Monday, December 01, 2008

My Sweet Girl

I am very sad to to let you all know that there won't be much knitting here for a while. On Friday November 28 my 2 year old daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia. There are no words to express how we are feeling. If you would like to follow our journey we have set up a website for her at Caringbridge.

Monday, November 17, 2008

More Spinning!

I started up this fun fiber last night. I could not stop. It was so fun playing with the colors in the fiber! It's Pigeonroof Studios South African Fine in Hydrangea. It was a getting started gift from Hattie! Thanks Hattie! I sure wish you were here to play with me!

This fiber was really squished into it's braid. So I've been playing with it, trying to figure out the best way to fluff it back out and pre-draft it a bit. Any tips? I'm really just making this all up as I go along. lol!

And... here is the second 4oz of my "practice fiber". This one turned out really well. 328 yards/3.5oz, half an ounce was left on the second bobbin... guess I got a little more fine on that second bobbin. Oops! I am thrilled with my consistency for it being only my second skein!

We've got a busy week ahead... Miss N is turning FIVE tomorrow! FIVE?! How did that happen?!

Friday, November 14, 2008


Yarn: Radiant Twist, Fluff, Enchanted
Pattern: Itchy Fingers Longies

I think it's safe to say I've been "enchanted" of late. First off... these lovely longies knit up cooperating with me every step of the way. No worries about strange color streaks or pooling. Nope, they just knit up lovely. And... they are a perfect fit.

And then... the wheel!

I am in LOVE with my new Pioneer. It's just lovely. It's the perfect size to fit into my little corner of the living room. It spins like a dream. I love the engineering of it. That probably sounds weird, but I am an architect... if things aren't designed well it bugs the snot out of me!

Here are my first 4oz of fiber... it was on clearance so I got it for something like $5 a pound. The perfect price for your first few spins! I ended up with 110 yards of bulky weight. It's got some serious over spinning issues on at least one of the singles. But I've quickly gotten past that issue... I think.

And here are the singles for the second 4oz. They are much more even and thinner. We'll see how they ply up. I have a feeling some parts may be under spun. And I really need to be better about moving my guide to get the yarn on the bobbin evenly. On the standing up bobbin I was really forgetful and it shows!

I've also been battling a nasty cold. Isn't it a little early in the year for such nastiness to be going around?! Yuck. So there hasn't been much progress on anything around here for the last week. A little knitting, a little spinning, a little reading and lots of lying about. Hopefully I can get well so that I can really get going with the new wheel!

Monday, November 03, 2008

I just bought my first wheel!

I've been shopping... and saving up... but really I didn't mean to go so fast! For a while I've been reading up... getting to know them and their reputations etc... All weekend I was engrossed (driving my Hub crazy), on Saturday I tried out several at Paradise Fibers and got a feel for what I like...

Then yesterday I was reading the thread on the new Pioneer in the Majacraft group on Ravelry... well someone linked to a store in Oregon that had a USED Pioneer for only $375!!! I called just now and I guess the "owner" won it in a contest, gave it a test and then decided "Nah... I've got 5 other wheels, I don't want it." How lucky is that?! I can't believe it! The wheel was only released in September... finding a used one is just SO lucky!
I'm a little nervous since I haven't tried the Majacrafts but... I haven't read one person not liking them, so I went for it. I should have tried Hattie's Little Gem before she left us! It's just such a great deal. I'm sure if I totally hate it I could sell it in a heartbeat. She said if she can sweet talk them it'll ship today, if not tomorrow. YAY! It's coming from Woodland Woolworks in the Portland, OR area so it should be here pretty fast!

HERE is a nice thorough review of the wheel with pic's in case you're interested.


I'm a little excited. I guess I need some fiber now...

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fall Knits

I don't know about you, but I've got myself a backyard FULL of leaves. My kids are loving it... they jump into the leaf pile as if it were a swimming pool!

Since finishing the set for the auction I've finished off a couple things for myself. First up... the socks I've been toting about for the last month. My official 'Socktoberfest' socks.

Yarn: Vesper 100% Merino, Mocha
Pattern: Plain Janes

Now, if you have a good memory you might remember me not loving this yarn once before. Since then she's started dying on a new base yarn and it is quite lovely. The nylon blend base I will still avoid, but this lovely 100% merino. Yum. I couldn't quite get the stripes to end the same. I have a feeling it's because I knit most of the second foot while we were at the hospital for Miss N's eye surgery earlier this week. I just may have been feeling a little extra tension. However, the patient and the socks both came out looking great. And, now Miss N and I both have stripey frizzle socks.

With fall being all around me, this yarn called me from the stash. It's the yarn Hub picked up for me at Knitty Gritty Yarn down in the Tri-Cities. I was not sure what I was going to do with it as it was only 50g, but fall inspired me to knit up a thin scarf. More of a pretty acessory than something to keep warm. But really perfect for fall.

Yarn: Manos del Uruguay, Manos Silk Blend, only 50g!
Pattern: Drop Stitch Scarf

Don't forget to check out the fundraiser, Celebrating Colleen goes until Tuesday!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Choclate and Cream Set for Colleen

Patterns: Seamless Infant Kimono, Itchy Fingers Longies
Yarn: 100purewool, 3 ply merino, chocolate & creama

I'm having trouble doing the usual oohing and ahhing over these items. They are lovely. They are very soft and yummy. But for me, they signify that something tragic has happened. A wife was lost, a mother was lost, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, and a friend... lost. It seems so insufficient to show how much she was worth on this earth. She was such a unique fun and caring friend. She posessed such a lightness of spirit. She was so silly and fun. I miss her. And I know her family misses her more than I can even imagine.

So go, visit the fundriaser at Tiny Lady Cooperative. All funds will go towards her childrens college fund. She wanted us to look out for their future for her. Go, buy, bid and bid often! It all oficially starts on Tuesday October 28th and will run until November 4th. There is something for everyone!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Auction Update

I've finished the sweater! Whew! That is a big relief. I know how fast I can get the longies done, so I'm not too stressed about the deadline now. The kimono sweater pattern is just awesome. One of the best written patterns I've seen. And it has the best pattern support I've seen. All the tutorials for each skill are fantastic and she also offers email support. I used a couple of the tutorials myself. I finally know the correct way to make a button loop! Mine were always a big wonky before with the little knots twisting around the loop. If you are at all interesting in this pattern, go for it. You won't regret it at all! It's available from Sweet Mama Small Sugar.

I did get someone wanting to contribute to the effort in the comments. If anyone else would like to contribute there is a Ravelry Group Here, and the Yahoo group Here. The Yahoo group is the official organizational site for this event. Thank you so much for your generosity!

I have just learned that Colleen passed this morning. Even more my thoughts are with her family.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Celebrating a Friend

One of the best things about the knitting community is we know how to get together and make things happen when one of our own is in need. Right now a Knitter, Indie Dyer, and friend is dying of a very aggressive form of cancer. It hits close to home as she has two children the same ages as my own. They are so very young and about to lose their mother. There are many of us feeling helpless right now. We've decided to turn that around and use our time and energy to help in what ways we can. Tiny Lady Cooperative is hosting a fund raising effort for the family. When we asked Colleen what she would like the funds to go towards, she always the mother, said her children. All proceeds from this event will go into college funds for her children. We're going to give her a little bit of peace about her childrens futures before she goes.

For my part I volunteered to knit a matching set, sweater and longies. The time line here is a little crazy. I think my emotions might have volunteered me to do that. BUT, I am determined. That is part of why I've been scarce. I have to get this D-O-N-E! Carina from Sweet Mama Small Sugar donated her pattern to my effort. Since then I've been knitting, knitting, knitting. It's going well, but it seems so slooooow. Deadlines are always like that. Here is the current state of the sweater. A little lumpy and sleeveless, but looking good none the less.

When I haven't been working on that I've been dragging this sock around. The color scheme here is really kind of funny. Not purposeful. I needed more neutral colors in my sock wardrobe.

I'm going back to the knitting now... I'll emerge in about 10 days. Be sure to stop by TLC for the event on October 28th! Don't worry... I'll be back to remind you!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I can't keep up!

Life seems to be moving faster than I am right now! No time to blog. It's become nothing but an FO parade around here. Oh well, I'm sure you can't blame me too much for watching an overabundance of news lately. And lots of TV equals lots of knitting!

Fall is here... time for some more woolies for Miss E. A pair of Capri's. These are super handy in the fall and spring when it's just too cold for a soaker and too warm for full wool pants. I used my pattern for these, but I played with the short rows a bit. I used 2 sets of zig zag short rows in the middle and 1 regular each on top and bottom. They really do give the perfect shape for a cloth diaper booty!

This was my first time trying Corriedale yarn. I rather liked it. It looks like it's a longer fiber sort of like BFL, but it's more rugged. So I think it will hold up nicely as longies. And it was still really plesant to knit. My favorite yarn for longies is Montana Targhee... but it's not my favorite to knit!

Miss E seems pretty happy with them! I was happy that at 11:30pm when I ran out of the main yarn that I had some of that yellow on hand to finish them up! It probably wouldn't be my first choice for color to go with this colorway, but it was here and it worked!

Even if they do look a little goofy sitting flat, you can see they fit like a glove!

: Itchy Fingers Longies
Yarn: Corriedale from Tykie Knits, color Marisol

Now... where is that mail person with my new Norah Gaughn pattern book?! I've been patiently waiting all week! I though for sure today was the day. Sigh...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Denim Monkeys

Pattern: Monkey Socks
Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, Denim Blues

Well, thanks to our trip to Seattle last weekend (read: sitting in traffic a lot) I got my second Monkey completed pretty fast! We had a really wonderful time. We were flown over by Hub's company for a big party. We got to stay at the new Tulalip Hotel. It was really nice. We got MIL an adjoining room and she and the girls partied all night... swimming, eating licorice and staying up WAY too late! Meanwhile Hub and I got gussied up and went to the party... and after everyone else headed to the casino we snuck away to one of the cafes and had ourselves a little date. The next day after a scrumptious brunch we started heading back south... stopping at our best friends for lunch and a nap for Miss E. Then later we headed further south to my Grandparents house to help Great Grandpa celebrate his 83rd birthday. And the next morning we flew home again. It was a great trip. Unfortunatly, since we've been home I've been having vertigo off and on all week. So... I'm not doing much. Wishing it away! I've had this happen once before after flying. I can't remember how long it lasted. Seeing as this is day five, I'm getting downright tired of it. So, I will end it at that because I'm sitting here swaying like a sailor!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tag I'm It!

Meghann got me.

6 Random Things about Me Meme

Here are the rules:

  1. Link to the person who tagged you.
  2. Post the rules on your blog.
  3. Write six random things about yourself.
  4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
  5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
  6. Let the tagger know your entry is up

1. Even though I'm fairly crunchy/organic-ish and insist on things like leech free water bottles... I drink diet Barq's Root Beer and diet Dr. Pepper. I know, liquid poison.

2. I never once had anything but a cut done to my hair until I turned 30. Coincidentally my second child was born 12 days before I turned 30. After that one... I had more gray hair than I was comfortable sporting.

3. I have kept my toenails painted pretty much my whole life... my theory... it makes my giant feet look feminine.

4. I get to go to Seattle this weekend and pick up an exclusive colorway of my favorite sock yarn at Hilltop Yarn!

5. I can physically get up anytime in the morning. But I'm not awake until noon. People have tried to tell me I need to go to bed earlier and that would solve it. Unfortunately, these are morning people. They just don't seem to understand it's biology. No matter what my sleep is doing... not awake in the brain until noon.

6. I'm slightly phone phobic for some reason. I'll email you 20x but never return your call...

Whew. That was hard.

Ok, six people... do six people even read my blog?! If you're reading this, then you're tagged! How's that? I know... I cheated.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Miss N's Stripey Socks

As you know... we're big fans of stripes here in this household. And as you know... Miss N is a fan of all things pink and girly. To be fair a mama has to make socks for each child. Since Miss N will wear Knit Picks Swish Superwash, I thought she would also be ok with the Essential and Felici lines. Turns out, I was right. This stuff is buttery soft and passes the "itchy" test. It may not the most durable, but she'll outgrow them before she has a chance to wear them out. Plus when the catalog came with this line in it... she followed me around with it pointing out that this yarn was 'her colors'. Obviously, I don't need much encouraging.

I under estimated the size of this poor child's foot. I thought I could easily get her a pair from one ball of yarn. Ha! She got her mama's feet. My poor little 4 year old with eight inch long feet. I had to dig a little stash yarn out to finish the toes. I wish I'd used it earlier in the sock so I could have added another 1/4 inch or so for more growing room without messing up the striping pattern. Ah well... live and learn.

She calls the picot edge "frizzles".

I have worked dilligently on another gift project. It's finished now and will be revealed in a few weeks. I promise... some actual bloggable projects soon!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Curious Monkey Returns...

Remember last summer... I thought it would be SO CUTE to make Miss N some Monkey Socks in Curious George colors? Remember how she refused to wear them and freaked out saying they were soooooooooo itchy?! I was sad. But thankfully God gave me two daughters, the youngest of which isn't so picky. On a long shot I tried the single monkey on her and it nearly fit. So I decided to knit the mate. Even though I tried to brush it off, it has long bothered me to have a single sock sitting around.

I've detailed what I did to get this size sock on my Ravelry project page. Here last time I said I don't do that... hmm... guess I do on ocassion. ;) It might also be in my posts from last year on the project. The only problem... after a year, my gauge has changed. The new sock is a tiny bit looser than the original.

Miss E is in love with them. "Monkey socks Mommy, monkey socks!" Ah... such balm to my ears after the reaction of her sister last year. They have lots of growing room left in them so they should last her through the winter. And just so you don't think I have a cooperative 2 year old foot model I give you one of the 'good' bad shots. Her feet are actually in this one. That Lorna's Laces... it can take a beating. lol!

One more little thing. A few evenings ago I opened my knitting cabinet and found this. One of Miss N's flashcards. Apparently she thought it should go here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cycad and Baby Feet

Yarn: Monsoon Designs Twisty Sock, Cycad

Since I've been happily wearing these socks during the summer when the AC has our floor freezing cold, I felt a little guilty. I had this lovely sport weight in the stash and figured it was time it saw the light of day! Vanessa does such a lovely job with the dyeing. I really like how subtle it is. Of course this week feels like fall already.

I have a thing for baby feet. And a two year old is pushing the 'baby' limits, but still... irresistible fresh from a bath no?

I had to photograph them too. They are so much cuter than Hub's feet. Yummy little piggie toes to eat!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

So much fun!

As you already know, I love to knit. I also love to give gifts... not just gifts, but thoughtful ones that I know people are going to really love you know? Not just a "well I need to get a gift... hmm... gift card" type of thing. I like to tuck away bits of information and save them for a while until I can put them to good use.

Well, I've been a busy little elf. Since the packages have now landed I have lots of little secrets and fun things to share!

There are two ladies I know who have had a rough year. They've both had repeated miscarriages. And now they are both about to have healthy babies! Praise God! I've had them both in my prayers for the last year. I haven't experienced that pain or loss, and I just can't imagine it. I look at my girls and I think 'what if...?'. It breaks my heart. SO. To mark this joyous time and the journey they have been through I wanted to make them something they could hold in their hands. Something tangible.

For my friend L and her baby girl 'Harvest'.

I also gave L the cowl I made from the same yarn. At the time I hadn't decided for sure, but it just kept screaming at me... 'give me to L!'. So I did.

Then there's baby 'Lime'. These mama's both give their in-utero babies fun names. This mama has colors for each of her kids for things like toothbrushes etc... 'Lime' is the sixth arrival to the household, so I can see how this comes in handy. 'Lime's' color is purple. But as you noticed... 'Lime's' name is green. This was irresistible. I couldn't not do it... I mean... I HAD the yarn in the stash already and you know I love stripes!

Don't you just LOVE those buttons?!

We won't know what flavor baby 'Lime' is until birth. But I think a tart little boy or girl baby will be quite irresistible in this.

And there is one more. I told you I had a lot of secrets!

This is friend R. R really wanted this item when she saw the new issue of Knitty come out. But R doesn't knit. It looked like it would be really fun to make. Definitely a diversion from my usual fare. And all I needed was sock yarn scraps. I mean really... How could I not?! I have loads of scraps! It turned out far and above my expectations. I really love how it turned out. I think the engineering of the piece is good too. The corsage is attached to the band by a button so that you can move it around to wherever you think it looks best. And the holes in the lace are the buttonholes for the band. So if it gets stretched out or the wearer shrinks or swells, it's adjustable. Neat!

Again, button love. Button shopping is so fun!

Isn't R gorgeous?! AND a great photographer too!

She also constantly fawns over Calorimetry's. Which are SO easy. I couldn't deprive her of that! After I finished Hub's hat I knocked this out real quick from the remainder of that yarn. Looks pretty good on her!

Whew! No more tricks up my sleeve. At least yet...

All details can be found on my Ravelry projects page. I'm not normally lazy like that but... this is a LOT!