want to find yarn for projects that needs winding from hank to ball!