Tuesday, July 31, 2007

ever feel like this...

You want to post something, but nothing interesting is going on? Not that I am complaining.

My Roza sock is coming along gloriously but no pair yet - so not exactly photo worthy just yet - but it's a great pattern - I even knit at the lunch table and was able to keep up with the volley of the conversation. I am juggling my options for my next sock - I am pretty sure it will have to be something Wollmeise, my god this yarn is so unique and rich. I already want to be a glutton and grab some more - yikes. Luckily I am back to work since it supports my yarn habit.

So this feels like one of those phone conversations where you just run out of things to say, but you linger anyways? why is that? Cause I just love my blogland peeps and I just want to say "hi" - so lets say today is like one of those silly cards with a cat hanging in a tree - "hang in there" - just to say hello! Hope everyone is free of worry and can share a boring moment with me - sometimes it is just good to be grateful for some status quo.

kinda like this...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Cool contest - a chance to win none other than wollmeise!

Check this out.

Knitting Sutra is looking for some anti-pooling advice. I hope to learn from this as well after my pooling theme several posts ago - I would like the magic bullet as well:) And you get an extra entry for posting about it on your blog - so go for it! I mean, this is wollmeise we're talking about.

Contador est numéro un!


The Tour De France wrapped up today - Alberto Contador, a rider for the Discovery Channel team won - on a Trek bike! My dh works for Trek - so this could be construed as a shameless plug. Obviously this is great news for Trek - yay!

This all leads into knitting. I started doing the Tour De France KAL working on my mystery stole, I claimed a polka dot jersey as it was proving to be a mountain of a project. Then this pesky back thing kind of took me off my bike - I found it impossible to sidle up to my kitchen counter to follow along on the lace chart - so I abandoned the stole, temporarily I have opted for the smooth and steady Roza sock - so unofficially this became my TDF KAL project and in my own mind allowed me to continue to don the polka dots since any knitting on my back was a challenge - I was working away on it when Contador crossed the finish - at least on the Tivo version my husband has played and replayed. He is a bike junkie. And being a Trek employee he has access to the most cool things - throughout the tour he would run up to the TV and point out various decals he had a hand in designing **I stand corrected - he was NOT pointing out decals but graphics and the design of the bike - pretty neat, now if only we could be there in person for the true effect...another time. He was also able to bring a Lime bike home one weekend for everyone to test drive - I would totally recommend it for the Sunday driver, it shifts on it's own, no thinking, just cruising people! There are even nifty "peelz" created to allow you to truly personalize your bike - it goes from a Lime to a Blue or a Pink. How cool is that? I really should stop plugging Trek, the company and the bikes speak for themselves - I am so envious of my husband's job - they encourage biking any time of day - crazy cool. Okay, but this really was about knitting...

Roza is coming along - only two more inches of semi-mindless leg before I can turn the fun little Eye of the Partridge heel - it's just so clever - try it. So I could...should? have a second Roza before next weekend. I'm planning to try to go back to work tomorrow - the back is progressively getting better, I have to do odd little acrobatics to get off the couch - I just need to put my back first for now and not doing anything stupid - as I am well known for "stupid" and overly ambitious feats of lifting and carrying. Afterall, I believe this all technically started two years ago with a 40 lb bag of dogfood on my shoulder while pregnant, not to mention squeezing a 5 year-old's hand while crossing an icy parking lot at that for stupid? Now I can merely get off of the couch wrong and end up in a paralyzed heap - but I can't really say I didn't ask for it... Thou shalt be less stubborn. Thou shalt be less independant. Thou shalt be still on ice and knit socks whenever possible.

Au Revoir!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

one sock, two sock?

Roza's are sweet,
Grumperina rocks.
I love this pattern,
it makes fabulous socks.


One down, one to go. Amazingly, I finished the first sock right down to weaving in ends and immediately cast on the second sock before "second sockitis" could kick in. I am done with the 3 x 3 ribbed cuff on the 2nd one. I love how the sock came out - it is so stretchy and hugs my foot. I love the yarn, Merlot by Yarntini - always a winner - so rich and yummy. BTW, have you checked out Yarntini's new shop? That is exciting, and another upside to being laid up - I realize that I can lay next to a laptop and randomly surf for yarn updates - so I have Hello Yarn and a skein of Yarntini enroute - mind you, my husband may not see the upside of this.

I also got my first taste of Wollmeise yesterday. I had ordered direct from Claudia a week ago and already this package of goodness made it's way to me. I had joined the Wollmeise-aholics group on ravelry sight unseen - well, I get it now. The yarn is gorgeous in person. I got two skeins of sock superwash in...



and Wilder Mohn


and a 2000 yard skein of Grantapfel laceweight - sheesh I need to get back to work.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

The upside of immobility

I have been literally on my back for three days now - a couple of trips to the chiropractor, one stop at urgent care and finally the emergency room...I think I am starting to feel a bit better - well, I can walk without crying anyways:)

There really has been upside to this. I have been forced to lay on the floor, in bed or on the couch - just getting to the bathroom has been an amazing effort. Now, whether it's me or the percocet, I can walk now. But while I was forced to be still, it was an opportunity to rethink my lifestyle, and how I can avoid this again. I have decided I need to continue yoga and I need to walk - since copping out has only hurt me and apparently weakend my back.

This has also put my job vs. family in perspective. My little one hugged my legs and exclaimed "mommy wakey!" when I was finally on my feet. No one at my job is that concerned right? particularly my offenders. As I was laying there imagining a lifetime of pain (exaggeration must be a side effect of pain?) I was worried about everything I would miss out on and how I have taken my kids for granted. My oldest daughter had asked me to go for a "picnic" with her just before I strained my back - gosh, why didn't I go? How's that for a wake up call? Thank you.

My husband has really stepped up to take care of me, getting me my medicine, letting me cry, watching the kiddos and getting a semblence of supper on the table. In sickness and in health right? Good job buddy!

This downtime has allowed me to finish 19 minutes, another Jodi Picoult winner! I'm addicted, and being forced to bed turned out to be an opportunity for me to start and finish this book.

I thankfully, have been able to knit a bit since I have been able to sit and walk - I could see me turning a heel on my Roza tonight. I'm thinking of changing it up to the eye of the partridge heel. Any thoughts on that? I had to hang up the MS3 for now because I can't possibly sit up to the counter to follow the pattern - but maybe next week I can get to that back permitting.

Staying home from work has given me some interesting insight into my pet's daily life - gosh, do these guys sleep a lot or what?! They seem annoyed that I am here, apparently this is their "me time" and I am an intruder. Though they have rallied around me...
animalsupport You've got to appreicate this animal love. All of my pets are orange, as a side note.

I have also had plenty of time to surf the net and find cool sock patterns like this one. And Japanese Craft books that are out of print and I can't get - dammit - like this one. I kind of dig all of the neat Japanese craft books out there - so I may have to scoop a couple off of ebay - I can't read a lick but they sure are inspiring.

Well, off to sit on an ice pack! Take care knitting friends!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Jodi Picoult Book Club

It all started here...


My sister bought this in the airport on her way to Mexico for her honeymoon and then it came to me. The sister connection was kind of curious. And the book was wonderful - no exceptio to all of Picoult's books in that it deals with sensitive family issues and complicated relationships.

Then I found This site rocks for the avid reader who is tired of spending $14 a crack on a book no one else may ever read. And until recently, I felt I had no one else to read my boks - they just stood there unloved on my book shelf. I found this on the swap site...


I already gave my thoughts on the book in a previous post but I can't say enough how much I was sucked in by this book. A formerly non-reading friend had enjoyed my copy of Light on Snow by Anite Schreve so I though, crap shoot or not - I would pass this book on as well. I feel that I need to be somewhat discriminating when passing on any book to a non-reader. If you are want to catch a non-reader in a literature snare, then you don't want to scare them off with something just "meh". Well it turned out to be a good pick. Suddenly non-reading friend was e-mailing her guesses on what was going to happen next with just short of a disclaimer "don't tell me" as the subject line. Then The Pact went to another reader in our office and then, oh yes I'm getting excited, to another "non-reader" who as of this morning, read 1/2 of the book over the weekend. Getting people back into reading is absolutely intoxicating. I mean, if they won't knit that is.

Then I read...

I didn't enjoy this book quite as much but it was still worth finishing. She developed some nuances about the eskimo culture that were interesting but I prefer to stick to the story. I don't think I liked the main character, Trixie, I didn't have as much empathy for he as I had other characters in past reads. I felt Trixie was too young to be experiencing some things her character went through.

another page turner. I was on the edge of my seat and kept awake at night - worrying about these characters. Again, more volatile relationships, sexual abuse and a trial. The mother in this book, Nina Frost, was unlikable in many ways but as mother reading this, you can see yourself making some of her bad choices. You can imagine blindly doing things to protect your child at any cost despite obvious consequencs.

And then...
The common theme of complicated family relationships continues. Picoult educates the reader on cultural aspects of the Hopi indians, which I didn't appreciate as much as someone else might. But the book again included a trial, which I find kind of fascinating. I discovered as I was reading the last 20 pages that I did enjoy the book.

Most recently...

I am currently reading this book as I have been almost entirely confined to laying on may back since Monday - I am nearly done - another page turner. This story is based around a school shooting, probably comparable to Columbine. Picoult gives the reader the perspectives of the shooter, victims and their families. Again more complicated raltionships as the mother of the shooter is a midwife who befriended and delivered the baby of a judge-to-be who later has a intergal part in the shooting case, and the child she delivered was spared by the shooter for reasons I am still not sure of entirely. Hopefully the last 50 pages of the novel with put evertyhing into a neat package for me - but what are the chances?

My converted non-reader friend and I both agree that the endings leave so many questions - we want sequels:) Fortunately some of the characters are revived in diferent books, so I am somewhat inspired to keep reading to I can peice together what happens next. I have two more Picoult books on my pile of "to read" so I may have to get better quickly so I can venture out t the bookstore - but then there is always Amazon...

Today I a going to try to prop myself up for some knitting - so there should be knitting content in my future:)

triathalon weekend


The weather was fabulous. The backdrop of Lake Michigan amazing. The company was great. The race is over for another year.

I likened the feelings that surround this event for me as that of a mom waiting to send her independent 5-year-old off to kindergarten, you know they will be okay...but what if they need you? I am always nervous about what is going to happen out on that course, is dh prepared enough, is he okay? And I know he is okay, I know he has trained hard but all of those "what if's" coming flodding in. This year, my dh's contest was plagued with "tummy troubles" and equipment problems...but he finished and was in relatively good spirits afterward. He made it. He'll tell you all about it here.

I am amazed by the group of people that turns out for this event - I am inspired every year and at every event that I cheer on to start running or something, I yearn to be part of this band of committed atheletes. I am encouraged that I could maybe even accopmish something - this is not Mr. Universe, this is every day joe coming out to compete. I am filled with reverence for the weekend warrior. They aren't there to be perfect, they are there to challenge themselves and try their best. I need to make a note to self here, I tend to think black and white, if I can't be good at something, I don't want to do it. But then I see these super heros walking among us and know I need to check myself.

On the knit front, I was able to work a little on my Roza on the way down and a bit on the course. This year I was graced with company. My brother-in-law and his wife-to-be did the sprint triathalon on Saturday and hung out with us to the bitter end of the event yesterday. It was so nice when I started to worry about dh not being back to the bike transition that he would have had to maintain over 20 miles an hour and realistically shouldn't be back for another 15-20 minutes - doh! thank you BIL for that reality check - relief. As much as I sometimes think I am a quiet observer, it was nice to have someone to hang out with and talk to - not to mention they brought me food. Now, if I can just initiate said SIL to the world of knitting...did I note a glimmer of interest or am I just wishful? Really, those long nights on call - socks make a nice portable project. *grin*


In any case, Roza is such an easy peasy sock. I found the two row repeat easy to commit to memory and mistakes were obvious immediately, not rows later. I think unknitting a sock is hazardous, so seeing errors quickly is a bonus. I am still inches from the turning the heel, but as I blatantly play hooky today, I may have some time to work on it between naps:) *hooky update - someone is laughing at me because since I called in feeling "headachy", my daughter has come home sick from daycare with a fever and I have pinched something so badly in back that I can barely walk, have pain that makes me cry involuntarily and am medically off work until Thursday - now that is karma. No hooky for you! Back to the ice pack and some naproxen, just couldn't leave you thinking I was being a slacker when my day is turing out like this....

My husband is already rethinking his race docket for '08, I'm hoping for a similar event somewhere slightly more spectaculor. I mean, this kind of training deserves a race in say, Colorado, the East Coast or even Arizona, right? I don't know the individulized hurdles that these places may present - heat, humidity, altitude - but I suggest we kill two bids with one stone and get a vacation out of this. Suggestions welcome!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

sleepless in wisconsin


Do you ever have such creative energy welling up inside of you that you need to get up and walk it off? Lists to make, projects to lay out, books to read. I have been up since 3:30 a.m. thinking about well, mostly nothing important. My neighbors must think I am insane, outside in my pajamas, taking pictures of yarn at 5:30 a.m. But then I suppose my neighbors probably see me doing this more than I care to imagine. And really, what are they doing up at 5:30 on a Saturday? sheesh.

I kind of like this sleeplessness - sometimes - it is such a peaceful time, everyone else is quiet - the pets gather round like I'm the pied piper and I revel in silence, in being alone, in peace. I have had this insomnia-like problem since, forever. I could take something but then, ugh - zom-bie. I like to think that this is a side effect of my inner hyperactivity and I need to accept it as a gift of sorts. Being anxious and talking too fast are my signature among my friends, without them, who am I? I kind of think that I am a "highly sensitive person", I learned that 3 dollar term on National Public Radio - then I got this book - and when you answer "yes" to every question on the quiz, yeah, you probably are. I was somewhat relieved there was a name for "it" - but then I hate to limit myself, name myself this weird thing - but the book helped me feel less like an introverted weirdo. I think I just get all overloaded with senses sometimes and I need to burrow in a hole. Sounding more like weirdo aren't I? :)

Meanwhile, I've accomplished something in all of my nomading. Clearly I am not focusing on world issues at all hours, but yarn, of course. I have decided to go with a totally different sock project for the trip to the 1/2 ironman event - the winner is the Roza with some yummy Yarntini Merlot - a Christmas gift from my sister. I feel the Vintage is totally deserving of a perfect pattern and I am so torn on the Monkey, the Charade...maybe a larger needle will stop the pooling, maybe I can live with the pooling? - no sense rushing into anything right? So semi-solid seems like a formidable companion for the weekend. The Roza is pretty gorgeous and seems like it will flow once I commit the two row repeat to memory - I will need to man the camera to get pictures of my husband in between tri stages afterall. And it can be my second annual Grumperina, Yarntini knit-a-thon during the tri, since last year was the Cosmopolitan Jaywalkers. I'm not typically superstitious but there does seem to be an element going on here. I love the richness of the colorway, it makes me taste grapes on my tongue, or that moment before you swallow thick grape juice, when you swish it around your mouth - can you taste this yarn?


Thursday, July 19, 2007

I will start MS3 Clue #3 at last


Here is what I have so far - I didn't stretch it out, I just want to legitimize my progress by showing it. I'm very ambivelent about the stole - I love the stole, it's the workmanship I'm doubting. I screwed up in a few times through clue #2 and my lazy self plans to just trudge on, starting fresh with clue #3. I will string a new safety line and maybe trying more stitch markers as suggested by Phoebe. I have this feeling if I rip it out, I will just roll it up and say fuggetaboutit.

This has been such a challenge in that every line of the chart is like a new sentence in the paragraph - there is little in the way of repeats. Don't get me wrong, I can see repeats developing, but I seem to find errors too late, and I am still too much of a greenhorn to figure out what the errors are. So I think I will go forth. I can see what is coming next by looking at other peoples finished clues, so I feel more prepared to see it develop. My perfectionist self really does want to rip it out - but I feel I have come too far not to at least give it a chance. In spite of the challenge, it is a tiny bit addictive.

Thank you for all of the kind suggestions on the charade/ monkey/ chevron scarf yarn...I hope to figure this all out in the next day or so. I may have to just cast on a different mobile project for the triathalon while I cull out what this Vintage was supposed to be.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Let's Play Charades

Didn't you just love that game as a child?


I am taking regular breaks from my Mystery Stole 3 - it has been probably the most complicated lace I have done to date- well, given I have completed one shalw and made a couple of charted socks until now, it doesn't take much to be complicated. I'm glad I chose it to be my Tour De France KAL project because it is well suited as the project for the polka dot jersey for me. I'm climbing mountains. I hope to get a picture taken of my progess, I'm 6 rows from clue #3 and it just seems I should get it to there before I parade it in front of the camera. Clue #4 comes out Friday - what have I done?

Well, what I have done is take periodic breaks from my Stole to start the Charade Sock from I may be knitting a ranch house...One of her sample socks happens to be knit up in Yarntini variegated Vintage - colors that truly make me taste and hear the carnival midway - I can hear a calliope and taste a blue raspberry snowcone. I love this colorway. First, I started a Monkey sock and gave up because of pooling and now...Houston, I have a problem...well, depending on how you look at's pooling. But I have considered the situtation and I don't think it matters. The pattern says "meh." for gauge - I love that kind of logic - so "meh" it's not a gauge issue. It's just a different repeat, it crazy how two socks from a similar colorway can be so different - it's kinda like two kids from the same womb having different personalities. I can't think of anything I might do different to avoid this pooling, short of a larger or smaller project - but maybe I am missing something.

The patttern is so simple, I love it. I needed a simple project for this up coming weekend. My husband is doing The Spirit of Racine, some half ironman insanity, which leaves me a lot of time hanging around on the course. It is my "2nd annual sit on the course and knit with Yarntini" event. So, this sock is just what the doctor ordered, pooling or not. I think I may love it in spite of itself. A nice cool sock that I can use to wipe the sweat off my brow while I cook in the sun waiting for my husband to swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run 13.1. I know, you can hardly feel sorry for me, huh?


or should I go back to this...


or maybe someone with more knitting experience has an idea for me?

and just then...I was trolling around ravelry and found this post - maybe this yarn is too fabulous to be ambivelent? maybe I just need to make a chevron scarf? caution to the wind... but then I need another Yarntini project for the race this week - oh, poor me - I would have to crack open another skein of Yarntini...(rubbing hands together...bwahahaha)

Check out Knitting Sutra for a fabulous contest requesting pattern ideas to avoid pooling - one of her prizes is Wollmeise - run, don't walk over there!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

And the winner is....


Julie from Massachussetts! She will get the delicious peaknit Yarntini! Courstesy of, well, Yarntini!(thank you jessie, you are sweet and generous beyond words!) She found me through ravelry - see, ravelry is just cool like that! She also just realized that her friend Christine is my swapping buddy from the past - I really get intrigued by "small world" moments. That may just be me?

I decided to come up with a couple more winners. I was really feeling clever using the Random Number Generator...good stuff! No Yarntini but I'd like to dig into my incredibly embarrassing stash for something in the sock family. The other two are Kristy and Knitterella, and incidentally I just realized that she sells some cute things here.

Thank you to each and every person who took a minute to leave me a comment, I was giddy over every one, and I really enjoyed "seeing" new people - I love to track back to their blog and get inspired. Truly, thank you blogland!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

mystery stole progress...or lack there of?

Yikes! Tomorrow is clue day and I'm only 1/2 way through clue #2! Eek - better get a move on. I'm happy with it so far - but for me lace is so elusive, I knit a couple of rows and then unknit one - somehow, do you think it is possible that I forget how to count while knitting lace? I'll get to the center stitch on the chart and then - wtf? I have extra stitches. I'm so thankful for blogland - people are posting great pictures of their progress and I am able to "see" what I am doing, I rely very much on visual learning. In spite of it's been pretty amazing learning to read lace, it's getting better as I go. I hope to post a picture this weekend of my complete clue #2. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

So tonight, I will climb the mountain fellow Tour De France KAL-ers!

Incidentally, my husband works for Trek which provides the equipment for the Discovery Channel team - what a struggle, lots of painful things happening - good luck out there fellas!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

sweet saartje


I started making these adorable booties after finding the pattern via ravelry. I knit them with a co-worker on bed rest in mind. She did not know what she was having, til yesterday that is! So some sweet little "mary janes" for Madison Jane! Yay! I found a sample of Hello Yarn hand-dyed I had that was tucked in with a gift certificate and it seemed a good gauge - I don't even know the colorway, but pink says girl. I then knit the top portion and straps in a rowan cotton. I think these are just the most darling thing. The pattern was posted by the author in late May and I have been seeing them everywhere - people are inspired. Thank you for this darling pattern. It's another example of the power of the internet and the new found fellowship through ravelry. I feel so blessed to have sneaked on board this ride.


I have just a teeny bit left of the HY, maybe an accent for one of Susan B. Anderson's simple hats from Itty Bitty Hats - for a set of sorts? I may be ahead of myself since I am supposed to be "climbing mountains" with the Tour De France KAL and getting that Mystery Stole done - row 21 of clue two so far. This little bootie project has been like "cleaning my room" before doing my homework. Did anyone else do that? I still do procrastinate by cleaning my desk off before diving into writing a report to this day...


And I was also "cleaning my room" when I made another one of splityarn's sweet little wristlets - I can't help myself, they are so quick. I am adding it to my package for the contest...there is still time to sign up by Friday (er, make that Saturday morning). I thought the sheep were just so darn cute wandering around this fabric. I'll be making another so I have one for each winner, you know when I am "cleaning my room" before getting a move on the Mystery Stole...


**I used size 3 needles for the saartje booties - thanks for asking Sarah!

Monday, July 09, 2007

the power of 4 meme...

Another one of those "get to know you" entries - I finish these and realize, "I'm not that interesting"...nice. I was tagged by Ann over at Yellow House Treasures -I'm sorry...I'm too unassertive to tag anyone. I mean, can you be "unassertive" on the net? Go look at Ann's new yarn from Hello Yarn, it's so squeezable...tomorrow I'll be perched at my computer to get some at the next update - and you're on, Ann, I'll be trying to race ya for the good stuff!

4 Jobs I have had in my life
-Wal-Mart, has everyone had that job? "Welcome to Wal-mart Discount City..." *blech*
-at a custard stand where you could eat your mistakes
-on a "line" putting marshmallow eggs in cartons and occasionally st this job I got to stand under a chute catching "circus peanuts" in boxes - how's that for living a nightmare? Good grief.
-campus mail room, a lesson in humility. It was a work study, what can I say?

4 films I can watch again and again
-Footloose - even if I don't want to - Ren is hot!
-Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, the only movie I own. great soundtrack too!
-The Departed
-Stars Wars Anything, it's a childhood thing. I dressed up like Darth Vader in 3rd grade, it rocked.

4 places I have lived
-Janesville, WI as a baby
-I grew up in rural Fort Atkinson, WI on a non-functional farm except a few cows - it was awesome to grow up with what seemed like miles of endless ground to cover!
-at college, UW-Whitewater, in the "party dorm" on the intensive study floor, as if.
-South of Madison, WI - I clearly don't get around too much

4 TV series I watch
-Lost - I'm more lost each time I watch it
-at least one ridiculous reality guilty pleasure...American Idol, Big Brother, Rock Star...I'm ashamed
-The Office - "Beer me some strength" "Wanna hug it out bitch?"
-E.R. (what is going on with Kovatch?)

4 places I have been on holiday
-Ft. Myers Florida an eternity ago
-Eagle River, WI
-Wisconsin Dells, WI
-Orlando, FL
Again, don't get out much,

4 things I do every time I go on the Net
-check my e-mail
-check my Bloglines
-usually I look up a "better" word on - just love words!
-inevitably I will "google" something

4 things I would not eat for anything in the world
-limberger cheese
-red, bloody meat, I am a vegetarian "waiting to happen"
-anything with eyes - like a fish or whatever, if it is looking at me, forgetaboutit
-pigs feet, or any other odd appendage, aint happening. I am picky, but that would just be ridiculous.
-while pregnant I had a strong aversion to McDonalds which has yet to heal. This is not a bad thing

4 places I would love to be right now
-the spa having a massage and a glass of something smooth
-hiking at a National Park looking at an amazing view
-sitting by some calm, clear blue water
-on my couch reading, knitting or napping. a very multipurpose couch.
a relaxation theme here? apparently work has been a drag on a subliminal level...

I cannot tag anyone, if you feel like it, please partake, if not, no pressure:)

Don't forget my contest:) I'm planning to sew a little notions bag too! Something with sheep on it.

btw...thank you for all of the kind comments on my apron-gift - mostly so glad to hear jo-na digs it! maybe scrubs to match? okay, not.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Adventures in fabric

I finished a quick sewing project for a bridal shower. I had purchased a mundane, but sturdy fry pan, so it needed a little something to jazz up the gift.


It is a short pleated apron from Amy Butler's In Stitches. It was a simple project - er, would have been more so had I not been entirely AWOL from my dear sewing machine in the past couple of years. I am all about making mistakes so I can learn from them...again. Anyways, the recipient is my sister-in-law to be. We have the most domestically gifted mother-in-law - she makes everything pretty and delicious, quite simply she is a tough act to follow in the kitchen. So, the occasion seemed deserving of an equally domestic but whimsical apron and matching hotpad.


It is a gorgeous day. Unfortunately the shower is a bit of a drive and I am with the kids while my husband does some ridiculously long training event prior to his 1/2 iron man, so I am missing out on the cake and incriminating tales. Maybe even a game of "let's make a wedding dress out of toliet paper"? I'll need some details. I hope the shower is wonderful and brings lots of fun "just married" sort of fare! Good luck Jo and Bro (in-law)!

And in knit news - good thind I signed up for the Polka Dot jersey in Tour De France KAL because I am challenged. I had to rip back to my safety line, thank god I had one in there between clues. egads, I think it may drive me to drink - at least I'll be climbing some mountains!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Mystery Stole 3 and KAL 2-fer

I joined up with this group hoping I might actually make the project. I ordered my Jaeggerspun Zephyr in Vanilla and even got my beads. I skipped the swatch - I just went for it on size 5's and ended up starting again on size 4. I even found an Addi Turbo Lace needles for the occasion (and at the fourth LYS). So clue one is done, just in time for clue two which debuted this morning. I have it copied and ready. I think it could be quite addicting. The designer from Pink Lemon Twist in pretty ingenious. She has created two previous mystery stoles (of course) and has several others for sale on her blog. And the real clincher...the Yarn Harlot herself signed on, pretty exciting to rub projects with such a knit celebrity! Here is what I have so far...
The picture is a little pathetic, I can't bring myself to really stretch it out just yet, but you get the general idea. I'm having so much fun reading the chart, I want to start another one - slow down, silly, I know. I was over at Beyond Your Peripheral Vision and found this KAL. I have to join, to knit with the Tour on a project that is challenging to me - this stole of course. I'll have my polka dot cyber jersey on while working away at this project.
gse_multipart6047I am truly challenged with this lace as I have had to knit and unknit a little more often than I should have already...nonetheless I feel like I am cheating a bit by having a head start so I'll also be working on something else too...

and since I wound this today...peaknit2

I am thinking about starting the Saucy Socks with them, though there have been lots of great "favorites" suggested - it has to be something special with my Yarntini "peaknit" colorway *wee*! My thoughts are to knit something in honor of my blog-a-versary and heck, it could count for this as well...a clever contest if it catches on. Go sign up!:)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

One Year Blog-a-Versary! and A Cause for Celebration Contest!

Wow, a year. I'm feeling a little verklempt. I hope you can bear with a teeny traipse down memory lane with me. I have found blogging to be so ridiculously satisfying, it's beyond comprehension. I think what truly got me started thinking about it was a book from my sister. Yarn Harlot: Secret Life of a Knitter. She bought it on a whim for me for Christmas. It was then that I realized that there is a world of knitters out there talking about it. So I started reading Harlot's blog, following her links. I even talked my supportive non-knitting sister to go with me to see Harlot in Chicago last summer. It was so much fun taking the train down, having decadent liquer chocolates at Ethel M's Chocolate Lounge, spending way more than I could have imagined at Teavana...and while we sweat in an echo-y community center listening to Harlot I was knitting these. My favorite socks in my favorite colorway - Cosmopolitan - by my favorite dyer. By now, if you have read my blog, you know I love Yarntini - she was so open to my first request for a special order that my adoration blossomed and we kept in touch. She has since spoiled me so silly I often have to pinch myself. And now, you guys could receive a little Yarntini love. Look what I got today as an offering for my contest...


yes, can you read the label? peaknit semi-solid, I squealed when I saw it. *clapclapclap* Jessie sent it as a generous surprise. And she just knew, based on past experience, that I wouldn't be able to part with it, so she included one for me too. How's that for supporting a habit:)

So as my blogging continued, I started getting comments - omg, I am so grateful for each one. Each comment made me want to keep making new friends through blogland. Then I started seeing "swaps" - I can recall in earnest wanting to be in Sockapalooza so bad, and Secret Pal 8, but I was too late to the party. But eventually I got in on some. I have "met" some great people through this process. I was the kid in class jumping up and down to beg for the international pen pal and I even wrote my school friends just over summer - so this has been a real treat. I met blogless Christine through the KMKS swap. Her friendship has been the most rewarding in that we exchange e-mails regularly and I think we may have been separated at birth - well, years apart - but nevermind that!

It has been so interesting meeting people from both coasts and in between through comments and tracking back to their blogs. I have enjoyed serial commenting with Chicken Knits, Susan B. Anderson (blogging has kind of reintroduced me to her, the owner of the shop where I learned to knit, small world), Sandra over at Stay at Home Knits - she has been a fun International friend that I have also swapped with, Lady Knitterly, Marisol at Purls Just wanna Have Fun, The Knitting Bandit, Tina's International House of Yarncakes (the name got me!)...and so many more. I have also met several locals Ann at Yellow House Treasures, Molly Bees Attic and my co-worker from Gramknits - she and I will often talk about things being "blogworthy" which merely stumps, or scares everyone around us.

Okay, so I have loved blogging and the relationships it has come with. Then there are all of the other goodies I have found...the links to such great places, talks about sales, Ravelry and swaps. I think I have bought every piece of jewelry that Scout J. has linked to - she has incredible taste. And then the lace at Beyond Your Peripheral Vision - she is a amazing and I need some of that Wollmeise! I've read book reviews and movie reviews and have been turned on to podcasts I would have never otherwise uncovered. I have seen projects in yarns I would have never thought of trying. But, maybe most of all, it is a great place to be myself and feel accepted among many fiber kindred spirits. It's like a huge knit night every night!

And then there is a contest - a celebration should always include prizes. So what I would like you to do is simple, please leave a me a comment, would be a real bonus if you would include the name of your favorite sock pattern. (as a non-recovering sock-a-holic, I am always looking for new ones) I am thinking with the surprise arrival of the kick a** yarntini today - I would like to offer at least two prize packs - one with the peaknit yarn and another with some sock yarn from my stash. I am also planning to include some handmade stitch markers, candy and whatever else I can come up with. I plan to try this "random number generator" thing next Friday and come up with my winners!! Orif I cannot be techno-savvy enough for that - I will write the names out and my daughter will be my lovely assistant and draw from a French Market Bag! So please leave a comment and help me par-tay! Thank you!

And in true party form, I am now planning to scoop up some Araretto Slush and enjoy the next episode of Meadowlands in air conditioned comfort before everyone rushes the door in an hour. Motherhood requires planning.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Runagogo...under the buzzer

I just got in from my last walk for the 2nd quarterly Runagogo. I made it, whew. 102 miles from April 1 to today - Independence Day! Hurray! barely. I have found podcasts a nice motivator for walking. I find them so hard to listen to when I am trying to do something else - I need to pay attention. So, I have been downloading Stash and Burn, Lime n Violet and Socks in the City for my routine walks when my walking partner is AWOL. Good stuff. Now the question is...will there be another round?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Mojito anyone?


I got my Yarntini sock club goodie box yesterday! I love this yarn, called, you guesed it - Mojito. It came with some mojito lipgloss, a clever Yarntini touch and an extra tag with a Mojito recipe on it, I will totally be shaking up that summery concoction. Just need to get some mint leaves...

Also included was a neat pattern Pure Cricosaura by Ericka Seelinger, it has a unique texture and a lace panel up the back. pureknits also stuck in some size 1 rosewood dpns - that is a material I have yet to break, so we'll see:) And I do not have any size ones - can you imagine? I knit so darn tight though I usually need them a bit bigger. And does everyone do a gauge swatch for socks? Em, cause I don't. Maybe I should.

So, lots of love for yet another sock club installment. I need the two month break to figure out what's next! And I need to try to restrain myself from buying any more yarn - I think I could knit a house cozy. But isn't that Bikini Bottom over at Cider Moon look sweet? And it's on sale until Thursday, in case you were interested. I think I am drawn by the Sponge Bob reference. and I think I am a creature of little restraint. God grant m the serenity...


Surfing over to Cider Moon I found this free sock pattern - isn't it saucy?

btw, I didn't buy anything:)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Sew much fun!


I met my sewing machine again today - I just love her, but I have been whoring around with yarn for several years now. Knitting is just so much more portable and mommy friendly. So I have had just rare trysts with Pfaff over the past years - to sew a random barbie outfit or Christmas stocking. Today, I needed to get down there - I purchased Amy Butler's In Stitches sometime ago and have a project picked out for an upcoming event. Well, as luck would have it, after I cut out all of my project pieces, the more tedious and annoying part of sewing for me, I realized I did not have exactly the right shade of thread. So that led me to splityarn - where I have coveted her wristlet tutorial. No more zipper phobia here.

What a fun little project. It went together quickly though true to form I had to do a few things wrong first in order to let my new knowledge sink in. Which reminds me of a great quote I heard yesterday on The People's Pharmacy..."Wisdom is knowledge through pain." Pierce E. Scranton (author of Death on the Learning Curve - a "fictional" memoir written by a real surgeon. Kind of like James Frey's Million Little Pieces but this author was honest about the embellishment right out of the box)


I just love the funky lining, and of course I wanted to use a cute little label to charm it up. also inspired by Caro as were these.

I am so thankful to Caro over at splityarn, she is so generous with her ideas, right down to showing you step by step how to copy them. Thank you!!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Socks Club Spoils and a finished project...


I finished my second Campfire Sock today - what a fun, fast and cozy sock project. I think they even look cool inside out. They are knit on a size 4 dpn, so they are a quick knit - or I am sure they would have been if I would have stayed focused - but what's that? I think they took me 3 weeks. I love the Cider Moon Glacier and can't wait to try another project with it. And FYI, it's on sale through July 6 - 20% off! Does that happen to you too? As soon as you buy something, it goes on sale? You pull into a long line at the drive-through or the bank and no one pulls in behind you? I call it my day-late-dollar-short syndrome, I fall victim to it's clutches regularly - maybe it's really "glass half empty" malady sneaking in? I need to pay attention to that... So anyways, barely a pair off of the needles and then I get these...

First up Sundara - a gorgeous royal blue with bits of purple. I had to really unfocus my eyes to see the grape it so do deliciously subtle. The pattern is really a sweet spot in this package. The cables and grape hyacyinth "balls" go right down the ankle and into the heel. It looks complicated but Sundara promises a beginner could do it.


Then Scout's Swag sent this...


The pattern is a Cookie A. original. It is simply amazing...look here for a clearer picture - it's worth a peek! And there is a similarity - again unfocus your eyes - in the two patterns, as the cables stretch right down to the heel. The colorway is Kizkalesi - a semi-solid turquoise. It makes me imagine an ocean wave sliding into the beach - so clear and deep.

The colorways are both in the blue family but couldn't be any more different. *wee* And now, I can rest while I wait for my pureknits package to come with some special yarntini inside...for now I am going to put my feet up!