Friday, February 29, 2008

Leapin' Mother!


It's my mom's birthday today - this is only her 14th birthday. Having a leap year birthday always seemed clever to me but I can see where the mystique could be lost on someone who actually only gets a "real" birthday every four years...

Anyways - Happy Birthday mom! I could go on and on, but I hope you know you are a pretty great mom. And for as much as we had our differences when I was a teenager and I said "I'll never do that to my kids" - I doubt myself every day as a parent when I think I may pale in comparison to you - your style was strict to a fault but I could never doubt I was loved, not ever. You rock!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

a photo finish(ed object)


It's tough to take a picture of your own hand with a fancy pants camera that you don't know how to use properly. Hence, this is as good as it gets - home alone today with the last dregs of the flu bug, I finished a second Evangeline. I need them for Friday, for someone special - aren't those cables grand? Maybe I won't be able to part with them? Good to have some suspense in case someone special might be reading. em.


I chose this project after seeing Tiennie's fabulous gang of them - many, many lovely, inspiring pairs. I have only one pair to show for myself but I did modify it a bit, only the number of repeats as the pattern is perfect - I chose to do less repeats then the elbow length but more that the wrist length version called for. My special giftee is an avid walker and with spring coming I was looking for something fingerless and fun but also long enough to sneak up a coat sleeve, hate that little draft when mittens and coats don't have a proper relationship.

I think I also chose this project because of the name - Evangeline, a dear sweet scullery maid in Nanny McPhee - the name just charmed me, the character had me at "hello" - a woman of commitment and sacrifice - kind of like the giftee - hmmm, can you guess?

I love that the colorway compliments Project Spectrum and the curved cables are somewhat reminiscent of Valentine's day - something sugary sweet indeed.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


It's Saturday night, it's 8:10 and both of my daughters are in bed. Granted, minor melt downs led to this early weekend bedtime but the house is quiet. And I have a great book to read. Nighty night.

Friday, February 22, 2008


As in, keep it simple stupid.


Elizabeth Zimmerman. At last, I broke down and purchased this book. After looking at it for a month - gosh, no discounts on this gem, I had to get it. I wasn't able to find it at a local bookstore... lucky for me, Lakeside Fibers had a copy for me yesterday - I marched right to the books. Success.

I browsed through it last night, what a delight. It reads like a family scrapbook - with "recipes" scattered throughout. I wish I could have known EZ, she just sounds like a neat women with the most unique and exciting history. And for knitting - what a pioneer! EZ's books always seemed so old fashioned - and then after much stalking over at brooklyntweed - clearly EZ is an inspiration for him, he says so - Jared Flood makes garter stitch looks so freaking special, so basic, yet so gorgeous. I have been missing the boat. Up to now, I have failed to see the value of the true mothers of knitting, I need to slow down and consider these women. It is maybe an "ah-ha moment" that perhaps knitting isn't just about the "next best thing", the latest sock yarn, the latest pattern - it's time to appreciate the basics. Thus k.i.s.s...

So now the Baby Suprise Jacket is in my sights - and coincidentally I have fallen into an amazing swap over at Ravelry -(insert drumroll) EblinaBirks offered to spin me some custom yarn for the BSJ - omg - an offer straight from the knitting Gods!! She knew how much yarn the BSJ would take, and set to dying and spinning, I feel a little humbled by this fabulous generosity. Again, just another reminder of how much you knitters rock!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

gettin' by with a little help from my friends...

Getting by. That's the best I can do at the moment. This winter is just dragging on something ridiculous, I have too much going on at work and the days are just too short. My "friends" would be two tubes of lipstick - (BOGO at Walgeens) that darn near match my La Digitessa colorway - I am hoping that lipstuff will help me feel gussied up enough tomorrow to face another below zero day. Aught to just brighten this pasty winter blah dontcha think?

Another thing that helps on a crummy day...


This is my Yarn4Socks installment of Yarntini - doesn't it looks like you should put a little umbrella in it, tune into some steel guitars and swim up to the bar for another? Wicked delicious. I ended up missing out on the first round of packages, I think I just got missed - so Yarn4Socks quickly sent me another. Did you see they have some yarn by The Woolen Rabbit teaming with Anne from the Knitspot for their April offering? Just letting you know - consider it a public service:)

I'm working away on my Stalkers - they seem to be my lunch time project for now. I am also working on some Evangelines by night. Just kind of immediate gratification, slightly relaxing knitting for now. It is helping to have low expectations as this season wears on. I'm getting by.

I did finish another book - Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult - another winner, it wasn't The Pact - but good. This author seems to routinely choose a culture to explore...Wiccan, Native American, Eskimo, Amish - this time the backstory was religion - very compelling. A child who is experiencing unexplained religious ecstasy, stigmata - curious. I would say reading is a nice, quiet way to divert cabin fever.

One last thing - I am in love with this vest (in Parrot?) after seeing The Plucky Knitter wearing it - the yarn looks so squooshable. It makes me think I haven't given Fleece Artist a fair shake, maybe a study in Fleece Artist is in order. Remember, not a yarn diet - just being mindful and I have a MIND FULL! *giggle*

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Back to regularly scheduled programming...


Project Spectrum continues

I have turned the second heel on my Stalker socks...I have stopped at a possible error on my Candle Flame shawl and I am debating - Drops Jacket....Twisted Yoke...ah, the colorways are so enticing. I did end up ordering a second La Digitessa kit, if for the yarn alone - I had no will to stop myself, even though I am not certain what either skein will be for sure... AND I found lipstick to match.

The February-March colors are so inspiring, so deep, delicious - berry stained against the white background of our snow covered landscape. Kinda makes my mouth water, as does this...

Wisconsin Belgian Red by New Glarus Brewery - 1 lb. of Door County Chrries in each bottle. That was our Valentine's treat. And the best part of V-Day, my husband won me a bobblehead - roses are so impractical - now a Bob and Brian Bobblehead (from 102.9 The HOG)...priceless. I was truly more excited that you can imagine - hopping around the car knowing a bobblehead was going to be on my desk. I nearly wept with joy, ah, a little glimpse into the simple things that bring me great, albeit silly, delight. I hope you can appreciate the Guitar Hero loving glam rock, head banging 80's girl in me. :)


Anyways, DH was caller 29 during no less than a Rush Song, Freewill - and wouldn't you know, we are going to their Snakes and Arrows show during Summerfest this June - we are quite excited, dedicated fans and all. And we have never been to Summerfest - a huge, well-known music festival in Milwaukee - our tickets include entrance to SF for the day - it is a light in the dark of this long winter. So Rush and a bobblehead, fate. I hope your V-Day was as special as mine. *wink*

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A sweater at last


A sweater. At Last. I started this Noro Y775 sweater last winter and finally got the nerve to try my hand at seaming - after many diversions. The seaming went okay, I had nothing to fear, not really. The shoulders are the teeniest bit puffy from some easing but overall, I am pleased with the finished effect. I don't have the ends all sewn in or a final blocking done but in my excitement for sunshine and the fact that my husband was home, we needed to have a photo shoot - immediately. I realize with my wrinkled brow, I look a bit concerned, but truly I am actually just squinty and awed by the round globe of fire in the sky, I mean it's been so long - is that the sun?? Sunny and 8 degrees. Nice.


I love the crocheted ruffly edge that encircles the whole sweater and Noro Iro, while it might add some, em, unnecessary bulk, it is so forgiving - you barely see mistakes, but there might a be a few hiding in there. It is comfy and great to throw on over a long sleeved t-shirt with jeans or a denim skirt - perfect for casual Friday - and a sweater I know my friends will see and say "that's a Stacey sweater" - whatever that means, I'm taking it as a compliment. I have read over at Ravelry that this sweater "grows while you wear it" - we'll see how that goes - but overall, I will chalk it up as a good introduction to the grown-up garment and maybe cast on that Drops jacket. Maybe.

BTW, good thing I didn't get used to that damn sun, 8-10 more inches of snow tomorrow - wtf?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

A lame attempt at making my mittens look like a heart... it's the thought, right?

As I sit here and watch more piles of snow decend on my house - wow - it looks like Christmas - but no, it's mid-February - yup, that is it. Our area has beaten the all time record for snow fall, so what is the point of it all now - there are no records to beat, but someday I can tell my grandkids "I remember the winter of '08 it was a doozy, kids!" So what. Go away.

*I really am was not a bitter person***wink wink*

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Digitessa deliciousness...


I got my La Digitessa kit on Monday - what! a! treat! The colorway is so deep and delicious, another shade of lipstick I would like to have. This sock pattern looks so challenging - I am not sure I can wait to cast on the yarn, it is so rich and Project Spectrum perfection! Wouldn't it make a pretty Clapotis? (even though I have a reddish one, I could use a lighter one for spring, no?) I may be thinking crazy here, but I think I may just have to order another kit - just for the yarn, since I won't need a second pattern. But in addition to the fabulous yarn and professional pattern...there was a sweet teeny little Toblerone and then another little celephane goodie bag with little tags, a tiny little pipecleaner-y chick and some chocolate eggs. Yarnissima sends the best presents, like it was just for me. Such care goes into each packge, I'm speechless - so thankfully I won't have to say a thing while I login and order myself another decadent gift *wee* - like buying yourself flowers, eh? I haven't pulled the trigger yet, but the fantasy is good for now. ahhh. nice.


Then I got some Noro sock yarn from an ebay seller too - the price was very fair and I am so curious. I used the same colorway #95 in Kureyon to make myself my first and favorite-est mittens years ago from Barb Galeska's Felted Knits. I wear these mittens nearly everyday, everyone in my office recognizes them as mine - and a chihuahua stole one and ran off with it at a home visit the other day - I chased that little sucker around the couch to get it back - hell no was he having my mitten. Then I made a Booga bag (just like the one featured on the pattern page) for my blogless friend in our Mitt Kit Swap using it - and I am just in love - so socks seem a natural progression.


Um, and lastly, eek! '08 is the year of the sweater - you'll see soon! I have seamed. Apparently it is the year of Noro as well, not to give anything away:)

p.s. this yarn was purchased during the window between the end of Stashuary, em, January and lent - so I'm still good...til I get the next Digitessa...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

center square - check!


I finished my Center Square last night - what a quick little project to learn some stranding on. I really like how cozy and thick this hat - but gosh, my finger tips hurt a bit - is this from stranding? (or excessive Guitar Hero?) My DD models it - fits her nicely - but I expect it'll just get thrown into the "anybody need a hat?" pile. I have a crate full of outdoor gear that I keep in our closet that comes in handy this time of year - 'nother one for the pile.

I may take ADD Knitter's advice and try the Endpaper Mitts next - I have some extrafine merino in pink and green from a Secret Pal that could be perfect for more stranding experimentation.

I hate to turn this blog into the "weather channel" - but another crummy day in WI. We were supposed to greet at church this morning, so we all piled in the car at 7am - which is pretty amazing already - but we couldn't get to town, the truck was all over the road, glare ice - egads, give me a break. I was thinking the pastor would understand if we didn't risk the kids being stranded and freezing in the waaaay below zero temps - so back home we came in our Sunday best to sit on the couch with dumbfounded faces...what do we do now? So I cleaned the refrigerator - it is really something what you find in there. A couple of Coke Zeros later. I'm ready to wash the floors...stop it, I know you are jealous of my boredom inspired motivation.

I did finish another book Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock, pretty good book with a bizarre little surprise at the end. The book tells a tragic story of a little girl and her sister, Emma. The setting is in the South but it seems like Walton's Mountain with all the "caint" as in can't - the improper language seem to emphasize the poor socio-economics of this family - rampant with abuse, alcoholism, depression and survival.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Good things come to those who wait...and beg


I recently blogged that I was hoping to find the Tatami Kimono pattern and some Sundara sport weight (now discontinued) to go with - and shucks if I didn't get both this week from fabulous Ravelers! Librarian Knits was willing to trade her Tatami pattern for a spare Yarn Harlot Casts Off book I had. And then I was able to buy some gorgeous Sundara in Stormy from The Lovely Emily - for basically buy-4-get-one-free - so I am even sporting wonderful savings on a project I have pined over forever. I'm stoked. Of course,I have not forgotten that I have never finished an adult sweater but here I sit on this new kit, as well as yarn for the Tangled Yoke, the Bristow and possibly the Drops Jacket - all the while I huddle accross the room, staring at the pieces of the Noro Cardigan that I am afraid to seam. Oh, this so has to be the year of the sweater, huh?


I did get the nerve to try something new this weekend - I cast on and am over half finished with a stranded Center Square hat. I've been meaning to try this since Susan made one (or two?). I have high hopes of trying to get one of Hello Yarns Fiddlehead mitten kits - which debut this week - and I figured knitting two yarns on honking needles would qualify me for this...why? *crickets chirping*

Anyways - I am also hoping to gain courage to try Endpaper Mitts, And maybe an awesome Little Inga hat, knit here by Hello Yarn - I think it is the color choices that suck me in. The Center Square hasn't been intimidating a bit so far, so maybe stranding is possible. I guess well see how those floats work out once I cast off - I have read some technique on this but gotta wonder if they will be too long, too loose, too tight....we'll see. So maybe I should not be celebrating stranding success just yet...

*And blogless Christine, for the official record, I look like a dufus in hats too - yet it isn't stopping me from admiring too many of them...doh!

Okay, lastly, the downside. It's is snowing like a fool again today - what is up? It is pretty, I'm thankful to be home and I that don't need to leave tonight - but tomorrow we are expecting 40 mph winds and possibly 40 below zero temps - I vote "enough" - any other midwesterners care to second that vote? sheesh.

p.s. 4 days Twizzler Free however, I did ask my friend if I could buy her some and watch her eat them *giggle* (I make light, but seriously, my mouth watered when I walked by them this a.m. at's a long 6 weeks til Easter folks)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Midwest madness


I've lost my car. Okay, not seriously - but it is buried today. My husband was driving it up the driveway yesterday when a belt snapped - a rather important one. Thankfully, in the driveway. So it has been cast aside while we borrow my snowbird in-laws vehicle as a stand-in and wait for the tow truck. Which could be awhile. Since we got 19" of snow today. My lumbering golden retriever is up to his neck patiently doing his business. What a serious drag. I have high hopes that I can get to work tomorrow but for today we loafed. As a family project, we loafed.



On the bright side, I finished my first Stalker and cast on a second. And then I finished my 7th book - 45 to go for my 52 book goal. I'm trying to get ahead to buy time for that 700+ pager from Cinnamonamon.

I also ordered the La Digitessa kit. Well, techinically I did that last night since it was at the buzzer before lent - I thought, if I can forgo Twizzlers (the secret love of my life) then I can continue knitting from the stash. (I really like Bockstark Knits Digitessa beginnings...)

What did you do today?

Monday, February 04, 2008

Project Spectrum beginnings


Happy beginning of Project Spectrum! Yesterday on the way to a waterpark hotel with the kids, I cast on my Firebird Socks That Rock for some Stalkers from Yarn Ball Boogie. I love the pattern, but of course, hind sight being what it is, I think should have cast on with a semi-solid. Like some Wollmeise Wilder Mohn perhaps? But in the name of the self proclaimed "too much work to frog" movement - I shall go forth. I think the cables still do pop a bit and the fit is great, despite my early reservations.

Then continuing on the spectrum theme (reds, pinks, oranges...) - I present Twizzlers, well not just Twizzlers, specifically the pull and peel variety. Food of the Gods. Easily up there with fountain soda, for me personally.


Alas, I have decided I need to give them up for lent. Kwik Trip had this evil "buy one get one" plot and now, my swimsuit seemed a bit snug in the middle at our watertpark adventure - so either I cut back on the Twizzlers and refocus my "lifestyle" or I need to buy a bigger swim suit, for now I'll try the former. But look what Jillian over at Project Runway can do with Twizzlers...


Maybe she could fashion me a new swim suit using just Twizzlers? You know, kill two birds? No, I would start nibbling and we all know how that would go.

Speaking of waterparks and snug fitting swimming suits - egads, what kind of non-relaxing adventure was that? The best intentions. I looked around at other parents - wondering is it me? But no, as I suspected - most parents looked pretty tired and frustrated, in need of a stiff drink...good grief. On the bright side, the kids had fun and were rather oblivious to the thoughts running through my noggin. Glad to be home. And the the weatherman utters 9-12" of snow...ugh.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

a little verklempt...

I thought I had the perfect Rowan Cork in my stash for a Drops Jacket - now I am not sure. The gauge swatch seems to dictate that I need to use the second version - but will I have enough yarn, that is the question. There a few people over at Ravelry who have a skein or two of this discontinued yarn in my shade - I'm so etiquette conscious - do you just ask, hey, can I buy your yarn if I get the ribbing on the sleeve and don't have enough? I think I would be deserpate enough to do this. Or, do I just find a more suitable yarn in a color I will love and buy more yarn for my bulging stash? OMG, the insanity of it all. I think I will throw caution to the wind and just start with my Cork and see what happens. Goodbye dear friend, goodbye caution!

Yarntini in Cherry Cordial

On a better note, I have some socks. I finished them on the 31st, so in January I got my Yarntini socks on and off of the needles. I'm pleased at their identical appearance, these came from the same egg, baby! I can't say enough how cozy and sproingy Yarntini is. I have ventured off and found many fabulous sock yarns, but this is perhaps my most favorite - well, a close tie with Wollmeise perhaps. Now, again, I may need to buy a sweater to match my new socks.


Last but not least I wanted to gush, yet again, about Ravelry. I have done some trading this month, in an effort to keep myself contented without actually buying yarn. Look at the spoils...I traded for and got some Sereknitty in Breakfast at Tiffany's - if for the name alone - but blue and brown are a match made in the heavens. And some Yarn Love, this is new to me - but I love this Bayfield Apple colorway. And some Sundara, Tuscan Rose over Lemon - sounds like a wonderful cobbler dessert, and kind of looks like one too. What fun! And I may be negotiating for some Sundara Sport in a smoky colorway. I have wanted to make the Tatami Kimono forever and as soon as I decided, yup - gonna do it - the yarn became unavailable, as in forever...and why didn't I buy that darn pattern for the day I found the destined yarn? doh! Here's hoping someone will come through for me!