Friday, December 30, 2005

New Years Wools-o-lutions

The end of the year. I am overwhelmed at the idea that 2005 is just about over. 2005 was a fantastic year – shit, I got engaged this year! To the most wonderful man and perfect partner, to my best friend and closest confidant. But enough about that aspect of my life – this is, after all, a knitting blog, right?

2005 has been a banner knitting year. I tackled (and triumphed over) both socks and lace knitting. I learned how to read charts. I can do toe-up or cuff down. I enhanced my stash like crazy. I am making my first real sweater, with cables and a kangaroo pocket and a hood. (we won’t discuss my real first real sweater, which is a mess – the lesson learned? If you don’t completely understand gauge, please don’t try to fudge it!)

Speaking of socks, have I told you how much I love the Jaywalker? Yeah, I know I have, but let me say it again – what a gorgeous sock! My Fluorite Jaywalkers have the potential to be super-tall, too, which is a plus – tall and bright, just the thing these light-deprived winter eyes need. I finished turning both heels and getting them back on my 2 circs last night. (love doing the 2-at-once on 2-circs method, but even I am not self-delusional enough to try to cast on two toes at once, or, even more frightening, turn two heels at once. Although, maybe next pair…)

And, as long as we are talking knitting, let me just say that I agree with the lovely Jen, who is in absolute love with the multidirectional scarf pattern. I, too, have had a torrid, almost obsessive, affair with this pattern, and, as a direct result of that affair, produced 3 offspring. Each is different, yet familiar. Each is beautiful, and soft, and interesting, and warm. The only thing I don’t agree with Jen on is her dislike of the purple in the left-hand scarf. Wow – I love that little smidgen of otherness. The unexpected is beautiful, I think. Is this because I am always discovering the unexpected in my work? The unexpected dropped stitch; the unexpected knit where a purl should be; the unexpected twisted cable; the unexpected extra something that proves, undoubtedly, that the object in question is a hand-knit.

This is the beautifully sewn and artfully designed bag my sister gave me for Xmas. The girl is seriously talented. She made me a skirt for my birthday that is going to get used hardcore once summer hits - I am not really a winter-skirt-wearing type of gal, mostly because I HATE tights or nylons.

And now, since the title of my post (cheesy though it may be) refers to some sort of fiber-related New Year's Resolutions, and since New Year's Eve is tomorrow, I must come up with something!

1. My first New Year's Wools-o-lution, out of necessity, must address the stash. I will use up my stash. Let me repeat that so I actually hear it: I WILL USE UP MY STASH. In some way, shape, or form, I must not enhance the stash without knitting up or otherwise using a comparable amount (oh, no - did I just write that?!?!? For example, I want to make Klaralund, but will have to use up a sweater's worth of yarn in order to acquire the Silk Garden. Okay, fine, I will, but I won't be happy about it).

2. I will begin my Christmas knitting while it is still warm out. I didn't even THINK about it until it was way too late this year, with the result being that I didn't knit anyone anything, really. The Bane Socks, of course (which turned out perfectly, by the way). But nothing else.

3. And, again, just to underscore the importance of this resolution, I will use up my stash.

Happy New Year to everyone out there in blogland - best wishes for a fantastic 2006.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Multi-directional Rules

So, in my mind, the multi-directional scarf rules...not only because it's a gorgeous scarf, but also because it's such a quick knit! I made 3 of them this Christmas, and have made 5 in the past, and each one is unique and wonderful in it's own way.

Here's a couple of them...the one on the left is mine, but I'm not completely happy with it, as some of you can attest to, due to the tinge of purple in the center of the scarf and only in the center of the scarf! I suppose that adds some uniqueness to the scarf, but I'm still not sure about it. The one on the right is a gift to someone very special in my family and will be shipped off very soon!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

JAYWALKERS!! The NeuroKnitter finished a pair, in loverly STR Yarn (the completed pair on the right) - what is this color again, NK?

I, on the other hand, have had a bit of startitis concerning these - over Thanksgiving weekend, I did one whole toe-up Jaywalker (mine is the lonely one on the left) out of STR Alina, literally burning rubber getting it done, and have yet to look back (meaning I have not even casted on the 2nd one). I have, however, begun another pair - in STR Fluorite, I believe - photos soon. (I am taking a page out of the Jaywalker KAL-mom, Cara's book and trading off colorways, so as not to become bored with one - at least that is what I'm telling myself, hee, hee. Because it can't be that I have knitting ADD, it just CAN'T BE!!) The construction is two-at-once, toe-up, on two circular needles. Interesting story about that, and about my main man, S.

We were stuck in a hotel in Chicago last Thursday night, so close, yet so far away from our ultimate destination, Cleveland, and we were glued to the TV (too much traveling + cable television = willingness to watch even the most mundane program, as long as there is no static, and no need to tweak rabbit ears). I was thinking how lucky I am to have a guy like S, a guy who not only shows interest in my knitting, but strives to understand the intricacies involved, and who is duly impressed when I tackle (and triumph over) a particularly difficult skill. This was in my head because we had just finished stuffing and addressing all of our holiday cards, and my dorky man wrote a holiday letter to accompany the cards. He waxed eloquent about my Kiri in the letter, about how it is his favorite of all of my knitted objects, yadayadayada. So, I showed him my Jaywalkers, and asked him to describe what was going on with that particular pair of socks. The boy nailed it, he really did - he could tell me everything about the socks except for their super-wash-ability, and that was only because I had yet to tell him that aspect of STR. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the many reasons I am marrying that fool.

S, modeling a hand-knit from his grannie. One of these days...

And, the socks I thought I was making for S. for his birthday, but which turned out to be my exact size (huh, fancy that), in STR Olive Garden. Yeah, so I love STR, who cares? Speaking of STR, here is another angle of Kiri, also in STR.

Here are three pairs of my finished socks:

#1 - STR Fire on the Mountain, my first ever pair of toe-up socks, with a 3x1 rib, and so loosely casted off that they have a bit of roll to them. Gifted these to my baby sis, who had eye surgery last week, and I was told that they did actually make her feel a bit better.

#2 - Long, long ribbed socks for my baby. Koigu KPPPM, in a bright-ass green colorway. Found the yarn in the cutest little yarn/needlepoint store in New Orleans early this summer, right near Jackson Square.

#3 - Another long pair of stockinette socks, in KnitPicks sock garden Daffodil colorway. Not sure where these are destined, but they most likely will become gifts.

By the way, Jen - love your holiday toilet story. hee, hee. Although it does make me glad I have no pets!

Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday (and by everyone, I mean Gail, Emily, and Jen, because I am pretty sure no one else reads this blog :))


Happy Holidays?

So, just wanted to check in to see how the Holidays were for everyone? Hope you all had a wonderful time with family, friends, and food. :)

I wanted to pass on a great Happy Holiday story...well, sort of not so happy, but funny none the less.....

Our downstairs toilet was acting up before the several weeks before the holidays, and it kept getting clogged more and more, and then after awhile the water would never go down. It was clogged all through Christmas, and we finally had to break down and get a roto rooter involved, unfortunately. (Luckily, my dad owns a roto rooter, so there was no charge, but it was gross!)

After coming downstairs to find out how the roto rootering was going, my dad stated that it was no wonder we had a plumbing problem, as he had found a ball of yarn deep within the sewage line! And, to my dismay, it was a nice ball of Noro that I could have sworn I had purchased a month or so back. I thought I had lost my mind! Thinking (no, knowing!) that I had purchased a skein of yarn and not being able to find it!

You may be wondering how a skein of yarn ends up in the toilet? Well, for those of you who have cats, you can fully understand. I guess if anyone else had to have fun with that ball of yarn, I'm glad it was my cat. :)

Happy Holidays!


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Photos of Kiri

Here's the photos of Shannon's Kiri....extremely awesome and beautiful! There are a few shots here, each it's own view, but each wonderful and gorgeous! Shannon you rock!

On a completely separate note, I snapped some photos of the Rogue sweater both Shannon and Emily are knitting, and they are both fantastico! Here they are, next to the other form of Rogue that we all know! :)

Shannon's great photography at work!

And to follow these photos up, a note of advice...never work on a complicated project in a dark bar, when you've had a little too much to drink. You may have to resort to the following.... (knitting with a head lamp!)

Have a great vacation Shannon!

Happy Freaking Holidays

I need more time. One more day, maybe two. If only I didn't have to work, all would be fine and good. I leave tomorrow for a midwest extravaganza - Cleveland, Ohio for 3 days, Chicago for 3 days, then back home in time for Christmas. Rogue has been shelved until after the holidays, and I am plugging away on my Bane Socks, so called because they are the bane of my existence. Seriously, WHO IN THE HELL HAS SIZE 14 FEET????? And what stupid idiot would actually think it a good idea to knit socks for these monstrous things!?!? I sit there, knitting away, watching TV or drinking hot chocolate, or listening to music, and I catch a glimpse of the feet, the big behemoths out of the corner of my eye, flopping all around the house, in their big ole shoes, stomp, stomp, stomp, and I shudder. I say, over and over and over to myself, I hate you, you big ole feet. Why, oh why did I have to pick you for the gift exchange?!?!?! Damnit.

They are pretty tight, though. Socks that Rock in Moss Agate. Toe-up. A cool and interesting K2P2 row, P row ribbing that is soft, and puffy, and stripy in the best possible-non-pooling way. I really love them. But I hate them, too (mostly because I just simply want to be DONE with them, already - I have Jaywalkers to make!) But I love them.

We had a photo shoot today at work, so Jen will most likely post some model shots of yarn and socks sometime this weekend.

And, just because I have kind of figured out this photo-posting thing, some shots of Kiri, the single most rewarding thing I have knit for myself, ever! Well, that will have to wait, because I can't make the photo posting work anymore.

Happy holidays, everyone


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

And then there were four...

Well, here I am. The fourth "heart-er" of yarn! I've been contemplating the topic of my first post. Wool Girl suggested I let you know about my stash enhancing expedition in San Francisco this past weekend (actually a few weekends ago by the time I finished this dang post!)! I visited the lovely Artfibers design studio. My overflowing stash now includes a cone of perfect, pristine red Kyoto, a ball of "Tsuki" in a lovely pale lavender mohair/silk, and some lovely supersoft baby alpaca for a hat for my dear sweet fiber hubby. My friend Linda also enhanced her stash quite adequately while at Artfibers!! The ladies at Artfibers were quite patient with all of our decision making processes (i.e. touch everything at least three times, and then going back and touching everything all again for good measure!)!!

So, what have I finished recently?
1. Traditional socks in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock "Fire on the Mountain" . They look a tad mis-shapen, that is because I change the stitch count and needle size in the foot so I can get a custom fit. Believe me, when I wear them, they fit my foot perfectly!!!

This is a close-up of the short row heel I use.

2. A single traditional sock in STR "Alina", and the second is started, no SSS here!!! The goal is to finish these over the holiday ;)

3. Jaywalkers in STR "Banded Agate" were completed in San Francisco--what better place to block socks than in downtown SF!!!

The pair to the right are mine. Knit Fiend's lovely sock is in STR "Alina" to the left. You can see another view in Knit Fiend's 12/27/2005 post!!!

See that little bud of a Jaywalker in STR "Fire on Mountain"? Well, it became the traditional pair of sockies seen above....Sigh.

I'm a big sock knitter, but I have also recently finished

4. An Estonian Lullaby baby blanket in Cascade 220 superwash (you can see this in Wool Girl's 12/11/2005 post).

5. And numerous fair-isle baby hats for the many babies born and adopted this past year!!

What's on the needles, waiting patiently?

1. Lacy leaf scarf from spring '05 VK in STR "Falcon's Eye" that is over three-quarters complete. I love the pattern, I love the yarn, I love to knit, I love to start new projects....hmmmm, I don't wonder---I know why it isn't quite done yet :)

2. A San Juan Islander Seaman's scarf (based on Rosario) in a lovely shade of teal in Elsebeth Lavold angora

What will probably get cast on prior to finishing the Lacy leaf and Seaman's scarves?

1. Rowan River in Douceur et Soie in a turquoise color
2. Fiddlesticks knitting pattern, Lacy Lattice Stole in baby cashmere in Claret from Elann
3. More traditional socks in STR, you can't have too many!!
4. A Branching Out scarf done in Elann baby cashmere and Art Fibers "Tsuki" carried together

Well. There you have it. My very first post. Woo-hoo!!! Happy Holidays everyone!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Baby Shower

And last, but certainly not least, I had to include some photos of the baby shower. A very good friend of ours, Miss Laura, is having a baby and is due on December 12th (tomorrow). And, I heard from her this morning...she has still not had the baby!

Here are some photos of her recent shower!

The blanket Neuroknitter handcrafted! That is gorgeous!

The beautiful cake!
Some additional adorable gifts for the baby!

Christmas Animals!

I couldn't help myself, as I am such an animal lover, I had to attach some pictures I just took of my canine and feline pals. The first is of Abby, my loveable and huggable looks like Santa should be coming any day now, as the reindeer are here!

And, here's our very own Snuggles, not very happy with me for snapping his photo while he's trying to nap, but nonetheless, he's a cutie!

Happy Birthday!

So that we keep our priorities straight, we need to mention that it was Knit Fiend's Birthday this week, where she got some glorious gifts...including some yarn, which I am going to let her comment on and show pics of!

I'm attaching a photo of Knit Fiend's cake! Knit on Shannon, and happy 31st!

Also attached here is a Great photo of Shannon (Knit Fiend), ready to cut the Birthday cake!

Happy Birthday and Happy Knitting for another year!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The endless list...

Well, where do I begin on projects I've started and have yet to complete. I'm a procrastinator at heart, I guess, but here goes...

1. Feverishly working on the Farmer's Market Tote as a Christmas gift for my sister, which, I would like to add, is a free pattern from KnitPicks. I'm using several shades of blue and green in Cascade 220.

2. Just finished a Christmas Tree baby hat for baby Henry, who is due to be here any day now.

3. Just started Jaywalker Socks in Socks that Rock, Falcon's Eye, and currently just have a few rows done. I'm going to get a good start on these this weekend though to get caught up with Shannon and Gail!

4. Just recently started not one, but two, multi-directional scarves out of silk garden. I will post pictures as soon as my progress gets a little further along.

5. Am working on the cutest Angora Baby Booties from "Last Minute Knitted Gifts", in a light green. They are also for baby Henry, so I need to get these done! I have one done, but am not liking it completely, so may start over. I'll keep you posted!

6. Started a warm, winter blanket for my husband last winter (yes, last winter!), and it's really barely started. Not even warm enough to warm his feet yet, so I need to get on the stick! It's just such an unappealing project right now.

7. Am working on several hats, on this fabulous knitting loom I got for Christmas last year. The hats are cute, and it's super fast and easy. I'll post one up this weekend also.

8. I just started an intarsia bag, which is gorgeous, and is from an old Interweave Knits magazine. I will post pictures soon.

9. I'm halfway through the Cozy wrap, with the free pattern on It's gorgeous and super easy. I'm using Andean Silk
Sangria from KnitPicks. I'm hoping to get it finished for my mother in law for Christmas, but I'm not sure I'll be able to. Wishful thinking.

9. Have several other projects in the works, such as a hat for my daughter, need to finish a second sock I started last year, several scarves in the works, etc.

Knit on!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Let's Knit Together

The gals at We Heart Yarn are a committed bunch, mostly committed to biting off more than we can chew. We have all joined the Jaywalker-along at January One's blog, and the Yarn Lover and Knit Fiend are Rogue-ing along (if you haven't yet heard of Rogue, oooh, baby - check it out, you will fall in LOVE).

I propose the following: that the We Heart Yarn bloggers share our projects, that we are honest (although not brutally - we don't have to talk about those projects that we are not actively working on, what do you think I am, CRAZY?!?!?), and that we tell each other the truth (not the whole truth, but parts - we need to start slowly here, ladies).

Okay, me first:

1. Jaywalker sock, Grumperina's pattern, with a little help from my friends. This is being knitted from the toe-up, on two sets of Addi Turbo's, US2, using the loverly Socks That Rock Yarn in Alina colorway. One down, one to go. Not quite sure why I didn't go for two at once, 'cause I'd be finished by now and not suffering from the dreaded SSS...

2. Family gift exchange sock, kinda secret

3. Rogue. I am using KnitPicks, Andean Silk, color Pool. Yummy. The Yarn Lover and I are chugging along on this sweater, faithfully knitting and meeting every week. We are almost finished with the body, and are gearing up for the hood, which I do believe is the most daunting part of the whole sweater for both of us.

4. What??? Is that it??? I won't lie to you, I do have many, many more projects on the needles, some of which I haven't even TOUCHED in a loooooong time, but I think these are the only active ones. For tomorrow, those projects jostling around in my head for attention, each desperately wanting to be the next one to be cast on and fondled by me, until something better/more exciting/more beautiful comes along.


Twas the Night...

'Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
and were knit with love out of silky twist mohair;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of their warm, wooly blend blankets danced in their heads;
And mamma in her stole, made from the finest RKH,
and I in my felted cap, created with green and red Cascade,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Praying it was the knitting fairy,
To bring some love to our yarn stash.
As I glanced to my right I was suddenly in awe,
as the moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to mamma’s lace stole.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, filled with Noro, Lamb’s Pride and Cashmere!
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew it must be the knitting fairy, disguised as St. Nick!
More rapid than eagles her coursers they came,
And she whistled, and shouted, and called them all by name;
"Now, Silk Garden! now, Blue Moon! now, Debbie Bliss and Rowan!
On, Blue Sky! on KnitPicks! on, Reynolds and Noro!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
“Now knit on! Knit on! Knit on all!"
As knitting needles that before the project is begun,
Are lined up neatly about to be joined as one,
So onto the house the knitting fairy flew,
With the sleigh full of yarn, and luscious knitting books too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The sound of some footsteps, followed by a “poof”!
As I put one hand on my hat, and was turning around,
Down the chimney the knitting fairy came with a bound.
She was dressed all in alpaca, from her head to her shoes,
And her style was impeccable, knit up in beautiful shades of greens and blues;
A bundle of fiber she had flung on her back,
And she looked like a goddess just opening her pack.
Her eyes -- how they twinkled! Her demeanor how delicate!
Each gift she revealed made me just want to knit, knit, knit!
Needles, embellishments, lots of fun little gadgets
And the yarn, oh the yarn, I felt as if I really must have it!
The smile on her face was as clear as the snow,
When she reached for my hand, her skin felt like silk rose,
And the happiness of it all encircled her head like a wreath;
She was the true knitting fairy, here with me and mamma on this fine eve!
And I laughed when I looked at her, in spite of myself;
I couldn’t believe she was here, adding such luxuries to our shelves!
A wink of her eye and a twist of her head,
Soon gave us knowing we were all of the same thread;
She spoke not a word, but went straight to her work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying her finger aside of her nose,
She gave us a wink, and up the chimney she rose;
She sprang to her sleigh, and with the clap of her hands,
Away she flew, and left us right where we stand.
But I heard her exclaim, as she drove out of sight,
"Happy Knitting to all, and to all a good-night."

Friday, December 02, 2005

And then there were two

And, yeah, tho' I walk through the valley of wool, I still covet silk, and cashmere, and alpaca.

Addiction is not always a bad thing, as most knitters know. It can be a healthy outlet from the stresses of living a 21st century life. The feeling of the fiber slipping through your fingers; the pleasant surprise at the way a variegated yarn comes out in the knitting; the satisfaction of casting on; the satisfaction of casting off... the creationistic (is that even a word?) aspect. I mean, seriously, most of our lives are spent consuming, not creating. Knitting is a truly beautiful thing. Not every knitted piece is a truly beautiful thing, but the knitting always (sometimes) is.

Thursday, December 01, 2005









In the begining...

In the begining there were sheep. With fuzzy, cuddly fleeces. Then there was spinning, which is not a class at 24 Hour Fitness. Then there were needles, which my husband calls "knitting sticks." Finally, there were dyes, with the deepest, rarest, most vibrant colors reserved exclusively for royalty. And today there almost a dozen yarn stores within easy driving distance of my house bursting with every texture, ply, color, and fiber the human mind can cook up. Modern life has its drawbacks, but if you're a knitter part of you has to be glad you're alive today. For the love of god, there is even dog hair yarn. I love the smell of yarn stores, the look of rows and rows of tidy yarn balls stacked floor to ceiling, and, most of all, ambling down the aisles to squeeze each and every skein. When you sqeeze them they say what they want you to knit them into. A nice fresh skein of really quality alpaca, silk, or cashmere is better squeezin' than cantelope, baby cheeks, down pillows, or, in certain cases, even puppy tummies, which is the standard by which all other squeezin' is measured. It's a beautiful thing. Sigh. I heart yarn.