Apparently I am a sheep. Why? Because I could not resist this scarf
and had to follow all of the other people who have made it and cast on
for one of my own!

It's the "noro scarf" that I keep seeing all over the 'net. It's made
from 4 balls of at least two different colors of Noro Silk Garden
which are alternated every two rows. The result is fantastic... I love
how the colors shift slowly and intertwine with each other. So fun!

I decided to get 4 different colorways, two in a pink/purple warm
colorway, and two in a blue/purple cool colorway. (I don't have the
color numbers at hand right now but will share them later.) The colors
in this photo are actually a little muted...imagine them much brighter
and you've got the idea. I love this scarf so far! And the yarn is
softer than I'd expected.

I liked what the Yarn Harlot pointed out about this scarf...no matter
how many people make it there will always be variations. And not just
because people's knitting can vary, but because even if the same
colors are used they will still be a little different! And there are
just so many options out there. I decided to use four different ones
so that nothing at all would repeat even on my scarf.

It's a fun knit so far!


Holiday frazzle

Hi folks!

I know I owe you a post with photos but I can't oblige at the moment (my photos are on flickr which is blocked at work. At least I can still access blogger during my lunch break!).

I started early on planning for the holidays but even so I am feeling a tad stressed already. ugh! Does anyone else get this way? I am such an organization-freak that I need to feel organized and ready early or I can't sit back and enjoy. It's not like I'm making all that much stuff, I just want to be done with it early (including shopping and cards) so I can enjoy some of the season and not feel so frazzled. But every time I look at the calendar I do get frazzled!

For gifts, so far I've made two cotton crocheted grocery bags for my SILs that came out pretty well I think. I used this pattern, although I had to make them bigger. I ended up not increasing stitch count, just row count, and used a much larger hook. Apparently I crochet very tightly so my first one came out way too small.

I am also making two little coin purses for the SILs, which are almost done and I'm also pretty happy with them. Thus far I am using only stash yarn! Yay. I REALLY need to curb my yarn purchases for a while. (Especially since I just made an impulse purchase because of something I saw on a bunch of blogs lately. COUGH. Ahem. More on that later.)

I also have another project I'm working on for a friend that's not knitting but is something way overdue that I promised ages ago. It's just a baby blanket (it's fleece, so a no-sew project) onto which I'll be stitching some cross stitch fabric once I cross stitch the words on. I think it'll be cute when it's done, but it's time consuming. I also need to do some craft painting...for my friend's older daughter I had given her a little name train years ago, and now I need something similar for her younger girl. So that needs to get done.

I am also making the same friend a pair of socks, but that's easy peasy of course. No worries there.

Then there's this photo book I'm creating for my dad, which I need to get done so I can order it and cross it off my list and be done with it. This is why I get frazzled! There's just so much to do. And beyond all the gifts, there are a few little ornaments I wanted to make for myself as well, not to mention I might want to make some of those tiny sweater ornaments for my cousins for Christmas day. But we'll see if I'm that ambitious! Heh. What happened to not making anything for Christmas?!



Sorry for no knitting updates here! I offer this photo by way of
explanation... This is my reality every weekend in the fall. Our
driveway is under there somewhere.


F.O. update

I need to do some blogging catch-up and I'll start with the F.O.s from over the summer!  Some stuff I've blogged about and some stuff I started and finished during my blog "hiatus".  

You might remember these...they are stockinette socks in Opal Flamingo yarn.  I love them!  They're a teensy bit tight but they fit.  I was working on tweaking my pattern and have now done so and the new version fits better.  Anyway, love these socks. 


And completely by accident, the stripes sorta matched up.  Bonus!



Click here to view the specifics on those socks.

~ ~ ~

Up next is a very exciting photo of some black mittens.  The mittens themselves are just about as exciting, but I really wanted some black handknit mittens to wear with my handknit scarves and such.  These are made from Manos del Uruguay and are thick!  I can tell they're going to be cozy and warm.


Here's my page for those.

~ ~ ~

Now here we have a pair of Fetching mitts.  I wanted to make these to go with my lightweight fall jacket.  I found this yarn (which happened to be the yarn the pattern called for) that matched the coat about as perfectly as possible.  It's Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, and it is lovely and soft.  So even though the pattern warned that one ball was just barely enough to make the pair, I threw caution to the wind and got just the one ball.


Luckily, I was successful.


Here is the jacket in question:


And here, folks, is the teeny bit of yarn I was left with.  They weren't kidding!!


And here are the specifics on that project.

~ ~ ~

Okay, up next is something kinda cute.  I have a coworker/friend who was expecting a baby (she's since had a healthy, beautiful baby girl) and I wanted to make a hat.  I found this pattern on the ball band of a ball of Bernat Baby Jacquards.  It's a little Jester Hat!

I knit it in the round, even though the pattern called for flat knitting, but in my experience self-striping yarn behaves better when it's knit in the round as opposed to flat.  But even with all the stitches it worked fine on 5 DPNs.

For this hat you knit even for a while and then start increasing in four corners and when you cast off you have this:


Then you stitch all the seams at the top and you have this:


Then you make four pompoms...


Assemble, and voila!



Cuteness in the form of a hat!  Here's my project page on that.

~ ~ ~

So that's what I finished this summer and fall.  I have quite a few things on the needles, including some Christmas gifts.  I'll round those up soon and be back to post that stuff!


Happy Halloween!

I have no idea if this will work or not... I'm trying to email a post
with a photo from my phone. If it works you'll see a jack o' lantern

Either way, Happy Halloween!


Guess where I went?

Yeah, I know, I've been absent from the blog again. But no...really, guess where I actually went?


Can you see it? Here's a close-up:


Now can you tell? Yup! That's right. I went to RHINEBECK!! (aka, the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival.) I was so excited to get the chance to go since I've never been before...it just all worked out so well. We were heading north to visit the in-laws for the weekend and it just so happened that the two weekends coincided, and we didn't have to be at our destination until later, so we had plenty of time to stop there. And I have a WONDERFUL husband who not only willingly agreed to go there on the way, but also followed me around patiently for a few hours while I petted the yarn. :)  (He mostly played solitaire on his iPhone while I wandered, and I think he was honestly quite content with that.)

Rhinebeck was a lot of fun. I had no idea really what to expect, but it was such a thrill to be around that many people who love yarn and knitting as much as I do! We didn't see any of the famous people who were supposed to be there, but that's okay by me. I am too shy anyway; I'd have just been mad at myself for not going up to say hello if I did see someone anyway.

It was a wonderful day! The weather was absolutely perfect, the fall colors at their peak. I wore my handknit gray sweater in honor of the trip to Rhinebeck, and loved wandering around seeing all of the handknits people were wearing. So fun!

Wanna see my haul? I got a few fun things. ;)

The very first building we went into had the booth for The Fold which apparently is "the" place to get BMFA yarns at Rhinebeck. I noticed a long line to pay but started browsing anyway. I spent some time looking at the rack that was sort of on the outside of their booth...as it turns out I never went into the booth at all! But that was probably for the best...any more choices and I'd have had even more trouble choosing! Then I turned around and noticed that My Very Sweet Husband had decided to get in line while I browsed...smart man! Even after the time spent by my indecisiveness we still had to wait a bit to pay.  I promised my patient husband that we'd go find lunch after that.  :)

So I looked at the mill ends which were discounted but in the end I decided on this "Rare Gems" color of STR in mediumweight:



The colors are totally "me" and will be very wearable.

Then I decided that a special day deserved at least one really special yarn purchase, so I chose this Silk Thread yarn in a lovely, nearly solid, lavendery gray color that will make a beautiful shawl or wrap someday:


The silk is so shiny!


Then we wandered onward and I purchased a little something I've had my eye on on the web for some time...a little mini sock blocker keychain:


The lady I purchased it from told me if I make a sock with it I can send her a photo and she'll put it on her website!

We wandered around some more and I decided that I wanted to find some yarn to make a Clapotis. (By the way, I saw countless of those being worn around the festival!) I found a place that had this sport weight silk bamboo yarn that had just the most wonderful drape and sheen and decided that was what I wanted. It took me forever to choose a color (my husband was again extremely patient) and I finally decided on this:



I got two skeins of 300 yards each, figuring I'll make the wrap a little narrower or shorter than the pattern is designed, since that calls for 800 yds.  The two skeins are ever so slightly different enough that I'll have to knit with both skeins at the same time, alternating every other row.  I'd rather not have to do that but the one skein appears to have more pink in it.

Then as our day was drawing to a close, I had sort of had it in my head that I wanted some sort of sparkly yarn, and we happened upon this stuff:



See the sparkles?  I had a tough time deciding among the colors they had...there was a this pink, a black, lavender, and an off-white...I of course love pink so was tempted by that, but the lavender looked really nice with the silver and I really like lavender too! I kept picking them up and setting them down, completely indecisive. The black really showed off the silver, and the white reminded me of snow. Such a touch decision! Then a nice lady passing by noticed me struggling with my decision (do you sense a theme with me here?) and helped me out...she asked if I was planning on making something for myself...I said yes, a scarf. So she told me to hold my hand out, palm facing down (because apparently the skin on the back of the hand is closer to what your face is), and lay the yarn on top. The pink, she said, went well with my skin tone. The black or white would wash me out, and the lavender wasn't so great either. So it was decided! I got the pink. And I knew in my heart that couldn't be the wrong choice since I love that color anyway. So there! I learned something new from a friendly passer-by.

After that we were both about done with the festival, and we headed to get some cider and kettle corn before departing. What a wonderful day! All of the stars aligned and it was amazing...the timing of the trip and the festival, having time to stop, the weather, the fall colors...so amazing!  We had a really great rest of the weekend as well, a day trip to Vermont to enjoy the leaves and a great family weekend.

Here's some of the gorgeous color we saw:




Right now I am watching the Philadelphia Phillies play in game 4 of the World Series.  I'm not a huge baseball fan but it is the one pro sport that I'll watch now and then, and if I get the chance to go to a game that is certainly fun.  And of course the World Series is pretty fun to watch, too! Even better when the home team is in it!  Philadelphia is a city of crazy sports fans...I'm not an Eagles football fan and could do without the crazed fans myself, but Phillies fans are a little tamer and easier to handle, heh.  Anyway, I think this city deserves a winning team so I hope the Phils take it all the way.

Okay, back to my knitting.  I'll share my WIPs soon...I wish I could dig into my Rhinebeck stash projects but I'm working on some Christmas gifts first.  

Go Phillies!  ;)


Here I am (I think)

Hi folks!  I'm here...I'm fine (in case anyone was wondering).  

I know I've taken a bit of a blog hiatus.  I've been super busy this summer, lots of travel and not a whole lot of knitting, and I figured that when summer was over and fall arrived I'd get my blogging mojo back again.  I've been doing some thinking and am just not sure if I want to keep up with it anymore, ya know?  I'm just not that sure.  But I can't really decide.  But I thought I was due for a quick "Hi" post just to let anyone who's still there that I am here and all's well.  Just lost my blogging mojo.

I don't know what it is exactly.  I guess I just don't always feel like I want the upkeep of this, with all of the other stuff going on in my daily life.  I've gotten all sorts of behind on reading blogs, as well as keeping up on taking pictures of my knitting.  While my knitting progress did slow somewhat over the summer, I did get a few things done and I do have some stuff to share.  I guess the upkeep and taking photos and uploading and all that just got to be too much for me...call it laziness I suppose!  

I do like having this place to share my knitting, since as I've mentioned before none of my friends and family are really that interested in knitting.  The blog has been a great place to show it off without really "showing off"...know what I mean?  When you show stuff you've made to people who appreciate it it's not the same as tooting your own horn, at least I don't think so.  I do have a good friend who loves to make jewelry out of unusual items, just for fun, and together we brainstorm and then show our stuff to each other.  That's a lot of fun.  She appreciates my knitting even though she's not a knitter.  So I guess I do have her, but even still, this blog fills that void otherwise.  

Which is why I can't bring myself to just end it once and for all.  I like the blog, the people I've "met"...but I guess it's just the upkeep...the taking photos, downloading to the computer...uploading online...posting to the blog...all that takes time which sometimes I'm just not in the mood for.  I don't mean to offend anyone by saying this, that's not my intent.  I'm just being honest!  :)  Anyway, I'll try and get my act together and post something knitting related in the near future.  

Also I think I tend to get a little overwhelmed by all the great blogs out there...the ones where people really get into it and are very eloquent and say stuff people want to read.  I guess I just don't feel that I fit into that much.  I just tend to yammer on about my knitting!  ;)

So thanks to anyone who has hung in there and kept me on their reading list...and no, I haven't even been reading blogs or commenting...I'm sorry!  I need to get caught up on that too.

Happy Fall to all of you (fall?!  there's a thunderstorm going on here at the moment!).


Another self-tagged meme

I've seen this one around the blog-o-sphere and decided to self-tag again.  (heh.  Hopefully this doesn't make me a complete loser!)  ;o)
Rules: You must answer the questions using only one word. Then tag four others.
1. Where is your cell phone? desk
2. Your significant other? work
3. Your hair? brown
4. Your mother? memory
5. Your father? generous
6. Your favorite thing? knitting
7. Your dream last night? unknown
8. Your favorite drink? soda
9. Your dream/goal? motherhood
10. The room you're in? cubicle
11. Your hobby? knitting
12. Your fear? storms
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? parent
14. What you're not? outgoing
15. Muffins? blueberry
16. One of your wish list items? yarn
17. Where you grew up? overseas
18. The last thing you did? yawned
19. What are you wearing? blue
20. Favorite gadget? yarnwinder
21. Your pets? entertaining
22. Your computer? slow
23. Your mood? good
24. Missing someone? bestfriend
25. Your car? grimy
26. Something you're not wearing? mittens
27. Favorite store? crafts
28. Like someone? huh?
29. Your favorite color? pink
30. When is the last time you laughed? yesterday
31. Last time you cried? awhile


Summer of Love Lace

Last weekend we drove north to visit my in-laws, and I had a bunch of knitting time in the car. I finished my Summer of Love Lace Socks! I LOVE them. They're going to be so comfy (when it gets cold out, heh).

Summer of Love Lace Socks

Summer of Love Lace Socks

Summer of Love Lace Socks

I think the cuffs came out rather matchy, considering I wasn't even trying. I love this yarn color so much.

Project Specs:

Pattern: Summer of Love Lace
Size: medium
Needles used: Size 1s (both straights and DPNs)
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts ~ Socks That Rock lightweight
Color: Flower Power
Amount used: most of one skein
Started: 4/27/08
Finished: 6/22/08


Project Roundup

So much for trying to keep up with my blogging! heh. Well, I have lots of updates for you today. I just posted about my socks that I finished, and here's where my WIPs stand.

You may recall I was making a bag out of some STR Heavyweight. I had originally tried a woven stitch but was not enjoying knitting it and so I opted for stockinette. Well, I finished both sides and did most of the strap...and then totally lost my steam. I just wasn't into it anymore. I love the colors, but not for a bag. So I decided to set it aside before I got more upset with it.

Here's where I was before I put it away. Here are the two halves of the bag blocking:

bag parts blocking

I do like how the patterning came out...very different for each half, depending on where in the colors I started knitting.

This was the first half:

first side

And this was the second half, which I think is kinda cool looking:

second side

But still not a bag. :( So I'll let it sit for a while and see what I want to do with it. I might end up ripping it all out and making socks with it, which of course wouldn't be the worst thing in the world! ;)

In other knitting news, you probably don't remember this but a while back I mentioned that I wanted to rip out and reknit my Coronet hat so that the band didn't have to be turned up since it was moving around too much and was also a bit tight on my head. This clearly was not a high priority now that it's summertime but the other day I came across the hat and was suddenly inspired to just do it. So I did...I measured and figured out how many rows I'd need to remove from the straight knitting portion, and then undid my end, attached it to my ball winder, and frogged! It's kinda fun to do that now and then, heh. I had already gone around and put all the stitches on the needles again, so then I was able to restart. It's been good TV knitting these past few days since I'm not allowed to work on my travel socks (more on that later) until my trip.

Coronet Hat - reknit

I like it much better now, I think the edge looks better, and now I know the brim will stay put and won't unroll or roll too far up and show the back side of it. It also fits me a little better now. I love how the top of this hat looks...you do the crown decreases really fast on this, so it sort of bunches up. I like it.

Let's see...next up we have the WIP Pink Flamingo Socks. I still love these, but they are just stockinette so they are around for when I need something mindless. They're coming along nicely.

Pink Flamingo socks WIP

Since those are almost done (or at least close enough so that they're not worth bringing on a pack-as-light-as-I-can trip) I started two new pair for traveling, both on bamboo needles (for getting through airport security!):

red and gray socks

These are just going to be stockinette socks, and though I'm not entirely thrilled with this yarn, it was the only one in my stash that seemed suitable for size 2 needles. This is actually the very first sock yarn I ever purchased, but I never knit it. It's pretty soft, and I'm hoping I'll like the colors better when I really get going on the sock.

These I'm more excited about...they're going to be my first pair of Jaywalkers!


The yarn is Regia in this VERY colorful colorway. These are going to be neon bright socks, but that's okay. One needs a little color in the middle of winter. But mainly I chose this yarn because it's sorta stripey and I hope will do a good job showing off the zigzag pattern.

I know those aren't very exciting photos of socks seeing as they're only about an inch long yet, but I can't work on them any more now because I am saving them for our upcoming trip. As I kind of mentioned, we're flying so I wanted to have projects on bamboo needles so I don't have any trouble in security. This is why I needed to finish up my Summer of Love Lace Socks since I only have one pair of bamboo size 1s (I know, I need to rectify that situation).

My sidebar is also up-to-date and you may notice that I have my Turquoise Print O' The Wave Stole listed under my "On The Needles" list. Yep, I started it! But as I've only completed about 2 rows I'm not bothering with a photo yet. I still need to get the hang of that one, but I think it might be easier than I thought. Once I get rolling on it I'll share more about it. It's not traveling with me on this trip though because I really don't want to take my chances on with my metal-tipped needles.

So that's where things stand. Now I must run and go clean the house...DH has already started vacuuming upstairs and I need to go help!


Self-tagged meme

I read this meme over at Chicken Knits and decided to join in!

Here's the deal:

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
Uhm...working at the same job I am now? heh. ;) Let's see...I was also living in this same house, but at the time as the daughter, not as the wife/homeowner! (By way of explanation...my husband and I bought the house from my dad)

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order)?
Well, my To Do list today was (it's after 10pm) to clean the house, go to the grocery store (exciting stuff, I know...just stop me now), go to the fabric/craft store to get notions for my bag, and stay cool. It's freakin' hot here right now...we're having an early June heat wave. And #5 is to finish and post this entry and reply to all my comments before I go to bed.

3. Snacks I enjoy:
Let's see...I like gummy bears, pretzels, Cheddar Chex Mix, grapes, mangoes...

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Okay, this is total fluff, but...pay off the house, perhaps get an apartment near a ski area and/or beach house for vacationing, hire someone to clean my house (heh heh!), hire a personal trainer to help me get in shape...buy my husband his dream car(s)...

5. Places I have lived:
Pennsylvania; Tokyo, Japan; Istanbul, Turkey; Leysin, Switzerland

6. Jobs I've had:
Friendly's Ice Cream waitress (where I was a multi-purpose waitress/hostess/bus-person/salad-maker/ice cream scooper/dishwasher-loader...they had you do everything there), currently a proofreader...

7. Peeps I want to know more about:
I'm not going to tag anyone either...I self-tagged, and feel free to do the same! :o)


Yarn and a bag-to-be

And now back to your regularly scheduled KNITTING blog. ;o)

One of my LYSs recently changed ownership and moved to a new location. My dear sweet husband agreed to accompany me on a search for the new place. We found it pretty easily, and it is in a cute little area where shop fronts look like they haven't been updated in years...but in a good way. It has an old timey charm.

Anyway, of course I couldn't walk out of there without some yarn! I found this stuff called Maizy by Crystal Palace Yarns, in the colorway Stormy Purple.

Maizy yarn

I've since swatched a little and it's rather splitty...but I still like the color and the feel of it. It's similar to that Panda Cotton too, which I have two balls of. Speaking of which, these are dense little balls of yarn...very small, but 204 yds each!

Moving on...to photos of my Socks That Rock! I had links before but I feel obligated to show actual photos. ;)

Here's the STR Lightweight in Fire on the Mountain (not a great photo):

STR Fire on the Mountain

Here's a photo of one side of it...

STR Fire on the Mountain

and the other side of it...

STR Fire on the Mountain

It is amazing, gorgeous, rich color. Can't wait to see how it knits up.

This is my STR lightweight in Pink Granite:

STR Pink Granite

That will make some beautiful and yet practical socks. I wear a lot of pink and black, so they'll be great.

Now, on to my bag project. I think I mentioned before that I want to make a purse and decided on STR as a good candidate for it. I wanted something that'll hold up and what better than sock yarn, right?

I decided on Peaseblossom colorway (after MUCH deliberation) and got that in STR Heavyweight. Here it is:

STR Peaseblossom

And here is the obligatory yarn cake photo (which, I might add, refuses to stay intact and has been the most misbehaving yarn cake I've ever encountered! But I guess I'll let it slide.)

peaseblossom yarn cake

As I also mentioned before, I was thinking of either a woven stitch or the one from My So Called Scarf for the bag. Well...okay, here's my swatch, scarf pattern at top, some stockinette in the middle, and woven st at the bottom:

bag swatch

Based on that swatch, I decided I loved the look of the woven stitch. But it didn't like me. I kept messing it up, and as you can see by the below pic, my gauge/tension changed a bit and so did the color patterning. You can see a definite line there, and also can see that it started pulling in. I think that was about the time that I started getting frustrated with it!

woven stitch

It's pretty though!

woven stitch bag started

So...I gave up on it. I cast off and will make this piece into a coin purse to use with the purse.

woven stitch coin purse to be

New plan: stockinette bag with possibly a patch on the front as a pocket, made out of the My So Called Scarf pattern, which I think is really pretty, and isn't as tedious as that blasted woven pattern!

bag in stockinette

There! I think I'm all caught up! I finally caught up on reading blogs, and am feeling my blogging mojo returning a bit. We'll see if I keep up on this!